>> Ever since Annie Leibowitz demonstrated with such elan the visual power of celebrity groupings during her stints with Rolling Stone Magazine and Vanity Fair (take an interesting bunch of people, dress them in black, shoot them together) every hack worth his byline has been attempting to up the trend.
Fashion magazines present designers in bunches attempting to look edgy cool and mysterious, lit magazines attempt to apply the principle to authors and of course film magazines have tried every trick in the book to delight, shock, surprise and stagger readers.
But with Filmfare’s latest cover, featuring Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan the last word on this particular ploy seems to have been written. Getting the three legends alone is tough enough. To manage all three together? The mind boggles at the logistics involved. And of course the conversations that transpired between these three unchallenged Bollywood superstars of different eras.
When we congratulated editor of Filmfare and our friend and former colleague Jitesh Pillai on the editorial triumph he said, “It’s a blockbuster issue that encapsulated the best of cinema... But for me personally it’s a once in a lifetime gig...a dream run.!”
And now TedMed
>> Dr Rajan Sankaran has been treating patients quietly out of his sea-facing clinic in Juhu — Bollywood top brass; A-list artists and heads of industry are all beneficiaries of his breed of homeopathy. Now his world-class institute, The Other Song, is partnering with TED to host Tedmed, the first in Mumbai.
Towards this end we believe some icons of the alternative healing world will be presented such as the legendary yoga guru B K S Iyengar (we haven’t got over his neck twistingly iconic images of head stands on the streets of New York) and Dr Madan Kataria, who showed this country to laugh at itself all over again.
One of Dr Sankaran’s patients, novelist Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi told us he’s a huge fan of the good doc. ‘I’ve had the best conversation about suicide with him. His ideas on death, and what drives a person to it, are remarkable, and altered the way I looked at life.’
TedMed… what an idea sirji!
>> “As a Punjabi by birth, Telugu by upbringing and Odiya by marriage and home, I have had the great good fortune to have celebrated just this week Ugadi, Baisakhi and Pana Sankranti one after the other,” says the lovely Jagi Mangat Panda former model, media entrepreneur and easily one of the loveliest political wives in Delhi today.
“What a joy it is to be an Indian...similar festivals celebrating our cultural new year are happening all over the country this week (Gudi Padwa, Poila Boishak, Chittirai, Nava Barsa, Cheiraoba, Bihu, Vishu)...” says the IIM and Harvard educated wife of the erudite Baijayant Panda Lok Sabha MP and leader of the BJD, Naveen Patnaik’s breakaway party which has ruled Odisha for many years.
The Pandas who we meet often on Delhi’s socio-political and cultural scene incidentally are a delightful couple rooted in the best of Indian tradition but with a global mindset.
Jay himself hailing from one of the North east state’s leading families is an alumni from MIT fast gaining a reputation for being a future leader in Delhi.
And whereas wife Jagi with an additional degree from New York Film Academy in digital film making manages Ortel communications ltd the umbrella company of Odisha Television ltd, the couple maintain a high profile presence in the capital with friends cutting across all party lines.
We wish them many more festivals to celebrate.
>> If today’s page is imbued with Bollywood put it down to the 100 years of Bollywood fever that we have been caught up with.
The air is rife with books, films, documentaries and seminars celebrating this historic anniversary each revealing what a magical journey it’s been. But for our money nothing comes close to Karan Johar’s presentation of the subject, which we caught on CNN IBN on Sunday night where the celebrated filmmaker holds a master class in Bollywood lore.
From delicious bits of trivia like how Awara featured five Kapoors in it, to presenting classics like Mughal-e-azam in a new light, to revealing how Guru Dutt stepped in to the hero’s shoes in Pyaasa only because the slated hero was late, Karan the quintessential Bollywood insider affords viewers with a warm, anecdotal and yet educative insight.
As for our favorite anecdote? Easily the one in which KJO reveals how his father the late great Yash (who was ADing on Guide) tricked Dev Anand in to filming a song sequence in what the film maker thought was the Rohtang Pass (they just re-painted the milestone!) according to KJo!
With interviews with Amitabh Bachchan, Salim-Javed and Randhir Kapoor it is an extraordinary documentation of one of India’s most powerful mediums presented by an insider.
Don’t miss it!
>> She’s responsible for saving the souls of many a fashion victim by introducing them to Dior couture, and for that intervention alone Kalyani Chawla, former VP —Marketing and Communications, India at Christian Dior Couture, ought to get an award.
But of course recently when the Federation of Indian Industries chose to recognise her achievements as a legitimate business driver there was something official about it. “With my family after receiving the Ficci FLo award for excellence in the field of entrepreneur. Truly humbling to be part of such August company and luminaries. To be recognised from Kolkata, which I left in 1989, by Ficci, means the world to me.... Feel blessed,” said the lady who undoubtedly raised Ficci’s rather wanting sartorial quotient with her appearance at the awards presentation.