Naseeruddin Shah’s memoir ‘And Then One Day’ is a candid recount of almost four decades of his life and the actor is happy that it is being appreciated though he says it may ruffle a few feathers in the film industry.
One of the most formidable actors in Hindi cinema, Shah started writing about his life in 2002 but was not sure about its quality so he kept postponing it.
“It is gratifying… the reaction that I am getting for the book. A lot of people who have read the book have liked it including Shyam Benegal, Girish Karnad, Ramchandra Guha and my brothers. So I am happy if that is the case.
“Though I suspect it will ruffle a few feathers in the film industry but that is not of any concern to me. It has never been my concern,” Shah told PTI in an interview.
When asked why he was hesitant to release the book, he said he was not sure that anyone would be interested in reading his life story.
“I did not think that it would of any interest to anybody. I needed another opinion so I gave it to Guha… he encouraged me very much and I took that seriously because he himself is a very good writer. I have read his books on cricket and Gandhi. They are superb.
“I thought if someone like him is finding my book readable then others will also like to read it. That’s why I completed it.”
The 64-year-old actor said he is not sure whether he will come up with the second part of the story.
“I am not planning anything. I did not plan this one either. I am not promising a second one but I don’t know,” he said.
Shah is currently on screens playing a quirky, hopelessly- in-love role of a Goan village postman Ferdie who embarks on a trip to find out his childhood love in Homi Adajania’s “Finding Fanny”.
Shah said he enjoyed being a part of the film.
“It has the unique quality of being funny and sad at the same time. My character Fredie is a person who you would smile at and feel bad about at the same time. One rarely gets to play such characters because most of the parts in Hindi films are one-dimensional and predictable,” Shah said.
“Only a Parsi could come up with such dysfunctional characters,” he quipped.
Adajania, who had previously worked with Shah in his promising debut “Being Cyrus”, has already said how he postponed the film to get Shah onboard and the actor calls it a “huge compliment”.
“Before he made ‘Cocktail’, he came to me with this story with a different cast. But I was a little caught up at that time and said no, we should wait. I don’t think anyone is irreplaceable but Homi did keep the part for me, which is quite a compliment because it is a lovely part,” he said.
The veteran actor is hopeful that “Finding Fanny”, despite being in English and without the trappings of commercial cinema, will reach to even mainstream audiences.
“Let us hope that it gets through to that audience as well. The film is well-intentioned, well made and well acted. You rarely see a film where acting is consistently good right through. Be it Dimple (Kapadia), Pankaj (Kapoor), Deepika (Padukone) or Arjun (Kapoor), all the performances are excellent because the writing is so good. I would give the credit to the writer and of course to Homi,” he said.