Monday, February 14, 2011

There is a certain charm in living in two places at the same time

Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh   Feb  13,  2011    Sun  10 : 15 PM
There is a certain charm in living in two places at the same time ! When you travel you do not worry about what needs to be taken along and when you return you do not worry about what needs to be brought back ! It requires a state of mind as well, to be acclimatized to the state you desire. Quite obviously possessing favorites is out. Or if they are, then they need to be limited and important enough and of course easily portable.
So while I work in Bhopal and have to leave because of a break, most of the essentials stay back, in trust and faith and with the promise of being secure in absence. What accompanies is the briefcase and your life - the computer !
It would be unthinkable to be without these elements. Then if you have an office, some essentials follow you there. Replications albeit, but replications all the same. For us artists, yes the Hotel or the accommodation that we get put up in becomes home, but so does now, our vanity van. Talking of which, did you know that the first vanity van in the Industry was the one that was in the possession of yours truly. It was a gift to me by the master of invention, Mr Manmohan Desai. And I grew so fond of it that it became my mode of transport as well. For several years. He gave it to me when we started ‘Ganga Jamuna Saraswati’ and it remained with me ever. I just loved those moments of my travel. And because it was a new invention, the daily problems it created were part and parcel of all that mobile vans could possibly create. Electrical short circuits, Tv blowing up, music systems not operational, leakages in the monsoons, handling and dealing with non functional toilets, maneuverability in the streets - for I had been able to procure a general license for it - and related issues. Gradually then after a few years others began to understand the importance and the necessity of it and now we have elegantly designed personal vanity vans a dime a dozen in and around the fraternity. In fact so important have they become that the use of the traditional make up rooms at studios has vanished. At least for the main artists. They all prefer the privacy of their individual vans, elegantly interiored and personalized, with all the accoutrements according to their personal taste.
I stopped travelling in my van as a mode of transport and now do not possess one personal, either. I gave mine away to a garage for redesigning and it has remained there since. My apprehension has been that its usage shall not be that necessary - fearing the thought that I shall not be getting enough work to justify the use of a permanent vanity facility. And now with so many of them being created, it has been the practice of producers to hire one for the artist in need.
When I did KBC for the first time, the Channel Star, generously built a cottage for me aligned to the set studio floor - bedroom, drawing hall, make up room, dining area, the works … I must admit I was very happy and proud with it. It was soon dressed up with furniture and little belongings that came from the house. Paintings, little curios, things of everyday use and it did become my exclusive abode. All the most precious objects that adorned the room were the warm and loving gifts that were presented to me by contestants and the audience that came to the show. One entire wall and shelf were filled with hundreds of ganpati’s - they being the most offered.
I must admit when my term with Star on KBC ended abruptly, my greatest emotion was leaving my little swiss cottage, where I had spent some of my most personal moments attached to the show. But once it was over, it was over. I never went back there again and sent someone to clear all my stuff.
When I started KBC again with Sony, they were most kind and generous too, in building an even more elaborate chalet, as they addressed it, for me, attached to the studio floor. Strangely, I never used it. I used instead my hired vanity van that would get parked beside the floor of the studio, the Floor 16, where I was the other day. I never wondered why I did that and could never give an adequate response to the channel as to why I was not using it. Perhaps the fear of getting attached to it, again for it to be taken away from me may have crossed my mind. I never could put my finger on it. But there …
Attachments in life are like this. We take a while to fall into them. Give it all the care and attention that it requires. Nurture it with love and thought and consideration. And then suddenly one day they get pulled away from you. At times rather ruthlessly. Leaving you without any reasons to search or explain. Perhaps without any justification. But its gone. This cottage, this gentle home that you built and spent so much of your time on, snatched away from you for good. And as time passes, you gradually realize its futility, or perhaps the need not to let it trouble you. And you come away, refreshed anew, fresh in spirit and mind and form, paying attention to other little homes, which you begin to build with equal care and love. Soon the past is forgotten and you wonder … hey that wasn’t so difficult after all !
It helps at times to have no expectation. It helps at times, because your expectation may never match the others. And when it does not then we shall be spending the rest of our lives wondering and trying to find an answer as to why the match did not take place. Why were the expectations from the other falling short.
I would rather reconcile myself to the fact that it is better then to have none whatsoever. When you have none, you lose none. And if the losing is what troubles you, then better not to possess anything that you may lose.
So I decline my chalet and my swiss cottage. I am happy with my hired facility. At the end of the day when my work is done, I pick up my belongings and leave, for, the permanence of my home is where I wish to park myself and my belongings !!
( All references in this todays blog are beyond the symbolic and metaphorical ) !!
That almost sounds like the opening credits of a film that is about to start. Prevention from the censors and the courts of law … ha ha ah   haha !!!
Good night my dear and devoted .. you are so permanent in this my home !!
Amitabh Bachchan
Source:  Big B Blog

