>> So, Monday night saw us rub shoulders with a host of Bollwyood legends, at our old friend and former colleague, the very glamourous Pammi Bakshi’s pre-Diwali and silver wedding anniversary party at her well-appointed Juhu home. On entering the party we spotted Kirron Kher resplendent in white, talking to the feisty Archana Puran Singh (in all black). “Where’s Sikander?” we asked Kher about her son, a great favourite of ours (whose birthday incidentally, falls today). “At home,” she replied. “He’s in continuity for a film with a new haircut so he prefers to keep a low profile.” “We shall remember him on Thursday,” we said.
(And there we have) Soon, we were joined by Farah Khan, Daboo Kapoor, Zeenat Aman, Rishi and Neetu Kapoor, Sunita and Anil Kapoor with daughters Rhea and Sonam and our cousin, the lovely Anju Mahendroo. There was much laughter and bonhomie and a spirit of festivity as a people gathered around the card table to play a few rounds. “Is Karan Johar coming?” someone asked, and before we knew it, the talented and quick-witted director came in, exchanged pleasantries with the gathered guests and then before any one could say Jack Robbins joined Farah for a marathon heart to heart in the bedroom.
Two of India’s most talented and successful filmmakers ensconced together in a bedroom together? What on earth could they be discussing? The plots of their latest films? Star dates? The actress with the worst case of halitosis they’ve ever worked with? The price of onions? Who knows!
Suffice to say that by the time their private gabfest was over and the bedroom was invaded by other guests like yours truly, along with Zeenat, Neetu and Sonam — both of Bollywood’s leading lights were smiling like two long lost and very happy friends.
The bright and the beautiful
>> They both possess unusual good looks, blue-chip business acumen and well-upholstered bank balances, which is why the Capital can’t stop drooling over the growing friendship between Thapar heiress Ayesha (daughter of Vikram and Jyoti) and Nikesh Arora, the IIT and Northwestern trained technocrat, who just happens to be senior vice-president and chief business officer at Google and its highest paid employee.
And last night Thapar who heads Indian City Properties Ltd (ICPL), the real estate arm of the Thapar Group, which she is said to have successfully turned around, threw a small private dinner for Nikesh at her sprawling family residence in Delhi, where he could meet a few of her close friends. This is a precursor to the much larger Diwali weekend party, which she will be hosting over the weekend.
“This is the first time when Dilli matrons can’t decide who’s the bigger, more eligible catch,” said an insider about the couple. “Both are just such attractive personalities!” Meanwhile, no one can say what the future holds for these two friends: Ayesha is a divorcee and Arora is currently said to be married.
Tryst and shout
>> Fresh from his tryst with dengue actor Ranveer Singh had another kind of tryst on Saturday of the more pleasurable kind we hear. Accompanied by his friend director Shaad Ali, the actor stepped up to the Deejay’s console at the popular mid town night club Tryst, along with its owner Rishi Acharya and together they spun for the delighted crowd for over half an hour.
Incidentally, the low profile Acharya has been in the news a lot recently about his imminent plans of taking his nightclub to a whole new level literally, (the top floor of a hotel, we hear). “You’ll be the first to know,” he says when asked about his latest project.
A die hard SoBoite with a finger on its nightlife pulse like few others, Acharya reminds us of that other great lifestyle entrepreneur Flavio Briatore, the flamboyant entrepreneur who owns some of Europe’s hottest clubs (along with the Cipriani restaurant in London’s Mayfair.) Both men have the knack of knowing what the movers and shakers move and shake to — as last Saturday night’s outing proved!
>> The popular SoBo couple — Indu Shahani, the dynamic principal of HR college and her husband Ranjit, managing director and vice chairman of Novartis — an upcoming celebration on their hands: their son Siddharth, founding partner of Think Education, and one of the people behind bringing the Parsons school of design to India (along with Rana Kapoor’s daughter Radha) is getting married.
And given the couple’s large legion of friends and social contacts, this is sure to be another of Mumbai’s big-ticket weddings. Incidentally Siddharth who trained as a pharmacist in London appears to have embraced his mother’s vocation quite determinedly: his current projects include setting up a private K-12 school, Mumbai’s first specialist Master’s institute and a blue print for private public partnerships to fund education in India.
Salaam Mumbai: Art for status sake!
S o here’s the ultimate confirmation that in Mumbai there’s nothing like art for art’s sake these days. Word comes in of a pushy and upwardly mobile art collector who shocked a well-known gallerist recently when she bought a canvas by a renowned and highly coveted Indian master. “Can you have a gold frame put around it?” was her first request, which, given the master’s colourful geometric style was certainly ill advised.
But it was her second request that got the gallerist see a deep shade of magenta: “The artist’s signature is not large enough. How will any one know it’s his?” said the collector. “Can you place an embossed sign on the gold frame with the artist’s name in big block letters?”
That’s when the fighting began.