Priyanka at large

If you think it’s easy being a global superstar, take a look at Priyanka Chopra’s work schedule for the past few days, shared with us by her associate.

“PC was shooting in Montreal for Quantico, she then flew to India to complete her pending professional commitments,” she says. “Last week she travelled to London, Paris and New York for the launch of Quantico in these cities, after which she left for Spain to attend and perform in IIFA 2016.” Fair enough we said. “Today she landed in Mumbai and went straight to shooting for her brand commercials over the next 3 days. Nice, we said.

Priyanka Chopra
Priyanka Chopra

“After which she will spend the entire next day overseeing her production house’s upcoming Marathi film,” we were informed. “Then she flies to Delhi, where she attends a UNICEF event,” says the source, sounding tired herself, “and leaves the very next day for the shoot of Quantico Season 2 in New York.” Whew!

Enchanting royal wedding
Friends writing in from the wedding of the erstwhile Maharaja, Yaduveer Wadiyar of Mysore to Trishika Kumari Singh, daughter of the erstwhile Maharajah of Dungarpur, appear to be enchanted by the proceedings. The couple is in its early 20s and is said to make a handsome pair. The ceremonies at the historic Mysore Palace, part Chateau de Versailles and part traditional have been solemn and ritual centric.

Yaduveer Wadiyar and Trishika Kumari Singh at their wedding. PIC/PTI
Yaduveer Wadiyar and Trishika Kumari Singh at their wedding. PIC/PTI

“This is THE wedding of the year in significance,” says one of the guests, but even so it’s being conducted in a simple and understated way! Incidentally, the Mysore Palace, where we had once spent a fair amount of our teenage years while assisting on the Indo-US film, Shalimar, starring Rex Harrison, Dharmendra and Zeenat Aman, is very familiar to us. But that’s another story for another day!

Backstage from IIFA
From our back stage sources at the recently concluded IIFA in Madrid come these delightful vignettes: of Bollywood’s reigning heroines, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra, patiently teaching Salman Khan the steps of their chartbuster ‘Pinga’ from Bajirao Mastani backstage before his act, so that they could join him in the finale; the palpable joy on Deepika’s face after she saw Ranveer Singh’s appreciation for her dancing his ‘Malhari’ as a tribute to him; the easy camaraderie between the Bajirao trio demonstrated with Priyanka spontaneously climbing onto the stage to be part of the moment, when Deepika and Ranveer were presenting Sanjay Leela Bhansali with the Best Director award.

Deepika performs on Malhari at IIFA (right) Ranveer Singh at IIFA. Pics/Getty Images
Deepika performs on Malhari at IIFA (right) Ranveer Singh at IIFA. Pics/Getty Images

Added to this: Fans from across Europe standing vigil outside the event’s official hotel all through the day and night; performances by other A-list stars Hrithik Roshan, Sonakshi Sinha, Tiger Shroff and a grand finale with Salman Khan and you can see why IIFA 2016 is creating all that buzz.

Alpha males ahoy!
Both are poster boys for the Indian diaspora, two dashing alpha males from India, who have reached the pinnacle of their professions abroad, and so last week when news of President & Chief Operating Officer of SoftBank Corp, Nikesh Arora’s sudden resignation made headlines, we could not help but think back to Co-CEO Deutsche Bank Anshu Jain’s high-profile exit last year.

Anshu Jain and Nikesh Arora. Pics/Getty Images
Anshu Jain and Nikesh Arora. Pics/Getty Images

Different circumstances of course, but given that both were being seen as a whisker away from pole position, their departures had led to much chatter. Now it appears that not only are both men good friends but also share a common competitive streak. “At Arora’s wedding in the South of France to Ayesha Thapar, Jain and he were on competing cricket teams during a friendly match,” says a guest.

“And boy things got hot as both fought to win tooth and nail,” she laughs. So are two of India’s most successful international executives drawing solace from each other’s company right now? After all that’s what friends are for.

Another Pulitzer?
Author Siddhartha Mukherjee, whose ‘The Emperor of All Maladies,’ won the Pulitzer Prize in 2010, will be in town this weekend for the release of ‘The Gene: An Intimate History,’ an illuminating biography of the building blocks of human beings, which is already creating waves and touted as another Pulitzer Prize winner.

Siddhartha Mukherjee
Siddhartha Mukherjee

“When I heard of his new book, I got in touch with Siddhartha Mukherjee, whose first book ‘The Emperor of All Maladies’ we had featured in our literary festival,” says Anil Dharker. The event will be held at a SoBo five star. “It’s incredible how beautifully he writes. He, Atul Gawande and Abraham Verghese make up the triumvirate of great doctor-writers from India!” says the writer and literary impressario.

Interestingly, talking to the Indian-born American physician, scientist and writer, who manages to turn out deeply thoughtful and painstakingly researched masterpieces on science and medicine, even as he holds down a demanding job as assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University and staff physician at Columbia University Medical Centre, will be Rohan Murty, Founder of the Murty Classical Library of India, and son of Infoysys founder Narayana Murthy, whose interest in ancient Indian philosophy and sciences led him to fund the ambitious Indian Classics, a project spanning 500 texts of India’s best over a century.

And with such heavy weights featured, Dharker’s friendly and oft repeated, “Do try and come well before the starting time. Seating, as usual, will be on a first come, first served basis,” appears endearingly inadequate this time around.

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