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First Row at the Dior Show in Paris!

>> The stunning Lisa Haydon, India’s top model texted us from Paris where she currently is to attend the Dior show today in which Raf Simons, the Dior head creative designer will be showcasing his work for the first time ever.

Lisa, we hear, will be seated in the front row along with other international beauties like Marion Cotillard (the French actress who won accolades for her roles in La Vie en Rose and Midnight in Paris) and Hollywood hottie Sharon Stone. “Just been to the Dior office to select a dress for the couture show tomorrow.

And now having lunch with Kalyani Chawla, (Dior’s glamorous India head) at L’Avenue!’ she said. “Then I’m shooting for a fashion magazine cover.”


(From Left) Lisa Haydon, Marion Cotillard and Sharon Stone

Describing the dress, she’s wearing, she said, “Red streamlined silhouette with black and leopard wedges.” Lisa, one of those rare models, who combines beauty, brains and heart in a gorgeous package, signed off saying, “Will give you more details and info as time progresses.” We like!

Aaj Ka MLA
>>  This weekend we were witness to the abject sycophancy that accompanies politicians. There we were on a Saturday afternoon at the PVR at Phoenix Mills walking out with a good feeling in our hearts and the end credit score still ringing in our ears after watching Ferrari ki Sawari when we noticed something unusual: some one had laid out a red carpet, erected a shamiana, placed a podium and bouquets of flowers outside the multiplex.


MLA Sachin Ahir and the entry at PVR, Phoenix Mills

Huh? We wondered, we could have sworn this was not there when we had gone in? And then before we knew it, we walked straight into and were nearly trampled by a surge of over two-dozen men, cops and assorted hangers on. What’s up, we enquired? What’s the commotion about? And we were informed then that NCP member Sachin Mohan Ahir, MLA from the Sewree constituency of South Central Mumbai and Minister of State of Housing Development had dropped in to see a movie.

We kid thee not gentle reader: an entire entourage, a red carpet, a podium and accompanying tamasha for such an every day occurrence. No wonder, we are a third world country. We have pictures to prove this too. No, we don’t know which film he saw. Hope he bought his own popcorn though.

Congratulations Ayesha!
>>  A little bird tells us that the lovely Mumbai born and London based Ayesha Dharkar, who wowed the world with her performances in such critically acclaimed films like The Terrorist and Mistress of Spices and the Broadway musical Bombay Dreams delivered her first baby, named Ava last week.

Ayesha had married her British boyfriend Robert Taylor amidst many celebrations in England and India a few years ago. We have not seen pictures yet of the baby but hope to receive some soon. Until then, mother and daughter are doing well and congratulations are in order.

Asha Bhosle, Boy George and Asha Puthli
>>  We are looking forward to this Friday to watching Indian Idol 6 and the tribute to the legendary Asha Bhosle, one of our favourite icons. Asha brings to mind a piquant episode that occurred a few years ago involving three very different musicians — Asha Bhosle, NYC-based jazz vocalist Asha Puthli, British cross-dresser Boy George and designer Tarun Tahiliani.

As improbable a crowd as any you could imagine but as stories go — this one’s hilarious. Some years ago, we had hosted a dinner at the Taj to which we had invited many bright and beautiful people, two of whom happened to be Asha Puthli who had once belonged to the Andy Warhol crowd and designer Tahiliani. Puthli had regaled all with her recounting of the wild Studio 54 crowd and her memories of uber edgy band Earth, Wind and Fire and their more extreme acts. Cut to a week later, when Tahiliani attended a party to which some one had brought Boy George and his drummer. Tahiliani got talking to them and was intrigued to learn that they were in India to collaborate with Asha. “Gosh,” said Tarun to them, “I had dinner with her last week. She’s pretty wild isn’t she?” And he narrated a couple of stories about Asha’s time, Andy Warhol and the New York disco crowd. It was only many months later when the designer picked up a newspaper and read that it was the highly respected and sober Asha Bhosle that the English musicians had collaborated with that he realised the faux pas. “I spent many nights giggling at how confused the two must have been when confronted by Bhosle’s austere and maternal persona,” he confided.

School Tragedy
>>  Of all the tragedies that can haunt childhood, surely some of the most traumatic are those that occur during school picnics. Which of us hasn’t experienced the excitement that accompanies a school outing? The high dudgeon, hysteria and overall high jinks that overtake the picnickers are as overwhelming as they are joyful. Nervous parents, anxious and overstretched teaching staff and, of course, giddy school kids determined to have fun and frolic at all costs. Imagine then the trauma if tragedy strikes in the form of sickness or accident at such a time. The anguish and frenzy can reach unimaginable proportions. Not only for those immediately affected but for every one else on the trip too. We recall one such school picnic tragedy where even though it struck a class senior to our own left a lasting impact on the entire school. Which is why our heart goes out to the school principal Mrs Isaacs, the staff and families connected with the Cathedral school, which has suffered not one but two tragedies last month. The accidental drowning of a young student at the school’s Lonavala branch at the beginning of June and the tragedy that struck a young girl who became a victim of a hit-and-run accident while on a school excursion a few days ago. What a challenging time for one of Mumbai’s premier schools. We pray that the scars heal and that normalcy returns soon.  

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