All wired up

Wall-to-wall glamour marked the seventh anniversary of GQ India this Saturday, which saw the likes of Akshay Kumar, Deepika Padukone, Leander Paes, Rahul Bose, Rajkumar Hirani, Rohit Sharma, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, and Shahid Kapoor receive awards in the various Men of The Year categories.

The star-studded awards presentation stayed true to the futuristic 'Wired' theme, highlighting the online, digitally connected world we live in (was it falling in line with you-know-who's big night out in Silicon Valley which was underway across the globe at that very moment?).

Shahid Kapoor at GQ India’s 7th anniversary celebrations during the Men of the Year Awards 2015
Shahid Kapoor at GQ India's 7th anniversary celebrations during the Men of the Year Awards 2015

In fact, Global Indian of the Year Vivek Ranadivé mentioned that he'd passed up a seat at Modi's dinner with Silicon heavyweights to be present at the ceremony because 'he never missed an opportunity to visit the city of his growing years.'

Akshay Kumar
Akshay Kumar

As for the best acceptance speech, winners of the Agent of Social Change: Madhav Chavan, the man behind Pratham, dedicated to empowerment through education for the disfranchised, and Philanthropist of The Year: Rahul Bose, hit the right notes bringing just the right amount of gravitas to what would other wise be an evening of unmitigated eye candy.

Tea for Two
Members of a SoBo club were surprised to see Peter Mukerjea and his son Rahul drop in for a cup of tea on the lawns of their favourite urban retreat.

Rahul Mukerjea and Peter Mukerjea
Rahul Mukerjea and Peter Mukerjea

The father and son duo seemed quite at ease and none would have guessed that they had been the subjects of such intense scrutiny not even a month ago.

However when they noticed that they had become the cynosure of discreet but curious attention, the duo chose to relocate themselves to the relatively quieter bar area.

So after chai pe charchas with the Khar police, good to know that Peter is now bonding with his son. As they say, life goes on...

Showman Kapoors
Yesterday marked the birthday of not one, but two members of the flamboyant Kapoor clan — that of Bollywood's Rockstar Ranbir Kapoor and his aunt, Raj Kapoor's youngest daughter, Rima Jain.

Ranbir Kapoor with the birthday cakes and Ranbir, Rima Jain and Neetu Kapoor
Ranbir Kapoor with the birthday cakes and Ranbir, Rima Jain with Neetu Kapoor

And while Ranbir brought in his big day on the sets of Karan Johar's latest directional outing Ae Dil Hai Mushkil in London, Rima chose a quieter celebration amongst family and friends. After all, her birthday followed on the heels of her celebrated Ganpati Visarjan (she keeps the Ganpati for the full period with daily pujas).

On a visit to partake in the puja this year, we had spotted a slew of famous industry faces like Krishna Kapoor, Neelam Kapoor, Gauri Khan and Mana Shetty. And though we could not make it for the actual immersion, the likes of NCP's Supriya with husband, businessman Sadanand Sule, lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani with fashionista wife Haseena, along with friends of Rima's elder son actor Armaan Jain (who is looking very dashing indeed after some serious hours at the gym).

Winding its way through the thronging crowds and traffic this group ended up, as usual, at Chowpatty, replete with clashing cymbals and hearty singing. Not for nothing are the Kapoors known as the original showbiz clan.

A paean to Parsis
Last Friday we made our way to BKC's newest foodie gem AD and Sabina Singh's tribute to Parsis — the SodaBottleOpenerWala.

'Rules' of the restaurant Sodabottleopenerwala and AD Singh
'Rules' of the restaurant Sodabottleopenerwala and AD Singh

Though we had missed the big hundred-people launch party the night before, the smaller preview for AD's friends and family more than made up for it. Located in a smallish space overlooking the swish buildings that now make up Bandra-Kurla, the restaurant is a contemporary take on the celebrated Irani cafe.

The design is quirky (an AV features Cyrus Broacha and other famous Parsis); neatly chalked are the eatery's 'rules' of the restaurant ('no asking recipe', 'no talking to cashier', 'no combing hair' and our favourite, 'no flirting') and there is also a functioning jukebox (the only one of three in Mumbai) filled with hits by Freddy Mercury (a famously reluctant Parsi) and his ilk; but for all its brilliant ambience, the creation of Sabina Singh's Soda's triumph is its food. Goan Sausage pav, eggs Kejriwal and Berry Pulav; the food is absolutely scrumptious and will ensure customers keep coming back long after the novelty of the delightful interior wears off.

"We waited until we got the food down to perfection," says AD when we enquired why he had taken so long to bring Soda to Mumbai after its success in Delhi and Bangalore. "It's here where customers know what the real thing should taste like, having eaten at Brittania and Jimmy Boy's all their life," said the serial restaurateur who has had almost half-a-dozen launches in the past month alone. "Soda's real test is to be successful in Mumbai," he said. And with cozy atmo, the delish food and the prices low — this one's got legs, dikra.

In a league of his own
He's always known as a perfectionist and the title of 'world's best hotelier' sits easily on Bikki Oberoi's sturdy shoulders, so when word comes in that the ultimate hospitality czar has decreed that his prestigious Oberoi hotel in Delhi will be closed for business for almost eighteen long months next year for its long overdue renovation, industry insiders were aghast at the thought of the revenue losses this would incur.

Not Bikki. "I would never allow my guests to reside in what will be more or less a building site during the renovations," he is alleged to have said. "That's unthinkable at the Oberoi and highly disrespectful to your patrons." Wish more hoteliers thought with as much consideration. The bane of a steady rat-tat-tat or a driller's whirr when you check in to a hotel of your choice is a nightmare most travellers are familiar with these days.

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