>> On Friday, we’d written about a vexatious issue that had arisen between Jerry Pinto and a few female members of the Goa Writers’ Group. We approached Pinto to send in his side. Here is his clarification: “When one of the members of the Goa Writers’ Group was accused of sexual harassment, I pointed out that he had probably been guilty of sexual misconduct and that the term sexual harassment was probably inaccurate, since there was no fiduciary connection and no power equation between him and his alleged victims. I defended my friend but I also suggested to him that he apologise if he had been at fault and that he withdraw from his position as moderator. I expressed my opinion in a closed group, a writers’ group, where I thought language would be used accurately and where, in my opinion, it had not.
My friend withdrew and I did so too. The matter I thought had ended there. If there was any more speaking out to do, it was surely the prerogative and the right of the women who had felt victimised. I do not see what else I could do. I still maintain the hope that women will be empowered to speak out against harassment. But I deleted their comments and the post and I maintain too that I have every right to. It is my Facebook page, after all. I did not weigh in when they took up positions on their pages. That is their right. I would apologise to all concerned if I felt that I had done them some harm. Have I been hypocritical? I don’t think so. I would still stand up for my friends.”
Boys’ night out
>> Saturday evening, spotted at the Steve Aoki concert at the NSCI club, was none other than the dapper businessman and a self-confessed ‘electro house’ enthusiast Manoj Jain (father of soon-to-be launched star Armaan Jain).
Coincidently, it also happened to be both his and Aoki’s birthday that night and whereas Aoki, we hear, had organised five birthday cakes which he periodically smashed onto willing members of the audience, Manoj, the son of one of SoBo’s most respected families, had a slightly more sober approach when it came to his celebrations. He partied with his son and his friends, impressing the young lads no end with his extensive knowledge and experience of the music scene, which included attending the Tiesto concert in Mumbai this year and the David Guetta concert in Pune last year to which he had taken his brother in-law Rishi Kapoor (he is married to Rishi’s sister Rima).
Watching the businessman let his hair down, fist pumping the air to the electronic beat with an enthusiasm that would put a man half his age to shame, his young friends named him Daddy Cool! “Can’t believe he’s been for more EDM concerts than I have,” said one of his son’s friends!
Happy birthday Manoj and may you stay forever young — grooving to the infectious electronic beat.
The social life of top-flight bankers
>> Along with Uday Kotak’s Diwali party, the Indigo anniversary brunch and a few others, it’s been one of the annual milestones on Mumbai’s social calendar. But this year due to a surgery he’s had, HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh and his wife Smita will not be hosting their Christmas brunch at the Taj, which witnesses some of the country’s most celebrated business and social leaders in attendance.
Meanwhile, another pillar of the financial community, banker Hemendra Kothari is celebrating his daughter’s wedding in Rajasthan this week, to which a host of some of the city’s top business families like the Rahejas and Piramals have gone.
>> He is said to be the most eligible bachelor in town and one for whom his family has been bride hunting for a while. But word comes in that the young man in question, heir to one of the country’s biggest business houses with interests in steel, energy, infrastructure and shipping and telecom, has found a bride of his own. The pretty girl happens to hail from an equally wealthy family. The only glitch in this otherwise fairy-tale match is that the couple belong to different communities. But so well-suited and in love are they that friends and well-wishers are praying that everything works out and there’ll be an engagement announced soon.
My name is sea
Last Sunday, we experienced the singular pleasure of sailing in the Mumbai harbour on a friend’s sailboat.
Boarding a small motorboat at Apollo Bunder opposite the Taj and changing mid-sea onto the sloop (it could have been a cutter, a ketch or a Schooner just as well) we settled in for a gentle afternoon sally into the wind and realised that we love the city so much mainly for its sea proximity. We love this city so much.
Being Piscean by birth and growing up near the sea, we have felt deeply connected to it, that vast, oily grey-green ocean that constantly hums in the city’s ears and nuzzles its shores like a faithful companion.
“Here/Surrounding the island /There’s sea./But what sea? /It’s always overflowing/ Says yes, /Then no, /Then no again,/ And no, /Says yes /In blue /In sea spray/ Raging, /Says no /And no again./It can’t be still./It stammers /My name is sea,” wrote Pablo Neruda in his masterful poem Ode to the Sea.
And it was these words, so evocative of the ebb and flow of the waves, that repeated themselves in my ear as I sailed around Mumbai’s harbour last week.
Words that appear as if the poet had written them especially for Mumbai’s sea!