I am sure you were expecting a book on my days in cinema from me, rather than one on life.
It is true that I have been on the screen for over 26 years, but I have been on this planet for almost twice as long. And Life supersedes Cinema.
I was a trained actor, but in the 1980s, I realised that having hair was a more important criteria for the industry than talent. So I had to spend three years in search of a role, oscillating between hope and despair, and that included sleeping on railway platforms as I had run out of money and creditors. However, just as I was about to give up, I got a role. When others of my age were romancing heroines, at 27, my big break was to act as a 65-year old retired school teacher in Saaransh. It met with resounding critical and commercial success and I was declared the next sensation. I kept signing and acting in scores of films and went on to start an entertainment conglomerate. I had overreached myself now and ended up becoming almost bankrupt!
I believe that there are more lessons to be learnt from failure than success and dealing with failure successfully has been my way of combating the vicissitudes of life. I never realised the power of this philosophy till I staged my one-man autobiographical play Kucch Bhi Ho Sakta Hai in 2005 in which I laughed at my reverses. Ironically, it has become my most successful endeavour and was the genesis of the book which is in your hands.
My mantra has been that by never trying, we are only ensuring failure. I felt that I should share these thoughts with more people, which is why I took up to speaking about them at some of the most prestigious institutes in the US and before corporate audiences. In the process, I realised that I had unknowingly become a life-coach. I then thought of reaching out to a wider audience and along came the book THE BEST THING ABOUT YOU IS YOU.
You have played a part in my journey, directly or indirectly, and added to my enriching experiences, and collective wisdom. I am therefore presenting you with my work so that you may find your impact on me on these pages.
So while wishing you a very happy new year and the very best for 2012, I hope you will enjoy reading THE BEST THING ABOUT YOU IS YOU. Perhaps, it might impel you to begin the journey to discover yourself...