Party hearties in Mumbai

Mumbai's in the grips of a wedding season. And whereas the Daswani wedding was celebrated in style over the weekend at different venues (Amadeus, Taj and Tote) the grand Kaji-Kochhar alliance, (which had been first announced on these pages) is a 10-day extravaganza.

Unsurprisingly, even in the midst of all this, Mumbai still found time to party over the weekend with two separate rooftop parties on Sunday.

  
(From left) Chanda Kochhar, whose daughter Aarti is tying the knot with Aditya Kaji; Ashish Raheja and Yash Birla

The Belvedere RED party at the Four Seasons Aer (proceedings went to Bono of U2’s charity) where the likes of Ashish Raheja, Yash Birla and Bandana Tewari were spotted in the lounge, replete with red bottles and a slew of exotic models; and the neighbouring Asilo at the Palladium which hosted London’s famous themed event ‘love brunch’ which featured a cirque du soleil style party, with acrobats and dancers that went on till midnight! It’s official: the silly season is uponeth we.

Remembering Riyad and Rohit
Two beautiful and talented young men, both who died tragically young, remembered poignantly by their loving siblings in the same week.

Riyad Vinci Wadia Rohit Khosla
Riyad Vinci Wadia and Rohit Khosla

‘My brother Riyad, forever and always (19 September 1967 - 30 November 2003)’ wrote Roy Wadia, journalist and AIDS activist, on the death anniversary of his late sibling Riyad Vinci Wadia, the Mumbai based Indian independent filmmaker known for his film, Bomgay, one of the first films based on a homosexual theme, that fell on Sunday.

‘There was a star danced/ and under that was I born,’ quoted Delhi-based aesthete Rohini Khosla from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing on the birthday of her brother the late designer Rohit Khosla, one of the pioneers of India’s fashion industry whose birthday fell on Saturday.

Riyad and Rohit. Both exceptionally talented young men way ahead of their times, in many ways epitomising the cities they lived and worked in, who died too young. Synchronicities come subtly sometimes.

Birkin up the wrong tree
Your average Mumbai kitty party. Twelve women, each a pillar of society in her own right. Each a legend in her own lunchtime, all gathered at a prominent Sobo eatery. The topic turns to bags.

Not any bags, of course. Birkins. That goat-skinned lined creation of handmade enterprise and shrewd marketing which whispers ‘one of the club’ or ‘one of the herd’, depending on which side of the privileged enclosure you’re in.

The discussion at hand is about the various types crocodile, lizard, and ostrich. When one striking woman, with lips like Marilyn Monroe and eyes like Caligula, says “Birkins! I can’t stand their shape! I just gave one away to a friend. Too many people carry them.”

“You gave away a bag costing almost R8 lakh to a friend?” says another member, chopsticks mid air, in a challenging tone. “Eight lakh?!! Then I bet it was a fake!” says the benevolent Birkin-giver, a bit flustered. ‘T’was a gift babes. And I don’t think the people who gave it would have spent so much. And they live in Hong Kong...”

The group titters politely as they attempt to digest this bit of information along with their Peking duck. Cut to four months later. Birkin-giver is spotted carrying a Birkin. Real or fake? “It looked fake,” says one of the kitty members. “And when she saw me looking at it-she blushed.” And so it goes, and so it goes...

Noted architect feted
A few decades ago, he played as important a role in creating the Mumbai skyline as Charles Correa, but that was also because IM Kadri was perceived to stand on the opposite ideological embankment to the Goa-born architect, and so one inevitably got chosen for the city’s important projects, if the other didn’t.

IM Kadri, on his 85th birthday with family and friends
IM Kadri, on his 85th birthday with family and friends

And under their gaze, the city as we know it took shape (much the same way as it does now between Correa’s son-in-law Rahul Mehrotra, and who could easily be the inheritor of Kadri’s mantle Hafeez Contractor.)

But even as some of his most renowned buildings, like the Nehru Centre, the Shiv Sagar estate and Sahyadri stand testimony to his legacy and his unique vision, much more tangible is the family that Kadri spawned, a big loving one that includes son Rahul and daughter-in-law Shimul, both noted architects, sons-in-law Yogi Mehra and Suniel Shetty, a businessman and actor respectively, and daughters Maana and Isha who have dedicated themselves to nurturing the NGO PRIDE that their late mother Vipula had created.

And yesterday, when the renowned architect, who’d once served as Mumbai’s Sheriff, celebrated a milestone birthday, they were all there around him, along with a few of his oldest friends to bring it in. “Happy 85th Dad-love you and wish you many more years filled wit, joy, peace, travels and laughter and love,” said Isha Mehra, “You INSPIRE ME to LIVE LIFE KING SIZE! With integrity discipline acceptance laughter and love!” We like!

Malini in Malini
“I attended the wedding of Juhi Pande and Michael Delfs in Goa,” says one of our favourite gals, the effervescent Malini Agarwal aka Miss Malini of the blogs, the tweets, the TV show. “It was the most beautiful, warm and fuzzy wedding I have been to and I danced up a storm in my blue Malini Ramani creation which she made especially for me because she is a sweetheart!” she said.

Malini Agarwal
Malini Agarwal

Interestingly, though we have been in touch pretty regularly with the indefati-gable digital diva, we realised only now that we didn’t have each other’s numbers. So varied are the tools of communication these days that to paraphrase Elizabeth Barrett Browning its become, ‘How do we contact thee, by WhatsApp, sms email or tweet…’

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