Jalsa , Mumbai Dec 4 , 2010 Sat 10 : 17 PM
Overwhelmed by the kind of response that Shweta's piece on KHJJS received, I cannot but feel proud of her and her abilities in giving the film a perspective, that really has stirred many. Two of the journalist critics, Rajeev Masand and Anupama Chopra, who trashed the film were sent Shweta's comments by me and though both accepted the view point that Shweta had made, they still wanted to 'agree to disagree' on the issue. Fair enough and passable ! Each individual opinion shall in todays times remain just that - an individual opinion. But what shocked me was a comment by Deepa Gehlot in her review of the film in the Afternoon, where she stated that the story or the film was 'not relevant in todays times' !! Deepa is a senior journalist and one that has been decorated if I am not mistaken, by institutions of repute, for her journalistic skill and accumen. For her to have made such a comment in print for public consumption is indeed most distressing. Deepa Gehlot, the fact that you have had the freedom to write what you did, is indeed the most 'relevant' factor of KHJJS. Young children in their 13's and 14's gave up their lives so you Deepa Gehlot, could become a journalist in free India. And you say the story is not 'relevant' ??
I am just numbed beyond anything to say more ! I leave it to the EF to comment on it. You may not like the film, but how can you dislike the cause. Young men and women gave up their lives so we could be free from being a slave to a foreigner. What was Deepa trying to suggest ? That had the film been made while we were still under foreign rule, it would have been 'relevant' ???
11 : 00 PM !!
Took a while to get over that most insensitive remark by the 'keepers of the nation' ! Media not having a very good time I am afraid ever since BarkhaGate and Co., took centre stage !!
Spent a wonderful quiet evening yesterday with Vidhu Vinod Chopra and a delicious Kashmiri dinner on the open to the elements terrace, of his aesthetically decorated new abode. Life, cinema, poetry, literature and creative futures being the topics of discussion and a small recital by me of my Father's poems. It was peaceful and invigorating and we plan to get together again in a few days to do some more recitals in the company of his close friends Raju Hirani and Abhijat Joshi who have been greatly instrumental in the direction and writing of his recent successful films. We have been wanting to do this for a very long time and finally we are getting down to it. At last some volunteered interest in matters literary !
In between meetings today, I got a time break to sit and twiddle my fingers on my piano at the office. And it was delightful. For one that has no knowledge of music, or how it is played, it has been another desire of mine to educate and learn this most ethereal vocation. I think I had written about it earlier too on my visit to a wedding in Lucknow, and now the desire has reached a stage where I must invest time towards it somewhat seriously. What ecstasy and joy to be able to spend idle time pursuing an art form purely for your own individual delight and benefit. A bit late I must admit, but never too late !
Abhishek and Aishwarya left for Kolkata this morning where he has just been awarded his first Best Actor Award for 'Raavan', at an award ceremony conducted by one of the largest media conglomerates of the country and certainly the largest in Bengal, the ABP group. Its owner and Chairman, Aveek Sarkar a most affable and gracious gentleman, a connoisseur of the arts and who had once invited me to the famous and well recognized Telegraph debate, a prestigious yearly event that he and his Group conduct with some of the most important literary and political luminaries of the country. I remember being pitted against some of the most honored debaters of the country, including the effervescent Mani Shankar Iyer ! It is conducted in the large and voluminous Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Indoor Stadium having a capacity of about 20, 000 people. For such a large number to be interested in debate, speaks volumes about the literary interest and quotient of the Bengali, a fraternity that has always patronized culture and arts and the finer elements of life.
Abhishek and Aishwarya have just smsed me to say that they have fallen in love with the marvelous city of Kolkata. A city with passion and appreciation, that has the capacity to lift your spirits to a most enviable limit.
Tomorrow evening they attend a special premier for the film KHJJS there, and considering that the story revolves around heroes that are household names in West Bengal, it would be interesting to see what Kolkata thought of the film.
The traffic sound down below on the street diminishes, the digital clock flashes 11 : 37 : 32, its red lights in digital excellence, keeping the darkness of the night illuminated and my soft bunch of head rests restless to be rested upon.
Good night dearest ones … till the following then …