Akshay and Krutika Bhansali
Last evening, the ongoing celebrations of the recently concluded nuptials of the New York-based Akshay Bhansali, to a bride from the erstwhile royal clan of Karnataka, were held at Mumbai’s Turf Club, where the groom’s father, the renowned cardiologist based in New Orleans, Dr Siddharth Bhansali, originally from Mumbai, hosted a reception, replete with a jazz band from back home.
(Left to right) Parul Sharma, Yashodhara Raje Scindia, Sreya Seth, Swapan Seth, Anusuya, Ritu, Urvashi Khemka
The wedding, which saw movers and shakers fly in from abroad and across the country, had been held over three days in Bangalore over the weekend. “They are very close friends of ours,” says the Delhi-based Star TV executive Parul Sharma, who had attended along with husband Tony Jesudasan of Reliance ADAG. “It was done in great but understated style, kept very intimate and thankfully not OTT,” she adds. Seen partaking of the festivities were the likes of Mumbai’s Nisha JamVal, Delhi’s Sanjay Kapoor, Kalyani Chawla, brothers Suhel and Swapan Seth, and the colourful guru du jour, Baba Ramdev.
And given that the groom’s mother Yashodhara Raje, a minister from Madhya Pradesh hails from the royal clan of Gwalior, there was a sizeable representation of the erstwhile royal families, with the groom’s aunt Vasundhara Raje (CM Rajasthan), and her son Dushyant Singh, being part of the ceremonies. “I returned last night and am at office today,” says Sharma, “And the first thing I did was get a massage to recover.”
Sweetheart of the Sixties
“I’ve known Asha for ages,” says film critic and director, Khalid Mohamed, about ‘The Hit Girl,’ an autobiography of yesteryear star Asha Parekh, that he’s collaborated on, soon to hit the stands. “Asha, along with Saira Banu and Sadhana, were the sweethearts of the film industry,” he says about the star, who contacted him about a year ago when he’d penned a tribute to Sadhana for a local daily on the occasion of her passing.
Khalid Mohamed and Asha Parekh
“Asha had been a great chum of my grandmothers, but we’d lost touch with each other along the way. Having reacquainted with her, the book just happened,” he says. “She was always known for her vivacious laugh, her dancing prowess, and her warmth.”
As for the difference with today’s leading ladies, Mohamed is philosophical. “I guess there’s a lot more cut-throat competition today, which is why today’s heroines are not so close. Earlier, Waheedaji, Helen, Sadhana, Nanda, Asha were all close.”
“Also,” he adds, “Each one had a distinct personality, unlike today, where they all seem to be from the same cookie cutter.”
And the piece de resistance of ‘The Hit Girl’? The fact that it’s replete with archival pictures of the star, and that the foreword has been penned by today’s superstar Salman Khan.
“Asha is close to the Khan clan,” says Mohamed. “And so, when we requested Salman to pen the foreword, he willingly agreed.”
Stately wheels in a stately place
The Cartier Travel with Style Concours D’Elegance, which took place over the weekend in Hyderabad, has been played out before in Mumbai and Delhi, but never to such stunning effect, as at the Falaknuma Palace in the City of the Nizams, sources say. A hundred and twelve of India’s rarest classic cars and motorbikes, took over the stately grounds, once the Palace of the Hyderabad Nizam, whose love for the good things in life was legendary.
ShaliniâÂÂSharma and Yasmin Le Bon
Welcoming the judges who had flown in from different parts of the globe to the Falaknuma Palace, was the Turkish Princess Esra, former wife of the Nizam, along with her children Prince Azmet Jah of Berar and Princess Shehkyar Jah. Excited members of Hyderabad’s aristocracy, who don’t often get to mingle with these royals as they live in Europe, were spotted animatedly taking pictures and exchanging family news.
“The graceful way the European-bred Indian princess Shehkyar Jah wore her saree, the beautiful Yasmin Le Bon, who told me that her husband, Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran was all set to come to Hyderabad, but had slipped and fractured his hand a few days back, and guests like actor Naga Chaitanya Akkineni, Shoba Kamineni of Apollo Hospitals, cricketer Mohammad Azharuddin, Rachel Goenka of Sassy Spoon, and Arjun Oberoi of Oberoi hotels, made it the most magnificent of all so far,” says the editor of a celebrity magazine, Shalini Sharma, a native of Hyderabad, who has attended most of the Cartier Concourse events in India.
Pranksters for a cause
“It’s a prank,” said author Rosalyn D’Mello about a post she’d written on social media, which stated that she’d been accepted on MasterChef. “It’s for autism awareness, and the way it works is that you get a series of 14 or so outrageous claims to choose from to post as your status,” she explained.
“I chose the MasterChef one.” The irony of course, is that D’mello is known to be an accomplished chef, and her fiery Goan curries, culled from time-honoured family recipes have been much appreciated. “I guess the favourite has been my Goan chicken curry made with green coriander, which was even written about in Mayank Austen Soofi’s column, along with its recipe not too long ago,” she said.
As for the timing of her MasterChef post, it couldn’t have been better: D’Mello is on a residency in Goa currently busy writing her second novel - which just happens to be centered around food. “It’s too early to say more,” she says, quite unsurprisingly.
As for the other statements that various people have been sent for autism awareness - the other that caught our eye was a gentleman friend’s post : “All of my bras are missing.” We can safely say he’s not writing a book about underwear though. At least not at the time of going to press...
A match made in Bollywood heaven?
What can one say about these star kids whose recent friendship appears to be a match made in heaven? With both in possession of good looks and equal Bolly pedigree, their developing friendship, is currently said to be one of the industry’s best kept but most cherished secrets.
“The fact that she’s been signed up by one of Bollywood’s most successful production houses, to be launched by its hit director, and that his recent debut, which though might have not set the box office on fire, certainly won him much critical acclaim for his acting chops, makes them one of the star couples to watch out for,” says a source.
“What’s more, they’re also both quite cerebral and known to enjoy intelligent conversation and reading. Besides, of course, no one can deny that they make a very good looking pair,” says a source. Nice.