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

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