Abhishek's Cape Caper

"The crowd just went wild when they saw him," said our friend, director Farah Khan, newly returned from the Marrakech film festival, where she, along with her 'Happy New Year' team had been honoured, and where she’d rubbed shoulders with Jeremy Irons (who she says asked if he could be in her next movie!)

It was her HNY star Abhishek Bachchan and his effect on the audience that Khan had been referring to. We’d remarked about Junior B’s pillar-box red cape, which appeared just the right shade of fabulousness.
“Haha! You got to hear what happened,” guffawed Khan.

Jeremy Irons with Farah Khan
Jeremy Irons with Farah Khan

“The airline lost Abhishek’s suitcases. So last minute he had to shop for formal wear for the award ceremony,” said Farah.

Boman Irani, Farah Khan and Abhishek Bachchan on the red carpet of Marrakech film festival
Boman Irani, Farah Khan and Abhishek Bachchan on the red carpet of Marrakech film festival

“And of course, because he’s anything but your average size, the designer suit he bought didn’t fit too well. To cover it up, the organisers gave him the red cape. Little did we realise that it was something of a national dress!” said Farah. “So when he made his entrance, the audience went wild and roared in approval.”

Nice!

The Ustads and the Queen
By now, everyone knows what a success the trio of sarod maestros, Amjad Ali Khan and his two sons Ayaan and Amaan, were in Oslo. In fact, it was these pages to which they had spoken from the venue, of their sense of honour to be invited to play at the prestigious Nobel ceremony.

(From left) Ayaan Ali Khan, Amjad Ali Khan, Queen Latifah and Amaan Ali Khan(From left) Ayaan Ali Khan, Amjad Ali Khan, Queen Latifah and Amaan Ali Khan

And to our mind, this picture of the three extraordinarily handsome musicians with the vivacious and equally attractive rapper, songwriter, singer and actress Queen Latifah, is certainly one for the archives.
How about some jugalbandi back home, guys?

Well-attended nuptials
The standing joke in ace hospitality wiz Rishi Acharya’s life had been ‘let’s see how many people you host at your own wedding!’

After all, the desi Flavio Briatore has built a formidable reputation of attracting the best and brightest to his clubs, Tryst and Exo.

Adar and Natasha Poonawalla
Adar and Natasha Poonawalla

And living up to expectations last weekend, the Acharya nuptials held at the Palladium saw a host of movers and shakers beating a path to greet Acharya and his bride Suman.

Rishi Acharya
Rishi Acharya

“There was a traffic jam all the way to Haji Ali,” says a guest. “From Akash Ambani to the Mallyas both father and son to the Adanis of Ahmedabad and the Poonawallas they were all there!”

And to add to the festivities, we hear that the after party in Goa went swimmingly well too.

Happy New Year
Move over Goa, it’s Dubai now, which is the New Year Party place of preference.

And whereas Vijay Mallya’s sprawling beachfront Bali-inspired Kingfisher villa had until quite recently been the place where the country’s top industrialists, socialites and film folk party would gather, Dubai appears to be the new go-to place to bring in the New Year, with the Ruias, Sandesaras and Allanas heading there.

And according to sources, one of the big-ticket parties will be hosted by the Vaswanis at their mansion at Emirates Hills (replete with a private night club, casino and 100-car parking space) for around 300 guests. And lastly, SRK is also rumoured to be bringing in the New Year at his home at the Palms in Dubai.

Maybe it’s the ‘Happy New Year’ effect at work?

Art Attack
Often we have wondered about what the artist (or his family) actually feels in the midst of some of the more highfalutin fatuous flattery he receives, after he becomes successful and his work starts selling for millions.

Tyeb Mehta’s painting ‘Falling Figure’ used as a backdrop during the performance by flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia at Christie’s auction
Tyeb Mehta’s painting ‘Falling Figure’ used as a backdrop during the performance by flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia at Christie’s auction

Remember, these are people who have often spent their whole lives wrestling with their inner demons alone in front of a canvas. Their success has often been hard won, and in many cases, they are aware that it is for the wrong reasons or has come too late.

Many times, they have to watch, as the swirling crowds of bright, shiny people at their exhibitions are more concerned about the price of the painting or social one-upmanship, than about it’s meaning or what it stands for.

Well, this cryptic message sent by Delhi-based photographer and artist Ram Rahman (whose family has been profoundly steeped in the arts for decades) kind of sums it up.

Sent on Facebook to his friend Yusuf, son of the late Tyeb Mehta, who had spent his life far from the madding crowds, dedicated to his art, it refers to a photograph from a promotional event of the recent Christie’s auction, where Mehta’s iconic ‘Falling Figure’ was used as a backdrop for a performance by flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia.

‘Yusuf Mehta you know of this?’ wrote Rahman. ‘Looks like a digital print. Looks like a Christies event. From Shivaji Park’s ‘Artists Against Communalism’ to this!! Sad’

A reminder to art lovers to never forget that when they judge the value of a painting, the painting is judging their value too.

Pretty girls in a row
And looking like an ad for shampoo is this bevy of beauties, who gathered at the Dodhy Worli residence on Wednesday night to bring in jewellery designer Queenie’s birthday.

(From left) Suchitra Pillai, Queenie Dodhy, Sharmilla Khanna and Kaykasshan Patel
(From left) Suchitra Pillai, Queenie Dodhy, Sharmilla Khanna and Kaykasshan Patel

“It was a chilled out fun evening with lots of Queenie’s closest friends like Suchitra Pillai, Kaykasshan Patel, Madhoo Anand, and Tanaz Doshi, amongst others,” says Sharmilla Khanna, one of the birthday girl’s oldest friends.

“There was an awesome dinner spread with mutton roast, salmon, amazing salads, yummy desserts like chocolate and peanut butter cake and Queenie’s famous apple crumble!” she says. “It was more like a girl’s night out, than a formal party,” she adds.

You know how the song goes, ‘Girls just wanna have fun...’

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