>> “Economy tanking, media in crisis, painfully sad times in the office... hopefully there’s sunshine waiting somewhere in the future... fingers crossed,” posted Sagarika Ghose, CNN-IBN’s Deputy editor, prime time news anchor and one of media’s sanest voices. When contacted about her dismal post she was more guarded. “The media industry worldwide is facing a massive slowdown and India is no exception. Things are pretty bad.
But hopefully will get better soon,” she said. But along with the rest of the industry’s worldwide turmoil (the sale of Washington Post and Newsweek, the closure of three of the Outlook Group’s titles, the shakedown at Forbes and TV 18) comes news that CNN-IBN’s long-standing and respected CEO Dilip Venkrataman has moved on and that its feisty and popular environmental editor has been a casualty of cost cutting! Whereas Ghose is too seasoned a journalist to comment on record on these alleged developments, her succinct comment ‘the party’s over!’ sent a chill through our spines. So, will the last person left in the newsroom remember to turn the lights off?
Grounds for divorce
>> Word comes in that the lovely model-turned-choreographer who has put up with her wayward husband’s shenanigans for a while now has finally seen the light and is filing for divorce. “Through all his ups and downs and extra curricular activities the lady stuck by him saying he was the only man she'd ever loved,” says an insider. “But now that he has fallen in love with an American girl and is moving to the US, she’s thrown in the towel. After all, how much can a good woman take?” How much indeed. Not only had this strong independent woman put up with being cheated on openly but also with all her spouse’s weird career, appearance and name changes and even attempts to change his race! The last one ought to have been grounds for a divorce many years ago we think!
>> His timely intervention a few months ago when a Rs 1.8 crore Audi R8 caught fire near the Bandra-Worli Sea Link in Mumbai had averted what could have been a major tragedy. Caught on camera and circulated widely on YouTube it shows Chairperson and Managing director of Raymond Ltd, the flamboyant Gautam Singhania jumping in where angels would have feared to tread.
And he has been an impassioned advocate of road safety as his tweets often indicate. Ironic then that the auto enthusiast is rumoured to be laid up in bed over the past few days after a driving mishap in Greece. Mercifully for all except for a few minor fractures not much injury was sustained. We wish the Big Wheel a speedy recovery and many happy days back on the road!
Modern day Capulets and Montagues
>> Could there be anything more intricately connected than Bollywood? For long we have dreamt of explaining the multi-layered labyrinth of its relationships, which span across generations clans and families with a chart: after all, what else could convey their complexity? Sons and daughters of actors and actresses who were an item now married to each other; the progeny of arch rivals working together or married into each other’s families and age old hostilities complicated further by new sprouts of friendship and collaborations in subsequent generations that would put to shame anything that transpired between the Montagues and Capulets!
In the light of this the latest alleged liaisons of the fourth generation of kids from Juhu boulevards is only par for the course: Arjun Kapoor’s rumoured link up with his Two States co star Alia Bhatt marks the piquant convergence of two preeminent but very different Bollywood legacies -- the Bhatts and the Kapoors. As for the alleged coupling of Aditya Roy Kapoor with his chi-chi GD Somani and St Xavier’s SoBo background and Shraddha Kapoor, daughter of Shakti -- what can one say except the more things change the more they stay the same in that rambunctious family known as Bollywood!
A cartoon a day
>> And through all this doom and gloom, an evening spent with our favourite cartoonist (but alas, for a rival publication) and radiologist Dr Hemant Morparia comes as a breath of fresh air. We have had the pleasure of working with the Lenin lookalike (only from a certain angle) and fellow appreciator of a certain Bordeaux wine and have been fans of not only his wicked visual comment but also his free and maverick spirit.
So, it comes as no surprise that besides riveting his fans with his daily output, putting in four-and-a-half hours a day at various hospitals as a radiologist, Morparia at the age of 51 has not only embarked on a career as a stand-up comic artist, but also is a Sunday archer and a very accomplished daily chopper of vegetables (“I love chopping vegetables and fruit each morning, my favourite is pineapple,” confessed this Renaissance man.) As for managing to continually be vibrant and creative and discover new careers even at his age, it all has to do with the good doctor’s theory on the emergence of synapses and connections in the brain with every new discipline we undertake. “Everything we do is affected by every thing else,” he said. When asked to elaborate this wonderfully optimistic and empowering theory, “learning to sing for instance will make you a better doctor and that in turn will help you write better!” he said. Oh dear, it’s all a bit complicated to explain. Perhaps a session with some of France’s best will make it all clearer! As for Morparia who packs more into his week than most people we know – we think the ‘More’ in his name is apt.