Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh Jan 30 , 2011 Sun 9 : 33 PM
Sleep deprived, red eyed, ebbing energy levels, head nodding off at the slightest provocation of ease … but say those magic words ‘action’ and it all mysteriously disappears. From what depths or corners comes that desire to perform despite the lack of physical will, I know not. Such is life then and such the profession that I attach myself to, that all else seems unworthy of attention or care. And surprisingly all goes well in front of the camera too – much more comfortable than some of the earlier days. With time I would imagine, all those rough ends get straitened out. Washed dried and smooth ironed into a neat clean appearance. There was comfort in the portrayals, ease of delivery, understanding of the written word and a presence of the shades required in the character under portrayal.
I seem to have stumbled upon a theory on this, all built around my own incapacity and difficulties that I faced on some of the earlier days on set. I think it is important and perhaps helpful in small measure to observe the director at work and during off work. The way he behaves, talks, moves, speaks give indication I believe in the manner in which he wishes his characters to behave and act or then enact. The written word is in the true sense his thoughts, his ideas and conjectures. If for some reason, and it is most true in this case, he were also to be the dialogue writer of the film, then understanding what and how he would want his artists to behave would make my theory even more valid. And I think it has been most helpful watching Prakash Jha conduct himself on set and outside it. That then is the source of my theoretic observation. And I have found that when that particular aspect has been duly followed, there is a simplicity in the work that you do.
Today’s work for example also had a few tricky situations of understanding and comment. But having followed how the director wanted them, eased the output a great deal. There were no retakes today. Or to put it in correct perspective, hardly any that I was involved in. I would credit that not so much to the fact that I was doing my lines well enough. Instead I would say that I was doing my lines in a manner in which the director thought it was well enough. We as actors have liberty to play around with words and performances. It is but the desired effect of the maker that finally prints the take.
I had starved myself for days on end, lived in the thought of misery and death before reporting for the final scene of Rajesh Khanna’s death in ‘Anand’. And when asked to approach his bed pushing him to speak even after he was gone, I had burst out into all the pent up emotion and boil that had festered inside me for those many days of preparation. But that was not what Hrishikesh Mukherjee wanted. He desired a more controlled yet emtional outburst. I had to reduce all that I had spent in the first take, by almost 1000 %, and that was what remained. And to my utter horror I discovered that it had taken me merely a few seconds, to build it ! What a waste of method preparation, personal agony and toil to create something that really never required any of that.
Learn the lines yes. Listen to the lines of the other that speaks to you. Understand the situation, feel it and then and only then open your mouth. And I have discovered that it all falls into place. I still have not been able to put my finger on what it is, what technology, what human configuration triggers within the mind in those few seconds, when the clap moves away from the face during the shooting of a scene, and the command of the director to act asserts itself, and your voice and actions take over. This is a mystery. A mystery that I have shared with many of my colleagues and they have come out with the same answer ; they have no idea what takes over our systems during that period ! But … whatever it is, I do hope that it continues to behave itself for a few more projects that I have signed on for and remains within me !!
The events in Egypt continue to get more intense and I do pray for all my EF in the region to be safe and in peace. I also hope and pray that none of our Russian EF suffered due to the tragedy at Moscow airport during the explosion. May peace and goodness prevail and may there be stability and a quick return to normalcy.
I shoot within a College campus for the next few days. And today was there as well. I must admit I was quite surprised and impressed by the discipline and order maintained by the college fraternity, young students and staff during the course of our work – a true example of what one wishes would be the atmosphere throughout our stay. I understand now the meaning of Prakash Jha, choosing this city of Bhopal to work. It has been the ease and comfort provided by the establishment and the people of this wonderful city that has made him want to keep coming here again and again.
Thank you Bhopal ! You have succeeded in impressing your ‘jamai’ quite sufficiently !
Time to rest my weary bones. Time to shut out the nightmare of an unproductive day. Time to close my ears to the varied bands that play close by heralding a wedding in progress. The drums are constant, but the electronic piano plays on with all the twisted prominent tunes of the day – ‘Munni badnam ..’, ‘Sheila’s javaani ..’ ‘Yamla Pagla Diwana ..’ and after a very long stint of these, the odd old numbers of some of mine as well – ‘Khaike Paan …’ and ‘Apni toh jaise taise …’
And yet another one ” PHANSI ” !! Happy ladies ??!!
It is coming on to strike at 3 AM in the morning and I have just returned from the Film Fare Award night, where they gave me a Tribute Award for completing 40 years in the Industry. There was great pageantry and drum rolls and honor. A gracious ShahRukh spoke at length on stage before escorting me on to the floor with the most generous compliments and then walked on Yash Chopra to put the moment into an even greater emotional strain with his kind words. The audience stood up and applauded. I was most embarrassed and humbled.
I could only remember the early years of my association with films when I had just arrived in 1969. There were occasions when I would stand outside the Shanmukhananda Hall, where the Awards Night used to be held, on the pavement and watch all the big stars drive in to the wild cheers of the crowds. And I would wonder what it was that went on inside. I would dream perhaps of just one opportunity to get into the foyer at least, just to know what it was that went on inside, to mingle with the celebrities, to be sitting inside this very privileged area. And today after several awards and moments spent FilmFare pays me a tribute for completing 40 years in the Industry !
What can I say ! These moments are even beyond dreams. And they belong to those who had the courage and confidence to make projects with me, my colleagues and co – artists who supported and encouraged me, but most of all the people of my country who stood by me steadfast and pure, strong and unwavering, through struggle and pain to the joys of achievement, egging me on to keep at it whatever the circumstances. They are the true heroes of my life and career. May they always prosper and exist and have their belief in me, and coerce me cajole me into putting in my best.
I came in to Mumbai from Bhopal this morning and shall return early tomorrow morning to get back to ‘Aarakshan’ and the unit and more challenges. Its what keeps the moral high. Its what keeps you ticking and alive. Its what you clamor for every moment of your life. Its what brings all of my EF close and connected. Its what I enjoy most. It is what has been responsible for giving me everything that I may have wanted in life and much more.
Lord, I thank thee for your celestial blessings … I shall never be able to recognize how deep the value of this for me has been ..
I see incredible scenes of violence and disruption on the television about what is happening in Egypt and in particular in Cairo and feel so sad that this beautiful country and city and its warm and hospitable people should all come to such condition. All my visits there have been so memorable and full of so many happy times. The shoot in Cairo for ‘The Great Gambler’ in 1975, when they did not know anything about Indian films and actors. On the streets if India was mentioned it was always ‘Nehru’ – their known association with him and their own President Nasser and the relationship that they enjoyed. Many years later and on an invitation to their film festival I had gone there with the kids having picked them up from Switzerland after school, to the most amazing visit ever. Those events and that visit shall always remain imprinted on the sands of time in my life eternally.
Something between the ‘Great Gambler’ shoot and ‘Mard’, which was a colossal success in Egypt in particular, had changed the perception of Indian cinema in this historic land and I had fortunately become the receiver of the love and affection that they had been holding on to for so many years. Those visuals of the tapes that were recorded are my great source of upliftment whenever I am down and depressed. The warmth, the affection, the love and care, the respect that they gave was so so overwhelming that it shall be difficult for me to describe it.
There are many visitors from India that go across on holidays to this land of the pyramids and come back with such glorious stories of the association the Egyptians still have for me and I am touched and feel so blessed. And so it saddens me even more to see the anger and discomfort that they go through now and I hope fervently that it all comes to an end soon and in peace.
When there is the opportunity of a fresh project underway, I have often tried to think my way through as to what the best way would be, to acclimatize myself to the circumstances that prevail immediately. And I think I may have a solution that could become universal in its final assessment. I believe that the project we work on is the brainchild and the creative structuring of the Director. He is the one that encapsulates an idea first and foremost. It is an intriguing process by itself to suddenly get up one morning and declare that I would want to make a film and this is what it would be about and these are the characters that would play a prominent part in the project, and this is who I would want to enact them and here is how I would want the project to look and the clothes and colors that would be worn and the sets to be designed in such fashion and the properties in the house to be arranged in particular manner and ….
The list of things to be done is just endless …
Converting such process into reality is the next heading that intrigues me. How does the decision to use a special kind of furniture in the make shift house come about, or why a certain kind of curtain or property is hung on the walls and doors. What is the reason behind the kind of songs and the music that is used in his film, or the flair of the writing that precedes. And if he is writing his own lines and scripting, then why does he do it in that manner.
In many ways therefore I have believed, a film reflects the nature and character of the Director that makes it. It reflects his sensibilities, his taste, his culture, his aesthetics, his reasons for life and the way it should be treated and conveyed. And if the written word belongs to him as well in the shape of the dialogues that are written, then he is not just a Director, he is also and perhaps more importantly an accomplished actor.
There are then many instances where the Director of the film is also its Producer. Many such examples exist and abound the present day film industry of India. Production is an intricate job. Scheduling a film, booking artists, dates, locations, facilities, hospitality, personal and individual intricate exigencies, handling, observing, dictating, controlling and at the end fulfilling a task that he had originally set out to achieve as an idea one fine morning, in the confines of his comfortable bed or home !
When you saw a Raj Kapoor film you were also exposed not just to the story or the film that unfolded before you on screen, but it also displayed to you what he could be in person, in reality. There was an extravagance, and an excitement to life as it were in all his films. And that came about from his own personal nature. There was an exuberance in the way he lived. It was always to the fullest, drawing every inch of that prized nectar that is offered to all of us as individuals.
When you saw a Guru Dutt film, you were drawn into the intricacies and subtleties of the white and the black, with the odd grey thrown in. Shadows prominently caught your imagination as you watched some of his scenes from the more dramatic scripts he dealt with. His characters, soft and gentle, lyrical almost in their execution. His music and words drifting as if they would never want the strain to end. I never did meet him, but those that did, perhaps may have felt those shades of the black and white in his own life, the troubled shadows that he reflected on screen could perhaps have been a reflection of his own being.
ManMohan Desai, Prakash Mehra, Yash Chopra, Ram Gopal Varma, R Balki, Karan Johar, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Khwaja Ahmed Abbas, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Bimal Roy and an endless stream of talented technicians and makers have all perhaps displayed in the varied hues of their creativity, their own personal view on life and how it needed to be viewed.
There is often talk and debate and discussion on how actors because of being exposed to so many different situations via the characters they play, finally have nothing left within them which they can truly call their own. And whenever occasion has arisen, does the world outside view that as another performance from an actor or the feelings of a person, another human or an independent individual ! Actors face this dilemma often. We are the so called stars of the horizon, the face that makes people happy, the element that draws the crowds and viewers and respondents and followers. Little is often then heard of the people that make us do what we do – the director. And in my very humble view, it is he the director that we see in film after film that we admire. It is our more treated face that occupies most of the 70 mm screen, but behind that make belief mask is the concept of a very proficient machinery. A machinery that is often known as the Director of the film !
My tribute then to all those valiant men and women that have conceived and valued, what I may have been capable of doing and what I could through their most generous gift of giving away, put their face masks on mine to give me the credit of their soul.
Good night dear and near … I travel again in the morn to my own city and clime to attend to a commitment given to an editor who wishes to pay tribute to me at the annual award ceremony that he conducts.
My tribute would be inconclusive without the support of those that I just spoke about. Long may they live and long may they continue to express themselves through the efforts of those they consider their transferable soul mates !
Some moments from ‘Aarakshan’ as promised. The Director and DOP and colleagues that go to make cinema what it is … and why it is …
I almost bunked gym in the morning ! When the alarm rang I felt I should let it play itself out. But did not ! I got up, dragged myself to the gym and with a huge effort got down to my routine. After which I have to say, the day for me physically has been quite fluid and well oiled !
Even as I pushed weights and ran the tread, the dialogues kept buzzing in my head. The words, the notations, the pauses, the very meaning of them, all kept groping for every possible moment of distraction. But I did not relent. I pushed and pushed till the pulse reader watch on my wrist started to register a high heart rate, one that I had to reduce and keep within range. The arena of the gym was a bit cramped and small, but adequate for slow and soft dealers like me to be accommodated. The air was fresh and mildly cool. The sun was out even at that early hour and a brisk morning was welcoming us all in this city. A few photo opportunities later with the gym instructors and guests on the mill, it was back to the sets and straight into the scene dreaded most since last night.
Last night was … last night ! Finding my throat in some discomfort, it having developed a Brandoish Godfather like whisper, I felt perhaps the usage of my vocal chords was and had been minimal, giving rise to this peculiar condition of mine. What could I possible do at this late hour to enhance the use of my voice, was a dilemma.
