Friday, April 29, 2011

Jaya and I will work together in films again: Amitabh Bachchan

Jaya and I will work together in films again: Amitabh

Mumbai: Megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who has been seen with Jaya Bachchan after a long time in Tanishq`s new ad, says he wishes to work with his actress wife in films.

"After `Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham` we faced the camera together for the first time (for the ad). We have done lots of films together and we were thinking that it`s enough and we should stop doing films together.

"But when we started working together in this advertisement, we together realized that we should do more films together. It looks like in coming time we would work together in some films too," Bachchan told reporters at the launch of a Tanishq`s store here Friday.

In their prime, the couple featured in hits like "Zanzeer", "Abhiman", "Sholay", "Chupke Chupke" and "Silsila".

Big B also mentioned that getting a chance to work with Jaya was also a primary reason to get associated with the brand.

"When the concept of Tanishq was brought to me, I was excited for the fact that it`s a Tata company, which is know for its excellence, its maturity, its dignity, its resilience to so many years and in so many aspects of their businesses but really what was most exciting for me was that my wife is going to be part of it," he said.

I was born in a small privately run hospital facility BigB

Jalsa , Mumbai       April  28,  2011            Thu 9 : 48 PM
I was born in a small privately run hospital facility, Dr Brar’s, an almost missionary like medical outfit in a crowded area of Allahabad, Katra. My parents who earned Rs 500/ - a month, brought me home wrapped in a ‘gudari’ in a ‘tonga’ a horse drawn public transport system. That was the best they could afford. Genetically I am attuned to live and survive in those conditions at any point in my life. I can live in penury and poverty, in adverse facility conditions, but I shall not live in fear ! You can beat me, overcome me, trample all over me, attempt to defame me, supersede me, over power me … but do not threaten me with fear … its the most demeaning factor in any individuals life. Fear weakens, destroys, diminishes all that you have acquired in your DNA. I would never want to be in a position where aspersions were to be cast on the DNA of my genes. My DNA is my pride. Challenge it and you shall have to be prepared that the challenge shall be accepted with glee, and fought with passion and fervour.
Next year I shall step into my 70th year. Born in 1942 the 70th would be 2012 ! If in 70 years of my life I have not given reason enough for respect and dignity, then you need to revisit my years and come to the sum total rather soon. I shall ever welcome those that shall question my acceptability, that shall question my ability, for, I believe that is an essential ingredient in any individuals desire to improve. I possess no special skill. But I shall fail only if my desire to not accept to attempt something special fails.
Those that challenge, doubt, insinuate, bode ill, should always be remembered with utmost grace. They are the ones that shall and will be responsible for filling you with the strength to disprove them. Disprove them not to throw it in their face. That would rob you of your dignity and class. Disprove them for the betterment of your own self. When you shall better yourself, the others will diminish on their own.
‘Everyday in every way I am getting better and better’ , is what my Father would say to us when we were unwell and fought illness. Medical illness is but a small aspect of that lesson. Improvement and bettering our own self in any walk, is equally important and valuable. I must learn something new each day. I must have knowledge of something each day which has hitherto been unknown to me. I shall be complete perhaps never, and I hope I do not. Because it would rob me of my necessity to acquire more.
Acquiring is not all nor is it the proverbial end of the road. What I acquire, if not dispensed in the right direction would be wasteful. What will I do with my knowledge if I am to take it to my grave, or burnt with it on a funeral pyre. It must be dispersed, spread, given out. Legacies are an important and integral part of our lives. To not worry about them would be a sacrilege. Gather and acquire for yourself yes, but with the ultimate belief that it should transcend all barriers and reach the right destination.
I am a creative person. Or at least claim to be one. I may not have the capacity to be of some caliber. But if the need to fulfill a desire emanates, we should attempt it without any qualms.
My destination - an early - well relatively early night beckons me. I have a window of greater dream factories soon. Let me not lose this grand opportunity !!
Good night !
Amitabh Bachchan


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Imagination and expectation ever in competition with each other BigB

