OUTLOOK Monday 18 November, 2002
This Is Our Song

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.

Intriguing Dreams

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.

Polo Exotica

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.

Halloween Hangover

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.

Border Case

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.

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  • She takes after her mother in so many ways: the shape of her  face, that smile, the way her hair  tumbles back. He, as you all can see, is an image of his dad (has he inh­erited that two-generation-old dimple?) Saif and Amrita Singh’s children Sara and Ibrahim Ali Khan are holidaying in England. This casual, happy chat over some Earl Grey does confirm what they say—the siblings are inseparable.
  • It’s bad enough to earn millions while having a talent for nothing exc­ept indecently hogging attention; it’s worse to lay claim to a venerable tradition in service to one’s base business ins­tinct. But what do you expect from Kim Kardashian, who had the audacity to name her upcoming shapewear line (to be worn inside) ‘Kimono’. While you condemn her for the usual  self-centredness (as millions did), laud her for knowing something  about a place as further afield as Japan. The  name, thankfully, stands withdrawn.
  • Though the Trinamool cut a sorry figure, then took its rev­erses badly, our favourite MPs from Bengal—close pals  and actresses Mimi Chakraborty and Nusrat Jahan, were unt­ouched by the sour petulance. Fresh from Nusrat’s wedding in Turkey, and so absent when other MPs took their oaths in Parliament, the duo did the needful later, not forgetting to use ‘Jai Bangla’. Didi is happy; can’t say we aren’t, too!
  • Blink, and you’ll travel back to the glory days of disco, with Cardi B’s multi-­coloured jumpsuit transporting you effortlessly. But, disaster struck at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Man­chester, when this splendid  garment gave way along its nether seams, hurrying poor Cardi  offstage.  The singer arrived minutes later in a bathrobe, the picture of unfl­a­ppability. “We gonna keep it sexy,”  she crooned. That is style.


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