Zen and the art of making hit films

Word comes in, that the makers of the runaway Tiger Shroff-Shraddha Kapoor starrer Baaghi, which made a whopping Rs 10.47 crore as pure profit within the first week of the film’s release, will be celebrating the film’s success with a party this week. “Special times need to be celebrated with special friends,” said the actor’s proud mom Ayesha Shroff about the event. Has Tiger’s success changed him we asked the tigress herself.

Ayesha Shroff
Ayesha Shroff

“Tiger is Tiger and will never change ever! But I know that he was stressed before the release because he simply just didn’t want to let his parents down, not that he has ever done so a single day of his life! Nor let his producer Sajid, his mentor down, nor Sabbir his director, nor his managers and his team!” She said.

Shraddha Kapoor and Tiger Shroff
Shraddha Kapoor and Tiger Shroff

“But after that first weekend was through and those incredible numbers came through, I got to see that Zen expression on my little Buddha’s face after a looooooong time!” Nice!

A Berklee concert
Next week Mumbai will be host to a unique concert, featuring none other than the Mozart of Madras, and Oscar winner AR Rahman.

Bhrigu Sahni
Bhrigu Sahni

The event, to be held at the St Andrews Auditorium in Bandra is being hosted by Roger H Brown, president of Berklee College of Music, one of the foremost centres for imparting musical excellence in the Western world, to celebrate the naming of the first Berklee-AR Rahman Scholarship recipients, and the continuation of the Berklee-Tandon Global Clinics through the Berklee-India Exchange.

AR Rahman
AR Rahman

The evening will include performances by an all-star Berklee faculty and student band as well as guest appearances by AR Rahman, Vijay Prakash, Clinton Cerejo, Gino Banks, and the scholarship recipients.

And though we are hugely looking forward to attending, by some bizarre coincidence, the concert will clash with that of another Berklee alumni, that of our hugely talented cousin Bhrigu Sahni, who performs on the very same evening along with his trio in a gig at Blue Frog called Shadow and Light.

And whereas we may be a bit biased in his favour, we have every reason to believe that this son of a scientist and an academician, and the grandson of the late great writer Padma Bhushan Bhisham Sahni will put on as delightful a performance, at the other side of town.

How do we know? We were privy to his exquisite repertoire only last Sunday when he’d come over and given our family a private concert on his guitar! So which concert to attend on that day? It’s all music to our ears!

From SoBo to Soho?
For many years now, Mumbai has been hearing about the imminent opening of the luxury international private club Soho House in Juhu.

Founded in 1995 with five clubs in Britain, one in Berlin, and three in America and approximately 17,000 members on its rolls, the club was expected to change the social dynamics of Mumbai giving it an international edge. And then just as soon as they’d started, the talk of Soho House opening in Mumbai had died down.

Well, we are happy to report that this Thursday David Fischer, the man who had initially got the ball rolling for Soho House in Mumbai and then had disappeared, along with AD Singh will be hosting a dinner at Olive to talk up the club’s plans once more.

So will Mumbai finally get its international private club? “There are no announcements yet,” said Fischer when we lobbed the question to him. “Let’s chat when I’m back in India tomorrow.”

Blast from the past
Easily the best looking Kapoor, Shashi and Jennifer’s son Karan Kapoor, did not let his Greek God looks come in the way of his vocation. Like his siblings, sister Sanjana and brother Kunal, Karan did make his debut in Bollywood but that was more a rite of passage for the Kapoors, before they branched off to pursue their life long passions: in Karan’s case, it was photography, or photo journalism, and eschewing his glamorous antecedents, he preferred to work in Black and White, and take pictures of mostly the marginalised and disfranchised around him.

Karan Kapoor
Karan Kapoor

So when we received a cryptic message yesterday, from the London-based Karan who we had often worked with on stories for the Indian and international press back in the day, saying that he would be exhibiting in India in September we were delighted. “ I will be showing portraits from my Anglo-Indian series first in Mumbai then Delhi and Bangalore,” said Karan, adding “do you remember the name of the old people’s home we shot in for one of your articles? And what was the name of that amazing old lady and the man who wore a bow tie?”

It was the Cheshire Home, we responded, and as for the names of the two people who we’d interviewed — don’t have a clue, we replied.

For that is the way of journalism. We meet, interview and feature people, and then we move on, on to the next story, the following assignment.

And neither do their names, nor their stories live on, except in some yellowing frayed archive somewhere.

Or when some diligent and sensitive photographer brings them alive in all their frailty or glory in a travelling exhibition.

We hugely look forward to Karan’s portraits of the old Anglo Indians in September. It will take us back many, many years to when journalism was about telling stories that moved and provoked, and editors and readers who exulted in such things.

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