Sanjay Leela had invited me a day before BigB

Jalsa, Mumbai     Feb  12,  2011    Sat  11 : 40 PM
Is it age or mere nostalgic desire, that one thinks back on events and moments, when in the midst of familiar situations or locales. And it seems to happen more now than before. I would shoot at a studio and start to remind those around what transpired there some decades ago. Which film I shot, what scenes they were. Who my colleagues were, and who the director. I am on Floor 16 at the Film City today shooting for Just Dial a service I endorse, a floor that I was first acquainted with, since it had just been made operational, while shooting for ‘Black’. That opulent and artistic set of the main house of the little girl, the hall and the library and the dining area, my little study by the side, that winding staircase with the impressive frescos on the walls … just like it was yesterday !
Sanjay Leela had invited me a day before to get me acquainted and had tastefully lit up the set, furniture and properties all in place, candles burning. It was so inspirational. We had done a reading of the scenes and the script sitting in my chalet constructed for me by Star Tv for KBC, higher up on the slopes and satisfied had begun work the next day. Some of the most important scenes for the film had been shot, a break in the schedule had been announced and the next day, tragedy struck ..
Early in the morning as we were preparing to get to the studio we were informed that the set had caught fire in the middle of the night and had been entirely destroyed. I had rushed to a distraught and broken Sanjay at his house and sat with him as he tried to hold back his tears and his trial with destiny. It was not the first time that it had happened to him. He was on the verge of abandoning the project, but I told him lets build another one and lets start working again, and we shall do better than what we had lost. And so we did, and how !
He never went back to Film City again and the destroyed studio did not get repaired due to Insurance delays for long. But I found myself there again for KBC, this last season. And today as I went through the creatives of four Tv ad., for this service Just Dial, I never brought it up to the others, but many memories rushed through me while I was inside. The first indoctrination to the character in ‘Black’, those intense scenes with the little girl. Sitting quietly there in the presence of the genius of Sanjay Leela Bhansali and watching him and his crew designing those artistic sequences. Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor his assistants, running about getting things in order, pushing production procedures, training the little girl into the scenes, writing copious directorial notes for the lab and the editing departments, checking continuity, dress, dialogue …
Ranbir and Sonam … now huge stars with massive following and successful films, the darlings of the youth today, once assistants on this floor !! What an exciting vocation, films.
Then soon after and not so long ago, KBC ! The winners and losers, the stories of small town aspirants, the screams of the audience the applause and excitement of stars on set. All set in that same environment, but in different context and color.
If only the walls of these great studios could talk … what a story they would have as narration !!
More some other day dearest ones .. I must rest, for tomorrow I travel to Bhopal to join ‘Aarakshan’ and the film in progress. On to set straight from the airport ! Yes its a busy life, but so enjoyable …
Love to you and ..
Happy birthday to Reshmi Philip and Viviene .. may your days and years ahead be full of only happiness ..
Amitabh Bachchan
Source:  Big B Blog

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