GT – January 01-15 2018


Zara and Asad met in the most traditional way. What followed were fireworks and a fairy tale love. Asad and Zara will be married by the time this issue hits the stand. Here’s to wishing this beautiful couple a very happy life ahead!

Interview and Coordination: Sana Zehra

Photography: Arsalan Bilgrami of a.bilgrami studio

Stylist: Neha Khan

Wardrobe: Splash and Mantra

Hair & makeup of Zara: Studio Z salon and spa

Hair of Asad Siddiqui: Clippers for men


Most important object you own?

My phone

Simple change you made in your life?

Zara Noor Abbass!

What is one thing many people take seriously but shouldn’t?


If you were ever convicted of a crime, how would you defend yourself?

I will just go with the flow

a show or movie that changed the way you viewed the world?

Suits and Peaky Blinders.

Favourite bad ass quote?

Harvey Specter–“Life is this. I Like this.”

Which Historical figure takes the award for being most hardcore?

Christopher Lee

What is your dream job and why?

I’m already doing it. I can be anyone any day. How fun is that!

What event in your life would make a good movie?

It’s about to happen!

And what’s about to happen?

I’m getting married.

What job would you absolutely be horrible at?

Too many to name.

Which is the one movie everyone has seen but you haven’t?

Justice League

What’s the next big thing?

My shaadi!

Which commercial convinced you not to buy the product?

(Hmmm) I’d rather not say.

Which is the most useless major in college?


One thing people do really easy but you find it difficult?

I don’t find anything difficult.

One job that doesn’t exist but should?


Funniest way you have been injured?

It happened yesterday: A man literally fell off the roof on my head and I survived.

If your life were a movie, which song would be on the soundtrack?

Iris by Goo Goo Dolls

One TV catchphrase you use the most?

“I like to win big,” from Suits

Which terrible movie do you love?


One song you would sing along whenever you hear it?

Wicked Games

One game you are really good at?

All of them

What would your DJ name be?

DJ Sid

Which movie should they make a sequel of?

I think they shouldn’t, because whenever they do a sequel it all goes down.

One reality TV show you’d like to be a part of?

Fear Factor

What is your spirit animal?


most unprofessional thing you’ve seen someone do?

Don’t come on time and act like divas when they are really not.

You are about to get into a fight, which song would come on?

The Game of Thrones theme song.

Favourite place on earth?


Favourite food?


Denim or pants?


Collared or T-shirt?


One thing you can’t live without?

Zara Noor

What does love sound like?


Favourite song to play on your I-pod?

Sex on Fire

Best song to sing while getting ready for a night out?

Something Just Like This

Biggest inspiration?

My parents

Favourite perk of the job?


One super her power you would like to have?


Asad can’t live without Zara


What do you find yourself doing a lot these days?


What is your current obsession?


What is your favourite place to visit in the world?


What’s one thing you own you truly cherish?

My phone!

Of all the hobbies in the world what is one hobby you will never give up?


What makes you the angriest?


Describe yourself in three words?




Favourite Disney princess?


Most fashionable woman you know

Ayesha Omer

Fashion trend that can never let you down?

Loose pants and crop top

Favourite thing to eat?


Who do you look up to most in life?

My mom

Best pieces of advice you recently got?

Asad said, “Let all the toxic people out of your life.”

Any Tv shows you are watching recently?

Grey’s Anatomy, American Horror Story, Game of Thrones and How to Get Away with Murder

Fictional character you want to spend the day with?

Meredith Grey

Last movie that made you cry?

Murder on the Orient Express

One movie you can binge watch?

Mean Girls

Any hidden talent?

I do the tongue twister pretty good.

Silliest nickname


When are you most creative?

Listening to music

Song to play in the car?

When the river flows into you…

Funniest thing you’ve read about yourself on the internet?

I’ve read a lot of rude stuff, such as “Inko Kaam tu aata nahin hay pata nahin kaha say uth kay ajatay hain.” (She doesn’t know her job. God knows where she’s come from.)

One role you really want to do?

A role set in old era where I’m wearing all those classic, elegant ensembles.

Favourite app?


If you could trade your life with someone who would it be?

No one

Leather or embellished?


Cash or card?


Always early or running late?

Running late and my director hates me for that.

Heels or flats?


Eyes or lips?


Style or comfort?


Biggest hit in the wardrobe?

My jacket

Long hair or short?


Karachi or Lahore?


Early morning or late night?

Late night

Backpack or handbag?


No food or no TV?


Dream dinner party?

Asad, Blake Lively and Pervez Musharraf

Snap chat or Inst-astory?


Any last thing you want to say to our readers?

I would like to add something about our divorce and remarrying. Divorce is a sad thing but nothing to be ashamed of. Asad and I have found a new beginning with each other. A love like ours only happens once in a lifetime, we are very lucky.

What does GT mean to you?

Gt means Sana Zehra and a place where new people are welcomed and are bucked up for what they do.

Zara’s nickname is Pinko

Who? Alia Bhatt

Why? She looks adorable in a 50s style dress reminiscent of Dior’s New Look

Who? Shahid Kapoor

Why? The actor carries off a bold houndstooth jacket with panache

Who? Priyanka Chopra

Why? This Hollywood and Bollywood A-lister is soon to be seen as the braidesmaid at the royal Harry-Meghan wedding in London

Who? Ayesha Omar

Why? Pairing a Maheen Karim jacket with a Shehla Chatoor skirt is a tour de force.

Who? Bilal Ashraf

Why? Perfectly polished, he lets his red tie and pocket square do the talking.

Who? Urwa Hocane

Why? Watch for more Zuria Dor ensembles on the red carpet

Many of you may have heard about the anthology of short stories, Austenistan published by Bloomsbury, edited by Laaleen Sukhera and written by Laaleen, Nida Elley, Saniyya Gauhar, Mishayl Naek, Gayathri  and Mahlia Lone. Each of us has stories within us. But what does it take to put them down and have them published. Let’s ask the Austenistanis

As a debut fiction writer, what did you learn working on this book?

Laaleen: Only write fiction if your heart is really into it. Don’t do it for money or fame or prestige, do it for the sake of creative expression. Saniyya: That writing fiction is harder than it seems! It’s mentally and physically very challenging – this act of creating something from scratch.

Mishayl: I learnt that creating fictional stories and characters require well thought out storylines and more research than other editorial work. I had to really imagine the characters and think of life stories in order to make them seem real. It was much more fun than journalism but infinitely more difficult.

Gayathri: I learned that we all have snippets of stories within us but that putting them together to create something new is hard.

Sonya: That you can’t cram-jam everything and their mother into a short story! Also, I learnt that as a writer, you have to ‘show’ and not ‘tell’ – don’t hand-hold your readers, they’ll tune out.

Nida: I’ve been writing fiction for the past 15 years now, but this is the first time one of my short stories has been published. Apart from consistently writing and working on your craft, getting your work noticed has a lot to do with love and luck.

Mahlia: I learnt that writing fiction is a skill like any other.

How is Austenistan different from the novels or anthologies of other Pakistani contemporary authors?

Nida: As far as I know, this is the first time Pakistani authors are openly paying homage to another great writer of another era and culture.

As (Pakistani English language) writers as long as we pander less to foreign readers, and focus more on being authentic, our work will thrive.

Laaleen: I have the deepest respect for all our authors and budding writers but I’d have to say we take ourselves less seriously than most. We have incorporated humour as well as social commentary in our interpretations of Austen’s novels.

Gayathri: Austenistan is a refreshing and unpretentious selection of stories. Just as with Jane Austen’s novels, Austenistan is set in a certain milieu of society, but the themes of joy and despair of womanhood depicted are universal.

