Kapil Dev and Ravi Krishnan at the X1 Racing League.
Kapil Dev and Ravi Krishnan at the X1 Racing League.

Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Adrenaline Rush

The inaugural edition of the X1 Racing League took place at the Buddh International Circuit over the weekend.
Hindustan Times | By Malavika Sangghvi
UPDATED ON DEC 02, 2019 11:41 PM IST

While most racing enthusiasts decided to take the weekend off and jet into Abu Dhabi to catch the high-profile Formula 1 race, which was won by Brit Lewis Hamilton, others managed to catch the adrenaline rush closer to home, at the inaugural edition of the X1 Racing League, which took place at the Buddh International Circuit, on the outskirts of Delhi this weekend. The X1 League, established to promote motorsports in India in an IPL-like format, is backed by various stakeholders, including industrialist Mohit Burman and businessman Jay Pawar (son of politician Ajit Pawar), with former IMG India impresario Ravi Krishnan, who was appointed the league’s non-executive chairman. Krishnan was spotted in good spirits in the pit lane with special guest, former Indian cricket captain Kapil Dev, during the race and took to social media to say: “X1 is doing many first-time innovations in terms of format, function and formula. One of the most important is including female drivers in every team.”

And we are informed a large turnout was seen in support of the eight teams that competed in the race, which included unlikely racing fans like the Congress’s Rajeev Shukla and the BJP’s Rajiv Pratap Rudy!

Tweet Talk:
Any SIP option available for buying onions?
— Tweeted by Trendulkar.

At a recent high-powered gathering of India Inc, sources say that the chief guests from Delhi, each a power centre on their own, arrived almost an hour late, leaving the gathered captains of industry and sundry Masters of the Universe all hot and bothered in their expensive suits, seated outdoors, stadium-style, on a particularly warm Mumbai evening.

This, along with the dismal economic scene, might have been responsible for the general discontent in the air.

“We were told that they were held up due to flight and traffic delays,” says a source. However, once the function began, it followed its usual clip of speeches, Q&A and mandatory schmoozing among the big boys. “The only thing different this time, was that along with the expected queues seen in front of the powerful politicians present, there was an equal clamour noticed around the presence of a relatively new face — someone who has recently taken control of a powerful sports body who was seated prominently in the second row,” says the source. “However, it was clear that this gentleman’s stature was not a result of his position in the sports body. Because a few rows behind him, unnoticed, unattended and looking pretty lost, sat the chairman of the sports body himself. No one paid any attention to him, even though he was and is one of the country’s most legendary sports icons,” says the source.

Incidentally, for all its brown-nosing of the powers that be, India Inc was in for a storm in its tea cup. Not only did one of its tallest leaders choose the occasion to speak truth to power, but the chief guests are reported to have departed rather hastily from the event, not staying back for the customary exclusive dinner with a handful of chosen corporate tycoons along with the event’s hosts which had been organised at a smaller venue. “The no -show is said to be because there was alcohol being served,” said the source, a lady with a fine eye for such detail.

Meanwhile, we do not know if anyone had even bothered to get the cricketing icon a drink.

Celebrating Mr Bombay

IM Kadri (seated second from left) with his family.
IM Kadri (seated second from left) with his family.

He has built some of the city’s most iconic structures and celebrated residential blocks, at a time when it seemed Bombay was being created from scratch, one edifice at a time : From Worli’s Nehru Centre and Shiv Sagar Estates (suburbanites like ourselves would gawk at their sleek splendour, back in the day) and Hinduja House and the Happy Home and School for the Blind; to Malabar Hill’s Jivan and Maneck and Sahyadri Guest House; to Napean Sea Road’s Swapnalok and Brighton and the Petit Hall buildings; to Bandra’s Otters Club, and Andheri’s Yash Raj studios, his distinctive signature has been etched on the city’s skyline and landmarks forever.

And this Sunday, IM Kadri, founder, partner and principal architect of IM Kadri Architects, brought in his 90th birthday at his well-appointed south Mumbai apartment, surrounded by his doting family and close friends. “It was a private family affair,” says his daughter, Isha Mehra. “Close and dear ones. His brother is here from USA. Then there was mom’s family and all our cousins. And then we are all off for a short holiday.”

The Kadri family is a large and happy brood, a mosaic of different styles, ideologies, backgrounds and outlooks, which come to think of it, is not unlike some of the patriarch’s famous structures. It includes architect Shimul Javeri Kadri, known for her ecologically sound and naturally beautiful work; her husband, Rahul Kadri, keenly interested in projects of social relevance; actor Suniel Shetty, married to the patriarch’s younger daughter, Mana (who along with her sister Isha, has ably shouldered their late mother Vipula Kadri’s extensive philanthropic initiative — PRIDE), and the actress Athiya Shetty, amongst others.

‘He’s so special and a perfect role model...” said Iftikhar Mustafa Kadri’s doting daughter, Isha, when we spoke yesterday.


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