So I reached across to my Father’s works. Indeed the very book that I had read from during my poetry performance in Paris, and started to sing and recite in all sincerity, all the poems that were collectively heard that wonderful evening. I am certain many of the FmXt that had been at that performance would have noticed it. Well, book in hand, head on pillow, throat in distress, mind in Paris and at times my home work – those lines – pestering my brain for attention, I ran through the entire book, hoping that through this recitation I would at least have some reincarnation of a voice that I felt was appropriate for the task the next day ! Nothing of the sort happened. I slept well, woke up with a start, because these days the dreams that I am getting are not entirely structured to give its bearers any opportunity of escape. And here I am still willing to undergo that enduring scene from the film.
The shooting was nervy. There were many lines – 5 pages of it – and there was no movement. It was still in one place with other artists hanging about whilst I negotiated this phenomena, of an insomniac. There was not much camera movement either. All in one place, all at once in one big all encompassing shot. I floundered and faux pas ‘d my lines, the others looked at me sympathetically, particularly the ladies, who I must say executed a great amount of patience ; an attribute that many among the tribe do not.
Scene over … subsequently a few more were accomplished … till late into the night, and then finally it was the wrap !
At the Hotel there was dinner with my rather ornate table, three chairs and a bed that could eventually accommodate me. It was delicious and compact. I scored well I think with my in laws, and they all seemed happy with the situation.
My start tomorrow is delayed. I shall have the liberty to get up late and work out late and get to work late, so that those that habitually come late in my house in Delhi, are not surprised.
My antibiotics that I am consuming for a condition have started to reach the head and the nose and the brain, so I shall soon be within the arms of this lovely lady also known as a ‘pillow’ at times.
Good night dearest ones … you sleep well and warm and cool, is all I can wish at the moment …
The responsibility of professionalism is a heavy burden to carry.
We may be human and susceptible to selfish motives, to lethargy, to attractions other than that which demand a certain etiquette, but at the end of the day our report card should be without blemish. And so keeping that in mind, there was a desperate rush to be on location ready as per the call sheet by 2 PM, for, as the DOP had suggested the ideal light available for that particular scene was at that nominated hour.
And so I did. Scampered through the morning formalities, pushed my make up team to work at twice the speed they normally do and panting from the excitement of being on time, reported in front of the cameras, to find that the rush was not that critical after all !! But any way it was a good feel to be ahead and ready that be late and unprepared. Several scenes later, which went off well, I was given the wrap signal and I am dutifully in front of the most awaited activity of the day – my blog and my FmXt !!
And I write early today because I need to be up early tomorrow, and need to learn a rather difficult scene, and need to get to the gym early and need to exercise, because the routine is getting slack and careless. Its been a while since I worked out. London was freezing, and the motivation to be on the weights and other craft was equally freezing. It is now playing up as I work on the sets. There is a resistance to the body, even though the mind does not mind. So, with courage and determination and all the will power at my command I must fulfill this duty. Trouble is my trainer is not here. Its quite a deterrent when they are not around. You tend to skip workouts, because you know that there is no one waiting for you to report ! And as you all know better than I do, that I am a better follower than a leader.
I am most impressed with some of the reactions coming from the EF with regard to a simple harmless joke regarding ‘phansa’. All the ladies have ganged up and promulgated, why not ‘phansi’ instead. After all they argue, the girl could feel the same way and why does everyone make snide jokes about them rather than the male species.
Its been a valid argument and I feel that the ladies have given ample proof of its duality. They argue that the men hardly ever display any signs indicative of them being married, when the woman does – the ring, the ‘mangalsutra’, the ‘sindoor’ and so on … I think that the joke is made more to signify the end of the male bachelor hood than cast negative aspersions on the female. The ladies too could feel that they are being ‘trapped’ into an alliance and they are absolutely right ! But for some reason the men’s section has been played up and so the comment. No damage intended to either – its just some harmless fun !
I shall now depart. I want to pace my room and feel as though my examinations are on tomorrow. I shall mug my lines and hope that age does not shy them away from me tomorrow when I face the cameras. I shall hope that when it is being done it has the acceptance of the director, the acceptance of the audience when it reaches them and the compliance of the director when it is performed.
There are some pictures that are being put together from the shooting and I do hope I shall be able to put them up as working stills by the ‘morrow or within the next few days. That should give all those curious to know what the look of the character, the character and what else happens on set, conveys.
The first day of every new film has always been unique. The people, the sets, the location, the director and co stars, assistants, production team, all go to make the occasion somewhat frightful. There is, added to this the other worry of getting the character right on the first day. There is the consciousness of working in an environment where getting your lines right at first instant is mandatory – at least for the artist, or at least for me. Its a ‘thing’, you might say. Dispelling any fears that you carry, or the embarrassment of fouling up your dialogue in front of a large contingent of people that you do not know, is frightening. Its like when we shoot outdoors and you have a complicated dance step to do, or a large dialogue to give, the endeavor is that you get it right the first go, and not commit too many retakes. Its almost like a test. A performance on stage where mistakes are not allowed, because there is a live audience watching you.
Happily and my the grace of Him or Her that looks over us, all went well. There were not many mistakes, and the unit and the co artists gradually warmed up to the circumstances. Saif with his changed look and Deepika with her lithe body and presence were there, all connected as were the others with me today. Tanvi who plays my wife, Saurabh Shukla and may students trained locally for their part through workshops, and doing rather well.
The city is pretty, is Bhopal. Gentle winds blow across the lake. There is a whiff of winter still percolating through the slopes of the terrain that surrounds the land, and the people are polite, quiet and most hospitable. The location though sealed off has been acquired by Prakash Jha and the sets and the production is well organized, neat and efficient. In all, a sense of good planning and a great amount of effort gone into proper management. Elements that would make most artists happy. They do, me. An efficient set up, sets the pace of the work that is going to be extracted and for me particularly, the work environment when conducted well creates an atmosphere where good work follows. Hopefully that shall fructify.
As we wrapped for the evening I rushed up to my Hotel room to catch a wondrous setting sun, just beyond my rather generous balcony. Unfortunately my photographic skills are somewhat weak and all I could gather was an obscure looking distant object, also known as Shri Surya, and a vast balcony. I mean who wants to see a balcony ! So another missed opportunity. Perhaps tomorrow. That is, provided we do not shoot late !
I may be speaking out of turn here, but there is something about this city of Bhopal that is becoming quite endearing. I know it is very early days – I have been here just a day – and forming an opinion may be premature. But first instincts are at times very lasting. I hope mine retain that quality. I know my director has been praising the locale much ; he having shot the entire film ‘Rajneeti’ here as well.
He sent me a text message late in the evening after we packed up today, which was embarrassingly complimentary, so obviously it will never find its way to the post of this blog. But I am touched by its immediacy and content. There are times in the life of a person when they forget to realize what they actually are in the eyes of the others. At times we grope in the dark to understand ourselves, to know or be able to assess who or what we are. How does one do that ? How do we ‘know who we are’ ? I read many instances of the great philosophies which pointedly preach this very mantra – ‘know thyself’ !
Ok ! Well said and spoken and chartered out to the mass of humanity. But how about telling us how to go about doing or achieving it ! Do the escapades, the religious penance that we hear of from the saints and near celestial bodies, set examples for us to indulge in similar vein. Can this not be achieved or attained down here, in my little room in Bhopal or my garden in Prateeksha. Must I go the distance to the snow clad Himalayas. Perhaps to find an isolated cave and sit there within myself and search, in the silence, the deafening silence, who we are ? I wonder !
And why is it that when we talk of attainment, of reaching a mental scale that supposedly connects man with the Almighty, do we acquire it in the highest altitudes, or the densest forests, or the vast forlorn deserts ? Is it by design that we need to get away from all affectations of humanity and life ? Or, as a stricture on us, of not having in our immediate presence any semblance of existence. So … go to a place where there is no existence, to search how to exist ??!!! Somewhat incongruous do you not think !
I could if I needed to search myself, be surrounded much like the Russian Hamlet, by routine and normality. In the middle of everything yet not in at all. But I guess these are all personal choices. ‘Nirvana’ is achievable. Here in the streets or up there in the mountains. Depends which route one would like to take. Though history tells us, that those that took the snow clad mountainous path, were looked upon with greater reverence.
Reverence – snow, mountains, cave. And not so reverent a locale like a city or room, reverence still, but perhaps with not so much worship. We have here among us, on earth, in our daily lives, the Popes and the Saints and God men of the universe, who are exalted and pious and serve as messengers of God, and who I believe attained their religious sanctity and following without the ‘travel’, so to say. And they have the most dedicated followers on who’s belief they function and prosper. God be with them and with those that are devoted to them !! The effort though, of ‘knowing thyself’ still prevails ! So help me God ! …… did I just say that ??!!!
Its awfully quiet in the room, as we cross over past midnight, into the 26th of January 2011, India’s Republic Day. A dull sound of bands playing in the distance at a wedding, wafting through the netted windows of the room. Some of them old numbers from my films ! The odd firecracker going off signally either the arrival of the groom to wed the girl, or the completion of the solemnization of the sacred vows. It is the wedding season in these parts of India, or indeed all over the country.
Every time we would see celebrations of a ‘baraat’ in procession, we would joke – ‘ek aur phansa’ ! And we still joke about it. The song too in film, in ‘Raavan’ – ‘phansa, phansa bechara ..! speaks and dances on the similar theme !!
Bhim Sen Joshi, that great exponent of the Indian Classical, passes away. A Bharat Ratna, the highest honor given by the nation, leaves us. A magnificent voice, a giant among his contemporaries, had heard him personally on several occasions. Was with us in the much acclaimed ‘Mile Sur Mera Tumhara’, now lost for ever … but … his chords live with us … prayers for the departed soul !!
This IS Mumbai ! A few yards away and then into the concrete jungle ! The forest and the rays of the sun that I spoke of yesterday - idyllic !
And … our friendly visitors !! watching me blowing that feather into the right direction !!
Still working on the smile for the ZEN !!
Bored by the several takes and retakes of the same damned feather, he decides to help himself to some of our coffee … cups !!
In Bhopal !! The city where Jaya and her family lived andstill do !!
Here to start work on my new film ‘Aarakshan’ – Reservation ! Based on a screen play that delves into the complicated world of education in the land where reservation for sections of those less privileged is pronounced by the highest legal authority of the country, the Supreme Court. The issues so raised, the pros and cons of the implications and within that a family and its patriarch, resolute and strong and with belief.
It is wonderful to have an opportunity to work with Saif and Deepika and Manoj Bajpai and of course Prateik, son of the lovely Smita Patil. So many memories are linked today, it is difficult to find a starting point.
Prakash Jha, who has been meeting me for years and expressing a desire to work together. Finally culminating in the starting of this film, one that hopefully will bring satisfaction to the director who has been known to have a penchant for meaningful cinema. On issues that have plagued our country, our system and our society.
Saif Ali, son of Sharmila Tagore my leading lady in several films and who we have addressed as Rinku Di, because that was her pet name and that was the name Jaya has always addressed her with. Many may not know but Rinku Di and Jaya worked in Jaya’s first film, with the legendary and great Satyajit Ray.
Saif I remember as a little boy that had been left on the sets of my film ‘Barsaat ki Raat’, by his Mother because he was interested in films and how they were made. He had sat quietly on a piece of rock at the helipad at Film City, watching me struggling with the song ” KaliRam ka Phat Gaya Dhol “. And look at him now, all grown up and such a star having given some memorable award winning performances since.
Much earlier though, as I was telling him, I used to see his grandmother, Begum Pataudi a strong, powerful and graceful lady on the roads in Delhi, driving a white Jaguar sports car convertible – the very popular E type ! On many an occasion I would see her drive in to Teen Murti House, the Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s residence. Begum Pataudi came from royalty in Bhopal, married into the royalty of Pataudi – their son, ‘Tiger’ Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, the dashing Indian Cricket teams’ youngest Captain, father of Saif and husband to Sharmila Tagore.
The world is indeed such a small place !! I had attended the wedding reception of Tiger and Sharmila in their Delhi house, either when I was just joining movies or had just joined, I cannot remember ! Time has indeed passed by.
India was a land of rich princely states, independently owned, managed and ruled by several royalty of the region – Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Gwalior, Hyderabad, Mysore to name a few. During the British Raj they were coerced by them to join in and relinquish their controls , at a compensation of what was known as ‘privy purses’. The privy purses continued even after Independence, until, under Mrs Indira Gandhi’s Prime Ministership the abolition of if took place. The magnificent palaces and attractive structures built by the royalty still remain as heritage reminders of the glorious lifestyles of the rulers. Most of the very attractive palaces have now been converted into Hotels or places of tourist interest. The RamBagh Palace of Jaipur, the Jodhpur Palace, Udaipur Palace and the Lake Palace and several others. Recently the Falaknuma Palace of the Nizam of Hyderabad has just been taken over by Taj Group of Hotels and has been converted into one of the most stunning Hotels in recent times. The Nizam of Hyderabad was once considered to be the richest man in the world and his Falaknuma Palace, which I have visited, is an incredible architectural wonder, much like most of the other palaces.
