Friday, December 30, 2011

Borgias’ a teleserial tears me away from what I had imagined would be an early night

Jalsa , Mumbai           Dec 30 , 2011        Fri  11 : 46 PM

Nandita Kao … happy birthday for the 30th .. happiness always and Hardik Shah belated greetings for your birthday on the 29th .. may there always be the best that life can offer for all and for both .. love

‘Borgias’ a teleserial tears me away from what I had imagined would be an early night. Its interesting to see Italy in the 14-1500′s and what intrigue transpired then – all be it fictionalized. But what is most amazing is the production values of these television drama’s played out week after week at such vast and grand settings and their ability to transport you immediately into that era within seconds …
The early hours of the day as darkness still prevails in this metropolis, remind one of the winter months of any European country, barring the temperatures of course and it is quite revealing to see most of Mumbai already out on the streets, limbering up or getting to work, or back from it. Gyming in the morning hours sets the pace for the rest of the day. Its strange but true. Any miscues in the routine set you back as if this body did not belong to you. The couple of hours in the sun thereafter are another blessing. Keeping the greens and not succumbing to the temptations of lucrative developers has been a boon. And looking after the plants and the trees and the foliage around is soothing to our soul. A large ‘gulmohar’ by the gate suddenly after years of its powerful and orange colored existence decided it had contributed enough and chose to slip away. It had lost its branches, just the wide stump of its base was being held together, almost akin to providing crutches to an invalid. Forlorn and devoid of any beauty anymore, it was begging for salvation. Dry, bent and shorn of all its majestic stature, it was leaning over, a threat to those beside it of the enormity of its bulk. Trees and their protection is now under Government ruling. Destroy or dismember one and be prepared to have the law on you. So you follow rulings and inform the Municipal Corporation, who come across and after due paper work, including a photographic condition of the tree, remove it. It is a sad sight to see an important member of your environ not there any more, but quickly and without any delay another has been planted yesterday and soon it shall grow and blossom and provide shade and color and beauty to the entrance.
Now … before there is discourse on this platform on the veracity of this post, may I just say that it has nothing whatsoever to do with any kind of promotional work for the ‘green brigade’. A section of my house was in trouble and I felt it needed to be shared with the Ef. I had actually wanted a ‘raat ki rani’ or the ‘harsingar’ to be planted. They are sweet smelling flowering trees. The ‘raat ki rani’ having its presence felt with the most delicious smell at nights and the ‘harsingar’, with its gentle white flowers with the orange stems, fills up the pathway in the early winter mornings to be picked and used for the offerings to the temple in the house. There is a certain grace about this flower and perhaps that is why it is named so. ‘Har’ coming from ‘hari’ another expression used for the Godly and ‘singar’ or ‘singaar’ coming from the word ‘shringaar’ meaning dressing up with elegance in all finery. So ‘Harsingaar’ the dressing up of the Gods in all their elegance and finery with this particular flower.
But .. on further research I discovered that there were the two above mentioned  trees already by the gate and that having yet another would be a duplication, so the ‘gulmohar’.
And so the end of the day and its discourse .. and so the good night .. the clock gong just went off again .. alarm bells ring for a timely bed rest …
Amitabh Bachchan

It is wise when worn out to accept and exit gracefully Big B blog

Jalsa , Mumbai Dec 29 , 2011 Wed 11 : 59 Pm

It is wise when worn out to accept and exit gracefully. I am today in
such state.

Worn out not from the vagaries of life and times, but worn out from
the inactivity of my existence for these last few weeks. Many profess
that rest after many years of hard struggle and labor demands that one
must succumb to the requirements of the body. It cannot speak this
body, it can show in various ways and I believe it is showing me now.
There is a restlessness that creeps in each hour and I do understand
the pleas of well wishers of not to make hasty decisions, but how long
will I be able to hold that is what remain to be seen.

I do know that there are alternatives and one such came across me by
the evening – reading and music ! A piano that plays on its own, the
chords the rhythm and all but sings for you has been one of my prized
possessions, ever since it was gifted to me by the family. But not
having had any kind of training on it has disturbed me a great deal.
Tonight on a private visit by my friend and composer Aadesh
Shrivastava, I was given some elementary lessons on how to make
maximum use of its properties. The feeling of finally being able to
press out some meaningful notes, randomly and to enjoy its musical
effect has been one of the most enlightening moments in recent times …

I live with it and wish to return to it at the earliest .. so tomorrow
it shall be .. and hopefully now with the recording mechanism in
place, shall be able to burn out some disks ..

I wait patiently for that moment .. but I also wish an early night to all ..

My excuse .. a healthy debate in Parliament which needs to be attended ..

Love to you ..

