Monthly Archives: June 2016
When Royal Enfields have a Mad Max streak to them.
Royal Enfield is rapidly shedding the Bullet tag (the bike that’s still the most iconic Enfield) now that the Continental GT and the Himalayan are part of the range. In another departure from the tradition, RE’s entries to a French motorcycling/surfing event, Wheels and Waves, have been inspired by Mad Max. While not as spartan as the Yamahas and Gas Gas motorbikes used in the film, the off-road tyres, bolted on hand-built components and paint jobs on a Continental GT and a Classic 500 strongly remind us of The Wasteland. The custom jobs are the work of UK-based motorcycle parts manufacturer, Harris Performance, now owned by RE.
Harris Performance modified a Continental GT to make it a water-wading motorcycle and named it Dirty Duck. It can ford through shallow streams, thanks to water-friendly modifications like a snorkel, a sump guard under the chassis and a rerouted exhaust. The cafe racer-like round headlamp has been replaced with twin projector lights placed inside a metallic panel bolted on to the front which also houses a GoPro. Instead of flat handlebars, the custom gets raised bars.
The Mo’ Powa’ is Harris Performance’s take on how a Classic 500 would be prepared for the drag races. The pink and blue motorbike is equipped with a turbocharger. Other major mods are a hand-built exhaust, a rear suspension adjusted to accommodate the lower seat position and an orange ignition switch along with repositionable LED tail lamps.
The Mahindra KUV100 surprises you with every little detail. Did someone say don’t judge a book by its cover?.
There are some vehicles that are hard to wrap your head around–their design and purpose aren’t easily understood at the first go. The Mahindra KUV100 is precisely such a product–it looks like it belongs in a Cars movie sequel thanks to its very animated proportions and you could spend an entire day wondering whether it’s an overgrown hatchback or a downsized SUV. The design wasn’t something that appealed to us instantly either, but we found out we were completely overlooking something.
No matter where we went with the KUV100, women seemed to fall in love with this little SUV at first glance and almost unanimously, all the men didn’t care much about it. This clearly is a vehicle that attracts the fairer sex and design details like the sleek sunglass look up front and the stubby rear, do stand out instantly. The cabin is a different story. The KUV100’s cabin looks almost European with nice textures and fabric all around. The dash may seem high but the position of that gear lever is not only ergonomic, but also makes you feel like you’re in a WRC rally car.
We drove the diesel KUV100 and this is where this compact Mahindra really scores with those who love to drive. It may be just a 1.2-litre, three-pot oil burner under the hood, but one spin around the block will convince you that it’s got a bigger engine powering it. 190Nm of torque is what defines the KUV’s performance and the 23kmpl fuel efficiency (as per ARAI) is an enticing figure indeed. With a tiny footprint and an awesome suspension setup, the KUV handles extremely well too, making it one of the most fun vehicles in its class.
One of the best parts about the KUV100 (once you get over the quirky design), is the practicality built in. The front bench makes seating flexible, under-seat storage is very usable and there’s even a small space in the boot dedicated to storing extra shoes. At `5.6-7.2 lakh (ex-showroom, Chennai) and tonnes of variants in between to choose from, the KUV100 comes across as a vehicle that will keep both men and women happy for various reasons. Isn’t that the perfect formula for a real family car then?
Director: P Singh, Jitendra Tiwari
Cast: Jimmy Shergill,
Ashutosh Rana, Sanjay Suri
Set in the backdrop of Uttar Pradesh, the Jimmy Shergill and Ashutosh Rana starrer is a combination of several real life communally charged incidents. Although it is alleged that the movie deals with the Muzzafarnagar riots of 2013, co-producer Vyas Verma rejects the claim.
Trivia: According to media reports, a PIL has alleged that Jimmy Shergill’s character is based on politician Sangeet Som
Raman Raghav 2.0
Director: Anurag Kashyap
Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vicky Kaushal
Directed by Anurag Kashyap, the movie is based on the life of serial killer Raman Raghav who had terrorised the streets of
Mumbai in the 1960s but was later caught and confessed to his crimes. The title role is being portrayed by Nawazuddin Siddiqui.
Trivia: The movie was shot in just 20 days
The World Is Funny
Director: Shemi Zarhin
Cast: Assi Levy, Eli Finish, Danny Steg
Israeli Film Festival is bringing down five films to the city. The World Is Funny, about a household help who takes inspiration from her jobs to write stories, will be the first movie. Organised by the Indo Cine Appreciation Foundation in association with Consulate General of Israel in Bengaluru at the Max Mueller Bhavan in Chennai. 27 June, 6.15 pm onward. Details: 28331314
The Conjuring 2
Director: James Wan
Cast: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga
The Conjuring 2 deals with another real life case from demonologists, Ed (Farmiga) and Lorraine Warren’s (Wilson) files. This time around, the couple travels to north London, where a single mum and her four kids live in a house plagued by multiple spirits. While it’s not as terrifying as the first installment, or even Annabelle for that matter, it sure is a masterpiece that’s worth a watch.
