Mamata, Jaitley and GST

It’s being spoken about as the wedding of the year and to be sure, the recently concluded nuptials in Kolkata of Sanjiv and Preeti Goenka’s son Shashwat, with Shivika Jhunjhnuwala, not only featured a roster of high profile names in attendance, but even boasted of some big ticket political moves, which might have far reaching implications on the national political narrative.

Mamata Banerjee and Arun Jaitley
Mamata Banerjee and Arun Jaitley

At one of the receptions, the assembled guests were bemused to note the bonhomie between Fin Min Arun Jaitley, who’d flown in for the occasion, and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. “Not only did they greet each other with noticeable warmth, but they also made time to have a longer discussion away from the crowd,” said a source. Could the contentious and much hoped for resolution of the GST bill have been one of the topics discussed?

No time for backbiters
“I’m always beyond amazed at how much interest people one no longer has much to do with, show in your life!” It was the lovely Kim Sharma who’d made her debut as a YRF heroine with Mohabbatein, venting on social media about a particularly offensive malaise that prevails in the city — that of fervent inquisitiveness borne of malicious intent.

Kim Sharma
Kim Sharma

“Where, what, how, when etc and not even to your face!!!!!” she continued. “Always inquiring, always asking, so inquisitive behind your back,” said the irate Sharma, who said she spends her time travelling between Dubai and Mumbai, and giving her day over to gymming and juicing and new age practices.

All this has obviously heralded a healthy dose of compassion in her, as she ended the admonishing post with, “Anyway to you dear person, I send you love and light and a prayer for you to get a life, so you can get your big nose out of mine!” “I would certainly like you to carry it,” said the actress who turned 36 recently, and celebrated her birthday with a life enhancing day with friends at Alibag.

“This is about a particular person who really deserves to be ticked off,” said Sharma. “Why can’t they ask me what they want to know – to my face?” she asked indignantly. Indeed.

Just desserts
Readers might recall an item we carried last week about a disgruntled hostess, who’d written about a social climbing couple, and the betrayal she’d felt at being used and abused by them.

Not only had the item resulted in an avalanche of her friends rallying around, but she’d also posted her gratitude for the coverage on her timeline. As for the errant couple in question, apparently every one knew who she had referred to - a high flying duo, who until their company went public recently, were little known and less celebrated.

“Then they began to grow so big that they forgot all their old friends,” she said ruefully. What’s more, it’s not going to end there. So stung is the lady by this saga of betrayal that she wants to immortalise it in a film script. They might have gate-crashed her Diwali party and stolen all her big-ticket friends — boy do they have their just desserts coming is what we say.

Anita at Harvard
There is nothing we like more than to listen to stories of strong women, and how they hold it all together. The mantras of women who run successful careers, have deep and lasting friendships, have time for themselves, and yet manage to nurture families and kids are a life long interest.

Anita Dongre
Anita Dongre

And one of the finest examples of this, is the chat we had recently on the sidelines of a glitzy fashion show with designer-entrepreneur Anita Dongre, on how she runs her enormously successful conglomerate, and yet maintains her cool and poise. (She attributed the secret of her success to working with people she loved and trusted in a peaceful and healing ambience — something they don’t teach you at Harvard Business School we’re sure).

And so it comes as no surprise, that Dongre, who is on the verge of expanding her label into America, has been invited this year to speak at the India Conference at Harvard along with the likes of Shashi Tharoor, Kamal Haasan, and Chanda Kochhar.

“The 2016 edition of the conference, which talks about India In Transition — Opportunities and Challenges, will witness the designer talking about her initiative, Grassroots, a diary of India’s craft history, one of her pet projects”

We recall how during our fashion show heart-to-heart chat, Dongre told us of her zeal to give back to people and empower the artisans of India. “I have always wanted to create a bridge between the crafts of India from our remotest villages and the global consumer. I am glad that we have created a sustainable platform for the artisans,” she’d said. Now, Harvard will hear about it too.

Mama knows best
An impassioned bridge player, an avid traveller, an intelligent conversationalist and a woman of taste and sophistication, are just some of the ways people describe Lalitha Mallya, spirited mother of spirits tycoon Dr Vijay Mallya; and last evening her famous son hosted an elegant dinner, to bring in the grande dame’s birthday on the lawns of Niladiri, his bungalow at Napean Sea road.

Lalitha and Vijay Mallya
Lalitha and Vijay Mallya

The evening saw around 50 of Lalitha’s close friends gather to bring in her day in a manner which was a marked departure from the tycoon’s own recent glitzy bash in Goa. “Unlike her flamboyant son, Lalitha is a lady who prefers understated elegance, and so keeping her wishes in mind her doting son hosted a low key affair,” said a source.

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