Mannat's new neighbour?

While watching Fan the other day we were struck by two of its overarching tropes: how the film was a paean to the SRK phenomena and how it served as a brochure for fine living at Mannat, the star's mansion at Bandra's Bandstand.

So when we heard that Mannat's neighbouring bungalow, the iconic Kekee Manzil, the ancestral home of the late great gallerist Kekoo Gandhi and his family, has been allegedly put on the market for a staggering Rs 200 crore, we were not surprised.

Kekee Manzil in Bandra has been allegedly put up on the market for a staggering Rs 200 crore. File pic
Kekee Manzil in Bandra has been allegedly put up on the market for a staggering Rs 200 crore. File pic

Even grander than Mannat, Kekee Manzil is renowned not only for its legacy but also for its vantage location. What's best of all is that the Gandhi family is supposed to have insisted that they will sell only to a genuine resident and not someone who will pull it down to construct a high-rise.

Shireen Gandhi
Shireen Gandhi

So who will the lucky owner of this iconic mansion be? Or more importantly-who will be Mannat's new neighbour? Calls to Kekoo's daughter Shireen were not answered. Watch this space.

Respect across party lines
A delightful vignette occurred on the sidelines of the Zubin Mehta concert on Wednesday night. The concert was underway and the front row of the Brabourne was packed with some of the city's most glamorous faces: Nancy Mehta, the conductor's better half, industrialists Cyrus Poonawalla and Nusli Wadia, (both of whose companies were the show's main sponsors) Maureen Wadia, Cipla's Yusuf (Yuku) Hamied and wife Farida and NCP leader Supriya Sule with her dashing husband Sadanand.

Suresh Prabhu, Supriya Sule and Uma Prabhu
Suresh Prabhu, Supriya Sule and Uma Prabhu

A few minutes into the show, in walked our friend and former colleague Uma, with her husband Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of Railways, and known to be the most upright and one of the brightest stars in the Modi cabinet. "We've just arrived straight from the airport," Uma whispered in my ear, before proceeding to look for their seats.

At which point both Sadanand and Supriya jumped up, warmly greeted the august couple and vacated their seats in the front row and insisted that the Minister and wife occupy the seats - a graceful gesture indeed.
But it got us thinking. Prabhu, a former member of the Shiv Sena who joined the BJP in 2014, is in a party that has often taken hard stands against the NCP, especially in Maharashtra. Nice to see that respect and affection cuts across party lines.

My family and other Animals
"We were lucky to have a mini zoo at the palace grounds in Baroda. When I was young we would feed crocodiles, deer and wild boar at the palace grounds and had a host of other pets. One of the biggest influences in my life was my uncle Maharaja Fatehsinhrao Gaekwad (aka Fatty Singh), the world-renowned conservationist at the forefront of establishing the World Wildlife Fund in India. I recall even having pet turtles in our office at Nariman Point aside from our dogs," says Pratap Singh Gaekwad, scion of the erstwhile royal family of Baroda, who will be launching a state of the art vet clinic in Sobo this week.

Pratap Singh Gaekwad with Chevvy
Pratap Singh Gaekwad with Chevvy

"Basically, I love animals because I have grown up and Crown Vet stems from the helplessness I felt, every time one of my pets would fall ill. I wondered why our level of veterinary care was not up to European or American standards, especially since our country is known to produce great doctors." Incidentally the clinic has been set up as a tribute to Gaikwad's much-loved Great Dane named 'Chevvy'. "They share a bond that is indescribable," says his wife, the elegant Praggyashree Gaekwad. And fittingly the logo of Crown Vet has been the talk of the town as it is none other than Chevvy's face!

Motorcycle Gang
Big boys and their big bikes have always fascinated us. There's something about those big throbbing monster machines and the adventurous souls who straddle them that speaks of the unfettered life and the call of the wild, and so when we met Colvyn Harris, former head honcho of leading ad agency of JWT, he brought us up to speed on his new found passion and the trip he's undertaken with fellow bikers from Alibag to Goa. "We cooked freshly caught fish on a fire, drove through the dawn and had some of the most interesting experiences along the way."

Colvyn Harris and the bikers
Colvyn Harris and the bikers

Currently, Harris is at it again this time from Chiang Mai to Fang via Nan and Myanmar to Laos along the Thai Border. And the other riders are event manager Martin Da Costa, Bollywood actor Yudhishtir Urs or Yudi and scriptwriter Kersi Khambatta. Boys just want to have fun. Vroom, Vroom.

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