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Sep 19, 2019-Thursday



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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Here he comes

Post his Mumbai escapade, Bilzerian will head straight to Goa, where he will make an appearance as the celebrity guest at the India Poker Championship tournament which has a grand prize of (gulp) ₹3 crore!

mumbai Updated: Sep 12, 2019 00:35 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
Dan Bilzerian with models
Dan Bilzerian with models

Instagram sensation Dan Bilzerian will be arriving in India today for his maiden visit. “The celebrated influencer’s fancy Gulfstream PJ (plastered with his brand logo) will touch down this afternoon at the private terminal in Kalina, at 2pm,” informs our source. The Los Angeles-based entrepreneur, who made his wealth through poker, is set to spend a couple of days in Mumbai. Bilzerian (whose name is a happy mix of billionaire and businessman), who has almost 30 million followers and has notably influenced a whole generation of male millennials to grow out their beards in his signature style, is said to be accompanied by a group of supermodels and will visit a private members’ club in Lower Parel to announce his upcoming grooming brand Alister, and also meet up with his Indian partners, including actor Dino Morea. Post his Mumbai escapade, Bilzerian will head straight to Goa, where he will make an appearance as the celebrity guest at the India Poker Championship tournament which has a grand prize of (gulp) ₹3 crore!

Storm in the teacup

Our Oolong tea-serving hostess friend was beside herself. “Darling, you will have to excuse me today, there’s a bit of a brouhaha here,” she said in a quavering voice as we entered her boudoir, where as usual she was seated with two attendants at hand, sipping her favourite concoction. The room looked an embodiment of peace.

Huh, we said, what do you mean? Everything seems fine…

“Oh my dear girl, can’t you see there’s a ruckus, a clamour, a furore here! We’re in a dire palaver!!”

I really don’t see what the matter is, we said, looking closely at her as she sipped her tea in regal splendour. Perhaps she’d finally gone mad?

Raju, her faithful attendant of three decades, a long suffering man, who she’d bullied into submission, poured us a cup of tea nervously, while her comely maid Asha continued to press her Madame’s temples.

“Look at her, pretending everything’s OK, when we are in a right maelstrom, in the midst of such chaos, mayhem, havoc, pandemonium…”

“Madame is running out of Oolong tea and doesn’t know from where to get it,” said Raju, looking as if his world had collapsed.

“Only Tharoor can help us now,” moaned the OTSHF. “Call his cell phone directly! Tell him it’s an emergency! Ask him to ship me some tea from the Maldives. He’ll understand if you tell him it’s a ‘kerfuffle in a tea cup’.”

Fortunately, she didn’t ask for his thesaurus too.



‘Conventionally, society has created these barriers for people when they fall in love. These are the people who should be together, these are the people who should get together. Those are based on many things – race, religion, country, gender…I think there should not be any barriers. I think everybody should be free to choose who they love and who they like and that should be based just on feelings that they have in the heart, it should have nothing to do with the society.’

-Actor Milind Soman on his marriage to a woman 26 years younger.


But catch me marrying a woman 26 years older...

Royal recognition for Hamied

Yusuf Hamied
Yusuf Hamied

When billionaire scientist and chairman of Cipla, Yusuf Hamied, was announced as an Honorary Fellow, along with a group of other Indians in the 2019 list of new fellows of the prestigious UK-based Royal Society, many who knew the octogenarian and his work were delighted, but not surprised.

After all, the Cambridge-educated Hamied, a Mumbai boy through and through, despite his homes in Marbella and London, has dedicated his life to science and is said to still refer to his Cambridge notebooks when creating new formula for his pharma giant.

“This year’s newly-elected Fellows and Foreign Members of the Royal Society (are) drawn from diverse fields of enquiry — epidemiology, geometry, climatology — at once disparate, but also aligned in their pursuit and contributions of knowledge about the world in which we live and it is with great honour that I welcome them as Fellows of the Royal Society,” said Prof Venki Ramakrishnan, the Nobel Prize-winning Indian-origin President of the Royal Society.

Of course, Hamied’s case is something of a first amongst equals — one: not only is he a scientist, but also a billionaire businessman, and a celebrated humanitarian too. His work towards alleviating the AIDS scourge in Africa is well documented. Besides all this, he is also a dedicated patron of the arts and a devoted and close friend of his former childhood neighbour Zubin Mehta (they both grew up in adjoining bungalows at Cuffe Parade) and tries to attend his concerts around the world.

Zubin Mehta
Zubin Mehta

What is the basis of your deep bond with Mehta, we recall once asking Hamied whose family we have known for decades.

“ I suppose you could say I save lives and he gives people something to live for,” was his twinkling response.

First Published: Sep 12, 2019 00:34 IST