In the Back Alleys of Glitzy Bollywood

2-2Bollywood and deception are two faces of the same coin, believes seasoned TV journalist and polished theatre-artist Juggi Bhasin, who narrates his version of the B-town saga through illusion and reality in his book Bollywood Deception. In short, there is no denying that deceit and deception is the raison d’etre or the reason for existence for Bollywood. He believes here isn’t a better setting than Bollywood to explore this theme — every image, every sound byte, every action–reaction. Filled with details of the lives of top stars the book is poised for some impressive numbers. Excerpts:

After a sequel of crime thrillers why did you turn to Bollywood?

I had for a long time wanted to create a modern and Indian version of the classic Sherlock Holmes–Watson duo, which solve complex criminal cases. I wrote Bollywood Deception to showcase the brilliance and idiosyncrasies of the Parsi detective Kas Batterywala and his irrepressible partner Dr Kasturi Pandey. Both are creatures of the modern world, brilliant, maybe, but misfits at the same time. Kas is brooding, intense, brilliant and suicidal. Kassata is an in-your-face bisexual feminist. Both make the most unlikely yet supremely successful detective pair solving crime.

Did it take a lot of research?

In 2007, I quit my job as lead news anchor in Lok Sabha TV and moved to Mumbai to join my wife, a senior banker. I had time on my hands and since I use to do stage in Delhi as an actor I went through the audition circuit in Bollywood to try my luck there. I saw the real underbelly of Bollywood in sharp contrast to the glitter and the glamour as we know it. It was a sobering experience. I saw up close, the scandalous lives of top Bollywood stars and even though the book is not based on a particular star the overall feel, texture, atmosphere, the casting couches for both men and women, the double dealing and manipulation and filth is all too real as described in the book.

What is the theme of the book?

The cover is very enigmatic and dark and it is meant to convey the Jekyll and Hyde face of Bollywood as seen through the eyes of a serial killer. The cover conveys the theme running through the book that what we see and experience sometimes is not the truth and the true colours of reality are dark, forbidding and drenched in the blood of innocents. But of course, it is given a gloss of glitter and seduction and every day some innocent or the other buys the lie.

Being a TV journalist yourself, do you think national news coverage is fair and issues get the sort of air-time they really deserve?

Well, I am no one to criticise my own fraternity as once I knew it. But, yes, the struggle for TRPs’ and ratings very often give place to news items that are a lot of hot air.

How has the perception of Bollywood, struggle and suicide changed?

Every day a new face is introduced and 24-year-old end up playing the role of parents. Sometimes within a year, they out of the system. Would it be a surprise then that many of them suffer from clinical depression and refuse to go on medication because none of them want to labeled as a ‘wacko’?

Bollywood Deception

The protagonist in the book is a Bollywood actor, who is also a serial killer. Why he/she does it forms the rest of the story

Published on Indian Express