Home Archives 2014 December 5

Daily Archives: Dec 5, 2014

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    With the lotus and dance, curator Malavika Sarukkai explores creativity at this yeara��s NatyaDarshan

    There are some who feel the Margazhi seasona��with over 1,000 performances spread across a little over a montha��can succumb to a kind of a�?samenessa��. Helping to cut through this are events like the NatyaDarshan Dance Symposium. In its 14th edition, this year sees a change of guarda��dancerA� Malavika Sarukkai takes over curatorship from Anita Ratnam, who had spearheaded the event since 2011.
    a�?Ita��s important that people get to see more than just performances. There should be a sense of discourse as to what happens at these concerts,a�? begins Sarukkai, explaining, a�?Through this symposium, titled Lotuses Blossom: The Creative Process, my aim is to talk about creativity. While people comment on artistesa�� works, ita��s very rarely that artistes get to speak about the why and the how behind what they have created.a�?

    IMG_0526The process
    The dancer, who admits to feeling a little daunted when Kartik Fine Arts first approached her to curate the event, says things fell into place when she zeroed in on the Sanskrit line ullasita vikasat sarasijam (the lotus blossoms)a��around which she has themed the eventa��and began ideating with co-curator Hari Krishnan (professor at Wesleyan University). a�?It is about time we took the art of dancing seriously. Performing for more than 40 years has given me a lot of insight and inspiration, and I believe the audience needs to get up close with us, to find out what the creative mind of a dancer is,a�? says Sarukkai, who will set the ball rolling with a performance called a�?To the lighta��. a�?Ita��s split into threea��the first is on the lotus as a figurein miniature painting, the second celebrates the lotus in the metaphysical (with Andala��s poetry) and the third, a contemporary piece within the classical framework.a�?

    Across the board
    With talks by the likes of art historian Dr BN Goswamy and author Vikram Sampath, and performances by dancer Lakshmi Parthasarathy Athreya, Kathakali performer Sadanam Balakrishnan and more, Sarukkai insists that non-dancers will also find the symposium interesting. a�?After all, ita��s about creativitya��the essence of which ties in with a whole lot of disciplines.a�? Meanwhile, former curator Ratnam, hopes this year will see a lot of youngsters in the crowd. a�?They can listen to people from theatre and performing arts, which will probably give them food for thought and perhaps even give them inputs for their own practice,a�? she says, adding that the audience must a�?come and listen to the morning sessions and attend at least a couple of the evening sessions.a�?
    Rs.100 -Rs.1,000. From December 18-21, at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mylapore. Details: 24997788

    a��Surya Praphulla Kumar

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      Rahul Mishra, the spiritual designer who uses traditional Indian handcrafts and is followed by the global fashion community, shares how his life has changed after the prestigious International Woolmark Prize 2014
      By Rosella Stephen

      Rahul Mishra 2 copyRahul Mishra is in the business of compassionate fashion. His views on a�?slow and sustainable fashiona�� are finding an audience across the world and influencers like Suzy Menkes (International Vogue editor) have handpicked him as a designer who proudly showcases his heritage, but with a global connect. a�?a�?Fashion can always come up with good karma. And Rahul Mishraa��s collection touched me,a�? is how she began her column on the Paris Fashion Week SS 2015, where Mishra made his debut in September. After his show, titled A Ferrymana��s Tale and featuring traditional arts from Japan and Indian craftsmanship, the designer met up with Menkes, where he shared, a�?My idea is slow fashion a�� I want to slow down the process of making clothes to make them far more beautiful.a�? His a�?organza meets 3D patternsa�� story was inspiring, with blooms showing up on semi-sheer skirts, much of it in Merino wool. They were handmade in rural India and the world was loving it.
      Counting the days

