Dressing Narendra Modi

Jul 23, 2014, 06:02 IST | Malavika Sangghvi

"It's a matter of interest and intrigue," said our friend the articulate Priya Tanna, Editor Vogue India, choosing her words with care

“It’s a matter of interest and intrigue,” said our friend the articulate Priya Tanna, Editor Vogue India, choosing her words with care. “Troy is known for both men and women wear for the last few years.

His choice is interesting because of the fact that he’s not a big daddy in men’s wear — so picking him over the usual suspects is an unusual choice because one wonders what he’ll come up with” she said responding to the news that for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming (and all important) US visit in September, the Mumbai based designer Troy Costa had been appointed in charge of his wardrobe.”

Narendra Modi Troy Costa
Narendra Modi and Troy Costa

You see Modi’s been one PM who has used his clothes to make a statement about himself.” Said Tanna warming to her subject. “Clean crisp and smart” his clothes very much say ‘don’t mess with me’ and reflect who he wants to be seen as,” she said, adding, “In the PM’s case, clothes definitely maketh the man’.

Was Troy the right choice? “He’s definitely better known for his western wear and works with many Bollywood stars. But it would be a shame to put the PM in a stylish suit for instance, because that’s not who he is.

It would be great if Troy blended his aesthetic with contemporary Indian wear and gave the PM an Indian vest with say, an Indian a cravat,” said the editor of Vogue India, no doubt thinking: deep maroon, silk, with an embossed orange paisley design with accents of moss green...

Take that you @#$@@ atheists!
What could be more delicious than some heavy weight arm wrestling over philosophy and high falutin spiritual babble between alpha gurus? When Delhi born leading alternative medicine advocate and physician, Deepak Chopra brought the full force of his sarcasm and spiritual mojo on to atheist and scientific skeptic James Randi and what he called his ‘tribe of militant, new atheists,’ which included Richard Dawkins, much new age fur was bound to fly.

Deepak Chopra
Deepak Chopra

“I’m revisiting my million dollar challenge.” Chopra said in a flattering YouTube outing released this Monday. “Apparently my last offer – my last million dollar challenge – was a little intellectually challenging,” he sneered, his spiritually endowed and mantra-empowered upper lip curling in contempt.

The latest challenge has the San Diego based author and guru offering $1 million to atheists who can define how human beings form ideas.

Meanwhile Chopra’s previous million-dollar challenge, issued last month, that offered the prize to “any skeptic who could prove how electrochemical activity in the brain produces the appearance of a three-dimensional world,” a response to Randi’s One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge hadn’t been taken up. There is a God.

The Ek Ladki girl with the curl
“I love my curls. These are new after my treatment Docs had told me that after it my hair, colour, texture may change...it did! For the better” says our friend the blithe spirit and feisty actress Manisha Koirala about what we’d remarked were her happy springy curls.

Manisha Koirala
Manisha Koirala

“Thank goodness for small mercies,” she said making the smallest reference to her bout with cancer. “I always wanted long curly hair. I guess this is it! I m enjoying them n waiting for them to grow longer.”

And what now? “I have just returned from NYC where I do my follow ups as they have my history so now I am looking forward for good film projects, doing my spiritual courses in oneness university, my fitness n basically enjoying life” she says, adding, “I’m also working to have a format where I could be of some use for poor people with health issues.

This is my new life, a fresh start to life again. I can only do justice to it by being useful to those who are in need besides looking after my well being in toto,” she said.

New York Days and Nights
“August, 1979. South Street Loft. The first party. It was totally raw, 2 electric points, windows missing, no plumbing, no walls on staircase landing. George Shakespeare, my roommate who found the space, took this Polaroid.”

Said Delhi based photographer Ram Rahman about this extraordinary picture capturing an extraordinary group of young people who were no doubt doing extraordinary things in New York where he was living and studying.

We’d stumbled upon Rahman’s New York era only last year when an Upper East Side Boston Brahmin friend with socialist leanings had waved across the water at Brooklyn bridge, rolled her eyeballs and spoken of Ram’s groovy loft and his groovier parties.

“He collected the most amazing people and it was really a scene,” she’d said. “In deep reverence of the maverick chronicler the inheritor of an artsy pedigree.” “She always enjoyed the parties,” said Rahman when we told him. “The loft was and old Sail manufacturing space in an 1834 building in the Fulton Fish Market.

It was a huge open space looking right on to the Brooklyn Bridge and became a dormitory and adda for all kinds of Indian crazies - artists, architects, politicians, film makers, photographers - and a famous party space.” He laughed nostalgia on full flow. “I left at the end of 2005 - so it had a 28-year run!! That New York is long gone now.”

Of Mothers and Sons
We are suckers for sentimentality. And what could be sweeter than a hunky son, all adult and grown up showering unbridled love and praise on his Mama?

Subbalaxmi, Ustad Amjad Ali and their children
Subbalaxmi, Ustad Amjad Ali and their children

“Happy birthday Maa love u loads may the almighty give it all happiness good health and tons of smiles! u mean the world to me’ posted Sarod maestro Amaan Ali Khan on the occasion of the birthday of Subbalaxmi, his beautiful mother, wife of Sarod legend Amjad Ali and mother to Amaan’s equally loving bro Ayaan Ali.

And the occasion seemed to be like the best of these occasions a small private, family and close friends like Jaya Bachchan (almost family to the Khans through Ayaan’s marriage to Ramesh (Billoo) Sharma’s daughter).

Happy birthday dear Subbalaxmii! And so glad to see you glowing and relaxed like you were on that trip, before you know who lost you know what!

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