Cricket and B-town face off

Virat Kohli is gearing up for what is turning out to be a big week, fresh after the IPL success where his Bengaluru team finished as runners up in an enthralling final.

Kohli is set to host a charity dinner along with chef Vikas Khanna (which we wrote about a couple of weeks ago) at a suburban hotel this evening. And tomorrow the dashing sportsman will take to the field as the captain of the All Heart Football team.

Ranbir Kapoor, Abhishek Bachchan, MS Dhoni, Zaheer Khan and Virat Kohli
Ranbir Kapoor, Abhishek Bachchan, MS Dhoni, Zaheer Khan and Virat Kohli

Kohli, along with fellow cricketers like MS Dhoni, Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh, as part of the line up, is scheduled to play the 'Celebrity Classic' match on Saturday at the Mumbai football Arena in Andheri.

But the cricketers will have their work cut out for them as they come up with formidable opponents in the form of the All Stars Football Club, which consists of Bollywood brats like Ranbir Kapoor, Abhishek Bachchan, Arjun Kapoor, Aditya Roy Kapoor, Armaan Jain and Dino Morea.

And we are told though it's a charity tournament and all in fun, the All Stars Team have been training pretty hard for the past few weeks, with Ranbir being frequently spotted at the Bombay Gymkhana practicing with the Bombay Gym team.

Also Abhishek and Dino took part in a 5-a-side football tournament in Bandra last week. With so many stars on the field together the only question is which team will the audience cheer for?

Big ticket discussion
It's certainly a big ticket discussion boasting of the participation of some of the country's most renowned economists and business leaders, including Raghuram Rajan, Governor, Reserve Bank of India, Former Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, currently Visiting Professor at Stern School of Business and Sajjid Chinoy, Chief India Economist & Executive Director JP Morgan.

Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Raghuram Rajan
Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Raghuram Rajan

Organised by the Asia Society to center on 'The World 2050' Harinder Kohli, CEO, Centennial Group International new book, this pow wow of pointy heads and one turban will take place next week at a rooftop of a Sobo hotel and is expected to attract the cream of the city's financial and business communities.

'The Asia Pacific region is expected to grow at a strong 5.3 per cent this year, accounting for nearly two-thirds of global growth, according to the IMF. How then are these developing economies reshaping the economic arena?' as the invitation reads. Expect the usual India triumphalism peppered with a dash of recent caution, as the city's business leaders gather for some navel gazing.

From toasted to toast?
"At one time he had been the toast of India's art collectors, who were his ardent patrons. In interview after interview he never failed to draw attention to his proximity to only the very richest and most powerful in the country."

It was our Oolong- tea-favouring Sobo hostess friend holding forth on one of her many passions: artists and the art world. "But now he's faded in to oblivion," she said, "I remember how he could be so charming to a chosen few but equally rude to and dismissive of lesser beings," she said.

"But today he's almost vanished from the art scene. You don't hear of him or his work in auctions, retrospectives, or foreign bookings," she said. "It could be because he always preferred to sell his canvasses directly without the help of a gallery," she shuddered.

"Or, it's that he's rubbed too many people the wrong way - and it's catching up with him," she said adding, "What goes around comes around," she said, before calling, "Boy? Zara hot water lao please."

Malini's Palette
"I began by painting walls. Literally," says one of the city's leading aesthetes Malini Akerker about her forthcoming debut as an artist next week.

Malini Akerker
Malini Akerker

"It started at my home in Colaba, then the walls at Indigo, which always had a distinct character and feel," says one half of the team that had more or less redefined the stand-alone restaurant scene in India with their maiden venture Indigo decades ago.

"I love colour and I paint abstracts," she says about the ten canvasses called 'Insomnia' that will be displayed along with her friend Sheena Sippy's photographs at a magnificent old bungalow at Kemps Corner for a show called Trinity. "It's art and photography set amidst beautiful furniture," she says. "Basically I'm having fun and I paint at night-so its called Insomnia."

A spiritual turn
We recall talking with pint sized dynamo designer Surily Goel not too long ago post mid night on a beach in Thailand. Conversations of this nature tend to be life encompassing and unapologetically fuzzy.

Surily Goel
Surily Goel

The sea, the sky, the waves bring forth an expected outpouring of cosmic babble. Even so, her deep interest in spirituality had stood out. Like many successful people of her generation, Goel was developing a strong spiritual dimension. And so this week when we learnt that Goel was in Kedarnath and Badrinath, two amongst India's most revered pilgrim attractions, we were not surprised.

Incidentally, this interest in all things spiritual amongst India's movers and shakers is not a new one; decades ago the likes of Anil and Tina Ambani, Adi Godrej, HLL's Vindi Banga had also undertaken a similar trek and were equally overwhelmed.

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