Malavika’s Mumbaistan: India Inc. Racing Ahead
India Inc. was rather well-represented at Sunday’s Tata Mumbai Marathon.Updated: Jan 21, 2019 23:59 IST
Along with over 46,000 Indian and international participants in Sunday’s Tata Mumbai Marathon, India Inc. was rather well-represented, as this picture taken from its sidelines proves. Featuring the happy trio of GVK’s G V Sanjay Reddy, Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran and Reliance ADAG’s Anil Ambani, who had participated in the Half Marathon, it demonstrates how the running bug has bitten high and low, sparing none, not even the highest in the land. The Tata group chairman’s colleague, TCS CEO Rajesh Gopinathan, had also taken part in the marathon on Sunday.
It was not always so. Around two decades ago, when we’d heard through the grapevine that industrialist Anil Ambani had taken to running very early in the morning on Marine Drive, it had appeared such a novel concept that we’d promptly written a cover story on it, for the inaugural issue of a Sunday supplement we were editing.
Titled ‘Marathon Man’, it had featured a striking B&W portrait of the industrialist, mid-stride and such had been its impact, that it elicited an avalanche of response, with many astonished souls even enquiring if it had been a hoax and the photograph photoshopped! (Aside from that, the other FAQ had been “But why?!” Such had been the prevailing mindset that many could not fathom why the son of the richest man in India would want to pound the pot-holed and ravaged pavements of the city!)
Of course, since then, so much has changed and running, especially marathon-running, has caught on like wildfire, with many other business leaders taking to the streets with regularity.
Sunday is said to have been Anil Ambani’s 50th Half Marathon, and since he first began as one of the first corporate leaders to do so, he’s seen the movement grow, how should we put it…by leaps and bounds.
Rao’s Worthy Endeavour
Could there be any thing more au courant and earnest than Mumbai-based singer-songwriter and actress Suneeta Rao’s recently launched crowdfunding campaign for her song and music video ‘Vaada Karo’, described as a pledge to save the environment from climate change and global warming? Rao — who says she composed the song after the birth of her daughter—after despairing about the world we’d leave to our progeny, has put together a powerhouse of talent for the worthy venture which seeks widespread participation.
“My brother is currently teaching energy systems at Yale University, having done his PhD in technology and public policy and I have grown up being aware of things like renewable energy and the impact of climate change, especially in third world countries,” she said, when we spoke yesterday. “He has always been a big influence in my life. So I would often be engrossed when he spoke of how we can make a difference by changing our own behaviour. It’s simple things: Like walking instead of driving when we can. Like putting the AC on only when needed and ideally at 24 instead of 22 degrees Celsius. Like wasting less food and eating certain types of food and so on. So when I wrote ‘Vaada Karo’, the words just flowed naturally.”
Rao says that after the song was used briefly for a campaign called Planet Alert, it had remained in the archives, but that she’d always had it at the back of her mind. “It was such a haunting and compelling tune composed by Dhruv Ghanekar that something more needed to be done. And something big. Because it is a huge issue. And I have always expressed my social concerns only through my music.”
If the crowdfunding venture meets with success, the song and video will see the light of day and here’s the clincher: it will feature the kickass and renowned musicians of Dharavi Rocks, who are making a significant contribution by their own recycling and reusing initiatives (the music instruments they play on have been fashioned out of waste!). As we were saying: could there be any thing more au courant and earnest than Mumbai-based singer song writer and actress Suneeta Rao’s recently launched crowdfunding campaign for her song and music video ‘Vaada Karo’?
“We can sit and select our leader after the elections are over.”
--Karnataka chief minister H D Kumaraswamy commenting on choosing a prime ministerial candidate before the national elections.
“Of course, that is if we are still talking to each other by then…”
Crabs are coming
Foodies have been waiting eagerly, ever since it was announced last year that Colombo’s popular eatery Ministry of Crab would be opening a branch in Mumbai. The restaurant co-founded by the half Japanese-half Sri Lankan chef Dharshan Munidasa along with popular Sri Lankan cricketers Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, has long been seen as the first gourmet stop for visitors to Colombo. For the India operation, it was announced that the trio had partnered with Delhi-based restaurateur Ramit Mittal, the nephew of Airtel’s Sunil Mittal, who runs the chain of Pizza Express restaurants in the country, amongst other ventures. And though we hear delays were caused by the restaurant’s uncompromising and fastidious crab-quality control checks, we are now informed that the team has got things right and finally has an opening date and will open doors for a special launch event on February 9 in Khar. Save the date invitations that read, “The catch of the year: Mumbai’s most awaited restaurant is coming ashore” have already gone out and Mumbai’s swish set are already marking their calendars and giving the cities reigning crab restaurants like Trishna, Gajalee sleepless nights. Incidentally, the restaurant will be the first of multiple restaurants planned by the group along with Munidasa — and we hear a Japanese cuisine venture is being slated to open in Colaba, at the iconic property that once housed Rahul Akerkar’s Indigo.
First Published: Jan 21, 2019 23:58 IST