>> They are one of the most popular couples in Mumbai and a familiar one on its social scene and now word comes in that the India-loving Richard Rothman, Chief, US, Commercial Service Mumbai married to the petite and charming Tabu has detached from mother ship after decades spent assiduously building up US–India business ties. Does this mean his wiry athlete’s silhouette will not be seen anymore in the places that matter? Unlikely.
With his knowledge and expertise of the subject, consultancy work in India appears to be imminently on the cards.
Another one bites the dust
>> Hats in the air again: we hear man about town and confirmed bachelor Ashwini Kakkar, head of Mercury Travels, has finally decided to tie the knot and settle down with long time beau Beate Mauder who used to earlier work for Taj and who now heads a hospitality management company.
With the couple’s expertise in travel and hospitality in mind (Kakkar headed Thomas Cook, one of the country’s largest travel agencies) friends are hoping that the nuptials will take place in some hitherto undiscovered exotic location that will up the destination wedding bar all over again (the last time that was done was by a prominent Mumbai family when it chose Tuscany as the venue for one of its daughters!)
A book, a poem and some wine
>> Nice to know that the indefatigable Anil Dharker’s literary juggernaut moves on regardless of rain or shine. Next week it will host our friend Pavan K Varma, diplomat and author of over a dozen books (including the seminal The Great Indian Middle Class). “The next Literature Live! monthly event is a very interesting one.
We are collaborating with Godrej to bring well-known writer Pavan K Varma to give a talk on an unusual and fascinating subject, followed by an interaction with the audience,” writes Dharkar. Varma will be talking about his latest tome the enigmatically titled Chanakya’s New Manifesto: To Resolve the Crisis within India (Aleph).
Incidentally, the collaboration with Godrej promises two things: a selection of wines from Nature Basket’s Berkmann Cellars, and the possibility that the effervescent and poetically inclined MD Godrej Industries’ Nadir Godrej might regale the audience with a charming poem composed specially for the occasion!
Business on their mind
>> And on the subject of US-India ties, we were amused to see that the card inviting business leaders to hear USA Vice President Joseph R Biden, speak on US–India partnership on Wednesday at the Bombay Stock Exchange have been advised to wear their hearts on their sleeve.
How so? Well, the dress code for the morning event succinctly instructs in a single word: Business. So, business on their minds and business on their personages! Could sartorial symbolism be any more upfront?
Eating well in Mumbai
>> And on our desk has landed this excellent collection of Mumbai’s best places to eat for under Rs 50 and Rs 100. And what’s best about this list is that whereas it features the usual suspects like Golden Bhel at Golden Bhelpuri House in Girgaum and Omelette Pao at B Merwan outside Grant Road station there are many surprises that will delight even the most jaded Mumbai foodie such as the intriguingly named russian kebab at Al Tosh, the Moghlai joint at Versova (a thin, fried, farcha-like batter coats the chicken kebab that melts in your mouth as quickly as a galouti. Rs 12 per piece). Koki at Royal Sindh (the koki is to a Sindhi household what parathas are to Punjabi ones but the koki has chopped onions, green chillies, cumin seeds and salt added to the dough at the time of rolling) at Versova, Andheri and Kadhi Vada at Amba Bhavan Matunga (soft bonda-like vadas soaked in a creamy, lightly sweet and tangy yoghurt and gram flour-based kadhi). In the more extravagant Rs 100 and under list for the slightly better heeled are featured the Seekh Kabab at Sarvi at the Nagpada Junction, Byculla. (Sarvi’s legendary seekh is a tender beef kebab made by pounding the meat before cooking), Batsal (batata wada-based Dahi Missal) at New Sardar at Lalbaug and Thali at Mani’s Lunch Home again in Matunga! Ah Mumbai, how we love thee. Let us count the dishes!
Actresses then and now
>> She was the subject of a Shyam Benegal film (Zubeida, the story of a princess) scripted by her son, the well-known film critic Khalid Mohammed in which her poignant life and tragic death were so evocatively brought home by Karisma Kapoor. But however attractive the contemporary actress, she was not a patch on the original as this latest picture posted by Mohammed on Facebook recently shows. “FOUND another pic of my mum, Zubeida, sent to me by an old photo studio which had preserved it,” says the doting son.
For the uninitiated Zubeida was a Bollywood actress, daughter of a movie producer who left films to marry the Maharajah of Jodhpur and who died along with him in an ill fated plane crash.
We recall seeing the film a few years ago and were particularly moved by Mohammed’s endearing attempt to pay tribute to a mother he lost too early and hardly knew.
We are printing portraits of both actresses to demonstrate the adage: they don’t make them like they used to!
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Photos: Deepika Padukone, Sushmita Sen with daughters at Mumbai airport