Best friends forever

It's a friendship that has stood the test of time, and yet no one can quite figure out the deep bonds of affection and regard that exist between cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and wife Anjali, with restaurateur Sanjay Narang. "They share nothing in common except for their interest in food," say friends.

And yet, not only have the three maintained their friendship over time, but have even launched businesses together (The eatery 'Tendulkar's' at Apollo Bunder being one of them). In fact, so deep is this camaraderie that Tendulkar's iconic retirement party that saw the country's most famous names on the guest list was held at none other than Narang's Waterstone's Club in Andheri.

Sachin Tendulkar, his wife Anjali
Sachin Tendulkar, his wife Anjali

And this year, the Tendulkars who could have gone anywhere they wished chose to bring in the New Year quietly with Narang who, having retired early, now lives the life of a country squire in Mussoorie. The term BFFs must have been coined for them!

Sanjay Narang at various resturant launches
Sanjay Narang at various resturant launches

Through Uddhav's eyes
According to those who attended the opening ceremony for Uddhav Thackeray's exhibition at the Jehangir Art gallery on Tuesday, the event was distinguished by its dignity.

Uddhav Thackeray and Zakir Hussain
Uddhav Thackeray and Zakir Hussain

Though all proceeds from sales were to go to flood relief, the Sena leader had made it a point to refrain from any sales being conducted at the event so as not to coerce the high profile guests into purchasing the pictures to ingratiate themselves with him.

Selfie with Shankar Mahadevan. Pics/Satyajit Desai
Selfie with Shankar Mahadevan. Pics/Satyajit Desai

However, regardless of this, according to sources, there were many clamouring for the works for their artistic merit alone. "His pictures display a sensitive eye for nuance," said one industrialist. "Especially the portraits he's taken of the likes of Ratan Tata, Zakir Hussain, Amitabh Bachchan and Mukesh Ambani, each of whom he spent up to 2/3 hours with."

Incidentally, the event, which also included a music recital, saw a galaxy of top industrialists attend. Besides Rahul Bajaj, Harsh Goenka and Ajay Piramal on stage, Kamal Morarka and Vijay Kalantri were amongst the many representatives of the business community. "For corporate India, the Shiv Sena is a very important party to engage with," said our source. "And Uddhav's softer, more polished approach is exactly what it wants."

What's in a name?
What's with the people of 'saddi Dilli?' Why on earth don't they listen when the petulantly adorable former enfant terrible of the fashion frat, Rohit Bal, requests them to refrain from calling him names that no self-respecting five-year-old would give her favourite doll?

Rohit Bal
Rohit Bal

We had written about this before when the middle-aged but not looking a day over twenty designer had politely but firmly called attention to this particularly offensive North Indian syndrome. "No gudsa wudsa, no guddie, no boodie," he'd pleaded a while ago on Facebook. But obviously, in the land of Bunty and Bubbly, old habits die hard and so dear Bal has had to muster all the menace his cherubic persona could gather and snarl "The name is Bal.

Rohit Bal. Anyone addressing me by any other name shall be struck off my friend list without prejudice. Learn to respect somebody's name!" He said to the serial offenders. And then, to show he meant business, there was this smouldering portrait. Watch it guys next time he'll break your crayons!

More Stardust
'Uthapam Bachchan'. We were reminded of that phrase when word came in that Kamal Haasan's youngest daughter Akshara (sister of actress Shruti) was being launched with none other than the Big B in R Balki's Shamitabh also co-starring South sensation Dhanush.

Kamal Haasan Akshara Haasan Rakesh Jhunjhunwala
Kamal Haasan, Akshara Haasan and Rakesh Jhunjhunwala

There was a time when her hugely talented father used to be called 'Uthapam Bachchan' alluding to his megastar stature down south a stature that unfortunately, regardless of his talent, never quite got the recognition it deserved in Bollywood.

Akshara, who debuted for shutterbugs at the trailer launch of the film this week, grew up in Chennai and later attended boarding school in Bangalore, is said to have been quite the tomboy in school and excellent at sports. "She has inherited her good looks from her mother Sarika (who was recently seen with Big B on the TV show 'Yudh') and her acting chops from her father," says a source.

Incidentally, the film's trailer lists celebrated investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala as one of its producers an interesting foray, and one that might seem attractive to the legendary Big Bull, given how the Indian markets seem to have recently slipped on oil and Greece!

The Quintessential SoBoker
"I'm grateful to BMC for naming a chowk after my father, given his long association with Mumbai and the fact that his career in public life began as a Municipal Councillor," said former South Mumbai MP Milind Deora about the ceremony being held on Friday evening when the Junction between the Trident and the NCPA at Nariman point will be renamed as 'Murli Deora Chowk' by FinMin Arun Jaitley in the presence of MPs Digvijay Singh, Praful Patel, banker Deepak Parekh and industrialist Adi Godrej, amongst others.

Murli Deora Arun Jaitley
Murli Deora and Arun Jaitley

"He was a quintessential South Mumbaikar and the area represents government, industry, the arts, which he represented as an individual and a parliamentarian," said Deora, adding, "He would have been so happy to have his friends like Jaitley, Singh, Patel and Godrej doing the honours."

Adi Godrej Milind Deora
Adi Godrej and Milind Deora

An Inspired Choice
Incidentally, the choice of tabla maestro Zakir Hussain as chief guest to inaugurate the Shiv Sena leader's exhibition is an inspired one.

Zakir Hussain as chief guest. Pic/PTI
Zakir Hussain as chief guest. Pic/PTI

No one wants to make too fine a point of it and, of course, music and art know no boundaries or religions, but even so, little gestures such as these send out the right messages in these fraught times we think.

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