Sources say that the Deepika Padukone-Ranbir Kapoor film Window Seat, directed by Imtiaz Ali will roll this July.
And the fact that not only do all three individuals bring to the table enormously successful past records, but also that it will also be the first time Deepika and Ranbir will star together post Kapoor’s alleged cool-off with Katrina - makes it a zinger from the word go. Here’s looking at you Window Seat!
Ranbir Kapoor with Deepika Padukone
Of twinning and galleries
It’s easy to see Mumbai as a city of twins: two leading hotels in SoBo; two iconic film surnames; two major points of business power and two legendary art galleries: Pundole and Chemould. Both galleries - the creations of impassioned art loving Parsis.
Both with deep and abiding relations with the art world, and both with gold standards in their field. So, ever since Chemould moved to its spanking new address, it was only a matter of time before Pundole did so too. Pundole has moved from its iconic Flora Fountain space (amidst genteel opticians, sellers of spurious electronic goods and flavourful dried fruit stores) to move into a Colaba heritage building.
Dadiba with MF Husain
“A long overdue renovation, along with the needs of its new and growing auction house have made gallery stalwart Dadiba Pundole move out of the space made famous by his father Kali Pundole and legendary artist MF Husain, who spent many a day (and night!) in the gallery, painting, drinking shots of tea and making STD calls long before the days of direct dialing and mobile phones,” said a Pundole spokesperson adding, “In keeping with the changing nature of the local market, Dadiba started an auction house three years ago with a team of former international auction house specialists.
What has resulted is a series of successful Estate and other sales that have sold items ranging from Dr Jamshed Bhabha’s walking sticks to an entire collection of works by MF Husain.’ Meanwhile, on the subject of ‘twinning’, we wight as well mention that Pundole has moved from Fort to Colaba and Chemould has moved from Colaba to Fort.
Fathers and sons
We met the luminous Queenie Singh with Rishi Sethia at the party thrown to felicitate Wendell Rodricks’ Padma Shri. “It’s Singh,” said the jewellery designer.
“Ah, of course,” we replied. “Point noted.” “How is your dear dad?” we enquired of the young Sethia whose father, the dashing Nirmal, the international London-based business man with interests in tea, gold mines and currency printing, we had known many moons ago. In those days, there were but a handful of millionaire (note, not billionaire) NRIs in London and he had been a prominent member of the community.
The story was that the Hindujas, Swaraj Paul, the Sethias and the Inlak Shivdasanis had permanent perches in the first four places on every NRI rich lists. Even amongst these circles Nirmal’s flamboyance had stood out: his stable of cars boasted a King’s ransom of them, (apocryphally it included a gold-plated Rolls), his grand mansion lacked for nothing and there was that celebrated story of how when he’d felt slighted by a racist air-hostess who had indicated that some or the luxury item in duty free was out of his league - he’d walked off the plane and proceeded to buy the company that made it!
Sethia and his charming wife Chitra used to be friends of Maharashtra’s CM AK Antulay (perhaps through the latter’s London days) and they would spend many evenings at the CM residence, which is where we’d meet them. “We lost my beloved mother,” Rishi said to me with deep sadness, a fact of which we had been aware.
“She was lovely,” we said to him. “Convey our regards to your dad.” At which point the young man said in genuine puzzlement, “But you don’t look old enough to have known my dad.” At which point we said, sotto voice: “Yes. But we were early starters.”
Place of pilgrimage
All those who think that the premiere mid-city place of pilgrimage is the Siddhivinayak Temple, might have to do a rethink: no less than the country’s prime minister-in-waiting, its most powerful industrialist and its most muscular hapless industrialist made it a point to drop in for a cuppa with this dashing publishing tycoon. Er, they all came separately and on different occasions, we’re told. No, we do not know what the coffee was like.
Strong feminist themes
There seems to be a spate of feminist outings on stage and screen. Nirbahya, the play on the horrific Delhi gang rape is making headlines in London, Poorbox production’s Emotional Creatures is opening soon and three women-centric films are also in the news or coming soon: Gulab Gang, Queen, and W.
We caught up with W’s star Leeza Mangaldas. “My character in the film - Sandy - stands up against the contradiction of player vs slut, she stands up against the idea that the woman’s domain is the home only, that she should keep covered up and take orders,” she said about the film, which apparently is about a group of female event organisers who get raped by a group of socially powerful and well-regarded men and have to fight for justice against all odds.
Still from the play Nirbhaya. Pic/William Burdett Coutts
“I hope that through my role in the film, I can empower women to see gender equality as something worth fighting for - I find that chauvinism is so deep rooted that even women are often unwitting misogynists,” says Leeza. And no, we are not thinking about the same real life recent incident.
Poster of ‘W’