The graduate

Updated: Dec 14, 2016, 09:31 IST | Malavika Sangghvi

It’s been a while since we’ve heard any news about Sid Mallya, Vijay Mallya's dashing son, who had been in the media spotlight for having dated actress Deepika Padukone some years ago

Sid Mallya with a friend
Sid Mallya with a friend

It’s been a while since we’ve heard any news about Sid Mallya, Vijay Mallya’s dashing son, who had been in the media spotlight for having dated actress Deepika Padukone some years ago.

Sid had decided against joining his father’s company shortly after the couple had split, and he had decided to pursue acting instead as a career option. Following this ambition, he had moved to Los Angeles and later London where he had enrolled in an acting course at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, part of the University of London. And this week word comes in that the would-be actor has graduated from his programme.

“Graduation day today... can’t believe this year has gone so quickly,” he posted on social media along with a picture of himself in the traditional gown. We wonder if Sid has changed his mind on Bollywood (he once gave an infamous interview to a daily saying ‘Bollywood would be too easy’) and if we will see him on the desi silver screen soon?

Art, glamour and non-stop dancing at Biennale launch
The third Kochi-Muziris Biennale opened to great applause on Monday with the last artist-curator Jitish Kallat passing the baton to this year’s curator Sudarshan Shetty, as the latter hoisted the flag into the sky.

Sudarshan Shetty hoists the flag
Sudarshan Shetty hoists the flag

“It was a sentimental moment for many of us in the art world, who had watched the Biennale survive its initial challenges, and flourish over the years becoming an important event in the international art calendar,” said artist Sharmishta Ray who is exhibiting at there in March.

Biennale patrons like Kiran Nadar, Feroz Gujral and Poonam Bhagat, art world heavyweights like Amin Jaffer and Deepanjana Klein from Christies, architect Tony Joseph, photographer Bharat Sikka, Chemould’s Shireen Gandhy and representatives of a host of important galleries from across India, including Mumbai’s Chatterjee & Lal, Sakshi and Mirchandani + Steinruecke, along with star artists like Subodh Gupta were some of the big names spotted.

A host of VIP breakfasts and lunches hosted by BMW, India Art Fair and Christie’s over the first two days added to the general excitement and sense of exuberance on the opening night. That was not all: an explosion of drums that evening on the Parade Grounds was followed by the cutting edge sounds of musician Suman Sridhar on stage, while the glitterati spontaneously gathered at the luxurious bar of Malabar House for pre-dinner cocktails, before proceeding to the Cochin Club for the official dinner. Soon, inspired by the DJ, we’re informed some of the most celebrated names in the art world demonstrated the courage of their convulsions on the dance floor!

The spirit of Christmas Past
Now that the season of jingle bells, carol singing and Santas with cotton wool beards is upon us, we cannot help but recall two Yuletides we had experienced in the past that had imparted the true Christmas spirit.

St Teresa
St Teresa

The first had been in the early nineties when we happened to be in Kolkata on Christmas Eve and were taken for a prayer service at Mother House in the presence of St Teresa herself, perhaps one of the most cherished memories of our lives.

Lisa Haydon
Lisa Haydon

The second is as memorable and heart warming: in the mid nineties, new in the city, we’d been invited for carol singing and Christmas lunch to the home of the late, beautiful Anna and her dashing husband Venkat, to partake in some Christmas cheer with their brood of children which included a very young Lisa Haydon and her all her exquisite swan necked siblings.

Unlike all the ho ho ho and fake Christmas bonhomie that afternoon with the Venkats was a reflection of the best of the Season. The couple had been impassioned about charity and giving and had spent their entire lives in these pursuits and ingrained the same values to their children, so the celebrations were genuine, the food home made and the vibe as mellow as the delicious mulled wine served.

Will this year’s Christmas reflect any of the true Christian spirit behind what is fast becoming a multi-million dollar international industry? We hope so. ‘Tis the season of giving. Not the season of gorging, folks.

The cryptic soothsayer
Ever so often and apropos of nothing, we receive cryptic missives from our friend, the colourful and garrulous astrologer and poet, Bejan Daruwalla. Most of them begin with his famous greeting “Ganesha says”.

Bejan Daruwalla
Bejan Daruwalla

So yesterday when we received this delightful ditty from the great man’s cell (‘Bejan Laffs: Life is a bug/Without a hug/Turn the other cheek/Slapped down a creek/ Squeak, squeak, squeak’) we could not help engaging with the soothsayer, of whom it is said ‘they broke the mould before they made him.’ Where was he and what was he up to, we enquired.

Sure enough we received another cryptic message: ‘Ganesha blesses. Bejan in Mumbai to write 2018 book on India denomination, Trump, terrorists, new poems for publishers. Bejan given 3-bed room vacant flat for it.’ We would have engaged with him longer, but since that would most likely have resulted in a ‘Bejan’- fry, we resisted the temptation. Squeak, squeak, squeak indeed.

Another wedding, another destination
If party hearty and party sharty Mumbai appears to be a bit dull, put it down to the recently concluded nuptials of Kaviraj Bhandari, the son of the late Siddharth Bhandari and Vanita to Tehzeeb, held in the UAE’s Ras Al Khaimah this weekend.

Kaviraj Bhandari, Tehzeeb Moolobhoy and Joy Kapur
Kaviraj Bhandari, Tehzeeb Moolobhoy and Joy Kapur

The families of both the bride and the groom are extremely social in Mumbai as was witnessed at the OTT engagement held in a totally transformed NSCI Dome a few months ago and prominent Mumbaikars who attended, have been the likes of Rima and Manoj Jain, Laila and Ricky Lamba, Mridula and Ravi Kadam, Neelu and Joy Kapur, and Rashmi and Sudheer Bahl amongst others.

Rashmi, Sudheer Bahl, Manoj and Rima Jain
Rashmi, Sudheer Bahl, Manoj and Rima Jain

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