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Monthly Archives: June 2016

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In line with the Nizami tradition, the menswear store Jahanpanah seeks to make every occasion a lifetime memory

Carrying forward the Nizami culture and ethnicity, Hyderabadi men and boys have got a new destination to gift themselves traditional Nawabi attire. In the same premises as the famous Mohammed Cap Mart, Jahanpanah is the new address in town for the elegant Hyderabadi look. The 4,500 sq.ft showroom houses a wide range of kurtas, sherwanis, nawabi caps, traditional dupattas and many more.
The collection houses a variety of clothing options in multiple materials and designs. One can find Nawabi sherwanis and collar buttoned sherwanis in velvet and jute, amongst other materials. The Embroidery work varies from zari to Swarovski stones, while several design patterns can be found in brocade and kimkhwab material which was once used by the Nizams of Hyderabad. Kurta-pajamas can be bought in a range of fabrics from pure cotton, embossed material, brocade,and pure silk.
The store also has a section dedicated to western outfits. The Tuxedoes and suits are made using Italian wool, pure linen, dormeuil and pure wool fabric. They also have a special range of Hex ties. To complement your clothing picks, the store offers you several royal accessories like a kamar baandh (belt) around your waist, a traditional pagdi (cap) with a kalangi, a Mala made of beads for your neck, a ethnic bandhni stole or match your mojris (shoes) with talwar (sword).
The premium collection sherwanis here are handcrafted and have highlighted bead works all over. A few other collection showcases the sherwani made with different materials like cotton, velvet and kimkhwab assembled together. However, the pyjamas can be of different materials depending on one’s requirement.
Price: Rs 4,000 and upwards.
Details: 24606287

— Nishad Neelambaran

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Doe and Deer’s bracelets, rings and earrings, predominantly in silver, will make you want to gift one to yourself

Doe, the female deer, is a symbol of generoisty and grace. Two things Raajitha Jupally, a certified diamond grader and jewellery designer, associates women with. So when she opened the doors to her new store – Doe and Deer at My Home Hub, Madhapur, she decided that this would be her brand name. As unique as its name, the store is also a platform for women who aspire to be stylists or designers.
Having worked with a number of firms abroad as a HR associate (she says that it helped her understand people’s expectations), Raajitha aims to make her label accessible to women who can buy or sell her the products. The 4,500 sq. ft showroom is home to rings, neckpieces, bracelets, pendants and earrings. Currently, she designs it herself. But she says that her products have the edge because of the materials used. Mostly silver, it is imported from Hong Kong, Korea and Thailand.

An earful
The store has a vast variety for the ears. Ear climber danglers, deep sea wave ear jacket, emerald crown cap chandeliers, pear pave ear jackets, sultan ruby cluster and danglers, deceptive three sapphire hoops, maharani chandlier and pearl jhumkis are a few. Maharani chandlier, the handcrafted sterling silver gold plated piece set in pearls, semiprecious emeralds and rubies, is the star.

Brace yourself
The bracelet variety is impressive too. The five-tier flexi multitone bracelet is the customers favourite. Plated with gold, the bracelet round brilliant cut cubic zirconia’s (CZ’s) are perfectly tapered with detailing on the clip which gives it an elegant look. Apart from this the five-tier emerald bracelet is also something that anyone would love to gift themselves. The five layers of emerald baubles connected by border set brilliant CZs make this bracelet a must buy.
The store also houses rings which are unique because of the design. Royal floral ruby cluster, grape vine statement, round brilliant border solitaire set, pink and green pear three finger ring and floral baguette are a few highlights. However, royal floral ruby cluster is what that got our attention. Framed in a circle of pear shaped simulated the ruby pink stones sits a pretty pink flower on the Rhodium plated silver ring.
The Ruby Rain pendant and solitaire necklace is also something that demands attention. Set in sparkling pave Czs and semi-precious beads is a flower in 3D with a pearl that adorns the centre. Raining from the centre of this flower are bright ruby beads that gives it a royale look. The Solitaire neckpiece is also something that any woman would love to treat herself to. The tapered necklace starts with a centre stone that is 2 carats in size.
Price: Rs 4,500 upwards. Details: 66398666

— Nishad Neelambaran

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Fashion show to exhibition, the city buzzed with it all

