Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Words In His Mouth

To our credit only goes the dubious distinction of putting words in none other than writer and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor’s celebrated mouth!
MP Shashi Tharoor
MP Shashi Tharoor
Updated on Dec 30, 2019 02:47 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByMalavika Sangghvi, Mumbai

Some scribes make history by recording events of national import, some by exposés of the rich and powerful, but to our credit only goes the dubious distinction of putting words in none other than writer and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor’s celebrated mouth! On December 12, readers of this column might recall a pungent send-up of the politico that we’d penned on these pages, titled Lost and Found. A spoof on various famous people, in it we’d alluded to Tharoor’s penchant for obscure many-syllabled words by stating that a “battered briefcase, located in the back of a domestic airline (not cattle class)” had been found containing: “A Thesaurus, a book of quotable quotes and a post-it note, on which had been scribbled — Good new words to tweet/learn: Floccinaucinihilipilification: Means you regard something as unimportant (To save for IIC debate with Sambit P on Friday)”. Would the owner come and claim it? Well jeepers creepers whaddya know, the otherwise never-at-a-loss-for-words-Tharoor actually validated our spoof by writing an entire column on FLOCCINAUCINIHILIPILIFICATION (“My word to end this turbulent year with!” he’d tweeted this Saturday). And what’s more, he went on to borrow the other word we had mentioned in his same fictitious list: Antidisestablishmentarianism (“To be used at the next Mumbai society party appearance,” we’d said).

Interestingly, though he owned up to the words we’d imagined him seizing upon, what the thinking woman’s senior-citizen pinup had curiously ignored were the other items contained in his imaginary briefcase, namely: A hand mirror, 3 combs, a pair of tweezers (and) a musky gentleman’s cologne. Perhaps Mr Tharoor would acknowledge/claim these too?

New York to Jaipur

Not all destination weddings have to be big and fat. Mumbai guests at the recent wedding of Shivantika — daughter of Meeta and businessman Vivek Jain (the erstwhile head of RWITC) — who married Yash, son of Ritu and Suru Kothari, in Jaipur last weekend, were overheard describing it as “intimate and magical”.

Shivantika and Yash in Jaipur
Shivantika and Yash in Jaipur

Held at the Kothari family home, attendees included some of Mumbai’s best-known names like Praful Patel, Niranjan and Kamal Hiranandani, Jai Shroff, Maitreya and Rohita Doshi, Ananya Goenka and Ajay Mittal. “The couple met in NY. The bridegroom got a degree from Wharton, and the bride from Columbia. So the invitees were made up of names from India Inc and friends from Cathedral, RISD, Wharton and Columbia,” said a guest. Not surprisingly, given the strife Jain had faced at RWITC, we hear that members from the Turf Club were conspicuous by their absence.


Deepti Naval: Actress, writer and artist known for her contribution to art cinema

Madhu Kishwar: Academic, conservative commentator and professor in the Indian Council of Social Science Research.

In Love Forever?

Yesterday marked the birth anniversary of superstar Rajesh Khanna, who would have been 77, had he lived. A phenomenon of the seventies, millennials will never quite understand just how big a star Khanna was and how his presence would cause mass hysteria amongst his largely female fan populace and that he was the closest India had come to the The Beatles mania abroad.

The picture of Rajesh Khanna and Anju Mahendroo shared by the latter
The picture of Rajesh Khanna and Anju Mahendroo shared by the latter

Husband to actress Dimple Kapadia whom he divorced in 1982 and father to Twinkle Khanna and Rinkie Saran, Khanna was the ultimate romantic hero, whose slightest nod of his cherubic face could send his legion of female fans into a swoon. What is not known though is the long and abiding relationship of mutual affection which the star had maintained with his former long-time fiancée, erstwhile model and actress, Anju Mahendroo, despite jilting her summarily and very publicly, when he had overnight fallen in love with the young Dimple a few months before the release of her debut film Bobby. The collective shock that the country had woken up to over this new coupling and the break-up of the superstar’s well-established relationship with Mahendroo remains a red letter day for many. However, what is perhaps not as widely known is that many years after that heartbreak, the two had reunited, this time as friends and business associates, a companionship that lasted till the end of Khanna’s life, with Mahendroo providing much needed support to her “beloved Kakaji” when his career and health were failing. And expectedly, as she does on his birthday, she shared her sense of loss by posting a picture of herself with Khanna. “Still don’t believe it!!! Happy birthday” she‘d posted from her annual holiday; proving what the wise have always known: Lovers may part, but often love never ends.

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