Mehr's book deal

She's been known for all the wrong reasons so far, namely as the third angle in the Tharoor-Pushkar triangle that ended in tragedy last year, so it must come as a relief for Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar that she has a signed a contract with the award-winning publisher Aleph for a forthcoming book.

Sunanda Pushkar and Shashi Tharoor
Sunanda Pushkar and Shashi Tharoor

“Mehr is doing a book for us called ‘Many Malalas: Ordinary People Fighting for Change in Pakistan’,” said David Davidar, co-founder of Aleph, when we enquired if it was indeed true that he had roped in the writer “As the title suggests, it’s a series of profiles of regular men and women who are trying to make a difference-often at considerable risk to themselves,” he said.

Mehr Tarar. Pic/Twitter
Mehr Tarar. Pic/Twitter

But of course, Davidar, who also publishes Tharoor is astute enough to know that book sales would sky rocket if Tarar would write about her part in the Pushkar affair and what led to that very public Twitter spat a few days before Pushkar died.

Incidentally, according to sources, other writers have expressed an interest in telling that tale, amongst them renowned Naipaul biographer Patrick French. “He’s waiting for the dust to settle and some clarity to emerge,” says the source. But given his own talent who better to tell the story than Tharoor himself?

Aamir talks the walk
“I’m so very impressed with Aamir’s sense of commitment to good causes. He agreed to speak at our event right away,” says BJP spokesperson and designer Shaina NC who, along with Manish Malhotra, will be hosting this year’s instalment of her fashion show in aid of Cancer Patient’s Aid Association next week at the NSCI.

Aamir Khan Shaina NC Chetan Bhagat
Aamir Khan, Shaina NC and Chetan Bhagat

“I’ve been doing this for almost a decade,” says Shaina, “Because I’ve always believed that glamour and responsibility go hand in hand, that you can enjoy the good things in life even while you do your bit for others. And this year’s event, unlike the previous years, is going to be held before thousands of people.”

Will Aamir walk the ramp? “No, but he will speak at the end,” says the politician, adding, “But I’ve got a whole lot of interesting people walking,” she says, “like builder Niranjan Hiranandani and author Chetan Bhagat (in pic).” Nice!

India’s food aristocracy
We couldn’t attend the party thrown by his talented son Zorawar to commend uber foodie Jiggs Kalra’s long innings in the food stakes, but this picture which we chanced upon from the event held at Masala Library proves what a happy bunch foodies are.

From left: Riyaaz Amlani, Vir Sanghvi, Sanjeev Kapoor and Kunal Vijaykar
From left: Riyaaz Amlani, Vir Sanghvi, Sanjeev Kapoor and Kunal Vijaykar

From left to right: celebrated restaurateur Riyaaz Amlani, renowned Delhi-based food writer Vir Sanghvi (who had flown down for the event,) ubiquitous TV chef Sanjeev Kapoor and travelling food critic Kunal Vijaykar, with many great meals between them. Bon appetit!

The proof of the pudding
Hyderabadi mince cupcakes? Vodka dosas with Malibu Ice Cream? Dal makhani served with a side of dal makhni ice cream? Edible perfumes?

Chef Stephen Gomes
Chef Stephen Gomes

The latest aspirant to assault or excite (depending on his expertise) Mumbai’s taste buds is chef Stephen Gomes, whose soon to be launched The Mad Hatter restaurant in Juhu promises no less than ‘a luscious menu of authentic Indian dishes created using innovative techniques which push the boundaries of traditional Indian cooking’, according to his particularly hyperbolic press release.

Described variously as ‘UK’s no. 1 Indian Chef,’ and the ‘Willy Wonka of modern Indian cooking,’ presumably on the basis of his eatery ‘Moksh’ in Cardiff, Gomes, we are informed, began his romance with the science of spices, marriage of Ayurveda and cooking and molecular gastronomy over a decade ago.

What caught our eye, however, in this sea of overwrought hype was the fact that Gomes’ father was the famous chef James Gomes at the Sun N Sand, that early repository of excellent cuisine and ersatz glamour known, amongst other things, for its baked chicken Roosevelt Lobster Thermidor and Mutton James Indiana.

Will his own Juhu eatery pay tribute to the Sun N Sand’s legendary buffet? “Chef James Gomes rocked in the 80s and Chef Stephen Gomes says it’s my turn now,” says the lad, adding, “It’s a father to son legacy from Juhu to Juhu!” he says even as his PR bumpf goes on about his ‘profound level of insanity, etc.’

Look what you started Gaggan!

Selfie king
“It was simply a playful way of trying to illustrate that even the ubiquitous ‘selfie’ can be interesting and creative if you spend a little thought on it,” said photographer David Desouza when we commended him on the quirky self-portrait he’d called ‘Myopia’. “I collect ‘props’ for photography. This one I got today after I had my eyes tested in Goa a week ago.

Myopia, a selfie by David Desouza
Myopia, a selfie by David Desouza

The title is self-explanatory,” says the man, whose edgy creative portraits have often stopped us in our tracks in the past. “I have always believed in making photographs with whatever instrument you have available. It’s always the thought or idea behind the image, never the equipment,” he says. And what is he working on currently?

“Creating an austere landscape for a home in Goa,” he says while preparing for a trip there. “I’ve never been a landscape person and the Goan ‘scape is generally lush and verdant. So trying to find the ‘austere’ is a challenge.”

Emerald anniversary
Today marks the emerald anniversary of a much loved city couple, thespian Sabira and industrialist Chotu Merchant, who have together contributed their grace and creativity to the city in many ways.

Sabira and Chotu Merchant’s portraits Sabira and Chotu Merchant’s portraits
Sabira and Chotu Merchant’s portraits

And here, we reproduce two portraits of the couple, one taken recently and the other at their wedding all those years ago to demonstrate why we think the Bard’s famous lines from Antony and Cleopatra: ‘Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety,’ are so apt in their case.

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