Bigger! More! Better!

Published: Oct 24, 2012, 08:01 IST | Malavika Sangghvi |

This diarist has always been fascinated by Vijay Mallya: his unmatched appetite for life, his penchant for big, shiny toys and clunky jewellery and his unshakeable belief in himself and the apparent absence of all self-doubt.

>> This diarist has always been fascinated by Vijay Mallya: his unmatched appetite for life, his penchant for big, shiny toys and clunky jewellery and his unshakeable belief in himself and the apparent absence of all self-doubt. We recall sitting with the beer baron decades ago on his yacht in the company of designer Tarun Tahiliani, Mallya’s wife Rekha and actor Simi trying to fathom what made him tick. “Why on earth would you want bigger, more, better all the time,” we recall asking him genuinely puzzled. “Because life is aspirational,” thundered the owner of the yacht, a trifle exasperated by our incessant questioning. “Everyone wants bigger, more, better. That’s what life’s about!” he’d replied. “A maid wants to graduate to a better cologne and so do you, don’t you?” Even at that time of the night we had thought the analogy a trifle fatuous, but had ‘got’ what the tycoon was trying to say: his newest yacht was only a maid’s better cologne in the larger scheme of things …

Vijay Mallya and Tarun Tahiliani
Vijay Mallya and Tarun Tahiliani

We didn’t have many intense and candid conversations with Mallya and had always given him a bit of a wide berth after that. How wide? The kind that exists between Mars and Venus.

But now that he is being vilified from all quarters we would be happy to balance out the abuse he’s attracting from hapless employees lenders and passengers. So, in the interest of fairness (and swimming against the tide) here are our two bits: Mallya happens to be an excellent and caring son, not only to his own mother, the graceful, bridge-playing Lalitha — but to his equally lovely stepmother too! A man who can reconcile two mothers, now that calls for some exceptional emotional intelligence and maturity! Now whether that finesse can help him rescue his business from the brink remains to be seen…

Cool place for the hot crowd
>> Guess what’s become the hottest place in town for Mumbai’s coolest crowd?

The interiors of Ellipses
The interiors of Ellipses

We have still to go — but a young man of our acquaintance — something of an oracle in these affairs swears it’s Rohan Talwar’s newly launched Ellipses where the city’s hot crowd converges most evenings for some nosh, a splash of liquor and great vibes.

Rohan Talwar

Last spotted over the past few weeks have been the likes of Pirojsha Godrej (the understated and very dishy real estate tycoon) the pretty Aneesa Dodhy and Mumbai’s perennial man about town Ashok Kurien besides your usual sprinkling of models, designers, media mavens etc. The

>> Guess which photographer is going to be divested of a very high-profile portfolio soon? Witnesses at a showy shoot insist that the young scion of the empire can’t stand his dad’s famous and overbearing friend and would like nothing better to sack him and bring in his own creative head! Expect a queue outside his door for the assignment — once he’s done whooping it up abroad that is!

The legendary ‘circuit’
>> Now that the latest party girl to hit the notorious ‘circuit’ has been doing the rounds, it might be prudent to reveal who makes up this circle of powerful sugar daddies with an eye out for beauty and youth… A controversial restaurateur, three billionaires, (one London based, one India-based and the third perennially on a jet); the owner of Alibaug’s most unaesthetic property and an erstwhile bon vivant who docked his pretty boats on Mumbai’s harbor… This is the motley crew that comprises the ambitious girl’s stairway to heaven.

One too many exes!
>> An insider informs that speculations on all the love interests of Mumbai’s so-called King of page three are way off the mark. After selling his sumptuous mid-town pile all our squire wants to do is settle in London with his young and pretty Delhi-based girlfriend. Interestingly, London also happens to be the home of his exes ‘exes’ ex! As one die-hard romantic said, “Wouldn’t it be awesome if the two jilted exes got together?” Mumbai’s angles, triangles, quadrangles.

Designer’s tribute
>> A little bird informs us that Sabyasachi — not only one of India’s most gifted designer’s but also one of it’s nicest — has an ace up his sleeve at the weekend fashion show he’s presenting on the grounds of Mumbai’s Museum as Jahangir Art Gallery’s grand finale this Sunday.

Sabyasachi, Jehangir Sabavala and MF Hussain
(From left) Sabyasachi, Jehangir Sabavala and MF Hussain

The designer will be showcasing a special line of clothes that he’s designed as tribute to the five leading artists who have recently passed away including Hussain, Sabavala and Tyeb Mehta. What’s more the clothes will be auctioned!

Goa plans
>> Whereas the smart crowd from all over India is getting their thinker threads and expressions ready for Tarun Tejpal’s gray cell celebrating weekend Thinkfest 2012 in the first week of November, friends and admirers of Mumbai’s favourite restaurateur AD Singh are also throwing into their LV overnighters a few pieces of appropriately glam gear to join in wife Sabena’s party for the birthday lad, to be held on one of the Thinkfest evenings, post the seminars and other seductions. “We’re trying to get Ronelle’s who catered our wedding in Goa 12 years ago to repeat the performance,” shared Sabena.

AD Singh and Sabena, Tarun Tejpal
AD Singh and Sabena, Tarun Tejpal

We recall attending the AD-Sabena festivities in Goa 12 years ago. An old house with a jetty in Panjim; the priest arriving on a speedboat and the all night dancing that ensued. Ah Goa, of such things memories are made!  

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