My weekend started off with what can only be described as the Apple madness. The venue was Phoenix Market City where the crowd began to queue up for the midnight launch of the iPhone 6S. This was one of those ‘see it to believe it’ situations, with the hordes waiting in line, in some cases happy to just accompany a friend or family member who was picking up the phone. And to fill the two (and in some cases three) hour-long wait, it was a full-on party, with jugglers, magicians and a jazz band. At one point, as we were craning our necks to see if the celebrity guest of honour had arrived, a uni-cyclist whizzed past. On cue, with 30 seconds to midnight, Jeyam Ravi arrived, to do the honours and hand over the phone to the lucky first few.
The rest of the weekend flew past as we all indulged in some serious retail therapy that we could blame on the festive season. Minnie Menon was among the first to get off the starters block, with her special Diwali collection at Mehta Jewellery. The showcase saw an eclectic mix of people who had turned up bright and early. Minnie joked that she felt like she was in Harrods or Selfridges, with the first customers lining up at the stroke of 11. While the ladies loved her sparkling creations for Diwali, it was the turquoise cornerstone that was the highlight. Meanwhile, at the Rutland Gate studio, Asat by Pritha Kishor also drew quite a crowd, with a three-day showcase. In this case it wasn’t just the ladies, with the guys just as interested in stocking up for Diwali. And rounding out the festive trail was Nandini Varshnei’s Armoire, a specially curated pop-up shop by the young fashionista.
Meanwhile at ITC Grand Chola, whisky expert Sandeep Arora had a captivated audience as he rolled out several nuggets of information about single and blended malts at the Icons of Whisky India Awards. Announcing that ‘‘18 was the new 12’’ in whisky years, deconstructing whisky and goat cheese pairings, and sharing the growth plans for Japanese whiskies in the country, Arora had even the non-whisky drinker taking notes (when not sipping on the smooth and mellow Singleton, that is). Winners like Leela Palace Bengaluru’s Kunal Chauhan (Whisky GM of the Year) and other hospitality stars who had flown down from Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore got acquainted with the crowd, while dinner – from quinoa bisi bele bath to whisky-flavoured chocolate ice cream with bacon bits – sent everyone home satisfied.