Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Shekhar Kapur

Mr Shekhar Kapur is known as one of the globe's most critically acclaimed film directors and impresarios. Shekhar was the master behind the controversial film Bandit Queen that gained International attention when it was banned by the Indian government. He has since gone on to direct noted films in both Bollywood and Hollywood including the 8-time Oscar Nominated Elizabeth. Shekhar Kapur's illustrious gifts also extend beyond the screen. He is the co-creator and Executive Producer of Bombay Dreams, a music driven theatrical love story that played to packed houses and critical acclaim in London's West End for almost two years and is now on Broadway. On the screen, he maintains his highly visible presence by executive producing films like The Guru and mentoring some of Asia's most dynamic young filmmakers. Shekhar's own upcoming projects include a biographical feature based on the life of South African leader Nelson Mandela as well as the India based drama Water which is set in the near future in a city of 20 million where water becomes a weapon of economic and political exploitation. Today Shekhar Kapur is widely hailed as the first 'Bollywood' director to cross over to Hollywood and bring with him the ancient continent's penchant for flare, music, drama, and epic story telling.


Shekhar's First Post
Shekhar Kapur - July 05, 2005

The bus drove down the dusty road, The air conditioning was not what the kids were used to in their own countries. All carrying their ionized water packets and personal temperature controllers. The Chinese students immediately put on their pollution masks that were standard for any travel outside China.

"But then", Geeta mused, " we were told to expect a bit of adventure".

Her parents had said that life must not be selfish and that we must also learn about those that were less fortunate than us, culturally or materially.

"They sure are", she thought as she saw the little urchins run after the bus shouting "Choculatte ! Choculatte !" A strange mixture between heavily accented Spanish and Creole English.

Of course the Chinese kids had known about the tremendous poverty here. They had come prepared with high energy enzyme imprinted candy bars to throw to these urchins while taking quick Videograms of them.

This then was the City she had read about in her travel sites. Not a normal tourist path, but then Geeta was always looking to go where her friends would not want to. Most of them would have gone to Shanghai or Mumbai.

Down the broken streets, with people staring aimlessly. Prostitutes hanging out in skirts too tight and stocking torn at the seams. Men in T shirts, sweating, swigging what looked like stale beer. She
tugged at Yang's arm - pointing to a building that looked like an ancient Chinese palace.

"An entertainment centre" said the Guide. with great passion " Once this city was the centre of culture in the whole world, the great entertainment machine." Hard to believe.

As Geeta and Yang stepped out of the Bus to take a small climb to what the Guide promised was the proudest landmark of the City. Up the hill, with a lot of grumbling kids, and into the area now overgrown with forest and shrub. There the proud Guide showed them large letters almost falling off their steel support. Yang spelled it out

H - OLL...Y - WO...O - D

"Did you know that the word Bollywood was coined from this City ?' said the Guide proudly.

'Dont be silly" said Yang to the Guide. Mouth pouting in disadain.

All the children giggled. They found the Guide so funny.

Geeta felt sorry for the Guide. It's like the myth that the word Boogle came from Google.

Shekhar Kapur

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at July 5, 2005 05:16 AM


Live 8
Shekhar Kapur - July 06, 2005

The dust settled from the whirling of the helicopter blades. A hundred dark gaunt faces, ghost like, cautiously approached the fat machine. Women barely able to carry babies, their stomachs bloated
and flies triumphantly gorging whatever little they could find around their oozing eyes and dry lips. No energy even to brush them away.

A hush as the fat machine delivered some people withe brightest eyes. Despite the heat and sweat, their faces full and almost gleaming, their bodies bursting with strength. The crowd stared. It had been two years since they has seen people as well fed as these. That was when the people in blue helmets had passed by and promised to return. They never did.

Aklilu looked at the new modern camera equipment that was brought out of the Machine. He had been the official news gatherer to the ministry of information. But that was six years before the famine came. Before his wife had died, neither able to feed herself nor the child in her womb.

The good looking face with the wide smile and white teeth asked " Does anyone speak English here ?".

"I do, Sir." Replied Akhilu.

" We have come to get your reaction to Live 8 " said White teeth.

"Live 8, Sir ?" Said Akhilu as he calmed the murmurs in the crowd that was getting denser.

The Blonde girl was anxiously pointing towards someone in the crowd. Akhilu thought she looked like a Goddess descended on Earth. She felt like the saviour.

"Food" assured Akhilu in the local dialect.

Zeinaba felt a stab of anxiousness. The Blonde girl was pointing directly at her. Beckoning her to come. Holding her one year old tight, she mustered all the strength she had, to walk the few paces to
the Blonde Girl. Fear gripped her as all their machines pointed directly at her. In her sixteen years on the planet, she had never seen a camera before.

The Blonde Girl smiled " Tell her that there have been huge concerts all over the world. Million of people came and vowed to end Poverty in Africa.

Akhilu whispered to Zeinaba.

"She would like to know what a concert is" Said Akhilu.

" Well, all the most famous singers in the world went to all the major cities, and sang to the people. The people held hands and danced and all of them swore to end poverty in Africa. How does she feel about that ? Even Nelson Mandela attended".

"And Bill Gates - the richest man in the world" Added White teeth.

Akhilu translated, but Zainaba just stared.

"4 Billion people watched the event" Urged the Blonde girl.

Akhilu, not wanting to offend the Blonde Goddess, urged Zainaba to say something.

" She wants to know what billion means" Translated Akhilu.

Knowing she had now driven home her point, the Blonde girl spread her arms wide, smiled stunningly and said " It's like the whole world. The whole world has made a commitment to eradicate poverty in Africa".

Zainaba's sunken eyes suddenly glimmered with hope. She finally understood what the Blonde girl was saying. Zainaba urgently whispered back to Akhilu.

"She wants to know if you have brought food" Asked Akhilu.

"Food .. us ? No, you see, this was a day job, so we have no food.. well .. Hey ! does anyone have any candy or stuff in there ?" The Blonde girl shouted into the machine.

"And water ?" Asked Akhilu, pushed along by Zainaba.

" Water ? Sure. Hey Guys, can we spare a bottle here ?"

"But there are four hundred of us" said Akhilu. This time not provoked by Zainaba. For Zainaba had left his side and was walking up to the Blonde Goddess.

Zainaba stared directly in to Blonde girl's eyes. She suddenly felt life flooding back into her. With all the effort she could muster....

Zainaba spat in the Blonde girl's face.

As Zainaba turned a walked away, she knew this was mistake. All the saliva she could muster was needed to wet the parched lips of her dying child.

But in three days she would be dead anyway. While the world sang and danced.

Shekhar Kapur

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at July 6, 2005 05:15 AM


Nirvana : From Shekhar and Deepak
Shekhar Kapur - July 07, 2005

NIrvana is the empty space created when both, the Diabolical and the
Divine are ejected from ones consciousness, creating a vacuum into
which universal consciousness can flood in.

And then the Sacred and the Profane, the Sinner and the Saint,
Unconditional Love and Forbidden Lust are all different faces of

Guess what we are doing ? Writing a philosophical tome ?

Wrong. We are are writing a feature film on Buddha.

Shekhar could not handle it anymore - so he is getting drunk on hot
Sake' in a Japanese restaurant in New York City. For the moment
Deepak is the saint and Shekhar is the sinner. But of course (Shekhar
claims) , one is merely a reflection of the other.

You may never hear from Shekhar again.

Deepak Chopra and Shekhar Kapur

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at July 7, 2005 03:29 AM


Till the Next...
Shekhar Kapur - July 09, 2005

you pay your college fees
you fall in love
you plan the babies
and save for the future

you book next years holiday
and give up beer
when life is planned
and the future looked after
you are running five minutes
too late for work
you get in the wrong train
at the wrong station
in the wrong compartment
near the wrong man
next to the bomb

you look back
and suddenly
you are dead

and there you meet
thousands of babies
and mothers
and fathers and brothers and sisters
lovers and friends
hundreds of thousands
of Iraqis
of londoners
of africans
of americans
of asians
of indonesians

all dead

frozen in time
human bodies
caught in the wrong place
at the wrong time
at the wrong moment
in the wrong country
in the wrong politics

just for a while
please don't talk to me
about destiny, of astrology
of Karma
or of politics or right or wrong
or of morality or sects or isms

for a while,
let me be angry, in anguish
let me grieve
let me believe there was no reason
let me not relieve my guilt in political discussion
for there will be time that
when we will find reason
when we will find politics
and we will relieve ourselves of the burden of guilt
each one of us, all of us

till the next bomb.

Shekhar Kapur

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at July 9, 2005 04:21 AM


no one...
Shekhar Kapur - July 10, 2005

no one act separated from another
no one time separated from another
no one space separated from another
no one individual separated from another

no one emotion separated from another
no one moment separated from another
no one consciousness separated from another
no one thought separated from another
formless seamless infinite relationships between all things
so then
when I say " I love you"
do I lie ?
do I deceive ?
or is it a desperate cry for help
to drag me out of
my mistaken sense of my 'self'

Shekhar Kapur

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at July 10, 2005 04:28 PM


I live here?
Shekhar Kapur - July 12, 2005

I live here ?

So I ask my friends
where does your home end ?
how do you define your space
in which you live

the four corners of your room ?
your apartment
or the walls of your house ?

So the air that you breathe
within your house
is different from the air outside ?

where do you create the walls
in which you imprison yourself
and call it your home ?

You want more space ?
a bigger house ?
I will give it to you

I will put the biggest zoom camera ever
and put it in the centre of the Universe
and then I will slowly zoom out
and you tell me
where to stop

just say
those are the limits to my house !
but I am so much greedier than you
for I will zoom out
till my house encompasses the whole universe
for that is where I live
and those are the limits to my house

Shekhar Kapur

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at July 12, 2005 06:13 AM


Shekhar Kapur - July 13, 2005

hollywood in it's dying throes
like a dragon in the agony of death
desperately breathing fire
that no longer burns
whipping it's tail
to no avail

for there it lies, belly up
legs and tail thrashing

it's hunger and greed
fueled by bloated executives
lawyers and accountants,
ego's fed
by paid critics

thank you, Mr Spielberg
you were great

your War of the Worlds
was mistaken,
it was not the machines
that will one day rise to consume
'a way of life'
you so arrogantly call 'yours'
for who gave you the right ?
to make your culture
mine ?

I apologise,
I did,
for so long
that I am ashamed

but those machines
that rise to threaten 'your way of life'
have faces
and features
that are Chinese, Indian, Japanese
African, Arab, Indonesian

welcome the new culture
of diversity

rest in peace

Shekhar Kapur

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at July 13, 2005 04:11 PM


weighty thoughts
Shekhar Kapur - July 14, 2005

i too have a weight problem

get up in the morning
and feel the burden of it
so heavy
that you struggle with your first steps

and yet, somehow
you do not see it in the mirror
looking as skinny as ever

does the mirror lie ?

for ,
on one shoulder
you carry the burden and prejudices
of the past
and on the other
the fear and apprehension
of the future

so will some one,
hold my hand

and together
lets live only the moment
this moment
neither burdened by the past
nor in fear of the future

Shekhar Kapur

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at July 14, 2005 03:10 PM


Apology Required
Shekhar Kapur - July 15, 2005

The Queen must apologise ..

Now that it is fashionable for governments to apologise for historic crimes
committed by their nation states,

How about the British Government apologizing for the Colonization of India ?
How about the Queen saying sorry for the crimes of her ancestors ?
How about them apologising for the division of India and Pakistan,
which left millions dead, and wars and terrorism still continuing unabated

How about the British, French and the Dutch
Apologising for their crimes in Africa ?
And taking responsibility for what is happening today.

How about the whole Western/European world apologising for their abysmal history of Colonization ?

And how about the Western world accepting
that terrorism today is a result of societies torn apart by Colonial rule.
Where nations were formed and divided by the whim of less than educated barbarians,
Where natural checks and balances that exist in every society were uprooted
leaving nations divided, economically and culturally bankrupt.
that generations later, they are still trying to recover.

Where do you think it all started in Afghanistan ?
In Iraq ?

And how about us all learning form History
that the crimes of one generation
will come back to bite the future generations.

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at July 15, 2005 04:08 AM


The United States is in Civil War
Shekhar Kapur - July 15, 2005

The United States is in Civil War.

The Council of Colonial Government that has ruled the US effectively for the last 70 years, has granted the country it's freedom. Not without a long rebellion, where all races fought together to throw out the Colonial Power. However one of the last acts of the Colonial Power has had devastating effects on the US.

The Colonial Council have decided to divide the country between White and Non - White. Too much racial tension exists, and therefore "it would only be fair" to give each group their own Independent Nation. Over much negotiations about which territories would go to who, the Colonial Powers sat and drew lines across the US, that now become effective borders between two countries. The north going more to the Non - White Nation, while the South going to the White nation. All Whites and Non Whites must now move to their respective territories.

And they have just over two months to do it.

Riots have broken out everywhere. New York has been declared White, and Chicago Non-White. All air traffic has been suspended, and the only way for people to move is by road, walk or go by trains. Gas is at a huge premium as those that cannot afford to, are burning Gas Stations. In NY and Chicago, people are being forcibly evicted at gunpoint so thugs can lay claim to prime real estate. In many instances occupants that refused to move have been shot, or in some cases houses burned with the occupants still inside.

The banking System has failed, and the only currency is the gun and rare acts of generosity. Rumours abound, and the Media has gone mad. Revenge killings are going on everywhere. A train arrived in Chicago full of only dead people. Mobs had stopped the train and went on a rampage, killing every man woman and child in the train. This incident led to a chain reaction. Mobs are roaming every corner of the US, killing indiscriminately. The army and the police in any case still under the command of the Colonial Council, and stands by awaiting orders. Many though have defected to find their families and protect them.

Through this orgy of violence, 30 million people have become refugees, forced to leave homes and cities where generations of their forefathers lived. There are no official counts, but estimates claim that one million people have already died. Shot, hacked, raped, beaten to death or just burnt alive. Most of them women and children.

The Colonial Council, having destroyed a nation through division, was quietly leaving it to struggle through the next 50 years to try and heal itself.

Impossible ? A bad film Script ? A crazy idea ? Prejudiced ideology ? Fanatical ?

Yes, all of these.


This is exactly what the British did to India as they left. Dividing the country between a Hindu nation and a Muslim one. These are just a few of the incidents that occurred. Only in this case it was not Chicago and New York. It was Lahore and Calcutta.

Shekhar Kapur

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at July 15, 2005 10:31 PM


The Two of Me
Shekhar Kapur - July 16, 2005

I am jealous
and greedy
and angry
and I hurt

I love
and I hate
I mean well
but manipulate

I am confused
and riddled by doubt

Of course I am
I am after all

and yet
I long
I yearn
I aspire

to be compassionate
to be creative
to be whole
to be infinite

I am spiritual too
I am two
but one
must live with the other
with compassion
and forgiveness
till I am only one
but till then,
I must learn to be two.

I am after all
only human

Shekhar Kapur

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at July 16, 2005 07:32 PM


Shekhar Kapur - July 17, 2005

Sitting in a corner
dong nothing
screaming voices in my head
"Worthless!" "Worthless!"
To hell with them
I will sit in a corner
doing nothing

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at July 17, 2005 02:23 PM


Shekhar Kapur - July 18, 2005

Trekking to Amarnath high in the Himalayas many years ago. A Hindu place of worship, where legend says that the God Shiva met his consort Parvati. It was night and bitterly cold. I was making coffee outside my tent clad in my warmest down jacket. I see a man of about my age walking by. Clad only in a flimsy cloth, carrying his begging bowl. Obviously a Sadhu (a holy man). He was limping barefoot, one leg shrivelled by Polio. How did he get here?

“Hey Old Man” I shouted impulsively “ aren’t you feeling cold?”

“I was not” he replied “but now that you mention it, I am”.

That was the beginning of a friendship that has lasted over 30 years. Between an actor/film maker and a holy man. Who owns only the cloth he wears and whatever he can carry in his small wooden begging bowl. Two completely different lives that intersect with the most amazing coincidences.

We often joked together. He was travelling and meditating in search of God. And I promised that when he does find Him, I will build a hut around my friend to live and meditate for the rest of his life. I have no idea how to contact him, for does not live anywhere. But he is there, magically, at every turn of my life.

He appeared when my mother died. He appeared when I made my first film in India. I was in my first day of shoot for ‘Elizabeth’, when the security called to say that a man in almost no clothes, barefoot and very long hair was asking for me.

How did he get to London? How does he know when to come? I never ask. He just gets there. Last year when my father died, I waited to light the funeral pyre. Looking around, there he was walking towards me. I knew he would come.

He is a very good-looking man, and whenever he would come to my house, all the young actresses would turn up and flirt with him. He would just smile. But one day he was very agitated. At night he said he was never going to come to my house again.

“Why?” I asked. He mumbled something about how provocative the girls were getting.

“But you are above this” I said. I was the one with all the sexual urges. Surely not him, too. And as we got into an argument, I told him that it was a bit late to go through sexual adolescence at this age!

He looked really upset and walked away from my house. But he did call the next day to apologise and said some of the most frightening words I have heard. That he was wrong. That he had wasted his life in search of God. That perhaps my ‘decadent’ life was the only reality. And then he just walked out my life.

Why frightening? Because I desperately needed to believe that someone had experienced a life beyond mine. That there was a ‘higher’ plane of living. For if not, then was this all there was? It was only years later I realized he had deliberately pulled the rug from under my feet. So I could journey on my own.

I did not see him for six years. And one day I walk into shop to buy some cigarettes, and there he is. His hair matted and gone completely grey. He looked a bit wild, but kept laughing. His eyes now piercing, with a strange glow in them. Almost mad.

“So?” I joked, “ You have found God? Time for me to build you a hut?” He laughed even more. Put his arm around me.

“Shekhar, my friend, you have not understood anything” He scolded me, “God does not exist at the end of a search, He exists in the search. God lies only in the search for God. The journey is the destination”.

Obviously the hut was not built and never will. But we keep crossing each other’s lives in our unending journeys.

Shekhar Kapur

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at July 18, 2005 05:02 AM


Coca Cola
Shekhar Kapur - July 22, 2005

Coca Cola is suing an artist in Southern India. All because he dared paint a single hoarding pointing to the acute shortage of Drinking Water in Southern India, with an advertisement for Coca Cola in the background.