Imagination and expectation ever in competition with each other BigB
Jalsa , Mumbai    April  27 ,  2011         Wed  7 : 04
Imagination and expectation ever in competition with each other ! Others imagine more for us than we do. Others expect too, far more than what we would comfortably want. What is this with others ? Look within and you will find so much that you need to imagine about yourself, expect from yourself. Be concerned and worry on that. Or is it that when you do that with others you indeed accept your own deficiencies and shortcomings. I would imagine so and honestly expect that too. So my imagination and expectation are in place .. ha ha !!
What a wretched life they must lead that live off the lives of others. Searching, craving, manipulating, constructing,  engineering, exploiting .. and so many other unmentionable adjectives, just so one could discomfort the other, in order to bring comfort to themselves !!
Bharti Dubey who writes for the Times of India has published an article on the net titled ‘Bbuddah co producer apologizes to Raj Thakeray’
: ‘Bbuddah’ co-producer apologizes to Raj Thackeray  ..
Firstly Puri Jagganath is not the co producer of the film and neither has he written any letter to Mr Thakeray - a false reproduction of which has been put in the article under his name.
Ms Bharti Dubey, for long I have maintained and still do and shall always, that you have a personal agenda against my family and me. I have told that to you on your face, despite your denial. Time and again you continue to prove me right. I am delighted each time you do that, for, it only strengthens my assessment of you as a journalist ! The matter that you have so assiduously tried to cover, just so your weekly quota of sensationalism is complied with, is such a desperate and despicable attempt to paint an incident in a manner which would show me and my film in bad light. You are an interesting journalist Ms Bharti. Its just that you aren’t as interesting as the things you cover !
I came across a telling quote by Bill Moyers - ” There are honest journalists like there are honest politicians. When bought, they stay bought.”
You hide behind the protection of a mammoth publishing and media conglomerate, Ms Bharti. You derive the power and strength from the freedom of expression that your designated column appoints you with. But your exclusivity has been dented by the phenomena of social networking. You will have, as a result of your employment, and employment only, the liberty to leave an impression of your opinion to lakhs. I believe your circulation is around 20. Could be more. But do not forget that this blog of mine has hits also up to 3 million dedicated readers, that over 700,000 follow me on Twitter and there are as on date 2,500,000  that subscribe to my Vog, Bachchan Bol. I need to tell you that your opinion shall always be circumspect, in the presence of the alternatives that the net has provided me with. Your employed power is no longer singular. Every time you shall paint a wrong, I shall paint a right. Right in your face !!
So that done, I can now converse with my EF and bring some sanity to my life ! There are facts to this story which are unknown to all. My sense of ethics does not permit me to divulge them, but may I just say that the exact opposite has transpired ! More than this I am loathe to confess.
Song picturisation is fearful and so exacting, especially so when the song has been sung by the person who is enacting it. At times during the shoot you wonder in disgust why in hells name did I sing it so - having the most terrible time trying to lip sync it .. Hmmmm !!
And so another day of singing and dancing and hoping that it all comes out well … such apprehension and fear of the results … ahh … painful ! But I can at least live in the luxury of the thought that my extended family shall accept me in my modest endeavor, irrespective of all my shortcomings as an actor. Thank you !!
Love to all …
Amitabh Bachchan

Bbuddah co producer apologizes to Raj Thackeray over foreign artistes

Bbuddah' co-producer apologizes to Raj Thackeray over foreign artistes
MUMBAI: The co-producer of 'Bbuddah' Puri Jagannadh on Wednesday sent an apology letter to Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray accepting that some foreign dancers were without work permit and the visas of two junior artistes had expired. 

"We want to apologize for the neglect and assure you that this shall not happen in the future and will perform all activities as per the law without hurting anyone's sentiments," Puri said in the letter addressed to Raj Thackeray. 
However, MNS film wing chief Amey Khopkar said if Amitabh Bachchan wants to continue shooting at United Mills he will have to hire people with proper legal documents or else we will stop his shooting again. 
On Tuesday, members of the Raj Thackeray-led MNS stalled the shooting of Amitabh Bachchan's film Bbuddah that was going on at United Mills in Mumbai alleging foreigners with no work permit being part of a song sequence. 
"We found out that most of the foreigners shooting on the film set were without work permits. We filed a complaint with Shivaji Park police station and requested them to raid the set. All the papers of the 17 foreigners on the set have been confiscated and taken by the police which are being verified," 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Amitabh Bachchan to host Kaun Banega Crorepati 5

Amitabh Bachchan to host  Kaun Banega Crorepati 5

Megastar Amitabh Bachchan will host the fifth season of the popular and hit reality game show Kaun Banega Crorepati.

"Preparing now for KBC next season starting I think in a few months... creative and promo discussions today ... very interesting," Bachchan said on micro-blogging site Twitter yesterday.

KBC is an Indian reality game show based on the UK game showWho Wants to Be a Millionaire? The show first aired in 2000 was hosted by the 68-year-old actor making his maiden appearance on Indian TV.

The game show became a huge rage with Bachchan hosting its first and second seasons. Following this, superstar Shah Rukh Khan was roped in for the third. But Big B returned to anchor the show's fourth season which was aired on Sony Entertainment Television.

Earlier, last year, when the makers of KBC had approached Bachchan for the fifth season, he had asked for the opinion of his fans.

