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Monthly Archives: March 2016

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    Riding a hot-air balloon, diving into the ocean or exploringA� the land, boomerang in hand, Australia promises to keep you engaged.

    Australia gave me a new appreciation for sunshine. A fun road trip down the coast of New South Wales (written about earlier in this magazine) had left me brown as a nut, despite being in a car, slathered in sunscreen. So it was a welcome break to take the flight to Cairns in Tropical North Queensland, where much of my itinerary didna��t need me to be out in the sun. From an early morning hot air balloon ride, to a walk under the cool canopy of the rainforest, to losing myself in the cobalt blue waters of the Pacific, it had me exploring another side of the land Down Under, leaving behind the baked tarmacs and the kangaroos bounding alongside.Going tribal
    Throwing a boomerang has always been high on my wish list. So my first day in Cairns, I head to the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. Though it might seem quite rehearsed at first, as soon as the local Djabugay people start painting your face and sharing their stories, you lose yourself in their history. My visit begins with a beautifully-crafted inception story, complete with music, video and some great theatre and oration, that gives me a peek into their legends. After checking out the aboriginal dance performance, a presentation on bush foods and a didgeridoo show, I come to my favourite segment, the weapons demonstration. Needless to say, they made it look so easy, while I elicited much good-humoured laughter trying to make the boomerang fly, rather than fall a foot away as it invariably did. From Rs 3,055 for an adult. Details: tjapukai.com.au
    Right as rain
    I dona��t reach for my sunblock as I leave Tjapukai because my next destination is a rainforest! Cool, a little wet, with filtered light pushing its way through the dense canopy, ita��s a great place to spend an afternoon. Jump on to the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway to head up, and make sure you choose a cable car with a glass bottom (from Rs 610 onwards for an adult) for a fantastic view. I break the journey twice, to take leisurely walks in the forest, and check out the 800-odd species of trees and the various fauna. At the end of the track is Kuranda village, a typical tourist destination, though I do love the markets where you can stock up on local art (like the hand-painted clap sticks I picked up for Rs 3,565). The best part is the journey down, in an over 100-year-old train with beautiful wooden carriages. Details: skyrail.com.au, kuranda.org
    ballon2Up in the air
    The next morning, just past 5 am, I find myself watching the clouds change colour, from grey to pink to a warm yellow. It is not just another sunrise, but one I catch while standing in the basket of a gigantic, yellow hot air balloon, 3,000 feet above the ground. Drifting with the wind, occasionally dipping down to tree level to scare some wallabies, ita��s a relaxed way to take in the sights. And if you have a special event, like a birthday or an engagement, give them a heads up and they promise to make it memorable, with even some champagne thrown in. And as fun as the ride is, do hang around to help with deflating and packing the balloon. Ita��s a great morning workout, if I may say so. Rs 11,970 approx per person. Details: hotair.com.au
    Under the sea
    I spend my last day, sitting on the massive Wavepiercer Catamaran, making my way to the Great Barrier Reef. Of course, the on-board buffet and bara��with plenty of grilled seafood and beera��have nothing to offer that can compete with the spectacular view outside. The moment the yacht docks, everyone scrambles to grab snorkelling gear, scuba helmets and flippers. Though the idea of swimming is tempting, I soon realise 250 people thrashing about looking for Nemo is enough to scare me and the fish away. The crew literally has to throw in food to get some big red bass to come our way. So I decide to stay dry and get up-close and personal with the reef in a semi-submersible. Not only do I get to see eels, clown fish, groupers and wrasse by the hundreds, I even catch sight of a few hammerhead sharks and turtles. Keep your camera ready because you never know when the light will hit the corals at the right angle, giving you an explosion of colour. Meanwhile, on the surface, for those who enjoy the panoramic view, there are helicopter rides, too (Rs 8,920). Cruise fare at Rs 12,480 approx for an adult. Details: quicksilver-cruises.com

    boomerang 1Need to know
    Best time to visit:A� July-August and December-April Getting there: Flights to Cairns from Rs 69,500 onwards Check in: Stay at the Shangri La Cairns Hotel. The Horizon Club Marina suite gives you great views, a luxurious bed with 1,000 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, and access to evening cocktails and canapA�s at the club. Rs 14,065 approx per night.
    Details: shangri-la.com/cairns

    a��Surya Praphulla Kumar
    The writer was invited by Tourism Australia

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    Life on canvas
    Urban Solace is hosting an art exhibtiion by Moksha, a painter whose works are primarily based on black and white portraits, caricatures and abstract art, and are layered and resound with the dark phases of her life. On display are prints of 20 of her works. Till March 31. At Annaswamy Mudaliar Road.
    Details: 25553656

