A night to remember | india | Hindustan Times
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A night to remember

Glitz, glamour and glory?the party on the first day of the Luxury Conference had it all and more.

india Updated: Jan 15, 2006 05:12 IST

The Hindustan Times Luxury Conference dinner on Friday night was unarguably the party of the season. The event has raised the bar for hospitality and will surely be a hard act to follow.

Hosted by Hindustan Times’ Vice-Chairperson and Editorial Director, Shobhana Bhartia, the Taj Chambers’ terrace was bathed in warm colours and abounded in bonhomie. The heads of leading global luxury brands and leaders of Indian industry rubbed shoulders with the brightest stars of the glamour and entertainment world. A spectrum of guests from chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh to Shah Rukh Khan and from Mukesh Ambani to Shobhaa De dropped by.

The chief minister seemed to be enjoying the evening as his sons, Amit and Dhiraj, were regaled by composer Anu Malik. Union minister Praful Patel indulged in some male bonding with Dr Vijay Mallya while Reliance head honcho Mukesh Ambani was overheard saying ‘wow’ to wife Nita as he entered the venue.

Anand Mahindra, vice-chairman and MD, Mahindra and Mahindra group, Subhash Chandra, Zee chairman, RPG group chairman Harsh Goenka and Venugopal Dhoot, chairman Videocon International, raised a toast to HT’s success. While Gucci group president and CEO Robert Polet was seen having intense discussions, Jean-Claude Marchand, executive director of Edipresse, was busy with his camera.

Among the politicians present were Jyotiraditya Scindia, Milind Deora, his father Murli Deora, Rajeev Shukla, Suresh Kalmadi and Vijay Darda. There was Shaina Chudasma Munot accompanied by mother Munira and husband Munish. India’s leading corporate honchos were there too — HDFC’s Deepak Parekh, Hemendra Kothari, chairman DSP Merrill Lynch, Nimesh Kampani, chairman and managing director JM Morgan Stanley and Ravi Ruia, vice-chairman, Essar group.

The Bollywood brigade was led by Shah Rukh Khan who was surprised by how long he had stayed and enjoyed catching up with his friends. Preity Zinta looked lovely all in black as she and Ness Wadia mingled with guests. Also present were Madhur and Renu Bhandarkar, the Khanna brothers Rahul and Akshaye, Anupam and Kirron Kher, John Matthew Mathan and Jimmy Shergill. Hema Malini was pleased to see her Baghban director Ravi Chopra and his family. Arjun Rampal and Mehr Jesia complimented the HT on a “great show”; Maureen Wadia said she “had a very enjoyable time”; Harsh Goenka was impressed by the “well orchestrated evening”; and “awesome” was how Dino Morea described the night. “What a wonderful mix of people and great food by Chef Oberoi,” said designers Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla. One guest was overheard remarking how happy she was to see so many friends from Delhi, many of who had flown here especially for the occasion.

The glamour quotient was high with many of India’s leading designers — Rohit Bal, Ritu Kumar, Tarun Tahiliani, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Manish Arora, Manish Malhotra and JJ Valaya — and the city’s stylish set — Queenie Dhody, Sheetal Mafatlal, Anju Tarapoewala, Nisha Jamvwal, Sangeeta Kathiawada and Nandita Mahatani — present.

Against the backdrop of the Gateway of India, Moet & Chandon champagne and Belvedere vodka flowed and the fragrance of a sumptuous buffet mingled with the fine perfumes and the sound of happy chatter and laughter on the Chambers’ terrace. It was a pleasurable night of revelry to kickstart an eventful year in Mumbai.