Jalsa , Mumbai Mar 30 , 2012 Fri 11 : 56 PM
So the doctor came along and has expressed deep shock at my sleeping hours ! They were around 4 am last night !! The shooting pain comes and goes and he feels it is the nerves that have been cut now trying to reassemble and get back into shape !!
Dear mr, miss m/s Nerves, could you, may be expedite your process of mending and not distress the skin of the body you occupy ? I know you inhabit a rugged terrain in and about and around you. Do not get influenced by their presence and letharge on what could be an extended period of time … there is need to get functional in the regions you operate and function. I do of course, along with the surgeons, lament the fact that you had to face some mutilation at the edges of a sharp knife and then face the ‘invisible stitches’ of repair. But it has been a while as you may know and the war zone like environment that you find yourself sharing space with, can and shall be able to bear but little of what you wish to express. Indeed you have been expressing yourself rather blatantly from the moment of the injury to your delicate senses, for some while now … what is it ? errmm … Feb 11, to now Mar 30 ! that is sufficient time to wipe your tears now and allow the region you so delicately occupy, to get back to normalcy ..
There are many friends and well wishers and Ef that suffer along with me .. their prayers go out each day for my well being. Now … I can only express my well being when yours is well too, do you not think … C’mon !! be a sport and listen in to what the others are saying .. its getting a bit embarrassing … okkaaaay !! Thanks and please then … BACK OFF !!
Now I doubt if a more fervent effort could have been made …
Rain has spoilt our chance of a win at the cricket tonight again in South Africa. I mean every time we get going, so do the rain Gods. That is most unfair. And … what of the commentary ??!!!! So biased, pro SAF even when they see our boys hitting the ball outta’ the park … ?? Ok ! SAF Ef with due apologies … nothing personal here, its just a game – a white rotundity being hit about by another whitish blade of flattened wood and many colored costumes running about .. pardonnable I think .. a spirit of healthy gamesmanship do you not think .. Thank you, you are all so kind …
Stones acquired protect me … prayers brace me up … the kindness of the Ef soul envelops me gently and pushes me onto the bed ..
Jalsa , Mumbai Mar 30 , 2012 Fri 11 : 56 PM
Jalsa , Mumbai Mar 29/30 , 2012 Thu/Fri 2 : 23 AM
I am late because I self indulge .. I like it when I do that .. I laugh and smile and lust for that moment of happiness that it brings me .. a piece of music that I enjoy, a glorious shot, an interaction with well wishers, a moment of suggestion that receives approval … all of it uplifts me … places me alongside … MYSELF !! Where I see myself in proper perspective to me. It demands that it be exclusive and solitary. It is after all what has been created by me .. but now .. for me … and about me !!
It is selfish many may express. Perhaps ! But the fear of it not receiving similar plane, would be injurious and of immense damage. And so opinion, voice, expression or any other form of creation I shall keep to myself. So long as I am happy with what I have, I am complete. Today to me the appreciation of another may not necessarily be the value genuine. Many factors get motivated in such. I wish to judge myself with my own personal yardstick. It could be the worst possible measure. But the satisfaction of it being entirely mine, is satisfaction enough. Thats it !!
I have but one reserve. You my Ef !! I have always sensed a genuine voice in whatever you have expressed. Most of the time it has been largely complimentary. Any individual would love such being. I confess so do I. But somehow, through the passage of time I have begun to believe that there does exist another ego, an alter ego, which despite many trials has stood the test of not just time, but circumstance as well. All circumstance of mine has not always been correct, or faultless. Humans will and do make the mistakes. We would not be human if we did not. But my alter ego, my extended family has helped me along this arduous path. And for this I shall remain eternally grateful.
I relish procedure, etiquette, protocol. All of which has been subscribed by this little warm hearted family that we have built so arduously. But yet there shall be – and I am loathe to say – events, moments that shall remain sacredly personal, and my respect for all those that come with me here, shall never be challenged because time and again you have demonstrated the honor and dignity that you give to this platform. Thank you !!
Your concern I know is not artificial. It is genuine and moves me to tears at times. But I do have to say that moments that I request for my selfish pursuits has always been given the respect that it has demanded. And so it deserves another thank you …
I am, much like any other, keen to express, but I feel I must share with no other. Sometimes it is difficult to bring others to the same plane. How wonderful it would be if without effort or direction others could sense the plane required. I wish and ask for it at times. When it does not come, I find it futile to express rancor. Why damage my whole, by that which could possibly dent it. Dent !! Nothing more. But a dent stands out more in a perfect fit than any other, and should, I feel, be avoided.
Ahhh !! I get too mysterious and in modes of self philosophized bumpfh !! Ignore it all. The fault lies with me. I miss my Father. And references to his work through my immature decibels, leaves me weak and indulgent. I repeat and repeat and repeat and repeat …. his words and his ‘dhun’ in my ears, and I fret the presence of any other while I do so. I glance at the door often enough. I would object to visitation at the moment. My expression may not be quite so quiet. I wonder if that would attract attention. Attention would rob me of the elation that I feel for now. I could scream, laugh or laugh and cry, say words or express in volume the moment, create my own hemisphere … which … would never be understood by any other … and that I would like … but ….
We have not been born to be so. We are born to bear pain and despair and argument and stress and fulfillment and happiness and within that, sadness and loneliness, joy and laughter … It is but the uncertainty of its bearing that is destructive, for, one never knows when it shall appear. You are put on guard, all the time. That is not my condition for peaceful existence. I wish it to be free from all encumbrances. Which is why when I put the earphones to my hearing, and live in that intense undisturbed atmosphere of my creation, and my Father, the ecstasy of my expression is not just the enjoyment of the sound, but the freedom from the outside – undisturbed, and without any kind of pollution of external forces. Another world comes up. And this is the world that you wish to live in for that moment.
And so … when I miss my Father’s presence, I wish to escape into his world. To be with him, to hear him, to read him, project him the way I feel it should be. That for me is the most effective healing of my soul ….
So from the sublime, because we are human we needs must shift to the real. And the real states, that pain is visible by its abstract quality which is absolute. My surgery hurts. There are snatches of sharp pain, almost convulsive in nature. It depicts either, that something is grievously wrong with what was done, or that the healing is at its last stages. The flame burns the brightest in the ‘diya’ before it burns itself out. I hope it is the latter. On most examinations, that is what was conveyed to me. I shall not doubt the information. But I must keep on …
I sit at home and rehearse my appearance for the IPL. Technology has so many advantages these days. I think that eventually it would want us to be glued to our seats for all that we may desire to posses or do.
I wish I could clap my hands and shift locations, get my desired food, or entertainment. Its coming pretty close to that, one can see. But what a world it would be. Those of my age would not live to see it, but the next generation will. And what a wonderful life they would be exposed to. Wonderful !! We hope, for with all invention comes other severe issues. Better to wait for them rather than preempt …
I punch away oblivious of the time. It nears almost a quarter more to 4 am and I have long past that decisive hour of slumber .. even when I shall depart from here, there is a desire to lie awake and seek a view of that which could perhaps induce sleep within … let me try .. !!
More later then … much later
Love and more …
Jalsa , Mumbai Mar 28/29 , 2012 Wed/Thu 1 : 13 AM
Too much distraction !! Soccer in front on the telly, and ‘Yauatcha’ chinese in the belly … and filling in the words here at this early hour of the morning is yours truly – distraction telly belly and all …!!! Its been a first evening out socially and its marvelous to be able to whizz past the city at night after a rather long gap from indoor hospitals and restful hours at home. The kids from Delhi have stretched their stay by a couple of days, and that is a delight.
Do we ever realize that there shall be a time when we shall crave for the kids presence when they were younger and in house. But kids grow up, find their own depth, their company, their environs and nature of work and drift away. Its then that we miss their company, their presence. But then when we desperately need them they are always there, albeit for a short while , but there all the same. Which is why when they leave, there is pain.
The game up front is still without goal and this post is distracted with those elements and the content that should be drafted here seems similar. But how wonderful to share a game and a blog simultaneously.
As we drive to the eatery, I sit in the front seat – the ladies being at the back and I notice that there are still some passerby’s on the street that fling a recognition with smile. Recognition and compassionately so, does wonders for morale. But there have been many occasions when interest has faded from the celebrity. Has happened to me on many an occasion. It is a bit discomforting, but it must be known that this glory and recognition shall all fade away one day. Some take it kindly, some do not. It is hard and harsh both to see adulation favor away from you and settle on another. Better then to not be too enamored by it when it serves you. Life is transitory as is fame. Be content when it is there by your side. Be gracious in accepting that it has gone away, elsewhere. Let others evaluate what the contribution – if ever there was – should be. We could be biased and burdened by the inaccurate fact that fame shall be perpetual. It is not. Live then with the understanding of its transitory, but live it well. Another chance may never come again. Or even if it did, there shall never be guaranty that it have the same intensity as before. Time to be gracious for what once was a blessing. Time now to be equally gracious that we do not dwell in it any more.
Its quiet again. The game and telly are over. I am beyond sleep now. Happens. Shall then get back to the telly in search of something else and doze off to the sonorous sounds of repetitive elements – they normally are at this time of night. I should know, I am their regular customer.
Oh ! and yes the workouts at the gym go well … gradually increasing the speed of the walk, the weight in the hands. There is great pleasure in this routine. The circulation, the easing of the muscles, the breathing and then finally the sit out in the sun. It is at Prateeksha and it is valuable to be able to do that. Going to be interrupted for some time now. They are laying fresh soil over the green. Should have been done soon after the monsoons, But it got delayed as staff thought the lawn would get mutilated during Holi, if played. So now it shall be sun and solitude at Jalsa, for some days ….
In a few days I wish to take the assistance of my Ef in determining a few researches. This shall then give opportunity for all of us to think beyond the Blog and the Twitter and really to give me a feel of many future ideas .. so we must wait anxiously … and i must no longer wait on my night sleep …
Good night and may the Almighty bless and protect you ..
Jalsa , Mumbai Mar 27 , 2012 Tue 11 : 54 PM
There is not much that one can say,
When life at peace is in the fray ..
We are but elements of some Grace,
Abetted, guided quite in our face …
It takes some measure of our stance,
To live and perhaps enhance ..
Gain we must and gain we should,
Of circumstances if we could ..
The timer on the clock does strike,
Indicative of what we never like ..
Going now and going soon,
Eyelids they shut but self immune ..
Be in cold space of crouching knees,
To dream and dream a bitter tease …
My hands in prayer …
Jalsa , Mumbai Mar 26 , 2012 Mon 11: 35 PM
The verse is from one of my Father’s poems. It is from a phase in his life when he had been through grave tragedies and was just emerging from the darkness of its impression. It is addressed to the lady … the gender is feminine. It is a call to the opposite, but I felt that the words even though they convey attachment to the female, the woman, the beloved, worked quite well with my association with my Ef and hence its choice ..
In Roman English it reads as follows :
Kheenchti tum kaun aise badhanon se jo ki ruk sakta nahin mai -
Kaam aisa kaun jisko chodh mai sakta nahin hoon,
Kaun aisa, muh ki jissase modh mai sakta nahin hoon ?
Aaj rishta aur naata jodane ka arth kya hai ?
Shrankhala woh kaun jisko todh mai sakta nahin hoon ?
Chand, suraj bhi pakad mujhko nahin bithala sakenge,
Kya pralobhan de mujhe ve ek pal behla sakenge ?
Jabki mera vash nahin mujh par raha, kiska rahega ?
Kheenchti tum kaun aise bandhanon se jo ki ruk sakta nahin mai -
What are these bindings that you draw me towards you, that I am unable to stop myself -
What is that kind of work that I cannot leave ?
Which is that kind of face that I cannot draw myself away from ?
What is the meaning of that binding relationship, that association ?
What is the degree of binding that I cannot break ?
The Moon and the Sun shall be unable to catch me and put me down,
What is that temptation that they will give to keep me down ?
When the control over me is not with me, whose will it be ?
What are these bindings that you draw me towards you, that I am unable to stop myself -
But … these are my words when I think of the matter between my Ef and me ! What really are these bindings that draw me towards my extended family, that I am unable to stop myself … from connecting with you each day … err … mostly night !!
