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Monthly Archives: January 2016

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    What better way than standup to prove that women can be funny?  If men can be funny, women can be funnier. And while it’s true that there are a lot more male standup artistes out there, the scenario is changing steadily.

    Punya Arora, 26, who broke into the Bengaluru standup scene in 2013, puts things into perspective. “Since audiences see less women standup artistes on stage, they are mostly pleasantly surprised when they do, and are curious to see what we have to say. Of course there are still a few who come with the pre-conceived notion, ‘oh it’s a girl!’ but in Bengaluru people have warmed up to standup comediennes,” she says.
    Arora’s journey into comedy was rather spontaneous. In school, she would often imitate people, and entertain her friends. “I was welcomed when I first began standup, but I didn’t pursue it for long. I moved on to setting up my photo studio, and got busy with it. But now that I am back on stage, I get complimentary messages from comedians in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai,” she says.

    The fact that established standup artistes such as Praveen Kumar, Sundeep Rao, and Sanjay Manaktala encourage young and upcoming standups makes a world of a difference, feels Arora. “Be it a boy or a girl, there’s no discrimination. These guys are always there to listen to us and tell us how we can get better,” she explains. On Saturday, Arora along with Sumukhi Suresh will be part of Gender Wars, and will share the stage with their male counterparts Manaktala and Vamshidhar Bhogaraju. “It’s not that we will be fighting to prove who is funnier. Each of us will get our own time on stage,” says Arora, who is also a professional photographer.

    Some of Arora’s favourite acts include imitating the Malayali accent, women drivers, and single parenting. “It’s not my goal to offend anyone but I do enjoy talking about lady drivers, and poking fun at people who are judgemental about women driving. Lately I have also started speaking about having a single parent. Since my mother is also a single parent, in a way, I bring attention to the fact that how people react about having a single parent and so on,” she says.

    Incidentally, it was a picture of her mother taken during one of Arora’s acts that made her take up standup full-time. “It was the pride, the happiness on her face that was captured as she watched me perform, which made me realise that what I was doing is worthwhile,” Arora concludes.

    January 2. At BFlat, Indiranagar. 9 pm onwards. Tickets (Rs.500) on bookmyshow.com
    — Nandini Kumar

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      SPB live
      January 3 | Jayanagar
      The BHS Higher Education Society is hosting a musical night featuring singer SP Balasubramanyam. He has recorded over 40,000 songs in various Indian languages, and has lent voice to hit films such as Ek Duje Ke Liye, and Hum Aapke Hain Kaun. Through the event, the institution hopes to raise funds for 140 merited, economically backward and physically challenged students. Tickets (Rs.1,000)available at the venue. At Prof BV Narayana Rao Auditorium, Vijaya College. 6 pm onwards. Details: 26632871

      Special screening
      January 3 | Banashankari
      Dark Frames in association with Prakash Belawadi presents a private screening of the movie — Unfreedom. It is a contemporary thriller about a society torn apart by political, religious, and sexual turmoil. Shifting between New York and New Delhi, the film juxtaposes two powerful and unflinching stories about religious fundamentalism and intolerance. At Suchitra Cinema and Cultural Academy. 10.30 am. Details: 26711785

      Stand up and laugh
      January 3 | MG Road
      Begin 2016 with a hilarious comedy event brought to you by mime outfit PunchTantraa. Joining this event to entertain you is city-based comedian Praveen Kumar along with Raja Sekhar, a comedian with Hyderabadi tadka. Tickets (Rs.300) available at the venue.
      At Rangasthala Auditorium, Rangoli Art Centre. 7 pm onwards. Details: 22969265

      Pedal power
      January 2 | Indiranagar
      Rejuvenate from all the NYE partying with this cycling escapade organised by Cycling Boutique. A weekend endurance ride, looping through the calm and quite villages in the outskirts of Bengaluru, the idea for this ride is to bring more people to take up cycling. It will start from Indiranagar and proceed towards Varthur, Sarjapur and Chikka Thirupathi. Entry free. 5.30 am. Details: 8277276424

