Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Power of Silence

Got this as a forward loved it so much that thought of putting it on the blog.

Read on...

Have you ever experienced a moment in your life when you just ran out of words and you go... s i l e n t ???

Let me assist you in recalling...

.. the moment when you left your home for the first time and you look back at your parents who are worried that their son/daughter are leaving them yet happy that their child took the first step towards

... the moment when the girl/boy you like most.. smiled back at you! You don't say anything.. you just smile back..

... the moment when you get better marks than you expected... those "numb" moments of ecstasy n surprise "is that true?"...

... the moment when you are parting with your old friend(s) and the train has just started... and you are standing on the door of the wagon.. waving "bye-bye" with your heart beating fast...

... the moment after the HR manager has just called you and told you,"You are through! Congrats!"

... the moment when you sit alone in your room after having told everyone that you cleared that exam you prepared for 6 months!!

You can go on remembering your "special" moments!

I had always wondered why I never said anything to myself at those moments.. as if it was "understood"... happiness, joy, pain.. all feelings just flowed ceaselessly in the 'years' that passed in those flash moments!

They say.. the best way to communicate is through "silence".Love. Joy. Grief. Surprise. Anger. Hope. Expectations. Support. Non-cooperation...

Can you imagine the importance of a silent moment in a song??
When Bryan Adams stops for a while along with music, before he goes on in his husky voice...
... Please forgive me. I can't stop loving you!

Ever had those moments when you thought you were tired enough that you reach for your bed after dinner.. but find yourself wide awake looking at the roof of your room silently...

But you sure are 'thinking'... those moments of self-talk are the most important in our lives. Those moments when we listen to our own hearts! Those promises... those decisions... those are the moments when we make our destinies!

Next time you go silent... listen carefully to what your heart is saying.. listen to its joy...listen to its pain.. listen to its fears.. listen to its desires..

Don't make it shut up and go off to sleep...
That voice alone can lead you to the abode of peace that your sleep lacks... peace that awaits you!

Be in touch with your true self...

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Smiley's House

Had been to Smiley’s house yesterday post work to sit with Bala to write our next song. Had good fun. How I wish I could do this all my life! I am so in my elements when I am writing songs or discussing a script. While we were brainstorming for the concept of the song Smiley chipped in and suggested a wonderful concept. Bala suggested writing a prelude to the song in prose. A la Gulzar. Penned something down which all of them loved.

Later Mihir joined us and so did Shefali. We all sat together till almost 3 in the morning. Then when the rest went to sleep Bala and me started the next song and Kalyani joined us at 4 am. Yeah, that’s the time she came. Sat up till 5 am. Then slept at 5.30. Whew!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Golden Era

Just the other day as I was switching channels incessantly more as a habit than anything else I heard it, and it brought back a flood of memories. The familiar sound of the trumpet that used to come at the end of every episode of ‘Nukkad’. That was enough an impetus for me to skip right back in time and dwell on those golden days of Indian Television. The generation younger to me may take this as yet another case of senility tom toming about their good old days. Well, may be, but for me it really meant a world which was different and endearing.

The sound brought with it a breeze of memories that were tucked under the expanse of time that had passed in the meanwhile. I began reminiscing about all those wonderful serials and programs that used to come on DD and more importantly the prominence that it had in our lives then.

I remember ‘Nukkad’. I recall each and every character as if I were related to them. Guru, Radha, Khopadi, Ghanshu, Ganpat, Hari, Kadarbhai’s hotel. I vividly remember the episode when Hari is riding the bicycle continuously for days so that he could set a record and get some money and how each and every person in the Nukkad cheers and wheedles him to go on. And how finally as he is about to go for his last lap he collapses bringing down with him not only his dreams but also that of each and every person in the Nukkad. Why just the Nukkad? Dreams and hope of each and every one of us watching it. Truly a moment etched out in time.

Then there was Malgudi Days. A village that would have been any other village in any part of India. R.K. Narayan’s stories were sliced out of each of our lives.

Tuesday nights at nine we used to have dinner watching Girish Karnad and Vinnie Parnajpe in Sara jaha hamara or was it Hum paanch ek dal ke?

