Ratan for President!

>> Calling all sensible, urbane savants to support this diarist’s campaign to instate Ratan Tata as President.

Think about it: if a President is called upon to be inspiring, patriotic, visionary, dignified and noble can there be another person more eminently qualified for the job than Ratan?

Here is a man who has conducted himself with dignity and grace while being in the public eye for over half a century; who has stood for qualities such as fair practice simple living and CSR even before they became fashionable. Who gave Indians the world over a sense of pride when he bought over iconic international brands like Jaguar and Land Rover; who gave middle class India a car that it could call its own; who will bowl over the snobbiest of western leaders with his sophistication and shy wit; who will look smashing taking the salute on Republic Day…

We could go on … but you get the drift… Ratan for Prezzie: And think of how riled Mamta Di will be!

Oscar dreams work
>> After Reliance-Dreamworks the joint venture between Reliance Big Entertainment and Steven Spielberg’s iconic Dreamworks garnered 11 Oscar nominations this year it was only expected that things would be on the upswing for Anil Ambani’s path breaking international film venture.

So when the pink papers announced last week that Dreamworks Studio, the film company headed by superstar director Steven Spielberg, would get around $200 million from its partner Reliance Entertainment as the second part of its installment, trade insiders were already speculating at how close India is to picking up some heavy duty Oscars next year.

Germane to these plans are Reliance Big Entertainment’s CEO the dynamic Sanjeev Lamba, who prior to this role was COO of Zee Motion Pictures, and who is rumoured to have some of the best connections in the international movie business which he forged during his stint at Walt Disney International.

Meanwhile we learn that ‘Peddlers’ co produced by Anurag Kashyap, Guneet Monga and Mozez Singh is in the official selection at Cannes!

Expect many more Nehru jackets on many more red carpets soon!

Rahul ‘William’ da Cunha
>> The staging of a new Rahul da Cunha play is a moment of celebration for Mumbaikars starved for self-referral humor. And so this Sunday will see us heading to the NCPA to catch the second week of da Cunha’s latest ‘The Bureaucrat’ written by his able partner in crime the immensely talented Anuvab Pal and starring a dazzling array of theatre veterans like Bugs Bhargava Krishna and the fabulous Anu Menon.

Da Cunha is not only the producer-director of plays like ‘I’m Not Bajirao’, one of Indian theatres longest running productions, which also introduced the world to Baman Irani, but he happens to be the creator of the Amul outdoor advertisements — the hoardings which make India smile each week.

The Bureaucrat publicity bumf says it, “takes a laugh-out-loud look at the times we live in, through deceitful Delhi bureaucratic intrigues, backroom deals of secret corruptions, hidden pasts, the convolutions of Indian politics.” We like!

It’s Official: Time to celebrate!
>> The lovely Superna Motwane Publisher and Editor of L’Officiel, India the desi arm of the Parisian fashion bible informs us that the magazine will be celebrating its 10th anniversary in India with — what else — a champagne lunch this weekend.

Insiders swear that L’Officiel India is the country’s unparalleled leader in luxury lifestyle, fashion and beauty reportage, a fact not unconnected to Superna’s own background: she is the daughter of Suri and Rani Kapur, pillars of Indian high society and has grown up in homes surrounded by the best and the beautiful.

No surprises then that L’Officiel is read by socialites and celebrities, and has featured a host of celebrity writers and Bollywood stars on its covers (including Superna’s sister-in law Karisma Kapoor).

Incidentally, Superna is married to Gaurav Motwane the son of the late and dashing Girdhar Motwane and his charming wife the talented singer Sudha, another of Mumbai’s celebrated society couples.

The lunch will witness two generations of Mumbai’s beautiful people.

They came they saw they conked out…
>>This diarist believes in following up stories as far as possible and so towards that end we give you an update on our scoop (MiD DAY April 2) of the 15 MLAs backed by the builder lobby who went to Delhi to try and topple Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan at the beginning of the month.

As we had predicted, the MLA s reached Delhi in a private plane organised by a Nagpur-based hotelier early morning on April 2 and checked in to the Shangri-La, with the hope of meeting senior party leaders like Sonia, Rahul, Priyanka and Ahmed Patel. Their meeting with Patel was scheduled at 3.30 pm that afternoon.

However following the MiD DAY story, which reached Delhi by 10 am that morning, the Delhi media was alerted and several TV channels began following the contingent around. Congress leaders became wary of entertaining them. By afternoon when the matter became more public, the MLAs checked out of the Shangri-La and disbursed to secret residences all over the Capital.

With no assurance of meeting with the Congress big three, their meeting with Ahmed took place on the early morning of April 3 at 6 am and the posse left Delhi before the sun could rise.

Ahem, we can’t help wondering if our scoop changed plans somewhat…  

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