It’s still the first month of the year, one that we start with hope and optimism, especially in terms of our love lives. Despite all the reports we keep hearing about men misbehaving, when it comes to approaching someone, women definitely have way more courage than men. Or at the very least, they know how to do it right. So guys (and girls), listen up on what to do – and, what not to do to break the ice.
Do: Make Eye Contact
If you receive it, smile. If she responds, you have what I call ‘the window of opportunity’. Act fast. Smile a lot and act like you’re having fun, even if you’re with that
boring co-worker whom you don’t like hanging out with. You’re subconsciously attracted to those women because they’re chatting and laughing with friends. Now reverse that and ask yourself if you seem appealing? DON’T: Stare
We do this anywhere, anytime we see desis. I call it “the look.” You know when you’re in a mall in
Las Vegas on a holiday and you see brown people? Your brain quickly registers…oh look, Indians? It’s okay to do that, but look for the smile and act fast. Otherwise move on before you look like a creepy, insecure weirdo. Also don’t do “the scan” where you’re constantly looking around the bar for hot girls. Women are also paying attention to you. So stop it. You’re not the terminator.
Say Hi. Hello. Namaste. Ask what her name is. Avoid pickup lines, she already smiled back. Many people think they have to be quick, witty, funny. The art of conversation and basic human interaction is slowly dying, so those who still remember what we learned in second grade will do well.
As I’m writing this in an airport lounge in Hong Kong, a lady just dropped her boarding pass. I ran to give it back, but she was at first startled, then relieved, then super sweet and we exchanged a few words. There was no point of flirting here, but it just reminded me how wound up we are with our own spaces. DON’T: Be Freaky
Walk over with eight of your guy friends. Don’t take four shots before you walk up because you’re looking for courage in a bottle. If in office or somewhere else, don’t Facebook add and start messaging on office communicator before you’ve even shared 10 words together. The guy who installed her desktop already did that and now he’s on probation.
DO: Be Easy
Ask the obvious questions (what do you do, what’s your name), but only in the beginning. If she asks you questions in return, then that’s a positive sign. If she only replies with short answers, get the hint that she wants to leave. If you don’t know what to say, talk about the news, what’s a good drink here and so on. DON’T: Keep talking about yourself
Don’t make jokes about yourself that show you’re doubtful. For example: “I hope I’m not bugging you, haha, want a shot?” Don’t slouch. Body posture is so underrated, but most guys are taller than women. And you, leching just looks even worse.
— Sanjay Manaktala
(Sanjay is a stand-up comedian who performs all over India. When not performing, he is an IT geek who makes funny videos )
Most Indian cities, north to south, east to west, have a major protest ground, a venue marked for people to congregate, when they are not pleased with something and have a point to make. We, in Hyderabad, have many reasons to feel grateful towards the lineage of our Nizams, for airports and railway stations, museums and hospitals, schools and colleges, historic monuments and water storage, the Tank Bund. But to expect the lineage of monarchs to have also created a protest ground does seem unfair.
The coastal cities have a natural advantage with the seashore serving a great place for a multitude to converge, and hold a collective march or sit-in for their cause. We have to live with our smaller diverse points . The universities and colleges are used by the students for their causes, and when the calling is historic, for larger causes like when they joined in the separate statehood movement.
Parks serve as protest points, for organised groups of 10 or more trade unions and political parties, as do some arcs of the Tank Bund and Necklace Road. Therefore, we often use roads, marching to the Assembly, or to the Secretariat. However, a walk march by design is short and not sustained.
When our city’s stirred populace gathers with its candles, or placards, or microphones, we disperse fast because we have no place to make our point without logistics breaking the resolve sooner than our hearts would give in. Our city has everything, except a gathering spaces, where we can converge to raise our voice and speak up. Now, here is a demand worth fighting for.
TAILPIECE: The protests in Delhi, understandably, are epic – from the Ramlila Maidan to the marches to Parliament. Our own city has had to mostly choose between parts of Necklace Road to Indira Park, NTR Ghat to Sundaraiah Vingyan Kendram. It’s time we built a new-age protest ground, marked with its hi-tech signature, but easy access to chai and biryani nearby.
