Monday, April 11, 2011

BigB at work Bbuddah Hoga Tera Baap Movie on the streets in Lokhandwala

A higher vantage point was the only way to circumvent a security cordon to capture him

The tip-off: That Amitabh Bachchan, Sonu Sood and Sonal Chauhan were shooting for Puri Jagannath's Bbuddah Hoga Tera Baap on the streets in Lokhandwala, Andheri, on Friday.

The scene: It required the Big B to drive down in his car, step out, look at Sonu's bullet-ridden body, appear shocked and run while a weeping Sonal looks on.

Security cordon: There was a heavy security cordon around the area. The security folk tried to prevent me from taking pictures. I reminded them that it was a public place and everyone had a right to click away but they kept harassing me to move away.

How I got the pictures: I looked around and realised that if I had to get my photos I would have to take them from a higher vantage point. Actor Ronit Roy's office on the seventh floor of a building nearby looked like an ideal spot. These pictures were shot from one of his office windows...

news mid-day

A smooth and comfortable ride over most of Western Europe BigB

A smooth and comfortable ride over most of Western Europe
Krakow, Poland        Apr  10,  2011       Sun  11 : 45 PM  local time
A smooth and comfortable ride over most of Western Europe, over the Channel and vast fields of green and minute cities in France and Germany and into Poland and then Krakow through a few dark clouds and high winds. It is cold on stepping out on the tarmac, but the warmth of the reception is comforting and affectionate.
Its a small drive from the airport to the Hotel and then immediately to scheduled programs. The city important persons have given a dinner in honor at the oldest restaurant in the city. We are warmly clad because it is biting now, the cold, and then rushed into horse drawn carriages. They are smart and white, with all provisions in place for a comfortable ride over cobble stones. I suddenly feel I am in Elizabethan era, sitting with dressed and glamorously gowned ladies with hats on them and the countryside passing by.
The Great Palace, a huge and picturesque structure lies just in front of the hotel we are in. It is awesome and inspiring. Other old buildings slowly pass by in glimmer and old world charm. There is Italian, and French and Gothic and other important features that have gone into the architecture, in making the city it is. Most of the city was left undamaged during the War - Hitler wanting to make this his base city, spared it from any destructive operations. Over dinner there is protocol and discussion on various topics. The history and culture of the place has given us an entire meaning of what Poland is all about. Dinner is elegantly served and below the first floor where we dine, hundreds have come out in their numbers, darkly dressed holding candles and a prayer in their voices. There is a certain discipline and grace about what we see from the window. A short walk later this walking candle holding congregation, kneels and prays …
It is the first death anniversary of their President, who as you may recall died when their plane crashed on its way to Moscow on this very day a year ago. A respect for the departed leader and a deep sentiment expressed by the people of Poland.
There is opportunity for some great photography and I shall indulge so it can be shown to all EF. But I believe a Tv team follows wherever we go. It could be a Tv Channel - input but so long as its noticed that is fine with me.
Tomorrow they take my hand prints to be preserved and kept secure. The keys of the city follow and then perhaps a showing of ‘BLACK’ LATER ON AT THE FESTIVAL .. There shall be a visit to the University and the awe it would give me on knowing that many there speak Hindi. During the early years, so the expert translater informs, sanskrit used to be taught there at the University. And soon I shall be going there to officiate the best foots forward.
I tire now … i must to bed.
I shall fill in more by tomorrow …. usual time ..
Amitabh Bachchan

It is a bracing warm and unusual climate here in London BigB Blog

London , UK   Apr  9,  2011      Sat 11 : 05 AM  GMT
It is a bracing warm and unusual climate here in London. The sun is out, the skies are clear, people walk about in light clothing and the flowers bloom in and around the gardens of prominence in this metropolis. There is a buzz on other matters too. The Prince is getting ready to wed by the 29th of the month and one can see the preparations that are afoot for that special day. Kate the would be Princess and perhaps the Queen heir apparent in time to come, adorns the stores in many ways - pictures, dvd’s and other such …
On a Saturday afternoon leading into the evening and the summer lights still prevailing, the corner pubs thrive in their week end mode, young and old holding their mugs of beer and ale perhaps, enjoying the company of their friends in groups of animated conversation.
The ‘birthday girl’ is pleased to see us barge into the room from the airport, loaded with flowers and little gifts and it is great to be together again. On the flight in, travel Twinkle and Aarav, Akshay Kumar’s wife and son along with us. Almost at the end of the journey I am suddenly reminded of the picture sent so generously by Moses Sapir, of Shweta at her first birthday party. It has me holding two little kids, about a year old. One of them is Shweta, the other is Twinkle, Rajesh Khanna and Dimple Kapadia’s daughter and now Akshay Kumar’s wife and Mother of their son Aarav. I open my computer and show it to them. Twinkle inquires who the little kid other than Shweta is. I tell her it is her and she exclaims with disbelief almost, quickly showing the picture to Aarav seated next to her and informing him that the other little girl in my arms is his dear friend Agastya’s Mother. Aarav and Agastya are best friends - often referred to by their respective Mothers as twins separated at birth. When either is in each others city, they stick to each other like Siamese twins !!
But really how incidental that I am able to show that moment to the two ladies. How time flies back when it is referred to in such manner. And how much of that time has drifted away.
I take the two family ladies out to dinner and call in Karan Johar who is in town too. The evening is spent in laughter and fun. Karan filling us in with all the gossip and in his inimitable style having us all in splits. He is here to write his new script that he is making with a fresh set of youngsters. He generally writes most of his scripts when he is out of the country. He and Shweta have always shared a close friendship right from the days when they were in shorts learning how to ice skate, with a bustling Abhishek ruining all their attempts. The three of them often still spend a lot of fun time together.
I must prepare now for Krackow, the recitation of my Fathers works, the various functions that shall be crammed into two days and the disappointment among the girls with me in not being able to get sufficient time to see the great historic sites of the city.
There will be a great deal more that shall be coming your way … so … good night !!!

