No more star gazing?

One thing that can be said about the IPL is its consistency. The same spine chilling suspense match after match. The same cricket-as-bubble-gum approach to presentation and glitz, and the same allegations about fixing and financial jiggery pokery.

However, one thing has certainly changed: the absence of those lingering long close ups of owner’s boxes and the star quotient they boasted. Time was when the configurations of the star celebs in the owner’s box were a fair indication of the power index of India. For TV viewers, it was as riveting a game as what was being played on the field.

Preity Zinta and (right) Anu Malik in his ‘lucky tee’ at an IPL match
Preity Zinta and (right) Anu Malik in his ‘lucky tee’ at an IPL match

Thus media baron Aveek Sarkar would show up in SRK’s box in Kolkata along with other sundry Eastern tycoons; the Sharad Pawar box at the Wankhede would often boast of members of the Raj Kapoor family, the Jeh Wadia, Mohit Burman, Preity Zinta box was where the cool crowd hung out and, of course, the first line at the Ambani box which featured the entire Mukesh Ambani clan, cousins, in-laws along with such stratospheric stars as Sachin Tendulkar and Aamir Khan.

“These days the cameras hardly focus on the owner’s boxes during match coverage,” said an IPL buff, “But the old days of full frontals of various clans waving flags and cheering or in the throes of deadly suspense are gone.” “And the worst thing of all is that there’s no catching Anu Malik in his famous ‘lucky’ navel-revealing neon green T-shirt any more,” he concluded!

Handing over
The indications have been rife. Ever since Apple CEO Tim Cook chose to ‘hang out’ with Mukesh and Nita’s young son Anant Ambani on his recent visit to Mumbai, it was official: the older residents of Antilia, namely Nita and Mukesh Ambani, have officially indicated that Gen Next has been launched.

Isha Ambani
Isha Ambani

“It’s a bit like a handing over of the baton, ” said an insider. “The parents are saying : our kids are now adults. They are in a position to conduct themselves in the adult world without us being around and have identities and interests and spheres of influence of their own.”

Anant Ambani with Tim Cook
Anant Ambani with Tim Cook

And another indication of this, is that tonight will witness Isha Ambani host a dinner for MAMI delegates at Antilia this evening, along with Anupama Chopra.” Last year, her mother Nita had done the honours.

Hats in the air
It’s that time of the year: when progeny graduate on both sides of the Atlantic pond and some of India’s best-heeled denizens have to make the required schlep to cheer them on, pose for pictures and take everyone out for extended celebrations.

Navya Naveli with father Nikhil
Navya Naveli with father Nikhil

And two snapshots of two celeb kids, both the products of exquisite gen pools, drew our attention: the first was a portrait of the lissome Sara Ali Khan, Saif and Amrita’s daughter, and the second of the equally pedigreed Navya Naveli Nanda, whose picture with her dad, Nikhil, was posted by the latter with the words, “My daughter graduated today from school and prepares now for her university life! Proud of her.” Congratulations are due all round.

Zeenie baby returns
“The look of the show is grand and glossy, and Zeenat has worked really hard to get in the right shape for the super glam spinster she plays called Joanna,” said Kapil Sharma, who directs the icon, in what will be her web debut, Love, Life & Screw Ups.

Zeenat Aman as Joanna (right) and in Hare Rama Hare KrishnaZeenat Aman as Joanna (right) and in Hare Rama Hare Krishna

We had called up our long time pal, the actress, when the news of her latest offering had flashed against the news ticker on prime time news. “What’s that about” we’d enquired. The star had been somewhat off the radar, having set aside her persona of sex symbol for motherhood and agreeable retirement.

“It’s only a small role in this delightful new venture,” she’d said, her distinctive fruity voice as usual effervescent. “I will ask my director to call you.” And then she laughed her famous throaty laugh. And it was the heady days of Hare Rama again.

Goa’s boys
The roster of talent that Goa has bequeathed to the country is a long and illustrious one. From artists like Francis Newton Souza, and Mario Miranda, to advertising gurus like Frank Simoes and the Da Cunha brothers, to writers like Frank and Dom Moraes, the contribution of India’s tiniest state is immense.

Julio Rebeiro, Dom Moraes, Mario Miranda, Charles CorreaJulio Rebeiro, Dom Moraes, Mario Miranda, Charles Correa

And this weekend Goa recognised some of her own. Super cop Julio Riberio received the lifetime achievement award at the Pride of Goa annual Goan of the Year award. A previous winner had been internationally renowned architect legend Charles Correa, who along with Ribeiro, shared a palpable commitment to the greater good. Viva Goa!

Art wars
This is a battle between two such formidable grande dames on Mumbai’s art scene that there surely cannot be a winner. Both women hail from well-known Mumbai families, both passionate about art, and both move in the same circles.

So when one of them (the grander of the two), was recently overheard baring her soul about what she said were the vile machinations, and outsized ego of her fellow art czarina, alarm bells started clanging.

Apparently her tormentor would pick fights on every issue, from the artists to be signed by the prestigious institution on whose board they both served in honorary capacity, to the manner in which the routine matters were conducted. “Impossible to work with,” was her verdict. “A nightmare in fact.”

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