Amitabh Bachchan

Posted in: Others


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Just made it to before the gong strikes its longest hour

Jalsa , Mumbai                   Dec 28,  2011             Wed 11 : 59 PM
 Phew !!! Just made it to before the gong strikes its longest hour !! And happy that another day has ended. Happy that the Lord gave us a roof above, two square meals, the health and ability to talk and write about it and most of all the love and affection that one derives by connecting to those that truly and affectionately believe in the concept of our extended family !
In a world where it shrinks its inhabitants to solitary existence, away from those that loved and brought them into this world. Where the trust and allegiance to others is considered a hindrance. Where selfish pursuits demolish traditional values, that have survived and existed through centuries, it is most valuable that we have created a platform where without the asking, this marriage of togetherness with the unknown flourishes. It is to your greatest test and acumen and ability that brings us all into a sense of pride, when we witness the operations of those that consistently and devotedly, remain to further the cause by themselves.
I never propagated it, yet it got its initiation from all those that came on. And came on voluntarily, without any pressures or assurances of benefit. Without any bindings of result. That I believe has been our strength and our force of existence. I believe all that connect, do so with a singular purpose of furthering the cause rather than the much debated negativity. Negativity shall, I believe, only affect the one that propels it. The strength of the others shall remain intact, shall flourish. Indeed every time an effort is made to demolish, a stronger and a more permanent structure gets built. Our strength and the strength of our structure is omnipresent and most binding. And because it comes without any frills, remains devoid of any either. That to me is commitment and deserve, holding on in adversity despite the errors of others. Keep it simple then and justifiable. It is the strongest that you will ever get ….

Abhishek travels each day to a corner of the country to promote his upcoming film ‘Players’, which is looking promising according to its makers. I desist from talking much on it, for the accusation then thrown at me is obtuse and vulgar. Not that it bothers, for in the words of Abhishek himself, in his latest interview for the Bombay Times, after his pious visit to Ajmer Sharif to pray, he has never asked the Almighty for anything. ‘If I am deserving, He shall give it to me’. I found that one of the most honest statements in recent times, one that I too would like to incorporate. But I am not as strong in belief as he is. I would ask, and hope it would materialize, but if it did not then would I understand that I was not deserving of it. A subtle difference, but not too far away from each other. His understanding of the conditions and the standings have always been straight and forward – which is slightly different form being straightforward. As parents we can but support and encourage endeavors made by him and yes, hope that they fructify. But as I recently said in one of my Tv interviews when touched upon such subject, that I consider him to be of better and great human value than one that smells of commerce. Commerce will and shall have limitations and limits of time and place, not humanness. That shall be remembered long after the box office has shut. Of course, when commerce is a pursuit that determines effort in field of profession, then it matters to excel and achieve. But what one leaves behind is what in cricketing terms would be aptly described as ‘well left’.
They often ask me if there is concern on my part of a left legacy. What legacy are they talking about ? What my Father left in his name and stature and in his work is the legacy that shall and needs to be protected. That is all. His principles and values if defended would be far far above all the rest of our efforts in the years to come. Let me and allow me to protect that. Make me worthy of understanding the merit of his written word. Let me indulge in the beauty of his mind and perhaps live to experience its greatness in its philosophy and culture and ethos. I profess my ignorance and inability in that course. Teach me then to educate myself in knowing myself through him, my Father. That would be my greatest achievement. Teach me to learn by example of what upbringing my Mother meted to me for me to be able to state this. Cosmetic goodness gets manufactured by the millions every day. Where is the mesure of the inner goodness that I must seek. I shall value what the ‘other’ thinks and believes of me, but I must gain intellect to know what I think and believe. My test for existence must relate to that and no more. Professions shall perish, people shall hemorrhage eventually with my short lived achievements, I and only I shall decipher what and where and how of life that is mine. That shall be my obituary that I shall carry, not one that shall be designed by ‘others’. Did  or have I been able and capable to do that ? That is the question … not that which gets documented for posterity – if at all it does !!

I ramble on ! Regardless ! It is not good .. but you are me and I you, so there is pardon ..
Amitabh Bachchan   

Confessions of a serial dieter’, by Kalli Purie, daughter

Jalsa , Mumbai               Dec  27,  2011            Tue  11 : 47 PM
 ‘Confessions of a serial dieter’, by Kalli Purie, daughter of the owner and editor of India Today group comes to me by her to read through and to comment upon it on twitter. The book is interestingly written and presented and the last page where she shows her own progression on weight loss is quite a revelation. With what I see now of her, she should not be in the profession of writing books. She should join the movies !!
But dieting has taken the fancy of the many in modern India. The new generation and the young particularly have given it a cult status. It has become a topic of immediate discussion on meeting up socially. Perhaps it does form the very first conversation and if not checked has the ability to continue till the end of the evening.
The human body and its structure does provide itself for debate quite often. To what end one does not know or realize, but there it is in all its finery. The ‘zero’ status, the ‘bulging status, the six to eight pack status .. it just goes on ! Routines, consumption and various bulge administrators are brought into the conversation ad nauseum and ad lengthum .. Each has their own experience and recipe for reduction and the build and each most possessive about their routine and consumption. It has been a fascinating experience to sit by and listen in when such debate follows at social evenings. The convictions of those that have improved their waist line, the belief of the lines across the packs under the shirt, the bulges, not necessarily by and of the women, but of the muscular variety, take up an entire male corner at such outings. Sometimes ending up in physical demonstrations on the spot by enthusiastic practitioners ..
Then we have the yoga and ayurveda smitten personalities, who speak of nothing else but the nature cures of the universe and the despise towards those that indulge in unnatural means …
Me … I just listen quietly .. allow the other to sink in their point of view and then retreat quietly …
Much like what I do now ..
Good night
Amitabh Bachchan