So here we are in Bhopal, with its temperate climate, hospitable and polite people and one of the largest natural lakes in the country right in the middle of the city.
Every time history is revisited particularly in India, we always talk of the Golden Era of the country and how it has been lost. Most countries have similar stories to tell. But time moves in circles – ‘anvarat samay ki chakki chalti jati hai’, to quote my Father’s oft repeated lines. And we all hope and expect for those times to return. To bring with it the glory of the past and the beauty of its present existence !
May this be true.
We have just heard of a terrible terror attack at Moscow airport, where several have been killed. I do hope and pray for those that have suffered, and hope and pray that of the many Moscovites that visit our platform, are safe and well.
It is a distressing thought with which to end this missive .. but …
Love to all and may you be safe and happy ..
I just did that to my Mother in law – made her happy by visiting her home here in Bhopal and having dinner with her. She is in her late 80′s, God bless her, and lives surrounded by a whole bunch of her relatives and children’s children. And still cooks delicious home food !
Since I had taken a private charter from Mumbai to Bhopal and since the plane was going back empty, I took Jaya along with me to spend a few hours with her Mother. She was most delighted and has just gone back to Mumbai !
Groping for energy and a semblance of sanity, as I drive down to work, fills me with a sense of desired and unobstructed commitment to my work. Many though recommend and strongly advise that I desist from such bravado and not indulge in pushing limits at this age ! Others wonder how I am able to cope with it. Some even suggest I retire and relax and not be foolishly pursuing something that ideally should be left to the younger generation.
I am in agreement with all the points so generously brought upon me and I am equally humbled that so many give due consideration towards my countenance. My desire, or let me say my penchant for scheduled work is not about proving anything to anybody. Nor is it a defiance towards nature. My work schedule is modelled after what approvals my surroundings dictate. My surroundings are devoid of any great act of ‘ if I do this I shall be this’ or ‘by doing this I can better that’. Such suppositions never enter my thoughts. Or to be putting it more plainly such suppositions suffer from a certain degree of fear before they intend to encounter me. Fear not of reprimand or rejection, but that it is highly improbable that they would ever be allowed to be entertained. That is me. Pure and simple. Someone comes to me with a proposal. If my body and mind show acceptance towards it, there is immediate approval – the body for its physicality and the mind for its creative challenge.
However not always does the equation sit pretty on my shoulders. In most instances its quite the opposite. The body for the creative challenge, the mind for the physicality !! And I do not have to explain what the ultimate disastrous results, this lethal combination can and have produced !!
My dearest ones, my caring and loving FmXt’s, I am moved to great emotion on the concern you show and express about my circumstances, but you must know that nothing can better a man at his sincere best efforts towards his work.
” Thou shall earn thy living in struggle and stress and labor ” was apparently the sane admonition that Adam received from God, after he had bitten the forbidden fruit of desire. And ” thou shall bear children in pain ” was what Eve had to bear. Or words to that effect !
Irrespective of who said it, where and why, I do believe that the truth of this mythical admonition prevails and has prevailed for millennia. And if it has not undergone any change since, it is most unlikely that it shall undergo any change now.
My work will be laced with struggle and sweat and tears. This is a given. A given for all humanity. I am no different from them. And so shall I remain.
The National Park, a little beyond the region of the Film City is a protected area. It is green and wild and secluded. It was here that I worked for some early hours. The suns rays piercing the thick forest area almost gave a celestial feel to the early morning. And the deserted by lanes and tracks in the wooded realm, seemed out of place almost in this cemented jungle that prospered just a few yards away. I was engaging with Zen Mobiles, the phone company I endorse and with soft white feathers and a bench in the park and music systems that the sophisticated mini hand phones boast of in todays highly competitive market. Making a marketing tool for a product is such a fine and intricate job. Many celebrated minds and hands get involved so one can, within those 30 precious seconds, make a prospective buyer get up from his reclining chair in the comfort of his bedroom, walk out to the nearest mall and spend some serious money to buy it.
Every little move, or line spoken, or clothes worn, or lens used, has to succumb to the intense scrutiny of an entire panel of collected brain power, huddled around a monitor on set, deep in discussion and debate, whether a nondescript little feather that blows away in a shot, should have taken a plunge to the left of screen or not !!
Fortunately for me this morning, there was unanimous agreement in the path of the many feathers that I blew and we wound up rather rapidly, much to the consternation of a whole bunch of wild monkeys that had swung onto the location, wondering why these odd looking, jean clad humans had dared to trepass their protected territory !
My next stop soon after was inside a studio some distance. A place I had never seen before and one that housed a few floors, small but sacred in nature, for, they catered to mass produced daily Tv serials that the country’s 500 channels, ogre like, were consuming. And what a delight to have met up there with some of the veterans and some new entrants, who gushed with enthusiasm at having met me – a practice I must humbly admit does not often occur. With the passage of time and age, creativity and those that contribute to it in film, at times erases faster than the time taken to remove the make up on your face. Mine perhaps has taken a little longer to wipe away, but let us not forget that it shall one day be removed and cleaned beyond recognition. No doubts about that !!
More selling of Zen later, a reprieve and back home to the waiting ladies of the house – Abhishek being on his way now to New Zealand for the Abbas – Mastan film ‘Players’ the official rights bought remake of the much enjoyed ‘The Italian Job’.
And I …. shall be finding my way tomorrow to the land of Bhopal, the city of my wife, and now for whom I be the ‘jamai’ – the son-in-law !!
“Aarakshan” by Prakash Jha starts for me day after and I do look forward to starting work on this non stop schedule film which has been announced to release in August of this year 2011.
I struggle still with my head and my body. My body through the toil of jet lag, my head with the insinuations leveled at me, which drown every other questionable query towards its origin !!
Fear not my dear, and anguish not the cause and reason .. live in the belief that when the inside is clean, it shall always reflect that, which it contains …
Jalsa , Mumbai Jan 22/23 , 2011 Sat/Sun 2 : 44 am IST
Back home after a 9 hr flight from London. Its coming up to 3 AM, but the connect is a must, even though I have to report for shoot by 7 AM !!
The hemisphere as you fly through is relatively calm at 36,000 ft, though deep down below the cover of heavy white clouds prevents the vision of the land as it goes by. Until … you reach Iran overhead ! Suddenly the skies clear up and the white snow capped mountains north of Tehran, majestic and high and almost at arms length draw your breath away, because its sunset and the remaining glow of the setting sun washes the tops of the mountains in a pink light ! Absolutely amazing ! And then before you can hardly not have enough of it, the golden moon ahead in the sky breaks through a gentle mist of cloud in the distance and the marvel of nature mesmerizes you.
Some of the brightest ideas emotions and thoughts come to you at 35,000 ft ! Did I say this before somewhere ? Anyway I say it again. And even though most of them seem improbable, they do leave one thinking. Also, is it the air that you smell up there, or the relative speed of the cabin within, that pushes the body to greater emotion. I wonder. Every thought process though, runs along with the beneficial background score as it were, in your mind. And as the imagination runs wild so does the emotional chord inside. You find your eyes getting moist, at the silliest of thoughts. And its not a most welcome sight to present to an efficient cabin hostess that comes along to check if we are comfortable !
The cabin crew still request for that photo op in the galley and some of them still ask for the odd autograph. Its reassuring to know that they do. Somewhere they still believe that I am an actor. Thank God for that ! Nearing 70 years of my life can be disconcerting. The profession and its unique demands keeps one alive and ticking. I will be in front of the cameras tomorrow and the anticipation and the nerves today, of getting it all right for tomorrow, will I am certain, diminish the very limited sleeping that remains for me tonight.
And before I make a hasty end to this short missive …
Do I really come across as a manipulative, selfish and arrogant, self centered, good for nothing beast, that would bring distress and discomfort to individuals. Am I really in right terms a bad man ? For there are some who singleminded believe and think so !!
Aahhhh !! Just forget about it. Idle musings of happenings that should not happen.
London , UK Jan 21 , 2011 Fri 8 : 04 PM GmT local time
Is itreally important in life to be assertive. Does it ever prove a point. Does proving a point truly give worth. Who’s worth is it. And does it ever have value.
Does finding fault in others truly be of any benefit. Does not its constancy damage the self than where it is aimed at. Why do we always pursue the fact that in doing so it shall make a difference to the other. It just may not. It may too, but at what cost. Is the cost of it capable of being valued. Valued for whom and why.
If everything else other than yourself is wrong in the world, do we aspire to change it. When cause is of value, many have by example succeeded. But when there is an absence of cause, reason and dimension, is it desirable to be involved in such act.
How much does it take to build within oneself, hatred, malice, disbelief. And how much the opposite. Which one should then be weighed against. And if there be an imbalance, what does it take to bring the meter on even keel. Would it ever be even. How many weighing instruments have we seen, that maintain a steadiness – a position where there is zero movement. Shifting sands shall never maintain evenness. Does not our life represent the shifting sands of time.
I am constantly plagued by many such impressions. Is it just me, or are there others too that sail similar sail. How long does it take to understand another’s perspective. We know ours, would we not want to know the other’s. Is it wise then to constantly be thinking of the other’s perspective. Would it be selfish then to be just one sided. Positive one sided ness could be beneficial ; could not. When does one understand that it will and when not. And who would make you understand it.
Does it bring any temperament of value when we realize, that the wall that has been built around us not in consonance with the others, is impregnable and that it is important and essential for the other to know that there can be no result in it.
Should we then inform, or should we remain calm and quiet, uncommunicable. Non communication at times signifies guilt. Would you rather allow the other to think that there is guilt, than destroy your own belief.
In such company then, is it conceivable to exist with clear and un perturbed mind. The other may think the same. Who do you console then – theirs or ours !!
London , UK Jan 20 , 2011 Thu 6 : 07 PM local time GMT
Enlightened debate and discussion on the article as asked. What an insightful commentary from those that go by the most revered name of EF .. of FmXt. And how obediently most all have responded to the request put across. You are all so generous in your belief, so caring towards this medium, so appreciative of the platform that has brought together so many unknowns. I can but only express gracious thanks and continued presence.
It is a revelation though .. this Blog ! I have been out on the streets this afternoon and have had opportunity to bump into the odd person that comes upon me with recognition. After the formalities of the shake of the hand, that mobile photo op, they comment – ‘I read your blog each day’ !
I am of course deeply honored that they pay such attention to my little moments of cybersation, but am conscious of the fact that in the absence of any film or Tv product coming from my immediate end, the blog is all that brings interest to them ! Should one look upon this with circumspect intent, or a mere gentle passing phase. I wonder. I wonder if the medium takes over from another, for, the entire day today has been spent on discovering some rather interesting aspects of connect, other than from what exists !!
Just when humanity thought this was it, comes another invention. As Maggie Smith, that delightful icon of dramatics, pointedly expresses her displeasure in one of the seasons of that very popular TV serial ‘Downton Abbey’ ” It was electricity first, now its the telephone !! ”
My dear lady ! In the world you express your thoughts, they were just stepping out from medieval times into the modern age. Such inventions were to be expected. But you have no idea where we are going next with the next generation !! What is taking me years of concentrated tuition on the medium, takes just a few minutes of my grandson’s restless mind to sort matters out.
It has been sad and unnerving to learn today of the dire condition of one of our most devoted and dedicated character artists of the Industry, Mr AK Hangal. I came to know of this through the kind offices of the cyber – the net and the social net. I have now initiated my office, sitting some distance, to render immediate support and help. As individuals, as fraternity, as humans, that is the least we can do.
It has always been disturbing to read and learn of such occurrences. I do not wish to mention names here, for they are individuals that were idolized and revered in their prime, and bringing up their condition now is an act that would seem most demeaning to them and to their stature. Life’s stories have been overloaded with vivid descriptions of unfortunate circumstances. Circumstances that have brought the greats down to their knees. It is shocking and most undesirable to comment on it, but a quiet yet considered action for their good, is what I would want to get involved in. And I do. My prayers and wishes for Hangal Saheb. May he recover soon and without the worry and concern of where the next medication is going to come from.
I feel uncomfortable now to visit any other territory or topic after coming to know of this grave situation that Mr Hangal finds himself in, and so shall probably get down from my abode and take in the fresh and bitterly cold air outside …
I may return tonight again with you .. but if I do not then we shall be there in the ‘morrow ..
I bid you good night … happy with the thought that I was able to bring a gentle light of joy and happiness to some !
