Malavika’s Mumbaistan: The right side of history

mumbai Updated: Jul 13, 2018 14:49 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Malavika’s Mumbaistan,Malavika Sangghvi

Parmesh Shahani.

“My heart is fluttering, can’t take it anymore. Tracking the amazing arguments on the Section 377 Supreme Court hearings and so full of hope and excitement, that we will finally be on the right side of history,” said Parmesh Shahani, agent provocateur, gay rights activist and head of Godrej Cultural Lab, about the on-going proceedings in the Supreme Court to decriminalise homosexuality in the Indian Penal Code. “After such a long and tiring struggle, it feels so good to hear of how brilliantly lawyers like Menaka Guruswamy and Anand Grover, who represent the different petitioners, are arguing for the basic right of millions of Indian LGBTQ citizens to privacy and dignity.”

Shahani has been particularly delighted by the positive responses across the board: “Everywhere I go; citizens of India are excited about the judgment. I was recently inaugurating the first-ever pride march at the Indian School of Business, Mohali, Punjab, and the students and faculty there were all eagerly awaiting a positive judgment. You see it across the country,” he said, adding, “In Bangalore, next month, representatives of 40 leading Indian companies are going to gather, to discuss strategies and the way ahead after section 377 is decriminalised.” As for how he plans to celebrate if the news is good, Shahani’s reply is a poignant reminder of how it is the simple and most ordinary of life’s pleasures that the LGBTQ community has been fighting for, which it has been denied all these years. “I plan to celebrate quietly with my partner. Just being together, having dinner and maybe seeing Sacred Games on Netflix together,” he says.


(LtoR) A portrait of Bimal Roy with the awards he won; Bimal Roy on the sets of a film.

Yesterday marked the 109th birth anniversary of the late Bimal Roy, considered one of the pioneers of social realism in Indian cinema, whose films like Do Bigha Zamin, Devdas, Madhumati, Sujata and Bandini are all-time classics. His son, Joy Bimal Roy, had organised a music recital by prominent classical singer Kaustav Kanti Ganguli, in his memory, at the charming Taj Mahal Tea House in Bandra. “This was my way of saying thank you, for giving me such a blessed life. Rest in eternal peace, Baba,” he said, on the eve of the occasion.


(LtoR) The portrait gifted by Bina Aziz; Zarine Khan with friends and family at her birthday party. 

It’s that time of the year, when former model, interior designer, cook-book author, wife and mother, Zarine Khan’s legion of friends and family gather to celebrate her birthday at the sumptuous Khan mansion in Juhu. We spotted the likes of Anju Mahendru, Soni Razdan, Lali Dhawan, Sundari Khan, Aarti Surendranath, Poonam Dhillon, Adarsh Gill and a host of others in the throng at lunch, yesterday, as daughter Simone Arora and daughter-in-law Malaika Khan ensured that the famous Khan warmth and hospitality was afforded to everyone. Besides the delicious fare on the table, the piece de resistance was a stunning portrait of the birthday girl, painted by her best friend Bina Aziz, wife of Talat Aziz. “Her zest for life and joie de vivre is contagious and she spreads cheer, happiness and positivity, wherever she goes,” Aziz had said, while presenting it.


Kelly Dorji with his grand aunt Ashi Tashi Dorji.

He describes himself as an ‘actor, artist, travel facilitator, dragon’ and though he has left his acting career and Mumbai far behind, news of Kelly Dorji, who runs a travel company that facilitates travel for select individuals and groups, called Terton Travels, Bhutan, based out of Thimpu, is often seen on social media. This week, Dorji had one more reason to celebrate, when his oldest living relative, his grand aunt, Ashi Tashi Dorji, was honoured by the Australian government for leading an all-woman delegation to the Colombo Plan in Melbourne, in 1962, and for her contribution to bilateral relations with Australia in the education sector. Dorji, himself, has been a vibrant ambassador and spokesperson for his country. Besides initiating visitors into the secrets of his mountain kingdom, he spends his time undertaking motorcycle rides in the mountains, with his friends and brothers; and also raising support for the work being done through the Tarayana Foundation of Her Majesty, the Queen Mother Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck. Last year, he says, he had to decline JP Dutta’s offer to shoot for Paltan, as he was not keen on films that kept him away from his work and beloved country for too long. “I cannot remember when I last came to Mumbai, but I am grateful for a lot of my dear friends from India, coming to see me here in Bhutan,” he says.

First Published: Jul 13, 2018 14:48 IST