      For Mishra, the past 10 months have been a crazy whirl of activity, after he became the first Asian to win the International Woolmark Prize in Milan. Between endless meetings with buyers, he has found plum retail spots like Saks Fifth Avenue in New York, Harvey Nichols in London, 10 Corso Como in Milan and Colette in Paris. a�?a�?It has been one of the biggest career shifts, to launch in the biggest stores around the world. For one man to do all this seems impossible,a�? Mishra allows. Recalling the positive media support over the last few months, he admits that it can pile on the pressure. a�?a�?a�?You must remember this name, a��a��a��a leading international newspaper said. Big agencies in Paris were willing to work with us. All the fashion weeks invited us, but we wanted to go slow. So we chose Paris. And I met Suzy Menkes. It was very overwhelming,a�? he recalls, adding that they get calls from international students from leading institutes every day. Incidentally, Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent tied for the first Woolmark prize in 1954. Mishra has got where he is in just 10 years, while an iconic Indian designer like Manish Arora made it from London Fashion Week to Palais de Tokyo the long and hard way. Expectations must be high, we wonder. a�?a�?I can only control what I am doing now. The past is done with and I dona��t know what the future holds. If you can live in the present, there wona��t be any pressure whatsoever,a�? is his easy comeback.

      Rahul Mishra SS15 Paris Fashion Week 1Making an impact

      Mishra, 34, who will be bringing his Woolmark line to Evoluzione next week, says, a�?a�?I want to be the same person I was last year, easily accessible and humble. I believe that success is because of a certain strength and if you lose it, there is no point whatsoever.a�? It has been only work, no play for Mishra and his lovely wife, Divya, since his big win, and people who know him are not surprised. After all, this is a man who begins his day with a long prayer, who thrives on hard work and is used to winning. He won best student designer at NID in 2005 and a scholarship to study at Istituto Marangoni in Milan a few years later. Tina Malhotra, the charming owner of the multi-brand boutique Evoluzione, recalls her first meeting with Mishra, when he made his Lakme Fashion Week debut in 2006. a�?a�?There was no one in his stall. But his reversible clothes were beautifully engineered, with every line in sync. The next year, there were many people around him, and soon he became Rahul Mishra, the man who understands textures and begins from the fabric itself, when constructing garments.a�? Reiterating the views of many leading fashion designers in the country, she is proud that he has made it a�?a�?on his own, with no help or social connections.a�?
      Global eye

      For his Woolmark and Paris Fashion Week lines, Mishra created highly functional dresses, skirts and jackets with lightweight Merino. His restrained palette of white, yellow and grey were a refreshing departure from the bright pinks and reds one is accustomed to seeing from an Indian designer. Clearly, the Woolmark judges, Frida Giannini of Gucci, celebrity fashion writers Colin McDowell and Alexa Chung, were impressed. a�?a�?Though Indian skin can carry off most colours, I am better able to express myself with black and white or white on white. I save my colours for Indian wear,a�? shares Mishra. As for motifs, the Buddhist-inspired lotus seen on his designs have deeper meaning. a�?a�?I like the lotus for it is pristine, gentle and indicates humility. And I like imperfection too. Everything that is perfect, be it the square, circle or rectangle, is non-living. Imperfection is a metaphor for life. The lotus is perfect, yet slightly imperfect. I like that duality,a�? he shares.
      s1detail1The balancing act

      Malhotra observes that Mishra is easy to work with and open to criticism and praise. a�?a�?He has a great future and I hope success does not go to his head. Also, fashion evolves and he has to be in sync both nationally and internationally where it is a cut-throat world. He has shifted base from Mumbai to Delhi where the fashion infrastructure is better. Every day is a learning experience and he knows this.a��a�� Part of Mishraa��s learning curve was a quick visit to Australia, to the source of Merino wool. a�?a�?The farm visit was inspiring and humbling… and has convinced me even more why wool is the perfect sustainable fibre for the future, not just for winter but warmer months as well,a�? said Mishra, who has been confidently promoting his new transeasonal fibre a�� Merino wool woven in Chanderi a�� for hot cities as well. a�?a�?It is an amazing fibre, far more comfortable in heat and dries faster, is breathable, and you dona��t need to wash it as much,a�? shares the man with the Gandhian design philosophy, who has third editions of his collections only to sustain weaving communities.
      Power of change