    CultureSide2Tales are back
    After the success of Fables Alive 1, Atta Galatta is back with the second edition where storyteller Lavanya Prasad, and actors Sheila Govindaraj and Sunil Bannur will present the play Kullan Woolen 21. March 25. At Koramangala. 6-7 pm. Tickets (Rs 250) at the venue. Details: 41600677

    Classic notes
    The 12-city concert tour Idea Jalsa a�?Music for the Soula�� will make a pit stop at Bengaluru on Saturday. The line-up includes flute legend Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, Indian classical virtuoso Pandit Jasraj, as well as classical musician and Veena exponent Suma Sudhindra. March 26. At Orion Mall. 6.30 pm. Passes can be collected from any Idea exclusive store in the city.


    Catch the a�?Art: Indiaa�� exhibition going on at the Sublime Galleria. It is showcasing works of seven Indian artists, including Amol Pawar, Siddharth Shingade, and Anjali Ponni. Till March 27. At UB City. 11am-8 pm. Details: 2222166

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    BB-Snip1aNot sweet on sugar
    John Abraham has been the long-serving brand ambassador of the Mumbai marathon, but in its decade-long existence, the actor has never participated in the long distance race. When quizzed on this he said he did not have an answer why, even though he runs half a marathon every day on his treadmill. Known for his fitness and clean living and eating practices, his production office in Mumbai does not stock sugar but offers stevia, a natural sugar substitute. a�?Sugar is not allowed here,a�? I overhear him telling a visitor sipping on a green tea. While Abraham supports the Indian Super League, as the owner of the North East United Football Club, he was also slated to produce a period film based on football. But it appears the project, titled 1911, has been stalled and the script is being reworked.

    Think pink
    Taapsee Pannu, who kicked some butt in the action drama Baby last year, is now shooting a film with two female co-stars and the towering talent of Amitabh Bachchan at the centre. Titled Pink, the film is being shot in Delhi by director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury and co-stars actresses Kirti Kulhari and Andrea Tariang. Pannu also has another interesting project coming up this year. She plays a refugee in Ghazi, a period film based on the sinking of the submarine PNS Ghazi during the 1971 war. While she co-stars with Rana Daggubati in Ghazi, she is paired with Riteish Deshmukh in the revenge drama, Hunkar. Another millennial actor, Pannu is also exploring her entrepreneurial side with a wedding planning business. How do these girls do it all?

    Finding Fawad
    I must confess it has taken me until Kapoor & Sons, to understand what the a�?Fawad fevera�� is all about. Having never watched the Pakistani actor Fawad Khana��s TV serial, Zindagi Gulzar Hai, my first introduction to him was in the Pakistani drama, Khuda Kay Liye, followed by the high-pitched and overdressed Sonam Kapoor-starrer, Khoobsurat. While I noticed the good-looking musician brother in Khuda Kay Liye, he was somewhat overshadowed by lead actor, Shaan Shahid, and the lovely Iman Ali. His stiff princely character in his Bollywood debut left me underwhelmed. But seeing Khan as the bestselling author harbouring a lifelong secret in Kapoor & Sons hit the right notes. His performance was understated yet nuanced, and one certainly hopes Indian filmmakers will consider him for far meatier and challenging parts. They would surely be assured of a large first day turnout of female fans.

    Regional remake
    Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari gave up a solid career in advertising to try her hand at direction. A few ad films, and after assisting her husband Nitesh Tiwari on two of his films (Chillar Party and Bhoothnath Returns), Ashwiny felt ready to make her feature film debut. The result is Nil Battey Sannata (meaning good for nothing) starring Swara Bhaskar, Pankaj Tripathi, Ratna Pathak Shah and Ria. Ita��s essentially a mother-daughter story. So impressed was actor Dhanush by the trailer that he enlisted Ashwiny to direct its Tamil version. She got writers to work on the Tamil script, changed the location from Agra to Chennai and cast Amala Paul and Revathi in Amma Kanakku (muma��s calculation). a�?My only condition for doing the Tamil version was that I had to have Revathi in the film. Once she came on board, I had to say yes! I have grown up watching her movies,a�? says Ashwiny, who was also in awe of Ilaiyaraaja, who has composed the music for the Tamil version.

