Home Archives 2016 December 30

Daily Archives: Dec 30, 2016

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Dress, in context of aesthetics and design, is fashion. Dress, with a backdrop of religion is a controversy, a debate, and clash of civilisational viewpoints. However, dress with a purpose is worthy of a salute. One such great, underappreciated, functionally brilliant and highly valuable piece of clothing, with nearly no name, and hence my term, the secular mask, deserves our attention and respect.No one can be sure how and when it has entered our lives. Within no time and with no specific backer, or interest, or patron, it has conquered our lives. Men and women of all ages and classes and spread across the spectrum on every line of divide, have endorsed it. It comes, truly amazingly, in every texture and size, at any level of cost, and any colour, hue or shade.

This piece of clothing that the city folk drape around their head and face protects them against the sun and wind, dust and smoke.Most motorists in the city cover their faces and lo, you can see nothing more than their eyes, sometimes further covered under a helmet with a pair of specs or goggles. They do it while riding their bikes, or riding as a pillion passenger, in autos or while standing roadside waiting for a cab. This wonderful small piece of clothing reverses the power equations – they can see you, you can’t see them.So we live in a city where it is impossible to see faces of others anymore as you drive past the streets. Everyone seems to have a physical mask. I hope there is nothing beyond that. No one knows how this was born, who its creator is and how it spread. But it is there and we are enriched by it, and perhaps, in a way, impoverished too.

Numaish, the annual Hyderabad Industrial Exhibition which takes place in the city every year from January 1 to February 15, interestingly features new variations of the same. Sometimes a zip is added. Other times, a velcro strip is. But a greater piece of fashion peaking in its value was perhaps not created in the last few decades.
TAILPIECE: There is actually a product called Smuff, created to add even greater fashion value to this all-encompassing, all-covering, multi-purpose wear; So see it coming, the revolution and soon everyone would be just a face covered, and lots of lovely colours and designs. I am sure we can expect the organic, the pure cotton, raw silk and the designer variety too in the stores soon. Perhaps the New Year will full herald this fashion. Wait and watch.

(Sriram Karri is author of the bestselling novel, Autobiography of a Mad Nation. He writes for international media such as The New York Times and BBC besides organising debates at Hyd Park)

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Papa John’s new variant will be a treat for pizza lovers

PAPA JOHN’S PIZZA – whose first outlet in the city was launched in 2011 is known for its pan, deep dish, thick and thin crust pizzas with generous toppings. Now the chain has introduced an addition to their menu – the Cheese Splash variety. Expect an extra thick, rich layer of melt-in-the-mouth cheese.  Sandeep Singh, chief executive officer, Papa John’s India says, “Our Cheese Splash could be the perfect option for any cheese lover.” There is a range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian choices such as Farm Fresh, Simply Veggie, Papa’s Paneer, Fajita Pizza, Spicy Pepper Roast, Veggie Barbeque, Tandoori Chicken, Lamb Pepperoni Pizza, Papa’s Italian Chicken Sausage and Chicken Delight.

If you are looking to order in for your New Year’s house party or planning a gastronomical trail this weekend, then these could be perfect given the slight nip in the air, cheese would make the ideal combination. Their Indian menu offers pizzas in both, local and international flavours. The offer is applicable on medium pizzas at all their nine outlets in Hyderabad. Price: Rs 500 ++ for two. Details: 67467722.

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The new menu at Deccan Pavilion focuses on fresh, local produce

With the trend shifting towards the indigenous instead of exotic, go locavore. They are the ones who believe in consuming local produce. The new menu at Deccan Pavilion, ITC Kakatiya, moves away from frozen ingredients to embrace the trend. Expect a finely curated lineup of dishes that incorporate generous amounts of local produce. From cold-pressed morning energisers to Tarkari Ki Luqmi – Rikabdar’s (a farrier) – version of the European Puff, the restaurant offers a melange of delicacies to choose from.

On your plate

The infographics on the opening page of the menu booklet help you understand if the fish served to you is fished too often, under threat or easily
available. Informs one of the curators chef Vishal Baliga, “That way you know what is coming on your plate. For example, when we say over-fished, we mean tuna and basa.” And it’s not just the aquatic food. There’s plenty of vegetarian delights as well prepared from the local produce. What’s interesting is that the menu isn’t
monotonous – there are specialties like Chicken Stroganoff, Artisanal Pasta and Classic Shepherd’s Pie as well. What adds to the variety are dishes like Tarkari Ki Luqmi, prepared with local vegetables, and not mutton without which this flaky pastry can otherwise not be imagined. “For breakfast too, we use only free-range eggs in poached, scrambled and fried forms,” adds the chef.

