British Asia News By Saurav Dutt
In these uncertain times, books are more important than ever.
Despite the madness, there are still stories being written and released into the world.
So whether you’re in self isolation or looking for an escape, there are some great new books to check out.
One of them is ‘Dear Mr.Bachchan’ a new book released by acclaimed British Indian Novelist Saurav Dutt. The book is an uplifting and inspirational
story of a 12 year old boy from the Mumbai slums who idolises Indian film industry legend Amitabh Bachchan. When he gets the chance
to meet his idol through a twist of fate he learns about life, perseverance and how important it is to follow your heart and to fight for your dreams.
It’s a feel good story that’s guaranteed to bring a smile to your face and warm your heart.
We talk more with Saurav below.
Your book on Amitabh Bachchan takes the unique approach of approaching him in the form of a novel-why did you decide to do this?
There’s a few books out there talking about Bachchan-ji in the form of scholarly analysis, academic pieces and about Bollywood in general
but little about him as a man, as an inspiring figure and I wanted to create a story about how this man can inspire people of all ages, backgrounds no matter what walk of life they come from. Importantly it’s not a book purely about him, about singing his praises from one page to the other; if anything it’s about the boy at the heart of the story-Vikram Chopra-and about how film can be this wonderful medium of self expression, a way to uplift
So is it a kind of Bollywood version of Slumdog Millionaire?
Other than the main character coming from the slums it has little to do with that, but we touch on wide ranging topics like class,
discrimination, religion, corruption, mental wellness, poverty and overcoming obstacles. These are all things Amitabh Bachchan
talks regularly about himself in his blogs and on social media.
The jumping off point really was when he paid the loans for farmers who were really struggling and this story is focused around that quite a bit.
Why do you think Amitabh Bachchan is so immensely popular?
I think he’s a person who has endured, who has changed with the times,stayed true to himself, remained humble and has never really
put out a false version of himself. In his prime he spoke to power, to truth, to the changing cycles of Indian society; as an elder statesman he embodies the kind of wisdom, honour and courage that we’d all like to emulate if we get to live that long.
That and of course he remains an incredible actor who has a number of cracking films under his belt,many of which stand up today and will forever be watched.
How much do you talk about Bollywood and the Indian film system in the book?
Quite a bit as the main character is a young kid who aspires to become an actor but is constantly told that doors are shut for him
and that he doesn’t belong. The question is not to give up but to try regardless and there’s parallels there with a young Bachchan
who was far from conventionally good looking or camera friendly, and we talk about materialism, about persistence, about staying true
to your beliefs and also about the corruption of the film industry where not everyone is looking out for your best interests.
It’s a change of direction for you after having written some topical, hard hitting books on subjects like domestic violence and Indian history-why write about this now?
Really it was the news that Bachchan-ji was paying those loans off, it was the kind of generosity that most celebrities really don’t partake in and he has nothing to gain at his age by being so giving; the story had been in my head for sometime-I just wanted to share my love of his movies and the best of Indian cinema with others who appreciate the films too, and also to shine a light on positivism within Indian society because we need that now more than ever.
Dear. Mr Bachchan is out now, available via Amazon in digital and paperback formats and released in India exclusively through Pothi.com