Monday, November 15, 2010

For most a Sunday filled with rest relaxation Big B


Prateeksha , Mumbai Nov 14, 2010 Sun 11: 30 PM

For most a Sunday filled with rest relaxation and time to spend time on family friends and other essentials. Not for me though. It was back to KBC early morning after the groan and grunts at the gym, returning only a short while ago to be able to communicate to tell to connect to the most awaited moment of my day. Hello ! All ye wonderful people !

This is going to be short again. Its an early call tomorrow and today has been quite busy for most of the day .. so …

My head droops with exhaustion, and I fear that sleep shall overtake me while I sit here to communicate with my FmXt. Sleep deprivation is an experience by itself. The body has decided to not function, but the brain still resounds and in that most awkward state continues against all odds to do what it had started off to do, without a break. So … many a time while I have perhaps technically gone to sleep, the brain and its last function, that of writing the blog, has remained alive. What then pursues is that everything other than what is meant to be connected with the writing for the blog starts to evolve. And with some stroke of genius, as I overcome that moment and wake up so to say, I find that not a single word written has any relevance to what I should be writing !

And instead of closing down, satisfied that justice has been done towards my writing for the day, I find myself re writing the entire piece and discovering to my horror, the ambiguity and senseless language that may have been used during that moment of stupor, comatose irrelevance !

In a sense it is good when we discover such a moment, for, letting it on to be published would have brought me a lot of flak and disrepute. Not a single word at times matches the other, let alone the sentiment. It would have most generously depicted an unstable mind, or at least a mind that was fast moving towards instability !

What really happens during such moments, is a subject for mind analysts to determine and decipher. What does really go inside the brain and at what time, is just impossible to fathom. But this complex bit of the human is so intricate and complicated that it has been best seen, to leave it alone.

The vitamin supplements have been washed down, the protein pinks sunk deep into my scar ridden stomach and finally the pillow companion beckons. Heat pad for my troubled back shall be switched off, the duvet to fight the cold of the airconditioning shall find its wide spread over my system, the digital clock illuminating the dark room with its hours shall be positioned right in front of my eyes, so I can see how the time flows past the night and then finally the table lamp shall be switched off.

What follows next in this hour of darkness is sometimes not prudent to reveal. Your body shuffles about to find a comfortable cozy posture for sleep - legs up, back on back, to the right, to the left - and then a rewind. A rewind perhaps of the day gone by, but no, most certainly of the possibilities for the ‘morrow. That is anticipatory. There is expectation. Expectation reveals character. And thinking about one’s character under the still darkness of the night, is always intricate but a daunting task …

I am now ready to think about my character under the cool soft weight of the duvet ..

So good night … and may God bless you !!

Amitabh Bachchan

I had my Father room painted Big B

I had my Father’s room painted Big B

Prateeksha , Mumbai Nov 13, 2010 Sat 10 : 41 PM

I had my Father’s room painted ! Fresh and bright and without all the stains that had accumulated over a few years. It got completed this evening and as I walked in to check if all was well, I felt I noticed a smile on his face on the portrait that adorns an entire wall. My Mother pretty in her bridal dress alongside him framed separately, garlanded, incensed and among the religious books that they spent their mornings with. Jaya has very artistically put up some of his old photographs on one of the walls, and on one, some framed letters in his own hand. He has begun one with a famous english quote that I cannot entirely remember, but refers to the most hard moments of life being one of ‘condolence and consolation’.

Does that one word define the anguish and pain of departure and absence. And does the other aptly define the ambiguity of consolation. What does one condole and console ? To whom and for what reason ? And do they adequately encompass the misery of the sufferer ? I wonder.

PC Sreeram, our DOP for ‘Paa’ and for ‘Cheeni Kum’ lost his daughter a few days ago and Deepak his Mother. PC, a guru to all the finest cameramen in the Industry, a gentle simple and committed human, sitting with his 23 year old daughter at home during Divali discussing how she will be leaving for the States for higher studies and how her future will shape up. She leaves the home to visit her friends for the festivities of the day and says she will be late in returning home. They are with friends at the 4th floor of this building, laughing and enjoying the moment. They all stand up at the balcony for a keep sake photograph. His daughter is handling a camera ! Designing the frame as must her Father have done on numerous occasions. She is getting all her friends for a keepsake photograph. They are not all getting accommodated in the frame. She pushes herself up on the ledge of the balcony to get a better shot, sits there to click, there is a little rain water left over on the ledge, she looses her balance, slips and falls ! Four floors ! Her friends watching on horrified ! She has gone, does not survive. Life over in a flash !

