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Chalo Davos!

Malavika SangghviIn India where everything is mostly inherited (the vice-presidency of the ruling party, the chairmanship of the board, your career in the film industry) it’s a kind of rites of passage.

Which is why amongst the usual suspects (like long time attendees Anand Mahindra, Rajesh Shah, Rahul Bajaj,) of those attending the World Economic Forum in Davos this year there are many names that spell a generational change like those of Aditya Mittal, Prashant Ruia and Sanjiv Bajaj who represent the next gen wave of Corp India.

Chhavi Rajawat
Chhavi Rajawat

But the name that most caught our eye and who we are rooting for amongst the world’s economic elite is that of Chhavi Rajawat, the sarpanch of the village council of Soda.

Anand Mahindra
Anand Mahindra

Because from the tales told by the long time attendees of the mega schmoozing event that most treat as a coming out ball cum international party, in her case there’ll be less of the whiskey and more of the soda we’re sure!

Fiery Tony
We spoke to Mahesh ‘Tony’ Jethmalani, the fiery lawyer whose principled stand on Gadkari’s re-election as BJP president has won him many admirers. “Have you put in your bid?” we asked him, at which point the old Oxonian sputtered.

Mahesh Jethmalani Nitin Gadkari Yashwant Sinha
Mahesh Jethmalani, Nitin Gadkari and Yashwant Sinha

“There’s no question of putting in my bid! They refused to give me a nomination form! The whole election is a farce! I wanted to stand to expose it but now I hear Yashwant Sinha has put in his bid so I’m helping him. Call me at 2 pm tomorrow and I’ll tell you more,” he said. So, till tomorrow then. With fingers crossed that the urbane Sinha or the sophisticated Tony wrest the party away from the objectionable incumbent.

The beautiful and brave
And this from the feisty and courageous newly married Lisa Ray. “As many of you know, I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2009. What you may not know is that multiple myeloma is a chronic condition, which means I will always live with it.

Lisa Ray
Lisa Ray

I have known since my diagnosis it is likely I would have to undergo treatments and maintenance therapy on a periodic basis. Several weeks ago, it was determined by my doctors that I should begin a course of treatment, which I have already started. I feel wonderful, healthy and strong, I’ve switched to a plant-based diet and I’m active in a number of exciting projects, which I will share over the next few months. Thanks for your love and support and treat this as an invitation to Make Myeloma Matter! We will!

Autumnal love
They say autumnal love is the best love of all. And one of the nicest pieces of news that we received in recent times is of the marriage of Mumbai senior citizens Jane Bhandari and Kapil Puri in the last week of December.

Jane Bhandari and Kapil Puri
Jane Bhandari and Kapil Puri

“He is a retired Army colonel, 12 Guards, widowed about seven years ago. I was widowed almost 16 years ago,” says Bhandari who has two books of poetry published Single Bed and Aquarius with another one on its way, and a novel on the boil. How did they meet? “I run a poetry group called Loquations and somebody gave him my number since he writes poetry too.

I invited him to come to it and the rest is history!” says the blushing bride. And what does she say about marrying at this age? “It’s not always easy, especially if you have got used to being alone. But it is a good idea, if you can find the right person. After dating for about six months we decided to live together and see how it worked out. We found it did work for both of us and there was lots of laughter and affection.” Her poem Idyll written at the start of the relationship says it all.

We’ll lie in bed on a monsoon morning,/
Eating biscuits, and sipping Earl Grey./
We won’t talk all the time. I’ll read the papers/
Or watch TV while you iron the clothes,/
Blissfully marvelling at the way it turned out...
We like!

Bhelpuri crime
“You never know what you will end up reading when you buy bhelpuri!” says our friend Deepak Karambalkar, holding up a police report of a theft from July 21, 2012 that his chaat was wrapped in! “I bought the bhelpuri on platform four of Vashi station on Monday night,” he says.

“It was a report of theft of goods worth Rs 15,000 filed at the Deonar police station,” smiles the website developer and our former colleague, adding, “I can bet this case never got solved!” We’re sure the bhel was good though.

Inaugural ball
Monday night witnessed a gathering of Mumbaikars at a reception hosted by US Consul General Peter Haas and Atul Nishar, president of Namaste America, to coincide with the inaugural ball in honour of the 44th President of the United States of America Barack Obama which featured a live telecast of the presidential address from Washington DC.

Barack Obama
US President Barack Obama taking the oath

Though we couldn’t make it we learn that there was a nip in the air, the food and the drinks were good and the party held at the Consulate’s new headquarters in the BKC complex was as pleasant a one as one could wish for.

Rani Mukherjee with US Consul General Peter Haas
Rani Mukherjee with US Consul General Peter Haas

However, it’s the guest list that intrigues us: actors Rani Mukherjee, Satish Shah, Dalip Tahil, Poonam Dhillon and Adam Rodriguez (from CSI Miami), tarot card reader Sunita Menon, TV anchor and model Sushma Reddy, singers Gary Lawyer and Talat Aziz, columnist and decorator Nisha Jamval, ad film makers Kailash Surendranath, writer Gregory David Roberts and industrialist Neeraj Bajaj (whose group sponsored the evening).

Poonam Dhillon, Talat Aziz with wife Bina and Gregory David Roberts
Poonam Dhillon, Talat Aziz with wife Bina and Gregory David Roberts with his wife at the event. Pics/Satyajit Desai

An eclectic group of people to listen to Obama’s historic inaugural address we thought.  

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1 Comments

  • hemen parekh24-Jan-2014

    Delighted at Davos ? P Chidambaram is delighted at Davos All the foreign industrialists and businessmen he met , told him, " We have confidence in India's growth story We are bullish on India We plan to invest in India , in a big way " For fear of offending , what they did not tell him , is : " Everything depends upon who becomes your Prime Minister in April 2014 We hope , he is Narendra Modi , who has promised to build, > 100 brand new Smart Cities in 5 years,

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