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Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019

Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Celebrating Nostalgia

The more things change, the bigger grows the attraction of nostalgia

mumbai Updated: Jun 28, 2019 00:25 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
Atul Kasbekar is among country’s top movers and shakers who is an alumni of Campion School
Atul Kasbekar is among country’s top movers and shakers who is an alumni of Campion School
         

The more things change, the bigger grows the attraction of nostalgia; and the past few months have seen a page on Facebook called Old Bombay gaining much traction. From the city’s favourite restaurants and nightclubs, to landmark buildings, cinemas, rites of passage and other memorabilia, each day, lovers of the city that never sleeps, post fond (albeit rose-tinted) memories of times past. And yesterday saw a former student of Campion School post a veritable compendium of its famous alumni, establishing it quite firmly as one of the top schools in Mumbai (this was before the advent of the IB education phenomena). “They say what Doon School is to politicians, Campion is to industrialists (apologies to Cathedralites),” the post began, and then went on to offer an astonishing galaxy of some of the country’s top movers and shakers. From Jyotiraditya Scindia and Praful Patel to Shashi Tharoor, Ratan Tata, Kumarmanglam Birla, Zubin Mehta, Randhir, Rishi and Chimpoo Kapoor, Himanshu Roy, Rocky Malhotra, Pramit Zaveri, Dadiba Pundole, Peter Kerkar, Dom Moraes, Viveck Vaswani, Tarun Tahiliani, Atul Kasbekar and Kailash Surendranath, to name but a few, to scions of prominent families such as the Mafatlals, Dalmias, Goenkas, Ruparels, Ruias, Khataus, Khorakiwalas and Somanis — they had all passed at some stage through the school’s hallowed halls. What’s more, the institution, located in a nondescript building opposite the Oval Maidan, boasted of a brilliant faculty too. Art was taught by renowned artist Lalita Lajmi, sister of Guru Dutt and mother of the late Kalpana Lajmi; elocution lessons were imparted by Pearl Padamsee, a tour de force in Mumbai’s English theatre scene (her staging of plays like Hungama Bombay Style, Tom Sawyer and Don Quixote trained many, including Tharoor, on how to enunciate in style); while well-known city pianist, Sylvia Athaide, taught music. As they say, those were the days…

Delhi Bellicose

They are two of India’s most successful and biggest restaurateurs, both Delhi-based, both overseeing empires consisting of over 30 restaurants, and both with a following of over 20,000 on social media. So, when Priyank Sukhija and Zorawar Kalra got into a childish social media spat this week, the whole food industry looked on with voyeuristic pleasure.

Priyank Sukhija
Priyank Sukhija

The accusation was brought to social media by Sukhija, who accused his competitor of plagiarism and copying the look of one of his restaurants. “I have more than enough reason to believe in plagiarism, because of the photo you put out yesterday and it’s similarities to plum,” read a post by Sukhija. Kalra was quick to retort: “You started this whole thing and frankly the industry is aware of the truth and who copies who. You and I have already had a chat about your restaurants even copying our uniform.”

Zorawar Kalra
Zorawar Kalra

Finally, good sense seemed to have prevailed, with a truce being called online and plans to catch up over a drink and sort out issues. But, with both Sukhija and Kalra soon to launch new restaurants, let’s remember the old adage — there is no such thing as bad publicity.

Tweet Talk:

The Air India Lounge is a journey back in time. Everything feels 20 years older. The wonderful courtesy, the polite service, the passengers but unfortunately....also the bread rolls.

-- Posted by funny man Vir Das recently

A Candle for Sunanda

Sunanda Pushkar
Sunanda Pushkar ( PTI file )

Yesterday marked the 55th birth anniversary of the late Sunanda Pushkar, who died in a Delhi hotel five-and-a-half years ago, leaving the nation in shock, and her loved ones grief stricken. It was also the occasion to announce the launch of a book on her life, ‘The Extraordinary Life and Death of Sunanda Pushkar’, which will be out next month. Written by journalist Sunanda Beecha Mehta, who also happened to be a schoolmate of Pushkar, it tells the story of a woman who came from nowhere and went on to build a life for herself that was “unconventional, unshackled and indeed, extraordinary”.“The journey has been fraught with obstacles, heartaches and surprising revelations,” the author said in a social media post about the project. “But, the only way I can really think of describing the final outcome today is thus: An honest attempt to tell a complicated tale.” Will the book indeed put to rest the many unsavoury rumours about Pushkar’s death? One thing’s for sure, its publication will certainly bring back scrutiny to the life and times of one of the most enigmatic (and polarizing) figures the Capital had seen.

First Published: Jun 28, 2019 00:25 IST

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