>> We love irony – it’s life’s way of giving you a little wink and telling one not to take things too seriously. So, when Minister of State of Communications and Information Technology, the urbane and tech-savvy Milind Deora said to us that the “Only interesting thing in my life is that my twitter ID got suspended :),” we couldn’t help but chuckle.
“I had asked for my account to be verified and they suspended it but reactivated it and apologised later,” said the guitar-playing South Mumbai MP. “But it was ironic being India’s IT minister and getting blocked!” Was this part of the government’s clampdown on social media we enquired. “No, nothing to do with that. It was just a mistake on their part and very coincidental,” said Deora, adding, “But at the same time it gave me a needed break from Twitter.”
Look who came to dinner
>> When one of Delhi’s most respected and clued-in editors told us a year ago that there was trouble brewing in the Vadra household and that Priyanka had moved out of her marital abode and into her mother’s bungalow — we were dismayed. With Sonia’s illness making headlines and the untimely death of her father — we wondered how much tragedy could one woman withstand. Which is why when our Delhi jassoos called to tell us of the party she’d attended earlier in the week where a relaxed Robert and Priyanka displayed every sign of being a happy, well-adjusted couple, we were happy.
“She’s absolutely besotted with Robert,” said our informer. “He was, as usual, the life and soul of the party, taking charge of the music, talking animatedly about his fitness regime and being his friendly charming self while his wife who is shyer (but looked great in a smart LBD) sat in a corner talking to friends,” we were told.
“The thing is, amongst his friends Robert’s known as a ‘mast bandha’. Full of life, good cheer and happy vibes. And it’s obvious to all that she adores him.” We like!
Hum kisi se kam nahin!
>> Ever since Nita Ambani hosted the fashion show and book launch to commemorate Abu- Sandeep’s 25th year in fashion, other putative society queens are gearing up to ensure that they are not left behind in the ‘hostess with the mostest’ stakes. So, what can you do to up the ante after the spectacular India Fantastique event, which drew some of the country’s most glamorous names under the same roof? According to our sources, the answer to that will be an event scheduled to be held next month where another of India’s leading designers will be presented in a similar fashion by an industrialist’s wife. “The attempt is to prove that bigger names and a more dazzling event can be hosted,” we were informed.
Fifty One Shades of Grey
>> For some time now we’ve prided ourselves on belonging to the most exclusive club on the planet: women who’ve not read Fifty Shades of Grey, EL James’ monster bestseller but nevertheless we find ourselves chuckling at all the attempts at parody and wit it has unleashed. The latest one that we found particularly clever was the invitation to an exhibition we received to S’, Haseena Jethmalani’s Warden Road boutique which she runs with partner Leetu Shivdasani.
Called Fifty One Shades of Gray, the exhibition according to fashionsista Haseena ‘has wonderful easy to wear and affordable prêt pieces — all dyed in different shades of gray.’ “I’ve read the book,” says Haseena, “And doing something around it tickled our fancy,” she laughs. “Also being the monsoon months gray is a great color to wear.” And what has been the response to the invite? “Well a lot of women asked if Christian Grey would be present,” she laughs. “And to that I say — wait and watch!”
Of literature and the mountains
>> More news on the Khushwant Singh literature festival to be held in October in Kasauli, which is being lovingly, put together by his son Rahul and Niloufer Billimoria. While the focus is on Khushwant and his association with the lovely hill station where he escaped to write and walk, the program is shaping up to be a vibrant get together of like-minded people who have literature the mountains and Khushwant in common.
Participants will include ecological authors like Pradip Krishen, (Trees of Delhi) Bulbul Sharma, (Birds and Nature Watch) Ruskin Bond, (who was born in Kasauli) Anita Desai, Rahul Bose (in conversation with Aparna Sen who will talk of how books are made into movies and the difficulties faced in doing so). Talented beauty Amrita Shergill, biographer Yashodra Dalmia in conversation with artist Vivan Sundaram, ex-NYT journalist and author Pranay Gupte, and writers Vinod Mehta and Shobaa De. Two new names that have been suggested seem to fit in with the general theme of mountains and literature: Nayantara Sahgal and Pankaj Mishra, who have both made their homes in the region? “It’s going to be a small intimate festival very much for friends to come together and generate meaningful dialogue and ideas,” says Niloufer. “We plan to hold it annually,” she says. Profits from the KS literary trust will be ploughed back into preservation of Kasauli and its environs.
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