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Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Champagne sabering and polo

mumbai Updated: Mar 19, 2018 17:15 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
Malavika’s Mumbaistan,Polo,Amar Singh

Winners of the Millionaire Asia Polo Cup at the racecourse.

On Saturday afternoon, all roads led to the Mahalaxmi Racecourse, where the second edition of the Millionaire Asia Polo Cup in Mumbai was hosted by Anuraag Bhatnagar, vice-president, Multi Property, Mumbai and Goa, Marriott International, of which St Regis Mumbai is part. The afternoon was witness to a match between India and Argentina and guests included Gayatri and Atul Ruia, Sana Khan, Randeep Hooda and Riyhad Kundanmal, along with a sizeable section of the city’s diplomatic and expat community.

Along with the adrenalin pumping match and a glamorous fashion show by Pria Kataria Puri, the event also saw many of St. Regis’ long-standing traditions such as its Afternoon Tea, Mumbai Mary Cocktails and Champagne Sabering. The match, which ended in a hotly contested finish, was peppered with a charming commentary on the lore of polo, with many instances from the life of Winston Churchill, who was an impassioned player of the sport himself. “Polo and bespoke luxury go hand-in-hand, which makes it a perfect fit for the St. Regis brand,” said Bhatnagar. “We have created a stage with The Millionaire Asia Polo Cup for our guests to enjoy the historic St. Regis brand in all its glory.” And after the match, the fashion show and the pomp and rituals, some of Mumbai’s best and brightest were seen savoring the balmy Mumbai sunset along with sundowners and a sumptuous buffet by the hosts.

BLAST FROM THE PAST

Amar Singh at Andheri station. (Pradeep Chandra)

He’s generally seen with the high and mighty and mostly at the centre of sundry political storms, but there was a time when politician Amar Singh enjoyed a relatively peaceful cup of chai at — of all places — Andheri station. “Those were different days when Amar Singh was never tired of talking about his ‘bade bhaiyya Amitabh Bachchan and Jalsa used to be his home,” says photographer Pradeep Chandra, who shot this photograph.

“I went to meet him at 11 in the morning at the office in Jalsa and when the time came for the picture said, “Amar Singhji, I have an idea. Let’s go to Andheri station and shoot it.” As Chandra tells it, the media savvy Singh readily agreed and they were soon at the quotidian platform, where the once all-powerful Samajwadi leader happily bought station tea for them all. This enthusiasm for the camera lens extended further: when Chandra explained to Singh his picture would show him as a humble man of the people, (rather than one who hung out with the likes of Bachchan and Ambani), Singh replied, ‘tab gaadi main travel karte hain,” and boarded a train where he sat with commuters. “In the train, I suggested we do a quick shoot else it might leave the station,” recalls Chandra, but Singh said, “Koi baat nahin, mere driver ko phone kar denge, woh agle station par aajayega.” Of course, once his station darshan was over, Singh went back to Jalsa and his ‘bade bhaiyya’ and no doubt the glittering parties as was his wont.

PSEUD’S CORNER

“We recently lost a renowned scientist, cosmologist Stephen Hawking. He emphatically said on record that our Vedas might have a theory which is superior to Einstein’s theory of E=mc2,”

Harsh Vardhan, minister of Science and Technology

CONTIGUOUS GLAMOUR

Shweta Bachchan Nanda at the event.

A delicious serving of the city’s prime divas attended the launch of Abu-Sandeep’s newest store, simply called ‘Shop No. 7’ at Sobo’s Om Chambers at Kemps Corner on Friday. We spotted Kaykasshan Patel, Divya Thakur, Sonali Bendre, Shobhaa De, Haseena Jethmalani, Rima Jain and Lali Dhawan, at the following lunch at China Garden, where to a thumping background score, a host of long-legged male and female models gyrated on the dance floor dressed in AJSK couture (while in the next room, the ladies who lunch, lunched.) The latest addition to the AJSK empire connects with their older store in the same building quite beautifully in a contiguous statement of glamour.

Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla.

The ‘boys’, as they are known, have been closely connected for decades with the structure, which had once been the subject of many headlines and much consternation between the municipality and the owner of China Garden Nelson Wang owing to an alleged illegal construction at his popular Chinese eatery. Both Wang and the designer duo had been protégés of the late Sunita Pitamber, a society tour de force, who had launched Wang’s seminal Piano Bar, Mumbai high society’s favourite hangout in the late eighties. On Friday, demonstrating their formidable staying power, the designers played the perfect hosts to many of the daughters and nieces of those they had partied with and broken spring rolls with almost four decades ago at the same venue! Proving that whereas age is just a number, the truly successful are ageless!

First Published: Mar 19, 2018 17:13 IST