Ringing in the new

Apr 24, 2012, 08:43 IST | Malavika Sangghvi

Given his legendary status and preeminent position in Indian public life, is it any surprise that people find the most obscure facets of Amitabh Bachchan's persona fascinating?

Given his legendary status and preeminent position in Indian public life, is it any surprise that people find the most obscure facets of Amitabh Bachchan’s persona fascinating?

Here MiD DAY’s photographer Rane Ashish sent us (pardon the pun) a gem of a feature, focusing on AB’s changing rings. And from the net we culled that: ‘When Amitabh Bachchan was facing an all-time low in his career he was suggested to wear (sic) blue sapphire on his middle finger, owing to which he made a comeback with ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’. The opal and emeralds are for his health to improve. Hmmm, now we know! Pics/Rane Ashish

March 2004: Two sapphires and an emerald

December 2004: Only an opal

January 2005: Sapphires and emerald return back

April 2005: Emerald disappears, sapphires now with an opal

April 2012: No rings!

Three ‘Beautiful’ Books
>>Tickled as we are by people who look like they were separated at the Kumbh Mela, our interest was naturally aroused when not two but three recently published non-fiction books on contemporary Indian low-life and mean streets had the word beautiful in their title.


The Beautiful and the Damned: A Portrait of the New India
Author: Siddhartha Deb
Pages: 272
Released: August 2011
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Summary: After living in the United States for six years, Siddhartha Deb returned to India, and decided to interview those around him. 

Behind the Beautiful Forevers
Author: Katherine Boo
Pages: 250
Release: February 2012
Publisher: Random House
Summary: Boo has crafted a compelling portrait of the lives - and deaths - of the vast majority of modern Indians.  


Beautiful Thing 
Author: Sonia Faleiro
Pages: 240
Release: October 2010
Publisher: Conangate Books
Summary: Faleiro was a reporter in search of a story when she met Leela, a beautiful and charismatic bar dancer with a story to tell. 

Yes, trivia like this occupies our thoughts more than we should admit.

Fashion Matters!
>> More is changing in the incestuous self-regarding and insular world of Indian fashion than the length of hemlines. Two of the sassiest editors we know and like are in a state of transition.

Sujata Assomull who steered Living Media’s Harper’s Bazaar from its inception in 2009, to its present success quit as editor last month to return to Mumbai, take a well-deserved break, and lend her fashion expertise to publications such as Mint Lounge and the Hindu.

Sujata Assomull 

Interestingly, the gumpf mentions that Assomull has a masters in ‘political journalism’, something we think will stand her in good stead in the murky universe of fashion reporting.

The other spunky fashion Ed we like Sita Wadhwani who recently divested herself of editorship of the Indian arm of CNNGo.com’s travel and lifestyle portal will be heading the fashion portal of a leading fashion mag, a job she is eminently qualified for.

“I have not signed my contract yet, so I must not go public, after that I can totally talk” the lovely and hip Sita told us.

Though hearing where she’s going a masters in political journalism would come in handy.

Before-Saryu, After-Saryu
>>Ever since the fabulous Saryu Doshi, internationally renowned art-historian and hostess to the likes of Jackie Kennedy and Rudolph Nureyev, quit as Honorary Director of Mumbai’s NGMA after serving it for 10 years, the iconic art museum has not been able to colonise the hearts and minds of Mumbaikars as it once did.

Saryu Doshi

Saryu’s tenure brought in a breath of fresh air, opening up the museum to fashion retrospectives, poetry readings and book readings.

Today, the museum, which once hosted recitals by Yehuddi Menuhin and Paul Robeson before it was converted into a much needed museum for modern art in the fifties, for a sum of Rs 3.5 crore and over a period of 12 years, yearns leadership, that will restore it to its glory days.

Though we think that the combined strengths of Ranjit Hoskote, Tasneem Mehta, Harsh Goenka, Mallika Advani and Pheroza Godrej who have all been appointed on the advisory committee, is leadership enough for the institution.

So what’s the problem? Our culture vulture jaasoos hints at government apathy.
We don’t like!

Legends in their lunch-time
>> How often do you have two of Mumbai’s most charming and celebrated businessmen offer their services as restaurant critics?

A measure of this page’s inside track advantage is this review of the recently opened Ellipses at Colaba.

Harsh Goenka

Sent in by none other than ace foodie and all-round man of good taste and style Niranjan Hiranandani: “Living in Mumbai, we are always excited to hear about the opening of new restaurant. Ellipsis was one that we had been following closely, especially with numerous rumours about how this restaurant was going to give our city a truly international experience. Being a real foodie, I joined my dear friend, Harsh Goenka for dinner and I must say it not only met, but exceeded our expectations.

The food as they describe is Modern American cuisine, classic American dishes reinvented. We tried everything from the truffle pumpkin soup and goat cheese ravioli to the bulgogi beef.

Niranjan Hiranandani

Each dish had a unique flavour and the presentation of each matched up to the taste. Ellipsis has a great selection of vegetarian dishes ensuring there is plenty of choice for every palate. The desserts are by far the best available in the city.

We tried the Rocky Road and the Dulce de Leche cheesecake, both light yet sinful!”

We think both gentlemen ought to give up their day jobs!  

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