Stoic voices of the good old medium is just a memory now
Talking is fun, especially when you do it to a machine that does not talk back. Now just imagine if we did that and got paid for it? Aah, the joys of being a radio jockey. I remember my grandmother who was India’s first female Telugu radio jockey, or ‘announcer,’ as she was called back then. They were poised, formal and informative. Serious was the word, I think.
Cut to the FM days, what we have is an era of informal, chatty ones who revel in rambling. Talking nineteen to the dozen and keeping the airwaves busy. Radio jockeys can talk non-stop in a mix of three different languages on any topic from utilities to birthday wishes, preachy self-help quotes and hypothetical and irrelevant questions. No, I am not confessing. This is a random observation and the good side of this is that there is tremendous creativity in speaking for just a minute and a half and conveying half a dozen things with plenty of humour too.
Picking up what is trending, connecting it to the day, mapping it to a listener’s mood is all part of this highly challenging and fun job. For most who enjoy it, this is not even a job. The new word is infotainment. From a traditional government medium with a stoic expressionless voice and long gaps to the trend in FM radio now is a million expressions, plenty of giggling and a natural tease into the song.
Previously, there was a long pause between words. Today, faster the merrier. The medium itself reflects fast-moving times and a futuristic outlook from what was a deep breath into the moment, a few decades ago. A time check now reflects the listener‘s mindset. The morning show host of the FM radios often remind you with a chirpy “Hellloow, time to decide what colour outfit to wear to work. It is 8.15 am already. Go, go, go you lazy bones.” Then of course we get to chat with superstars (thanks to movie promotions), mayor of the city, with a doctor on Doctors Day, with a rapper on World Music Day and a plumber on World Toilet Day. Every day seems interesting and purposeful now. Recently, I even heard about the day in the life of a barber on Barber’s Day. I must say it was interesting.
No wonder that radio has always been the theatre of the mind and is living its potential now. Traffic updates have become exciting. Traffic jams have become bearable for morning and evening commutes. Even commercial breaks, although irritating, have become interesting with audio drama, custom-made for the weary listener. Although I miss the good old times and the soft voice that came with Geetmala, Sangeet Sarita and Janaranjani, life is a fun ride while on the go.
Swapna Sundari — The writer is a popular TV show host, radio jockey, professional singer… and most importantly, a hardcore Hyderabadi)
Directed by Lillete Dubey, the play titled Wedding Album hopes to reveal the drama behind this Indian spectacle
Want to gatecrash into a Konkani wedding right here in Hyderabad? Try dropping by at the Wedding Album. Written by Girish Karnad and directed by acclaimed theatre and Bollywood personality Lillete Dubey, the play set in the backdrop of Dharwad, Karnataka, revisits the Indian extravagant spectacle in all its glory.
Utkarsh Mazumdar, Ira Dubey, Suchitra Pillai and Rajev Paul play the lead roles. Emphasising on the emotions that the play dwells on actress Ira says, “Weddings in itself is a family drama. The play focuses on how a family comes together during a marriage and it touches on various emotions of life like happiness, celebrations, love and the warmth a family gives. However, the second half has a surprise element where the audience would get to know the other side of people in the family.”
The play deals with a middle-class family comprising a father, mother, two daughters and one son. The eldest daughter is married and settled abroad with a professional husband, brother is a software engineer and the youngest among all who is the highlight of the play is a person who is happy to marry any suitable guy settled in America.
The script of the play is actually an episode from writer Girish Karnad’s life. “It is based on his life incidents. Though not exactly the way it is, most of it are true incidents. We obviously have to make a few alterations in the script for the fiction factor to come in but otherwise it is something that would surely give out a powerful message and guaranteed entertainment,” says Ira.
Acclaimed actress Suchitra Pillai, who would be seen in her second Hollywood film titled The Valley, also plays an important role in the 120- minute play to be staged at Taramati Baradari. Though the play demanded a cut in her scenes, she believes her role as the elder sister is something she cherished. “The roles in the play are not one dimensional. People will be seen behaving differently throughout and this is what makes it interesting,” says Suchitra, who recently finished her first Malayalam movie Oppam directed by Priyadarshan alongside Mohanlal.
Produced by Primetime Theatre Co. the play would be staged at Taramati Baradari Amphitheatre on July 9 from 7.30 pm onwards. Ticket price: Rs 1,000 Details: www.bookmyshow.com
Stand up comics Alex the Yogi and Bhargav the Baggy to tickle the city with their one-by-two comedy special
The show may be ‘one-by-two’ but it’s going to be double the fun, say Yogi and Baggy.
