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Thursday, Nov 14, 2019

Malavika Sangghvi: Praise for the Padukones

When the dapper St Stephen‘s alumnus Amitabh Kant, CEO of the all-powerful NITI Aayog, chose to commend actress Deepika Padukone on the occasion of World Mental Health Day for her work with her The Live Love Laugh Foundation, it certainly carried weight.

mumbai Updated: Oct 17, 2019 01:01 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
Deepika Padukone with NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant
Deepika Padukone with NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant(Picture: Amitabh Kant/Instagram)
         

He’s seen as one of the brightest sparks in the current regime, a career bureaucrat responsible for some of the government’s game-changing initiatives over the decades, such as God’s Own Country, Incredible India and Make In India. So, when the dapper St Stephen‘s alumnus Amitabh Kant, CEO of the all-powerful NITI Aayog, chose to commend actress Deepika Padukone on the occasion of World Mental Health Day for her work with her The Live Love Laugh Foundation, it certainly carried weight.

“I was amazed to learn that it runs a school program, ‘You Are Not Alone’, across eight cities and focuses on rural mental health by providing free psychiatric treatment to patients in all six talukas of Davangere district in Karnataka,” said Kant, adding, “She has played a key role in reducing the stigma relating to mental health and supporting those struggling with mental illness. Her leadership role through TLLF is highly inspirational and motivating.”

But Deepika is not the only Padukone to get Kant’s vote it seems; her father, badminton champion Prakash Padukone, came in for his share of praise too.

NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant with Deepika Padukone and her father Prakash Padukone.
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant with Deepika Padukone and her father Prakash Padukone. ( Picture: Amitabh Kant/Instagram )

“I have always been a fan of Prakash Padukone for having put India on the world badminton map, for having been world number one and for being the first Indian to win the All England Open Badminton Championships. He is also a wonderful human being and a person who has significantly contributed to the growth and development of sports in India as a key founder of Olympic Gold Quest,” said Kant, who was a keen sportsman in his school and college days, playing badminton and cricket, but has now graduated to golf.

TRUELIES:

They say the true character of a person can be discerned when they feel no one’s watching. How you behave in private, away from the spotlight and the social glare speaks of who you really are. So when this self-styled society high flyer, celebrated for her gilt-edged lifestyle, her designer threads and her year-round tan (picked up from sailing around the Mediterranean on friends’ private yachts, of course) was seen to go to some lengths to penny pinch on a relatively small amount of her contribution to a recent charity fundraiser, there were certainly some eyebrows raised.

“It was a voluntary drive for a very good cause,” says a source. “And it saw a host of people, rush forward to make their contributions unasked. So imagine everyone’s surprise when this high-profile socialite, who is always going on about her glamorous life and her extravagant lifestyle, was one of the last to come up with her contribution to the cause,” says the source, adding, “What’s got people talking is that not only was she amongst the last to come forward to help, but that she brazenly tried to give half of what everyone else had given, and frankly the amount was a fraction of what one of her bracelets would cost.”

A case of too little too late?

Accolades for Sussanne

Sussanne Khan with other winners in Kuala Lumpur.
Sussanne Khan with other winners in Kuala Lumpur.

“So, so, so proud of my sister Sussanne on winning the Asia’s most influential designer award at the Designer Of The Year award presentation in Kuala Lumpur last night,” posted Farah Khan Ali about her younger sibling’s recognition. Sussanne, the youngest of Zarine and Sanjay Khan’s daughters, won, thanks to her championing what was described as ‘India’s first design concept store’, The Charcoal Project, and looked every inch to the manor born, as she went on stage to receive her citation.

Incidentally, we were pleased to see that India is not the only place infected by the celebrity awards phenomena, with hyperventilating hosts, unchecked hype, and red carpet hysteria. Malaysia appears to be not far behind in these departments and in fact, going by the proceedings of Monday’s event, it makes Indian awards shows appear almost subtle and sophisticated by comparison.

Heaven In a Bottle

Anita Lal, founder and creative director, Good Earth.
Anita Lal, founder and creative director, Good Earth.

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of her clothing line, Sustain, Anita Lal, the Delhi-based founder and creative head of Good Earth, went ahead and created a limited edition fragrance called Sindhuri (only 100 bottles), designed to make people’s knees buckle.

“I wanted to create a lingering fragrance from pure essential oils, with elements of the mountains — deodar — mogras of summer evenings in the plains, and smoky Vetiver-Khus roots from deserts during the monsoons,” said Lal, when we spoke yesterday, on the eve of the carefully curated exhibition and fashion presentation, called Sindhu, inspired by the diverse, syncretic culture of the river Sindhu, which will take place this weekend in Delhi. The daughter of a Harvard professor, Lal is that rare combination of left and right brain adroitness; a woman of heightened aesthetic sensibility, who, in a very short period, has managed to create a lifestyle empire, showcasing the best of Indian design and craft, along with a strong luxury brand which can hold its own internationally. What’s more, she has done this quietly and without any show of fuss, and with what seems to be an artist’s approach to the bottom line.

A look from her latest fashion exhibit Sindhu.
A look from her latest fashion exhibit Sindhu.

“Sindhuri was made especially for Sindhu, as a limited edition, by Paro, my wellness brand,” she said of the exquisite fragrance.

Will it be sold in any of her stores?

“Actually it’s not for sale — at least we’ve not thought of that yet” was Lal’s characteristic response.