when I was young, the most popular birthday gifts were books. I used to frown a bit because it meant I would have to read them and that would rob me of the time for other things I loved more, like singing, for example. Getting books would also mean I had to forgo toys or clothes, again something I hated. I know I sound childish, but let us get to the point fast. Most adults gifted me ‚ the Did You Know‘ book series, dictionaries or encyclopedias.
Times have changed now after the digital boom. YouTube is the new knowledge destination and Google is the new-age guru who answers anything in the world within seconds. Added to the time that it saves, it means there are no more books collecting dust on shelves. Of course, owning a book is far more attractive for many who relish the idea of reading. What, however, surprised me recently is that there is information on almost everything that exists in the universe on the internet. Do-It-Yourself videos, occult sciences, history, math classrooms and even edgy questions. You don’t need ‘phone a friend’ kind of guidance. It is ‘browse a friend’.
However, I doubt if Hyderabadis relate with this lifestyle where people are so tech-savvy that they don’t need to discuss things across the table anymore? Where everything from bank transactions to matchmaking is taking place online?
I am not complaining but rather proud of our ‘chai biskit and a good friend’ concept of fun. A friend by the table is worth two online. Cribbing to each other about
mundane things like traffic, rising prices and the Kabali mania is therapeutic. YouTube should probably be renamed as WeTube in our city as it’s all about us and we here. We shall bond and flourish.
— The writer is a popular TV show host, radio jockey, professional singer… and most importantly, a hardcore Hyderabadi)
Recently, I remembered my teacher‘s quote, “Do the work where your greatest gladness meets the world‘s deepest hunger” and I guess this perfectly fits in with the launch of Anonym lifestyle store by Vinita Passary. Dressed in blue and beige, Vinita earned appreciation from the city‘s fashionistas for her passion and efforts to promote Ikat fabric by keeping the local craftsmanship alive through the contemporary bespoke collection for all seasons.
Women Energy group founded by Deepti Reddy Vangala a few months back is catching the attention of many accomplished women. The recent induction programme held in Hotel Manohar saw many enthusiasts joining her economic forum.
The Wedding Vows expo at The Westin gave a glimpse of the kind of cutting edge technology one can expect in weddings. From apps to order things to the venue to the designer wear that is trend this season, it covered it all. Isha’s well crafted off-shoulder white top paired with a gold slim fit trouser was the centre of attraction last weekend at the event.
Meanwhile, the city ladies also seem to be experimenting with bold colours. Manisha sported a mustard highlight on her dress that went well with her nerdy yet chic look. Shruti‘s orange halter neck jumpsuit at the launch of Capital Kitchen restaurant signalled the thumbs up to yellow, red and orange.
That’s it from now. So long then.
(The writer runs her own organic cafe, spa, salon Meghavi and is a people’s person with a finger on the pulse on the city’s happenings)
Indian Blues If you enjoy Pink Floyd, then Warren Mendonsa and his band’s Monsoon Blues will mesmerise you
For the first time in Hyderabad, Blackstratblues led by Warren Mendonsa will be performing at Monsoon Blues at Hyderabad Marriott Hotel & Convention Centre. Acclaimed as India‘s top rated blues musician, Mendonsa, the front man of the band has a touch of Knofler and Gilmour with electrifying riffs that can send chills down your spine as his fingers races across the fret board with incredible precision.
He is a known face to many from the MTV Coke Studio where he was seen performing with acclaimed music directors of Bollywood such as AR Rahman and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. He has worked closely with great Blue‘s legends Emma Walter, Johnny Barker, Renee-Louise Carafice, Lisa Crawley, Black Sand Diva, Lorina Harding, The Aristocrats, Ghosts of Motat, and produced singer/songwriter Donna Dean, whose album ‚What Am I Gonna Do‘ won dual national awards for Best Country Song and Best Country Album of the year.
An evening of Blue Rock organised by The Yacht Club and Goethe Zentrum Hyderabad, Monsoon Blues will be held at Marriott Convention Centre on July 30 from 7.30 pm onwards. Donor passes Rs 500 upwards. Details bookmyshow.com
Love how Sheldon, Leonard, Howard and Raj look like cutting-edge characters in The Big Bang Theory, when they attend the San Diego’s Comic-Con International? Well, it’s not too late to be a superhero or your favourite character in real life. Be a part of Comic Con Hyderabad’s Cosplay contest and live your dream.
A precursor to the third episode of Hyderabad Comic Con, the event organisers have joined hands with the city’s Cosplayers Club to conduct a workshop on July 31, at Heart Cup Coffee in Jubilee Hills. Jatin Varma, founder of Comic Con India, says, “The Hyderabad edition will be a lot bigger (with more surprises) than it was the previous year. We also have a few firsts in terms of the guest line-up this year. Expect new fan experiences, hot merchandise and tonnes of new comics for the fans.”
