Food for thought

Oct 12, 2017, 06:00 IST | Malavika Sangghvi

"Exhilarating discussion over great food for thought (pun intended)," said high-flyer and BJP supporter Sunil Alagh about a the recent lunch he'd had in New York, with economist, commentator and chief global strategist at Morgan Stanley

"Exhilarating discussion over great food for thought (pun intended)," said high-flyer and BJP supporter Sunil Alagh about a the recent lunch he'd had in New York, with economist, commentator and chief global strategist at Morgan Stanley, Ruchir Sharma, and bio-billionaire Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and her husband John Shaw.

John Shaw, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Sunil Alagh and Ruchir SharmaJohn Shaw, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Sunil Alagh and Ruchir Sharma

"The restaurant was Jean Georges, we were invited by Ruchir Sharma," he said when we asked him about it. "Kiran Mazumdar, of course, had insisted on taking me to the opera 'Norma' at the Met Lincoln Centre, to give me an exciting experience," he added, sounding not altogether convinced that it had been one. But then he cheered up. "Today, I am in Stockholm with Minister Suresh Prabhu to promote Make in India in Sweden. Cheers!" he signed off.

Living in glass houses
With all the talk of banning this and that by the government, which includes a ban on porn sites, word comes in that a slightly embarrassing situation took place last week in New Delhi at a government ministry office. A presentation and seminar had been planned and guests had taken their seats.

A projector and screen set-up was connected to the laptop of one of the esteemed speakers for the function, when an audience member noticed that a link on the computer read 'free porn videos', and was projected for all to see onto a large screen at the function.

This resulted in many chuckles and giggles from the audience throughout the seminar, and the poor gent had absolutely no idea till a photograph of the incident surfaced post the seminar! Giggle.

Sunshine girl
We've always known her to be bright and peppy, but recent news of attractive designer and yoga teacher Malini Ramani speaks of her positively brimming with energy.

Malini Ramani and Kalyani Chawla. File pic
Malini Ramani and Kalyani Chawla. File pic

The creator of elegant resort wear (the two are not mutually exclusive), who divides her time between Delhi and Goa, is currently in Turkey along with gal pal fashionista Kalyani Chawla, to attend a very glamorous 50th birthday party of their friend in Bodrum. We came across this delightful video of Malini standing on the banks of the Bosphorus in Istanbul, dancing to the local tunes of a live performer at a popular nightspot.

"She'd spent months down with dengue, and had decided to give herself a lovely holiday in Turkey when she got well. As you know, her aunt, my sister-in-law, is Turkish, and has a fabulous home there, so glad to hear that she's having fun," said her mother design-entrepreneur Bina Ramani, when we informed her of her progeny's recent exuberance.

A salute to Busybee
Yesterday, October 11 marked the birthday of two very important 'B's. The Big B and Busybee. Yes, if he had lived, Behram Contractor, whose nom de plume was Busybee, would have celebrated it with his dear friends over a drink. Those unfortunate to not have grown up in an era when his delightful daily column, Round And About, was running, will never know what they missed.

Behram Contractor
Behram Contractor

Each day, his gentle, wise, poignant and wry humour would enchant Mumbaikars first in the Evening News, then in mid-day (of which he was co-founder), and finally, the Afternoon Despatch and Courier. And so, without further ado, we present a few passages from a column his wife Farzana Contractor posted on social media to commemorate his birthday yesterday:

Milestones of my life - Busybee, June 24, 1988

My life is full of milestones. For instance, today is the brightest day of the 1988 monsoon season. That is a milestone. It is also the morning when I discovered four roses blooming simultaneously among my rose plants. That is a milestone, so far the number of roses that have bloomed at one time have been three. Now I am looking forward to the day when there will be five roses at a time. That will be another milestone.

When I smoked my first cigarette (Passing Show), it was a milestone, when I smoked my last (555), it was a milestone. When I gave up eating meat, it was a milestone, and when I restarted, it was another milestone. When I flew (in an aeroplane) for the first time, it was a milestone. It had to be, because by then I was almost 50.

Some people have big milestones in their lives; births, deaths, marriages, divorces, jobs, promotions, lotteries, jackpot. Some people even bigger milestones; the day they led in their Derby winner, the day they became prime minister. My milestones are all small. You would call them humdrum... I don't. For instance, the day I went to college, it was easy, with 42 per cent marks they welcomed me in Xavier's.

The day I experienced cinemascope and stereophonic sound (at the Regal — The Robe). The first time I had a lunch in a 5-star hotel (it was at Green's next to Taj, and it was at a meeting of the Rotary Club). And other milestones in my life; The first time I went abroad (Kathmandu). The last time I ate a mango (before they started exporting them to the Arabs), the first time I travelled on the elevated harbour branch of the Central Railway. The day they built Usha Kiran, then the tallest building in Bombay. I went to Altamount Road to see it, but the watchman did not allow me to enter. His exact words;"Everybody would say they want to see it."

The final milestone in my life, as in everybody's, will be death. It is a pity I won't be able to record it. Only important people have their death recorded, and obituaries written in which the milestones of their lives are listed. They also get from three to 13 days of bhajans on Doordarshan.' Happy birthday Behram (Busybee) Contractor and thank you for the beautiful words.

Structured birthday
A group of his closest buddies brought in the birthday of man-about-town and celebrated weekend gulli cricketer, Greg Foster, the editor of an architectural glossy, this week at a prominent Colaba restaurant (its former head chef Alex Sanchez also sent in his wishes we are informed).

Greg Foster with Roohi Jaikishan, Bandana Tewari and friends his cake

Seen partaking of the celebration were our friends, the Bali-based erstwhile Mumbaichi mulgi Bandana Tewari, and society hostess and epicure Roohi Jaikishan. And fittingly, given Foster's interest in buildings, his cake was a minimalist monolithic solitary structure adorned with a candle placed at a perfect angle.

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