Monthly Archives: April 2015
Kalki turns director
Kalki Koechlin likes to get into the skin of her characters. While there may not have been much method acting required to play Aditi in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Koechlin certainly had to spend long and intense hours to get into her Margarita, With A Straw character of Laila and get used to the wheelchair. For her next role, in Soni Razdana��s 1950s period drama Love Affair (with Ali Fazal and Gulshan Devaiah), based on true events, Koechlin is working on her accent, posture and body language. She has also completed Anu Menona��s Waiting (with Naseeruddin Shah) and Jiah Aur Jiah (with Richa Chadda). She will be seen in Nicholas Kharkongora��s independent film, Mantra (with Rajat Kapoor, Shiv Pandit and Adil Hussain). But what is making Koechlin most nervous is her first effort at direction. She will be directing her first stage production, which premieres later this year. Koechlin is both writer and director of the play, the cast of which includes Neil Bhoopalam, recently seen in NH10.
Heart of the matter
Given the way the hype is already being built for it, Rohit Shettya��s multi-starrer Dilwale is already headed to being one of the most anticipated films of this year (slated for a Christmas release). Not only does it see Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol reuniting after My Name is Khan, but it also sees young actors like Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon joining the top-heavy cast. As the title indicates, Dilwale is a romance but with the usual Shetty (Chennai Express, Golmaal) staplesa��and one of them being shooting in Goa. But foreign locations of Cape Town, Abu Dhabi and Mauritius have also been added to the production schedule. The cast also includes funny men Sanjay Mishra, Johny Lever and Varun Sharma.
Pizza boy to pugilist
From being the pizza delivery boy in horror film Pizza, the light-eyed Akshay Oberoi is on a roll with a number of new projects on the anvil. Not only is he appearing in Abhishek Kapoora��s Fitoor, an adaptation of Great Expectations starring Katrina Kaif and Aditya Roy Kapur, he is also acting in the Indo-Brit film Bombairiya, has a special appearance in Piku, and is currently prepping to play a boxer in Gurgaon. National award winning cinematographer, Shanker Ramana��s noir drama Gurgaon spotlights gender prejudice set in the context of a modern city. Oberoi is building his physique to convincingly portray a boxer, which entails him following the same diet regimen as that of champion boxer Vijender Singh. Pankaj Tripathi (Gangs of Wasseypur) plays Oberoia��s father in the father-son story. Aamir Bashir also stars. Interestingly Bashir and Raman have previously worked together on the formera��s Harud.
The Goan wedding
Actress Tillotama Shome who has acted in such hard-hitting film as Children of War and Qissa has come a long way since her modest maid character in Monsoon Wedding. Shome just had a wedding of her own, as she tied the knot with long time partner Kunal Ross in a low-key Bengali style function held in Goa. Ross happens to be Jaya Bachchana��s nephew, which meant that guests were seen jostling to get pictures of the high
profile Bachchan family. Amitabh, Abhishek and Aishwarya were in attendance along with aunty Jaya. Other guests included Shomea��s close friends, fellow actresses Konkona Sen Sharma and Priyanka Bose.
Tasneem Ayuba��s Mughlai desserts get a modern makeover, a brand name and soon, a take away counter
herea��s no one on the Chennai Food Guide community who has not heard of her biryani, and her Mughlai desserts like the zafrani badam have broken even the most strong-willed weight watchers. Known fondly as a�?auntya�? or a�?ammeea�? Tasneem Ayub has been cooking since she was six years old, and after years of sharing through classes and catering, she has started her own food label called Tasneem Ayuba��s Ammeea��s Kitchen. a�?Ammee means mother and most of my recipes were handwritten and handed down to me by my mother. Hence the name,a�? explains the home chef.
