>> He’s been a gracious and dear friend for well nigh over 25 years. And trips to London were never complete without an evening at his well-appointed but relatively modest apartment where over Aruna’s home cooked food and some very fine Bordeaux, the inner workings of the corridors of power were discussed in delicious detail. Which is why it is so nice to see that even as seismic changes are in store for Delhi and its rulers some things never change.
The dinner in honour of Lord Swraj and Lady Aruna Paul. Hosted by Manoj Singhal at ITC Maurya, in Delhi on Friday night had the old warhorses from the past.
For those who were around before plastic invaded wallets and faces, the sight of Rajya Sabha member RK Dhawan, Indira Gandhi’s all personal secretary and confidante must have been a reminder of how the more things change the more they remain the same. Crony capitalism and back room moves were invented by some of these gentlemen.
And amidst such a mix of Delhi confabulators what was our very own Meera (New York, Washington, Hong Kong) Gandhi doing? Wrong capital surely?
Hey big spender
>> This one had even us gobstruck. According to our friend in the know, the biggest spender on media PR is not a high level corporate honcho, a leading male Bollywood superstar or even your garden-variety social terrorist. It’s – hold your breath — an actress with a non-existent career and a very expensive wardrobe who’s featured in these columns before. Apparently, in a bid to resurrect the said career some pretty big bucks are exchanging hands. And from where do these BBs emanate? The sons of a very powerful minister in the local government. Apparently, both boys are happy to make friends and influence people.
Celebrating the big boys
>> We could not make it to Dilip and Shalini Piramal’s musical evening to celebrate music composer Anandji (of the famous Kalyani-Anandji fame) and radio superstar Ameen Sayaniji on Saturday night.
“They’ve both reached the milestone of 80 years,” said Piramal whose known to warble a pretty good tune himself when the occasion arises.
>> It is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. Or what else explains the outbreak of this recent love fest between two high profile designers — albeit at different ends of their game? Both Masaba Gupta and Sabyasachi Mukherjee inhabit a world better known for its ‘air-kiss with jewelled dagger in the back’ syndrome than for its congeniality.
But when the talented young woman says, “At my first ever show at Lakme Fashion Week when I was 19, I met an icon in Sabyasachi just before my show and when I came out to take a bow his was the face I saw first smiling and clapping in the crowd which I will never ever forget.” Ah, those first moments in our careers, when a few encouraging faces in the crowd cheered us on… who can forget them?
Elvis has left the house
>> OK, so we are smitten. Very, very smitten. Ranbir Kapoor’s moves in the Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’s Badtameez Dil song. Take a backseat Fred Astaire, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Prabhu Deva and John Travolta. Hips don’t lie.
The ladies of Calcutta
>> Question: What do you get when you have two Bengalis in a room?
Answer: Three political parties. Well, what do you get in a roomful of beautiful, celebrated, highborn, creative, high strung, neurotic and highly opinionated Bengali women? Answer: A nightmare.
When the Sonar Bangla government drew up its list of this year’s Aparajita award winners of women who made Bengal proud they were being very brave indeed.
Consider the following: Amala Shankar, Moushumi Chatterjee, Jhulan Goswami, Noyonika Chatterjee and Sagarika Ghose. Under one roof, in one room. In Mamtadi land. See what we mean.
And while we’re at it, congratulations girls. And those silks! Word.
Ace clicker Padma Shri
>> We’ve said this before. You know your edgy, hell-raising anti-establishment days are over and soul destroying respectability has caught up with you when not only does the wind blown mean street icon of your generation wins a Padma Shri (and accept it) but his friends and even his school felicitate him for it.
Ace clicker Pablo Bartholomew whose photographs of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, the Babri Masjid demolition and heroin addicts in Mumbai defined a certain way of interpreting the world was given a party by his school mates for receiving the State honour. “After being ejected out of Modern School in 1971.
My sweet, old schoolmates honoured me last night! Not bad for a high school dropout,” said the pretty chuffed Padma Shri Pablo. We like!