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Guilding the Lilies

Some women like diamonds, some like furs, but few things make us go as weak in the knees as lifestyle stores. Give us a few distressed walls, some aromatherapy candles, some Balinese Bric-à-brac and the touch of Egyptian cotton sheets — and we’re happy.

Which is why, when we were invited to Bungalow 8 to hear seminal British designer Tricia Guild speak and launch her newest book Deconstructing Color, we accepted with alacrity.


Tricia Guild during her book launch at Bungalow 8

After all, the attractive British designer, who heads a $50 million enterprise Designers Guild which exports to over 60 different countries, is to interior decoration what Jamie Oliver is to food.

Both have brought new and fresh approaches to their fields and, in the process, created rock solid enterprises.

Guild is no stranger to India or to Bungalow 8. In fact, one could say that her success was founded on an Indian brick.

The story goes that by re-colouring a collection of Indian hand-block printed textiles, she established her first collection in the early ’70s.

Her association with Bungalow 8 is also strong: seven years ago, Maithili Ahluwalia’s edgy and hip store nestled in one of Colaba’s colourful lanes launched one of her first books.

The evening in itself was unsurprising. With an audience that comprised leading designers, most of them DG devotees, Guild was preaching to the already converted. She spoke of colour, texture, fabric and mood with an easy style and a rich vocabulary for over an hour.

But for the audience, it wasn’t enough. “No one’s going to get up,” whispered the lovely Maithili to us, when in mock seriousness Tricia cried out to be rescued with some champagne.

Mercifully, the hint was taken and the party moved one storey up to the third floor for some much-needed refreshments, such as Chandon (courtesy Gaurav Bhatia) and hors d’oeuvres (courtesy Roohi Jaikishan).

But when we disentangled ourselves at 10 pm, the crowd gave no signs of calling it a day.

You can never have too much of a good thing obviously.

Et tu Naina? 

Naina Lal Kidwai

Want to know how the elections will play out? Don’t go by the opinion polls, the predictions of policy wonks or the considered opinions of editorial writers. The best indication of how the election results will eventually turn out is written on the faces of the party spokesmen, as they appear each night defending their leaders. And going by the pale, downcast and washed out countenances of Abhishek Singhvi, Manish Tewari and Sanjay Jha, it looks like the UPA has already conceded defeat. 

What’s more is that this feeling of imminent failure will have a cascading effect on fence sitters. Already, opportunists have begun their defection to the NDA and more are likely to follow.

In business circles, too, those seen as being opposed to Modi’s brand of communal politics in the past are said to be in the process of being won over by his record of good governance.


Anand Mahindra and Manish Tewari

According to a source, no less than former FICCI president and celebrated investment banker Naina Lal Kidwai, who along with Anu Aga, Deepak Parekh and Anand Mahindra, was regarded as a staunch upholder of secularism, has been heard to be praising Modi’s governance.

“She said that the roads in Gujarat were better than those in New York, when she was there a few months ago,” a source says.

It’s called the domino effect. And if the Congress wants to contain the damage, they should instruct their spokespeople to flash those pearlies as much as they can!

Girls just wanna have fun
“We have known each other for over 30 years. And meet occasionally once in two, three months, but this time we were meeting after ages!” said Sharmilla Khanna about meeting up with her gal pals Rhea Pillai and Queenie Dhody for a drink when they posed for this snap. 


Sharmilla Khanna with Queenie Dhody and Rhea Pillai

“We three really are ‘chaddi- buddies’ and when we meet, we can say and talk about anything without being misunderstood,” she laughed. “Our lives have gone in three different directions today, and even though we have worked and travelled the world together 10 years ago, what with kids’ schools and exams (Queenie’s son’s got his finals and Rhea’s daughter’s in Ambani School) and my work, we hardly get to sit down and catch up,” said the lady behind the popular Aaraish exhibitions.

And what did you talk about, we ask. “Destiny’s wheel and how it’s turned for all of us,” said Khanna. Awesome.

A knotty affair
If you drop in at one of the Indigo Deli outlets and can’t order your favourite cup of coffee because you’re too distracted by the waiter’s tie — blame it on Krsna Mehta.

The consummate design maven, whose home store design website indiacircus.com has been growing exponentially, was recently commissioned to design them.

“My dear friend Rahul (Akerkar), who loves my design style, asked me to design these accessories for the staff,” he says. “I came up with these fun ties for him, since the restaurant group is such a big customer,” says Mehta, adding, “My aim is to be the most celebrated brand out of India, which offers a perfect contemporary India design aesthetic by 2015.” Er, now for that coffee please.

Kya Line Maara!
In our book, the finest line to emerge from the idiot box recently was from the lips of none other than Bollywood mogul and naughty boy Karan Johar. While introducing his two smouldering guests this week, Freida (Slumdog Millionaire) Pinto and Nargis (Rockstar) Fakhri, (both outdoing themselves in the hottie stakes) Bollywood’s favourite Peter Pan introduced his show with the phrase: 


Freida Pinto and Nargis Fakhri during the Koffee with Karan shoot

“From Marine Drive to Rodeo Drive,” and for some reason, the juxtaposition of these two iconic addresses conjured such a breadth of such ambition and aspiration, that we wonder why we’d not thought of it ourselves!
‘Marine Drive to Rodeo Drive!’ who woulda thunk?


Karan Johar

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