Zoravar: Book One in the Bollywood Saga by Maharsh Shah
Publisher: HarperCollins India
Price: Rs. 299 INR(Paperback), Rs. 167 INR(Kindle Edition)
Buy here: https://amzn.to/3hJjCbl
My take on the book:
Zoravar is biographical account of the man who dreamt of adorning the big screen and how he went on to make his dreams come true in the Maximum City. At first look Zoravar sounds like a real-life character, though he is a fictional one who is modeled very close to famous Bollywood Superstars. The current Book one in the series starts with Zoravar recounting his childhood days, his teenage years spent travelling to Amritsar to watch a movie show, his unexpected life as a thug, days in Bombay struggling to land one movie chance, before turning into a superstar.
The cover of the book is very well-designed and looks exactly like a yesteryear movie poster, and makes the reader pick it immediately. The reference to things from the past will make the reader nostalgic, especially the daily items used few decades ago, which are almost extinct now. The story being set in an era gone-by is the USP — with a mix of fictional characters and real Hindi film industry personalities. While most of the current generation wouldn’t be aware of actors and directors from the early 1950s, the book will create curiosity in the reader to know more about them.
The author also weaves major incidents from the country’s history into Zoravar’s life — families relocating amidst Partition, post-independence India and towards the end, the story reaches the point when Emergency was imposed in the 80s. The book is an absolute delight for movie buffs as the end-to-end lifecycle of movie making, life on a movie set, dynamics of movie making and everything that happens behind the screen are well narrated.
Along with movie making, the story also captures the struggle of someone trying to get an opportunity, even more than 50 years ago, when the competition was comparatively low. There is an interesting parallel story thread of smuggling in Bombay. However, the story drags at places trying to get too much into detail of Zoravar’s life, slowing down the pace of the book. Also, some characters could have been developed as their presence is relegated to miniscule importance.
For an ambitious story and the grandeur expected for such a story setup, the author does justice by bringing to life Zoravar’s character. Pick this one for a vibrant and versatile story which will take the reader on a joy ride.
This review is part of the Blogchatter Book Review Program.