The cast and crew of Nukkad teamed up again for Intezaar (And then later for Circus which was also amazing in its nuances, but not as good as Nukkad though) which was again a wonderful series depicting the lives of people who worked on a railway station.

Then there was Shahrukh’s ‘Fauji’ where my favourite charcter was the guy who used to say, ‘ I say Buddy…’

Mohan Gokhale had us in splits as Mr. Yogi. And watching Anjan Srivastav and Bharati Achrekar in the Wagle household one couldn’t help but identify with their predicaments and their quirks. Mungerilal and his dreams had the entire nation dreaming with him. Although I don’t remember seeing it properly but I do remember that, ‘30 years ka experience hai’ dialogue of Satish Shah in Yeh jo hai Zindagi.

Kathasagar and Ek kahani were two programs that I used to swear by. Wonderful literary gems brought to life by best of the directors like – Basu Chatterjee, Gulzar etc. Stories of O. Henry, Maupassant, Chekov, Gorky, Premchand…Oh….those were the days…

Who can forget Om Puri in Tamas? Or Nasserudin Shah as Mirza Ghalib? Salim Ghouse in Chunauti?

While I was around 12 , I had this huge crush on Punam Sareen who used to come in Lekh Tandon’s “Phir wahi Talaash” also starring Neelima Azim. I used to see it religiously every Sunday at 12 noon.

While Renuka Shahane and Siddharth Kak took us to a journey across India in Surabhi, Prannoy Roy updated us with the happenings in the world in The World this Week.

Then there was Rajni and Udaan who were so progressive that when I look at these current Saas bahu sagas I feel as if I have traveled back in time. I still remember the title track of Rajni, “Ladki hai ek naam Rajni hai…. Chorus: Rajni… Rajni… Rajni… Rajni ki ek yeh kahani hai…Dekhi jaha burayi hai jaake waha takrayi hai…”

Byomkesh Bakshi was my hero. For me he was somebody who came closest to my picture of Sherlock Holmes. Then of course there was Karamchand who after every short interval used to ask Kitty for a gajar…hehehe…come to think of it now it was damn funny.

Forget Aahat or Raat Hone ko hai. These serials are paani kam chai in front of Honi Anhone or Kille ka Rahasya. To an extent that the government had to ban Honi Anhonee. For me personally I haven’t seen a more spin chilling series in my life. More so because all the stories shown were claimed to be true stories. The title track of Kille ka Rahasya was a killer! Seriously. I mean I don’t know in what frame of mind the music director must have composed the track; probably he must have been a whacko himself. I don’t know but it was earnestly eerie.

Deepti Naval’s Thoda sa Aasman was a major tearjerker. They don’t do programs like these any more.

One serial that had me completely intrigued was this science fiction series called ‘Indradhanush’. It was about a bunch of youngsters who travel back in time. There were host of other enjoyable programs for kids like Gayab, Fireball, Giant Robot, Ek, Doh , Teen , Char which I was head over heels in love with.

Sunday mornings began with Rangoli in the morning, Walt Disney cartoons at nine then of course came the mythologicals. Then Street Hawk at 11 am. Then at 1 pm was the time to see the news for the hearing impaired followed by a regional language movie. This was the time when I saw the works of Adoor, Kama Hasan, Satyajit Ray, Jabbar Patel and other Indian stalwarts (Although most of it went bouncer at that age!)
Evening was the time for your mega Hindi movie which we used to see sipping on a cup of refreshing chai with Marie biscuits.(I still remember the old Marie ad which had the jingle, ‘Brittania, Brittania, Brittania Marie…I remember this huge family having tea together…I think RajaBundela was there in the ad.)

Apart from Mahabharta and Ramayna, which were the obvious favourites in mythologicals, I was immensely fond of Bharat ek Khoj (I remember the title track of this too, “Shrishti se pehle sat nahi tha, Asat bhi nahi, Antarikha bhi nahi, Akash bhi nahi tha…”) and Chanakya. Later Chandrakanta also made it to the list.

As I sat fondly remembering those wonderful and memorable moments associated with our Indian television I was brought out of my reverie by a jarring voice singing ‘Kahani ghar ghar ki!’

