Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It is about this time that my father breathed his last

Jalsa , Mumbai                 Jan 18,  2012                         Wed 11 : 45 PM

It is about this time that my father breathed his last. He was not comfortable being in hospital and had loathed the fact, so I brought him home and built and equipped an ICU in his room, with all possible emergency equipment there to face any extraneous circumstance. He had always remained a good patient, cooperating with whatever the doctors wanted him to do, but during the last few days, as though almost as a premonition he had become very silent and quiet. Never spoke a word, never responded to any one.
When he would lie in bed during the times when he was immobile, he would often refer to the number of hours he was sleeping. They were large in number and his theory to that was that his ‘sleep had been in arrears’ throughout his life. Now he was making up to it. Every morning when we would wheel him out of his room to the hall to a particular position he would read the Ramayan and the Gita and then read and re read his auto biography several times. I think most writers like to re visit their work often. My Father was no different, but somehow I felt he read for a different reason. When we know that time has passed by and that life could end suddenly almost unannounced, we often hear comments form people that their entire life whizzed past them in fornt of their eyes. Could it be that my Father saw the end and was wanting to live with his entire past, almost as a reminder of what had transpired in the 96 years of his life ?
Human kind has this habit of visiting what had gone by to relive those moments and perhaps to understand its glory or its value or its joy and happiness or eventually its sadness. Time gets related with what has been. A situation, an issue, a location, people and friends and so much more … Documentation is such a valuable tool to possess. We as a nation are beginning to realize it but as individuals there is keen desire to keep those events as close to the self as possible. Posterity or any reference to it has always evoked a certain sentiment, mostly of happy nostalgia, but in some the horrid displeasure of a past that they would need to forget soon.
I would happily live my life again without change, but I do know of some that would never concede to this. Their present has a marked difference to their past. In some it is quite the opposite. Some have grown and worked themselves away from a past that has been haunting for them, others have lamented those ‘good ol’ days’ when life was prettier and fruitful and carefree and happy. In this world the human has had to contend with both, and I am happy with that. I do not have any argument that would necessarily go, either for it or against. One needs to be in temperate zone to be able to achieve this state of mind. The trouble is in finding that temperate clime. Not all are built to be patient and tolerant, for, acquiring both these qualities are really a gift from above. I doubt very much if it could be taught or learnt. It has always been a viewpoint that needs must come from within. Intolerance can only be tolerated by those that may face or have faced it ad nauseum and are now immune. There shall always be that fine line beyond which we shall not be able to traverse, and I wonder at times whether those that indulge in it are ever aware what and where they do. Perhaps they are so hapless in their pursuit of rectifying tolerance that they keep becoming even more intolerant. Which is really quite an amusing situation.
My tolerance levels at this point of time have reached its lowest. Not with respect to the blog but with the pressures of time that have been stipulated by the medical teams …
So I shall bid adieu and give you my gratitude for all the kindness shown after the results of my tests .. thank you and may you be forever blessed ..
Amitabh Bachchan 

Most painful part shaving portions of your chest to be able to stick all those leads

Jalsa , Mumbai         Jan 17/18 ,  2012                    Tue/Wed  1 : 51 AM


Ok … so the tests went well, and all is fine in this part of the world, or so the doctors and assistants had to say. These were routine checks that people of my age need to keep going through – stress, 2 D Echo etc .. Most painful part – shaving portions of your chest to be able to stick all those leads that get you wired up with the heart computer. Health matters do not always need discussion or a reveal, so shall abstain from either mentioning them, or if erroneously I do then not to elaborate on them. The Western world has very strict and most welcome ethical rules with regard to this. At times if the patient wishes they can keep the information of their ailment away from their own relatives !! Now with extended family that could have meant similar. But you all know how gregarious I feel on such matters and hence the disclosure. But only for the Ef ! Media .. I do hope you are listening in and not making notes for the next breaking news !!


Music that great leveler, that incorrigible flirt, that works in such gentle and lovable manner into our hearts that it does become impossible to be devoid of such feeling when faced with it – the feeling of divine love. Why is it that when you strike a discordant note it is identified immediately. Not in our daily life moves, but at the alter of music and rhapsody and philharmonic and rhythm and composition. I do believe there is an invisible connect with strings invisible to us, within our systems. For, the moment a flourish is played or heard, there is a nod of approval, or an instant recognition, shared almost always with those around you, for they have felt the same.

There is also this unusual temperament that invades you when in particular company of music. You could be with a group of people, all excelling in the craft, able and competent, but for some reason that feel for melody appreciative and earnest just does not occur. A few leave the company and all of a sudden the spirits are up, the creative juices start to flow, a sense of wild liberty encompasses you and there you are, unaware of any other, minus the self-consciousness, able and confident of whatever is being asked of you to do, with a will and a command at your disposal.

Some places may have all the right ingredients for music to be immortalized, but nothing happens. It is there, it is professional, it will be done, but that personal satisfaction of having been attached to it personally is missing.

And I really do not have any logical explanation for this.

But yes tonight at Aadesh Shrivastava's studio it was almost magical the way he just kept pouring out the notes and the compositions and magical in the manner in which we developed and worked further on it. A lot still needing to be done, but getting there, almost ! And how beautifully the mind begins to wander into the visuals that one immediately starts to imagine and build in the mind. Almost like the director of a film visualizing his or her imagery for a given situation, which may not be one that you need for your own effort, but the process of imagining never ceases with any creative person. A good piece of writing and they shall start imagining how well it could be brought to prominence. A painting and the many layers of meaning that starts to be read within. That refrain of delectable music and the film visuals start to build … such a great process of the mind thank God !!

And as I write I have on my ears the earphones blaring those moments that we built just some time ago. I must admit they do not sound as good as they were sounding in the studio, but there ..

And now from Coke Studio, Shafkat Amanat Ali and 'aankhon ke saagar' .. the sonorous chords of his voice and the tone of the ghazal and the meaning of the words … such a beautiful blend .. want to not just remove the headphones .. even though it strikes almost 4 in the morning .. ah ! but in the presence of that beautiful music, time can wait and if not can flow by and allow me to savor the wires it touch within .. they do not happen often, but when they do they vibrate … almost endlessly …

Could it not be to live with them eternally ..

Amitabh Bachchan

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