City celebs and listeners seem to sync and bond better on the air waves these days
As a radio jockey, my journey has been enriching as I get to study people. I get to interact with callers who love talking on radio and actually expressing their strong opinions on whether they love red or yellow. Jokes apart, from simple topics like this to if ‘kissing should be allowed in public’ to the current setbacks and civic issues, Hyderabadis have an opinion on everything. With time, radio has become much more relevant to real people, real sentiments and issues. We have known this medium as fun and frivolous – talking some gibberish and engaging people while on the go. But with time, it is steering its way towards becoming the Indian idol from Indian idle.
Talent hunts, current affairs, tips, complaints, tip-offs, radio does it. Filmmaker Ramgopal Varma who revels in the fanfare and grandeur of the film industry and has never really related to a small medium like this seems to have changed his stance about it, at last after he experienced listening to his own voice with no visual. “It leaves a strong impact on the listener as the person is not even seen. Once you form your own mental picture of the speaker, the connection gets stronger, ” he adds.
What is even more endearing about our citizens is that they actually listen, spend time, spend some money and call up the hosts. Unlike TV, where people get the instant gratification of being world famous in Hyderabad, this is a different scene. They are not visible, they need to reach out to be heard. All they ask for is a song sometimes. Most of my callers have been people driving to work.
The typical pulse of the city is reflected by cab drivers who are the regulars. Our phone lines buzz when we announce an issue like the water crisis in many areas, or influence of cinema on real life crime. I know some enthusiastic and educated callers who can speak on any topic and they almost become extended radio jockeys with time. One such caller is Murthy. I have never met him, but when I imagine, I feel that he looks like Amol Palekar or Parikshith Sahani. Cool, balanced and refined.
Sudha is another radio regular. She calls every single morning even just to say hello and she has a strange seductive tune in which she speaks. Now just imagine a pothole issue being discussed in that kind of a voice.
Radio is a personal medium and in fact allows one to express themselves uninhibited. My co-host Shekhar Basha who is known for his brain-teasers has now joined my crusade of solving people’s issues. We have in fact experienced some really intense callers who really want to be heard- on topics that are considered taboo. It is mutual that we too feel responsible to do the needful. What does it do me? I get to be much more authentic – in my speech and action, unlike TV which has a layer of formality. Lastly, whether it is a complaint box or confession box for our listeners, it makes me a good listener.
— The writer is a popular TV show host, radio jockey, professional singer… and most importantly, a hardcore Hyderabadi)
This Easter enjoy a sumptuous brunch at Olive Bistro. The restaurant is offering festive specials. There will be a live carving station which will include specialities like Pineapple Glazed Ham and Wood Fired Oven Roasted Chicken. Price: Rs 2,500. Time: 12 pm-4 pm. Details: 69999127
Grab your selection of Easter goodies from The Westin. You can choose from Simnel Cake, Carrot Cake Cream Cheese Frosting, Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake or Hot Cross Buns or Easter Chocolates or Easter Bunnies. Prices: on request. Details: 67676818
It’s Easter. Celebrate the day along with your family at Taj Krishna. You can enjoy their Easter brunch consisting of delicacies like Rosemary and Garlic Roast Lamb, Laufing, Gratin Dauphinois etc. Price: Rs 1,750++ taxes. Time: 12.30 pm-3.30 pm. Details: 66293326
Get a taste of Mediterranean right here in Hyderabad. Starting April 1, Hotel Marriott Hyderabad is revamping its menu at Momo Cafe. The signature restaurant of the hotel at Tank Bund Road will see a new menu inspired by the culinary delights of countries like Arabia, Morocco, Spain and Italy.
The new menu will feature a selection of soups, appetisers, salads, sandwiches and choice of desserts. It will be a la carte. One can select from the range of unique soups like Chicken and Roasted Almonds, Crustacean Bisque and Lamb & Celery Soup. For appetizers we suggest you to try Rillette of Chicken Liver with Red Wine Jelly or Pan Seared Quail with Apples, Oranges and Mixed Leaves if you don’t want to go for the regular Greek Salad or Caesar Salad. The main course is quite a celebration with dishes like: Roast Chicken, Thyme Potatoes and Pan Jus, Pan Seared Fish and Chargrilled Zucchini, Beef Osso Bucco, Risotto and Mozzarella Dumplings in a Tomato Sauce and Artichokes and Green Peas Stew. There will be a range of pastas from fettucini to lasagna. Desserts will be of Citrus Pannacotta with Spiced Fruit Compote, and Chocolate & Cinnamon Pot de Creme. Price: approx `1,500++ taxes for two. Details: 27522999
Chef Jamal of ITC Kakatiya rediscovers some culinary gems from the Unani system which blend in health and taste with healing.