His point is very well taken and Coca Cola should be ashamed. They are already being sued by the State Government in Kerala for creating severe water shortages and polluting water and soil around their bottling plants.

Apparently farmers in Kerala saw their paddy crop destroyed as the ground water fell below sustainable levels. That was because the Coca Cola bottling plant was drawing all the water out.

If that is not the commercializing and polluting of water resources for Corporate profit, what is ?

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at July 22, 2005 10:35 AM

Coca Cola 2
Shekhar Kapur - July 24, 2005

Often when we talk about the world, we define a world that exists outside of ourselves. It's safer to do so. I call it the They, Them,That,There syndrome.

So. Are we as individuals far more responsible than we believe, and are the anti Globalization and anti Corporatization only the stick we use to relieve us of our own responsibilities ? Economists/Statesmen do not usually question the inherent relationship between consumerism and economic development. But should'nt we ?

Who do the scarce resources on our planet belong to in any case ? Can ownership be defined by the individuals/corporations that have the wealth to (say) buy large tracts of forestland in the Amazon, to do with it what they like ? Or by nation/state boundaries ? Who owns the fresh water resources on our planet ? Who owns the air ?

And who is responsible for the pollution of these resources ? How many of us worry about the polluting effects of cheap Chinese goods we buy in shops. For the pollution is happening in factories far away in China. How many of us luxuriate in the shower or the bath without thinking of shrinking water resources on our planet ? Or the amount of gas consumed and air polluted when you drive your car ? How many of us will stop buying and serving Coca Cola simply because they are polluting land in a place we have never heard of.


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at July 24, 2005 03:54 AM


Which tribe do I belong to ?
Shekhar Kapur - July 25, 2005

I am Hindu, and was a 'partition baby'. Which means that I was one of those born to parents that had to leave their homes in what is now Pakistan, to become refugees. My parents were caught up in the riots that followed, in which unimaginable atrocities were committed by Muslims and Hindus upon each other. My father was a doctor that stayed behind in Lahore because too many people were dying and hospitals just could not cope. Till the day he died, he could not understand how neighbours who knew each other for years, could turn upon each other.

As long as we blame terrorism on Islam, on a relegion, we will not even begin to understand the problem, even though most of the terrorists today may be of the Islamic faith. Because by calling them Muslim, we are immediately saying 'they' and 'those' that have nothing to do with 'us'. We will never solve the problem unless we look upon them as individuals. As human beings like us.

As a young student in London I was part of the riots that happened at Grosvenor Square in London. I was there, ready to throw firebombs at the US Embassy if needed. I was chanting against the Vietnam War. I was swept by the student movements of that time, that spread like fire all over the Western world and ended in the killings at Kent State and Woodstock.

I was all of 18. Quite the age of a suicide bomber today.

While the fundamental concepts were peace and love, we supported the Black Panther Movement, we supported the Vietcong, we supported Castro and Che'. We supported guerrilla war against the Capitalistic systems of the West anywhere in the world. And many of us went on to wage guerrilla or 'terrorist' war against the 'enemy'.

And the media branded us as Terrorists.

We were Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and Hindus. We were French, American, German, Indian, Pakistani, Arab - u name it. We became a 'tribe'- held together by the 'common enemy'. The oppression being caused by Western capitalistic systems, as we saw it then.

Which tribe did we belong to now ? Who is the common enemy now ?

Older, and hopefully wiser, I know that my biggest enemy lies within me. Mara, the God of Ignorance that holds me tightly in His deadly jaws, but such a fundamental part of me.

More to come on this .....

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at July 25, 2005 12:22 AM


British Media
Shekhar Kapur - July 27, 2005

Was anyone surprised that the British Media (and most of the other press) consistently described the 4 Bombers in London as 'British of Pakistani Origin' ? Refusing to accept their identities just as British Citizens ? In the presentation of the problem lies the problem itself. It's like everyone saying 'it's not our fault they turned out like this'. They were actually Pakistani.

Pakistani ? They were born in England. Educated in England. Lived in England all their short lives, except a couple of months in Pakistan. How else to u become just 'British' ? Or American ? By the colour of your skin ? Or by your religon ? Was John F Kennedy an 'American of Irish origin' or just plain 'American'. Was Henry Kissinger Hungarian ?

How many generations must live in the UK before you are just plain 'British'.

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at July 27, 2005 12:36 PM


The Word
Shekhar Kapur - July 29, 2005

being crushed
by the weight of

Simple words
under the debris
of meaning

One word
in complexities
of interpretation


Shekhar kapur

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at July 29, 2005 06:10 AM


Mumbai Floods
Shekhar Kapur - July 29, 2005

Over the last two days over 30 men women and children have died within half a mile radius of my house. Thats like at my doorstep. In my face. Tragic.

But then how far away must human tragedy be for us to be able look at it without too much discomfort ? A mile, 5 miles or a hundred ? How about a few thousand miles away in Iraq. Or even further in London.

How far away for human tragedy to become a statistic ? A mere news item.


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at July 29, 2005 08:46 PM


Milind Deora
Shekhar Kapur - August 01, 2005

Just wanted to introduce 'Parliamentarian' Milind Deora who has joined our growing family of bloggers. His first post is 'Gimme Shelter;.

Still in his 20's, Milind is amongst our youngest Parliamentarians in India. He is a graduate of the University of Boston and gave it all up to join politics. Created a great upset when he won his first election against all odds. He and his kind are the hope of India's future.

Welcome to our family, Milind !


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at August 1, 2005 05:23 PM


The Buddha film,
Shekhar Kapur - August 02, 2005

All Art is interpretation. Life itself is interpretation. For what is life but our ever-changing perception of all things. Our ever-changing perception of reality.

Ask a hundred witnesses to a single event, and each will describe that event differently..

So when I am asked if I will be true to the story of Buddha, I have to ask. True to which Buddha ? There are so many interpretations. All I can say is that I will be true to the Buddha in myself. My search for the Buddha in myself. And hopefully the known story of the Buddha as interpreted by my desperate need to find a meaning to my existence, to my life, to the universe that I believe I exist in, but cannot comprehend.

The many masters I read that intellectually excite me, but leave me in an emotional void that I am desperate to fill. I am hoping in the making of this film, I will be able to fill some of that void.

I do not believe I will be able to ‘discover’ the Buddha. I will merely be able to ‘search’ for Him. I will try and interpret cinematically what the moment of enlightenment might be though.

But I believe that “God lies in the search for God’. There is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The journey is the destination.

With that in mind I will embark on the journey if I am allowed to. Allowed to ? Because a film is a cooperative effort between many individuals. Lets see if the film is in my destiny.

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at August 2, 2005 02:37 PM


Shekhar Kapur - August 04, 2005

by the time
it began,
it had already

but then
in the end,
it had just

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at August 4, 2005 08:47 PM


I am
Shekhar Kapur - August 05, 2005

the moment
at the end
of each exhaled breath
before the next

the note
which by it’s absence
creates harmony
in Mozart’s symphony

the word
the poet never found
that gave meaning
to his poetry

the thought
that arose
before I began
to think

the void
that flows
where the infinite
embraces the finite

i am



Posted by Shekhar Kapur at August 5, 2005 02:46 PM


A Master Stork
Shekhar Kapur - August 06, 2005

A.k.a Sayonara Darwin,

Poor President Bush. Having discovered how wonderful it is to deal out Death, he has turned his attention to dealing with questions of Birth.

(Ummm, did'nt Hitler have a similar problem ?)

President Bush is pushing to make it mandatory to teach alternate theories of evolution in the class room along with the Darwinian theory. Namely something called 'the intelligent theory', I think we all need to pitch in and suggest what those could be.

Bush has certainly made it easier for me. I too have a tough time explaining to my five year old daughter that her beloved 'Dinoshors' were actually her cousins. And the Monkeys that clatter away around the house are actually her forefathers.

She does understand that she came out of her mummy's 'stomach', and that she was 'zero' years of age before she came out. But she has no idea what I had to do with it.

The master stork theory

One day the mummy stork brought home a baby that was human by mistake. And so the human race started. My daughter does not buy that one. How did the stork put her in mummy's stomach ?.

The bad apple theory.

but where did Adam and Eve come from ?

The virgin birth theory

I think I will stick to that one. My five year already believes in that!

The 'let their be light' theory

But what was the universe before God said 'let there be light' ?
no - this one is too complicated for my daughter.

I guess I know the answer. Here is what we should be saying to President Bush :

Dear President Bush,

"Faith,Science and Myth do not contradict each other. They live as loving neighbours. As long as in classroom, you tell the students what the you are taeching. Faith, or Science. Do not try and get political mileage out of mixing them together. Your intellect does not match Deepak Chopra's. Nor do your intentions".

In the meantime, lets all come up with'intelligent' theories of evolution. A 'theory of evolution' Blog Party !!

Say 'Cheers' to President Bush.


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at August 6, 2005 05:19 AM

Aliens are already here
Shekhar Kapur - August 07, 2005

I have often wondered at the arrogance of the human race. When we look for forms of life other than those known to us, we refuse to extend our imagination beyond anything that lies within our own sense of the individual.

On Mars we look for signs of water,for example, knowing that is essential to life as we know it. We wait for signals from the outer reaches of space, wondering whether there is any other life forms as well developed as us.

"As well developed as us" ? Supposing we are really really primitive, and are surrounded by life forms that are waitng for US to evolve. Maybe even provoking us to evolve without our being aware of it. Certainly one theory of evolution is that life was placed on earth as an experiment by a far more evolved species.

But how far can we take the idea of 'life' ?

Could we extend the concept of life to all 'intelligence' ? A form that adapts, evolves and cohabits in it's envoiroment.

If so, then are we not surrounded by 'intelligence' ? Is the Universe not an 'intelligence' that could be, by our definition called 'Life". Is our own eco system not an intelligence. Are we therefore not surrounded by 'aliens' that we search for ?

What are we really searching for ?

We are searching fo life trapped in Individuality. For we ourselves are trapped in the concept of individuality. What we are serching for are monsters. Perhaps for the mythic monsters that exist in ourselves.

Sociologists say the search for extra terrestial life is symptom of our own loneliness. But I think our loneliness comes from the ego of individuality. Our minds just too afraid allow the chaos that accompanies freedom from individuality.

Hopefully the next evolutionary moment of the human race will be the evolution of consciousness. And if that happens, no longer will we need to search for aliens, for we will be an inherrent part of the 'intelligence of Universal life'.


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at August 7, 2005 05:45 PM

great champagne !
Shekhar Kapur - August 08, 2005

last night in mumbai
celebrating the end of the floods
that killed 1000
at a friends house drinking dom perignon
the cost of one bottle of which ....

... would feed a family
dad, mom, and three children
that live on the street just outside
my friends house
for 7 days.

so as i sip the champagne
i ask myself
what am i becoming ?
should i not protest and break up the party ?
and sip champagne only when I am in Los Angeles ?

so i have to fly all the way to los angeles
to live the good life ?
and not feel guilty
for then, i am no longer responsible

does responsibility depend upon geography then ?
and you ?
you that do not live in mumbai ?


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at August 8, 2005 06:01 AM

Happy Birthday, Pam
Shekhar Kapur - August 10, 2005

Sometimes I read some really evocative responses from our family of bloggers, and I would like to share them with everyone. Here is one from Pam :


I don’t live in Mumbai. I live in El Paso/Juarez. In the recent past over 3000 women have been reported missing in Juarez. Most of the original missing person reports have been “misplaced”. Over 400 have been documented murdered....

....Many of those were in a sacrifical/ritualistic fashion. A good film to watch for those of you interested in independent films is www.lourdesportillo.com/senoritaextraviada I have marched, protested and helped educate women wherever I have been able to. I write and call my legislators about bills that I think are important.

I am divorced and an outspoken feminist in a city where strong women or feminism is frowned on. I am a Buddhist in a city that lives and breathes “god”.

Yesterday was my birthday. I didn’t have champaigne. I had my usual mocha and a burrito at my favorite dive. Probably 6 bucks total. In the afternoon I stopped three young boys from stomping a stray cat who comes to sit in the bushes in front of my apartment. You have to find a balance point. Since I refuse to choose “sides” my phone was silent and my mailbox empty. Still, all in all it was a beautiful day.

Thank You

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at August 10, 2005 10:15 AM

sometimes I want to kill myself..
Shekhar Kapur - August 13, 2005

I dream of death
I imagine my own funeral
I realize ...

It's the ultimate act of my EGO
it's the ultimate act of my individuality
It's the ultimate statement of the self

oh my god !
and I thought I was killing myself
and it had nothing to do with others
and yet,

as I put the gun in my mouth
my head was screaming,
notice me ! notice me !
recognize my individuality
recognize that i do exist

how far will the mind go
to play games with me ?
is this a game of russian roulette
between me and my mind ?

is the mind so desperate
that it will kill the body
before it will give up it's own self ?


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at August 13, 2005 02:02 PM

mirror, mirror..
Shekhar Kapur - August 14, 2005

mirror, mirror
on the wall,
who is the humblest
of them all ?


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at August 14, 2005 09:06 AM

Mirror Mirror on the Wall ..2
Shekhar Kapur - August 16, 2005

Miror mirror on the wall
Who is the fairest
Of them all ?

Fairest ?

Where does the fascination with
the lack of normal skin pigmentation come from ....

.... and this is not an 'us vs them' argument
we asians are amongst the most rascist people on this planet
in fact the hottest selling cosmetic in India
is called 'Fair & Lovely".
It beaches the skin (and god knows what else),
In India recently, there was turmoil over a commercial
that hinted that a girl could get married only if
she made herself fair ... with 'fair and lovely' of course

Look at the matrimonial columns in the Times of India
they are all asking for young virgins of a fair complexion
- that in a country where the natural colour is brown !

goes deeper though

In my research on aparthied in South Africa
I saw TV interviews with educated senior ministers
that calmly said that the native was not completely human
and therefore had to be treated like a child (meaning whipped)

Why this prejudice against a skin colour that has natural pigmentation ? Where did this start ? Was this just an excuse for economic domination by the colonists - and now has just seeped into people's mythology ?

any answers ?


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at August 16, 2005 07:23 AM

Real Courage ..
Shekhar Kapur - August 16, 2005

help me
down the mountain ..

help me
breathe again

I've played the game
had my
15 seconds of fame

give me the courage
once again

to be ordinary


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at August 16, 2005 05:05 PM

And Suddenly, Unexpectedly ...
Shekhar Kapur - August 17, 2005

I seek
which was not
supposed to be

I seek
which had not
occurred to me

I seek
which occurs

I seek
which suddenly
overwhelms me

I know not
what I want to be

I live

can you then
teach me,
a more
creative way to be ?


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at August 17, 2005 03:21 PM

There is no 'Us vs Them' there is only 'Us'.
Shekhar Kapur - August 18, 2005

"While there was little serious violence in Gaza, an Israeli settler in the West Bank grabbed a gun from a guard near the settlement of Shiloh and opened fire on Palestinian workers. The settler, Asher Weissgan,40,killed four Palestinians and wounded one other .."

The above is an excerpt from today's NY times. The words are buried deep in the front page that headlines the tragedy of the Gaza settlers bieng forcefully evicted.
What does the NY times mean 'no serious violence ?' What else is serious violence ?

And before readers assume I am expressing my hurt at Colonization again, let me tell u that I am more than expressing my hurt. I am expressing my anger.

Not at any one community or race or ethnic background. But at our ability to so easily not look upon 'them' as induviduals and whose lives become just statistics..

And before you say "here he goes again', this angers me in India too. I made a film called Bandit Queen, where I expressed my shock and guilt at my own attitudes. Living in Delhi I was totally unconcerned with the incredible violence and opression that was happening just 150 miles from where I lived. Where the massacre of 10 low caste women (usually through public stripping and then burning) would justify a mere 1 inch column on the 4th page. Unless ofcourse there was an election happening in that area, creating political mileage for the opposition.

So in all honesty and humility I ask. Would the NY times had called the same news 'no serious violence' if a Palestinian had killed four Israeli workers ?

And anyway, what was the last score on the dead in the famine in Africa ?


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at August 18, 2005 10:58 PM

Before you fell in love ...
Shekhar Kapur - August 19, 2005

where did love exist
before you tuned in ?

all you heard
was the static
that was the chaos
that enveloped
the harmony


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at August 19, 2005 02:53 AM

Is this intelligent design ?
Shekhar Kapur - August 25, 2005

Here is a photograph I took of a newly married couple that had just moved into their new home. What you see is their bedroom, kitchen, toilet,living room and study ...

.. this is where they will live, make love, bring up their children. Surrounded by the roar of traffic. One wrong turn while asleep risks being run over by a truck.

75% of the urban population of the world lives like this, or perhaps in only slightly better circumstances in slums.

So for those of us that have access to computers and broadband, lets try and explain this through any theorey of 'intelligent design'. I too loose myself in the search for consciousness, where we came from and where we will go. I too look to the meaning of death without ever defining the meaning of life. For if I do define the meaning of life, I must look carefully at people like these before I come to any conclusions.

I'm sorry to offend theorists. I have just flown back to Mumbai from Los Angeles. And I drive by this on my way home.

In the matrix of our chaotic universe, where every thing coexists, is it possible to define a theorey of evolution without looking at our collective attitudes that surely combine to propel us to our next evolutionary phase ?

Why must all evolutionary theories be pre birth and post death ?


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at August 25, 2005 04:26 PM

More intelligent design !
Shekhar Kapur - August 25, 2005

In a universe that is essentially chaotic, why do we search for definitions ? Why do singular theories give us so much comfort ? Is it our desperate need to find order in a universe that is mind boggling in it’s capacity to be right and wrong at the same time ? Perhaps the harmony we seek lies not in challenging chaos, but in the embracing and experiencing of it...

...If we have learnt anything from Quantum/Particle Physics, it is that the observer (or the theorizer) comes to conclusions that are totally dependant upon the observation/perception.

So if agree that in micro physics every thing is true and contradictory at the same time, then why is that also not true for macro physics ? Or our existence.

So the statement that “ And God said let there be light, and there was light..” is not contradictory to the Big bang theory.

C’mon.. If we really do create each other in our own imagination, why can’t Santa exist and not exist at the same time ? My 5 year old daughter has no problem with that contradiction. She is closer to Quantum Physics than I am.

