Everyone writes or wants to write about heroes and their lives but what about a person who has played the role of villain for years and that too so convincingly. Prem Chopra is a popular name in the B-town and for all the right reasons. I had wanted to read his biography since it was released and finally I could. This book is written by Prem Chopra’s eldest daughter Rakita Nanda and I must say she’s done a fine job. Summing up a vast career and so many happenings of an actor’s life is not easy, Rakita Nanda has done it convincingly.
Most of the yesteryears actors had to go through a lot of struggle and Prem Chopra’s story is no different. Born in Lahore in the middle class family in the pre-independence times, Prem Chopra’s father Ranbirlal was an accounts officer and his mother Rooprani was a housewife. The couple already had two boys and they wanted a girl but god blessed them with another boy, born on 23rd September. In 1947, the family migrated to India and started living in Simla where a new life began for them. Prem Chopra intricately remembers those times and takes the reader on a journey through his memories and his dauther’s words.
He came to Bombay in 1955 to try his luck in films and his family was not happy with his decision. When he couldn’t find work there, he resorted to Punjabi films and made a name for himself there and then after a lot of meetings with the producers, directors and others, Prem Chopra got his first break while he was working at TOI. He fondly remembers the times when he used to bunk his office, shrink his field trips so that he can act in films to pursue his passion.
It was Raj Kapoor who gave Prem Chopra his identity. It was a dialogue in his film which is now the title of his autobiography as well. Chopra played a convincing villain and tried to bring in various shades into each character he’s played on the silver screen. He kept improvising and kept getting better at what he did. People wanted to work with him as not only he was a fine actor but he is a great human being too. There are various anecdotes in the book narrated by Chopra and his colleagues and actors who have known him and worked with him for years. Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor, Manoj Kumar, Dharmendra, Hrithik Rosshan, Rakesh Roshan, Ranbir Kapoor, David Dhawan – you name it and somehow or the other Prem Chopra has touched people’s lives and their careers in his own way.
I finished reading this book in 4 hours flat because of the way it was written. We, as normal people, are always curious about the lives of superstars, however, there’re people like Prem Chopra who’ve played a significant role in making those superstars what they’re today on the silver screen because for every hero, there needs to be a villain and Prem Chopra will definitely be remembered as the most villain of the Hindi film industry.
Book Source : Publisher
Publisher : Rupa Books
Genre : Biography
Price : Rs. 495/-