>> Call us sentimental, but there was something heartwarming about the invitation sent out by Hema and Dharmendra for their daughter Ahana’s marriage to Vaibhav Vora in early February.
Dharmendra and Hema Malini
To be held at Mumbai’s ITC Maratha, the card sent to invite guests to the evening reception simply said ‘Smt Hema Malini and Shri Dharmendra invite you to share the love and happiness of the marriage of their daughter.’
And what’s even more touching was the sign-off at the end of the page ‘Sharing our joy, Esha and Bharat Takhtani, Deol and Chakravarti families.’
Ahana Deol with Vaibhav Vora
And in those simple dignified words lay one of the most celebrated and path breaking love stories of our times!
They don’t make ‘em like that any more!
Art world watch
>> And the art world is eagerly awaiting the Asta Guru auction to be held over the weekend. “It’s the first to be held after the Christie’s auction which raised prices to almost five times more than market rates. So it will be interesting to see if that was just a flash in the pan or if there’s been a calibrated correction,” said a patron.
For the uninitiated, Asta Guru is an online auction house set up in 2008 by the chairman of the SAFSET Group Vickram Sethi. This week’s auction will feature amongst others prized works by Manjit Bawa, Raza and other masters.
Her dad, the marathoner
>> “My dad completed his marathon shuffle (with several stops along the way)” posted award winning photographer, scriptwriter and director Sooni Taraporevala about her father, the former marathoner Rumi Taraporevala’s bid on Sunday.
“Huge thanks to everybody who sent best wishes and contributions — he collected Rs 11.5 lakhs for the children of Society For The Education Of the Crippled. Till next year!” said the delighted daughter, who following the avalanche of congratulations added: “To clarify — my dad did not shuffle 26 miles (though he used to run the distance in the past.) He took part in the senior citizen’s ‘race’ which was really a lark & lots of fun as you can see from the photo.”
We saw. And we liked.
My event bestest
>> According to those who matter, she won the battle of owning the most beautiful home in Mumbai when she moved to the suburbs and brought her legendary skills as an interior designer to her own bungalow.The perch it afforded her amongst the city’s upper crust did not come without a certain amount of heartburn; other wealthier, flashier hostesses must have felt a twinge of neighbour’s envy, owners pride at losing out this hard won title to art collector and design maven Kavita Singh, wife of ACG Worldwide’s Jasjit Singh and sister-in-law of Anil Kapoor (he’s married to her sister Sunita). And now that her son’s wedding is being celebrated at Jodhpur this weekend, society watchers are wondering if Singh’s celebrated style will trump all other high-profile celebrations held in the same place till now. And what’s more, she has Dhun Cordo overseeing the arrangements, the same Cordo who has done many a high-profile event — one of the most recent being that of Nita Ambani’s birthday in Jodhpur!
Middle class morality
I find myself rubbing up against middle class morality every now and then. The latest instance was at a recent dinner when the conversation turned to rumours of substance abuse in Bollywood. My chain smoking host, quaffing copious quantities of whiskey, and legendary for his decadent appetite some of which involved mistresses half his age, was holding forth about ‘these druggies,’ ‘cokeheads’ and the like.
You could see the glee with which he occupied his newfound high moral ground. “They are all part of the same set,” he said with disgust. “They get together at X’s home and snort all night. In fact, X is a well known supplier,” he said, the contempt in his voice loud and clear.
I looked across at my host’s long suffering wife, his wane and dispirited children, his extravagant home built on ill-gotten money (and on the sweat of underpaid employees) and I thought to myself: ‘the only reason you are gloating is because your misdemeanours have not been declared illegal or criminal by law makers yet. And in many cases (especially in those of alcohol and cigarettes) it’s probably to do with influential and powerful lobbies that can bend laws in their own favour.’
The reason why things are declared illegal is because they are life threatening or harmful to an individual or to those around him. Druggies and drunks require compassion, sympathy, constructive support and understanding for their self-destructive habits.
Just as much as people who smoke or drink or are addicted to destructive ways. They need our help, not contempt.
But people who lie cheat, exploit the weak and powerless, mistreat others, are selfish, self-serving, self righteous, mendacious, mean or mean spirited or who give in to their vices of greed, hypocrisy or lasciviousness — now that’s where I direct my disapproval.
See what I mean about rubbing up against middle class morality?