The Khushwant Singh lit fest

>> We met veteran journalist Rahul Singh and our former colleague the elegant Niloufer Billimoria over the weekend who were excited about the upcoming literature festival they are organising as a tribute to Rahul’s illustrious dad — Khushwant Singh one of India’s most celebrated writers. “We are hosting it in the hill station of Kasauli this October,” said Rahul, “As my dad did a lot of his writing at the family home Raj Villa in Kasauli and he loves the place.” Rahul recalls walking with his father, something of a fitness fiend from Kasauli to Mashobra, a nearby hill station as a young boy. “We will have discussions, readings and other events around his work,” says Rahul adding, “Brigadier Anant Narayan has kindly offered to put the 35-room Kasauli Club at our disposal and we hope to get people who have a connection to the place to participate too.”

Illustration/Amit Bandre

Incidentally, Khushwant, the celebrated raconteur had many famous houseguests at his cottage including the iconic yesteryear star Nargis who needed a place to stay when she used to visit her son Sanjay, a boarder at the next-door Lawrence school, Sanawar. “He invited her to stay on the condition that she would agree to let him boast that the great Nargis had slept in his bed!” smiles Rahul.

Remembering Kishore
>> When the family of the late great Kishore Kumar celebrated his 83rd birth anniversary this Saturday, photojournalist Sudharak Olwe was present to record the poignant event.

Kishore Kumar's wife Leena Chandawarkar
Kishore Kumar’s wife Leena Chandawarkar, grand daughters and son mark the actor/singer’s 83rd birthday. Pic/Sudharak Olwe

“Seen in the picture are his fourth wife Leena Chandawarkar, grand daughters, son Sumit Kumar and Rumi Devi, for the traditional cake cutting,” says Olwe.

Friendship day Special
>>  Man about town Nirman Chowdhury returns to this page after a long time with this touching picture from Sunday’s Friendship Day.

Friendship's Day.
A boy ties a piece of rope to his friend on Friendship’s Day. pic/nirman chowdhury

“I took this picture in Sion on Friendship’s Day of two friends from the slums with probably no money who instead of bands just tied ropes on each other!”

Glass Act!
>>  Word has it that Sumant Jayakrishnan, ace scenographer whose astonishing and world class designs for spaces as eclectic as the Delhi Art Summit and the set of ‘Midsummer’s Night’s Dream’ have the international community in awe of his talent, will have added another milestone to his career with his design for the Tarun Tahiliani Couture Exposition 2012, which opens today. “We worked with GLASXPERTS, a division of Asahi India Glass Ltd (AIS), India’s largest integrated glass company to construct a series of glass jewel boxes spread over 6,500 square feet to showcase Tarun’s exquisite designs” said Jayakrishnan. “It’s millimeter perfect and quite extraordinary,” he says of the structure. We like!

Sussegaad and celebrations!
>>  It’s become something of an urban ritual over the last dozen years that when Fahad Samar celebrates his birthday along with the rest of the country’s Midnight’s Children on August 15, with his wife Simone Singh and he along with friends spend the weekend in Goa. “Whilst Independence Day is a dry day in Mumbai, the laid-back Goans mercifully allow you the freedom to imbibe the spirit of sussegaad. Amidst good friends and great feni — there’s no better way to turn a year older,” says the columnist and filmmaker who has a house in Porvorim, adding, “Even though this time there’s no long weekend to mark the day it hasn’t deterred any one.

Simone Singh and Fahad Samar
Simone Singh and Fahad Samar

” This year, Malini and Rahul Akerkar, photographer Sheena Sippy and a few other friends have booked their place at Fahad’s table. Past revellers have included Alex and Namita Kuruvilla, Ash and Junelia Aguiar and AD and Sabeena Singh.

Family is forever
>> He is one of India’s leading film financiers (Devdas, Dil Se and a string of other hits) diamond merchants and construction magnates but yesterday surrounded by his wife, three children, six grand children and extended family that had gathered at the Golden Dragon to bring in his 68th birthday — Bharat Shah was above all a father and patriarch.

Bharat Shah

Daughter Reshma Mehta who we spoke to said, “It was so wonderful to see how every one in the family looks up to him. Above all, he’s taught us always to have our feet on the ground and treat everyone equally.” And has he slowed down his pace? “No chance,” she chuckles. “He’s got a major Sanjay Dutt starrer Zilla Ghaziabad releasing and four big construction projects going on. Dad’s never going to take it easy!”  

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