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      The Lalit
      Enjoy an extravagant Easter brunch crafted by Chef Abhishek Kumar. The menu includes an oyster bar, brunch favorites, pastries, unlimited sparkling wine along with live cooking stations. Their pastry shop too has stocked up on Easter specialties. Rs 3,000 (for two). March 27. 12.30 pm- 3.30 pm. At 24/7, Kumarakrupa Road. Details: 9900064314

      UB City
      The SteppinOut Easter Market is a two-day event which will witness 16 restaurants and food trucks along with other home bakers and flea market stalls coming together to showcase their best. Right from chaats to churros, the festival will have items from all cuisines covered. Bengalurua��s band Best Kept Secrets will headline the event and ensure they keep your spirits high. March 26. 8 pm onwards. Tickets (Rs 220) on explara.com.

      Hoppipola will dole out a lavish brunch
      with scrumptious cheesinos and the humming bird platter. Try their lamburgini or their crispy fried sriracha chicken sliders and assorted pizzas. They have special Easter cocktails like the hoppi Easter consisting of jagermister, dark rum, Nutella and topped with a chocolate bunny. Rs 1,500 (for two approx). March 27. At Church Street.
      12 pm – 4 pm. Details: 9066021785

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        RSVP2Legend lives on
        March 25 | Jagriti Theatre
        To mark the 85th Martyrdom Day of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh, Hyderabada��s The Lord Chamberlaina��s Men theatre group will stage a play tonight. Called Gagan Damama Bajyo: A�The Legend of Bhagat Singh, it follows the events from the Jallianwala Bagh massacre to Bhagat Singha��s hanging. Tickets ( Rs. 300) available at the venue. At Whitefield. 8 pm. Details: 41242879
        RSVP3Fansa�� day out
        March 26 | Monkey Bar
        Herea��s your chance to show your love forA�the Batman, and Superman ahead of the big release.Comic Con India will host a a�?Batman Vs Superman Fan Celebration Nighta�� on Saturday. The theme party will include cosplay, games, a special Batman and Superman themed drinks menu. Cosplayers will get two free drinks. There are goodies to win too! For A�18+. Entry free. At Indiranagar. 8 pm onwards. Details: 44114455

        Body of work
        March 28 | Kynkyny Art
        Contemporary artist S Krishnappa is displaying the best of his works in a retrospective. The show highlights his celebrated folkloric paintings, and geometric abstract works. Till April A�16. At Infantry Road. 10 am-7 pm.
        Details: 40926202

        Cricket fever

        March 30 | Chilia��s American Grill & Bar

        Catch the live screening of the T20 World Cup 2016 semifinals at this Indiranagar grill & bar. A big screen, yummy bites including quesadillas, and buffalo wings, some beer and cocktails, and youa��re set. Therea��s also a happy hour offer where you get a one plus one on margaritas, cocktails, domestic beers, and select liquors. 4-8 pm. At Indiranagar. Details: 42352526

        At the movies
        March 25 | PVR Cinemas
        Loosely adapted from the Korean film The Man from Nowhere, Rocky Handsome is the story of a man who sets out to take revenge from the drug mafia that has abducted an eight-year-old girl. John Abraham plays the titular role of Rocky.

        Wardrobe update
        March 29 | Indelust
        Indelust recently unveiled its Spring-Summer 2016 collection. Designer labels such as Payal Sunghal Inc, Pankaj & Nidhi, Dev r Nil, Rimzim Dadu, Abraham & Thakore, am: pm by Ankur & Priyanka Modi and other find place on its e-shelves. Urmi Weave, Son of a Noble SNOB, itatsta Design among others are also showcasing their latest works. Details: indelust.com

        Easter treats
        March 27 | Taj West End
        Ring in the Easter cheer with a special A�Sunday brunch at the hotela��s MYNT restaurant. Sip MoA�t & Chandon, and dig into the multi-cuisine feast, featuring holiday specials such as roast turkey, and pork legs. Therea��s an indulgent buffet, as well as a kidsa�� corner. Or, pick up cupcakes, breads, Easter eggs, pastries from its Patisserie bakery. Rs 1,500++ onwards. At Race Course Road. Details: 66605660 (More Easter related details on pages 8 and 9)

        Sula special
        March 31 | Mumbai
        Sula Vineyards has launched a limited edition Sula Brut on the occasion of Holi. This exclusive MethodA� Champenoise sparkling wine comes in lovely multi-coloured bottle. But there are only 1,000 cases of it available, so grab yours fast.
        Rs 1,050. At Godrej Naturea��s Basket.
        Details: sulavineyards.com

