Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Young Turk In TownUpdated: Jan 31, 2019 00:57 IST
Tuesday evening saw former south Mumbai MP and erstwhile minister for telecommunications, Milind Deora host an informal dinner for his political colleague and friend, the recently-appointed deputy chief minister of Rajasthan, Sachin Pilot. The event, held at the restaurant of a hotel in BKC, saw a hand-picked turnout of the city’s illustrious denizens, all wanting to be introduced to the Young Turk, part of the Congress’s GenNext and a trusted lieutenant of the Congress party president, a group that includes Jyotiraditya Scindia and Deora amongst others. Deora and film producer-wife, Pooja Shetty played perfect hosts as they introduced the likes of industrialists Adi Godrej, Uday Kotak Prakash and Ashok Hinduja with media moguls like Alex Kuruvilla, Raj Nayak, Rahul Joshi and powerful civil servants like BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta and police commissioner (law and order) Devan Bharti to the visiting politico. Of course, everyone wanted to know what the soft-spoken and dapper Pilot thought about the upcoming general elections and his party’s chances at challenging the status quo. And the dapper alumnus of St Stephens and Wharton, who’d worked at firms like General Motors and BBC before entering politics, seemed at ease talking to various personalities as diverse as Hindustan Unilever’s head honcho Sanjiv Mehta and comedian and TV personality Cyrus Broacha.
Secret Diary Of : A Fly On The Wall
A fly on the wall is very different from a fly in the ointment, but there wasn’t much that flew during the seven crucial minutes or 4,200 seconds of the much-hyped one-on-one meeting between Goa CM Manohar Parrikar and Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi, at the former’s official headquarters in Goa, recently.
What was I doing there? Well, as is my daily practice, after feasting on various delicious dabbas belonging to bureaucrats across the corridors of power, I was hanging upside down on the ceiling of the CM’s office, enjoying my daily siesta. After all, what’s a Goan afternoon without some susegad? Needless to say, I had a vantage view of the proceedings.
To begin with, I could see that the CM was puzzled when, the moment all officials had left the room and they were alone, Gandhi fell silent and began examining Parrikar’s desk from all angles. “Love the design of your desk, Sir,” Rahul said, pointing to the mammoth governmental bureau across which Parrikar was seated. “I have developed a recent fascination for all manner of official governmental furniture. This one appears to be a late 19th century Portuguese design…Err, it doesn’t happen to contain any cabinets for files?”
Parrikar, who up until then had been seated, got up and joined the Congress leader on the other side. “Yes, isn’t it lovely?” he said, perhaps relieved that no controversial issues were being discussed and that his guest was indulging in some harmless PC.
“Of course, it has many cabinets for files. See?” he said, opening various drawers of the impressive bureau. “It can hold so many of them. I keep most of my important files here, though not all of them.”
“Ohh!” Gandhi replied, sounding a bit disappointed. “Why ever not?”
“Oh you know,” said Parrikar. “Confidential and highly-secret documents pertaining to matters of state and old stuff from my previous job like sundry defence deals and the commissioning of weaponry such as aircraft, those files I keep safely in a drawer under my bed at home.”
“How interesting,” said RaGa. “That bed sounds like a fascinating piece of furniture too.”
“Indeed, it is,” said Parrikar. “A solid teak wood four poster with a nice burnt wood polish…Hey, you’re welcome to come and look at it the next time you’re here.”
“Really?! I’m back in Goa next month. Maybe we can schedule a meet at your place to examine it,” Gandhi said.
After which, the two men had parted amicably, promising to meet soon and spend more time examining various pieces of furniture in the CM’s home.
Which is why, when various media outlets reported on how well the meeting had gone and how - nothing pertaining to the Rafale deal had been discussed, they were absolutely right.
What They Say:
“Shashi Tharoor tweets a rare post in Hindi about UP CM Yogi Adityanath’s holy dip at the Kumbh Mela along with his cabinet.”
-Media reports yesterday.
What They Mean:
“It’s the Apocalypse ! The Armageddon! Kalyug! The end of the world is night upon us! Shashi Tharoor is tweeting in Hindi!’
This Tuesday saw best-selling author and motivational speaker Lord Jeffrey Archer along with Cherie Blaire and union minister for aviation Suresh Prabhu attend a reception hosted by businessman-philanthropist Lord Loomba at the Taj Land’s End. Others present had been Nisha JamVwal, a close friend of the author’s, on whom he has written a story, and actor-producer Akbar Khan and erstwhile model Sonu Walia. Following which, Archer, along with the film producer and financier Jeffrey Steiner were hosted at a cozy dinner at the hotel’s chinese eatery, by Nisha and leading Tata executive, Jammy JamVwal. “He’s here for Heads You Win,” said Nisha. “We took him for Chinese as he said he had too much Indian. He loves and adores Jammy and the evening was only about Jammy.”
He was obviously and exception because just that morning, Archer had addressed the students of a city school and had said he was floored by India’s women. “What’s with you Indian women, where are the men?” he’d said in his speech. “I see such strong accomplished women wherever I go.”
“He is looking even more handsome and was as witty as ever, so absolutely sprightly and sparkling,” said Nisha, yesterday even as she braved the traffic on her way to meet the visiting author and friend.
First Published: Jan 31, 2019 00:57 IST