Monthly Archives: May 2014
Crown Chennai as the countrya��s most fashionable city, with Myntraa��s IFL
Piggybacking on the Indian Premier League is another league fight: the Indian Fashion League. Launched earlier this month by Myntra, the online fashion store, the IFL is an attempt to get the country playing a parallel gamea��replacing the bat with a mouse, with the goal of getting your city crowned the most fashionable. a�?Once users log in and choose their city, we encourage them to upload fashionable pictures of themselves (up to three). This gets added to a larger pool from which pictures are selected at random for user votes,a�? says Vikas Ahuja, the chief marketing officer at Myntra, adding that theya��ve received over 1,50,000 picture uploads already.
In the league
Competing in the IFL is quite simple. Eight teams have been createda��the Chennai Charmers, Delhi Showstoppers, Punjab Fashionistas, Mumbai Megastars, Rajasthan Rockstars, Kolkata Fashion Superstars, Bangalore Streetcatz, Hyderabad Headturnersa��mirroring the teams that are playing in the IPL. a�?The cities are pitted against each other and you vote on individual pictures to move the game forward. The more points won (or runs) the more the rewardsa��from vouchers to iPhones and holiday deals to a car,a�? says Ahuja, who is thrilled that the game has seen over 7,50,000 plays.
Though the IFL is drawing to a close (it ends on June 1, at midnight), Ahuja says therea��s still time to play and influence the final between Mumbai and Chennai. a�?With the IFLa��s success, we are planning on making it an annual event. We also have plans of launching more consumer engagement initiatives soon,a�? he signs off. Now we ask you, have you voted for your city yet? Details: ifl.myntra.com
a��Surya Praphulla Kumar
Guests at ITC Grand Chola
Guests at Dublin
Ita��s great how international events now have a place on the Chennai social calendar. From Thanksgiving to Cinco De Mayo, we joyfully take part in the celebrations alongside our expat buddies. This week we were introduced to World Whisky Day at The Cheroot Malt and Cigar Lounge at ITC Grand Chola, and invited to a�?pop by for a wee drama��. Whisky might not be my beverage of choice but Scottish dancing was part of the itinerary and I wasna��t about to miss that. On the menu were cocktails as well as fine single malts on the rocks, and as promised, we were given a demonstration of some fun Scottish country dancing.
The bunch included well-known faces from Chennai whoa��ve apparently been enjoying this particular style for the past 20 years, having put together their own amateur group. Event manager Nalini Radhakrishnan, one of the guests, said ita��s all for the love of dance, besides being a great way to meet people.
The partying continued thro-ugh the weekend (with a slight change of gear), as the Red Bull Music Academy presented DJ Benjamin Damage at Dublin. I was to learn that for those clued into a�?the scenea��, this Welsh techno producer didna��t need an introduction. I was also told that his brand of Tech House, and his four-city tour, was expected to draw a full house. As the evening wore on, it turned out to be true with Damage, along with Praveen Achary, whipping the crowd into a frenzy. The party went on till late with Red Bull promising to be back this weekend with DJ Eve Carey at the Park Hyatt.
For those in the mood for loads of action, minus the dancing, there was the premiere of X-Men: Days of Future Past at Sathyam Cinemas. The audience comprised the usual mix, from the film fraternity, as well as the Page 3 regulars, all of whom were really excited about the film. Everyone was more interested in getting to their seats than posing for the pictures, engaging in the usual intense discussions that accompany any X Men movie. Safe to say, there were big fans in the house… celebrity status was thrown to the wind, with loads of hooting and cheering throughout.
–Paloma Rao (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Holy Grail for all rock lovers, Bethel Woods, New York, came alive in the summer of 1969 with Woodstock. It was one of the most significant music festivals the world had ever seen. Beginning May 23 till 26, Bethel Woods got back into action for yet another experience a�� this time with the likes of Nicky Romero, Steve Aoki, Pete Tong and Booka Shade at Mysteryland.
When I was going through their website, I could not help but compare both the festivals a�� 1969 and 2014. More than 40 years later, we have a festival on the hallowed grounds of Woodstock, with a bunch of artistes better known as DJs.
Artistes who mix pre-recorded music for an audience. I knew it wasna��t right to compare artistes like Steve Aoki to Jimi Hendrix or Nicky Romero to Joe Cocker, but I was so tempted and I did. I realized how far we have come in dismissing anything that made sense a�� especially in music.
The Woodstock mud-fest cost festival goers $24 for a premium ticket while Mysteryland is more than $400. And all things considered, you are paying to listen to recorded music. I would happily save the dollars and plug in my good old iPod, invite friends over and hold a festival in my living room!
