Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Mahim over Manhattan

mumbai Updated: Dec 07, 2018 10:48 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
mumbai news,malavika's mumbaistan,Satyajit Ray

Piyush Pandey (HT Photo)

It is Satyajit Ray who is believed to have said, “To be truly, international you have to be truly local,” and few embody the axiom as well as his compatriot and fellow advertising genius (yes, Ray had begun his career as a commercial artist with an ad agency) but Piyush Pandey, the executive chairman and creative director of Ogilvy South Asia, who was announced as the new worldwide chief creative officer of the Ogilvy Group, effective from January 1, 2019. Because Pandey is the man whose long and illustrious innings as a creative wiz sans parallel has given us iconic campaigns for Fevicol, Asian Paints, Vodafone and Cadbury Dairy Milk, amongst others which are uniquely roiled in the intrinsic everyday quotidian life of India, a life that he has so memorably captured in the lyrics of Mile Sur Mera Tumhara, a modern day anthem for the country. Until Pandey came along, Indian advertising had been heavily influenced by a Western sensibility. “When he came to Mumbai in his late 20s, on my mother Ila Arun’s insistence, and joined O&M, he stayed with us for about five years in my parents’ flat in Santacruz (East), and guess whose room he shared?” says Ishitta Arun, Pandey’s niece, now a designer, producer and founder of Ikigai, a creative hothouse, adding, “Mine, of course! He’d been a tea-taster in Kolkata, but he took to advertising like a fish to water, quickly moving from accounts to creative, once his talent was recognised,” she says, of the History MA from St Stephen’s Delhi, an excellent jiver who played cricket at the Ranjhi Trophy leveml.“I was around 5 years old and used to wait all day for him to return home so I could loudly serenade my Mamu,” she laughs, recalling how many of the exuberant office parties held at their home, had featured the industry’s celebrated tigers of their times. Perhaps, it is this background of always being grounded and close to his simple roots that had contributed to Pandey’s success in understanding the hearts and minds of his consumers. Word comes in that as the worldwide chief creative officer, of one of the world’s foremost agencies headquartered in USA, Pandey intends to carry out his new responsibilities from his old home in Mahim, rather than Manhattan!

The Bald And The Beautiful

Jason Dehni and Lisa Ray with their family. (HT Photo)

Can anyone be braver or more beautiful than erstwhile Mumbai resident, Lisa Ray? As is known, the model and actress had won a long and hard battle against cancer a few years ago, and since then, her cup of happiness has been overflowing. First with marriage to fellow survivor, the handsome, Hong Kong-based businessman, Jason Dehni, followed by the birth of her two gorgeous twin daughters Sufi and Soleil, born through surrogacy earlier this year. But Ray’s role of doting wife and mum has not come in the way of her doing everything she can to reach out to those less fortunate, especially the cancer-stricken. This week, she posted the cutest picture of her daughters, emblazoned with the words, “I want to see Daddy bald like me.” One of the businesses Dehni runs, recently launched a “Brave the Shave” campaign in support of Children’s Cancer, and as its creator, he’d gallantly put his head on the block. “If we raise our target of $10,000 – he will shave his head!” posted the delighted wife and mother, who incidentally will be flying in to Mumbai soon, en beautiful famille.
Will she arrive with two or three bald beauties? Watch this space.

Tweet Talk
“Cow cow cow. Hate hate hate. Fake fake fake. Mandir Mandir Mandir. 2018 in summary.
-Tweeted by Priya Ramani

The Brave Old Bombay Plan

Sanjaya Baru (HT Photo)

“Ratan Tata rarely endorses a book. So we were thrilled when he agreed to endorse ours. The book‘s cover carries it,” said our friend and erstwhile editor, Dr Sanjaya Baru, author and former adviser to former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, about his latest book, ‘The Bombay Plan’, edited along with economist Meghnad Desai, Labor Peer in the House of Lords, which is to be released next week at a high-powered launch in Delhi. For the uninitiated, the title refers to the ‘Plan of Economic Development for India’, aka the Bombay Plan, written in two parts jointly, by well-known business leaders and technocrats of repute of their era such as JRD Tata, GD Birla, and Kasturbhai Lalbhai, which was published in 1944 and 1945. It is widely believed that India’s first and second Five Year Plans were constructed on the policy foundations offered by the Bombay Plan.
“The book is a tribute to the vision of JRD, GD Birla, Lala Shriram and others who wrote The Bombay Plan,” said Baru, yesterday when we spoke. “It examines why the Plan was forgotten and erased from public memory.” And what does the dyed-in-the-wool policy wonk and political commentator make of their descendants – today’s industrialists – and their engagement or lack of it, with nation building? “Apart from Ratan Tata, few others have demonstrated that kind of vision of national development,” he said cryptically, leaving the rest to imagination.

First Published: Dec 06, 2018 23:41 IST