Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What I need to do is to write the Blog before all else

Jalsa , Mumbai         Jan 10/11 ,  2012          Wed/Thu  12 : 20 AM

What I need to do is to write the Blog before all else. Because all else is taking the preference away from what really should be of priority. When it is time to open and page my thoughts here, they are fatigued and without zest. At times my compulsion to not miss a day provokes me to put something down. Something that shall at least not be overlooked by the Ef … they are supreme and valid and committed .. they must live and survive .. my survival is unimportant compared to theirs … and so I write, even though it is time to be writing dreams ..

So … a sudden trip by the grandchildren with their Mother, who forms my child, cheers the household up. Activity around the house livens up, again and what would have been normal, now occupies a place which is excitingly normal ! The dining table is the same, but the moment of laying the food and the cuisine undergoes a revolutionary change. It is more suited to the 11 year old, who has surprised us all by making a short film on his own, on his laptop ! Story, screenplay, shooting it, editing it, putting back ground music to it, the titles and the graphics that normally go with it … all of it, by one simple soul .. and I must say it is rather good !!
More proposals later in office from recognized producers and another audio release of the very talented singer Kailash Kher brings me back home to be with family. Been doing a lot of Kher’s in the last few days .. Anupam Kher’s book release not too long ago, and now Kailash Kher’s music album … hmmm …
Shah Rukh drops by to meet the ‘little one’ , a few others too from the fraternity visit the still in wonder bundle .. and we spend all our time in trying to spend as much time as possible with her !! Simple pleasures of life ..!!
And behold … NDTV apologizes to me via a mail about the Virat Kohli incident and the misquote, and shall be carrying the correction and apology on their channel, or so they say, tomorrow .. A nice and honest gesture greatly admired, unlike some of the other 4 rth ones that adamantly refuse to. And in all fairness I have not written to them officially on the error. They picked it up from the Blog, this blog of ours, this home, this valued Ef territory … quite something is it not … shows that there are some that actually read what we communicate eh ?
Okaaay ! My yawns are beginning to hurt .. they being so large and wide that the mouth is unable to contain them any longer … ha ha  .. so one wishes you all the very best for the night and we shall meet tomorrow ..
My love as ever ..
Amitabh Bachchan 

There needs to be a serious attempt to get down to reading

Jalsa , Mumbai                    Jan  9,  2012                     Mon 11 : 26 PM

There needs to be a serious attempt to get down to reading, that, which needs to be read. The longer the wait the less important the matter tends to become. Immediate address-al shall perhaps be preferred if a clean table is desired, but the danger is of hasty and incorrect decisions if that were to be so ..
Spending time giving opinion and analyzing projects can be an interesting prospect. But doing so without concurrence and agreement can be wasteful and of no value at all. And when the desire to convince reaches a point where it cannot be stretched any further, disinterest sets in. The loss of a project takes over and before you know it, some other party has taken it over and made a success of it. What is left is lamentation or perhaps that most irritable and condescending remark – ‘O ! that project came to me first. I left it !’
Assessment of what is right or wrong can either be individual, or collective through a tested team. But finding the team is in itself an exercise in futility. How does one ever have the acumen to be able to do that. Which is why when the concept of an extended family came up to me, I never cringed or opposed it. It was to me a genuine desire to fulfill, to extend to those that took trouble to connect. And now when I look back I must admit that it has been one of my truest accomplishments – give or take a few hiccups !!
But much of it has been your doing. I may have begun, but the catalyst was the Ef, the FmXt. Your nobility and character, your discipline and commitment, have been the corner stones of this vast association. Good use is being put to by the varied talents that we all possess, in making this home of ours a sacred place of togetherness and care .. Your desire to make it so has been its success factor. Thank you.

