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KJo grows older

So Saturday night Bollywood’s Golden Boy Karan Johar turned 42 and brought in his birthday with a star-studded bash befitting of his GB status.

And fittingly, he hosted it at his spanking new sea-facing apartment in Khar-Bandra of which he is suitably proud.

Insiders say it reflects his interest in aesthetics and good design perfectly. And as expected, the industry came in full force to celebrate the birthday of one of its favourite personalities.

Varun Dhawan
Varun Dhawan

In attendance were Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao (KJo’s new bestie), Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri (KJo’s old bestie), a newly single Hritik Roshan, star power couple Vidya Balan and Sidhharth Roy Kapoor, the charismatic Farah Khan and also Bollywood brat-packers like Sonam Kapoor, Kangana Ranaut, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Siddharth Malhotra and Parineeti Chopra.

Alia Bhatt
Alia Bhatt

And of course an electrifying crowd like this ensured that the party lasted until the wee hours of the morning with much bonhomie and good humour. But sources tell us that Karan is already back at work, putting in the final bells and whistles for Humpty Sharma Ki Dhulania which is in post-production (its trailer releases today).

Karan Johar
Karan Johar

Starring Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt, it is scheduled to be released this summer and sources say KJO has already got a script and a top lead actor in mind for his next directorial venture, which will begin early next year! Golden Boys have to work very hard to stay Golden.

Top editorial moves
According to our sources, Shekhar Gupta, editor-in-chief of The Indian Express, Padma Bhushan awardee and one of India’s most celebrated journalists has reportedly put in his papers and might just move to take up key responsibility at India Today.

Shekhar Gupta
Shekhar Gupta

While the reasons are unknown, our sources say that ever since Viveck Goenka returned to take charge of the Express, Gupta’s days at the paper were numbered. It will be recalled that a few months earlier, in a finely worded missive to his colleagues, Gupta, who was until then the CEO too, had ‘recused’ himself of those responsibilities that had nothing to do with the editorial at the paper and which he had been forced to fulfil in Goenka’s absence.

And those who read the tea leaves at the recent Mumbai launch of Gupta’s ‘Anticipating India The Best of National Interest’ also commented on the prominent presence of Viveck’s son Anant, who all say is the media powerhouse of the future to watch. Incidentally, if Gupta does end up at India Today this will be his second stint.

Tiger burning bright
Thursday night saw us making it to the pre-release preview of Heropanti, starring our friends Jackie and Ayesha Shroff’s cub, Tiger. Entering the theatre, we ran into the Shroffs and Tiger standing in the aisles anxiously.

Kirti Sanon and Tiger Shroff
Kirti Sanon and Tiger Shroff

The jitters that star parents experience when their progeny are being launched cannot be underestimated. For years, they have waited for this day and this hour, when audiences will decide whether they embrace or reject their child. It is akin to the nervousness parent’s feel when their kid goes to an exam or for a job interview.

Jackie Shroff
Jackie Shroff

Fortunately, for Jackie and Ayesha, from the time he appeared on screen, it was quite evident that Tiger has star qualities in abundance. Not only is he in possession of a rare physicality that renders him a superb dancer and action hero, but he also exudes likeability, which translates into instant on-screen charisma.

So naturally, in the iconic Yash Raj Film’s preview theatre that evening, the buzz amongst the Bollywood elite who had gathered for a sneak peak of the debuting actor was rah-rah, We spotted the likes of Subhash Ghai, David Dhawan, Malaika and Arbaaz Khan, Danny Denzongpa, Mana Shetty, Neetu Kapoor, Dipti Sandesara, Ana Singh, Jacqueline Fernandez, Bhushan Kumar, Pinky Roshan, Sophie Chaudhary and Sikandar Kher, amongst others, in attendance.

And now, if rumours are to be believed we will get to see Tiger play Lord Shiva in KJo’s adaptation of Amish Tripathi’s best-selling ‘The Immortals Of Meluha’- a role that he was born to enact.

Love me, love my second plane
When the patriarch of this billion dollar conglomerate, known for products like cement and zinc, built a palace in place of a stage at the Turf Club a few years ago for his daughter’s reception, the whole city praised his flamboyance and sense of style; but recently when he acquired a Mercedes S Class and a second plane, the compliments turned to criticism.

Why? Well, according to some of the group’s top executives, their salaries have not been paid for the past three months, and what’s more, creditors have not been repaid either. What has surprised insiders is that the company’s low-profile Chairman has never displayed signs of recklessness before. “But buying a plane and other status symbols at a time like this worries us that we are going the Yash Birla Group way,” wailed a top executive.

Saturday Night diaper
And congratulations are due to Isha Koppikar and Timmy Narang who are said to be expecting their first baby. This good-looking couple married in 2009 have been noted for their mature approach to marriage and their ability to give each other space.

Timmy Narang and Isha Koppikar
Timmy Narang and Isha Koppikar

Timmy, in fact, is known to party hard and mostly alone. So it’s nice to know that soon this man about town will be a happy dad and Saturday nights will be for staying in and changing diapers. Sweet!

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