>> Much has been written about the meeting between Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Anna Hazare.
When Hazare met Chavan on Thursday in the presence of chief secretary of Maharashtra Ratnakar Gaikwad and other senior officers we are informed that the chief minister assured him that his government was in the process of conducting comparative studies of Lokayukta Acts of various states and would take a decision on enacting the same and that the Lokpal Bill was likely to be passed in the current session of Parliament.
And when asked about the meet with the CM described it as ‘cordial’.
Cordial though is a relative term. Our source tells us that though the meeting was civil, Hazare did ruffle a few feathers when he said corruption was the cause of inflation and those bureaucrats and government officers were like terrorists and needed to be punished with 6-month jail sentences for petty corruption and life imprisonment for bigger cases of graft.
In turn when a senior officer blamed the crusader for the ‘policy paralysis’ since no government officer wanted to take a decision for fear of it being questioned retrospectively, some more fur did fly.
But of course, this was behind closed doors and amongst some of the highest ranking civil servants of the State.
And when they emerged it was a click happy photo op for all.
Prince vs King
>> As May 5 looms the City of Joy will be a battlefield of sorts when Pune Warriors face the Kolkata Knight Riders and that’s because of the not so cordial history between King Khan and The Prince of Kolkata himself.
Cricket enthusiasts will recall the tribulations and humiliations faced by the surprisingly hirsute darling of Kolkata at the hands of the Badshah of Bollywood. So who will the Bangla Babu cheer for this diarist wonders. Now that Sourav Ganguly has been reinstated in the Pune Warriors and his splendid wicket off Kevin Pietersen at Kotla on his very first ball erupted in a celebration almost reminiscent to the one a couple of years back in Lords.
The statesman like Gautam Gambhir maintains that it’s not about playing against individuals. But what does SRK feel about it?
Meanwhile, we hear from friends back at Kolkata, that KKR supporters are unashamedly preparing to switch sides!
India’s First Super Model
îSaturday night saw us exchanging air-kisses with the lissome Kirat Rabier (now Young) who fashionistas will recall was the first young woman to make it to the catwalks of Paris when Yves Saint Laurent discovered her at the age of 19 while she was holidaying in France.
Born Kirat Bhinder, the 5’11, dusky Delhi born beauty that attended North India’s premier boarding school for girls at the time- Welham’s — was the daughter of an Air Force officer and a UN-serving doctor mom.
This diarist recalls what a sensation she caused when she was part of YSL’s first showing in India and every hack in town wanted an interview with her.
“My first show was in 1976 and was called “Ballet Russes,” she told us, “and was one of the grandest ever staged, with over 250 dresses, music and cuisines from all over the world, and photographers falling over each other to click YSL’s ‘exotic new model’ as I was called,” she laughed.
After having worked with YSL for 12 years, Kirat went on to model for labels like Chanel, Armani, Versace and Valentino.
Since those heady days she has now settled for a quieter life in Paris designing jewellery and travelling the world meeting old friends.
And yes, she still looks as gorgeous as ever!
Fruits and Nuts
>> Friday night witnessed some of Mumbai’s most civic minded and generous crowd gather at the Crystal room to watch the play OMG — the lesser known side of Gandhi, based on the life and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, the brainchild of the inimitable Geeta Gopalkrishnan, wife of the director of Tata sons
R Gopalkrishnan, in support of the Tata Memorial Cancer hospital in Kolkata.
The Hospital has been gifted by the Tata group to the city and costing around Rs 350 crore, boasts state of the art facilities and an excellent medical team.
Geeta Gopalkrishnan who is Donor Relationships Director of the Tata Medical Center, has been tireless in her fund raising for the hospital — yet one more worthy effort in the Tata’s long list of yeoman philanthropic enterprises.
Enacted by Dalip Tahil and narrated by the dulcet-voiced Gerson da Cunha the evening was a departure from the usual party-hearty events witnessed by the venue and had a solemn earnest tenor to it, especially when the audience was requested to rise and sing the national anthem at the end of the performance and then invited to the Ball Room to partake in a Satvik dinner.
This was clearly chef Hemant Oberoi’s idea of a ‘Satvik ‘ dinner: a three course meal, including a dessert of traditional Indian sweets served on silver thalis on a velvet maroon tablecloth embossed with gold charkhas!
We were reminded of Sarojini Naidu’s famous saying of how it took a lot of money to keep Gandhi in poverty.
The evening raised a substantial amount of money towards further expansion of the hospital. Though we still think nuts, fruits and goat’s milk for dinner would have been more appropriate.