Thursday, June 7, 2012

Amitabh Bachchan remembers Ray Bradbury

Amitabh Bachchan remembers Ray Bradbury

Megastar Amitabh Bachchan remembers American science fiction writer Ray Bradbury and says that he never read his books but could relate to his quotes that he read.

The author died Tuesday. He was 91.

“I never read Ray Bradbury, but encountering his quotes has made me feel as though I have,” the 69-year-old tweeted.

He also posted one of Bradbury's quotes - “If you don't like what you're doing, then don't do it - Ray Bradbury.

Bradbury was one of the most celebrated writers in the US and his groundbreaking works include Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Dandelion Wine, and Something Wicked This Way Comes.

Other Bollywood celebrities who remembered the stalwart include filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh and composer Ehsaan Noorani

“RIP Ray Bradbury in total respect,” Ghosh tweeted

Noorani: “RIP Ray Bradbury ... your books live on forever.

Many a times what weighs heavily on your mind, does not necessarily manifest

Jalsa , Mumbai                     June  7,  2012                     Thu  8 : 52

Birthday greetings to Tejas for the 8th of June .. happiness always …

You sit upon your chair, you think, you write and post it for the hundreds that come on to your site. You wonder whether if what you have written went down well with the Ef or not. And while you may have sent them all in a tizzy, you know what the purpose behind all that was expressed was expressed !

Many a times what weighs heavily on your mind, does not necessarily manifest itself into words that you may have wanted to put down. Sometimes they are camouflaged in vocabulary, sometimes not. Sometimes with purpose and without.

But I must honestly confess the letter in yesterday’s post was written in jest. This may disappoint some, for, many have expressed praise at the openness of it. Others have put questions whether they were being indirectly mentioned, whilst some have not got the plot at all and missed the fun behind it. So for reasons of clarity, may I reiterate that the contents and style were an, on the spur decision, not to offend or target specific Ef, but to bring a smile on those that may not have had reason to smile for long. There is no need therefore, to go into the why’s and where’s of the motion. It was a moment. It lasted some 900 words and it is over. No one should be looking at themselves in the mirror to ask ‘was he referring to me’ or ‘who do you think has upset him’. There shall be correct answers, because there were never any questions.
Now .. I do realize that a fairly large number would be thinking whether what I express here today may have deliberate and hidden meaning. But I think that you know me well enough by now to assess when I mean what I say and when not. End of chapter, end of explanation … on with life and the Blog ….
Till the next letter … ha ha ha ha ah …!!

Overslept the morning, delayed the workout, caught up with incomplete paper work, went ecstatic to see some showers over the city, showed frustration and deliberated anger at the Satellite Channels going off on the tele, jumped with joy … errr … correction .. not jumped, pumped the air with joy when the Tv started up again, just in time for …. yup, you guessed right – Roland Garros !! Tennis on this prestigious Championship Tournament has been filled with games of great standard and surprise – hardly any Americans, a few from the British Isles, now lost and gone and domination by the Russian ladies, and Italians, Spanish and East Europeans. The French have shown great resolve and guts. But have not gone beyond a certain point. And yes the Mixed Doubles has had the Indians doing rather well.

Tomorrow … is the start of the final rounds at Roland Garros … AND … the Euro Cup Football begins in Poland and the Ukraine. Never a dull moment for established ‘couch potatoes’ like me. KBC, Film, do make an early start please before I lose it completely !! Deprived of my senses !!

Other than the television, it is of course the ‘little one’ that occupies our attention. The wonder look in their eyes on encountering every fresh face or situation. That gentle smile of recognition with the regulars, and the attempts at speech, are moments one would want never to end. The family could be in the middle of discussing matters of domestic importance, as must all homes, when suddenly on her appearance all speech dramatically switches to every possible ‘cooing’ and ‘awwing’ sound – the recognized vocabulary and dialect for those a few months old !! Some times I wonder if they laugh within themselves after seeing all the fuss around them from elders and think – ” what the hell is wrong with these guys, why can’t they be just normal ?”

