Shine on All season, Online
BeBajrang, the online mena��s accessory brand, has launched a collection of neck chains handcrafted with 925 Sterling Silver, rhodium finished, plated with 18 k gold and encrusted with CZ diamonds on their estore. Featuring experimental designs that are sure to be a hit with men, the collection features pendants like the twin sea horse, anchor and the elephant head facet among others. Prices from Rs 3,499 to Rs 7,699. Details: bebejarang.com
Hello Ibis All season, Ibis Hotel
The city sees the launch of Ibis Hotela��s second branch called Ibis Chennai City Centre, in Anna Salai. The 12th location in the country, the hotel has 155 well-equipped rooms, and is located near the airport. Besides their multi-cuisine restaurant called Spice It, that serves Indian, Oriental and European cuisine, their bar, The Hub, offers a wide range of beverages. Rooms at an introductory offer of Rs 3,449 per night. Details: 8939865453
The Cortes show Till January 30, Amethyst
New York-based Sebastian Cortes captures the traditional habitats and domestic spaces of the Bohra Islamic community in Sidhpur, Gujarat, and is showcasing his photos at Amethyst. The exhibition called Sidhpur-Time Present Time Past, will also feature a Q&A session (from 7.30 pm) today with Cortes himself, while the event will continue till the month end. From 11.30 am to 7.30 pm. Details: 45991633
Korean connect January 22 to February 22, InKo Centre
Korean landscapes come alive on canvas in the upcoming Mindscape exhibition at InKo Centre. The event features the works of three Korean contemporary artists – Park, Hyun-Ok who uses Japanese stone powder, Park, Sang-Mi specialising in Indian ink and Chon, Nyung-Hyun who uses Western painting techniques. The artists will be in the city till January 25. 6.30 pm onwards. Details: 24361224
Clean is in January 15, New Delhi
Fifteen cities, 300 colleges and graffiti artists from across the country have joined hands with MTV and Parlea��s new initiative, The Junkyard Project. Select dumping grounds will be converted into artful corners and utility areas, while comedy artistes and musicians up the fun factor with live street performances. The clean-ups will be broadcasted both on MTVa��s television and internet portals. The drive is currently inviting inputs from anyone who thinks their city needs to be cleaned, and they can submit details on mtvindia.com/junkyard
Shutter bugs Till February 5, Indian Habitat Centre
Applications are being accepted for the Habitat Photosphere Award for Photographers, conducted by the Indian Habitat Centre (IHC). The competition is part of a year-long festival called Habitat Photosphere. Four winners, who will get a cash prize of Rs 2 lakhs each, will then be required to make a body of work in any form on the theme sustainable development, which will be showcased in a month long exhibition at IHC, in December. Register atindiahabitat.org
With speakers like Margaret Atwood and Colm TA?ibA�n, we show you how to navigate the ninth Jaipur Lit Fest
If the last eight editions of the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) have taught us anything, ita��s that the crowds are only going to get bigger. And with the programme list sporting names like Canadian poet and novelist Margaret Atwood, English comedian and actor Stephen Fry and academics like Thomas Piketty, we have no doubts that the audience will exceed last yeara��s head count of 2.45 lakh. And considering that multiple sessions will be taking place simultaneously, a plan of which speakers you want to listen to is imperative. While writer-publisher Namita Gokhale, one of the directors of the festival, promises that every session is special in some way, she does have a word of advice for attendees who are in a dilemma on which speakers sessions to attend. a�?Go for a bit of whimsy. Pick the things youa��ve not learnt about,a�? she says. While that seems like a perfectly good suggestion, we take stock of some of the must-listen speakers over the five days of the festival, for those who want to behold the big guns.
Day 1: Bond moment
Atwood kickstarts the JLF with a keynote address at the Front Lawns. Soon after, Irish novelist, playwright, journalist and poet, Colm TA?ibA�na��who has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize multiple timesa��will be in conversation. We would not miss both, though the conversation with Ruskin Bond, happening simultaneously, is equally appealing. Scottish storyteller Alexander McCall Smith and Jamaican author of A Brief History of Seven Killings, Marlon James, are the other speakers not to miss on the first day.
