Jalsa, Mumbai Apr 16/17, 2014 Wed/ Thu 1 : 07 am
'Bhoothnath Returns' wins the election and throws a success party ! A moment of happiness .. naah … so cliched and done statement !
A moment etched in great pain and sweat and tears .. a moment which shall be treasured for posterity. The writing on the wall, is no longer a writing, it is but a permanent marker - tough to erase, tougher still to make attempt to do so ..
Cathartic in countenance, such elements of joy and celebration were a million miles away in our times. A jubilee function or that of a silver or gold was almost a lost entity. It meant the world to put one together and then to wait for it to happen after its 50 weeks or so. Now … its instant ; the status known and announced in a jiffy, to the rest of the world .. no mementoes, no nothing .. just a large crowd of invites, a stage for the cast and crew to assemble, short speeches of the ‘fun’ and the ‘frolic’ enjoyed by all, a photo - op and back home after a thousand ‘selfies’ !
That ladies and gentleman is the crux .. at the end of the day … errrmm … night !!
There could not have been a more happier group than this .. the success has meant so much to all of us. To pull off a film with no stars, no large box office names, and no conventional escapist content - the one renowned to rattle up some serious numbers at the box office !!!
Leading the ‘little fellow’ to join up on stage with the rest of the cast and crew … to compliment each other, to laugh, to be filled with pride and to be not too arrogant about it !
Arrogance is a tough customer. It has the ingredients of superiority, without meaning most of the time. It allows one to push that upper nose and the body provocatively in the air, and to smell the essence of pride, place and degree, about you …
Which I might add is not too bad after all. Is it incorrect to be in confident expression all the time. To be driven by belief that one is deserving of appreciation. I think not. Instead I think it is a rare quality. Optimism and self belief does not come easily to us mortals, simply because we are at the end of the day, mere mortals too ..
Having work is arrogant. A show of unrestrained joy for the other is arrogance. To be talked of, behind closed doors and windows, in glorious terms, is arrogant ..
See how well it comes to us to be able to make distinct and different adjectives for the other, even when your own talk is diffident and not forthcoming ..
Better then, to be in such state. A state of self deprecation, of being with the other, irrespective of time place standard or levels of differentiation ..
Your individuality then in safe custody, your mind and body in attribution, but within the limitations of what we may have designed of ourselves much earlier …
that would be a near perfect existence ..
But you know, as do I, that it shall never happen again ..
A statement in time … Ramesh Sippy the maker of ‘Sholay’ in the grey hairline, his son Rohan, in the back ground, maker of the successful ‘Bluffmaster’ with Abhishek, and a little lost me ..
Happiness though … (lord ! we are back on this) .. is an expression with oneself. What shall be us shall be with all. At least that shall be the utopian practice. And so unbridled laughter is the key to all ailments .. ! Or so it seems !!
I rest .. and live with all …
My love ,
Jalsa, Mumbai Apr 15, 2014 Tue 11:53 PM
The daughter has left, as have the grandchildren … back to their home. And even though we know that that is where they belong now, the pain of absence, of the chatter and the bustle of their presence, cannot be wished away. The house becomes quiet, quite suddenly. And as you silently walk up the stairs to your work place in the house, the encounter with the staff on the way is reflective of the mood. The staff has been with us for almost 40 years, and when they look you straight in the face and say ..” Sir .. the house has become so empty .. “, leaving the unsaid after that, to the expressions on their face, it tugs at the heart even more.
I think as you grow older, your system makes way for greater sensitivity. It is not the cliched events that move you .. it is the more ordinary that do. Ordinary not in the term, nothing is ever ordinary, but in what perhaps would go unnoticed under normal circumstances - a loving gesture, those kind words through an sms, the warmth of a passerby as you drive past, that little lost boy forced into roadside begging brightening up his face with a smile and addressing you as ‘bhoothnath’, the excess money that you pay to buy those balloons for Aaradhya, and the thrill on the child’s face that sells them to you, as he goes and shares his earning with the elders down the road.
So much want and need among so many of us. The dire conditions of those that survive. The paucity of existence in extraordinarily decrepit circumstances. The mere fact of the acceptance of their conditions. The deprivation to so many, yet the joy among them.
