Monthly Archives: July 2015
Line up for Royce
August 1 | Good Earth
Royce fans will tell you why it’s a big deal that the Japanese gourmet chocolate brand is dropping by. It is a pop-up shop at Good Earth and only for two days, July 31 and Aug 1. So make some time for squares of truffle-like bitter chocolate and chocolate potato crisps, no less. `495 onwards. Details: 42664376. More on Page 8
Last woman standing
August 1 | Brazil
The Women’s Bantamweight championship bout between defending champion Ronda Rousey and challenger Bethe Correia will be the highlight of UFC 190, the mixed-martial arts event of the Ultimate Fighting Championsip to be held in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Watch it live tomorrow on ufc.tv
August 5 | Aloft OMR
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Artworld — Sarala’s Art Centre, there will be live demonstration by 10 artists from West Bengal and Assam at Aloft. Featuring names like Parag Adhikari, Amlan Dutta, Swapan Palley, Chanchal Mukherjee and others, you can expect abstract, figurative and landscape paintings. Till August 8. Details: 45925500. More on Page 19
August 4 | Spurtank Road
Jewellery designer S Ahalya is back in a beautiful heritage setting that befits her unusual work. Called Kingsley, the old Chettinad home-turned store, will feature her trademark silver and gold jewellery, one-of-a-kind kanjeevaram saris, and have rooms specially for blouse fabrics and high-end gifts (coming soon). More on Page 15
At the movies
July 31 | SPI Cinemas
Chris Coloumbus, the man behind the first two movies of the Harry Potter series, as well as Fantastic Four and Percy Jackson, returns with Pixels, a sci-fi comedy. Feeling threatened by video feeds from Earth of classic arcade games, the aliens launch Pac-Man and Space Invaders style attacks, and it’s up to a bunch of arcade champions to thwart the invasion. Details: 42244224
August 3 | Mumbai
Frazer and Haws offers two limited edition (only five) pieces of Objet D’art, designed by artist Chanda Narang. Ideal conversation starters, they are made from vintage Greco Roman ceramic tiles. The Starbust (`56,700) celebrates art while the Time Mill (`91,200) exuberates elegance. At Estaa, Kemps Corner. Details: 022 23824429
The Beatle mania
August 2 | Chicago
With an expected footfall of over 1,60,000 people, this year’s Lollapalooza Festival is pulling out all the stops. The Beatles frontman, Paul McCartney, will be headlining alongside heavy metal legends Metallica at the 10th anniversary edition. Don’t miss the livestream of the festival’s last day, as Florence and the Machine, Sam Smith, Bassnectar and Alt-J get ready to play at the Chicago music festival. Details: lollapalooza.com
Meet the Jaguar
August 6 | Jaguar
Jaguar has commenced bookings for its Discovery Sport, which will enter the Indian market in September. The car is termed as a successor to the Land Rover Freelander 2 and is expected to compete with Audi Q7 and Mercedes Benz GL. It has features like Terrain Response and autonomous emergency braking, making it an all-purpose SUV. Price to be announced. Details: 4524444
WHEN it rains it pours. This week I suppose that applies both literally and figuratively with a slew of launches, lots of great food and a fair share of celebrity mania as (hopefully) summer comes to a close. The food trail began at the unveiling of the new 601 menu at The Park, where brand loyalists turned up in large numbers with appetites to match.
It was almost like one big happy family with everyone discussing their ‘all time faves’ while digging into the Kerala Style Prawn and Mango curry, the Coq au Vin and my favourite for the evening, the ‘Elaneer Payasam Gelato’. Later in the week, the chronicles of Jonah continued with the launch of Jonah’s goes to Malabar Coast with chef Anand. Socialities, models and actors threw diets to the wind as they indulged in giant platters of coastal food.
This weekend also saw the launch of a new Japanese restaurant, Aki Bay in Velachery, that was attended by several members of the Japanese community, including the Consul General of Japan and the Japanese Commercial Association president, who were all treated to some great ramen.
In between stuffing face, we caught up on some sporting action with former Indian cricket captain Rahul Dravid, who was in town to announce the second edition of his athlete mentorship programme by the Aditya Birla Financial Services Group. After several rounds, with applications from all over the country, Dravid interacted with the shortlisted athletes at the Taj Club House, sharing his experiences as an elite athlete. It wasn’t all ‘shop talk’ though, with the sports star being joined by actor-activist and former rugby player Rahul Bose, helping to keep the mood light. The chosen athletes, who represent a variety of Olympic and Paralympic disciplines will be offered support over the next year.
