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A Very Strange Man (Ajeeb Aadmi): A Novel

Tahira Naqvi (Translator) Ismat Chughtai (Author)
Synopsis This novel, set in the Bombay Film World of the 1940s and 50s, is the riveting story of Dharam Dev, the famous actor, director and producer, and his all-consuming and doomed passion for Zarina Jamal, the young dancer from Madras whom he brings to Bombay and transforms into a great actress. He looks on in anguish as his betrayed wife, Mangala, a well-known playback singer, sinks slowly into alcoholism. When Zarina abandons him, he is overwrought and dies of an overdose, friendless and alone. In an interview for the Journal Mehfil in 1972, Ismat Chughtai described this novel about the Bombay Film Industry as based on the life of a film producer who committed suicide after the dancer whom he had made into a big star left him in the lurch. 'I go into why he commits suicide, why girls run after him and producers like him, and the hell they make for these men and for their wives'. A Very Strange Man is not only a close, personal look at an actor's rise to fame and glory, but an insightful and critical examination of the Bombay film scene of the time, by one who knew it at first hand. This irreverent, sharply observed narrative is Vintage Chughtai.
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About the author

Tahira Naqvi

Tahira Naqvi’s english translations are as faithful to the original as possible. She has selected those stories that are representative of his work as well as being relevant to the english speaking reader today.

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Bibliographic information

Title A Very Strange Man (Ajeeb Aadmi): A Novel
Format Softcover
Date published: 23.11.2007
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Women Unlimited
Language: English
isbn 8188965367
length viii+232p.