Home Archives 2016 April 15

Daily Archives: Apr 15, 2016

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Mantra’s first store in the city promises to bring in the same divinity that is in Indian temples







Mantra Gold Coatings, which has been associated with more than 2,000 temples such as Sabarimala in Kerala and Iskcon in Bengaluru across India and abroad for gold coatings, has launched its first retail store in the city. They have been reinventing the magic of ancient Indian bronze arts since 1998.

“We wanted to extend our experience in gold coating to come up with a range that people can purchase for their homes. We have an interesting selection, ranging from a traditional Poona room set to a six-ft tall Buddha,” says Pankaj Bhandari, CEO, Mantra Gold Coatings.
Located in Road no. 12 in Banjara Hills, the 2,100 sq.ft showroom has a wide range of Japura rooms and Hindu idols. Everything in the showroom is 24 karat gold coated with lacquer finish which protects it from tarnishing. The brand offers five-year warranty for its products but if taken care of it on a regular basis the products may last for more than a decade.
“We have done gold coatings for many temples in India and we know when we say five years and if the customer is keeps dusting it regularly, our products will not tarnish even after a decade,” says store manager Pradeep.
The puja room concepts are displayed right there in the store. The brand offers its customers the puja room under the title of Samarpan.
Mantra also boasts of designer name plates, bronze screens and partitions. It also has a wide range of vases, baskets, paperweights, wall-hangings, kitchen and dining ware and gift items. Mantra has an extensive range of products from traditional pieces to ornate Buddha statues and golden Bodhi trees.
The time taken for any accustomed delivery is minimum time of 30-45 days. Price ranges from `350 – ` 6,00,000. Timings: 10 am to 8 pm. Details: 42222223

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    Gear up for a zumba session or run a barefoot trail this weekend. Plus, kalamkari and 3D modelling to try

    No shoes, please
    Marathons are a dime a dozen these days, but Certitude’s race this Sunday invites you to run barefoot along the streets of Auroville. It is believed that different sets of muscles are exercised when we run sans shoes. Avail these benefits at Certitude, where the race will begin and end. Open to everybody aged 10 and above. No registration fee. To register mail eric.courage@gmail.com

    Eye for dye
    Learn the niche art of Kalamkari at DakshinaChitra tomorrow and Sunday from 10.30 am to 5 pm. Chennai-based Krishnamurthy will teach dye-extraction from natural materials like barks, leaves, roots and flowers. Techniques of block printing will be taught too. Priced at Rs 2,000. Materials, refreshment and transport will be provided. Details:  24918943

    Girl power
    The female form and its various portrayals are at the crux of the latest exhibition at the Atelier Art and Cultural Centre. Titled ‘Art and Woman’, the show curated by Kerala-born gallery owner Prasanna Gresillon, exhibits her acrylics along with paintings by artists Alain Gresillon and Ramesh Kumar. Open till April 30, from 4 pm to 7 pm at Rue Corps de Garde. Details: 9442400208

    Movie love
    Stay up till dawn to binge on French classics as the Alliance Francaise offers an all-night bonanza for film buffs, this Saturday. Kicking off the Nuit du Cinema is Renoir’s magnum opus, La Grande Ilusion at 8 pm. Also catch Becker’s tragic Casque d’ Or, Jean Vigo’s anarchic Zero de Conduite and Goddard’s travelogue Pierrot le Fou, before winding up with Van Gogh, a biopic by Maurice Pialat. Subtitled in English, at the AF auditorium. Details: 0413 2334351

    Counting dimensions
    Kids can get creative with a dash of science at the 3D modelling (for ages five to 12) and robotics workshop (for ages seven to 14) at the summer camp by Auro Systems and Communications. Here, graphic designer Puja Parekh will help you make your own models using papier mache while robotics engineer Karn Parekh will teach the basics of robotics with arduino processors. From April 18 to May 23 at Chetty Street. Fees for 3D modelling is Rs 1,000, for robotics Rs 2,000. Register at auroinnovations.com Details: 9952415872

