We never expected Courtney Love to expand our vocabulary, but the rock star/actress, who was in town over the weekend for a luxury conference where she was interviewed by Monica Dogra, did just that.
Completely without airs or pretenses, Love endeared herself to the crowd with her down-to-earth no bullshit personae. “Versace had to pay me A LOT of money as I thought I was selling out when I did its ads,” she said before introducing the world ‘fuxury’ into the discussion.
Courtney Love at Dharavi
(“You know something that doesn’t cost a lot of money but is pretty nice all the same,” she explained.) Something of this no nonsense approach marked our own exchange with Love. Enquiring what she should do over the weekend we saw Love’s eyes light up when we mentioned Chor Bazaar, Kamathipura and Colaba Causeway and such like.
And obviously she’d taken it all seriously, because who should we run into on Sunday morning on the street behind the Taj, but Love herself, her long, hippy stole sweeping the ground as she traipsed down the Essaji lane. “I’m looking for Truefit and Hill,” she said as we waved. So we showed her.
Anyone within spitting distance of SoBo’s creamy layer knows how seriously it takes its appearance. The real fashionistas amongst the Malabar and Cumballa Hill crowd have armies of stylists, colourists, manicurists and designers working round the clock to keep them looking … well … the way they do.
But jewellery designer Queenie Singh, who we had occasioned to observe over an entire day is a Jimmy Choo step ahead, of even this lot. At around noon we spotted her at the conference hall of a suburban hotel, looking svelte in a colourful body hugging dress.
A few hours later, around teatime, the lady had changed into a dazzling sari, replete with matching choli, heavy jewellery and corresponding accessories and makeup and hairstyle! “I had to attend a mehendi,” she explained on seeing our puzzlement.
Apparently she had gone all the way back to Worli and changed even before one could spell Hervé Leger. If this was not enough, around 11 pm that same night we ran into Singh once again, this time out of the ethnic wear and now into another body hugging dress – of a different colour!
Three outfit changes in the spate of a dozen hours. How on earth do you do it, we asked Singh, adding only half in jest -“ Even Superman had phone booths ...”
Most of Mumbai appeared to be bopping to delicious retro sounds at Zeba and Rajesh Kohli’s much-awaited bash on Friday night.
We spotted producer Krishika Lulla, former actress Padmini Kolhapure, builder Kishore Bajaj, restaurateurs AD Singh and Nico Goghawala, and newly weds Kabir Bedi and Parveen Dussanj amongst the celebratory crowd.
The view from the terraced party room, part of Zeba’s family legacy was beautiful, the cars kept coming way past the bewitching hour and the piece de resistance of the evening was easily the truffle parathas, being roasted on live coals to the delight of guests.
Driving the Taj
Since he’s joined the Taj, the dapper Rakesh Sarna, Managing Director of Indian Hotels Company, has been relatively low key, but this story, narrated by a former colleague reveals the kind of person the second highest paid CEO in India is, quite delightfully.
Rakesh Sarna. Pic/Twitter
Apparently, for the convenience of its cadre, some of whom have been shifted out of their earlier offices at Apollo Bunder to new ones at Nariman Point, the Taj has created a dining mess. The story goes that on one of his visits there, Sarna spotted a clique of men standing outside during the lunch hour.
On enquiry he learnt that they were drivers employed by the Taj who were waiting outside the canteen out of deference to their employers, who were lunching within, before they availed their turn. Sarna joined them the story goes (without revealing who he was) and quite happily ate lunch with them on their table when their turn came.
“He’s really a very down to earth and regular guy,” said the former colleague. “One who believes in treating all his colleagues with the same respect. He brings a completely new and welcome change to the grand hotel.” Indeed.
Big brother syndrome
He’s not been known for biting wit, but Congressman Milind Deora former MP from South Bombay certainly demonstrated that he’s no slouch when it comes to clever put downs: ‘Honoured to be followed by you, @narendramodi.
Just hope the “follow” is merely on social media” tweeted Deora in what was a sly reference to the Big Brother state of affairs in the nation. Will the PM reply? Watch this space!
Sheetal’s second coming
We’ve always known that they were close, so when we met Sheetal Mafatlal on Friday in the company of designer Manish Malhotra, we were not surprised.
Sheetal and Atulya Mafatlal
The petite femme fatale, who had created a veritable storm in a Rosenthal cup when her name was involved in an art heist, looked positively radiant in a regal full length Manish Malhotra gown which complemented her swept back soignee perfectly.
“Manish suggested I wear this,” she said, “I wear mostly his outfits.” No surprises there. Malhotra is after all, the go to designer for a slew of glamour gals. The surprise was in fact for another reason altogether. Accompanying Sheetal was Varun Mafatlal, son of her husband Atulya, who contrary to SoBo rumours, appeared to be on excellent terms with his step mom. “They are pretty close,” said a source. “In fact Sheetal has won over most of Atulya’s family with her warmth and concern.”
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