Mumbai's movers and shakers

Here's a question: What do top bureaucrats like Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta, Police Commissioner Ahmad Javed, Maharashtra Chief Secretary Swadheen Kshatriya, film directors Raju Hirani and David Dhawan, Bollywood legends Jackie Shroff and Helen, business leaders Anand Mahindra and Hemendra Kothari, media tycoons like Star CEO Uday Shankar and beautiful people like Dino Morea and Nandita Mahtani have in common?

Police Commissioner Ahmad Javed, Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta and Chief Secretary Swadheen KshatriyaPolice Commissioner Ahmad Javed, Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta and Chief Secretary Swadheen Kshatriya

Ans: They had all gathered together on Monday night to meet and mingle at a dinner thrown by BJP spokesperson Shaina NC and husband Manish Munot, at their home in SoBo. "We hardly ever throw parties," said Shaina when we commended her about the eclectic nature of the gathering — a true representation of Mumbai's power structure, if ever there was one. "But I think it's so important to get the city's decision makers together for better understanding and smoother working," she said.

Jackie Shroff and Helen
Jackie Shroff and Helen

Shaina has taken a leaf out of her father Nana Chudasama's book. For decades, aided by his wife the graceful Munira, the Chudasamas entertained the cities best and brightest at their elegant cottage at Malabar Hill overlooking the sea. And their impassioned engagement with the city does not end there.

Today will witness another such high-powered confluence when Nana, as world chairman, Giants International, will honour ten prominent personalities from different walks of life at a glittering function in the presence of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. "It's so important to get achievers and decision makers to meet," said Shaina as we took our leave. Indeed. Or as EM Forster said, 'only connect'.

Jewels for Mumbai's peacocks
Last evening a delicious serving of Mumbai's women, and a few dapper men, attended the preview of jewellery designer Poonam Soni's new men's line of accessories, along with a collection of vintage fusion jewellery for women on Tuesday at her Bandra store.

Poonam Soni and Bharat Shah
Poonam Soni and Bharat Shah

Soni, who featured in the Rolls Royce limited edition coffee table book and had also received an endorsement from Michael Kors, recently launched her brand in New York. The men's collection featured piquant button enhancers, pocket monograms in gold, lapel pins and emerald brooches.

Exactly the kind of gifts to appeal to the city's celebrated breed of peacocks: men whose attire and carriage speak of many hours of grooming, gymming, primping and preening. Don't believe Mumbai has such men? Think again. Soni's limited edition line of men's accessories for the season, we were informed, had been a sell out.

Delhi-Mumbai camp and drag
Even as news of the Capital's season of high camp, when its creamy layer went to great lengths over the weekend to dress up in Asian Royalty for Vickram Goel's fiftieth birthday party comes in, Mumbai proved that it was no slouch when it came to camping it up either.

Performers (also below) at Tape
Performers (also below) at Tape

Tape, the drag king show by Gaysi Family and The Patchwork Ensemble, saw girls bring out their special swag at Tilt All Day, and by all accounts, there was much whistling and cheering by the filled-to-the-rafters audience. So who does camping it up better? Mumbai or Dilli? The jury's out on that one.

A bend in the river
"Ahilya fort has been selected by Town and Country magazine as one of the world's best hotels," said Richard Holkar scion of the erstwhile ruling clan in Madhya Pradesh, who runs the elegant boutique hotel on the banks of river Narmada in Maheshwar.

Richard Holkar
Richard Holkar

"We strive to give our guests an authentic and unique Indian experience, by providing a high level of comfort through our caring and professional staff; also we are fortunate to have a spectacular location, these factors have resulted in appreciation such as Town and Country's selection of Ahilya Fort as one of the world's 100 best hotels," said the erstwhile Maharajah, who is also a jewellery designer and foodie, adding, "We are converting the fort's main gate house into a charming budget hotel with five rooms, which will be known as Labboo'z Lodge. It should be ready in time for my son Yashwant Rao's wedding, and will open for business in 2016." Nice.

As sassy as you can get
Congratulations poured in yesterday at the announcement of The Sassy Spoon winning the Zomato Users' Choice Awards for best European & Mediterranean restaurant 2015. The brainchild of Chef Irfan Pabaney and young food entrepreneur Rachel Goenka, the restaurant with outlets in SoBo and NoBo, has carved a place in Mumbai's foodie heart.

Chef Irfan Pabaney and Rachel Goenka
Chef Irfan Pabaney and Rachel Goenka

We have been watching Pabaney's soaring professional trajectory with a fair amount of pride: he was a fellow Juhu resident back in the day, and then the always friendly and charming chef with the bandana at Under the Over for many years, before moving on to Rahul Akerker's more ambitious Indigo, where he truly honed his skills in European and Mediterranean cuisine. Congratulations Irfan and Rachel, and pass the sugar-free Blueberry panna cotta while you're at it.

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