An unspeakable sadness

Yesterday, like most other media people, our phone was flooded by calls from news channels requesting that we go on air with our take on the spine-chilling Sheena Bora murder.

To all we said the same thing. Sensational news like this demands considered response. The only response we have now is of an unspeakable sadness beyond words. Sadness for that girl, for the pain and hurt we are capable of bestowing on each other, and for us as a society that lives amidst such naked brutality.

Sheena Bora and Indrani Mukerjea
Sheena Bora and Indrani Mukerjea

Others might be able to articulate these deep emotions in neat packets of sound bytes, for suit takes much longer to process. The unspeakable sadness is also because on Indrani Mukerjea's Facebook timeline we chanced upon this Mother's Day Card, one of those banal Hallmark messages that have become the staple diet of online sentimentalists.

The card on Indrani’s Facebook page
The card on Indrani's Facebook page

Except it didn't read so banal any more. Posted by Indrani in May this year, three years after she'd allegedly murdered her daughter in cold blood, every line made our blood chill. We print it here without further comment.

It's a special bond that spans the years/through laughter worry smiles and tears/A sense of trust that can't be broken/A depth of love sometimes unspoken /A lifelong friendship built on sharing/Hugs and kisses warmth and caring/ Mother and daughter their hearts as one/A link that never can be undone.

Geeks who networked
A recent column by James Crabtree, FT's Mumbai bureau chief, on the Indian Silicon Valley success story caught our eye. In it, Crabtree offers an interesting explanation to the Indian edifice of triumphalism, the success of Google's Sundar Pichai, Microsoft's Satya Nadella and Softbank's Nikesh Arora.

Vinod Khosla and Nikesh Arora. Pics/AFP
Vinod Khosla and Nikesh Arora. Pics/AFP

"The first crop of Indian entrepreneurs all had similar stories of being held back by a tech system dominated by white Americans," he quotes Vivek Wadhwa, entrepreneur and Stanford University fellow as saying, in an argument that seems to run counter to the idea of the Bay Area as a wonderful open system, uniquely open to the talents of clever immigrants.

Sundar Pichai and Satya Nadella
Sundar Pichai and Satya Nadella

"The tech sector is not always collegiate," writes Crabtree. "Those who succeeded, such as Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, became linchpins in a support system for their fellow nationals, ranging from formal business groups to ad hoc networks for mentoring and funding," writes Crabtree who concludes with 'more than any other group of outsiders, it was the Indians who figured out that, to make it in start-up land, it helps to have a social network of your own.'

Stand out exhibition
"We thought we'd do seething special for her collectors," said Shireen Gandhy of Chemould Prescott Road, about the formal sit down dinner she was hosting on the eve of the opening preview of Reena Saini Kallat's forthcoming solo exhibition. The gallerist's family had played a seminal role in India's contemporary art movement.

A work from Hyphenated Lives by Reena Saini Kallat
A work from Hyphenated Lives by Reena Saini Kallat

Titled Hyphenated Lives and described as 'poetic and provocative inquiries into ideas of unison and estrangement, of confluence, and conflict,' the exhibition sees Kallat returning to the gallery after almost seven years. "One of the central motifs as well as the primary medium in the making of these works is the electrical cable.

These conduits of contact that transmit ideas and information bringing people together, become painstakingly woven entanglements that morph into barbed wires like barriers," said Gandhy. "It is an important exhibition because the artist has used many of her traditional devices to convey new ideas."

Sashimi with capris
When the celebrated international chef Masaharu Morimoto dropped into his Indian outpost Wasabi at the Taj recently, at the opportunity to eat at the hands of the master, enterprising marketers must have seen the perfect opportunity to address the challenges of the group's bottom line.

Rishi Acharya and Masaharu Morimoto
Rishi Acharya and Masaharu Morimoto

After all, get an international celebrity chef to send out feelers to the restaurant's regulars, and next thing you know, is you have a week long houseful clientele of PhDs (papa has dough) So last week when a delicious slice of the city's young and young at heart booked tables at this fine dining grazing ground, easily one of the most expensive in the country, in their Sunday best, the fact that two men had chosen to roll up to dinner in their capris did give rise to comment.

"The first was high rolling nightclub owner Rishi Acharya, and the other was the celebrated visiting chef himself," said a fellow diner adding, "But contrary to our expectations the food was way below par'.

Major moves up the media tent
Word comes in of big changes at the top of the media tent. The editor of a leading pink daily whose meteoric career was spoken of with awe, finding no headroom in his organisation, recently moved across as editor-in-chief in waiting at this digital-print-electronic conglomerate recently acquired by a corporate behemoth.

As for the current incumbent, it is said that he has turned down the offer to stay on post his retirement as a key consultant. Once he goes many more resignations are expected, we hear.

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