Malavika’s Mumbaistan: His Big Cool Friend
So what’s with the love fest between the double-barrelled dulcet-voiced Art of Living guru and Bollywood’s Mr Perfection? Yesterday, the actor, who until his disastrous last offering Thugs of Hindostan had delivered mega commercial and critical hits, posted the equivalent of many love emoticons on social media, following his meeting with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, thanking him for his “warmth and wisdom” and for “always bringing joy and laughter into our lives”. The spiritual savant had responded by calling him an “artist with a heart who contributes to social causes”. Could this be an instance of yet another Bollywood star embarking on a spiritual quest? As is known, film stars have a special need for ‘guru gyaan’, given that their lives are so susceptive to the slings and arrows of fortune. One day up in the clouds and the other day down, depending on how the box office treats them. (A hit director once shared with us that he hadn’t left his bedroom for a month after the demise of a cherished film). This, and being constantly in the public spotlight, makes for considerable pressure. Hence, godmen, temples, dargahs and religious rituals are par for the course within the industry and the late Vinod Khanna’s tryst with Osho is only the more high-profile of them. We recall how the late Manmohan Desai’s penchant for visiting seven holy shrines in Mumbai, from Monday to Sunday, to pray for the success of his films had inspired us to write a seven-part series on the subject, decades ago. Is Khan’s screening of his soon-to-be-released on TV Rubaru Roshni for the modern day sage an indication of a larger pre-occupation? After all, the actor is known for his intensity and not engaging with anything in a frivolous way. Does the high-profile meeting between super guru and the superstar herald a deeper spiritual engagement?
One thing for sure, it will be a double-barrelled win for both.
Chocolate With Kohli
We couldn’t attend Zeba Kohli’s high-tea to launch her cookbook of chocolate recipes and announce her upcoming talk show on Wednesday, but we also could not help marvelling how the third generation chocolatier had almost, single-handedly given Indian-made chocolates a pedigree of their own. What’s more, she’s made chocolate a lifestyle accessory. In her show, we’re told that Kohli features guests like Sonakshi Sinha, Diana Penty and Maria Goretti, who join her ‘in a variety of fun activities such as tarot card reading, chocolate-making, a cook-off segment and a fun selection of traditional games inspired by the notes and flavours of the cacao bean’, and that chocolate replaces coffee as the buzzword on this show. Considering the marketing muscle that it took to make coffee a lifestyle accessory for today’s hipsters, Kohli has fared remarkably well. Of course, it helps that the statuesque SoBo entrepreneur is a popular face in Mumbai’s social sphere. The tea at Olive in Bandra had seen a host of high-profile faces from both ends of the city’s north-south axis gather to cheer Kohli. From Zarine Khan, Simone Arora , Kabir Bedi, Brinda Miller to Seema Mehrotra, Bina Aziz, Malti Jain, Penny Patel and Rashmi Nigam. Incidentally, Kohli, a quintessential Mumbai girl, says her book was created one sunny morning while she was watching the waves of the Arabian sea play with seagulls and the occasional gust of wind had reminded her about her connection to chocolate. “It’s been long overdue and now it’s all ready to be launched and enjoyed,” she said.
Maybe when we are done writing about what convinced her, who she will be pitted against, whether her brother is affected, and if she can win votes...someone can write an article about the issues Priyanka Gandhi will be fighting an election on. One can hope.
- Tweeted by comedian Vir Das
“Overwhelmed! Truly felt like a winner. Amazing how great it actually feels to hold an Emmy award!” said the president of the Indian Television Academy (ITA), Anu Ranjan, who, along with husband Shashi Ranjan, has significantly contributed to establishing Indian television as a credible medium, with their annual awards. Her OMG-moment had occurred yesterday, when Ranjan had gone to discuss synergies between the Emmy awards and the ITA awards with Maury McIntyre, president and COO of Television Academy (which awards the iconic Emmys) during her trip to LA. “They are 67-years-old and we are 19 years,” she said, when we spoke yesterday. “We discussed how America and India are the biggest content providers in the world and how India plays a very important part in the international entertainment space. Moreover, as we all know, American shows are being devoured by Indian audiences. We also spoke of how we are both doing the same thing: honouring the best in the business.”
Any chance of a future tie-up?
“Hopefully,” is all Ranjan would say.