Of plummy accents and yummy Dames

>> We love receiving invitations from erstwhile Maharajahs, especially if they have fierce beards and plumy accents. And, so when we received an exquisitely calligraphed and worded summons to watch Fox Star Studio’s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel this Wednesday from the Maharana of Udaipur Arvind Singh Mewar, who’s no slouch in the fierce whiskers and plumy accent business we were delighted. The Maharana (or Sriji) as he insists friends call him who runs a well-oiled hospitality business conglomerate and is alarmingly tech and business savvy says his association with Marigold is tangential. “I guess the team thought I helped them a bit when they shot in Udaipur,” he said to us, when we asked him how he was involved. “We hosted the cast during their shoot.”

Incidentally, Lillette Dubey, who reprises a small role in the film as Dev (Slum Dog) Patel’s mother Mrs Kapoor was ecstatic about the experience. “I think there are some films you will always remember for a variety of reasons,” she said to us, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is one such: I got to work with a director I have long admired from Shakespeare in Love and was part of a film that has Judi Dench and Maggie Smith — two of my all time favourite actresses, which also turned out to be a huge hit internationally.” We like!

The Mile High Club
>> More about the Delhi bound leggy former beauty queen and actress who is having a Capital time these days. Apparently the lady has left behind a young
20-something swain, not only heart-broken, but in debt to the market to the tune of approximately 30-40 big Cs (which he had borrowed to furnish her lifestyle.) Down in the dregs, the kid who hails from a conservative family has begun smoking to get over his present state. “I think she had put a spell on me,” he confessed to a friend about his Mrs Robinson-like paramour known for her obsession with the occult. As for the lady’s present love interest, the businessman who earlier was seeing another hot Bollywood ‘star’ before her demands for private jet holidays became a bit too frequent — it appears his family is not amused by his extra curricular activities. People who know both parties say that it looks like they have finally met their match in each other, though many are putting their bets on the lady emerging the winner from the liaison ultimately.

LAP-dancing with the competition
>> There’s no underestimating the power of shared interests. Insiders in the Mumbai restaurant universe will recall the delicious rivalry between
AD Singh’s Olive franchise and the F&B offerings of the trio comprising Raman Macker, Gaurav Batra and Vickey Singh of Dish Hospitality.

For years, the latter’s Rain gave AD’s Olive a run for its money with their boho Friday night bazaars and themed music nights. Later the group’s Aurus at Juhu Tara was a worthy competitor to Olive as the suburban swish crowd’s watering hole and nosh provider. But opportunity makes strange bedfellows or at least tablemates. We now learn that AD and his erstwhile rivals are all set to toast a new arrangement wherein the Dish Hospitality fellas will manage LAP, the Delhi nightclub jointly owned by AD and actor Arjun Rampal (where Lady Gaga performed a few months ago.) Good to know legends in their lunchtime can break bread together.

The Rain In Spain

>> The passions of the Mumbai memsahib are fascinating. No sooner had the penchant for being a cushion scatterer (read interior desecrator) given way to the ‘dejjiner’ boom when we learn that the latest fashion amongst the LV luvvies is learning Spanish! Hola! Why Spanish? Could it be an offshoot of the interest in Haciendas and stucco? Or olive oil and tapas bars? Until we get to the bottom of this mystery, here’s some more Spanish-flavoured fare: After 10 years in Mumbai the JW Marriott hotel in Juhu is gearing up to launch a Spanish restaurant this month which if the media gump is any thing to go by is going to spice up the city’s restaurant scene. Though we have been requested to keep the name of the Michelin star chef and the restaurant under wraps till the official launch we can reveal that he has been trained in Barcelona by three Michelin Star Chef Ferran Adria in Barcelona. So the ladies who lunch — in Spanish — will have a new place to go!

O Mother Mine!
>> Though we are not given to sentimentality on Mother’s Day (ha!) we quite liked the trend on social networking sites on Sunday that had people posting their names with their mother’s first name inserted as their middle name.

It made for poignant tributes, we thought. Except it was hardly original. Hadn’t Sanjay Leela Bhansali beaten every one to it a long time ago?

Fair India
>> Sylvester da Cunha has been following the woes of our national carrier…

The aging Maharaja confesses
His pilots do add to his stresses.
The way out, he explains,
Is to have ageing planes
Be flown by aging hostesses.’

— Sylvester da Cunha

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