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Home / Mumbai News / Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Romancing The Duo

Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Romancing The Duo

Guess how Hollywood’s star couple, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, chose to spend their 24 hours, whistle-top visit to Mumbai?

mumbai Updated: Dec 19, 2019 00:51 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
Shailendra Singh with Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones at the Gateway of India.
Shailendra Singh with Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones at the Gateway of India.

Guess how Hollywood’s star couple, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, chose to spend their 24 hours, whistle-top visit to Mumbai? We got it from the horse’s mouth itself — none other than producer, entertainment mogul and music impresario Shailendra Singh, who has known Douglas for the past fifteen years and who played host to the duo. “Michael has hung out with me on previous trips here and we’ve met in LA too (once along with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan), but this time he said it was different, after all, he was visiting with his wife, who is a big fan of Bollywood music and dance. So he left it in my hands,” Singh said, when we spoke yesterday.

The day had begun with Singh accompanying the duo for a visit to the Gateway of India, replete with a guided tour of the iconic Mumbai landmark and then to the Taj hotel next door, followed by a quick lunch at a nearby restaurant and then a detour to the Bombay Store and Dhobhi Ghat. “The stopover at Babulnath Mandir was particularly fascinating for both of them,” said Singh, adding, “It was their first Indian spiritual experience together, they said, and I could see it had a profound impact.”

That evening, the couple was welcomed to the Singh household at Worli by traditional Marathi lavani dancers, accompanied by dhols, followed by a moonlit terrace concert of Sufi music, performed on the santoor and tabla. “It was magical,” says Singh, adding, “It was the last full moon of the decade and we’d just invited a handful of friends. Michael and I reminisced about so many things under that memorable moon, including how even though our plans to produce an adventure movie on the lines of Romancing The Stone had not materialised, our 15-year-old friendship had. That’s what friendship is about, no agendas.”

But even as the moonstruck friends marinated in the heavenly music and ambience, Zeta-Jones, we are informed, who was clad in a flowing purple gown and who happens to be one of the few old-style Hollywood stars who began their careers in musicals and so can still dance and hold a tune, wasted no time in getting down to the business of the evening: dancing along with a small troupe of Shiamak Davar’s dancers specially arranged by Singh (with a bit of help from Davar on FaceTime) to her favourite Bollywood songs.

Singh with Douglas and Zeta-Jones in the city.
Singh with Douglas and Zeta-Jones in the city.

“It was great fun! Don’t share it since it’s a private moment, but I am sending you a short video grab, to marvel at Catherine’s amazing dancing talent…” he said.

And having witnessed it gentle reader, we are truly gob smacked. From intricate foot movements to graceful dips and swirls and heaving jhalaks and thrusts — the lady is a natural and can easily take on the likes of Bollywood’s best, like Madhuri Dixit and Hema Malini, in this department.

Move over PC, we think there’s an even more sensational Holly-Bolly transition on the cards…

Tweet Talk:

The last time Bollywood came together and raised their voice was in the Om Shanti Om song.

— Tweeted by Avinash Iyer

WTSWTM:

WTS:

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has restored Cyrus Mistry as executive chairman of Tata Sons. It also held the appointment of N Chandrasekaran as Mistry’s successor illegal.

— Media reports yesterday.

WTM:

It will be a Mistry who will have to say Tata now.

Sunday Soiree

The launch of the book on Sridevi is to be held this weekend.
The launch of the book on Sridevi is to be held this weekend.

“The next Literature Live! event will feature the launch of a book on Hindi cinema’s superstar Sridevi,” writes the platform’s indefatigable founder, Anil Dharker, about Sridevi. The launch of the book, ‘Eternal Screen Goddess’, by Satyarth Nayak, is to be held this weekend at a suburban hotel. “Following the launch of the book, its author, Nayak, Karan Johar and Boney Kapoor will take part in a discussion chaired by me.

What is unusual about this book launch (besides of course the presence of Boney Kapoor) is its timing. The event is taking place at 2.30pm, as opposed to the 6pm usual slot. Since it’s a Sunday, you don’t have to miss work (only your afternoon nap!),” says Dharker.

How about those of us who work on a Sunday, we wanted to ask Dharker, but refrained.

After all, best to let sleeping dogs nap, we think. Perhaps the book will too.