    Make your moves

    Haed to Shenbaga Hotel and Convention Centre, to entrol in a one-hour zumba session – with Agilan. After which, you can cool off by the pool and also enjoy a multi-cuisine dinner spread that includes date and walnut spring roll, dorado fish and cocktails. Priced at Rs 1,000 from today till April 17. 6 pm onwards. Details : 04132233991

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      Urban Sparrow puts all things essentially Pondicherry on everything from clothes to souvenirs

      THE swirly pattern sprawled across the pastel peach tee, flanked by coconuts and clouds, gives off a decidedly tropical vibe. But a closer look and Pondicherry’s many tropes emerge from the elaborate design — from surfboards and structured totes, even historic sites like the Old Lighthouse and the Gandhi Thidal, find a place.
      Graphic tees that let you wear Pondicherry on your sleeve are new souvenir brand Urban Sparrow’s most distinctive offering. Founded by advertising professionals, S Asokan and S Sendhil, the brand builds on their shared affinity for Pondicherry.  “We want to showcase Pondicherry’s heritage value and its peaceful, harmonious vibe,” says Sendhil, a seventh generation Pondicherry resident. “Where else on a street can you hear thankyou, nandri and merci?” he asks.
      While Pondicherry is the theme of only three of the 18 designs, one can also find tees with funny phrases like ‘Good karma gives me roti and kurma’. “Our USP is aesthetic design and most of it is hand-drawn,” says Asokan, crediting comic book illustrator Gaman Palem as a chief contributor.
      Urban Sparrow is a translation of oorkuruvi which denotes a town gossip in Tamil. But the brand takes its name seriously and plans to sponsor community campaigns to save the city’s dwindling sparrow population. Religious  symbols, interactive kids’ stories and Tamil literary works will all feature in the upcoming line.

      In basic colours and all sizes from Rs 499 at Casablanca. Shipping services available on urbansparrow.in from May. Details: 0413 4201118

      — Olympia Shilpa Gerald

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        Come Tuesday, treat yourself to Le Dupleix’s new menu. Drunken chicken with lemon and tequila anyone?DSC_4207 NEW

        COMBINING Pondicherry’s three great culinary loves — seafood, meat and liquor — Le Dupleix brings us one intoxicating meal in its week-long special ‘Drunken Meats’ menu.“It was actually an accident,” chuckles executive chef Sathish Rajasekaran, while  I dig into the tarty tiger prawns soaked in vermouth, between scoops of buttery mashed potatoes.
        “I was cooking prawn biryani when I ran out of water. But there were four cans of beer in the fridge,” Rajasekaran grins. “I substituted the beer for the water, my colleagues lapped up the biryani and we thought why not introduce alcohol infused foods in our menu,” he concludes, adding the dishes are inspired by Western cuisine, where summer heralds a blend of beer and barbeque.
        The meats are marinated in the selected spirit for 12 hours to ensure the alcohol seeps in but does not overpower the taste. The pork chops are surprisingly tender though there is barely a hint of the promised whisky, which is drowned by a sticky sweet maple syrup. I skip the beer soaked steak in favour of the drunken chicken which turns out to be a delight — the lemon gives it a lively zest and the tequila, the right zing.

        Around town
        Mediterranean dishes cooked in wine, including snappers swimming in white wine or coq au vin — shredded chicken and mushrooms soaked in red wine — are staples in most restaurants serving French food like Rendezvous, Dis Dis and L’Orient. La Plancha has a selection of beer battered foods including fried calamari and crispy onion rings while Umami Kitchen’s pastas can be paired with a white wine sauce. If sizzlers are right up your street, Spice Route’s chicken and vodka, prawn and tequila pairings are intriguing. Satsanga holds its own for peppery steaks marinated in beer or white wine. Seafood lovers will relish Palais de Mahe’s white wine soaked grilled prawns served with couscous and papaya salad. For an inebriating sweet note, there are plenty of picks right from a vodka spiked lemon sorbet at Villa Shanti to a warm rum wrapped banana flambe at Le Club. At Le Dupleix however, the exquisite red-wine ice-cream , true to its name, gets headier with every scoop, providing a perfect final note.

