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May 22, 2019-Wednesday
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Malavika’s Mumbaistan: His Newest Supporter

mumbai Updated: May 10, 2019 01:13 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
mumbai news,malavika's mumbaistan,dia mirza

Dia Mirza (File Photo)

He may have had to apologize to the SC recently, but things certainly seem to be coming up roses for Rahul Gandhi. The Congress leader came way on top in an online poll, which asked people who they’d be most comfortable leaving their kids alone at home with (he scored 74%, but when you realise that the other choices were Pragya Thakur and Amit Shah, it might not appear to be such a big deal). To that rising chorus, who seem to be warming up to the Gandhi scion as the one sane voice in the current political madhouse, was added the voice of former beauty queen, actress and activist Dia Mirza, whose unequivocal support came yesterday in the form of a tweet. “I don’t think India has witnessed a more vicious campaign against an individual in politics than the one that was launched and sustained against #RahulGandhi,” said the actress, who was most recently seen reprising the role of Manyata Dutt in the biopic ‘Sanju’. Mirza was referring to a recent profile in a magazine, which had enumerated the many slights and insults borne by the momo-loving, aikido black belt-wearing Congress President, who, ever since his entry in to the political arena, has had to bear much dissing. “My biggest take away from this article is his fortitude, gravitas and humility,” she added. Of course, this is not Mirza’s only act of speaking out. The UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador for India, a few years ago, along with actor Aamir Khan had extended her support for the Narmada Bachao Andolan and become the subject of a protest march by BJP activists. Does this add up to a stated political leaning? In an era when Bollywood and political parties can’t seem to get enough of each other, does yesterday’s pronouncement indicate a future with the Congress? Not really. Besides being an ambassador for Modi’s Swachh Bharat Mission’s youth-based ‘Swachh Saathi’ programme, she has been quoted in the past as saying, “I don’t speak up to gain or lose any brownie point with political parties which will come and go.”

Ma Tujhe Salaam

Vikas Khanna with Mrs Sabarwal, one of his first employers in NY.

We have a special place in our hearts for individuals who are graceful enough to remember and respect the ones who’d helped them get a leg up in their lives, before they became successful. And this heartfelt post by celebrated chef and newly-turned film director Vikas Khanna made us smile. “Mrs Sabarwal was one of my first employers in NY. I used to cook and clean her apartment about 20 years ago,” shared the Amritsar-born chef, along with the photo of the senior citizen who he’d been employed by Sabarwal as a humble houseboy, when he’d arrived in New York two decades ago without any money and desperate for a job! Today, Khanna is one of the most successful and famous chefs in New York, having won a Michelin star for his restaurant Junoon and other innumerable accolades for his books and various artistic enterprises. And as he gears up for the release of his directional debut of the film The Last Color starring Neena Gupta, he has a surprise for Mrs Sabarwal. “She will be my ‘Guest of Honour’ at the New York Premiere of The Last Color on Mother’s Day. You have to remember who was holding your hand when you were at the lowest in your life. Only they matter,” he shared.

Tweet Talk
“Perhaps, Virat could take a vacation on a ship called INS Rajiv, and square things up.”
- Tweeted by Ramesh Srivats

The Best And The Brightest

Preeti Dawra (extreme left) with some of the participants.

It was billed as an opportunity to converse and celebrate with some of India’s most influential artists, thinkers and writers in an exciting live wire weekend at Singapore’s Victoria Theatre and The Arts House. And certainly, when the island state’s cultural provocateurs Maniza Jumabhoy and Preeti Dawra, who produced and curated the recently-concluded Festival of Indian Arts and Ideas, drew up a list of speakers, they stuck close to the brief. To converse, hold forth and elucidate, they invited the likes of dancer-activist Mallika Sarabhai, authors Manu Joseph, Aatish Taseer, Chetan Bhagat, culture czarina Sunita Kohli, ambassador Nirupama Rao, journalist James Crabtree and a host of others for the ticketed event. But going by reports, it was not all hard work and no play for the erudite participants, who more or less occupy the same social ecosystem back home. Around the seminars, the organisers had thoughtfully interspersed lunches, dinners, soirees and even a memorable visit to Singapore’s hottest night club Ce’st La Vie, located in a ship-like structure that sits atop two high-rise towers and the iconic 1880! Incidentally, one of the highlights of the festival is said to have been the talk by Lady Kishwar Desai, chairperson of The Arts and Cultural Heritage Trust, which set up the world’s first Partition Museum in Amritsar with the Singapore-based Ravi Thakran, group chairman of LVMH South and Southeast Asia, Australia and Middle East, and chairman and managing partner of LVMH’s private equity fund.

First Published: May 10, 2019 01:10 IST