Happy Republic Day for India the Idea.

Sitting at Narita Airport in Tokyo. Thinking about my country and my people. The people of India. It’s Republic Day today in India.
The people of India ?
Is there another country on this planet with people as diverse as ours ? And while we constantly speak and complain about differences and conflicts, today must be a day to celebrate that diversity. The fact that despite the diversity we have clung to one nation even though everything threatens to tear us apart everyday.
Why ? Because India is more than a country. It is an Idea. An Idea that was born as a reaction to being colonized, to being enslaved by colonial power for centuries. As long as the Idea survives, India survives. They day we let go of that idea, we might as well let go of India.

Heath Ledger, have two years passed ?

It’s 5.20 am and am struggling to sleep in my hotel room in San Hose. Jet lag ? No, something else is nagging me – and then it comes like a bolt, a sudden sharp, almost physical feeling of sadness. It Heath’s 2nd Anniversary of his passing.
For those that know this blog, will know of my special relationship with Heath. Well, that survives time. Even through the sadness and heavy heart I sense him laughing and smiling almost looking down and saying “Get on with it, Mate !”
Lots of other things come to mind. What do two years mean ? What does passing of time mean ? How little or more have I achieved in the last two years. How productive have I been – and all this on context of Heath’s passing as if time stopped there and started again ? Is what you have done, or what has happened, or the events that have taken place since the only measure of time ? Or is there something far more eternal about time ?
Tonight I am going to LA and having dinner with Orando Bloom. The last time we met was in Heath’s friend’s pad in Melbourne, where Heath was proudly showing a rough cut of Four Feathers to all his friends. So proud was he of his performance in a film that actually did very little at the box office.
So I am just going to look up at Heath’s smiling face and say “Hey, Mate ! We are still down here trying undersatnd it all” Trying to imitate his broad Australian drawl.

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At Isha with Sadhguru

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Interviewing Sadhguru on the meaning of God, Love, Shiva and relationships. You should be able to see the interviews on Youtube.

Haiti – whats life worth ?

When there is a calamity of such huge proportions, you wonder this. What’s life worth ? As with the Tsunami in South Asia, the Earth Quake in China and then in Pakistan. Whole ideas of of religious morality come into question. The equation between Sin and suffering, between Karmic action and Consequence. What Sin did hundreds of thousands of people, including children, commit to call upon such suffering ? What astrologer could look at the the horoscope of so many people and predict tragedy for all of them at the same instant ?
How many of those were young people in love about to get married. How many plans for the future destroyed in one instant. How many pregnant mothers, with their last thoughts of their unborn babies that they nurtured as the concrete fell about them. How many parents reaching out to their children in that instant with the instinct to somehow save them, and being crushed to death before their hands could even touch them for one last instant. How many people desperately clawing at debris with their bare hands as they hear their loved ones screaming and crying for help, as the cries die down and knowing there is no hope, still clawing and screaming in agony, just one word again and again
Why ? Why ?
I don’t know why. But all I do know is that life is NOW. Grab it NOW. Tell them you love them NOW. Hug your kids NOW. Do what you have to do NOW. Tomorrow is a fantasy. The only reality is this moment and NOW.
And why does it take a tragedy to remind us again and again ?
My heart goes out to the people of Haiti. And to all of us. For we are not separate from them. None of our tomorrows are certain.

View from my hotel in Innsbruck

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For the Fans of Masoom (and others)

Remember Mini ? The little girl from Masoom ? Well she is a grown up mother of two and teaches music. Hers is one of the most beautiful New Year letters I got this year and am going to share :
Dear Uncle,
Wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy New Year! I’m sure, the new year will be packed with more laurels, good health and peace for you.
I’d called you to wish you on Diwali, but couldn’t get through. Hope I get to meet you sometime this year. Really looking forward to it.
This is something I read, and really liked it:
“It doesn’t matter what you do for a living…
..It doesn’t matter how old you are…
..It doesn’t matter what planets are squaring your moon…
…What matters is if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human…”
– from “The Invitation” by Oriah Mountain Dreamer
Hope you have a great year ahead!
Love and Regards,
Aradhana (Mini)

Happy New Year, Eternally and Momentarily

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what do we search for
when all existence is here ?
in the snowflake that melts
before you catch it ?
in the dust particle
of the first ray of light
which disappears the moment
you try and isolate it ?
in your own shadow,
that changes
the moment you turn around to look at it ?
all existence lives
eternally, momentarily
in the moment
you experience yourself
as part of it,
if you don’t try
and define it
isolate it
measure it
and capture it
beyond that moment
I wish you all an eternal momentary happiness

Paani – inspiration vs efficiency in screenplay writing

As I work hard in completing the detailed screenplay for Paani, I come across something that I am sure other creative people suffer from – at least I hope they do. How do you really know if something is really good or not unless at that moment of writing your feel a surge of inspiration – a surge of emotion ? Something inside you that tells you a big ‘yes’.
And how many of those inspired moments do you need in a film both in conceiving it and in the execution of it to make it inspirational for the audience ? For the film to transcend, as it were from prose to poetry ? The problem is that you could wait forever for inspiration – sitting staring out of the window as I am right now. When people ask me why I have made so few films, the real answer is that I trust my heart and not my mind. And to live through the heart all the time can be completely and utterly exhausting, frustrating and ultimately self destructive. So where does one find the balance ?
In just getting on with it. To trust that in disciplining oneself into the mundane everyday process of just being efficient and writing, the inspiration may (and usually does) come and suddenly you are alive, and your eyes blur with tears and your heart beats faster. Your fingers type without you asking them to, and you are inspired !!
Remembering that not every moment in a screenplay can be moments of great inspiration. First you will never finish it, but also you will exhaust your audience’s emotions in the 2 hours they sit in the movie theater. There is the technical aspect of screenplay writing which says that “between great inspirational moments there need to be pauses and connective tissue to ease the viewers mind to the logic of story telling. It is likely that without these pauses the viewer at the end of the film will just go ‘huh ??’
PAANI is a love story based in a City where the Water Wars have broken out between those that have Water and those that do not. At a time when Water has become a weapon of social and economic control.

Lindsay Lohan’s poverty tourism – a therapy ?

This has been sparked by a statement I read by m/s Lohan’s mother, that her trip to India where she saw the plight of the poor Indian children changed her and she is a different person now. Like it was the best therapy ?
Ok, enough of this. Enough of press and media attention gotten from celebrities visiting poverty stricken children in the world. Enough of media attention for celebrities adopting kids from materially deprived places all over the world. I think the attention should be on why, despite being the greatest consumers in the world, despite having every material choice they can imagine….
why does seeing someone else living in poverty make you feel better about yourself ?