Okaaaaayyyyyyyyy !! the children are coming back to Jalsa, by some good fortune. Changes in travel have made it so and I do look forward to the times to start ringing again of laughter and ‘chahel pahel’ … Such luxuries are rare and need to be used to its maximum. There is an odd travel though for me, but limited to the day.
The Pune Film Festival wishes to honor me for my contribution to cinema ans I find that most embarrassing, for the truth is that I really have not contributed at all ..
Another trip is towards Nasik to inaugurate a School for ‘special’ children, one that I have initiated some years ago through a very dedicated friend of mine from the Police force. Public appearances are scary and time consuming. Welcome and speeches of wisdom and care follow, photographs are taken and then the relief when you can get back home. In the end one wonders whether the trip was worth its while. Did the presence enhance the conditions or not. That is of value, nothing else matters …

There is a certain charm I have noticed in keeping a watch over those that this generation calls ‘watches’. You know the ones you tie to your hand to remind yourself of what is slipping by. I say this in some wonder because the watch is fast becoming redundant. Not because they do not fall into the category of decoration, but because the mobile has taken its place. It is held close to your hand at all times. So better to have a look there than turn your wrist to ascertain where we are and what it is that the setting sun indicates !!
But yes, maintaining one of those master sized clocks is fascinating. The quarterly chimes and then the gong for the hour – musical and rhythmic and nostalgic ! I manage two now in close proximity to where I work in my office and they are a joy to be spending time with. ‘Time’ ? sorry that was unintentional !!
May I put the Ef to some questioning … how would you perceive me on screen, on tv and on voice . What kind of stories or films would be preferred for me. And … what of Abhishek and Aishwarya and Jaya .. ?? Where and how would one want to see them in film ??
Lemme know ..!! bit of slang there … excuse .. is it really slang .. I would think not .. what would you describe that … ‘lemme’ ?? Hmmm … too many questions for the day .. well ..
Love ..
Amitabh Bachchan

Its is Sunday again, much like any other – a gym routine in the early hours

Jalsa , Mumbai               Jan 8,  2012                   Sun  11 : 05 PM 

An Ef family in distress, a member in emergency, no help no support in alien land, a request for help and out comes the savior - another Ef ! Unknown to the family, but working and helping as though it was his own .
Tejas and Julie in Dubai, you have brought great dignity grace and voluntary help to a level that can never be expressed in words .. Thank you for looking after the stranded family of Fatima from South Africa in Dubai and her cousin in distress in hospital. I am so proud to have such extended family in my midst !!
Can we have a loud cheer for this remarkable couple !! Thank you ..

 Its is Sunday again, much like any other – a gym routine in the early hours, a sit out in the sun, a few meets at Prateeksha and back to Jalsa and the Sunday well wishers, who today like some other days come in twice .. once when its bright and visible and the other in the dark shadows of the almost night. The pictures are revealing and of some interest, but the process of posting them is so time consuming that I am keeping it away from tonights act … better to rest early than to try and beat the chiming clock .. we shall put them all up later and this time perhaps in some greater detail .. perhaps with a story line leading on to the perched front at the gates.

One fears unacceptability. One should, if one is in the world of being assessed. You are assessed because you have requested to be viewed and to pass opinion on. People, the most important of all, will take liberty with opinion. They pay hard earned money to gather in one concentrated group to judge. Their judgement shall be the ultimate test of opinion. When they dislike, or reject, it projects unacceptability. When they acclaim, they project acceptance. Even though acceptance at all levels and at all times does not exist, it does not take away from me the continuous fear of the unacceptable. I would worry, have sleepless nights, consider consequences, have night mares … all the works ! But many … and this involves a lot could never ever be in such condition.
I would consider it a great fallacy, a regret, if such condition were to be absent from me. Many do not. I would marvel at them and at their superiority. They that can manage to live beyond this, need to be set aside as people with special qualities. And they that have reasons and false beliefs that what they perform is indeed the correct path, need to be hoisted on shoulders and driven down the city in cavalcade honor !!
Wisdom does not come in an instant. It needs the pain of experience – to hurt to heal to peel to scar – to be able to be recognized and possibly accepted. The wrinkled grey, do not just wrinkle and grey by design. They represent years of struggle, hardship, uncertainties and abject poverty of living, to arrive at just the starting point. Those that race ahead to the finish tape, chesting it out in fake brinkmanship or success of speed, never look back to acknowledge the patient workers. For, if they would they would have realized that the fall that awaits them after the taped finish, shall be irretrievable. The ones at the start know and have seen that massive and all enveloping crater of mammoth size, waiting to engulf these inexperienced. But … if you do not pay heed … you will not win ! Unless of course you are content with being at the bottom of the tail. It is not too bad a situation to be down there, just that you will never be able to see the horizon .. it can be quite pretty at times .. the horizon I mean !!

