Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Stay relevant, Stay cool: The Big B Way

As the most-loved, admired and respected host of the popular game/quiz show Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) and many other appearances on the television, Amitabh sir has been redefining and reinventing the art of staying relevant. His life has many lessons for all of us who strive hard, everyday, to keep away from all-pervading negativism, cynicism and pessimism that can easily distract us from focusing on our purpose and goals. I've always looked upon him for inspiration and strength in times of turbulences, holding on to the seat belt as it were, as the flight of my life saw many forms of aggressive and unruly weathers.

He is my favourite host and my idol who never ceases to motivate and ignite to just-do-it and be-at-it! He has set an example for generations to reinvent oneself, adapt the art and craft with time, connect with people, be resilient and so on. And his cool quotient is simply unmatchable!

I wonder, isn’t it tough to be so active, so buoyant and so very interested and empathetic with every single participant on a game show - so very consistently in each episode? 

I sit and admire the myriad expressions and listen intently to the emotionally modulated baritone of this amazingly powerful person! I learn something new each time I see him on screen. Whether it’s an ad for Polio eradication or Swachh Bharat Campaign or whether it’s a commercial done for a consumer brand or any snippet of interview or a speech delievered at an event.

With age, with that unmatched grace, he weaves magic on my TV screen and love the way he engages with people - the real people. I love the way he elicits their stories, making them feel comfortable and very naturally and spontaneously throws in humorous tidbits from his personal anecdotes. Even today, this star attracts the same attention as he used to when we were kids and he ruled the Hindi cinema! True, it’s got something to do with his name - Amitabh - meaning, one with limitless splendour.

Growing up, as a Bollywood hero we saw him in many roles, we watched him fight the baddies, we watched him romance the most graceful ladies, sing soulful songs and his immortal dialogues became a part of the cultural repertoire. His life had its ups and downs and we saw him through. He redefined entertainment on TV, or rather edutainment in some ways with the first season of KBC in 2000. Till then not many movie stars would venture into TV shows and risk their larger than life image. And in turn, KBC resurrected a waning star who had so many more years to shine for the younger generations.

Truly splendid Amitabh sir, you continue to be my guiding star; I have learnt a lot from your life about how to keep performing and doing what you can do best, learning from your struggles and survival. Your professionalism and discipline is something I try hard to imbibe. Your all pervasive grace on screen is so magnetic that I tend to forget all my other distractions and worries and watch and listen to every word you say. And your eyes say so much without you being aware of how much of your wisdom gets passed on through them.

As an ardent admirer of yours, I’m already a member of your extended family; today, on the occasion of your 75th birthday, I wish you a long and healthy life with more and more years of active presence on the all the screens.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

When regular becomes boring

Often, the regular becomes boring
And the normal gets tiresome
And we long for something exciting
Should something exciting always be a BIG thing?
Need not be, right?
Small changes in our routine
Simple tweaks in the mundane
A bit of variation in the regular
Can be so much fun!

Like trying the road never taken
And driving without Google maps
And advice, for a while:)

Like going on a holiday
And not taking any pictures
Like watching a movie in an unknown language without subtitles
Like reading a book backwards
Like wearing a colour that was never you!
Like sketching a self-portrait
Of 'me -when I was a kid'
Like ....
There is no end to things we could do to beat the all-too-familiar
And the regular!
A bit of discomfort
A bit of uncertainty
A bit of unknown
A bit of insanity
Bring so much colour and spice
In the otherwise regular life!

The puris in the picture were a part of a festival lunch I prepared when I wanted a colourful platter to break the boredom of other regular, predictable items on the menu. It was like a quick hack to make the meal a bit more interesting!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The unveiling

Does each morning bring a new surprise?
Any surprise, by definition is new
If is it already seen, isn't it deja vu
Then it’s not a surprise

Some mornings bring pleasant surprises
Like this morning, in the midst of a green veil
The sight of this lovely Butterfly Pea
Or Shankhapushpa flower
Just peeping out and untwining itself
With shades of cobalt, indigo, hues of blue

A moment of self-unveiling 
To watch it bloom and unravel 
Disentangling from the creeper 
with a push from the gentle breeze
And it gets its way with good ease

Is unveiling a natural thing?
Does one have to wait to be unveiled?
There’s a lot of beautiful stuff 
That gets unveiled everyday
A hidden flower or a hidden thought
A hidden talent or a hidden act
Any hidden good thing for that matter
Discovering, observing and unveiling
Isn't it much needed for our well-being!