>> Seldom have we seen as much polarisation of opinion as that which Gujarat and CM Narendra Modi incite. So, when Shabnam Hashmi, the feisty sister of slain theatre activist Sardar Hashmi posted a picture of Modi shaking hands with Bollywood star Ajay Devgn on a social networking site recently saying ‘Mr Devgn, you have lost a lot of respect in one handshake,’ it was only to be expected that the reactions would come in thick and fast from Modi-haters. This is because Devgn until now has not displayed any political interest or affiliations and has always been assumed to be one of filmdom’s most decent and likeable stars.
“I never expected this from Ajay,” said one. “Mera boycott chalu,” said another and, “I swear, Devgn first you do those mindless 100 crore travesty of a film...and then be seen and even ‘caught on camera’ with this man... why don’t you next find a bungalow in Gujarat and settle there? Rohit and Co can shoot their next joke there,” said a third. Talk about PR setbacks. Wonder what Devgn will have to do to regain his ‘Mr Congeniality’ image.
Sid Mallya on TV
>> He left India in a spate of publicity and paparazzi shots to try his luck in Hollywood, but now we hear that Sid Mallya is back and just might host the popular Kingfisher Calendar Model Hunt show for his father’s beer company.
Given that he appears to have the gift of the gab, (his YouTube appearances during the IPL certainly prove that) and that he makes an appealing picture, this might be just what the young inheritor to the Kingfisher Empire needs to get started in his entertainment career. And after all who better than the handsome young scion to host a show that unearths the best bikini bodies in the country?
>> “OK, hello world, I’m back to civilisation after 20 days of Vipasana and floating around Kutch for a while!” said the multi-talented and quick witted Mumbai boy Faredoon Dodo Bhujwala on his return from a stay at the meditation centre in Gujarat, (where coincidentally he’d did his first course 20 years ago,) and a stay at his family home in Bhuj, where his grandfather who he was named after was a wealthy and highly regarded distiller and importer of alcohol (the Maharajah was his main client).
What Dodo has brought back are a wealth of photographs that give the viewer a slice of life of the sleepy town where “the last standing Parsi Rhoda died a few years ago,” he says.
As for his hometown, “It’s been developed terribly. I want to write to Mr Modi about his so-called development.” As evidence, pictures of unattended to garbage and industrial waste are included in his album as ‘Garbage installation 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6’, along with portraits of stray cats, cattle, camels and family retainers, making one friend remark, “Your pictures have a Zen like quality about them!”
‘High’ jinks in Europe
>> There’s been a rash of destination parties to celebrate the 40th birthday coming-of-age parties of various city high rollers. But the one that occurred over the weekend described as a ‘coke soaked European jaunt’ appears to have been the most flashy. “An exquisite location, tonnes of money spent and a middling crowd,” said an insider about the event adding, “Tacky new money lot, no khandani culture, no singularity of vision, no passion, just expensive handbags and ski slopes. Very Bhuleshwar to Bordrum.” As for the revellers we are informed, “Some are in detox. Or getting their nostrils fixed.”
Somewhere over the rainbow...
>> Last Saturday’s unexpected rainbow and stunning skyscapes appear to have inspired the photographer in a lot of people, as everyone posted pictures and paeans to the occurrence.
From publisher Padmini Mirchandani stirring response, “Please excuse me, I’m suffering from an overwhelming moment,” to girl about town Maleeka Lala’s recalling of Iz Kaanoi Kamakawiwo’ole’s cover of the iconic song from the Wizard of Oz to techie geek and friend Deepak Karambalkar’s picture from his terrace, it appears that the entire city was in raptures at the sudden palette in the sky! We like!