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Friday, May 19, 2023

costly watches ! and the controversies !!

Ever heard of ‘The Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication’ – there is no complication other than in the name – it is a watch !! 

People have fantasies ! strong likes ! – some buy dress, some ornaments, some costly mobiles, some great watches, Cameras, pens and what not – these are not to be looked at by comparing their utility values.  All that you require a writing material available at Rs.10/- and a phone less than Rs.10000 ! – but do we not buy material much costlier than that ! – and those with a liking buy them at higher price ! – what is anybody’s concern.  Nothing wrong as long as they are their own private collection bought with their money – however, those in Public offices are accountable for the public money that they handle ! 

After Raphael watch, a watch valued at Rs.22 lakhs is now at the centre of storm  !! – not sure whether the cost that is being probed or his alleged foreign trips or is there much more than what meets the eye.  Reportedly a high ranking Govt officials made visits to UK, Ireland, Maldives – declaring expenditure of Rs. 8.75 lakhs !!  

After the euphoric Pongal Test victory in Jan 1975 – India played West Indies in the 5th test of the rubber on  January 23 - 29, 1975.  The match being a decider, the final test was made to be a Six day match.  The might of the West Indies batting was again manifest and they were not in the least bit flattered by the big margin of victory.  Lloyd's 242 not out in just over seven hours and including four 6's and nineteen 4's, was marked by three chances.  India, going in thirty-five minutes before lunch on the third day, batted into the fifth day and replied with 406, their highest score of the series and one which just sufficed to save the follow-on.  Eknath Solkar made his only Test century.  

That was the first Test at Wankhede !  Wankhede Stadium   is an international cricket stadium in Mumbai,  belonging to  Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) and is the home ground of the Mumbai Indians. It houses the headquarters of MCA, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), and the Indian Premier League (IPL). The stadium is situated near Marine Drive in the Churchgate neighbourhood. Several old cricket clubs are near the stadium, including Hindu Gymkhana, Parsi Gymkhana and Cricket Club of India (CCI).  Mumbai has seen Test matches played at three different grounds. The Mumbai Gymkhana ground hosted the first-ever Test in India, in 1933–34 against England. After World War II, the Cricket Club of India's (CCI) Brabourne Stadium – the second ground of the city – was used for 17 Tests.

If you remember still, 8  including Aryan Khan, son of Actor Shahrukh Khan were arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in connection with an alleged drug bust onboard a cruise ship off the Mumbai Coast on October 3, 2021.  But .. .. months later, citing lack of sufficient evidence, a Special Investigation Team of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB)  dropped Aryan Khan,  and five others from its chargesheet.

Now less than 2 years later, Sameer Wankhede, who received prominence during the arrest of Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan   is now embroiled in a controversy over allegations of demanding a bribe of 25 crore in exchange for not implicating Aryan Khan. A few days ago, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided his residence for close to 12 hours and filed an FIR against him.

Not sure whether it is orchestrated !  -  trouble is mounting for the former head of Mumbai Zone Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Sameer Wankhede.  Reportedly, the NCB has questioned the officer on holding flats and  expensive watches, disproportionate to his income.  The CBI, has booked former Zonal Director of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Sameer Wankhede for allegedly demanding Rs 25 crore from Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan’s family to spare his son in a drugs case, is looking into the accused officer’s foreign visits and his alleged involvement in the sale and purchase of expensive watches, officials said today.

That sounds too crude and bad for any official who had handled high-profile case.   The name Wankhede stadium has nothing to do with the officer !

Sheshrao Krishnarao Wankhede (1914-1988)  was a cricket administrator and politician.  In the 1940s, he entered politics and was jailed for taking part in the Indian freedom struggle.  He was elected to the Madhya Pradesh State assembly in 1952 and served as the deputy speaker of Bilingual Bombay State.   He was the Speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly between 1972-77.  Wankhede was also the mayor of Nagpur for three years. In 1967, he was a member of the Indian delegation that took part in the 22nd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City.

Wankhede was the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India from 1980-81 to 1982-83, and the Vice president from 1972-73 to 1979-80.  When  Bombay Cricket Association (BCA) had persistent disputes with the Cricket Club of India over ticketing revenues from Brabourne Stadium, it built a stadium which was  named after Wankhede.

The Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication is one of the most complicated mechanical pocket watches ever created. The 18-karat gold watch has 24 complications and was assembled by Patek Philippe.  It was named after banker Henry Graves Jr. who supposedly commissioned it out of his desire to outdo the Grande Complication pocketwatch of American automaker James Ward Packard.

Today comes the news that former Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) zonal director Sameer Wankhede has  moved a petition before the Bombay High Court seeking quashing of an FIR filed against him by the CBI for allegedly demanding Rs 25 crore bribe from superstar Shah Rukh Khan for not implicating his son Aryan Khan in the Cordelia cruise drug bust case.

Time alone would reveal the truth but by that time it could cost some their lives ! – or would come at a great pain and loss of time, which would be irreversible.
With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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