      Let’s rock
      January 7 | St Marks Road
      Girish and the Chronicles are back to enthrall the Bengaluru audience with their rock numbers. At this gig, GATC will perform songs from their signature album Back On Earth, which they launched with the support of Universal Music Group, Hard Rock Cafe and VH1. Tickets (Rs.600 onwards) available at the venue. At Hard Rock Café. 8 pm. Details: 41242222

      LOL night
      January 7 | JP Nagar
      It’s your weekly dose of fun and laughter at the Underdoggs Sports Bar with their ‘Prim and Improper’ feature. Be ready for insane humour as Vasu Primlani will narrate her funny tales. With live comedy and beers, it doesn’t get any better. At Underdoggs Sports Bar and Grill. 8.30 pm onwards. Tickets (Rs.500) available on bookmyshow.com

      Game for it?
      January 3 | Koramangala
      An event to discuss a career in sports will be hosted by ESPN’s former stats analyst, Madhusudhan Ramakrishnan. Titash Banerjea from Gyaanspace will put together a short sports quiz to stoke the audience’s interest. The event is meant for students. At Atta Galatta. 5 pm onwards. Details: 41600677

      Fleeting art
      January 1-14 | Infantry Road
      A riveting new show at Kynkyny Art burrows into the heart of hushed, mysterious worlds, from the deep recesses of the feminine psyche and the realms of gods and goddesses to rapidly extinguishing, dying ways of life. It features the latest works of four major contemporary artists — Anand Panchal, Nishant Dange, Ramesh Gorjala and Sachin Jaltare. At Kynkyny Art. 10 am to 7 pm (Closed on Sundays). Details: 40926202.

      Picture perfect
      January 1-7 | Kasturba Road
      ‘India 50/50’ is a travel art project, comprising of 50 photographs taken over 50 days by Mexican artiste Alejandro Gomez de Tudd. In 2010, Gomez spent 50 days in India travelling the length and breadth of the country taking photographs of the spaces and places he came across.
      At Tasveer Art Gallery. 10 am-7pm.  Details: 40535212

      Fun on the farm
      January 3 | Bagalur
      Nalini Murthy of Cityzen Farming is organising a workshop that provides information on how to establish and manage kitchen gardens. She will also demonstrate how to grow herbs and vegetables. The participants can also enjoy activities like bullock cart ride, pottery, astrology and several traditional games. Fee (Rs.899 per person) at the venue. At Jain Farms.  10 am onwards. Details: 67415551

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      Join Kryptos this Sunday as they pay tribute to Metallica

      Bengaluru’s thrash metal band, Kryptos, also hailed to be one of the pioneers of the genre in India, will start 2016 on a rather nostalgic note. They’ll pay tribute to American heavy metal band Metallica, as part of the sixth edition of Impending Doom Club Festival.
      Kryptos’ frontman, vocalist and rhythm guitarist Nolan Lewis tells us, “Most of us, I mean metal musicians around the world, have grown up listening to Metallica. Their songs have become a part of us and have shaped our music sensibilities. You can find the right balance of aggression, melodies and musicianship in their work.”

      Metallica’s guitarist James Alan Hetfield has particularly influenced Lewis’ guitar work. “Their instrumental song Orion is another source of inspiration. It influenced my songwriting process. It’s a heavy riff with lots of melodies, and harmonies,” says Lewis, whose four-member band also looks up to metal torchbearers — Judas Priest and Iron Maiden.

      After the Sunday gig, the band will get down to putting their fourth album together which they plan to release by the mid of 2016. It’s going to be “a classic 80s album, with retro sounds”. Yes, the band likes their music to be old-school. Even at this gig, they will perform songs from Metallica’s older albums, Kill ‘Em All, Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets and The Black Album. “We have always liked the music of the ’70s and ’80s. It makes us feel good. We don’t care what’s hot in the music circuit now. We play only what we enjoy. If people like it, it’s great. If not, it will be more like a tribute to our own good ol’ music,” says the 36-year-old Lewis.

