In the Jungle...

Jan 21, 2015, 06:01 IST | Malavika Sangghvi

"The campaign captures the new energy, vibrancy and dynamism of India," said Amitabh Kant, Secretary of Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Government of India, currently on a visit to America and communicator extraordinaire whose Incredible India and God’s Own Country campaigns have been successful

"The campaign captures the new energy, vibrancy and dynamism of India," said Amitabh Kant, Secretary of Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Government of India, currently on a visit to America and communicator extraordinaire whose Incredible India and God's Own Country campaigns have been successfull.

He was referring to his 'Make In India' campaign's debut at Davos. Davos, where much will depend on how attractively the muscular Indian lion strides in to the arena of stratospheric schmoozing. Launched by PM Modi last September on the eve of his US trip, as a high five to industrialists, international and domestic, it might just be India's big cool idea at the Swiss resort.

Amitabh Kant with Pablo Bartholomew
Amitabh Kant with Pablo Bartholomew

"It focuses on emerging areas of growth where India has innovative spirit, skills and demand to be an integral part of the global supply chain," said Kant. And now here's wishing the lion beats a majestic path through the 1,700 private jets that are expected over the course of the Davos week - to transport leaders who will worry about depleting oil reserves!

Ghost of Breaking News past
The more one watches the media trial of Shashi Tharoor in the Sunanda Pushkar affair, the more one is reminded of the ghosts of society scandals past. The Jessica Lal and Tarun Tejpal cases both come to my mind.

Shashi Tharoor Sunanda Pushkar Tarun Tejpal
Shashi Tharoor, Sunanda Pushkar and Tarun Tejpal

Lal's because the cast of characters (more or less the same) and Tejpal's because like Tharoor, he too was a hero of the Lutyens' set, a man of letters and a baby boomer who until his fall from grace could do no wrong. And uncannily, he too, like Tharoor, suffered from 'woman trouble'.

The similarity with Tejpal doesn't end there-both men who are now at the receiving end of much media dissing are renowned wordsmiths, and both might ultimately use their extraordinary experiences to write what could only be the biggest blockbusters of all times!

Ayan Mukherjee Karan Johar
Ayan Mukherjee and Karan Johar

Pop goes the night
The weekend's 'Pop up club' party (of which we'd written last week) at the Four Seasons saw the likes of Karan Johar, Ayan Mukherjee, Dino Morea and Nandita Mahtani among the guests with all the hotel's banquet rooms converted into a fully fledged lounge/nightclub replete with private tables and bottle service. Then there were those who'd turned in early to catch the early worm at the SCMM15.

Joy to the world
What can one say about a boy named Joy? Wait this perhaps could begin with 'How do we love thee, let us count the ways...'

Joy Bimal Roy
Joy Bimal Roy

Today as his family, friends and admirers gathered to wish the talented and beatific looking auteur and aesthete Joy Bimal Roy, the son of the late cinematic genius Bimal Roy a very happy birthday for his Big Six Oh! we think it might not be inappropriate to mention that we have known him for, well… a very long time.

And this is because of the deep bonds of affection and regard that existed between our two families. Our great granduncle Balraj Sahini had acted in one of Roy's most outstanding films Do Bigha Zameen, and Roy had also produced our father Rajbans Khanna's award winning documentaries, Gotama the Buddha.

Those days, the Roy's stately bungalow on Carter Road's Bandstand had a gathering of individuals who happened to share a certain worldview. And while the men of this tribe held forth, pondered and argued, often threatening to come to blows about earth shaking matters such as whether Fellini's 'Nights of Cabiria' or Vittorio De Sica's 'Bicycle Thieves' was more intrinsically neo-realist, their wives and kids laughed, sang, cooked and played under the encouraging eye and generous hospitality of Roy's wife the author Manobina.

There was a lot of playing those days at the Roy mansion; rambling grounds call for 'Statue!' and 'Robbers and thieves' and 'Hopscotch', especially if they contain brooding marble statues left to stand dreamily in the gardens. If this suggests that it was a background imbued with names of artsy European filmmakers and contrarian Trotskyites, it is correct.

And though we all in our own ways flourished in it, the fact that we also survived it is a matter of celebration too. Especially now that we've reached that age when we've known people for over five decades. Especially today, when we can say 'Joy to the world' on this page and know that we can get away with it.

Big ticket exhibition
It's a going to be a big-ticket show when Geeta Khandelwal's exhibition of quilts titled 'Godharis of Maharashtra' shows at the Coomaraswamy Hall, early next month. An internationally renowned needlewoman, Khandelwal, has been passionately involved in quilt making for over four decades and has lectured and exhibited around the world.

The show presents a selection of Godharis or quilts featured in the book, from Lonavla, Wai, Pune, Baramati, Kolhapur, Solapur, Konkan, and Chiplun, amongst others. Along with the exhibition is the launch of Khandelwal coffee table book titled 'Godharis of Maharashtra, Western India'.

Geeta Khandelwal
Geeta Khandelwal

"My romance with fabric started at an early age, when I sewed my own clothes. I learned to appreciate textures of different fabrics, to discern the colours, sheens and weight of cloth, and this has led to a lifelong journey exploring and interacting with the rich world of Indian textiles," says Khandelwal who also happens to be the other friend of our friend the writer and publisher Anuradha Mahindra.

After the Mumbai book launch and exhibition in February 2015, Geeta Khandelwal's collection will travel to Yokohama and New York.

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