Saturday, May 17, 2008

Bachchan's Big Blog

I am late by a month and you'd already have visited Big B's Big blog at I came to know of it last week when I surfed upon an interview of Amitabh on CNN-IBN which mainly concentrated on the blog.

Amitabh Bachchan also seems to have reached the power of blogging to interact with his fans, after Aamir Khan, who started blogging a year ago. However, as opposed to Aamir, who generally has short posts, Amitabh writes at length after his first post, and goes on to publish his interviews and views on various things, shares his thoughts and experiences, talks about his family and work, gets pensive at times and ponders over life and its aspects, like a general blooger. And as a celebrity blogger, replies to articles on the press, rectifies and clarifies accusations, rants out against media allegations.

Reading his blogs make you feel so close to him. You feel like he is directly talking to you about normal life routines, and is discussing his problems with you like a friend. He reads comments and responds to them too. Obviously we cannot expect him to respond to each and every of the thousands of comments he gets daily, but he answers to people's queries, thanks them for their appreciations, and clarifies things.

The epitome of humility and downtoearthness that Amitabh is, his blog reflects that. For example, he writes in his 26th April post about Abhi-Ash wedding:

Every member of my entire staff with their families, people who have worked and remained with us for over 30 years, drivers, cleaners, kitchen staff, peons, minders, office bearers, security, helpers - formed the major portion of my (invitation) list. My family, Jaya, Abhishek, Shweta, my grand children and I all sat with them and looked after them, served them food with our own hands and nothing in the world could have given us more pleasure than doing that. For me they were my most important guests.

The blog is much talked about in all forms of media. People wonder why does he have to take the trouble of answering every little matter thrown up by the media and dignifying them. Some daily accused him of being super-sensitive, taking offence at the slightest provocation. He replies back here by saying that after years of accusing him of arrogance, non cooperation and aloofness, after years of pleading for response, reaction and information, now that he is providing it himself through his blog, the media suddenly starts cribbing the other way round. He does play tit-for-tat at times, which goes against his modest image, but I appreciate him all the more for that. However down to earth one may be, they should not let anybody talk anything about them. And if they do, they need to be corrected, in their own language.

There is lot to know about the actor on the blog. There is lot to learn and get inspired. I already look forward to his post everyday and his blog would definitely form one of the blogs I would like to keep in my reader for ever.

The only thing I wonder is, how does he manage so much in 24 hours? Working at odd and for long hours, keeping in touch with friends and family, giving speeches and interviews, reading the print and electronic media and keeping track of who said what so as to hit back on his blog, and blogging on top of it! These are the activities he talks about on the blog. There would be definitely many more. There sure is lot of hard work even for a living legend like Amitabh Bachchan. Is the procrastinator in me listening?

Thursday, May 08, 2008


Perhaps the few readers I was able to coerce into have gotten used to my irregular posting or are thankful I am not writing for almost two months now, or knew I was busy and did not have the time/leisure/frame of mind to actively blog, even though I always followed up on the blogs I have on Google Reader all these two months but the last two-and-a-half weeks I was off the internet. However, it would be untrue if I concur my friends and attribute lack of time or energy as the reason for non-blogging—I had all the time in the world while at work if not at home, and my computer had uninterrupted incoming flow of energy—the reason is plain laziness. I could even have composed some blogs during my two-weeks stay at Bilaspur and half-a-week travel by rail summing up to-and-fro; in fact I had wanted to draft some from the scene of crime and post later, but couldn't do away with the pleasant afternoon siestas in front of coolers, something you don't get to relish in Bangalore.

Coolers are not the only thing I miss. Visiting my grandma's house brought up memories of childhood, when Mom and sisters and I used to spend our entire summer vacations there—year after year, till I entered college eight years ago. It was the first time after that that I visited the place again, and I could get nostalgic everyday remembering myself sitting bleary-eyed in mornings in the large foyer opening to the aangan, pull-ups at the rod in the foyer, perching at the staircase in the aangan with my summer-vacation-homework, afternoon naps at the room on the first floor, solving Hindi crosswords in archived newspapers, flying kites on the terrace which was accessible only through a wooden ladder I was always afraid of climbing—everything was so fun, and seems so distant now. We would wait for Maama to return from office and take us out to Company Garden and snacks at ICH. I would join my cousins in shopping for the daily needs at Shanichari. The other Maamas and families would visit us on weekends from nearby cities, and we would play cards late into the night; I remember often more than 10 people playing on three decks, and almost an equal number queued up for their turn.

Bilaspur Junction Railway Station

Everyone had visited this time also, but then almost everyone, including I, was busy with my sister's marriage, and we had moved to another, bigger house the latter part of my stay. However, I couldn't help getting emotional every time I visited the 70-year old house to get some stuff. Old constructions always excite me, and this was one I had spent quite some beautiful summers in. The house is located in Juna Bilaspur, Juna being the Chattisgarhi word for old. Its like the Purani Dilli, with all the rush and crowd. And the entire locality has those old constructions, most of them with khaprail tile roofs, which adds to my liking. Then there is the Arpa river which brims up only in monsoons, but the river bed, and one of the many bridges one has to cross to go to the other part of the city, provide a picturesque landscape. I so much missed carrying my camera around in all the rush. It would have been infeasible stopping at the roadside taking pictures when I had so many people to coordinate with and so many arrangements to be taken care of.

Anyways, this was a welcome change away from the click-and-touch world I live in otherwise. I had to get my hands dirty, and go back to the real world where you need to literally sweat out to get things done, and the todo is not a list of online sites you need to visit. Bilaspur is quite different a city than the bigger ones like Bangalore and Delhi, although it has changed considerably in the past eight years I couldn't pay an annual tribute to it. The roads, the marketplaces, new apartments and constructions, malls and hangouts, increased traffic, the new place in the administrative map it has got—there has been a complete metamorphosis, and I cannot do full justice to it unless I put it off for another post.

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