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Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Going, going, gone...

mumbai Updated: Mar 09, 2018 10:28 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Malavika’s Mumbaistan,Nirav Modi

Vijay Mallya and his sea-facing bungalow Niladri on Napean Sea Road.(File Photos)

‘We are pleased to share a unique opportunity to own a luxurious sea-facing bungalow at Napean Sea Road, Mumbai — Niladri,’ the email states and goes on to describe Vijay Mallya’s spectacular residence, which is currently part of the non-core assets being auctioned by his creditors to recover unpaid dues. Sitting on a staggering (for its location) area of 1,902 sq m, including 4,600 sq ft of open space in the form of a lawn, an outdoor seating area and a swimming pool, this three-storey bungalow, in the heart of the city’s most coveted neighbourhood, furnished with the finest of furniture, art and fittings that money can buy, and equipped with its own internal lift and gymnasium, is on sale on an ‘as is where is’ basis.

Who can forget the sparkling bashes the bungalow has seen? From glamorous all-night do’s boasting the likes of the late Feroz Khan, Sharad Pawar and Celina Jaitley to satsangs organised by Rhea Pillai (when Mallya had his brief tryst with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living), the mansion’s walls still resound with memories of the King of Good Times and his fabulous ways. In a similar exercise, Mallya’s Goa bungalow was acquired by a gutka baron, and residents of his erstwhile neighbourhood in Mumbai anxiously await news of who will move in, now that estate agencies are hunting far and wide for takers.

It may be another gutka king or even a shining new King of Good Times. One thing is for sure, Vijay Mallya has left the building.

TRUE LIES

According to those in the know, the urgent need for spin has prompted this top industrialist to sign up one of Delhi’s best and brightest spin masters. The curious thing is that the industrialist is known to enjoy one of the most enduring relationships with the highest in the land, one that began in their home state and has strengthened over time; so why the need for spin when he allegedly has the ear of the most important man in the country? The answer to that is PR. As powerful as said industrialist may be, he is mostly seen as an outsider in the Mumbai and Delhi power circles, and his image in the public’s mind is weak. His reported environmental transgressions, his group’s financial activities and his supposed holy cow status have made him a carpet bagger in perception and the PR wiz has been roped in to herald his way into the good books of opinion makers. Expect many appearances at economic forums, media events and of course schmooze fests.

WOMEN’S DAY

From The Sound of Music to The Shape of Water

Over five decades might separate these two multiple Oscar-winning iconic films, but so much has changed for women since the release of the 1965 Julie Andrews-Christopher Plummer runway hit. The intervening years have seen women burning their bras and entering the work force, breaking glass ceilings and assuming offices of high importance, and championing their rights to their bodies and their minds. Recently, it’s the clamour for #MeToo and equal pay. But perhaps the one thing that’s remained constant is Hollywood’s idea of great romance: awkward and feisty woman falls in love with a strange misunderstood barely human creature, against the backdrop of political intrigue, only to find true love and a happy ending as the creature recognises and reciprocates her love to a rising background score. Yes, from The Sound of Music to The Shape of Water, in some ways, not much has changed. Happy Women’s Day!

ELEPHANTINE MEMORY

Nirav Modi with Prince Charles and the elephant statuette in Delhi last year.

Elephants are said to never forget, but this one may be experiencing instant amnesia. As is known, as part of the Save the Elephant initiative, in memory of the late Mark Shand, a champion of pachyderms, a slew of high-profile personalities had been asked to embellish five-foot high elephant statuettes for auction. Given his stature as one of the country’s ‘beautiful people’, diamantaire Nirav Modi had been one of them and his pictures with Prince Charles and Shand’s sister, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall had been published by the glossies. But after Modi’s fall from grace, the organisers have had a rethink. “His name was withdrawn from the statuette he embellished,” said a society diva, closely linked with the initiative. “Instead, the karigaar [artisan], who fabricated the statue has been given credit,” she said. At a time when all those who wined and dined with Modi are back pedalling furiously away from him — even elephants can forget, we guess.

First Published: Mar 09, 2018 10:28 IST