Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Football fever

mumbai Updated: Jul 17, 2018 16:41 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Malavika’s Mumbaistan,Malavika Sangghvi

Nita and Mukesh Ambani.

While most of India watched the World Cup on their TV sets at home, a lucky few made it to Russia on their PJs. As is known, the Bachchan family — Amitabh, Abhishek, Shweta and Navya — flew in to join the Ambani family to catch the semifinal between England and Croatia in Moscow a couple of days ago, and for the finals, the Ambanis were spotted with cricketer Zaheer Khan and wife Sagarika.

Dino Morea with the Wadhawan family.

Other PJs also made it to Moscow, one including actor Dino Morea who joined the Wadhawan Family, promoters of real estate conglomerate DHFL, in their hospitality box at the stadium. And, while most of the action was on the field, we hear the real action was post the game at a popular Moscow nightclub and included much champagne and Russian caviar. Incidentally, sources say that so taken was she by the FIFA final that Nita has set her sights on football, and with the Indian soccer league being promoted by Reliance, it’s her ambition to see India in the next World Cup in 2022. This may not be an idle dream either. Remember, she wields considerable clout in the arena of international sports as she is on the Olympic committee too.


What They Say —

“I went from a brown to a deep black in my hair colour; we also used a mole very cleverly.”

— Actress Dia Mirza on a recent TV show, explaining the profound acting methods she employed to enact her role of Manyata in Sanju

What They Mean —

“ I’m from the Sartorial-slavski School of Method Acting. The most flair you see is in my nostrils.”


Unconditional (adj): subject to, dependent on, contingent on, hinging on, determined by, controlled by, tied to, bound up with. (Eg: Rahul Gandhi offered the PM his unconditional support on the Women’s Reservation Bill)


Sadhguru in Moscow during the football World Cup.

For many years, we thought it was the most delightful opening gambit a guru could have, but this week we realised it was not a gambit at all: we are referring to a story told to us many years ago at a Mumbai night spot by Ian La Frenais, the celebrated English screen writer who, along with Dick Clement, had given the public successful TV series like The Likely Lads, Porridge and the 2007 Beatle film ‘Across the Universe’. Frenais has been a long-time devotee of the golf-playing, motorcycle-riding Sadhguru, and he was narrating the first words that had emanated from the great man’s lips when he’d bowed low to greet him in LA the first time they’d been introduced: “Your soccer team sucks!” Sadhguru had exclaimed, as a way of greeting when he’d been introduced to Frenais, and heard where he originated from. Expectedly, that kind of candour and warmth had melted away all reserve, and Frenais and his artist wife Doris Vartan have been regular visitors to the ashram in Coimbatore. This week, when we saw a familiar rugged figure swathed in orange robes amidst the crowds at the stadium in Moscow, we knew that it was not just PC the mystic was making. And, sure enough, he made it known that his passion for the Beautiful Game was a spiritual thing: “A ball can change the world. It’s not about the ball, nor kicking, nor the cup,” he declared the next day. “It’s the sheer intensity of involvement. Knowing this in life is yoga.”


First Published: Jul 17, 2018 16:40 IST