>> And more Sachin excitement: Monday night will see the who’s who of India line up to salute the legend, at a party hosted in his honour by none other than his beautiful wife Anjali at a SoBo five-star hotel.
And though we know the details, it is out of a sense of responsibility that we do not reveal them: after all, Sachin, the Indian cricket team and the who’s who of India all in one location? A security challenge, to say the least!
Poonawalla’s double bonanza
>> How do you top your record of entertaining the heir to the British throne? By entertaining not one but two international celebrities together in the same night a week later. At least that’s what Cyrus Poonawalla thinks. And this Saturday less than a week after he had Prince Charles visit his Pune headquarters, man about town, bon vivant and racehorse owner Poonawalla will open the doors of his SoBo residence to Sharon Stone and Kenneth Cole, who are both in town to attend the AmfAR charity fundraiser which his company generously supports.
And this time around, hopefully the dress code will be less stringent for members of the fourth estate, who we hear were the subjects of Poonawalla’s ire for showing up in shirtsleeves.
When PC made more than PC
>> We had written about the imminent visit of FT editor Lionel Barber to Delhi a while ago and about a private dinner to be hosted by Suhel Seth in his honour. Well, our source says that while the dinner was a complete hit and attended by the power mandarins of the Capital, it was our very own Finmin who stole the show with his wit.
“Kapil Sibal and Anand Sharma were being very nice to Lionel, clearly wanting good FT coverage,” says a guest, “While Chidambaram was his mischievous self. When asked if he read FT, PC had a good put-down line for Lionel, “Yes, when I am in London,” he said.
And if this sounded like clever party talk, there’s more to it: back in the ‘90s when the TOI’s Economic Times was locked in a major battle to stymie FT’s entry into India, Chidambaram was a lawyer for the group. He is also said to be close to Shobhana Bhartia of Hindustan Times, which is supposed to resist the presence of foreign media in India. Wheels within wheels, as they say.
The Roli stone gathers moss
>> Hats in the air! Roli Books, that great boutique publishing house started in 1978 in founder Pramod Kapoor’s (in pic) flat in Karol Bagh celebrated its 35th anniversary yesterday. Today with offices in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore, over 80 staff members and four bookshops, it’s one of the country’s most respected publishers.
“Our first author was Sevanti Ninan - and we went on to quickly publish Rajesh Bedi, Sondeep Shankar, Khushwant Singh, MS Randhawa, Kapila Vatsyayan and in more recent years MJ Akbar, Zubin Mehta, Kuldip Nayar, S Hussain Zaidi, Naresh Fernandes,” says Roli’s editorial director Priya Kapoor, who along with her brother, Sales and Marketing director Kapil, have strengthened their dad’s vision. And to mark its 35th anniversary, the publishing house has organised a major exhibition at the IGNCA between November 22 to December 31 in collaboration with British Library.
Pramod says, “I often stand in front of a bookshelf which serves as the company archive, which holds a copy of every book we have published — now over a 1,000. I am proud, humbled and inspired! Nice!
>> And for those who were mesmerised by pictures of Priyanka Chopra hanging out with rapper Jay Sean recently, here’s some more dope: the couple were spotted having a meal at Nido in Bandra and then, we have it on impeccable record that they partied till 5 am at a private home with a few other friends.
Moving on Peecee? Or just learning the ins and outs of the international music business?
Life’s a beach
>> They are one of the Indian art world’s most glamorous and sought-after couples, (along with the Dodiyas and the Kallats, that is) and so, whatever the Delhi-based Bharti Kher and Subodh Gupta do makes news. The last time they were the talk of the town was when they purchased a multi-crore bungalow in Lutyens Delhi, in a locality hitherto only afforded by industrialists.
Now, we learn that besides planning a spectacular beach party in Goa to celebrate Subodh’s 40th birthday next year, the couple are also seriously looking to buy a home in Goa. After years of being confined to the proverbial attic and living on bread, salt and hope, it’s nice to know that Indian artists are finally getting their due and living it up!
Salaam Mumbai: Partition’s child
One of the nicest ads we have seen recently is the one by Google on the theme of Partition. Watching it, we found ourselves, like so many others, brushing away tears and with a lump in our throat.
What is it about Partition that evokes such a sense of sadness and yearning? A feeling of a wound that never seems to heal?
I grew up under Partition’s heavy shadow; my parents from Lahore and Srinagar had come to Mumbai as refugees and it is a childhood tinged with a refugee’s sense of displacement and insecurity that I grew up in.
Not a day would pass without the memory of lands forsaken, friends lost and distances never bridged.
And yet, those of us who felt the pain of Partition second-hand through the eyes of our parents might have never actually known what it actually meant to lose your homeland and your birthplace. To know there was absolutely no way of retracing your steps back to where you once belonged.
Which is why, the Google ad couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. It tells of the heavy price we pay for war and attrition. And hopefully, it might inculcate the thought amongst us: “Never again, not in our country’s lifetime.”