>>Put it down to Mumbai’s crazy social whirl but often it’s just impossible to keep up with the city’s many (and often irresistible) social demands. Which is why, after making a note that we’d attend Honorary Consul of Czech Republic Rashmi Jolly’s musical evening and dinner at her home for a high profile Czech delegation on Wednesday evening — we couldn’t go! Led by HE Martin Kuba, minister of industry and trade, president of Czech Chamber of Commerce, Mayor of Brno and Dean of Brno University accompanied by HE Ambassador Miloslav Stasek, Czech Republic, the party was a gathering of some of the city’s movers and shakers, all fans of and potential visitors to the little gem of a country situated in Central Europe.
“Bollywood directors Gauri Shinde and husband R Balki have already shot some ad films there and loves what the country has to offer,” says Jolly. “They are contemplating Prague to be the location of their next film.
Similarly, singer Shaan is looking to participate in the world famous music festival in Ostrava in mid July and Junaid Khan — rising star — son of Aamir Khan would like to select the Czech Republic as the locale for his first film.
The feedback is that London, New York, Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand are now passe,” said the hostess. The dinner, catered by Mumbai’s legendary Allwynn who arguably took in-house dining to another level (after being ‘discovered’ by Sona Steering’s Chairman Dr Surinder Kapoor in the ’80s) was a great success, with a selection of Czech cheeses (served with crushed almonds) and Budvar beer being served amongst other gourmet fare.
A chip of the old block
>> Anyone who’s met him speaks about Junaid Khan in hushed tones, enumerating his commitment to deserving causes, his decency and his breeding. But when you’re the son of Aamir and Reena Khan (easily filmdom’s most dignified couple) that’s almost a given. But very little is really known about the boy with the charmed gene pool except that he aspires to follow his famous father’s footsteps and enter the film industry. (According to an insider, this will entail directing a film first before acting in one.) Well, yesterday while chatting with Rashmi Jolly, Hon Consul General Czech Republic we learnt some more: Junaid is a student of the HR college of commerce Mumbai, and an ardent Rotaractor who has thrown himself into serious civic work in that capacity. “But above all, he’s a gem of a person,” said Jolly who’s own son Arjun (a third generation) Rotary leader has interacted with the young Khan and has been impressed with the young man’s calibre.
A weekend in the life of Rana
>> He’s part of that charmed circle of bankers who use their acumen and brilliance to reach the top of their field, but even by those standards Rana Kapoor, Chairman Yes bank has quite a scintillating weekend as far as making friends and influence people go. This week not only will Yes Bank be title sponsor of the star studded IDF festival at the NCPA but also of a glamorous Polo match at the Turf Club. Brilliance and acumen is what he obviously possesses but what we have come to admire about Rana Kapoor is his admirable people skills. No matter what one thinks or doesn’t think about him, or says or doesn’t say, the man is unfailingly warm, courteous and emanates positivity. Can’t help admiring those qualities and wishing people with far less achievements but far more attitude would take a leaf out of his book. There’s always something new one learns about people.
>> This self-styled cultural czarina who’s been throwing her weight around has alienated a sizeable section of her circle with her delusions of grandeur. Never satisfied with her status, her fierce ambition has led her to indulge in ill-advised acts. One of these was the announcement of importing a European architect to decorate what she is planning as the most beautiful home in Mumbai (there we go again!). Not only is the project a drain on her company’s resources but also news comes in that after much back and forth on the plan, the services of a high profile local firm have been engaged instead. (Incidentally, the same firm associated with the decoration of her archrival’s home.) Be that as it may, the fact that she is given to whimsy and throwing her weight around is making observers wonder when this plan too shall be aborted. After all, the fact that it was on her insistence that a well-regarded architect undertook major changes of a heritage building (that subsequently collapsed) doesn’t endear her to the community.
Gratitude and grace
>> And in these bleak times an edifying story of gratitude and grace involving the well known Pune based industrialist Zavere Poonawala and his loyal driver Ganga Datt who passed away recently. Datt had worked with him for the last 30 years driving a car originally owned by Osho himself. “On hearing of his chauffeur’s demise Poonawala reportedly arranged for the limo to be decorated with flowers and after Datt’s family agreed to his wishes, he himself drove him from his home up to the ghat for his final journey. And apparently, when asked about it, the thoughtful employer replied that Ganga Datt had served him day and night, and this was the least he could do for a man who’d given him excellent service and had worked hard to educate his children. “Everybody earns money which is nothing unusual, but we should always be grateful to those people who contribute to our success,” the industrialist is reported to have said! Needless to say, we like very much!