Another writers' storm in Goa's teacup?

Published: 29 November, 2013 07:41 IST | Malavika Sangghvi |

'Tis the season for writers to shame themselves. Word comes in from Goa that Jerry Pinto, one of Mumbai's most serious poets and writers, has fallen out with a faction of women writers mostly based in Goa

>> ‘Tis the season for writers to shame themselves. Word comes in from Goa that Jerry Pinto, one of Mumbai’s most serious poets and writers, has fallen out with a faction of women writers mostly based in Goa.

Recently, Pinto put out an update on social media supporting the young journalist who bravely took on Tarun Tejpal.

Jerry Pinto

Pinto’s enthusiasm was promptly shot down by three writers — Margaret Mascarenhas, Venita Coelho, and Rosalyn D’mello (their comments were supported by photographer Pablo Bartholomew).

Their irritation hinged on the fact that some seasons ago, a member of the Goa Writer’s Group to which they and Pinto had belonged, had made some serious passes at a few of the women members.

When approached as one of the group’s leading lights to intervene, Pinto is said to have vehemently defended the errant gent, saying he was probably misunderstood and adding, astonishingly, that strong women could not be molested.

It is said that his attempt to quote from EE Cummings to support his defence was the last straw as far as these feisty women were concerned.

Offended and shocked, they dissolved the group. Recalling the incident, one of them said that they’d felt stonewalled by the male members — especially Pinto — who they had felt had closed rank around the predator.

Which is why, seeing his recent support of the Tehelka victim and his words of spirited feminism, Coelho had called his bluff by reminding Pinto of his mindless defence of his friend.

Things got worse when it is alleged that Pinto then deleted this and other related criticism from the conversation on the subject from his Facebook timeline.
Fortunately, some of the women have records of the whole tawdry affair, says our source.

Big-ticket Mumbai wedding
>> And word comes in that Chanda Kochhar the MD and CEO of ICICI Bank, India’s largest private bank and her entrepreneur husband Deepak will soon be celebrating the engagement of their daughter to Aditya Kaji, the swashbuckling squash-playing son of Radhika and Sameer Kaji, an established SoBo Gujarati couple known to be very close to Nita Ambani.

Chanda Kochhar

Given the close links between the Ambanis and the Kajis (Nita and Radhika go back a long way and their kids have grown up together) and the Kochhar couple’s own considerable clout, it’s being talked about as one of the big-ticket weddings that the city will witness.

‘All of you are stoopid!’
>> Everyone knows how much we love the Parsis for their compassion, refinement and ... well ... their eccentricity.

But here’s one more reason: we love them for their feisty outspokenness.

And hearing about the recent outburst of this billionaire, bon vivant with a penchant for hats, we found ourselves chuckling in delight.

Apparently, he was accosted by a swarm of paparazzi, as he was entering the lift of a SoBo five-star hotel to attend a high-profile charity dinner he’d sponsored recently. “Sir, sir, please can we take your picture,” said the cameramen.

Most people would have reluctantly gritted their teeth and complied or eagerly mugged it and posed, depending on which side of the Page Three coin they rested on.

Not so our man. “Stoopid, stoopid, stoopid,” he is reported to have said, brushing them aside. “All of you are stoopid. You’ll take my picture and then use one of a Bollywood actor in tomorrow’s paper! Stoopid!”

And then — puff — he was gone in a very expensive cloud of cologne.

How true. And how endearingly Parsi.

Goa music scene
>> And there’s more on Shailendra (Percept) Singh’s plate than baby cockroaches. December and the week before New Year’s in Goa is always a busy time for the electronic/dance music community. The last few years, the Sunburn festival, organised by Percept, has dominated the scene without any challengers.

Nikhil Chinapa

But news comes in that this year, the week leading up to New Year’s will see not one but three music festivals around the same dates!

The trio of Nikhil Chinapa (who left Sunburn), Cineyug and Viacom has organised a big music festival on the lines of Sunburn and they have also managed to book Sunburn’s usual location on Candolim Beach.

Shailendra Singh

Word is that Sunburn has been made to move to Vagator on the open grounds next to Hilltop and Thalassa.

Local Goan MP Micky Pacheco is said to be organising the third festival and artists like Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull are some of the names doing the rounds.

Enrique Iglesias

All roads lead to Goa in December but let’s see if the Goan roads can handle the influx of fancy cars from Mumbai and Delhi!

The Tarun affair
Is anyone ever going to come out un-singed from the Tarun Tejpal sexual assault affair?

Those who condemn him, those who defend him, his political enemies, his Congress masters, professional sound byters, Tehelka employees, feminists, humanists, apologists, one by one they are all falling victim to accusations as wide ranging as opportunism, bipartisanism, misogyny, fake piety, apathy, and nepotism.

No one can say a word without a hundred others spewing abuse and venom.

No one can dare open his or her mouth for fear of offending some interest group.

Basically, there is so much anger and outrage in the air that everyone is shooting down everyone else.

In a certain way, this incident has galvanised and convulsed urban India in a way that Nirbhaya did the country.

Even the above remark can offend someone or the other.

Tarun’s brave victim has opened the floodgates of pent up emotions.

Let’s hope that through it all, as people process their responses, deep and shallow, to what happened on those two days in Goa — the perpetuator of the crime gets punished and the victim gets her justice! 

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