      With a strong belief in fashion as a catalyst for social change, Mishra is encouraging craftsmen and embroiderers living in Mumbaia��s slums to return to their villages and work for him. He also has aA� mentorship of sorts with fashion portal, Myntra. a�?a�?We have a one year incubation for participants. Our education system kills creativity. There are too many rules. They should be fearless and lose their inhibition. I enjoy conducting creative workshops. It pays to be a lot more articulate in every career,a�? he says, also working on a capsule collection called Dressberry for Myntra, who supported his Paris Fashion Week debut. a�?a�?We get innovative because of boundaries. I believe in selling stories and philosophies. I may not read much, but I read quotes from Steve Jobs and Rumi. And the movie I watch over and over again is Dead Poeta��s Society, where Robin Williams plays English teacher John Keating. I love his quote: a�?We dona��t read and write poetry because ita��s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion.a�?a��
      Willing to create videos so more people can share the technique he used to create his new wool fibre, Mishra admits that luxury, to him, is very straightforward. a�?a�?To me, is about doing things at a slow pace, with creativity and sustainability. A piece of cloth can get more beautiful when it creates a job. Ultimate luxury works in storytelling and participation, not just consumption.a�?

      At Evoluzione from December 10. priced from Rs.20,000. Details: 28333627

      Source code
      Mishra finds inspiration in animation, from Kung Fu Panda to Ratatouille.A� And picture books on art, craft and architecture. His winning line for Woolmark was influenced by Dutch graphic artist M C Escher. He enjoys the work of filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino and Christopher Nolan and wants to be optimistic. However, he is Gandhian at heart and hopes to set up Public Design Centres some day, to help the rural population. a�?a�?You need a movement like Gandhiji’s,a�?a�? he says,a�?a�? to understand that design is a totality, not just a product.a�?a�?

      The better half
      Friends of the designer admit to his wife’s positive influence on him. a�?a�?Divya is my critic and muse and is already disliking my previous collection, which helps my creativity. She is very informed about international trends. I am mechanical and scientific in my approach, Divya brings in beauty. Where I work on technique, she brings in femininity. She has taught me to be very spiritual and calm. She was my junior at NID, when I was passing out, and it was easy for me to show off a bit.a�?a�?

      a�� rosella_stephen@newindianexpress.com

        0 38

        Old is gold
        Designer Rehwa presents Neel, an exhibition-sale, inspired by the scenic banks of the river Narmada, with a collection of saris, dupattas and fabrics. In shades of blue, the abstract lotuses are new creation for this collection. Ita��s designed by Aavaran. Till tomorrow. Details: 28332226

        evolv fashionMetal connect
        Grab the spotlight with Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khannaa��s new festive collection at Evolv. Featuring elegant designs in linear structures, layers and asymmetric drapes, most of the dresses are in bright blues, corals and off whites. Priced from Rs.4,950 onwards. Details: 28464250

        life winter24687(1)Shop till you drop
        With the party season having arrived, Shoppers Stop has released its best. A variety of dresses, tops, skirts, shirts and jackets from brands like Stop, Life, Eliza Donatein, Vettorio, Fratini, Mario Zegnot and many more have hit their shelves. Priced from Rs.999 to Rs.1,599. Details: 43972626

          0 59

          Get in step with the newest high fashion shoe branda��Call It Spring

          KOOVS.COM introduces Supreme Being, a London-based label that features work by artistes who actively promote links between street culture, art, music and fashion. Graphics are a focal point of their clothing collections, through which they express themselves artistically, a good reason they refrain from following catwalk or mainstream trends. Their products are a result of their radical inspirationsa��endangered animals, self-expression and fulfillment of potential or racial equality. But they do keep track of street culture, and they often like to set their own trends too. a�?The guys behind Supreme Being are also DJs who play at very low key gigs in and around London, for those in the know,a�? reveals Emma Reed, head of buying at Koovs.com, adding, a�?They are primarily the brand of choice for DJs and artistes who do not want to wear what everybody else is wearing.a�?

