Jalsa, Mumbai Sept 19/20, 2014 Fri/Sat 12:10 am
Its a topsy turvy world tonight and KBC is the one that needs to be blamed !! What incredible moments, what brilliance and what an incredible play ..!!
That is all I am permitted to say ..
My love to all ..
Jalsa, Mumbai Sept 18, 2014 Thu 10:11 pm
Some memories remain in some permanence .. sometimes !
Work related memories tend to be like an open chapter that can be read at the turn of a page, in our life books. Many believe it is best to relate them or store it up in writing on it before it gets too late .. and one does not need to understand what ‘late’ means .. time speeds past rapidly and they know that soon the glands of our memories shall fall apart or not respond at all ..
So hurry up and write about what you need to write before getting struck by Alzheimer’s, or related defects with age namely dementia .. !!
That is the genius Manmohan Desai, on the sets with me for the film ‘Naseeb’ and the picturisation of the song ‘John Jaani Janaardhan’. He conceived this quite remarkably.
Since I was the waiter in a 5 star Hotel in the film, he wondered how interesting it would be for such a character when events such as Jubilee functions of films - a great celebration in those days - were held in the premises of the Hotel ! So he devised a celebration of a Jubilee function of a film, set in the Hotel where my character was singing and serving the guests, in the range of all the biggest stars of the Industry - Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna, Sharmila Tagore, Dabboo Kapoor, Rakesh Roshan and many more to name just a few.
How he managed to convince all of them to come over for just a day, and how he completed their work in that shift is a marvel in itself. He booked an adjoining floor at Filmistan Studios, where we shot this song, and would send me racing there to rehearse the next shot while the lighting was being done, so that no time was wasted in rehearsals on the floor of the shoot, and also to prevent the embarrassment of making the big stars wait while we got our act together.
His characters that he chose for me were always the common man, the worker, the guy next door, or the person on the street - Coolie, Naseeb the waiter, Amar Akbar Anthony the anglo indian from Bandra interiors, Mard the tangewala .. and so .. but always having the strength and the attitude of taking on the biggest adversary that came across. It was this identity that appealed to the front benchers, the ones that repeatedly patronised the films, in those good ol’ days .. far removed from what the youngistan of today does at the multiplexes ..
Man Mohan Desai had started very young and with the very best .. ‘Chaliya’ was his first directorial film, with Raj Kapoor as his hero, the one that had that popular number .. ‘chaliya mera naam, chalna mera kaam ..’ in Mukesh ji’s voice, a song that I used to hum often when home and still about to enter University, and one that used to upset my Father a lot, for he did not like the words … !!
Man ji thought out his plot and his stories on the slopes of the hill at Malabar Hill, below that famous outdoor restaurant, a landmark then and I believe still is. He would take his wife along to run his ideas through and they both would sit in that deserted forested region under a tree and create some of the weirdest ideas, but ideas that have become iconic and legendary now …
We would laugh at his madness when we performed his scenes, his dialogues, his ideas of performance … but we respected what he asked us to do, simply because we were firstly professionals and then we believed in the confidence of his faith and trust in the success of the idea. He was rigid unwavering and nothing but confident of his directions .. and they worked and worked magically, no matter what …
He saw the rushes of the drunk scene in AAA almost a month after it was performed - that is how long it took in those days to get a final print in some viewable state - since he was not present on the set when I did it. We were shooting two of his films at the same time in the same studio - RK Studios - AAA and ‘Parvarish’ … he gave instructions for the drunk scene and left to the next floor to shoot some action scenes simultaneously with Amjad and by the time he came back we had already canned the scene .. he trusted his assistants in the compliance of the drunk scene and a month later when we were shooting the climax song and scene in this studio in Dadar, now defunct and raised to the ground with better real estate possibilities, he took me aside after the rushes were seen, and we sat on the steps of the portico of that dilapidated studio and he said to me .. ‘Lalla ( an affcetionate way of addressing someone), so long as I make films you will always be in them. You may not work with me, but I shall always work with you.”
And he kept his word to the last day. He never directed a film without me after that day !!