The energy levels increase as the day starts and continues for most of the day

Jalsa , Mumbai          April  26,  2011          Tue  11: 25 PM
The energy levels increase as the day starts and continues for most of the day, because there is work to be done. Many question often, and of late even more often, why I need to work still. I respond to them in simple language. I need to work because I want to work. My want is not governed by what others think, it is governed by what I think. And so it shall remain. When I shall feel the need to stop I shall stop. But I shall not stop because someone wishes that I do. My condition and my circumstance are mine and mine alone. I wouldn’t dare wish it on another. But if there are those that feel compelled to look after my welfare and wellbeing, let me first thank them for their consideration and then tell them that I and indeed all mankind will eventually be personally responsible for their own welfare and being. Others at best shall only be in a position to express, to show concern, to advise and suggest. But the final decision shall always remain, your own personal. It is we that shall ever be able to assess who and what we are. What our potential is and how far it could be possible for us to go. Others just like that boxing ring earlier post, shall be the ones outside the ring, or at best be ’seconds’ inside during round breaks. Nothing more or less. They will wipe your face, shall quench your thirst, repair your damaged face, talk endless words on how one should be fighting and then disappear. For, when the bell sounds for the next round, it shall just be the two of you again. Your opponent and I. And for the next 3 mins or whatever the time limit administered is applicable, that is how it shall remain.
Singing songs is a tough business. Recording them even worse. But enacting them in front of a camera with hundreds looking upon each and every move, is frightening. I have been through that today and feel relieved that some of the stuff that was done had elements, for which I could say were, not in the least mischievous. They were fun and had a smile within them.
My knowledge of dance has been excruciatingly minimal. And now with the modern day choreographers and dancers that have developed a style of their own, it is tough going for me ..!!  I have scraped through today with a great amount of the song, because I desired that they allow me to get into a rehearsal situation a million years before .. ha ha ha  !!! Really … the artists fascinate me on this issue. I see others lazily flow into a song and come out looking like a million bucks !! They must be terribly well designed to pick up what the move expects from them, in a jiffy. When I in the meantime keep seeking rehearsals, and retakes.
The heat is a killer on set and then what with the rehearsals and retakes it really shatters your self belief and accumen. One constantly seeks approval. A look at the dance assistants, a look at the monitor where the director sits and analyses, a look at your own staff for that endearing smile to say that all is well, a look at others on set, a look towards the entrance, when ……
I am not satisfied with the quality of the work that I have done on the first day of the shoot today. Its a song and scene situation and invariably it is when the song is done and over that you figure out the correct step. I have often wished that we start the song sequence backwards, as in some of the other films that I have done. But for some reason it has not happened. Instead of breaking up the song into regions and shooting the sequences as per what they wished for me …it is possible to continue regardless. But its not the real deal. We shall get one soon..
Sleep deprived, nervousness and fear of getting it all wrong compel me to take to bed and allow the soft pillows to take over their job and execute them for their greatest pleasure ..
Moto then of the day is, when you are wrong … accept it and slumber. When right, remain - from all angles distant and silent. It works like magic !!
Amitabh Bachchan

Fox Studios that co produces Dum Maro Dum sends out these details on the collections

Jalsa , Mumbai        April  25,  2011        Mon  10 : 48 PM
Fox Studios that co produces ‘Dum Maro Dum’ sends out these details on the collections - they speak for themselves
· 3rd biggest opening weekend in 2011 after YPD and THANK YOU    ( YPD is Yamla Pagla Deewana )
· Biggest opening in South India  for any Hindi film in 2011
· Third biggest Abhishek film ever after Dhoom2 and Dostana
· Bigger than Kaminey, New York
· Bucked the IPL trend and has reposed good BOX OFFICE numbers in the cricket season.
Break up is as follows :
Thu . 8
Fri – 5.4
Sat – 4.7
Sun – 5.6
INTERNATIONAL· International Box office 1.4 mn US$
· Joint 2nd with Dhobi Ghat  opening in US after YPD
· ME – One of the top openings in 2011  ( ME is Middle East )
· OZ/ NZ – No. 1 of all openings in 2011 ( Not too tough to get that its Australia and NewZealand )
RESEARCHWord of mouth score of 69 which is  jointly tied at no. 3 with No One Killedd Jessica from all films released since September – have attached the ranking list and the EXIT POLL.
Abhishek performance is coming out a winner + Dialogues are connecting
DMD trending on twitter India -  continuously for last 5 days
STRATEGIC  OpportunityDMD recovers its COP of 22 crores in the first weekend from domestic + International  theatrical + music (including overflows) + Sateliite
Good WOM + Longer run due to a strategic release window as has been experienced by Tanu Weds Manu during World cup.
( COP is cost of production, WOM is word of mouth )
Head of Distribution, Marketing and Syndication
That looks promising and gives heart to all ! Thank you to all those that believed and patronized. Any achievement by your DNA gives so much satisfaction and pride and love. Pray it keeps growing.
Home alone again tonight ! Abhishek in Murmansk, Russia and the ladies are around and about but not home, so thank heavens for IPL … keeping me occupied as I write to all of you. Shanouk sits below, sensitive to any movement around the house, up and barking his large head off !
But first things first - Zhenya from Russia and Renate correct me about St Petersburg .. I have wrongly called it erstwhile Stalingrad. Its actually Leningrad. There is a Stalingrad in Russia but not the one I mention. ‘Grad’ in Russian means town, so Zhenya tells me. Thank you ladies, kind and gracious of you. Never to late to learn, especially when you have a whole host of family members ready to correct you.
Thank you all for the reassurance that you give me on the blog its contents and its readership. It is such a great feeling to know that despite all the negativity that gets generated from other sources, there is the confidence and the assurance of this platform in understanding and supporting the causes that keep coming up day to day.
For long there has been that apprehension that whatever is written will be taken up in pieces. Pieces that could be distorted and represented to create unwanted controversy. What a convoluted idea and thinking. But there is the strength of the EF which has all along given balanced and justifiable approval or disapproval whenever the need has risen. That is most reassuring. It is most frustrating to want to say the matter that comes to mind, but refraining from doing so, for fear of deliberate and mischievous distortion.
The fear of being pushed to some credible response on every issue under the sun, is very potent in the lives of those that live in the brightness of celebrity. We are not, as I have lamented often, knowledged on every aspect of life, politics, sport, society, law, international events, history, geography, medicine etc …We have a tough enough time being actors, and may that remain. But putting us under the wheel, through pressure, deliberation, emotion and every other ‘tion’ in the business is not going to give you or get for the world any wisdom that the subject may indeed require.
Mention or attempt to mention a product of yours or of your kin in praise or support and the entire community breaks down upon you. But among the lot of the media that I follow - Jitesh Pillai, Rajeev Masand, Sagarika Ghose, Rajdeep Sardesai, Bhupendra Chaubey, Barkha Dutt - there is a constant mention of how it will be of importance and of some excitement to watch their programmes on Tv. Fair enough. But no where do I read any severe criticism of the fact that they are using the medium to promote themselves, or the product they are associated with. So what does one do in situations such as this. Succumb to pressure and silence yourself, or deny them the opportunity of slamming you and tell them - ‘Do what you want to do people, I am going to say what I wish to because this is my private medium and no one is going to stop me from doing what I wish to do within the walls of my home’.
Fatima from South Africa, lost her Aunt. She was very close to her almost like a Mother. We are with her in this hour of grief and send all our condolences and prayers ..
Good night all … a good nights sleep does indeed do wonders .. about to find out ..
Amitabh Bachchan

