Man About Town

Enough gossip space has been dedicated over the last two years to the divorce of Raja Dhody and ex-Delhi model Queenie who were married under Islamic law while he was still married to first wife Rita.

Written by Namrata Sharma Zakaria | Published: February 10, 2009 11:55 pm

Raja Dhody on restaurants in India and being single again

Enough gossip space has been dedicated over the last two years to the divorce of Raja Dhody and ex-Delhi model Queenie who were married under Islamic law while he was still married to first wife Rita. However,the last nail on the coffin was a glamorously dressed Queenie on the cover of a magazine recently,admitting to her new lover—the ex-husband of her one-time best friend.

Dhody,proprietor of the successful restaurant Nanking in Delhi made light of the mess at the launch of his new restaurant in Mumbai,Oba. “I just don’t want to respond to that sick thing that came out (in the magazine). I want to move on without stress,” he stated,emphatically.

Fifty-something Dhody’s sole interest in staying mum are the two children he shares with Queenie—Tiara and Rajveer (he also has two daughters,Aneesa and Nadine with Rita). Them and the fact that during the separation that he and Queenie negotiated,she demanded he not reveal details about her private life.

“But yes,I am finally happy,” Dhody says,echoing his Facebook status which has read ‘I am finally a free man’ and ‘ready to face the publicity hungry mongrels’. “These things happen,and this has been going on for so long. But everyone should move on with grace and dignity,” he says.

Dhody is mighty kicked about his new enterprise,a partnership with lounge lizard Rishi Acharya. Oba,which means ‘king’ in Swahili,is a large new space in Colaba for some truly international modern food by London chef Jatin Mallik—right from foie gras to wasabi prawns and some great vegetarian cuisine. At the launch party Dhody and Acharya hosted Chunky and Bhavna Pandey,Laila and Ricky Lamba,Anu and Sunny Dewan,Ronit and Mansi Roy,Farah Khan and Aqeel Ali, Mukul Deora,Vickrant Chowgule,Sanjay Gupta,Rina Shah and several PYTs like Sameera Reddy,Aarti Chhabria,Shruti Sharma and Shruti Seth.

Two sets of guests outshone the others—Dhody’s brother-in-law Jas Arora (who is married to Queenie’s sister Bonnie),and more significantly,his daughter Aneesa with her fiancé Harsh Mehta.

Dhody says his life is in a great place now. In the day,its work; the evenings are at Oba. Weekends are with his and Queenie’s children (they live with their mum and her beau through the week),he takes them boating at Chowpatty’s H2O complex when he isn’t playing golf at Willingdon. Next on his list of things to do,is open an Oba in Delhi. Personally,he’s back in the game too. “I’m not dating anyone in particular,but of course I’m going out and meeting people.”

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