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Seasonal Shenanigans

It’s a tree-lighting for heaven’s sake, not the King’s birthday! Nevertheless no harm no foul.

Published: 16th December 2023 07:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th December 2023 07:01 AM  |  A+A-

Rakshita Harimurthy, Vikram Maheshwari, Ryan Tham & Emma Hallstrom

Rakshita Harimurthy, Vikram Maheshwari, Ryan Tham & Emma Hallstrom

Express News Service

BENGALURU: As promised, I did attend two more Christmas tree lightings and yes, there was more or less the same set of people who rotated themselves quite efficiently from one venue to another taking the same stock of photographs. It is unfortunate that some ‘desperately seeking Susans’, actively plague the hotel PRs with invitation requests or simply walk-in quite nonchalantly!

It’s a tree-lighting for heaven’s sake, not the King’s birthday! Nevertheless no harm no foul. At one event, my beady eyes espied a notorious ‘noise-maker’ who was asking for visiting cards from some dignitaries to hand over to another (obviously) ‘scrupulous’ person. I hope I have whetted the appetite of my readers for my forthcoming tell-all book!

Shoba Narayan, Pramoda Devi & Prasad Bidapa

The ITC Gardenia has always held a special place in my heart with the effort and innovation that they put into every event that they host. The successive GMs and their wives have been personal friends of mine and we are in touch to this day. They are the ones who started the concept of having a Christmas tree with a message and built with waste products, Papier-mâché and the like. This year too, the massive tree was made from sustainable products and the theme was inclusivity through diversity. When the young children of the invitees switched on the lights we all applauded, the spirit, the thought and the theme of what this season signifies.

When author/columnist and food and wine aficionado, Shoba Narayan wrote her fifth book aptly titled Namma Bangalore. The Soul of a Metropolis, she was enthusiastically received by her beloved Bengalureans. Most of us have known and respected her work for over a decade. The Bamboo Grove (a new secret garden) at The Oberoi, Bengaluru served as a perfect setting as Bengaluru’s literati graced the occasion. The fact that she has a cross-section of esteemed panellists who gave a fair representation of our genteel city was definitely a plus point.

Pramoda Devi Wadiyar, the erstwhile rani of Mysore, was her usual graceful self especially when she laughingly pointed out that in her estimation; Mysore was still the cultural hub of Karnataka. Fashion curator Prasad Bidapa and Krithi Karanth the conservation scientist, were passionate speakers and panellists too. The event was short and succinct and it ended on a high note where the chefs of The Oberoi, Bengaluru conjured up the most compelling of cuisines highlighting the diverse diaspora of our hometown Bengaluru. Absolutely charming and lovely!

The most awaited party of the season was that of my good friends, the Tham brothers from Mumbai. They have unofficially adopted namma-uru as their own by opening their second very popular restaurant ‘Koko’ here. Everybody who was anybody was vying for invitations and the ensuing melee was great fun to watch. Ryan (the more media savvy amongst them) and Keenan (who dons the apron) are successfully carrying forward a formidable culinary legacy left behind by their father the legendary Henry Tham. Most of us who hail from Mumbai knew him and were very fond of him. Their massive restaurant Koko, boasts of a wall to wall well stocked bar and two floors of seating. The Pan-Asian fare was outstanding and their service was exemplary as was the ‘vibe’.

’Tis the season and I’m going ho-ho-ho!

(The writer’s views are her own)

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