Sweet and sour
a�?The desserts wea��ve started with are khubani ka meetha and jamuni kheer,a�? she says, about the treats that now come in 500ml jars. The latter, an unusual Indian dessert of fresh gulab jamuns in a rice kheer, will soon be joined by more daring counterparts like a pumpkin halwa. A stickler for healthy and quality ingredients, Ayub is working on sugar-free versions too, and her pickles (a lime pickle and a mahi-mahi fish pickle available in 250 gm jars) are made with hand-pressed gingelly oil and organic turmeric, chilli powder and cumin. a�?The pickles are made with recipes I picked up over the years, but Ia��ll be doing a tomato pickle that was taught to me by my mother, soon,a�? she promises, adding that experiments like an A�clair in a jar and a a�?stuff your facea�� chocolate cheesecake are also underway.
Mind the mains
With a new centralised kitchen coming up near Defence Colony in Ekkaduthangal, her entire line of products (currently delivered only on order) will be available from a take away counter in the premises. And besides her famous Dakhni-style mutton biryani, you will also be able to pick up her new chicken marinades (tangdi, hariyali and tikka) and ready-to-fry shammi kebabs from there. a�?The secret to a good biryani is ensuring the rice, oil and meat are of the best quality,a�? she gives us a parting pointer. And if you want more on the spiced rice, book your slot at the Chennai Food Guide Food Consulatea��s inaugural class by Ayub, on April 11.
Pickles from Rs 130 for 250 gms, desserts from Rs 180 for 500 ml. Details: 9884098631
Jaquet Droz Lady 8 Flower
This hand painted and engraved masterpiece has a flower, which blossoms to reveal the automaton movement. Elaborate enamelling using the Grand Feu technique has been applied. Also available in a version with a butterfly set with sparkling gems. From `96.5 lakhs* Jaquet-droz.com
Sarpaneva Northern Lights
Stepan Sarpanevaa��s Korona Northern Lights reproduces a mini Aurora Borealis on your wrist, courtesy a proprietary lume material. Look out for its unique moon-phase. Limited to 8 pieces. Rs.9.78 lakhs*. Sarpanevawatches.com
Christophe Claret Aventicum
This Claret masterpiece has been inspired by Aventicum, the capital of Roman Helvetia. A micro replica of the solid gold bust of Marcus Aurelius is on the centre of the dial. The rotor on the back is also embellished with Roman racing chariots. Available in limited editions of red and white gold. Rs.32 lakhs.* christopheclaret.com
Vulcain Cloisonne Grand Feu
Vulcan (Vulcain in French) is the mythical God of fire, metal and smithery. He is honored and depicted here in this fine watch forged using Grand Feu enamel technique which is extremely difficult yet offers highest durability. Limited to 30 pieces. Price TBA .vulcain-watches.ch
Fiona Kruger Celebration Skull
Independent watch maker Fiona Kruger draws from the Mexican celebration of Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), decorated skeleton movements in watches and Mary Queen of Scots to create a most unique Skull watch. Wholly designed by Fiona, the watch is decorated and assembled by hand limited to 24 pieces. `16.75 lakhs plus taxes. Fionakrugertimepieces.com
Ulysse Nardin Hannibal
Legendary Carthaginian general Hannibal Barca fought the might of the Roman Army with his elephants during the Second Punic war (218-201BC). Ulysse Nardin commemorates the monumental journey across the Alps and the Pyrenees in the Hannibal Minute Repeater. Carved from 18Kt white gold, platinum and granite from the Alps! Throw in a Tourbillon and a Minute repeater (time is chimed/gonged on demand), with the figures on the dial (Jaquemarts) moving in unison with the gongs. Only 30 pieces. Rs.4.66 crore* ulysse-nardin.com
Harry Winston Midnight Feather
The Midnight Feather is made of bird feathers or remige and looks like a perfect piece of wood. The case is 18kt rose gold and a skeleton Harry Winston rotor is displayed through the back. Price on request.A�harrywinston.com
De Grisogono Grappoli S04
This high jewellery timepiece is set with hundreds of gemstones (amethysts in this version) and pink gold. The incredible wrist ornament is also available with diamonds, emeralds, sapphires and a special Ruby version launched at Baselworld 2015. Price on request. degrisogono.com
Click for the cat
Today, Luz house