The face on the page, has a semi mischievous smile. It came from the set where I was shooting yesterday for the IPL promotional video. I am unable to fathom why I had that expression. Perhaps just a moment of fun with the unit, or ..
The green was put by the server creative unit as an extension to the background of the picture, which you may want to know was the green backdrop that we use in shootings for digital inputs. Shot against green assists the maker to put in any image behind on the green space of your liking. This way after say the image of the Taj Mahal was to be put, through a cut paste job, would eventually look as though I was there at the Taj and relatively and mischievously, enjoying the moment .. Or then perhaps the creative team behind the server felt it was symbolic of jealousy – the green eyed monster – to in a sense be in consonance with the words of the poem. They were unaware of the actual reason, which I have just explained ..
Phew !! I am tired just trying to explain the new face page !! Naaah , just kidding ! Tired of explaining would defeat the purpose of my writing the meaning keeping my Ef in mind, would it not ? And that would be a grave fallacy !!
There were some interesting visitors this evening. Siddharth Basu of BigSynergy who manages KBC came over with his wife to enquire after my health and of course that gave me an opportunity to discuss my next and immediate work schedule -KBC !! All seems in order I think and soon we shall start work on its promotions and concept and the schedule for its recording. Vishal and Shekhar and the mad ‘bong’, Sujoy Ghosh walked in next .. Sujoy back from Kolkata and his stunning success of ‘Kahani’, still the same, wired up individual. I introduced them to my Father, his works and did a small recitation for them … we should soon be working on some music for Sujoy .. that is if his exalted position now post ‘Kahani’ does not intefere ..
Jaya walked in too and there was some interesting Bengali banter between the Sujoy and the Bhaduri. She reminded me how after ‘Jhankar Beats’, Sujoy’s first film and V@S’s first too had impressed her much and that how she had predicted that this threesome would attain great heights. She has been mostly correct in her readings. As we saw Ranbir grow before us, she had said he will be a big star, when, I wonder he had ever thought of working ..
And so on …
The kids that had gone away are coming back tomorrow and that spells excitement !! The rehearsals for the IPL I shall start too within the confines of my room alone. Its so self conscious to be caught rehearsing in front of watchers !! Sachin Tendulkar has invited Abhishek and Aishwarya to a celebration for his tremendous achievement, so they are in the presence of Royalty right now. My loyalty though is with my royalty, for which I feel blessed .. and so here I am !!
Love to all …
Jalsa , Mumbai Mar 25, 2012 Sun 5 : 48 PM
It is early ! Surprises never cease ! Neither does my eagerness to share this moment with the Ef … irrespective of time and place, circumstances, distances and destinations. If the cyber is not provided, it shall not be visited or patronized.
I sit up in my room, at my desk and hear the sounds of the well wishers gathering below. It is Sunday evening. The information shall come soon to greet them. The security and the police in attendance wish to clear the street. It obstructs other traffic, causes confusion. I do not wish for that, but to be there with those that come and wait for long is beyond the obstructions. If there is a specific time that they know of then to be there ahead would deprive some of meeting me. I must allow space for that.
The day started very early. Dubbing and recording for the IPL opening night extravaganza in Chennai on the 3rd of April. It is fitting that the event be held at Chennai … they won the IPL Championship last year. There are some distinguished names that shall lend support to the event – Salman and Kareena and Prabhu Deva and Shaimak Davar and his troup, along with the managerial and aesthetic skills of Wizcraft. My portion to have some music designed by Raju Singh. He was just beginning his wonderful journey as a composer in 1995, when we had asked him to lend his talent over a promotional for the Corporation of AB. Now many years later, he is an established force and doing so well. Always a very mild mannered and gentle individual. Happy to see that time and prominence have not destroyed that in him … We had worked together then in a small insignificant little space, with nothing that could be called electronic gadgetry, then. Now he has his own studio ! Mumbai the city of opportunity … if you have the strength to fight and survive, despite.
Its a joy to be behind the wheel. A fortnight ago I was struggling to be able to ease myself out of my Hospital bed, let alone walk. So I did away with the chauffeur .. they have all been working long hours, what with all the children here. Children … a few of them left this morning. Drove them to the airport. But … they shall return in a few days, which is so good to know … never let the laughter out of the house and the … yes … ‘chahel pahel’ ..
The first day at work today too. Out at Nagi Villa, just down the road, the residence of a generous Sikh family, that has been renting its premise out to shootings. Its a place that we have worked in for years, for the many films that we have done. The shoot is over quickly, the radio spots too announcing the IPL night with Red Fm and then back to home ground, before spending some time with the elder of the family at Nagi Villa. We discuss the metro rail that is about to be laid above the 10th Road, that goes past his residence right up to Prateeksha, and then with promises to meet again depart … depart to be here with you to share and ware … !!!
They are now getting desperate downstairs. They want me down so the street can be cleared. I am concerned. Also that Subhash Ghai is coming to pay a visit and I must tell staff to get him in through the well wishers. I will put up some pictures too … a little later … and a little much later back to Aadesh Shrivastav’s studio to improve, to do better, to add to subtract that which shall enhances the music and the recording for ‘Madhushala’ …
I do believe my Father listens and watches this effort … it would never happen if it were not so …
Okaay ! So a different look and a different set of clothes … a departure from the regular recuperating attire, the salwar kameez and white shawl … symbolic of easy wear, comfortable but also one that has been worn each day after hospital .. and the reason is the shoot for the IPL opening night … !!
Hey ! its coming to be past midnight … the whole idea of putting in early … by the pm of 7 has been lost … anyway ..
Good night dear ones …
Jalsa , Mumbai Mar 24/25 , 2012 Sat/Sun 1 : 39 AM
A temple just outside the studio of Aadesh Shrivastav, near by, celebrates festival .. songs and ‘bhajans’ are being sung .. the ‘manjeera’, the small sized cymbals often associated with prayer meetings, plays softly, almost distant to where the singing progresses … a large Ganesh ji with many heads stares majestically down the road where I drive and drive out a minute ago ..
Inside within the confines of sound proofed walls and computers and electronic plugged in gadgetry, we play around with buttons and prerecorded sound, placing them in right order, singing the verses of Madhushala, the ‘alaap’ and lending orchestral brilliance to the basic structure that I made in an impromptu setting on my piano.
What a different world this is. And yet the real world is just a few feet away. We crave today in music sittings for the age of unplugged instrumentation. The reality and the joy of listening to the original sounds of string and ‘dholak’. Of the great masters and their wares – the Sarod, Shehnai, Sarangi, Sitar. All lost and buried under the weight of modern sounds, mastered and manufactured through science and technology … away from the days of learning through years and years of practice and devotion from the elder masters .. from ‘gharanas’, the old world house or regions where a particular style of playing came about and those connected with it felt proud to be representatives of it .. all gone and overtaken by technology.
Gone are the days when at song recordings over 100-150 musicians sat through days in large studios, and played to perfection in one single take. A mistake by one resulting in the entire song being recorded again. Now the electronics take over. A small room, barely 5′ by 6′ houses a large machine that balances sound, a microphone which stands in for the singer and the instrument both. On a basic beat the singer comes and sings a song and goes away. Musicians with their electronic devices come in separately do their piece and go away. The arranger comes in and arranges all that has been put before him into a song and goes away. Mastering happens where all the singing and the tone of the instruments are checked, brought into tune through masterful computers that can sing for you and … viola !! We have song !!
A few grunts and screams and hisses from the mouth form part of the song that now climbs up rapidly on the charts and no attention is given to the written or rather the sung portion of the tune. Words are futile and have little or no meaning. Beat is of paramount importance, and yes the capability of the song being remixed for the clubs around the country, for the younger generation to dance to it in intoxication ..
I wonder then as I sit vacant in the studio … who would want to listen to the words and philosophy of my Father ? It would hurt me beyond measure if it were to be looked upon as something that needed to be designed for commercial value. Best then to make this my personal play effort and remain with it in my solitude and hesitate to share it. I would, if I were assured that the listener were to be in the same frame as I was. It is a proposition that seems irrelevant with today’s youth.
So … make it and keep it and live with it alone in its beauty. Getting the others on the same plane is asking for much too much. The humiliation if they treated it shabbily would be difficult to overcome. I shall live with it on my own ! Sharing it with them that do not have the intent to understand it, would diminish its wonderful sheen. Better then to burst into trance like condition within the silence and contours of my own little space, than to be seen coaxing another into submission and forced liking.
I leave in a few hours to dub for the event for the IPL, being launched in Chennai on April 3rd .. to recite and invite the opening of this season with the cricketing greats of countries across the world, many of whom one sees almost every other day on the tube. Now an opportunity to meet them face to face. A great desire fulfilled, a memory to cherish ..
Good night ..
Jalsa , Mumbai Mar 23 , 2012 Fri 11 : 43 PM
The results of some of the medication doing well, fills one with hope and assurance that living after all is not so bad. The presence of loved ones by your side, in your lap, on your head brings all that is possibly beautiful to its extreme. The amount of time spent in front of a tapping machine, that connects to the Ef, increases, much to the dislike of the family waiting for company. But most satisfying – the ability to be able to gift and taking in the look of surprise and admiration of the dear. Simply not replaceable. Also … ever tried fixing something that broke of the little ones and you volunteered to repair it and it repairs … Instant hero worship !! Fixed a few things for the boy and the girl. Had not done something like this for ages. But with the availability of time, all works well. And the gratitude and admiration is priceless …
Jaya comes back from Lucknow and Delhi after being voted into the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of Parliament, unopposed and we bring in a bit of fanfare at the front door … flowers and garlands and a little impromptu jig by the little fellow. In his elements he is delicious.
The Benares University blesses me with an Honorary decree of a D.Litt at their Annual function. I beg to be excused because of my condition. They shall be conducting an another moment to present it to me when I travel. Benares or Varanasi, the oldest working city in the world they say. The ‘ghats’ by the river, its great history of religion and education and so many other important social elements, all enveloped in this ageless wonder. A visit is long due …
There is a great sense of elation when a clearing up job is undertaken and done. Did some over my desk. The pile reduces, the paper work you discover was not meant to be occupying such space. Leave something unattended and you discover that had it been attended to life would have been a lot better. So the moral for today is … never press the job for another day … take a small portion of it and complete it … then and only them move to the next, without interruption ..
Work on the elements that have been interesting me of late are getting talked about. The Sitar and the Sarod are on order. The best are manufactured in Kolkata. I should have guessed. Kolkata, a center for the arts and music and literature. A region of the purist, where every home has a history of dance and song and music. Much like in the South and in Maharashtra too. And so now I do look forward to that moment when that left handed … note left handed, shall be at my disposal and i shall no idea how it is meant to be played … but …. shall listen and watch some of the greats and try to copy their style. Its much too late for me to learn now, but I would assume that just hearing that twanging immaturely as you battle with your fingers, would be enough for one of my disposition to spend hours at it …
There is a great joy in not knowing too, I should imagine. The discovery of it and its further elements when some strings fall right, is joyous beyond words. For a moment with the self is what one looks for. Nothing to be replicated for an audience, or those that sympathize … no these moments must indeed be with the self. What becomes inspirational to you is the matter that counts.
I see many a moment when the professionals play at gatherings. They come to exhibit their artistry, not to be a replacement for piped music at a lavish wedding or a party. It is most disrespectful when I see that happening. I cringe. I almost feel like reprimanding the guests, but do not. I would rather wish that the artists wind up their instruments and leave. Years and years of ‘tapasya’ for this ?? No that does not impress me …
Show respect and regard to the artist. Allow them to sink into their gift and give an opportunity to be a part of that emotion. It has been the most sight for me when I observe the look on the face of these artists, who despite the disinterest shown by the invitees continue to perform, almost in compulsion. They look for appreciation, search for that one individual that shall show admiration of their craft .. but alas .. it never comes .. circumstances lead them to continue .. others with greater self respect and dignity, stop announce their intent and either get the interest or leave. I would applaud such an occurrence ..
