Vertical Brilliance

Published: 28 November, 2013 07:36 IST | Malavika Sangghvi |

We were delighted to see this picture of our former colleague Jitesh Pillaai, editor of Filmfare with Bollywood's IT girl Deepika Padukone at the Hello awards recently

>> We were delighted to see this picture of our former colleague Jitesh Pillaai, editor of Filmfare with Bollywood’s IT girl Deepika Padukone at the Hello awards recently. Always known for his wit, Pillaai had captioned the picture ‘Get Shorty’. What were you thinking when that picture was shot, share your thought balloon with us, we asked him, and this is what we got: “Thought of how she’s grown into the number one slot. Remember meeting her as a shy, diffident but determined girl on the sets of Om Shanti Om.

Jitesh Pillaai and Deepika Padukone 

Shah Rukh, with his eye for spotting talent, knew this girl had the acting chops. And suddenly, before you know it, there she is in 2013, with five blockbuster hits back to back. She hasn’t changed much. Except grown more confident and beautiful. And at all times, never lets her personal dilemmas or heartbreak affect her professional life,” said Pillaai. Nice!

Christie’s comes to town
>> And all eyes are on the Christie’s South Asian Art sale, which will be held at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai on Thursday, December 19. A high point of the sale will be a section of paintings sold from the Kekoo and Khorshed Gandhy estate, inherited recently by the couple’s daughters, Behroze Gandhy and Rashna Imhasly.

Khorshed and Kekoo Gandhy

After its successful Fall sale in New York of South Asian art, which included the art of Nandalal Bose, Abanindranath Tagore, and Rabindranath Tagore, a single-owner sale of 81 exceptional modern Indian art, the Mumbai sale will be an attempt to once again prove the auction house’s dominance in this market.

And according to a collector, the prices for the works are almost 50 per cent higher than the current market prices — but are well worth it.

Dubious event organisers
>> OK, so this is absolutely from the horses’ mouth. Apparently, the three gents who have cornered the market in the um... delicate business of high-end flesh trading (two of whom were present at a recently held high-society, charity dinner at a SoBo hotel) have all got visiting cards that describe them as ‘event organisers.’ “They supply women to politicians and top industrialists,” says our source, “But in many of their cases, money is not exchanged. It’s more to do with licensing contracts and favours,” we were told.

“They make sure they are present at all the glamorous high-society events and make introductions to existing and potential clients.” What is interesting is that a few decades earlier, their trade was dominated by women in Mumbai, namely two, a Muslim lady and a Maharashtrian (both of whom have fallen on hard days now) who would specialise in introducing struggling film industry hopefuls to powerful men.

As for these three gents, now that we know their names, we will be looking out to spot them at the next big event.

Scratch the thin skin of society’s surface and what do you get?

The half century mark
>> And this weekend, India’s most flamboyant exile in London will be celebrating his 50th birthday in the style that he’s noted for. Expect planeloads of his friends to jet down (though one of his closest, Vasundhara Raje might have the tiresome business of electioneering on her plate).

Lalit Modi

And to mark the momentous occasion of reaching the half-century mark, here’s a picture of the cricket impresario looking suitably grey and well… quite distinguished.

It’s our MP
>> And this from South Mumbai MP Milind Deora on Twitter, “Was happy to meet my friend Sunil Shetty, who I believe is also the promoter of H2O.

Milind Deora

Took a detour from Marine Drive & look where I ended up! Try it at H2O if you haven’t already.”

Fifteen minutes of privacy
The best comment on modern society that I have recently come across is a cartoon, which had a crystal ball gazer saying to a hapless client “everyone will have 15 minutes of privacy in the future.”

From the time we saw the Truman Show and wrapped our heads around the concept of a world with no secrets to now, where the concept has reached absurd proportions, it’s been an alarming and rapid descent.

From snooping government agencies to bare-all, tell-all private individuals, to the great media machine that churns out an astonishing amount of detail on people’s lives in an assembly line of dissemination — what’s left that we can call our own?

We know for instance (or think we know) not only about Tony Blair’s so-called liaison with Wendi Murdoch and what Rupert and Cherie feel. We know (or think we know) the extent of Nigella Lawson’s addiction to cocaine and other drugs, and the effect it had on her marriage with Charles Saatchi.

As for film stars and socialites, there is no extent to the familiarity we have with the private details of their lives.

Pity the individuals caught up in crime investigations, for instance. Not only are their lives turned upside down by their proximity to the crime, but also the extent to which their lives can never be reclaimed as their own must be a double affront.

How to deal with a world without privacy? For those of us who’ve been in the business of news over decades, it’s the most interesting of times.

No secret too inaccessible, no information off limits and no news classified. The conversations from an exclusive private dinner party last night, for instance, conveyed to me sentence by sentence and comma by full stop.

Fifteen minutes of privacy seem almost too generous in these conditions.  

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