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Couple on evening out

Spotted at The Oberoi's coffee shop on Sunday night, a relaxed and looking very much in love, Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif.

What’s best of all, not only did the rest of the diners and staff nonchalantly get on with their meals and duties and leave them alone, but the couple too demanded no special attention or treatment. Nice!

Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif
Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif

The direction of the wind
And in the whole Preity-Ness mess, the question that’s keeping the chattering class chattering is whose side the other stakeholders of the Punjab Kings IX will take. And here’s the nub. According to a source, a certain incident, which occurred in South Africa, not too long ago will decide that, at least for one individual.

Preity Zinta
Preity Zinta

If readers recall, there had been mention in the press of a fight that had erupted at that time when an Indian gentleman, an IPL stakeholder had been roughed up by some local heavies. “Well, Ness had more or less shielded his friend and fellow partner from the blows. This chap’s not going to forget that in a hurry!” says our source. As we’ve said before, Zinta’s got a tough fight ahead.

Le terroir, le terroir
It’s easy to see why a certain kind of terribly posh, and frightfully bleeding heart liberal attracts the ire of a new and rising India. A friend who ran in to an artsy grande dame on her annual trip to Europe, reports that the diva was beside herself with anxiety for her poor motherland.

“I saw the anguish in Pandit Nehru’s eyes during Gandhiji’s funeral- his sensitivity… and then we have leaders like like,” she trailed off with a slight shudder, notwithstanding the delicate pashmina wrapped lightly around her slender shoulders. “I think she objects to the new regime on… aesthetic grounds,” he laughed, our friend. No doubt, she has retired to a French bistro and at this moment is clutching her head, moaning ‘le terroir, le terroir’ we concluded.

Moms will be moms (part two)
“Right now I am a mixed bundle of emotions-too much has happened too soon,” says Nandini Sardesai, whose son Rajdeep has resigned from one of the most high-profile perches in the electronic media.

Rajdeep Sardesai Nandini Sardesai
Rajdeep Sardesai and Nandini Sardesai

“My husband Dilip (Sardesai, the celebrated Test cricketer) and I felt a deep sense of pride at the way Rajdeep nurtured his baby, CNN-IBN and attained iconic status in the media world,” she said. “So when after nine years of dedication and commitment, he resigns, there is a tinge of sadness, but what makes me proud and happy is the way his team at the office in Mumbai and Delhi have reacted-they are teary-eyed, yet admire him.”

And what now? “Rajdeep has various options before him and I am sure he will soon be in the news-right now he’s busy writing a book and already into the 5th chapter-so the sabbatical has helped him to chill and introspect,” she says, adding, “Only wish I knew how to chill too.”

Good neighbours
It was Satyajit Ray who had endorsed the ‘be local, think global’ mantra. But increasingly, Mumbaikars are ‘thinking, building society’ and creating local communities of like-minded friends from within, not just their neighbourhoods, but also their own buildings!

Zafar Hai Deven Khote
Zafar Hai and Deven Khote

The Oval-building inhabitants, as we’d once pointed out before, have more or less a mini culture-lit fest going on between them, and over the weekend we heard of a building that boasts one of India’s leading designers, certainly its most stylish; a celebrated food writer and editor; the beautiful daughter of the country’s most renowned artists, herself an aesthete; an Oxbridge educated Nawab and his beautiful Anglo Indian wife, once the face of the country’s airline, the founder creator of one the country’s leading media houses.

Shahab Durazi
Shahab Durazi

Yes indeed gentle reader, meet Messrs and Mime’s: Shahab Durazi, Farzana Contractor, Raisa Husain, Zafar Hai, Coleen Bhiladwala, Deven Khote respectively, all happy inhabitants of the same high rise in Sobo! Their society meetings must have the best food and the best conversations!

A special guest
“This is my seventh Iftar dinner,” said our friend, Upper Crust’s editor, Farzana Contractor, on Sunday evening at her home, while heaping some preternaturally delicious biryani into our plate. “I decided to host my first one when I returned from Haj,” she said.

Farzana Contractor
Farzana Contractor

Farzana, a tall, sprightly woman is a vivacious storyteller and she lowers her voice as she recounts the experience of the pilgrimage. Then she points to the room. “The electric energy that the Iftar generates is beautiful.” And yes, we see evidence of this around us: a roomful of venerable men and women, most of them in traditional clothes, a table-laden with sumptuous food and fruit to break their fasts with, and an absence of alcohol.

We spot many a legend in the crowd: brilliant architects who have built the city, celebrated Master Chefs and soulful Sufi singers. “I guess it’s the magic of Ramzan, a month when we turn our attention to good thoughts, good deeds, good feelings for the whole world,” says one of the city’s celebrated foodies, adding, “That we also enjoy good traditional food is incidental. But yes, my friends expect me to set up a super table and I try and not disappoint.”

We glance at the delicacies arrayed on the said table: Apart from Iftar snacks like Kakori Kebabs and Bori Mutton Samosas, which are sourced from at least 15 specialty places, there is food from Jaffer Bhai’s Delhi Darbar especially made for this evening. “This year I went over to Jaffer Bhai’s house a week before to taste the potential dishes and we zeroed in on Persian Biryani, Kothmiri Tangdi, Karachi Rogan and Handi Salan Kebab with Naan and Roomali Roti.”

“The criteria for the invitation?” asks Farzana, “You have to be a Muslim, or married to one. Or,” she says, smiling, “Have an extraordinary bond with me.” Of the last we qualify, we say happily as we dip in to a bowl of Badshah’s Falooda and Noorani’s Phirni.

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