At times when you sit on the key board and press a few rectangular ‘whites and blacks’, the anguish and the helplessness overcomes you. What follows next is never rehearsed or learnt .. it is the soul that speaks .. it envelops you, thrusts upon you the strain and the misery of the tone … and you, lost in its interpretation, succumb .. those untrained fingers drifting across the depth of the bars, in unison, to express that which is not in unison .. ah .. the irony, picks up its punches and smashes against you, trying hard to demolish all that you may mean …
…. and these diagonally opposite forces contain within you, breaking and rising in equal intensity, transporting you trance like to a flourish of unrelenting expression …
At times, and I shall be honest on this, one wishes that the moment could be captured on camera, or perhaps drive me to such extent that it becomes the provocation needed to emote in a particular scene - a scene that may never be conceived … but still …
How strange then to put a private moment in the terms of a possible exploitation, a professional commercial obligation.. to seek what ?
Yes .. art and creativity leads our way to the ultimate expression of happiness .. for us and for all ..
In a chapter that titles itself ‘The Mirage of Happiness’, I am drawn towards a quote from Aristotle :
" It is indeed a strange thought that the end should be amusement, and that the busyness and suffering throughout one’s life should be for the sake of amusing oneself "
And more -
" the crux of the mystery is that eudaimonia, the Greek word conventionally translated as ‘happiness’, does not refer to a state of mind at all, but to an admirable and desirable state of being. It is a matter of public appraisal, not private awareness ..”
I am aware most times when I am happy. Whether or not it passes the test of public appraisal or my own private awareness, is something that shall forever remain undisclosed ..
I would not know entirely, and would if given opportunity, challenge it, without disclosure on its ultimate result ..
But then this could all be a ‘Mirage’ … would it not ?
My love and my ‘happiness’ ..
Jalsa, Mumbai Apr 14/15, 2014 Mon/ Tue 1:38 am
I think at the time of confronting these elements that join and bring me closer to all, that is it not a wonder of science and diligent research, that has always stood us in good stead .. one that binds us all in an unusual hold, filling us in our happiness and our accomplishments, moving us in our time of distress and sorrow …
What and how did we confront similar, when they were absent and not discovered .. I wonder and still wonder too …
Apart from this though the mind wanders to all corners and comes up with some pertinent and valid ideas. Ideas that would dare not take up the time and elements of the ‘system’, but indeed welcome those that did ..
There is a desire most fertile and strong to be in the midst of my solitude .. amid the process of what bears the mind and the body ..
If music be that, then shall I welcome those that tune in line with the strains that excite me .. retain those notes into an extended form and be long enough to hear the heart beats in reverberation. That is ‘nirvana’ to me … and there have been many occasions that have not been under record for them to be noted discussed researched and written about ..
Many insist that an autobiography shall be fun. Yes …. fun to some, painful to others .. and those that belong to the ‘other’, you have been warned !! A Royal order has been passed, but it shall never perhaps be revered. Much too much is at stake on being the odd man on stilts ..!!
Stiltes aside, they come over to meet, giving impression and walk away. Their reverence in tact and striving each moment to be that one element that alludes them .. dignified recognition has many an answer … but what good shall they be to others … nothing perhaps until the fallacies of nature bring burden and despair to the ‘other’ ..
Ever wonder … I knew it … you will not and shall never ever ring an else in the house. Never !!
I would rather be in front of the camera ..
Peace and good will … watching seeing and observing ! and then concluding !!
Jalsa, Mumbai Apr 13/14, 2014 Sun/Mon 2:40 am
Frustration written large on my face .. and the anger of not being as savvy on these instruments that control almost everything in our lives ..
My FB is not opening .. and it asks for my FB password on my given ID .. when I do fill in the password it says ‘incorrect’. Now … I may look dumb, but in practice I am often not ..
The password is stored with me, I remember it and I put in the right one .. but still it says ‘incorrect’. I am not hating the fat that it still does not work … I am hating the fact that I am missing my continuity of writing each day on all platforms .. !! DAMN !!
And … its too late for my digital team to function now .. so not till tomorrow morning shall I get to see the face of the FB ..
Good night … annoyed and angered and mouthing all the possible expletives one could gather for such occasions - the loss of writing on my FB !!
