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A friend indeed

It is a truth universally known that an icon cannot exist in solitary splendour and that most living legends always have a friend who fulfils the role of mentor, confidante and bestie. ‘Two am friends’ they’re called in modern day parlance-people who you can depend on when there’s no one else in a crisis or just give you good advice when you need it.
And all those who know Lata Mangeshkar know that the person who fulfils this role in her life is Rajgopal Dhoot, a well-regarded resident of Sobo who is a relative of the Videocon Dhoots.


Lata Mangeshkar and Rajgopal Dhoot

“She depends on him for advice and guidance,” says an insider, and to show her appreciation for his steadfast loyalty she showers him with gifts-an exquisite gold Ganesha for his home and an exquisite Cartier watch on another occasion.

As for Dhoot, those who know him speak of his qualities of good humour and compassion.

In praise of a croissant
For a few weeks, insiders of the F&B world and foodies across Mumbai have been keeping a fine ear trained to the ground to gauge how Rahul Akerkar’s foray into the Delhi wastelands with his finest product, the Indigo Deli has fared. The initiated will know that this has been a significant move for his group, and one that has been long in the making.


Rahul Akerkar, Maya Angelou. PIC/AFP

And now we see that he has won the ultimate acclaim: Uber foodie and critic, Reshmi Ray Dasgupta has been so impressed that she’s been waxing lyrical: “Rahul Akerkar’s breakfast croissant — stuffed with bacon, sausages, a fried egg and emmethal -- at the newly opened Indigo Deli in Delhi reminded me of this poem by Maya Angelou, ‘The Health Food Diner’,” said Dasgupta. And for those who like such things here are some verses:

No sprouted wheat and soya shoots
And Brussels in a cake,
Carrot straw and spinach raw,
(Today, I need a steak).
Loins of pork and chicken thighs
And standing rib, so prime,
Pork chops brown and fresh ground round
(I crave them all the time).

Women to the fore
When it was announced that Nita Ambani would replace long-serving director Ramnik H Ambani, 90, who was due to retire and was all set to join the board of India’s largest private sector company, Reliance Industries and one of the fastest growing groups in the world, it made headlines in all the pink papers-after all, such a powerful position that comes with so much responsibility is hardly small potatoes.

Nita’s appointment follows on the heels of the new Companies Act 2013 that mandates companies to have at least one woman Board member (In Norway, the requirement is 40% and in many European Countries it’s 25%). And towards this end, FICCI had initiated a mentorship program under which the first batch of over 40 high potential women have been trained by corporate leaders like Deepak Parikh, K V Kamath, and others and are ready for appointments...

Incidentally, the women, mostly in there forties, have been picked from pharma, finance and corporate fields and have had the benefit of mentoring also from such acknowledged business luminaries like Nadir Godrej and Harsh Goenka.
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Those were the days
And a candle for our friend Kiki’s son Hemant Watsa, whose birthday fell yesterday and would have undoubtedly been celebrated with a great big party at the Yacht Club or the Poona Club or at Alibagh with friends and family. Hemant passed away tragically a few years ago and has left a void in the hearts of those who loved him.


Hemant Watsa

The Watsas are a family that epitomises the best of Mumbai’s urbanity and sophistication. Hemant’s father was an Oxbridge man, Kiki, his mother was a potter and cookbook writer (Premila Lal was her pen name) and the Watsa home at Cuffe Parade was a rambunctious, sprawling mansion crammed with art and artefacts.
The Mahindras were close friends and so were the Divechas and the Padamsees and all their kids were brought up together by the yummy mummies of that day.

We present this pic from the album featuring many captains of industry in their half pants.
Incidentally, it’s interesting to see all the glam mums in the picture wearing saris!
Those were the days!

Tall Stories Two
Word comes in that the Lodha Group, which has recently announced the completion of the civil structure of the first of the three iconic towers that make The World One Towers-the world’s tallest residential towers, are going on a calculated offensive to win the hearts of billionaires to buy apartments. The building brings together some of the world’s greatest names in interior design, architecture, engineering, landscape and lifestyle services. 


Giorgio Armani and Mangal Prabhat Lodha

Said to be fully-finished three & four bedroom residences with interiors designed by Armani/Casa, Milan, and created by architects Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, New York, the World Towers are set around a grand two-acre central courtyard, in a 17-acre expanse at the heart of Mumbai’s Golden Mile and seven acres of dedicated private landscape designed by Ken Smith.

“The maintenance of the property is only about R12 per sq ft per month - totalling to about R44,000 per month which is less than 0.02% of the property value,” say its promoters adding, “Even from a pure investment perspective, this property seems attractive, given that Beau Monde in Prabhadevi (which is about 10 mins away) quotes at R75,000 per sq feet.”

Now to see who bites the bait.

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