And Then One Day: A Memoir by Naseeruddin Shah

By Naseeruddin Shah

Naseeruddin Shah’s glowing memoir of his early years, ‘from 0 to thirty-two’, spans his awesome trip from a feudal hamlet close to Meerut to Catholic colleges in Nainital and Ajmer, and at last to degree and movie stardom in Mumbai. alongside the way in which, he recounts his passages via Aligarh collage, the nationwide university of Drama
and the movie and tv Institute of India, the place his good fortune eventually started to change.

And Then sooner or later tells a compelling story, written with infrequent honesty and consummate splendor, leavened with tongue-in-cheek humour. There are relocating pix of kinfolk, darkly humorous bills of his schooldays, and brilliant cameos of administrators and actors he has labored with, between them Ebrahim Alkazi, Shyam Benegal, Girish Karnad, Om Puri and Shabana Azmi.

The debts of his fight to make cash via performing, his experiments with the craft, his amorous affairs, his early marriage, his successes and screw ups are narrated with amazing frankness and aim self-assessment. Brimming with pleasant anecdotes in addition to poignant, frequently painful revelations, this ebook is a travel de strength, destined to turn into a vintage of the style.

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The remains of a cigarette were actually found by the dorm matron once in the pocket of one of my shirts going to the laundry. The punishment for smoking was expulsion and no questions asked. While I vigorously protested my innocence in the face of undeniable proof, it did seem for a while that my trunk would emerge shortly from the box room on its own. But on pondering the question, the matrons decided not to bring the matter to the Principal’s notice, the common consensus among them being that I was too much of an idiot to pull off something like this.

So when it was my turn to arrive, he must have fervently prayed and hoped, only to be disappointed yet again. He probably overcompensated by indulging me greatly for the first few years of my life. When I awoke he would carry me on his back to the bathroom and tend to me. Evidently I was spoiled rotten at that stage; Zaheer once received a dressing down because I had told on him. In fact looking at some photos of myself at that age I suspect I must have been something of a pest. Baba’s large elegant hands and tapering fingers had a warmth I can still feel and I loved his short prickly Hitler-ish moustache scraping my face, but as it happened he and I touched each other less and less in the years that followed.

Why exactly he went to either place has never been fully explained, but ostensibly it was as English tutor to the daughter of Amanullah, the exiled Afghan king. My brother has a theory that it was a romance of some kind, something I find intriguing but irreconcilable with my memory of the man. Anyhow, Baba was one of the entourage the king took with him when he had to flee. These royals never even fled without an entourage. The engagement was broken off and Ammi was then assigned for life the role of serving her parents, a somewhat woolly-headed couple unwittingly presiding over the final fall of feudalism in the house of the Sardhana Shahs.

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