Sunday, August 27, 2006

a downpour of books

we have seen exceptionally heavy rains this year in many parts of our country.just like the rains,there has been a heavy downpour of books in the english language too. at this rate, our english books publication must be surpassing the records of other countries including the uk.not only do we produce books in quantity,many of them turn out to be international best-sellers.english book publishing has become a major industry. for many years s had worked for a famous publishing company about two decades ago. and i know how difficult it was to sell english books by indian authors then.

i am a lover of books.both fiction and nonfiction.i also like books on religion and philosophy.anything that stimulates me physically,mentally and spiritually. but i am finding it difficult to keep pace with the new arrivals these days. after jaswant singh's book it is the turn of another bjpite to come out with yet another book.i wonder whether it is some sort of a record. i am referring to arun shourie's latest book. it is his 23rd book. natwar singh says that he is writing a tell-all book.he has threatened to reveal all about the volcker saga.why the indian government acted on a report that was sent to the trashcan in other parts of the world. arjun singh says that his book is work-in-progress. and atalji will be penning his memoirs as pm in which the main masala is likely to be the agra summit and the behind-the scenes goingons.

the other day sushmita sen inaugurated a book launch. and she said she too was writing a book. a very frank one.just like her.given her eventful life,her book looks set to pack a hard feelings for any of her so many ex boyfriends. bollywood and books have come intellectual phase in the reel life of people? not only are they being written about,they write and also love to participate in book launches. sanjay khan read excerpts the other day from the 'dargah of nizamuddin auliya' by laxmi dhaul at crossword in juhu .sushmita did a bookreading too at the crossword,kemp's corner. the reading was from a book called 'what would you do to save the world' by ira trivedi who participated and failed to win the contest in a beauty pageant in 2004. the book allows you to spend 25 days behind the making of a phoney,air-headed beauty queeen. sheena sippy,daughter of ramesh sippy,the film producer, has written a book alongwith naman ramachandran(text) and divya thakur(design) titled 'lights camera masala'. it was launched at the new metro adlabs by boman irani and abhishek bacchan who spiced up the book launch with some humourous repartee.the book is about two fictitious characters who endeavour to make a typical hindi commercial bollywood film of their own. samira reddy and anu malik were also there to sing and dance.

a book launch before a book-release has now become de is the latest marketing gimmick. and preparations for this once the manuscript is ready, is like making elaborate preparations for a wedding in the family. a proper sponsor has also to be found.the key is to have a celeb as the chief guest.mani bhaumik's 'code name god' was to be released by sanjay dutt who didn't turn up. kiran nagarkar's book 'god's little soldier' had aamir khan's presence. according to chetan bhagat of 'a night @ a callcentre' fame,the author doesn't have much of a say in these centres are setting the creative juices flowing.neelesh mishra is now penning his debut novel,'once upon a time-zone'.he has chosen neel pandey a call center employee as his main protagonist.mishra's book will be released in october. ananda mukherjee's 'and where,my friend lay you hiding' had shyam benegal. vikram seth didn't require any props for the launch of 'two lives'. british council presented 'the spy princess' by shabani basu.'londonstani' by gautam malkani and 'blood brothers' by m.j.akbar have also hit the stands.

ashok banker of 'ramayana' fame says that he is just fed up with all this.he has told his publishers no more book launching."my readers will buy the book for what is inside the covers". he can probably afford to say that because he takes millions of dollars in advance even before he starts working on the manuscript.

a frail dusky woman from a mofussil town in west bengal recently made it to the best seller list.her book 'aalo andhari'(light and darkness) has been published in bengali and was released by famous bangladeshi writer taslima nasreen.her book was translated into english by urvashi butalia called 'a life less ordinary'. baby haldar was a school dropout at age 12,married off to a senior citizen at age 13 and had her first child at age 14.she worked for professor probodh kumar,grandson of hindi literary luminary munshi premchand who impressed with the care with which she dusted his books,gave her a bunch of papers and a pen and asked her to write.from there baby's literary voyage took off.