Thank you all for your kind words, your wishes and your prayers for yesterday and for Father, who I addressed personally as Dad, but publicly Babu ji ! So much affection that you so kindly express, merely reflects the affection you have for this wonderful platform and indeed the extended family that has grown and flourished under your continued support.
Many among you felt that there had been a lapse on my part in writing the blog for the day. No there wasn’t ! There was a change in timing. I wrote it as early as I could get up in the morning – which due to my obscure jet lagged condition, has normally been fixed at 3 – 4 AM ! Not the most conducive timing for normal beings. Pardon then my abnormality. It shall repair soon enough I do hope.
London has been cold and grey, but fortunately for the past few days there has been bright sunshine, and the most gorgeous moon in the evenings. Full moons spell some measure of abnormality among those born under the Libran astrological traits , and therefore if you were to find a certain Libran punching holes in this post, in peculiar circumstances, you would know the reason ! Not any warning though … merely a confession !
I read a most interesting article written by a journalist, on alternate journalism. It has been a topic that I have reiterated time and again from almost the day we started this long association, that this is indeed the future. It is heartening to note the contents of the article that follows, for it has been something that I had been reflecting upon long ago, and one that attracted great cynicism and general criticism. Some where then it has lent a modicum of credence to my stand and for which I feel a sense of vindication, if you would like to call it that.
India is finally seeing the birth of alternative journalism
Some journalists get confused and start believing that they make the news, rather than just reporting it. This, and journalistic groupthink, has led to a skewed discourse: India’s supposed ‘centrists’ would be considered ‘far Left’ elsewhere. Their conventional wisdom is curiously anti-national as well.
“All the news that is fit to print” simply isn’t printed in India; only that news is printed which supports a particular viewpoint. Besides, those who do not toe the line are blackballed: you cannot get published. Several people have told me their personal experience of being excluded for their views.
This perverted system engenders a persistent anti-India bias in international media, too. When in India, foreign correspondents interact primarily with Delhi’s insular, incestuous sling-bag-wallah-journalist nexus that sneers at middle India; their endemic prejudices infect the foreigners too.
Article continues below the advertisement…
At least the Western media pays lip service to being non-judgmental. In India, there is an obvious industrialist-politician-journalist axis. They ‘manufacture consent’. But they were caught red-handed, Watergate-style, in the Radia tapes incident. Thereupon, the entire media closed ranks, and buried the story, hoping it would go away: this tactic has always worked in the past. Unfortunately for them, this time it didn’t work, because Internet readers, especially Twitterati (those using the Twitter social network), kept the issue alive.
Self-important scribes became concerned about their image on Twitter. When they were not given fawning adulation, they began abusing the Twitterati as cave-dwelling illiterates or “Internet Hindus”, showing their habitual scorn for the ‘little people’. One even threatened people with IPC 509, “insulting the modesty of a woman”, simply for questioning her dogmas.
But the Twitterati, mostly middle-class, urban, young, tech-savvy Indians, both in India and abroad, were not browbeaten, and responded in kind — and in this level-playing-field medium, they had exactly the same access as any high-and-mighty journalist. The latter, accustomed to being little tin-pot dictators and censoring any opinions they didn’t like in their media, were quickly put on the defensive.
And this developed into a sort of dependency: the scribes desperately wanted respect from the Twitterati! Not surprisingly, Twitterati have utter contempt for the journos, and said so in no uncertain terms. The Twitterati — some influential commentators include @atanudey, @barbarindian, @sandeepweb, @swathipradeep2 —clearly did not buy the same old anodyne Kool-Aid that was being dished out.
And then the western media picked up what bloggers and Twitterati were saying. This hit the uppity journos where it hurt the most. They fulfilled their greatest ambition — getting their coveted fifteen minutes of fame in the New York Times or Washington Post; but, alas, it was via a commentary on their (lack of) journalistic ethics and on the harsh judgment of the Internet readers.
As a result, Vir Sanghvi, for all practical purposes, fell on his sword, shutting down his impugned column. Barkha Dutt tried the opposite tack: brazening it out and proclaiming innocence. This did not work; NDTV’s credibility is damaged and her ratings have plummeted (according to TAM data for December). An attempt at self-defense on TV boomeranged: she appeared shifty and guilty as charged, Nixon-like.
Furthermore, the IBN network, also viewed with derision as #IBNlies, was caught by @preeti86, ham-handedly fabricating fake tweets (messages) from non-existent identities in an effort to inflate support for its positions.
Pathetically, the scribes and their sock-puppets (planted supporters) are attempting to paint themselves as victims of a conspiracy among Twitterati. But this is not selling. One of the sock-puppets, some minor Bollywood type screeching #stopabuseontwitter, showed himself to be a hypocrite by making crude sexual suggestions to a woman online, and then running for cover when someone brought up IPC 509.
Fed-up Internet mavens have long complained that the media in India is corrupt, sold out (#paidmedia and #dalalmedia are popular terms) and anti-national. It appears that the Twitterati have finally created an alternative, uncensored, independent channel for news and commentary which is as subversive as the samizdat underground press in the erstwhile Soviet Union was. Even more ominously for the powerful, there is the example of OhmyNews in Korea. This paper, initially a one-man effort, became so popular that eventually it was instrumental in toppling an elected regime in 2002.
Will the emergent people’s media in India play a similar role? That would be poetic justice — he who corrupts the media falls to its new, web-enabled incarnation. The establishment, naturally, will fight this: a new push to monitor Internet usage may lead to a great firewall of India, stifling the new medium.
** ** **
I found its author to be Rajeev Srinivasan and I got this from the net on some nondescript sight. Interesting, valid and well researched. The reactions to it – ten of them I think – were from the community themselves and were not complimentary at all. I would guess not.
In Hindi we call it ‘chor ki dadhi mein tinka’ – a guilty conscience pricks the mind !
I would be most interested to read the reactions of the Ef on this .. freely, frankly and without any compulsion
I thank you again and do await eagerly when we shall meet again in the early hours of the morning ..
London, UK the Isles off the Sea Jan 18, 2011 Tue 4 : 45 AM local time GMT
My Father passed away today, after spending 96 years of his life since the year 1907.
My Father lives today within, with all his words and deeds and feelings and impressions.
My Father, who gave me life, but more than that a life within a life.
My Father who introduced himself as just another earth and mud creation, of living his mind with the exuberance and intoxication of life, for just a few moments.
Much have I spoken of him and about him throughout our discourses in these thousand days of our association. And much has been imbibed by you through me on his existence, his thoughts and his mind. I feel inadequate to put in words what more I could gift to you that belonged to him. A lifetime of genius takes several lifetimes to comprehend. And we have just one !
My prayers to the Almighty today and always, shall only ask, for his soul to be in peace and wellness. For him to know and feel how much he is missed and loved. And for him to understand that no matter how hard we may try, we shall never be able to match his legacy even by a millionth.
London , the Isles off the Sea Jan 17, 2011 Mon 5 : 40 PM local GMT
At the Apasara Awards .. and presentations by the President of the Guild for Guzarish ..
A file picture at the Awards -Ramesh Sippy of Sholay, Karan Johar of K3G, KANK, Sanjay Leela of Black ..
the Kensville Golf country, Gujarat .. bad swing, need to train more … but the ball went a good 200 yards !!
Later at the Kensville evening … love and affection … always a joy …
Just a smiling moment …
But the smile disappeared soon after in the morning of my Hotel in London, the Isles off the Sea, when the alarm bells rang and police officers rushed in to evacuate the St James Court Hotel because of an impending emergency.
Having just come out of a shower it was a rushed job to grab whatever one could and leave to anxious commands by the authorities. Women , children , staff all bundling out into an open area behind the Hotel – a School play field. The biting cold of the UK, skimpy dress and unprepared clothing to face the chill – it was a bit treacherous ! Luckily had the sense to grab the mobile, but not the purse. So having waited for a while and seen the entire area surrounded by blaring sirens and fire brigades and cops, decided to venture out behind the premises to hail a car and drive off to some distance as advised. In a few hours, the management called to say all was clear.
There is a building right in front of the Hotel that has just been brought down to rebuild another. The base and the plinth area has been dug out, like a large crater and the workers had put their power station inside it at the bottom of this large pit. Incessant rain in the last few days has caused the area to flood. Fearing water going into the power station and causing an explosion due to short circuiting, they cleared the region, because had there been an explosion the very heavy cranes that had been based within this pit, would have been thrown off balance and crashed onto the Hotel, causing extensive damage. The cranes and the pit and the building is in fact right opposite my very window and now that I have had a closer look, I do feel it would have hit my room first. So am happy I did what was asked of me to do, with a bit of the grumble thrown in !!
On then to matters bloggish in content and not as one abusingly addressed me on Twitter a short while ago : ‘Just shut up and stop behaving like a reporter giving news ‘ !
What a boon modern communication ! Had just to open up my little palm Black Berry the size of my mobile phone or my iphone, punch in a few alphabets and the whole universe starts pounding you with queries and concern. And as we move on in years and days and hours a gadget that completely destroys all that you thought was the ultimate springs up and astonishes you. Your mobile phone when placed alongside your camera, digital camera as it takes a picture can now simultaneously pick up the picture on the mobile without doing anything. No connect wire to transfer, no nothing. The camera now carries a chip called the ‘i-fi’, as in wi- fi and automatically transfers picture on mobile when you hold it close enough to the body of the camera while taking a picture.
The new refrigerator has a device loaded on the door of the fridge which is digitally connected to your mobile. It will tell you through the mobile when you go to the aps., of the fridge what the fridge contains and what it does not. So if you are driving home from work and want to stop by the grocery store to pick up stuff for the house, dial in to the fridge and it will tell how many eggs, fruits, drinks, colas etc it has stocked so you could buy in whatever is necessary without having to come home and check personally. Of course each time you use something from fridge you go to the panel and through touch shift icons of eggs or colas or whatever to the empty section so the door panel knows what is empty and what is full. Its the same device with washing machines. Mobile tells you when the machine has finished the twirling and washing and drying, so you can then come up to it and get the clothes out.
Hmmmm … !!
Getting naughty ideas of what if such devices were fitted on to humans !! No elaborations needed on that !!
Internet ! You lovely piece of invention ! You have smashed the myth of singular opinion. Of destroying beyond comprehension that information is no longer the domain of ‘we few, we happy few, we band of brothers’ ! Today the opinion of each is as voluble and as intense and as respectful as any other. Today the reliance on one medium has transferred itself to its non reliance. Objectivity, the muse of the mediums that professed transparency, has acquired many muses. Objectivity in the past was in many cases manufactured, devised to exhibit the non bias of those that sat on information. Not any more. That opaque screen has now converted itself into one that need never be opaque. It has lost its position and import to be in such condition. Science and discovery and evolution has become a signatory to poetic justice. Legal justice runs through norms and acts and references and conclusions and judgements. It has always been depicted by the figurine of a human form holding a balance with a black cloth covering their eyes depicting blindness. ‘Andha Kanoon’, blind justice they popularly say. Human evidence, jury judgement has been the final legal word. Now assisted by the carrier of material through the cyber in millions of nano seconds , Google and Wikipedia rule and decide and judge and inform. This then forms the element of decision. Our decisions are run by the cyber.
What I shall ingest on blog and Twitter and Facebook and what ever, shall be recognized as worthy of appearing on the conventional medium. You and I shall be in position to run our own news our own opinions and not have to wait and depend on the more popular form held each morning with a hot cup of tea or coffee. The laptop, the tablet the pad is all that is required … now slowly shifting to an even smaller form in the mobile phone. Where are we going ? And where shall it all end, if at all it ends ? No one knows !
The Isles off the Sea Jan 16 , 2011 Sun 11 : 57 local time
‘The Isles off the Sea’ created quite a debate did it not ! And many intellectuals researched the history of it through the millions of years, and its existence and its present probable condition, concluding quite conclusively its positioning by the coast of Ireland or Scotland !!
Impressive analysis and final judgement, but not just quite right. And there shall be no indication what is ! So …
But a day spent in production work for ‘Budda’ and the discussions and meetings have taken away most of the cold and wet Sunday. Not much of an issue really considering there were intermittent bursts of cinema, soccer and American Football in between. And yes tons of chips and biscuits – which may not be the most desired choice of food, say the purists that control diet and weight issues ! But hey ! Solitude includes a little departure from routine and form ..
I do wish that I spend more contemplative time with my EF, but Chicago plays well against Seattle amidst snow flakes in the air and a boisterous support crowd which suggests that it is being played in the ‘windy city’. I need to get back to it. And I do hope that you shall allow me the liberty to do so. I am attempting to be back soon to perhaps include some more on the page .. my conscience does not allow any lack of interest in this regard.
