Jalsa, Mumbai Apr 24/25, 2014 Thu/Fri 12 : 33 am
Once every 5 years in India and in its democracy, every citizen and legitimate voter gets the privilege of casting the value of his power, into the ballot box or as they say now the EVM - the electronic voting machine ! What transpires during these days of electioneering and voting was so subtly visualised in the film ‘BR’. So many pertinent points were woven into the story, in a most ‘secretive’ yet satirical manner. It propagated the power of your vote, the power to bring change, the power and the voice of the people. For almost 67 years the practice has prevailed in Independent India - the largest democracy in the world leading by example.
The family went to cast our vote at a nearby polling station, clouded and enveloped by a battalion of media and paparazzi. It looks daunting when we encounter them, and for many this to them seems like an untoward intrusion. But they have to do their job, their earning and their need to provide to the seniors the moment of the day for bigger news outlets, is prime. With the number of outlets around the country, the content provided is valued in gold … and those that provide them to the masters look to it as a their daily wager. A good product if selected shall bring them their earnings for the day. It is a chance that they take, a desperate attempt to get the best so as to get selected and make their earning.
Yes , at times their enthusiasm does get most oppressive, but viewed in the context of their job, it also demonstrates their guile and effort in providing that one image that shall be sold, and for that to become the earning for their families ! So you do get pushed around or blocked in front of your vehicle to a stop, or sustain damaged vehicle of travel. Celebrity is not as easy a title to live with - this all comes with it, in large doses, and most of the moments can be most disturbing and frightening.
What does one do in such situations … one moves along with it. I have observed that succumbing momentarily in their midst, does provide a temporary relief .. but nothing more ..
For me, and I cannot say for the others, it is, quite ironically, a gauge of your public standing when an incident like this takes place. It needs to be taken in the spirit of such and digested well. That is the cure and the symptom to earn. Remember it is not going to be there forever. When the market of your value goes down, when the interest in another is greater, so shall the interest in the media towards you go down …
Having been through such phases, perhaps prepares me to face the moment bravely. It may not be so for others … I cannot say, I am not them and they are not me. My own code of conduct shall be dictated by what I believe is right and correct. It may be entirely wrong and unacceptable, no issue, but for me what is right is what I must decide internally is right for me and right for a particular situation …
For a public figure, a celebrity of fame, a loved individual among many, it naturally grows within you to be enamoured by the trappings of being famous. Getting noticed is one among them. The endeavour to be noticed is played out each minute. That it shall be short lived is an eventuality that all must be prepared for …
There shall be the time when in the company of the next biggy, the biggy shall get greater notice and attention than what may have been what you had been getting. It requires an immense amount of understanding to reckon with this. Many do, many do not. Those that do not, either shy away from the lights so to say, or worse, continue to believe that nothing has changed. That is asking for unmitigated psychological disorder ! It really is quite a sad occurrence. The ability to have so many in your attention, is no mean feat. The eventuality of it all going away to another, and being in a state of its acceptability, is nothing short of godliness.
When the cameras and the wild shouting and screaming crowds surround you, it is a definitive moment of elation somewhere. And when at that very moment the other more accomplished in the eyes of the masses enters, it requires a skin as thick as a rhinoceros to see the cameras turn away from you … the screaming crowds, shifting their gaze and their exultation in the direction away to the other fresher and newer entrant …
In that one instant, you can either be destroyed, or build yourself into a person of some magnitude ..
It is one of the most difficult events that occur in celebrity. May it never ever invade the lives of those that pride in public presence. But if it does, may those that become a part of it, be gifted with the prudence and better prevalent sense, that such moments demand …
Good night dears …
Jalsa, Mumbai Apr 23/24, 2014 Wed/Thu 12 : 32 am
The fingers do what they must on the board. The eyes and the head have a view of the game ahead … first the cricket IPL and now another UEFA Championship ringdingading … Real Madrid vs Bayern Munchen.
Tough to keep concentration on thoughts that concern the minds of several that wait to connect, when you see a good run through by Ronaldo and miss a sitter .. possession with Bayern most of the time, but the goal is ellusive.. Real though are a goal up ..
