— JASMEEN DUGAL EXPLOSIVE FASHION (click here to know more about this blogger)
AN INSIGHTFUL INTERVIEW
It's hard to pin Anjhula Mya Singh Bais down. One minute she's in couture receiving an award in Bombay, voted by readers for being an inspirational cover girl; the next minute she's on her hands and knees looking into the eyes of a Rwandan child on a psychology delegation; after that she's in her home state of Rajasthan greeting 'Khamma Ghani' dutiful to her erstwhile roots, she then takes a flight to France, giving her own interpretation of what glam and substance is at the recently concluded 69th Cannes Film Festival. She's as steadfast walking in five-inch Jimmy Choo's — whom she knows personally — as she is with her doctorate in Psychology. Clearly she's a lady on a mission. India has been representing at Cannes, the world's most prestigious film festival for awhile now, ever since Aishwarya Rai Bachchan put it on the Indian map when she became a jury member over a decade ago, so when I heard from other desis that a ''beautiful Indian couple'' was dining with media big wig Gabriel Erem and a ''spiritual looking man'' late into the night at JW Marriott coffee shop, I connected the dots of Anjhula to her attendance at the 69th Festival De Cannes after seeing some down to earth, non-red carpet Cannes photos on her Facebook!!
Gaurav Kapur summed it up the best when he sarcastically wrote: ''They're screening films as well at Cannes Fashion Week?!! Tch tch ... How distracting!'' While the Indian and worldwide media is busy talking about Cannes like it's one big fashion show and paying very little attention to substance and content, and while our Indian stars at Cannes are socialising and showcasing outfit of the day, day after day without an actual film of their being screened [unlike Aishwarya Rai Bachchan who's movie was being screened], Anjhula was quietly introducing Sir Ephraim Issac amongst royals, dignitaries and film directors — he has been honoured with 'Knight of the Royal Order of the Polar Star, First Class' conferred by the King of Sweden (and yes he was the 'eye catching Ethiopian spiritual man at the coffee shop') as an awardee at the Cannes Humanitarian Gala hosted by HRH Princess Angelique Monet. The documentary in which Sir Ephraim played an integral part was also screened at Cannes.
I rang Anjhula and asked her to share a few words and searchingly she said ''I have a very clear perspective that any event can be experienced two ways — shallow or deep. Whilst many were out on the town at the best and most exclusive parties, I smile and raise my hand and say I did not have most of those invitations. Satish (Anjhula's husband), Cheryl (Halpern)(the award winning producer and director), Eprhaim, Gabby, Susan and I spent till 1 a.m. speaking. It's conversation I will never forget. The Erems are behind the film 'Spotlight' which won the Oscar this year for 'Best Motion Picture', it has strong social justice content. Their stories are remarkable. He is writing a book and shared insights from it. Everyone has narratives, and away from all hubbub is where the true work, power and significance takes place. Ideas are born on golf courses away from boardrooms, in coffee shops away from after parties…''
Though she was about to board a flight to Kuala Lumpur, I said to Anjhula that I had three more questions for her: Who did she wear at Cannes, what is Feminism and What was her best moment at Cannes? Laughingly, Anjhula retorted that this felt like an improv game but swiftly answered: ''Indian designers asked to dress me but I believe the country whose air you currently breathe and the food you eat, you should represent. For the first time I put a Malaysian designer on the red carpet — Alia Bastamam. In layman terms, feminism is about humans, both men and women, and the equality they seek in intellectual and social capital. Rarely do my worlds of media and psychology collide so spectacularly! It was amazing introducing and taking a photograph of Bollywood actor Manish Rai Singhan together with my PhD committee member Ephraim (Issac). Such different worlds but both men equally fascinated and respectful of one another.''
After the recent Lisa Haydon, Parineeti Chopra, Shilpa Shetty fiasco about feminism (reference: www.buzzfeed.com), it's good to know that India has some celebrities making the world a more humane and just place, even if it's subtly done.
29 May 2016 8:49 am CANNES AND THE ART OF STORYTELLING