Monkeying around with Barkha

Aside from the priceless fly on the wall revelations it’s affording on matters of state, Barkha Dutt’s book, This Unquiet Land, which recently hit the headlines for its disclosure on the role played by Sajjan Jindal, the industrialist, she’s described as having ‘movie star looks’ (ahem) in Indo-Pak relations, it gives some priceless insights into Dutt’s life as a reporter at the very top of her game.

‘I remember an incident in a district court in Delhi when I had gone to cover the trial of Congress leader Kalpnath Rai, who had been accused of harbouring terrorists,’ reads an exclusive excerpt which landed in our inbox last evening.

Barkha Dutt
Barkha Dutt

‘I sneaked under the security cordon thrown around Rai by 70 police officers, and before they could stop me, climbed onto a ledge three feet from the ground, one leg dangling in mid-air, just so that I could put a microphone to him before he was jailed,’ wrote Dutt vividly evoking the situation.

‘As he spouted his own version of Shakespeare on justice and the quality of mercy, I burst into tears. Not because Rai — he of the ‘Rajiv Gandhi is just like a diamond’ fame — had stirred my soul, but because at the exact same moment, the court’s resident rhesus monkey had sunk his teeth deep into my dangling ankle, apparently panicked by my sprint across the courtroom complex,’ wrote the debutant author.

“I’d like to think that I still remain as determined as ever to pursue a promising lead or interview. The passion has not dimmed,” she said, justifiably proud of her famous tenaciousness.

Ranveer’s salute for Kat
The audience at the recently concluded Fashion Nights held by a men’s style magazine, which saw the likes of Raghavendra Rathore and Rajesh Pratap Singh, showcase their latest menswear collections, was in for an amusing side spectacle. For there, in the front row sat Katrina Kaif, very much the guest of honour, clad in an edgy cut away gown that displayed her longs legs to perfection.

Ranveer Singh and Katrina Kaif. Pic/AFP
Ranveer Singh and Katrina Kaif. Pic/AFP

And opposite her on the ramp, was none other than Ranveer Singh, as show stopper for designers Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna; his mega-watt energy and legendary swag practically bouncing off the walls. Wait a minute — Ranveer and Katrina? Their presence immediately evoked their two absent paramours and their particular history.

And so it did not pass unnoticed, that even while he executed his wild and wicked walk, Singh made it a point to offer a special salutation, bowing low in respect to his GF’s exe’s current GF and that she smiled sweetly in response. What’s that they say about one’s exe’s exe’s current’s being one’s friend?

From Kingfisher to Sundance
Sid Mallya has been missing in action for a while. Not much has been heard of the Mallya scion, once a prominent face on the social circuit, apart from the fact that he wanted to pursue acting and had grown a sumptuous beard some months ago.

Sid Mallya. Pic/Instagram
Sid Mallya. Pic/Instagram

We had last spotted Sid along with his girlfriend, the pretty London-based Ayesha Grover a couple of months ago at a social do, and had put down his absence from the limelight to his newfound relationship status. But now, word comes in that things are looking up for the businessman-turned-aspiring actor. After a stint in LA, Sid is all set to feature in his debut film Brahman Naman.

The Calcutta indie-cult film director, Q, has directed the film, which is a take on the British film and sitcom ‘The Inbetweeners’. And if stories are to be believed it has managed to get a slot at the celebrated Sundance Film Festival in January. Here’s watching you on the big screen, Sid!

Evening at Antilia
It’s going to be a double dhamaka at Antilia next week when its residents host a party for cricketers Harbhajan Singh and Rohit Sharma.

Rohit Sharma and Ritika Sajdeh. Pic/Twitter
Rohit Sharma and Ritika Sajdeh. Pic/Twitter

Both cricketers have been longstanding pillars of the Ambani-owned Mumbai Indians IPL team, and both are said to be close to the team owners. The party is to celebrate the twin couplings, Harbhajan married actress Geeta Basra last month and Rohit is all set to tie the knot with his fiancee Ritika Sajdeh later this month.

Nita and Mukesh Ambani
Nita and Mukesh Ambani

The elegant card with a floral design said, ‘Nita and Mukesh Ambani are delighted to celebrate the new innings in the lives of’ and mentions the two couples.

Harbhajan Singh and Geeta Basra. PIC/AFP
Harbhajan Singh and Geeta Basra. PIC/AFP

And given that the dress code has been marked as ‘Formal,’ it promises to be a night when stars and India’s top personalities from the world of cricket, Bollywood, business, politics and society mingle in their glamorous best.

Prasoon’s happy dent
Prasoon Joshi, Chairman Asia Pacific, and CEO and Chief Creative Officer, McCann World Group India, has reason to cheer. The Happy Dent palace commercial created by him, has been voted among the 20 Best Commercials of the 21st century announced recently by The Gunn Report, the global index of creative excellence in advertising.

Prasoon Joshi
Prasoon Joshi

Talking about the commercial, Joshi, who besides his success in the ad world, is a leading lyrics writer in the film industry, said, “I followed my gut and instead of a functional depiction exaggerated the benefit of whiteness to the hilt.”

As for the role of quirky creative ideas to sell products, rather than depend on the same old star endorsements, Joshi said, “It was immensely satisfying as a creator and also as advertising professional, as it strengthened my belief, that apart from communicating and building brands, ideas also dramatically impact the hard-core sales.” Does that mean we’ll get some relief from the same old, same old now?

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