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Of head and heart

SHE HAS KEPT that two-bedroom apartment in Pali Hill, Mumbai—the first home she bought in Mumbai. She does not charge for social media posts, or for special appearances in movies. She speaks about Shah Rukh Khan and the friendship they share. And, suddenly, it becomes so clear to me why Deepika Padukone is so successful.


It is the combination of the head and the heart. And the refusal to put a price on certain things. And the ability to keep the things she values close to her. Lifestyle Editor Namrata Zakaria has skilfully brought this out early in her article when she tells us that Padukone’s home and office are just a few floors apart in the same building in Mumbai’s Prabhadevi.


I also get the bit where she says that her work ethic comes from her training as a sportsperson. Having been a college-level footballer, I know that the match is not over until the long whistle. Everything we did—from the fitness training to the practice to the pep talks—was for giving our very best until the referee sounded the final whistle. And then there are the things that come off the field. To look at wins and losses and to say… this, too, shall pass.


This issue is not all Deepika though. Senior Special Correspondent Pratul Sharma’s exclusive interview with Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is one of the highlights of this issue. Chouhan is going into battle with a record matched by very few chief ministers in India. And what adds to the mystery is the fact that the BJP has not named him as the CM face this time around. It is going to be a battle royale, with Kamal Nath across the board.


Then, of course, there is the roundup of a very successful G20 summit by Deputy Chief of Bureau Mandira Nayar, followed by an article on climate finance by Senior Special Correspondent Sanjib Kr Baruah. I had, in fact, written to Amitabh Kant congratulating him for managing consensus—which, frankly, looked impossible to me at one point. I agree with Shashi Tharoor’s comment that with Kant choosing the IAS we lost an ace diplomat.


And then there is this article by former diplomat Ramu Damodaran on how an Indian ambassador to Norway almost swung the Nobel Peace Prize for Mahatma Gandhi in 1961. Who was that diplomat and why did it never happen? The answer is on Page 44.


Principal Correspondent Pooja Biraia Jaiswal has dished up a delicious article about chef Masaharu Morimoto and his iconic Japanese restaurant, Wasabi, at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai. Chef Morimoto says that his wife is the best cook! Wise man, I say.


Speaking of cooking, I must plug for my mother like every son must! Penguin Random House India has just released a selection of her recipes titled Mrs K.M. Mathew’s Finest Recipes. The 228-page volume comes with my sister Thangam’s foreword. Amma’s most popular book, Nadan Pachakarama—which can be loosely translated as Local Cooking—was a standard gift for Kerala brides long ago. Those brides are now mothers, and grandmothers even. Amma left in 2003, but her culinary magic lives on.