        From April 19 to 24, between 7 and 11 pm. Meal for two costs Rs 2,000 approx. Reservations: 0413 2226999

        — Olympia Shilpa Gerald

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        Hyundai’s zero-emission car, ix35 runs on hydrogen and emits nothing except water vapour

        Car sharing and alternative fuels are the future of sustainable mobility. Hyundai has now gone a step ahead and combined the two with the introduction of its ix35 fuel cell vehicle (FCV) to a car sharing service. A fleet of 50 ix35s will be part of the car sharing service, BeeZero programme, run by the Linde Group in Munich, Germany. The ix35 FCV is the world’s first ever mass-produced fuel cell vehicle. Leaving behind only a trail of water vapour from its exhaust, the zero emission vehicle can manage nearly 600 kilometres on a single charge of its two high pressure tanks. The Korean car maker claims the car can deliver over 105 kilometres per kilogram of hydrogen. Hyundai is currently selling the FCV in 13 European countries and in South Korea and North America, where it is sold as the Tucson. It was also spotted at the Auto Expo in Delhi, but the fuel cell powered version may not make it to India.

        Nature nurture
        Markus Schrick, CEO of Hyundai Motor Germany says, “We firmly believe the emission-free driving and superior fuel efficiency between tank fillings of the ix35 will make it an ideal car for the BeeZero programme.” He further adds that the company wanted to bring the benefits of fuel cell technology to people and imply that putting these cars to daily use will give us valuable information to improve hydrogen technologies and infrastructure.
        Auto enthusiasts in Munich with a soft side for the environment can learn more about booking rides on ix35 FCVs on the-linde-group.com

        – Agrima Joshu @Agrimonious

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          Superstore, Comedy Central, Thursday, 10 pm
          The American TV series, about a diverse set of employees working at a Midwestern big box store called Cloud 9, is heading for its first season’s finale next week. In the last episode, you will see the pregnant teen employee, Cheyenne, go into labour and how her colleagues snap into action to deliver the baby.

          Cruise Ship Diaries,
          Nat Geo People HD, Friday, 9.30 pm
          Set sail on a superliner and go behind the scenes for a look at how cruise ships function, the effort that goes into keeping passengers satisfied and more. In this episode, the Costa Favolosa’s maiden journey comes to an end.

          Lonely Planet Six Degrees,
          TLC HD, Friday, 11 pm
          This show seeks to show viewers what makes every great city special — its people. The tourists featured arrive at a new city with just one point of contact. They then use the contact to meet others during  their stay. This episode goes off the  tourist track and takes you into the  hidden gems in Tokyo.

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          off your mobile phones because this Greek island is all about lounging, fresh catch, swimming and donkey rides.