Chef’s special
We tasted Burrata with Anise-Poached Pears. The globule gives way to thick cream and tasted delicious with pears soaked in wine with anise, currant celery pistou and rucola. While the flavour lingered, we were soon enjoying the Lamb Rib and Broad Bean Tagine. The meat was tender, succulent and had taken well to the stewed apricots and mint couscous added. Singaporean Laksa with its rice noodles, shrimps, chunks of fish and chicken made for a wonderful dish when combined with coconut soup and half a boiled egg. The best use of local ingredients was in the Chocolate Fudge. We savoured the nutty delight with caramel sauce that contained jaggery. Other than these dishes we also liked the Grilled Haloumi. Not many know about this variety of salted cheese that is imported from Turkey. It was served along with roasted bell peppers served and tomato chutney. The flavours of the chutney remind you of a Mediterranean mezze platter. Now that tells you why the same is quite popular in the Middle East. Since the salt content is high in this cheese, one needs to acquire a taste for it. But the layers of flavours that it offers is worth savouring. Price: Rs 2,000++ per head. Details: 23400132.

— Saima Afreen

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Sarah Jane John’s artisanal soaps are all about going green with a touch of luxe

Lavendar buds. Himalayan rock salt. Coffee grinds combined with oatmeal. This ingredient list may mislead one into thinking that we’re talking about a gourmet dish. But, if there were to be a category equivalent to gourmet in soaps, that’s where Sarah Jane John’s brand Future is Green (FIG) would fit in. Boasting of a range of handmade artisanal soaps cured over three months – with the most exclusive components from all over the world (olive oil flown in from Spain, for instance) – this millennial’s bath regimen is attracting global attention with online queries pouring in from as far as Australia. An accounting professional-turned-entrepreneur, John’s tryst with soap-making began at her father’s Kochi-based starch treatment plant, where a lab and chemist was left at her disposal. “I started
thinking about such an endeavour only after reading up about how it is much easier for chemicals to penetrate into our bloodstream through skin compared to a product that is consumed. In that sense, all of the body lotions, soaps and shampoos play a much larger role in our lives than we imagine,” says John. There are six different variants of FIG available at the moment, including Aphrodite and Mountain Man. What makes these products unique is the combination of ingredients, such as rice bran oil and cocoa butter paired with locally sourced coconut oil and natural ingredients like turmeric (kasturi).

Adding to the exclusivity of FIG are the cover art and colour combinations done by Kochi-based artists Jaffer Zadique and Lola Kutty, featuring digitalised versions of their hand-drawn sketches. “It’s about creating a lifestyle shift to using safer products by creting clean ingredients that look and smell great. Also, I think art is a huge part of the process or life becomes too mundane,” adds Sarah who is currently focussed on widening her cosmetics range.

From Rs 200 onwards. Details: facebook.com/thefigrevolution

—Arya P Dinesh

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Raghavendra Rathore’s flagship store has a fine selection of personalised bandhgalas and bespoke achkans

Raghavendra Rathore’s store on Road Number 10, Banjara Hills – the street which enjoys a moniker of ‘design street’ for the number of big brands on the lane – is as royal as his impeccably tailored bandhgalas. As you walk into the store, the bright yellow lights, wooden flooring and the portraits of the members of Jodhpur’s
royal family set the tone for the luxe ensembles men can expect to find. The wall of a particular room in the store which has the photographs of all the
celebrities, from Yuvraj Singh to Saif Ali Khan, in Rathore’s creations, highlight why the latter is the go-to designer, when it comes to men’s luxury outfits.

Recently, he also designed cricketer Yuvraj’s wedding bandhgala: “The cricketer’s understanding of the lines and cuts from the designer brand RR is something that drew him to the brand,” recalled the designer. The 1,700 square feet bespoke boutique has been designed by Raghavendra himself.

For the fall

The designer’s latest AW16 Bandhgala collection has achkans, breeches, bandhgalas, tailor-made shirts and some finely tailored tuxedos – a masterful blend of traditional craftsmanship and polished, modern silhouettes.

