Monday, November 30, 2015

One for the album.

What's the best setting for a selfie? For artistes performing at the Water Festival in Patan, the heritage site of Rani Ki Vav turned out to be picture perfect. Your diarist spotted musicians Parthiv Gohil, Fazal Qureshi and Niladri Kumar strike a pose with Birwa Qureshi, founder of the Craft for Art initiative, and veteran actor Darshan Jariwala

Band, baaja and dollops of fun

DESIGNER of youthful quirky apparel Masaba Gupta and film producer Madhu Mantena kicked off their three-day wedding extravaganza with a bridal shower at a friend's home at Juhu. The bride's mother, the effervescent Neena Gupta, was in a happy and boisterous mood, commandeering the dance floor. We spotted Madhu Mantena scrupulously sticking to Diet Coke through the evening as he has been put on a diet by Masaba, who herself looked svelte in a long skirt and 70s style polkadotted cropped top. Masaba's designer friends Nishika Lulla and Pernia Qureishi were in attendance, as was Shilpa Shetty. The surprise winners at "Love Nest", a game about who knows their partner the best, were the newly-weds Shahid and Meera Kapoor. The bridal shower will be followed by sangeet where the Bhatt sisters Aalia and Shaheen have promised a sparkling performance for their friends, as will Shahid who will lead an "all boys" dance performance.

'Pride' of Gujarat

GUJARATIS are known for their wealth creation instinct and their sense of humour. May be that is why three lions in Gir forest ended up being named after Asaram, Narayan Sai and Hardik - three men who created quite a stir in Gujarat. Beat guards name the animals after specific characteristic trait. So while one lion was called Gabbar after the infamous villain Gabbar Singh of Sholay due to its frequent fights with other lions, another was named after Osama bin Laden for terrorising others. Going by that logic, your diarist feels that the lions named after the spiritual leaders - currently in jail for alleged rape - ought to be really lusty. And the one named after young Patidar leader Hardik Patel could be exceptional in his skill for polarisation. Either this, or those responsible for naming the lions at Gir, which is the only sanctuary in the country to house the Asiatic lion, are desperately short of imagination. Whatever be the case, there's no denying that the lions are breathing free in the jungle while their namesakes languish in jails.

In memory of

A connoisseur of all things beautiful, Amol Vadehra's untimely death at 37, early this year, left the art fraternity in deep shock. The Delhi-based discerning collector and heart of many a party played an important role in the functioning of the influential Vadehra Art Gallery. The bereaved family, we now hear, will institute "The Amol Vadehra Art Grant", as part of their Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art (FICA) programme. The year-long grant of Rs 2 lakh is aimed at supporting an Indian artist under the age of 40 to develop a new body of work. One of the country's most successful gallerists and Amol's cousin, Roshini told us, "Amol was extremely passionate about art and even painted. He started collecting when he was a teenager, and had an eye for the best antiquities, modern, and contemporary art. He was always in the hunt for young contemporary artists, and supported them. This grant is our way of keeping his memory as well as passion for art alive."


ALTHOUGH horse-racing is widely considered as a mug's game, punters and race-horse owners always remain optimistic about their chances of beating the odds. Recently a sporting owner, who passionately bought quite a few well-bred horses for his love of the sport, found one of his equines to have not lived up to his expectations. After trying every trick in the book, from changing the distance, equipment and even jockeys, the filly named Theory failed to win a race. Frustrated that his "theory" had not worked, the disheartened owner thought that changing her name would probably help her taste success. And he also thought changing her name could change her fortunes, if not her ability to win. But the new name he chose for Theory was very interesting. Theory was rechristened as Pracs which if spelt backwards reads SCRAP!

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