Jalsa, Mumbai June 10/11, 2013 Mon/Tue 2 :02 AM
At an interview today, I was asked whether the advent of the internet had crippled the other existant platforms of information - media, books, papers ..
And I do not have an exact answer, other than I really would not know. There are some indications that we all look for when questioned thus. Have the presence of books in our lives diminished, have book stores or printing presses closed, have newspaper offices shut, has the television industry reduced its broadcast .. and the answer is NO ..
I do not think that anything has been lost, except perhaps the ability to write in your hand. We have become so accustomed to punching buttons that soon we shall have problems of writing our cheques, and that shall be a major issue. But who knows … the retina of your eye, the finger print of your index, computerised and barcoded could in the future become your entry exit and several other, identity.
There is the speed of securing information … the ability to gain answer in a few seconds from your Google, or laptop and now your mobile. What the human shall invent in the years to come, is still unfathomed … and that shall remain a mystery ever ..
The anxious wait for the newspaper early in the morning has quietly been replaced by the facility available on the net, hours before. In the past you waited for the news to come to you in 24 hours … now it is with you immediately at the flick of a button ..
No matter what the nature of the questions that arise, may demand, Googled, they would be all there in seconds. The pace is what matters. I read my tomorrow’s newspaper the night before on the net. I write continuously without the bother of making spelling or grammatical errors. i send it by the punch of a send button, and not post it in a red post box for it to be picked up and then travelled to its final destination … and so on ..
Not just the distances but other aspects too of a universality have erupted with vigour. Caste, creed, colour, religion are not the deciders today of creative like or dislike … of sports men and their heroic deeds.
A German football team, or British or French would have distinct indicators of the region they came from …not any more !! All communities play for each other, irrespective, and their identification deciders have all disappeared.
Mixing of cultures and their backgrounds have become common and acceptable. What matters is performance, and its therefore, commercial aspects. That done erases once and for all the tabs of color and region differences.
What an ideal world it would be if we were to convert this planet into an ‘Elysium’ … where there were no wars, no hatred, where nothing was wrong ever, where there was only the right, where there was no disease, no disasters, nothing …
Think … and one day we could make it …
My love ,
Jalsa, Mumbai June 9/10, 2013 Sun/Mon 2:31 am
Even in the pouring rain they still come .. albeit in smaller numbers … but come they do and scream as loud if not louder than the normal dry days, almost as if they were telling me that despite the rain they are there .. such an endearing and warm and affectionate feel …
And even the very engrossing “Homeland” tv serial in the second season, could not keep me away from the love shown every Sunday at the gates … thank you my dearest well wishers, but when it is wet please stay away and keep yourselves from falling ill by coming out in the wet weather ..
‘Homeland ‘in its second season has been most watchable … I have been seeing it back to back from the evening of yesterday, and other than getting up to seek the attention of the ‘little one’ have been glued to the screen ..
Goodness they really know how to make their Tv serials so interesting .. many lessons to follow … and important lessons to learn, especially since a certain self shall be venturing into similar territory … soon ..
The rain lashes at the windows .. the wind is with force, and then suddenly it just vanishes ..
that old saying keeps playing up in the mind always :
“Bambai ki baarish, aur Bambai ki Madam ka koi bharosa nahin - kab baras pade !!!”
Its getting close to the beginning of a lot of work and the jitters have begun .. how when where and why shall overtake us soon .. good ..
Good to be at work ..
Jalsa, Mumbai June 8/9, 2013 Sat/Sun 12:22 am
I worked today at some distance beyond my house, further into the suburbs of the city ; a city that has grown many cities within it. I had bought our first house Prateeksha, because it was the edge of, then Bombay .. now it is the center of this megapolis ! And when I drive beyond the lanes and swamps and deserted masses of land, now inhabited by millions of people and hundreds of high rises, I often wonder where did all that we used to look upon as isolated and barren, gone ..
A portion of an action sequence done here, a song on the lonely streets there .. simply vanished into a concrete jungle !
And as I conclude for the day I am visited by dear colleague, who talks about the passage of time, the attention then and the attention now. The importance then and the almost challenging non importance now. Of the emergence of another younger and greatly more popular, of his or her presence in preferential outcome ..
And they ask me how it needs to be addressed and tackled !!
It cannot ..
