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Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Swede City Women

mumbai Updated: Oct 10, 2018 00:18 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
mumbai news,malavika's mumbaistan,Swede

(from left) Anna Kinberg-Batra, Cecilia Oldne, Barkha Dutt and Vicky Kaushal.

“I am building a network of leading women in various industries. One of my aims is to see more diversity and women in the board rooms in India,” says Noi Cecilia Oldne, the Mumbai-based Swede, who while spearheading Sula Wines as its marketing head, also contributed to the growth of India’s nascent wine industry. Currently touring Mumbai and Bengaluru with the Sweden-India Business Council, Oldne, who calls India her home, met leaders like tech tycoon Vijay Shekhar Sharma and India’s cricket whiz Mithali Raj, before flying into the city yesterday for a networking soirée at Olive, Bandra. In Bengaluru, besides visiting Accenture, Truecaller and the Indian Institute of Science, she had also dropped in along with politician and erstwhile leader of Sweden’s Moderate Party, Anna Kinberg-Batra, to Barkha Dutt’s ongoing We The Women that was unfolding in the city. Described as one of her country’s most powerful politicians, Kinberg-Batra, who is married to Indo-Swede stand-up comedian David Batra, found the women-centric summit “very interesting and inspiring,” and says, her love for India, though originally through a personal connection, had deep- ened. “After writing a book about Indian growth and serving as senior political advisor to the Sweden-India Business Council, I come back again for both businesses – family and pleasure,” she said. “Both being influential power women, I introduced Anna and Barkha to each other,” says Oldne. “This, just after Vicky Kaushal had been on stage. Needless to say, I took the opportunity to introduce myself to him at the same time!”

Of Pickles and Prawns

Vaishali Joshi (left) and chef Hussain cooking at O Pedro.

Besides hosting what they are calling the ‘happiest birthday party’, later this month, the happy people at O Pedro, the popular Goan eatery at BKC, co-founded by chef Floyd Cardoz, are celebrating their first birthday bash with a paean to the spectacular Gaud Saraswat Brahmin (GSB) cuisine of Goa. And, to do this, they have managed to rope in no less than Vaishali Joshi, daughter-in-law of the legendary Prema Joshi, from one of Goa’s oldest and most prominent GSB clans, the Joshi family, based in Vasco Da Gama, where the traditional GSB cuisine has passed down the ages over eight generations, we are informed. “Vaishali trained extensively under her mother in-law, the late Prema Joshi and learnt the inside-outs and finer nuances of the community’s GSB cuisine. Living in Goa, in a joint family with over 20 members, gave her a ready audience for her culinary experiments and a seat at the Joshi table is a much sought-after invitation for those in the know,” says a Goan source. Those who have supped here to great delight have been members of the Mangeshkar family, Zakir Hussain, Sunil Gavaskar, Madhavrao Scindia, Ustad Allah Rakha, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi and Vijaya Mehta amongst others. For her latest collaboration with chef Hussain of O Pedro, Vaishali has brought dishes like green masala prawn loanche – a pickle of baby prawns, zingy green chillies, garlic, lime and cilantro. Crab tondak – mud crabs cooked with a fresh coconut milk and garlic curry and moong saar – the ultimate comfort food, a unique, hot moong soup with black mustard and hing. But, a little known fact is that that O Pedro’s connection to Vaishali and the Joshi family is not limited to this celebration. “When the founders of Bombay Canteen decided to open a Goan restaurant, they spent month’s training in Vaishali’s home kitchen in Goa, slowly putting an authentic menu together. So, it’s only fitting that she is now cooking as part of their anniversary celebrations a year later,” informs our source.

True Lies
The grapevine is buzzing with stories that suggest that the high-profile banking icon, whose career went pear-shaped recently, is perhaps more teflon-coated than hitherto suspected. How so? “Well, given the way things went and the cloud of suspicion that hangs over their head, you would imagine that they would conduct themselves with extraordinary circumspection in the current scenario,” says a corporate source, adding, “But the grapevine is rife with rumours that in fact, even as we speak, they are in the process of acquiring new assets to add to their personal property, and are negotiating to buy an additional apartment in the high-profile building they reside in.” And how does he know this? “Well, the owner of the said apartment was overheard discussing it at a recent event,” said the source. “And, unlike the beleaguered banker, he appears to be a bit more circumspect saying, he was concerned that any such high-end transactions right now would attract media scrutiny and unwanted attention.” Indeed!

Mother Love

Lisa Ray with her daughters and niece (right).

“Motherhood is like drilling into your heart. It’s also like trying to change your clothes in the middle of a roller coaster ride – new skills all the way. There’s a new level of anarchy and love in my life now, but also a fullness that’s hard to describe,” wrote the lovely Lisa Ray, model, actress and now, mother to two beautiful daughters, Sufi and Soleil, who she had through surrogacy with her husband, businessman Jason Dehni last month. Ray, whose fans admire her, not only for her striking good looks, but also for the courage with which she faced and triumphed over her cancer, appears to be completely smitten with her bundles of joy. “Bear with me. It’s going to be a Sufi and Soleil exclusive engagement for the next few months. They are my obsession, my rossogollas, my teachers, my mystics, all wrapped in adorable, charismatic, wilful, pooing packages,” she posted on social media, as fair warning for the mommy-infatuation. But there was no need to, with so much eye candy and cuteness on view, no one really was complaining.

First Published: Oct 10, 2018 00:17 IST