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Moving Home?

Word comes in from this very outraged supporter of the Gandhis who swears that contrary to their sense of entitlement and preference for pelf, that Sonia and family are making every move to distance themselves from State’s largesse, and embrace ‘ornery ways.’

“They’re almost my neighbours now,” said the lady, one of the Capital’s erstwhile powerbrokers and hostesses.

“They have rented Kashmir interlocutor Radha Kumar’s house and are busy setting it up,” she said. The Gandhis in a Delhi residential colony? The mind boggles.

Sonia Gandhi
Sonia Gandhi

Mr Gupta, I presume?
He’s known for his Old Fogey manner and his marbles in the mouth style of delivery but friends of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor can’t help but notice how adversity has brought out the best in him and transformed him into a feisty parliamentarian sitting across from the Treasury benches.

Subodh Gupta Shashi Tharoor
Subodh Gupta and Shashi Tharoor

But this vignette from the very grand Tharoor proves that custom has not staled his magisterial approach to things. On being introduced to one of India’s most celebrated artists, the internationally renowned sculptor Subodh Gupta, Tharoor is reported to have cocked his famous eyebrow, and said. “Ah Subodh Gupta? I’ve heard the name somewhere...”

Dior Dior me
“This was taken on Wednesday night at a friend’s 40th birthday celebration — a masquerade. I’m wearing a Dior gown. It’s around four years old but I always feel good wearing it,” said the lissome Shallu Jindal, Kuchipudi dancer and wife of Congressman and industrialist Naveen Jindal, Chairman of Jindal Steel and Power Limited, part of the $17 billion OP Jindal Group.

 Shallu Jindal with Naveen Jindal
Shallu Jindal with Naveen Jindal

But it’s not all balls and gowns for the chairperson of the national Bal Bhawan, who has just penned her first children book — ‘India: an Alphabet Ride,’ and recently returned from a pilgrimage of the Amarnath Caves, with her polo playing husband. “I’m really blessed to have been able to go to the holy cave,” she said, adding, “and soon I’m leaving for the States to settle my son in to college.” The Dior gown will have to be packed away then.

Celebrating togetherness
“We live in such hectic times, with everyone juggling work, home, leisure that the occasions to meet family and spend time together get limited. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to get in touch with tradition... whether in terms of rituals, cuisine or clothes!” said talented designer Nachiket Barve, when we asked him about the delightful pictures of him accompanied by his family at a recent Pooja.

(from left) Nachiket Barve, Rekha Barve, Jayant Barve and Surabhi Barve
(from left) Nachiket Barve, Rekha Barve, Jayant Barve and Surabhi Barve

“With parents, who are both busy doctors; dad Dr Jayant Barve is a gastroenterologist and physician, mum Dr Rekha Barve is a paediatrician and neonatologist and my wife, Surabhi (We work together and she’s studied Fashion management) and I all having hectic lives, it’s a wonderful occasion to have everyone at home and make the most of it,” he said.

“So though none of us are very ritualistic, we had a small pooja at home after years and it became an occasion to dress up, call family over, gorge on traditional Maharashtrian food and herald positive energy!” he said, adding, “When else does one have an occasion to wear a ‘nath (Maharashtrian nose ring) today?” When indeed?

December-June couplings
And following on the heels of the December-June engagement of high profile roué Raja Dhody to Rupika Chopra, another alleged engagement, with Punj Lloyd CEO and dynamo Micky (Atul) Punj said to be tying the knot soon with the twenty-something Vasuki Sunkavalli (in pic), Indian lawyer and beauty queen title winner.

Atul Punj. Pic/AFP Vasuki Sunkavalli
Atul Punj. Pic/AFP and Vasuki Sunkavalli

It is reported that Punj, known to work hard and party harder, has been taken by the young lady’s looks as well as her smarts. The piquancy of the generational divide is underlined when one learns that Punj’s friend Yanchi Vadera, another of Delhi’s high profile roués, has just become a grandfather. Congratulations are due to both gents!

The words of a thespian
And from those who Penguin Random House’s Chiki Sarkar has sent the manuscript to, actor Naseeruddin Shah’s autobiography is a real corker of a book, in which he’s really spoken his mind.

Naseeruddin Shah Rishi Kapoor
Naseeruddin Shah and Rishi Kapoor

The veteran actor, certainly amongst India’s finest, has never been known to pull his punches, and so, many are looking forward to his tell-all memoir which allegedly deals with the first 32 years of his life. Incidentally, two other stars are working on their own tomes. Actor Rishi Kapoor is also writing his memoirs while Khalid Mohamed is penning the biography of Anil Kapoor.

Something to whistle about
“Gratitude. Gratitude. More Gratitude,” wrote our friend Meghna Puri, principal of Whistling Woods about a Review Petition of Mukta Arts and Whistling Woods International being admitted by the High Court, allowing the school to continue its operations in its campus in Film City. We had our fingers crossed for Puri and her father Subhash Ghai, the film school’s founder.

Subhash Ghai and Meghna Puri
Subhash Ghai and Meghna Puri

And that’s because we believe that whereas it’s very easy to criticise and stymie things in our country, not enough support is given to those who actually try and do something positive. We are aware of the legal case against WW, termed by the apex court as ‘the largesse of a state doled out at the behest of the Chief Minister (Vilas Rao Deshmukh) at a paltry sum to a blue-eyed boy (Ghai).’

But we are of the opinion that in cases like this there is an incalculable value of institutions like WW. We have had the opportunity to spend a week at the school recently and could see how it has a serious commitment to student enhancement. “The students have welcomed this decision and have been relieved that their education will not in any way be disturbed,” said Puri. Nice!

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