Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh Jan 31, 2011 Mon 9 : 45 PM
Dearest and most concerned FmXt’s,
I report below from my terrace outside my room, spacious, pretty with the setting sun, after a glorious semi cool day, weather vane in place and for the cat lovers, would you believe it, their replicas at the drain ends. A bit rusty but all the same quite unique.
A few apologies again for the faux pas in the morning on forgetting to post the post. Bit my tongue in anguish at the mistake, it remaining as a painful reminder for the entire day. A bit of gentle blood, a burning during lunch, but now all is well and smooth and settled. No pain, no discomfort and dinner was without any blemish !
The lake as you see portions of it as the sun reflects, I am told has a circumference of 33 kilometers. Rather large. I asked as I flew over it what was the name of the big lake below. They told me Bada Lake ! Hah ! Bada as you know in Hindi means big. So … what a revelation !!
I have to say this for the city of Bhopal, it has been a wonderful place to work in. The weather has been bracing, less polluted than most other cities, the people have been most polite and considerate and warm and their discipline has been exemplary. We are as you may know by now at a College some distance form the city. There are hundreds of young students studying and spending time on the campus, but apart from the excitement of a film being shot in their back yard, they have shown no misbehavior of any kind and have maintained a respectful distance from the work area, giving us a somewhat relaxed and comfortable atmosphere to work in. Yes they come around and cheer and scream, but when asked to follow production diktat have been most obedient.
Getting into the meat of the film gradually and now pieces beginning to fall into place. There is a lot more to say in this film than I have had for some time I must say. Which is not a bad idea. But which is quite stressful. Learning lines the previous night for the scene in the morning can be quite exasperating, and even though we have a complete script, the dialogues are still taking some time to appear. Its a bit discomforting. Especially for someone like me. But I guess one has to cope.
The entire evening has been spent with technicians of varied hues. Someone to fix a magic stick for the 3G facility available here, so one can connect while on the road. Computer guys trying to fix the 3G stick from Tata DoCoMo on to my Mac and the issues it creates because it is a Mac. The Tv guy to fix the set because it is not receiving the sports and movie channels. Funny ! Because when they take the box to the room next door, it works fine, but the moment it comes into mine, it shimmers and shies away. Frustrating because I so wanted to see the Australian Open and could not.
All eyes now on the cricket world cup, being played this time in the subcontinent - India, Pakistan, Bangladesh. And this promises to be a humdinger primarily because India looks good and the home advantage is being looked upon as advantageous to us.
As many of you may know this year’s Padma Honors, the National Honors went to several from the fraternity. And one that I particularly enjoyed was the Padma Bhushan given to Waheeda Rehman, my favorite from much before I came to the movies. And she is the sweetest that you can ever come across. From the early days when we worked together in Reshma aur Shera, she has been most encouraging and supportive. On receiving my greetings and flowers for her decoration by the Government, she called as she often does when she has something important to say. She thanked me for the note and the flowers and then went on about the number of decorations I had received and wondered with all these different titles that had come my way, what may she now address me as !!!
Ha ha ! I just love her sense of humor ! She has always addressed me as Amitabh and I told her she must continue to do so. I had thought she was perhaps joking with me, when she asked the question, but no she was seriously wanting to know whether she would now have to use a Mr or Dr or a PadmaBhushan. She is such a wonderful soul.
It is always a joy to be in her company. Her grace and her presence still put me in awe of her.
Thank you dearest FmXt for your gracious words of congratulation for the 40 year FilmFare presentation. One shall endeavor in the days to come, to strive harder and to try tio live up to all that you constantly expect from me …
My love as always …