Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Mad Respect for Deepika
Deepika Padukone has stolen a march over most other Bollywood A-listers, especially its heroes.Updated: Jan 10, 2020 06:44 IST
Whether she did it as a promotion for her new film, or it was a genuine show of solidarity with the students of JNU, we will never know. What is certain, however, is that with this act, Deepika Padukone has stolen a march over most other Bollywood A-listers, especially its heroes.
“#DeepikaPadukone I applaud your commitment...and your courage! You are a HERO!!”actress and TV anchor Simi Garewal tweeted consequently and Sonakshi Sinha took to the micro blogging site soon after with: “No matter which political party you support, do u support violence? Don’t visuals of bleeding students and teachers shake you up? We can’t sit on the fence any longer. Kudos to @deepikapadukone for showing up & all those who spoke for speaking up. This is not the time to stay quiet.”
“Insinuating that @deepikapadukone visited #JNU to promote her film means you’re ignorant as hell! She has much to lose & could have easily chosen to sit on the fence like everyone else. Tough being an artist these days: damned if you do & damned if you don’t,” said Congress leader Milind Deora, whereas Anurag Kashyap put things in perspective with his “Let’s not forget she is also the producer of the film...stakes are even higher. Mad respect for @deepikapadukone”.
What is interesting to note is that Padukone took this step alone and not in conjunction with her more outspoken and flamboyant husband Ranveer Singh. But his presence was felt; ever since her marriage to Singh, the actress has shown signs of breaking out of her more sedate and reserved image, suggesting that some of his daredevilry and swag seems to have rubbed off on her. Remember the OTT purple veiled gossamer gown at the IIFA awards in Mumbai, last September or the ‘Dheeme Dheeme’ dance lessons she took from Kartik Aryan at the airport in December?
Is this latest act of striking out and following her convictions just another instance of the blossoming of Deepika Padukone? And will the film industry see more such expressions of individuality and courage amongst its A-listers?
We’re not holding our breath somehow…
Sichuan for Sachin
Here to stir Mumbai’s ever-bubbling melting pot is chef Xiang Bin Li, said to be a master of his native Sichuan cuisine. “Chef Li has created a special menu with 40 new dishes which include authentic and rare ingredients like mountain chili, ya cai and jujube,” said a spokesperson of the Chinese eatery at the St Regis.
And to do justice to the fare over the weekend, we are informed, was none other than master blaster and cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar, a self-confessed and well-known foodie (he even launched a restaurant of his own in the city a decade ago), who, along with wife Anjali Tendulkar, is said to have enjoyed such dishes as the Chef’s Edamame Truffle Dumplings, Radish Cake, Burnt Garlic and Preserved Chili Bean and his Special Spicy Fried Rice, this Sunday, over a lazy lunch. “He loved the authenticity of the cuisine and the fresh, authentic flavours of the new dishes introduced by chef Li. He’s been a fan of By The Mekong and loved the new menu,” says the spokesperson.
Other new additions on the menu, we are informed, are Wok Fried Bean Curd and Vegetables in a Teriyaki Sauce, Crispy Lotus Root, Oriental Chicken Wings, Szechuan White Fish and sliced grass-fed New Zealand Lamb in a Mala Sauce, along with six new vegetarian dishes with potato, asparagus, stir fry pak choy and shiitake mushrooms.
“I would like to tell students that JNU campus is a secure place.”
-Vice-chancellor of JNU M Jagadesh Kumar
“Yes. Absolutely secure and safe for all manner of lathi and iron rod-wielding goons to wreak havoc on life and limb of the innocent students...”
Blast from The Past
“The play we were working on was Theatre Action Group’s ‘Rough Crossing’, that was being staged in Kolkata as a fundraiser for an NGO,” says impresario and event manager Sanjoy K Roy, about this evocative B&W portrait, featuring a set of vaguely familiar-looking, characteristically scruffy and windblown college kids (not dissimilar to the ones we see protesting against injustices in the Capital these days). “It was directed by Barry John and featured among its cast and crew the likes of Shah Rukh Khan, Divya Seth Shah, Benny Thomas, Deepak Mukherjee, and myself among others, some of who are in this picture,” says Roy.
Roy, whose Teamwork Arts is at the forefront of some of India’s most successful cultural initiatives such as the Jaipur lit fest, looks back fondly at this evidence of youthful idealism and creativity. “It must have been taken around the mid-eighties, during a train stop I think at some place in Bihar...not sure...but we had all jumped off to ‘hang’,” he says.
For the unmitigated, TAG had been one of the Capital’s most vibrant theatre groups, and its inceptor Barry John, like NSD’s Ebrahim Alkazi, a revered cult figure among the theatre crowd.
“The journey, needless to say, was super interesting with the usual hysteria that surrounds us all,” says Roy, adding, “TAG was very intense, more than just a family...We were very closely knit with the usual tensions and loves.”
According to another veteran of TAG, who’d worked with the now larger-than-life successful superstar SRK, what had set Khan apart, even back in those days was his confidence. “He was always grandstanding,” he says.
Why are we not surprised?