      “Always keep an eye on your own music”, Kryptos received this ‘tip’ straight from none other than the American thrash metal superstars Death Angel during a tour to Europe last year. “It (meeting them) was a total fan moment,” says Lewis, adding ,“We got to learn so much just seeing them perform on stage. These people might be hitting their 50s now. But when they perform, they have the zeal of a teenager. They told us, ‘Concentrate on your music. Don’t get into the business side of it. Or, you will lose focus’.”
      January 3. At Vapour Pub & Brewery, Indiranagar. 8 pm. Tickets ( Rs.450) on
      bookmyshow.com
      — Barkha Kumari

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        Nimish Bhatia’s new restaurant Nimisserie introduces ‘aspect cuisine’ to the city

        ChefNimish Bhatia’s new restaurant Nimisserie falls under the category of ‘aspect cuisine’. Since that term is completely unknown to me, not that he didn’t try explaining, let’s just make it simple and call it ‘modern Indian’ food. According to Bhatia, the food here is an amalgamation of imaginations, and ingredients. And the menu is proof of that.1

        Food for thought
        The meal begins with an amuse bouche — guava and pomegranate juice bubbles, with a hint of masala
        such as jeera, served atop a papdi — to resemble a papdi chaat. It’s quite a tasty way to begin the meal. Next came the reconstructed chilled samosa made with slivers of melon that wraps around the usual samosa filling (only cold), some greens, and served with chutney on the side in case you want it.

        The smoked chicken breast and arugula salad is a pretty appetiser. Thin slices of smoked chicken breast, greens, marigold flowers, dehydrated pineapple, and charmagaz (almonds, pumpkin, cantaloupe and watermelon seeds) come in a lovely cocktail bowl, and you add the vinaigrette dressing that’s served separately.

        The Nakhlawi galauti — Bhatia’s version of the galauti kebab served in a cream horn shell — is a neat looking dish. But it was main course that made me happy. The ‘fishy affair’, has red snapper grilled with kasundi (mustard sauce), tuna with gooseberry chutney on top, and seer with curry leaf pesto. Each of the fish brings a distinct flavour to the plate, and that is what I enjoyed the most. It was served with duck, and apricot and chilli baby naans, but I am not too sure if the fish and the naan pairs well.

        The last touch
        For dessert, the misthi doi crème brûlée served in a butter cookie tart shell is probably the most elaborate dish — visually that is — because not only do you get to eat the dessert, you also get to stare at a hand-pulled mini rickshaw that comes with it. However, I would have liked it if the sweet yoghurt had set better.

        If the a la carte menu confuses you, put yourself in the hands of the chef, and pick one of their tasting menus. Sometimes, it’s less tiring to go with the flow.

        Nimisserie has about 157 covers. It’s a massive restaurant, spread across two floors, and dressed to the hilt — handmade marble plates on the tables, red beaded drapes to segregate the private dining sections, bright white chairs, and even brighter lights — you could very well be in the dining room of a royal household. The restaurant is only about a week old, and it has a distance to go before it can make its own space in the city, but till then, happy instagramming. Take it from us, you will be tempted!

        Rs2500 onwards (a la carte, for two). At 120, Brigade Road.
        Details: 40988989
        — Priyadarshini Nandy

        It’s been a rather odd year. No one’s been able to nail it in one word. Merriam-Webster thinks ‘Ism’ is a pithy summation of 2015, because the world was obsessed with terrorism, racism, feminism, and Trumpisms.