Ya right!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Weekend Part II

So that was about Saturday. Sunday was fun too. Inspite of reaching home at 1.30 am I got up at 7.00 next day morning to go to Prithvi to watch Roman Polanski’s Macbeth at 9 am and Kurosawa’s “Throne of Blood” at 11 pm. So there we were Kalyani and me meeting at Chemburnaka at 7.45 am (Such is the passion that I wasn’t late for this one inspite of the early morning time) Luckily got a 358 which dropped us near NM College.

About the movies. I especially liked Polanski’s Macbeth. His atmosphere creation was out of this world. So was his screenplay and direction. Not to mention the famous scene where the kid turns towards his mother and says, “Mother he just killed me!” That scene just hits you.

Kurosawa’s Throne of blood was impressive too but what hampered the effect of it was watching two movies in succession early in the morning. Since we had got up early we were anyways struggling to keep our eyes open to add to it watching another movie having the same story was just too much for us. We took short naps in between the movie. Ya …I know I know I slept in between a Kurosawa movie! How bad is that?

Left Prithvi at 1.30 pm. Went to Khasiyaat and had lovely parathas. Came back. Went to class. It’s getting tougher by the day. Sarosh asked me to do some exercises so that my fingers get used to stretching.
From class went to station and took a new Tata cell phone for Muma. Came back. Kalyani came over by then. Had a cup of tea made by me (It was a disaster). Felt nice sitting in your own house with just the kind of ambience, the music, (Farida Khanum), the lights everything…just what we were wishing for some years back…God’s Grace,What else?

Weekend Part I

Had a fun weekend. Saturday watched Iqbal with Kalyani and loved it. The trio of Shreyas, Shweta and Naseerbhai was just mindblowing. Their chemistry was bang on and they were oozing natural energy. It was a treat. Good to see Shreyas has broken free from the Marathi mould and made his mark nationally. The road ahead will be more difficult though. He will have to choose intelligently.

In the evening we guys met up at Jante’s house for Ganpati. Had loadsa fun. Ate kanda poha that his mom had prepared. Then came down and sat near the college for sometime. We were our usual selves again after a long time. But the real interesting part began after that. Sood went back with his friends. We decided to go drinking. Raman as usual was cribbing about Mahabaleshwar so we thought we would first check Indiana out. Turned out that even tough they don’t have it as a dance bar any more they still have the same sitting arrangement with sofas and tables and a lady singing with an orchestra behind her yuck!! We squirmed and came out. I told Raman that we will take you to the filthiest of bars but we won’t take you to such places, don’t worry! As if that was any solace for him.

Anyways the highlight of the evening was the conversation that we had in Mahabaleshwar. Samir initiated it (I know it’s a bit tough to imagine) He said that lets play a game wherein every person speaks about the negatives and positives about each other.

It turned out to be a healthy and interesting discussion. There were the obvious observations and also the not so obvious ones.

For Samir the obvious remark was that he seems too aloof most of the times and that he never calls on his own. But at the same time whenever he’s with everybody he is 100% there. Also there is the genuine charm about him that makes him more likable and lovable. Samir also has this amazing perspicuity in knowing people and their nature that makes him one of the more matured persons in the group. Also Between Raman and Samir both had a conversation on why they don’t open up to each other. Both have an equal role to play. Samir on his own never discusses his personal life and Raman is not too good at probing.

With Raman everybody agreed on his innocence, which sometimes makes him look negative, but at the same time it’s that innocence that makes him so adorable. If he takes people for granted he also makes it a point to constantly stay in touch with them. I took the privilege of offending Raman to the max. I told that donno what is it but there are situations wherein I am not sure whether Raman is completely open or not which is why I don’t take that chance of actually telling or asking about somethings to him.

There was a consensus that Jante is a ‘Muhfat’. He can’t sugarcoat things. And when it comes to arguing without reason there is no one who can hold his hand. But he also has one of the more sensible heads on his shoulders. I mentioned that Jante is a complete CEO material. He has the right amount of drive, ruthlessness and ambition mixed with the ability to create a team and inspire them.

