Abhishek Bachchan's friends plan to fly down to New Zealand for a birthday surprise
Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh Feb 4, 2011 Fri 9 : 15 PM
It has turned past midnight in New Zealand, where Abhishek shoots for ‘Players’ and time has moved 7.5 hours ahead of us to the 5th day of February, Abhishek’s Birthday. And … our EF Valorie Adam’s too ..
From and on behalf of all the FmXt a very happy birthday to both members of the family !
I finished the day on the sets a little early today. There were some continuity issues with Saif’s beard, or his shave, and so we rounded up early. I utilized the time to spend it with my thoughts on a great amount of pending work, but also spent a little more than I normally do on my Twitter account.
While I mention my daily activities to my followers, in an earnestness to share what one does by the day, one also then gets asked what it is that I am working on. I do that after some deliberation and after some days. I tell them that I shoot for a film called ‘Aarakshan’.
Soon enough the followers muzzle in questions ranging from what it means to what it is all about. I tell them that. Explain to them the reservation policy of the Government and the complicated issues it raises in society. Soon a barrage of questions flow in on whether or not I thought this to be a controversial subject or not. I affirm their thoughts and fears with a question to a question - are there not controversies on most topics of the world today.
Multiple pro and against views follow, which I believe a topic of this nature ought to, because of its nature. That really is the crux of the film, or at least most films, that dare to deal with such social and moral issues. And I respond by saying that there should be equality in society, for we are all equal and human, and that generates fairly favorable comment. Films and film makers genrally tend to tread a safe path when they indulge in subjects that could arouse more than simple box office sentiment. It would not be prudent to indulge with what Prakash Jha wishes to express, but it would be fair to say now that equality and opportunity in equality has never been argued in an unfavorable manner. Within this malaise that this country deals with through its long history, the film will I think address most of these issues in unbiased nature.
Having given many such opinions through the T numbers of my Twitter account, there seemed to be some semblance of balance in the responses that came through - and you are all aware how rapidly they come - when, the cake for the moment was taken away by one who blatantly stated why I was using this platform “to do PR for my film.” For, in his opinion, that was precisely why I had initiated this topic !!
I thought this was the most desirable moment to depart from the scene, for I was unable to control my laughter at the way the sequence of events had unfolded.
I am not amused by the comment of this kind gentleman. I am amused at the veracity that each one of us in this generation of immediate connect, attaches to all that transpires in the world today. How rapidly we manufacture within us, a conspiracy theory, to almost all events that are unfolding in front of us. And I feel that it is the speed with which everything is coming at us that we have lost the effort and desire of pondering over it, reasoning, understanding its complexities, before moving on to another issue. We need a quick answer to what is thrown at us. And the answer must not pertain itself to time consuming discussion. That would be a disaster. Any time spent more than what is desired before the next rocket comes at you, would not give you sufficient time to duck ! And as you duck you confidently give and find a answer, because you are not going to get the time to dwell on it for long. Certainly not long enough before the missile of the next communication hits you. So you find an answer, any answer, not necessarily right or correct and move on. The wheel is moving too rapidly, you need to be on that tread mill else you shall be thrown off.
30 years ago you had a scandal in Bofors, which stretched for years, as the main topic of news, discussion, accusation. Today you have a scandal every weekend and its value, pardon the pun, is lost by the Monday. Its lost because we have in the general polity already taken a decision on its why and wherefore and wither. Whether it is right or wrong is immaterial, so long as we have an answer, it is sufficient. Ok .. next .. what next ? Is what we all think and feel and say.
I am not accusing the gentleman who made the PR comment on the film ‘Aarakshan’. I am saying he is damn right in what he may be thinking. Or, forced to think because of our changed circumstances !!
Its the kind of world we live in today. Till last night the situation in Egypt was at boiling point. Tonight, I find the electronic’s interest in it ebbing in its reportage and concern.
And so I conclude with my question I had put up yesterday on the twitter. An article in the Eco Times of India declared quite boldly that in the time of rapid communication - twitter, blog, face book et al - does the celebrity really need to fret about his or her privacy. Because the celebs are disclosing what they want to make not private in any case, and so why blame the media when they expose. Or worse, is the exposure also manufactured. And some rather well known faces were thrown in and events as well, in the article, to justify their argument.
