Home Archives 2016 August 5

Daily Archives: Aug 5, 2016

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New ideas and concepts keep us busy and amused too

For a few weeks now, planting trees has become bigger news in Hyderabad than Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton’s clash in the US. Hyderabad is going green. Not with envy, but nature. While there is nothing innovative about planting trees – they have been on the planet even before we have been – but my point is about how our city folks take up something churn it up into a frenzy.
Look at all the new ideas that have caught on here. The government has now announced awards for those who plant trees. There is also an added attraction of posts and other opportunities. With these new schemes, we will see people planting trees even in the potholes on our bad roads. No kidding. I actually saw this and the gentleman who did this said, “By the time the pothole is fixed, the tree would have given us two seasons of fruits.”
Jokes apart, I am indeed a fan of our willingness to learn. From Green Ganeshas, Raahgiri, car-free Thursdays… we catch on to new ideas like a house on fire.
My grandfather often used to quote say, “The Bengalis think, the Madrasis speak and the Marathas act.” I am sure he would have loved to add that Hyderabadis react fast and positively too. Suddenly, actors were seen digging the ground and giving green messages. They are the same people who went around with broomsticks during the clean Hyderabad drive. Like my Hindi-speaking friend puts it: First it was jhadoo, now jhaad.
Needless to say, we are still ever ready for fun and frolic. Interestingly, the same folks who sweep the streets may litter it again. All we know is that we like a certificate of participation and not really keen on the rolling shields itself. For now, any action is good for a cause. While the mania for new stuff lasts, we may as well get our city cleaner and
greener.

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

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    Budhia Singh:
    Born to Run
    Director: Soumendra Padhi
    Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Mayur Mahendra Patole, Tillotama Shome
    This biopic revolves around Budhia Singh, a boy from Orissa who made headlines by running from Bhubaneshwer to Puri in just over seven hours. The movie traces the trials and tribulations of the world’s youngest marathon runner and his relationship with his ambitious coach, Biranchi Das, played by Bajpayee.
    Did you know: The film won the National Film Award for Best Children’s Film this year.
    The Legend of Michael Mishra
    Director: Manish Jha
    Cast: Arshad Warsi, Aditi Rao Hydari, Boman Irani
    This rom-com traces the life of Michael, a Patna-based gangster, who falls in love with Varsha, an aspiring actress. When she demands that he change his lifestyle, his past gets in the way of his decision to go clean.
    Did you know: Irani shares screen space with son Kayoze for the first time in this movie.

    Fever
    Director: Rajeev Jhaveri
    Cast: Rajeev Khandelwal, Gauhar Khan, Caterina Murino
    A contract killer loses his memory in an accident. He recalls only his name and meeting a woman who could help him overcome his amnesia. This suspense thriller has been shot extensively in Switzerland and also stars actress Gemma Atkinson.
    Did you know: This is the first time a Bond girl is acting in a  Bollywood film.

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      Find rare Indian textiles and weaving techniques at Nayaab, an artisanal showcase by Sharan Apparao and Rupa Sood

      Classic cut tussar jackets featuring sujani embroidery that is unique to Bihar. Or traditional Benarasi saris with the rare rangkat weaving technique. At the second edition of Nayaab, an initiative to showcase artisanal textiles from across the country, 12 designers with varied design aesthetics, but united in their desire to revive our textile traditions, are coming under one roof.
      According to gallerist Sharan Apparao, who is curating the show along with Delhi-based textile connoisseur, Rupa Sood, Nayaab is an offering for the discerning customer—whose knowledge of the textiles she helped nurture through her Yarn Club. Since the club’s inception in Chennai nearly four years ago (and a year later in Delhi), monthly talks—like the one by textile expert Bessie Cecil Melito’s on the Karuppur sari or the most recent one that drew a comparison between Balinese and Indian weaves—have turned the spotlight on heritage textiles and techniques. “The club has created awareness among people about quality textiles and the narrative of craft. They are now able to appreciate the effort that goes into it,” she explains.

