As I was flipping through the pages of the May Issue of the Wallpaper Magazine, I came across this piece – “Art collector Shalini Passi’s New Delhi home.” Gawd since when Shalini Passi is known as an ‘Art Collector’? Anybody with loads of moolah and loads of paintings and sculptures qualifies as an art collector???
But I got a bigger shock when I discovered that Shalini Passi is not only an ‘Art Collector’ but an ‘Interior Designer/Decorator’ too. This is what the writer says, “Shalini Passi’s New Delhi home is a work of considerable sophistication, and although she worked with a Delhi practice on early versions of the design (Passi has no formal architectural training), the house is emphatically her own vision.” Wah, so conveniently Mrs. Passi stole the credit from MorphoGenesis, the top-class architect/designer who painstakingly did each and every bit of the Passis’ fabulous house in Golf Links. “She worked with a Delhi Practice on early versions of the design…” is what Wallpaper states. I don’t understand this need for people to hog all the limelight and not give credit where it’s due. Even the lighting was done by an international lighting company.
If Shalini Passi did the entire interiors the house would have looked as cluttered and garish as she looks here while posing in front of the rose-motif mosaic-tiled bathroom in a leopard print dress by Dolce & Gabbana!
This is the same house where Shahrukh & Gauri came to on conditions of - ‘Absolutely No Media’ – to be allowed by the Passis. But now Shalini must be happy with Wallpaper not only showcasing her house but also capturing her in various dramatic posees in her designer labels.
I have heard that Shalini and Sanjay Passi have hired a sort of manager who takes any guest visiting their new house on a guided tour (even if one isn’t keen), which lasts almost half-an-hour. Now once you flip through the Wallpaper, opulence oozes from every corner of the house. Wonder if Ratan Tata would had mentioned the Passi house along with Mukesh Ambani’s Antilla if he had seen it. On second thoughts, no Ratan Tata wouldn’t have done that coz a li’l birdie said Tata and Sr. Passi are bum-chums!
P.S. Photo Credits: Wallpaper
Recently aboard the Kingfisher Airlines, I was browsing through the March 2011 edition of the Hi Blitz. The issue had a feature on India’s powerful women. Neeta Ambani obviously made it to the list courtesy being the wife of the richest man of India, Mukesh Ambani. I didn’t read the feature as I was too amused by the photo spread of Neeta Ambani. It was so heavily photoshopped that Neeta looked no more than in her mid-thirties.
Air-brushing is mostly used to erase blemishes but in the Hi Blitz shoot Neeta was made to look decades younger, slimmer and flawless. Her double chin wasn’t visible. her arms were slender and toned. In fact you have to see the images here to understand what I mean.
Hi Blitz did a feature on Neeta Ambani in 2009 but in the march 2011 edition, she looks younger than she looked in 2009. I don’t know if Neeta wanted air-brushing to this extent but I can surely term the shoot as ‘Height of airbrushing’!
It seems the Desi Richies are going through a phase of outdoing each other in building expensive mansions. After Mukesh Ambani’s mind-boggling Antilla, Anil Ambani took off to building one for self and now Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal is building the most expensive mansion ever erected in Scotland, next to the famed Gleneagles golf resort in Auchterarder, Perthshire.
The London-based tycoon, Europe’s richest man and the fifth richest man in the world with a fortune of $28.7 billion, is spending a record $23 million on the posh estate, including the $6 million mansion he tore down to make way for his new luxury fortress. His lavish private palace in London is reckoned to be the city’s most expensive as well. Costs on the Perthshire project soared after Mittal decided some of the finished weren’t up to standard.
At one point he demanded a $125,000 bathroom be torn out and done over. It seems Mrs. Mittal is going to use the posh mansion more than her husband. The six-bedroom main residence will have furnishings by Ralph Lauren, a state-of-the-art entertainment system, two kitchens and staff quarters among other amenities.
It so happened once when Mukesh and Nita Ambani were flying in Mukesh’s private Boeing Business Jet 2, they hit an air pocket. The rough ride led to food getting spilled from Nita’s expensive Rosenthal dinner plate on to her expensive clothes. The incident pissed off Mukesh tremendously and he couldn’t bear seeing Nita almost in tears.
Anyway, after the rough ride when the Ambanis returned home, Mukesh Bhai got his Man Fridays to get hold of Rosenthal and get custom-made tableware so that no food spills ever in the roughest of weather. Rosenthal couldn’t have said no to the World’s 5th richest man. Pronto Rosenthal’s design team created dinnerware that had a raised parameter very much like our steel thalis.