Hot gig with Coldplay

"He's a really cool guy, funny as hell, and with a big heart." It was rockstar activist and one half of the film industry's most successful music makers, Vishal Dadlani, telling us about his serendipitous gig with (gulp) Coldplay's Chris Martin at Delhi's Summer House, on an ordinary Wednesday night which has been since described as 'surreal,' 'ape shit,' 'holy shit' and 'para para paradise' by ecstatic fans of both men.

Vishal Dadlani performing with Chris Martin. Pic/Twitter
Vishal Dadlani performing with Chris Martin. Pic/Twitter

"We had called him to ask if a bleary-eyed peek at our social media timeline the previous night could be trusted and that it hadn't been a dream. How did it transpire? "Freida (Pinto) was instrumental in putting us together over dinner at the home of one of her friends the food was stellar and when that was done, Chris just decided that we should go play somewhere. So, we did. No rehearsals," he said.

But it was not all play and no work for the Coldplay frontman the next day. As a representative of The Global Poverty Project, he, along with actress Freida Pinto, met with PM Narendra Modi as a follow-up to Modi's call last year for a global movement to end poverty and provide universal sanitation. Which, of course, is another kind of music to our ears.

Baba Siddique and conflict resolution
Word comes in that internationally renowned conflict resolution expert and former Bandra MLA, the affable Baba Siddique, will host his annual iftaar party this Sunday at a suburban hotel. Known to be the venue where a certain Bandstand boy of epic proportions and matching abs, hugs and makes up with another Bandstand boy of matching measurements over a periodic skirmish, it is a much-awaited occasion on the national calendar. (The lads skirmish a lot, so Mr Siddique's skills are called upon annually.)

Baba Siddique with Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan. File pic
Baba Siddique with Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan. File pic

But now that there's not been the usual late-night pelting of each other's windows or puncturing of each other's tricycle tyres, we wonder if the uber host's expertise could be available to other more needy skirmishers: Like Lalit Modi and Arun Jaitley ? Or Celina Jaitley and Sunny Leone? Or, er, Greece and the EU?

Footloose and fancy free
He seems an unlikely lotus eater, but with a little encouragement from svelte wife Indrani, Peter Mukerjea, one of the television industry's early icons, and the former CEO of Star India and erstwhile executive chairman of Inx Media, has been jet-setting around the world. His recent travel itinerary includes Ibiza, Marbella, Budapest, and perhaps even Bali.

Indrani and Peter Mukerjea
Indrani and Peter Mukerjea

Ever since the famous Doon School-educated suave suit sold off his interest in INX, and set up home in Bristol, he has swopped his office wear for Tees and cut-offs, his SUV for a Harley, and what indicates the ultimate unspooling even shaved off his trademark mouche! Bon Vie.

Random kindness and senseless acts of beauty
Call us sentimental, but this is the kind of story that brings a lump to our throat. A poignant and edifying story about human nature at its finest, and tied with a happily-ever-after bow at the end. "Nearly two decades ago, a frightened and very beautiful hijra called Priya came at dusk to my house, and told me a sorry tale of how her Guru was pushing her into prostitution.

Priya Babu receives the award from Bhagyaraj
Priya Babu receives the award from Bhagyaraj

She cried that she wanted to return to Chennai to her folks, but was penniless," said gay activist and icon Ashok Row Kavi. "I remember I didn't hesitate, though I was very short of cash. I still have a receipt for the cash I handed her, which she wrote and signed," said the persnickety Geminian, and then segues to the part where the goosebumps appear: "Now here she is, getting a Lifetime Achievement Award from Tamil celebrity Bhagyaraj at the Chennai Rainbow Festival."

"Priya Babu, your grace, goodwill, and good looks, which verge of a kind of smoky sexuality, have brought you many admirers, whereas your hard work has brought you a PhD! It's a moment I treasure as much as I love you," he ended. So there it is, folks. A post-modern urban fable. About one of those acts of random kindness and senseless beauty that illuminate our sorry lives and make us believe in fairy tales all over again.

Talking the talk
"The show is called Koshish se Kamyabi Tak," said actress Kiran Joneja about her recently launched talk show for Doordarshan. "It's the journey of a star from a common person to a superstar the other side of celebrities, whom we want to know deeper about what they do, besides whatever they are already famous for, along with their career graph," she said adding, "In the past, I have done the Kiran Joneja Talk Show, and Faasley, but I have always focused on socially relevant issues this time I wanted to try out something different, so I'm doing a celebrity talk show."

Kiran Joneja and Jackie Shroff
Kiran Joneja and Jackie Shroff

And what was it like interviewing the inscrutable and very stylish Jackie Shroff, we enquired. "It was fabulous; his first modelling assignment was with me, and we have always been in touch. We had also done two acting classes, before I dropped out… Jackie had actually come and cooked in my house many years ago... and so, it was great fun catching up with him and talking about old times," said Joneja. "We are shooting with more celebrities from 1st to 4th of July."

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