But then I am more concerned about my mortality than she is..

shekhar kapur

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at August 25, 2005 04:52 PM

Deepak Chopra, HELP !
Shekhar Kapur - August 26, 2005

In trying to come to terms with some of the fierce and confrontational discussions on Evolution, I found myself responding to a particular post on the nature of our Universe. It's probably garbage - so everyone, please feel free to attack...

My emotional (non observational) point of view of the unverse is this:

The universe is amoral. However the amorality is held in balance by constant contradictions between everything. Like the earth and sun are held together in constant motion by contradictory forces.

Contradictions arise and fall all the time. Like waves in a choppy sea. Like the cells in our body, everthing in the universe creates and destroys itself constantly. Immedietly. So it is always in flux. A living organism. We are one of the contradictions of the universe. One of the waves that rise and fall. Momentarily.

Ofcourse the moment anyone tries to observe the contradictions of the universe, the observation freezes that moment into an illusory concept of existence in space and in time. So by the time we have observed, the universe has contradicted itself billions and billions of times over. It's like trying to catch a rainbow.

The universe is one whole consciousness. It is a consciousness so interrelated that there is no individuality.


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at August 26, 2005 06:20 PM

Rock stars as terrorists
Shekhar Kapur - August 27, 2005

Responding to Milind Deora's post, I remember the last time we had a movement that crossed national boundaries, was rebellious,and the leaders were called terrorists - and the movement was led by rock stars and music.

I am ofcourse talking about the 60's, where students all over the western world joined hands with working classes in an incredible rebellion that significantly changed the way we live, work and think even today.

That revolution was led by music. And revolution it was. It was against structure. It was against authourity. It was against Vietnam. It was against capitalism. It was against repression anywhere in the world. It threw up icons such as Mandela and Che Guvera.

It was of course against anything it could be against too !@!

It expressed itself in clothes, love, fashion, art, poetry, dance film, and ofcourse free love and sex. The leaders looked for the the true meaning of 'freedom' and thought they could change the world. They did to a large extent.

Of course any one to do with authority was against them. Whether it was goverments, educational institutions and even the church.

We could do with another such revolution today.


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at August 27, 2005 07:59 PM

Oh Dear, Mon Generale’ !
Shekhar Kapur - August 29, 2005

Major General Douglass Lute, direction of operations at America’s Central Command, said, Quote

“.. the US suffered from an intelligence gap and had to rely on Iraqis to tell the difference, for example, between people from different Arab countries, and between Iraqi Sunni’s, Shia’s and Kurds.”

Shame on you, General. Just listen to the language! Or just plain listen.

Even a businessman would thoroughly acquaint himself with a culture before doing trade. And you went in as a so-called ‘Liberation Force’ with absolutely no comprehension of the basic culture of the people you claim to be ‘liberating’?

And three years later you still don’t. You know why ?

Because you are too arrogant to even try.

shekhar kapur

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at August 29, 2005 07:17 AM

The Golden Age
Shekhar Kapur - August 30, 2005

After directing “Elizabeth’ with Cate Blanchette, I am in London planning a sequel called the ‘Golden Age’. The comparisons with our troubled times makes the film really contemporary ..

It was the 1570’s. Europe was in midst of brutal religious war. Phillip the 2nd of Spain, the most powerful man in Europe, had sworn to convert all of Europe to the Catholic faith. By war and terrorism if necessary, he has sworn to destroy the Protestants.

One woman stood against him. The Queen of a small, practically bankrupt island state called England.

Her name was Elizabeth. Although she was Protestant, over 40% of her population was Catholic. Her Parliament was vociferous in demanding a crackdown and suppression of her Catholic people.

But Elizabeth was a liberal monarch. Which was incredible for that time. She fought for peace in her realm. She fought off the notion of religious oppression.

Ultimately Phillip launched the largest fleet ever known in Naval history against her. Called the Great Spanish Armada, it was supposed to launch an invasion of England.

But the invasion failed. Elizabeth’s rag tag Navy, supported by favourable winds and a storm, defeated the might of Spain.

Cate Blanchette will of course, once again play the central character, with Geoffrey Rush, Clive Owen and Samantha Morton.

So far we are still scripting, but will keep the blog posted on the process of filmmaking. The pain and the pleasure of it.

Shekhar kapur

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at August 30, 2005 01:27 PM

Sienna Miller..
Shekhar Kapur - September 04, 2005

Sienna Miller is more known these days for the girl that broke off her engagement with Jude Law. But she is quite an actor in her own right and yesterday I met her in London for possible casting in Golden Age, the sequel to 'Elizabeth' ..

.. and the conversations turned, as is usual with me, to the search for the spiritual self.

It never ceases, does it ?

Sienna, it turned out, is pretty much on her own quest too. She has a Guru, but is not sure of what, why and where of it all !

Hey Sienna, I've been at it all my life am not sure either. Except that all the answers lie buried in the questions themselves. And people who claim they know it all have stopped breathing.

I think the universe is one great question, in which lie billions of other questions, full of mathematical equations that never cease..

In questioning we are alive. And the day we cease to question, we become bigots. Or die. I guess that is where the famous Buddhist saying comes from :

"When you find your Guru, Kill him".

Sienna was flying to Venice today to open her new film, Casanova, with Heath Ledger. I will write soon about Heath Ledger too.


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at September 4, 2005 02:16 AM

Look Mom, I'm on camera !
Shekhar Kapur - September 05, 2005

Can you see me, Mom ?

in the Milky Way,

Through a billion suns
with even more planets
through billions
and billions
of people

Can you see Mom ?
there I am,

about a billion years after
this picture taken ?

I love you, Mom,


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at September 5, 2005 04:46 AM

Of Human Dignity
Shekhar Kapur - September 06, 2005

The descent into anarchy in New Orleans may have many reasons. But events like those make me wonder whether civilization exists only on the surface, for all it took was 3 days for a people to spiral back to tribalism.

And yet, the people you see in this photograph are defiantly celebrating life and community in the face of abject poverty ..

The kid on the left is actually doing a pretty nifty version of a break dance.

This group,like thousands of others, live underneath the 100 odd fly-overs (over passes) that are bieng built or planned in Mumbai, in India. Most of them have little to eat, and all live on the streets. The kids, judging by their clothes, are probably rag pickers, or just beg and steal.

And yet, they celebrate life as you can see. Families live together, hold each other in the embrace of love. They celebrate all the festivals with a lot more abandon than those I know with a lot lot more going for them in life. Atleast materially.

What gives them the courage ? The Dignity ?

These photographs are part of my research for a film I am writing called Paani (Water in Hindi). It deals with a city of 20 million that runs out of water. And the water wars begin between those that have and own the few water resources, and those that do not. Water becomes a political and ecnomic weapon of control. Shekhar

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at September 6, 2005 11:18 AM

The end of Hollywood ?
Shekhar Kapur - September 08, 2005

Vijay Bal's blog on the 'State of Hollywood' provoked me to look into the very near future where, when SPIDERMAN takes his mask off, he will either be Chinese or Indian. Where Spiderman will swing not in New York, but in Shanghai or in Mumbai. And the film will be funded and produced in Asia. And I do believe that Hollywood is on the decline, bieng crushed under it's own weight. And near-sightedness.

And this is not about 'us and them'. It is pure economics and consumerism. The prime culture of the world since the 2nd world war has been the American Pop culture. And for good reason. It was rebellious and new, it appealed to the youth and did not sit in arrogance of orthodoxy. And it was cutting edge and encouraged individuality.

It does not do that any longer. Big is not neccesarily beautiful.

The American Pop cuture sprung it's world wide appeal on the financial strength of it's home market. A few years ago North America accounted for 80% of the revenues for Hollywood product. Now for films like Harry Potter, it accounts for a third or less.

As the 'foreign' component continues to rise, Hollywood will be forced to cater more and more to consumers overseas. Studies show that we are heading to a revenue model where 75% of the revenues for entertainment will come from Asia.

When that happens, the Asian consumer will flex it's financial muscle just as the North American consumer did once. The consumer will not just accept the notion that Asia is an expanding market for Western product. It will want home grown product that is much closer to it's own cultural preferences. So if you want to make an international 'hit', then you will only be able to do so if the film appeals inherrently to Asian consumers.

So what will Hollywood be then ? The films will neither be written in Hollywood, nor will they be produced in Hollywood, nor will North America be the significant market.

But there are internal factors too. Film making in Hollywood is becoming too Corporate. As the Corporations turn into Mega Corporations through mergers (Time Warner), the owners and the film makers are largely distanced from each other. The CEO's of these corporation respond far more to the share price of the Corporation in the stock market than to the encouraging of risk taking in the creation of exciting new films. This is also proving so obviously true in the music bussiness.

The essentials of managing a large Corporation require the standardization of product. The essentials of the entertainment bussiness is individuality. You cannot expect McDonalds to have the diverse Menu of a good French or Italian restaraunt. This is 'McDonaldization' of films. Film in Hollywood is now defined as Product, and what you make is largely controlled by the 'marketing Boys'. Is it any wonder then that most big films now are sequels of succesful films, and every Hollywood studio is scouring to pick up film rights for Comic Books or succesful TV serials ?

So I see the new wave of film making coming from the East. The new mega stars will not be 'western' but probably Chinese or Indian. There will be reverse cultural colonization. After all if western Media could sell Tom Cruise as a sex symbol to a Chinese teenager in Shanghai, surely in the future, and based on the same economic and cutural principles, India can sell a future Amitabh Bacchan as the worlds next super star.

Is this a good thing ? Absolutely. Change and Chaos is always great for the creative process. Individuality is great for the creative process.

Perhaps over the years maybe the new Asian Media corporations will be as overburdened with their own overhead and arrogance as Hollywood is now, but then we quite a few years to go for that,

Till then, lets celebrate individuality of story telling and film making. Just enjoy the new , Mexican, Chinese, Japanese and Indian films.


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at September 8, 2005 07:24 AM

Here comes the Prophet
Shekhar Kapur - September 09, 2005

that profit
from selling us God,
take your beads
and trinklets
and banish yourselves
from this bazaar
of religion

for here comes
the only true Prophet !
dancing and singing
that God
does not exist


in your

for how can
the infinite
he sings,
be explained
by your finite answers ?

so come,
dance with me
in an endless search

for God exists, only
in the search for God

and our journey
will be
our only destination,

come, dance
with questions
and questions
for only in questions
lies the matrix
of the Universe

and only
in questioning,
the dance
of creativity,

and when the dancing ends
and the questions cease
there is only

and the return
of those
that claim
to know God
and will sell us
once again
beads and trinklets
in return for our souls

shekhar kapur

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at September 9, 2005 02:15 PM

The Heart of Terrorism
Shekhar Kapur - September 13, 2005

Terrorism of any kind is inexcusable. But since it is a fact of modern life, the only way to combat it is to understand the heart of the terrorist.

This is not the first time an aeroplane has been used as a suicidal weapon. Japenese Kamikazie pilots were well known in the 2nd World War. However terrorism today is defined by acts against civilian targets. But targetting civilians has become an accepted form of warfare. Be it London or Hiroshima in the 2nd War or arguably even Baghdad today. There is surprisingly nothing in the Geneva Convention that forbids this ..

It can be argued that all of the above were acts of War, where one Nation State has formally declared war against another. Although Iraq was not a 'Declared War' against a 'state' but against a 'regime'. Well, all wars are delared effectively against a regime, whether the regime was a popular or democratically elected one or not. So what constitues a declaration War ?

The big difference today,then, is that in declaring a general War against terrorism, we seem to have declared a War that is not confined to any one State or Regime, but against an Ideology. In doing so we are falling right into the trap of the terrorists are we not ?

For according to the terrorist organizations they too have a self declared war that does not recognize the Nation State boundaries either. They have declared war against a vague notion of the 'West' as an ideology. And they too claim to be held together by an allegiance to an ideology rather than a Nation State. Their stated umbrella of Ideology is Islam.

This is exactly what the Terrorist organizations desired. To break the notion of war as between Nation States and for it to be seen as a conflict between ideologies. They need for their recruits to break away from any allegiance to their Nation States and commit themselves to an ideology that does not recognize National Boundaries.

It's as if in a notional modern day conflict between Islam and the Christian church (as during the Crusades), US citizens were asked to chose where their prime loyalties lay. Christianity or the Church ? My guess is that an overwhelming loyalty would be with the US,(or I certainly hope so),but the moment you ask the question why, and discover that the answer lay in the quality of life, security and hope, you know why in countries where this quality does not exist, young people provide natural breeding grounds for terrorism

What else do we need to understand ?

One of the prime mistakes we make is to term modern day terrorism as 'Islamic Terrorism'. This is an usurped Islam and we give the terrorist much greater credence and therefore psychological power by terming it so.

Secondly, we need to understand that the major recruiting grounds are amongst people that feel unable to give their allegiance to a system of goverment that is seen as unfair,unstable or non existent, and therefore are looking to 'belong'. This was so starkly brought out by the British Citizens that felt so alienated from their own goverment that they comitted acts of terrorism against their own country.

So a lesson we must learn is that terrorism thrives on unstability and alienation.. And the lessons from Iraq and Afganistan are clear. As they are from Pakistan, Chechnya, Palistine and parts of Africa. That stability cannot be forced upon. It is an organic process.

Miltary action is therefore not an option. Nor are economic sanctions for they have time and again proven to harm the general populace far more than they do the regiime, who seem to gain a psychological advantage.

In fact quite the opppsite. Every effort must be made to bring the people into mainstream economic activity. Every effort must be made to give them hope for a better future. Economic sanctions do just the opposite.

And as long as nations that are more powerful and prosperous continue to persue short term economic, military or strategic goals internationally, we are doomed to live with what is bieng termed as ' Islamic Terrorism'. Or any other ideology that may turn up in the future. These Nations must understand that the vast wealth they have accumulated through the policies of Globalization, bring with it vast responsibilities. And in a Global economy you cannot just trade to the singular advantage of your own economy. It is a contradiction in terms.

When Bush in his Presidential campaign said "leave no Child behind" he should, as all other heads of state need to recognize too, that the concept must be extended to a Global Village if the true and fair advantages of Globalizations are sought.

My view is that if you look deep into the heart of the problem, you may want rename Islamic Terrorism as 'Economic terrorism' by the disposessed. For therein lie the recruiting grounds. And while the usurped ideology may be termed Islamic, it is the alienation, anger, and lack of hope that leads young men and women to become suicide bombers.

And it just so happens that Islamic nations have huge populations that are amongst the disposessed of the world.

If we do leave the majority of our children behind, Globalization will wreak havoc upon our next generation. And I wonder what further ideologies will surface in the name of 'Economic Terorism'.

Shekhar Kapur

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at September 13, 2005 01:59 AM

The Collective Will
Shekhar Kapur - September 13, 2005

Richard Thomas in his post raises a fundamental issue:

" The people have the ultimate responsibility to ensure the individuals in their government are well managed and carry out the collective and beneficial will of the people they represent"

So when a nation declares War on another, is the Goverment truly following the 'Collective Will' of the people that voted the goverment in ? and in that case is the population at large responsible for the actions or inactions of it's Goverments ?

How many people who Blog here from all over the world believe this statement not to be true, and if not, are we then truly democratic ?

Do Goverment actions truly represent the collective will of the people,and more fundamentally, is the electoral process truly represented by the people's CONSIDERED vote.

In the US, for example, a Presidential Campaign is designed to peak at a certain time just like the marketing of a product. So if the campaign is mismanaged and peaks at the wrong time, does that mean that the issues become irrelavent ?

In India, which is the world's largest democracy, elections never quite reach a truly national democratic status. What is not obvious in the urban areas is that the rural vote is much more do with the power of the local politicians and often the local goons.

If the consensus is that the system is inadequate, then what can be done ?

Comments ?


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at September 13, 2005 11:08 AM

The Blog, or the end of all Institutional Power, and the rise of true democracy. Your voice is finally more important than your vote !!
Shekhar Kapur - September 15, 2005

Freedom of Speech ? Freedom of Expression ?

Words. Just pieces of paper that make up our Constitution. Those mean nothing. For the Constitution was about the rights of the Individual. And when was the last time an individual in India had any power unless he or she sold her soul to an Institution. Be it a Political Body, a Governmental Body, or a Corporation, A Newspaper, a TV channel.

When was the last time anyone listened to YOU ? When was the last time anyone was allowed to listen to YOU ?

Remember when u woke up screaming cause’ nobody would listen ? When something bothered you or when something made you desperately want to express yourself ?

Well, now you can. The Internet is here. It is the most democratic medium ever created by technology. And every attempt to control it by any government and Corporation anywhere in the world has been, and is doomed to be, a failure.

The Internet does not recognize any boundary that a State, a religion or a Corporation desperately defines to keep itself in Power. It allows you to free your mind from the chains of all Propaganda.

It’s a revolution, and it’s already here.

The Internet is bubbling with such free voices. They are called Blogs. And the Corporations and the Governments and all Religious Bigots are terrified. The TV Channels are terrified. The Newspapers are terrified. For they are about to loose the one thing that gives them their Power.

The Power over your mind. The Power over the collective mind.

These Blogs are run by millions of individuals or groups of individuals all over the world. They are expressing their individual voices. And they are being heard. Anyone can go on to their Blog and agree or disagree. Anyone.

So go on. Start your own Blog. Make your voice heard. Scream ! On the Internet.

Time to change the world.

Come Blog. Agree with us. Disagree with us. Tell us we are wrong. Say anything you want. As long as you do not get personal or vicious. In that case you will not get a voice. We have a panel of Bloggers. Each talking about what they are interested in from all over the world.

Or start your own Blog. Have fun while you change the World !!

This is an excerpt from an article was requested by an Indian newspaper, but I guess they found it too intimidating or arrogant.

Shekhar Kapur

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at September 15, 2005 12:13 AM

In Iraq, it's already too late ...
Shekhar Kapur - September 15, 2005

While we argue about Cindy Sheehan's campaign and President Bush's political future. While the world argues the legality of the War and the real meaning of terrorism, or genocide etc., lets understand that for most Iraqi's it's already too late. For another complete generation, it's all over.

The following is a letter to Cindy Sheehan I am writing on behalf of an Iraqi mother ..

Dear mother,

May your God Bless you, whoever that might be. And may your God forgive those that killed your son, as I beg and beg my God to forgive those that killed my child.

For I cannot. I never will.

.... an Iraqi mother.