The International Yoga Day created waves across the city. Although some of the enthusiasts treated the importance and science of yoga with tokenism and made it look like a socialite event, some veterans, however, displayed true dedication towards this ancient science and wisdom. The Aum Yoga Studio organised a friendly yoga session as an ode to the art. Bela, Pratibha and Sona were dressed aptly for a good stretch. The first ever Upayoga classes conducted for children fighting cancer at MNJ Hospital summed up the love for asanas and the willingness of several citizens to add joy to other’s lives.
Elswhere at an exhibition Bani was spotted in an artistically tailored pieced black and beige suit with her ever charming smile. Namita in a pastel pink top paired with a black denim was an example of style which never goes out of
fashion.
The fashion show by the city’s most loved designer Shravan was an effort to pay respect to the weavers and local craftsmanship. The evening held at Novotel attracted the city’s fashionistas. Swati, dressed in a green sari with a well-blended kalamkari blouse, was an epitome of poise.
Celebrations during the Holy Month of Ramadan gets multiplied when friends and family partake in it. The iftar party hosted by Hyder Maharaja was an evening relished by all those who attended.

-Megha

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

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    At the movies
    June 24, SPI Cinemas
    The much awaited sequel to the cult 1996 film, Independence Day, is finally here. Independence Day: Resurgence is set 20 years after the first film, and sees a larger battalion of alien forces threatening to exterminate humans. Although there are old faces in the cast, like Jeff Goldblum (scientist) and Bill Pullman (the former president of the US) and fresh faces like Liam Hemsworth, one might be forgiven for missing Will Smith. Directed by Roland Emmerich. Details: 42244224

    Might of malt
    June 25, Park Hyatt
    At Park Hyatt tomorrow Scottish whisky brand Glenlivet conducts the Glenlivet Legacy Dinner. Hosted by its international brand ambassador, Darren Hosie, the event will showcase the pairing of the drink with Indian dishes, besides allowing you to taste some smooth versions that range from 12 to 18 years. On June 25, 8 pm onwards. Entry by invite only. At The Apartment in Park Hyatt.
    Details: 71771234

    Two to tango
    June 25, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium
    It’s a dual spectacle this weekend as Sunny Leone and Neha Kakkar perform for the first time in the city as part of the Fire & Ice concert. A fundraising event for Aaj Ki Naari, a charitable trust, it will also feature performances by Poppy Jabbal, Sidhika Sharma, Veronika Singh and Gehna Vashisht. More on P 23

    Spot on
    June 25, Sir Mutha Hall
    It’s The Improv’s debut performance in the city today. The Bengaluru-based improvisational comedy group, consisting of Danish Sait, Sumukhi Suresh, Praveen Raj, Darius Sunawala and Sal Yusuf with Saad Khan as the host, is known for their interactive brand of comedy where the audience play a role too. Today, from 7.30 pm onwards. At Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Concert Hall. Rs 500 onwards. Details: in.bookmyshow.com

    Spot the stars
    June 26, Spain
    For the first time,  Spain’s MulaFest will highlight  India’s alternative culture. While the festival activities range from skateboarding to underground art galas, there will also be a special music stage called IIFA Stomp, featuring India’s top artistes including DJ Clement, Nucleya and Raghu Dixit. Meanwhile do not miss IIFA’s award night for Bollywood in Madrid. Till June 26. Details: iifa.com

    Match point
    June 27, Wimbledon
    With the continued absence of Rafael Nadal from Grand Slams, the spotlight is now on the rest of the Big Four — Djokovic, Federer and Murray — at this year’s Wimbledon. Djokovic is on a record-breaking spree of winning four consecutive Slams, and has already set his sights on a Calendar Slam. Among women, Serena Williams is still a favourite. June 27 to July 10. On Star Sports.
    Details: wimbledon.com

    16 to go
    June 28, France
    The knockout stage of the UEFA Euro 2016 is here. After a dramatic week that saw Wales top their group ahead of England, much of the attention will be on hosts France, who, despite a dull draw against Switzerland, saw an inspired performance by star player Paul Pogba. Round of 16 to start tomorrow. Spain remains the top favourite despite a shock defeat to Croatia. On Sony Six.

