The Bal comes to town

>> So, in the season of style, soirees and stars, can Rohit Bal, be far behind? This Wednesday, he will be celebrating the launch of his new label ‘Rohit Bal for Biba’ over cocktails at the Palladium’s Mekong & LiBai bar, which is soon turning into the city’s most popular watering hole.

“It’s a ready-to-wear line, priced between Rs 9,000 to 18,000, crafted with all the qualities of excellence and luxury I am known for, but only slightly paired down so that women can wear the designs to parties too,” says the designer, who along with everything else he does, is busy with his latest passion of designing luxury villas on Goa’s Chapora river. Known to be bit of a fitness fiend, we are also happy to learn that after his recent health scare, he’s back to exercising, playing tennis daily, and only drinks red wine. Nice!

That Tughlaq moment
>> “It’s a great play, and has one of my best performances ever,” writes our friend Kabir Bedi about his latest role as Emperor Shah Jahan in John Murrell’s Taj, directed by Tom Diamond, which is touring Canada. But as someone who has seen the hunky star show off his acting chops and much more (including a scene in which he’s tastefully in the buff) many years ago, as the Emperor Tughlaq in Alyque Padamsee’s rendition of the Girish Karnad play, we take that with a pinch of salt.

Kabir Bedi

Because nothing — but nothing — can match that dramatic scene in which the young actor in the prime of his awesome physicality, stood on stage dressed in naught but his God-given skin under a single spotlight. So, whereas his latest role in the multimedia production, starring Lisa Ray, who plays Jahanara, the Emperor’s daughter, will be a thing of beauty and a joy forever, we wonder if there will be another monument in Bedi’s life which will ever compare with that one spectacular scene.

Lisa Ray

Papa don’t preach
>> And the banker, who’s been in the news for all the wrong reasons recently, might have another issue to spend sleepless nights over: his pretty daughter, who was, until now dating the eligible son of a well-regarded SoBo couple –against her father’s wishes — might well have landed herself in a soup, by allowing herself to be wooed by a married suitor — said to be something of a gold digger. Friends of the girl say that whereas the intentions of her former beau were kosher, the fact that he didn’t meet with the banker’s due diligence as a prospective son-in-law had made life difficult for the couple.
“How ironic that she is now being linked to a married man, and has offended her BF due to this,” says an insider. “In retrospect, I’m sure her dad would agree that her previous relationship was far more attractive!”

Becoming Mrs Kumar
>> “I’m a Brit who has been in Asia for the past 13 years, three in Southeast Asia and the past decade in India,” writes the Mumbai-based Heather Gupta, author of the newly published Becoming Mrs Kumar (Vintage Books/Random House India) a book about the trial, tribulations and triumphs of an expat who marries an Indian and settles in India. “I was single here for about four years, met my Indian husband to be, Vivek, in 2007 through mutual friends, and we got married in 2008.

Heather Gupta

So, the book began as ‘my’ story, and turned into fiction along the way,” she says.

Becoming Mrs Kumar is set in Mumbai, and tells of a British expat woman’s search for love and happiness in the intense, chaotic city. It chronicles her journey from London to Mumbai. “Her quest for a suitable partner, initially disastrous, finally ends happily, as she meets and marries the man of her dreams,” says the author, who will be holding an event on October 15 in London to drum up interest for a UK publication too.

“I think it will be perfect for the British audience, and for British NRIs too,” she says. We like happy endings. Not only for Julia Robinson the protagonist of Becoming Mrs Kumar but for Gupta too.

Salaam Mumbai:¬†Think before you ‘like’
I thought that when I received birthday reminders for Facebook friends who were long dead that things were bizarre enough. Then, when a couple of them began posting on my wall I knew that we had only seen the beginning of the malaise: Facebook and real life are very different, no matter how much we like to pretend otherwise — and nowhere is this dissonance more apparent than in matters of death. Because last week when a friend posted on Facebook that a relative of his had ‘just died’, not only was he inundated with a hundred messages of condolences — but horror of horrors — at least 20 people ‘liked’ the status too!

Oh dear. Have we reached the end of the line of social media gaffes? What prompted people to ‘like’ a status so tragic? A hasty reading of the message that made them miss its tragic content? Ignorance of how Facebook works? A thumbs-up to its author for having the courage of sharing it? Or just a desperate cry that Facebook has to create more icons to reflect other human responses besides the anodyne and enigmatic ‘like’?
As of now, the person bereaved has not cared to respond to the inappropriate reaction from a few of his friends. Perhaps, he understands what they were trying to say.

I don’t. Will someone care to explain? ¬†

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