That autograph that you sign shall suddenly be snatched away from you, on the appearing of the other. The roar that accompanies you, shall get drowned by the roar for the other. Faces that suddenly propelled themselves into lusty smiles and awe around you, are now reserved for another. The rankings drop, the profiles seem laboured in comparison, indicators of importance loose interest in you ; almost linked to an obligation of sorts ..
Many … and many more shall and will face this for certain .. it is an inevitability … better to know now that the time has changed …
There was a moment when the credits barely mentioned your appearance. There was a time when even the smallest presence was given the prime presence in the credits, later. There will be a time when your credits shall completely disappear, or there shall be no opportunity for you to be credited at all ..
This the moment of reckoning .. this is the moment of character .. this is the moment of truth ..
Allow its weight to fall upon you and it shall never ever give you even a small window of opening to breathe … stand up to it, accept it, and its respect shall favour you …
Demanded respect, injures me .. one must do that, which nudges respect to awaken and look up at you …
You may never be able to be at the same destination all the time … but even if you are pushed back a few numbers down the queue … at least you are still in the queue ..
So long as life keeps you in the queue .. one must remain queued up ..!!
My love as always ..
Jalsa, Mumbai June 7/8, 2013 Fri/Sat 1:22 am
In the early hours of the morning, after relatively long hours of sleep, I discovered the importance and the true meaning of a good nights slumber. Without much effort there was an energy and spring in the walk and the mind. It felt as though one would be able to sort out the world, to give it more meaning, to turn fresh new pages and bring a semblance of achievement in all that we were venturing to accomplish ..
As I sat in front of a sparsely designed dubbing theatre, to do a voice over for the documentary being made by National Geographic on the Kokilaben Hospital, here in the suburbs of Mumbai, and watched the images unfold in front of me, I was amazed at the wonders of the medical world. For one who has spent a large portion of his life dealing with hospitals, injuries and conditions, I felt there would be very little that would surprise me … but NO .. each minute of the detailed visuals that unfolded before me, impressed upon me the great value and the depth of the medical profession ..
What must be the calibre of the doctors and specialists and nursing staff to be able to undertake the kind of work that they do, in bringing that cheer of treatment, its success and its final reformation to those that are diseased, or suffer ailments ..
It is a world of its own, and as always my admiration for them grows with each passing episode. The developments that one sees and hears or reads about in medicine are reaching areas that we never ever thought we would be able to see or experience in our lifetime .. but there it is, right in front of us .. defining new laws and greater ability to tackle the most complicated procedures required in the functioning of a system that they had no hand in its making .. nature made it .. these accomplished men and women attempt to learn and execute that, in its favor, that shall bring it some repair, if it is damaged or broken …
The experience is one that can leave a lasting impression on any one ..
May there never be a situation in the lives of any one to be subjected to these complicated procedures or treatments … but know for sure, that the methods and the education being imparted in gaining further, the discoveries of the profession continue relentlessly …
The most interesting thought that pervades in todays time is that patients or those that suffer, have better options of treatment and recovery than many of us in our earlier years …
Today they get treated and do sincerely believe that with the developing of the medical science, in time, there shall be a cure even if it is being conveyed today that there cannot be one .. today there is hope that a cure could be possible at the rate science progresses .. we never had that 30-40 years ago .. there are still some areas where nothing at all can be solved, but there are, too, areas that have reached solution - an aspect that was hitherto not possible ..
May these Gods of the profession grow and become even greatly more accomplished … may they continue to serve humanity in the manner that they do … and may we be in the proximity of them when we need them most ..
My love …
Jalsa, Mumbai June 6/7, 2013 Thu/Fri 12:23 am
As I sat in my Jalsa office, some years back, attending to some paper work, Abhishek appeared at the door with the cutest pup you could ever imagine. He just stood there silently holding it up. Amazed at the sight I just blurted out “what is this ?” and he said, this is Shanouk, my birthday gift from a close friend. He put down the little fellow on the floor, and unsteadily and curiously it sauntered up to me, I lovingly petted it, and then it turned away to explore the rest of the room - the first signs of attitude, which he carried with him throughout.
The entire house suddenly buzzed with this new member of the family and all talk and action only centered around Shanouk. Where he was, what was he doing, has he been fed, has he been taken for a walk …
A special bed was made for him to sleep in, but because he had been taken away from his Mother rather suddenly it was felt he must not be allowed to feel isolated. So he was given a prime berth in Abhishek’s bed.
