>> A mix-up of diary entries made us miss The Estee Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Awareness event, which took place on Friday evening at The Chambers Lounge, Taj Lands End. But miles away in South Mumbai, as I saw the Sea Link and Taj Lands End shimmering in spectacular pink, I was moved by wonder and awe at the commitment of a few good people year after year, to bring hope, awareness and succour to people faced with this disease.
The evening benefit was for the Women’s Cancer Initiative at the Tata Memorial Hospital to support breast cancer treatment and research. And Estee Lauder and the Taj Group were supported in this good cause, by the Universal Music Group, which went the extra mile to make the evening a success. The occasion also saw the Taj Lands End join the Worldwide Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign in which over 600 unique, worldwide monuments and landmarks were united in their commitment to Shine Pink in October, the breast cancer awareness month.
YouTube singing sensation, Shraddha Sharma, along with progressive rock band Coshish, and the neo-folk, alt-country, acoustic trio, Whirling Kalapas performed. The legacy of campaign founder and co-creator of the Pink Ribbon, Mrs Evelyn Lauder, was evoked with a photographic rendering of key milestones, and guests were treated to a scrumptious selection of pink-themed desserts specially crafted by Anirudhya Roy, executive chef at Taj Lands End.All this, 25 floors above Mumbai’s spectacular skyline bathed in magical pink! Nice!
Bollywood nostalgia at the Taj
>> Another high-profile fundraiser, this time across the Sea Link, at another Taj. Uff Yoo Maa — a fundraising event by Tata Medical Centre and The Taj Group of Hotels celebrated 100 years of Indian cinema on Saturday night with a musical gala. Conceived and anchored by the talented Geeta Gopalakrishnan, honorary director – Donor Relationships, Tata Medical Centre, and actor Vivan Bhathena, the event recalled 10 decades of Bollywood through a series of curated film posters, dialogues, music and reminiscences.
But the event’s highlights were undoubtedly the anecdotes recounted by Bollywood aristocracy like Waheeda Rehman, Asha Parekh, Shabana Azmi, Amin Sayani, Javed Akhtar, Vishal Bhardwaj, Sonam Kapoor and Aditi Rao Hydari; the musical show by Zee — Sa Re Ga Ma Pa winners, Vishwajeet Borwankar and Abhilasha Venkata Chellam, and the smashing performance by Usha Uthup, who along with Rekha Bhardwaj treated guests to a foot-thumping rendition of their hit Darling. In 2011, The Tata Group had gifted a Rs 350-crore non-profit world-class cancer hospital in Kolkata, to the people of east India, of which 50 per cent of beds are reserved for the underprivileged. The evening was to raise money towards this.
Girls just wanna have fun
>> We are the last people to be prudish about such things. And in any case, those present that evening swear that the spirit in which this transpired was innocent mischief, the kind that inevitably occurs at a girls’ night out, when high spirits, a bit of daredevilry and bonhomie rule the evening. But even so, no one has stopped talking about the sizzling, long-lasting smooch exchanged between a hot Bollywood (married) siren and her friend, an equally married, pretty out-of-town socialite, a few weeks ago, in the presence of a dozen or so members of their Birkin and bubbly brigade. Girls just wanna have fun?
Salaam Mumbai: Dressing fancy
Make no mistake; I adore the idea of a fancy dress party. The aesthetics of a room crammed with people wearing Gangsta’ costumes or a particular shade of pink, or dressed as their favourite historical character is quite spectacular.
Besides, the anonymity and glamour that a mask or costume affords guests often makes them forget their inhibitions and allows them to let their collective hair down. But, as much as I love masked balls and fancy dress dos, believe me when I tell you that in this day and age — they’re just not practical. Take, for instance, the other day, when my host requested us to come to a tropical-themed lunch with Panama hats, sandals and hair flowers. In theory, it got me all excited and revved up. But in practice? Here’s what happened:
Me, to my myself, first thing that morning: OK. I got to get up, go for a walk, go to the supermarket, drop by the bank, take the car to the garage, go to the tailor, go for the lunch, go for an interview, then yoga, then cocktails at Taj, then dinner… Er, at what stage do I wear the sandals and the sundress? Will they pass at the bank? Should I put the flowers in my hair before I take the car to the garage? Will they wilt by the time I get to lunch? What about later? Where do I change out of the sandals and the dress? Should I just wear colourful pajamas to lunch hoping they’ll pass, so I don’t need to carry yoga gear? Will the dress go with heels to see me through the night? And can I turn up for an interview with six outrageous lilies in my hair? What will the taxi driver think, etc.
You see what I mean? There was an easier time in our lives, when dressing for a fancy dress was fun and easy, but these days, if you see someone dressed like Dracula or Jhansi Ki Rani in a bank or at a business meeting, put it down to crazy time management and a theme party request!