Diss and you don't diss alone

As a keen observer of social media (!) we have been keenly observing how so much of what is actually conveyed on the ubiquitous site is done so between the lines. Girlfriends who send veiled messages to former or potential lovers, friends who allude casually to stuff meant specifically for someone, the stinging absence of likes from a certain person whose attention one covets these are all part of the ebb and thrust of how social relations are conducted in the modern world.

Shalini Sharma and Nico Goghavala with wife Kamal Sidhu
Shalini Sharma and Nico Goghavala with wife Kamal Sidhu

For instance, not too long ago we wrote about how Delhi media maven Ravina Raj Kohli had stirred up a bit of a storm amongst her FB friend's list when she outed a couple of bad (read disloyal) apples in her social basket with a finely worded post announcing that she'd be pruning her list soon. "Those who were supposed to — got the message and voluntarily unfriended themselves," she'd laughed.

It is our view that often our sensitivity to social behaviour and people, which gets dulled by too much human contact, is at its sharpest when we're a step removed. Thus you have a situation today where people's antennae for slights, put-downs and other forms of every day malignancy are at their finest. Facebook is a very sharp recorder of what remains unsaid but implied.

And everyone's listening in. Take the case of Shalini Sharma, editor of Hi Blitz whose recent post alluding to some professional nastiness, was met with delighted curiosity: 'Deeply disappointed today. Purveyors of 'ethical Sarees' just bared their fangs and showed the magazine their unethical side.

Woven into the sublime handloom sari revolution is a story of desperate greed and machinations. Sad.' Sharma had posted recently, a missive that saw some very high-powered friends respond with alacrity and interest. Meanwhile restaurateur Nico Goghavala's robust riposte to his detractors has revealed more social media landmines.

"Two Goan fishermen put up some negative stuff about me on Facebook a few weeks ago to gain a bit of traction since the fishing season is done," was Goghavala's snarky comment. "What surprised me the most are a few so-called Facebook and twitter friends jumping on the bandwagon to retweet and encourage the defaming. My real friends stayed out of it.

For the negatives, if you don't like me, don't be a friend of mine on Facebook or otherwise," posted the feisty uni-browed former model. Incidentally for the record, Sharma's justifiable lament was over professional misconduct and gracelessness by a sari designer, as for Goghavala's fishy tale, "I can tell you, but I rather no names were mentioned in the press, they stooped down to putting me down in the press, but I must stay classy," he said when we asked for further details. Remember boys and girls it's not only what you post, but also what you re-post that's important. On social media everyone's super sharp.

Life On the Sets
No matter what mood we are in, we cannot help breaking into a giggle when we read the twitter handle @bollywood_AD. One of the account's latest tweets reads 'You watch the film, just the end product. What goes behind can give human rights association a heart attack.'

Rex Harrison. Pic/Getty Images
Rex Harrison. Pic/Getty Images

Alluding to all the bug bears that accompany the job of an asst director, such as crazy directors, penny pinching producers, pompous stars and the rest of the crazy bunch, the account, written as an every man's diary, elicits a laugh because of how true it rings.

Scene from Shalimar, on which the columnist was AD
Scene from Shalimar, on which the columnist was AD

How do we know? Well, because our first ever paid engagement was just one such on a film set as one of the assistants to director Krishna Shah on his opus 'Shalimar', the Indo-American caper starring Rex Harrison, Dharmendra, Zeenat Aman and a host of others.

The job was crazy, the hours were long and the pay was notional, but for all its gruelling madness, it was one of the most madcap fun and intense ways to get to know the movie business from inside out when one is 19 years old!

Incidentally, the Mumbai film industry has a long tradition of famous assistant directors: From Abhishek Bachchan and Ranbir Kapoor, to Varun Dhawan and Arjun Kapoor they've all done their time, waiting endless hours outside the stars' makeup vans or keeping continuity sheets at a shoot. And the one I loved best from the feed: 'Inside an AD's head is like having a web browser open with 1,085 tabs open at all times!!'

A girl's best friend?
The Maharaja of Jodhpur will be chief guest next month at a cocktail reception hosted by French jeweller Boucheron at 26 Place Vendôme, its flagship store in Paris.

Sherawat wears the necklace at Cannes. Pic/Getty Images
Sherawat wears the necklace at Cannes. Pic/Getty Images

Mallika Sherawat has also been invited to the same reception. "The diva was recently in the limelight for the spectacular Boucheron bouquet-d-ailes necklace she flaunted at the Cannes film festival," said her spokesperson. "The 2 million dollar worth necklace was a big responsibility for Mallika and a huge sensation at Cannes, which she handled successfully."

Incidentally, legend has it that Frederic Boucheron who had set up his atelier in 1866 was the first jeweller to move to Place Vendom in 1893, and had chosen 26 Place Vendome because it was the sunniest corner of the square, and he believed that the diamonds in the windows would sparkle all the more brilliantly.

Now all that's left to be seen are how brilliantly Mallika's diamonds sparkle on the occasion. And er who escorts her to the show.

Wine and women
It's always great to see women making it to the top of any heap. And we applaud the wine industry's initiative to honour the women in its field. The concept known as Women of Wine has been pioneered by the Indian Wine Academy and every year new names are added to the list.

Holland and (right) Oldne
Holland and (right) Oldne

This year we were pleased to hear that our friend, wine expert Cecilia Oldne has been inducted into the list, along with ITC hotel's Sonal Holland, Karishma Grover winemaker at Grover Zampa and Reva Singh the editor-publisher of Sommelier India Wine Magazine.

Oldne, who goes by the title of Vice President and global brand ambassador of Sula Wines, has risen through the ranks of the Nashik based company, which she joined 8 years ago. And her charm and expertise, combined with that of Sula founder Rajeev Samant's, has had a pincer like approach on the market and played a large part in the brand's success. Salud!

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