Phir Wohi Din Aaye….
Maharashtra has a new C.M. – well, a recycled one. Congratulations Ashok Chavan! Now, will you kindly stand up and be counted?? We, the people of this city would really like to get to know you. At least, a little. We barely recognize you since you have not taken the trouble to interact with the aam aadmi and aam aurat of Mumbai. I have frequently called you the Invisible C.M. – not to put you down, but to galvanise you into engaging with the public.You seem like an affable chap, and clearly ‘Madam’ is pleased with you. But is that enough? Why not please us also? It is important for the chief minister of any state to reach out to its people and familiarize them with plans and blueprints for progress – assuming they exist in the first place. Madam clearly trusts you, and has astutely provided a second chance . Establish your credentials immediately. Your predecessor was an ever- smiling, cheerful bloke who had gone flat out to court Mumbai. Never mind that when Mumbai most needed him ( 26\11), he wasn’t around. Or, at any rate, what came through was ineptness and delayed reactions. His ‘terror tour’ of the hotel lobby, accompanied by a movie man, finally did him in. After that, his fate was sealed. Not that it mattered – he made it to Delhi. And now claims he is perfectly happy being there. The point is, Vilasrao Deshmukh knew the art of making friends and winning people ( maybe he had read Dale Carnegie in a marathi translation ). His social diary was more crowded than a Page 3 perennial, and those who had interacted with him, invariably came away praising his people skills.
You, on the other hand, remain an unknown entity. Granted, nine months in office earlier, were not enough to establish yourself. But come on… you are a second generation politician. Your late father, S.B.Chavan, was an astute politician and Congress stalwart. You have a natural advantage and headstart. You are young (51), educated (science graduate with an MBA attached). You’ve been in active politics since your Youth Congress days. You’ve even worked in Vilasrao’s cabinet as a minister for industries and cultural affairs. You are no green horn or novice. So… get on with it. The people’s mandate is with your party. There are no excuses and escape routes. You have a free hand to lead the state out of its present mess. That’s your job description.
You have your 52nd birthday coming up this week. The people of Maharashtra wish you well. You have made the right noises after your appointment by stating, “…. now in the golden jubilee year of the state, we want to reach the top. That too in a time bound manner.” The operative words here are ‘time -bound’. We are going to hold you to that promise. We will be waiting and watching very closely this time. You may have delivered seats in the election for Madam, for which you are being richly rewarded. So it goes in politics - no issues. But your time starts now. You have also said you want to keep Maharashtra’s flag flying high. It is long overdue.Just as you have declared ‘time-bound’ programmes for our state, we, its beleaguered citizens are also giving you a ‘time- bound’ period to prove yourself. We want action. We want it now. We know, Maharashtra isn’t an instant pizza. But we also know politicians make tall claims. This time, mere words won’t do. Deliver – or we get our money back. Just like with ‘late arrival’ pizzas. Good luck. And Happy Birthday.
I have just come back after watching 'This is It'. This really is it, you know. And I get the eerie feeling MJ knew it, too. The man is extraordinary , hypnotic and rivetting. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen for even a micro second. We are so lucky to get this rare and precious glimpse into a top class professional's preparations for a concert. It shows a person not just dedicated to the highest standards of his musical gifts, but someone who understands every small nuance of that mighty industry we call 'entertainment'. No detail is too small for MJ's critical eyes and ears. When he urges his back -up singers to 'nurture the music', you can sense his tenderness. Or when he asks his musicians to 'bathe the tracks in moonlight', perform 'with love' you understand the poet in him. He looks just amazing - lithe and beautiful. And filled with divine energy. He certainly does not give the impression that he is sickly or pumped up with drugs. MJ NEED NOT HAVE DIED! What a tragic waste of such supreme talent. What also comes through is his generosity of spirit and immense grace. He encourages a slightly overawed lead guitarist to take centrestage and ' shine' , since it is her moment! He constantly thanks the team and applauds the efforts put in by even the lowliest technicians. 'God bless you', he repeats, each time someone does something well. Goodness and love radiate from his being. And so does his genius.
Even though he was working with the world's top choreographers, he knew precisely which dance moves he wished to make - he knew instinctively when to pause, when to linger, and how to maximise a dramatic moment. There is much to learn from MJ.
It made me wonder whether we have anyone of his calibre with the same level of commitment and perfectionism. To watch MJ rehearse is to understand and appreciate the magic of the 'one and only'. God bless him.