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Advertising's Hall of Fame

Malavika SangghviWe like it hugely when credit goes where credit is due and at the recently concluded International Advertising Association (IAA) Leadership Awards we were particularly thrilled to note that our former colleague and mentor Pradeep Guha had been awarded the first ever IAA Hall of Fame award.

“There was a huge round of applause when PG (as he is affectionately known in the media and entertainment sector), was inducted into the IAA Hall of Fame,” we were informed.

Katrina Kaif Salman Khan
Katrina Kaif and Salman Khan won the award for brand endorsers of the year

Guha currently managing director, 9X Media, is one of the country’s most respected marketing whizzes and has been the force behind some of the country’s foremost newspapers and events.


Pradeep Guha receiving the IAA Hall of Fame award

Other awards were equally well deserved: Sam Balsara, chairman, Madison World was crowned as the media agency head of the year, CNN IBN’s Rajdeep Sardesai won for best news anchor, HT’s glamourous Shobhana Bhartia for best media person of the year and TOI’s Jaideep Bose aka Jojo (best editor of the year). No surprises either for the brand endorsers of the year: they went to Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif respectively.

Waiter, there’s a ham in my soup!
Much to the dismay of theatre purists and lovers of good acting, the Bombay Gymkhana’s legendary Rugger Revue is back. As usual, its shows on the lawns of the club on February 8 and 9 and the evening will be full of politically incorrect jokes, tasteless irreverence and a whole lot of rugby boys and girls singing and dancing without an iota of tune or rhythm.


Cyrus Broacha, Rahul Bose, Jugal Hansraj, Kunal Vijaykar and others from the Rugger Revue

Headlining this inexplicably popular yearly feature are: Rahul Bose, fresh off his turns in Midnight’s Children and Vishwaroop, Cyrus Broacha, Jugal Hansraj (of the blue-eyed-boy-in-Masoom fame), UTV’s Deven Khote, the singer Anushka Jagtiani and Kunal Vijayakar who also directs this annual abomination but never admits to it.

When asked why he goes against all his method acting DNA and agrees to do this every year, Rahul Bose said, “Once a year, I like to thumb my nose at all the naturalistic, living-the-character stuff that I do the other 363 days, and just let my inner ham come screaming out in a torrent. This year I will be playing a female newsreader, a reformed porn film Bengali director and an irate Tam Bram censor board member.” Just another day at the office, you know.

Mr Rushdie, I presume?
Contrary to popular belief all cartoonists are not dour in real life. In fact, some of them are downright funny. Hemant Morparia is one such example.

Hemant Morparia Salman Rushdie
Hemant Morparia and Salman Rushdie

On his way to attend a prestigious international cartoonist conclave in Europe he’d asked us for advice on what to do in Rome. We’d given the only bit of advice we thought relevant. ‘Don’t wear stilettos on Rome’s cobbled streets’. Prompt came the dry riposte: ‘You’ve outed my secret hobby.’

But regardless of his choice of footwear, Mumbai’s favourite linesmen is having the time of his life on his trip: “Man at Charles de Gaul airport asks me ‘Are you Salman Rushdie?’ I hesitate a bit; ask him his name, before answering ‘yes’,” he wrote. “Drooping my eyelids a bit. He’s clearly thrilled and a short discussion of ‘my’ books follows.” And about the conference: “There is much laughter, taunts, leg-pulling and drawing (blood)..” We like!

Cover up or cover story?
The story of high-handed behaviour on the part of an interiors’ magazine editor reaches us with some measure of surprise. The highborn lady from an old Mumbai family had promised one of the city’s bright young literary talents that she would feature his fine Goa villa on her forthcoming cover. A move that had pleased the writing as well design establishment in the city.

But then word came in that the editor changed her mind at the last minute informing the literary cub through of all things a tacky SMS. Then a rumble emerged from her core team, members of who also believed the villa created by a Munich based designer and one that has hosted Nobel laureates and Bollywood royalty was entirely deserving of the cover. And how did the lit lad respond? “I pulled out the story hours before the issue went to press,” he said. “You step on my toes and I’ll step all over you.” Ouch!

Thank dog!
We called our friend the publisher and salonist Padmini Mirchandani to enquire how her lab Sunday (whose imminent surgery and need for blood transfusions we had reported on recently) was doing. “Hi! I’m at the clinic.

Padmini Mirchandani

Mind, body, soul locked in with him,” she said. “Our gorgeous Sunday’s tumour is out, and he survived the anaesthesia and the surgery. In that sense it went well. But there are still issues on his health to deal with. Prayers welcome,” said Mirchandani. Here is ours!

True legend
Six months ago, we’d had a conversation with our dear friend Zeenat Aman, who’d confided about being in a happy relationship and much in love. It was a delightful bit of news for us since we’d always felt the lady had received short shrift in the happiness department.

Zeenat Aman

“It’s so great to feel loved and pampered, wined and dined,” she gurgled. We kept her secret as well as our fingers crossed about her newfound romance. When we spoke to her yesterday, she was her articulate and graceful self. But nonetheless a bit taken aback by the ‘feeding frenzy’ around the ‘announcement of her marriage’.

“It’s all a bit premature,” she said. “I had no idea that mentioning it in passing would create such a sensation.” “What? How could you not know that it would be big news?” we responded. But that’s it about true legends. Mercifully, they never realise their own importance. As for all those clamouring for more details we say: leave the lady alone. She’ll speak when she’s ready. 

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