What do you call an event where the better halves of the pioneers of India’s software industry — themselves authors and philanthropists — converge on one platform to talk? The Bangalore International Centre — which invited Sudha Murthy (in pic), Rohini Nilekani and Yasmeen Premji for a public conversation — called it “It’s Complicated”. Among other things, the wives spoke about work, their lives and against the recent gang rape in Delhi. All three believe that while lack of safety for women is a matter of concern, what is more important is a need to change social attitudes. That’s what the First Wives’ Club counsels. Of course, we all agree with that profound observation.
Faraaz Kazi is on a high. First, his romantic novel Truly, Madly, Deeply was appreciated all around. Next comes news that he’s made a mark internationally as well. The book recently won the prestigious Goodreads Readers’ Choice award in the “Best Debut (Romance)” category. Kazi is utterly gratified by the fact that lakhs of people have voted online and chosen his book. Set in a school, Truly, Madly, Deeply is a story about the most popular guy in school falling in love with his beautiful female counterpart. A certified soft-skills trainer and a three-time postgraduate, Kazi also runs a promotions agency for authors and artists. Clearly, it’s a short step from promoting authors to turning into an author!
So you think only Bollywood stars are making a beeline for Hollywood? Not so. Bollywood designers are trying to hightail thither as well. Take Manav Gangwani, the couturier who has dressed up celebs such as Hrithik Roshan, Salman Khan, Arjun Rampal, Priyanka Gandhi and Smita Thackerey. Recently Gangwani grabbed headlines when he styled supermodel Naomi Campbell, who was in Jaipur to celebrate her boyfriend’s birthday. What’s more, Infinite Luxury Brands, jointly set up by Gangwani and a couple of Indian entrepreneurs, has partnered with Roberto Cavalli (in pic) in India. But Gangwani says the collaboration doesn’t stop there. And that something “big” from Hollywood is coming his way. Of course, he’s not divulging any details yet. Brad Pitt in a Gangwani carelessly casual look? Keep your eyes peeled — it may just happen.
Anushka Sharma may be a hot babe. But did you know that she’s also a poet? Well, you can’t be faulted if you didn’t. Only two people have seen the poems she has been scribbling, particularly during the shooting of her forthcoming rom-com, Matru Ke Bijli Ka Mandola. The lucky two are the film’s producer-director Vishal Bharadwaj, and screenplay writer-lyricist Jaideep Sahni. Bharadwaj went on to present her with some volumes of Gulzar’s unpublished poems on her birthday and told her she should never let the poet in her die. Sharma intends to do just that, but she doesn’t think she would ever want to share her poems with the world. “I’m a private person and these poems are too personal. They are my way of dealing with life —- like a spa treatment that cleanses the soul.” Poetry for the soul? Nice.
It’s something like the return of the native. Manish Arora, the fashion designer who has a long-established street cred in the West, has come home at last. Earlier this month, he launched his label “Indian by Manish Arora,” in collaboration with BIBA at the ultra luxury DLF Emporio mall in Delhi. At the launch, Arora said that his focus would be on making sure that there are many happy young women wearing his designs. As the only Indian designer who is a member of the Federation Francaise de la Couture du Pret a Porter in Paris, a fashion body that includes global luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Chanel et al, Arora has a truly international aura. No doubt legions of fashion conscious Indian women would be thrilled to have finally got a chance to flaunt a Manish Arora piece.