Jalsa, Mumbai Sept-Oct 30/1, 2014 Tue/Wed 1:24 am
Birthday greetings to EF Shubhi Jha … all good wishes love and prayers for you .. have a lovely day … !!
And for tomorrow Oct 1, 2014 .. its happy birthday to Bushra
Back from work in a somewhat sweated out dilapidated condition, from the VidhuVinodChopra/BijoyNambiar film still without title ..
And soon after to witness ‘Haider’ the new film by the great Vishal Bharadwaj, with Shahid and Shraddha Kapoor ..
This is a unique adaptation from Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’, and a film which is quite special. The entire mounting and the locations on Kashmir, where it is located, has been captured by some excellent photography. And the performances of each and every one is simply extraordinary !!
When you see good products each Friday of the week, I can only marvel at the stupendous talent that emanates from our shores and within the creative arts. It is a personal joy for me and one that I view with great envy. My own works do not compare with their’s and there is a wish always to be in their shoes to experience the thrills of being an element in what they produce …
What a joy …
It is today the birth anniversary of my Godfather in the Industry, Hrishikesh Mukerjee .. a master and a genius in his own way. His mastery over the middle of the road cinema, has still to be replicated. He knew how to say the simplest of stories in the most exciting and attractive manner.
Indeed simplicity was in his demeanour and in his living. There was never any ostentatious elements in his story telling, his filming, or in his narration. He never wanted to go the route of the many large productions and the extravaganza that accompanied them. His films revolved around that typical middle class home, its problems and its issues. Human emotions were his absolute forte and he could bring out emotions in the most non emotional manner.
An editor of extreme merit - he worked with the great Bimal Roy, in that capacity, and learnt his own craft and style from Bimal Da. Often he would narrate moments he spent and learnt, from this formidable film maker.
Dressed in his typical kurta and pyjama and sandles, he would drive in sitting on the front seat of his Fiat, the older model, his only belongings being his chess set and later on when he suffered from extreme pain in his legs, a stick.
Shot explained to his trusted DOP, he would have his chosen company of spot boys and assistants that would immediately join him on the chess board. Shot ready and he would get away form the chess, direct the shot, explain the next one and be back to the game. He was a good chess player.
His sense of budgetary on the film was exceptional. Constrained, and wise in his manner of set and film design, he would make his films in a tenth of the budget of other typical so called block busters.
Most of his work was in his most preferred studio - Mohan Studios - a very large complex, now a very large high rise. Mohan Studios must be having the most fascinating stories of cinema in India. Bimal Roy, Prakash Mehra, Hrishi Da of my time all functioned from there …
Conservative in his story telling, he was conservative in his thinking too. Set designs were L-shaped structures without roofs .. clothing was what the artist personally wore and came to the studio in .. and no chance of retakes. If you wanted one he would ask you to pay for the extra usage of the film - an expensive proposition in those times , when film was imported from Kodak …
After a few days work he had started calling me ‘Maharaj’, for reasons only he would know. Coming to think of it, names addressed to me by various directors I worked with was by itself rather interesting ..
Hrishi Da called me ‘Maharaj’
Prakash Mehra would address me as ‘Lalla’, as would Manmohan Desai
Nariman Irani, the renowned DOP, producer of ‘Don’ would for some strange reason address me ‘Keys of the Kingdom’
Yash ji was always .. ‘Papaji’
and so on … quite fascinating !!
Hrishi Da had a fascination for pets, and had about a million dogs in his home. Street and stray dogs were his favourite, and they remained as badly maintained as they were when they were on the streets .. we would often warn him to keep washing his hands after he had playfully given them a massage almost. But he never adhered to our suggestions ..
When Jaya and I decided to get married he was the first person after our parents, whom we met to inform of our decision. Him and Khwaja Ahmed Abbas, my first film director !
Like most Bengali’s he was a lover of the arts in whichever form they came. He played the sitar often on set if it was part of the property, but admitted that his brother was better. When he was bed ridden due to his acute arthritis, he would see my films that I was doing call me to come over and give me his blessings if he liked my performance.
During his last days he was in the ICU in hospital. I had gone several days to see him, but did not want to see him in the condition he was. Then one day I did. His entire body riddled with tubes and wires ; of all kinds of machine … eyes shut and the ventilator heaving his body to breathe.
Suddenly he woke up. His eyes opened. He saw me and his face brightened. Through all the tapes and bottles and wires his eyes beckoned me to come closer to him. When I did, he with great effort, pulled out his hand away from all the pipes and tubes on them, gestured me to bend down, and then with that weak trembling hand, put it on my head and asked me to leave ..
The next day he passed away !!
I have done my maximum films with Hrishikesh Mukherjee …
Love and wishes for Durga Pooja and all the ‘ashtami’s’ that shall prevail now … as also the season of Dushera and Poojo and Diwali..