Lastly about me, people had a tough time coming out with negatives…hahaha…well ya I did come across as a stubborn person who once when convinced about his stand doesn’t move away from it come what may and will keep on arguing about it to glory even when all the people around him have a different view. Good points…well…Jante said I know the value of people that’s why I know how to adjust and adapt myself to people and their behaviour. To quote Samir: “Yeh toh yaaron ka yaar hai!” Raman: “To a certain extent he is my hero!”

Sood missed this session. When asked if an emergency strikes who would be the first person that I will call, I named two guys No.1 Sood and No.2 Jante. Which after knowing that one call and all four of them would be there.

Friday, September 09, 2005


Had gone to visit TP in the evening. Had a long chat. He freaked out the moment he saw me. He was like “Whoa! You are a big man!” I said, “Hey chill I look a hell lot older for my age.” Anyways comin back to what we discussed…Ya so he said that you have to write for the masses. Don’t write for your fellow writers, that he said is the main drawback of an advertising copywriter. Most of the copywriters he said write for their fellow writers. Which I completely agree. What else? Hmmm…Quite a few things worth writing home about.

Don’t be in a hurry to make a film. Don’t set targets like I have to make a film within 2 or 3 years or so on.

Don’t make it compulsory that ‘my first film will be my best film.’

Do this when you are writing your film. As you do in advertising come out with a target audience for your film. At the end of the day even if it’s a creative product it has to be sold and we need takers for it. One thing that he told he does and recommends it to me is: Come down from your high-rise apartment. Stand on the road and look at the people passing by. The auto rickshaw walla, the aunty taking the sabzi, the kids coming out of classes, the dukandar, the salesman etc etc and ask yourselves will they be keen on seeing your movie? Will they understand your movie and appreciate it? It’s a call that needs to be taken. Whether you are making your movie for a handful of people who sit in a cocoon of their own and claim to be the connoisseurs of cinema or get down to the actual grassroot level and not use the movie as a medium to show your intense falsified pseudo-intelligence. Yes, it’s a powerful medium and it need not be just wasted on item numbers or cheap gags but what will be worse is you use it to pat your own back by show things in a complicated way,things which can very well be shown in a simple but endearing manner. Anyways I digress. The rule being – Know thy audience.

It’s easy to write an intelligent and complicated film but its damn tough to write a simple and straightforward film.
Need to watch more of Tarantino.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Had the privilege of attending a lecture given by Shyam Benegal. A quick run through the important points covered and which left an impact on me:

Commercial or the mainstream Hindi cinema as we know it caters to a passive audience. They are the ones, which don’t disturb the accepted set of norms in the audiences mind. In short they don’t challenge the audiences beliefs, credos etc. Thus they don’t make the them think.

They can be quantified as a combination of 9 basic emotions in one product.

Therefore it’s more of a spectacle than a work of art.

It doesn’t allow residuals in characters.

Viewers feel a sense of déjà vu, which in turn is what is known as general entertainment.

Popular cinema doesn’t delve into the inner lives of their characters, but rather they dig into the inner lives of the audiences. Which is why the relevance to the external life is remote.

They are anti psychological. Its hailing the status quo.

Modern cinema has fewer paradoxes.

Alternatively meaningful cinema probes on a sensory, emotional and cerebral level.

They make the audiences active.

The above-mentioned points were covered in his lecture some points that came up while I was conversing with him were:

You need to know the rules thoroughly before breaking them. Picasso is considered great because he broke the rules but not before having a complete hold over them. You should know that you are breaking a rule and doing something different rather than breaking norms in a juvenile manner by being completely oblivious about them.

One needs to have a fair enough understanding of the techniques of film making before laying your hands on it.

Before I could ask him my final question- ‘tips to an aspiring film maker.’ A certain Mr.Pandey and his troupe whisked Mr. Benegal into the more elite circles and away from the lesser mortals! theek hai yeh bhi sahi….Tu darna mat mere dost tera number bhi aayega!!!

Me Back!!!

Yipee!!! After the self imposed hiatus Me Back!!! This time around the blog promises to get more personal, more monosyllabic, more uninteresting than before. Unknowingly Prachi of Dawn inspired me to blog again. Put my thoughts down ruminate on them. Hope am able to sustain the enthusiasm this time.