— Team Indulge
Director: Abhishek Chaubey
Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor, Diljit Dosanjh
This film explores Punjab’s drug problem. The plot follows three stories — Tommy Singh (Shahid Kapoor), a singer with a bad drug problem; a migrant labourer (Bhatt) who is trying to make money off it; and Sartaj Singh (Dosanjh), a corrupt police officer who bribes those caught in possession of drugs. A great effort by Shahid Kapoor and Bhatt, this one is a brave take on a relevant social issue.— Team Indulge
Enaku Innoru Per Irukku
Director: Sam Anton
Cast: GV Prakash, Anandhi
With humour introduced at regular intervals, the story of a simple youngster inadvertently caught in the affairs of two rival gangsters is narrated with a fair degree of interest. Reveling in his role, Prakash lets down his defenses totally. The director has crafted each of the segments engagingly and linked them effectively. The dialogue sparkling with wit and humour is a key strength. While most of the comedy works, a few slapstick ones fall flat. It’s a fun-filled, fairly engaging experience.
— Malini Mannath
Turn your feelings into songs, or give your talent a platform with Music4thought
EXpressing our feelings to the ones we love can sometimes be difficult. That’s when lines from famous songs come in handy. So how about if someone can weave your true feelings into a song?
More than a year into its soft launch, Music4thought was officially launched this week, day ahead of World Music Day (June 21). Based out of Mumbai and Hyderabad, the venture is about creating songs on demand, with singers from reality shows, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, and Indian Idol.
Founded by couple Rohit Shrivastav and Preeti Sinha, and Bollywood music producer Parikshit Sharma (one half of the Tubby-Parik duo, known for Guzaarish and 2 States),it also connects lyricists with vocalists and sound engineers to breathe life into their words.
Likewise, aspiring singers can find resources to record albums, and release their works on SoundCloud and YouTube. Consultations with Bollywood musicians like Vishal Dadlani can also be arranged. And if you make short films, or video games, here’s your cue for original tracks.
There’s an elaborate process to gauge your feelings for the ‘made to order’ song service. Select from one of the 10 categories on the site, such as Wedding, Maternity, New Born, or Miss You and fill out a questionnaire.
“After we get the answers, one of the team members will call you. Earlier, we had hired freelance psychiatrists for this. But in a year’s time, we have understood the drill.Sometimes, we might call you more than once to understand you better. So reach out to us 20 days in advance,” says Sinha, adding, “Those who are getting married are full of emotions and easiest to talk to. Difficulties arise with people who are in a relationship for 10-15 years, or children who want to convey emotions to their parents.”
Once the “emotions are understood”, they write lyrics, compose the music, record the song, all the while interacting with the customer over email or WhatsApp. They can also integrate your voice-over messages with a song, or let you sing the entire track. And while the maximum number of orders have been in Hindi and English, they record in regional languages as well. Oh My Darling, Teri Baaton Mei and Nanhi Pari are some of their creations.
Sinha sums it up best, “We want people to be the soul and hero of their songs. And when we have such immense music talent in our country, why not tap into it?”
Rs 70,000 upwards for custom songs. Details: music4thought.com
— Barkha Kumari
YOU have seen the posters plastered across the city —– Bollywood darling Sunny Leone and playback singer Neha Kakkar are performing here for the first time. The event, Fire & Ice, organised by Tinacca Media Group (TMG) and Aaj Ki Naari, a charitable trust, is an attempt to include Chennai when it comes to nation-wide music performances. “Chennai is often considered a conservative market and most top performers tend to give this city a miss while planning a nation-wide event,” explains Ch Ram, the CEO of TMG. Headliner Leone says she is most excited about ‘‘meeting the people of Chennai” and sharing her views on women empowerment and gender equality. As for Kakkar, this queen of party songs (think Sunny Sunny, Do Peg Maar and Kar Gayi Chull) agrees that Chennai is the land of “incredible singers who have been inspiring.’’ Preferring to keep her line-up for the night a surprise, she promises to make people dance in the aisles. Ahead of the big night they share personal favourites with Indulge, that ought to get you in the mood for the long night ahead. June 25, 7 pm onwards. At Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.Rs 1,000 onwards. Details: in.bookmyshow.com
Sunny’s best: When heavy metal meets hip hop
1. Personal anthem:
Joan Jett’s Bad Reputation
2. No one rocks the stage quite like: Michael Jackson, Queen and Madonna
3. A life-changing live performance: Nothing beats ACDC and the amazing raw power of rock ‘n’ roll
4. An unexpected track on your playlist: Etta James’ A Sunday Kind of Love
5. Three songs on loop right now: Ain’t your Mama by JLO, both Willow’s Whip my Hair and 2Pac’s Hit ’Em Up
All eyes on neha
1. Personal anthem: Sunny Sunny from Yaariyan
2. Childhood idol: Most definitely my sister Sonu Kakkar
3. A life-changing live performance: Pritam Live. Because I absolutely love Pritamda’s music
4. No one rocks the stage quite like: Demi Lovato. She is brilliant and her live singing is so perfect that it feels like it’s recorded
5. An unexpected track on your playlist? Solamente Tu, the debut single by Latin Grammy nominated Spanish singer, Pablo Alboran
