Star spotting

>> Star spotting is a dying Mumbai sport favourite — so blasé are its residents. Especially when our stars are getting increasingly more knowledgeable and interested in food and flavours.

But still when a star strays out of his North Mumbai Juhu Bandra laxman rekha it makes news. So when Imran Khan and wife Avantika came in to town to dine at the newly-opened Ellipses fellow diners were suitably chuffed.

“He wore a blue T-shirt with a jacket that he removed. Table of 4. Came at earliest stayed almost till closing. Sat at a corner table engrossed in animated conversation,” someone from a near by table texted us. “What’s more, it isn’t the first time we’ve seen him here.” Of course, no one approached the table or bothered the star — we’re Mumbaikars after all.

A naturopath in Mumbai
>>  BEING something of a massage fiend and aficionado, we pride on recognising the best in the field, wherever we encounter it. After all, not for nothing have we been massaged in Kathmandu (with yak’s milk) in Tokyo (by a blind octogenarian) or in New York (at the Four Seasons), there is something sacred and unspeakably sublime about a massage: so much care healing and devotion packed in to an hour between complete strangers.

So, even though it is disclosing a secret and perhaps risking the loss of one of the finest masseurs we have met — in the interest of the greater good we present Dr Uday Chotai, the unassuming director: Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan’s Institute of Holistic Health Sciences and Managing Trustee: Just For Health Charity Naturopathy Institute at Lonavala who we have no hesitation in calling a master in his field.

Whether it is at his simple but effective health farm in Lonavala or at the Bhavan’s Institute of holistic health sciences where therapies like Ozone, Colon Hydrotherapy, Acupuncture, Sujok, Ayurveda Panchakarma, Hydrotherapy, Mud Therapy, Manipulative Therapies Thai massage, and wheatgrass therapy are offered. Last week Chotai brought his learning and commitment to an area that many Mumbaikars face: mid life crises in women.

“ For years, mid-life crisis has been solely associated with men and referred to as an explanation for the odd behaviours they may display when they reach a certain age,” says the doctor. “But mid-life crisis generally hits when a woman is somewhere in her ‘40s, when the life she has established over the years — family, job, goals, personal achievements — all seem to be in place, yet there begins to be nagging inner doubts about the real value of those things.”

Of course, he offers no quick fix solutions to this but a more holistic approach to the challenge: take care of yourself physically, talk about the problem, see a doctor for hormonal balancing and developing an attitude f gratitude and positivity. “It’s time people realised that the middle phase of their life can be the best time ever for them,” he says.

Best of Mumbai brunches
>>  ONCE in a while Mumbai comes together to celebrate its existence (and dare we say it — survival against all odds). And yesterday was one such occasion when Farokh and Dilshad Khambatta hosted a party to mark the first anniversary of their hugely successful restaurant Amadeus at the NCPA.

Gary Lawyer and Uday Benegal

They were all there, Mumbai’s beautiful people: white linen dresses, pastel trousers, Rolex watches Hermes bags and Armani shades stepping out of their Beemers and their Bentleys. But, of course, that’s not all that constitutes a true blue Mumbai denizen, who is more much more than the sum of his parts. A true blue Mumbai denizen is one very tiny quarter his clothes accessories and cars. Most of him (or her) are other intrinsically Mumbai qualities: good humour, an innate sophistication, a dyed in the wool secularism, a never say die attitude, good grace, a sense of the absurd and an appetite for letting his hair down.

Farokh and Dilshad Khambatta. (Right) Rahul Akerkar

So whether Uday Benegal, Farhad Wadia (30 kgs down) Suresh Bhojwani or Gary Lawyer and Anoushka Jagtiani took the mike and belted out some rock and roll classics, Anu Ansari, Rashmi Uday Singh and Arti Surendranarh (mercifully recovered and free of her crutches) swung a leg, or the likes of Rahul Akerkar, Esther Daswani, Roshni and Dhruman Sanghvi and Manoj Jain schmoozed on the verandah — it was quintessential Mumbai at its best: good vibes, great food and a hail-fellow well met ambience that could not be replicated any where else in the country. Delhi can keep its machismo and Bangalore its IT muscle — if its an inborn sophistication and savoir faire you’re looking for — catch a Mumbaikar at a Sunday brunch when there’s a great band, a delectable crowd and something to celebrate. Nothing and nowhere comes close.

Indian dance troupe for the Bessies
>>  THE late great Protima Bedi, mother to the irrepressible Pooja and former wife of Kabir must be a happy woman in heaven. ‘Nrityagram’ the dance school she founded and devoted her life to before her untimely death in an avalanche has been nominated for two Bessie awards for Samhära, a production that has gathered global critical acclaim since it premiered in India less than a year back.

Dancers from Nrityagram have been nominated for a Bessie. (Right) Protima Bedi

Commenting on the nomination, Surupa Sen, artistic director of the Nrityagram Dance Ensemble, and the choreographer of Samhära said, “We are gratified and humbled to be nominated along with some of the most outstanding dance companies and performers from across the world as it recognises the contribution of Nrityagram to Indian classical dance and the quality of work being created here.” The Bessies are the dance world’s version of the Academy Awards and are recognised as the highest acclaim for original work. Take a bow Protima. Your brave and beautiful spirit dances on!

Capital Couplings
>> SO who is the former Mumbai couple that treated Delhi to a much talked off version of ‘dirty dancing’ recently at a well-known Delhi designer’s birthday bash? From what an onlooker reported, the ex-spouses whose re-uniting is a much-speculated affair in the city re-ignited rumours of the same in the capital. “They came separately,” says our source —but their body language on the floor which was electric has everyone hoping they’d get back together.” We like!  

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