So what is the story behind our big gangsta' rapper mon Snoop Doggy Dogg, Snoop Lion, Snoopzilla, Bigg Snoop Dogg hanging out with our very own 'Are you serious? Mango Man Robert six-pack SUV drivin' Vadra'?
There must have been a cool wind blowin' when the two met and posed for this picture, which the latter posted on social media recently. As Snoop would rap 'Drop it like its hot! Wiggle! Sexual eruption! Doggy dog world!' 'Are you serious?'
Snoop Dogg and Robert Vadra
Asia's Best Chef
When we met Chef Gaggan Anand over a long but delicious 15-course menu at his eponymous restaurant Gaggan in Bangkok last year, we knew that there was something special about him.
Chef Gaggan Anand
He had no pretensions, he didn't act like a traditional chef, and frankly he seemed more like the lead singer of a rock band, but boy did he know his onions! So it came as no surprise to us when we heard that S.Pellegrino's prestigious list of 'Asia's 50 best restaurants 2015' was out on Monday and Gaggan, the Indian boy from Calcutta took first place!
Gaggan not only beat some of the world's best chefs but was also the only Indian food restaurant in the top 20, and like any good Indian boy, he made an emotional phone call to his mother from Singapore after the award ceremony.
“I have her genes; it's her talent and vision,” he said. But it's not the only emotional call he made. We know of another teary phone call the world-renowned chef made on the night of his glory it was to celebrated food critic Vir Sanghvi, to thank him for 'first making me famous'.
The story bears retelling: according to Gaggan, Sanghvi, who he credits for his discovery, strolled in unannounced four years ago to Gaggan's restaurant shortly after it's opening; the restaurant was full, and the manager turned away India's most feared food critic.
“I was cooking in the open kitchen and luckily recognised Vir and ran out to bring him back. I told him to go for a fifteen-minute coffee and I would have a table ready for him!” Apparently, Vir ended up going back, loved the food and was the first person to spot the chef's extraordinary talent and keep writing about him. The rest is history. Today Asia, tomorrow the world.
Dream destination weddings
“My daughter Zara met Dhruv Jouhari in London while they were studying in University five years ago. Sabita and I took to him instantly.
Cocktail party at Angsana Laguna hotel
He is the son of Nishu and the late Ravi Jouhari who are a prominent Bangalore family,” it was our friend, SoBo businessman Neville Umrigar, married to the exquisite Sabita from the state of Dhanrajgir, telling us about one of the more prominent destination weddings in a season full of them.
Dhruv Jouhari and Zara Umrigar
Being aesthetes, the Umrigar put up a gorgeous celebration by all accounts at the Angsana Laguna hotel in Phuket earlier this month. “After looking around for months in Europe, Sabita and I finally chose this venue as it's set amidst a lagoon and a beach, and we'd never seen such a beautiful property before!” says the father of the bride, adding, “The festivities kicked off with an old Hollywood glamour cocktail party taking everyone back in time.” And continuing the dreamy theme, the sunset wedding had a fairy tale air to it.
“The bride entered with her bridesmaids on a ferry through the lagoon while the groom arrived with his baraat in a vintage car.” And of course in the tradition of big fat destination weddings, after the ceremonies there was much making of whoopee.
“Our friends from Kuwait, Europe and back home came to Phuket and danced all night to our favourite band Tidal Wave, specially flown down from Goa, who played all our retro favourites, and to the music of saxophonist Kai Matheson, a Thai drummer band and many more,” says Umrigar. And with the lagoon lit up with floating lanterns, the reception area filled with candles, fairy lights and white flowers, it appears to be a magical wedding indeed.
Holi in Jodhpur
They've always been the custodians of Indian festivals and anyone who's spent Diwali or Holi with a maharaja at his palace knows how these Indian festivities take on another dimension altogether.
Shivraj Singh of Jodhpur and Maharaja Gaj Singh
And in that tradition, we hear that the Holi celebrations held in Jodhpur by Gaj Singh, the former maharaja at his palace Umaid Bhavan, part of which is managed by the Taj as a luxury hotel, were nothing short of spectacular.
“Holi celebrations in Rajasthan are beyond fabulous,” said a lady who knows her polki from her rose cuts, “but add the elegance of royalty and you have a perfect heady mix... like a perfect delicate concoction of thandai laced with bhang,” she said of her recent experience, which she described as “spectacular”.
“The Maharaja with his son Shivraj by his side was seated and everyone was anointing them respectfully,” she said, adding, “princesses were soaked in pinks and reds, gypsy dancers and manganiyar musicians by the dozen were singing and a list of the rich and famous from all over the world were throwing colour with abandon.”
Er, but who was there? We asked gently, after all a hack needs to know. “I really could not tell as everyone was covered in colour,” she said. “But it looked like 80 per cent were foreigners.”
She's making a list...
Word comes in that a senior diva will be celebrating her birthday this week with much fanfare and joie de vivre at a prime SoBo venue, amongst family, friends and well-wishers. “It's not her big milestone, but she's decided to kick up her heels nevertheless and celebrate herself,” says our source. So who's coming, we enquired. “We don't know yet,” said the source. “But we've heard she's making a list, she's checking it twice, gonna find out who's naughty and nice...” Ahso!