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  Entertainment   Bollywood  07 Nov 2017  An ordinary blame game?

An ordinary blame game?

Published : Nov 7, 2017, 4:05 am IST
Updated : Nov 7, 2017, 4:05 am IST

The incident has also hurt the actor’s fans, who have always praised him for his realistic acting.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Niharika Singh
 Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Niharika Singh

Soon after Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s book was withdrawn from the market, people have taken to criticising his co-author, Rituparna Chatterjee, for including the most intimate episodes of his life in the memoir.

It has now become a trend for many celebrities to write their autobiography alongside an author. This year saw many book releases of the likes of Karan Johar, Rishi Kapoor and Asha Parekh, who shared many stories from their lives that were hidden from the public eye. Joining the same bandwagon, actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui, too, came out with his memoir — An Ordinary Life — which was co-authored by Rituparna Chatterjee.

However, in a matter of days, the memoir, which revealed Nawaz’s romantic relationship with his Miss Lovely co-star, Niharika Singh, started receiving backlash for its language. As a result of this, the actor soon withdrew the memoir, explaining that he regretted his decision.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui bookThe book cover of An Ordinary Life

And now, in a strange turn of events, many are pointing the finger at the autobiography’s co-author, Rituparna, commenting that she should have advised the actor to refrain from putting out such intimate details in public.

Veteran actress Asha Parekh, who wasn’t too happy with Nawaz’s book, said during an interview, “Nawazuddin should have thought of the repercussions before plunging into the book. And his co-writer should have also been careful. Perhaps Nawaz shared all the intimate details of his life with his co-writer. But she should have advised him on how to use his experiences in the book.” Although many took a dig at Rituparna, the author remained unavailable for comments.

In an earlier statement, while discussing the withdrawal of the book, a source close to Nawaz had said, “The past few days have not been easy on Nawaz. The truth is, his command over the English language is inadequate, so perhaps the memoir should have been written in Hindi. The excerpts where he went into the alleged details of his relationships with two female friends came across as tasteless and should never have gone into the book. But Nawaz depended, to a large extent, on his co-author Rituparna Chatterjee in putting across his thoughts. Now he feels he should have curbed his flights of fancy.”

Nawazuddin SiddiquiNawazuddin Siddiqui

However, one wonders whether Nawaz can go scot-free just because he is not well-versed with the language. “I do not believe that the actor is not to blame. Because the publishing house always makes sure that everything that goes in the book is read and passed by the actor. I don’t think Nawazuddin Siddqui doesn’t know that much English that he doesn’t understand what he is reading,” says Meena Iyer, co-author of the book Khullam Khulla: Rishi Kapoor Uncensored.

Talking about her experience while writing the book with Rishi Kapoor, she said, “When we were writing the book, Rishiji made sure that nothing about his love life goes in the book. His stance was very clear, that we cannot write about it; and so it wasn’t a part of the book. If I give the rights of a book to be written on my life, then I would read it and check what is going in it. And if I am not well-versed with the language, then I would get someone to read the book for me and understand each word and its implications.”

Niharika SinghNiharika Singh

Supporting Meena’s train of thought, Bharathi S. Pradhan, a critic columnist and author of the book Anything But Khamosh — biography of actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha, feels, “I don’t blame the writer at all. I wrote a biography on Shatruji and even though it was my book, Shatruji was aware of each incident that was mentioned in the book. So, I am sure Nawaz would have read the book, and not knowing the language is certainly not an excuse,” she says, adding, “When the book wasn’t released and everyone was talking about it, Nawaz had his collar up and pretended that he alone wrote it. So if one can take the credit, then why not the discredit.”

The incident has also hurt the actor’s fans, who have always praised him for his realistic acting. “This incident is very disappointing and shameful for everyone who likes Nawazuddin as an actor,” opines novelist Sriram Karri. “However, blaming the co-author is an even bigger shame. As it sounds like he co-authored a book, which he didn’t even read with full attention. Also, at the end of the day, people are not reading the book because Rituparna wrote it, it’s because it is Nawaz’s life that the book will sell.”

On the other hand, reportedly actress Niharika Singh is also contemplating legal action against the actor, as he did not ask for her consent before publishing details about their relationship, which according to him lasted one-and-a-half years.

Well-known author Nasreen Munni Kabir, who has authored books on the likes of Waheeda Rehman, Javed Akhtar, Guru Dutt and Gulzar, feels that although Nawaz should have paid that little extra attention, the responsibility of the blunder lies equally on Rituparna’s shoulders.

“It is a shared responsibility,” Nasreen said, adding, “Every honest biography will offend someone or the other. Having said that, it is necessary to check the tone of what is being printed and understand its consequences too. A book is not like an article that will be erased from the public memory after some time, it will stay on the shelf forever and many would read it. So, you have to be extra careful while writing it. Also, at the end of the day, the book was on Nawaz’s life and he should have spent more time on it.”

Tags: nawazuddin siddiqui, rituparna chatterjee, niharika singh