The list of visiting celebs included actress Taapsee Pannu, who seems to be juggling Chennai and Mumbai rather well. She was in town for the launch of a lighting range, who showed off their latest range with a fashion show at Hyatt Regency. Meanwhile at Radisson Blu City Centre, Orbit launched their Ultra Electrical Switches with world famous Magician Andrew Lee, in a specially tailored performance.
At 10 Downing Street, expect to get nostalgic as DJ Gavin plays classics. Those familiar with music from the 70s and 80s will be in for a treat. There’s plenty of offers as well, with the discount matching the age of the oldest person at your table. Offer valid for ages 30 and above. Details: 43546565
An evening of rib-tickling wit and jokes awaits at E-Hotel’s stand-up show. Expect performances by Vikram Balaji, accompanied by city-based perfomers Lokesh and Deepu Dilepan. Balaji was part of the International Comedy Festival held in Manila and is also the creator and author of Mr Whipped comics. Entry at Rs 600. 7 pm, tomorrow. Details: 28463333
When busy journos and students need to keep audio information handy
Cogi, free on both iOS and Android, helps you filter out the unimportant talk. When you start the app, Cogi will start to listen but not record until you ‘Tap to Highlight’. It has a buffer of 15 seconds, which means it will save the earlier 15 seconds too. Also type notes and take photos to help get a better picture later. Details: cogi.com
Smart Voice Recorder
Record and change the quality, calibrate microphone gain for varying situations and settings on this. You can delete lengthy pauses and cut the size to make it easier to share on the go. Plus, the option of minimising disturbance. `300 on iOS (itunes.apple.com) and Android (play.google.com).
Skyro Voice Recorder
This allows you to add images of presentation slides, notes, or anything that you want to support the audio visually. You can sync the recording to a cloud-storage (Dropbox), so even if your phone crashes, the audio clip will still be available. On Android. Details: skyroapp.com
Tape A Call
This one makes it easy to record calls that you are already on, or ones that you may make. Once you hang up on the call, the recording automatically pops up on the screen and you can choose to save or share it. Get the pro version on Android and iOS for `640. Details: tapeacall.com
This iOS app is like a portable audio studio. You can record, copy/paste and edit audio and then apply effects like fades, delays and change the pitch. You can even link it to FTP or SFTP if you are a trendy journalist who needs to get information instantly. `640 on twistedwave.com
— Aakanksha Devi
Today, not one but three radio presenters will find themselves on the big screen. Idhu Enna Mayam is hitting theatres and has Big FM Balaji, Mirchi Ajai and Hello FM Balaji acting together for the very first time. While both Balajis have films under their belts, this is Ajai Titus’ first taste of mainstream cinema. I caught up with Big FM Balaji and Titus to find out more.
How do you juggle radio, movies and family?
Balaji: It was difficult to manage all the shoots, along with radio. But with so much love and support around me, it was achievable. I’m lucky I had a film team who understood my schedule and made adjustments. I want to thank Big FM 92.7 and my ‘awesomatic’ family.
How was your first encounter with films?
Titus: It was awesome. It’s hard work, and as a beginner, it was my learning playground. The transition from an audio medium to a visual one was a big challenge. On radio, the voice does all the acting, but to face the camera and bring out the right expressions was not easy. On radio, you are pretty much your own boss during show time. However, it’s the opposite in films.
How was it acting with other radio presenters?
Titus: Having RJs from other stations as co-stars was the most exciting thing. It was a riot on the set, with the three of us hanging out—almost like a crazy laughathon. There was camaraderie and a respect for each other’s talent. Now we’ve all become good friends and respect each other in a whole new way.
And Balaji, how was your experience with your tribe?
Tonnes of fun! Over the days we kind of emotionally connected with each other. Now they have became a part of my life.
Catch the feel-good Idhu Enna Mayam and root for your favorite presenter. See you next week.
The writer’s views expressed here are entirely in his personal capacity.
Online complaints draw hits, Bond returns and a diva makes a comeback
Perhaps the most popular website in the world, you simply cannot do without YouTube. But despite the plethora of music videos, trailers, entertainment, news and others videos they give us, some people still have complaints. So Barely Productions (a YouTube production company) returns with a real life enactment of the complaints users have. From why we have to watch ads in the middle of a stream to deceptive and inaccurate titles, they really make you wonder about the views and content creators who have a grouse against the free site. The video is called YouTube Complaints 2015. Make sure you read the complaints about the complaints video when you’re watching it!
In the latest Spectre trailer, a cryptic message from the past sees James Bond (Daniel Craig) head off to Mexico City on rogue mission. From there, he goes across to Rome where he meets Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci), the seductive widow of a dangerous criminal. When he infiltrates a dark organisation known as Spectre, he is shocked to see that he is connected to the leader of it. His chilling enemy is played by Christoph Waltz, who looks like he will again dominate in the acting department. Releases on November 6.
