Stories you must read!

My pick for this month is a very unusual genre, an autobiography of an actor – KABIR BEDI. An actor who was quite well known among the audience in the 80s or 90s-– he was either hated or loved for his roles, but never ignored. He has always managed to leave a lasting impression as a villain in Khoon Bhari Maang or as a great speaker with impeccable language skills and a deep baritone voice.

To the uninitiated, Kabir Bedi is a well-known Bollywood actor who made a mark in Hollywood and is a huge star in Europe as well. His series Sandokan has broken all European television viewership records. Bedi is also the recipient of the highest-ranking civilian honour in Italy, and was bestowed the title of Cavaliere (Knight).

I typically don’t read autobiographies of Bollywood actors as I often feel that they are written to glorify the protagonist or showcase only the good side. However, I have reviewed this book to highlight the significance it has to the industry we are in. Keeping aside the content, one must take notice of how this autobiography is delivered; the high quality outcome, the flawless language and narration, the timelines that were followed with anecdotes and incidences etc.

So lets quickly dive into the ‘What’ of the book that grabbed my attention from a communications perspective…

What does the book cover?

The book is a compilation of short stories from Bedi’s life starting from when he was in his early 20s and till date. Each story is interestingly built with lot of suspense, milestones and some takeaways. The narration is so powerful that it takes you on an adventurous journey with him. The technique used to bring in the backstory in a story is captured beautifully. Apart from being a good orator, Bedi has proved himself to be a good story-teller too – a key characteristic for all of us who are in this business of storytelling and narratives.

Three takeaways for me

  • Be passionate about what you want to say – list down all your ideas and choose two to three key ideas to flesh it out – In the book, Bedi has elegantly weaved his personal life (parents, son, his relationships) into a gripping story – It’s like one is watching a movie while reading the chapters.
  • Use simple language – Jargons don’t work unless you are a doctor or a lawyer. Story telling needs a language that can be understood by anyone who is reading your content but one that is powerful enough to hold the attention of the audience.
  • A picture is worth a thousand words – can’t deny that, from the cover to pictures used to connect with the story, they all say something to you. You relate to the characters and want to see and know them more.

What’s in it for me?

An autobiography which demonstrates skills that we as communications professionals must uphold – impeccable language, editing and story-telling, working with timelines, telling back stories for context and making them sensitive and emotional enough so that the reader empathises with the protagonists – We can learn a lot from this on developing characters, stories and brands.

My recommendation

This book is a page-turner. It keeps the reader engaged from start to finish and complete credit goes to the storyteller and the editor. Read it if you are a Bollywood freak but definitely grab a copy if you want to understand the nuances of how to write a powerful, engaging book.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Sarika Chavan
Sarika Chavan is a public relations professional with over 15 years of work experience.

Sarika has previously had stints with with Weber Shandwick as Vice President - Client Experience, Adfactors PR, Text100 (now Archetype) and Perfect Relations. With keen observation and analytical skills, Sarika has successfully led PR campaigns for key brands across multiple sectors by leveraging her strength and expertise in the communications arena.

She is a post graduate in communications from Xavier Institute of Communications. She is based in Mumbai and in her free time loves to spend time with her daughters, play with her dogs, read and travel.

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