The roads have been wet from that sprinkle of rain in the evening. The earth parched for so many months of heat, breathes a sigh of relief. A gentle breeze swings the plants and tree branches, expressing almost a symbolic happiness, the mogra flower buds in the house spread a special flavor to the environment … and my thoughts drift away to my Ef that connects and reads these words, with the hope that they too are a part of this feel ..
Good night my dears ..
Love ..
Amitabh Bachchan

have been of some observance lately and discover

  Jalsa , Mumbai              June  6/7,  2012                       Wed/Thu  12 : 47 AM

Wishing Serena from Dubai and Sachin Kelkar from Muscat … a very happy birthday … greetings and love !

My dear Mr Bachchan,
It is time that I wrote another letter to you ! Time is perhaps an erroneous word to be used on such occasions, but there it is ; alive and of great value !

I have been of some observance lately and discover that your activities and your efforts at connecting have somewhat diminished. Not just in the frequency of its appearance through the various cyber mediums that you have so effectively used, but indeed in your general attitude towards those that follow and put great trust and faith in you.

I can understand that it does become tedious on your part to be constantly responding to those that believe that you are in front of a computer for endless hours of your time, but even when you do appear, at late hours of the day, there is a lethargy that I have been noticing. You seem to be there, but are in fact not. Your words and expressions are almost monotonous in their content, and it seems to me that that there is a definite lack of interest that is now reflected in your writings.

I would empathize with you and your recent surgical procedures, and one can perhaps assume that this present state of yours emanates from such condition. But with a fair amount of time having passed, it does seem to all of us here in this extended family, that an element of extended drama is being played out by you, simply to garner sympathy. It would therefore be most gracious of you if you could step out of this maze that you find yourself trapped in and become what all of us have constantly believed you to be.

All of us here have varied opinions and concepts about you, but despite the fact that you write to us each day now for the past three years, there is a growing sense of what most believe to be an excessive indulgence. Now given that most would not disagree with this, to have it played out each hour is not worthy of what we have always perceived of you.

We also feel that your efforts to inform your routines and daily doings is an indirect approach towards being constantly written about in the media. The media has decided now that they do not require for you to give them interviews. What they need from you they get from the Blog or the Twitter, without having to go through the tedious process of contacting you, your office or your PR machinery. Worse, they make it sound as if they have had a personal conversation with you, and we wonder if this is in fact a round handed blow that you have designed of getting what you want from them !
There are a few other areas that worry us. Many are of the opinion that you have favorites among your so called Ef ! That you take great care in picking them out deliberately to respond or bless them with that much awaited ‘yellow’, by ignoring the more sincere. There has to be a democratic outlook from you on this. After all do not forget that it is we the people of the Ef that have made your cyber presence so valuable and full of commendation.
We notice too that a few ‘chosen ones’ have alternative access to you via bodies that show consideration because either they knew you before you started the Blog, or have most judiciously weaved webs around you that you have not been able to extricate yourself from. There are certain ‘privileged’ ones who constantly keep asserting themselves, knowing that reprimanding them would not be an option for you.
On other fronts, we have constantly felt the absence of your information on ongoing events that occur in your professional life, the details of which we have through our own sources been supplying you with. If there is a confidentiality issue involved how come the information is available on other mediums ? We feel slighted that being a part and parcel of your existence this is the least you could do for us. To give example – the non disclosure of your destination when you travel out, or some exclusive pictures of perhaps family, in particular, the latest addition.

You used to give us information of your projects that you were involved in earlier, but that too has stopped and we would like to know the reasons behind it. I do appreciate the photographs you regularly post of the Sunday crowds, or the shots at endorsement shoots, but what we long for are more intimate pictures with you and the family – in the house, on holiday and on. It is most annoying to learn of your activities through the media. We would like to have them before !

Of the hundreds of intelligent responses that you get on a daily basis, it would be nice to see and read your reactions to them. To initiate a discussion perhaps or even a debate. This would give us an understanding of your mind and also give us the joy of knowing that our comment has been read and received.
Also, barring a few video clips that came to us in the early days of the Blog, we have not seen many since. Will there be assurance that we could get some of this going ?

We and in particular I, may have been a little harsh on you through this letter, but we felt it was necessary for you to know a few straight facts. I hope you shall take this in the spirit with which this is written and respond accordingly. Get off that Tv set the IPL or the French clay court Paris Roland Garros tournament and do give this a compassionate ear !
With love and care …

Amitabh Bachchan , an Ef wondering which media group shall pick this one up and what they shall do to it …

Pushing the body and mind to resume normal status.

