Malavika’s Mumbaistan: An Olympian dream
The conclave is widely believed to be one of the most prestigious gatherings of global sports leaders. Ambani, an avid sports enthusiast and a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), has been championing various sports from cricket to football and basketball over the yearsUpdated: Oct 11, 2019 06:55 IST
“I was 44, when most sportspersons retire, and I entered the arena through Mumbai Indians. It changed my life, my perspective, and my world view. From having no knowledge of cricket in 2009, to learning the nitty-gritties of the game, today after 10 years, I can proudly say that we have built Mumbai Indians into the most-valued team in the IPL with four IPL and two Champions League titles,” said Nita Ambani, chairperson and founder of the Reliance Foundation, in her keynote address at the Leaders’ Week 2019 in London yesterday. The conclave is widely believed to be one of the most prestigious gatherings of global sports leaders. Ambani, an avid sports enthusiast and a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), has been championing various sports from cricket to football and basketball over the years. “There is no reason why a nation of 1.3 billion people cannot be among leading medal-winners on the international stage,” said the first Indian leader to be invited to participate in the seminar. “It is my hope and dream to see India host some of the most iconic sporting championships in the world like the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup. I invite everyone to join us and be a part of the great Indian dream – the India opportunity.” “For India to compete globally, sports must become a grassroots movement,” Congress leader Milind Deora tweeted, while commending Ambani.
In Memory of Khushwant
“Getting ready to host 150 school kids from Himachal for a storytelling and art competitions. This will include ghost stories for which the children will write the endings,” it was our friend and former colleague Niloufer Billimoria, co-founder of the Khushwant Singh Lit Fest (KSLF), held each year in Kasauli, so beloved of the late writer, who spent his summers there.
The festival which has seen a galaxy of celebrated authors, commentators and intellectuals hold forth in the past, will witness a similar turnout with thespian Sharmila Tagore, lyricist Javed Akhtar, former ambassador to the US Navtej Sarna and author Nayantara Sahgal as speakers this weekend; Singh was a man who bristled with ideas and loved nothing more than a meaty debate, especially around a fireplace with a tumbler of scotch and Billimoria, along with Singh’s son, veteran journalist Rahul Singh, have managed to create a festival that resonates with his personality. But like all truly civilised people, one of Singh’s facets was his passion for nature, trees, animals, flora and fauna, and this is where the KSLF organisers have been most thoughtful. Besides hosting 60 children from a local school this year; to commemorate 20 years of Kargil, they will honour and host the families of the two officers who had received Param Vir Chakras for their valour during the battle, Billimoria informs. This is not all, as in every previous year since its inception, a green website which has been planting a tree in gratitude for every speaker, as the festival’s contribution to ecology, will be doing so this year too.
Khushwant must be pleased.
“Wow. I thought all govt branches had pretty strict daytime hours. Unless they’re cutting tree branches, that happens sneakily at night.”
—Tweeted by Vir Das
Starry Starry Night
It is widely considered the most important day of the year for London’s restaurant industry and this Tuesday (as if timed with Dussehra), Indian chefs and restaurateurs waited in anticipation for the big reveal of the Michelin guide 2020, an offshoot of the French tyre company that rates restaurants globally and is considered the international benchmark for rating restaurants and chefs. For a country obsessed with Indian food (think chicken tikka masala), Indian restaurants were on the whole well awarded. Camellia and Namita Punjabi’s Amaya and Veeraswamy managed to keep their stars and similar fate was had by chef Karam Sethi, whose group owns Trishna and Gymkhana, as was for the Taj Groups’ south Indian restaurant Quilon.
But there were many Indians left disappointed, Jamavar, owned by the Nair Family of Leela Hotels, lost its star; Benares previously helmed by chef Atul Kochhar was also downgraded. Those left out included chef Rohit Ghai of Kutir who had recently hosted Ed Sheeran and James Blunt as reported on these pages. The biggest surprise was Indian Accent in London, led by famous chef Manish Mehrotra (in pic) with its New Delhi branch, widely considered India’s top restaurant. Indian Accent was not awarded a Michelin star. Others like Zorawar Kalra, who opened his casual brand Farzi Cafe in London last year did not make it to the list, but was included in the guide as a Michelin plate restaurant, a tier lower than
First Published: Oct 10, 2019 00:36 IST