Back in London now, to do the post on Golden Age, and found it just tooooo depressing to leave India..

For Mumbai kept me far far more alive than London could ever do. When u are constantly confronted with mortality and contradictions, you are forced to live life on the edge. What better way to look at life but that there are no tommorows ? Here in London there is a an ease of living. an addiction to security, a secure tommorow, a secure future – that is almost cloying. London now feels emotionally like a ghost town,
Guess I am just reacting to withdrawl symptoms from the drug that is India. The turmoil that is India. The contradiction that is India. The creativity that is India. The excitement that is India. The energy that is India. The exploration that is India.

51 thoughts on “London

  1. hi dude…
    you are blessed! cherish it! all analysing is right there in this blog yet at the same time it sounds like a voice over of some fantastic film. after all some thing that is so personal is always so general.
    Some village guy who might be shifting to a big city for work will feel the same way.
    you are a fantastic STORY TELLER! and i love you for that…
    again, happy to find an alive soul…
    best wishes for The golden age!!!
    take care…

  2. India must be missing you and your creativity, too. We’re lucky that you’re a citizen of the world, and we who don’t live in India get to see you and your work sometimes.

  3. I thik you probably do not realize or have forgotten to realize the pains with uncertainity, the never ending crowd in locals, the crowded lanes,the filth,
    pain , depair..
    The turmoil looks good when you know you can get away from the turmoil otherwise the story is different..

  4. Mumbai always had a “buzz” that is unlike any other place I’ve been to – other than maybe Southall, where I grew up…the sense that anything can happen…
    …perhaps, as you suggest, it’s that feeling of living under the volcano, but then London can be like that too – however, the typical Londoner is never faced with the emotionally shattering impact of poverty and a state where peoples lives are so obviously in your face – I travel to work on the train overyday and it might as well be on an empty train…the suburbs (as Ray Bradbury brilliantly pointed out…) might as well be unpopulated ghost towns…

  5. hi dude…
    it is bound to happen like that… now you must have recovered from withdrawl sysmptom…Why this happened? ( oops no analysing…can you feel it? )
    Because you are tuned with the purity and that purity is always there in Indian air…because this is a land of miracles… god knows how many walked the path and reached…that energy engulfs the beautiful land of India…
    it is natural to have a witdrawl symptom for a guy like you…
    waiting to know more about your Editing room adventures…
    take care…lots of love…tata…kedar…

  6. India certainly is something! When I am there, I get so agitated, irritated . . . with the boutique vallah, the paan vallah, the three wheeler vallah, etc. They see me there for a month and they still make me haggle for prices by quoting me twice inspite of knowing they will get a tip. On my last day of the trip, I begin to find this quality endearing. I know I am going to miss this kind of an interaction. I am going to miss the dhobi, the maid, for more reasons than the fact that they do my work for me . . . I am going to miss that feeling of belonging.
    Through all this I miss this place, California which I call home. I miss my neighbor who smiles and waves each time she sees me, the sweet “how are you” by strangers during my evening walks, shopping which is actually relaxing, a quite evening in Borders, . . .
    I have often wondered, where is my home!

  7. Hi Sir,
    This is the first instance that I am writing to a celebrity. I don’t have the idea of grammers that we use while talking to a person of fame. I read your nostalgic write up “London”. Spaces have always been contracting and contradictory in nature. An empty space can look big, but can also be frieghtening. A clogged space can scuffle you, but can provide security, emotional or physical. Humans have never been able to solve the contradictions of space. London can be very beautiful and charming and good looking but it can not solve the problems of not letting bombay out of mind. Its not about remembering India or the pseudo concept of motherland calling you. Its the emptiness that surrounds you evenwhile you are surrounded by people that makes you insecure. Find the puzzle of your emptiness and find yourself. Try discovering yourself.
    Thanks and Regards

  8. explain me this
    “contradiction.. that is india!!”
    i was not in the right state of mind may be… when read it!!! anyways … rights and wrongs is in mind only!! right??

