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Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Stretching it, Shaina style

mumbai Updated: May 26, 2018 16:30 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
Malavika’s Mumbaistan,Mumbai,Shaina NC

Shaina NC with CM Devendra Fadnavis during poll campaign in Palghar.

If you think you’re the only multi-tasking, overworked one, consider BJP spokesperson and treasurer for Maharashtra, Shaina NC’s fortnight. The indefatigable daughter of Mumbai’s much-loved erstwhile sheriff, Nana Chudasama, is not only a hands-on wife, mom and fashion designer, but is also a regular face on most daily prime time political debates; this week saw her accompanying CM Devendra Fadnavis, to campaign for the Palghar Lok Sabha by-election for her party’s candidate, where she helped reach out to NGOs and members of her own Giants Welfare Foundation. If this were not enough, she also flew to London to be a guest speaker at the London Business School’s India Business Forum. And, amidst all of this, she managed to drop in early in the morning, at a yoga initiative that she had spearheaded, to demonstrate perfect yogic poses. How long before they name an asan for balance, energy and focus after her?


Our friend Faredoon Bhujwala sports a magnificent beard at the Kashish festival.

One of the most heartwarming premieres we have attended was at Kashish, the LGBTQ film festival held annually at the Liberty Cinema, for which we had served as jury member a couple of years ago. The good-natured, raucous performance by campy high-heel shoed men, the all-encompassing warmth of the LGBTQ community and their families, the progressive pronouncements by special guests like Ian McClellan, had all made for rare, genuinely high-spirited evenings. This year’s opening ceremony was no different we hear. With the likes of Nisaba Godrej, one of India Inc’s most powerful voices providing support through the Godrej Culture Lab run by Parmesh Shahani, along with Radhika Piramal, the only LGBTQ person from the corporate world to come out, not to forget chief guest Nadir Godrej reading a poem that he had specially written for the evening, and last, but not the least, long-time Kashish attendee, our friend Faredoon (Dodo) Bhujwala sporting his magnificent flower bedecked beard, it was as usual an evening that few would forget.


Visitors at the Chelsea Flower Show in London.

As someone who first wrote about India’s plans to take part in the Royal Horticulture Society’s annual Chelsea Flower Show in London, we were thrilled to learn that the British Council India: A Billion Dreams Garden at the show, had won the Silver Gilt award for an artisan garden. Featuring a cricket-themed garden full of poppies, roses, orchids, oversized wickets, willow trees and pietra dura walls made of flowers studded with lapis lazuli, the garden had been the result of British Council in partnership with the Piramal Group and other sponsors like the Tatas, Gordrej, Jindal Mafatlal and USV. “The showstopper was the Himalayan Blue Poppy, which was brought by Victorian explorers over a century ago from a failed expedition to Everest. The color of the poppy is the exact shade of the Indian cricket team’s colours,” said avid horticulturist Dr Swati Piramal, who had spearheaded the initiative. She had sourced the flower from the Piramal Group’s factory premises in Scotland, when work had begun towards the show last year, and had planted a batch in Cornwall to ensure they bloomed perfectly during the judging and show! “Ours was easily the most colourful pavilion,” she said when we spoke yesterday. “Crowds thronged to see it, and the MCC men and women cricket World Cups, which were in the garden too.” But the sweetest congratulations had come from the Little Master himself. “Touched and humbled! Glad to see a garden dedicated to a sport specially the one I dearly love,” Sachin Tendulkar tweeted.


Bhrigu Sahni at the Cuckoo Club.

“I wish I had written all the words for this song so you could relate to it better,” said the young Berkelee-trained musician Bhrigu Sahni (declaration of interest: he is our cousin), who had recently relocated to Mumbai from NYC, to an audience of approximately 30, at the Cuckoo Club — a cozy and darkly lit auditorium nestled in the sprawling MacRonnel’s mansion, which also houses the iconic Candies, this Tuesday. Sahni, whose debut show in NYC’s Brooklyn at a similar looking joint, which we had been present for, was characteristically relaxed, punctuating his exquisite guitar-playing with chatty patter to introduce original compositions. “I mean, there was a girl, and I guess she loved me…but,” he said, before his artistic long fingers stroked the acoustic guitar, bringing forth a tapestry of extraordinary sounds. His opening had been a mellifluous and wordless improvisation that had created a mesmerising hush in the room. “This is cool,” he’d said, after it was over. “I’m playing as if for myself, and you guys aren’t there. No one knows if he’s going to stop, or what...” Later, as if by a predetermined game plan, we found ourselves at Candies where, over a mushroom quiche and tuna sandwich so divine they could have only been prepared by elves in Santa’s kitchen, we reminisced about Bandra and the good old days, which mercifully, and thank the Lord, appeared to be back again.

First Published: May 25, 2018 16:00 IST