In memory of Yash Chopra

Word comes in that the recipient of this year's Yash Chopra National Memorial Award will be none other than Amitabh Bachchan megastar, thespian and the man who owes the revival of his career to the late great producer.

T Subbarami Reddy
T Subbarami Reddy

Called the T Subbarami Reddy Foundation’s National Memorial Award and with a jury that consisted of luminaries such as Hema Malini, Pamela Chopra, Simi Garewal and Anil Kapoor, the institution was created by the ebullient Subbarami Reddy, the high profile Indian industrialist, politician, film producer, and philanthropist, who happened to be a close friend of the late producer and with whom he had co-produced some of his biggest hits (Dilwaala, Chandni and Lamhe) in the early 90s.

Yash Chopra
Yash Chopra

To be held this Thursday at the JW Marriott, it will feature a display of Yash Chopra’s Film Memories and a display of Amitabh Bachchan’s achievements, followed by the award ceremony and dinner. Nice!

Amitabh Bachchan
Amitabh Bachchan

Formidable alliance
And if sources are to be believed, one of the most formidable alliances between two preternaturally accomplished families has been announced over the weekend, when the handsome son of an international management expert whose wife is a talented photographer with interests in art and spirituality, got hitched to the lovely daughter of a gaming tycoon and one of the country’s most renowned corporate lawyers.

And considering that this union boasts of talent and enterprise as far flung as high finance, constitutional and corporate law, gaming, spiritual healing, art and sport through the couple’s various relatives, it is indeed a match made in heaven. What’s best is that the young couple appear to be unscathed by their formidable lineage and display every sign of forging an independent, exciting and adventurous future of their own.

Civilised times
And to prove that we lived in infinitely more civilised times we offer this self-explanatory picture found on the net, ‘Spotted ...in a Zubin Mehta tribute book.

Sign of a civilised time
Sign of a civilised time

Somewhere in Bombay, long long ago,’ said the wistful comment alongside, ‘Has my vote for Best Sign Ever.’ Ours too.

KGA hiccups
“There are very few residents in the Kala Ghoda area. The few that are there have a personal issue — It began with one guy,” it was artist Brinda Miller, Hon. Festival Director of Kala Ghoda Arts Festival giving us her take on the prospects of the weeklong cultural extravaganza, scheduled to take place in the second week of February next year.

Brinda Miller
Brinda Miller

Miller had alerted us to the fact that the case was scheduled to come up yesterday in the High Court. As is well known, the future of KGA had been hanging in balance ever since an alleged resident of the area filed a case against it.

Kala Ghoda Festival. File picKala Ghoda Festival. File pic

“At first he complained against the sound (even though he lives a little off main Rampart Row) this issue was solved by us and we moved out all performances from the street to the Cross Maidan. The next year he said there was a security threat (this time, the Court has said there has been no problem as KGA is taking adequate precautions). Now he says the festival has become ‘commercial’.

The fact of the matter is that 30 per cent of the stalls are NGO stalls. Another 30 per cent are art and craft stalls,” rued Miller, adding, “The new stance he is taking is that he doesn’t mind the visual arts being on the street but cannot tolerate any restaurant or stall as there is garbage.

Maneck Davar and myself, along with other committee members, spent three hours with him and other concerned authorities and offered him a few solutions amicably... which he did not accept.” “We need press and public support,” says Miller, whose family has substantial interest in the area by way of property.

“We are the only multi-cultural festival this city has. We are on the international map of festivals around the world... such a shame that we have no cultural policy and infrastructure,” says Miller, an avowed cultural and heritage activist. “Kala Ghoda Association has been working for 16 years to keep this festival and area alive. It is a bigger issue than Times square @ Kala Ghoda,” she signs off.

Fabulous fakes
OK so this confirms what we’ve always suspected. That the art world is awash with fakes of such magnitude that one wonders at the chutzpah of the individuals involved in this fakery!

A Gaitonde painting
A Gaitonde painting

And now word comes in that all the dots in this nefarious circle of peddlers of spurious art are connected. How so? Well, insiders claim that the same Mumbai-based gent who was known to supply contemporary Indian masterpieces to two high-profile auction houses, one of which has more or less gone bust, is now keen to offload his entire collection.

“It is an unbelievable collection,” said a well-known art collector, known for her passion for the Sixties, who had visited the gentleman at his SoBo bungalow. “Ara’s, Mehta’s, Pyne’s Gaitonde’s and many others, spanning some of the most artistically creative periods in the lives of these men. All stacked in hundreds in this modest unremarkable bungalow!” she gasped, her saucer eyes growing wider.

Bought any, we enquired gently. “Am I mad?” she replied snootily, “Wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole. Just shocked that they even exist!” she said, before dropping in to her favourite club for lunch with the girls...

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