Sonya: I think Austenistan’s stories touch upon subjects which haven’t really been explored in local fiction before. I think some South Asian writers have played it too safe when it comes to fiction, where they continue romanticizing our neck of the woods; such as, the smell of fresh jasmine and what not. Fiction on contemporary Pakistan has only now started to become popular. Why? Because it’s raw and refreshing.

Did you just sit down and dash off the story or did you carefully construct the plot line first?

Saniyya: Even though I had the outline of the basic plot in my head, once I started writing, the characters literally bounced off the page and took me in directions that I hadn’t planned and they even started telling their own stories, in a manner of speaking. At one point, I couldn’t keep up; as the dialogue just started spilling out from I don’t know where! And there are certain characters that I didn’t plan on having in the story but they just sort of “appeared.”

Laaleen: I started with a vague feeling of what I wanted to portray, sketched out characters and situations, and then it literally took on a life of its own! I think I can speak for all seven of us when I say that we now think of our fleshed out characters as real people now, with their idiosyncrasies and foibles!

Gayathri: I wrote the story at a very stressful time in my life. I had just packed up and moved from Pakistan to Jordan with my family. The weekend after we arrived in Amman they explored the city while I sat in a bare flat and dashed off my story to make the deadline. Needless to say, much editing followed!

Mishayl: Usually I think about what I’m writing for ages, mentally considering opening lines and sentence construction. In the case of fiction writing I did the same, but my editing process was much more intense.

Sonya: I’m a bit rash, so yes I dove right in and let the story take me along, not the other way around.

Nida: My writing process consists of day dreaming all the time, focusing solely on characters and plot lines some of the time, and letting the writing take me where it will the rest of the time.

Mahlia: I dashed it off and then went back, fleshed out the characters and tightened the story. The self-editing never really stops.

Why did you choose to tell this particular story?

Mishayl: As a voracious reader, I have never found a story which I believe reflected my life in Pakistan. I wanted to tell the story of the lives of ordinary 30 year old women in Karachi so we too were represented. It’s important to construct a full picture of Pakistan and show we are just like everyone else.

Nida: I found the idea of creating a character like Saira Qadir challenging, because she is so unlike me in many ways. The fun for me lay in finding a way to make this manipulative and selfish character not only sympathetic, but also lovable. Also, there is no limit to the number of Lady Susan-like characters in Pakistan.

Mahlia: I wanted to send a message to young teenage girls that nearly everyone gets married, but not all girls get a chance to complete their education, have a career and be financially independent, which in turn gives you options and the freedom to choose your life.

Ideally, what response would you like to elicit from the reader after reading this book?

G: Whether you are a Janeite or not I hope you delight in these stories of a few proud, brave, mad, bad, kind, good and fabulous women of Pakistan.

Saniyya: I would hope that after reading the stories, the reader feels that they have been through “an experience.” An experience that at times makes them laugh, cry (in a good way) and makes them feel as if they have actually been there with the characters – that they in fact, are part of our stories– that they are a guest at the wedding, that they have been privy to the conversation in the lounge; that they have attended the party in question…

Although our underlying theme is that Austen’s world is similar to ours, none of us are making any kind of social commentary, philosophical argument or judgment. We are simply telling a story.

Nida: As with all storytelling, I hope they’ll allow themselves to inhabit each of the characters’ points of view for a while, so they might relate or better understand or, at the very least, see the world through the eyes of a few modern-day Pakistani women.

Laaleen: To laugh with us, cringe with us, and hope with us!

Sonya: Glowing reviews, lots of fan-mail and a desi Darcy to finally take notice of my existence.

There was only one woman for Shashi Kapoor from the moment, aged only 18, he laid eyes on Jennifer Kendal to his parting breath at 79, despite being lusted after by millions of women. Theirs is a unique love story of true and complete lifelong commitment, one for the ages


By Mahlia Lone

Shashi Kapoor was born in Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1938 and named Balbir Prithviraj Kapoor, to Prithviraj, the founder of Prithvi Theatres, and Ramsarni Kapoor. He was the youngest son, with Raj fourteen years older and Shammi seven years older than him. Shashi attended the Catholic boys school Don Bosco High School in Matunga, Mumbai. Meanwhile, he also became a child star,  acting in his eldest brother Raj’s films in the late 40s under the name of Shashiraj, even playing a childhood version of Raj in Aag and Awara. In his late teens, he worked as an assistant stage manager as well as an actor for his father’s theatre group, Prithvi Theatres. When he was 18, he was loaned out to actor-manager Geoffery Kendal’s Shakespearana group in Calcutta in 1956 where he first laid his eyes on Jennifer.

Shashiraj, The Child Star

Four and a half years older than Shashi, Jennifer was born in England in 1935. For the first eight years of her life, she was raised by a relative while her parents, Geoffery and Laura, toured with Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA), a group of entertainers that sub-contracted with the military to entertain troops overseas.  Geoffrey Kendal along with his troupe performed in the Far East: Hong Kong, Singapore and the backwaters of Malaya and Borneo, finally arriving in India in 1944. Jennifer resented being left behind and held it against her mother for years. Felicity, 13 years younger than Jennifer and a later a famous British TV star, was born when the couple was back in England.

The Kapoor Boys Prithviraj With Sons Raj, Shammi, Shashi & Grandson Randhir

Shashi and Jennifer’s eldest son Kunal Kapoor recounted in an interview, “My grandfather came to India during the war (World War II) with the British Army. He fell in love with the country and then returned in the 1950s.” Geoffery formed his own repertory company Shakespearana and took it on tour of India in the late 40s early 50s.

This time the couple brought their daughters with them. Because they grew up like nomads with hardly any local friends, shuttling from city to city, the two sisters were incredibly close and became each other’s confidantes despite the age gap. Between the two, Jennifer had a gentler, more compassionate spirit but held no religious conviction and would faint as on cue at church meetings her mother would attend so she would be excused.

“My wife thought I was gay”— Shashi Kapoor

Jennifer was growing up to be quite a beauty and started to play the lead in her father’s theatrical productions. “The ensemble would perform Shakespeare before royalty one day, and in rough rural villages the next where audiences included many schoolchildren,” as penned in Kendal’s life story, The Shakespeare Wallah: the Autobiography of Geoffrey Kendal, co-authored by Clare Colvin.

Jennifer Kendal Before Her Marriage

“My maternal grandfather loved India. He spent half his life in India. You should read Shakespeare Wallah, the book he wrote. You will know how my grandparents travelled the whole of India with their plays,” added Kunal.

According to the “Shakespeare-Wallahs” (as Geoffery was called), Shashi and Jennifer’s romance began in the Empire House in Kolkata. Owing to some confusion, the management company of Empire House allotted the same dates to Shakespearana and to Prithvi Theatres. It was finally decided that both the companies should perform on alternate days. While there Shashi was loaned to Geoffery for five months because the latter was short of actors to stage his plays.

Fairlawn Hotel

The fair 5’11” 18-year-old Shashi spied 23-year-old blonde Jennifer backstage and it was love at first sight. In her autobiography, White Cargo, Felicity Kendal recalled, “Shashi was backstage and happened to look through the curtains; that’s when he caught a glimpse of Jennifer. There she was dressed in a black and white polka-dotted summer dress with a halter neckline—daring—and she was pretty, fanning herself with her programme. Shashi fell instantly in love.”

Shashi worked in several shows along with Jennifer. They finally declared their love to each other when she was playing the character of Miranda in Shakespeare’s The Tempest at the Royal Opera House in Mumbai. Geoffery was not pleased. He didn’t want to lose his leading lady, so he would often insult Shashi for his accent and pick fights over Jennifer. She secretly mentored her Indian boyfriend on the finer points of English drama.

