Jalsa, Mumbai Aug 25/26, 2012 Sat/Sun 1:37 AM
Driving from Jaipur to Jaisalmer on the barren desert road with colleagues that were a part of ‘Reshma aur Shera’, that love and revenge opus, being produced by Dutt Saheb, Sunil Dutt, we came to learn through a radio broadcast that man had landed on the moon. The immediate reaction among us was one of great wonder and amazement. An eminent writer and poet that travelled with us was the only one that lamented this achievement. When asked why, he was desolate in his response -
‘The Moon landing has destroyed the romance of poetry. The Moon in reference to all future ethereal writing shall never be the same.’
He was right in thinking so. The moon has always been symbolized as the very essence of all romantic interlocution. The thought that this element of extreme beauty - the moonlit night, the perfect moon like face, the romance of that ray of moon light that would enter your space through the window, those millions of lines written in its calm and peaceful presence, that line from my Father’s work - “chandni pichele pahar ki paas mein jo so gayi hai”, all suddenly seemed to have been intruded by a stranger that inadvertently caused to pollute in a sense, the soft purity of its physicality.
Science and poetry have been interchangeable through centuries of their existence. The latter engulfs us with all that is in the realm of a dreamlike fantasy ; the former striking it all down with its technical, mathematical, calculated reality !
The conquest of and the ‘destroyer’ of the myth and theosophy, that was synonymous with this planetary wonder, Astronaut Neil Armstrong passed away today at the age of 82. Reports describe him as a brave individual who loved adventure and loved piloting an aircraft. Soon after his moon landing he became a recluse, reticent and withdrawn, and not comfortable with all the attention of fame that came his way.
Reticence and withdrawal symtoms have through the ages been an important character description of those that attain celebrity. For most others in the category it may be an expected norm, but I believe a great irony exists among those that attain celebrity status in a profession where your visual presence, when denied, could have severe psychological repercussions, particularly in the field of entertainment. Artists that seek a space in this world crave most sincerely to be noticed and recognized, for the attention of adulation and for the urge of achievement in their respective crafts. But having done so, most, opt to be not noticed by public and mass response. This is where the irony begins and ends.
Reclusive tendencies add at times to the mystique of the star. During an interview a couple of years ago, a journalist once put the same argument to me.
” You expose yourself far too much Mr Bachchan, through frequent public appearances, through your efforts with the social media revealing all details not just of your profession but of yourself. Don’t you think you are in danger of losing your mystique ? “
My response was simple and honest - ” At age 70 madam, what mystique are you talking of ? Its over and gone !! It would be futile to make any silly efforts to protect it !! “
For once perhaps a journalist admitted, that she had no answer to it !! Rare, but true !
Marlon Brando, whom I have regarded as the greatest, did just that. Walked away from the limelight, and what a limelight, to an isolated island and lived there by himself, with the freedom of nature about him. It is almost like a saintly perpetual sabbatical - close enough to ‘the gentleman with that White Beard’, as many believe to be the Almighty at the gates of heaven !!
I do not slight this revelation. Who knows it could be true. But how does one, or ever will, get to know of it. That is a realm that has remained unchartered territory, but one that excites with curiosity.
During my 1982 ‘Coolie’ episode and my subsequent hospitalisation, I had been clinically dead for some minutes after I did not come out of the second surgery. One of my colleagues actually asked me this question - ” so did you see that White Bearded Gentleman ?”
No, I did not see any such gentleman. I was comatose. But, each morning when I get up and look into the mirror, I do see a half white bearded gent, looking back at me in a form that can only be described as destroyed and shattered !!
at the promotional shoot for KBC, and of the many pictures that I could not post due to technical errors … found out today that they were all there and that I was making all the mistakes … a tight SLAP !!
Impossible to believe that this is Mumbai, right in the heart of the city - Film City. A natural lake filled up and greened by the monsoon rain. Did so many shootings around and about it. The odd Leopard and Cheetah come by across the other side for a drink now and then, sending entire units into a panic. The other day one of them decided to visit one of the shooting floors, just before the main gate … got scared by the electronic doors that were opening and closing at the will of its movement !!
That is the Trikke and me sailing down from the Helipad location at Film City down to the KBC floor .. a lovely breezy ride, minutes before I almost crashed ..sent one of these to Agastya, and he is thrilled beyond measure … got a rare thank you BBM message from him … delighted !!
And that ladies and gentlemen is the Scootie and me trying desperately to climb on to the floor of the shoot, the expression on my face showing sincere concern, on its feasibility .. the scootie’s ..
As I sailed passed on my Trikke, this young man almost felt like abandoning his version of it … the facial expression says it all !!
And this young man thought little of my endeavor … !!!
Time to leave you in peace … and the quiet of the night …
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