Beyond the Dream Girl
by Ram Kamal Mukherjee
Hema Malini needs no introduction. In an industry where the male star has always driven the commercial success of films, Hema Malini was an exception, with her name alone sufficing to ensure a film’s box-office glory. She was, arguably, India’s first female superstar. Apart from starring in mainstream super-hits like Johny Mera Naam, Jugnu, Andaz, Seeta Aur Geeta, Sholay and recently Baghban, she received critical acclaim for her performances in Lal Patthar, Khushboo, Kinara, Meera, Ek Chadar Maili Si and Razia Sultan. Publishing on her birthday, this is the authorized biography of a truly multi-faceted personality – a film-maker and producer, an active Member of Parliament from Mathura, a dancer par excellence, and a woman who has lived life on her own terms, providing an inside look at the life of one of our greatest cinema icons.
About The Author
Ram Kamal Mukherjee started his career with The Asian Age, Kolkata, in 2001. Having completed his postgraduate diploma in media studies from the University of Calcutta, his very first role was that of official reviewer of the international films showcased at the Kolkata Film Festival. His knowledge of cinema got him noticed and he was offered a role by the editor of The Asian Age, where he started off as a freelance journalist. As sub-editor at The Asian Age, Ram Kamal was soon heading the regional entertainment industry. Under the keen eye of veteran editor M.J. Akbar and firebrand resident editor Tikli Basu, he built a reputation for himself as one of the most unbiased film journalists in the business. His column, ‘Arkay’s Diary’, was a rage in Kolkata. In another two years, he would go on to host his own television chat show, Talk Bangla. He was also the youngest – and possibly first – journalist to host a sex-education show, called Chokhey Amar Trishna, for Asian Television Network. Taking up an offer made by Stardust, Ram Kamal joined the group as senior correspondent in 2003, making the shift to Mumbai. It was around the same time that he wrote a coffee-table book, Diva Unveiled: Hema Malini. Published by Magna Books, it won great appreciation for its pictorial representation of the actor’s journey. At twenty-seven, it also made Ram Kamal the youngest Bollywood biographer in the country. Subsequently, Ram Kamal went on to work with several leading publications, including Mumbai Mirror, Mid-Day, ABP Group’s Ananda Bazaar Patrika and Anandalok, and TV18. His column for Mumbai Mirror, ‘Ram Katha’, enjoyed a large following. He also worked for Pritish Nandy Communications as Vice President, Special Projects. In a few years, Ram Kamal would make his way back to Stardust, this time as editor. His tenure saw him conduct two successful award shows, apart from bringing in a freshness and vibrancy to the publication. Recently, Ram Kamal published his first work of fiction, Long Island Iced Tea, and produced a television series, Bin Kuch Kahe, for Zee TV. With close to three lakh social media followers, Ram Kamal continues to be one of the most well-loved names in film journalism in the country. He was honoured with the Best Journalist Award in 2006 by Lions Club, Mumbai, and the Best Author Award for Diva Unveiled: Hema Malini in Kolkata in 2006 by Kalakar Awards Foundation. He has also won the Power Brand Best Film Journalist Award for outstanding contribution to Indian cinema in 2017.