      With excellence in craft as its calling card, she recalls the curation for the Delhi edition (last December). “As part of the Yarn Club, we’d come across a lot of people whose work blended creativity with technique. We made sure that unless the craft was exceptional and people were showcasing something unique, we didn’t include them,” she says. The event’s success has not only led to plans to make it an annual event in the Delhi fashion calendar (the next one promising to be a tighter curation, of natural dyes and fibres), but has also facilitated the Chennai edition. “Eight of the (16) designers who showcased their work in Delhi are coming down to Chennai. That, in itself, speaks of the success of the Delhi event,” she says, reminiscing how the “real connoisseurs—from Rajya Sabha MP Renuka Chowdhury to actress Shabana Azmi” had attended it.
      Putting together the Chennai event has been arduous, too. Apparao admits it took nearly six months, and that she also had to field the scepticism from a few designers who were “unsure about the Chennai market”. Does she see this as an annual event in the city? “Only the response to this edition can answer that,” she says, adding emphatically that there is no scope to make it a travelling show. “It is impossible to get good quality products made in large quantities. So any effort in that direction will make the event lose its exclusivity. If you want to showcase really good work, you have to be careful to select only the best,” she points out.
      In the Chennai edition, Nayaab will feature premium labels from Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Kashmir. The couturists—with their expertise spread across prints, embroidery and weaves—will bring down classic Indian wear, besides contemporary works designed to suit western silhouettes. There’s a lot of jamdhani to pick from, including the delicate Ab-E-Rawan range of jamdhanis, muslin saris and ready-to-wear by Delhi-based Mallika Mathur. Kolkata-based Weavers Studio are also showcasing heavily-embroidered jamdhani saris that take at least four months to handcraft (each sari featuring over 60 designs on them). There’s also a capsule collection of bead-worked jamdhani fusion wear by Delhi-based Aneeth Arora’s Pero.
      For men, there are sherwanis in Benarasi brocade by Hyderabad-based designer Gaurang Shah. There’s also a pre-fall line of jewellery, largely comprising neck pieces made with stainless steel, jute, thread and leather, by En Inde.
      Besides the showcase, Nayaab will also feature a talk on Mughal textiles by designer Mayank Mansingh Kaul, on August 9, at 5.30 pm.
      August 8-10, from 11 am to 8 pm, at Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park.
      Free entry. Details: 9941012388


      —Sharadha Narayanan

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        Sport ultimate
        August 5 | Brazil
        The Olympics is finally on in Brazil. Watch out for favourites like Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Novak Djokovic and others India’s hopes rest on names like Sania Mirza, Saina Nehwal,and a new-look hockey team. From August 5-21. The opening ceremony, directed by Brazilian film director Fernando Meirelles, will take place at the Maracana Stadium (Star Sports, at 4.30 am IST on August 6). Details: olympic.org

        At the movies
        August 5 | SPI Cinemas
        When faced with a mission that’s doomed to fail, US Intelligence agencies assemble a team of incarcerated villains who’ve nothing to lose. Directed by David Ayer (of Training Day fame), the plot of Suicide Squad is based on DC Comics’ anti-hero characters — Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and seven others. Details: 42244224

        Retro connect
        August 6 | MRC Nagar
        If fine imported spirits are what you seek, then Radio Room is the place to be. With a retro reggae-inspired ambience, its menu consists of a range of sliders, a special makhni rice dish, and much more. Launched this week in MRC Nagar.
        More on P 10

        Rock the stage
        August 7 | Sir Mutha Hall
        Around 10 bands from across the country will be performing at the fourth edition of The Music Festival. Organised by Amaranta Entertainment, the event’s line-up has some of the biggest names in music — Thaikuddam Bridge, Suraj Mani & The Tattva Trip, Lagori, and others. More on P 18

        Building blocks
        August 9 | ITC Grand Chola
        Meenakshi Meyappan’s book, Mansions of Chettinad, contains impressive photographs of architecture from the region. It also charts the rise and fall of the structures and what makes them brilliant examples of ancient architecture. To formally launch on August 10. Details: 22200000′

        The revival
        August 8 | Crowne Plaza
        Rupa Sood and Sharan Apparao present Nayaab, an exhibition of carefully curated textiles made with traditional skills by artisans. It is an attempt to revive lost weaving techniques by showcasing exclusive apparel from select labels, such as Akaaro, Weavers Studio, Delhi-based Kashmir Looms and En Inde, among others. August 8-10.
        More on P 30-31

        Powered wheels
        August 10 | Spero
        Coimbatore-based Milltex has launched the Spero, an electric bike partially produced through a crowd-funding campaign. It comes in three variants— E-30, E-60 and E-100 (the numbers denote the kilometres you can ride on a single charge) and can travel up to 25 kmph. `29,900 onwards.
        Details: milltex.in/spero

