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Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Not In His Father’s Name

mumbai Updated: May 13, 2019 08:32 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
mumbai news,malavika's mumbaistan,tavleen singh

Aatish Taseer(FIle Photo )

They are two distinctly different individuals with completely divergent writing styles, world views and career trajectories, and have often found themselves on the opposite sides of the ideological divide. So, this weekend, when noted journalist Tavleen Singh chose to defend her son, the New York-based author Aatish Taseer, over the polarising cover story he wrote on Prime Minister Narendra Modi (“India’s Divider In Chief”) for the latest issue of an international magazine, there were many who were surprised. After all, Singh, a card-holding member of the Lutyens’ Delhi had run against the crowd by being an early supporter of NaMo and his right-wing policies, after he came to power in 2014. Nevertheless, when fellow Sikh and inhabitant of the same Lutyens’ Delhi circles, actor Kabir Bedi had tweeted his outrage over what he called a “blatantly biased attack on Prime Minister Modi by a Pakistani,” Singh was quick to retort that the actor could “disagree with what he [Taseer] writes. But you know he isn’t a Pakistani”. What Singh was alluding to was the fact that though Taseer’s father had been the slain Pakistani politician, Salman Taseer, he had grown up in India and had been estranged from his father for most of his life. So why had Bedi, who would be certainly cognizant of Taseer’s piquant situation, refer to him as a ‘Pakistani’? We shall ask Bedi when we next meet him, but nevertheless, the fact that Singh had sprung to Taseer’s defense with alacrity on the occasion of Mother’s Day seemed apt.

Soulful Evening

(From left) Nawaz Modi Singhania, Aarti Surendranath and Shweta Shetty. ( HT Photo )

Billed as ‘Soul2Soul’, an exclusive musical performance featuring Louiz Banks, Shweta Shetty and Dalip Tahil, Saturday evening at the Royal Opera House certainly came alive, as the three stellar performers, each a distinct talent in their own right, regaled the houseful ticketed auditorium with foot-tapping, chart-busting hits from down the ages. If Tahil, a veteran of over 250 feature films who’d proved his musical prowess on stage in musicals like Evita and Sound of Music, set the evening’s mood with some hoary old favourites like Springsteen’s Dancing in the Dark, Armstrong’s Wonderful World and Piaf’s poignant La Vie En Rose, Shweta, the consummate singer, dazzled with on point versions of Tina Turner’s Proud Mary and Aretha Franklin’s classic You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman. But it was easily the Lady Gaga-Bradley Cooper hit Shallow, rendered by both, that gave the audience its goose-bump moment. What lifted the evening further was the unabashed musicality of the legendary Louis Banks aka ‘The Godfather of Indian Jazz’, who, accompanied with his talented son Gino Banks on drums, Rhys D’souza on saxophone, Avishek Dey on bass and Kush Upadhay on guitar, afforded the eclectic audience, comprising the city’s culturati, including Nawaz Modi, Sundari and Laila Khan and Nadir Godrej, some fine jazz and soul medleys. “The show evolved organically over a span of three short weeks,” said a delighted Tahil, when we spoke yesterday. “Each member of the ensemble has received widespread critical acclaim and commercial success in their own field and we thought why not get together, jam a bit, play some old hits, have some fun and see how it goes.” And by the looks of it, Soul2Soul appears to have found many takers.

True Lies
The more one lives, the more one learns about this strange and wondrous world of stratospheric wealth and power. A source from the diamond bourse was bringing us up to speed about the price of serious stones these days. Apparently, according to him, the markets had crashed due to many reasons and not all of them to do with GST, notebandi or Niravji. According to our source, the diamond market experienced a seismic jolt a few months ago, following the death of a powerful regional politician. How so? Well, during her illustrious life, the lady is said to have invested much of her wealth in the form of diamonds, and when this King’s ransom of unprecedented value and size found its way to the market, there was such sudden surplus, that the market instantly corrected itself and prices fell substantially. Many years ago, the grapevine had been agog with stories of the same politician’s alleged insatiable appetite for gold. Perhaps, her penchant for high-value forms of pure carbon colourless crystalline was just from an investment point of view.

The Classic SoBo Brunch

Jimi Kapur (left) with Hema Deora ( HT Photo )

Saturday afternoon was witness to a SoBo brunch in the grand old tradition of yore. Hosted by the popular Jimi Kapur, in memory of her husband, the late Ranjan Kapur, chairman, WPP India and former managing director, Ogilvy India, who had passed away last year, the repast held at Hammer & Song at Cuffe Parade saw a mix of the couple’s friends drawn from the advertising, media, marketing and social fabric of the city. It included the likes of Munira Chudasama, Hema Deora, Smita Crishna, Coleen and Zafar Hai, Sartaj Noorani, Bittu and Madhu Sahgal, Sabira Merchant, Piloo Tata and Zeyna and Khalid Ansari amongst others. Many of the late advertising veterans, long-time clients such as Madhukar Parekh, chairman, Pidlite, for whom he, along with Prasoon Pandey, had created the memorable campaign for Fevicol and Sanjiv Mehta, head honcho of Hindustan Unilever, were also present. However, besides its guest list, if there’s one thing a SoBo brunch takes seriously is its food and so, Amrish Arora, the restaurant’s owner, who has been catering the Kapurs’ parties for decades, had worked closely with the hostess to come up with a menu featuring house specialties such as Old Monk rum lamb kebabs and Brandied liver pate with cranberry that prompted many in the gathering to make more than a few trips to the buffet. But the piece de resistance of the afternoon was easily the ‘Anda Ghotala’ on the insistence of Jimi. “We had invited people to drop in between 12 and 3pm. And there were many guests who came on the dot of time. So I made sure they could enjoy the ‘breakfast’ part of the brunch, like the eggs ghotala and the freshly-made waffles,” she said.

First Published: May 13, 2019 00:49 IST