What's up with Mr Khan?

Something big is brewing with Aamir Khan — a media initiative? A charity event? A big budget film? Plain old nation-building? Because not only did the little genius meet some of India’s richest and most powerful people like the Ambanis, Tendulkars, Birlas last week, but last evening, he spent an hour and a half with no less than Tata Sons Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata at his Colaba bungalow, the (for his stature) modest and self-designed mansion he retired to overlooking the ocean.

Aamir Khan and Ratan Tata
Aamir Khan and Ratan Tata

A passerby called in to say that she had been curious about the large group of people collected outside the Tata bungalow. “I’d just finished purchasing some fabric in Colaba and was dropping in to see some friends who live near the Afghan Church and I see this large convoy of security detail, and right there is Mr Ratan Tata seeing off Aamir Khan to his car, surrounded with their respective staff,” said the source, quite besides herself with excitement. “I mean they are two of the country’s most respected icons!”

Which brings us back to our opening remark. Ambani, Birla and now Tata in the span of a week. Whatever is up Aamir Khan’s sleeve this time — it’s big — and no we don’t mean his bulging ‘Dangal’ activated bicep!

To London, to London
“We are really excited that we are hitting a big milestone in Good Earth’s history,” said Simran Lal, CEO of that exquisite swoon inducing cluster of stores, dedicated to good taste and fine living which turns twenty this year.

Simran Lal
Simran Lal

“As a pioneering Indian luxury brand, we are proud of the impact we have made on the design landscape of India, of the joy we have given so many of our customers and people around the world,” said the lady, who along with Good Earth’s founder and creative director, her mother Anita Lal will be celebrating their important anniversary with a prestigious collaboration with London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, by sponsoring the upcoming Fabric of India exhibition this fall.

“The Fabric of India exhibition at the V&A is an amazing way for us to take Good Earth to the next level. We are looking at the world, beyond India, and the V&A is one of the greatest museums of art and design. The Fabric of India exhibition is about celebrating the craft, heritage of India and all these elements made it a perfect fit for us to support the exhibition,” said Lal, adding that there will be a glamorous party to launch the exhibition. “You have to come, London is not so far away!”

Old world charm
As any regular reader may have guessed we are a sucker for old world charm. Show us mosaic and Burma teak, high ceilings and four poster beds, throw in some Dutch-Portuguese war chests, and planter’s chairs, a bit of Jamevar and tussar, and old leather, and you can have us weak in the knees.

Pallavi Jaikishen
Pallavi Jaikishen

Which is why, we were particularly sad that we had to miss designer and society diva Pallavi Jaikishan’s high tea at the Orient Club on Marine Drive. Jaikishan, the daughter of one of the city’s leading business families, who had married the dashing music director Jaikishan, (one half of the duo Shankar-Jaikishan) had grown up in a far more glamorous Mumbai.

Pallavi Jaikishen her creations
Pallavi Jaikishen her creations

The Bombay of the sixties, of wildly romantic stars, afternoon dancing at Venice, movie producers with revolving beds and Impala cars and Chanel No 5. As a designer, earlier of haute couture, and now of lifestyle artefacts and home accessories, Jaikishan’s aesthetics reflect the elegance of Mumbai’s richer era. We recall dropping in on the launch of her Pallavi Jaikishan home last year at the Dhanraj Mahal where Jaikishan had recreated a beautiful mansion, each room reflecting her aesthetic of sumptuous living.

This year, held at the Orient Club, one of Mumbai’s hidden jewels those who attended it, swear it was even more breathtaking. And representing Jaikishan’s own straddling of tradition and modernity, were her guests Indira Aswani, Sabira Merchant, Tanaz Doshi, Gauri Pohoomal, Zeenia Lawyer, Kehkashan Patel and Shhalu Shahani. And no we aren’t going to say who belongs to which era.

Flurry of parties
Yesterday a flurry of parties heralded the big birthday of society diva, empress of the ladies who lunch club, and wife of leading builder Suresh — Meena Raheja.

Meena Raheja
Meena Raheja

To begin with, some of her oldest and closest girlfriends, threw a raucous ladies lunch for their friend at the Leela’s Le Cirque and later in the evening, the Rahejas themselves hosted a party to celebrate the occasion.

And given that the Rahejas are one of the truly North-South of Mumbai couples, the guests came from NoBo and SoBo, and there was much too-ing and fro-ing of limousines on the Sea Link!

Drop dead good looks
And on the subject of colourful restaurateurs, word comes in of one of the partners of a slew of high profile, mostly mid-city eateries, who appears to be quite smitten by a particularly stunning young employee of his, and what’s more, is he’s not alone in his admiration.

“Ever since she came to India and joined as manageress of his rooftop club, it’s begun rocking with most guys landing up just to chat her up,” said our source. “ She’s classy, bright and quite the toast of Mumbai’s young and restless,” he said. “And the impact her presence has had on business has been so obvious that she’s been recently made a director. That’s pizzaz!”

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