He was a middle class man. Down to earth and with those that belonged to the earth. When he gained success with AAA, he bought an elite modern apartment in one of the most expensive regions of the city and shifted there, after having it designed by the most expensive and creative interior designer. But he was never happy there. Within a few months he shifted back to where he originally came from Khetwari, a middle class congested colony in the interiors of central Bombay, then. He would call me over to his abode often. The houses were cramped and almost stuck to each other. One could merely stretch their hand from their window and reach the window of the neighbour. On those tiny ‘galis’ of the colony he would play cricket with a wet rubber ball, a most challenging feat for the most accomplished batsmen, and his kids that surrounded his home. We would sit on the first floor balcony, taking in the noise and conversations and the atmosphere of the air about us ..
It was Man ji that gave me the very first so called vanity van in the Industry. I would use it as a regular travel car for years .. until the ‘vanity’ became a constant with all the shootings and the stars, a regular now .. no one uses make up rooms … except at the YRF studios !!
On a brief sojourn to New York, I was woken up early in the morning by a telephone call ..
Man Mohan Desai had jumped from the balcony of this Khetwari home of his and given up his life …
They have not made another like him .. yet ..
Jalsa, Mumbai Sept 17, 2014 Wed 11:34 pm
In the dark and dimly lit streets of the approaching night, they wander about the vehicles that stop to acknowledge the traffic signal lights. They are of poor means, of limited resource or none at all. Their clothing is an apology for protection of their skin. Their hair and faces are smudged with the long due wash up that we enjoy almost three or four times a day. They walk about bare feet, have no protection from the pouring rain and are oblivious of the possibility of picking up an infection or a virus !!
They look expectantly at every window of the cars that stop by, hoping that someone shall be kind enough to perhaps either buy those dried flowers that they hoped to sell to be able to buy their meal for the day, or that balloon, or those little trinkets that they carry about - ball pens, window cleaners and many such …
The innocence on their faces does not reflect the misery that they face each day. There is a sense of enterprise in their manner - expectant, capable and worthy. They are in small groups of their own. Their playtime is this - the intent to sell and buy their living. This is their greatest game for the day and most of the night, their entertainment, their moment of joy ..
The irony kills one .. it certainly kills me !!
And like me there are several others who work tirelessly to give them and many like them a life free from the depths that they are forced to go through in their most important years of living ..
Two young ones huddled in the middle of the night outside the platform of the local station, tired and hungry after working at getting that meal from those that travel on trains, the entire day - fruitless and without any result !
I once drove up to them and shook one of them up from his slumber as he lay without any covering off the pavement of the street, and gave him a packet to eat and a hundred rupee note !
If ever I were to be capable of recreating that expression on the face of the little one, shaken up from his drowse, I would consider myself the greatest actor in the world !!
It was indescribable !
But what transpired after that was even more ..
The little fellow did not look at me, nor where or who was giving him this ‘gift’, he merely shook himself up in a frenzy and ran … ran as fast as he could to another little fellow curled up in another section of the pavement, and placed the ‘goods’ in his hand … with an expression of an achievement that I shall never be able to forget my entire life.
The other little one I discovered later was his younger brother … they had been begging for food for two days without any results … !!
It will be impossible for anyone creatively inclined, to relive that moment on celluloid or any other ‘loid’ .. !
My hand trembles as I recount the incident and my eyes fill up voluntarily with what is commonly known as tears ..
And …. as I drive home after work tonight and entertain that young little girl on the street by my window, expectantly seeking my attention to buy those ball pens in her hand, I cannot - try as much as I can to keep away - resist asking her to hand me a few of her prized goods, pay her some money without asking what the price is, only to witness that smile, the smile of a million Mona Lisa’s , lighting up her face ..
I may never use those ball pens I bought … but I shall keep them close in sight .. just to be reminded of that wondrous smile on the face of that innocent beautiful little girl by the pavement ..
Jalsa, Mumbai Sept 16, 2014 Tue 11:20 pm
Happy Birthday my dears form our EF … love always and with great warmth and affection … have lovely day … and days to come … !!!
# - Jags : 17th September
# - Tasnima Khan : 17th September
The legacy of KBC continues .. it encompasses all those that visit it as an audience or as would be contestants .. their affection and love for the show is quite remarkable ..
So many that do find their way to the Hot Seat have such remarkable stories to tell of their association with this game show .. through years of attempts, phone calls and repeated attempts .. their emotions run high when they reach the peak and it is difficult to understand the extent of their happiness .. it is often replicated in their tears of joy, their dance of freedom from the contestants chairs to the seat, their screams of victory with each and every correct answer, and finally the joy of having accomplished their personal mission of getting rid of so many challenges that they have had to face before they arrived …
But tell me honestly what is the good time for its broadcast .. ? 8:30 pm or 9:00 pm ??