6. The music director on your wishlist: A R Rahman. He is a living legend.
7. Three songs on loop right now: Ek Kudi by Amit Trivedi, Phir Le Aaya Dil by Pritamda and Free Fallin by John Mayer
Text: Sushmitha Ramakrishnan
Samira Wiley on OITNB, films in the pipeline and more.
Best known for her role as Poussey in the comedy drama series, Orange Is The New Black (OITNB), Samira Wiley has been winning hearts across the globe. She tells us more about the new season of OITNB, and her movie and stage projects.
On being back on set
It was wonderful to reunite with the rest of the cast members. This year, we have a bunch of new inmates, and it was fun getting to know some of the newer actresses. I had an exciting time reading the scripts for every episode. This season has a bit more zing to it than others.
Tell us more about the new characters
I’d love to tell you more, but all I can say is that there are a lot of colourful characters this season. You’ll either love them or love to hate them.
What to expect from the season
With a group of new inmates, you’ll see what happens when you put people with contrasting personalities in a small space. There continues to be tension between inmates and tension between the guards. It’s going to be intense.
Poussey’s relationship with Taystee
They are like sisters who go through different stages in their relationship. It’s a relationship between two women who love each other as sisters.
What’s it like on set?
Everyday is funny. We make up songs and games. I remember this one time, me and Vicky Jeudy (who plays Janae Watson), tried to have a push up contest. But both of us were so weak, it ended in a tie.
I’m in a play called Daphne’s Dive. I’m also working on two movies, 37 and Nerve.
On having fans the world overIt is scary sometimes, that people all over the world are watching. But it’s also empowering and fuels us to
do better.Issues this season deals with The problem of overcrowding in prisons and how to survive on your own.
Available on netflix.com/in/
— Rashmi Rajagopal Lobo
Actor Rithvik Dhanjani will take on 10 dangerousjobs in a new show.
THE list of experiences in Rithvik Dhanjani’s CV is steadily growing thanks to his latest stint on the small screen. The TV actor of Pavitra Rishta fame will soon be seen attempting 10 different jobs across the length and breadth of the country in History TV18’s new show, Man vs Job. And these aren’t ordinary tasks. In the last three weeks, he has tried collecting honey, wrestling, performing stunts, and guiding trekkers (in Himachal Pradesh). In the coming days, he will be seen criss-crossing Chennai and Coimbatore, racing cars and crocodile farming. Firefighting is also on the cards.
“I am so glad I was chosen for this show. I get to highlight lesser-known jobs, lead the lives of people involved in these jobs, and I am hoping I can change everybody’s perception about them. We often take these jobs and people for granted,” begins Dhanjani, who won the reality show, I Can Do That, last year, and is currently seen hosting the Indian version of So You Think You Can Dance.
He cites an example from his Sunderbans stint, “I ventured into a forest, lived with the family of a honey collector (he has a mentor for each job), learnt how to cut honeycombs, and sell honey. It’s a dangerous business because there are tigers in those jungles, but people still risk their lives for a few thousand rupees.” He adds, “My mentor has a family of six. He hosted me in his small hut because I was his guest. It was memorable.”
In the village of Khanna, near Ludhiana, he took on the national wrestling champion, Rubal Jeet. “Of course, I wasn’t expected to win the kushti,” laughs the 27-year-old Sindhi actor, recollecting, “I was also pitted against a 17-year-old. I asked myself initially, ‘What if I hurt him?’ Trust me, exactly the opposite happened. He lifted me and threw me to the ground. That’s how strong these wrestlers are. Before working out, they make and consume a milkshake of 23 herbs, flower petals, syrup, elaichi, cashew nuts, almonds, mishri, and what not. They grind all this into a paste, for 30-45 minutes. I had to do the same. It was such a task.”
While he got down to these jobs without any preparation, the workout freak did pump up for his assignment as a stuntman in Mumbai. “Sunil Rodrigues aka Rod (action director of films like Dilwale, and Rocky Handsome) introduced me to his stuntmen who’ve met with accidents in the past and come back to do stunts again. They are the people who make our heroes look like heroes,” he says.
