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Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Social media sloganeering

mumbai Updated: May 30, 2018 12:19 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,#HumFitTohIndiaFit,Malavika’s Mumbaistan

(LtoR) Virat Kohli, Karan JOhar, Deepika Padukone and Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.

Like his PM, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, the former Olympic ace shooter and current Minister of State for Sports and I&B, appears to be big on social media sloganeering. His initiative, #HumFitTohIndiaFit, promoted on social media to encourage fitness and health, has spread like wildfire (some would argue it is now in the same league as the #IceBucketChallenge from some years ago). Luminaries from all walks of life have embraced the challenge and participated by posting videos of themselves in gym gear showing off their fitness regime and propagating their mantra. Although many of the usual suspects, like Virat Kohli, Varun Dhawan, Deepika Padukone, Sania Mirza and PM Narendra Modi, have taken part, tweeple have been delighting in some more unusual enthusiasts. We were impressed to see the likes of Anand Mahindra, KJo (who confessed he began cardio at age 45), whippet-thin media man Rajat Sharma (who did push-ups) and politicians Jayant Sinha (who stretched it) join the fray. Meanwhile, funny man Cyrus Broacha broached the subject rather gingerly by accepting the challenge on his weekly TV spoof, but then was heard re-negotiating the terms.


Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla with the GVK-Reddy family.

‘The boys’, as they are fondly called by friends, couturiers Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla, have been missing in action from Mumbai for a couple of weeks. After Khosla’s outing with the swish ladies of Bel Air, we hear the two were spotted in London with a group, digging into some curry at the Indian cuisine hotspot Jamavar in Mayfair last week. This weekend saw the two pop up in Paris, and they were joined by close friends, the GVK-Reddy family, Sanjay and Pinky Reddy along with daughter Mallika and son and daughter-in-law Keshav and Veena Reddy. The group posted this photo at a Parisian nightspot. Incidentally, the designer duo had also been responsible for designing the decor and outfits for GVK scion Keshav and Veena’s lavish wedding celebrations in Hyderabad last year.


Yesterday, on the occasion of Suhel Seth’s birthday, we’d texted a greeting to the garrulous prime time sound-byter who we’d known since the eighties when we were both bright-eyed and bushytailed junior staff at a terribly clever boutique advertising agency in Kolkata. And, in our usual texting mode, we’d added, ‘What plans?’, accompanied with emoticons to convey general hijinks and celebrations for the bouncing bon vivant. Seth’s response was prompt. And as cryptic. “Many many thanks,” he texted, adding: “Had a huge lunch yesterday.” To which, most sentient beings would know he meant ‘had hosted’ and was not a stream of consciousness account of his recent eating pattern. But, of course, we thought the latter. “What did you eat?” we texted back solicitously, adding an emoticon to convey mildly horrified concern. It was only later, when we saw his social media post that we realised he was referring to one of his bright and sparkling annual birthday parties for his famous friends. Come to think of it, we never got far at the agency either…


(LtoR) Ashok Row Kavi and Faredoon Bhujwala; Ameya’s digital-print, 16-kali skirt.

Many stories have been told about Singapore’s first Prime Minister and founding father, the legendary Lee Kuan Yew’s visionary efforts to transform his country from the “third world” to the “first world” in a single generation. This is one we’d heard from a primary source. Apparently, once he’d achieved an international standard of infrastructure and industry for his citizens, LKY expressed a keenness to introduce his countrymen to an international sophistication and intellectual savoire faire. At a meeting with foreign experts, called towards this end, it is reported that he received the sage advise that to jettison his populace towards an international mindset, and to make his country attractive to the correct demographic, he would have to appeal to an international LGBTQ community. Why so? Because, as London’s Soho or NYC’s meat packing district had proven, that’s how neighborhoods grow progressive, artsy, vibrant and exclusive. The money follows the pretty boys, so the belief went. We were reminded of this yesterday, when we chanced upon photos of edgy, exquisite fashion statements at the recently concluded KASHISH festival. From gay activist and icon Ashok Row Kavi, resplendent in a mundu from Matunga, to Faredoon (Dodo) Bhujwala in a block print turban from Bhuj Kutch and a FabIndia ensemble, and Ameya’s digital-print, 16-kali skirt to Inderjit’s self-designed hand-painted wrap jacket with “love” written in different languages, it speaks of the emergence of a vibrant, confident, alt-fash culture scene that bodes well for Mumbai.

First Published: May 29, 2018 10:58 IST