And then he grew, rather rapidly and soon was pushing and kicking his master out ! Another more sized bed was decorated for him, and he enjoyed the comfort of being within close proximity to members of the family. At times he would start off by getting into his own bed, but soon would step out and cuddle with any one of us. This habit remained till the last. In the drawing room, he felt that where the master sat was where he should be sitting too. His size now substantial, he would occupy one entire section of the couch, the slightest sound of any kind of intrusion electrifying him into a snap position of protection in seconds ; a feat we would all wonder how he managed with his length and breadth.
He was never encouraged to be fed from the dining table, but his exclusion was never welcomed by him. No matter where he was he would turn up ‘uninvited’ and rest his large chin on the edge of the dining table, seeking sympathy and perhaps a morsel or too of what was being served. When ignored, as part of his training, he would gently shift his face right into the face of those invited for dinner, and with his most ‘sad pathetic looking eyes’ seek attention, or petition for it through sniffs of varying sound quality.
On occasion I would take him for a drive around in the colony, in my then sports convertible. I think he found it to be a wasteful exercise, for, all that he paid attention to was how and where he would be able to fit his large frame in those cramped seats. Luckily I kept the distances short, but it needed a lot of cajoling for him to get back in for another spin.
Rather than have a normal dining dish for his food, we had to build one specially for him to cope with his height, so that he could eat at a comfortable level without having to strain his neck and body to bend down to the ground level. He loved ice cream. This was fine when served to him on his eating stand, but often his demands were so urgent that we would scoop out a large portion and drop it on the floor for him, and watched with glee his joy of enjoying it slipping away with each of his tongue lash at it.
On seeing members of the family after a long gap, his excitement levels would convert him into an athlete running at high speeds all over the house, in a frenzy ; his huge body parts banging and dropping objects of art all over !!
It was painful to see this admirable breed of elegance, reduced to an illness which almost crippled his entire form. Two days before his passing he had just returned from a very tiring walk, an indicator to us of his recovery. He had found it difficult to get up, but his mind wanted to spring up like earlier times. On realising his inability, he made a feeble attempt gave up and just put his face flush down on the ground, almost seeking an apology for being unable to give me the pleasure of patting him. I sat down with him and caressed his face. He remained still and appreciative, enjoying the gentle rub on his forehead ; a laboured swing of his tail indicating that he was happy …
This morning as I set off for work, he was there on the drive way after a short routine walk. He seemed almost alright, but his breathing was harsh and rapid..
At 10:52 am he just collapsed in the drive way shortly after I had left for work. I drove back. The staff had covered his face and body. I did not want to see him thus. Abhishek and his family had just arrived from London. They were not informed till he reached home. He took him to the electric crematorium. His ashes shall be brought tomorrow…
…and we shall bury the ashes in our garden … plant a sweet flowering tree sapling as a remembrance …
…. that warm gentle breeze on a cold morning shall no longer flow …
…..we shall suffer the cold now …
Jalsa, Mumbai June 5/6, 2013 Wed/Thu 2:19 am
Ok … the back hurts and so I shall have to get horizontal immediately ! Not much to worry over. These things happen, and shall heal in time ..
The shooting for Sanjay Dutt Films, being produced by his wife Manyata continues … and yes we are still having comic interludes on the factor of suicide .. but a gesture towards Sanju, is more important and so I work for it …
Sony and us had a press conference to day to announce my participation in a Tv serial which starts to shoot in a week ten days. This is a fresh initiative and one that I felt I needed to explore, so there it is. It is being produced by Endemol and Saraswati Creations, and has its creativity in the hands of Anurag Kashyap ..
The idea really is to do something out and away from the groove, with great production values and to make it more finite and watchable. It is another first for me and I look towards it with great anticipation, and apprehension, as we do mostly whenever something new needs to be initiated. I do hope that this comes to you with appropriate likeness, and I do hope that we are able to do justice to this. With all your blessings and care of course …
The press meet today was most pleasant and the media was kind and accommodating ..thank you for that !
