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 college, the nationwide institution of Drama
and the movie and tv Institute of India, the place his success ultimately started to change.
And Then in the future tells a compelling story, written with infrequent honesty and consummate beauty, leavened with tongue-in-cheek humour. There are relocating pix of kin, darkly humorous debts 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 money owed of his fight to generate income 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 booklet is a travel de strength, destined to develop into a vintage of the style.
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Additional info for And Then One Day: A Memoir
Spotting Mrs Capoor taking a walk while we were cycling past would make our respective day. Playing cricket was our only pastime, and our most, and only, prized possessions were a bat, a ball and a set of stumps. None of us ever became terribly proficient at the game despite playing it every day in every vacation. There was, however, always one thing to look forward to apart from the Sunday movie in Prabhat Talkies, and that was the annual visit to Sardhana, which Baba abhorred, but which Ammi insisted on, and generally with good reason, as one or other of her sisters and/or brothers would be getting married.
To provide for either eventuality or perhaps simple absent-mindedness made Baba (Aley Mohammed Shah, my father) register my year of birth as 1950. Why July 20th was altered to August 16th, however, is a mystery and I’ve had quite a bit of fun with the wise ones who took it upon themselves to figure out my astrological chart. Consequently, I am whichever age it suits me to be on any particular day. While it doesn’t make me feel a whole lot younger, it just seems like something to do. Baba had had a peripatetic life before finally settling down to serve the British government in the Provincial Civil Service when Freedom’s dawn, Independence and Partition hit the country.
Insipid food in cavernous dining rooms with Ammi not cooking or serving, and looking pretty unsure about it all. The odour of damp and peeling plaster everywhere, and fetid air in the thickly curtained bedrooms. There were also frequent transfers from town to town in UP necessitating long train journeys, always including endless hours of sitting on our luggage at strangely deserted railway stations awaiting our connection. The earliest thing I can recall doing is sitting in someone’s (not either of my parents’) lap and watching a performance which I couldn’t identify then and still can’t, but which was probably a ‘nautanki’ by an itinerant theatre troupe, or a Ram Leela, the kind of show performed in the open or in makeshift tents.
And Then One Day: A Memoir by Naseeruddin Shah