          Supreme Being Bearwolf T-Shirt at KOOVS at Rs 2295 copyWhat to expect
          The tees come with words and graphics, that consumers can relate to. a�?The subject matter is as relevant in big Indian cities as it is in the rest of the country. The guys at Supreme Being appreciate the talented, the mighty, the strong, the fierce and the bold, but they still consider them to be equals, whether they are human or animal,a�? she explains.
          Colours range from deep blue, to slate grey with pops of vibrant hues, to balance the muted colour palette. Prints vary from the quirky, to the whimsical, interspersed with graphics, like a huge yellow jaw on black or a multi-hued swan on stark white.
          Apart from Supreme Being, for spring, look out for streetwear brand, AKA, festival T-shirts from Friend or Faux and Only & Sons, sister concern of womenswear brand Only.

          From Rs.2,295 onwards.
          Details: koovs.com

          a�� RR

            0 39

            Get in step with the newest high fashion shoe branda��Call It Spring

            KOOVS.COM introduces Supreme Being, a London-based label that features work by artistes who actively promote links between street culture, art, music and fashion. Graphics are a focal point of their clothing collections, through which they express themselves artistically, a good reason they refrain from following catwalk or mainstream trends. Their products are a result of their radical inspirationsa��endangered animals, self-expression and fulfillment of potential or racial equality. But they do keep track of street culture, and they often like to set their own trends too. a�?The guys behind Supreme Being are also DJs who play at very low key gigs in and around London, for those in the know,a�? reveals Emma Reed, head of buying at Koovs.com, adding, a�?They are primarily the brand of choice for DJs and artistes who do not want to wear what everybody else is wearing.a�?

            Supreme Being Bearwolf T-Shirt at KOOVS at Rs 2295 copyWhat to expect
            The tees come with words and graphics, that consumers can relate to. a�?The subject matter is as relevant in big Indian cities as it is in the rest of the country. The guys at Supreme Being appreciate the talented, the mighty, the strong, the fierce and the bold, but they still consider them to be equals, whether they are human or animal,a�? she explains.
            Colours range from deep blue, to slate grey with pops of vibrant hues, to balance the muted colour palette. Prints vary from the quirky, to the whimsical, interspersed with graphics, like a huge yellow jaw on black or a multi-hued swan on stark white.
            Apart from Supreme Being, for spring, look out for streetwear brand, AKA, festival T-shirts from Friend or Faux and Only & Sons, sister concern of womenswear brand Only.

            From Rs.2,295 onwards.
            Details: koovs.com

            a�� RR

              0 79

              Creative at Christmas
              December 8-19, Kotturpuram
              Let your child try something new this Christmas. Rainbow Fish Studio is offering fun-filled after-school workshops, where children will be taught an art or craft themed around Christmas, each day. For ages 5 to seven and seven to 12. At the centre in Kotturpuram. Rs.2,500 (three days), Rs.4,250 (six days), Rs.6,250 (10 days). Details: 24470438

              forum food festivalCelebrate food
              December 6-7, Forum Vijaya Mall
              Have an insatiable appetite? Forum Vijaya Mall is hosting the Chennai Food Festival for you to relish both modern and authentic tastes of South Indain delicacies. There will be food demonstartions by chefs in addition to cooking classes. Featuring popular outlets like Kailash Parbat, Wanga��s Kitchen and many more. Details: 49049000

