Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Chura liyamumbai Updated: Mar 20, 2018 16:14 IST
Subhash Ghai with Asha Bhosle and Meghna Ghai Puri at Whistling Woods International.
“Asha ji and my father have known each other for more than 40 years,” said Meghna Ghai Puri, president of Whistling Woods International, one of Bollywood’s premier training institutes and daughter of producer-director Subhash Ghai, on the visit of playback legend Asha Bhosle this week to the campus. “She sang for my father’s films Kalicharan, Karz, Joggers’ Park and Taal and they have been friends since then. Also, her granddaughter Zanai and my sister Muskaan are school friends,” Meghna said.
The stopover had included a tour of the campus, an audience with students from the school of music who performed raags and songs in Indian classical, Carnatic, Korean and Punjabi folk genres for the celebrated singer, an interaction with the entire student body and then the traditional tree planting and hand printing on the college’s ‘wall of fame.’
“She shared beautiful stories of her journey and career of 75 years. It left all of us and the students absolutely mesmerised,” said Puri.
By popular request, the songstress, a lively octogenarian, had sportingly bowed to the audience demand and belted out her famous ‘chartbusting melodies. “It will remain one of the most special and inspiring sessions we have had at Whistling Woods,” Meghna said.
What They Say —
“Have you ever seen a stage like this at any political party meet?”
— Rahul Gandhi pointing to an empty stage at the recent Congress Plenary
What They Mean —
“Its emptiness is meant to accurately symbolise the glaring paucity of leadership in the party.”
Pakoda (noun): A savoury, popular snack whose preparation provides lucrative and highly coveted employment to millions of young people across India
(eg: ‘After his undergrad at NYU and his MBA from Harvard, my son has returned to India where he hopes to become a pakoda seller’)
HAWKING’S INDIA ZONE
Ever since he departed to the great laboratory in the cosmos, all kinds of India connections have surfaced about scientist Stephen Hawking. By now, most would know the story of how two Indian engineers, Vickram Crishna and Arun Mehta, created a software called Elocutor, which worked on a prediction model, which assisted the physically challenged and wheel-chair-bound cosmologist to speak. The story had been broken by popular website Scroll and been reproduced widely. Meanwhile, pictures of the scientist at shipping magnate Ravi Sheth’s Malabar Hill apartment, meeting a slew of personalities from corporate India during his 2001 visit to India, also made their way to social media. Another Hawking link to India had surfaced, albeit a tangential one, quite serendipitously this weekend. In an attempt to get through to Vickram Crishna, we had requested his contact details from his brother, actor, trekker and executive director at Godrej and Boyce Vijay Crishna, who is married to Smita Godrej. That’s when he had informed us of his family’s second Hawking connect. “My nephew, grad assistant Neal Shearer, who lives in England, actually assisted Hawking,” said the thespian. We have written to Shearer asking for insights of his time with the great man. Meanwhile, we await more instances of the Hawking-India connect to surface.