May the blessings of all the Mata’s be upon you all in abundance ..
Jalsa, Mumbai Sept 29/30, 2014 Mon/Tue 12:44 am
Birthday for the 30th : Disha Agarwal … greetings and love from all of us .. have a wonderful day .
And so among the throngs that greet and those that anxiously desire that one photograph, one walks amidst the congested ‘bodies’ that call themselves the other half, ‘the guard’. There is swiftness in pace, leaving behind those that may not keep up .. the lady that checks you into the aircraft shifts among the generous body of people and gesticulates to her colleague for that picture, even though the x-rayed counter for validity of boarding pass is ignored - or just about ..
The seats are fine and so is the stack of newspapers, both local and non local, that headline last nights performance. Most generous of them to do so, and we are obliged for it. Soon, as the heights are climbed the wind cold of the conditioning gets you to the blue call bell, for a blanket. Hurriedly it is spread across and the reclined seats become your shut eye for those 2 hours to Mumbai …
But before that a swift road drive through the city of Raipur to another sister city being built - Naya Raipur. The development is classic and neat and modern and huge. Miles and miles of empty highways, well constructed and with ample space not just for the present but with the advent of the colonies that shall arise along these pathways … so impressive.
Along with this of course is the history of Raipur and the region, filled now with some of the most valuable assets - gold, diamond, rice and the culture and the arts of the tribal Bastar’s. They have a unique style of metal art work and I am gifted many, which I shall photograph and put up in time..
One of the advantages of n empty seat next to you on a flight is the sanctity of your independence - no breakfast, no magazines, no soft drinks just before take off, no smoking, attention to the safety drill and then …
Vinod Chopra produces the first shot of the film we do together, directed by Bijoy Nambiar, with Farhan Akhtar and Aditi Rao .. and as per tradition the first day and its shots are never to anyone’s satisfaction. We are no better.
On an announcement by the home it is a quick dinner, a time to ponder nd under the duvet … !!
But what does the mind play ?
The mind plays mostly of the merits of the show at Raipur - the Kbc at Raipur - and the fear of coming out tasty and clear of any disappointment … not to mention the time spent on the script readings for Vinod’s film, which is rather good, but now as the camera’s whir … oh you do not hear them whirr now a days … the digital quotient takes care of all that ..
Loaded and somewhat exhausted by these multiple tasks, all one needs is a quiet, peaceful home, but instead one gets drawn up immediately in the issues of domesticity, of staff and behaviour, of unruly others and suddenly you realise you are home and that is the best sound to hear … !!
I tire now ..
I good night you all and to myself I say … it’s another day gone by and …
Jalsa, Mumbai Sept 28/29, 2014 Sun/ Mon 1:45 am
One large butterfly just withered away .. another began to flutter ..
In bed .. early flight back tomorrow to the new film of Vinod Chopra ..
The Gateway Hotel, Raipur, Sept 27/28, 2014 Sat/Sun 12:07
Travelled, rehearsed, yawned, fumigated, meetinged !!
Now successful and more on those that stood by me, those that gave up their luxuries for my health ..
I am woven into pulp when rehearsing, and somewhat lagging behind in energy, it is strenuous enough, and the lazy bee shall uphold this error on a judicious move by all.
The city and its people warmed up to the advent of KBC in their town and have shown only love and praise and generosity. Thank you Raipur, you are kind and loving ..
I am droned out ..
The traditional piece of Nandi made in the typical style of the tribal Baster’s, being presented by the Chief Minister, Dr Raman Singh .. a sombre, mostly quiet and concerned citizen.
But the revelation of its beauty and presence, has attracted many to my consideration. I am certain I shall deliver what ever they wish to regard me for ..
Its back to rehearsals by the night or the day or whatever .. at this time of the night, its generally like that - stark, beautiful, disciplined and with time .. sleepy
So much for now and more from the final day tomorrow ..
Jalsa, Mumbai Sept 26, 2014 Fri 10:20 pm
If I cannot .. you can …. !!
Good night …
Jalsa, Mumbai Sept 26, 2014 Fri 9:55 am
I pride myself to be in the company of a most efficient concerned and dedicated Ef … they are my lifeline, my connect, my guru’s, my critics, my source of encouragement and celebration ..
They are my time keepers .. my ‘rap on the knuckles’ guidances .. they track me, associate with me, watch over me each and every hour of the day and the night ..
They are the instruments that make the DAY .. they are the providers that inspire, provoke and instigate ..
They are the ones that tell me in loud tones of voice and mail …
THE BLOG IS NOT UP !!!
Thank you, dear ones … it is now … another slip of the finger or perhaps the mind … who knows ..
