The irrepressible marketing man (we refer to him fondly as a marketing guru in half pants) Suhel Seth caused a little flutter on his Facebook account recently, when he posted a picture of himself with Vidya Balan.
Comments ranged from ‘Marry her!’ to ‘Dirtiest picture she’s ever been in’ to ‘Great couple... both are intelligent, witty and outspoken!’
Why so? Well, besides the fact that both Balan and Seth are highly eligible bachelors at the moment, they also happen to share a Calcutta chromosome (Seth grew up there) and are gifted with the gift of the gab!
Which is why when I asked Seth about his post, he was torn between his natural instinct to get mileage from a linkup with a beautiful woman and his ethical need to issue a denial, so his answer was a short and sweet “Naaaaaaah!”
For the record though, his gush on Vidya for a newspaper last month had read, “She is Hindi cinema’s finest talent… Meryl Streep is America’s answer to Vidya.”
Three separate stories about Subrata Roy and the Sahara Group have had Mumbai’s jungle grapevine tomtoming. The first, of course, is that the swashbuckling chairman of the Sahara India Parivar (‘Saharasri’ as he likes to call himself) is in talks with the owners of New York City’s iconic Plaza Hotel, to acquire it.
Ever since Roy had taken over the grand but ailing old lady of Hyde Park the Grosvenor in London two years ago for a sum of $726 million, his appetite for splashy international inns appears to have been whetted.
But even by those standards, the Plaza will be a notch higher: not only is it a certifiable city landmark but it also housed guests like Marilyn Monroe and the Beatles amongst others. The other two rumours about the group are a little dodgy; the one that’s consuming the business community is about some ‘ownership issues’ cropping up in the group’s Amby Valley holdings.
And the third? Well, it’s about the ‘Saharasri’ himself being unwell. And whereas we hope the first story is true, we are equally hopeful that the other two are unfounded.
What Were They Thinking?
In which we feature the bizarre, the ludicrous, the-right-off-the-bat absurd. This week an excerpt from a press release about the forthcoming Bollywood film Ab Hoga Dharna Unlimited: Dharna is not a new trend in India but this time around Dharna is widely used for publicity gimmick (sic) rather than for a social cause.
Deepak Tanvar, who is the producer & director of the film told that (sic) film is about burning topic of our country which are dharnas, spreading very fastly in the capital of India.
“I’m well aware of the fact that this film can disturb (sic) many top level politicians and leaders but I want to show the real scenario of such dramas and I won’t shy away from the reality because certain people with power can object to it,” he added.
The film stars Omkar Das Manikpuri (Natha of Peepli Live), Milind Gunaji, Mushtaq Khan, Sunil Pal, Ehsaan Qureshi and Chandra Bhusan Singh, etc.
Golf any one? Poker?
He’s known by many titles: as the hunky son of Gautam Berry and Kirron Kher, as Abhishek Bachchan’s childhood buddy and as director Imtiaz Ali’s look-alike, but few know that Sikandar Kher who is still to get a suitable vehicle to showcase his acting talent, is a gifted golfer who plays at a pretty impressive 10 handicap and is seen most early mornings at one of the city’s greens accompanied by his dad who is a pretty good golfer himself. A friend tells us that Sikandar also loves playing a combination of skill and betting Texas Hold’em Poker, which he’s pretty good at too!
Incidentally, Sikandar is not the only Bollywood actor with a penchant for the game: old timers at the United Services Club in Colaba remember the late great Raj Kumar who would drive down from the suburbs regularly to tee off. And Amitabh Bachchan too has acquitted himself pretty well on the same course on a few occasions, we hear.
Mumbai’s all-night party
Those of you born before colour TV will remember the days when the city’s post party midnight’s children would converge on the Taj’s Shamiana for a continuation of festivities. The action later shifted to Sea Rock’s coffee shop and the President’s Trattoria, where teens with newly acquired sets of wheels, credit cards and facial hair would flex their muscles. Now, with drinking rules tightened and eateries being forced to close earlier, the post party scene in Mumbai has gone residential.
People chill at each other’s homes, listening to music, gaming or watching a movie on their Blue Ray giant TV screens. So naturally, a whole subculture of home-delivered F&B has developed to service this trend. And Mumbai’s best kept secret is that all the best homes — even the ones with five-star run kitchens — send for food from Zaffran — the 24x7 dhaba at Crawford Market that delivers at any time of night or day! Even butter chicken and pizza at 5.30 am! That’s service!
Photos: Katrina Kaif, Shamita Shetty at Mumbai airport
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Photos: Shahid Kapoor and Mira Rajput at cafe in Bandra
Photos: Deepika Padukone, Neha Dhupia and Soha Ali Khan at event