Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier

The city — sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

Business lessons from Swara
In the film Nil Battey Sannata, she played an enterprising cook who refused to give up until her daughter carved out a career for herself.

Today, as budding entrepreneurs from India’s leading business schools congregate at Manthan, the ongoing annual management and cultural festival of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Swara Bhaskar will speak about her acting career and the obstacles she faced along the way.

She will share the stage with authors Ashwin Sanghi and Srijan Pal Singh, Reliance CHRO David Oxley and HR consultants Poonam and Parag Pandey. The three-day festival encourages B-school students to go beyond classroom lessons and face the ambiguities of the business world, especially in the domain of human resources.

Blood, hell and Kangana
With the way an upcoming film’s PR machinery goes overboard these days concocting innovative promotions, we weren’t surprised to learn about this one. Tonight, actress Kangana Ranaut will launch a cocktail christened Bloody Hell, inspired by her soon-to-release film at a private event at a Khar watering hole.

The concoction is a twist on the classic vodka-tomato juice-Tabasco-infused Bloody Mary and will be available across all outposts of the pub in the city till February 26. While we would like to hold our verdict on the drink until we sip it, we had fun conjuring up a few of our own concoctions inspired by celebrities. A chilled, tropical Bhai Tai or Chris Martini, anyone?

Super sounds from Pune
With names like Raghav Holla, Quistek, Midland Sparks, Teri Miko (in pic) and EZ Riser on the playlist, day one of the VH1Supersonic festival seemed to have found quite a fan following in its new abode in Pune.

We particularly loved this click of the high-energy DJ as she posed for the cameras in between her set. The festival began yesterday with Indian artiste Raghav Holla opening for the Sonic Realm Stage and Quistek.

All eyes (and ears) of course will be trained on the stage when biggie Eric Prydz takes the stage today. Watch this space.

Pic/Satej Shinde
Pic/Satej Shinde

Pitted against the professional
Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray looks defensive as actor Akshay Kumar, who is also a trained martial artist, takes him on in jest at Andheri Sports Complex.

Stars in bookstores
The best-selling list at a leading bookstore chain in Mumbai summed up the sign of the times. The top three spots on the list were bagged by KJo, Rishi Kapoor and Twinkle Khanna. Going by one of the biggest and most obvious trends that this diarist has been noticing in India’s rollercoaster-like publishing industry for a while now, this doesn’t come as a surprise.

Twinkle Khanna, Karan Johar and Rishi KapoorTwinkle Khanna, Karan Johar and Rishi Kapoor

No matter what purists and pundits say, Bollywood has emerged as the huge cash cow that rules the literary box-office. Another example to gauge their popularity as writers is a glance at itineraries of literary fests big or small. Filmi folk of all kinds are a constant feature on panels, and any regular at such dos will vouch for the fact that those sessions see the biggest crowds. We’re keeping a watch at who will be the new stars to rule the bookshelf in the year 2017.

Where billion-dollar start-ups are born
The IITs of India may not feature in the top 150 technology institutes of the world, but they have earned a rather interesting laurel for themselves.

Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
Indian Institute of Technology Bombay

In a recent report by Sage, a UK-based accounting software firm, the Indian Institutes of Technology rank fourth in the world for producing entrepreneurs who have gone on to found billion-dollars startups, coming next only to Harvard, Stanford, and the University of California (and leaving behind Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Pennsylvania).

With alumni like Google CEO Sundar Pichai and the Bansals of Flipkart, it’s not for nothing that the IIT entrance exam is considered one of the toughest engineering entrance exams in the world.

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