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Mumbai's Mad Men

As an incubator of some of the finest talent to emerge out of Mumbai, it's hard to beat Lintas, which over the years, has been something of a beacon for all manner of bright sparks.

From theatre veterans like Alyque Padamsee, Gerson Dacunha, Satyadev Dubey and Deven Khote, to poets like Kersy Katrak, Imtiaz Dharker and Bulbul Singh to stars like Kabir Bedi, Lintas has been the place to be.

Salman Khan Kavita Advani
Salman Khan and Kavita Advani

Which is why the steady stream of nostalgia and folklore about what was India’s premier ad agency has delighted us, poring forth from the pen of Kavita Advani, VP films and TV and a repository of many anecdotes and information.

Kabir Bedi Prahlad Kakkar
Kabir Bedi and Prahlad Kakkar

Written in a stream of consciousness style these recollections are faithfully evocative of the unbridled talent, the madness and the excitement of India’s very own gathering of Mad Men. One of her recollections describes a meeting with actor Salman Khan when international visitors from Lintas Lowe were taken for their mandatory Bollywood round.

“Khan insisted we ate lunch with him which consisted of ‘Chinese food, vodka and orange juice’,” she writes, while another describes a vivid run in with the reigning ad film director Prahlad Kakkar, ‘wearing his famous hat and smoking his famous cigar’ and a third talks of the fear and reverence Padamsee evoked.

What is Advani going to do with these delightful anecdotes? “These are some of the things I remember which I’m just penning down as reference points for the book I’m planning to write,” says Advani.
And as unabashed purveyors of nostalgia and trivia we’d buy it for sure.

Celebrating Nikhil
‘Animal Instinct’ ‘says the invitation to PR maven Nikhil Khanna’s big birthday tonight in Delhi. And the dress code advisory is quintessentially befitting of the birthday boy’s celebrated zaniness. “Dress Inappropriate” it says with panache.

Nikhil Khanna
Nikhil Khanna

Still, those who attend are likely to take a little time to mismatch their matte black Armani Tees and their Diesels jeans. After all with hosts known for their sense of style like designer Rohit Bal, graphic guru Vivek Sahni and Delhi’s fave couple hotelier Priya Paul and her entrepreneur husband Sethu Vaidyanthan, the celebration is bound to be a trendoid’s paradise.

Rohit Bal
Rohit Bal

What’s more with most of Khanna’s friends making up the crowd from the girl’s side at the recent Thapar -Arora wedding in Puglia, for many this evening’s celebration will be a continuation of the same spirit –much laughter, good times and non-stop dancing on tables.

Table reservations and other snobberies
It’s a truth well acknowledged that the more celebrated a restaurant the more difficult it is to get a table reservation. This booking snobbery has been perfected to a fine art in cities like New York and London where certain celebrity is afforded those who can get a restaurant booking on the strength of their name.

Jiggs Kalra
Jiggs Kalra

This subtle restaurant snobbery is catching up in Mumbai too. The standing joke about the Wasabi at the Taj for instance is that whomever calls for a table is told that the place is booked by default.
But of course when you finally land up there are lots of tables free.

Nevertheless two new restaurants that are fast gaining the reputation for being almost impossible to book a table at are Jiggs Kalra’s Masala Library and the all vegetarian Burma Burma in Sobo. As for us, we think booking a table robs the evening of a certain kind of spontaneity and so we prefer to stick to walk ins.

Chak De Moment
The seven women mountain climbers from Nepal appear to have hugely enjoyed their Chak De moment with Secretary of State John Kerry when they met him along with other US dignitaries in Washington last week.

The women’s team with John Kerry
The women’s team with John Kerry

The all-women team was fresh from their conquest of Mt. McKinley (Denali) in Alaska and, having reached the top of six of the seven summits of the highest mountains on each of the seven continents, have only Antarctica’s Mount Vinson remaining for them to conquer. Nice!

A tale of two Lisas
What’s in a name? Much fame and beauty if it happens to be Lisa. And guests at the Vogue Beauty Awards last week were delighted when they saw one beautiful Lisa (Haydon) win ‘the breakthrough prize of the year.’

But when beauty awards are being handed out, can another Lisa be far behind? Unable to be present herself, the other lovely Lisa (Ray) posted a charming picture of a table arrangement carrying the names of both Lisas.

Lisa Ray Lisa Haydon
Lisa Ray and Lisa Haydon

‘Yah Lisi-poo! My beautiful Indigo girl- celebrating in spirit with you!’ she wrote to her beautiful namesake. A rose by any other name would not smell as sweet.

Pop up shopper’s paradise
And word comes in that a sizeable helping of ladies who lunch are looking forward to Spicy Sangria's Pop Up Exhibit at R House, organized by Shaan Khanna who runs a popular lifestyle blog by the same name.

Shaan and Sharmilla Khanna
Shaan and Sharmilla Khanna

The one day store promises to cater to all kinds of interests and needs of the sophisticated Mumbai woman: healthy treats like chocolate chip cookies and Banana bread by ‘Eat A Whey’, detox juices by ‘Raw Preserry’ and clothes jewelry and accessories from designers like Madison by Trishna Bajaj, Bedika and Richa from Calcutta, and Shaaya by Vaitika.

Incidentally Shaan is the daughter of our friend marketing and brand promoter Sharmilla Khanna, credited for having contributed to that retail phenomena known as Aaraish. Good to see GenNext following in the footsteps of their parents.

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