Malavika’s Mumbaistan: All’s well
Word comes in that the All Stars football club, spearheaded by captain Abhishek Bachchan and vice-captain Ranbir Kapoor, seems to be on a high. After winning their first international tournament in Singapore last month, this weekend saw the group of Bollywood stars take part in a tournament in Pune. And, we are pleased to report that the bandana-wearing team once again came out on top and lifted the ‘Sakal Superstar Cup’. But, it wasn’t all smooth-sailing as their star striker Ranbir Kapoor is said to have picked up a knock during the game and was rushed to a nearby hospital for a check-up. However, we are happy to report it was only a minor injury and the newly-in-love star is back on his feet. All’s well.
A HERO’S WELCOME
It would not be an overstatement to say that while popular restaurateur AD Singh wrestled with his bout of cerebral meningitis a few months ago, much of the city’s social circuit had shifted to the canteen of a well-known SoBo Hospital where he was recovering, as his legion of friends and admirers kept hourly vigil along with his doting wife Sabina and family. Here, we ran into jet-setting divas on pitstops in Mumbai, A-list photographers, delectable chocolatiers and Singh’s fellow restaurateurs. Of course, all that is now behind him as Singh valiantly recovered, first slowly at the Breach Candy Club, where each evening he would lie like a resting emperor meeting his subjects after a great battle, and then increasingly at the city’s hotspots. Now, word comes in that last week, when Singh returned to Delhi for the first time since his recovery, the city turned out in great style to afford him a hero’s welcome. “All the managers and chefs of his 13 eateries in Delhi had lined up to greet him,” said an insider. And soon, we hear there’s a well-deserved family vacation for the Singhs coming up.
SHEROES, EVERY ONE OF THEM
On Friday evening, we had the privilege of meeting a room full of Sheroes — extraordinary women who had overcome great hurdles and triumphed over some extraordinarily difficult circumstances to turn their lives around. These were the women of Srujna, the ones who had created an NGO to transform the lives of underprivileged women and make them confident, contributing members of their families, through skill learning and training, and those who had flourished through its intervention. But first, the back story: seven years ago, two young MBA undergrads, Jyotika Bhatia and Vaishali Gandhi, had done an internship in a shelter home with rescued victims of human trafficking, as part of their study, which had led them to provide 30 rescued victims with vocational skills. Spurred by this, they used their management experience to set up Srujna.
Today, they have provided work to 6,000 women, created jobs worth ~2.2 million and have partners across eight cities in India. The event on Friday was the NGO’s annual get-together to recognise and award five such unsung, inspiring women of courage and leadership. “I, along with others, have committed to help this amazing women’s empowerment and livelihood organisation, to scale over three years and enable them to help uplift more women,” said the Mumbai-based Rachel Wawn, who has partnered with Srujna as a member of Social Venture Partners (SVP) India, a diverse community of 200+ corporate leaders, entrepreneurs, active citizens and philanthropists. And, from the happy, confident smiles of the Sheroes and the infectious optimism of Gandhi and Bhatia towards a world where every woman has the resources and ability to lead a meaningful and empowered life, it appeared Srujna was achieving what it had set out to do.
KETTLE CALLING POT?
“Saw #LRC on @ndtv after ages. Hasn’t improved a bit. Panels (of not particularly high quality) still loaded 5-2, including the anchor who possesses neither nuance nor balance. Appalling level of journalism.” “That was my initial tweet after watching the show. Please note, I did not mention Nidhi (Razdan who anchors Left Right and Centre, the show Merchant referred to) or tag her,” said author and political commentator Minhaz Merchant when we spoke to him about a Twitter spat that had broken out this weekend. The spat between Razdan, whose channel NDTV is widely regarded as being anti-establishment, and Merchant, who had been engaged with the pro-establishment Republic channel in its initial days, is just one more example of the extreme media polarisation and the binaries that the country is facing currently. “Sir, you should stick to North Korean TV. High on nuance, excellent journalism,” Razdan had responded. What followed had been a series of tweets alluding to each other’s associations with channels noted for biased coverage, low TRP ratings etc. “My responses were civil and in good humor, the exchange ended there,” Merchant said . Later, he had even gone on to praise some of Republic’s anchors, namely Shivani, Parikshit, Sakal, Aditya, Niranjan, Deepika, Abhishek… The Nation wants to know whose name was missing from that list.