        Statement ride
        August 11 | ITC Grand Chola
        Rolls-Royce’s latest gift, Dawn, is named after the 1959 Silver Dawn. The open-top car borrows chassis elements from the Wraith, and its top made with French-seam fabric. It reaches 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds, has massage and ventilated seats, and uses GPS for gear-changes. To be unveiled today, at ITC Grand Chola. Details: rolls-roycemotorcars.com

        Ethical bazaar
        August 6 | Crowne Plaza
        Gear up for the 18th edition of the Makers Market, courtesy By Hand From The Heart.
        The event promises an impressive range of eco-friendly crafts and organic produce
        brought down by artisans, design entrepreneurs, farmers and others. Around 46
        participants are expected to be showcased. More on P 23

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        Get on the dance floor this Friendship Day to the tunes of DJ Chetas
        at Aqua

        EDM is on a roll and according to India’s one of the best Bollywood DJs, DJ Chetas, the current generation finds the genre ‘cool.’ Little did he know that what started off just as a passion would make him the face of DJ-ing in India. In a career spanning more than a decade, DJ Chetas aka Chetas Ashwin Shah has left no stone unturned when it has come to mixing. From the fame of House of Dance, he would be in the city for a performance at Aqua, The Park, Somajiguda.
        Explaining about his music and mixing, he says, “My music is a representation of Bollywood vocals on an EDM track. I mash the two up to give what the current audience enjoys.”Coining his music as ‘Life is a mash up,’ the 29-year-old promises to have a fun-packed party in the city. “I would be heading straight to the console and get the party started. I promise that the inner beast in every person would never hesitate to shake a leg or two to my tunes this time,” he smiles.
        There are quite a few methods of mixing these days, but DJ Chetas believes that ‘Good production at his gigs,’ is what gives him an edge over his competitors in India as well as on an International platform. The Bollywood DJ also revealed that he would be releasing a couple of Bollywood originals and a track which he classifies as his attempt to ‘mainstream EDM.’ Along with this he also mentioned that he would be releasing an album with top Bollywood remixes this year. When asked to suggest a teaser track that would define his upcoming performance in the city, he says, “check out my rendition of Soch Na Sake on YouTube. It’s melodic and groovy at the same time.” The DJ will be travelling to Mumbai and Dubai apart from his performance in the city this week.
        Organised by Twincity Lifestyle, the event is titled Friendship Day Party With DJ Chetas on August 7 at Aqua, The Park, Somajiguda from 6 pm onwards. Price: `2,999 per couple. Stag entry: `1,999
        Details: 23456789

        — Nishad Neelambaran

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        From spoilt brats to small town shenanigans, four funny guys will talk about everything to make you guffaw this week

        This weekend, make way for four stand up comics who have never failed to enthrall their audience. Getting together would be Suhas Navaratna, Kjeld Sreshth and Suman Kumar from Bengaluru along with city’s favourite Avinash Agarwal. We tell you what to expect from each one of them at this Comedy Edition – 01.

        Kjeld Sreshth
        As unique as his name, this Bengaluru boy has been in the industry for more than two years now. Making his way onto different stages now in the country, Kjeld says his friends inspired and goaded him to perform during open mic events in the Garden City. Now a full time stand up comic, he left his corporate job to take the centre stage. He says, unabashedly about his upcoming performance, “I would be talking about how (much) I hate my friends.” He further adds, “Self depreciation is my style of comedy.”

        Avinash Agarwal
        The 27-year-old comedian began his journey on the stage on March 2012 with his first open mic act in The Comedy Store, Mumbai. “It has been an addiction after the first performance. The sheer joy of seeing my audience applaud and laugh out loud on my jokes keeps me going for hours,” says Avinash. So what can the crowd expect this time from this local talent? “I will be talking about high society people, their spoilt brats and the NRIs. They were an integral part of my growing up in Hyderabad, especially during my school years. And it’s because of them I still have an identity crisis. So talking to them directly is my way of dealing with the issue.”

        Suhas Navaratna
        This Bengalurean and a techie is a newbie to the world of stand up comedy. He has shot to fame just like his friend and fellow comedian Kjeld Sreshth. “I used to watch performances of stand up comedians on YouTube and the fact that one man with a mic has the power was the driving force behind me becoming a comedian today,” says Suhas. Speaking about his forthcoming performance in the city, he says, “I will be talking about my relationships, my parents, my small observations of day-to-day life.”

