"It's less than 100 sq ft on a 4 km stretch," said actor, entrepreneur Dino Morea about the removal of his fitness station on Marine Drive, which saw his friend Aaditya Thackeray tweeting an impassioned open letter to various authorities in its support.
"We had received all our permissions from all the authorities concerned, including from the Heritage Committee," he said about the station, that had been used by many grateful citizens as part of their evening constitutional. "Then they wrote to me withdrawing permission, as it didn't fit in with the area's heritage," said an exasperated Morea.
Aaditya Thackeray, Jacqueline Fernandez and Dino Morea inaugurating the gym
"There are billboards on Marine Drive, the promenade itself has been changed so many times," he said, adding, "I can't understand their objections." So is this an end of that initiative? "We're going to get to the bottom of it," he said. "Aaditya and I worked on the letter together and have received so much support on social media. If I was doing something wrong, I would not have pursued it, but what's wrong in promoting health and fitness? he said, adding, "We're going to try and rollout many more of these stations across Mumbai and Thane – 5,000 more if we can."
Hafeez and the 500 metre green belt
We spoke to architect Hafeez Contractor about the conferment of his Padma Bhushan award. "It's the first time that an architect who does homes for ordinary citizens has been recognised," he said.
The architect is just back from Paris. He was in the mood to ruminate about his favourite topic — Mumbai's deteriorating planning and his dream project — a 500-metre green belt that would span the entire Western sea face, running from north to south.
"The city's eco system would benefit, common folk would get much needed access to the sea and parks, and it would bring down pollution levels and prevent flooding during the monsoons," he said. So what's the problem we asked.
"Every one is only concerned with the bogey of the 'builder lobby' and protecting their own backyards," he said. "And as a consequence the city has lost a golden opportunity to upgrade its facilities," Contractor said, adding, "too many people with too much time on their hands who are being selfish, and not thinking of the greater good."
Getaway with the Padamsees
You've got to hand it to veteran theatre director and ad guru Alyque Padamsee: few can beat his stamina or his youthful fizz.
Alyque Padamsee with Quasar and Shazahn and her boyfriend Ankit Kocher
Word comes in that the octogenarian, along with daughter, actress Shazahn Padamsee, took off last weekend for a family getaway to Pune and Alibaug, along with Shazahn's brother Quasar Thakore-Padamsee and boyfriend DJ Ankit Kocher (aka Ankytrixx). The Bollywood actress posted this picture of herself with what she called her 'favourite guys' and 'mysquad.' Nice.
Jail House Rock
There have been many masterpieces that have been written in prison. Miguel de Cervantes drew inspiration for his novel Don Quixote in jail, Sir Walter Raleigh compiled his History of the World, Volume 1, in a prison chamber in the Tower of London, Napoleon Bonaparte dictated his memoir while imprisoned on St. Helena Island and of course, India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru wrote his masterpiece, The Discovery of India, while he was incarcerated at the Ahmednagar fort in Maharashtra.
Subroto Roy, Jawaharlal Nehru and Oscar Wilde. Pic/Getty Images
Which is why, when news of imprisoned billionaire, Sahara's Subroto Roy's trilogy, Thoughts from Tihar, was announced yesterday, it piqued public curiosity. What would the colourful Mr Saharashri have to say about life, love and trouble with regulators?
Thoughts from Tihar trilogy, is available in all leading book stores across India and abroad. Life Mantras, is the first book in the trilogy. "The forthcoming books of the said trilogy are, Think with Me — How to make our country ideal, and Reflections from Tihar - A book on Tihar Jail'" said a spokesperson of the author. So will the Thoughts from Tihar join the hallowed list of preceding masterpieces penned in jail? The jury's out on that one. Incidentally Oscar Wilde wrote the letter, De Profundis, while in jail too.
Of vintage beauties
Our Oolong tea-favouring SoBo hostess friend had a dreamy look in her eyes when we met her. "There's something so special about vintage cars," she sighed. "They bring back the grandeur of lost eras." She was referring to the rally held on Sunday at Horniman Circle, which had received considerable coverage.
As expected, the OTFSH had many friends with vast collections. "Some people collect stamps, others collect prehistoric coins, but somehow all my friends collect vintage cars — I wonder why," she said. "VJM has over 260 with his own car museum. Bhogi has around 240 beauties and Sharad around 160 including a Daimler once driven by King George V," said the OTFSH.
Which has been your favourite, we asked already bored. "My most favourite vintage, of course, is the 1933 Ford V8 Delux with its black and red Phaeton body, external horns, parking lights and wind wings" said the OTFSH, adding, "The Maharajah who owned it used to take me for drives along the promenade each evening."
"Must have been a strange sight," we said tired of all this self-serving nostalgia. "A vintage sitting in a vintage." The OTFSH shot us one of her famous withering glance and said huffily, "You really have no respect for anyone! Boy, zara hot water lao please!!"