Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Birthday Love Fest
Could there be a case of a person being universally loved? It appears so: all of last week, family and friends of Nitasha Nanda, daughter of Mumbai’s Raj Kapoor and Delhi’s Hari Nanda clans, were posting messages to her. And that’s because the popular singleton, sister-in-law of Shweta Bachchan Nanda and cousin to Ranbir, Kareena and Karishma Kapoor, was celebrating her 50th birthday spread over multiple events and days. And with friends flying in from across the country and from as far away as New York, where Nanda has spent a considerable amount of time nursing her mother Ritu Nanda during her illness, the Mumbai celebrations were kicked off by a laid back, intimate gathering at a SoBo residence, consisting of family and friends, including mother Ritu; brother Nikhil Nanda; aunt Neetu Kapoor; cousin Armaan Jain; Gauri Khan; Tanya Dubash; and Pamela Grover, among others. “Golden hearted Nitasha Nanda’s golden birthday celebrations start with a bang. The whole universe is blessing her today,” Neetu had shared in her Instagram post last week.
“Happiest birthday to the most beautiful person I know. Nitasha Nanda you are 1 in a billion,” friend Susanne Khan had posted with the hashtag #bestheartever, while Shweta Bachchan Nanda had described her as “the best sister anyone can ask for” and had hosted a “golden-themed” birthday celebration for her at a mid-city five-star over the weekend.
But it was Karan Johar who had captured the prevailing mood with a heartfelt post addressed to his “darling Tashu”, in which he described Nanda as “an epitome of goodness and humanity”. “Simplicity and purity are the first words that come to my mind when I have to describe her to anyone! One would think these are qualities that are easy to possess or acquire, but I assure you in this day and age of agenda-filled existences and manic ambitions, these qualities are like dinosaurs, and honestly, so is she! There is no one quite like her on this planet! An epitome of goodness and humanity, she breaks the clutter with her personality and we are blessed to know her and have her amongst us! We love you, Tashu! You are just the best human being I know! Happy 50 my darling! Stay blessed always.”
Word comes in that the estrangement between this high-profile and glamorous India Inc couple might have just reached a point of no return. As is known, they had been living separately for a few years — him with his young paramour, and she at the family home, in what appeared to be a strained, but workable arrangement. But according to sources, this might not last much longer as the husband is said to have served an eviction notice to his estranged wife. “Given the people involved and the position they hold in society, it could easily turn into an acrimonious legal battle where much dirty linen is washed in public,” says a source. Meanwhile, the grapevine is agog with the speculation that both parties are “lawyering up”.
“The Congress President (Sonia Gandhi) has spoken with Sharad Pawar. The party will have further discussion with NCP.”
— Official note issued by the Congress about speculations that it might support the Shiv Sena in forming a government in Maharashtra to trump the BJP.
Damned if we do and damned if we don’t.
Rare Piece of Art
Even on stage it had warranted a moment’s delighted confusion, when the chairman of the Aditya Birla Group, Kumar Mangalam Birla, had presented Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a token of appreciation when he had attended the golden jubilee celebrations marking the group’s 50th year in Thailand last week. And that is because the ornately patterned canvasses of carpets rendered hyper-realistically by the celebrated Madrid-born and New York-based artist, Antonio Santin, never fail to make viewers do a double take. “At first glance, the image looks like a picture, however, a closer look reveals that it is actually rendered in oil paint,” say reports. Described as “figurative” painting, Santoni’s painstakingly and beautifully rendered ‘rug series’ are made up “of thousands of thick paint strokes that mimic the texture of a rug’s weave”. Interestingly, their USP is that the methodically-composed folds and creases create the appearance of large, human-shaped masses beneath the textiles’ surfaces, and have become something of the artist’s signature. Needless to say, the works are collector’s items, worth many millions in themselves. What’s more, the artist has many takers in India ever since a dozen or so of his canvasses featured in an exhibition at a SoBo gallery not too long ago and soon disappeared into the homes of avid art collectors.