    Run for it
    June 29, Motorscribes
    Save the date for a 10-day adventure organised by Motorscribes. Starting from Kanyakumari and ending in Goa, the trip will take you through forests in Karnataka, backwaters in Kerala and Goa’s beaches. You will be part of a convoy of Mahindra Scorpios, that will stopover at resorts where you can enjoy a comfortable stay and relish regional delicacies. Rs 65,000. July 26 to August 4. Details: motorscribes.com/thunderrun
    Details: uefa.com

    Time to give
    June 30, IWC Schaffhausen
    Celebrating the power and efficiency of yesteryear racing cars, Swiss luxury watch maker IWC Schaffhausen has revealed two special editions from the Ingenieur family. While one is in tribute to the legendary racing driver Rudolf Caracciola, the other is inspired by Mercedes-Benz’s Silver Arrow W125. Only 750 models are available worldwide. Details: iwc.com

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      Catch an art show and a French movie, or shake a leg to retro beats this weekend.

      EAT STREET
      In the mood for some quick bites? OMR Food Street’s ongoing offers and discounts will leave you wanting for more. From getting a chicken omelette free with two murtabaks at Limon to free salsa with a plate of nachos (Rs 300) at Mexikhana, there’s lots to choose from. Offers valid all month. Prices from around Rs 200 onwards. Details: 9282428883

      Spice FIX
      This weekend, savour the flavours of Andhra Pradesh  at Sunway Manor’s food fest. Expect staples like Hyderabadi biryani and pulihora (tamarind rice with green chilies) prepared by Puducherry-based chef, Maruti Kumar. For lunch and dinner. Veg thali at Rs 299 and non-veg thali at Rs 349. June 24 to July 4. Details: 9585591600

      AFTER DUSK
      Get ready to rock to some alternative dance music by Puducherry’s DJ Shantanu Ghosh aka Sleepwalker at the first edition of Sundown Sessions by B-SIDE Entertainment at DisDis & Co. Also, sip on cocktails like cabo mojito or grab some beer while you enjoy the beats. Entry at Rs 500. On June 26, 5 pm to 11 pm. Details: 0413 4308968

      Art for a cause
      Tasmai art gallery in Kuruchikuppam hosts a one-of-a-kind exhibition this weekend. All canvases in the ‘Colours Shine For Everybody’ collective have been painted by differently-abled students from Satya Special School, under the guidance of French artist Mathieu Charbonneau. From 3 pm to 7 pm. Details: 0413 2221502

      Blues on a roll
      Rock and roll with local band H20 at La Plancha (Romain Rolland Street). The band which recreates the sound of the 50s and 60s will start performing from 8 pm onwards. Expect vintage blues and classic rock covers of Elvis and Chuck Berry at the acoustic concert. Entry free.  Details: 0413 4300333

      French connection
      The French movie at Alliance Francaise this Sunday is Tous au Larzac. It stars Pierre Bonnefous, José Bové, Christiane Burguière and is directed by Christian Rouaud. The movie, set in 1971, shows how a group of isolated farmers manage to win a fight against a French government that is attempting to setup a military camp over their land. On June 26, 6 pm onwards. Details: 0413 2334351

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        Follow the showers from Agumbe’s forests to Koi Kood’s beaches, with our pick of monsoon-friendly holidays.

        By the beach
        Fancy unwinding by a beachside villa on the quiet isle of Koh Kood? Head to the hi-end Soneva Kiri resort, off the coast of Thailand. Regardless of whether you want to go on a kayaking adventure into the azure blue sea or sign up for a rejuvenating ayurvedic massage, this five-star property has got it all sorted out.14-day packages from Rs 4,73,353 onwards. Details: soneva.com

        Into the wild snip 4
        Is the thrillseeker in you itching for adventure? Join Itravel on their upcoming camping three-day trip (think tents and treks) through the rain-kissed forests of Agumbe. Located atop Western Ghats—recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage site—this five-acre region, filled with meandering streams and a plethora of reptiles (including the King Cobra) can be explored during field trips led by Forest Department officials. Rs 14,990. On July 15. Details: theitravelgroup.com

        Tropical escape
        Getting away from the crowds needn’t always involve a trip overseas. Head over to a 200-year-old heritage property, Villa Goa, where two luxurious private villas hidden inside a sub-tropical garden with individual swimming pools are at your disposal. The property also boasts of a European chef (available on request) whose signature dishes include nutmeg chicken roast and caramelised pear pies. Rs 47,000 per night. At Assagao. Details: thevillagoa.com

