Prince Charles and wife Camilla are all set to fly into Delhi

Nov 03, 2017, 06:00 IST | Malavika Sangghvi

Next week, Delhi will be witness to a high-powered event in the presence of the visiting Prince Charles, when Sir Dominic Asquith, the British High Commissioner to India, will host a discussion on 'The Business of Sustainability' for 10 individuals.

Ajay Piramal, Suhel Seth, Uday Kotak and Sanjiv Goenka
Ajay Piramal, Suhel Seth, Uday Kotak and Sanjiv Goenka

"Banker Uday Kotak, industrialists Ajay Piramal and Sanjiv Goenka, and marketing wiz Suhel Seth, who represents the British Asian Trust of which the prince is the founder patron, have all been invited," says a source. Incidentally the heir to the British throne, and his wife Camilla, who launched their tour of Asia this week with their arrival in Singapore, will be in India on November 8 for a two-day visit to be centered around the UK-India Year of Culture celebrations, including a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

And there appears to be every chance that the royal couple might be able to meet the adventurers taking part in the Jodhpur to Jaipur 'Travels To My Elephant.' Rally, first mentioned on this page a few days ago. Camilla, of course is sister to the late conservationist Mark Shand, whose NGO Elephant Family has been the inspiration for the rally in support of the Asian elephant.

Passage through India
The glamorous wife of former ambassador to India Richard Celeste, Jacqueline Lundquist's recent trip to India harks back to the grand voyages of yore, replete with sojourns to gritty villages, serious seminars across cities, and many (many) celebratory lunches and dinners.

Jacqueline Lundquist, wife of former US ambassador Richard Celeste, in Kutch
Jacqueline Lundquist, wife of former US ambassador Richard Celeste, in Kutch

"31 days in India. 1 trade mission, 2 WaterHealth launches, 8 cities, dozens of villages, scores of meetings, and 31 nights of friends! I need a vacation! Namaste, everyone," said the indefatigable VP of the US-based WaterHealth International.

With Celeste and friends in Delhi
With Celeste and friends in Delhi

The visit had begun fittingly with a reception at Delhi's Roosevelt House, the abode of the current US ambassador, and had wound its way to Mumbai where between work meetings, Lundquist had managed to squeeze in some of the city's 'must do's: a jog at Juhu beach and a chilly crab lunch with friends. She had also taken in a trip to the Rann of Kutch and even celebrated her 22nd wedding anniversary with Celeste, especially serendipitous, as this was where the couple had spent their honeymoon.

Along the way the long-legged Lundquist was feted by all manners of delighted old friends including designer Rina Dhaka, entrepreneur Bina Ramani, and industrialist Ratan Tata. "How much fun, love and friendship can one girl take?" She asked at the end of it all, answering herself with 'A lot, it turns out!"

Going gaga over food
What's in a name? The Bard asked, but in today's hyper cool times, the answer to that is: everything. Take the case of restaurateur (and the man who epitomizes the Delhi-Mumbai gypsetter existence like no other) AD Singh's cleverly named Lady Baga.

AD Singh (also below) with his brother and nieces. (From left to right) Sonali Kumar, AR Singh (twin), Mitali Kumar,and Amira Singh
AD Singh (also below) with his brother and nieces. (From left to right) Sonali Kumar, AR Singh (twin), Mitali Kumar,and Amira Singh

A tribute to the easy, breezy hipness of Goa's Baga beach, with a nod in the direction of the global songstress, its launch in Delhi a couple of years ago, was a much celebrated one, given the Capital's love affair with all things Goan.

This weekend, the franchise moves south, to Bangalore's Lavelle Road, where it will be housed on two floors in the same structure that boasts Singh's other paean to regional and ethnic cuisine: Sodabottleopenerwala. "We will soon be bringing Lady Baga to Mumbai," said the serial restaurateur, who happens to bring in his birthday today.

Strangely, when we enquired how old the perennially Peter Pannish restaurateur would turn, he suddenly appeared to have trouble hearing our question. Happy birthday AD. May you stay forever young.

Double celebration
Society diva and yummy mummy Kaykasshan Patel brought in her birthday this week with not one, but two celebrations. The first was a ladies lunch at the Chinese outlet of a Bandra five-star, attended by some of her close friends like Sharmilla Khanna and Queenie Singh, where the birthday girl is said to have looked fetching in a tiger-stripped ensemble.

Kaykasshan Patel (standing second from right) with gal pals Queenie Singh, Madhu Ruia, Laila Lamba, Sharmilla Khanna and others
Kaykasshan Patel (standing second from right) with gal pals Queenie Singh, Madhu Ruia, Laila Lamba, Sharmilla Khanna and others

Later that evening, her close friend designer Manish Malhotra is said to have hosted a dinner in her honour, which saw the likes of Madhu Ruia, Laila Furniturewalla, Shilpa and Shamita Shetty, and Aarti Surendranath present. This was not the only excitement of the day we are informed.

Apparently at the afternoon luncheon, the presence of Aamir Khan enjoying a cozy meal at a nearby table with his young son Azad Rao Khan, had brought forth many coos of "How adorable!" and had added the extra sparkle to the day.

Mumm's the word at the Pauls' celebration
Trust the Pauls of Delhi, Priya, Priti, Shirin and Karan, to host an old style grand ball, the likes of which few have experienced. On Thursday night, the 50th anniversary of their Park hotel in Kolkata was celebrated in great style and pomp befitting the institution, sources say.

Priya Paul (far left) with guests at the celebrations
Priya Paul (far left) with guests at the celebrations

"Guests started pouring in on Wednesday night for the party the next evening, which took place at five venues across the hotel. In the ballroom near a vast oyster bar, stood a band in the style of 1920's flapper groups performing old hits. There were also showgirls in full ostrich feather costumes.

"Different cuisines - Indian, Italian - including handmade pizza counters were all over the place. There wasn't a place that didn't have entertainers or musicians or drinks. The hotel's famous Someplace Else had a fabulous performance by Ehsan and Loy, while Tantra the nightclub had trippy EDM vibes. Another venue played pop hits. Mumm flowed everywhere with the party wrapping at 4 am," said a guest who sounded a bit worse for wear the next afternoon.

"900 guests in all, including Sal Tahiliani, Varun Thapar, Vicky Sahni, Nikhil Khanna and of course, Kolkata's well-heeled Marwari crowd. And if this weren't enough, the next day saw an elaborate sit down Bengali lunch served in two sittings of 14 dishes served in three courses over two hours, for those who'd managed to wake up on time!

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