I wonder often, when those that have problems with slumber

Jalsa , Mumbai        Dec  26/27 , 2011           Mon  10 : 55 PM
I wonder often, when those that have problems with slumber, why they do so. I wondered last night as I struggled to shut my eyes to get into la la land, what I needed to do to refute that thought, for it was a trying time and one that I would not wish for anyone to go through. Yet, I do believe there are some that have to deal with it regularly. And worse that there are legitimate reasons why they find themselves in such condition.
There are mental worries and issues that trouble them. There are often medical conditions that do so. There are other thoughts that keep you awake and devoid of this necessary element. I have been through all those just mentioned and more and I do understand the consequences. But .. to have them at a time when I would like to believe that none of the above, God willing, trouble me, was strange and disturbing.
Its a frightening thought, worrying and put to a lot of questioning. The inability to get that moment when all else fades away in slow degrees, is intriguing enough, but to then start another school of thought where you wonder why you seem not to be in the condition is even worse. For it is then that you begin to imagine thoughts that would perhaps never enter your mind, under normal circumstances.
There are various implementations that one considers during the course of the night. A tablet, recitation of words, perhaps religious in nature at times, thoughts that recapture the entire days’ happenings and such like. And when they fail to deliver the required results, the next option is thought of – out of bed and an involvement in acts that do not connect with the situation. A stroll, a vigorous walk on a tread mill, music, tv, reading something really of no interest. Lovely little innovations these, beter said and thought of than doable. So .. the best option is executed, tv. Fortunately the Indian Cricket team is on a tour of Australia and due to time differences they broadcast at 5 am ! Perfect for someone in my condition ! So on with the table lamp, on with the pillows behind, on with the remote that lies precariously close by, and on with Melbourne and cricket. Now … the other dangers start. Did I not feel that each time I watch a match India loses. Hell ! What then ? Okay …. maybe times and superstitions have gone to bed too and perhaps a sneak into their domain would not be noticed … Damn ! So you think ! We have lost the toss, we are fielding and they are batting and they are batting well and no one is getting out despite the rather sincere efforts of our bowlers !! Howl !!
Get back to the lights off position young man .. errmm .. sorry old man .. got my terminology mixed up, just like my twitter numbers from 603 to 602, until the ever vigilant Rochelle pointed it out to me .. I have since corrected it Rochelle .. no need to be of any worry. But yes concerned that your job went away .. worry not .. they shall regret not having you and there shall be many other doors opening up for you soon … !!
That did not work either ! So got up and splashed my face with the Mumbai winter early morning chill and opened up the freakingest and most devoted companion – the laptop ! Answered a million answers, wrote to respondents till it was time to see off Abhishek as he left for his promotion acts in Lucknow, and attempted another sleep .. managed a couple of winks less that the traditional 40 and went on to mingle with family … read the baby .. who today starts resembling like her Mother after many days of looking like her Father. And that has since changed too. By the evening she is back to Father !
After a short stint and an even shorter lunch a meeting in office … no not another script reading, but a meet with an old time director of mine T Rama Rao, who pays a social visit with his family. T Rama Rao directed ‘Andha Kanoon’ and we talk of old times and changing attitudes and films and the new generation.
‘Andha Kanoon’ making has an interesting story. I was signed for a film in 1969 called ‘Ek tha Chander ek thi Sudha’ a literary masterpiece by that very well known writer and poet Dr Dharamvir Bharati a student of Allahabad University at the time my Father taught there, which was originally called ‘Gunahon ka Devta’. This was the title of the book. But the title was used by Jitendra for a film of his and so we could not use the original title, even though it belonged to Dr Bharati. We began shooting and even went quietly to the streets of Allahabad to take some passing shots of me and came back unnoticed ( in those early days no one knew me anyway so it was not that difficult, but being my Father’s son was my only identity in the city and that was large enough ). But due to financial constraints the film got stuck and shooting stopped. My own position commercially was so abysmal that no one was ready to back it. With time and ‘Zanjeer’ conditions improved, as did the prospects of starting shootings again, but by then the horizon for a film such as ETCETS was not making commercial sense and things started to get delayed a I got busy with other projects. Purnachandra Rao, another prominent producer in the South found out the conditions that existed for me in this stuck project and made an offer. He told the Producer of ETCETS that he was ready to buy the rights of the film, take care of all the investment made, provided he release my contract with them for himself. After some negotiation this was accomplished. Purnchandra Rao or ‘Full Moon Rao’ as we would often refer to him because his name Purnachandra meant full moon, then, having got possession of my contract with the other producer, approached me with an offer to do a small guest appearance in a film he was making with Rajnikant and Hema Malini, called .. you guessed it ‘Andha Kanoon’, and I agreed. ‘Andha Kanoon’ was being directed by T Rama Rao and that is how I came to be associated with the film. But … like all other films bearing guest appearances from me, the role kept increasing and finally reached a proportion that you now see in the film !! That courtroom punch of a convicted person not being convicted twice for the same crime became the highlight of the film and all ended up feeling good about the success of the film !!
A few more films were made by T Rama Rao and me and then, time and circumstance distanced us. He was in today with his family and grandchildren to pay an informal social visit. That in short was the story behind the story. But in our many informal meetings he told me of a very traditional exercise which I still remember when I see him. India still is ridden with the concept of arranged marriages and they are most prevalent even today in most parts of the country. When the wife is chosen by the elders of the family, one aspect they see, among many other, is the height of the lady. This in certain sections of our society, and in the region that T Rama Rao comes from – Andhra Pradesh, they say that when the wife stands facing the husband, her ‘sindhoor’, or the red ritualistic color that married women wear on the partings of their hair as a sign of being a ‘suhaagan’ – blessed that her husband is alive – should touch the adams apple of the male, when they are close to each other. That they say is the ideal height for the married partner !!
( I now see a flurry of married ladies among our Ef, testing this ritual out with their loved ones !! )
The midnight gong from my ornate and musical clock is about to strike .. and I must to bed .. and hope and pray for a more pleasant night … I hope yours is too ..
Love …
Amitabh Bachchan 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Everyone home today, the girls and the boys and when that happens

