Archive for the ‘Point of View’ Category

Larry King and the how to live longer. How about just play ?

Happened to catch bits of the Larry King show last night on how to live longer. My friend Deepak Chopra was on it – though he did not seem to get too much of a chance to speak. The one thing no one mentioned was community. That people that live in harmonious communities, or fulfilling relationships have healthier immune systems. Deepak did mention the idea of toxicity being not just about pollutants, but also how relationships can also be toxic. There is enough research now to show that loneliness is a great cause of loss of immune system and therefore the onset of disease. In modern society though, we see isolation almost as a pedigree to success. Almost masculine.
For those of us that come from in India, remember the word ‘Mehfil’ ? I remember my boyhood being spent on my bicycle going to friends houses and shouting at their windows to come and play. Play. That is what keeps harmony in communities. Play is what keeps relationships together. Play is how we defuse stress and tensions. Play is what keeps the immune system alive and healthy.

Should China give the US financial Aid ?

First lets all worship the much maligned American Consumer ! After all most of the economic development in the rest of the world, especially China (and certainly the Indian IT bussness) has happened due to the voracious appetite of the American Consumer. So the world is in trouble. The American Consumer, encouraged by the manipulative financial wizards of Wall Street, has grown too fat and suddenly realized they have been consuming far far more than they can afford. They have to start shedding quite a few pounds and the financial world is in absolute panic. There is talk of depression. There is talk of the fall of the financial and banking systems of the world. I would like to invite those that know more about this to contribute. but let me kick this off first …


My last conversation with Anthony Minghella

On Sunday, two days before Anthony Minghella went in for an operation on a tumour they had just discovered, Anthony called me to see if I would direct a short he had written as part of a film a called ‘New York – I love you’, where a bunch of directors make short love stories based in NY. Anthony was supposed to direct it himself but given his sudden illness could not do so. He told me his film was about the value of life, and how people sometimes just throw away their lives unable to look beyond into the real beauty of it.
Anthony was completely alert and aware of his own mortality at this time, and as long as I had known him, he had valued life in a creative and compassionate way..


Arthur C Clarke – Open Forum

I don’t think I need to introduce the life and times of Arthur Clarke to anyone here. For those that have not read his books, he had written 2001 Space Oddessy, which for me is one of the best films ever made by Stanley Kubrick. It is such a terrific exploration into the mind and consciousness. I saw it way before I ever thought of becoming a director and the images, the concepts of evolution, the idea of the unity of the universe into one timeless eternity still haunt me. Would anyone like to discuss your favourite books and writings by Arthur C Clarke here, as a tribute to this great mind ?

Is Earth Fluid or Solid ?

I just flew from Delhi to Los Angeles and observed the earth from above as I always do. Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran into Europe, I look at the incredible landscapes and realize how beautiful our planet really is. I peer carefully to see if I can see remote civilizations – small settlements and try and guess how people live there and what it means to live so far away form major cities. I also see no barriers and the earth flows seamlessly from one landscape to another, and not from one territorial nation to another. I have been flying for so many years but I can never stop myself from glueing my nose to the window every time….


Renting out your body for sex – should it be legal ?

Notice I did not use the word prostitution. Somehow like suicide, it has a nasty and abhorrent ring to it. People kill themselves because for some reason they are unable to face life day to day. Whether the situation is real, or provoked by chemical imbalances in the brain, ( induced perhaps by medication), there is a compulsion and helplessness to it. I am sure there is a financial or other compulsion to selling your body for sex. Question we need to discuss is if that is inherently immoral, or more to the fact, illegal. Don’t get me wrong. The use of young children and the forced prostitution of girls/women is as abhorrent as rape, if not more. But if a man or a woman is consensually selling their body for sex, should that be illegal ? If so, then at what age ? And most importantly, would legalizing prostitution allow the state to have greater control over it ? Reduce the criminal activity that surrounds it, and vastly reduce the spread of aids by having licensing laws to control this trade. Like now in some European countries. Knowing that nowhere n the world has any country been able to eradicate or even control this trade ?

Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Bank and the Nobel Peace prize.

In July of 1972, a young professor returned from the US to his native and newly independent Bangaladesh to be part of the building of a new Nation. He joined the Chttitagong University to teach Econmic theory. But in 1974 the great famine hit Bangladesh. Combined with the oil crisis of 1973 all economic structures started to collapse. Hundreds of thousands were dying. Prof Yunus saw no point in teaching antiquated western economic theories that had no relevance the reality around him. So he and his students started to tarvel to the nearby villagers to help. In that period he discovered people that were caught in the economic trap of moneylenders. Taking micro loans to barely survive, but could never pay off. And so became slaves to the money lenders for the rest of their lives. Prof Yunus and his students made a study of of the number of such families in the two villages next to their campus. They found 42. They calculated the total amount these families had borrowed.
The total sum was $27. For want of $27, forty two families were living below the poverty line in conditions of abject slavery. Muhammad Yunus gave the families $ 27 and freed them from a life long bondage to poverty. And the first seeds of the Grameen Bank were sown…


Heath Ledger did not commit suicide

Heath is not amongst us, but is in our consciousness. Heath is no longer a physical embodiment, but exists eternally now. His laugh is not audible to my ears any more, but I can hear it in my heart. in my consciousness. And that is what I remember him most for. His laugh. Deep and felt. Like he knew God was laughing with him.
The world is more troubled by his death than I expected. Like a great soul has passed amongst us and we, caught up as we all are, in the the throes of everyday life, did not even recognize it when it was there !
But in that coming to terms with our loss, why do we sensationalize his death ? why are we looking for dramatic escapes away from just a deep acceptance that ancient souls always leave us young ?
Heath Ledger did not commit suicide. Period. He was the most extraordinarily courageous man I have ever known. …….


Farewell, Heath ledger

In Heath I have lost a younger brother. He was one the most gentle, the most honest , most caring,and most compassionate persons I had met. And one of the most honest actors I worked with. I often told him that he had the ability to completely bare his soul in front of the camera, and all I needed to do was make sure the camera could look into his eyes, and through his eyes, the audience could clearly look into his soul. I last spoke to him the night before he died. I had just arrived in New York last night, he said he could not see me that night but really wanted to meet me the next day. he made me promise that I would call him in the morning and wake him up. I tried. Little did I know that his soul had already left his body.
Farewell Heath. I always knew you had an ancient soul. I always said you had a wisdom beyond your years. And somehow I always knew that your spirit was too restless. Goodbye, my brother.

hollywod strike

Really interesting article. A must read for all those that are looking to be film makers. It’s what I have been saying about the coming democracy of the new media, where large corporations will no longer be the gatekeepers between the film makers and the viewers.