Daily Archives: Mar 21, 2014
This weekend, add a Gujarati movie, documentary photography and summer workshop to your list
Of strings and shadows
DakshinaChitra and The Madras Craft Foundation are organising Virudhu 2014, to honour artists for their lifetime contribution to the field of arts. The awardees this year are Shri Veeranna Bellagall, a puppeteer from Karnataka and Jeya Sellapan, a shadow puppeteer from Salem. At DakshinaChitra. Sunday, from 11 am. Details: 24462435
Get down and dirty at the Art+Soil workshop organised by Auro Annam. Participants can help create a permaculture herb garden in the shape of the Auroville symbol. Permaculture is a branch of ecological design on sustainable architecture. Local musicians will also perform at the event. At Auro Annam, on Sunday, from 11 am onwards. Details: 9943483254
Catch an award winning film this Sunday, as Alliance Francaise is screening the Gujarati film, The Good Road. The movie is in the hyperlink format and has three story lines intertwined with each other. The highway near Kachch in Gujarat is common to all three stories. Released last year, it also won the Best Gujarati Film at the 60th National Awards and was the first Gujarati movie to represent India at the Oscars. At Maison Colombani. On Sunday, from 7 pm onwards. Details: 0413 2334351
Pick up documentary photography skills with international award-winning photographer Senthil Kumaran. A computer science graduate from South India, he has won ten awards, including UNESCO, Nat Geo, WWF and others. Participants will get an introduction to documentary photography and how it impacts the world. At Centre Point Hall, Hotel Atithi. On Sunday, from 10 am to 1 pm. Details: 0413 2345000
School of Success has announced its summer camp, which includes leadership classes in short film making, communication, public speaking, theatre, acting and more. Children will also learn how to run a restaurant, table etiquette, grooming,A� maintaining personal hygiene and carrying oneself with confidence. For children between three and15.A� At School of Success.
This summer, learn a new language or just hone the ones you already know. Auroville Language Laboratory is offering different language classes for those planning to improve their skills. You can choose from Tamil, English, Sanskrit, Hindi, German, Italian, French and Spanish and choose either the beginners or intermediates schedule. At `950. On till April 30. Details: 0413 2623661
a�� Team Indulge
With 50 years of culinary experience, chef Jean Hue designs a festival to celebrate 125 years of the Alliance Francaise
The Alliance Francaise of Pondicherry turned 125 last month, and boy are they throwing a bash. After an elaborate parade, musical evening and other programmes like movie screenings, the organisation declared a culinary festival this week. The Indo-French Culinary Week 2014, has six restaurants creating specials curated by expert French chef Jean Hue. The retired chef, who has been mastering French cuisine for 50 years, has shared his secrets with the local chefs at HA?tel de la��Orient, La Maison Rose, Ocean Spray, Satsanga, Villa Shanti and CafA� de Flore.
a�?French cuisine has a completely different approach (to Indian cuisine) a�� the decoration of the plate, the nose where the olfactory smell comes into play, and the mouth to finalise what is expected,a�? says the chef, who recommends dessert lovers try the iced nougat at Villa Shanti, guava jam at CafA� de Flore and lemon tart at Satsanga. In this, his first visit to India, he has found our spices to be unique. a�?Cinnamon has an incomparable flavour here that we dona��t get. It is harvested here, then ends up on a long boat trip to Europe. By that time, it undergoes a huge loss in flavour. It is a pity,a�? he offers. That said, he asks us not to miss the last few days of the festival (till March 23) and tempts with names like coq au vin (chicken braised with wine) and flamiche aux trois fromages (three cheese puff pastry).
Prices from Rs. 300 onwards. Details: pondichery.afindia.org
a�� Ryan Peppin
With a new show kitchen and a view to match, Upper Deck at Vivanta by Taj Fishermana��s Cove beckons
The attractions at Vivanta By Taj- Fishermana��s Cove keep getting better. After all, the hotel in the fishing hamlet of Kovalam prides itself on offering guests a host of activities ranging from catamaran rides and deep sea fishing to the more humble turtle walk. a�?The Watch Tower is booked at least six times in a month. We have many guests coming from as far as Bangalore to experience it,a�? says assistant food and beverage manager Brij Rajpali, about their intimate dining set up that sees about four proposals every month.
As we stroll through the villas leading up to the recently relaunched Upper Deck, Rajpali informs us that a new bar counter, show kitchen and revamped menu are part of the deal. We also find new cabanas lined up on the sea-facing side of the al fresco diner. In the cosy comfort of one of these cabanas, we soon find ourselves trying to decide whether we will be having the boonoonoonoos kebab or mezza platter for starters. Thankfully chef Ganeshkumar Murthy, who has crafted the set menu for us, points out that it wouldna��t hurt to try both. We nod in agreement and lean back to discover the simple pleasures that only a basket of breads (pita, focaccia, garlic, etc) and dips (hummus, baba gnoush, mayo, etc) paired with the reflection of the moon on the ocean can provide. So youa��ll understand that we couldna��t tear away and focus on the kitchen action instead.