Before putting down my thoughts on this page I give the respondents a look

Before putting down my thoughts on this page I give the respondents a look
Jalsa , Mumbai       April 24,  2011    Sun  11 : 02 PM
Before putting down my thoughts on this page I give the respondents a look. Their numbers at the top of the page give me an idea of what the value of the post was. I notice therefore that for the past few days the numbers have dwindled, which indicates that the BlogPost has been insipid and not worthy of a read ! Hmmm !!
With that in mind and a sense of defeat I resume my daily chore of addressing all those that are part of the EF and who have so diligently remained with me.
The purpose of the blog is not to reach some exciting figure, as in Sachin’s million on the twitter, but to be able to reach out to as many as possible. To share our mutual thoughts and to exchange ideas and impressions which we generally allow to go by. Someone twittered somewhat bitterly that Sachin had got to a million on twitter with just about 270 tweets. And I with over 7000 tweets was still struggling at 700,000.
I am not quite sure about the reason for that remark, but there it was. And if it was meant to show me what it was meant to, then it could not have been more correct. Of course Sachin will and should have a larger number of tweets than I. He is SACHIN Tendulkar, the God of cricket ! And I cannot even fake-hold a cricket bat. End of argument debate and discussion.
Abhishek has reached Murmansk in Russia on location for his film, Players. When I asked him where this place was he told me it was North of St Petersburg, erstwhile Stalingrad. When I persisted he asked me to Google it. I did. And its a stones throw away from the Arctic !! When we Skyped we had a laugh because he was in his  Siberian head gear, protecting his head and ears from the biting cold and he looked odd and funny.
But look what this world has come to. Talking with picture with your relatives and friends. Such a pleasure and joy.
A Sunday today ! A day of rest ! But I had to work on the health program of the UNICEF for which I have been brand ambassador for some years now as also the ambassador for the protection of the girl child. The SouthEast region of the world has not been able to rid itself of this dreaded disease, Polio. But I am happy to state that when I came on board there were over 700 cases of polio, and from recent reports the figure has come down to single digits, which is exciting to know. At least something that I was associated with came through correctly.
Very sophisticated equipments now exist in the medical field and timely medication and care does and can save your child from this ailment. So do your bit spread the word as much as possible. Do take the prevention medication during the first five years of the child to prevent the onslaught of this dreaded ailment….
Satya Sai Baba passed away. A saint, a generous soul, a builder of society. I had opportunity to be with him on an occasion. He had graciously sent me some of his famed ‘vibhuti’ to be put on my tongue during the time I was struggling for my life after the Coolie accident. When I recovered, I went across to his ashram near Chennai. He met me in a side small chamber and blessed me by procuring more ‘vibhuti’ virtually from the air. During his years working for the society through great amounts of work concentrating on building institutions and infrastructures to help the poor and the deprived, he built up a massive following and believers that were completely in awe of the man and his work for the masses.
Our prayers for the departed soul !
During the last few days we have been doing the action climax of our film ‘Bbuddah’ and have been working with the Stunt Coordinator from the South. Interesting how well organized and gracious they are in their work and dealings, despite the fact that they are handicapped by language. I do hope when the film is released and the action work comes through you will be able to appreciate the work done. The point of mentioning this was to also bring forth the fact that all those Master Stunt Directors of the past, still remain in our presence despite that fact that no longer work. Among the stunt ‘fighters’ that work along, there is no one that is above 30 and so is unaware of the films I did. They are all sons and cousins of the fight masters of yesteryear and keep reminding me of their Father or Uncle that had worked with me in most of my films that had action.
They, much like the ‘junior artists’ that I had spoken of in the past, lead a very difficult life too, but are the ones that show great will and strength to rescue the leading man of the film they work in. I have often been obstinate in doing stunts that involve a stunt man, myself, with the sole aim of somehow protecting another soul from getting hurt because of me. I have seen the many that worked with me get seriously injured doing an action sequence. Some are still around but a majority of them have just passed on or are now too old to be able to conduct a portion of action in film.
They have always led a dangerous existence, with the minimum of protection. It is indeed a sad circumstance. Many of those that get injured, have no means to repair themselves, for, keeping away from work would mean a daily meal at home lost. Its a sad situation. Very sad !
More later.. I shudder from the anticipation of tomorrows song and dance routine .. of which I have to admit I am most petrified.
Love to you …
Amitabh Bachchan