  9. Hi Sir,
    When I wrote about contradictions of ‘space’, I did not mean contradictions of India. By using the term Space, I was trying to analyze the human love for vastness, and in effect for emptiness. We always talk of places in term of spaces, though unintentionally. Space is contradictory in nature, it always will be. We always get excited by looking into the sky and its openness, but the mere idea of such openness and emptiness is little bit frightening. Everyone has a love for his or her home, for the only reason that it soaks any idea of emptiness. However, an empty space may appear accomodating but can be frightening also. When we talk of India, we don’t talk about space, we talk about personality. India, for indians, has always been associated with a personality. It is true for any other country. But when we compare places, we in effect compare spaces. And when we talk of spaces, we talk of contradictions.
    Thanks and regards

  10. Dear Sir.
    your feelings are so apperent that each and every word you jot down reflects it. You say You have left India, I think you have carried India to London along with you. Contradictions are tools of Redifing your personality. India is the source of unlimited contradictions you will hardly find anywhere else in the world> SO every time you visit India you will find an apportunity to redifine your personality, an apportunity to rediscover a SK you have never met ever before
    so keep visiting INdia..
    best wishes
    Deepak N

  11. put your hands on the wheel
    let the golden age begin
    let the window down
    feel the moonlight on your skin
    let the desert wind cool your aching head
    let the weight of the world drift away instead

  12. Mumbai robbed me of my soul. I saw a beggar eating rotten food from a garbage bin and all I felt was guilt. I didn’t know where to hide. Then I see it everyday and over time became insensitive to it. I’m glad to be hiding in a ghost town. When I get the courage to share my food with a homeless, mentally-ill garbage-dweller, I might go back.

  13. If one is socially active in India its not easy for him/her to remain natural all the time as he/she is or wants to be, as intrusion is too much there while west gives so much avoidance to an individual that one can enjoy this solitude if one wants. Control is too much there in India. Atleast for the people living in families, monks are different cases. This conflict may describe why filmmakers, writers or artists who can afford the opportunity, have one leg in India and other in west. One thing is sure that India gives variety and while west is monogamous in its behaviour and pattern of living the life, India provides different facets of life which often are contradictory.

  14. Shekhar
    Lovely to meet you today – what a small world! Your love of India is inspiring and reminds me of why I’m looking forward to returning…
    Would love to meet again when you are in town – preferably not for Ouzo – but some daal/chaaval sounds fabulous!

  15. Despite all my cribbing about all the things that are not right in India, I miss it immensely when I’m away. How I wish I could do something that would make a difference in a big way!

  16. hi! hey shekhur, just wanted to know the great work u did in MASOOM. i saw it back in 1983, when i was just 13 and didnt have an understanding of such movies as had lived in the ambience of MR bachchans spicy films. recently i watched the movioe and would say im a avid critic, but ur directiuon for a debutant was simply immaculate. secondly where did u discover JUGAL Hansraj from, was it by chance or did u know his parents. who r his parents cause his acting too demands accolades. MJ

  17. hi sir!!
    hope u r doing good health.i am a big fan of urs. never get to see ur films, but only hear abt them thru internet, newspaper & magzines. i have been seraching for your movies cd, but unable to find one neither your masoom nor elizabeth or bandit queen in bangalore. will u be able to help me procuring these pls. i was very happy to know tht recently you were in bangalore at windsor manor with your daughter kaveri & has shared some memories of bangalore & gulzar saab with a local newspaper person which was printed 2 days later & i was disappointed for not seeing you.
    Hope to hear from you soon sir!! Sangeetha

  18. can relate to ur feeling
    am gonna land in mumbai this sunday and can feel how depressed u are.
    sometimes work takes u far far away from what u wanna be.
    nyways good luck on ur work and do well.

  19. hi Shekhar sir
    i am always intimidated by the fact that u could actually change your career. am wishing to do it myself. last year, i was in mumbai…had written a script called ALONE which apparently Ram gopal Verma liked initialy, but nothing worked out…eventually had to come back to delhi…got advise from a lot of people there to take up assistantship with some director…but honestly cant do it…it becomes tough for me to leave my job as a Chartered Accountant…and take up assistantship with someone…gv me sum advise…how to get started
    take care

  20. Hey Shekhar,
    You are a magician with words, with emotions. You are one of the most amazing writers, never have I seen words woven so beautifully together, rarely have I seen someone so in touch with emotions so deep so hidden and so forgotten. Thanks for sharing something thats so personal and so beautiful.