Aseem Chhabra, the author of Shashi Kapoor’s biography – Shashi Kapoor The Householder, The Star, quoted their daughter Sanjana saying , “When they (Shashi and Jennifer) were doing theatre, they were poor. They were sleep deprived and underfed and my father would tell me how they would be tormented by hunger while strolling down the streets—both my parents trying to decide if they could get half a paratha. Then, they would walk past a restaurant and there would be my grandfather, Geoffrey Kendal, having a huge meal with a beer. My father couldn’t walk in. He was his employee and he was also stealing his daughter. So there was no way he could march into the storm.” Despite belonging to different countries and different cultures, Shashi and Jennifer shared an affinity and love for the theatre, both literally had acting in their blood.

Shashi Kapoor With Wife Jennifer, Her Sister Felicity Kendal And Madhur Jaffery At The Berlin Film Festival In 1965

Good friends with Ismail Merchant, Shashi Kapoor starred in many Merchant Ivory films over the span of his career

Shashi recalled in an interview in his later life, “We never discussed theatre when we dated: While a Bengali man would recite Tagore while dating, a North Indian like me will be more obsessed with my fiancée’s beauty. But we were uncomfortable sharing the stage with each other. We expected too much from each other. She was well-read about Hindu philosophy and was more experienced about theatre when I met her.”

Raj was not in on the secret love affair, but Shammi was. Geeta Bali, his wife, was the first member of the Kapoor family to meet Jennifer and gifted her dupatta as a token of her acceptance during a show in Ooty.

Shashi and Jennifer decided to marry and leave her father’s repertory company to start their own theatre acting company. “The two ran off to Singapore and Malaysia to stage a play, but the shows got cancelled and they were broke. They wanted to get married so Raj (Kapoor) Uncle sent them money for their tickets and they came to Mumbai and got married (in 1958),” Kunal recounted the tale decades later. Jennifer’s own family boycotted her wedding.

“It is not true that my maternal grandfather (Geoffrey Kendal) did not want my parents to marry,” Kunal defended. “My grandfather was concerned about losing his leading lady. My mother played all the lead roles in the Shakespeareana theatre company run by my grandfather. It would be hard to find better grandparents than my mother’s parents. They were the most amazing people.”

Shashi said, “I was born in Kolkata: I had taken my wife, Jennifer, to the yellow coloured house in Kalighat where we used to live. I hardly remember my one-year stay in the city then. But my father would often talk about how he would cycle from Hazra Road to New Theatres. Even Raj Kapoor had spent eight to nine years here. He spoke Bangla, played football on the Maidan and was in charge of the first-aid box of injured players. I had also started doing a Bangla film called Sriparna starring Madhabi Mukherjee and Anjana Bhowmick. But the film got stuck. Manikda was a real hero for me: Yet I was petrified of him. He was so tall and had a rich baritone. Sometimes, we would meet at film festivals.

It’s been 10 years since I came to Kolkata: I love chorchori and chingri maach. The Fairlawn Hotel makes me nostalgic. Some of the old members of the staff still call me Shashi Baba. They remember the 18-year-old Shashi Kapoor who met Jennifer in Kolkata.” In fact, the newlyweds spent the initial days of their marriage in Room No 17 of Fairlawn Hotel, on 33-A Sudder Street in Calcutta, which is now known as The Shashi Kapoor Room. Fans check in as a tribute to their idol.

“I first saw her when she came to watch a Prithvi Theatres production in Kolkata. But I was too nervous to converse when we got introduced. Initially, she thought I was gay. It’s customary in India for young men to move around in groups and often hold hands as a gesture of their friendship. However, this simple gesture seems odd to the Westerners. Since she came from an English theatre background, which had a lot of gays, she thought I too had such preferences,” he chuckled.

“After the wedding, Shashi Kapoor continued working in theatre,” wrote Chhabra. “In 1959 Jennifer gave birth to their first child (Kunal) and took a hiatus from acting. Gradually Shashi felt the earning from theatre was not enough to give his family a good life. So he followed in the footsteps of his brothers and joined the Hindi film industry.” They had two more children Karan and daughter, Sanjana.

 “Nanda till date remains my most favourite heroine. She was like a fairy”— Shashi Kapoor

However, it was not as an actor but as an assistant director in the film Post Box 999, the debut film of Sunil Dutt, that Kapoor started his adult career in films. This was followed by assisting Ravindra Dave in Guest House (1959), and movies such as Dulha Dulhan and Shriman Satyawadi, where Raj Kapoor was the lead hero.

Shashi finally made his debut as a leading man in the 1961 film Dharmputra, but his early Hindi films did not fare well commercially. Meeting Ismail Merchant and James Ivory through Jennifer and having an appreciation for meaningful and sensitive cinema, he starred in their third film The Householder (1963)  opposite his sister-in-law Felicity Kendal and followed this up with Shakespeare-Wallah (1965), acting alongside all the Kendals. He was one of the first Indian actors to do crossover films, which have since become classics.

But Indian actresses were wary of being cast opposite this struggling newbie. Then, established actress Nanda gave him a break by signing one after another eight Hindi films opposite him because she believed in his talent. Their first films as a pair were the critically acclaimed romantic film Char Diwari (1961) and Mehndi Lagi Mere Haath (1962). The “good looking, cultured Kapoor,” endeared himself to all his co-stars. And Nanda found him “culturally different” from the other actors at the time. Other romantic films they did together included  Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965), Neend Hamari Khwab Tumhare (1966), Raja Saab (1969) and Rootha Na Karo (1970), etc.

In an interview in the 90s, Kapoor declared that Nanda was his favourite actress and that he regarded her as one of his mentors, “Nanda till date remains my most favourite heroine. Do you know the likes of Sridevi have blatantly imitated her Yeh Shama song sequence from Jab Jab Phool Khile in their films? She was like a fairy in an awesome film industry, which has no respect for genuine talent. Very few could match Nanda in her transparency and emotional abilities.”

Shashi & Jennifer With Their Kids Sanjana, Kunal And Karan

Nanda too stated that Shashi Kapoor was her favorite actor. Theirs was a platonic and professional friendship that was too last the rest of their lives because he was a thorough gentleman who had a strong work ethic, never reporting late on set, nor throwing any starry tantrums. Speaking on the subject of the casting couch in the 60s, he candidly remarked, “You’ve no idea how Dharmendra and Sanjay Khan were blackmailed by senior actresses when they were newcomers. I’m very grateful to Nanda that she was extremely gracious and decent with me.”

Shashi Kapoor said gratefully, “It is Bimalda who taught me how to face the camera and never be conscious of it. In Prem Patra (1962), he asked me to use the silent language of my eyes without speaking. My heroine Sadhana, who was initially hesitant to work with me, complimented me after the shot. Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Gulzar, in all fairness, rank nowhere compared to Bimalda.”

“Shashi Kapoor never spoke ill about anybody even if he was hurt,” Amitabh Bachchan wrote after his friend’s death in a tribute.

Based on Noel Coward’s short story, the movie Pretty Polly: A Matter of Innocence (1967) starred popular British actress Hayley Mills opposite Shashi Kapoor and was set in Singapore. Bombay Talkie (1970) another Merchant Ivory film in which he plays against type and stars as an adulterous Indian actor opposite Jennifer who portrays a promiscuous novelist having a fling with him. Despite these international projects, at home Kapoor’s career was facing a lull.

“In the late ‘60s, he did not have any work. We saw a lot of him then,” said Kunal. “That was also the time we discovered Goa. He sold his sports car. Mum also started selling things because we didn’t have money. After Sharmilee (1971), things changed again. There have been many ups and downs, but it never bothered us. My parents were in love with each other; they took care of each other.”

