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Nov 16, 2019-Saturday



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Saturday, Nov 16, 2019

Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Who’s Sari Now?

mumbai Updated: Feb 26, 2019 00:33 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
Gauri Chaudhary at the Oscars.
Gauri Chaudhary at the Oscars.

“We had been neighbours during my Jor Bagh days,” said celebrated-fashion designer, the Capital-based Rohit Bal, about Gauri Chaudhary of Action India, who, along with film producer Guneet Monga picked up India’s only Oscar this year, for the Best Documentary Short category for their film, ‘Period. End of Sentence’, at the 91st Academy Awards on Sunday night. The 26-minute documentary follows girls and women in Hapur district of Uttar Pradesh, fighting against the deeply-rooted stigma of menstruation. “Her sons and me were friends while growing up. In fact, it was her son Amit Chaudhary who called me from America and asked if I’d go across and meet his mum to help her get her Oscar look ready,” said Bal yesterday, when we spoke. “So, I went over. In fact, coincidentally, we are now neighbours at Defence Colony too. The important thing was that I wanted her to retain her unique and simple style and wear her own saris,” he said, of the octogenarian who had set up Action India to spread awareness on reproductive rights on ground in many villages across the country. “So, she brought out her saris and we chose a few from them as there were at least 4/5 formal events she had to attend. I decided to create jackets for all of them which would dress them up,” he said. The outfit that Chaudhary chose to wear for her headline-grabbing Oscar turn, happened to be a beautiful old tussar in a shibori style for which Bal had created a Khadi silk jacket with a Calico-lined inner. “We also discussed the jewellery she’d wear – small silver earrings –and her accessories and how she’d style the pallav.” And the result? An elegant woman of style and substance presented in all her simplicity, grace and strength for the world’s spotlight. “So proud to have styled and dressed you up for this incredible victory, dearest Gauri. What a triumph!” the delighted designer shared on social media.

Parsis And Their Dogs

Outside the Taj in Boston.
Outside the Taj in Boston.

Who is unfamiliar with the special love Parsis reserve for dogs? Contemporary India’s folklore is filled with instances like how corporate statesman Ratan Tata institutionalised this love by ensuring that strays around the Tata group headquarters at Bombay House, Ballard Pier, would always be welcome. The building’s recent renovations have included a cheerful corner where they can come and schlepp whenever they like. And now, word comes in that his benevolence can be felt as far away as Boston USA at the Tata run Taj hotel! “The doormen keep a box of dog treats close at hand,” informs a guest who’d stayed at the hotel recently. “And all the ‘local’ doggies are onto the secret. On their daily walks, they come to the entrance of the hotel and happily sit outside refusing to budge till the doormen give them a few biscuits and a pat on their head. I have often heard the doormen converse with the dogs before they go on their merry way.” That’s what is called dogged devotion!

Just In: Our secret jasoos in Delhi’s corridors of power managed to get hold of the real menu created for the high-powered dinner reception hosted in honour of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and defence minister Mohammed bin Salman last week at Hyderabad House. We present it to you, in all its unedited glory.

Assortment of Dates
(Some finely chosen dates for keeping meetings between PM of India and her neighbour reasonably apart for obvious reasons)

-followed by

Bruised Egos
(A selection of scorched hearts when the above dates are not separated by a respectable time lapse and we get to meet you as a sloppy second)

-followed by

Roasted TRPs
(A mixture of assorted opinions that no amount of photo ops of hugging and bonhomie will make up for the 3 billion USD you promised to you-know-who recently)

-followed by

Seared Opinions
(A medley of hot opinions from all over the world about mixing with those responsible for sundry minced and diced journalists in Istanbul)

-followed by

Rogan Josh and Yakhni
(From a place no one shall name, because our Kashmir position is definitely not going to be on the table for discussion)

-followed by

Sheikh Kebabs
(Because we like our sheikhs well done, which you obviously are)

And finally…

Humble Pie
(Because we were obviously second in your attention and love, regardless of the time lapse in the meetings and also because you gave USD 3 million to you-know-who and we got no return gift!)

Missing Her

(From left) Natasha Poonawalla, Cyrus Poonawalla, Dallas Todywalla and Adar Poonawalla with the winning Missing You (centre).
(From left) Natasha Poonawalla, Cyrus Poonawalla, Dallas Todywalla and Adar Poonawalla with the winning Missing You (centre).

A poignant moment occurred during the Poonawalla Breeders’ Multi Million cup on Sunday afternoon at Mahalaxmi, following the Poonawalla-bred Dallas Todywalla-trained ‘Missing You’s’ resounding victory in the prime attraction of the seven-race card race. During the award presentation, the usually taciturn billionaire Cyrus Poonawalla, who’d built the world’s biggest producer of vaccines in the mid-sixties, appeared to get quite teary eyed and emotional while on the podium.

The reason? He’d named Missing You after his late wife Villoo who had passed away in 2010. An avid race person, her passion for and knowledge of racing is said to have outstripped that of even her husband’s. “I named this horse in memory of my late wife Villoo, whom I have been missing all the time and I strongly believe she is out there, and made this win possible,” Poonawalla had announced in a choked voice. “It is well known that Poonawalla only gives a good name to a horse when his trainer assures him it’s a winner,” said a racing insider. “So, in November last year, when Dallas told him about how well the filly had shaped up, that’s when he came up with the name Missing You in memory of his late wife. And so, when the horse won the prestigious race, naturally, Poonawalla got a bit emotional while remembering her,” said the insider.