  21. I have been in UK since 1999. I cannot stand artificial friendships and forced acquaintances. An artificial smile gives me a “mouthache”, and I know this difference. Friendships that lack depth and understanding do not hold any value.
    That is one of the reasons we (my family) have decided to move back, in 3 years, back to where we belong.

  22. happy new year mr.kapur.
    i just finished watching The Four Feathers on BBC. I must congratulate you on the direction of the film as it was a beautiful film to look at.
    kind regards,

  23. Dear
    Mr Shekhar Kapur,
    Sorry for intruding its just that I believe in opportunities that you see one should take a chance in achieving it , as you may just never know when life may take a turn on you and the changes that could come into a new beginning in this year, well I quite seen the opportunity and how it works .
    My name is Gavin and I know this email may sound strange but I am a person with a vision and looking to get my dreams come true.
    I am writing this email with regards to my interest in your comic series that you have a team working towards, Ironically I have a similar idea in my mind to a superhero and the concept which is based to the International comics standard e.g. Marvel comics character .something on the same grounds but an Asian based superhero,
    My Positives are that I am very innovative and know that I have a lot of potential and would like your help in a way
    My Drawbacks are that I am financially low and really need some kind of guidance on how to go about with my ambitions and ideas that I have with me, I would not mind to know if there is a way that we could get into some kind if a work around of a kind, with my idea and your infrastructure and a brand that you have made for your self.
    Honestly I really havent approached any other person as I wasnt really sure about , and mainly I do not put trust in people afraid of getting swindled , however when I did read about your comic I was quite sure that you were not like the rest of the industry obviously that fact that you have a international vision and a different standard of thinking I am very keen in learning form you . your history and the way you think is different it would be very nice to get some tips from a guy like you to give people like us a chance to prove themselves and find out the hidden potential that one might have in himself,
    Currently I am doing my course in animation and as I initially mentioned that I am very innovative and can assure you that I will make a difference
    I would be waiting for your revert
    Please do not consider this mail to be a gimmick or a waste of time as I am very anxious to get moving with my vision and would really like to move toward my dream
    Really I would be very fortunate I it would work all out.
    My Name and contact details are all bellow.
    Gavin Sequeira
    GSM# +91 989 2109 202

  24. Gavin, I hacve forwarded yr mail to our creative team at Virgin, and I am sure they will follow up with u. But do visit our website at
    stay in touch please,

  25. Mumbai is alive in everyone’s heart. some carry good Images and some have bad. Hope the Good stays with us. I’m still dealing with the withdrawal symptoms after 4 years

  26. Shekhar,
    Did you watch Maniratnam’s Guru?
    It was rivetting, very intense and like all good movies it touches something inside you. Lot of parallels could be drawn between Guru and Nayakan. some interesting questions are also thrown at the end.
    What happened to India talkies?

  27. Hi Shekhar,
    You are absolutely correct.
    India is an opium with all the side effects.
    We in India live with and between so many people that we feel emptiness at any other place.
    It is very very difficult to move away from the place where we have played with our friends when we were young.
    It is difficult to leave a place, the smell of first rain, of our own place.
    As we age, we feel the need to be more and more attached to our mother land.
    These emotions are very natural.
    We have to learn to enjoy them and deal with them.
    With lots and lots of love
    Rajesh Sharma

  28. Hi Shekar
    Came to know abt this site watching one of your interviews on NDTV . funny i didnt know abt it earlier consdiering that I am an ardent fan of yours for the last 20 yrs. soak up every interview of yours ’cause i see in you a person i could never be but wanted to be ;-).
    i lead a boring consultant’s life the only simliarity being that i am in london and new york as frequent as you to do some real depressing work , but dont know what it is that makes me long for India, guess i am used to the crowds in the mumbai trains

  29. dear shekhar,
    i have been fantasizing about india since i was a child, as if i had been there many times, in many lives before.
    reality was beyond any expectation, beyond my wildest dreams….
    i work as a costume designer and was truly considering finding work opportunities in mumbai.
    i was wondering if you have heared of a book called shantaram, by gregory roberts.
    i believe there is a project going on…
    please let me know,

  30. Dear Shekhar
    Rather i should say “Respected” but neverthless I have just opened your site and read these few line !
    Just cant imagine that how so many of us away from our country feel so much which is so similar about our country!
    I am also trying to build back myself piece by piece and day by day-aiming to reach back to India as soon as possible!
    will keep writing to you and may be many other ,bye and take care.

