Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Constellation of Stylistas and Grande Dames

Hindustan Times | ByMalavika Sangghvi
Oct 18, 2019 01:33 AM IST

A constellation of Mumbai’s grandest dames (and their stylish successors) made it to designer Pallavi Jaikishan’s exhibition of clothes, accessories and collectibles, this Tuesday.

A constellation of Mumbai’s grandest dames (and their stylish successors) made it to designer Pallavi Jaikishan’s exhibition of clothes, accessories and collectibles, this Tuesday, at the Wankhede stadium, in what had once been the site of Maithili Ahluwalia’s Bungalow 8. Jaikishan — the daughter of a leading industrial clan — who had been married to the late music composer, one half of the duo of Shankar-Jaikishan, credited with some of Bollywood’s legendary hits, is also a social doyenne and celebrated hostess; so from the reclusive Indra Aswani (accompanied by her willowy daughter Priya Aswani ) to Veena Malhotra, Poonam Bhagat, Simone Arora, Gauri Pohoomal, Kavita Khanna , Nitasha Nanda, Kamal Hiranandani, Kavita Singh, Kaajal Anand and Pallavi’s attractive daughters-in-law, Roohi and Priya Jaikishan, to thespians Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal and Sabirra Merchant and Pallavi’s Baroda-based sister, the ever-elegant Mallika Amin, the room was choc-a-bloc with old world charm, nostalgia and noblesse oblige. Over champagne flutes and canapés, the exhibition turned in to a soirée, with friends catching up with each other towards the latter part of the evening, as Jaikishan managed to catch a breather — she’d been at the exhibition site since 8am that morning!

Poonam Bhagat, Veena Malhotra, Mallika Amin and Pallavi Jaikishan.
Poonam Bhagat, Veena Malhotra, Mallika Amin and Pallavi Jaikishan.

Roohi Jaikishan, Nitasha Nanda and Pallavi Jaikishan.
Roohi Jaikishan, Nitasha Nanda and Pallavi Jaikishan.

Highlight of the evening: the exquisite one-of-a-kind jewellery collection created out of pieces sourced by the designer over her frequent travels across Europe, along with her daughter Bhairavi Jaikishan’s couture collection and son Chetan’s new line of Napoleon chocolates for the festive season.

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Other highlight of the evening: the striking vintage Bvlgari Serpenti baubles worn by fashionista Poonam Bhagat — part of her extensive collection (over 33 bracelet-watches alone from the celebrated Italian designer), as she informed.


At a recent event organised by an NGO, guests were bemused to witness the ego-flexing demonstrated by this once all-powerful female politico, from a famous regional clan who’d been seen as a major powerbroker in her time. “She entered the auditorium with a few of her cronies and made a beeline to the middle of the front row, where the VIP guests were meant to be seated, but found to her great chagrin, that her seat had been occupied by a city socialite. When no amount of dirty looks or pointed comments from her group appeared to budge the socialite who sat through it all blithely, the once all-powerful politico staged a dramatic walk-out,” says our source. However, we are informed, a minor storm in a C Cup was averted, when one of the organisers ran after the self-proclaimed VVVIP and placated her bruised ego with a big show of flattery and fawning, persuading her to return. By then, the socialite, who had occupied the lady’s seat, realising what had happened, vacated the contentious seat, which was accepted by the erstwhile power broker without so much as a thank you.

Kissa kursi ka of another type.

Tweet Talk:
Hello Mr Nitin Gadkari

Was asked to be present for a Bajaj event at sharp 10.30am as you had to positively leave by 11.30am

It’s 11.47am now

We would go a long way as a nation if ministers start respecting other people’s time.

-Tweeted by journalist Arindam Majumdar recently to the Union minister

Breaking The Rules

Neha J Hiranandani
Neha J Hiranandani

“My daughter in law, Neha, has written a book and I’d love you to read it. It’s called Girl Power: Indian Women Who Broke The Rules.” It was real-estate tycoon Niranjan Hiranandani, his voice resonating with pride over the latest achievement of his progeny. Neha, married to his son Darshan, lives in Dubai and besides being mother to their two children, is also an accomplished writer. The book, published by Scholastic, is a well-illustrated and easy to read tome aimed at young adults, and traces the struggles and success of some of the country’s feistiest women, who can serve as role models for future generations of women. What’s best about Girl Power is that for every known story of heroines like Mary Kom and Rani Laxmibai and Kalpana Chawla, there are stories about hidden gems like Subhasini Mistry (who began life as a maid before winning a Padma Shri for her work in healthcare), Chandro Tomar, the 8-year-old gun-wielding sharpshooter, aka Revolver Dadi, and Harshini Kanhekar, the indomitable fire-fighter.

A cover of the book.
A cover of the book.

“My seven-year-old daughter, Zoya, loved Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls,” said the author about the international phenomena by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo which had prompted her to write Girl Power, in a recent interview. “But she wanted to know more about our own rebels of the indigenous variety.”

And now, with her creative juices flowing and the book making waves in publishing circles, we hear Hiranandani is already onto her next project: a book on parenting in the digital world, which will deal with subjects like sexting, cyber bullying and gaming.

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