Muqawwiyat. It’s a term of Unani medicine system and diet pertaining to food that energises not just the body, but mind as well. At K&K, ITC Kakatiya, sous chef Aamer Jamal is rediscovering the hidden gems of Muqawwiyat. As we sit to talk, he sets on the table delicacies prepared with select condiments and unique ways of cooking methods. We sample Gilawati Kebab, a delicacy preferred by Nawabs of Awadh that just melts in the mouth. The layers of different tastes was subtly balanced especially of ground dry fruits and nuts. When Kareli Gosht arrived in form of Nihari the pieces were succulent with aroma of root spices. And this a prime dish in Muqawwiyat.
Dishes of Muqawwiyat are also known to have anti-depressant properties. These dishes used to be prepared for the royalty. The hakims would advise the royal cooks about the health benefits of such foods that are to be eaten at different times and seasons. Shares chef Jamal, “Muqawwiyat is our effort to bring back those golden days. Most of the recipes used to be complex and hence have been lost. As the people would travel, with them travelled the culinary secrets and spices. For example in North India, the qorma has very light aromatic gravy. In Muqawwiyat,there are categories defined in methods of cooking and choice of ingredients that are based on proteins.”
For example for the preparation of Khamiri Kulchey, it’s not yeast that’s used. On the contrary, it’s white muesli soaked in buttermilk. Chef Jamal says, “Meat of Kareli Nihari is drawn from lower part of the raan which contains maximum part of bone-marrow and collagen.”
Chef points to the sauteed platter of vegetables that have been cooked dry while their juices pour from below the vessel they are cooked in. “Such food is ideal for newly-weds and supposed to be eaten at a particular time,” says he. Other dishes that are part of ITC Kakatiya’s menu of Muqawwiyat are: Daura-E-Tafreeh, Dilkash Parchey, Mallika-E-Dariya, Charminari Seekh Ke Kebab, Tarkari Bhuni, Chauk Kii Tikki, Gosht Dumpokht Biryani, Guchhi Pulao along with Kareli Nihari. Mallika-E-Dariya is nothing but salmon.
“European delegates used to frequent the royal courts and offices often, hence something of their choice was introduced in the menu. Hence, we have this fish. Special mix of four root herbs known collectively as tuqmesan is added to the dish which is good for energising the mind,” explains chef Jamal. For dessert he prepares Yaqooti, a sweet porridge made with Urad Daal. “We don’t add any baranj (rice) to the dish and use saffron for colour and flavour. This dish is known for its energizing powers,” he shares.
There are methods of cooking that makes Muqawwiyat special. “We use tandoor, bhuna (veggies or meat cooked in their own juices), sigree and dum.” Some of these dishes are aphrodisiacs and hence children should not be encouraged to eat the same.
Collin and Brad brought in the laughs, while Holi ushered in the hues.
Hyderabad laughed its heart out this week, thanks to the legendary improv comedy show of Collin and Brad. The duo made sure that all age groups had their share of laughs. Considering it was a Tuesday, the feel-good factor continued throughout the week.
Sara in a chic black outfit and peep toes carried off the smart, fuss-free look with elan. Foodies Ravikanth and Kalyan (in shades of blue) and Fareesa in a red suit were dressed up for a laughter attack evening.
The Spa Kitties are in vogue. The girls were in sync with the latest dressing trends. Tanmeet and Neha looked cool in their denims. Suveedha, in a pastel chiffon top, added vibrance to the event. In her white laced sleeve jacket on a black tee, Nisha seemed to reinstate that black and white make a great couple in the colour palette.
Alizeh’s engagement was the talk of the town what with three parties taking place to celebrate the occasion. The pre and the main engagement function at the Taj
Falaknuma Palace accommodated friends from across the globe. It was hard to decide whether Alizeh’s natural beauty or the love in the air dominated the scene. She indeed looking stunning and most desirable in a pink and contrasting fluorescent green embroidered lehenga. The purple, delicately sequenced stole looked apt for the big day.
Holi brought in the much-needed colour and rain dance back to the city. In the Pittars Holi Fest at Novotel, people flaunted their flawless white outfits, which of course got drenched in colour and water soon. The event was about music, dance, friends and family. Arun was prepared for the sunny day ahead in cool shorts.
