This was Randhir Kapoor's 70th birthday cake!

The cake brought for Randhir by Karisma and Kareena

The cake brought for Randhir by Karisma and Kareena

Of birthday boys and Black Label
We were smiling as we turned the last page of actor Rishi Kapoor’s rollicking tell all ‘Khullam Khulla’ just this morning, when we heard about his elder brother Randhir Kapoor’s big fat party on Wednesday night to bring in his 70th birthday.

We were smiling, because besides being a commendable, no holds barred, and often gutsy memoir, so much of what Kapoor had captured about his growing years resonated with us, having grown up on the fringes of the film fraternity around the same time too.

Karisma arrives with her kids
Karisma arrives with her kids

The rites and rituals of the industry had been created by a few families like the Kapoors, the Anands, the Khans, and the Roys and had permeated the ecosystem.

Thus, when Kapoor recalled the tender warmth legend Dilip Kumar demonstrated to his friends, or the Republic Day rides en famille, on trucks to see the SoBo lights, or the premier status afforded to imported Black Label by film families of yore (he had written how the family had discovered stacks of unopened bottles of the brand in the late Raj Kapoor’s cupboard after his passing), we knew exactly what he was talking about.

Shammi Kapoor’s son Adityaraj and Jitendra
Shammi Kapoor’s son Adityaraj and Jitendra

Randhir’s birthday, as expected, saw the entire Kapoor clan, including close family friends celebrate at the iconic RK Bungalow in Chembur. Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan, Salim Khan, Rajan Nanda, Suhel Seth and a few of Daboo’s pals from the Otter’s Club had attended.

And the piece de resistance? Undoubtedly the cake his doting daughters Kareena and Karisma had got the birthday boy: a cake shaped as, what else: A Bottle of Black Label!

Dr Karan Singh; Jyotiraditya Scindia
Dr Karan Singh; Jyotiraditya Scindia

It might appear that Delhi is experiencing a royalist revival, what with the upcoming nuptials between the House of Patiala and that of Kashmir, and the recently concluded one in the Scindia clan in Bangalore.

But the fact is, that Delhi has always worn its fondness for Maharajas and palaces on its sleeve: Feisty Rajmatas, dashing Maharajahs, and svelte Princesses have dominated the city’s social and political landscape for decades.

This week, once again when Yuvraj Vikramaditya Singh, (son of the erstwhile Maharajah of Kashmir, Dr Karan Singh) and his children, daughter, the soon to be married Mriganka, and son Martand hosted a party to celebrate their mother Chitragandha Singh’s special birthday, the erstwhile royals demonstrated that they were on point, when it came to select soirees in the Capital.

Hosted at their elegant home in Safdarjung Enclave, the occasion saw the likes of Dr Karan Singh, Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia (he happens to be the birthday girl’s brother) accompanied by wife Priya, Tikka Shatrujit Singh from the Kapurthala clan, hospitality mavens Anjali and Jaisal Singh, and Gurpal and Jaya Singh from the Patiala royals in attendance. “Only around 30 people in all,” says a source. “Very small and private.”

Incidentally, the piquant thing about Delhi is that its elegant drawing rooms make for fascinating tableaux that cut across party lines. Take the Scindias for example. One side of the family has deep and close links to the Congress and the other to the BJP. Fortunately, over a glass of wine - all this melts away - as it should.

Gen Next rising
We have written about former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi’s son, Ruchir’s new venture, previously. And now word comes in that Lalit’s daughter Aliya Modi, who studied at Brandeis University in Boston, and then at The Inchbald School of Design in London, is spreading her wings too. Later this month, the long-legged lass will make her debut as a fashion designer with an upcoming fashion show.

Aliya, Lalit and Minal ModiAliya, Lalit and Minal Modi

As is known, her mother Minal Modi is considered one of the most elegantly dressed women of her gen, so much is expected of her. Her doting father took to social media and posted, “My daughter @aliyamodi and #krischabatarse first show post graduation. Come and see and support” Gen Next spreads its wings.

Dream wedding
Last weekend saw the glittering wedding celebrations of Anushka Rajan (daughter of Abhijit and Karuna Rajan) with Abhishek Doshii, held at the grande Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi.

Anushka Rajan and Abhishek Doshii

Anushka Rajan and Abhishek Doshii

The wedding, which was managed by Aditya Motwane’s event company, saw a considerable turn-out of movers and shakers who flew down for the celebrations. These included Amitabh, Jaya and Abhishek Bachchan, Tina Ambani, Ashok Hinduja, Praful Patel, Sajjan Jindal, Ashok Wadhwa, Bijal and Hital Meswani, Anil Agarwal, Anand Jain and Sanjay Reddy.

The Reddys with Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan
The Reddys with Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan

One of the highlights of the celebrations was the two-hour performance by the maestro Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, who performed his famed Qawwali and Sufi music for the guests. The reception was also attended by a special invited guest, our friend Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, a friend to India, and currently head of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Social development of the UAE.

A source informs us, “apart from Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s powerful performance, it was the beautiful bride who arrived in her own baraat in a horse carriage accompanied by Abhishek Bachchan, that really stole the show.”

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