36,000 feet above sea level ! Flying in from Mumbai to London BigB

Apr 9, 2011       Sat  9 : 45 AM  IST
36,000 feet above sea level ! Flying in from Mumbai to London on my way to Krackow, Poland ! The rising sun of a new day has just made its appearance behind me spreading its warmth through the soft cover of clouds and the reddish winter line.
It is Jaya’s birthday today. She has reached ahead of me a few days back and awaits our arrival. Our ..? Yes … Shweta our first born, travels with me to wish her Mother and then accompany us to Poland and Krackow.
Krackow invites us for a couple of days to be a part of their Festival of film and to honor my Father at their University. ‘Black’ shall be screened on one of the days, and a recitation by me of some of my Father’s works for the students is part of the schedule. And then back to ‘Bbuddah’ which seems to be progressing with some rapidity and possibly an early release.
Some extraordinary pieces of writing were witnessed in the responses yesterday, on issues that I had addressed and I am most grateful for them and their content.
I think many among the extended family got the essence right. For one as vulnerable and as profiled as myself, each breath we take invites a certain measure of caution. The circumstances that we get subjected to despite wanting to be treated as normally as possible, does not I am afraid warrant immediate instant vociferous reactions. We would be sitting in our homes doing nothing else but commenting on every issue that gets thrown up in society. The media, with its immense and stratospheric presence waits patiently, or compels us to give reaction to all, that would get them the eyeballs. Nothing wrong there. It is their job, their culture, their business that drives them to it. For every action there will be an equal and opposite reaction, the laws of physics not withstanding, and soon what would normally have passed over as drawing room banter, becomes a ‘devastating’ crisis that needs a Socratic solution !
As an artist in cinema, my ability and intelligence is limited to our craft. As a proud citizen of my country, a national, I am without doubt and question an Indian. Have always been and shall remain so ever. In life struggle has been an integral part of our existence. So long as there is life there will be struggle. Each struggle has its own parameters and conditions. And each individual shall have his or her own concern on its importance and relevance in their lives. But yes, there are some struggles that encompass us all. As citizens, as a national. Those demand immediate and collective attention and support. Now how they be addressed cannot be dictated by some informal dictat. It is something that comes from within, on its own accord and will. The mode of its expression shall vary, but that does not vary the intent.
What seems of paramount concern to me or several others, may not necessarily be of much concern to others. Corruption will be an issue to those conversant with it. How will the poor laborer, or the farmer tilling the earth react to it is a pertinent question. For them their immediate need for better working conditions, for having the capacity to pay back loans without contemplating suicide is primary. They do not even know how to spell the damn word ‘corruption’.
My Father did a poem in free verse on a similar condition in society.
The poet walks out of his home one morning and encounters a whole group of laborers, poor, in despicable condition, and in torn and disheveled clothing, working in the heat of summer in repairing the road in front of our home. The women carry the heavy basins full of rubble and coal tar on their heads towards their men who dressed meagerly lay it into the ground, their sweat mingling with the contents of the paving. By the side on the road, the woman has put aside her new born child, wrapped in what ever pieces of garbage clothing she has managed to pick from dustbins to cover the babe. Hungry and devoid of nutrition, the mother has perhaps given the crying and anguished child a bit of ‘apheem’ so that it sleeps and forgets its hunger !
Today is not an ordinary day says the poet to the woman laborer. “ Do you not know that the Prime Minister of India, Lal Bahadur Shastri has suddenly passed away in Tashkent while there on an official visit to put an end to the Indo-Pak war hostility. Every corner of the nation is abuzz with discussion and debate on who shall now be the new Prime Minister – Indira Gandhi, Morarji Desai or … Crowds are collected outside Rashtrapati Bhavan, Parliament House at important junctions of the city, anxious to know who their new leader shall be. And here you are, busy with your work, not concerned at all about the outcome or have any interest in who will replace the late Shastri ji. What kind of person are you ..?? “
The woman worker lifts the veil covering her modesty over her head and in subdued voice answers, reluctantly –
“ Saheeb ! If you can replace my Supervisor here where I work I shall be grateful. He is a vile and incorrigible human. He harasses and troubles us to no extent. Change him ! Can you do that for me please !! “
The poet is stunned by this response and says he has no words to offer beyond this. He stands beside her looking and observing her, allowing what she has just stated to sink in. The woman has gone back to carrying her burden of duty, to earn a meager living to feed her hungry child, to face the humiliation and the pain of poverty and her rogue supervisor …
The poet has walked away deep in thought …
It’s a poem I love and have recited on many an occasion. Not just for the beauty of the verse, but for the universitality of its social expression …
Amitabh Bachchan

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