Tendulkar''s shell house designs a net hoax

MUMBAI: A Bengali topline daily in Kolkata flashed on its frontpage on Monday that global brand Mexican architect, Javier Senosian, was designing an organic weird shell house for Sachin Tendulkar bang in the middle of Mumbai and even carried photographs as "first images" of what was purportedly the master blaster''s TV room.

It was too good to be true and seemed outlandish though brilliant. The paper also said that the house, worth Rs 30 crores spread over 9000 sq feet, was being built on Carter Road in Mumbai and gave a host of reasons as to why Tendulkar was shifting.

The photographs kindled interest and a search on the net revealed hundreds of matches saying the same thing but what jarred was the look of the house, shaped like a snail with its snout out of the shell, which looked hopelessly out of place in Mumbai. It looked more weird and bizarre than imaginative.

The Bengali newspaper also praised Tendulkar''s "great sense of imagination." Incidentally, the report was written by a topline sports journalist who, it has always been thought, was close to Tendulkar and other international cricketers. Obviously, no one doubted the story.

However, when the Mexican designer was called up in Mexico City, who has a website showing photographs which had appeared on the net and thence in the Bengali newspaper but clearly said that the Nautilus House as it is called in Mexico City had no plans of replication anywhere else. The internet stories could be a fake.

It was early morning in Mexico and Senosian himself picked up the phone. First, he hardly knew English. Second, he was rudely jolted early in the morning by a name as unfamiliar as Tendulkar and this correspondent had to spell it out for him. "No, what is cricket? I have never been to India and this is nothing concerning me," he spluttered."

Who is Senor Tendulkar?" he asked incredulously.

Later he said in an email sent to an Indian daily which reads simply: "Your query about the Shell House is accepted. That''s not true, this house is not in Mumbai, India, and Sachin Tendulkar is not the owner of this house. The house is in Mexico City and Javier Senosian, Mexican architect, has designed and built it here in Mexico. He has never been to India. I have a house like a shell but we call it Nautilus House, and I don''t have any work in India."