Saroja Sirisena Consul General of Sri Lanka, David Akov, Consul General Israel, and Samina Naz, Consul General of Bangladesh
Our interest had been piqued recently when we heard that by a happy coincidence, currently, not one, or two, or three, but five high level Consul Generals in Mumbai happen to be women.
"In my memory of the past 30 years of being part of the diplomatic circuit, this is the first time," says an insider. What's more, not only have the female envoys been noted to go the extra mile to promote their countries, but they also happen to get along famously we're told.
Saroja Sirisena, Consul General of Sri Lanka is among the more high-profile of this group, engaging with the city's myriad social and civic activities, her collection of exquisite saris and traditional home-cooked Lankan dinners winning her country many friends.
Samina Naz, Consul General Bangladesh, who will be leaving India soon on her next posting, is said to bring erudition and warmth to her position as does Maropene Ramokgopa, Consul General of South Africa. Ulrika Sundberg, Consul General of Sweden, the senior most amongst the lot, was Ambassador to Pakistan before coming to Mumbai and is reported to love the region so much, that she opted to take a professional step back for the pleasure of being here.
And then there is Rosimar Suzano, Consul General of Brazil, with tough postings in Syria and Palestine under her belt. "Not only do they bring an immense amount of emotional intelligence to their jobs, but they all seem to really love Mumbai and its people, almost like Mumbai chya mulgis," says the source.
Anant Ambani with Andre Chimene
It was something of a hat trick for Reliance Foundation Chairperson Nita Ambani last Monday evening, when she hosted a glittering victory party at home to celebrate her team, Mumbai Indian's win of this year's IPL trophy, straight after presiding over the Annual Day ceremony of her beloved Dhirubhai Ambani International School, a few hours earlier.
And as if that was not enough multi-tasking for the high-flying art and sports patron, she then flew straight out, post party, to Rhode Island, USA, to attend her youngest son Anant Ambani's graduation from Brown University.
Incidentally, we came across a heart felt tribute to the young man on social media, posted by his American trainer and dietician, Andre Chimene, commending him for his indomitable will and courage in losing a staggering amount of over 100 kilos in 18 months without surgery or medication! "From a boy of 14 when I first met him...to a College graduate man. Four years of Ivy League College at Brown University was a walk in the park compared to the massive physical transformation he accomplished in 18 months," said Chimene, adding, "He has conquered his body and now his mind. Both have been forged in the fire of indomitable will.'
Alia the foodie
She appears to be more a burger and chips kinda' girl, who likes nothing more than hanging out at a Bandra cafe, so when the pretty and pert Alia Bhatt walked in unannounced to a recently opened fine dining eatery in Lower Parel, her fellow diners were pleasantly surprised.
Accompanied by two of her school friends, the actress sampled the restaurant's eight course tasting menu (with the first course of 'mango ice' served off the cooking range inside the kitchen, which she is said to have loved). "They ordered cocktails and made their own cocktails too!" says a fellow diner. We did not know of Bhatt's food interest, but the fact that her friend Karl Taylor is a chef at the restaurant working under Prateek Sadhu, might have been her reason for visiting. One more thing, there were no star tantrums or filmy nakhras from her table, say fellow diners. Just a well behaved set of smart young people out for some good nosh and laughs.
Up the garden path
When we'd spoken to Dr Swati Piramal in London, en route her alma mater Harvard to fulfill her duties as a member of its Board of Overseers, the impassioned horticulturist was making her way to the Chelsea Flower Show, a mecca for lovers of flora.
"I can share something with you but please don't reveal it until it's confirmed," she'd said with palpable excitement in her voice.
Piramal, who organises annual flower shows at the Piramal family home in Mahabaleshwar and in Mumbai, has been invited by the Royal Horticultural Society, to present an Indian garden at the Chelsea Flower Show next year. "It will be a challenge, so I'm putting my thinking hat on!" said the Vice Chairperson of Piramal Enterprises, whose past shows have included flourishes like a Beatle's cafe, and scenes from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland!
Girl meets footballer
Word comes in that this long-legged former model turned actress, who has only featured in a handful of movies, has managed to achieve every girl's dream of getting up close and personal with a top football player from a famous club in England. The actress, a huge fan of the game, is a known supporter of the team he plays for, and was once invited to visit the stadium along with other influencers as part of a PR trip. On that trip, they are said to have met and hit it off pretty well with subsequent meetings in the days after. Our source informs us, "She was star struck being a big fan, and he instantly fell for her 'Angelina Jolie' looks. Can't really blame them." Since then, the two are said to have kept in touch and recently met in London when she was visiting. We wonder how long this one stays under wraps.
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