Hillary's hang-ups

>> Whereas we leave it to the rest of the media to speculate on the success of her charm offensive on Mamata di, we are in knowledge of Hillary’s MoU with the Taj Palace hotel, Delhi on her living arrangements. And we have it on impeccable authority that whereas the high-powered US Secretary of State absolutely adores the Tata Suite, the Taj’s presidential suite — all 6,500 square feet of it — where she has stayed twice before. And she is looking very much forward to the Executive Chef, Taj Palace Rajesh Wadhwa’s, Jai Tooni Mahi Tikka, warm Dutch asparagus, black garlic coulis, ricotta quenelle, pan seared foie gras and Camembert cheese soufflé, and to the extravagant shopping bazaar which has been arranged for her at Jehangir Hall.

We can tell you with all the authority invested in us (and with hand on our heart and trying not to giggle) that the enigmatic and dynamic Clinton has particularly requested that her room contains no vestiges of either chocolates or lilies.

Yes, that’s it. You heard right: no chocolates. And no lilies. Go figure!

Help! There’s a tennis legend in my lift!
>> Even though we aren’t cognisant with his game, we have long admired Leander Paes for his grace and humility. We knew his father, the handsome Olympian hockey star

Dr Vaes Paes way back in the days when we lived in Kolkata and occasionally ran in to young Leander at parties.

So, imagine our surprise when we walked in to our building lift early one afternoon the other day and ran straight in to the legendary tennis star and Haryana’s recently appointed sports ambassador looking particular dishy in all brown fatigues. Apparently he’d dropped in to our building to see an old La Martinere buddy of his. And not to put too fine a point on it, but it was a day we were looking particularly scruffy (read windblown hair and crumpled club-going clothes.)

But being the impeccable gentleman that he is, Leander did not mind our rambling gush or our incoherent fanspeak.

And, of course, as it always happens, once he drove off in his SUV Beemer we thought of all the intelligent things we could have said to him. Oh well, next time!

Super IPL superstitions
>> We are fascinated by the various superstitions that the IPL mania has fostered. Earlier in the days, before the men in white donned colored clothes, one of the most endearing aspects of the gentlemen’s game were the rites and rituals that the players indulged to bring them luck. A cricketing insider tells us that Mohinder Amarnath made sure that he carried a red handkerchief before a game, Viv Richards had his ‘lucky’ maroon cap and Tendulkar always put on his right pad first.

Today, the trend appears to have influenced team owners too and we hear that whereas Sid Mallya’s fingers drum a particular tattoo on his head during a crucial game, Anu Malik wears the same green T-shirt to ensure a Mumbai Indians’ win and CSK’s charismatic N Srinivasan has his son Ashwin to stand up when there are critical balls being played. As for Preity Zinta and Shah Rukh Khan — if any one knows what it is they do to seduce lady luck — we’d love to hear.

Happy birthday Sid!
>> We spoke to the young and handsome Siddharth Mallya to wish him on the occasion of his 25th birthday yesterday and he was suitably chuffed at bringing it in with the spectacular and nail biting win by his IPL team the Royal Challengers on the eve of his birthday. “Whereas last year too, I brought in my birthday with a team win, this one was particularly special since it was such a cliffhanger till the end,” he said to us.

“After that we all went to my dad’s presidential suite at the ITC Gardenia to celebrate,” he said. And no, we didn’t ask what papa Vijay gifted him. But, since an airline was rumoured to be his 21st birthday gift, the mind boggles at what it could be now!

India’s Bag Ladies
>> Even as the recent exit of the DLF conglomerate from the world of luxury retail spells something of a death knell for the business, the lovely Kalyani Chawla, Dior India’s glamourous head tells us that their latest offering the Diorissimo bag is flying off the shelves and is outdoing other more traditional markets in volume of sales. “In fact, we have sold far more than we thought we would, especially of the orange one,” she purred. “And now we don’t have stocks to meet the demand.”

At Rs 2.5 lakh a pop — the bag to our completely unschooled eyes looked pretty er.. how do we put it delicately.. Ordinary.

But then, we are the ones who laughed the loudest at Farhan Akhtar’s spoof on the Hermes Birkin in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. And we are the first ones to admit that when it comes to bags women can get a little crazy. But the fact that there are buyers for an iconic luxury standard such as the Diorissimo indicates that things are not all that bad in the world of deluxe dressing and that makes us happy.

So, the next time you spot some one carrying one of these items be suitably respectful: after all it’s not just a status symbol — it’s a market indicator! 

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