Jalsa , Mumbai                Dec 25/26 ,  2011             Sun/Mon  1 : 09 AM
 Everyone home today, the girls and the boys and when that happens it signals much happiness and joy. The time is leisured and free, it signifies a laid back morning and timings go a bit out of routine, but the intensity of our presence in each other remains steadfast and strong. That is how it should be. The dinner table conversation veers from the usual to the the more devoted. Film and film criticism occupies most of the conversation. The passing trends of cinema in India through the decades, their influences and their years of trial and trend. The era of subtlety seems to vanish almost too suddenly and the younger generation that argues against it claims that in times of today it is the effectiveness of what can be shown in your face that perhaps is gaining greater respect – at the box office – than many other efforts ! May be that becomes a trend in most vocations today – politics, business, art … unless it is drummed in it does not sadly get recognition or presence.
So the overt the obvious is no longer the bad boy of the community. We spend a great deal more money for a great deal shorter existence in the minds of our patrons, and that if achieved, is satisfactory and rewarding. It remains a mystery that the refrains of the interlude music in songs from films of the 50′s and 60′s continue to be remembered more appropriately than an entire song from the times of today. Words and meanings of the lyrics of times gone by still haunt our memory often , not so now. There is an attempt to invade the mind with relentless visions for the period of hours in running of a film, but not giving them material to carry home, after. I wonder if that is what prevails in most other facets of our lives too. The politicians of the time of Nehru, were known by name and face and portfolio, not so now. They either change too rapidly, or do not gather attention at all. It does not perhaps matter to this generation at all, whether it should. Ask a youngster who the Minister for a particular ministry is and in all probability they would wonder with a reverse question – ‘how does it matter to me’ or ‘ am i supposed to know this and why ‘ ??
Its a question of perception and value. Repeated defeated perceptions, have brought the value down and into a range where its significance has no matter or meaning for them. That could be good and could be bad as well in their opinion. They may have other interests which to them are of consequence. How on earth can we take that away from them. This is a free society, with freedom of thought and speech and expression – at least on sacred constitutional paper. It may at worst form their defense in legalese, but beyond that would remain in the minds of the young and how they would want to inhabit it. We who have lived most of our impressionable period of existence, may keep in thought what we surrounded ourselves with. But to expect more from it would require a most concerted effort to take on as it were the forces that defy it …

Spare moments of the day are still spent with the ‘little one’. Strange to find ourselves just staring at a little bundle that lies there eyes shut in deep slumber, for extended periods of time. Peculiar is it not, almost in disbelief of what lies before our eyes. And even though it does not move or make itself with sound, we watch cautiously and with great intensity at its form lying there amongst its own wonderful dreams. I cannot remember such moments of indulgence in any other time or period. Somewhere the blood connect, the realisation of giving and creating another life, shall never be able to leave us … never !!

The Sunday swell was somewhat uncontrollable today. They went past the gates in a huge rush of emotion. The rear pushed with such pressure that the front could not bear the strain gave in and moved in the only direction possible – forward towards me ..
Security did its best but with hundreds of humanity pushing in one direction even the most intricate security would give in. The solution of course was for me to disappear from the scene. I did and so did the crowds ! Thankfully ! It was the closest they have been to me on such days and it is now perhaps time to look into methods of how they could be controlled, without many losing clothing, footwear and mobile phones !!
Be well and in good cheer .. Christmas comes but once a year !
Amitabh Bachchan 

Merry Christmas to all the Ef

Jalsa , Mumbai                Dec  24/25 ,  2011        Sat/ Sun  12 : 31 AM
 Merry Christmas to all the Ef .. happiness and joy fulness and prosperous times and laughter and all the joys of life .. its the time to be merry and out on the streets with song and dance .. and in the midnight in prayer at the midnight mass, so solemn and pure and a giver of so much warmth and stability in out otherwise impersonal lives .. May the Lord bless all of you and give you all that you need and desire .. along with the sumptuous Christmas cake !!
And its Anu’s birthday tody and we all wish her a most wonderful and happy one … with love from all !!!
And birthday greetings to Irfan Nuyani .. so devoted and kind always .. !!
And thank you’s to Kishore and Deepak Taunk, who dropped by to see me shoot for the Dabboo Ratnani calendar at Aurus, and all the goodies they so generously gave me for myself and the ‘little one’ .. enjoy your stay in India and keep safe and well ..

