So now that the save the date communication for a charity reception, in honour of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Catherine Middleton's forthcoming visit to India has been sent out by the British High Commission and British Asian Trust for early April, the jury's out on who amongst Mumbai's social set will queue up to be photographed with the couple.
Catherine Middleton and Prince William. Pic/Getty Images
After all, Middleton, very much in the footsteps of her late mother-in-law Princess Diana, is the ultimate society lady's selfie date. "The biggie will be if someone gets to host the royal couple," said a society watcher. "You know, a high tea or some such thing that gives them pole position over every one else," she said.
"Of course, given that the Brit royalty like to be seen involved in charity work, it would help if it will be done for a cause - to afford it the fig leaf of philanthropy," she said, adding, "But apart from that, even just to be photographed by their side is social validation enough." So are Mumbai's tiara sporting lot dusting out their gowns, their curtseying skills and yes, their tiaras, even as we speak to prepare for the big day?" You bet!
Standing by her
How things have changed! Time was when the default position of the world (including its women) would be to take a man's side in any man-woman split, regardless of the issues involved.
This was because the man was seen to be more powerful and thus, more strategic to support. Women after all, especially women who had chosen to take on a mighty and powerful man, would end up destroyed, the old thinking went.
Not so any more. Following the unsavoury legal battle between two of Bollywood's biggest stars over an alleged affair, it's good to see that just as many people have come out in support of the talented actress concerned as for the star actor.
Kim Sharma, who debuted a few years ago in the YRF starrer Mohabattein and then had recused herself from show business after her marriage, posted this cryptic and feisty message yesterday on a social networking site.
'Legal notices in the mail for calling someone silly. Threatening to disclose private conversations. Diagnosing someone with Asperger's syndrome. Grow up, no one likes a #?crybaby' she wrote. Nice!
Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum come a-visiting
Following the visit of the tall, erudite, high-flying current lawyer, and former finance minister P Chidambaram to engage with a high-profile audience at a five-star soiree this week, comes news that another tall, erudite, high-flying former lawyer and current Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, will be coming to Mumbai later this month to engage with a high profile audience at a five-star soiree!
P Chidambaram and Arun Jaitley. Pics/AFP, PTI
This time not a group of interlocutors but just one, the former editor-in-chief of a newspaper. And that's not the only similarity between Jaitley and PC either. Both are said to enjoy nothing more than a stimulating conversation (spicier in Jaitley's case) with media hacks after work, and both have used their wit and way with words, to win themselves a natural constituency amongst Mumbai's glitterati. Whose event will garner more interest? Watch this space.
Given the climate of intolerance in the air, we don't know how this picture of our friend Dalip Tahil in bed, with four mythological beauties will be received. 'Raja Dashrath, has a sit-in with Sita and his beautiful ranis, from left Sumitra, Kaushalya, Kekayi," said the actor. "Livin' in our bed for a week' as Lennon would say," he quipped.
Dalip Tahil with co-stars on the set of his TV show
Was it shot during a scene from his latest show? We enquired. "It was taken during the shoot," said Tahil. "Dashrath is ailing and his women are at his bedside (not that you can tell in this photo). So we collectively decided, 'Aisaa mauka phir kahan milega?'" he laughed. "It's basically a photo opportunity."
And if someone wants to make a song and dance about it, they should speak with Tahil. "Yavery day I am Raja Dashrath" he quipped. Now for the usual outrage from those protecting the modesty of India's mythological kings and queens; not to forget those offended by Tahil's 'elitist' mockery of they who speak English ungrammatically, and last but not least: they who defend the IP rights of John Lennon and his epic sleep over with Yoko. Bring it.
And now that the season of royalty is upon us with the visit of Prince William and Kate Middleton next month, might we spare a thought for this unctuous gentleman who has predicated what looks like his entire career on a fictitious royal connection?
No one is quite sure how he has managed to claim his blue blood certificate, given that he is actually related to a leading political family and a leading business clan (which by Indian standards is royalty enough), but this does not stop him from assiduously flaunting his 'regal antecedents,' his 'palace,' his artworks, and his royal friends in India and abroad.
"Perhaps it's so that the stardust of his connection to royalty gets translated into more sales for his heavy brocade ensembles or his other business ventures in hospitality," said a friend, adding quite unnecessarily, "After all any thing goes or sells in Mumbai society, right? "
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