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Monthly Archives: May 2016

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Fusing indigenous crafts with a minimalist modern aesthetic, Gunjan Gupta is breaking into the inner circle of the world’s leading contemporary design artists.

In the sleepy lanes of Satbari farms, in Jaunapur, Mehrauli, one of Delhi’s many ‘villages’ within the teeming metropolis, artist-designer Gunjan Gupta’s studio appears large and imposing. However, the iron gates slide back to reveal an eco-friendly studio space, where trees mingle with the brick and stone structures with healthy abandon. Workers potter around assembling many unusual looking shapes. There are pots and amphorae that have the legs of a chair, tea cups shaped like chemistry beakers, potli chairs and a bar made of beaten metal poles where wine bottles peep out of their tubular forms. It also has on display her popular designs like Navratna Tables (table), Bejeweled Navratna Discs (tableware), Tea Stack (tableware) and Rug Interrupted (furnishing).
We are at Wrap Art & Design, Gupta’s 10-year-old haven where her strongly sketched designs and creative boards are made into their corporal metal and wood forms. The 10,000 sq ft studio thrives on bare brick walls and tin sheets that partition off the space that is both display area and workshop for the 41-year-old industrial designer. The Mumbai-bred Gupta got a lot of on-ground exposure while working with interior designer Varsha Desai, before moving to Delhi to start out on her own.
The merit seat
On the verge of packing her bags for Venice where her works will be showcased at Venice Design 2016 (the 15th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia 2016), Gupta takes some time off to tell us about how she used the inverted dome Mughal architecture to inspire her next creation, her plans for the future and what she is looking forward to in 2016. Gupta is known as one of India’s leading product designers and one of the emerging names on the international design circuit. She was first recognised for her gold-and-silver-leaf high-backed ‘Dining Throne’ in 2006, which has now evolved to a pared-down 2012 cousin titled ‘Deconstructed Throne’, which sports a willowy frame and lamé upholstery. Known as the gold and silver chairs, they were created in Jaipur as part of her London MA post-graduation project.
“I am thrilled that our work has been selected  for the Venice Biennale (tomorrow to November 27), mostly because it is a juried event based on merit and is one of the biggest architecture biennales that exists in Europe,” says Gupta, whose trademark style involves sculptural form, clean lines and a refined contextualisation of Indian craft traditions. This is not the first time she has been making waves internationally with her presence; she was featured at the prestigious Triennale Di Milano and, in 2012, her Inspired by India series was presented at Sotheby’s, London.
Case for handmade
The Central Saint Martin’s College of Art & Design graduate practised interior design for eight years before she zeroed in on the bespoke furniture she was designing for her clients.  At Palazzo Michiel in Venice this weekend, Gupta will showcase Sacred Geometry. The handmade ensemble of sculptural furniture (tables and consoles) inspired by Mughal Indian architecture will use historical building techniques and materials by traditional Indian craftsman in Rajasthan. “I chose Mughal architecture as the theme behind my works because they encompass the festival theme of time, space and existence. The idea was to work with an inverted dome form inspired by Humayun’s Tomb in the capital. The reason I work with Thathera and Kuftgiri master craftsmen from Jaipur is because most of our crafts is endangered,” says Gupta, while sipping on a cooling glass of locally produced lemonade. “Besides the amazing talent one comes across, I love the ability of Indians to do jugaad (being creative with limited resources). The world can learn a lot from our ability to be thrifty and our talent for improvising,” she says with a big smile.
One of the reasons Gupta cites for the major slow down of the progress of crafts in India is the lack of patronage. “With the market being flooded by manufactured, assembly-line products, we lost patronage of made-by-hand products. That is why there has to be a revival of our indigenous crafts and one way of doing it is by fusing it with a minimalist modern aesthetic,” she explains.
Make in India story
While the Biennale is not a ‘point of sale’ venture, it has an international exposure that will trickle down to greater patronage. “The Biennale has a huge footfall and it also creates interactive booths and software that gives one a career graph of the artists featured and so on,” adds Gupta, who is extremely particular about the touch and feel of her products, which should evoke a sense of India. “It’s important not to be dominated by the West. It is often hard for Indian or Asian design to be taken seriously or allowed into the inner circle of ‘top designers’ and to arrive on the global platform,“ she says.
Besides being Asian, Gupta has the added challenge of working in a field that is often dominated by men. “These challenges have been important to my journey,” she adds, pointing out that many of her contemporaries like Nipa Doshi are women who usually live in the West. “It was a conscious decision to continue to live and work in India and draw from the well of inspiration that is available in our great wide culture,” says Gupta, who also points out that while we have a great ancient tradition, we are young as a contemporary or modern culture. Her pet peeves are badly produced industrial design and “mass produced cookie cutter furniture that give no thought to form or theme”.
Eye on narrative
For Gupta, the key word is innovation. “Whenever I am creating a piece of bespoke furniture I always create a mood board with my team,” she explains, adding, “My pieces focus on practicality without losing the narrative behind them.” A perfect example of bringing narrative and form together is her interiors project with A2, The Park Chennai’s new restaurant. Based on ‘water’ as a design theme, Gupta created furniture that fed into the subject and took it further. Gupta had worked with Park Hotels’ chairperson Priya Paul on customised furniture before, and the A2 project came about as a natural consequence of that.
While she is preparing to take Venice by storm, Gupta intends to bring the attention back to the local. She is undertaking the project of renovating her studio to accommodate a viewing gallery that will be open to the public, so mark your calendars for the next cocktail event at Studio Wrap.