Good morning all .. be with you later in the day …
Jalsa, Mumbai Sept 25/26, 2014 Thu/Fri 1:50 am
- Vikas Agarwal – Sept 26
- Nada Emad Mohammed – Sept 26
Wishing both of you a most prosperous and happy birthday. We at the family front wish for you have the time of your life and to be able to live in happiness peace and joy always …
Ladies and Gentleman of the Jury ..
I am obliged to put up a few mementoes of the day and then reach out for the most revered object at the time of the night - the bed. It is an early call tomorrow and the body seems to be going into another relapse as far as its bearing to colds and coughs is concerned ..
A fullish day was observed, though the night was disturbed by frequent awakenings for the swallow pain in the throat … you know that raw feel in the back of the tonsils which refuse to allow any object to pass through that terrain without causing it some damage ..
Working with Shaad after ‘Jhoom’ and ‘BuntyBubbly’ was a joy .. there is a unique quotient when you meet those that have shared similar environs in our times of youth, and Shaad is one such ..
The work was somewhat rapid and ahead of the schedule, so one drove back to catch up on some literature for the evening event - the NDTV Banega Swach India, the Clean India campaign which shall make me their Ambassador for this campaign to clean up our environments, and in particular lay stress on the unhygienic and deplorable conditions for those that do not have access to a toilet ..
The rest of the hour at this important campaign, initiated in thought by the Prime Minister himself, was spent in front of cameras and devices that make promotional videos for the subject under discussion ..
Then … the most enlightening act of all - the recording studio at Aadesh Srivastava to sing in and fine tune the numbers for KBC at Raipur, where we travel next for the ‘outdoor KBC’ ..
Money is earned with great difficulty. It takes a lifetime to be able to understand that, and it takes even longer to understand what to do with it when you have it … !!
Financial securities have become such an important element of our existence that no matter what the purists may say, there shall always be a benevolent outlook on this chapter, with and from those that matter and understand ..
We each have our limitations to the ‘moolah’, many not in possession of any. But when it does open up doors and windows in our lives we often wonder what was that good deed we did to deserve it. Some store it, some invest, some merely spend it away …
Each have their most valid points, and may the Almighty bless them, but each have their own interpretations of how and when and where, with regard to commerce ..
Some possess billions of ideas worth getting into, some none. I am with the latter. Work and its continuity is more important to me than the remunerative outcome of an association. If it comes in natural process, fine, if not it was perhaps never meant for you …
Look then at ourselves in the greatest of detail. What we have and what we believe to be ours naturally, is the outcome of a great amount of time energy and circumstance. Respect it, be grateful for small mercies and thank that Force that guides to remain in our company, always ..
I am in picture mode now .. a bit dressed up both traditionally and contemporary habit. But the cause and the effect of its campaign impact is what we are looking at. We succeeded with the Polio campaign and made India Polio free from all the surrounding nations. It was an arduous task, but after a persistent effort, we won, and we delivered. I do hope that with these initiatives begun over a certain period of time, we shall most certainly deliver the right noises !! A clean and well sanitised India !!
It is time to be cruel and evil and seek departure .. good night and be well ..
My love ever ..
Jalsa, Mumbai Sept 24/25, 2014 Wed/Thu 1:38 am
On this auspicious day may I wish all our Ef a happy ‘navratri’ and for our friends in Israel and all over a Happy Rosh Hashana .. happy new year .. !!
To all those in most of India and about the ‘navratri’ fever strats and so does the singing and dancing .. a very auspicious Navratri ..
The Mars Orbit Mission has been a huge revelation for the rest of the world .. a huge success for the acumen of Indian scientists and a lesson in how being snubbed by the US in not giving us the Super computer, they managed to indigenously make and put into orbit this space craft !
We have described in all our promotional tourism efforts the tag line of ’ Incredible India’ , true .. but in my opinion the ‘Innovative India’ is better and closer to reality ..
And on a day like this .. we sing ..
All this for the Raipur sojourn on KBC .. preparations are on and again we hope to do as spectacularly as Surat … !!
For the moment though its a night of rest for tomorrow is a large day on many counts, more particularly for ambassadoring the cause of ‘Swach Bharat’ .. a drive close to the Prime Minister and one that is being patronised by NDTV India and the Bill Gates Foundation .. we announce the campaign at a press meet tomorrow after shooting for the entire day with Shaad Ali, for an endorsement …
Good night ..
Jalsa, Mumbai Sept 23, 2014 Tue 11:18 pm
The detailed contents of my reports on this medium are beginning to rattle a few … they are conscious now of what they need to say do or act with me, for they know that whatever transpires during the entire association, shall find its place, perhaps rightfully so, on my Blog or the other two ..
This gives me a false sense of pride and a somewhat undesired power ! Why would those that feel they may be represented here on this medium, fear it. Does it not cross their minds that living life without any responsibility, could jeopardise another that they mention of … I am certain that they do ..
