Netherfield Ball – Spotting Laila Tyabji, Salma Sultan and Other Divas in Sadia Dehlvi’s Birthday Celebrations, Central Delhi
The party secrets.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Society women never accumulate years. The solidity of this universal truth stands severely strained this evening. Author Sadia Dehlvi is celebrating her birthday. She claims she is turning sixty.
The Delhi Walla has gained an invite into this intimate gathering of Ms Dehlvi’s friends in a secluded Central Delhi bungalow. Former TV newsreader Salma Sultan’s extravagant dress is lined with a lush golden lace. An elderly man bows his hefty frame before the beautiful woman and says he remembers watching her on TV during his childhood days. Ms Sultan utters no word and shows no expession.
The notables among the select crowd includes dhrupad singer Wasifuddin Dagar, costume designer Himani Dehlvi, author Rakhshanda Jalil, who is wearing Pakistani sandals, storyteller Fouzia Dastango and Sufi singer Dhruv Sangari, who is spotted kissing an enigmatic woman (her name withheld on fervent request; see photo 9 below).
Did I mention the ethereal presence of craft revivalist Laila Tyabji and her gorgeous cotton sari? Each guest paid obeisance to her and to her dress (see top photo of Ms Tyabji with Sadia Dehlvi). Ms Tyabji tolerated all the fuss around her with admirable fortitude. She was the evening’s reigning diva and was completely unaware of the sensation she caused. Alas, she left early, leaving behind an empty plastic chair and a lot many hurtful hearts. The evening tried to replace her loss with a large cake but it hadn’t the same elegance.
The beautiful and the cultivated
1. (Salma Sultan)
2. (Laila Tyabji)
3. (Rakhshanda Jalil’s Pakistani chappals)
4. (Himani Dehlvi with husband Vaseem)
5. (Salma Sultan’s dress)
6. (Laila Tyabji’s dress)
7. (singer Wasifuddin Dagar with disciple Arman Raza)
8. (Fouzia Dastango)
9. (singer Dhruv Sangari with an unnamed woman)
11. (Salma Sultan)