The A2 advantage

Gupta has given The Park Chennai’s new restaurant, A2, shabby-chic interiors with burnt wood and metal, and has designed around a water theme (it is connected to the rooftop bar, Aqua, and features several water vessels). ‘‘I like a straight narrative woven into the concept,’’ says Gupta. This is Studio Wrap’s first restaurant and the designer says the hotel’s tightly-knit team, led by Paul, helped her create a product-driven space that has not been attempted on this scale in the country. If you fancy her potli motif bar stools there or her elegant Eat Stack dinnerware elsewhere, there is some good news — Gupta is planning to make her consumer line more accessible. Fashion too, is on the cards, but it is ‘‘too early to talk.’’

Need to know

●  Gupta won the British Council’s Young Creative Entrepreneur award in 2007

●  In 2012, she won the Designer of the Year award by Elle Décor

Venice in focus

Thrilled to work with celebrated designers like Karim Rashid at Venice Design 2016, Gupta says it is a landmark moment in a career that gained momentum when she graduated in Furniture Design from Central St Martins, London. Recalling her student years there, when her older daughter was just two years old (she has two daughters now, aged 13 and five), she says it helped to have a supportive husband. ‘‘Stepping back from India and engaging with its culture and history changed my perspective.’’ As for Venice, she says, ‘‘To me it resonates with the endangered craft seen in India.’’ Exploring the concepts of time, space and existence, the sculptural tables she will present in Venice are named anu (atom) and parmanu (split atom). They were made in collaboration with Rajasthan’s Thathera craftsmen.

By Georgina Maddox.

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Bombay on canvas
May 27 | Kavuri Hills
Alankritha Art Gallery is holding an art exhibition of the various faces of Bombay by various artists. The exhibition is titled ‘Mumbai Contemporaries’. It will be on till May 31. Time: 11.30 am-7.30 pm. Entry free. Details: 83310 98765

Summer fun
May 28 | Banjara Hills
Learning about different things is a delight in summer. Hyderabad Arts Festival is hosting many workshops like pottery, photography and yoga for children this month. The workshops are being held every weekend at Little Sparks Global, Gachibowli. Charges: on request. Time: 9 am-11 am. Details: 64646262

Hyderabad special
May 29 | Banjara Hills
Share the spirit of Hyderabad this season at United Kitchens of India. The restaurant at Jubilee Hills is organising Hyderabad Food festival. As part of the festival, the spread will feature Dalcha Gosht, Andey Ka Salan, Dum Ka Murgh and more. The fest will be on till June 5. Time: 12.30 pm-11 pm. Price: `749. Details: 33165208

