In Conversation with Roger Ebert

Posted: April 5, 2013 by moifightclub in Life Itself
Tags: ,

Though many of us wished to communicate with him (heck, i even trolled him on twitter to get some attention, not once, many times) not many of us were lucky enough to find a communication channel for Roger Ebert, or Ebert saab as we like to call him. Natasha Badhwar was among those lucky ones. How? As the say, internet, you beauty! So re-posting an old post by her.


Tweet! Tweet! Tweet!

Roger Ebert started it.

He wrote a straight from the heart piece about why he tweets and how it is a positive force for him. It is a substitute for something he lost, and a darned good replacement it is.
“I am in conversation. When you think about it, Twitter is something like a casual conversation among friends over dinner: Jokes, gossip, idle chatter, despair, philosophy, snark, outrage, news bulletins, mourning the dead, passing the time, remembering favorite lines, revealing yourself.”
Then he mentioned people he follows on twitter. Gave me some generous compliments.
“I said it was impossible to think of great writing in terms of 140 characters. I have been humbled by a mother of three in New Delhi.….
In the morning, I’ll find a poetic tweet waiting from the wonderful @natashabadhwar, who is a filmmaker and photographer in New Delhi and most of all a mum of three….
I was away from home, on summer vacation in my husband’s parents home in Village Adilabad, District Ghazipur, India. I picked up a pen and paper and wrote him a reply. Later I found a somewhat dodgy internet connection and sent it off. It is posted in the Comments section of the link mentioned on the top of this page. It goes like this:
By Natasha Badhwar on June 18, 2010 7:15 AM
Dear Roger,
Hi, this is the mother of three from New Delhi. We are far away from Delhi, I am typing from a borrowed internet connection. It is late in this hot, dusty, quiet village in East UP. We are in one of our homes. Summer holiday.

I came to Twitter to find a quiet private place where I could put back the pieces of a self that felt broken and bruised in many places. To climb out of the dark hole in which I found myself.

I had turned away from the wonderful world around me, a world that I thrived in, succeeded in, and one that I was hooked to. Yet it was also a place that was superficial and hollow; where truth had been painted over in dark colors. Where it seemed forbidden to raise questions, make inquiries and seek change. (Among other things I had been working in news television for longer than necessary.)

I found that I could not be a mother to my children in this world. I did not know how to nurture myself and those I loved. I did not know how to reconnect with the God who had bailed me out so many times in my teens and early youth.


“Lie fallow. It is vast, empty, raw and sore. But it is fertile.”

Everything seemed alright and yet it did not. Beauty ruled our senses, yet it was not enough. I missed my friends, yet I needed something else more urgently.

“The only way to begin to hear my voice was to walk towards the silence.”
“The view from the surface was fine, it was even beautiful. Yet, for reasons unknown to herself, she took the plunge.”

Tweet by tweet, update by update, I began to create a world that I could live in, that I did live in. I wrote to console and entertain, to live in the moment, the moment that in itself was the meaning of my life. I wrote dreams and memories, I began to share and expand my world. I sent out, I received.

“Baby Nam sleeps in my lap, her cheek listening to my heart. Good night for now”
“Mamma, there are many different worlds out there, but the same one sky for all. Aliza returns from her travels.”
“The little girl was very attached to things. She realized that it seemed silly. She transferred her love and loyalty to imaginary people”

For a while I lived at home with myself and met the outside world via internet. I needed to build spaces where love, beauty, humor and inspiration would dominate. I needed to replenish and nourish. To shed my defenses and rip away the cloak of timidity. And bring to the fore everything that I know matters.

“Confidence is a paper plane. It soars, it crashes, I fold a new one.”
“I know anger, I know hate and sadness. I don’t bring them here, they’re useless on stage. Here I practice alchemy, I come to meet alchemists”

Eventually, my alchemy began to work. Eventually, I found other alchemists on Twitter.

Thank you, Roger Ebert, for your smartness and generosity, for your childlike wonder and joy in the world around us. Your confidence in your sixth sense is so inspiring, I’m afraid I’m going to end up doing some very foolish things soon as I resolve to follow my own sixth sense.

“6 year old’s today what-to-do list
“Ask Baby Nam what Papa did when the monkeys sneaked in today, and she will raise her arm and throw imaginary shoes at you”


Ebert: Natasha, you are my shining light on Twitter. You showed me what could be done. You make 140 characters into a universe. I am not surprised that you could have had a period of unhappiness and discontent. Anyone who evokes the joy in what you write could not do so without a deep sense of gratitude.

Readers: I know what you’re thinking. It is:

(Going by her twitter bio, Natasha Badhwar is “Somebody, everybody, nobody. Columnist for Mint Lounge”. Well, she is also mother of three, trainer and filmmaker. You can follow her on twitter here. And this post was originally published on her blog here.

(PS1 – Also, adding a new category (Guess?) for this post because i was confused where to put this post. Checked?)


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