Arriviste vigilante

Malavika SangghviSo, now that Rahul Gandhi has woken up and smelt the kanji (credit to Padma Rao for this delightful phrase), guess how he’s decided to recast himself? As an anti-corruption vigilante! No kidding! And part of his modus operandi is to engage with India Inc at sessions at his office, organised by no less than Ashok Ganguly, Rajya Sabha MP and Member, National Knowledge Commission, India. 

According to sources, almost everyone who matters amongst India’s leading industrialists has been invited to these sessions in small groups to hear the country’s most celebrated paper-tearer hold forth on the path ahead. “He’s always been regarded by India Inc as something of a communist,” said one such master of the universe who’d attended one of these sessions, “But, now he’s talking about how he would like to make the Congress a zero corruption tolerance party.” Bit late for that na? We said.

To which our source replied: “Well, his rationale for the decades of Congress loot is that he has only taken over power a month ago, and that, so far, he’s had to work within the parameters of the system.” And what were they? We asked. “Respect for our seniors, RaGa is said to have explained, when asked the same question in more polite terms. Respect for A Raja, Suresh Kalmadi and co? Hmmm. But, better late than never is what his supporters in India Inc are saying.

Happy cast party
The cast and crew brunch for Farah Khan’s next, Happy New Year, took place on the December 26 at the director’s sprawling penthouse and swimming pool in Lokhandwala. The dress code was pool wear and the drinks and kebabs competed for attention with Bollywood hits from yesteryears.

Shah Rukh Khan and Farah Khan

While cast members like Shah Rukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Jackie Shroff, Sonu Sood and Vivaan Shah were in attendance, Farah is said to have insisted that the full crew was there too, and put her chief AD Varun Lalwani to the task of making sure everyone, from the producers to the spot boys, were not only present but also dunked in the pool!

Abhishek Bachchan and Vishal Dadlani

The highlight of the night was indisputably when Khan, who also happens to be Bollywood’s top choreographer, took to the dance floor, surrounded by her direction team, and danced to all her popular hits like Chaiyya Chaiyya, Chikni Chameli, Munni and Fevicol Se! Also in attendance were the film’s producers Karuna Badwal and Karim Morani and music director Vishal Dadlani. Word is that shooting resumes in the first week of January, and the film’s release is expected towards the latter half of 2014!

Who’s Sunburnt now?
So word comes in that the ongoing rivalry between the two competing music festivals in Goa this week has died down, with Percept’s Sunburn clearly the winner. The festival, which has moved to a new location at Vagator, saw all three days attracting massive crowds.

DJ Afrojack, Shailendra Singh and DJ Axwell

Apart from the six stages this year, the festival also boasted of activities like bungee jumping, hot air balloons and a Ferris wheel! Some of the headliners this year were Axwell, Afrojack, and Markus Schulz. Also overheard were grateful locals who said that the traffic and crowd management expertise displayed by Shailendra Singh’s outfit had improved substantially this year, and was a pleasant change from the usual jams on Goa’s winding roads. Nice!

The stars decide
Time was when the elders of a family decided the dates when a wedding would take place; in many traditional families, the date would be picked by an astrologer. How things have changed. Guests at a high-profile engagement party in Mumbai cannot stop chuckling at the exchange between the groom’s father and an important tycoon. When would the wedding take place? The father replied without any sense of irony: “As soon as Mukeshbhai indicates which three days he will be free, we will have the wedding.” Shining India shines on.

Fake fake fake!
So, in the fortnight that the art world has received a great big shot in the arm with the Christie’s auction’s riveting price haul, this Mumbai-based gallery has once again brought the industry to shame. Word has it that at a newly-concluded mid-city art conclave, gallerists were shocked to see the amount of fakes displayed by the gallery, which included a Gaitonde, a Bendre, a Raza and two Hussains. So outraged were people that a family member of one of India’s most celebrated deceased masters has lodged a police complaint against said gallery. Will this be the beginning of a much needed clean-up in the art world? Watch this space!

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