>> It had to happen. You can’t keep a good man (or woman) down for long! After a long hiatus away from Facebook we were pleasantly surprised to find former IPL Chairman and founder Lalit K Modi’s appearance on the social networking site introducing his new blog (www.lalitmodi.com).
And what a comeback it is! Emblazoned with his initials LKM, and with bells and whistles like ‘Direct From LKM’ and ‘LKM I Say’ and ‘I Correct’ (LKM setting the record straight on the universal website for correction of lies, misinformation and misrepresentation’) and links to his omnipresent tweets it has all the razzle dazzle and slickness that he’s famous for. And now that he’s got our eyeballs is the feisty LKM (see it’s catching) spill the beans on spot/match/ or any other fixing he encountered during his long and abiding stint as king of the heap? Watch this space!
Indian Premier League Crabs
>> Nothing like some sharp wit first thing in the morning! When fellow hack and gay rights activist Ashok Row Kavi called to commend us on our tribute to the late gay champion Shivananda Khan yesterday we asked him when he was going to cook his famous crab curry for us, pat came his reply, “The big crabs are still in the IPL,” he said, adding, “And you can’t kill this variety by dropping them in hot water; they require stronger stuff.”
Ouch! There’s a reason for Kavi’s sniping — after all, being a fierce champion of gay rights, there couldn’t be much love lost between BCCI President and CSK franchise holder N Srinivasan and members of the LGBT community, given the allegations his son made against him last year about his homophobia and bullying. For those who don’t recall the case, last May, leading newspapers had carried statements made by Srinivasan’s son Ashwin alleging mistreatment and discrimination on account of his sexual identity.
“My father is vehemently against homosexuality,” he’d said in an interview to a newspaper, ironically a year ago to the exact date. Irony’s delicious hand hasn’t escaped the notice of others too: “How ironic that it’s not his outcaste gay son but his so-called straight and narrow pampered son-in-law who has eventually brought such disrepute to the all powerful BCCI Chairman,” as one wag remarked. As for the crabs in the IPL, even Trishna doesn’t serve such big ones we hear.
Wheel chair rights
>> It’s an idea whose time has come. And we support wholeheartedly the demand for making Mumbai more accessible for wheel chair users. “If you are in a wheelchair, you’ll find over 90 per cent of the city in lock-down, in a curfew for you,” say the organisers of a protest meet to be held at the Kala Ghoda at 5.30 pm today to demand basic rights for the wheelchair bound.
“Taking care of this is simple and inexpensive. Ramps don’t cost much. Stair lifts, elevators and adjusted toilets are a one time investment that opens up establishments to nearly 15 per cent extra consumer base. The law requires that you take these most basic steps,” they explain. In attendance will be over 100 people in wheelchairs, BMC and government officials, prominent Mumbai citizens, artists, activists, filmmakers, actors etc. People who have confirmed their attendance include Dia Mirza, Kalki Koechlin, Nagesh Kukunoor,
and Homi Adajania, amongst others we are assured. Organised by the ADAPT rights group, the activist wing of the Spastics Society of India (now called ADAPT) the protest will also launch a two-year-long campaign to make Mumbai accessible called ‘Mumbai rising for disability access — we are people too.’
>> It’s one of our favourite parts of Mumbai and one that we deliberately drive through to catch a glimpse of the lovely old bungalows and tree-lined avenues that dot its environs. And yesterday when we passed Napean Sea Road we saw a sign announcing the launch of the ‘Sunanda Birla International School’.
For the uninitiated, Sunanda Birla was the attractive mother of high-profile businessman Yash Birla, who’d tragically perished along with her husband and daughter in the ill fated Indian Airlines flight 605 air crash in 1990. That her son (the premises belong to Yash Birla) is honoring her name by institutionalising a school in her memory is a commendable thing. But an international school at Napean Sea road? The mind boggles.
Kallat at Art Basel
>> Today marks the opening of internationally celebrated artist and Mumbai boy Jitish Kallat’s installation “Circa” at the prestigious Art Basel in Hong Kong.
“Circa” a 120-part sculpture which recalls the ersatz’s construction in urban cities across India had debuted at the Bhau Daji Lad City Museum in Mumbai in 2011, when it was featured as part of “Fieldnotes: Tomorrow was here yesterday’ where it attracted considerable acclaim. Incidentally, some leading members of Indian’s art community are in Hong Kong schmoozing with the best and brightest of the international art world!
From Mumbai to Delhi
>> She was one of Mumbai’s prettiest faces and so when quintessential Bandra girl and former model, the lovely Naina Balsaver (niece of international songstress Asha Puthli) upped and left for Delhi following her marriage to erstwhile Congressman MP from Azamgarh (Dumpy) Akbar Ahmed (now with the BSP) naturally her friends and family missed her presence.
Winner of the 1976 Femina Miss India Contest, Naina for all her strong Mumbai roots settled quite happily into Delhi’s rarified circles, hosting soirees, supporting her husband Dumpy (once part of Sanjay Gandhi’s inner circle) in all his endeavours and running a good home and hearth. How does a girl from Mumbai from one of the city’s prominent families get transplanted to Delhi’s socio-political circles-quite beautifully — if these pictures are anything to go by!