Sail on
May 30 | Hussain Sagar
If you want to sail on waters right in the middle of the city that also to the setting sun Yacht Club of Hyderabad is organising learning sessions every week with seasoned sailors to make you ready for kayaking. Time: 5 pm. Charges: `650. Details: 64640518

Dump it
May 31 | Banjara Hills
As part of ‘Earth Day: E-Waste Collection Drive’, Goethe Zentrum raises awareness through cultural programmes encouraging people to bring e-waste to their centre when they come for a German Movie Night. The collected e-waste will be processed for three R’s Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Time: 7 am. Details: 23350443

Dance dance
June 1 | Banjara Hills
Nirtyarpan students will present seven forms of classical dance at Lamakaan. The different dance forms are Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Andhranatyam, Mohiniyattam and Odissi. Entry is free. Time: 6.30 pm. Details: 9642731329

Learn well
June 2 | Secunderabad
Our Sacred Space, in association with Goethe Zentrum, will conduct a German language workshop for children in the age group of eight to 13. They will teach the language through games, puzzles and songs. Charges: `5,725. Time: 9 am-12.30 pm. Details: 9030013344

Rock on
June 2 | Banjara Hills
At Hard Rock Cafe, Rock band 3MM Live will perform. The compositions that they will be performing is inspired by Hard Rock and Progressive Metal. You can enjoy with your gang over beer and some snacks. Time: 7 pm onwards. Tickets: `500. Details: 64636375

Cricket alert
May 27 | New Delhi
Now IPL is heading to its close. With bated breath fans are waiting for their favourite teams to get on the field and weave their magic with the scores. Friday will be no different. Watch an exciting match between Gujarat Lions Vs Sunrisers Hyderabad at
Feroze Shah Kotla Ground stadium.
Time: 8 pm. Details: cricinfo.com

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Sensy Home turns your smartphone into a television remote

Just speak into your phone — name the channel, show, genre or insist on channel surfing — and your TV shall follow the command! Going by the demo on Bengaluru-based Sensara’s site, it is a true story and seems a breeze. Their recently launched Sensy Home is a small, black box, and it works in sync with the company’s Android app called Sensy via bluetooth. The setup communicates with your TV through infrared.
Its founder and ex-Googler Bharath Mohan tells us how to use the two, “Place the box anywhere in your house (within a range of four metres from TV). Once you have downloaded the app, it will automatically detect the box and pair with it. Now simply tell to your phone what you want to watch. Feed in keywords like you do on Google, such as IPL, MTV Awards, or AR Rahman and your TV will switch to the channel.” But how will the TV know if you want to watch a live IPL match, a highlight, or a news discussion around it? “A lot of interpretations and algorithmic calculations go behind every command. The TV changes to the most popular channel (similar to Google search). If it’s IPL, you are taken to the Sony Six channel that shows these matches live,” he explains. But if you don’t intend to watch a live match, you can look up their app where all the possible TV shows related to IPL on air will be listed.
While the app is free, the box is priced at `999. The system is compatible with all standard TV service providers, like Airtel Digital, Dish TV, Reliance Digital TV, Tata Sky and In Digital Hathway.

Details: sensyremote.com

 

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Our lifestyle here gives us more appetite for activities during weekends with family and friends than abroad