 Contemplating before the shoot starts. This is not the calendar picture – its something else and quite original and a bit wild. But I thought I would whet the appetite so to say, till the calendar is out .. ha ha ..
And then for some more of Shanouk -

That is him with his own pup .. had him mated a year ago and he sired 12 pups .. ahem ..!! he did not seem too concerned with his progeny and we had to give them all away because as per the protocol on dog breeding, the male gets the option of one and the female gets all the rest .. so when his interest waned on the pup that you see we sent it back to the Mother ..

In the sea at Juhu beach .. not too happy with the water it seems .. and yes had to leash him before he decided to swim out to Dubai – its just across the Arabian Sea as you may well know .. !!!

And all the cat lovers .. this is Shanouk at his flirtatious best at Jalsa .. I think these were some of his very first reactions to the feline species, realizing soon enough that they were not to be given too much affection. He now chases them as soon as he is set free all over the place, until they seek higher plains, like the roof of the cars, planters and really narrow corners, where they know this rather large tormentor shall never be able to get even his tail through !! Cats are smart !! – Daisy, Rochelle, Renate shaking their heads vigorously in approval .. !!!
But on the lawns Shanouk is a possessed animal .. wildly chasing that plastic bottle – his pet play station ! I shall do some of those on another day .. he looks frighteningly possessed and in great action !!
But back to Christmas and Kolkata and the best place to be in around that time of the year ! Kolkata is a whole new world during this time. The city that was the first Capital of the country under the British Raj, filled with Christian culture and rituals. The large community of Anglo-Indians bringing and celebrating with that same vigor and festiveness that marked the end of the year. What an atmosphere it was in the early 60′s when I had just migrated to this wonder city in search of a future and a job. The clubs and the restaurants and the Hotel locations – the Grand, and the Golden Slipper, Nizams, Trinca’s, Moulin Rouge, Mogambo, Blue Fox, Flurry’s and Princes inside the Grand … ah ! Such a variety … and a mandatory visit to all of them in one night, since they were all situated within a few feet of each other on that glorious Park Street … !! What times they were. Surviving on a salary of Rs 500/- a month and never a moment of regret on the amount .. and the music and the bands and the orchestra … most of them now migrated to Mumbai and working in film music .. a treat and a slice of La Dolche Vita … almost !!
Those days shall never return again. There have been many visits to the city in recent times, the city and its vibrancy remains the same, but that something, of those times is missing ! It still is a unique place, nothing quite like that anywhere. The people the masses and their appreciation for the arts and crafts, their passion for cinema and everything to do with culture and the classic, their craze for football much much before the Champions League and the Barkley’s of the soccer world invaded our psyche through television, Eden Gardens and the cricket, a paradise for all the cricketers of the world, the season in October and Puja for Durga and the devotions around it … all now fond memories of the past never to return again … sad but true !!
I want to watch a film tonight .. it is late and I know I shall invite anger and wrath of the Ef, but I shall be careful .. shall be in bed .. and when it gets too long shall switch off and sleep ..
Good night dearest ones .. may this fresh day bring fresh thoughts of happiness in your lives .. and of course to bring all within the circle of our lovely intimate little world that we have created ..
Amitabh Bachchan 

Merry Christmas and a very happy New year, to all my Ef

Jalsa , Mumbai         Dec  23/24 , 2011      Fri/Sat  2 : 15 AM
 Merry Christmas and a very happy New year, to all my Ef and to those that consider becoming the Ef .. love happiness peace and tranquility in all your lives .. remain well and healthy and i good care ..
 As the year draws near thoughts start to fall in place about what we did, said and believed through out 2011. the work done, the reactions absorbed, the lessons learnt and the deeds done. Were they all in place ? Did we falter anywhere, stumble and fall, hurt ourselves and others too .. and if we did was there enough reason to do so. A whole gamut of questions. We shall never be able to answer them by ourselves ever, but we shall be able to reflect on it and perhaps ponder on its value.

For me personally, I live and prosper in the thought of my well wishers – the EF and the FmXt, and to be with pride at having created and built a platform where none of us knew each other when we started, but have now reached a stage where we not just know, we linger and build on those relations. may God bless our small little world and the families it has built for all of us …

As requested a few more with Shanouk ! there are some earlier ones too when he was a kid and when he had not discovered that the cats were not his friends .. he still doesn’t, but the attitude has undergone a sea change !!

I must retire ..
Good night …
Amitabh Bachchan

The day starts with this wonder canine, Shanouk my pet Piranna Dane on the lawns of Prateeksha

Jalsa , Mumbai             Dec  22/23,  2011                    Thu/Fri  1 : 47 AM
The day starts with this wonder canine, Shanouk my pet Piranna Dane on the lawns of Prateeksha ! Its his photo shoot today for a premier magazine cover, that is published and edited by the energetic Farzana Contractor, wife of that great columnist, Contractor who went by his non de plume, BusyBee. He was full of wit and humor and a great asset to the journalistic world of the country.
Shanouk, came in as a birthday gift for Abhishek by some dear friends, knowing his love for pets and in particular dogs. He was small and cute and lost, taken away from his breed of family from a renowned breeder in Pune. he would wander about the house in search of his mother and siblings and we tried to get him to be as comfortable as possible. For long he slept with Abhishek in his bedroom and at times on his bed, until, as he grew in strength, started pushing Abhishek out of bed. But he grew up with great attitude. Stubborn and self opinionated and a bit arrogant. But always most loving to the family. In the evenings he will insist on sitting by us as we park ourselves in the patio, at times occupying the space on the sofa next to us and refusing to leave when called. At times when he feels he is getting ignored he shall vacate the area himself and shall not budge until the lights are put out and he realizes that each of us have left the region and gone to sleep. He shall then crawl back to his independent bed and spend the night in the kitchen.
As I said earlier he was feeling ignored ever since the baby came, but is now getting back to normal as attention is given to him as well. Such attitudes pets have. And I learnt a lot more from Farzana during the course of our short conversation. Don’t forget to pick up the magazine when it comes out. I shall keep you informed.