But enough of such jargon .. what seems to be of greater interest, at least for the past few days, is that many among you, are finding it difficult to figure out what the text of my daily Blogs are all about. They would rather ignore the written or laptopped word and spend a greater amount of time on the pictures that I regularly post .. which is fine … pictures maketh us well, it gives finite images of those that hath and do have the access to our lives and existence ..
We had a bit of a pow-wow this evening with one of the contestants from KBC, on this subject .. she felt how on earth could celebrities, step out for a walk or walk into a store to buy daily provisions et al … she felt celebrities were special people with special demands and qualities and how would they ever fit into the daily chores and requirements of the common man !!
Well, all I can say is that celebrities, and I talk for myself if you may permit my immodesty, purely to be able to respond to the question .. are indeed also very common people .. having common needs and feelings and desires and attitudes ..
Our exalted acts of commission and omission at times, go beyond the boundaries that have been laid open by others who think so … we are all ordinary .. it is the public the audience, that imagines us to be of some superiority - imagery, giving our reality away !!
I conduct a game show on Tv and the experience of meeting varied people with their heart wrenching stories is moving … which really is such a timid word to describe in completeness the actual feelings …
And many that witness the show live will appreciate what a huge amount of research and work goes into conducting one episode of KBC. Not to mention of course the psychological effect it has on the viewer or, if I may say so, on me as an anchor - there to bring solace and comfort, hope and achievement in the lives of those of our countrymen, that live a morose life, poor wanting and desolate ..
Their success and the joy it gives many, including themselves, changes life from a struggling to survive family, to one that could make survival facilities for any other possible ..
It is important then to enjoy what we do in life to its fullest … feel the world, the sky and the stars … feel the qualities of the sun and the warmth it brings to billions of people …
KBC has various moods :
Moods may be different, but the cause and the players that play it, entirely different .. complying at times to the word of the day, or some material that promises to be of value is what we wish each contestant to possess ..
Whether they do or not is really their own option .. but for me that would be an ideal situation ..
My love to all ….
Jalsa, Mumbai Sept 22, 2014 Mon 11:12 pm
It is the course of nature ..
When you have nothing, there is nothing to do … when you have something to do, there is so much that it almost seems like nothing .. work and its business keeps you strapped up in that mode of labour, and so long as there is commitment for the work taken, there is much to do .. and one does it despite .. but somehow, lie back with the intent of wanting to do nothing and the body corresponds with the idea … almost in conjunction !
It is stupefying how this happens, but I believe there is a formula that is taken over by the body at large. It is the audience, the people, the masses that surround one, those that throw affection and love and admiration towards you .. that does it ..
You may be in the middle of a yawn, but you stifle it for the work at hand and continue … that is how involved we get, and once got we tend to remain that way ..
We should really … don’t you think ?
Idle thoughts are at times either too idle or too vivid to be taken up in thought … these disturb us immensely, these thoughts take over with a brush if idleness were to be talked to or even questioned behind closed doors ..
Idle … are we really idle … or do we have another meaning for the word ?
As you rest with the eyes shut, some thoughts wander in almost uninvited and begin to entertain you in times of their pleasantness. At times those very thoughts run another direction and think of drastic conditions, personal general … and we are all suddenly sunk into this vortex that has been in all honesty, beyond any thought !!
I saw a film of Mehmood bhai once, that perhaps indicated what happens when a character thinks of matters and they start unfolding truly and in all correctness, in front of your eyes … it is a drastic thought but one that does not find explanation any where in either the books or the people at large ..
So why do we wish to attend to it ..?
Well at times it brings in great reward, when you discover that what had been thought off, does indeed find favour with your dreams ..
I have the weirdest dreams each night. I fight demons, I have unfulfilled desires, slapped all over them. I always interpret these drastic dreams to be a tired mind, a mind that perhaps suffers from either Dementia or Alzheimers .. they will happen if I live long enough, and it is important that I knowledge myself with all that matter. Its the purity of the subject and the harshness of rejection ..
So out of these walls that do nothing but teach and teach us good, we are delighted to learn that there is immense reaction, somewhat violently to what is in store for us …
I have always felt that the pillow or the softy that is clutched under the legs and has finite and definite postures, is one that shall be run and operated by my cousins. Really what does this indicate ! That you love your clutched blanket of an expensive piece always …. and that it shall never fail you .. !!!
My missives are mundane to many … to some they give away some kind of information that I may be surreptitiously frequenting, merely to be in the fun with the others, but in fact they were there to nab certain repeated defaulters who now now may seek deportation .. !!
It is too complicated a work to have meaning to it, so best then to leave it free to ponder to think to contemplate in the wilds of Kolkata ..
My love always ..