        The spice route snip 1- 2
        As the world embraces yoga, journey along India’s western coast and rediscover yourself. Set sail from Dubai —on a yoga-themed luxurious voyage with Azamara Club Cruise—and explore everything from Goa’s colonial-era Portuguese churches to Kerala’s pristine backwaters and beyond (think Maldives and Sri Lanka). While two-week long cruise progresses, renowned in-house Iyengar yoga instructor, Colleen Gallagher, will teach you over 200 yoga poses and meditation techniques. From November 3 to 17. From Rs 2,43,533 onwards. Details: tirun.com

         

         

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          Travel writer and auto enthusiast, Rishad Saam Mehta, on fast cars, best riding routes and making memories.

          When you decide to hit the road, getting there is sometimes just as exciting as being there. This is one of the many principles, Rishad Saam Mehta, touches upon in his latest book, Fast Cars and Fidgety Feet. Though the engineer-turned-travel writer’s previous book Hot Tea across India is nation-centric, his latest work is a collection of crazy road trips, treks and food hunts from around the world. The avid photographer talks about everything from driving a Skoda Yeti into Poland to discover the places where Steve McQueen rode a TT Special 650 Triumph motorcycle in The Great Escape to gorging on a bistecca alla fiorentina (T-bone steak) in one of Tuscany’s many taverns.

          Step out
          Though irksome security checks, stressful last-minute schedule changes, uncomfortable seats and cranky co-passengers, may deter others from travelling, in his book,this Mumbaikar tries to drive home the fact that travel is not an indulgence rather it is an essential investment to a fuller and more wholesome life. “Get out there and spend your money on travel,” begins Mehta, elaborating, “Take a holiday without the shackles of package tourism. Bypass travel agents, go online, do you research and plan your own trips, hire that fancy car you want to drive, eat that unusual dish. Spend money on crazy stuff like skydiving and river rafting.”

          In the fast lane
          Mehta’s living the dream. He gets to embark on driving holidays—as hi-end automobile manufacturers fly him across the planet to test-ride luxury/sports cars on the best roads. The travel writer shares a few pointers, for those planning to head out on a long driving holiday. “If you love to ride and find yourself in Europe, rent the BMW 5 series. While driving in America, either the 5.0 Litre Mustang GT or the Dodge Charger R/T models should suffice. Hi-end car rental sites like Kayak will help in this regard,” shares Mehta, continuing, “Looking for the best routes to boost your ultimate riding experience? Try Australia’s Great Ocean Road, the West Coast of Ireland, the Alps in Bavaria and Australia, Western Wales and the South Island of New Zealand.”
          Details: Kayak.com

          Walk to remember
          If there’s only one trek you will ever do in India, venture alongside the pristine, alpine lakes of Kashmir. `69,806  (per person.)  Details:aquaterra.in

          Order Fast Cars and Fidgety Feet for `228. Details: amazon.in
          —Anoop Menon

           

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            From a novel to a Pondy encyclopedia, P Raja has his hands full.

            NEWLY retired English Professor P Raja is in a reminiscent mood.  A Portable, a hardbound compendium of his writings in English over 30 years will be launched this evening by the People for Pondicherry Heritage. “It all began by accident!” he grins.
            Posted at a government arts college in Karaikal for his first job in 1975, Raja had plenty of time to kill—and was egged by his superior to write for the college magazine. “I was pushed to write, but once I began, there was no looking back.” The piece was re-published in a local newspaper which requested more articles; he then started contributing to other Pondicherry publications including the Ashram’s Mother India magazine. Those articles were re-published in US journals and dollars began to trickle in, which spurred him to send his short stories to leading Indian newspapers like Statesman and The Indian Express. Enthused by the reception, he published his first book of poems in 1987, From Zero to Infinity.  “It was a good time to be a writer,” recalls Raja who now has his own publishing house, Busy Bee Books.
            “I have dabbled in all genres of literature— poetry, short stories, essays and plays,” the bilingual writer smiles with satisfaction. It is the best of these writings from over 33 English titles that has been edited by KV Raghupathi, professor at the Central University of Tamil Nadu.  Raja who is anticipating the release of his first English novel (a family drama set in French India), is also working on a five volume encyclopedia of Pondicherry.
            A Portable (Reliance Pubishing House) will be launched at Palais de Mahe, Rue Bussy at 6.30 pm. Special price of ` 500 (MRP ` 995), Details: professorraja.com

            —Olympia Shilpa Gerald

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              We Are Kora brings to you vibrant and traditional art on the canvas of your tote bag.