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at September 15, 2005 06:29 AM

15 Starving Indians die after eating carcasses
Shekhar Kapur - September 16, 2005

This news item appeared on Page eleven of todays Times of India. Well, I lie. In the news item they were not called 'Indians' but 'Dalits', that are Indians too, only low caste. The headlines on Page 1,though, were:

"Glitz and Grime:Bets, Lies and Tapes" - Which is the story of a dancer that is accused of bieng part of a betting syndicate in Cricket matches.

So which story deserved to be on Page 1 ? That in a country touted to soon be the 3rd biggest economy in the World people are still dying of starvation, or the one that appeared ? Malika, this why Blogs are really important in our world.

Let me quote more from the Page eleven article

"..on Friday watched people dying, with foam trickling down their mouths and nostrils ...In Jalhi village alone, 13 deaths have been reported... over 25,000 people have said to fled their homes ... in the absense of admnistrative help,traditional healers and 'quacks' hold fort ... the hapless villagers have turned to to sorcerers and tantriks, taking the deaths as a curse of God"

India is fast becoming (even though it has always been feudalistic) two nations. Those that are part of the incredible pace of development (mostly malls and consumeristic urban societies) and the the 'forgotten people' who perhaps are 60% of our population.

How can we begin to change this ? To start with why do we say '15 starving Dalits ..." in our headlines. Why not say " 15 starving Indians die after eating carcass". Just because we give these people nomenclature different to ours, do they cease to become Indians ?

No, but by marginalizing them we are more comfortable as we sit down and eat, and complain that we have eaten too much after every meal.


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at September 16, 2005 09:32 PM

City of Smiles
Shekhar Kapur - September 17, 2005

A friend from LA came to see me in Mumbai. He could not get over how everyone just smiled all the time. This young girl and her brother came to us asking for money on Juhu Beach. But soon she was not begging for money but for her picture to be taken.

Notice the blonde streaks in their hair ? It's malnutrition.


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at September 17, 2005 08:40 PM

The Search for new Planet Earths..
Shekhar Kapur - September 18, 2005

I heard yesterday that in order to give every human bieng on our Planet the same level of consumption as the average US citizen (although recent events do tell us that there no 'average' citizen in the US), we would need another THREE Planet Earths...

But the aspirational economic models bieng promoted by China,India..

But the aspirational economic models bieng promoted by China,by India, by the World bank, by the G8 and most Goverments in the World are promising their people exactly that.

And the dream is bieng vividly sold to the populations of every country by the Global reach of Sattelite TV.

So what do you think is going to happen when 3.5 billion people realize they were sold a false dream ?


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at September 18, 2005 08:15 PM

Our Blog
Shekhar Kapur - September 22, 2005

I just want to thank all the people who post and comment on the Blog. I am moved, educated, informed, stimulated and often provoked by the comments. I am so glad I started to Blog. I have been away for two days at a Technolgy Conference in Bangalore. Thank you everyone.

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at September 22, 2005 09:25 AM

My Guru
Shekhar Kapur - September 22, 2005

My Guru died...

My Guru died,

Not in an ashram
nestled in Himalayas,
nor in the house
of a rich patron

He died on the street
next to the garbage dump
across the street from my house.

On the same spot
where he begged for years,
his leprosy finally eating
into his vital organs

He never spoke
except with his fierce eyes
that challenged me to look at him,
at his decaying face,
not with pity
nor with charity
not even with compassion

But with the knowing
that his rotting body was mine
and mine was his,
and all that separated us

was chance

A chance,
less significant
than a speck of dust


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at September 22, 2005 10:12 AM

My Guru died (2)
Shekhar Kapur - September 25, 2005

To those that read my original post "My Guru", I would like to say this man did exist like thousands I see everyday ..

But truly, this man who's body was bieng ravaged by leprosy taught me more about myself, my ego, my exaggerated sense of individuality,my sense of individual achievement, than any Guru could have. When I would look into his eyes, I would have to evaluate first my 'way of looking' - till I found that there was no 'way of looking' but to see him as a refelection of myself - beyond pity, kindness, compassion - which were all self-congratulatory words.


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at September 25, 2005 11:43 PM

Oscar, Shoscar..
Shekhar Kapur - September 29, 2005

So much Hoo Ha about India's entry to the Oscar's.
Do you really care ?

Would you be prouder of Indian Cinema if an Indian Film won the best foreign language film Oscar ? Only if you thought that the Oscar Commitee, or whovever judges the films knew more about Cinema than you, me or even our audiences. Right ?

What particularily intrigues me is the assumption in this controversy that the Jury in India is infinitely inferior to the Jury or whovever votes at the Oscars.

Consider that most of the Members of the Academy that actually have time (but perhaps not the ability) to sit through a 2.5 hour film, retired 20 years ago and are approaching their 80's. Those that are working certainly do not have time to go see a foriegn language film in a theatre , unless of course someone, or the press, have reccomended it in unusually strong terms.. The word we use for that is Lobbying.

I would bet that if Satyajit Ray were alive today, and made Pather Panchali in this year, first the Indian Jury would have not even considered it, and if perchance they did, the Oscar's voters would probably have walked out of it. UNLESS the critics and the press raved about it before the screening. And this is a film that is rightly considered one of the 10 best ever made. So who has the right to judge ???

Which leads me to another point. Why did regional films from India not come into contention. Some of the best films today are not made in Hindi but in regional languages, as they tend to be much more rooted.

So which film ? I have not seen Paheli, so refuse to be dragged into the controversy on whether it deserved the nomination or not. But I can understand that it represents much more the essential folk form of Hindi Cinema, which is Nautanki. Black seemed too much a hybrid trying to traverse the world of nautanki and realism in one film . But I can tell you which film I would have voted for -

A film called Black Friday which is a brilliant film by a young director called Anurag Kashyap. It is, naturally, banned in India, for it is the story of the people responsible for the Bombay Bomb Blasts. It follows them through the planning, execution and till they either gave themselves up or were arrested. It exposes the events in each ones lives, for you to judge the morality of it all. Totally gripping. And so, so contemporary,

I think it would have won.


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at September 29, 2005 02:26 AM

Shekhar Kapur - October 02, 2005

in the instant it began
it was over,
but then
in the end
it had just begun.


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at October 2, 2005 02:41 PM

South Asia Earthquake
Shekhar Kapur - October 10, 2005

Something must be wrong. 30,000 people dead and the US donates $100,000.
UK $ 167,00. Compare that to what the Western Powers have spent in War in the last 3 years. Is saving human lives less important than killing ? The toll is expected to go up to almost 50,000. We need millions in help and humanitarian work. Can we at Intentblog help send the message out someway ?

As a rule, people buried under rubble have 72 hours to be rescued. These are Women and Children out there. As we in Mumbai mobilize ourselves to collect money for relief work, I wonder. After the extremely generous support the world gave after the Tsunami, is the world just tired, or was it that no Westerners were killed ?

Maybe I am wrong. Hopefully by tommorow the millions will be there. In the mean time any one reading this blog and wants to help. Please send us a note.


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at October 10, 2005 04:31 AM

I am ashamed
Shekhar Kapur - October 10, 2005

I am ashamed of all those people that have posted anti-muslim comments in relationship to the earthquake.

I was born in Lahore, though I am Hindu. I spent all my summer holidays in Kashmir. We shot films in Kashmir and called it Paradise. Not only for the scenery, but it was well known that the Kashmiri's were the gentlest people on earth. The women and children were the most beautiful I have ever seen. Laughing and waving as you drove through their beautiful villages. They were the most kind and hospitable I ever met.

And now as thousands lay dying under rubble, those beautiful faces of those laughing children scarred or obliterated forever.

Please think of them as individuals as you think of the earthquake, not as numbers or Pakistani's, Afgani's or Muslims.


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at October 10, 2005 04:50 AM

Hey Shekhar, its not as simple as that !
Shekhar Kapur - October 12, 2005

I am glued to the TV. The suffering of the people of Kashmir. Azad Kashmir, Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. Whatever.

Divided by nothing but a line drawn on a piece of paper called a map. Which line now divides brother from brother. Nation from Co- Nation. People from people. Hindu from Muslim. A division so great that thousands dies every year in worship of that line. Drawn on a paper map.

Divided by nothing but a line drawn on a piece of paper called a map. Which line now divides brother from brother. Nation from Co- Nation. People from people. Hindu from Muslim. A division so great that thousands dies every year in worship of that line. Drawn on a paper map.

And yet when I see TV. I hear the anguish of the man that carries his dead child in a language that I speak. And in my mind the line disappears. I see an old woman wail in despair and she reminds me of my grandmother who died many years ago. And the line dissapears. I see a little girl, eyes wide with fear. Uncomprehending of the grief and tragedy that surrounds her. I think immediately of my 5 year old daughter and the line dissapears.

This line across which once my parents lived. This line across which I was born. This line which divides the statistics of Death. 40,000 on that side of the line and less than a thousand on this side of the line. Just one line. Drawn across a piece of paper. Which defines the identity of those that died.

Is this not the time to obliterate the line ? Even for a brief moment of outpouring of grief? For a brief moment of embracing ?

For we know the line will come back. There will be more wars. There will be "those Muslims" and 'those Hindu's". There will be those that exact their political power from the power of the line. There will be Divided by nothing but a line drawn on a piece of paper called a map. Which line now divides brother from brother. Nation from Co- Nation. People from people. Hindu from Muslim. A division so great that thousands dies every year in worship of that line. Drawn on a paper map.

But for one brief moment, why not just make it as simple as that. Why not rise up and overwhelm that line. Let us, the citizens of Mumbai unite in one moment of grief with those that have suffered equally on both sides of that line.

Knowing that the line will be back. For, as my friends so eloquently say to me,

"Hey Shekhar, it's not as simple as that".

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at October 12, 2005 04:57 AM

Sex,lies and... freedom
Shekhar Kapur - October 15, 2005

The river flowed wide and deep. As the Guru and his young disciple wondered at the best way to cross it, they were approached by a young girl who asked for help.

Having just taken his vows of celibacy, the disciple was alarmed. The more looks he stole at the young girl the more beautiful he found her. He could not help noticing the way her Pallu just partially covered her blooming youth. Hormones raging, he shouted at the young girl to get away from them, admonishing her for the way she was dressed. That even to talk to her was Sin. And then proudly looked to the Guru for approval.

The girl burst into tears. She now approached the Guru. Apologising, that she was a poor girl and could not afford any more clothing. The Guru walked up to the young girl and with strength that belied his age, lifted her on to his shoulders and calmly walked into the river.

The young disciple was horrified.

As the river water lapped up to their chins, all the disciple could think of was the sinful way the young girls now bare legs were astride the naked upper torso of his Guru. How her young body clung on to the Guru's in what he could see was almost an embrace. His mind reeled with the consequences as he struggled to fight the undertow of currents of the river as well as his own.

Emerging from the turbulent waters at the other end, the Guru calmly put the girl down and walked away. The young disciple's turmoil now turned to anger. Mile after mile they walked in the hot afternoon sun, the disciple waiting for some words, some explanation, some apology from the Guru. But nothing. Just hot silence.

"How dare you ! How dare you us preach celibacy and do what you just did " the disciple could not control himself any more "How dare you not feel any shame ?"

The Guru just walked. In silence. Not a word.

" I will not walk with you anymore !" Shouted the disciple

The Guru stopped. Turned back and walked and looked the disciple in the eye.

" I left the young girl on the bank of the river, you are still carrying her" He said "Go back to the banks of the river, and when you finally unburdened yourself,, search for me and you will walk with me again".

57 years later the disciple still sits at the banks of the river contemplating the words of his Guru. His hormones do not rule him anymore, but he carries other burdens. Till he truly unburdens himself he cannot cross the turbulent river. He cannot be truly free.

And 57 years later, our nation still carries the burden of being colonized. We still carry the burden of the 'White man". We still look to the West for acknowledgement.

India 'shines' only in context of what the World Bank thinks of us. Of what the US thinks of us. Of what the Foreign Investors think of us.

We still carry the burden of the great Hindu/Muslim divide that the British left us. We still hope that someone will lead us through all our troubled times. Like lost children, we still look for some great leader.

There are no more Masters. There will be no great leaders. Only power hungry mnaipulators who take advantage of the burdens we carry. We as a people need to unburden ourselves, and only then will we understand the true meaning of that elusive word,


For Freedom does not come from 'without' but from 'within'.

Then we shall cross the river with confidence, however turbulent it might be.

Shekhar Kapur

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at October 15, 2005 11:20 PM

It's happening on the streets !
Shekhar Kapur - October 17, 2005

It's Navratri ! (see Anjali Adukla's blog) All the young people in their best clothes in their thousands dancing on the streets and having sex ..

And before all the conversative Hindu's are up in arms consider :

A 25% increase in abortions in the few months after Navratri. So much that next year one of the most seen ads around the Dandiya celebrations are likely to be condoms.

Hey, and we thought India was this conservative society. Infact we really dont know which society we are talking about do we ? There is no more a 'common' society in India that can be understood, or structured into groups. Everything you say about India is wrong for all India is a bundle of contradictions,

Thank God, if there is one that is not a bundle of contradictions itself.

And when did all this happen ? I thought that the 60's in London and woodstock were the great love fests ?

We sure missed out on this one when we were kids,

And to those that live in the impossibly crowded Mumbai and Ahmedabad, where the heck do they go for sex ?


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at October 17, 2005 12:14 PM

Shekhar Kapur - October 20, 2005

If there is love,
lend me
a drop

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at October 20, 2005 12:43 PM

This takes the cake
Shekhar Kapur - October 20, 2005

I saw the most absurd photograph of the year in The Times of India. Linda Evangelista distributing free condoms in the slums of Mumbai. Please go somewhere else for your photo ops Linda. Condoms are freely available in India. They are just not used enough.

Yes aids is a huge problem. And of course we need funds. But people who really care, like Richard Gere, don't strut around the streets asking the international press to click them.

Tonight she is hosting a party for the glitterati of Mumbai. Promoting a jewelry collection for which she is a brand ambassador. Which less than .0001% of Indians can afford. How insensitive can you get ?

Please do not trivialize the Aids problem, Linda. And fire your PR agency.


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at October 20, 2005 11:01 PM

I am Learning Disabled..
Shekhar Kapur - October 21, 2005

Yesterday I spent the day doing a workshop with kids with learning disabilities. I came away having learnt the disabilities I have lived with, that I was never aware of ..

..and survived.

Yes, some of the kids, aged between 12 and 17 were physically challenged. But all of them were acutely intelligent. Some were lost within themselves and I found were absolutely terrorized by a need to 'perform' to prove they were normal. So had a problem with even responding to questions.

Some were so comfortable about talking about their 'disability to learn' in such an articulate manner that I was left wondering what their disability was ? Some were poets of such maturity that left me in tears. A couple composed music, wrote songs, played the guitar, and the drums.

I did notice something common. All the parents were anxious to see their children behave 'normally'. That anxiousness so obviously created pressure on the kids.

What disabilities did I learn about myself ?

I cannot get past reading two pages of a book without getting restless. I never have. I can only write, read or listen in a stream of consciousness. In the 'zone' if u like. I obviously have ADD, no more or less than some of the kids I met.

I felt a deep terror in my own heart as I saw a boy grapple with 'others' need to perform normally, and his own terror of not bieng able to fullfill those needs. I remember that so well. I live with that even now. I am just naturally shy and have to battle that all the time.

One young girl said that her problem was she could not understand maths. What ? I qualified and worked as an accountant - successfully - but did and still do not have an inability to comprehend numbers. You cannot get me to look at numbers without wanting to instantly run away.

I have become a succesful film maker now. How did I survive ? Were the pressures on me as a kid to be 'normal' not as high as they are in the current state of the competetive economy we live in ?

Maybe I don't know enough, and need to study these kids more to realize the seriousness of the problem in a day to day life. But these kids go to special schools for the 'normal' ones will not have them. Or don't quite know what to do with them.

Maybe they are different. Maybe we are all different. Maybe I am different. Maybe I just survived.

The kids want to make a film. And wanted to know what it should be about. I realized that a lot of what they were doing was directed at pleasing the parents. For example the boy who wrote poetry, wrote the kind of 'nice' things that a 'nice' boy would be expected to write and show.

But as he very reluctantly showed me his poetry that he had hidden, that he insisted was not really good, it was stunning. It was about loneliness, a longing for a friend, and a secret longing for death. No wonder his parents were a bit embarrased about showing it. Others would have seen their kid as 'abnormal'. But it was brilliant.

Here's what I did. I suggested they made a film about absolutely nothing. That right, about nothing. I got them to get up and act in gibberish. The words meaning nothing, and if there was an interpretation, a meaning, it would emerge out of 'nothing'.

It was fantastic. The moment you took away the need to be normal, to make sense of everything they did, the kids would not stop. The most terrorized got into the act, jumping in and being totally animated.

And thats the film they will make. Each one coming and interacting with the other and doing things with no meaning. After which they will edit the film to what they feel the other person meant. Each person will over-dub the perceived dialogues not of his/her own gibberish, but his co-actors.

I had so much fun. A day of no meaning at all.


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at October 21, 2005 10:28 AM

So who cares about them anyway ?
Shekhar Kapur - October 25, 2005

Sometime ago I posted a picture of these families on the Blog. Yesterday I landed back in Mumbai and realized they had dissapeared overnight. Herded out of the city like cattle.

They were families that emigrated into Mumbai from Bihar. As labourers to build the very highways and flyovers that they built their homes under. Homes ? A few clothes strung up under plastic sheet scavanged form the garbage dumps. If that.

And after they were no longer needed, they just stayed on. Thousands of migrant labour looking for more work in the City Of Dreams.

But now they were becoming a burden on the city. A traffic menace. An eye sore to the thousands of Banker, VC's and foreign investors that arrive in Mumbai, cheque books loaded, to invest in the New Indian Economy.

Of course the roads need to be cleared of the slums. Of course the highways need cheap labour to build them. Of course we have to put our best foot forward to our foreign saviours.

Of course the new slums breed discontent. Of course, like any other refugee camps in the world, they breed crime. Of course these people have no hope in the New Indian Economy.

So get rid of them. For they will provoke people to wonder about the social cost of the New Indian Economy. And who needs that ? Certainly not while Corporations are booking heavy profits. Certainly not while the Indian Economy has become a world wide buzz word.

Who cares about these masses anyway ? There's plenty of time to think about them after we all get rich. We are compassionate people, certainly, but in good time.


