Goa going gone

They are known individually as women of legendary substance, style, and spunk, and together their sass quotient reaches almost lethal proportions.

So when actresses, star mothers and BFFs, Amrita Singh and Dimple Kapadia, went off to spend a weekend with their other two BFFs Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla, at the latter’s new breathtakingly beautiful home in Goa it must have been a riot of zany humour, wicked laughter, epic bonding and monumental feasting.

Amrita Singh and Dimple Kapadia
Amrita Singh and Dimple Kapadia

Sighted on one rare occasion at Bomras— the divine Burmese eatery at Candolim— for the rest of the trip, the foursome preferred the comforts of the old Portuguese bungalow that the ‘boys’ have transformed into what is said to be the last word in fine living. Nice!

Applauding apro Zubin
It is a measure of the respect that he is held in, that at Sunday night’s concert at the sumptuous Jamshed Bhabha auditorium at the NCPA, not only was the audience well in time and in their seats long before show time at 7 pm (and this despite the traffic snarls caused by the cricket match next door), but not a single cell so much as beeped, leave alone rang during the entire performance, where the maestro, or ‘Apro Zubin’ masterfully conducted the AWO. And of course there were standing ovations galore, and the applause was so enthusiastic, that it was a small matter that it sometimes erupted at the wrong moments.

Zubin Mehta
Zubin Mehta

Spotted cheering (at the right times of course), along with every other high profile Parsi in town, were the likes of industrialists Nusli Wadia with sons Jeh and Ness, and elegant daughter-in-law Celina, top Reliance executive Hital Meswani with family philanthropist and media tycoon Zarina Mehta with both her parents and in laws, and leading gynaecologist Dr RP Soonawalla with daughter Kamal.

Celina and Jeh Wadia
Celina and Jeh Wadia

But for our money the most touching sight, was when significantly visually impaired author Mimi Batliwala, stood long after everyone else, applauding the singular performance. For some reason, the sight of her standing recent and alone, a feisty red flower in her hair, thanking Mehta for the sublime performance, moved us profoundly.

Because, as every knows, the applause for Zubin Mehta is as much for the music as for the fact that a loving son of Mumbai went on to great heights, and earned renown and respect in a field hitherto unconquered. We applaud him as much as we applaud our own potential for unreached, unconquered heights.

Balance sheets and Burberry
“We just made history last week by being the highest selling TV in one day in India – 35,000 TVs on Flipkart’s Big Billion Day sale,” said Devita Saraf, CEO and Design Head, Vu Luxury Televisions, a brand she started at 24.

Devita Saraf
Devita Saraf

We had called up the attractive young business leader to commend her on some drop dead portraits of herself that she’d shared on a social networking site. “Being the CEO, Design Head and brand ambassador of a young, high-tech brand, I want to represent the new age businesswoman who loves balance sheets and runway shows,” said the feisty young woman.

“The pictures were taken by Vishesh Verma and styled by Ami Patel in Burberry, a brand I have been associated with since 2012,” she informed, adding, “USA has Mark Zuckerberg, Europe has Richard Branson and I believe India should have it’s own celeb CEO, who is a woman.” You go girl!

Bhupen at the Tate Modern
Friends and admirers of the late Bhupen Khakhar, the artist who began life as a chartered accountant, and then went on to be one of the founders of the Baroda School — an ideologically vibrant amorphous group of artists located in the city — are not surprised that next year he will be posthumously honoured abroad.

Bhupen Khakhar and Salman Rushdie
Bhupen Khakhar and Salman Rushdie

The Tate Modern will be holding a major retrospective of the quiet artist whose largely autobiographical paintings of contemporary Indian life, many of which carried homosexual themes, have been collected by serious art lovers assiduously.

And towards this we hear that one of Khakhar’s works, The Window Cleaner, bought by author Salman Rushdie, will be part of the retrospective.

Congress gathering
He may have gone off TV sets, and prime time studio slug fests, and the once powerful party he bears allegiance to, might have been reduced to a scrappy (but surprisingly resilient) opposition after its defeat in the last general elections, but make no mistake, it will be a gathering of the best and brightest this Saturday when former Congress spokesperson MP and senior advocate, Abhishek Manu Singhvi’s son gets married in Delhi.

Abhishek Manu Singhvi
Abhishek Manu Singhvi

But besides the expected Congress heavyweights in attendance the big question will be — will anyone from the ruling party attend? After all, wasn’t one of the groom’s grandfather, namely LM Singhvi, a leading member of the BJP until quite recently? Incidentally, the wedding is also expected to be on a lavish scale: Amongst the MPs, who declared the highest remunerations, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, tops the chart at Rs 50 crore!

Tightening of belts due?
The recent Credit Suisse report ominously titled ‘House of Debt’ has created a bit of a stir in biz circles. In its section, ‘Still in the woods’ it has named some of India’s leading business groups as ‘20-90% debt.

Under high stress’ these include Essar, JSW, Vedanta, Videocon, GVK, Adani and Reliance ADAG amongst others.‘Three years since our first ‘House of Debt’ report, we find that despite attempts at deleveraging, financial stress at these groups has intensified further.’ Time to tighten those Hermès snake skinned belts a few notches perhaps?

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