Watch a movie, tuck into some seafood and master dangerous belly-dancing moves, this season
Children have a legit reason to get their hands dirty. At the coil pottery workshop, organised by DakshinaChitra, children above eight years of age, can learn to make a vase or pen holder with clay. Taught by in-house potter Palani Samy, the technique involves moulding clay into strands that are then bent and laid on top of each other to form any shape. On October 17, between 10 am to 3 pm. Rs 600. Details: 9841249600
Whata��s the catch?
At Hotel Promenade, you can enjoy your snapper in two styles, tawa fried with gravy or grilled with lemon butter sauce. At the sea food festival, Fruit de la Mer (French for a�?fruit of the seaa��), enjoy this and many others like grilled lobster, spiced sea bass and tiger
prawns. Till November 10, 12 pm onwards. Rs 999 onwards. Details: 0413 2227750
Love and hate
Intrigued by the question of why human beings cana��t coexist, French journalist and photographer, Yann Arthus-Bertrand set out to ask people around the world. His 2015 documentary, Human, shows stories of love and hatred through various testimonials and is a sensitive introspection about people who are bursting with emotions. Watch it at the Alliance FranA�aise de Pondicherry, today, at 7 pm. Details: 0413 2338146
Shake your hips
Learn exotic belly dancing moves from the Pondicherry-based French dancer, Ottilie Eucher. The one-day Oriental dance initiation workshop is open to both children (between the age group of five and 12) and adults (aged above 15). At Sita Cultural Centre, from 10 am to 12 pm for kids and 4 pm to 7 pm for adults. Rs 500 for kids and Rs 800 for adults. Details: 9944016128
Pop of colour
New Delhi- based Aditi Prakash present, Traveller, a collection of bags from her label, Pure Ghee Designs. The line will include brightly coloured (neembu yellow, rani pink and royal blue) totes and pouch sets. At Janaki Store, Romain Rolland Street, between 10 am and 8 pm. Bags are priced above Rs 1,250.
Details: 0413 2227667
At the new wellness center in Mahabalipuram, rejuvenate with relaxing Ayurvedic treatments
A Lonely Planet pick, Butterball Bed a�?na�� Breakfast is known for its affordable accommodation, and delicious burgers and pastas at the adjoining Burger Shack. Now there is yet another reason to drop by this establishment in Mahabalipurama��three-month-old Prana Ayurvedic Wellness Center. Samia Sait, the 24-year-old owner-entrepreneur, says, a�?Every time we wanted a relaxing treatment, we had to step out. Then it struck us, why not start one here.a�? With trained masseuses and therapists from Kerala, the centre promises a versatile range of rejuvenating services in a hygienic environment. a�?We have stress-busting massages, like Shirodhara, where medicinal oils like ksheerabala are poured on the forehead in a continuous stream,a�? says Sijo Varghese, one of the therapists. He recommends the kizhi treatment, a gentle massage with a pouch filled with herbs like neem, garlic and adalodakam (medicinal Malabar Nut leaves). Among the facials, the tan-removing Navara face packa��where the Navara rice is boiled in milk and herbs-infused water and then grounda��is popular. Assuring us that it is a wellness center and not a spa, Sait says, a�?We have an on-call doctor whom you can consult with before choosing a treatment.a�? Prana also offers several detox packages that include massages and healthy vegetarian meals.
Between 7 am and 7 pm.Rs 500 onwards. Details: 9094792525 a�� Ranjitha G
Meet Sabine Sanchez, a French national and now a Pondicherry resident, who talks about her passion for pottery
Sabine Sanchez never thought shea��d give up a 15-year career in broadcasting, to learn and teach pottery in India. But an eye condition forced the French national to quit her job. a�?I visited many hospitals and took more than 30 tests, only for the doctors to say they didna��t have a clue about my problem, exophthalmos (bulging eyeballs).a�? She finally landed in Tiruvannamalai in 2013, to meet a Siddha doctor who she hoped would find a cure. When she found out the treatment would take two to three years, Sanchez decided to travel the country. Thanks to her father Serge Petrovitch, a painter (whose works are on display at the MusA�e des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux), she had always been interested in arts. Hopping from place to place, she learnt carving from local artisans in Mahabalipuram, Mandala painting in Bodh Gaya andA� silver jewellery making in Goa.
