Wednesday, May 21, 2008

the castle in the air

he is the fifth richest man in the world and he is making an audacious building the world's most expensive home at mumbai. mukesh ambani and wife nita ambani while holidaying in new york at mandarin hotel were so impressed with what they saw there that they decided to hire the same architect for their 27 storey skyscraper being built at a cost of about 2 billion dollars.

like the chinese' feng shui' we have 'vaastu' in india which has been used beneficially for channelising the energy movement in the building.six stories of parking lots for accomodating 168 cars,nine elevators,a 65 seat movie theatre and wine room,swimming pool and yoga studio, an ice room in a manmade snow flurry and three hellipads,antilla, has it all. it is coming up at a furious pace on altamaount road at malabar hill.

while visiting my daughter who lives nearby,i happened to see this monumental structure rising up eclipsing all things around. being built on a plot of land bought controversially from the muslim wakf board for only about 5 million dollars, the mumbai municipal corporation issued several instructions for stoppage of work due to insufficient permission. nevertheless,the project goes on undeterred and unfazed. expected to be ready by early 2009, the ecofriendly home which has a magnificent view of the arabian sea from the higher floors will be costlier than any 5 star hotel and will put lakshmi mittal's new mansions in london far behind.

mukesh's father,the famous late dhirubhai ambani and the founder of the 'reliance' empire had built a skyscraper in colaba during his heydays and had named it 'sea wind'. the son having a networth of 43 billion dollars has gone many steps beyond the father by building 'antilla'. it is a 'real' castle in the air.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

the great khali

i had never heard of this humongous persona till a few days back. he has been in the limelight for his wwe performances and has not received much admiration from his fraternity in india. the great khali as he is known has a massive chest and he is wellknown for his trademark black shirt.his height,weight and diet are in the fingertips of children who look up to him with great awe.the media attention he is getting is awesome.there is great hoopla surrounding his return to india.this ex punjab police officer was mr india in 1995 and 1996.he now lives in georgia,atlanta,usa.

while in school, i was briefly exposed to some boxing.when i watched a st xavier's vs la martiniere boxing match and saw my friend being repeatedly hit on the face by his opponent,i walked out and said to myself "enough is enough". a few years later while we were in kanpur on a short stay, i watched for a brief while a wrestling match betweem king kong and dara singh. i liked the spectacle of two heavily built persons fighting it out.compared to boxing,i thought this was more civilised. later i used to read occasionally about the exploits of mohammed ali and dara singh who later did some filmy roles.mohammed ali became incapacitated by a severe hit on his head.i wondered whether it was all worth it. but then it runs in the genes.his daughter has taken after him and seems to have achieved a certain class.

'asli hindustani ko harake dikhao,phir hum maanege ke tum bhi kuch cheez ho", says dara singh. (defeat a true hindustani wrestler,then we will accept that you are something), who believes that khali is no wrestler.he is only an entertainer.dara singh who dismisses the wwe rules of fighting,asks why khali has not accepted the challenges of indian wrestlers.palwinder singh cheema,rustom-e-hind and olympian champion has thrown the gauntlet."tab pata chalega ki kaun tagda hai".(then we will know who is tough).

irrespective of all these criticisms,khali is quite unfazed. he loves kids and the kids love him.he displayed his phenomenal strength by picking up street kids like matchsticks when he visited the ngo doorstep school.many children don't drink their milk unless they hear stories about khali. and many parents make their children watch the wwe shows and tell them that if they want muscles like khali they better drink up their milk. and it works according to the parents. khali is keen to see children pursuing wrestling as a hobby.however, he sounded a note of warning to the children."don't fight at home". carrying some kids on his hefty shoulders,he told them that he too was a fan of sachin tendulkar and shah rukh khan.

the 7'3,190 kg wrestler who is no dancer is now being made to dance to the tunes of choreographer pony verma.he is learning the punjabi bhangra and is still far away from rap or's for khali's debut film aptly titled"kushti".(wrestling).bollywood now has a new star in the works. dalip singh rana.