An Evening To Remember!

Pradeep Kishen and Naseeruddin Shah

Pradeep Kishen and Naseeruddin Shah

Penguin Books India hosted a book launch event at Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Center. It was the launch of the book “And Then One Day … A Memoir” by a veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah. The entry to the event was on invitation (which management had forgot to mention :|). Anyways, it got difficult for them to control frantic crowd (without passes) and they allowed to enter  a few people. I was lucky enough to get through. Right in front of me was a  lady draped in crisp pink colored cotton sari with streaks of grey hair. She walked with elegance. The smile on her face is almost unforgettable. She was Ratna Pathak, Naseer’s wife and also an Indian actress. It was good to see her but eyes were waiting to see someone else.

Well, we entered the balcony area and waited for the event to start. Though it was to be started by 7:00 PM but it started according to Indian Standard Time, half an hour late 😉 . With time, we Indians have adjusted ourselves according to it. I mean some of us :). Finally, Naseer Saab was called on stage along with Pradeep Kishen. By then I had no idea about Mr. Kishen, he is husband of Arundhati Roy, an Indian Author. It was a jaw dropping moment for me, when Naseer Saab entered. The auditorium echoed with the sound of clapping sounds. He got a standing ovation. I have seen him in many films and his voice is something which has always attracted me. Listening to him live was a dream come true. It was a stirring moment for me. I got goosebumps, my legs were trembling and there were butterflies in my stomach. I was too excited to see him. He himself admitted that with age he has become more handsome. Did I tell you that I like older guys :D.  In few minutes, the conversation started between Mr. Kishen and him. The book is about the journey of his life before he married Ratna.

Pradeep started asking questions from him (related to book). He answered them emotionally as well as intelligently. He talked about everything frankly –  his childhood, getting expelled out of school, having bitter relations with his baba (father) , going to college, running to Bombay, sleeping on a footpath,  his days at NSD and FTII to marrying a 14 yrs older lady. He is a man full of wit. He has a good sense of humor and is quick and abrupt. He spoke about Gary Cooper, Henry Fonda, Robert De Niro, Spencer Tracey, Geoffrey Kendel. He spoke about the great Indian directors Mrinal Sen, Shyam Benegal, Vijay Tendulkar and Badal Sarkar. He also said that how we Indians need to stop watching movies just for the entertainment sake and that it’s a high time now we need to have analytic  approach towards cinema. There is a lot of scope in which Indian Cinema can grow and we need to work on that.

20140926_205345It was time to wrap up the conversation and Pradeep asked him to read a passage from the book which is the conversation between him and his father on his father’s grave. It was an emotional moment and one can easily understand that how important it is for children to have good terms with parents. They might become a rebel at home. Still in their heart there remains a place with sour memories. Naseer invited his wife Ratna, his cousin Bobby, his brother Zamiruddin Shah and his dearest friend from the industry Om Puri on the stage for book launch. Om and Naseer have remained friends from last 45 yrs. I think everyone of us desire to have a friend who would remain with us for lifetime. It felt good to know about their friendship. Both said words of praises for each other in a very humorous way. The book was released and the beautiful evening came to an end.


My Baba and Naseer Saab

My Baba and Naseer Saab


I too had an emotional moment at the end when my baba got the book signed by him. He had a smile on his face and I was happy to see him :). Baba wish to meet Jackie Chain in his life and tell him that how much he love his movies.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Every Day Adventures in Asia
    Nov 16, 2014 @ 16:42:38

    Sounds like a great evening! Naseer is a remarkable man, intelligent, exceptionally talented with an interesting life and amazing family. I’m still waiting for a copy to wander its way to our bookshelf. 🙂


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