Love, trust and faith in directing

Beyond words, sounds. Beyond a blink, a sigh, a smile, a touch, a frown. Is there communication in absolute silence and stillness ? Is there communication in a sense of being ? Beyond just the simplistic scientific ideas of thought transfer and telepathy ?

I have often felt such strong communication in the presence of absolute Love and trust. Not with just vague ideas of words like ‘Hey I love you” thrown at each other , but love and trust that is focussed, active and eager at that moment. Which when combined together seem to bring our deeper selves out from our assumed physical containment, into an energy that mingles and entangles with each other. And that mingling leads to something more ethereal, more harmonious and ideas so limitless that words and gestures could not have conjured up.

I often do that when I direct. I ‘sense’ rather than speak about my relationship with actors. I actively try and create a sense of trust and bonding of love not only with my actors, but with everyone on the set. When the actors are performing, I am loosing my identity into them and creating so called ‘energy fields’ around the set so we all become part of a harmonious ‘moment’ urging for something to be created beyond ourselves but also through ourselves. And often in response they are doing the same.

Not only in my experience with actors like Cate Blanchet , Heath Ledger, Geoffrey Rush and Naseeruddin Shah, with whom I have had experiences where our souls have had the courage to be ‘naked’ in front of each other for that moment, our senses acutely alive to some deeper and often unknown aspect of ourselves in each other, leading to a performance where in hindsight you wonder in awe where and how it evolved so unpredictlably but yet so beautifully.

But also with musicians like Nusrat fateh Ali Khan and A R Rahman. With Nusrat most of the communication was done by him looking into my eyes and singing with tears flowing from both our eyes, having been transported to a realm higher than ourselves. I have been blessed by moments when such people that have trusted and loved me too.

Often producers have felt insecure that I do not look at the ‘Video Monitor’ judging the ‘shot’. I cannot. How do I trust a moment of absolute faith and maintain a connect of love and faith with my actors through a machine ?

But of course such love and trust is possible only after huge amounts of thought and dialogue between my actors and composers and scriptwriters. Before trust comes, there must be understanding. But at the moment of ‘creation’ it all has to be let go into the search for something beyond all that was said and discussed, into something unpredictable.

It’s the essence of all creativity, a huge sense of focussed discipline, followed by a complete letting go. Into moments of absolute faith.

Directing is so much like living. Love , trust and faith.

28 thoughts on “Love, trust and faith in directing

  1. Nusrat sa’ab is beyond all doubt one of the greatest Sufi singers with an amazing range of voice, emotion and expression. It is testament to the love, trust and faith you shared that one of the greatest songs of that legend was recorded for your movie, Bandit Queen! Thank you for bringing in this love, trust and faith to your direction.

  2. Shekhar, I saw you quite months ago in one of TV programme where you were judge, you felt to be so fragile and humane. Rare qualities in this fast paced world but I kept wondering how this “delicate like a glass”
    fellow succeeds directing some memorable movies ….thats what I call the power of humbleness …Request to keep yourself humble and God bless !

  3. I have felt that very same feeling ..sometimes with total strangers. The look that told me that “I know you deeper”. initially it scared me, ,, the idea of someone peeking you inside, knowing your fears and pains and as if, understanding your weaknesses. But then later I could give it up. I felt like… they were one of my kinds too. We were same.

  4. Such absolute commitment and involvement is truly moving! Guess this is what happens when the demarcations between your work, passion and your soul are erased

  5. Hello Sir,

    This time I am sure as your article touched my heart, definitely it must have happened to many others who would have gone through your this article.

    Speechless!!! You have written in few words everything which many will take pages and pages..



  6. hi sir…
    reading your articles connects me with my lively n memorable experiences,gives unknowingly
    calmness to my rather restless mind lost measuring/getting perspective of certain things with several
    related factors.good to me, i found ur website n have something called twitter.

  7. “Beyond just the simplistic scientific ideas of thought transfer and telepathy ? ”

    Why don’t you master the art of Remote Viewing…..its not that difficult. A capable individual like you can master it in 1 year. That will bring a whole new DIMENSION TO your movie making skills, if you channel correctly. HOLLYWOOD USES IT, if you observe certain movies carefully.

    Indian holy men are skilled and versed with Remote viewing…..hence the many tricks which they can do which are not normally humanly possible……reading minds etc. However modern technics of Remote Viewing can be learned easily without making all the sacrifices involved of a saddus in the jungle, completely cut off from civilisation.

    In short by learning Remote Viewing you will still be able to prattle on about your spiritual mumbo jumbo pretentiousness…….but have a significant new skill which is already existent in India to add a new exciting dimension to your considerable movie making skills.

    Then you could begin and explore political thrillers, science fiction, history, war without the stock Bollywood BS. ……….and awful out of context songs, and still enthral audiences.

  8. Dear Shekhar…

    In your words,your blog is like honey oozing out of your heart ready to be served. If someone asks u if u wrote this with a pen,you can reply…not with the heart.

    Hatsoff sir..In the days when eveything became artificial and love has become a cyber tool,ppl like you keep life moving and flowing with love.

  9. Hello Shekharji,

    I am impressed with your films and work. But inspite of all your capabilities and achievements you seem like a tortured soul. I hope and pray you find “enlightenment” and/or a “soulmate” which will bring you relief and peace of mind. If you wish to communicate with me furthur please do so, take care.


