Chef Vikas Khanna seems to be on a roll — making waves on international platforms over the past few months. Khanna, who'd grown up in Amritsar, and risen to fame as chef of the Michelin-starred NYC Junoon, had walked the red carpet at Cannes this year where his documentary 'Kitchens of Gratitude,' was being screened.
Now word comes in that Khanna will be in town next week to partner in a charity event with the man of the moment Virat Kohli. In his capacity as global ambassador for Smile, he will be hosting a charity dinner at a suburban five-star hotel.
Vikas Khanna and Virat Kohli
Invitations have already been sent out and with these two Punjabi hunks Khanna and Kohli at its helm, the event is expected to see an uber glam turnout from the world of sports, business, Bollywood and F&B.
"Apart from a 5-course menu curated by Vikas, there is an auction to raise awareness and funds to support Nutrition for under privileged children. Vikas has pledged to put a limited edition of his hand painted 24-carat gold book 'Utsav – a culinary epic of Indian Festivals' in it," said a spokesperson. Nice!
Easy lies the head
There are some on whose head the crown is destined to rest. Through all of life's trials and tribulations, they somehow manage to wrest the crescent of power back on their heads. Of none is this more said than of our old pal Amar Singh, who after six years in the wilderness, was last week reinducted into the Samajwadi Party and Mulayam Singh's heart.
Amar Singh, Amitabh Bachchan and Madhavrao Scindia
Even before his entry into politics, when he had donned slick safari suits, we recall that Singh had always conducted himself as someone who had always worn a metaphorical turban on his head. Those were the Days of Innocence before he'd got close to Mulayam or Amitabh Bachchan, and we would meet him in the company of Madhavrao Scindia and Shyam Bhartia. Singh's earthy presence, his homilies and quips were a prominent fixture of the group.
One memory of Singh particularly bears retelling: one evening at the wedding of Scindia's son, Jyotiraditya Scindia, which we were attending in Gwalior, along with a few friends, we'd noticed that Singh's graceful and always composed wife Pankaja had arrived late for a reception, looking a bit frazzled. "Shall I tell them why?" The soft-spoken lady, herself a member of a royal clan had said to Singh on being asked the reason, by her concerned friends.
Singh had said nothing, looking thoroughly abashed. Apparently while getting ready, Singh who'd been told that his 'safaa' (the turban he had to wear as part of the boy's side) had been delivered to his room and had emerged from his bath and seeing a beautiful silk fabric laid out on the bed, had excitedly wrapped it around his head.
After which he'd proudly presented himself all suited and booted to his wife. So imagine how irritated she became when she saw that he'd mistakenly tied the priceless heirloom sari that she'd carefully laid out to wear for the evening - around his head!
Last week when we read about the pagdi of political power returning to Singh's head we thought about this anecdote fondly. Some heads were just made for turbans — no matter what the size!
Easily the most glamorous grandmon of 'em all, word comes in that the leggy Parmesh Godrej will be blessed again - her son Pirojsha Godrej and his wife are expecting their second child soon.
Will this new addition to the brood, slow the fabulous Mrs G who often steps out in mile high stilettos or skintight denims down? Not likely.
Jogen in town
Early next month will witness a showing of artist Jogen Chowdhury's works. Hosted by Gayatri Ruia in collaboration with a leading gallery, the St.Regis Mumbai will be hosting the event. "The master Indian artist has a penchant for the 'Art of Lines,' and will be present during the exhibition," said a spokesperson.
Gayatri Ruia and Jogen Chowdhury
"The highlight is that it will feature Chowdhury's largest painting till date, a 25 foot x 5 foot hexaptych canvas, titled 'Story of a woman.' Twenty one other paintings, many of which are composed with his famous cross hatch texture and style will be part of the exhibition, ranging from portraits to sketches," said the spokesperson.
Chowdhury who'd received his master's degree from the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris and was appointed as curator of paintings at Rashtrapati Bhavan in the seventies, now lives and works in Shanti Niketan.
Hot and Sour
Can there be a story starting with 'The Big Bull dined at a topflight SoBo Chinese eatery' which doesn't have an outrageous ending? Apparently the city's most celebrated self-made stock market legend went for dinner this weekend at such an establishment along with his family.
It has not been established what exactly set him off but what followed was a hot and spicy tirade aimed at the staff, but broadcast to the entire restaurant, in which the Big Bull likened it to 'an Irani shop;' all this while a few tables away another self-made billionaire is said to have cowered into his pakchoy. Incidentally this is not the only time the gentleman has created a ruckus.
A few weeks ago when he found himself seated in the front row of a prestigious corporate awards presentation he is said to have carried on a running conversation with one of the dignitaries on stage throughout the proceedings. What's getting him so hot under the collar? Or is this just a case of the proverbial 'Bull in the China Shop?'