ManMohan Desai, would never go to the theatre or movie hall where his film was running. Not because he did not want to but it was compelled upon him by his staff and assistants. For when during the projection of his film if he noticed anyone talking or moving out of the hall, he would get up and tell the gentleman in a most ungentlemanly manner to either shut up or sit down and not leave !! Such was his protective passion for his work …
I loved him on many other counts, but his this attitude was the best, even though many would laugh it off …
Love to all and wishes for dreams that provide happiness and fulfillment, peace and goodwill ..
Jalsa , Mumbai Mar 22 , 2012 Thu 9 : 43 PM
Communication and its versatility today, has created a world that had hitherto been hidden from us – a world that gave us an opportunity to know what the ‘other’ was thinking. The opportunity of giving us access to another’s mind, thoughts and comments has given rise to discussion and debate yes, but it has taught us restraint. We lived earlier on within our limited means of expression, content and happy perhaps that the ‘other’ aspect would never be brought up, simply because there was never any device to know or hear or read what they were saying. The newspapers were there, but limited. The radio was there, but state owned and run, according I believe, to what the state wanted us to know and hear. Now of course its an uncontrolled invasion. But in a free world, in its democratization, in its riddance from a policed state, a foreign ruled Raj, we have the opportunity to know and hear and express what we wish to, and more, with the advent of the air space, do now independently have the strength to do so.
There are benefits to this and disadvantages too – much like everything else that survives on this planet. This is most welcome. But the salient facts are that we are exposed to a great deal more than what existed earlier. On one end there can be acceptance and camaraderie. On the other distaste and abuse. But what has been most interesting has been the fact that we have learned to take the good and the bad with perhaps equal measure. Many do not. Abuse deters them. They take it personally and slide away. But I feel it is important to know that not everyone loves everyone here. Not everyone is sympathetic to each others cause. Yet knowing these conditions when we conduct ourselves with grace and dignity, it pays greater dividends.
The abusive content of the ‘other ‘ is not going to convert my belief or my path. But for the ‘other’ to display it, comes with loss of great character and polluted being. A polluted being needs to continuously build hatred and disgust, not an easy exercise, to be able to get themselves into a condition to express it. What a waste of their limited energy. The saner element deflects it by an abstract shield, not necessarily of their making, and never allows it to enter its purified domain. There is peace in this than the other. Why must I destroy my internals to build something which eventually only destroys the maker.
I may not entirely step away from such condition. But I certainly would feel a great deal more comfortable than the oppressor. He that hath spoken harsh, went out of his constitution to build it first. He that hath ignored or never paid attention to, went a step further in his or her quest for peace and well being. For me peace wins above hatred.
In life we all want to be winners … !!!
A pleasant evening spent alone with music and cricket and two very talented gentlemen – Vishal and Shekhar, the music director duo, who seem to have found the fountain that giveth them the ability to make music, appealing and popular to all walks of society. We spend time on trends that invade our music world. Of the youth and their aspirations and thinking. A generation that wants to do different. That feels revolutionized in deed, in what they represent. A generation that may have forgotten or never heard of the past greats but willing to pay attention, provided it is put across to them in a manner which they feel must be understood as their component in today’s world. They are not rash or disrespectful. They are good people, who want to be understood their way. Is there a problem there ? I should think not !
How wonderful then would it be if we were to present to them the poetry and lyricism of the yesteryears, but in a format understood or identifiable by them on a level which they desire as a prerequisite in a time which quite honestly belongs by very large margins, to them.
I am not too conversant with statistics, but I can assuredly comment, that the age group of the 17-35 in India is by far the greater number compared to any other part of the world. Are we then giving them the relative attention that they deserve ? Or are we driving them into desperation and revolt because we are failing to understand them ?
I may not have an adequate answer to this, but left to me I would give ample consideration to them … as much as I would in selecting what it is from the past, that could and should be shared.
Circumstances and surroundings build the nature of our next in command. If those circumstances differ from what was there earlier, I would not be in immediate haste in forming a conclusion. Concluding, would shut many doors and leave none, for even us to escape. So I would keep the doors open and allow the breeze to flow in. If it became too uncomfortable, I would rather shut a few windows than the door. And if, God forbid, the situation demanded that doors be shut too, I would wait patiently for some to jump the wall and enter in, to demonstrate to me, their determination to achieve, rather than bear a tone of aggressive persuasion.
Good night dear ones … I get better by the day, though I did have to visit the hospital on another matter of ailment. Nothing to worry or panic – visits such as these shall gradually increase as does the age. Better then to accept and embrace treatment than lament and show no hope …
Jalsa , Mumbai Mar 21 , 2012 Wed 11 : 30 PM
I seek the goodness of those greats that have through centuries spent years in understanding society, building norms, and blessing us with the writings and words and thoughts that they leave behind. What nature of men and women must they have been ? What would have been their inspiration and desire to put all this down for it to be followed in the shape and form of a practiced religion ? How did religion give birth ? What did the sacred writings mean to humankind when they first encountered it ? What motivated some to follow in one direction and others to follow in another ? How did the belief and the practice of it become rigid and firm and committed ? Firm to the extent of giving their lives for its furtherance or its defense. It has been centuries since … but even today we do not change, despite the social and moral changes, despite the understanding and the scientific maturing of many of the beliefs. Where and how did this learning come from. Some believe it was the Guru’s and the Saints that wrote it. Others believe it was a revelation from the God’s above. That there was divine introduction to all that the belief believed in. What a stimulating and wondrous period of humanity that must have been … the setting of norms and scriptures and worship and its modalities … ones that have survived through all these centuries without change. Yes there has been a tributarisation, directions have differed, codes and construct has evolved … but … the basic belief has never changed – the existence and the reverence it has deserved …
Atheists, theosophists and their like shall be gathering to challenge and debate this … the good and the bad, or the bad and the good shall face each other .. resulting in an even stronger show of what each believes in … or not …
Religion has such inert strength and vigor .. its beliefs even more commendable, strong and stable. Equally strong are those that do not believe .. that have reason and argument for it … I would not challenge either .. I would wish and hope and pray that peace prevail .. that if sentiment is defiled or hurt, its act should be regretted. It is distressing to observe antagonism and for me particularly to live in it. Once done it shall remain with me for ever .. silently … but present all the same …
Good night and my love …
Jalsa , Mumbai Mar 20 , 2012 Tue 11 : 51 PM
Jasmine Jaywant and Kabeer … for today Mar 20th … a wonderful birthday and for tomorrow Mar 21st … happy birthday Meenu Gupta … love and happiness to all ..
Still a decent hour to be able to communicate with the Ef .. Would have been late again but did not visit the studio for recording .. was feeling weak, so stayed back and shall be within the sheets soon ..
Inventions in the field of gadgetry are moving faster than I can think .. for the mind to be active and strong and contained, someone once told me to eat walnuts – after breaking the hard shell the nut, pardon the pun, looks like a replica of the brain .. so walnuts it was in the morning .. was because since the hospital the restrictions on food have been severe, and I wonder if walnuts are a desired element .. it is believed though and often joked about that the other name for walnuts is ‘promotional nuts’ … give it to the boss to eat, boss falls ill, you get a promotion !!
I wonder then if ‘eating one’s brains’, came from such ..
No but seriously the brain deteriorates rapidly as age catches up. You pick up the phone to dial a number and while you wait for the connection, you suddenly discover you have forgotten the reason for calling. So … the solution, and a home made one at that is that the moment you decide to make that call, pull out the pen and paper and write down what you wish to say to the person you called, so you have reference. Problem really is .. well not really a problem, but a situation .. that when you have written down the agenda, you find you have remembered all that you had wished to say without referring to that little slip of, tree derived residue, at the time of the call ..
Is this the indication of age, or is it that the brain is occupied in so many acts at the same time – multitasking – as we had some time back spoken about – that it takes a while to register reason .. either way its not a most welcome element in life ..
Okaay !! So am getting into the business of acquiring a Sitar and a Sarod soon enough so I may have the pleasure to be pulling a few strings !! These are times I shall look forward to .. my Sitar, my Sarod, my Piano and me … sounds like the title of a really bad book or movie ! ha ! But … even though I may be able to learn the instruments now, just the fact that I shall be holding them and pretending to be some great master, shall indeed be of great interest and value to me. In the early days of mine in the film Industry, someone took a picture of mine … well several pictures of mine holding or playing a Sitar, I think as property for the decoration of the walls of the sets of our film ‘Abhimaan’ … and now no one is willing to believe that I do not play the Sitar .. ‘stop trying to kid us Mr B, we’ve seen pictures of yours with the Sitar” !! What does one say to such a misconception ! One allows it to breathe its life until it perishes on its own .. many an obstacle in life behaves thus I have noticed .. they all come out looking untrue and false, but battling it has its limitations … at which point of time it would be wiser to just adopt silence, and let preposterous falsehood burn itself out !!!
A tough task for most … easy for those that are in need of sainthood or are pretty close to adopting it !! And since we have spoken of sainthood and astrological indications, we shall distance ourselves from such talk ..
India has been eliminated from the Asia Cup Cricket .. Bangladesh beat Pakistan tonight and since we did not have the required points, we are on our way back. The two teams, BD and P reach the finals and shall battle to win the prestige cup. And the wit and humor on Twitter on this remarkable feat is just .. well remarkable … I would rather refrain from any comment on it … !!
A considerate son returns from London after an event on cinema and gifts me a present. Touched. Presents always bring that smile and feel on our faces. Its not the value of the gift, its the thought, the card, the writing, the packaging, the ribbons and soft hue of tissues for wrapping, that well designed box or bag … just so endearing .. specially when there is no birthday around for miles ..
The Ef keeps doing that so often that I really do not have sufficient words to say just words in response .. but each of you must know that beyond that moment of delivery, beyond that formal acknowledge – that special pen, the paper weight, vou vous, dolls, little curios, cuddlies, a film a book, t shirts, clothing, perfumes … just about every little object of desire that is precious, has great meaning for me … and you must know that …
Love to all ..
Jalsa , Mumbai Mar 19/20 , 2012 Mon/Tue 2 : 43 AM
”I’m late, I’m late for a most important date … ” wasn’t there a song of this nature ? Tried singing it just now as I sat down me weary bones to post. But I can sense a repulsion to the late hours, date be damned .. Alright a legitimate reason for all Ef to revolt in anguish and concern, or even dare to threaten the DHR … but the outcome of a late evening is the joy of spending time with song and music manufacturing at a recording studio near by and forgetting oneself it its depths and joys and pleasures ..
I was wondering on Twitter which way should a string instrument be played if one was both lefty and a righty .. I had strung up a sitar once some years ago and would spend hours with it without any training, to play it. That desire comes back again. Paucity of time in these years of being busy has deprived me of those simple pleasures of spending time with instrument, and inventing on own terms the learning of it .. pulling in a teacher at this late age would be ridiculed, so I refrain and opt for those moments to be free of such encumbrances and need now the time which I have in plenty to tinker around with a Sitar and a Sarod .. !! Okaaay ! Stop those snide giggles, I really mean to do that .. just for my own pleasure … surely I should be given such privilege .. Its either the rocking chair, or this. I would I think prefer ‘this’ …
So the dilemma really is whether i should work on these string instruments as a lefty or as a righty. When I was earlier tinkering around with the Sitar, it was in normal position … that of a righty … but now I feel maybe I should try the other way .. it could make all the difference … like suddenly I would convert myself into this wizard maestro, giving formal public recitals .. ha ! the joy of wishful dreams ..
If I do opt for the lefty stance they would have to make a special one for me and that would take some time … impatient to get going immediately, I guess I would get one immediately and start off in the normal position and then when the right one arrives which is supposed to played left, I shall change over. I believe ambidextrous humans have constant brain disorders … I mean the change over outside is quicker than perhaps what the brain needs to adjust with in the same speed inside … I guess .. I am not sure .. brains are complicated machinery … is there not that theory of which ear one holds the mobile to … apparently lefties have their brains on the right side of the head and vice versa, so holding mobile, which does emit reasonable amounts of radioactivity, damaging for all of us, on the left ear is safer than the right ear .. I hold mine on the left ear, which if my brains are on the right side of the head, is the right way to hold it ..
Too many lefts and rights, don’t you think .. lets leave it at that ..
Good night and love to all … safer .. many ask for it individually, which would be an arduous task ..
