Monday, April 16, 2012

Salim-Javed okay Zanjeer remake?

Salim-Javed okay Zanjeer remake?

Amidst the controversies revolving around the remake of Amitabh Bachchan starrer Zanjeer (1973), producer Amit Mehra says he has taken the blessings of the film’s writers — Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar.

The remake, scheduled to star Telugu star Chiranjeevi’s son Ram Charan opposite Priyanka Chopra has been in the news regarding copyright and royalty issues. Both writers of the original film had expressed displeasure over the remake.
But Amit says he has sought and been granted their permission now. “We have bought the rights of Zanjeer from my father, Prakash Mehra's, production company. I have met both (Khan and Akhtar) of them to take their blessings. They are special people,” Amit adds.

His father had produced and directed the original ‘angry young man’ flick.

The action thriller’s screenplay and dialogue were co-written by Akhtar and Khan. “This is my first film and I wanted to make Zanjeer, as it was a superhit... Also, I am emotionally connected to it,” Amit says.

The veteran writers had reportedly asked for a substantial sum of money if the filmmakers wanted to re-interpret their original script on celluloid. When asked, Amit says, “I don’t know all this. I am meeting them again, and hopefully, everything will be fine. But the remake will be made. I did not ask them f or anything. Salim uncle gave me his blessings,” says Amit.

When Ram Charan Tej met Amitabh Bachchan

When Ram Charan Tej met Amitabh Bachchan

It was one of his career-defining films. And would you grudge him the curiosity to check out what Version 2.0 of Zanjeer is looking like? At Film City on Sunday Amitabh-Vijay Bachchan decided to say hello to Ram Charan, who is reprising his role as the angry young man in Apoorva Lakhia's remake of Zanjeer. And we learnt about the meeting from phone status updates of a crewmember.

It so happened that Bachchan was shooting for a commercial at the Film City when he heard about Lakhia's shoot happening next doors. And he called him up. Lakhia, who is a friend of the Bachchans, took Ram Charan to meet him.

The trio then chatted for a while. Bachchan asked Ram Charan about the sequence they were picturising and was told that it was the one where Vijay Khanna comes back to his house and there are goons in his bathroom who attack him. The veteran actor, we can tell you, immediately sat up and quizzed the young actor about how exactly were they planning to execute it when Ram Charan quickly pointed out that the sequence has been changed from his house to a five star hotel.

An eye-witness present at the venue informed Mirror that though Bachchan was extremely warm towards the young actor, whose father has been his friend for years, Ram Charan was suitable tongue-tied and a tad overwhelmed in his presence.

The meeting ended with much hugging and touching the feet, and Ram Charan and Lakhia immediately let the virtual world know about their close encounter of the different kind. Ram Charan remained unavailable for comment and was busy tweeting about his encounter with the Big B.

I spent a day on the sets at Film City shooting for an ad

Jalsa , Mumbai                      Apr 15/16 , 2012              Sun/Mon  12 : 02 AM

I spent a day on the sets at Film City shooting for an ad., that had remained unfinished due to my illness. So despite the pain I went to complete it. All went well, and then a little better. The director of the ad., gave me a book to read which he felt I should. I casually opened a page and this is what came out :
The Three Thousand Realms _ 
It comes from the following calculation :
10 ( ten worlds ) x 10 ( ten worlds ) x 10 ( ten factors ) x 3 ( three realms )
Life at any moment manifests one of the Ten Worlds. Each of these worlds possesses the potential for all ten within itself ; this ‘mutual possession’represents a hundred possible worlds.
Each of these hundred worlds possesses ten factors, making one thousand factors or potentials, and these operate within the three realms, thus making three thousand realms.
Problems as we have seen, are not in themselves the fundamental cause of unhappiness. lack of power and wisdom to solve them is the real cause. Fortunately we all possess infinite power and wisdom ; and Buddhism shows us how to develop these qualities.
When in the depths of despair or grappling with a difficult problem, it may be hard to believe that our lives possess unlimited potential. But this is the essence of one of the profoundest Buddhist teachings, known as ” three thousand realms in a single moment of life “

This is a complicated learning and one that requires deep study. I am not equipped for this but perhaps some within the Ef are and if so, more needs to be expanded for its real meaning to erupt. If there be sufficient want one can make that effort I am certain.

