Nothing cinema in Bollywood director Mansoor Khan`s first book
New Delhi: Director-producer Mansoor Khan, famed for giving blockbuster Hindi cinema musicals dropped off the cinema radar, to surface recently as an author whose first book speaks of concepts of economics and the role of energy.
Khan, known for cinematic hits like ‘Qayamat se Qayamat Tak’ and ‘Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander’, has in his first book titled ‘The Third Curve: The End of Growth as we know it’ dealt with economic growth through the prism of oil and energy and looks at possibilities to a world where communities transition to a primary local lifestyle.
"My life started to change in the year 1997 when the government wanted to acquire my father`s land. I started reading up and researching on the rights of people and the natural resources available and then came across the concept of Peak Oil. It made sense to me immediately," Khan told PTI after the launch of his book here recently.
A term coined by US geologist M King Hubbert, "Peak oil", is used to signify the problem of depletion, of the world`s production of oil which is a finite, non-renewable resource, that has powered economic and population growth in the past.
The American predicted that the rate of oil production in the world will follow in the path of bell shaped curve curve and after hitting a "peak" will fall at a terminal rate, bringing to an end the availability of cheap oil. This, he said would result in severe economic and social consequences.
Mansoor Khan, says he read many books and blogs and opinions of experts on the subject helped him form his own understanding of the subject.
"Many people say there are now alternative sources of energy to oil like solar energy and wind energy etc. But what they fail to understand is that the resources of the earth are finite and you cannot run an infinite economic model of growth based on the reality of a finite planet," says Khan.
Now based in the hill city of Connoor in Tamil Nadu, Khan who studied Computer Science at IIT-Mumbai, Cornell University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology was nudged into cinema by his father, veteran filmmaker Nasir Hussain.
"I had made my home in Coonoor I run an organic farm there and was exploring the facets of delusions of the modern lifestyle. I came across Hubbert`s Peak Oil concept and thought somebody or the other would certainly write about it. But nobody did and post the 2008 recession I thought people would be more receptive to idea, so here I am," says Khan.
Khan, who helped launched the career of leading names in Bollywood, including his cousin and actor Aamir Khan, says he "did not apply his mind" to making a film on the subject.
"The medium of the movie is slightly limited. It is mostly entertainment and in the end how well the script has been written. I feel I have written the book pretty well and if the opportunity arises it could also be made into a movie," says Khan who has self published the book.
The author says he has "no intention of playing a moral cop" and wants people to "view the book as a new lens through which they can make sense of the world."
Khan writes about the inevitable future of energy descent and the end of growth where people feel the effects of economic shrinkage by virtue of reduction in production, factory close-downs and disappearing jobs.
"I talk about a transition model where people do not wait for the governments to make the change. They take initiatives like eating locally, buying local food, look at alternative agricultural models etc," says Khan.