Waves of taste
Before long, the platter and sliced lamb kebab arrive, and wea��re glad we took the chefa��s advice. Yet somehow the simplicity of the tomato soup (poured over a crisp tortilla with sour cream) that follows manages to outshine the effects of the Arabian spices and crunchy nuts in the decadent boonoonoonoos. We drown the sound of breaking waves with our slurps. A couple of licks of berry sorbet later, wea��re ready for the mustard herb-crumbed lamb rack and crustaceans (pesto-scampi, lemon garlic-lobster, aglio olio-tiger prawn with potato mash and grilled veggies) a�� paired with glasses of white and red from the bar counter, of course. After all this, a walk to the Watch Tower becomes mandatory. Fortunately, there is a hotel cab waiting to drive us back home.
Meal for two at Rs.A� 4,500 plus tax. Details: 67413333
a�� Ryan Peppin
With his 17th movie,A� a paranormal comedy, releasing today, Sharman Joshi says he does not fear being typecast
Sharman Joshi is a fun guy, one of the reasons he takes up completely unpredictable rolesa��like his latest, Raju Writer in Gang of Ghosts. Joshi was previously seen in movies like Life in aa�� Metro, Dhol, Rang De Basanti and his most memorable role, Raju Rastogi in 3 Idiots, for which he won the IIFA Award for best supporting actor. After Gang of Ghosts, the Mumbai-based actor awaits audience reaction to Hello 2. More from him:
Gang a�� has a refreshing concept.
A remake of Bengali film, Bhooter Bhabishyat, it has great entertainment value and is perfect for the masses. When I watched the Bengali version, I immediately fell in love with it. However, my character has been reworked in this movie. I play the role of a writer, who is plagued by a constant need to prove himself. He wants to make it big in the world of Hindi cinema.
I do not discuss my scripts with friends and family.
The movie has to appeal to me. Even if 20 per cent of the movie looks shaky, I do not take it up. A script, at its organic level, has to resonate with me. It could be any genre, with any number of actors, but it should be fun and grab my attention. Of course, the director is the captain of the film and and he is responsible for turning it into great work on celluloid.
I somehow choose films that are unusual. Even though Life in a… Metro was a romantic movie, the romance was very different, as was my role. New age movies are being received well by the audience and even unusual movies can be commercially successful.
Drama is something that comes naturally to mea��thanks to my theatre days, which helped me hone my acting skills. Comedy is difficult, but I enjoy it. I dona��t fear being typecast anymore. Ia��ve been in the industry long enough and tried different themes. But emotions are something that drive me. I do not need to prove anything to anybody.
I would love to do other genres, like period or scifi, but I know my worth in the industry. And I know I need a high budget producer. I need to plan well in advance to make some noise and it will take time. These kinds of movies are expensive and I am not ready to take on such risks right now.
I do believe in life after death. I have never encountered a ghost, but I would like to some day. I think it would be a lot of fun to meet one.
Gang of Ghosts is scheduled to release today.
a�� Mrinalini Sundar
MTV India ties up with six directors to showcase realistic youth-oriented films
Come Sunday, sit back on your couch and enjoy original work by Bollywood directors. MTV India joins hands with Hindustan Lever to bring you six television films made by six talented directors, which will be aired once a month. a�?Wea��ve tied up with brands in the past like Kwality Walls (Love Reels) in 2011 and Coke Studio. The idea is to present the best content with the help of experts,a�? says Aditya Swamy, executive vice president, MTV India. Starting March 23, catch the 45-minute youth-oriented films on themes like love and friendship. As for the choice of directors, MTV has highlighted those who are enthusiastic to a�?step out of their comfort zone.a�?
We got talking to Anurag Basu and Abhinay Deo, who are part of the project. a�?The films arena��t being treated like a feature film, though the aim is to entertain. The idea is to bring forth the branda��s ideology,a�? Deo says. Since hea��s working with the beauty giant, Lakme, the beauty giant, his filma��s lead will be a woman. Deo is also keen to watch Basua��s film, as it has 25 songs!
25 and more
a�?This definitely is the future of brand building,a�? says Basu, whose short, Real FM, is about three girls. Ghost-directed by him, he says the majority of work in his film a�?is being done by Akash Khurana, a talented youngster.a�? As for the three songs, a�?Some of them barely last 30 seconds. It is in the background,a�? Basu says. The project will see directors like Shoojit Sircar, Rohan Sippy, Nikhil Advani and Anurag Kashyap, too. Also expectA� acting talent from the short film genre.