I shall await your response ..
Thank you all for inquiring after my health .. its improving gradually … there is a cough that keeps disturbing me during the recording, but it is being managed .. love you all for this concern and the many home remedies that you suggest ..
My love and my devotion to this medium remains as ever in the best of the best ..
Jalsa, Mumbai Sept 15, 2014 Mon 9:26 pm
In KBC we trust … in KBC we move … in KBC we invent … in KBC we relate … in KBC we are humbled by the audience love … in KBC we are embarrassed by the accolades that come by form phone and contestant reactions … in KBC we endeavour … in KBC we hope that someday someone will crack the 7 cr limit ..
In KBC … !!
The grandeur of the location and the environment is simply the best that has ever been created in the entire history of the show in any part of the world, at any given time or place .. this is ingenuity … this is Sony … this is India and its Television at its best … !!
Privileged and honoured to be a part of this exciting experience for the past 14 years, and still looking forward with the same earnest hope of perfecting defects, innovating new ideas, and being spirited enough to hold hands with a most hard working disciplined crew, that creates that error free guidance throughout its recordings .. !!
Yes the feel and the graph of it all … the behind the scenes working of hundreds of enlightened minds .. the coordination of the stories and the contestants, their lives, their care, their briefing … all a well oiled machinery under the guidance of Siddharth Basu and his most wonderful team ..
A joy to be in the midst of all this management and operation .. no child’s play this .. its the ultimate exercise in presentation ..
And so when you patronise it, there is gratification of all the hard work that goes in to make this show, one of the best on Indian Tv ..
Indeed … the picture says it all .. that single finger in the air and the logo that backs it .. profound and exact … !!
The YRF studios where we record is abuzz with activity and movement and an air of creative workmanship all around - the lawns the driveways the atrium the coffee centre the theatre the sound recordings, the dressing rooms … every where ..
BUT … when there is the presence of the big stars its a different world ..
Today the Happy New Year team has its music launch just next to our floor and the entire cast and crew and media envelops the premises ..
Shahrukh, Deepika, Abhishek, Farah .. all … and all in high energy and octaned adrenalin infused ..
The entire atmosphere changes. The people move about with large smiles and happy utterances. The young generation in their best, the staff and crew at their most earnest, the media in heightened frenzy … all such a different world .. and such a joy to witness this phenomena ..
At times it is best to sit back and observe the times change, than mope over what did not for you … you may have been a part of it, maybe, some ages back, but now it is changed times and circumstances .. accept them and compliment its continuity .. matters would get so stale and obsolete were the strains of the same music were to be replayed ..
It is the new versus the old .. and the old must step back honourably, to make way for this wave of the new… such has been ordained, such it shall forever be …
… in the technicolor of colors and the lightness of the grey …
Good night and happy hours of unbridled love ..
Jalsa, Mumbai Sept 14/15, 2014 Sun/Mon 12:06 am
Mahendra : Happy happy birthday for the 15th .. all of us send you love and ashirwaad .. have a lovely day ..
And to those that complain that they do not get Twitter or Blog response from me .. hear this and hear it loud and clear once and for all ..
I DO NOT OPERATE MY SOCIAL SITES FROM MY MOBILE .. I DO IT FROM MY LAP TOP .. ON THE LAPTOP THOSE TWEETS THAT COME I RESPOND AS WELL AS I CAN … MANY DO NOT COME UP ON THE PAGE BECAUSE THEY GET HIDDEN BEHIND 10 MILLION FOLLOWERS !!
ABHISHEK AND DEEPIKA PADUKONE SENT ME TWEETS SITTING IN FRONT OF ME AND IT DID NOT COME UP ON MY LIST !!
BLOG RESPONSE IS DIFFICULT BECAUSE THE ENTIRE FORMAT HAS CHANGED DUE TO DISCUSS AND TUMBLR.
I TRY TO DO AS MANY AS I CAN … BUT IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO REPLY TO ALL … I DO GO THROUGH MOST OF THEM ..