What does one tell PC. How does one console or even send condolences. They all sound so empty and unnecessary.

Deepak’s Mother, sitting with her son day before talking quite normally and telling him never to ignore duty. Gets uncomfortable with some acidity, has an attack of the heart and passes away. Her son insists on coming to duty even while they still have not cremated her. Says my Mother told me never to ignore it.

What does one say, really, to him in condolence or in consolation ?

My Father’s letter to a friend and the quote at the start are in anticipation of what follows. He has written about the passing away of a friend and how incomplete he feels in visiting the house in condolence. He makes reference to a dark moment in his own life - the death of his first wife, and the misery that she went through at the time and his own helplessness in coping with the situation. The inadequacy of the means to give her better care.

And as I read about all this, I reflect upon his own last days and his desire not to be ever taken to a hospital, for, he had had enough of them he had said. I had obeyed him, but built an ICU around him with all the facilities for any kind of emergency. In this very room. This room which I have just had repainted. This room where hangs a letter he has written in his hand on the tragedy of condolence and consolation. For months after he passed away I did not shift that chair where I would sit and watch him as he would breathe his last, holding his hands, soft as ever and warm, despite the coldness of death in the rest of him.

I donated that ICU for my Father, with all its modern equipment to a clinic nearby which could never have been able to afford such sophisticated medical care, with the hope that someone needy would derive benefit from it.

I did the same when my Mother left us. Her room remaining the same. But, time and elderly advice wished that I should not live within those circumstances. That I should release them and not allow elements of their memory to still remain. I have followed that. But no amount of release can and shall ever release me of them.

I have the quote in its entirety now -

” Of all the cruelties, those are the most intolerable that come under the name of condolence and consolations ” ~ Walter Savage

Another letter, framed and hung above in his hand and to the same friend, mentions on a letter head of our earlier rented house in the same vicinity, how I prepare to move into Prateeksha on the 2nd of May 1976 and how an Allahabady family shall now become a Bombaiya family - गंगा तट से समुद्र तट तक !! Ganga tat se samudra tat tak !! From the banks of the Ganga to the bank of the sea !!

I know now why Jaya put them up there ~


The lawns of Prateeksha and the solitary chair, my sun adventures begin here in the mornings. The window barely visible to the top left, is where I am now presently writing to you …


Another angle of the house … nothing changed on it from 1976 .. everything else around has, including the multistoried that you see and several others around us … the large tree in the middle is the ‘gulmohar’ sapling an inch in size that I planted when I moved in … grown now to uncontrollable proportions and clipped many a time to contain its spread, being devoured now by copious money plant creepers …


The type writer and quill are props for a photo shoot for Filmfare … but the two earthen utensils on the right on the lawn … seeds for birds and water for them to drink … pigeons, crows, sparrow abound in the mornings ..


The lawns, that have borne many a Holi celebration … wild and colourful ! The weddings of both my children Shweta and Abhishek and many a quiet stroll as I have recovered from my several medical adventures ..

Good night dearest dears has been a bit nostalgic and sad today, but..when were they never a part of our lives ..?

Amitabh Bachchan

DON Movie Song Ye Mera Dil Pyar Ka Diwaana

Ye Mera Dil Pyar Ka Diwaana DON Movie

My make up man Deepak Sawant lost his Mother early

My make up man, Deepak Sawant lost his Mother early this morning

Prateeksha , Mumbai Nov 12 , 2010 Fri 11 : 05 PM

My make up man, Deepak Sawant lost his Mother early this morning. Deepak has been with me for 35 years and has never missed a single day of duty. And neither did he miss today, despite my insisting that he should not come and attend to family and funeral rights at home. But come he did. Finished his work and then went back. Said he was not comfortable being away when his services were required. His dedication and his commitment, just so so amazing !

