Lethal levels of swag

Akshay Kumar and Twinkle Khanna
Akshay Kumar and Twinkle Khanna

The recent promo for Akshay Kumar's cover for a glossy women's fashion magazine, shot by Dabboo Ratnani, presents the star in exceptional graying machismo: muscles rippling under cashmere suits and gritted jaw with swag quotient at all-time lethal levels.

There's something going on in the Khanna-Kumar household. Both Twinkle and Akshay have begun revealing newer and more engaging facets of their personalities; almost as if after Twinkle broke out of the stereotype of being a star kid (and not just any star kid, but Rajesh Khanna and Dimple Kapadia's star kid ) by writing a smart and sassy column, she also liberated her husband from the image straitjacket that he'd placed himself in — the khiladi mould, whether as an action hero or funny guy.

Since then, Kumar has packed in a critically-acclaimed performance in Air Lift, has involved himself in worthy causes, and has generally emerged as a forceful voice in Bollywood, taking stands on public issues. In this latest promo, he displays a sophistication hitherto unseen. And to think it might have all started with a Mrs FunnyBones!

High-powered betrothal
Creative entrepreneur Radha Kapoor, the eldest daughter of Yes Bank's Founder and CEO Rana Kapoor, got engaged to Delhi-based financial investor and hedge fund partner Aditya Khanna, in a private ceremony over the weekend. The young lady is known to be a serial entrepreneur, and is the Founder & Executive Director of the Indian School of Design and Innovation (ISDI), as well as the owner of pro-kabaddi and hockey teams.

Aditya Khanna and Radha Kapoor
Aditya Khanna and Radha Kapoor

Her fiancé Aditya, who graduated from Cornell with a degree in Computer Science, and is a CFA charter holder, is the son of Delhi-based Ravi and Mina Khanna. The couple were studying in New York during their undergraduate days when they met and their romance blossomed a few months ago in India.

Their union was blessed by both sets of parents on the auspicious occasion of Ashtami on Sunday. And the news of their engagements gave rise to a flurry of congratulations from delighted friends and family from across the world. We wish the couple every bit of happiness.

Coming to a restaurant near you
It's been a while since we featured one of our favourite Bollywood actors, and so without any qualms, we present one more instance of Boman Irani's irresistible charm. This time looking very dashing indeed in formal wear at no less than Hyderabad's Faluknama Palace, in the company of family and friends, which he visited recently on a foodie break.

Boman Irani and Kunal Vijayakar
Boman Irani and Kunal Vijayakar

Wait, who's the joker in the pack? Yes, just as we thought: it's the incorrigible hedonist and free spirit, Irani's bestie Kunal Vijayakar, who, when he's not experiencing the world one great dish at a time in the company of that other Parsi funny man (talk about super specialisation) Cyrus Broacha, can be found at a restaurant near you with Irani and family. Nice!

Kisses from Nandana
Word comes in that Nandana Dev Sen, the petite actress, child activist, and writer, whose last Bolly outing was 'Rang Rasiya', has written a book for children called 'Kangaroo Kisses'. Described as 'an adorable new picture book illustrated by Pippa Curnick', it's about a mother's struggles to get her daughter ready for bed, when all the little girl wants to do is daydream about her favourite animals.

Nandana Dev Sen
Nandana Dev Sen

This is not the Harvard-educated actress's first brush with the world of literature. Her mother Nabaneeta Dev Sen is an acclaimed poet, her father is the Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, and most recently, Sen married John Makinson the distinguished chairman of the international publishing company Penguin Random House. 'It's late, darling, hush! /Let's find your toothbrush' is one of the charming couplets from the book.

It's in the numbers
Our friend Sanjay Jumaani sends in some numerological gyaan on the forthcoming (and contentious) US presidential elections "Donald Trump was born on 14/6/1946 — a double No 5, ruled by Mercury, which is the fastest planet of communication and knowledge," he says, adding, "and his name adds to No 3 which is Jupiter, but fickle Mercury can make him slippery. On the other hand, Hillary Clinton has an edge as she is a Scorpio and the elections are during the Scorpio period."

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Pic/AFP
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Pic/AFP

So, what do the stars/numbers tell us about who will occupy the White House in less than a month from now? After some obtuse number crunching, Jumaani waffles: "While we don't have a very clear and outright winner, with respect to numerology and my gut, I feel Hillary has an edge over Donald, who may just be knocked out by the slightly younger Democrat!" From his mouth to God's ears —as they say.

Politics and turmoil
News comes in from the recently concluded Indo-American Arts Council litfest in NYC: at a panel discussion moderated by senior US-based journo Chidanand Rajghatta with the likes of Barkha Dutt, Salil Tripathi and Kanchan Chandra, it transpired that Shashi Tharoor happened to be seated quite prominently in the first row.

Shashi Tharoor and Rahul Gandhi
Shashi Tharoor and Rahul Gandhi

Now, with a topic as timely as 'Politics and Turmoil', sources say Rajghatta could not resist drawing the Congress leader into the discussion and his opening remark, "What's the difference?" (between the two) appeared to be just the right gambit. The discussion turned out to be a lively one, though no one was certain who got the better of the argument.

Chidanand Rajghatta (Pic/Twitter), Salil Tripathi and Barkha Dutt
Chidanand Rajghatta (Pic/Twitter), Salil Tripathi and Barkha Dutt

Or if Tharoor was required to heroically come to the defence of his putative leader, the Congress VeePee, and some of the tumultuous utterances he's made.

Pseud's corner
The state of art writing is a curious one. Long have satirists and cynics mocked the pretentions and pedantry of the art world, especially those of its critics and curators. But this recent endorsement by a Delhi-based curator, critic and all-round high priest in the world of art, about a recent debut exhibition in Mumbai of a rather winsome Delhi socialite, certainly takes the cake: 'If a painting was a hormone, hers would be pure testosterone,' he writes.

'The heart beats faster; there is a rush of blood to the head, of adrenaline to the heart. These are works of mighty seduction. They stimulate the senses, inflame them. They are symbols of a grand passion.' Needless to say, we have been left speechless after reading this.

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