Mumbai's sybarites travel like migratory birds. The ski and spa lot find new places to roost in flock. St Moritz and Chamonix one year, Ubud and St Tropez the next. So it is not surprising, that lately a spa in Austria has become the go to detox destination of some of the city's more discerning ladies. The idyllic alpine establishment based on the belief that you are what you eat, has recently hosted two of Bollywood's iconic women: actress and TV anchor Simi Garewal, and director and all round entertainment mogul, Farah Khan. And whereas the former is known to be a spa and fitness aficionado — the latter is not. "There are two of them in Austria — but I recommend the one in Altaussee," said a Bollywood insider adding, "Both Simi and Farah are looking fabulous."
Rani Mukherjee and Aditya Chopra
Incidentally this spa has been a great favourite of Aditya Chopra and Rani Mukherjee, and next month, sources say, YRF Films is flying its doctors down for consultations in Mumbai "at Rs 20K
It has been described as one of the most sublime memorials held in recent times. This weekend when the anniversary of the passing of the late Chennai-based industrialist Shyam Kothari was held, many who attended could not stop talking about its solemn elegance. Kothari who was married to Nina, daughter of Kokilaben and Dhirubhai Ambani, had tragically lost his life to cancer last year and the grief amongst his family and friends had been palpable. And this year his family left no stone unturned to remember him in the manner he deserved. Amitabh Bachchan spoke on the occasion followed by AR Rahman, who had sung soulfully to a backdrop of white candles. And as expected, his legion of friends and family, including Shobhana and Shyam Bhartia his samdhis, had flown down to Chennai to mark the occasion.
AR Rahman and Amitabh Bachchan
Saw the movie? Read the book
"Kersi's writing evokes such brilliant imagery, that it's a joy for me as a filmmaker to sink my teeth into, especially when I'm converting it into a screenplay," said hunky deep sea diving director, Homi Adajania, who has based two of his movies (Being Cyrus and Finding Fanny) on two of Khambatta's screenplays. This fulsome praise came on the occasion of yesterday's launch of Kersi Khambatta's novel, 'The Village of Pointless Conversation' based on Finding Fanny, which he'd co written with Adajania. "It's way better" he exhorted. "Aren't books always? "
Naseeruddin Shah, Kersi Khambatta, Twinkle Khanna and Homi Adajania
As for a potted history of the author we're informed: "Ex-Merchant Navy Captain who never ever really got the salt out of him. Today he manages a fleet of yachts, is a freelance travel and humour writer, and writes scripts and now novels as well."
And there YOU are!
Another update for the 'Whatever happened To?' department. At a recent wedding in Mumbai we ran into none other than Poonam and Sanjiv Malhotra, the popular Mumbai couple whose presence had been such a mainstay of its social scene in the nineties. Then Sanjeev, the dapper head honcho of the Oberoi hotels in Mumbai, and the charming Poonam, had exited to the Middle East where Sanjeev oversaw the Oberoi's operations for the region. He is now with the Kempinski group and the couple divide their time between Dubai and Geneva.
Indians in New York
You've heard some version of this before. It's been doing the rounds of literary circles for decades, never failing to raise a guffaw. It's about Indians in New York. Two famous ones actually. Here goes: At an artsy soiree filled with the New Yorker crowd, a hostess spots one of her more celebrated Caucasian guests making awful faces at a distinguished but extremely agitated looking Indian. The Caucasian pulls faces at the man, wiggles his hands behind his ears, and sticks out his tongue. Horrified, the hostess rushes up to intervene. "Why on earth are you tormenting poor V S Naipaul?" She demands. "V S Naipaul? I thought that was Ved Mehta - and I wanted to test if he was really blind — since he writes so vividly," says the guest equally horrified.
Bibhu Mohapatra, Freida Pinto, Salman Rushdie, Sabine Heller, Warris Ahluwalia, and Aatish Taseer
For some reason, this apocryphal story came to mind, when we chanced upon this handsome portrait of a clique of some other Indian literary/ artsy lions in New York on Salman Rushdie's Facebook page. "'Indians in New York' is one of the most stunning pictures I've seen of any collection of attractive people," we said. And so without further ado, gentle reader from left to right : haute designer member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America Bibhu Mohapatra, winner of the. Breakthrough Performance Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, Freida Pinto; President of PEN American Centre from 2004 to 2006, author Salman Rushdie; A Small World CEO Sabine Heller, member of Vanity Fair's Best Dressed List 2010, designer and model Warris Ahluwalia, and our friend the dishy Delhi-based author Aatish Taseer.
No New York blue stockings going to mix this lot up for sure.
Disingenuous communication never fails to irk us. All those sensational headers portending scandal, which turns out to be damp squibs. A film magazine once screamed 'Rekha: the Man In Her House' on hoardings. Turned out they meant the actress was the man of her house! Something similar transpired yesterday. An exclusive story about an Indian venture landed in our inbox, which piggy backed entirely on internationally renowned filmmaker Martin Scorsese. "Can you carry the story about Martin Scorsese? The PR enquired. "It's exclusive to you."
Martin Scorsese. Pic/AFP
So we re-read the communiqué – only to discover that the auteur's role in the enterprise was at best tangential. A bit of nifty word play had been used to suggest that he'd be coming down to India. "Will he?" we asked outright.
The answer was "No. But will it be possible for you to use it?"
We just did.