"A few years ago, I questioned my sanity in putting up with New York's nasty winters, when I could work just as easily from Baroda at a comfortable home," says travel doyenne Pallavi Shah, who runs 'Our Personal Guest,' a high end boutique luxury travel business, about her decision to spend January till May each year away from the Big Apple, working out of her family home in Gujarat. "Tech allows me to work anywhere, and my business is global, and so it really doesn't matter where I am physically."
Currently Shah is busy with her latest project, creating an alternative luxury route in Rajasthan called 'The Road Less Travelled.' "Not the big five-star names but luxury boutiques between Jodhpur and Udaipur. With better roads and classy small hotels, its entirely possible to really have the kind of experience we all go nuts about in Europe," says this international travel industry veteran, and unstoppable traveller about her company's latest offering.
For now though she's comfortably ensconced. "Baroda is not as humid as Mumbai and in an air-conditioned flat with Modi's reliable electricity, I don't face any real issues." She laughs, "I can even get Gujju food by tiffin now."
If Pallonji Mistry, the reclusive Parsi billionaire is known as 'The Ghost of Bombay House,' it is not for nothing that Viveck Goenka is described as the 'reclusive media tycoon'. Both men are known to avoid personal publicity with a passion. However last week Goenka was in the news for two entirely different reasons.
Viveck Goenka with his Rolls Royce
Firstly, he was said to have purchased sizable property earlier this year at Nariman Point, and secondly, there was his dazzling win at last weekend's VCCCI Vintage Car & Motorcycle Fiesta Rally, when his 1930 Rolls Royce Phantom II Boat Tail bagged the Concourse D'Elegance title in the Vintage category, and his 1955 Buick Road Master won the Concourse D'Elegance title in the Classic category in Mumbai.
What is relatively unknown, is Goenka's renown as one of the foremost collectors and restorers of vintage cars amidst the country's leading automobile authorities. "His level of restoration of vintage and classic cars is possibly the best in the country and matches world class standards," says Hormazd Sorabjee, editor of a car and bike magazine.
"What's more he has built a full-fledged restoration garage of international standards, so that he does not have to rely on outside resources," says Nitin Dossa adding, "Among his other notable entries were a 1956 Studebaker President, a 1957 Hindustan Traveller, and a 1960 Fiat Super Select." Nice.
What's wrong with a little arm wrestling between two alpha males, especially if it's witty and in the public domain? Yesterday we had carried silken tongued and quick-witted Congressman Shashi Tharoor's retweet of a WhatsApp meme about a little girl asking her dad if 'all fairy tales begin with the words 'once upon a time,' to which he replies no "No. These days they begin with 'Mitron'.."
Shashi Tharoor, Anupam Kher
Anupam Kher appears to have come up with an equally funny response. He replied to Tharoor, "Little girl asks Dad, "What's the best description of 'Once upon a time?'" Dad: 'Congress' Party!!!" Incidentally, as Tharoor has 5 million followers and Kher 8.5 million, a significant part of the microblogging site was chuckling away at their jugalbandi. Keep it up guys, the AIB guys might be out of a job soon.
A paean to old world charm
As first reported on these pages, SRK and Anushka Sharma were indeed the show stoppers for the glittering Mijwan Fashion on Sunday evening, which was a glittering affair by any standards, with the likes of Sushmita Sen, Sridevi and Neetu Kapoor in the audience.
And though we were not able to attend the show due to prior commitments, a source informs us that it was something of a coming of age for Gen Next with Nivaan Goyal, the 25-year-old son of Neeta and Naresh Goyal, walking the ramp for the first time in support of his god mother Shabana, and sister Namrata's foundation.
Nivaan, who finished schooling and college in London and has joined the family business, had invited a lot of his friends, who broke into excited applause when he made his debut on the ramp. Incidentally the young man, heir to an international airline group is said to have started from the bottom at Jet Airways, learning the ropes of the business his father created out of nothing.
Wine, woman and song?
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that when you give a man a mic, especially if there's musical accompaniment, chances are he will grab it, rise to the occasion and make a fool of himself. Amongst the great banes of our age are karaoke, minus one tapes, and amplification devices which give those who ought to remain strictly bathroom singers, the means to destroy our happiness with their warbling.
The incident we narrate took place recently at a SoBo hotel, and it boasted the cream of the city's corporate world. After all it was a gathering for the members of one of the country's most aspirational business forums. The senior citizen who got more than a little boisterous happens to be a one of its senior most members. Someone who heads august industry bodies and important projects.
Imagine the embarrassment all round when he took to the stage and proceeded to belt out some golden oldies. What's more, sources say, all this imagining he was Pavarotti or Bhimsen Joshi resulted in some rather inappropriate attention and behaviour towards the evening's designated hostess, an attractive star in her own right, who was overheard complaining bitterly about it later. Tch Tch.