Updated: Feb 24
Author : Maan Singh Deep | Kalyani SIngh
Publisher : Ocean Books Pvt. Ltd.
Language : English
Paperback : 438 pages
ISBN : 978-81-8430-295-0
Perhaps it is human nature that whenever a person becomes successful in life, he wishes to get rid of his past. He does not wish to remember the bitter incidents of his struggle period because such memories hurt him. But who can stop incidents from happening because it is their nature to happen. Some incidents leave sweet memories behind which are pleasant to recall, whereas some incidents leave bitter memories which force a person to wipe them out from the mind. As a human being, I too have been influenced by incidents that have occurred in my life. I have spent almost three decades in the film industry that is dominated by glamour, glitter and fame and the journey is still continuing. Thirty-five years is a long time and as a consequence of that, I too have a reservoir of memories because the past may vanish but its memories live on. This book UNMASKING THE MASK is a mirror of those memories and mirrors don't lie. All these memories are a reality that has been experienced by me with no falsity or imagination to dilute them. In this book, I have only given space to such memories but despite being true incidents, they will entertain you as a gripping story.
A writer may get the inspiration to write a book from anyone or anywhere. However, I was inspired to write this book by my wife Kalyani who has always nurtured the creativity in me besides always standing by my side as a pillar of strength in all my struggles. What is surprising though that she herself got the inspiration that I write this book from Sanjay Dutt's wife Manyata Dutt as she has been a close friend of ours. "Manyata" — I cherish this name and whenever I recall this name, my consciousness blooms with pride and happiness. What is the reason for this, you will realise when you will read the chapter devoted to her.
Irrespective of whose memoirs you are reading, if it is read with attention and are contemplated upon, then we can learn a lot about life and its mysterious ways. My journey in the film industry has been quite a long one. I started off as a journalist and today I am a film-maker who has produced four films independently — GUNEHGAR, JURMANA, RAJA BHAIYA and GEHRI CHAAL and two films — KRISHNAVTAR and KRANTIKSHETRA as a co-producer. Frankly speaking, I had never dreamt of that one day I will become a producer and the entire credit for that goes to the Almighty God and Shri Ravinder Kumar, Chairman, Baba Zarda Group. My actions and my efforts have only been an excuse for Him to give me what He had in store for me.
Since 1980, when I joined the film industry, till today, it has been my experience that no successful man who has struggled in the beginning of his career, who has walked miles on the footpaths of Mumbai to reach his destination, who has lived in slums in utter poverty and has begged his friends and acquaintances for financial help will never ever like anyone recalling those days as it will fill him with inferiority complex. However, in my humble opinion, instead of being overcome by inferiority complex, one should feel proud of oneself for having attained great heights after starting from scratch. There are indeed some people like that but they can be counted on one's fingertips. Sometimes I think that successful people are afraid to recall their past perhaps because of the insecurity that they might lose the success that they have achieved if they will delve into their past. The very thought of losing one's success and going back to the unsuccessful days is very scary indeed and also it is a fact that it is not a miracle to become successful but it is a miracle to remain successful as it has been beautifully captured in this Urdu couplet:
"Bulandiyon pe pahunchna koi kamaal naheen Bulandiyon par thaharna kamaal hota hai"
This book also has the stories of people who suffered from inferiority complex due to the reasons given above and also of those who became successful but could not retain the success for long. But more than their destiny, their ego has been responsible for that. In this context, I would like to share something that my father told me as a child — that man eats food but God eats the ego of man. I am not indulging to self praise but I do not suffer from any inferiority complex and I have never felt ashamed to admit that I belong to a very poor family. Those who have seen my struggle period and bad days are still with me. When I started off my life in this metropolis of Mumbai, I lived in a slum which was adjacent to a shed of buffaloes. When it used to rain, it used to get submerged in water and I had to stay on top of my bed all the time and finally had to remove that water which was mixed with the dung of the buffaloes. The stench of the dung emanating from the shed used to make me pray to God to provide me a small one room in a good building and He has more than fulfilled that prayer of mine.
I started off my career as a journalist in the film industry and wrote for all the reputed publications of India. I had never imagined that God will give me so much success that a journalist will become a producer! It was beyond my imagination. Me becoming a producer is a huge coincidence and pure destiny. Frankly speaking, it was my hidden desire to become an actor but I did not struggle much in that direction as my conscience told me that I did not have the talent to become an actor and I dropped the idea of becoming an actor forever and became committed to journalism.
In case this book appears like self-indulgence to some people, let us clarify there is nothing like that as this book contains only truth and there is nothing fictitious in it. If I had to fall at people's feet for their favour or if I had to beg for money to survive, I have without any hesitation mentioned that in this book. If later on due to the circle of well-wishers that I was able to build, I have been able to help my friends, then I have also mentioned that in this book. And therefore I would like to state clearly that this book is neither an expression of any malice in my heart towards anyone nor has it been written to hurt any person. But in spite of that, I am aware that after reading this book, some people will feel good but there will also be some who will feel bad. But truth is truth and truth must not be compromised with. Therefore, I offer my apologies in advance to anybody who might get hurt by what is written in this book.
After reading these experiences, the readers can easily imagine what kind of people inhabit the film industry. We are not passing any value judgement and are leaving this task for the readers. However, I would be lying if I will not admit that it is impossible to come across such opportunistic, emotionless and double-faced people in any other field except the film industry. We would like to conclude with these lines of Sahir Ludhiyanvi —"Jab bhi ji chaahe nayi duniya basa lete haM log, Ek chehre pe kai chehre lags lete hain log." The above couplet is an apt description of this book.
Maann Singh Deep —Kalyani Singh