The socialite has now turned artist and is exhibiting her works, along with her husband Georges Mailhot, at Art Konsult in Hauz Khas Village.
Socialite turned artist Bina Ramani talks about the cow being the leitmotif in her works, working on her memoir, and times when Rajesh Khanna sang into the sunset in Hauz Khas.
Even after years of ups and downs in a colourful and happening life, with many troubled and difficult phases, the charming Bina Ramani is still brimming with life.
The socialite has now turned artist and is exhibiting her works, along with her husband Georges Mailhot, at Art Konsult in Hauz Khas Village. Her recent works feature a lot of cows and she says, “I was drawn to cows, so this exhibition came about. My husband Georges is my mentor, he nudged me to paint. Initially, I felt like an intruder. After months of just playing, I was able to exhibit my first set of serious work at the Trump Tower. I sold all of my works and realised that I could work on this later in life and gradually this obsession started. I started noticing pieces of art in my daily life.”
Is it a coincidence that her art works focus on cows during a political atmosphere that focuses so much on this animal? She clarifies, “It is very sad that this animal is being used politically. Also, I am not inspired just by cows, birds too inspire me. In fact, my house in Goa is called Birdsong. Goa also inspired me a lot to paint.”
Bina shares that she is still a Mumbai person at heart. “I try to make at least four short trips there every year. My daughters were sort of kidnapped and put in a school in Delhi, which kept me in this city. I left behind a business and came to Delhi. I wanted to be in Mumbai, my family wanted me to be in London but the only easy and affordable access I could have to my daughters was to be in Delhi. I rented an apartment and started afresh. I recreated a happy life after 13 years of misery.”
A dreamer, she found a fresh space in Hauz Khas Village and transformed it, “I knew the future would be good. I followed a dream and it exploded.” Asked how the party scene has changed in the city, she reminisces, “I can think of so many ways in which things have changed. It is always evolving. A lot of Bollywood actors like Rajesh Khanna, Rekha used to come to Hauz Khans and sing songs into the sunset. Those are lovely memories. But when urbanisation happens, it is impossible to control people’s minds and aspirations. People have become more independent now.”
Once the life of all A-list parties, Bina shares, “I don’t like going to parties anymore. I have changed drastically from what I was years ago. I have grown older and wiser. My tastes and desires have changed. I used to love to dance to music, I don’t like it that much anymore. I enjoy smaller affairs, like dinners and lunches with friends where we do tastings.”
Tech, gadgets and gizmos are not quite her thing. She says, “This new era of technology is formidable for me. When I hear about artificial intelligence and all the changes coming our way, I feel thank god my life will be over before that, and happy that I belonged to a generation that grew up in simpler times. I believe let’s enjoy what we have now and enjoy this natural way of being creative. I feel we humans need to realise and recognise how blessed we are to be creative.”
A lover of many things fine, she is also drawn to spices and is all set to launch several culinary products — such as flavour enhancers for water — based on the Indian spices. “My company is called Lady Malabar and I am trying to imagine that’s me. I call it India in a bottle. I love water and this is one way to make people drink it,” she smiles, sipping her flavoured water.
She is also working on a memoir. “The chapters in this memoir are of varying lengths. While some are only three pages, others stretch to even 30 pages. So many people and experiences have moved me in life, and so many things have made me who I am, I need to share them,” she signs off.