 Jalsa , Mumbai                  June 5,  2012                            Tue  11 : 11 PM

Pushing now ! Pushing the body and mind to resume normal status. Its reassuring at times when the mind thinks the same as your body. It just spurs you up, brings back the spring in the walk, the world seems wonderful again, and most importantly you begin to feel that no matter what the odds, you can fight your way through. But … yes but … there are many of those buts before you get to that stage. No harm in talking about it. Talking helps at most times. Often with those you trust, almost always, when you talk to yourself.

I have often wondered at times, does it really help talking aloud to yourself. Perhaps. Perhaps when in the confines of your own environment and by yourself. Or when in the company of those that work along with you on a project that sounds and behaves similar. Often on set when things go wrong, you first control sentiments within. And when it continues, you search for excuses. Which is quite laughable really, because you are the only one that is finding the excuse ; the others know there was none. And finally the best of them all – admittance ! Admitting that the fault or mistake was mine. It takes a lot to be able to do that, but once done you discover how light and free you feel, and why in the first place you didn’t do it earlier. Apart from the freedom it brings you, it does other as well. It stops any further comment or expression from the others. And you discover the beauty of this space.

Telling those that question you that you have faulted, is to me a description in the clarity of the mind. Nothing is held back, and so the fear of burden no longer exists. The more we load our minds with unnecessary and unworthy weight, the greater the agony, not so much of the burden, but of the turbulence it causes as a result of it.

During filming there are moments when you could be in the middle of an important scene, emotional, requiring all your faculties to be concentrating on the subject of the moment, a worked up inside that has at the time of delivery, put yourself in the most terrible thoughts. And as you perform with all the feelings pouring out, the film in the camera runs out, or one of the lights suddenly switches off and ‘cut’ is sounded and you have to perforce stop, rewind, reinvent that moment of grief within and start all over again. It has happened many a times with me, and somehow I have always felt that what began as a first, never could be recaptured again. There are times when you do extensive rehearsals for the camera, not just so they know the operations well, but also get an idea from the assistants what the probable length of the shot would be. Most cameras today, apart from the digital, have a magazine of 450′ of film. Rare are the occasions when footage beyond this would be needed for one shot. But there are exceptions. Long monologues are preferred by artists to be done in one single take without the camera cutting, and if they go beyond the 450′ limit then it is often suggested that another camera also be used, which, at that crucial time, when the film from one is about to be running out, is switched on, so that the continuity of the performance is maintained. It is a little disconcerting, but certainly manageable. Many exciting moments in cinema have been captured thus. Two that immediately come to mind have reference to films I have worked in – the last speech in ‘Baghbaan’ and the last speech in ‘Raan’. But there are others too, particularly some of the drunk scenes – the one in ‘AAA’ and in ‘Satte pe Satta’, that have helped the continuity of the performance. There have been examples of songs that have been done in one shot. The song in ‘Araadhana’ by the fireside between Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore is a single take shot without the camera stopping. Many other examples are there too, but that would take too long to describe.

Goodness !! We started from ‘admittance of fault’ and have ended up in cinema and its techniques. And in doing so have been through a tense tennis game between Novak Djokovic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga … which has just ended in the former’s victory. Paris .. Rolland Gaross … World no 1 from Serbia and World no 5 from France and you can well imagine the atmosphere in the stands !!

The laze sets in … and I need to tend to my body with an equipment that now requires my time and undivided attention ..

Good night .. Shubh Ratri .. Shabba Khair ..

Amitabh Bachchan

l. What I see or hear is not always in the way and spirit of my interest or liking

Jalsa , Mumbai                   June  4 ,  2012                    Mon  11 : 30 PM 

Sachin … happy birthday for the 4th of June, wishing you happiness always ..