there are not only books and books bombarding us but there is a book recently released that weighs a ton and can break your bones if you are unlucky to drop it. it is the 'sacred games',a gripping new crime novel, by vikram chandra(he now lives in the us). a mammoth 1225 pages. that took him six years to complete. a million dollar advance surely helped the master of the game. and poor guy. after writing an epic tale of the mumbai underworld he is being pushed by the publishers. he is travelling endlessly to promote the book. the book is being translated into german,dutch,french and korean and regional languages as well. it is supposed to be too post- modern. that's what the author says. i don't know what he means. he is supposed to be good at writing software for computer games.he sees an intriguing connection between literature and programming.they are supposed to have "patterns that are cathartic in their own way". i hope vikram's book is simple to read and not as complicated as he makes it out tobe. he explains the dynamics of mafia functioning in mumbai and the corporate structure that it has adopted as opposed to the familial one that we see abroad. it is basically the story of a 'hawaldar' who tries to solve the mystery left behind by a mafioso who kills himself. accoring to chandra, in the years to come,crime organizations will be technically very advanced and financially strong.they will be the greatest threat.his earlier works 'red earth and pouring rain' and 'love and longing in bombay' were well received. he was also the co-author for the script of the film 'mission kashmir'.

at the other end of the spectrum, we have rakeysh om prakash sharma,director of blockbuster 'rang de basanti' taking up the cause of slumdwellers in new delhi who have been forcibly evacuated without any rehabilitation.'yamuna gently weeps' was recently documents the demolition of 40,000 jhuggis or jhopadpattis in the yamuna pushta region.he is critical of the government .written by ruzbeh bharucha,son-in-law of kiran bedi the fiery police officer,young ruzbeh is an active social worker and writer. the book talks about a thriving migrant community of over 2 lakh jhuggi dwellers whose aspirations have been grounded by the government machinery with the help of the judiciary. mehra warned that one in every three persons in the country will be a migrant slum dweller in the next thirty years.frightening to say the least.

this downpour of books is most soothes the parched mind like what the rains do to the soil.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Jassi Jaisa Koi Nahin

jaswant singh is an extraordinary man. he held positions of foreign minister,defense minister and finance minister in the nda government.positions which he swapped with his near namesake yashwant sinha.after the fullblown breakout of the uti scam,yashwant was moved as foreign minister and jaswant got finance.jaswant studied in mayo college,ajmer and later served the army.a regular columnist in several political magazines,he did a reasonably good job both as foreign minister and finance minister. with atalji's guidance he globetrotted and struck good rapport and relationships with heads of states.and he liked doing this job.shaking hands and attending cocktail finance minister he had to clean the mess which his friend yashwant had left behind.grudgingly he swept the room with a clean broom.

and then after nda lost power thanks to the wrong call given by pramod mahajan for an early election, he had plenty of time in his hands. and he used his mayo college background,journalism experience and vast knowledge of international affairs gained as external affairs minister to write books. it appears he is in the process of writing four more all six out of which two have been released. the first one,his magnum opus,a la henry kissinger, is "a call to honour: in service of emergent india' which was rejected by penguin.jaswant rushed to rupa and the clever kapish mehra after quickly reading the manuscript decided to publish it.he knew he would make a killing.said mehra,"this book is almost like mona lisa,it looks at you the way you look at it".

on july 26,the book was immediately flew off the shelves.and it created a big political hungama. js had mentioned about a mole in the pmo during congress led government of p v narasimha rao leaking our nuke programme to usa. the sensational revelation shocked the nation and he hogged the headlines of newspapers for quite a while. and mehra's instinct proved right.the book went into five reprints and more than 20,000 copies were sold till about a fornight back. it was in competition with amartya sen's 'the argumentative indian' which had sold 30,000 copies and was published by penguins.jassi ,the man from jodhpur,went laughing all the way to the bank.

but he went through a hell of a period during which he made a fool of himself. he promised to name the person, then said that he would convey the name to the the pm alone,then said that the pm was not inviting him over and finally the cat was out of the bag. there was no mole.the imaginary mole was supposed to be sharing our nuclear secrets with the american government.ultimately he gave up after a last ditch attempt to rope in the americans saying that there was a letter witten by the us department to the american ambassador to india harry g barnes about the mole. what mole asked barnes.when the americans ridiculed it and called the letter a forged document jassi's trick was out of the bag.

can a person of his stature make such observations and not back them with any concrete evidence? is there no accountability to the nation? in the process,what did he achieve.besides a swelling of his bank account which prompted him to lightheartedly request the finance minister not to tax his earnings. he has only weakened his image and that of bjp. initially bjp almost disowned him because the question that arose was if he knew about the mole in the pmo why did he keep quiet when the nda was in power. was he himself not a security threat. but later on the bjp rallied around him and put up a joint front. after some exchange of verbose between manmohan singh and jaswant singh the matter seems to have got a quiet burial. the mole went back underground.and jaswant must have said 'Oh,sorry,i was jas bluffing".

the mole was a figment of jassi's imagination.he wanted some sensation to sell his book. and he got it. we did smell a rat when we read about it. but then a mole is a big rat which burrows we couldn't see it for some time.very soon it surfaced and there was egg all over jassi's face.

