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Monthly Archives: August 2016

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I hope we can go beyond rhetoric when it comes to badminton

I am amused by how we all (shamelessly) basked in the glory of Olympian PV Sindhu. Everyone trying to get a slice of her fame. Thanks to her, girls got all the attention, albeit briefly. Three themes that were getting ‘liked’ and ‘shared’ on the social media were: How giving birth to a girl child itself deserves a medal; how all government schools should have badminton courts; and why every parent needs to enroll his/her ward in this sport so that we can win more medals.
Of course, a top leader also indicated that the state would find a better coach who can help the player fetch a gold, not just a silver. If I am not mistaken, someone even suggested we have a new badminton minister. Our neighbouring state went to the extent of wanting to host the Olympics. Surprising because all they can play now is football as they have no other facilities.
Before you accuse me of being uncharitable to the Hyderabadi girl at a time when I should be celebrating her, let me clarify that I am merely trying to point out how we get temporarily swayed and miss the real point.
Sindhu is undoubtedly a phenomenon created by ultra dedicated parents and a mentor who manifests sheer brilliance in his protégés. She dedicated years of her life to arrive where she is. Her family never questioned why she was playing for 14 hours instead of studying, for 12 years. Most importantly, her coach worked with her relentlessly to bring her to fruition. So it is not as simple as enrolling in a sport for fun.
On the day of Sindhu’s felicitation at the Gachibowli stadium, I spoke to PVV Lakshmi, wife of Pullela Gopichand and an accomplished shuttler herself. She told me how there was a surge of enrollments in their academy in the last week alone. The academy’s filled to capacity for the next five years with no room for any more enrollments. What was striking is how adults too wanted to jump into the bandwagon after Rio. I am not at all discouraging the sporting spirit, but merely emphasising the need for a consistent response and a clarity on such events.
It is wonderful that we can realise and recognise our strengths in the city and whole-heartedly participate in the welcome rallies even bunking office. But it is not about forcing every child in front of a TV camera to say ‘I want to play badminton and win a gold in Olympics’. Because first it was cricket, then tennis, now badminton. Tomorrow?
Needless to say, I am glad that we respond with such intensity. Hyderabad is known for it. But what next? We may see a new line of sarees with racquets printed on it. Or racquet Ganesha for the festival. Or books may soon have racquet science instead of rocket science. Let us wait and watch.

Swapna Sundari

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

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Daniel Fernandes Live will be a refreshing change in these days of breaking news and internet shaking videos

Facing ‘mundane news fatigue’ due to virtual media and idiot box? Then time to get your current affairs with a dose of fun and sarcasm from the master of dark and surreal standup comedian. Daniel Fernandes Live at Hotel Marriott and organised by Hyderabadass Comedy Club this weekend is sure to stimulate the brain cells and crack you up at the same time.
Daniel’s stint with comedy began when he tried stand-up on an impulse in January 2011 while pursuing MBA at SIMC Pune. “I’ve been on stage since I was six. Eventually it became something I was comfortable with. When I started experimenting with comedy and it seemed like a viable career, I decided to take the leap. I have always dreamt of a career like this. Now I wake up every morning feeling grateful that I get to do this,” Daniel shares with a smile. He confesses to having different role models for different reasons and seasons. “John Oliver for his ability to take mundane topics and turn them into comedy gold on his show ‘Last week tonight’; Kevin Hart for successfully turning the touring model on its head and building a huge brand for himself; Anthony Jeselnik – for his ability to write some of the best dark jokes, Trevor Noah – for his journey from an unknown comic from South Africa to becoming the host of ‚The Daily Show,” he reasons.
August 27 is surely going to be a memorable day for both Daniel and Hyderabadis. “This weekend’s the perfect show if you‘ve watched me on YouTube and been wanting to see me perform live. This one‘s about my journey as a comedian in the last five years and is a mix of observational and slightly political humour with lots of crowd work (something that I enjoy a lot),” he informs. And his favourite topic is? Taboo.
Daniel feels that Hyderabad comedy scene now is where Mumbai was five years ago. “The city needs a system where established professionals perform here regularly and the newer comics get a chance to either perform with them or watch and learn. Then at some point the local guys need to travel to other cities to perform and then eventually one will have a roster of homegrown comedians doing well for themselves,” he concludes with confidence.
Ticket: Rs 499. Details bookmyshow.com

