Give, Love, Share

The one at the Four Seasons hotel was charming and innovative in its execution.

Published: 24th December 2022 06:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th December 2022 06:58 AM   |  A+A-

Prasad & Judith Bidapa with Aviva & Abishek

Express News Service

BENGALURU: If I hear any more crooning about, ‘It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas’, I swear I’m going to explode! Maybe I’m just being cynical but after two years of no public celebrations and muted festivity at home, all this hoopla does seem a little over the top. Especially, since we all want to desperately believe that Cardi-V just sings its songs in China and there about. Sometimes in overcrowded events, the music is so loud and the physical proximity so close that once I could feel the saliva of the person talking to me hit my face! Yuck!

Madhav Sehgal & Anoushka Shankar

But the season of lighting up Christmas trees has also been beautiful and mellow. The one at the Four Seasons hotel was charming and innovative in its execution. GM Reuben Kataria left no stone unturned and we were fortunate enough to witness the very talented Love Kotiya’s dance-ballet. He is the only Indian youngster to be admitted into the prestigious English National Ballet School. Born in penury and the son of an auto driver in Haryana, this uber-talented 17-year-old was ‘discovered’ by his mentor Fernando and this performance was to sponsor his dance-school fees in London! As I ‘mulled’ over his plie and pirouettes and the wine, I felt a sense of elation that the season of giving was upon us.


The tree lighting ceremonies at both the ITC Gardenia and the Oberoi Hotels turned out to be on the same day. Many of us juggled both places and it was a lot of fun meeting a new set of people and singing Christmas carols with the band. The ‘more the merrier’ syndrome prevailed as the youngest in my brat pack also joined the festivities and most of my friends were thrilled to see her for the first time. The ITC Gardenia had a sustainable tree with a great band yodelling Christmas carols while the Oberoi had the GM Vishweshwar Singh playing gracious host as he explained the concept of the charity bazaar bursting with Christmas goodies. I love the way the ‘grand-dames’ amongst hotels do things with grace and style. The true-blue Bangalore way, where the ‘riff’ is separated from the ‘raff’!

A mini circus plays on in Bangalore where the feeling of ‘FOMO’ (fear of missing out) is at its peak! The ‘wannabes’ pretend they’re busy and the ‘pushies’ push and angle for invitations. The one event that stood out in my mind was the beautiful and intimate engagement ceremony of my dear friends, Prasad and Judith’s daughter. Aviva got engaged to her long-time beau Abishek, son of actors Sumalatha and the late Ambareesh. Yet she didn’t fail to ‘tackle’ me with a bear hug when she saw me. Her mom Judith and I were classmates and to see our daughters now as brides and mothers is very emotional.

I got equally emotional to see Anoushka Shankar, daughter of the legendary Ravi Shankar strum magic on her sitar at a concert at the Leela Palace Hotel. Thankfully, it was a very private and exclusive event hosted by Brookfield Properties, where the guests were avid music aficionados. Anoushka and I had acted in a movie together over a decade ago and we laughed as we reminisced about the fun times we had.
Sigh! The heart is a lonely hunter.


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