Sanchez then decided to learn pottery. a�?Since childhood, Ia��ve been fascinated by the (pottera��s) wheel. I remember seeing it on TV and wanting to try it,a�? she says. Skimming the internet, she came across Ray Meeker and Deborah Smitha��s popular pottery school, Golden Bridge Pottery, in Pondicherry. In April 2014, she enrolled for the seven-month intensive workshop taught by New York-based ceramic artist, Sarah Camille Wilson. a�?Six days a week, eight hours a day, and add to that the Pondicherry heat! I used to get so exhausted,a�? she recalls. Sanchez assiduously learnt the basics of the ceramic arta��throwing (the clay on the wheel), pulling (to give the clay shape), baking (in a wood-fired kiln) and glazing (for colour and a glossy finish). After the course, she began making little Ganesha idols and moulding bowls and cups.
Learn to mould
Now she plans to teach the art to children and adults at Sita Cultural Center. Her Discovery classes will teach the basics of the wheel and the pinch-and-mould technique, while at her one-day workshops, she will initiate participants to the slab and coil techniques. So what next for Sanchez? a�?When my medical visa expires next year, I will return to Paris and teach ceramic art,a�? she says. a�?I also plan to go to Morocco and Tuscany to learn their style,a�? she concludes.
Rs 400 onwards. Details: 9944016128
Making her debut with an adult comedy, Aparna Sharma is ready to experiment, especially with humour
Aparna Sharma is obviously excited about the release of her first film. And furthermore, the teaser motion poster of Guddu Ki Gun has received tremendous reviews. We catch up with the spunky 23-year-old, who has no qualms starting her film career with an adult comedy. While this was supposed to be her second film (with psychological thriller, Rum Pum Posshh, being the first), fate has made this her debut. Sharma, who plays the role of Bholi, a small town girl from Kolkata, says, a�?As my second film, I realised the role was different from what I was playing in Rum Pum Posshh. Though the movie goes into the zone of a sex comedy, it is intelligently written and smartly executed.a�? The movie revolves around a man whose private parts are turned into gold.
One of the youngest among the new crop of actresses, the Lucknow native says she was always interested in modelling and acting, though she hails from a non-film background. Talking about her journey, she says she is lucky to have landed some plum projects. Having done commercials like Parle Monaco with Aamir Khan and Coke with Imran Khan, among others, the Delhi girl has also walked the ramp for many fashion designers at three seasons of the Lakme Fashion Week. Sharma was spotted by Ekta Kapoor, who promptly signed her on for a three-film contract with Balaji Films. She will also be seen in XXX by Ken Ghosh, the first Balaji film to focus on youth erotica. Having worked with different genres, she feels Indian cinema is going through an exciting phase. a�?People have started to realise that the hero of the film is a good script. In the last eight years, Bollywood has opened up to experimenting,a�? she says.
Superstars and singing
Admitting that her stint in advertisements has helped her improve her acting skills, the student of Abhijeet Dasa�� Institute of Advanced Acting and Behavioural Studies is all praise for Khemu. a�?He is a natural. When you act opposite such a talent, it sort of helps you as well because your reactions will be natural,a�? she says. Eagerly waiting to see how her three films will be accepted, Sharma says her dream is to work with Shah Rukh Khan and Ajay Devgn, and do a full-blown comedy. The actress is also a fitness freak. a�?I do power yoga and cross workout. I dona��t binge on junk food as I love homemade food,a�? she says. And though she considers herself a bathroom singer, the actress would love to sing for movies if she gets the right opportunity.
Guddu Ki Gun releases on October 30
The actor, who claims that he has never been insecure, on making Ennu Ninte Moideen in Tamil, his production house and a fan-boy moment.