The atmosphere in the stadia on home grounds are simply seen to be believed .. with the World Cup in Brazil in a couple of months , the temptation to be there live is immense … Father and son do wish to do this … a repeat perhaps of the World Cup in Los Angeles, when the historic Italy vs Brazil was on and we were in the stadium … what a moment, those few days were ..!!!
Football … a religion now in the universe … is soon to be brought into a league system in India … that would be exciting to behold … the youth and most of them in the cities and in the middle India are so tuned in to the games and clubs and players from the entire international community, that it would not be too far away to say that India could become the hub of the future of football in the world .. as said by some football experts that came here to do a recce of the region ..
Ok so its half time and maybe a respite to be able to complete the Blog and spend time with Ef than with the Uefa Ef ..
Its voting hour tomorrow … the members shall go to vote as shall millions of others, to decide for the future of the nation, the future of the leaders that shall lead us into the next, and the next …
We have all become such couch onions .. should have said potatoes … but since both the eatables are in a scrap with each other as to who shall sell at the highest price, we have thoughtfully refrained from any comment.
It is a given that during the time and crucial time of the elections, all that shall be said suggested or expressed shall find a way of its own into some kind of an interaction, debate, controversy with a special regard to media .. they are the masters and shall always be so, but getting drawn into one of these is not for us … we have the secret ballot and the counting and movement and the final results to come, before we can and shall discover the future of our great nation .. till then …
Its a wait and a … long wait … with love
Jalsa, Mumbai Apr 22/23, 2014 Tue/Wed 2 : 40 am
'All in a day's work' was filled with selfish intent and lethargy. After a hard day at work, it just needs to be with image and writing, and perhaps a game or two at the IPL or the Champions League. So IPL was predictable when the chances were there for the opposing team to do better, and Chelsea played to a plan of not allowing any against goals, so when they play on home ground next, we should be on an even plane, and with the coming back of a few players, could hope for a win ..
Dilemma’s take shape when there is uncertainty … an uncertainty that troubles the mind, particularly so in the matter of making or taking decisions. Blessed are they that can make those rapid decisions, and above all see them to be correct and right. How do they do it ? Admiration and respect flows out for those that can ..
The scripts and the offers keep pilling up and even though there is a great desire to pick them up and start reading them for approvals, time and other perhaps unimportant acts keep me away from them ..
Methinks there is a need for me to explain clearly what we want. The kind of challenge, the kind of presentation and its variety. It is not just the matter of getting another job. It is the matter of whether one enjoys the ride or not ..
The entire process of cleaning up is a process that can bring us to a cathartic level of exuberance. It takes the shortest period of time, but for some reason it takes the longest decision to give it a start. Which is why decision making is a startling experience and a giver of confidence in what ever may be taken up …
When there are so many decisions to make, how does one insure that the ones being taken are indeed correct. That is a dilemma. When there is an excess of work, they say, that is the moment of extreme success and ultimate creativity, because within that ‘rush of life’ it shall be the right and valid conclusion .. or so they say !!
Rest calls … I cannot unrest it … so ..
Jalsa, Mumbai Apr 22, 2014 Tue 12 : 00 midnight
All in a day’s work ..
My love …
Jalsa, Mumbai Apr 21, 2014 Mon 11: 56 pm
At 72 they ask me to run ! Ask me to climb three flight of stairs of at least 25 steps each, and come in on camera to partake in a dialogue for the scene ..
Hahaha … they are unaware that nature has taken its course. It has slowed down the frame considerably. A pity, because the mind does not agree at all .. it still wants to canter up and run about like a 25 year old, failing which it settles for a 40 year old … but 72 ? I mean ….
How compelling the modus of the film camera. It stands there like an ominous monster, but shall capture each blink of an eyelid for posterity and archive. It dictates your expression. Makes you weep at an instant, laugh at circumstances without ever getting involved in the process, drives you to insane measures of human casualty, or human success .. which ever can bring it to notice ..
It forms your future, taking it from the past, to horizons never before seen or expected. It throws light upon the next generation of a planetary occupation. And how wonderfully it unassumingly raises your bar to levels even they cannot fathom ! Respect and honour to this mechanism.
It feeds us, propagates us, brings us into improbable story lines at times. It is the element that remains a silent observer to around it, but never does get a chance to air its opinion.
