Like a breath of fresh air

Aug 05, 2015, 06:01 IST | Malavika Sangghvi

She'd arrived in public consciousness, like a breath of fresh air all those years ago in Dev Anand's 'Des Pardes', and after heady success in films, just as suddenly, she opted to take a back seat after her marriage to Anil Ambani, one of the country’s richest men

She'd arrived in public consciousness, like a breath of fresh air all those years ago in Dev Anand's Des Pardes, and after heady success in films, just as suddenly, she opted to take a back seat after her marriage to Anil Ambani, one of the country's richest men.

But we are happy to note that Tina Ambani has lost none of her spunk or her fabulousness. In a recent photo shoot for the cover of India Today's Woman, the mother of two handsome young men Jai Anmol (24) and Jai Anshul (21) looked every inch her old vivacious self.

Tina Ambani. Pic courtesy India Today
Tina Ambani. Pic courtesy India Today

Was it a recent picture, we texted her incredulously. And who had styled it? "Yes" she replied. "It was a recent photo shoot for India Today and though I love being styled by super stylists, this was by TAA!!!" she replied, with characteristic warmth. How did they persuade you to get featured, we persisted. Tina, after all, is legendary for her allergy to publicity and flattery.

"I thought it would be a Kokila Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital-centric article," said the fiercely individualistic and self-actualized woman who, despite all her riches and fame, has managed to remain grounded and real. "I thought it will create more awareness about the fantastic work my committed, passionate medical team does."

And to get a sense of the essential TAA, here's a quote from the chairperson of the 16-floor, 750-bed facility with 150 full-time doctors, KDAH, which is also extending cancer care to rural India, with a series of oncology centres in western India: "I'm a working woman; I have been all my life.

Earlier I was working in a field that is by nature seen as glamorous; now the work I do, whether it is the hospital or with Harmony for Silvers, is not considered glamorous. It's all about perception." she said. We like!

Irrfan's epic swag
Could the AIB boys get any funnier, sharper, more edgy? After seeing their recent kick-ass Irrfan Khan-fronted send up of the Honey Singh malaise that has infected the fillum industry, we think not.

AIB’s Tanmay Bhat and Irrfan Khan
AIB's Tanmay Bhat and Irrfan Khan

Gritty, trenchant and in-your-face, it takes satire to another level altogether. And Irrfan's delicious sending up of himself? Epic swag, we say. Respect.

All eyes on Yahel
Our friend, the Goa-based artist Yahel Chirinian, whose talent for charmingly mangling English vowels and consonants, is only matched by her talent for creating the most spectacular works of art in her studio Monsoon Heritage, appears to have surpassed herself.

Yahel Chirinian and (right) her work ‘Can I help you?’
Yahel Chirinian and (right) her work 'Can I help you?'

Her latest artistic endeavour, 'Can I Help You?' revolves around fibre sculptures and light installations of eyes, and is mesmerizing. "The eyes have always been an object of great fascination. Often referred to as the doors to the soul.

Embracing, enchanting and mesmerizing. In fact, in the Mediterranean, where I am from, they say that the eyes are a symbol of protection and awareness," said Chirinian. "However, rather ironically, what inspired me to create this project is the world's current situation.

Eyes are no longer the windows they used to be. They are now an object of anxiety and insecurity," she explained. And then comes the delicious part: "On one hand, there is social media that's everywhere. And on the other hand, the NSA and Wikileaks scandals are testimonies to how eyes have stopped being the Mediterranean protective charm.

Instead, there is constant surveillance at every level," said the artist, distinguished by her flame-haired silhouette. "Can I Help You? is somebody without a frame. The only thing hanging is fragility."

Dropping in on Clooney
Her father, the late Rusi Karanjia was recently invoked in Anurag Kayshap's Bombay Velvet as one of the leading players in the Mumbai of the sixties. But Rita Mehta, former editor-publisher of Hi Blitz, has loosened her ties with the city of her birth, preferring to live and work in Dubai, where she runs a consultancy firm and where her daughter Farrah is settled.

Rita Mehta (in green) with friendsRita Mehta (in green) with friends

Currently on holiday, Mehta has been delighting her friends with many 'wish you were here' posts on social media, but none elicited as many enquiries as the one, which featured a bird's-eye view of George Clooney's famous villa on Lake Como, which he's allegedly selling.

Clooney’s villa
Clooney's villa

The reason? "He's troubled by the attention he gets when he's at the gorgeous, cream-coloured, shuttered mansion," said a spokesperson of the stars. Er OK, but thanks for the pic anyway. Nice view.

Fifty shades of gray?
Two peas in a pod, and handsome ones at that. When Delhi-based author, policy wonk and former press advisor to Dr Manmohan Singh, Dr Sanjaya Baru met up with TV anchor and columnist Karan Thapar, they certainly made a pretty picture in their matching black (Fab India) kurtas, white pajamas and grey manes.

Karan Thapar and Dr Sanjaya Baru
Karan Thapar and Dr Sanjaya Baru

"The old Vasant Vihar group again?" enquired one friend, when Baru posted their joined-at-the-hip visage online, referring obviously to the one of the Capital's regular groupings. But for our money the best comment was: 'The old Black & White...and 50 shades of Grey!' which made a teasing reference to the fact that both men can still make the hearts of women of a certain age beat faster.

Jail House Rock
The recent news of the Supreme Court telling the once-flamboyant chairman of this diversified Uttar Pradesh group that he is in 'jail by choice,' as he refuses to pay his stratospheric bail sum of Rs 10,00 Cr (which is said to be only one-fifth of his alleged wealth), left us pretty intrigued.

While there are many conspiracy theories about why he is still in the clinker, according to a legal eagle, "He simply doesn't have the right colour of money to pay the courts," we were informed. But what about the international prestige properties and the sprawling leisure town he built? Surely the sale of these assets can get him out, we remarked.

"The values of the international hotels do not amount to enough. The sale of the leisure town would yield the money he needs, but it is said to be within a green belt and rumour has it that many laws had been circumvented in its construction. Also any current buyer will beat down the price knowing it's a crisis sale."

So what next for this gent who is said to have expected employees to bow down and chant his name when he entered a room? "The truth is that the case is so complicated, even if he does manage to make the payments, it will only be temporary relief as he will most likely be back behind bars when the sentence is finally declared," said the legal eagle. Sometimes life is as unpredictable as the roll of a dice in a game of snakes and ladders...

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