Although various shades of blue seem to be the predominant colour as far as the achkans are concerned, the adventurous few can choose peaches. The materials include brocade, with minutely detailed embroidery in silk thread. The finest quality of weaves is procured from Italy, because of their sheen and fall. There are deftly tailored suits as well with the best of linings. Apart from that, there are tailor-made shirts, waistcoats and breeches to go with a crisp bandhgala as well.

Old-world charm

The designs, which hark back to the Jodhpuri tradition have a quaint feel says the designer, “Old-world genre’s from all parts of the world and not only Rajasthan are part of the mood boards that inspire the collections that are shown season after season. The rich past of the Nizam’s too will find mention in the details of the collections and designs that the brand showcases. Orders are taken and then customised according to the preferences of the client – choice of colour and detail changes that the client may want.

Must-have accessories
Keeping in mind the importance of the right accessories, brand RR has about a 100 pocket squares of different varieties, for the suits, bandhgalas and achkans. There are leather belts to be paired with the Jodhpuri breeches, cufflinks and a new addition of ties and made-to-order footwear. All the experimental, dapper men, this is your cue to go ahead and add a dash of royal touch to your wardrobe.From Rs 12, 000 onwards. Details:7331150851.

— Paulami Sen.

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From Christmas parties to carol singing sessions, last week started with soaking up the Yuletide spirit. On Friday afternoon, the members of Kakatiya Ladies Club got together for a pre-X-mas celebration where a game jockey took charge and organised games like newspaper dance and impromptu word association. Meanwhile, socialite Sushila Bokadiya threw a grand bash at Playboy Beer Garden to celebrate her birthday. The guests showed up in red, in sync with the theme of the party. Local band Take 5 got the revellers dancing and helped end the party on a high note.

The week soon took a turn from fun to fitness. Well-known aerobics instructor and Guinness World Records Holder, Dinaz Vervatwala and celebrity trainer Kiran Dembla hosted a fitness carnival at Kris Gethin gym. Scores of workout junkies showed up for an energetic exercise session even as DJ for the do, Kiran herself, took charge of the console.

P3P Kavitha Reddy hosted her daughter Ishika’s traditional coming of age ceremony at Hyderabad International Convention Centre. The guests were left awestruck as Ishika entered the venue in a gorgeous palanquin. Also spotted at the do were Manjula Narsa, Siriisha Mulpura and Parvathi Reddy.

-Rina Hindocha

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Nucleya explosion

December 31 | Beats Per Minute
Welcome 2017 with the country’s wildly popular, DJ Nucleya aka Udyan Sagar from Delhi. Gear up for a night filled with EDM where DJ Ritviz will be jamming too at the venue along with shock jock Koocha Monster. Those heading to the concert can expect some of the famous Nucleya tracks like Bass Rani, Let’s Nacho, Mumbai Dance and Laung Gawacha among others. Couple tickets at Rs 12,000. Details: in.bookmyshow.com.

Bollywood night

December 30 | Ramoji Film City
Kick start your New Year celebrations with some Bollywood fervour at Ramoji Film City (RFC). The evening will have a mix of dance, music, food and drinks. The show will begin with Ankita Mishra’s songs followed by DJ Shiva Prasad on the console and a concluding salsa performance by Bad Salsa Troupe. Apart from the entertainment programme, the package includes unlimited liquor and a dinner buffet. Tickets from Rs 1,000 onwards. Details: 180042509999.

Forward swing

January 2 | Gachibowli Stadium
Watch all the action on Day Two of the Premier Badminton League Season 2 as Awadhe Warriors take on the Hyderabad Hunters. Srikanth Kidambi and Saina Nehwal lead the visitors as they clash against Olympic Women’s Singles Gold medalist, Carolina Marin along with Sai Parneeth and others. Catch them live at 7.30 pm. Tickets from Rs 500 onwards. Details: in.bookmyshow.com.

Culture curry

January 4 | NCPA, Mumbai
Attend a week-long workshop where participants will recreate scenes from the Greek myth, Echo and Narcissus. They will get a chance to examine the narcissism in contemporary culture such as social media and create different scenes that will be merged into a short performance. They will also work with video projection and projection mapping. Registration fees: Rs 5,000 per person. Details: 022 66223737.

