Home Archives 2016 August 18

Daily Archives: Aug 18, 2016

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    Is there a shiny newgadget you’d like to tell us about? Mail gadgetboy@newindianexpress.com

    -Ashok Pandian

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    Three everydaytechnologies thathave changed the way we drive

    All-wheel drive
    The common misconception is that All-Wheel Drive, which transfers power individuallyto all four wheels of a car, belongssolely on SUVs. But as Audi proved with itsquattro technology in the 80s, it can do aworld of good to regular sedans andhatchbacks, too. The benefits of an AWDsystem are obvious—you can drive in the rain with increased grip and added safety. It’s not just road cars that are using AWD technology, but sports and race cars have also hugely benefitted.

    Daytime Running Lights
    It may not be common practice in India,but having your headlights on even in theday greatly increases your chances ofbeing spotted by other road users.Daytime Running Lights will soon bereplaced by LED technology, once thisbecomes feasible for automotive use. Notonly will these lights be bright enough tobe spotted in the harshest sunlight, but they will also hold significant visual value.

    Parking sensors
    With the surge in the number of cars on roads, cities are getting crowded and finding parking is just one half of the headache. Safely manoeuvring your car into tight parking spots is an even bigger challenge. Parking sensors are now taking the guesswork out of this exercise. Not only do they warn you of objects that you are closing in on, they also indicate how much distance you have before you hit something. Surround cameras, too, are making an appearance on cars, replacing parking sensors.

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      Take a trip through the islands with Spa by JW’s new treatment

      Hitting the beach at a moment’s notice might be the stuff of dreams for the city’s beach bums, but with Spa at JW’s newly introduced therapy, it is barely a few minutes away. Called Polynesian Spa Journey, the two-hour treatment aims to transport you to the white sands and clear waters of Polynesia.

      The four-step procedure starts with a foot massage. The scrub, made with salt and rose crystals serves to do away with negative energy and stress, and set us up for what was to follow. The next step takes you to the Taha’a island for a full body scrub. The exotic body scrub blends sand from the island, sea salt, crushed coconut shells, algo monoi (a stress relieving sea weed) and Vanilla Tahitensis (Tahitian vanilla, known for its moisturising properties). Feeling completely relaxed, we were then taken to a milk bath, which promises to smooth and nourish the skin. After a 15-minute session in the hot tub, we were more than happy to simply doze off, but the pampering continued.
      The next stop was Bora Bora where water pillows recreate the feeling of beachside lounging. With your skin thoroughly scrubbed and still warm from the bath, this step, called the Mahana massage, features the application of a fragrant oil. It combines the techniques of lomi lomi with warm sand pouches, that help loosen and rejuvenate muscles.
      The final port of call on our Polynesian break, was Raiatea, known for its secret oil extracts. A very light oil, that comprises algo monoi, apricot kernel and almond oil and golden pearls, is rhythmically applied, leaving the skin radiant. The luxurious massage is truly indulgent and leaves you feeling relaxed and refreshed.
      Also on the new spa menu is the Indocéane Spa Ritual— a combination of Mediterranean and Indian techniques.

      Rs 8,000++ upwards. At Vittal Mallya Road. Details: 67189999

      — Rashmi Rajagopal Lobo

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        Dramatic notes
        Nashville is a musical drama
        series about the lives of country music stars and their rivalries. In Tuesday’s episode (of season one), Rayna Jaymes, the queen of country, brings her children and sister on tour with her. But her nemesis, singer Juliette Barnes, has an effect on the girls that Jaymes is not too happy of. At 10 pm, on Colors Infinity.

        Taking a chance
        Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the American sitcom set in a police station, is airing its second season. In this week’s episode Jake, a policeman played by Andy Samberg, places a bet that he can steal Captain Holt’s (played by Andre Braugher) watch before the stroke of midnight. On Monday, at 9.30 pm, on Comedy Central.

        Mistress of spices
        British Indian chef and food
        writer, Anjum Anand, is back with a new show, Anjum’s Australian Spice Stories. She will be exploring the continent’s culinary scene, travelling on a spice trail. It will also take a gander at healthy Indian cuisine with western influences. Monday to Friday, at 8 pm, on TLC.

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          Blank Page brings poetry to theatre

          Sandbox Collective, a Bengaluru- based artistes collective, works with the aim of bringing together various performance arts on one platform. Their latest local production, Blank Page is a concoction of theatre, poetry and music. It debuted at The Kala Ghoda festival in Mumbai earlier this year. The production celebrates the history and tradition of poetry in India. “Blank Page is an exploration of contemporary Indian poetry in four languages, using theatre, music, and movement,” says Sunil Shanbag who conceived the production and is also part of the cast. “It explores four themes; the act of writing poetry, identity, conflicted relationships, and resistance,” he adds.
          The production will have 17 performances. The poems have been selected from some of India’s finest and historic poets. “The individual poems come together as a composite experience, with each poem adding layers to a fairly complex and stimulating experience,” explains Shanbag. The poems are in Hindi, English, Marathi, and Kashmiri, and the performances interpret them in various ways. The poets whose poems will be included range from Nissim Ezekiel and Taslima Nasrin to Sapan Saran, Kedarnath Singh, Arundhathi Subramaniam and many more. They are performed by a group actors, a dancer, and a musician in a seamless theatre piece. The production delves deep into relationships, identity and even the self referential aspect of poetry.
          Bringing together music and poetry is not as hard as one would imagine. According to Shanbag, there are fundamental similarities between the two fields and it lends itself well to a theatre performance piece. They both have movement and flow, and are very universal in nature. Theatre is the common element that frames them. Even though it was challenging initially, once the performers were in the zone and working together it was a process of discovery, reveals the director.
          The play has already been performed at many prestigious events like The Tata LitLive, Mumbai, The Akshara Calligraphy Exhibition at the Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai, and the Vinod Doshi Theatre Festival, Pune.
          Tomorrow, 7 pm At NUMA, Church Street. Sunday, 4:30 pm
          and 7 pm at Atta Galatta, Koramangala. Tickets (` 200) on bookmyshow.com

