Jamal Shaikh picks his favourite read of 2022 - Hindustan Times
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Jamal Shaikh picks his favourite read of 2022

Dec 30, 2022 04:33 PM IST

My year in books was dominated by autobiographies, with everyone from corporate game changers like Indira Nooyi and James Dyson to film personalities Onir and Divya Dutta jostling for attention

My year in books was dominated by autobiographies, with everyone from corporate game changers like Indira Nooyi and James Dyson to film personalities Onir and Divya Dutta jostling for attention. One book from this pile stood out for me for its honesty and insight. Its timelines were garbled and stories overlapped but that only added to the authenticity of what was being remembered.

Offering a ringside view of how brittle stardom can be (HT Photo)
Offering a ringside view of how brittle stardom can be (HT Photo)

Kabir Bedi’s Stories I Must Tell gives an account of an unconventional life lived in the constant quest of success. On full display are the changing mind sets of the 1970s, 80s and 90s in India and abroad, and the one thing that never changes in a public personality’s life: insecurity.

Jamal Shaikh (Courtesy the subject)
Jamal Shaikh (Courtesy the subject)

Kabir Bedi was a much bigger star in Italy than he ever became in India. His open marriages and complicated relationships provide a voyeuristic flavour. The most read and talked-about part of the book has to be Bedi’s relationship with Parveen Babi, who achieved fame but battled mental illnesses and faced a tragic and early death. It made me wonder if two stars feeding on appreciation from others can ever provide each other the security of love. The book also offers a ringside view of how brittle stardom can be, the evolution of ambition, and the politics of success.

Autobiographies are often self-indulgent, selective, and delusional. But beyond all that, this book reiterated what I learnt years ago as a young entertainment journalist: fame is a double-edged sword. Use it to your advantage; don’t ever be consumed by it.

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