Monday, December 5, 2011

You rise early and take flight to Pune for ” English Vinglish the film


Jalsa , Mumbai         Nov 29/30 ,  2011               Tue/ Wed  12 : 41 AM

You rise early and take flight to Pune for ” English Vinglish ” the film being directed by Gauri, Balki’s wife, where I do a few lines in a barely a minute appearance with Sridevi ! Flights to Pune are short and quick. By the time you fasten your seat belt it is time to take it off again. At Jet, the personnel are polite and helpful in getting you to the plane as rapidly as possible, at times much to the annoyance of the regular in line travelers. Against my wishes, the hostesses push my bag, my security and my distanced position in the queue, to the front. This is annoying and wrong. I prefer standing in the line along with the others. Yes there are autographs to sign as you wait to be dressed down by that magical wand of the police security. Yes there are a zillion mobile cameras that get flashed into your face, unasked and impolite I think, but that is a reality now. The air belongs to no one, and they exercise their right to execute what they believe is in order. We must be the most recorded entities in the world ! Wherever you go there is some documentation of your movement, company and dress .. particularly the dress. These details find a most commendable exhibition in some of the magazines that cater to taste and style of celebrities. the comments have a vast range – from the style of the dress worn by the ladies to their handbags and shoes right down to their toe nail paint. The comments are generally critical and sarcastic in tenor – a stance that I would imagine forms the grit of what commercials it would attract. What the circumstances of the time of that moment captured, would be or reflect, is not really of concern to the designer of the page. So long as it draws attention of the reader it is passable and valued. Often have I desired to correct the unpleasant writings that appear along with the pictures, but were I to do that I would be spending all my time doing just that and nothing else. But I have reckoned that if there ever was to be battle on this front again, or facts raised for debate in whatever convenient medium, and were I to have opportunity to be a part of it, then would it most entirely be possible to counter many a million !
I would imagine some respect would be shown to a Blog that gets 1.5 million hits, a Vog that has 3.6 million subs and a twitter account where 16.3 lakh followers, cannot be just taken for granted. I notice often that I am soon becoming my own newspaper and column writer. What appears here is cleverly taken out, readjusted, reframed and reconciled to form a corner of the news on the last pages – a territory which is the right place for us ‘filmy types’ ! A minor distortion in the event detail, gets recorded for posterity and for the master computer of the media. Any reference thereafter on the subject is happily available at the press of a button and what follows next is what ‘the beauty of the written word is all about’ !!

So yes … Pune, that great city with immense character and poise and temperament is being used as the backdrop at their airport terminal for a scene. It is a quiet atmosphere. Everyone is doing their work diligently and in whispers. Its unnerving to find such an atmosphere on a film set, and it does possess the capacity to throw you out were you to disturb the peace so to say.
The plane ride though extremely short is not without its charm and color. The Captain, a lady, has walked across to me to welcome me on board, the air hostesses wish a mobile picture with them in the galley, and the foreigner sitting by my side, looks a bit bewildered in expression at this show of affection and quietly does ask the uniformed assistance who I am. I say this because in a silent plane, when you hear someone answer a question with your name, it is time to open the door of the aircraft and gently step out !
No matter how oblivious you may tend to be to the surroundings and what animated conversation has been initiated by you, you will always find it is the most difficult moment to look up beyond the newspapers you have now drowned your face into, when such occurrences take place.
The shoot is simple, the shots uncomplicated and Sridevi is her usual best. God bless her !
Back on the flight from the airport location, similar interest and activity gain prominence and the most practiced procedure of trying to avoid incessant crowding for autographs and pictures, is then quietly and most deliberately executed – nod off to sleep !! It works most of the time. Often not. Enthusiastic well wisher or fan shall come up to you, shake you up from your slumber and smile her smile into your face with … ” hello ! you are sleeping ? I want your autograph, but I have no paper or pen !”
Now this is a tricky situation ! Normally one would let out the most ugly scream, run up and down the aisle like a mad man, sit down finally and respond with, after several deep breathes ‘ will do it later when you have found suitable stationary ‘ !! Any other reaction even remotely away from this, would attract accusation of being egotistical, arrogant and rude and a minus one follower !!
Turmoils that an actor or celebrity goes through are written on golden rock. And one dare not challenge or try to rectify this. Swallow that pill, pay heed to the request, be humble and deft at final handlings and deplane on arrival.

It is time to deplane here and now too … and so it shall be !!
Look after yourself, be calm and confident in whatever you do, sleep well and give me the privilege of being with you tomorrow again .. with fresh thoughts and feelings …
My love as before and after too …

Amitabh Bachchan       1:35 AM !

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