Thursday, July 19, 2012

time ho gaya hai Pack Up last words told Rajesh Khanna

Jalsa , Mumbai                            July 18,  2012                          Wed 11 : 30 PM

I first saw him in a film magazine, perhaps Filmfare. He was the winner of the Filmfare-Madhuri Talent Contest, a contest that I had applied to in the coming year and been rejected. His film 'Aradhana' was my next meeting with him, at the Rivoli Theatre in Connaught Place in New Delhi, which my Mother took me along to see. The packed audience and their reactions to this young handsome man was impermeable.

The early, or shall I say preliminary rejection of my attempt to compete in the Filmfare-Madhuri contest, had made me leave my settled job in Calcutta. I had come away home to seek the possibilities of joining the Industry in some other way. But one look at Rajesh Khanna made me realize that with people like him around, there would be little chance or opportunity for me, in this new profession !

When I got my call for 'Saat Hindustani' I travelled to Bombay, got the role and went back to start its shooting. My friendship with one of the Hindustani's, Anwar Ali, brought me in the vicinity of his illustrious brother Mehmood. Mehmood bhaijaan's presence in the Industry and his own very large standing, gave me an opportunity to get an informal meet at one of the shootings of Rajesh Khanna. It was a very formal hand shake and that was it - a routine for him, an honor for me !

Soon after I was being cast opposite him in 'Anand'. This was like a miracle, God's own blessing and one that gave me 'reverse respect'. The moment that anyone came to know that I was working with THE Rajesh Khanna, my importance grew. And I gloated in its wake. During the breaks in the shooting of the film I would return to Delhi and gleefully describe the scenes and dialogues of the film, as also its music to all that I met - and I met many during that time ! There were no CD's then, just the spooled tapes, and getting Hrishi da to part with one such for me, was an exercise in futility. But I was able to get one and 'kahin dur jab din dhal jaae ..' played endlessly on my very repair stricken tape recorder.

He was simple and quiet. Would sit in the front seat of his modest Herald, driven by his man-friday Kabir. He would attract many visitors on set and was continuously surrounded by them - Hrishi da permitting ! The frenzy and the following he garnered was a sight to behold. In the 1970 era his fans came from Spain to meet him - a most unheard of occurrence then. In his trade mark Rajesh Khanna kurta pyjama, he almost always looked the boy next door, one that girls would want to take home to Mother. But amidst all this there was a quiet elegance within him. In his boyish plainness there was something that was regal in his demeanor. It was the magnet that attracted others to him - who at times were almost servile to him in nature.

My observation above, does not do justice to what I wish to explain. But then, that itself could be that unspoken accomplishment of his.

I visited his residence 'Aashirwad' just once when we were working together, to wish him on his birthday, only to realize when I reached their, that I had come in a day earlier. He was magnanimous enough to understand my awkwardness and asked me to stay back ; then after a while driving me to Shakti Samanta's ( who made 'Aaradhana' and many other films with him, and 'Great Gambler' and 'Barsaat ki ek Raat' with me ) house to join him for dinner ! The next day on his birthday he hosted me again. Many many years later he had called me to his office to seek the possibility of working for his production, which did not materialize. Then of course my last meeting with him was when IIFA decorated him with a LifeTime Achievement Award and asked me to present it. His gracious words for me still resound.

When the shooting of 'Anand' began at Mohan Studios, Hrishi da's favorite locale, now a concrete housing colony, the one moment that always worried me was, that last scene when I break down after his death and urge him emotionally to speak ! Not being able to find a method in my own very limited acting experience, I sought the help of Mehmood bhai, in who's house I was living with his brother Anwar Ali. And I still remember what he told me -

 He said, " just think Amitabh,  R- a- j- e- s- h  K- h- a- n- n- a  is dead  !! and you will get everything right ".

It was not so much a tutorial in acting that he expounded. It was an exalted acknowledgement of Rajesh Khanna's presence and position in the psyche of the nation, that he was drawing my attention to.

That is how Rajesh Khanna was looked upon from the day he started till his last breath. Times changed, people changed, circumstances changed, but Rajesh Khanna always remained his quiet, elegant, regal self !

As I sat at his home this afternoon, to pay my respects, soon after learning of his passing away, a close functionary of his, came up to me and told me in a choked voice what his last words were -

" time ho gaya hai ! Pack Up ! " 

Amitabh Bachchan

I write to you perhaps for the last time on this platform, as briefed.