— Sriram Karri
(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)
This ongoing food festival at The Westin offers a peek into regal Awadhi and Deccan flavours
The sweet-and-salty tussle between North India and South India is never complete without the war of words and, of course, the variants of similar-yet-different cuisines. Bringing both the regions together on a dining table is the food festival ‘Nawabs and Nizams’ at Kangan, The Westin, that has our attention with their opulent menu of choicest dishes curated by chef Rakesh Singh Anand.
The menu is elaborate comprising more than 20 dishes, including Chef’s specials like the ‘Andey Kii Nazakat’ which is a soft log of whisked egg that is grilled. Explains the chef, “We took beaten egg mixture and put the same in a special plastic bag which was dipped in water just below boiling point. When the mixture simmers, it becomes fluffy and loaf-like, after which it is sliced and grilled.” The dish is best had with spicy green chutney.
The starters, Mushroom Galawati and Kakori Kebabs just melted in our mouths, leaving a faint trail of spices on the tongue. Admittedly, it was difficult to find out that galawati was prepared with mushrooms and not mutton. The Murgh Rizala consisted of stuffed chicken in a gravy prepared with a paste of cashew nuts. The gravy could have been thinner since the dish is better relished as a broth, perfect for dunking in the flat bread, the way it used to be done during Nawab Wajid Ali Shah’s exile in Bengal where the dish originated. The star of the menu was Bater Mussallam, whole quail cooked and served on the table with its tiny eggs and chandi ka varq (silver leaf).
It was quite a change from the usual Murgh Mussalam – whole stuffed chicken. The meat had the smoky flavour the bird is known for. Meanwhile, their Murgh Awadhi Biryani stood out with its fine grains, light spices, distinct fragrance and succulent meat chunks, served with caramelised onions. Mehlati Ke Jhinge, Deccan’s royal food, was cooked with coriander leaves and spring onions. The sumptuous dinner concluded on a rather sweet note with desserts like Yaquti, Seviyan Ka Muzzafar and Hyderabad’s very own, Shahi Khubani Tukda.
The festival is on till January 28. Time: 7 pm-11 pm. Price: Rs2,000++per head. Details: 67676767 — Saima Afreen
With its bite-sized desserts, Little Things gives you more reasons to indulge your sweet tooth
Tucked away in Road Number 12, Banjara Hills, this quaint patisserie, Little Things, reminds you of one of the cafés that even Nora Ephron’s heroine, Kathleen Kelly from You’ve Got Mail would approve of. This charming parlour offers bite-sized variants of your much-loved desserts and filter kaapis spiked with coconut flavour (don’t ask for cappuccino here) and such. For founder Pratik Biyani and his wife, Rashi, the idea of serving miniature cheesecakes, cupcakes and sweet-dishes in tiny shot glasses stemmed from the fact that they felt too bloated to try all the caramel, chocolate or tiramisu helpings that they wanted. “Also, whenever we ordered cupcakes, I would end up with the cream and my wife with the base,” says Biyani, half-joking.
The interiors are warm and welcoming with old world lights and flowers in glass vases. The café has three kinds of seating – outdoors, indoors and the garden area. The minute details, like the quirky serving counter, boxes with pins and stripes on them wall, the green, yellow and grey furniture is Instagram-worthy.
Goodness in jars
The servings of dessert with colourful icings and toppings are a blast of flavour in every bite. Apart from the mini alternatives, there are live dessert formats available for connoisseurs to try as well. First up from this section was the Créme Brûlée which was served after caramelising the upper layer with a blow torch. The crispy upper layer was a perfect foil for the exquisitely flavoured custard underneath. Next on the table was the multi-layered decadent indulgence, Dessert Storeys. Packed in a glass jar, there are multiple layers that add to the richness. It comprises choco chip brownie, chocolate ganache, caramel sauce, and crowd pleasers like KitKat and Snickers with a scoop of ice cream. The other popular desserts are ‘cakes in a jar’ that come in mud pie, caramel crunch, red velvet, tiramisu and other varities. In
case you want entrée before you head for a sugar rush, you could choose from their extensive, vegetarian fare that include a lip-smacking Mediterranean Wrap, or the Spicy Maggi Panini which is lightly buttered Maggi stuffed between a whole wheat panini. Their Karampodi Burger is their signature fusion dish with spicy gun powder (made with powdered Bengal gram and a dash of chillies that are first roasted) served with a spicy chutney variant.