Stand up comedy in Hyderabad is all set to get revamped this month with Evam Tamasha’s latest show . The entertainment company based in Chennai would be bringing in Alexander (aka Yogi) and Bhargav (Baggy).
Alexander is a seasoned toastmaster and a public speaker who has won humorous speech contests across South Asia. A former software engineer turned yoga instructor, he brings a distinct style of comedy and hilarious tales from everyday life. He would be accompanied by Bhargav Ramakrishnan. Baggy is an actor, director, stand-up comedian, and a theatre professional with more than eight years of experience on stage. He started the brand Evam Standup Tamasha, initially as a producer, before deciding to take up the stage for himself.
Speaking about his act with Baggy, Yogi says, “I am a married Christian and he is a bachelor brahmin, of course one who eats everything. We have a great chemistry and we would be talking about our daily lives, how people use and misuse technology, the travails that come with it etc.”
Bhargav, who is known for his energy on the stage and aptly nicknamed ‘the bear’ for the show says, “I love entertaining people and I hope to do that in Hyderabad this time. I and Yogi would be doing a lot of different acts. We would also have a few parody songs in our act..”
The duo would be performing at two venues – Bhaskara Auditorium, Birla Science Centre on July 16 followed by But….er: Hyderabad on July 17. Time: 8 pm. Ticket price Rs 699 and 299 respectively. Details: bookmyshow.com
Godrej Nature’s Basket has launched L’Exclusif, its range of premium gourmet product featuring exotic products ranging from international gourmet, nuts to conserves, savouries, digestives and even chocolates. Each product has individual descriptors that highlight the way the products taste. Details: 9987979608
Siesta Hitech is hosting Kashmiri Food Festival at Qube Cafe. The ten-day fest starting July 15 will have delicacies ranging from Roganjosh, Goshtaba, Yakhini, Keshar Murg, Suyun Pulao, Zafrani Pulao, Mujh Gaad, Gogji Nadir, Dum Aloo, Phirni etc. Price on request. Details 42420000
Taj Vivanta has lined up sea jewels like lady fish, pomfret, tuna, sardines, mackerel, calamari, Kingfish prawns and crabs that will not only tingle your taste buds but will also give a taste of the real flavours of the sea every Friday. Price: `1499. Details: 67253642
Dine like the Nizams of Hyderabad at the Dastarkhwan-ul-Mulq festival hosted by ITC Kakatiya beginning today
IF words such as Mehlati and Begumati sound like Greek and Latin and not Hyderabadi, it’s time to update yourself with some heritage cuisine of the city with ITC Kakatiya’s Dastarkhwan-ul-Mulq festival. The fest promises to bring back delicacies of kitchen of Osman Ali Khan, the last Nizam, on to your table. Speaking about the festival which begins today, Chef Aamir Jamal says, “The idea is to present the guest with authentic dishes that were made during the Nizam’s governance. Nizam-ul-Mulq actually means governor of our area.”
Moving further onto understand the exact authenticity of the dishes, Chef Jamal mentioned that there are three different brackets in Hyderabadi cuisine. To begin with he highlighted the Mehlati (royal) food. “This particular style of cooking involves a lot of nuts as ingredients. It is rich in almonds, cashews and walnuts and other common ingredients for majority of the dishes,” he adds.
“The Mehlati dishes are highly influenced by the Arabs and Iranis who had come in during the Nizami era which is why the essential elements include naturally rich nuts,” he added. Dum Ka Murgh and Ghost Aloo Korma are two dishes from the Mehlati cuisine that is available even today.
Elaborating on the second catergory – the Begumati category Chef Jamal says, “This is the rustic food that was made in every Hyderabadi house during the early 1950s. A few among these dishes – Aloo ghost, tamatar ghost and Aloo baigan salan – are popular even now.
“Eid-ka-khana, the third category, features dishes that are served during festivals, weddings and special occasions. Haleem, Dakhni Murgh roast and Marag are a few dishes meant for festivals. Apart from this the buffet is divided into sub-menu sections. This includes dishes that were initially no part of the Indian cuisine. “During the time of British rule, our dishes were divided into starters, main course and desserts,” he elaborates.
A few prominent dishes that would be served as starters are Pathar Ka Ghost, Jhinge ki Shammi, Fulwari Tikki and Makhai ki Shammi. Nahari and Marag would be served on a cyclic basis during the week-long festival.