I realised that there has been a vast change in the way we consume music. Music was a way to spread a message. It was a tool to bring about cohesiveness in a community like it did at Woodstock, albeit largely for hippies, but with the message of peace and music for everyone. In the current scenario, it is all about laid back a�?happya�? clubbing, not caring about the rest of the world. Today, ita��s all about being a part of a mindless party. All in favour of artistes who earn millions just to throw fists in the air. Quick Trivia Carlos Santana was paid $1,500 for his gig at Woodstock and was the least paid at the festival. Jimi Hendrix was paid the highest at $32,000. Clearly money doesna��t talk these days, it sings!
-Trigam Mukherjee (m email@example.com)A�Trigam is a music and radio expert.A�The writera��s views expressed here are in his personal capacity.
An outfit that brings back the disco funkA�
If you have been missing the foot-tapping vibe of the early 80s, catch Clown with A Frown, a band that unabashedly embraces disco-funk in all its crowd appealling glory on June 12 at Hard Rock Cafe.
The group is newly revamped with Keertana Sudarshan and Alexandria Syiem in the forefront. This will be their first gig after they emotionally parted ways with former band mates Abby Attavar, Ruebon Jacob and Michael Muellar. We hear that long time fans are in for a pleasant surprise with the new tracks on their latest line-up that will explore the disco-funk genre more closely. But old favourites like their best-selling number, Hot Panic, will find pride of place in the set-list.
The city-based band, which boasts of nine talented members today, sometimes finds it hard to come together on a daily basis to jam, but they find common ground. Carving time out from choc-a-bloc schedules that range from college timetables and deadlines to nine-to-five jobs, the diligent musicians usually get together three to four times a week to do what they love. A relief for the ardent fans who describe their sound as a�?soulful musica��.
So how does Clown with A Frown plan to introduce its revamped self? Rahul Thomas, who plays the trombone, says, a�?So now wea��re completely changing our set. Wea��re making 20 new songs for our next show and in order for that to work, we need everybodya��s ideas. We like to create our music one layer at a time so by the end of it, we have the skeleton of how each song should sound.a�?
For now however, the banda��s future looks rather bright. All of them are confident that they want to go ahead and take their outfit onto the professional stage, with each show a learning ground to get better at what they love.
Rs. 500 upwards. At St Marks Road. Details:41242222
A vast selectionA�of treatments at Rejuve to soothe the body this summer
A MASSAGE in cold winter is always welcome, so when in the scorching heat, the Lalit Ashok offered us specially crafted summer options, we were excited to try them out. Calm ambience, light music and lemon grass aroma will soothe you before you even hit the massage rooms.
We opted for spa manager Dr Vasant Kumara��s suggestions a�� the rehydrate massage and the deep relaxation therapy, both using oils and scrubs to cool the body. Tenzin was the masseuse for the rehydrating session which began with an exfoliation. Using tamarind and cane sugar body scrub, she very gently ensured that the body was cleansed, stopping for a more pressured scrub at trouble spots like the knobbly knees. A quick shower followed the molasses scrub to further soothe the skin and get rid of grime. Then came the massage using pure Mysore sandalwood oil. The oil, lightly fragrant and tremendously cooling, was calming and had a healing effect on a few body bruises. And while Tenzin worked wonders on our tense muscles, the oil aided in lulling the body into a calm while simultaneously working on the circulatory, digestive, respiratory and nervous systems.
Oasis of calm
The deep relaxation therapy too used the Mysore sandalwood oil for an indulgent top to toe massage. The cold potency of the oil helped us relax and drift off to sleep and we were glad that it didna��t involve any bone wrangling. Following a quick shower, a Dead Sea salt rose crystal scrub was lined up for a facial and foot scrub courtesy Forest Essentials. The gently exfoliating body polish also used elements of raw cane sugar to leave the skin smooth, soft and nourished.
A few minutes in the steam and sauna enhanced the effects of the massage before a dip in the Jacuzzi gave the body one last massage. Feeling rejuvenated and pampered, we left the retreat ready to take on the rest of the summer.
Rs. 3,000 upwards. At Kumara Krupa High Grounds. Details: 30527777
a�� Aakanksha Devi
Season finales to keep you glued to the television set
Revenge, Criminal Minds, Agents of Shield, Arrow, New Girl, The Blacklist and a slew of other shows said goodbye, temporarily, last month. If you missed the crucial end, we keep you posted on the next set of shows drawing to a close.
