Malavika’s Mumbaistan: The Blues Come to Town

Published on Nov 29, 2018 12:51 AM IST

Word comes in that bon vivant restaurateur, Rishi Acharya, is on to his latest enterprise for SoBo’s young and restless

Rishi Acharya with singer Kanika Kapoor
Rishi Acharya with singer Kanika Kapoor
ByMalavika Sangghvi

He sees himself as something of an Indian version of Italian racing and nightclub tycoon Flavio Briatore, and to be sure, given Mumbai-based Rishi Acharya’s penchant for partying and jet-setting on PJs and luxury yachts around the world, the comparison is not unfounded. Now, word comes in that the bon vivant restaurateur who created some of the city’s popular watering holes and nightclubs, such as Ra, Tryst and EXO, is on to his latest enterprise for SoBo’s young and restless. This time, it will be a Thai and Japanese eatery located at the mouth of Breach Candy in Acharya’s erstwhile lounge, Doppio, which had launched two years ago and attracted the likes of Aaditya Thackeray, Alia Bhatt, Sonam Kapoor and Ranbir Kapoor amongst others. “I’ve tied up with the suburb’s talented couple Chef Seefah and Karan, who run the hugely popular The Blue in Bandra, to bring their delicious Far East Asian cuisine to town,” said Acharya, fresh back from spending the festive season in Dubai and London. “We have redone the lounge, given it a more restaurant feel and food tastings have been going on all week.” To be called SOI 69, the eatery will open its door to the public next weekend. And, what is the world-traveling gourmand looking forward to relishing himself at SOI 69? “Without doubt the Maki rolls and Thai curries,” he says.


Much has been said about the vagaries of fate and the roll of dice on the snakes and ladders checker board we call life which renders people helpless to changes. One day on top of the world, the next day down; one season, best friends, the next, sworn enemies… and so on and so forth. Who can predict what will happen next? So, no surprises that this high-flying financial wiz, whose meteoric rise was said to have gone straight to their head and whose pictures once adorned the pink papers regularly, is said to be reeling under the impact of a recent fortune reversal. Ever since regulators rapped their knuckles, not too long ago, calling their leadership abilities into question, it has allegedly led to them hitting the bottle in a bid to drown their sorrows. But, what no one expected is that their woes could have led them to seek comfort in the company of one of their sworn enemies, someone whom they had roundly fought tooth and nail till now. “Who would imagine that there would come a day when they and their erstwhile nemesis would be spotted knocking them back together at one of Mumbai’s high-profile clubs, that too during the afternoon?” said a business insider. “Obviously, misfortune makes for strange bedfellows…”


Speaking Up A Storm

Abha Singh
Abha Singh

“You will be happy to know that I have been invited by Columbia University to speak at their prestigious India Dialogues on MeToo and Beyond this week,” said fiery advocate Abha Singh, whose impassioned primetime TV appearances sounding off on a plethora of current events shows have become a staple for couch potatoes and other masochists. The annual India Dialogues, hosted by the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, is a day-long conference involving policy practitioners, academicians, future policy-leaders, media and the Indian diaspora in America , which aims to bring holistic, yet diverse perspectives on the most recent developments and challenges in the country. “It is our privilege to invite you to speak on the topic ‘Sexual Harassment and Corporate Culture in India - Way forward on the Me too movement’,” says the invitation to Singh. And, with some of the other speakers at the conference being the likes of former deputy chairman, Planning Commission of India, Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, and Sandeep Chakravorty, the consulate general of India, New York, we can confidently say Singh will out-speak them by far!

Think Before you Pun

Shekhar Suman at the event (Viral Bhayani)
Shekhar Suman at the event (Viral Bhayani)

As everyone knows, puns are an irresistible form of humour, but not everyone knows how to wield them. Used inappropriately or incorrectly, a pun is a dangerous weapon, most likely to land its user in a soup or what’s worse, with egg all over their face; as erstwhile TV chat show host and motormouth Shekhar Suman came to learn this Tuesday evening at the 12th edition of the high-profile homeopathy doctor, Mukesh Batra’s, Positive Health Awards at the Royal Opera House. Ever since its inception, the Batras have endeavoured to support and recognise the perseverance of real-life heroes who overcome truly challenging circumstances, and this year too, at their well-attended event, the air was rife with positivity and good vibes as celebrity guests like Shatrugan Sinha , Anu Malik, Zayed Khan and Madhoo Shah, came up on stage to commend the winners and hand them trophies. And each of them, from Sinha to Malik to Shah, had thoughtful, considered words of encouragement to offer. Except Suman, who appears to have been inordinately blessed with the gift of the gab. On being called upon to say a few words to one of the awardees, a woman who learnt that she was HIV positive after her marriage to a man who had hidden his illness from her, the actor, who began his speech by saying that he too ought to receive an award (for showing up at the event “all the way from Lokhandwala”) looked at the lady after handing her a trophy and pointing suggestively to the name of the award ‘Positive Health’, quipped, “No pun intended”, (in reference to her being HIV positive!) Not surprising that there was an audible gasp from those in the audience who got what he was trying to say. As we were saying, puns are an irresistible form of humour, but not everyone knows how to wield them.

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