Mumbai Diary: Sunday shorts

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

Make millions
You will remember him from news surrounding his extravagant wedding to Kajal Fabiani in 2011. Akon, a baby elephant and a very Karan Joharesque venue welcomed lucky guests who were flown to Monte Carlo for the four-day affair. But, we reminisce too much.

Four years on, Gaurav Assomull is setting the stage to help budding start-ups bloom into large marigolds (pun, certainly intended). Young Ideas will look to identify top young entrepreneurs in the country to invest in and house them together under an incubator.

“I returned to India in 2008, and set up my infrastructure business by 2011. I found that raising finance was difficult. There are barely any platforms here while elsewhere, crowd-funding sites like kickstarter.com and government agencies come handy. Young Ideas is to help entrepreneurs get to a level where they can crack the market on their own,” he adds.

He has already spoken to students of KC College and will be visiting a few others at the end of the month. Well, if the millions that he spent on his wedding are anything to go by, you certainly want to listen to him.

Grammar at Elephanta
Grammar teachers will cringe; historians may pass out, and restorers may wish to look for alternate careers. The subject of horror - Elephanta Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, 11 km east of Apollo Bunder.

This eyesore of a signage we spotted at the entrance sums up the scant respect that MTDC has for this manmade wonder. Rampant construction, misleading directions and total disregard for a national treasure are evident each time the diarist makes a trip here. ‘Seen’ is believing, no?

The 5-min sitcom
Producer Siddhartha M Jain (co-producer, Ragini MMS) is turning his attention to 16 to 24-year-old Indians, offering them TV content to consume on gadgets they can’t bear to part with.

A still from Blue Balls
A still from Blue Balls

Web-based sitcom, Blue Balls kicks off mid-August (reminiscent of FRIENDS, he says) followed by @BigStud007, a love story. All episodes are between 10 to 12 minutes long. Hail the Attention Deficit Disorder generation!

Duleep, out of reach
The Duleep Trophy, a symbol of supremacy in Indian zonal cricket, was in the news again after the BCCI decided not to schedule it in a packed forthcoming season.The media didn’t take too kindly to that, using the word ‘scrapped’ in headlines. However, the Board insists that it has only deferred the tournament.

Meanwhile, Mumbai’s former Ranji Trophy skipper Shishir Hattangadi wondered how many players, like him, scored 10 or more Ranji Trophy hundreds and still didn’t get picked to play the Duleep Trophy for their zone.

It’s an extraordinary bit of selection (or should we say, non-selection?). So, he called up ace statistician Mohandas Menon, who did his research and came up with a player who scored four more tons than Hattangadi but didn’t make it to the West Zone Duleep Trophy side - Saurashtra’s Bimal Jadeja.

There’s a slim chance that there are more players, but definitely not in the last 35 years. Hattangadi got his answer. His case is not unique. He feels better; proud too, because he makes the record books as the only big-scoring Mumbai cricketer not to play the Duleep Trophy.

But beyond stats and matches, what Hattangadi is most proud of is that he played alongside legends Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar in lion-crested Mumbai colours.

Idea from a mountain
The first week of August will see globally recognised platform for exploring ideas and avenues for innovation, TEDx arrive to Jai Hind College, with 22 speakers exchanging ideas with students, alumni and innovators.

Water conservationist Rajendra Singh, Satyajit Bhatkal of Satyamev Jayate and politico-colunmist Sudheendra Kulkarni are part of the guest-list, says co-organiser, Dhurv Agarwal. The speaker to have caught our fancy is Anshu Jamsenpa from Arunachal Pradesh, a mother of two, who has scaled Mt Everest three times.

On the first climb, she could barely stand straight at the summit in -30 degree Celcius. “I had a warm feeling inside me when I unfurled the flag on top of the world,” recalls Jamsenpa, who hails from the remote border town of Bomdila.

The “simple Indian mountaineer with poor oratory skills” has a lot to share, including the thought, “keep faith in your idea”. Daily passes cost between Rs 2,500 to Rs 4,000, but we think it’s going to be worth it.

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