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Saturday, Aug 17, 2019

Malavika’s Mumbaistan: That’s cricket!

mumbai Updated: Mar 28, 2018 16:46 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
Former India cricket captain Bishan Singh Bedi (right) with Khalid Ansari, veteran journalist and former publisher of Sportsweek magazine.
Former India cricket captain Bishan Singh Bedi (right) with Khalid Ansari, veteran journalist and former publisher of Sportsweek magazine.

Even as the Australian ball tampering row snowballs into a major scandal, we are privy to an exchange between two stalwarts, legendary Test cricketer Bishan Singh Bedi and Khalid Ansari, journalist and former publisher of the sports magazine Sportsweek. “Greetings from the Arctic, Bish pa-ji,” wrote the avid traveller Ansari, on Sunday “I have just read about the Turnbull episode and am filled with tearful memories of you and your brave and honourable exposure of the contemptible behaviour of England’s John Lever (of Vaseline ill-fame), his disgraceful captain, manager and the then dishonourable England cricket establishment.”

For those who don’t know: the Vaseline incident that Ansari refers to, took place in 1977 when England pacer John Lever was accused of applying Vaseline to the ball during England’s tour of India. India’s young captain Bishan Singh Bedi had referred the matter to the umpires and BCCI, but is said to have been badly let down by the latter – which had obsequiously kowtowed to the ICC. “You paid a very heavy price, because of which, you have gone done in the annals of the game as a man of honour, principle and conviction. Good on ya, mate – proud of you!” Ansari had written.

“What happened in the ‘Vaseline’ episode then was not quite cricket; and what happened in Cape Town is not cricket either..!!” replied Bedi. “During the ‘Vaseline’ saga only I was vulnerable... with the BCCI literally bowing before the Imperial Cricket Conference... Indian Board officials were mere crumb pickers then... right? Well KA... let’s leave it at that ‘cos I’m not enjoying digging graves...!! Suffice it to say that I may have lost a few bob, but I managed to keep some friendships alive... as your wonderful mail would suggest..!!”

However faraway in the Artic, Ansari still fulminated. “The more I think about the Vaseline brouhaha, the more incensed do I feel over the chicken-hearted approach of the BCCI when confronting the then imperialist International Cricket Conference (ICC) burra sahibs from England, Australia, and New Zealand backed by the brown noses from the West Indies,” he said later.

The Mug of Coffee shared by Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif


March 26, 2018

Dear Diary,

I don’t know if you saw me on stage this morning being passed between Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif. It must have been for less than a nano second, but by God have I become an overnight star. The whole country is tweeting about me and “will you share my mug of coffee” is touted as being the most potent forms of PDA today.

Just this afternoon, I received a call from none other than Shanoo Sharma, requesting my dates as instead of cutting away to flowers kissing to denote intimacy between couples, directors want to feature me instead.

However, the person who seems a little peeved by all the attention I’m getting is someone called Karan Johar, who does a show called ‘Koffee with Karan’.

“That’s so deja-bru,” he is alleged to have said when he saw the clip. He sounds like a bit of a has-bean, no?


Nirmala Sawant Prabhawalkar.
Nirmala Sawant Prabhawalkar.

Who among us has not been added on to a WhatsApp group and then found ourselves privy to way more information than we bargained for? Something of this nature occurred recently when cultural czarina Tasneem Mehta created a WhatsApp group of people she wanted to invite to the opening of her 10th anniversary show of the Bhau Daji Lad museum in January. Mehta being Mehta, the list she created was a high-powered one, boasting a roster of famous people... To all of them, she sent out a joint invitation on a chat she named rather sweetly ‘Please come this evening’.

It would have been a splendid idea except that mostly everyone in the group was err… over fifty and by virtue of this, pretty clueless on social media. To begin with, there was the onslaught of what appeared as rather rude messages of regret. Mumbai’s top citizens after all are a busy lot, and so there were the expected travel plans: to Kuwait, Colombo, Chennai, and Tokyo, etc, which might have left even the most buoyant host, rather demoralised. Added to it were the copious and unnecessary details. Anyone who cared would have been able to glean a pretty telling picture of the lives of the city’s rich and famous: from medical emergencies, to family reunions, to professional engagements, the messages pinged for weeks (long after the event was over), making it easy to see why the young insist senior citizens should not be allowed anywhere near social media.

Tasneem Mehta.
Tasneem Mehta.

More insidious were the subtle and not so subtle promotions. The ex-mayor of Mumbai Nirmala Samant Prabhavalkar for instance thought it fit to promote her workshop on abandoned women. Even more hilarious was the exchange between grande dame Jeroo Mango, who when she enquired (ostensibly from Tasneem) where the venue of the event was, was blithely informed ‘Razzberry Rhinoceros’ by Sufi singer Zila Khan, who had posted a link to her own musical festival at that venue, a minute before.

Alyque Padamsee.
Alyque Padamsee.

Meanwhile, Rahul Singh who’d had his phone stolen found it the ideal place to source numbers. Amid all of this, the boss response was that of theatre maestro, the 90-year-old Alyque Padamsee, who eschewing all the ponderous texting, recorded a pithy warm and to the point voice message in his famous, well-articulated voice.

Although it came in almost two months after the event, it proves that some senior citizens do get social media after all!

First Published: Mar 28, 2018 16:44 IST

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