Love …
Amitabh Bachchan 

There are times when a public appearance baulks you

Jalsa , Mumbai                 Jan 7/8 ,  2012                                Sat/Sun  12 : 42 AM

 There are times when a public appearance baulks you. And when it happens at regular intervals, it is even more so. Public figures do not have the right to express themselves thus, but at times it is important to share impressions with the Ef .

And does not the expression on the face and the language of the body aptly describe our state. But .. let me say this, that no matter how exhausted or tired we may be of our public persona, a scream of recognition from the fans is sufficient material to erase many a morose temperament. They lift your spirit, allow the adrenalin to flow into the right spots, pick up your temperament and send it soaring beyond …
These thoughts are not originally mine, but one that I may have picked up firstly through experience, and then through what we were told through stories and examples. It was Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, independent India’s first Prime Minister, that had disclosed this to someone during one of his election campaigns, and I believe they are true in spirit. His other episode that he often talked of was the showing of black flags to him during his visits to his city of birth, Allahabad. He was Prime Minister, loved and adored by millions of his countrymen, but he would recall, every time he visited Allahabad, his electoral constituency, a section of the polity would have demonstrations against him and show him black flags as he drove by. His response … nothing ! Indeed it was looked upon as having an element of positivity.
A Mother, he would say, places a black ‘tika’ on the face of her new born child to protect it from ‘nazar’, from evil. These black flags of protest waved at me are the equivalent of that black ‘tika’ on the new borns face .. !!
Simple, generous and so converting the anti into a pro  … !
We must have several of these to deal within ourselves as we confront the varied and wide range of similar condition. It requires strength of character and an obtuse sense of bearing, to be able to ward off such evil, but there it is … effective and utterly dismissive !!
Many among the next generation argue against such condition. Their value and stance is more aggressive and strong. If there is negativity, pay it back in equal measure. That unfortunately is the only language, or so this generation thinks, to be the only answer.
Do we then change according to the beliefs of this gennext, or does one pursue what one has been brought up to believe. In my state and age, I would side with the bringing up and retaining what we needs must retain. I doubt whether this generation shall want to even give it the minimum of space. They may be right … but what does one do with that which has been considered right through the ages ..
I shall tell you what …
You slip into bed cover your head and body and sleep …
Good night !!!

Amitabh Bachchan 

When children leave, its like the last goblet of water breaking in your hands and the thirst unquenchable

