Archive for May 31st, 2007

If you think Aamir Khan has a life you envy…

31 May 2007

Like most right-minded people, Peter Foster hates celebritydom of the manufactured kind. But even the real celebrities, he says, invoke more pity than envy.

The Delhi correspondent of The Daily Telegraph, London, Foster spent a day on set with Aamir Khan while playing the part of a British soldier as an extra in Rang De Basanti.

“The overwhelming impression of a day spent in Aamirji‘s life was that it was pretty miserable.

“The guy can’t even fart without an assistant to help him, and everywhere he goes, as if by magic, uncontrollable crowds assemble, clamouring for a little piece of the man.”

Read the full story here: Searching for star quality

When ‘fried calamari stopped play’ in Paarl

31 May 2007

Cricket is not quite the conversation topic any more, revealing in a way how warped our view of the game has become when “our” team isn’t winning.

Jason Monserrate jumpstarts the proceedings with an interesting cricket quiz.

1) Educated in Lahore and Oxford, this multi-faceted cricketer scored a hundred at the SCG on his Ashes debut for England and later was employed in the Indian Foreign Service. Name him.

2) Which fast bowler was given the middle names Alexei and McNamara (after the Soviet and American politicians) by his father whose name was Kissinger? His sister is named Golda.

3) Which Indian cricketer is also a fingerprint expert?

4) Who is the the only known Test cricketer to have been executed?

5) She played 7 tests for Australia. Her brother played 41 Tests. Her husband has stood in 10 ODIs. Name her.

Email the answers to:

View more questions here: Cricket quiz

Link via India Uncut

Madness, megalomania, or hard-earned fruits?

31 May 2007

Mukesh Ambani is the chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries. The elder son of Dhirubhai Ambani grew up, like the rest of the family, in a chawl (vottara) in Girgaum. He is married to Nita and the couple have three kids, Akash, Isha and Anant.

The Ambanis—Dhirubhai and Kokilaben, the brothers Mukesh and Anil, and their families—have lived for the better part of the last two decades in a 13-storey building called “Seawind” built amid much opposition from neighbours and environmentalists, in Cuffe Parade.

Now, Mukesh is building a home of his own called “Residence Antilia” on a 4,532 sq ft plot on Altamount Road, also in South Bombay, where the land rate is Rs 75,000 per square foot. Last night, the Hindi television channel Aaj Tak ran a 15-minute programme on “India’s Most Expensive House”, full of the kind of details that so enthrall Hindi viewers.

# Mukesh new home to accommodate the six members of his family—himself, his wife, their children, and his mother—is going to be 27 storeys tall.

# Although the “glass house” will be 27 storeys on the inside, its actual height of 173.12 metres will be equivalent to that of a 60-storey skyscraper from the outside.

# The value of the land on which the building is coming up is Rs 350 crore.

# The total built-up area is 4,500 square metres.

# The building will have three helipads.

# The first to sixth floors will be a parking lot, and 168 cars can be parked inside the house at any given time.

# Four of the 27 floors will be for the six-member family, two floors for guests.

# One floor, possibly the seventh, will be the workshop for the cars parked in the building.

# The 8h floor will house a 50-seater home theatre, complete with a balcony and a garden.

# One floor will be a beauty parlour, another will house a swimming pool and a gym.

Agreed, Mukesh Ambani is an uber-rich man and he cannot be expected to live like plebs. Agreed, it is his money and he is free to do what he wants to do with it. Agreed, in South Bombay, you can only build vertically. Agreed, he has to make a statement. And maybe, the new building will be a great new addition to the skyline in the city of dreams.

Still, is this the kind of conspicuous consumption that the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was targetting?