              ikatPlay with ikat
              Till December 14, CP Art Centre
              Inspired by Indiaa��s rich and diverse cultural heritage, C P Ramaswami Aiyar foundation is hosting a Pochampally Ikat art mela. Explore varieties of handloom products like scarves, saris in silk,A� cotton dupattas and shirt kurtis in exquisite designs. From 10 am onwards. Details: 24341778
              Make the connection
              Till December 7, Chennai Trade Centre
              Dona��t miss the Food Style expo at the Chennai Trade Centre. An excellent opportunity for bakers, beverageA� dealers, distributors and agencies to make contacts. Many leading bakery, beverage, food related companies will be participating. Open from 10.30 am to 8.30 pm. Details: 65480175

              bake a cakeBake easy
              December 7, CIT colony
              Master the art of baking delicious goodies this Christmas from home baker Sara Koshy, at the Gormei Market. Learn to bake steamed Christmas puddings, cupcakes, white chocolate and cranberry shortbread, almond clusters and nut fudge. From 3 pm to 6 pm. Details:42172229

              book2Girl power
              All season, In stores
              In an environment sensitive to crime against women, comes New Delhi-based author Ravinder Singha��s latest read, Your Dreams Are Mine Now. Set in the capital, the novel tracks the experiences of Rupali, a naA?ve small town girl from Orissa who clings to her ideals even as her college life exposes her to some harsh realities. Set to launch soon in the city, the book is available at leading book stores.Rs.175. Details: flipkart.com

              adopt a petPaws a moment
              December 6, Velachery
              Want to meet your new best friend? The Blue Cross of India adoption drive is here. The event will feature Indian puppies, kittens, cats and a few abandoned adult pedigree dogs as well. All adoptions are free and require address and ID proof. At their shelter at 72, Velachery Main Road, Guindy, between 1 pm and 5 pm.A� Details: 9840297942

              Plum CakeThe plum cake rush
              December, Across town
              While many home bakers have already run out of stock of Christmas plum cake, therea��s still hope:A� For a rich plum cake with Californian prunes soaked for three months and further basted with alcohol, get in touch with Linu Freddy before December 15. At Rs.500 for 500 gms. Details: 9176245518. Sujani Nagarajah of The Sweet Art Cafe in Vadapalani makes a Sri Lankan plum cake featuring an assortment of 30 fruits, nuts and spices, soaked in brandy and finished with a layer of almond icing. Order before December 20, at Rs.2,200 a kilo. Details: 9677282600. Also offering an eggless version of her plum cake is Shalini Padmanabhan of Piece of Cake in Anna Nagar. Using ginger chips, orange peel and a variety of raisins, soaked in liquor for a year a�� her cake promises to be a heady affair. Therea��s a non-alcoholic version too. Order a week in advance at Rs.1,000 a kilo. Details: 9940489976

                0 208

                Parkoura��s not about daredevilry anymore, ita��s for health nuts. We speak to top trainers about what it takes to keep fit

                Brick Mansions, Paul Walkera��s last movie that released in April, is well known in parkour circles, since it also stars David Belle, the founder of parkour. What had seemed awe-inspiring oncea��when Daniel Craig chased parkour-trained villains in Casino Royale or Matt Damon did the moves in the Bourne seriesa��is now quite commonplace. So much so that the monkey vaults and laches are not being done just by professionals; fitness buffs have taken it up as part of their routine, too. Some of the countrya��s top traceurs (as parkour practitioners are called) tell us that it also has a positive impact on the mind and personalitya��including better agility, self-awareness and better time managment. No wonder everyone from movie stars to schoolchildren are turning to these experts to bring a change in their lives. We talk to them about starting out, diet and places to practice:
                Narayan RNarayan R Pissurlenkar
                At 32, Pissurlenkar is the oldest member of Mumbai-based group of traceurs, Free Souls. Having seen his share of broken bones and twisted ankles, he makes it a point to bring safety into the equation first during training. a�?Parkour strengthens the legs and hands, as well as the upper body,a�? he says, adding that having a paunch shouldna��t stop you. Emphasising its difference from free-running (the flips in the latter are replaced by vaults in parkour), he breaks myths about maintaining a diet or going to the gym. a�?You can eat anything, as long it is healthy,a�? assures the traceur, who has been practicing since 2010. Suggesting daily sessions of 30 minutes for a beginner, he recommends parking lots at railway stations as ideal places to practice. He has trained clients like Bollywood actress Elena Kazan. `1,500 a month. Details: 9768847079