Jalsa , Mumbai Mar 18/19 , 2012 Sun/Mon 1 : 28 AM
Late again .. DHR did not mind .. was watching replay highlights of the cricket India vs Pakistan .. always a show stopper .. did not see the live broadcast .. India lose often when I do … so ..
Magnificent play by all our team .. Virat Kohli scores 183, and is fast becoming the darling of the country .. just 23 years and playing like a dream … inspiring and so committed .. a great example for the youngsters that watch him and aspire to be playing for the country. I just wish though that the Indian commentators would be a little more glorious in praise for our achievers. I hear some of the other commentators from other countries, and when their team plays, they concentrate more on them than the other, even though they are meant to be neutral. They are not entirely biased, but you get a sense that they are more interested in their boys and their play rather than the victory of ours. Even when their team loses, they make it sound as though they won – just a slight slip and they would have been victorious ! Is really their point of view .. I mean Virat will be hitting the ball to the boundary in succession, but the commentator of the opposing team will be almost talking to the player on the field that that is not where they should be bowling and that the field placement is wrong. Not a word about the brilliance of the shot played by Virat …
The art of commentating needs very deft handling. I feel its not enough that you are an expert of the game. But because your comments are going to the universe they need to diplomatically enhance the mood of the audience that listens to them too. Especially when the country you represent is playing. Our masses need to be carried along too. Keep their hopes and spirits high, and maybe, just maybe, the collective positivity that is exuded by the commentator and the millions that hear him, could all reach out to the players on the field. A packed stadium cheering for the team works wonders at times, and I believe so can this medium of comment …
A collective slogan screaming from 50,000 voices could move a mountain .. but we need that slogan. A song maybe, sung by all in the same voice … music and drums and noise that identifies India .. flags, banners what ever ..
When you see the soccer for example, and see the enthusiasm with which the crowds backing a particular team cheer for theirs, its a revelation .. its a different world altogether .. can we not strive to build that in the games where our boys and girls play. I saw PT Usha the 400 meter athlete at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1982, win the first position in the most important Heat for her event. In the final she lost by a whisker in winning a medal, by coming 4th. I am almost certain had she the strength of a mass of Indians cheering for her it may have inspired her just that little to do better. On the day when she ran her Heat, a friend and I were the only two Indians in that vast Coliseum, screaming our lungs out through some very puzzled looking spectators. Another 100 more would have done the trick for her. I see at such events, especially the jumps and track events, the contestants asking through hand gestures from their countrymen in the stadium to clap and cheer for them to raise his or her adrenalin before they start off ..
It works for public figures too. A large boisterous crowd is a boon for us at an event or at a public meeting. Suddenly the tired legs spring to life, the voice becomes strong and confident. I experience it every Sunday, as I did today through the 28 years of its existence …makes one feel wanted and loved … nothing more important for a public figure than this .. watch ….
And as I conclude music again to put the day to an end .. a beautiful charming folk constructed by that duo of Amaan and Ayaan Ali, sons of the Sarod maestro, Amjad Ali Khan and a group of sufi singing ‘qawwals’. The Sarod the most loved instrument by me .. sonorous and subtle … an instrument of the nature of the Sitar, but more difficult to play, because it does not have ‘frets’ unlike the guitar or the Sitar, so one has to practice for years to hit the correct note without any assistance. And Amjad, not from the films, a dear family friend and both Amaan and Ayaan growing up as little kids in front of our eyes, and great friends of Abhishek and Shweta and the family. Ayaan the younger one now married to Nima, Billu Sharma’s daughter. Billu, Romesh Sharma close family friend, producer of ‘Hum’.
( Some of the greatest Indian classical events have been the ‘jugal bandi’, or dual players – Pt Ravi Shankar on Sitar, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan on the Sarod, and the great ‘tabla’ player Allah Rakha, father of present time great Zakir Hussain, in a combined concert .. ah !! pure music magic .. unbelievable moments .. leaving you in absolute ecstasy for hours and hours till the morning light appears, having started playing late into the night, in an open auditorium. What one not give to see them recreate that magic … alas now only on film or record !! They shall never make the likes of them anymore … Ustad Allauddin Khan the great maestro and the guru who taught Ravi Shankar the Sitar and Ali Akbar Khan the Sarod, was Ali Akbar Khan’s father .. Ravi Shankar married Allauddin Khan’s daughter and sister to Ali Akbar Khan )
‘Bahut din beete, piya ko dekhe .. ‘ many days have passed without seeing my beloved …
Repeatedly been listening to this throughout the day, from their, Amaan and Ayaan’s latest album, RANG, Colors of Sufism .. it has the smell of the earth of Uttar Pradesh and my hometown Allahabad .. simple, endearing and almost going into a trance of the atmosphere of the times … could spend the entire night just with this .. but it is past the hour of 3 am .. !!
Wide awake and willing to continue with this music the entire night ….
Jalsa , Mumbai Mar 17 , 2012 Sat 10:24 PM
A day full of flowers around the house, colored, strong smells and in huge large bouquets … greetings for the birthday girl, Shweta … a quiet birthday just with family, but full of warmth and love and the little things that go to make a young lady happy …
Tomorrow its her husbands birthday … Nikhil turns the same age ..
Who ever constructed the ‘Happy Birthday’ song, had great foresight and vision. Or did he /she not ? Did they ever imagine that it would be sung in every corner of the globe each minute … and now I believe, there is a copyright on it, so when it is played publicly they pay IPR, or whatever it is that constitutes the regulations of payment for copyright.
And was it a confectionery that devised the concept of the cake and the candle on that wishful day. The number of candles signifying the years, the burning of them, the blowing away and the wishes, the cutting and the feeding … nowadays I see a very ugly side to it, where they smear the cake icing and all on the birthday candidates face .. so unbecoming and so messy … just not a very pleasant sight to see or to perform … birthday bumps it used to be .. now its this other facial routine. The posterior pain was better !!
Who started these practices ? And how have they defied time and distance and location to live on for decades .. !! My Father in defiance of this practice, perhaps influenced by the struggle for independence during the Raj, wrote his own birthday song, which on occasion we often sing ..
Varsh Nav, Harsh Nav … jeevan utkarsh nav …
I think my parents both Mother and Father sang it for the first time in Allahabad for Pt Jawaharlal Nehru’s birthday ! I think .. I need to look it up and confirm … it has stayed with us and whenever possible is played out .. I do like it immensely … and instead of the cake , the ‘khoya’ .. I do not have an English convertible for it, but has condensed milk and heaps of sugar and is incredibly delicious .. the candles have been replaced by a single ‘diya’ and that is all the auspiciousness that gets associated with birthdays … this and the temple for blessings of the Almighty and the feet touching of the elders for theirs …
Todays generation sends emails and musical greeting cards and sms and mms and God knows what else to express birthday wishes .. oh yes and on the mobile too, jamming it to numbers in my case at least beyond 1500 at times… so that it takes almost a year .. perhaps till the next birthday to respond to it .. !!!
As kids we looked forward to birthdays, because of the gifts … even if it came in the shape of a new pencil !! You slept with it under your pillow for days, not wanting to lose its new look … kept the wrappings and the ribbons .. some still do .. for years inside folded pages of books … opening up at times just to remember the moment …
Ah ! the innocence of youth and the beauty of devotion and love … such wondrous thought and feel as you go back to those memories ..
Hey ! do I bring up the topic of memory often these days ? They say it signifies aging and perhaps, ‘nirvana’ around the corner … better stop then ..
Time to be spent with the kids now and in solitude with them for a few days .. alone …
Love to all and my sincere thank you’s for all the wishes that you sent for Shweta .. I did attempt an entire brigade of yellow today, but did not cater to all … my regrets .. but I do live in your thoughts and your words .. Thank you ..
Jalsa , Mumbai Mar 16 , 2012 Fri 11 : 00 PM
Kalpana Kakade … Happy Birthday for the 16th of March .. happiness and fulfillment always ..
I behave tonight .. beating all expectations of another DHR situation .. there is but reason. The first born of my generation in the family, Shweta celebrates her birthday tomorrow the 17th of March and in order that we can bring it in without the worry of having to post late, brings me up to connecting now. Shweta came in to Mumbai with Agastya this afternoon to spend time with us and nothing could be more enjoyable. The house resounds with the laughter and energy of her presence every time she comes in and today is no different …
Finally then, Sachin got his 100th hundred century and what an achievement ! The first to ever get there and perhaps the last. I cannot imagine any other achieving this extraordinary feat. And just as great are his achievements, is his generosity and etiquette. I sent him an sms message on his achievement, even while he was in the middle and receiving the appreciation of all his admirers, and sure enough within a short while later, I got his acknowledgement. A gentleman, a genius, God’s own gift to the sport, humble and graceful under all circumstances.
I was short last night because of the time constraint. I shall probably be short again because the hour of 12 when Shweta moves into her birthday, approaches. But I know that you will understand my excitement, and the desire to be with her shortly after I finish this valuable connection.
Children grow away fast. It was just the other day when we were all at Breach Candy Hospital here in Mumbai, anxiously walking the corridors and giving strength to Jaya, as she went into labor at the time of Shweta’s birth. Today she has walked in with her 11 year old who the entire evening has been teaching me how to download certain kinds of music, how the film he has made on his computer with his friends, is a film that moves in reverse and demonstrated to me the scientific skills of Cristiano Renaldo, the ace footballer and some other greats on his screen. There is of course this ‘grave battle’ that ensues with his Mamu, because they support different soccer teams – he is with Man Utd, shining at the top of the table and Abhishek with Chelsea, not doing well this season !!
He is in the middle of studying the history of the freedom struggle of India and in his more private moments with his Mother or me, gives vivid details of the leaders and revolutionaries that fought at the time for our Independence ! Such a joy to hear children speak with authority and confidence !
But yes … the morning was early too .. just a couple of hours of sleep and once awake just could not get back to the bed … and so .. it was music again .. the laughing matter among most of the Ef by now, because of my repeated mentions. It is obsessive though if I may say. There is the attempt to never let that refrain move too far away from one. Repetitions almost render one helpless in the throes of the aura that builds around you. One imagines oneself in that song, in that moment of tune. One builds a story a situation about it and puts itself into it to enact, to feel, to absorb all that it offers. It is really quite absurd, but I wonder if the others here today feel and go through the same feel. Then … when one is involved it is most distressing to come away from it. Its like leaving a loved one behind. The notes of the music keep playing in your mind, again and again. Any other refrain never does stand a chance of even remotely getting to be near it. So as you travel, meet people, watch Tv or whatever, there is this music that keeps taking over, suppressing your desire to pursue what needs to be pursued. The heavy presence of its being surmounts all else, much like many of Beethoven’s Symphony, where the gentle flute or string representing desire, gets almost suppressed by the heavy orchestral presence of fate. We desire, fate overcomes us … well almost .. in the philharmonic creativity of the masters.
But enough of that now … due respects to dear friend Ludwig .. they do become your friend do they not, as they occupy a large portion of your existence .. much like what friends do … much like what the Ef do ..
Jalsa , Mumbai Mar 15/16 , 2012 Thu/ Fri 2 : 52 AM
Apologies, apologies, apologies … a thousand apologies for this long wait and causing anxious Ef stress and wonder. I have been busy with yes, music. And once it starts its a different world. Singing, composing, arranging and providing instrumentation all by myself can be arduous, but so fulfilling.
I wish to thank all those that commented on the Blog responses about yesterday’s, somewhat serious content. But I thought of what I had in my possession needed to be shared. There are some that are in response that need to be shared too .. and if I have their consent would want to post it back to my friend who I am certain shall be most delighted. May I ? Thank you … I do not wait for agreement. What you send on cyber belongs to the world, and perhaps if I were to do it without the asking it would pass muster. But we are a civilized lot, living in a civilized platform, among civilized people. We follow civilized routes and forms, do we not … Yes ! of course we do ! Another self answered proposition .. its one of those days when a laugh at 3 is worth every AM !! Did I just actually say that ?
Ok .. enough of trying to be soft and light hearted, when the dictat from all is to hit the bed .. so its bye for a few hours .. I need to get up by 6:30 of the AM … now don’t ask me why .. its just that I have to … so …
Good night !!
