Cricket and chicken curry

Sachin Tendulkar and Rajdeep Sardesai
Sachin Tendulkar and Rajdeep Sardesai

They are both Mumbai boys with strong connections to cricket, and so when Rajdeep Sardesai, son of the late Test cricketer Dilip, spent a day recently with legend Sachin Tendulkar, most likely for a book, the two naturally hit it off like old friends.

“Probing his mind on life and the art of batting. And then being given a good Maharashtrian chicken curry for lunch,” said Sardesai about the afternoon adding, “Whether the book on cricket happens or not, meeting a Bharat Ratna awardee is a bonus!”

When PM Rao quoted Springsteen
For those who think that Narendra Modi’s quoting of Bob Dylan at the Coldplay concert on Saturday broke new ground — think again.

PM Narendra Modi, Bob Dylan, Former PM PV Narasimha Rao and Bruce Springsteen. Pics/AFP
PM Narendra Modi, Bob Dylan, Former PM PV Narasimha Rao and Bruce Springsteen. Pics/AFP

To our knowledge, Modi had been pipped at the post by none other than former Prime Minister Narasimha Rao — and what’s more, we might have had something to do with it. In his 50-minute address to Harvard University in Boston in May 1994, the erudite Indian politician had quoted from Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Streets of Philadelphia,’ his haunting paean to the trauma of AIDS composed for the Oscar-winning Tom Hanks starrer.

It had been played non-stop on the aircraft which had borne Rao on his historic visit to the White House and on which we had flown as a member of his press team at that time. We had happened to play the song for one of the PM’s closest aides (and a fellow Springsteen fan) a few weeks prior to the trip and he had become particularly fond (almost obsessed) with it, playing it on every occasion.

Of course, we hadn’t expected it to crop up in the PM’s speech in Boston at the august university and strangely it had not even past muster, but there it was: the leader of one of the oldest civilizations had quoted a couplet from one of America’s most popular rock singers. (Fantastical as this may sound, it can be verified, as there must be a record of Rao’s speech somewhere.)

In any case, for those who thought that Modi was the first PM to quote from a rock star and thus had become instantly cool — we thought we’d set the record straight.

Always a winner
“Ash and I have had the great fortune of studying in a school like Arya Vidya Mandir at Santa Cruz,” says the lovely Ishita Arun, singer Ila Arun’s daughter, about this recent picture, shot of the two at Aaradhya Bachchan’s recent birthday party.

Aishwarya Rai
Aishwarya Rai

“She was about 4-5 batches senior to me, a charismatic personality even then, a topper who was very studious and diligent,” says Arun, adding, “I vividly remember the lavani dance that she and her class mates put up in their final year.”

Aishwarya Rai with Ishita Arun
Aishwarya Rai with Ishita Arun

And then she confirms what we’ve always suspected: achievers start achieving at a very early age and then are driven all their lives.

“Once she came second instead of the usual first,” she says of the actress, adding,“From what I remember, it was a miss by hardly a couple a percentages, yet she was in the teachers’ room sitting and trying to figure what to do and how she could better her performance.”

Er… so gentle reader, how did you perform in your own school career? Always last in class? See what we mean..?

Three Wizards
If this trio of men looks particularly pleased with itself, then you can’t really blame it. After all Wizcraft’s Andre Timmins, Viraf Sarkari and Sabbas Joseph are very much the men of the moment, who have delivered what is being described as one of the most mammoth, intricately designed, and tough to pull off concerts in Indian history this weekend.

Andre Timmins, Viraf Sarkari and Sabbas Joseph
Andre Timmins, Viraf Sarkari and Sabbas Joseph

And when you consider that this ‘awesome threesome’ had pulled off the equally awesome Michael Jackson concert way back in 1996 — it’s been 20 years of epic gigs. Take a well — deserved break guys! And see you in 2036, when Justin Bieber’s son performs in Mumbai !

Lutyen’s luxe luvvies
Despite its smog and political woes, Delhi is going to witness a particularly delicious serving of luxe aficionados this weekend at the luxury summit of a leading media group.

Amit Dhall and Madhulika Bhattacharya
Amit Dhall and Madhulika Bhattacharya

With speakers including Michelle Obama’s designer of choice, Bibhu Mohapatra; a ‘fat doctor’ from the ultra-luxurious Bollywood favourite Villa Mayr resort in Austria; the Michelin-starred chef Vineet Bhatia; Diya Kumari Princess of Jaipur, and artists Thukral and Tagra amongst others.

But by far one of the biggest attractions is the pop up all day wine tasting offered by La Cave, the country’s only state of the art wine and spirits cellar, run by the vivacious Madhulika Bhattacharya (who goes by the name of Madame La Cave), the wife of the country’s largest importer of spirits Aman Dhall of Brindco. And with an accompanying whisky lounge by Chivas and Habanos on offer from the Cigar Lounge, the Lutyen’s luvvies have a lot to look forward to.

Focusing on Kiran
International auction house Christie’s’ expertise in Indian art is well known, and has been further buttressed by the coming on board of the delectable Amin Jaffer, whose knowledge of art is as celebrated as his film star good looks.

Kiran Nadar and Amin Jaffer
Kiran Nadar and Amin Jaffer

This month, with the publication of the November-December issue of its magazine which focuses on Indian Contemporary Art, the one person who has been singled out for attention is champion bridge player, art patron and collector Kiran Nadar, wife of tech tycoon Shiv.

“For those of us working with South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art she has led the way, building a stellar collection and opening it to the public,” says Jaffer. “Her achievements bring to mind those of Albert Barnes and Sergei Shchukin.” Nice!

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