The book Sanjeev Kumar: The Actor We All Loved is written by his nephew Uday Jariwala and Reeta Ramamurthy Gupta, this biography takes us through Sanjeev Kumar’s journey to becoming one of the greatest actors Bollywood has seen.
With an endorsement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the book comprises personal essays by Sanjeev Kumar’s friends Gulzar, Randhir Kapoor, and co-stars Sharmila Tagore, Moushumi Chatterjee, and Tanuja, among others. This book fills a gap in the history of Hindi cinema with rich details from Sanjeev Kumar’s versatile life and career.
About the Book
The 1970s were indeed the golden era of Bollywood. In the decade that revolutionized Hindi cinema, there was one actor who was every director’s fail-safe artiste. When he entered the frame, the audience would sigh with relief, ‘Nothing can go wrong now!’Sanjeev Kumar was the antithesis of the typical Bollywood hero doing romance and action. Not one to crave glamorous roles, he was more interested in versatility.
From his mature roles in films like Mausam and Aandhi to his comic timing in Angoor or the angst of a person with disabilities in Koshish—he was truly a thinking man’s actor. His expressive face, inflections and pauses, and natural ease for lip-syncing, of it made him the complete package.
Udayan Mitra, Executive Publisher, HarperCollins India, says, “One of the great actors to have graced the celluloid screen, Sanjeev Kumar passed away at an early age, when he was in his forties. Thirty-seven years later, film enthusiasts are still in awe of the performative skills and the versatile talent of the actor who could take on any role and brand it as his own.
Reeta Ramamurthy Gupta and Uday Jariwala’s book is a wonderful tribute to the actor we all loved, with accounts from many luminaries in the film industry who knew Sanjeev Kumar intimately. This is a biography that will bring back memories of the golden age of Indian cinema for many a reader. We’re also excited that the book is going to be adapted into a motion picture. We’re in talks with some leading production houses for the film rights and we should be able to make an announcement on this soon.”
Co-author Reeta Ramamurthy Gupta says, “The one thing that stands out for me when I was writing this book was that all of Sanjeev Kumar’s friends told me, ‘Please write a happy book because Haribhai was a happy man.’ I believe that’s what we have achieved with the book.”
Co-author Uday Jariwala says, “I still remember that for a very long time after Sanjeev dada’s demise, every time the door opened, I thought it was him entering the house. He would cuddle me and play with me. He left a vacuum in our lives that we can never fill. My family and I are excited to present Sanjeev Kumar: The Actor We All Loved. This book is a labor of love and it has taken us almost four years to complete. It is an authentic representation of his life. For the first time, his fans will get to know him up close as he really was.”
About the Authors
Uday Jariwala is the heir to the legacy of Sanjeev Kumar. He runs the Sanjeev Kumar Foundation, an NGO that works towards the promotion of theatre, art, and education. He is a businessman and lives in Mumbai with his wife Neelam and their two children, Aryan and Saachi.
Reeta Ramamurthy Gupta is a prolific biographer, reviewer for CNBC TV18, and a bibliophile. She is credited with the acclaimed Red Dot Experiment, a ten-year-long and six-nation study on how culture impacts communication.