Another happy occasion; another happy couple. Grizzled and brawny, yet possessed of a charm that spills out of good-natured eyes into that warm grin, Farhan Akhtar reaches out for a selfie that envelops wife Shibani Dandekar, all radiant and gleaming of the sea herself. On his 47th birthday, Shibani penned a very public missive to the “love of my life, my best friend, my ludo partner”. Saying she was grateful for “watching my back through it all”, she thanks “this beautifully talented genius of an artist”. Well, hyperboles were invented to be employed in the service of love!
They manned up, stonewalled, attacked in spurts, stole stealthy runs, extracted errors from the Australians, relished their sagging shoulders as the sun stooped to a close. Thus, Indian batsmen saw off the most fourth innings overs by the team since 1979, staved off all the Aussies threw at them and saved the Test. Pride and self-belief played their part, but was a smidgen of that resolve meant as a fabulous welcome note for the baby girl Virat and Anushka first called their own that very afternoon? We’ll never know and, more than these tiny, wrinkly pair of feet, we can’t show more of her. Anushka recently spoke about the values she and Virat share—respect for people, love for all—and promised not to bring up a brat. We’ll hold them to her word 15 years hence. For now, we offer our congratulations.
Looking impossibly boyish, we have seen him over the years in one of these three attitudes—chalking his cue in quiet contemplation, eyes fixed on coloured orbs and the pockets they are destined for; bent low on the table, executing all manner of acute angles and posing with trophies, a shy smile on his lips. Thus, we found it hard to pick Pankaj Advani from the pagri, sherwani, garlands of roses and his lovely bride, Sanya Shadadpuri, a celebrity makeup artist. An ISBF World Billiards champion 15 times, and world champion in all formats of billiards and snooker, Pankaj tried his hand at poetry: “A celebration of the new journey we take together/ a representation for the love we share….” More follow in this vein, but seeing the mood he’s suffused in, the core feeling must be applauded.
We approach Kim Sharma with a breezy hello, with a tone of familiarity reserved for old acquaintances. For back in the early noughties, when Kim was in the thick of new Bollywood releases, and Yuvraj Singh the prince of the Indian batting line-up, their romance prompted many a reference in these pages. The fading of that affair, and of her career, meant we had lost track of her. Until now, in an exquisite one-shouldered bikini tailored for ripeness, striated by the lazy sun, hair bunched up carelessly, as good as the newly-minted actress we knew well. The location, in case you’d like to meet her? Maldives. How could we disappoint you in the first ‘la dolce vita’ of the new year?