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There’s a sense of excitement in the air as I put pen to paper this week. I’m off on a much-needed holiday, far from the madding crowds and marauding ‘wannabes’. I know my ‘friends’ think I don’t need another break, but I just put it down to a sense of envy or that their lives may be overtaken by unbearable ennui (boredom for the uninitiated) without me. Whatever the reason may be dahlings, I’m off to the sunny beaches of the Andaman Islands and my Facebook status for the next six days reads: Beached Mermaid.

But before I leave, there was a whirlwind of social obligations to fulfill. First up was to meet with the quirky and fascinating artist, Gayatri Shataram, who is displaying her mix media art at the Alliance Francaise.

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Art connoisseur and good friend Shujaat Abrar invited us over to take a dekho at her work, aptly titled Mandala, or circle which loosely translated means: ‘a concentric cosmic diagram which represents our relationship with the infinite.’ Whew! After wrapping my head around that rather complex interpretation, I was subdued into viewing her surprisingly avant-garde body of work without my usual barrage of questions. Well, if you want to keep me quiet, then, show me an indecipherable interpretation I say.

The Ritz Carlton is fast becoming the ‘ritziest’ place to be seen at. So when we received an invitation (rather last minute I must add, tch tch!) to watch the great maestro, ‘super swanky hair stylist’, Rossanno Ferratti wield his magic in the kitchen, my interest was piqued enough to swing by even though we had another dinner engagement elsewhere. I must say he didn’t disappoint us. His theatrics in the kitchen kept us all entertained but I was more than charmed to see their Michelin Star chef Anupam Banerjee and the sauvé GM, Shane Krige give him a wide and indulgent berth to throw his starry tantrums.

It was wonderful meeting up with gregarious Xavier Furtado at his popular restaurant Fishermen’s Wharf. His expansive Goan brand of hospitality always ensures a fabulous evening. Over steaming portions of grilled tiger prawns and fish Xacuti, sorpotel and the famous ras omelette topped with some wonderful cocktails, that dinner was worth every ounce of pain endured at the gym the next morning.
For next week mes amis, there will only be the sun, sand and moi!

- Rubi Chakravarti (m rubichakravarti@gmail.com)

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