Love and …
Jalsa , Mumbai Mar 14 , 2012 Wed 11 : 45 PM
” Beware the ides of March”
” The ides of March have come ”
” Aye Caesar, but not gone ” !!
Haunting lines from Julius Caesar by Shakespeare .. remembered every time the 15th day of March approaches ..
The impact of great writing remains with us, the weak and the decrepit dissolve, never to be remembered. Why does it happen, one has not been able to find a scientific solution, but they do. The impact of its existence was perhaps because the modes of communication were never as acute as they be today. Perhaps the oft repeated, loses value and presence and if I may say, patience. Are we then in our need and desire for rapid information and far greater speed of rendering it, destroying value …
But surely value would be recognized if valued it was. Is the need to be able to depend so largely on Google as our encyclopedic mind robbing us of something larger. Do we have the time and intent to give space to what we feel transpires in our lives. Is the present need important enough for us to ignore what should be given greater value. I cannot say. I am not this generation. And if I did show concern would it be a laughing matter. I cannot say this either. People and purists ask often if we are fast losing our values and ages old culture. I honestly cannot say. What may seem debasing to me, could be the highest point in another’s life. And it is quite probable that I shall find myself in minority here. Debased minority is an area of confusion in today’s times – it may never have voice. Or not enough voice to withstand the majority that enjoys what we may think to be debasing. Majority succeeds in all modes of life. Once painted with success, it would be nigh impossible to taint it – if we were to take an extreme step. But we dare not ! Its consequences would be far too severe to bear. So, one languishes in minority and dissatisfaction ..
We spoke of religion the other day on this platform, and a dear friend made some very pertinent remarks. I have sought permission to put it up here, and while it takes time for that to come I cannot but resist the temptation of posting the thoughts here tonight. I hope and pray that they shall not mind its presence, even though it was meant for me in a personal capacity .
“Equally, there is much of value, as you say, in religious texts. But not wholly so. Most religions and their texts have perpetuated the injustices of their birth: the prejudices, vagaries of diet – the general peculiarities of their writers – and chaotic historical incident of their times. The iniquity and cruelty of caste, misogyny, slavery, violence, domination – all these things are there too in these texts.”
“The point is that everything is in the texts. Both good and bad. We have absolutely no choice but to read them embodied in our own selves, with compassion, generosity, critical judgement and condemnation. That is wisdom, the realisation that wisdom cannot ultimately be lent, borrowed, given, taken from others. The wisdom of others is the greatest blessing we have in the world, that it can act as partial guide to our own singular pursuit. But ultimately it is singular: we must strive for it alone, we can only search for it alone, and then we cannot hope that it will be there ever to be found. It is simply the striving and searching, without hope of its gain, that is our life’s pursuit, and one of solitude. Your father’s striving for wisdom will bring great guidance, but his striving for wisdom and yours must be, by the very nature of our singularity as human beings, forever separate and different.”
“How we eke out our lives in solitude and uncertainty, stumbling with reading between the lines, for all things, all names, are shorthand for what we cannot know. Your father’s words are shorthand for the unknowable world inside of him. As are dreams, whereupon one might then see that all our shorthands are in the end only read well by ourselves, not by others – and even for ourselves, who knows what they mean? Consulting Freud in order to interpret our own dreams may be interesting for historical and cultural reasons, but it is nothing beyond someone else’s suppositions over yours, Amitabh. One makes one’s own meanings: when you consider your dreams, only then do they mean.”
Simply wonderful and written with such depth and truth .. I loved the ‘singularity pursuit’, for in the end of it all we are but singular. I also liked the concept of the ‘shorthand’ .. it was such a novel way of portraying that which we may never ever know or feel or observe. There is a meeting point in the singular and the shorthand .. but put out with novelty of expression ..
I leave you to dwell on all this, with love ..
Good night …
Jalsa , Mumbai Mar 13 , 2012 Tue 11 : 17 PM
Last night was a rare moment .. emotion , nostalgia and more .. but tonight is tonight, balanced and controlled, reminiscent yes of yesterday but not overwhelmed by it.
Some attempts at restructuring the body back to normal .. the weight loss is vast and even though it gives a lean look, would be too lean for normalcy .. so … at it now … since many are concerned by the condition. yes night sleep is most desired at moments like this, and there is a concerted effort to be able to give it some relevance. Tonight seems to be going well in that direction … so far …
A journalist friend did some calculations and discovered that on an average of approximately 500 words that I write her, when I reach DAY 1500, the figure would be 7,50000 words .. which according to those that write and publish often, is the equivalent of having written 7 books … !!
I cannot say that I am happy about it for I have never attempted to write a book or even entertained such thought. ‘One poet in the family is enough’ my Mother had quipped on being asked if there were other aspirants in the family. I would second her whole heartedly ..
I think I would be hesitant to write a book book per se … not going about it with an intention before hand that I write a book .. but of someone were to take some words away from me and put it to print, perhaps that is the very extreme that I would be willing to go … With such a wealth of literary talent about, it would be most presumptuous to imagine, myself in such august company .. and then … the daunting task of taking liberty in being involved in something to which my Father has already set such impregnable heights to ..
It is Tuesday today .. the Siddhvinayak temple at PrabhaDevi will welcome its auspicious pilgrims today that start to walk bare footed from different parts of the city, converging in the early hours of the morning, having left their home at midnight .. I have partaken on this journey a couple of times .. it is exacting .. but the will and the energy of the others that walk along with you on the streets is so invigorating, that one almost forgets the lacerations on the feet of us constant shoe worthy individuals .. the ‘arti’ in the early hour, the first of the day is so humbling in the presence of Lord Ganapati, that at times it moves one to tears …
The mouse which is the ‘vaahan’ or carrier of the Lord Ganapati has its manifestation in a silver construct at a vantage point in the temple .. they say when you whisper your wish in its ears it come true ..
On one of my walks to Siddhivinayak, documented intricately by the electronic media throughout the 3-4 hours that you occupy on the streets, they even captured that moment when I was with wish and the ‘vaahan’ .. A few days later in an electronic media interview, the young stringer asked me how the walk was like .. well how does one expect it will be .. they already had it all recorded . and then came the ‘howler’ .. ” we saw you making a silent wish in the ear of the mouse Sir ” she opined, ” what did you wish and say in the ear ?”
( ‘really miss, what kind of question is that ? like I am going to tell you on national tv, what I wished in a temple .. ??? )
Ha ha ha !!!
I responded with the straightest face I could muster .. ” I wished, that the lady that sits in front of me now be bestowed with better intelligence ” !!!
Really !! It is perhaps the most ridiculous moment that I may have faced on tv interview ..
Leave you with that for the moment .. and head for bed, instead .. rhyming again !!! A poet in the family !!!!
Love to you and as ever my wishes for a good night ..
Amitabh Bachchan … twice .. for the one I deliberately missed last night … ha ha ha !!
Jalsa , Mumbai Mar 12/13 , 2012 Tue/Wed 2 : 46 AM for 3 : 25 AM
I live and exist with my soul .. a soul tormented by the memory of my Father, his presence, his works, his words and his great mind .. they play in my ear now as I attempt at this early hour to speak to you, to express what must simply be an exasperated act for you and all the Ef .. but I would be dishonest if I did not share what now has become my alter … in more ways than one …
In todays time and space it may seem odd, weaving close to an eccentricity .. so be it .. but I compose and sing and listen with eyes shut and transpose to a situation where there is tranquility in solitude .. I shudder to share, to allow interference .. for, too long have I spent wasteful time in catering where service is shunned … where thought and care and understanding is taken as a given … what will the most talented and knowledged give opinion on this, when they are unaware of the depth of the emotion that rides parallel to my thought … I would feel diminished and vacant were it to occur so .. this moment must remain with me and me alone .. it is verily impossible to expect a meet of souls … there would be the possibility of an opinion that could be right in the eye of the righteous .. that look upon it from a distance .. that pay service of appreciation because it is righteous to do .. that is a compromise .. soul needs an aloofness, no reverent compromise, unfettered attachment … this I obtain within, not without or with another, not because I would not entertain it … I would .. but the assurance needed is frightening .. once given out and not of consonance .. would devastate. That consonance would require immense sensibility, not necessarily of high degree – mine is not of that value – but one that would sink into the abyss with me … why would anyone be interested in that ??
Living and existing then with my soul … brings me to the beginning .. a beginning that really is truthfully, the end ..
Signing off with my name would for this instant seem ungainly and devoid of what is desired .. a blankness, a void, vacuumed and floating … perhaps to appear … perhaps not !!
Jalsa , Mumbai Mar 11 , 2012 Sun 11 : 23 PM
God bless the well wishers. God bless them for their permanence in my life. God bless their consistency, their love and enthusiasm. I am indebted for life. It is a debt I shall never be able to repay ; the one burden that shall remain with me unattended. One burden that shall make me happy !!
I read some portions of the Quran and found them fascinating in its clarity and substance. A true guide for humanity, society and for its well being. I went through a few words from the Bible, the Guru Granth Saheb and some of the Vedic chants, and discovered that the similarity in content was amazing. They all speak of how mankind must live in peace and in an environ free from the obstacles of violence. They speak of love and faith in the Almighty, its powers and its presence. In the following of it and in its practice. Not a single chapter avoided the need for guidance on humanities nature, to be acquired through prayer and belief. Yet as one looks around, one finds turmoil and trouble in every section of society, in every region of the universe ! And it sends you into painful realization that goodness can be around you, but we fail to acknowledge it to acquire it to practice it, to allow it to envelop us in its compassionate arms, eternally.
Many of the saints and hermits that have taken upon themselves the life of abstinence, of silent contemplation and meditation did and do so to perhaps find solution. Do they find it ? And if they did, what did they do of it. During the auspicious occasion of the Magh Mela, the Kumbh Mela every 12 years, or the Ardh Kumbh, for example at Sangam the confluence of the Ganges and the Jamuna and the hidden Saraswati rivers, the ‘nagas’ come out from their abodes of solitude and prayer, as do the millions of pilgrims, to bath in the waters, to cleanse their souls as it were and then for the ‘nagas’, to return back to their respective destinations, in the mountains, in the jungles or wherever it is they go. I never had opportunity to talk to them to find out what made them do what they do. What did they achieve and what they see of the future. Surely they must have an agenda .. or not !! The mysticism and the religious content of their acts a mystery almost as it were, but so immensely involved in its practice !!
In my early years in Allahabad my birth place I did witness the Kumbh Mela once and participated in the voluntary building of accommodation for the pilgrims, the food and other essentials. The vastness of the exercise a nightmare for any administrative body, but how efficiently they managed the entire affair. The building of hundreds of tents and bridges across the river, the flow of the masses, their living and food arrangements, all done with utmost care and precaution. Yes there have since been a few mishaps too, but the passion of the pilgrims and their devotion does become an executives nightmare.
Faith has always played such an important role in our lives. Belief has moved mountains. And all stemming from the scriptures and writings of the great religious written word. Humanity has evolved, has put down its belief and faith in the spoken word. How it came about and when and where, has many stories to it. The tone of its speech, the rendition of its tenets, in spoken and in music chords has been an evolution in itself. How the Guru Granth Saheb is sung, the Bhajans recited, the Hymns sung in churches and Chapels, the Azaan rendered from the Mosques … all have and must have such a fascinating history of its very first initiation. And today and the many today’s that shall follow will be beholden to this revered tradition.
We talk of eternal music in our every day life. Of the music from the maestros of the world, of the pop and punk and rock cultures, of the classic from our own Indian raga, of the symphony from the greats, of the mighty opera that was and is rendered, of the various dance forms both Western and Eastern and so much more …
But none have had the durability and life and tenure of the religious recitations …
There is more meaning to this fact than what I can express, or even attempt to ..
Good night ..
Jalsa , Mumbai Mar 10/11 , 2012 Sat/ Sun 1 : 01 AM
Its past the Human Rights hour and there is a sense of missing the regimented routine, prescribed in valued interest by the doctors and those connected for my management. But an afternoon nap went on till almost 8 in the evening ! To be up again and to go down again so early seemed odd … hence the indiscipline !
