Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Of Fathers and Daughters
As part of his campaign, Atul Kasbekar, along with other leading photographers, offers his services to pairs of fathers and daughters for free, in exchange of their supporting the education of a girl child.Updated: Sep 21, 2018 14:09 IST
It’s that time of the year again, when celebrity photographer Atul Kasbekar takes time off from his high-flying commercial assignments to do his bit to give back to society through the campaign he founded, supported by Anand Mahindra called #ProudFathersForDaughters, which is in its fifth edition this year. “It occurred to me right after the Nirbhaya case happened and I wanted to make a small, but quantifiable difference towards empowering women. It stemmed from a belief that the more educated our women are, the less ‘dependent’ they are on their fathers, husbands and sons.” He said, when we spoke yesterday about the campaign, where, along with other leading photographers, Kasbekar offers his services to pairs of fathers and daughters for free, in exchange of their supporting the education of a girl child. “Over the four previous editions, we have sent almost 1,500 young girls to school through the good people at Nanhi Kali,” he said. And, with this year’s line-up of names like Rohan Shreshtha, Colston Julian amongst others behind the lens, the shoot at Mehboob Studios, in the first week of October, for the campaign which saw support coming from a wide range of celebrity father-daughter combos like Sachin and Sara Tendulkar, Anil Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor Ahuja and Javed Akhtar and Zoya Akhtar, seems poised for another successful run. What’s more, Kasbekar says he’s even more pleased that over the years he’s seen the tables being turned. “When we began, Dads brought in their young daughters to be shot, but now, there are more adult or middle-aged daughters bringing their senior citizen fathers for portraits, together” he says, of the woman-empowering enterprise.
Each city has its share of great feuds that cut a swathe through its upper classes. A slight, a snub, a business deal or a rummy game gone wrong...these are the bedrocks of raging battles that often carry on for generations. This one, narrated by an insider, promises to be one such. It concerns two high-flying industrialists, both with similar passions for the good things of life (boats, fast cars, private planes). In fact, the younger of the two, was often said to be something of a protégé to his elder peer and the two were often seen as mirror images. Now, however, there appears to be a fermenting feud between them and no one’s surprised that it has to do with cases of some very fine (and expensive) wine. Apparently, when the older bon vivant, currently abroad, fighting extradition charges to India, had to vacate his residence in a hurry after it was taken over as part of unpaid debts, one of the problems was, what to do with the wine? “There were close to 800 bottles in the cellar, of which 30 were each worth many lakhs,” says an insider. “It was decided that most of the collection could be flogged in the Mumbai market by a few of his closest friends for whatever price they could get, but the prized 20/30 should be stored at the younger industrialist’s sumptuous and controversial residence, which boasted a state of the art cellar. In good faith, the precious bottles had been transported duly to their new home. So, imagine his consternation, when the beleaguered older gent received an amount of around 28 lakhs from his younger friend as the sale of the wine. “Firstly, he was not supposed to sell the bottles; secondly, they were worth at least 3 to 4 crores! And thirdly, the best part is that they were not sold at all, and are being served to highly chuffed members of Mumbai’s upper echelons who visit the sumptuous and controversial home,” says the source. Incidentally, this is said to have been the subject of a fiery exchange between the two men, when they came face-to-face at a recent sporting event abroad, which got the grape vine...well, griping.
“It has a huge mushroom head. Like a toadstool.”
-Stormy Daniels, in her book Full Disclosure, while describing how underwhelmed she was with POTUS’ private parts.
“Gives a whole new twist to the phrase ‘Waiter, there’s a ‘fly’ in my mushroom soup’”.
The Visionary Healer
“Writing Healer, the biography of Dr Prathap Chandra Reddy, demanded total dedication of time and energy. It was the hardest book I’ve done. In the process, I got to see India like I’d never done before,” says our friend, the Brooklyn-based author and former foreign correspondent for The New York Times Pranay Gupte, on the occasion of 35 years since the visionary established Apollo Hospitals. “For example, I would never have imagined being admitted into the innermost sanctum of Tirupati Temple. But, Dr Reddy and his wife Sucharitha are long-time donors and I was able to accompany them for an extended darshan,” he says, recalling one amongst the many life-enhancing experiences he was afforded during his research. “The Reddys believe in performing frequent poojas at temples across India and at their homes in Chennai, Hyderabad and Delhi, and so, I was able to understand the arcania of Hindu rituals: it was adult education in India’s traditions and beliefs,” says Gupte, an erstwhile Mumbai boy, who says, even after two years in NYC, he misses India enormously. “America – even with the antics of Donald Trump – seems dull by comparison,”
First Published: Sep 20, 2018 22:59 IST