It’s always good to meet Anil Kapoor. On Saturday, when we ran into him at a SoBo party we were delighted to see that he was as lean and sprightly (and hairy) as he’d always been.
How does he keep so fit we enquired? “Easy,” he said, “Being fit depends on three things. Good uninterrupted sleep for at least seven hours,” he emphasised.
“A regulated diet and working out.” He made it sound so simple! As for his ambitious plan to produce in India the iconic TV series ‘24’ that brought him international acclaim he assured us that they’re well on their way. “Jack Bauer will speak in Hindi!” he announced. Nice!
Not BFFs any more?
For all those confused by the various and unresolved angles in the Deepika-Sidhartha-Ranbir-Katrina quadrangle (gosh suddenly all our geometry comes back!) here’s a smidgen of help: Even though everyone’s friends with each other, (note the alleged Kat-Ranbir New Year date) we have it on reliable assurance that at least things seem to be clearer on the Deepika Padukone – Sidhartha Mallya front: they’ve both definitely moved on.
How so? Well, recently when Deepika celebrated her birthday the Mallya scion was least concerned and happily dining at the Hakkasan with a group of friends that included Sophie Choudry, said our source. “If they were still close wouldn’t he have made an effort to attend?” Hmmm...
High voltage, glam Saturday
Can there be anything to beat Mumbai on the glamour quotient? On Saturday night, as we prepared to attend the unparalleled Ambani party to celebrate Nayantara Kothari’s marriage to Shamit Bhartia, which took hospitality and entertainment to another level,the kind the city has never seen before, other parts of the city were observing events of significant import too.
Most of Bollywood’s top echelon was performing at the police concert, and at the Taj, some of the country’s leading corporate heads were gathered to bid adieu to outgoing Tata chairman Ratan Tata. Try and beat that for high voltage, knock your socks out glamour!
Enter, the queen
“It’s going to be a very exclusive and classy affair,” said the irrepressible Suhel Seth en route to Delhi? Bangalore? Kolkata? about the launch of the book Rambagh Palace Jaipur, jointly published by the royal family of Jaipur and the Taj group, to be held next week in Mumbai and Delhi. Written by Dharmendar Kanwar, the book recounts the lineage of the magnificent hotel from its humble beginnings of garden lodge to royal guesthouse and hunting lodge, to official residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur, and finally to luxury hotel, now managed by the Taj Group.
We have a special fondness for the hotel where we had the pleasure of first meeting the late Rajmata Gayatri Devi, the legendary polo enthusiast and beauty, who resided on its grounds in her own bungalow Lillypool. We remember it vividly: the venue of our first meeting had been arranged to take place appropriately at the Polo bar. We were writing a story for Harpers and Queen about the rift in the Jaipur clan, commissioned by our editor Nicholas Coleridge, a great aficionado of palace intrigue.
That morning we’d had a long meeting with ‘the other side’: Bubbles, the current Maharajah and his family. Our concern was: would news of our interview with her stepson have already travelled through the Palace grapevine? Would the lady show up? So, there we were having reached early and waiting anxiously at the bar, watching the clock. And then 10 minutes into our appointed hour we noticed that the atmosphere around us had turned electric.
We couldn’t put a finger on it, but in the subtlest of ways we noticed that there was a heightened sense of frenzied activity. The bartender rearranged his bottles, the waiters stood straighter, the manager looked at his watch and was sweating ever so slightly. No one said a word, but we knew what had happened. The bungalow staff had called the bar staff and said “The Rajmata is on her way.” And, of course, when she did arrive, the legendary beauty pretended not to notice the whispered excitement her presence had caused. “Waiter, my usual,” she’d said.
Stand out celebrations
It’s been the venue of some of Mumbai’s most high-profile and celebrated weddings. And so, when Joy Kapur, partner and owner of Blue Sea and a clutch of the city’s best eateries (including Copper Chimney and the newly-opened Serafina and the Irish pub) celebrated the wedding of his son to Aditi (daughter of Malti and Harish Talreja) over the weekend, it was to be expected that the festivities held at the popular Worli venue would be exceptionally well arranged.
And guests who attended the events swear that they have never tasted food so good or seen the place so pretty. “The fleet of limos bringing guests stretched all the way from the Sea link to the entrance of the Worli sea face,” we were informed.
As the horrific stomach-churning details of the Delhi rape case emerge there’s a lot of talk amongst ‘people like us’ about the animal behaviour ‘out there’. But callousness and cruelty is not the monopoly of an economic group or class or social strata. It cuts across all manner of social boundaries and demographics, as this shocking incident from one of Mumbai’s most tony clubs demonstrates. Here are the bare facts: Three friends were playing golf one sunny day over the weekend. One of them suffered a heart attack. The authorities alerted an ambulance and he was being rushed to hospital when he tragically died along the way. Here’s the shocker: the two other golfers continued with their game. See what we mean? Inhumanity is not only to do with physical violence. Sometimes what we do not do speak says even more about our character.