Thursday, April 19, 2012
Sarees... and Splendour....
I was so delighted to launch a handsomely mounted book that celebrates the splendour of the magical six yards - the timeless saree. It's a labour of love put together by Ahemdabad-based saree enthusiast Soha Parikh. We both wore Patan Patolas (not planned!) to this elegant event appropriately held at the B and B Art Gallery. The sultry evening saw a lot of lovely ladies in exquisite heirloom sarees. Here's hoping the saree does not die in India, the way the kimono almost has in Japan.
To celebrate the book ... and frankly, just to be wicked and greedy, I attacked Zeba Kohli's absolutely scrumptious new range of organic dark chocolates from 'Fantasie', her family owned chocolate company. The ones I got instantly hooked on to are the square slivers filled with sesame and pumpkin seeds.
As if this wasn't greedy enough, I jumped out of the Patola saree and into a self-designed caftan, to attend an engagement party of a daughter's school friend. And what a FEAST, Chef Hemant Oberoi ( of the Taj!) had laid out in the Ballroom. Multi-cuisine can be either wonderfully inspired or go horribly wrong. Chef Oberoi excelled himself last night! In fact, I complimented him extravagantly ( the lobster! Oh God - what lobster!), and told him most of the high profile invitees had abandoned the original Punjabi Munda, Sukhvinder, who was belting out Bhangra in the adjoining Crystal Room, to gorge at the Chef's table (s). Hemant blushed! He actually did!
This appeared in Bombay Times....
Cannes : Who can and who can’t do it…
The annual Cannes madness has begun…not in France , or Hollywood but in Bollywood! And one wonders what all the fuss is about. There are a few idiotic young actresses who go on and on about being ‘invited’ to Cannes like there’s no greater recognition on earth. Perhaps, it is, for these ladies of zero or little accomplishment. In fact, were someone to offer them the Bharat Ratna, even in jest, they’d probably stare blankly at the person and ask, “Bharat what? Bharat who?” But mention Cannes ( invariably mispronounced by our crew), and see those eyes light up, and the babbling begin. It’s become a silly little game of one upmanship, with a single question on everybody’s mind, “What will you be wearing on the red carpet?” Films are incidental. One hears starlets sighing, “Who has time to watch films at Cannes, yaar. We go there to party!” And that’s pretty much what our desis do. Never mind that very few people recognise them. Never mind that with mega international stars around, even our biggest and brightest are ignored by fans and photographers. The clamour to be seen at the world’s most glam movie event ( some would say it eclipses the Oscar’s and Globe put together), has reached such insane heights that one hears of heavy duty lobbying to get on to the Cannes’ gravy train. Not a single film of ours has made a major impact here, or won an award in the longest time. Given that Bollywood today is a top entertainment player globally, shouldn’t we be planning,positioning and marketing ourselves better?
All our eyes will be on Aishwarya this year. As a brand ambassador for the hair and make up company that is one of the top sponsors at Cannes, Aishwarya maybe contractually obliged to put in an appearance, like the one she did in Dubai recently ( for the watch she endorses). But Cannes continues to be the biggest photo op in the world. And Aishwarya has to make a statement that is big enough for her admirers to go ‘Wow!” Unfortunately for Ash, some of her earlier Cannes outings have been less than impressive. Cannes is often the acid test for fashionistas and celebs to grab eyeballs and delight the paparazzi. One less-than-smashing appearance in an unflattering gown, and phut! Critics tear you apart instantly. Ash’s admirers are holding their breaths and praying she gets it right this year, especially since Ash is still in Mommie-mode, and obviously not in a hurry to shed those post-baby kilos. Let’s hope her stylists settle for a graceful saree just this once and not one of those fitted, slinky peplum gowns that do nothing for ‘the most beautiful woman in the world’. As for the rest,it will be worth monitoring what Bipasha Basu struts her stuff in on the red carpet. Heaven help us if she picks yet another skimpy teen-outfit that barely covers her… ummm… derriere. Much fun awaits! My eyes are peeled!