        Dictionary.com sort of concurs but has chosen ‘Identity’ as its Word of the Year. In the land we belong, I’d say ‘Beep’ is more like it, as we’ve been grappling with multiple forms of intolerance regarding what we say, what we wear, what we eat, what we view, and what we sing.
        Now that we’ve provoked you from your New Year slumber, let’s turn your attention to the most original names developed in the last 12 months. Let’s start with the best Tamil movie title: Vellaiya Irukiravan Poi Solla Maatan (Fair Skinned Never Lie). Inspired from a racist quip in a Vadivelu comedy track, the name brings an immediate smile and is a great way to draw people into a comedy. Among the Malayalam flicks,
        Oru Vadakkan Selfie (A Northerner’s Selfie) was the clutter buster. It’s catchy and contemporary nature felt just right for the thriller. A Shyam Gopal Varma Film was my pick for the smartest Telugu film title as it feels every inch like a spoof on Ram Gopal Varma.

        141 was my number one choice for the best Kannada title. If you get the cryptic ‘one for one’ touch, you’ll appreciate this lesbian romance better. Balki’s ingenious portmanteau Shamitabh towered above other Bollywood drivel like Kaagaz ke Fools and Yaara Silly Silly. In case you’re wondering why I haven’t yet covered English movies, well, The Man from U.N.C.L.E made it to my list due to the intrigue it’s suffused with. The fascinatingly dreary Microbe and Gasoline topped my foreign films compilation.

        The arrestingly in-your-face Galileo’s Middle Finger was my non-fiction book title of the year. In sharp contrast, the more evocative A Spool of Blue Thread was the numero uno among novels.

        Cut to music. Club Meds a trippy pun on the resort, outscored all other albums in terms of stickiness and recall. The immensely unusual Car Seat Headrest was easily the best new band name – for its sheer audacity of being consciously uncool.
        Jibo (Japanese for ‘compassionate mother’), the first-ever family robot, was my selection for the new product moniker of the year. And ‘Vistara’ (Sanskrit meaning: to expand) emerged clearly as the most endearing new Indian brand name. Hope the harvest will be as good in the coming season.

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          It’s detox time
          January 1 | Serafina Bangalore
          If you’ve gone overboard with all the NYE revelry, head for the detox brunch at Serafina Bangalore.
          Their sumptuous spread includes fresh salads, eggs, pastas, fresh fruit and vegetable juices and a lot more for Rs.1,200. And if you are still in
          the party mood, you can get a beer and sangrias for Rs.300 extra. At Koramangala. Details: 30752750

          Fly high
          January 2 | Jakkur Aerodrome
          If you fancy a hot air balloon ride, Aero Adventures will fulfill your wish right here in Bengaluru. It is inviting registrations for the rides till January 3. The next round of registration is on January 9-10. Each ride will be five to eight minute long and will be subject to changes depending on weather conditions. Avoid saris, heels, and skirts. At Yelahanka. 5.30 am. Tickets (Rs.1,499 upwards) on eventshigh.com

          Of rods and puppets
          January 4 | JSS Auditorium
          Catch the very best of rod and shadow puppetry in the second edition of Dhaatu International Puppet Festival. Teams from Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal, as well as Turkey, Egypt and Bulgaria are showcasing their talent at the event. The fest aims to revive and preserve the art of puppetry. Entry free. At Jayanagar. 11 am. Details: 229701230

          Print your ideas
          January 6 | Workbench Projects
          If you want to learn 3D printing, which is regarded as the next big thing in technology, drive down to Workbench Projects. It is offering a one-month training in 3D printing. Bring out the innovator in you. Fee (Rs.1,000 per day). At Halasuru. 7-8 pm. Register at info@workprojects.com

          In theatres
          January 1 | PVR Cinemas
          The remake of 1991 thriller film of the same name, Point Break, releases in India today. The story follows the life of a young FBI agent Johnny Utah (Luke Bracey) who infiltrates a team of extreme sports athletes he suspects of masterminding a string of corporate heists. You can revisit the classic in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu subtitles as well.

