Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Method To His Madness
It’s created a stir in the international foodie arena, mainly because just days after the celebrated chef Gaggan Anand was rated as the world’s fourth best, he announced his abrupt and immediate resignation from the company that owned his restaurant empire. With the fate of the 2-Michelin star Gaggan, 2-Michelin star Suhring and 1 Michelin star Gaa amongst other F&B ventures in Bangkok hanging in the balance, the announcement became a much-discussed topic after the Straits Times broke the news over the weekend. “What you all heard from the news about my resignation is true,” Gaggan himself posted shortly. And whereas, there is much speculation over the issue, a source close to developments filled us in: “Gaggan and his partners have had a rocky relationship for the past couple of years, with creative and business disagreements that resulted in them not being on talking terms for months. Issues first emerged after Gaggan had announced he would shut his highly-rated restaurant in 2020. This is said to have made his Bangkok-based Indian partners, who own almost 75% of the company, insecure, and in turn, they started using pressure tactics to try and rein the chef in. But it only resulted in further alienation.” But of course, given his enormous stature in the international food arena, there appears to be no wont of suitors lining up to make the chef offers he can’t refuse. “Ever since the announcement, he has been besieged by parties interested in backing him. After all, the waiting list for his restaurant is 3 to 4 months,” said the source, who informs that the chef is currently examining all his options. But the clamour he has caused has hardly affected the world-renowned chef who will leave this week for a month- long family holiday in Europe. “If things don’t resolve by then, word is that the existing staff at Gaggan will also tender their resignations and follow him in the dramatic walk-out,” said the source. And though these incidents are reminiscent of a Hollywood thriller, what anyone who knows Gaggan will tell you: there is a method to his madness.
“I have absolutely nothing against the ‘spirit of Mumbai,’ but given Maharashtra’s ridiculous excise rates, I prefer to buy my spirit in Delhi.”
- Tweeted by Joy Bhattacharya
The Future Is Asian
“I’m looking forward to returning to Mumbai at the end of July to present my book The Future Is Asian, on the evening of July 30 at an event organised by the Asia Society,” said Parag Khanna, the Indian-American specialist in international relations, who we’d met at a dinner hosted by media maven and policy wonk Dr Sanjaya Baru, a few years ago in Mumbai. Khanna, who serves on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council, is someone who strongly believes that Asia is returning to the stable multipolar order that existed long before European colonialism and American dominance. “The new Asian system taking shape is a multi-civilisational order spanning Saudi Arabia to Japan, and Russia to Australia, linking five billion people through trade, finance and infrastructure networks that together represent 40% of global GDP,” he says. Though this optimism will come as music to the ears of those who despair for not only Asia, but the planet currently, a word of caution: In 2011, The New Republic named Khanna one of the ‘Most Over-Rated Thinkers’ and ‘an intellectual imposter’ and amongst the charges against him was his alleged ‘contempt for democracy and human rights’, and ‘admiration of authoritarian governments in China and Singapore’. So, is the current scenario perfect for Khanna to become a poster boy for India’s global dominance and triumphalism? As they say, watch this space.
Flying High With Kapil
In this day of World Cup mania, who can forget the man who set the ball rolling quite literally way back in 1983? Yes, even as our men in blue (and orange) put in their best effort to wrest the Cup for India this season, it will always be Kapil Dev who captained the Indian cricket team that had first won the historic title against all odds. Now, a celebrated elder citizen of the game, who spends his time running his various businesses and philanthropies and playing golf, Dev is still seen as an integral part of cricketing history. And so, we are informed that when the swashbuckling Haryanvi flew in to London this week, on a Virgin Atlantic flight, the airline chose to celebrate the occasion by serving him and his fellow passengers in the airline’s Upper Class with an afterdinner chocolate – in the shape of a bat!
That’s what is called Just Deserts we guess.