Jus' hangin with his buds

Mukesh Ambani and Arianna Huffington. Pic/AFP
Mukesh Ambani and Arianna Huffington. Pic/AFP

So you think your weekend of gorging on beer and biryani with your pals at the neighbourhood joint, and then watching a game of footie was epic, we would caution you from boasting about it, until you consider Congressman Milind Deora's : "Had an intellectually rejuvenating weekend with Carlos Slim, Mukesh Ambani, Thomas Friedman, Arianna Huffington, etc," he posted yesterday.

Milind Deora, Carlos Slim and Ivanka Trump. Pic/AFP
Milind Deora, Carlos Slim and Ivanka Trump. Pic/AFP

Turns out it was at a conference in America, and amongst the heavy hitters that the rocker politician met, was one who could be a future resident of the White House, Ivanka Trump! So the next time you think of posting a pic of yourself at some weekend jamboree in a mall, best to lie down and let the feeling pass until you crash the (really) big boys orbit.

Arsenal all the way
Though we aren't football fans (and, quite embarrassingly, have watched many World Cup Finals blithely ignorant of which team scored in which goal), we hear Saturday's Arsenal vs Chelsea match was an important one that had many Indian fans glued to their TVs.

Harsha Bhogle, Harbhajan Singh, Neha Dhupia and Atul Kasbekar
Harsha Bhogle, Harbhajan Singh, Neha Dhupia and Atul Kasbekar

What's more, the match, known as the London derby, had many surprise Indian celebrity visitors, thanks to a sports brand, which flew them to London to watch from a private VIP box. The chosen few (Arsenal) fans who made the trip, include cricketers Harbhajan Singh and Virender Sehwag, actresses Neha Dupia and Esha Gupta, as well as lensman Atul Kasbekar and cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle.

And of course, our Indian contingent did make most of the experience, and posted pictures with players Santi Corzola and Hector Bellerin, and former players Sol Cambell and Robert Pires - and were even rewarded by a 3-0 score in their favourite team's favour.

Confidante extraordinaire
As one of the country's leading investment bankers, the suave Nimesh Kampani, is a towering figure in Mumbai's financial world. The alumnus of Sydenham, who founded the JM Financial group, was once, along with Hemendra Kothari and Uday Kotak, named as the "Three K's" of India's leaders in investment banking.

Nimesh Kampani
Nimesh Kampani

After all, his brilliance in mediating between some of the most high-profile and important financial matters in the country, namely the one between top legal eagles Shardul and Cyril Shroff over their family law firm Amarchand Mangaldas, or when he helped TCS and Bharti go public, or most recently when he negotiated the deal between Diageo and Vijay Mallya, is the stuff of Dalal street legend. And now that Kampani will be hanging up his hat at the end of the month, when he steps down as the chairman of his company, there are many stories told about him.

Our favourite is the one about how Kampani won himself the trust and confidence of India's richest and most powerful bizman. Apparently, to shield his client during a particularly messy media takeover, the silver-haired Mumbai boy put his own life on hold, when he bit the bullet on behalf of his client and spent two years almost in self-imposed exile in Dubai in order to protect his famous client. "For someone to do that is the ultimate sacrifice," says an insider. "No wonder he commands the trust and regard he does!"

Big plans ahead
He's always been known to be surrounded by beautiful women, so when Albanian singer and actress Bleona Qereti, tweeted this attractive picture of herself with Lalit Modi, founder-architect of the IPL, and one of London's most glamorous exiles, with the words 'big projects coming up,' it caught our notice.

Lalit Modi with Bleona Qereti
Lalit Modi with Bleona Qereti

Bleona, who has been based in the US for the last few years, has worked with producers such as Rodney Jerkins, and Grammy winner David Foster. What new projects is she referring to and would they include India? The mind boggles.

Behind the scenes palaver
Anyone familiar with this insular biz club and its penchant for keeping things nice and tidy, will recognise what a palaver this recent incident has created.

Last week, a rather stern missive had been issued by one of its office-bearers, informing members that one of its members had breached rules of the august body, when three of his employees had attempted to reserve seats for the concerned member and his family and then on being requested to leave had refused and stayed and 'had dinner'.

'While we have raised this matter with the concerned member, in future such instances would be dealt with (the) seriousness they deserve, and could result in significant penal action, including suspension of membership rights,' the letter reads. And if the member is who it's being said it is, this is one behind-the-scenes turf battle that isn't going to go anywhere soon.

Remembering Dev
"I met him for the first time when I was in Std IV, at Filmistan Studios. As I entered in my school uniform, right outside floor no 4, I saw THE Dev Anand," says ace photographer Pradeep Chandra about this portrait with the late screen legend, whose birthday falls today.

Dev Anand with Pradeep Chandra
Dev Anand with Pradeep Chandra

"Once I told him let's go to Bombay Central station and do a shoot. He immediately agreed and drove all the way himself in his Fiat. On our return journey I asked him how come you still use this old Fiat,' recalls Chandra, and he said, in his famous style, "Pradeep I have a Merc and a few cars, but I love this car and this car will be with me till the end."

Chandra, whose portraits of Bollywood have been celebrated for decades, is out with his latest : a 180-page hard-bound tome on Abhishek Bachchan titled 'Style & Substance.' "It has just hit the market, but a formal launch is yet to take place," he says.

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