Next season's Goa?

International party animal Vikram Chatwal's all-day party in Phuket last week, to announce the launch of his upcoming Dream Phuket Resort & Spa, slated to open next month, featured all the zest and hi-jinks expected from a stratospheric hedonist.

Aditya Khanna, Vikram Chatwal and Jeh Wadia with a friend
Aditya Khanna, Vikram Chatwal and Jeh Wadia with a friend

“Fireworks, Thai dancers, a stunning Ice sculpture of the Singha lion, and members of Phuket society, as well as the international jet set, made it hot and happening,” said a guest. And spotted having good time were the likes of Gulu Lalwani, Mohan Murjani with daughter Malini, Jeh and Celina Wadia, and AD and Sabena Singh amongst others.

Gulu Lalwani enjoys a drink
Gulu Lalwani enjoys a drink

With his Phuket launch, Chatwal, the son of Sant Singh, the US-based entrepreneur known to be a close friend of the Clintons, will be expanding his hip hotel franchise. “Phuket is an island to sojourn with loved ones and to be treasured with locals,” said the celebrated bad boy who'd had a high profile reformation, a few years ago. Move over Goa, the party just moved to Thailand is what we say.

Polo boys and babes
Jodhpur Polo, that month-long, year-end extravaganza which receives Royal patronage, got off to a steady clip at the beginning of last December and culminated as usual with the Hermes Cup on New Year's Eve.

Members of the winning team, Rina Shah and former Maharaja of Jodhpur Gaj Singh
Members of the winning team, Rina Shah and former Maharaja of Jodhpur Gaj Singh

And whereas the daily matches adhered to the games' pucca pomp and pelf (Mayo vs Eton, The British Army vs the President's Body guard were some of the matches played) with princes, Argentineans, vintage car rallies and chiffon sari clad Polo babes channeling their inner Rajmata of Jaipur – the sight of bag and shoe maker Rina Shah of Mumbai astride a galloping steed on the polo field certainly made heads turn.

Shah, who has been playing for the past three years and has undergone training in Argentina, has participated in various tournaments in Jaipur, Delhi, Jodhpur, Mumbai and Thailand and owns a Polo team named Rinaldi Polo. This year saw her playing in a couple of key matches before participating in the Hermes Cup, which her team ended up winning!

“The post tournament party at the Meherangarh Fort was a royal experience, featuring Maharajas, camels, dancers, fire eaters and firecrackers to welcome the procession of guests as they made their way up the steep fort. But women in their stilettos found the climb pretty tough,” said a source. Another challenge for Shah perhaps?

Commemorating Bimal Roy
Sunday night was witness to one of the finest memorial tributes we have attended. Hosted by the family of the late great Bimal Roy, director of such masterpieces as Do Bigha Zameen, Madhumati and Sujata, it marked the 50th death anniversary of the legendary director, and was held on the lawns of Mehboob Studios, not far from where the Roys have lived for decades.

Joy Roy
Joy Roy

Along with delicious Bengali tea and snacks, and Sandesh, the evening commenced with speeches made by Roy's son Joy, his granddaughter, the Cambridge academician Mishka Sinha, and his close associates who recounted many delightful anecdotes that evoked Roy's genius, his passion and his commitment.

This was followed by a Hindustani classical music recital by Kaushiki, daughter of Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty, who regaled guests with her exquisite voice and soulful singing. Spotted in the audience were Jaya Bachchan, Ila Arun, Poo Sayani, Roy Wadia and Salil Tripathi who were overheard commending the Roy siblings Yashodhara, Aparajita and Joy for organizing the memorable and sublime evening.

More of the same
Talk about history repeating itself. Hardly had Mumbai society recovered from the scandal involving the two couples who had a messy break up with each other, and amongst themselves, when it was discovered, that besides their very public friendship, an affair had developed between someone else's husband and wife, when news comes in of more of the same.

This time too, the adulterous couple has been going blue in the face denying any affair and hiding behind the 'just friends' tag until their affair came to light. What's ironic is that the poor wife, heiress and daughter of a well-heeled NRI clan was even heard to defend her errant husband and erstwhile 'BFF' until the bitter truth dawned.

As for the husband, son of a well known socialite, the fact that he's related to the injured party – the lady whose husband had been spirited away by her BFF in the original story - has obviously not stopped him from going ahead and cheating on his pretty wife with her friend, the formerly married Delhi socialite. As they say the more things change the more they stay the same!

Birthday hi-jinks
To hold ones place for 17 years in a fickle place like Goa takes some doing, but Aakritee and Virendra Sinh, the husband and wife team who own A Reverie, have more than proved their mettle.

Virendra and Aakritee Sinh
Virendra and Aakritee Sinh

And so, to celebrate the former's 40th birthday the couple threw open the doors of their beach front resort, to celebrate in style with the likes of Ritu Beri, Pooja Bedi, Rohit Bahl, Raja Dodhy, Malini Ramani, Manoviraj Khosla and Gauri Karan, amongst many others.

“There were over 200 guests,” said a source. “International bartenders dressed in dramatic costumes and women in flamingo attire, performances by DJ Afroz and the Lethal Girls, and a breath-taking aerial act performed by trained dancers made the evening one that went down as one of the craziest Goa has ever witnessed,” said the source.

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