Cooking And Cricket Are My Other Passions In Life


"I believe in living life to the core. And I derive pleasure from doing simple things in life; be it just cooking up a meal, entertaining guests or just pursuing a game of cricket," says Ravi Rai as we settle down for a brief tete-e-tete. Dressed casually in a simple red T shirt and jeans, Rai welcomes us in his exquisitely done up apartment in Versova that reflects the man behind the veneer. A picture of his younger days adorns the wall, an Egyptian painting and collection of books in the library speak a volume about him.

With his characteristic far-away look, he says, "my study is where I spend a major part of time reading and writing. But, then writing is only one of my passions. My career as a writer, director, producer has really been an accidental journey." And this coming from the man behind subtle serials like Kashish, Sailaab and Thoda hai thode ki zaroorat hai. I have no major ambitions like writing a master piece before dying," he further declares honestly. We wait for more as Rai reveals it all about his life and times.

I've become spiritual in life

"It's a rather mercurial business, sometimes it can put a creative person on a pedestal and the next moment you are out. Though it hurts, but then nothing is permanent in life. I've analysed life and now I've become spiritual in life. I believe in god and destiny. I do not believe in dreaming too big and losing my sleep over it.

Cooking helps me unwind.

Rai is passionate about cooking; so much so that he orders for different masalas like garam masala, nimboo, paani masala and lassi masala from various parts of the country. Recalling his childhood, he says, "As a child I had working parents. So, at the age of nine my father taught me how to cook dal chawal, since it's easy to make and is also a complete meal. So, whoever reached home early would cook for everyone. The habit stayed with me and later even during my struggling days in Mumbai at the age of 20, I used to cook parantha, sabzi , dal, chawal. Cooking helps me unwind

Entertaining friends

Weekends are a time when Rai along with wife Anita love to welcome friends home "It gives me tremendous satisfaction when I see people savour my dishes. We both cook up separate dishes. My Sindhi mutton recipe is a hit amongst all my friends. Anita, who is a Kashmiri, makes very good Italian and Kashmiri food. "

And what are the other preparations he likes to make? "Anything that takes a long time to prepare," he quips. "I love making rajma and channa for that reason. So, does he indulge in day-to-day cooking too? "Of course ! Today I am preparing Chinese for my kids," he announces happily. Rai also tells us that one of his favourite pastime is watching matches with friends when he sometimes loves to surprise them by cooking a dish or two. That brings us to his other passion that is Cricket.

Cricket talk

" I am a member of a team called Upstagers which is led by Mahesh Manjrekar. Some of the other members are Shivaji Satam and Robin Bhatt. We have our practice sessions at he Kalina Ground in the wee hours of morning. Once a year we also go to Ajmer, Bhavnagar and Pune where we play against other teams. Next year I am looking forward to go to Goa to play a match against a team from England," says the 45 year old producer, who also does the treadmill and weights to remain fit.


His mobile rings. We take some time to browse in his library where we find several books on travel. Talking about his passion for traveling he says, "I travel a lot with my family. I have a certain connection with Agra for some strange reason. Kerala is another place I love. I have also been to Bangkok many times. We had a good vacation in Seychelles recently. This summer we are planning to do Europe," concludes the simple man who believes in middle class values and derives pleasures out of ordinary things.

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