Cougar bait

Malavika SangghviMove over chick magnets here comes the ultimate cougar magnet! Put it down to his superstardom, his polish, his surname or just the fact that he’s an eligible bachelor but Ranbir Kapoor sure has society ladies falling all over him! Not so long ago, the London-Mumbai grapevine was clanging with talk of his summer romance with the socialite sister-in-law of a prominent designer.

The lady’s marriage was more or less a thing of beauty and of the past so she had no qualms about making a beeline for the actor while abroad. Alas, by the time she returned home, summer had ended and the luggage tags had been removed from her LV suitcases, the poor woman realised that Kapoor had long moved on to greener pastures.

Ranbir Kapoor
Ranbir Kapoor

But that hasn’t stopped other society divas from trying their luck: the hapless daughter of a financial wiz earned her father’s ire because of her dalliance with the star in Delhi recently and now we learn that another prominent attractive designer is on Kapoor’s case, but with little luck. Perhaps, the hot star has realised that society women are higher maintenance than he cares to handle.

Namaste Zee
So ubiquitous is TV’s presence in our lives that it is hard to imagine that 20 years ago, before media visionary Subhash Chandra Goel launched Zee TV, the first Hindi language satellite TV in India we were getting our hots off on DD’s bathetic programming Phool Khile Hain and Amchi Mati amchi Mansa! Zee changed all that.

Subhash Chandra Goel
Subhash Chandra Goel

With its partnership with Murdoch’s Star it brought in all manner of innovation: smart presentation, international fare and independent views. And this evening 20 years later, after its seminal start and its unprecedented growth everyone who is any one will be gathered at the Four Season’s to celebrate 20 years of Zee.

Interestingly, the Goel family has roped in three well-connected and enterprising women to bring in the cool crowd: Nandita Mahtani, Bhavna Pandey and Mehr Rampal who have been making calls to their friends to make sure they come. “But even if they didn’t, no one’s going to miss this big ticket event, after all, it changed the face of media with its entrance,” said one wag.

Wild life here and there
The high point of our week was our meeting with the great Dalit poet Namdeo Dhasal. We met him at our dear friend and colleague Sudharak Olwe’s exhibition of photographs taken in South Africa where he had gone on a commission from South African tourism.

Namdeo Dhasal with Sudharak Olwe
Namdeo Dhasal with Sudharak Olwe

“Three reporters and two photographers from separate countries were chosen by South Africa tourism for an all expenses paid trip to the Klein Karoo Region of SA,” we were informed. “So, that they could capture the wonders of the area.”

The party, held on the lawns of the WTC was a culmination of this exercise, and a well organised one at that with a live band, a food court and a galaxy of familiar faces: Dhasal, Dr Firuza Parikh, Saryu Doshi, Tara Sharma, Cyrus Broacha with his family, Kunal Vijaykar and Manek Davar.

“My journey to South Africa has been a truly magnificent experience with innumerable wow moments and speechless gasps that I will cherish all my life,” Sudharak said to his friend Dhasal with whom he often scours the city’s underbelly an exercise that leave him equally speechless we’re sure.

Beach babes
As we speak a delicious slice of Mumbai – namely its choicest babes are in Goa celebrating Amrita Arora’s birthday.

Amrita Arora and Malaika Arora-Khan

Seen together on the beach were Amrita’s sister Malaika, her BFF Kareena Kapoor, designer Vikram Phadnis and a few other party-hearties.

Kareena Kapoor

The temperature in Goa was reported to be climbing sharply. And it dropped when the ladies boarded their flight to Mumbai. Incidentally, Amrita shares her birthday with another attractive Bollywood babe Preity Zinta and Sophie Choudry who are friends with both of them and has reportedly plastered their pix on her BBM on the momentous occasion!

Preity Zinta and  Sophie Choudry
Preity Zinta and Sophie Choudry

Put your hats on, it’s Derby time!

This Sunday, Mumbai will witness one of its most iconic sporting and lifestyle events the McDowell Signature Premier Indian Derby. According to a racing aficionado, the day is associated not only for its style and class but also for the top-class racing action, rated the best in the country.

Vijay Mallya with Vivek Jain
Vijay Mallya with Vivek Jain

And along with that there will be oodles of glamour. Last year, Dr Vijay Mallya, sponsor of The Indian Derby and Vivek Jain (former Chairman RWITC who was replaced a month ago and current head of the media and marketing group of the club) drove up in a regal horse drawn carriage to the victory podium on the track a first ever in the history of the race.

This year, the pageantry unfolds again as Vivek has arranged a blue drop head 1947 Vintage Bentley (previously owned by the Maharajah of Mysore) to replace the horses when they drive again in true style to award the winners!

Under the sprawling air conditioned tent will be fashion, music, magic and the race has already set a record with prize money topping a whopping Rs 3 crore. Incidentally, though Jain had teamed up with Dr Cyrus Poonawalla to beat a team led by Mallya in a bid for the chairmanship of the RWITC. It is now believed that Mallya and Jain share a close rapport. Go figure!

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