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Mahindra's private passion

We like happy endings. Ratan Tata studied architecture at MIT and finally got a chance to build the home of his dreams across the water in Alibaug, once he'd retired.

Anand Mahindra studied filmmaking at Harvard and with the launch this week of Cinestaan Entertainment Private Limited, a venture he has privately invested in, he seems to be finally giving himself the chance to fulfil his life’s dream of making movies.

Helmed by his old friend and colleague Rohit Khattar, (the man behind the Indian Accent phenomena) Cinestaan Film Company, a division of the venture, has announced a three-film agreement with Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s ROMP Pictures. According to reports, the first film as a co-production with ROMP Pictures will be the Rakeysh Mehra directed ‘Mirziya’.

(From left) Anand Mahindra, Rohit Khattar and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
(From left) Anand Mahindra, Rohit Khattar and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra

When will Mahindra, one of corporate India’s leading personalities, direct a movie himself? After all, both his college batchmates Meera Nair and Sooni Taraporevala have already done so. Or is it ‘Picture abhi baki hai’?

Ratan Tata
Ratan Tata

Eid with the Khans
Yesterday was a day imbued with the poignancy of nostalgia, as we took the long winding road back to our childhood home in Juhu. The occasion was an invitation to partake of an Eid lunch at our dear friends, Akbar and Mariam Khan’s tree-lined home in Juhu, just a stone’s throw from where we had grown up.

Akbar and Mariam Khan
Akbar and Mariam Khan

Akbar is the youngest of the famous Khan brothers of Juhu, that pride of swashbuckling and devastatingly good-looking siblings, the late Feroz, Sanjay, Shahrukh, Sameer, and their beautiful sister Dilshad, in whose company we more or less grew up as kids. They had come from Bangalore and settled in Juhu in the sixties, and had made their mark on Bollywood with Feroz, Sanjay, Sameer and Akbar all entering the industry.

That was long before the days of SRK, Salman and Aamir, when the phrase ‘the Khan brothers‘ could only mean one thing: the fiery, glamorous Pathans from Bangalore who had the world eating out of their palms for their charm, their joie de vivre and their polish.

So, naturally, an invitation to celebrate Eid with the warm and hospitable Akbar and Mariam was one that we looked forward to hugely. And we were not disappointed. From meeting the lovely Zarine and Sanjay with their daughters Farah Khan Ali and Simone Arora and their exquisite children, to old friends of the family like Kabir Bedi, Hena Khanna and Cyrus Shroff, it was pure unadulterated pleasure. And what’s best of all is that we get drenched in a sudden and heavy downpour on our way out. Nostalgia never tasted so good.

The Guppy comes to town
“OUR big news is that we are opening our famous Delhi-based Japanese restaurant ‘Guppy by ai’ in Mumbai this weekend.” It was our friend and erstwhile neighbour, the peripatetic restaurateur A D Singh, filling us in about his latest FB news.

AD Singh
AD Singh

“It’s opening as a Pop Up @ our Olive in the racecourse. Yes it’s replacing the Pop Up Thalassa this season.” And what can we Mumbaikers expect form Guppy by ai, we enquired. “Delicious Japanese food,” said the zestful bon vivant. “Especially the vegetarian menu, which is particularly good!”

Shaan at Tomorrowland
“HE played a banging sundowner set on the Dream Island stage. Big room sounds, but with sweet melodies. But, the best was that he dropped four of his own tracks. The crowd was mixed, from all over the world, but they loved all of it!” said a hipster, newly returned from the recently concluded Tomorrowland Festival, the world’s largest electronic music festival held in the aptly named Boom in Belgium.

DJ Shaan at Tomorrowland festival
DJ Shaan at Tomorrowland festival

He was talking about the performance of the young DJ Shaan, son of Percept’s head honcho Shailendra Singh, who had been the first Indian DJ to play at the prestigious venue. “They all knew who Shaan was! The head of Tomorrowland radio, the film production crew, other DJs the festival’s management, they had all heard about the ‘kid from India’. Even the driver of his artiste pickup car had read about him in the newspapers,” said the fan.

“They all came to wish him luck, give advice and support him in representing India.” And what did it feel like being up there at Tomorrowland, we asked Shaan when we caught up with him when he was about to take a flight to Croatia to play at the Love festival. “I didn’t have any expectations. I was just so excited to be there and make India proud. The crowd was completely amazing. Sunburn has been my home since I started at 15,” he said about his family’s EDM property, “I’ve found a second home at Tomorrowland.”

Power Women just chillin’
“It was just an excuse to bring together some very close friends in the salubrious climes of Shimla,” said World Bank communication specialist, Prabha Chandran, about her birthday celebration held last week, which brought together some of the Capital’s power women (and two happy men).

Prabha Chandran with Uma Gajapathi, Lillete Dubey, Manya Patil-Seth, Vinita Nangia amongst other power women
Prabha Chandran with Uma Gajapathi, Lillete Dubey, Manya Patil-Seth, Vinita Nangia amongst other power women

“The post-colonial splendour of the Oberoi Cecil and Wildflower Hall added an edge of glamour and history to the celebrations, which lasted over two days,” said our former colleague, who has managed the UN information campaign in East Timor, Indonesia, Vietnam and most recently, in Nairobi. For the attractive Chandran, who returned to Delhi just a fortnight ago, it was also something of a homecoming.

“I would like to divide my time between Oslo, which is my husband’s hometown, and Delhi, where I will continue to do development work as I remain on the World Bank roster as a consultant.” And her guest list: politician Uma Gajapathi, thespian Lillete Dubey, India Today Publisher Mala Sekhri, columnist Vinita Nangia, diva Manya Patil- Seth, marketing executive Neeti Singh (marketing manager for Economic Times Mumbai), danseuse Pratibha Prahlad and film critic Aruna Vasudev with senior Rahul Singh and filmmaker Ramesh Sharma. That’s some list!

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