I’ve always wondered why weekends seem so much shorter than weekdays. Of course, we know that when we do what we love, time flies. I am comparing various weekend notes of that in India and abroad. Firstly, no matter what each one does, it is unlimited fun for those that live here versus those abroad. I say this confidently as I have tasted both lifestyles.
My weekends in Hyderabad are full of unplanned activity – from movies, visits to homes of my buddies and aunts; impromptu dinners at restaurants etc. I know my friend who drives home on a Saturday evening for over 40 km and still has the enthusiasm to take his family to watch a late evening show at Inorbit Mall, which is in another part of the city. There is shopping, elaborate Sunday cooking and and a quick nap in the afternoons too. We do all of this and most importantly are spirited to accommodate a lot more life through the week.
In contrast is the life in the US where I am currently holidaying. Their uppermost limit for fun is staying up at a Diwali party till midnight, coming back home tired and passing out the next day because they are exhausted. Now how can anyone get tired of having fun? Besides, their weeks are fully planned and structured, unlike the chaos here. People there stick to traffic rules and time, quite different from the unexpected chaos that happens here. Inspite of all the glorious plans there is boredom, fatigue and mid-life crisis that sets in to most married Indian couples. Or should we say because of this? All this in a land of opportunity? Apologies if the truth is not sweet, but just a point to ponder.
Surprisingly, people move back here and fall into the rhythm of Hyderabad’s spontaneity in no time. To me it always felt more natural to go with the flow of life rather than try to make it perfect. So dear all, before we crib that summer vacation will get over soon, remember that we have weekends to make life colourful and fun. The truth about us is that we have weekdays too if that is not enough because life itself is full of life here. Ain’t it?

-Swapna Sundari

(The writer is a popular TV show host, radio jockey, professional singer… and most importantly, a hardcore Hyderabadi)

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City eateries and restaurants offer unique Ramzan delights to usher in the festive spirit

In spice bazaars of Hyderabad, writes noted travel-writer and historian William Dalrymple in ‘White Mughals’ “…merchants and traders from all over the Middle East as well as France, Holland, England and even China came to buy.” And the spices still work their charm in this 400-year-old city with its labyrinthine streets dotted with small and big time eateries. And what better way to explore the city than with a map of tastes as the aroma of food wafts through the cooking pots in the wee hours of Ramzan when every lane and road reminds you of an old Central Asian city. The sunset on the royalty may have given way to the melting pot of different cultures, but its culinary history remains intact even as it offers a melange of other cuisines during the Holy Month. Explore the mouth-watering Ramzan delights with us:

Pathhar Ka Gosht at Chicha’s 
The newly opened eatery at Lakdi- Ka-Pul offers Pathhar Ka Gosht, Kareli Ka Ghost, Shikampur Kebabs and more. Says one of the owners Qutub Alam Khan, “We use treated granite stones for the smoky Pathar Ka Gosht. The way meat is cut is also a deciding factor how the dish will turn out. If it is not cut the way it should be, the pieces won’t melt in the mouth.” In Shikampur Kebab, another specialty of theirs, meatballs are stuffed with hara masala and yogurt. During Ramzan, you can try Kareli Ka Gosht which is the shin part of the animal cooked in thick tomato gravy. It’s best relished with roomali or tandoori roti. But you need to be ready to relish the stickiness of the meat pieces in the dish. Price starts at Rs 199. Details: 33165340

Nizami Handi and Mutton Pasanda at Hotel Green Park 
They offer Nizami Handi, a vegetarian dish with seasonal veggies, spinach and cashew nuts. Mutton Pasanda cooked in a gravy of nuts and browned onions is their specialty. Says chef Mridul Mandal, “We use tender pieces of mutton with browned onions and cashew nut paste.” People ask for this dish during Ramzan. Price: Rs 250 and Rs 400. Details: 66724005

Biryani at Shadab
When the call of prayers rise from Mecca Masjid, this place is filled with tempting aromas. The steamed fluffy rice when layered with succulent pieces of meat cooked with choicest of spices becomes the classiest dish that rich and poor relish alike. There’s a legend that in Nizam’s kitchen the royal cooks used to prepare more than 45 types of biryanis during Ramzan. Now this legend has left its shadows in places like Shadab. The biryani is sold at Rs 180 per plate. The portion is large enough for two people. Details: 24561648

Muttabaq and shawarma at Tolichowki
At the promenade of Tolichowki you get Muttabaq, a square big pastry filled with eggs, minced meat and herbs. You also get Chicken Mandi and even Qubus Shawarma stuffed with shredded mutton, beef and chicken. The prices start from as low as Rs 75. There are a number of eateries over there that offer the delicacies.