Day 2: Busting myths
Start your day at the Durbar Hall with a lesson in history from British philologist and assyriologist, Irving Finkel, who will reveal a new interpretation of the Noaha��s Ark myth.A� Then head to the Front Lawns for Selfie, where British comedian, writer, actor Stephen Fry (among others) will share pointers on capturing yourself in your writing. Dona��t miss journalist Barkha Dutta��s discussion with writer Shobhaa De about the formera��s anticipated first book, This Unquiet Land.
Day 3: Money matters
Get personal with Fry on the third day as he talks about his life and how he entered the world of theatre, radio, television and film at the Front Lawn. If youa��re business minded, dona��t miss UTV founder and entrepreneur Ronnie Screwvalaa��s discussion with Shobha Dee, on the role entrepreneurship plays in Indiaa��s future. Towards the end of the day, head back to the lawns where celebrated French economist Thomas Piketty will talk about his latest book on the politics of inequality Capital in the Twenty First Century.
Day 4: Back to back
Fans of Shakespeare are in for a treat, as Columbia University professor of English, James Shapiro, discusses his book, 1606: William Shakespeare and the Year of Lear at the Mughal Tent. We also suggest staying put at Charbagh for two back-to-back sessions. One on the ancient Indian knowledge systems featuring writer and economist Bibek Debroy, writer, biologist and broadcaster Aarathi Prasad and poet Sitanshu Yashaschandra. And another on how to write an effective biography with writers Tristram Hunt, Hannah RothschildA� and Ben Macintyre.
Day 5: poems & more
On the final day, Harvard history professor Niall Ferguson gets chatting with parliamentarian Shashi Tharoor, about her book Empire, that puts a positive spin on British imperialism. Post that, catch Jamaican poet Kei Miller and Anglo-Guyanese poet Fred Da��Aguiar talk to dancer, novelist and poet Tishani Doshi about how family intrudes into their writings. The festival comes to a close with a discussion titled Is Freedom Of Speech Absolute and Unconditional?, with Shashi Tharoor, Kapil Mishra, Salil Tripathi, P Sivakami, Suhel Seth, Madhu Trehan and Anupam Kher.
Being JLF smart Festival regulars (who have been to the JLF at least five times) share pointers on making the best of the five days:
You need to be there by 8 am for a good seat. Keep water and food at hand because if you get up even for a quick break, you lose your seat. The programmes get shuffled a bit, so take a look at the final schedule that is handed out on the day. And talk to the people on either side of you. They could be famous authors, celebrities or people with great stories to tell.
a�� Sujatha Giri, entrepreneur
It has been getting more crowded year after year. I avoid the weekends because they see the most crowd. Instead, spend the weekend shopping, sight seeing or squeeze in a polo match. Try to see how the indigo dyeing and block printing is done. But dona��t miss the evening music at the festival.
a�� Anu Nagappa, designer
Chai & shisha
While therea��s no dearth of food stalls at the JLF, ita��s the kulhar wali chai served by vendors in turbans that gets the most attention. But though stepping out for lunch involves braving the crowds, do set aside time to visit popular restaurants like Choki Dhani and Laxmi Misthan Bhandar for the vegetarian thalis, and Handi Restaurant for its laal maas. Shop for joothis, Rajasthani sweets, Jaipuri quilts and mirror work fabrics (shisha).
Where to stay
If you have not been lucky enough to land a room at the Diggi Palace that is also the venue of the JLF, there are plenty of alternatives ranging from the regal Taj Rambagh Palace to the traditional Samode Haveli. Other options include:
@ Hotel Madhuban: An initiative of the royal family of Patan, it is located near the heart of Jaipur. Rs.A�2,099 onwards. Details: 0141 2200033
@ Umaid Bhawan: A heritage three-star hotel featuring Rajasthani style accommodation with balconies, courtyards and open terraces. Rs. 2,500 onwards. Details: 9314503423
k OYO rooms this Jaipur Literature Festival season and avail a discount of 35 per cent. Details: oyorooms.com
Every attendee of the JLF swears by the evening musical performances and this year begins with Rajasthani folk music by the Kutle Khan Project and a fusion of clarinets and Jewa��s Harp by Yom & Wang Li. They are followed by artistes like fusion duo MIDIval Punditz, electronic fusion expert Karsh Kale, Canadian world music group Delhi 2 Dublin and folk band Swarathma on the subsequent days.