              DO YOU know what’s special about this flower?” quizzes Saketh Singh, as he rolls out a  biscuit-coloured cotton tote with an intricate pen-and-ink sketch of a blossom. “It is the cannonball, the state flower of Pondicherry!” It is such oft-forgotten elements that form the bedrock of newly launched Pondicherrian brand, We Are Kora. The founders, Indian-German couple—architect Saketh Singh and freelance media professional Steffi Kirstenpfad—chose the element of nostalgia to distinguish themselves from other fashion merchandise brands. “We did not set out to create a brand; we wanted to create an idea that could capture different elements of nostalgia associated with various parts of India,” explains Singh. “Nostalgia varies depending on who you are, how old you are and where you are from,” he adds.

              The beginning
              Their first line of products, rolled out in May, is a collection of totes  that depict profiles of enigmatic Varanasi rishis with matted beards and vermilion smeared foreheads, performers of Theyyam, and the Indian lotus. We Are Kora will begin launching its products from July—sling bags, organic canvas clutches, posters and even ties. But they fall into six categories: people of India, cultures, customs and traditions, flora and fauna, products made in India and mythical characters.
              There is a lacuna for high quality city-specific merchandise, believes the couple, who are excited about a tote depicting Pondicherry’s beloved ‘Mairie’ building which collapsed last year. We Are Kora fashions itself as a minimalist, artistic alternative to funky, kitschy city merchandise that are popular today.

              The making
              While the accessories are designed by a collective of artists and design students, the brand is keen on keeping its production eco-friendly.  Organic GOT certified cotton from south Tamil Nadu is weaved in solar-powered looms in Auroville. After the bags are tailored in Pondicherry, they are packed in recyclable  cardboard boxes with butter paper wrapping.
              “We want to go one step ahead and minimise all packaging waste,” says Singh holding up a glass mason jar. Inside, a tote with a bearded rishi rests on a bed of camphor. “Nostalgia is also about smells,” he grins.
              The brand’s name is unusual. Humming the opening line of ‘Kora Kagaz’, Saketh says, Kora means different things in different languages— a blank , a beautiful woman, a musical instrument. “We love that the word evokes so many different things.” Just like nostalgia itself!
              From Rs 600, July onwards, at Casablanca in Pondicherry, Maalgaadi in Chennai. Details: www.worldartcommunity.com

              —Olympia Shilpa Gerald

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              Cars that made an impact, thanks to their unconventional shapes and sizes.

              Renault Kwid
              The Kwid was the first to pack in all the practicality and economy of a budget hatchback in an attractive SUV form. With the black cladding at the bottom and a ground clearance of 180mm, the little car looks like a butch off-roader, without the four-wheel drive. Under its contoured hood is a peppy little 799cc three-cylinder SCe (Smart Control Efficiency) petrol engine that makes 54hp and 72Nm–good enough for a car that weighs barely 660kg. Rs 2.75 lakh
              (ex-showroom Chennai).
              Details: renault.co.in/Kwid

              Fiat Avventura Abarth
              Fiat married the concept of a crossover to the performance hatchback and launched its own juiced up version with the help of its sport division, Abarth that rightfully has a scorpion for its logo. The Fiat Avventura Abarth is powered by a 1.4 T-Jet engine that generates 140bhp and does the 0-100kmph run in 9.9 seconds. The scorpion decal and red Abarth stickers at the sides add to the ‘sting’ quotient of this hot crossover. Rs 10.26 lakh (ex-showroom Chennai)
              Details: fiat-india.com/avventura.

              Ford EcoSport
              Ford made history in 2013 by introducing a strange, new concept—a city car that looks like a rugged SUV with a spare wheel mounted at the rear. This fit into the excise-duty friendly sub-4 metre package. The success of the compact crossover went on to spawn a whole new segment that’s now rife with options. But with its delicious features and driveability, the EcoSport has maintained its position at the top. The choice of engines are a 1.5-litre 1TiVCT petrol available with manual and automatic transmission options, a 1.5-litre TDCi diesel and a hugely popular 1.0-litre EcoBoost. Rs 6.81 lakh (ex-showroom Chennai).
              Details: india.ford.com/ecosport

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