Looking good from the inside

>> “I’m just looking forward to the relief of acting in Bang Bang and Shuddhi,” said a ponytailed Hrithik Roshan when we met him at the GQ Men of the Year Awards night after party at China House on Sunday night. “And not having the responsibility of an in-house production,” he said, rolling his eyes expressively heavenwards.

Hrithik Roshan

The Roshans, father and son, are known to put in every ounce of their considerable talent, energy and skill into their home productions. And truth be told, when we looked closely at him, the star did look a bit gaunt. But despite this, his inner light shone through. “It’s not how you look on the outside but how you look on the inside,” he’d said in his acceptance speech, earlier, while receiving the GQ ‘Man of the Year Award’ from actress Rekha, (whom he matched step by step in an impromptu jig on stage.)

Che Kurien, editor of GQ, India with Rekha

For the record, he attended the ceremony alone and made no reference to wife Suzanne’s absence.

Das’ Tharoor dig
>> We have been fans of Vir Das, the byte sized stand-up comic artist ever since we caught one of his earliest performances at the Blue Frog many years ago. Hosting the GQ Man of the Year award 2013, his witty joke-a-minute-patter had the audience chuckling away.

Vir Das

Interspersed with swipes at Arnab Goswami, AD Singh, closeted designers and a clever prattle with the statuesque Neha Dhupia, his best joke of the evening, according to us, was when, after receiving a lukewarm applause from the audience at the start of the evening, he referred to them as ‘Shashi Tharoor’s family’.

Shashi Tharoor

Have the words ‘over refined’ and ‘effete’ come to be replaced by ‘Shashi Tharoor’? According to Das, it appears so.

Family wars
>> Word comes in from the recent NRI London-based wedding, that in spite of the high profile performances and international guest list, the festivities were marred somewhat by the non-attendance of the bride’s brother and paternal grandfather. The reason for this is said to be the long standing animosity between the billionaire tycoon father of the bride and his only son (married into a prominent Kolkata business family). And as a consequence of not inviting his son, it is said that his father refused to attend too. Incidents like this only demonstrate that no matter how much you have in the bank – it hardly ever insures commensurate happiness.

Michelin Guides in India?
>> One of the restaurant launches to look forward to, is the fine dining Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra in the Bandra Kurla complex. Those in the know say that Delhi-based Kalra, one of India’s original foodies, is pulling out all the stops to make it India’s first Michelin –starred eatery.

Jiggs Kalra

And now that the French company’s upcoming plant near Chennai will be on-stream by mid-2013, Kalra’s Michelin dreams may not be unfounded. Sources say that the legendary Michelin Guides will also soon be launched in India.

But given the impact that these ratings have on the lives of restaurants and chefs (in 2003, French Chef Bernard Loiseau committed suicide when newspaper reports hinted that his restaurant might lose its 3-star status) will our local denizens be able to take the pressure? And if they cannot take the heat, how many will get out of the kitchen?

Spaghetti sixers!
>> We ran into Mandira Bedi, the elfin charmer who made spaghetti straps synonymous with sixers. She informed us that she was busy getting her sari-designing venture off the ground. “It’s going to be called ‘Saris by Mandira Bedi’.

They’re going to be retailed in Bandra,” she said and indicated the gorgeous six yards that she was wearing as an example. Taking in the pastel pinks and pale greens we could see that she was onto a winner. Meanwhile, her spaghetti straps, we are happy to note, were intact and upfront.

Salaam Mumbai: Partying is such sweet sorrow
“The two things that you must never do while hosting a party,” a ferociously well-read and famous Mumbai hostess was telling me the other day, “Is expect people to arrive on time, and assign tables to people.” ‘Huh?’, I said. “This is because there is an unwritten code in Mumbai that the later you arrive, the more important you are,” she said. “Don’t you know Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children is about this syndrome,” she said.

Right, I said. “As for the seating arrangements, only attempt them if you want to lose all your friends,” she said. Meaning? I asked. “Well, let’s say you are hosting a sit-down dinner for a hundred people. Obviously you will have to assign one table where you, the host or the evening’s most important guests will sit. This will become Table One, right?” Right, I said. Well, how many people can you seat on Table One? At most 16?” she asked. Uh-huh, I said. “Be prepared to offend all 84 of your other guests,” she said darkly. How so? I asked. “Think about it. Every other person in the room will assume that in your opinion, they do not make the cut, that in fact you think they are second best!” she said. “Victor Hugo wrote his famous Les Misreables about this!” Yes, I said. “This, of course, is besides all the other hatred you’ll earn, for putting sworn enemies next to each other, secret adulterers face-to-face, and former business partners side by side.” Oh, I said.

“Yes,” she said, “It’s a terrible syndrome in Mumbai. Jane Austen’s most famous book was exactly about this.” Oh I said, what was it called? “Pride and Prejudice, I think, ” said the well-read, famous Mumbai hostess, sweetly.  

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