Luis Figo, Vijay Goel, Ryan Giggs and Falcao
Revellers over the weekend at Lower Parel's newly launched Playboy club, were in for quite a surprise when they spotted a football legend standing in line to get in. Luis Figo, the former captain of Portugal and Real Madrid sensation, twice voted FIFA player of the year, was indeed at the night club.
"We were in complete shock, first, that Figo was in Mumbai and second, that he was at the same nightclub as us!" said an over excited fan. "He had come along with Falcao (the world's best indoor futsal player) and they were in good cheer, and very humble, and they posed for pictures with all of us!"
And as per news reports, the footballers are in India as part of a delegation to promote the upcoming season of a futsal league, and also dropped in to meet the BJP's Vijay Goel, (remember him for his selfie blitzkrieg at the Olympics?) who is the MOS for Youth Affairs and Sports.
"I can't believe it's the 10th Dog A'Fair!!!" says the effervescent Farzana Contractor, about her canine extravaganza, which takes place this weekend at the Radio Club. Contractor, like so many of our friends, wears her love for pooches on her sleeve.
Farzana Contractor and Aaditya Thackeray
It is a trend we are fascinated by: one minute they're their normal everyday boring grown up selves, and the next they go all cutesy and puppy faced and mushy, when the topic of dogs comes up. "It's my big endeavour to make Mumbai a dog friendly city which hopefully makes us better human beings!" says Contractor, who, when she's not organizing pooch parades, publishes a foodie magazine and hosts one of the city's premier foodie fests.
This weekend's mutt fete will feature agility games, a doggie personality pageant (judged by Sophie Chowdhury) an adoption pound, a pet studio to get images clicked with your loved ones, and pet products like dog food, treats, toys, collars, leashes, socks and specially crafted dog ice-creams too! "Aaditya Thackeray, a big animal lover has confirmed, he will be chief guest," says Contractor, signing off with a cheery, "Come with tails wagging!!" See what we mean?
Who's the prettiest of them all?
The highlight of the Nykaa awards on Wednesday evening was not that some of the country's most beautiful women walked the red carpet in various stages of sartorial and cosmetic embellishment, (Evelyn Sharma looked fierce, Eli Avram went for the nude make-up look, Jacqueline Fernandez wore ivory) but that an Indian e-commerce site launched by a woman in 2012, is actually all set to reach operational break even, and this with a team of 330, when industry giants like Flipkart, with 30,000 employees, are still struggling to break even.
Falguni Nayar and Eli Avram
What's more, Falguni Nayar, Nykaa's founder, a former investment banker, who quit her job when bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, has nurtured the industry with her innovations and zeal. Like the popular choice awards this week that surveyed 55,000 consumers, which led to a shortlist of products that were then carefully judged by a jury of seven that included Shilpa Shetty, and the learnings this afforded to the astute market observer.
Jacqueline Fernandez and Evelyn Sharma
"What surprised us was that many luxury brand/products found a place in the shortlist and final winners' list," says Nayar, adding, "confirming that the Indian beauty consumer is savvy and is able to identify performance products amongst a large choice/variety at all price points". By which we think she meant that the Indian consumer was getting pleasantly quality conscious. "They wouldn't mind paying more if the quality was better."
The glass half full
What does Pepsico head honcho Indra Nooyi have to do with the teachings of the Indian sage Swami Parthasarthy? Our reporter's nose was alerted when we chanced upon the international business leader's name spring up in an invitation to a spiritual lecture by a disciple of the Swami to be held today, to celebrate International Women's Month.
"Come and hear Dr Janki Santoke shed a Vedantic perspective…And you never know. Indra Nooyi might just show up!" it read. "Life is made up of so many facets. Yet success requires single pointed focus. Can one be highly successful and yet balance all the facets of life? Or does one have to sacrifice some aspects for success or success for others?
Or to paraphrase the question famously put to Pepsico Chief, Indra Nooyi, can one have it all?" says the spokesperson of the foundation hosting the lecture. The talk will be followed every Friday by a 12-session series on Governing Business and Relationships based on the book by Parthasarthy.
And as far as we know, for these too Nooyi will be safely ensconced in her headquarters at Purchase, New York, busy selling ever increasing amounts of sweetened coloured water, as the answers to some of life's most important questions are being discussed back home.
Lifetime for Jamal
"Deeply humbled and grateful to be conferred with the Hall of Fame and Life Time Achievement Award for Contribution to the Hospitality Industry by Pacific Area Writers' Association (PATWA) at ITB, Berlin," said the Taj's Senior Vice President Farhat Jamal, about the conferring of the prestigious honour this week by the Minister of Tourism (Egypt) Mohamed Yehia Rashed and Sec General PATWA Sagar Ahluwalia.
Farhat Jamal (Centre) at the function
Jamal is one of the Taj's senior most executives, someone who, over the decades, was seen as one of the industry's insiders. We have an interesting anecdote to narrate about his early years, which more or less coincided with those of our own. More than three decades ago we had been packed off on an assignment for the Taj magazine, which required us to fly to Delhi and stay at a five-star hotel on our own.
Both activities which we dreaded, being by nature shy and retiring. We recall feeling awkward and miserable at the Taj Mansingh's rooftop Italian eatery alone one day for lunch when the restaurant's charming manager, most likely sensing our discomfort, had come over to chat and make us feel at home.
By the end of the meal we had not felt as sorry for ourselves. That manager had been Farhat Jamal, who then had gone on to great heights and much renown in his career. And going by his hospitality instincts, deservedly so. It's in the little things that we show our greatness after all.