Mayur … happy birthday for tomorrow the 5th of June, and wishing you the best too …  

I see, I hear, I retain some and some I share or dispel. What I see or hear is not always in the way and spirit of my interest or liking. But I continue to see and hear. If I did not, I would be allowing a lot to flow past without notice. Notice is important not just professionally, but for life in general. If you have not noticed, you have not known. If you have not known, you have missed input. Without inputs, we can tend to falter, take the wrong path, or make the wrong decisions. Not every faltered path or decision is disastrous. But it could have been. ‘Could have beens’ in our lives are the worst condition to be in. Or so I believe.

I could have been better ! I could have been sitting in that exalted position ! I could have been a great actor, sportsman, or businessman … ha ! So why couldn’t you ?? You couldn’t because, you allowed that moment of reckoning to flow by. It could have been an exercise in failure. But the effort would never have put one in that ill perceived notion of ‘could have been’ !

I watch sports of all kinds, yes, for they give me interest in the game and the privilege to admire the excellence of an athlete. I may never have the same capacity, but it gives me insights into the brilliance of the game and player, aspects which I may never have come to know had I not witnessed it. Each event throws across, not just the intricacies of the game or the methodology of the player, but also character. The agility of body, the guile of each play, the disappointment of missed opportunity, the joy and exuberance of victory and the reactions of those that undergo such moments. Within the time frame of a particular game, it is remarkable how much we can learn and gather and experience.

And so yes, I watch sporting events ! It is not just the physicality of athleticism, it is a learning that texts and curriculum shall not perhaps reveal, but will remain ingrained in us for a life time. Husbands pursue, wives complain. Perhaps rightly so. Because male interest does show priority over the domestic at times. Adjustment is what is often prescribed. You get the sports and we shall get our desperate house wives and saas bahus ! Not a bad solution, unless of course you have a season of … he heh he … KBC ! Then everyone gets to be together.

But jokes apart, what is the ultimate gain ? The ultimate gain is to be in a connect with the best, in whatever field – sports, business, or art ! And there is no denying that when you witness best, you acquire best also.

In the company of the accomplished, you learn to accomplish too, or be inspired to do it too.

My love to all .. with the hope and prayer of many accomplishments !!

Amitabh Bachchan

The largest responses come when there are days of greeting

Jalsa , Mumbai               June  3/4 ,  2012                     Sun/Mon  2: 50 AM

 The largest responses come when there are days of greeting. Thank you all so much for this loving care, this generosity and the enthusiasm that you show at each festive moment of my life. I could not ask for more. These are the moments that give satisfaction and a great feeling of camaraderie. Of oneness, sharing and giving – acts that one is loathe to find in todays times …

The greetings came in from far and near, in different shapes and shades, colors and cards. Many called to express greeting, many sent them through the short message system. It may not be probable to respond to each, but through this personal platform of ours I express my gratitude in equal measure.

It was just family throughout the day and even the ‘little one’ expressed herself with some of the most beautiful smiles for the occasion. That was the best gift of them all. And the wife, no great fan of sporting events, joined us today for the Rolland Garros clay court tennis, watching Novak Djokovic the number 1 in the world, just about making it against a 22 seeded Italian. A well fought out battle for 5 sets and not until the last ball was played were we in any state to declare who the winner was. Frightening for Novak, hopeful for the Italian player Seppi ( do all Italian names end with a vowel, a e i o u ? ). A sigh of relief when Novak won, but some sadness for Seppi, for having come so close to performing an upset and then losing out !!

The latter part of the evening was spent in heavy traffic conditions when nothing moves. But a brave and enterprising auto rickshaw driver, took control of affairs voluntarily, jumped out of his three wheeler and conducted the traffic with the zeal of one that had had enough of the tamasha ! Thank you ‘rick’, you did well.

The Chef’s Studio, a private cozy and most ambient eatery in the Hotel Taj was the evening element – and worth every expensive penny. But walking through the corridors of this gallant structure, one cannot forget with pain and anguish and anger those 48 hrs or so when it was attacked by terrorists. Watching those horrific visuals day after day on the television, one felt discarded and futile. One wanted to do so much but could not due to restrictions. But in keeping with the prized philosophy of yesterday’s blog, one bore this too, perhaps with greater cynicism and prayed that the city would not succumb to such acts ever again, and moved on. Moved on was the most important aspect of the episode. The staff was more conscious of the event, precaution and secure devices were in place and some amount of personal scrutiny too. All most welcome. Some delightful banter among the four adults of the family and then it was all over – a fine and lovely end to the day.

