Mega bromance

It may have brought the house down, and created much angst for those in the neighbourhood due its sound levels, but one thing's for sure, Hrithik Roshan's recent high-octane birthday bash at the Four Season's, sure didn't lack in mega star bonhomie.

"It was a rocking evening with Bollywood close friends and crew. Duggu was in high spirits. And there was a great international Dj," said one of the revellers about the party that witnessed the coming together of some of Bolly land’s biggest male stars, including Ranveer Singh and SRK.

Hrithik Roshan, Shah Rukh Khan and Ranveer Singh
Hrithik Roshan, Shah Rukh Khan and Ranveer Singh

And what’s more, the camaraderie amongst the alpha males, whose movies often compete at the box office, was not a one-night stand alone. "The party continued into the wee hours of the morning ending at SRKs pad. With breakfast being served," said the source. Now that’s bromance at its best!

Dabboo’s drool-worthy portraits
Tuesday night saw all the stars descend for the launch of ace photographer Dabboo Ratnani’s calendar. Having taken on the iconic status of international calendars like the Pirelli, the Ratnani almanac, on which the stars strike their most sensational poses, is a much-awaited affair.

Dabboo Ratnani with his family
Dabboo Ratnani with his family

This year too, when we arrived at the Olive, the entrance was abuzz with that particular fervour that surrounds a star visitation. Except, given that 24 stars have graced this year’s calendar looking hot, cool, appetizing, inviting and enigmatic for Ratnani’s lens – the excitement levels on the ribbon-like road outside Olive were palpable.

It’s always tough to gauge when the stars are about to descend at an event, but rule of thumb (except in the case of Amitabh Bachchan, of course), is that the bigger the star –the later they’ll show up. This we’re told has less to do with being fashionably late, as work schedules. Also, geographical distance is not a factor in starry appearances; a big star who lives a stone’s throw away, is expected to come later than a small star that lives far. This is an accepted law in Bollywood physics.

Any way, while we were, there we spotted Alia Bhat, Sunny Leone, Javed Jaffrey, Sophie Chowdhury, and what might or might not have been Siddharth Malhotra. But of course, there were no dearth of stars in the room - the real stars were Ratnani’s remarkable portraits adorning the walls: SRK drenched in a monsoon shower, his lean torso showing through his white shirt, every woman’s wet dream; a bare chested Varun Dhawan splattered in colours looking like a work of modern art; Jacqueline Fernandez in boxing gloves and a moody blue Arjun Ramphal strumming an acoustic guitar...

In fact, with all these stars to look forward to with the passing of each month it’s already looking like a Happy New Year we think.

Rahman, Gore and Legend
"It’s a proud moment to have the likes of many Indians such as AR Rahman on this powerful stage," said Yashraj Akashi, the office of the Senior Ambassador of TEDx in India, and Curator of TEDxGateway, about the
news of the line-up at the coveted global TED Conference this year, which includes speakers like A R Rahman, global strategist Parag Khanna, technologist Amit Sood and education activist Reshma Saujani.

A R Rahman, Al Goreand and John Legend. Pic/AFP
A R Rahman, Al Goreand and John Legend. Pic/AFP

The biggie in the TED hierarchy, global TED takes place in Vancouver, Canada, February 15-19 2016, and also include other big names like Al Gore, musician John Legend and Travis Kalanick - Founder of Uber. "The first day of TED will also be telecast in the cinemas across USA and Canada," said Akashi. And with this year being held in Justin Trudeau’s Canada – it cannot get sexier than this.

Of tapestries and anniversaries
The flowering of a writer, especially a writer of books for young adults is a joyous affair, more so, when we learn that the author of The Last of the Firedrakes, Farah Oomerbhoy’s debut novel, was partly inspired by the tapestry that hangs in her grandmother’s home.

Shweta Nanda
Shweta Nanda

And Tuesday evening saw some of Mumbai’s yummiest mummies amongst others, gather at Le Mill where Oomerbhoy’s sister-in-law Roohi Jaikishan, executive director RR Oomerbhoy, along with Cecilia Morelli Parikh and Julie Leymarie of Le Mill, co-hosted the formal launch of the book.

Farah and Riyad Oomerbhoy
Farah, Riyad Oomerbhoy, Roohi and Chetan Jaikishen with their kids

In attendance were Farah’s husband Riyad Oomerbhoy, mother Zinia Lawyer and brother Rustom Lawyer, along with Natasha Poonawalla, Anu Dewan, Ashiesh Shah, Chetan Jaikishan, Queenie Singh and Rishi Sethia, Rahul Khanna, Rima Jain, Tara Sharma, Tanya Dubash and many more.

What’s more, it turned out to be a double treat - not only did the book launch in the US as a bestseller on Amazon.com and was nominated as a finalist in the USA Best Book Awards 2015, but Farah & Riyad Oomerbhoy’s wedding anniversary, which fell on the same day, was celebrated too.

A statuesque Shweta Bachchan Nanda, who read excerpts from the book, said, "I read the first draft of Farah Oomerbhoy’s book a few years ago, and really enjoyed it. It is so wonderful to see the published book finally out in bookshops across India." About her grandmother’s tapestry, Oomerbhoy said, "I didn’t really think I would ever publish this book when I started imagining the world of Avalonia. It was only when I stood before a tapestry in my grandmother’s house, that I realised the magical market could easily be in the forest depicted in the tapestry. That’s when the whole story started taking shape."

Blessings of the food Gods
The food Gods must be smiling especially down at us: in the past month or so we have dined on the preparations of three of India’s most famous and celebrated chefs. All three have made considerable names for themselves overseas and by the end of 2016 all three would have a Mumbai presence.

Chef Atul Kochhar with Riyaz and Kiran Amlani and Romil Ratra
Chef Atul Kochhar with Riyaz and Kiran Amlani and Romil Ratra

First it was in Bangkok with Gaggan Anand’s myriad coursed symphony of progressive cuisine (Gaggan is in talks to open at a mid town hotel this year). Then it was at the New York-based Floyd Cardoz’s latest creations for the next menu of the Bombay Canteen, and over last weekend we had the pleasure of partaking in UK-based Michelin starred Chef Atul Kochhar’s offering at NRI, his clever little outpost in BKC.

Chefs Floyd Cardoz and Gaggan Anand
Chefs Floyd Cardoz and Gaggan Anand

The meal at NRI consisted of such delectables as dalim shakkkarkandhi, baingan gehu ka chat, tandoori jerk spiced chicken salad and Carribean goat masala with Buss up shut roti, and adheres to the philosophy of reinventing Indian cuisine. Kochhar has been an early believer in the wonders of Indian food, and like his peers Gaggan and Cardoz, has been serving it up to great international acclaim.

Cardoz seems to have got it right with Bombay Canteen, and from the buzz around Kochhars NRI, he doesn’t seem far away now. It’s fingers crossed for Gaggan ‘s next!

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