Janet Jackson fans around the world can rejoice as the diva is back with her latest single and video. Teaming up with rapper J Cole for No Sleeep, this is the first lead single from her first original studio album in seven years. Shot in a mansion with photos from her childhood including family pictures, the clip naturally sees Jackson burst into a quick break dance. J Cole too makes an appearance towards the end of the music video. Soulful and romantic with Jackson’s signature breathy soprano, this one looks to make it to the top of the audio charts as the video has already neared the four-million mark.
— Aakanksha Devi
War and deforestation melds with the disrobing of Panchali in this dramatic operetta
It may be presumptuous to make a comparison to TS Eliot’s Wasteland, but Prasanna Ramaswamy’s new production, Shakthi-k-Koothu, is almost as multi-layered. The play, which revisits the disrobing of Panchali in the Mahabharatha, uses the incident as a launchpad to explore the “continuum of the atrocity” through literary characters, historical happenings and contemporary events. “A few years ago, for a play I was doing on Karna, I read the Vyasa Mahabharatha. There is a portion where Krishna takes Arjuna outside and shows him Draupadi, standing like a fire shooting up from the Earth to the sky,” begins Ramawamy, adding she took a cue from that to draw comparisons between the woman and nature. “For this play, I’ve used Subramanya Bharati’s Panchali Shabadam, where he refers to her as energy, shakti. I’ve used it to connect violation to women, nature and war,” she says.
Back and forth
Created like an operetta—that moves between monologue, dialogue, music and dance—the stylised play hopes to be a reflection on our refusal to learn from history. “The action moves between different states of being: that of a person, actor and character. The actor might wonder about something, which is then reflected on by the character she is playing,” says the director, explaining she has used all the five elements to tell her tale. “Like the sequence on wind, which starts off as a celebratory evocation, before shifting to become a reflection on how it must have felt on the body of the half-burnt child in Vietnam, fleeing the napalm that it carried. And how, instead of music, in Nazi torture chambers, it would have carried screams.”
The 85-minute play (which premiered this June in Paris) has actor Rohini, dancer Revathy Kumar and folk artiste Nellai Manikandan on stage. “The contemporary, stylised form of theatre interested me. There is constant interaction between the singer, who evokes each character, and me,” says Rohini. “The text also takes you to so many dimensions of the disrobing, talking about the powerless and the powerful.”
Striking a chord
Keeping the play’s fluidity and subject in mind, the sets are not constructed (“empty space is paramount as that’s where you bring your imagination”). It comprises various fabrics designed by artists Krishnapriya and Vasuhan. The music also ebbs and flows. “It is mostly raaga-based singing and evocations. I’ve also set poems—by poets like Cheran, Avvai, and Tirumavalavan—to music, besides working with compositions by Muthuswamy Dikshithar,” Ramawamy says. Though the play is not meant to teach any lessons, Ramawamy signs off with the hope that people realise that they can’t always wait for Krishna to come to their aid. “We need to use our own energies instead.”
August 8, 9 and 11, at Alliance Francaise, Koothu-p-Pattarai and Spaces, from 7 pm. Free entry. Details: 9094038623
Surya Praphulla Kumar
Fashioned from Damascus steel, carbon and even ceramic, our pick of chef’s knives that make the cut
As versatile as the chef’s knife is the Oriental slicer and this one by I.O.Shen is a keeper for several reasons. While the blade will effortlessly glide through both vegetables and meats, the tip of the knife mimics a chef’s knife for precision cutting. Approximately `9,000. Pick this one up at Milly’s Store in Manchester.
