South Mumbai's beautiful people

>> We spotted Ashok and Reena Wadhwa alight from their seven series BMW, as a couple in private equity and public glamour should, the lovely Anita Lal of Good Earth and her beautiful daughters Simran and Tara, the funky Imam Siddiqui with flowers in his hair, clutching a retro pink telephone, Husain’s exquisite daughter Raisa as striking as one of her father’s canvasses and the small but perfectly formed duo of fashionistas Bandana Tewari and Haseena Jethmalani making a (what else?) fashionably late entrance together.

But from all the city’s gathered eminences we found Rahul’s octogenarian mother Jinx, the most interesting. Tracing her son’s giddy rise to superstardom she had us in splits when she recounted the master chef’s first catering assignment, carried out in the early ‘90s for an indulgent friend’s wedding. “He had to cater for 300 people, out of my small kitchen and with my tiny stove and refrigerator,” she laughed. “What you going to make Rahul? I asked. I’ll make them pasta and a salad.

But where will you buy the pasta from I said to him, this was in the days before you could buy it locally. And he said don’t worry Ma I’ve got a pasta machine. So he handcranked lasagna for 300 people — and then hung it out to dry in my living room!” She narrated, “Of course, very soon you had Mumbai’s two rival hostesses spying on each other’s tables, engaging Rahul to cater their exclusive dinner parties, in a bid to outdo each other.”

And yes, Jinx told us their names — but that’s for another day!
Bandra boys and their rivalry
>> Will the two Bandra boys who just happen to be among the country’s top grossing stars ever stop trying to score brownie points against each other?
Journalists covering Bollywood have long been aware of how each time either SRK or Salman call a press conference, they inevitably get invited for the rival function by the other star. So yesterday when SRK’s event at the Taj Lands End to announce the KKR-IPL and Nokia Association was scheduled for 1.30 pm they breathed a sigh of relief as Salman’s conference at the Grand Hyatt to announce his association with was supposed to take place at 11.30. No need to have to prove their loyalty to one or the other they sighed. But lo and behold by some mysterious coincidence Salman’s conference was delayed and then rescheduled for — guess what — 1.30 pm!

If the two Badshahs or Dabangs or whatever they’re called would only spare a thought for the ordinary hacks and the stress they’re causing in their lives…
Chennai Culture Attack!
>> As if to validate Aakar Patel’s “culture only lies at the bottom of an idli” argument which sparked off a Twitter frenzy, Mumbai is playing host to not one — but two — celebrated dancers from Chennai, both formidable example’s of the city’s impeccable cultural pedigree. Last week I watched the beautiful Anita Ratnam perform at the NCPA’s Tagore festival, employing music, commentary, dance and her peerless cheekbones to evoke the bearded bard’s life and times; and next week the same venue will host the fabulous Alarmel Valli one of the country’s most renowned Bharat Natyam exponents.

Incidentally for those who like to connect the dots: Valli is married to ex DD boss Bhaskar Ghose and the man who bankrolled Arundhati Roy and Pradip Kishen’s first directorial venture In which Annie gives it those ones besides giving post reform India its TV culture.

He also happens to be CNN-IBN‘s Sagarika Ghosh’s dad, which makes Valli Mumbai city boy Rajdeep Sardesai’s mom-in law. Moms-in-law seldom look so good we say.

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