          DONKEY?” The first words I hear as soon as I step out of the ferry from Metochi. That’s commonplace on Ydra or the Hydra Island where there are no automobiles—no cars, no cycles! The only ones operating are the three municipality garbage trucks. Donkeys, mules and your feet are the main modes of transportation. So when you are here, say goodbye to the cacophony of horns and cursing people, smell the fresh air and enjoy the music from the clickety-clack of your shoes or of your friendly neighbourhood donkey.
          So what does one do on Ydra islands? Like a local rightly said, “Nothing!” You could sit in any one of the quaint local cafes near the port for hours, looking at the blanket of whitewashed homes and rocky hills, and enjoy a traditional Greek meal. The flavours appeal to the Indian palette and there’s ample choice of delicious food for vegetarians. The souvlaki, gyros and moussaka taste even better than what one hears about it. Seafood lovers, this is paradise for you—fresh catch available in many forms. My favourite food was the Greek yoghurt—you can have the tzatziki, a yoghurt dip with cucumber seasoned with garlic, or just have it as dessert with honey.
          It’s in these local haunts that you are privy to trivia, like the visits of celebrities like Steve Jobs and royalty from Denmark and the UK during the summer—how they dock their yachts and blend in with the common people during the day in their shorts and sandals, doing everyday tourist things. Don’t forget to try the anise-flavoured signature drink, Ouzo. Watch it turn milky white with water/ice and you know that it’s a lifestyle by itself. Or complete the meal with a local liquor, Mastichato.
          Adventure afoot
          My friend and I decided to explore Hydra on foot—no map in hand, just following our hearts and our instinct. As we went uphill, we were in for a sensory treat. Narrow, winding, empty cobbled streets, antiquated houses of all shapes and sizes framed by the beautiful bougainvillea and other greenery, kaleidoscopic doors and stairs, the breeze hitting you as you stand at the many natural viewpoints to take in the infiniteness of the sea on one side, the towering hills on the other and the idyllic town in the middle– an epitome of harmony in dichotomies. What was interesting to see was the lack of street names and house numbers—could this actually be a place where everyone knows everyone? Where landmarks could be the spot next to the house with the pretty maroon and green door or just “Dmitri’s” house?
          A local whose co-inhabitants were his donkeys and roosters tells us the hike to the mysterious Zourvas Monastery and the lighthouse could easily take us another two hours or more, and is not a good idea at 6 pm. So we put it down as yet another reason to revisit Hydra. Interesting trivia: there are six monasteries/nunneries and approximately 300 churches and chapels on an island with a year-round population of less than 2,000 (as per the 2011 census). And for all you hiking lovers, there are three recommended trails that you can and must explore. Be ready for complicated trails, confusing signposts, mysterious foot path forks, varied terrains and vistas, and spectacular views of the high cliffs and a bird’s eye view of the island.
          Meows and musings
          On day two, we took another path to the charming fishing village of Vlychos. We had to stop frequently to take pictures or sit on the spotted benches to just take in the endless natural beauty around us—the clear blue seas, islands in the distance, olive and other trees sporting the winter look. Time stood more still at the fishing village than at the main port. Old men on rickety chairs chatting away, a fisherman washing his boat, a few village children playing by a dilapidated building while we stood on the rocks and watched the magnificent sunset cast its golden hues on the tranquil sea.
          The other unusual sight in Ydra are the innumerous stray cats, possibly as many as the islanders. It’s evident that these well fed and groomed cats are an integral part of the social fabric—they lounge in the cafes, the hotels and the beautiful spots around the island, they guard doors sometimes, they stand in line when the boats with the fresh catch come in. My favourite was Mr Stripey, the loner who lives on the edge of the cliff. He snuggled up to me and took a cat nap on my lap while I was “having a moment” on the bench.
          Hydra for me is a place where you can experience true nothingness and quietude, you can just breathe and be, where you are inspired and humbled by the eternal beauty around you, a reminder that it is the journey, not the destination that matters, where the surreal and serene are enmeshed together. So “Donkey” anyone?

          Need to know
          Getting there: Flights
          Check in: I stayed at the Glaros Guest house, a value-for-money place (35 Euros in winter), which is clean and most convenient as it’s five minutes away from the port. My tip would be, stay as close to the port as possible, else you have to be ready to walk it up or sit on a donkey/mule.
          Shopping: While I did pick up sterling silver jewellery from a local store. I realised once I got to Athens that the exact same pieces were being sold for half the price.
          So, don’t pick up too many mementos on the island.

          —Janet James


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            Desperate times

            Love-struck Billy Bigelow (Gordon MacRae), the carousel barker, and mill-worker Julie Jordan (Shirley Jones) lose their job but still decide to get married. Jobless, Billy grows irritable but the news of Julie’s pregnancy makes him ecstatic. But he starts to worry as well and as a result plans a bank robbery which ends tragically. Carousel (1956) directed by Henry King will be screened at the US Consulate tomorrow, 11 am. Entry fee, bring valid ID proof. Details: 28574000

            First up

            Chennai will experience a Latin American Film Festival  for the
            time at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture from
            April 18 to 23. Catch 17 films from nine countries. Like from
            Columbia, Gabo based on author Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s life or Lingua a documentary about the Portuguese language. Organised
            by Grulac, India and Indo
            Cine Appreciation Foundation. Three movies per day.
            Details: 24990050

            Double treat

            Couleur de peau: miel (2012) is a serious documentary about Sik Jung-jun and his return to Seoul, his homeland. He was adopted by a family in Belgium when he was very young as a result of the adoption program after the Korean war (5 pm). On the other hand, the fun 3D animated movie Gus petit oiseau grand voyage (2014) will keep us laughing as the juvenile new leader Yellowbird as he tries to lead a flock of birds to Africa for migration (7pm).  On Sunday at Alliance Francaise of Madras. Details: 28271477

