Thursday, December 29, 2011

Just made it to before the gong strikes its longest hour

Jalsa , Mumbai                   Dec 28,  2011             Wed 11 : 59 PM
 Phew !!! Just made it to before the gong strikes its longest hour !! And happy that another day has ended. Happy that the Lord gave us a roof above, two square meals, the health and ability to talk and write about it and most of all the love and affection that one derives by connecting to those that truly and affectionately believe in the concept of our extended family !
In a world where it shrinks its inhabitants to solitary existence, away from those that loved and brought them into this world. Where the trust and allegiance to others is considered a hindrance. Where selfish pursuits demolish traditional values, that have survived and existed through centuries, it is most valuable that we have created a platform where without the asking, this marriage of togetherness with the unknown flourishes. It is to your greatest test and acumen and ability that brings us all into a sense of pride, when we witness the operations of those that consistently and devotedly, remain to further the cause by themselves.
I never propagated it, yet it got its initiation from all those that came on. And came on voluntarily, without any pressures or assurances of benefit. Without any bindings of result. That I believe has been our strength and our force of existence. I believe all that connect, do so with a singular purpose of furthering the cause rather than the much debated negativity. Negativity shall, I believe, only affect the one that propels it. The strength of the others shall remain intact, shall flourish. Indeed every time an effort is made to demolish, a stronger and a more permanent structure gets built. Our strength and the strength of our structure is omnipresent and most binding. And because it comes without any frills, remains devoid of any either. That to me is commitment and deserve, holding on in adversity despite the errors of others. Keep it simple then and justifiable. It is the strongest that you will ever get ….

Abhishek travels each day to a corner of the country to promote his upcoming film ‘Players’, which is looking promising according to its makers. I desist from talking much on it, for the accusation then thrown at me is obtuse and vulgar. Not that it bothers, for in the words of Abhishek himself, in his latest interview for the Bombay Times, after his pious visit to Ajmer Sharif to pray, he has never asked the Almighty for anything. ‘If I am deserving, He shall give it to me’. I found that one of the most honest statements in recent times, one that I too would like to incorporate. But I am not as strong in belief as he is. I would ask, and hope it would materialize, but if it did not then would I understand that I was not deserving of it. A subtle difference, but not too far away from each other. His understanding of the conditions and the standings have always been straight and forward – which is slightly different form being straightforward. As parents we can but support and encourage endeavors made by him and yes, hope that they fructify. But as I recently said in one of my Tv interviews when touched upon such subject, that I consider him to be of better and great human value than one that smells of commerce. Commerce will and shall have limitations and limits of time and place, not humanness. That shall be remembered long after the box office has shut. Of course, when commerce is a pursuit that determines effort in field of profession, then it matters to excel and achieve. But what one leaves behind is what in cricketing terms would be aptly described as ‘well left’.
They often ask me if there is concern on my part of a left legacy. What legacy are they talking about ? What my Father left in his name and stature and in his work is the legacy that shall and needs to be protected. That is all. His principles and values if defended would be far far above all the rest of our efforts in the years to come. Let me and allow me to protect that. Make me worthy of understanding the merit of his written word. Let me indulge in the beauty of his mind and perhaps live to experience its greatness in its philosophy and culture and ethos. I profess my ignorance and inability in that course. Teach me then to educate myself in knowing myself through him, my Father. That would be my greatest achievement. Teach me to learn by example of what upbringing my Mother meted to me for me to be able to state this. Cosmetic goodness gets manufactured by the millions every day. Where is the mesure of the inner goodness that I must seek. I shall value what the ‘other’ thinks and believes of me, but I must gain intellect to know what I think and believe. My test for existence must relate to that and no more. Professions shall perish, people shall hemorrhage eventually with my short lived achievements, I and only I shall decipher what and where and how of life that is mine. That shall be my obituary that I shall carry, not one that shall be designed by ‘others’. Did  or have I been able and capable to do that ? That is the question … not that which gets documented for posterity – if at all it does !!