As I look back on the day’s events I notice two aspects. The spirit of not giving up at the clay courts in Paris at the Rolland Garros by number 1, Novak in deep trouble. Fighting his way out from a possible defeat and an upset situation and coming out the winner. He just kept going and psychologically maybe impressed his opponent, who incidentally fought a tremendous game too, that he was the Champion and that victory would be his.

The other one dwells in my mind, now filled with deep desire to be in bed. This I shall keep with me for a while. It needs to be spread with caution and care and so when the time is right for it .. it shall present itself !

For the moment then, it is a very good night or morning or whatever wherever whenever the time comes …

My love,

Amitabh Bachchan

A minute more and all the headers would

Jalsa ,  Mumbai                    June  2,  2012                       Sat 11 : 59 PM

39 years !! And just made it to the blog in time to write. A minute more and all the headers would have had to undergo change. Greetings have been exchanged, family has gathered round with wishes, balloons cakes and exotic flowers from near and dear occupy most of the space in the house. The basket of mogra being the best. Now .. a time to reminisce, to go back and relive those moments, to remember all that transpired.

‘Zanjeer’ had just released. And Jaya and I and a few dear friends had decided that if the film did well we would all go to London for a holiday. After a few anxious days on the results of the box office, it was time to put our decision ‘in line’. I had written ‘on line’ forst, but quickly deleted it. It has different connotations now. That is the most credible ready reckoner of the years gone by !

So I told my parents, who I had now invited to come and live with me, as is the culture in our land, about our decision. And my Father came down heavily on me. ” If you are planning a holiday with this girl, you will have to marry her and go, else your decision is denied !”

I was an obedient child ! I got married the very next day in a quickly organized wedding with family and some dear friends, without any fanfare, and left for the holiday that very night.

Marriages and weddings entail great amount of ritual and protocol and decorum and priests and pundits and maulvis. They last for days with great fanfare. Ours was a simple Bengali pundit wedding, exchange of flowered garlands, the mangal sutra, the sindoor and it was all over before the women from Jaya’s side could stop their finger in mouth screams of ‘odododooooo’ … or words to that effect.
Its a state of mind and trust , marriage. No amount of ritual or practiced form, will ever replace that. Guests are invited so they can be public witnesses to the event. Relatives are called, so they know and see who their new lot of relations are going to be. You could be at a social gathering and someone gets introduced to you. You acknowledge their presence. He then ushers in a lady with him and says ‘meet my wife’. You accept that immediately do you not. You don’t suddenly say – ‘er .. excuse me sir, have any proof she’s your wife ?’ !!
And that trust and faith lasts a lifetime. Or should.

The evening was spent seeing a film which at the end of it all gave a few lessons to ponder over. No .. it was not about marriage. That topic is over and done. It was about effort and failure. Normally we see the correct moral and poetic justice plane in films where everything works out good. But here was a film that did not do that. It showed an effort gone wrong and the main, facing defeat and accepting it – in American political jargon doing a ‘confessional’ speech after a loss. That done those that worked along ask what needs to be done now. And the main quotes two examples -

His grandfather he said, actively fought WW II, and as soon as he came to know of the Japanese surrender, the next day he dropped dead. His Father served the country’s navy and when his term was over, he came home and went into the deepest depression ever, never to come out of it.

The grandfather died because he discovered that he would have nothing to do now that the war was over ! The Father went into depression for the same reason. It was important the main concluded, to continue … !!
I just felt even though I was enjoying the film from the word go, that the ending was the one that I identified with most. To continue, even in the most adverse situations in life !!

So I continue to do what I have been doing all these years, with failure and adverse situations … the lot. It may never take me where I have perhaps been earlier, but when was that ever a criterion …
And …. I continue to write to you, good bad indifferent … the lot !!
Love and more ..

Amitabh Bachch

Home at last after a long but comfortable ride

Jalsa , Mumbai                  June 1  , 2012                        Fri  11 : 18 PM

Home at last after a long but comfortable ride, a quick catching up on events and issues and into bed for an afternoon siesta. A film on the UFO on getting up, learning what has transpired since my departure and now the connect, the most important issue of the day !!