While on set I learnt that ‘Zanzeer’ the II was being shot on an adjoining floor and that Charan the hero and its maker Apoorva Lakhia wanted to visit me. Charan is a very successful star in his own right in Telugu cinema, he is the son of superstar Chiranjeevi, a dear friend. I met them and wished them well. The producer is Prakash Mehra’s son Amit, named after me during my long association with Prakash ji during and after Zanzeer. The rights belong to Mehra and they have the right to make or remake what they like. I cannot have a say in it. I worked as an artist in the film and got my remuneration for it. Over ! Seeking my opinion would be incorrect. Whatever I say shall be developed into a huge media story and nothing else. What matters at the end would be what the film possessed in quality and intent and content. That is it. For this I can only give my very best wishes. I do hope they will make a successful film, and who knows 20 years from now they may want to remake another make of it. So where does that leave your reaction to this now !! Be content with the fact that it is a compliment to the film being remade – it was worthy of remaking when you had a hand in making the original. How many films do carry the benefit of a remake, is what needs to be appreciated also.

And yes today being Sunday I did have the great benefit of meeting my fans outside the gate at Jalsa. Got back from my shooting just in time …
The smiles on the faces is a cherished desire and a source of great fulfillment … that to me is accomplishment … to be one with them that smile with me ..
And ironically what ad., do I shoot for … Himami Fast relief from Pain .. !!!
The ever present fans and well wishers … and the riddle … do you spot Siddharth there among the crowd .. ???

My love for you … time to retire and use some of the products that I endorse … !!
Amitabh Bachchan

There are days when I often wonder whether it is a good thought to write whatever

 Jalsa , Mumbai             Apr 14/15 ,  2012             Sat/Sun  1 : 09 AM

There are days when I often wonder whether it is a good thought to write whatever I go through, or what transpires in my day … but then better sense prevails and we touch bottom. There would be many among not just you but also the hungry media that would be anxious to get something out of my Blog to flog. The flogging not from my Ef, but the media yes. They get it all free wrapped in the finest packaging material, without effort. And this dissuades me from giving too much detail. One innocent tweet about the visit to the doctor saw an entire fleet of vans from the media collecting outside Jalsa and worse, following me to the hospital – this not too far away from the media decision to keep away from Hospitals, to allow a sense of privacy to a suffering patient. In most Western medical models, it is forbidden under oath to release the nature of illness to even a member of the family without consent. Guess the media here has a lot to learn before it is brought into practice … a lot !!

They say your mystique is lost because of your communication so often into the cyber and into the space which hitherto had been reserved and confidential and private. And I say to them, at 70 do you really think anyone cares about your mystique !! Its done and over with. But without sharing it, now that we have built such a strong family, would be a grave injustice.

So I refrain. Refrain to avoid hurting sentiments, giving where it is not supposed to be given and sharing that which could have a universal approval than one that delves into a world that cemented in privacy. Some how, what appears on the news print seems to carry even in its limited circulation, at times, much more effect than say, a Twitter account that has 25 lakh or 2.5 million followers ! I cannot pin point what it is, but fact remains that the news paper has through the years and ages become a writing on stone ; one that can never be washed away. Its credibility its believing, its integrity gets appropriate attention and becomes a point of reference. So valuable is its contribution. Yes there shall be aberrations and faults, but who isn’t ? We all have short comings and defeats.

I may be in direct communication with that avid reader through the cyber space given to me, but in the end it is always that tried and tested formula that works.

I have often wondered why there is such a strong bond between the media and its allies and competitors. They never bring another media down. They never at times even mention the name of the other media conglomerate.  This is astounding and special at the same time. It must be said then that their code of conduct does indeed follow certain principles of the craft, and that is an unwritten promise that follows instructions from not just the speakers on the occasion, but among the people themselves that have been involved in the  treatment. This is a remarkable achievement. Humans are incapable of doing this at times. Not at times,  but not all the time either !!

