Pawar pow wow

Sharad Pawar and Shekhar Gupta
Sharad Pawar and Shekhar Gupta

Pawar pow wow
Talk to anyone inside the political firmament, and whoever they are, their voices inevitably hush when the name Sharad Pawar comes up.

The low profile Maratha strongman, after all, is not only rumoured to be one of India's most powerful (and wealthy) politicians, but also among its shrewdest. Which is why, the news that Shekhar Gupta would be conducting an interview with Baramati's most famous resident today, and that too in Pune, intrigued us. "Pawar's razor sharp political instincts and reach across parties are particularly crucial at a time when non-BJP parties are looking to stitch together an arrangement to unitedly fight the BJP. Given his stature, Pawar is sure to emerge as a powerful fulcrum for such a coalition," said Gupta.

The talk between the men, who've sparred before on Gupta's popular TV talk show promises to be revelatory.

"Besides his rich experience in both national and state politics, Pawar has varied interests and has contributed to fields like Indian cricket, the cooperative movement, sugar industry, and not to forget his heroic fight against chewing tobacco use which gave him cancer," said Gupta.

Kim Sharma with family on Easter
Kim Sharma with family on Easter

Take that trolls
Over the past week we have been aware of the eruption of a minor storm in a C Cup involving actress Kim Sharma (pictured here in a cuddly love fest on Easter with her elegant mum and family). The actress had been trending on social media and had posted a rather delectable selfie of herself in a Tee which said 'Bankrupt.'

"There was a story about my separation, then it swung into destitute woman filing for bankruptcy blah blah," she said in her easy breezy style when we called to enquire Wassup.

"So I wore the bankrupt t-shirt and everyone shut up !!" Then she added, "It was funny at first but then started getting way too personal. However I'm blessed to be surrounded by pillars of strength and love my lovely mum and solid dad. All I can say is ironically I've never been in a better place and I guess I must be still very popular for everyone to get in such a frenzy over my supposed financial status! Very flattering! Thank you guys, I love you too!!"

Nice!

Faiz Dadarkar with friends
Faiz Dadarkar with friends

Goa state of mind
Could the launch of a movement called 'The Goa State of Mind,' really be exempt from the easygoing bonhomie of social media messages, such as 'Who's working in the booze sector? Need booze sponsorship for the launch of 'The Goa State of Mind.' It's going to be kickass - HELP!!!"?

These and other such missives over the past few days posted by artist, social precursor, and all round rambunctious Goa soul, Faiz Dadarkar, offered a tantalising ringside view into how communities evolve in the era of social media. Posting pictures of a happy bunch of members with comments like, 'The first Goa family to turn up at 8.00 am to make this possible.' 'More support Arriving!!! Kickass Bonny has arrived!!! That's the cavalry!!!' Where are the rest of you??? 'Bonny needs to clean faster and easy less...' the first gathering of the founding members of the new tribe in a sun-kissed land, where people still wear flowers in their hair, and try to keep the lovin' spirit – gave every sign that it had got off to a good start.

"Magical things happen when a community comes together..." said Dadarkar, a product of Mumbai's St Mary's, now a dyed in the sarong Goa boy at the end of it all, even as he effusively thanked the beautiful beaded and braided elves who'd rolled up to help and partake. "The love and support is so tremendous and this in only the beginning".

The Kingfisher Villa in Goa
The Kingfisher Villa in Goa

What's in a name?
Vijay Mallya is right in stating that the news of his arrest had been spun incorrectly by most. 'Usual Indian media hype. Extradition hearing in Court started today as expected,' he tweeted, which might appear as semantics to some, but most insiders insist it was always on the cards and the high-profile economic exile must have been prepared for it.

Vijay Mallya and Sachiin Joshi
Vijay Mallya and Sachiin Joshi

What the flamboyant sybarite might have not expected, must be the ignominy to which his spectacular Kingfisher mansion has fallen. Sold recently for a paltry sum of Rs 73 crore to actor-producer Sachiin Joshi, after three failed auctions, this palatial sea-facing mansion, which has hosted some of the best and brightest across the land, might just undergo a drastic make over. It's new owner, besides being an actor-producer, happens to be the son of Jagdish Joshi, the founder of JMJ industries, and the owner of the popular brand 'Goa Gutka.'

Could the name of the villa now change from Kingfisher Mansion to Gutka Ghar? Stranger things have been known to happen.

Gujarat tales
The high-profile and widely criticised recent raid on one of Gujarat's leading industrialists, for the consumption and stocking of booze at his private party on a farm, might have just resulted in more consumption, not less. "Everyone's drinking," says a recent visitor. "But now they either drive to Mt Abu, Jaipur or Udaipur," he says. As for the general drift of things, we're informed it's all upbeat. "The same biz men who'd pride themselves on austerity and frugality, preferring to travel in autos, are all flying high in their own private planes. 'Jaldi Char Bangli Gadi Lavoh,' they growl into their cells when their planes touch the ground back home," he says. Char bangli gadi? We enquired. "That's how they refer to their Audi sedans out there," said the source.

Krishika Lulla and the group in Goa
Krishika Lulla and the group in Goa

Friends like these
The greatest sweetener of human life is friendship. Friends that never let you do stupid things alone," said Bolly producer Krishika Lulla about her recent weekend in Goa, where she'd gone to celebrate her friend, TV Star Gautam Gupta's, birthday. The occasion had seen a host of Bolly and TV buds check into Vagator's swanking, newly opened W hotel (incidentally the hotel seems to be the first choice amongst B-town and we hear not too long ago Salman Khan had checked in with a group of friends).

This time the group had included the likes of Jacky Bhagnani, Masaba Gupta, the birthday boy's fiancé Smriti Khanna, and producer Madhu Mantena (husband of Masaba) amongst others. Back in Mumbai, we are informed that it's all work for Lulla, who under her banner Eros, is co-producing numerous projects, including a couple of films with Tanu Weds Manu director Anand L Rai.

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