>> Reclusive writer Aravind Adiga made his first public appearance this year — in Chennai at the Hindu Lit for Life Festival. While it’s unclear why he would step out of his self-imposed exile – (caused by what is reported to be a chronic and endearing shyness) it surprised many that his public outing was in Chennai, which is only days before Jaipur Lit Fest.
Some might recall Adiga’s hysterical e-mail to JLF director William Dalrymple, peppered with the kind of truck driver expletives that made us blush.
Was the Chennai appearance a direct snub to JLF? Others feel the reason is simple: Adiga was born in Chennai, and this is his way of saying thanks to his home city. We can only hope the solitary but charming author appears with someone able at his side – so much loneliness is lethal, after all.
The revenge of the Juhu kids
>> An act at the Jaipur Lit Fest we’d put our money down on – Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi and Ekta Kapoor on Sunday. Since Kapoor rarely does such appearances, this is a coup for festival directors, William Dalrymple and Namita Gokhale. As it turned out, Dalrymple had asked his buddy SDS whom he’d like to speak with at the festival. SDS and Kapoor have long been good friends, so he immediately asked if she’d like to slide with him to Jaipur. But what will they chat about? “I believe we were both awkward, bullied kids growing up in Juhu.
Today, the lot of people who teased us are now watching Ekta’s serials or reading my books. Moreover, they are fat, and engage in decennial sex. It’s safe to say that for all the bullying we put up with as children, we have since served fair revenge. And our talk will examine exactly that: the balancing of scales. I could not ask for more spirited, articulate and brilliant friend than Ekta, who is taking stories – the narrative form itself – to new and titanic audiences.”
Pali Hill Juice
>> If some of Pali Hill’s most attractive faces just got more attractive, put it down to her juicing intervention. Kim Sharma, the statuesque former actress who’d made her debut in YRF’s Mohabbatein and then married a Kenyan industrialist, is back in the city of dreams and this time her training as a nutritionist and chef has made her something of a food muse to friends and neighbours like art collector Poonam Bhagat Shroff and design maven Surily Goel whom we met for a chin wag over the weekend.
Kim Sharma and Surily Goel
When asked why both were glowing they confirmed our suspicions: Sharma’s wondrous concoctions of juices taken two hourly after a season of frenetic partying and in preparation of a season of high octane socialising.
Have boots, will travel
>> She’s been a spirited globetrotter and a woman whose penchant for travel and conquering new territories like Bali with her fashion label Tambourine Designs. We’ve recorded before on these pages, but her recent trip to Istanbul appears to be one of singular adventure for SoBo’s striking stylista Divya Mohta.
Fitted out in a camel coloured jackets, tan boots and cashmere scarves she looked every inch the international urban gypsy.
>> And word comes in that this on off couple whose shenanigans in their spectacular Cumballa Hill mansion have attracted much comment and even a few visits to the cops have reneged on simple things like the monthly salaries of their domestic help this month.
Could things really be so bad? And wouldn’t the sale of a priceless bauble or a coveted canvas from their contentious collection tide things over?
The feisty archivist
>> Dayanita Singh hosted the launch for her mother Nony’s book, The Archivist, in Goa over the weekend at Literati Goa’s preeminent and charming bookstore, before a packed audience of comprising amongst others Raj and Dipti Salgaoncar, Aradhana Seth and Dean Dcruz .
Dayanita Singh in Mona’s lap taken by Nony Singh
While the Q and A was absorbing — Nony spoke movingly about the legal struggles with her family after the death of her husband — it was at dinner where Nony made a spirited and honest defense of Section 377 before Jivi Sethi and others. She pointed out that under Section 377’s draconian tenets many things that had brought the house full of august guests, and great and ribald pleasure would now be entirely illegal. Vikram Seth — you can have your magazine covers. Give us a feisty Sikh woman of a certain vintage with a glass of whiskey in her hand who can speak her mind and change will be a ‘comin round the corner’!
Could there be anything more suited to the fancy of a voyeur like myself than hotel lobbies, airports and hospitals?
All three places where people can be observed at their candid best? I look forward to visiting all three places with unabashed glee.
And I can sit for hours in them watching the great theatre of life unfold.
Find me a quiet spot in any of these places, give me a cup of tea or coffee and I can sit for hours and hours doing nothing but looking at people come and go, imagining their lives their loves their dreams.
Some people go to the movie, others to the theatre, me, I look to airports, hotel lobbies and hospitals for stories to entrance, edify and inspire.
The person behind the shades and the big cup of coffee? Yes that was me.
Here’s looking at you kid.