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What's the secret behind Padma Lakshmi's ring?

February 11, 2004 14:16 IST

After four heady years of romance, controversial writer Salman Rushdie and his Chennai-born girlfriend Padma Lakshmi appear to be on the verge of tying the knot, leading London daily the Daily Telegraph has said.

The couple, who share a flat in Manhattan, sat together in the front row of Diane von Furstenberg's New York catwalk show on Monday. And it didn't escape one's attention that Lakshmi had a large, square-cut diamond ring on her engagement finger, the paper reported.

Asked if she was now officially engaged, the 33-year-old beauty turned coy. "I guess so," she said. The ring, she added, had been designed 'a while ago' by a jeweller in New York.

According to the report, her reticence could perhaps be explained by the fact that Rushdie, 56, is yet to divorce his third wife, Elizabeth West, whom he married in 1997.

They separated not long after Rushdie met Lakshmi at a cocktail party. "In retrospect, I think it was love at first sight; I was just fascinated," recalls a starry-eyed Lakshmi.

H S Rao in London
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