There is a point there and there isn’t one either. Is my blog or my Tweet written with an ulterior motive ? Is it not a fact that I know that most of my news that comes on the print and electronic, finds its roots to these personal sources ? Are we then guilty of compliance or not ? Do we not now feel more exposed to comment from the ‘other’, because they have the means and ability to do so ? Can they not then be responsible for changing and giving opinion, in place of those that have through years professionally done so ? Is not then it time for those that pass judgement on others to start respecting what the latest Tweet or Blog has to say ?
Are you aware ladies and gentlemen of my family and of the families of millions of others, what started the mass turn out at Tahrir Square in Cairo ? It was one Tweet that a lady put out on her twitter account !
” I am going to Tahrir Square ” she said. And millions followed !!
Many moons ago I had written that the future belongs to the internet. It mostly went unnoticed. It shall still perhaps. But time is closing in. There is now acknowledgement of it by the print themselves.
Every time I commented on the media during the early stages, or to be more exact, early DAYS of the Blog, they came down on me with a ton of bricks. It is not so severe now have you noticed ? Its not because they do not have reason to do so. I am sure they do. Mistakes, accusations, wrongs, rights, can all be still thrown at us, and they are. But they know now that there are alternatives available that can give another version and perhaps more authentic, than what they commanded. Why, most of them themselves have their own internet sites now. And how vociferously they advertise that through their other mediums !! So that isn’t PR for them ? And talk of my film on my medium is ??.
I remember most vividly a press conference I attended, I cannot remember for which issue or event, in the days when I had perhaps written my first blogs, and a journalist got up and did not ask but complained -
“Sir, you are writing a blog now ! Why ? We are all going to be without a job !”.
The assembly had laughed at her that day ! I wonder if they would laugh any more today !
A prominent lady editor on whetting my blog at the time it started, had spoken loosely on the caliber of the respondents that were coming on my page - ” Just a few star struck, over excited NRI fans. Nothing of substance. Not worth paying attention to !” she had remarked.
Today 1 million hits on bigbbigadda.com each day, 600,000 followers in less than a year on Twitter, and 20 lakh subscribers in hardly half a quater on Bachchan Bol my Vog, are people of great substance and value to me. I pay ‘attention’ to them each day, because they have disproved many in more ways than one. They are of the greatest ’substance’ to me, because of their love and faith.
If I am not going to get emotional about them, then who is !!??
I asked Jitesh Pillai, Editor of Filmfare during one of his photo shoots for his magazine, why he tweeted so much. In mirth of course. He with admirable honesty and forthrightness said he needed to sell his magazine. I admired him for his honesty and candidness. I follow a few high end journalists on Twitter - Rajdeep Sardesai from CNNIBN, his wife Sagarika Ghose, Barkha Dutt, Pritish Nandy, Anupama Chopra, Rajeev Masand . Have they not on every other day asked us or drawn our attention to the topic of their programmes, the release of their articles or books, their views in print on current topics, or on Tv …
That is not PR ? And mine is ??
When Rajeev Masand called Akshay Kumar a jackass, I commented to him on twitter it di not behove a journalist of his standing to use such words. He expurgated a large mass of bile on me in response. Many followers were aghast and wished me to pay back, others enjoyed the fact that he had ’shut me up’. But I did not respond. I instead met him and had a talk. What transpired in that meeting I shall not divulge publicly and never shall. Suffice to say that it was satisfying for me. Other media tried hopelessly to provoke me to retaliate. Other than make good copy for them it would not have served any other purpose.
Mumbai Mirror wrote utter bilge in an article on Aishwarya and me and we all know how I demanded an apology. I have been silent on this issue for months now. Have I drawn back ? Have I relented and defeated myself ? No, I have not. I will not divulge what has transpired with them. Enough to say that I have met them, and I will not here too, divulge what transpired.
My ethics will not permit me to. My ethics may be wrong and twisted and corrupt, but they are mine, and I feel that that is how I would like to treat them. And most importantly. I know that I am not ‘alone’ in thinking so !!
My love ..