Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Suite TweetsUpdated: Jan 24, 2019 00:31 IST
Those chuckling over photos of MP, Congress leader and author Shashi Tharoor going mano-a-mano with a life-sized cutout of Shah Rukh Khan recently (’Who is the fairer of the two?’), might not realise that the hyper articulate MP from Thiruvananthapuram, has had even closer shaves with Bollywood. The earliest was in 1992, when, following the success of his fiction debut (The Great Indian Novel), the then UN official had written a paean to Bollywood, titled Show Business (Declaration of interest: we are thanked in its foreword). The story of Ashok Banjara, a Bollywood superstar, the protagonist bore more than a passing resemblance to Amitabh Bachchan (of which, being critically injured while shooting, joining politics and the initials AB were only a few). The novel revealed Tharoor’s fascination for the film industry, with its narrative structure mirroring the structure of the Indian formulae film of that era. The author’s familiarity with ‘flashbacks’, ‘takes’ and other filmy tropes revealed how he, like others of his generation, had grown up at a time when Bollywood had held a romantic thrall over the imagination of most Indians – even the so-called westernised ones. Perhaps, Tharoor’s (he’d once famously turned down a role to play a foreign minister in a Salman Khan movie saying he wanted to be the real foreign minister someday) faux horror and affected weariness in his tweet to the star (’No place for rest!’) had more to do with the social media-savvy MP’s understanding of how things work today. “Dear @iamsrk, when on a brief visit to Munnar yesterday, I took rest in the room you occupied in 2013, which has been converted into a shrine for you,” he’d tweeted to the star, adding the hashtag #ChennaiExpress. With his 37.2 million followers, all it would require would be a single-worded tweet in response from SRK to add another few million to Tharoor’s 6.7 million followers. Meanwhile, it is not known if the politico’s stay resulted in any proficiency in the lungi dance.
Heavy Eating Heavyweight
Guests invited by Tanya Dubash this week to discuss a food-related initiative cannot stop raving about the afternoon. “The lovely and charming Tanya Dubash hosted the fanciest lunch I’ve ever eaten in an office,” said foodie supremo, funnyman and fellow columnist Kunal Vijayakar. “It was great to sit at a formally-served meal with liveried staff and yet chat obsessively about food, and laugh and tell food stories and experiences. Tanya had curated the menu herself. We feasted on a menu of pomelo with tamarind glaze and tandoori mayo. Lamb seekh with makhani droplets, nihari spare ribs with mango relish and ghevar with sitafal kulfi,” said Vijaykar, of the occasion hosted in a bright-large room with sun pouring in through ceiling high windows at the company’s headquarters in Vikhroli. The group, besides Dubash and her team, had consisted of four food writers, two chefs, a reviewer and a chocolatier, according to Vijayakar.
Which category do you place yourself in?, we’d teased.
Quick came the response, “I am the heavy eater.”
And after a second thought, “Darling, I’m the star!”
What They Say
“Everywhere there are some bad people, there are some good people, there are some goody-goody people.”
-Mamata Banerjee, CM of West Bengal speaking at a rally recently organised to show opposition’s unity.
What They Mean
“So, let’s vote out those baddy-baddy people.”
Humane Approach To Health Care
It’s been a week of accolades for scientist and chairman of Cipla, Dr Yusuf K Hamied, who received the Indore Management Association Lifetime Achievement Award for 2018 last Friday.
“It was attended by 5,000 management students and 1,000 business executives, and was really quite impressive,” he said, when we spoke. The Cambridge-educated Cathedral-schooled Hamied celebrated for his philanthropy especially in Africa, where his decision to sell AIDS medicines at a highly-subsidised cost has saved millions of lives, as expected, made a strong case for a humane approach to healthcare. “The right to live should not be contingent on the ability to treat. We need to provide essential, affordable drugs to safeguard a stable and healthy environment, not only in India, but wherever needed in the emerging world,” he’d said in his address. “Of the seven billion people living on our planet, 6.2 billion live in the emerging and developing world. Healthcare is guaranteed to only 10% of the world’s population. One in three do not have access to even basic medicines. In Asia and Africa, this goes up to 50%.” Shifting his gaze specifically to India, Dr Hamied, son of the late nationalist KA Hamied (a close associate of the Mahatma), said, “We now require another national objective, a dream in which every Indian citizen can have a decent quality of life. As the educated elite of our country, all of us should pledge our fullest cooperation and support to fulfil this task of prioritising healthcare. We must be accountable to our future generations. They must not look back and accuse us for not doing what our conscience demands.” Unsurprisingly, his big picture humanitarian approach has won him many an admirer, and no surprises then that almost immediately after his IMA recognition, Dr Hamied, who divides his time between Europe and India, picked up his second lifetime achievement award of the week yesterday, this time from a business newspaper. Slated to be in the country till mid-March, it is safe to assume there will be at least a couple more before the high-flying Padma Bhushan recipient flies out.
First Published: Jan 24, 2019 00:30 IST