The last time I spoke to Prithviraj was in 2009. In an hour-long telephonic interview, he chatted about his debut state award, Mani Ratnama��s Raavan and being feted as the new superstar of Malayalam cinema. I was awestruck by the 27-year-olda��s candour and confidence. He dealt every (dubious) question with disarming frankness. a�?Prithvi is probably one of the few actors in Malayalam cinema who is willing to talk about his flops. He is articulate, straightforward and doesna��t care a hoot about what you think about him,a�? says film critic Vijay George.
Since then, the actor has evolved a great deal. He has bravely weathered many media-created stormsa��be it his marriage to long-time beau Supriya Menon or being trolled on social media (for reasons other than flop films).
From the heart
Six years later, as I rustle up a list of questions for an interview, post the Ennu Ninte Moideen euphoria, there is a sense of nervous anticipation. Will he retain the same candour? Or will he choose to bore me with a new-found stifling diplomacy? I get a sense that my fears are unfounded a few minutes into the interview. Was his last film, Double Barrel a miscalculation? I take the direct route. a�?We all knew what we were getting into. However, it did not do well the way we expected it to. I have no qualms in admitting that it was a failed experiment. But I dona��t do films just so they become box office hits.a�?
I quickly get to the current flavour, Ennu Ninte Moideen. a�?All of us knew the film would do well. However, frankly speaking, the euphoria is rather unexpected,a�? says the actor. As for the news about a Tamil remake (with him in the lead), he admits writer Jayamohan had expressed an interest even before the filma��s release. But he states that a�?nothing is concrete as yet.a�?
He previously did the Tamil remake of Classmates (Ninaithaley Inikkum). Isna��t it tedious as an actor, to do it all over again? a�?When you remake a film, you have to acknowledge the fact that you are doing a different interpretation of something that has already been made and that you do not necessarily recreate the whole film. It has to be rewritten, reconceived. I will only know once the first draft of the Tamil script comes out. Then I will decide whether I want to do it or not,a�? he shares.
Taking a stand
Prithviraj loves the fact that filmmakers are telling stories in exciting and different ways now. a�?Film viewing has evolved over the last few years. There are no hard and fast rules now,a�? he points out.
During the promotion of his second Hindi film, Aurangzeb, he had spoken about restricting himself to two films a year. However, I remind him, it never happened. a�?I do not know whether I said that,a�? he smiles, adding, a�?But I would really like to cut down on the number of films I do. Somehow or the other, an interesting script comes my way and I take it up.a�?
A career graph that spans more than a decade, with over 100 films, ranked in the top league, a producer and with the luxury to do the kind of films he wants to do. Would he call it his golden phase? a�?Ia��d like to believe that the best is yet to come. I am enjoying what I am doing. But you never know, there might be an even better phase in my career.a�?
Despite the nasty trolling that his film, Double Barrel, received, the actor is all for voicing onea��s opinion online. a�?It is a free world. However, my only issue is when 100 people listen to a single individual and come to a conclusion. Please take a call for yourself,a�? he says.
Actor knows best
Prithviraj is a self-admitted loner, someone who has few friends and more acquaintances. A former colleague recalls a cricket match he once played with the actor. a�?He is not one of those people you can quickly get into back-slapping terms with. He is not comfortable socialising. I would say, he is not a great actor off screen,a�? he tells me. Therefore, it does not surprise me when he says he consults no one regarding career decisions.
He likes to think he is one of the lucky few who does what he loves for a living and gets great money for it. a�?I have fun doing what I do now,a�? he grins. Many directors who have worked with him, swear by his professionalism. About his ability to connect with them, he says, a�?I have my own interpretations about the character and the film. But it helps having a director with whom I can converse and have a give-and-take policy with.a�?
Then I ask him the pressing question: did he ever try to change himself, post all that dissension over his frank image? a�?Ia��d like to believe that all the flak Ia��ve faced has been for being politically correct. There has never been a point where I thought of having a new version of myself. This is who I am and, unfortunately, I think I am too old to change now,a�? comes the tart rejoinder. The same refreshing candour and poise. Prithviraj is truly in fine forma��his films notwithstanding.
