Lisa says yes

Sep 28, 2016, 06:00 IST | Malavika Sangghvi

So we’ve known Lisa Haydon way before she became the Lisa Haydon

Lisa Haydon and Dino Lalwani
Lisa Haydon and Dino Lalwani

So we’ve known Lisa Haydon way before she became the Lisa Haydon. Being neighbours and members of the same club, we’ve been friends with the entire beautiful Haydon family for yonkers, her dashing father Venkat, her beautiful and brave mother Anna, who passed away so tragically earlier this year, and all the long-limbed and stunning Haydon siblings, each better looking than the other.

Which is why when we heard that the supermodel and actress had finally decided to tie the knot with the dashing London-based bizman Dino Lalwani (nephew of Bina Ramani), we were thrilled. “I’m gonna marry him,” she had announced yesterday on social media to a flurry of congratulatory messages.

Incidentally, according to insiders, Haydon and Lalwani’s match almost didn’t happen, apparently the eligible bachelor had been slated to meet a prospective match from his own community for dinner on one of his trips in Mumbai. “For some reason she never showed up,” says a source, “And instead he met Lisa that night. And the rest is history.” We like!

Mr. Taj meets Mr. Oberoi
Like many others, we are fans of the legendary Prithviraj Singh (Bikki) Oberoi, executive chairman of the billion-dollar hotel chain, and acknowledged by those who know him, as the finest hotelier in India. Which is why when we chanced upon this photograph of the icon with the Taj Group’s recently appointed Chief Revenue Officer — and who many consider the Number Two at the Taj today — Chinmai Sharma — in Dubai, we were intrigued; after all didn’t both men belong to rival and competing hotel chains? Sharma, whose responsibilities include Brand Management, Digital Platforms, Loyalty programmes and Revenue Management, and who is at the top of his game having spent two decades in international hospitality, was forthcoming about the meeting.

Chinmai Sharma with Prithviraj Singh (Bikki) Oberoi
Chinmai Sharma with Prithviraj Singh (Bikki) Oberoi

“I was in town for a Middle East sales mission with my team and I think he is looking at a few potential projects in the area,” he said. “He is the quintessential hotelier and an inspiration to all of us in the hoteliering community,” adding, “I think, just like Taj, the Oberoi group has helped put India on the world tourism map, and both brands continue to make India proud.” As for the great man’s legendary style, he shares, “I enjoyed my cappuccino immensely in his company, while he sipped on his single espresso with his Cuban cigar stuck firmly to his right hand.”

Just another day in paradise
Five young Turks from Mumbai had taken off for some much needed R&R recently in sun-kissed Mykonos. What’s so unusual about that you might ask — after all, the beach destination has almost replaced Ibiza as the place for fun, frolic and nightlife amongst wealthy young Indians.

Well, turns out that not only were five luscious young Russian women flown in for each one as their personal companion for the entire trip, but that, at the end of the holiday, the entire expenses of the trip along with the bill for the women, had been charged to their respective company accounts. How do we know? One of the young Turk’s employees has been passing around the invoices to anyone who cares to see.

Obviously, these days, a man is known not only by the company he keeps, but the companions his company keeps for him!

He’s with her
So by now the whole world has watched the debate between presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and has reached various conclusions.

Salman Rushdie and Hillary Clinton. Pic/AP
Salman Rushdie and Hillary Clinton. Pic/AP

Such is the polarisation amongst our friends that we have not come across a single one who is plumping for the latter, and there were many on our social network, like New York’s high-profile Sree Srinavasan, recently appointed as New York’s Chief Digital Officer (nope we have no idea what that means either), who admitted to being so nervous, that he posted a cartoon of himself felled with fear about its outcome.

Last-minute nerves appear to have overwhelmed another prominent Indian in New York, author Salman Rushdie. ‘I’m with her. I’m nervous, but I’m with her,’ he’d posted a few hours before the debate, following that up with a grab of CNN’s poll showing a 62% approval rating for Clinton with the words, ‘Our girl did well tonight. #ImWithHer’

Three aces
Could there be any thing more uplifting than these pictures of three prominent authors with strong Indian connections, gamboling together like mountain goats in Boulder, Colorado, last week? After all, authors are supposed to be pale, intense creatures, who like nothing more than being indoors all day in their own company, avoiding other writers like the plague.

Suketu Mehta and Amitav Kumar
Suketu Mehta, Amitav Kumar, William Dalrymple with Mehta

But at the latest outpost of the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) at Boulder, authors William Dalrymple, (City of Djinns), Suketu Mehta (Maximum City) and Amitav Kumar (A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb: A Writer’s Report on the Global War on Terror), were observed to be enjoying the great outdoors and each other’s company hugely.

This bonhomie and cheer could have had something to do with the fact that the Governor of Colorado had officially proclaimed September 24 as ‘JLF at Boulder, and her majesty the royal Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck of Bhutan Day’.

Or then again the fact that Boulder is a known for its history of counterculture, and friendly vibes (for one, it’s cannabis-friendly and full of recreational marijuana shops).

Whatever is responsible for the bonhomie — we like our authors sun-kissed and in groups of three.

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