>> Before Manish Malhotra and Neeta Lulla, before Anna Singh and Bhanu Athaiya and way before Anaita Shroff Adajania had cast their spell on Bollywood and made heroines look like a million bucks there was Mani Rabadi, couturier to the stars in the Golden Age of Hindi Cinema. Cast your mind to any iconic film of the 60s and 70s and chances are that it is Mani whose creations had contributed to its success.
Making her debut in 1967 with the uber stylish Dev Anand starrer Jewel Thief she worked all the way in to the 90s ending her career with the mega hit Hum Aapke Hain Kaun and reprising such films like Maine Pyar Kiya, Talash and Don along the way and picking up a National Film Award for Best Costume along with Ramilla Patel for her work in Pestonjee in 1987 along the way.
Rabadi, a Parsi by birth, was the sister of the much-loved actress Shammi who still works in films to this day. Together the sisters epitomised a work ethic that was typical of times gone by. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that when she passed away there was an avalanche of tribute and gratitude from a slew of stars.
To which we add, Goodbye Mani. Rest in Peace. Goodbye and thank you for the movies.
“Good bye my dear Maniji. Thank you for making me look so good and yes you contributed to my success. You will always be remembered for your beautiful creations. May your soul rest in peace. Amen,” said Helen whose scintillating perfomance in Talash was aided considerably by Rabadi’s creations.
“I’m so sorry about Maniji’s loss. We worked together on quite a few films. She was such a lovely person -- always smiling and accommodating. She was always ready to make things right. She will be missed,” wrote Zeenat Aman with whom she’d worked in Abdullah amongst other films.
“Mani ji was wonderful person and a very hard working and would work for minor detail. God bless her soul,” said Asha Parekh, a close friend of the family.
“Mani was a very friendly and warm person and full of beans. She was very good at her craft and was very hardworking and sincere. It was lovely knowing her. May her soul rest in peace,” said Waheeda Rehman, one of the most graceful actresses to appear on Indian screens.
Life’s a beach
>> We were unable to attend their last farewell but have been brought up to speed on the Trivedis -- Anish and Vineeta -- one of SoBo’s popular couples and their imminent move to live the good life (to which we all aspire) in Alibaug at their beach home. The process began once Vineeta had finally won a hard and well fought battle to regain her family apartment in Malabar Hill in one of the area’s toniest buildings which had been usurped by a large multinational under Mumbai’s infamous rent acts.
Instated to protect tenants this law has been abused by many a corporation or individual who deserves no subsidy. Anyway, once the Trivedis had got control of the flat and fitted it out in a style deserving of its precincts it was only a matter of time before the laws of economics and common sense made them realise that they could rent it out for three years (to a better party) and live and work a stone’s throw away from Mumbai, enjoying a far better quality of life all round. Anish, a writer had already proven the yeoman effect that the salubrious climate in Mumbai’s Hamptons could have when he’d penned his first novel a few years ago from a hammock in his garden. Will their move be the precursor of a trend in which artists poets and other worshippers of the Muse rent out their apartments to multinationals and banks and finally do the work they’ve always wanted to do, while living the life they so richly deserve? And will the last person to leave the city remember to turn the lights off? Watch this space!
Happy birthday Bubbloo
>> And from our dear friend and neighbour Nandinii Sen comes this wonderful picture, taken at her mother the iconic Bubloo Sen’s 80th birthday. Besides being mother and grandmother to some of the city’s most glam women, Sen is an educationist whose graceful presence at the JB Petit High School for Girls is the stuff of legend. “On the July 29, our mum Bubloo Sen turned 80.
Her son-in-law Gopal Rajagopalan threw a birthday bash to celebrate the occasion at the Taj coffee shop poolside in Bangalore, her choice of restaurant,” says Nandinii, adding, “An afternoon of bonhomie, blessings and bloody Marys!” And for those who think mothers and their sons-in-law have a prickly relationship here’s food for thought: “Gopal had made perfect arrangements for all of us, even sending return tickets so that her family could fly in,” says Nandinii. “All the women at the party came up to Priya, my sister and said our fervent prayer is that we all find son in laws like Gopal.” Nice!