>> Gautam and Nawaz Singhania have always struck us as a Sobo couple that’s a cut above the rest. Eschewing prevailing norms of how a major league industrialist couple ought to behave, they have forged their own path consistently and displayed an admirable streak of individuality, whether it’s Gautam in simple cotton shorts and tee taking his daughter for an ice cream or Nawaz’s passion for fitness and art.
And so, they have our salute for Gautam’s newest venture - a flagship Park Avenue Woman (PAW) store at Grand Galleria, Phoenix Mills, Lower Parel which will be launched by Nawaz today.
Incidentally, Sobo residents who were puzzled that work on the iconic Singhania tower at Warden road appeared to have stopped - can now rest easy.
The building rumored to be 36 floors high has reached 23 floors and will be ready by Dassera when the whole family is expected to move in we are informed.
Another landmark Mumbai behemoth to look forward to!
What was she thinking?
>> Whereas we like the mature stance taken by assorted talking heads and pontificators on Barkha’s recent ‘The Buck stops here’ over the Singhvi CD (they more or less expressed what this diarist believes: what happens between two consenting adults behind closed doors is no one’s business if it does not concern public life) we couldn’t help giggling over the redoubtable — and often prudish — BJP spokeswoman Nirmala Sitaraman when she quite innocently said: ‘there was a lot of friction on the CD’!
An unfortunate choice of words perhaps?
Ahead of its time?
>> Being avid fans of Rahul and Malini Akerkar’s ventures (Indigo at Colaba still remains one of our most cherished dining experiences) we were a bit perturbed to hear that things were not going so well with their racecourse property Tote on the Turf in its new avatar Neel.
Apparently, even after a revamp, (and a menu that serves some of the best North Indian frontier dishes in the city) the restaurant has yet to find its feet.
Perhaps it’s got to do with the mindset of Mumbai’s diners who still expect an over cooked ambience (read earth colours and ethnic décor) and oily meals when they want to ‘eat desi.’
Whatever it is, it will be a shame if the restaurant fails to take off because it’s ahead of its time.
A suggestion: replicate the Indigo experience for the mid-Mumbai crowd.
A mother’s trauma
>> While Gautam Vora’s talent for being in the wrong place at the wrong time continues, Sobo society veterans were heard expressing sympathy for his feisty mother Madhavi who everyone agrees has had her fair share of coping with calamity and crisis.
Married into one of Mumbai’s oldest families, it is said that the graceful lady displayed immense fortitude taking over the reins of ULJK, the family’s Financial Institution after the untimely death of her husband Umesh, making her one of the few women known for successfully steering a traditional Indian stockbroking firm.
Interestingly, ULJK is the acronym for Umesh, Laldas, Jamnadas and Khushaldas, the names of Gautam’s father, grandfather, great-grandfather and great great-grandfather, respectively.
Friends who know her feel it’s unfortunate that she’s had to cope with so much over the past decades. “Not only because of Gautam,” this diarist was told “but also when his younger brother Aditya who is such a seedha sadha boy gave his family such a scare, when he fell from their penthouse at Napean Sea road, while playing ‘Superman’ as a child.’
Mercifully and miraculously he survived. But that’s enough trauma for one mom’s lifetime we think.
>> Whereas the report of the celebrated fashion designer and his attractive consort have saddened the glam world, one fashion insider was overheard wondering what’s going to become of the mid-Mumbai apartment they jointly bought in one of the Wadia newly developed mill properties.
Apparently, until quite recently the couple had been taken up by plans for decoration and moving in.
As an incorrigible punster quipped, “That’s the way it goes for relationships in Mumbai: from penthouses to repent houses!”
We hope the rumours of the couple splitting are just that-rumours!