Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Big Ticket Meet
As is known, membership to the YPO (Young Presidents Organisation), the international body for businessmen, happens to be a huge deal in India. With its rosters featuring some of the most powerful and wealthy industrialists in the country, it is not surprising that other compatriots of their ilk, queue up for the opportunity to schmooze with their best and brightest peers. Every now and then, the organisation also affords its members face-to-face sessions with outstanding individuals, who have over the years included Mother Theresa, Dr Deepak Chopra, the Dalai Lama among others. And in this vein, later this month, it has organised a ‘Meet the PM’ event at Delhi’s ITC Maurya. Billed as an exclusive interaction with Prime Minster Narendra Modi, the invitation sent out to members reflects the tense planning that such a highly-anticipated occasion demands. “With only 10 seats available per chapter in South Asia, registrations for the event will open at 11am on December 6 and will close at 5:00pm with seats automatically going to the wait-listed members on a first-come-first-serve basis,” it says, adding tersely: “We will not be able to accept any last minute walk-in guests due to strict guidelines enforced by the SPG.” And with the stated dress code as “Business Formals”, and those who make the cut required to keep themselves available “between 1300 to 1830 hours” on the appointed day, the charges for this opportunity, for Masters of the Universe to get their face time with their beloved leader, hardly seems steep. Registrations for various members range from ₹5,000 to ₹17,000. Of course, this fee only includes the program cost and associated meals and not “airfare, cost of accommodation and airport transfers”.
But then, given its membership, won’t many of the tycoons be flying in on their PJs?
“Some Chopra dinner tonight with invitations with a bar code! It’s ridiculous how unclassy this country is becoming and film actors are setting the agenda for manners.”
- One Lutyen’s grande dame to another, yesterday in Delhi, while getting their hair washed at the Oberoi’s salon.
Back In the Bay
Fresh from her recent LA triumph, where she’d collaborated with the music industry’s top producers and co-writers, like producer Dustin Brown (who recently wrote a tribute song for the survivors of the Parkland, Florida school shootout), and Wendy Starland, credited with discovering Lady Gaga, Mumbai artiste Anushka Jag performed this weekend at the Royal Opera House, where, along with popular troubadour Pratyul Joshi, she had the audience clapping and singing along to four of her original songs, for the show organised by The National Streets for Performing Arts. The songs, Taboo, Hurricane, Vixen and Rebirth, evocative of many musical genres, including rhythm and blues, pop and classic rock, were reflective of her icons like Freddie Mercury, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell and Elton John. And Jag, who has performed at venues like the Troubadour in London and Hootenanny earlier, belted them out with kickass sass and a smoky delivery.
What’s next on her music charts over the coming weeks?
“I’m likely to perform at the 150th year celebration of the St Xavier’s College early next month,” said the musician, who also hopes to put together a Cuffe Parade music festival in January 2019. As for playing at the Opera House, to an audience that included art maven Pheroza Godrej, academician Dr Nandini Sardesai, foodie Farzana Contractor and Vogue’s Anita Horam, along with an energetic foot-stomping representation of young music lovers, she said, “I was so thrilled to perform my own compositions at such a beautiful venue and the audience was very receptive, which is the most fun part of performing.”
A Candle for Shashi
Yesterday marked the first death anniversary of actor-producer, champion of good theatre and all round heartthrob, Shashi Kapoor. We recall the cloudy, wet day the news had come in, as if even the skies were weeping. Though he had been ailing for a while and a shadow of his former self, his legion of fans and admirers mourned the loss as if they were mourning the dashing, young, long-lashed star of their youth, the man, who, in a post-independence Nehruvian-era had epitomised all that was good and noble and beautiful in their lives. At a time when stars arrived late on the sets, worshipped Mammon and generally threw their weight around, Kapoor had been different: putting his hard-earned money into good films and talented directors; insisting he would not work on Sundays so he could spend the day with his wife and children; treating his fans with respect; eschewing his stardom in Mumbai to hibernate for long spells in a small rented cottage in Goa… Indeed, the ways that Shashi Kapoor had marched quietly to the beat of his own drum were many, and perhaps, he was loved as much for them as he was for his astonishing good looks. Yesterday marked the first death anniversary of Shashi Kapoor and even though there had been no unseasonal rain, like in the previous year, it would not be wrong to say that there were cloudy hearts and wet cheeks nevertheless.