Between the Lines

Sep 21, 2012, 08:11 IST | Malavika Sangghvi

Good news for theatre lovers. Between the Lines, a play directed by actress director Nandita Das and featuring herself and her husband and environmental activist Subodh Maskara, will be presented on October 6 at the NCPA.

>> Good news for theatre lovers. Between the Lines, a play directed by actress director Nandita Das and featuring herself and her husband and environmental activist Subodh Maskara, will be presented on October 6 at the NCPA.

The play is about an affluent and educated middle class couple both lawyers who are caught between modernity and tradition and find themselves arguing a case on different sides of the bench.

The play has been co-written by Das and is produced by Chotti Productions and will tour India.


The Queen’s Recognition
>> Breaking News: Word has just come in that ace restaurateur, author, foodie and dear friend Camellia Panjabi — the lady who gave India its restaurant culture and who established some of its finest hotels, has been awarded the MBE by the Queen this week.

Camellia Panjabi
Great honour: Camellia Panjabi

Camellia along with her sister Namita and brother in-law Ranjit Mathrani own and run over a dozen fine restaurants in London. (The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established in 1917 by King George V.) Camellia’s friends and admirers are naturally thrilled with this news. A party to celebrate is imminently called for!

Musical Chairs
>> The two new couples that this column had reported on recently have been spotted doing the party rounds with gusto. The first consisting of an actress whose career is on the skids and her married business partner appears to be settling into newfound acceptability.

The pair was spotted at a recent party together and fellow guests wondered at the need for camouflage. The second’s newfound attraction is a palpable thing. The ditsy lady has been known to favour hunky lads making her new paramour a perfect fit. As for their respective spouses – one’s been packed off abroad and of the other — little has been heard. All part of the city’s legendary game of musical chairs.

Forever Young
>> Lisa Sadanah, the girl with the million-watt smile and mischief in her eyes will be turning 40 this weekend. Those who know her and are acquainted with her zest and sparkle find it hard to believe that this city rocker can be entering the throes of middle age.

Lisa Sadanah

But without losing her spirit or her spunk Lisa has evolved in to a loving wife to actor film maker Kamal Sadanah, a doting mother to her two adorable children Angu and Leia (both of who are champ swimmers) and a loyal friend and prominent face on the party circuit. In keeping with the occasion, there will be Sunday dancing at a suburban hotspot all day long! Happy birthday Lisa you don’t get older — just lovelier!

Sense of humour on a plate
>> Not only does Viraf Patel, chef and partner at the very hot and happening Café Zoe whip up a great duck l’orange, but he also has a great sense of humour!

Patrons at the eatery were amused to encounter the following words sign at his establishment “Unattended kids will be given an espresso and a free puppy. Courtesy of Café Zoe.” The average parent’s nightmare! We like!

The little board displayed at Cafe Zoe by Viraf Patel

Gatsby in Mumbai
>> A city like Mumbai where ‘dreams (allegedly) come true’ and the ‘pavements are (supposedly) lined with gold’ gives rise to many Gatsby-like characters. People come or are born here, train their eyes to a dream or a star, chart their course, assume an identity or three, change their name, their tricks their face their address and before you know it have their own place in the sky, their name in neon lights. But few cases are as curious as that of this high profile jeweller to the high and mighty. Denizens of that tiny but sharp sliver of South Mumbai that is known as ‘high society’ were introduced to him a couple of years back with a series of well-orchestrated maneuvers. His advance guard was a couple of highly energetic women, the wives of establishment faces, who plotted his barnstorming of the city with military precision.

For his part the gentleman was no slouch when it came to the right moves. Bidding against some of the city’s richest individuals, he walked away with one of the most coveted mid-town duplex apartments that came with a blue-chip address. The membership to the best clubs and communities followed as did the Bentleys the Rolls and on one spectacular occasion a private Jet to fly him down in the company of his peers.

Suddenly, the gentleman was everywhere: in the pink papers, at the right parties, and at the international high-jinx of his trade. His jewellry and designs made it to the best necks and earlobes in the city. To be fair the gentleman was not entirely an outsider. His links to his profession and famous surnames were a consequence of his birth. But his present attempts were to obliterate a recent family history of bankruptcy. And boy was he successful. His meteoric rise had been planned as meticulously as his haircut, his Todds and his Armani khakis for his weekends off. It was a life as sparkling as his jewels. Which is why when the gentleman disappeared for a few months and stories of his owing creditors large sums of money surfaced, people were curious: what happened to his staggering wealth, his rock hard assets and his friendship with powerful and rich individuals?

What was behind his mysterious disappearance or the stories of his huge debts? As of now the grapevine (which often becomes the grape whine) in Mumbai, is still without a clue on this story. Will he resurface and regain his name, his contacts in high places and his status? Any thing can happen in Mumbai. Watch this space! 

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