Malavika’s Mumbaistan: The Call Of The HomelandUpdated: Aug 06, 2019, 08:47 IST
We have been following the evolution of celebrity hairstylist Sapna Bhavnani for a while now. From acing her game as a hairstylist to the stars (well, she is responsible for two of the most celebrated hairstyles of our time that of MS Dhoni and John Abraham); to appearing as an outspoken and fearless contestant on Big Boss, where she took on host Salman Khan in no uncertain terms; to her tryst with the #MeToo movement, Bhavnani, a visually striking Sindhi based in Mumbai, has been testimony to the fact that creative souls cannot be boxed into watertight compartments of public perception.
And now, word comes in that Bhavnani’s award-winning, 60-minute documentary Sindhustan is all set to regale audiences at the upcoming Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2019. As is known, the documentary attracted rave notices when it premiered at the New York Indian Film Festival in May.
“Sapna’s motive to make the film was simple: to revive her heritage. But the film has a deeper underlying message of reaching for your roots,” says a spokesperson of the festival. “It all started when she saw Sindhi fakirs perform at a concert where she was waiting for Susheela Raman to perform. The sight of their group performance had blown her away. She then started a series of google searches, to absorb the fact that our culture is soaked in our art and crafts.” And what’s more, her championship of her Sindhi heritage will see Bhavnani undertake another journey, one infinitely more meaningful. She is hoping to screen the film in Pakistan, the homeland from where all Sindhis originate. But for this, she requires a visa, and last heard, the enterprising free spirit had tweeted the Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to appeal to his better senses. “Sir, I am a documentary filmmaker from India & have made a documentary on Sindh called Sindhustan. I have been rejected twice to get a visa to Sindh, but I hear you are different and want peace..so do we! Please invite me and my film to Sindh.. it is my dream!” she’d tweeted recently. What’s more, Bhavnani is not alone in her endeavour. “The Sindhis from Sindh have started a movement to me being across the border,” she posted this week. “They have started a hashtag on Twitter called #GrantVisaToSapna2VisitSindh, which has gone viral in Pakistan.” Will Khan put his money where his mouth is and oblige? Surely, that will call for a celebratory tattoo for the multi-tattoo-covered Bhavnani. After all, her passion for homeland is more than skin deep.
What They Say:
“My husband works with Donald Trump’s company as an employee”
- Actress Rakhi Sawant on her recent marriage
What They Mean
“Why yes, how did you guess? I will be helping Mr Trump with his media interactions from now on.”
The Once And Forever King
He may be counting his days before incarceration in an Indian jail, but this king of good times is certainly giving many back home their share of happy days. Word comes in from Goa that those who had made it a point to attend the auction of the King’s staggering amount of priceless rums and wines by authorities following his business debacles, are still toasting him in gratitude. “His collection of priceless vintage wines, each a collector’s delight, were sold for the paltry amount of ₹100 a bottle,” says a source, adding, “And the equally exclusive rums at ₹200 a bottle. Yes, it was a bit of a hit and miss, as many of them were spoiled having been stored incorrectly. But even so, at least 50% of those purchased were palatable. So, believe me, right until last week, those of us who still have supplies going, get together to share the spoils.”
“While he was in India, we never would have got to taste these liquors as being invited to his high-flying, celebrity-filled parties was out of the question for us simple souls,” says another, adding, “So you can imagine, how each time we open a bottle of vintage Burgundy or Caribbean rum, we toast the once and forever king of good times and the bounty he unwittingly provided us with.”
Flamboyance And Philanthropy
He’s been in business news for many years and most recently for his acquisition of online travel services Yatra. So, this weekend, when flamboyant tech magnate Robin Raina, chairman of the Nasdaq-listed Ebix Inc, celebrated his 52nd birthday at his sprawling mansion in Greater Noida, it was said to be done in the style he has come to be defined by. “There was a seven-course meal and musician Rahul Vaidya and his band had been flown down from Mumbai to perform for the birthday boy, known as much for his penchant for wearing open-necked red shirts and knee high boots, as for his philanthropic initiatives,” said a source. Guests included cricket icon Kapil Dev, chairman US-India Investor’s Forum Manoj Gursahani publisher Anurag Batra, CEO of Yatra Travels Dhruv Shringi, and Naveen Kundu of Mercury Travels, who is said to have put together the OTT celebrations. Besides his business interests, Raina is said to be spearheading one of the largest private charity home-building initiatives in the Indian sub-continent, building 6,000 homes free of cost for slum dwellers of Delhi, under the aegis of his Robin Raina Foundation. No surprises then that the conversation that evening, according to a guest, is reported to have been “how philanthropy and business can co-exist for making this world a better place”.