Malavika’s Mumbaistan: On the Road with RaGa

In Hamburg, accompanying his leader Rahul Gandhi on one more of their international outreach blitzkriegs, Deora landed to the news of the untimely deaths of two of his friends back home.

mumbai Updated: Aug 22, 2018 23:43 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
mumbai news,Malavika’s Mumbaistan,Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi (fourth from left) in Hamburg. (Photo: Twitter)

On the Road with RaGa
Yesterday, we were reminded of the twin facets that engage Congress leader Milind Deora. In Hamburg, accompanying his leader Rahul Gandhi on one more of their international outreach blitzkriegs, Deora landed to the news of the untimely deaths of two of his friends back home: Senior Congress leader and fellow MP from Mumbai Gurudas Kamat, who he had at one time locked horns with, and the gifted blues guitarist Rahula Chatz, who passed away in Pune at a relatively young age too. “Woke up in Hamburg to learn about Gurudas Kamat’s untimely death. We had our political differences, but I always respected and admired Gurudasji. May his soul rest in peace,” he had posted respectfully on social media, along with a picture of his late father Murli Deora with Rajiv and Sonia Gandhi, Sharad Pawar and Gurudas Kamat in Mumbai. His eulogy to his departed musician friend had been evocative of his rock and roll, rhythm and blues leanings. “He was a beautifully gifted artist,” he wrote, adding, “As I said earlier, only the good die young. RIP ‘Chatz’”, ending with a guitar icon to display solidarity to a fellow musician. Incidentally, photographs from Hamburg feature a denim-clad RaGa, very much in the ‘young leader of the free world’ mode. With his A-team for the international outreach being revealed as sophisticated and canny thinkers like Sam Pitroda, Shashi Tharoor and Deora, we could expect some more well-conducted public appearances and punches by Gandhi, more sabre rattling by his opponents back home and much noise and fury on the idiot boxes in the coming days. Because, as Deora and his political colleagues might, well, sing to keep morale up until 2019: “There’s a battle outside, and it is ragin’. It’ll soon shake your windows, and rattle your walls, for the times they are a-changin’”

True Lies
It began almost two decades ago: this odious trend of enticing potential guests to social (read promotional) events by announcing a list of others who would be attending. Not only is this crass, but it is mostly self-defeating, because inevitably, the names on the list are the kind that you’d travel time zones to avoid. (Only recently, when we were invited to an ‘event’ with the added ‘promise’ that there were confirmations from the usual suspects – self-promotional experts famous for being famous – we were tempted to text back, “You gotta be joking”, but we had let it pass). This malaise of hyper PR and insta-fame by the likes of those who will attend the opening of an envelope with a makeup team and publicist in tow brings us to the curious case of the young and pretty actress from a film background, whose career is not going the places it should. For the past few weeks, the grapevine has been buzzing with hints of her linkup with a mega rapper from abroad, one whose social media presence is stratospheric. The problem is that the stories of a relationship between them appear to be ‘planted’ by her PR team, most likely to garner some attention and glam-up her image. As we say, “Forget fake news, we live in a world of fake noise.”

Modern Dictionary
Rahi (noun): A highly-charged and sharp instrument that destroys others of its kind in competitions, and transforms into gold on return.

Olive in Goa

AD Singh with his wife Sabina in Goa at the time of their wedding.

Word comes in that AD Singh’s outpost of Olive in Goa has quickly carved a niche for itself in the sunshine state. Launched around a month ago in Vagator and said to have a commanding view of the ocean, its cool, laid-back vibe appears to have taken to Goa like a fish to water. Which is not surprising, because Olive is perhaps the precursor of the cool, laid-back vibe standalone restaurant boom, having launched as a brand in Khar, almost two decades ago. Olive set the ball rolling with its Mykonos-meets-Mumbai décor and its cool crowd of models, VJs DJs, expats and happy hour executives by the truckloads. In fact, taking Olive to Goa could be compared to taking coals to Newcastle. Which is why, if a certain hipster section of Mumbaiites are revving up with their sarongs and suntan oils, their bling and their bandannas, and their fitbits and their jules, chances might be that they will be heading to Goa for the big fat official launch of the eatery next month. Singh and his wife Sabina have much to celebrate: the successful launch of his flagship brand in Goa; his recovery from his recent illness and of course, the fact that their wedding took place in Goa almost two decades ago. Sources say it’s going to be something of a gathering of the tribe, composed of many of those who attended the Singhs’ nuptials, like actor-producer Rahul Bose, sports entrepreneur Ravi Krishnan, singer-performer Ash Chandler, amongst others. And given that, since Singh launched the first Olive in Khar, his empire has grown across many cities in India, it might even turn out to be a meeting ground for his friends and patrons from across the country. Sarongs and sun tan lotions to the fore.

First Published: Aug 22, 2018 23:41 IST