Shweta Shetty, the long tressed pop singer, who shot to fame with albums like Johnny Joker and Deewane to Deewane Hain before she left it all to settle in Hamburg, Germany with spouse Christian Brandt, has now returned to the city of her birth. And to mark her return, her buddies in the music business, organized a welcome that would do even a Maria Callas proud.
Shweta Shetty with friends at her home-coming party
Held at former Magna Sound executive Atul Churamani’s home the gathering saw some of the biggest names in the music industry, like Adnan Sami, Sonu Nigam, Shaan, Salim and Sulaiman Merchant, Suchitra Krishnamurthy, Ken Ghosh, along with Shetty’s old friends like Nawaz-Modi Singhania and Arti and Kailash Surendranath attend.
“Can you imagine the talent and energy in that room?” gushed an overwhelmed Shetty. “What an amazing welcome, I was totally overwhelmed...” And what’s next for the sultry songstress who bears more than a passing resemblance to Sade? “Doing yoga workshops for Nawaz’s Body Art. I had promised her two years ago to start and now that I’m back for good, I hope not just to stretch and strengthen my muscles, but also my vocal chords.”
Catching up with Milind
“My annual football tournament is presently underway with 6,000 south Mumbai kids from municipal and private schools participating in it,” said former South Mumbai MP Congressman and blues guitarist Milind Deora, about his philanthropic venture in its seventh year.
“It’s supported by Essar, Aditya Birla, Axis Bank and Queen Park Rangers and the best footballers are sent free of cost to London every year to train with the world’s best coaches.” Deora has inherited his philanthropic gene from his father Murli Deora who spent much of his time as a politician involved with charitable initiatives and good causes.
As for the recent spate of communalism and sectarianism sweeping the country, Deora who is part of Rahul Gandhi’s inner circle, said, “It’s unfortunate that religious and caste-based violence is increasing in India and leaders in the government are encouraging and aiding tensions and the PM is silent,” adding, “The BJP’s regional allies are getting increasingly bigoted in cities like Mumbai.”
A matter of surnames
A weekend statistician and all round wag in our acquaintance was sounding off about the latest Forbes India Rich list. “Five Goenkas, four Aggarwals, three Mittals and two each of Ambanis, Mehtas, Guptas, Singhs…” he said, counting off the billionaire surnames as if he was counting beads in a bauble.
Harsh and Sanjiv Goenka. Pic/AFP
Which five Goenkas we challenged, not about to take his Sunday statistics at face value. “Well the two RPG brothers, Harsh and Sanjiv,” he said. “Then Radhe Shyam Goenka of Emami and Balkrishna Goenka of Welspun,” said our friend. Who’s the fifth, we enquired, not seeing any more Goenkas on the list.
“Why it’s none other than Subhash Chandra of the Zee Group who comes in 18th on this year’s Rich list with his fortune of 5.2 billion.” But he’s not a Goenka we protested. “Indeed he is,” was the response. “As an idealistic young man he had dropped his surname because of its caste implications.
So if you disregard that, there are indeed five Goenkas on this year’s Rich list,” said our friend. Ok if you insist we said.
Botox in Bollywood
It sounds impossible, but it might just be the case, that more Botox is used up on Bollywood’s males than its females. And that’s because whereas both men and women in the industry desire to look youthful and fresh as a result of the injections, the women are wary of the extra inches and ‘fuller faces’ that Botox gives them, and so fight shy of its over-usage.
No such qualms for their male counterparts. Especially those who don’t have to face the camera (where every inch is amplified by good measure). Ask a well known Bollywood music producer, an award-winning director and a recently out of jail producer.
Life is a beach
Time was when going to the beach meant a pair of one’s oldest tees, dungarees and Bata slippers. At least that’s how we spent our childhood on Juhu Beach; but of course things have got far more complicated now and so you have India Beach Fashion Week currently underway in Goa and whose much awaited finale will be held 29th - 31st October.
Wendell Rodericks with Sucheta Sharma James, Deepti Gujral, Lubna Adams, Rocky Star and Candice Pinto at the press conference of India Beach Fashion Week
The likes of designers Wendell Rodericks, James Ferreira and Manoviraj Khosla will show their creations. Said to be India’s first and Asia’s largest fashion week to focus on the business of resort, beach, cruise & destination brides, India Beach Fashion espouses that even if life is a beach you have to be properly dressed for it.
Demon Chef in town
His moniker is ‘Demon Chef’ and he’s known for his fiery outbursts, which is why, when internationally renowned Hong Kong-based chef Alvin Leung of the three star Michelin Restaurant Bo Innovation, arguably the best Chinese restaurant in the world, does a pop up at the Marriot in Juhu next month, guests are expecting that the fire from the kitchen will surpass the fire in his celebrated ‘pushing the envelope’ fusion cuisine and molecular gastronomy which he has termed X-Treme Chinese.
Alvin Leung. Pic/Twitter
Incidentally Leung’s dishes at Bo Innovation include one called “Sex on a Beach” which consists of an edible condom filled with a mixture of honey and ham and made out of a konjac and kappa on a bed of mushrooms.