I notice with some degree of sadness that of late the number of respondents decreases, or at best remains around the figure of the 200-240 !! And I wonder if the Ef diminishes, or that they feel compelled to go else where !! I know that one of the inspiring moments are my own responses to them, and I admit that I have not been regular at all in that context. But time is an important factor, and soon I shall start devoting more time to this end of the story.
A spurt in the energy quotient this evening gave me hope of rapid strides being made in the recovery department, and I do hope that it continues, for, the work time limits come closer with each day. Maybe I shall jump out of the bed one day and jump into the fray. Hello there, I am back !
‘HomeLand’ ended, and ended my Tv viewing with sudden abruptness. It has been such an absorbing watch. Not since ’24′ have I been struck by something so involving and gripping. One longs now for the next lot of the season to come in, but in the meantime some very considerate Ef and TwFmXt, give suggestions for another serial and I shall explore it well. Thank you. The level of production, performances and the creativity behind each episode is simply remarkable. The oft repeated assessment, that television has gradually brought in more economics has been proved beyond doubt. And the difference has been more than substantial, it has doubled. At least here in this part of the world. I doubt if in any other country the number of tv channels in operation would be as large as in India – over 400 of them. This is enormous ! Feeding them for 24 hrs is one of the most important and difficult battles of channel owners. We often criticize the content that broadcasts itself on these mediums, but seldom give thought to the fact that if content sells the channel exists. Getting interesting content and keeping the remote away from possible surfing, is a mammoth task, and all kinds of experiments, not always appealing are in use to make it happen. What the masses want, what shall keep them glued to one and not the other, is by itself a huge process of research. What goes on in the think tanks each morning at edit meets must be one of the most interesting episodes by itself. Maybe someday, it could form material for film. I know in Hollywood they did attempt it with a marvelous film, or films, for many have been made. Here, with ‘Rann’ a small effort was attempted, but there is still some room for many other attempts to be made.
Is all that we see factual. Does it contain any element of manufacturing. How intriguing is it to bring in the clients and the customers. Do the anchors believe in the depth of the subject at hand. Are they affected by its importance. Do they feel as much as the tragedy they explore, or is it just another mechanical job to be done and then forgotten ..
A million thoughts run through and a million answers shall be ready to be given. Interesting and intriguing … both !!
For now what is interesting is how the night shall fare. And for that it is important that certain dictats be followed.
Good night and with love to all …
Jalsa , Mumbai Mar 9 , 2012 Fri 11 : 44 PM
At last after many nights a night when I hope to beat the Human Rights arena and attempt to get to bed early. Perhaps the body may not respond to such early adventures, but we shall soon find out ..
The laptop went on the blink and now after spending some anxious moments with the engineer, have finally got it back. Restored, repaired and respectable. It has also now been loaded with the latest Intel, or whatever it is called, which has a speed modification – it moves faster ! It was what they called the ‘Snow Leopard’ and now its the ‘Lion’. And delightfully the engineer has put up a massive face of an African Lion as my wall paper, or face page, or what ever it is called in computer language. It looks majestic and strong and so in command.
So …. finally watched ‘Kahani’, the new release made by my dear mad friend Sujoy Ghosh, who made ‘Aladin’ with me. And my message to him after all the congratulatory tones was – ” what the heck were you doing all this while making films like Aladin ” ??!!
Such a wonderfully gripping story shot superbly and enacted by all the cast so deliciously. I feel a sense of great joy to be in some minuscule manner a part of this film in commentary and song. I am often wary of voice overs to film. Most of the time they fail ! But I am certain this one will keep the box office flag flying … well done Sujoy, and keep up the good work .. !!
The Gujarat Tourism has used a unique technique to promote their campaign. They have covered an entire metro train New Delhi with promotional pictures – both inside and outside, a first of its kind. And whoever thought of it deserves plaudits. Wonder if it can be put up here … let me try ..
Also please find the link below of the Train Exterior video.
The doctors say I improve and soon may permit me to move out of the house. Not extensively, but just enough to either the office which lies behind Jalsa or Prateeksha another 100 meters away to soak in the sun and perhaps increase my walk pattern. And then after another fortnight, to be able to visit the gym .. nothing strenuous, just a gentle tread mill, and some free arm exercises …
The musical clock just struck 12 ! Cinderella, back from the palace to the house, before you lose all your elements .. or whatever is left of it !!
I must get back to the piano, and song and voice to get my strength back, for there is a great amount of work in the not too distant future that shall be needing the services of my vocals.
Two deaths in quick succession from the film Industry – Music Director Ravi, and Joy Mukherji, a star in his own right during his time. Sad .. slowly they all leave us …
The Lion roars ! Indicating that I have long overstayed. I must obey. And so till the morrow, a good night and a sweet dream .. soft gentle pillows and bed, a lullaby to ease the process and a warm duvet to keep you cozy and warm ..
Love and love …
Jalsa , Mumbai Mar 8/9, 2012 Thu/ Fri 1 : o4 AM
Amidst the throbbing music and the gaiety of the festival that surrounds the environs all over, I do sit myself down in the sun, facing it, feeling the warmth of its power on the body and pondering over the silence that prevails within. There are no sudden thoughts that prevail, no issues that torment .. just the dichotomy of the sound without and the quiet within. I would have been happier if there was nostalgic remembrance. Of days gone by, of the associations on this day of festivity during all the years of its playing – pleasant mostly, but at times disturbing. Of events that took place, of the people that associated with us, of the dance and wild singing, of on the spot verses to suit the music, of driving out into the madness on the streets, of visits to compatriots and joining in with them in their happiness and joy. All should have come back in the silence. But they did not. It was just the presence and feel of being looked at by none other than myself from a distance. The odd member came by, to ask for any need, food drink or color … but nothing made impression. It was almost as though nothing else existed …
Not the most ideal conditions to be in at a festive home, but there it was …
I took the benefit of the ailment and my condition to keep the color and revery at some distance. Watching my disposition, I think I did not have to work too hard for that. A respectful senior citizen presence was accepted and respected. Elders do at times attract such condition.
In the quiet of my room now, I wonder what it is that shall attract my Ef to read. But my Ef is least bothered about it. They seem happy and fulfilled merely at the thought of having read something from me, even it has not been of much value. For this I am eternally grateful. You thank me for not forgetting to connect, for remembering all of you, and that for me is most gratifying.
The need to connect, to have an opportunity to say something to somebody you trust, is at times the need of the hour. I find the joy that gets created when that connect takes place. A word, a sentence, just a ‘hi’ or ‘hello’ is all that many require or insist upon. And I wonder, that there must be such a paucity of genuine affection and love in all our minds, to be simply happy with just that expression.
We never had this medium before. We never had the desire to make effort to communicate. We had fans and fan letters at the very most. But now we have expression every second. And what a change it has brought among peoples and societies. We are able to talk to each much more than we ever did. The generations that went by, formed their own impressions of each other through some very tedious and other means. But just look at how much we communicate. At each occasion and festival and moment of greeting the messages on the mobile on the net on the cyber on the computer is just uncontrollable. People you have never heard of write in. They express greeting, and love and affection, and not always with the hope of a response, but just to feel that they were able to convey what they wished, knowing that even though the reply would be hard to come by, at least their greeting was registered and delivered.
A new world is, or rather has been, created. I may never have seen the person that wishes me daily on the mobile or on the Blog or the Twitter, but we know who they are through the context of their connection. A platform is built and it flourishes. People talk of the world drifting far away from each other. I think the contrary. I think that we come closer as time goes by. Dev Kishen ji passed away and the members of the Ef gathered together and paid visit to his home to express regret and condolence. He would have gone unnoticed to so many of us had we not the benefit of this platform. But the compassion that this family built among itself, speaks volumes of its glorified existence.
I feel a sense of great pride when I notice, that not just to me, but also to yourselves does this indulgence occur. Strangers do meet and build permanent and emotional relations, feeling as much for the other as they would for themselves. And all of you must be thanked for its existence its extent and its eventual value.
I repair well dear ones. My movements are getting stronger and better by the day. The strength in the voice is weak, the body still pains at certain times, but in all there is a great difference from the times in the hospital and now. The wounds of the two surgeries have healed and sealed – they generally do on their own, or so they tell me. Certain actions need care. Food needs monitoring and rest .. which as you may see, has now gone beyond the domestic human rights diameter. But body changes take a while to adjust themselves and there is nothing that can be done to enhance its natural process. I thank all those that inquire and worry about this, but may I assure you that all possible care shall be taken to follow the required instructions ..
Good night, shubh ratri, shabba khair, sat sri akaal ..
Jalsa , Mumbai Mar 7/8, 2012 Wed/ Thu 2 : 08 AM
May the colors of this Holi, bring all the happiness and fulfillment in your homes. May it color your lives, with all that is bright and beautiful. May it bring prosperity and success, but most of all friendship and peace …
Or as the Russians would say ‘Dhujba e Meer’ ….
The ‘Holika’, a ritual of burning all the waste round the house, and the symbolic evil in the surroundings, has been lit in both our residences – Prateeksha and Jalsa. The prayers and the special sweets have been consumed, a bit of the of the ‘gulal’, the powdered color has been put on each forehead and on the feet of the elders and a prayer for a better tomorrow ..
So much has been in nostalgia when we talk of Holi that it would be impossible to narrate it all here. Suffice to say that it has always been one of the most popular and celebrated festivals in the country. It beckons the end of winter and the start of summer, the cutting of the crops and a general gaiety among all, where people beyond caste creed and religion greet and meet each other as brothers and sisters in the most wild celebration.
In Rajasthan, the women that remain mostly in ‘ghungat’ and ‘purdah’ for the entire year come out and have liberty to beat the husbands and men with sticks, without a word or gesture of retaliation from the men … a catharsis !!
The constant beat of the drums and cymbals, the songs, the special sweetmeats – the ‘gujiya’ – shall be cooked and devoured, apart from the traditional drinking of ‘bhang’, a local intoxicant made from a particular weed after it has been ground to a paste ..
The dancing shall be impromptu, and the day shall end late in the evening, after which the cleaning process shall begin and the customary visits to friends and relatives at night ..
A death in a family in the year, shall signal no celebration, to give respect to the departed soul and the streets shall be filled with enterprising revelers, enjoying their freedom to paint any bystander or passerby with multiple colors ..
I shall sit up and watch from a distance the very limited celebration among the family and reminisce the days of yore, of the several momentous Holi celebrations right from childhood till a few years ago.
The abandonment on such an occasion is to be seen to be believed. Its a carnival of color, happiness and joy. It is a day when all social barriers are broken when all are treated as one, the staff and the employers are one, indeed in our house, my Father first put the ‘gulal’ on the member of the staff, the cleaners of the house, embrace and welcome them, before all else. It was a signal that now the celebrations could begin. Such wonderful custom …
After the burning of the ‘Holika’ the evening has been spent in watching a most exciting tv serial – ‘HomeLand’. Just cannot move away from it once it starts. Quite sensational ! Happily there are several episodes to watch and the interest shall remain alive I am certain.
I must to bed now …
Love and greetings again to all ..
Jalsa , Mumbai March 6/7, 2012 Tue/Wed 1 : 43 AM
मूर्ख अपनी मूर्खता का उदहारण निरंतर देता रहता है …
अकल्मन्द उसे शांति से देने देता है …
the idiot continuously gives example of its idiocy .. the smart and learned silently allows him to do so ..
No these are not lines from verse or from my Father’s, though I can say with some degree of certainty, that had he heard them from me, he would not have disagreed. I know not why and what made me say this now and why I composed them. But now that I have may they remain with us on our platform …
There comes a time in the lives of us, as must it should with all, when we face the idiocy of some, in acts and words that defy civility and order. Joining them or opposing them would draw us down to their level and standard. The patient and more learned would silently allow them to continue to do so. Idiocy shall not prevail in civil society. It shall perish, but perish in time. It takes a while for those that are subjected to it to be able to identify it first and then to give it time to play out. The act of lunacy is not important, the world is full of them, they shall exist. The aftermath is not important either, for by then it has played itself out. It is the period in between, of patience and silence that is testing. The period when we allow the aberration to exist. That is the real test, a test of some reckoning and character and culture and all that the good that we have imbibed or shall imbibe in the future …
True test of time determines the attitude that we adopt during such trauma – if it can be given such position and importance.
