Saturday, April 23, 2011

Up at 5am and off to pay my respects at various spots of divinity Haji Ali dargah the Babulnath Temple BigB


Up at 5am and off to pay my respects at various spots of divinity Haji Ali dargah the Babulnath Temple BigB
Jalsa , Mumbai       April 22/23 ,  2011        Fri/Sat  1 : 20 AM
Up at 5 am and off to pay my respects at various spots of divinity - Haji Ali dargah, the Babulnath Temple and another small dargah on Worli sea face. And it is cliched but, there are such a large number of people that are up and moving about at that hour of the morning it is difficult to comprehend. All of them it seems are most conscious of their health, for they all seem to be either on a brisk walk, or something more adventurous like a gym, substituted by the pathway of the road that embraces the Arabian Sea ..
And soon after .. it was back to the action work on the sets of ‘Bbuddah’. It is written that man shall earn his bread through hard work and women to bear child in pain. The work is the adrenalin, the power, the motivator for all that encompasses us in our little world. Without work we would all be lethargic, restless and bored beyond thinking that now it is time for our grandchildren to take over, look after us and for us, to lead a retired life. But that does not decidedly interest me or those that come under our family umbrella.
Abhishek leaves for Russia tonight for the shoot of ‘Players’ - a film that has taken him to the extremes of the hemisphere. It was New Zealand not so long ago and now from one end to the other, in Russia. He flies in to St Petersburg on the northern fringe of erstwhile Soviet Union, a city that has fascinated me no end. It is one of my most favored places. Its structures, its ambience and its people such a delight, to be in their company.Yes it is largely influenced by Italian architecture and has followed civic planning and structure through to an extreme of beauty and relevance. The Hermitage Museum is a delight to watch and visit, even if there is a limited time limit to it. But what is fascinating is the period of the White Nights, when for a certain number of days the parabolic movement of the sun, brings on days which remain days. There are no nights - the curvature of the earth and the presence of the sun and moon determine such phenomena . But the beauty of this natures blessing is that the city never sleeps during these nights of white. They are all in the streets, laughing and enjoying this unique feature and bringing in happiness and joy all around.
Another poignant feature that I visited when I was there was the monument in memory of all those young soldiers that laid down their lives for the country and in particular for the city they so loved, to protect it from being overcome by the Nazi Germans during WW II. The Russians have many things to be proud of, but by far the most distinguishable aspect is that, they never gave in to any invasion. And the way they protected their land was most unique too. Napoleon landed up in Moscow to find that the city hade been evacuated. He had nothing to conquer and had come out so far without proper provision that the deliberate delay on the part of the Russians, brought Napoleon’s troops in battle with the harsh winter. The Russians in panzer like moves dug deep away, away from comfort, attacked the German lines as they struggled in the winter, breaking their supply lines and causing the Russian troops a psychological victory, eventually turning the tide of the Nazi war. And one of the most heart breaking stories that come out from St Petersburg is that that is a certain age group of men that does not exist in the land. Its the age group between 17 and 20 years. They were the men fighting for their country and they all sacrificed their lives for that cause. It was Stalingrad until recently, and it became St Petersburg. But that honorable sacrifice is remembered by that memorial on the outskirts of the city, where through immense fighting and defense they were able to stop and push back the force of the mighty Germans. I had been there in 1985 and found the people there much happier than what I had comparatively seen in say Moscow. I have no credible answer for this.
How the memories of days gone by and the encounters that we have with them, stays with us for years to come.
Good night dearest EF … more tomorrow …
Amitabh Bachchan

Slowly but surely the tenor of speech in the medium of social networking is taking BigB


