30 Under 30 2024

From SpiceJet's ambitions to fight over butter chicken, here are our most-read stories of the week

Nandan Nilekani and SD Shibulal's philanthropic journey, small-budget cinema's fight for survival, sacred architecture from around the world are some of the stories that piqued the interest of our readers this week

Published: Feb 10, 2024 10:00:00 AM IST
Updated: Feb 9, 2024 05:26:48 PM IST

From SpiceJet's ambitions to fight over butter chicken, here are our most-read stories of the weekImage: Shutterstock

1) Ambitious goal

From SpiceJet's ambitions to fight over butter chicken, here are our most-read stories of the week“It’s a strange bid given the situation SpiceJet is in,” said Alok Anand, chairman & CEO of Bengaluru-based Acumen Aviation, an aircraft asset management and leasing company, when he was asked about SpiceJet announcing its interest in purchasing now-defunct Go First. Go First, the Mumbai-headquartered low-cost airline owned by the Wadia Family, went belly up last April. SpiceJet is also selling close to that boat—dealing with unpaid dues and court dates, calming the concerns over Boeing Max aircrafts in its fleet, and losing market share. The announcement sent the aviation world into a frenzy, and SpiceJet's stock has soared by over 18 percent since. Has SpiceJet bit more than it can chew? Let's take a look at the overview.

2) Paying it forward
From SpiceJet's ambitions to fight over butter chicken, here are our most-read stories of the week
When, in 2017, Rohini and Nandan Nilekani signed The Giving Pledge—started in 2010 by billionaire investor Warren Buffett, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and his then-wife Melinda French Gates—they quoted the famous verse 47 of chapter 2 of the Bhagavad Gita: Karmanye Vadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadachana (You have the right to work, but you are not entitled to the fruits of your labour). The effect of their core philosophy shines in their philanthropy. They are giving to causes that can be game-changers for India, but there is no certainty of success. Nandan Nilekani says that he is chasing an idea that he has evangelised for a long time—impact at scale. How is it working out so far? Here's an overview.

3)The transforming power of education
From SpiceJet's ambitions to fight over butter chicken, here are our most-read stories of the week
Infosys founders have three things in common—the company, the billionaire status, and a long philanthropic path. SD Shibulal and his wife, Kumari Shibulal, set up the Shibulal Family Philanthropic Initiatives (SFPI) in 1998. Kumari remembers that her parents, although uneducated, figured out that only through education can their children make any improvement in their lives or future generations. So, they forced Kumari to go to school and study. The same paradigmatic shift occurred in the life of SD Shibulal as well. Having experienced this transformation first-hand, the husband-wife duo started their philanthropic journey in the field of education and have been expanding its scope and scale over the past 25 years. Read more

Discover


1) Whose butter chicken is it anyway?
From SpiceJet's ambitions to fight over butter chicken, here are our most-read stories of the week
Butter chicken is one of the iconic dishes of Indian cuisine. It has made fans out of legendary figures such as Indira Gandhi, US President Richard Nixon, and former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. It has spawned just as appreciated variations—from butter chicken pizza to butter chicken ramen. But it is now the centre of a bitter trial at the Delhi High Court. After the partition, Kundan Lal Jaggi, Kundan Lal Gujral, and Thakur Dad Mago came to Delhi from Peshawar and started a restaurant in Daryaganj called Moti Mahal. While their tandoori chicken became famous, they also began serving a new dish called butter chicken. The inventors are long gone, but their heirs are now fighting over who invented the iconic dish. Here's all you need to know about the Moti Mahal vs Daryaganj battle.

2) Surviving on a small budget
From SpiceJet's ambitions to fight over butter chicken, here are our most-read stories of the week
As theatres opened after being shut down for a long time after the COVID-19 pandemic, the exhibition industry was praying for big blockbusters to bring audiences back to cinema halls. It took some time, but massive tent poles such as RRR, Pushpa - The Rise, Brahmastra Part One - Shiva, KGF - Chapter 2 Pathaan, Leo, Gadar 2, Jawan, Animal did the heavy lifting and posted massive numbers at the box office. They highlighted that if you offer good entertainment, the audience will come. But does this mean that loosening the purse strings to create a mainstream commercial film is the only viable strategy for producers now? What happens to the small-budget stories that compete with video games, social media, YouTube videos, concerts, and other live events to get the audience's attention? What are the options for filmmakers? Here are some answers

3) What you didn't know about the Murthys
From SpiceJet's ambitions to fight over butter chicken, here are our most-read stories of the week
Sudha and Narayana Murthy are no doubt icons of our generation. But when so much is known about their life already, what can you possibly write that seems new to readers? And when the subjects of your book are your primary sources, how can you avoid being hagiographical? In this conversation for From the Bookshelves of Forbes India, celebrated author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni talks about An Uncommon Love, her first work of nonfiction, where she focuses on the early life of the Murthys. She traces their childhood, courtship, marriage, family life, and individual professional milestones, including the founding and initial years of Infosys. Listen now

4) Vision of transcendence
From SpiceJet's ambitions to fight over butter chicken, here are our most-read stories of the week
Religion may be steeped in tradition as a testament to human civilisation; however, that hasn't stopped ingenious architects from challenging it and conjuring up a vibrant, modern rendition of it in a religious structure. After all, an architect's purpose, as much as a devout's, is transcendence. It isn't surprising, therefore, that many of these structures now welcome all people—regardless of belief—in solemn spaces designed for contemplation and conversation. Here is a darshan of some recently built spaces for a moment of reflection.

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