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Malavika SangghviReaders might recall when we had written about finding pairs of mirror images from Hollywood and Bollywood (Aamir Khan = Tom Hanks; Shah Rukh Khan = Leonardo DiCaprio and Salman Khan = Tom Cruise, we had said).

Well, after we watched the Oscars here’s some more: Harrison Ford = Rajinikanth. Why? Because both command respect, are gold standards in their respective industries and have no qualms about ageing off camera. And also: Bradley Cooper = Saif Ali Khan.

Harrison Ford and Rajnikanth
Harrison Ford and Rajnikanth

Why? Because both play edgy, complex roles, take risks with their careers, and have very similar noses! We told you this isn’t rocket science!

Bradley Cooper and Saif Ali Khan
Bradley Cooper and Saif Ali Khan

Indians at the Smithsonian
The ‘Beyond Bollywood: Indian-Americans Shape the Nation’ exhibition, which opens this week at the Smithsonian is creating a buzz.

Created to acknowledge and do justice to the vast contribution that Indian-Americans have made to the States, it traces the saga of the first Indians settlers in 1790, (who helped build the nation’s railroads and farms) to the invasion of doctors and nurses in the ’60s and the techie wave in more recent times.

Naeem Khan Naeem Khan's dress worn by Michelle Obama in 2012 is now on display at the Smithsonian
Naeem Khan and Naeem Khan's dress worn by Michelle Obama in 2012 is now on display at the Smithsonian

But what appears to have tickled the American imagination most amidst the plethora of businessmen, doctors, writers, entertainers, athletes and spelling bee winners in the exhibition is Mumbai-boy Naeem Khan’s designs for Michelle Obama!

“For more than a year, curators worked to borrow a dress made by Indian-American designer Naeem Khan for Mrs Obama,” said the Citizen newspaper, adding, “Khan draws on a line of Indian embroidery techniques in his design for an American silhouette.” Khan who has made quite a name for himself in NYC couture circles left India in the ’70s and is married to the former model Ranjana.

Tea with the BJP
We caught up with BJP treasurer and fashion designer Shaina NC as she got off an NDTV interview. Nana’s daughter has certainly inherited her father’s gift of the gab and her mother Munira’s charm.

Raveena Tandon, Shaina NC, Chetan Bhagat, Mickey Mehta
Raveena Tandon, Shaina NC, Chetan Bhagat, Mickey Mehta

“We are in the process of organising a new Chai Pe Charcha on the theme of ‘good governance’ this Friday,” she informed us. “Modi-ji is keen to have many interactions with the polity so that questions can be answered,” she said.

“The last one had Chetan Bhagat, Raveena Tandon, Mickey Mehta at Carter Road. This one’s going to be held just outside High Court and will feature prominent members of the legal fraternity like advocates Aarti Sathe and Rahul Tewari,” said the high-profile Mumbaikar. So now it appears to be coffee, tea or BJP.

House of Jaffrey
And now that House of Cards has garnered favourable attention in India too, people have been enquiring about the attractive Sakina Jaffrey who plays Linda Vasquez, the White House Chief of Staff (on whose appointment the plot turns).

Sakina Jaffrey
Sakina Jaffrey

Jaffrey, of course, is the daughter of Madhur and Saeed Jaffrey. Born in Manhattan, she was brought up by her mother Madhur, the culinary queen, who had made daal sexy to the Western world, long before Padma Lakshmi was even born.

Saeed Jaffrey Madhur Jaffrey
Saeed Jaffrey and Madhur Jaffrey

With her background in the arts (she appeared with her father in the film Masala (1991) and with her mother in The Perfect Murder (1988) and her education from Vassar College, it was not too long before she joined the ‘family business’ as it were. For her role in House of Cards, the actress says she watched interviews with Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton and read a lot about American politics.

But it was another kind of knowledge from between the sheet, which proved most valuable: “I sleep next to a man that can fill me in if I don’t know what’s going on all the time,” said the actress. “My husband has been involved in politics both as a journalist and a political consultant.

When Clinton was inaugurated, we moved to Washington for three years, because he was a political correspondent for Rolling Stone,” she said in an interview to Metro recently. Now, that’s taking research to a whole new level, we say.

Marriage made in heaven
Rarely have two people complemented each other so perfectly as have Delhi-based businesswoman Ayesha Thapar, inheritor of the Thapar family legacy and Nikesh Arora, senior vice-president and chief business officer at Google.

Ayesha Thapar Nikesh Arora
Ayesha Thapar and Nikesh Arora

Not only do they match each other in the looks department, but neither lack gray cells, say insiders. Nikesh, who is an electrical engineer with a master’s degree from Boston College and an MBA from Northeastern University, is credited with expanding Google into new markets and for much of the company’s international success, and Thapar is said to have turned around the company she inherited.

So, the fact that wedding bells are in the air this year for the two, both of whom have been married before, is matter of great celebration for all who know them. “It will be in Europe,” said our source. Here’s wishing them the very best.

Overheard
“Now that Nargis Fakhri and Freida Pinto have finally proven that Bollywood babes can talk dirty, and know enough about the birds and the bees, can we presume that the ‘ask mummy’ phase of Bollywood is finally over and done with? - A relieved male fan after watching the latest KJO show on Star World.

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