For beverages there are three sections – Kaapi Twist, a range of detox teas and milkshakes. This section comprises filter-coffee based concoctions are much in demand. We tried the Red Wine Sangria Cold Kaapi (no hint of wine here, though) which was a rich filter coffee decoction with ice cream blend. Their Malibu Copycat Kaapi with a subtle hint of coconut is perhaps the most asked for by patrons. The Arabica and Robusta beans come from Karnataka. Extensive and with an array of delicious twists, Little Things, is full of sugary surprises.
Price: Rs 300 for two people approximately. Details:9885117372 — Paulami Sen
The week gone by saw a mixed bag of events. From T’towners to the well-known faces of the city’s social circuit, several people attended the wedding reception of Ankush Agarwal and Cindy Carr. Grand rituals, photo-worthy moments, a sumptuous spread and a grand entry of the groom on horseback made the occasion memorable. Spotted at the do were Sadhna Singh, Rahul Roy and Diksha Panth.
From the big fat Hyderabadi wedding, our next stop was a session with our homegrown master chefs. The members of Kakatiya Ladies Club came together at ITC Kakatiya to learn some tasty, simple yet healthy and nutritious breakfast recipes. Sashi Nahata, Amrit Singh, Pratibha Agarwal were seen at the event. Meanwhile, socialite Dimple Agarwal unveiled a new nail section at a popular city salon, Ashton Pierra. The guests were seen catching up while getting their nails done.
A flea market event called FleaAf’Fair, was organised at Out of the Box, Green Park by the Tree Huggers Club where creative minds participated to sell their wares. On display were abstract paintings, handmade accessories, pop art, clothing,paperwork and upcycled materials. Apart from the performances by a live band, there was also a ‘barter table’ where the participants exchanged their used items for new ones.
— Rina Hindocha
(The writer is a yoga exponent and co- founder of Touch a Life Foundation. She loves connecting with people)
January 27 | The Coffee Cup
This Republic Day weekend, enjoy an evening filled with food, coffee and jokes with Funny Side Up. City-based stand-up comic Saikiran Rayaprolu is hosting the show featuring three other comedians. The headliner is New Delhi-based Nishant Suri, winner of the Comedy Central Chuckle Hunt contest, who is performing for the first time in the city, followed by city-based Ashwin Nair and Dattaprasad Godbole. Tickets: Rs 400 per head. Details: 8019661369
At the movies
January 27 | Inox: GVK One
Directed by Rahul Dholakia, Raees is an action, crime-thriller starring Shah Rukh Khan in the lead role. Debuting opposite the 51-year-old actor is 34-year-old Pakistani actress Mahira Khan, while critically acclaimed actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui dons the role of a Superintendent of Police in this film. Set in the late 90s, the story is based on the life of Abdul Latif, an underworld don from Gujarat. The filmmakers, however, claim that ‘it is a work of fiction.’ Tickets: Rs 150 per head. Details: in.bookmyshow.com
January 27 | Hyderabad Public School
Hyderabad Lit Fest is back with the seventh edition which begins today. HLF focuses on a guest edition every year, and this time, they have chosen Philippines as their entities. Writers from here, like Victor Emmanuel Carmelo Nadera Jr, Nelia Baloga, Luna Sicat Cleto and others, will be attending the event. Entry: Free. Details: hydlitfest.org
January 28 | Osmania University
This weekend, sign up for a photo walk through historical sites in the scenic Osmania University campus known for its ancient architecture. Founded by the seventh Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan, in 1918 – his love for different styles of architecture around the world is evident here. The campus is also home to different species of flora and fauna. The walk includes sightings of the famous Arts College Building and the picturesque gardens within. Entry: Rs 1,000 per head. Time: 8 am onwards.
