Debutants to watch

When director Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra released the trailer of his upcoming film Mirza-Sahiban last week, everyone's eyes tuned in to catch a glimpse of Harshvardhan Kapoor, son of Anil Kapoor, who was making his long awaited debut with the film.

Harshvardhan, who plays the role of Mirza in this epic tale, seems to have inherited his father’s good looks as well as his trademark hirsute traits. But its not only the Kapoor lad who seems to be grabbing the eyeballs, the
other debutant in the film, Saiyami Kher, who plays the role of Sahiban has equally created a stir.

Harshvardhan Kapoor, Rakeysh Mehra, Saiyami Kher. Pic/Avinash Gowariker
Harshvardhan Kapoor, Rakeysh Mehra, Saiyami Kher. Pic/Avinash Gowariker

We first met Saiyami, when she was a child, along with her sister and parents from Nashik — Adwait and Uttara Kher. Saiyami, who grew up between Mumbai and Nashik and graduated from St. Xavier’s college in Mumbai, comes from a family of actors — her grandmother is yesteryear icon Usha Kiran and she is related to the Azmis through Shabana’s brother Baba, who is married to Tanvi, who is her buva.

With such blue blooded lineage, no surprises that Mirza’s launch is a much awaited affair.

His father’s son
“What can I say? To us he was not the legend. He was our dad,” and with these words Kunal Kapoor, eldest son of screen legend Shashi Kapoor, kicked off the discussion on the star at the launch of the New York-based Aseem Chabbra’s book, ‘Shashi Kapoor the Householder, the star’ for a select gathering at a suburban hotel on Saturday evening.

Kunal, Shashi Kapoor and Ranbir Kapoor
Kunal, Shashi Kapoor and Ranbir Kapoor

Seated on stage were Shyam Benegal, who had directed movies that Shashi had produced, the author Chabbra, who besides being a film buff was also a self confessed Kapoor fan, and Anil Dharker who’d not only been Kapoor’s close friend but also as Chairman of the NFDC back in the day and had also been his producer.

All four men were deeply knowledgeable of the subject at hand but clearly Kunal only 21 years younger than his father (“he is almost like an elder brother”) had the most to reveal. “I could never take my girlfriends home,” said the sporting son, himself one of the leading makers of advertising films in the country, “Because of course, when you have such a good-looking father, there’s no hope that she’d ever look at me again…” he said to much laughter.

Incidentally, while his friends and fans were singing his praises, Shashi was not alone at home. Sources say that his grand nephew, Ranbir Kapoor had dropped in to pay his respects at the legend’s Juhu home.

Still crazy after all these years...
“It’s all been very rock and roll!” And with these simple words accompanying this B&W portrait of herself and her husband British DJ Matt Black, the erstwhile resident of Mumbai, Dinaz Stafford unleashed a torrent of high fives and love on a social networking site.

Dinaz Stafford and Matt Black
Dinaz Stafford and Matt Black

Stafford who now lives in London and has spent the last three decades on films, travel, social work and activism, and Black, one half of the music duo Coldcut, are on the cutting edge of progressive thought as this portrait captures.

Black, an alumnus of Oxford, is known as a pioneering force in the new sphere of AudioVisual performance. He had Stafford return to India after doing a masters in psychology abroad and had helped Mira Nair make Salaam Bombay, after which she started Salaam Baalak Trust.

He had earlier conducted workshops at the Envision Festival 2016, described as the festival of the future. But for all their avant gardish, the most repeated comment on this photograph was that the couple was a throwback to Woodstock, “you both look like you went back in time, to our time” said one ageing hippy friend from Mumbai.

The centre cannot hold
Things fall apart. The dapper head honcho of a leading hospitality chain was overheard recently revealing distressing trends.

According to the genteel gent, an old hand if ever there was one, the new management team appears intent on bringing the brand crashing down. “They have no understanding of heritage, traditions and relationships we’ve built up over the decades,” he said looking on the verge of a meltdown.

“Everything is bottom line and money oriented” he said. “What’s more my team has severe crisis of confidence and is thoroughly demoralised” he moaned. The result? “Never thought I’d have to dust out my CV and pass it around at my age!” he is said to have revealed.

The dancing elephant
We are used to seeing pictures of Suhel Seth around the globe, giving lectures, attending soirees, at the wheel of sports machines, or going to fashionable restaurants but this time when he said, “Going to London with my mother, she’s the BOSS” we knew that the irrepressible bon vivant would be sending a more quieter time with his loved one.

Suhel Seth at Curzon Salon
Suhel Seth at Curzon Salon

But can Seth be in London with no sense of drama? Apparently, even as his familial sojourn was underway, Seth took time off to lecture at the Curzon Salon where he spoke on ‘The elephant learns to dance again’. And no, lissome supermodel Laxmi Menon, who had been conspicuously by the high-profile bachelor’s side during his birthday celebrations earlier did not appear to have been by his side during his London trip.

Clarification
This refers to the item ‘Pipped again,’ on June 9 wherein it was erroneously mentioned that Mr Amitabh Jhunjhunwala had suggested that Reliance Group debt should be compared to SBI, HDFC bank etc.

It has been since clarified that Mr Jhunjhunwala had said that for any meaningful comparison between debt of corporate groups, debt of financial services companies — which are in the business of lending — should be excluded. In case of Reliance Group, the debt of Reliance Capital should therefore be excluded for any rightful comparison.

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