>> Remember that old adage, ‘only his hairdresser knows for sure?’ Well, nothing seems truer for Bollywood. Over the years, we have watched as a slew of some of the industry’s finest hair professionals have transcended their roles and become not only the constant companions of the stars they work for, but their friends, advisers and even producers and directors! And in that great tradition word comes in of Nanao Soyam (in pic below), the talented hairstylist from b:blunt, who has been accompanying Aamir Khan for all his shoots.
He was spotted by Aamir, who his known to take his hair very seriously. How seriously? Well, how about by being the first man to make his hair a marketing tool. Apparently, ever since the sex symbol met the stylist at the b:blunt salon, his presence at the star’s side has not stopped. He was in Chicago for a few months during the shooting of the soon to be released Yash Raj film Dhoom 3, and has been accompanying the star on his shoots in India (Delhi most recently) for his next film Peekay.
The word is that so impressed has Aamir been by the buzz kid that he has also entrusted him with the task of keeping baby Azad’s locks in place!
>> The more one focuses on the minutiae of Mumbai’s social graces, the more one learns. The latest hidden treasure (still not foretold in Shobhan Sarkar’s dreams though) is the fine line that the high and mighty draw between the two guest lists that comprise their social life: namely their ‘Community’ and ‘Cosmopolitan’ lists. According to an insider, each billionaire or even millionaire is said to maintain two separate guest lists and such are the unwritten rules that the two rarely mix.
Tomorrow, for instance, the Essar Ruias of Walkeshwar Road, brothers Ravi and Shashikant, along with their wives and progeny, are hosting a Diwali party. And according to an insider, the guest list will comprise strictly others from their community. “Only traditional Marwari couples and families,” we are informed. On other occasions, of course, the family has opened the doors of its sumptuous home to a many an evening for their cosmopolitan crowd: socialites, industrialists, professionals drawn from all walks of life and ilk. This is a well-honed practice and according to an insider — like fine wine, few individuals travel well between
Miranda House Rules!
>> As an incubator of some of the most brilliant women of its age, from Anita Desai to Aruna Roy and Romila Thapar, Mira Nair, Deepa Mehta, Urvashi Butalia and Shobhana Bhartia, can there be any to rival Miranda House?
And as word comes in of Miranda House alumni Deepa Mehta’s high-profile glamour fundraiser celebrating India’s 100 years of cinema for the Toronto International Film Festival held recently in Canada, we were struck by the old school ties that still link the upper echelons of India.
Because attending the second friends of TIFF Gala event, which featured a red- carpet reception, dinner, live auction, entertainment and after-party was none other than Uma Dacunha, the respected film critic and buff, a senior Mirandan, who we are told cannot stop talking about the dazzling event.
And how did we hear about it? Well, through another Mirandan — the charming and dynamic Asia Society’s India Chapter director Bunty Chand. And if we had only gone to the dinner last Sunday hosted by Uma Dacunha, we would have met some of these outstanding Mirandans. Apparently, Chand, Dacunha, Deepa Mehta and fellow alumnus Nandita Das were in the house.
Salaam Mumbai: Whither SoBo clubs?
Oh dear, what on earth is the matter with that rare and wondrous phenomena – the SoBo Club?
Time was when these oases in the city’s concrete jungle, were a thing of beauty and a joy forever: tiny sanctums of refuge, where their members could retreat into a gentler and more genteel way of life with tinkly bells to call the ‘staff’; challans to order tea; and gongs to announce ‘light’s off.’
Not to mention, of course, their impressive roster of rolling greens and dozing aunts.
But now it seems a strange and perverse illness has gripped most of Mumbai’s best known institutions, with power struggles, accusations of graft, land grabbing and rivalry between groups, disturbing their legendary peace and quite.
The irony is that peace and quiet were the founding values on which most clubs were predicated in the first place!
If they are missing, what’s the point at all?
The poignancy of it all was brought home to us when a lovely SoBo lady, posted plaintively on her club’s notice board ‘Can’t read the minuets (sic) of the last meeting!’
A minuet, as the dictionary describes, is a ‘a slow, stately ballroom dance for two in triple time, popularised in the 18th century’, something which we feel is far more appropriate to a pretty member of a SoBo club in the first place than a dreary memo!
Perhaps the error was Freudian?