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Sunday, Sep 22, 2019

Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Poignant Music

mumbai Updated: Feb 25, 2019 00:35 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
Salman Khan at the memorial.
Salman Khan at the memorial.

Those who attended veteran Bollywood producer Rajkumar Barjatya’s prayer service, held at the Sahara Star on Saturday evening (where the prayer service for the late Krishna Raj Kapoor had been held, a few months ago), say that there was not a dry eye in the house during the proceedings. That and the fact that people were loathe to leave the hall even after the usual 10-15 minutes of conveying their condolences. Instead, they sat mesmerised, listening to music the filmmaker’s family had chosen, which made it a memorable occasion. “After the bhajans, singer Sanjeevani Bhelande paid a tribute to the producer by rendering a number of his chart-breaking melodies like Babul, Didi Tera Devar and Aaj Unse Kehna Hain from his hit films down the ages. These were rendered in a soulful manner, appropriate for the occasion. It brought on a wave of nostalgia and poignancy,” sources informed us. Seen at the venue were Madhuri Dixit Nene and Salman Khan who had given the production house one of its biggest blockbusters, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun. “The rest of the stars comprised of the likes of Tabu, Prem Chopra, Farida Jalal, Sonu Sood and an impressive representation of film and music directors, and producers like Siddharth Roy Kapur, Anand L Rai , Bharat Shah and Himesh Reshammiya. But many of the big name stars, who one would expect to mark their presence at the memorial for such a veteran of the industry, were absent,” said the source, adding, “Perhaps, having tweeted their condolences, they assumed their attendance was not required.” The producer, during his long innings in the industry, had been referred fondly to as ‘Raja Babu’ by its insiders and had been described as ‘one of the kindest and most generous individuals in filmdom.’


(From left) Shaina NC, Juhi Chawla and Raj Purohit.
(From left) Shaina NC, Juhi Chawla and Raj Purohit.

“This neighbourhood was especially close to Daddy’s heart, as being an avid film buff, the family enjoyed many happy hours at the Metro and Liberty cinemas, watching movies followed by happy lunches at the Bombay Gym,” said BJP spokesperson Shaina NC, about this Friday’s inauguration of the Bombay Hospital Road for 2-way traffic by MCGM, and the beautification of its traffic island by the Giants Welfare Foundation, in memory of its founder, her late father Nana Chudasama. “As is known, Daddy was a fierce champion of Mumbai and his ‘Clean Mumbai, Green Mumbai’ and ‘I love Mumbai’ initiatives were a manifestation of his love for the city. He organised various cleanliness and beautification programmes such as the illumination of heritage structures like the Asiatic Library, Indian Institute of Science and Wilson College, the cleaning of public markets like Mahatma Phule Market and the painting of compound walls to make the city look clean,” said Shaina.

“Every year, more than 1 lakh saplings have been distributed free of cost through various ‘I Love Mumbai’ centres. Schools, colleges, housing societies, Railways, Army, Navy, police and enlightened citizens would flock to collect the free saplings. Many of those saplings have grown to provide shade and greenery to our city,” says the proud daughter. As a wag, taking a leaf out of the late Chudasama’s book, remarked on the passing of the city’s former Sheriff known for his cryptic comments on current affairs on his famous banner at Marine Drive, “One could say that Mumbai is now ‘Sans Sheriff’.”

Companionship In A Frame

Nisha and Sylvester Da Cunha.
Nisha and Sylvester Da Cunha. ( (Photo credit: Rahul da Cunha) )

“My mom, all of 84 helping my dad, all of 88. Me, always behind, watching. One of those moments. Companionship in a single frame,” shared ad-man and playwright, Rahul da Cunha, about the portrait of his parents – former professor of English Lit and author (The Old Cypress, Set My Heart in Aspic) Nisha Da Cunha and ad-man, theatre veteran and creator of the iconic Amul girl campaign Sylvester Da Cunha, which he’d captured recently at one of their favourite haunts, the Yacht Club at Apollo Bunder. Nisha, the daughter of HM Patel, a distinguished civil servant who had gone on to serve as the country’s Union Finance Minister in the first non-Congress government in Independent India, had married the equally-talented and high-born Sylvester Da Cunha, scion of an aristocratic Goan clan (it is widely believed that Salman Rushdie based his ‘The Moor’s Last Sigh’ on the Da Cunha clan). For us, growing up in what was then the Bombay of the 80s, the couple had epitomised the artistic literary partnership and their book-and-art-lined cozy cottage at Cumballa Hill was witness to many sparkling soirees with others of their tribe which always left us feeling we’d watched a scene from ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ This portrait, a testimonial to marital devotion, shot by their only child, himself a noted talent, brought back many fond memories of those days and also the words, ‘The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return’.


Ashish Soni with a model.
Ashish Soni with a model.

From being a model in his early days to embracing menswear when most of his contemporaries were focusing on womenswear and the bridal markets, Delhi-based designer Ashish Soni has had many firsts in his career. And now, word comes in that he has designed India’s First Beach Club experience. Located in Goa’s busy Candolim neighbourhood, the club called TOY, is replete with an indoors-outdoors aesthetic, chandeliers, blonde-wood bent chairs and a sumptuous bar. “From the time I entered the world of fashion, it’s taken many years to craft my trademark minimalist aesthetic,” he shared. “But while I have definitely enjoyed the process immensely, it’s not like I have gone from dressing the body to dressing buildings only, but yes, there will be more to follow!”

First Published: Feb 24, 2019 20:26 IST