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Home / Mumbai News / Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Same to same with Bezos

Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Same to same with Bezos

“We share the same jacket and the same designer,” said Poonam Soni, one of the ace jewellery designers in the country, about her recent sartorial twinning with Jeff Bezos on his recent trip to India

mumbai Updated: Jan 20, 2020 01:23 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
Poonam Soni and Jeff Bezos.
Poonam Soni and Jeff Bezos.

“We share the same jacket and the same designer,” said Poonam Soni, one of the ace jewellery designers in the country, about her recent sartorial twinning with Jeff Bezos on his recent trip to India. She was referring to the black and white Narendra Kumar Ahmed-designed bespoke jacket that the charismatic information technology (IT) tycoon had chosen to wear on his visit. Interestingly, both Ahmed and Soni share an association with Amazon, the Bezos-founded conglomerate that currently dominates the planet. Soni had been roped in to design the first precious jewellery collection for Amazon in India, and Ahmed heads the company’s fashion and lifestyle division here. “Nari had been roped in to do the fittings for Bezos,” says Soni about the jacket, adding, “I know this because his partner Kadambari is one of my closest friends, so I was in the loop, she said. “I was thrilled to see that it was the same piece I had purchased. It’s beautiful, and I wore it for the recent Sotheby’s auction and received so many compliments,” she said.

When the world’s leading online retail site had launched its operations in India, Soni had designed a fine jewellery collection for its site in the range of ₹1 lakh and she says she did a pair of earrings conceptualised in clean lines, with tiny diamond studs and detachable rose gold dangling balls.

How many people can boast of wearing the same jacket as the world’s richest man? “The only variation is that mine is black, white and gold, while the one Bezos chose is black and white,” said Soni.

Nice.

TRUELIES

The chatterati cannot get over the recent revelation that one of India Inc’s leading statesmen not only turned down the opportunity of receiving a lifetime achievement award from no less than the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace in order to tend to one of his beloved pet pooches who was ailing, but that he called this Delhi-based marketing guru no less than 11 times to convey his apologies about the same. This delicious nugget of information was conveyed to the general public by none else than the marketing guru in an expensively-shot video interview, where it appears that the sole purpose of the exchange was to convey the guru’s proximity to the statesman.

Eleven calls? As far as image building and marketing of one’s importance is concerned that surely is worth a hell of a lot of moolah and credibility.

Incidentally, the marketing guru who was rumoured to have been out favour ever since his embroilment in the recent #MeToo scandal, is said to be back in favour again with the India Inc leader, perhaps after the latter’s recent embroilment in an unrelated scandal.

As they say: Friends in need are friends indeed.

Overheard

“India mein depression concept hee kahan hota hai (Who understands depression in India)? Nobody knows about it and in Meerut, certainly not. I had no one to talk to, felt almost constant chid-chidapan (irritation).

-Former Indian fast bowler Praveen Kumar on his tryst with depression recently

Cover of Jairam Ramesh’s book on VK Menon.
Cover of Jairam Ramesh’s book on VK Menon.

To Krishna ji, with love

We cannot be more thrilled about the launch of Jairam Ramesh’s ‘A Chequered Brilliance: The Many Lives of VK Krishna Menon’ this evening in Mumbai. After all, the towering intellectual, politician and close aide of Jawaharlal Lal Nehru, widely believed to be the second-most powerful man in India of his time, had been a close friend of the family, someone who’d been present at the hospital on the day we had been born!

Krishnaji, as we fondly referred to the acerbic and towering intellect, had been a leitmotif of our growing years, a man deeply admired and loved by our parents for his brilliance and warmth. A product of Chennai’s Presidency College, and later the London School of Economics (where Harold Laski is said to have described him as the best student he ever had), Menon had been a controversial figure, one who had been as vilified as he had been admired. As India’s defence minister, he had laid the foundation for its relations with neighbours such as China, and as a diplomat, he is said to have been the architect of India’s foreign policy in the sixties and the seventies.

But for us, Menon had been a familiar figure, a tall and handsome intellectual whose visits to our home had been frequent, and whose love for children much celebrated. My parents, along with the likes of barrister Rajni Patel, film stars Dilip Kumar and Sunil Dutt, and professionals such as Dr Borges, had rallied to Menon’s side when he’d fought and won as a candidate for North Bombay in two hotly contested Lok Sabha elections. We had been barely a few years old then, but we still recall the ideological fervour that his candidacy had invoked. Later, he had gone on to stand from other constituencies in Bengal and Kerala, but his campaign in Mumbai was forever etched in the city’s discourse.

Incidentally, with his proximity to Nehruvian principles, his Keralite background, his performance at the United Nations, and his contribution to the world of literature and letters – could there be any more similarities to a certain Mr Shashi Tharoor?

Perhaps Tharoor is just the Menon of this Gen. And you only have to know of our regard for the late statesman to understand what a compliment that is!