Sunday, March 1, 2015

HiFi in Bollywood - It's important for film aspirants to have a backup plan

Bollywood is a hot topic and there are many books out there that try to cash in on the same. And they always start with the typical dream, and end with the protagonist achieving that dream with struggles in-between. They always end with somewhat of a fairy tale ending. But the film industry is actually far from that.

Having worked in the film industry for many years, I decided to reflect on my own journey while trying to keep it entertaining at the same time. In actuality, the struggle is immense and most of the time people don't have a backup plan which is very imperative when one deviates from the 'safe' route. I have seen many people getting thoroughly disappointed, becoming cynical and even misusing their positions to demoralise others. The film industry is mostly full of people who are stuck in the jobs that were never on their list, just because they didn't plan sensibly. 

I subtly tried to highlight the backup plan part and I hope that you catch it. During my career, this is something that Salman Khan had actually told me - it's very important to give yourself a timeline and have something to fall back on before you enter the industry. This is something I kept with me while writing my book. .

Despite the opening up of career avenues, most parents insist on their children taking the safe route (I don't blame them for that) as it is important to hit milestones at the right age. We realise why only when we grow older. So parents are not wrong. However, kids do absorb a lot from the media and environment which exposes them to a lot more of possibilities that their parents may not be aware of. I feel that it's important to somehow realise that you're talented at and passionate about something before treading on the untoward path towards it. But more than that, it's important to give oneself a timeline and know when to call it a day. In my eyes, that doesn't make one a quitter. But a true winner.

Vanita (one of the man characters in the book) chooses the medical profession also because of the money part.  And there's nothing wrong in being honest about what you want and why you want it. She is a level-headed girl and probably defines the woman of today - practical, intelligent, but yet thinks with her heart. I feel that it is very important for a woman to be financially independent, which is why I took care not to portray Vanita as one of those pining and heartbroken women, who is totally dependent on a man for her journey. She is a woman of substance who though doesn't appear much in the book, is actually the driving force of this story. I believe that women are superior to men in every way. And the reason, why our 'progressive' nation lacks in many ways is because men either don't realise or acknowledge this fact as they do in the west. The progress of our nation lies in gender equality.

On a different note, my first book - Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai - has a strong-willed, independent female character who is suppressed in every way because of the traditional society she lives in. I do hope that women all over, find their own way to break from the meaningless shackles of society and find their own place in the world. And I strongly believe that only education can do that. Education is in a sense, freedom.

I have attempted to write the book in an entertaining way so that it is lapped up by more readers. But more than that, I wanted Rayhan's journey to be inspiring and hope that it inspires you as well to follow your dreams.  It's never too late.

It is very helpful for an author to know how readers take to his/her book, so please do write in. HiFi in Bollywood doesn't follow the conventional commercial fiction format but I'm sure you will enjoy it!  At the end of the day, it's all about entertainment! 

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