I ramble on ! Regardless ! It is not good .. but you are me and I you, so there is pardon ..
Amitabh Bachchan   

Confessions of a serial dieter’, by Kalli Purie, daughter

Jalsa , Mumbai               Dec  27,  2011            Tue  11 : 47 PM
 ‘Confessions of a serial dieter’, by Kalli Purie, daughter of the owner and editor of India Today group comes to me by her to read through and to comment upon it on twitter. The book is interestingly written and presented and the last page where she shows her own progression on weight loss is quite a revelation. With what I see now of her, she should not be in the profession of writing books. She should join the movies !!
But dieting has taken the fancy of the many in modern India. The new generation and the young particularly have given it a cult status. It has become a topic of immediate discussion on meeting up socially. Perhaps it does form the very first conversation and if not checked has the ability to continue till the end of the evening.
The human body and its structure does provide itself for debate quite often. To what end one does not know or realize, but there it is in all its finery. The ‘zero’ status, the ‘bulging status, the six to eight pack status .. it just goes on ! Routines, consumption and various bulge administrators are brought into the conversation ad nauseum and ad lengthum .. Each has their own experience and recipe for reduction and the build and each most possessive about their routine and consumption. It has been a fascinating experience to sit by and listen in when such debate follows at social evenings. The convictions of those that have improved their waist line, the belief of the lines across the packs under the shirt, the bulges, not necessarily by and of the women, but of the muscular variety, take up an entire male corner at such outings. Sometimes ending up in physical demonstrations on the spot by enthusiastic practitioners ..
Then we have the yoga and ayurveda smitten personalities, who speak of nothing else but the nature cures of the universe and the despise towards those that indulge in unnatural means …
Me … I just listen quietly .. allow the other to sink in their point of view and then retreat quietly …
Much like what I do now ..
Good night
Amitabh Bachchan

