Football first

Word comes in that two major B-town stars, Ranbir Kapoor and Abhishek Bachchan who are known football fans, and even own their own football teams in the Indian Super League, were spotted at the Stamford Bridge stadium (the home stadium of the Chelsea football club) in London last week.

The story goes that Ranbir, who is in London for the shooting of Karan Johar’s upcoming Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, took time off from the shoot schedule, and went to watch the Chelsea vs M. Tel-Aviv game along with a few buddies.

Ranbir Kapoor and Abhishek Bachchan
Ranbir Kapoor and Abhishek Bachchan

A source informed, “Ranbir who was at the match only realized post half time that Abhishek was in another part of the stadium, at which point the hunks managed to link up and sit together for the remainder of the game.”

Apparently Bachchan junior, who is in London for the filming of his next, Housefull 3 and is the global ambassador of Chelsea FC, was surprised to see Ranbir at the match knowing what a celebrated fan RK is of FC Barcelona. But it all ended well, as Chelsea won the game resoundingly, and the fraternity boys got to catch up over banter and footie!

Serendipitous coincidences
Whereas much has been written about ‘Gates of the Lord: The Tradition of Krishna Paintings,’ the exhibition of rare drawings, pichwais, paintings, and historic photographs sponsored by the Reliance Foundation at the Art Institute Museum of Chicago, few have reported on the serendipity of the dates surrounding it.

Isha and Nita Ambani
Isha and Nita Ambani

The opening of the exhibition was preceded by an inaugural dinner attended by Nita Ambani and daughter Isha, along with distinguished museologists including Douglas Druick President of the Art Institute of Chicago, and curators from the Smithsonian and the Met, academicians and high priests from Nathdwara temple amongst others.

And though no one alluded to it, the fact that this dinner to mark the opening of and the exhibition dedicated to Krishna, the God of Love, was held on 9/11 appeared more than a happy coincidence.

And if that were not a happenstance enough, the date also marked the 152nd anniversary of Swami Vivekanand’s famous speech, which he delivered to the Parliament of World Religions, coincidentally in the same building!

Not without my entourage
For all those who rile about India’s ubiquitous VIP culture and yearn for a time when our politicians behave like ordinary citizens bereft of convoys and security details, this will come as an eye-opener.

Manohar Parrikar presenting the Giants Award for Social Service to Usha Kakade
Manohar Parrikar presenting the Giants Award for Social Service to Usha Kakade

At the recent Giants’ award ceremony, which saw the likes of Star CEO Uday Shankar, musician Shaan, and educationist Dr Zahir Kazi receive their citations from Chairman of Giants International Nana Chudasama, the Chief Guest, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar shared an interesting experience in his speech.

Commended by Shaina NC about his austerity and penchant for simplicity, Parrikar narrated on how when he’d been appointed as Chief Minister of Goa he had accepted the invitation of one of his political workers to have tea at his home.

“Since it meant so much to the man I took the time to travel to his village, and meet his family,” said the IIT alumni, “but while I was leaving, my host took me aside and looking very dejected, reproached me for showing up without an entourage or cavalcade.

“‘This way only I know of your visit sir,’ he said, ‘but without the accompanying entourage — how will people from my village know that you came?’” narrated Parrikar, commenting that his choice of simplicity was not always appreciated.

Honouring a martyr
“How does one deal with being a martyr’s son?” said an emotional Ashwin Deo, founder of Turning Point Wines, who this week marked the 50th death anniversary of his father, the late Major Surendra Deo, who had died in action on September 16, in Sialkot, fighting in the Indo-Pak war of 1965.

Remembering Major Surendra Deo
Remembering Major Surendra Deo

“Respect to the soldier and scores of soldiers who’ve given up their ‘today’ for our ‘tomorrow,’” said the proud son who was no more than a child when he was left fatherless.

Ashwin Deo
Ashwin Deo

“It’s been a week of discovery for me,” he said, “And when the bugler and trumpeter from his regiment did their thing, I felt very little, as tears got the better of my sight!” he said, adding, “My father, my role model, my pride. Jai Hind!”

Post-event celebrations
After her wall-to-wall celebrity packed book launch last week, debutant author Sakshi Salve, daughter of leading Supreme Court lawyer Harish Salve, chose to celebrate her success by letting her hair down at Mumbai’s popular mid-city nightclub Exo, run by Rishi Acharya, India’s answer to Flavio Briatore.

Sakshi Salve. Pic/Twitter and Kanika Kapoor
Sakshi Salve. Pic/Twitter and Kanika Kapoor

“They’d booked all the tables and seen enjoying the occasion were the likes of Kanika Kapoor, Suhel Seth and designer Varun Bal along with many Delhi friends,” said a source, adding “and the party wound up in the wee hours of the morning.”

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