To keep up with the custom of serving shorba or soup with different breads, they have on offer 11 different breads.
The main course includes korma, khaliya and salan. The dishes presented is prepared with various spices like cinnamon, cardamom, pan ki jhad, ghas ki jhad and kebab cheeni. “It is said that the last Nizam had a small appetite, but he used to taste whatever came out of his kitchen and had a opinion on every dish. Hence, we would be using different spices which are uncommon,”he adds.
Surprisingly what caught our attention was the salan. Alredy thinking of the spicy mirchi salan? “Unlike most people think, a salan is not what we get with biriyani. The actual definition of a salan is everything that accompanies the main course, but does not fall under the category of khaliya or korma.” Aloo Baigan and Ghost hari mirch are two dishes that fall under the category.
The festival also houses Hyderabadi biriyani along with a variety of pulaos. Did you know that biriyani was not considered to be a royal or homely dish in Hyderabad? It was prepared and served by the bawarchis during those days to the men in the battalion. Usually the biriyani was prepared in a handi, the dish comprises meat, masala and a layer of rice. The dish was then drawn into the daily cuisine. The buffet would also have Nurani pulao, Samundari pulao among others. And then finally, the desserts such as Urusa and Jauzi ka halwa.
The buffet begins today at Deccan Pavilion, ITC Kakatiya for dinner and is on till July 17. Price: `1,499 (++). Details: 23400132
Gallery, island or a simple ‘u’, choose your kitchen shape from the city’s first stainless steel modular store Arttdinox
Custom-made is the buzzword in home decor and solutions. Arttdinox, the first stainless steel modular kitchen store by Jindal Steels, is putting the word art into this functional space. Spread over 2,800 sq ft, the store is home to different modular kitchens, dining materials, cookware and other home decor products made of stainless steel. The company has also tied up with Siemens and Whirlpool for various appliances like ovens, dishwashers etc. which could be fit into the modular kitchen.
Interestingly, the kitchen units are welded together. The body is only bent and fitted within the design. The company also offers materials which are fingerprint resistant.
The store has five types of kitchen on offer in Hyderabad. The Gallery Kitchen is a solution for long and narrow kitchens. The cabinets run along one wall and the work flow occurs along another line. Besides this, the store also houses corner kitchen. The layout is versatile giving one enough space between the sink, oven and refrigerator which allows ergonomic fluidity and enough room for a table.
Moving on from the corners, the store has double gallery kitchen. This is suitable for long rooms with worktops and work areas running along two facing walls. This allows better use of space as one can have worktops on both sides of the room. Apart from this, there is an island kitchen. Aptly named, the design allows one to have a table unit which can be used as a utility and dining table. This kitchen is for spaces that witness a lot of movement. In the u-shaped kitchen, the units and work areas are arranged on three walls, keeping everything one needs within easy reach. Customers can customise their kitchen with different fittings on it.
The store is located in the lane next to TV 5 office at Jubilee check post. Price: Starts from ` 6,00,000 and upwards. Details: 18001021207
The week began on an informative note with FICCI FLO event ‘Gift of Life’ by renowned fertility expert Dr Firuza Parikh. She highlighted gender discrimination, the feminine and masculine elements in male and females respectively and on how pollutants present in water, plastics, dyes and processed food are responsible for it. The partygoers did appreciate the knowledge they acquired. At the event, Jaya looked elegant in a black saree with a broad border. Black seemed to me the colour of the week. Socialite Mohini worked her quaint magic in the masquerade event held at Kavanah in the same colour. Orange lover Neha stood out in her handcrafted outfit.
To bring in the Eid festivities ahead of the D-day, Phankar, a group comprisig the city’s well known ladies, opted for a dress theme most apt for the occasion. Alka, in a delicately crafted silver and beige palazzo and a carefully selected pearl maang tikka, portrayed the elegance of a Nawabi lady. Kashish looked resplendent in a yellow and gold outfit and brought in some good laughs through her sense of humour.
Health Tip: Restricting your food intake between 11 am to 7 pm is the best way to keep your health intact.
