Her SMS had said it was “a small dinner on Sunday at her house” but to our great delight when we reached Kangna Ranaut’s building in Khar it was festooned with lights and flowers. And on entering we learnt that the evening was something of a triple celebration: her birthday, her moving into her new home and, of course, the success of Queen.
Kangna Ranaut at her party
What can one say about Ranaut that’s not already been said? Possessing preternatural grace, high voltage talent and exceptional emotional intelligence, she has ever so quietly but surely placed herself in the league of top actresses in Bollywood.
Aamir Khan with Kiran Rao
And the party was imbued with a palpable excitement and glamour, as her friends and many admirers celebrated this rare and remarkable individual and basked in her happiness. In they trooped her industry colleagues, fashion frat and personal friends: Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan, Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao, Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar, Simi Garewal, Pinky and Rakesh Roshan, Lisa Haydon, Vivek Oberoi, Vikas Bahl, Vishal Bhardwaj, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Manish Malhotra, Sohail Khan and many many more.
“It’s almost amazing how Queen has received such universal love,” she said to us when we congratulated her on its success. And to our great pleasure when we told her we’d watched the trailer of her soon to be released Revolver Rani she repeated its soon to be legendary dialogue. “Hum hain Alka Singh. I love fasun...fun aur gun.”
Lisa Haydon and Simi Garewal. Pics/Satyajit Desai
If Queen has captured the nation’s heart, mark our words Revolver Rani is going to put it in a spin dryer, for Ranaut’s electrifying wild child performance. Simi, one of her oldest friends in Bollywood and an astute reader of people put it best. “There’s something about Kangna. She’s like nobody else I know.” We agree.
Embodying true style
Always great to catch up with Shabana, our former Juhu neighbour and long time friend. She told us about the upcoming fashion show that she was busy with to raise funds and awareness for the NGO Mijwan Welfare Society founded by her father, the legendary poet and lyricist Kaifi Azmi in 1993 that works for the empowerment of villagers of Mijwan in Azamgarh, UP.
She along with Namrata Goyal, daughter of Naresh and Nita Goyal of Jet Airways and Manish Malhotra have worked tirelessly to make the event a landmark one on Mumbai’s social calendar. This time the show has a twist. “We are getting only male stars to walk the ramp,” said Azmi her eyes twinkling with delight. “Amitji, Farhan Akhtar and many others, all known for their great sense of style.” Why don’t you dedicate the show to two of the most elegant men in the country, we said to her: poets Harivansh Rai Bachchan and Kaifi Azmi? They embody all the best qualities of manhood. Intelligence, compassion and sensitivity. Good idea, said Azmi. Let’s see how we can do that. And then she turned to Manish Malhotra to discuss the show.
A-goggle over Gaggan
Until a few weeks ago, F&B circles were abuzz with stories that celebrated chef Gaggan Anand, whose eponymous restaurant in Bangkok has had foodies beating a path to its door, was in talks with Kishore and Kintu Bajaj of KA hospitality (who run Hakkasan and Yautcha) to open a restaurant in Mumbai.
But that plan seems to have been put to rest and now word from the cooking range is that he is also exploring the Sofitel option at BKC with Arjun Rampal. Where will Gaggan finally come home to roost? Foodies have been salivating over the answer.
Gandhi’s gala dinner
Good to know that our friend Meera Gandhi has put her domestic challenges behind her and is back to doing what she does best: entertaining in style in one or the other of the world’s great cities. Her NGO The Giving Back Foundation hosted a gala dinner last week in NYC’s Pierre to honour Barbara Tober, chairman Emerita of the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City and chairman of the JM Financial Group Nimesh Kampani.
Barbara Tober, Meera Gandhi
“It was a huge success,” said the irrepressible hostess and philanthropist about the event which saw the likes of the Taj’s Raymond Bickson, Maharaja Gaj Singh of Jodhpur and Arshad Zakaria in attendance. “I am sending you a candid shot with Kiran Gandhi, our daughter and singer Lara Anderson. These two brought the house down with their performance,” said the proud mum. Just one thing.
Kiran with mom Meera Gandhi and singer Lara Anderson
The press release (Gandhi has been a pioneer of the highly efficient press communication) mentions that amongst the high profile guests was ‘singer Priyanka Chopra’. Could not be the actress aka Piggy Chops now could it?
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Photos: Deepika Padukone, Sushmita Sen with daughters at Mumbai airport