The fiddler in the sky
>> The Daniel Pearl Foundation’s memorial event at the Soul Fry Casa on Sunday afternoon on Oct 14 adds a poignant note to the month’s high-jinks.
Who can forget the slain foreign correspondent who had been kidnapped in Pakistan while working as the South Asia Bureau Chief of The Wall Street Journal, based in Mumbai 10 years ago?
An avid fiddler on his day’s, off the handsome Pearl and his wife Marianne (the author of A Mighty Heart that was made into the film starring Angelina Jolie) had been part of the city’s expat community and participated in many a musical evening jamming happily with musicians and friends.
Soul Fry Casa which hosted last year’s event too promises a vibrant afternoon where some of Mumbai’s well known musicians/singers that include acapella groups, duos, trios, soloists, choral singers, beat boxers and a five-year-old child protégé will perform. A fitting — but as we said — poignant tribute.
>> We caught a glimpse of AR Rahman being felicitated for his 20 years in film music composition at the 6th Annual Global Indian Music Awards (GiMA) held at Yash Raj Studios earlier this week.
Felicitated by industry veterans like Yash Chopra, singers like Hariharan, Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik, and Sonu Niigaam the man who has written the background score for post reform India like Tu Hi Re, Mitwa, and Jai Ho once again restored our faith in human nature. Because just when we are up to our ears with pomposity, pettiness and legends buying into their own myths, there comes a breath of Rahman: humble, self effacing and still innocent enough to delight in wherever life takes him. His Oscar acceptance speech was a lesson in what true grace is all about. Congrats Rahman. Thank you for the music. And never allow your celebrity to make you trade in your natural graciousness for fake humility like others of your ilk.
>> As part of its diamond jubilee celebrations India’s foremost gallery, the Jahangir Art gallery which has served as an incubator for most that is great and good in the Indian contemporary art scene is planning a series of cultural events that will draw the city’s premier culture vulture and artsy-partsy people to its precincts we hear.
Spearheaded by the likes of the city’s legendary art patrons Sangita Jindal and Harsh Goenka foremost amongst these events are talks on art and textiles, art and film and even art and food by leading lights in their fields followed by what is being touted as the ‘icing on the cake’: a fashion show by the ever-gifted designer Sabyasachi on the museum grounds that will tie together the best of art and fashion in a stylish knot. We like!
Two Parsis at Harvard
>> Sooni Taroporewala that quiet and distinctive voice in the visual arts who has influenced the way Indians are viewed and view each other with films like Salaam Mumbai, Such a long journey and The Namesake of which she wrote the scripts, and her chronicling of the Parsi community in books and exhibitions is being afforded a rare honour when her alma mater Harvard (she was an undergrad there) will be hosting an exhibition of her work Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India between October 25-December 20 at the Sert Gallery at the prestigious Carpenter Center where the photographer / screen writer will be in conversation with fellow Parsi and Mumbai boy Homi Bhabha, Harvard’s Director of the Humanities center (whose son Satya’s performance as Saleem Sinai in Midnight’s Children is drawing favorable notice).
Also to be screened will be Taroporewala quirky and delightful film Little Zizou, on the Parsis, which we have seen not once but twice (we told you about our craven Parsi worship). “I feel lucky that life’s come full circle. I started film and photography at Carpenter center so am thrilled to be showing my photos and film there,” said the shy artist when we spoke to her.
The Liz Taylor fixation
>> What is it about green-eyed legend Elizabeth Taylor and Indian men? Not only has Vijay Mallya bought the 105-year-old Edwardian moor yacht, The Kalizma that the beauty had once owned, (said to be named after her three kids) but now word comes in that erstwhile Mumbai boy Rocky Malhotra, scion to the Super Max blade fortune has not only bought Taylor’s Bel Air residence (as an investment we’re told) but also resides in Julio Iglesias’s mansion in the same town.
Not only that but Malhotra presides on the board of ampfAR the Cinema against Aids foundation that hosted the most glamorous party at Cannes at the Hotel Du Cap Eden Roc that had the likes of Gerard Butler, Janet Jackson and Mila Jojovich attend. For all that Rocky who we often bump into on his frequent trips back home and who had dated some very glamorous women in his time, still remains the affable, party hearty Mumbai boy at heart.
Pillow talk gets costly
>> So who is the owner of a beverage company whose marriage is on the rocks? Apparently, the frisky entrepreneur was apprehended while indulging in some delicious pillow talk while discussing the birds and the bees in his own bedroom with a woman of Far Eastern descent by his wife. “That woman is claiming Rs 50 lakh from him to keep the matter under wraps,” informs an insider.