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

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thanks all the extended family members for their warm greetings to Abhishek and Aishwarya for their anniversary of marriage

thanks all the extended family members for their warm greetings to Abhishek and Aishwarya for their anniversary of marriage
Jalsa, Mumbai      April 20/21,  2011     Wed/ Thu  1 : 19 AM
….. and so one thanks all the extended family members for their warm greetings to Abhishek and Aishwarya for their anniversary of marriage. Its been 4 years !!
….. and so also does one thank those that show expectation from my work and films which as they lament has not appeared on the horizon for an endlessly long time !!
‘Bbuddah’ moves rapidly, inconsequentially, without any fuss or strain, without delay and unpunctuality and within the budget assigned to it. A most nominal figure compared to what figures one comes across from all the ‘biggies’ !
It is restraining to mention any other detail, for fear of it being picked up and speculated, televisioned, broad sheeted and headlined in to yet another millionth breaking news ! Restrain and refrain are the two most devoted and well advised actions in the times today of every move and breath being captured for posterity and who knows for eternity as well. How words shall be picked and juggled around to make them sound the exact opposite of what they were meant to be is an admirable art. And how soon the creatives take place is one of the miracles of Tv. A master class in management and intelligent minds !
On the twitter and often on the blog at times, one gets criticized for promoting self or family members. Perhaps we do. The media themselves often do not shy away from doing it. I have all the senior editors of all things prominent in society, on my followers account on my page and they keep reminding us without a break, how important and interesting it is to see the 9 o clock news, or a debate on Face the Nation and so on … they use this medium well ..
It is indeed quite fascinating to be able to achieve that moment - a moment when the answer to a question is looked upon as being more questionable than the question itself ! Happens at times. But since the fourth estate is without fault and so heavily protected, it is in the best of interests to leave them alone. And so we do ..!!
Vishal @ Shekhar that wondrous musical composer duo are such a joy to spend time with in their studio. Its a very relaxed atmosphere, lounging around with all the gossip of the day and reminiscing moments of our Concert Tour. And then suddenly a burst of creativity. Somebody picks up the guitar, another the keyboards and yet another the complicated computer system, that records and tunes and finds information so essential for any song recording.
That ’sleep induced’ condition approaches at a fair trot and before I succumb to it I must deliver my sincere thank you’s to all the members of the fans clubs and blog masters of the day.
It does become difficult to do this routine when you have your brand new ear phone system firmly encompassing your ears and the song being belted out is what V@S have just sent a rough scratch of, to ascertain whether  their line of approach is in the right direction or not. You’re damn right it is ! In the right direction and pumping ..
Good night … love and more ….
Amitabh Bachchan

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tanishq’s new campaign emphasises importance of 4C's

Tanishq’s new campaign emphasises importance of 4C's
Also reiterates brand's commitment towards trust
Tanishq’s new advertising campaign carrying a unique message – to educate consumers about how to assess the purity of diamonds through informing about the basic 4Cs of a diamond - cut, clarity, color and carat, is also noteworthy as it is being endorsed by Bollywood couple Mr. Amitabh Bachchan and Mrs. Jaya Bachchan. The brand believes its purpose to make consumers more aware stems from the fact that diamonds continue to be the most desired gems and a symbol of commitment. And is also growing as a popular gifting choice. Mr. Sandeep Kulhalli, Vice President, Tanishq said, “Understanding the lack of awareness amongst customers in choosing right diamonds, we conceived the idea of educating our consumers through the ad campaign.” He further added, “For this ad campaign we needed someone who would reflect the brand's stature and standing, someone who would connect with people across a wide spectrum. We zeroed in on Mr. and Mrs Bachchan for this ad, whose combined fan following varies across 6 to 60 yrs of age, and will be desired personalities to reach out to the people easily spreading awareness on this precious jewel.”

Talking about his association with the brand, Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, said, “This campaign has helped me discover the finer details on buying diamonds besides giving me an opportunity to create awareness on this rarest and most beautiful form of the precious stone.” Adding the same line of thought Mrs. Jaya Bachchan, said “While working in this campaign I got to know that the genuinity of a diamond depends on the cut, clarity and carat of the diamond, irrespective of the size. It is important for each one of us to know these intricate details, especially if there are any inclusions or spots in them. Tanishq has brilliantly conveyed this message through the ad campaign”.
The campaign is scheduled to go on air in the mid week on April 2011.

