A passion for sports

"It's so great sharing a passion for sports with my son," it was Nita Ambani telling us on Sunday evening that she was soon flying to Australia with son Akash Ambani who has not only been entrusted with one of his father, Mukesh Ambani's most prestigious ventures the Reliance Jio rollout, but has also stepped up smartly to assist his mum in the management of her IPL cricket and football empire.

Nita Ambani with her son Akash
Nita Ambani with her son Akash

"When did you become so interested in sports?" we asked the lady who with her interests in education, sports and philanthropy has been responsible for creating India's largest conglomerate's softer face. "I guess right from college when I was on the swimming team," she replied. Being dismally poor at sports ourselves, we changed the subject to a recent conversation we'd had with one of her college mates.

"She was so beautiful that there would be crowds to see her enter college," the lady had said to us. "That was sooo long ago," said Ambani on hearing this. "Who has time for all that now? It's work and more work. But having your children back from University is the icing on the cake," she said placing a proud arm around daughter Isha.

Kapoor and the Twitter trolls
We have been following Rishi Kapoor's tirade against the beef ban on Twitter with interest. Kapoor, who has a nice line in self-deprecating humour, (his Twitter handle reads 'Son of a famous Father, Father of a famous Son.') had recently taken to the micro-blogging site to vent his views against the beef ban, "I am a beef eating Hindu.

Does that mean I am less God-fearing then a non-eater?" read one of his posts. Well, what the thespian hadn't contended with was the ire of Twitter trolls those armies of vicious individuals who hide behind computer screens and make destruction their pastime.

Rishi Kapoor
Rishi Kapoor

His well-meaning but naïve posts were met with hostility. "Please don't get me wrong, I do not advocate killing of animals I am against this s**t of double standards of politicians to suit themselves", he explained. But when the backlash began, he continued, "Knew this would go wrong!

When did I say I have 'Gau Maas' and I kill cows? Yes I eat beef where cattle are bred for food legally Not in India," and when things seemed to just go further downhill with even a boycott of his movies suggested by some of the more odious trolls, Kapoor posted this picture below of 'R.K. Chinese fast food stall' and wrote, "My future. After all the bashing I have got and threats to boycott my films ab bas ye hi reh gaya hai! Touche!

Grace under pressure
By Sunday afternoon, we had received intimations about trouble brewing at the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum where our friend Kolkata-based designer Anamika Khanna's grand finale of the LFW was to be hosted.

Anamika Khanna’s collection
Anamika Khanna's collection

"The MNS have threatened the Reliance IMG and Lakme people that they will break cars and damage property if we continue with the show," said Tasneem Zakaria Mehta, Managing Trustee and Honorary Director of the museum, "And despite all my efforts and police support, the venue has been changed to the Palladium Hotel."

Anamika Khanna and Kareena Kapoor
Anamika Khanna and Kareena Kapoor

That Anamika Khanna (who we'd got to know when we both had attended the 75th Bulgari anniversary party in Rome recently) had been invited to present the season's finale was a very big deal given that she kept away as far as she could from the usual fashion jamboree.

Khanna is one of the best examples of that unique and refined ethic the Kolkata-Marwari chromosome. Combining the desert inspired zest for art and craft, with considerable financial muscle, the Marwaris of Kolkata had become one of the most cultured communities of the city, true patrons of the art and lovers of all things fine.

How would this gentle refined soul cope with the last minute snafu created by political thuggery, we wondered? But as it turned out brilliantly! As models resembling exotic and exquisite Queen Moths glided down the staircase in what resembled ethereal creations made of gossamer and moon beam, an A-lister front row of Nita Ambani with daughter Isha, Karisma Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan (there to root for the showstopper wife Kareena), Deepika Padukone, Sonakshi Sinha, Anuradha Mahindra, Simi Garewal and Jacqueline Fernandes sat lined up there in full support along with a hall full of the city's leading personalities, all in rapturous admiration. So it would not be an exaggeration to say that at the grand finale of LFW 2015, Mumbai was witness to that rare and wonderful thing: Grace under pressure!

The museum of innocence
"I'm so upset and embarrassed," said Tasneem Zakaria Mehta, art historian, writer, curator, designer and a cultural activist, about the snafu created by the MNS disrupting the Anamika Show.

Tasneem Zakaria Mehta
Tasneem Zakaria Mehta

"When the MOMA, the MET and the V&A have mounted some of their most renowned shows based on fashion, not allowing us to go ahead with our show sends out a very regressive message," said the lady who has served on National Gallery of Modern Art, Advisory Board in Mumbai and has been a Senior Expert Advisor to UNESCO.

"Now no one will ever book the museum for fear of unruly elements!" she said, "Who are these people who can take the law into their own hands?" How indeed.

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