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Friday, Aug 16, 2019

Malavika’s Mumbaistan: The Charity Gala

mumbai Updated: Aug 16, 2019 11:42 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
Puneet Chhatwal and Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur with the other guests.
Puneet Chhatwal and Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur with the other guests.
         

It is said to have been a confluence of art, music and gastronomy, when the Taj Palace, New Delhi, hosted a glittering evening in support of its public service welfare trust. The evening saw the likes of Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar and his son Lakshyaraj Singh Mewar from the erstwhile royal house of Mewar rub shoulders with author and literary historian Rakhshanda Jalil; FDCI’s Sunil Sethi; high commissioner of Canada, Nadir Patel; Ambassador of France Alexandre Ziegler, and leading Indian artist Paresh Maity, amongst others, this Friday. With a ‘no-reserve, no buyers’ premium live auction, ‘Art from the Heart,’ of a selection of 25 art pieces conducted by Hugh Edmeades; a five-course sit-down dinner created by the group’s executive chef Rajesh Wadhwa and a performance by the Shillong Chamber Choir, it was an occasion few would forget. “After the success of the Charity Gala at The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, a few months ago, this second edition in New Delhi carried forward the spirit of philanthropy, the cornerstone of the 150-year Tata legacy,” said a guest who was present. We recall attending the Mumbai Charity Gala and being seated on a table besides Boney and Janhvi Kapoor and how the young lady had not uttered a word throughout the evening, preferring to concentrate on her phone screen. “Isn’t it an imposition bringing her to these dinners?” we’d whispered to Boney, acutely aware of the young lady’s boredom. “Nahhhh,” he’d said, barely glancing at the young lady besides him, in the obvious throes of profound ennui, adding, “She has to get used to it.”
In some cases, charity doesn’t begin at home.

Cause For Celebration

Shaina NC and Munira Chudasama with designers Wendell Rodricks, Ritu Kumar and others over lunch in Goa.
Shaina NC and Munira Chudasama with designers Wendell Rodricks, Ritu Kumar and others over lunch in Goa.

“Along with my mother Munira Chudasama, I’m having a small satvik early lunch at our home in Goa,” BJP spokesperson and designer Shaina NC had texted earlier this week. “Do join us on August 14, between 11.30 am and 1.30pm.” As it turned out, we could not make it to Goa or the lunch much as we would have wanted to, but from what we hear, it turned out to be an elegant affair with the likes of Shaina’s fellow designers, the Goa-based Wendell Rodricks and the Delhi-based Ritu Kumar also in attendance. And according to a guest, the talk of the afternoon had been how young and fresh the politician looked in her make-up free and tracks-and-tee avatar. Could it have been the result of the satvik food, the Goa vibe or just staying away from prime time TV debates for a couple of days? We must ask the politician when we next meet her.

Overheard
“Rakhi is like the mafia: there’s money involved, a ‘Bhai’ involved and there’s protection offered.”
- Meme going around yesterday

Celebrating Gulzar

Gulzar.
Gulzar.

On the eve of Oscar-winning lyricist Gulzar’s 85th birthday, which falls this Sunday, his long-time friend and associate, the veteran photo journalist Pradeep Chandra, shares many insights and observations in to his personality. Firstly, that his real name is Sampooran Singh and his passport still carries this. “In fact, when he received the letter from the Oscar committee, he told me that the postman hadn’t known where to deliver it since it bore his original name,” smiles Chandra, who maintains that the lyricist is “the happiest man in the film industry”. “I say this because he has done all that he wanted to do and continues to be creatively engaged. He is a part of the industry, but somehow has managed to keep himself aloof from it too. You don’t find him at film parties and he still attends office every day between 10am to 5pm at his home in Boskiana.” A few months ago, when Chandra met Gulzar, he says he’d shown him a picture he’d shot of the lyricist seated beside a canvas painted by the late Meena Kumari. “Arre ye toh mere Cozyhome ki tasvir hai, ye mujhe chahiye (Oh, this has been shot at my apartment at Cozyhome. I would like a copy of this),” narrates Chandra. Knowing him to be an avid painter, Chandra asked if he could shoot the writer while he was painting. “That is part of my personal space,” came the polite but firm reply. “Like my sitar-playing. I don’t want to share these with the public”. Other than these activities, according to Chandra, Gulzar reads a lot, especially biographies with ‘Lust for Life,’ being his most favourite book, one that he turns to for inspiration frequently. “Gulzar Saab has been very kind to me, always acknowledging my presence at his functions,” says Chandra, adding, “Once, he saw me at a music launch, called me to his side, and told the other photographers to shoot our picture together first, before taking any of him alone. This Sunday, a few of us will be celebrating him with readings of his poems and writings and lyrics”

First Published: Aug 16, 2019 00:44 IST

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