"oh,what a tangled web we weave when we set out to deceive.the most honourable jaswant singh is hoist by his own petard".

Friday, August 18, 2006

shravan dinner at 'soam'

we like this restaurant at walkeshwar near babulnath temple so much that we keep on going to it. it is a ten minutes' drive from home, there is valet parking,the ambience is good,the service extremely courteous and the food ubersuper. to have shravan special meal at soam before this hindu calendar month comes to an end was a big reason.

when we reached the restaurant there was a long queue.they don't take reservations. we were only two of our turn came very fast. a south indian family of six who had come before us had to wait till we were practically through.

and what did we order from the special shravan menu card? faraali seve puri and sabudana wada for starters. followed by faraali kofta curry with rajgira paranthas and faraali oondhiyu with puris. the koftas had bottlegourd and paneer in it and was simmered in a white gravy made with fasting ingredients. hence faraali! and the oondhiyu which is a soam speciality,had purple yam,suran,potatoes,sweet potatoes and faraali muthia slow cooked in a mixture of coconut and coriander and we had them with rajgira puris.for dessert we ordered pineapple akhror shrikand and sama sheera. sama sheera is sama sauted in ghee and enriched with milk sugar cardamom and dried fruits. the other dessert had pineapples and walnuts smothered in fresh sweetened yoghurt.

we came out light yet very satisfied. the bill came to 320 rs or just about 4 pounds sterling.

yeh dil maange mor!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

'Govinda Aala re,aaala"

on wednesday 16th, gokulashtami,the day of lord krishna's birth, was celebrated with great bhakthi.mumbaikars' spirits were not dampened by the incessant rain and the threat of terrorist attacks. mumbai celebrates this day in a unique organising competitions for breaking of the dahi handi(pot of curd). tied around it is a bunch of plantains,mango leaves and flowers or a flower garland. and there is a 300 year old tradition in panvel,where after the handi is broken using a silver stick volunteers are lashed by 'chabuk',ostensibly to appease the local goddess.

many years ago the practice of breaking dahi handis by govindas started in a small way in girgaum,lalbaug,parel,prabhadevi and dadar areas-workingclass and middleclass localities. forming a human pyramid to break the pot of curd hung above at a particular height.shiv sena sponsored many of these events and spread its popularity.seeing an opportunity to widen their political base,other political parties also joined in. more the merrier. with the municipal elections round the corner,how could the politicos not lap-up this god-sent chance?

shiv sena has been losing its clout what with its own dissensions and the formation of a new party by balasaheb thackeray's nephew. congress has taken maximum advantage of this situation and ncp too. while the traditional dahi handi mandals offer a cash prize of about Rs 11,000,the cash award in thane has gone up to rs 21 lakhs. djs and bollywood stars also have jumped into the fray .the dahi handi in the panch pakhadi area of thane has the enviable record of the dahi handi not being broken in the last 12 is the tallest handi in mumbai and thane at 52 feet and also offers the highest prize money in maharashtra,rs 21 lakh.this handi was broken only after the height was lowered to 32 feet. jitendra awhad the sponsor says that if you want to attract the best govindas of the city,you should also have an offer to match.and the best govindas are from tadwadi in mazgaon.two groups in tadwadi have the reputation of breaking the highest dahi handis between them.the score at the end of the day was that only three out of 5000 dahi handis strung up across amchi mumbai survived.govindas had done a grand job.

the formation of a human pyramid and reaching for something kept at the top is not a game restricted to india alone. there are other countries like spain,morocco and the czech republic where building human towers is a cultural sport.nine spaniards are in mumbai to enjoy the festivities.they closely observed the way we build the human pyramid.they hold the record for world's tallest human was a ten-tiered pyramid.jordina massaguerjoined one of the local gruoups to break dahi handis.she wanted to be on the top tier.back in spain where felix miret is part of a group which builds human pyramids or castellers,kids wear helmets.miret was dumbstruck by the daunting number of people who had turned up on the streets.

