Dharmendra: A Biography: Not Just a He-Man by Rajiv M. Vijayakar

Name – Dharmendra – Not Just A He-Man
Author – Rajiv Vijayakar
Publication – Rupa
Pages – 269
Type – Hardcover
Rating – 3/5
Reading – Slow Read

Basanti In Kutton Ke Saamne Mat Nacchna

This is the 1st thing I remember when anyone talks about Dharmendra. His movie Chupke Chupke happens to be one of my most favourite movies & probably the only movie where I loved him. Being Garam Dharam, his signature dance moves, his family, sons, life with Hema Malini & much much more is what I was expecting from this book. But, the book was a let down.

The book cover will capture you attention for sure, with his picture & famous dialogues inscribed. Divided into 3 sections – the book talks about his journey from Dharminder to Dharmendra, his movie journey & his personal life. The author starts well by taking us through the actor’s childhood & his life in his hometown in Punjab, him participating in the talent hunt contest, winning it & coming to Mumbai leaving his wife & elder son behind. This is followed by his struggling days in Mumbai, staring as the second lead in films & then finally making it big. At various point, there are quotes from his co-stars, directors, etc which clearly highlight facts including – his love & connection to his roots, his hometown, him being an honest & down-to-earth person, etc. There is hardly any mention about his childhood, his growing up days, school, etc.

Moving on, the author just starts talking about his movies, his co-stars & how it was working with them. His relationship with Meena Kumari is also discussed very briefly. With input from other journalist’s, this section could have been presented in a much better fashion. I almost skipped this.

While I was really keen on knowing Dharmedra – the person, the last section does some justice to that. This section talks about his relationship with 1st wife, sons, falling in love with Hema Malini, getting married, being father to Esha & Ahana, Uncle to Abhay Deol. This section was the most interesting part of the book. The book ends with his entire filmography.

The book doesn’t do justice to Dharmendra, the mega star. The writing doesn’t keep you hooked & is more about just quoting stars, interview snippets.

Would I recommend the book? – Only if you are a Dharam fan.

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