NEWS diamondworld

Has it really been 3 years today I would never have known ! BigB

Jalsa,  Mumbai   April  18,  2011         Mon  11 : 56 PM
Has it really been 3 years today ? I would never have known ! That is a long time and a very longtime association with some of the most loving and caring family members.
Thank you for your presence and for your gratitude. You have stood by me in rough weather and fair. You have commented and encouraged, analyzed and assessed, laughed and cried, never ever giving me any need to address your discomfort or the ecstasy of your gain. This is indeed a superior class of people and I am proud to have been an initiator for all.
After the shoot got over for ‘Bbuddah’ later in the evening, it was back to the studio for recording song with Vishal and Shekhar. Music takes over all of us completely and time spent in that particular environment is like being born again - fresh, eager and with the brightest of elements on your side of the fence. Such fortunate people, music directors. Living day in and day out with their instruments, creating godly tunes, giving the much needed pleasure to the listener and adding so much to their own lives. Someday hopefully I shall have the great privilege and pleasure to add more years to my life as well. Till then I live in the marvel of those that occupy that space reserved for the gifted and talented.
I have an early call tomorrow and I need to get some rest before a rather cruel day ahead. So today shall be informative and short. For, the desire to write more comes from spending more time in front of the screen. And today unfortunately the screen has been erratic. Urging me to finish early so everyone can go off to sleep.
Abhishek, poor soul, has been laboring for the promotion of his coming film ‘Dum Maro Dum’. Each day a new city, new people, new platforms from which to propagate. We never had this facility before. Our reliance was merely on the makers of the film. At best they would come around to check with the local paper what their impressions were of the film in question. And that too after release. Now … its is different, more dynamic and certainly more responsive to casting votes !!
How I wish this comparison would never have existed. It is I believe the root cause for jealousy, intrigue, sympathy and all that seems to be connected with these factors. Our job as actors should be to follow a captain first. Then if he wishes we could go ahead or remain isolated.
But all this requires incredible understanding, coordination, compassion and great love for the ‘other’ . The ‘other’ could be any one. They are generally the ones that face the brink, suffer quietly and then leave never to regain it again.
Picking up the cue from some of the reactions that came about after the promotional acts of ‘Dum Maaro Dum’, I am tempted to put up some pictures of Abhishek’s reactions with the crowds. But I hesitate, for this is his film and solo. Were he to get me going I would gladly put it through, with whatever resources I possess. But let me get his clearance first.
Shanouk shows his exemplary skills at barking at anything that he feels does not belong to the family. His meeting with me after this rather long hiatus, shamed me. He was all over with his large frame, sniffing and goading us almost into providing some eats for him. Pets are at their best performances when their masters eat at the dining table, ignoring their presence. They will bring on the saddest expressions, nudge an elbow or its equivalent into submission, until their only goal in life, that of procuring something to eat from the table is fulfilled. With his size he is beyond the height to the top of the dining table Shanouk, and this is used most effectively to ‘persuade’ the Master to compassionately consider their desire for a meal along with another they may have just finished. And when they are ignored, or spoken away from any dining activity, they lounge a few feet away in one the most hurt and languid expressions ever seen. Such darlings they are !! Though I must add here that while we were away, Shanouk has had enough of the attention that he would normally never get. But pets are pets. What ever would we do without them, and they without us !!
Status quo maintained. A bit of movement from the ladies dressing up and then end of chapter.
Love and more … and a very happy and prosperous Hanuman Jayanti to all .. willpower, strength and desire to serve and the moto of our lives
Amitabh Bachchan

