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Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019

Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Kiss Kiss, Kill Kill

mumbai Updated: Jul 17, 2019 00:51 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
Hrithik Roshan
Hrithik Roshan (HT File )
         

When alpha star Hritik Roshan exchanged punches, killer chops and bazooka fire with his younger industry alpha star Tiger Shroff in the teaser for YRF’s October offering ‘WAR’, released on the weekend, it had created a buzz. After all, to have two of Bollywood’s biggest action superstars in one big banner film and that too pitted against each other made for box office legend. But it also confirmed what we’d always believed: Tiger Shroff was cut from the same cloth (or hewn from the same rock?) as Hritik Roshan. From their rippling physicality to their strong and silent public image, they had always struck us as very similar. We were chuffed to hear that the Tigress herself (Tiger’s mum Ayesha Shroff) concurred with us on this. “Yes, they are truly similar!” she said when we spoke yesterday, adding, “And there is real love there”.

Tiger Shroff
Tiger Shroff ( HT File )

The way she told it, the two alpha males had met long before either of them had become stars. Tiger was a 3-year-old, a toddler on his dashing father Jackie Shroff’s set, during the shooting of King Uncle, where, believe it or not, Hritik had been a lowly AD all of 19 in charge of hero Jackie’s dialogue rehearsals. The friendship had developed from there. India’s future action superstar, running around in his half pants on his dad’s film set, while his senior, much-admired future superstar was a gangly unit hand, now pitted against each other, blow for blow in a no-holds-barred slug fest of a movie called WAR? It occurred to us that this sweet and sentimental real life Mutual Admiration Society story recounted by a doting Mum, ran counter to the film’s expensive machismo PR branding. It took Hritik to bring things back to boil again. “You’re just starting out in a world I’ve mastered, @tigerjackieshroff. Take a seat!” were his fighting words to his younger co-star, while presenting the film’s teaser on social media.
Alpha Guys.

Separated At Birth?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prabhu Chawla.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prabhu Chawla.

This picture of award-winning editor and TV anchor Prabhu Chawla with Prime Minister Narendra Modi had us do a double take. We had heard about the Padma Bhutan’s proximity to the powers that be. After all, the erstwhile economics Delhi University lecturer had helmed some of the nation’s most powerful media outfits and thus, counted some of the country’s most influential politicians amongst his inner circle; but could his well-known admiration of the PM actually result in him turning in to a doppelganger?
The same white beard, the same steel spectacles, the same snowy white hair parted on the side. Indeed, earlier pictures of the pre-hirsute Chawla featured a very different-looking person. Could one’s admiration for one’s beloved leader be so transformational?
“Met Prime Minister @narendramodi,” Chawla had tweeted along with the picture featuring the startling likeness, adding, “Must confess, he is sounding more confident and focused on achieving his New India”.
He might as well have added, “Not to mention, looked a bit bewildered when he saw me”.

No Delhi Bellicose

Zorawar Kalra (right) and Priyank Sukhija.
Zorawar Kalra (right) and Priyank Sukhija.

It caught the attention of India’s foodie community a couple of weeks ago, when two of the country’s leading Delhi-based restaurateurs Zorawar Kalra and Priyank Sukhija sparred on social media with accusations of plagiarism being lobbed back and forth. Sukhija had pointed out similarities in the design of Kalra’s latest restaurant Younion that he alleged had been ripped off from one of his own restaurants and a feisty public spat ensued. We had written about the incident on this page in a story titled ‘Delhi Bellicose’. Now, word comes in that all has been resolved and the two hot-headed north Indians appear to have kissed and made up, after they met in Mumbai this week at one of Kalra’s restaurants and posed for pictures together.
A ‘re-younion’ then?

Mumbai’s Tireless Saviour

The mood at the Coastal Road’s work site on Tuesday.
The mood at the Coastal Road’s work site on Tuesday. ( Photo: Aaran Patel )

Yesterday, when a collective sigh of relief was heard across the city from ordinary citizens, after the Bombay high court (HC) on Tuesday struck down the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance for its ₹14,000-crore coastal road project, our thoughts naturally turned to Zoru Bhathena. Though we’d never met the 40-something-year-old environmental activist at the front of every worthy battle to save the city for future generations, we wondered what he’d be doing in this hour of triumph. More importantly, would he even have time to register and bask in his victory? After all, Mumbai had almost come to resemble an environmental war zone: often seeming as though if one citizen unfriendly project had been stayed, there would certainly be another one around the corner. “This is a victory for all of Mumbai,” Bhathena said, when we reached out to him yesterday. “We must thank ordinary Mumbaiites for standing up and moving the court to save our coast. Many more must stand up and do the right thing to save out city from needless destruction,” he said.
And what had been his day like?”
“The verdict came out at 11am. I spent the rest of the day in court on a matter regarding the constitution of Mumbai tree Authority who are trying to function without experts. Now, I have to send papers to SC lawyers to ready for the appeal. Then, I have to complete all my day-to-day work, which has piled up. Never time to rest when we fight such matters,” said Mumbai’s low-key, behind-the-scene people’s hero.
But then, the eco warrior allowed himself a break for some gentle humour. “These beautiful photos taken today by Aaran Patel reflects the mood in the Coastal Road’s work camp today,” he said . “Thought you would like them.”
Zoru Bhathena. Even the name seems to have a super hero ring to it.

First Published: Jul 17, 2019 00:50 IST

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