The window shutters shook involuntarily in the morning hour and I was beginning to shout instructions to the people working on the terrace to stop this for a while, when it dawned that this was an earthquake, so I quickly tweeted the word for all to take care and precaution. They come now far too often and if this is the harbinger for things to come – say the end of the World in November 2012 – then it needs further attention.

End of the world in 2012 ?!! Wonder when it happens what it shall be like. A friend tweeted the best one on this -

” If the world is coming to an end by November 2012, just remind me, so I can stop dieting !!!! Really funny I thought.

Some medical procedures were done today in Hospital too on me, to check the condition of my stomach, but other than what was being revealed already there was nothing fresh to be done, though there are several matters that will need to be addressed. But, away from all the morbid descriptions and on to the night …

Sweet dreams, happy smiles and me ..

Amitabh Bachchan

The bells on the clock strike past midnight, the phone on mobile

 Jalsa , Mumbai                      Apr  13/14 , 2012             Fri/ Sat  12 : 34 AM

The bells on the clock strike past midnight, the phone on mobile beckons through various messages the beginning of the New Year, in Bengalis, Assamese, Tamilians and in Kerala too … up in the North and in Punjab, Baisaki is celebrated with great abandon and cheer, and Renate asks me on twitter 'you do have so many new years in your calendar - the calendar of India' ….

Yes we do, and they are derived through a process of great science and calculation, which perhaps the Western world did not or has not been aware of or about. I have been given the possibility of doing a programme on just that and it is a fantastic journey among the knowledged and vibrant India that many within the country still are ignorant about. But standardizing such events by the elements of judgement by the West, has kept these scientific and other such information, diluted or non existent. Its respect though has always been one that has collectively sought appreciation from those that still have not fallen victims to the other side.

This attitude has many facets or manifestations. The superiority of the West has always dictated the terms and conditions. And if it has been an object of their colonial temperate, then even more so. Apart from just ruling other nations, there must have been various and several other reasons why ruling the land not of their origin became almost a pastime. There were benefits too – the construction of legality,  democratic systems like Parliamentary debate, policing, infrastructure building, training and preparing an Army and many more. Their influence remains till date. The strength of the medium they used was awesome. There was much that they did which was appreciated, but also much that they did which was destructive to the moral and social fibre of the country.

The westerner shall never perhaps get the correct pronunciation of Indian words and expressions, but would not hesitate to correct you in your attempts at miscuing or pronouncing their expressions and names correctly. They shall still say Sunil Ga vas ker, when it should be Gaa vaskar. I hear the commentary of the IPL cricket and the names being attempted by the western commentators, is at times laughable. Yet were you to pronounce their expressions and names incorrectly, they would not hesitate to correct it and you. It depicts the love and respect for the country they belong to and the philosophy it depicts. As a nation we are smitten by the west and how and what did they do to be in such exalted position. But the hinterland in this country of ours, is perhaps more rigid in its way of conduct than any other. Their devotion and regard for the nation is unbreakable and strong. Look at all those contestants that came from all the small town areas for KBC. Their resolve and strength to excel was beyond compare. Their genuineness, simplicity and will to succeed was far more vocal than any other. I would prefer that over the artificiality of the larger metros, where commerce and equity and balance sheets prevail more than the committed desire to work for the morals and the improvement of our social system.

Charity needs to be done not spoken about ! Many think the other. " They will never know what you did until you tell them, otherwise … so …" Its a different take on the subject, one that would perhaps have grave implications. But that has been the norm with many. In many respects though I do feel in today's time and date, it would perhaps be recommended to hold everything in camera and adjust edit or just put forward what they wanted to show us, or what we wanted to tell them. It is a freedom that we enjoy. Many others do not. Fair enough. But the moment you start to cast aspersions and dissect proceeds it robs it of its very original nature. And that above all else is what we should aim for  - the original nature.


Good night my dearest ones ..


Amitabh Bachchan

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