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Tuesday, 15 May 2012

dear anupam kher

it was wonderful to listen to you last night. being a theatre actor and a brilliant 'character' actor, as they say in bollywood, u held us entertained for almost 2 hours with life's lessons.

having listened to chetan bhagat just a few months back at the literary fest in dubai and you just last nt in singapore - two known people from my country - i have some observations to make. trust me they are not going to be so intelligent or critical. just a few things that pass my mind as i sit down to blog.

on stage as speakers, u and bhagat - apart form being humorous and intelligent men from humble backgrounds - r good speakers and reminded me of my days when i covered speeches by vikram chopra or suhel seth some years back. it is great to know that you also give motivational talks in the ivy league with ample 'tips to go about when you are stuck in misery'. it is highly inspiring to know how you turned your life around. like most trained orators you laugh at yourselves and pick on the stereotype corporate guy who is the worst vulnerable criminal in today's set up. nowadays majority of the commoners are the corporate fellas no? what was middle class a decade back is the corporate class today. just like what a degree was a decade back is now an mba - i guess.

you guys [you and bhagat] make up for the lack of george bernard shaw in today's world - somebody who whips us but makes us laugh anyway. laughter being the best medicine and a rare commodity, it was great to have some live entertainment away from internet and 'virtual' suckups. it is always a joy to listen to writers who speak the common man's language. lot of us, even those well-versed with the language, do not communicate or comprehend or hold audience in style like you do.

now, i have some confessions to make.

i am not a stereotype. perhaps i am also as cocky as you are. and i have some major flaws too. one of them is that i dont get awed at the presence of stars or popular people. [why go that far, i dont even get jerked out of my seat if my employer comes tapping on my shoulder.]

am sorry to say that i was entertained but not impressed. may be because you repeated it so many times that u r not here to impress anyone. and that you are comfortable being who u are. i admire ur shining bald patch as much as you do. may be not so much, but almost. wish you did not scratch it as many times though its your head and your freedom to do whatever you want with it. i stopped myself from hating you for that only cos i was reminded of a wise talk on 'vulnerability'.

like a 'common' mba student, i was forced to look for a logical reason or rather being a journalist i was forced to read between those wonderful lines you said... wanting to know what must have got you to singapore actually. singapore like many other cosmopolitan cities have fewer book-reading population - much fewer than in indian metro cities, says forbes magazine.

when you announced the launch of your acting school in singapore with the help of the two moderators who gave you company on stage, i almost got all my answers. i even understood why uti bank 'the bank of the common man' sponsored the book launch. many of us in the crowd who were listening to the uti's ceo who introduced you, wanted to rag him because he spoke like a 'ceo'. you were lucky, you actually got to do that by asking him to be your acting student and emote a line - 'main aapse pyar bahut karta hoon par izzat nahin' [i love you a lot but i dont respect you]. i loved that line too - very thought provoking and qt applicable to many characters i know personally.

of course i know we all have a philanthropic/charitable side to ourselves... and that few of us only exploit it and find greater happiness. i am not speaking in defence to people who are nogooders, am just observing the difference -the motivational difference on why you may be a better candidate to do the things that you do as a star than others who are 'perfectly average'.

facebook's ipo is over subscribed. people power is huge. when u have them enjoying subconsciously what they love to have - you have won the world. the world runs on hope - is the latest success mantra. our gandhi, a pioneer in working with the masses, did that long time back with purer intentions. i am not a marxist, i love america and am not going to speak about how great gandhi or mother teresa were simply because people with better comprehension have already done that in as many ways and more required.

baapu and mother wr great people, so are you and me, but there is a difference in our motivation to do things is what i want to point out. life is tough and happy for all - no?

last nt i subconsciously stumbled upon some fundas i was 'not' really looking for nor wr they addressed directly on the dias. on why people share jokes or news headlines or just intelligent quotes by einstein on networking sites as opposed to updating 'what is in your mind' that zuckerberg scripted when he launched a free [almost philanthropic platform to connect people]. though unaware of the backstage drama wr the man was collecting a wonderful user database to sell to businesses, facebookers r generally worried of who is reading them. lot of them have an fb personality far from their true selves. the irony [is there a word called morony?] is that lot of us speak of this still while hiding/protecting our [lame] selves.

'we allow people to pull our spirits down. we allow them to make us unhappy by connecting every frowning face or expression to affect us in our daily lives. we look for opportunities to get upset. we socialise or dont socialise because that is what is fashionable. we are hungry for approval. the fact is that we are all happy people. those who are not happy are simply not - do not let them bog you down cos they have a habit of being unhappy or cannot stand the fact that you may b happy. but escaping these perverts/unhappy people or confining to loneliness is not a solution to life. avoiding people/situations is not at all a great idea - face them full on and evolve even if the world gives a cold shrug. i am 'lonely'/'angry' or 'depressed' or am not in the 'mood' are overrated words used by dumb attention seekers who want to be 'different' or be taken seriously cos no other trick gets them some importance in to their otherwise unattractive life/personality,' so says kher.

brilliance is simply simple - u reminded me that funda from self help books once again, but in a much humorous/unique way with examples from your own life.

before i forget, the moderators and the audience asked you very mediocre questions for the opportunity they had... but you had us entertained anyway even though you did not completely walk through their words to answer them... and thanks for that.

and that is what is 'the best thing about you'! :)

ps: i wanted to get a signed copy of your book but as the talk stretched beyond 2 hrs i had to leave. and i dont know y i did not take a picture with u for my fb friends. i have almost forgotten what a keep sake is.


ashvin said...

well written blu...and boldly too.

bluvian said...

tks ashvin for finding time

Mini S. Menon said...

Interesting look at motivational speeches in general, and Anupam Kher's specifically. I particularly liked your statement, "I was entertained, but not impressed." That sums up most motivational speeches very well. Keep writing, I look forward to reading.

bluvian said...

thanks mini this means a lot to me. :)