Nawazuddin Siddiqui on his new book: I knew it would upset a lot of people

Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi
Oct 24, 2017 03:45 PM IST

Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s memoir, An Ordinary Life, out on Oct 25, is very far from ordinary. He has been honest to the core, including in those parts that spell out his love life.

When you hear the words “quite a selfish bastard” or “a rascal who only cared for himself”, you’d imagine the speaker is talking about someone else, right? Not so in Bollywood actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s memoir, An Ordinary Life, out on October 25. Those are his descriptions of himself.

Bollywood actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui.
Bollywood actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

Shocking? That’s because Nawazuddin aka Nawaz has decided to be scrupulously honest in his memoir. “Actually, all the girls I have ever been with have had this same complaint from me. I would only come to them for my own needs,” he writes in An Ordinary Life.

The book, alongside his journey to stardom, narrates the minutest details of his love affairs — that includes one with his Miss Lovely (2012) co-star Niharika Singh — and those are being lapped up by gossip lovers.

The thought of people’s reaction to his unabashed “truth” did make Nawaz jittery. “I don’t know isko bahut sare log kaise judge karenge. Ho sakta hai ek bahut ajeeb si image ban jaye meri… Iss cheez ki mujhe thodi si fikr aur darr bhi hai. But it’s okay. Jo fact hai, maine wohi samne rakhne ki koshish kari. (I don’t know how a lot of people will judge this. It’s possible that my image changes for the worse… I’m somewhat concerned and fearful about it… But, I have only tried to bring the facts to the fore).”

The book cover of actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s memoir, An Ordinary Life
The book cover of actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s memoir, An Ordinary Life

For Bollywood stars and their fans, the revelation of such intimate personal details is explosive — Nawaz has written about a torrid one-night stand with a waitress in New York! But true to how experimental he is as an actor, the writer Nawaz is also ready to break stereotypes, even if that means exposing his true self to the world.

“I don’t think I’m a superstar, but I’m a human being first. Har insaan chahta hai, mai kisi ko zarur bataun ki mai kaisa hun. Lekin iss darr se ki log mere baare mein kya sochenge, shayad nahi batata. Yeh insaan ka nature hai… Insaan humare Bollywood ki filmon ke hero ki tarahe sarv gun sampann thodi na hota hai. Insaan ke andar kuchh achchhai hai toh kuchh buraiyan bhi toh hoti hai (Every individual wishes to share their own true self with someone. But, the fear of people’s perception discourages them from sharing it. This is human nature… Humans aren’t endowed with just the good qualities, like our Bollywood heroes. Each real person has something good and something bad about them),” says the actor, who has done varied films such as Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015), Raman Raghav 2.0 (2016), and this year’s Mom, and Babumoshai Bandookbaaz.

Nawaz admits that he could’ve chosen to conceal some of the facts or names, such as TV actor Achint Kaur influencing her flatmate and Nawaz’s first girlfriend Sunita to break up with the then struggling Nawaz. He, however, felt it necessary to mention all for these reasons: “Kyunki phir fayda nahi tha na book likhne ka. Mujhe maloom hai ki iske baad bahut saare log bura manenge, par nahi to phir mai kyun likh raha hun. Mere paas waqt tha sochne ka ki mai naam dun ya na dun, sach likhun ya nahi, thoda manipulative ho jaun… Bahut waqt mila mujhe, but finally I realised ki yaar karna chahiye — agar likhna hai to sach likho, warna mat likho (Otherwise, there was no point in writing a book. I know a lot of people will be upset after reading this, but I felt there was no point in writing without mentioning facts. I got a lot of time to decide, should I give names or not, should I write the truth or not, should be a little manipulative… I got a lot of time to think, but finally I realised that it’s better to do it right — if you must write, then write the truth, or don’t write at all).”

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    Henna Rakheja writes on city, art and culture, for the daily Entertainment & Lifestyle supplement, HT City.

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