>> As much as we acknowledge fashion’s place in our lives there is something mind numbingly silly about spending a few hours watching models walk up and down the ramp.
Which is why we try and avoid the activity as much as we can. But, of course, invited by Zarina Mehta and Ronnie Screwvala to witness the launch of their rural upliftment initiative aimed at uplifting 200 villages across Maharashtra with a fashion show by Vikram Phadnis is not an occasion we would miss. And on Monday night, as we watched some of the country’s most interesting and successful people walk down the ramp accompanied by the recipients and collaborators of some of Swades’ notable projects in some of the most unusual couplings along with the rest of the audience we found ourselves participating in a standing ovation.
Ashutosh Gowariker and Anurag Basu, Chetan Bhagat and Rahul Bose, Farah Khan and Rohit Bal, Sanjay Khan and Kiran Rao were only a few of the mind-boggling configurations that escorted village school headmasters, progressive farmers and brilliant school kids. One of the few shows that not only entertained but also edified and inspired too! We like!
Super luxe penthouses
>> At Vinod Doshi’s memorial at the NCPA, we ran into our dear old friend Chhaya Momaya, one of India’s most sought after lifestyle coaches. “I will be calling you soon to announce a billion dollar new real estate project of 11 penthouses of 12,000 square feet each which I’m advising,” she whispered, as we stood listening to Girish Karnad pay tribute to Vinod. “Where?” was our whispered response, assuming it was in Dubai or Italy as Chhaya’s orbit is now international. “In Worli!” she responded, her tone acknowledging our look of surprise.
After all, as Mumbai lovers know that our fave city’s linear geography hardly allows for much new construction — especially not in SoBo ( if Worli can be included in it!). “We will wait for your call,” we said to Chhaya, curious about the location and promoters behind the initiative. “Come on April 19 for the launch party,” was Chhaya’s enigmatic reply but given her command of a certain slice of Mumbai’s high net worth individuals (after all, she is a lifestyle consultant to some of the city’s most well-heeled women) it will be a project to watch out for!
Text and the city
>> All those who know our style, know that we eschew using the cell phone in favour of SMS and e-mail communication as much as we can — not only for health reasons — but to reduce general noise pollution, waffle and inculcate silence and thoughtfulness. And for some reason even though it makes for less immediate response it’s always the busiest and most sought after people who ‘get it’. Which is why we appreciate Percept’s flamboyant joint managing director Shailendra Singh. Because besides heading one of India’s largest and only entertainment, media and communications conglomerates, Singh has impeccable cell phone manners! Ever since Singh wrote his book F@# Knows there have been a series of witty and civilised SMSes that have passed between us. Witness the last one, fired from SS’s ubiquitous cell at 6.36 am (we kid thee not!) recently: “Caution..ths is a sarcastic txt..! While u stil wait to read n review my book whch i personaly sent to u a month ago...neilson and hindustan times both hv ranked it n.o.1 bk non fiction al india...bt no wories take ur time..shailendra singh,” wrote the media hotshot. And as it so happened it was one of those rare days when we were awake at that unearthly hour and so to take the bull by the horns we SMSed right back. “Congrats. Son reading and loving it. I am next!” “Haha cool hv a kickass wk ahead,” was the maven’s civilised sign off. See what we mean? One can establish a whole new channel of communication (not to mention language) with simple texting. Incidentally, to celebrate F@# Knows unprecedented success (# 1 rank on the Nielson Bookscan Non-Fiction Bestseller list and #1 on the Crossword Bookstores Top Ten List) there’s going to be ‘a rambunctious F@# party (SS’ words) on April 1. We like!
>> Whereas we love writing a daily column, we are the first to point out that it’s only a diary and we are only human and therefore prone to the occasional error. But what pleased us most about the confusion we had caused by the item erroneously listing Radhika Ruia as Ravi and Madhu’s daughter, is how many people called, wrote, texted and mentioned it to us! Honestly we had no idea every word we wrote was so widely read and made such a difference! It’s a good feeling to be honest — and perhaps we ought to secrete a few more harmless errors of this nature just to see who’s paying attention. For the record, of course: Radhika, the daughter of Sudhir and Anusuya Behl is Shashi Ruia’s daughter-in-law and married to his son Anshuman. Nuff said!
>>What’s brewing? The rivalry between these two SoBo restaurateurs both from the same school and social ilk is a well-documented one. And now word comes in that the one who’s trying to break into the SoBo circumference to really flex his muscles in front of his rival (who’s just won a few prestigious awards) appears to be engaging in a deadly game of chess: wooing his rival’s biggest and most obvious competitors (whether to partner with them or to give them free advice remains yet to be seen). After all your rivals’ rival is your friend right?