Malavika’s Mumbaistan: London calling
“The second edition of the ‘100 Most Influential People in UK-India Relations’ is out and I’m in it,” said marketing guru and bon vivant bachelor, Suhel Seth, when we spoke to him in London yesterday. “Every year, an exclusive list of key influencers that enrich and help strengthen UK-India relations gets released around this time; others included are Karan Billimoria and Shashi Tharoor,” he said. Is Boris Johnson on the list, we enquired over the cracking line. It seemed that kind of list. “No, Boris has not been included,” said Seth, a bit more tersely than expected. The list, described as being ‘compiled after painstaking research by India Inc.’s expert editorial team includes influential people within business, politics, diplomacy, media, arts and culture’, and coincides with ‘UK India Week 18-22 June: Brexit Britain meets Global India’, a series of stratospheric schmoozing opportunities in London, one more instance of the great Indo-Brit convergence that occurs all through the summer holidays. Of course, this is only a small engagement on Seth’s (described as ‘marketing guru and author,’ in the list’s brochure) packed London calendar. “I’m here till the end of the month,” he said, enigmatically. “Am watching Picasso at the Tate and Frida Kahlo at the V&A.”
THE PAST AND THE FUTURE
It might come as a shock to many, but there was a time when Pradeep Guha, publisher and marketing man extraordinaire, who has to his credit some of the biggest, most showy, star-spangled events in recent history, was a jhola-carrying, left-leaning activist in his Xavier’s college days. How the transition from Trotsky to Chunky happened, our former colleague has promised to reveal at a later date, but currently on a study trip in San Francisco, Guha appears to be revelling in a brush with the counter-culture of his student days. “Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco is where the hippie counter culture of the 60’s originated, the smell of hash and liberty of the 70’s still hangs heavy in the air!!” he posted, this week, along with a picture of himself at the iconic locale. Guha is in America to study and understand the forces of exponential growth changing the course of history – AI, robotics, genetic bio engineering, driverless cars, space as an alternative – all this and more at an Executive Development program. “The futuristic concerns of the world here are so piercingly different from the existential concerns that envelop us, day in and day out, back home,” he said before flying to Cannes for an ad festival, to witness Piyush and Prasun Pandey receive the prestigious Cannes Lion of St Mark.
The star wives of Bollywood are a breed apart and deserve an entire book about themselves. The most respected and admired of their generations, Krishna Raj Kapoor, wife of the late Raj Kapoor, and Zarine Khan, wife of Sanjay Khan, are portrayed in the picture. “The one lady, who I most admire for her spirit and kindness towards all, whether rich or poor,” posted Khan, about her elder peer, when the two had met for an Eid get-together. “Her courage for living life through the highs n lows is exemplary. She is my perfect lady. May she keep smiling all her life is my sincere wish.” Resilience, courage, grace and kindness are the most required trait for a star wife, it has long been believed; and Khan, too, has displayed this bushel in full. Star wives have to contend with all manner of challenges, not least of which are their husband’s alleged link-ups with their attractive heroines on those interminably long outdoor shoots. Both Kapoor and Khan, besides demonstrating this quality many a times, are also celebrated for their hospitality and their famous dinners, with tables groaning with outstanding food. Who are the star wives who have carved a niche for themselves and demonstrated similar courage and grace amongst the current crop in the industry? Our bets are on Gauri Khan, Kiran Rao and Mira Rajput...
MANY TO TANGO
Good to know that amidst all the hustle and bustle and big city stresses, there is a dedicated group of Mumbaiites, who come together often to pursue their passion for that graceful dance form of tango. And word comes in that last week, a SoBo hotel held a class for enthusiasts with an Argentine tutor called Gladys Fernandes. Amongst those who attended were expats like an American couple, who work for an NGO, along with a local physicist, an architect, a legal eagle, an erstwhile model and even a total beginner who’d read about the workshop and signed up as a newbie; the oldest participant in his seventies and the youngest in their twenties! What’s more, after the workshop, there was a dinner organised for all those, who participated at the hotel, where the dancing went on till 1.30am... Nice!