Jalsa, Mumbai Apr 12/13, 2014 Sat/Sun 3 : 11 am
There is a desperate need now to be in possession of a ‘fevicolled’ manager or assistant or business manager along with me during the entire day of my day ..
The schedules, the meetings and the events and appearances that one encounters in the course of a day week month year, now catch up and with diminishing geometric progression, take away that, which I would have in normal circumstances been capable of handling ..
Not perhaps anymore though .. I need a human ready reckoner .. !!
The early morning shoot for the promos of the fresh season of KBC were accomplished, and rushed then to the PVR to attend the cleaned up version of ‘Bombay to Goa’ by dear friend Anwar Ali, brother of Mehmood bhai one of the greatest we have had .. to quickly battle the traffic after to greet another dear friend and now family, Prem Chopra who releases his biography … that over a meet with people from distant worlds, admirers that have long been desiring a personal interaction .. switched soon thereafter to a make up room for the look test for Balki’s film, which I start shooting within a week .. followed by the most exciting moment of the day - ‘Bhoothnath Returns’ at the private theatre at home with the kids and family .. watching their expressions and their squeals of laughter and their moments of silent emotion ..
But within all this .. a moment with music .. the piano in the office .. and I wonder why I just felt that some notes needed to be pressed and heard. The heart spoke, the body felt, the breath perfumed in its exhaling and the mind set itself with a whiff of achievement ..
Trouble with achievement is the moment that it is spoken of you lose it .. so best to avoid its mention ..
Sundays have been structured to give me an off day by the schedule team, but alas tomorrow there will be an all night shoot for the serial and permissions being the problem, we shall have to comply ..
One of the great qualities of success is the power and the strength to hold back … hold back the feel of the pounding heart that wishes to share but dare not .. it is self disciplined demeanour … one that identifies the man from a man ..
I am man enough to admit it … and acknowledge it … so help me God ..
Love forever .. ( yes … its one of those days .. !!)
Jalsa, Mumbai Apr 11/12, 2014 Fri/Sat 2:10 am
Ludmila .. wishing you a very happy birthday … good health and all the joys of life …
And the media interviews continue .. live and with unique technology. So one channel AajTak did a hologram interview where I stood in Mumbai and the anchor was in Delhi on the show, and I was standing in front of him, even though I was not there …
Guess they can now take me an put me anywhere .. !
And so another event passes by … well almost … and another starts with hope and expectation and resolve. This is the way of life. This is what it teaches us, and this is how we conduct ourselves ..
Time taken, on occasion, is termed to be of excessive length ! True at times .. but … it takes time to justify a truth though it eventually does end the search for it .. a lie is instant, convenient, almost as though it had become the end of the argument, conclusive and final ..! But a lie shall get discovered .. it may take time but it shall ..
Took 25 years for the prosecutor in Sweden, investigating the Bofors scandal, to inform the world that my name had been planted in the paper work by vested interests in the country in order to implicate me, and that I was innocent and had nothing whatsoever to do with the scandal. Many suggested I move authority to find out who it was that planted my name, and why there was no reaction to it ..
A wise man though suggested, that I should let matters remain and not provoke any kind of displeasure or discomfort, or even explanation. No one should dare to take on ‘the system’, it was advised, and I kept that. What good would it really do, other than reliving those painful moments of false accusations ..
Even today .. every other day, petitions are filed in court against me for anything that I may have been involved in. Without fact or reason, these activities bring controversial implications with no proof of the said accusation, other than to bring unnecessary harassment and pain … each step that we take, needs to be measured, calculated and well thought out .. this should never be so in a free society ! But it prevails .. not just in India, but the world over ..
Ahh … well … let me not dwell in self pity ..
Laughter be and is the eternal cure .. takes more muscles to frown than to smile ..
And that ladies and gentlemen of the jury, is that .. but wait there is but one more … the replica of the film ‘Bombay to Goa’ as an invite to see the film in a resurrection process being done by my dear friend and colleague Anwar Ali, youngest brother to Mehmood ..
How much has changed since then … how much ….
And what tales of the time when shooting the film .. endless … someday there shall be elaborate description ..
Good night all
Jalsa, Mumbai Apr 10/11, 2014 Thu/Fri 3 : 17 am
NO … ! not without my Ef, never … it may be the following morning almost, but a commitment, is just that, a commitment !!
