It has often struck us how, for all its so-called glamour and aspirational quotient, Mumbai affords its citizens pretty dismal places to experience grief and sadness. Take the Banganga crematorium for instance: the richest, most powerful and most celebrated denizens of Mumbai mostly end up in the stark PWD-inspired innards of its tawdry rooms for their final journey, (along with some of its humblest citizens-a stark reminder of our universality).
Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor
Similarly, some of the most high profile, glamorous and celebrated marriages are dissolve in the unedifying, unglamorous warren of cabins of the Bandra Family Court where Mumbai couples go to finally call it a day.
And recently, the humble unrepossesing building must have seen more SUVs in its driveway than perhaps any other time in its existence, when Hrithik and Susan, Leander and Rhea and Sunjay Kapur and Karisma have all found reason to visit this hot and crowded Court.
Karisma and Sunjay Kapur
Incidentally word about the Kapurs who we are informed concluded their divorce proceedings over the weekend, is that whereas Saif and Bebo accompanied Karishma, Sunjay’s family though in touch with him via regular updates, chose to stay away. “Saif played a very significant role in encouraging Karisma to accept Sunjay’s generous offer and not give in to her family’s advice to fight for a larger settlement,” said a source from Sunjay’s camp.
What’s in a name?
Volumes can be written about the various ways that Mumbai’s power establishment engages with its counterpart in Delhi; from the inside of the business class cabin on the Mum-Del red eye shuttle, to the drawing rooms of hosts like Suhel Seth which provide a common meeting ground, there are many points of interaction. But at the pinnacle of all this is the traditional Mumbai entry point to the Delhi political establishment: the Mumbaiker who becomes the Delhi insider and thus the go to person for all those that matter in the city.
At one time barrister Rajni Patel BRCC chief and Indira Gandhi’s eyes and ears in Mumbai was the go -to person for corporates and politicians and socialites; with the passing of the baton to Rajiv Gandhi, Murli Deora, Mumbai’s Congress Chief and prominent corporate insider, held that position. Later, it belonged to Praful Patel, the urbane, industry friendly Mumbaikar whose NCP was a Congress ally. And now that there is a new dispensation in Delhi the word is already out that as far as Mumbai corporates, and Society is concerned their go to person concerning matters Delhi is the affable and dapper Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State for Power in NDA government and National Treasurer of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the ruling party in India. Ever since he won accolades for reprising his responsibility as head of BJP’s Information Communication Campaign Committee his star’s been on the rise and Mumbai’s power elite is queuing up at his door claiming old ties. Incidentally, the word from Raisina Hill is that Goyal had been offered Minister of State for Finance, but declined it, as he wanted to prove himself in a Ministry where he could have independent charge.
Interestingly, Goyal is not the only Piyush whose star is on the rise. Mustachioed creative powerhouse Piyush Pandey executive chairman and creative director (South Asia) at Ogilvy & Mather, who along with Prasoon Joshi and Sam Balsara was responsible for the BJP’s R400 crore ‘Acche Din Aane Wale Hain’ campaign is also covered in stardust.
And just to prove a point about the serendipity of nomenclature actor we leave you with this thought: music director, lyricist, singer, scriptwriter Piyush Mishra ain’t doing too badly these days either!
Men of Steel
And for those wondering what the reason behind Nawaz Sharif’s visit to steel tycoon Sajjan Jindal’s Delhi home for a private tea during his recent India visit was, a little bird informs that the connection is a no-brainer: steel. Sharif’s family after all runs the multi-million dollar Iteffaq Group, one of Pakistan’s leading steel conglomerates.
The Jindals with Nawaz Sharif
Men of steel flock together.
Three time strike-out?
It’s been a week of kicking up of heels and hi-jinx for the dashing Ness Wadia. Not only did his IPL team Kings XI Punjab present him with a neat little victory on his birthday last week but he also followed it up with a dinner for family (yes, his dad the reclusive Nusli is reported to have been present) and friends at Frangipani and a post match party cum birthday celebration at a close friend’s Colaba pad.
Which is why even as we write this, watching the IPL Finals, we are aware that his friends and team supporters are hoping that Wadia’s streak of happy occasions will hold out and be crowned by the traditional third lucky strike in this most crucial match of all. By today of course we’ll know if it did.
‘It’s still alive!’ said a friend on learning that the Gangnam video had reached digital-Valhalla 2 Billion hits on Youtube last week. Released like a weapon of mass seduction the kitschy, nevertheless riveting video of the portly South Korean performer Psy making like horse, became an example of the latest trend of the internet era: where creative expression can achieve cult status and popular appeal simultaneously. Hence, not only did Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei pay tribute to it but it also broke the record for being played at some of the largest concerts ever known such as in Seoul for 80,000 screaming fans!
Shah Rukh Khan performs the lungi dance
Which begs the question: why hasn’t a single Bollywood dance number, reached/made it that big internationally? We can think of at least half a dozen featuring film numbers featuring Salman, SRK, Hrithik and Shahid which far surpass Psy’s offering in sheer watchability (Lungi Dance for instance.) What’s the reason? Doesn’t India have the international monopoly on in your face crazy jhatak-matak?
South Korean rapper Psy