Twinkle Khanna. Pic/AFP
We could not make it to the iridescent 10th anniversary celebrations of the country's leading fashion glossy, but by all accounts, it was everything that the occasion called for, and more.
From the presence of a dapper black tie-sporting SRK accompanied by Gauri Khan, to Twinkle Khanna sheathed in a fire engine red gown, to the lissome Shweta Bachchan, looking even more lissome in an Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla creation, to feisty Emmy-winning actress Archie Panjabi, the evening's sparkling host, it was, according to those who attended, 'an evening 'though focused squarely on women empowerment, one which still managed to be unbelievably glamorous'.
SRK serenades Archie Panjabi, Padma Lakshmi and Kalyani Chawla
And the two best takeaway lines of the evening? Khanna, who along with her head-turning gown had also donned her Mrs Funny Bones hat, delivered many a witty phrase in her speech - "It's true that we get more comfortable in our skin as we get older but that is also because that poor thing is not as tight as it used to be".
And Delhi fashionista entrepreneur and diva Kalyani Chawla, posted this picture of herself with Padma Lakshmi one of the evening's awardees, the next day with the words "@padmalakshmi if only there were more men like her #girlcrush."
Apparently, Delhi has still not recovered from the grace and style of the two Parsi brothers, billionaire industrialists Shapoor and Cyrus Mistry, who hosted special guests at their magnum opus Mughal-e-Azam recently at the Capital's Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Shapoor Mistry and Cyrus Mistry
"The evening began with the two brothers seated together," says a member of the audience, "but no sooner did the musical begin, when Cyrus joined FinMin Arun Jaitley in his row, and Shapoor did the same with another VIP guest. What's more, they were humble, low key and extremely gracious," she says, adding, "The capital is not used to such noblesse oblige."
Resurrected and rocking
In our book, few have countered rumours of their own demise as classily as musician Remo Fernandes. Yesterday, when noted music journalist Narendra Kusnur was asked by a credible mainstream newspaper, if the news that the singer had departed to join the great orchestra in the sky was true, Kusnur says he was pretty sure it was a canard. "I am connected to most musicians on Facebook and someone or the other would have mentioned it, and since none did I was pretty sure it was untrue," he said when we spoke yesterday.
Remo Fernandes and his response
However, to leave no room for doubt, Kusnur says he messaged the man himself. Obviously he wasn't the only one to do so, because a few hours later, Fernandes, who currently is in Portugal, responded with a droll public rejoinder which he posted online, putting matters to rest: 'Remo Fernandes RIP ( Rocking In Porto)' the headline read, cheekily accompanied by a suitably macabre image of the pop singer, who only last year had been booked by the Goa police for allegedly verbally abusing a minor.
'I have been offering myself condolences ever since I was first informed of my sad demise last evening,' it began. '… Thanks very much for all your concern, for messages asking me straightaway, 'Are you alive?' (I loved those, someday I'll answer 'no'). To people who never message me otherwise, tentatively asking, 'hey buddy how are you…'' The witty comeback demonstrating clearly how he saw the (black) humour in all of this, 'hey like the man said, no one gets out of here alive,' he ended it jauntily.
Old Etonians in Rajasthan
It is one of the original seven public schools of England and arguably one of the most well regarded, having incubated 19 British prime ministers, and most of the country's aristocracy over the decades. But for all its loyalty to Queen and Country, India and Indians do figure on Eton's rolls.
The erstwhile maharaja of Jodhpur Gaj Singh
Over the years, a small but significant number of bankers, industrialists and maharajas have studied in its hallowed portals, including the erstwhile maharaja of Jodhpur Gaj Singh, finance whiz Pashupati Advani, and industrialist Parthiv Kilachand. And as is the tradition of such institutions, it maintains an active old boy network. No surprises then, that this weekend saw many of them converge for a black tie dinner to the rugged Nagaur Fort in Rajasthan, where they were joined by fellow alumni from abroad, for much nostalgia and celebration.
The old Etonians in Rajasthan
Incidentally, a few decades ago, when a Gujarati boy from Mumbai had made it as head boy of Eton, it had attracted so much notice, that Amul had even put up one of its iconic hoardings to commemorate the occasion. (This year another Indian boy, albeit a student from Reading, 11-year-old Arnav Sharma, who secured the top possible score of 162 on a Mensa IQ test, has also sought admission there.)
Saying it with flowers
Word comes in that Swati Piramal, wife of industrialist Ajay Piramal, is already on to her next project. The lady with varied interests in science, medicine, nutrition, academics and horticulture, is said to be busy working on an India Pavilion for that international mecca of horticulture - the annual Chelsea Flower Show, held each year for five days in May, on the grounds of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea.
Piramal's long-standing passion for flowers first attracted public notice with the annual flower show she would organise at her family's weekend bungalow in Mahabaleshwar. Two years ago, the show moved to Mumbai and saw an impressive footfall. Now, if the Chelsea plans do materialise, it will be India's first outing at the prestigious venue. Flower power from Mahabaleshwar to Chelsea!
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