Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Amitabh Bachchan recalls his ‘quake’ moment

Amitabh Bachchan recalls his 'quake' moment  

Mumbai: North India felt quake tremors of medium intensity on Monday afternoon at around 1 pm. But news of the jolt reached far and wide within seconds. As many feared experiencing earthquake again, our very own Amitabh Bachchan recalled his "quake" moment on Twitter.

Explaining about a scary earthquake which he had once experienced, Big B tweeted, "Had been through one in Delhi when in College there .. terrible sound under the ground, like a 1000 Boeing 747`s taking off .. scary(sic)."

"Had come in the middle of the night ... ran out .. whole city screaming, and then an eerie silence .. can never forget that moment !(sic)," he added.

The legendary actor who has a flair for writing wrote about the whimsical temperament of nature. 

He tweeted, "Nature`s fury can never be matched, neither its benevolence .. !!(sic)."

"Today it's nature`s fury..in earlier civilizations it was `the God`s are angry` ! Some regions though, they still relate with latter(sic)," Bachchan wrote on his micro-blogging site.

Life does throw challenges time and again to make the journey interesting. And nature treats one and all as equals. That's quite fair, isn't it? 

The television reverberates from morn till night and more night

Jalsa , Mumbai                 March 5/6,  2012                  Mon/ Tue  1 : 11 AM  



Leena's birthday tomorrow March 6 , 2012 … she has had a tormenting last few months .. we wish her a happy birthday and years and years of happiness and joy only to follow ..


 The television reverberates from morn till night and more night, on the elections for the Assembly being held in some of the more popular and populous States of the nation. Debates arguments exit polls, their views and objections, each party playing well and giving passionate support to their candidates, all day throughout. And tomorrow is another day, the final … the counting shall begin and the vocal anchors shall strain their throats to gain attention for their program or their assessment, with the odd ' our exit polls were the closest remember ' line thrown in to legitimize their earlier claims …

It is an interesting exercise for an actor to observe these episodes. A learning graph for the many students that undergo acting tuitions. The expressions, the comments, the rebuttals all done with such finesse that it would fill an entire bank of knowledge on the craft of performance.

Its a field day for the channels and their TRP's. It is something they wait anxiously for. Their vociferous involvement going beyond the purpose of information at times. The Election Commissioner, appointed to oversee that the election process goes through without any hiccups, came out with a ringer today … " all exit poll assessments should be confined to Entertainment Channels " .. or words to that effect .. a stinging remark !!

I would imagine it is a process that attracts viewers all over the Democratic world. Perhaps Russia and Mr Putin would be the most talked of in that part of the universe, as would now soon enough, Mr Sarkozy or even Mr Obama.

Knowing before, what needs be known, before the time of its knowing, has been the culture and hidden attraction for all humans. What shall happen tomorrow ? Or the days and years to come ? Tell me today !! Natural obsession, one that cannot be easily set aside. What does it do to us ? Prepares us to take in the worst if that be predicted. In what manner may I ask ? We would fret and worry and fear each step in anticipation of what will come. A way to live ? I dunno' …

The abolition of capital punishment in certain sections of society, often argued with the same temper. A man kills and is sentenced to imprisonment to be hanged until dead. How long before the the hanging shall take place, is not known. There are formalities and legalities that need to be followed in civil societies. The murderer waits in his cell, not knowing when the time for his death shall come. This, argue the anti capital punishmenters, is more torturous than the torture that the victim had to go through, because, they argue, the victim did not know he or she was going to be murdered and the killing was therefore rapid and sudden and less torturous than waiting to get killed as in the case of the accused !! Valid ? Invalid ? Difficult to say. Perhaps the Human Rights Organizations would have something on this too.

My own Human Rights department, domestic in its nature thankfully, proclaims I sit for long and sleep for less. They demand justice for rehabilitation of the ailing body and have serious and very commanding arguments on my bed time. I defy them at times. Mostly after they themselves have fallen victim to what they propose for me. Saved by the bell …!!