  31. hello sekhar
    you are one of my idol, i am struggling hard to get a film as an assistant with the help of sohaila.i love you sir,some day i will direct a huge film on this universal simple harmonic motionunder with you.
    with love
    ajay lohan

  32. I am surprised you feel life outside India is secure. I am in the US as a student and I was working as a manager in an MNC in India before coming here. I did not save a lot, but took my chance. I get jobs but rules here say that the contracts cannot be for more than 3 months while in school. Right now I dunno where my next month’s salary will come from, what comes is too little. I had a awesome salary back in India that came promptly even when I was on bench. Why did I leave that – to get a Phd, I was not bothered about the funding. To do research, to do what I believed in. I do not know where I will get the next dollar from, but if I get back to India, it would mean the same comfort that I have had enough of enjoying! I am not missing that. This excites me. It is not to say I do not want to get back to India or do not like India. It is only to say I am decently rich and way too comfortable in India to enjoy it, now when I still feel young!

  33. shekar you can never leave india it might be your physical manifestation that has left india. But your heart and soul is india.
    You will be back rejuvenated with a big bang. its a certain phase which will move on. Hold on

  34. dear Sekhar,
    life doesnt offers double mazaa…..i find it very strange when people present such expression of contradiction within themselves..for sure they have the right to choose…

  35. What would I not give to be able to spend time in London, missing India! Shekhar, why not think about those who will never be faced with such enviable angst? Think, and thank.

  36. Hi Shekhar,
    I am a film & media studies teacher at King George V College in Southport, & a big fan of both your work & Indian cinema in general. I teach Elizabeth as a close study film for one of my modules & I encourage the students to learn more about you as a director. I was wondering why there is no information about Elizabeth on your website? I would be very grateful if you could forward any information to me about your experiences whilst making the film & the process involved. It would be wonderful for them to know how your love of story-telling and your Indian cinema style influenced the film.
    Thank you very much
    Thank you very much

  37. When should we expect a your biographic movie on Nelson Mandela?..Waiting with great anticipation..I am sure your creativity and the subject itself should make a noteworthy masterpiece/ Good Luck!

  38. Dear Sir,
    nice to c ur love for our country,since chilhood i have always q in my mind about celebrities’s love for country. i still remember the day when i first saw ‘masoom’ and first thing came to my mind is ‘one of the best in indian film history or THE BEST’
    keep it up !!!!!, i m more than sure that india will reach again its golden time.
    thnx again.

  39. Shekhar hello,
    Do I sense an anglophobe in you? Have you read Maximum City by Suketu Mehta?
    Have fun.

  40. Dear Shekhar Kapoor,
    I remember you forever because of ‘Masoom’ and
    I also remember you, when you waived your hands
    in response to me waiving my hand,while you were
    seated in your car and me in the city bus on the
    way from Vashi to Chembur. I wanted to shout at
    you as “Thanks for Masoom, give some more pictures
    as Masoom” but I could not do that, just because
    I was overwhelmed with joy by your gesture of
    waiving your hand in response to mine.
    To day is the first day I have visited your site.
    I felt like posting a comment in response to your
    view, it is difficult for you to leave and stay
    away from India. Thank you and India should be
    proud of you. Because, I was an Indian, currently
    I am a Singapore Citizen, I feel I can not live
    in India even for few days, As I enjoy good life
    in singapore. To say exactly a Life, because
    there is no life in India, You have to struggle
    for everything, If you look around you there are
    lot of people with no food, no shelter, no job.
    Look at Singapore, which got independance 18years
    later than India, there is not a single citizen of
    Singapore who do not have food, shelter or job.
    All of this is possible only because of good
    politicians and good government. When will India
    become like that? when will all citizens of India
    will have food, shelter & job, And will live a
    LIFE? When India gets corrupt free politicians,
    and who runs a good government. Do you think it
    is possible at least in this century? I do not
    think so,just because educated people either do
    not want to enter politics or can not enter
    politics. I take this opportunity to thank you
    and people who wish to live in India without
    desiring to go settle in rich countries where you
    do not have to struggle for life, so that you all
    can bring in good politicians and a good