His younger brother Ashok is Abhishek’s make up man and his youngest brother used to work as Deepak’s assistant for a while with me. The younger one almost lost his life too many years ago. He had developed a brain disease and was beyond repair. Doctors gave him a few days to survive. Deepak was distraught and told me of it. I got him admitted to the best brain hospital in this part of the world, the Bombay Hospital, and had him treated. He survived miraculously. And I think Deepak has never ever forgotten that little deed that I did for him.

In between when I had stopped working, Deepak worked for Smita Patil, until her sudden and untimely death. But came back to me as soon as I restarted. His daughter Dakshina, assisted Dominie who did my prosthetics for Paa. So you can see how deeply connected Deepak and his entire family have been with ours. Not once in his entire years of work with me has he ever complained to me about anything, or ever wanted me to do something that I did not want to do. He became a film producer for three films that I worked in too - a Marathi film, and two Bhojpuri films - but he never stopped doing my face even in the middle of these productions. He remained my make up man even though he had been able to stand alone in his job as a producer. It will be difficult to find such examples in today’s world.

Iris from Israel came down all the way to Mumbai to meet me and what a pleasant meeting it was. She came along with her Mother, brought gifts, took pictures, gave me her hand made painting and showed proof of our meeting in Holland many many years ago through photographs. Such a delight to meet fans and well wishers and members of our extended family.

And then the rest of the evening has been spent with one legal luminary or the other, discussing and planning and understanding the law as far as copyrights are concerned. Sony has sent legal notice to the basmati add., and Lakshmi Foods that were blatantly using the KBC set up and my voice imitation to sell their product. Another shall be going to Airtel for their blatant misuse of my face and the announcement of a facility that they had advertised on television. And another shall be going to our managers of the Vog and Bachchan Bol, for not seeking our permission before putting out on national Tv, whether or not I was going to be involved in their facility with Airtel.

For an unpardonable infringement from such a large conglomerate I do hope that the legal notice shall serve as a lesson for my colleagues and fraternity that our rights and privileges cannot be misused in such a blatant manner. I also do hope that the law of the land shall observe with some gravity, these misdemeanors and give us the protection and justice that such occurrences deserve.

Yes these are all emerging or evolving situations and perhaps there has not been sufficient attention given to them by those that suffer humiliation and ridicule, but someone has to bell the proverbial cat. A certain basic discipline needs to be observed and I am happy to state that all the legal companies that we met today were all in sync with the situation and quite alarmed by the misuse.

Branding and copyright are difficult subjects and shall require very concentrated thinking on issues that keep arising from time to time. But they will form an important element of our lives and we need to feel protected.

Talk of discipline made me mention on Twitter my utter frustration on the traffic habits on the streets her in Mumbai. No one but no one observes any rules. Every morning when I drive down to the gym and back, I encounter day after day, an almost defiant attitude towards what others perceive to be traffic laws. For some strange reason, in this part of the city, the red traffic light at a crossing is taken as an indication to GO. No one obeys signals. No one observes basic driving necessities and etiquete. It is just another jungle.

I once volunteered to make promotional films for the traffic department of the Bombay Police, free of cost, to educate perhaps or make people aware of what the correct requirements for being on the road should be. I spent time with the Deputy Commissioner of Police Traffic on this and we had agreed. But he got transferred to Nasik and that project remains stalled. I took a camera along with me as I drove, to shoot some pictures of those that were not following the rules and was asked by the Department to pass them on to them for action. I still have not.

And the reason for that is simple. If no one has told them or taught them how a vehicle on the roads is supposed to be treated, or what road and traffic sense means, then it would be very difficult for them to understand. I have always felt that to educate the auto driver or a pedestrian on road ethics and law, you need first to be a motorist. Then and only then shall you be able to understand the predicaments of a car driver. Licensing authorities need to have stricter procedures before a license is issued and stricter actions against those that conflagrate the law.

I could write an entire chapter on this issue, but shall refrain. But I must say this and make it a point. All those that possess cars are not villains and rash drivers, or those that cause death and misery on the road. Accidents do happen and sometimes are beyond control. That is why they are called accidents. But what of those that inhabit the streets. Are they completely absolved. What of the pedestrians that walk up the road from the wrong side, that do not pay attention to signals for pedestrian crossings, that jay walk …

This debate can go on for ever … and shall reach no conclusion. The motor car has always been looked upon as a symbol of the ‘haves’ and shall always be envied by the ‘have nots’. In a country with such great disparity there is bound to be an attitude that shall put the haves in a vulnerable position in front of the have nots. And the common code of conduct, or the unwritten law has been that the haves do not have the right to have a voice. In a road accident, its the driver of the car that gets lynched. The automatic blame comes only on him, squarely and firmly. No further discussions !!

