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 ,
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