Mumbai Muralist

>> Brinda Miller, the talented artist and curator of the Kala Ghoda festival, who along with her sister Shaina NC has inherited their father Nana’s penchant for public life (brother Akshay takes after the reticent Munira) was spotted by our photographer at The Maritime Heritage mural at Lions Gate, Naval Dockyard, which she had created.

Asked about the mural, Brinda said, “After having done the Khyber street mural and the restoration of five police chowkies in the city, I always wanted to do something near Kala Ghoda, and every day I passed by this huge wall to get to KG. 

So after obtaining all the necessary permissions from the Navy, who were very supportive, the mural is up for all to see!”



Deora’s Dylan Tribute
>> Mukul Deora, the hipster elder son of Congress strongman Murli Deora has always been one for the road less taken. After eschewing the family path to politics and relocating to Bandra, this SoBo boy has big plans concerning a series of international film projects on the anvil.

First off, his production line we hear is a film based on Aravind Adiga’s Booker winning The White Tiger, to which he’s secured the movie rights with Hollywood producer John Hart. But what caught our interest recently was Mukul’s month long tribute to Bob Dylan on Radio One in which he educates listeners on the raspy bard’s life and music.

“It will be a celebration of 50 years of Dylan’s recording career and will also include a gig in Mumbai at the Blue Frog,” says Mukul. An interesting fallout of this show is the fact that legendary journalist P Sainath (author of the prize-winning Everyone Loves a Good Drought) is a Dylan fan, and does some pretty good Dylan covers on his guitar and harmonica! As one of Sainath’s legion of admirers sighed… “How is it possible for one man to be so attractive!” Everyone loves a good folk singer!

Ness goes spiritual
>> A little bird tells us that Ness Wadia, Managing Director of the Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation and co-owner of the Indian Premier League cricket team Kings XI and one time main squeeze of Preity Zeinta, has turned pretty spiritual, visiting the ashram of the Bihar School of Yoga in Munger and attending religious discourses and yoga and meditation sessions regularly.

Friends who know the handsome business scion say he’s mellowed considerably with this intervention and his hell raisin’ days are behind him. Preity if you recall had chosen a slightly more empirical path to peace post their breakup by enrolling in a Business Management summer program at Harvard last year and was her irrepressible bubbly self when we spotted her at the Ambani party for Sachin Tendulkar. Interesting, that in India the beautiful people opt for edifying ways to survive break-ups unlike the West where booze and booty-trips are chosen as the way out.

A ‘Royal’ Mess
>> A friend who has been following the goings-on in the lives of Mumbai’s recently split ‘royal’ couple, says that rather than the ex-husband going back to his first wife as reported recently, there is a likelihood of a rapprochement with his high-flying, high-profile wife No 2, who is fed up of her current live-in beau’s penny-pinching parsimonious ways. But this time round, she’s made it clear that her return will be on certain terms, which include substantial material considerations and an all important wedding document signed and sealed. Why so? Because according to the grapevine, the much-touted marriage between the couple was never a legal one, as his divorce from wife No 1 had not come through when he got hitched to her.

SoBo’s Grande Dame
>> It will be the end of an era, when Kiki Watsa moves out of her sprawling art- and antique-filled apartment in one of Cuffe Parade’s oldest mansions to relocate to the suburbs. Kiki (also known by her pseudonym Premila Lal when she was Femina’s widely-read recipe queen in an earlier avatar) is a well-loved hostess whose parties drew the cream of the city’s art and culture doyennes; and her sons Rohit, Uday and the late Hemant with their own close links to the world of music and advertising also contributed to the Watsa pre-eminence in SoBo’s social life. As a run-up to the move at the end of the month, the famous and much loved Watsa residence is overflowing with friends and well-wishers who are reliving times gone by for the last and final time. And now one awaits Kiki’s memoirs of Mumbai in its salad days.

Bean Bags anyone?
>> OK, we’re the ones with time on our hands who like to do nothing better than people-watch in hotel lobbies, busy marketplaces and idle Irani cafes. And on our meanderings we have consistently encountered hastily scrawled graffiti all over Mumbai that advertises ‘Bean Bags’ with phone numbers attached. You’ve probably seen it too.

Naturally our curiosity’s been aroused, and obviously we’ve called the number. A few months ago we were connected to a Dadar florist! Recently the number seems to be switched off. Some conspiracy theorists also say it’s a call girl racket or something even more sinister. Can someone throw light on who is behind this ingenious marketing campaign that’s become something of a city list motif, and if they actually deliver unstructured teen lounging fare? Er, if so, we’d like a red one…. 

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