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Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019

Malavika’s Mumbaistan: He Has Wings

mumbai Updated: Feb 22, 2019 00:48 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
File Photo of Ratan Tata
File Photo of Ratan Tata
         

Those who know the chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, Ratan Tata, will tell you how his love for canines can only be rivalled by his love for aviation. Tata, who holds a pilot’s license, and in the past has been known to fly a few of his group’s aircraft, has had a long history with the aviation sector, having been appointed chairman of Air India in 1986, a post he served for three years and his well-documented initiatives to enter the private airline sector in an ambitious joint venture with Singapore Airlines in 2000 which didn’t take off. Of course, this passion appears to have eventually paid off with his group owning stakes in two commercial airlines, mainly through his stewardship. That’s why it comes as no surprise that the corporate statesman showed up in Bengaluru yesterday to the Yelahanka Air Force station to attend the Aero India Show 2019, flagged off by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman. “Tata was a keen spectator at the show. He has great knowledge about aircraft models and fighter jets, having flown the F-16 Falcon himself. He was in good spirits and even stayed for lunch,” informs our source.

Travelling On Their Stomachs

Judi Kilachand (third from right) and Karen Karp (fourth from right) with the group at the start of their culinary tour.
Judi Kilachand (third from right) and Karen Karp (fourth from right) with the group at the start of their culinary tour.

Last week saw the culmination of New York-based Judi Kilachand and Karen Karp, co-founders of a boutique culinary tour company’s immersive Mumbai and Goa tour in partnership with celebrity chef Floyd Cardoz. The trio, along with 15 enthusiastic participants (‘gastro voyagers’), we hear, sampled a variety of delights from the great melting pot of the two cities, which included visiting the Byculla fruit and vegetable market; the Dadar flower market; the Lalbaugh spice market; a meal with the founders of the Bohri Kitchen; a dinner at Cardoz’ O Pedro and a visit to the newly-restored Keneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue, amongst other delectations. Goa, we hear, was equally riveting with forays to aristocratic old homes for authentic home-cooked meals, as well as tastings at the popular eatery Gun Powder, and visits to bakeries specialising in the region’s famous poee breads. A highlight of the trip was certainly the interaction between the Taj’s legendary chef Rego and with his fellow-Goan counterpart Cardoz for a demo meal at the hotel’s poolside. Kilachand, who was married into the prominent Kilachand clan, is an old India hand and managed to persuade a host of low-profile hostesses to throw open the doors of their private homes and host her little group of travelling gastro voyagers.

Bag Lady

Kiran Chhabria dressed head-to-toe in Chanel.
Kiran Chhabria dressed head-to-toe in Chanel.

For aficionados of true luxury and front-row European haute couture, it is easy to tell a genuine article from a wanna-be fake, and Kiran Chhabria, youngest daughter of the late Manu Chhabria whose meteoric rise as a corporate raider in the 80s had put his Dubai-based Jumbo Electronics conglomerate in the spotlight, certainly appears to be the real thing. The Dubai-based heiress, besides running the Middle East legacy of her late father (her mother Vidya is chairman of the group while her sister Komal Wazir is an executive director of Shaw Wallace and Bhavika Godhwani is with Hindustan Dorr Oliver), helms the popular ‘How She Spends It’ Instagram platform, a paean to her staggering personal collection of luxury goods, each worth a small fortune, besides helming her own YouTube channel devoted to the same, and is the author of ‘Kitty In The City’. It is easy to dismiss examples of extreme consumerism as being frivolous and materialistic, but Chhabria’s success (her Instagram has 28,000 followers and her YouTube workshop – comparing Hermes Kelly Mini 2 vs Vintage Hermes Kelly 20 cms – had 38,480 views), but there is an artistry to what she does. Her passion for knowledge about her chosen subject is deep and for the small, but growing number of luxury good collectors, the types who scour international auctions to lay their hands on rare and out-of-production vintage luxe wares, she affords an expert’s insight. What’s more, it’s not all about surface splendour alone. Further inspection of her posts reveals her to be a thinking, sensitive individual with opinions of her own. A recent handbag post for example had her seguing to her response to an episode of Koffee with Karan, where she felt actress Sara Ali Khan’s earlier overweight avatar had been gratuitously ‘fat shamed’ (“no one was interested that she’d attended one of the top American universities,” she remarked) and her tribute to her determinedly media-shy mother, who refuses to be featured in rich lists, demonstrates a thinking individual beyond her outward glamour. And given her luxe leanings, no surprises this week, following the passing of Chanel and Fendi’s Karl Lagerfeld, fans of Chabbria’s are being treated to a viewing of her prodigious collection of Chanel possessions. At last count, these seemed to consist of a king’s ransom of goods, each beautifully preserved often in their original packing in all their seductive attractiveness.

WTSWTM
What They Say
“Pakistan gifted Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman a gold-plated assault rifle.”
- Reports on Indian news sites yesterday.

What They Mean
“No prizes for guessing where the target is located.”

First Published: Feb 22, 2019 00:48 IST