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Thursday, Oct 17, 2019

Malavika’s Mumbaistan: The Diva And The Happy Birthday Boy

mumbai Updated: May 30, 2019 08:23 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
(From left) Virat Kohli, Queenie Singh and Rishi Sethia at the Lords Cricket recently.
(From left) Virat Kohli, Queenie Singh and Rishi Sethia at the Lords Cricket recently.

There was a time, not so long ago, when Indian society, especially in Mumbai, was dominated by the twin divas Sunita Pitamber and Parmeshwar Godrej. But even at that time, at the height of their glamour and power, society insiders would wonder who would be the inheritors of their mantle of ‘Hostess with the Mostess’. And while no names would come up as worthy successors of the multi-hued Pitamber, the names of Nina Pillai, Ramola Bachchan and Queenie Singh had begun to do the rounds in the glamorous society queen stakes, as worthy successors to Mrs Godrej. But, with Pillai being out of the race after the sudden death of her husband, industrialist Rajen Pillai, and the Bachchan marriage going pear-shape leaving Ramola pretty much a singleton career woman in Delhi, it now appears that it is Singh who has swept up the baton from her Sikh compatriot. And, in this era of instaphotos, not a day passes without the former model from Delhi, who seems to have taken London society by storm, ever since she married Rishi Sethia, and in doing so proving just how well she has earned the title. Photos of her with husband Rishi in yachts, airplanes, nightclubs, African safaris appear as regulars on her timeline, and what is most astonishing is how well-maintained and fit the mother of two adult children and career-woman looks 24x7. This weekend, to celebrate Sethia’s birthday, the couple celebrated the occasion at (where else?) Anabel’s in London, at what looked like your usual OTT, bling-bling, mega glam, shindig of shiny, happy people going by the pictures she posted of it.
Incidentally, the two takeaways from them are: Sethia looked like he was the only guy in a room full of his wife’s gorgeous galpals. And: as a result of this, his expression throughout the evening had been: how on earth did I get so lucky?

Mum’s The Word

Swati Piramal (right) with her mother Arunika Shah.
Swati Piramal (right) with her mother Arunika Shah.

Spring in London means an influx of well-heeled Indians setting up camp around the smart restaurants and stores in Mayfair and Knightsbridge and spending all their time hanging at the same places (The Arts Club, Nobu etc), more or less with the same people they see in India all year long. So trust the multi-talented Swati Piramal, vice chairman at Piramal Healthcare and wife of industrialist Ajay Piramal, to do things differently. This year, the Harvard alumni, whose son Anand Piramal is married to Isha Ambani, eschewed the usual rites of passage to spend two weeks of quality time with her 85-year-old mother. From going to the Chelsea Flower Show, meeting friends – young and old, watching Mumbai Indians win and the general elections on the telly, eating at her Mum’s favourite places and doing exactly what the octogenarian wanted. The highlight of the trip was when her Mum, already a Cordon Bleu chef, re-joined the famed patisserie course at Raymond Blanc’s Cookery school in Oxford (She is already, according to her daughter, one of his star students). “When I asked her why she wanted to go back when she was a master of lemon tart and macaroon, she said it’s always good to learn something new,” said Piramal, with a daughter’s pride. The duo spent the next few days learning the fine art of preparing chouquette with salted caramel mousseline, yuzu lemon and fresh berry tarts, scones with fresh raspberry jam and how to make sandwich rolls soft and the sides of the lemon tarts stand tall. What’s best is that Piramal is back in town planning an elegant tea party over the weekend where friends will be treated to sample some of their newest instruction. “It was a restful and inspiring two weeks. With a parent, one has to slow down and focus on what they love to do. Kindness is at the centre of it all, often we miss it in the turmoil of life,” said the doting daughter.

Tweet Talk
“Okay, so one Rahul got badly beaten in these Lok Sabha elections. But another Rahul will definitely be elected to the no. 4 position in the batting order. Us Rahuls doing okay.
- Tweet by Rahul Dacunha, adman and theatre veteran

Bittersweet Birthdays

The chefs who prepared a special cake for Jiggs Kalra.
The chefs who prepared a special cake for Jiggs Kalra.

The father son duo, Jiggs and Zorawar Kalra, have come to be known as the ‘Czar’s of Indian cuisine’. Both successful personalities in their own right, the senior Kalra, had been a journalist, who went on to become a food consultant in the 1980s, while his son Zorawar, one of India’s biggest restaurateurs with over 30 popular restaurants across India and the Middle East. And as every year, last week would have been a double celebration of sorts as both father and son’s birthdays fall just days apart, but unfortunately, celebrations were unexpectedly called off as Jiggs, who turned 72, was admitted to a hospital in New Delhi. “This is the first time, unfortunately, it has been celebrated in a hospital as he isn’t well. He is a toughie and has been battling his stroke for 19 years and will be back soon, roaring,” shared the younger Kalra, who chose not to celebrate his own birthday over the weekend and instead spend it by his father’s side. But, all was not lost in the foodie stakes: the chefs at Fortis Hospital prepared a special cake for their celebrated-foodie patient on his birthday. “Overwhelming to see the regard young chefs have for him. Truly humbled,” shared Kalra, who after his successful entry into London’s burgeoning Indian food sector last year, we hear, has set his sights on a New York restaurant soon.

First Published: May 29, 2019 23:46 IST

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