In Venice with A R Rahman, David Adjaye and SadhGuru

Been traveling so I apologize for being off line for so long. I And then, like excercise, it is difficult to get back into a rhythm, part of which is writing the blog. Jet lag, the avalanche of undone things, and then the post holiday panic and guilt. Guilt ? Since when did writing on the blog become part of something I HAVE to do. It is something that I do because in sharing everything with the world, I find a beautiful release.
I was in Venice to celebrate the opening of my short film, Passage. It was a ‘magical’ evening as after the film was shown, a live Venetian orchestra played Rahman’s compositions from the film. Kavita Bagila, who sang the Arias for his song was there to sing live. She sings so effortlessly in an almost Angelic voice. Kavita is of Indian origin, but born and brought up in California. She is currently teaching at Rahman’s new foundation for International Music in Chennai.
Rahman’s compositions for the film include a new Waltz that he wrote and recorded in about 3 days. It is a stunning composition, and people were convinced that it was composed by an earlier Classical Master. But no, it is from our very own ‘Mozart of Madras’ as the Time Magazine called him – incidentally a name I coined in an interview to the same magazine. Then the evening was capped by Rahman holding the audiences completely spell bound when he played on the Piano.
David Adjay, one of the leading architects of the world and one my best friends came too. he is currently designing the new Smithsonian in Washington. He had inspired a lot of the Design work on the film.
But guess who came too. Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev came and swept everyone of their feet. I will write more about my conversations with Sadhguru as we walked down the streets of Venice for hours, and talked about the Nature of Existence, Of Shiva, and the Universe.
I will add some some images that are not quite touristy – but which I found provocative.

25 thoughts on “In Venice with A R Rahman, David Adjaye and SadhGuru

  1. Venice did not see me this festival around and now I am having a seldom felt feeling: regret… 🙁
    Passage… AR Rahman… and last but not least, just Venice.
    It hurts.

  2. Ocean of blues and
    crimson hue
    to add sand dunes
    with me and you
    all live in same…
    looking forward for your post on talk with Sadguru

  3. Usually everday routine life of celebrities as a post is the most annoying thing i have come across recently.But there is something very earthy about your blog sir. I guess unlike most others you arent looking for topic for the next post :). Your blog has an undercurrent ‘i write for me but visitors are welcome’ contrary to ‘i need visitors hence ill write’.
    Thats what makes it so real and fresh!
    Even the most controversial topics sound serene here.
    You must be a good man Mr shekhar !!:D. lol!

  4. Apart from this topic, Just a past memory to cherish. I am posting youtube video of an old advertisement of Digjam. Shekhar Sir, you looks quite smart ( 20+? ) years back.. — Yayaver

  5. Shekhar sir, I had read review on pfc about Passage. It states :”Passage represents his artistic expression more than any other film Shekhar Kapur has made till now. Technical cinematic skills and understanding have been used so well to put emphasis on the understanding and confusions about life.” I was sure that this was not overhyped one and it stand true.
    I watched this short movie here just now.
    This short creates visually and acoustically a different environment. I tried to interpret ths story through lifemoments but all was in vain. But enjoyed it as collage of sounds and images with the encouraging help of slow internet connection. I hope that you will give more glimpses about your meeting with such creative people and discussing issues like ‘Nature of Existence’. From my reading materials,one inside thought for you–
    You see with your eyes, you hear with the sense of your hearing, you feel with your sense of touch, and all these senses are nothing but functions of your mind which is nothing but a thought which in turn is just an idea so if you close your eyes and go to sleep the world ceases to exist and when you wake up it comes back in different shapes and forms to every living being on the earth. Arthur Schopenhauer (The World As Will and Idea)

  6. Hello sir,
    I’ve been watching your space for quite some time. Two of the people who have changed my life tremendously, Sadhguru and AR Rahman… And you got to be with both of them… very fortunate and of course deserving… Looking forward to more of your sharing about this meeting.

  7. Dear Shekhar Sir,
    I watched you, Sonali and Kirron ji on IGT [Star Plus] watch the Prince Dance Group perform. I especially noticed you crying [yes crying :)] in the Krishna act – the whole episode is still vivid in my mind as well. And as Kirron ji was giving her comments – a thought passed my mind – “Will he (you) decide to make a movie on this? Boss, he should!” I mean, who knew about this non-descript town Behrampur in Orissa – and who’d imagine such beautiful and star performers! As wiki aptly describes the lead actor Krishna Reddy – “Krishna emerged as an eye-opener to many others in proving that determination,devotion and true spirit can tackle any type of hindrances to come up winning.”
    My sincere request to you to consider this thought process. Only a film maker such as you with a global outlook can do true justice to such a topic. And need I name the composer for such a canvas? 🙂
    God bless and take care Sir.
    Gopal Anandan [just another person who is constantly is amazed by what else the world culture and music has to offer!]

  8. WOW! Congratulations! :)) That must have been quite THE moment. Can you imagine, can you see the music like a wave sweeping down on an all ears audience, like a mist swirling,the clear voiced aria reaching for the stars, yes?
    Look forward to the conversations. Are the previous “He said’s” in verse part of that dialogue?
    All the very best on Passage.

  9. Shekhar, I am jotting this down straight after watching it (yayaver, thanks for the link). What can I say, this must give you so much satisfaction as a creative person isn’t it? To make music the main narrative, absolutely brilliant. How else would you pitch a short piece emotionally right from the start to end without music I now wonder. And you have used Rahman’s work so boldly as well. But it does not dominate the visuals, just magically works to give them meaning, enough to make sense while allowing a lot to imagine. The use of reflections all through, along with moving fluid-like visual quality ,with many things happening on the screen at the sametime, teasing one emotionally and intellectually. As a creative director would you say this has allowed you to indulge yourself more than other works. What a lovely voice Kavita has. I loved it. Thank you.

  10. Hey Shekhar ,
    Congrats on the short film. When can we see the movie and hear the music in India.
    Also, looking forward to more on your discussion with Sadhguru…every bit coming from this Mystic is enthralling…:)
    all the best!!

  11. Shekhar, is there any way we could watch the video of ARR playing at venice? Would love to see it.. Pls do post one if possible sir..
    And the music of passage is so soulful. The violin and the pads of the opening credits and atmosphere, Kavita ji’s voice in the Aria and tango.. all are so vibrant.. And Waltz?? wow..

  12. oh…
    Ah ..
    there you are …
    how synchronous …
    as here I am…
    in the passage …
    where angels sing…

  13. The visuals are really good. And ofcourse the very human emotions that you seem to so efforlessly tap into. The music speaks volumes.

  14. am wondering when i get to read about your conversation with Sadhguru ‘as we walked down the streets of Venice for hours, and talked about the Nature of Existence, Of Shiva, and the Universe’
    looking forward…

  15. Sir this is Pranay was very nice to see yp ay here if u remember me from Parent support group I am here in delhi waiting for a chance to write to you and so hy thank you for the creative class you gave us in the ONGCguest house

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