— Purnima Sriram

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The IT sector maybe on an upswing and presents a rosy picture of software companies, but dig deeper and you will find office politics, boss-employee face-offs and everyone’s favourite – the intern scandals across. Hyderabadass Comedy Club presents a stand up special about India’s favourite industry in this theme based show titled Game of Thorns featuring Avinash Agarwal, RajaSekhar Mamidanna, Umesh Somani and Sandesh Ratna. We find out what you can expect from these comedians this weekend.

Umesh Somani
The Arnab Goswami of this group, he began performing on the stage just two years back but has gained the momentum that makes him one of the known faces in the industry. This time, Umesh says he would be paying a tribute to his managers – without whom, he feels, this act would not have been possible. “You will get to see the comic perspective of what a software engineer goes through during trainings, status calls, client visits, and appraisal meetings,” he says.

RajaSekhar Mamidanna
Known as the ‚Anna of comedy‘ in the city and his funny observations of human behaviour around him, Raja has always made his audience roll on the floor with laughter. Besides roasting the software engineers and poking fun at their habits, quirks and aspirations, he will also play a character called Rambabu. “He is a frustrated, software engineer who is disappointed with his teammates, HR and life in general.”

Avinash Agarwal
This local Russel Peters surely needs no introduction in Hyderabad. Avinash began his journey in 2012 at The Comedy Store in Mumbai. Says the 27-year-old who has always managed to enthrall the crowd, “This is a theme show on the popular TV series Game of Thrones. Just like the characters on the TV show, employees fight for the corner office, higher appraisals and much more. This is our hilarious take on the city‘s IT industry and the quirky life in the corporate world,” he explains. He will be talking about the new culture that‘s come up – where bosses try to be friendly with you only to end up making you slog more. “I prefer the bosses portrayed in 70‘s films, where they would press a button and feed you to crocodiles if you didn‘t perform well,” he quips.

Sandesh Ratna
A newbie, he had his first act just seven months back, but has managed to become a comedian-in-demand in the city. Speaking about his act this time at the Game of Thorns, Sandesh says, “I will be talking about how life changes after you leave college and join work and managers who do stupid things. You will get to hear the jargon used at my office and how I deal with people at my workplace.”

These four comics will perform at the
Mocha Cafe, Road No 7, Banjara Hills on August 28 from 8 pm onwards.
Ticket: `299 Details: bookmyshow.in

— Nishad Neelambaran

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This newly opened desi-style restaurant brings food from different regions across the GT Road

Grand Trunk Road, wrote poet Rudyard Kipling in one of his works as: “such a river of life as nowhere else exists in the world,” and hiswords are relevant even today when it comes to food. The GT Road starting from Chittagong and running from Lahore till Kabul has much to offer to travellers in terms of variety. The new restaurant The Grand Trunk Road at Madhapur promises to deliver the delights of this magnificent road on your table with items like Mullah Do Pyaza, Bunda Pala, Gosht Ki Tehri and more.

The decor
This is near-perfect replica of a roadside dhaba on GT Road. The 2,000 sq ft space on ground floor with lush green plants growing from used utensils like old pressure-cookers, canisters, huge pots etc sets the mood right at the entrance. As you enter you see sparkling water oozing out like a fountain, not from any ornate piece, but from a rustic green hand-pump that looks straight out of a sleepy town of Haryana.
There are no air conditioners, yet it is cool thanks to two large air coolers and a high ceiling from which hang iron buckets upside down with bulbs lighting up the seating area. The furniture is wooden with a rugged look and there’s enough space for people to move around. The wall decor sports an industrial look with naked bricks peeping from here and there. We also saw glass-jars and petrol-pipe nozzles used as bulb holders. The attraction of the place is a huge truck front that has been extended as an elevated seating area complete with thick ropes and tiny triangular multi-coloured decorative flags. The guests, especially the youngsters, were seen enjoying their meal sitting atop this wonder.