Watched some films between last night and tonight. Some drew appreciation, others drew strange silent glances among each other .. not much was spoken ! The attention time span of the viewer has reduced so rapidly that it is a dangerous exercise to be seated in a multiplex in anonymity watching your own film. There is constant chatter and an exchange of  observations, not necessarily pertaining to what unfolds on the large screen in front of them … scary ! More often it is the attention given to the mobile, its rapid messages and its attendance, despite the warning slides that request that these handy inventions be put away, switched off, or put on silent mode. There are frequent movements too – a migration to the stalls outside for that fizzy or the corn on bubble. Be blessed that this be so. Many that migrate midway, either forget their way back in or have shifted to another screen another film !! Many … and there are quite a few … await the moment for the end to be able to finally find immortality on Telly by the patiently waiting PR machines of the film wanting opinions so they could broadcast the positive ones in the promotions to follow …

And many anxiously wait for the freebies to come by – coins and plastic whistles – to throw and blow, in order to create excitement for the film within the theatre. Word of mouth of the event garners support for the next show ticket sales, they say …

Planning to see a South star film in the South ? Get there after a couple of weeks ! The fan club would have bought out all the shows for those 14 initial days … and it would be impossible, even if you did get in, to follow the film or the dialogues, because there is excited mayhem each time the hero appears … irrespective of what he is doing or saying. The love and the following and the fan frenzy is just incredible !! Its sheer devotion !!

So where was I …?? ah ! yes domestic Human Rights …

Good night !!

Amitabh Bachchan

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

Tigmanshu Dhulia and enacted by a whole cast of fresh and very talented players

Jalsa , Mumbai             March 3 , 2012                       Sat  11 : 08 PM


A fulfilling day !

Saw an inspiring film, " Paan Singh Tomar " directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia and enacted by a whole cast of fresh and very talented players, led by that incredible performer Irrfan. Such restraint in direction and performance, but such an impression on the nature of the subject. A biopic true to life and detail. A wonderful tribute to the many unsung sports heroes of the nation, who contribute so much for the Motherland both within and and on International platforms, yet are left in penury to pass away, unnoticed, uncared for. But this is a true story, of a man from Madhya Pradesh, from most humble environs, who finds it his duty to serve his country by fighting for it, by joining the armed forces, who excels in sports, in athletics. But ungainly circumstances force him to become an outlaw, a word he detests .. a 'baghi'  he says, one that revolts not an outlaw, because the system dishonors his pride and abuses his domesticity.

The tribute to the unsung hero, lists various prominent sportsmen who brought glory on International platforms for the country, but died penniless. Some even having to sell off their gold medal to survive. Such a moving tale.

And the first thought that comes to mind is to lend support to those that find themselves in such condition. To plead with the system to show some compassion and respect for the glory they brought for us, so we could stick our chests out in pride and look after them in their hour of need instead of leaving them in dire straits to perish without any honor.

And I wonder, often in dismay, when I read and hear criticism leveled at our cricket heroes, for partaking in events that remunerate them through individual commerce. I cringe when I read that our hockey international teams are made to accomodate themselves at International fora, in conditions that are so degrading and wretched. The IPL has brought our cricketers, some amount of wealth through their commercial deals, a hope for the rainy day, something to fall back on when age and lack of performance, a common phenomena, shall prevent their participation. Sportsmen have a limited active life, much like film artists, and is it really such a wrong to allow them to secure themselves while they thrive in their best moments. Hockey is being designed on similar grounds now, albeit in limitation, through the initiation of the WSH, and I wish the endeavor all success, not just in the revival of the sport, but in giving a opportunity for the discovery of fresh talent, and for the others to secure a future. One of our young national team players, who has shown remarkable talent and capability, comes from a slum in Dharavi. And what a story he is scripting for himself. May there be many more such as him and may he be given the opportunity to excel and live in better conditions. Let us not deflate their endeavors and their inherent talent by denying them what they deserve in abundance. One wins and loses in sport. It is a reality which no one can keep away from, even when you are the best. But to put blame on them for their poor performance because of their commercial gains, is not entirely fair. They could well lose their commerce too if they under performed. Film artists lose their value when the film fails and gain when it succeeds. The brand endorsements dry up if you do not sell well at the turnstiles. The very element that is chosen as the cause and reason for failure for sportsmen, could also be the reason for the much needed incentive. Let them earn their position, but bringing the earning to be the cause for their failure I would imagine to be somewhat harsh.

