Sathyu at Antilia

There are some sights that you never think you will see: a certain N Modi and Sonia G catching a quick bite at Khan Market’s Latitude Cafe; Lalit Modi and Srinivasan buying an IPL franchise together; Salman and Aishwarya starring in a film together, and MS Sathyu, maker of the internationally acclaimed Garam Hawa (it was nominated for the Golden Palm at Cannes) at Nita and Mukesh’s Antilia.

MS Sathyu, Nita Ambani and Kiran Rao
MS Sathyu, Nita Ambani and Kiran Rao

But the good folk behind Jio Mami managed to make the last possible. Not only was Sathyu very much there, but along with him, were a sizeable serving of new wave, indie, progressive and unlikely folk one would never imagine partying in the world’s most expensive home.

Entering late after a long day, which had included conducting a session at Tata Lit Live on Thursday evening, we ran into Kangana Ranaut and her sister Rangoli, along with Rishi Kapoor waiting for their cars at the Antilia gate.

Expecting the usual big Bolly attendance, we were pleasantly surprised to spot the likes of Pushan Kriplani, Shaad Ali, Sooni Taraporewala and Shyam Benegal meet and mingle with the likes of Katrina Kaif, Irrfan Khan, an international publisher Nicholas Coleridge, Tara Sharma, Suhel Seth, AD Singh and Raghavendra Rathore.

The best jamborees are, when people from different points of view and walks of life get tossed together to make up a tasty salad. Anupama Chopra, Kiran Rao and Nita Ambani appear to have done just that, by joining forces and pulling off what is being spoken about as one of the most exciting film festivals the city has witnessed.

Nevertheless, running into Sathyu in those opulent and lavish interiors, we have to admit we could not believe our eyes. “Is that really you?” we had enquired doubtfully. And to his credit the legendary filmmaker caught our drift and had shrugged shyly.

Mr Seth comes calling
While in the city to receive sundry lifetime achievement awards, Vikram Seth found time to drop in on noted artist Nikhil Chaganlal, and hair stylist and fashionista friend Sujan Mehta’s art-filled home on Marine Drive.

Sujan Mehta, Vikram Seth and Nikhil Chaganlal
Sujan Mehta, Vikram Seth and Nikhil Chaganlal

Few know that Seth is Chaganlal’s mother’s husband’s nephew. “They are mutual admirers of each other’s works,” said Mehta, the artist’s soulmate and muse. “First they went to Chor Bazaar to look for a camphor chest and apparently even the shop owners were impressed by Seth’s knowledge.

Then they came over and Seth was mesmerised by Nikhil’s paintings, especially his Interior series and finally, they ended up at Leopold’s for a beer,” he said. Nice!

High rollers gather
A creamy slice of Mumbai’s biggest rollers rolled up in their Rolls, their E-classes, their Jags and their Beemers, to partake of top city builder Suresh and Meena Raheja’s sumptuous hospitality at the Chambers at Taj Lands End on Saturday night.

Meena Raheja and Rishi Kapoor
Meena Raheja and Rishi Kapoor

Wherever we looked, we saw some of the city’s most successful biz men, professionals and bureaucrats like ace builder Niranjan Hiranandani with wife Kamal, infrastructure tycoon Ravi Ruia with wife Madhu, London-based designers Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla, stars Rishi and Neetu Kapoor, leading banker Rana Kapoor with wife Bindu, top cop Paramvir Singh with wife Savita, amongst many others.

The hostess, legendary for her hospitality and attention to detail, was seen urging guests to go back for seconds and the party showed no signs of winding up, when we made our exit around midnight.

No voting, please
It’s become the talk of the town and even made it to international media, but few know that Anupam Kher’s famous outing, where he got booed at the Tata Lit Live festival almost never took place.

Anil Dharker and Anupam Kher
Anil Dharker and Anupam Kher

Apparently, on the morning of his debate on free speech, Kher had called festival director Anil Dharker and said that he would only show up if the voting at the end of the debate was dropped. This is when the audience chooses which side has put up a better argument.

Perhaps the actor feared that whatever he said would cut no ice with the progressive liberals who frequent lit fests. Understandably, the organisers were put through a few hours of hair-raising tension, but in the end, good sense had prevailed and Kher did show up eventually. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Straight out of a movie
Even as Karva Chauth was marked across the nation and Planet (we have evidence of it being embraced by the sari-clad version of Desperate Housewives in LA!), some of Mumbai’s prettiest former and current stars, star moms and socialites gathered to fast (and later feast) together for the occasion.

The Karva Chauth evening
The Karva Chauth evening

Seen at this uber soiree were Sridevi, Shilpa Shetty, Raveena Tandon Thadani, Rima Jain, Queenie Singh, Padmini Kolhapure and Krishika Lulla in what could be a scene out of a KJO blockbuster. Incidentally, where was KJO? Did he observe Karva Chauth this year as Twinkle Khanna had informed us he has done in the past? The mind boggles.

Read my Tee
You’ve got to hand it to middle-aged lothario Raja Dhody. Who else would post a picture of himself in Phuket on a public social media platform calling himself a ‘Rich B*****d’?

Raja Dhody
Raja Dhody

But whereas many applauded him for his zany sense of humour, one SoBo diva was not so appreciative. “The second word I can understand,” she cackled. “But after his many alimonies, etc — how can he describe himself as ‘rich’?” she said cattily.



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