The delights
The monikers of the dishes are as interesting as the food. The side dishes fall under ‘Side OK Please’ category. Since the place doesn’t serve alcohol the section for beverages is described ‘Nasha Mukt Kendra’ in chaste Hindi. They have Chilli Oyster Fish from China Town, Calcutta. You can try Doodh Soda which is a milk blend of mango and orange flavours and some soda. We liked Mantu, an Afghan dumpling filled with spicy minced mutton. Another interesting item was Rangeen Jalebiyan – saccharine loops flavoured with fresh pineapple and rose. Says Vikram Mehta, one of the partners, “We designed the menu after we tried and tested food from various dhabas across
GT Road.”

Price and portion
The dishes served are enough for two. The Papdi Paneer, however, could have more pieces. Cost for two:`1,100++ taxes. Time: 12 pm-11.15 pm. Details: 33194258

— Saima Afreen

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Eclat, the new artisan cafe at Gachibowli, gives the city a choice of tasty breads, salads and desserts minus additives

Can healthy food be tasty too? Café Éclat at Gachibowli, the new artisan cafe and bakery food store, a joint venture by Managing Director of Purplecow foods, PS Murali Krishna and Maurice Chaplais, an artisan baker from London with 50 years of experience, proves it can. “A passion for cooking healthy food with minimum additives or preservatives was our goal. Baked goods, especially in this country, is not known to be healthy, we aim to bring in a change in that idea,” says Krishna. Maurice travels once a month to train the resident chefs in unique concepts.
Menu
The entire menu has been crafted laboriously in-house from the scratch, be it the breads, doughs or sauces. Says chef Chilemalla Pradeep, “We start work at 5 am as the bread we make takes three days to bake.” The ingredients are sourced from abroad to keep it authentic continental. The cheese is imported from Europe and chocolate from Switzerland and Belgium.
Eats and treats
The Broccoli Sweet Corn Turnover, a puff pastry served with rocket and romanie lettuce, was fresh and crunchy. The Primavera Chicken Pizza had the usual suspects in its topping, but we loved the dough made in-house (could have been softer though. The three-cheese cake has slices of the white magic from Germany, US and Japan.
Breakfast in a jar
Try their take-home breakfast jar that packs in the goodness of granola, honey, coconut, cranberries, almonds, pumpkins and sunflower oil. The breads will find instant favour with the aficionados as they can choose from a plethora of options – Challa, Ciabatta, seedy, 100 per cent Organic Whole Wheat and the crowd favourite, Sourdough. The breads have no premixes.The seedy bread is made of imported kernels and without yeast.
Cost:`850++taxes fortwo.Details: 8008214444

— Paulami Sen

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Connecting states
Enjoy the best of the delectable dishes from the western states of the country. The Square, Novotel Hyderabad Airport, is organising this food festival where you can relish dishes from Vidarbha, Rajasthan and Gujarat. It’s on till Sept 11. Time: 7 pm-11.30 pm. Price: `1,900++ taxes for two. Details: 66250000

French connect
Dakshin at ITC Kakatiya is hosting ‘Franco Pondicherry’ the fusion of flavours from the amalgamation of French and Indian cuisine. Chef Karthik is curating the menu with dishes like Langouste Curry, Meen Elumicham Pazham Roast, Kothamalli Puthina Kozhi Kari and more. Time: Lunch and dinner. Details: 23400132