  41. Hi Shekhar
    Visiting your website for the first time and there seems to be a lot of good stuff on here. I really like the fact that you are so passionate about India; DRUG that is India” is so true. Am based in London too, and besides sharing the same surname as u ,am the poor one, am a chartered accountant too working within banking here. I have no writing experience but for a year now i have been thinking of a script that has a theme around India…. love/hate kind of a story..
    Though I am a very confident personality in my current carrier, I was struggling to get to grip with the fact that an accountant could be a script writer. Dont want to be a west coast American but at the same time do believe that one should live ones dreams.
    Reading through your background realised you too were doing similar stuff as what am doing now. I would really be keen to know how could one learn to script write as I have thoughts/ideas around my script but dont know how to collate and pin it down in ink.
    Would appreciate your response.

  42. Dear,
    My name is Gordana Nastevska-Manasievska, journalist in best selling cultural weekly magazine in Republic of Macedonia, Tea Moderna. I have done interview with some world famous artist/people, like photographer Fin Costello, David Sylvian, Ryuchi Sakamoto, Kronos Quartet, Arrested Development, Nouvelle Vague, Anja Garbarek, composer David Arnold, Terence Blanchard (jazz trumpeter and composer of Spike Lee movie’s), Calexico, Natacha Atlas, Michael Nyman, brasil duo Morelenbaum, writer Michel Houellebecq, composer Yann Tiersen (Amelie Poulain), actor Doug Jones (Pan’s Labyrinth), and interview with Gabriel Yared, Laurie Anderson, Darren Aronofsky, Jonatan Dayton and Valerie Faris (directors “Little Miss Sunshine”), photographer Danny Clinch, photographer Andrzej Dragan, Erwin Olaf, producer William Orbit … and many more. I would like to make interview with Mr.Shekhar Kapur – hi is very appreciated and popular director here in Macedonia.This interview will be great pleasure for me and my magazine to meet Mr.Kapur and I hope he will answer and accept this request for interview…
    Hope for reply
    Thank you and
    Best wishes from small, but sweet and art loving Macedonia 🙂

  43. dear sir,i am a huge fan of yours since the day i saw the song mana ho tum behad haseen picturised on you….or was it someone else?/::))) neverthe less i am a huge fan of yours for you hav done our country proud.

  44. London is a bit depressing almost for the exact opposite reason India could be depressing. everything is in order here. everything is secure and tidy and people have to run like little robots to their jobs in order to keep it that way. does anyone even have the time to think anymore? ? ? think of what they want to make out of themselves before they are pushed into a pattern. and you forget what matters. you go about your daily routine without thinking how stuff works, without asking obvious or even stupid questions about things we accept as norm.
    having said that.. london is great to exploit and take advantage of having all these in mind… 😉

  45. LONDON…Now… finally I am also here…yes feeling the same like you..Shekhar..!! But it’s my problem to think any thing in generalized way as well….and that says..after reading many minds of course…You really miss India when you are liable, when you are bound with some responsibilities. But when you are alone or can say not a responsible decision maker for others, it’s great place to be. Here every thing seems like predefined…there is no chance of a change….If you try, council will kill you…:)
    Jokes apart…really you miss India with the cultural and emotional point of view….we have been in India when we used to see same tv shows in Doordarshan, Same kind of temperature almost in full geography in summer, same cold….a lot of childhood emotions…as we were able to roam around the city without fear…
    So always we will have a special place for India….But can’t say the same for next generation….now they are busy in video games in India…Really…. 🙁
    Abhishek Jain

  46. Hey Shekhar,
    London feels older than Mumbai. Assured, confident, happy and sometimes far too content for its own good. Mumbai feels really young and alive, I agree. Adolescent, dangerous, fearless. Both have their ghosts. I would rather be in Mumbai right now.

  47. person is what matters more than the place but may be the silence in these great cities tempt you to find the person……may be

  48. Dear Sir,
    nice to c ur love for our country,since chilhood i have always q in my mind about celebrities’s love for country. i still remember the day when i first saw ‘masoom’ and first thing came to my mind is ‘one of the best in indian film history or THE BEST’
    keep it up !!!!!, i m more than sure that india will reach again its golden time.
    thnx again.


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