Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Out, but not downUpdated: Jul 30, 2018 16:54 IST
Vijay Mallya’s chalice of woes never seems to run dry. As is known, the beleaguered spirits baron is facing a series of charges due to unserviced bank loans and has seen some of his prime assets, including his palatial Kingfisher Villa in Goa, seized by authorities and auctioned off. Through all this, it appeared the one thing the tycoon had going for him (besides the steadfast devotion of his partner Pinky Lalwani that is) was his successful ownership and mentoring of the Force India Formula One team, which had placed India high in the international racing world with its consistent performance. Unfortunately, that too appears to have hit a speed-breaker. Friends of the tycoon were saddened to receive a WhatsApp message from the erstwhile King of Good Times over the weekend alerting them to the situation... “Force India Formula One was placed into ‘Administration’ today by the court, based on a petition filed by none other than our driver Sergio Perez,” began the message, which went on to outline how a European conglomerate that had been the franchise’s top sponsor had “jumped in and claimed that their sponsorship amounts were loans”. “Ridiculous, as our entire car is pink with branding,” wrote Mallya. But, the flamboyant industrialist shows every sign of taking this latest setback on the chin. “Our holding company will work with the administrator to take the team out of administration or sell the team at the best possible price,” he assured. Ending with a subtle swipe at the negative press he’d been attracting ever since his businesses went belly up: “I’m sending this out before you read some headline news.”
“Poor chap! His problems never seem to end,” said one of Mallya’s friends who’d received the message. Who’d have ever imagined a time would come when Vijay Mallya would be described as “poor”?
A MOMENTOUS ANNIVERSARY
In an industry notorious for its fickleness, early burnout and emotional wear-and-tear, the fact that Delhi-based model Nayanika Chatterjee completed 30 years — most of them at the top in the Indian modelling universe — was a moment that garnered much genuine cheer and applause across the board. Chatterjee, an impassioned potter with a degree from NID, when she is not commanding respect and attention on the ramp, runs a grooming school for models and is mother to a sprightly 15-year-old. Her momentous anniversary was achieved at last week’s India Couture Week, when Chatterjee had walked for the fashion world’s other enduring icon Tarun Tahiliani. Chatterjee, whose graceful presence and shy smile epitomises the best of the Indian fashion scene, was at her usual best, a reminder that old is mostly gold. The congratulations and accolades had come in full and fast, with the general theme being ensconced in her fellow Bengali advertising guru Ram Ray’s message: ‘Lovely inside and outside. Long Live Nayana, Our Pride.’
CHOKSI’S BANANA BOAT SONG?
Sometimes, the best humour is unintentional: a TV channel reporting on the latest shenanigans concerning fugitive scamster and well-known doppelganger of the character in the Batman comic books known as The Penguin, Mehul Choksi — wanted in the multi-crore PNB scam — inadvertently provided its viewers with much hilarity this week. While reporting on Choksi’s latest bid to escape the long arm of the Indian law by acquiring citizenship of Antigua recently, the channel kept broadcasting a clip of the jeweller delivering an address in his characteristically effete and precious manner — but with the sound switched off. And, instead of the jeweller’s famous and familiar mincing, high-pitched voice, viewers were treated to the deep, earthy West Indian intonation of Antigua’s Foreign Minister, Paul Chet Greene, with its unmistakable Caribbean cadence, hinting of rum and banana boat songs! The effect, to put it mildly, was sheer comedy!
TAKE THAT, GORDON!
British celebrity chef, the motor mouth Gordon Ramsay, seems to have stirred up the food pot recently. The Michelin-starred chef, who rose to fame for his fiery kitchen avatar which included him hurling expletives on shows like Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares, is gearing up for a new show that will see him “parachute into foreign food cultures and show the locals he can cook their cuisines better than they can,” read a recent statement he’d made. Obviously, many were not impressed with the boastfulness. Indo-Brit chef Romy Gill from London tweeted, “I hope this is a joke! Like what he did in India, he was so rude!!!!” Others, like New York Times food writer Sarah Khan posted, “First they colonised everyone for spices they didn’t have the decency to bother learning how to use, and now this?” Other international chefs also added their bits: two-star Michelin Spanish chef Jose Andres was characteristically feisty. “Funny thing is that a British boy is going to teach the world how to cook better? Come on Gordon Ramsay, you will never make a better Paella Valenciana...ever!” We wonder if Gordon really believed what he said or this is just another clever attention-getter from the master-marketer...