        Heritage hour
        March 25-26 | Navrathans Antique Art
        The handicraft store on MG Road has launched the a�?The Heirlooma�� collection. Look for Bastar art, 32 forms of Ganesha in bronze, Tabrez, A�or Kashan carpets. If you like antiques, ask for the idols made in rosewood. Concept interiors from Elitaire are also on display. Rs 18,000 A�upwards. At The Haveli. 11 am-8 pm. Details: 25586513

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        Mad Men, FX and FX HD,
        Monday-Friday, 11 pm
        The period drama enters its fourth season. This time it is set between November 1964 and October 1965, and follows the lives of ad professionals at the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, especially its founding partner Don Draper, who is facing an identity crisis after the dissolution of his marriage to Betty.

        Romeo & Juliet: A Monkeya��s Tale,
        TLC, Saturday, 6 pm
        The documentary chronicles the love story of two macaque monkeys from Thailand. They cana��t mate because they belong to rival clans. While one resides in the marketplace, the other lives in an abandoned temple, and the two are separated by a busy street. The story is told from the point of view of another monkey, named Tybalt.

        Last Man Standing, Star World and Star
        World HD, Saturday-Sunday, 12-5 pm This weekend, you can binge-watch the entire season four of Last Man Standing. The series revolves around Mike Baxter, the director of marketing for an outdoor sporting goods store in Colorado, and the four women in his lifea��his wife and three daughters. Baxter is fairly old-fashioned and politically conservative, and that leads to a lot of comical situations.

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          Hidesigna��s third edition of limited bags is inspired A�by the Lewis Carroll classic.

          Featuring a whimsical painting of a girl with long hair and delicate wings, surrounded by mushrooms, the third collection of Hidesigna��s limited-edition handbags is created around the Alice in Wonderland theme. Applied to natural grain cow-deer leather by the Pondy-based leather accessory brand, the surreal hand painted series has been designed by Amrita Nambiar. Lending an element of fantasy are the names of the bagsa��be it The White Rabbit or The Queen of Hearts shoulder bags, or The Cheshire Cat clutch.
          Speaking about the collection, and looking back at the earlier one, St Tropeza��inspired by dragonflies and liliesa��brand manager Dipen Desai says, a�?The fact that a customer can own one in a 100 bags, which could, with time, become a collectora��s item is very exciting.a��a�� A white background has been maintained for the hand painted sections in all their collections. a�?White helps every colour shine. It also lends a summertime vibe to any outfit,a�? adds Desai.Taking us through the design process, he says the free flowing brush strokes on leather panels involve acrylic paints.

          Care station

          He does caution against overstuffing these bags, suggesting some TLC like using the Hidesign leather cream (not on the painted area). The brand has plans to launch a limited-edition every alternate year and perhaps a new collaboration soon. So watch this space.
          Rs 2,595. At 1 MG, off Trinity Circle.
          Details: 22086531
          a�� Seema Rajpal

          Get quirky bumper stickers that look like you, your folks, and even your pets

          If youa��ve spotted these cute family stickers on cars in the city lately, bringing a smile during those traffic snarls, you have Cherian Kunnath, and Neetu Verma to thank. The duo runs The Indian Family Sticker that sells bumper stickers that capture the quirks of desi families.
          So if you wish to send out a�?We are a happy Kannadiga familya�� message, look up the a�?Kannadiga Familya�� under their a�?Where youa��re froma�� category. These include dad, mom, granddad, grand mom, kids, and dog stickers. Drag stickers of your choice on the virtual windshield on their site, and checkout for transaction. Similarly, you can choose from different Indian communities. Each set of family stickers is different, and personalised to the quirks of the region a�� from their attire, kitchen utensil, to hobbies (cricket, kite flying to reading).
          If the car owner wants to make a point about his profession, instead, he/she can click a�?What you doa�� tab. It has stickers for engineers, doctors, lawyers, and writers. We found the a�?petrol headsa��, a�?brunchersa��, and a�?musiciansa�� rather cute. The a�?corporatesa�� took the cake. Here the entire family a�� mom, dad, kids, and grannies a�� has a gadget in hand.
          The Bengaluru-based venture offers 111 characters for now. It is working on a new range of decals for sportsmen, and chefs, as well as colour stickers. a�?The designs are made in-house by our illustrators, who come up with a story, and even a name for every character,a�? Verma tells us. A few names include the fitness couple a�?Deadlift Dhananjayaa�� and a�?Pilates Priyaa��, or the IT duo of a�?Query Jagdisha�� and a�?Python Priyaa��.