Luqmi at Mountain Bakery
Luqmi is a  square-shaped bite-sized mutton filled flaky pastry served mostly at Hyderabadi weddings. It is not available easily. However, the upmarket bakery in Banjara Hills is where you can get this delight for your iftar. These tasty snacks are prepared by a cook who knows the actual recipe. Says the owner MA Khader, “We take tender mutton pieces for the filling.” Price: Rs 25 per piece. Details: 23547395

Haleem at Shah Ghouse Café
Nestled in Old City at Shah-Ali- Banda, Shah Ghouse is almost a numero uno when it comes to haleem. Owner Mohammed Rabbani and Mohammed Ghouse reveal, “We have been preparing haleem for more than 15 years. We use sharbati wheat and nuts like almonds, pistachios and cashew.” The haleem is cooked on slow fire of charcoals and hence gets a smoky flavour. No wonder people flock here for
haleem. Price: Rs 120. Details: 24524506

Sweets at Spice 6
Known for its Central Asian sweet delights this place offers you the best of Ummali, Baklava and Kunafa. Baklava, the flaky pastry filled with sugar and pounded nuts just dissolves in your mouth. Those looking for less sugary affairs can choose Kunafa, a pastry stuffed with soft cheese and sugar syrup wrapped in crust of thin crunchy noodles. The ummali they serve is made from
layers of cream and flaky pastries. Prices: Start from Rs 250. Details: 69991613

Chakna and gurda kaleji
Enter the lanes behind Charminar and you see hot cauldrons with loops of chakna, small intestines, washed cleaned and cooked in hot spices. To go with it many order gurda kaleji as well from the simmering pots. Available on roadside these eateries are easy to spot. Basically breakfast items they are also relished in Ramzan evenings with rotis and parathas. Prices start from Rs 80 onwards per plate.

— Saima Afreen

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Shakti Mohan to get everyone moving to peppy beats this weekend

While her sister Neeti Mohan mesmerises the country with her voice, Shakti Mohan makes even those with two left feet get up and make some moves. Her flexible and pliant body as she dances often makes people ask if she is a boneless
wonder.
Dancing princess Shakti Mohan will be in town this weekend. Before one could log in to bookmyshow to watch her perform, she is here teach all the biryani lovers some dance moves, which can of course burn the calories. It is part of her Nritya Shakti tour which her took to America.
Shakti’s journey began after she was crowned the winner of Zee TV’s popular dance reality show – Dance India Dance Season 2. The girl who also worked as an assistant choreographer to Vaibhavi Merchant for Katrina Kaif’s Kamli number says, “This tour is not just about me teaching people dance, but also a way to thank those who supported me during my days at Dance India Dance”. For obvious reasons, two days is not enough for anyone to learn anything about dance. Shakti explains, “This is a workshop where I encourage people to get into dancing. Apart from this, I teach in a different style. I break every step to make it look very easy. I am sure people who think they can’t dance will surely shake a leg after Nritya Shakti.”
Shakti will get busy with her shoot for Dance Plus which begins by mid-June. Apart from this, the Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa finalist would be playing the lead role opposite Salman Yusuff Khan in Remo D’Souza’s untitled project which will go on the floor in July this year.
Shakti will be in the city on May 28 and May 29. The Nritya Shakti workshop would be conducted at Grycs Fitness Hub at Road Number 36, Jubilee Hills. Price: Rs 3,999 for two days. Tickets available at bookmyshow.com

— Nishad Neelambaran

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Penn Masala to spice up the weekend with their performance today