Details: 0161 772 0936
Chef Grzegorz Odolak at Park Hyatt swears by Japanese brand Global. Forged from hard Cromova 18 high-carbon stainless steel before being ice tempered and hardened to resist corrosion, this blade is ground straight rather than beveled. The textured stainless steel handle is just one more reason why you must own this one. Approximately `9,000. Be sure to drop by at their showroom in Tokyo. Details: +81 33568 2356
Besides their Swiss Army Knives, Victorinox are also known to make great knives in high-carbon stainless steel or ceramic. Besides being easily available across the country, they also come in a choice of lightweight Fibrox or rosewood handles. The knife featured is forged for added strength. Approximately `4,000. At the store in Bengaluru. Details: 33668888
Work of masters
Forged from a single mass of stainless stel, the chef’s knife by Sabatire is tempered, ground and polished crosswise. Made entirely by skilled workers in the Thiers region of France, the Corol handles of this knife are manually mounted on the tang using three rivets. Approximately `3,500. Be sure to pick this up if you’re visiting France. Details: +33 (0)47380 1103
Another fine Japanese blade, Shun is the first choice of chef Rajesh Radhakrishnan at The Park. Inspired by Samurai sword-making techniques, and constructed with a core of SG-2 powdered steel clad in a Damascus layer of forged nickel and stainless steel, the surface area of this knife gives it additional brownie points. Approximately `24,000 and available online on williams-sonoma.com
Owning the best knives on the market also means that you need to know how to care for them. While any chef will tell you that sharing your knife is a strict no, we would like to add that they must be kept dry. This is where a magnetic rack comes in. Not only do they serve the purpose of keeping your blades dry, they also display them in style. Like many of the knives on this list, you will also find magnetic racks on williams-sonoma.com
A favourite of chef Alok Anand, former executive chef at Taj Coromandel, Zwilling by German manufacturer J.A.Henckels is another go to brand for chefs because of their corrosion-resistant blades that are hard yet flexible. Their range of chef knives (some in Damascus steel) are made via a signature process, which incorporates the Fridour ice-hardening technique. Approximately `12,500. You will find the brand’s showrooms in Frankfurt, Berlin and Solingen. Details: +49 69 282423
You could go in for a set with a blade for every purpose, but a seasoned chef will tell you that an experienced hand needs only one good tool. Well balanced, suited for multiple purposes and charming to weild, chef’s knives are the ultimate cutting instrument. While you’re not likely to get your hands on one of the hand-made masterpieces by craftsman Bob Kramer (the wait can go up to two years for a blade),
you can choose the one made to his specifications by Zwilling (surlatable.com) or opt for the equally coveted Japanese blades, like the Shun, that’s made to be lightweight and severely sharp and strong at the same time.
Read on:Text: Ryan Peppin
Mumbai’s The Colour Compound and UK’s Nuphlo make their city debut with IndiEarth
It’s that time of the month again, when IndiEarth at The Park introduces us to new sounds. Tomorrow, grab your seats to catch a band from Mumbai and a solo act from the UK debuting in the city.
The Colour Compound: What began as a couple of guys making music in their backyard grew into a four-piece act over four years ago. Comprising Rohan Mazumdar and Bradley Tellis (guitar and vocals), Adil Kurwa (bass) and Aditya Ashok (drums), they call their music—a blend of pop and alternative rock—“relatable”. “It’s quite groovy, rich in vocal harmonies and melodic guitar lines,” says Tellis. With their debut album, From Where We Stand, launched last year, the 20-somethings feel their music has matured. “All four of us write our songs together—bringing in our varied ideas and influences—which adds freshness and depth to the sound,” he says, adding that we can expect to hear songs from their album, some new singles (like their latest, Holding on to the Hope), and a few popular covers. At the Lobby Stage, 9 pm.
Nuphlo: A British Indian who grew up on Ustad Bismillah Khan and Stoned Asia, UK-based Nuphlo is an electronic music producer. “My music is contemporary Asian Underground. I try to keep my beats and synths as fresh and as cutting-edge as possible,” says the 33-year-old, adding that his sound does not have allegiance to the East or West—it lies dead in the middle. The co-founder of Hundred Colours Music, Nuphlo will be bringing a very upbeat, bass-heavy selection to the city, to “get people moving”. “I will predominately be playing unreleased music made by myself and my label colleagues,” he signs off. At the Leather Bar, 10.30 pm.
Surya Praphulla Kumar
Snack on this
iTiffin has introduced The Munch Box, a combo of different kinds of packed sweets and savouries like cookies, roasted namkeens, ragi ladoos, fruit and nut bars, millet-based snacks and more. You can also subscribe for a delivery that will reach you at the beginning of the week and last for at least five days. Weekly subscription packs from Rs 499. Details: itiffin.in
Feast on a range of special cakes at The Pastry Shop at The Raintree, Anna Salai, where a promotion called Blondie & Brownie is underway. From rich nutella and peanut butter, cheese cakes and chocolates to blondies and brownies in flavours like chocolate chip, American walnut, tiramisu, buttermilk and more, the menu is available till today. Priced from Rs 500 plus tax. Details: 28309999
Chin Chin at The Residency celebrates Sichuan cuisine in its Chengdu food festival. Expect hot and spicy dishes characterised by the combination of chillies and Sichuan pepper. Talumein soup, jasmine flower soup, Chengdu lotus stem, crab meat balls, squid chrysanthemum and more are on the cards. From August 5-16, from around Rs 1,200 onwards. Details: 42121122
On a roll
Make your own swiss rolls and breads at the workshop conducted by Sara Koshy at The Gormei Market. From chocolate swiss rolls and fried doughnuts to foccacia bread and chocolate, nut and ginger rocks, Koshy promises to show you how it is done. Register at Rs 1,000 per head. On August 2, from 3 pm to 6 pm. Details: 42172229
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