Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Made In India by Biddu : A Review

BOOK TITLE: Made In India
ISBN: 9788193136003
GENRE: Non Fiction / Autobiography
FORMAT: Paperback
REVIEW BY: Dhivya Balaji
HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: I thank Debdatta Sahay for this review copy.
          As a child, Biddu dreamt of going West and making it big as a composer. At the age of sixteen, he formed a band and started playing in a in Bangalore, his home town. At eighteen, he was part of a popular act at Trinca's, a nightclub in Calcutta devoted to food wine and music. At nineteen, he had college students in a Bombay dancing to his music. In his early twenties, he left the country and ended up hitchhiking across the Middle East before arriving in London with only the clothes on his back and his trusty guitar. What followed were years of hardship and struggle but also great music and gathering fame. From the nine-million-selling Knng Fu Fighting to the iconic youth anthem of Made in India and the numerous hits in between, Biddu's music made him a household name in India and elsewhere.
          Made in India – a story of a global citizen who is an Indian at heart.
First Impression:
          I have always had a love – hate relationship with autobiographies. I do not pick them up casually or based on the person whose life it chronicled. But if I do pick one up for some reason, I get so involved with the story that I start looking at the autobiographical account as a sneak peek into the life behind all that glory, and the pain behind the glamour. (I have always held that to write an autobiography, one must be a recognisable celebrity – and hence the comments about glory and glamour.)
          The book itself has a very unassuming but very alluring cover. I think that the image on the cover suited the contents of the book well. The paper quality was great and the font looked readable.
Now the book:
          There really isn’t much to comment on about the story in an autobiography. It is supposed to be the account of things as they happened – with a little language polishing to suit the taste of the audience. My review of the book is going to concentrate on the language and style of the book.
          Autobiographical stories are make or break based on how they are written. Some turn out to be very glorifying and hide the nastier aspects. Some list out every minor suffering the person has ever gone through and ends up with a mild pride in the tone of one having succeeded against all odds. Writing an autobiography is worthy only when one has succeeded in life. But that doesn’t mean the overall tone has to be condescending or fake – modest.
          Thankfully, Made in India is a great book. It has the right amount of inspirational message, humour and very relatable events. It is the story of a man who had a dream and followed it until he succeeded. The book clearly shows that the path to success is not easy and one failure is not the end of life – after all, that is the true purpose of an autobiography.
          I admired Biddu’s direct style and his self effacing approach. He might have embellished certain parts – though even a seasoned reader who takes everything with a pinch of salt would not find any evidence to support that claim. The language was simple and the journey one of ups and downs. The book was very endearing in certain parts, and there was no pride or ego in the words of Biddu.
          I was not very aware of the popular hit ‘Made in India’ (yes, I just peeped out of a cave from my self imposed exile to read this book and review it – not that bad, but that is how it sounds when I say this statement). But this book made sure I will go ahead and hear it.
·        The one sentence that I loved in the book – the last one of the whole book, in fact. ‘I am a citizen of the world, but inside, truly deep inside, I am still made in India.’
·        The author’s style and the tone of the book.
          There really is nothing much to complain.
VERDICT: I recommend this to fans of music and autobiographies.
EDITIONS AVAILABLE: Hardcover, Paperback
PRICE: Rs. 262 for Hardcover

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