"On stage at Women in the World in New York last night. The entire hall moved to tears by the testimony of a Saida Munya, a Swedish mother whose daughter Fatima left home to join the ISIS," said leading news anchor Barkha Dutt who moderated the opening night discussion at Tina Brown's sixth high profile Women in the World Summit now playing at New York's Lincoln Center.
Barkha Dutt in conversation with Saida Munya
"She shared her story with me how she travelled alone to Turkey to try and bring her daughter back from Jihad. How she still prays that she can save Fatima. Why are girls lured by Jihad? Are they the latest weapons of war?" said Dutt, who by all accounts had the audience moved to tears by her empathetic interviewing.
Barkha and Tina Brown at the Women In World Summit
Dutt was not the only Indian to receive praise at the Summit. Aamir Khan who was described by Moderator Zainab Salbi, founder of Women for Women International as bigger than James Bond and George Clooney drew a lot of applause when he said, "Women keep changing," adding, "But men don't manage to change."
Khan was there to talk about subjects like female foeticide, dowry and untouchability that his show Satyamev Jayate deals with. Joined by media maven Hindustan Times' Shobhana Bhartia and actress Freida Pinto, it appears to be something of an Indian summer at the Summit helmed by the likes of Brown, Meryl Streep and Diane Von Furstenberg.
Ritu Nanda honoured
The family is famous for its fraternal bonhomie and camaraderie and so when Ritu Nanda, eldest daughter of screen legend Raj Kapoor, was felicitated last week in New York by First Lady Chirlane McCray at a Vaisakhi celebration at the City Hall, you can imagine the all round cheers and celebration in the Kapoor clan.
Ritu Nanda (far left) being felicitated by Chirlane McCray (centre)
Nanda, who is chief executive officer of the Mumbai-based Ritu Nanda Insurance Services, was honoured as part of the "Year of Women Empowerment" for entering the Guinness Book of World Records for selling a staggering 17,000 pension policies in a single day! And all this while she has been wife to one of the country's leading industrialists Rajan Nanda, mother to Nitasha and Nikhil and mother-in-law to Shweta Bachchan.
Music to our ears
We love outdoor music events. Street corners, underground stations, fairs, stadiums, malls show us an open space and we'll show you a perfect setting for a show.
So it is with considerable excitement that we received the news that as part of its monthly property 'Awe-Strung', this evening High Street Phoenix will be featuring Indian American musician, Karsh Kale, described by Billboard as a ' visionary composer and producer", and his hand-picked band mates to perform live at the destination centre.
And what's more shoppers will be able to hear this world-class musician absolutely free! Now isn't that music to your ears?
Going to town about a gown
When we had singled out the garment for comment on these pages from the hundreds of others presented at the recently concluded Amazon India Fashion Week, we had done so because of how its creator the Goa-based designer Wendell Rodricks had described it.
The fuchsia and orange gown by Wendell Rodricks (Insert)
Describing the resort wear gown fastened on to a swimsuit, Rodricks had said tongue firmly in chic: "I will now raise the neckline from Kanyakumari to New Delhi" a phrase that we had found altogether charming, prompting us to ask him what he meant by it.
"A deep neckline raised to respectable, acceptable version," he'd explained. Well what do you know? The same 30-metre gown of net panels built on a silver lycra swimsuit that opened the AIFW has been chosen to be included in the Global Fashion Capitals exhibition that opens at The Museum at FIT in New York in June this year.
The outfit with 'Beyonce-worthy sideshows' will be featured along with the works of the top international designers at the exhibition which traces the trend of global fashion capitals the world over. "We had a lot of hard work and fun putting together this fuchsia and orange gown with floating satin orbs and circles in satin suspended from nylon wires," said Rodricks about the honour.
"I am happy that India will take its place via Delhi and Mumbai among the world's fashion capitals." Look where Kanyakumari can get you.
Mumbai's biggest property holder
There was a time when the title 'Owner of Mumbai's most valuable real estate' belonged mostly to a small clique of Parsis, the scions of families whose ancestors had bought swathes of far flung properties (often marshlands) for a song and then sat back and watched in delight as they turned priceless once the city grew and expanded in all directions.
So what is astonishing and commendable about this banker who is laying claims to the title now, is that not only is his money first generation and self made, but that the uber valuable properties he owns have all been picked up at current rates.
"There's the large estate he has picked up not too long ago at Cumballa Hill, arguably one of the most expensive localities in the world; there are the apartments he owns at prime SoBo buildings, and now, what's really got people talking is the 40,000 sq feet that he has picked up recently for a whopping Rs 250 crore at one of the most high profile and hyped mid-city developments," said an insider. "At the rate he's snapping up real estate, he'll soon outstrip the known names on the list!"