Nominated | Book Awards 2021 | English Non-fiction
Known to generations of cinema-lovers as the evergreen hero of long-running blockbuster hits like Dil Ek Mandir, Ayee Milan ki Bela, Arzoo and Sangam, among others, Rajendra Kumar Tuli was truly the 'Jubilee Star' of Hindi cinema in the 1960s. Jubilee Kumar is the so-far-untold story of the man behind the superstar - one who went from riches to rags early in life, but whose determination, prudence and humility saw him surmount countless hurdles and win the affection and admiration of colleagues and fans alike.
A dispossessed refugee following Partition, Kumar's struggles intensified as he travelled from Sialkot to Bombay to try his luck in films, suffering homelessness and hunger before he got a break as an assistant director. Overcoming both prejudice in the industry and his own insecurities, he eventually rose from playing small roles in films to unimaginable fame and popularity as a leading man and a respected producer.
Touching candidly upon his life both onscreen and off it, this intimate account reveals Kumar - often through his own reminiscences and the recollections of others - as a hard-headed businessman, a generous and empathetic senior colleague, a gallant co-star to his female leads, a good-natured rival to peers and, above all, an upright and principled family man who rose above the many temptations that are an inevitable part of life in the Indian film industry.
A riveting tale of struggle and stardom, fame and disillusionment, love, heartbreak and loss, Jubilee Kumar unwraps the many layers of an icon whose achievements and charisma few of his rivals or successors have been able to match.
SEEMA SONIK ALIMCHAND has been a flight attendant, a voice professional, a presenter and copy writer for television, radio and other media. The daughter of noted music composer Master Sonik of the Sonik-Omi duo, Seema developed an interest in the Indian film industry from an early age. She is the author, presenter and producer of the popular album 100 Years of Hindi Film Music, and the author of the biographies of superstars Rajinikanth (The Warrior Within ) and Dara Singh (Deedara aka Dara Singh). Her forthcoming works include a historical novel, Monsoon Earth, a series for young adults and two theatrical productions.