>> It’s billionaires and their million dollar property purchases that’s been the topic of discussion amongst the swish set recently. And at the centre of it all is speculation about who will finally walk away with the $16 million beachfront Kingfisher villa in Goa, now that Vijay Mallya’s bankers have moved in to recover their dues.
Known as the place where the flamboyant UB boss threw his glamorous parties and as the locale for some of his Kingfisher calendar shoots, it will naturally bestow on its new occupant, some stardust of his own. “In fact, it will be the best calling card for anyone who is seeking to get some publicity and enter the big league,” said an insider. Leading the race to own it is a Parsi billionaire who shares VJM’s passion for all that the good life entails: horses, private jets and glamorous company. “Though many covet it, the Pune-based billionaire will probably get it as he’s the only one amongst its contenders who can make a cheque payment of such a large amount,” says our source. Will the Gatsbyesque villa belong to him or will there be a hitherto unknown bidder? Watch this space!
Travels with my family
>> We have been fans of his startling photographs for a while now, but when leading photographer David de Souza (who maintains that the only time he received an education was when at 24 he worked among adivasis in the Dang forests of Maharashtra) put pen to paper and sent in this short essay to accompany a bunch of analogue shots that he’d found while riffling through old ‘transparencies’ we were struck by the fecundity of his writing.
“My mum initiated me to the outdoors, she was the adventurous one who encouraged me on hikes and camping trips, my dad was introduced to the outdoors by me. In many ways, the joyous initiation to a forest, or a road trip or a monsoon fed stream was left to me,” he said. “Some of our fondest memories were of when were together in leaky tents in the monsoon, cooking bacon and eggs on a camp fire in the morning, rolling the jeep over and seeing the diesel fuel glug into the wet earth at Nané Ghat, of getting the four wheel drive stuck while Del and my 80-year-old dad were attempting to push while the Santro bounced out of the muck effortlessly.” And while he hopes the travel bug will visit future generations of the de Souzas, he’s making sure that the memories are preserved for posterity in a book about travel. “In the interim in an attempt to share these photos to act as stimuli, Facebook connects us,” he says
>> And the banker who’s had the most meteoric rise in recent times but who’s supposed to be urgently in need of some anger management therapy is rumoured to have bought one of SoBo’s most coveted properties. Housed on one of Cumballa Hill’s leafy lanes and rumoured to be bought for a whopping 120 Big Cs, it was the provenance of an old Parsi family until it came to be acquired over by an international bank as staff residences. So who’ll be the next tenant of said banker’s flashy mid-town penthouse is what people are asking.
>> Hats in the air and cigars all round: advertising and marketing wiz Ashok Kurien, who’s silver mane and handsome profile has helmed many a successful media venture has become a grandfather! His daughter, the Delhi based yoga exponent — the lovely Diya who is married to Roli Books’ dashing Kapil (son of the noted publisher Pramod Kapoor) delivered a bonny baby boy this week. And given that the newborn has inherited an extraordinary gene pool from both his grandfathers — here’s welcoming the future publisher, advertising wiz, media maven into our midst!
Zizou on Hulu
>> The best things in life really are free! News comes in that Little Zizou, Sooni Taraporevala’s delightful film about Parsis in Mumbai, can be viewed on Hulu free of cost. And to mark the occasion Huff po, the webzine, that discerning people read across the globe carried a love note to the film, its maker, to the city of Mumbai and to all Parsis everywhere! “For those in the know, Sooni Taraporevala’s film Little Zizou, which can be watched for free these days on Hulu always makes me yearn for my first true love: Bombay. Because Little Zizou represents the perfect template of the city known to outsiders as Mumbai but beloved by insiders forever as Bombay, the craziest, most chaotically beautiful place on earth, the one single spot that invades my senses and dreams even as I write this, lands away and miles apart,” wrote the columnist.
Incidentally, along with this Huff po carried a longish interview with the talented writer, photographer and filmmaker, who when asked who’d been her inspiration picked Woody Allen (we’d have thought so too!). “ He is a writer as well and I feel close to his personality — he’s more of a quiet type on set, not a yeller and a screamer. I read something he once said which was that the way he directs is to choose the best person for the role and then let them do what they are really good at, which was my philosophy. If you have someone who is a really good actor, being a director that person can show the actors how it should be done, but I couldn’t do that so I did what would work best for me. Everyone on the set of Little Zizou was never far out of their comfort zone,” she said.
Meanwhile, we do not know how to access Hulu but are happy to announce that we have seen Little Zizou on the big screen not once, but twice! (After all, we are proud Parsi groupies aren’t we!)