We are family

Updated: Dec 26, 2016, 09:33 IST | Malavika Sangghvi

The Kapoors are undoubtedly India’s first film family, and it is no secret that they really take family ties seriously, and are exceptionally close knit

Ranbir Kapoor and Krishna Kapoor
Ranbir Kapoor and Krishna Kapoor

The Kapoors are undoubtedly India’s first film family, and it is no secret that they really take family ties seriously, and are exceptionally close knit. We chanced upon this picture from the annual Kapoor family Christmas brunch, of the fourth generation of the famous film clan bonding over drinks post a big Christmas meal at the home of veteran actor (and our childhood crush) Shashi Kapoor in Juhu.

The Kapoor kids after the lunch
The Kapoor kids after the lunch

And seen sharing some Christmas cheer, are Rima and Manoj Jain’s dashing sons Armaan and Aadar (who will soon be seen on the big screen with a Yash Raj debut), Rishi and Neetu’s beautiful daughter Riddhima (who has settled in the capital but flew down for the occasion with her daughter), and superstar Ranbir Kapoor, Randhir and Babita’s daughter Karishma Kapoor, and Kunal and Sheena Kapoor’s children son Zahan and daughter Shaira.

Rima and Manoj Jain and Karishma with her kids. Pics/Poonam Bathija
Rima and Manoj Jain and Karishma with her kids. Pics/Poonam Bathija

Of course this is not the extent of the fourth generation and many notable siblings and cousins were missed on the occasion including Kareena and her new bundle of joy Taimur. But as they say the family that eats together sticks together and the Kapoor clan is certainly one that likes its own company for some Christmas cheer.

They were in queue
Like any hack worth their salt, we too enjoy nothing more than observing the effect that power and pelf have on human behaviour. Many moons ago, we had prided ourselves on noticing the unusual queue of A list biz men, that had formed in front of what was then a relatively unknown Devendra Fadnavis, at Nana Chudasama’s birthday party held at the Wankhede Stadium.

Devendra Fadnavis, Mukesh Ambani, Adi Godrej, Uday Kotak and Harsh Goenka
Devendra Fadnavis, Mukesh Ambani, Adi Godrej, Uday Kotak and Harsh Goenka

On enquiring who he was, we were informed that he was then a bright and promising BJP MLA from Nagpur, and the man most likely to be the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, should the BJP come to power in the next election. We were reminded of this on Saturday at Kamini and Vindi Banga’s sparkling brunch to celebrate the wedding of their son last year.

Amidst a crowd that consisted of Mukesh Ambani, Adi Godrej, Uday Kotak and Harsh Goenka, we noticed a discreet clamour around a slight and dapper middle-aged gent who looked vaguely familiar. On enquiring who he was, we were informed that he was Harish Manwani, the non-executive chairman of Hindustan Unilever, who had been the former chief operating officer of the FMCG giant, who has been cited in the pink papers as a possible successor to Cyrus Mistry. Will he? A certain section Mumbai’s power elite certainly appeared to think so over the weekend. Or perhaps it was only hedging its bets.

Ho Ho Ho
If there is any doubt that Delhi has a lead on Mumbai when it comes to celebrating Christmas in style, this settles it: “Tout la Delhi was at the Bissell Christmas lunch,” says our friend, spinmeister and the Delhi-based gadabout Nikhil Khanna, about the brunch hosted by the first family of Fab India for which he arrived as Santa Claus. “Media, industry, fashion, everyone was there,” he says.

And enjoying the winter sun, the home-made bakes and the high-powered schmoozing we’re told, were the like news anchor Sonia Singh with husband, the Congress leader RPN Singh, BJP statesman LK Advani, author and political commentator Mani Shankar Aiyar and news tycoon Samir Jain with wife Meera amongst others. “A mix like this, only the Bissells can pull off,” said Khanna before vrooming off.

A capital tale
A recent story about corruption had even us shaking our heads. An anecdote narrated by one of the senior most heads of the country’s foremost investigative police agencies is chilling. Asked if there had been political interference while in office, and handling what was at that time one of the most inflammatory hot potatoes, an accusation of kickbacks taken by the highest in the land in a high-profile arms deal, he was more than candid.

“I received a phone call from a top politician in the government, very polite, just requesting me to meet some of the accused. In this case a set of brothers who had been named as one of the middle men,” he says. “When they came I gave them a fair hearing they obliquely suggested that I go easy on their case for a huge consideration. Naturally I refused,” he says.

“So imagine how shocked I was, when the next day they landed up at my residence, and this time were far more vocal about their offer,” he says. “In fact the amount they referred to was staggering.” Of course it would have been gauche to ask if the retired government servant had accepted the deal, after all the case is still dragging on...

Shock and horror in India Inc
If there is any thing that has shaken India Inc. to its core, it’s the photograph of the former FICCI and IPL chief, Chirayu Amin, looking rather hot and bothered in the back of a police van, that appeared this weekend in the mainstream press. Amin after all, is as establishment as they come.

Chirayu AminChirayu Amin

Chairman and Managing Director of a blue chip pharma company, he was the chairman of Federation of Indian Chambers and also the Indian Premier League, and very much part of the power elite of the country. On Thursday night when he along with almost 260 other guests at a wedding party were booked for consuming alcohol in a farmhouse in Vadodara, there was considerable outrage amongst his peers.

“Not only was he harassed, but he was also humiliated,” says one captain of industry. “How could they have shot a picture of him in a police van? Could they not have taken in to account his stature?” However, further enquiry reveals that it was perhaps their initial hesitation, to herd Amin along with the rest of the party into its vans that might have led to his being singled out for the unfortunate publicity.

“They had initially allowed him to travel in his own car to the station, but this resulted in protests from the others,” says the source. “The picture of him in it was probably taken to appease the crowd and prove that there had been no favoritism.”

Be that as it may, the response amongst India Inc. has been one of shock and horror at the latest antics of what is beginning to look like a Nanny State these days. “All this for ‘103 liquor bottles and 116 bottles of beer,’” we’re told.

In Sikkim, trees are part of the family

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