                Sreeram (6)Sreeramachandra Y Modukuru
                Having received his certification from American Parkour (APK) recently, Modukuru, a level-two certified instructor, trains clients whose ages go up to 45. a�?Beginners can start with plyometrics, which include precision jumps and strides, and then eventually move into vault sessions and flows,a�? he says, adding that because of the balance, endurance and agility skills, a traceur is a complete athlete, with a�?homeostasisa�? (stability) in his/her strides. a�?Before every training session, one should raise the body temperature by doing jumping jacks, hops, jogs, or even a short walk or cycling,a�? he advises. Talking about the growing culture in the country, he points to groups like Chaos Factory (a parkour group in Bangalore) as being his favourites. Rs.1,200 a month. Details: 9989085505

                prabu-mani-cpk-3Prabu Mani
                With over eight years experience, Mani is the mainstay of the Parkour Chennai group. An advocate of organic food, he looks at parkour as a way to respond to the environment in the most efficient waya��strengthening not just the muscles, but also the ligaments, tendons and bones. Recommending warm-up exercises like joint rotations, lush/pull ups and short runs, Mani says, a�?Almost all basic movements can be attempted by beginners, but the distance over which they do will have to be small enough till the technique is perfected,a�? adding, a�?Rest is very important, so a break every three days is a must.a�? `800 a month. Details: 9768847079

                Giles d' Souza (3)Giles Da��Souza
                He is easily one of the most recognisable faces of parkour in the country. Certified from UK-based Parkour Generations, he works with prominent fitness trainer Abbas Ali, who trains actors like Shahid Kapoor. a�?I always focus on precision jumps for beginners, as that trains onea��s nervous system to move and balance better,a�? Da�� Souza says, adding that conditioning is a must for any beginner; else it will end up harming the body. a�?One must also check the surroundings for loose or damaged surfaces,a�? he warns, saying that as a coach it is important to make sure that the clienta��s weak areas are conditioned, before moving on to bigger moves. Rs.4,000 a month. Details: 8097397662

                Zeeshan (1)Shaikh M Zeeshan
                Another member of Free Souls, Zeeshan is one of the managers of the Parkour Dubai team. Talking about the cardio benefits of parkour, he points out the spiritual sidea��it makes one calm and patient. a�?The fun thing about parkour is that it can be learned by anyone and you can train anywhere and everywhere. All you need to do is find a wall, ledge or railing, or even a childrena��s playgrounda��anywhere you can jump across, jump over, climb, swing, etc,a�? he says. But he does warn against damaging or vandalising property. Calling the urban landscape of Mumbai as the ideal setting for any traceur, he says, a�?I also love the Golconda Fort in Hyderabad, which makes me feel like I am in a Temple Run game.a�? Rs.500 for a two-hour session and for children, Rs.300. Details: +971558664806

                Choose the best
                a�?The best trainers are those who looks at their clients individually and recommends moves based on their strengths,a�? says Pissurlenkar. a�?Trainers certified by foreign organisations like American Parkour and ADAPT have an edge,a�? adds Modukuru.
                a��Karan Pillai

                  0 51

                  Changing winds
                  With global warming and the ozone
                  layer on everyonea��s mind, Discovery Science telecasts Strangest Weather on Earth. You can expect to be amazed at blazing tornadoes of fire that spiral into the sky, balls of lightning that bounce along the sidewalk and bizarre clouds that spark UFO panic. Weekdays at 10 pm.

