>> OK. Here’s some deliciously meeow gup-shup. A high-powered and very informed group of Mumbai’s prominent women were overheard this weekend laying down the rules of who makes it to the ‘Stylista’ ranks and who deserves the ‘Wannabe’ tag! Basically, they were separating the wheat from the chaff with highly sharpened claws. Apparently, it’s all very simple, with points being toted up for the following:
A) Did you buy a Birkin in the past two years? That’s a minus one. Four years ago? Plus One.
B) Do you attend shop launches and art gallery openings? Minus one. And here’s the giveaway:
C) Do you attend parties hosted by. (Insert the names of Mumbai’s two prominent event organisers) if yes — that’s a minus two, right away. So now you heard it. The difference between a ‘stylista’ and a ‘wannabe’ in three easy steps according to some of Mumbai’s leading ladies!
Before Vidya — After Vidya
>> Watching the IIFA awards coverage this weekend, we couldn’t help thinking that there’s a ‘Before Vidya — After Vidya’ syndrome that’s gripped Indian Bollywood actresses, when we watched not one, not two, but three prominent (and dare we say it, buxom) actresses mouth the “we love our bodies the way they are, we don’t believe in size zero,” and the clincher, “It’s all about being yourself and loving who you are.” Balan you have a lot to answer for.
>> We have been admirers of Maitreya Doshi, the Chairman & Managing Director of Premier for a while now. An MBA from IMD (Switzerland) and a BA from Stanford University, few know that he’s been named an emerging leader at Davos many years ago and has headed many prestigious international bodies. But Maitreya wears his accomplishments lightly.
Talking to him at Sanjay Patel’s do, we were delighted to hear his strident take on the Indian car industry — characteristically free of bias or jargon. “Until six months ago, the car market was robust. It had been growing strongly for the past five years, sometimes even hitting 30 per cent growth rates. All that is history now due to the rise in interest rates, increased excise, and steeper fuel costs,” he told us. “Currently, official figures say growth is almost flat at 2% but that is due to pipelines being filled. Unofficially, the market talks about a 20 to 30% drop in sales,” he said. Meanwhile, we look forward to Premier’s latest offering a compact SUV called the Premier Rio with plenty of trunk space, which comes in diesel and petrol options and is priced between Rs 5-6 lacs! After all, who knows the car market as well as the scion of the family that brought the iconic Fiat to India decades ago?
Sunday Afternoon at Indigo
>> Sunday afternoon saw us celebrate the birthdays of the sons of two dear friends at the Indigo terrace at Colaba. We have known Sanjay Patel and Ameya Prabhu through their lovely moms. Sanjay’s mother Bakul (ex-sherrif and a pillar of Mumbai society has been part of our extended family) and Ameya’s equally lovely mother, the educationist and writer Uma has been a valued colleague and friend for many years.
So, it was a double celebration with two generations of Patels and Prabhus celebrating the special occasion. Incidentally, both Sanjay and Ameya have more in common than their dynamic entrepreneurial spirit (Chemicals and alternative energy respectively). Not only are they sons of fathers, who combined erudition with an active political office (Sanjay’s father was the late great barrister Rajni Patel, President of the Bombay Regional Congress Committee and Ameya’s father is Suresh Prabhu, Shiv Sena leader who has held many important portfolios in the Union Cabinet including Industry, Environment and Forests, Fertilisers & Chemicals and Power and Heavy Industry) (Asiaweek rated him as one of three future leaders of India) but they represent an India that segues gracefully between social enterprise and business activity, between social responsibility and fun.
And because of the wide range of interests and age groups represented that afternoon, we hear that one lot of the party left at 5 pm to catch up on its Sunday afternoon siesta while the other lot carried on the festivities at the Dome. No, we are not telling which lot we belonged to!
Happy birthday Nana!
>> Nana Chudasama that old Mumbai warhorse who spices up Marine Drive with his pithy witticisms and has single-handedly made Giants, the social service group he founded, one of the premier in the country, celebrated his 80th birthday this Sunday surrounded by his doting friends, fans and family at the CCI. Some of the guests present were Mumbai police Commissioner Arup Patnaik, Dr Vijaypat Singhania, Nanik Rupani, Advocate Mrunalini Deshmukh, Nana’s graceful wife Munira, daughters Shaina NC and Brinda Chudasama Miller, sons in-law Manish Munot and Alfaz Miller.
Daughter Shaina NC, the BJP leader, herself no slouch when it comes to social commitment service and public commitment said, “As a birthday gift, Giants have dedicated this year as the ‘Save the Girl Child’ year. Many groups have pledged to conduct various programs to Save the Girl Child and for the upliftment of the girl child in all respects.
” Incidentally, the fact that Nana’s special birthday fell on Father’s Day made it even more significant. “My dad has taught me to always love and be compassionate, never to utter a rude word. He is my guiding spirit, my inspiration, my everything. Be it his anti-spitting campaign or grow more trees, or save and illuminate heritage buildings. He still feels young and never wants to give up his work.” Happy birthday Nana, and here’s to many more saplings been planted, worthy campaigns being launched and witty comments being written.