Indiatvnews.com carried my interview yesterday. Deepti Kaul, who did the interview is shocked with the dark side of Bollywood, has loved my one-liners. She specially mentions my favourite line, “Bollywood is where they pay Rs 50 lakh and a role for a f**k and fifty rupees for the soul!” I am thrilled as it took three rewrites before settling on this line.
I’d dedicate this quote to every Bollywood aspirant who was used and discarded.
Here is the entire text – unabridged:
New Delhi, Jul 20: The controversial author Mohan Deep has come up with a new novel ‘The Five Foolish Virgins’. The book reveals the dark side of Bollywood, the gory details about tinsel town’s connection with underworld and casting couch. The author talks to Deepti Kaul about his book and what went into it in a brief interview.
You’re already a controversial author and now comes this book ‘The Five Foolish Virgins’…Comment.
It is true that the tag of ‘controversial’ is always added before my name, whenever I am mentioned in the media. I liked it as I stood apart. I liked my individuality. I was not a conventional author. I had broken traditions, again and again. But I haven’t broken the traditions for the sake of it. I broke new grounds when I wrote the three star biographies. Industry might have been aghast at my treatment of Madhubala, Meena Kumari and Rekha but that didn’t matter. Nor did it matter that Rekha didn’t like what I wrote. What the hell would Rekha, a primary school dropout, know what a biography is usually all about? It was sheer coincidence that I wrote about Rekha.
To me, writing was important. Being close to the Bollywood personalities I had little choice. At one stage I’d fondly hoped that Rekha would be grateful as, someone of my caliber wrote her life. But it requires an educated and cultural background to value a biography. Stars are a spoilt lot. She would have been happier with a coffee table book, make up, fashion statements, close-ups and large, glossy air brushed photo-shopped pictures.
‘The Five Foolish Virgins’ is a natural step in my evolution as a writer. It is a novel with a large canvas. It is a story I always wanted to write. The migration of 20 million refugees during the partition in 1947 is one of the biggest historical happenings. My story is rooted in this period. It is the story of Sindhis and Punjabis and how the experience changed the entire character of these two communities.
“Bollywood is where they pay Rs 50 lakh and a role for a f**k and fifty rupees for your soul” – Yes your book is a fiction… But this line makes a strong statement… Comment.
It makes you think. Isn’t it? I was just wondering why we don’t have such lines coming from people like Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan! Amitabh Bachchan’s are banal quotes from his babuji’s writings. Aamir Khan’s idea of wit is to spit in the palm of Madhuri Dixit! They go on and on, pontificating, lecturing, but no one says anything profound…
Don’t you think your book will tarnish Bollywoood’s glamourous image? As it shows the dark side of this glamour world.
Bollywood is a world full of glamour and I had no intention to ‘tarnish’ its image.
What is the reaction of the industry people?
Industry first reacted to the title. ‘The Five Foolish Virgins’ has a curiosity value. Is being a virgin foolish? Do the foolish girls remain virgins? The producers thought in terms of sex and sleaze. More than one producer offered to organize an item for the launch. They wanted the item to be with five young girls. I declined. I didn’t want that kind of image for the book. By now scores of filmmakers have read the novel and seem excited. Their excitement is with the story element, with the intrigue, with the inside stories and a gripping theme. The best compliment that I have received is from an experienced filmmaker. He told me that I have worked out everything. The director and the actors would have a ready script in their hands.
The novel can be turned into a Bollywood movie… So, have you already sold the story?
No. It is important that my novel is read. It is an experience between a writer and reader. Movie from my novel can be an exciting idea. Even a long running TV serial is possible. But I’m happy with being read.
You have referred to some actual incidents. Did friends in the industry raise eyebrows over it?
I have used the actual incidents as a part of timeline. I know for a fact that a drunk Raj Kapoor sat crying at the feet of Haji Mastaan after his ‘Mera Naam Joker’ bombed or that CBI discovered a transmitter when they raided Dilip Kumar’s bungalow and accused him of being a Pakistani spy. He never got a clean chit. A part of industry may not like it but it doesn’t matter.