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Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Quiet Acts of Kindness

In recent interviews, Lajmi, herself, had spoken about how it had been Bhatt, who had patiently and lovingly counselled her after the passing of Hazarika in 2011.

mumbai Updated: Sep 26, 2018 00:53 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
mumbai news,malavika's mumbaistan,Bhupen Hazarika
The late Bhupen Hazarika (left) with Kalpana Lajmi, who passed away on Sunday. (HT Photo)

The only silver lining in the dark cloud of the untimely passing of the talented director Kalpana Lajmi, who succumbed to her illness on Sunday, shortly after the release of her book on her partner and mentor, the great Assamese folk hero and musician Dr Bhupen Hazarika, is the fact that so many of her industry friends had steadfastly stood by her during her difficult times. Key amongst these are said to be the Mahesh Bhatt clan. In recent interviews, Lajmi, herself, had spoken about how it had been Bhatt, who had patiently and lovingly counselled her after the passing of Hazarika in 2011 and, how at his urging, she had begun writing about him to overcome her grief. And, now we learn that throughout Lajmi’s illness, it was his wife, actress Soni Razdan, who is said to have been the pillar of strength for Lajmi, giving her every kind of help she required. “Alia Bhatt, Vinta Nanda, Neena Gupta, Sunita Bhuyan, Anju Mahendru and other friends were also helping out, but it was Soni who was the one coordinating helpline for our dear friend,” posted an industry insider on social media, recently. What’s more, this revelation is said to have come as no surprise to industry insiders. Razdan’s quiet, behind-the-scenes acts of benevolence are legendary, according to industry insiders. Interestingly, what goes around appears to come around. What else accounts for the upsurge of goodwill and cheer surrounding the announcement of Bhatt’s coming-out-of-retirement new project, Sadak 2? With the likes of box office hit-maker Sanjay Dutt (another, who had found refuge in the Bhatt heart during his dark days) teaming up with Alia and Pooja Bhatt, it is already being talked about as a blockbuster. As they say, acts of kindness undertaken for purely altruistic reasons never really go unrewarded.

True Lies
There appears to be a snob system prevalent amongst the more posh of economic fugitives currently holed out abroad, regarding the dismantling of their empires back home. As is known, with mansions having to be emptied overnight out of priceless artefacts, carpets, bespoke furniture and (gulp) humongous cases of wine, the task has not been an easy one and there have been many hiccups along the way. More than anything, it is the emotional letting go of one’s prized possessions, the symbols of one’s erstwhile pomp and pelf that appears to be difficult. Take the case of this one particular residence of one such fugitive tycoon, which had recently made headlines for its sale to a new owner. Not a day goes by when the new putative tycoon, who snapped up the famous mansion amidst headlines, is not criticised by the mansion’s original owner for his penny-pinching ways. From the fact that he was unable to furnish the capacious interiors in the style they were used to, to the fact that not a single party, boasting mega celebs like the grounds had once seen, has been hosted. So far, it is a no win for the new bloke. And now, according to the pal, comes the ultimate denouement. “He’s turning the 14 room mansion into a 30 room spa!” he said. “Ugh!” Quelle horror!

The Wellness Guy

Gautam Kapur

“This is the first event we are having, a launch of sorts and will work towards creating a forum of experts, who share a common passion of wellness and strive to reach out to the masses, sharing their expertise with them,” says Gautam Kapur, Neutraceuticals (nutritional supplements) expert, model and founder of Be Conscious, a wellness platform, which not only retails high-nutrient foods and anti-aging herbal supplements, but also educates interested minds in the sphere of wellness. The event will see the likes of such stalwarts in the field, like Sensei Pervez Mistry, Mickey Mehta and Shwetta Shetty, speak and engage with audiences over a specially curated menu at a popular eatery in Lower Parel. Kapur, who launched the platform a few years ago, says he has been happy with its performance. “This is not just a business, it’s my passion and my passion is my driving force,” says the softspoken nephew of the late Vinod Khanna. “I’m fortunate that my passion, my creativity and my business are the same.”

Khan Can Do

Asma Khan

Asma Khan is probably the most famous Indian-origin chef in the UK you haven’t heard of. Born in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, she worked as a journalist in Kolkata before moving to the UK in 1991 and started doing pop-ups around London, gaining a loyal clientele and catering for Indian events around the city. In 2017, she decided to set up her permanent Indian restaurant called Darjeeling Express in Soho and her food was a big hit with Londoners, making her a new favourite amongst the glitterati, over veterans like Vineet Bhatia and Atul Kochhar and making her win awards like Female Entrepreneur of the Year at the Asian Restaurant Awards 2018. Now, word comes in that Khan, who will soon open her next project, Calcutta Canteen in Fulham, will soon be known globally as she has been signed on for an episode in the upcoming season of Netflix’s popular show, Chef’s Table, that has featured culinary stars like Massimo Bottura and Gaggan Anand, previously. Move over guys, here comes Khan!

First Published: Sep 26, 2018 00:50 IST