In the foliage at the back of the vast greens that you see is a tree – the gulmohar ! The one with the bright orange flowers that bloom just before the onset of the monsoons and mostly in the heat of the summer. Natures compensation to make up for the oppressive weather. There lies one of our most favorite pets Bitto, a gorgeous mix between a Chow Chow and a Labrador. Size of the Labrador, skin as well, but with the chow chow black tongue – unique !! She died and left us all very sad, so we buried her in the garden and planted this tree above her. Leaves us with her presence, each summer when the flowers bloom !!

Pets are such a joy and a great leveler in every family. No matter what the circumstances, they always bring a smile and a feeling of happiness to all …
May they continue to do so to each one of you too ..
Good night
Amitabh Bachchan

Thursday, December 22, 2011

My Mothers death Anniversary today, the 21 st of December

Jalsa , Mumbai         Dec 21,  2011                 Wed  11 : 56 PM
 My Mothers death Anniversary today, the 21 st of December … she breathes each day within us, blesses us from her abode, guides and teaches us each day what it meant to be under her wing and care, strengthens us with her will and her nerve of never ever giving up. Even in the greatest of disappointments her warmth and courage instilled hope and life in our despondent conditions. I wonder where she got it from ? She lost her own Mother when she was just a few weeks old .. who gave her this spirit and teaching ? Wherefrom did she imbibe what she gave to us, and how did she ever discover that what she gave was right !!
We don’t call them Mother’s for nothing !!

And to day another Award for me – the Maharashtrian of the Year, a Maanbindu, from no less a person than the President of the Country, the respected and honorable Shrimati Pratibha Patil. So grateful and humbled. The Award given by the very popular Marathi paper ‘Lokmat’. Dilip Saheb, Dilip Kumar gets one too for his life achievements, and there are many other prominent Maharashtrian achievers in the field of Science, Literature, Social Service, Art, Politics that get rewarded.
I have spent 3/4ths of my life in this city of Mumbai, Maharashtra – 42 years ! And all that I have received in life apart from my parents and my education have come to me from this golden land. Name, fame, honor, recognition, home and family, children and children of children, everything indebted to the city and state for making me whatever I am today ! My obeisance to this great city and its people, for giving me all that I have with me today.
I feel honored too when the media quotes what I express on this post. They carry with prominence what my thoughts are and I feel that what I share with my Ef gets recognized by them as well. This is humbling.
But as I said the day has been in the thoughts of my Mother. She loved charity, and so in the morning, the very needy leprosy home that we have been attached with, was asked what they needed most, and once said, it was provided to them after the blessings of my Mother were taken. The joy of giving can never be replaced by any other joy. The satisfaction of providing is as close to fulfillment of prayer as any other.
My visits to the same hospital where she breathed her last, today, bring back memories and moments spent in grief and despair to see her struggling body fight till the very end. My visits are for other relatives in distress, but I cannot but sense the time in the morning when we all stood helpless in front of the varied machines that worked endlessly assisted by a team of sincere doctors hovering over her limp and stricken body, in an attempt to revive her…..
Too much to go back to .. I must come away from that visual, close my eyes and numb my senses ..
Let us talk and think of the other .. the good night that awaits us ..
Love and more ..
Amitabh Bachchan

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Amitabh Bachchan loves to call his granddaughter 'Bitiya'

Amitabh Bachchan loves to call his granddaughter 'Bitiya'

Mumbai: The happy couple Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan are very much busy in pampering the tiny tot. Grandfather Amitabh Bachchan, as the name has yet not been finalised, loves to call his granddaughter 'Bitiya'.

Bollywood's megastar spends his most of the time playing with 'Beti B'. As per the sources, Big B said that initially when the little one was born she resembled Aishwarya but now she looks like her dad Abhishek Bachchan.

Name still has not been decided for the Bollywood's most awaited baby and the Bachchan family is not in any hurry.