With the Cooum undergoing a clean up, ita��s a good time to grab a copy of Cycling Yogisa�� new booklet
Why would anyone want to read a book that is shaped like a bicycle? Ask Ramanujar Moulana of three-year old city-based Cycling Yogis, and he will tell you its story. a�?The booklet, which contains interesting information and pictures of the Cooum river, was distributed among the 75-odd riders who participated in our ride along the river this August. The ride started from the Napier Bridge, the point where it meets the Bay of Bengal, and ended in Kesavaram, near the river’s starting point,a�? he starts, adding that the information of the river was provided to them by Cooum Cultural Mapping.
The quirky looking book is conceptualised and designed by Jaya Pria, founder of Kreative education and a regular member of the group. Of the 200 copies printed, only few remain (many were distributed to academicians, councillors, and other important figures in the city). The good news is that he is open to reprinting it for those who place bulk orders, say around 100. The price, however, is yet to be decided.
The book is relevant given that last month, CM Jayalalithaa inaugurated the Cooum RIver Restoration Project. There is currently a canal being constructed right in the middle of the heavily polluted river, which is aimed at preventing stagnation and helping the river flow smoothly like before. The sewage waste from its bed has been removed and has been filled with stones, while plans are on to build bunds on both the banks which will be converted into a walking space and lawn.
To grab a copy of the booklet, call 9884023123. Details: cyclingyogiblogspot.in
Did you know?
The countrya��s first steam car by Samuel John Green of Simpson & Co. was made on the banks of the river in 1903
The first ever plane that took off in Asia, piloted by Giacomo D’Angelis, used the Island Grounds on the river as its airstrip in 1910
The river was also witness to considerable WW1 activity, as parts of the nearby Madras Harbour, the Royal Madras Yacht Club and the wall near Madras High Court were bombed by German warship SMS Emden in 1914a�� Karan Pillai
Sandeep Arora tells us what to expect, ahead of the seventh Icons of Whisky Awards this weekend
AISE your glasses, as the seventh edition of the Icons of Whisky awards comes to town. Organised by UKa��s Whisky Magazine, the event kicks off tonight at the ITC Grand Chola and will felicitate the very best associated with the amber drink. a�?We will have two categories of awards. While the first will honour the best whisky bars (chosen from over 400 entries), the other will salute the innovators, ambassadors and chefs,a�? begins Sandeep Arora, widely hailed as Indiaa��s whisky ambassador and the director of Spiritual Luxury Livinga��the international spirits and whisky experiences firm that first brought the awards down in 2008.
Playing with the number seven, the night will feature seven styles of whisky cuisine. a�?Wea��ll begin with a Singleton, followed by food canapA�s based on whisky. After the awards, guests can try brands from companies like Diageo, Ian Macleod and Pernod Ricard at the bar, and enjoy the different courses paired with whisky, including desserts served with cognac,a�? says Arora, adding that one of the highlights of the evening will be the launch of an international whisky brand, for the first time in the country.
Meanwhile, we ask last yeara��s winners if they have seen a change in how Indians are drinking the malt. a�?People are more educated now on whisky drinking and etiquette. They understand nosing and the importance of glassware. And instead of just looking at the right side of the menu, they now ask us about age and undertones,a�? insists Prashant Chadha, the F&B manager at Cheroot, ITC Grand Chola. New World whiskies are also fast catching up, especially Japanese. a�?The guests who come to the Peshawari order brands like the Yoichi Nikka, Nikka Miyagikyo or the Nikka Taketsuru, which go beautifully with the meaty, spicy cuisine,a�? Chadha adds. And while he wouldna��t say there is a huge surge in women sipping whisky, he says he does see an upswing.
Ritesh Choudhary, director F&B at The Marriott Mumbai says there is stiff competition between vodka and whisky drinkers now. a�?We pride ourselves on our varietya��Royal Salute, Glenlivet. Johnnie Walker Black Label, Glenfiddich 21a��and while not too many ask for Japanese whiskies, wea��ve seen more guests who try our Asian cuisine sampling it,a�? says Choudhary. Plans are on for next year. Arora says he wants to take it across the country and is looking at hosting the awards in Mumbai next.
