Seventeen-hour days

Those who know him, say that Mukesh Ambani, the 58-year-old chairman of Reliance Industries, a man legendary for his business foresight and work ethic, has never worked harder in his life.

"He's putting in 17/18 hours a day," said an insider, "giving his all to the highly anticipated telecommunications and digital venture Reliance Jio." And according to her, this means that the tycoon is cutting back vastly on his only indulgence: the evenings spent with his family and close friends, watching a movie (typically Bollywood) to unwind.

Mukesh Ambani
Mukesh Ambani

"As it is, his two elder kids, Akash and Isha are working with him and wife Nita is spending regular hours at the office; he gets to meet most of his family at the office. But we've never seen him work this hard", she said, "And to think that he doesn't even need to!" 'The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra' as a wise man once said.

Kabaddi-Kabaddi-Kiss-Kiss
We never thought the day would come, but this Sunday saw us making our way to the NSCI stadium in Worli to watch Mumbai vs Bangalore, in the finals of the Pro Kabaddi league, in its second season.

MS Dhoni, Nita Ambani and Abhishek Bachchan at the final of Pro-Kabaddi
MS Dhoni, Nita Ambani and Abhishek Bachchan at the final of Pro-Kabaddi

On entering, we bumped into Charu Sharma, co-founder of the league, who along with brother-in-law Anand Mahindra, and a little heft from friends like Star's head honcho Uday Shankar, ex-UTV Boss Ronnie Screwvalla (also owner of team 'U Mumba' — the league's new champions), and Abhishek Bachchan (owner of 'Jaipur Pink Panthers' last seasons winners) has managed to get the putative money-spinner many eyeballs, traction, and a newfound 'cool' factor.

Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif
Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif

The last time we had visited the NSCI stadium was when we'd attended a wrestling match, (don't ask) decades ago and so we were struck by the transformation of the premises. In what could only be called a cosy, family-friendly, house-full audience, we spotted the likes of Abhishek Bachchan, Katrina Kaif, Saif Ali Khan and Alia Bhatt. Nita Ambani came in later and was seen exchanging (cricketing notes?) with MS Dhoni; Anu Mahindra looked resplendent in ruby red, and others in the box included team owner Rajesh Shah.

So much like a Sunday SoBo party was the ambience in the audience, that it could be said that whereas the pit resounded with 'Kabaddi Kabaddi,' the stands were awash with 'Kiss Kiss' as stars, industrialists and other famous faces threw air-kisses across the aisles.

Great to see how you've gentrified kabaddi, we said to Uday Shankar, pointing to the well-heeled audience. "Not too gentrified, I hope?" said the down-to-earth media maven, who backed the league from its inception. As for us, what next: A football match

Curry night for David and George
Word comes in that in the finest British tradition of Friday curry night, PM David Cameron and Finance Minister George Osborne, two of Britain's most powerful men went off to Namita Panjabi's Chutney Mary to satiate their need for curry.

George Osborne and David Cameron
George Osborne and David Cameron

And whereas the restaurant was tightlipped about the cabinet visitation and refused to divulge details, fellow diners said that the ultimate power diners ate a good fusion Indian meal, while engaged in deep discussion (perhaps they too were discussing the price of onions?), paid their bill quietly, and left without a fuss.

And whereas their accompanying detail requested delighted fellow diners to delete the pix they'd taken ...this one seems to have slipped through the net.

The jokes on fashion
And whereas over the next few days, a slew of designers at Lakme Fashion week will be attempting to convince us that fashion is no laughing matter, the country's pioneering stand-up comic and actor Vir Das will demonstrate how the joke, in fact, is on them.

A t-shirt by Das
A t-shirt by Das

Das, we believe, has just turned designer and is all set to showcase his collection of boxers and tees called 'Pret-a-funny by Vir Das' at Lakme Fashion Week 2015.

Vir Das
Vir Das

"For the first time in LFW there's a show with multiple show-stoppers along with a bunch of 10 to 12 celebrities walking the ramp in boxers and t-shirts, a rare sight at any fashion show," said a spokesperson. "Like a Victoria's Secret Fashion Show — upside down!"

We don't need no thought control
When we read about textbooks filled with regressive nonsense that encourage parochialism, misogyny, racism and ignorance about the world we cannot help thinking of the The Queen Mary School, founded in 1875 and run under the management of the Christian Medical Educational Fellowship (C.M.E.F) Trust.

Shobhaa De
Shobhaa De

Lying cheek-by-jowl with the notorious Kennedy Bridge, the two factors that contributed to its vantage perch amongst the elite educational establishments of its time, were the fact that it had teachers of mostly British origin, and that too, all of them female (except for a grand old gentleman who taught Persian), and that it's fees were higher than those of other city schools.

It was the go to place for the city's upper echelon to be schooled in science and history, of course, but the fact that alumni consists of the likes of iconic actresses Nargis Dutt, and Shabana Azmi, columnist Shobhaa De, art historian Saryu Doshi to industrialist Sharayu Daftary, designer and society hostess Sunita Pitamber and award winning scriptwriter Sooni Taraporewala, speaks of its education in character building, sense and sensibility. What kind of women will our current education turn out? No, don't even bother answering that one.

Celebrating her birthday
This weekend was witness to a scorching rocker of a party at Chez Sanjay Khan, to bring in daughter-in-law Malaika Khan's birthday.

Malaika and Zayed
Malaika and Zayed

With its masked banquet theme and music by in-house DJ Aqueel, who took over the console by popular request, it saw the likes of actress Dia Mirza and designer Ana Singh bopping till the wee hours.

The Khans celebrate Malaika’s birthday
The Khans celebrate Malaika's birthday

"It was completely organised by Zayed for his wife," said a guest. "He oversaw every detail personally so that Malaika could relax and let her hair down."

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