Clown capers

January 1 | Magadi, Bengaluru
Known for their creative additions to the regular circus act, Rambo Circus is in Kempegowda Nagar, in the Garden City. The team includes award winning international artistes from Uzbekistan, Nepal, Ethiopia and Colombia. Apart from this, other highlights are that the tent is custom made in Italy and is water and fire resistant. Expect drama with smoke machines, heavy sound systems and special sound effects. Tickets from Rs 100 onwards. Details: in.bookmyshow.com.

Organic market

January 2 | Gachibowli Stadium
Watch all the action on Day Two of the Premier Badminton League Season 2 as Awadhe Warriors take on the Hyderabad Hunters. Srikanth Kidambi and Saina Nehwal lead the visitors as they clash against Olympic Women’s Singles Gold medalist, Carolina Marin along with Sai Parneeth and others. Catch them live at 7.30 pm. Tickets from Rs 500 onwards. Details: in.bookmyshow.com.

EDM time

January 5 | Adyar, Chennai
They are not just known for an alumnui of talented engineers, but also for their cutting edge college festivals. IIT Madras will be hosting its annual fest titled Saarang 2017 starting today at their campus in Adyar. The four-day festival has been notched up to another level this year with shows featuring international EDM artistes Sartek and Marnik. Apart from this, the event will also have a live performance by Bollywood singer Shaan. Entry: Free. Details: 044 22578280.

High octane

December 31 | Rendezvous
The trinity of Luke, Rhys and Fran, known as the Futuristic Polarbears, will get you moving to their bass filled tracks this New Year‘s Eve. The trio have had a phenomenal year both in the studio as well as behind the deck. Expect tracks like Café Del Mar 2016, Back to Earth, Red Man Rising and Shake it Off among others. Couple tickets at Rs 6,000 Details: 8897561111.

In cinemas

December 30 | Inox
Rated as one of the top video games, Assassin’s Creed comes alive on the big screens today. The movie starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard is set in the same universe as the video games, but features an original story that expands the series mythology during the Spanish Inquisition. Details: in.bookmyshow.com.

 

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From white beaches fringed with lofty palms to sunset cruises and plenty of water sports, Club Med Kani Resort comes up as an interesting holiday destination.

Indian Ocean appeared as an enlarged blue jewel from the airplane. As I landed in Male, the clear turquoise waters surrounding Maldives were welcoming. White speed boats ferrying the tourists dotted the cerulean expanse. The winter morning appeared balmy as the sea breeze brushed my skin while I boarded the boat en route to Club Med Kani Resort that had invited me for a three-day fam trip. The water was so clear I could see the fins of the fish swimming. The blue-green waves refreshed me instantly after a long flight to the sun-kissed nation from Mumbai via Sri Lanka. And there I was in God’s own water body, where he poured all the shades of blue in, decking it up with coral reef colonies along with varied underwater flora and fauna.

Not many beaches in the world make for perfect dream destinations, but what Maldives offers remains matchless. In this island country of 26 atolls, a host of
premium and medium-budget resorts have mushroomed, attracting tourists from around the globe. The beaches that turn silver during daytime offer a host of activities ranging from water sports, parties to spa treatments. It’s quite an experience to enjoy your plate of smoked tuna with grilled veggies at the sit-down lunch table set on the glistening sand shaded by tall coconut palm trees.

Water, water everywhere
The Indian Ocean looks majestic when its aquamarine water sweeps the beaches the colour of powdered silver. And what better way can one soak in the serenity? Just laze around on the sun-beds under the shadow of dense palms with a cocktail or a glass of fruit punch.
While you are in the most beautiful island-nation, how can you not just splash water around on those jetties and surf-boards? There are options like scuba diving, waterskiing, snorkelling, parasailing and surf-boarding. (Price: `13,188 – `31,056.) Or you can just go for speedboat rides taking Gentle Organisers aka GOs around. GOs are the staffers who help and guide you on request.
As the tropical sun melts into an evening sky, you can go for a sunset cruise and even spot the jumping dolphins, while other species of aquatic creatures swim in the cyan waters. The patch of gold that sunset paints the blue ocean with is worth seeing. Don’t forget to try the overwater swing; it’s a joy to splash the waves with your feet while you rock to and fro.

