The legend in transit

Feb 10, 2017, 06:00 IST | Malavika Sangghvi

When we chanced upon this picture posted yesterday by TV actress Shama Sikander on social media of Bollywood legend Rekha, on a day trip to attend Parliament, we couldn’t help recalling the words, ‘Products are made in factories, brands are made in the consumers’ hearts

Shama Sikander and Rekha
Shama Sikander and Rekha

When we chanced upon this picture posted yesterday by TV actress Shama Sikander on social media of Bollywood legend Rekha, on a day trip to attend Parliament, we couldn’t help recalling the words, ‘Products are made in factories, brands are made in the consumers’ hearts.’

Because if there is anyone who embodies a brand, it is the enigmatic star, who has created such a distinct aura around herself. Need convincing? Take a look at the photograph: muted ochre linen sari draped around her statuesque frame? Check. Impeccable – is she wearing any make up? Check. Minimal jewels to suggest gravitas of intent? Check. Outsize high voltage I’m-an-icon shades? Check.

And this in the morning. “She’s just outstandingly gorgeous and humble,” gushed Sikander in her post. Indeed. Now if only she would speak in Parliament. Oh wait a minute, legends don’t need to – do they?

Bijli lights it up in Dubai
If Delhi, Mumbai, and most of the rest of India’s shiny, happy people were MIA these past few days, put it down to the 50th birthday party of PVR’s founder, Ajay Bijli in Dubai. From Hrithik to Aamir, SRK to Karan Johar, Rajan Mittal to Shailendra Singh, and Ravi Bajaj, the list of high-profile names amongst the 150-odd invitees were endless.

Shailendra Singh, Ajay Bijli and friends
Shailendra Singh, Ajay Bijli and friends

“Ajay Bijlee’s 50th last night at Dubai was off the hook,” exulted Singh, adding, “Cinema’s golden boy n my v v cool bro is finally 50 kilos heavy n 50 yrs old,” he said about the celebrations organised by Bijlee’s wife, Selina, which saw the 150 guests fly to party in the Middle East.

The celebrations included a retro themed party replete with music from the eighties, and a masquerade.

Separated at the school canteen?
Even as the beleaguered former Tata Chairman, Cyrus Mistry, is fighting for justice, word comes in that along with the abundance of legal and strategic advice he is receiving, there is also some sartorial counsel that is coming his way.

Cyrus Mistry and Vivek Vaswani
Cyrus Mistry and Vivek Vaswani

If sources are to be believed, the soft-spoken scion of one of the country’s most formidable business clans, has been advised to tweak his image, and one of the suggestions has been to ‘grow a beard’, something we whole-heartedly support, as we have yet to meet a man who has not benefitted from a bit of stubble (or more) on his chin.

And whereas there is no evidence of whether he has taken these and other suggestions on his chin, his minders will be interested to know that Mistry has a doppelganger. And the director-actor Vivek Vaswani attended the same school, but probably does not live even a few square miles away from the erstwhile Tata boss!

Comments following this disclosure ranged from, ‘somewhere a casting director breathes a sigh of relief on finding the perfect actor to play the next blockbuster....’ to ‘Incredible,’ to ‘He looks just like you - its a Mistry.’ With funny man Kunal Vijayakar commenting, ‘Hahahhahaha. You wanna to be Parsi!’ (‘every one wants to be Parsi.....’ was one Parsi’s response to that).

Their enemy’s enemy
Word comes in that even as the city gears up for the upcoming civic polls which will be held later this month, a lot of hush-hush backroom talks have been taking place at the highest level. And if stories are to be believed, this could result in two political parties that usually find themselves on different sides of an ideological divide come together, post elections, to keep a common ‘enemy’ from coming to power.

A case of ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’? Most likely. But as both these leading parties are also holding their cards very close to their chests until election results are out, the only way to know if this bizarre new alliance fructifies is to, as they say, wait and watch.

The magic carpet maker
It’s always good to chat with our ebullient friend, the leading architect and design maven, Ashiesh Shah. Besides travelling crazily and madly (weddings, lectures, symposiums and even skiing with Bolly stars in Coucheval), Shah says he has been working ‘19 hours’ a day. And the result has been a series of new activities and accolades.

Ashiesh Shah
Ashiesh Shah

The first is an exciting new line of product designs like lighting, furniture, rugs and tiles by the architect to the stars (he’s designed Hrithik, Ranbir and a host of other high-profile homes). “An extension of his architectural practice, the pieces are often inspired by and custom-made for the project that they are intended for, but also function as stand alone piece of design,” says a spokesperson, the piece de resistance being a LINGAM Marble Bench 2017.

A design piece which debuted at India Art Fair this January in New Delhi, where he was honoured as Designer of the Year, by a fashion glossy. However, what delighted Shah the most, was his collection of carpets to be launched at India Design Week in the Capital.

“The inspiration behind the collection was Le Corbusier, Chandigarh,” he says. “It’s mind-boggling that he could achieve what he did so long ago,” he says. And then he is off. To another wedding, a party a premier, or a performance…undoubtedly on a magic carpet designed by himself.

Inside, outside
“More and more, I am now drawn towards what I ‘put in,’ than what I ‘put on,’” says the winsome Sangita Kathiwada, currently in Maheshwar, about her day around meditation at her boutique.

Sangita Kathiwada
Sangita Kathiwada

Increasingly, the fashion and culturista (she also runs a crafts NGO with the NCPA) has been showing signs of being drawn towards matters spiritual, with the addition of a book shop selling books by Rajneesh, and other spiritualists.

Kathiwada’s words were one more instance of this inward turning. So, a Sunday devoted to meditation in the midst of crazy chaotic, always on the move Mumbai? Sounds like just what the doctor ordered.

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