Pictures are for you to see .. writings will be for the morrow ..
Love to all … will elaborate later .. its an early call for the Tv serial shoot tomorrow .. and then more media till late into the night … !!
Oberoi Dubai, UAE Apr 9/10, 2014 Wed/Thu 2 : 45 am uae
Press meets , interviews, shifting from one microphone to the other, responses to the questions which sound and look the same, a trying time for the acumen of an actor .. tested and dried ..
an old Filmfare cover which needed to be signed and photographed .. gosh that was some long time ago … !!
and this little beauty, who walked through the crowd to give a gift she had wrapped herself for Aaradhya .. insisting that she open it to show me what it was, explaining the contents, putting it back the way it was wrapped and making sure I would give it to the right person .. a delight to be with kids … they are so simple and yet so vulnerable, yet so so correct ..
the Dubai EF in full force, t - shirts, banners, screaming yelling out .. thank you all ..
into the plane , a quick read, and even quicker nap … then out to face the public ..
errrrmmmm …. ya ! adorning or defiling an entire face of a high rise in man Dubai ..
photographing the press photographers …
….. and a selfie ..
and this dear gentlemen broke through the security cordon to dive at my feet, just to touch them and take blessings … despite the severe bouncers he did make it … grabbed both feet and refused to move until I gave him the blessings ..
I get so embarrassed by all this show of affection ..
and this lad, voice challenged, but so keen to be a part of a promise to meet him … these are the emotions which no one can understand or fathom ..
THE EF …. !! Banners and all inside the theatre showing ‘BR”
Good night … early on plane again and back to Mumbai … and straight off to Swades Foundation function which we work on for the betterment of the villagers .. also to do a recitation to collect charitable funds for several projects for those in the rural areas ..
Jalsa, Mumbai Apr 8/9, 2014 Tue/Wed 3 : 27 am
It really is an exercise that at times becomes so repetitive that one wonders if what has been asked and said is worthy enough of being broadcast or printed … but there it was the entire day again today - more intense, more in number and more or less done to perfection … as far as the moment of the occasion demanded !!
But I must give credit to the media, in both the cities, Mumbai and Delhi, for having shown great respect not just to the ones they interview, but also to the film per se .. their questions were pertinent and intelligent, and our responses were treated with the regard that this story and film demanded .. thank you both print and electronic media .. !!
Rushing today after the promotions were over, caught the plane back to Mumbai and on landing went straight to join the rest of the family for a quiet and cozy dinner to bring in Jaya’s birthday on the 9th ..
The children from Delhi are all here too and the house is filled with their laughter and play .. it is the most endearing moment in the life of any parent or grand parent ..
And then …. the excitement of a Chelsea game for the Championships, with Paris SG where we had to win by 2 goals to enter the semi finals .. and we did it right at the last moment, to loud screams , waking up the others who were in bed … hhaah ha …
Ah, the simple joys of life ..
Tomorrow early morning back on plane to Dubai for the premier and then back by evening to Mumbai … for the next day and the next engagements and work …
Most repeated question at the media events : ‘how do you get the energy to do so many things in a day’ ..
Answer : I haven’t the foggiest !!
Ok …. so its time for bed … early morning flight to the UAE
Good night or morning which ever is more pleasant !!
Securing my future … as above ..
ps: happy birthday to Bhawana B Rao … love always
Jalsa, Mumbai Apr 7/8, 2014 Mon/ Tue 12 : 26 am
Its a hard life when one has to market what one has worked on … I would have imagined that once the work is done it is the work that should speak, not those that have worked on it ..
So off on a plane to the Capital New Delhi, and straight into interviews and conferences … all the print media , Tv media and several more ..
Later in the day connecting via Skype to Uk, London and in other parts of the world … quite amazing ! Pakistan, UAE, Australia and on …all for an interview and to speak of the film and its relevance in today’s life ..
Its been tiring … finished last night by 3:30 am and was on plane by 6 am, and straight on landing taken to interviews and press ..
It is time to recover …
So shall be with you early tomorrow ..
ps : its the birthday of Bhavana B Rao and we wish her a most pleasant and successful years ahead … love from the entire EF