Man and the sea
The transparent blue-green waters have a lively underwater world. Maldives is known exclusively for its coral reefs. From the glass boards in the boats, you can see the ecosystem housing colourful fish, sea turtles, and even octopus concealed in the flora. We took the boat after breakfast at 9 am. The boatman was sharp enough to tell us about the varieties of fish we saw underneath. From the glass-bottom boat, we had interesting underwater sightseeing.
We spotted blue sergeant fish, butterfly fish, sea urchins, parrot fish, Napoleon fish, eagle ray and blue fiscal. It was interesting to see butterfly fish moving in schools around the gaps and walls of the coral structure. We also discovered swarms of fish coming near the walkway at night. Sitting on one of the wooden benches over there was quite relaxing, as the gentle sound of water was soft on the ears. The lights dotting the wooden planks kept the fish near as did breadcrumbs thrown by some guests who enjoyed the serene hours post-dinner. We also spotted a grey heron that would sit leisurely on one of the corners of the boards. He was a regular. Wonder if he, too, was fascinated with bright lights like the fish.

Inside story
Getting up with the call of koels, hoopoes, Asian swifts and other birds was refreshing, while the ocean roared outside the glass windows. A barefoot walk on the beach energised me for the rest of the day. The resort is dotted with a variety of trees, both exotic and local.
Frangipani grows in abundance and their white flowers with lemony scent make for perfect hair ornament. Now, a bit about Club Med — it is a French public limited company, better known as Club Méditerranée, which specialises in premium holidays and related vacations offering quality services. Club Med Kani is their premium holiday destination. There are different categories of villas that this private island destination offers. The overwater suites are the most-sought after as they are built above water, complete with terrace, bathtub with ocean view and sun beds to relax. The other ones are: a beach deluxe room, a beach club connecting room, a garden club connecting room and a club room.

The rooms are air-conditioned, with teak furniture. There are facilities like hair dryer, security safe, wifi, kettles with choices of tea/coffee and more. I liked the way the room caretaker would refill the moisturiser or fold the towels into interesting animal shapes like an elephant or a peacock, and tuck in a blood-red hibiscus before arranging the same on the bed. The only minor thing that troubled me was that there was no toothbrush or toothpaste in the washroom. Thankfully, I always keep them in my travel suitcase. Prices are decided according to the demand and season. Details: +66 (0)2 268 8448. For bookings from India call 022 40052180.

Eat, drink and be merry
They have an alfresco bar and a sunset beach bar. You can relax on the round cane chairs watching the blue ocean gush towards the beach with your drink or fresh coconut water. I really liked having my lunch at Velhi — the 450-seater main restaurant. Other restaurants here include Kandu, Kaana and Iru, the open area bar. At the main restaurant, there were live counters for different cuisines like Japanese, Italian, Continental and Indian. There’s no ala carte, only buffet. Adjoining them were counters of desserts, fresh fruits and salads offering interesting dishes like Coconut Cream Cake, Apple Pie with Honey, short pastries, fruit cakes, and custard.
Being a foodie, I really liked their assortment of freshly baked bread, which is comprised of buns, bagels, ciabatta, baguette and more. I loved their focaccia even when I didn’t dunk it in olive oil. The chefs prepare fresh catch in different ways. Try the smoked tuna with salad or fish fillets. Prices: some of the gourmet choices are complimentary.

It would be better if they introduce a food counter that serves authentic Maldivian food, to give the guests a taste of the island cuisine. Post-lunch, I loved sipping on tender pineapple juice at one of the tables set in the open area. The evenings came alive with magical music, flow of drinks with a variety of finger food. Not to be missed is the glow party, where one wears fluorescent glow-in-dark face paint and accessories like glasses, headbands and sticks. Must-attend are beach parties with tables set close to the shores, while fireworks dazzle the evening sky. And when you feel drained the next day, head to Mandara Spa, nestled in lush green trees with relaxation treatments like a Balinese massage, warm stone massage, pure indulgence and more, inside the calmness of wooden cabins. Spa packages range from Rs 4,750–Rs 50,342.

