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.
* 1 Gift Voucher: $10 Amazon GV or INR 500 Flipkart GV (Winner’s Choice)
* 1 Signed copy of Curse of the Godman by Biddu
* Paperback copy of Made in India by Biddu
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