Shotgun's honest life of 'different' man


Some 30 years ago, when India’s publishing magnate Nari Hira asked noted film journalist, author and columnist Bharathi S Pradhan, which Indian celebrity would permit the most honest and readable biography, she had answered: “Shatrughan Sinha”. Thirty years later, after penning his biography Anything But Khamosh, she says her answer remains unchanged, and you feel it so true after meeting the actor/politician.

A few hours before the Kathmandu release of the biography on September 7, as Pradhan got candid about her experience of penning the book with The Himalayan Times at Soaltee Crowne Plaza, the charismatic friend of hers would interrupt at times, only to add some truthful and witty answers. And once it was the Shotgun’s turn to answer the questions, he would not stop speaking, again giving frank and straightforward replies — of his journey into films and politics, and how he stood out becoming different from the rest.

How long did it take to write the book?

We (Sinha and Pradhan) have been friends for 40 years. This book as a culmination of that friendship — seven years was focused work on the book. But otherwise it is something that has actually taken 40 years.

How has the book turned out to be?

Sinha is an extremely honest man. He says it like it is. He is unafraid. It is alright to be honest but you have to be brave enough to say it. And he has that quality. An interesting aspect of his life is that he has been so successful — both as a film star and as a politician, he has reached the peak of both professions. Both are difficult professions and he has done both without any support from anybody. There is so much about his life that one has got to know. And this book has made one wonderful biography to write and to read.

Was Shotgun ever reluctant to answer any question?

No. I think it was when the friendship came into picture. Because right from the very beginning we were clear about what he is going to say, how much he is going to say and the first draft that I made was the final draft.