          Explore and enjoy
          January 5 | Dubai
          If you’re planning a getaway to Dubai, Avari Dubai Hotel has something for you. It’s new ‘Dubai Explorer Package’ features four nights stay with buffet breakfast at Avari superior class room, desert safari along with BBQ dinner, and Dhow cruise dinner. It also includes a visit to the Burj Khalifa, Abu Dhabi mosque, and Ferrari park. Valid till April 30. Rs.26,500++ approx (per person). Details: avari.com

          Slam away
          January 3 | Atta Galatta
          Unleash the poet in you at Soul Slam, an initiative by Soul Journal. It aims to harness the power of the spoken word through the art of poetry and storytelling. It’s open to all, and writers, beginners or experts, can register for this poetry slam event at www.souljournal.co. At Koramangala.
          3 pm. Tickets (Rs.299) on eventshigh.com

          Emotional chaos
          January 7 | Ranga Shankara
          Award-winning Swiss choreographer Urs Dietrich will present a dance piece called Thalamus. The three-part performance will echo the many contradictory voices that linger within us. The music has been directed by Gerhard Stäbler. Tickets (Rs.200) available at the venue. At JP Nagar. 7.30 pm. Details: 26493982

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            At Whooppeezz, the pizzas are tasty, and the mood is upbeat

            Eye-catching brick walls in white, a bright yellow door, and a signboard in an appealing red — Whooppeezz, the new pizza place in town sure knows how to attract customers. Located at Prestige Pinnacle, this quick service restaurant 1
            is as attractive on the inside — white, yellow, and red dominate the interiors, with rope pendant lights, and interesting quotes on the walls, add a quirky touch to the place. There’s a happy vibe to the place, one that makes you want to soak it in before getting started with the food.

            Let’s begin
            An order for garlic bread with cheese was placed, just to get started. The dish appeared in a square, lightweight paper box, which can also be used for takeaway. Rather convenient, we must say. In fact, that’s how they serve their food, be it the pizzas, pastas, crepes, or even desserts.
            The garlic bread was fresh and hot, but somehow it lacked the punch. We recommend going for the garlic bread with grilled shredded chicken, or nachos with cheese sauce and salsa, instead. Even the BBQ chicken wings are a better bet. But that’s pretty much where our disappointment ended. Once the other dishes started coming in, we were convinced that Whooppeezz is not just another pretty place.

            Hot and delicious
            The veg crespelle and the pasta Arrabiata both are served piping hot, and have the lovely aroma of Parmesan cheese. The vegetables used for stuffing the crespelle are not only diced uniformly but also cooked right. The dish is spiced with red chilli flakes, and black pepper, and the sauce, albeit pink, is a good touch. The pasta Arrabiata is a simple preparation. Fresh tomato sauce, olive oil, garlic, chilli flakes, fresh basil and parsley all tossed in penne makes the dish tasty, and wholesome. And there was more Parmesan for us to enjoy.

            A good slice
            It was time for pizzas, and we ordered the potato magicano (made with fresh tomato sauce, rosemary potato, chilli flakes and sun-dried tomatoes), eggizza (topped with sliced boiled eggs, parsley, black olives and cocktail sauce) and veg explotica (loaded with fresh vegetables and home made BBQ sauce). And how can we forget the cheese. And the pizza bread is soft, but doesn’t get soggy.
            We finally moved to their signature pizza – the double-base whooppeezzo that’s filled with delicious cheese and topped with tomato sauce, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, jalapeños, capsicums, red paprika, cajun spiced paneer, tandoori paneer and basil leaves. In the non-vegetarian variant, expect chicken. You can choose between regular or thin crust pizzas.

            Sweet something
            One of the best selling dishes on the menu is the chocolate pizza topped with gems. It’s a fun dessert, and the melted chocolate goes really well with the crunch of the roasted base. There’s also a chocolate pizza with almond flakes in the dessert section, besides the tres leches cake, and their latest banoffee pie shots. Yes, it’s quite easy to get a sugar rush here.
            And don’t forget to ask for a game of Ludo or Snakes&Ladders while here; it adds so much more fun to the meal.