Star struck
Celebrate the second anniversary edition of My Starbucks Rewards. The chain at its various outlets is offering its latest sweet treat Strawberry Cheesecake Frappuccino topped with a premium cream cheese, graham cookie crumbles, and strawberry drizzle. Price: `260. Details: 18602660010

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Take your pick from top notch perfume brands such as Cartier, Paco Rabanne and Elizabeth Arden at Parcos in the city airport

Travel retail in Hyderabad just got a luxurious upgrade. Parcos, leading multi-brand perfumes, skin care and cosmetics retailer, has opened its doors at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), Shamshabad. Touted as the destination for body care products in India, the brand’s store creates an environment to make customers experience the luxury shopping of top beauty brands under one roof. After mesmerising cities such as Chennai, Bengaluru, New Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad, it is set to floor the City of Nizams now.
The 500-sq ft showroom features brands like Sisley, Shiseido, Clarins, Elizabeth Arden from the skincare category and perfumes brands such as Cartier, Gucci, Burberry, Versace, Armani, YSL, Dolce & Gabbana, Issey Miyake, Paco Rabanne and many more.
Highlighting the most preferred brands by the customers, Rahul Gandhi, manager, operations, Parcos, says, “1 Million by Paco Rabanne is a perfume that has been accepted worldwide. Despite its presence since 2008, it is a high selling product in the current market.” This men’s perfume is an incarnation of one million eau de toilette. The Intense fragrance tells a tongue-in-cheek -tale of seduction. Dangerously addictive, this woody spicy leather gleams within a suave and sophisticated golden bottle.”
Parcos loves to call itself a travel brand and what better place than the international airport, rated among the best in the world, to set up shop? Rahul also states that other brands such as Versace and Gucci are among the leading ones. With the new store, Parcos introduces its customers to new editions by Mont Blanc, Carolina Herrera, Lacoste and Mr. Burberry. The city loves intense, as opposed to subtle, scents.
The brand houses the Legend Spirit series by Mont Blanc. Inspired by all forms and shades of white, from snow to marble, the composition creates a fresh, virile and intense fragrance. Parcos has recently introduced the CH Men Prive by Carolina Herrera which is a combination of whiskey with black leather and also has accords of grapefruit and pomelo. Coming from the house of Gucci, the Bamboo edition comes in floral and woody fragrances. Apart from these, the Lacoste Pour Elle has a subtle fragrance which is a combination of fruity and floral notes of mimosa, jasmine, white flowers, and vetiver. The Versace Eros is among the latest arrivals. Inspired by the Greek god of love and son of goddess Aphrodite, it’s a mix of mint oil, green apple and Italian lemon.
Cartier’s La Panthere for women’s is something that stands out. The fragrance is sensual and bold floral chypre. The perfume is created by the central notes of gardenia and animalistic musk that gives it the royal aroma. Price: `11,000. Perfumes from `2,000 to `12,000 and skincare products from `1,300 to `40,000. Details: 66546370

— Nishad Neelambaran

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Glow Party by
DJ Ziya is all about
shining bright

This weekend do something different. If you feel clubs and pubs are too mundane, then join the madness at Terrace Bay with Sonal Nayak aka DJ Ziya at the Glow Party.
The event is all about glowing in pitch dark. It’s about wearing radium tattoos and bands, face paint that glows in dark, photo booth, lighting balloons and many more.
DJ Ziya has always specialised in R&B and hip-hop, using her old vinyl records. She has a passion for the genesis of music and its evolution.
Her diverse repertoire of sets and styles – from R&B to hip-hop, soul and funk – has always kept her ahead of the rest.
She has played music at a variety of platforms – from the VIT campus in Chennai to an Indian tomato fighting event in Pune, giving her good exposure to various moods and musical needs.
At Terrace Bay, Greenlands road on August 27 from 7 pm onwards. Couple entry: `799
Details: 9949656822
— Team Indulge

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From Bollywood monsoon numbers to revisiting the Nizams, we packed it all in a week

