Monday, December 25, 2006

flying close to the stars

[Note: pics to come soon]

Sometimes my tiny life seems to move into spaces that are so large and so filled with wonder that I might burst. It has seemed that way since I got here…. but Christmas Eve definitely pushed the envelope.

A mellow and sumptuous start to the day was a brunch at the Mediterranean-styled Olive restaurant in Bandra. Prashant and Vani picked me up, after collecting Serkan and Burcin…. and took a scenic route through the Sunday traffic via Juhu to the playground of the stars in Bandra. Olive has such a relaxed feel to it…. as Serkan said, it could be anywhere in the world and succeed. Expensive by Indian standards, we felt most grateful that we are paid in our yankee dollars (and for this meal were treated by our dear John Hughes…. oh if he could have joined us!) and could enjoy such a treat for $29. It is a buffet to blow your mind - including endless alcohol – with incredible seafood, salads, little nibbles of pates, mezes, hot meats and dishes, pizzas, salads, and pastas made to order, amazing cheeses and breads and a grill that had skewers of huge shrimps, lobster, calamari and marinated fish. And I’m not even mentioning the dessert table that made my knees weak. They had a band for this special occasion (well, two guys – one on keyboard and an electric guitar) playing great music – Pink Floyd, Beatles, all sorts of nice stuff and they had great voices! I have to say the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills has a rival now. According to Prash the Bollywood Stars normally show up here (this was a Christmas brunch so too crowded for them)…. so what more could you ask for! I can see this being my new hang out. Mellow… calm, great food…. atmosphere up the whazoo… sigh. Spending 3 hours over tranquil food….. nirvana. :)

I didn’t realize the day had more events planned. We dropped by a hair salon across the road where Vani is close pals with the owner (they do all the stars there apparently) for me to meet him and have a quick consult....schmooze basically (not my strong point!). Cool joint… great music playing and beautiful people everywhere.

Then…. things start to move into the surreal world, and I’m not talking some trashy MTV 20-something reality show here. We drive a little way into Bandra as Vani is taking us to one of her close friends’ houses. She wants me to meet him, she says. The building is where the goddess Aishwarya Rai and cricket superstar Sachin Tendulkar live (!!!) ….. and, this man we are meeting is a major dude in India. His name is Prahlad Kakkar and he is *the* commercial director in India. He knows everyone, is always wanted by the media for interviews and quotes and is a true personality in every sense of the word. Vani says to me… “You have to know this man…. he’s how you’ll get to meet the stars. You must leave here with him having your number and you having his” Whoa! So…. we go into his lovely flat and get comfy in the many couches around him and proceed to have the most hilarious conversations. Vani tells him that I have to find a man in India and what should I do. He is full of the most delicious and side-splitting advice I have ever heard. It is refreshing and contagious stuff (hardly any of which I would do!) and we are wishing we had a tape recorder to keep it for posterity. What a guy. He tells me that I should be aiming for 18-20 year old wanna-be stars and basically ‘potty-training’ them (his term…definitely not mine!) in the ways of all things womanly (and I mean *all* things) and then when I get bored with them…send them off into the world. He believes I should start up a school…a service as it were…to help the women of India and to please myself! He also said I should aim for married men… those married 5 years…. as they are rather desperate and all potty trained already…. and then I won’t be tied down. When I mentioned I really didn’t want to do that anymore… and was actually hoping to get a little settled down…Prahlad just brushed it aside and said that was crazy and that I totally just need the young ones and the married ones… just use them as I see fit. It just had us all howling with laughter…. I told him he was now my guru. Vani made him promise to introduce me to the stars I like. ‘That’s not a problem in the least’ … says this cheerful, cheeky, larger-than-life man. And then he told us all the stories of their crazy lives and what they are really like while we drank tea…. what an afternoon. Like I said….. my little life can seem awfully huge sometimes.

And now I have Prahlad’s number in my cell. And he has mine.

We couldn’t really end it there, could we? ;) Vani had a friend in town…. Se we came back to my apartment and had a quick bite to eat, then got dressed up and headed back to Juhu to a club called Rock Bottom. We arrived after 11pm but the place was nearly empty still. Some nice white booths all around with couches, and the cover charge includes drinks. Cool looking place. Not a soul on the dance floor though. Vani does something to me … gives me dutch courage or something. I would never do this in LA…. hell, I never really dance in LA anyway…. but the two of us went out there and went crazy all by ourselves. It was great fun. Noone was watching anyway and we just enjoyed the music and let it all hang out. Finally some people gradually started to join…. but it never got too crowded like at Poison so it was a great place to dance and enjoy yourself. We finally left just around 1:30…. happily exhausted. I don’t think I’ll be able to take it all in, let alone top that day for a while. Hmm…. perhaps I shouldn’t say that. This is India after all. You never know what is around the corner. ;)

1 comment:

DonJuanna said...

tell us more about the bad smells and upset tummies. That stuff I can relate to. This meeting celebrities and going from one fancy place to the next... it's all above me. Or at least, it has been since I left LA. Ahh good times!! I wish I could come visit you - needless to say I am delighted that you are having such a good time and I am insanely jealous! :). No need to wish you a Happy New Year!