Saima Afreen

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    Soaring spirits and  Delicious Food in a Gorgeous setting. Enjoy to the tune of DJ Sachin playing Hindi

    Dash for Flash
    At the Accord hotel, the Flash Party not only has an EDM
    performance lined up, but also a fine selection of starters that you can try. December 31, 8 pm onwards. At the Zodiac Lounge Bar. Details: 0413 2299000

    Follow the beat
    Grande Bay’s Tropical New Year Party is here. Enjoy the beats played by DJ Sachin, who will belt out tracks in Hindi, Tamil, and English, plus from genres like electronic and deep house. Once done dancing, you can go for the buffet that has global cuisine and live counters, while the bar with both domestic and imported liquor will keep your glass full to the end. 7.30 pm onwards. Details: 27443060

    Insomnia
    Laden with a tropical theme, EC-41 at VGP is hosting DJ Michael Knight from UK who will be the highlight of the Insomnia party. He will be accompanied by other performers like Nathan and Harry Shah. And for those looking to stretch their legs, they can take part in the beach games. Details: 9942999992

    The Ma Faiza show
    The UltraVaganza’2017 at Hotel Ashok Beach Resort has electronica heavyweight Ma Faiza spinning commercial, techno and Bollywood tracks. Other performers include Get Massive, along with Eshna, Karty and Anup Mech. 8 pm onwards. Tickets from `3,000 onwards on in.bookmyshow.com

    All round revelry
    Radisson BLU Resort at Mamallapuram will have something for everybody. There’s dance by Bengaluru-based group called Step N Style, EDM and a play area for kids to enjoy at. A corresponding lucky dip promises to give everybody a chance to take gifts home. Details: 27443636

    Pour and party
    Raise a toast at Le Royal Park where besides live music and dance, you can also expect offers on beer, wine and buffet spread.  8 pm onwards. Details: 0413 2231500

    Doll up
    Join the Margazhi fervour by heading to DakshinaChitra that is conducting its Village festival. The month-long event features performances by dancers like folk performers namely Suman (from Cuddalore-based Salangai Kalai Kuzhu. There will also be a gaarudi gombe performance, which is an ancient form of dance with giant-sized dolls or bamboo puppets. 11.30 am onwards. Details: dakshinachitra.net

    Skin deep
    If you wish to start the new year by getting inked then the party at Anandha Inn in Pondicherry is the place to be. There will also be nail art sessions at the venue, plus gift hampers provided to all those who attend. Music by DJ Harry. 8.30 pm onwards. Details: 0413 2233000

    After dark
    Multiple-genres of EDM are promised at the beach party to be organised at the Nalla Beach Resort. The spotlight is on DJ Darkhunter, the Pondicherry-based DJ specialised in genres like rock, hip hop, trance and house. Other things to look forward to are photo-booth, fireworks, and others. Details: 9994399316

    Paradise found
    EDM and rock meet at Paradise Beach Island, where the Biggest Island Party will be headlined by DJ Lia. She will be accompanied by rock band Sapta. Besides the music, you can also attend a camp fire session and avail the various offers on drinks and food. At the Chunnambar Boat House. 9 pm onwards. Details: 9952543999

    Gokulam park
    The New Year Eve’ 2017 of Gokulam Park Sabari is just what one wants. The Grand Gala Buffet dinner with unlimited food is very appealing along with unlimited liquour. The DJ Shan,DJ Esh and DJ Veepee are all set with their trans for the day. There is lucky draw, Best Dressed men & women  and Best couple awards and many more,. Stay in tune with the Dj and the enjoy the fun games. At Navallur, old Mahabalipuram road, `1499 onwards.

    Pandoras
    The New Year is knocking at the door. So, what’s the wait for, check out Pandoras Box Fest, amazing lists. There are various things happening on the three days. On the 30th December’2016,there is Soul Inclination (Alt Rock/Grunge/Post Grunge) artists from Delhi and Bianca Love (R&B/Jazz/Soul/Gospel/Funk/Neo~Soul) artists from New Orleans. The next day, 31st December’2016,  a year ending day and a year beginning has some intersting things Sleepwalker (Deep House/Nu Disco/Minimal) artists from Pondicherry, J.O.B.A (Techno) artists from Chennai and Magnetic Fields (Jazz/Fusion). Last but not the least, The fresh day of the new year, 1st January’2017 has Tripwire (Punk & Rock) artists from mumbai and Get Massive (Voted India’s #1 Trance DJ) coming up. That not all, There are lot more things for the three days African Folk Drumming Percussion, Bruno Tonelli- artists from Brazil and many more. At Riviera de Pondy, Rs 1,200 onwards.

