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Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Heartwarming story

mumbai Updated: Jul 26, 2018 16:29 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Malavika’s Mumbaistan,Malavika Sangghvi

Arjun Rampal spoke of his mother’s battle with cancer.(HT Photo)

Few people could bring home the anguish and pain that cancer can wield on the sufferer and their family more evocatively than Arjun Rampal. In a 15-minute clip released this week, his voice low and steady, Rampal looks into a camera and narrates in detail how his beloved mother was wreaked by the disease a few years ago. How the family had run from pillar to post, undergoing bout after bout of surgery and chemotherapy, until while in New York at the end of his tether, he had reached out to The Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown in Lisbon, Portugal. From here, the great sadness in Rampal’s eyes begins to lift, as he explains how through its treatment of Single Dose Radiation Therapy, his mother got better day by day, her tumours shrunk and her cancer was eliminated. The video ends with Rampal turning the camera to show his beaming mum, waving and expressing her gratitude to the centre. Rampal is not the only Indian celebrity to endorse the bio-medical research institute. As is known, Lalit Modi has also put his resources behind the Champalimaud Foundation after it is said to have cured his wife of the disease.


‘The Homeless Rich’ a post on a friend’s timeline reveals what we’ve always known: money or success does not insulate you from the ever- increasing malaise of loneliness and isolation. To his credit, our friend does not reveal the name of whom the incident is about, and we have not revealed his, because that is not the point of this story; here it is. “Last evening, at the coffee shop in the lobby of a five-star hotel, an elderly lady was talking loudly on her phone and ordering the waiters around every few minutes. I even heard her say, ‘I will call the police’” it begins. It goes on to describe the abject loneliness that had driven a senior citizen, who is revealed by the staff to be a wealthy regular customer who confides in them about her family issues. “She sits for many hours, and orders nothing or sometimes more coffee and food than required!” the friend is informed. What’s more, according to the staff, she’s not the only one: “There are many such ‘homeless rich’ who don’t want to return home, and seek comfort talking to the coffee shop staff. They enjoy the noise and chatter, the space they get, and the attention from staff,” says a member of the establishment. As we were saying, even money or success do not insulate you from the ever-increasing malaise of loneliness and isolation.

‘All those lonely people, where do they all come from?’


What They Say —

“Rishi Kapoor loses temper with unruly crowds at press conference for newest film.”

— News reports yesterday

What They Mean —

“Any chance of him being co-opted as speaker of the Lok Sabha please? He’s just what the doctor ordered.”


Fashion designer Valentino Garavani.

So this could be a game-changer in the world of international haute couture and in some ways the Indian fashion industry too. According to sources, for the wedding of weddings, the imminent nuptials of the Indian heiress who was recently swept of her feet by the scion of a blue chip business family, the grandest European designer, a man whose name has passed into legend for his opulent gowns and high style, the Emperor himself, Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani, aka Valentino, has been persuaded to come out of retirement to design the bride’s wedding lehenga! The Italian designer now in his late eighties, who was a great favourite of Jackie Kennedy and Diana de Vreeland, amongst others, had officially retired in 2008, with a tribute show that featured such legends as Eva Herzigová and Naomi Campbell. If this indeed does come to pass, then it just might prompt other international couturiers of his calibre to turn to Indian traditional wear for inspiration for their future lines. As it is, the differences between fashion styles across the world appear to be blurring.

Could the Indian lehenga take over European haute runways? And, will this be a game-changer for Indian craftspeople like embroiders, jewellers, karigars etc? Will they be employed at better rates if the demand soars? What effect will this though have on India’s fashion designers, many of them who are extraordinarily talented? Will the fact that an international designer has been picked to create what is easily one of the most eagerly-awaited wedding lehenga in recent times, take competition in to another league altogether? But we are getting ahead of ourselves... Besides, Valentino is not the only designer who has been commissioned to come up with wedding wear for the occasion. Sources say: Dolce and Gabbana have been sounded off about a few gowns too…

First Published: Jul 26, 2018 16:26 IST