>> Each night she faces the nation with her sparkling questions, comments and eye make-up but there’s even more brilliance to CNN IBN’s Sagarika Ghose than her TV outings as this latest article in the highly readable First Post proves.
Called ‘Fathers and sons: Why a modern Dhritarashtra is a failed citizen’ and pegged it on Sanjay Dutt’s imminent incarceration, Ghose tracks the cases of other law breakers like Bitti Mohan, Sanjeev (BMW) Nanda and Manu Sharma whose actions she traces to bad parenting.
“Once there was a fond father. A fond father blinded by the love for his son, blind to his son’s failings. The fond father moved heaven and earth even broke the law to save his son from the law.
But in spite of his efforts, the fond father failed to protect his son and instead became a model of failed parenthood. The son’s life was ruined by an excess of love, the father’s own life came undone,” is her opening salvo. We like!
Happy birthday, Klaus!
>> We recall a memorable dinner we had with him hosted by our old friend, the erudite NK Singh (easily the cleverest man in Delhi) at the Golden Dragon a few years ago, in the company of three of India’s most famous women (two bankers and a media star). “I thought my friend will enjoy picking the brains of beautiful and intelligent women,” said Singh about Professor Klaus Schwab, the German economist, best known as the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, turned 75 last week.” Whereas the conversation at dinner was private — suffice to say that Narendra Modi featured pretty prominently in it and Schwab who’s had 42 continuous years of leadership of the World Economic Forum was all ears. And this heartfelt birthday greeting from fellow hack Pranay Gupte aptly sums up the man. “Professor Schwab has been honoured by numerous government and civil society organisations during his career, has founded three global foundations, and continues to drive the evolution of the world’s most significant platform for multi-stakeholder dialogue. He and his wife Hilde, are role models as parents and people. I’ve been privileged to know them.”
>> And from Jet Airways, an official response to the item we carried on the death of James Dean, the cat. “We sincerely regret the accidental demise of James Dean, pet cat of Preeti Varma and are saddened by this incident. The CCTV footage on the tarmac area shows the pet jumping out of the trolley and being unfortunately run over by another trolley travelling in the opposite direction. When the trolley carrying the container reached the aircraft, the loading supervisor noticed that the container was empty. On close inspection of the container, it was observed that the wire mesh in the front of the container was bent outwards and pushed out of the main frame. Based on the above and taking into consideration the CCTV footage and the processes that our staff had followed, it is inferred that the pet forced itself out of the container by pushing the wire mesh and thereby creating a gap for it to come free. Following the incident, Jet Airways has embarked on a global review to check out procedures adopted by airlines/airport operators and will endeavour to implement all enhancements that will prevent occurrences of such accidents. We truly understand Varma’s feelings and share her sorrow and if the actions of any members of our team came across as insensitive at any point in time, we would like to assure that this was unintentional and would like to apologise to Varma.” (This is an abridged version — for lack of space, but suffice to say that from its length, tone and alacrity Jet appears to have learnt from the incident. Perhaps other pets will be safer thanks to the sacrifice made by James Dean.)
April fool’s gag
>> Incidentally, for our money the best April fool gag was initiated by our friend and former editor R Jagannathan, editor of the excellent webzine FirstPost who in an article said, ‘An apology from Modi for Gujarat riots’ strips and lays bare all the hollow posturing and cynicism in politics as we know it today.’ “Riots are, of course, deadly serious matters,” he says in his editor’s note following the piece, “But we thought we might use the occasion of April Fool’s Day to have a whimsical look at the manner in which even grave matters of public discourse acquire a farcical edge when the political spin doctors go to work on them. Nice!
Playing against type
>> Get an eyeful of actor theatre impresario and ardent feminist Kaizad Kotwal’s newest avatar. “It’s for News Nation, a new TV channel being launched by Aaj Tak,” he posted. “I had to play Seth Dhaniram, a rich land owner who’s furious as his daughter ran away with the chauffeur!” he says, adding, “I could fit into a Gangs of Wasseypur with that look, na?”
>> When we saw her at the IDF, with her lissome look, her long shiny hair and her ever present shades, Maithli Ahluwalia, CEO and creative director of Bungalow Eight gave every sign of becoming one the city’s iconic personalities. But how many in the ersatz set of double espresso quaffers knows that she is to the manner born? After all she draws her lineage from two of fashion’s most enduring stylistas: mother Jamini Ahluwalia who has been accessorising the city’s well-heeled with beads and baubles from her Cumballa Hill bungalow for decades and even more stylish late grandmother Chandu Morarji who from her craggy hill top sea facing bungalow in Kashid reigned over all that was supercool and hip before the words were even understood — let alone invented! Three decades of good taste great style and funk? Take that other pretenders to the throne.