From January 21-25. Register on jaipurliteraturefestival.org
At its first show for the year, Vimonisha features 65 designers and many bridal essentials
The Vimonisha Mega Style Souk, a festive and designer wear exhibition, is back with its 110th edition. Mother-daughter duo, Vimal Shivdasani and CEO Monisha Gidwani, has put together around 65 collections from leading designers, like Ensembles from New Delhi, Radhaa��s Tradition from Mumbai and Mayaara from Jaipur. The two-day exhibition will bring together everything from pret to bridal wear, and jewellery.
First-timers like Preeti Reddy and Sunaina Sood from Hyderabad are participating with their pret and formal collection, while designer Mallika Singh brings her jewellery brand Malleka, which she also stocks at Maalgaadi (since 2013). Twenty nine-year-old Singh from Delhi brings about 35 different styles of earrings, neckpieces, head pieces and body chains in brass. a�?If you wear one of my pieces, you dona��t have to wear anything extravagant along with it,a�? she says, speaking about the body chains which has sleeves (range starts at Rs 2,000), which she suggests you wear with a solid black dress.
Manik Sharma, along with his wife Simran, started the brand Qaur 18 months ago. Though ita��s hisA� first time with Vimonisha, hea��s been to the city before. a�?The requirements of Chennai in terms of fabric and style is very different,a�? he says, adding that we can expect shirts, jackets, gowns, dhotis and asymmetrical shirts in pure fabrics like linen and different types of silk. TheA� range, which comes in bright colours and pastels, starts at `10,000. Celebrity make-up artiste Rituu Gandhi is also a new addition, offering bridal makeovers. Meanwhile, the chance to win vouchers and hampers will add some fun to the exhibition.
At Hyatt Regency, on January 18 and 19, from 11 am to 8 pm. Ranges starts from Rs 1,000. Details: 61001234
Tvam opens its doors with a designer sari collection created around the humble pumpkin flower
My first impression as I step into Tvam, the new designer boutique in RA Puram, is one of warmth. Dark wood and stone create the perfect foil for large canvases on the wall, painted in stark shades of reds, yellows, blacks and whites. The primordial colours are also picked up in the saris draped over old wooden chairs and in the jewellery that line a beautiful dresser. And painter-cum-designer Lakshmi Srinath, sporting a red bindi that echoes the one she’s incorporated into her brand’s logo, fits seamlessly into the picture.
a�?I’ve always been designing clothes and they are an extension of my art,a�? begins the 56-year-old, who has been exhibiting her paintings, both in India and abroad, for the last two decades. a�?I beganA� stitching when I was pregnant with my first child. In fact, I’d even run a children’s boutique in the late ’80s. But my unfussy designs with clean silhouettes were ahead of its time,a�? she smiles. So when she decided to give textiles another shot, she decided to choose a canvas that she is passionate abouta��the sari.
Striking a cord
Launched on December 26, in association with her daughter Krithika Srinivasan, Srinath’s first collection, the Margazhi Poo, reflects all that she holds dear about the ‘season’. a�?There is a tradition that people follow in the month of Margazhi. Every morning at dawn, when they draw the kolam, they place a lump of cow dung in the middle and place a yellow pumpkin flower in it. That image is one of my motifs,a�? she says. As I look through the line of Chanderi cottons and silks, with hand-embroidery and cut-work, I find reflections of her spiritual side, too. a�?I use a lot of cords. They show continuitya��you start with the umbilical cord andA� end with being bound. I also do a lot of spirals, the bindu (dot), triangles and the parabola which areA� full of shakthi,a�? she says, adding that her line also has silk stoles handwoven by artisans from across the country.
Call of summer
Her jewellery line came about almost serendipitously. a�?I just started painting wooden blocks one day, and thought why not,a�? she says, adding, a�?I mix found objectsa��like vintage Moroccan brooches and the druzy rocks I picked up in Arizonaa��with lava beads, silver and precious stones set in gold, to create unique pieces.a�? With an exhibition planned in Singapore, she is already planning her next collection. a�?I think I will do collections around different festivals linked to a particular month. The next will be Chithirai in April and you can expect summer inspirations,a�? she concludes.
