Hakkasan in Bandra, the outpost of the iconic Michelin-starred Chinese eatery of London, celebrated its sixth anniversary with a big fat cracker of a party on Thursday night. Its owner Kishore Bajaj and his family are well-known foodies with long and deep connections with the film industry.
Boney Kapoor and Sridevi with Kishore Bajaj
Not only had Kintu, Kishore's wife, the daughter of a well-heeled business clan, grown up in the bungalow adjacent to Sanjay Dutt's, but Kishore himself, through his hell-raising salad days as a Bandra youth (and later through his popular men's tailoring store Bada Saab, the go-to place for Bolly superstars), counted amongst his friends a sizeable section of the industry.
Thursday evening's bash saw the head chef of the London Hakkasan flying down to regale delighted guests with truffle noodles, black cod and the menu's popular dim sums. The other high point of the evening was the eclectic list of Mumbai's movers and shakers under the same roof. The Bajajs had wisely asked a few of their close friends, Devraj Sanyal (married to Kishore's niece Nikita), to go ahead and invite their friends on their behalf to get an interesting mix.
The result? A packed house with a wide representation of generations, professing and personalities: from Bolly town's young uns, such as Evelyn Sharma (yes, like us, she'd popped in straight from the earlier event) along with the young at heart Kiran Rao, Chunky Pandey, Namrata Dutt and Kumar Gaurav, Priya Dutt and Owen Roncon, Mira Rajput, Sridevi with husband Boney Kapoor, and Neetu and Rishi Kapoor, rubbing Canali and Versace-clad shoulders with the likes of Ashok Kurien, Colvin Harris, Alex Kuruvilla, Nachiket Barve and Timmy Narang.
And the best part? The party finished on the dot at 1 am. "Dad is famous for his punctuality and belief in sticking by the rules," says Kresha about the strictly maintained curfew. "Even for his business meetings, he arrives on the dot and walks out 10 minutes later, if his appointment has not shown up," she laughs. "For him, a 1 am deadline is a 1 am deadline." Fortunately, everyone, even the party diehards were well aware of this, and had made plans to carry on the merry-making at a nearby Bandra watering hole.
Shilpi Jatia, the shy and pretty wife of Adarsh Jatia of Four Seasons Mumbai, looked like the belle of the ball at the opening evening of the two-day shopping extravaganza launched with partner Ritu Bagrodia at the hotel last week.
Expecting the usual over-the-top paean to wedding extravaganzas, we were pleasantly surprised to note that Jatia had managed to extract the gaudiness out of the Indian wedding, keeping all its elegance and style.
Shilpi Jatia and Ritu Bagrodia with Tarun Tahiliani
The result? A sophisticated shopping extravaganza (the two are not always mutually exclusive) accompanied by flutes of champagne, a blonde saxophonist, hors d'oeuvres by numero uno wedding chef Marut Sikka and fashion mogul and designer Tarun Tahiliani himself outside his stall, greeting all warmly. "Next year, we plan to go even bigger," said Shilpi about her plans, even as young Anandita De swept in, looking as pretty as a picture in a rose-themed Rohit Bal ensemble.
Industrial chic chaat
"Does this man ever sleep?" says a literary festival's founder, culture maven Anil Dharker, about the subject of his next session, architect Rahul Mehrotra. "To try and catch him is difficult, to speak to him is astonishing," he says of Mehrotra's imminent talk on 'The City in Books: Collaborations, Research & Advocacy.'
According to Dharker, Mehrotra is constantly on the move. "One day at Harvard, where he is professor of architecture, another day in Munich where he is giving a lecture. In between his teaching, talks and travel, plus the brilliant buildings he designs all over the world, he tells me in passing about the three books he has written this year."
As for us, we wanted to inform Dharker, we are happy to experience some of Mehrotra's brilliance each time we stop by for our pani puri fix at Swati, his clean as a pin and efficiently designed industrial chic chaat eatery right here in Tardeo! Because as anyone will tell you about the greatest designers, the proof of the pudding (or the pani puri) is in the eating.
All kinds of curves
The makers of a luxury car brand, who had teamed up with a glossy celebrity magazine for an awards presentation and fashion show, had left nothing to chance in their endeavour to introduce their three new car models to a young and sharply dressed crowd on Thursday night.
Ileana D'Cruz at the launch of the cars
The cars, all glistening steel and sinewy curves, definitely took centre stage on the occasion, and by the time we had made it to the venue at a suburban hotel, we were informed that they had already been wheeled out three times.
Neeta Lulla, Ananya Birla
We spotted Aarti and Kailash Surendranath, Neeta Lulla, Ileana D'Cruz, Kriti Sanon, Evelyn Sharma and Svetlana Caspar in the cavernous edgily-lit vast hall, and onstage the imprint's effervescent editor Ruchika Mehta, along with awardees Ananya Birla, Liza Bhojwani, Kresha Bajaj and Rohan Shrestha who came out for the finale, for what the wisecrack a minute MC described as his Ellen DeGeneres selfie moment. And, of course, the cars were in the picture too.
A maharaja and a gentleman
He was the maharaja of the princely state of Dhrangadhara and an alumnus of Doon School and Oxford, and yet, our friend and erstwhile neighbour 'Bapa' from Cumballa Hill, whose official title was HH Maharana Maharaja Shri Raj Sodhsalji Mayurdhwajsinhji Sahib, the 46th Maharana Sahib of Dhrangadhara, was one of the coolest and most unassuming people you'd ever meet.
From his great zest for life's finer things, such as art and Shakespeare and Mensa puzzles (which he'd solve with his great friend and fellow neighbour Tiger Pataudi), to Krishnamurthy's philosophy and new wave therapies, Bapa, who passed away last month after a brief illness at 73, was truly one of a kind.
He had home-schooled his daughters and, despite hailing from a family steeped in tradition and ceremony, had encouraged them to be free spirits and find their own paths. And though he was famous for his witty put-downs (especially of the pompous), he himself was devoid of any airs and graces, and his home had been an open house for many like us, in our early days of marriage. Why are the best taken away from us the soonest? It's a conundrum we've never understood.
As his daughter Pashwa Jhala posted so poignantly in tribute to him, recently: "Today, as I stand by this glorious river... the Ganga... to immerse your ashes, my heart is bursting with love and gratitude. Rest in peace, darling Jeyoo. Love you lots and lots."
Watch video: Dahisar river touches the danger mark near National Park
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