Da Vincia��s Demons
This historical fantasy drama about the fictional early life of Leonardo da Vinci comes to the end of its second season. Tom Riley plays da Vinci who returns to Florence because he believes something integral has changed. The Popea��s confidants are questioned as are his motives. Sins of Daedalus, the finale, will see the Ottomansa�� first attack on Italy and two peoplea��s destiny change. On May 31 on starz.com
This hilarious albeit lesser known HBO original is set to go out with a bang this year. New Hampshire, the final episode of season three will air in India on June 16, a week after the first air on June 8. But fans are in for a treat as the ninth episode, Crate, will be simultaneously, telecast cutting the suspense. The penultimate episode will see Thornhill lead in the polls while Selina must pull out all stops in her campaign for the finale of the season and the election. Sundays at 8 pm on HBO Defined
Game of Thrones
Inching towards a gripping finale, this HBO originala��s last episode will air on June 18 in India. The episode, The Children, might see the return of a strong character while things at The Wall change with the unexpected arrival of certain people. Brana��s destiny becomes clear as Tyriona��s gets blurry. But in true George RR Martin style, one can never tell what comes next. Wednesdays, 9 pm on HBO Defined
The first season finale of this post apocalyptic drama will be split into two with part one of We Are Grounders airing on June 4, and the second part following on June 11. Protagonist Clark will have to go to all lengths to convince Bellamy to do the right thing in protecting his sister while things at the Ark undergo a sudden change. Inhabitants will have no choice but to accept impending doom. New enemies will have to be defeated. On tv.com
Roadhouse is the perfect mix of rock pub, cocktail bar and funky dining experience
Mick Jagger and Jim Morrison on one wall, guitars signed by rock legends such as Joe Satriani on another, and classic rock with some 80s pop variation at this gastro pub where owner Ashish KotharA� takes special pride in his top quality finger food a�� from the flawlessly sharp Mexican-inspired cheddar chilli rellano to the grilled fish wrapped in banana leaves. The menu offers main courses including dishes such as rump steak on a bed of fluffy mashed potatoes and paneer shashlik in a kadhi-inspired mustard sauce. Essentially, the menu takes punters on a trip all around the world, with the chefs using locally sourced ingredients a�� so local in fact, that some of the herbs are grown on the roof! KotharA� tells me of his finely balanced recipes that try to avoid a�?overpowering Indian masalasa�? whilst also catering to local tastes. But this is a�?not fusion food; ita��s international food with our own changes,a�? he explains. After these world-exploring main courses, desserts on offer include Nutella and banana wantons.
Away from the food, the Roadhouse also offers a unique drinks experience. The cocktail menu is vast, but the star attraction is the tabletop beer dispenser that clocks up how much youa��ve drunk and the price. Further to this, the electronic spirits dispense system is impressive, and ensures you get perfect measures in your cocktail. Try the Roadhouse iced tea with vodka, rum, gin, curaA�ao, Tequila and a splash of Champagne for a heady mix or the Big Mac Daddy with copious amounts of Jack Daniels, amaretto and fresh raspberries, topped off with ginger beer.
The Roadhouse is well worth a visit just for the distinctive drinks dispense systems. But even without the uniqueness or the cool vibe, the food itself is a huge draw.
Rs. 200 upwards. At 100 Feet Road, Indiranagar. Details: 43692753
A lifestyle brand that blends tradition and contemporary design
Started by Gautam Kichlu, who helped launch Fabfurnish, and Asim Dalal, founder of The Bombay Store, The Elephant Company a�� a brand of lifestyle products, targets the Indian diaspora that are a�?young at hearta��. Keeping it traditional yet globally relevant, Kichlu says, a�?We bring out quirky, interesting home ware that is serious enough to live with.a�? He adds that The Elephant Company stands apart from other kitschy Indian brands because of its balance between fun and elegance. And we agree. Be it the fuchsia peacock clock or the warli table lamp, their designs are different enough to add character to the space they occupy without taking away from the reigning decor of your home.
From spacious kiosks at The Bombay Store outlets to a full-fledged website that can ship across the country and to 100 other worldwide destinations, they are making their presence felt. a�?We are planning to drastically increase our pan-India presence through stand-alone stores while simultaneously increasing our range of products,a�? Kichlu shares of their plans to diversify into accent furniture and home linen. a�?As our tagline says, we want to make everyday life interesting for our customer and be a part of every step of their daily life,a�? he adds.
On the shelves
So, look out for their funky bed linen and cushion covers made from high quality textiles or coffee mugs, crockery and organic bags in a wide range of colours and themes. The glass a�?Mumbai Skylinea�� coffee mug is sure to add a smile to your morning cuppa.