Shashi, Kunal And Jennifer. The Family Loved Relaxing On The Beach

Shashi went on to appear in 116 Hindi films, including 61 films as the solo lead hero and 55 multi star-cast films, 21 films as supporting actor and special appearances in 7 films. He was one of the most popular actor in Bollywood during the 60s, 70s and until the mid-80s and was the second highest paid after Rajesh Khanna, whom he considered a very versatile actor, and tied in the early 70s with Dev Anand and in the late 70s with Sanjeev Kumar and Dharmendra. Playing the part of the handsome, personable and affable romantic hero, Shashi Kapoor formed on screen pairs with all the top actresses of the day: Raakhee, Sharmila Tagore, Hema Malini, Zeenat Aman, Parveen Babi and Moushumi Chatterjee from the late sixties to the mid-eighties.

Family Man Shashi Kapoor With His Daughter, Sanjana

After their first movie together Sharmilee became a blockbuster, Raakhee was frequently paired with him, and they acted in hit films such as Kabhi Kabhie (1976), Baseraa (1981), and the critically acclaimed Trishna (1978) amongst others. He said he enjoyed working with her the most. He starred with Sharmila Tagore in hits like Aamne Samne (1967), Suhana Safar (1970), Aa Gale Lag Jaa (1973) that created a storm with its theme of premarital sex and pregnancy, and the critically acclaimed New Delhi Times (1985), winning him a National Film Award for Best Actor in 1986. With Zeenat Aman, he worked in hit films like Chori Mera Kaam (1975), Deewaangee (1976), Roti Kapda Aur Makan (1974), Heeralal Pannalal (1978), Bhavani Junction (1985), Satyam Shivam Sundaram (1978). In SSS, as it was known, Shashi Kapoor portrays an evolved, non-judgmental male unconcerned by his wife’s romantic past and it was thought that his relationship of two equals with Jennifer helped him understand and relate to this character. The songs of most of these films were set in stunning holiday resorts like Kashmir and Simla and the tunes are timeless. When he passed away, fans shared video clips from these songs online to relive their childhood memories of the star.

Because he was so much in love with Jennifer throughout their marriage and because he actually was a romantic gentlemanly non-sleazy guy in real life as well, there was not even a whiff of a rumor about Shashi Kapoor despite working with such beautiful and sexy women on a daily basis and going on location shoots with them. Quite remarkable an achievement!

Kapoor also made a popular pairing with Amitabh Bachchan and the two co-starred in a total of 12 films: Roti Kapda Aur Makaan (1974), Kabhi Kabhie (1976),  Kaala Patthar (1979), Suhaag (1979), Namak Halaal (1982) Silsila (1981), Namak Halaal (1982), and Akayla (1991). He made a great foil for Bachchan’s “Angry Young Man” persona. The two actors are particularly famous for Deewaar (1975), a film written by Salim-Javed about two brothers on opposing sides of the law, with Shashi playing a cop and Amitabh a thug. In the climactic confrontation scene, Shashi spouts the line, “Mere paas maa hai” (I have Mother) so effectively that the phrase became a part of Indian pop culture and his style is still emulated by actors today.

Similarly, in Yash Chopra directed film Silsila the two actors effortlessly play fun-loving brothers having a blast. They had over time developed a perfect understanding of the other’s acting style and timing. Interestingly, due to his boyish looks and effervescent, youthful personality, Kapoor who was six to seven years older always played the younger brother to Bachchan in many of the bromance films they acted in.

Amitabh Bachchan has often said that the reason why he and Shashi could do so many films together was because “Shashiji was absolutely hassle-free as a co-star and was only interested in his work.”

Shashi Kapoor was regularly cast with his real life buddy Sanjeev Kumar also in films like Mukti (1977), Muqaddar (1978), and Pakhandi (1984), etc. He was also close friends with Pran, Dharmendra, Dev Anand, Ismail Merchant and Rajesh Khanna. Though friendly with Bachchan, it was not until they were much older that Shashi and he became close.

“My father was very professional and easy to work with. He had no tantrums, no starry airs, he never misbehaved on the sets, he was punctual and everybody liked working with him,” said Kunal.

Shashi also made time for meanigngful projects, like Conrad Rooks’ directed Siddhartha (1972) based on the novel of the same name by Hermann Hesse. Set in north India, the film relates the story of the young Siddhartha born to a rich family, searching for a meaningful way of life. On his voyage of self-discovery, he goes through a cycle of asceticism, sensual pleasure and material wealth, followed by self-revulsion. Eventually he achieves oneness with a higher self and harmony within himself. Siddhartha learns that the secret of life cannot be learnt from another, but must be achieved through inner experience.

Kunal described their family life as being completely normal and non-starry. “We knew he was an actor. Everybody in my mother and my father’s family were actors. We were aware that going to public places with him in Mumbai was a problem. If we went to the zoo, it would have to be at 6:30 in the morning. And we would have to run away as soon as a crowd gathered. Dad never worked on Sundays. He spent the whole day with the family. We would have all three meals together. He never invited his friends over on Sunday. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he used to work in many films. He used to do six shifts. We would sit for breakfast at 7.30 am. No matter what time he came in the previous night, he would be at the breakfast table at 7.30. Our father was an integral part of our life. He was not strict. Very few fathers in our culture have a close relationship with their children. Fortunately, we had a great one-to-one relationship with him. I am hands on with my kids; I have washed my son’s bottom. I have changed his nappies…that is the kind of relationship I had with my father. My father didn’t have such a relationship with his father.

My father would try and schedule his outdoor shootings to coincide with our school holidays so that we would be together. But we were not taken on the sets of the film. Nowadays, we shoot early in the morning, but in those days, the shooting would start at 9:30 am or 10 am and end by 4 pm, so there was plenty of time to be together. For five or six years we went to Kashmir every summer during the shooting, but we would do our own thing with our mother. At home in Mumbai, we would go swimming; you could say we grew up in the Breach Candy club pool (a well known club in South Mumbai). We would also go to Juhu beach and spend the whole day there.”

Then, Shashi started getting restless. 1978 turned to be a turning point in Shashi’s career. The death of one’s parents brings home one’s own sense of mortality. After he lost his parents, Shashi felt he had to change his life; he wasn’t happy; he complained that he “didn’t quite enjoy running around trees.” Additionally, he felt that the film industry was being run by loan sharks interested in making a quick buck via commercial potboilers or “masala films” rather than meaningful and artistic cinema.

Shashi said about Jennifer, “She was my worst critic too and disliked 75 per cent of my films.” Jennifer wanted more for her husband; she wanted his artistic fulfillment and suggested he should do something he really loved.

British actress Hayley Mills (L) and co-star Shashi Kappor (C) at the lobby of Raffles Hotel, Singapore. They are in SIngapore to shoot a film “Pretty Polly”.

Both husband and wife put their heads together and came up with a well thought out three pronged plan. First, he decided to make and act in films, which he believed in. In 1978, he set up his production house Film Valas, under which he would produce thought provoking but commercially viable movies starting with Junoon.

Next, they decided it was time they returned to their first love: theatre. “My father bought the land and built Prithvi Theatres for plays (in Juhu, north-western Mumbai). He did it in memory of his father Prithviraj Kapoor and his father’s travelling theatre. My father was producing Junoon (1978) and doing six shifts a day, so my mother looked after the theatre completely,” explained Kunal. ”Now it’s being run by Sanjana.”  The Prithvi Theatres also functions as an acting school where Shakespeare is taught to and enjoyed by all those who wish to do so.