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at October 25, 2005 12:49 AM

Have I known her for all eternity ?
Shekhar Kapur - October 25, 2005

Before she sleeps my 5 year old daughter often asks me if she was my daughter before she was 'zero' years old. Was she ? I tell her the truth. That I have known her for all Eternity.


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at October 25, 2005 08:29 PM

Dancing to the Tunes of Bollywood in Prague !
Shekhar Kapur - October 27, 2005

This is a guest entry from Sangeeta, who describes the incredible reaction from audiences in Prague to mainstream Bollywood films. She has been running the Bollwood Film Festival in Prague for the last 3 years.

"Why would you want to start a "Bollywood" Film
Festival in Prague?
Who would want to watch the films there…"

When we first started the Prague “Bollywood” Festival (
www.bollywood.cz ) in 2003 many people questioned the
appeal that commercial Hindi films could have in the
Czech Republic, a small Central European country where
Hindi films and their stars are virtually unknown and
whose South Asian population remains small and
scattered. Well, we proved all skeptics wrong! Last
week, our festival celebrated its third year, breaking
attendance records of previous years with four
completely sold out films.

Unlike “Bollywood” events in London, Toronto, or
Sydney, our festival cannot rely on fans from the
South Asian diaspora. But, for the third year in a row,
we haven't had to. The continued success of our
festival testifies to the global appeal of Indian
cinema, and also raises the question of why there is
something so attractive about “Bollywood” for the Czech

Hindi cinema grew out of multi-linear storytelling
traditions like Nautanki and the Parsi Theater and
“Bollywood” story structures continue to abound with
digressions like comedic subplots and song & dance
sequences. It's precisely the playfulness of these
digressions that make the films appealing to Czechs,
whose own fairy tales and folk traditions rely on
similar conventions - “Bollywood's” spirit seems
curiously more familiar to the Bohemian palate than
Hollywood movies.

The digressions, direct engagement of the audience by
film characters, and the occasional illogical twist in
the story also encourage a strong sense of
participative viewership. From the beginning we urged
our reserved Czech audiences to feel free to clap,
shout, whistle, and dance during the film. This year,
the arrival of Raj Kapoor in "Shree 420", the heroic
escapades of Shahrukh Khan in "Veer Zara" and the
disappearing stunts of Anil Kapoor in "Mr. India" were
met with enthusiastic approval, and the hospital
jiggles of Sanjay Dutt in "Munnabhai M.B.B.S."
transformed theater aisles into dance floors. As a film
distributor visiting from London remarked, "the
festival is so much more than just seeing…it is about
the whole experience of engaging with the films in ways
that take us back to what films mean in villages - when
the whole village assembled to watch the mobile film
caravan when it came to town." In short, the
participative experience celebrated by our Czech
audience harks back to an "interactivity" that long
predates the current popularity of that term. I believe
that this is an invaluable aspect of “Bollywood” cinema
that we should celebrate and maintain as Indian and
other regional cinemas continue to grow and change.

High brow film artists may protest that “Bollywood's”
narrative conventions are trivial, but my experience
in Prague suggests that Hindi commercial films possess
a certain expressive depth, which resonates across
cultures. If “Bollywood” is to challenge Hollywood over
domination of the global cinema market in the 21st
century, then shouldn't we be paying more attention to
the complex question of what makes Hindi commercial
films so appealing to foreign audiences?

Sangita Shresthova
Co-Organizer Prague Bollywood Festival
PhD. Candidate World Arts and Cultures UCLA

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at October 27, 2005 08:16 PM

I was there
Shekhar Kapur - October 30, 2005

In Delhi, not far from the blasts. I too was shopping with my family, but fortunately for us, not in the immediate vicinity. But near enough..

Did I hear the blasts ? Perhaps, but during Diwali the sound of firecrackers dominates even the blaring horns of the traffic. And that, in Delhi, is something.

My daughter was obsessing about Pizza so I took her to a restaurant in the vicinity. And there on CNN I saw and heard about the bombs. Strange world we live in. Not more than a Kilometer or so from a Bomb and you only know about it on CNN.

And yet, I drove around Delhi that night, and you could not believe this is city was just hit by a major and deadly terrorist attack. What was this, Indian Fatalism ? Courage ? Or plain simple "oh well, as long as it did not affect me".

That night there was a major 'Chanel' fashion show in town. Everyone was going to it. It was THE 'happening' event in town. I thought they would have cancelled it. But no, it just went on.

On the way back to Mumbai the next day, the plane was full of the organizers of the show. And participants. One of them came to me and said " Shekhar, missed you there last night" And I said "Well, did not think you would have gone ahead after the bombs". He looked puzzled and went away.

Maybe he was right to be puzzeld. The shops are open almost the next day. Even those that were in line of the bombs. The people are thronging back to the markets. The festive season is back in full swings. A twinge of regret. And life goes on.

Except for those that lost loved ones. Except for the arguments. Except for the politics. Except for the blame.

And except for an extra "be careful' when your kids go the market. Knowing that the killing is so random that the 'be careful' means absoluty nothing.



Posted by Shekhar Kapur at October 30, 2005 07:39 PM

Do Morality and Spirituality come as a package ?
Shekhar Kapur - November 01, 2005

In an amoral universe (is it ?) where does morality stand, and whose morality is it anyway ? Allow me to share a story..

Years ago, a struggling actor, and my first trip to LA. Went with a friend to check out a cheap Motel he had an address for. His aunt and uncle were arriving in LA.

Guess who owned the Motel ? You got it, Mr Patel and his wonderful family.

A charming host, Mr Patel insited on us sharing in some great Gujarati food. The whole family was there sitting on the floor, on beautifully laid out mats in the family kithchen. The walls were surrounded by paintings and idols of every Indian God you could think of, but primarily of beautiful gold inlaid paintings of Krishna and the Gopi's. There in a corner was a temple devoted to Krishna. The family had obviously just finished an 'aarti' before dinner.

At the end of dinner we got down to bussiness, as my friend and Mr Patel began the negotiating of room rates. Patel's gentleness totally belied his negotiating skills. I wanted to see the rooms, to see if some of the traditional decor had leaked into the rest of the Motel. Mr Patel sent his 14 year old daughter to show me around.

It was an interesting room. Spacious. But a bit overdone.Nothing Indian. Predominently browns, but still, something I could not put my finger on.

Till I sat on the bed. As I almost toppled over I realized this was Water Bed ! Looked around and realized there were too many mirrors in the room. And then on the roof right above the bed was a large roof mirror. This was a room designed for sex ! Quick as a flash I looked at the 14 year old girl standing impassively on. And averted my eyes quickly. She did not blink. She had been asked to show me the room and that was what she was doing, impatient to get back to her dinner.

The mind reeled at the thought of my friend's old aunt and uncle trying to sleep in a water bed, surfing for for Zee TV and finding only naked copulating couples. I rushed back to warn my friend before he handed in his credit card that he was booking them in a sex motel.

There,a beaming Mr Patel, asked me if everything was 'appropriate'.

I have had several imaginary conversations with Mr Patel since this incident many years ago. To my many imaginary questions I hear just one imaginary answer.

"My kitchen is who I and my family are, and the Motel is just my bussiness. It's what I do to take care of my family. Which is my Dharma".


ps - this is not a moral judgement of Mr Patel. Nor is it about the morality of sex hotels. It is an observation of a contradiction.

Spirituality is about who we are
Morality is about what we do

What happens when the two are on conflict ? As they often are. When I was filming Bandit Queen, I met many active dacoits that were avid devotees of Kali, donating half their earnings to the temples to Kali. and to the villages that looked after them. Yet, the bussiness of Dacoity is that of Kidnapping, looting and even killing.

And this could be taken to much more macro extremes. How about "I hate killing people, but as a President of a country I am forced to take decisions to go to War."

Dont we all face this dichotomy in out lives to some degree ?


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at November 1, 2005 08:52 PM

The vulnerability of blogging
Shekhar Kapur - November 14, 2005

How do I write everytime with a surge in my heart and a teardrop threatening to emerge ?

I am a communicator. Thats what I do for a living through my films. But the instantaneous quality of the blog is scary. I blog at 3 am ( I rarely sleep), and I get up at 5 am to find people from around the world have read it and responded. I want to blog everyday, but how do I make sense everyday ? Can I just blog something that does not make sense and still find a comfortable relationship with this world ?

Often I tell my actors :

"I don't ask you to make sense. I dont ask you to be right, nor do I ask you to be wrong. All I ask of you is to be honest to that moment. For all else is judgement. It is those few moments of honesty that make a great performance and which in turn may make a great film. Or not."

I know of no other way of bieng creative. But the only way to be completely honest is to be completely vulnerable. And I envelope my actors in a womb of love and trust. And they in turn envelope me, so we can all be vulnerable without the fear of being manipulated.

But does honesty neccesarily make sense ? Logical sense that will hold together in an intellectual argument. No it does not. For honesty is a personal exploration. Over time the patterns of honest begin to make sense. But without coming to conclusions.

I struggle with that in my blogs. I am afraid to be vulnerable sometime. But how do I write without bieng honest. Without bieng totally instinctual ? How do I write everytime with a surge in my heart and a teardrop threatening to emerge ?

And then make sense too ?

Well, like this blog. I am going to to have to be content with bieng completely nonsensical. And risk being ridiculed.


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at November 14, 2005 02:14 PM

2000 comments a minute ?
Shekhar Kapur - November 18, 2005

Yogi Selliah asks a very valid question.

"just imagine that your posts get 2000 comments every minute. What will u do ?? Would you read them all ??? and respond ?? I guess in a years time the blog will reach that level". True enough Yogi..

...when we get to that level, my blog is just the spark that starts the fire. It is not the fire itself, for at 2000 comments a minute, my blog then becomes just a part of 'blog consciosness'.

My being emotionally present in that blogospere is my response to each comment. I will just become part of the emotional whole and through that emotional bieng, will be in 'touch' with all others.

This is not a new virtual world. I do believe that we all have the ability to be present through a consciousness matrix that is universal. This is not about communicating. It is about being. But at the level that Yogi predicts, and more...


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at November 18, 2005 09:28 PM

Why Is rape the woman's shame ?
Shekhar Kapur - November 19, 2005

The good news is that on an appeal, the Supreme Court of India increased the sentence of Asha Ram to life imprisonment on charges of raping his minor daughter. The disturbing part were some of the words of the judgement such as ".. burdening (his daughter) with a 'deathless' shame as long as she lves". Why is it her shame ?

Here are some of the words of Justice Sema :

"..(the act) devastating her prospect of getting married and enjoying marital and conjugal life, as well as burdening her with a social stigma and a 'deathless shame' as long as she lives".

I have never understood why society expects the girl to carry the shame of a crime that was perpetuated against her. I believe Justice Sema was speaking in good faith and probably did not even realize the dangerous use of his words.

But that is how it is in our society. A woman raped is considered unclean and often shunned. Honour killings of girls raped are not unheard of. Parents shun their own daughters as they are no longer considered marriagable and therefore a finacial and social burden.

We desperately need to change these attitudes. And it does not help that a Justice of the Supreme Court should not be careful about choosing his words in his jusdgement.

Rape is rarely a crime of passion or even sexuality. It is mostly a disgusting imposition of humiliation and domination. Consider how women are treated by victorious invading forces in order to express their domination.


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at November 19, 2005 10:46 AM

Protecting Cutural Diversity
Shekhar Kapur - November 20, 2005

I urge you to read the news item you see on the right "WSIS: Internet can create,not crush culture". For me a nation's soveriegn right to protect it's cultural diversity would be common sense. Not so for the US, who believes it contradicts the WTO agreement. For those that missed the news item, read on.

"In October, the United Nations cultural body adopted an international treaty to protect cultural diversity after more than three years of sometimes testy debate, usually pitting the United States against the rest of the nations.

Article 1 of The Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions reaffirms the sovereign right of states to create cultural policies "to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions" and "to create the conditions for cultures to flourish and to freely interact in a mutually beneficial manner."

The treaty was championed by countries such as Japan, India, Brazil and Mexico, which argued that the books, films and other cultural goods that they produce are not simply merchandise but unique and rich expressions of identity.

Washington's main argument was that if states erect roadblocks to free trade in such cultural products, they are breaking the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). U.S. officials have been pushing developing countries to sign bilateral trade agreements in which they give up their rights to preserve and support their own cultural industries, including film, television and music."

My personal view ? The US should look to protect it's own cultural diversity and not mix it up with the economics of wealth creation through trade. For in the near future, the sheer consumerist power of Asia is about to impose a reverse cutural colonization. Which will, for example, send Hollywood running for cover asking the goverment for protectionist barriers to the invasion of Asian films, music and video games.



Posted by Shekhar Kapur at November 20, 2005 01:24 AM

Stuck in Circularity
Shekhar Kapur - November 20, 2005

I woke up this morning thinking that the mind has the power to change the way I think. Anyone else see the absolute contradiction in that thought ?

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at November 20, 2005 09:09 PM

Male or Female ?
Shekhar Kapur - November 24, 2005

I am both. Male and female. Without my female self I am neither creative nor spiritual. Without my male self I am neither enterprising, nor active. I am not both man and woman. I am a man. But finally,I am now both male and female..

And finding the balance was tough. To balance the nurturing nature with the aggressive go-getting nature. Men too often ignore their female selves. Part of that, I am absolutely sure, is our educational system and social conditioning.

As a young Punjabi male I grew up 'knowing' that I must be the Decision Maker. The Provider. The Career Junkie. The social conditioning and peer pressure around me made me made me carry the burden of the sexual predator. The seducer. This did not end in India. As I went to London as a young student, the same attitudes prevailed.

I was never comfortable. I found bieng completely male a huge burden to carry. So I left bieng the Career Junkie, the accountant, the management consultant on his way to the top of the corporate ladder. I now realize I went in search for my female self. That was the first step in my quest to find myslef. A journey that continues to this date.

It took a long time. It was not till I made a film called "The Bandit Queen', that I truly discovered my female self. For those that have seen it, will know what I mean immedietly. This was a film about a low caste woman that was repeatedly raped, and finally turned into a bandit that went back to wreak revenge.

Someone once asked me what I learnt from that film. I said I am now willing to stand in the middle of the street and shout aloud "I am weak". And you have no idea how inherrently strong that makes me. The contradiction. Strength through an acceptance of weakness.

Like suddenly turning into Water, when all your life you were stone.

To watch myself moving now seamlessly from male to female and back is such a fascinating observation. From bieng the 'general' on the sets when I am filming, back to being a gentle soul reduced to fits of crying. It's amazing. From almost tyranical decisiveness, obstinate and egoistic. To almost a total absence of authority, of indecisiveness where the moment is allowed to completely dominate me. I find the process fascinating and provocative. And creative.

So often I was asked whether Bandit Queen was a 'feminist' film and I always said no, it was a ''humanist' film. It embraced both the feminist and masculinist in the same character. As in all characters. Even in Elizabeth.

I am not saying that women are weak, while men inherrently agressive and strong in nature. I am saying that all women and men exhibit male and female natures. As they must do to find harmony.

In one of my unsuccesful films (Four Feathers) I did try and explore the nature of true courage. True courage was not the ability to die. It was the ability to live. True courage is more female than male, for true courage is Wisdom. And Wisdom is the strength to give and nurture, not to take and destroy.


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at November 24, 2005 09:00 AM

To my best friends
Shekhar Kapur - November 27, 2005

I breathe in
as you breathe out
in our contradictions
you and I become one


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at November 27, 2005 03:00 AM

US Immigration
Shekhar Kapur - November 28, 2005

Coming into the Customs/immigration area in LA, I am always looked upon really suspiciously. I used to look like a Columbian drug smuggler when they were in vogue. Now I look like an Arab terrorist. They are the latest in fashion. Yesterday something strange happened..

I look my innocent charming best. I smile. I get a haircut and trim my beard. Nothing helps. I can see everyone zooming into me. It's just my personality I guess. I just feel suspicious.

"So why are you here ?" he was big, white,threatening and had a gun by his side.

" I'm here because I am film maker, am here to meet with my actors". I tried to sound really confident.

"How long 'r you staying", he boomed"

"A day" I replied now looking as timid and honest as I could.

"A day ? and you have all that luggage for one day ?" He was really suspicious.

"I umm... am travelling .. to London from here ..". That's it. Bag opening time.

"what were you doing in India" he asked as he was running his hand over my bags.

"I live there" I replied, a bit of my pride creeping back. Surely he had heard of the IT boom and the growth rate of 7.5% of the Indian economy. Aspiring to 8.3 % next year. Surely he is an avid reader of the Wall Street Journal.

He eyed me suspiciously agaim. "Oh my God" I thought " He thinks I am outsourcing American jobs, his best friend probably lost a job to an unknown Indian outsourceror."

"So what kind of films do u make ?" he asked.

Now I knew I was fine. I could get through this time without the indignity of having people pour over my badly packed bags and unwashed shirts and underpants. After all my film was nominated for the Academy Awards and this is LA.

"I made this film called "Elizabeth" - you remember ? The one with Cate Blanchette and was nominated for 8 Oscars ( lie ! It was 7) ?? You know the one ?". He was not looking impressed at all. " And then I made this one with Heath Ledger - do you know..?.

"Never go to the Movies", He cut me in.

No more weapons in my arsenal. I am giving up to a physical examination of my body parts too, I am thinking. I have been on a plane for 30 hours. I will go to jail for smelling bad.

" But watch them Bollywood DVD's at home. Love them, wife and kids love them too". He said.

As I looked at him, a bit speachless, there was other Indian guy behind me. He suddenly piped in. "This guy is one of the most famous of Bollywood's Director'!".

Big Smile ! A huge hand on my shoulder. No gun in it, thank God.

"Why didn't you just say earlier ?" he said.

So what's this big white all American guy, an undercover agent for Homeland Security, with a gun by his side, who never goes to the Movies doing watching Bollywood films ? I tried to picture him and his family ordering a pizza dinner and settling down to watch Shahrukkh Khan singing/dancing to Kajol. Doen't quite fit does it ?

OK. I have decided that as soon as Golden Age is over, I am going to direct a Bollywood Movie. Done.


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at November 28, 2005 05:07 AM

US Immigration and the Art of Gossiping
Shekhar Kapur - November 29, 2005

If any one looked, my previous blog was headed under humour. I looked at some of the posts and realized the polarized political and serious overtones some of the responses took. Has the world got so polarized that we have lost our sense of humour ? Can't we just sit down and have a little gossip ? It's really important to do that apparently..

