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Bend it like Bollywood

This Sunday saw Bollywood's hunkiest mega stars descend on Sobo's Cooperage ground for a football match in support of TIGA, the charity for animal welfare founded by Ira (Aamir Khan’s daughter) and his nephew, the actor Imran.

And given the goodwill Kiran and Aamir enjoy, it was no surprise that the event saw Bollywood boot up in style! The two teams were captained by Aamir and Abhishek Bachchan, and consisted of the likes of Hrithik Roshan, Armaan Jain, Dino Morea, Rahul Bose and Sohail Khan (with Tiger Shroff cheering from the sidelines).

The star-studded teams pose before the charity match
The star-studded teams pose before the charity match

And if this wasn’t an almost lethal dose of celebrity testosterone, Salman Khan arrived soon after the match with Jacqueline Fernandez to give away the winning trophy.

Azad Rao Khan
Azad Rao Khan

“The only two superstars not present,” said an observer of this mega star gathering, “were SRK and Ranbir.” Oh well. Next time then.

Their place in the sun
And from the sidelines of the star footie match came this heart-warming incident. Following the game, while the trophy ceremony was in full flow and the media had surrounded Salman, Aamir and Hrithik for sound bytes, it was noticed that Abhishek (a self- proclaimed footie fan who’d just returned from Rio) had disappeared and was nowhere in sight.

Abhishek Bachchan
Abhishek Bachchan

But, soon, he returned, accompanied by a group of girls dressed in football gear. Requesting all the stars to step back, he introduced the girls to the gathered media in their formal avatar: India’s official women’s football team which, unnoticed by all, had been practising on the same grounds before they left to represent the country in South Korea.

Naturally, introduced by a star and in the presence of so many others, they were given their much-deserved accolades and applause. But, had it not been for Abhishek, they might have stood on the sidelines.

Fathers and sons
We are inordinately fascinated by pairings, and mirror images. Which is why we were delighted to come across this picture of Bollywood actors Danny Denzongpa and Jackie Shroff with their sons Tiger and Rinzing.

Tiger, Danny, Jackie and Rinzing
Tiger, Danny, Jackie and Rinzing

Both Danny and Jackie are known for their personal style, impeccable manners and their preference to stay far from the madding crowds.

That their sons are now best friends is a double whammy. As Ayesha Shroff says, “Tiger and Rinzing have known each other almost from the day they were born!” This picture says it all.

Remembering Shanti
‘My parents, brother and I grieve today on the loss of our nanny Shanti’ said the obituary in a daily newspaper in Delhi last week.

Gita Kapoor
Gita Kapoor

“We will all miss her terribly.” Touched by the feelings of respect and love shown to their domestic help, we called the person who had placed the notice in the paper, our friend, the vivacious Delhi wit, Gita Kapoor.

“Shanti was orphaned at age 9 and came to live with us since then. She knew no other home. She was beautiful, kind and caring and we all loved her,” says Kapoor, who extends this exemplary love and concern to the rest of her household, too.

“I myself have four live-in maids and they too have been with me for over 20 and 30 years,” she says, adding, “I guess, it is all a matter of giving them respect and treating them as humans.” We like!

Lotus-eater’s paradise
For a certain type of sybarite, the ultimate in lotus- eating pleasure are the clutch of 26 small luxury resorts and hotels worldwide known by the name of Aman Resorts. Exclusive, discreet and very luxurious, they enjoy cult status amongst their super-rich clientele who gather each New Year’s to party in one of them.

Naomi Campbell Lalit Modi
Naomi Campbell and Lalit Modi

“That’s where the likes of Lalit Modi, Naomi Campbell and her former BF billionaire, Russian property tycoon Vladislav Doronin, must have met,” said a business insider on learning that the resort group has named former Indian Premier League chief Lalit Modi a member of its advisory board last week.

The appointment came on the heels of a fractious court battle for the group’s control between Doronin and American billionaire Omar Amanat, after they’d acquired the company from the New Delhi-based DLF earlier this year.

Amongst other contentious issues was the role of the hotel chain’s 81-year-old founder Adrian Zecha, who’d been illegally ousted by Doronin. Now, with Zecha back in saddle and Amanat seen to regain control, good times are sure to return to the lotus-eater’s ultimate paradise.

Private India, public party
That’s the thing about Mumbai: never a dull moment. And so this Sunday, while the pillars of Bollywood had gathered for a charity football match, less than a mile away, the pillars of Mumbai society had converged for the launch of a standout book.

Prasoon Joshi, Meru Gokhale and Ashwin Sanghi
Prasoon Joshi, Meru Gokhale and Ashwin Sanghi

Held at the Rooftop of the Trident to the accompanying pop of champagne corks and much applause, was the official launch of ‘Private India’, the almost certain-to-be blockbuster, written by the internationally celebrated author James Patterson, and India’s own Ashwin Sanghi, whose previous works have been no slouches on the best seller lists either.

Part of the suspense-thriller series penned by the USA-based Patterson in collaboration with local authors from different countries, the newest tome is set in Mumbai and promises to bring in all the flavour and fantasia of Maximum City.

But, for all the afternoon’s hurrahs, both its chief guest lyricist Prasoon Joshi and Sanghi injected a note of thoughtfulness and modesty in their speeches. Joshi began his by crediting Divine Intervention for his creativity.

Sanghi, on his part, expanded on the themes of modesty and self-deprecation. “My biggest talent as a child was my ability to tell lies,” he said to many guffaws.

“What could be better for a story teller?” But, aside from this, the afternoon was marked by high spirits and genuine good cheer for the Sanghis, especially the author’s parents Manju and Mahendra much loved on the social circuit.

Incidentally, Sanghi made a particular mention of Penguin Random House’s statuesque new Publishing Director Meru Gokhale, whom he thanked for being the real inspiration behind the book. Forget books, pedigree like hers can inspire lit genres!

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