Guests at Wasabi this weekend were treated to a substantial dose of glamour when industrialist Adi Godrej, Chairman of the Godrej group, (and recently declared to be in the top ten of India's richest men) celebrated his wedding anniversary with his wife, the uber hostess and philanthropist Parmesh, in the company of their three children and families.
Adi and Parmesh Godrej
"It was a cozy group and of course extremely well behaved, demanding no special treatment or attention," said a fellow diner, adding, "Unlike some other badly behaved high profile guests at India's most expensive restaurant."
Three men talking
Ever so often, one chances upon a grouping of people at a Mumbai soiree, which one is sure, might never occur again. Which is why on Saturday night at the celebration to mark the second year of Simone Arora's eponymous store at Colaba, when we spotted a tiny huddle of men having what could have easily been a polite disunion on the weather but was obviously not – our attention was attracted.
Former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan with Simone and Ajay Arora
The men happened to be former Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan, Sanjay Khan filmmaker of such popular titles as Sword of Tipu Sultan and Abdullah, and young Shiv Sena cub Aaditya Thackeray who were engaged in an animated chat about the affairs of the state.
From the recent transfer of top cops, to the abysmal lack of infrastructure in Mumbai to the growing unease at the disappearance of civil rights under the current dispensation, the three men who perhaps had mostly found themselves on different sides of many issues, conducted a surprisingly frank and candid chat, proving that 'out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing there lies a field…'
And for those unable to be privy to the bon mots from the horses' mouth, here we present three statements from the three individuals, leaving it to the reader to guess who said what. "There is a major turmoil in our party as you know."
"Every one knows CMs cannot make such arbitrary decisions. "I've done what I can to push for Mumbai 24x7, it's up to the government to take the final decision." As for Chavan, on congratulating him on his recent loquaciousness on TV after years of following the Manmohan School of non-communication, the Berkeley alumni blushed. "We are only now getting used to opposition politics," he admitted shyly.
Healthy work-life balance
Unlike his father, the intense and driven media tycoon, businessman, and motivational speaker Subhash Chandra, his affable son Punit, CEO of Zee, the media conglomerate, appears to have a more balanced work-life approach.
Shreyasi and Punit Goenka. Pic/Twitter
And that is mostly thanks to his wife, the art loving and sophisticated Shreyasi, herself the daughter of a well-heeled business clan who recently added some series sparkle to their daily newspaper DNA with the launch of celebrity columns.
And word comes in that to celebrate his fortieth birthday, the couple hosted forty couples in sunny Tuscany recently. Not only that but the father of three is often seen out and about in the city in the company of his young family. We like our media tycoons with soft skills.
Shweta sings the aarti
We'd watched the mammoth Trance Ganesh take a while to snake its way across the road across from our balcony on Sunday with not a small amount of envy.
The pulsating joyous rhythm of the procession blaring EDM beats made us resolve to join in next year. This hip nod to Mumbai's cuddly God was not the only one though.
The long tressed husky and nubile Shweta Shetty we hear lit up Shaina NC's Ganesh pandal with a rousing Jai Ganesh aarti which had onlookers raving.
Acing the tournament
Good to see Hema Deora back in the swing of things. The talented bridge player was recently in Chennai, where along with her team, she qualified to represent India after a gruelling four rounds with four level elimination for the Bermuda Bowl World championship.
Hema Deora, Marianne Karmarkar, Monica Jajoo, Kawaljit Singh, Aparna Sain, Firoza Chotia and Pooja Batra
Incidentally this prestigious tournament is being held for the first time in India. And from left to right are members of the triumphant team: Hema Deora, Marianne Karmarkar, Monica Jajoo, Kawaljit Singh (the non playing captain), Aparna Sain, Firoza Chotia and Pooja Batra. Here's wishing them a major suit!
Even blatant self-promotion has its limits. At a recent soiree, guests were aghast when the event manager hired for her services to showcase her client and her wares over the weekend, instead spent all her time posing for pictures, swanning with her few chosen friends, and offending key members of society and the press by her callous behavior.
Not only that, but the post event follow up was shoddy, unprofessional and tardy, with material reaching the media late and after much to-ing and fro-ing. And sure enough when the press brief arrived, there in all her glory, was the event organizer's own mug prominently on display.
"This is the limit," sniffed a society grande dame, "how can someone be so brazen – after all she's hired for a particular purpose. And this, after the last fiasco when there was a very public and nasty squabble when her self promotional upwardly mobile activities had resulted in quite a few feathers flying!"