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Malavika’s Mumbaistan: A Hero and a Captain

By any standards, the swashbuckling Rustom Captain, India’s first civilian helicopter pilot, was already a legend even while we had been kids, growing up in Juhu.

mumbai Updated: Aug 16, 2018 01:10 IST
Malavika Sanghvi
Malavika Sanghvi
Hindustan Times
mumbai news,Malavika Sanghvi,Rustom Captain
Anita Jean Captain with Rustom Captain. (HT Photo)

A Hero and a Captain
How many people can boast of growing up next door to a real life hero? By any standards, the swashbuckling Rustom Captain, India’s first civilian helicopter pilot, was already a legend even while we had been kids, growing up in Juhu. With movie star good looks and a personality to match, the Captain, who celebrated his 90th birthday last month, had carved out a distinguished career for himself, being the first pilot of choice entrusted with flying not only India’s Prime Ministers and Presidents, but also the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and the Beatles! Indeed, pictures showing him as a dashing young man, flying Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Morarji Desai in his Hiller UH12B from Nariman Point to the Vatrna Dam in 1953, and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and John Lennon in 1968, are of archival importance. “Paul Saltzman, previously married to film-maker Deepa Mehta, is making a documentary on the 50th anniversary of the Beatles visit to Rishikesh and has interviewed Rustom for the film – earlier this year in Toronto,” said the Captain’s vivacious wife, Anita Jean Captain, whose own Mumbai-based family was closely connected to the development of civil aviation (as they were with cinemas) across the country. Having spent many decades in Canada, the Captains were in Goa, where Anita had organised a celebration worthy of the legendary Captain, in the company of his doting children grandchildren and great grandchildren, last month. In fact his tryst with history continues. “This August 14 marked 71 years since his first solo flight,” informed Anita. “It is significant that Rustom’s unique place in Indian aviation as and many other landmarks – or I should say ‘air marks’ gained his own freedom of the skies on the eve of his country’s independence on 15th August 1947.” As we were saying how many people can boast of growing up next door to a real life hero?

Wts Wtm


Ashutosh from AAP. (Hindustan Times)

What They Say :
“Every journey has an end. My association with AAP, which was beautiful/revolutionary, has also come to an end. I have resigned from the party/requested PAC [political action committee] to accept the same. It is purely for a very very personal reason. Thanks to party/all of them who supported me. I won’t be giving any bite of any kind. Please cooperate.”
- Ashutosh, senior AAP leader, on his resignation

What They Mean:
“In any case, it’s not the bite, but the bark that matters. And of late, mine, as everyone knows, had been muzzled.”

Modern Dictionary
Biogas [noun]: Gaseous fuel, especially methane, produced by the fermentation of matter and in some rare cases of minds.

Sofa So Good

Manish Malhotra (left) with Priyanka Chopra (centre) and Karan Johar.

By now every sentient being on the planet has got the skinny on the big Bolly bash at Manish Malhotra’s on Tuesday night: who was there and who wore what. The designer, who was the first to forge a link between fashion and Bollywood, when he made legends like Sridevi and Madhuri dazzle on screen in outfits that were not only beautiful but au courant, too, is as expected, a great favourite with the industry’s leading ladies and as always, there was wall-to-wall youth glamor and beauty wherever one looked at the party. Except of course, on the sofa, where our source, the Bollywood Aunty, swore she had parked herself that night. Hitting Fifty (“Babes not fifty – ‘Flirty’,” she says), but with the energy and enthusiasm of a teenager when it comes to stars, especially handsome hunks, (as in delivering dabbas of their fave food to their homes, or flying them abroad on her PJ) Bolly Aunty, swore she’d been a guest at the party and was breathless with excitement when she called to tell us about the ‘going ons’. “Priyanka was looking great and def was the big deal there,” she said, “Showing off her diamond ring to everyone. And Babes, I swear I saw every single star guest clamouring for a selfie with her. And asking her for advice – which she was doling out in plenty.” Did you too? We asked the Bollywood Aunty. “Hah, me!! I could give her advice,” she snorted, (she certainly could), but we digress. Aunty had obviously spent most of the evening making mental notes for her WhatsApp group and she couldn’t wait to offload it. “Kajol came and left early. Sonakshi came in looking lovely – she’s lost a lot of weight. Karisma didn’t look as great as usual, but was busy trying to get a selfie with Priyanka. Rich! Considering Bebo can’t stand Priyanka no?” No? We said. The Bolly Aunty ignored us and continued. “Ex-lovers Yami Gautam and Pulkit studiously avoided each other. Neha is looking six months pregnant, but hasn’t announced her pregnancy officially. Everyone was telling her she’s glowing,” she said. Did you really spend the entire evening watching everyone from the sofa? We asked. “No babes I also ate na?” said Bolly Aunty. “Food was Chinese, I think. Loads of starters, which looked like momos which I didn’t touch. The fish was good. So was the chicken. The ravioli was nice…” and then she gasped. What’s wrong? We enquired. “Ravioli! I had promised to send a dabba of it from Cellini to Ran…” she said hanging up.

First Published: Aug 16, 2018 01:10 IST