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Bon Voyage Sidhartha!

>> Last week it began with a BBM message ‘Mixed Emotions’, then went on to ‘Packing,’ then ‘Almost Done’ and finally ‘Final Day’ and by the time you read this, young Sidhartha Mallya will be winging his way on a flight to LA to pursue his Hollywood dreams. Incidentally, though caught up with his imminent migration, Sidhartha who was easily one of the most eligible bachelors for a certain kind of woman did find time last week to dine with one of Bollywood’s hottest imports at a suburban Michelin starred restaurant. This column, which was the first to break the news of his move to LA, wishes the young man well in his future endeavours. Love him or hate him — the young and dashing Mallya always made good copy and very attractive pictures. So Bon Voyage, Sidhartha! See you in the movies!

Uber engagement party in London
>>  We were intrigued to receive an invitation from uber banker Rana Kapoor and his wife Bindu to celebratory cocktails and dinner at the Four Seasons, London in July.


Amit Bhatia and Vanisha Mittal

Until we learnt that it was to celebrate the engagement of his daughter Raakhe, to the London based Alkesh Tandon that had taken place with great pomp and style in Delhi in April this year. Incidentally, Alkesh happens to be related to Amit Bhatia, who married Vanisha, the only daughter of steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal at what was the biggest Indian wedding ever.


Rana Kapoor. Lakshmi Mittal

And it was Alkesh, we are told who had apparently played cupid between Bhatia and Vanisha when they were courting in London. From what we have heard a party of a 100 friends of the couple are being flown to Miami in July for another celebration.

The Diesel Angle
>>  Someone in the know of things gave us a whole new angle to the anti-liberal, regressive bar raids and attempts to smother Mumbai’s nightlife. “It’s all a cover up, a decoy,” we were told. “The players involved appear squeaky clean and driven only by ideology but the real scam is in the nexus between the authorities and the diesel mafia. Every day there’s huge amounts of diesel being stolen from the dockyards and sold for enormous profits, and it’s happening under the patronage of the powers that be. But nothing gets reported because the media is distracted by the bar raids story.” So, when will this story surface? And what’s the proof? “Give me a couple of days and we will come up with the facts,” says our source. “There’s huge money involved and pay-offs made abroad. One of the angles we are investigating is how the son of one of the officers is pursuing higher studies abroad.” Hmmm, interesting, but we’ll only believe it until we get some facts and names. Until then watch this space!

May I come in?
>>  The inimitable Sylvie da Cunha, even while being feted for the 50th anniversary of his creation the Amul girl found time to poke gentle (and poignant) fun at a certain cop and his hockey stick.

Vasant-Dhoble

May I come in? This cop is so charming and dashing. His mother says just smashing. All the boy wants Is to visit those haunts And join the young folks in some hashing.
— Sylvester da Cunha

Save Mumbai Night Life protest
>>  Our sources tell us that there’s going to be a cross party, grass-root level protest on June 24 at Carter Road, where the organisers hope the archaic laws that have been fuelling and his moral squad’s actions will be suitably challenged. Five to 10,000 protestors are expected, there will be a jail bharo initiative if things get messy and effigies of the three men seen behind the recent bar raids are expected to be burnt.

(You know who they are!) “We are expecting a cross section of young political leaders from all parties,” we were informed. “And a few like-minded film stars too,” we were told on condition of anonymity. “So far, we have posted our message inviting people to attend on Facebook and Twitter — but we are hoping traditional media also gives it support so the maximum number of people gather and we express our outrage over what’s being done to or beloved city.” So Carter Road, June 24 it is. As they say: be there or be square.

Pushy Dinner Companion
>> Poor Rahul Gandhi, whatever did he do to get himself invited to a dinner with not only one of India’s most publicity conscious designers but its most pushy? Over a week ago, we were sent a blow-by-blow account of the dinner from the lady’s hyperactive PRO with pictures attached of what must have been a private dinner with a few friends while he was on an unofficial visit abroad.

Being able to sniff a planted, self-serving story, a mile away, we naturally ignored it, but found it had made its way in to various newspapers. Thinking this exposure might have curbed the designer’s enthusiasm a little, we were amazed to find that a week later we are still being inundated with details of said dinner. Perhaps, it’s time we point out that ‘an exclusive’ dinner loses some of its exclusivity if a PR agency is required to blanket bomb the press with its details. And even if that nicety were ignored —why would any one report the same facts when they’ve already been planted in another newspaper? Incidentally, a glance through the account is an exercise in Pseud’s Corner: “The discussion was very cerebral yet casual.” And he also discussed on movies like Black Gold, etc based on Kuwait’s struggle and civilisation. Also, a little bit of Bollywood and fashion found their place in the long intriguing conversations to which Rahul was all ears!” How sorely we miss that smiley sign in journalism at times like this. Let ROFL suffice! 

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