Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Beauty Pageant for Heritage Vehicles
The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, said to be ‘the world’s most famous beauty pageant for heritage vehicles’, brought India more joy.Updated: Aug 30, 2018 00:37 IST
Even as headlines containing gloom and doom break back home, India’s participation in competitions across the globe continues to bring cheer. No sooner had thrills over India’s medal run begun to spread, when news of Indian contingent’s stunning wins at The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, said to be ‘the world’s most famous beauty pageant for heritage vehicles’, brought more joy. Car aficionados swear that with cars being brought in from celebrated garages from across the world, just being invited to take part is an honour. Set in the salubrious climes of California, on rolling greens of a golf course, the event is the finale of Monterey Car Week held annually for vintage car buffs. This year was extra special for India as two classes had been reserved exclusively for cars with Indian legacy. No surprises then, that two Indians, both from Mumbai, hit the bulls eye. Automobile aficionado Nitin Dossa’s 1936 Alvi’s Speed 25 Vanden Plas (originally belonging to Maharaja of Mayurbhanj) won the second place in the ‘Raj’ class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, whereas Amir Jetha’s 1935 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Gurney Nutting Streamline Coupe came first in the ‘Motor Cars of the Raj’ class at the Pebble Beach Concours, and was also judged best Rolls of the show. But, what got auto expert Hormazd Sorabjee most thrilled was to capture a clip of popular talk show host and impassioned car collector Jay Leno’s impish wink to him. “The best cars are from India, but don’t tell anyone I said that!” Leno, for the record, owns approximately 169 prized automobiles and writes a column for Popular Mechanics.
The Hills are Afloat
It takes beautiful people to say and do beautiful things. Our attention was attracted by renowned Delhi-based singer Shubha Mudgal’s post on social media, on what appeared to be a family treasure. It was in the form of a neat handwritten draft of a letter from her late mother to the then District Magistrate of Nainital, bringing his attention (most politely, but firmly) to the results of unplanned construction in the hill station of Bhimtal, which was affecting the lives of its residents. “We are all senior citizens from different professions, who are settled in the area and at times, it is difficult for us to move out of our homes because of waterlogging, which has become a banem,” she had written, sometime in the late 1990s. “Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem as if anyone paid heed to her, because today, things are much worse with buildings of all shapes, sizes coming up, blocking the flow of water on the roads in the area,” posted Mudgal, along with archival pictures, which her mother had planned to attach to assert the point she was making. As expected, this poignant blast from the past elicited much response. “Very moving. First, to have this letter and photographs, and second, to know that nothing has changed. We must keep trying,” was a typical one. Indeed! Hill stations like Bhimtal are havens for elderly souls looking for to retire, away from big city blues in the evening of their lives. Imagine their consternation, when the banes of ugly development follow them there and make even their last few years a misery!
Follywood: The result of a deep, lasting and profound marriage between Indian fashion and Bollywood, resulting in all kinds of commercial activity, and stratospherically successful spin-offs in the realm of glossy magazine covers, product placements, brand endorsements, celebrity show stoppers and the collective careers of both Sonam Kapoor Ahuja and her sister.
Yesterday, we experienced the joys of new age communication, when we texted musician Anushka Jagtiani for something or the other and received an immediate response from the other end of the planet, and from a completely different time zone! “It’s 2am. Just finished a song-writing session with co-writers and got home. Going to sleep soon, as I have another session in the morning,” the singer, song-writer had texted from LA, where she has been creating music with some of the city’s top young producers and song-writers for a few months. “We are combining Indian elements in our music, such as tablas and Indian classical singing woven in with American pop to create a unique sound. Some of my latest songs, which will be released soon are Rebirth, Taboo, and Crumbs,” she said. Jagtiani, whose stage name is Anushka Jag, is the daughter of one of India’s leading legal clans, which is coincidentally blessed with much singing talent too. She’d briefly worked with a news channel before, giving herself over to her musical passion. She describes her sound as “pop music with Indian influences, with inspiration from the likes of Freddie Mercury, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Drake and Cardi B”. Her song, Rebirth, has a smoky timbre to it, juxtaposed with an upbeat catchy tempo and haunting lyrics. “I can’t wait to perform in Mumbai,” she says, on the eve of her return to the city. “But right now, I’m going Bollywood in Hollywood.”
First Published: Aug 30, 2018 00:36 IST