(The writer runs her own organic cafe, spa, salon Meghavi and is a people’s person with a pulse on the city’s happenings)
March 26 | Banjara Hills
The LOL of the THINGS is a stand-up comedy act by Jerin Ephrem, Bhavneet Singh and Mukesh Manjunath from the Hyderabadass Comedy group. The three comics would be performing at the Mocha Cafe. Time: 8 pm Tickets: Rs 299 Details: bookmyshow.com
March 27 | Banjara Hills
Karaoke Nights are back at Hard Rock Cafe. Sing from your heart and if you are one of the best wingers you can win the meal of HRC worth Rs 1,500. The cafe offers drinks, food with a heady ambiance. Details: 64636375
March 29 | Adarsh Nagar
Many of us have a story-teller inside us. Bring out this latent talent and join the story telling workshop at Birla Library. The workshop will be conducted by Deepa Kiran. Time: 2 pm-6 pm. Charges: Rs 2,000. Details: 9866437893
March 31 | Film Nagar
You feel your life has become dull and lacks challenge? Neil David’s inspiring talk may perk you up. He will tell you 60 ways to motivate yourself. Neil is a speaker and story-teller. Charges: Rs 100. Details: 9704259889
March 25 | Tank Bund Road
Celebrate this Easter with a hamper full of joy and love from Hyderabad Marriott Hotel. Sweeten your tastebuds with cross buns, designer bunnies, chocolate eggs and many other goodies. Price: Rs 400 ++ taxes. Details: 27522589
March 28 | Banjara Hills
Photographer Amit Mehra will put on display his photographs on Kashmir at Kalakriti Art Gallery. The works focus both on ruins and beauty of the Valley. Time: 11 am-6.30 pm. The exhibition will be on till April 10. for two. Details: 64636375
March 30 | Banjara Hills
Grim Pumpkin, a city-based theatre will be presenting ‘A Night of Improv’. The genre is improvised theatre. It demands performance on stage without any script. The scenes and characters are decided on spot. Time: 8.30 pm. Tickets: Rs 100.
March 31 | Banjara Hills
If you have a new start-up idea, then this is the event for you. Design Summit and HYSEA Summit Awards 2016 will be held at HICC. The event will be celebrating design, innovation and products. Tickets: Rs 500 Details: 66163000
March 27 | Nagpur & Mohali
Cricket mania has erupted again in the country and it’s because of the ICC T20 World Cup. Watch the live match between Afghanistan and West Indies in the afternoon and catch the action between India and Australia in the evening. The matches will be played in Nagpur at 3 pm and Mohali at 7.30 pm respectively.
Batman v Superman is easily one of the most awaited releases of the year. Adding to the mania, Splash stores have introduced cotton tees with graphics of The Man of Steel and the caped vigilante. For men, the collection also features Star Wars and Minions in colours like grey and brown, while for the ladies there is Super Girl. Range starts at Rs 499. Details: 9003223029
Footwear brand, Converse, has a new take on its classic Chuck Taylor sneakers. Featuring camouflage and star prints, Chuck II Reflective Print’s nonslip padded tongue and micro-suede lining score high in the comfort department. The range features both high-top and
Ox versions. Range starts at Rs 5,999.
School is out and, on the ECR, plans are in place to engage curious minds with a camp. Also, a special meat menu awaits.
Keeping with tradition
DakshinaChitra brings you the flavours of the Telugu New Year, with Ugadi Utsav. Till Sunday, witness the traditional Urumulu (thunder) dance by Ursula Natya Kala Pradarshan from Andhra Pradesh (11.30 am, 12.30 pm, 3.30 pm and 4.30 pm) and the folk performance, Somana Kunitha, by Bengaluru-based DS Gangadhar and troupe (4 pm). Details: 24462435
Step it up
March 30 will be a night of dips and twirls as Salsa Madras organises its salsa and bachata night at The Swirl Bar, The Gateway Hotel IT Expressway. Arun Srinivasan, with his team of dancers, will kick-start the event with a workshop at 8 pm (Rs 500 per person) after which the dance floor will be yours to own. Avail the ‘buy one get one free’ offer on all cocktails, like the Masala Mary, Daiquiri and more.
