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Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Vroom vroom

mumbai Updated: Jun 19, 2018 15:48 IST
Malavika’s Mumbaistan,Mumbai,Malavika Sangghvi

Adar Poonawalla and his McLaren 720.

Not only is Adar Poonawalla, CEO of the Serum Institute of India, said to be raising the bar on philanthropy for his generation of billionaires (his initiative to support the government’s Swacchh Bharat campaign has won him kudos), but he is also celebrated for his passion for the finest things in life — be they thoroughbred stallions, or luxury, limited-edition automobiles. Amongst his collection of the latter are a Rolls-Royce Phantom, a Bentley Continental GT, a Maserati Quattroporte and a Mercedes S350 converted into a Batmobile, which he gifted to his six-year-old son! And now, the avid car aficionado is the proud owner of every luxury car buff’s ultimate sports car: the latest model of the McLaren 720, widely believed to be ‘the most complete supercar ever produced’, the thought of which is enough to make car buffs go weak in the knees and weep: it retails for a cool $2,96,175 (about Rs2.01 crore)! What’s more, not only is it the first permanent resident McLaren 720 in India, (“there were two which came earlier, but they were purchased on Carnet, which is six-month temporary import permit”, said Poonawalla, when we spoke yesterday) but also the first right-hand drive McLaren in India. As for a picture of the scion with his latest beauty, he said: “Yes, I do drive it in Pune, but I haven’t yet got any pictures taken in it yet.” Incidentally, this portrait was shot at his office at the company’s Pune headquarters, on Poonawalla road, in Pune!

Neat.

PLAY ON…

(LtoR) Isha Ambani at her graduation ceremony; sarod maestro brothers Ayaan and Amaan Ali Khan with Kokilaben Ambani.

As is known, this weekend saw Isha Ambani graduate from Stanford Business School, where she studied Business Management (she has an undergrad degree from Yale in Psychology and South Asian Studies). The ceremony saw not only jubilant members of the Ambani family in attendance at Palo Alto this weekend, but also those of her soon-to-be in-laws, the Piramals — fiancé Anand Piramal and his parents Swati and Ajay, who were present to cheer her on. This picture, of sarod maestro brothers Ayaan Ali Khan and Amaan Ali Khan, who are the fifth generation in the Bangash tradition of classical musicians, along with the Ambani family matriarch, Kokilaben Ambani, was taken during the festivities surrounding the event. “We were in Palo Alto for a private event hosted by the Ambanis and Piramals, separate from our current US tour,” said Ayaan. “It was a great show, and now this week, we are performing at Harvard.”

WTS WTM

What They Say —

“I completely disagree with this western concept, this feminist movement... it has degraded the role of a mother...when I was growing up my mother had the most impact on me.”

— Pakistani cricketer and politician, Imran Khan, on TV recently

What They Mean —

“Yep, she never washed out my mouth with soap. Why do you ask?”

OF HEAD SIZES AND ORIENTAL GENES

Kunal Vijayakar as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on a TV show.

“It’s easy because, I think the size of both our heads is the same!” said fellow columnist Kunal Vijayakar, whose other avatar is to take potshots at whoever catches his fancy, on his weekly TV spoof and gag show. We had texted to inquire from one of our favourite funny men, whether this week playing Kim Jong-un (or his alleged look-alike spokesperson) had , er, been the easiest of his satirical renderings so far, because of the – how to put it gently — striking resemblance? Rather than take offence, Vijayakar warmed to the comparison. “I also think I have some oriental gene, so, looking Korean takes just a little squinting of the eyes.” But, despite their matching head circumference and the “Oriental gene”, it had not been a cakewalk: “The painful thing is the hair. To block out my sides to make it look like a buzz,” said Vijayakar. As for his rendition of Donald Trump, one of our least favourite of his repertoire on the same show, we left it for another day. Perhaps, Trump had been done so much, and so well, by the likes of Alec Baldwin, that it was a tough act to follow, or perhaps, and more likely, Trump was a caricature in himself...

First Published: Jun 19, 2018 15:47 IST