There were some urgent requests for more pictures from recent events. There was also an attempt to respond to responses to as many as i could attend to. I do hope that those that missed out were not too disappointed. It is done randomly and this could result in a few being missed out at the last minute. But fear not, I do go through them all, and am so impressed by the nature of information and debate that ensues. Do maintain this. It is educative and so informative for me. And for the others too. I also notice that there is a great amount of conversation amongst each other in the EF. Which is healthy ; though any kind of personal accusation or comment should most decidedly be avoided. The pollution of the format would be a disgrace to its dignity and respect.
Character and nature are such an important ingredient in individuals. They qualify us for society ; in presence, in how we are received and what impressions we create. Many judge us for related issues through them. They may not necessarily be connected to the subject of immediate interest, but even in matters related they show up. The way you dress or speak, or attend a telephone, or receive and see off guests. It could be in the way strangers are addressed, or the way our attitude is judged in the decisions we make. In the way we react to drawing room conversations, or just conversations. In our sense of justice and personal care. In the way we write or address people. In the way we tackle a particular programme. In the way we want others to think about us, or how we think of others .. the list is endless and so incomplete ..
We may mistake our views on others in their demeanor. They may mistake ours. That would fall in the same category as an indicator of nature and character. Communities, regions, nationalities get judged similarly and it becomes a fascinating study, both theoretically and physically. Many who master the art of such notice, at times are clever enough to use it to advantage in their daily conduct and profession. Business deals could be reflected in the knowledge of another’s character, either to advantage or disadvantage. Such a fascinating subject …
Then there are yardsticks and measures of it. Many shall believe that their attitude and nature is prime and correct. Others may not. The difference could end in debate or departure. There really is no standard. What is good for one may not be good for the other and vice versa.
It is best then to construct your own standard for it and hope that others accept. I lay my own standard for excellence or appreciation or ethics, others may not agree and oppose it. Fine. But I have the satisfaction of being true and honest at least to what I have devised. Now a criminal may devise something and live according to this argument and belief. True. But then the ultimate truth should be the law and the constitution of the place of nationality or living. That would be the ultimate acceptance of truth. The morals, the culture that has been laid according to founding Father’s. Those that build a society and those who have been formally and legally had acceptable judgement of it.
Why did I start this in the first place ? I have no idea …
Good that I do not .. my area of influence would have been shortened … ha ha
Love to you … my bed sends warm invitations, laced with happy thoughts … this my nature shall not ignore !!
In the Isles off the Sea Jan 15 , 2011 Sat 11 : 39 PM local time
When you travel often and long and when you have deprived sleep before, there is every possibility that when you do get to rest it shall invariably end up in disorientation ! As did happen to the I. And it is quite quite frightening !
It has happened often with me and it is an indicator that rest for the body in my normal circumstances is such an important commodity. Irrespective of age and condition, it is indeed a reviver. Of bringing one back to its prime state. Of recuperation. Of mending all that may have been broken or destroyed. What a wonderful system, our bodies, and what a wonderful way we destroy it with our careless and frivolous habits, when all it needs is an act that we actually all enjoy – sleep and rest !!
It is the simplest things in life that give us the most endearing and lasting solutions to the complex !
I had always wondered why individuals suggested solitude and ‘be with yourself’ moments as being an important ingredient in our existence, or in the existence of any human. I felt it to be such a waste of essential time, when so much more could be done and accomplished. But being here in these solitary liberties, I am compelled to change, or at least consider to change my thinking. I feel with ample revitalization of the body, with ample time devoted to idle thinking, the quality of what you think is clearer and greatly enhanced.
Many a time have I heard and seen friends associates contemporaries ‘take off’ to some unknown isolation for ‘peace of mind’, to ‘recharge’ as it were. And I have laughed within, at this their demeanor. For me recharging has been to be at work, to get into the business, to not be away from it ; for that is what re establishes, that occupies and keeps one connected. And surely once connected, you enjoy the presence of its benefit, its surroundings and its effects. But I think I need to change most of my arguments that tilted towards the past to what I feel today in the present. I am alone and still and in solitude and if I may say so … rather enjoying it !
There is a certain satisfaction to be aware that I do not report, or answer, or concern myself to anyone. Yes … the concern shall always be there because of the social responsibilities that we commit early on in life. But at present it remains not so pronounced and definitive. A laxity prevails. Distance from it could be the reason or a disconnect due to distance. In the olden times this could have been a pronounced path. Not so now. Communication on the palm of the hand and on the tips of ones fingers prevents that. We know it is there and immediate. Not so in the days gone by. So in the days gone by there was a greater resistance to the connect, primarily because you knew that there was limited possibility. What had to happen without would happen without. You were reconciled to it. Not so now. Now the responsibility of refusing a connect using an old excuse is un pardonnable. There is outrage and anger if ever that element was used or brought up as an excuse.
But, they argue … you could have done this … or this … or then why didn’t you … how could you not know that this was … if one failed, you should have tried the …
……… and so on !
Never were there so many options in the past. And therefore never were there the reasons and questionings that developed. Better ? Who knows ! Awkward situations and moments of answerability perhaps helped us then … perhaps shall not now … in some ways not all !!
A connect is a connect. It has its benefits and qualities that are attractive and lasting and essential. Look at all of us now. Our connect is bringing us together everyday, every moment with such intimacy and consideration. Imagine this earlier when the facility lacked in its effect and operation. Merely the time taken in building all of it would have deterred most of us. But who knows ! The very fact of a delayed operation in those times could well have been the bond that we so liberally use now. Maybe those bonds could have turned out to be stronger. Or maybe not. Maybe the immediacy of the present is what cannot be overlooked, simply because the immediacy of the other elements of our society cannot be set aside or slowed down.
Life is such a sucker. We clamor and delight in its construct for betterment. Betterment comes in the shape of wanting to find and invent ways and means to ease our way of existing and working. And when that is achieved we work to speed it even more. Shorter cuts in life is what we aim continuously, in its functioning. Yet when it comes to nostalgia, we lament the past … we are a funny people !!
And thank the Lord that we are funny ! If not we would have been living in the age of the stone ! Evolution shall always be welcomed, but what transpired earlier shall always be referred to as being the ‘good ol’ days’ !!
I wonder why I say this today – ahhh ! yes !! Solitude and its wonders … you think clearer, or at least pretend that you do .. am I really pretending … who knows … and who will ever know !!
Whooaahh !! The number of responses almost equalled the number of days on the blog ! Thank you all for your gracious congratulations and words of encouragement and love. I am truly blessed to have all of you in my fold and blessed that I can acknowledge all as my extended family.
Just ruminating over the start of this association and those early days, one is filled with great nostalgia. How on earth did this concept begin and how did we all put our energies together to make it last for such an extended period of time. Why did I ever call it DAY 1 and why did I never change the heading despite many requests to title the headings according to the content it contained ? Why did I never ever miss out a day, and why …
Ah ! Just so many ‘why’s’ that throng the mind.
Happily though we have weathered many a storm and come through it bright and happy. And may it ever remain so. And may we now look forward to the DAY’s to come and the constancy of your love and affection.
Today has been an auspicious day – Makar Sankranti , Lodhi , Pongal – all the festivals from the North to the South of the country, inviting prosperity and joy among us all. For me personally it has been an encouraging day – if one can call it encouraging. I signed on for two seasons of Kaun Banega Crorepati. This year and the next.
Film shoots start around the 24th of this month for ‘Aarakshan’ of Prakash Jha, followed by ‘Budda’ by Puri Jagganath and then a Rakesh Mehra production and of course our own R Balki film. Getting busy again.
I am afraid this communication is going to be short today. I leave for Europe in a few hours on work and hopefully shall be connecting with you all soon. My apologies then and as always my thoughts and prayers and love with the EF as ever …
Now that it is upon us and now that so much has been written and expected of it, a thousand days seems innocuous and almost of minimal interest. There are demands and expectations of some to do something special. Some have done it already – the UAE FmXt under Shankar for example, some have individually written about it, and I am grateful that you have remained with me and built this platform with the kind of intensity and devotion seldom seen or heard. But surely DAY 1000 is just another day, another connect, another reason why we all come together. Cynics, naysayers, critics, abusers all have brushed against us. Attempted through various means to destroy what we felt was a medium that only spoke of love and togetherness. That spoke of compassion to various others. That corrected the incorrect. That challenged the defiant aggressor. That shared and heard. That prayed for the good and well being of those in distress. That laughed and got laughed at. That made mistakes and admitted its reason. That became a contributor, that got notice and appreciation. But most of all that collected members to become a part of the extended family ! For that I am most grateful and obliged. We proved to many that they were wrong in judging us and our intent. That we outlived what they had thought was a passing phase, an aberration.
We persisted, persevered and remained faithful. We kept going. And we learnt that nothing stands in the way of those that keep going. We fell and injured ourselves. We were beaten back on occasion. But we stood up, brushed ourselves from the dirt and muck and strode on, unmindful and unconcerned of what the ‘other’ said or did.
We reached many destinations and conquered many peaks, slid down at times, but fought our way up again. We have never desired to reach anywhere, because quite frankly we have never desired to. We just keep going without any final destination. And that is our strength, our purpose and aim. We move without setting any destination. If we move our destination will come. And then another and another …
We shall have several destinations to reach. But God knows which is the one we desire. And may we never know. For there is such a sense of purity in the unknown. Better to get there on our own and know its worth, than to know its worth and not get there.
‘We few we happy few we band of brothers’ and sisters … thank you is but an apology for my expression of true worth that I receive from you each hour and day. My failure in not being able to connect would be the unhappiest day for me and the connect the most satisfying.
Remain with me. Let us walk together each day, hands held together in silence of mind and spirit, but in the largest volume of sound in the beats of our hearts. If I offend I seek forgiveness. If there is cause for mistrust may they all be an illusion. If there is anger, let it remain an incomplete phrase, an expedition in futility.
May the Almighty bless all of you for the respect and love that you have imparted to me … and may we continue in every step with greater maturity and strength ..
Up early to take the flight to Ahmedabad. Conducted meetings with team AB Corp on board. Picked up on the tarmac and off to Kensville Golf Living an hour and a half away – a golf facility with housing coming up rapidly and the venue of an International Golf Tournament, perhaps the first for Gujarat. Crowds people autographs a million pictures, driving a golf ball for the electronic, more press, more pictures, non stop visitors and finally the award presentation to winners in the opener today, music by Rekha Bharadwaj and her melodious mellow voice, back to airport and take off into a waiting period of over an hour, and then Mumbai touch down !
A lot packed into one day, but worth every bit of it. It is always wonderful to see young blood showing initiative and drive in achieving a dream. And today was an example of what drive can do. Kensville is an entire city by itself around a beautiful golf course, indigenously designed and the accomplishment of a few that worked ceaselessly to achieve it. May they grow and proper in the future too.
Back home with the grandchildren and the other bachchas lounging around the ‘box’ and watching some basketball greats in their moment of incredible glory. Michael Jordan, Shaq, Magic … unbelievable feats on the courts !! Had bumped into Magic Johnson once in LA in the lobby of a hotel. Bumped into would be the exact metaphor to use. I had sailed into his midrif by accident. Even at 6’2″ its the midrif that I would reach in any case standing next to a basketball giant. A polite and gentle seeming Magic had smiled and helloed when I greeted him. Then later saw him live at the Forum in LA at a game. Seen many other greats too in action at the Madison Square Garden, during many of the Knicks game … such extraordinary talent and agility … true sportsman quality !!
I leave for Europe day after on production work for upcoming film and shall be back just in time to join the crew and cast of ‘Aarakshan’ in Bhopal for Prakash Jha. Life is getting busy and committed and soon many of the questions being raised by the likes of Fatima in SoAfrica on my non-working anxiety, shall be quelled. Silence works best with the loudest noise, when allowed to remain silent !
And I am silent of the fact that it is time for me to lay my head .. may I ? Thank you ..
Love you all and more … and sorry for the Zenee W. mishap. Of course it is Rene Z… thank you the correction !!
Another award function, another award, another thanksgiving speech, another moment of greetings to fraternity not met …. another trophy among the others on a wall !
The Apsara Awards just concluded. The awards given by the Producers Guild of the Film Industry and yours truly won for best actor in ‘PAA’ and also gave away the special Presidents awards to the team of ‘Guzarish’ – Hrithik, Aishwarya and Sanjay Leela Bhansali. The 2009 awards were running behind time and so I got mine now instead of earlier.
But the evening was free and spent in watching more films and what a film I saw -’The Cinderella Man’ with Russell Crowe and Zenee W…. The emotions and the moments of a boxer in the times of the great depression in America, simply exquisite and so painstakingly made and executed.
