The art of lip

Move over Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld. If anyone threatens your job, it’s undoubtedly Shah Rukh and Saif Ali Khan. The duo once again demonstrated the great art of their lip as comperes of the 58th Filmfare Awards on Sunday night.

Here’s a peak: Shah Rukh being the sport that he is allowed the Nawab to make him the butt of his jokes. Like when Saif said they were originally planning to host the function on a grand scale at Wankhede stadium, adding, “But some people are not allowed in the stadium,” indicating the superstar.

Shah Rukh Khan

Ouch! On his part Shah Rukh subjected his fall guy to much ribbing about his recent wedding and the power dynamics that have ensued by insinuating that ‘Saif was the one wearing the mangal sutra after his wedding to Kareena.’

Saif Ali Khan

Ouch again! But though they got the audience hanging on their every word, obviously a certain award winner wasn’t paying attention. Right at the beginning, the duo had said that they would use a (toy) gun if anyone gave a painfully long acceptance speech. Only to have Annu Kapoor give a marathon speech, replete with shayari. Snoozing Annuji?

Writing Kahaanis that matter
By its clean sweep at this year’s awards (best film jury award at the Zee awards and five wins at the Filmfare including Best Director) Kahaani has once again convinced film makers that the audiences appreciate well made films with well thought-out scripts. We are particularly pleased as this vindicates our former colleague and friend Suresh Nair’s choice of career.

Suresh Nair
Suresh Nair

A gifted journalist, Nair had dismayed us all by opting to write movies, way before any one thought sensitive writers could make a living in Bollywood. Today, besides winning a slew of awards as additional screenplay writer and co-producer of Kahaani, Nair has won notice for his contribution to films like Namastey London, and Shootout at Lokhandwala. Ever modest he says, “Sujoy Ghosh and I have been friends since the days of Jhankaar Beats.

Vidya Balan in a still from the movie Kahaani
Vidya Balan in a still from the movie Kahaani

Kahaani is a team effort and so many people deserve credit. But I am happiest for Sujoy because this is his moment of glory in a journey that I’ve been a part of.”

Friends again!
Bright lights, big city, high society. And in this potent mix can anyone ignore the inevitable long-standing feuds that ensue when society divas don’t see eye to eye?¬†Well, mercifully one such blossoming enmity between two prominent society hostesses has been put to rest (for now) thanks to the intervention of a good soul a friend of both parties who couldn’t brook their silly squabble.

“The wife of a prominent builder and the daughter-in-law of an out of town billionaire were in the midst of a cold war thanks to some trouble makers,” a society diva informs. “Friends of both parties were being increasingly drawn in to take sides. That’s when an old and wise society queen sat them down and got them to iron out their problems. And, of course, when they met they realised that some people had been deliberately creating issues between them.”

So, if a major sigh of relief was heard from SoBo to Bandra recently put that down to the posting of a picture of all three ladies smiling to prove their bonhomie. And er, no Jimmy Choos were hurt during this exercise we’re assured.

Classy couple
Class shows. On Sunday we hitched a ride with a prominent society couple from a friend’s brunch in Juhu into SoBo. Not only was the conversation informed, erudite and stimulating but here’s where pedigree shows: there was no self-aggrandisement or promotion. None of that self-serving talk or pushiness that passes for conversation these days. And the best thing of all? When accosted by urchins at a traffic light the lady reached out to a bag containing packets of biscuits kept exactly for this purpose and distributed them to the kids. And then went back to her conversation without any bleeding heart statements! We like!

Capital scribe
He’s been something of a journalistic legend, the first Indian journalist to win a place on the much-revered NYT way back in the sixties! Since then his byline has graced some of the world’s best publications.

Pranay Gupte
Pranay Gupte

And now, we are happy to announce that Pranay Gupte, a student of Mumbai’s Jai Hind college, Brandeis University and Columbia University has decided to make New Delhi his base for the next chapter of his life: writing and editing books and columns. “The decision has been made after much weighing and agonizing. Dubai has been wonderful for the last nearly six years, but my next book involves a lot of India-centric research.

So, Delhi it is. And now to find a two-bedroom apartment to house my books and computer...This time, I’m also going to get a dog for companionship,” he posted. Welcome Pranay. But, of course, your friends hope you discover additional sources of companionship besides the four legged kind!

Goodbye Tom
He’s easily one of the nicest expats in a particularly good season of Mumbai’s itinerant settlers. Which is why when Tom Wright, GM-South Asia, Middle East & Africa, Cathay Pacific Airways announced, “Leaving India.

Tom Wright
Tom Wright

An emotional time to say the least. It’s been a really wonderful journey but I will be coming back!” his legion of friends were saddened. Wright, a passionate music lover (his playlist goes all the way from jazz to sufi ballads and from Grateful Dead to Joan Baez) was a familiar presence at music venues taking time off whenever he could from his busy job to support encourage and applaud musicians. He shall be missed.

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