As chief executive of DesiHits, an L.A. music-focused digital media firm, Anjula Acharia-Bath connects pop stars such as Lady Gaga with audiences in India, and Bollywood stars with U.S. fans.

That means the Britain-born Acharia-Bath, 42, who resides in the Hollywood Hills, is constantly on the phone with work contacts and friends from New York to India, and many time zones in between.

But this summer she realized that her phone fixation had gone too far, so she and her husband, Ranj Bath, booked a weekend trip to Rancho Santa Fe with the goal of doing a 48-hour “phone detox.” They left the devices in the glove compartment for good measure.

Acharia-Bath said the experience was extremely positive, and led her to help coordinate a Day of Disconnect on Oct. 4 that had attracted thousands of fans on Facebook as of last week.

“It was really liberating,” she said. “Give yourself a day off and don’t feel guilty about it.”

Had for a Song

Diane Taylor is a former executive at defunct retailer Mervyns who took advantage of an opportunity 17 years ago to buy the Traders Loan and Jewelry pawnshop in Reseda with her husband, Douglas.

And just like at the beginning of cable TV show “Pawn Stars,” Taylor said she never knows what’s going to come through the door.

For example, she once made a six-figure loan on an extremely limited edition watch.

“It was a Ulysses Nardin Conquistador,” she said. “There were only 100 of them made.”

Befitting her experience in the corporate world, the 49-year-old Taylor is serving as president of the California Pawnbrokers Association.

One thing that’s surprised her in her second career has been the way high-end musical instruments hold their value.

Recently, a Stradivarius violin – valued at well over $1 million – came into her shop. And while that’s a once-in-a-lifetime deal, Taylor said she’s learned not to assume anything when struggling musicians show up at her store seeking a short-term loan.

“There are some very expensive guitars out there,” she said.

But that money doesn’t always go toward studio time or for travel to a gig.

“Not everybody tells us why they need it,” Taylor said. “A lot of times it’s ‘medicine.’ ”

Staff reporters Jonathan Polakoff and Matt Pressberg contributed to this column. Page 3 is compiled by editor Charles Crumpley. He can be reached at

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.