All of us have heard about scientists saying we use only 10% of our brains. So what is the other 90% doing ? Some say it is to connect with our universal and spiritual selves. Others say it's all about the subconscious problem solving part of the brain.

But the theory I like the most is that 90% of our brain is reserved for an art that in our hurried daily lives we are fast loosing. The art of Gossip.

Apparently we need to gossip to come to terms with the pressures of everyday social interaction. We need to gossip, to put it crudely, to stop killing each other. And a sense of humour is so important to the Art of Gossip. In eastern societies there is an unsaid acceptance of the Gossip culture. Amost an addiction. For how would they survive some of the really harsh conditions with any form of dignity without a bit og Gossip and a sense of humour ?

For those that know and live in North India here are the keywords :

"Kya kar rahe ho aaj sham ko ?" (what are you doing this evening ?)

"chal aaja, yaar, kuch gap shap marenge'(come over and lets have a chit chat)

"Aaj mehfil khan hai ?" (Where is everyone getting together tonight ?)

Each one an invitation to idle gossip. Idle and free flowing bieng the key words. To ease out the tensions and pressure of everyday life, and to ease yourself back into harmony with the community, and therefore with yourself and . We have seen it all over, with the men around the Hookah in the middle east. The men gathered drinking in Greece.

In England the community gathering together at the pub.

The ability to gossip is the ability to indulge in a sense of humour. We loose that and we are lost. And I would like to believe that is true. That 90% of our brains are available for a wonderful sense of humour.

But as we physically move away from our roots, as we become more and more involved with the pressures of work, as families become smaller and smaller, and as TV and computers and the internet takes away time from the ultimate leisure activity that 90% of our brains are designed for - Gossip - what is happening to us as social beings ?

As we are finding ourselves more and more isolated, are we becoming more and more intolerant of each other ? Of each other's points of view ? Are we loosing our identity as assimilated social biengs ?

And is it possible that the rise of blogging and chat rooms are the new alternate forms of the 'Gossip Society ? Is it the new Mehfil (the gossip group) ? Is it the 90% brain that is driving us there ?

However, surely bieng together face to face and with the physicsl intimacy that a warm gossip room brings, also brings with it a sense of responsibility. It is the adult form of play that children and the young of all animal kingdom do - play act war games and battle games and social games. It's the adult form of what little girls do when the play with dolls and dolls houses.

The adult form is the Gossip room. the Mehfil.

So my question is that, is the anonymity of the blog and the chat room taking away the responsibility that being face to face brings ? Are we playing out the adult social games as they were meant to be, or are we indulging in something half baked and therefore possibly dangerous here.

Dangerous ? Not if we accept that there is a nature of Gossip in what we are doing. So lets bring back a sense of humour, shall we ?

Or 90% of our brains will be destructive instead of contructive and harmonizing.


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at November 29, 2005 09:21 AM

My Wealth
Shekhar Kapur - December 06, 2005

To my daughter on my birthday,

My wealth lies more in the faliures of my life than my succeses. My wealth lies in people I have known and lost. My wealth lies in the pain and the heartache of living.

My wealth lies in the memories of those moments of love that were given to me. And given by me. But my wealth also lies in letting those joyous moments and people go.

My wealth lies in all those unfullfilled dreams. In all those longings that aroused my passions. My wealth lies in all the passions I have ever felt and expressed. And those not expressed.

My wealth lies in every moment of guilt that I carry for actions done or imagined. That burden too is my wealth.

My wealth lies in every breath that I have ever breathed. Each imbued with doubts and questions and hopes and dreams. And fears.

All this wealth I bequeath to you. For you to squander to the winds..


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at December 6, 2005 03:51 PM

Could u be sued for reading this ?
Shekhar Kapur - December 16, 2005

I could possibly go head to head into battle with a major Hollywood studio. It could be a long and bitter battle, but to me one of creative integrity and moral right. The Studio don't agree, and I could be sued for writing this in this blog. Those that are interested read on. But you may be sued for reading it ! Be careful..

Most of you that are science fiction fans, would have read Asimov's Foundation series. For 25 years now people have been trying to make a film out of it. 3 years ago a company that represents the Asimov's estate came to em and asked if I could find a way to tell the story for a film. For there was just too much material, almost 8 books without something that leads to a particular climax or end. Ofcourse I was thrilled. Foundation was one of my favourite books since I was a boy.

I concieved a story. Some of which I adapted from Vedic Philosophy, which I felt that Asimov often aspired to. I then took that story and on behalf of the Asimov estate pitched it to a Studio. There were tears in the eyes of the head of the Studio and of the executives. They bought the pitch immedietly and proceeded to put writers of their choice to take my interpretation of the Foundation series forward.

Over 3 years with constant inputs into the developement of the film, the Studio now seems ready to make the film. But there is a problem. Apparently a really succesful director with a huge recent BO hit under his belt has expressed interest in the script. Keep in mind that this script (which now has been expanded to encompass two films) is still based on my adaptation/interpretation of Asimov's books. So I was told simply that they were taking the script to other Director.

I disagree. This is my adaptation of an original source. Even though there have been two other writers who have worked on it, in constant consultation with me, it is still based on my adaptation. But the Studio do not agree. They say that the contract they have allows them to walk away from me with all the rights.

But I signed the contract in good faith that I would direct the film. I believe that I have a copyright on my adaptation. Watch this space.


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at December 16, 2005 12:33 PM

Abbie in Golden Age
Shekhar Kapur - December 16, 2005

Abbie Cornish, who is being hailed as the new Nicol Kidman, is now cast as Bess, Elizabeth's lady in waiting who Sir Walter Ralieigh fell in love with and finally married. For which he was thrown into the Tower of London. The Queen herself was in love with Sir Walter.

It was a battle as usual for me. But I remember the battle I fought to cast Cate Blanchette in Elizabeth too. But it was won finally, and Abbie was cast.

Abbie is from Australia. What is it about me and Australians ? Cate Blanchette, Geofferey Rush, Heath Ledger, and now Abbie Cornish. Have worked with all of them. But aso with Jill Bilcock my editor. And David Herschfelder, the composer of Elizabeth. Both Australian.

Abbie made a sensational debut in a film called Somersault. It is an amazing and perfectly raw performance that seasoned actors will find tough to match. In fact she just does not feel like she is performing. She just is.

Am really looking forward to working with her,


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at December 16, 2005 04:06 PM


This Christmas..
Shekhar Kapur - December 23, 2005

neither the sound of om
echoing across the universe
bounced only by the eons of time

nor the chants of a thousand Gregorian monks

neither a million ‘amens’
resounding across the world on christmas eve
nor all the calls to prayer in the name of Allah

not even the gentle patter of the first monsoon rain
nor the gurgling of the little brook
joining hands across the landsape
to form the mighty Ganges


but the laughter of little children


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at December 23, 2005 08:30 AM

In the future ..
Shekhar Kapur - December 26, 2005

The Economic Times asked me to crystal gaze into the next 50 years of entertainment. I spoke a lot about the virtual world that will encompass us. About the battle between our need for real social contact and the loss of it to 'virtual contact'. The 'fight or flee' syndrome, and how it will evolve in the virtual world. But I would like to know what you guys think first. Shekhar

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at December 26, 2005 09:24 AM

This year,
Shekhar Kapur - January 02, 2006

my resolve is humility, not in a 'look how humble I am' way, but truly in a way where i can seperate action from result. shekhar

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at January 2, 2006 03:55 PM

action, result, past, future & karma
Shekhar Kapur - January 03, 2006

Must I not take responsibility for my actions ? And if I can completely seperate my actions from the result, am I being irresponsible ? I once met Charles Sobhraj, the famous serial killer in a cafe in Paris ...

Those who do not know about Charles Sobhraj, should a read a book on his life called The Serpent. Born to a French Vietnamese mother and an Indian father in Pune, he has escaped more prisons, apparently murdered or poisoned more than 30 people , and yet I met him roaming free in Paris with a beautiful Chinese girl who I thought would probably be his next victim. Why ? because he called me and asked if I would direct a film on his life. I asked him if he was willing to tell th e whole truth, he merely said it depended upon how much money I paid him !

The point of this blog is, that when I asked him how he comes to terms with the terrible things he had done, he merely replied :

"That was my Karma. I am now a different man. I have a daughter I love and to look after her is now my Karma"

In saying that he completely absolved himself of any responsibility. But ofcourse I know in his heart he must be living with the demons of his actions, whatever he says now. But of course he is psycotic.

In my last blog I said that my New Year resolution is to live my life in humility. And in an attempt to describe humility I said it was ultimately the ability to break the relationship between action and result. But what about Charles sobhraj then ? Should he even be allowed not to take responsibility fr his actions ?

I feel this conflict in me. And I thank everyone for responding to my blog with Rumi and the Geeta. And personal thoughts on this matter. I do believe though, that when we are "

Neither prejudiced by the past experience
Nor in fear or expectancy of the Future,
living purely in the moment

Then in all probability we are creatures of love. Those that can live completely in the moment are truly free and in Harmony with the forces of the Universe. They are pure consciousness and therefore there is no possibility of them becoming serial killers ?

Right ? I truly hope so.

I have had those moments. Three times in my life. Totally unexpectedly. They have lasted a few hours, perhaps a day. No longer. Where all thought, all actions, all perception, everything becomes one whole. all possibiliies are contained in the one whole existence. There is not attitude but one of all encompassing knowing. And love. That is all I can say. Does anyone want me to describe thos eexperiences ? I will do my best.

How can I find a way to live in that experience constantly ? It certainly never comes by calling out to it.


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at January 3, 2006 10:29 AM

Recieved this from a friend ..
Shekhar Kapur - January 05, 2006

With no mind,
flowers lure the butterfly;
With no mind,
the butterfly visits the blossoms.
Yet when flowers bloom, the butterfly comes;
When the butterfly comes, the flowers bloom.

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at January 5, 2006 08:14 AM

Shekhar Kapur - February 23, 2006

In my previous life I was a story teller.
Dragging myself from village to village,
where people would throw me some coins
to weave fantasy around their mundane lives

At my will
I would make them cry
and laugh.
Children rolled over and clapped with joy
as my characters
faced the most absurd plots I could weave

Except him,
who would neither laugh
nor shed a tear,
as he stood there
staring at me.

Would u like to hear a story ? I asked him.
“not unless it is the story of all stories” he said

And wherever I went he would be there
watching and listening,
‘can u tell me the story of all stories ?’

How could there be one story that defined all stories ?
and if there were
what value would I have ?
if there be just one story to tell ?

‘You are of no value to me’ he said
‘unless you can tell me the story of all stories’
And he walked away
never looking back

Silly man,
How could I make a living
If I told the same story
again and again ?

But I died.
Never being able to tell another story
Have you ever died of thirst
in the presence of a glass of water
that you cannot see ?

And into this life
He came again.
He took my hand
and showed me the ocean
and asked me to see,
and to observe

For the story of all stories was there,
a story that had no end
and no beginning.
Each rising swell
a new Plot that arose from the ocean
and then merged back

millions arising
and immedietly going back to the source

The Source
The Story of all Stories


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at February 23, 2006 02:33 PM

Terrorism and Masturbation
Shekhar Kapur - February 25, 2006

In today's UK 's paper Guardian, an essay by Ian Buruma equates masturbation, repressed sexuality and homosexuality with acts of Terrorism and Fascism.

Read the Guardian Article

This is typical of a society looking for simplistic and convenient answers to rather complex human behaviour. Thereby driving a greater wedge between Them and Us.

The essay, for example, finds siginificance in the rumour that Mohmad Atta visited a strip joint just before he took a plane into the World Trade Centre. What the article does not take into account is that almost all religions have looked upon denial of sexual behaviour as an aspiration to God. The Christian Monks and Nuns should be rampant crazed terrorists if such simplistic theories were true.

We live in a soceity that refuses to look squarely at itself in mirror, rather believing that the mirror reflects only that which it chooses to see.

Gandhi, who publicly renounced sexuality and stated to have become celibate, should have visited the British Parliament with a Bomb strapped around his waist rather than with a walking stick and a dhoti.

Hinduism encourages the raising of your Chakras from the base ones that include sexual desire to higher ones that aspire to Spirituality. In fact in Hinduism the sublimation of sexual energy is equated with Spirituality. Buddhism equates the letting go of all desire including sexual desire to the discovery of the self.

Lets forget religion and spirituality. Even us ordinairy mortals are a heady mxture of all desire, love, it's fullfilment, and it's supression or non-fulfillment. And a drive by our ego's to find a sense of individuality, a place that effectively screams out 'I AM'. A desperate need to find reason to be. A plea to be heard in the noise of all existence.

What is Ambition if not this very heady mixture ?

So was Mohammad Atta driven to an extreme act of Terrorism by a complicated pattern of sexual repression, an acute conflict between the simplicity of equating sex with sin and a desperate inner need to express his sexuality ? I really doubt that. The fingerprint of the individual phsyche is far more complex than that.

So is there an Absolute we can use to mirror ourselves and our behaviour ? I think so. That Absloute is Death. For Life exists only in the context of Death. Ambition and Sexuality. Spirituality and the search for one's Soul. The search for ones individuality. All exist in the context of Death.

Can we look at Mohammad Atta's act in that context ? It's not easy is it ? For while it is easier to exclude fascists and terrorists from your tribe by isolating them in conext of a pattern of behaviour that you do not believe is your own(probably wrongly so), it is not possible to exclude yourself from a Tribe that's existence is defined by Death.

The full text of the story is included below.


Extremism: the loser's revenge
Can sexual inadequacy or deprivation turn angry young men into killers?
Ian Buruma
Saturday February 25 2006
The Guardian

Does masturbation lead to suicide bombing? One would think not. There is no more direct link to suicide bombing than there is to blindness or schizophrenia. But there may be a connection between sexual inadequacy or frustration and the pull towards violent extremism. This is the theme of an engaging novella, Seventeen, by the Japanese novelist Kenzaburo Oe, who won the Nobel prize for literature in 1994. The story is set in the 1960s, when it was written.

The main character is a 17-year-old boy who can't stop jacking off, in the bathroom, in the bedroom, in the bushes, even in the schoolroom. He is ashamed of his habit, just as he is ashamed of almost everything else. No good at games, a failure with girls and a bully at home, he can't really stand anyone - not his wishy-washy liberal father, or his mother and sister, or his teachers, and least of all himself. Conscious at all times of being an ugly failure, all he can do is masturbate, while living in terror that the whole world is aware of his practice just by looking at him.

But a kind of salvation is at hand. The boy is introduced by a friend to a band of extreme rightwing youths, dressed in uniforms, following a leader who rants about communists and socialist traitors, and the glories of the Japanese empire. Soon the great masturbator, too, is issued with a uniform and boots, and accepted as a warrior for the imperial cause against foreigners and leftwing traitors. He even gets into a few violent scrapes. And he has his first satisfying orgasm, in a massage parlour, in his new uniform, dreaming of total power, of killing his enemies, of raping their wives and daughters, and of dying for the glorious emperor.

It is not Oe's most subtle piece of fiction. The narrator often sounds too much like a literary tool for expressing the politics most abhorrent to his creator. But the sexual swamp in which extremism can grow is well described, and worth exploration. As a somewhat dogmatic leftist intellectual, Oe appears to think that violent extremism, arising from fantasies of omnipotence, is typically the domain of the far right. He has often expressed his admiration for Chairman Mao. But the combination of sexual frustration and violence was as typical of Mao's Red Guards as it was of Japan's Black Shirts.

In contrast to the insatiable chairman, who had a harem of dancing girls for his private use, Chinese men were forced to live like revolutionary monks and were discouraged from marrying young. The Great Helmsman, by the way, had his own peculiar brushes with inadequacy, as related by his personal physician. His sexual potency rose and fell, as it were, with his political fortunes. Any threat, imagined or real, to his sense of total control, and he wilted.

Sexual deprivation may be a factor in the current wave of suicidal violence, unleashed by the Palestinian cause as well as revolutionary Islamism. The tantalising prospect of having one's pick of the loveliest virgins in paradise is deliberately dangled in front of young men trained for violent death. And even those who are not trained to kill and die often live in authoritarian societies in which sex before marriage is strictly forbidden, in which women outside the family home are not only supposed to be untouchable, but invisible. Access to MTV, the internet, DVDs and global advertising reinforces the notion that westerners live in a degenerate garden of sinful delights. This makes the lot of millions of young Arab men even harder to bear, and can provoke a mixture of rage and envy.

Once in a while, this rage will explode in carefully orchestrated orgies of violence. It is said that Mohammed Atta visited a striptease bar before crashing a plane into the Twin Towers. Perhaps he craved one nibble at the forbidden fruit before his earthly extinction. The fact that it was forbidden - repulsive but also terribly seductive - marked his view of women in general. He made it clear in his will that he did not want any women to defile his grave with their presence.

Again, this is not to say that sexual frustration or bitter misogyny leads directly to mass murder. If it did, we would live in a very dangerous world indeed. But they cannot be dismissed as factors. It has long been assumed that young men are better fighters when they are deprived of sex, like slavering dogs fighting in a pit.

One of the many barbarities of war, in ancient times as well as in recent conflicts, is the promise to hungry, brutalised men that once a city is taken its women are part of the loot. The only difference between this and those fabled houris in paradise is that the objects of deferred lust are real and pay a horrible price for it.

The view that sex with women takes the fight out of men is common enough even in less bloody pursuits, such as football. Often, when a national team is about to do battle, the coach will announce that wives and girlfriends will be banished. The men have to be kept on the leash. Sex will be their reward once the enemy is defeated. Among the great myths of Dutch football is the story of the 1974 World Cup. Deprived of female company, some of the players allegedly took their pleasure with local floozies, and therefore lost the final against Germany.

All this applies to sex with women. Sex with men can be a very different proposition. As a rule, societies that prize machismo and male honour do not take a kindly view of homosexuality. It is tolerated, at best, but only the active, "male" partner, especially if he is older and married, can escape from homosexual encounters with honour. The passive one is like a woman - submissive, weak, despicable. So it is still said to be in many Arab countries, as it was in ancient Greece.

But there are notable exceptions to this rule. Some of the most macho societies in history have prized homosexual relations. The Spartan army encouraged loving relationships between soldiers, as it would foster loyalty and courage. Samurai in feudal Japan had a similar attitude. Sex with women was fine, as far as it went, which was to produce children. But honour and nobility were to be found only in relations between men. The premise behind this is not so different from the homophobia in other macho cultures. Women are soft, and their proximity softens men, just as the wiles of Cleopatra softened the Roman general Mark Antony. True manliness must never be tainted by the female sex, or the domesticity it represents.

