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From Priyanka Chopra's Unfinished to Rishi Kapoor's Khullam Khulla, a brief reading list of tell-all books authored by Bollywood stars

Here is a brief reading list for cinema fans, who want to know their favourite actors (and filmmakers) a little better.

Devki Nehra
Nov 11, 2021
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Bollywood is a very tightly knit community where there are secrets brewing in every corner. Even with paparazzi and tabloid culture taking over, tracking a celebrity's every move, there are still things (even open secrets) that a commoner will never be privy to. That's where memoirs and autobiographies come in. More often than not, stars have been their candid best here, recalling moments that can be deemed scandalous, some that are just funny and have helped them grow as people and as actors. Here is a brief reading list for cinema fans, who want to know their favourite actors (and filmmakers) a little better: 

Khullam Khulla by Rishi Kapoor

This easy and entertaining read written by journalist Meena Iyer is full of film trivia of the past. Kapoor shares fun facts about his father, actors like the Dev Anand and Amjad Khan, his initial tryst with cinema, his father's romantic dalliance with Nargis, and his relationship his two children. The book is as "uncensored" and candid as it claims to be on the cover. 

Memorable quote - "I am Prithviraj Kapoor’s grandson. Raj Kapoor’s son. I am Neetu Kapoor’s husband. Riddhima and Ranbir Kapoor’s father. I am Rishi Kapoor. I was born lucky and stayed lucky." 

An Unsuitable Boy by Karan Johar

Karan Johar is synonymous with glitz and glamour in Bollywood, but all that glitters is not always gold. The filmmaker here bares all about his lonely childhood, grappling with low confidence for his weight, teased in school, and how as an adult he has secured a good group of compadres including Shah Rukh Khan and Aditya Chopra. The book as its moments of the signature Johar drama, but then that's what makes it a fun read. 

Memorable quote - When you have a sense of low self-esteem, and when you achieve success, there’s relief more than arrogance.

Lessons Life Taught Me Unknowingly An Autobiography by Anupam Kher

Anupam Kher, who has masterfully played villain and the jester in so many films one loses count, recounts his formative years to anecdotes of his time as a new actor, his brush with success and consequent failure. 

Memorable quote - I have learnt that failure is the one thing you should not fear in life. Better to experience it, face it, live it and thereby conquer, it by overcoming it.

Cracking the Code by Ayushmann Khurrana

Ayushmann Khurrana whose breakthrough role was in Shoojit Sircar's Vicky Donor has had quite a journey to stardom. In this book co-authored with wife Tahira Kashyap, Khurrana outlines his struggles, creating a little guidebook for people harbouring the same dream like him — to make it big in Bollywood.

Memorable quote - Critiques are your best friends. They bring out the best in you. Never shun them, criticize them or run them down. They have an opinion because of some reason. That reason will eventually be the reason for your growth.

Unfinished: A Memoir by Priyanka Chopra

Love her or hate her, but you cannot deny that Priyanka Chopra Jonas has worked hard towards becoming a globally recognised icon. In this memoir, she talks about growing up in India and then moving briefly to the United States, and then returning to the homeland and winning one of the biggest beauty pageants after which she was catapulted to fame. 

Memorable quote - Own your choices. Have the courage of conviction.

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