(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)
Get inked All seasons, Anna Nagar
Fancy body art? Aron, a new tattoo studio, has just opened in Anna Nagar. Mono styled or coloured, find your perfect tattoo personalised to your tastes at the hands of professional tattoo artistes. Opened in association with Blackmagic Body Art Studio, which already owns tattoo parlours across the city and in Pondicherry, Aron offers UV tattoos, micro-tattooing and scar coverage in addition to a range of cosmetic services. Details: 33052126
Mystic tales All seasons, Online
Bestselling author Christopher C Doyle (of The Alexander Secret fame) is back with the second instalment of The Mahabharata Quest series. Unravelling mysteries from the great epic—that links megalithic sites of Britain to the Druids—the book is a must-buy for history buffs. Published by Westland Books. Rs 350. Details: amazon.in
Tribal tribute Till July 31, DakshinaChitra
Artist Hemanth Suryawanshi’s works are being displayed at the Varija Art Gallery from tomorrow. Heavily inspired by tribal arts and crafts, his works explore new meanings in primitive art forms. If you are an art connoisseur, this National awardee’s exhibit will be right up your alley. 10 am to 6 pm on all days except Tuesdays. Details: 9841436149
Stay withinthe lines July 8, The Brew Room
Try your hand at some Madhubani painting this weekend. Artist Deepika Mahalakshmi is launching her adult colouring book, Varnikaa, and she is organising a colouring meet-up for the occasion. So book your seat at The Brew Room and indulge in some ‘art therapy’. Registration at Rs 1,200 (including lunch and materials). Details: 9908599000
Laugh out loud July 9, Raintree Anna Salai
Standup comic Jeeveshu Ahluwalia is in the city for his solo act, Hinglish. Drawing largely from his observations of life, expect classic one-liners from the comic who is celebrating his third year in the industry. `500. 8 pm to 9.30 pm. Details: bookmyshow.com
Dash of colour July 10, Maven Art Academy
If your kids are good with colours, let them participate in Maven Art Academy’s drawing competition. From colour filling (ages three-six) to sketching their favourite cartoon characters (six-11 ) and even a Swachh Bharat-themed artwork (12-15), there is plenty to do. `100. Details: 24830787
Canvas to camera Till July 15, Ambassador Pallava
From beautiful oil paintings and pencil sketches to memorable moments captured on film, catch the works of artist Revathi P and photographer K Palanikumar at the La Galerie D’Expression. At Ambassador Pallava. 11 am to
8 pm. Open until July 15.
Chick flick July 9, US Consulate General
Animation movie buffs must not miss American Library’s screening of Chicken Run tomorrow. The highest-grossing stop-motion animated film, the story centres on a band of chickens who see Rocky, a suave Rhode Island Red, as their only hope to save them from those who want to kill them to make chicken pot pies. 11 am-1.30 pm. Details: 28574000
Asian update July 8 | The Park
There is a new Thai menu at Lotus, The Park—with traditional recipes getting a contemporary twist. Among the appetisers, the lotus root with bell peppers and basil in roasted chilli sauce, and the salad with glass noodles, vegetables and coriander root catch our eye. For mains, there are fried Bay of Bengal prawns and wok-tossed spicy mushrooms and bamboo shoots. More on P 9
Fight night July 9 | Las Vegas
With 24 fighters lined up for 12 matches, UFC 200 promises to be exciting. All eyes are on current light heavyweight champion, Daniel Cormier, as he steps into the octagon with interim champion, Jon Jones, for a rematch. Also featured is WWE star and former heavyweight champion, Brock Lesnar, who takes on the formidable Mark Hunt. On July 9, with live broadcast on July 10, at 7.30 am, on Sony ESPN. Details: sonysix.com
Final kick-off July 11 | France
After extending the number of teams to 24, EURO 2016 is just three games away from a glorious end. While Portugal face Wales in the first semi-finals, the second one—between Germany and France—is scheduled for today. Can the overall superiority of the Germans match the individual brilliance of the French players? Finals on July 11, 12.30 am. On Sony Six. Details: uefa.com
Code red July 13 | Inko Centre
Vadodara-based artist, Soghra Khurasani, will be showcasing her signature woodcut prints on paper at Inko Centre, as part of their arts-in-partnership series. In vivid hues of red and pink, her paintings have women at its centre—as the silent yet nurturing crater, a shift from her earlier series, where she worked with volatile volcanoes. From July 13. More on P 19
Acing it July 10 | Wimbledon
Fresh from his remarkable comeback against Marin Cilic, Roger Federer is now a clear favourite at Wimbledon. In the ladies draw, the Williams sisters are on collision course and might meet in the finals. Also, don’t miss the Bryan brothers, who are playing their last season here. July 9-10, on Star Sports. Details: wimbledon.com
Korean moves July 14 | Britain
