The Slayer of Evil
Tyeb Mehtas 'Durga Mahishasura Mardini' is that rare work - a painting by the master that has never been seen before. Gaurav Bhatia, Managing Director of Sotheby's India, noticed it in the home of his father's friend in Kolkata and realised its value. This one of a kind work of art forms is the centre piece of Sotheby's first auction in India in December. Mehta painted it while at Shantiniketan in West Bengal when he could see Durga everywhere in the aftermath of the 1992/93 riots in Mumbai while he was in Shantiniketan. So there she is, wrapped in white, referencing the colours of the Indian flag, in a work that is as powerful as it is timely. Mehta's work does well in auctions. In May 2017, a new world record was established for him when his 'Woman on Rickshaw' was sold for `22.9 crore by Christie's in London - also becoming the most expensive work of South Asian art sold globally last year.
Darshan Mehta, President and Chief Executive of Reliance Brands which has partnered with international brands including Ermenegildo Zegna, Diesel, and Kenneth Cole to open stores, is a man who has his finger on the pulse of the Indian luxury market. He's upbeat that more than 50 per cent of luxury sales will come from countries outside the western economy this year. This explains why brands are reinventing to appeal to younger people. "The younger man is looking for Zegna's craftsmanship updated with modern techniques in the form of classic fibres like merino wool so the millennial can wear the machine-washable Zegna suit because he couldn't be bothered to send it for dry cleaning," he says. Food
This really is the highest a restaurant can go. Vineet Bhatia takes modern Indian food to the base camp of Mount Everest in a pop-up in June. Ten lucky diners will be chosen by an auction and the proceeds will go to Heart for India Foundation, which was started by Princess Francoise Sturdza (who happens to be married to Shantaram author Gregory David Roberts). The Michelin-starred chef is both "nervous" and "excited" about cooking up there.
The Rajasthan Connect
Bvlgaris Lucia Silvestri has been designing jewellery for the brand for the past 35 years. But ever wondered where her beautiful gems, which have become the hallmark of Bvlgari's collections, come from? Well, mostly India and Sri Lanka. She calls herself the Indiana Jones of precious stones. And it is clear that the self-proclaimed "treasure hunter's" recent travels in Rajasthan - Jaipur and Udaipur - have found a resonance in her new Festa collection. Beverage
Araku Coffee produced by 150-odd tribal communities in Andhra Pradesh's Maoist belt is now selling in Paris's trendy Marais region. It's been possible through the Naandi Foundation led by Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra & Mahindra; Kris Gopalakrishnan, Co-founder, Infosys; Satish Reddy, Chairman, Dr Reddy's Laboratories; and Rajendra Prasad Maganti, Chairman, Soma Enterprise, a construction company. The first store in Rue de Bretagne in Paris is to be followed by stores in New York and Tokyo.