Regal threads

Malavika SangghviWe came across this picture of Isheta Salgaocar, industrialist Raj and Dipti Salgaocar's pretty daughter, recently posted by Manish Malhotra. Isheta is wearing a stunning lehenga, designed by Malhotra for her engagement to the Mumbai-Antwerp jeweller Neeshal Modi a couple of months ago.

 

Malhotra had started commissioning Chikankari work, done from the women of UP's Mijwan in Uttar Pradesh, five years ago on the encouragement of Shabana Azmi. The idea was to showcase Indian craft in a contemporary way on the global platform. The Regal Threads collection, which launched early this year, was the result of this collaboration. "The patola woven Benarasi lehenga in shades of bright pinks and red ensemble that Isheta had worn for her engagement was a customized one from this collection," says the designer.

Isheta Salgaocar in the outfit by Manish Malhotra (right)
Isheta Salgaocar in the outfit by Manish Malhotra (right)

Nice!

An evening at a cozy building — 1982
"Everybody in this photo's gone now — my uncle Kersi, the Elvis look-alike the last to depart, breathed his last yesterday on this same balcony," says the Mumbai-based, internationally renowned photographer and screenplay writer Sooni Taraporevala, about this striking picture which had she posted in tribute to her uncle Kersi Taraporevala on Monday. "May angels take you to your rest my cricket-mad Kaka and may heaven be full of exciting matches. With lots of love from your only niece who took you around the world in your sudra," she'd written with touching fondness.

Sooni Taraporevala’s granduncle Maneck (with the newspaper), her grandfather, aunt Piloo and uncle (standing) Kersi
Sooni Taraporevala's granduncle Maneck (with the newspaper), her grandfather, aunt Piloo and uncle (standing) Kersi

"My uncle was a great fan of the conductor Andre Rieu and had all his albums. I took this photo on the night I was to go back to America, where I was a student. It was the last photo of my beloved granduncle Maneck, who is reading the paper. He passed away soon after. I never saw him again. The others in the photo are my grandfather trying to shut out the world and my aunt Piloo who is speaking — I don't think anyone's listening!" she says.

The dance of life
Perhaps this is why we have stopped reading fiction, preferring to learn about the wonders of life through reality. Certainly real life throws up great characters, people who often surpass the legendary fictitious ones with their ability to enchant us. Certainly Veronique Azan, the beautiful Kathak dancer we had run into two decades ago at an Indian prince's wedding, is one such. Even then she had been enigmatic, a French beauty with a passion for Kathak, married to an Indian magnate, who'd been born to a beautiful Indophile mother; and then as suddenly as we'd met, we'd lost touch. It was only recently that we'd connected on social media. Which is how we chanced upon this stunning picture of Veronique dancing with the legendary author Gabriel Garcia Marquez. "I had read his book 'One hundred years of solitude,' when I was 16," says Azan when we asked about the picture.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Veronique Azan
Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Veronique Azan

"And so, when Márquez invited me to a dance on his birthday, I couldn't believe what an honour it was!" says Azan who had subsequently married a Mexican diplomat, and had been living in Mexico at that time. "Marquez was living there too, during the period when it was not safe for him to be in his own beloved land, Colombia," says Azan, adding, "Nobody can take that dance away from me at his birthday."

It had been Marquez who'd famously written, 'No matter what, nobody can take away the dances you've already had'.

See what we mean about real life being more enchanting than fiction? Of course, Marquez, the maestro of magic realism could have penned this story himself.

Where the rich spend it
If you want to know what the seriously rich spend their money on, think art and antiquities. Especially museum quality bespoke works with blue chip provenance. Like the kind that will be on show at Masterpiece London, the leading international cross-collecting fair for art, antiques and design that has become a must-attend event for international high rolling collectors. To be held at the end of the month, the fair also boasts of the participation of twins Ian and Richard Abell, (32), whose company 'Based upon,' is said to be the toast of the international scene, given that their one of a kind original commissioned creations are said to grace some of the most stylish interiors around the world including Antilia. There they are said to have created a reflection of the Mumbai skyline and another for Jay Mehta's residence.

Not surprising that many Indian high rollers are already planning trips to London to coincide with the luxe art fair to add to their collections.

Overheard
Of course the rush on Udta Punjab tickets is the result of the Censor Board controversy. Not to forget the fact that it's a film about a hero and a heroin.
— One wit to another at a book launch at a mid-city hotel.

His significant other?
The Oolong tea-favouring SoBo hostess was in a grand mood. A maid was assiduously massaging her tiny plump toes propped up on a pouffe, and her tea-bearing cup was full. "A fancy car, he's given her a fancy car," she sputtered. "And an apartment. In London."

What on earth are you going on about, we said.

"The tycoon from London whose plans to enter India are in a mess right now. He's seeing the luscious singer, you know the popular one from London …"

What kind of car we enquired and apartment where? After all 'fancy' is a subjective term and a location in London is everything.

"Oh, you never appreciate anything I tell you," said the OTFSH sulkily.

At which point we thought it best to make an exit, but not before we heard her say grumpily, "Oof ho boy chai ke liye zara hot water lao please na."

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