>> We like to see things improve, especially when they are driven by dynamic women. For the past few weeks, media watchers have been pleasantly surprised by the various improvements in the morning broadsheet DNA — from engaging star columnists like SRK, Sandeep Khosla and Suhel Seth to tweaking columns and features.

Katherine Graham

Now word has it that all this has been the brainchild of Shreyasi, the wife of Punit Goenka, MD & CEO, Zee Entertainment, who happens to be Chairman of Essel Subhash Chandra Goel’s eldest son. So, in the grand tradition of women behind powerful newspapers like Katherine Graham of Washington Post, and Shobhana Bhartia of HT, there’s a new face.
More power to her elbow!

New York comes calling
>> Word comes in of an elegant dinner thrown by Sid Khanna and his wife Boba, at their art-filled apartment at Cooperage for Bharat Bhise, founder and president of Bravia Capital in New York, and his wife Swati, celebrated Bharatanatyam danseuse, and art collector. Bharat, a well-known investor who once worked with George Soros, then branched out and became highly successful in his own right, and Swati, are quintessential faces of the successful NRI couple. “He advises various governments in Africa, China, and southeast Asia and Swati, who founded the Sanskruti Institute on Park Avenue also curates art shows and cultural events.”

Swati and Bharat Bhise

The evening was a delectable mix of sparkling conversations and good food. As guests like Neeraj and Pomi Rawal, Sanjay and Nandana Mariwala, Renu Basu, Homi Aibara, Tarun and Preeti Kataria, and Rajbir and Nicky Singh mingled, the Bhises talked about their recent cruise through southeast Asia. And for those who look for the silver lining in India’s clouds, though the international investment wiz was critical of India’s economic governance, he said that he expected the economy to pick up in a year or two. And when asked if he would he invest freshly in India? He replied, “Definitely!”

Louvre luvvies
>> And from art critic and columnist Girish Shahane, who was at the Louvre in Paris recently comes this gem: “The ancients had smartphones but no deo.

Pics/Girish Shahane

Image 1: Apollo takes a selfie after slaying Python. Image 2: Apollo realises he needs to shower before visiting his girlfriend after slaying Python,” he posted on Facebook about the two Italian Renaissance marble and bronze sculptures he shot. Needless to say, we like!

Salty days at Churchgate
>> Saturday night saw us attending the launch of Salt Water Café in Churchgate. Located at the venue where the same group’s popular Mocha – Coffees & Conversations used to be, this latest foray will have fans of Impresario Entertainment and Hospitality’s Riyaaz Amlani and Kiran Salaskar, coming back for more. “Salt Water Café had become a part of the Bandra community and embodied its spirit perfectly, and we felt that it was the right time to take a slice of that energy and bring it to another part of Mumbai,” said Amlani, whose other ventures Smoke House Deli, The Tasting Room and Stone Water Grill in Pune have put him in the list of serious restaurateurs.

Riyaaz Amlani

However, not all SoBo residents were chuffed. Our friend and former colleague Priya Pathiyan lamented, “Much as I like the Salt Water Café, I am really sad that it is replacing the Churchgate Mocha with it. The very first Mocha is where I tasted my first Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, 14 years ago; It was my adda, my hangout, my happy place.”

Salaam Mumbai: Mumbai’s top party planner
I was talking to Mumbai’s top party planner about her latest assignment. “This one is a very exclusive sorry,” she said. 

Sorry? I asked.

“Yes a ‘sorry’: you know, like they have on Park Avenue in New York: ‘An evening party or gathering, typically in a private house, for conversation or music’, she read out slowly from a folder prepared by her assistant, a college drop-out of 19, with a serious chewing gum problem.

Ah ‘soiree’, I said, Ok so what’s so exclusive about this.. er, soiree?

“Only top-layer people,” she said. “The hosts are very large undergarment makers. Also the biggest ball-bearing producers in the country.”

I tried to suppress a giggle, imagining how large their underwear was, and if the balls were worth bearing, but the city’s top event organiser was already on to the next point.

“This is a unique concept,” she said. “The hosts want to have seven courses, each served on a different floor of their house. Seven courses for seven floors!”

Wow, I said.

“Amusing Bush on the ground floor,” she began.

They’ve got the former US prezzie coming? I asked, impressed.

“Huh?” said the city’s top event organiser.

You said ‘Amusing Bush’, I reminded her. Er, can I see your file?

‘Amuse Bouche on building lobby,’ it said. Dubya was not to be there.

“Starters on first floor, sorbet on second floor, soup on third, entrée on fourth’…’ the event organiser was saying.

Awesome, I said. What’s the point of it though?

“Babes, how else will the hosts get to show off their newly refurbished residence?” asked the event organiser.

Ah, so... What’s going to be served on the top floor? I asked

“Demitasse lickers and Sea-gals on the terrace!” said Mumbai’s top party planner.

Right ho! Sounds like quite a party you got there! said I.