Friday, July 23, 2010
Venue: AER, 33rd floor, Four Seasons Hotel, Worli, Mumbai
Time: 11 am, Friday
Day: Gorgeous, windy with the promise of rain in a few hours... The skies seem perfect with just the right blend of grey, white and blue.
I step out the elevator, turn left and enter the AER. As I walk towards the room, my breath is knocked out of my throat-- literally, and I almost choke on the wad of gum that is perpetually in my mouth. The French (bay) windows span the entire length of the wall-- making them seem non-existent.
I stop short, taking in the magnificent view of the waves thrashing against the shore, the ships at sea, the skyline and the 'Haji Ali'.. It looms in front of me, as serene as the simplest of sketches. I walk ahead, dazed, wanting to stick my nose to the glass and take it all in before the scheduled shoot begins.
And as I walk on towards the window, once again, I stop midtrack.. And this time it is not in awestruck wonder but surprised horror. Right in front of the ocean rises the biggest land bank I have ever seen-- slums and chawls lined one-atop another, innumerable huts packed into the tiniest space of land. It is only when I step into the room, that I see the bigger picture.
Right alongside the new, swanky and sexy sky-scrapers that define Mumbai's elite landscape is the stark reality. The condition of the majority living in this city of dreams. Where, in one dilapitated hut, many families seek shelter, not just against the harsh weather but also against each other.
It reminds me of a cartoon I watched years ago; where a small room is infested with mice-- scurrying up, under and over everything in sight. Right alongside the slum lies a cremation ground from which spires up a wispy trail of smoke. I raise my eyes to the ocean as it dawns on me that the view is no longer picture perfect.
I literally have to peel my eyes off the window and drag my mind back to the moment, as I have a deadline- and and anchor who is scheduled for another shoot in less than 2 hours. As I don my producer's cap and sound the clap for the shoot, I realise that although I have always known the reality that is Mumbai, the clear contradiction has sunk in only within the four walls of the 33rd floor of one of the poshest places in the city!
And then, back to business-- in more ways than one.....
Saturday, June 5, 2010
And once the initial rush recedes, what next.. The question pops out quite randomly and before you know it, the weight balance is out again-- measuring and calculating, ironing out the pros and cons.
There are two choices, and the logical side of me knows that all too well... In paper it comes down to whether you choose to feel like a rag on a clothesline-- high and dry; or a kite whose tail is just clipped off and after all the initial stutter, it finally breaks free.
In life it is not enough just knowing and putting it down on paper. "Practise what you preach"-- we have heard that time and again, at every single crossroads!! Why is a four word phrase so hard to implement... Here, I add that I simply will not buy the theory that it all boils down to the strength of the individual's mind. Because, what the hell is wrong with the momentary bouts of weakness? It is bloody human and teaches us the MOST important lessons in life.
There are times when the options ahead are crystal clear.. and others when all that you see as you look up are cloudy, grey skies-- almost an indication of gloom and darkness ahead. And during those times although the RIGHT thing is to look for that ray of light and hold on to it for inspiration, for hope and for a reason to rejoice: it seems almost impossible.
Is this going to be one of those depressing, hard-hitting emotional posts!! Well, so not...
Because that moment will pass, and there will be music, and light and a whole new meaning to life!! And if you are really lucky, there will be others rooting for you along the sidelines and as you turn, one glimpse and you realise that THEY make all the difference.
To those I love, and those who love me: for once I am just going to shut up; cos words just wont suffice!
Monday, February 22, 2010
I sit in the extremely turbulent flight, scared, and glance across at the little girl whose fingers are tightly entwined around those of her mother's! And remember....
Unfortunately, life does move on; and happiness is something I experience every single moment. ...but 'healing', well that is a whole different thing!
There is so much to learn, so much to understand and so many times I want to be in total control. More importantly, there is so much I have lost out on, so much that could have been and so much that I still yearn for. But, LIFE is a Bitch; and some things are just not meant to be!
This is because I can never be complete again; because I love you and miss you.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
In life, it is so easy to succumb to pressure. Sometimes the cause of it is oneself; it is situations we are in, relationships, work, society, an 'image' that we want to live up to or the 'past' that we can not seem to escape from.
It is absolutely essential to gain some perspective, to learn to step back and look at the bigger picture. Life does not offer us too many chances, and to make the best use of the ones that we are given is what makes us wise.
Be your best friend; accept your flaws- learn and yearn to better them. Fight against the tide, do not surrender to the flow of the river, work your way upstream. It is not anyone else who steers the ship; it is YOU!
Life- it is a GIFT! You owe it to yourself to be the best you can, realise it. Please.
-Bruce B Wilmer