Shop till you drop
Spoil yourself at Azure’s pop-up at Madras Square, Neelankari. Along with their home line and sleepwear, designer Dipu Krishnamurthi offers two collections of summer wear. While Costal Dreams is all about soft blues and natural fabrics, the Colour Blocked Ikat comes in summer prints on colours like oxblood and green. From Rs 200 to Rs 3,900. Till Sunday. Details: 9094231000
Instill love for the environment in your little ones with Bay of Life’s Summer Beach Camp. Activities like a scavenger hunt, habitat study, and shore science will be conducted by their outdoor science experts. On April 5 (last date of registration is March 29). Rs 950 for half-a-day and Rs 1,950 for a day (inclusive of food). Details: 7667075875
Meat Madness Night at La Pasta World has a special menu that comprises mains like meatballs stewed in tomato gravy, grilled pork chops and roast chicken with Italian herbs, among others. These will be served with sides like tossed mushrooms and mixed salad. At Heritage Town, on March 31, from 7 pm to 10 pm. Rs 250 onwards.
Details: 0413 4209629
Hey Mr DJ
Head to Confluence Resorts at ECR, as tomorrow will be all about dance. Electronic music by Los Angeles-based DJ Bl3nd, coupled with psychedelic visuals, will keep the party spirits high. Along with global and local signatures, like biryani and grills, you can also enjoy interesting cocktails like Down To Earth and Boomerang . Tickets start at Rs 1,199.
Enjoy pocket-friendly South Indian dishes with new take-out restaurant, Curry Soru.
THE tantalising aroma of rich spices wafts through the door as I step into Curry Soru. Inside a transparent display cabinet, I spot a heaping bowl of kanava (squid) masala surrounded by dishes filled to the brim with flaky parotta, delicate idiyappam and deep-fried vanjaram meen.
The take-out restaurant that opened last week, fancies itself as the South Indian equivalent of pizza delivery in Pondicherry. Started by local couple D Reshma and A Anandeeswaran, it is their answer to all those times when “we may eat pizza or pasta, but have a craving for rice and curry,” says Anandeeswaran. With vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes lined up on either side, we point out our choice of biryani and squid curry with parottas. In less than two minutes, our take away is ready. While the signature kanava is piquant, the biryani—studded with pint-sized prawns enveloped in copious gravy—is more subtle than spicy.
“We wanted to make South Indian food available in a jiffy, but also at nominal prices,” adds Reshma. Their combo thali meals range from Rs 50 to Rs 70, while the biryani is priced at less than Rs 120 .The food is prepared by a team of cooks at Lawspet.
Keeping Pondicherry’s penchant for seafood in mind, weekend specials include fish biryani and shell-less crab fry.
For lunch and dinner, at Perumal Koil Street. Free delivery (for a minimum order of Rs 200 for up to 5 kms). Details: 9655552565
This summer, go beyond blockbusters and catch up on global, off beat movies at Pondy’s cafes and cultural centres.
Every Saturday, a dozen or so cinema aficionados assiduously mount a narrow flight of stairs to a second floor landing on Laporte Street. A nondescript room at Maitri, a social science collective, is the latest addition to the few venues that screen alternative cinema, award-winning documentaries and international films in Pondicherry. These spots attract a small but enthusiastic audience who revel in watching and dissecting cinema in its myriad forms.
Be it jihadist extremism in Timbuktu or Dalit student suicides in Death of Merit, Maitri encourages discussion on relevant contemporary themes, says organiser Achraff Oussene. Pointing out the need for a film appreciation club in the city, he says they hope to sow the seeds by roping in experts to conduct cinematic workshops from June. Details: 9840913886
For art’s sake
Artsy films in Tasmai art gallery (Shilpataru Art Foundation), Kuruchikuppam (0413 2221052), are closely linked to the art shows in progress there. For instance, Amrita Sher-Gil was the subject of a screening during an all-women’s show, while street artist Banksy was the focus at a recent campaign to promote street art. “Rather than showing a movie on Picasso, I prefer to screen a documentary on a contemporary Indian artist as there is so much that Indian art has to offer, which we are not aware of,” says Kirti Chandak, the proprietor.
La Marina on Romain Rolland (0413 4300333) has a monthly theme going on for its mid-week Wednesday night screenings, which also double up as its ladies night. From Hollywood’s golden oldies to riveting biographies, the films are picked from suggestions regulars put down on a running list, says Debarati Laederich, manager. The restaurant has also welcomed independent directors and aired movies that bore the brunt of censorship (Unfreedom).
The French connect
For a window to French or Latin culture and lifestyle, look no further than the Alliance Française de Pondichéry (weekly, 0413 2338146) and La Casita (monthly, 7639405194). The former, has been able to provide a better viewing experience with comfier seats and sound acoustics ever since the opening of its new auditorium.