Southern Crown, Chennai Apr 1, 2012 Sun 9 : 37 PM
Wishing Kashmira a most wonderful birthday ! Good health and warm greetings to keep your smile forever !! Love
Chennai !! A permanent destination not so many years back, when most of the Industry in Mumbai came over to work in the studios here. To make films in Hindi, for South Indian Producers. They were mostly remakes of successful Tamil Cinema. They had great artists contributing to it, impressive story lines and family oriented screen plays. But what had impressed me most was their impeccable management quality, time programming and efficient working conditions. Walking in to the massive Studio complexes like Gemini, AVM, NagiReddy, Prasad and several others, was like driving into Universal, Fox, MGM or their likes – well designed, clean, work oriented and most disciplined – a culture which the Southern bretheren and the sisteren embraced with immense dignity and pride !! Everything worked with clock work precision … and of course the privilege of bumping into the stalwarts of the regional cinema – MGR, Sivaji Ganesan, Gemini Ganesan, Savitri, Nagesh and in more recent times Rajnikant and Kamal Hassan and then much more recently the younger generation that continues to bring wonder and amazement to the audiences.
When I started off in the early 70′s here in Madras then, there was but just one recognizable Hotel – Savera. And now .. the most elegant, modern and sophisticated luxurious residences in hoteliering at every corner ! Madras then was a quiet, cultural center. The culture still remains. It is perhaps a constant in every South Indian home where the classic is revered, whether in music dance form or simply the ancient rituals. Not many regions can be identified today as that. Perhaps with the exception of West Bengal and Maharashtra. It brings in a sense and feel of the charm of the old world ; one that unquestioningly flows within our veins.
The vast belief in the divine and the temples that have been dedicated to and built for, exist almost untouched by invasion. The region being far too distant from the marauding raiders that infiltrated the country from the North. Their sanctums and their imagery revered and sanctified through thousands of years of belief. Tradition and custom remain untouched here, irrespective of what the rest of the world goes through. Scholars, thinkers, academicians, men of letters, revolutionaries that dedicated their energies to freedom and poets of such great proportion in their verse, that invoked fresh and inspired new thought.
I could just go on endlessly. But it is the little contexts that remain in ones minds whenever you visit a new place and they never find a reason to leave you in desolation ! For me the imagery that persists is the flower arrangements in the hair of the ladies each day. They may not be of means, but that fresh ‘ladi’ of flowers always adorns their lustrous hair.
So … the IPL begins its season 5 and the organizers WizCraft, will me to be a part of it for the opening ceremony. I shall present a special poem written by Prasoon Joshi, lyricist and ad., world leader in Mumbai. It shall be a great honor to share the same space as some of the greats of cricket throughout the world. It broadcasts live on the 3rd of April and soon after I shall return back to Mumbai, for further rest and recuperation.
The heat of summer begins to show its colors – a little earlier than normal perhaps. The ‘koyal’ ‘kooks’ in the day to announce the presence of summer. Be it Allahabad, or Mumbai or Kolkata or New Delhi, the sound of this loyal summer bird has remained constant. In the silence of the summer heat during the peak moment in the afternoon, its speech has been a sweet memory that has connected us with so many nostalgic moments.
Having returned just now from the dress rehearsals for the event at the YMCA grounds for IPL, I rest now. A glimpse perhaps of what it shall eventually look like :
The stage and the settings and as I watch – you may have to slide the picture to the right to see it completely – before getting on to it ..
And this moment caught inadvertently by my cameraman, as I grimace in pain during the rehearsal, gripping my left surgery … it comes up now and then .. when ? your guess could be as good as mine !! And the concerned remark by the camera department to ‘take care’ … sweet ..
Time to turn in and rehearse again tomorrow for the finale on the 3rd ..
Love and more as you rest in your dreams …