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What keeps me awake at nights? Well, searching for the mid-1980s movies and TV shows is one pastime.
And that reminds me when Sandip Ray made a (mediocre) television version of Satyajit Ray's Feluda story, it featured a longish clip from Kaalia - and one particular episode ended with a closeup of Jailor Raghuvir Singh (Pran) managing to end Kaalia's attempt to escape from his jail. This kind of strange memories (somewhat obviously) lead to me wondering about jails and jailors in Hindi cinema.
Of course, a parallel stream of thought made me wonder what made Sandip Ray choose a nearly rotund Shashi Kapoor as the iconic Feluda (known for his physical fitness and lean six-foot frame). Which naturally leads to thinking that detectives in Bollywood are often rotund (Raj Kapoor as Gopichand Jasoos) and mostly bumbling (Shah Rukh Khan as Baadshah).
Many of these rambling thoughts get captured in Keep Notes first, get mailed to my Gmail address after a few months and then copied on to a Word doc in a few years before becoming a properly written article. Sometimes interesting nuggets - from books, magazines, memories, podcasts - get scribbled down in a square diary. When I say 'scribbling', I really mean it because sometimes I can't make out what I have written. And that's one article less to write!
This was my modus operandi till Bollybook - a compendium of crazy, silly, eye-popping, jaw-dropping trivia from the inner (and outer) recesses of Bollywood. Lists are a passion right from my blogging days and became this book. The last decade saw the emergence of this brilliant genre of journalism called 'listicle'. That meant on every conceivable occasion, we got inundated with 15 Holi Songs to Groove To, 23 Times Romeo Wooed Juliet, 62 Style Icons Who Wore Glasses and so on.
To give this trend a scholarly twist, I have now added a diagrams, maps, charts and infographics to bring in (hopefully) a hitherto unseen angle of a popular topic.
- How many times has Amitabh Bachchan played a police officer? How many times a criminal? How many times both in the same film?
- When a movie character wears glasses, how much does the character change? (Also, why?) Is it SRK in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi different? Or is it Hrithik in Koi Mil Gaya different?
- What about snake films? Do snakes fight snakes? Do snakes fight people? Or do people fight people while snakes watch?
- There are so many songs celebrating drinks-and-drunks... is there a way to figure out which is which?
- What are the common threads running through most of Bollywood's legendary Holi songs?
- What's the map of a typical filmi college?
Well, these are samplers from my forthcoming book, BollyGeek: The Crazy Trivia Guide to Bollywood. The book has some 55 (neatly numbered) chapters, spread equally in nine sections. (9x6 chapters + 1 introduction, you pedants!).
- Lekar Prabhu ka Naam: Gods in Bollywood
- Odds and Ends: Random Trivia about Hindi Cinema
- Vocations: Jobs in Hindi Cinema
- Ex Libris: Literature and Authors
- Unabashedly Filmi: Cliches and craziness of Bollywood
- Two of a Kind: The Power of Two in Hindi Cinema
- In Full Masti: Festivals and Celebrations
- Now How Do I Look: Attires and Appearances
- And Deaths Comes as the End: The Last Breath in Hindi Cinema
Looking forward to this book hitting the stores and crazy trivia about naagmani, twins separated at birth, serial killers, Rabindranatha Tagore and Mithun Chakraborty slither out!
(PS: All the trivia threads mentioned above are chapters in the book.)