Saga of a dress

Even before Kate Middleton wore the Anita Dongre breezy, mid-calf, Mughal detail printed tunic to play cricket with Sachin Tendulkar on the first day of her Mumbai visit, the designer had been a nationwide phenomenon. Along with Sabyasachi and Manish Malhotra, the soft-spoken Dongre is known amongst the top earning labels in the country.

But royal endorsement has its own virtues and ever since the Duchess of Cambridge was seen wearing the outfit, it had captured public imagination and assumed a life of its own, crashing the designer's website and flying off the shelves.

Kate Middleton in the dress and Anita Dongre
Kate Middleton in the dress and Anita Dongre

We ourselves had met the dress on a recent visit to Benares when it had been worn by one of the city's upscale hostesses. "She wore it with churidar and a dupatta," we said to Dongre last evening when we'd spoken.

Dongre laughed. "Yes when I launched it as part of my 'Love Notes' collection at a fashion show, I had envisaged it to be worn with palazzos and a stole, but I loved the way the Princess' stylist turned it in to a dress — it really suited her."

The Benares hostess who'd Indianised it had said that she'd ordered it the moment she saw the dress on the Princess. "I was told that they'd already sold 200 of it that morning," she'd said, with shy pride. From the backs of British royalty to the outposts of Benares, the story of 'The Dress' carries on.

Musically yours
Last night saw the gathering of some pretty high profile, musically inclined people at the Hinduja residence in Juhu. The occasion marked the musical debut of Satya Hinduja, daughter of Harsha and Ashok Hinduja, and niece to billionaire brothers Srichand, Gopichand and Prakash Hinduja.

Ashok, Srichand and Prakash Hinduja
Ashok, Srichand and Prakash Hinduja

Hosted by Satya's parents along with visiting Berklee President Roger Brown and Linda Mason, the evening saw the announcement of the first AR Rahman scholarship, and the launch of the Berklee Tandon Global Clinics and promised the presence of Preity Zinta.

Preity Zinta and Satya Hinduja
Preity Zinta and Satya Hinduja

"Music composers Sivamani, Salim Merchant, Anu Malik, Clinton Cerejo, Ranjit Barot and many others from Mumbai's film and music fraternity will attend," said a spokesperson. Incidentally, Satya is not the only musician in her family, her brother Shom is a percussionist.

Sweet dreams
Sweet dreams are made of this. Barkha Dutt, who recently in Denmark had the honour of opening the plenary, at what is perhaps what is the largest conference of its kind, the Women Deliver summit, is certainly seeing many sweet dreams fructify.

Barkha Dutt and Annie Lennox
Barkha Dutt and Annie Lennox

Speaking right after Denmark's Crown Princess and Prime Minister — the feisty news anchor and avowed feminist found herself addressing an audience comprising 5,000 delegates in the room including icons like Annie Lennox.

"I had my hands full moderating," said Dutt on the exhilarating experience. "Annie had this story about how she was once at a conference and she'd said 'Will the feminists in the room please stand up?' and most of the room kept sitting," said Dutt. "I threw the same question to the packed hall. Every single man and woman jumped to their feet," she recounted. Quite a goosebumpy moment." Who are we to disagree?

Support needed
Our friend, helmet girl Lisa Sadanah, whose day job is being wife to director Kamal Sadanah and dedicated mother to two prize-winning young swimmers, writes in with an appeal: The GMAAA (Greater Mumbai Amateur Aquatic Association) is hosting an event in Mumbai at the Goregaon Sports Club early next month.

Lisa Sadanah and Arshad Warsi
Lisa Sadanah and Arshad Warsi

"Seven hundred swimmers, divers and water polo players come from all over Maharashtra for the event and the GMAAA has to feed and lodge them as well as hire equipment and infrastructure," said Sadanah.

"It's not a large amount needed, and all of us who support swimming have done what we can, but we are were looking for a corporation that could come on as an associate partner and help make the event a success," she said.

We will post the request here, we assured her. After all, any thing to get kids away from iPads, TV sets and computer games and encourage sports consciousness is well worth it. So here goes.

Doggone it!
A dog is spotted most days being walked on Bandstand's promenade. We are not dog owners, but even for our untrained eye it appears a bit 'dogged-down.' This could be because summers are particularly harsh for such breeds.

The person who'd shot a picture described the dog as looking somewhat 'doleful.' "Most dogs like to be walked by their owners," she'd said. "This one does not have such luck since it's owned by the enfant terrible star who lives down the road," she said adding, "A star, who for all his love for dogs, must have no time to walk his pooches himself. Not that he'd be allowed to in peace by his mammoth fan following, who keep vigil outside his home 24x7."

Which means the dog is walked by his designated walker who, incidentally, we are informed, "has as much attitude as the star himself" said the source. "No petting or playing with the pooch allowed." Dog day afternoons...

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