Born with the desire to create music that transcends geographical and cultural boundaries, Penn Masala, the world’s first South Asian a cappella group has never failed to enthrall the crowd wherever they have performed. The15-member band formed in 1996 when students from the University of Pennsylvania decided to follow their passion.
The band comprises Anil Chitrapu, Aneesh Kanakamedala, Prashant Ramesh, Chetan Khanna,Praveen Rajaguru, Pranay Sharma, Brendan McManus, Kashish Hora, Hari Ravi, Nikhil Rama, Yamir Tainwala, Wrik Sinha, Vishnu Rachakonda, Atman Panigrahi and Sanjit Chakravarty.
“We started with a passion for music that explores the intersection of Western and Indian music as a means of celebrating the two unique cultures that the members grew up with,” says Hari Ravi.
The band has so far produced nine studio albums and have performed at various venues including the White House. Penn Masala was also featured in Elizabeth Banks’ Pitch Perfect 2.
Although the group did not get their share of fame when they debuted, they managed to go viral through their YouTube videos. “The Evolution of Bollywood Music video on YouTube in 2014 was the perfect way to both reflect 18 years of Masala music and create novel content in an innovative format, which paved the way for many other opportunities,” says Pranay Sharma.
The band is in India for a tour of five cities. Terming their music as ‘innovative, fresh and passionate,’ Praveen Rajaguru believes that though a cappella is relatively new genre in India, Hyderabad is one such destination that accepts any transformation in different forms of music. The band would head back to America after their final performance in Delhi on May 28.
Known for their unique way of approaching a song, the band recently launched their latest album titled The Antakshari Project on YouTube. However, there is more to come. “We have already begun recording some new music in studio for the next album,” says Praveen.
Brendan McManus, who had visited India four years ago in 2013, is all excited to entertain the fans in Hyderabad this weekend. “Hyderabad is home thousands of fans and we had an amazing time performing for them last time,” he added.
For the fans who are looking forward for a rocking performance, Hari informs that the band would be performing Tonight I’m Lovin’ You/Dilliwali Girlfriend, Chaiyya Chaiyya, and Yuhi Chala Chal for sure. They will be performing at Heart Cup Coffee, Kondapur on May 27 from 8 pm onwards. Details: www.pennmasala.com
— Nishad Neelambaran

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Rockstar cricketer Brett took the city by storm

So when two boys, known for their fabulous and fit bodies get together, the city gets taken by a storm of excitement and  enthusiasm. Pradeep, owner of the fitness centre F45 in his gym wear, was an example of a vegan fitness enthusiast. In a recent coaching event with Brett Lee at the gym’s Jubilee Hills branch,  the two reminded us that Men in Black are indeed the most-sought-after.
Divinos Ladies Club Karaoke evening held at Over the Moon saw the divas of the city dressed in their best. Sailaja, in a short off-white dress paired with a broad Gucci belt, carried an air of confidence. Sirisha in blue seemed to be nothing less than a perfectionist. From the blue glares to the blue nail lacquer matched to a blue outfit, it was all about the wonders the hue can do.
The Secunderabad Club’s May Queen was a beautifully choreographed pageant. Kavitha, dressed as Mastani from the recent Bollywood blockbuster for the ramp walk, was like a ‘Daikini’ infused with feminine power and elegance. The quirky nose ring added to her dressing statement.
Prashant, with his winsome smile and sparkling eyes, dressed in a black tee with the coloured detailing at Soda Bottle Opener Wala was an example of how wise men can defy their corporate image and “just be” a bundle of fun and joy when out with friends.
Monsoon Tip: Organic mangoes are high in vitamin C and antioxidants. Grab some before the season ends.

-Megha
(The writer runs her own organic cafe, spa, salon Meghavi and is a people’s person with a pulse on the city’s happenings)

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    What lies beneath
    May 27, Art Houz
    British artist Tatiana de Stempel explores controversial themes like race, colour and societal discrimination in her latest exhibition at Art Houz. The three-part show displays works in media like film, photography, and painting, and aims to make you think past the shade of one’s skin. More on P 19

    Turn it up
    May 27, Mumbai
    After hosting their own stage at Creamfields Festival—and organising one-day events across Belgium, England, the Netherlands and Hong Kong—clubbing concept Don’t Let Daddy Know (DLDK) comes to India. Besides local act Anish Sood, the line-up boasts current EDM superstars Arty, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, Third Party and Sem Vox.
    For more on their headliner, Steve Angello, turn to P 23