Just when there is an indication of peace and stillness

Jalsa , Mumbai       Dec  20/21 ,  2011           Tue/Wed  1 : 59 AM   
Just when there is an indication of peace and stillness, of carefree thought, of the end of another day without incident, of having the feel of a burden that may have shifted gently without intimation on another shoulder or destination, of not dreading that which can be of disturbing countenance … is when you get that midnight call … silent first and soft in its tone, until it compels you to respond to it .. and then befalls that silence of a stunned and shocked mind, which wants not to listen what is being said, but must .. and then it is too late to interject or allow the senses to dissolve whatever forms in its unpleasant state ..
Life is the greatest leveler of all. Some divine force works from I know not where and fixes time dates opinions senses. They are inconsequential it seems, but are of great presence – unexplained, unexplored, unknown ! We call it nature at times, to give it a polite nomenclature, but we all believe somewhat abstractly, that perhaps that unknown force is indeed prevalent and strong, for much of what one sees and feels unfolding itself in front of us, is beyond mans explanation – at times beyond woman’s too !
How did these complexities of our existence develop and how did they all come together in one large atmosphere, isolated from all else in the space we now call the Universe, is where and how humankind found the answers in an unwritten belief and created incidents and thoughts and ideals which got identified in an easy and understandable text – that of a supernatural being, which had the intelligence and the math to present to us the philosophical answers to all our questions. And wherever the answers were unknown, the perfect ploy was brought into place and being – force, of the unknown !
I know not why I dwell on this again. Maybe I need answers where there are none. Or maybe my desire to quell certain misgivings force me to think thus. I am troubled often by my incompetence of not being able to surmise the why’s and the wherefore’s of the world. At times I feel it could be good that I do not. Better to exist in that space without care, than to invite comment and argument and explanation. But we are argumentative by nature … ha ha ha … a borrowed expression from the ‘Argumentative Indian’ the book by Amartya Sen and more, the introduction of ‘nature’ again. Nature has found its rightful place in all our suppositions. When in doubt, shout .. they say of our daily compulsions which need solution. But what of nature ?? There is no clever adage to this … how about … ‘when in questioned displeasure, nature’ … naah .. does not rhyme, does not do anything .. so what ? do we just remain with the shouting and the doubting … such a monotonous existence !!
Ok … leave it .. it shall have a life of its own and then .. perish in its own stew !

Shirish Kunder who works with me in his next film tentatively titled ‘Common Man’ and his wife the outrageously funny Farah Khan move in to a new home and warm it up with a celebration on a sumptuous triplex apartment, pool and all ..
Just the joy of being in the company of the young is invigorating. I am but a misfit in there. the average age is 24 and I am into my 70. Incongruous, but experience all the same for me ; to feel the strength and the vigor and the attitude of the next. It is an air of carefreeness, of knowing what is right and what needs to be done to right it. I marvel at this air, this cosmos that hums with energy about me. I am out of place I know. I should be away and gone, but I stay longer than what I had imagined I would. Even the hostess reminds of it !! But it is such a joy to see and feel the expectation that they emit and above all, the incredible confidence of being sure to achieve, what they have envisaged to be theirs at any cost.
They are the young. They are the future. They are the leaders of tomorrow. And they know it ! That is what is the mostest !!
And then after all the spiel I come across a media spill on Brand Equity and this is what it throws up -

A 70 year old toping the Brand wagon against stratospheric icons like Sachin, Dhoni and SRK, Aamir …
Three Bachchans in the list of 10 ..
Time to say good night
Amitabh Bachchan

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

TAAI award for ‘India’s Best Tourism Deppt Amongst All States for Year 201

those are the two awards that I got for BigStar .. clutching them close to me … !!
Jalsa , Mumbai      Dec 19/20,  2011           Mon/Tue  12 : 26 AM

And the Sunday well wishers .. waiting from the early hours and then finally as the light fails surging forward through the gates .. wonder if in all this you can spot some Ef .. ah ! had to rescue them out .. cooled them off, some soft drinks some pictures and then they went off .. emotional moment !!

the final trophy given by Tina Bhabhi, Tina Ambani and Dhanush of ‘Kolaveri ..

 and that is Dhanush in an impromptu Kolaveri sung live for me, with changed words .. so touched .. !!

Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Ranbir .. always a joy to be with them … actually Ranbir has to come over for a dinner date with me and I have not been able to call him over .. shall shortly !!

You will be glad to know that Gujarat Tourism won the prestigious annual TAAI award for ‘India’s  Best Tourism Deppt Amongst All States for Year 2011′ from Union Tourism Minister Subhodh Kant Sahai in Mumbai on saturday.Gujarat scored over other nominees Kerala and MP for this annual award.Gujarat tourism growth is 14 percent, twice that of national growth rate.    
This has been possible because of our  campaign ‘ Khushboo Gujarat Ki’.  Your contribution to the success story , is immense. Many thanks to you. 
Now that was from the Secretary Tourism Gujarat and it needs to be mentioned here that this is some achievement. Despite all the baseless criticism that came my way – that I was being paid large sums of money, that this was in lieu of favors done for me by the Gujarat Government and on and on and on .. But .. the system that was most vociferous in their tirade were the ones that now acknowledge it and offer awards in person.
In life as in many other aspects it is important to do your job well and sincerely. The rest follows on its own. Silence in such circumstances was never so loud and shall always be, come what may.

I wish to extend my apologies first for not posting this in the morning as promised. Sudden pressures of work came along and that prevented me, but I am here now and am excited that I connect well today.
I was wondering if you could spot Renate and the Ef gang in the mass of crowd .. really not recommended that they do this … it does get a bit wild at times .. But all the same it was great to be with them again and spend a few minutes cooling off from the pushing and shoving that was going on by the gate !!
I was on my Twitter account earlier in the evening and was contemplating on various issues that were erupting in my mind about civility, up bringing, cultured behavior and how they define the attitude and character of the human. Of rationality and integrity and why if you cannot possess them then those that do shall always find themselves out of place. For them it would not make any difference – they were never going to know refinement. But its always those that know that suffer, and bear. Maybe that too is individual destiny.
So for those that are not on my Twitter account may I request you to be there, so you could connect at times with what may have transpired earlier. And … it would raise the bar as far as the number of followers was concerned ! Would be great if that went up exponentially … we are at 1.77 million odd, need to propel it further.
Do you think I might expect that from you ??!!
Good night then and sleep well ..

