Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Marathon Woman

Sonia Sethi is responsible for the completion of the Metro project, comprising all 12 lines spread across 300kms, a staggering 1.5 lakh crore in numbers
Sonia Sethi at the marathon.
Sonia Sethi at the marathon.
Updated on Jan 21, 2020 07:22 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByMalavika Sangghvi

“It was totally surreal running on the iconic sea link, of which, way back in 2009 in my capacity as the MD of MSRDC, I was given the opportunity of bringing to final commissioning,” says Sonia Sethi, additional metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA, about her successful completion of the 21-km half marathon run in the Tata Mumbai Marathon 2020 this Sunday. Sethi, a PhD in finance and economics from the University of Mumbai who went on to study Major Programme Management at Oxford, is currently responsible for the completion of the Metro project, comprising all 12 lines spread across 300kms, a staggering 1.5 lakh crores in numbers, began her training for the run in June last year. “My boys are my biggest cheerleaders,” she says, adding, “If you can dream it, you can achieve it.”

This never-say-die attitude has helped the attractive mother of two, whose marriage to the equally dashing Sanjay Sethi, chairman of JNPT, makes her one half of the city’s power elite, is no stranger to challenges, having been in charge of some of the city’s most ambitious infrastructure initiatives like the Metro project, which has brought her into the limelight and often put her on a collision course with environmental activists. But much as she took on the challenge of making it to the finish line, Sethi takes all such challenges in her stride. “I am enthused to pursue more fitness goals in 2020,” she signs off.

Anshu Khanna (second from left) with the newly wedded couple and family.
Anshu Khanna (second from left) with the newly wedded couple and family.

Silks swords and turbans

“There was something truly mystical and magical about the Mahurkar-Deo wedding held this weekend at the Lakshmi Vilas palace, home to the family of the Gaekwads, the erstwhile rulers of Baroda,” says the Delhi-based Anshu Khanna, founder of Royal Fables, a pop-up platform which brings the treasures of royal India to its clientele. “It seemed as if the Gods had descended upon the magnificent portals to bless the couple, Kunwar Ratna Pratap Rao and the beautiful Kumari Rigvedita Mahurkar. Hailing from the Uday Waghray Samarjit Singh and the Mahurkar families, the cynosure of all eyes were said to have been the colourful pagris of the Maratha Sardars, with those from Gwalior winning hands down in the style quotient stakes. Royal weddings, even in modern India, are truly a thing apart with their eye-popping jewels (emeralds and rubies the size of pigeon eggs), silks and swords and brocades and carriages bedecked with flowers. This one had a traditional tilak ceremony followed by a gala dinner on the lawns of the palace, which was awash in fairytale lights.

“No one can match the attention to detail, grace and generosity of the hosts,” said Khanna, adding, “The wedding was steeped in culture and tradition with a unique spiritual connect.”


WTS: “JP Nadda is an old friend. When I handled the party organisation, he was looking after the Yuva Morcha. We travelled together on scooter.”

-PM Modi at the felicitation ceremony for new president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Jagat Prakash Nadda, yesterday.

WTM: “ No, I’m sure it wasn’t a Bajaj…”

Kim Sharma.
Kim Sharma.

An Italian Lemon Grove

You don’t look a day over eighteen, we said to erstwhile actress and now corporate honcho, Kim Sharma, when she’d invited us this Sunday to celebrate her fortieth birthday. And though we could not make it to the brunch held at Olive, Khar, we hear such a rollicking time was held by all that it would put the most boisterous teenagers in the shade. There to bring in the happy occasion were the likes of celebrity stylist Adhuna Akhtar; VJ, actress and singer, Anusha Dandekar; erstwhile model and lifestyle impresario Dino Morea; director Abhishek Kapoor; actors Chunky Pandey, Arjun Rampal and Sanjay Kapoor with their wives; designer Nandita Mahtani; inceptor of the Lakme Fashion Week, Anil Chopra with fashionista wife Sabina Chopra; actors Amrita Arora, Urmila Matondkar, Parvin Dabas, Preeti Jhangiani, and chef Vicky Ratnani. “It was a colourful Italian lemon grove-themed brunch,” says a guest, adding, “With very fun retro mixed music by DJ Vishal Shetty.” Apparently guests — all close friends of the birthday girl and part of the Bandra smart set — mingled over an Italian charcuterie featuring cheese, salads and a live grill. But sources say the highlight of the afternoon was the pasta counter with it being cooked in a cheese wheel and Chef Boo Kim’s three-foot-wide Italian Lemon and Strawberry Cake. “You could say that yesterday at her birthday, Kim had her cake and ate it too,” says the guest, a suburban wit.

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