the spanish team is making a documentary on the four countries where this is a cultural sport.the rules in spain are different.more challenging.there the tiers go up to ten and the prize goes not only to the team that manages to build itself up but that stays in place.till the person on top climbs all the way down. the name of the documentary is likely to be "human towers around the world". agusti coromchras is the filmmaker who has more than 200 documentaries to his credit .incidentally, a short film titled pyramid of women was made several years ago by a mumbaiite cheryl kanehar

the spaniards are amazed by the fervour,colour and excitement.the castellers from catalonia had a blast of a time.the toi event at thane was finally broken by a team from jogeshwari and they pocketed a cash prize of rs 2,55,555. and jordina sadly couldn't make it. or break it. there are some unusual spectators though. the income tax sleuths.they are keeping a close tab on the guys who are offering big prize money. what with 21 lakhs,11 lakhs,5 lakhs and many 1 lakh prize money, they would like to find out the sources of these funds. a congress leader said that he saw nothing wrong in the prize money going up even up to crores as long as the money was "white".

more and more women's only team are participating and doing well.there is also an all women's dahi handi has 8 mandals across the city having more than 2000 members.the majority of them are working women and after a hectic routine they gather at 8pm for practice.they tie bandanas on their foreheads and form fivelevel pyramids without much difficulty.there is a women's group which even breaks handis in local trains. so much so that they scared the wits out of the men in the adjacent compartment with their loud singing and drumming of the compartment partitions.the men thought the women were screaming for help!

yesterday was a very rainy day. but that did not dampen the spirits of the mumbaikars.there were so many groups vying with each other to participate in these competitions. and mumbaikars turned out in mutitudes to watch these youngsters exhibiting thier skills. of course all do not reach the top. and when the top man falls the pyramid collapses like a house of cards.the celebrations took a sad turn when three people died. after about 150 govindas broke their bones, the government is talking of bringing in a code of conduct for revelry.the chief minister wanted the height of the handis to be lowered to reduce the accidents.many disagreeed and said that height has nothing to do with it. it is the technique our govindas can learn a few lessons from shirtless sallu of bollywood. he used a harness belt while shooting for the dahi handi scene in 'hell brother'.what we need for safer govindas are: safety net,helmet,the correct shape of the pyramid,harness belt and ambulance and paramedics.surely mumbai govindas can take all these precautions in the coming years. better safe than to be sorry.

and to sharpen their handi breaking skills mumbai govindas,ten in all, will be visiting spain this october.they will be trained in building a stronger base and taught climbing skills and concentration. our govindas may participate in the annual pyramid competition in spain on 1st november.

govinda ole re!,ollaaaa!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


javed jaffery in 'salaam namaste' uttered this word 'eggxactly' so many times. followed by a 'sorry?' by his girlfriend/livein/wife. what have you. it was funny.

recently when i read a newsitem that you can get a perfectly boiled egg sans water by using a device called "eggxactly", i was reminded of this crocodile dundee.

i am not an eggeater.i gave it up when i was young.i never liked eggs.i was very thin those days and our family doctor advised that i should have an egg a day.and my mom decided to follow the good doctor's advice.finding a lot of resistance from me, instead of boiled eggs or raw egg in milk she decided to give me an omlette. that settled the matter then. i had it for many years till i decided one day to give it up. then why this sudden interest in eggs one might ask.

i was intrigued by the newsitem.and wanted to know how this contraption works. a computer software expert, james seddon has invented a device called' eggxactly'. you place the egg in the device. it sits on a flexible plastic element and you heat it to just over 100 degrees.and you can set it to the degree of hardness that you desire.very soft,soft,medium and hard. within 3 to 5 mintes the alarm goes off signifying that the egg is ready.

when you heat the egg to 100 degrees a little bit of water oozes from the egg through the shell.this helps in conducting the heat.

got it? eggxactly! sorry?

Monday, August 14, 2006

fast and be fit

this is the month of shravan and the most auspicious month in the hindu calendar. it is named after the asterisk shravan that rules the sky during this period. it is known as tiruvonam in tamil and is associated with lord vishnu. one who is born under this star is destined to rule the world say astrologers. my father's star was tiruvonam and he reached a very high position in his career.

there are many festivals which are celebrated during this month.naag panchami,naariyal purnima/raksha bandan and janmashtami,the birth of lord krishna. shravan purnima/raksha bandan is the day when sisters tie wrist bands on their brothers seeking their protection and brahmins renew their sacred threads.

