Turning Fifty in Style

He's all set to turn 50 this year, and besides the mandatory celebrations, (wife Pinky recently brought in her big day with a splashy party for some of Mumbai's most glam women at the Bombay Canteen) word comes in that GVK's Sanjay Reddy will be flying off to the USA, where he has been invited to deliver this year's commencement speech at his alma mater, the University of Michigan's Ross Business School on Friday.

Pinky and Sanjay Reddy
Pinky and Sanjay Reddy

“What's best of all about the honour is that not only does it complement his milestone birthday, but it also marks exactly 25 years since he graduated from his MBA program at Ross,” said a source. “You can imagine how serendipitous the occasion will be.”

A Close Shave
“The festival is called Universal Religion and is an integral part of the electronic music scene of the Indian Sub continent,” says our friend Jehan Janux Johar.

Jehan Johar
Jehan Johar

“It is held in Kathmandu and is in its seventh year a true international gathering of positive people and music put together by Digital Om, an amazing group of people from India & Nepal. I was supposed to perform at the festival under my DJ name Janux,” he said, about what must now look like a close shave.

“We were expecting 3,500 people from all over the world for 3 nights and 4 days of non-stop EDM. And then 2 days before the festival started, the authorities suddenly informed the organisers that they could not do the festival, and gave no concrete reason,” says Johar. What then, we enquired.

“Well, the organisers very efficiently spread the word to everyone involved, so most people who were not in Nepal, cancelled their flights and did not go. I was in the process of organising a post- concert trek through Nepal when I was told it wasn't on,” says the noted DJ, who, after being the head of music programming for Blue Frog for 7 years and with experience in curating events for 16 years, has recently launched his own company, Ra Music, which will focus on music programming for venues and festivals.

“But as many people were already in Nepal for the festival, the organisers valiantly tried to put a smaller version of the event together at another location,” says Johar, the grandson of the late writer and actor I S Johar, with a storyteller's flair. “On the day this smaller event was supposed to start, the earthquake happened!” says Johar, not needing to add that the consequences of a larger fest, where he would've been DJing, could have been dire.

“Many of the organisers and the audience are still there, and have gotten involved in relief work and aid work for the crisis,” says the handsome young man, who also owns a professional music production & recording studio in Goa, called Studio Ra. 'That's what's called a lucky save,' we said. 'Some one up there was looking out for you.'

Intriguing new alliance
Not only are they known to be amongst the feistiest and most powerful gladiators in the country, but in the past this Mumbai-based influential media tycoon and the Delhi-based high-profile UP politico with connections to Bollywood have been heard to exchange a few choice bon mots about each other on the notorious tapes made public a few years ago, which weren't too complimentary.

So, imagine the surprise of the others present when the two sat amicably next to each other at a SoBo club recently to discuss an upcoming event which both had interests in. What on Earth could have brought the two hitherto warring gentlemen together? Not a common interest in cricket, by any chance? After all, one's enemy's enemy is supposed to be a friend right?

Incidentally the once-powerful politician who had been an unparalleled supremo in the matter of bringing big business closer to politics and was credited with smoothening out a former prime minister's US interests, is being tipped to have another innings at the centre of things if the candidate whom he's close to (and for whom he's said to have brought in much financial support) wins the forthcoming elections. As they say: never write a politician off, yesterday's losers can be tomorrow's winners nothing is permanent in love or politics...

India's Von Trapps?
“Boy no.2 has sung a song for his Uncle Mikey McCleary,” was the cryptic comment posted on a social networking site by impresario Martin Da Costa (CEO of Seventy Event Management Group), with a link to an ad for car tyres featuring a dad, his son and a sand castle that has to be transported.

Martin Da Costa with the boys
Martin Da Costa with the boys

But, of course, it was an understatement. Because what the LSE-educated Da Costa did not state was that the boy whose angelic voice sang out the virtues of tubeless radials, happened to be inheritor of a long legacy of musical talent, and his debut at an early age was following in the footsteps of his illustrious family.

Sagarika Mukherjee Da Costa and Shaan
Sagarika Mukherjee Da Costa and Shaan

After all, his uncle, celebrated playback singer Shaan, and his mother, Sagarika Mukherjee, had begun their own music careers as kids when they used to record jingles at an early age with their mother after the early death of their father, the late music director Manas Mukherjee.

So, naturally, following the auspicious debut of her son as a singer, Martin's wife, Sagarika, was pretty chuffed by the whole thing. “Little guy's first singing job. Brings back memories of my own childhood,” said the proud mum. Incidentally, the melodic young lad joins his cousins Soham and Shubh, sons of Shaan, who made their successful playback debut with Himmatwala in 2013. Musical talent runs in the family for sure!

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