Jodi No 1?

>> So it turns out we aren’t the only ones impressed by young Alia Bhatt’s performance in the recently released Highway trailer. Word comes in that no less than Ranbir Kapoor has been gob-struck by Alia’s acting chops, reminiscent of and on par with Hollywood’s Jennifer Lawrence.

So stirred was Kapoor by what he saw, that he was overheard predicting that Bhatt was slated to be Bollywood’s next big thing following the release of the Imtiaz (Rockstar) Ali-directed movie.

Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt

And when it was pointed out to the actor that perhaps it was the Ali magic that was responsible for her virtuosity, Kapoor is reported to have emphasised that the brilliance was Bhatt’s alone. “After all, Nargis (Fakri) didn’t really add up to much under the same director,” Kapoor is reported to have said, or words to that effect.

Be that as it may, perhaps the consummate actor has met his match and we are looking at the Jodi No 1 of the future?

RWITC results
>> The brewing storm over the RWITC elections reached a crescendo with the Annual General Meeting yesterday.

According to a source record, 1,300 members turned up, nearly 70 per cent of the electorate, one of the highest turnouts.

Rishi Kapoor, Vijay Mallya and Randhir Kapoor

And finally, after an agonising wait, Vivek Jain’s panel came up trumps, getting the majority on the committee, and Vivek, with the highest votes, was re-instated as Chairman of the Club, a position that had eluded him last year. The voting members included some heavyweights — not normally seen at the elections — Dr Vijay Mallya, Dr Vijaypat Singhania, Ravi Ghai, Goolam Vahanvati, Randhir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Pankaj Udhas, to name just a few.
With the heat blown over, Mr Jain and his team have their work cut out for what surely will be a difficult year ahead.

The Arnab rap number
>> And like the rest of the nation, we sit each evening at prime time wanting to know what Arnab Goswami says, thinks, argues, and concurs. Which is why his recent exchange with Meenakshi Lekhi, when she made the mistake of questioning his principles (a non-negotiable, as far as he’s concerned), which has riveted social media sites and even been converted into a rap number (how many never evers can one sound byte contain), has had us so delighted.

Watching it on YouTube repeat and witnessing the usually aggressive BJP spokeswoman cringe like an errant schoolgirl is one of live TV’s most entertaining moments as far as we are concerned. But the man himself is still not amused.

“I really feel what she said was highly offensive, and something no self-respecting journalist could let pass. Under the circumstance, I think my response was more than appropriate,” he said.

We never ever ever ever ever doubted that in the first place.

Sanjana’s Junoon
>> And this afternoon, we are looking forward to breaking bread with the lovely Sanjana Kapoor to learn about the latest initiative of Junoon, her cultural outreach venture. “Imagine if your city offered you wonderful spaces that revived and rejuvenated your fatigued senses after a hectic stressful week, a neighbourhood park, a local bookshop or museum where you could go to to immerse yourself in the arts, listen to various artists, try your hand at different forms of creativity, get to see your neighbours perform and watch professional theatre.

We plan to do all this through MUMBAI LOCAL, a community arts initiative by Junoon,” she says. And the agenda? “To allow Mumbaikars to revive their senses and build a strong sense of belonging and unity in the city,” says the cultural impresario and theatre actress.


Stop press
>> And this from our friend the writer and activist Ashok Row Kavi: “A meeting has been called by the Lawyers’ Collective, Naz India, the Humsafar Trust, the Alternative Law Forum, Sangama, Voices Against 377, and others at Habitat on Lodhi Road, in Delhi on December 22 from 10 am onwards to discuss the way forward for the LGBT community.”

Koffee Kulture
Could there be any better example of learned behaviour and peer pressure than the manner in which the world has embraced the act of imbibing coffee?

Think about it, a few ground beans, a dash of milk and a mug of hot water have become our passports to urban culture.

Coffee has become a metaphor for cool, for community for international living and modern savvy.

It wakes us up in the morning, breaks the ice at meetings, revs up ones creative juices and is the best way to jumpstart a relationship, an enterprise, or just one’s social life.

How did this all happen and when? Five years ago, I was bemused to witness the ubiquity of Starbucks across New York and San Francisco.

Every block had a coffee shop — a place to hang, sip, work, read listen to music, wait for your next appointment, use the loo or just wile away the hours.

Today, a coffee shop is a universal public utility, one of the most vital corners on which urban living is predicated.

And whether it’s Koffee with Karan, the idea of café society, the appearance of Shabana Azmi clutching a coffee mug on a TV show discussing women’s rights, or all those coffee quotations on social media — coffee has become a liet motif of our lives.

And here’s my favorite coffee quotation, culled from (where else?) that purveyor of all things cool: Facebook.

‘Lord, give me coffee to change the things I can change, and wine to accept the things I can’t.’

As for wine… it deserves a whole other meditation
— MS 

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