Many that read today may infer that there has been some troubled moment for me to express thus. No there is none. And even if there was, it would defeat the purpose of what I say in mentioning it.
The ask during such situations is exasperating, trying. Those that can pass through this moment, come out in better form. Those that cannot, may not necessarily weaken, but would most certainly destroy a portion of themselves within. Unnoticed, it would remain perhaps in the subconscious and erupt at a most inopportune moment. That really is what needs to be feared. Internal damage, not caused by the self but by another, effectively. Permitting another to take over your mind and body may just be the most distressful. I would consider it to be a defeat and I would never want that any should ever lose on this count.
Many argue that not expressing the anguish of such, destroys us too from the inside. May be. But I would consider it another fault if it remained within, as an anguish, to be allowed to fester, to be allowed for it to be remembered, to allow it to be looking for that opportunity when it could be paid back with appreciable interest. No that would not be my recommendation. Mine would not permit it to creep up in the front lines of my attitude. They would either be washed away soon, or at most be present as a nondescript shadow in the back of the line. Never to be touched, or given notice.
Many would argue how its recurrence could be prevented then if it does not get the treatment it deserves. Valid I should say. But not paying attention to it, or never being in a situation where it could get an opportunity to perform again is how I would approach it.
It would take a while and a great amount of resilience. But resilience too is an attribute that we must needs develop. It builds character and dignity – aspects that would stand gloriously in any situation come what may.
“I would like to tell you a martial story, perhaps I already have, that will amaze you. It is of Pergamon, an Ancient Greek civilisation that existed on the shores of present-day Turkey. This story is known because of a war memorial they left behind. It was to celebrate a victory over invading Celts, and they erected this monument at the very centre of their great city, before the temple to their gods. It consisted of a series of bronze figures, struggling against their mortal wounds, their accoutrement of war still in hand. They were beautiful, noble and defiant until their dying end. These figures of war, these warriors, were given the ultimate prize, immortalised in sculpture for the ages, to be held up above the citizenry in remembrance of their greatness.”
“But here is the rub; here is what startles: these great warriors are depictions of the Celts, their enemy in battle, over whom the Pergamenes were soundly victorious.”
“Think upon it, it is extraordinary. These people of Pergamon immortalised their enemy in noble memorial. These people were strong enough, confident enough in their own culture, to remember their own victorious dead by saying, “Our enemy was great and noble and died with dignity. In our victory over them, so we are all the greater, all the nobler, all the more dignified.”
“To vilify one’s foe is to fear them: it ultimately dehumanizes both parties equally. True victory over one’s enemy is to conquer such fear. Fear and wrath: they blind; they betray good judgment; they poison the noble spirit. Pergamon did not make monsters of their enemy to defeat them: these were a people strong enough to acknowledge the dignity and humanity of their sworn foe despite war and death, for they knew that to make monsters of the enemy is to become monstrous oneself. Their victory was all the greater.”
“The measure of true greatness of an individual, as much as of a country, is to understand this truth. Against such greatness, no adversary can ever win out, no other civilisation can overcome such a fatal embrace.” ~
In deep gratitude to a dear friend for this contribution …
Need I say more on the subject ..
Good night and may the God’s be with you, and for the non believers, your pillow …
Jalsa , Mumbai March 5/6, 2012 Mon/ Tue 1 : 11 AM
Leena’s birthday tomorrow March 6 , 2012 … she has had a tormenting last few months .. we wish her a happy birthday and years and years of happiness and joy only to follow ..
The television reverberates from morn till night and more night, on the elections for the Assembly being held in some of the more popular and populous States of the nation. Debates arguments exit polls, their views and objections, each party playing well and giving passionate support to their candidates, all day throughout. And tomorrow is another day, the final … the counting shall begin and the vocal anchors shall strain their throats to gain attention for their program or their assessment, with the odd ‘ our exit polls were the closest remember ‘ line thrown in to legitimize their earlier claims …
It is an interesting exercise for an actor to observe these episodes. A learning graph for the many students that undergo acting tuitions. The expressions, the comments, the rebuttals all done with such finesse that it would fill an entire bank of knowledge on the craft of performance.
Its a field day for the channels and their TRP’s. It is something they wait anxiously for. Their vociferous involvement going beyond the purpose of information at times. The Election Commissioner, appointed to oversee that the election process goes through without any hiccups, came out with a ringer today … ” all exit poll assessments should be confined to Entertainment Channels ” .. or words to that effect .. a stinging remark !!
I would imagine it is a process that attracts viewers all over the Democratic world. Perhaps Russia and Mr Putin would be the most talked of in that part of the universe, as would now soon enough, Mr Sarkozy or even Mr Obama.
Knowing before, what needs be known, before the time of its knowing, has been the culture and hidden attraction for all humans. What shall happen tomorrow ? Or the days and years to come ? Tell me today !! Natural obsession, one that cannot be easily set aside. What does it do to us ? Prepares us to take in the worst if that be predicted. In what manner may I ask ? We would fret and worry and fear each step in anticipation of what will come. A way to live ? I dunno’ …
The abolition of capital punishment in certain sections of society, often argued with the same temper. A man kills and is sentenced to imprisonment to be hanged until dead. How long before the the hanging shall take place, is not known. There are formalities and legalities that need to be followed in civil societies. The murderer waits in his cell, not knowing when the time for his death shall come. This, argue the anti capital punishmenters, is more torturous than the torture that the victim had to go through, because, they argue, the victim did not know he or she was going to be murdered and the killing was therefore rapid and sudden and less torturous than waiting to get killed as in the case of the accused !! Valid ? Invalid ? Difficult to say. Perhaps the Human Rights Organizations would have something on this too.
My own Human Rights department, domestic in its nature thankfully, proclaims I sit for long and sleep for less. They demand justice for rehabilitation of the ailing body and have serious and very commanding arguments on my bed time. I defy them at times. Mostly after they themselves have fallen victim to what they propose for me. Saved by the bell …!!
Watched some films between last night and tonight. Some drew appreciation, others drew strange silent glances among each other .. not much was spoken ! The attention time span of the viewer has reduced so rapidly that it is a dangerous exercise to be seated in a multiplex in anonymity watching your own film. There is constant chatter and an exchange of observations, not necessarily pertaining to what unfolds on the large screen in front of them … scary ! More often it is the attention given to the mobile, its rapid messages and its attendance, despite the warning slides that request that these handy inventions be put away, switched off, or put on silent mode. There are frequent movements too – a migration to the stalls outside for that fizzy or the corn on bubble. Be blessed that this be so. Many that migrate midway, either forget their way back in or have shifted to another screen another film !! Many … and there are quite a few … await the moment for the end to be able to finally find immortality on Telly by the patiently waiting PR machines of the film wanting opinions so they could broadcast the positive ones in the promotions to follow …
And many anxiously wait for the freebies to come by – coins and plastic whistles – to throw and blow, in order to create excitement for the film within the theatre. Word of mouth of the event garners support for the next show ticket sales, they say …
Planning to see a South star film in the South ? Get there after a couple of weeks ! The fan club would have bought out all the shows for those 14 initial days … and it would be impossible, even if you did get in, to follow the film or the dialogues, because there is excited mayhem each time the hero appears … irrespective of what he is doing or saying. The love and the following and the fan frenzy is just incredible !! Its sheer devotion !!
So where was I …?? ah ! yes domestic Human Rights …
Good night !!
Jalsa , Mumbai March 4, 2012 Sun 11 : 43 PM
Age in years, conducts itself at times, with a certain rigidity. Principals, values, habits that one has acquired from an early age, remain unchanged and continue to inhabit our mind and endeavor in all aspects of our existence. Change is not only unacceptable to such, but is also an aspect which refuses to alter the way we are conducting our lives. The new generation, the fresh generation, the modern generation, call them what you may, need these adjectives to describe them. A generation is a generation. Why the necessity to describe them. We are all humans after all. But no. We need to describe them because they alter, they differ, they seem to move away from convention. Or so we feel. They feel nothing. For them it is normal. As it was with us, when we were younger and were looked upon with dismay and disapproval by our elders, or those from that generation, when we indulged in acts that were different from what the elders were used to.
We want to progress in life, to better and to achieve greater heights. But without change they say it shall not be possible. True. Change needs to be executed to move progressively forward. Most modern thinking elders of some integrity in their maturity, would adhere to this, many would not. Conflicts arise, separate thinking and actions take preference, rifts get created and before you know it, each section has moved away because they feel either insulted or stifled.
I do not know what would be the wisest action to take in such circumstances. In today’s times many young describe their motive as not being understood. The elders refer to it as insolence and disrespect. Both parties could be right in their expressions. But then what be the solution. There has to be a solution surely. I am liberal, forgiving and not as rigid as perhaps many that are. I do not know if that is correct an attitude. I would rather join them than oppose them. I would wish to be a part of them, embarrassing though they may feel about it. I go to Stamford Bridge, the Chelsea Football team of the Premier league in England’s stadium, with my son and stand with the fans and cheer and scream and shout and sing along much like any other fan. When they studied in College and I visited them I would ask them to take me to their most popular club to be a part of the dance floor, and freak out with them. And I wonder if that was something that was wrong and not done. Who cares. I enjoyed doing that and the kids never minded. So ….
On the sets of the films I work on, the average age is in the 20′s or perhaps the 30′s. But I am at 70. Should that bring about restraint among the cast and crew ? I would dislike that. They show me respect. I acknowledge that. But I also want to be a part of them. To listen to the conversations they have, the music and comments they put together on various issues. Yes I would have my own personal views and they may be polite about not disagreeing with me, but that is not what I would be happy with. I want to speak their language, or perhaps a better word is lingo, never to exhibit a false sense of involvement, but merely because it is of interest to me.
Their music is d-i-f-f-e-r-e-n-t …! So different ! Ha ! I wonder how ever such music could attract anyone’s attention, but it does. And so I go back to the drawing table and dissect and wonder what went wrong with me. In the confines of my solitude I would get pleasure in some of the stuff that I like and they would laugh at, or wonder. I had an evening once at home with some of those that appreciated poetry and language. The young that were invited by the young at home, took them aside and wondered ‘what all this was about’. I am not conversant with what the popular form is with the youth and I have an inexpressive face when I listen to some of what they listen to and wonder what it is that they find attractive about it.
On a flight to an International destination some time ago I was shown on the laptop a promo of the film ‘Rock On’ by its Producer with great pride. And after seeing it I politely showed appreciation, but inwardly had not understood why the film was being made, and felt some sadness for my young friend. It went on to become a huge success, winning not just box office accolades but acclaim from most of the awards that year. I was completely wrong. My young friend was completely right !
Many young now come with great enthusiasm and hope with their projects to me. I listen and read and reread and am in a quandary as to how I would break my disapproval of the subject and my role to the would be producers. Do I go with my now ‘archaic’ impressions of the days gone by, or do I blindly accept and be lead through an enterprise of which I have no measure. Do I let them decide the fate of my decision, or rigidly disagree and sit unconcerned without work ? Would the suggestions I make be accepted. Would they be laughed at, or what ?
Its a fearful moment this. Pleasantly fearful !!
Many of the enlightened Ef express themselves – ‘ we want to see those long queues outside the theaters on the release of your films, the screams and whistles on your grand entry, and the heroics of the days gone by, again”.
Those days are gone by. They shall not return. The young have that privilege now. I can be ‘a part’ of the enterprise, not ‘the part’ any more. Time to understand that, sooner than later. Yes, there will be exceptions, but limited.
It has been a pattern of history through the decades, and it shall not change. Certainly not with me. Look around you and discover that the auspice of all artists, sportsmen, politicians, businessmen … all shall have to adhere to this ultimate truth ..
The old shall make way for the young .. else ye’ shall stagnate and perish ..
Be not dismissive of age and change … they are harbingers of that which needs to move forward …
Jalsa , Mumbai March 3 , 2012 Sat 11 : 08 PM
A fulfilling day !