  Jalsa , Mumbai                July  9 ,  2012                      Mon  10 : 00 PM



Dearest Ef .

I write to you perhaps for the last time on this platform, as briefed.

I have had to make a shift in my domain. This has been necessitated because of certain compulsions from my end. My digital domain is now being restructured as per the regulations and desires of my Company and hence this. For those that have been my companions and my extended family, this is where you need to go to read the daily Blog :, is my new platform and from this moment I shall be putting up my thoughts and words there. I have had a most pleasant conversation with the team at tumblr. in the United States of America a short while ago, and they seemed very excited about our presence on their site. I do hope that you will enjoy this new experience, as much as I look forward to making this fresh beginning.


Before I leave, I must bid farewell to and let them know that they were the ones that pioneered this exercise for me, bore up with all the initial starting troubles and my incessant requests for the introduction of various additions that I had asked them of. You have been a marvelous team, and I do not have sufficient words to thank you for all the cooperation and work put in by you in providing me the incentive to be with my followers for these past years. Individually and collectively your team has been with me round the clock and for this I am most grateful. Your efficiency and your dedication in making this platform of mine live and active is beyond measure. Thank you !


With great love and affection,


Amitabh Bachchan

A visit to a theater by junior showing his latest, an inauguration of a Trade Magazine

Jalsa , Mumbai                    July  8,  2012                                     Sun  11 : 30 PM


Prabir Bhatt : a very happy birthday to you ! Love as always … enjoy !! 




A visit to a theater by junior showing his latest, an inauguration of a Trade Magazine, the well wishers on the Sunday, and the four legged that challenges – 'anything you can do I can do better' !! And finally the breaking of British hearts at Wimbledon with Andy Murray losing to the Swiss precise machine, quiet, smooth and accurate – Roger Federer !


They are enthusiastic than most other days ! A mid-eastern man grips me and weeps, not quite as publicly as the British ace on Center Court in his runner up speech. They throw bouquets and flowers, some of which have been caught in mid air by some extreme photography. The police jeep has been replaced by the van – a larger contingent of the men in uniform for control, and Shanouk who climbs up the steps to decipher for himself what the entire fuss was about !! All in a days work.

The Trade Magazine inauguration was a quick in and out. Sanjay Dutt in presence, as were many from the trade. Bhawana Somaiya who sits on the Editor in Chief chair, a senior professional journalist and among the few that have conducted themselves with a certain degree of integrity, sings embarrassing praises. I make a quick deliverance cum unveiling and out ! Out into the mob – the modern day paparazzi, blinding the eye with the flash, brushing past your teeth with the microphone, stumbling breaking glassworks and furniture as they match steps demanding a 'chomp'. Just doing their job. That footage of interest that can make news preferably 'breaking', that one odd picture around which an entire column could be devised, the clothing worn, the shoes, the hair, who smiled to whom and who was deliberately ignored. The one that works the most is the one on location. The one that writes is the one that is omni absent ! Great strategy because then you are not obliged to know the fact of the visual, the visual gets you to create the fact. Right or wrong does not matter, so long as it has covered those few minutes on the 'box' or adorned a page on the print !

Tennis has come to an end, at least in the British Isles for now. I believe it shall shift now across the Atlantic to the US of A and the hard courts at Flushing Meadows, the site for the US Open – an informal more casual and greatly relaxed atmosphere, than the 'propaar stiff uppur lip' of Wimbledon – uniformed clothing, uniformed protocol, uniformed pageantry, uniformed etiquette, uniformed greens on court and uniformed audience ! Each blade of the green grass on court measured and cut to exact size, as opposed to the yanks' hard clay court grey and stark, laid back audience, chatting cracking up joke and comment, consuming the hot dog and burger with the largest drinks ever in the entire universe, and with the side attraction of the odd skunk or a larger than normal rat in the stands, amid screams from the ladies !! Not so much Hollywood in attendance as against local popular musicians and singers and the odd Tv personage – the Stars of the Angels better present ringside, at the Lakers game by the NBA court !

Shoot tomorrow for an endorsement for jewelry and later, final sits on the move from one platform to the other in this domain.

The rain it raineth constant ! I pray it reaches the regions and destinations that most need it.

My love to all and with the sweetest of dreams for the night ..

Amitabh Bachchan

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