Birthday lifts for Ehsaan

Shankar and Loy with Ehsaan
Shankar and Loy with Ehsaan

They can carry a tune for sure, but this week, Bollywood’s leading music composer trio — Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy proved that they can carry each other as well! The occasion for this heartwarming display of solidarity was Ehsaan’s birthday, which is celebrated every year by his friends with much warmth and cheer.

A couple of years ago, they threw the mother of all birthday bashes when the musician turned 50. Known to be one of the warmest and humblest of musicians, the extent of Ehsaan’s popularity was clearly proven when fellow musician Leslie Lewis (of the Colonial Cousins) posted: ‘Great to catch up with my Old School Rock n Roll buddies#ShankarMahadevan #LoyMendonsa #EhsaanNoorani The Musical #AmarAkbarAnthony" of #Bollywood !!’

As it is known that musicians are never too generous about praises, in Noorani’s case it appears that he is the man of all seasons.

Be Robin to my Batman
We like people who think out of the box; the absurd and the wacky always gets our vote, especially if it surfaces amidst the mundane. When Percept’s Shailendra Singh hired the glamorous Nicole Sottung as his chief aide de campe, apparently the only job description she was given by him was ‘you have to be Robin to my Batman’.

Shailendra on his birthday, which was on Dussehra
Shailendra on his birthday, which was on Dussehra

Sottung, a statuesque six-footer in her mid-thirties from upstate New York, who’d moved to India and had been engaged by an Indian artist to promote his work to buyers in America, admitted to being totally gobsmacked by the job description. “I thought Whaaa? That’s my job profile? Is this crazy or what?” She recounted all of it when we met her and the rest of Singh’s friends, colleagues and family at a robust birthday brunch thrown for him by his graceful wife Nayana and DJ son Shaan.

“If I were you, I’d go out and buy every Batman-Robin adventure comic book and learn what Robin does for Batman,” advised her artist friend, when she asked how on earth she would prepare for the job. The advice obviously worked.
Five years later, Sottung is very much part of the Percept clan, which appears to be a particularly jolly bunch of bright people as seen at the brunch. Singh himself has moved from strength to strength by directing films and dominating the EDM space with his Sunburn. Nope, we don’t know if he has a Batmobile yet.

Turbans make them droolworthy
Quite often the public is reminded of how attractive men look in turbans. Akshay Kumar and Ranbir Kapoor proved this when they transformed into turbinators for Singh is Kinng and Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year, respectively.

JJ Vallaya (centre) with designers Ashish Soni, Rohit Gandhi and Rohit Bal
JJ Vallaya (centre) with designers Ashish Soni, Rohit Gandhi and Rohit Bal

Farhan did a post-modern version of it in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, and even in Hollywood’s The English Patient and Octopussy the unmistakably handsome turbaned heads of Sikh actors had introduced much animal magnetism on screen. Delhi-based Sikh designer JJ Vallaya has given us this year’s version of the sexy Sardar through the photo shoot of his latest menswear collection featuring actor Rahul Dev.

Rahul Dev in an outfit from the collection
Rahul Dev in an outfit from the collection

Speaking about the spread in the latest issue of a woman’s fashion magazine, Vallaya’s spokesperson said, “The aura of Punjab rules!” Incidentally, the magazine happens to be edited by an attractive Sikh lady. It’s unquestionably the ‘Sikh Chic’ season.

This lady’s on a dining spree
She epitomises a lady who lunches (though it hardly appears that she eats at all given her svelte frame), which is why when the glamorous Leena Singh visited Mumbai this week, she appeared to be on a non-stop wining and dining spree as her friends in the city gathered to welcome her in the style she was used to.

Leena Singh with Poonam Dhillon
Leena Singh with Poonam Dhillon

First off was her long-time pal Laila Khan who hosted a dinner at the Korner House Café. This was followed by a lady’s lunch with actress Poonam Dhillon. Finally, jewellery designer Farrah Khan Ali would throw a dinner party for her BFF at her parents’ Juhu mansion.

What’s most intriguing of course is the fact that ladies who lunch never appear to wear that supposed calorie intake. Makes us wonder, since none of the ladies who lunch, really eat at all. Shouldn’t the term be officially changed to ‘Babes who graze?’ Just saying...

It’s a Husain on sale!
The folks at art auction house Astaguru have much to rejoice about. Last Sunday, they celebrated their 25th anniversary with a well-attended champagne brunch at the ICIA Gallery in Kala Ghoda on the eve of their most ambitious auction ever.

Tushar Sethi
Tushar Sethi

They had a series of three distinct auctions namely ‘Modern Indian Art’ ‘Contemporary Indian Art' and ‘Modern Indian’ throughout the month of October. And the cherry on the cake is that the lots will include a landmark work that will go under the hammer — iconic artist MF Husain’s largest work to ever come up in any auction: an acrylic on canvas measuring no less than 68 x 176 inches and procured from a Mumbai-based collector.

“All credit for this achievement goes to Astaguru’s dashing founder Tushar Sethi,” says an art insider about the anniversary and the upcoming auctions. “The youngest bloke on Mumbai’s Art Scene will be auctioning one of the largest works created by one of India’s most legendary artists,” she said. “Art maven Vickram Sethi’s son has certainly inherited his dad’s eye for art.” Indeed! 

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