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Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Fashion and All that Jazz

The ones who stood out at the ‘Vogue Women of the Year’ awards were designer Masaba Gupta in a fluorescent green, oversized man’s suit, and Natasha Poonawalla, in a nifty black and pink number

mumbai Updated: Oct 29, 2018 00:50 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Malavika's Mumbaistan,Mumbai news
Natasha Poonawalla at the ‘Vogue Women of the Year’ awards

All roads seemed to lead to the Grand Hyatt on Saturday night, where, to mark its 11th anniversary in India, Vogue magazine hosted the second edition of its annual soiree, the ‘Vogue Women of the Year’ awards. And, though the awards were handed out to the good and great, like Chetna Gala Singh who was awarded the Social Entrepreneur of the Year for empowering rural women, and Usha Kiran, the first woman CRPF officer to be part of COBRA who accepted the Young Achiever of the Year in her uniform (host Karan Johar had called it “the best red carpet look”), the spotlight naturally was on stars such as Kareena Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and Preity Zinta, resplendent in their red-carpet ensembles. And, whereas most everyone who attended was at their sartorial best, in our opinion, the ones who stood out were designer Masaba Gupta in a fluorescent green, oversized man’s suit that she carried off with customary elan, and Natasha Poonawalla, in a nifty black and pink number, her hair pulled back to show off her perfect cheek bones. That, and the presence of’s Anita Horam, along with her attractive crew — Divya Thakur of Design Temple and photographer and interior designer Ritu Nanda — three talented and feisty city women who embody the Vogue spirit of style and substance effortlessly, epitomised the sparkling evening for us.

Trick or Treat in the Big Apple

(Extreme right) Zafar Rushdie with actress Riya Sen at Salman Rushdie’s Halloween party.

This weekend, the city saw its share of Halloween-themed parties, the celebration to remember the departed, and symbolised by ghoulish get-ups and jack o’ lanterns that falls on October 31. But, when it comes to ghoulish and bizarre, who better than the master of magic realism than the NYC-based Booker Prize-winning author, Salman Rushdie? The erstwhile Mumbai and London boy, who moved to the Big Apple in 2000, appears to have marked the festival in great style, as this portrait taken at his Halloween night proves. Featuring a fair share of mask skulls, wigs and ghoulish makeup, it has Rushdie’s son, Zafar Rushdie, along with Indian actress Riya Sen, seated with a group of attractive young people in a memorable portrait of macabre hedonism. Incidentally, Sen, the grandniece of the Maharani of Jaipur, Ayesha Devi, and the granddaughter of Bengali actress Suchitra Sen — two amongst India’s most celebrated beauties — who had dressed as a nun with a bleeding eye for the occasion is an old pal of the British-Indian author, having met him on one of his visits to Mumbai (their intense, four-hour conversation at a popular suburban eatery had attracted headlines a few years ago).


A recent society soiree attended by some of the city’s top corporate leaders and hosted by a leading bon vivant industrialist at the rooftop poolside of his high-profile and controversial residence, has given the grapevine much to talk about. Featuring a talk by a visiting international expert on addictions and their solutions, the evening had been going as well, though many guests could not help noticing the dissonance between the host and the hostess, the latter who they say appeared unusually unenthusiastic about the event. This impression was underlined, they say, by what transpired later. “When it was time for the Q&As,” said one of the guests, “the hostess pointedly asked the expert a question that startled us all,” he said. And what was the question? “She asked the expert in full public view what the cure for someone addicted to sex, alcohol, and now lying, was,” said the guest. Sounds like one very angry wife…

Mind your language

Rohit Bal with two of his model.

“Hello dear. Hows u dear? Howz you … dear.” What the F#%@.....????? Ughhhhh!’ wrote Delhi’s eternal enfant terrible, the talented Rohit Bal, as one of the opening salvos of a hilarious series of posts on social media parodying the cloying smarminess one witnesses by way of friendly/flirtatious texting online these days. “Hello dear ... have you taken your dinner?” and, “Where do u put up dear?”, followed by “Hullo dears .... going to Olives…” Bal’s deliciously wicked lampooning alludes to the assembly line of wannabe male models, who for reasons unexplained, have taken to this form of soliciting to widen their circles. It is a version of what they must assume passes for polite conversation in the set Bal and leading designers move in. Incidentally, the tendency to refer to the restaurant “Olives” (in the plural) when alluding to the popular eatery is not a new one. The first time we’d encountered it was more than a decade ago, from the lips of Big Boss star, and the late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan’s son, Rahul, whose downward spiral with substance abuse and sleaze had not begun yet. It had been at the end of a dinner hosted by publisher Pradeep Guha, for a group of the city’s leading lights, and in an attempt to stretch out the convivial evening, a chuffed Rahul turned to our little group of pen pushers in the elevator, saying, “Let’s all go to Olives for coffee. It’s my regular joint.” To which, we recall hearing a terribly sophisticated and cerebral south Mumbai editor, who could not contain her odium, remarking as we reached the car park, “You can be sure anyone who refers to it as Olives is NOT a regular.” As for Bal, all we can suggest is he should respond to messages in the same coin: When asked where he puts up, he should respond with, “At the backside of Defence Colony dears.”

First Published: Oct 29, 2018 00:48 IST