>> You could not have asked for a more pedigreed crowd at Rohita and Maitreya Doshi’s party to celebrate their 25th anniversary this weekend.
After all, the Doshi’s (of the Walchand Hirachand group) represent India’s business aristocracy.
At one time before internecine issues weighed them down, they were right up there with the Birlas dominating the pre-reform Indian landscape (one produced India’s iconic Ambassador, the other the equally iconic Fiat).
Even so, the gathering was a heady demonstration of the family’s premier position amongst Mumbai’s power elite: Mukesh and Nita Ambani made a late but noted entrance, the daughter of their old family friend Sharad Pawar — Supriya Sule presided over a group of friends in one of the inner rooms and you couldn’t take a step without running in to other captains of industry, (the Bajajs, the Shroffs, the Meswanis, the Jindals, the Sheths) or Masters of the Universe (bankers like Uday Kotak, Manish Kejriwal, Rana Kapoor, Munesh Khanna) or the children of show biz legends like Rima (Raj Kapoor) Jain, Kanchan (Shammi Kapoor) Desai or her husband Ketan (Manmohan) Desai.
A recipient of the World Economic Forum’s ‘Global leaders of tomorrow’ award in 1993, the Ivy league educated Maitreya (or Mithu as he is fondly known) displays all the features of his pedigree: combining an interest in the arts inherited from his art historian mother Saryu, with his late father Vinod Doshi’s holistic view of business and philanthropy.
Flying in for the occasion from Delhi, we stayed till 1.30 pm when the exquisitely chosen music (as retro as it comes) was picking up and various movers and shakers were doing what they do best… moving and shaking!
Look what Santa’s brought
>> This year, Santa’s been particularly kind to fans of legendary playback singer Mohammad Rafi. (Chaudhvi ka chand ho, Kya Hua tera Wada?) who are in for a treat thanks to a non-stop, 12-hour musical concert organized by Spandan arts, an NGO, headed by Advocate and MLC Ashish Shelar, today.
To be held noon onwards at the Rang Sharada Auditorium, The Mohammed Rafi Awards- 2012 will also be presented at the event held on the eve of the 88th birth anniversary of the legendary singer. Award winners this year include Radio veteran Ameen Sayani and music Director Naushad.
Time to replace ‘ho ho ho’ with ‘Ae Mohabbat Zindabad’
The Bhatia siblings
>> “If you had seen the happiness on the couple’s faces you too would have been moved to tears,” said an emotional guest who’d attended the wedding celebrations of Alka (Akshay Kumar’s sister) and Surendra Hiranandani over the weekend.
Both middle aged, attractive and embarking on their second marriages, the bride and groom displayed all the joy of two people who have braved various odds to be with each other would.
“Dimple (the bride’s brother’s ma in law - whew that’s quite a mouthful! making her first public appearance after the loss of Rajesh Khanna) looked her resplendent self wearing white on both occasions of the wedding,” we were informed But aside from the legendary beauty, the pre- wedding party held on Akshay’s lawns saw only a sprinkling of Bollywood (like Sonakshi Sinha, Prabhu Deva) and the reception held at a hotel after the Gurduwara nuptials was also low on screen personalities.
Most of all the carefully handpicked guests were happy for the Bhatia siblings. “Alka, who in her prior existence ran a beauty parlor at Cuffe Parade is now the wife of a billionaire builder and Akshay, who came to Mumbai with nothing and had many years of struggle before his superstardom has done so exceedingly well,” said our source. “It’s their late father’s blessings,” we were informed.
One-upmanship Mumbai ishtyle
>> A couple at the high profile banker’s party to launch the Shangri-la this weekend were overheard exclaiming, “But it looks just like Antillia!,” when they entered the hotel’s spectacular lobby.
But if they were doing it to score brownie points, by establishing their familiarity with India’s most famous residential address, they fell short.
After all, any one within the charmed circle of the famous residents of that building would know that the name Antillia has been long dropped. “It’s only known by its street number now,” said a catty observer, adding: “It’s like in the old days, when to show familiarity people would say ‘Sharmila and Pat’ when every one knew that the actress and the Nawab were called ‘Rinku and Tiger’ by their close friends”
Ah, the delicious intricacies of Mumbai’s social life!
Catching up in Kochi
>> A nice aside at the Biennale in Cochin was the impromptu gathering of some of India’s top art elite at a café in Kochi.
“Looking for authentic Kerela cuisine one afternoon, were art world heavy weights like Meera Devidayal, Gita Simoes, Atul and Anju Dodiya and Subhod Gupta and Shireen Gandhi and the entire Gandhi clan who all arrived separately but made a lively group,” we were told. And the stand-out exhibit, according to our source, was Sudarshan Shetty’s ephemeral installation of the Hindu cremation rites.