Kitnay Aadmi Thay? : Book Review

Did you know there was a beer brand placement throughout DDLJ ? 
What is the surname of Chandni, the sexy chemistry teacher in Main Hoon Naa?
What was a Dhobi’s in Dev Anand’s life, that led him to become a star?
Rare double role of an animal. Remember any?
Parsi guy in Sholay ! Is it?

Well, well. This is just a trailer. Trailer of the book Kitnay Aadmi Thay? by Diptakirti Chaudhuri. (@diptakirti on twitter) Yes, a Bong writes a book that is not poetry, Ray or Tagore but about Bollywood - my initial thought. (phew..see how bad I am at trying my hand at creating even a PJ). Indeed it’s a tough task to give dose of trivia, in a fun filled language, which Diptakirti (phew again.. I will now write DC only) does flawlessly. Because, even if you are a big film buttff, you just can’t go on and on and on to read the long list of trivia that is in plain language. Maybe that is a reason why I still haven’t read many of such books out there. Actually, after The Spirit Of Lagaan, this is only second book, about films, that I read !

The book literally took me by surprise. Though the tagline said ‘useless trivia’. But I was prepared for a serious outing. Having not read author’s blog, being the reason. But in the ‘Introduction’, he guarantees this is no regular lists of Best of Blah..Top 10 of Blah Blah and so on. And he sticks to his promise since the first chapter itself : 10 Opening Credits ! Well, there are numerous such lists that are interestingly put up and highly debatable. But hey, after all, we all love to debate over our favoritest Bollywood. Isn’t it?

The way DC puts up everything, you can’t help but at least chuckle (if not LOL, ROFL, LMAO) at each paragraph. Sample some here :

On Lagaan : The chicken farmer, Bhura, was snapping up balls instead of cocks (!).
Whats Your Raashee : The 12 Priyankas turned out to be bubbly, balanced, bashful, brash, brazen, bizarre or behenji in turn. 
Our Heroines : The moment she puts on false eyelashes, Tarun Tahiliani lehengas and Saroj Khan-induced coquettishness, he gets hard-on from here to Ludhiana and rides off into the sunset with her.
Rahul Roy : In Junoon, he was the ichhadhari tiger (which was such a welcome change after years of icchadhari nagins).

And when there is trivia, it goes to great length. At least me, am totally unaware about these things.
Like, in Do Dooni Chaar, Rishi Kapoor did 2+2=4 (and not 5, as his uncle famously did about two decades earlier). Or, Karan Johar's debut wasn't in DDLJ. It was a teleserial !! Even an interesting trivia about the epic line Mogambo Khush Hua. The oh-so-creative lists definitely will lead reader to make each of them with their own favorites.

Most of the pages, it kept me hooked, led me thinking ‘man, this guy must be watching all the movies with pen and paper since childhood, and all the notes are combined here, in this book’. Why not? He even notes down lines of Juhi Chawla’s father why he is not accepting Aamir Khan as his Jamai, in Hum Hain Rahi Pyaar Ke. And not just the new movies, DC has incorporated how the inimitable Johnny Walker was born, or how Khatta Meetha had highest number of Parsi characters ever. Or even some great spoilers ! Yes spoilers about the best kept secrets of suspense movies. (Now you are warned, which chapter is to be skipped. Right?) There is even a chapter about 5 famous first meetings. (one of my most favorite chapters).

Ah, I can go ga-ga-ga but need to stop here isn’t it? Oh, and one must be thinking, is there anything that is ‘not good’ in the book? Oh, well, each Bollywood movie has its own villains, no? Here, there’re is a bit glitch in terms of repeated mentions (though they are necessary). So déjà vu is there at places. But it doesn't harm. And a page, depicting Godrej Fridge’s placement in Luck By Chance, a smooth one. Oh really?  Also, there are numerous mentions about ‘the greatest film ever made’ -  yes, Sholay. The movie, which I’m not so crazy about. (Kill, me, okay?). But I forgive thou, DC, because in return, you gave a full length chapter for QS Cutie (ah, what a term!) Aamir Khan, and his 18 crazy films. (and no thanks for naming the book in a way that initials can be - KAT)

Love Bollywood? Live Bollywood? Bollywood is only thing you talk about? Then this – Kitnay Aadmi Thay? – is a must read. Go grab your copy with popcorn, samosa and an oily pack of chips. :)

Disclaimer : This book can be harmful to your eyes, as it may lead you on marathon viewing of all the classics mentioned in it. 
'Plate'claimer: This is my first book review, ever. So, please to excuse. 

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!


  1. Wow - Loved your style of writing and introducing the book.
    I was a part of the same Book Review. Glad to read a fellow reviewers - version.

    1. Thanks a lot. This was my first time, a change from otherwise regular film and music reviews. Glad you liked.


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