Saw an inspiring film, ” Paan Singh Tomar ” directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia and enacted by a whole cast of fresh and very talented players, led by that incredible performer Irrfan. Such restraint in direction and performance, but such an impression on the nature of the subject. A biopic true to life and detail. A wonderful tribute to the many unsung sports heroes of the nation, who contribute so much for the Motherland both within and and on International platforms, yet are left in penury to pass away, unnoticed, uncared for. But this is a true story, of a man from Madhya Pradesh, from most humble environs, who finds it his duty to serve his country by fighting for it, by joining the armed forces, who excels in sports, in athletics. But ungainly circumstances force him to become an outlaw, a word he detests .. a ‘baghi’ he says, one that revolts not an outlaw, because the system dishonors his pride and abuses his domesticity.
The tribute to the unsung hero, lists various prominent sportsmen who brought glory on International platforms for the country, but died penniless. Some even having to sell off their gold medal to survive. Such a moving tale.
And the first thought that comes to mind is to lend support to those that find themselves in such condition. To plead with the system to show some compassion and respect for the glory they brought for us, so we could stick our chests out in pride and look after them in their hour of need instead of leaving them in dire straits to perish without any honor.
And I wonder, often in dismay, when I read and hear criticism leveled at our cricket heroes, for partaking in events that remunerate them through individual commerce. I cringe when I read that our hockey international teams are made to accomodate themselves at International fora, in conditions that are so degrading and wretched. The IPL has brought our cricketers, some amount of wealth through their commercial deals, a hope for the rainy day, something to fall back on when age and lack of performance, a common phenomena, shall prevent their participation. Sportsmen have a limited active life, much like film artists, and is it really such a wrong to allow them to secure themselves while they thrive in their best moments. Hockey is being designed on similar grounds now, albeit in limitation, through the initiation of the WSH, and I wish the endeavor all success, not just in the revival of the sport, but in giving a opportunity for the discovery of fresh talent, and for the others to secure a future. One of our young national team players, who has shown remarkable talent and capability, comes from a slum in Dharavi. And what a story he is scripting for himself. May there be many more such as him and may he be given the opportunity to excel and live in better conditions. Let us not deflate their endeavors and their inherent talent by denying them what they deserve in abundance. One wins and loses in sport. It is a reality which no one can keep away from, even when you are the best. But to put blame on them for their poor performance because of their commercial gains, is not entirely fair. They could well lose their commerce too if they under performed. Film artists lose their value when the film fails and gain when it succeeds. The brand endorsements dry up if you do not sell well at the turnstiles. The very element that is chosen as the cause and reason for failure for sportsmen, could also be the reason for the much needed incentive. Let them earn their position, but bringing the earning to be the cause for their failure I would imagine to be somewhat harsh.
The ranking of a journalist or an anchor or a Tv station, similarly would depend on the credibility it creates in the minds of its audience. An audience that brings in the eye balls for its TRP’s, that bring in the commercial breaks, that bring in the funds and the commerce for a programme to be successful, for the business to exist and run to profit. Credibility then relates to the commerce. Would one then relate commerce and credibility in media, to the credibility and commerce of a sportsmen, or not ?? Its a question, not a statement !! If commerce is being sought to be an incentive for performance, is there grave error being committed ?? Darn, they changed the rules of the game of tennis to accomodate commercial breaks for television. The court change overs when players took rest was never there earlier. But the commerce of television and its subsequent value for the tournament in terms of funding the event, of payments to winners in cash, drove them to it. Its the same in Football and in the NBA and Ice Hockey and Baseball and American Football. Players get bought and change teams. Coaches get sacked and go elsewhere when they fail to perform. Yet when the national team is chosen, they all come together for the country and when they fail do we blame the commerce that they ride on in private leagues ?? Its a question. Not a statement !!
The film ” Paan Singh Tomar ” throws many such thoughts amidst us. At least to me. And I do not know whether the makers had this in mind as well. I am certain that they must have given it a thought. But let us assume that they did not. If it has aroused one single individual, it is enough of a beginning.
Good night and god bless ..
Jalsa , Mumbai March 2/3 , 2012 Fri/ Sat 1 : 04 AM
‘Twas just the other day when it was November, and suddenly it is March. Time moves rapidly through the day and night, we watch it go by. It was the 11th of Feb a short while ago and 5 and half hours of surgery that we talked of and now, we talk of recovery .. strange are the ways of life and of time ..
When there is nothing to do even the most non event sounds and looks enterprising. I look forward to the papers in the morning and when I shall be able to go through them. I look forward to the timings of my medication – its an event that I must not ignore. The odd visitor that promises to drop by is looked forward to, to share and talk of subjects unknown and discussions that remain un resolved. Fun. It takes up time. Time to get back to the top on the lap and to start connecting, reading comments, reacting to them and finally to be responding to them. Just as it may be interesting to you to learn what I may be up to, I yearn to read what all of you are up to. I appreciate the commonness of our thoughts. The pleasant at times and the un pleasant too. The woes and the worries of the many Ef, their struggles and achievements, their thoughts and their opinions. They are educative for me. I pride in talking about them when I disclose my activities on the blog to others. They do not believe that we function so. I ask and invite them to see and read themselves, and after they do, either they join in or express amazement. I have never looked upon any kind of achievement that this platform may have gained. Neither do I look upon it as some great commercial achievement, which, I might add, in todays materialistic world, no one is willing to believe. But that is the way it is despite many tempting offers being brought up regularly.
I watch the Iranian film ‘A Separation ‘, the one that won the Oscar for best foreign film. It is simple yet binding. I am still to complete it. Perhaps tomorrow. Many other friends send in dvd’s of films I should be watching. Books to read. Scripts to consider. They have been with me for long and I admire their patience. They respect my condition I think, but I should be responding to them soon. Some will work, some will not.
I have still to venture out to the piano. It lies in the office. Maybe soon when I begin to move a bit more I shall undertake the journey and spend time in music and tune and creation within my very limited means. A visitor gave me a picolo to learn and a book on how it should be done. Sweet. More members of the family are planning trips to the home. It shall be filled with the laughter of the young again and the ‘chahal pehal’ of domesticity, something that I love and enjoy most ..
In adversity and in adverse conditioning, it is this, it is this, it is this, that attracts …
And of course the attraction of the bed and a Tv sports programme to keep me company, till I nod off .. at times with the set still on … !!
Love to you dear ones .. live the utmost everyday !!
Jalsa , Mumbai Mar 1 , 2012 Thu 11 : 52 PM
I am informed by Barun of sad news .. Devkishin Vyas passed away suddenly on Monday 27th, after a massive heart attack. Words are not sufficient to express our sorrow. Our prayers for the departed soul and condolences to the family. He was a kind Ef, with a regular interest in all that we indulged in. We shall all miss him,
It is difficult to continue writing or conducting ourselves in a normal fashion after rendering such sad news. A member of our family has left us and it is heartbreaking to learn of it. But life is full of surprises and balances and tests us continuously. We learn to brave it and derive strength from those that remain with us on this platform to be able to understand our grief and concern. May this be the temper for all of us, as we hold hands to show our solidarity this instant, and may we all derive strength from it.
A day spent in excessive rest and slumber. It surprises me how much we can sleep in a day given the opportunity. Either that or that there has been a great arrear in my sleep through the years. But rest does do wonders and those that drop by do comment on the freshness of the face. I think they deliberately do it to encourage my recovery, but thank you for it. The wonders yet again of this wonderful possession given to us of our body and soul. What a lot it achieves left on its own, deported from any abuse that we subject it to. I shall not advocate what and how each of us should treat their bodies and what abuse needs to be avoided for its health and upkeep, but yes somewhere, abstinence from some of the damage that substances cause to us need to be made note of. There are many philosophies that abound, but I think what the individual believes or executes is the best. Some deliberately avoid certain intakes after the knowledge that they are harmful. Some are more gregarious in thought. I live but once, and if I am not able to enjoy the benefits of all that life has to offer, it is a waste of my life they say. True perhaps. yet there are some that are compelled by religion and ritual. And some of course that voluntarily without any reason for health or any other, abstain. The latter most is applicable to me and I am satisfied by its presence. Once the mind is made up, that is it.
One of the troubles that envelop me now is the excessive time at my disposal. Mountains of paper work, or work that I had envisaged I would take up during my period of recovery, just keeps getting larger and larger because each day I push it on to the next. This is horrid and must undergo change -
Kal kare so aaj kare, aaj kare so ab ..
Do today what you would tomorrow, and now what you must today ..
A wonder adage, but bringing it to practice, cumbersome. Ok shall exercise it the ‘now’ now ..
Good night !
Jalsa , Mumbai Feb 29 , 2012 Wed 10 : 35 PM
Made an effort to sit out in the sun at Jalsa, just by the balcony of my room and felt the sun and its power after such a long time. Its invigorating they say to do that and I hope it proves that for me. Nature has its own medical agenda for all living beings and it is fascinating that all medication ever manufactured comes from the earth that we live on. The chemicals, the formulation gets formalized through deep study, but the basics are Mother Earth. Regions of the world that do not have access to modern medication and its boundless qualities, have survived through ‘home made’ menas of cure – plants, leaves, dried roots – we hear so much about them and of the many that still practice the cause. Ayurveda, the ancient medicinal practice of India is still a most potent and popular form in many areas of the country and has known to be effective where other sciences have failed. I too have had access to them through some kind souls and found them to be of great benefit. The West too has desired often to patent many such drugs for their use. recently there was that great issue of the patent of a plant in India the ‘neem’. ‘Neem’ trees have existed all around us from the time when we were young and unaware of its qualities. But it is fascinating how such products find their way in our social existence, in our food habits, in our way of life, nurtured tried and tested through the ages to finally give benefit and cure. The ‘datun’ or the thin branch of the ‘neem’ tree is still a most used element in the cleaning of teeth in our villages. Cleaning of the teeth early in the morning by breaking off a small branch and rubbing it, tooth brush like, or chewing it vigorously between the teeth is considered to be the best for the upkeep of our chewing system within the mouth. No high powered dentist chambers, no dreaded dentist chair, drill, and all those other frightening looking equipments that modern science invents in the practice of tooth care. The ‘neem’ leaf has its own value and importance. Itching of the body during measles or small pox is taken care of by using ‘neem’ branches to rub on yourself. Dried ‘neem’ leaves are used to sanitize a room of a diseased person by burning them in the premise as a disinfectant. The ‘kopal’, or the fresh new ‘neem’ leaf is eaten for healthy blood. Its most bitter, but when did any good ever be achieved without bitterness ! They say sitting or sleeping beneath of the shade of the ‘neem’ tree is most healthy.
The ‘neem’ tree grew wild in almost all the places we have lived, but never was it given the importance that it deserved. Yes we were aware of its medicinal properties, but were never regular in its usage. Western manufacturing and marketing, made brands of consumables with the properties of the ‘neem’ and that was readily usable, but never the original. Various toothpaste brands now have special products with ‘neem’ in them. The juice of the ‘neem’ leaf is a healthy drink, as are many other fruits and plants.
Different parts of the world, considering their climate and locations and the weather that they experience, gave rise to the kind of food that was consumed. The Northern parts of the country which generally has vast periods of dry weather, gave rise to the food being cooked in large qualities of oil, to act as a lubricant for the system and vice versa in most regions that were more moist and wet.
There is so much talk of the various and diverse cuisine within India. But all of it is derived from living conditions, the weather and the natural growth of the earth it exists on. The grain fields of Punjab encourage wheat eating, the South with its miles of rice growth becomes their staple diet. A Bengali home without fish is unthinkable and so on. Just the variety of the food products all over India is a marvel in itself. Invasions too brought in their food culture and the Mughlai products are for most non vegetarians, the ultimate.
What a fascinating tale this is. Not just for India but indeed the world over – French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Mid Eastern, all having distinctive variety, importance and taste … and the palette for it ..
But all emanating from Mother Earth. So great is the contribution, so little the respect we give it by constantly abusing it …
What is it that we can do to preserve this God given asset. Perhaps all it asks of us is to allow it to simply breathe and grow on its own ..
No I do not get sponsored by any ‘nature’ or ‘green’ brigade. Its just something that I felt tonight ..
Love and good night …