Seminal Diva

Published: 20 December, 2013 07:19 IST | Malavika Sangghvi |

Even as the concept of international chic and caf � society appear to have finally taken root in Mumbai, with the melding of Bollywood glam and SoBo chic, it is prudent to remind people that in many ways it all began when a certain Ms Parmesh G, set the ball rolling

>> Even as the concept of international chic and café society appear to have finally taken root in Mumbai, with the melding of Bollywood glam and SoBo chic, it is prudent to remind people that in many ways it all began when a certain Ms Parmesh G, set the ball rolling.

Parmeshwar Godrej

Back in the days, when corporate wives bundled up in saris, Ms G and her well-toned legs stepped out in Hervé Leger bandage dresses; when women weighed themselves down wearing their entire family wealth around their necks at important events, she got away with a single drop-dead quirky bauble on her wrist or a jaunty beret on her head; and when homes were decorated with Louis the IV atrocities, she brought in the idea of Spanish haciendas, Indian gewgaws, Italian fittings and modern art.

The seminal influence Mrs G had on how the well-heeled in India dress, entertain and conduct themselves cannot be underestimated; and so when word comes in that the diva is currently in NYC in grandmon mode these days for the birth of her son Pirojsha’s first child, there’s reason to exult.
New York also happens to be the city where Pirojsha met his wife Karla, and where the couple has a home, so here’s wishing Mrs G a happy season and much stylish as ever bouts of nappy changing.

New Age weekend
>> And if over the next few days, we get a tad New Age and spiritual on you gentle readers, blame it on Zambhala, the two-day yoga festival we will be attending in Goa this weekend. In the words of Martin da Costa, who, along with his wife Sagarika, has created the fest: ‘Zambhala is a festival that brings together the many forms of yoga and as many examples of secular spirituality and life spirit teachings and philosophies as we can fit into our packed two-day schedule.

From Shamans from Peru and across India, sufi masters from Istanbul, the world’s leading nutritionists and naturotherapists, experts in past life regression, pranic healing, meditation, dream interpretation, fitness, dance therapy and more perform, conduct workshops and take us
on a journey of emotional, spiritual and physical growth.”

Needless to say: we like!

SoBo multibrand boutique
>> “My own favourite designers are Manish Malhotra, Surily Goel in India and Hervé Leger and Alexander McQueen internationally,” says the lovely Namha Sekhri, our friend Rashmi Mehta’s niece, whose recently launched multi-brand boutique in the Fort area has made its presence felt amongst stylistas.

Namha Sekhri

Sekhri, who received her diploma in fashion business from the London College of Fashion (LCF), UK and started her own line in Dubai called Namha by Namha Sekhri, offers a range of designers for women and men, and at any varied entry points. “The Namha Sekhri Multi Designer Boutique (NSMDB) & Art Gallery runs under the concept ‘where fashion meets art.’ She says, “Located in the Heritage area of Fort, we offer 18 upcoming and inspirational designers for men and women, from party to casuals to Indian ensembles jewellery, accessories, shoes and handbags. What’s more, the art gallery boasts renowned artists such as MF Hussain as well as Raja Ravi Varma,” says the enterprising

And what’s new, we asked the enterprising 26-year-old. “Well, there’s a month-long sale going on at the store right now, before we bring in new stocks!” she says.


Art mart lift?
>> And now that the art world is looking for a boost in sales with the Christie’s auction of Indian art, insiders are hoping that this newly opened Delhi gallery in Kala Ghoda, which boasts similar fare, will also see better days.

Ashwini Kakkar with Beate Mauder

Word has it that out of the 70 or so canvasses that are on display at the gallery, only one has been sold so far.

Could the lack of sales be because of issues of pricing or questions of authenticity, is the question being asked in art circles.

Suhel Seth with Amin Jaffer at the Christie’s reception

Calling card of conspicuous consumption
>> The case of the NRI tycoon, who recently hit headlines for hosting one of the world’s most expensive weddings, gets curiouser.

Not only have the astute noticed that the coverage appears to be paid for (appearing in advertisement supplements), but also his peers question why on earth someone would want to risk the inevitable negative publicity that comes with conspicuous consumption, not to mention the attention of tax authorities.

The answer to that could be the fact that the said businessman, who is heavily leveraged with banks and said to be facing immanent bankruptcy, used the occasion of his daughter’s wedding to establish his business credentials amongst his peers.

For the record, the man in question, said to be as dynamic as his successful and steely elder brother in making deals, has a less than enviable track record in running businesses, with many high-profile closures and sell-outs on his list.

Perhaps that would explain why this wedding making the headlines was so important?

Outrage outage
So it’s finally happened. I have an outrage outage. Predatory judges, diabolical diplomats, dithering politicos, vile corporates, cynical leaders, megalomaniacal media mavens… and I find that now I have no opinion on anything. At least, none that I can offer at short notice and unfettered sincerity.

I suspect I am not the only one who needs a break from venting. How much can we respond after all, and to what end?

Article 377? Aam Aadmi’s skittishness? The Congress’ championing of the Lokpal Bill? Anna’s churlishness towards Kejriwal? The treatment of Indian diplomats in the USA? The plight of Indian domestic workers? TV debates? NaMo? RaGa? Tejpal? How come all of it makes little sense and elicits even less response?

I knew it would happen someday.

So thank God it’s happened now, on the verge of the holiday season. Happy season everyone. And may we all we get a holiday break from outrage.
— MS 

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