Sailing the high seas, Mahindra style

Updated: Dec 16, 2016, 08:53 IST | Malavika Sangghvi

Another instance of how social media savvy Anand Mahindra is, was seen this week when he tweeted about Mahindra Odyssea's newly built 55 ft luxury yacht accompanied by a stunning photograph of it

(Inset) Anand Mahindra and the yacht. PIC/Twitter
(Inset) Anand Mahindra and the yacht. PIC/Twitter

Another instance of how social media savvy Anand Mahindra is, was seen this week when he tweeted about Mahindra Odyssea's newly built 55 ft luxury yacht accompanied by a stunning photograph of it. The resulting media interest was to be expected. After all, in addition to its sleek lines and visual impact, the boat said to be fitted out with a 'host of tech wizardry on board, along with leather upholstery,' had also been hundred per cent 'made in India'.

But how sea ready was the country really? Are we finally going to discover our oceans and become a sea-faring nation? "Half of India's international border is coastline. And yet we do not have a single world-class marina!" said the alumnus of Harvard, said to be an avid weekend sailor. "But this government seems determined to harness our coastal waterways not just for commerce but recreation as well, and plans are afoot for building new marinas and jetties. So, we're gearing up for a boom in demand as more Indians take to the seas!" Ahoy there!

Kochi Kochi hota hai
You know that something's become truly successful when it becomes the subject of inverse snobbery and sniping, as has happened with the Jaipur Lit Fest. Even more smug than those who attend it each year (in the abiding hopes of finding a publishing deal or even just a soul mate), are those who stay away, the odious 'been there done that brigade.'

This week the launch of the Kochi Muziris Biennale 2016 saw its fair share of bitchery. We chanced upon three very grande dames turn their noses up at it. 'Too crowded' 'will visit when things calm down,' is how they described it in a sour-graped celebration of JOMO (Joy of Missing Out).

However the griping was not only the privy of those who stayed away. The inaugural party at the Cochin Club was described by an art writer with new found intellectual pretensions (she had acquired them on marriage) as a 'Punjabi wedding'. What's more this gathering of homo sapiens saw its inevitable share of groupies and groupism we are informed, with Whats App groups set up by competing gallerists for their 'coteries,' being constantly chopped and added to according to their whims and fancies. "You could say the cultural mafia is pretty fierce up close," is how one survivor described it.

Storm in the lit cup
She's been a symbol of the American counter culture movement, her trademark Afro liet motif of the civil rights, Black Panther and Left politics of the Sixties and Seventies; and so when a recent literature festival announced that Angela Davis was going to be speaking this week under their aegis, naturally there was a great interest.

Anil Dharker and Angela Davis. Pic/AFP
Anil Dharker and Angela Davis. Pic/AFP

However, the event had been cancelled rather abruptly ('Angela Davis has cried off at the last minute, so tomorrow's event has to be cancelled.') "We are as disappointed as you must be," the literature festival founder Anil Darker had emailed, and there appeared to be some ruffled feathers all round.

What gives? "The cancellation arose out of huge miscommunication," explained Dharker. "The festival was approached by the committee organizing the Anuradha Ghandy Memorial Lecture (the primary reason for Davis' coming), if we would arrange one of our evenings around her. We, of course, readily agreed," he explained.

"However, since we were not in direct touch with Davis, we weren't aware that she didn't want to do a second public event, but had wanted a meeting with grass root activists," said Dharker.

So where did the bruised feelings come in? "Of course, once she knew that an evening had been arranged, she could have been gracious enough to go ahead with it, in spite of her initial reluctance, by meeting the grass root activists at some other point. And of course, the committee members could also have told us initially," he said tying it all up with a neat little lesson.

"Never plan anything without talking directly to the person concerned. That way you might find out that they are unconcerned. In colloquial terms, always get it straight from the horse's mouth. Especially when it's an important Derby winner," he signed off.

Separated at birth?
Perhaps its time that we re-start our erstwhile feature 'separated at birth,' which featured two high-profile individuals who either resembled each other facially or metaphorically, as if they could have sprung from the same womb and been separated at the Kumbh!

Lakshayraj Singh Mewar and Yuvraj Singh
Lakshayraj Singh Mewar and Yuvraj Singh

For instance, this gem of a portrait of two well known and successful young men in their own right. Presenting Lakshayraj Singh Mewar, the erstwhile prince of Udaipur (and son our friend, the erstwhile Maharana Arvind Singh Mewar, whose birthday happened to be this week) Maharana Arvind Singh Mewar of the Mewar Dynasty. And his doppelganger, cricketer Yuvraj Singh who has been in the news off late due to his OTT nuptials in Goa. What's more these look alikes happen to be friends too.

"Happy birthday to the best all rounder of this decade and best wishes to you and your new bride," posted Lakshyaraj on social media a couple of days ago to wish his friend on a double celebration. Nice!

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