                  05OTBSide2Festive fieldwork
                  Now that Castle and Beckett are married, the romance is luckily not dead, but several victims are. The upcoming episode, Bad Santa, sets the mood for the holidays, until an ER physician, a mob doctor to a mafia family run by an old friend of Castlea��s, is gunned down in the street. Wednesdays at 10 pm on Star World Premiere.

                  05OTBSide3Beach holiday
                  This weeka��s destination is Maldives and the hotel youa��ll be given a sneak peek into is Reethi Rah on Great World Hotels. Set in the leisurely island nation, the hotel boasts a woody charm with every care taken to make guests lose themselves in its luxury, whether at the infinity pools, beach villas or water villas. 10 pm on Travel XP HD.

                    0 39

                    Changing winds
                    With global warming and the ozone
                    layer on everyonea��s mind, Discovery Science telecasts Strangest Weather on Earth. You can expect to be amazed at blazing tornadoes of fire that spiral into the sky, balls of lightning that bounce along the sidewalk and bizarre clouds that spark UFO panic. Weekdays at 10 pm.

                    05OTBSide2Festive fieldwork
                    Now that Castle and Beckett are married, the romance is luckily not dead, but several victims are. The upcoming episode, Bad Santa, sets the mood for the holidays, until an ER physician, a mob doctor to a mafia family run by an old friend of Castlea��s, is gunned down in the street. Wednesdays at 10 pm on Star World Premiere.

                    05OTBSide3Beach holiday
                    This weeka��s destination is Maldives and the hotel youa��ll be given a sneak peek into is Reethi Rah on Great World Hotels. Set in the leisurely island nation, the hotel boasts a woody charm with every care taken to make guests lose themselves in its luxury, whether at the infinity pools, beach villas or water villas. 10 pm on Travel XP HD.

                      0 81

                      Bangalore-based chain, Rahhams Families, brings its popular biryani and kebabs to town

                      Eighteen years in the business, six outlets and one city. Thata��s been the calling card of Rahhams Families, one of Bangalorea��s favourite destinations for biryanis and kebabs. So when we heard that theya��d finally stepped into our neck of the woods, we wasted no time finding a table. Gutsily setting up shop opposite a popular local biryani joint in Anna Nagar, the week-old restaurant is packed on its second day of opening.
                      a�?So far ita��s mostly been word-of-mouth and the turn out has been great,a�? says Muddasir Abdul Rashid, who has taken over the reins of the a�?empirea�� from his father, Abdul Rashid. a�?My father started his first outlet in our garage and served biryanis that were made using the family recipe, with spices mixed by my mother and grandmother, a tradition we still follow today,a�? he adds.
                      SHOTS OF FOOD AT RAHHHAMS RESTAURANT FOR INDULGE-EXPRESS/P.RAVIKUMARTheir 22-page menu features tandoori, Chinese, Mughlai, South Indian and Arabic dishes, and we are first served a kheer to sweeten the palate, before a plate of tender and perfectly-spiced mutton chops arrive. Plates of pahadi kebab and chicken sholay follow. We polish off the former in minutes, but the latter is a tad too spicy for our taste. Buttery naans and a chicken dilruba (simmered in a cashew gravy) calm the tongue before their signature mutton biryani arrives. Delicately spiced, with mutton from Bangalore (a�?the meata��s softer,a�? says chef Abdul Latheef), ita��s delicious, save for the generous helping of ghee.
                      But not everyonea��s meals seem to be going down so well. A few complaints of undercooked meat and sloppy service crop up, but Rashid assures us ita��s just teething trouble. a�?Once we iron out the issues and guage the response, we plan to open more outlets in the city,a�? the 32-year-old tells us, adding that an outlet in Dubai is also in the offing.
                      Meal for two at approximately Rs.700. Details: 26268700

                      a��Surya Praphulla Kumar

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