U.S. Consulate Mumbai Celebrates U.S. Independence Day

Consul General Edgard Kagan welcomes the Chief Guest, Maharashtra Chief Secretary Sumit Mullick
Consul General Edgard Kagan welcomes the Chief Guest, Maharashtra Chief Secretary Sumit Mullick

Mumbai: Last night the U.S. Consulate General Mumbai held a belated celebration of the 241st anniversary of U.S. independence at a prominent city hotel in South Mumbai.  Chief Guest Maharashtra Chief Secretary Sumit Mullick joined newly-arrived U.S. Consul General Edgard Kagan in marking the special occasion.  The evening featured a “night of jazz” theme to celebrate the holiday, as well as mark 70 years of diplomatic relations with an independent India.

 

Reflecting upon the 70th anniversary of the U.S.-Indian bilateral relationship, Consul General Edgard Kagan said, “I am grateful to Mumbaikars for the incredibly warm welcome that I have received over this last week.  I am fortunate to arrive in Mumbai at a time when our bilateral relationship has never been stronger, and I believe that the U.S.-Indian relationship will continue to thrive based on our rich people-to-people relationships and our shared commitment to democracy, freedom, and common values.”

 

The event commemorated the adoption of the United States’ Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 and the country’s 241-year history as the world’s oldest democracy.  As India is the world’s largest democracy, guests celebrated the common commitment to democratic values and freedoms and the shared future made possible through an ever closer U.S.-Indian friendship—or #USIndiaDosti.

 

The Consulate's Marine Corps detachment presents the colors to honor the United States and those who have served the country
The Consulate’s Marine Corps detachment presents the colors to honor the United States and those who have served the country

In honor of the United States’ Independence Day, a U.S. Marine Corps Color Guard rendered military honors to the United States and those who have served, followed by the Indian and U.S. national anthems sung a cappella by American and Indian employees from the U.S. Consulate.  In keeping with the event’s “night of jazz,” guests were treated to jazz music as they walked a red carpet while entering the venue, and to jazz standards performed by a band throughout the evening.

Bipasha Basu Launches The Great Indian Wedding Book 4th Edition

Atul Pandey, Publisher and celebrated film actress Bipasha Basu launching “The Great Indian Wedding Book” fourth edition in Kitty Su at The Lalit Mumbai Hotel
Atul Pandey, Publisher and celebrated film actress Bipasha Basu launching “The Great Indian Wedding Book” fourth edition in Kitty Su at The Lalit Mumbai Hotel

India’s singular limited edition coffee table book on luxury weddings  “The Great Indian Wedding Book” fourth edition was launched by celebrated leading film actress Bipasha Basu at Kitty Su, one of the finest night club in The Lalit Hotel, Mumbai on august 9th, 2017. The event was attended by some of the best names of wedding Industry from across India apart from who is who of Mumbai.

The coffee table book showcases the transformation of the entire wedding landscape over the last 4 decades. It celebrates the fusion of tradition and luxury in India’s omnipresent wedding business and provides a comprehensive insight for brides and grooms-to-be. Trousseau, souvenirs, invitations, cuisine and destinations blend together in a symphony to compose your wedding orchestra in harmony and unravel the key ingredients of a dream wedding.

The book provides a glimpse to every aspect of a wedding to make sure it is a true extension of the couple’s reflections and values. With the personalized hand crafted cover designed by the force to reckon with in the global design world, Ceci Johnson, New York. The readers will be fervent to float through the opera inside this curated bible. Special insights from the treasure troves of the industry veterans like Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla, JJ Vallaya, Neeta Lulla, Anita Dongre, Manish Arora, Tarun Tahliani, Sephi Bergerson, Joseph Radhik, Nicole Smith, Vandana Mohan, Chef Manish Mehrotra, Ravish Kapoor Invitations, The Wedding Story, Rose Group, Amrapali, Anmol Jewels, Ganjam, Jaipur Jewels, MarryMe Weddings, Wedniksha, WED Gurus, Wedding Design Company, Vivaah, ET Weddings makes the edition all-encompassing.

Management team of The Lalit Hotel Mumbai at the The Great Indian Wedding Book L to R Parimal Sawant Executive Chef, Manish Sodhi General Manager, Ankur saluja F&B Manager and Vishal Dudeja Manager Public Relation
Management team of The Lalit Hotel Mumbai at the The Great Indian Wedding Book L to R Parimal Sawant Executive Chef, Manish Sodhi General Manager, Ankur saluja F&B Manager and Vishal Dudeja Manager Public Relation

“The Real Weddings” section of the book features the GVK- Reddy wedding, Yes Bank’s Radha Kapoor’s wedding and the Scindhia clan wedding, with so many eminent real brides speaking for the very first time about their own wedding experience and doling out their best wedding-planning advice.