Sunday Was Family Day At The Kapoors

With her kids growing up, this was a new beginning for Jennifer too. She was actively involved in all stages of theatre productions, and started acting again in their home produced films. Kapoor roped in avant-garde directors like Shyam Benegal, Govind Nihalani, Aparna Sen and Girish Karnad to create such great films as Junoon (1978) and 36 Chowringee Lane (1981), in which Shashi cast Jennifer. For this film, she was nominated for the BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Other critically acclaimed films that he produced and starred in versatile roles include Kalyug (1981), Vijeta (1982) and Utsav (1984) based on a Sanskrit drama, in which he is virtually unrecognisable.   Shashi said, “Jennifer felt Utsav was too dark a film. My performance there, she had said, was ‘okay’. But her ‘okay’ meant good!” Her opinion was the most important to him. Although the films were well received by critics and a discerning audience, they were not big hits at the box office. The Kapoors went through a financial crunch but they were happy.

Third, Shashi made more time for British as well as American films, such as starring in another Merchant Ivory classic period movie, Heat and Dust (1982), which co-starred Jennifer and Julie Christie and was set in the Raj.

Tragedy struck the Kapoors’ happy household. “It was 1983. Cannes. Jennifer—who, until then, was thought to be suffering from amoebic dysentery—was diagnosed with cancer. Geoffrey Kendal writes in his autobiography that when he learnt of his daughter’s malady, he could not utter the word ‘cancer’ for the longest time; he called it ‘the illness’ or ‘this thing,’” wrote Chhabra. Jennifer had terminal colon cancer.

“In the meantime, Jennifer, in her own way, slowly came to terms with the diagnosis, and began informing those close to her, including friends like Anil Dharker. ‘She started telling me about how they had tried to brighten up a room with wallpaper at the Tata Memorial Hospital in Bombay,’ Anil says. ‘And I asked, well, why did you go there? And she replied, ‘Anil, don’t you see? I’ve got the Big C.’ That was it. That was how I came to know.’

“Towards the end, Jennifer’s only concern was for her children,” recalled her sister, Felicity.

After her diagnosis, Jennifer had surgery in India and seemed to be recovering. But later, during a trip to London and after more check-ups, it appeared that the cancer had spread. Jennifer spent her last months in the British capital in the hospital and at her parents’ home.”

“My mother died when she was just 50. My dad was 46 then,” Kunal added. “Our mother’s death caused us and our father a lot of grief; we had our own way of dealing with it.”

PKT2938 – 201761
Jennifer (right) & Felicity Kendal. Jennifer died last year
She’s bright, beautiful, and talented. She has an adoring husband, a devoted public and a thriving career.
But few who see Felicity Kendal bounce on to the stage of The Aldwych each night as Dotty in the West End hit Jumpers could guess that behind the chirpy facade lies a world of grief and loss.
Last September the golden girl of British theatre lost her elder sister Jennifer – the person she has relied on since she was a small child, the person she laughed with and learned from, until she felt that they were as close as any two people could be.
Jennifer was only 50 when she died of cancer.

Chhabra described Shashi’s heartbreak and subsequent life after Jennifer succumbed to cancer: “The family, as a whole, found itself teetering, without a mainstay. ‘My parents used to spend half the year in India with my sister,’ Felicity states, ‘but when she died, they felt going back was too painful, so they lost their home as well as Jennifer.’ And then, there was Shashi. After Jennifer’s demise, Dev Benegal says that he met Kunal Kapoor at a memorial at Prithvi Theatres: ‘The family had just come back from Goa and Kunal said to me, “Dad took this boat out in the middle of the sea. When he got there, that was the first time he cried. Really, he wept.”’ Like Dev, I’m stunned by the rawness of that moment—of Shashi, alone in the vast open seas, sorrowing. ‘He was really shaken by her death.’

Condolences poured in and there were press reports about Jennifer, the fine actress and grand woman.

Shashi Kapoor continued to work after Jennifer Kendal Kapoor’s passing, and some of his best work emerged during a time of loss. But something inside him did break. ‘I think the death of Jennifer was a big blow to him,’ (British Playwright)  Hanif Kureishi says, who worked with Shashi on Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1987) two years after his wife’s demise. ‘It really destroyed him.’

Jennifer had been the love of Shashi’s life, his true anchor. With her death, he became rudderless. Simi Garewal tells me, ‘Jennifer occupied—or Shashi surrendered to her—a large part of his personality. And they merged. With Jennifer gone, Shashi struggled, but couldn’t find himself. That vast area of his personality that was Jennifer—now it lay empty.  A void. I met him in London over dinner with Ismail Merchant and could see that he was floundering. He was different—not himself.’

In a televised interview shortly after her death,

Shashi spoke lovingly about his relationship with

Jennifer from their previous births, which will go on in

the next birth—their “Janam janam ka saath”

Anil Dharker, always a friend, bore witness to Shashi’s emotional collapse. Sometimes, the actor would depend on him—the way he must have, once, on Jennifer—to help him muddle through awkward social situations—such as, when the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting would request him to invite a foreign dignitary to dinner. ‘And then he would ring me up,’ Anil says, ‘and implore: “Look, I have this very boring dinner guest, do you mind keeping me company?” And I would do that. But when the dignitary would leave, Shashi would actually push me out.’

Then, Anil, and those close to Shashi, bore witness to the actor’s physical breakdown. Without the strict discipline Jennifer imposed on his existence, the star began indulging in his two chief weaknesses—food and drink”. Chhabra narrated what Shashi’s Deewaar co-star (who later became a niece-in-law) Neetu Singh Kapoor told him about how Jennifer had taken care of Shashi’s health while she was alive. ‘I would look at his food and say, ‘What’s wrong with you, Shashi Uncle? One orange he would have and thoda sa dahi (a little bit of yogurt).’ That was his lunch. And he would say, ‘My wife will kill me if I eat anything more!’ Neetu had told the biographer. “While Jennifer Kendal Kapoor was alive, she maintained a strict watch over her husband’s diet. This is the reason why, unlike the other Kapoor men, Shashi Kapoor stayed slim for the longest time. It was also why a lot of those around Shashi would feel sorry for him.

After her death Anil remembers dropping by for lunch on occasion, and asking for a glass of beer, only to learn that Shashi had been drinking vodka since the morning. ‘His domestic staff would bring refills as soon as his glass emptied out,’ Anil says. ‘He wouldn’t even have to ask. They knew exactly how long it took him to finish his drink and they would be ready with the next. By the end of lunch, he would be quite sozzled.’

‘I tried, quite often, to talk him out of it,’ Anil continues. ‘In fact, Sanjana and Kunal would say, “Come on, do something, he listens to you!” And I would respond, “This is one area where he doesn’t listen to me at all.” Then, they would say, “Visit more often because when you are here, at least he walks around. Otherwise, he just sits.” So I did.’

As Shashi found himself caught in a loop of grief and consumption, he fell victim to that infamous Kapoor syndrome— of putting on too much weight, too soon.

Gulliver’s Travels (1996) 1

A family friend remembered, “When I asked him, ‘Please tell me about Jennifer aunty.’ He sighed, flashed his legendary toothy smile and said, ‘See how life is static for me without her. Not only was she my inspiration but also my real mentor during good, medium and bad days. She really was the greatest influence on me. As a Hindu I believe in the immortal soul. She is always with me. I sense her presence often. And the house and everything in it is just as it was when she was alive.”

In a televised interview shortly after her death, Shashi spoke lovingly about his relationship with Jennifer from their previous births, which will go on in the next birth— their “Janam janam ka saath.”

Asked about remarrying, he said there was no question of it, as there was no one else like Jennifer, nor would there ever be anyone like her. She was ‘The One” for him and he recognized that the first time he laid eyes on her.

