>> Life imitates art — but what can you say when life begins to imitate an advertising campaign? Or so it appeared when I received an invitation to witness Hard Talk’s erstwhile hard-talker Tim Sebastian interview Maharashtra’s CM Prithviraj Chavan on ‘Accountability and Development’ on Thursday.
In my mind were the TV spots that had preceded Sebastian’s debut on the ‘Outsider’, his talk show on Bloomberg TV one of which depicted an old style politician playing snooker and sounding off about his methodology.
Renton D’Sousa, chief executive officer and national creative director, Triton Communications, who had created the ad was quoted by a website saying “I have been an admirer of Tim Sebastian since his Hard Talk days and have followed his Doha Debates as well. However, people like me are few in number and to attract the intelligent viewer in his direction, I had to project him as a rabble-rouser.”
Be that as it may, from some one who has interviewed ‘the Chavan no one knew’ and had him talk about his love for sushi, Dylan and the Doors, Thursday’s event will be certainly very interesting to watch. Will Chavan who is no means an old style politician (he went to Berkeley) be able to satisfy Sebastian’s dyed in the wool unflinching interrogatory style?
Watch this space!
Across the Universe
>> This weekend the city played host to Ian Le Frenais the legendary English TV and movie writer who along with his partner Dick Clement gave UK TV audiences some seminally popular serials like The Likely Lads, Porridge, Lovejoy and Auf Wiedersehen, and the delightful musical ‘Across the Universe’.
Ian along with his wife the artist Doris Vartan are familiar faces in these parts when they fly in en route to their guru Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev’s ashram down South.
We’d had dinner with the couple on their last visit at the Blue Frog when they spoke about their love for India and the enigmatic Jaggi.
“ The first words he’d said to me were ‘Your team sucks’” said Ian, laughing about his shared passion for football with his golf-playing, bike riding guru.
Of airs and graces
>> Yesterday we wrote of how impressed we were by the likes of the late Dr Verghese Kurien and how modestly and gracefully he conducted himself in private and public. ‘We have watched lesser beings demand far more’, we had written.
Today word comes in of the twenty something son of a Mumbai builder who arrived at a mid town lounge over the weekend in a cavalcade of almost a dozen cars that included two Rolls Royces, a few Beemers and a Ferrari.
Not only that but he was accompanied into the bar by armed private guards much the way a visiting head of state would be.
Onlookers who are used to the indulgences of the very rich and very foolish said that this latest bit of buffoonery took even their breath away!
The elocution master
>> A recent picture of Amitabh Bachchan as a schoolboy with his mother the luminous Teji Bachchan has been making the rounds on social networks delighting fans, it looks as if it were shot while the actor was a student at Sherwood College in Nainital where he and his brother Ajitabh were boarders.
Sherwood has certainly bequeathed three very articulate and well spoken actors to the film industry: Bachchan, Kabir Bedi and Dalip Tahil, all of whom speak the Queen’s language in the finest tradition. Some elocution master must be responsible —would love to know who!
Goa’s lit life
>> My talented cousin Kishwar the author and columnist writes in to invite us to Goa tomorrow where designer author Wendell Rodricks will be launching her book Origins of Love at Goa’s lovely little art hub Literati.
Kishwar and her husband the celebrated economist Lord Meghnad Desai have restored an exquisite old Goan residence in south Goa where they retire to write, paint and live the life that all creative people long for. We had spent a delightful afternoon last December at this place amongst some of Goa’s leading lights like Habiba Miranda, wife of the late cartoonist Mario, and writer academic Maria Aurora Couto. From a hippie hangout to a beachcomber’s haven, Goa has taken on many avatars over the years of which the most attractive has been home to a growing community of writers like The Desais, Amitav Ghosh and Vikram Seth. Many years ago we had chosen Alibag over a cottage in Goa because we felt the cultural/literary life would not be stimulating. We think we ought to eat our words — with sorpotel!