>> Not only is she the late Dhirubhai Ambani’s first grandchild to get married but also her future husband is the scion of one of India’s most powerful business families (his father Shyam heads one of India’s fastest growing companies and his grandfather just happens to be KK Birla!) Which is why the card for ‘a special evening to celebrate the forthcoming wedding’ of the very much in love Nayantara Kothari and Shamit Bhartia comes in the name of Kokilaben Ambani and is the colour of the first blush of a rose. Fittingly too the dress code requests: ‘a touch of romance.’ Love is in the air!
SoBo’s grandest dame!
>> Long before there were the current lot of Mumbai Page 3 divas, way before women in this city dressed in Parisian haute couture, entertained in style, ran glam empires and lived life queen size, there was Zinia Lawyer.
Born to a swashbuckling race horse-owning SoBo Parsi real estate developer (who built the landmark Bakhtawar buildings, home to Ratan Tata until he retires) and his charming wife, educated at the best schools and universities, a woman of great charm and vivacity (not to forget a throaty drawl that would put Princess Margaret to shame) that Zinia Lawyer: horse owning, dog loving, beer magnate Zinia (the London Pilsner brand was hers before she sold it to Vijay Mallya).
Any way, to cut to the chase, early next week, to celebrate the lady’s special birthday her doting family is hosting a party to toast the lady in the style she deserves. And for one moment, Mumbai will relive the good old days, when parties had real hosts (not perfume and accessory brands) and there was no agenda but to celebrate a happy occasion. Happy birthday Zinia! You don’t get older, just classier!
Party- hearty Mumbai
>> As for Mumbai, its not doing too badly on the party meter either: this week will witness the Wadhwas 25th anniversary party at the Shangri-la (first reported here), followed by Rohita and Maitreya Doshi’s silver wedding anniversary, followed by Deepak and Smita Parekh’s annual Christmas brunch (which just happens to clash with the Akerkar’s private much sought after Christmas do) followed by… See what we mean?
UP’s pride, NCPA’s shame
>> Today more than ever we salute women who stand up for women’s issues and rights. Which is why when Mahabanoo Kotwal, the feisty theatre veteran informed us that her Poor-Box productions has ‘won a huge victory over censorship in India’ we are thrilled.
“Almost two years ago, we were banned at the last minute from going to Lucknow to perform The Vagina Monologues,” she says. “A young man there who was bringing us there named Bhupesh took on the issue through the courts all on his own steam but to no avail,” said Mahabanoo. “And then just a few days ago Dolly Thakore was in Lucknow for a Laadli event when she addressed the censorship issue and how we had been turned away from there. As it happened, UP CM Akhilesh Yadav was there and he assured her in public that the play would be allowed to be performed in UP from now on and that we would be welcomed with great gusto!” So, does this mean that the NCPA (which for some strange reason stopped hosting the play after the first year-and-a-half) is less progressive than the state of UP? Something to think about, no?
Overseas and over the top
>> It’s not only in India that Indians are kicking up their heels. From as far away as Thailand, we hear the silly season has all in its thrall. One of Bangkok’s richest Indians, the cosmetic dentist Dr Sunil Phol and his wife Pooja threw a house warming party that lasted five days to inaugurate their mansion spread over an acre in the posh Pakamas neighbourhood, home to the country’s rich and famous we hear.
Amongst the high and mighty were guests like the Indian ambassador to Thailand Anil Wadhwa and Mumbai’s Laljee Bhatia (aka the Hummer king of India) with his wife Neena. “Guests who’d flown in from all over the world danced till the wee hours to Salman Khan songs,” we were informed. Oh dear, you can take a boy out of Bollywood but…
>> The lovely model and TV anchor Sushma Reddy, one third of the beauteous trio of the Reddy sisters called in to say that she’s just got back from Greece where she had gone to see her little nephew (her sister former supermodel Meghna’s baby).
“His name’s Nirvaan Sky Mionis. He was born on November 20 this year and he’s half Greek,” says the lady who has co-produced and anchored a show on TLC called Go!India Maharashtra, which airs end of the month and is co-producing a film that goes on the floors in Feb next year. As for the enigmatically named Nirvan Sky, his over the moon aunt says, “My whole family has been taking turns flying in and helping out. He’s the first grandchild and first boy in our family, so Sameera and I are fascinated. And yes, he has Meghna’s pout!” We like!