Saris from Rs 8,000 and jewellery from Rs 2,500. Details: facebook.com/Tvam-Art-and-Design-Studio
Art meets clocks in Frazer and Hawsa�� new collection of designer timepieces. The British brand has used silver, along withA� other metals, to create interesting pieces with themes like the frog prince. From Rs 6,500 onwards. Available at their store in Delhi. Details: 011 24331777
On the rocks
Bracelets, earrings and rings get an extra dash of bling in the hands of luxury jewellery brand Minawala. Their new travel trousseau collection is crafted in pink, white and yellow gold, and studded with diamonds, pearls, rubies and blue sapphires. FromA� Rs 50,000. Details: velvetcase.com
Sale for a cause
Dancer Anita Ratnama��s daughter, Arya Rajam, is organising a charity sale to raise funds for flood victims. Find clothesa��including pre-used handloom saris and tunicsa��and accessories that were donated for the event. A series of notebooks, designed by Ratnam, will be on sale, too. Products from Rs 200. Tomorrow and Sunday, at their house in Teynampet, from 10 am. Details: 9003179987
Flavours of the North
Khandani Rajdhania��s Makar Sankranti special menu will delight anyone looking for North Indian food. One will find regional delicacies like surti undhiyu with puri, jalebis, ringan no ollo with bajri rotla, bajra khichdi and more. Till January 17. From 12 pm to 11 pm. Thali at Rs 499 per head. Details: 28464433
Sugar & rice
Celebrate Pongal at Spice Jar, The Residency, and enjoy a buffet with traditional festive delicacies like ven pongal, sakkarai pongal, sakkarai valli kilangu, kappa kilangu, elaneer payasam, suyam, and kosmbari. Buffet (lunch and dinner) at Rs 699 per head. From 12.30 pm to 11 pm. Details: 28253434
Bit of spice
Traditional snacks website NativeSpecial has introduced Chinthalavadi Special Mixture. Sourced from the Chinthalavadi village and featuring chickpeas, fried lentils, peanuts, flaked rice and more, this Pongal special is also rich in proteins. Rs 156 for 250 grams on nativespecial.com
When All Things decides to showcase Jaipur and Barcelona with dark chocolate, sangria and whiskey
At the four-month-old All Things chocolate store, every bar has a story to tell. About cities, colours, flowers and festivals too. Started by schoolmates Tejasvi Chandela (a chef by profession) and Kuhu Kochar (a graphic designer), the brand reflects their love for chocolate and design. a�?We have a flavour for everyone. We source raw chocolate from Belgium that has origins in places like Java and temper, mould and pack it here. For instance,A� Our All Things Tropical has Madagascar dark choco with passion fruit ganache,a�? Chandela says. The duoa��s new travel bars come in two exotic flavours a�� Barcelona and Jaipur. a�?Those who would like to taste the Spanish beverage sangria, will get that in every bite of our All Things Barcelona. We are introducing All Things Jaipur in connection with the upcoming Jaipur Literature Festival. Therea��s a nostalgic touch in the flavour as both of us hail from Jaipur. The bar is a fusion of rich whiskey and dark choco,a�? she smiles. Their best sellers include All Things Childhood (Belgian milk choco with banana and toffee), All Things Birthday (white choco with champagne and strawberries) and All Things Breakfast (dark choco with biscotti). a�?We are planning to introduce organic bars by the end of this year,a�? she concludes.
The travel bars are priced at Rs 360. Details: theallthingsshop.com
Accord Metropolitana��s The Brick Oven offers a buffet that focuses on small batches of food that are not waiting to be consumed for hours
Accord Metropolitan has been splashing ads of its new all-day diner for over a week now. Called The Brick Oven, this 80-cover space at their lobby level is clear about what it offers. A no-fuss buffet to satisfy anyone looking for variety. But in accordance with current interior trends, it has embraced the brick wall look for its island kitchen that forms the focal point of the restaurant.