Cosplay—often described as the practice of dressing up as a character from a film, book or video game, especially one from the Japanese genres of manga or anime—picked up pace in 2013 during the Hyderabad Comic Con. “It has steadily grown in the last few years. There are those who started off as amateurs at our show and now have turned professional. It’s a great way to display your passion for your favourite characters or series and an outlet for creativity. There are hundreds of them in India and quite a few in Hyderabad,” he informs.
Says Saiprakash, a Cosplayer for three years who will be conducting the workshop, “It’s all about living the life of your dream character.” The workshop will have a session emphasising on the basic etiquette that needs to be followed and obviously on the costumes and props. “We will be teaching the easiest way to make armour and props like swords using the light and elastic Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA) foam,” says Mahima Srivastav, one of the core members of Hyderabad Cosplayer Club.
Mahima recommends that the participant chooses someone he/she has been admiring since childhood instead of a brand new character. “This makes it easy for the people participating because you need to know everything about them. You should speak, talk and behave like them. If the character is from a Japanese anime, you better learn Japanese,” explains the 26-year-old.
The Alto Hyderabad Comic Con – A Special Cosplay Workshop with Hyderabad Cosplayers Club will be held at Heart Cup Coffee, Jubilee Hills, on July 31 from 4 pm to 6 pm. Entry free. Details: 23555003
Every mall, hotel and garment store donned marigold decor to signify a new start
The city was inundated with inaugurals, launches and openings this week. Every mall, establishment and restaurant was decked up in marigolds and jasmines, actually a rarity and expensive here. The festive spirit was palpable.
We all got to see Roja after a long time in the city. The politician, actress, TV show host and reality show jury was elegance personified at the opening of Green Trends salon at Kondapur. We all know her as the feisty one who speaks 19 to the dozen and it was refreshing to see her soft-spoken side at the event. In line with the place, she looked green and trendy. Ananya Simlai inaugurated the Akritti Elite exhibition and sale at Taj Deccan and like every year, it was fun and colourful. Her friends and she were busy shopping, laughing, hanging out and driving hard bargains.
Just as you thought you were done with revamping the wardrobe came another. The Trendz Vivah Collection, its 100th edition in the city, at Taj Krishna featured elite designs for a wedding. Simrath Juneja in a sleeveless dress with a fitted floral top and pink flowing gown looked a bride herself. While on brides, we must talk about the curtain raiser of Wedding Vows show at The Westin. Lakshmi Manchu talked about how technology has changed the way weddings happen now. In a silver stylish one piece, she looked glowing.
-Megha — (The writer runs her own organic cafe, spa, salon Meghavi and is a people’s person with a finger on the pulse on the city’s events)
July 29 | Banjara Hills
An art exhibition of paintings by artists Fawad Tamkanat and Nipun Kumar is going on at Gallery Space. Titled Crosscurrents: Two Man Show the exhibition showcases works done in acrylic. The show will be on till August 11. Time: 11 am-7 pm. Details: 65541836
July 24 l Hitex
Deepshikha Mahila Club’s annual shopping event (to be held at Hall no 3) will have 225 shopping stalls from Indian and abroad featuring most extensive variety of high-quality merchandise.The event which witnesses a footfall over 20,000 visitors also has food stalls. Proceeds of the event go to charity. Details: 9246376778
Aug 2 | Jubilee Hills
Get ready for your funny bone to be tickled at Stand-Up Comedy Open Mic Night happening at Heart Cup Coffee. The event is being organised by Hyderabadass Comedy. Time: 8 pm. Details: 23555003
Aug 4 | Khilwat
Explore Old City through a group heritage walk organised by Seek Sherpa. This time the visit will be to Chowmahalla Palace which house exquisite crockery, vintage cars, rare photographs and collections of dresses used by the Nizam of Hyderabad. Registration fee for a group of 30 will be Rs 7,500. Time: 8 am. Details: 9643982934
Aug 1 | Adarsh Nagar
If you have been thinking of RJing then it’s time to hone your skills. A five-day workshop on RJing is being held at Birla Science Centre. The participants will be taught Voice production, script-writing and more. Charges: Rs2,000. Time: 7 pm. Details: www.ruddybuddy.com
Aug 3 | Secunderabad
Wake up the artist in you, join Tanjore painting workshop being held at Our Scared Space. Anyone above the age of 10 can participate in the workshop. Charges: Rs 4,200 (with material for 6×8 painting) Rs 11,000 (with materials for 8×10 painting). Time: 11 am-1 pm. Details: 9030613344
Sound select July 29 | Chicago
The annual music festival, Lollapalooza, returns this year to celebrate its 25th anniversary, with over 170 artistes including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead and Australia’s rising star Cloves. Unlike previous editions, the festival has branched out from its alternative rock roots to encompass all musical genres including EDM. Catch the live stream on lollapalooza.com
Top of the pop July 30 | InKo Centre
The K-Pop fever comes to town with the city hosting the finale of the K-Pop Contest for the first time. Winners will participate in the Changwon K-Pop World Festival in Korea later this year. There is also a food festival thrown into the mix tomorrow. More on P 10
Meet the crusader August 2 | Amitav Ghosh
Much has been said and written about climate change, but according to author Amitav Ghosh, it is not enough. In his new book, The Great Derangement, launched yesterday at Taj Coromandel, he explains how the world has failed to grasp the scale of climate change and shows how to confront it better. The book also marks his return to non-fiction. Rs 264.