            Rs.500 (meal for two).
            At 7th Block, Koramangala. 11 am-11 pm. Details: 46559999
            — Barkha Kumari

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            1 MG
            Actress Richa Chadda turned up the heat at the ‘Fashionable 1 Style Week Season 3’ event, held at this mall at Trinity Circle recently. The ensembles for the fashion show were curated by designer Ramesh Dembla, and featured the new collections from brands such as Marks & Spencer, Being Human, Fabindia, Promod, and Levis.

            blueFROG
            The city’s social set was spotted ringing in Christmas at this watering hole, where they turned up in white and blue to go with the ‘Fosters Frozen Nights’ party theme.

            The Leela Palace
            The first edition of India Arts & Gems Fair saw a huge gathering of painters, jewellers and art collectors at this luxury address. The ‘modern and contemporary art fair’ was inaugurated by Dr Radhakrishnan, ex-chairman of ISRO, actress Malavika Avinash and artist Meena Das Narayan.

            Supernova Convention Centre
            Bollywood fans had a blast at Chaiyya Chaiyya singer Sukhwinder Singh’s concert recently. Singh was performing as part of the Imperial Blue Superhit Nights.

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              What’s your favourite food word? Let’s take a look at a few interesting expressions that were ‘trending’ in the gastronomic world recently

              Have been reading some deliciously fun stuff: the biggest food words to make it into the dictionaries and thesauruses in 2015. It’s all quite chuckle-inducing — there has been a gulp-inducing number of innovations when it comes to trends this year.
              To begin with (and some friends will be happy to hear this) the word ‘foodie’ is now considered to have overstayed its welcome, and now features on the list of ‘banished’ words of 2015. So all obsessive fans of food may now call themselves cuisinomaniacs (the new official Canadian-French word for the same thing) or gastronomes. They sound more weighty, anyway.1

              So if you are ‘hangry’ (a state of acute hunger, which leads to extreme irritability) you might snap at someone to ‘shut their cakehole’ (or mouth — though am not sure Emily Post would approve of the new version). Or hang out with ‘brocavores’ (male hipster gastronomes) in ‘buzz bars’ (coffee bars that serve alcohol). I, along with countless others, might just continue to ‘foodspo’ (be addicted to food porn — trawling Instagram for images of gorgeous food). Though unlike many, I’m nowhere near being in a state of ‘Nordepression’ (a state of acute ennui brought on by the phrase ‘new Nordic cuisine’) as I’m a self-confessed René Redzepi fan, who incidentally is supposed to be a really nice guy and not the slightest bit ‘cheffy’ (possessing the arrogance, self-importance and I-am-God mentality of an executive chef), possibly unlike Gordon Ramsay and his cohorts.

              But I admit to knowing folk who are a tad ‘arugulant’ (attitude of superiority and snobbery manifested in a predilection for pricey yet delicious peppery greens) or ‘drunkorexic’ (restricting food intake by skipping meals to allow for increased calorie consumption through drinking alcohol) also suffering from a fear of ‘aporkcalypse’ (calamitous event involving a precipitous decline in the supply of pork). I veer close to suffering from ‘bratophobia’ (aversion to noisy children dining in restaurants). Yup, and being a member of a ‘duckeasy’ (underground foie gras supper club) might just intrigue me.

              As a winophile, I’m enjoying the entry into Oxford and other dictionaries of several wine-related words: ‘wine o’clock’ (a personal assessment of the right time of day to start drinking wine) and ‘vinotherapy’ (spa treatments using wine and wine by-products a la Bordeaux brand Caudalie). But my all-time fun-favourites are the mashups or portmanteau words which have become part of food terminology because of growing cultural integration. We have all heard of the cronut. Now let’s welcome the foieffle (foie gras-stuffed waffle) and the cragel (croissant in the shape of a bagel). And the piecaken, the new frankenword meaning a multi-layered dessert of three 9-inch pies baked and stuffed within three 10-inch cakes and then stacked. Whew.

              But be careful that all this gastro-vocabulary doesn’t turn you into a ‘foodiot’ – a fervent gastronome whose oversized obsession with food drives other people nuts.

              mfirstimpressionsblr@gmail.com

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