Premieres on March 23 on MTV India at 7 pm. The first movie is Real FM by Anurag Basu.
Highlighting the plight of sex workers in India, Nagesh Kukunoora��shard-hitting Lakshmi comes to theatres
On The Fridays his movies release, Nagesh Kukunoor is a mess. Each release sucks the blood out of him he saysa��one of the reasons, possibly, why he is hard to pin down before this weeka��s Lakshmi. a�?I love making movies. And I hold up till the last week, but then it is a huge mess,a�? says the director, who is known for gems like Hyderabad Blues, Dor and Iqbal. In his Lakshmi, the Hyderabad-based director has donned the grease paint to play a brutal pimp, along with protagonist Monali Thakur. He tackles censor board issues, typecasting, and the possibility of a regional movie, in a quick interview:
Prostitution is a subject that has been explored before. What prompted you to choose it?
There is nothing that hasna��t been done before. Every issue I take up has my take on the issue. Every film, even the obscure ones like Bombay to Bangkok, had me believing in it. Lakshmi was a lofty project and it focussed on something that is happening right under our noses. I was invited to a rescue shelter where I thought I would get to hear sad stories. But the women were full of revenge and heroism. I met a 14-year-old girl there who was forced into prostitution, who inspired me to do this film.
Why screen the movie in colleges before its release?
It is a very sensitive topic and I knew the marketing capital will not be huge. I had to get creative and get the word out. And when you do the maths, a large percentage of movie goers are students.
How are the censor boards in India and the US different?
When the censor board gives an a�?Aa�� in the US, they do not ask directors to crop any scenes. But thata��s not the case here. Ia��ve been battling this issue for quite sometime now, but they still want us to change dialogues, crop scenes, etc. That makes no sense and, yes, I will continue to complain about it.
You seem to prefer film festivals over the box office.
If my movies do well at the box office, then my longevity as a director is secured. But I absolutely love film festivals. The idea of your movie being seen by a global audience is brilliant. It is also a chance for a director to interact with his audience.
How do you avoid being typecast?
There is a narrow line between art and commerce, and there is this space that is unexplored. I would like to fall in that category.A� The idea of telling different stories and mixing up genres is what is appealing.
How about a regional film?
I will not venture into Telugu movies without bettering my knowledge of the language. A lot of directors nowadays say, a�?We can have a Punjabi girl read Tamil lines and then dub it.a�? I dona��t agree.
A movie that impressed you?
I watch a Hollywood movie every week and get inspired. But Dallas Buyers Club is one that left me saying, a�?I wish I had made that movie.a�?
Lakshmi is scheduled to release today.
a�� Mrinalini Sundar
A new store in Mylaporeoffers home automation in addition to premium sanitary ware
Given that the once humble bathroom has now become a luxury escape, more specialists in the department are welcome. Thata��s possibly why Indulge, a new store located in Mylapore (and not connected to this magazine) promises a one-stop solution for your bathroom, kitchen and other dA�cor needs. The spacious store has options for tiles, bathroom fittings and sanitary ware, as well as unique offerings like home automation. A Vivekanand, the owner of the store, points to the technology that lets you control any gadget in your housea��from the TV to the air conditioner and lights a��via your phone or iPad. a�?It is completely wireless,a�? Vivekanand says proudly. They also stock bathroom fittings from British brand Keuco, available exclusively at Indulge.
What you need
The store has a customera��s lounge where you can visualise your living space with their in-house designer. Brands like Shell, Grohe and Delta for bathroom fittings and Duravit, Jacuzzi, Antoniolupi for sanitary ware, will take care of styling needs. If you are tempted enough to redo your bathroom, Vivekanand, who has spent 22 years in the business, suggests you a�?opt for contemporary designs and solid colours like beige, black and grey. And highlighters are hot too.a�? A new addition is the proximity faucet for kitchens. a�?These faucets function on touch,a�? he explains. One simply has to touch the faucet to turn it on and off. Another big draw is the rain shower a�?which gives you the effect of rain while using minimum amount of water.a�?
Prices start from Rs. 7,000 onwards. Details: 42137002
a�� Sumitra Nair
With 324 countries on his itinerary, Henrik JeppesenA�set out on the adventure of a lifetime, four years ago
Youa��ve probably heard of people braving sun, sand and rain to go places. Allow us to introduce you to Henrik Jeppesen, a Danish 25-year-old, who has been on 700 flights to 224 countries and territories, has filled up six passports, taken 40,000 plus photos (almost went to prison for one of them) and has been followed, robbed and attacked more than once in the last four years.
All this on a mission to visit each of the 324 countries and territories of the world (as listed by 59-year-old Travelersa�� Century Club). He has been on the move almost every day since he graduated from business school in 2010.A� a�?After my 10th grade, I travelled for a year. And after three years of business school, I decided to see the world. Many airlines liked my idea and supported me,a�? says Jeppesen, who is relying entirely on sponsorships for his journey that he hopes will finish in a year.
