>> For many years now the cream of Mumbai’s social life has been bracketed between two big ticket parties: Smita and Deepak Parekh’s Christmas brunch and Pallavi and Uday Kotak’s Diwali dinner.
Both are hosted by the city’s most respected and powerful bankers and their wives, both are held at the Taj; both occupy more or less the entire banquet area of the hotel’s first floor and both attract the city’s most sought after denizens.
It is here that you will run in to the likes of Anand and Anuradha Mahindra, Parmesh and Adi Godrej, Nimesh Kampani, Hemendra Kothari and a slew of other pillars of society, all in their Sunday best.
And as Diwali draws near, the city once again is gearing up for its premier annual Diwali party held this Thursday by the Kotaks.
And of course the city is already looking forward to the Parekhs’ annual Christmas brunch.
The more things change the more they stay the same…
Forty years of service
>> As an institution it has dominated the city and paved the way for many in its wake. And this year when one of Mumbai’s foremost hospitals, Jaslok celebrates its 40th anniversary, there are a series of patient-friendly initiatives that its Managing Trustee, the graceful Kanta Masand, daughter of the family that founded the hospital four decades ago has launched.
“With a sense of great pride and deep gratitude I can say that Jaslok created by its founders to provide the best medical care possible to every section of society has stayed true to its goal,” she said when we dropped into the hospital yesterday, in regard to Jaslok’s newest initiative: a free talk on breast cancer awareness and a demonstration on how to conduct self-examinations, hosted by some of the most respected authorities.
To be held this Thursday featuring Dr Gunu Mansukhani, Director — Gynaecology, Padma Bhushan Oncologist Dr S H Advani, Dr Boman Dhabar, Medical Oncologist and Mrs Veena Shahani, Chief Dietician, it will give women a chance to learn more about the disease and its awareness.
What’s more the hospital has extended its 74% Discounted Screening Camp till Thursday to give more women a chance to empower themselves.Nice to see an institution founded on the highest ideals of service and altruism by the Kewalram Chanrai family being shepherded so responsibly by its younger generations.
>> And what’s Diwali without a Bollywood party — or two — or three? And in that grand tradition of celebration over kebab and sharab and taash, Ektaa and Shobha Kapoor’s party is supposed to be held on Thursday, Akshay and Twinkle will be hosting theirs on Friday and Anil and Sunita Kapoor on Sunday, the actual night of Diwali.
Appropriate that in the festival of lights the stars shines the brightest.
The Nirbhaya Project
>> And even while the whole nation cannot stop raving about Gauri Shinde’s Tanishq ad featuring the dusky divorced bride and her happily ever after story, its heroine, the lovely Priyanka Bose is not content to rest on her laurels.
“OK guys. I don’t know about you but I’m od’ed out on this ad already,” said the sensible young woman with her feet on the ground.
And instead, what appears to have engaged Bose is Nirbhaya, the theatre production written and directed by Yael Farber as a response to the horrific gang rape of the Delhi medical student last December.“Guys nothing has inspired me more than just working on this, please support this cause,” said the socially conscious actor about the production that premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2013 to rave reviews.
“We want to bring Nirbhaya to places that need to end the silence on sexual violence and embrace the idea of a fear-free society,” said director Farber in her appeal. “We need to raise £50,000 to make the December 2013 India tour a reality,” she said.
For those interested in supporting the project, which features some of India’s feistiest women like Bose, Poorna Jagannathan (whose idea it was in the first place) and Sapna Bhavnani, go to http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nirbhaya/nirbhaya-award-winning-human-rights-theatre-india.
Salaam Mumbai: Ah, Bollywood
Call us Bollywood junkies but is there any thing more heart-warming than an evening spent in the environs of Juhu in the company of old Bollywood friends?
Bright, attractive, creative people, who give the nation its songs, dreams, passions and romance. Successful people who even while being legends to the outside world, are only too happy to leave that all outside when they gather under the same roof to laugh, drink and make merry and be first among equals?
Monday night saw us at one such evening, where once again we realized how very special our film industry is and its seminal place in our lives.
After all we grew up in Juhu surrounded by a very similar crowd and as kids had peered in to many such evenings from the safe environs of our bedrooms watching as legends, stars, extraordinarily beautiful actresses and celebrated filmmakers let their hair down and transform into ordinary extraordinary folk.
And once again we saw how though fame, glamour, money and success is said to be the driving force of Bollywood, at the bottom of it all is the creative urge and people who want nothing more than seeing their dreams come to life.
In comparison, the worlds of media, politics, and finance appear so prosaic and devoid of zing.
So thank God for Bollywood and its dream machine.
Photos: Swara Bhaskar, Sonali Kulkarni at Jagran Film Festival awards
Pics: Shahid Kapoor's transformation from chocolate boy to hottie
Photos: Kareena Kapoor Khan and Aamir Khan at Mumbai airport
Photos: SRK, wife Gauri, Aishwarya Rai, Shweta Bachchan at Vogue Awards
Photos: Harbhajan Singh-Geeta Basra's TV outing with daughter Hinaya