Book Review: Made in India by Biddu

There were not many adolescents in India who didn’t dance in the tune of “Made in India”. The 90s were a great time to grow up with wonderful music. That was a very palpable childhood; vibrant and colourful. In this song especially, girls like me were smitten not only by the enchanting rendition of Alisha Chinoy but also by the irresistible charm of Milind Soman. It was the first time that I heard of the name Biddu, the composer. And, to speak the truth, felt an awe towards the person who was the harbinger of the Indipop culture. The internet was not proliferative at that time, so I failed to garner much information about Biddu. Instead, I was stupendously impressed to know that he was the brain behind the songs, “Aap jaisa koi meri zindegi mein aaye and Nazia Hassan’s chartbuster non-film album, “Disco deewane.

The three mentioned songs, ring several bells in my mind even after so many years. So, when I got a chance to lay my hands on Biddu Appaiah’s autobiography, “Made in India, Adventure of a Lifetime, I didn’t think twice to go for it. Reading the book was like meeting a long-lost person after ages.

“Made in India” is the story of the Indian-born, England-based music composer who single-handedly changed the tune of Indian music by adding a fresh vibrancy to it. Biddu left the country in the quest of his musical destination in his early twenties. The enthralling story of his travel with only three pounds in his pocket, of visiting the Middle East, meeting a myriad of people, and knowing different cultures and colours, all these have been portrayed in a colourful manner.

The reader also gets a glimpse of the old Calcutta and Bombay back in the 60s as he depicts his experiences with these two cities. No, it’s not the tale of the two cities, but several ones chipped in with his personal likings and dislikings. The far-fetched dream of a small-town boy and his determination to make it a reality can become an inspiration to today’s youth who are given all sorts of assistance when they exhibit sufficient talent and skill.

I especially liked the language and his way of writing; a very lucid one and it’s like a whiff of fresh breeze when we are so much into the “simplicity” of Chetan Bhagat and his ilk. The self-deprecatory style with a subtle sense of humour would evidently paint a smile on your lips. Couldn’t help myself but to share this excerpt when he spells his name to some British receptionist having a peculiar accent,

“That’s B for Britain, I for India, D for Delhi, D for Delhi and U for,…” I struggled to find a word for “U” and at last I got one. U for euthanasia”– I mean “euthanasia”, seriously!

The book makes you turn the pages as if you’re reading a thriller though the pace slackens a little in the later chapters. The only thing I feel here to be missing is the much-expected openness of his mind as the reader feels the urge to know more about the genius, the person Biddu himself is. That urge remains even after finishing the book.

“I am a citizen of the world, but inside, truly deep inside, I am still made in India.“- says Biddu, and, truly I think, this book is a must read for not only music aficionados but for every Indian.

From my side, it’s 4/5


 About The Author
Biddu was born in India, where he started his career playing in a pop band whose influences lay in the classic repertoire of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Following his early success, he decided to hear West and move into the international music arena. He struck gold, signing the unknown Carl Douglas and producing “Kung Fu Fighting?” which went on to become a hit all over the world. He also wrote and produced hits for Tina Charles and soul legend Jimmy James.
Around this time, Biddu became involved in Indian music: he composed the cult “Aap Jaise Koi” for the film Qurbani which set a new landmark for sales in India He followed this up with a pop album, Disco Deewane, with Nazia Hassan, which became the largest selling pop album in Asian history, and was the first Indian album to hit the charts in fourteen countries. In 1995, Biddu wrote and produced the three-million-selling album Made in India with the singer Alisha Chinai. To date, Biddu has sold over thirty-eight million records worldwide.
See more here.

A giveaway is there from the author’s side. Please click the below link to enter and win.

Giveaway Details:

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* 1 Signed copy of Curse of the Godman by Biddu

* Paperback copy of Made in India by Biddu

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38 responses to “Book Review: Made in India by Biddu

  1. I love his comment about ‘Made in India’! Sounds very interesting, I never knew about Biddu before I read your review today. Brilliant review, Mani🙂

  2. This is new to me too…..the way you have reviewed the book is truly refreshing….who can forget Made in India from our generation, right….and Aap jaisa Koi too…..those were such romantic numbers stealing many hearts……:)

  3. I admire Biddu and his musical career. Creativity shown through music not only enhances our listening but touches our souls. Lovely, Maniparna.🙂 My kids used to love Kung Fu Fighting and I love the Indian songs which are so beautiful.

  4. This is such a interesting story of the Biddu. A well written book review, Maniparna! I really enjoyed the “Made in India” song. Thank you so much for sharing🙂

  5. I remeber Nazia hassan , those were the good old days.. and Alisha was the madonna of our nation.. I had all here albums at one stage especially where she copied music from the madonna songs ..🙂

    and good review as always🙂

  6. Hi Mani,

    This review is a breath of fresh air and I enjoyed reading it, all the time nodding my head to the most popular songs you have mentioned and being so ignorant about their composer!
    What a co-incidence that only yesterday while I was watching a special programme, which commemorates ten years of Indian Idol, I saw Alisha sing that mesmerising song, whose most riveting video left us wanting for more in those days when there was no youtube and I saw ‘Made In India video again after ages…and it seemed as fresh, alluring and relevant as ever!
    Thank you for sharing all these details about the legendary composer!

  7. To be fair, Milind Soman still makes one’s heart skip a beat! :p Thank you for writing a review on this book, I was not aware of the composer of these addictive numbers from the 90s. My mum used to forbid me from watching the Made in India video😛 (which would make me want to watch it even more)

  8. Biddu was a sensation of 1990s and remains a defining influence in Indipop. Your post is as breezy as ‘aap jaise koi’, ‘disco diwanee’, and ‘made in india’ numbers, and as his memoir is bound to be…best wishes.

  9. This is one of the few book reviews I have enjoyed. I have listened to quite a few hindi pop songs (if you can call them that). I am sure many can relate to this book. Thanks for sharing.

    Btw, did you review Jithin’s book? Would love to read your take on that.

  10. Enjoyable review Maniparna. I was in primary school when Aap Jaisa Koi had stormed the country. I immensely enjoyed listening to the song.Was completely in awe of the siblings Nazia and Zoheb Hussain and somehow the name Biddu had registered in my mind. After almost a decade came Made in India with Alisha Chinoy in the fury coat ( which she still wears :-)) and Milind Soman ..Swoosh! Yes the music sounded similar to Aap Jaisa Koi…It was Biddu again!
    I am sure that the book would make an interesting read and will have many readers relating to it.

    • True..the “made in India” song was a massive hit! Every time it was on the tv screen, my heart skipped a beat😛 I used to wait for the entry of Milind Soman.

      The book is really a good read…the language especially is much appreciable…🙂

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