In many ways my connect with the film was nostalgic and personal – having been a participant inside boxing rings in school. And much of the climax of the film seemed too close for comfort for me and my own experience in Sherwood College, Nainital.
In school you entered the boxing ring because it won you a point for the ‘Cock House’ title – the most prestigious title that each ‘house’ yearned for. Because of my height, I would always find myself being pushed into a higher weight and stronger contenders. During the school championships I fought my way through to the finals, where I was to encounter someone who was not only stronger and bigger than me, but was also the Most Scientific Boxer of the College. On the night before the fight, my Principal came up to my bed in the dormitory and told me that I should walk away from this fight, because my opponent being so strong would hurt me grievously, kill me. Soon after he left my PT Instructor walked in and told me to fight or else he would kill me. Kill not to be taken in the literal sense but, you know what I mean. ( Why do I have a funny feeling I have narrated this episode to you in an earlier post ? ). I listened to my PT instructor and went into the ring the next day and gave it all. I almost won. Everyone was shocked and surprised. For my pluck and courage they gave me a special cup of the ‘Pluckiest Loser’.
The story of Braddock in the film was much the same in the final moments and I could not resist my tears when it was all over. The boxing ring has been to me a wonderful example of life. When you are in there you are alone. You fight alone. Outside the ring the masses and those that cheer scream and shout for you, but never enter.
Life has similar connotations. The world screams and shouts all kinds of advice and suggestions and actions to be undertaken, but in the end you fight your battles alone. No one comes to assist you, no one helps you. Its just you and your opponent, your issue, your problem. And you fight best when you fight alone. There are many in life that shall volunteer to hold you and guide you through. But in the end you must know that when the bell rings the round and the ‘seconds’ that come in there with the towels and water and advice, leave, it is just you your capability and your opponent. Locked inside those four sided ropes are your hopes and aspirations. Conquering the obstacles the punches the blows to your body and coming out a winner, is the finest and the greatest tests and lessons of life.
I had a picture of me inside the ring during that bout and then with my trophy, but time and tide have misplaced it. Gone forever those wonder moments. Gone physically, but not in spirit. I remember the incident ever so often. I try to bring back the spirit of its meaning in todays life and circumstance and I do not know whether I succeed in it or not. But it remains with me.
Fight of life is a fight you fight alone. And if you lose, lose as if you almost won. Be a plucky loser than one that gave in tamely. If I go down I must go down giving it a good fight – with pluck and courage !! So help me God !!
Tomorrow … Ahmedabad ! For the inauguration of a site for development in the State of Gujarat. Shall be back by late evening, back to connect again with you and the extended family …
Satyam writes that Rushdie wrote that Malayalam is the only ‘palindromic’ language word in the entire world !
‘Palindromic’, which has nothing to do with Palin the politician from the US, that was fighting for the post of President, is a word that means, a word that reads the same both ways. Front and back. So Malayalam is the one such language word in the entire world that reads the same both ways !!
Fascinating is it not !
Still reeling from the after effects of last night and the grace and dignity shown to me I give you below, yours truly at the event – traditional and all ….
The ‘dhoti’ and the top were a gift from the organizers, which I thought appropriate to wear and the ‘angavastra’, the gold lined silk draped over the shoulders are the respectful presentations from Mohan Lal and Mammootty, as an honored gift. And the last picture with the smile on their faces as hold the mike is because I had just started my speech of thanks by speaking a few words in Malayalam !
” Keralatiley ella malayalikalkum, ende namaskaram” !!
To the people of Kerala and the Malayali speaking, namaskar ! My respect ful greetings with folded hands !
The respect and dignity that they accord me humbles me to an extent that I am unable to fathom or understand. I am but an ordinary individual that gets glorified through the medium that I work in. My medium needs recognition, needs the dignity and the respect, not me. If there had been no medium there would have been no me. So I respect the profession that has given me the opportunity to be a part it, and created for me a vehicle that I am privileged to ride from time to time.
The Hotel at Kochi (Cochin) is a heritage sight and it is a delight to be able to observe and enjoy some of its glorious past. The typical Keralite architecture, the low sloping roofs, the wooden floorings and the banisters, the large and elegant wooden pillars that hold up these enormous and beautifully structured buildings … all such a joy to behold. The concept of the ‘aangan’, or the courtyard is a favorite of mine. And if I ever build another house, that would be my first priority. It is such a prominent feature in most homes in the South and in parts of the North, particularly Uttar Pradesh. It is a space which is private and personal yet open to the elements. And that is its greatest attraction.
The Award season has started with a vengeance and every other day there shall be hectic calls and invitations to be present at them. There shall be that frenzied speculation on the winners and the losers and the hopefuls and the disappointments. And soon when the season is over we shall all get back to doing what is best for us. There shall be rumors and gossip on who got what and when and why. There shall be heated arguments on the results. Theories of conspiracy and intrigue shall be thrown around. And then all of a sudden it is all over. Rewards are such a funny business. Not just here in Mumbai and its film industry, but I am certain in every institution that builds up to award individuals. The desire and the yearning of being ‘officially’ recognized as being better than the others is such a universal human behavior. Once fallen prey to it, it can actually destroy your mind in believing that that is in fact the truth. There could be no greater falsehood than that. I believe each creative input has its own immense merit and dignity, one that can never be replaced by another. An individual, an institution an organization may think otherwise and long may they live to do so. But the merits that come to each individual personally when he indulges in the craft of creation, cannot be understood or surpassed or compared with another. Creative comparisons or gradings are odious. Each act of creativity is a masterpiece in the eyes of the creator, and that is what needs to be respected. Winning an award does not and never will, make me a superior actor. No jury or judge shall ever have the capability or the capacity to pass judgement on and give merits to an artist in comparison to the others in the creative field. We and only we will know what our true worth and merit is. The blood sweat and tears that we shall shed in our drive for creative satisfaction shall be the reckoners, not any other. How can they ? Unless they are willing to shed their own !
Awards and their history have a long association with me and I shall someday share with all the EF my experiences. But some other day.
Till then, good night, shubh ratri, shabba khair and may the Almighty bless you all …
Taj Malabar, Vivanta, Cochin Kerala Jan 9, 2011 Sun 11 : 41 PM
Goodness !! What an evening !! Asianet the very popular Tv Channel here in ‘God’s Own Country’ – Kerala had its annual awards night and they had asked me to come over. I thought it would be just another presence they were asking, but they had a surprise in store and gave me a Lifetime Achievement, with an incredible presentation of my work through all these years. Such a moving and truly humbling moment for me. Thank you Asianet for taking all the trouble you did in inviting me and then honoring me with this recognition … an evening I shall never forget.
Earlier as I arrived at this marvelous property, I think I recollected having come here earlier during one of my shoots for a film that was being made by a South producer. The Hotel is on the banks of the river cum sea and is a beautiful location as the boats and the streamers slide by, during the setting sun. There has since been a lot of development around and even though it has not robbed the place of its original beauty, one does feel oppressed by fresh additions to this heritage building, now restored by Taj to become a luxury hotel.
As I arrived I spent time with the Star Singer competitors – young amateur singers that partake in this reality show where their talent is given thrust and encouragement. Such a wonderful bunch of young singers and so talented. They sang songs from my films even though they are Malayalee and would have problems speaking Hindi, with such confidence and aplomb. Fascinating.
I have finally been able to make contact with EF Amitabh Zibbu and even though he is unwell, he is at home. I am alarmed how some of the EF had the gall to spread those wild rumors about him. My sincere prayer and wish to all our blog guests is this. The sanctity of this platform is above petty animosity and unqualified mischief. If you are not within your bounds to accept this, then I would prefer to lose you as a member than tolerate such blatant nonsense. We have built a ‘family’ with a lot of perseverance and love. It would be unacceptable to find members trying to destroy it, or use this platform to settle scores and personal idiotic squabbles. Get off it, or get off !!
Mohan Lal and Mamooty the two stalwarts of Malayalam cinema have always been most gracious in their reaction and contact with me and it was a joy to be in their proximity again. They are by far one of the most talented artists of the country ; both having been associated with fine and popular cinema in the region, having won huge laurels and awards in the National sphere as well. One wishes them well and greater success in the future.
Its another early morning tomorrow and so shall have to limit my thoughts to this short episode.
Remain well and in good bearing … and remember, we spread love and not hate and jealousy on this medium ..
A battle ensues. The cold with the body. And the cold is seemingly better at this than the body. Such a drain. Pun unintended. Listless and devoid of any energy, one merely lounges around, about to doze off. Its the antibiotics taking over and some other cold preventive drugs that are playing havoc with the system.
And the amount of remedies that are present in the times of today to beat and tackle this colorful ailment, is not even funny to imagine. What is really funny to imagine is the fact that none of these remedies ever work. A cold takes its time to appear and disappear. Except perhaps in my case where it takes months to disappear, hence the worry of a prolonged treatment !
Ok … enough patronage to this common cold ! It deserves less ! So away with it !
Cochin beckons tomorrow. A function by their Tv channel Asianet, an opportunity to visit ‘God’s own Country’ yet again and the chance to meet up with some of my favorites -MohanLal ‘Laletan’ and Mamooty. It is always a joy spending time with contemporaries, people from our own fraternity. They may be in different language, but when the camera rolls we are all the same – professional, disciplined and nervous as hell ! I have always admired the sense of discipline in the South. Have admired their management qualities and the reverence they show to fellow artists and to the profession. We in the Western parts of the nation still have a long way to go before we can match up to them in this, but I think that we are getting there. Cinema from the State of Kerala has always been aesthetic and sensitive even in their commercial versions, the literacy quotient being the highest in the country. Though according to recent analysis other states are catching up, if not surpassing them.
The point is that a higher level of education and understanding for the medium shall automatically bring about a sensibility that then leads to appreciating the finer works of art. Though I have to say that it is not always necessary that higher education means higher sensibility. When the level of education shall rise, when the opportunity to educate oneself shall be equal to all, then shall we see a marked change in the attitude of our markets and our consumers and our mind ! Most importantly our mind.
Of the many incidents that we read and witness, it is the absence of the mind in them that brings us the unfortunate tag of being lesser individuals. The wheels within the wheels of time and life are too complicated to try to resolve them. So, one smiles a wry smile and moves on.
I write in a whirl now. The head and body can be felt in revolt. They demand that I stop and pay greater attention to them than to struggle on. I generate a hostile yet friendly gesture of not wanting to betray the EF. They are the substance of my life now and they shall be the first to know perhaps if things are not going their way.
Much as I would like to continue, the sniffles and the tissues are now in great abundance. They are taking pride of place. They ride revolt. We get crushed by them ! Hence this !
I leave now with heavy heart … to conclude so urgently and with such abruptness is not my doing. It is the doing of the body which in most cases does not comply entirely with the body..
A cold develops and drains the body of all energy. Weak and listless with aching muscles the day begins with medication and more medication. There is a symptom to drown oneself in sleep but work schedules keep one going. The appetite diminishes, the pace becomes slow, words of others seem to come from some distant tunnel, and yours appear to not come at all, or from some other source. This condition has been absent from my constitution for a very long time. It is surprising therefore that I have succumbed to it. Funny. But funnier still are the assessments made for its reason to be there.
‘Its excessive sun in the last few days’ … says an excited voice that has obviously been following my water and ski escapades, body exposure and all, through the media.
‘You are working too hard and not taking enough rest’ …. say others, not having any clue whatsoever about my sojourn for the past 8 days. Indeed it has been the non work that could have perhaps been the cause.
And by the morrow there shall be, after reading this report, many from the EF, that shall come about with their own concerned opinions ! Thank you dearest ones ! The idea is not to cause worry or grief, but merely to give that which I receive in a mode of sharing rather than keeping away. This moment is sacred and pure. There is consternation on it, sarcasm and ridicule, but it never does or shall disuade me from my commitment. In my little moment of solitude and connect, it is the most evolving moment and time for me. This time cannot be lost on responses to the snide and absurd. ‘Carry some biscuits for the barking dogs, but keep moving regardless’, said a very prominent citizen of our contemporary world. I think he spoke wisely.
I have had during the course of the day, a most interesting meeting with a media relations group. A group that works as an intermediary between the celebrity or high profile and the media. It has been a most revealing and learned experience for me.
My job as an artist or as a professional is to do my work to the satisfaction of those that employ me. In that respect I have and should not have any other concern but to deliver what is desired of me. It is then up to the employer to push it out to its audience in whichever manner he or she deems fit. It is the job of the media I believe, that they do the work of noticing my work and finding it fit enough to be written about. This is their prerogative and right and that is what they have been doing. I think it to be ethically wrong that I be the one that would want from them to notice my work and then mention it to the rest of the world. If my work is commendable the people will notice it. If my work is commendable the media will write about it. But it is very difficult for me to tell media of the merits of my work and then ask them to mention.