    At the movies
    May 27, SPI Cinemas
    Follow Alice as she returns to the magical world of Wonderland where she attempts to help the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) deal with his problems by revisiting the past. Starring Mia Wasikowska in the lead role, Alice Through The Looking Glass is directed by James Bobin. Also releasing Housefull 3. Details: 42244224

    Band conscious
    May 28, Phoenix MarketCity
    Phoenix MarketCity hosts Agam, the versatile seven-piece Carnatic rock band from Bengaluru known for hits like Dhanashree Thillana and Malhar Jam. They have been around for over a decade and have performed at festivals like The Great Indian October Fest and NH7 Weekender.Tomorrow, from 7 pm onwards. Details: 30083007

    The big game
    May 29, Bengaluru
    Royal Challengers Bangalore have scripted an astonishing comeback by reaching the final of the IPL. They now face the winner of the second eliminator between Gujarat Lions and the winner of the do-or-die encounter between Kolkata and Hyderabad. Can Kohli go all the way and bag the trophy? Find out this Sunday. 8 pm on Star Sports. Details: iplt20.com

    Flying low
    May 30, Scoot
    Chennai to Singapore in a Boeing 787 Dreamliner with on-board Wi-Fi and Singaporean street food (nasi lemak anyone?) at just Rs 5,300? Sounds too good to be true. The city welcomes the arrival of Scoot Airlines, a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines Group, that offers cheap flights to Singapore and Australia. More on P 29

    Into the forest
    May 31, Sir Mutha Hall
    Watch the Ben Aim brothers, Christian and Francois, bring alive Melusine Thiry’s book, La Foret de Racine on stage through a poetic depiction featuring dance and visuals. It is about a boy named Racine who flees into a forest to escape his daily troubles but instead sets on a road to self-rediscovery. Organised by Alliance Francaise. More on P 19

    Two to tango
    June 1, Double Roti
    Double Roti has opened their third branch in the city, after Teynampet and Neelankarai. Located in Anna Nagar, the new branch features a revamped menu with 15 new pizzas, starters like chicken wings and fish n chips and a massive four-patty beef burger called Hey Bhagwan that weighs a kilo! Burgers from Rs 225 onwards. Open from 12.30 pm to 11 pm. Details: 9811337803

    Sal groves calling
    June 2, Taj Hotels
    Taj Safari’s newest property is Meghauli Serai in Nepal. It is located in the Chitwan National Park where over 500 native species of birds, the Royal Bengal Tiger, and the Indian rhinoceros reside. Featuring 13 independent rooms, the resort also arranges trips to local villages where you can savour homemade Nepalese cuisine. Details: tajhotels.com

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      Rooftop, poolside or lounge—where will you see the IPL finale in style?

      PONDICHERRY has been jolted out of its summer slumber with the elections and the announcementof Kiran Bedi as the new Lt Governor! Meanwhile, the weekend looks promising with the IPL finals prompting city hotels to woo T20 fans with a combination of live cricket, appetisers and cocktails.

      On the waterfront
      With a giant screen, a bar counter and a live barbeque—all poolside—Le Royal Park ensures that all that you need is within reach. A generous stream of starters like peri peri chicken and paneer shaslik are included in the buffet priced at Rs 799. Avail 25 per cent off on liquor. Details: 9600999319

      Pizza and a pint
      The classic sports combo of pizza and beer (three pints) for Rs 555 is the big draw at the sea-facing Risqué bar at The Promenade this weekend. For best seats, pick the leather settees near the LED TV and root for your favourite team. Details:0413 2227750

      Shots and stars
      With a flat screen mounted over the bar, the rooftop of the city’s oldest watering hole, Qualithe, is just the place for an IPL drinking game. Say one shot for every Virat Kohli sixer? From fried calamari to beef pepper fry, munch on Indian and French appetisers. Details: 0413 2221316

      Lounge love
      If you’re hoarse from cheering a team (assuming you’ve made peace with the absence of CSK), fuel up in the Asta Lounge at Sunway Manor. Unlimited domestic spirits paired with Indian, Chinese and Continental starters are priced at Rs 999.
      Details: 0413 2281608

      — Olympia Shilpa Gerald

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