Mama's boys

>> There is something irresistibly attractive about macho men who reveal their softer side. And this Tuesday, when uber cricketer and cancer survivor Yuvraj Singh appeared on Barkha Dutt’s show with his attractive and articulate mother Shabnam, amidst an audience that comprised of cancer patients, it was a show that despite its grim subject, left viewers with a feel good takeaway.

For there was Yuvi admitting to how his mother’s love and support had been one of the main factors that helped him on his road to recovery. “Mothers are very special,” he said. Interestingly, Yuvi is not the only Indian icon that wears his love for his mama on his sleeve.

Rahul and Sonia Gandhi, Neetu Singh with son Ranbir Kapoor, Yuvraj Singh with mom Shabnam
Rahul and Sonia Gandhi (left), Neetu Singh with son Ranbir Kapoor, Yuvraj Singh with mom Shabnam (right)

Two other highly influential and famous men who are also mama’s boys: Bollywood’s heartthrob Ranbir Kapoor has professed his love and gratitude to his mother Neetu Singh on many occasions. And the other? Who else gentle reader but Rahul Gandhi, who must be the ultimate mama’s boy, if the trajectory of his career is any thing to go by? So MB’s have been outed in sports, films and politics. Any reader who can find one in the Biz world is welcome to send his name.

How do they sleep at night?
>> We are appalled that people who ought to know better were pussy footing about their support for Aseem Trivedi’s unconditional release. It matters not that his cartooning was not good enough or that his jokes were crude.

P Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal, Salman Rushdie
(From left) P Chidambaram , Kapil Sibal, Salman Rushdie

It was the principle of the thing. And now, word comes in that one of India’s greatest authors Salman Rushdie, the person who gave voice to a generation of writers thanks to his seminal Midnight’s Children might have to face the ignominy of having his narrator’s voice removed from the movie based on the book — or else the film might not get released in India? Have the powers that be lost sense altogether? What has happened to the great so-called liberals in the government the men like Chidambaram and Khurshid and Sibal or our own CM Chavan with their degrees from Harvard and Oxford and Berkeley? How do they face themselves in the mirror or sleep at night? If a cartoonist can be arrested for sedition or a great author be edited out of his own movie then arrest us all we say. Arrest us and be done with the illusion that we live in a functioning democracy.

The solidarity of cartoonists
>> Somehow we expected Raj Thackeray to come out in support of cartoonist Aseem Trivedi. Of the little we’ve seen of him, the demagogue might have views that are diametrically opposed to any liberal thinking person’s, but in the context of cartooning he sees himself as belonging to the fraternity. In fact, our first meeting with Raj was in the context of his upcoming exhibition of cartoons, a few years ago, when he gave us an interview on the same.

Raj Thackeray, Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi
Raj Thackeray, Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi

We were fascinated to see how the rabble-rouser transformed into an anxious draughtsman like any other, fussing about frames, lighting when he discussed his art. We had been a tad concerned how the meeting would go, given our opposing views on so many issues. We share this with you because even though the media often conveys cut out stereotypes of people, we all know that, in fact, we are all composites of so many different characters and each one of us possesses shades of the good, the bad and the ugly. Maturity is realising this and allowing ourselves and others the freedom to exist in complexity and nuance. Which is not to say that we will not oppose Thackeray each time he spews venom against people who can’t fight back like immigrants and Muslims. We will and we do. Just that, as a consummate people watcher, we love it when we come across contradictory facets in people.

Like that other noted cartoonist Thackeray’s uncle Balasaheb who once told that one of the people he admired most was Walt Disney!

Of course, the fact that he added Adolf Hitler’s (he referred to him as an artist) name shouldn’t take away from the surprise of his admiration for the man who created Bambi!

Wedding bells!
>> We have just received news of a wedding to be held later this month in Europe of the pretty Farrah Mehta, daughter of one of Mumbai’s prominent Parsi clans. She is marrying Sagar Shewakramani over an elegant weekend in a European resort. Farrah’s grandparents, the late Aileen and Russi Karanjia were very much part of the city’s literati.

Rita Mehta
Rita Mehta

Russi’s hell-raising tabloid was at the centre of many a media storm and the elegant high-born Aileen was one of our own mother’s dearest friends and a hostess to the country’s top thinkers politicians and writers. No surprise then that the Dubai-based Farrah is a well–regarded journalist in her own right, taking the baton from not only her maternal grandfather but also from her parents Rita and the late Karl Mehta who for many years shepherded the Blitz and created and ran Cine Blitz, the popular film monthly.We wish the family well, and are delighted at this development.

Planet Hunk
>> Monday’s going to be a feast for the eyes for a lot of lucky women at the Grand finale of the Amby Valley India Bridal Week 2012 when some of the city’s most dashing hunks will be walking the ramp for grand finale presented by JJ Vallaya.

Fashion designer JJ Vallaya, AD Singh, Narendra Kumar
(From left)Fashion designer JJ Vallaya, AD Singh, Narendra Kumar

According to an insider, the men who have been invited to tickle the fancy of the audience have been drawn from an eclectic list: dashing designers Rohit Bal, and Nari Kumar, restaurateur AD Singh, our brother in-law, industrialist and musician Suresh Bhojwani, and photographer Atul Kasbekar will be the icing on Vallaya’s big day which also happens to be his 20th anniversary in fashion. 

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