Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Gathering Some Moss At The World CupUpdated: Jun 10, 2019 23:34 IST
(From left) Arun Harnal with Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts. (HT Photo)
Two guests who attracted a fair amount of attention at Sunday’s World Cup match between India and Australia were legendary Rolling Stones’ front-man Mick Jagger and his band mate, the equally legendary drummer Charlie Watts. “Mick is a great cricket buff and so is Charlie,” said prominent NRI businessman and philanthropist, the London-based Arun Harnal, who’d spent some time with them in a VIP box. “He was charming company and very knowledgeable about all the players in the Indian team as well as Australia! Praising Jaspreet as a bowler, Kohli as a good leader and Dhoni as a master of strategy, who is vastly experienced.” Harnal had got to know the musician in his earlier avatar as an executive with the Taj group, helming its Bombay Brasserie, where Jagger had been a regular. “He was very impressed with the fielding standards of India. But he also said he wanted the Aussies to score some runs too, just to make the match interesting!” he said, about the rock icon, a familiar figure at the Oval and Lords. Of course, the rock musicians were not the only celebrities in the box on the occasion. Ruchi Ghanashyam, India’s High Commissioner to the UK and Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, recently in the spotlight for being the subject of many of Donald Trump’s love notes on Twitter, were also present. “Mayor Sadiq, a dear family friend, who was an honorary Indian supporter for the day had joined in to the conversation with the duo and it was a lively chat!” shared Harnal.
“This is a devastating loss. Just a few months ago he sent me the draft of his brilliant new historical play. He was at the peak of his creative talent. Profound condolences to his devoted wife Saras & brilliant son @rkarnad. A flame has been extinguished that lit up so many minds.”
- Congress leader, writer, and MP from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, Shashi Tharoor on the passing of playwright, thespian and activist Girish Karnad
Over The Rainbow With Bhardwaj
As the minutes tick by to the curtain rising on Kashish 2019, the 10th instalment of one of the world’s most significant LGBTQ film festivals, word comes in that no less than noted singer Rekha Bhardwaj will be performing at its opening night at Liberty Cinema this week. “It is a privilege and honour to have her perform,” said Sridhar Rangayan, the festival’s director, adding, “She had come to Kashish last year to watch the Canadian documentary ABU made by her friend Arshad Khan and had fallen in love with its unique atmosphere of warmth, exuberance and inclusivity on that occasion, something we’d experienced first-hand a few years ago, when we’d served as a jury member. “When we requested that she should perform at next year’s festival, she’d immediately agreed. And this year, when we followed up to make our 10th anniversary edition really special, without even a moment of hesitation, she said yes.” Expectedly, Bhardwaj’s generosity of spirit has moved Rangayan and his team to no end. “I was really overwhelmed that a busy person of her stature could commit so easily and we are obliged that she is doing this gratis to demonstrate her love for the community and support for LGBTQ rights,” he said, adding, “You could say we are ‘Over the Rainbow’, which is the theme of this year’s festival.” The festival runs from June 12 to June 16 at two iconic theatres – Liberty Cinema and Metro INOX – and will screen 160 films from 43 countries.
A Candle For Sheetal Jain
We received a poignant tribute to the late Sheetal Jain, long-time manager and secretary to Amitabh Bachchan, who passed away this Saturday at the age of 77. It was written by our former colleague, photographer Pradeep Chandra, who has many coffee table books on the Bachchans, to his credit.
“Not many people know that Jain had been introduced to the star via the late Manmohan Desai,” said Chandra, adding, “He was fond of writing poems and was especially interested in Urdu nazams.” According to Chandra, around 15 months ago, Jain, who we’d known as a soft-spoken and dignified man, one of the stalwarts of his profession, had requested Bachchan to be relieved of his duties, as he hadn’t been keeping too well. The star had said, ‘This is your home, come and go whenever you want’ and had penned him “a very emotional letter”, which Jain regarded as one of his most precious mementos.
“His one unfulfilled desire was to do a book on his days with Bachchan. He had a dozen files full of papers and he would say ‘this is the material I have for the book’. But I suppose, it was not to be,” said Chandra.
Goodbye Mr Jain, they don’t make them like you anymore.
First Published: Jun 10, 2019 23:34 IST