I wonder often, when those that have problems with slumber

Jalsa , Mumbai        Dec  26/27 , 2011           Mon  10 : 55 PM
I wonder often, when those that have problems with slumber, why they do so. I wondered last night as I struggled to shut my eyes to get into la la land, what I needed to do to refute that thought, for it was a trying time and one that I would not wish for anyone to go through. Yet, I do believe there are some that have to deal with it regularly. And worse that there are legitimate reasons why they find themselves in such condition.
There are mental worries and issues that trouble them. There are often medical conditions that do so. There are other thoughts that keep you awake and devoid of this necessary element. I have been through all those just mentioned and more and I do understand the consequences. But .. to have them at a time when I would like to believe that none of the above, God willing, trouble me, was strange and disturbing.
Its a frightening thought, worrying and put to a lot of questioning. The inability to get that moment when all else fades away in slow degrees, is intriguing enough, but to then start another school of thought where you wonder why you seem not to be in the condition is even worse. For it is then that you begin to imagine thoughts that would perhaps never enter your mind, under normal circumstances.
There are various implementations that one considers during the course of the night. A tablet, recitation of words, perhaps religious in nature at times, thoughts that recapture the entire days’ happenings and such like. And when they fail to deliver the required results, the next option is thought of – out of bed and an involvement in acts that do not connect with the situation. A stroll, a vigorous walk on a tread mill, music, tv, reading something really of no interest. Lovely little innovations these, beter said and thought of than doable. So .. the best option is executed, tv. Fortunately the Indian Cricket team is on a tour of Australia and due to time differences they broadcast at 5 am ! Perfect for someone in my condition ! So on with the table lamp, on with the pillows behind, on with the remote that lies precariously close by, and on with Melbourne and cricket. Now … the other dangers start. Did I not feel that each time I watch a match India loses. Hell ! What then ? Okay …. maybe times and superstitions have gone to bed too and perhaps a sneak into their domain would not be noticed … Damn ! So you think ! We have lost the toss, we are fielding and they are batting and they are batting well and no one is getting out despite the rather sincere efforts of our bowlers !! Howl !!
Get back to the lights off position young man .. errmm .. sorry old man .. got my terminology mixed up, just like my twitter numbers from 603 to 602, until the ever vigilant Rochelle pointed it out to me .. I have since corrected it Rochelle .. no need to be of any worry. But yes concerned that your job went away .. worry not .. they shall regret not having you and there shall be many other doors opening up for you soon … !!
That did not work either ! So got up and splashed my face with the Mumbai winter early morning chill and opened up the freakingest and most devoted companion – the laptop ! Answered a million answers, wrote to respondents till it was time to see off Abhishek as he left for his promotion acts in Lucknow, and attempted another sleep .. managed a couple of winks less that the traditional 40 and went on to mingle with family … read the baby .. who today starts resembling like her Mother after many days of looking like her Father. And that has since changed too. By the evening she is back to Father !
After a short stint and an even shorter lunch a meeting in office … no not another script reading, but a meet with an old time director of mine T Rama Rao, who pays a social visit with his family. T Rama Rao directed ‘Andha Kanoon’ and we talk of old times and changing attitudes and films and the new generation.
‘Andha Kanoon’ making has an interesting story. I was signed for a film in 1969 called ‘Ek tha Chander ek thi Sudha’ a literary masterpiece by that very well known writer and poet Dr Dharamvir Bharati a student of Allahabad University at the time my Father taught there, which was originally called ‘Gunahon ka Devta’. This was the title of the book. But the title was used by Jitendra for a film of his and so we could not use the original title, even though it belonged to Dr Bharati. We began shooting and even went quietly to the streets of Allahabad to take some passing shots of me and came back unnoticed ( in those early days no one knew me anyway so it was not that difficult, but being my Father’s son was my only identity in the city and that was large enough ). But due to financial constraints the film got stuck and shooting stopped. My own position commercially was so abysmal that no one was ready to back it. With time and ‘Zanjeer’ conditions improved, as did the prospects of starting shootings again, but by then the horizon for a film such as ETCETS was not making commercial sense and things started to get delayed a I got busy with other projects. Purnachandra Rao, another prominent producer in the South found out the conditions that existed for me in this stuck project and made an offer. He told the Producer of ETCETS that he was ready to buy the rights of the film, take care of all the investment made, provided he release my contract with them for himself. After some negotiation this was accomplished. Purnchandra Rao or ‘Full Moon Rao’ as we would often refer to him because his name Purnachandra meant full moon, then, having got possession of my contract with the other producer, approached me with an offer to do a small guest appearance in a film he was making with Rajnikant and Hema Malini, called .. you guessed it ‘Andha Kanoon’, and I agreed. ‘Andha Kanoon’ was being directed by T Rama Rao and that is how I came to be associated with the film. But … like all other films bearing guest appearances from me, the role kept increasing and finally reached a proportion that you now see in the film !! That courtroom punch of a convicted person not being convicted twice for the same crime became the highlight of the film and all ended up feeling good about the success of the film !!
A few more films were made by T Rama Rao and me and then, time and circumstance distanced us. He was in today with his family and grandchildren to pay an informal social visit. That in short was the story behind the story. But in our many informal meetings he told me of a very traditional exercise which I still remember when I see him. India still is ridden with the concept of arranged marriages and they are most prevalent even today in most parts of the country. When the wife is chosen by the elders of the family, one aspect they see, among many other, is the height of the lady. This in certain sections of our society, and in the region that T Rama Rao comes from – Andhra Pradesh, they say that when the wife stands facing the husband, her ‘sindhoor’, or the red ritualistic color that married women wear on the partings of their hair as a sign of being a ‘suhaagan’ – blessed that her husband is alive – should touch the adams apple of the male, when they are close to each other. That they say is the ideal height for the married partner !!
( I now see a flurry of married ladies among our Ef, testing this ritual out with their loved ones !! )
The midnight gong from my ornate and musical clock is about to strike .. and I must to bed .. and hope and pray for a more pleasant night … I hope yours is too ..
Love …
Amitabh Bachchan 

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