Bipasha Basu celebrated actress while launching the book said, “This book will be the anchor at every stage for those desirous of making their big day a magnum opus. A wedding is an amalgamation of curated ideas and the checklist is endless. When I got married, it felt like I was prepping for another film to be honest. And now it has been such a wonderful journey together. I wish the same happiness to all the readers of this amazing book, who may be getting married soon”

Atul Pandey, Publisher, The Great Indian Wedding Book added on, “With another wedding season setting in, we put on a dramatic concoction, encompassing every aspect of the Great Indian Wedding with well curated information from the industry’s forerunners, that the readers can implement to make their weddings an affair to remember! Today, the new age couples are now ready to personalize every aspect of their big day. The fourth edition of The Great Indian Wedding Book helps you best navigate the hassles pertaining to curating and executing your wedding.” The Great Indian Wedding Book is priced at Rs 5,000/- and is available across all leading book stores for prospective buyers.

Prachi Tandon, Project Head The Great Indian Wedding Book with celebrated film actress Bipasha Basu at book launch
Prachi Tandon, Project Head The Great Indian Wedding Book with celebrated film actress Bipasha Basu at book launch

Manish Sodhi, General Manager The Lalit Hotel Mumbai said “The launch of Great Indian Wedding Book at Kitty Su was an prestigious event not only for The Lalit Mumbai but for all fun loving people of Mumbai. Kitty Su istruly a mix of both worlds’s which is seen in Mumbai, and over all translates the concept of “Treasure in Trash” that the city of Mumbai is known for. This inimitable vision is the brain child of Keshav Suri, in giving the elite what they deserve, and that is indulgence. The vision has been translated by the renowned Architecture Cabinet Bobby Mukherjee & Associates and executed by The Lalit project team”.

Veteran Actor Dharmendra ji spotted during the dubbing of his first International Short film ‘Dreamcatcher’

Dharmendra dubbing his shortfilm Dreamcatcher - (MM News/Kabeer)
Dharmendra dubbing his shortfilm Dreamcatcher – (MM News/Kabeer)
Dharmendra at the recording studio to dub his short film 'Dreamcatcher'
Dharmendra at the recording studio to dub his short film ‘Dreamcatcher’

It is a day to set the celebration in the right tone for story telling through audio-video medium. The entertainment content viewer will see it happening, and happening soon on their digital screen from the person who is been in Industry for more than 6 decades and seen all the colors and evolution of Indian Film industry right from the time of Black & White Film era to Digital content with emerging of new platform. From more than 3 hours long movies to unique storm of Short Film, a lesser duration content to entertain people, Dharmendra. The film also has an underlying message and caters for/to the viewers, which is quite relevant to today’s time and its kaleidoscopic virtual realities. The short film, ‘Dreamcatcher’ has another uniqueness that it is a collaboration of Indian and Australian film making companies having actors from Australia Travis Jeffery and Pooja Priyanka who is an Ex-Miss Fiji. Today with the completion of dubbing Dharmendra as an actor, a work well taken up and completed with his phenomenal touch, it was surely a reason to celebrate along with the crew of the short film, ‘Dreamcatcher.’ On the occasion Dharmendra mentioned that, Daughters are as special to their Fathers as Fathers are to them. A Father is every Daughter’s 1st hero, No matter where she is, A Father will always be a Guardian to her, because “Daughters are forever!” 

Director Santoshh Shivamm feeling content and excitedly said, I’m sure Dharam Ji featuring in a short film carries not only uniqueness but thoughtfulness, too. As a Director, I needed authentication from a senior like Dharam ji’s stature, a legend for this, and lesser duration format. Short films need nurturing and responsible storytelling. It is a blessing that I got this opportunity to work with a living legend. Today is surely a Day and we are working day/night to complete the film since it is a story of techno savvy father with the help of science decodes, that we can have a control on. The Music Composer Rahul B Seth who is also the writer of this project was present at the occasion to provide his part in the dubbing said, being a father to a daughter myself; I always experience feelings of extreme protectiveness & Guardianship towards her. This is exactly what is conveyed in the Narrative, Dialogues, Music & Lyrics of the film “Dreamcatcher”, where a father is shown to go to any lengths, just to be sure that no harm comes to his daughter with respect to the choices she makes in Life. In collaboration with the Australian company and having his maiden venture with this short film, Anurag Prasad the co-producer of Dreamcatcher also mentioned that, “Men need to come forward and participate; it is not only the fight alone for females it is also a Men’s part/duty. So here is this story as a short film featuring Dharam ji and we are here together to tell it to the world, to do something! We thank our writers Rahul B Seth and director Santoshh Shivamm. I’m a new to industry as Producer and in his entire magnanimity of Dharam Ji, obliged to him working in my first venture. ‘Dreamcatcher’ is a short film that will send out a strong message, the protectiveness and concerned father, a guardian; who would go to any length in order to make sure his daughter never gets hurt in her life and there is a surprise i.e., how?

