Flamenco and Gypsy Festival in Jodhpur
>> And this March, a slew of some of the world’s best heeled urban gypsies will be winging their way to Jodhpur to attend the Jodhpur Flamenco & Gypsy Festival organised by the The Mehrangarh Museum Trust — and the Fundacion Cante de las Minas — Spain’s premier foundation for Flamenco and the Spanish Embassy in India. To be held between March 13-15, the festival will provide an opportunity for musicians from different gypsy traditions to collaborate, learn and create music.
“Flamenco’s roots are related to Rajasthan and it’s like the coming together of two culturally similar music forms once again,” says His Highness Maharaja Gaj Singh II of Marwar, managing trustee, Mehrangarh Museum Trust. “We have always promoted cultural programmes, and we look forward to this collaboration and hope to see Jodhpur soon as the cultural centre of Rajasthan,” says the Maharaja, who has assiduously put Jodhpur on the international event map of the world with his efforts.
“This project is a historical moment for gypsies around the world. The festival’s goal is to create a platform where musicians and dancers can share their talents and trace their musical roots back to India, and can document this unique passage,” says Cavliere Roberto Nieddu, managing and artistic director of the JFG Festival.
And what do we say? We say: we’re packing our bags already. And will Sting (a great friend of the Maharaja’s) be there ? Will he sing?”
Have airline, will party!
>> And New Year’s was the time when the owners of some of India’s most high- profile private airlines kicked up their collective heels at parties.
While Vijay Mallya hosted his by-now famous party at the Kingfisher Villa in Goa’s Candolim, Naresh Goyal, we’re told, threw an even more ritzy one in his spanking new apartment in Dubai’s Marina, attended by friends old and new, and no doubt a fair share of sheikhs (Goyal’s connection with
the UAE’s royal clan is legendary).
And as for Captain G R Gopinath, author, politician and the founder of Air Deccan, (now known as Kingfisher Red, after it was bought by Kingfisher Airlines) — as far as we know, though he didn’t throw a gargantuan party — he made up by joining one!
Because, before the first week of the year was out, the pioneer of low- cost flying in India had appeared at various TV studios and political fora, expounding the cause of the Aam Aadmi Party and announcing his allegiance to its leaders Kejriwal and Co.
See what we mean? Three owners of private airlines — three party men!
Seven-star home, eight-star garage!
>> But apparently the party to be at in Dubai was none other than at Sunil and Rita Vaswani’s lavish do at their mansion in Emirates Hills, which according to insiders resembles a seven-star resort, replete with its own private nightclub.
And pumping up the Mumbai glam quotient were some of its choicest party hearties: Sanjay and Maheep Kapoor, Bhavna and Chunky Pandey and Queenie Singh and Rishi Sethia.
And the highlight of the party? According to guests, it was undoubtedly the view of Vaswani’s collection of some of the world’s most expensive cars, lit up, shining and displayed to their best profile — standing in his massive glass plated garage and in full view of party guests!
The urbane guru
>> “I have pleasure in inviting you to the inaugural session of our new initiative ‘IAA Conversations’,” wrote our former colleague Pradip Guha, the marketing genius and currently vice-president and area director-Asia Pacific Region, the International Advertising Association. “In this, we will have two eminent people engaged in a subject of high interest to all of us,” he said as a run up to inviting us to ‘an intense discussion on spirituality and consumerism between Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, the well-known spiritual leader and celebrated advertising intellectual Piyush Pandey, described as ‘a well-known supporter of consumerism.’
A highlight of the event, which was held yesterday at Andheri’s ‘The Club’, was the release of the book ‘Three Truths of Well-being’ written by Sadhguru and released by the luminous Hema Malini.
We have met the Sadhguru on numerous occasions and have never failed to be impressed by the man. Urbane, mystical, unpretentious and lively, he has become the guru of a host of interesting people, especially from Hollywood and Bollywood, because of his sophistication and international appeal. (The best story we have heard about him is when, on being introduced to a famous Hollywood producer, he exclaimed, ‘Your team sucks’ (he was referring to the man’s well-known football affiliations and unsurprisingly won a devotee for life!)
To come back to yesterday’s discussion, which we couldn’t attend, according to a source who did, it was ‘mesmerising’.
“We do not know if Pandey was a devotee, but he had certainly done his homework well and drew the Sadhguru out successfully,” said a member of the audience.
As for the audience, it comprised some of advertising and Bollywood’s best — including Shekhar Kapur, Prahlad Kakkar, Sunita Anil Kapoor amongst others.