Manish Malhotra's all-star Mijwan 2015 show on Saturday evening was a sparkler by any standards. To have Bollywood aristocracy like Jaya and Amitabh Bachchan, Anil Kapoor, Javed Akhtar and Shatrughan Sinha walk the ramp for the NGO, founded by Kaifi Azmi to empower women, was a coup in itself, but for them to do so with their famous and glamorous cubs, was the cherry on the evening's cake, one that made the audience erupt with wave upon wave of applause.
Jaya and Abhishek Bachchan. Pics/AFP
But even in this stratospheric glamorous outing of stars, three moments of un-adulterated sweetness stood out. The first was the school girl from Azamgarh, a beneficiary of Mijwan, who spoke at the start of the evening in practiced but flawless English, about her dreams, hopes and triumphs.
Amitabh Bachchan with his daughter Shweta Nanda
“I want to be a pilot,” she said quite unselfconsciously, to an audience which included Jet Air Chairman Naresh Goyal and his wife Nita (their daughter Namrata is at the forefront of the NGO with Shabana Azmi). The second was Azmi's incredibly moving rendering of her father's famous poem 'Uth Meri Jaan' to her mother, the legendary IPTA actress Shaukat, who was seated in the front row and then her breaking out into a spirited fist-raised, red salute, recollecting her parent's left-wing days.
And the third, was the cutest by far on-stage pair of the evening, Jaya and Abhishek Bachchan's ramp walk, which included waving to friends in the audience, jousting each other on their steps and Abhishek's affectionate aside to the audience, “She's even bullying me on stage!”
It was a group of the late Vinod Mehta's friends and admirers who met for drinks and dinner at Upper Crust editor Farzana Contractor's breezy apartment in Sobo, after LiteratureLive's Tribute on Friday for the media maven who'd passed away in March.
Vinod Mehta and Gerson DaCunha
The evening saw the likes of Uma and Gerson DaCunha, Dolly Thakore, Alyque Padamsee, Anil Dharker and Amy Fernandes, Neera Benegal, Charles and Monica Correa gather fondly around Mehta's wife who was down for the day from Delhi.
(Clockwise from left) Farzana Contractor, Dolly Thakore, Alyque Padamsee and Monica Correa
Sumita spoke about the renowned editor's last few days in the ICU. “There were three visitors who came more than once,” she recalled. “LK Advani, Arnab Goswami and Arundhati Roy,” she said, naming three of the most unlikely names you might find in a sentence together and especially the first two as the ailing Mehta's cheer givers.
Because, as everyone knew the former editor-in-chief of Outlook had not only been a staunch secularist, and often on the receiving end of right wing ire, but he was also one whose approach to journalism appeared substantially different to that of Goswami's.
Of course though, no one was surprised that Roy had been a worried visitor. “When she'd call Vinod and say 'keep 10,000 words for me' indicating a fiery new diatribe, Vinod would tell his sub editor: 'keep 12,000 words for Arundhati',” said Dharker referring to Mehta's fond indulgence towards the Booker prize winner.
Many great and good things have been said about Mehta, the man and the editor. And for those who want to know more, his exquisitely-written, recently published book, Editor Unplugged awaits. But for us, the fact that he had LK Advani, Arnab Goswami and Arundhati Roy at his hospital bedside, speaks volumes about the man and his approach to life.
AIB's April fool?
No this is not an April fool's joke. But when we heard that BJP Member of Parliament from Mumbai North Central, Poonam Mahajan, would share the stage with Tanmay Bhat and Gursimran Khamba, founders of AIB later this month in Mumbai, under the aegis of youngchangemakers.com we could not help thinking that someone was playing a joke on someone else.
Poonam Mahajan, Tanmay Bhat and Gursimran Khamba
After all, Mahajan, as young and charming as she may be, is a member of the party that happened to be in power when the AIB had experienced their comeuppance not so very long ago. This one will definitely be one to watch!
Status symbols of the rich and famous
As everyone knows the city's upper crust is a whole lot of crumbs stuck together with dough. And of course, the more the dough, the better is the sticking. And so it has been brought to our notice that after Birkins and Beemers, and private jets and luxury liners, and destination weddings guess what's the best way that the rich get to you know… flaunt their riches?
Foreign security personnel and Far Eastern nannies. “Any rich kid knows that whereas most can afford the R1 lakh tables and unlimited Dom service, what really sets apart the men from the boys is if they enter a night club in Mumbai with a posse of white bodyguards. That sends a shiver of thrills through the crowds,” said a PYT in a LBD.
As for the Far Eastern nannies, the fact that they tend to dress smart and in many cases are more presentable than their employer's friends, beside costing three times more than their Indian counterparts, makes them one of the most coveted status symbols amongst the city's rich and famous.
Like we were saying, lots of dough around the crumbs...