Prof Dhiren Patel appointed as Acting Pro VC of Mumbai University

Prof. Dhiren Patel is appointed as Acting VC of Varsity
Prof. Dhiren Patel is appointed as Acting VC of Varsity

The Governor of Maharashtra and Chancellor of Universities in the Maharashtra State Ch Vidyasagar Rao today appointed Prof Dhiren Patel, Director Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) as the Acting Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of Mumbai. Prof. Patel is currently the Director of the VJTI and will look after the work of the University in addition to his own duties as Director of VJTI.

Prof Patel will hold the post of Pro VC till the completion of the work of declaration of results of the various exams held by the University in March, April this year or for a maximum period of three months whichever is earlier.

It may be noted that the University of Mumbai faces an unprecedented crisis with the delayed results which may be one of the reason for appointment of Pro VC. The post of the Pro-VC at the university has been vacant for the last three years.

A highly placed source in the Mumbai University on the condition of anonymity said  “Patel’s appointment was made considering his expertise in computers being a computer engineer. The university needs someone who can tackle systemic delays and glitches at this point.

Singer Arman Malik visits his Alma Mater UPG College

Armaan Malik clicking selfies with his Students fans
Armaan Malik clicking selfies with his Students fans
Armaan Malik with students and faculties of UPG
Armaan Malik with students and faculties of UPG

On this Friendship’s Day, singer Armaan Malik paid a surprise visit to his college Usha Pravin Gandhi College of Management (UPG). The UPG college is located in Vile Parle, a western suburban of Mumbai, He celebrated the day with the students and professors.All the students and faculties were thrilled to see popular singer entering college and spending time with them. 

 

Armaan spent time with his professors, who are not only proud of him but also cheered him for his achievements. Armaan visited his class rooms and canteen, acknowledged most of the students with selfies and pictures. He chatted away with students and shared his memories of his college days. 

 

On his visit to his college Arman Malik said “I possibly can never forget the day I stepped into college for the very first time and how it left me with a plethora of emotions.” 

 He further added “My first week in college was very interesting. I made a lot of friends in the first week itself. I’m still in touch with most of them today. The real essence of college life dawned on me when I realized that we could actually NOT attend class and just sit around doing our own thing”. 

 

Arman also said “My advice for freshers would be to take each day as it comes. It’ an amazing phase of your life so have fun and Play Hard, but never forget to Work Hard. There has to be a balance”.

Thane collectorate destroyed 14 illegal sand hoods

JCB machines in action to destroy sand hoods in Motha Gaon in Thakurli area in Thane district
JCB machines in action to destroy sand hoods in Motha Gaon in Thakurli area in Thane district

Thane collectorate is up in arms against illegal sand mafias, leaving no stone unturned to control them for their illegal sand mine activities. On Tuesday morning, the officials from Thane collectorate swung in to action and destroyed 14 sand hoods (Hoods are meant to keep sand stocks) at Motha village which is located in Thakurli area of Thane district. Several JCB machines were used to destroy hoods.  

 

There were many complaints from local residents about illegal sand mining activities. Keeping larger view of public complaints and to curb illegal sand mining, The Collector of Thane ordered immediate action of destroying all hoods.

 

The drive for destroying commenced on Tuesday morning and continued till evening. The officials from Thane Collectorate, Police team from Vishnu Nagar Police station, officials from Maharashtra Maritime Board came together and destroyed 14 hoods in which sand was stored. The sand mafia wouldn’t be able to store sands in that area. The demolition team was headed by Sub Divisional Officer (SDO) Prasad Ukarde, Nayab Tahsildar Abhijit Khole and other officials.

 

Dr. Mahendra Kalyankar – Collector of Thane district said “The demolition drive will also continue tommorw till the last hood is demolished”.

