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Tuesday, Nov 12, 2019

Malavika’s Mumbaistan: High-Powered Attendance

As alluded to last week, the imminent, high-powered dinner for the VVIP political dignitary in Bangkok to be held over the weekend, had been none other than the one hosted by Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of the Aditya Birla Group, for PM Narendra Modi, following the ceremony held earlier that day, to mark the golden jubilee of the group’s presence in Thailand.

mumbai Updated: Nov 06, 2019 00:55 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
PM Narendra Modi with musician and philanthropist Ananya Birla
PM Narendra Modi with musician and philanthropist Ananya Birla(PHOTO: ANANYA BIRLA/INSTAGRAM )
         

As alluded to last week, the imminent, high-powered dinner for the VVIP political dignitary in Bangkok to be held over the weekend, had been none other than the one hosted by Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of the Aditya Birla Group, for PM Narendra Modi, following the ceremony held earlier that day, to mark the golden jubilee of the group’s presence in Thailand.

“We are here in Thailand with whom India has a strong cultural linkage. And we are marking 50 years of a leading Indian industrial business in Thailand. This reaffirms my belief that commerce and culture have inherent powers to unite,” said Modi, who was in town to attend the ASEAN summit, while addressing the audience from the stage, where he was joined by other members of the Birla family. Later the same evening, he attended the exclusive dinner hosted by Kumar Mangalam Birla for among others forty of his company’s top management cadre from across Asia. The special meal had been catered by Indian chef Deepanker Khosla, (BKK’s other celebrated Indian chef), fast gaining traction for his “Progressive Urban-Farm Dining and Mixology”.

“There had been a storm in Bangkok that night which had caused a lot of traffic, and we thought the PM would not make it, as it would take an hour to get from his hotel, Marriott Marquis in Sukhumvit, to the venue. But the PM stayed true to his commitment and arrived at the venue and graced the dinner,” informs our source.

“We have created a bespoke 10 course vegetarian menu for the delegation,” the eatery had shared on its social media page before the dinner. And later, young Birla scion, musician and philanthropist and eldest child of Kumar Mangalam Birla, Ananya Birla, had posted this picture on social media.

His Father’s Son

No question about it, Lalit Modi has had a particularly challenging year. Within a year of losing his wife, Minal, after a long and hard battle with cancer, his father, the noted Delhi-based industrialist KK Modi, eldest son of the founder of one of the oldest business families in the country and chairman of Modi Enterprises, breathed his last in the Capital this Saturday.

Lalit Modi.
Lalit Modi. ( PTI )

“A man who lived his life with élan and commitment… always ready to help a friend never backing down from hard work,” were some of the thoughts the grieving son had shared on social media, to an outpouring of condolences from his friends. And true to form, the architect of the IPL and consummate new-age user of technology, had found a unique way to partake in the prayer meeting in honour of his father, which is being held today. “[It] will take place simultaneously in London and New Delhi this coming Wednesday,” he posted on social media. “Starting at sharp 10:30am London time and 4pm India time. Please join us to honour and celebrate his life. We look forward to welcoming you at either location. Both locations will function as one and ceremonies conducted in Delhi and London will be live at both Locations.”

“The program is split in a way that people will be able to offer their condolences to family members at either location through a continuous live transmission,” informed an insider.

WTSWTM

What They Say: “Since odd-even is the flavour of the day, here is a solution for the Maharashtra political stalemate: Sena CM odd days, BJP CM even days, and Sharad Pawar on weekends! Gnite, shubhrathri!!”

- Rajdeep Sardesai’s tweet on the current impasse

What They Mean: “In any case, no one knows who’s odd, or even, or week ended among the lot.”

The Skipper at 15

Could Virat Kohli get any dishier? Yesterday, on the occasion of his 31st birthday, even as he was trekking in Bhutan with wife and “soul mate” actress Anushka Sharma, the Indian skipper who epitomises the phrase “bright eyed and bushy tailed”, shared an astonishingly mature journal note that he’d written to himself, when he’d turned 15; proving that besides brawn he has a fair share of brains too.

Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma in Bhutan
Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma in Bhutan ( VIRAT KOHLI/INSTAGRAM )

“Hi Chiku, (OK, strike one for Punjabi boys and their pet names). First of all, a very happy birthday! I am sure you have a lot of questions for me about your future. I am sorry but I am not going to answer too many of them… What I will tell you is that life has big things in store for you Virat. But you need to be ready for each and every opportunity that comes your way. Grab it when it comes. And never take what you have for granted. You will fail. Everyone does. Just promise yourself that you’ll never forget to rise. And if at first you don’t, try again,” he said in what is surely going to be a note that will be a collector’s item for future generations.

The India captain’s journal note to himself
The India captain’s journal note to himself ( VIRAT KOHLI/INSTAGRAM )

But it was the following lines he’d penned way back then which had caught our eye: “You will be loved by many, and will be disliked too. By some who won’t even know you. Don’t care about them. Keep believing in yourself!” he’d written sixteen years ago.