Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Easy Riders
“I’m using this time to do all the things that I didn’t have time to pursue earlier,” says entertainment maven Brian Tellis, about the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and its resultant self-quarantiningUpdated: Apr 04, 2020 19:44 IST
“I’m using this time to do all the things that I didn’t have time to pursue earlier,” says entertainment maven Brian Tellis, about the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and its resultant self-quarantining. “There’s so much one can do, like reading, listening to music, learning a language, or how to cook, catching up with one’s family…” he added.
This Sunday, Tellis, an impassioned biker and the proud owner of a 10-year-old Yamaha Virago, decided to get together with a few like-minded friends for an early morning ride on the eastern express highway, en route to Nashik. “We flagged off at 6am and rode for a magical hour-and-a-half and then decided to break for coffee, before riding back,” he says, adding, “In fact, there are so many passion points that one can still pursue during this time of social distancing, such as cycling, running or walking…”
Thanks to his break from work, Tellis also plans to catch a healthy dose of the big, wide open later this week, when he will drive down en famille, to his weekend home in Pawna. “My 25-year-old son said a very interesting thing recently: he said the pandemic is making us re-evaluate our lives, introspect on our values and prioritise on what really matters,” says Tellis, adding, “Many of us on the fast-track never had the time to do that. It’s a great time to pause and take stock.”
But even through this hiatus, Tellis will be seen and heard. The week will witness the launch of a new audio-visual podcast, which will feature the veteran in conversation with choreographer Terence Lewis. Others in the 9-part series are VJ Gaurav Kapur, actress Dia Handrich and Kubra Sait.
The week saw Bangkok-based chef Gaggan Anand join fellow celebrity chefs such as Massimo Bottura and José Andrés to make a plea for the F&B industry, especially small and local restaurateurs impacted severely by the current coronavirus pandemic.
Anand took to social media to post his heartfelt message. “We are at the edge of losing many restaurants with incredible chefs. All foodies in the world, I understand you are in the crisis of humanity. I beg you all… give business to your local chefs and your restaurants. Every one of them needs your support”, he shared.
The past week had been particularly busy for Gaggan, as he went ahead with the opening of his newest restaurant, a characteristic quirkily named ‘Ms Maria and Mr Singh’, which he describes enigmatically, as “a casual curry house with Mexican influences.” The restaurant opened its doors over the weekend in the property that had formerly housed Gaggan’s steakhouse Meatlicious (which had closed earlier this year). “Finally my curry house dream has crashed into Mexico,” he said.
The eatery, we are informed, will serve dishes such as Papdi Chaat, Chicken Liver Curry, Prawn Balchao and Tenderloin Biryani.
I asked the Yes Bank accountant to tell me about his balance sheet. He told me “On the left side nothing is right, on the right side nothing is left.”
Industrialist Harsh Goenka
Stretching It In Style
Singer and yoga instructor Shweta Shetty is a tad disappointed that her upcoming supper club event with Dalip Tahil and Roshan Abbas has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “The three of us were working hard on it and it had to be pulled back at the last minute,” says the attractive songstress.
Meanwhile, Shweta is concentrating on her personal yoga routine in the confines of her home. “Yoga relaxes me,” she says, adding, “The pranayama is especially useful in calming one down. There is a barrage of alarming messages from everywhere. But after a one-hour routine of yoga, I feel immensely restored and even optimistic about the future. Whether I’m doing Surya Namaskars or meditating, I manage to shut out the world and find my centre.”
This adopting of a disciplined practice to combat negative thoughts and anxiety comes effortlessly to the daughter of a 95-year-old father who until just a couple of years ago would clock in a two-hour daily yoga routine, which saw him through many a health crises and life struggle, she says.
“Rich or poor, we’ve all been brought down to our knees by nature; everyone has their anxieties: rents to be paid, bills have to be footed and people are unable to get out of their houses and attend to work. And nobody knows how long this is going to last. But if you let it get to you, it can get out of hand. That’s where yoga comes in,” she says, signing off with what appears to be yogic buoyancy: “It’s not World War 3. And we’ve had many such contagious viruses before – SARS, Ebola etc – and we’ve survived. This too, shall pass. And when it does, we’re all going to be hungrier, and we shall rise again, higher than we’ve done before.”