Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Looking for Miss Mudgal
Her ‘Looking for Miss Sargam: Stories of Music and Misadventure’, a collection of short stories set in the world of music and musicians, will be on stands by mid-July.Updated: Jun 27, 2019 19:04 IST
When we met renowned vocalist Shubha Mudgal last month at a symposium on Courtesan Culture at The Royal Opera House, we had not been aware that, in addition to her musical brilliance, she was soon going to debut as an author. Her ‘Looking for Miss Sargam: Stories of Music and Misadventure’, a collection of short stories set in the world of music and musicians, will be on stands by mid-July; and by the rave notices it is eliciting, it promises to be as delightful as the vocalist’s musical output. Mudgal, who is known for songs like ‘Ab Ke Saawan’ and ‘Ali More Angana’ writes about “sparring Sufi stars from India and Pakistan, brash young PR teams of recording companies, Ustads who trick and ruin naïve fellow artistes, and proud divas reduced to party entertainers by rich NRIs”, a blurb by the book’s publisher reads. And, with award-wining author Jerry Pinto describing the stories as “wickedly funny”, and celebrated literary agent, author and consultant, Kanishka Gupta (Writer’s Side) putting his considerable heft behind the book and saying it is “REALLY good”, we can’t wait to get our hands on it. Many years ago, we were introduced to author and vocalist Sheila Dhār’s (she sang in the Kirana Gharana) immensely charming books on the same subject ‘Raga n Josh’ and Tales of Innocents, Musicians and Bureaucrats. Mudgal’s book, most likely, will add to that delightful cannon. What’s best of all is that with Mudgal turning author, she along with others like Vikram Seth and Amit Chaudhuri, prove that the borders between literary and musical output can be easily transgressed.
I don’t listen to my songs after releasing them.
— Bollywood music director, songwriter, actor and singer Yo Yo Honey Singh, in a recent interview
You kidding? Have you heard their lyrics? Would you listen to them any more than you needed to?!!
Ever since pocket-sized Japanese organising consultant and author, Marie Kondo, captured the public imagination with her well-packaged tidying interventionism, we have been awaiting the entry of our own desi versions of the phenomena. After all, as Kondo has demonstrated on her ‘Tidying Up With Marie Kondo’ web series, there is great joy to be attained in taking control of one’s life by trimming and settling its minutiae. And, given that so many of the city’s rich and famous have wardrobes and closets the size of airplane hangars, crammed with enough items to put Imelda Marcos in the shade, a new business has emerged in Mumbai society circles we are informed: Well-heeled socialites who used to discreetly offer their services for things like personal shopping, styling and grooming to make an extra buck or two from their super rich friends now doubling up as Desi Kondos, or Mumbai Kondos! Our Oolong Tea Serving Hostess Friend tells us that at least two ladies in her social circles have engaged the services of such homegrown organising consultants. “They waste no opportunity to boast about it,” she said. “It’s a definite social symbol in Mumbai’s richie rich circles, right up there with engaging a foreign nurse or nanny for one’s kids,” she says. Incidentally, a famous Marie Kondo method is to pick each item one possesses and enquire “Does it Spark Joy?”. “If it doesn’t meet with the criteria, it has no business in your life,” according to the Kondo rules, said the OTSFH smugly. So, what is done with these hundreds and thousands of handbags and shoes and scarves etc that have stopped “sparking joy” for their owners, we asked the consummate socialite. “Well,” she said chuckling, “It’s given rise to an even more lucrative business in some circles. The selling of second-hand designer-wear the rich would like to dispose of discreetly, at knock down prices in the grey market. After all, no one’s above making an extra buck or two…”
He Didn’t Start The Fyre
This Monday, Mumbai’s glamorous Swedish import and former VP marketing of Sula Wines, Noi Cecilia Oldne, visited Singapore to deliver a talk on fine wine investment — a growing trend amongst well-heeled investors, and the latest of her business interests, having recently joined a leading wine investment firm in London. And, given her gregarious nature, the trip saw her catching up with many friends old and new, including uber venture capitalist and private equity maven Deepak Shahadpuri, and one-time Mumbai boy and author of ‘The Billionaire Raj’, James Crabtree, who used to head the FT Mumbai bureau not too long ago. But, by far one of the most interesting encounters was when she ran into Marc Weinstein, a former executive with the ill-fated and misadvised Fyre Festival, at a tony club. For the uninitiated (those who don’t have a Netflix account and have not watched ‘Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened’), the Festival was a much-hyped music extravaganza that was set to take place in the Bahamas in 2017, but had gone pear-shaped and earned itself a great deal of notoriety as a giant scam after innocent people booked tickets and lost tons of money on the no show. To be fair, unlike its founder Billy McFarland, who is in prison currently, Weinstein who describes himself on his blog as an “Investor, Advisor, Entrepreneur, certified yoga instructor, and lifelong student” had emerged from the wreckage relatively unscathed, going public with his dismay at the way things turned out, and making amends by trying to assist those who lost money while working on the project. But, there’s no denying that the notoriety has given him a certain cache. “Ever heard of Fyre Festival and Marc Weinstein? Well...I haven’t only heard!” Oldne posted, her tongue firmly in cheek, along with this picture yesterday.
First Published: Jun 27, 2019 01:05 IST