Author: Raghu Ram
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Conclusion 1 – Hard-working man doesn’t go home despite underwear emergencies.
Conclusion 2 – Hard-working man is a mad man.
– Philosophy of Bumpy, which Raghu appreciatively mentions in his autobiography Rearview
Rearview is a look at the life of MTV’s Executive Director Raghu Ram, of Roadies fame. It delves into the good, the bad and the ugly- in brutally honest Raghu style!
Is his vituperative behaviour a virtue or vice? He is notorious, obnoxious, daunting and his colloquialism is punctuated with the ‘F’ word. He can fish out the trivia in trivial. He manifests himself with an indomitable and iconoclastic persona. With him, it is either his way or the highway. Some see him as the devil, others see him as a demi-God. This Delhi lad, born in the most precarious conditions while sharing the womb with a twin brother, has a distinguished tale. He is Bald and Bold – he is Raghu Ram!
Raghu’s decision to pen down his biography comes a decade post the successful establishment of the much acclaimed and coveted Roadies. The target audience of the book is the youth who form a strong fan base for the show. Oh Boy! He does strike the right cords this time as well. His writing is razor sharp. He traverses through his journey as a diffident student who performed miserably at academics, only to become an Executive Producer at MTV. As he says in the book:
If you measure the worth of a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its entire life thinking it’s stupid.
He jogs his memory to spell out his days as a teenager who was relentlessly bullied until one day he learnt to be street smart.He furnishes intricate details about his personal life, his struggle towards stardom, the pitfalls and burnouts. He divulges details about his courtship with his wife Sugandha, who has also designed the intimidating book cover. He runs through the history of Indian television ever since its advent in the early 1990’s. Given the cinematic calculus, his credentials and knowledge will leave you surprised. It is evident that he is not merely ostentatious, but a man of substance.
The central plot revolves around the ubiquitous Roadies. The author articulates what went behind and beyond it. Those who are conversant with the Roadies will have their memories awoken. There are no out of the box revelations. He uses this book as a medium to express his gratitude to his crew, friends and family. There is nothing wrong with that, but at times, it seems like a book of testimonials. The book is peppered with humor, love, poignant memoirs, photos and honest confessions. He did not discount the fact that success and glory brought along with them the blight of arrogance, egoism, jealousy, conceit and turpitude. One area where he has impressed me is his profound knowledge of Hindu mythology. Although an atheist, his secular credentials are worth extolling.
Human beings aren’t scared of sinning, only of getting caught.
Raghu has an indefatigable working style. There is not an iota of doubt that he is a hardworking man. This assiduity reflects in his book. He has a natural flair for writing; he knits his words with unadulterated wisdom and straightforwardness. The book can be read for its literary value. I was pleasantly surprised by his magnetic writing prowess as I remained glued to his narration. Roadies today is not merely a show, it is a brand and an insignia. You may hate him, you may love him, but you just can’t ignore him. I would strongly recommend this book not merely for the legacy of Roadies but for its formidable literary architecture.