Shashi’s friends rallied around him. Rajesh Khanna gave him his comeback role as character in Alag Alag (1985). Kapoor also starred alongside Pierce Brosnan and Saeed Jaffrey in the period film The Deceivers (1988). Amitabh Bachchan and nephew Rishi Kapoor agreed to star in Kapoor’s directorial debut movie Ajooba (1991), an awful fantasy superhero dud. Kunal said, “My father directed only one film, Ajooba. The film was a big party on the sets. Everybody had a blast. I don’t think he was interested in direction. He is an actor. Likewise, he is not a businessman to produce a film. He made great films because he gave his cast and crew whatever they wanted.” The movie sank without a trace and Shashi decided he couldn’t afford to produce movies anymore.

“His health rapidly deteriorated. He was forced to leave Atlas Apartments and moved to Juhu, where he could be looked after by his son, Kunal. ‘With that, his whole life changed,’ Madhu Jain tells me. ‘He was a South Bombay person,’ and the move, she claims, added to the star’s loneliness, his growing depression. ‘I went to Juhu a few times,’ Anil adds, ‘but really, he stopped saying very much.’ Simi, with characteristic insight, tells me, ‘It’s as though Shashi had given up the inner struggle. He almost became a recluse,’” wrote Chhobra. “It was as if he had lost the will to live.”

Shashi’s lifelong friend Ismail Merchant cast him in In Custody (1993), based on Anita Desai’s 1984 Booker Prize nominated novel that tells the story of a college professor of Hindi who interviews a great Urdu poet (Shashi Kapoor) as a metaphor for “the clash between modernization and tradition.” Kapoor won a National (Special Jury) Award for his stellar and nuanced performance. He followed up this success with playing a grand Raja in the British-American miniseries produced by Jim Henson Productions of the TV adaptation of Gulliver’s Travels (1996). The miniseries had an international ensemble cast led by Ted Danson and won 5 Emmy Awards. In Jinnah (1998), Kapoor was the narrator. His last movie was fittingly a Merchant Ivory one called Side Streets (1998) in which he co-starred with Shabana Azmi. After this, he gracefully retired from acting.

Kapoor had the spotlight on him once again at the Shashi Kapoor Film Festival held in Muscat, Oman (September 2007). At the 55th Annual Filmfare Awards in 2010, Shashi Kapoor received the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2011, he was honoured with the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India for his contributions to Art-Cinema. And, in 2015, he was awarded the 2014 Dadasaheb Phalke Award, becoming the third member of his family to receive the highest award in Indian Cinema after Prithviraj Kapoor and Raj Kapoor.

“Nobody in the Kapoor family except Sanjna, Kunal and I are passionate about theatre now: That may be because Mr Raj Kapoor transferred all his energy to films. Shammi Kapoor used theatre as a springboard for films. I would never have joined films had Prithvi Theatre not closed down,” said Shashi in an interview after receiving  the DP Award.

Shashi remained faithful to Jennifer’s memory till his last breath.

“My father dreamt of having a Prithvi Theatre in every town: That’s why he named his company Prithvi Theatres. It would be a good idea to have a Prithvi Theatre in Kolkata. Wish I can watch some Bangla plays during this visit. I used to watch Shombhu Mitra and Utpal Dutt’s plays. We have a Little Prithvi Player where adults stage productions for children.

I don’t want to act any longer: My five grandchildren are the love of my life. The eldest one, who is a teenager, has already started eyeing girls. Is he following me? Well, my first love was Jennifer. When I was three, I wanted to marry my mother. When I was six, I wanted to marry my aunt and subsequently my cousin too!

Kareena is adorable: I watch her films but she still has to do my favourite film.”

Kapoor’s children, for a short while, became Hindi film actors but their Anglo Saxon looks and accented Hindi prevented them from having successful careers. Kunal married director Ramesh Sippy’s daughter, Sheena and had two children together, Shaira and Zahan, before getting divorced. Nowadays, Kunal has an extremely successful ad film direction company called appropriately Adfilm-Valas that makes big budget commercials. Karan, an accomplished photographer, lives in Chelsea, London, with his British wife, Lorna, and their kids, Aliya and Zach. Sanjana married wildlife conservationist and Tiger crusader Valmik Thapar, has a son named Hamir and runs the Junoon foundation to promote arts, culture and drama.

“My father had a good family, a good life, he made good films, and he doesn’t care about anything now. He has not been well for some time; he has a lot of complications and has dialysis three times a week,” said Kunal last year. By this time, Shashi had suffered a loss of partial memory, a stroke that left him partially paralyzed, and a heart attack and had been rendered virtually immobile. He used a wheelchair for his rare excursions.

Shashi After Receiving The Padma Bhusha Award With Sanjana, Kunal And His Children, Shaira And Zahan
Sanjana & Valmik Thapar With Their Son Himesh

Kapoor was admitted at the Kokilaben Hospital, Versova, Mumbai,  in December 2017 for a chest infection. He died at the age of 79 due to complications from advanced liver cirrhosis. Eldest surviving male relative, nephew Randhir Kapoor told waiting reporters, “Yes, he has passed away. He had kidney problem for several years. He was on dialysis for several years.”

Shashi and Jennifer shared an indelible bond of understanding and complete commitment, even after her death after 26 years of marriage. He remained faithful to her memory till his last breath. He neither remarried nor had an affair or even an emotional friendship because the world began and ended with Jennifer for him. With his charming dimpled smile, infectious mischievous banter and romantic spirit, he made woman swoon and believe in true love. And he embodied that spirit not just on screen but in his real life as well. He was a man who so deeply loved his wife and was so committed to her that he chose to spend the rest of his life cherishing her memory. Just as she had loyal and faithful, so did he love her till his last breath.

By Zoyaa Mahmood Baig Coordinated by Sana Zehra

Velvet is the one winter trend that hits all the right notes, and one we can’t help but want to join this band wagon. Oozing sumptuous royalty and cozy warmth in one, it’s a fabric that not only looks fabulous but evokes an image of wealth, femininity and sensuousness.

We just can’t get enough, whether in the form of accessories or in head to toe velvet separates. Here are some of our picks of looks that have made it to the top of our velvet goals this winter:

Alishay Adnan

Alishay’s super chic and athleisure inspired velvet seperates by Rema Shehrbano prove to us that velvet doesn’t have to be restricted to formal looks. This outfit is a breath of fresh air

Amna Baber

If you can’t commit to head to toe velvet, make like Amna Baber with a cute velvet crop top paired with flowing trousers.

Maha Hussain

Maha Hussain is regal and beautiful in this crushed pink coloured velvet blazer and trousers paired with the stunning embellished coat by Sana Safinaz. The slick hair and smokey eyes just add a whole other dimension to it. We can’t get over how amazing this looks.

Ghana Ali

Ghana Ali adds a touch of luxe with this Rum & Harry midnight blue velvet cut out top. Paired with boyfriend jeans and wavy hair, the style speaks of easy “I just threw this on” glam.


An Eastern velvet look by Mina Hasan that Alishay dons to perfection. Elegant and modern, the worked velvet culottes do all the talking.

Rema Taseer

Rema Taseer looks elegant and refined in a velvet kameez paired with flared pants. This outfit shows restraint and class and the maala (of her own design) remains the focus piece of the look.

Sana Ansari

Sana Ansari’s blue velvet luxe trousers bring some everyday glam to a layered winter look. Might we add that this is street style at its finest.

Rubya Choudhry

Rubya Choudhry wears a head to toe sleek velvet classic Kamiar Rokni design. Here the rich fabric works well with the well placed gold.

Palwasha Yousuf

Palwasha Yousuf’s all black Sania Maskatiya blazer and trouser look has us drooling. The sleek cut oozes a fresh take on 90s chic minimalism.

Anoushey Ashraf

Anoushey’s velvet, embellished Misha Lakhani blazer turns heads and does all the talking. The embellishment takes the simple cut to another level.


