My Rating – 3.25/5
Language – Marathi
Narrated by – Anita Padhye
Ekta Jeev is the autobiography of Dada Kondke, noted Marathi actor, director and producer. It’s a candid but equally controversial narration of the life of this celebrated actor.
Dada Kondke was born in a relatively well to do family of mill workers in Naigaon, Mumbai. Known for his pranks from the childhood days, he fell on hard times in his teen years due to sudden demise of his parents and uncle. Not interested in education, he became a petty ruffian. He got his first major break in “Vichha Mazi Puri Kara” (literally- “Fulfil My Wishes”), a folk drama written by Vasant Sabnis that went on to complete more than 1500 shows. The drama became famous for Kondke’s satirical comments on the political events and personalities of that time.
After drama, Kondke tried his luck in Marathi Cinema and was an astounding success. He went on to produce 15 Marathi movies, most of which were directed by him. He acted as the protagonist in all of them. All his movies were immediate hits and Kondke is famously remembered as being in Guinness Book for maximum number of movies with Silver Jubilee. (Though actually there is no such entry in Guinness Book). Normally his movies had a straight forward, even feeble plots woven around a simple and innocent fellow. The plots were full of punches and satires. Kondke played the simpleton much on the lines of Charlie Chaplin. However his movies were always laced with sex innuendos and double meaning dialogues (remember : Dhagala Lagli Kal) that became a bone of contention between him and the censor board. There was a time in 70s and 80s when Kondke could do no wrong and he tried to replicate his success in Hindi and Gujarati movies also.
Kondke’s life was an eventful one. He is known for taking pot shots at celebrated director V. Shantaram through his movies. Even his autobiography published posthumously, further added to the controversies surrounding him. Kondke has been quite open in his criticism for some of the noted film personalities including Mangeshkar sisters (Lata and Asha).
Kondke’s autobiography describes the man who was different from his on screen avatar in his personal life. However, I could not shake the feeling while reading the book that Kondke has left much more unsaid and unwritten than he has said. Also I felt that he was less than forthcoming on some of the episodes of his life. Still it is an interesting book to read.
If you have enjoyed his movies, you will like reading the story in his own words, a man always surrounded by friends and yet lonely in the midst of them.
Thank you for reading. I appreciate your time.
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