  10. Hello Shekhar:

    How wonderful would our world be if all our actions were to be guided, motivated and permeated by love, respect and trust, when a person who displays these traits would no longer be looked upon as gullible, nave, guileless and simple-hearted. How much progress could be made if politicians were to drop all pretenses and no longer resorted to the dishonest vernacular of diplomatic finesse, defining success by the ability to out-wit and to out-smart the party sitting on the other side of the table. How refreshing would it be to call a spade a spade and be hailed by the press as a visionary, a peacemaker and a social icon instead of being considered a simpleton and a bad advocate of national interests. Over the din and clatter of manipulative thoughts, of neurons wildly firing to create advantages in the struggle to dominate there can never be the kind of communication you describe, born out of contemplative silences, to undress ones soul thereby trusting that the others will follow suit. It would of course be a wild concept to ask the representatives of countries to follow intuitions of pure altruism, to be guided by compassion for the others agenda and to create a climate of mutual trust that will no longer be violated by suspicions and motives of selfishness.

    Not to get carried away, this of course will always remain a futuristic vision, never to be given a chance for practical application. Maybe if the earths survival will be at stake and even the most obtuse mind has understood the severity of such threat a similar scenario could become reality, when there is an epiphany of enlightenment and all will eagerly act in concert to reach across chasms that we thought were unbridgeable. What you have been experiencing in the rarefied world of film making could then become a common mantra in human interaction.

    Do I believe that this will ever happen? I just woke up, what a nice dream it was.

    Kind regards.


  11. Yes, horst,
    what you say or what you have seen appreantly look like dream. You are not alone who dreamt this. there are lot of scientists, writers, poets, actors want this to happen. Who feel the the geographical boundries are unnecessary for human mind and soul.
    This concept of one planet, one nation is tagged as is a foolish crap or desire of dictator by many but how are they going to shutup the scientists ,who have proved that some millions years ago the earth was a single piece there was no asia no africa only pangaea. The language is collection of various symbols to convey your emotions and thoughts. Different languages means same emotion can be expressed in different way..but the emotion is one..
    The bible said its plain single piece and we Indians used to call it has ‘Jumboo Dweep’. If you come to India and look there are a lot of states with different languages, traditions, cutstoms, rituals, relegions but we as a Indian are one The world can learn a lot of things from India and its culture for survival of human
    Most of the governments (including Indian government, by government I mean politicians, diplomats, government servants all ) are not behaving as a trustee of their nation but like a owner and they treat their civic as sheep..grow that sheep and eat its flesh..
    alas some body should open the eyes of these bubbles..
    thanks..take care..subodh

  12. Its so true. I have felt that connection and with that connection that experience of creation. One of those moments – that are cornestone of our existence – and then just like a children’s drawing book where one connects the dots to create a picture, we yearn and work for another such moment, that makes the journey, the hard work, the process to reach that another dot of existence worthwhile…

  13. Its the trust knowing they (the artistes-singers,composers, musicians, actors) will come thru; they will deliver; which in turn allows this 2 way silent give and take. An absolute supreme high:)

  14. Immense thanks for writing such an intense piece dear Shekhar. My mother always calls me to make sure that I am well- sensing my physical or emotional pain even though I am traveling thousands miles away in other countries. Obviously I always lie to save her from further anxiety but she would not believe me and say ‘I know you are not ok and you are lying’.

    I had a very strong connection with my German Shepherd dog. Even though he was sleeping in other room, he would come immediately whenever I would telepathically suggest him to come. Several times I demonstrated this exercise in front of many friends.

    There is no mystery about different sheaths of awareness around a living being- be it man or animal. The genius of Cameroon depicted such and many more symbolic mental capabilities of living beings in Avatar.

    On a lighter note…I am disappointed not to see you in ‘India has got talent..’ … For me your earthy persona was the best thing to relate with this program…your intense sensitivity lifted the program beyond a reality show.. I can’t explain it correctly what was that..but you brought so much reality to the reality show..

    loving regards

  15. In Stillness there is the Love that doesn’t leave you, that is ever present in the field of awareness.. waiting for your attention..

    How exquisitely beautiful that you hold this space on your set. It is available to those who have the ears to hear and the eyes to see.. it emanates through your films.. Thank you dear Shekkar for the gift you bring to all.. by being in Stillness.. and allowing others to see how this simple state of being can transform this entire world.

    with Great Love,

  16. Namste Shekharji,
    I read it all like it very much. I am very much eager to watch your movie “Paani.”
    Today, early in the morning a idea occured in my mind, that you have to make a movie on hippie movement as you know eastern and western mind more profoundly. I have not a plot for it, but I have just a title in my mind “Hippies”

  17. The way you have discribed your experience, it is overwhelming. I am so touched and wish that when I start directing, I experience similar feeling.
    Love trust faith.

  18. Dear Shekhar,

    is it true : Shriya Saran will be acting in your film( source Wikipedia) paani ?
    If yes congratulation .Very well.
    You could start soon.Main characters chosen.
    Good start

  19. hello sir
    Wat is the cast of ur upcoming film “pani”
    Is there hrithik roshan in the film with kristen stewart ???

  20. My dear other self Shekar,

    I’m very glad to learn about your way of working and connecting with your other selves and creating a field of manifestation…Indeed, He is himself actor and the Act. I admire your master craft in Elizabeth series. – LoveN’1ness :)))

  21. I so identify with the emotions expressed in this piece. Firmly believe that words unspoken carry more weight being a connection between souls. Telepathy an even stronger understanding. Your talent is absolutely amazing. My only regret is not having come across this Blog earlier. Perhaps there is a time for everything.

    Best always

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