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The magic of Abu-Sandeep

>> Their muse and dear friend Jaya Bachchan said it best while introducing them to an audience composed of the city’s social aristocracy. “In Abu-Sandeep’s work is contained all the beauty, wonder of India. They took a girl next door like me and turned her in to a… peacock!” And the evening at the Taj’s Crystal Room on Monday night was rife with the same sentiment, when two of India’s most accomplished designers Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla presented their evening of couture “The golden peacock” for the Sahachari Foundation. As one by one the 30 or so statuesque models displayed their clothes taking us through a specially curated presentation that essayed their clothes through the last three decades there were gasps of awe and sighs of delight.


Designers Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla with Jaya Bachchan and Asha Parekh

Wildly applauding or seated with looks of reverence on their faces were the likes of Kokilaben Ambani, daughter Nina Kothari, Sridevi and Boney Kapoor, Harsh and Mala Goenka, Bijal Meswani, both the Thackeray wives — Rashmi and Sharmilla — Chanda Kochchar, Pinky Reddy, Shaina NC, Reena and Ashok Wadhwa amongst many others who had assembled in unmistakable show of support for the duo.

But finally it was the clothes that made the biggest statement: whether it was from their Peacock collection, featuring the motif in a multitude of embroideries, to jewel with its cream and gold canvas to the glamour of Gatsby meets geometry in their Art Deco and Avatar the effect was… well staggering. 

Much later, after the crowd had gone home and the show’s A team, the designer duo, including Jaya, choreographer Lubna Adams, Devieka Bhojwani (who had conducted the evening’s auction to support the St Jude’s India Childcare for victims of paediatric cancer) retired to the Thai Pavillon for some nosh and unwinding there was only one topic of conversation: the clothes, each a jewel in its own right. “The boys have no idea how talented they really are!” said one diner. “Ah, but that’s the best thing about them,” we responded.


Models display creations from the Golden Peacock collection

Putting cricket first
>> When we spoke to Vijay Patil, chairman of the DY Patil Sports Academy and VP of the MCA about ‘Cricket First’ the team he has assembled to fight the forthcoming biennial elections of the Mumbai Cricket Association later this month, we were pleasantly surprised to hear someone bat for the game alone.

“We have all got so much pleasure, so much fame, so much success from the game,” said the urbane young educationist. “Now I want to give something back. Each member of the ‘Cricket First Team’ has been chosen for his or her individual talents — much like a cricket team,” he added. Patil, who is an engineer by training and a management graduate from Australia, spends most of his time running his family’s various educational initiatives.


Vijay Patil with his MCA election team. Pic/Atul Kamble

Hence, his interest in sports in general and cricket, in particular. “Every great university abroad places equal emphasis on the development of academic interest and sports excellence,” he says. As for the upcoming elections, Patil’s pretty gung ho: included in his team are former cricketers Lalchand Rajput, Abey Kuruvilla, Atul Ranade, along with Mayank Khandwala, Unmesh Khanwilkar, Vijay Shirke, Kaushik Godbole, Sangam Lad, Iqbal Shaikh, Asish Patankar, Shekar Shetty, Lalji Joshi and the famous MCA Maidan Secretary Nadim Memon, known for his deep knowledge of the game who says: “Maidans are the heart of cricket, they need to be cared for and not allowed to rot. Cricket First has put that as one of its top priorities!” Nice!

The urban village
>> “It’s been fun,” says the vivacious Kamal Sidhu about the recently launched Nico Bombay, the eponymous restaurant created, conceptualised and launched by herself and her husband Nico Goghawala. The couple that used to run a boutique hotel and club on a beach in Sri Lanka has introduced the concept of artisanal farming in Mumbai: “We used to buy all our produce locally in Sri Lanka,” says the former model and VJ. “Fresh fish and vegetables directly from the source, cutting out the middlemen.”


Kamal Sidhu

The concept obviously has many takers, going by the fact that the restaurant has been sold out ever since its opening. But for all its success, Kamal sounds pensive. “We thought Mumbai would be easier,” she sighs, “After all, our earlier venture was in a village.” Ah, but Mumbai; is a village too. Just a very much bigger one.

Salaam Mumbai: A public interest message
You call people directly on their mobile, only in the case of clear and present danger and if it’s an urgent life-threatening situation. Otherwise, you SMS them first and do them the courtesy of asking: when is it a good time to call? Because they may be driving or sleeping or showering or nursing a friend in hospital or in an important meeting or writing or painting or meditating or having a root canal or a hundred other activities that your call would seriously jeopardise.

Remember, your call coming as it does without warning and breaking through their private moment, is an intrusion; unless they are your closest loved ones or your dearest life partner or your most cherished soul mate. Sometimes, even then. Mostly even then. 

And its no use asking – is this a good time to call once you have. You ought to have done that before you called and broken their private moment. By SMS. That’s what it’s there for.

That’s what I do. Even with my closest loved ones, my most cherished friends. Always. Unless it’s in the clauses listed in the first paragraph.

This is a public interest appeal. Mobiles are a wonderful new invention. Use yours thoughtfully. Please, from now on, let your fingers do the talking! 

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