Journalist turned author Mohan Deep always evokes a lot of interest. While as a scribe he had earned laurels, as a writer of Bollywood biographies he pioneered a trend. Star biographies was an unheard term before he wrote his first one – on the life of legendary star Madhubala.
It was The Mystery and Mystique of Madhubala, published by Magna Books. The family, specially Madhubala’s sister, opposed the book. The family, described as Dehlavis by Mohan Deep, disputed the surname and insisted that they were Khans. The author countered that the name on her grave, written in Urdu, was Mumtaz Jehan Begum Dehlavi.
At the time when Madhubala was released, there was a trade-war between publishers Magna Publishing and Times Group. As a result,Times Group was very critical of the book. Simply Scandalous: Meena Kumari, his biography on Meena Kumari, published by Image Books, was loved by fans and media alike. It was even serialized in Mumbai’s Hindi daily ‘Dopahar Ka Saamna’.
As a part of a trilogy, in 1999, Deep wrote Eurekha!, an unauthorized biography of Bollywood actress Rekha, with Shivani Publications. This, too, was controversial.
He also wrote a novel, It’s My Life (1997).
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Deep moved into a different genre; historical fiction. In 2002, he wrote Nehru and the Tantrik Woman. It was inspired by the revelations about the illegitimate child of the first prime minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, by his private secretary M. O. Mathai. The play was set in 1975–77 when, then-prime minister Indira Gandhi had imposed emergency rule in India. The censor board for the theatre refused to give permission to stage the play, even after a stormy meeting between the author and the board members. The script was published as a book by Image Books with the same title, “Nehru and the Tantrik Woman” but never staged.
His next was an entirely different theme, Feng Shui. Feng Shui for the Bold and Beautiful, the Rich and Famous was published in 2001. It was launched by Bollywood star Ajay Devgn.
The Five Foolish Virgins (2013) was a novel. ‘The Five Foolish Virgins’, was a fictional take on the world of cinema. Color Me Rich (2016) is the tenth book, and the 3rd novel of the author.