Shall connect tomorrow .. it is really needed for me to be in bed now .. love
Jalsa, Mumbai June 4/5, 2013 Tue/Wed 12:56 am
What prompts the young to end their lives in such sudden and disturbing manner ? What is it that prompts them to sacrifice before time, what has been given to them by nature for a fulfilment of a lifetime ?
The death of Jiah Khan, a pretty and accomplished artist who did her very first film with me - Nishabd, ended her life at the age of 26, by hanging herself !
From the moment that the news trickled in I have been most disturbed and upset and angry and frustrated at not having the right answers to the intricacies of the deed. What drives a person to such extremes ? Will that what they do, provide to them the satisfaction that they seek ? And what of those near and dear that they leave behind in distress, what of them ?
I see and hear all kinds of coverages and reports and discussions and concur that pressures, which is the conclusion of most opinions, need to be fought against. There is not a single person from the brightest to the not that have never at some point of time faced similar condition. But to wilt under it and succumb to it fatally, is not what I am willing to accept.
I am saddened yes, but also eager to propagate the antidote for such condition, if I ever did know of it. Young impressionable minds do carry visions of success and achievement. Who doesn’t. But to drop all effort and give it up ….
There is not a single success story in the world, that can truthfully claim that struggle was never something that they did not encounter in their drive for the heights that they reached or wished to reach. Rejections, failures, unaccomplished desires are all a part of our existence. They must be taken in our daily stride, much like what nature compels us towards. Fighting nature is tough, I know, but at times it is prudent to give in to it momentarily, and deliver victoriously what I believe nature itself would be expecting from us.
Do not blame circumstances. We are as equally to blame for them, for, at times we can be made responsible for them too.
The irony, and the most harshest of them all in this particular episode, is that the destination and attention that she allegedly craved for, came to her after she had given up her life, because of it - from what one gathers from the media.
As her first film, she had the naturalness that does not come easy for a first timer. On set we would often talk of this strain in her. I am distraught that she ended her life, but I am also discomforted by the thought of what she could have achieved in the profession … a profession that does demand very large portions of patience.
Sharing the discomfort of such a state often eases the mind and the body. Speaking it out to a near and dear does reduce the possibility of that drastic action in the end. Easily said I would imagine. But little do we know what ails that condition within an individual. Perhaps sharing too is a condition.
In the end, the end remains with the person who ends it …
ps : It is ironic too that at the shooting today for the film, the scene was a humorous condition of a person about to jump off a roof to commit similar act !! It is not accomplished of course .. but great comedy !
Jalsa, Mumbai June 3/4, 2013 Mon/Tue 2:31 AM
A walled collage of times gone by and some that are recent … it was so nostalgic to see all of them again. Production did a good job ! Most enjoyable of course were the ones with Shweta and Abhishek .. the innocence of their early years and their maturity now ..
Old pictures in an album of the kids and my own growing up years, with my parents .. and the setting just ideal .. the warmth of a study, dim lights and the peace of concentrated memories …
Ok … this is a quizz pizz .. !! cool word for pic eh ? What do you find unique in my shoes … !!!
And walking away into the improvised sun horizon at the end of the day ..
Jalsa, Mumbai June 3/4, 2013 Mon/Tue 1 :51 AM
The rains came in today .. albeit in a small and gentle drizzle, but came it did, bringing that much needed relief from the oppressive heat, over the past month. The temperatures came down, there was a sense of change in most attitudes. The frowns of discontentment, during the harsh summer days seemed to have disappeared, and an expectancy grew within most … of change !
But before all else, I need to express my extreme gratitude to all those that wished me for our important day, sent greetings, made collages and pictures, sent flowers and gifts and made us and the home feel refreshed with the essence of the most sweet smelling flowers … thank you all, your being with us makes all the difference …
The rain today seemed auspicious .. in our culture at least. And I have often wondered why so. I can only presume that because rain here in this country has been only seasonal and scarce, its out of turn occurrence has lent it a flavour of auspiciousness, close one would assume to an almost divine giving.
May I then share a small personal incident on the topic ? On the 3rd of June 1973 .. as I was setting out to marry Jaya, there had been a slight out of turn drizzle. Our neighbours I remember had run over to our house, knowing of the impending marriage ceremony, and hastened us to set out, for the rain was a signal of good tidings !!