Our job is to work, their job is to notice. BUT … in todays times, as I have sadly discovered, it is not enough that our job should be to only work. It has now come to pass that our job should also be to tell and scream and shout to the media to notice it and bring it to mention. I find it embarrassing and most self conscious to be able to cater to such taste. Others do not. Others that belong to this generation and time. And so at the end of the day, it shall soon come to pass that for us to toe the line set by present circumstances, would be in order without any hesitation.
The practicality of the business seems inevitable and correct when viewed in todays circumstances. And many do it and are involved in it. I find myself hesitating in taking the step so to say, but am so overwhelmed by its system and its execution and working, that giving in to it shall become a must. Aesthetics, sensitivities be damned. This is how the world operates now – take it or take off !
One of my biggest fears in such endeavors is the complete loss of individuality and sensibilities. But then I argue, where else does one get to witness this in our present world. If the entire universe is turning left to right, I would never be able to sustain myself for even a brief second, working in the opposite direction. And if survival is the ultimate aim, better to survive than perish.
And so I shall change course. Bludgeoned by circumstance, whipped up through alternate objective, I shall stand in line. Perhaps at the end of it, still in disbelief and disillusion. But stand I must if I am expected to walk and run, hopefully a longer distance.
Good night dear ones …
I must confess I hate it when I reach this point of my communication ! I wish to be there longer and with more detail, never to end almost. But end I must and so …
I have been hearing and reading some alarming news about Zibbu, but have no confirmation or the source to check. I did send him a message just the other day and he responded. He has been unwell. I do hope he recovers.
Another day of bonding with the kids and spending some quality time with the little fellows and discovering so many fresh aspects of their exciting life. Such joys are so wondrous.
I am so tempted to write on a topic that shall surely become so annoyingly controversial that I shall have to contain myself and keep away from it. But this I can say that the times in the lives of us of today and the times in the lives of us then, have been through a sea change. And often have we wondered, which was and should be the better option. The elders always dwell on the past and the days gone by, never to come again. This generation shall have similar feelings in the years to come. Their present attitudes shall remain with them pristine and protected. They will refrain from entertaining any other. We at their age and circumstance would and had behaved similarly.
We at this stage may be in a position to get shocked or dismayed by what we see hear and experience. To those of now, nothing seems out of place. What is normal to them is perhaps alarming to us. Long may this difference last. But alarms are forerunners of change and at times drastic in nature. They are not necessarily easy to accept. We may find it hard and impossible to perceive what transpires today. But the people of today look upon it as normal and acceptable.
Within the industry, similar thoughts and sentiments exist. What could have been behind closed doors earlier are now blatantly open and acceptable. Time and circumstance changes everything. I guess we need to be thick skinned broad minded vestibules of this generations’ attributes. So be it. Some will acknowledge it, most not. I cannot find myself in either category. I do hope someday I shall, because I would want to.
I labor now to compose to think to write. I labor not for want of material. Material is immaterial. I labor because I am overburdened by prudence. Life is not without its restraints. Many feel honored to have exercised it. Its safe and dignified. At times though dignity and safety vie with each other to occupy the seat at the back. Back of an auditorium, back of a line, a queue – a position of insignificance. Pushed by desire, position, false pride, unacknowledged privilege, the front seaters of life enjoy abstract momentary bliss. Is that what we strive for, or should. Would that go down in history as acceptable form or would it be forgotten and declined as years pass by.
Ethics and culture shall survive the harshest quakes. The value and potential that they express would put any impudent mortal to shame. The momentary acclaim of recognition and fame and reverence, shall fade in the dark but lasting shadows of timeless posterity. Provided posterity had the potential of being timeless. Some from posterity do, most do not. The present shall never be able to understand this until they are overtaken by the future next. It is most harsh and difficult to comprehend. Letting go of the rainbow in your hand is devastatingly heartbreaking. But the rainbow is not the only respite. And even if it were, there would always be space for another.
I would work for the other if the one now were to be snatched away dishonorably. I would not expend much energy over what prevails now. Someone has already spent so much time and effort to achieve this. Better to look for fresh pastures, new horizons and unchallenged peaks. Better to be first there, stumbling and falling over in brave effort than to be reconciling with the transpired. Transpired is exhausted futility. Burden yourself with it and you shall carry it all your living years. Leaving it behind to selected freshness, but keeping it within vigil is appropriate and rewarding.
I would wish for all to thrive in reward. But contrived and subjected to manipulation, reward shall always be regarded as an ugly misnomer – one that I shall never be able to perhaps contend with. And I hope many others too.
A disturbed mind for creativity spells doom and nothing less. Creative minds will be disturbed. It enhances the effect of creation. If the disturbance is carried forward in the, work of his creation, for his creation, by his creation, I am comfortable with that. But if it does for its finite state, I shall not allow it to be entertained within me. It would be draining for me to indulge in any matter that is obtuse and evil and built to cause deformity. But it is also a form, unfortunately, that shall play relevant episodes albeit momentarily. The danger really is that many there in the environment, are satisfied by this short term presence. Better with something than with nothing. Sensible at times, but not in the context of what we discuss today …
Its been a long night and perhaps a longer morning tomorrow …
Good night then and may you accept my love in abundance …
There is a certain joy, an elation when family sits and bonds together. And so what started in Goa continued forward in Mumbai. But communication is of a different kind these days. Seven of us in one room, chatting and exchanging views and ideas and talk … but everyone with their iPad or iPhone or BB … ha ha ha … really funny !
We are all there in thought and mind, but also present in our respective cyber world too. Our thinking process has become multifaceted. And in the case of the younger generation triple multifaceted. The young man Agastya, will be playing his PsP and fretting over how he is being beaten by the machine, be teaching his Nana what button he must press to get his iPad in order, tell his Mother what troubles his stomach, munch what his Nani is stuffing down his throat and tease his sister over a song that she beats out from her ‘square tablet’, all this while he watches Imran romance Sonam on ‘I hate love stories’ over the dvd on the large Tv screen !! Incredible !
For the young this is normal existence. For the elder it is paranormal obsessive insanity. For me it is a joy of a lifetime. The young are not so young anymore and the elder needs to get tuned or get out. And he is quite a guy. Was up early banging on my door in the bedroom and wishing to see the papers to check if his picture on the jet ski had been on print .. ha ha . And when he did, that smile that followed, was impossible to recreate. In some where he was wearing his swim glasses over his eyes, the appreciation dipped … he is quite a star is he not !! Ha !
After the crowd and media attention the previous day, we decided to get him on the golf course to smack a few white balls. And I tell you he was a pro. Perfect stance, smooth fluid swing and the whack and follow through straight out of a golf manual ! I have told his Mother to get him back on the greens. There is a pretty smart golfer waiting to be discovered. And … he has an answer or suggestion for everything. A cough in the making and in all sincerity he will tell you a remedy – ‘take some hot water in a glass, put some salt in it and then gargle it out. Do it morning and evening, Nana and you see it will improve your condition’, he mutters while negotiating his PsP and without lifting his head up. Nonchalant and almost non communicative !!
Children ! What would we do without them !!
Vidya Balan called us over to the screening of their latest offering ‘ No one killed Jessica’, a strong film based on the real life incident of the Jessica Lal murder in a club in Delhi and the legal and police to and froms, before her family got justice, by punishing the killer, the son of a renowned and powerful politician. Pertinent, media friendly and brave effort by the makers. The performances living up to the title and story of the film.
Meeting Rani after so long was a joy. And Vidya is just so graceful always. My best wishes to them all for the film. It has been creating quite a buzz.
Returning back to a ‘gone to sleep’ home is distressing, but shall catch up with them all in the morning … and the all of you too …
It happened ! The early morning appointment with the kids and the sea and the jet ski’s. They were ready before me ! I thought they would sleep over, having travelled all the way from Phuket, Bankok and Mumbai to get here the previous day. But no ! The kids are on some other energy !
So off we went into the tempting waters and powerful jet ski’s – Navya driving by herself and a trainer behind her, and me taking Agastya for a ride first and then giving him the ropes later. Brother and sister are keen competitors. Each wanting to outdo the other. The basics were in place – ride the wave head on, steady on them that come from the side, slow down as you turn, switch off when approaching land beach. Among yelps and screams of speed and excitement, touching almost 60 kmph the freedom of space and endless water horizon is inviting to say the least.
Media and crowds landing up made us do a hurried exit. The little fellow getting very conscious and shy of them showed his discomfort, so had to abort sooner than what they may have wanted to. Pity. Perhaps tomorrow an earlier attempt and departure would be more appropriate at the jets !
Agastya’s idea of a holiday is to be in bed tucked in watching a movie. That is his expression, not mine. And so it was. Bundled him into my duvet, pillows all about him and a movie ahead. He remained there for most of the day, finger chips about him. The lady Navya, a more sober version of the brother is in the middle of a biography she is penning on her iPad. And so was content to be under the umbrella and with her thoughts. She writes well and has some unique ideas. The genes speak up ! I told her she had inherited that from my Father, her ‘parNana’, the great grand father. She smiled self consciously, happy that finally her braces were out !!
As I went off to do some chores within central Goa, they remained back and ‘chilled’. The President of India, Pratibha Patil ji is on a holiday in Goa and had lunch at the Hotel. An elegant little area was set up in the lawns overlooking the sea, where she and her husband entertained themselves. The area was just in front of our own room facility and Jaya sought an audience which she graciously agreed. She has always been most courteous and kind in all our meetings with her.
I am now in altered disposition – my body and face burnt black, or so the family says, from my hours of ‘sunbathing’. I enjoy it, getting the sun inside me and flushing me with healthy tan. Pity there are no pictures taken. The fancy camera that I pulled out after ages of healthily wrapped storage refused to work. Sometimes the most complex and so called ultra sophisticated instrumentation falls short of the job which an ordinary can do. Shall give it a shot again tomorrow morning !
And so it endeth that which has begun. Tomorrow its back to the grind. But the solace is that the ‘bachcha’s’ are with us. And will be for some time. Happiness and joy …
But it has been a great revelation this trip. I think its the longest I have stayed here, without work and any pre determined commitment. And the extent of pleasure and discovery has been amazing. I know now why so many migrate to this heaven. I know now why so many lounge in bohemian, carefree environs, without a care, without a worry. It is the nonchalance of the air that breathes inside you, the easy going demeanor of the locals, the beauty of the finest, within the unconventional, and the strength of good times. Thank you Goa. Our association must grow and build even more. It will, I am certain ….
Love and more tomorrow … early finish again … the young man threatens to be up for the ski early ..!!!
They arrived, my grandchildren and it has been non stop banter and activity. They are like restless beings, running about, involving themselves in varied acts all at the same time. How on earth do they do it. They each have their high end iPad, they write essays, they play games on it and quickly flip touch to a entire history of music to be played as we drive around, in a rather crowded and traffic jammed Goa – a reality that one never saw earlier. And while they are involved in all this they are carrying out a most complicated and interesting conversation on some pretty mature subjects. Gosh ! You need a computer to keep pace with them !!
The little fellow is a reincarnated questionaire, who’s desire to be kept abreast of every information under the sun is just non stop. She, my gorgeous little angel, is the quiet, understanding and mature looks kind. She is delighted that her braces are off and that her pretty face does not have to stifle a smile, in order to hide the metal on her.
She is 13. He is 10.
And they can both out beat each other in technological accumen. In fact tomorrow I shall seek advice and help in setting up my iPad, my rather complicated little camera and how a true ride on a jet ski ought to be, from them.
So how does one sit and spend quality time with them to give them lessons on life and the way it ought to be run ?
One does not. One just hopes that they shall follow by example and pick up all the right moves in life. One hears such frightening details these days of what the youth is really up to. Is it really worth it at the end of the day. Will the values that we were brought up with have any say in their lives today. I guess not. Makes a good idea for a film subject, does it not ? But beyond that one hopes and prays that they remain true to their culture and being, their family and its important integrity. We are fast becoming irreverent to many truths. Truths that shall determine future choices and labels. It is never going to be too late. But that bell has to be rung, cat or no cat !
I feel the way to do it would and should be, to make a gentle and soft start with any one aspect and diligently follow it through. Once that has fallen into place, introduce the other that needs attention, and so on. The importance of legacy has drifted away from them today. I wonder whether they value the matter of continuity. Of wanting to function in such degree that generates interest in the progeny to arrive still.
It would be a great pity if this very sensitive issue were to be referred to another. What needs to happen must happen within the norms of the world. It must care for and be responsible for the next generation. Selfishness and egocentric conditions shall always be a matter that shall drain the issue. The issue needs to survive. Death by its own or through device shall mar purpose.