I need to be cautious when I write BigB Blog

I need to be cautious when I write
Jalsa, Mumbai      April  17,  2011   Sun  11 : 32 PM
I need to be cautious when I write. Words written in a moment of introspection go out to millions and sometimes create anxiety to the EF. This is not correct. My own condition, if it can be called that, is not meant for distribution and exhibition. That it has caused some of us within to be of concern and worry is legitimate. It showed the affection that existed among you towards me. But there should not have been such an exposed expression to it all.
All then is well and comfortable. There really is no sign of any kind of disturbance or hurt. It was just one of those moments when it became imperative to let it all out. Not because there was reason to let it out or that there was a situation that had built up. No. Nothing of the sort. The mind is not disturbed at all. They were simply ramblings. Now and then at this age it would be deemed to be an obvious act. Its going to be ’stepping into the 70’s’ next year and it matters at many levels when you reach there.
Bhawani Singh Jaipur the erstwhile Maharaja, passed away yesterday. He was a dear friend and his wife Padmini Devi is close to Jaya. He had been ailing for sometime, and had been unwell for several more - heart condition.
Our prayers and condolences for the departed soul.
A humble man, caring and considerate, pet named Bubbles by his family, because of the very large amount of champagne that was opened by his Father, at the time of his birth. A handsome attractive prince, who lived a charmed life. For sometime he served in the Indian Army and was posted in the Presidents Bodyguard at Rashtrapati Bhavan. When we lived in Delhi at 13, Willingdon Crescent, a road that ran along the boundary of the President of India’s house, Bubbles would often drive past in his Ford Thunderbird convertible - a most favored car with the young of those times. And as I would be walking across to South Avenue some 100 yards away to catch my college bus for University, I would see him impeccably dressed in his uniform, driving along and would wonder if I would ever be able to someday get a ride in it - not imagined ever that I would be in a situation where I would be able to acquire similar facilities - mostly the car !
But time and circumstance changed. After joining the movies I happened to be shooting ‘Ganga ki Saugandh’ an early years film in Jaipur and met up with him and spent quite a bit of time in his company and his polo buddies. A smaller palace of his that had been opened and refurbished for the Queen of England’s visit, had now been converted into a private Hotel and we were staying there. One evening he invited us over to a party at his friends place and graciously offered to drive us there. Yes … you got it … it was that Ford Thunderbird that I used to see him in with envy, that he pulled out that day and I could not but marvel at the wonders of fate and allied coincidences.
Bubbles, great great grandfather, I think, Maharaja Jai Singh founded Jaipur the city. It got its name Jaipur from him. Jai Singh was the one that planned the Pink City, as it is now referred to. It was so modern in concept and geometric in its presence that many town planners after copied his ideas. The way Los Angeles is planned, with long stretches of roads and systematic streets is something inspired from Jaipur, because that is how it was first designed, planned and executed.
I think in one of my earlier posts I had mentioned the Jaipur Polo Ground in Delhi and how we used to go there to watch polo being played, albeit from a distance, because we were never having the means to get inside there legally. Watching this fascinating sport, in all its regal splendor was such a high for us. Bubbles and his Father played there, watched keenly by Maharani Gayatri Devi of Jaipur, one of the most beautiful women of the world. And Rao Raja Hanut Singh, a brilliant player and one that had the highest handicap, would enthrall us with the skills he possessed for the game and for his riding. Ah ! those were the days !!
To bed now … tomorrow back to ‘Bbuddah’ … and tomorrow also maybe it would be time to share some recent photographs of the happenings around us ….
Good night then …
Amitabh Bachchan

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Compiling these photographs from the hundreds that were taken has been a monumental task BigB

Compiling these photographs from the hundreds that were taken has been a monumental task BigB
London , UK      Apr  13,  2011       Wed 9 : 15 PM
Compiling these photographs from the hundreds that were taken has been a monumental task. But at least I have found some semblance of balance in reproducing them. May I also warn those that visit this page, that some of the visuals may be depressing and horrifying in content. Do visit them with care. If you do not wish to see them or read about them, you should shut the page !

The view from my window in Krakow. The great castle in front where the Kings lived and ruled from. Subsequently due to the numerous invasions that took place to gain control of the city, the castle served as their head quarters. It also houses most of the royal dead buried within the large walls, as also some of the prominent citizens that excelled themselves in various fields ~

Auschwitz ! And within the halls where dormitories existed of the prisoners or those that were about to be gas chambered are now kept some of the remains of those that were exterminated. Here hundreds of suitcases. The owners wrote their names and date of birth on the boxes as dictated by the Commandent of the camps. Notice the prominence of Jewish names and dates of birth. Some of them a few years old - children ! Women were the first to be exterminated. But because they refused to go without their children, they too went into the gas chambers !
In a corner of a street in Krakow, a symbolic cross and candles in the shape of the cross placed in memory of the President of Poland, who as you know died unfortunately last year around the same time, in an air crash near Moscow …

A street store on the road corner in the Jewish sector of the city !

My hand prints for the plaque to be placed on the pavement that runs along the great castle. Michael Jackson there too. A pink liquid preparation is mixed and put into that little square depth and hands asked to be put into it without moving. After some time that pink thick liquid starts to turn white in color and that is when they tell you to remove the hands …. the imprint remains !

The Mayor, the palace of his office and the ‘key to the city of Krakow’. A moment of great pride. Not for me but for who’s son I was and which nation I came from .. Many ask what special privileges come along with the key. I was once decorated similarly by the administration in New Jersey by the senator in charge and I asked him the same question. What are the specialities of having the key to the city. And he replied - ‘If you were to be pulled up for speeding on any highway in the state, then the officer would make sure that you were escorted to the nearest police station with utmost dignity !!!

