Friday, March 23, 2012

Amitabh Bachchan wants to play sitar again

Amitabh Bachchan wants to play sitar again

He has lent his unmistakable timbre to songs with remarkable results. And now, Amitabh Bachchan has expressed a desire to learn a musical instrument as well. Late last evening, the actor wrote in his blog, about his wish to pick up the sitar again, something he had done years ago. But there is a catch.

Being a left hander, he is unsure of what position to adopt while playing the instrument. It is a similar dilemma for another musical instrument, the sarod. This diarist would like to add in a word of encouragement here.

One of the most revered musicians of all time, Baba Allauddin Khan, Guru of Pandit Ravi Shankar and late Ustad Ali Akbar Khan's father, was a left hander. His instrument of choice was the sarod, but he was also known to have exceptional control over all classical instruments.

Incidentally, the original god of electric guitar, Jimi Hendrix was left handed too, but it is said that his father forced him to play right handed because he believed being left handed was a sign of the devil. But surely, we have come a long way since then!

How rich are the Bachchans

How rich are the Bachchans?
Jaya Bachchan declared her assets when she filed nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha. How rich are

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has created a world that had hitherto been hidden from us

Jalsa , Mumbai                      Mar 22 , 2012                        Thu 9 : 43 PM

Communication and its versatility today, has created a world that had hitherto been hidden from us – a world that gave us an opportunity to know what the 'other' was thinking. The opportunity of giving us access to another's mind, thoughts and comments has given rise to discussion and debate yes, but it has taught us restraint. We lived earlier on within our limited means of expression, content and happy perhaps that the 'other' aspect would never be brought up, simply because there was never any device to know or hear or read what they were saying. The newspapers were there, but limited. The radio was there, but state owned and run, according I believe, to what the state wanted us to know and hear. Now of course its an uncontrolled invasion. But in a free world, in its democratization, in its riddance from a policed state, a foreign ruled Raj, we have the opportunity to know and hear and express what we wish to, and more, with the advent of the air space, do now independently have the strength to do so.

There are benefits to this and disadvantages too – much like everything else that survives on this planet. This is most welcome. But the salient facts are that we are exposed to a great deal more than what existed earlier. On one end there can be acceptance and camaraderie. On the other distaste and abuse. But what has been most interesting has been the fact that we have learned to take the good and the bad with perhaps equal measure. Many do not. Abuse deters them. They take it personally and slide away. But I feel it is important to know that not everyone loves everyone here. Not everyone is sympathetic to each others cause. Yet knowing these conditions when we conduct ourselves with grace and dignity, it pays greater dividends.

The abusive content of the 'other ' is not going to convert my belief or my path. But for the 'other' to display it, comes with  loss of great character and polluted being. A polluted being needs to continuously build hatred and disgust, not an easy exercise, to be able to get themselves into a condition to express it. What a waste of their limited energy. The saner element deflects it by an abstract shield, not necessarily of their making, and never allows it to enter its purified domain. There is peace in this than the other. Why must I destroy my internals to build something which eventually only destroys the maker.

I may not entirely step away from such condition. But I certainly would feel a great deal more comfortable than the oppressor. He that hath spoken harsh, went out of his constitution to build it first. He that hath ignored or never paid attention to, went a step further in his or her quest for peace and well being. For me peace wins above hatred.

In life we all want to be winners … !!!

A pleasant evening spent alone with music and cricket and two very talented gentlemen – Vishal and Shekhar, the music director duo, who seem to have found the fountain that giveth them the ability to make music, appealing and popular to all walks of society. We spend time on trends that invade our music world. Of the youth and their aspirations and thinking. A generation that wants to do different. That feels revolutionized in deed, in what they represent. A generation that may have forgotten or never heard of the past greats but willing to pay attention, provided it is put across to them in a manner which they feel must be understood as their component in today's world. They are not rash or disrespectful. They are good people, who want to be understood their way. Is there a problem there ? I should think not !

How wonderful then would it be if we were to present to them the poetry and lyricism of the yesteryears, but in a format understood or identifiable by them on a level which they desire as a prerequisite in a time which quite honestly belongs by very large margins, to them.

I am not too conversant with statistics, but I can assuredly comment, that the age group of the 17-35 in India is by far the greater number compared to any other part of the world. Are we then giving them the relative attention that they deserve ? Or are we driving them into desperation and revolt because we are failing to understand them ?

I may not have an adequate answer to this, but left to me I would give ample consideration to them … as much as I would in selecting what it is from the past, that could and should be shared.

Circumstances and surroundings build the nature of our next in command. If those circumstances differ from what was there earlier, I would not be in immediate haste in forming a conclusion. Concluding, would shut many doors and leave none, for even us to escape. So I would keep the doors open and allow the breeze to flow in. If it became too uncomfortable, I would rather shut a few windows than the door. And if, God forbid, the situation demanded that doors be shut too, I would wait patiently for some to jump the wall and enter in, to demonstrate to me, their determination to achieve, rather than bear a tone of aggressive persuasion.


Good night dear ones … I get better by the day, though I did have to visit the hospital on another matter of ailment. Nothing to worry or panic – visits such as these shall gradually increase as does the age. Better then to accept and embrace treatment than lament and show no hope …


Amitabh Bachchan

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