Palace recovery

Recently his health has been of grave concern and so when Amar Singh, erstwhile Samajwadi party leader, India’s uber power broker and famous friend of the other two ‘Aces’ Amitabh Bachchan and Anil Ambani was reported to have fainted at Dubai airport en route to Singapore, naturally politicians of all hues were on tenterhooks.

But we have it on reliable source that not only is the virtually indestructible politician stable, but is a guest now of His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, great grandson of Zayed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan and owner of the Abu Dhabi United Group, which owns Bank Alfalah, Warid Telecom, Wateen Telecom and Taavun.

Amar Singh
Amar Singh

So, whereas none of his famous friends have flown down to keep him company, the ebullient Amar Singh is recovering quite well in the Sheikh’s fabulous palace in Abu Dhabi before he flies home we hear. And what is the friendship between the two men based on? According to an insider, it is the fascination both men have for Bollywood glamour. Nice!

The gallerist and the mice
So, it’s a case of the cat schmoozing off to Haj after eating a hundred mice. Or so the word goes in the art district when the topic of this Delhi gallerist comes up. Apparently, the man in question has had a long and colourful history of dealing in fakes.

But now perhaps after a bout with his conscience or a tryst with the authorities, he’s embarked on a major exercise of reformation and rehabilitation as far as his credibility is concerned. One route has been to engage the talent of a venerable and much respected writer to oversee his division of art publications.

“The person he has engaged is above board and comes with a whole lot of credibility,” says our source. “Which affords the naughty gallerist many benefits.” Apparently, one of these is that each time one of the galleries’ fabulous fakes is reproduced in a serious art journal by the venerable art writer it automatically gains authentication.

And now, the said gallery is set to enter the Mumbai market with a spanking new and clean record. As we said having eaten a hundred mice, the cat comes to Haj to roost. (Metaphors like this only work in their original of course!)

The gentleman traveller
When we met him at Shaina NC’s to celebrate his appointment as Goa CM, we realised that IIT-educated Manohar Parrikar was a different kettle of fish from the average politico. How different, was brought home to us when we read a post on a social networking site penned by a passenger who’d happened to be on the same plane as the CM.

Goa CM Manohar Parrikar
Goa CM Manohar Parrikar

“He walked into the aircraft like any average passenger, almost unnoticed, and well in time. Like everyone else, he queued at the gate, boarded the bus, and climbed into the plane when his turn came. He didn’t sit in the first row, which has become the exclusive preserve of the high and mighty on flights that have no first class.

He quietly slipped into row three (or was it row four) and sat there without any fuss. I think most people on the aircraft didn’t realise who he was and therefore no attempt was made to mob him or try and catch his attention,” wrote the fellow traveller more in wonderment than awe.

“When the flight landed in Delhi, he wasn’t the first to get off it. Usually, it is only when the VIP is ushered into a special car (with a suitable red light mounted on the roof) waiting for him at the tarmac that the other passengers are allowed to deplane. In this case, neither was he the first to disembark, nor was there a car waiting.

Nobody came to receive him on the tarmac and he boarded the same bus, which took all other passengers to the airport terminal. Again, he carried his own luggage (two pieces) right up to the car which came to fetch him.”

We have been on similar flights with many high and mighty personalities, and we have observed their high-handed and objectionable behaviour. You can tell more about a person observing them on a two-hour flight than most places.

Actresses who walk up and down the aisle trying to get attention. Top CEOs who have no manners and, of course, politicians who embarrass themselves and others with their ways. So when we hear about Manohar Parrikar, we can’t help but wonder if a fine education is what makes the difference? Whatever it may be, we like!

Don’t do it!
Tiger Woods. Lance Armstrong. Oscar Pistorius. Three men, three scandals.

Oscar Pistorius c
Oscar Pistorius, Tiger Woods

Three soaring careers brought down to naught. Wonder if the men behind the famous Nike tagline and swoosh will change the legend to: Don’t do it! Just saying...

Lance Armstrong
Lance Armstrong

Motorcycle diaries
He’s always been something of a maverick, marching to his own drum beat, eschewing the beaten track and spending quality time pursuing his interest in vintage motorcycles, travel and Goa.

Designer Arjun Khanna
Designer Arjun Khanna

Which is why when designer Arjun Khanna won the prize for the best maintained classic post-war pre-60s machine at the recent VCCI rally in Mumbai, it was a moment whose time had come. With his grizzly salt and pepper beard, his leather jacket and his beads and belts, Khanna optimises the easy rider. We like his clothes too.

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