She said... what??

Some one had written not so long ago that the bon mots that fall from Cop-turned-activist-turned politician, Kiran Bedi's lips often sound like she'd be the most awesome person in the world to get high with.

After all what else can be said about a woman who has said, 'I protect you so you protect me so I protect you so you protect me so' or 'Look at me talking to you. I am giving you energy.' or 'It's a mystery when and how my thought changed.'

Prime Minister Narendra Modi performs an asana during a mass yoga session on International Yoga Day 2015 at Rajpath in New Delhi yesterday. Pic/PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi performs an asana during a mass yoga session on International Yoga Day 2015 at Rajpath in New Delhi yesterday. Pic/PTI

But even by Ms Loony Tunes' standards, her take on yesterday's collective yoga posturing is by far her most ..well... awesome. "Miracle of collective chant of Shanti, Shanti, Shanti, by millions brings pre-monsoon showers in Delhi. Reduces heat and cools even the trees," she tweeted to a nationwide guffaw.

Kiran Bedi
Kiran Bedi

But so much for her peace and all that 'shanti', a few hours later when her political sycophancy laced with new age mumbo jumbo statement went viral, the shanti shanti gave way to a rather huffy 'My tweet on rains following chanting from Yog/Rajpath which was a welcome relief gave some an opportunity to interpret it literally! Funny?' Time for some more chanting.

His role model and mentor
You got to hand it to Lalit (motor mouth) Modi. Even as he has what looks like the country's entire political and journalistic class up in arms, he appears to love every minute of it. A glance at his recent social media posts reveals a feisty fighter who appears to be thriving on controversy.

Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela

And for those wondering where he gets his cockiness from, it might come as a surprise that the founder architect of the IPL and the man who is single-handedly taking on some of the country's most powerful individuals with what appears to be little more than bombast and some deftly used emoticons (!) cites no less than Nelson (gulp) Mandela as his role model.

Lalit Modi
Lalit Modi

No, it's not the late statesman's humanist and anti-apartheid stance that Modi emulates, but his never-say-die attitude. "Everyone asks me where I find the #?strength to do what I do. For those who have been to my home of #?office? will see only one #?picture on my desk that of #?NelsonMandela - he truly inspires me." Posted Modi over the weekend. "I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.

The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid but he who conquers that fear." He quoted the great South African leader, along with his portrait and the legend 'Tough times do not last tough people do.' Interestingly, we recall Percept's head honcho, and a feisty bon vivant himself, Shailendra Singh once confiding that Mandela was his role model too! Go figure.

Making friends and influencing people
Ever since it was revealed that it was the wife who was spreading rumors about her husband's supposed dalliances with other (married) women, this parvenu couple has been more or less boycotted by polite society.

"When it was discovered that the stories about the businessman's alleged extra-marital relations was circulated on the hearsay of a Mumbai-based designer who wanted to 'fix' her rival and fed his wife the tale, many distanced themselves from the couple," says a source. However, this has not stopped the duo from attempting to make friends and influence people in Mumbai's social swirl.

This weekend saw them host a soiree to commemorate a powerful city authority on a recent appointment. "Many of the guests were those who had sworn off their company but had no choice but to attend the dinner out of loyalty to the person it was hosted for. But people are still cheesed off about the shenanigans caused and the collateral damage to other people's reputations," said the source.

Having the time of your life
What is it about four vaguely alien looking, lethally cheerful Swedes that they have most of Mumbai along with the rest of the world bopping to their beat? The ABBA concert held over the weekend was as expected an unmitigated triumph. Expected because ABBA or even their lookalikes appear to have carved a permanent place in the hearts of Mumbaikars.

Members of the Swedish pop group ABBA. Pic/Getty Images
Members of the Swedish pop group ABBA. Pic/Getty Images

A few years ago when the newspaper we were working with hosted an edit staff offsite at the NCPA that comprised a viewing of the faux ABBA, we recall so charged were we by it, that for the next few weeks we ended every senior editorial telephonic communique with our colleague, the hipster Sidharth Bhatia, with a zingy 'Aha' ("We're going with the story on the Parliamentary ruckus. Aha' 'Make sure we get a quote from Swamy. Aha')

Sidharth BhatiaElahe Hiptoola
Sidharth Bhatia and Elahe Hiptoola

The Abba mystique was further buttressed when on Sunday the lovely Elahe Hiptoola informed us that she had watched the entire Abba tribute Mamma Mia when it had come to Mumbai along with fellow gang-of-girls members Vandana Kasbekar and Anu Ansari, while standing on her seat singing along to every tune."

So it comes as no surprise that what looked like all of Bandra, Mahim and Byculla, and most of the Dadar, had turned up to swing to the happy beat and familiar songs of the mega pop band of the '70s. "They were a-standing on their seats and a-dancing in the aisles, and much zestful demonstrating the courage of their convulsions each time the chords struck up," said one member of the audience. And why not? As every ABBA fan knows: 'We've done it all before and now we're back to get some more, you know what I mean. Voulez-vous. Aha!'

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