At the ongoing The Little Festival, Korean production, Paper Window, will be one of the main highlights next week. The hour-long play, for children over four, is created by visual theatre company, Ccotbbat. The actors will create conceptual movements on stage, based on the drawings of simple shapes. July 14-16. Tickets from Rs 200 onwards. Details: explara.com
Celtic calling July 12 | Online
The Americans may have a legion of superheroes—from Superman to Deadpool—but the Scottish are catching up. Their first mythological superhero, Saltire, is back in the limelight. The new issue in the six-part series, Saltire: Legend Eternal, has received rave reviews at the recent Glasgow Comic Con. Writer John Ferguson’s stories—touted to compete against DC’s Batman comics—interweaves real legends into its gritty time line set in Roman-occupied Scotland. Rs 887. Details: amazon.co.uk
At the movies July 8 | SPI Cinemas His ‘rape remark’ may have stirred up a controversy, but proving predictions by trade experts correct,
Salman Khan’s Sultan had a great opening. With the reliable Anushka Sharma opposite him, he plays a wrestler who, despite personal and professional problems, achieves success in global tournaments. Directed by Ali Abbas Zafar (Mere Brother Ki Dulhan and Gunday). Also releasing today is The Secret Life of Pets. Details: 42244224
House proud July 10 | Egmore
Want to give your home a style update with some new decor? Check out the store Mi Casa, which will open its doors this Sunday. Stocking accessories and various gifting options, it sources products from across the country and abroad. Choose from garden accessories to decor pieces like nesting tables, wall art, photo frames, et al. On Casa Major Road, Egmore. From Rs 500 onwards. Details: 28191939
Top-billed star or amateur — if they don’t match their role, fans won’t stay quiet anymore. Our pick of actors who made the news for the wrong reasons.
Whether he saw this coming or not, DiCaprio surely has some thinking to do. The Oscar winner would never have expected thousands of people signing a petition protesting his being cast in a movie. After it was revealed that The Revenant star was approached to play Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, in an upcoming biopic on the Persian poet, many looked at it as another attempt of ‘Hollywood whitewashing’. We agree. The hashtag #RumiWasntWhite is currently trending on Twitter, and so is the petition, which has more than 5,000 signatures already. The movie is to be penned by David Franzoni, who also wrote the script of the Russell Crowe-starrer, Gladiator.
Rupert Sanders is no stranger to controversy—remember his episode with Kristen Stewart that destroyed her relationship with Robert Pattinson? Now the Snow White and the Huntsman director finds himself in hot water yet again after objections were raised against Johansson being cast as Major Motoko Kusanagi, the protagonist of his upcoming movie, Ghost in the Shell. Adapted from the 1989 seinen manga (Japanese comics for adolescents) franchise of the same name, by Masamune Shirow, it has provoked a number of Asian actresses to express their disappointment at Sanders’ choice for the role. And although the stylists have tried their best with Johansson (especially a new haircut), we feel she looks out of place.
Zoe Saldana While the Avatar star continues to defend her lead role in Cynthia Mort’s Nina, fans are not convinced. The biographical movie on American musician and civil rights activist, Nina Simone, drew criticism after Saldana was seen with darkened skin and a prosthetic nose, in an apparent attempt to look like Simone. The heat spilled on to social media, with the activist’s estate tweeting a strongly-worded reply to one of Saldana’s tweets on freedom. However, the 38-year-old actress should take heart—she is being backed by Simone’s daughter, Lisa, who finds the controversy unfortunate.
The upcoming Spiderman reboot from the stable of Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has had its fair share of problems. Not many were happy with Tom Holland being cast as the web-slinger. The movie is being adapted from the 252nd issue of the Amazing Spiderman comic series, titled Homecoming, where the superhero is seen donning the black Venom costume. But the Peter Parker in the comic is black, unlike Holland. Another controvesy surrounds the casting of Michael Barbieri in the same movie—he is nowhere close to the Korean-American character that he is playing, Ganke Lee.
When the talented Swinton was seen alongside Benedict Cumberbatch in the trailer of the upcoming Doctor Strange adaptation, it was hard to miss the miscast. After all, Swinton plays a male Tibetan character called the Ancient One—and no amount of make-up could disguise the actor’s (who has Scottish roots) distinctive looks. But she did try to quell apprehensions by revealing that the ethnicity of the character in the movie does not conform to the comic’s. With Cumberbatch playing the title character, the stellar cast also includes Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave) and Rachel McAdams (Spotlight).
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