        Suman Kumar
        Stay-at-home-dad, film writer, author and also a stand up comedian, this Bengaluru-based artiste set foot in the industry on May 2015. Drawing inspiration from Richard Pryor, Dave Chappelle, and George Carlin, Suman has always credited his performances to his eventful life. He has always managed to amuse the crowd with his takes on marriage, life and being a stay-at-home-dad. About his upcoming performance in the city he explains, “I would be talking about three things. How I rediscovered myself being a stay-at-home-dad; annoying political commentary from young people; and my views on small town life.”

        — Nishad Neelambaran

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        Marriott Hotel is celebrating its tenth anniversary in style with exciting offers

        It’s been 10 years since Hyderabad Marriott Hotel & Convention Centre opened doors in Hyderabad. As part of the milestone anniversary celebrations, the hotel at Lower Tank Bund Road has lined up interesting food promotions and events.
        At their signature restaurant Okra, they are offering ten
        different cuisines on ten days. The team of chefs has been preparing dishes from various regions like Rajasthan, Goa, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Andhra and even some place as remote as Himachal Pradesh. You can take your pick from Laal Maas (Rajasthan), Kosho Mangsho (West Bengal), Atta Chicken (Punjab), Chapala Pulsu (Andhra), Gongura Mamsam (Andhra), Chicken Chettinad (Tamil Nadu), Chicken Stew and Appam (Kerala), Lamb Vindaloo(Goa), Chicken Cafreal
        (Goa) and Chaa Meat (Himachal).
        They also have lucrative deals on suites as well. If you book a suite at the hotel you can get exciting offers: a bottle of wine, special amenities, 10 per cent off on F&B, 10 per cent off on spa and much more. But since good things come to an end soon, the offer is valid only till August 10. The hotel is also indulging into CSR activities like sponsoring education for 10 children. Other than that they have a photo booth in the lobby for guests where they can click and post interesting pictures. The place also has branded all the cars with the celebratory posters. Details: 27522121
        — Saima Afreen

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        The newly-opened garden cafe offers a beautiful seating area with innovative delights

        How would you like to spend your weekend afternoons? Under a fragrant Nagamalli tree, biting into variants of burgers prepared Hyderabadi way? Try it your way at The Autumn Leaf Cafe, Jubilee Hills. Opened by young entrepreneurs, this garden cafe is fast becoming a hit with the young crowd given its beautiful interiors, alfresco seating and food that’s both unique and scrumptious. The decor
        Thick foliage of magnolia and Queen of the Night greet you as you enter this place. To the left is the garden area complete with tiny ponds with a tadpole or two splashing in the water. In the middle of the garden stands the star tree i.e., of Cannonball Tree with deep-pink leathery flowers. Around the tree are placed tables and chairs in fine wood. By night, the trees glitter thanks to the lamps on the branches. The square milky-white rooms have solid wood furniture with bookshelves in the corners.

        The delights
        The open kitchen in the garden dominates the area. An experienced chef Suresh from Nepal handles it. They have interesting items to offer starting with English breakfast, egg frittatas, bruschettas to pork chops. We liked Curried Potato Leak Soup with spices of Madras which was cooked well enough for the potatoes to reach a melting consistency. The mushroom soup is creamy and the texture is really smooth when warm. They also serve Avgolemono, a Greek soup with basil oil, lemon and rice. From the small plates section, we tried chicken wings done in three varieties viz Fiery Buffalo Sauce, Parmesan Garlic Butter and Barbecue Sauce. Informed Nivi one of the cafe owners, “We dry tomatoes our way. I even go into the kitchen and rustle up a few dishes. After much trial and error, we have created a few of our own such as Route 66 Burger we thought of making while at Mother Road, US. We added our twist with fried onions, local style, in the burger.”

