Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Age in years, conducts itself at times, with a certain rigidity

Jalsa , Mumbai                      March  4, 2012                           Sun  11 : 43 PM


Age in years, conducts itself at times, with a certain rigidity. Principals, values, habits that one has acquired from an early age, remain unchanged and continue to inhabit our mind and endeavor in all aspects of our existence. Change is not only unacceptable to such, but is also an aspect which refuses to alter the way we are conducting our lives. The new generation, the fresh generation, the modern generation, call them what you may, need these adjectives to describe them. A generation is a generation. Why the necessity to describe them. We are all humans after all. But no. We need to describe them because they alter, they differ, they seem to move away from convention. Or so we feel. They feel nothing. For them it is normal. As it was with us, when we were younger and were looked upon with dismay and disapproval by our elders, or those from that generation, when we indulged in acts that were different from what the elders were used to.

We want to progress in life, to better and to achieve greater heights. But without change they say it shall not be possible. True. Change needs to be executed to move progressively forward. Most modern thinking elders of some integrity in their maturity, would adhere to this, many would not. Conflicts arise, separate thinking and actions take preference, rifts get created and before you know it, each section has moved away because they feel either insulted or stifled.

I do not know what would be the wisest action to take in such circumstances. In today's times many young describe their motive as not being understood. The elders refer to it as insolence and disrespect. Both parties could be right in their expressions. But then what be the solution. There has to be a solution surely. I am liberal, forgiving and not as rigid as perhaps many that are. I do not know if that is correct an attitude. I would rather join them than oppose them. I would wish to be a part of them, embarrassing though they may feel about it. I go to Stamford Bridge, the Chelsea Football team of the Premier league in England's stadium, with my son and stand with the fans and cheer and scream and shout and sing along much like any other fan. When they studied in College and I visited them I would ask them to take me to their most popular club to be a part of the dance floor, and freak out with them. And I wonder if that was something that was wrong and not done. Who cares. I enjoyed doing that and the kids never minded. So ….

On the sets of the films I work on, the average age is in the 20′s or perhaps the 30′s. But I am at 70. Should that bring about restraint among the cast and crew ? I would dislike that. They show me respect. I acknowledge that. But I also want to be a part of them. To listen to the conversations they have, the music and comments they put together on various issues. Yes I would have my own personal views and they may be polite about not disagreeing with me, but that is not what I would be happy with. I want to speak their language, or perhaps a better word is lingo, never to exhibit a false sense of involvement, but merely because it is of interest to me.

Their music is d-i-f-f-e-r-e-n-t …! So different ! Ha ! I wonder how ever such music could attract anyone's attention, but it does. And so I go back to the drawing table and dissect and wonder what went wrong with me. In the confines of my solitude I would get pleasure in some of the stuff that I like and they would laugh at, or wonder. I had an evening once at home with some of those that appreciated poetry and language. The young that were invited by the young at home, took them aside and wondered 'what all this was about'. I am not conversant with what the popular form is with the youth and I have an inexpressive face when I listen to some of what they listen to and wonder what it is that they find attractive about it.

On a flight to an International destination some time ago I was shown on the laptop a promo of the film 'Rock On' by its Producer with great pride. And after seeing it I politely showed appreciation, but inwardly had not understood why the film was being made, and felt some sadness for my young friend. It went on to become a huge success, winning not just box office accolades but acclaim from most of the awards that year. I was completely wrong. My young friend was completely right !

Many young now come with great enthusiasm and hope with their projects to me. I listen and read and reread and am in a quandary as to how I would break my disapproval of the subject and my role to the would be producers. Do I go with my now 'archaic' impressions of the days gone by, or do I blindly accept and be lead through an enterprise of which I have no measure. Do I let them decide the fate of my decision, or rigidly disagree and sit unconcerned without work ? Would the suggestions I make be accepted. Would they be laughed at, or what ?

Its a fearful moment this. Pleasantly fearful !!

Many of the enlightened Ef express themselves – ' we want to see those long queues outside the theaters on the release of your films, the screams and whistles on your grand entry, and the heroics of the days gone by, again".

Those days are gone by. They shall not return. The young have that privilege now. I can be 'a part' of the enterprise, not 'the part' any more. Time to understand that, sooner than later. Yes, there will be exceptions, but limited.

It has been a pattern of history through the decades, and it shall not change. Certainly not with me. Look around you and discover that the auspice of all artists, sportsmen, politicians, businessmen … all shall have to adhere to this ultimate truth ..

The old shall make way for the young .. else ye' shall stagnate and perish ..

Be not dismissive of age and change … they are harbingers of that which needs to move forward …

Amitabh Bachchan

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