In a delightful coincidence, the bright and beautiful people of Mumbai found themselves supping together two nights in a row, when, following Sunday’s Gala dinner at the Taj for WillKat, more or less the same lot turned up for the awards extravaganza of a leading social glossy.
But, besides what is fast becoming the usual Bollywood entertainment for such occasions, this time in the form of Rishi Kapoor singing ‘Main shayar toh nahi’ from his movie, ‘Bobby’, and Ranveer Singh plonking himself on Karan Johar’s lap, much to the amusement of assembled guests.
Karan Johar. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi, Rishi Kapoor. Pic/AFP and Ranveer Singh. Pic/PTI
What a renowned connoisseur of beautiful women observed is that the same women who had looked pretty lacklustre and dull the previous night, appeared far more ravishing at Monday’s event.
“Could it have been the fact that they had paled in comparison in the presence of the radiant Kate Middleton?” he enquired, perplexed. “Or perhaps just that they’d taken the dress code of shimmer and shine quite literally?”
As for the Ranveer Singh-KJo ‘lap dance,’ the jury’s out on if it was genuinely funny or just another instance of stretching the same tired joke of Bolly guys pretending to be gay in a nudge, nudge, wink, wink way too far.
Undiscovered singing talent
Designer Narendra Kumar, better known as just Nari in the design fraternity, is currently on shoot in Japan. Nari has designed clothes for a calendar shoot around Japan, put together by the Japanese tourism board, in an initiative to bring Japan and India closer using the soft power that is fashion.
Narendra Kumar with Chika Nakagawa. File pic
Apart from Indian models and Bollywood stars, the calendar is said to feature Chika Nakagawa (Miss World Japan 2015). But what surprised many is that on the last day of shooting, when a high-spirited Nari (his social media post reads, ‘Have Sake: it makes you real’) was spotted with his team at a karaoke bar in Kyoto.
The ace designer is said to have stolen the show with many at the bar gob-struck by his hitherto undiscovered singing talent. And an Indian onlooker even described the evening as the ‘Narioke’ show. Nice!
If a slew of SoBo’s leading denizens are Kashmir-bound this summer, put it down to the ‘Sunita factor.’ Ever since Sunita Saxena, Mumbai’s attractive sixty-something urban gypsy took off to Srinagar to spend a weekend with her family and friends on a houseboat and could not stop raving about the experience, many others appear to be following suit.
Shobhaa De. Pic/Bipin Kokate
“We stayed in this amazing houseboat run by Mr Butt on the Dal Lake,” said Saxena, wife of the well-heeled banker and Rotarian Pradeep Saxena. “It was an unbelievably delightful experience,” she added. “Spacious interiors, bed tea in the mornings, heavenly sunsets and the food: Kashmiri wazwans every day,” said the well-travelled diva who has homes in Alibag, Ranikhet and Goa.
Sunita Saxena with her friends and family in the houseboat
“The houseboats once belonged to a British couple and have hosted the likes of George Harrison and other international celebrities and rent for a very reasonable daily rate!” “I’ve already booked the houseboat for a family vacation and alerted all the kids,” said her close friend, author Shobhaa De. “It sounds heavenly. Let’s see who shows up.”
At Liberty to exaggerate?
Neville Tuli, whose ambitious plans to bring art and culture awareness to the masses might have suffered a few hiccups, with his business models allegedly going pear shaped, is not about to be daunted, we learn.
Neville Tuli. File pic
Bumping in to him last week at the magnificent foyer of the Liberty theatre, we were pleasantly surprised to hear that the arts entrepreneur had leased the Art Deco heritage landmark at Marine Lines for, “the next 30 years, as a venue for world cinema.” 30 years? Isn’t that a tad excessive even for the fantabulist?
Or perhaps Tuli, a Punjabi under his LSE educated veneer, suffers from the community’s legendary penchant for exaggeration. A colleague of his was a bit more circumspect. “We’ve leased Liberty for the next year “ he said. No, we didn’t enquire about the other 29.
Beijing to Zurich, JamVal style
‘Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Nanjing, Haikou, Hanan’, read Mumbai’s girl-about-town Nisha JamVal’s travel itinerary. The committed blogger and interior decorator had jetted off for a vacation in China last month. “It is a paradox; a mixed country of great modernity and great backwardness,” she reports. But her first introduction to the Asian Tiger had not gone well.
Nisha JamVal in Switzerland
Running a 102-degree fever, she says she had drifted through exotic banquets and balls and even managed to climb two posts of the Great Wall – in a trance. “ Somehow, I got through it and since then, my China trips are about exploration, adventure, experience and joie de vivre,” she says.
Incidentally, China is not the only destination for this itinerant traveller this season. Currently, JamVal is traipsing around Switzerland. “Sit at Sprungli’s with a book and ruminate and read over the signature hot chocolate! Heaven; Buffet breakfast at Baur Au Lac is fabulous with the Lake View,” she says, adding, “Zurich’s trams, boats, cabs all are great, it’s great to see how public transport could work and I wish India would take a cue.” Indeed.