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              The Jungle Book
              Directors: Jon Favreau
              Cast: Neel Sethi, Ben Kingsley, Bill Murray, Idris Elba Based on the story that most of us grew up on, The Jungle Book follows Mowgli (Sethi), an orphan, raised by wolves Raksha (Lupita Nyong’o) and Akela (Giancarlo Esposito) and mentored by the panther Bhageera (Kingsley) and the bear Baloo (Murray). Sher Khan (Elba), the lion who had a few unsavoury brushes with humans, wants Mowgli dead. But the friendly animals in the jungle will do anything to save him from the lion’s clutches. With great special effects, authentic replication of an Indian forest, and an engaging storyline, this one is definitely worth a watch.

              —Team Indulge

              Love GamesPatralekha-Love-Game-Wallpapers-HD-Movie-Stills1
              Director: Vikram Bhatt
              Cast: Patralekha, Gaurav Arora, Tara Alisha Berry, Hiten Tejwani
              Ramona Raichand (Patralekha) thrives on danger. Her boyfriend, Sam (Arora), is a depressed soul who goes along with Ramona’s weird plans. The two decide to make things interesting by playing ‘love games’, which involves them seducing a third person. Things take a turn when Sam starts having real feelings for one of them the duo seduced. While Arora shows potential, the whole film is built on cheap thrills. which have no effect.

              —Team Indulge

              Jithan 2
              Director: Rahul
              Cast:  Ramesh, Srushti Dange
              The plot centres round a haunted bungalow and a ghost who scares away those who come to live in it. The screenplay is lazily crafted and meandering and is devoid of any interest or excitement. The treatment is insipid, with neither its horror-quotient nor its comic element appealing enough to sustain audience interest. The performances too are below par. And at 140 minutes of viewing time, its a dreary take on the horror-comic genre.

              —Malini Mannath

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                Actress Jennifer Aniston talks about her upcoming  movie Mother’s Day and why her character  is on an emotional rollercoaster

                WHILE American actress Jennifer Aniston finds it ‘adorable’ that actor Jake Gyllenhaal has admitted that he has had a crush on the Friends star years ago, the 47-year-old’s screenwriter-husband, Justin Theroux’s career takes a beating after the flop of Zoolander 2. Ready for the release of her upcoming star-studded comedy, Mother’s Day, that also stars Kate Hudson and Julia Roberts, Aniston is back to sharing screen space with her We’re the Millers co-star Jason Sudeikis. Playing Sandy, whose ex-husband has married a younger woman, Aniston speaks about working with Roberts and the peace she has attained now.

                It was great to see you and Julia (Roberts) work together. How was it for you?
                I love her and I’ve known her forever so it was fun. I was a little nervous but she’s awesome and funny.

                You and Jason have done 107 movies together. That’s a number. How does it feel?
                107, yes but we have only five releases. Jason and I should just continue and walk into the sunset together with the number of times we have worked together.

                What do you and your mom do on Mother’s Day?
                We usually do brunch, actually always. We always make something special, sometimes even crafty ones. It’s fun to do something together.

                In the film, you’re going through a bunch of emotions. Could you explain why?
                Sandy learns that her husband has remarried out of the blue. Worried, she is trying to overcome the challenge of sharing her children. At the same time she is thrown by Tina’s (Shay Mitchell) presence because she’s much younger. It’s a complete game changer, when another person comes in to co-parent a child. Hence, all the emotions.

                We’ve heard Garry’s films are fun to be in. What was your experience?
                Along with kindness and goodness, all Garry wants is for you to be happy. On set, it’s a family affair. It shows in his crew, he is loved and a lot of people are there just to be with him.

                We’ve heard that Mother’s Day has a lot of improv scenes? Is it true?
                Yes. Garry lets us improv, which is fun! Sometime it’s so fun, we just go on and on. We should actually be cut sooner — but it’s so much fun.

                Releases on April 29.

                — Team Indulge

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