Photographer Shannon Zirkle and Luz House have organised portrait sessions for families, couples and individuals at the venue in Mylapore. Each session lasts up to 20 minutes and proceeds will go towards The Cattitude Trust, that helps cats in distress. At Rs 2,500 per session. Details: 9840835304
Dogs in dilemma
Tomorrow, Costa Coffee
If you feel strongly about the consumption of dog meat, join the worldwide march by saynotodogmeat.net. The aim of the march is to end the meat trade that is rampant in Asia and Africa. On April 4, from 7.45 am, the marchA� starts from Costa Coffee in Besant Nagar. Details: 9003179987
Friday 3, ICSA program center
Make A Difference (MAD), in association with Fiat Chennai and ExpertsHub Industry Skill Development Center, is organising a three-day technical workshop on Automotive IC Engine Technologies. The workshop, Auto Madness, is a learning platform for budding mechanical and automobile engineers. Proceeds go towards educating children at risk. Tickets from Rs 1,600. Details: in.bookmyshow.com
Till April 5, The Park
While The Parka��s Easter counter has a stock of eggs filled with nutty chocolate, candies and truffles, their special desserts (Rs 1,200 plus tax per kilo onwards) like apple and cranberry crumble pie with bourbon whisky sauce are available on order. For some savoury feasting, book their roast chicken with gravy (Rs 1,200 plus tax per kilo). Therea��s hot cross buns, cookies and gift hampers, too. Details: 42676000
Learn the art of physical comedy and work on specific routines at the 16-day workshop on medical clowning by The Little Theatre. From today, at Rs 15,000 per person, at The Little Theatre. Details: 9677125738
A new French bakery and cafe in Anna Nagar, COCO Jaunt 1728, offers sandwiches, pastries and a range of chocolates (made in-house). Their fresh hot chocolate is already a hit and the cafe, themed around travel, also has a selection of books on the subject. Prices from Rs 150 onwards.
From origami to pottery, therea��s a lot to learn this summer and plenty of ways to keep your tots busy
Last week, we told you where to go to add some adventure into your childa��s vacation. This time, ita��s all about letting them get their hands dirty. And by that we mean with paints, clay, gum, the works. Registrations are open for classes on painting, calligraphy, decoupage and more. Here are five outfits we think your kids might enjoy registering at.
You may have told your children not to play with fire, but now you will have to give them permission to do just that! The pyrography workshop at DakshinChitra is a popular one. Meaning a�?writing with firea��, an in-house artist will teach children how to first sketch on wood and then a�?painta�� it by scorching it, in a controlled manner, with a soldering pen. You can make coasters, wall hangings and more using this technique. On May 9, from 10 am to 4 pm. For children between eight and 14. Rs 600. Details: 9841777779
Forum Art Gallery
There is something for everyone here. Young ones (five and above) can keep busy with clay modelling and mask making at the Art and Craft Workshop (April 27 – 30 and May 11 – 14, at Rs 2,000) or fashioning unique pieces from discarded materials at the Recycle Craft with Junk workshop (May 4 a�� 7, at Rs 2,000). For children eight and above, therea��s the Origami workshop to master the Japanese art of paper folding (April 20 a�� 23, at Rs 2,000) or the three-week Art Program, where they can learn the basics of sketching, painting and perspective, guided by a senior artist (April 20 – May 15, at Rs 4,500). Details: 42115596
Starting April 10, this art centre will be the place to be as they are organising workshops galore. Kicking off with metal embossing (April 10-11, Rs 1,000), you can register for classes on Decoupage, where you decorate an object by gluing coloured paper cut-outs, in combination with painting (April 28-30, Rs 1,500). Also choose from Neon Paper Quilling (roll, shape and glue paper strips to make decorative pieces – April 15-17, Rs 1,500), Watercolour Study (still lives and landscapes – April 13-17, Rs 4,000) and more. Details: ilangosartspace.org
Rainbow Fish Studio
Seven professional artistsa��like Benitha Perciyal, who has shown at the Delhi Art Fair, and Potrarasan Suban, who holds an MFA in ceramicsa��will be working with children for a week, to teach them the basics of art like pottery, sculpture, collage, mixed media, 3D art and printmaking. Held between April 20 and May 15, children between six and 14 can register for the series of a�?Create Art with a Professional Artista�� workshops, depending on their interests. Rs 4,900. Details: 24470438