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          WatchAlivecor Kardia
          This medical-grade EKG band, specifically made for the Apple watch, aims to discretely capture your EKG (electrocardiogram) anytime. It pairs with an iOS app to give you readings of your heart rate and rhythm, and even detects if you may be heading for a stroke. Coming later this year. Price TBA. alivecor.com

          cats2Nixon Mission
          The Mission is a fiercely rugged and water resistant sports smartwatch powered by Android wear. The watch is specifically geared towards surfing and snow sports, with pre-loaded apps providing real-time surf and snow alerts to your wrist. Available in three variants, we like the direction Nixon is going towards with its smartwatches.

          Casio Exilim TR
          Casioa��s Exilim TR is not only a great pocket-sized camera, available in multiple colours, but it also shoots and creates a cracking selfie. With features such as 12 levels of skin tone adjustments, skin smoothening and self-portrait modes, it is aimed at those looking to create that a�?perfecta�? selfie. casio.com

          Nike Self-Lace Shoes
          Nike has come up with some self-lacing shoes called the Hyper-adapt, which will go on sale by the end of the year. Therea��s no word on pricing yet, but the shoes will basically self-adapt once you step in andA�are adjusted using two buttons on the side, and possibly via an app. nike.com

          The SpeetBox is a unique concept in modular cooking, conceived by Phillipe Starck. The 100 per cent airtight wood burning stove apparently produces three times less dust than a conventional stove and emits minimal emissions. It is also highly customisable. Price on request. speeta.com

          Lyric Speaker
          As far as speakers go, this one is absolutely cool, as the lyrics are displayed on the speakera��s body in a mesmerising manner. The speaker will connect to a database on playing a song and show the lyrics, harmonious with the mood and structure of the song. Preorders start in June.
          lyric-speaker.com youtube/tNDAValahqo

          J Watanabe Solar Jacket
          Junya Watanabe is renowned for his avantgarde yet dramatic fashion designs. This solar-powered trench coat, designed and created by him, has four solar panels on the back and two up front to relay power to your smartphone on demand.

          Oombrella is a connected smart umbrella that alerts you before rain and reminds you if youa��ve left it behind somewhere. The project is in the Kickstarter phase, but the concept and product look great. Ita��sA�also highly wind resistant, and has sensors to track temperature, pressure, humidity and light. As a bonus, it also has a screw thread on top to mount your GoPro or a similar action cam to view your journey in a new light. kickstarter.com

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            Junoon with IFA holds its second A�edition of SMART

            As the director of Prithvi Theatre, the cultural hub in Mumbai started by her grandfather and thespian Prithviraj Kapoor, Sanjna Kapoor was and perhaps still is at the centre of Mumbaia��s theatre scene.

            Today, as the director of Junoon, which she co-founded with Sameera Iyengar in early 2013, Kapoor is vehemently helping theatre grow. In pursuit of this goal, Junoon along with Arundhati Ghosh of India Foundation for the Arts has set up an integrated theatre management program called SMART (Strategic Management in the Art of Theatre). a�?I felt the need of an integrated program because I have had no training and have found it incredibly lonely and difficult at times. Over the years I have met huge number of theatre artistes who feel the same way,a�? admits Kapoor.

            Started in 2015, it is Indiaa��s first theatre management program that vies to think and work strategically, and to be most effectual in whatever sphere of theatre they are working in. a�?Urban and semi-urban contemporary Indian theatres need professional arts management that looks at the realities of Indian theatre and responds to them. SMART is tailored to the context and realities of the arts in India,a�? says Ghosh.
            The five-month program will address the needs of theatre practice from the ground up. Informed by existing practices in India, and taught by people with experience of working with the theatre and the arts in India, the program borrows strategically from established management practices where necessary. a�?The most amazing thing about working with the dream of SMART has been the journey a�� from the nagging kernel of the idea, to the coming together of such amazing, generous people in creating the course, to the unwavering support of our funders, to the openness and commitment of the participants. The journey continues,a�? Kapoor says.
            Rs 10,000 (per person) and Rs 15,000 (for two). Applications to be sent by April 10. More details on theatreforum.in
            a�� Nandini Kumar

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