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Star charisma Salman-style

The weekend saw another instance of Salman Khan’s star power when his sister Arpita celebrated her birthday at the family home in Panvel, along with a choice group of close friends.

Of course, brothers Salman and Arbaaz were there, along with sister Alvira and bro-in-law Atul Agnihotri. And no surprises that Salman’s hit director Sajid Nadiadwala was there too.

But what insiders cannot help marvelling over was the presence of Sangeeta Bijlani, Daisy Shah, Lulia Vantur, and elli Avram, all four united by the fact that at some point or the other their names were linked with the star.

Daisy Shah Sangeeta Bijlani
Daisy Shah and Sangeeta Bijlani

“How on earth does he manage to keep them all in the same place and still happy?” asked one Bollywood star wife. That’s what star charisma is all about!

Elli Avram Lulia Vantur
elli Avram and Lulia Vantur

Salman Khan
Salman Khan

The lady with the neck
Can there be anything more stylish, more self-actualised, more elegantly, uniquely, original than Kiran Rao on the cover of the latest elle? Aptly called the Geek issue, you have one half of Bollywood’s most powerful couple sporting a Miami Vice-influenced candy-coloured jacket ensemble from Rajesh Pratap Singh’s LFW 2014 collection, set-off by a statement pair of Fendi glasses that frame her elfin face perfectly.

Kiran Rao
Kiran Rao

But what steals the show in this cover, styled by Nidhi Jacob, is of course Ms Rao’s peerless, incomparable, matchless, swan-like neck rising from her collarbone like the stem of a rare dandelion. As one envious star wife puts it: “You can Botox your forehead, fill up your cheekbones, re-shape your nose, but there’s nothing, absolutely nothing, that you can do to make your neck longer or more elegant or stately.

You’re either born with it or you’re not.” And Aamir Khan’s Biwi has certainly inherited hers from the legendary Nefertiti herself. One more thing that makes her head and shoulders above the rest of the gang, we say!

Scion in trouble
Oh dear. The Nobo-based scion of this leading construction company might have to check-in for some much needed intervention, going by his behaviour at a high profile Sobo party over the weekend.

Not only was he tired and emotional (read: drunk out of his rafters) but the manner in which he swayed and lurched through the horrified gathering sent a shiver of unease through the spines of the women present.

Why doesn’t his well-regarded and influential family, step-in before he starts getting blackballed by all and sundry? After all, this behaviour is doing them or his own image as one of the city’s most eligible bachelors no good.

Midnight’s grandchildren
“Midnight’s Children is the greatest novel in english written by a Bombay-born author, with the possible exception of Rudyard Kipling’s Kim,” says noted art curator, Girish Shahane, about ‘Midnight’s Grandchildren: an exhibition and readings’ at the Kitab Khana that he’s curating next week.

Girish Shahane Salman Rushdie
Girish Shahane and Salman Rushdie

“I thought it was appropriate to institute an annual celebration of the novel, along the lines of the one in Dublin that honours James Joyce’s Ulysses,” he says. Featuring artists like Aaditi Joshi, Charmi Gada Shah, Manish Nai, born in 1980 and 1981, the years when the novel was published and received its major awards, who are now of the age that Rushdie and Midnight’s Children were in 1980 and 1981 (hence the name ‘Midnight’s Grandchildren’ geddit?).

The evening will see a discussion and readings from the seminal book alongside the exhibition opening. “Yes I heard about the exhibition,” said Sir Salman, when we asked him for his feedback to this unique tribute. “Nothing much to say except I’m sorry not to be there to see it.” But of course, he will be there in spirit. And word.

Upstairs and Downstairs
And as promised, here is Kala Ghoda Cafe’s owner, Farhad Bomanjee’s response to our story of negligence in ensuring customer safety at his cafe. So over to Mr Bomanjee: “A while ago, I’d changed the railings and fixed two sturdy SS handrails to grip whilst coming down,” he said.

“Recently Ms Mirchandani slipped on her way down and her daughter Pooja informed me of this and asked me to take action. I noticed that the steps had worn a bit smooth from use. I solved this by fixing new squared off wooden extensions to each step, and covered the top edge of each step with Slip Guard Anti Slip Abrasive Safety Tape.

This tape is attached to the top edge of each step and helps prevent one’s feet slipping off the edge of a step as it has a sandpaper-like top surface. It’s ISO 9000:2000-certified and used the world over. I then informed Pooja that this had been done and suggested she come take a look at it.”

“Yesterday I met (her mother) Mrs. Mirchandani at the cafe, and explained what I'd done to fix the problem. She expressed her dissatisfaction with the job undertaken and said in her view it was not sufficient and made a mention that it would also be difficult when wearing high heels.”

“The staircase is quite narrow due to the space constraints of the cafe. Hence, care has to be taken whilst coming down.” That was it readers. The cafe’s explanation, which as we said in the interest of fairness, customer safety and Soy Cappuccinos, we have presented. But one look at that staircase and we know for sure that we’d never attempt going up or down it. With high heels or without. ever. Coffee excellence be damned.

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