Hanieh Amir’s avant garde Hussein Bazaza dress combines a velvet bodice with a printed A-line skirt. The look is not for the faint of heart, but we feel Hanieh completely owned it.

Londoner Hugo Verity who studied at the University of Bath takes us on a tour of this unique historical city

Nestled between the green hills and fields of the Somerset countryside, Bath is in many ways a timeless city. Immortalised in classic literature and a favoured location for period dramas, its golden coloured townhouses and quiet outskirts are the epitome of Englishness.

With a population of less than a 100,000, the town of Bath is a world away (and a welcome break) from the bright lights and fast pace of London. This unique city is home to more than its share of historical gems. The perfectly symmetrical grand Georgian townhouses lining the Royal Crescent and Great Pulteney Street, the River Avon flowing at the foot of the Bath Abbey, the majestic Roman Baths and the elegant green parks are a reminder of its rich and impressive history. It’s easy to forget that before becoming the retreat of choice for 1800s high society, Bath was the stomping ground of the Roman elite, their culture now largely concealed behind the grand Georgian facades and below the busy streets. The Roman baths, with their temple dedicated to the goddess Sulis, still remain almost 2,000 years later, fuelled by the natural thermal waters beneath.

The awe-inspiring and magisterial Bath Abbey is the city’s centrepiece. Once razed to the ground during King Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries, the medieval reconstruction was adapted in the 19th century to become the gothic Victorian masterpiece that dominates today’s city centre. A site of worship for well over 1,000 years, and the location where the first King of England was crowned in 973, its rich cultural heritage typifies the rest of the city.

For the cultured and artistic, Bath is home to a surprising number of renowned galleries and museums. The Holburne Museum, proudly situated just outside the city centre, houses masterpieces by Gainsborough and works from the golden age of Dutch portraiture. For those with more of a taste for haute couture, the Fashion Museum houses an array of priceless pieces, from Georgian evening wear to classic creations by Dame Vivienne Westwood.

This modest city has also been a source of discovery and inspiration, from literary giants such as Mary Shelley, who is thought to have taken inspiration from Bath when writing Frankenstein, to pioneers of the Enlightenment. The Herschel Museum is one such place of inspiration where, within an unassuming townhouse typical of many homes in Bath, the planet Uranus was discovered in 1781.

Today, artists and romantics go to Bath for inspiration and escapism. They are stimulated by the revered architecture and famous sites like the Royal Crescent, a row of prestigious and highly sought after townhouses, and Pulteney Bridge, which crosses the expanse of the River Avon, a spot now recognisable for the part it played in 2012’s Les Miserables.

Of course, no one is more synonymous with Bath than Jane Austen. The city is a magnet for admirers of both her work and the woman herself. The Jane Austen Centre, an homage to the author, is a favourite of her followers. It is not uncommon to see people in this part of the city dressed in 18th and 19th century finery, as if for a moment you have travelled back in time to see Bath as Jane would have seen it through her eyes. Close to the Centre, the Pump Room, a fashionable meeting place and a setting found in Jane Austen’s Persuasion and Northanger Abbey, adds to the ambiance. In her words, “Every creature in Bath… was to be seen in the room at different periods of fashionable hours.” 200 years have passed since then, yet it retains its elegance.

Bath’s history and culture are matched by its vibrancy. Not only has it been a favourite of monarchs, artists, writers and actors, but it is has also always been a living, breathing community, with streets that are full to the brim with events and activities. Popular high street brands stand cheek-by-jowl with independent family-run businesses, local food markets, purveyors of rare books and antique shops. Favourites include Jolly’s, the oldest department store in the United Kingdom, and Sally Lunn’s, an eating house tucked down one of Bath’s numerous quaint streets and run from one of the oldest houses in Bath, built in 1482.

For relaxation, visitors and residents alike can still enjoy the pleasant, some say healing, qualities of the natural hot springs. The award winning Thermae Bath Spa boasts a rooftop pool with views over the city and a variety of spa treatments for those with a penchant for pampering and in need of relaxation. Alternatively, you might watch a performance at one of Bath’s theatres, such as the opulent early 19th century Theatre Royal, which hosts a year-round programme of performances, from West End productions to opera.

How to get there & how to get around

Bath is only an hour and a half from London Paddington Station. Upon your arrival, the public transport is regular and easy to use, with buses from the train station and from numerous points throughout the city.

Where to eat

Bath’s restaurants cater to all tastes, from those with a preference for dining in Regency elegance, to the contemporary and quirky variety. The unusually named Menu Gordon Jones, featured in the Michelin Guide, offers a unique take on classic dishes, where innovative food looks as wonderful as it tastes.

The Olive Tree is a must, a softly-lit and sociable restaurant within the Queensbury Hotel that has an enduring reputation for good food and an award winning wine list. For a more glamourous feel, the restaurant of the Bath Priory Hotel cannot be missed. Based in a country house on the fringes of the city, its traditional appearance is a stark contrast from the cutting edge cuisine.

Best time to visit

During the summer, museums, galleries and country houses are open to the public, making it the ideal time of year to visit. The south west of England also has the warmest climate in the country, the perfect time to enjoy Bath’s beautiful countryside. The breath-taking view from Alexandra Park gives visitors a remarkable bird’s-eye perspective of the rooftops and church spires nestled within the surrounding hills.

Where to stay

The Gainsborough is perhaps the most unique of Bath’s hotels, a five star Georgian building with pools heated by the natural springs (the only hotel of its kind in Britain). Other favourites allow you to feel more like a resident than a guest, including the Royal Crescent, where the grand staircases, oil paintings and ornate rooms set the sophisticated tone. It even has the hidden surprise of an acre of beautiful garden. For a more modern feel, the Halcyon Apartments are flawless, with a modern apartments ranging from the modest to the palatial, all situated two floors above the chic cocktail bar, Circo.

Juggun Kazim is a name that needs no introduction. Her no nonsense attitude about love, life and her openness about her personal relationships have made her connect with people. Sana Zehra sits down with her for a short & sweet one on one

What do you think it means to be a feminist in 2017?

I believe that women should have the same political, social, and economic rights as men but, most importantly, we need to make sure that we respect and every human being’s basic rights on this planet.

As a mother raising a boy what do you hope to teach him about equality?

As a mother raising a boy, it’s always an upward battle. I always try to teach him that men and women are equal, and both need to be respected the same way; in some ways, women more than men. It’s not very easy, because he is currently studying in an all-boys school where obviously there’s a little bit of male chauvinism that exists as well. But I believe that children really learn by example, so I try to be respectful of all people, male or female, some who work for me in my house or at work, or even my bosses. I try to keep an equal and respectful attitude towards everyone, so that my children learn to do the same.

How has Juggun changed over the course of the years?

The two great changes that have happened are: (a) that I’ve become extremely conscious of my health. I’ve become proactive about going to the gym and eating well, which I was very careless about say ten years ago. The other thing that has happened is that I’ve become much more patient than I used to be. I used to get very upset and worked up pretty quickly. Now I’ve learnt how to take a breath and be calm about adversities as well as minor irritants.

Under that tough facade, who is the real Juggun?

I’m basically just a regular girl. I like going out with my friends, hanging out at home watching movies, cooking for my family and friends. So I would say I’m very basic, there is no deep, dark or very interesting thing about me.

Favourite fan moment?

I’ve always had people coming up to me to appreciate my work, but what really touches me is when someone says I made a difference in their life, which happens very largely with my morning show. I have a dialogue based show on education and health. I still remember there was this one time a woman came up to me told me she was almost going to divorce her husband but changed her mind after listening to something I had to say in a show, about “when is it exactly the right time to give up” or “giving yourself that first year of getting to know each other properly before making such a serious decision.” So that was a really great moment for me to know that somebody actually listened to me and is now happy and settled down because of a small thing that I pointed out.