The Sanskruti Ladies Club hosted an event titled ‘Sawan Ka Mela’ at Our Place to celebrate the monsoon. The lehengas and the sarees were on full show and everyone danced and enjoyed the fanfare. The highlight of the evening was a graceful dance performance by Bina Mehta, Minakshi and Heer and they shook a leg to some hit Bollywood tracks. Bina looked stunning in a brilliant pink colour corset blouse jazzed up with gold embroidery and Swarovski crystals teamed with a dark pink matching lehenga.
It was a double delight for city food lovers last week with the grand launch of Punjab Grill and OTB restaurant at Jubilee Hills. Delicious food kept everyone busy and it was great to see them bonding over delicacies. Ananya Simlai and Manjula Narsa made a style statement at OTB. The former aced the look with strappy Gladiator knee-high flat sandals. Asad, son of cricketer Mohammad Azharuddin, was spotted at the Punjabi restaurant along with socialities Manisha Kapoor, Swati Kilaru, Swetha Keerthi and others.
Shilpa Reddy launched her new men’s collection at her studio. Attended by her friends, family and Tollywood stars, actor Sumanth in a vest designed by Shilpa, stood out. The designer diva looked stunning in the acid green off-shoulder top teamed up with washed denims and nude belt with a pop of gold.
Raunaq Yar Khan inaugurated the photography exhibition of ‘The Life and Times of Mir Mahboob Ali Khan Asaf Jah,’ Sixth Nizam of Hyderabad at Chowmahalla Palace. The exhibition with 100-plus photographs was a tribute to the man.
From Bollywood numbers to revisiting the royalty, Hyderabad did it all in one week.

-Rina Hindocha

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Lines and dots

Aug 26 | Banjara Hills
A group exhibition by emerging artists from across the country is ongoing at Goethe Zentrum. It has been in collaboration with Shrishti Art Gallery. Titled ‘Palettes’ the show will continue till September 10. Time: 11 am- 7 pm. Details: 23607151

Story time
Aug 27 | Adarsh Nagar
Want to hear stories live? Book your seat at GP Birla Library. Theatre personality Vinay Varma will present Abhivyakti, the story narration of Inspector Matadeen Chand Par by author Harishankar Parsai. Time: 6 pm. Ticket: `100. Details: 9849063890

Sunday special
Aug 28 | Banjara Hills
A play titled Goonj will be staged at Lamakaan produced by the city-based theatre group Manch. The plot revolves around the story of a young girl with special needs and her emotional connect with her father. Time: 8.30 pm. Tickets: `100. Details: 9642731329

Changing tunes
Aug 29 | New York
With Beyonce’s singles like Formation and Hold Up nominated under 11 categories, this year’s MTV Video Music Awards looks like it belongs to Queen B. Also on the dais is Adele’s music video Hello with seven nominations. This coupled with performances by Nick Jonas and Britney Spears, ensures that this gala is sure to enthral pop music fans. At Madison Square Garden. On VH1. from 9 am onwards. Details: vh1.in

Kebab fiesta
Aug 30 | Banjara Hills
Want to sample exquisitely crafted kebabs? Head to Taj Deccan. At Spice Junxion they are organising the food festival of sizzling kebabs where you can relish Turkish Grills, Paneer Shashlik, Murgh Angarey and more. It will be on till Aug 31. Price on request. Details: 66523939

Melodious tunes
Aug 31 | Jubilee Hills
Want to hear old songs? Then SodaBottleOpenerWala for Jukeboxwala evenings is the right choice. Everyday visitors can win shots free for the table if they guess the tracks of the day and play the bartender’s favourite song from the jukebox. Time: 4 pm – 7 pm. Details: 68888681

Face off

Sept 1 | Secunderabad
Love these beautiful Cheriyal masks? Now you can also learn the craft. At Our Sacred Space, a few craftsmen will hold a workshop for making the masks. They will teach you to make the artifacts and decorate them as well. Charges: `1,800. Time: 11 am-1 pm. Details: 9030013344

 

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