nonvegetarian hindus who are religiously inclined abstain from meat,fish and other nonveg products during this month. the more religious among them visit temples and places of pilgrimage. many control their consumption of food during this month. even the veg food that they have is essentially saatvik. no raajasic or taamasic food for them. it is upvaas khana all the way. fasting is practised among believers of other faiths too. be it buddhism ,jainism, islam or christianity. it is a form of come closer to God when you fast. that is the meaning of upvaas. near god. a light stomach makes you concentrate and facilitates the meditative process. and it helps you to detoxify and get rid of the impurities clogged in your system. when i am unwell i skip food .it start feeling much better and revival is quicker. there is an old sanskrit saying,"langanam paramaushadam". fasting is the best medicine. how true!

generally speaking, one takes light food during this month.phalaahar.or a diet of is milk and fruits that while giving the necessary sustenance help in going through the fast. over time there has been some addition to fruits other foods have also been customarily consumed. there are some which are taboo. like for example, radish or onions or garlic and even rice.

the other day i decided to try out eating during lunchtime at 'salt'. it is a relatively new veg restaurant on princess street and the menu was a shravan-focussed i decided to go for the upvaas thali.kadhi made out of yogurt thickened with shingare ka atta or water chestnut flour. puris made out of rajgeera(amaranth) flour. a potato pattice and rice made out of pasrai. dessert was a kheer made from sweet potato. the appetiser was sugarcane juice!. tonight we are planning to eat out and it will be at 'soam'. this is in walkeshwar near the famous babulnath temple. there is a special shravan dinner. it could be kuttti na dhokla(buckwheat flour), farali handvo, dahi bateka kela nu raitu and rajgira thepla. followed by doodhi halwa or kopra paak.

one thing is certain.even when you fast you still don't miss out. you are enriched physically,mentally and spiritually.

Monday, August 07, 2006


i was in titilagarh having dinner quietly to myself on the night of 21st july. i normally watch tv for those 15-20 minutes and catch up with the day's news. i was a bit puzzled when i read a streamer saying 'prince in the well'. i thought it must be a grammatical error on the part of the news channel and presumed that prince charles or some other prince was unwell and ignored the news.and a few minutes later swithched the tv off. i was then reminded of how there were jokes in our company on the word well. about 25 years back,we decided to set up a new factory in dhaaru hera to make constant velocity joints for front wheel drive cars. the company was called invel transmissions. as it generally happens,the early stages were very trying. when i would ask my colleagues in delhi about the progress of the project they would say " invel is in the well".or "invel is unwell". out of curiosity to find out the connection between the well and the prince,i again swittched on the tv.

the news was being broadcast on all the news channels. a 6 year old boy named prince had fallen into a 9 inch diameter well and had dropped to a depth of 60 feet.this happened in a village called haldera in kurukshetra in haryana. it was a 50 hours' ordeal.the media sprang into action and covered the whole episode non-stop. for a change there were no commercial breaks! "the digging is in process. here are the updates on the general mahaul.messages are pouring in from all over the country for the prince's safety and welfare.people are doing pooja and the whole country is watching with bated breath". and on and on and on. one boy's fall became the focus of the the boy fell,how the initial attempts to save him failed and so on and so forth. a simple heroic act by a brave boy deserving all the kudos was turned deftly by marketeers to their advantage.they had spotted the real indian idol.

the boy's eventual rescue by the army was expedited no doubt due to the media intervention. prince has now become richer by about rs 7 lakhs and many corporates gave him expensive presents and hogged the limelight alongwith their subject.salman khan's father salim khan met the prince when he flew in to mumbai and handed over to him a cheque and a blue kiddies bike.mallika aurora khan and her hubby arbaaz khan cuddled prince and showered gifts on him.prince is now a rural page 3 kid. he gets invited to homas and jagrans organised to pray for his better health.the armay has offered him a job in addition to a certificate of recognition.

the village also reaped a clean drinking water is assured.the village was suffering from acute water more high iron content water or high acid content water,the villagers were repeatedly assured. new pipes are being laid and the village will not depend on ground water anymore. pucca roads and drains are being constructed.a veterinary dispensary is being built. the chaupal is being repaired.old electricity wires are being replaced.the four approach roads to the village are being patched up. chief minister hooda who had probably never visited the village made two trips in quick indescrepit village is now firmly on the india map.and there is a general feel-good mood in haldaheri.