        Price & portion
        The portions are generous, especially when it comes to the Falafel Burger (large `190) and comes with a handful of crunchy French fries.We recommend you taste Goat Cheese in Phyllo Puffs served with tamarind chutney. The caramelised onion and olives inside make for an excellent flavour. They serve four of it on a platter. It comes for `280. You can wash down the delicacies with a variety of teas and smoothies. We were amazed at the name Billimalai Special Winter Oolong. The name ‘Billimalai’ conjured a picture of a black cat licking cream off the bowls! Partners Deepti and Nivi laugh out loud to explain, “It’s the name the plantation which is actually Vellimalai Estate in North East.” This cafe is a place worth a visit to have a nice conversation over delicious food in the midst of nature. Just watch out for the seasonal bugs as they come from under the thick tree-leaves. Time: 12 noon-10.30 pm. Details: 9963201589

        — Saima Afreen

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        Try out the exclusive royal grooming treatment at Truefitt & Hill salon that opened newly in
        the city

        The year 1805 was indeed a remarkable one. It was when Nelson won the Battle at Cape Trafalgar. Also and when King George III sat on England’s throne. The inception of the world’s oldest barbershop Truefitt & Hill (T&H) at St. James, London, was also in the same year. Called the bastion of style, the 211-year-old salon has now opened its doors to customers in Hyderabad at Banjara Hills. The brand has already made its presence felt in cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, New Delhi and Gurgaon.
        The 2,000 sq.ft barbershop houses products like shaving creams, old school two-edge razors and bathing soaps and other accessories that have become synonmous in men’s grooming. The salon offers signature services that are divided into two categories – Royal and Classic. The first gives you the luxe offered to the British Royal family with the Royal Haircut, Royal Shave, Royal Manicure, Royal Pedicure and the Royal Grooming Experience that comprises all of the Royal services. Besides this, under the Classic category are the same services although with lesser luxury. For instance, a Royal Haircut will consist of a hair wash, haircut, and a mini massage. The Classic Haircut will only be a combination of hair wash and haircut.
        There are different techniques that makes T&H a brand that truly defines luxury. Highlighted among all the services is the Royal Shave. “The ritual begins with the wrapping of hot towels followed by exfoliating the face with a scrub. Thereafter, the skin is nourished and massaged with a light-textured pre-shave oil. This makes the beard soft, allowing the razor blade to glide smoothly. A hot towel is wrapped again on the face to help open the pores,” says Sai Krishna, senior barber and trainer. It is just the beginning now.
        “Justifying luxury, we use handmade badger hair brush which is heat resistant and helps scrubbing off in a better way along with the glycerine-based shaving cream,” says Leroy, store manager, Hyderabad.
        The Guinness World Record holding barbershop for serving customers for more than two centuries has four signature brands to its name – 1805, Trafalgar, West Indian Limes and Grafton. It also has four contemporary brands – Sandalwood, Clubman, Freshman and Spanish leather. All the eight brands have different categories of fragrances, with corresponding shaving creams, cologne, aftershave, bathing soap and shower gel. The brand offers a one-year membership in both the Royal and Classic category. The Royal membership costs `59,000 where as the Classic membership is for `49,000. Members get discounts.
        Price: Rs 1,300 upwards. Details: 8885382199
        — Nishad Neelambaran

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        Update your workwear with minimal chic from Anomaly’s latest

        What is functional may not often be feminine and vice versa, or so we are told. But Delhi-based minimal wear label Anomaly is trying to break the code with their latest collection. In an attempt to create everyday apparel that falls in line with one’s identity, the one-year-old endeavour has launched its first ever workwear collection based on a combination featuring classic palette, minimal stripes and textured natural fabrics. Known for her clean silhouettes (think boxy cropped shirts and relaxed pleat front pants), Anomaly’s creative director, Medha Khosla, tells us why we need to check out their online store right away.

        Simple by design
        A fashion design graduate from New York’s Pratt institute, Khosla knows that fuss-free and formal does not exactly go hand-in-hand. Therefore, her designs showcase signature box pleat detailing in traditional handloom fabrics like Khadi – sourced from parts of Gujarat and South India, along with linen. As for the highlights, this 33-year-old has quite a few to share. Starting from pinstripe handloom cotton materials to a muted colour palette featuring white, navy and marsala red numbers. “It is my constant endeavour to source indigenous, natural fabrics for every collection. Introducing new silhouettes, cuts and more relaxed fits with our signature pleating and contrast binding details elevate this collection from basic pieces to well-finished, timeless staples,” adds the designer, who has previously worked with brands like DKNY and Adrienne Vittadini. Currently focused on the women segment of the market, the brand will introduce menswear capsules as well as accessories in the near future. Price: Rs 2,900 Details:shopanomaly.in

        — Nishad Neelambaran

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