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Partying-such sweet sorrow

"The players were there as was the Cup and some nice looking WAGs," said the ebullient Suhel Seth who managed to get into the planet's most happening party on Sunday night the winning German team's celebratory party after winning the World Cup.

Seth, who’d flown to Rio for the Germany v/s Argentina finale is a well known intercontinental party animal, but this was huge even by his standards.

Suhel Seth

“Post the match when I came back to the Sheraton where I was staying, I finished dinner and then in the elevator met one of the senior team members, who, when I said I was from India, invited me to the team party which was beginning around then: about 11.45 pm.

 

We all partied till about 3.30 am,” he said, adding, “I was the only non-German: I have the luck of the devil.” And that, gentle reader, is the only time in his life that Seth can be accused of having made an understatement.


Germany Football team. PIC/PTI

A picture that speaks volumes
‘Back in the day: Günter Grass’s 70th birthday, Thalia Theater, Hamburg, October 1997. Grass, Nadine Gordimer and self,’ posted Salman Rushdie on a social networking site, in memory of the South African Nobel winning writer and political activist Nadine Gordimer, who died on Sunday.

Gunter Grass, Nadine Gordimer and Salman Rushdie
Gunter Grass, Nadine Gordimer and Salman Rushdie

Now here’s something for literature buffs: The three authors shared more than a picture frame: When Gordimer had won the Nobel Prize in 1991 and had used the occasion to speak out against repression of writers and artists, she had lashed out against the fatwa on Salman Rushdie, who she’d called ‘a brilliant writer’ who “has done for the postcolonial consciousness in Europe what Günter Grass did for the post-Nazi one with ‘The Tin Drum’ and ‘Dog Years’.’ Talk about a picture speaking a thousand words. This one speaks volumes!

Split personality?
We stayed up to watch the first episode of the first fiction TV performance of Amitabh Bachchan on Monday night.

And what we saw we liked. A role tailored for all of Mr B’s smouldering intensity and brooding allure; an ensemble cast of superb talent that includes Sarika, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Kay Kay Menon; a story of power, money and love that appears to be tightly conceived and what’s best of all-like all legendary TV characters across the board, the ones who’ve best caught the imagination of viewers, the ageing do gooding builder Yudhishthir Sikarwar, the character Bachchan plays gives every sign of growing darker and more complex as the plot unfolds.

Amitabh Bachchan, Sarika
Amitabh Bachchan, Sarika

Why do we say this? Well as any astute writer knows, TV requires strong black and white characters for audience interest, men and women who harbour both good and evil in themselves. JR Ewing in Dallas and Walter White of Breaking Bad are two that come to mind.

Nawazuddin Kay Kay Menon
Nawazuddin and Kay Kay Menon

And Bachchan’s character reprised as ‘Mother Theresa with a French beard’, as one site said, also harbours a ‘neuro-psychological disorder’ we’re told. OCD, Schizophrenia, Bipolar or ADHD? Which one will it be? The situation is rife with possibilities. Sony appears to have a winner on its hands.

The Actress and The Guru
Gaining the same kind of currency as the TedX talks is the ‘In Conversation with the Mystic’ series of interactive episodes, where eminent personalities drawn from different fields chat with Sadhguru, the handsome, hand spun and hand loom guru of the Isha Foundation in Coimbatore.

Sadguru Juhi Chawla
Sadguru and Juhi Chawla

These ‘fireside chats’ have featured people like American fashion designer Donna Karan, filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, banker KV Kamath, lyricist Prasoon Joshi, policewoman and activist Kiran Bedi and even cricketer Virender Sehwag.

Above average production values, great stage direction and an intelligent conversation have added to the groovy guru vibe of the whole venture. And now we learn that the next ‘In Conversation with the Mystic’ will see Sadhguru ‘in a lively and insightful discussion with actress, film producer and former Miss India, Juhi Chawla’, to be conducted on August 4, in Mumbai (‘Live from Sion!’ says banner ad). The conversation promises to be a big ticket one on the city’s social scene.

Publishing’s princesses
Perhaps the only reason why it hasn’t been spun into a chick lit mini-series is because the people who’d be able to commission it are the ones who’d be featured: the clutch of sassy, sultry, blue stockings who between themselves run the English language publishing industry in India.

Priya Kapoor
Priya Kapoor

We’re talking namely of Chiki Sarkar of Penguin, Priya Kapoor of Roli, Milee Ashwarya and Meru Gokhale of Random House, V K Karthikiya of Harper Collins and Amrita Verma Chowdhury of Harlequin. Women of style, women of substance, women who can spot a best-selling author from across the room as easily as they can a crisp Chardonnay or a fake Vuitton.

Indeed, this Virginia Slims moment of Indian publishing was brought home to us when we chanced across this delightful portrait of Priya Kapoor, Roli Books, LSE trained, and Delhi-based director. “It was taken at a wedding in Dorset this past weekend,” said the attractive publisher, “It’s a Benarasi sari from Banaras’ ‘Ushnak Mal’. I wear only handlooms,” she said. From the days when publishers were dumpy men with grumpy faces, we’ve come a long way, baby!

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