Raja of the Runway

He's known as the wild child of Indian fashion, the enfant terrible of haute couture; but this weekend Rohit Bal, he of the golden curls and cherubic looks appears to have established quite emphatically, that he is the undisputed Raja of the Runway.

At his off site outing during the Amazon India Couture Week (AICW) 2015 in Delhi, his lissome models sported a cornucopia of burgeoning flora and fauna ruby red roses, and sumptuous silhouettes which enchanted all.

Rohit Bal
Rohit Bal

But of course, as always at his shows, the showstopper was none other than the flamboyant maestro who camped it on stage magnificently blowing kisses at his applauding admirers.

Portrait of the artist as a young boy
It seems Akshay Kumar has more competition to contend with at home. Ever since the hunky star had to share the limelight with wife Twinkle's flourishing career as a columnist and author with her moniker, Mrs Funny Bones winning much admiration from all quarters, Kumar has been basking happily in her reflected glory.

Akshay Kumar, Twinkle and Aarav
Akshay Kumar, Twinkle and Aarav

Now, it appears there's more talent being incubated in the Kumar household. Son Aarav Bhatia, all of twelve has apparently displayed every sign of becoming an accomplished artist (a talent he perhaps inherited from his Nani Dimple Khanna whose canvasses have received praise from credible collectors). A writer and now an artist? Obviously many muses bless the Bhatia home.

Game nights of the rich and famous
That a slew of filmwallahs and their SoBo friends have been meeting monthly over the past 12 years to indulge their penchant for board games like Articulate is well known.

Chunky Pandey, Shweta Nanda and Malaika Khan
Chunky Pandey, Shweta Nanda and Malaika Khan

A bunch of friends, some nosh and drinks, much laughter and challenges what can be better to pass the time away? Hard core fans of Articulate, which challenge the gray cells, and afford many hours of bonhomie and unwinding, are the likes of Farah Khan, Malaika Arora, Chunky and Bhavna Pandey, Rahul Khanna and Kajal Anand.

This weekend saw a repeat of game nights with Arvind Dubash, Shweta Bachchan Nanda, Sikander BK and Vikram Phadnis joining in. With most of the above approaching a comfortable middle age and acquiescing their rocking ways to their teenaged kids, one could assume that the days and nights of rock and roll have given way to those of the roll of the dice...

His brother's keeper
Word comes in that this flamboyant and beleaguered biz man, forced to live abroad to escape the long arm of the Indian law, who was reported to have been removed from the running of his family empire in favour of his brother, has recently turned the tables on the decision by ganging up with the said brother to take on the father.

Not only that, but the family dynamics have undergone another change with his dynamic mother assuming the reigns of the vast empire and calling the shots. Capital capers!

Ten courses and some Dilli-Mumbai bashing
The MS Sunny Side Up Breakfast Project is moving along at a steady clip taking its own shape and direction. After three outings at local eateries, this time it blossomed in the exclusive environs of a sumptuous art gallery at Kala Ghoda.

Sunil Padwal, Vickram Sethi, Shiraz Sidhwa, (Seated) Omrita Sethi, Malavika Sangghvi, Harsh Goenka. Pics/Pradeep Chandra
Sunil Padwal, Vickram Sethi, Shiraz Sidhwa, (Seated) Omrita Sethi, Malavika Sangghvi, Harsh Goenka. Pics/Pradeep Chandra

Its owner, the affable Vickram Sethi offered to host the gathering at his art and books filled Institute of Contemporary Indian Art, where on the top floor, the consummate foodie maintains a fully equipped kitchen and dining space.

Avocados with raw mangoes
Avocados with raw mangoes

The guests as usual were eclectic. There was former Mumbai girl, the journalist (Sunday and the Financial Times) Shiraz Sidhwa, who, having left the city for a long stint in Delhi, America and now Brussels, was returning to her hometown after 11 years! To offset this prodigal return, there was stylist Omrita Sethi, who, having spent a couple of years in Mumbai, would be returning to Delhi to her home in Gurgaon next month.

Star fruit with tomato jelly
Star fruit with tomato jelly

Sunil Padwal, the dapper artist whose brooding canvasses have mesmerised art lovers, ramped up the style quotient, and finally industrialist Harsh Goenka, foodie, collector and patron of the arts completed the merry picture. “Make sure all your guests come very hungry,” was Sethi's only request.

“I am going to cook you a 10 course meal using only breakfast ingredients – but with a twist,” he said. And what a meal it was! Starting with bubbly, the late morning repast began with avocados laced with raw mangoes in a mandarin sauce with cherry chutney, to be followed by a dish of Japanese mushroom with artichoke accompanied with white truffle pate, followed by star fruit topped with tomato jelly immersed with lemon curd.

A veritable banquet. And yet, in the tradition of the Breakfast Project, the conversations were even more riveting. We spoke about art and food, people and places, and of course, given Shiraz and Omrita's Delhi-Mumbai trysts, we embarked on our favourite party game, one we've invented and named: Delhi Mumbai Hai - High. 1) Hostess with the Mostest in Mumbai: Parmeshwar Godrej. In Delhi? Suhel Seth. 2) Party Politics in Delhi: Modi snubs Advani. In Mumbai? AD trumps Riyaz. 3) Party intellect in Mumbai: Mahesh Bhatt. In Delhi? Shashi Tharoor. 4) Down and out in Delhi: Not being invited to the Rashtrapati tea on Indie day. In Mumbai? Not being invited to a KJo preview. As expected, every one chimed in, and there was much wicked laughter and ribaldry.

The next dish, uthapam with wasabi prawns & roasted onions, elicited the most oohs and aahs. Miniature herb encrusted uttapams with delicious wasabi laced prawns and the burnt flavour of roasted onions gave the meal an earthy gravitas. The next few courses passed in a blur, and by the time we were served the perfectly cooked scrambled eggs with black truffle - we were in a food coma. As we said, The MS Sunny Side Up Breakfast Project is full of surprises! See you next week!

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