>> We promise this is the last you'll hear about literary battles and lit fests. (That is until the next storm in a chai cup brews).
But according to Litlive’s Chairman Anil Dharker there's an interesting little post-script to the Karnad- Naipaul controversy. After Karnad's speech, he was due on the stage the next morning for a panel discussion. “Am I still welcome?” was the message he sent to Dharker. ‘Yes,’ was the response he received.
The story doesn’t end there. A day later, Anil rang Girish and said, “You are my first invitee to next year’s festival.” There was stunned silence at the other end says Dharker. “I will be happy to come,” Karnad finally said. It was Dharker’s turn to pause. “You will now talk about theatre.”
Till next year then!
>> In recent times, we have been witness to many a gallant gent standing up for his lady love. Shashi Tharoor’s elegant riposte to Narendra Modi won him many admirers and of course Barack Obama’s declaration of love to Michelle during his victory speech had the whole world applauding.
This gallantry is not restricted to politicians alone. Sanjay Kapur, the swashbuckling polo playing CEO of Sixt India whose marriage to Karishma Kapoor has been on a rocky stretch apparently made a similar stand for his alleged paramour Priya Chatwal recently.
“When he was invited for his (former?) sister-in law Kareena's nuptials, he said he would not attend unless he was allowed to bring Priya,” informs an insider adding, “Given the circumstances, it is no surprise that his presence was unwelcome.”
Well, gallantry works- but timing’s important too.
>> We chanced upon this adorable picture of jewelry designer Farah Ali Khan and her handsome DJ husband Aqeel holidaying in Goa with their kids, Azaan and Fizaa.
“We had gone to Goa for the kids’ Diwali vacations. They love the sand, sea and beach and can spend hours in the water. We try and take 3 to 4 vacations as a family together every year,” she said.
DJ Aqeel with Farah Ali Khan and their children, Fizaa and Azaan
And given their famous parents accomplishments -have the kids inherited their mother’s artistry or dad’s musicality?
“Azaan is hyper energetic and very interested in Lego, art and craft. Fizaa is artistic too and loves writing and making cards but also loves music and dancing. But Azaan also gets his knowledge of gadgets and technology from his dad,” says Farah, who has just set up a 9,500 square feet state of the art jewellery manufacturing unit, to take care of her successful high-end business. “I have an in-house design team, along with designers, model makers and all the artisans that go into manufacturing beautiful pieces,” she says.
We guess that’s why she needs all those holidays!
>> Readers of the pink press were pleasantly surprised to see the interview that Bombay Dyeing Chairman Nusli Wadia gave to Business Standard recently. The once high profile tycoon is now famously known to speak to the media ‘once in five years’.
The Chairman of one of the country’s oldest corporate groups spoke candidly about his erstwhile battle with the late Dhirubhai Ambani that had almost driven the nation apart.
“I missed the bus because I didn’t manipulate the system,” said the 68-year-old Parsi industrialist. “All the policies related to polyester and the polyester chain during the eighties were manipulated. You had to manage the system for all licenses.”
But perhaps what is most interesting about this interview, is the fact that one of India’s finest business journalists R Jagannathan has commented on it in his excellent web-zine Firstpost.
‘Now that crony capitalism is firmly on the nation’s agenda as one of the evils leading to corruption, some of those laid low by it in the past are voicing their views on it,’ writes Jagannathan.
Why is this of particular interest? Well as the disclosure at the end of Jagannathan’s column states - the Reliance Group has an indirect stake in Network18, publisher of Firstpost.
We like this trend of disclosures. They are healthy, fair and very necessary to bring credibility to our business. And inspired by this long overdue trend we would like to disclose that we write for Business Standard too.
Poison Pen missive
>> The lengths to which people go to destroy their enemies have always shocked us. Vicious whisper campaigns, rumor mongering, character assassination, media plants and the carrying of tales have always been par for the course in the Mumbai social scene, but even by these standards, the recent anonymous letter that's doing the rounds about a pretty lady married into a prominent industrial group takes one's breath away.
Not only has the derogatory missive made its way into the lady's social group, but also, we hear, to the principal of the schools where her children study.
We do not wish to dignify the contents of this anonymous communiqué by discussing them. We have just two points to make:
The first is that it is the easiest thing in the world to identify and catch the wielder of this poison pen.
In the past, we have assisted friends who have been vilified in similar ways and know that there are more than a dozen experts in the police department who can get to the bottom of the matter in a jiffy. We urge the lady to give over the matter to competent authorities.
The second point is: going by the allegations made in the letter, even a child could tell you whom the needle of suspicion points to.
As for the lady in question-chin up!