I need to rest and get sleep, for, I did not last night, and the work of the entire day, its uncertainties are so vivid and exploratory, that now I wonder what it was that perturbed me the night before ..
My love to all
Goa Apr 20/21, 2014 Sun/Mon 1:03 am
Sunsets approve me. They come to me at the oddest of hours and places. But come they do. They know and ascertain that they are my favourite moments, and so give me abundance !!
The setting sun has been the most common site in the drawings we did when we were first getting to hold crayons. You know what I talk of - those angular hills, a small cottage, a figure on the grass, a few flying birds in the distance and …. the setting sun over the mountains … remember !!??
And I have always wondered why the ‘setting sun’ forms the expression for defeat, of passed time in a career or profession, of completion, an end … or all of these rolled into one !!
Is it just that Mr SUN has remained with us throughout the day, relentless in its properties to us, and now it is time for his ‘time out’. perhaps thats why the expression or sample came from ..
It has been referred to often, when the chips are down and is really a comment that signifies an end to whatever had been undertaken. Its defeatist and far too weak a moment or statement to make ..
The simile is an interesting read, fulfilling expression and a cliched much used wordology … that is it .. no more ..
But because of its presence and its strengths, we succumb to it and its reality .. we should … after all it talks of so many aspects of our life and twirls it around to make it look good and healthy . Yes that is true ..!!
The apprehensions that had driven me to sleepless night, seemed to have reduced and it is now a measure of the Captain’s decision that has made it possible for me to feel comfortable and at ease at the beginning of a new project ..
Early tomorrow morning to flight and to Mumbai and to Tv serial ..
Life is an obedient and loving pet ..
Goa Apr 19/20 2014 Sat/Sun 2 : 22 am
It is now getting to be such work oriented behaviour that it is difficult at times to ascertain where I was when I was doing this !
But Goa is a haven for those that wish to wish nothing in life. Silent, redundant thoughts and the time of nostalgia overcomes me each visit to this warm and inviting destination ..
So the day starts with promo shoots for KBC at 7 am … and when that is over there is always something more to accomplish and do ..
Must have done some 50 promos along with a hundred questions, to regularise entry points for the game show called KBC, which started in the year 2000 - the show I mean !!
With ‘rush’ now becoming another name for AB, I finished my work at the studio and drove straight to the airport to start work on the new film with R Balki , just for a couple of days ..
It is hard to forget the various films that were shot here, in what circumstances they were made and what they look like now. But each and everyone of those incidents etched a mark on my system. The statue of a Portuguese celebrity, where during the shoot for ‘Saat Hindustani’, in the centre of the street, we had gathered to perform the raising of the Indian flag, as a protest against a rule that had robbed us of our Independence.
Then the various locations on the schedule under production, which have remained close and very close to us and to those that spent time with us. Locations such as the climax of ‘Kabhi Kabhie’, the boat and song sequences of ‘Great Gambler’ and the ride along the river Mandovi, passing by the hospital, now a Bal Bhavan, where Amjad Khan fought for his post accident treatment. And just so many moments …
All lived well even though with reserved attention.
More tomorrow then ..
Jalsa, Mumbai Apr 18/19, 2014 Fri/Sat 1:17 am
A good Friday, a happy Easter and many birthdays :
Jonoon Alhob , Ninad Junnarkar, Manoj Lahoti … wishing you all the most wonderful birthday, with only happiness surrounding you throughout .. love from all the Ef ..
The right to deliver when the task is a commitment to the one that trusts and believes in you, is an essential part of a combined work ethic. When that fails, or when it is discovered that come what may, the initiator will have no other option is when doubt grinds itself into the ground and reality suddenly rises serpent like, in hooded scare to warn of an imminent danger, about to be stung or attacked.
It is important to assert the strength of ones own perception, in order to deflate any impressions that the other may be contemplating. It is an age old practice - ignore the reason and motive of trust and soon enough there are taken for granted assertions …
This has to stop .. it must be curtailed before further damage can be done. Confront, speak firm and give a chance if there is a long standing. If not cut the cancer immediately for good .. that is what the moto of most successes have been guided by.
