Sisterhood Part One

Jan 24, 2014, 08:09 IST | Malavika Sangghvi

Others may not see it, but this picture of the three lovely Bredemeyer sisters captured together recently at a family occasion is historic: Indira, Anna and Ulrika, celebrated beauty queens and models of the '70s

>> Others may not see it, but this picture of the three lovely Bredemeyer sisters captured together recently at a family occasion is historic: Indira, Anna and Ulrika, celebrated beauty queens and models of the ’70s.

Three sisters, our schoolmates in Bandra, born to a German father and an Indian mother who’d distinguished themselves even then. For their academic, sports and extra curricular abilities (not withstanding a warbly rendition of Leaning on the Lamppost).

Indira, Anna and Ulrika Bredemeyer

But more significantly, three women who have known the particular challenges that come with being beautiful, feisty and unspoken for.

And who have lived lives that have spanned Bandra parish activities, beauty pageants, the high life of Dubai, horse racing, heartbreak and motherhood.

Still intact, still together, still smiling.

Amidst so much uncertainty, broken butterfly wings and breaking bad news this page salutes the often unacknowledged and inspiring amongst us.

Sisterhood Part Two
>> And soon after we write about the three Bredemeyer sisters, we find a message in our mailbox from our friend Sushma Reddy, part of the other three beautiful Bandra sister trio, consisting of former model Meghna and model-actresses Sushma and Sameera.

Meghna, Sushma and Sameera Reddy

‘You have always documented the lives of us sisters, so here’s a recent picture of us at Sameera’s wedding along with Meghna’s little fellow Nirvaan,’ she writes.

So unwittingly, today’s page has turned out to be something of a sisterhood fest.

(But nothing to beat the eight (or were they nine?) unmarried septuagenarians we had once interviewed, who lived together like a pride of lionesses in a cottage in Walkeshwar!)

But back to the Reddys: “Meghna left for Greece the same evening with Nirvaan and her husband Ariel. Sushma is currently producing a film and as for me it’s back to business as usual!” says the newly married Sameera!


Shaina to the fore!
>> And given our ear to the ground habit, we’ve learnt that as early as this weekend the nominee for BJP’s Rajya Sabha seat from Maharashtra will be decided and that the contenders for the post are the party’s first female treasurer — the urbane and articulate Shaina NC (in pic) and the somewhat anodyne incumbent Prakash Javadekar.

And political observers are awaiting the announcement eagerly, as they say it will give them an indication of where the party stands as far as women and youth empowerment and progressive international issues are concerned -all subjects that Shaina has come to represent quite effortlessly over the past years.

“Let’s see if the BJP will rise up to the challenge of a dynamic female empowered young India or stick to its old and traditional ways,” said one.

The young one
>> Meeting him in our salad days at Pearl Padamsee’s iconic Colaba terrace had been a watershed moment in our lives.
Our childhood pop idol Cliff Richard (in pic) whose songs had been the background track of our lives, talking about ‘the buddi ka baal’ and ‘paani puri’ of his childhood in Lucknow.’
Such joy!

Which is why the recent revelation by this eternal Bachelor Boy on a BBC talk show that his grandfather had been a bigamist and he had an extended step family across England, and the discovery that his great-great grandmother was the daughter of a Goan called Vitriaus Rebeiro, caught our attention.

Discovery of this rich and complicated ancestry prompted England’s Daily Mail to say, “Given what had gone before, then, it is fair to say that Sir Cliff’s long-standing aversion to matrimony is not inherited.”

Cherry on the cake
>> Their labour of love is fast becoming known for its unbeatable F&B attractions like the open to air rest lounge Asilo, the hotel bar Libai, the Asian restaurant Mekong and the fabulous view they afford.

Atul and Gayatri Ruia

But the cherry on Atul and Gayatri Ruia’s Palladium cake is undoubtedly Exo, India’s only one of its kind penthouse nightclub run by our desi Flavio Briatore Rishi Acharya.

And last Friday, we hear that the 37th floor nightclub with its international ambience played host to people as eclectic as Aditya Mittal, Laxmi’s dashing son and the legendary dancer-choreographer Prabhu Deva.

Prabhu Deva and Aditya Mittal 

No, they didn’t come together. That would be taking eclecticism too far.

Passing ships
I’m at a hospital canteen gulping down a quick plate of idli-sambhar so I can return soon to be at the bedside of a loved one.
I have come to look forward to these afternoon visits and the atmosphere of unspoken empathy amongst us snackers. Many of us familiar as fellow inhabitants of hospital corridors and lobbies.

To say the place is awash in oxytocin would not be an exaggeration. Even the waiters with their absurd shower caps appear to serve the vegetarian fare with TLC.

This is a place where it’s OK to share tables, and so, as I sit munching and texting at the same time, a well-heeled lady asks if she can share mine.

I nod absentmindedly, getting on with the tasks at hand.

My newfound lunch companion’s eyes pierce into me. I sense she wants to strike up a conversation. But her interest and urgency make me seek cover, in my plate, my phone and behind my shades.

After all, the rules of our daily encounters with strangers are the same as those of passing ships at night: we blink, we nod. And we sail on.

And so, I will never know what she wanted to say.

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