Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Jaane bhi do Yaaro book cover

The cover of my monograph on Jaane bhi do Yaaro is ready. Behold:

The book should be out by mid-November. Since it's part of Harper Collins' film series, it will be published alongside two other titles: Anuvab Pal's take on Disco Dancer (which I'm really looking forward to) and Vinay Lal's book on Deewaar. More updates soon.

(Update: have replaced the image with a slightly modified one - the crane holding up the film's title, and "Jaane bhi do Yaaro" written in the clapper)

36 comments:

  1. Eagerly awaiting the "trilogy". All three movies are unique in their own ways, and though I am not a big fan of Mithun, Disco Dancer was one of the movies that changed the Indian music scenario!

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  2. I'm looking forward to it! Will you do a book tour?

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  3. Congratulations, Jai! Will you be coming to Kolkata for a book release? If yes, let me know. Eager to meet you. Planning to do a story on you and the book (i'm a journalist in Anandabazar Patrika, Kolkata. I work for the edit pages).

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  4. Incredible news. Congratulations! I can't wait to read all three. I love the broad church of film writing that encompasses you, Anuvab and the amazing Vinay Lal (unless there is really a 'Vinal Lal' who is a typo-free and distinct identity from the famous academic).

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  5. I understand the book will be essentially about the making of the film. But hvae you touched upon the prevalent real estate scene or the builder/criminal/politician nexus in the 80s or did Kundan talk about the real life triggers for many of the plot points or even the choice of the subject. Or how the film almost appears prescient in so many ways.

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  6. Unmana: doubtful. This isn't really the sort of book that will have multi-city launches or anything like that. There might be something informal happening in Delhi and I might take part in a panel discussion at one of the literary fests somewhere along the line - let's see...

    Ami: no, not coming to Kolkata sadly, but we can always talk on the phone sometime.

    Roswitha: have made the correction, thanks! Am not at liberty to disclose some of the other writers who are tentatively signed up for subsequent books in the series, but I can tell you there are some interesting names.

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  7. Jai: That's disappointing! But I'll buy the book and hope to get it autographed later...

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  8. Anon: yes, I've written about Kundan's inspirations - in fact, much of the first half of the book focuses on Kundan, his improbable journey into the world of movie-making, and how the script came into being. But I haven't written very explicitly or directly about the real-life social/political issues of the time - those are things that weave their way into the main narrative, which is about the film and the people who put it together.

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  9. Congratulations! Really looking forward to getting my hands on the book... :)

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  10. awesome! been waiting a long time..

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  11. haven't written very explicitly or directly about the real-life social/political issues of the time
    Since JBDY was such a political film, I believed a book length piece would have been an ideal place to examine the socio-political backdrop has evolved (which has actually got worse post -liberalisation in mumbai)since the movie unlike the rediff styled fanboy articles. This does not necessarily translate into a dry academic approach.
    On another note, I am glad that Harper collins and you have stuck to the original ( and grammatically correct)'Yaaro' of the movie title. 'Yaaron' with that misplaced Anuswar makes me wince everytime I see it as does the repeated use of '(achcha) hain' to transliterate 'hai'. This iss as mush right grammar as 'They goes' and 'She go'.

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  12. Neha, Suparna, Prashant: thanks!

    Anon: not to sound too defensive or anything (though I think I'll have to get used to that in the coming weeks!), but there can be many different ways of writing a book about Jaane bhi do Yaaro, or any film. Not explicitly examining the socio-political backdrop doesn't necessarily equate to a "Rediff-styled fanboy article".

    Personally I was intrigued by the many twists and turns that led someone like Kundan Shah - primed for a career in business - to enter the creative field and eventually write/helm a movie like this. And also by the very different sort of movie JBDY might easily have been, given the original script - the strange alchemy of the moviemaking process, which turns a film from one thing into something completely different. Those are talking points as well, even though they might not appear to have the "wider relevance" that a socio-political focus would have had. But eventually I had to do the sort of writing that I was confident of doing, rather than force myself into writing a book that I might not be qualified to write.

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  13. Looking forward to reading these. Congratulations!

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  14. Not questioning your choices, my interest in socio-political backdrop was essentially in the context of the process itself, and also in things which add to the relevant critical assessment of the film and in terms of people involved- how much of their own experiences they brought in, and also do they feel vindicated now? The book-length format and a distance of 25 plus years just increase the possiblities. Will wait for the book, good luck.

