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Sound bytes from Arnab and Rajdeep

It was couch potato heaven when the two alpha males of English TV news gamely agreed to participate on the same panel discussion over the weekend in Mumbai. 'The top two of Indian news television, Editor-in-Chief of IBN-18 Rajdeep Sardesai and Editor-in-Chief of Times Now Arnab Goswami, were on the same panel.

Yes, they were a seat away from each other, and they were discussing Narendra Modi,’ reported FirstPost.com about an event organised by the Press Club of Mumbai which saw Uday Shankar, CEO of Star India as moderator and senior journalist, Kumar Ketkar as part of the discussion over the weekend.

Arnab Goswami
Arnab Goswami

And of course when you have two of India’s most celebrated anchormen together the chance of receiving scintillating sound bytes is a very real one. “A section of the media has converted journalism into ‘supari’ journalism. Journalists must ask themselves why they elevated Narendra Modi to God. He’s not a messiah. They did this to get interviews,” Sardesai is reported to have said.

Rajdeep Sardesai
Rajdeep Sardesai

“Rajdeep has been my boss for a decade, I won’t quarrel with him,” said Goswami, adding, “But I don’t know about super journalism...”Meanwhile this onstage bonhomie was followed by a cryptic comment posted on Facebook by a well-known publisher.

“I know personally that these two hate each other,” he wrote, “Once I was on a jury, which favoured one of them, and the other attacked me though a series of midnight messages and even questioned my integrity. It is a surprise that they agreed to be on the same stage.”

Happy birthday Neena
She’s been MIA ever since she got married to an investment banker in Delhi and yet Neena Gupta, the lady who had riveted audiences of the small screen with her performances in domestic soaps, has a strong Mumbai presence.

Neena Gupta

And yesterday on her birthday we wished her, as did many of her Mumbai pals. What did she do, we enquired? “I was in Nainital with the family and relatives!” she said, “It was lovely, except for two sad things: Firstly Masaba was not with me-she was busy with some work and secondly my husband (Vivek Mehra in picture) did not give me a present,” said the lady when we asked her for her picture.

Neena Gupta
Neena Gupta. Pic/Pablo Bartholomew

“Why don’t you use Pablo (Bartholomew’s) ‘bachpan ka photo?’” she said. “Kitni jawan thi main.” We have Neena. We have.

Exceptional, marvellous, rare...
“Saw Shiamak’s Selcouth show last night. Take a look at this stunning image. Now imagine it in motion.” Boman Irani. When you chance upon a comment like this from one of the country’s most highly rated actors, you can be sure that the subject could only be one person: dancer choreographer singer and spiritualist Shiamak Davar.

Boman Irani
Boman Irani

Of all the people we have met, Shiamak Davar is perhaps one of the most interesting. A South Mumbai Parsi, born to an established business family (the Davar College of Commerce was started by them), Davar blazed a whole new trend by teaching jazz dancing to Mumbai’s callow youth almost three decades ago and in doing so proved irrefutably that you could make a living doing what you love best.

Selcouth
Selcouth

If this were not enough, he then regaled audiences with his outstanding Shiamak Davar live shows. The hysteria and adulation he evoked had to be seen to be believed. As if this was not enough he then engaged with Bollywood and taught it how to shake a leg or two breaking every Sobo-Nobo barrier as he did so.

Shiamak Davar
Shiamak Davar

And of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg. There’s Davar’s spiritual side, which led him to spirit writing (and also to Canada where it is rumoured he’s sitting out an early premonition(!)), there’s his personal magnetism that has had some of the most cynical people eating out of his hands...and now all these rave reviews circulating by astonished and delighted audiences who witnessed his newest offering ‘Selcouth’, over the weekend at the NCPA.

Incidentally, according to the urban dictionary Selcouth means exceptional, marvellous, rare, spectacular...words that describe Davar aptly.

Drink up your Ovaltine
By now, most would have guessed that we are suckers for nostalgia. Show us portraits of grandparents all dressed to the nines, or pictures of Mumbai in the good old days and we are delighted.

Keith Stevenson, with mother Ray
Keith Stevenson, with mother Ray

Which is why, this post from actor Keith Stevenson of himself as a child with his mother, the legendary Ray Stevenson whose famous Raechelle salon at Kemps Corner was the go-to place for Mumbai’s beauties in the city’s salad days, gladdened our heart.

“This is a photo taken from around the early ‘50’s at the Victoria Garden in Bombay. It was also called Rani Baug, Rani being queen and Baug being garden. It was the zoo,” said the Cathedral alumni immortalised in his classmate Salman Rushdie’s seminal Midnight’s Children as ‘Glandy KeithColaco’, the overweight bully at the Cathedral school! Well, he’d not had his Ovaltine when this picture was taken obviously!

Irony Deficiency
Are we the only ones who find Sonal Mansingh’s well orchestrated charm offensive on India’s new PM a bit ironic. “Meeting with PM Shri Narendra Modi yesterday i.e. 7th June was bahut hi sunder,” the dancer had posted on her website, along with a professionally shot clip of the same.

Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi

“I’ve become ARDENT admirer of his humane qualities. Was very warm cordial affectionate during meeting, which lasted almost 30 minutes. He showed no impatience though time for next meeting was close at hand… Thank God for him to appear on scene like the meteor at right moment.

Sonal MansinghSonal Mansingh

Pray that he stays long years to get India back on track. Amen,” she’d written. Why the irony? Well, after all Mansingh is a close relative of Pupul Jayakar, known to all as Indira Gandhi’s closest confidante. Incidentally, Mansingh’s exuberance over Modi was followed by many Amens-which kinda seemed a bit ironic too.

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