Jaya, Sonia and the Mary Kom effect!

>> Two ladies, two temper tantrums — over two days. When erstwhile friends Sonia and Jaya both chose to lose their cool in the Upper and Lower Houses recently, there were many who were struck by the differences between the manner in which they chose to express their ire.

Sonia’s vexation at Advani’s use of the word ‘illegitimate’ to describe the UPA II was more of a slow burn, with accompanied jaw grinding and a knotted brow.

Jaya’s was more the combustible type and her feisty rise to her feet to demand an apology from Shinde impressed many for its alacrity and spirit. Call it the Mary Kom effect, but we are happy to report that in both cases apologies were sought and accepted. We like!

Mary Kom
Mary Kom

Sonia Gandhi, Jaya Bachchan
Sonia Gandhi, Jaya Bachchan

Artful Dodger
>> Journalist Sucheta Dalal has won many an admirer for her incisive and well-researched exposés of financial scams. After all, it was she who wrote some of the most rousing pieces on the Big Bull run of Harshad Mehta, which ruined many an investor.

Neville Tulli and Sucheta Dalal
Neville Tulli and Sucheta Dalal

So, this time, when she turned her focus to the controversial art impresario Neville Tulli in a piece titled Osian Art Fund: Dirty canvass in Money Life, it was received with much appreciation. “Investors in Neville Tulli’s art fund have been taken for a royal ride. Despite constant pressure from Money Life and collective action from investors, the saga has been one of broken promises,” the article began and then went on to enumerate the many ways that Tulli had borrowed large sums of money and failed to honor his commitments. Incidentally, word has it that two of the investors who had been taken in by his artful spiel, were none other than heavyweight industrialists Gautam Thapar and K Birla — two men who are pretty clued in to the art world themselves. Another indication of Tulli’s talent at raising money!

Aamir’s day out
>> He’s one of India’s biggest box-office draws, a crusader for lost causes and the man who put the M into marketing, but when he chose to step out with his newborn baby, carried close to his chest in a Kangaroo sling, he was the ultimate feminist icon.

Aamir Khan
Aamir Khan

With biceps rippling and a macho buzz cut under a stylish hat, Aamir proved that the strongest men are the ones in touch with their feminine side. We like!

Knives out post LFW
>> There’s many a storm brewing in the LFW C-Cup and one of the pet peeves that the organisers have is the poor turnout that the Lakme Absolute Grand Finale saw. “Hardly any big names, no buzz, no glamour,” is what one insider groaned about Kallol Datta and Pankaj and Nidhi Ahuja’s show which featured Kareena Kapoor as the showstopper. “What do you expect when you don’t have the much-awaited traditional party following the finale? Obviously none of the big names are going to turn up,” he fumed. Apparently, the first row lacked the heavyweight glamour of yore. The other fallout of this year’s LFW is that the knives are out for the ‘socialites’ on the advisory committee, who it is felt, are not pulling their weight by bringing in the necessary glamour to the event. And by the looks of it, a couple of well-known big names are going to be axed very soon. Expect some high-class mewing.

Blast from the past
>> This one’s for the archives. A wonderful picture depicting India’s leading (and most highly priced) artist, the late Tyeb Mehta with his wife Sakina and son Yusuf from the ‘50s, posted by his daughter-in law Fatima on a social networking site. The innocence and clean-cut grace of the couple reminiscent of another era altogether.

The English teacher writes in
>> It is not every day that we receive such an elegantly worded letter in response to something we’ve written on this page.

Minnie Kochar
Minnie Kochar

But the one from Minnie Kochar, Cathedral’s iconic English teacher, carried so much of a lost world charm and refinement that we had to carry it verbatim.

My dear Malavika,
Thank you very much for my moment of glory! Seeing the pleasure your column gave to my near and dear ones, was a really happy experience, though a humbling one. What have I done to deserve these accolades? The years at Cathedral were — mounds of corrections notwithstanding — happy ones. In my growing years, I had never thought I would, but I enjoyed “teaching”. It was not a profession, it was an interaction with many young people and some colleagues who became very good friends; it was a challenge to make those who had closed their minds to literature, especially poetry and Shakespeare, to find some pleasure in it; it was the joy of learning once again, and of sharing that learning with others; it was the stimulation of spending time with youngsters and absorbing some of their youthfulness; it was the intense gratification I felt when my pupils showed appreciation of my efforts. In the last few days, Rahul (Bose) and Tariq (Ansari) and many others have said some very nice things to me. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all and all the others who shared a classroom, including ‘The Attic’, with me. My life has been enriched by all those who touched it, in one-way or another. I have, paradoxically, learnt a great deal from my pupils. So, my heartfelt gratitude to all those whom I “taught”, especially the only one whom I had occasion to throw out of class, and who has in return, given me in all these years, the immeasurable love and devotion which I have done nothing to earn, but have always deeply cherished.

With best wishes and renewed thanks, Yours sincerely, Mrinalini Kochar 

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