The gang that can shoot straight

Jul 18, 2012, 07:20 IST | Malavika Sangghvi

At Yes bank Chairman Rana Kapoor's party held recently at the Four Season in London to celebrate his daughter's engagement, amidst the high powered guests from all over the world, the cynosure of all eyes were none other than a certain Shah Rukh Khan and a certain Lalit Modi, who guests say spent all their time in animated discussion.

>> At Yes bank Chairman Rana Kapoor’s party held recently at the Four Season in London to celebrate his daughter’s engagement, amidst the high powered guests from all over the world, the cynosure of all eyes were none other than a certain Shah Rukh Khan and a certain Lalit Modi, who guests say spent all their time in animated discussion.

If I were the present IPL management, I’d be very worried!

Nursery to Mumbai’s power elite
>>  It was a simple letter written in simple words but the impact it had on its receivers was immense. When the legendary Roshan Curmally, principal Emeritus of The West Wind School, a dyed in the wool South Mumbai institution wrote, “My dear West Wind family, West Wind is 65 years old today. And what a journey it’s been!” The collective sigh of delight that these words evoked reverberated across the world.

Roshan Curmally, principal Emeritus of The West Wind School

For the 65-year-old kindergarten school, first tucked away in a little cottage on Walkeshwar road and then at Oomer park is a veritable treasure trove of memories, nostalgia and ahem, some of Mumbai’s most powerful surnames. With its hands on child friendly approach, its attention to detail and its cheerful ambience, the kindergarten could be aptly called the nursery to Mumbai’s movers and shakers. “We have been fortunate to be blessed with an alumni and mothers who sense that this place is indeed unique, and generously contribute their time, effort and resources to ensuring that our school continues to maintain the high standards we set for ourselves,” says Curmally, who has been the moving spirit behind the school for 63 of its 65 years! A fundraiser has been planned at the Tote in September to take her vision forward so that future generations of Mumbaikars can also avail of the West Wind approach to life!

Storm in a C-cup!
>>  The gloves are off. When Anil Chopra, the man who conceived and nurtured the Lakme fashion week for 12 years, chose to speak out about his baby (now entering its terrible teens?) he didn’t mince his words. About the unfortunate splinter movement that saw the launch of the Wills FDCI Fashion Week, he says, “Lakme India Fashion Week (LIFW) started in year 2000, prior to which there were no fashion weeks.

A model walks for a LFW show

By 2005, it gave an opportunity for 35 shows with 50-70 designers showcasing. Certain vested interests at FDCI saw this as a threat to its monopoly and employed many unfair means to stop LFW from succeeding.

Anil Chopra.

LFW and FDCI moved into two fashion weeks a year in keeping with seasonal requirements. There was huge uproar created by ‘interested parties’ stating there was no room in India for four fashion weeks. But in a free and open market, the market place and end customer should be the one taking this call and no one else. Those using unfair means to stop a new initiative should look back into history!” Fighting words those! And this on the eve of the next LFW in Mumbai.

Moving In, Moving Out
>>  It will be the end of an era and a cessation of needless speculation. Those with an ear to Mumbai’s grapevine will know of the so-called contentious real estate issue that had supposedly consumed the Ambanis and Pritish Nandy. The story goes back to the ‘90s when Nandy, one of the men responsible for taking the TOI into a new era had quit and joined as Editor in-Chief of the Observer Group, at that time the Ambani’s brave new attempt at owning a media conglomerate. Along with the job came a flat. Not just any flat mind you, but an apartment par excellence.

Anil Ambani, Pritish Nandy and Capt Nair, chairman of the Leela group

The Ambanis personal residence before they moved to Seawind. On the 24the floor of Mumbai’s most famous building of that era. From poet, writer and Rajya Sabha member, Pritish was now also resident in one of the world’s most expensive buildings. So, naturally when things didn’t go according to plan and the Ambani engagement ceased, Mumbai began to wonder — when would he move out? Would the Ambanis demand their flat back? Had he been presented it for life? And was their bad blood between the parties? “No such thing,” says Pritish. “When I entered the apartment I was assured that I could have it for as long as I needed it. And to their credit, and regardless of what the rumour-mongers say, the Ambanis have never asked me to move out, and were entirely generous and hospitable. Though I know people were alleging that I’d grabbed their apartment,” he says, “But this incident proves that relationships are more valuable than anything else. Because the minute I found a suitable place, I moved out.” For the record, Pritish has relocated a few blocks down from his original residence to a leafy ground floor apartment of an old bungalow. “From the 24th floor, I find myself now surrounded by exquisite plants, squirrels and old trees,” says the poet. “And my friend Capt Nair, Chairman of the Leela Group, is helping me with the flora.” We like!

Page 3 wipe out
>>  This couple had the dubious distinction of being the first clients of a leading dailies’ paid news venture. Day after day, week after week, mystified readers were given blow-by-blow accounts of the minutiae of their very minor lives. “No one knew what exactly they did,” said an observer, “But their names had become synonymous with Page 3 news.” And then the party ended. Apparently, they’d been overheard slagging off the very oxygen of their existence and been subsequently banned by the paper. “Now their attempts to make a comeback are getting increasingly desperate,” informs the same insider. “One could say that their Page 3 existence was as short as the film the couple allegedly produced!” 

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