Style and substance

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By TT Bureau
  • Published 12.02.05
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Not the last write

Didn?t Khushwant Singh recently announce that he won?t be writing any more books? But we haven?t yet seen the last of the Dirty Old Man of Indian literature who is still at his writing desk even though he has just turned 90. His newest release, however, isn?t something he has just churned out.

Death at my Doorstep, published by Roli, is a collection of obituaries written over the years about friends and foes. They include ones on high-profile personalities like Zulfikar Bhutto, Sanjay Gandhi, Lord Mountbatten, Marxist millionaire and even Nehru?s former secretary, M.. Mathai. For good measure, there?s even an obituary to Singh?s pet Alsatian, Simba.

Singh rounded off the evening by cutting a cake surrounded by friends and well-wishers. As it was handed out, Singh was heard remarking in a sombre moment that, ?I accept the finality of death; we do not know what happens to us after we die.?

In fact, Singh?s cocked a snook at death and penned his own epitaph which goes: ?Here lies one who spared neither man nor God/Waste not your tears on him, he was a sod/Writing nasty things he regarded as great fun/Thank the Lord he is dead/this son of a gun.?

Shades of humanity

Designers Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna were back in the news last week ? no, not with a new winter collection, but with an art exhibition under the umbrella of their other love, Palette Art Gallery. The exposition titled ?Structuring the world anew?, had the duo curating the works of nine artists.

The human form appeared to be the inspiration for participating artists Rameshwar Broota, Hemi Bawa, Vasundhara Tewari, Meena Deora, Shruti Gupta Chandra, Sanjay Roy, Surinder, Vijaya Bagai and Jagdish Chander. Rameshwar Broota?s works were touched with his signature technique of scratching through layers of paint. Bawa committed herself to exploring the sculptural possibilities of glass while Chander depicted images of human anxiety. Meena Deora focussed on the primitive strength of the human form even as Sanjay Roy?s palette was a rhapsody in soft yellows and pinks. If Shruti Gupta Chandra used very fragmented images, Vasundhara Tewari marked her works with surface textures.

Those who dropped by included artists Manjeet Bawa and Anjolie Ela Menon while Subalakshmi Khan, wife of sitar maestro Amjad Ali Khan came solo. The other Page 3 regulars included models Iggy Camilo, Neha Kapur and Monikangana.

A fashionable blend

It?s always been a major event on the fashion calendar. Seagram?s Blenders Pride recently announced The Blenders Pride Fashion Tour 2005. In its third consecutive year with six designers and 16 shows, the style extravaganza will travel from Mumbai to Calcutta, Bangalore, Delhi and Hyderabad over 40 days beginning February 18.

At a sneak preview held in Mumbai?s ITC Grand Central Sheraton, were designers Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla, Aparna Chandra, Malini Ramani, Rocky S, Tarun Tahiliani and Wendell Rodricks who came together to showcase designs from their Spring-Summer lines.

While just two outfits by each designer were showcased, the dramatic use of colours and smart silhouettes held out the promise of better things to come.

The tour will be Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla?s first fashion show after a long break and the preview of their designs reflected how they?ve moved with the times. ?This is our first show in five years as also the first with the Blenders Pride Fashion Tour. The latter understands the concept of a good lifestyle and we expect great things to come of it,? said the duo.

Tarun Tahiliani who has been a part of the Blenders Pride tour for the past three years offered a hint of his collection by way of two breathtaking white ensembles.

Of course, showing off the clothes at the launch were everyone from Nina Manuel, Tupur and Fleur Xavier to Upen Patel and Niketan Madhok.

Photographs by Rupinder Sharma and Gajanan Dudhalkar