Jalsa , Mumbai             Jan 5/6 ,  2012          Fri/Sat  12 : 24 AM

When children leave, its like the last goblet of water breaking in your hands and the thirst unquenchable ! The silence of the home becomes unbearable. You search for them in each room, nook and corner and resign yourself to a most despondent condition. The daughter and grandchildren have left and the ‘little one’ still too small to interact with – getting there but shall take more time, is not conditioned yet for play and company !!
People pester me with questions on the name. We do not have it. They assume different theories and confabulations on the reason for its delay .. and we laugh. Its not some nuclear formula that shall destroy the world in a jiffy that we hold on to. But the media makes it out to be such. Confabulations.
Last night as I turned in I took in a glance at the news on Tv and came across a discussion quite by chance on NDTV. It was between two prominent authorities on cricket and morals and the alleged ‘middle finger’ incident of Virat Kohli at the Sydney test in progress in Australia. Kishore Bhimani, an old Calcutta friend and Lord Megna were being queried by a ‘just out of journalism school damsel’, who after a while brought in my name ! She went on to accuse me of having stated on Twitter, or at least assumed from my sayings on twitter that I had encouraged Virat, by a ‘we are with you, play well’ remark !
Fact is, that the channel has, very cleverly and surreptitiously, to suit the controversial nature of its broadcast philosophy, put in a text of mine from a previous interaction I have had with the young cricketer, and made it sound juicy and ‘worthy’ of discussion on a national platform.
Three or four days ago I came across Virat Kohli’s tweet where he was stating that criticizing the team members of their poor performance in the recent Test series on play now was not fair. After all he said ‘we are humans not machines’. I thought this to be a wrong impression to have of the team and tweeted back to Virat that he ‘should not worry’ and that he ‘continue to play well, because we are with him’.
Two days later the finger episode happened, where, when the crowds in the stadium abused his Mother and sister as he walked out from the field, he showed them his middle finger !!
Now … all this was under heavy discussion when they, the NDTV channel lady brought in my name in this by stating that … But Mr Bachchan has told Virat ‘we are with him and to continue playing’, insinuating therefore that I was acknowledging his action endorsing it and whether that was good for the game or not !!
Such a mischievous and most unbecoming manner of behavior in one of the most respected channels of Mr or rather Dr Pranoy Roy, was just not expected. It was fortunate to have Lord Meghna on the other side refuting the journo, by defending me in saying that he had never ever heard or seen Mr Bachchan make any disparaging remarks to anyone and that he had always conducted his life in the most respected manner. But look how trouble is created and manufactured on this powerful media with zero responsibility. The urge and the commercial necessities of their business will tear into misinformed and manufactured news, without a care for the damage that they cause ! I shall of course be writing to Dr Roy on this and hope some correction is executed rapidly.
And yes … I do retweet the good reactions of praise for Abhishek’s films .. and yes I am his Father and shall not stop from doing it just because a few abusive elements on this social network think otherwise. Look into your own ‘daman’ and see how every single tweet of the media is all about themselves and a request to go watch their particular programmes. No one ever complains about them do they ? !! Why, just the other day I had a message from RajDeep Sardesai of CNNIBN asking me if I could mention one of his programmes on my site on twitter !!! So … yes .. my numbers are large on Twitter … 1.88 million followers .. largest in India and fourth largest in Asia .. an attractive reach out to prospectives !!! But they are not large to put out your matter. I shall decide what I wish to and what I do not … and yes on occasion my son shall have priority … YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT …. !!!!!
Amitabh Bachchan

DC Avanti after the unveiling smashing car has the look of a Ferrari or the Lamborghini

Jalsa , Mumbai               Jan 5/6,  2012             Thu/Fri  1 : 38 AM 
 BLOG  1357  Jan 5, 2012     Thu  6:30 PM

Falcon 2000 Private Jet
40,000 ft east of Udaipur on way to Mumbai

( Before all else greetings for Manish Parmar for the 6th Jan … his birthday, but more importantly our deepest condolences to Naresh Bhatt on the passing away of his Mother … we grieve with you in this difficult hour and our prayers are with you and the family )  

Did I not say sometime back when posting in similar circumstances that the best creative ideas, for some strange reason, come at high altitude when flying from one destination to another ? Well this flight is an exception ! Nothing even remotely creative occupies those cells in the upper regions of this weary body today !
Compulsively, and because we have been able to beat the fog in Delhi, by taking off earlier than scheduled, I am punching in words because I may be late tonight and perhaps not be in a position to write later.
We are flying at reduced speed. No, its not a compulsion keeping fuel saving consumption in mind. Mumbai Air Traffic Control does not permit private aircraft to land before 7:30 PM and I guess we are going to be reaching there ahead of time, hence !

Its been a rushed day … so what else is new … rush to the gym, rush through the shower, rush to the airport, rush through horrid traffic, rush to be able to catch the time slot given for take off, rush through to waiting personnel at Delhi airport for the event, rush to Sopaan, rush through a change of dress, rush to Pragati Maidan the site for the AutoExpo, rush through the mass of people come to see the unveiling that I perform for the DC Avanti, the super sports model indigenously made by a private designer, rush out of same maddening crowds, rush back to the airport in Delhi, rush to aircraft amidst mobile operated photographers, and now after landing, rush to YRF to see the trial for cast and crew of Abhishek Bachchan’s new release –PLAYERS !!
The day would hopefully end past midnight and then it’s a 5 AM call tomorrow morning … of which, in the post of tomorrow night !!

