Chillout: It's badminton, music and Thai food for Neeraj Vyas

Neeraj Vyas, Sr. EVP & Business Head, Sony Max, Sony Max 2 and Sony Mix makes the most of his weekends by indulging in food, movies, music and precious moments spent with family

e4m by Madhuwanti Saha
Updated: Aug 19, 2017 7:55 AM

Irrespective of how hectic Neeraj Vyas’ Friday is, his weekend will always start with a game of badminton for two hours or more at the wooden indoor court in his residential complex. “I have been playing badminton since college.” This is typically followed by a board meeting on Saturday and then again an hour of running or gymming. Saturday nights are when Vyas actually unwinds with close friends over single malts and good music at either his place or his friends’. “Oban is my all-time favourite.” Sunday follows a similar routine of badminton followed by a hearty breakfast and an elaborate lunch, which Vyas describes as ‘meal of the week.’  


“On a typical hot sultry Bombay afternoon I love my mutton kabab, dhansak and deep fried fish with Parsi masala and a beer. Post that, I have a compulsory 2–3 hour snooze,” shares the business head who is a half-Parsi. Sunday evenings are mostly dedicated to movies, plays at Prithvi or orchestra (playing retro music) at the Dinanath Mangeshkar Natyagriha auditorium. 


A self-confessed foodie, Vyas loves his Thai food and kababs. And, invariably for most of the occasions he and his family dine at Mainland China, Bademiya and Baghdadi, the last one being an ‘old favourite.’  


To catch Vyas in his element all you have to do is mention Thailand. There’s no stopping him after that. Special mention must be made of his fondness for Thai cuisine. “If I don’t get Indian food I can live on Thai food for the rest of my life,” he laughs. However, given the lack of decent options for this cuisine in the city, Vyas often ends up at Thailand itself at least once a year, an annual family tradition since 1998-99. “I make sure that I go to Thailand every year and eat to my heart’s content.” For starters, he makes it a point to go to Apinara restaurant for their steamed pork balls in Central World Mall in Bangkok. “It serves the best spicy pork meat balls in the world. You get a lot of variety in fish, crab and chicken preparations in Thailand.”  


The trip includes a stay in one of the islands like Koh Samui (his favourite) followed by a couple of days in the country.  These trips often happen on an impulse especially if Vyas suddenly craves for Thai cuisine. “IPL ended on May 21 and I was there on May 22.”


Vyas, a cinephile, bonds with his son over movies and ensures the latter watches and appreciates cinema beyond the commercial movies. But then he confesses that to be a tough job. “It’s difficult to make a 15-year-old do that beyond a point.” In fact, his son chooses the movie for Sunday evenings. Talking about movies, ‘3 Idiots’ happens to be a family favourite. “We must have watched it multiple times. But I don’t think anyone is complaining.”    


From movies, the conversation shifts to music and Vyas mentions his vast CD collection which he finds difficult to give away. ‘I don’t know what to do with them.” The business head enjoys listening to 60s and 70s music as well as Hindustani classical music. He mentionsthat his phone has 4,321 tracks across different genres. “We have a ritual of waking up to music every day.  It can be M.S. Subbulakshmi to Jagjit Singh. Rashid Khan is an all-time favourite.” We also chat with Vyas about his fondness for Spanish music, especially its melody and his favourite artist Julio Iglesias whose music he finds relaxing. “He has a body of work in Spanish, most of which he has also sung in English.” 


He signs off, “I am almost like a radio station myself here.” 

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