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Monday, Aug 26, 2019

Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Asia and the world

mumbai Updated: Aug 02, 2018 15:53 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
Sangita Jindal.
Sangita Jindal.

Word comes in that the Asia Society India Centre has focused its gaze squarely on the lives of the rich and famous, this August. Next Monday, it hosts ‘India’s Gilded Age: Prosperity and Disparity’, a panel discussion with James Crabtree, former Mumbai bureau chief of the Financial Times; author Amish Tripathi; and Ashutosh Varshney, director, Centre for Contemporary South Asia at Brown University, amongst others. “The discussion will explore increasing income inequality in light of India’s stupendous economic growth and how transparency and development-focused policies could aid the uniform distribution of economic benefits,” said a spokesperson. On its heels, the same week will see Jamshyd Godrej, chairman, Godrej & Boyce, and Ajay Piramal, chairman, Piramal Group, engage in a discussion titled ‘Philanthropy Revisited: Strategic Giving in Asia’ with Hari Menon, senior advisor, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, speaking on ‘the current climate of philanthropy in India and Asia today’.

Ajay Piramal.
Ajay Piramal.

The results of the Doing Good Index 2018, a report that takes a comparative look at how 15 Asian economies are catalysing philanthropic giving, will be presented on the occasion and hopefully India’s record of giving will not be embarrassingly minuscule compared to its neighbours! Meanwhile, this will make way for Season of India, which kicks off at Asia Society, New York in September. “The season is anchored around the seminal exhibition, ‘The Progressive Revolution: Modern Art for a New India’, on view at the Asia Society Museum,” says Bunty Chand, head of Asia Society India Centre. “Leading private collectors from India and the US have generously shared priceless pieces for the landmark exhibition, which highlights spectacular oil paintings by members of the Progressive Artists’ Group.

There will be a private Festive Gala followed by programmes and special events on art, culture, business, and policy, featuring the likes of Yashodhara Dalmia, Gayatri Sinha, and Abhay Sardesai.” The Season of India will also see Mumbai’s Sangita Jindal, director of the board, Asia Society India Centre, serving as the co-chair of the India Gala. The impassioned art maven, we hear, has also been appointed to the Asia Society Global Council on Arts and Culture that advises the Asia Society Museum.


What They Say —

“Apart from his fetish for gold, Baba also wears a Rolex watch worth ₹27 lakh and owns a BMW, three Fortuners, two Audis and two Innovas, which are part of his cavalcade. On several occasions, he has taken cars such as Hummer, Jaguar and Land Rover on rent, for his trip to Haridwar.”

— Recent news report on the antics of a man known as Golden Baba, who wears ₹6 crore worth of gold on his person.

What They Mean —

“In spite of all this, the strange thing is that, we have found no evidence of any link to a politician or political party, as yet.”


Nick (noun): A tiny, barely discernible, temporary addition, usually spotted on the arm of leading Bollywood-Hollywood crossover actresses, which could become a permanent fixture, with the passing of time (eg: “Along with her tattoo, she flaunts her nick, quite proudly”)


Mahabanoo Modi Kotwal.
Mahabanoo Modi Kotwal.

Her track record for creating women-centric phenomena is impeccable; after all, it was almost two decades ago that thespian Mahabanoo Modi Kotwal launched the Indian version of The Vagina Monologues, which, thanks to her passion and commitment, still runs weekly to packed halls across the country. So, a few weeks ago, when Kotwal announced on a social media platform that she was now putting her resources into another enterprise, this one to offer support and solace to those who needed it, there was much cheer. “Empathy is lacking these days. So, in order to offer some of the ladies this solace, I have decided to hold a small meeting for them,” she said, adding that the first meeting would be held at the end of July. “Please inbox me if you are interested to attend, if you need empathy or are willing to empathise,” she’d signed off.

This week, on the successful conclusion of her enterprise’s first meeting, she once again took to social media to thank all those who’d made it possible. “Our first share, support, strengthen, survive, empathy meeting at Wilson College was an eye-opener for many. From corporate employees to media people, to the principal of a school, to an airline pilot, it was a great amalgamation of women. Many stories were shared that broke our hearts. Women, who seemed tough and strong from the outside, but who had crumbled within but had yet survived,” she posted, adding, “Our next meeting will be on August 29.” Nice!

First Published: Aug 02, 2018 15:48 IST

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