On the sidelines of the Make In India Week yesterday, two extremely well heeled men managed to take an hour off from nation building and economic development, to catch up on this and that.
That the two happened to be extremely high profile too, was not the only thing that Suhel Seth who was to chair a session later, and former chairman of the Taj, Ratan Tata had in common.
Ratan Tata and Suhel Seth
“While we caught up on old memories,” said Seth whose consultancy firm Counselage has worked with the Tata group on various mandates, “There was a group of young women who kept clamoring to take pictures of us,” he added. The reason? “According to them we were the two most dashing single men in India today,” he smiled. And to prove the point he sent us the evidence.
Who’s sari now?
At the Branding India Globally Session yesterday, though the subject was luxury and it was discussed in the august company of some of the creators of the world’s most renowned brands such as Hermes and Christofle, it was nice to see that realpolitik often broke through the discussion on branding India globally.
Shashi Tharoor and Vidya Balan
Shashi Tharoor, who we were happy to see had not lost his youthful lope nor his famous wit, managed to score quite a few points on stage, while seated next to one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s most ardent supporters – Sunil Alagh.
Journalist Bandana Tewari also livened things up, when she good-naturedly teased actress Vidya Balan, for her earlier sartorial misdemeanors. To her credit the elegant Ms Balan laughed good-naturedly about her earlier sartorial offences, and graciously accepted Tewari’s compliments for her new sari avataar.
The Idea of Bose
This Friday evening, the who’s who of the city, will gather at the Trident Hotel for a much-awaited auction. Rahul Bose’s NGO The Foundation, will host an auction and fundraiser known as ‘The Idea of India’.
Bose, who is a passionate activist and philanthropist, has spent the past five years tirelessly supporting causes that need our attention and has managed to get celebrities and achievers like Zakir Hussain, Sachin Tendulkar, Roger Federer, and Leander Paes to donate memorabilia for his worthy cause.
The Idea of India in this installment will feature works from Atul Dodiya, Jitish Kallat, Manjit Bawa, R K Laxman and an original manuscript of Ruskin Bond. We are informed that Saina Nehwal’s racquet and Mary Kom’s Olympic kit is also in the offering. But this year the piece that will garner the most attention, is British rock Band Coldplay’s lead singer Chris Martin’s signed Fender Esquire guitar.
“‘I met Chris in early 2015 and we spent an hour together in Los Angeles. I was struck by his quick and complete grasp of the reasons for why we do what we do. He was empathetic, appreciative and asked searching, relevant questions. After our chat it took him about 10 seconds to say yes to our request for this incredible piece of memorabilia,” said Bose. So if you were kicking yourself for missing out on Coldplay during their hush-hush Mumbai shoot recently, now you have a chance to own their guitar!
Leading from the front
We recall watching in horror the sight of the Dubai hotel on fire over New Year’s Eve and wondering how those inside would escape the furnace.
We watched with equal horror, Sunday’s chaos at Chowpatty when the MII’s Bollywood night was underway and the stage caught fire. Would authorities have the wherewithal to evacuate people to safety? We recall the TV anchors repeating over and over again while reporting the Dubai inferno where miraculously there had been no casualties. “Accidents happen, it’s how they are handled that makes all the difference.”
We were reminded of those words when we learnt that our own authorities had managed to handle the situation with as much presence of mind. Kudos to the Fire Brigade, the police, the organisers led from the front by CM Devendra Fadnavis, who has become something of a hero for staying put at the scene, responding to questions calmly, and overseeing the rescue operations. Accidents can happen — it is the way they are handled that makes the difference.
The Textiles of Maharashtra
The buzz in the circles that matter these days is about the fashion show tomorrow, curated by Shaina NC, featuring some of the country’s top designers, to showcase the textiles of Maharashtra at the Prince of Wales Museum.
Shaina NC with some of the textiles and saris on display
“Paithanis, Chanderis and Tusser silk,” said Shaina, adding, “All showcased at a unique installation at the MMRDA grounds and to be shown off on the ramp by graceful models.”
She added, “And with CM Devendra Fadnavis as the Chief Guest, it will be a truly spectacular evening what with the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vaastu Sangralaya (Prince of Wales Museum) as a backdrop!”
Through a glass, darkly
Driving down the sea-link yesterday our attention was caught by the sight of a sleek black Rolls Royce moving at a stately velocity befitting of its darkened shades. All we could see was that the occupant in the passenger seat was wearing a dark fedora.
The crown Prince of an Arab principality? A high flying captain of industry? A mysterious Bollywood star? It was only when the car stopped at the tollbooth that we connected the dots: Limousine, fedora, darkened shades and a number plate that sported a distinctive 0001.
Yes, gentle reader, who else could it have been but the city’s very glamorous style icon – Parmeshwar Godrej who is rarely spotted after having deliberately removed herself from the public gaze, to concentrate on family and philanthropy. Yes, we’d caught a fleeting glimpse of India’s other Mrs G — just as celebrated as her Delhi counterpart.