Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Tiger, Running Bright

Updated on Dec 03, 2019 06:00 AM IST

Tiger, whose success in Bollywood is to a large extent predicated on his exceptional physical prowess, owes much to his unique gene pool.

TIger Shroff
TIger Shroff
Hindustan Times | ByMalavika Sangghvi

“Tiger actually ran the half marathon when he was really young. He’s always been athletic, and right from the first grade, has been competing and winning medals,” says Tiger’s mum, the erstwhile model, actress and film producer Ayesha Shroff, about her star son who has recently been announced as the face of the Tata Mumbai Marathon 2020, which will unspool in January next year. Tiger, whose success in Bollywood is to a large extent predicated on his exceptional physical prowess, owes much to his unique gene pool: Bengali-Belgian from his mother’s side and Gujarati-Turk on his father’s. According to Ayesha, both her kids have been athletic from the word go.

Ayesha Shroff
Ayesha Shroff

“Both he and Krishna, my daughter, were very competitive right through school and they regularly won medals and trophies in athletics, basketball and football too!” said the proud mum. “Tiger has innumerable MVP trophies and Krishna won female athlete of the year in her senior year too.”

In fact, Tiger is no stranger to the annual athletic event, now in its 17th edition, that transforms the city every January. Speaking about his role as this year’s ambassador, he revealed that he had fond memories of participating in the first ever edition of the competition‘s Dream Run!

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A Labour of Love

The late Manobina Roy seated with portrait of the late Bimal Roy behind. (Sanjay Marathe)
The late Manobina Roy seated with portrait of the late Bimal Roy behind. (Sanjay Marathe)

Already lauded for their sensitivity and aesthetic beauty when they were viewed in Hyderabad last fortnight, tomorrow will see the launch of A Woman and Her Camera, curated by MC Mohan, an exhibition of 67 black-and-white photographs shot by the late Manobina Roy, who, along with her twin sister Debalina, was amongst the pioneering female photographers of her time.

Growing up in Benares, the sisters had been presented cameras by their progressive and enlightened father, an early advocate of women’s empowerment. This had led to a lifelong passion, with both girls going on to interpret the world around them with astonishing luminosity.

Manobina had gone on to marry the iconic filmmaker Bimal Roy and through him, had met some of the era’s most fascinating personalities, including Rabindranath Tagore (her portrait of him was included in a special issue of the Illustrated Weekly), Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Krishna Menon.

What is particularly poignant is that the exhibition is launching on the birth centenary of the photographer — and is a heroic labour of love by her devoted children. “Ma would have been a 100 years old on that day,” says her son Joy Roy, who reveals that he had promised his mother that he would organise such an exhibition featuring her life’s work, a year before she had passed away in 2001. “It almost feels as though Ma is pulling strings from up there, ensuring we can pull this off down here,” he says.

A Woman and Her Camera will be on at the Artisans Art Gallery, Mumbai, from November 27 to 30.

Astounding, Path-breaking, Daring

Sanjna Kapoor and Sameera Iyengar.
Sanjna Kapoor and Sameera Iyengar.

“Three times a year, we will present performances and arts experiences that are astounding, path-breaking, daring,” says Sanjna Kapoor, co-founder of Junoon along with Sameera Iyengar, of a specially-curated membership arts programme for society leaders called Junoon Salons, which launched last year. “Our members will get to see a mix of new ideas and old mastery — young voices having their say, older artists playing with new combinations. Each evening will be capped off with a dinner and bonhomie, a perfect environment for people from the world of business, arts and science to dive into those exciting, engaging conversations that stimulate the mind and trigger possibility,” she says.

The show by Gentlemen’s Club.
The show by Gentlemen’s Club.

These are not idle words from the daughter of the cultural tour de force that was Shashi Kapoor and Jennifer Kendal: we were privy to exactly such an evening which had featured ideas and acts that had been astounding path-breaking and daring, capped off by dinner and bonhomie at one such Salon in April this year.

The featured act had been ‘The Gentleman’s Club’, an edgy, rip-roaring, gender-bending burlesque, performed by members of the Patchwork Ensemble (with its leading light, Puja Sarup, doing a kickass and voluptuous tribute send-up of Shammi Kapoor), that had brought the house down. And with Salon members and patrons like Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao and Karan Kapoor in the audience, and a sit-down dinner on a terrace under a bright moon surrounded by the city’s culturati, it had come close to being one of the year’s stand-out cultural events.

“The arts have flourished either with support from a grassroots community, who they give voice to, or with support from the powerful elites of a society. These elites understand clearly that churning in the arts indicates a churning of energy and ideas that sow the seeds of possibility for the future,” says Kapoor.

And with Junoon Salons now expanding into corporate memberships, it seems upwards and onwards for this exciting new arts platform.

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