I am yet not through with the debate, but feel I shall only be flogging a dead horse if I were to continue. So, prudence advises me its better to get my 6-7 hour rest than face the possible wrath of those that disagree with my assessments.

Love to you …. and more

Amitabh Bachcha

Another day out in the sun This is such luxury Was a bit clouded

Jalsa , Mumbai Nov 11, 2010 Thu 11 : 59 PM

Another day out in the sun ! This is such luxury ! Was a bit clouded - believe there is a storm building up in the Arabian Sea, a cyclone called Jal and likely to strike Gujarat ! Hope all goes well. They said it was weakening. But met departments are known to be way off their predictions at times.

Each day of rest has been deliberated upon, and the desire has been to have finally found time to clean months and months of pending paper work. But it never does happen does it. Intentions are not all and not enough. You need to get down and do it. And its never successful when someone else does it. Its always got to be you, the individual who must needs get down on his knees and do the clean up ! And so an attempt was made, but the sheer enormity of the project put down the shutters after a while and that was it. I may have succeeded in catching up with say yesterdays pending work, only to discover that there is still a couple of years left to be handled ! Horrors !!

The morning till now has been full of incidents related to copyright protection, for, there have been greater examples and infringements being discovered. A company selling Basamati rice, Lakshmi Foods has done an exact imagery of KBC. The set, the computers, the question and the contestant being asked from an over the shoulder shot of AB, in suggestion and the voice being used again to ask a question on the product being marketed. This is so unethical and legally wrong. Spoke to Sony to take action and they have in typical bureaucratic fashion passed it on to ‘legal’ to handle. I wonder what they shall move and in which direction.

Another huge infringement has taken place concerning Airtel the mobile and telephone carrier, about yours truly and the opportunity to be able to talk to me for a fee. This is simply unacceptable. There is no signed deal at all for this and on questioning them they inform through our Vog managers that it has been a mistake, that they apologize and shall take immediate corrective steps !

Well thats it ! I’ve called the lawyers in tomorrow and we move court. This is a sacrilege ! This is what happens when people try to run a business through emails and good hope. Not any more though. And yes the lesson learnt is this. Unless you get down yourself on your hands and knees, nothing moves in the right direction.

How much we desire that an efficient team of people working for you could be in a position to handle and guide us through all this mess. But no. It is never ever like that. Personal attention always is the preferred choice. And so be it.

I was keen to respond to as many of the FmXt as possible today, but alas ! it was not to be. One meeting after the other has kept me glued to my office chair with no respite. And financial meetings are such a bother ! Beneficial but a bother !!

KBC nears an end. It was scheduled for just 9 weeks this season and so it shall be. It has raced past the post with incredible speed and value. Waiting for it to happen has been a nightmare. Preparing to go on the stage and to conduct the entire affair has been nerve wracking. But now as the finish line approaches, there is a feeling of a peculiar sadness. The contestants and their chatter and their remarkable stories have been the greatest and most enriching experience. The one whom you expect the least has come up with the most. The most has disappointed. Strange !!

There are some very unique observations that come through on social sites and sms’s on mobile, about the show ! It is difficult to absorb all of it. But it does warm the cockles of the heart and a small prayer goes up for those little mercies. Thank you all for your continued support and following. It would never be the same without all of you !!

Brought in Balki and his wife for dinner and had some very interesting and creative discussions. Balki in usual form has yet again a whole host of novel ideas for film and hopefully we shall be zeroing in on a few at least. For some strange reason there is a sudden surge in opening up different spheres of interest for those in the field of creatives and I find myself being sucked in to wanting to participate in all of them. This is of course physically and time wise not possible. But interesting to see how the world moves now.

I had desired to post some more pictures … but maybe next time .. It approaches 1 AM !! Time for all good little children to be in bed !!

Good night then and see you soon .. my loves

Amitabh Bachchan

Jawani Janeman Namak Halal Movie

Jawani Janeman ....Namak Halal



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