From 8 pm. By invite only. Details: 22200000 a��Surya Praphulla Kumar
The actor on playing a doctor and director Soderbergh
When Hollywood actor, Clive Owen is not on stage debuting on Broadway, for the revived Old Times, we find him playing the role of the anguished Dr John Thackery in the television drama series The Knick. Directed by Steven Soderbergh, Owen, 51, carries the show on his shoulders trying to live up to the stellar performance he delivered in the first season.
Set the scene for Thackery at the beginning of the second season.
He has ended up in rehab and is being given heroin as a treatment for what they called cocaine frenzy. That is based on fact and research a�� cocaine was legal at the time and they thought that you dealt with cocaine frenzy by calming patients down with a bit of heroin. Ia��ve got to look worse than Ia��ve ever looked before. And a lot of season two for Thackery is about trying to get back on track and keeping off the drugs.
Was it difficult to get yourself in to that headspace?
Yes, but also hea��s a little off the rails at those points and thata��s exciting to play. The whole beauty of playing the part has been how far can you push it? When I read that first episode of season one, I thought, a�?Ia��ve never read a character like this.a�� This is a high wire act. Hea��s so difficult and thata��s kind of the beauty of it. Ita��s something that both Soderbergh and I embraced.
How have you found performing the intricate surgeries?
StevenA� didna��t want to bring in somebody elsea��s hands to make us look dazzling. We do nearly everything and he just shoots it very cleverly. We just have to look convincingA� and wea��ve got a great medical expert to tell us how to do that. The operation scenes were the most challenging because they were technically hard. The rhythma��s dictated by the operation, the rhythm of the dialogue, everything. Youa��ve got the relationships with the doctors and youa��ve got the pretence of performing it.
Premieres tomorrow, at 9 pm, on HBO Defined a�� Team Indulge
Within two rooms
a�?Many of the main technicians of the film are students who are still pursuing their studies at various colleges,a�? says artist-painter Shreethar, the producer of Maiem. Helming the film is Aditya Baskaran, an engineering student. The plota��which has a blend of humour, suspense and thrilla��is set in two rooms: an ATM and a security room. a�?We had a special red carpet show for students and the tremendous response from them was heartening,a�? adds the producer.
Films revolving around the Sri Lankan civil war have hit theatres at regular intervals. The latest is Sivappu with Navin Chandra, Rupa Manjari and Rajkiran. How is it different from the earlier ones, we ask director Satyasiva (of Kazhugu fame). He says, a�?They usually depicted the atrocities perpetrated by the army and the plight of the Tamils. But my film goes a step further. It conveys the despair of the refugees who find their hopes not quite fulfilled.a�? It also touches upon the political angle, he adds.
A weekend without a ghost story hitting the big screen? Not possible. Todaya��s release is Marapaachi, with debutant director KS Muthu Manoharan assuring that it will be a spine-chilling experience. Major Vasant plays the lead, sharing frames with debutant Nisha, a tree and a doll. a�?The plot revolves around a haunted tree that witnesses a murder and goes on a vendetta spree. However, a doll will be the highlight of the film,a�? says Manoharan.
Music, drama, dance and food stalls, you dona��t have to be a Bengali to enjoy puja, as this guide to pandals will show you
ITa��S that time of the year when mishti doi is the choicest of dessert, and red coral bangles are paired with white conch ones, while the Goddess Durga is in the midst of flowers, incense, Hindustani classical and beating drums. You know that the most important festival for Bengalis is here a�� think the final scene from the film Kahaani. Though not as popular as some of the other festivals in Chennai, rest assured the city is buzzing with 15 North Indian associations (both Bengali and others) celebrating the annual five-day Durga Puja, from October 19-23. a�?Ita��s not just Bengalis who attend. Last year, 60 to 70 per cent of our attendees were non-Bengalis,a�? says Pradyut Bhowmik, the president of the organising committee of South Madras Cultural Association (SMCA) Durga Puja at Besant Nagar. The best time to visit the puja pandals is between 5 pm and 11 pm.
