Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier
A bit of Ascot at Mahalaxmi
The recent five-day Royal Ascot meet, in Ascot, west of London, is one of the highlights of the English horseracing calendar. The Ascot is steeped in tradition, and racing has been held at the famous Berkshire course since 1711.
A racegoer adjusts a rosette on another at the Royal Ascot horse racing meet in Ascot, west of London, recently. Pic/AFP
Top hats and tails are compulsory in parts of the course while a daily procession of horse-drawn carriages brings the Queen to the course. Mumbai’s old-time racing pundits recall that there was a little bit of Berkshire in 1940s Bombay, too.
A crusty old gentleman shared that Ascot brought back memories of the races at Mahalaxmi. In the early afternoons, when it was warmer, the Brits would wear white coats and solar hats. By 4 pm, as the sting of the sun wore off, they would step out in black coats and felt hats.
Mingling with the goras were the desis, our Maharajas, who also put the royal into the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC). This continued for decades, where top industrialists and film stars like Raj Kapoor, Mehmood, Feroz and Sanjay Khan and Ranjit would drop by.
Another old timer recalls, “In those days, film stars knew their racing. They didn’t make cosmetic appearances like now, roped in by the club to up numbers and disturb us in the paddock,” he snorted. At that time, children weren’t allowed at the racecourse; kids of rich businessmen could be spotted sitting on the roof of luxury cars parked at the racecourse, to get a slice of the action.
Navi Mumbai goes gourmet
A popular online curated food delivery service has announced that it will expand its network to Navi Mumbai. The city-based portal will give Navi Mumbai’s foodies loads to cheer about, by extending delivery to Nerul, CBD Belapur, Seawoods, Sanpada, as well as to Ghansoli, Kopar Khairane, Mahape, Vashi and Turbhe. This diarist recalls the time when Mumbaikars would break into a sweat at the very thought of heading to these parts!
You go, girl
Pic/Saina Nehwal’s account
She smashes like a superstar on court, and this recent selfie posted by India’s badminton queen, Saina Nehwal, during a shoot in Hyderabad, wowed us equally. Rio, here she comes!
Blue and behold
Aditi Rao Hydari walked the ramp as showstopper for a haircare brand at a fashion show held at a Bandra five-star over the weekend.