>> We spoke to our favourite man about town Suhel Seth while he was making his presence felt at the Formula One races yesterday. “I’m the only one sitting in Sunil (Airtel) Mittal’s box in a Vodafone T-shirt,” guffawed the maverick marketing guru with the iconic hairstyle about his sartorial sauciness. Incidentally, Suhel’s upper garment wasn’t the only one that attracted attention. BJP leader and legal luminary Arun Jaitley, dapper in a pink shirt and beige blazer was congratulated for divesting himself of his khadi kurta and lawyer’s coat for something more appropriate for a racing afternoon. Jaitley’s gallantry also won him favour. “When he was invited to the Ferrari pit he declined saying he wanted to first go and meet Narain Karthikeyan, the only Indian participant of the day to congratulate and encourage him.
Others in the Mittal box were Nehchal Sandhu, the dapper Sikh head of the Intelligence Bureau, celebrated investment banker Henry Kravis, industrialists KP Singh, CK Birla, British High Commissioner to India Sir James Bevan and actor Anil Kapoor. Also spotted milling around were Ajay Devgn, Mandira Bedi, Sonakshi Sinha and Neha Dhupia, Star’s Uday Shankar and India TV’s Rajat Sharma.
The topic of conversation was: Robert Vadra’s absence, the beauty of the Spanish Ambassador’s wife and the fact that Jaitley was having such a great time — even though he can’t drive himself! Incidentally, according to Seth, “When Mittal saw him entering his box in the Vodafone Tee he said, ‘Salaa??!’ To which I replied, “What else can I do if you sent me an Airtel Tee one size too small’.”
>> Sad news. We have learnt that the statuesque Aida Banaji who had begun life as Adi, and had challenged many institutions and defied conventions by opting to change genders, passed away recently in Goa. As a close friend posted on a social networking site recently, “Despite a life filled with challenges, triumphs and mistakes, (Aida) was an inspiring figure to many.
Aida Banaji, you will never be forgotten by me and countless others. We do not mourn, but rather celebrate your life and legacy.” For the many friends of Adi/Aida Banaji who’ve asked when and where the funeral is, it was on Sunday, October 28 at the St Inez Crematorium adjoining the St Inez Church in Panjim, Goa. RIP Aida. And may your brave and beautiful spirit live on.
A friend’s defence
>> Guests at the India Jones restaurant in SoBo were recently privy to a heated debate when a group of six SoBo boys were overheard criticising Sidhartha Mallya tweets about pub-crawling in London while his dad’s airline had hit rock bottom. A close friend of the family — the owner of a midtown lounge who was present launched into a spirited defence of the Alpha brat.
“Why don’t you leave that 25-year-old kid alone?” he said. “Not only did he never have anything to do with the airline, he trained at the UB spirits’ division but also he recently left all that to pursue his own career in the arts abroad,” said the loyal gent. “Besides he’s never even lived in this country and has no clue about it at all. He’s just a young man trying to make it on his own. Let’s cut him some flak.” After this heartfelt speech, the group of Mallya dissers calmed down a bit and proceeded to quaff down large quantities of dim sums accompanied with swigs of Kingfisher beer!
Eye candy at the races
>> So, who was the prominent (and much married) senior citizen industrialist whose appearance at the Formula One races with a twenty something leggy beauty on his arm created such a stir? “She was young enough to be his daughter,” said an eyewitness. “Perhaps she’s known as Shri’s Eye Candy?”
The Shammi shimmy
>> On Saturday, we attended Good Earth’s unveiling of their Farah Baksh Design Collection 2012-2013 collection at their Raghuvanshi Mills store inspired by the beauties of Kashmir.
Hosted by Simran Lal and Beenu Bawa (both dressed in Farah Baksh creations) the brunch saw a smattering of the city’s smartest style mavens schmooze over sangrias, salads and sauternes. Good Earth’s founder creator Anita Lal, art doyen Saryu Doshi, fashionista Haseena Jethmalani met and mingled with the likes of Anil Chopra, Carol Gracias, Little Shilpa, Akanksha Nanda, Zeba Kohli, Rahul Akerkar and Anjana Sharma even as they were overheard sighing over the almost unbearable beauty of the objects on sale.
“Romance and song sequences in the breathtaking landscape of Kashmir are associated in our collective memory with the flamboyant heartthrob of Indian cinema, Shammi Kapoor so, Good Earth presents the Dashing Hero Collection as an ode to the handsome star,” said a spokesman. The highlight of the afternoon was a vivacious flash mob that danced to Kapoor’s blockbuster hits performing the actor’s legendary Shimmy. As Lal said, “If Kashmir is the locale of our dreams then the dashing Shammi Kapoor is the hero of these dreams.” We like!
A ghost of its former self?
>> Guests at the newly-launched Ghost, Prive’s latest avatar were a bit dismayed to receive invitations to its Friday launch that had none of the hosts name on the card.
“Neither was there Vikrant and Kavita Chowgule nor any of the new partners said to be a handful of restaurateurs from the suburbs,” moaned a guest. And though the club had its share of the usual SoBo high flyers, the rest of the crowd as someone put it ‘was pretty iffy’ (in SoBo’s inbred and offensive lingo that means people from outside its charmed circle). Disappointing too was the lounge’s look.
“After shutting down for renovations one expected a whole new interior,” said a guest, “But here besides the gold chains to cordon off the tables and the globular chandeliers everything else looked the same. “Being die hard fans of the Chowgules and their initiatives we hope to see more of their hand in the club rather than that of their faceless partners,” said our source.