Masaba Gupta brings in her birthday, talks about her friendship with Alia Bhatt

Nov 02, 2017, 06:00 IST | Malavika Sangghvi

We spoke to Congress leader Milind Deora after he had the distinction of spending time with not one, but two visiting chief ministers in Mumbai

We spoke to Congress leader Milind Deora after he had the distinction of spending time with not one, but two visiting chief ministers in Mumbai.

Milind Deora with Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh
Milind Deora with Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh

For lunch, Deora had dropped at a five-star where he had a slap-up meal at the hotel's business centre with Captain Amarinder Singh, CM of Punjab, and his finance minister Manpreet Badal. Both were in the city on an invitation to address CII and attract investments to their state. Following that at 3 pm, Deora drove down to another five-star, where he had tea with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and finance minister Amit Mitra.

And with West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. Pics/Twitter
And with West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. Pics/Twitter

"I have known both CMs for a long time through the family connection, and they both had invited me to discuss various things," Deora said. "On attracting investments to their states, I told them about the schemes the Congress had going in Maharashtra when it was in power, and they both appeared genuinely interested," he said.

"Both had arrived in Mumbai on Tuesday and held meetings with industrial bodies. Capt Singh leaves tonight whereas Mamatadi stays on to address the YPO." According to sources, Deora is not the only person to have had the honour of meeting both the CMs in a short span of time. Mukesh Ambani too, we are informed, had meetings with both. Though of course, both went to meet him, not the other way around.

Celebrating Kala Ghoda
When we met artist and art impresario Brinda Miller earlier in the week, she was looking forward to designer Krsna Mehta's celebration at his home décor and interiors store in Kala Ghoda, dedicated to the neighbourhood.

Alfaz and Brinda Miller with Nisha JamVal and Geetu Hinduja
Alfaz and Brinda Miller with Nisha JamVal and Geetu Hinduja

"Do join us to celebrate the excitement of this incredible part of town," Mehta had said about Tuesday evening's bash, which was a tribute to Miller and her long-standing commitment to an annual arts festival, which highlighted Mumbai's very own art precinct's many offerings. As it turned out, we were unable to attend Mehta's bash.

But from the looks of it, the colourful store played host to a crowd of familiar faces, including singer-actress Suchitra Krishnamurthy, musician and art curator Geetu Hinduja, architect Alfaz Miller and interior designer and consultant Nisha JamVal. "What a spectacular evening we hosted for Brinda Miller," said a jubilant Mehta the next day. "Just amazing. So happy #kalaGhoda rocks."

The IT couple
It's been a week of star birthdays, and along with SRK, designer Masaba Gupta brings in her special day today too. Coincidentally, Gupta is on the cover of a fashion mag that hits the stands today, posing with her childhood friend and bestie, Alia Bhatt.

Alia Bhatt and Masaba Gupta
Alia Bhatt and Masaba Gupta

The two young women have grown up together, as their mums Neena Gupta and Soni Razdan are both actresses who go back a long way. "Everyone has already heard the story of me growing up with Alia and what it means to me.

She is somebody who pushes me to work hard, not be lazy, and most importantly, she is somebody who pushes me to be normal despite everything happening around me," said Gupta about her outing with Bhatt, adding, "I don't think there is anybody who has handled success the way she has.

Alia is just comfortable. She's in the room with you and when she is there she is really present, and she is that person who absorbs everything around you, and at the same time, she is extremely sensitive and extremely caring." As for her pairing with Bhatt for the mag cover, Gupta has an interesting take: "I think women today are the new 'It couple'. You know, women who are best friends, women who have grown up together, and women who support each other. They're the 'It couple' of today!"

Of capes and domes
The pièce de résistance at Tuesday's launch of the Taj Design Studio, according to those who attended, was the Grand Finale Fashion Show, 'Tarkanna' by Tarun Tahiliani.

Tarun Tahiliani
Tarun Tahiliani

In it, his show-stopper bridal ensemble took its inspiration from the iconic Florentine dome of the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai. "The hand-painted, printed lehenga used lotuses and classic ojee jaals, while on its printed cape drape were illustrations of the dome lightly dusted with Swarovski crystals, gota flowers and mirrors," said a spokesperson.

The dome of the Taj Mahal PalaceThe dome of the Taj Mahal Palace

The hotel of course, has a head start in the big fat wedding industry, as it is the first choice of couples who want to get married. This week's launch saw the hotel group bring forth all the aces in its pack: the country's top-notch wedding planners, stylists, chefs and jewellers. Seen participating in the day-long event were the likes of Adhuna Akhtar, Vandana Mohan, Sajesh Nair, executive chef at the group's hotel in Hyderabad, and Abhas Saxena, Chief Sommelier at the group's hotel in Colaba, Mumbai.

"Adding international flavour was William Spinner, director of catering - The Pierre, a hotel of the group in New York," says a source. "Having worked with celebrities socialites, heads of state and CEOs, he has the reputation of being the last word on hosting weddings and banquets at The Pierre."

Opening for Obama
America-born author and newspaper columnist Anand Giridharadas, whose stint in Mumbai in the 2000s saw him work here first as a consultant for global management firm McKinsey & Company, and later ,as a journalist writing about India for the International Herald Tribune and The New York Times, has certainly had a week to remember.

Anand Giridharadas and Barack Obama
Anand Giridharadas and Barack Obama

Word comes in that the author of the excellent 'India Calling: An Intimate Portrait of a Nation's Remaking (2011)', who lives in Brooklyn with his wife Priya Parker, was one of the key note speakers at the opening session at the recently concluded Obama Summit this week in Chicago. Joining what is described as 'some of the world's most thoughtful and passionate civic leaders,' Giridharadas spoke on the subject 'The fierce urgency of now.'

"I'm opening for Barack, which is both the first and last time you will ever hear me say this," he posted with self-deprecating wit on social media, adding, "Right before I went on, I thought, what a country where someone with my name gets to open for someone named Barack Obama, who was the president once."

His modesty was misplaced. Not only did his speech elicit much applause, but also the man himself quoted from his speech, mentioning Giridharadas by name ("As Anand put it very powerfully…"). Giridharadas' modesty was still at play when he posted a clip of the life-defining moment. "Well, this happened," he commented. Incidentally the summit also features a conversation with Prince Harry.

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