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Brothers in arms

>> They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But this one could well make the Sensex rise. With all that’s gone on between their dads Mukesh and Anil Ambani, this recent photograph of their two younger (and very bright) sons Anil’s Jai Anshul and Mukesh’s Anant posing happily with their arms around each other, looking comfortable together the way cousins usually are, is sure to spark hope that India’s richest and most powerful family might see a cessation of acrimony at least in GenNext. Incidentally, both young men are off for studies to USA soon:

Anant following in his newly graduated elder brother Akash’s footsteps has enrolled at Brown, while Anshul has signed up for the Leadership in Business World Program at his father’s beloved Wharton for a summer course. May the good vibes continue!

The graduate
>> And since it’s the summer of gowns and hats and valedictory speeches and beaming parents — here’s one more update from the House of Ambani, this time about young Isha Ambani, Mukesh and Nita’s pretty daughter, who graduated from Yale last week. Having inherited her dad’s brains and mum’s looks and in possession of a heavy duty surname it doesn’t seem likely that the young lady’s going to be sending her resume out for job interviews soon.

What’s more likely from those in the know is a stint working abroad gaining valuable experience at one of her company’s international outposts before returning to take over a company within the group. Those who know her say that given her down to earth and unfussy nature, the lady much prefers living abroad as there’s less pomp and nakhra around her. But that she opts for a career seems a foregone conclusion. After all, mother Nita has always stressed gender equality between her kids — and an Ivy League degree is not one to be frittered away!

Mumbai’s snobbiest address
>> This one’s for all those who get their rocks off on reality news. Guess what according to us, is Mumbai’s most prestigious building to own an apartment in today? (That is if you don’t have a bungalow of your own). One of those glittering luxury towers designed by a European designer which comes with its own helipad, indoor pool, spa/health club, movie theatre and affiliation to the world’s best concierge service? Nooo. Those are for the arrivistes. For someone who keeps a minute-by-minute track on where Mumbai’s snob needle is pointing, we say without hesitation that Mumbai’s most snobby building happens to be the pretty ordinary looking Kamal Mahal on Cumballa Hill. Why so you might ask? Well, first for its location: with Kumar Mangalam Birla’s bungalow opposite and Mukesh Ambani’s a stone’s throw away, it’s a great address to start with.

There’s also the sumptuous garden and driveway it overlooks and the neighbours themselves — a clutch of old world money and heavy-duty bankers. And, of course, the apartments themselves: acres of space, replete with quant old style balconies, pantries, servant’s quarters and all the accruements of genteel old world charm. Yes sir, for that in the know Kamal Mahal comes with unbeaten blue chip pedigree. And now that we hear TOI’s Chairperson Indu Jain has put her sumptuous apartment in the building on the block (to move in to a mid city address) expect a feeding frenzy. As one insider says, “Not only does the building have unbeatable pedigree — but think of all the good vibrations the flat must possess given that it’s hosted some of India’s most renowned spiritual leaders over the years!”

Out to lunch
>> During our frequent stints in ‘saddi Dilli’, celebrity spotting at Khan market is a popular sport. It is not unusual, for instance, to run into Sonia or Priyanka Gandhi and (less frequently Rahul), buying flowers, picking up their laundry or window-shopping at Delhi’s favourite hangout like the rest of us ordinary mortals.

Even so, yesterday when we received a tip-off that Sonia Gandhi accompanied with Priyanka was having lunch at Smoke House Deli’s new outlet at Khan market we were surprised. For one, given the heat in the Capital, most people prefer lunch at home. And then, of course, given the state of the nation these days, one would imagine things are hot enough without a grill. Just saying …

Seasons in the sun
>> We love glancing through school year books and old school albums. All those clean cut buck toothed knock-kneed kids who go on to rule the world, win Nobel prizes and paint masterpieces, sitting cheek by jowl and un-self-consciously!

And this picture from one of Cathedral School’s albums is particularly fascinating for its grouping: an internationally renowned editor and TV personality, a top banker, a philanthropist, a Bollywood producer and an actor of indie films caught at a play rehearsal! Ladies and gentleman, here’s presenting Fareed Zakaria, Vikram and Meera Gandhy, Vivek Vaswani and Rajit Kapur amongst other worthies many moons ago! Who would have imagined…

Anagram ahoy!
>> Book promotions are tedious affairs, even if as in the case of celebrated author William Dalrymple (The Return of a King: Shah Shuja and the first Battle for Afghanistan) they require you to occasionally take tea with world leaders like Barack Obama and Hamid Karzai or appear on Fareed Zakaria GPS.

Which is why when the touring William Dalrymple encountered some genuine wit on the Aussie leg of his promotion he was delighted, “My favourite Aussie-tweet following an appearance on Q&A in Sydney,” he posted, “WILLIAM DALRYMPLE is an anagram of WILDLY PRIMAL MALE.” Er. No surprises there. 

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