Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Amitabh sings for Indo Pak Aman Ki Aasha event

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Prateeksha, Mumbai February 9, 2010 Tue 7 : 04 PM

Taken off the formals. Wrapped up in the ‘mundu’, ‘munda’ ‘dhoti’. And in a desire to finish the post so I can follow the advice of many who show concern and care. It is early I know, but the need to get to bed is worth a try.

Formals ? Yes .. the formal launch for the mobile service where you could hear my voice is officially on today. At a short and sweet ceremony with the media at the newly opened Trident Hotel at Bandra Kurla Complex, where all the award events take place, modern almost boutique like and under the efficient management of an ex Sherwoodian. School ties never fade away.

The ‘name of the game’.. ha … no .. the name of the program is called BACHCHAN BOL, a number is being advertised, you call and you get to hear me greet you, talk to you, on daily events, thoughts … just about anything that comes to the mind. At the moment it is in Hindi and restricted to India, but shortly it shall be world wide. It is one way .. that is you get to hear me and will not be able to respond back … but OnMobile the outfit that conducts the technology will be working on getting this facility operational too. InsideIndia, a London based Company shall be the Company managing this and I hope that soon we shall be able to develop a voice blog within our FmXt … so … Happy VOGGING … as this is being touted to be described as .. !!!

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And so to ‘Aman ki Asha ‘ above and the settings and the moods of poetry and the people and their reactions … and the last .. the sore point, the electronic media journalist from Zee asking me what was all about Madhushala !! Hah ! Young man, if you have not done your home work and research, if you have no interest in the event, why have you taken the trouble to come. And worse to ask a question that insults my Father’s great legacy and our literary heritage … !!

Anyway … the evening was most satisfying. I loved the ambience. That informal sit around, much like the days when my Father used to recite. People just gathered around, sat on the floor, palti maar ke, and the evening went on for hours and no one knew how time would pass. The applause and the wah wah’s and the end of each verse, the desire to repeat a line a verse, the insistence on a poem of particular interest. Much like the encore call last night after it was all over, as you can see below and then an impromtu break from the routine and some enterprising youth joining me on stage in dance, hurried off by security to restore some order.

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Lovely days those, with my Father. Sharing space with the other greats of poetry and literature. Spending time just listening to them and imbibing. Will those days ever return ? Time moves on and this generation I am not certain is as interested in such activity as we were.

But I think word spreads as you indulge. Just this morning a group from Pune comes over to invite me to such an evening for the inauguration of an amphitheater in an environment friendly locale. Maharashtra and Pune in particular has always had a keen interest towards culture and the classics. Dance forms, classical singing have been an essential ingredient, almost compulsory, in most homes. And when you therefore visit any Maharashtrian home you will always find the presence of that ethos and ethic. True too for some of our Southern states .. Tamilnadu, Andhra, Karnataka and Kerala. And of course Bengal. Especially among the girls in the home. There is indeed a prevalence of some classic art form in every corner of the country. And I am amazed at the vastness of the creativity and the beauty of its presence. I must know my country better. I must travel and read and imbibe them. I must gain undisclosed knowledge. For it must take a lifetime, perhaps more, to experience and know what India is all about. Such a shame that a large portion of my life is over and I never had the time to know … know about my own people and their culture. But I will. I shall pursue, even if time is not on my side, I shall pursue !!

To those of my extended family then .. a cultured good night .. and with the love of more to come..

Amitabh Bachchan

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