Monday, July 18, 2011

As I wait for the appointments to mature during the late afternoon Big B

Jalsa , Mumbai       July  16/17 , 2011       Sat/Sun  1 : 18 AM
As I wait for the appointments to mature during the late afternoon, I sit myself down in front of the ‘black and white’ unknowingly, unaware and without purpose. And as the lights appear on the board signaling the operation in process is complete, the chords begin to vibrate on their own at the touch of certain ‘white’. Further down the mixed line of keys to sound, the fingers touch the smooth plasticated oblongs stuck close to each other in one symbolic orchestral embrace. A depression on one brings in the melody of instrument, the other the rhythm of percussion, and then it all plays out in related symphony. Of sound without a purpose or need. Sound for the sake of sound, but gratefully in keeping with the note of approval. The mind sings, the fingers move hesitantly ; for they are untrained and not worthy of music. The volume pushes it forward, the pedal at the feet expands it to levels of echo and of stretched note. Before you move to the next, the one before still rings loud and in continuity. Not much is heard, but what is, moves the elements of music to the ear. The eyes shut at times, the fingers search the ‘whites’ unsure whether they reach the correct spot and then … bliss !! Not a care or concern of the world, or life or work and commitment. Just the wave of connection with the purest symbol of godliness - well tuned sound in correct note …
Almost hours pass by .. unknown. It has this effect, music. And you almost wish it would never end. But it does abruptly with a crackle of electricity and we are down to earth and reality and greetings and formality and positioning and mundane speech on schedules and stories for the future. You wonder at times whether we registered any at all. But polite diplomacy and protocol never killed anyone, and so you concur and agree and approve without perhaps having understood the reason or intent. Does it really matter ? Get me the work, get me the story, get me the character, get me out of here and on to the floor, the camera, the people and co stars … just get me out …
When there is nothing there is television. However did we live in those early years without it. How symbolic and needful a tool it has become to compensate for conversation. And there through various breaks a journey of the lovely and distinguished Nargis from the time of birth to the time of rebirth. Fascinating nostalgia. A historical journey through time and cinema and the greats that trod the bastions of the varied studios of those times. What an era that was - of Nargis and Madhubala, of Waheeda Rehman and Nutan and Suraiya, Meena Kumari, Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Guru Dutt, Bimal Roy, Mehbood Khan, K Asif, Shankar Jaikishen, Naushad, Motilal … and the names just keep flowing, dwarfing us all in one large sweep. How incompetent and unqualified and inferior we feel in the reflection of just their names. Truly a Golden Era of endless talent and superiority .. never perhaps to be relived again ever …
That is the tragedy of time. It comes, lives and passes by, never to return. What remains is the reflection. Reflection to reflect and remember, and that is all …
Amitabh Bachchan

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