There has been work as usual on this day - a commercial for Binani cement, shot at an old closed down mill in the suburb of Parel/Byculla. Mumbai has always been a textile centre and the mills abounded in these areas, until .. it was felt by authorities that as Bombay, then , grew in size and was getting habitated by the large number of people living around the areas surrounding the mills, the pollution factor was not conducive for humans. The mills were asked to be shut, and given alternative space further away from the city. This is perhaps one of the more official stories. There were great battles with and within the mill workers too, and many labor leaders, unions, gained prominence politically during those times. I am not quite aware of these stories, and find it best not to.
But the closed mills, dilapidated and uncared for, are now immense value as far as the land they occupied is concerned. There are disputes too on holdings. Bit where they have been sorted out, the space has been sold at exorbitant rates to builders and developers, for the construction of commercial complexes and apartments. Some, where disputes still exist give the premise out to film company’s for shooting purposes - the paucity of shooting studios in the city giving cause to it. I was in one today where matters have perhaps still not been sorted out, or may be they have, for I saw some commercial activity within the complex as well ..
There are some great pictures depicting all this with me tonight, but its late and resizing them for blog shall take an enormous amount of time. I need to get to bed. The back is beginning to get somewhat obstinate and my early call tomorrow , needs consideration ..
I shoot for a film being produced by Sanjay Dutt’s wife Manyata. It is another friendly appearance … a gesture .. and is being directed by an ex journalist lady, who after training in the US for the job, has been taken on board.
Some things one does in life, without asking any questions ..
More again tomorrow … with the pictures hopefully … and with more love ..
PS : On the 4th of June is Sachin Rastogi’s birthday, and we wish him all the best wishes …
Jalsa, Mumbai June 2/3, 2013 Sun/Mon 1 :27 AM
40 years !! 40 years of marriage on the 3rd of June 2013 .. ! Jaya and I in marriage for 40 years ..! A lifetime almost ! Seems like just the other evening I had driven with my parents to a friends place on Malabar Hill, in the Southern region of the city, and to a very quick, no fuss, no ‘taam jhaam’, family and a few friends, and a few close media, wedding. A wedding that had the fulfilment of a promise, that if ‘Zanjeer’ succeeded we would get married ! Here we are now, two children and three grand children, son in law, daughter in law, relatives and ‘samdhi’s’ in our family fold. God has been very kind !
The family is away .. in New York and in London on matters that deserve presence and attention greater than a celebration, so I stay with the memories alone .. not in the real sense, for communication is so instant rapid and finite that, distances have been reduced to a mere mention of a destination. The awe and the unapproachable mention of these far off places has disappeared .. they are reachable unlike old times, if not physically but almost so virtually .. generation after generation shall enjoy perhaps the benefits of this, and who knows the time factor too shall be greatly reduced. The Concorde flying one to NYC from London in three hours was unthinkable. Today they are already talking of reducing that distance to 45 mins, by entering space and reentering it .. who knows what the future shall hold.
I see trailers of some of the fantasy films being made in Hollywood these days, and wonder how they seem to get their inspiration from what the future shall look like. And no surprises that it may all happen some day, when we are dead and gone ..
The marvels of the mind ..
For the moment then gracious thanks to all that wish us through their art for the anniversary .. Ludmila and Zhenya and Tatiana ..
These images are immortal and so gracious in their form and presence .. thank you all for the efforts you take in thinking of such … it must be taking away so much of your time and effort …
And then there is the Sunday well wishers … astonishing in their affection and love .. unfailing in their continuous love .. so so grateful to them … for them to be with me for 45 years is quite remarkable … even at my advanced age of nearly 71 .. my boundless gratitude … !!
The work in front of the cameras continues … shooting commercials for Kalyan Jewellers, and the attention and love of those that work with me. Many of whom have been in my journey of these 45 years .. now aged but still doing the same job .. junior artists !! Such a pleasure to meet them ..
And so another day ends and another starts tomorrow .. back to the camera and back to doing what we think is best for us …
‘Satyagraha’ is over .. the dubbing finished finally today and now the film is in advanced post production to release on August the 23rd …
Fresh and hopefully new horizons shall open tomorrow and higher spirits shall be focussed on. They all seem exciting and ambitious … but only time shall tell what we dreamt and performed was within the norms of its like-ability.
Good night dears .. may the sun rise of tomorrow bring with it the fresh hopes of a brighter day for all …