Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Starting Young
“This was Zohaan and Abeer’s first visit to my father’s 300-year-old ancestral home in Gwalior, now converted into a museum called Sarod Ghar Museum,” said sarod maestro Ayaan Ali Bangash, about this delightful picture, featuring three generations of the family, including his celebrated father, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, and mother, Subhalakshmi. “We were there to bring in the New Year and were keen that the kids play in that house where my father was born and where he learnt from my grandfather,” he said about the historic occurrence of the eighth generation of the Senia Bangash Gharana’s induction at the museum, which houses instruments of all the legends of Indian classical music donated to the fraternity. The Bangash are a close-knit family and generations of Indians have grown up seeing the handsome sons of Ustad Amjad Ali Khan perform together at concerts around the world. Now, with Zohar and Abeer’s initiation into the musical tradition, it is safe to say that music lovers have much to look forward to in the coming years. The Sarod Ghar Museum reopens for the public in March 2020 after its renovation.
Parsi Bhonu and Theatre Stars
A delicious serving of leading members of the city’s performing arts found themselves seated next to each other at the wedding of theatre actress and colleague Parinaz Jal last week. Seated decorously at the traditional Parsi bhonu at Byculla’s Rustom Baug were actor Denzil Smith, thespian and director Lilette Dubey and Sufi singer and actress Zila Khan, amongst others, who had been part of Dubey’s acclaimed staging of Gauhar, along with the bride.
“Parsi weddings are elegant affairs, simple and classy, men dressed in crisp white traditional attire and women in heirloom embroidered sarees,” said Khan, a much sought-after artiste, whose immediate engagements in the new year include a US tour in May, concerts in Dubai and UAE, a few fundraiser concerts for her organisation UstadGah and work on a soon-to-be released EP. “They’re short and sweet, with a nikah-like prayer by the high priest, an exchange of garlands, a quick trip by the bride and groom to the Parsi temple, a lavish Parsi lagan bhonu, some dancing and an early pack-up. Denzil, his beautiful wife, Carissa; Lilette; Rajeshwari; Gillian Pinto; and I had decked up and thoroughly enjoyed the fabulous food, especially the white mutton in almond sauce, salli chicken, patra nu machi, pomfret wrapped in leaf, and lagan ni pudding,” she said, signing off with, “What a feast!”
Everybody these days are calling themselves Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs.
Any Indians left?
- Harsh Goenka
Not all of the country’s beautiful people were partying hard in Goa over the New Year. Mumbai-based industrialist Yash Birla spent the time in Rishikesh where he has been going every New Year, for many years, with wife Avanti and his entire family, including all three of their children. “Fortunately, they all prefer this to New Year parties and love to spend it enveloped in spirituality,” said Birla about his annual getaway. “We take a family dip in the holy Ganges on the first of every year, besides spending a week among spiritually-inclined people; attending the Ganga aarti at Parmarth, meditating in the vashishta gufa in the Himalayas, which is close to where we live, and participating in satsangs. Of course, we also enjoy the lovely cafes and restaurants here, which are pure vegetarian and alcohol-free, and there is a flea market with lots of lovely boho shops, which is a great recreation,” he said.
Erstwhile model and AOL teacher Rhea Pillai, who was also there, corroborates Birla’s thoughts: “We come here year after year to bring the New Year in. Like always, we had AOL knowledge and satsang sessions and brought in the New Year with a special AOL satsang, which was just so beautiful. It’s such a special place that allows you to be alone and yet at the same time with company of people with a similar thought process.”
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- Patil told Hindustan Times, "The regulations curtail freedom of expression."