Indo-Pak luxe wars

>> Now that the oppressively dapper and relentlessly groomed S M Krishna has been sent on what he obviously thinks is a mission to ‘out -label’ Pakistan’s Heena Rabbani Khar we can disclose a delicious nugget of information we were privileged to receive from Mumbai’s erstwhile governor when we had been invited to interview him at the Raj Bhavan. He told us his ‘passion in life was fashion designing’.

Hand on heart and so help us God gentle reader, that’s what he had told us when we had attempted to valiantly halt the monologue of achievements and accolades that his esteemed personage had launched into. Fashion designing? “Yes, I design my own suits, and can show you many sketches of designs I have done of other garments in the past,” we were informed. So, take that Pakistan: hit us with your Birkins and we’ll kick you in the shins with our Zegna. Fire away your Rolexes and we’ll annihilate you with our toupees, our dentures and our Vuittons. Hum kisi se kam nahin!

India's External Affairs Minister SM Krishna with Pakistan's Hina Rabbani Khar
India’s External Affairs Minister SM Krishna with Pakistan’s Hina Rabbani Khar

RIP Dr Kurien
>> We mourn the death of Dr Verghese Kurien. A true son of India. Someone who quietly and without fuss created the White Revolution and proved that if men of education and values lend their expertise and talent to an area of concern much good can be achieved. His loss will be felt by a mourning nation and many thousands of farmers whose lives he impacted and improved.

Dr Verghese Kurien
Dr Verghese Kurien

A few years ago, we had the privilege of observing Dr Kurien in another avatar altogether: as a patient in the ICU of a south Mumbai hospital where we were present to care for a close relative. No man is a hero to his valet is an adage that we are all familiar with; it suggests that we are all human, fallible and allowed our days off when we can retire our halos away from the scrutiny of public spotlight. A week in an ICU is a challenging time for even a saint. How would a great man behave under such pressure? We are happy to report that even under those extenuating circumstances Dr Kurien and his family was a picture of dignity, humility and patience. No demanding of special attention or treatment or any fuss or fanfare whatsoever. We have been witness to far lesser beings demand far more. We learn a lot from the lives of great people not only in what they do in public and on stage but how they conduct themselves in their quieter moments when the spotlight is turned off. Goodbye Dr Kurien. Salute, salaam and thank you for being the stalwart you were.

A whole new configuration?
>> At the mid-town party which we reported on at which Ranbir and Deepika were the cynosure of all eyes, another not so famous couple contributed a pretty entertaining side show too. The husband of a pretty socialite who had been in the news recently for the wrong reasons regarding a high-profile invitation and India’s (much married) self styled Paris Hilton (whose husband has been MIA for a while now) were cozying up to each other in a way that many saw as a confirmation of their growing attraction to each other.

“We had heard that something was on between them and hadn’t given any credence to the rumours but that evening it looked like they were indeed together,” said an onlooker. Gosh! Expect another round of deadly reconfigurations in Mumbai!

Absolutely Fabulous Mumbai
>>  Hmmm not only is Mumbai becoming the city where champagne is sometimes more easily available than water in your taps, but now we hear that bubbly has become the preferred medium to settle scores.

A still from the British award-winning sitcom Absolutely Fabulous
A still from the British award-winning sitcom Absolutely Fabulous

Last month, at a well-heeled and attended event where some of Mumbai’s establishment (read scions of its oldest industrial families) had gathered to meet and mingle, the polite art and culture crowd was rudely shaken by the sight of one of its guests pouring a bottle of champers on the head of another.

“Apparently, a serious discussion turned in to an argument and the next thing we know is that a fellow guest was silenced by some of France’s best produce!” Anger management therapy anyone? And why are we increasingly reminded of the Joanna Lumley-Jennifer Saunders TV series when it comes to Mumbai’s high life?

Broke? Buy a cricket team
>>  If you’re a biz man facing imminent bankruptcy what’s the best way to shore up your company’s image and buy time from creditors? Simple buy a yacht. This according to one of India’s most respected bankers has been the modus operandi of many leading biz luminaries so far. And it appears to have worked until recently that is.

Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers during an IPL T20 cricket match.
Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers during an IPL T20 cricket match. 

Of late the public and stakeholders of companies have expressed outrage at such extravagances. So, what’ s the newest way to prove that you’re not on the skids and that your company can still swing its weight and be credit worthy? The latest way to flex your muscles where it matters according to the lady banker is to bid for an IPL Team. Huh? Doesn’t that cost hundreds of crores we enquired. So what? The positive headlines it will garner and the buzz it will create is worth more than any PR or corporate communication initiative we were informed. And, of course, when the dust has settled, simply remove your name from the bid. Ingenious? We think so. Not to mention cynical in the extreme. 

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