>> Now you see them, now you don’t. Now they’re on, now they’re not. One of the country’s most clued in and best-informed Bollywood scribes was moaning and groaning while trying to make sense of the Ranbir-Deepika-Salman-Katrina rectangle. (Trust Bollywood to improve on the triangles of yore!) “We just don’t know who’s whose!,” he moaned. “For instance, while keeping vigil outside KJo’s birthday bash we were surprised to learn that once Priyanka had made her much touted entry and we were requested to leave — having got our ‘scoop’, Deepika and Ranbir’s entry together was orchestrated through the back door. Since until then, they’d not shied away from public appearances together, we thought this was an indication that they’d got back together again — and wanted to keep it quiet this time around post Deepika’s break-up with Sid Mallya,” said the man known to have every Bollywood star’s number on his speed dial. “But, next thing we hear is that Ranbir and Katrina were spotted cozying up to each other at various night spots. They were seen entering the lobby of the Taj together not so very long ago.
So, now we are thoroughly confused: who is Ranbir seeing? And where does Salman fit in to all of this?” Not having the answer to that conundrum we left the hack to work out the various angles after advising him that when it comes to Bollywood stars and their matters of heart — an understanding of geometry is vital!
Fashionable weeks ahead
>> Next Monday all roads will lead to Mehboob Studios as fashionistas head for cocktails to celebrate the opening of Tarun Tahiliani’s couture expo. With LFW under way, and Abu-Sandeep’s 25th year anniversary celebrations coming up that’s going to be a whole lot of fashion related events for the city that never sleeps!
>> We do not subscribe to conspiracy theories, which is why the latest one doing the rounds in Maharashtra about the ongoing rapprochement process between the MNS and Sena being the handiwork of a certain political strong man from the state has not cut any ice with us.
Even as conspiracy theories go this one seems a bit far fetched.
So, when our political jassoos says: “The only way the Congress can be defeated in Thane, Raigad, Konkan and the Mumbai Region is if the Sena-MNS come together,” and “the NCP which is demanding more presence in Pune after its success in the municipal elections might seek an electoral understanding with the MNS there.” We give it no credence.
Show us a political analyst and we’ll show you a conspiracy theorist we say. Which is why we don’t take statements like, “The Congress and NCP may go alone in forthcoming Lok Sabha and assembly elections in Maharashtra,” too seriously either.
As far as we’re concerned Uddhav and Raj are brothers and their thaw has more to do with familial affection than political maneuvering by an interested party.
The English Teacher
>> She’s been captain of the ladies section of the golf teams at the Willingdon and Bombay presidency clubs as well as Convener of the Indian golf union; she continues to be president of Mobile Crèche, an NGO looking after children of construction workers and she plays an excellent game of bridge three times a week, but it is her pivotal role as English teacher at the Cathedral school from ‘69 to ‘92 that the city will be celebrating most when Minnie Kochar turns 80 tomorrow.
Hailing from a distinguished family of diplomats and ace golfers (one India’s leading golfers Ashok Malik is her brother) Minnie’s legion of grateful students are queuing up to celebrate the special birthday of someone they describe as a mentor, philosopher and guide during their formative years. Actor Rahul Bose, for instance, says, “Mrs Kochar was a seminal influence on the students she taught. She never talked down to us and always offered counsel that was considered and free of bias. She also had a quiet, dry sense of humour that would take you by surprise.” And Tariq Ansari, another of her appreciative students texted us saying, “Mrs Kochar taught us, most of all, never to compromise in the pursuit of excellence. She never compromised, and expected the same of us. It made her a tough teacher, but I remember her both with affection and gratitude.” Correcting himself a second later with, “Sorry grammatical error (Mrs Kochar would not be amused!)... I remember her with both affection and gratitude.”Happy birthday Mrs Kochar, generations of Cathedralites know how to dot there Is and cross their Ts and have inherited their love of reading thanks to you!
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend
>> As many of the top business houses of a certain Southern state begin showing signs of financial difficulty the talk in the city’s social grapevine is about how long before some of its leading lights take heed and pare down their conspicuous consumption and extravagant lifestyles. Last seen one of its most prominent hostesses was going about as business as usual, even when insiders say her husband’s company faces a bleak period. “The lady famous for her baubles must really believe diamonds are forever,” is one WAG’s catty observation.