Looking up and down

It is said that the pain surrounding the loss of a loved one dulls with time. But no one has specified how much time.

Published: 21st May 2022 06:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st May 2022 06:34 AM   |  A+A-

Anita Samuel, Vijay Amritraj, Pooja Singh and Madhav Saigal

Express News Service

BENGALURU: It is said that the pain surrounding the loss of a loved one dulls with time. But no one has specified how much time. It was my beloved friend Mubina Vazirali’s birthday on May 18 . We used to mark our calendars because we wanted to make this day exceptional for this extraordinary human who strove to make every day remarkable for people around her. The only time we succeeded was when her son flew down from London to jump out from behind the bushes to surprise her on her landmark birthday.

The joy on her face still resonates with me as her glasses misted over as she hugged Shahid like she would never let him go. I remember her frantically calling me when baby Shahid rolled over and hit his head on the ground. I rushed to her house because she was convinced that she had impaired his brain function forever! When we were convinced he was fine, we shared a cup of tea at 2 am.

While we were chatting, her baby fell again! Now, he is a hot-shot member of The World Bank with a PhD in finance under his belt. Obviously, his skull was stronger than we imagined! We were best friends from nursery; we had a stronger bond than by a mere connection by blood. Alpha moms, wives, friends and entrepreneurs, she taught me a lot about resilience. It’s truly ironical that it was on her birthday that she wept (for the first and last time) and told me that the treatment had failed and she was returning home to die. I last saw her as she was being buried and I wanted to crawl into the space next to her.

BFF’s forever… My mood this week was understandably mellow. I was not up to big crowds, small talk and false bonhomie. So, it was a relief when my friend Madhav Sehgal, GM of Leela Palaces, invited us to an intimate tete-atete with the tennis legend Vijay Amritraj. The evening aptly titled ‘Live & Unplugged’ featured a lively conversation with the erudite Vijay, spanning from tennis to his trysts with acting and being a vintner. Vijay’s stories were amusing, engaging and informative.

It was rather charming to see how humble and down to earth he was and as he called himself a ‘true-blue Chennai boy who loves South Indian food’! Call me a sadist but I love the drive to The Leela Bhartiya City. It gives me time to think when the traffic situation isn’t grotesque! I was invited to preview a nouvelle wellness cuisine, aptly called Ajusya, conceived and executed in collaboration by India’s foremost nutritionist, Dr Ankita Jalori.

Chef Eliyaz spun his magic on locally-sourced ingredients and conjured up the most delicious yet low-calorie meal I have eaten so far. Of course when the GM Reuben Kataria is your lunch companion the meal and the conversations are both scintillating! 27 Summit is undoubtedly the new swish address in town. Beautiful flats built in a cul-desac in the heart of CBD cannot go wrong. So, when Anna and Rishad Minocher called auld Bangalore to introduce us to the builder and have a ‘dekko’ we went. Beautiful, exclusive and expensive homes. Benglauru looks up after all!


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