Akshay Marwah, Aashita Rehan, Sanjay Kapoor and Mohit Marwah
Looks like Dubai and Abu Dhabi have officially become the top location for big fat Indian destination weddings. Word comes in, that after hosting high-profile nuptials of the Rajan family earlier this month (which saw the Bachchan family in attendance), the Emirates Palace will once again host a BFIW (big fat Indian wedding), and once again have its share of Bollywood in residence. The occasion is the wedding of director Akshay Marwah, and his soon to be bride Aashita Rehan this week.
Akshay is the son of Sandeep Marwah, who runs a production studio in Delhi, and is the older brother of actor Mohit Marwah and close relative of Anil Kapoor. Thus the whole Kapoor khandan (It's remarkable how easily they have earned that nomenclature) is expected to be present at the three-day wedding celebrations.
Sanjay Kapoor, wife Maheep and nieces Sonam and Rhea Kapoor are already in Abu Dhabi, and others like Anil, Arjun, Harshvardhan and Boney Kapoor are expected to join them shortly. Expect a big fat filmy style sangeet. Tis' the season...
A concert for a cause
There is a subtle but important difference between 'adopting' a cause and being 'involved' with one, in these times when newer and more ingenious enterprises are undertaken by the city's professional causerati. This difference was brought home to us when we chanced upon the selfless dedication and quiet commitment put in by a small group of highly accomplished women behind the Ekam Foundation, Mumbai, that provides medical interventions including drug support to ailing children coming from the fringes of the city.
Ameeta Chatterjee, Vasanta Nair and Lalitha Chandrasekharan (inset) Shiv Kumar Sharma
Started by Goldman Sach's head honcho in India, Sonjoy Chatterjee and his wife Ameeta, an alumnus of IIM Bangalore, who was on a sabbatical from her career in finance, the foundation has in the past four years changed the lives of more than 750 children, by providing timely medical support in situations where their parents could not afford it.
Along with Ekam's National Medical Doctor Vasantha Nair and Founder Trustee Ameeta Khanna, was Lalitha Chandrasekaran, its Senior Advisor who happens to be the wife of the newly appointed marathon running Chairman of Tata Sons, Natarajan Chandrasekaran, who had been an investment banker until she took a break to devote herself to Ekam and other good causes.
This Thursday, the foundation is hosting its annual charity fund raiser with a one of a kind performance by santoor maestro Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma at the Nehru Centre, which promises an audience comprised of some of the city's most philanthropic minded corporate honchos like R Krishnakumar, Mala and S Ramadorai, Sandeep Sikka, Harsh Mariwala and Urvi Piramal amongst others.
Incidentally, it is not only for her rectitude that Lalitha, who puts in a full day at the foundation's modest office at Prabhadevi, is known to match her famous husband step for step: Her CV lists 'trekking and running long distance marathons' as her other interests.
Not really a beach
Yash Birla's chalice of sorrows appears to be not drained yet. Following reports of his businesses going belly up, as a result of ill advised management, the soft-spoken free spirited trance music loving, iron pumping scion of one of the country's most celebrated business clans, is alleged to have put his sumptuous Nozer Wadia designed sea side home in Alibaug on the block.
This, apparently on the heels of reports that there has been tension between the occupants of the mansion and the local villagers over the former's use of AVs on the beach. We had attended the housewarming of the art and artefact crammed home many years ago. Is it really going to pass to new ownership? Birla was unavailable for comment.
Many fatties, much bao
If anything, the launch of the second outpost of The Fatty Bao at Kamala Mills on Friday night was a gathering of the tribe with the likes of some of the city's most famous movers and shakers, and restaurant and lounge hoppers thronging to AD Singh's hot and happening opening party.
Chetan Rampal and Manu Chandra; Fahad Samar
From designer Narendra Kumar, to writer Fahad Samar, to musician Ash Chandler, to fashion week pioneer Anil Chopra, to polo maven Rinna Shah, to actress Madhoo Shah, to Aditya Hitkari and wife Divya Palat, and many more, the room was filed choc-a-bloc with the men and women, who had with their individual and collective actions, assiduously built the city's much hyped Page Three monolith over the decades.
Madhoo Shah; Sabina and AD Singh
"It's quintessential AD," says Samar casting his eye on the room. "We all go back yonkers. You could say it's a party for all those who survived Page Three," says his companion. In other words, 'Still crazy after all these years'.
Art for fashion's sake?
It was bound to happen. The lines between fashion and art, those abiding interests of well-heeled aesthetes across the world, were bound to get blurred, as commercial establishment's sought newer ways of developing Indian markets.
One of the dishes at the lunch
Thus it was that the Capital's beautiful set of ladies (read in white linen with a penchant for Matisse) attended a swish lunch this week, to 'celebrate art and fashion' at a Delhi five-star. Attendees included art patron Feroze Gujral, designers David Abraham and Rajesh Thakore, graphic guru Vivek Sahni, and collector Parul Vadehra among others.
"The lunch was themed 'With a Raja Ravi Varma' and the food was served like art," says a source. "And then, there was panel discussion on 'Art and Fashion. Do the worlds meet?' he says. You can't make these things up.
It's a chef thing
In the world of chefs, it perhaps is the ultimate compliment, when a maestro of the meat knife invites a rival chef to cook on his special birthday. As is the case of this celebrated restaurateur who pioneered the stand alone restaurant boom in India, who is said to have sounded out a much younger but equally celebrated chef of a rival restaurant group, to cook at his 60th birthday.
What's most intriguing is that both these groups had been in a neck-to-neck race until the whole food business exploded, and great chefs came crawling out the wood work, with ever new ideas of how to marry sev puri to sushi. To be invited to cook on the special occasion of a once and future rival? That's a thumb's up indeed.