Calligraphy is not just painting shapes on papera��ita��s like a choreographed dance melding impulse, movement and poise. Now children between seven and 15 can learn modern Korean calligraphya��using a brush, ink, inkstone and the Korean alphabet on hanji papera��from Juae Park, a calligrapher from Korea. The three-part workshop also includes classes in Taekwondo and choral music (9 am to 12 pm). If the martial art form is too strenuous, then there is a yoga elective for the afternoon group (1 – 4 pm). May 11-22, at Rs 6,500. Details: 24361224
Surya Praphulla Kumar
Kairali Ayurvedic Group is becoming a go-to treatment centre for survivors, be it of cancer or other diseases
IT TAKES me almost a day to tour the lush 15-acre Kairali Ayurvedic Group on foot. Ia��m not surprised when KR Abhilash, the fourth generation owner of the resort in Palakkad district, shares his plans to introduce bicycles for visitors. But the exercise is exhilarating. The family owned, 15-year-old resort also discourages meat, alcohol and smoking on campus. As I dodge gardens of healing herbs and medicinal plants, I am joined by foreigners taking the tour. a�?We have Germans visiting us throughout the year,a�?says Abhilash,by way of explanation,A� and I learn later that star guests include actors Mohanlal and Neha Dhupia.
Started by KV Ramesh and Gita Ramesh, who hail from a family of traditional Ayurvedic physicians in Kerala, the resort is managed by Abhilash and KR Abhishek from Delhi. The owners have a clear target audience. a�?We clearly state that we are a treatment centre. People cannot come in expecting three restaurants, with a la carte and buffets, and there will be no cocktails,a�? confirms Abhilash. That said, they will be including a curio shop and games for recreation. Yoga sessions have been added to the list, and Abhilash informs us, a�?A lot of people come from different countries to learn about ayurveda. At our 14-day intensive programme, participants can learn the basics of ayurveda and yoga.a�? Opening new centres around the world, besides Raipur and Nagaland, is also part of the plan.
At the resort, the 30 rooms have been themed around local star signs, and categorised as deluxe, classic, royal and maharaja. My two-day stay begins at the maharaja suite, expansive atA� 400 sq feet. Though the rooms will soon see a makeover, I am drawn to the valabiri conch, artfully placed to signify positive energy. After a healthy breakfast of just fruits, I head out for my appointment with Dr Sarvam, mandatory before any treatment. Fortunately, he agrees that I need some pampering and I am scheduled for a royal makeover. I indulge in two hours of bliss, beginning with a prayer and a head massage, before the full body massage. Almost likeA� a three course meal, it involves a herbal oil, grated coconut scrub and a nourishing herbal mask. An eye treatment includes some beneficial a�?blindinga�� with herbal water. The languorous ritual results in glowing skin and soft haira��I feel like a bride again. A few hours later, I am ready to learn more about the 47 massages and treatments that the doctors prescribe for specific ailments:
A new therapy for cancer survivors is getting popular. a�?We dona��t treat cancer but for those who have been through chemotherapy, we have massages like abhyanga,a�? Abhilash adds, confirming that the therapists have been trained in oncology esthetics and oncology massage therapy.
The memory years
With Alzheimera��s being a growing concern today, Dr Sarvam is equipped with tips. a�?a�?Use just your left hand for one whole day, count backwards from 100, play chess and involve yourself in a creative activity like art,a�? he begins. Yoga poses, like the cross leg chin mudra is recommended for memory related issues, as is the head stand, the kukkutasana (cock pose) and ustrasana (camel pose). The Sohum chant will supposedly help your mind be in the present and active, while herbs like bhrami and the Shirodhara treatment are recommended.
With a 45-minute yoga session for at least 15 days, Sarvam promises that arthritis can be cured slowly. One must attend the yoga session (at 6 am or 7 am ). As for medicines, the benefits of guggul (herb) and home remedies like methi, dhaniya and jeera are shared. The kolakulathadi choornam (made with seven herbs, dried and powdered) is used in massages.
