Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
On a holiday pitch
’Tis that time of the year when Mumbai’s famous swap the city’s humidity and rains for some cool mountain air and cultural escapes in Europe. That’s what some of our former cricketers are up to, and Italy seems to be a favourite.
But what’s a holiday without company? Recently, Ajit Agarkar with son Raj and wife Fatima were spotted vacationing with Yuvraj Singh and wife Hazel Keech in Rome. From visiting the Vatican City to a fun shopping spree, the cricket families seem to be having a blast.
The other kind of diplomacy
From endearing images in the past of former US President Bill Clinton shaking a leg with women from a Rajasthani village to Barack Obama grooving with his wife Michelle as they matched steps of the Koli dance with schoolchildren from a Mumbai school, world leaders (and their itinerary planners, actually) seem to be finding new and innovative ways to manage photo-ops and orchestrate “awww” moments on their India visits.
Kailash Satyarthi and Nikki Haley at the Bachpan Bachao Andolan office
Now, it’s US Ambassador to India Nikki Haley’s turn to tug at the heart. During her visit to the national capital, apart from all the sessions in the corridors of Lutyen’s Delhi, she also managed to spend time with Nobel Peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi who was interacting with kids at his NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan, most of them rescued from factories. Haley, born to Sikh immigrant parents from Punjab, had a packed schedule thrown in, with visits to a temple, mosque, gurudwara and a church. Now, that’s what we call going the whole diplomatic hog.
In high spirits
It’s time to raise a toast for Gaurav Dhyani The Gurugram-based mixologist has bagged the title of Indian Bartender of the Year at World Class, an international bartending competition.
Gaurav Dhyani and Jitender Singh
Dhyani will now be heading to Berlin for the global finals, and is understandably thrilled. His flair for mixing was closely matched by that of Pune-based Rohan Rege and Jitender Singh the bartender at Arth in Mumbai. The trio were the crème de la crème of 11 hand-picked finalists in total. Hic, hic, hurray!
On the world’s Richie Rich list
This has to be called the baap of all lists. Sorry, folks, but this one isn’t about the Booker or the Nobel shortlist, but all about the money, literally speaking. The latest list of the world’s 25 richest families is out. It is based on data compiled by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The Walton family, behind the world’s largest retailer, Walmart, leads the list with an estimated worth of $151.5 billion. And on No. 7 is none other than the Ambani family, at $43.4 billion as per their net worth on June 15, 2018. The blurb highlighted Mukesh Ambani at the helm of affairs and goes on to mention his firm as being behind the world’s largest oil refining complex. Of course, the 27-storey Antillia also gets a salute.
Chetan on track
Call it a gradual preference for life in slow-mo or indulgence in some plain nostalgia, but this diarist has been noticing an increasing number of familiar faces post frames of them soaking in the joys of long-distance railway journeys.
The latest to join the list is bestselling author Chetan Bhagat, who vouched for a trip he took from Ahmedabad to Mumbai on the Shatabdi. He went so far as to suggest that you skip the plane and opt for the train. After low-cost air fares that wooed people to fly more, we’d love to see the Indian Railways throw in a few sops to encourage rail travel.
So, who gets the girl?
Aisha Sharma appears to be drawing the attention of both, Manoj Bajpai and John Abraham at the promotion of their film, in Andheri on Thursday. Pic/Sameer Markande
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