Sen and the City

At the recently held high-powered reception for the Crown Prince of UAE which boasted heads of State, captains of industry and stars of all manner, what has been unreported is the presence of Sushmita Sen, accompanied by boyfriend Ritik Bhasin, her dashing young significant other.

That the actress was happy to be seen with him at a formal occasion such as this one made many wonder if the relationship might be getting serious.

Ritik Bhasin (extreme left), a friend, and Sushmita Sen
Ritik Bhasin (extreme left), a friend, and Sushmita Sen

“So far she’s eschewed all conventional patterns such as matrimony,” said a guest about the actress who has blazed a trail of her own, adopting two children as a singleton. “But people mellow with age – and perhaps Bhasin is the one Sexy Sen might settle down with?”

His father’s son
His great-grandfather, Maharaja Jagatjit Singh of Kapurthala, toured Europe annually and commissioned exceptional jewellery from esteemed French houses. Two of the most well known being a pagoda style tiara made by Cartier, and a Boucheron aigrette. So no surprises that the showing of designer Hanut Singh’s latest collection is being eagerly looked forward to by Mumbai’s Bottega and baubles crowd.

Arun SinghArun Singh

“Although he was never formally trained, Singh, is a descendant of the Kapurthala royal family of India, who astonished the world with their style in the first half of the twentieth century…Elements of Jazz Age jewellery dance through his sensational work,” said the spokesperson of the concept store where he is showing.

Hanut Singh and Ann Dexter Jones
Hanut Singh and Ann Dexter Jones

What the spokesperson does not mention, is that Singh is the son of none other than Arun Singh, former union minister of state for defence, and one of Rajiv Gandhi’s closest friends, part of his Doon school, Cambridge gang known as Camelot.

We recall an interview we had done with the minister where he’d described the lot as ‘the Beatles generation’ a phrase that passed into currency and was used to define the phenomena.

The Beatles generation — to think that not so long ago in the past we had a government at the Centre that spoke like that. It is not a phrase that we expect will roll of a current Union Minister’s tongue.

Be that as it may, Hanut who is least interested in realpolitik like his father, has called his latest collection, Future Of The Future, we’re informed.

Shankar back on stage
It is always a joy to listen to one of India’s great singers of our time and four-time national award winner, Shankar Mahadevan. Shankar, as part of renowned trio Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy, has given us timeless hits and composed songs like, ‘Mitwa’, ‘Kal Ho Na Ho’ and ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ amongst others.

Shankar MahadevanShankar Mahadevan

And now we are informed that the maestro will perform at a special concert called ‘Shadaja’ next month at Mumbai’s NCPA. Shankar will collaborate with the two ladies behind The Sound Space, Kamakshi and Vishala Khurana, who have both completed their Visharad in Hindustani classical music and are graduates in Psychology.

Kamakshi and Vishala KhuranaKamakshi and Vishala Khurana

As part of The Sound Space, they create specialised sessions for children and adults from all walks of life with varying objectives — focusing energy, distressing, healing, recovering, post-trauma rehabilitation, and even simply learning music, achieving inner balance and so on. Coincidently, after the news of his recent health scare – this will be his first live concert!

Cafe culture at the hospital
Some of our most memorable (and poignant) conversations have taken place at the Breach Candy Hospital’s modest little cafe nestled in its ground floor atrium.

Harsh Goenka
Harsh Goenka

Here, where the families and friends of patients grab a quick bite of idlis or a veg sandwich before they rush back to be at the bedsides of their ailing loved ones, everyone is more or less in the same situation and this makes for a heightened sense of empathy and compassion. We recall comforting and being comforted by strangers who’d snatch a few stolen moments to catch some respite.

So it is with delight that on a recent visit to the café we discovered that not only had it been revamped with the new name, Seagull, to resemble a seaside café but it sported funky white and yellow polyurethane chairs, and benches, but it had acquired a distinctly designer input.

On enquiry we were informed that it was the brainchild of industrialist and well known art collector, Harsh Goenka, Chairman of the Breach Candy Hospital and had been executed by designer Elsie Nanji to upgrade the establishment, so that those who seek its comfort for a few stolen minutes while tending to their loved ones — are cheered.

Bouncing Czechs
“For the first time in 57 years we are bringing the Czech Philharmonic orchestra to Mumbai & Kolkata,” wrote in Rashmi Jolly, Hon Consul General of the Czech Republic of Maharashtra & Goa.

Rashmi, Ashwin and Arvind Jolly
Rashmi, Ashwin and Arvind Jolly

“And the highlight is its dashing maestro Debashish Chaudhuri who is originally from Kolkata,” she said, adding, “Chaudhuri, who is married to the Czech pianist Jana, went to Prague to study music in his youth and like Zubin continues to retain his Indian passport, which he swears he will never give it up.”

Sake Bomb
The Japanese phenomena of sake culture is not one that has managed to capture the mind and spirit of the Indian diaspora so far. Sake, a Japanese rice wine, that is created by fermenting polished rice, still only attracts a very niche well-travelled drinker when served in Mumbai.

Neha Premjee and Rohit Roy
Neha Premjee and Rohit Roy

But now word comes in, that young entrepreneur, Neha Premjee, wants sake to be popularised and made affordable to the masses. Yesterday, she launched Mumbai’s first sake bar, with sushi and other Japanese cuisine on the menu. Let’s see if ‘Sake Bombs’ becomes the new trend in trendy Mumbai.

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