Shah Rukh Khan inaugurates the Bone Marrow Transplant Centre & Birthing Centre. Also seen are Nanavati hospital owners, Bulbul Soi (in beige sari), Taruna, Abhay, Aditya and Gauri Soi (in blue kurta)
When SRK speaks about the lengthening shadow behind every legend, it is not a myth. This week, when he inaugurated the Bone Marrow Transplant Centre & Birthing Centre at the Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital, in a rare moment he shared with genuine candour, some of the challenges he'd faced in his 51 years, that would have felled a lesser man.
Getting emotional about his association with the Soi family behind the Nanavati Hospital dating back 25 years, the actor who has undergone 8-9 surgeries at the hospital, revealed how his son AbRam had been brought there even before Gauri and he and seen him, for a life saving intervention. "My sister has also been treated here," said Khan. "In fact, the hospital has dedicated The Mother Teresa Paediatric Ward in the memory of my late mother, Fatima, without me even once mentioning anything to them," said the star. Incidentally, the newly launched Bone Marrow Transplant Unit is amongst the largest in the world, and the procedure is said to cost $35,000 here as against $8,00,000 in the US.
Mozez Singh with Hanut Singh and other friends
Dinner for Hanut
"Hanut is my 'bestest' friend, ever since we met on the first day of Doon school at age 12," says Mumbai-based aesthete Mozez Singh, about the dinner he hosted on Saturday night to celebrate his friend's decade-long dazzling career in international jewellery design.
"He is a one-man show and the heights he has reached, the clientele he has is amazing," says Singh. "I invited people who were Hanut's friends and those he admires in Mumbai. And since Hanut is also a music aficionado, the evening saw rare DJ gigs. Like Swami Harami who spins at burning man every year," he said the morning after, of the evening which had seen the likes of Arjun and Mehr Rampal, Koel Purie Rinchet, Arvind and Tanya Dubash, Haseena Jethmalani, Vikram Goel and Ness Wadia attend.
Kokilaben Ambani. Pics/Satej Shinde
Grand dames and society swans
As predicted, the Pallavi Jaikishan fashion show, to mark 45 years of her couture career, was a gathering of some of Mumbai high society's most celebrated grande dames and swans. Held on Saturday, it saw the likes of Kokilaben Ambani, Rashmi Thackeray, Indira Aswani, Zarine Khan, Shweta Bachchan, Roohi Jaikishan, Farah Oomerbhoy and Lyla Marker in the audience with erstwhile royalty like Princess Nandini Singh of Jhabua, Rhea Pillai of Dhanrajgir, Princess Anushka raje Ghorpade of Sandur, and Princess Akshita Kumari Bhanjdeo of Mayurbhanj gracing the ramp wearing her signature creations.
Flushed with exhaustion and success, the designer said she was really happy Kokilaben attended her show, since she is rarely seen at fashion events, and that Rhea Pillai had walked the ramp after ages.
"Also, the fact that my siblings were present made it really special," she said, adding, "My sister Mallika Amin flew in from Baroda and my brother Harsh Mariwala came with his wife Archana."
The Princess of 'pop' philosophy
Something of a David versus Goliath moment occurred at a conclave on Saturday when the diminutive, and very girlish Alia Bhatt, slayed a hall full of some of the country's most celebrated brains, with her wit and wisdom. Speaking on 'Lessons from my father, myth and reality,' Bollywood's current sweetheart took the bull by the horns with a full frontal assault on her much vaunted 'dumb blonde' persona. "My father always said that if you were the cleverest person in the room — you should find a new room," said the actress who very soon had the audience eating out of her hand.
Taking the adoring crowd through pop philosophy, new age maxims, and the charming trope of simulating a dialogue with her absent but omnipresent patriarch, in the form of an empty armchair, Bhatt, who spoke from the heart, was one of the stars of the star-studded show.
Kissa kursi ka
Often more riveting than the proceedings on stage, were those that occurred in the audience around the main table, at a recently concluded uber talkathon this weekend. As is known, gatherings like these are witness to their fair share of social mountaineering, as movers and shakers try to position themselves with the cream of the country's cognoscenti. In this regard, securing a seat on the centre table where the hosts of the event are known to sit is regarded as the Holy Grail of social climbing.
"First a veteran character actor plonked himself on the main table, and there was nothing any could do about it," says one of the guests.
"Then another politically ambitious industrialist grabbed a chair to everyone's dismay, but somehow he was deflected to another seat," says the guest. "The only person who got the seat game absolutely right was one of the event's main sponsors, who had his people case the joint earlier, and ensure that he and his family were led straight to the main table on arrival," says the source. "But, I guess you could do that when you've paid an amount of R1 crore for the privilege" he said wryly.
A candle for Katy
It was only a heartfelt "Will miss you Katy," on a friend's timeline that alerted us to her passing. It was ironic that the media that had once amplified her existence had not bothered to even register the death of Katy Mirza, the Parsi girl who'd captured the popular imagination of her time by becoming a Playboy bunny in 1973. "She was a really sweet simple girl," said TV actress Anju Mahendroo, who had last spoken to Mirza a month ago when she'd been admitted to a London hospital, in the last stages of cancer. "We used to WhatsApp each other jokes and then a few months ago Katy wrote that she would not be able to WhatsApp back as she was seriously ill," says Mahendroo with a sigh.
Had she led a happy life after her high-profile career as the first Indian sex symbol abroad? "Yes, she had a nice home near Sussex and was devoted to her son," said Mahendroo.
RIP Katy Mirza; for a generation of baby boomers you will always remain the first sex symbol of our growing years.