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Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019

Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Of Footy and Footing the Bill

Enjoying the fruits of the tradition were sports commentator Gaurav Kapur, actor Abhishek Bachchan, industrialist Chirag Doshi, celebrity photographer and film producer Atul Kasbekar and director Nikhil Advani.

mumbai Updated: Jul 29, 2019 01:59 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
The group at the Taj lunch.
The group at the Taj lunch.
         

By now readers must be familiar with the rites and rituals of this clique of the city’s high-profile footy lads who combine their love for the beautiful game with their passion for sushi and sashimi. Each supports a different English football club and tradition goes that the supporter of the team lowest at the end of the season buys the rest an expensive dinner. So this weekend when the group got together, it was the turn of prominent lawyer and art collector Akshay Chudasama as his team Manchester United finished last in the top six in this year’s season, and it was clear that he would have to bear this ignominy by footing the bill at the Taj’s prohibitively expensive Japanese restaurant, the venue of many past repasts. Enjoying the fruits of the tradition were sports commentator Gaurav Kapur, actor Abhishek Bachchan, industrialist Chirag Doshi, celebrity photographer and film producer Atul Kasbekar and director Nikhil Advani. “It’s a ten-year tradition now. In the picture Gaurav and Chirag appear to be checking if Chudasama’s heart rate was normal after he’d seen the tab we’d run up,” laughed Kasbekar, when we spoke to him yesterday.

Boys will be boys.

A Genteel Stampede

(L-R) Kalpana Shah, Nita Ambani and Isheta Salgaocar at the preview.
(L-R) Kalpana Shah, Nita Ambani and Isheta Salgaocar at the preview.

There was a virtual stampede getting in and out of the special preview held for Kalpana Shah’s paean to the Tiger at the Tao Art Gallery on Thursday evening; of course one as genteel as a stampede that involved the likes of Kokilaben Ambani, Nita Ambani, Tina Ambani, Shloka Akash Ambani, Saryu Doshi and Swati and Ajay Piramal could possibly be. Limos were backed up all the way to the road to the delight of celebrity watchers amongst the rush hour evening crowd at Worli‘s thoroughfare, as some of the city’s most well-heeled people jostled to get in and out. We spotted Waheeda Rehman, Harsh Goenka, Bijal Meswani, Nachiket Barve, Nimesh Kampani and Dolly Thakore at various stages of entry or exit. The strong presence of the Ambani ladies was not without reason. After all, four of the artists displaying their works had close connections with India Inc’s premier clan: Ambani daughter Dipti Salgaocar had both her daughter, Isheta, and husband, Dattaraj, displaying their wildlife photographs; Urvi Piramal related in not one, but two ways to India Inc’s first family, was also showing her pictures. And of course, Sushma Jain, wife of Anand Jain, a college friend of Mukesh Ambani, was exhibiting her wildlife paintings.

Overheard at the event: Talk that the Salgaocars were keen on instituting an award in memory of late author Margaret Mascarenhas, who’d passed away in Goa recently.

Fashion’s Big Night Out

Designers Abu and Sandeep with Jaya Bachchan
Designers Abu and Sandeep with Jaya Bachchan

Saturday night was a red-letter day in India’s fashion universe, when at a black-tie, sit -down dinner in an exquisitely decorated room in a Delhi five-star, replete with cascading drapes and hand-made avant garde chandeliers, six of the country’s outstanding designers were inducted into the first Couture Hall of Fame, by the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI). The designers, each a legend in his own lunch time, (JK of course) were Tarun Tahiliani, Suneet Varma, Shahab Durazi, Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla, Rohit Bal and Ritu Kumar.

Suneet Varma with his award
Suneet Varma with his award

But even more glamorous than these, according to those who attended, were the 100 specially invited guests, said to be the country’s most influential names in fashion and design, such as NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, Vogue‘s Bandana Tewari, actress and MP Jaya Bachchan, Dastakar’s Laila Tyabji and art maven Shalini Passi, amongst others. Presided over by FDCI’s dapper Sunil Sethi — along with the evening’s MC Neha Dhupia — it was said to be an occasion when past rivalries and feuds took a back seat, and the community rose to the occasion to applaud its own.

Rocking Around the Clock

Gary Lawyer
Gary Lawyer

“It was my first time performing at the Yacht Club,” said singer Gary Lawyer about his gig on Saturday night, which had seen an eclectic and enthusiastic audience, including musician Anushka Jagtiani, entertainment impresario Shailendra Singh, actor Farid Currim and publisher Ashok Advani, in attendance. Starting with a medley of classic jazz, blues, soul and rock and roll standards, Lawyer, a Parsi bawa from Altamount Road, very much to the manor born, pretty much had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand, with such favourites like Country Roads, New York New York and Light My Fire. And by the time he got in to the swing of things, it seemed the venerable old structure at Apollo Bunder, one of the last remnants of Mumbai’s stately past, was rocking from the rafters, as most of the diners were on the floor, displaying their meanest jive and twist and cha cha moves.

“It’s a great venue, by that I mean the atmosphere, the people, the whole vibe is very positive and could be a great performance centre for live music,” said Lawyer, who had sung non-stop for almost three-and-a-half hours, but sounded in fine fettle when we spoke to him the morning after.

“The boys in the band and I were exceptionally well-treated and we would love to do a lot more shows there in the future,” he signed off.

First Published: Jul 29, 2019 01:57 IST

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