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Double win for author of Hema Malini’s biography | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis

While Hema Malini: Beyond The Dream Girl gives insight into the life of the veteran actress-filmmaker, the book’s author Ram Kamal Mukherjee has won two awards. The first is the Best Author Award at the Rajasthan International Film Festival (RIFF) earlier this year and later in Mumbai, he was conferred with the Society Achievers Best Author Award.

An excerpt from the book

Hema wasn’t just the first director Shah Rukh had worked with — she was also the first woman director. Over the years, rumour mills might have had a lot to say about the differences that had cropped up between them, but Shah Rukh has never lost an opportunity to express his deepest regards for her. He recalls a particular instance, ‘I was too young, and I remember that Stardust magazine had published my interview with a headline that quoted me as saying: “Hema Malini doesn’t know direction!” I realized that I was misquoted. But that was the least of my worries, because I had to still face her on the sets of Dil Aashna Hai. Main chhup chhup ke set ke andar hi ja raha tha, when she immediately noticed me and called me. I sat beside her, petrified of the consequences. But to my surprise, in her inimitable style, very sweetly she said, “Look, magazines only write about famous people. So, either I am famous or you are famous. These days I hardly work in films, so it has to be you. And when you become famous, magazines will write all sorts of rubbish about you. So, that’s fine!” That was a big learning for me, from a living legend like Hema-ji.’ 

In 2011, almost two decades after Dil Aashna Hain, Hema’s second film directorial venture, Tell Me O Kkhuda, was set to release. It featured her daughter Esha and newbie Arjan Bajwa. Incidentally, Shah Rukh’s home production Ra.One was also scheduled to release on the same date. The media had a field day reporting on how Shah Rukh had been unhappy about the clash and he and Hema had stopped talking to one another. Before the release of both films, Shah Rukh decided to show up at the music release of Tell Me O Kkhuda. If that wasn’t enough to stop the frenzied stories, his words at the event put an end to all speculation. 

‘Hema-ji, I have not been able to thank you enough for what you have done for me. I remember that my first cheque as an actor was signed by “Hema Malini” and I knew that I had arrived. Whatever my family, my wife, my kids and I am enjoying today, in terms of success, stardom, blessings from fans, is all because of you. I am what I am today because of you. I am sorry, Hema-ji, that I have not been able to say that often, and people made stories out of ignorance. Deep down, I know what you mean in my life. I know what I learnt from you in my first film. I know what your contribution has been in this industry. I wish you success in whatever you do in life. Inshallah, your film will be a hit and my duas will always be with you.’ 

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