>> The elections to the Board Room of the Turf Club have been traditionally stormy affairs, with the famous Mallya vs Poonawalla election clash in 2006 still fresh in memory. And though the wining and dining has by and large stopped, the intrigue and ‘behind the scenes’ manipulations obviously still hold sway with city newspapers announcing the new chairman of the club even before the meeting day, and ex-chairman Cyrus Poonawalla unstintingly putting his weight behind Khusroo Dhunjibhoy against incumbent Vivek Jain. According to a member of Jain’s camp, “Over 1,000 members turned up to vote this time with a sweeping vote in favour of Jain and his team members occupying four of the first five places. But in spite of this, the nine-member committee installed Dhunjibhoy as chairman, in view of the club rules whereby the chairman is elected by the committee and not the members.”
However, the dust does not appear to have settled on this one, as we hear of a move to call for another members’ meeting to press for imminent reform in the selection process. “We want to demand that it is the members who choose their chairman, so that the backdoor games and politicisation stop,” said our source. Vivek, meanwhile, is said to be unfazed by the developments and was reported to have stated that the respect and goodwill of RWITC members counted far more than holding on to the chairman’s seat, which he occupied for the past three years.
Vijay’s birthday bash
>> So, the man has finally mellowed. According to guests at Vijay Mallya’s birthday bash on Tuesday, though there was a sprinkling of usual (glam) suspects (read Manoviraj Khosla, Queenie Singh, Atul Kasbekar), most of the 80 or so guests were drawn from his old circle of school mates and the like from Kolkata and Bangalore with Biocon’s Kiran Mazumdar and Citibank’s Pramit Jhaveri adding weight.
“It was a really laid back affair, low on Bollywood, media and the usual party hearty lot,” said an insider. “VJM looked a bit tired as he’d just flown in from Tirupati, but he was relaxed in the company of people who genuinely cared for him and his well-being. As for the food, it was exquisite Far East Asian and there was much bubbly flowing.” Two points to note: Sidharth Mallya was not present. And no, there was no announcement of a tie up with Ethiad.
Paris’ new best friend
>> She may get her name from one of the world’s most glamorous cities, but her new best friend is no slouch in the nomenclature department — getting his from India’s ninth largest metropolis!
(That he also is a billionaire, jets around Europe on his private plane, buys Old Masters, and owns thoroughbreds must help matters greatly.) Be that as it may, friends of the couple are delighted that the two high rollers — both who were single and waiting to mingle — share such good vibes in each other’s company. Expect Ms Hilton to spend more quality time in ‘Injia’.
Going, going …Goan!
>> Those who are migrating to Goa to escape Mumbai’s relentless December social whirl might want a rethink. From what we learn, Goa’s party scene is even crazier. Not only will there be the usual frantic shack and club scene at the usual places, but invitations to some of the choicest soirees have already been sent.
Key amongst these are media maven and muse Madhu and Dr Naresh Trehan’s brunch at their home, economist and author Lord Meghnad Desai and his writer wife (our cousin) Kishwar’s lunch at their beautiful North Goa restored villa, serial entrepreneur and social instigator Bina Ramani’s all day affair at her stylish backwater pad, Vijay Mallya’s mega New Year’s Eve bash in Candolim and the Subirami Reddy family’s traditional annual dinner on the lawns of the Aguada on the first night of the year. Add to this Sunburn, possible bashes by Mickey Punj and Ramesh Chauhan, evenings at La Plage, and New Year’s Day breakfast at Hilltop and you have a whole lotta shakin’ coming up. But as they say — if you gotta Goa, you gotta Goa!
Fare thee well Ed!
>> Nonita Kalra, whose departure from fashion bible Elle as its long serving India editor-in-chief was covered extensively in these columns serves her last day today.
And along with various farewells (that included a flash mob by her colleagues) is this one from her friend author and salonist Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi, in the form of a portrait he shot of the lady. “She has served as muse to celebrated writers and artists, and will be missed by India’s sartorial fraternity as one who understood fashion as an aesthetic, a way of life, an instinct for joy,” says Shanghvi. As reported earlier, Kalra adds her heft to the Godrej group.
Goodness gracious me!
>> We have heard of doctors who write (the Pulitzer winning Siddhartha Mukerjee), doctors who paint (Gieve Patel), doctors who cartoon (Hemant Morparia), doctors who photograph (Rajesh Parikh) but doctors who sing? Meet celebrated homeopath, man about town and aspiring crooner, the versatile Dr Mukesh Batra who sent us this intriguing SMS yesterday: “It’s that time of the year,” he texted, “When I sing for somebody else’s supper.
My third live singing concert of songs from yesteryears, Yaadon Ki Bahaar 3 is on Wednesday, Jan 16 2013 @ Y B Chavan auditorium, aid of Shepherd’s old widows home, your presence at this function will cheer up the old widows.” Perhaps, he’ll do Just a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down on request too.