The DC Avanti after the unveiling … smashing car .. has the look of a Ferrari or the Lamborghini ..
The well wishers on my arrival at the venue .. at the back one can see the sloping pyramid like structure .. it was the building where we shot the climax of ‘Trishul’ .. the first unit to be allowed to do so .. how time flies !!

Winters in Delhi are divine and always bring back memories of the years spent returning back from boarding in Nainital, Sherwood College. Of University of Delhi and the student years. But mostly that early morning chill coming in from the netted windows of our home at 13, Willingdon Crescent and the great urge to step out into the cold for a run. Out through the gates of the house down the crescent running parallel to the impressive boundary walls of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, residence of the President of India, built by the British during the Raj to house the Viceroy in all his regal splendor. I am told it is still one of the largest palaces in the world, magnificent in structure and design. Had I ever imagined as I ran past it, along the reddish ‘bujjery’ – crushed soil to lay the soft path along the tar road – that I and many other of my family would be decorated by the highest honors of the country within the portals of this Palace ?

University was such anticipated pleasure each day. Not the study. Just the meeting of friends, coffee canteen on campus, moving from one College to another, gathering together for inter collegiate games – cricket, hockey, basketball … and that most important of all … a ride on the Lambretta, the popular scooter, that had just been introduced onto the roads of the city, popularized among students by that delicious film from Hollywood – ‘Summer Holiday’. Possessing a scooter was the biggest luxury within the fraternity. In a College of a thousand there were perhaps just four ! You may well imagine the value that the owners of this transport. The envy being trebled, because they got the best girls to ride pillion, whilst we and most of us ‘we’ luxuriated in the the more common man mode of travel – the DTU bus. Or was it DTS ? Somewhere down the line names and corporations changed.
Owners of this precious Lambretta, were always royalty and treated like so. Their coffee and cokes and cutlets – the most consumed eatables at canteens – were invariably free. The hope of being able to use their two wheeler to impress the girls being prime reason. And when they did give the scooty out, the gas was on account of the driver !! Maintenance was a bother. None of us had the means to service or repair breakages, so invariably they would be driven in terrible condition. But who cared so long as it was moving.
I had the benefit of having possession of one from a close friend, during my final year and actually drove home in it and to the University the next morning , which was like …. Heaven !!
Heaven yes ! But in what circumstances ! A few feet out of the campus the accelerator wire snapped and left me stranded in the cold evening of a Delhi winter. So not wanting to be daunted by the situation, I pulled the wire out of its casing that ran to the grip where the handle was, and drove on with the wire in my right hand pulling and releasing it to gain speed or bring it down. A sight perhaps not normally seen. But I remembered that moment and used it in a film of mine called ‘Roti Kapda aur Makaan’ made passionately by Manoj Kumar, where I played a young army officer who had lost his right hand. In the climax I had to ride a motorbike for the action sequence and I rode it with my left hand keeping the accelerator wire in my mouth to pull at it and release it for speed !!
Life comes round in strange ways !!

The voice recorder on the plane has announced to us that we need to fasten set belts, put away all equipment and put our seats upright for landing ….!!
Its been a pleasure being with you … thank you for flying with my Blog, Ef ..
Good night and have a pleasant stay ..

Amitabh Bachchan

ps : and yes just back from the trial show for PLAYERS and it has to be said that it was a most enjoyable film. Fast paced, with not a moment when there is’nt a twist in the tale and great presentation and action ..
Have had two most praiseworthy messages from the people who were at the press show and that is most encouraging. Of course the ‘regulars’ will write disparagingly about the film, but we at least know by now that they work on an anti agenda … may the Lord bless them and give them the courage of their diminished conscience !!

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