Rest and rehabilitation

Bina Ramani is many things to many people: creator of Delhi’s Hauz Khaus Village and the Qutab Style Mile; early inceptor and designer of fusion dressing and living; flower child, hostess with the mostest and Earth Mother - and most recently, activist for women’s rights.

This weekend, to celebrate the birthday of this versatile Piscean a substantial serving of Delhi’s beautiful people gathered for a Sunday brunch at the quirky sprawling home Ramani shares with husband, the artist Georges Mailhot, and designer daughter Malini Ramani.

Tarun Tejpal at Bina Ramani’s party
Tarun Tejpal at Bina Ramani’s party

For starters, there was Jacqueline Lundquist, wife of former US Ambassador to Delhi Richard Celeste, hotelier Priya Paul, jewellery designer Hanut Singh, museumologist Tasneem Mehta, the Capital’s resident bon vivant Suhel Seth, and a distinctly rested looking Tarun Tejpal amongst many others.

Bina Ramani, Suhel Seth and Jacqueline Lundquist
Bina Ramani, Suhel Seth and Jacqueline Lundquist

“When impromptu struck on Sunday, friends streamed in for garden lunch,” said the birthday girl enigmatically, looking resplendent in a dull gold kaftan that perfectly set off the tints in her hair. But what most pleased her was the presence of international social activists Jaymee Jennings and Sophia Remolde from America, who had arrived in India to help Ramani’s NGO with its task of rehabilitating victims of rape and acid attacks.

“We timed the brunch for their arrival,” she said, adding, “Sophia is a multi media art director, and Jaymee a hair and beauty stylist, and they will be teaching victims new skills and trades to empower them and transform their lives.” Their effect appears to be universal and immediate: even Tejpal looked rehabilitated and empowered in this picture.

On a role
Reena Wadhwa is a woman who wears many hats. Not only is she a fashion entrepreneur, she’s also a television and movie producer (Airlift) and wife to Ashok Wadhwa, known as ‘India’s best deal maker.’ His Ambit Holdings is said to be responsible for mega corporate couplings, including Diageo and the Vijay Mallya led United Spirits Ltd (though this last one might still go pear shaped).

Reena and Ashok Wadhwa
Reena and Ashok Wadhwa

This week, Reena will appear wearing an altogether new hat: that of singer. “She started taking classes a year ago,” said the proud husband, “and I promise you, she’s not bad.” Reena will participate in Save Hindustani Sangeet at Nehru auditorium along with her guru Indrajeet Keisham and fellow students. And, do you do harmony, we asked the ace banker. “ Yeah, I clap at the events.”

Nita’s big museum plans
As a column that continuously stays ahead of the curve and scooping stories before they occur, we are pleased to note that way before the international media had stumbled upon it, we were the first to write about Nita Ambani’s major advent into the international art world last week.

Nita Ambani
Nita Ambani

This week no less than the Wall Street Journal has followed up with a full-page article on the same. Titled ‘India’s Richest Woman eyes the Art World,’ it goes on to state that Ambani is planning to open an international standard museum in 2018 at the mammoth convention centre that Reliance is building in Mumbai to bring in blockbuster-level travelling shows from museums around the world.

Her daughter Isha is quoted in the article saying that Nita’s ‘Aha moment’ came at the ‘Gates of the Lord’: The tradition of Krishna Paintings show at the Arts Institute of Chicago last fall. Isha said, ‘She just kept saying, “Imagine what it would be like to see these shows in India?”’

The sound of music
To inherit a legacy of legal smarts and musical acumen is an unusual thing, and Anushka Jagtiani, the attractive daughter of ace lawyers and senior advocates Haresh and Shobha Jagtiani, niece of lawyer Anil Harish, and granddaughter of the legendary DM Harish, the grand old man of law, carries her legacy easily.

Anushka with her parents Shobha and Haresh Jagtiani
Anushka with her parents Shobha and Haresh Jagtiani

Eschewing the legal career option to work as a TV reporter, initially Jagtiani took after her father and brother Shom in her love for music. But whereas they are content to belt out rousting ballads and rock standards on weekends for admiring friends, Jagtiani has taken her God given music talent one step further by shooting a video for the song ‘Digging Deep.’ And by the looks of it, this is only the beginning for this spunky talented singer.

Sweet Celebrations
The end of the month will see a ‘hats in the air celebration’ for Zeba and Rajesh Kohli, one of the city’s popular social couples, who are celebrating their silver wedding anniversary which fell last month along with Zeba’s big birthday this month with a dinner for their legion of friends.

Zeba and Rajesh Kohli
Zeba and Rajesh Kohli

And given that Zeba is an avid foodie and chocolatier, no surprises that her table — especially the desserts and cake — is being eagerly looked forward to by invitees.

History repeating itself?
The Vijay Mallya example has obviously not served as a lesson for other highflying defaulters. Word comes in of this dapper Delhi-based biz man, whose company owes a substantial amount to Indian banks, has been declared to be under scrutiny these past few days by the media. “Even though his company is under the spotlight, he still insists on flying a planeload of friends down to Dubai next week to bring in his 50th birthday,” said a source. As the old ballad went ‘When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?”

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