"'Twas Timsy n Gawa's 40th anniversary," said the angular Neetu Kapoor, when we spoke to her about this photograph of a delightful gathering, featuring some exceptionally yummy Bollywood mummies.
"Gawa is Pam Chopra's brother; very old friends of ours since the Kabhi Kabhi days," said Kapoor, who, fortunately for them, has passed on her lean mean genes to her beautiful progeny.
Neetu Kapoor, Karuna Dhawan and Pinky Roshan with friends
Was she aware that the picture besides being a collection of some famous cheekbones also happened to feature the moms of Bollywood's three reigning single heartthrobs — namely Neetu Kapoor, mother to Ranbir Kapoor; Karuna (Lalli) Dhawan, mother to Varun Dhawan and Pinky Roshan, mother to Hrithik?
"We all know each other since so many years; all these ladies are known to me for over 40 years! So it was just like old times," said Kapoor, adding, "We are the same, except we all look different."
To which we ought to have said, not really, no. But we had to write this instead.
His Biblical appearance, the mane of silver hair and handspun (to an obscene level of counts) Bengali bhadralok vaguely invoking Issey Miyake threads, and his collection of drool-worthy bespoke shawls has been spotted at places as varied as the US-Indo CEO forum in New Delhi to the NaMo and Obama meet, as it has in SRK's private box at an IPL match in Kolkata.
Barack Obama and Aveek Sarkar when the former visited India
But it was over the former that legendary media tycoon, editor-in-chief of Anandabazar Patrika and The Telegraph, and Chief Editor of ABP Group Aveek Sarkar is having the biggest chuckle. A missive he sent out to a few of his friends post the Obama-Modi power meet had the cryptic comment: 'This photograph has been released by the White House official photographer' and there, for all the world to gaze, were two pairs of feet, one, enclosed in a polished-to-perfection pointed toe leather-clad pair belonging to Modi's Big Cool friend in Washington, and the other featuring far more elegant minimalist handmade slippers, belonging to none other than India's grandest newspaper barons (and certainly its best informed).
Sarkar's sartorial grace has long impressed international media. Many decades ago, in what would be one of the finest books on media, Paper Tigers (Heinemann) that other great publisher, our friend Nicholas Coleridge, President of Conde Nast International and the man behind some of the publishing world's most renowned glossies, had penned some exquisite turns of phrase on Sarkar's eye for woven masterpieces.
It involved baby animals and passing fabric through rings, we recall. (How do we recall? Well, the incident had taken place in our drawing room in Kolkata. Coleridge had been our editor at Harpers and Queen. He was taking time off to meet the world's greatest publishers, and here he was in India).
Anyway, to get back to The White House's foot fetish: what might have looked like a Third World chic meets First World burnish to the untrained eye is — for those who know Sarkar and his posh tastes — a classic example of enduring Eastern eminence.
All is Art Fair
"The best thing about the recently concluded India Art Fair in Delhi is that it supports so much ecosystem," said Shireen Gandhy, about her recent visit to what has become one of the country's most successful cultural gatherings. "It's not perfect, of course. Often it has been patchy; you can't expect to have only excellent work shown by top galleries right from the start.
India Art Fair in Delhi, (Insert) Shireen Gandhy
But the organisers have done a brilliant job, managing to put together not only some great shows by excellent galleries, but also through the intervention of Mumbai's Girish Shahane, who built very interesting projects around shows. The NGMA, for instance, had this most amazing retrospective of Mrinalini Mukherjee's knotted hemp sculpture; the Kiran Nadar museum always has stunning shows," said Gandhy.
'Any chance of doing something like this in Mumbai?' we asked one of the city's premiere gallerists, born into a family of art pioneers. "The economics just wouldn't work," said Gandhy. "Mumbai's real estate prices, for starters. Also I just don't think India has the breadth to have two art fairs, one in Mumbai, the other in Delhi," she said, adding, "However, what could work is having the Indian Art Fair alternate between the two cities."
Hey, wasn't that the raison behind Fashion Week?
Oops, here we go again?
Indie cinema's mentor
Any more evidence that Anurag Kashyap is the KJo of indie cinema? Like Johar, Kashyap has become an ardent champion and supporter of his genre of cinema, encouraging his peers and protegees even as he engages with them across camps and clans. Both men have become leaders and spokespeople for their communities.
Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap and Rajat Kapoor
The latest evidence of this is Kashyap's spirited high-five on a social media site to the makers of Rajat Kapoor's masterpiece 'Aankhon Dekhi'. "Manish Mundra, Rajat Kapoor and Sagar Desai," he said, "I genuinely think its time to re-release 'Aankhon Dekhi'.
It happened years ago with 'Padosan', which became a success with re-release. pls do it." This shortly elicited the happy response from Sagar Desai, the film's music composer: "We're gonna do it… Thank you Anurag Kashyap!!"
And if you don't know what the Padosan reference means, we suggest you look it up.
A matter of Pride
"Get up, Dress up, Come out Great Energy!" said our friend, the actor, dancer and spiritualist Faredoon Bhujwala, whose brief pirouette in 'Happy New Year' was a delight, about this year's PRIDE held at the August Kranti Maidan at Nana Chowk on January 31.
Faredoon Bhujwala with friends at the Gay Pride Parade
"It was the Rainbow Gay Pride Parade," he said exuberantly, "A variety of caste, creed and class sashaying joyfully side by side smoothly on a short quick circuit ending in an all too brief hour, as permission was given for only so much." "Marginalising the already marginalised are we?" was his parting shot.