At the Salt Mines … they put up our national flag in honor of my visit. Heart warming and filling myself up with pride for my country !!
The lift that takes you down into the various levels of the mines via a shaft. We went down to almost 40 m and then further to 100 m and finally to 140 meters !! It moves softly and without any semblance of panic to its passengers. The lift moves in blocks of lift boxes placed one above the other at separate levels. So I could be on level 1, the other box will be at level 2 above me and so on to a train of boxes of 3-4 in number. Then all doors of all the lift boxes are simultaneously shut and on one command, a hand operated manual bell, the entire train moves down and when it stops, it stops simultaneously at separate levels too.
Its 300 kilometres of salt mine. Spread out in these large galleries under the city. It took us half a day to traverse just 3 kilometres of the mine. That is Mark the celebrated guide. A marvelous gentleman, smiling all along and giving us vivid narrations of the operations in progress. At times when the ceiling became low, he would warn us in Hindi with ~ ‘Sar sambhal ke’ …. ‘mind your head’ … He informed us that he knew 140 ways to say this line in almost all the languages of the world !! made a lot of sense ! ha …
The most remarkable feature of the mines was that as they worked along, the laborers started carving through the salt rocks and started making objects and architectural images of so many different people ~ mostly tourists. Here now is an image of Copernicus, a philosopher and guide to many intelligentsia of the times.
Gnomes !! Considered to be lucky for the miners were carved at various places and revered. The carving I hope you will understand is just salt rock and nothing else. The women particularly liked the gnomes, and one particular gnome was singled out as being fortunate for the ladies. The belief being that if the ladies kissed him they would get a good husband ! The kiss was meant to be given on his mustache and since he was placed and carved out at a rather difficult spot to reach the ladies found it tough to get there. The philosophy being obviously that without a struggle you would not be able to get a good husband. However many ladies struggled, climbed and reached out to this gnome precariously parked on the edge of a steep precipice, planting a kiss on his moustache. All objects being made of the rock salt, in time the gnome lost one side of his mustache. The moustache in Polish culture being of great importance in a man. The guide Mark, very generously kept reminding the ladies in our entourage that his moustache was in perfect form and existence, in case a substitute was needed !!
The piece de resistance of the mine visit - an entire Chapel built within the mine … and all in salt !! The floor, the alter, the images of Christ and his story. An entire replica of any Church on land. And on particular days services are held here, where the miners and their families congregate to pray !! Even the chandeliers are made of salt. The electricity is of course the only exception. Unbelievable !!! This view is from a balcony as we walked towards it within the miles of salt shafts, streets, corridors and galleries. As we stood looking down at this amazing feature, the lights dimmed, a silence descended and then … gentle strains of Chopin broke out from the system around the entire facility. Inside this large cauldron, this excavated space through salt, this almost 30 metres of height and breadth, as the music drifted by one just could not control the burst of emotion that arose within. The goose bumps erupted and the tears welled up as we all stood there in uncontrollable wonder and amazement !! What a moment ! It has to be seen and experienced to believe it.
Carvings on the sides of the chapel depicting stories and events from the Bible …
The Mother Mary standing inside a carved salt enclosure, but made of white salt. The light behind giving it that feeling of divinity and also declaring that the material is indeed a translucent salt.

In front of the alter. All placements and positions just like in a chapel … but carved in salt. Even the flooring is not blocks of cement .. it is carved salt !!

In one end of the walls, the Last Supper … the dimensions are not great - just a few centimeters of depth, but they look as though a large portion of the mine wall was dug out to give this effect ..
At the University to unveil the portrait of my Father … in Krakow !
A metallic head lying distraught in the middle of their main square .. Shweta took this picture as did she most of the others. She asked me get inside the head and push my face out from one of its eyes - it is possible to do that - but I desisted. I gave her an alternative - could I pick his nose at she clicked - she shouted me out on that and this sedate posture was finally approved ..
And Shweta … in a lovely flowing ghaghara ! Looking stunning and attracting all the crowds in the square !!
The barracks at Auschwitz …

The entrance gate with those words on it which I think said ‘through labor will you gain’ … a decoy to mislead all those that were being brought here to be exterminated. They were given to understand that they were being brought here to do labor. The fit and healthy were indeed put to such task, the ill and weak were gassed. Ironically, the fit and healthy were used to pick up the dead and either bury them in mass graves or assist in incinerating them. The barracks were actually not especially built for concentration camps. They had housed Polish soldiers during the war. When the Germans invaded, they removed the soldiers and made this into what later came to be known as extermination camps. They got them free of cost ! Many that were brought her never entered the barracks ever. They were taken straight from the trains that came in bearing them and marched into the gas chambers, stripped of all clothing naked in front of their families and strangers it was the humiliation and embarrassment of the moment. They were told that they were being subjected to a process of disinfection to make sure no disease was being carried in, but in fact were brutally killed.

Tons of human hair of the prisoners kept in a glass enclosure from the shavings of all those that came to the camp. The hair was used to make clothing material by the Nazi’s ..
Remains of little children that were exterminated …
The wall of death … where the inmates of the camp were brought in large numbers and shot dead in a courtyard in the barracks. We enter with a prayer and stand in silence in their memory !!

The dreaded gas chamber ! Now greened and made to look presentable .. and by its side in front of it within 50 feet this …
….. at the far end, the house of the Commandant of the camp. Not more than 50 feet in front of the gas chamber … living there quite normally in his domesticity, with his wife and 5 children. Did they not ever feel the horrific atrocity that was being enacted in front of them every day - in front of their house - with women and children ! What did these people do to exist in such circumstances. What were they made of. Surely they were not humans !! But this particular Commandant was caught after the loss of Germany and tried and found guilty and hung in front of the gas chamber as you see now ~ on the gallows below !

The chamber … almost 700 to 800 hundred of them were pushed into one chamber and the gas released from the roof. When they realized what was going to happen to them they started praying and began singing. Within minutes they were all gone !!

The final moment …being incinerated in these large fire intense facilities, after the gas right next door. All systematically  worked out in great detail .. the ashes either thrown away and not even given to the victims relatives or friends. Thrown away in the Vistula River that flows alongside the city and the camp…
Need I say anymore ….
Amitabh Bachchan

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