Wake up call
a�?I am doing this with little money, and even hitchhiking within countries when I have to,a�? he says, at his room in The Leela Palace where he arrived this past weekend. Still fatigued from a recent episode of food poisoning in the Andaman islands, Jeppesen, who grew up in a small town called Thisted, obliges when we ask him to tell us more. a�?More than 200 airlines have sponsored me and Ia��ve stayed at almost 900 luxury hotels till date,a�? he says, before giving us the links to his blogs a�� henriktravel.com and hotelpassion.infoA�a�� where he documents all of his travels, sponsors and adventures, complete with tips for fellow travellers.
a�?If you want to ensure you get a wakeup call, ask for 6.03 am instead of 6 am,a�? he gives us a quick example, before we start talking about the more serious (read life threatening) situations he has found himself in. a�?I was followed and attacked in Brussels. My wallet was robbed in China. And in Africa, my passport was stolen,a�? he says, but then points out that being robbed is just half as bad as being sick. a�?I had to be put on oxygen all through the flight from Andaman after food poisoning. That flight has been the worst experience till date.a�?
114 to go
An hour passes and we have barely covered six months of his four year journey. Jeppesen tells us that he is headed home for a quick break and a new passport after Chennai. a�?My seventh passport has run out of pages and I must get a new one,a�? he says. a�?After that it will be central Asia. I should reach 310 by 2015. The last 14 countries might take a while because for places like Antartica, I will have to get a special permit and join a research team to get there,a�? he tells us, as we exchange email IDs. a�?Of all the people Ia��ve met, at least 500 keep in touch over email. The internet has made things so much easier. Facebook is a great way to handle home sickness,a�? he concludes.
The city gets a much needed charter service, courtesy The Leisure Yacht Company
Chennai can now boast of a yacht charter service courtesy city-based The Leisure Yacht Company. Though just one yacht strong, the service started by Indrajit Kalidasan, comes as a welcome surprise to the city that boasts of the worlda��s second longest stretch of natural beach. The yacht, Moonbeam, a 44-footer, has been designed by Paolo Velcich (who freelances for Wally, an Italian company that is to yachts, what Rolls Royce is to cars), and built in Dubai over a period of 18 months, wea��re told. a�?We transported it to Chennai on a car carrier,a�? shares Kalidasan, who is also the CEO of Chona Property, the parent company.
Equipped with an outdoor deck, air conditioned interiors (living room, bed room, kitchenette and bathroom) and on board entertainment, the yacht is operated by a team trained by the Yacht Association of India. a�?In 2012, we recruited a group of seasoned fishermen whoA� were used to fibre boats and got them trained,a�? Kalidasan informs us, adding that they are certified and have their own licenses now. The yacht itself has been thoroughly checked by German company Lloyds (they certify ocean going cargo vessels) and certified safe. Commissioned last May, the yacht, can accommodate 15 and has been on trial runs for over 10 months. It is now available for bookings. a�?We have had several proposals on board till date,a�? Kalidasan says, adding that from small parties to early morning deep sea fishing trips and twilight cruises, the options are plenty.
And at a pricing of Rs. 28,000 for 15 for three hours, it is a steal. Details: 9360213034, firstname.lastname@example.org
Expect four genres at this yeara��s Campus Theatre Ensemble
IN THEIR second edition (the first was in August 2012), Crea Shakti presents Campus Theatre Ensemble, a collection of plays by different colleges. On the occasion of their anniversary which falls on March 23 and also coincides with theatre week, Dushyanth Gunashekar, the creative director of Crea Shakti, thought of an ensemble performance. a�?We wanted a performance and an interaction between the young artistes whom we support,a�? he says. In fact, all the proceeds from this show will go to an annual award that the team is putting togethera��Crea-Shakthi Award for Creative Excellence (ACE). An initiative started this year, it provides cash support and recognition to youngsters and organisations who have promoted socio-cultural growth in the city. This year, Crea-Shakti is supporting Becoming I foundation for their project Leap, an initiative for children.
Crea Shakti has had 25-30 college productions and has collaborated with 21 colleges across India. According to Gunashekar, Womena��s Christian College has been consistent with good performances. However, there is a notion that these colleges only take up rom-coms and do not experiment with other genres, for whichA� Gunashekar, responds, a�?I think weA� have trained them all enough to realise theatre is no longer about this genre (rom-coms) as against the other. These campus groups are mature enough to take on any genre and are open to anythinga��this ensemble itself has political satire, comedy, absurd and tragedy.a�?
At the Music Academy Mini Hall, on March 23, at 3 pm andA� 6 pm. Tickets at Rs. 200. Details:A� 9962937552, bookmyshow.com
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