“It was at the end of a long day,” said our friend Times Now’s star anchor Arnab Goswami about the epochal Sunday session featuring one Mr Americai (‘HellYeah’) Narayanan on his Election Special.
“I had been on air for almost 15 hours, subsisting on nothing but green tea and light snacks. And it was the first time I was meeting Mr Narayanan,” he said, adding, “he appeared feisty from the word go.”
Arnab Goswami and Americai Narayanan
We had called up Goswami to thank him for affording us some belly shaking laughs on that evening, not least which occurred when the aforementioned Narayanan responded with a ‘Hell Yeah’ when he was asked if there had been corruption in the UPA (the party he was supposed to defend!)
“At one point he said look in to my eyes,” laughed Goswami. “And he almost looked disappointed when I didn’t! I asked him if he thought he was Kaa and wanted to hypnotize us!” said the anchor.
What was it like, conducting the hilarious show we enquired?
“You know Narayanan was seated only one foot away from Aman Sinha the BJP spokesperson and they were going hammer and tongs at each other. I was 10 feet away but watching the situation very closely to see that it didn’t get out of hand,” he said, adding, “But it had been a long day and every one was looking for some comic relief.”
A plea for LGBT rights
“It was a milestone in the LGBT movement’s history. For the first time the issues of sexuality and gender were discussed rationally in a socially appropriate way in India,” said Ashok Row Kavi leading LGBT activist and founder-chairperson of the Humsafar Trust, the male sexual health NGO, which also agitates for the legal emancipation of homosexuality in India.
Ashok Row Kavi and Aamir Khan
Kavi was referring to the latest episode of Aamir Khan’s Satyamev Jayate, which had made a fervent and dignified appeal for the rights of gay, and transgender people. “The show has sanitized and bourgeois-fied the movement to make it look neat and very middle class. Nobody from the working class there with tough tit stories, so hopefully Modi and the BJP will take it seriously,” he said.
“The fight against 377 is now on two tracks. It is being fought in the Supreme Court in a curative petition and in the Lok Sabha with different groups approaching MPs from their areas and highlighting cases of police harassment and extortion. The Supreme Court case is dragging on.
But I think there is a surprise awaiting us in the Lok Sabha’s response to our plea for removal of the draconian article #377,” he said. We like surprises. Especially if they are pleasant ones we said.
Theobroma, Ten Years On
‘With hope and a prayer we started Theobroma in 2004.We knew how to bake cakes but little else. It’s been a full speed roller coaster, but what a ride.’
And with that, the good people behind one of Sobo’s most loved patisserie’s Colaba Causeway’s very own Theobroma -kicked off their tenth anniversary celebrations with the promise of a delicious nostalgia fest: bringing back 10 of their most popular items created over the decade! In the tradition of the best F&B enterprises, Theobroma is a family run business, in which various members of the Messman family play key roles.
Mother Kamal, is head of retail, father Farokh is head of business expansion, daughter Tina is head of business strategy, second daughter Kainaz who was chef with the Oberoi group of hotels where her last assignment was as pastry chef at the Udaivilas is head of Production. And last year Cyrus Shroff joined the Theobroma Family as co owner and CEO.
He said, he said...
And this from a friend who had the ‘pleasure of sitting next to an ‘ex’ UP minister on a recent flight. “I asked him ‘how long will Subroto Roy remain in jail”.
He said ‘forever!’ ‘I asked why?’ He said, “Whenever his hotels or other assets are almost sold, a message goes to the potential buyer to get lost...” said our friend, adding “And then the former UP Minister chuckled and said, “how can you sell what is not yours?”
Out, damn spot!
“Oof ho,” said our friend, one of Mumbai’s leading divas, as she scanned an ornate mirror for wrinkles. “It’s a crying shame!” she said, her famous features downcast.
‘Huh?’ We said.
“It’s a crying shame,” she repeated, looking like she was about to burst in to tears. “The unfairness of it all! I’ve spent the last few weeks doing nothing but practicing my backhand and my forward volley, my closed stance and my holding grip. I’ve had lessons at the Cooperage, the NSCI grounds and the PDP and I still don’t know if I’ve qualified,” she wailed.
We nodded empathetically.
“I’ve invested in the required footwear, bought the correct gear, perfected my breathing technique -and I still don’t know!!”
‘Oh dear,’ we tut-tutted.
“It’s just not fair,” she said. “People like us work hard to reach our goals, we sacrifice so much, and yet, we are kept in the lurch.”
‘Yes,’ I said,’ the plight of all sportspersons.’
“Sports?” said Mumbai’s leading diva. “What sports? I’m referring to Narendra ji’s Swachh Bharat Challenge! The whole world seems to have been nominated and is sweeping the streets and even though I’ve been practicing so hard, I don’t even know when my name will come up! It’s a crying shame,” I tell you, she said, “Oof ho!”
‘A crying shame. Oof ho!’ we repeated.