The novelized version of the cult film Mera Naam Joker
It was by all accounts one of the biggest gambles in Hindi cinema of the time: five years in the making with a running time of over four hours and two intervals including two of the best-known circus troupes of India and the Soviet Union. Add to that an outstanding musical score. Mera Naam Joker was to be Raj Kapoor's magnum opus. Whetting audience appetite were indications that it would also be the Showman's most autobiographical film. Nothing it seemed could come between the film and box-office glory. Shockingly the film bombed at the box-office - and so badly that RK Films one of India's foremost studios was almost wiped out in the wake of that disaster. Interestingly enough over the last forty years the film has attained a cult status and is one of the highestselling home videos in India.
At the time of the film's release its writer K.A. Abbas in an act years ahead of its time also published the novelized version of the film to great commercial success. Mera Naam Joker: The Complete Story is that book. A perceptive introduction by Suresh Kohli analysing the tortuous making of the film and the reasons for its failure also offers an insight into the creative process through which a story transforms into a film.