a�?Shorshe Maacher Jhaal (fish in spicy mustard gravy) is a Bengali delicacy that we serve at 601. I added my own touch to the original recipe to make it more accessible to different taste-buds and it will be included in the special Durga Puja buffet we are hosting at The Park,a�? says Shivam Bose, the kitchen executive at 601, The Park. Price of buffet: Rs 1,500; Available from October 19-22. Details: 42676000
The Bayleaf, Gopalapuram:
From Kolkata street food to other Bengali staples, this restaurant is known for its egg and mutton roll, kosha mangsho (meat sukka) and macher paturi (fish delicacy wrapped in a banana leaf). Meal for two at approximately Rs 1,000. Details: 28114557
It is known for its mughlai paratha and shorshe ilish (hilsa cooked in mustard gravy). At Hotel Ganga International. Meal for two at approximately Rs 500. Details: 28141340
Taste of Kolkata, Velachery:
Pocket friendly, it is known for its mushroom butter masala and fish cutlets. Meal for two at approximately Rs 400. Details: 9840975127
a�?The way I cook Chingri Malai Curry is something that my mother taught me. What I prepare here is a bit different from her original recipe. I add a little onion paste to the preparation so it stays fresh for a longer time,a�? says Subrata Debnath, the executive chef at The Hyatt Regency. Rs 1,200; Available at Spice Haat on request. Details: 61001234
Made inA�A� Kolkata
My sweet store:
Balaram Mallick Sweets is a popular chain in Kolkata with five stores located across the city. Get their chandrakala, baked rosogolla, cadmish sandesh and chandrapuli delivered home.A� Rs 300 to Rs 1,500. Details: mysweetstore.in
Ganguram Sweets: Another well known sweet shop in Kolkata, Ganguram’s rosogollas, dry fruit sweets and mishti doi can be ordered online. Rs 300 to 1,000. Details: ganguram.com
From terracotta jewellery and bamboo furniture to wooden home decor and Bengali musical instruments like the iktara, dugdugi and kanjeera, this Kolkata-based website delivers across the country. Rs 500 to Rs 25,000.A� Details: rangamaati.com
Parinita: This apparel store focuses on traditional Bengali wear for both men and women. Be it silk kurtas or saris like the Bengal cotton, korial, garad and banarasi. Rs 1,000 to Rs 10,000. parinita.co.in
Find authentic Bengali saris right here in the city as garment dealers from Bengal bring with them the likes of tant and baluchari. a�?They contact us through our relatives in Kolkata, and if we like their collections, we refer them to others,a�? says Rooma, Bhowmika��s wife. At Rs 5,000 to Rs 25,000. For details contact a Bengali association in the city.
South Madras Cultural
Association, BESANT NAGAR
While the association has roped in KC Das, Bayleaf, Taste of Kolkata and Kolkata Mithai for the usual Bengali staples, the local food vendors are offering kachoris, phuchkas, cutlets and chops. Details: 24451935
Bengali Association, T Nagar
Known for their traditional evening aarti and Shandhi puja that will take place this year on October 21, this Pandal is a must-visit for people looking to join a celebration that is as traditional as it gets. Look forward to the delicious khichdi bhog. Details: 28340557
Dakshini Society, Anna Nagar
With friendly members, this one is a must visit for anyone craving home-cooked food. Expect luchi, alur dum and kosha mangsho, among other delicacies, all cooked by members. For a meal here, all you have to do is make a donation of minimum Rs 50 Details: 26215437
Ratna Mitra and troupe:
The versatile singer from Kolkata, who performs Bengali folk, Bengali film music and also Rabindra Sangeet (the music of Rabindranath Tagore), is a regular performer on All India Radio and Doordarshan. At the Besant Nagar Durga Puja Pandal, from 8 pm, October 19.
The elocutionist and singer from Kolkata made a name for herself by reciting poems and singing songs of Rabindranath Tagore, Qazi Nazrul Islam and Sukumar Ray. Catch her performance at the T Nagar Durga Puja Pandal on Giri Road. From 7 pm on October 21.
A popular playback singer, Sreeradha Banerjeea��s songs like Nach Mayuri Nach Re and Mon Ki Chai are quite well known. Hailing from Kolkata, she is known to sing Rabindra Sangeet and Bengali folk music too. On October 20, at the Besant Nagar Durga Puja Pandal, from 8 pm.