Can there be anything better than lunching in Bandra with a Bolly stars and wives club on a Saturday afternoon? "It's that time of the year M," said our friend and one time colleague Pammi Bakshi, whose roster of celebrity friends from the fillum world is as impressive as it is varied.
So there, when we arrived, were Hiroo Johar, Sunita Kapoor, Zeenat Aman, Lally Dhawan, Priya and Namrata Dutt, Anju Mahendru partaking of Olive's special weekend brunch. Soon we were joined by Sonam Kapoor, Archana Puran Singh, Rhea Kapoor amongst others.
Hiroo Johar, Zeenat Aman, Anju Mahendru, Sunita and Sonam Kapoor, Lally Dhawan, Namrata and Priya Dutt, and Pammi Bakshi with this columnist
Women, young and old, who've spent decades sharing the ups and downs of the industry together; who've nurtured, loved, lost and co-starred with some of the biggest stars in Bolly-land, and who've launched trends and been at the centre of many a Bollywood saga. Thankfully women who, when they meet, leave aside this baggage and just become girls who want to have fun.
Priya Dutt spoke with relief about her brother Sanjay's imminent release, Sunita Kapoor told us about her recent trip with her daughters to Varanasi to celebrate the Diwali of the Gods; with Zeenat we spoke about the old times when we'd been close friends and confidantes; birthday girl Pammi showed us pictures of director Farah Khan, an important member of this group, who was missing in action from the table currently in Austria at a leading detox spa, etc.
Then, after a few more niceties, all the girls got down to business: posing and taking selfies, with much clicking of cameras, re-applying of lipsticks, whooping with laughter and flicking off hair. So here's one from the table, taken at the exact time that Sunita was telling us how she'd told Rani, Aditya and Pam how blessed they were to have a girl in their midst.
In memory of Lord Noon
It's not often that you hear men like Uddhav Thackeray, Subhash Chandra, or Lord Bhiku Parekh break down on stage overcome with emotion, but that is what we witnessed at the memorial service of the late Lord Gulam Kaderbhoy Noon, MBE, KT at the Taj Lands End over the weekend.
Gulam Noon, Subhash Chandra and Uddhav Thackeray
"I've lost a family member," said a visibly overcome Thackeray, who narrated that he'd been the first person to be called by Noon on his being conferred a lordship. "He reminded me of Raj Kapoor's song from Awara," said Thackeray quoting the famous couplet 'mera joota hai Japani.'
"Why do you work so hard" Subhash Chandra said he once asked Noon who'd been a close friend and a director on his company board. "So that I might share as much of my success with those less fortunate," the philanthropic minded Noon, a rags-to-riches wonder had replied.
We too have a Noon story and though not as inspirational, is a memory of his sweetness. At the Royal Sweets, his childhood legacy, where we were interviewing the much-celebrated British Lord, we'd teased him about his perfect hairline and luxuriant hair.
"Is it a toupe?" we'd asked. Such was his ability to not take himself too seriously, Noon had bent his head low and asked us to tug, to see it if it was real. And like every thing else about him we are happy to report – it was!
DJ Hardwell's night out
Word comes in that on the eve of his historic performance at the DY Patil stadium on Sunday, world no one DJ Hardwell had ended up at Exo, the penthouse nightclub at the St Regis.
"He came in around mid night with a small group, and news of his presence spread like wild fire at the club, with guests sending over bottles of champagne," said a source.
"And though he didn't take to the console, such was the excitement that his security detail had to keep a close watch on the star and wait until the club closed at 3 am to exit."
Calling Cardoz, calling Gaggan
Friday evening saw us partake of celebrity New York-based chef Floyd Cardoz's 'Kuch hatke daawat' at the Bombay Canteen of which he is Culinary Director. This was the second installment in the series, and its theme this time was 'Bade Miyan and Chhote Miyan ki Jugalbandi'.
Floyd Cardoz and Gaggan Anand
Cardoz was one of the first to make Indian food with a twist fashionable again in India with the Bombay Canteen. With the very able Sameer Seth, this culinary master had proven that Indians, so far used to Italian and Japanese on their nights out, would flock to an eatery, which served innovative twists on eggs kejriwal and samosas.
And so, that night we were served Cardoz's latest creations, which would find themselves on the menu soon: tandoori quail cafreal, baby shark wrapped in patra leaves, a Chettinad prawn aglio oglio and a choriz per eedu amongst others. And the cherry on the cake?
The fact that at the end of our meal, we had connected the great Indian master chef of the West - Cardoz, to his Eastern counterpart Gaggan Anand. Yes, both gents mutual admirers, are going to finally meet in Kolkata. Who knows what they'll cook up? Watch this space.
Bombay glamour at its Best
Saturday evening was another night of Bombay glamour at its best, when newly married society queen, and jewellery designer Queenie Singh brought in her special day amidst red roses and a percussionist from Latin America accompanying a popular DJ at a midcity hotel.
Queenie, Rishi Sethia and Adi Godrej
There were her girl gang represented by Rhea Pillai, Bolly pals like Dolly and Ritesh Sidhwani, and Dino Morea and Nandita Mahtani, and corporate heavies like Adi Godrej and Vijay Mallya. And as expected, Singh looked her radiant best in a black Thierry Muller dress with husband Rishi Sethia close by her side. As one guest whispered. "Queenie's finally found her king."