Sunday, February 13, 2011



Club Class on Jet Airways A310 was like being at Kala Ghoda - Bombay’s Art District. Looked like everyone was bound toward the Art Summit!
Good show this, a festival of the arts in Delhi. 

The buzz was infectious. Huge droves of people who love the arts… socialites who like to just tag on to anything popular, serious collectors, devoted artists, wannabes… just hoards of people headed to the profusion of art ‘do’s’ set in the Capital to celebrate this Art Fair of sorts. And here I nearly wouldn’t have gone, with my busy schedule, multitasking work, writing and travelling.

It so transpired that there I was, invited to host the Art Awards dinner, making my way midweek to meet my commitment and finding myself drawn in a whirlwind of Art Parties, receptions, Lunches, just art and more art everywhere.

Kiran Nadar’s museum set in a mall (not necessarily the best setting for a museum) was stunning.
The opening night sparkled with varied, inspirational stunning art at the inaugural exhibition ‘Time Unfolded’. Dramatic Souza’s soulful Anju Dodiya, kaleidoscopic Arpita Singh, evocative Padamse’, Jamini Roy et al… a treat that I was savouring in snatches in a country sourly lacking in contemporary art museums. 

Trying to take in and hold within my memory the true essence of the works between meeting friends - Saktidada (Burman) - a favourite friend in the arts and one of India’s renowned artists down from Paris - most endearing in his humility and simplicity, so refreshing in a world of pompous upstarts that mushroom with minor little successes; Bose, Riyaz, Sudershan the stars of Mumbai; Shamshaad Husain; art lovers Purnima Dhawan with her signature joie de vivre; Preeti Paul… dramatic and lovely in a yellow Kanjivaram; Neville Tulli looking decidedly older (and wiser?); Vivek Sahni… lots of people whom I later saw at the opening high tea (and wine) to flag off the Art Summit at the gargantuan Pragati Maidan. 

Unending pavilions of art and sculpture, my vote goes to Art Alive. Dhoomimal is the close second. Art Alive – great branding, well hung works, warm and friendly Sunaina Anand. And then onto the Saffron Art cocktail at the Oberoi Hotel followed by a sit down dinner hosted by Priyanka and Holly for Sotheby’s. Wow… so much art in one evening.

My finale to the week I spent at the art influx at Delhi had to be the dinner I hosted for the Art Awards at Taj Palace. I was feeling quite princesslike in my Gianfranco Ferre gown which I’d picked just the day prior to the dinner from the ‘Ministry Of Fashion’ at The Emporio, set off with my Pet Project Jimmy Choos and my great grandmother’s Jadau choker. The black round tables set with white crisp linen looked magnificent especially because they seated all my friends, those I hadn’t seen in ages, some of whom I’d known since childhood, and I looked on nostalgically. Restauranter AD Singh, Aditya Lakanpaul, Pooja Bedi, Ajay Garkal, Ajay Madan, Sandeep Jajodia, Suhel Seth, Ambika Shukhla and Marissa, Amrinder and Randy Randhawa, Anjali Puri and Ratika Puri, Anjali Sen, Sid Yog, Aparna Jagtiari and Norden Wangdi, Arvind Vishwanathan, Ashish Saraf, Bonny Lal, Ricky Lal, Ishaan Raina, my cousin Gautam Shamsher Jung Bahadur Rana, prince from Nepal in his glorious manifestation, Tikka Shatrujit Singh, Yogendra Sharma who has brought some of the best fashion brands into India, Deepa and Vivek Sama, Shalini and Sanjay Passi, Jattin Kochhar, Jaya Bhandari, Malavika Seghal, Malini and Omesh Khanna, Manjit Bhullar , Nitin Bhayana Purnina Vishwanathan, Radhika Dubash, Rakesh Aggarwal, Rajiv Soni, Rita Bose, Aaron Rohan George, Safi Rizvi, Sandeep Jajodia, Shilpa Saad, Dansuesse Shovana Narain, Artist Shruti Chandra Gupta, Anupam Yog, Mona and Ranvir Singh Dhillon, Neeru and vibrant artist Niladari Paul, Virat Shamsher Jung Bahadur Rana, Vivan Khubchand, Jaya Burman, Paresh Maitey and the list just goes on and my heart overflows. It was for me a celebration of art and friendship. A night I shall remember always. And as I pack to return to my homeland, Mumbai, I feel a tiny tug for the city of hospitality and the arts, of warmth and (big) heart!

Nisha JamVwal

1 comment:

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