Hoteliers lose MICE business due to unavailability of ITC under GST

Rishi Puri, Vice President, Lords Hotels & Resorts

The hoteliers are facing tough time to conduct Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events (MICE) business due to newly implemented Goods & Services Tax (GST). Most of the tour operators (businesses) are not confirming their pre booked MICE events. The tour operatos are in dilemma as they would not receive Input Tax Credit (ITC) under the GST outside of their GST registered states.

 

One of the senior officials from leading Event Management Company on the condition of anonymity said “MICE events are organised two to three years in advance. We block the venues by paying token deposit which comes out to Rs 5 to 10 Lakh per event. Due to non clarity on ITC, we are not confirming any bookings for pre-booked MICE events in many hotels. We are in do or die situation as we are not confirming our bookings with hotels, so our deposit will be forefitted to the tune of Rs 70 to 80 laks”.

 

One of the General Manager of leading hotel in Mumbai on the condition of anonymity said “We were doing good business in last few months but suddenly MICE business is stopped as many tour operators are sitting idol on MICE bookings. Not only tour operators but we are also at loss as we refused bookings for particular days to other guest as we were pre-booked by event managers. Now they are on cancelling spree and we are also feeling heat”.     

   

Rishi Puri, Vice President, Lords Hotels & Resorts highlighted on MICE issue said “Businesses or enterprises hold MICE events in different regions because those regions may be their markets or they may have some strategic tie-ups there. To host MICE or related events becomes necessary for such enterprises to conduct their business without having to operate from that particular region. In not being able to receive an Input Tax Credit (ITC) under the Goods & Services Tax (GST) will act as a deterrent in conducting such a practice which is directly bad for business. Not only is it bad business for one such enterprise but it’s bad for the hospitality industry too”.

 

Puri further elaborated “We have been receiving enquiries for hosting MICE and on realizing that they won’t receive the ITC, in case where they are registered in a different State, they are not confirming it. We have lost on approximately 8 per cent MICE bookings since the beginning of the month. We have invested quite a lot in installing state of the art equipment and infrastructure for hosting MICE at our hotels. Loosing potential business because of this ITC anomaly will translate into big losses for us. We feel that the Government may have overlooked this aspect while charting out the GST for hospitality. We hope that it is reconsidered and a provision be made so that all affected stakeholders continue to carry on conducting business as usual”.

Sofitel Mumbai’s – Jyran restaurant wins award in Vietnam

Award winning Jyran - Tandoor Dining & Lounge in Sofitel Mumbai BKC
Award winning Jyran – Tandoor Dining & Lounge in Sofitel Mumbai BKC

Jyran – Tandoor Dining & Lounge, one of the prominent signature restaurant at Sofitel Mumbai BKC’s, has won the best Luxury Hotel Restaurant in the Regional Category and best Indian Cuisine in the Country Category. The awards are known to inspire excellence based on culinary and memorable experiences from outstanding atmosphere and service. The spectacular awards night was held in Vietnam.  

In a spectacular awards night, World Luxury Restaurant Awards unveiled the best restaurants in the world from a list of 81 categories. The award night saw over 180 guests from more than 50 countries in a dazzling evening of luxury, glamour and style.

Over 1,00,000 voters brought the winners for the award night voicing their opinions on the deserving 1,000 entrants of these accolades. Apart from voting, a multitude of factors came into play for evaluating the winners, which included brand, location, overall guest satisfaction from online reviews, services and facilities, design and menu offerings. Luxury establishments from around the globe participated in these exciting awards, to present to the world what they have to offer in terms of luxury and excellence.

It may be noted that Sofitel Mumbai BKC unveiled Jyran – Tandoor Dining & Lounge, in 2012 in the heart of the city. It has now become a leading destination in Mumbai’s culinary circuit, adding a new dimension to its nightlife. Jyran in Persian translates to “Lost Love” and is a name symbolic of hope, new beginnings and emotions that follow a deep and moving experience. Inspired from the Northwest Indian Frontier Province, a land of warriors and poets, the restaurant’s décor and cuisine has been designed with celebration and drama in mind. An eclectic restaurant by day, the elegant ambiance transforms into a stylish lounge by night.

Biswajit Chakroborty, General Manager, Sofitel Mumbai BKC said, “We are extremely delighted to win in two categories for Jyran in this prestigious global award. Over the years we have received some excellent reviews and feedback for the culinary experience we offer at our signature restaurant. Our teams have given special attention to detail not only in menu creation, but also in innovating the ambiance and I would like to thank our chefs and service staff for their contribution in adding another feather to Jyran’s hat with this award.”