          — Anagha M

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            Former Olympian and swimming champ, Nisha Millet on the Olympics and what’s next for India

            For THE last two weeks, it’s all been about the Olympics at Rio. For a change, sporting excellence and not annoying politics has been the focus of our attention, along with stories of victories, defeats and the victory of human spirit over amazing odds.
            Closely following the Rio saga has been former Olympian and national swimming champion, the effervescent Nisha Millet Chatterjee. I love her stories about how she started swimming (she nearly drowned at 5), trained with basic equipment and facilities available then and how her parents supported her — her mum doubling up as trainer, coach, nutritionist, her dad investing family savings for her and sister Reshma’s careers. Today, heading her own successful Nisha Millet’s Swimming Academy (nishamillet.com), Millet concentrates on giving back by training young swimmers, identifying talent and consulting with schools and institutions to spread the joy of swimming to all, not only potential champions.
            In Millet’s case, her career was cut lamentably short after her stint at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 when back surgery knocked her out of the running for Athens 2004. But she’ll never forget the thrill of participating, she recalls. “I was 18. The energy at the Olympic Village was unforgettable – you meet great athletes you’ve admired all your life. It hits you at the opening ceremony when emotions run high – here’s a culmination of years of training and hard work. I still cry watching the torch lit at every Olympics.”
            She admits Rio 2016 has been disappointing as India’s medal chances looked on the upswing post London 2012. “Of course, many Indian sportspeople were unlucky to lose at Rio. But I did expect more of a fight. Particularly, as support for our sportspeople is better than ever before, from independent bodies like the Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ). Money and sponsorship has improved beyond cricket, but we have a long way to go compared to China, Australia and the USA, where besides the private sector, the government too gives immense support. In India, most top athletes must make it on their own steam. There’s little choice,” she says, adding,“Though India has talent, training abroad is a must until India catches up in skills and facilities.”
            So what now? I ask her. Several things, she replies, “We need more inter-school and especially inter-collegiate competitions across sports. Many promising athletes drop out due to pressure of academics and the need for future economic stability. Today, sport can also be self-sustaining – see the sponsorships and endorsement money earned by the likes of Saina Nehwal and Mary Kom. We also need more sports institutions like OGQ, and supportive corporates like JSW. Young Indians too, must think more of sport – beyond tuitions and TV-watching. Media must recognise sporting achievements as much as it does top-ranking students. Schools must offer more than PT classes – specialised sports like volleyball, football, swimming and athletics.”
            “Finally we must realise it’s not only about medals — see gymnast Dipa Karmakar’s stunning 4th place. The euphoria of the Olympics is the best time to push ahead,” she says.

            -Ruma Singh
            m firstimpressionsblr@gmail.com

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              Designer Minnie Menon brings her jewellery line to the city for the first time

              Having worked in advertising and marketing for over 20 years, socialite Minnie Menon saw herself slipping into the role of a jewellery designer back in 2014. With a client list that includes diplomats, celebrities and other socialites, Chennai-based Menon is now bringing her label to Bengaluru. “I wanted to find the right venue, the right person to partner with and most importantly, I wanted to time it well,” saysMenon, before talking about how it all began.
              More of a hobby initially, Menon reveals that encouragement from friends, and her own need for a brand that was niche yet not too dressy, were two other factors that contributed to her shifting gears so late in her career. “Most of our real jewellery is left languishing in lockers all the time. We spend so much but never use them. I wanted to create pieces that were premium, but simple enough to be worn to the office and dressy enough for a wedding at the same time,” she tells us.
              To be held at Collage Shop India, the pop-up will kick off with a fashion show followed by a wine and cheese evening. Choreographed by Chennai-based Karun Raman, the emceeing will be done by Menon’s daughter, Anuradha, a theatre person and comedienne, best known as Lola Kutty.

              Design speak
              Menon likes to keep her creations simple and elegant, and lets the semi precious stones do the talking. They are handpicked by Menon herself, often from her travels. The pop-up will showcase her latest line, Re-Collection, which takes inspiration from the colours of the rainbow. Made from silver, like all her previous collections, the stones used vary from moon stone to tanzanite to labradorite to onyx to baroque pearls. “Colour impacts design greatly. The challenge is to combine colour and design in the best way possible,” she says, adding that her love for interplay of textures will also be a hallmark of the collection. Asked to highlight a piece from Re-collection, she shares that it’s the tanzanite necklace that truly stands out. “It features tanzanite pendants mounted on silver, which are strung on three rows of tanzanite beads,” she explains.
              Next on her agenda is a visit to Bangkok to participate in the annual Thailand Gems and Jewellery Fair, after which she will focus on her collection for Diwali.

              Rs 6,000 upwards. August 26-28. At Wood Street. Details: 25566818

              — Rashmi Rajagopal Lobo

              CAR & BIKE

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              Reasons why some Yamaha YZF-R3 owners may have to take their bikes back to the workshop Launched in India back in September 2015, the Yamaha...

              SPECIALS

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              The legendary Martin Scorsese opens up about his latest film, future projects and more in an exclusive interaction with Rashmi Rajagopal Lobo It was the...

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