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Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Kiran’s Stout Defense

mumbai Updated: Jun 13, 2019 08:31 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
mumbai news,malavika's mumbaistan,vijay mallya

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Readers of this column will know how erstwhile tycoon Vijay Mallya has been the subject of many jibes on these pages. However, we, along with many others, were horrified that he had been heckled and jeered while exiting Sunday’s India-Australia cricket match, while in the presence of his elderly mother (which emphasises how unpleasant the incident had been). Industrialist Harsh Goenka, not a great friend of Mallya’s by any long stretch, was one of the first to post his condemnation of this demonstration of another kind of mob lynching, and we were happy to see that others like Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, one of India Inc’s most respected leaders and a self-made billionaire, had been unafraid to speak up for him, publicly too in this instance. Mazumdar-Shaw’s stout defense of her childhood friend (her father had been a senior executive with Vijay Mallya’s father Vittal Mallya and they’d grown up as neighbours at one time) had come about because of an interesting reason. In response to her retweeting a picture that Mallya had posted from the stadium a follower had thought he could embarrass the industrialist by outing the fact that she’d been in Mallya’s company during the match. But Mazumdar-Shaw would have none of it. “He is my friend and always will be,” she had replied firmly, putting the troll in place. As for imagining that one can bring the toxicity and negativity of Twitter on to the streets and in real life while jeering and jostling a man who is escorting his elderly mother? Even Mallya’s harshest critics would say that’s just not cricket.

Of Cupid, Courtship And Dr Swamy

Dr Subramanian Swamy ( HT File )

Who would ever imagine that Dr Subramanian Swamy, Rajya Sabha MP, former Union Minister, Harvard PhD in Economics, BJP national executive member and in his own reckoning ‘the best Finance Minister India never had’ could be associated with Cupid, courtship and a Ravi Shankar concert? The feisty, fire and brimstone politician, whose Twitter handle declares ‘I give as good as I get’, was led up this garden path when the matter of his marriage was brought up on social media yesterday. “Who had proposed first, you or Dr Roxna?” a follower had enquired. Of course, Swamy could have deferred the question, but he appeared to be in an uncharacteristically sentimental frame of mind when he replied at length with details about his marriage. “Met her in 1964 at Harvard (she, a student of Applied Mathematics and I, Economics faculty),” he said about his wife, the daughter of a well-heeled and academic-minded Parsi clan from Mumbai. “I tried to sell her a ticket for Ravi Shankar Music Concert. Married in 1966.”
And as if these endearing details from a man who is said to eat ministers and jurists for breakfast, was not enough, we were further informed that the ceremony had been performed by the only priest available at that time, a Chinese Buddhist who charged all of $40!/
A wedding that cost the equivalent of less than ₹3,000? Make him the FinMin please!

Another Brick In The Wall

The Reddys with Keshav (fourth from left) at the graduation. ( HT Photo )

It’s been a season of gowns, tassels and caps for a whole swathe of prominent Indians, as one by one, the progeny of the country’s captains of industry and well-heeled professionals graduate from American colleges. This week saw GVK industries patriarch and founder, the octogenarian
Gunupati Venkata Krishna Reddy along with wife Indira, join their son Sanjay and his wife Pinky Reddy, on the occasion of their son Keshav Reddy’s graduation from MIT’s Sloane School. The GVK scion had returned to pursue further studies along with wife Veena, daughter of pharma tycoon Chinnappa Reddy, who he had married two years ago in a grand wedding that had seen the country’s movers and shakers in attendance. “I leave MIT inspired, prepared, and ready for the tough times in India and the greatest opportunities of our times,” said the level-headed young man on the occasion.

The Kolkata Chromosome

Asma Khan (right) with her sister at 10 Downing Street. ( HT Photo )

It’s been quite a remarkable journey for Asma Khan, who grew up in Kolkata and worked as a journalist for a leading media organisation before moving to London with her husband. A self-taught home cook, she started putting together pop-ups around London, serving the food of her youth from her time in Kolkata. Soon, her pop-ups became so popular that she established a full-time restaurant Darjeeling Express and employed an all- woman kitchen made up of housewives like herself. Rave reviews from the likes of London’s top restaurant critic Fay Maschler meant the awards and customers started pouring in. But her transition to celebrity chef really happened last year, when an episode on her career was featured on Netflix’s popular show Chef’s Table. And, as a validation of this, earlier this week, Khan was invited to cook at London’s second-most famous address, 10 Downing Street, for its Eid celebrations. And no surprises that the Kolkata girl served up some piping hot and fiery Calcutta kati rolls, chaat and phulki for the august gathering.

They’re calling it reverse colonisation.

First Published: Jun 13, 2019 00:33 IST