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Home / Mumbai News / Malavika’s Mumbaistan: That Old School Tie

Malavika’s Mumbaistan: That Old School Tie

It was brave of news anchor Rajdeep Sardesai to ask his Twitter followers to try and guess what the three men in the picture he’d posted — namely, Congressman Shashi Tharoor, NCP leader Praful Patel and he himself — had in common.

mumbai Updated: Dec 09, 2019 23:56 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
(From left) Rajdeep Sardesai, Shashi Tharoor and Praful Patel.
(From left) Rajdeep Sardesai, Shashi Tharoor and Praful Patel. (Rajdeep Sardesai/Twitter)

It was brave of news anchor Rajdeep Sardesai to ask his Twitter followers to try and guess what the three men in the picture he’d posted — namely, Congressman Shashi Tharoor, NCP leader Praful Patel and he himself — had in common.

Brave, because seeing the three easy-on-the-eye urbane sophisticates, who have withstood the vicissitudes of time and the collateral damage of their high-profile careers together, was inviting Tweeple to assume the worst.

Some charitable followers guessed that their common factor was sports. Sardesai, after all, is the son of a celebrated Test cricketer and is known to enjoy the game himself; Tharoor has proclaimed his love for cricket on more than one occasion, and if reports are to be believed, almost became owner of an IPL team; and Patel has headed a number of sports bodies. But that was not the right answer. Neither was the less charitable one of all three men being “Congress stooges”. Other guesses that they were bachelors, or that they’d attended St Stephen’s College (only Tharoor had) were even wider off the mark.

The correct answer of course was that all three were alumni of the same school, in South Mumbai — Campion — which the three had attended at various stages of their education.

They, of course, are not the school’s only famous alumni. They share the honours with the likes of Ratan Tata, Kumar Mangalam Birla, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Rishi Kapoor and the late ADGP Himanshu Roy, among a host of others.

Interestingly, the most interesting response had been that all three men possessed exceptional debating skills; Sardesai had made a career out of his gift of the gab and Tharoor has been celebrated for it over many continents. As for Patel, it is not for nothing that he’s won himself the title of Mr Teflon Coated, someone who can talk his way out of any criticism or controversy.

This collective gift of the gab was honed most likely through the guidance of the school’s drama and elocution teacher of that era — none other than the late Pearl Padamsee. Tharoor has gone on record attributing his felicity for words to his early training by Padamsee.

Who would have imagined that these pearls of wisdom would have held them in such good stead all these decades later?

Tweet Talk:
I asked the bartender for an Indian economy whiskey and he said “You mean on the rocks?”
-Tweeted by Kajol Srinivasan.

It was pitched as one of Mumbai’s most anticipated new restaurant openings earlier this year, boasting of an affable celebrity chef known for his mastery of crustaceans delicacies, who was expanding his marquee restaurant brand to India for the first time. But word comes that things have not gone as planned and the restaurant has received only a lukewarm response, despite the considerable sums spent on advertising efforts. “With a rent of approximately ₹30 lakh a month, it was an ambitious proposition from the start. They had plans for a second restaurant with the chef and had taken over an iconic South Mumbai property for it, but even that has been scrapped for now. With the current market scenario, expensive fine-dining restaurants are a daring proposition as the industry is bleeding,” informs a source close to the developments.

So for foodies waiting to dig their hands into some fine crabs — heaven can wait.

Horsing Around

Monique Van Haarst, the Dutch coach, with kids from the ARC.
Monique Van Haarst, the Dutch coach, with kids from the ARC.

“The who’s who of Mumbai are not only about partying and socialising or getting their name into Page 3,” says Lisa Sadanah, mother of an avid 13-year-old rider, who participated in the recently concluded Horse Show at the RWITC. “They are also at the Amateur Riders’ Club early mornings and late — most likely to support and cheer their kids along as they pursue their passion for riding.”

And this Saturday, when we dropped in at the race course to view this for ourselves, the place was a beehive of activity in what is being described as a renewed enthusiasm for equestrian sports, thanks to the newly installed world-class arena (only the third in India), which had been constructed. “This will definitely ensure that young people desiring world-class facilities to pursue riding will not have to leave the city for Bangalore,” said Shyam Mehta, of the Amateur Riders’ Club, who has been responsible for constructing the facility. “The Federation Equestre Internationale has held its world show jumping event in Mumbai for the first time this season and there is every reason to assume that Mumbai will attract many more international horse shows thanks to this new waterproof arena,” said Sadanah.

Monique Van Haarst, the Dutch coach Mehta hired a year ago for the ARC, is equally enthused by the new facilities and growing enthusiasm for riding. “It gets kids out of their homes and into open spaces and gives them the discipline and sensitivity to master one of the most noble creatures — a horse,” she said.

And with the likes of industrialist Ajay Piramal, a keen rider himself and a pioneering arc member, said to regularly drop in to encourage his grandkids, and Jacqueline Fernandez, often taking time off from her hectic shooting to ride on polo ponies, horsemanship appears to be on the rise in Mumbai.