Their potli massage, with herbs like triphala, long pepper and dry ginger wrapped in a muslin bag, is best suited for those trying to control obesity. a�?A patient gets two masseurs, and the potli is used, in a mild striking motion on pressure points across the body,a�? says Sarvam.
Hair and skin therapy
For skin complaints, eladi choornam, a powder made from Indian spices, is recommended for consumption.A� Vana jambeera (wild lime) can be used for damaged hair. As for therapies, their chakradhara can nourish dry scalp.
With increasing stress issues, tonics made from sarpagandha (a herbal plant) are recommended. Basic massagesa��like abhyangam and shirodhara are popular,too.
Their preventive and regenerative package for 3N/4D is Rs 21,000. Details: kairali.com
The writer was invited by the Kairali Ayurvedic Group
Kolkata-based label, Ekru, is showcasing their Spring Summer collection at Evoluzione. Inspired by the lotus, the collection is available in fabrics like chanderi, kora, chiffon and lace.
Expect anarkalis, tunics and kurta sets. Available in shades like off-whites, lilac,A� peach and pastel pink, with a touch of gold.
From Rs 17,500. Details: 28333627
Push the sole
Ermenegildo Zegna is offering Flex shoes for the man on the go. Featuring a flexible leather sole and the Sacchetto construction, with less seams for maximum comfort.A� They come in various styles like a derby shoe and double monk dress shoes. In dark brown, blue and more in nappa and soft deerskin. From Rs 44,000. Details: zegna.com
Anavilaa��s Summer Resort Wear collection, showcased at the recent Lakme India Fashion Week 2015, is coming to The Amethyst Room. Look out for monochromes coupled with soft and chalky pastels in fine linen, featuring techniques like hand batik. From Rs 9,500.
Bengaluru plays host to French luxury label Jacadia��s first store in India
Ita��s NO wonder that the formidable Miranda Priestley chose to dress her children in pure Jacadi or Ralph Lauren in the classic, The Devil Wears Prada. Bringing the luxury childrena��s label to the country,with a first store in Bengaluru, is Veena Satish, CEO of Ravee House of Chic. Set over 2,500 square feet, it stocks garments and accessories for children from 0 to 12 years. Started in France in 1976, the original family-run businessA� expanded to Lucerne, Switzerland and has since opened 265 outlets worldwide. The brand is expected to launch in Delhi, Mumbai and other metros within a year.
Known for its Parisian chic, the range of liberty-printed garments feature exclusive, patented prints. The brand has tied up with well-known French artist Anna Emilia, who has created adorable art prints for a range of their clothes. Charming woodland creatures or sophisticated florals are featured on premium cottons that have been tested and approved for children. The styles are simple with clean cuts, minus fussy and extravagant details. a�?We keep our clothes comfortable and chic. So you will not find frills, flouncesA� and satin here,a�? explains Satish.
Currently in stores, their summer collection sees cool whites, floral prints, sun hats, headbands, swim suits and even little head wreaths. Turquoise is clearly the colour of the season and we spotted quite a few pieces in thisA� versatileA� shade from cute girlie dresses to smart trousers for boys. All the garments come with matching hair accessories and socks to keep the little people looking sharp. For sporty kids, the active line features trendy stripes and plain tees, skirts and dresses. For newborns (0 to 12 months), they go the extra mile, using only organic cotton. Their products extend to cashmere (in cardigans, onesies and booties), as well as bathrobes, diaper bags, carry nests and sleeping bags.
Endorsed by celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Hillary Clinton, they alsoA� have a range of soft cotton shoes for newborns plus leather and canvas for older kids. Expect their marine-themed line for beach holidays later this month.