Park for Japanese August 4 | The Park
Join the Bunkasai celebrations at The Park, where at the A2 restaurant a special menu awaits. From a prime selection of Japanese whiskies to specials like nigirizushi, shime saba nigiri, gunkanmaki and more, you will have enough to choose from.
More on P 10
At the movies July 29 | SPI Cinemas
Roald Dahl’s The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) comes alive in theatres today through its screen adaptation directed by Steven Spielberg. Mark Rylance will be seen as the titular character, while Ruby Barnhill plays Sophie, the orphan who befriends the giant. The fantasy adventure premiered at Cannes this year. Details: 42244224
Bear with it July 31 | Phoenix MarketCity
Get ready for Standup On Sunday, featuring seven comics such as Rajiv Rajaram (Put Chutney), Vikash Paul, Amit Singh, Soda, Mervyn Rozario, Arnav Rao and Manoj Prabhakar. Next up after them will be The Yogi & The Bear, a comedy special presented by Baggy and Alex at the Museum Theatre. 3.30 pm onwards. Tickets from `200 onwards. Details: 9962344569
Queens rule August 1 | Amethyst
Bringing to you the grace and strength of yesteryear maharanis Bengaluru-based Tasveer Gallery has an upcoming exhibition at Amethyst. Don’t miss the portraits of royal women (some wearing chiffon saris and exquisite jewellery), sourced from the archives of Museum of Art and Photography (MAP). Till August 14. More on P 19
Follow the saga August 3 | Starmark
Ashwin Sanghi’s latest, The Sialkot Saga, follows the fictional story of Arbaaz and Arvind and their business rivalry, set against the backdrop of the post-Partition era. Launching today at Starmark, Express Avenue, where you can meet the author as well. At 6.30 pm.
Shopper alert July 29 | Evoluzione
Do not miss the end of season sale at Evoluzione. Designers such as Anamika Khanna, Divyam Mehta, Gaurav Gupta, Malini Ramani, Nachiket Barve, Nakul Sen, Namrata Joshipura, Pankaj & Nidhi, Rohit Bal, and many others are on display. Expect discounts of up to 50 per cent on both designer wear and accessories. July 29-31. Details: 28333627
Brighten up your monsoon with a weekend at Lonavla, Bhandardara, Malshej, Nashik and Shirdi with special offers from the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation. With an array of packages to choose from, which include transportation, overnight stays at hotels, breakfast and dinner, travellers have the perfect opportunity to explore the state without burning a hole in their wallets. Rs 1,040 onwards. Details: 022 22845678
Here’s some good news for weekend holidayers. This Independence Day and Janmashtami, fly to your favourite domestic and international destination with deals from Cox & Kings. With over 37 different holiday choices to pick from and international destinations like Thailand and Singapore on the list, this offer will suit all travel bugs. Rs 2,399 onwards.
Air travel has just hit a new low and no, this isn’t bad news. With tickets priced at Rs 439*, Spicejet has a mid-year offer that will have you packing your bags. Applicable on one-way fares, the offer stands for ticket sales until August 5 to a range of destinations. Cash in on the opportunity to fly cheap. Details: spicejet.com (*terms and
This weekend, Asia’s largest white water kayaking festival returns to the foothills of Wayanad.