I wish to regret all the coded destinations during this absence, but they are not without cause. Firstly travel details have been asked by security to not reveal and the other is the news value that such incidents generate. A wrong inference, a suggested purpose, a perceived impression, has the capacity in todays massive media cycle to lead people to believe what they read. Media will inform, it shall investigate and perhaps at times will intrude. It is their prerogative. Good issues do not create interesting programming, the sensational does, not just here in our country, but all over the world. Celebrity interest is not just an Indian phenomena, it is world wide too. If you are celebrity, this is the cross you shall perforce have to carry with a smile. Do no wrong and you shall be safe, but be prepared for the worst even when a small wrong has been done. Celebrities are not some outer world aliens, they are as human as you and me. Mistakes and errors will be made and shall be highlighted. The courage and strength to continuously face it, is what counts. Some do a marvelous job, others succumb. Some make light of it, others get affected. Each has his or her own way of dealing with it. But this must be remembered. Printed in black and white and seen now in color on screens of idiot boxes, is a record for posterity and eternal. Whether it is right or wrong is not the issue. What has been registered is registered for life and beyond too. Those that still live have opportunity to bear and deal with it as should they would. Those that have left us for heavenly abode, are not present today to defend or clarify an accusation or an opinion they may have disagreed with. There are codes of conduct, both for the mass and for the media. The right to follow it or interpret its presence shall remain with the present. But when those that are not with us today are brought on to the picture, I feel it to be an unethical motive. In film and general life it may be taken as an issue, that perhaps needs respect. In matters of State and Country, perhaps it would be more difficult and different.

Media impressions are words inscribed on stone – extremely difficult to erase. The first impression and deliverance is the most vital. It is the impression that is first read and refuses to leave us, no matter how hard one may try later with qualified clarifications. You may eventually be proved innocent of a crime, but once instituted, or first accused, counts in a peculiar way to its longevity. The task then of the fourth estate is as onerous and responsible as protecting state confidential secrets, or to put it more explicitly – the operation of a nuclear device ! And this does not only hold good for us menials ; it holds good for the media too. Lose credibility and it can take you a lifetime to correct it, as has been seen and observed not too late recently, in the electronic media.

Till recently too the media had the medium to protect, change, clarify, negate an issue gone wrong. They were the masters of what went out to the polity. With the cyber in space, it may not have been evenly balanced out yet. But a percentage, a gentle dent has been made, which gives people like you and me to reach out and speak out and air out our side of the story.

Ha ha ha !!! On the Twitter I read a good one and wish the media to take it in their most large hearted stride. The quote stated – ” Television a medium, not rare and not well done either ” !!

But this has to be said – the understanding among the 12,293  journalists of the nation, much like that of the medical profession, is exemplary. It shall be most difficult to penetrate or break it. And if this is a discipline that none can break, why cannot the rest of the nation follow similar trend ..

This one rare, but needs to be done well for us all ..


Amitabh Bachchan

Time to cross the seas and the lands

CroDiag, Isles in movement                  May  31,  2012                 Thu  6 : 15 PM  local

 Time to cross the seas and the lands, to move yet again, without gain. The effort must never lack to try fresh avenues, discover agents of change perhaps, ones that may bring betterment in conditions. But if they do not, despondency must never be accepted. What needs to be accepted is the fact, the  desire and will to maneuver around them, and to find a solution, which may seem depleted, but functional at least.

No one is built perfect. No one has the perfect life or circumstance. But to consider that as an impediment and to lament and drown one self in self pity and remorse, is the next worst element. I am what I am and I must build myself to believe in that. All else shall remain unpardonable and closest most to a criminality. That I believe to be the ultimate truth that we must all face. If we are faultless and perfect, we have no business to be here in this universe. There are other more ethereal destinations propounded, where we should reside then.

Be well and of good cheer. Have the childlike innocence of a newly born – intrigued, bewildered, surprised by what surrounds you – yet impatient to grow through effort, to speak those first words, to crawl, to sit up, to begin to walk albeit initially with wobbly legs and finally to be large and developed enough to face the challenges of the world.

That is what maketh a human .. that is what shall remain with us, till the end of our time ..

Love and more ..

Amitabh Bachchan

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