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The soft strains of the legendary piano spontaneously set off an ecstatic chorus at the sprawling Palace Grounds in Bangalore. The electrifying effect of Sir Elton John’s opening number, This is Your Song, stretched through the evening as a 20,000-strong audience of business tycoons, CEOs, celebrities (young and old), bureaucrats and techies (many had flown in from other states) swayed and sang along with the English musician. His voice was deep and seasoned, and his fingers worked a magic on the piano as he presented his vast repertoire—Border Song, Someone Saved My Life Tonight, Ballad of the Boy in Red Shoes, Daniel, Rocket Man and Candle in the Wind. It certainly was an evening to remember.
The terse official statement from Buckingham Palace said Queen Elizabeth “enjoyed” watching a charity show of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Bombay Dreams in London last week. She also went up the stage to meet the cast and apparently told Dalip Tahil that “there were some intriguing parts in it”. For once it was the turn of the cast to be mesmerised by the royalty. Says Ayesha Dharker: “We were very nervous before the show. It turned out to be a great one. She met Preeya Kalidas and Raza Jaffrey. It was remarkable how softly she spoke.” As for the charity part, the packed performance raised £50,000. Royal presence.
As usual, it was not about the studs or the players or the games at the 12-goal Pizza Hut Baroda Cup tournament in the capital last week. Instead, you look out for the celebrities. We spotted Tiger Pataudi with his daughter Soha Ali Khan, who, incidentally, bagged the Lady Exotica title for sporting Pizza Hut’s official colours, red and black. As we said, in the end, it is not about the game.
No wonder they call him New York’s “hardest partying guy in a turban”. Vikram Chatwal—ex-Vogue model and son of hotelier and close Clinton pal Sant Singh Chatwal—didn’t just throw the most hip Halloween party in the US at his grandly named hotel, The Time. He himself was one of its blithe spirits, jiving away with such luminaries as rapster P Diddy (the rechristened Puff Daddy). Not that Vikram has too many ghosts to chase away. For, if some trade pundit’s prophecy comes true, at 30, he’s just three years short of becoming the first Sikh billionaire.
Never mind if Border didn’t eventually translate into anything bigger for Sharbani Mukherjee. She’s still known as Rani’s cousin. Not for long, claims this stunner. She’s apparently being hounded by some of the Bollywood’s top guns. Watch out for her. And the audience, they just don’t seem to have enough of the Mukherjees.