In 2004, Johann Hari wrote about the "overlap" of homosexuality and fascism. "Gay men," he wrote, "have been at the heart of every major fascist movement that ever was ..." This was especially disturbing to Hari, who identifies himself as a "progressive gay" man. Examples supporting his thesis are readily at hand: Pim Fortuyn (though not really a "fascist", as Hari seems to think) was gay. Jörg Haider is said to be gay. And then there were the Nazi Stormtroopers, the brown-shirted SA led by a thug named Ernst Röhm. Röhm, and many of his comrades, were homosexual.

Röhm was a keen promoter of the Spartan ideal of fit fighting men pairing off. Like many German soldiers in the wake of the first world war, he felt like a loser, embittered by military defeat, and marginalised by peace. For him, the SA was a way to regain his self-esteem. He thought of it as an elite of superior men, chosen to control first Germany and then the world. Röhm was rather like the 17-year-old in Oe's novella: the uniforms, the boots, the brutality made him feel omnipotent. Sex was an expression of power, and power was eroticised. "Since I am an immature and wicked man," he once said, "war and unrest appeal to me more than the good bourgeois order."

Hari implied that there was something in the nature of homosexuality that made it particularly suited to fascism. Quoting a "gay pornographer", Bruce LaBruce, he cited "body worship, the lauding of the strong, a fetish for authority figures and cruelty". But this is to assume that homosexual desires can be reduced to a Tom of Finland cartoon in which the characters are manhandled by brutal leather-clad policemen. Such fantasies exist, to be sure, and fascism exploited them to the full. You only have to see the outsized sculptures of naked athletes in the former Foro Mussolini sports complex in Rome to get the idea. One should never forget that despite the antics of Röhm and his friends, homosexuals were persecuted in Nazi Germany.

There is a more plausible explanation for the attraction felt by a certain kind of homosexual for violent elitism and extreme political causes, and that is the loathing of bourgeois life. Röhm divided men into soldiers and civilians, and the latter, to him, were "swine". Everything associated with the word "prudence" was hateful to him. To a man such as Röhm, domesticated bourgeois society was, by definition, cowardly, materialistic, henpecked and dull. What he craved, above all, was constant violent action to disrupt the kind of life from which he felt excluded. This may be the key to gay fascism, more than the nature of homosexual desire. Extremism is the loser's revenge on society. Who the losers happen to be depends on the nature of the society. It can be homosexuals who feel shut out, or young Muslim immigrants.

The German writer Hans Magnus Enzensberger recently wrote a brilliant essay about "the radical loser", the kind of person, usually a young man, who feels victimised by the entire world, and hates himself as much as the forces that oppress him. These men are walking time bombs. Anything can set them off, a social snub, the loss of a job. And the explosion will usually kill the bomber as well as his enemies. Circumstances dictate to some extent who the enemies are, but the categories tend to be limited. As Enzensberger says, the "usual suspects are foreigners, secret services, communists, Americans, big corporations, politicians, unbelievers. And, almost always, the Jews."

The only thing missing in Enzensberger's analysis is the sexual factor, the psychology of the great masturbator, the murderous gay thug, the drooping despot. Perhaps this element is best explained by recalling a very recent story: the murder in Amsterdam of the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh. His killer, Mohammed Bouyeri, was born in Holland, though his parents were from Morocco. As a teenager he tried to conform to the culture of his native city. He got drunk, smoked dope, and tried to seduce Dutch girls. After all, everything in the culture, from pop music to TV commercials, promises sex. This is a world away from home, where the saintly mother and virginal sisters must be protected from lustful eyes.

But things began to go wrong for Mohammed. The Dutch girls were not as easy as he thought. He lost interest in his studies. Subsidies for this and that failed to materialise. There were nasty brushes with the police. And his sister got a boyfriend. This enraged Mohammed. He felt dishonoured, useless, excluded. He was, in short, a radical loser, and Islamism promised righteous murder, martyrdom, and the feeling, however fleeting, of total power.

The reason Van Gogh became Mohammed's target was a short film he made with the Somali-born politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who wrote the script. The film, Submission, showed Koranic texts projected on to the half-naked bodies of veiled women who had been abused by men. Hirsi Ali blames Islam for the sexual subjugation of women and the misguided and frustrated machismo of men. Her take on secular European society is the exact opposite of Mohammed's. Where she sees liberation - above all, sexual liberation - he sees dishonour, decadence, filth and confusion. The freedom of living in Holland allowed her to flourish, while it made him feel small and hateful. And that is why he wanted to destroy her, and with her the civilisation that made him feel like a radical loser.

Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at February 25, 2006 08:30 AM

The Indian Budget : Playing for a Draw
Shekhar Kapur - March 01, 2006

The Finance Minister in his press conference said that in the Indian Government has to show that ti's heart is in the right place as well as it's head..

He needs to be congratulated for his heart. With the great emphasis on the rural and agricultural sector, on education, on micro credit to the agricultural sector, the FM has certainly exposed the kind heart of the Government to the voters. He has it right. In order to sustain the current growth rates, and if India is to become a Global power, it must do so with most of all it's population as part of it wealth increment. For if we do not, the social pressures on our fragile growth economy will bring us falling down like a pack of cards. History has constantly reminded us of that lesson. So congratulations Mr. Finance Minister.

But the head knows that expressions of the heart must be matched by implementation. That's where my fears lie. Allocation of funds are the tip of the rapidly melting iceberg. I was disappointed to see no new incisive schemes that suggested how the FM will ensure this allocation will not just lead to a bloated money disbursing scheme, rather than provoking a rural entrepreneurship that becomes as vital as our urban service sector. We can, as the simplest example, build 10,000 new schools. But, Mr Finance Minister, how do we ensure the quality of teaching in those schools ?

Is there one possible ? Yes of course there is. Technology. India is on the forefront of a world surge in the knowledge economy. Lets make it work for our rural sector. I am surprised the the FM refuses to bring Broadband into the purview of primary and essential infrastructure. With every Indian connected to Broadband, we could do wonders for our education and rural empowerment schemes. And give the rural population access to the growth of the Urban Service Sector. So if an Indian software engineer can be part of a global service sector, why not a rural person ? Interactive integration of our people, where information, education and opportunity flows freely and interactively between all, is the key to India's rise as Super Power. Building interactive Information Highways is key to trade of the future and therefore integrated economic growth.

Now for the Urban sector. Yes. Allowing MF's to invest more overseas is definitely a confident step in the right direction. But overall, this budget feels a bit like the FM taking a breather. Yes, the Nation of Urban India is doing extremely well. So when we are doing so well, why play for a draw ? Why not drive the advantage into a win ? It seems our Government is so used to problem solving, so used to batting on the backfoot, that it needs to learn how to be aggressive. This is an ever changing world where a sudden oil crisis can substantially change the game. So if the West sneezes, will our Urban growth catch the flu ? Probably. So what should the FM be looking at ? If we are now coming to the forefront of the world's knowledge economy, how about giving increasing tax breaks to creation of intellectual property owned in India ? How do we encourage the next Microsoft to be an Indian Company, for example ? How do we encourage our youth to create new businesses, rather than become part of a work force that services an uncertain (and economically declining) western world ?

A couple of issues that will be our biggest challenge in the next five years, that I think the FM has not addressed :

We are running out of drinking water. That in itself will bring our economic growth to nothing.

The infrastructures in our cities are crumbling. They are about to burst. I wonder how the urban renewal scheme announced last year is doing ?


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at March 1, 2006 04:20 AM

A Bachelor's cookbook
Shekhar Kapur - March 01, 2006

Living a bachelor's existence in London. And to this spoilt Indian male the base problem seems to be food. Too cold to step outdoors to go to a restaurant everyday. So have been trying various experiments on my taste buds and on my poor stomach. Any quick, healthy, tasty ideas on offer here ?

First problem, how do I train myself to cook for ONE person at a time ? Each time I cut vegetables, the mantra seems to be "why not just cut some more of the cabbage, now that you are at it" ? Second, I have bought a Wok, but what is the magic in stir fry vegetables ? Why can't I get them just right ? How hot should the olive oil be before it changes it's wonderful warm taste ?

Why can't I put oats on the fire, and then not forget about them till they burn and stick on to the saucepan ? I guess I need to get a timer. Why does there remain a bitter smell after I take stuff out of the dishwasher ? I guess I need to wash the stuff once it has been washed in the dishwasher ?

Love fish. But hate the smell of it in my fridge. So the tendency is to cook and eat it all at one go. Stuff myself so that I don't have to put the left overs in the bin, or that will smell too much. Have not learnt to buy the right portion in the fishmongers yet. I think I am plain embarrased to buy too little. But then if have maanged to go the fishmongers, why not buy more ?

Maybe I will have guests to finsh the food. But when the last time you phoned your friends and said "Hey I cooked too much, would u please come and finish it ?.

Determined not to fall into the trap of fast packaged foods. Determined to buy organic food.

But need a little help. Anybody ? Especially Dal. Can't live without it. is there a way to cook dal without a pressure cooker in 30 minutes ? By soaking overnight ?


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at March 1, 2006 03:50 PM

And the Oscar for the best film goes to ..
Shekhar Kapur - March 03, 2006

Turtles can Fly. Ever heard of it ? Probably not. Is it better than all the nominated films ? Definitely. Far better. So what do the Oscars mean ?

A huge fasion show. A huge celebration of Gossip, a lot of Partying. And all the applause for members of the club. A club called Hollywood. It is definitely a celebration of the glamour of Hollywood. and so it ought to be. It is a club that has for so long suceeded in dominating the culture of the world.

But lets not kid ourselves. This is not the best of Cinema that the world can offer. 90% of the world cinema does not even get seen by any member of the academy. The truth is that the members of the academy have rarely seen the films they vote for either.

Here is information on Turtles Can Fly. It does not push a message down your throat. Just reaches your heart and tears you apart before you even realize it. See it if you can. It is the best film this year.

"Turtles Can Fly" is the third feature from internationally acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi ("A Time For Drunken Horses"). Written, directed and produced by Ghobadi, the film features of cast of local non-actor children.

"Turtles Can Fly" is set in Ghobadi’s native Kurdistan on the eve of the American invasion of Iraq. Thirteen-year-old Soran (Soran Ebrahim) is known as “Satellite,” for his installation of dishes and antennae for local villages looking for news of Saddam. He is the dynamic leader of the children, organizing the dangerous but necessary sweeping and clearing of the minefields. He then arranges trade-ins for the unexploded mines. The industrious Satellite falls for an unlikely orphan (Avaz Latif), a sad-faced girl traveling with her brother Henkov (Hirsh Feyssal), who appears to have the gift of clairvoyance. The siblings are care-taking a three-year-old, whose connection to the pair is discovered as harsh truths are unveiled.

The devastation to this land and its inhabitants is revealed in the matter-of-fact perspective of the children and is equally displayed with every poignant detail of its unbearable nature. The exquisitely haunting mountains play backdrop to violence and tragedy, but at the same time the heart and humor of the children is an undeniable force.

"Turtles Can Fly" won the Golden Shell at San Sebastian and the Silver Bear at Chicago and is the Iranian entry to the Academy for 2004 Foreign Film consideration.



Posted by Shekhar Kapur at March 3, 2006 04:41 AM

Civil War in Iraq
Shekhar Kapur - March 03, 2006

The Coalition of the Willing has finally reached it's objectives in Iraq. It's taken me a long time to figure out the logic behind the invasion of Iraq. And as the facts emerge, It's simple really. History reveals itself again. It's what colonists have been doing for two centuries.

It's just too simplistic to assume that they got it wrong about the weapons of mass destruction. It is just too far out to see this as a great Christian Fundamentalist/Right Wing assertiveness in the US. I do not believe that the strategists in the US got it wrong. And since the strategists in the US are advised by the strategists in the UK, who are some of the best in the world, it is highly unlikely that they did not predict this mess that they have pushed Iraq into.

No, I believe now that the civil war in Iraq serves the best economic and milirary interests of the Western Coalition. So clearly the objectives have been acheived. They wanted Iraq to go into civil war that it would take generations to recover from. Because from Iraq, the civil war will flow to neighbouring Iran. And outward to every Arab country. It will destabilize the whole region. While the West's leaders keep up the mantra of "Democracy in the Arab world is good for the security of the West", they do not mean that at all.

For as long as the Arab states are destabilized, no one goverment can take extreme or confident measures over their greatest natural resource : OIL. No Arab goverment will be allowed to be totally sovereign, unless it agrees to be a puppet of the Western economic interests.

You only have to look at the history of Coloniozation to understand how the Colonists have worked over the last two centuries. Divide and rule is the most simplistic way fo describing the colonists philosphy, but it does define it if one was looking for simple keywords . It's what the Colonists did in India, in Africa, in the Balkans. Everywhere they left societies in turmoil. Encouraged turmoil.

The Arab people must recognize this. They must realize the larger game plan of the Coalition , and work togethert o build their Nations in the interests of their own people. That is what the colonists fear the most. They fear the loss of control over the world's natural resources and the worlds markets. Their economies are becoming increasing bloated and their population's demographics are veering towards a severe shortages in work force. It's like the old slave trade, where huge planatations could only be worked through a ruthless slave trade based economy.

The West is now looking out for 'Slave Economies'. Needed to survive at the hugely unfair and bloated consumption levels they have got used to. It is up to the emerging economies not to fall into the trap.

I have to add that this is not a 'They vs Us" argument. I see exactly the same 'colonist' forces being played out within the emerging economies. Betweeen the 'haves' and the 'have nots'. I see that in India all the time. But it does not deny my argument that a civil war in Iraq, and disruption in the Middle East serves the best purposes of the Coalition of the Willing. Especially for those that are in a position of Power and Wealth in the Coalition.



Posted by Shekhar Kapur at March 3, 2006 05:21 AM

To do or not do ?
Shekhar Kapur - March 08, 2006

How much of what I do, directly results in what gets done. And how much of what I do actually becomes the impediment in what I desire to get done ? How do I know ?

Does every event have an individuality of it's own ? Like you and I have. Or is every event, every eventuality, a potential, a probability ? And then are you and I also a probability, a potential ?

So I if I want to get something done, how many other events must come into synch before the event becomes a percievable reality ? Even an event like my striking a match must rely on the match being made, the box being made, the process of the match and the box coming to my hand, and the moment that I actually strike the match against the box. How many events must have to created for me to have chosen that moment. This would go back to the 'chance' of the creation of 'fire' and to the very birth of the Universe.

So here is the question. If so many innumerable events must have come together, to give me the choice of striking the match against the box, surely it is just my ego that tells me that the 'end result' of all those events was my striking the match against the box. I am obviously just part of the immense, continous and infinite chain of interrelated events that never ends. My choice, if it ever was that, is just part of that matrix. Not anything I do, or claim to have done, is the end result. And therefore, why do I consider myself an individual, if I am merely a cog in the wheel of the infinite matrix of the events, and nothing that I do is the 'end game'.

Or do I just have the wrong definition of 'Individual'. I certainly have the wrong spelling. I am an Individual only if I am. Or I think I am. And I am so, only if I can do what I think I can do. And my desription of doing is totally defined by the definitive result of my doing, is that not my induviduality tells me ? But if what am I doing, if I 'am' at all, is merely part of his infinite matrix of events, that have absolutely no 'end game' then by this definition I am not an individual.

Why then at the Oscar acceptance speech, does no one ever say " I, whoever that I may be, accept this Oscar in humility of the knowledge that I was merely a potential in the never ending unfolding of infinite events. As is this potential event of my acceptance of this statuette.


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at March 8, 2006 01:27 PM

I am not the end game
Shekhar Kapur - March 09, 2006

Continuing with the wonderful discussions that followed my post 'to do or not do' .. sachin asked me a question. Why am I posing all this as question, when sometimes I exhibit to others that maybe I am spiritual.

The answer, Sachin, is that not only do I not know, but that my greatest fear is that one day, in my arrogance and a false belief of my own importance/induviduality, I will believe I do know. That is the death of experience. Knowing.

I think God lies in the questioning. I do not believe that God lies in the finite world of knowing, but in the infinite world of questioning. I believe God lies in the search for God. God lies in spaces that our words have not explored. God lies cosily in the cocoon of questions.

I just hope that I never cease to wonder.


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at March 9, 2006 03:48 PM

The Jumble
Shekhar Kapur - March 12, 2006

As I awake this morning,
each morning,
a jumble of thoughts
streak into my mind,

too late
to protect myself,
i struggle to seperate
each sticky thread
from the other,
to confront it's stickiness

it's a mess,
till i realize what
i need to accept,
to confront
to see
is merely the jumble
and not it's component parts
and i begin,
breathe again

aah, the daily battle
with my mind has begun,
I shall win today, everyday

for my mind fears chaos
much more than I do


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at March 12, 2006 11:09 PM

Not my Movie
Shekhar Kapur - March 13, 2006

Donatella said "Shekhar, I've never seen any of your movies ( but I don't go to the movie theatre a lot), congratulations anyway on your new movie. I'll read the article." Thank you, Donatella, but the struggle for creativity, is to not try to own it.

My mind is too narrow to make any sense of any creative work. In order to make creative work more universal, I must see myself only as the conduit, the reseptacle. Not the Creator. And the more I think of myself as the creator, the less I reach out to u, to your consciousness. The more Induvidualistic I am, the less I receive, therefore the less I give.

There is no creator in this Universe. There is just the universe. Just consciousness. The Universe and it's consciousness is it's own creator. So how can I create ?


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at March 13, 2006 11:20 PM

And you thought you knew me ?
Shekhar Kapur - March 27, 2006

How limited must your perception be, to say you know me ?
Do you even know what I look like ? When your eye is percieving less than 1 % of the waves/information packets reflected off me, emitted by me, or passing through my body.

How can u say u felt my touch ? When you know there is no physical matter in me. When u know that my body is just massless particles of energetic information packets whizing in space, intermingled with trillions that you don't feel or see.

What would I look like if you could see all those particles, all those packet of information ? Would you be able to even define my physicality ? Or would I have absolutely no contained, induvidual physical form.

How limited must your perception be to be able to define me.