Rs 799 upwards. At Lavelle Road, Bengaluru. Details: 08042076677
This Easter, besides the chocolate eggs, try these unusual treats that home bakers have to offer
Easter approaches. And whether youa��re waiting to feast after the long fast that leads up to the festival, or simply joining in at a frienda��s celebration, therea��s a lot more than chocolate rabbits and eggs this year. We suggest trying the specials these home bakers have to offer:
Whole-wheat hot cross buns by Sugar Cube
Do the healthy this Easter, as specialists, Dr Sunitha Raja and Aarthi Ram, are baking whole-wheat and honey cakes, and ragi and jaggery cakes (Rs 700 per kilo) for some healthy feasting. While the cakes come with no frosting, you can ask for a jar of salted caramel sauce to drizzle atop before serving. And yes, 100 per cent whole-wheat hot cross buns (Rs 40 each) are also on offer. Details: 9003083483
Cake truffles by Minal Kripalani
Already popular for her cake pops, Minal Kripalani offers a great gifting option for Easter. Choose from cookie dough, choco-chip cookie dough, Oreo cookie, brownie truffle, red velvet or any cake of your choice, and she will turn it into cake truffles or balls of cake covered in Belgian dark or white chocolate. A box of nine costs from Rs 100 onwards. Details: 9840722848
Simnel cakes by Smitha Kuttayya
A fruit and nut cake baked with a layer of marzipan in between, and topped with another layer of the almond confection, simnel cakes are an Easter tradition in countries like the UK and Republic of Ireland. Smitha Kuttayya also does simnel tarts and Easter egg cakes encased in fondant for the celebration. Rs 750 per cake (approximately one kilo). Details: 9444385425
Mazariner by Kuki Ravindran
A shortcrust pastry with an almond filling (like marzipan) glazed post baking a�� the Mazarin is the pride of every Swedish cafe. While you may be too late to order her high tea boxes (loaded with goodies like brown butter glazed cinnamon rolls and caramelised onion mini quiches), Kuki Ravindrana��s Mazariner are more than just a consolation prize for Easter. At Rs 1,200 for a dozen. Details: facebook.com/TheKukiJar, 9841090592
With a new menu and chef from Bangkok who prefers to make his own pastes, Lotus at The Park blossoms once more
Ita��s been 13 years since The Park introduced Lotus to connoisseurs of Thai cuisine in Chennai. Since then, the restaurant has seen three Thai chefs create everything from classics like green curry and satay to more unusual dishes like pandanus chicken and jellied water chestnuts. But while chefs may come and go, the food must endear a�� and Lotusa�� new master chef, Kittisak Jencharoenporn, knows this all too well. Thata��s why the native of Bangkok, who has taken up his second stint in India at The Park, is crafting a menu that will not seem too familiar nor unfamiliar to regulars of the restaurant. a�?Some dishes like the mix mushroom with cashew nut sauce and the vegetable spring rolls are best sellers here. Ia��ve made small additions like duck and prawn spring rolls, but they are very different,a�? says the chef, who comes with experience from hotels like the Majestic Grande Sukhumvit, Bangkok.
Home made advantage
A man of very few words, chef Jencharoenporn initially says wea��ll have to wait till the relaunch on April 11, to see whata��s new on the menu at Lotus. But after a bit of coaxing, he shares that we should try the pad Thai noodles, green curry and stir fried chicken with cashew nut. With ingredients that include sweet turnip and bean sprouts, the stir fried rice noodles will now be prepared with his special home made pad Thai sauce, he shares. And the a�?home madea�� factor continues in dishes like the crab meat balls with Madras curry powder. a�?The curry is made with home made curry past that has ingredients like cumin, coriander seeds and dried chillies,a�? says the chef, insisting that Thai cuisine is adaptable. a�?For example, if you want to make a dish without using fish sauce, you can replace it with soya sauce or salt a�� the taste will be the same,a�? he points out. That said, the fish sauce, soya sauce and chief ingredients like dry chillies used in Lotus are all imported from Thailand, wea��re told.
Designer and decor
Besides all the new names on the menu (wea��re especially looking forward to the lamb shank stew and pork ribs with Thai-style BBQ sauce), Lotus will also be sporting new interiors. Yes, the silk curtains that adorn the walls will remain, but are taking on shades of the Blue Lotus, that has inspired the new colour palette of the restaurant. And while the seating has also been marginally increased, your waiters will be serving you clad in uniforms designed by our very own Vivek Karunakaran. Now if thata��s not a complete revamp, we dona��t know what is!
Approx Rs 2,500 plus tax for two. Details: 42676000
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