It was something of a pulling out of all stops on Saturday night when the Taj Apollo Bunder, the leading Indian hotel chain's flagship hotel, unveiled the group's brand and operations philosophy for the future - known as 'Tajness'.

Amidst a crowd of almost 400 guests, Mumbai's leading hotel mounted a show that few will forget. From a grand lighting of the lamp ceremony to a fashion show to herald its new sartorial flourish to a banquet fit for a Roman Emperor and then some, the grand lady of Apollo Bunder went that extra mile to prove that when it comes to a party few can match the Taj.

As Rakesh Sarna, the dapper new MD and CEO, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, said, "Tajness will come to life for our guests with hotels that are built with a sense of place, reflecting not just our heritage but also honoring the local culture through a set of rituals that are unique to every hotel, and rooms that provide the utmost in contemporary comfort."

As for this striking photograph featuring Sarna and his wife Mae, along with two of India's tallest corporate leaders who are seldom seen in the same frame together, namely former Chairman of the Tata Group (which owns the Taj group) businessman, investor, and philanthropist Ratan Tata and his successor the current Chairman of the Tata Group Cyrus Mistry and his wife Rohiqa Chagla — what else can we say except that it is a historic one.

"Both men are famously media shy and low profile and they were there to show their support for the new initiative," said a spokes- person. "Mr Tata left after the lighting of the lamp and Mr Mistry who stayed on to watch the fashion show and the presentation left soon after." Nice!

Coloured Diamonds

Known as a pioneer for his emphasis on realism and refusal to embrace the artificial gloss and sheen (read photoshopping) of fashion photography, photographer and director Peter Lindbergh is an icon.

And yet his recent campaign for Indian jeweler Nirav Modi that is now gracing the highways of Mumbai featuring English actress and model Rosie Huntington-Whitely, (Transformers and Mad Max) along with Romanian model, Andreea Diaconu (Victoria's Secret, and Gucci) and Modi's long standing face Lisa Haydon has left us a tad uneasy.

Because whereas the earlier campaigns had featured Haydon, a colored diamond if ever there was one resplendent, in all her tanned bronze-ness, in this new avatar she appears to be almost edged out by the unmistakable blondeness of the new entrants.

A nod towards the brand's international ambition or another craven incident of a Gora complex from the jeweler whose reputation is predicated on his Coloured Diamonds? Time will tell.

Floating high

Saturday night saw Mumbai's hottest crowd turn up in large numbers post midnight to bring in restaurateur, nightclub owner and man about town Rishi Acharya's birthday.

We are informed that Acharya co-hosted the bash along with actor Sachin Joshi at the Float pop up party at a Lower Parel hotel. A source who was present at the venue tells us, "Rishi had booked out the VIP section of the party and had made personal calls to all his friends, promising them a 'small' get together.... The party was nothing small and his area was elevated with a vantage point of the main dance floor and also featured the DJ console".

The affable Acharya, who is a promoter of Tryst, EXO and Doppio, was said to be in good spirits and ensured all his guests were looked after with free flowing bubbly. We have known Acharya for more than a decade and we can say that he is one of the best networked of his generation and no surprises that his guests were drawn from all age groups and industries.

Those who were spotted having a good time included Shah Rukh Khan, Akash and Isha Ambani, Prashant and Vasudha Ruia, Sushmita Sen, Tarini Jindal and Ayaan Mukherjee. And on the same note, we are informed that the good times continue for Rishi who might just have some other big news to announce on the way.

Tch Tch

This outspoken and articulate Bollywood hopeful's horror story about Bollywood's infamous casting couch has garnered much online interest. The one time model who courageously has come forward to spill the beans on one of her director's brazen but predictable attempts to bed her on an outdoor shoot referred to him with the acronym 'RP' ("for reptile") and whereas it doesn't take more than a minute to guess who she is referring to those slower on the uptake can always refer to her filmography to consult-where the accused features prominently leaving no doubts at all about who she meant. As another feminist actress commented. "Well-played."

DaCunha on Friendship

The most illuminating comment on 'Frandship Day' yesterday was wordsmith and fellow columnist Rahul DaCunha's: "when I type 'friend' it's typing 'freak' or 'f#$cker'. Or 'buddy' is coming out as b%#@ard. 'Chum' is being spelt 'ch#th'. "He said in a post that began with a rant against Auto Correct. "Your phone Auto Correct is like that over enthusiastic CA — doing stuff you don't ask him to. Mine's going ballistic on Friendship day."

"I'm losing many friends today," said the funny man, who between much laughter when we enquired if his comment was directed at Auto Correct or Friendship as a Hallmark festival.

"I'd better be very careful on raksha bandhan typing 'behen'...," said the writer who — when he's not writing the mother of all musicals, working on the second draft of his novel and dusting off the last few words of a new tome on Amul that has the likes of Amitabh Bachchan and Sachin Tendulkar writing about their tryst with the iconic brand — will be off to Barcelona to partake in his other passion: street photography.Read more at:formal dress shops | evening gowns