Good news is that the chef has acknowledged that diners are no longer ok with food that has been prodded by everyone else. So the starters arrive fresh on your table and only the mains are left at the crowda��s mercy, that too in small quantities that are regularly replenished. But these are all things wea��ve come to expect today. Even the spanking new pizza oven has become a requisite now.
Our visit is on a not so crowded weekday and we begin with the broth of the day. Chicken and roasted bell pepper soup with just the right amount of flavour, sans colourful strips of bell pepper that one ends up setting aside before sipping. We finish every last drop of it, but give up on our assortment of breads that simply refuses to be broken. Either the baker has had a really bad day or is baking for guests with metal teeth. Moving on, our chicken tikka and fish kebab are satisfactory, while the pizza wins our hearts. Thin, topped with a dash of cheese, sauce and lots of tender chicken. We also like the mildly singed edges. For mains therea��s everything from coriander rice to pasta and Manchurian fish to dal and rotis. Deserving special mention is the fragrant mutton biryani that holds its own even with just the humble raitha. The coriander rice and tomato and onion-based potato masala turns out to be a great combination, while the Manchurian basa is a sweet and spicy treat from the Oriental section, as is the flavourful and tender grilled chicken with mushroom jus among the Continental offerings. Dessert however, despite offering eclairs, brownies, malpua and more, fails to impress. Thankfully, our virgin mojitos are spot on. Buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner, from Rs 650 onwards. Details:A� 43911000
Holy Grill at Wallace Garden offers a Barbeque Nation-like experience for vegetarians
Tucked into Wallace Garden 3rd Street is the all new Holy Grill restaurant, with a hard to miss signage. We find the 60-seater pleasantly buzzing during lunch on Saturday as we navigate towards a table with individual live grill, reminiscent of Barbeque Nation and Sigree elsewhere in the city. Chirag Khatri, the young owner of this two week old establishment explains, a�?A while back when I visited Barbecue Nation, I was surprised that many of my vegetarian friendsa�� parents and family had never been there. I realised that vegetarians didna��t like the fact that a common grill was used for meats and vegetarian dishes. So here we offer only vegetarian food,a�? adding that the menu will change every few days. The twenty-three-year-old civil engineer started off by hiring consultant Rajesh Gandhi from Chefs at Work based-in Bengaluru, then brought down chef Suman Debnath from Kolkata and finally roped in his sister Karishma Khatri (25) who has a marketing background to get the ball rolling.
We start the buffet meal with a mild Tom Yum soup that though not loyal to its Chinese origin is light with slivers of carrot and squash. On the salad platter the pineapple in mayonnaise is the clear winner. The grill is stacked with skewers and packs some real heat at the table, as we tackle the appetisers where the veg parwana tikka with the mint-mango chutney is the winner. While the tender paneer kesari kebabs, has us reaching for more, it ensures our mains that includes Indian breads, malai kofta, noodlesA� and gobi Manchurian besides others, is a restrained affair. Dessert has us favouring the apple jalebis topped with rabri even as Chirag tells us about his plans of adding a hotplate on the grill with a sizzling brownie dessert soon. At Rs 600, Details: 7871700011
Southern Spice at Taj Coromandel has an elaborate spread this Pongal. Start your feast with drinks like panagham and neer moor, after which the thali with dishes like padappu kozhambu, poosanikkai kadayal, paruppu usili, podimas and sakkaravalli kilangu, and of course, sweet pongal will arrive. Thali at Rs 1,650 plus tax. Details: 66002827
The healthy feast
The Pongal buffet at The Raintree St Marya��s offers a variant made with oats, besides the traditional ven, rava and chakara pongal. Also expect mochai kottai kara kozhambu, aracha vita sambhar, ezhukari kootu and more. End with akkara vadisal and thengai poli. Priced at Rs 1,450 per head, till January 17 (lunch and dinner). Details: 42252525
Seeking the thaliA�
At Dakshin, Crowne Plaza, the feast begins with a welcome drink, and goes on to dishes like sakkarai and ven pongal, keerai massal, thengai sadam, puliyodharai and curd rice. Also treat yourself to coconut payasam. Lunch and dinner thali at Rs 1,425 plus tax. Details: 24994101