It's a bird, it's a plane – no it's the man of steel. Hardly had he finished reprising his alleged bilateral role of bringing two Prime Ministers together in Lahore, when word comes in, that steel tycoon Sajjan Jindal, along with wife Sangita, will be flying off with a planeload of friends to bring in New Year's at Hampi.
Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Pic/PTI
As is known, the ancient Indian architectural town lies adjacent to one of Jindal's main plants, and art patron and philanthropist wife Sangita has undertaken much restoration of its cultural heritage. And no, as far as we know, a certain Narendra and Nawaz will not be on board together.
The Jindals in Lahore. Pic/Twitter
Talent transcends all
Dinner at Pallavi Jaikishan's is a much-cherished affair. The wife of the late Jaikishan, one half of Shankar Jaikishan, one of the film industry's most successful music composer teams, is not only a sought after fashion designer, but her tables are known for their delicious and sumptuous fare.
Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal and Poonam Dhillon
Hailing from one of Mumbai's old business clans, Pallavi, sister of Harsh Mariwala, chairman of Marico, had married Jaikishan, the then blue-eyed boy of film icons like Raj Kapoor and Lata Mangeshkar. The couple's home on Marine Drive had been the scene of some of Mumbai's most glamorous parties in the Sixties, featuring Bollywood stars, industrialists, socialites and the racing crowd.
Zarine Khan and Pallavi Jaikishan
Saturday night's dinner too, saw a slew of personalities from various walks of life assemble for drinks and dinner: Zarine Khan, interior designer and cook book author, an old friend of the Jaikishans, was one of the first to arrive, and considering she'd come all the way from Juhu, her punctuality was testimony to the warmth she shared with the hostess.
Thespian Mahabanoo Mody Kotwal also represented old ties. Restaurateur Sudhir Bahl with wife Rashmi, LA-based jet setting industrialist Rocky Malhotra, chairman of Supermax, the world's largest manufacturer of blades, former actress Poonam Dhillon, the hostess' brother Harsh, and her sister Mallika along with husband Chirayu Amin, the Baroda-based industrialist and former chairman IPL, were also present, as were a slew of glamorous NRIs from LA.
But as glamorous as the guests, and as sumptuous the table, by far the most dazzling were the nine Filmfare trophies displayed on Pallavi's mantelpiece, which Jaikishan had won in his brief but dazzling life. Because after all, riches, glamour, great food and wine are all ephemeral - it's only talent and creativity that transcend life.
The moment we had placed the receiver down, we had known that we had been speaking to an icon. It had been at the behest of Shaina NC, who had urged us to speak to former actress Sadhana about the harassment she was experiencing, on account of her landlords a few months ago.
The actress, who had been residing in an old building, was faced with the unchanging Mumbai conundrum – greedy real estate developers eager to get rid of old tenants/ residents so that they might cash in on their properties. “They say they will shift me to (she mentioned one of Mumbai's far flung suburbs, the horror in her voice palpable). Can you imagine me staying there?” the actress had said incredulously.
We could not, we'd replied. Grande dames like her, who'd captured a nation's heart, ought to reside only where they felt comfortable of course. So it is with sadness that we heard of her death over the weekend. Good bye Sadhana, at least now your housing problems are behind you; from what we've heard where you're going will be prettier than any number you'd danced to in your famous movie scenes.
Movers and sheikers
If Dubai this New Year's resembles a Mumbai nightclub, don't be surprised. Already, the UAE's most glamorous city has filled up with the likes of Bhavna and Chunky Pandey, Sanjay and Maheep Kapoor, Rewant Ruia and is expecting SRK-Gauri and family to bring in 2016 with Dubai's famed fireworks hijacks and parties.
Darshan Hiranandani, Bhavna and Chunky Pandey
The de rigeur party spot appears to be builder Darshan Hirandanani's bash at his home. And with so many of Mumbai's party people landing up in the UAE, the nomenclature for them this time round is – movers and 'sheikers'.
SRK and Gauri Khan, Maheep and Sanjay Kapoor
Unlikely fellow diners
Ace lawyer Ram Jethmalani, leading Parsi billionaire Pallonji Shapoorji Mistry, and son and heir of one of India's wealthiest IT tycoons, Rishad Azim Premji - these were the unlikely fellow diners who raised Christmas cheer on separate tables at Doppio, Breach Candy's newest dining hot spot.
Pallonji Shapoorji Mistry and Ram Jethmalani
“They all sat separately, but undoubtedly were united in their love of the establishment's lobster Benedict, mushroom risotto and espresso martinis,” said a fellow diner.
With startling impunity
It's been a murder case that has shocked the chatterati. Not only has it revealed such horrifying acts of violence and greed by those who were thought to be part of polite society, but also many amongst the city's upper echelons are only now coming to terms with the fact, that they might have been socializing with murderers.
But even when there is so much horror and introspection experienced by those on the farthest periphery of the circles, what does one make of reports, that the progeny of those incarcerated and under suspicion, have been partying it up all these days - oblivious to the serious nature of the case? And not only this but they have been posting pictures of themselves at various hot spots around the world, in the best of spirits!
“It's beyond bizarre,” as one society matron was overheard telling another recently. “What does one make of all of this?”
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