Amitabh Bachchan

There has been greater recognition today again at another Awards night

Jalsa , Mumbai          Dec  18/19 ,  2011     Sun /Mon  1 : 24 AM
 There has been greater recognition today again at another Awards night. There has been the overflowing love and affection of the Sunday fans at Jalsa. There has been another emotional meet with the Ef, led by Renate at the gates of the Sunday fans, crushed, pushed, loss of shoes and a mobile .. but the joy of meeting up with them .. There has been Dhanush singing live for me ‘kolaveri di .. ‘ at the Awards but with different words to suit the occasion. There has been the meetings with colleagues of importance and great standing.
And all of this is in pictures to justify which due to the paucity of time I am unable to post tonight. But I shall tomorrow at the first sounds of the traffic !!
I must get to bed and to the gym tomorrow morning. The body lacks energy and it needs the tread mill, the weights, the breathing .. and more !
So for tonight I shall say a warm ending .. but with the promise of being with all of you again in the morning hour ..

Love to all …
Amitabh Bachchan

After the awards and the special inspiration derived from a wonderful evening,

Jalsa , Mumbai           Dec 17/18 , 2011       Sat/ Sun  1 : 11 AM
 After the awards and the special inspiration derived from a wonderful evening, a late night was spent in bed at Sopaan and reminiscing the days spent in the Delhi winters, either back from Sherwood or at University. Those early morning sprints from my gate to catch the Univ Special at Teen Murti, the residence of the Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru, a round about bearing statues of the soldiers that fought and sacrificed their lives for the country … and on to South Avenue, the MP quarters where we were first resident of. 77 was the number. Those wonder days of coming to the Capital from small town Allahabad and everything looking so large and magnificent. The rush from our 77 to the main avenue each time Pandit ji ( Jawaharlal Nehru ) drove past to office and then back. Sitting there in a large black limousine, pilot in front, and in pensive mood, a hand up by his face in deep thought. the College days and the freedom of doing what one wanted. The visits to adjoining colleges and canteens, the cricket grounds, the back alleys of the bazaar behind our campus, the lunch hour cucumber delicacies with salt and pepper, our own canteen and the non stop table tennis that followed within.
The excursions with Mother to the Bengali Market for the most delicious ‘chaat’ in the world and the sweet meats. The ‘parathe wali gali’ in Chandni Chowk, the mad drives during College hours with our gang of class bunkers to the excavations and the ruins beyond Kutub Minar, Tughlakabad. The winter sun in the afternoon, the incredible smell of the ‘har shringar’ flower, white with orange stems and the cherry blossoms in the back yard of our lawn. The fire place by the night, ghost stories over new year and just the coming together of family and friends wrapped around in warm blankets by the burning embers !
And then without much fuss or delay the summer season would be upon us with its unbearable heat and high temperatures. The unaffordable airconditioning giving place to the ‘khus’ curtains on the doors, sprinkled with water at short intervals, or a block of ice placed in front of a table fan to cool off the nights. The hot breezes in the day – the ‘loo’ – beating down upon us and the elders warning us against stepping out for the fear of sunstroke. Those first drops of rain after an eternity and the warmth of the earth coming out in vapors, sleeping out in the open in the lawn, cooled now by the rains, and then to be woken up suddenly by that ‘baarish’ at night and all of us clambering on to the veranda along with our beds and bedding !
Such adventure, such simplicity, such trust … all gone now. We slept at night with our doors and windows open, the gates never shut, even when we were out in the lawn or on the roof top, for those were the regions that were the coolest. No security no guards, just a carefree life …

And now just before I have come up to write to you, each door checked and double checked, each window closed, locks and security personnel alerted, Shanouk in vantage post, phones and alarms by the side, incessant noise on the streets of traffic and people. There in Allahabad at night as you slept in the open, the only noise that came were from the jackals, the ‘siyaar’ in the distance, an indicator of how wild the region was. To express the solitude and quiet of the night, the oft used expression to signify the moment was – “arre wahan toh raat koh siyaar bolte hain ”  - all that you hear at night at that place are the calls of the jackals.
There was no fear of the night. For us youngsters it was a nightmare to be asked whilst sitting in the lawn to go into the house and put off a light that had been left on by mistake, and the apprehension it used to cause within us. Going was alright, it was the coming back after the light had been put out that was scary.
The night does this to us. The darkness of nature brings the elements of fear. The unseen at night has a story of its own, real perhaps at times but on most occasions built by humans in their minds. Apart from the jackals the only other sound that came was the sound of the ‘danda’ the large stick being slammed on the road by the night watchmen that kept awake on the streets calling out to each other on adjoining streets – ” Jaagte Raho ” .. keep awake !!
It is almost 2 am as I write and were this to be those times, I would have perhaps diligently followed what was being announced on the road, but I do share with my Ef their concern when I am up late. What can one do ? As soon as  I open the Word Process to jot down my thoughts to my Blog, I am the widest awake !!
My love to you and my prayers and my wishes and my gratitude for all that you mean to me ..

Amitabh Bachchan

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