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  15. Anon: I get it - like I said, I'm probably going to be in defensive mode for some time :) There certainly is potential for a very good book of the sort you mention, perhaps focusing not on just one film but on the whole "non-mainstream" milieu of the late 70s and early 80s.

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  16. Congratulations! Very nice cover, all colourful! Looking forward to the Disco Dancer one too.

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  17. Congratukations, Jai! Looking forward to reading this one.

    ~p

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  18. hey, i read your blog very often and i think you're awesome. you're unexpectedly funny - about master raju, the smileys, jaaneman, the govinda govinda track in sarkar 2. i sometimes even quote you (ok fine, pass off your thoughts as mine, it's funnier that way) to other people.

    i never usually leave a comment but i wanted to tell you that i'll definitely buy your book when it's online. all luck. :)

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  19. Jai: It't okay that you're not coming to Kolkata. I'll go to delhi and meet you! I have some work in the capital later in Nov so i'll be around for a couple of days or so. Shall mail you later to figure out the best possible way to spend some time with you.

    By the way, a friend of mine was very excited the other day after meeting Orhan Pamuk in NY. i'll be similarly excited in Nov!

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  20. Since JBDY was such a political film, I believed a book length piece would have been an ideal place to examine the socio-political backdrop has evolved

    Anon: Not necessarily. I think people respond to movies in different ways, depending on their personal predilections. While watching JBDY, I marveled constantly at the quality of the slapstick and the remarkable chemistry between the two leads (which I was reminded of again while watching a Martin-Lewis comedy recently). It is quite possible to enjoy the movie without once thinking about the "socio-political backdrop", which is much too obvious anyway.

    It's the personal response that counts. For instance, it is quite possible to write an essay on Rear Window focusing entirely on gender relationships in the movie without alluding to "voyeurism" - a term that is invariably used when the movie is discussed.

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  21. Srikanth and Jai: JBDY's treatment makes it distinct from other films from the parallel cinema movement and even a very distinct urban phenomenon also distinguishes it from the mostly rural or films around class distinction. Hence the creative choices become more important and the triggers merit a discussion. I'd even call it the definitive Bombay film. If the backdrop is obvious, so is the treatment. The two rediff pieces and the collective memory of the film focusses solely on the slapstick elements of the film, which are no doubt brilliant , but leads me to wonder did anyone read between the lines. The point I am making is not that the film chose to speak about the real estate tangle in the city but rather that it did it so brilliantly. Some very surreal and absurd scenarios have passed onto the realm of reality since then. There were some very wickedly brilliant minds who chose what to show and how.
    The book once out will be judged on its own merits, on what it is and not on what it could have been. But here we can articulate our expectations from the book.

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  22. Aah! Looks great! I can imagine them singing "hum honge kamyab!"

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  23. Absolutely looking forward to it!

    Psst: Can you reveal if anyone's writing on Padosan? If not, I'll begin work on it!

    From the Yahoo! India team, I am. Writing to you in detail on an idea I had.

    Best wishes for the launch :)

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  24. Congratulations, Jai! Looking forward to it!

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  25. Congrats. But what the fuck is a monograph. Like monologue?

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  26. That's great news - Congratulations! Do you know if the books will be made available in the US?

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  27. Cool! Congrats! Will it be out in e-book format too? Thanks.
    Ansh

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  28. Got the book. Glad the weekend is almost here :D

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  29. Loved the book. I liked the change(?) in the style/language with the stage of the movie making - enthusiastic and creative in the earlier part and more matter-of-factly (almost tired?) in the post-production.

    Some of the comments from crew/cast were as funny as the one-liners in the movie, especially the one about "dudhi ki sabji and daal".

    Wasn't sure what to expect from a whole book about a movie, but this was really nice.

    This book was a gift from my wife (she had ordered it before I could). Unmana and I am planning a Delhi trip in late December, would mind signing the book for me if you have time?

    Thanks.

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  30. Nilesh: thanks so much for that comment - really glad you liked the book. And of course the signing will happen - send me your email ID (or mail me at jaiarjun@gmail.com) and we can exchange numbers.

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  31. Got the book. Frankly, was tempted by the very hep cover and just added it to Flip Cart. After 100 pages, just HAD to find my copy of the movie and see it before continuing.

    Will update after I finish it. Loving it so far!

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  32. Is your book available on Amazon, if not where else can I get hold of this book, I am based in USA. I enjoy reading your blogs, keep doing what you are best at.TC

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  33. Yes, me too, eagerly waiting for the trilogy

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