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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

Malavika’s Mumbaistan: A promising first date

mumbai Updated: May 31, 2018 16:58 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
(LtoR) Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi and Puneet Chhatwal.
(LtoR) Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi and Puneet Chhatwal.

As first dates go, it appeared to have gone stunningly well when the newly-appointed Puneet Chhatwal, managing director and chief executive officer of The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) met and mingled with a delicious serving of the city’s best and brightest at a sparkling soiree at the Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, on Tuesday night. It was the first time that Chhatwal, the hotelier with an impressive international track record, met some of the city’s movers and shakers. Given the importance of the occasion, executive chef Amit Chowdhury and his team had presented a spectacular combination of international flavours and never-before seen desserts from across the group’s kitchens; like a live Charcutierie counter serving traditional cold-smoked ham legs from Parma, Iberico and Black Forest with patés, smoked and cured Balik Salmon and Ice Champagne; live Caviar and Seafood counters featuring Langoustine, Hokkiado Scallops, green-lipped mussels; a white truffles and mushrooms counter, boasting white truffles with gateaux and truffle pillows; a modern Tapas bar using new-age techniques like quick freezing in nitrogen, and a dessert bar featuring dragees, Spanish nougats, single-origin chocolates and innovative edible tea pouches! We spotted celebrated corporate lawyer Zia Mody, Consul General for USA, Edward D Kagan, elegant architects Brinda Somaya and Abha Narian Lambah, artist and the spirit behind the Kala Ghoda Festival Brinda Miller, hotelier Dinesh Khanna, dynamic publishers from Conde Nast, Alex Kuruvilla and Almona Bhatia, producer Boney Kapoor, actors Anupam Kher, Shabana Azmi and Rahul Bose, and celebrated screen writer and poet Javed Akhtar amongst the glamorous gathering. And, by the flushed and happy faces and the room filled with laughter and jazz notes, it appears that the courtship has got off to a promising start…


(Above):  Chris Gayle and Shikar Dhawan; (top, right) Dhawan’s son Zorawar; Faroukh Engineer  and Sunil Gavaskar.
(Above): Chris Gayle and Shikar Dhawan; (top, right) Dhawan’s son Zorawar; Faroukh Engineer and Sunil Gavaskar.

Cricketers are not especially noted for their wit (among the exceptions are the late Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, whose acerbic dry asides were legendary), but word comes in that the Ceat Cricket Rating awards held this Monday night at a Sobo hotel was witness to its fair share of funnies. “Chris Gayle’s sardar turban was the star attraction of the event, and of course, Shikhar Dhawan’s son Zorawar in his mohawk hairdo (in pic, left) stole everyone’s hearts with his antics,” says a guest, adding, “Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane were overheard pulling Gayle’s leg by speaking to him in Punjabi and then Gayle promptly gave it back to them by asking them to shake a leg in his improvised version of the bhangra dance,” says a source. The hi-jinks continued throughout the evening: apparently when Cyrus Broacha had gone up to Sunil Gavaskar and asked him who he’d like to have play his wife, Pammi (the choices offered were Priyanka Chopra and Alia Bhatt) if a biopic was made on his life, before the Little Master could respond, Faroukh Engineer who was seated nearby quipped, “Why not Sunny Leone? Then we could call the film Sunny and Sunny!” Of course, the question that we’d love to have known the answer to is: if such a biopic were indeed to be produced, who would play the title role of Sunil Gavaskar?

Our bet would be on Aamir Khan, or as a second option, Rajkumar Rao…


What They Say —

“The government has not received any bids so far for its stake in state-run carrier Air India,” the civil aviation secretary, RN Choubey, told TV channels a day before the formal bidding process closes.

What They Mean —

“I guess people balk when they hear they will be taking on its famous air and ground staff.”


Kanika Kapoor and Just Sul.
Kanika Kapoor and Just Sul.

As may be known, the YouTube and social media sensation known as Just Sul (his followers run into millions!) has been in India this past week. Sul, as he is known, is a former engineer from Mumbai and became a viral internet sensation for his self-deprecating, self-parody videos, and has amassed almost three million followers on social networks. The Dubai-based comedian was in Mumbai for an event and spent a considerable amount of his trip hanging out with the likes of Ranbir Kapoor and MS Dhoni. He was also spotted at a Bandra restaurant with singer Kanika Kapoor on Tuesday night, and we are informed the evening had ended up with Sul and his entourage continuing the party at the stylish Baby Doll singer’s home till the wee hours. “It’s so much fun spending time with him and hearing his story,” said Kapoor, when we spoke to her the next day, before she boarded her flight to London. “A true influencer!”

First Published: May 31, 2018 16:56 IST