>> A little bird tells us that Tasneem Mehta, the dynamo behind the Bhauji Lad museum has been appointed by MoMA to be on its international council. Tasneem Mehta is only the third Indian ever to be afforded the honour (Czaee Shah and Anand Sarabhai...were the first two). MoMA in mid-town Manhattan is considered to be the most influential museum of modern art in the world and for art lovers, a must-do place of pilgrimage when they visit the city to see their unparalleled collection of modern masters such as The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh, I and the Village by Marc Chagall, The Dream by Henri Rousseau, The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dalí, Broadway Boogie Woogie by Piet Mondrian, Campbell’s Soup Cans by Andy Warhol and my personal favourite the mesmerising Water Lilies triptych by Claude Monet.
When contacted for details about the appointment, Mehta said she was on council work in Istanbul and would be back in Mumbai in July. A collaborative exhibition in Mumbai with the MoMA is eminently called for.
Here’s to the Queen!
>> Not every one we know in Mumbai was celebrating Hakasan’s anniversary or preparing for IIFA or launching a book yesterday.
Parveen Dussanj, one of England’s loveliest imports and her partner Kabir Bedi were cheering on Betty on the occasion of her 60th year on England’s throne. Huh? Well for the uninitiated, Sunday also happened to be a day for pomp and pageantry when all of England was out to celebrate its Queen’s special day, and here in Mumbai, Bedi and Dussanj were doing their bit for Queen and Crown at a high-tea organised at Bedi’s niece Seher’s home.
“It’s going superbly! Had homemade scones with fresh cream and strawberry jam. Many cups of tea and cucumber sandwiches. Now watching the flotilla of boats going down the Thames. Kabir is loving the pomp and pageantry. His niece has put on a great spread!” Dussanj texted us, adding, “Should have had hats too!”
Random House’s latest tome
>> Milee Aishwarya, editorial director of Random House, and the lady behind such successes as Rujuta Diwekar’s Don’t Lose Your Mind, Lose YourWeight and Firuza Parikh’s The Complete Guide to becoming Pregnant invited us to a discussion on her latest offer Jugaad Innovation: Frugal and Flexible approaches for the 21st Century this evening, in collaboration with the Asia Society.
“It’s the leading business title for Random House India for this year,” she informs. “A groundbreaking book on applying Jugaad for breakthrough growth, with a foreword by Sam Pitroda. It shows paths to engender growth in a complex and resource-scarce world.” Incidentally, Milee who is based in Delhi appears to spend an increasing amount of time in Mumbai.
“Mumbai is my favourite city in India, and I feel lucky that my work brings me to the maximum city every month. It is home to most of my authors, and the inherent energy, the evening breeze makes me feel creative, vibrant and upbeat. I have met the most amazing people here — writers, experts, thought leaders — with a strong passion for their work and a common love for the city,” she says.
From the horses’ mouth
>> A Sunday afternoon, surrounded by an exemplary crowd of Mumbaikars drawn from both ends of the city, is to our mind a perfect way to bring in a new week, and something of that nature occurred yesterday when we dined with Kishore and Kintu Bajaj at Hakasan’s first anniversary celebrations in Bandra.
They were all there to partake of the exceptional food and service: designers, socialites, business folk and Bollywood denizens. But amidst the backslapping and bonhomie two men we spoke to brought some necessary tempering. Investment banker Ashok Wadhwa and Treasurer of the BJP Piyush Goyal were both overheard expressing their concern over the economy.
“How to attract foreign investment and stabilise the rupee should be the government’s main concern,” said Wadhwa. And when we asked Goyal if things were as bad as he maintained on television debates, his answer was a cryptic: “Worse.”
You heard it from the horses’ mouths!
Sari Sari nights
>> The lovely designer Masaba Gupta, tells us that she’s working on a collection for the IIFA awards in Singapore where she will be showcasing at the IIFA Rocks show. “I’m pretty thrilled about that since it’s my first show overseas and it’s a big one!” Of late, Masaba’s vibrant, edgy and unconventional take on the sari can be seen on the likes of the vibrant, edgy and unconventional Vidya Balan.
“She is someone I only ever dreamt of dressing and never thought it would become reality. She’s one of those wonder women who come along once in a lifetime and change the face of the field they are in,” she said about the zeitgeist actor. “She’s very bold and fits into my saris perfectly, she wears them with this mix of confidence and humility and it’s amazing!” Incidentally, Balan isn’t the only one who elicits the talented young designer’s commendation.
“Sonam Kapoor also has that about her when she wears my saris,” she says, adding, “In fact, when I first made saris none sold and I thought I should discontinue them and then Sonam wore the first palm print sari and suddenly everyone wanted my saris and now they’re the hottest selling items of my brand.”