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Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019

Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Old Friends…

mumbai Updated: Aug 07, 2019 00:16 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
Pune, India - March 27, 2019: SUPRIYA SULE, NCP Lok Sabha candidate from Baramati
Pune, India - March 27, 2019: SUPRIYA SULE, NCP Lok Sabha candidate from Baramati
         

When NCP leader Supriya Sule stood up in Parliament yesterday and pointed out the absence of her neighbour, National Conference patriarch Farooq Abdullah, on the bench besides her (they had occupied seats 462 and 461 respectively) she was only bringing to light what many had always known: the camaraderie and bond between the Pawars and the Abdullahs has existed for generations, and that, though the clans represent different political parties and differing ideologies, this has not come in the way of their mutual regard and affection. In fact, such has been the depth of friendship between the families that when Kashmir’s erstwhile CM Omar Abdullah had been a young lad and had moved to Mumbai to study commerce at the Sydenham College, his local guardians had been none other than Sharad and Pratibha Pawar. Sule, herself, had been a young girl at that time and her friendship with not only Omar, but his sister Sara (now married to Congress leader Sachin Pilot) goes back to those days. Which is why, Sule’s remarks about the elder Abdullah’s health and absence on that crucial day, more than scoring a political point, appeared to be one of genuine concern. Nice to know of such instances, where human relations prevail over political exigencies.

True Lies
Dilli Ab Door Nahin

Our sources in the Mumbai wedding planning fraternity often tell us how the grass is greener in Delhi. “While Mumbai appears to be tightening its belt and getting conservative with its shaadi spends, the big fat Delhi wedding just seems to be getting bigger and fatter,” is their common refrain. So naturally, when some of Mumbai’s top luxury planners received a call recently, from what was said to be the office of a late liquor baron – who had once orchestrated the biggest celebrations in Delhi – they were excited that it might lead to a huge assignment and big bucks. The man who had called them from Delhi claimed to be the CEO of the company (which had been founded by the late liquor baron) and gave them a detailed brief on the requirements for an upcoming nuptial. All excited for the next round, some of the planners flew to the Capital for their next briefing. But what they hadn’t realised till then was that it was all an elaborate ruse to get them to part with monies of their own. “We were asked to deposit a sum as surety in an account which was said to be linked to the caller,” says one. Fortunately, before any large amounts were transferred, one of the Mumbai planners had the good sense to have gotten in touch with a Delhi acquaintance, said to be close to the liquor baron’s clan. What he heard came as a shock: not only was there no wedding in the family taking place in the near future, but no such executive even existed on the company or family rolls. “Of course, there was relief that besides our airfares and the time spent on travelling up and down, we didn’t lose a substantial amount, or our reputations,” they now say. But with this experience has come wisdom too. “Until now, we used to envy our colleagues in Delhi and how lucrative the Capital wedding scene was, but after what happened, we are grateful to operate in Mumbai where though the money is smaller, no such major fraudsters exist,” they say.
Mention Delhi now and they go “Tauba tauba’.

Tweet Talk
India’s Most Wanted: An Opposition leader
-Tweeted by Tarun Shukla yesterday

Separated At The Kumbh?

Prashanta Nanda
Prashanta Nanda

So now, the chickens have come home to roost. For years he’s regaled audiences with his impersonations of some of India’s rich and famous, from Lata Mangeshkar to Pratibha Patil to Vijay Mallya to Mayawati. And each week, his fans marvel at how The Week That Wasn’t’s shape-shifting funny man Kunal Vijayakar can alter his appearance so drastically to resemble the exact physicality and mannerisms of those he spoofs. Well, this week it seems the shoe is on the other foot. Yesterday, a Twitter account pointed out the uncanny resemblance that Prashanta Nanda, BJD’s MP from Odisha, has to Vijayakar. “OMG, even Kunal Vijayakar voted in favour of Article 370 in Rajya Sabha,” read the tweet, which tagged the show’s producer Cyrus Broacha amongst others. And there for all to see was the evidence, in the form of a picture: the same orb like visage, popping eyes and ample jowls and the same hang-dog expression; in fact, so close was the likeness between the two men that even Vijayakar, the master of disguises, was moved to exclaim. “Damn, I never knew I had a twin”.

Kunal Vijaykar
Kunal Vijaykar

So what can fans expect now? MP Nanda co-opted to spoof Vijayakar on a future TV show, while the funny man makes a real-life debut in India’s Upper House?

In this season of strange occurrences, anything is possible…

First Published: Aug 07, 2019 00:14 IST

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