Slowly but surely the tenor of speech in the medium of social networking is taking BigB
Jalsa, Mumbai        April  21,  2011        Thu  10 : 24 PM
Slowly but surely the tenor of speech in the medium of social networking is taking on a character of its own. When it began it was looked upon by the purists as an invasion upon a territory that they seemed to rule over. For ages the writer or the person from the estate was the considered voice. A voice that informed, analyzed, brought notice to, had opinion had detail and had believability. It was the ‘newspaper’ ! A metaphor for all that needed confirmation.
“Hey ! how you doin’ ? read in the papers that you weren’t doing too well ? Hope all good now !”
” Did you know that there was an explosion in the city and many got injured ? Read it in the morning papers !”
And so on. It had its importance and value and presence. It was an integral part of our social existence. It still is, I believe. You miss the paper in the morning. It has become synonymous with all mornings, irrespective of Google and the Net. Only now there are alternatives. Several of them. There is a choice much greater than what was. And that choice is the variants available on the internet, the wire, the wireless. And this I believe has made the issue more liberal, democratic and society friendly. The right of securing information does not just lie with the traditional spreadsheet, there are buttons at your command that provide similar results. And these results are devoid of any deliberate opinion making by another. These are your own individual thoughts. There were opportunities to express them earlier too, but not, I believe as independent as they are now.
Initially when the blog began there were severe apprehensions from the estate. For the first time ever their indulgence was bearing the onslaught of being questioned. Or in some cases, named. This was not what they had ever expected. It was anathema to them. For those that had served their entire professional careers in commenting on daily affairs of the world, were now in the opposite side of the fence. They were being commented upon and they just did not like it. No one would, in their situation. Some retaliated and countered back through the medium that they controlled. Some expressed anger and others fear. Fear not of being written about, but just the discomfort of being righted when all along they had only dealt with those that had wronged.
Many a member would be brave enough to admit that they ‘did not wish to be mentioned in the blog’. This isolated group of people, around 8000 of them in a population of 1.2 billion, remained in exalted position. They were the decision makers, the prediction makers, the force that changed thinkings and minds of an entire nation. They were now vulnerable to the new inventions that were moving at the speed of sound and they felt threatened by it. For what, I have no reasons for it.
Many things then begin to happen simultaneously. When they could not beat the invention they decided to join it. Now you have both options. The paper and the net. And it is not always that there would be a difference. Both were interchangeable. One borrowed from the other. Write on one, get written in print on the other and vice versa. And the beauty is that both are equally powerful for their masters.
What to me seems a problem is the fact that those that are individuals and who have been expressing themselves independently, do not have the circulation that the standard media has, and therefore have a limited reach ; as opposed to the vast distribution of the other. But with time and spread, the medium of independent expression has been recognized. ironically by the same estate that opposed it. Views expressed individually on a medium that has portents of belonging only to party A, have the strong ability to be picked up by the traditional and expressed through the strength of their medium to parties ABCD … And because theirs is a much stronger institution, the belief factor is stronger than that of the ‘new kid on the block’.
The ‘new kids on the block’ having realized the potential of their strengths, have mastered the art of how best such a situation can be exploited, and have shifted a few gears to be in a superior position.
Let me take a modest example of a certain Mr Amitabh Bachchan. His blog generates 3 million hits a month, not to mention that sincere and great relationships that have been formed through it have a number value that will never be possible to be valued. He has another 700,000 followers on the Twitter and his Vog has 24, 00,000 subscribers. Each medium is catered on Mr Bachchan’s take for whatever he deems fit. Out of the 24,00,000 if there are 5 that can be counted as genuine and if they find themselves in a position of information where what they get from these mediums is better than the traditional, then a great amount of change has been executed. Or at least initiated. This 5 then grows and multiplies and soon there are a sizable number of people who could be in the possession of a different opinion than what has been carried by the ‘newspaper’.
A strange yet very believable act has also started to take place. The non traditional that wish to be carried on the traditional can now devise a method whereby they can put up their news, independent and individual and expect that a news hungry estate shall willingly pick that up and carry on their own medium. Perfectly normal and acceptable. But has a thought been given to the fact that what if the non traditional is using this wonderful device to deliberately put out something on their space knowing fully well that it shall be picked up and expanded on the traditional. Its a win win situation for both. The non traditional, wary of the fact, that what he wishes to say may not find favor or representation if he were to go the traditional way, cleverly puts it out on his own space and hopes it will get picked up. The traditional gets a lot of spare labor. They do not now have to go seeking information. Information comes to them at their doorstep. And free !
Many examples of what I extend are there for many to see. And they come faster than that ‘morning doorstep newspaper’ … such an important tool of our daily existence ..
My love to you ..
Amitabh Bachchan

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