And the more I dwell on the subject, the more I feel the need and necessity to fight the odds in some manner. It is not enough for me, and I would hope for all the others as well, that they put in what they possess best, first. All else should wait with some patience. If we can imply this to ourselves, then carrying it forward to the other would happen on its own and generously. So be generous, be that ingenious self that aware of circumstances still continues to fight against the grain, knowing fully well that this is not his voice. It is the voice of circumstance and it needs to gargle to get rid of the excruciating pain that has accompanied it !
Worth a thought I presume …
Till the ‘morrow then with fresh hope and desire to reckon to improve … and to remain out of all previous troubles.
Ok … its becoming addictive … this life of idle nothingness. And I now begin to register why Goa has been Goa all these years. I have been coming here since 1969 and with some regularity. But this trip has been almost like my very first. And I have to say that the impressions that I carry back, whenever ‘back’ happens, shall be somewhat nostalgic and one of wanting to be back in a hurry.
So being the most reticent among my near and dear ones such strong comment does seem a bit odd and out of place. But what can one do. When love strikes, it hits you like a bolt of lightening. And yes, it has struck. This little part of my country now invites me as often as possible and I know that from now on it shall be most difficult to not concede.
Music has always had that unique quality of conjuring up thoughts ideas and visuals that define something that perhaps does not exist, but that can be made to exist in form. As one listens to various forms of it, situations begin to crystalize within our imagination and they are so fascinating. As younger men we would put on some of the latest LP’s as they were known then, or the winding gramophone machine with the needle head on that lacquered disc, to get all that music limited within this invention, into our system. Provided of course the elders were not in. It was looked upon as a sacrilege if you were seen to be enjoying the discs, instead of immersing your head in your text books. But you played them, and imagined yourself in various formats. A dance floor, a cinema situation, a story line anything. And lived in that make believe world.
Now fortune has brought us into that ‘world’ and asking us to ‘live’ and let me tell you its not quite the same thing anymore. Now there are several other thoughts that run through the mind. Its not mere fun. Its business and returns and costs and box office pangs of the uncertain. It is exciting all the same, but not without its drawbacks.
I wonder then if the earlier was not the better. Perhaps. But then all the trappings of the present would not be available. Would we be able to do without it. I wonder. When you had nothing, there was never the fear of losing anything. Life was freer and calmer and devoid of so many other encumbrances. Today it comes with all the burdens that we carry and that we built ourselves into.
So what to choose ??
I have no concrete answers. And thank the Lord that I do not. Remember, he is the most dangerous man that has nothing to lose. Spoken in assessment of the Father of the nation by the British. And what a perfect life analysis of the human it has been. They applied it to Gandhi ji, you and I can apply it to a lot more than just one individual.
Basant Kumar Birla and his dear wife Sarala Birla, son and daughter in law of the great Ghanshyamdas Birla, the pioneer and doyen of Indian business and Industry, have had a book written on them by eminent journalist Rashme Sehgal, being promoted by their daughter in law, Rajshree Birla, wife of Aditya Birla, under whose name stands the Birla empire run by his son now Kumarmangalam Birla. They have had a long and endearing relationship with our family from the time of my Father. They had wished that I write the foreword to the book. It was a daunting task, but I just finished it this morning in between splashes in the pool and the sit out in the sun, peaking through the swinging palms. When the book publishes I shall put it up for your reading pleasure.
And now to bed ! To wait in anticipation for Navya and Agastya tomorrow … and all that shall follow …
To Smita Buch … a birthday wish for today !! Love and happiness always ..
The house resounds with the chitter and chatter of grandchildren. They are all in now at the end of their New Year holidays and shall be with us for some days. They talk mature, they dress mature, they act mature – they are mature .. even at 11 and 14 !! There is a spring about the house from every member, a smile among the staff and an eagerness ‘to do’ rather than ‘it shall be done’. Suddenly all our energies are activated and shrill. Our reasons centered around what they may desire – their food, entertainment, clothing, places to visit, plannings of visits and events .. all done with such intense enthusiasm, one would wonder if royalty would ever get such treatment. But they are above royalty, above all else, they are ours and that is the biggest gift that can be given.
I may have dwelled upon this in one of my earlier posts, when they may have been here, but it is a subject that one never tires of. And I hope we never do. Finally they are in bed, tucked in personally by me, among soft pillows and cozy duvets, their soulful expressions as they shut their eyes, wrenching your heart strings. You sit there in wonder and a gentle smile on your face for long. And then leave them to their aspirational dreams, which you wish bear the comfort and happiness and the joy of bright and beautiful happenings.
There is something so divine about when children sleep. It keeps you riveted to their faces. It is strange but true. Nothing happens. Just a month old little one lying among all the niceties knitted and designed for her by Nani’s and Grannies and Aunts and Bua’s and Mamu and Mami’s. And also the generous thoughtful gifts of clothing from well wishers and those that come to greet. Lying there oblivious to the world except … when your need for the feed is due .. then all hell breaks lose !!
What a time to be born. When communication and science and development has very few questions to answer. When a solution presents itself at touches of buttons. But know of the time when I was born and the shock and wonder on how did our parents manage to bring us up. In Allahabad one night when I must have been about 11-12, my Mother fell seriously sick. My Father was away in England studying for his doctorate and I remember I had to ride out in the pitch of the night, in the desolate surroundings on my bicycle to rush to the doctor around 45 min away and inform him of conditions that prevailed at home. Today a sniffle a running nose and the doc appears within minutes, observes, prescribes medication and it is procured equally rapidly, to be administered !!
When a doctor describes a complicated situation, a terminology which tests your spelling abilities, the Googled assistance is readily there to ease the pain of not knowing what it was that the doc was referring to. Write a problem on the net and a million subscribers shall come back within seconds on how it could be solved. In 1952 we cycled to a friend’s place to receive a phone call from my Father calling from Cambridge, informing us that he had succeeded in getting his thesis approved for his doctorate. It was to be the only call he made in his 2 years that he was away !! In the 2 years that was the only opportunity to hear my Father’s voice !! A situation laughed off today in today’s times. How much has gone by, how much has changed. Yet there are many today that still suffer the vagaries of those times, today. That really is the pity. Sushil Kumar who won the 5 cr jackpot on KBC, had done something similar when he had to call in to register for the game. His first priority, after winning, was to pay back his friend for the hundreds of phone calls he had made by using his phone, the only in his immediate vicinity.
There is a sense of guilt when we describe the advantages that we have in our metropolis and what life has finally bestowed upon us with great generosity. There is a desire to work and contribute and put effort voluntarily for the benefit of those that are devoid of such. We do in our own small way. Publicizing it has in the past brought hope and trouble. Hope from millions of others, that suddenly look upon you as that savior and messiah, that has the capacity to bring change and solution to your life. And trouble because we are incapable of resolving that for an entire nation. Some yes, but all no. Who then to pick for benefit and who to reject. What credentials do they present to us. Do we really need to check and balance such situations. They are in your face virtually. There is that Mother with child in arm that you know well enough needs to be fed to survive. The handicapped, deprived of an arm a leg an important part of his system, that you can see needs help. But how many can one do ? They think we can, we know we cannot do all. But how does one explain doing for one and not the other. A dilemma of immense proportions, perhaps never to be resolved !! Sad but true !!
Thank you Lord for what we receive from you. For the generosity of possessions, for the kindness of health, for the care of want and desire. Allow us to relish this state, be grateful and not seek even more. To be content, to be happy for what we have and not despair for what we do not. There shall never be contentment in desire. The more you get the more you desire. Stop it then ! Have the courage to say it so in so many words and smile.
A genuine smile …
Good night … early morning .. it is past 2:00 AM !!
‘A damn good will to make it happen’ !! Let me never forget that. Let me repeatedly keep mentioning to energize my life my words and my thoughts. May I have the strength of my convictions. And may you all give me the strength to be able to achieve it. So help me God ! Inshallah !!
The pleasant sun, warm and gentle, is my companion now for most of the day. I love it and it in turn loves my body. When it glows so does my skin. Most hate feeling the heat on their selves. I love it. Its my birth sense, my right and my ingrained environment. That is how I was brought up, in such climes. That blood, that time and place, that earth and fire and wind cannot be changed. And when change is impossible, its reference and play shall remain within eternally. It is that which endures us, builds us, completes us, and hypnotizes us all within in such manner that even though we may have shifted away from it, its strength and value remain with us. And in our contribution to where we are, that strain of thought, that behavior, that temperament emerges in some form or the other. Nature and life will it in such manner !
The readiness with which I explore fresh and new horizons. The urge to meet and discuss and imbibe all that other wisdom driven individuals may have to share, increases. It could not be the medication I consume. It could never be the imparting of such intellect from another – a family member, a close confidant. It is the deep and aggressively in pursuit desire, to live to the ‘will’ of our own thought.
Will it they say and it shall reward. Keep the will, say others and perhaps move along with you to make sure their desire for that coveted moment shall indeed fructify. But will shall be manufactured from within and in solitude. Of this I am most certain and sure. It may never have opportunity to be talked about. Never ever be seen, for, it does not have any finite form. At least not until the will is executed.
So … how does it work !
An abstract thought process, which now begins to take a finite shape the moment we start looking at it with desire. To give it some material value, or some prayer, or some wasted effort. That is all that ‘will’ conjures up for me.
‘Will’ shall never be talked of. Its finite position shall never be disclosed. It possesses no shape and size, nor does it have a name or address. How does one then access it. It is beyond Google !
It is a silent worker, this ‘will’. The more you talk about it the more it begins to hide. Until one fine morning it rears its head in pride after an achievement. Now … this is the stage when accomplishments shall be asked how it was possible to achieve, ‘will’ shall gently push its way into the crowd, stand silently among them and listen perhaps to its own praise and disappear. Mission accomplished. Chapter closed ! But closed for whom ? For others to make reference to ? To provide justifiable inputs that ‘will’ was around and about ? What …???
Many brag on this ‘will’. They are prone to mention that it was their will power that brought them out of a crisis, saved them from imminent defeat on the play ground, helped them fight a losing battle and survive. But … no one has the ability to actually show them what ‘will’ did. Many of such, find ways and means to over come this purported burden, by keeping a known silence. Others do not. They announce and preach. Not a bad idea, especially since the involved person may wish to expose his or her weakness. But ‘will’ remains an enigma !
Any thoughts on this somewhat pertinent query ??
If not, be fresh and happy and bear a thought for those unfortunate that do not have the ability to even think of ‘will’ and still survive and survive well … they are the true masters of the world and society … and shall remain so ..
May this New Year of 2011, bring all good tidings. May it bring prosperity and love. Success and good health. Fulfillment and affection. And may our small but most endearing family grow in peace and harmony ever.
I am indebted to all our FmXt for being the patient obedient and ever so loving members of our family. A family that grows in intensity and value with each passing day. It has been a long journey and it is not over yet. For this new year may I then wish for all of that to happen that has not happened before. And may each one of you be equally of merit to receive this and more.
Sanjay and Pinky Reddy, the family that is building those spanking new airports in the country, had an evening organized by the beach in a wonderfully done up facility. Great ambience, fantastic music and gorgeous food. And we have danced and eaten our way through the past year amongst friends and well wishers and an incredible burst of fireworks all along the entire stretch of the beach that starts from the Fort Aguada, north. Moving on the dance floor after ages has shown up how rusty I have become. This has to change. Dancing lessons I presume during the gym hours I would imagine, is the nearest course of action that could be taken. But yes I was surprised still at the fact that few portions of my body still move in rhythm.
It comes on to past 4 am in this new morning. A morning I pray that shall bring us all closer together. A morning that shall ring in against all odds, that recognition of hard work and planned execution. A morning that shall ensure the sun shall never set on our effort and association. In a while when the sun rises an entire 365 days would have passed by, and a fresh lot of days will start appearing among us. Days that shall reckon what lies in store for us. And I say to myself, for far too long we have lived and maintained that destiny shall shine upon us in benevolence. I would like to oppose that and say it is time we believed and created our own destiny, for the joy of doing so shall be the ultimate challenge.
For us as family we have been the recipient of snide remarks, sarcastic and mean dispositions, one that have not found favor on my blog or my twitter. I will defend my self and others from the family on this issue. And shall disprove to them what the actual data shall be.
But in the mean time … the ship has to sail, to explore and to bring along with him, the Captain of the ship in regard and respect. For, it is he who shall steer. I need to meet him soon. Indeed the entire family. That shall be the mission this time around.
It will happen. Bear with me. Pressed and subjected against a wall willingly, may not necessarily bring about that change we need. But at least we can assure those that need the assurance, are needed to be independently strong as well. Else the wall crumbles !!
Good night dearest ones … a sound sleep … and may you awaken to the bells in your ear for the New Year !