They are also an easy gifting stop for unusual, distinct charm without being over-the-top. You can chose from interesting designs that cover everything from the sights and sounds of Mumbai to the majestic elephant, the tiger, the quintessential Indian scooter and the soon-to-be-extinct, great Indian Ambassador on coasters, lamps, tees and accessories. He also tells us that they plan to bring out eight to 10 new collections every year so that customers can shop according to moods and the needs of the season, with a promise to keep their products a�?both classic and young.a�?
Make sure you browse through their latest collection of tech accessories that serve as colourful a�?dressersa�� for your iPads and iPhones.
Rs. 210 upwards. At The Bombay Store, Phoenix MarketCity, Whitefield or theelephantA�company.com
Songs that are staying put for weeks on the popularity charts
After 15 weeks on the charts already, Pharrell seems to be in no mood to peter off. The pumpy song, which has become a popular party anthem already, is sitting pretty at 19 a�� testament that it is widely appreciated still. If youa��ve had enough of the original video, we suggest you look up the dances from across the globe to the song, including Bangalorea��s own version of citizens swaying to the tune.
Part dancehall, part pop and part R&B, Jason Derulo holds on to his place on the Top 40 charts quite strongly. After 13 weeks of being there, he seamlessly blends with 2 Chainza�� rap portion to give you a feel of edgy hip-hop as well. And while it seems to have sexual innuendos, a closer listen will show that it really is quite harmless flirting. The song is number 32 this week.
Aloe Blacc makes something of a comeback with this soulful song. Part of his EP Wake Me Up, The Man, gives Blacc a chance to showcase his fine vocals that also strongly come through in Aviciia��s Wake Me Up. On the charts for 13 weeks, this song currently holds spot number 36.
Drunk in Love
Not ones to let go of their place on the charts, husband-wife duo Jay-Z and Beyonce cling on to the ends of their reign it seems. The sultry R&B song is hanging on at number 38. And although it isna��t quite the chartbuster of earlier times from the artistes, it made its way to friends Kim Kardashian and Kanye Westa��s wedding party through a DJ remix.
View the complete countdown onA� indulge.newindianexpress.com
Achche din aane wale hain. After being subjected to a mute prime minister for 10 full years, wea��ve finally been delivered a 56-inch walkie-talkie, powered by Red Bull. The talkie has sworn to spice up our lives with dhoklas and khakras. In preparation for the impending Delhi dandiya, we thought it might help to bring you up to speed with Gujarati surnames and their malaidaar origins.
First up is a�?Shaha��, now famous as the adornment that accompanies Amitbhai Anilchandra aka the hatchet man of NaMo urf the man who won the Uttar Pradesh lottery for the BJP. Shah is not what you think. Ita��s not Persian in origin and it doesna��t mean a�?emperora��. On the contrary, ita��s of a more local vintage, derived from a�?sahukara�� (merchant).
a�?What about the a�?Patela�� in Anandiben Patel you may ask. Well, the 24th most common surname in Britain, actually means a�?land ownera��. Its distinguished cousins in other parts of the country include Patil, Patwari and Patwardhan.
Another Gujju name doing the rounds is Deepak Parekh, touted to be a technocrat whoa��ll wield a lot of clout in the Modi regime. It might interest you to know that a�?Parekha�� comes from the Hindi root word a�?parakhnaa�� (to examine). Parekhs by nature were assayers who analysed the quality of metals in jewellery. Given his pedigree, leta��s hope Deepak is able to sniff out precious policies from the pedestrian.
Many people assume NaMo will be Indiaa��s first Gujarati prime minister. That credit goes to Morarji Desai, best remembered as the countrya��s most illustrious advocate for the quaint pleasures of urine drinking. His surname (also common in Maharashtra) was birthed by a fusion of the words Desh Sai or literally a�?land lorda��.
Since youa��re likely to encounter many more Amdavadis, herea��s a quick primer on some other renowned surnames: Vaghela or Baghels are a a�?race of the tigersa��; the exalted Mehtas get their name from a�?mahitaa�� (Sanskrit for acclaimed); the imperial Gaekwads have a rather humble origin a�� their surname decodes as a�?cow herda��; the ubiquitous Doshis have something in common with the Kapadiasa��both refer to a�?seller of clothesa��; Mistry is a foreman; and Sir Jadeja is the moustachioed offspring of Jadhav or Yadav. I havena��t covered the Ambanis and Adanis because they are among the nationa��s best kept secrets.
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