from the pit rose a new star.after the tenyear old budhia singh,the marathon runner from orissa it was now the turn of the prince kumar kashyap from haldaheri .the village folks are hailing him as "vikas purush" (man of development) and the tv anchors went berserk with hyperbole. "dharthi maata ki god mein pachaas ghante bitanen ke baad,ab apni ma ki goud mein hai prince". "apne janmadin pe hua prince ka punar janam".besides prince,the tv channels and the sms providers raked in the moolah. and ofcourse so many others enjoyed the spinoff effects.

the prince of well is now truly well. and well off.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


a fortnight back i decided to see the 'superman returns'.it was the first superman film in 11 had cost the producers about 200 million dollars to make. after about five years in outer space the superman returns to find his girlfriend lois is already involved in a relationship with the assistant editor of a newspaper.the villianous lex luthor has mounted his most ambitious and dirty act and he wants to be God so that he can change the face of the world. ultimately good prevails over evil.superman saves the world but is devastated at having lost his lady love.the special effects are dazzling and the cinematography brilliant. like the aircraft sequence ushering the return of the superman. but is brandon routh really up to it? hardly. he has a close resemblance to chris reeves. period. he lacks charisma as superman. ironically superman plays a superweak role. he is the weakest link in the movie which has a poor storyline. spiderman,batman,discoman-they were all much better than superman. but then, it has turned out to be a hugely profitable film. it will recover much more than what it took to make it.

almost simultaneously a similar movie titled 'krissh' was released. i saw it a few days back and liked it more than 'superman returns'. it breaks a new ground in indian filmmaking and has truly created a new indian superhero. hrithik roshan.tony ching has done an excellent job with his spectacular stunts no doubt but then nobody could have done this role better than hrithik. tom cruise,brad pitt and tom hanks. watch out. you have competition. unlike the 'superman returns' story, rakesh roshan has created a story that is appealing.

the first half of the film is slow but then the pacy second half more than makes up for the slow speed in the first half. hrithik has a double role.he plays his father as both look has been 20 years since the event of koi mil gaya.his brilliant father is kept in captivity by dr arya(naseeruddin shah) who wants a computer to be invented which can foretell the future. hrithik's father,rohit mehra, toils day and night and invents such a computer.but when he realises that dr arya has sinister plans,he destroys them.dr arya decides to make another computer all over hrithik's father is required for his palmprint and heartbeats as these are the passwords,dr arya keeps him alive in captivity and proposes to kill him after the computer gets going.his mother,rekha, is informed that her son has died in a fire accident. rekha as krishna's grandmother puts in a stellar performance.rohit's wife dies soon after hearing the news of rohit's death but not before giving birth to krishna.

krishna inherits the special powers that the alien jadoo bestowed on his father.his grandmother hides him away in kasauli. the village hick krishna falls in love with city woman priya. krissh's superhuman actions in india and later on in singapore where he goes to meet his new love priya(priyanka chopra) is a treat to the eyes.krissh kills dr arya and saves his father and the family gets by rajesh roshan is not extraordinary and only one song,pyaar ki ek kahaani, is hummable.on the whole worth a dekko for the special effects and hrithik's and rekha's acting. the movie is a superhit.

in comparison to 'superman returns',' krissh' rocks. hrithik leapt and conquered while brandon leapt and failed.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


lakshmi mittal after taking over arcelor has to exhibit his badge of business success. how does he do it? by ordering a superyacht.

blohm and voss, a company that specialises in the manufacture of such yachts is absolutely tightlipped about the owner of its new project 971. lakshmi mittal reportedly took a look at the 'rising sun' owned by billionaire larry ellison last year but he was not very impressed. he seems to have settled for a 94 m vessel which will cost him a cool 200 million us dollars or about rs 950 crores. the delivery is expected to take place in 2009. the interior decoration contract has been awarded to michael leach, a uk firm. the vessel will have its own helicopter.

who are the other proud owners of similar superyachts?

roman abramovich,the russian billionaire who owns the chelsea football club. he owns not one but three.on top of his list is a 150-m vessel.he took 'polarus',115 m long, to germany recently and flew off to watch the world cup after docking it in the baltic sea. larry ellison's 'rising sun' is 138-m long and supposed to be the world's biggest privately owned superyacht. dubai's crown prince has ordered a 160-m vessel .microsoft. co-founder paul allen owns a 127-m superyacht called 'octopus'.he now plans to have it upgraded to 150-m yacht.

with the word spreading around that mittal is going to be the supercilicious owner of a magnificent superyacht,are mukesh and anil ambani going to follow suit? i will not be surprised if blohm and voss are secretly working on project 972 for another indian owner.