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Mumbai Diary page: Tuesday Tales

The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

Baffling foot-in-mouth
Election time brings out the best, or at least the most bizarre, among politicians, especially when they open their mouths in public. The latest was Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar, who seems to be following a family tradition.

Pawar’s nephew, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, had ruffled many a feather with his remark that he would pee into dams if there was not enough water in them, but his uncle is generally known for being more astute.

However, the senior Pawar also stumped observers by saying that in the last election voters only had one day to cast their votes so this time round, they could vote on both days of polling — once in Satara and then in Mumbai.

Apart from the brouhaha this remark kicked up, it is also puzzling because in fact, during the 2009 elections voting was on April 23 in Satara and April 30 in Mumbai. Sharad Pawar is known for his razor-sharp memory, so this has left people wondering.

Bashing away at coffee time
Film director Zoya Akhtar was in full media-bashing mode on the television chat show Koffee with Karan on Sunday night, with her couch companion Rohit Shetty lending her ‘moral’ support. While she did not say it aloud, Zoya’s tenor was that some journalists’ IQs would surely reach single digits — with difficulty.

Zoya Akhtar
Zoya Akhtar

Mentioning a journalist who had asked her a question about Zindagi Naa Milegi Dobaara (ZNMD), she said, “She asked me, out of the three men in your movie, whose body is hottest?” to which Johar and Shetty responded with incredulous laughter.

Akhtar added, “I was like… outraged. You seriously want me to ‘objectify’ my actors? One of them is my brother, that’s gross...” she said, as Johar and Shetty concurred. While it is true that journos have an occasional go at the filmi talk show, this may be a new trend where guests take potshots in return. Quid pro quo, Karan?

Real estate prices to drop?
That's a headline to make jaws drop, indeed. And that’s what builders are promising, believe it or not. If approvals are made online, builders say, they will reduce real estate prices by 10 per cent.


Representational pic

At an event recently, Sunil Mantri, chairman of the national real estate body NARDECO, said on record that it does not matter if the number of approvals that a builder needs to take from the government goes up to 100, if the process could just be made online — that can bring prices down by 10 per cent. He was alluding to the “monetary cost” of getting files approved physically, which is then passed on to the buyer.

Funky view on T20 cricket
Colin Miller, Australia’s former off-spin bowler, who was part of Steve Waugh’s team to India in 2001, was as funky as they came. In fact, his nickname ‘Funky’ sounded more apt when he coloured his hair electric blue, yellow and white in 2001.

Funky finds his Vegemite in Mumbai, circa 2001
Funky finds his Vegemite in Mumbai, circa 2001

The Mumbai leg of his tour to India was fascinating for Miller, who visited shops in Mumbai for some Vegemite and played with kids at Azad Maidan. ‘Funky’ is now based in Las Vegas and though he is in the business of golf, he is keenly following the ICC World T20 on the Internet. The other day, Miller told News Limited that a champion in cricket’s shortest form will soon emerge from the minnows group.

“T20 cricket,” he says, “is akin to the handicap system in golf. On any given day a team not given a chance of victory can have an on day, take a few chances, hit a few in the middle and cause what once would have been called one of the greatest upsets in the game.

I can’t wait for the day that Ireland or Hong Kong or Nepal, or even Papua New Guinea are crowned as world T20 champions. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for China in a few years.’’ We’ll look out for the Chinese ‘Funky’ and while we do that, we must say cricket doesn’t make characters like you any more.

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