The ranking of a journalist or an anchor or a Tv station, similarly would depend on the credibility it creates in the minds of its audience. An audience that brings in the eye balls for its TRP's, that bring in the commercial breaks, that bring in the funds and the commerce for a programme to be successful, for the business to exist and run to profit. Credibility then relates to the commerce. Would one then relate commerce and credibility in media, to the credibility and commerce of a sportsmen, or not ?? Its a question, not a statement !! If commerce is being sought to be an incentive for performance, is there grave error being committed ?? Darn, they changed the rules of the game of tennis to accomodate commercial breaks for television. The court change overs when players took rest was never there earlier. But the commerce of television and its subsequent value for the tournament in terms of funding the event, of payments to winners in cash, drove them to it. Its the same in Football and in the NBA and Ice Hockey and Baseball and American Football. Players get bought and change teams. Coaches get sacked and go elsewhere when they fail to perform. Yet when the national team is chosen, they all come together for the country and when they fail do we blame the commerce that they ride on in private leagues ?? Its a question. Not a statement !!

The film " Paan Singh Tomar " throws many such thoughts amidst us. At least to me. And I do not know whether the makers had this in mind as well. I am certain that they must have given it a thought. But let us assume that they did not. If it has aroused one single individual, it is enough of a beginning.


Good night and god bless ..

Amitabh Bachchan

Twas just the other day when it was November, and suddenly it is March

Jalsa , Mumbai              March  2/3 , 2012                    Fri/ Sat  1 : 04 AM


 'Twas just the other day when it was November, and suddenly it is March. Time moves rapidly through the day and night, we watch it go by. It was the 11th of Feb a short while ago and 5 and half hours of surgery that we talked of and now, we talk of recovery .. strange are the ways of life and of time ..


When there is nothing to do even the most non event sounds and looks enterprising. I look forward to the papers in the morning and when I shall be able to go through them. I look forward to the timings of my medication – its an event that I must not ignore. The odd visitor that promises to drop by is looked forward to, to share and talk of subjects unknown and discussions that remain un resolved. Fun. It takes up time. Time to get back to the top on the lap and to start connecting, reading comments, reacting to them and finally to be responding to them. Just as it may be interesting to you to learn what I may be up to, I yearn to read what all of you are up to. I appreciate the commonness of our thoughts. The pleasant at times and the un pleasant too. The woes and the worries of the many Ef, their struggles and achievements, their thoughts and their opinions. They are educative for me. I pride in talking about them when I disclose my activities on the blog to others. They do not believe that we function so. I ask and invite them to see and read themselves, and after they do, either they join in or express amazement. I have never looked upon any kind of achievement that this platform may have gained. Neither do I look upon it as some great commercial achievement, which, I might add, in todays materialistic world, no one is willing to believe. But that is the way it is despite many tempting offers being brought up regularly.


I watch the Iranian film 'A Separation ', the one that won the Oscar for best foreign film. It is simple yet binding. I am still to complete it. Perhaps tomorrow. Many other friends send in dvd's of films I should be watching. Books to read. Scripts to consider. They have been with me for long and I admire their patience. They respect my condition I think, but I should be responding to them soon. Some will work, some will not.

I have still to venture out to the piano. It lies in the office. Maybe soon when I begin to move a bit more I shall undertake the journey and spend time in music and tune and creation within my very limited means. A visitor gave me a picolo to learn and a book on how it should be done. Sweet. More members of the family are planning trips to the home. It shall be filled with the laughter of the young again and the 'chahal pehal' of domesticity, something that I love and enjoy most ..

In adversity and in adverse conditioning, it is this, it is this, it is this, that attracts …

And of course the attraction of the bed and a Tv sports programme to keep me company, till I nod off .. at times with the set still on … !!

Love to you dear ones .. live the utmost everyday !!

Amitabh Bachchan

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