Davos, Switzerland January 30, 2009 11:25 pm
Its a very cold little ante room in the lobby area of this Hotel in quaint and snow bound Davos, that I sit and reminisce on the day. Intermittently, some from the home environs drop by to take an autograph or a photograph. They represent various business organizations from India – Wipro, CII.. There is a lot of excitement and gaiety drifting through from other ares. Parties are on. many want me to join them. A Bollywood night says one group and another a friendly get together. A whole bunch of delegates from Pakistan come in and greet. People from Morocco, Bahrain, and Mozambique all taking turns to pay respect and shake a hand.
I have no idea there is so much visibility to Indian cinema in other parts of the world. Earlier an attractive young lady sitting at the bar had walked across. She was from San Francisco and had seen K3G and loved it.
Just so amazing. This recognition, this attention, this awareness to our world and our craft. So overwhelming.
It was overcast in Zurich as we landed and freezing. Relevant people connected with the World Economic Forum were there to receive us and guided us to our vehicles for the drive to Davos. 2-3 hrs said our chauffeur as we settled in.
Switzerland.. neat and clean and organized and efficient and methodical.. and very cold !! As we drove down and up the countryside of beautiful plains and mountains, we could not but not remember the days of all our other visits. The children in school, the trips to meet them and see them grow. The holidays we had, the shootings that we took part in. We were here after some time.
Davos was reached without much fuss. The driver actually announced like the pilot of a plane the exact time we would reach the city. And yes, as per Swiss precision, thats exactly the time we reached. Snow all around and no snow boots to negotiate even the walk from the car to the door of the Hotel.
After a quick wash up its on to the conference centre and media. Locations are spread out in a small limited area amidst unprecedented security. The biggest and most celebrated names in the world are here – the Premier of China, Clinton, Blair, Gates, and leaders from several countries. India is here with a whole bunch of cabinet Ministers and the most prominent business corporates. And I wonder what and where do I fit into all this.
Media feels there is a gloomy atmosphere to this years’ Forum due to the recession and the global financial condition. I tell them I work in a medium that is recession free – entertainment ! After having lost your millions and billions, you need to lift your spirits, feel lighter.. come see a movie I tell them it only costs a few dollars. See an Indian movie. You shall get poetic justice in 3 hours…! We have a laugh over it. They take me to the media center. Its warmer inside and full of activity. Google has a largish stall, where they request me to say a few words on YOU TUBE.. I DO !! And then most amazingly take me to another large screen where they trace every street and location in any part of the world. I go to Allahabad, my birth place and to Mumbai and Jalsa and Prateeksha. Unbelievable !!
The evening dinner is with the Cultural Leaders. Artists and creative invitees discuss how art and culture can be utilized to change the world. Interesting thoughts. Meet up with the Grand Master, Vishvanathan Anand and Mallika Sarabhai, a co awardee tomorrow with me. There are other interesting debates and discussions taking place informs our guide. We choose to rest for the event tomorrow.
Abhishek has finally got out of Orcha and his shoot. Aishwarya has done with Chennai and they are on a plane now to New York for Pink Panther 2. We join them in a day. It shall be after ages that we all get together again. What it takes to be together with family !!
My toes are frozen. And before my fingers do similar, I must depart. Perhaps tomorrow now with you. Till then from the WEF and Davos… Gutten Nacht !!