Living in Delhi is odd.
For so many reasons and on so many levels, all of which I won’t go into here.
But one of these reasons is one’s social life, which often seems rather like Jekyll & Hyde.
From end March to mid October-ish it is too faintingly hot to do anything at all, so we all wilt and moan and groan, and those who can escape, and precious little happens on the social front.
But the moment the winter starts, which is always after Diwali, then the social calendar gets into hectic overdrive. These few precious winter months are the time for weddings, weddings and yet more weddings. Major festivals such as Dussehra and Diwali and Christmas and New Year. Then there are all the lit and art fests and major sports events, and it is all too exhaustingly wonderful for words. Oh, yes, and did I mention everyone has house guests.
This weekend is a case in point.
The India Art Fair.
The Davis Cup.
Big CanSupport fundraiser sponsored walk in Lutyens Delhi.
And a friends’ book launch.
All of the above are on our weekend To Do list. Hence the over-loading.
India Art Fair first of all.
On Thursday, Anjulie flew back from her week in London and gamely went straight on with Bibzoo and I to the preview of the 5th India Art Fair (oh, by the way, did I mention it was a VIP preview ? I am so becoming a pukka dilliwali, flaunting my VIP status as and when I achieve it) – where was I ? yes, off we went to the India Art fair, which I thought way better than last year’s, fun though that was. Not so much flakiness, loads of people one knew, and vodka cocktails to die for. As in seriously fabulous.
We met loads of friends and, this being India, family – my cousin Misha Grewal and her husband the designer Ashish Soni, as well as a Mumbai based cousin Praveena and her husband Jamal Macklai, who are keen modern art collectors and run a gallery. Between Pippa, and Anjali Singh, and the Framjees and Tikku, and many others, it was a great evening.
Here are a few moments :
Isn’t this last one gorgeous ? It’s called Gulmohar and is the work of a friend of mine, Valay Gada. I love it.
And if only I had the space to buy the mother of all windchimes. What a beauty.
I have a photo essay on the India Art Fair published online today in niticentral.com.
Then the book launch
Yesterday we went to the launch of Vikas Swarup’s latest novel, “The Accidental Apprentice.”
We met Aparna and Vikas in the oddest of circumstances a few years ago. We were all flying from Jo’burg to India via Mauritius and missed our connecting flight, so we had an enforced 24 hours in Mauritius (yes, a real hardship). We didn’t know each other before we met, but at the end of the long saga – which obviously involved missing connecting flights to India – we were all friends.
So it was great to meet Vikas again, and in such happy circumstances. He is obviously best known for Slumdog Millionaire, but I have a feeling this book is also going to be a cracker.
He couldn’t have been more modest and low-key and entertaining if he had tried, and it was a lovely launch. He was asked 20 rapid-fire questions and this is a short excerpt of his witty answers (he is a diplomat, remember) :
Tomorrow is the CanSupport walk + the Davis Cup + a quick re-visit to the Art Fair if time permits, so roll on Monday and rest, say I. But just in case it appears that life is one long round of events, I have been working, I hasten to point out.
And, to top it all, I received my copy of “Discover India” (for which I have been writing for many years now) with my latest article :