Is it simply the ages going by.. is it the losses of memory and its compensations in emotion, or is it just the reconnect with certain facts of life enacted with sublime form, that brings the tear buds to swell, the body to shift uncomfortably, before the spilling begins … what ?
A visual, a piece of music, a description, a meeting … everything that looks and feels common has the capacity to fill up the ducts and bring it to the point of explosion ..
Keeps happening more often than not these days ..
Methinks its the pace of work, the diversity of the responsibilities and … the lack of a mind free from thought ..
So …. good night
Jalsa, Mumbai Apr 17/18, 2014 Thu/Fri 2:2
At 41, 000 feet , somewhere past Jaipur, on way to Mumbai ..
April 18th … birthday of Manoj Lahoti, Ef from Ahmedabad … all wishes to you my friend … keep well and enjoy ..
The President of India, Mr Pranab Mukherji has just been shown our film ‘Bhoothnath Returns’ at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, and I am delighted to say he enjoyed it immensely. He applauded after the film was over, as did the entire select invitees and said it was such an apt and beautifully constructed film, keeping in mind the current election scenario in the country.
What a huge privilege and an honor for the President to have taken time out from his busy schedule to oblige us with his august presence. His words of encouragement for the entire cast and crew, and his generosity in presenting us with a special memento goes a long way in the appreciation of the film, and in his own kindness.
I flew in to Delhi this morning after a long previous night and am now back on a plane to Mumbai. Yes, travel and work and attention to so many other aspects of my daily routine, do take their toll, but if not now then when. Opportunities do not come everyday in life, but when they do, must be faced accepted and adhered to.
What do they say .. “ there’s a tide in the affairs of men ..”
Rashtrapati Bhavan, the residence of the President of India, is perhaps the largest state ‘Palace’ in the world. Built by the British during the time of their ‘Raj’, for the Viceroy, it is an architectural marvel. Its sheer massive presence and the intricate hallways and interiors stun you with their design and opulent finesse. How ever did the makers think of its construct ?
Rashtrapati Bhavan has not been new to me – my early years of school and college in Delhi were spent with almost daily visits to the President’s Estate with common friends, and later of course on official visits at the time of National decoration ; for my Father, my wife, my daughter-in-law and yours truly.
The Padma Bhushan for my Father, the Padma Shri for Jaya and Aishwarya and the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan for me. A medal of honor was also presented to me here by the visiting Royalty of Morrocco, and another recognition by the previous President by an important Institution.
For any visitor to the Capital this entire complex on Raisina Hill, paralleled by the offices of Governance right down to Vijay Chowk, the Parliament House and India Gate in the distance has been a wonder to behold.
In our early days in Delhi when my Father had just been posted to work in the Ministry of External Affairs, I would look forward to the times when I had to drive him down to the Ministry and then back, each day. We lived for some time on South Avenue, the pathway that in a sense connected Teen Murti House the residence of the first PrimeMinister of India, Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru, to Rashtrapati Bhavan. And each time of the day when Pandit ji would travel to work, piloted by his motorcycled security, we would rush out of our home that lined the Avenue, to catch a glimpse of him. At least four such occasions were a surety during the day. Going to office, coming back for lunch, back to office from lunch and finally when he returned from office in the evening. On a rare occasion he would perhaps see us and give us a gentle wave, but most of the time he sat in the rear of his limousine, hand on chin in pensive concentration.
Coming from small town Allahabad into this sudden length and breath of a metropolis, was filled only with amazement. In later years we shifted to another colony in Diplomatic Enclave, now inhabited by all the Embassies of the world, and finally moved to Willingdon Cresent a stone’s throw away from Teen Murti House and South Avenue. What remained common though was the bus stop at South Avenue, from where I would catch the University Special, to College and back.
And today as I drove passed all these important landmarks to the President’s estate for the showing of the film, Shweta by my side, it was a delight filled with nostalgia to point out those times and places to her. Time and circumstance of today do not allow us the luxury of these intimate moments, when we could describe to the next and the next generation, what and where we lived and existed and what we did with ourselves and how. Their memories are limited to present times and the locations connected to it – vivid and exact, many of which we have forgotten. It always does happen this way does it not. I remember the 40’s 50’s 60’s 70’s … but not the details of what transpired yesterday. Strange !!
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 ,