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Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Here’s looking at you Dad

Pran had lived a stone’s throw from the bustling neighbourhood in leafy Pali Hill.

mumbai Updated: Aug 29, 2018 00:38 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
mumbai news,Malavika’s Mumbaistan,Pran
The chowk at Carter Road, Bandra, named after iconic film villain Pran.(HT Photo)

“It was a proud moment for us with a lot of happy memories. Dad dared to dream and take up challenges while giving a lot of happiness and entertainment,” said Pinky Bhalla, daughter of the iconic film villain Pran, about the naming of a chowk on Carter Road as Pran Chowk on Monday. The actor had lived a stone’s throw from the bustling neighbourhood in leafy Pali Hill. “He spent six decades in the Indian film industry and 63 years in Bandra and Khar,” she said, adding, “His dedication, vision and humility have made him a legend, and we wanted this to be remembered for a long time.” What were some of her memories of her father in context of the area? “He used to visit so many of his friends and colleagues who lived here, like director Pramod Chakravorty and actors Dilip Kumar and Rajendra Kumar,” she said. “I also recall him taking the dogs to the seaside, for a walk.” The idea of renaming a site in Bandra in his memory had occurred some time ago. “My brothers and I thought of it and had applied to the BMC for permission with guidance from [lawyer] Asif Zakaria. We rejected the first plaque, changed the design and concept, and finally came up with the one with his portrait on it,” she says. “The whole thing took six months to complete.” And, what have been the reactions? “From ‘It’s unique.’ to ‘Haven’t seen anything like it before’, they have been very heartwarming,” says the proud daughter.

True Lies

Beyonce ( REUTERS )

Even as news comes in that a football field in South Carolina has to be fully replaced after hosting a Jay-Z and Beyonce concert (gulp), word comes in that the princess of R&B, Miss Bootilicious, herself, is most likely to perform at the imminent nuptials of a major business clan from Mumbai. “There are serious talks on, even as we speak,” said a source, “And Miss Bey (as she is known in the media), could well be roped in to be one of the star performers at the wedding, later this year”. Interestingly, our sources could not shed light on the venue of this standout gig. “We are not sure if she was contacted to perform in India or at one of the European destinations chosen for the pre-wedding celebrations,” they say. “Just that, in every likelihood it’s more or less a done deal.” Of course, this will not be the first time the singer-songwriter and actress has performed for Indian audiences. In 2007, she had performed in Mumbai as part of The Beyonce Experience – 2007 World Tour, known as a ‘kind-of-secret Beyonce concert’ for its relatively low profile. “I flew a long way to see how you party in India. I am sure you party hard,” she’d said to the audience that had included Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Deepika Padukone and Sridevi. This time around, given the import of the occasion, her audience will be equally, if not more, high-profile, for sure!

Old Friends

Atal Bihari Vajpayee

For those who think that friendships in politics are only based on expediency, this should come as a reminder that old values and shared legacies still count for a lot. A story comes in about the passing of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, which is sure to make even the most cynical heart melt. It concerns his political colleague and friend of 63 years, LK Advani. Apparently, in accordance to the wishes of his family, no other politician was allowed to sit at his bedside, except Advani, in the days leading up to the stalwart’s death. “In their active years, they had often disagreed and even been seen to be rivals, but in his dying days, those closest to Vajpayee realised that it was Advani and Advani alone, who truly cared for his compatriot and so, he alone was afforded the privilege,” says an insider. And according to the same insider, Advani had spent a long time alone beside his ailing friend, overcome with grief. As we were saying, this should come as a reminder that old values and shared legacies still count for a lot, for those who think that friendships in politics are only based on expediency.

Joyful and Participatory

Ayesha Dharker (in white) during her rehearsals for Pericles at the National Theatre, London.

“Deep breath! And off I go, into one of the most joyous productions I have ever been in. Heart full. Pericles 2018,” wrote erstwhile Mumbai chi mulgi, actress Ayesha Dharker, before she took to the stage, in what is being described as one of the most spectacular theatrical productions London has been witness to in a while. Mounted by the National Theatre on the legendary Olivier Stage, Pericles sees the advent of a big, new idea – public participation. According to reports, “Two hundred Londoners, of all ages and backgrounds and drawn from eight local community organisations, joined forces with a core of professional actors”, in what is being called a vibrant and joyful celebration of the Bard’s work. And, with three back-to-back shows, Dharker deserved the congratulatory messages that came her way. “The 200-strong company deserved the standing ovations,” said her mum, the London-based poet Imtiaz Dharker, about the venture.
Break a leg on closing night, Ayesha and company!

First Published: Aug 29, 2018 00:36 IST