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Abhishek's winning streak

Sunday night saw the finale of the Pro Kabaddi league held at the NSCI in Mumbai, in which Abhishek Bachchan's 'Jaipur Pink Panthers' beat Ronnie Screwvala's 'U Mumba'. Bachchan, who had kept himself free for the whole month of the league competition and who had attended training sessions travelling with his boys, was understandably jubilant about the victory in this inaugural season of the tournament. And it was obvious to all that his team members shared his joy as they hoisted him on their shoulders during a victory lap. Dressed in the team’s pink jersey, AB Baby was animated throughout the game for which he had his wife Aishwarya for support, along with Nita Ambani, Anuradha and Anand Mahindra (the promoter of the league) and Star CEO Uday Shankar.

Abhishek Bachchan
Abhishek Bachchan

Interestingly, in the opening game of the season, Abhishek had managed to get the likes of his father Big B, SRK, Sachin, Aamir and Tina Ambani to cheer on from the sidelines. Talk about star supporters!

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Nita Ambani
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Nita Ambani

Apart from Kabaddi, it’s been a big week for Abhishek all round: it was recently announced that he had picked up a stake in the Chennai franchise of the upcoming football Indian Super League and his upcoming movie ‘Happy New Year’ is releasing its first song ‘Indiawaale’ today. Nice!

The Poonawalla horses
Cyrus Poonawalla is expecting a big September from his star horses, we hear. In Europe, Gordon Lord Byron runs the Gr. 1 Haydock Sprint Cup in England this Saturday, and hopes are high that he will be able to repeat his stunning performance of last year. And the Parsi billionaire’s other star, the French Filly Kenhope having won two races recently in Germany and France runs the prestigious Metron stakes Gr. 1 in Ireland at the inaugural Qipco champions the following weekend.

Cyrus Poonawalla
Cyrus Poonawalla

Fingers crossed and may the best horse win.

With great power comes great queues
And even while Mumbai pauses in its busy life to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi and pay its respects to the portly, elephant-headed God, for whom is reserved a special corner of its heart, a friend who’s been making the rounds of all the celebrity Ganeshas, at the homes of Bollywood and top businessmen and politicians has this to say: “The Ganpati pujas at Jeetendra and Shobha’s and Salman Khan’s home definitely attract the city’s top residents,” he said, having visited them, “but this year the queue of Mercedes, Audis and Beemers was the longest in Union Minister for Power and Coal, Piyush Goyal’s building foyer.”

Salman Khan and Piyush Goyal
Salman Khan and Piyush Goyal

It seems guests who’d come to pay their respects at the affable and popular Mumbaikar’s Napean Sea road apartment had to wait for almost half and hour to get into their limos. “And mind you, though each year the Goyal’s Ganpati puja attracts the crème de la crème of the city, everyone couldn’t help noticing that this year the crowd was the biggest!”

In gratitude
Word comes in that Imran and Avantika Malik, who recently become parents of a bonny baby girl, will be expressing their gratitude by extending support to help the paediatric ward of Tata Memorial for children suffering with cancer through ‘Helping Hands’, an initiative by the Goenka Trust.

Imran Khan and Avantika Malik
Imran Khan and Avantika Malik

The actor and his wife will be hosting a media meet at the end of this month, highlighting the importance of donating to the NGO, which works towards providing the right nutrition, treatment, accommodation and other facilities to the children stricken with cancer.

Their advocacy will be followed by an exhibition, which will have on display a cornucopia of jewellery, gifts, desserts and designer wear from Ami Parekh (Patolas and bandhinis), Palak Sheth (fine jewellery) La Folie and Madhavi Goenka.

“The participants will pay to participate in the exhibition and the funds collected will be donated given to the hospital’s paediatric ward,” said a spokesperson.

At their Master's feet
He’s called ‘the Guru of a new generation’ and his Isha Foundation has outposts across the world, and so it comes as no surprise that a slew of celebrities have flown in from all over the world to attend Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev’s daughter’s wedding, which is being held this week in a simple ceremony at his ashram in Coimbatore.

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev. PIC/AFP
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev. PIC/AFP

The golf-playing, motorbike-racing savant, who preaches a popular form of mediation which he calls ‘inner engineering’, has devotees like hit UK TV writer Ian La Frenais (‘The Likely Lads’, ‘Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads’ and the Beatle film ‘Across the Universe’) and his accomplished painter wife Doris, whose circle of friends include Hollywood A-listers. “Various Kennedys and international rock and movie stars are expected to come for this most auspicious occasion,” said a devotee, “From India the likes of Shekhar Kapur, Juhi Chawla and Prahlad Kakkar, all known to be devotees, will be attending too.”

Shekhar Kapur
Shekhar Kapur

Prahlad Kakkar
Prahlad Kakkar

Nine Parts of Desire
“I’m in South Africa for Ira’s fantastic solo ‘9 parts of desire’ — which I’ve directed and produced,” said Lillete Dubey, the theatre veteran known for her husky voice. “It’s multiple awards-winning international hit based on the Iraqi-American war — in which she plays 9 roles. It’s received a terrific response in India too,” said the proud mom, “Here it is part of a festival called ‘Shared History with the South African Govt’ and we are performing at some of the most prestigious venues across the country!”

Ira Dubey
Ira Dubey

The play will be travelling to Ahmedabad in October, as part of the Vikram Sarabhai International Arts Festival later this year.

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