So u think you know me by my emotions, my thoughts ? Knowing that your interpretation of my emotions are only defined through the prejudiced prism of your own judgement of yourself.

So you think you know me by what I do ? By my acts ? Knowing that there is no act so pure that it is fact. That all acts are merel interpretations of events.

Do you think you know me by having observed me ? Knowing that here is no observation so pure that it does not judge the observed. Once again through the imperfect eyes of the observer.

Do you think you know me by sensing the results of my actions ? Knowing that every potential event has as much an induviduality as you and I ?

So here's the paradox. The more u define me, the more you limit and narrow your perception of me, the more real I become to you. So if you stopped defining me, limiting me, would I cease to exist for you ? Or would we see ourselves as pure consciousness ?


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at March 27, 2006 03:42 AM

Shekhar Kapur - April 06, 2006

I struggle with freedom,
I want to be free,
but have no idea what I want to be free of ?

I look for the context to freedom'
and then I want to be free of the context
and if there is no context
what do I want to be free of ?
how can i be free if
my freedom is always tethered to a context ?
even an idea
that may sound as lofty as 'consiousness'
Is freedom ever possible without a context ?
or does the context become the ever shifting cage
I imprison myself in

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at April 6, 2006 11:32 PM

The Fruitseller
Shekhar Kapur - April 11, 2006

In the bustling metropolises of today, the greatest sound you hear are the blaring horns and the noise of the traffic. But I remember when Delhi was a city full of the welcoming cries of the Street Sellers, the ''Wallah's.

I remember very clearly the sound of the Sabzi walla. It went :

Sabzzzi le lo-o-o !!! And then was a shouts of each of the vegetables he was carrying that day. And the shouts of Ande (eggs) wallah. Who had a particularily rough relationship with my mother. Especially in summer when a lot of the eggs had to be returned as they were ion the verge of hatching. I have always wondered why modern egges - even the 'Organically fed and free to roam and allowed to indulge in the natural behaviours' ones never actually threaten to hatch.

There was even the "Gold wallah', the 'Sonhar'. that would remake your gold jewelry,. As went by proudly on his newly acquired bicycle shouting "Sonhar hai, Sone ka kaam karwa lo-o-o-o".

We used to have the vegetable seller and the fruit seller, all come to the house, and my mother would sit and argue with them. Bargain with them fiercly, as would they. But in the process she knew where their families lived, what village they came from and how things were in the village. Bargaining was an act of great individuality for her, as well as a social intercourse.

The first time I took her to one of the emerging supermarkets in India, she hated it. She hated prices being fixed and stamped over the goods. She hated check out counters. She missed the social interaction with her fruit seller, her sabzi walla, her ande walla etc.

When my mother passd away, rather suddenly, I had been away from our family house for many many years. I went back and an went through all the rites, and stood by my greiving family, determined now to take charge and be a comfort to all, except myself. I was after all the son, and expected to be stoic.

Two days later their was a call of the fruit seller, and I walked out of the house. There was an old man with a whole basket of fruit, and he asked for my mother. I remember him being thin and with a great white moustache and sunburnt wrinkled skin. I told her she had died, and he sat under the tree. Sad and contemplative..

"She was a great lady" He said "and who are you ?"

"I am her Son" I said.

He beckoned me towards him. Put his hand on my shoulder, and told me so much about me. About all my mother's dreams for me, of how much she had missed me.

And for the frst time since I heard the news of my Mother's death I broke. I put my head on this complete strangers shoulder and sobbed my heart out as he comforted me.

My mother and the fruit seller. How much must they have got to know each other just through the act of bargaining over apples ?


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at April 11, 2006 06:40 AM

First day of the shoot
Shekhar Kapur - April 17, 2006

As I go into the first day of the shoot of Golden Age today, I am really going to try amd practice what I say ! I want to learn to let go. Not direct as much as allow the film to grow. Like a gardener.

For who says I am right, and who says that what happens is what I decide to happen. If I am right in my feeling that every event has it's own manifestation, quite separate from my actions, then I must just do what I have to without imposing myself upon the film.

Funny though, everyone looks to a Director to be decisive. And what I am asking myself is allow control to slip out of the fingers of my conscious mind into the very elasic safety net of my subconscious. I hope I am not running into trouble, but have to make a film through my own belief system.

I have managed, quite unknowingly, to turn Elizabeth's story into the story that most reverberates in my own heart. The battle between our mortal and Divine selves.

Oh, well. There is so much I want to say with this film, and I know that I cannot say it by being absolutely in control. So I might as well let go. The one thing I do know though. I do not desire to make a definitive film. One that seems to, like a Hollywood film, have alll the answers in a neat package tied up with a ribbon (sorry, I am being unfair to other Directors in my own arrogance), but a film that has only questions.

I think the film Elizabeth survives only because the it raised more questions than it could answer,

Love to u all, pray I do not stumble in my journey too hard (for stumble I will),


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at April 17, 2006 09:00 PM

Rongbuk Monastry
Shekhar Kapur - April 23, 2006

I do not know f Gautam is picking up e mails on his journey to Everest, but I want to wish him continued success. Years and years ago I too had trekked to the Rongbuk Monastry..

Where I met a young Monk that kept laughing. He must have been in his late 20's at that time, and we spent a lot of time talking. He had been at the Monastry since he was a little boy.

I don't remember much of the conversation other than him laughing at my attempts to eat Yak meat that is incredibly tough especiazlly when cooked at those altitudes. But I do remember asking him how long he had been practising meditation.

"15 years, he said"

"And how long can you truly be 'in meditation' ", I asked

"About a minute". He replied, as he laughed.

Buddha's Enlightenment did not just happen, I guess.

The path to the union with the Self is a lifelong journey that involves every step I walk, every breath I breathe and every thought I think. Every question I ask. Knowing that not a single moment must be wasted. It is a torturous, tough, devastating and exhilarating journey.

And not one amongst us can say for sure what lies at the end of it,

wow !


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at April 23, 2006 03:49 AM

Is God real, daddy ?
Shekhar Kapur - August 27, 2006

It's late in the night
I hold your little hand in mine
we lie in bed as u stare at the ceiling
what is God, Daddy
is God real ?

of course my love
God is real
God is love

but does God exist, Daddy
or is he in my imagination ?

both, my love
God is real
and in your imagination
God is a feeling
an emotion
the most powerful emotion in the world
God is love

I don't understand, daddy

do u love your little white bunny
that you cuddle up with every night ?

Yes, daddy

Is the bunny real, or
is it a doll ?

It is a doll, daddy

But in your arms at night,
your love for the bunny is real ?

Yes, daddy

That love,
my love
is God
for God can make
anything real
if there is love

Did God make me
and you and mummy ?

Yes my love,
God is like a vast ocean
and all of us are drops
from that ocean
which makes you God too

And mummy ?

Yes mummy too
and everything you see
and hear
and feel
and imagine
is God

I don't understand, daddy

Neither do I, my love
how do I tell u
that God is not answer
but a Question
and always will be ?

How do I tell u,
that you knew God
the world is teaching you
to define everything ?

How do I tell u
that your Daddy
does not know anything
but that God is the connection
between the real and imagined ?

How do I tell u
that God is Love
a Love
that holds the entire Universe
in an eternal embrace ?


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at August 27, 2006 05:22 AM

My eternal lover
Shekhar Kapur - September 20, 2006

locked in your embrace
every moment
every breath
we walk

my lover
that waits to strike me
to betray me
to consume me
at any moment
and have done so

and yet
i cannot let you go
i am
because you are
i breathe
because you allow me to
i do
the fear of you
provokes me to

i am alive
because I feel your embrace

like a cobra
one day u will strike me
though i dance with joy
in the thought
that you will
but have not

for every moment
that you are faithful
is a moment
blessed upon me
by your presence

and when your final embrace
does come
we will rest together
in eternity

till then
walk with me
show me
how to live every moment
by reminding me
every moment
that you will strike

and then, my spirit
will finally
be released
from your embrace

but will you
before that
let me see who you really are
will you reveal your dark secrets
my eternal lover ?


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at September 20, 2006 12:18 PM

Skinny Models ?
Shekhar Kapur - September 20, 2006

Madrid's Fashion Week, the Pasarela Cibeles, announced last week it was banning models with a Body Mass Index, or height to weight ratio, below 18, causing a huge controversy all over the world press, garnering almost as much attention as the Pope and Darfur,

And now a British Cabinet minister has taken up the controversy, asking the London Fashion Week also to ban super thin models.

This is such an unequal world. Why should the international press be so fascinated by this strange controversy when 95 % of the population of our planet are so thin becasue they just cannot get enough to eat !

Are we surprised that there are revolts all over the world against such unequal consumerism ?


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at September 20, 2006 03:45 PM

The Temple
Shekhar Kapur - September 23, 2006

I often sit in the temple across the street from my house in Mumbai. Not to pray, but just to bathe myself in the vibrations of all those that do, all those lucky ones that so easily believe in the divine power of faith ...

I usually have a space in a back corner on the floor of the temple, a little hidden from sight, where I can be the observer rather than the observed. A lot of young actors frequent the temple asking for divine interventions in their careers. Imagine their surprise when they turn around and see one of India's recognizable directors crouched in a corner. They may read too much into divine intervention !

This day someone had taken my place. A nice looking young man, his mouth whispering a silent prayer, eyes closed. He had a cloth laid across his lap as if he planned to be in meditation for a long time. I just quitely crouched on the floor next to him. A little irritated at having my secluded corner usurped.

His whispering stopped. I turned and he was staring at me. I suddenly noticed his nice looks and extremely wide broad shoulders. An actor I thought. For they spend half their lives in the Gym.

But he sounded more humble and had no self consciousness. He asked me why I had forsaken my fans in India and gone to the West. He spoke intelligently about my films and about cinema in general. He even extracted a promise from me to make my next film in India and in Hindi.

What did he do ? He was an assistant accountant in a small firm in Mumbai by day and was studying computers by night. He had come from a village from northern India and was sending home money monthly to support his parents, who were now too old to work in the fields. Saving money to do that meant certain sacrifices.

like walking to the temple every morning from his shared shelter in a slum 2 miles away. To save bus fare. And then to work.

He suddenly smiled, put a hand out to touch my feet, and said goodbye. As he removed his cloth from his lap and moved away from me, I realized why this young man had such strong shoulders,

He had no legs. They were just small shrivelled useless bone and skin tucked permanently under is upper body. He moved by pushing himself along his haunches.

Two miles everyday to say a prayer.


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at September 23, 2006 09:30 AM

The Mother
Shekhar Kapur - October 13, 2006

Oscars. Red carpet. Elizabeth. Vanity Fair Party, squeezing through. Frenzied media. Who's this guy in the Maharaja dress ? Better take his picture just in case someone pays for it. Elton John's party. Excuse me, did I step on your Prada shoes ? Oops, sorry, did I spill my drink on your dress as I was trying to sqeeze past ? Where's the bathroom please. Who am I ? What's this attention all about ? How did I get lucky ? Did I get lucky ?

Ah, the peculiar pungent smell of Bombay at night. Hits you every time you step off the plane. Drying fish competing with the hot humid smell of of 15 million human beings.


I need to walk. I need to breathe. I need to be grounded. I need to squash the hype.

Walking alone 2 am. Down Marine Drive. Leaning over the railway bridge at Charni Road. Families huddled together, sleeping next to the tracks. Exhausted from the toils of the day's labour. Or from beggng. No sleeping pills here.

Sound of laughter and singing, a few odd aggresive voices. The kind of threatening voices that send a slight shot of adraneline through your system. Your eyes impassive. Ready. There they were squatting in the middle of the road. Young men. Homeless. Drinking. Eating. Gambling. Laughing. And threatening. Like a tinder box. Knives would flash if ignited. Perhaps even country made revolvers.

Singing too, suprisingly haunting. Some rural voice, hoarse and full of pain peppered by laughter. Of loved ones left behind, never to be seen again.

And there she was. Young. Beautiful and graceful even in her torn and worn sari. . Even younger than some of the men. Unafraid of the supressed violence. Shouting at them sometimes. Digging her hand in the large worn alluminium pot, and bringing out handfuls of a mixture of rice and lentils. Slopping down the dripping contents on the days newspapers laid out directly on the tarred road. Even as she forcibly shoved handfuls of food into the protesting mouths of the young men far preffering to drink and gamble,

One of the the men looked at me.

Hey, You !

The observer suddenly became the observed. The stranger had been stripped naked. All eyes threateningly on me.

"I know who you are. You can either stand there and stare, or you can come and drink with us".

An invitation or a threat ? I sat. Tasting the food. Watery. The odd vegetable and the crunch of not fully cooked lentils. But the warm familiar comfort of rice in the mouth.

Don't drink the water ! Sip the country brew politely. It's safer.

A young man arrived. So drunk he could barely walk. Thin and scrawny. His sparse clothes slipping off him. Drawn face, like the city had sucked life out of him. He sat down, eyes averted and downcast. Not daring to meet the young woman's gaze. She stared directly at him. Eyes blazing.

And then she attacked him. Ferociously. Slapping him. Even as he went down, sobbing as he tried to avert her blows. His sobs turned into wails. They all watched the spectacle impassively. Not one interfered. The young man's arms reached out to her, his wails coming now in pain racked sobs. The sounds of loneliness and abandonment.

She softened. Touched his cheek, and gently brought his head to her lap. He gave in and buried his head in her. Still wailing as she tried to pour some food in his mouth. Still chiding him, while she cradled him like a baby.

Dawn was breaking when I left. Less than sober.

She lived alone. In something that coud possibly pass as hut just under the bridge by the railway tracks. Young men re-built it every time the slum lords took it down. They protected her. She cooked for them. Worried about them. Fussed about them. She was the constant nagging presence that once was home. An eon ago for those that had migrated to the streets.

No one knew where she came from. Or even when. For no one stayed long enough to find out, moving from one street to another. I asked her what the name of the poor young man was. She did not know. She called all them all her 'Baccha's". Her children. He came to this street two weeks ago, but spent all his time drinking. That made her angry.

'Somebody has to look after him'

Not one of the young men called her by her name. They all called her 'Maa". Mother.

'Accha Maa, ab main chalta hoon' I had said as I was leaving.
(Ok, mother, I had better be going)

'Phir zaroor ana' Said the young woman" Tum bhi mere Bacche ho'
('Come again, you are also my child')


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at October 13, 2006 08:08 AM

The little boy staring at the Universe
Shekhar Kapur - January 10, 2007

I was about 9 years old. We lived in Delhi at a time when there was no pollution. In summer the nights were cool and the whole family slept on the 'Kotha.' The terrace of our little rented bungalow in Nizamuddin. I still remember the earthy taste of the water from the clay baked 'Surahi' that lay there in case you felt thirsty. The water was cooled through the natural physical laws of osmosis and evaporation. Plastic bottles were unknown and I still cannot get used to the taste of water that comes out of a plastic bottle ....

... and who could forget the dust storms that came so suddenly. The neighbouring desert in Rajasthan's warnings as it tried to encroach on the incredibly green city that was Delhi. The family rushed up, scurrying to roll up the beds before the sheets blew off into the wind. To get to shelter downstairs before your eyes were so filled with dust that you could no longer see.

Even sleeping was a huge adventure those days.

But what I remember most was lying on my 'charpai' - a bed made of ropes strung between a wooden frame - staring at the immensity of the Universe. The stars were unbelievably bright and the sky almost cast a shadow of my hand that I could see on my white sheet. My mother would point out the 'big bear' and all other formations of galaxy's and their names according to western or eastern mythologies. I loved searching for these galaxies at night. They were my friends.

I was just begining to learn about a man called Newton at school. I was being taught the basic laws of physics. I had my own idea of the universe though, and Newton seemed just seemed to complicate what was so natural. Did an apple fall to the ground or did the ground move to the apple ? I revelled in such imaginary ideas annoying my physics teachers no end. I used to sit and dream that I was the apple, and see the ground and everything else rushing toward me, as the branch that I broke myself away from rushed away from me.

I was being taught that nothing existed in this universe unless it was 'something'. And that 'something' had to be measurable. It had to be defined. Without realizing it at that time, I was being force educated into the world of the finite.

So imagine my trauma when I stared every night at the universe. I would ask my father "how far does the universe go ?" '

"Forever" he would say.

I could not imagine what Newton would say to "forever" ? Was it 'something' ? But something had to have an end, and if the universe was not 'something' how could anything be 'nothing' ?. I would lie for hours and try and force my imagination to travel distances unknown. Go beyond the stars that I could see. Beyond all those distant Galaxies. Travel into darkness from one imaginary place to another. In search for the end of the universe. In search for 'forever'.

Sometimes I would break into quite sobs for it was impossible to find 'forever'. I was just so frustrated with the limits to my imagination. My mother would come and put her arm around me and encourage me to say the Gayatri Mantra. Yet even while I would say the Gayatri Mantra three times with my mother, my mind would be searching for that elusive 'forever'.

And now, after all these years, I am back where I started. I am once again the little boy staring at the Universe in search of 'forever'.


Posted by Shekhar Kapur at January 10, 2007 01:18 AM

A Mother's letter from Nithari
Shekhar Kapur - January 14, 2007

I was told that they found my daughter's body. Not the whole body, just the legs, arms and severed head. The agony now ends. For a year I have been begging the police to help find her. They would humiliate us, and sneer. " She must have run away with a boy" they laughed.

My daughter was 9 years old when she went missing....

am told that her body was cut up surgically. I pray that she felt no pain. I pray that whoever took her away from us, had atleast taekn such innocent lives with some compassion.

But I can't help imagining her screams as they took the knife to her. May God forgive them, but I do not have any forgiveness left in me.

I am told they took her kidneys. I want to meet the child that has her kidneys. I want to bless her. It's not that child's fault. But I want to meet the doctors, the hospitals, the airlines that carried my child's kidneys and ask them :

"Did u think once about the innocent life you took so callously ?" I want to ask the policemen that helped them. " Does a life mean nothing to you just because we are poor ?"

Now every politician comes to our village. I say to them "Come to our village only if you can bring our children back. Otherwise you have come too late. Leave us to our grief and our fate. As you have done so ever since I can remember. And will continue to do so till we die. Nothing will change".

"We are told we are Indian. We are not. You all are Indians. We are the forgotten people. We do not want to be Indians. It was Indians who took our children. We do not want to be part of you".

"a mother"

Posted by Shekhar Kapur at January 14, 2007 10:39 AM