Sky’s the limit
Dhanjani tells us that as a young boy, he wanted to be a doctor, like his heart surgeon uncle. Then he realised the amount of studying that went into becoming one. The adventure freak is currently fascinated with the sport of wingsuit flying. “I don’t think I want to try it. It’s dangerous (he has a fear of heights). These people basically wear wingsuits, jump off cliffs, help others to fly like them or just capture videos of others while in the air. They are human drones!”
The young man, who we chased for two weeks for this interview, has obviously been busy travelling. And how does he unwind? “Luckily, my work allows me to travel a lot, and that’s fun (New York is his favourite getaway). I also watch a lot of TV. I just finished Luther. Other shows I like are Suits, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother and Friends. And, yes, Game of Thrones. Don’t tell me anything about it! I am still on episode 8 (of season 6),” he signs off.
Premieres June 30. 10 pm on History TV18
— Barkha Kumari
Road to EDM
XOXO, an ensemble comedy by Netflix, is the latest show to hit the air. It follows a group of 20-somethings on their adventure to one of the biggest EDM festivals in America. The comedy stars Sarah Hyland (Modern Family), Graham Phillips (The Good Wife),
Brett DelBuono and Chris D’Elia (Undateable). Details: netflix.com
In the third episode of MTV Splitsvilla, princesses pull out all the stops to claim the coveted throne to become the queen. Watch to find out who will become the first queen of the ninth season of this popular dating reality show, hosted by Sunny Leone, and Rannvijay Singha.
Saturday, 7 pm on MTV
The sitcom Odd Couple revolves around the lives of Oscar Madison, and his college pal, Felix Unger, both of whom have been thrown out of their houses by their wives. Now Felix has moved in with Oscar, causing conflicts thanks to their contrasting lifestyles. Monday-Friday. 8.30 pm on Star World and Star World HD
Ash, the hooligan?
One can hardly imagine the oh-so guarded and non-committal Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as a football hooligan, of all things, but this is how Abhishek Bachchan described his wife in a recent interview. Having been inducted into the sport by her husband, who is not only the owner of an ISL team but also a die hard Chelsea Football Club supporter, it seems Miss Purple Lips loves the sport. Besides football, the couple that went from being the darlings of Bollywood to allegedly living War of the Roses, seemed to be rather in sync with each other in this interview, right down to her OCD habits, his addiction to coffee and their mutual weakness for junk food.
From the classroom
The prolific Ananth Narayan Mahadevan is back with a new film. His latest, Rough Book, has toured film festivals across the world and is finally releasing in India (today). A comment on the education system, the film stars Tannishtha Chatterjee, Amaan Khan, Joy Sengupta, Jayati Bhatia and Vinay Jain. The story unfolds around a physics teacher and her students who rebel against an unfair system. While this film seems to be headed for a release, another film on education has hit rough water. Shlok Sharma’s Haraamkhor, which shows a romance between a teacher and a student, is the latest Hindi film to be facing trouble with the CBFC.
Half the film-going or news-watching population believes Udta Punjab is an Anurag Kashyap film, despite Abhishek Chaubey being the director. That’s because of the censorship controversy and the producer’s outspokenness on the subject of course. What will now add to the confusion is the release of Raman Raghav 2.0 this week, a serial killer thriller actually directed by Kashyap. Starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vicky Kaushal, this is Kashyap’s first film since Bombay Velvet and its debacle last year. Kashyap says he has learnt to take criticism and devised a method for absorbing it. “My first reaction was always to defend myself. Over the years I have worked out a system. You see the film and you mail me your thoughts. It will be a one-way communication. That way I am actually listening and I am not warding off every criticism with a bat.” Controversy’s child, over the years Kashyap has fielded many battles right from his unreleased Paanch to Black Friday and most recently Udta Punjab. “My recovery is very fast,” he adds. “I am a survivor. I don’t have any nostalgia.” He’s also preparing for his next two films, one of which is a horror genre film called Giddy.
IIFA time for Salman
Its time for Bollywood’s annual off-site, also known as the IIFA awards. This year half of the Hindi film industry will be saying hola and gracias as the 2016 edition of the global awards weekend centres around the city of Madrid in Spain. Among the big ticket names attending and performing will be controversy king Salman Khan. Rehearsals and the trip to Madrid meant the actor has so far not been able to give adequate time for the promotions of his upcoming release Sultan. This has also meant that Anushka Sharma is holding the fort till her co-star returns. Sharma is making the most of Khan’s hectic schedule and has squeezed in a few more days of work on her production, Phillauri, during his absence. Others expected to attend IIFA are Karan Johar, Fawad Khan, Shilpa Shetty, Hrithik Roshan (whose Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara put Spain on the Indian tourism map) and Sridevi, who is being felicitated with a Lifetime Achievement honour.
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