Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Grandma knows best

Hindustan Times | ByMalavika Sangghvi
Nov 01, 2019 04:38 PM IST

This week Twinkle Khanna’s grandmum, the redoubtable Betty Kapadia, celebrated her 80th birthday at a resort nestled in the Sahyadri hills.

Last November, when she’d visited a jewel-like resort nestled in the Sahyadri hills, erstwhile actress Twinkle Khanna had posted that she’d been hearing her mother, actress Dimple Kapadia, rave about it. “Mom has been telling me about it for ages and finally I am here!” she’d shared on social media, while smiling alluringly from a hammock. “The few times when you have to admit that mother knows best,” the wordsmith had quipped.

Akshay Kumar with Betty Kapadia.
Akshay Kumar with Betty Kapadia.

Well, what do you know, grandmother knows even better. This week, when the author’s grandmum, the redoubtable Betty Kapadia, matriarch of a large and colourful brood, celebrated her 80th birthday, she chose to do so along with her family, friends and loads of laughter at the same resort.

Since then, we are being treated to a series of posts from Twinkle about the getaway which saw the newly-turned and much loved octogenarian surrounded by her daughter, her granddaughters and their kids and husbands, including actor Akshay Kumar, along with her swashbuckling grandson, the newly-launched actor Karan Kapadia, the son of the late national award-winning Simple Kapadia (she’d won it for her costume direction for the late Kalpana Lajmi’s Rudaali). Having stayed at the beautiful resort ourselves, miles away from the hustle and bustle of city life (it was the site of one of Aamir Khan’s big birthday bashes not too long ago), we can quite imagine the sense of thrill and family love that the Kapadias must be experiencing.

“Who needs iTunes when you have a feathered Lata Mangeshkar serenading you with her music,” quipped Twinkle, about the very private getaway for the happy occasion.

Grandmas know best.

Tweet Talk

“I’ll always be here for you

For methodically allotted amounts of time

I’ll be there to hold your hand

If I happen to be in town

And every time you need me

There’s a 50/50 chance I will be around.”

- Congressman Milind Deora’s cryptic comment on current ‘frenemies’ Devendra Fadnavis and Uddhav Thackeray, using the lyrics of Garfunkel and Oates’ hit song ‘50/50.’


Word comes in from our Thailand sources of fervent preparations being made for a VVIP’s visit next week, to attend an important summit with other world leaders. The visit allegedly includes an exclusive sit-down dinner for 40 people of the visiting delegation. The meal is set to be prepared by one of the city’s celebrated chefs, who just happens to be an Indian, and will feature a completely vegetarian tasting menu at one of the city’s landmark venues. “It’s all been kept hush-hush and top secret, given the occasion and the chief guest’s security protocol. But from diplomatic sources, it appears that the menu will include 13 courses of the chef’s edgy modern Indian fare, designed to surprise, confuse and thrill the diners,” say sources. Making friends and influencing people one truffle-pani puri at a time?

Celebrating Shireen…

The invitation to the memorial for Mody.
The invitation to the memorial for Mody.

Sometimes things are so achingly poignant that words fail. A few weeks after her dastardly murder, family and friends of the late Goa-based artist Shireen Mody gathered together once more, this time to remember the free and talented soul on the occasion of her birthday, this Monday.

Organized by her young artist daughter Saffron Wiehl at a beach shack and termed “a celebration of Shireen Mody’s life”, guests were requested to come in “most casual beach attire in Shireen’s honor’’. “We invite you to bring a photo or a memory to share,” the invitation read.

And though we wanted to be, but could not be there, to salute the pioneering Mody, who had ignited in perhaps many others, but certainly in us, the dream of living the artistic beach life in the sunny state, her childhood friend Anita Captain, godmother to Saffron, penned a few lines that captured the beauty and poignancy of the occasion, much better than any one might .

Saffron Wiehl at the occasion.
Saffron Wiehl at the occasion.

“For Shireen and Saffron, friends were and are family. Friends who visited and stayed, friends who came back every year, friends from around the corner and around the world. Shireen made us all believe that we could follow our dreams, dance to our own music and make our own rules. The shock of losing her is so intense, so deep that we are all still stunned by it. Shireen’s favourite place in the world was the beach, especially in her beloved Goa. So it was there that we all gathered, to bring some comfort to our Saffron, to stand with her in the sand while the Gods put on a spectacular sunset — for how else would we remember her but with a sky and sea painted in gorgeous colour….” wrote Captain.

Goodbye Shireen, there will be many who will never see a pristine beach or a glorious sky, without remembering the woman who had dedicated her life to their beauty.

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