The city it seems is never short of a good reason to celebrate. And what better way to keep this celebratory spirit alive than to acknowledge one of Bangalore’s home grown success stories over an evening of food, laughter and fellowship. At the centre of all this bonhomie was Chander and Pinky Baljee, gracious hosts, who literally pulled out all stops to bring together a varied mix of people to celebrate the burgeoning success of the Royal Orchid group of hotels, now numbering 24, across 16 cities in India .
Old Bangaloreans can still recall Chander Baljee's comparatively modest beginnings with Hotel Harsha, back in the day, which managed to create a buzz with their specialty North Indian restaurant, Tiger Trail. The event saw a nice, varied mix of people, come together on the open lawns of the Royal Orchid hotel under a starry Bangalore night sky. We spotted the likes of Mohandas Pai and his wife Kusum, Ujjwala and Prakash Padukone, Praveen and Vinita Sood, Harish bijoor along with a host of well known faces. As the guests settled down, the peppy emcee Zayesha introduced the group of stand-up comics the Polished Bottoms who were to perform in the course of the evening. First up was Praveen Kumar with his take on all things Tamil.Then followed Sundeep Rao, a ‘local Kannadiga boy’ as he described himself. His pithy and well rounded material kept the audience in splits of laughter. He was followed by Sanjay Manaktala who rounded off the stand up comedy part of the evening with a broad American accent. The irrepressible Zayesha kept the crowd entertained between the comic routines with her selection of Bollywood and English hits. She also kept them highly amused,(somewhat unintentionally) with a few choice grammatical bloopers as well in the course of the evening. “After all entertainment comes in many forms and who says that good grammar is one of the per-requisites,” remarked one of the guests, as he was tucking into the splendid spread that the culinary team had dished up for the occasion. And a splendid job they did too. From Burmese style khow swey to tawa fried fish,Chinese specials, chaat and delectable mutton biryani, topped by an array of delicious desserts, it was a tribute to hospitality, Royal Orchid style.