BUT .. I NOTICE THAT MOST OF THE RESPONSES ARE NOT DIRECTED TO ME .. THEY ARE AMONG YOURSELVES , AMONG THE EF … WHICH IS GOOD .. BUT DIRECT TO ME COME PRETTY LATE IN THE LIST AND DISCUSS DOES NOT SHOW IT UP IMMEDIATELY … IT ASKS YOU TO RE REFRESH AGAIN AND AGAIN .. THIS IS TIME CONSUMING ..
ALSO TWITTER RESPONSES ON LAPTOP IS VERY FAST FOR ME .. ON MOBILE THE TYPING AND THE SENDING AND THE NUMBERING AND THE RETWEETING TAKES A WHOLE PROCESS .. YOU JUST READ AND WRITE ONCE … I HAVE TO READ AND WRITE A MILLION !!
AND THAT IS THE DIFFERENCE … GOT IT … !!!
Jalsa, Mumbai Sept 14, 2014 Sun 11 : 19 PM
मैं लिखता हूँ …… इस लिए जवानी मेरी है
Sunday’s like never before each Sunday .. love like never before love .. affection like never before affection … blessings from all like never before ..
I am truly blessed to have you with me .. !!
Jalsa, Mumbai Sept 14, 2014 Sun 9:22 PM
Apprehension cultivates either fear or the determination to face the worst and come out victorious … well not always victorious but the need to confront that which is to come and bear or swim along with it ..
I cannot say whether this is a happy trait or not, but I do know that apprehension forms a major part of my feelings and I am certain of many others too ..
There are some, admirably so, that wonder what the word means at all, and I have great admiration for them. I have personal acquaintances, dear friends, people I work with, people I do not work with .. that have an abundance of what may ideally be translated as ’ absence of apprehension and presence of confidence’ .. AOAAPOC .. !!!
I apprehend my todays and my tomorrows and my future tomorrows, with great senses of apprehension … many laugh it off, other’s consider it a welcome blessing - for then the anxiety of what may come, pushes you to limits beyond that which may never have been perceived.
How does one ascertain then what lies in store within. They say an unforeseen circumstance, and God forbid it ever befalls on one, gathers a momentum that surprises us and our minds and bodies too …
Where does it come from then. A stimulation is often referred to as a potion that can excite one to limits which are beyond limit. There are drugs medical that stimulate .. there are drugs chemical used socially … there is the tobacco and the alcohol .. and many other ..
But they are, as I see it, elements or mere products that would quite obviously be useless without the presence of the body. If there is no ‘body’, there can be no stimulation. And if the body needs to be stimulated, it must possess elements that get affected by the stimulation. So … if there are elements in the body that have the capacity to be stimulated .. why must they need the external stimulant .. one could simply talk to them or ask them to get stimulated without the intake of that external product .. !!!
The absence of the use of any stimulant personally is certainly not the cause and reason for this missive. Yes .. I do not smoke or drink or have intakes of tea, coffee, soda drinks, tobacco in a ‘bahaar’ or a ‘paan’ and such like .. BUT … they are abstained not from any health or religious compulsion or decree. I have smoked and I have consumed all that I abstain from now. It is more a self made, call it a freakish, decision. And this text is certainly not aimed at dissuading others from consumption, it is a mere observation .. or perhaps a ‘healthy’ discussion or debate ..
My stimulation I concede, can come from within !! If there is need to be in a state that resembles or requires one to be in the state derived from external consumption, I could do it without the product that stimulates externally ..
Other than levitate - and Complan Campaign not withstanding - I could compare well with those that need impetus, fillip, incentive or quite simply a ‘gingering up’ to spirit myself up .. !!
BUT … and here is the dichotomy, that barriered wall or edifice, which stands rigidly before me - APPREHENSION !!
Many would argue then that an external leverage of a pint or two, would assist me in overcoming this himalayan towering before me. The answer my friend is an answer to myself ..
Once made, is made not to be broken again !!
Human will is the strongest stimulant the universe ever produced ..
WILL IT .. AND IT WILL … !!!
Jalsa, Mumbai Sept 13, 2014 Sat 11:24 PM
Its grooving and a shakin’ to the beat of the comely Bro’
Suited black and shaded dark n attitude in the throw ..
Choreographer par excellénce, of many a song in film
Doin’ it for the Ganesh of him, his girth bein’ far from slim ..
A gesture, a feature
He’s been a ‘massive’ teacher
For him and for his work he’s done,
For giving us all the fun ..
Good night dearies .. time to groove in bed !!