Malavika’s Mumbaistan: The Calendar Girl turns 18!
One of former Kingfisher chairman Vijay Mallya’s long-lasting contributions to India was the swimsuit-clad models’ Kingfisher Calendar, which he would launch at the glitzy press conference year after yearUpdated: Dec 13, 2019 00:22 IST
Even his worst critics will not deny that one of former Kingfisher chairman Vijay Mallya’s long-lasting contributions to India was the swimsuit-clad models’ Kingfisher Calendar, which he would launch at the glitzy press conference year after year. The calendar would be sent far and wide to press, Bollywood stars and even hang on the walls in the offices of some of India Inc.’s top honchos. And after director Madhur Bhandarkar named his movie Calendar Girls, the KF calendar seemed to take on a life of its own in popular culture. Perhaps this is why the new owners of the company continued its production after VJM departed the company. 2020 will mark the 18th year of the Kingfisher calendar and part of the credit for its success goes to ace photographer Atul Kasbekar, “It’s quite easily the longest association between a brand and a photographer in Indian advertising history,” said Kasbekar when we spoke yesterday. ‘It’s always a challenging journey creatively each year to create images that are beautiful and looked forward to. Also to find new faces put a spotlight on them. After the calendar releases, the film industry notices and snaps them up. We’ve had a spectacular record of finding talent in the calendar so far,” said the man who over 18 long years has had to take on what could easily be a lad’s most coveted job –that of photographing lissome beauties in some of the world’s most picturesque locales. Incidentally on next year’s cover is none other than Aishwarya Sushmita; the beauty born in the year her namesakes had won the international beauty titles.” Her parents were torn between both names so named her thus,” says Kasbekar.
Whenever any protests happen, our government seems to shut off the internet.
I think the message is clear - You can either have voice, or data.
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Mercifully he gave Bollywood a miss and spared us the truckload of selfies that would have ensued had Sir Richard Branson chosen what appears to have become the mandatory Bollywood schmooze for visiting foreign dignitaries while in Mumbai. What he did instead of course was went mano a mano at a fireside chat with India Inc’s Anand Mahindra and of course, later paid his respects to Maharashtra’s newly minted CM to discuss the Mumbai Pune hyperloop. The rest of the time the charismatic serial entrepreneur whose chutzpah and spirit resonates with the city’s own – lapped up the adulation from delighted Mumbaiiites wherever he went. However, according to sources, one group of people was not that thrilled with their close encounter with the visiting business icon. “This uber exclusive group of desi tycoons, part of an international club, had been invited to get a group picture with Branson at an event organised at the mid-city hotel he was staying at, right at the start of his visit,” informs a hotel source. “And of course as expected, they all showed up – captains of the industry, the type of faces who you see in the pink papers every morning,” she said. “But when they realised that it was not an exclusive function for themselves alone and they had to share the event with a host of other non-members they visibly recoiled.”
Apparently this having to rub shoulders with the hoi polloi (people who would usually be their employees) came as such a disappointment that there were some hasty retreats by quite a few famous Inia Inc. leaders post the photo session even while his chat with Mahindra was on.
Perhaps an exclusive audience, with the other visiting U2 might salvage some bruised egos?
Ho Ho Ho
“Why does every one think I’m Santa’s little elf?” said man about town Jamal Mecklai when we commended him on his selfie (An Elfie?) that he’d posted this week to wish his social media friends a merry Christmas. “I think I look like a pretty little girl with a bow in my hair.”
We had called up the bon vivant to say that in our book nothing quite heralded the spirit of good cheer than and the silly season than this visage. “I found the ribbons on a box of chocolates,” he said. “And it is only the second selfie I have ever shot.”
Mecklai, a financial wiz when he’s not burning up Mumbai’s dance floors or dazzling get togethers with his colorful shirts, received much favourable notice for this latest post. “What a gift to mankind!!!” went one comment, followed by “What a gift to womankind!” And many others on the lines of: “And the Lord said, let there be laughter. Merry Christmas my friend.”
So, to usher in the spirit of good cheer and laughter, what better way gentle reader than this portrait?
Meanwhile, Mecklai says he’s all set to celebrate the festive season with ‘Christmas in Mumbai, New Year in Colombo and some time in Goa in between.’
Merry merry folks!