He admits that most people expected him to write an autobiography at this stage and age of his life. Yet, after doing over 450 films, actor Anupam Kher chose to write a motivational book called The Best Thing About You Is You, which was launched in Mumbai yesterday.
“It started with a lecture at IIT, Chennai,” says Kher, before going on, “I was at a stage when I didn’t want to do certain movies. I had incurred financial loses, wanted to be a business tycoon and basically stretched myself too much. Then two publishing houses gave me a letter of intent to write an autobiographical book. And while I was recording my story, I realised I was only talking about what went wrong, and laughing about it.”
A column that the actor currently writes for a daily also contributed to this repository of inspirational stories. But mostly it was his experiences outside Bollywood that helped.
“I came to Bombay on June 3, 1981 with just Rs 37 in my pocket. I used to sleep on the platforms and on some days shared a room with five people,” reminisces Kher, who recently saw a copy of The Best Thing About You Is You at a bookstore. “It felt like how I did when I first saw the poster of Saaransh (1984), my first film,” he says.
Incidentally, his writing career doesn’t end here. The Best Thing About You Is You currently includes about 50 chapters, “and I have 30 more with me. The publishers seem happy with the pre-sales of the book, so probably the second edition should be out soon,” he adds.
However, giving his writing career a shot isn’t the only highlight in Kher’s life. Last year, in December, the actor finished shooting for the Hollywood film, The Silver Lining, which is being directed by David O Russell and stars veteran actor Robert De Niro in the lead role. And though at that time, Kher’s book had not been published, he had presented De Niro with the manuscript of the book.
“I almost cried when I met him. I embarrassed him I think,” says the actor, recalling the incident. “Then after the shoot, he said ‘you’re terrific’, and I knew I couldn’t possibly cry again, because he’d think I’m mad! I plan to send him a copy of my book soon. Maybe next time I meet him, I’ll ask him about it.”
The Best Thing About You Is You is on stands.
Price: Rs 399