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Black, White And Some Colour
Text by Shirin Mehta
Published: Volume 17, Issue 8, August, 2009

Verve celebrates its 75th issue with elan…. And as we partied into the night, we were content that so many fabulous people turned out to wish us well

The dress code reflected our edit code. Exploring black and white in all their splendour, similar-diverse, very much like our guest list. We celebrated the stark colours of our newly released 75th issue, an experiment so bold that even our detractors bowed their heads in acknowledgement of our gumption and successful execution. Our guests poured in, like sartorial penguins, on an overcast, threatening-rain Mumbai evening at the Bodhi Art Gallery, where event partner Sharmistha Ray proved to be a perfect co-host and later at the InterContinental Marine Drive’s trendy Czar lounge bar, for a two-pronged affair. The grey clouds added appropriately to the colour spectrum, as all things conjoined to make for a perfect party. And may we say, with utmost humility of course, that it was a helluva night!

This is how Verve parties…. The evening’s entertainment at Bodhi Art included a reading from the July issue by celebrity model and adventurous spirit, Feroze Gujral; a talk by mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik on white gods and black gods and a musical jugalbandi rendered by novelist Namita Devidayal and vocalist Pratish Motwani. A discussion with black and white photographer Ketaki Sheth revealed that she had in fact worn black and white for the first time ever! A line-up exciting enough for premier fashion store Ensemble’s Tina Tahiliani’s comment, “After a long time I felt like I had spent a worthwhile social evening.” Actor and blogger Amitabh Nanda, model Tamara Moss, author Chetan Bhagat and designer Krsna Mehta formed part of a rapt audience.

Later, at the InterContinental, we thrilled as the guests walked in, in all their fabulousness – artists, journos, authors, models, friends…. Editors Malavika Sangghvi and sister Devieka Bhojwani, Sujata Assomull, Ayaz Memon, B Mahesh…even as the late Michael Jackson belted out the evening’s signature tune, ‘I’m not going to spend my life being a colour…. It don’t matter if you’re black or white.’ Potent green apple daiquiris and glasses of wine dispersed amicably amongst Verve writers and contributors who we can never appreciate enough. Meher Marfatia, Shraddha Jahagirdar-Saxena, Manjula Sen, Vinod Advani.... In the meantime, our own editor Anuradha Mahindra with hubby Anand, ducked the paparazzi, avoiding cameras and flashbulbs – not very successfully, as we discovered in the tabloids some days later.

The goodie bag proved to be a collectors’ item. Our guests carried home Fantasie Fine Chocolates – chocolate wafers, ballotines, a symphony of dark and white chocolate – which were circulated at Bodhi Art with Zampa rosé, red and white wines making a tizzy drinking statement too. Palador films provided a classic black and white film DVD while Black Panther T-shirts graciously designed one of a kind Verve T-shirts. Photo website, Zoomin.com which is about connecting people through photos, provided a photo insert of our stunning black and white cover as a souvenir of the soirée.

Society siren and jewellery designer, Queenie made a leggy appearance with décolletage perfectly in place, accompanied by arm candy, Farhad Taraporvala sporting an air of bewilderment. Actress Simone Singh and husband and film-maker Fahad made a less splashy entrance with Simone explaining that she had learnt to curtail her socialising and enjoyed staying quietly home-bound. Jewellers Ishu Datwani and Amrit Mahtani animatedly exchanged notes. Feroze Gujral, in her short one-shoulder bubble dress, scorched the dance floor, impressing with her moves – a confection of staggering style. Parveen Dusanj, star Kabir Bedi’s partner, and Verve editorial director Parmesh Shahani danced all night long even as artist Shilpa Gupta and architect husband Rajiv Saini burnt up the floor.

A special corner spread with the buffet dinner served unusual dishes like tuna sashimi Caesar’s salad, Thai spiced tandoor roasted paneer, gnocchi in a gorgonzola cheese sauce, peppercorn marinated chicken followed by fresh fruit tarts and white chocolate mousse among other delicacies. Those of us who had forgotten to dine, in our earnestness to party, got down to a great meal in the early hours of the morning – satiated, happy, perfectly content to be 75 and stylishly kicking...!


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