Enter, the Prince

>> Jet lag and a pesky flu bug kept us away from Shailendra (Percept) Singh’s party to bring in son Shaan’s 18th birthday at Blue Frog on Saturday night and from all accounts we missed quite an evening! Shaan, the youngest DJ ever to play at an international music festival is the new kid on the international electronic dance music scene playing alongside masters of the genre like Funk Agenda, Helium Project, Lost Story, Pearl, Avicii and even Swedish House Mafia!

Shaan gets the crowds on their feet at his party

And to celebrate the coming of age of the young talent, his doting father threw the mother of all parties to showcase his son’s prowess at the console with a wall-to-wall display of electronic razzmatazz. “DJ Clement opened the evening with some funky house at 10 pm” says our source. “At 11 pm, Anish Sood really got the crowd off their feet and on to the floor, and at 12 midnight, the birthday boy himself hit the stage to the thunderous round of applause from the crowd. During his one hour, the dance floor was packed and no one sat down,” we were informed. As for proud dad Shailendra, it was a teary moment to see his son celebrated with such enthusiasm. “To make one’s passion one’s profession is something I never had the opportunity to do,” said the impresario and author who in his best selling book F?@k Knows is a staunch advocate for following one’s dream.
“I’d always wanted to be a professional cricketer, but went in to business. To see my son being successful at his dream
is a moving experience!” he said.

Himalaya Darshan

Pooja Bedi and Ashitta Tham

>> The magic of IT never ceases to amaze us. There we were intrigued by Ashitta Tham’s post on Facebook about her impending bike trip — to hold your breath — the Himalayas: (‘Very excited as am leaving on a bike trek to Himalayas for two weeks” she’d said.) And the next thing we know is we’re on the phone with her as she was winding her way up the hills to Manali yesterday! “We left this morning,” she said, “And we are already on our way up the mountains, next stop will be Lahaul and Spiti,” said the lovely outdoor enthusiast. “And boy, is it cold and windy!” For the uninitiated ‘Venture on wheels’ the outfit that’s conducting the expedition is a Pune-based outfit run by Tham’s cousin Anji Mehra and his son Ashish that takes the adventurous on motorbike trips to the Himalayas. “There are five motorbikes on which we can traverse the mountains riding pillion. There’s also the option of a truck for those who prefer a slightly more comfortable ride,” said Tham, wife of popular restaurateur Henry and sister of the late great danseuse Protima Bedi and sister-in-law of Kabir Bedi. “I’ll tell you all about it when I return with a very sore butt!” she laughed! And in the background we could hear the howling mountain winds and imagine the heavenly vistas she was in.

Goodbye Jazzy Joe
>> “With the passing of the reedman Joe Pereira this morning, Bombay’s jazz age has truly come to an end,” wrote Naresh Fernandes, revered writer and chronicler of all things jazz on his popular website Taj Mahal Foxtrot on the weekend on the death of Pereira or Jazzy Joe. “(He) was the last of the musicians from the swing era,” he noted, adding, “Pereira started performing in 1941, aged only 14, in a band in Lahore’s Stiffle’s Hotel fronted by his cousin, the legendary Sebastian D’Souza.”

Jazzy Joe

We recall many afternoons at the Oberoi where Pereira played towards the end of his illustrious career, with his band, bringing crowds of jazz lovers to their feet with his renditions of old classics. Affable, un-pompous despite his stature and always careful not to impose himself on the occasion but rather allow the music to lead, rainy Sunday afternoons were imbued with Jazzy Joe’s unmistakable sound. “Many still remember his turn conducting the Foottappers Band at the 1984 Jazz Yatra, leading the group through his composition Flight of the Raga, based on Yaman,” wrote Fernandes. Goodbye Jazzy Joe. Goodbye and thank you for the music.

A thousand words
>> Yesterday even as social networking sites erupted in a rash of fatherly love, with people posting pictures of their dads in happy poses, the one that leapt out was a black and white portrait of a young Javed Akhtar with his talented progeny Zoya and Farhan. “Gautam Rajadhyaksha shot it at our Bandstand home. It must have been around ‘78 or 79,” said the celebrated director.

A young Farhan Akhtar and Zoya with dad Javed Akhtar

“He was a good friend of my parents and decided to do some family pics that day,” she said.

They say a picture speaks a hundred words, but from the lens of a master, this one spoke a thousand.

Hello Dolly
>> We knew we had returned to the very heart of Mumbai when the door bell rang and in bounced the effervescent Dolly Thakore holding a copy of her very handsome and readable book Sense and Sensitivity: Media’s engagement with gender issues, which she has edited under the aegis of Population First, a leading advocacy platform to promote gender sensitivity and equality.

Dolly Thakore

“The book is a compilation of the award winning entries of the Laadli Media awards for gender sensitivity,” said Thakore. “It is not a literary tome; the writers featured in it have written simply and sincerely and many of these true stories will move you to tears, said the lady who in her various avatars as TV newsreader, casting director, and actor has been pushing the envelope for women’s empowerment.

“No, no, I can’t sit as I’m off to a meeting with senior citizens of the Dignity Foundation, whose lives I am going to weave into a play,” she said and then she was gone, a whirlwind of enthusiasm and energy.

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