Mumbai Diary: Sunday shorts

Apr 05, 2015, 08:42 IST | Clayton Murzello and Hemal Ashar

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

For the GG we know
for a few days now, Girish Gogia (also known as The Positive Man); motivational speaker, with a mission to spread the power of positive energy, has been busy accepting congratulations. Gogia, who is on a wheelchair as he is paralysed neck down-wards since the past 15 years, was awarded the Karmaveer Chakra at an award function held last month in New Delhi.

Girish Gogia
Girish Gogia with his Karmaveer Chakra certificate

The medallion, awarded to highlight the work done by citizens who have shown exemplary volunteer spirit, is instituted by International Confede-ration of NGOs and the United Nations. Girish has been involved in a global mission called Positive Earth, which helps people tap into and understand their mind power.  Girish, who was this paper’s brand ambassador during the last Assembly Election, inspired the readers to vote with this tagline, ‘If I can, why can’t you?’. GG, which we think stands for grit and gumption, is a truly inspirational person.

Brent it like Owens
Brent Owens, winner of Masterchef Australia Season 6, was in this newspaper office recently, cookin’ up a bit of a storm as he spoke about his Mumbai experience, especially  the chaat incident. The amiable Aussie said he had eaten idli, paani-puri, sev puri and pav bhaji while in Mumbai and what had to say was this: “In Australia, we think we know Indian food, but we do not.” He said he was heading to Delhi next, and when told that the food would have earthy flavours cooked in clay ovens, he said, “I hope to get behind that clay oven and learn that cooking.” Brent, also evoked some laughs as he tried to pronounce the dilli version of paani-puri, which is gol gappa. “Gol gapops” he stated to the amusement of all.

Brent Owens
HEAR AND NOW: Brent Owens likes Mumbai’s fast food, and paani puri is at top of the chaats (pun intended).  Pic/ Rane Ashish

Paani puri is his absolute favourite he claimed. The winner, veering away from food-related topics, spoke about how he wanted to go back to playing Australian Rules Football, when back Down Under andhe simply laughed when questioned about Australia’s recent World Cup win and said, “Well it was expected” . While hydrating himself with masala chai, which he claims is his current beverage of choice, he confessed: “I think I drank 15 litres yesterday!”. The Master Chef summed up his Mumbai experience as “great’ and said his stomach has been holding “strong” till now.

Once upon a Dhoni hurricane
ONE wonders whether India’s cricket icon Mahendra Singh Dhoni remembers where he was, and what he did 10 years ago.

He was at Visakhapatnam, slamming the Pakistani attack to all corners of the Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy Cricket Stadium for his maiden one-day international century in only his fifth game for India. In the 2006 edition of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, Pakistan’s celebrated writer Osman Samiuddin did literary justice to the 123-ball 148 (15x4, 6x4) innings, played while batting at the crucial one-drop position for the very first time in India colours: “A maiden international century of unyielding brutality by wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni lit up a sleepy seaside town, overshadowed a stellar batting line-up, ensured overnight messianic status and enabled India to go 2-0 up. Dhoni, sporting red-tinted hair and the strut of rock royalty, unleashed a bewildering array of orthodox and impudent strokes.”

Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Mahendra Singh Dhoni  PIC/AFP

Thanks to the blazing knock, India piled up 356 for nine. It’s a score that appears chasable in today’s cricket, but back then, it was India’s third highest total in ODI cricket. Despite scoring 148, Dhoni was edgy and admitted thinking then that 356 would not be enough. It was just about enough as Pakistan ended up losing by 58 runs. Dhoni’s thinking cap was buzzing for the team even then. This was India’s coach John Wright’s last series in charge and a couple of years later, while on a business visit to Mumbai, Wright predicted that Dhoni was such a destructive player that he could play a World Cup-winning innings someday. Wright was right, he did on April 2, 2011.   

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