"Ratan Tata, for me, stands for all that is Parsi: elegant, principled, generous and loved," said actor Boman Irani, who, along with the former Chairman of the Tata group, and Dr Cyrus Poonawalla, was honoured at the recently concluded Iranshah Udvada Utsav, which saw the coming together of Parsis from all over the world. As is known, the Parsis had landed in India some 1700 years ago from Iran, to escape persecution. The story of the promise made by their head priest to the Rana of Sanjan who granted them asylum (that they would be the sugar in a brimmed pot of milk) is well known. Some years later a fire temple, the Iranshah Atash Behram was erected in the nearby village of Udvada, and it was here that the weekend celebrations were held.
Ratan Tata and Boman Irani at the Iranshah Udvada Utsav
"As a Parsi I feel that the promise has been kept. Philanthropy and service to the country has been a mantra for all Parsis, evidenced by the eminent names that have studded every profession through excellence and devotion," he said.
But Irani adds a word of caution: "There is a dwindling headcount of Parsis today, which means that the work force to achieve excellence requires a greater effort to compensate for the scarce numbers. Eminence, charity, excellence, honesty and the reputation of being the most loved community, are the key words here. A tall order, yes. But this is what our current generation must bear in mind," said Irani, easily one of the most talented and dignified actors of his generation.
"We owe it to the sweet promise made to India, and we owe it to our forefathers who did it all with great distinction and little fuss," said the thespian signing off with: "Proud to be an Indian. Proud to be a Parsi."
Fifty shades of auburn
"Just as I was getting close to sprouting 50 shades of grey, I decided to do 50 shades of L’Oreal instead," said Twinkle Khanna, who celebrates her birthday today with an all-new hair colour.
How are you spending it, we asked the lady whose debut book, Mrs Funnybones, has been flying off the shelves ever since its launch, and has been reprinted for the 8th time since its first print run. "I am with my family and close friends from all over the world, all here in Hong Kong," she texted, "and that’s all - cause I am at my dinner party now." Nice!
All new design
Oh dear. This middle-aged female designer has gone and had such a drastic cosmetic make over that she’s unrecognisable from her old self now! "I ran into her recently at a party and looked right through her, until she tapped me and re introduced herself,’ said a male fashion designer, one of her rivals in the star dressing stakes.
"I could not believe what I saw and so kept staring at her face," he said. "Nose, mouth, lips, cheekbones, chin I can’t tell what exactly – but every thing’s different," he said, half in admiration, half in envy. Well, as they say, no half measures for a full designing lady!
Vive le difference!
You really want to know the difference between Delhi and Mumbai? Ok here goes - it lies in the little things. So whereas all of Delhi and Mumbai society may converge in Goa over the holiday season, wearing silly hats, dropping in at various beach shacks and hosting pool parties at their Spanish haciendas - here’s what we’ve observed: the idea of slumming it Goa-ishtyle vastly differs between the two cities.
So whereas you have the Mumbai wallahs scrounging around in their 20-year-old tees, battered shorts and Bata chappals - the Dilli guys appear to have taken the ‘trippy hippie’ dress code a bit too seriously: Pucci dresses, Gucci loafers, full on makeup and Bermudas, with well ironed pleats. And if you don’t believe how sartorially serious the Capitalists are – witness Rohit Bal’s Goa holiday look this season: a more elegant hippy would be hard to find!
Birthday cheer in Goa
"It was a small gathering of close friends who were in Goa at this time, and was held at Antares in Vagator near Sunburn," said jewellery designer Farah Khan, about her birthday celebrations held in Goa on Sunday evening.
Farah Khan celebrates with husband DJ Aqeel
"We began the evening at 9 pm and many friends braved the sunburn traffic to make it, so all in all we had a great time and I celebrated the 2nd anniversary of my 23rd birthday," said the consummate multi-tasker, who admits to being overwhelmed with the many messages of greeting she received, even one from Jetsun, the queen of Bhutan, and his majesty the king, wishing her happy birthday via WhatsApp.
"Another very special message I received was from my 13-year-old son Azaan telling me what I meant to him. That message was meaningful and brought tears to my eyes, as boys seldom express themselves as articulately," she said.
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Photos: Deepika Padukone, Sushmita Sen with daughters at Mumbai airport