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Enter the SLAM tour

“The slam tour lent itself so organically to the film Happy New Year,” said our friend, the film’s director Farah Khan, about the much talked about SLAM tour of USA and Canada that she has choreographed and will be hosting along with the stars of Happy New Year, her under-production film.

“The actors SRK, Deepika Padukone, Abhishek Bachchan, Boman Irani, Sonu Sood and Vivaan Shah will dance and perform to songs from the movie, and will wear the costumes from the film,” she said, “Also, Malaika, who does a cameo in HNY, will be performing, too.”

Shah Rukh Khan Deepika Padukone Farah Khan
Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone and Farah Khan

Is this the first time that a tour has been conceived as part of a film’s publicity offensive? “Yes, it is,” she said. “When I explained the concept of the tour to SRK, he loved it!” said the director. “But, of course, he and Deepika will perform their popular numbers from other films, too,” she said of the concert that’s already a sensation on the Net.

“It’s going to be huge,” said the feisty mother of triplets, preparing to leave her office after a hard day of editing. And with reports that SRK will recover his investment in the film through the tours even before the movie is released, Farah does not rule out performances in Europe and India before the film’s release this Diwali.

All in a day’s work
‘Look at the power of Indian wives, they can get even a tycoon like Anil Ambani to come shopping with them that too for Gujarati snacks,’ was the comment accompanying this delightful picture of billionaire Anil Ambani snapped, standing patiently at a farsan shop in Matunga, by a reader.

Anil Ambani
Anil Ambani

And given that the tycoon’s speedy action in the past couple of days pipped other business groups like Adani to bag hydel power assets of the Jaypee Group, when it got public that TAQA, the Abu-Dhabi based utility, was pulling out, proves that you CAN do it all: make the right business moves, even while you are a good husband who accompanies his wife while she’s shopping for household provisions! (Ambani does this all and rises before dawn to run a marathon most days!) It’s those dhoklas; we’ve always known they have superpowers!

Groovy Eid lunch
What do BJP leader and Bollywood star, Vinod Khanna, his wife, lawyer and businesswoman, Kavita, and groovy spiritual master Sri Sri Ravi Shankar have in common? Well, they were all guests at an Eid lunch at the home of our friend, the beautiful Dilshad Sheikh, in Srinagar according to a source. We like!

Of editors and samosas
The text was short and cryptic. ‘This is to inform that I will be joining Times of India as consulting editor from August 25,’ it said. ‘I look forward to being in touch.’ And with that, months of idle speculation about the career moves of Sagarika Ghose, one of the country’s top TV newscasters, were put to rest.

Sagarika Ghose. PIC/AFP Rajdeep Sardesai
Sagarika Ghose. PIC/AFP and Rajdeep Sardesai

“Times of India was where my journalism began, and it remains the most influential media voice in the country today,” said the lady, when we asked her to elaborate. “I was there ’92-’95, fresh out of Oxford.

Rajdeep and I got married while we were both at TOI,” she said, referring to her equally famous husband Rajdeep Sardesai, who himself has been the subject of talk since the couple’s high- profile departure from CNN-IBN last month. “We used to sneak long conversations on the Mumbai-Delhi ‘hotline’!” she confided, laughingly.

How did Sardesai react to her decision to return to the TOI gene pool? “He was thrilled. We both have very warm feelings for the TOI,” she said. “And yes, I’m waiting to see if the samosas are still the same,” she said in an oblique reference to the in-joke about the legendary teatime fare served at the media powerhouse.

Days of youth and glory
We want you to look at this sepia-tinged picture very carefully. It features one of India’s top models of the eighties, Nandinii Sen, as a toddler with her family on the beach. “It was taken on Aksa beach.

Young Nandinii Sen with family
Young Nandinii Sen with family

My maternal grandfather was in the Central Excise and had a house there, so we’d go every weekend,” says the attractive TV actress, herself the mother of the budding star Tara Alisha Berry, who recently debuted in her first Bollywood film. “Afternoons, the grown ups would have their siesta and we kids would wander around on the beach, climbing the rocks looking for crabs,” she said.

Nandinii Sen and Tara Alisha Berry
Nandinii Sen and Tara Alisha Berry

“That’s me, with our maid Radha, my sister Priya, my mum, dad and my brother Nikhil standing in one cluster. The other two ladies are my Nani and Aunt Marge, the American friend who my parents met when they’d gone on their honeymoon to Hong Kong.”

She didn’t have to say any more. Having spent most of our own childhood on the beach, we could almost hear the waves and taste the salty sea air as she spoke. But, here’s why we want you to look at the picture. Seeing it, it occurred to us as a shock how young, carefree, full of glamour and excitement our parents once were.

Often, we forget that they lived through the same days of youth and high spirits, long afternoons on the beach and of unspoken hopes and dreams. Seeing them through the prism of our eyes, we tend to view our parents as established, respectable, boring, old. Seeing this picture, it occurred to us that all of us look old and faded at some stage of our lives. Only our memories stay young.

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