Run Woman Run

>> We spoke to Milind Soman, former supermodel, health freak, and peripatetic entrepreneur about his latest project, which involves-hold your breath-women, their breasts and running. “Well, since I’m interested in all three,” said the hunk who still has many hearts beating fast, “I’ve decided to put together the India chapter of the international 10K annual event, which involves women running for breast cancer awareness,” he quipped. “It’s become an international phenomena, which has proven extremely popular the world over,” says the man, who besides running three gyms in Delhi under the franchise Breathe, also does TV programming, (his latest show is directed by the very talented Bijoy Nambiar who directed Shaitan) owns an event management company Maximus (he does the Kingfisher Calendar hunts amongst many other big ticket occasions) and is planning a health spa in Alibag.

Milind Soman

Besides all this, of course, Milind is an avid marathon runner, a champion swimmer and a great and visible supporter of the Mumbai Marathon. “I’ve been able to do all this because, I guess, I’ve been part of all these worlds: fashion, events, sports and entertainment,” he says, “But above all I have great partners.” So when’s he starting that much talked about and awaited gym in Mumbai? “Very soon!”he says, “God and the real estate market willing!” As for the women’s 10K Run, Milind promises a high voltage event later this year that will turn in to an annual city milestone.

Salonist to the stars
>>  Annie Chen, the salonist who introduced ‘bonding’ to Indian heads 15 years ago after training in Japan is a happy lady indeed. Not only has the market awareness of hair products and their availability shown a marked improvement in the last couple of years, but also companies are involved with highly specialised research that addresses markets like India.

Annie Chen. Pic/Atul Kamble

“Just last week I was introduced to a new therapy to take the frizz out of Indian hair which does not involve bonding or the Brazilian techniques,” says the lady who is considered something of a whizz in her field having been trained in London Japan and Dubai. “I am still learning about its efficacy,” she says, “But it seems to be a vast new improvement on the other two methods.” For those who are not in the know and think ‘bonding and the Brazilian’ are forms of slave trade, the terms are ways to describe the methods by which women get their hair to look film star cool. Annie herself should know a thing or two about the business, having worked in an earlier avatar with the likes of Sarika, Reena Roy and Parveen Babi before she launched her eponymous salon Chens in South Mumbai 15 years ago. And who had the best hair in the film industry in those days we asked her. “Undoubtedly, Parveen Babi,” she says, “All she needed to do was air-dry her hair, nothing more to look fabulous.” As for the rest of us — it’s to the salons we must go.

Houseful for Asia Society screening
>>  The dynamic Bunty Chand, Asia Society India Centre’s Executive Director, who organised the India premier of Saving Face, the Oscar winning documentary by Pakistan’s Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy on Tuesday at the NCPA’s experimental theatre was understandably chuffed by the response.

Kiran Rao with Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy at Asia Society Centre

“Besides no standing room for the enthusiastic audience, the attendance itself was a show case of the city’s best and brightest. There were 300 people and many film makers, activists, young students, an absolutely vibrant crowd,” she says of the event, which saw filmmaker Kiran Rao engage the visiting director in a conversation and with the likes of Dolly Thakore, Rashmi Poddar, Tara Sharma, Namita and Mera Devidayal, in the audience.”

Having Sharmeen interact with audiences here also served to change the perceptions that many here hold about our neighbours, and facilitated a new kind of conversation about the shared challenges that India and Pakistan face,” says Bunty. We like!

It’s a bird, it’s a plane
>>  He’s on the road, in the news, in the air and now at the presidential swearing in! Anil Ambani, who when not pounding Mumbai’s pavements on his morning runs, or schmoozing with Spielberg on the Oscar red carpet or hitching a ride on his copter to work or jetting to far flung international destinations is attending Presidential swearing ins!

Pranab Mukherjee at the swearing-in ceremony.

Or so someone who swears they saw the tycoon at the August gathering when Pranabda assumed office this week has told us. Interesting, as after his brief stint in the Rajya Sabha, the industrialist has stayed away from any obvious political engagements. Which is why his appearance at the swearing in attracted interest. Unless, he has a doppelganger that is.

Anil Ambani

Radio Gaga
>> Yesterday, while stuck in Mumbai traffic and thumbing through the radio channels we chanced upon some pretty objectionable stuff on a radio channel that involved two desperately unfunny anchors making lewd uncalled for and nudge nudge wink wink jokes about the relationship between drivers and their memsaabs. Considering that the bulk of people who listen in are commuters using public transport and belong to neither community, the jokes must make little sense — except of course to the few drivers and their madams who have the misfortune of having no choice but to listen in -together- in close proximity to the nonsense, while stuck in traffic. Reaching out and turning the offensive stuff off appeared defensive, allowing the RJs to sully what is mostly a sacrosanct and hard won association seemed defenseless, so we chose to write about it: please Radio Stations, when you choose your material spare a thought for who’re going to be listening in, and in what situation. Road rage can come in many forms. 

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