(LtoR) Vikas Khanna, Bindu Khanna and Neena Gupta.
(LtoR) Vikas Khanna, Bindu Khanna and Neena Gupta.

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

Hindustan Times | By Malavika Sangghvi, Mumbai
UPDATED ON MAY 04, 2018 10:18 AM IST

“He can do anything. Do you know he can knit a sweater of any design?” actress Neena Gupta said about Michelin starred chef, author, curator and photographer Vikas Khanna, for whose adaptation of his 31st book, The Last Color, the actress had shot recently. “He is just… mesmerising…his purity of heart, the way he cares for everybody he meets, he operates completely from his heart,” she said of Khanna, who she got to know during the movie’s filming. Based on his novel about the friendship between a young tight-rope walker and a widow named Noor in Vrindavan, who yearn to play with colours on Holi, this week saw the announcement of the launch of the novel and a teaser promotion later this month . “And on top of it all he is so very good looking,” Gupta said. Khanna’s story is indeed a remarkable one. Growing up in a small town in Amritsar, he spoke no English until much later in life, suffers from a foot disability, and yet is one of the most celebrated chefs in New York. But, what’s more astonishing, according to Gupta, is his mother, Bindu: “She’s soft-spoken, gentle, in her seventies, takes care of his every meal and lives in NYC too. But, she is also a crack pilot, has flown some very big planes and is also an expert rally driver.” Perhaps, remarkable mums beget remarkable sons? Elon Musk’s mother, the seventy-one year old Maye Musk, is as much a star as her famous son, with two successful careers as a model and nutritionist.

Jus’ sayin’


“The show was choreographed by my friend Lubna Adams for me and it was a big solo show at the President Hotel in Cuffe Parade,” said designer Arjun Khanna about this charming picture of a young and lovely Aishwarya Rai in 1993. “It was absolutely memorable as it was one of my very early solo shows featuring serious talent – all the biggies of that time like Ash, Meher Jessia, Arjun Rampal, Milind Soman, and Marc Robinson.”

Aishwarya Rai in 1993 during the finale of Khanna’s show; designer Arjun Khanna.
Aishwarya Rai in 1993 during the finale of Khanna’s show; designer Arjun Khanna.

“I remember so clearly that Ash did this show for me and promised to walk my finale entry on the night of her departure for her big beauty pageant. She walked with my nephew ( I was hoping that it may have been the start of a children’s wear line). Then she flew out the same night and went onto winning the title!” The shoot for the collection was much fun too, says Khanna, an aesthete with a penchant for Victorian collars and Vintage style. “We all really loved what we did and truly enjoyed the moment — the shoot was at my home and I remember wanting a black back drop and then just painting the entire wall myself to get that shot; we did impulsive mad things on the spur of the moment like that.” What’s more, the pictures, capturing a moment in time when today’s biggies were young and on the cusp of their success, is not going to be confined to the cabinet ledgers any longer. “I’m planning a compilation of all the original old works as a timeless gallery to view. “ Khanna said.


(LtoR) Abhishek Advani and London mayor Sadiq Khan.
(LtoR) Abhishek Advani and London mayor Sadiq Khan.

“People underestimate the overlap between fashion and politics,” said Mumbai boy Abhishek Advani, the Oxbridge-educated lawyer who is wowing hip Europe with his couture line for men. “Not only does fashion express the politics of the time, in a country like the UK, it is so central to its economy.” The London-based Advani had the pleasure of meeting Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, while he was campaigning. “He was incredibly charming, and with his East meets West background and modern sensibility quickly won the hearts of the voters and residents,” he said, adding, “It’s no surprise that he was quick to appreciate the Advani London suit and look, which combines the incredible textile heritage of our subcontinent, with the tailoring and craftsmanship of London’s Saville Row.”



Lalit Modi (left) tweeted an old photo of himself with Vijay Mallya.
Lalit Modi (left) tweeted an old photo of himself with Vijay Mallya.

Trust Lalit Modi to say it like it is. “Whatever may be said or done. One thing for sure I can say that Vijay Mallya was critical to the success of IPL and he did bring and added tremendous value to the brand,” said the feisty economic fugitive from the depths of his mansion (or perhaps the splendor of a yacht in the Mediterranean?). “In life, we all go thru ups and down. But let’s not forget how and who made it happen,” he posted on social media, along with pictures of his fellow London-based economic fugitive who has... er... yet to get his summer travel itinerary sorted out. “Yes he is my friend. Will always be,” he added.


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