“To know that somebody actually listened to me and is now happy and settled down because of a small thing that I pointed out on my morning show is a great feeling”

Closest ever came to death?

I have A LOT of near death experiences, predominantly because I’m very accident prone. When I was four or five years old, I went to Nathiagali with my family, and everyone was just doing their thing till suddenly they realised that I was missing. Then one of them found me literally hanging from a cliff very quietly because I was very very scared. That is probably the nearest to death experience that I’ve had. Then, I was in a really bad car accident when I was 17, I lost a really dear friends of mine in that accident, so yes that’s another one.

One word describing Marriage and Morning shows?

The one word I would use is “unnecessary.”

One thing you are really bad at?

I have to admit whenever I’m really upset or stressed out, I binge eat. That’s a really bad habit that I’d like to change this year.

Advice to women with a broken heart?

Honestly, there’s really nothing you can say or do for a person when their heart is broken. I can relate to that feeling. But the only thing I can say is “this too shall pass.” Broken hearts do heal, bigger and better things come along. But when you’re in that moment you need to deal with whatever you’re going through because only when you acknowledge it and deal with it, you come out of it.

Relationship advice to a 15 year old Juggun?

I would say don’t be in a relationship because 15 is too young; I’d say talk to your parents, confide in them. When you’re at that age you should explore the world and yourself and just have fun. Relationships are great, when they happen at the right time. But if you try to fast forward to them, I think you don’t enjoy them as much as you get confused with things that come with it. So I’d say don’t be in a relationship if you’re 15, but if you are then make sure that your parents know who you are with and the entire dynamic of it, because a lot of times people take advantage of you or the situation since it’s a secret. The right thing at the right time has a better impact and makes you happier.

BILAL Ahmad Khan, general manager, and YASSER Irfan, brand manager, tell Nimrah Khokhar how they manage Kayseria’s growing empire

What does it take to run a successful clothing brand?

BILAL: Entrepreneurial approach, creative flare and passion to deliver the best

YASSER: To establish a successful brand one needs dedication, ingenuity and integrity. It’s most important be on your toes as the fashion market changes like the wind.

How do you manage your work and personal life?

BILAL: It’s all about managing your focus and developing a clear sense of priorities.

YASSER: One has to draw a line between work and personal life. After years of trying I have finally learned to leave work at the office. My personal time is just for my family.

How important is formal education in textile business?

BILAL: Formal education is part of your skill set, which when combined with passion, drive and experience gives you an edge over everyone else.

YASSER: Education is important in any field but real life experience and knowledge of others will take upper hand in most textile businesses. I myself have no formal education in textile or fashion business but I have learned from the best, like the Adidas team, fashion designers and most importantly Mr. Hamid Zaman.

How do you ascertain the fashion and colour trends for Kayseria?

BILAL: The basis for fashion and colour trends are derived from formal sources available worldwide but the most important factor is the instinct of designers. Our design team has been trained and encouraged to follow their hearts in developing colours and fashion forecasts, which result in the most innovative and creative product possible. Our directors, Madam Sarah Zaman and Waleed Zaman, have placed special emphasis on inculcating this instinctive fashion sense to our design team.

YASSER: Colour trends are available form the different companies around the world who specialize in forecasting seasons and colors. One can take the information as guidance but incorporate it to your surroundings, seasons and skin tone.

What is your biggest success regarding your brand so far?

BILAL: Establishing one of the best brands out there in the field, especially in face of tough competition presented by already established giants in our fashion retail market.

YASSER: Sales growth, customer growth and retail growth. Our consumer loyalty has grown every year and we are mentioned and placed with top brands of Pakistan.

How do you differentiate your brand with your competitors?

BILAL: High Quality, pure fabrics, genuinely creative designs and, most important of all, a vibrant, creative and dynamic home-grown brand team.

YASSER: Our customers know that we give them the best quality and designs. We are not run of the mill designers. We promise quality and we give quality. Integrity runs in the brands DNA.

Has the fashion market become more challenging if you compare it with the last decade?

BILAL: Yes, definitely. The low entry barriers in the fashion textile industry have made it easier for anyone with a creative mindset and passion for fashion to enter this market. Resultantly, we have one of the most fiercely competitive fashion markets in the world. Increased consumer awareness and ever expanding middle class has fueled the growth and competition in this industry.

YASSER: Disposable fashion is a challenge with us as we want our clothes to last and be valid (in fashion) every season. Keeping prices competitive while keeping high quality in mind is the biggest challenge for us. Every summer season we see 900+ new brands come up and then disappear. So the most important challenge is to be consistent in designs and quality.

People in Pakistan have become very conscious/ aware about quality and standard, what’s your take on that?

BILAL: Yes the exposure of our consumer to a variety of home-grown as well as international brands has increased the awareness level to its highest in our retail history. I believe this is a good trend because it constantly pushes us to our limits, forces us to be the best and exceed our valued customers’ expectations.

YASSER: The majority of us are working for money to run a house, so every penny matters. I look for value for money and Kayseria is just that. Again, I want my product to be valid this season but be valid later on as well.

Which collection of Kayseria is coming out? What is the theme of the collection?

Our Winter Collection is out now with prints you will love and classic embroidery collection you will need to have and later we will have Kayseria Pret, Ladli, Working Woman, Luxury Pret and Limited Editions coming soon at all outlets.

1. Maestros at House of Shazia Cheema   

For lovely decor ideal for a daytime wedding, book the maestros at House of Shazia Cheema.

For more Instagram @houseofshaziacheema

2. The Bridal Opulence

Samira Umer has unveiled the third look of her bridal makeup campaign The Bridal Opulence in collaboration with Hanif Jewellers and Irfan Ahson. Do check more from her campaign by following @samiraumerofficial_makeup

3. Modern Maharaja

Majestic menswear clothing store for the modern Maharaja. Instagram @ziggimenswear    [email protected]

4. Wok’s Tempting Food and Cosy Ambience 

For yummy “Chinese fresh from the wok” which is healthy as well, head on over to Wok at Mall-1 Gulberg, Lahore.Gulberg Lahore.

Instagram @Thewokpk

Mahlia S. Lon

Happy 2018! May it be a safe, peaceful, joyous and prosperous one for all our readers.

As you all know, Shashi Kapoor passed away last December at age 79. In this issue of GT, we look back at his life, acting career and his life-long love for his late wife Jennifer Kendal Kapoor, whom he was in love with from the age of 18 to his last breath. Not only was he one of the few Bollywood stars to never have had any rumours about him but also, after her death from cancer at 50 when he was only 46, Shashi Kapoor never had another relationship, liaison or even close friendship with another woman. That’s quite remarkable since he was such a handsome and charming star who had tens of millions of women lusting after him. He said romantically that there was no other woman in the world like her and theirs was a “Janam janam ka saath.”

While we are on the subject of romance, let’s not forget one of the present time between Zara Noor and Asad Siddique. Both were divorced when their respective families introduced them to each other, but their chemistry was instantaneous. Asad is absolutely smitten with his Zara. The couple has just tied the knot.

Additionally, Juggun Kazim talks about personal relationships and how by being frank about her own life and experiences on her Morning Show she helps her viewers sort out their own issues. Then, fashionable young women style the fabric of the season, velvet, each in her own distinctive way. And, last but not least, we take you around the city of Bath, in the U.K. We Pakistanis have a special affinity to the country, but on your next trip, take a train trip outside of London, there’s so much more to see than just Harrods and Selfridges. Bath is my personal favourite, a beautifully preserved Georgian city that is such a welcome break from being pushed and shoved in Knightsbridge and on Oxford Street. Shopping is great but a dose of culture is de rigueur. Hope you have a fabulous start to a great New Year!

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