    Sight effects
    Bringing to the city her brand of internationally acclaimed EDM is DJ Leenata, who will be performing at the Seagulls Restaurant. The party, called Port Spree, will also have a spectacular mix of LED effects and fireworks, plus unlimited drinks coupled with a sumptuous spread. 8 pm onwards. Details: 9944135555

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    A couple of women bikers are lending the edge to new Indian custom bike designs

    Custom bike designers get their fair share of bizarre requests. As the artist Aarohi Singh recounts, “One client asked for a composite painting of (the Bollywood actors) Madhuri Dixit’s bosom and Aishwarya Rai’s choli from the Nimbooda Nimbooda song. You get the picture. Of course, I refused!”
    Aarohi was one among a handful of artists showcasing their work at the Rider Mania event, in Goa, earlier this November. The din of close to 6,000 bikes thrumming and roaring all over the venue wasn’t about to dampen the spirits of the custom designers, or normalise the insanity levels of the requests.
    For Ricardo Pereira, of Bulleteer Customs, the freaky calls included one for “truck tyres in the rear, and sofa-type seats with glass
    holders and a music system”. There was another to top that order. “The prize for most annoying requests would have to be the ones that ask for Harley Davidson or other big bike branding or monograms on our custom Royal Enfields,” says Ricardo.

    Tanks as canvases
    A well-crafted custom bike is “a sculpture”, enthuses Ricardo. “Motorcycles are a form of expression, and people are not riding only to commute anymore.” In the face
    of `6 lakh-plus tags of Harley Davidson, Ducati and Yamaha, custom options let one make a statement without breaking the bank,” he offers.
    For artists like Kanika Jolly, petrol tanks make for fine painting surfaces. “The tank gets me to open my creative wings,” she says. “The whole look can be easily modified by experimenting with the tank.”

    Naveen Nandal, of TNT Motorcycles, gets a little more technical with his designs. “A custom bike is a functioning piece of art, and the tank is the centrepiece,” says Naveen. “It is the most visible part of a motorcycle, and defines the flow of lines,” he explains. “Infinite possibilities to design a singular piece, being restricted by hindrances of fuel capacity, rider position, bike stance and theme, makes for a great challenge.”

    Naveen’s garage offers in-house production with sheet metal components that are hand-beaten and hand-moulded, and fabricated by cutting, shaping, bending and welding the pieces together to assemble the fuel tanks, fenders, side panels and battery covers.

    “Being handmade, these pieces require special attention to the surface finishing details,” he explains. For paint jobs, they use dyes like DuPont Kevlar Aramid Fibre, and DuPont Nomex flame-resistant fibre for engine and exhaust components.
    Kanika, on the other hand, uses spray and aerosol paints for her custom tanks, and then seals the artwork with lacquer, for longevity. The same steps are followed for helmets, though, she also employs vinyl stickers, oils and acrylic paints at times. “Some pigments react wonderfully to metal, allowing one to experiment with
    textures,” offers Aarohi. “Also, the metal has no ‘give’ as compared to a cloth canvas, and allows for crisper work with graphic designs using traditional paint mediums.” Aarohi’s one-off design inspired by the theyyam dance form was a surefire hit at Rider Mania, as she picked up a bunch of fresh orders.

    Ride, soulfully ride
    The growing market for custom designs results in all manner of bikers landing up at Naveen’s doorstep. “Every day, we encounter bikers from slow to fast riders, mellow to rowdy ‘dhoom’ riders, commuters to cross-country riders, fuel mileage seekers (‘kitna deti hai’) to self-declared Valentino Rossis, V-twin to inline four riders, stock to custom motorcycle riders.”
    Over the last few years, the traffic heading to the Himalayas has risen exponentially, notes Naveen. “What I truly respect is that despite being treated as second-hand citizens on the road, with a great lack of good riding surfaces, the soul of the Indian biker is not shattered,” he avers. “The struggle is real, and it does not matter what I ride, be it a 100cc or 1000cc, 2-stroke or 4-stroke, I’m here to ride — that’s the message, and it’s awesome.”

    Details: artbyaarohi.com. Email Kanika at kanikajolly2799@gmail.com; TNT Motorcycles at info@tntmotorcycles.in; and Ricardo at bulleteercustom@gmail.com. Also visit royalenfield.com/ridermania/

    —Jaideep Sen

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