All year round, the sleepy town of Kodenchery is only known for its pepper, cardamom and ginger, but come July, things get a tad spicier. Located at the foothills of Wayanad, it plays host to one of India’s most extreme adventure races–the Malabar River festival (MRF). Starting today—the three-day festival in its fourth edition this year—will see close to 150 participants from England, USA, New Zealand and local kayakers from all over India (think 17-year-old Neeraj Singh Mehra from Rishikesh). “The Iruvanjippuzha and Chalippuzha rivers flowing through the rocky terrains of Kodenchery make a perfect eight to 15 kilometre kayaking course little seen elsewhere in the country,” begins Manik Taneja, a certified kayak instructor, who heads Madras Fun Tools, an adventure sports enterprise, who are one of the main organisers of the event.
From Kozhikode: Kodenchery is located 53 kilometres from Kozhikode city. Ride on NH766
and take a deviation before the ghat roads from Thamarassery. Kodenchery located 7 kilometres from Thamarassery is also locally
known as Thusharagiri
Stay: White Water Woods Resort, two-bedroom cottage for four Rs 3,500. Details: 8547596219. Richmount Adventure Park, dormitory Rs 1,000/head. Details: 8086078240
While we are talking about boating, here is something else you can try. The renowned Nehru Boat Race festival is back this year on August 13. Book your tickets to witness snake boats over 100 feet in length racing through the Punnamada Lake. Will the Vembanad Boat Club successfully defend their championship title? Find out by experiencing the race from a specially constructed island pavilion over the waters. Rs 1,500 onwards. Bookings open from August 1. Details: bookmyshow.com
MRF will organise competitions in the beginner, intermediary and professional category (Rs 1,500 onwards) and even rent out kayaks for wannabe kayakers (Rs 600)–all with cash prizes of upto Rs one lakh to be won. Each year the best man and woman kayaker are also declared the Raja and Rani of the event, and are even paraded around on an elephant. Last year’s Raja Mike Dawson, had to give the event a miss to be part of the New Zealand’s Olympic contingent in Rio, while Rani Beth Morgan from Somerset (England), is back in Kodenchery to defend her title. “Last year there were just four women, this year I expect more women including locals, which will make my reign difficult,” expresses Morgan.
“This is also a way of giving back to Kodenchery, as I am bringing in local kids, who are more knowledgeable of the river but lack the equipment to navigate it,” adds Taneja, who crowdfunded Rs 4.14 lakh through ketto.org as MRF was short of funds this year. With no Indian kayak manufacturers, kayaking as a sport is lagging due to high expenses and customs duty for importing the kayaks, which are usually grouped under the luxury yachts category. Taneja expresses that the event will also encourage the government to reduce custom duties attached to kayaks.Entry free. Details: malabarfest.com
Sign up for a comedy movie or lose yourself in a jazz performance next week. Elsewhere, a run for kids and a mural painting session.
Art it right
Welcome the monsoon season by celebrating Adiperukku and Ayyanaar festival at DakshinaChitra. Enjoy the cultural dances by Godwin Anandh and troupe from Murasu Cultural Community, Kanyakumari District. Also, take part in a Kerala mural painting workshop (Rs 3,000). At DakshinaChitra.
Indianostrum Theatre is conducting a theatre workshop, A Musical Body, that is open to actors, dancers, singers and musicians. Participants will work without musical instruments, to fully explore the rhythmic, melodic and harmonic potential of their bodies through movement, breath and speech patterns. Rs 2,000, On August 4. At Indianostrum Theatre.
The talk, Nature of the Unprecedented: An Anatomy of Chennai Floods, by Pushpa Arabindoo, will help deconstruct the whole experience of the December 2015 tragedy. The objective of this talk is to help us reanalyse 21st century urban disasters and understand the causes. Free entry. At French Institute of Pondicherry. August 5. Details: 0413 2231616
Run for it
Get your kids to ditch their smartphones, Playstations and Pokemons and lace up for the first edition of Pondy Kids Marathon instead. The marathon, to be held on August 7, has four categories –—300 metres, 600 metres, 1,200 metres and 2,000 metres. Registrations are at Rs 350 . On August 7. At Beach Road. Details: 7338866444
Jazz it up
Settle down to some jazz tunes this Saturday as The Pondy Night Out Acoustic Series brings to you German musician Holger Jetter and Auroville-based Sankarshan ‘Shanks’ Kini. Jetter will weave jazz tunes with his upright bass and violin while Shanks will join in with his guitar. Entry Rs 100, at Kasha ki Asha. Details: 0413 2222963
To catch a few laughs this weekend, head to Alliance Francaise and watch the comedy Dharam Sankat, a film that stars Paresh Rawal, Naseeruddin Shah and Annu Kapoor. Directed by Fuwad Khan, it revolves around the 55-year-old Dharampal (Rawal) who is an atheist but stereotypes Muslims. 6 pm onwards. July 31. At Alliance Francaise. Details: 2334351