Mia Divecha with her parents Arjun and Diana at the wedding
Wedding wows in the Bay Area
The late Malti Divecha or 'Malu' as she was affectionately called, was one of Cumballa Hill's celebrated grande dames, a lady known for her good taste and style, and sense of independence, and her passing not too long ago had depleted the city further. This week, word comes in, that her granddaughter Mia, the daughter of her only son Arjun Divecha, a renowned emerging market public investor on the West Coast, was married in a beautiful ceremony in San Francisco to her long-time beau and fellow Stanford alumnus, Nima Ahmadi. "The wedding was three days long. Very beautiful and elegant," says Ash Lilani, the swashbuckling Frisco-based investor, whose portfolio includes such winners in urban India as PayTM, Snapdeal and Sula. He says he was honoured when the couple asked him to officiate at their ceremony.
Ash Lilani officiates at the ceremony.
"Nima is brilliant. Persian background. By age of 26, he had a Bachelors and Masters from Stanford, and an MBA, and has already started two companies. He moved to Minnesota to be with Mia while she wraps up her PhD in Minneapolis. She has a year or so to go and they plan to move back to the Bay Area when she is done," says Lilani, even as the festivities were ongoing. And then he added, "We are still dancing." And we could almost hear the music on the other side of the globe!
The nation wants to know
A friend who visited the headquarters of Arnab Goswami's new TV channel at Lower Parel this week, swears that its newsroom is a thing of beauty and a joy forever.
"I don't think there's anything like it today across the world," he raved. "Designed by his wife Samyabrata Ray Goswami and Charu Thakur, the channel's chief executive producer, it's completely integrated and state of the art."
And how about Goswami, we enquired about the country's most famous media personality, has he changed in any way? Has the weight of running a business dimmed his spirit or dampened his fire? "Not in the least bit," said the man. "The only difference if there is any is that he seems to have grown his hair longer," he said. "But I guess by the time he launches in a month or so, the scissors will be out."
The knives too, we wanted to add, but by then the friend had bounced away.
Garima Chawla and Gaurav Assomull
Love is in the air
Congratulations are in order for the dashing Gaurav Assomull, who got engaged to his girlfriend Garima Chawla last week. Gaurav's brother Vikram posted a picture of the lovely couple on social media congratulating them. "Welcome to the family Garima! Wishing you guys lots of love and happiness for the new chapter in your lives."
Incidentally, Gaurav was previously married to Kajal Fabiani in what had been one of the biggest destination weddings in recent times in Monte Carlo in 2011, and where rapper Akon had performed. We wish the young couple well.
Sanjeev Kapoor receives the Padma Shri from President Pranab Mukherjee
The Padma chef
We almost didn't recognise the person receiving the Padma Shri honour from Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India, in this picture, but were informed that it was none other than popular chef and TV personality, Sanjeev Kapoor, who showed up to receive the honour in an altogether more fetching trimmer avatar sporting a designer stubble.
Chef Kapoor, who has hosted various TV shows, runs numerous successful restaurants, and also launched a food channel, was awarded the country's fourth highest civilian award for his contribution to the food industry over the years. Many of his colleagues came out in support on social media. "Proud moment for all of us!" posted popular TV chef Ranveer Brar. "Love that he wore the chef's coat while receiving it," commented restaurateur and head of the National Restaurant Association of India, Riyaaz Amlani. "Today is a victory of every Indian kitchen. A celebration of India's greatest soft-power," said Chef Vikas Khanna. And other foodies too joined in.
"Padma Shri for the "maestro" chef. Never before ever given to his tribe. First ever. Congratulations!" wrote Rishi Kapoor. Nice to see the genuine support and affection shared by the food sector!
Thanks to our job we have been blessed with the opportunity of meeting a slew of modern day savants and saints, motorcycling maniacs, God men, bankers turned Buddhas, and advocates of the now. We have benefitted immensely from this cosmic nibble at the great spiritual buffet on offer, but amongst them, none has struck us as being as well-heeled as the beatific spiritual leader from the South, who appears to be the cruise liner amidst the tug boats.
A few years ago, we chanced upon the gilt lined plans for an upcoming workshop in Europe designed for the sage's more loaded followers, which read like the itinerary of a top business tycoon's, involving Spa retreats, ski slopes, luxe inns and such like. The price tag had left us flabbergasted we recall. Now, sources say that the same master's flock are in talks with an international cruise liner to charter one of their larger vessels for a workshop on board over a week or so, most likely sailing through Europe! And of course, through all of this, the Great Master will expound on life's great mysteries. Except of course the most obvious one: why does Nirvana mostly come with a price?