Football legend coming

Following this year’s glamorous IPL and Kabaddi tournaments, next up will be the second installment of the successful ISL (Indian Super League) which will open with a star studded ceremony in October.

Football biggies who will promote ISL include Pele
Football biggies who will promote ISL include Pele

And word comes in, that the promoters of the league, IMG Reliance and Star India, are leaving no stone unturned to ensure the second season eclipses the first in terms of star power.

Thierry Henry
Thierry Henry

A file picture of the first ISL
A file picture of the first ISL

Wayne Rooney. Pics/AFP
Wayne Rooney. Pics/AFP

And with news of football legend Pele, and England captain Wayne Rooney already being roped in to come down to India for promotional activities, a source informs us that the organizers are in talks with a host of other big names, and by all accounts will soon announce ex Arsenal and French football star Thierry Henry as one of its brand ambassadors too! Let’s football!

Days spent with Coldplay
For all those who pined to know what Chris Martin front man for popular British band Coldplay was upto in Mumbai, here’s a nugget: While in the city, Martin along with other band members, shot with ‘The 120 Media Collective,’ ad film maker Roopak Saluja’s new company.

Chris Martin with Roopak Saluja and Tara Sharma
Chris Martin with Roopak Saluja and Tara Sharma

“We kept it very quiet but they are really lovely and a pleasure to work with,” said wife Tara Sharma, who anchors and produces the Tara Sharma Show. “I also asked if Chris would be on my show and fingers crossed, we look forward to working together in many ways.”

The art of the dinner
The art world is still talking about the sit-down dinner hosted by Chemould’s Shireen Gandhy on the eve of Reena Saini Kallat’s exhibition, ‘Hyphenated Lives,’ when a long, formal table had the likes of Kavita Singh, Devaunshi Mehta, Poonam Bhagat, Tasneem Mehta and Saryu Doshi amongst others gather around it for an elegant repast.

Tasneem Mehta and Shireen Gandhy
Tasneem Mehta and Shireen Gandhy

Given that most galleries have done away with even the wine and cheese soirees to launch exhibitions, due to the bottom falling off the art bazaar, this extravagance has been a much talked of affair.

Of course, Gandhy’s explanation for the dinner being hosted to make ‘Kallat collectors feel special,’ must be taken at face value, but what does one make of another gallerist’s insistence that the explanation for the largesse lies in its timing?

“It was held at the same time when Saffron Art was conducting its much awaited live auction in Delhi and could have been an ingenious way to distract some of the city’s key buyers, who otherwise might have been on the phone placing their bids,” she insisted. Incidentally, the Saffron Art auction itself was not without its moments.

Apparently a Souza bought by a city collector a few months ago for around R14-15 crore was sold to a Delhi gallery with a Mumbai presence for the same price. And what’s more the seller is not even sure if the new buyer will pay.

“Net–net it appears that not only has the gentleman not made a single paise on the sale, but given the gallery’s past record, he might not even get the amount at the end of the day,” said the gallerist.

The Bandra Fair cookie
“I stay in a building, which is just beyond Mt. Mary steps,” It was Economic Times’ intrepid food writer Vikram Doctor, who we had called up to bring us up to speed on one of our childhood’s enduring delights, the on going Bandra Fair, which for us had been the place to pick up shiny baubles, delicious local Bandra foods like guava jelly and brinjal pickle, and have our studio portraits taken astride space ships and moonbeams.

The Bandra Fair
The Bandra Fair

“I didn’t grow up here, so I don’t have the childhood memories of the fair that people who grew up in Bandra and Juhu, like you, do” said Doctor. “But it does seem, in even my memory of the last 10 years, that the Fair is increasingly less local. There is clearly an Indian community of ‘carnies’, as the Americans call them, who go from fair to fair, carnival to carnival, carrying their rides and candy floss machines and bubble blowers and whatever is latest from China.”

Vikram Doctor
Vikram Doctor

Has the Bandra fair cookie crumbled so irrecoverably we asked Doctor sadly. “The sweet sellers from Goa still land up with their guava jelly and roast channa and sugar balls, and on the roads you’ll find the usual chaat and tandoori sort of places. But what have got squeezed out are the Bandra aunties and uncles with their trays of pan rolls and kulkuls and East Indian mixed veg pickle and bottle masala and choriz pav.

They can’t compete with the chaos of the fair,” said Doctor, adding “There are one or two that grimly hold on to their positions right next to the entry to the stairs and perhaps they will hold out for a few years yet.”

Taking North America by storm
Over the past weeks we have been seeing a series of airport arrival and departure shots featuring actors Neena Gupta and Anupam Kher along with writer-director Rakesh Bedi, as they breezed through their highly successful tour of over 15 North American cities, with their play Mera Woh Matlab Nahi Tha.

Neena Gupta, Rakesh Bedi and Anupam Kher
Neena Gupta, Rakesh Bedi and Anupam Kher

This documentation of the trio’s triumphal breeze through places like Las Vegas, San Diego, Houston and Vancouver, has been accompanied by Gupta’s ecstatic comments : ‘San Diego rocked’ And ‘last show in Vegas.’
But for our money, the best image captured is the one featuring the three in San Diego, looking lean, tan and pleased as punch. And yes that’s Bedi up on the tree!

Close encounters at Khar Station
Word comes in that while the media had trained its cameras on a recent riveting murder case and had even set up base outside the Khar police station, to track all movements in and out of the khaki base, there was one famous Bandra bad boy (who has had his own problems with the law but recently received temporary relief) who had turned up for a protocol.

A source informs us that the man in question even had a brief meeting with the ex-top cop in charge (who was conducting interrogations that day), but for some reason this very high profile encounter managed to take place away from the media gaze.

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