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The small elegant Indian wedding

>> A measure of how mean spirited we can be is the TV coverage of the Saif Ali Khan–Kareena Kapoor nuptials. I was appalled to hear sections of the media make snide remarks about the groom’s clothes, the choice of venue, the lack of perceived ‘glamour’ and above all the couple’s decision to have a small private meaningful wedding away from the spotlight. What is even more alarming is the media harping on the communal angle.

Not only is a wedding whoever’s it is — be it a superstar or a lay person’s — one of the most precious facets of a person’s life, but the fact that there was the recent death in the groom’s family ought to have tempered the more uncharitable members of the press.

Saif AliKhan with Karenna Kpoor
Happy couple: Saif and Kareena 

The Pataudis are a preternaturally dignified family and they should be allowed their wishes. Interestingly, after the spate of big fat Indian weddings, it takes a Saif and Kareena to show people that big isn’t always beautiful and that ‘less is more’; or that there is a particular beauty in simplicity. Perhaps, the time has come for couples to change the trend and marry the way that would make them happiest. Not to live up to societal expectations or obligations or fit in with the crowd. And if it turns out that Saif repeated his jacket at his own wedding (he looked dishy enough in it to warrant such a decision!) then we double like!

Shopping extravaganza
>> If you want to see sheer retail frenzy then visit the Women Entrepreneurs 2012 – Pre-Diwali Shopping Extravaganza! To be held this Wednesday and Thursday at Vivanta by the Taj President, Cuffe Parade, the mother of all retail extravaganzas which started the whole trend of elaborate ‘pop up festival buying shops’, will give the city’s shopaholics a grab of some of the most enticing beads, bangles, bags, gifting and lifestyle items.

Committee of the Women Entrepreneurs 2012
The women on the committee of the Women Entrepreneurs 2012 – Pre-Diwali Shopping Extravaganza

“The exhibition organised by the IMC Ladies’ Wing Women Entrepreneurs’, aims to support entrepreneurship among women and serve as a platform to realise their skills and creative talent,” says one of its spokespeople. Most enticing is the ‘Night Bazaar’, which will give late latifs one more jab at their festival shopping.

What a way to go
>>Every once in a while Mumbai surprises you with its grace and elegance (which by the way is no means restricted to the upper echelons of its society.) But even by those standards the mourning of a much-loved individual — a businessman with a philanthropic streak who lost his battle with the big C after a brave fight — brought a tear to many an eye. Apparently, the brave man had requested that there should be celebration over five days with the best of champagnes and fine foods for his family friends and admirers. And so, even with lumps in their throats his mourners went ahead and bowed to his last wishes. What’s more, many close friends stepped in to honour his memory with elegant parties. “He had 20 friends around him when he stopped breathing,” said one member of his family. Nothing becomes a man as much as the manner of his passing!

The ‘injuns’ are coming!
>> Sometime back veteran NYC based photojournalist Jay Mandal ‘friended’ us on a social networking site reminding us that we’d visited the White House together during the Clinton-Rao summit.

L K Advani
LK Advani at Ground Zero in New York. Pic/Jay Mandal 

Since then Mandal has posted many interesting items, but by far the most interesting is the round up of famous Indians in New York that he posted recently that displays his acute ‘journalistic eye’.

“Historian Ramachandra Guha was getting into a yellow cab at 2nd Avenue/43rd street! Shashi Tharoor was seen checking in at Air India Counter, JFK, Derek O’Brien, Trinamool Congress spokesperson and a Rajya Sabha member was walking casually on 3rd Ave and 44th St on 1st Ave and BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani along with his wife and daughter was taking a stroll in Central Park and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara famed Zoya Akhtar and Rockstar famed director Imtiaz Ali were walking on 16th street/6th Ave!’ he posted adding, “Last few days, a few of them simply failed to avoid my sight in the city and I tell you, I was not playing paparazzi,” he writes. We reproduce a picture of a particularly dapper L K Advani captured by Mandal. Incidentally, Mandal says the BJP leader didn’t demand special treatment and behaved like a ‘normal tourist from any where in the world!’ We like!

Social Whirl
>> A busy but fun week ahead: the festival spirit has already settled on Mumbai with diaries filling up, invitations being scattered like confetti (all those trees cut!) and people having to find excuses to not get their multiple invitations each evening tangled up.

New York Italian
New York Italian eatery Serafina

An art auction at the Taj tomorrow, a catching up with visiting friends on Thursday for lunch, the opening of the trendy New York Italian eateries Serafina on Thursday, a dear friend’s birthday on Friday followed by a night out at a bar launch, then a documentary film screening on Saturday after which a banker’s bash… At this rate, the city that never sleeps is going to emerge on the other side of the week with dark circles under its eyes!  

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