January 29 | Hashtag
This Sunday, experience a stand-up show with a twist. Adding some magic to the evening is India’s first comedian-illusionist, Karan Chauhan from Mumbai who is in the city for a performance. A two-time winner of the Medal of Merlin for stage magic in USA, Karan is the first magician to go on social media with his techno tricks.The show begins from 8 pm onwards. Tickets: Rs 500 Details: in.bookmyshow.com
January 30 | Ravindra Bharathi
Witness acclaimed Kuchipudi dancer and teacher Bhagavathula Sethuram perform with his team in the city. An associate professor at the Department of Dance in
Sree Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University, Sethuram is known for teaching in the purest way which he learnt from his father, Guru Kulapathi Sri Bhagavatula Rama Kotaiah. Even Kotaiah was well known for his productions, particularly for the Kuchipudi Yakshaganam Ramanatakam. Time: 1.30 pm onwards. Entry: Free. Details: 23233672
January 31 | Sai Datta Arcade
The Joy of Work workshop is all about improving your workplace environment by enhancing your productivity. Be it about teamwork, leading a group or even becoming an integral part of the herd – the workshop will focus on points such as absenteeism, groupism, unwanted arguments, multi-tasking and also pointers for accomplishing your goals. Entry: Rs 1,000 per head. Details: in.bookmyshow.com
February 1 | Phoenix Arena
An initiative to preserve and protect the ancient granite formations of the
Deccan Plateau, The Society to Save Rocks aims to maintain the natural wonder of stony ridges and hillocks which are shaped into picturesque balancing forms. The exhibition will be inaugurated by Lama Doboom Tulku, Founder,World Buddhist Culture Trust. The event also marks the 21st anniversary of the Society. Entry: Free. From 6 pm onwards. Details: 7893656789
February 2 | Goethe-Zentrum Hyderabad
Birdwatchers Society of Andhra Pradesh (BSAP), will be presenting David Attenborough’s series looking at the natural history of birds. The documentary analyses how different species have evolved unique skills, from high-speed hunting to precision hovering and the endurance to migrate thousands of miles. Entry: Free. From 6.30 pm onwards. Details: 23350443
January 28, Snake Park
Want to explore the limit to which you can push your body on the stage? Try physical theatre, which uses elements of movement such as dance and mime, to portray an expression. Theatre Nisha allows you to practice just that in its upcoming workshop. Supervised by Shakthi Ramani, it is called The Primal Instinct and will be conducted on January 28-29. Open to ages 16 and above. At Theatre Nisha. 9 am onwards. Register for Rs 1,000. Details: 9677172897
January 28, Snake Park
Conservationist Youssef Labidi from Save A Turtle is back with his turtle trails across city beaches. This walk will offer participants insights on relocating eggs to hatcheries and conservation methods across Marina, Neelankarai, Akkarai and Kovalam. Entry free. Participation by registration only. Details: 7702016524
January 27, TTK Road
If you’re interested in painting, but are not sure where to start, then learning the basics of the art might do the trick. City-based artist Pavithra Sudharshan of Pavi’s Art Studio will teach you the basics of sketching and introduce you to a wide variety of artistic media such as watercolours, inks, pastels, oil, colour pencils and more. Limited entry. Rs 500. From 4 pm at Sri Sankara Hall. Details: 8939783598
Own the stage
January 29, Anna Nagar
As an initiative to provide underprivileged children a platform to showcase their talents, city-based NGO Vizhiththezhu is conducting its annual talent show. The seventh edition of the programme will feature 39 participants under various categories like dance, music, and elocution, among others. Open to all. From 4 pm to 7 pm at Anna Nagar Tower Park. Details: 9380901902
Back to school
January 29, RA Puram
You will get to relive some childhood memories as Crea-Shakthi is conducting stage adaptations of short stories from RK Narayan’s Malgudi Days. Titled Journey Into Malgudi, this play is part of its initiative called Spotlight, and will feature young writers from its Playwright Club. Tickets at Rs 300 on in.bookmyshow.com
January 29, Royapettah
For all those who love writing and have wanted to be a part of a writing club, here’s some good news. Thirsty Pens, a writing club, is holding its inaugural session this weekend, which will be divided into two sessions spanning an hour each. The first session (2 pm to 3pm) is a writing exercise. The second session (3pm to 4pm) will be an open discussion, where participants are encouraged to pitch in ideas on how to take the club forward. Rs 200. Details: 979166940
February 3, Marina Beach
Experience Chennai in a whole new light (or dark if you will) with a midnight bike ride on East Coast Road. Organised by Tent n Trek, the ride will cover approximately 35 km both ways. With plenty of stops for chai and snacks, get set to discover a different kind of ‘nightlife’. Route maps and assembling locations will be shared individually upon registering. Limited entry. Rs 799 onwards. From 9.30 pm. Details: 9159544544
Knead a challenge?
February 4, Royapettah
If you love to cook, this one is a must-slot on your calendar. SuperChef Chennai is back with its fifth edition and the contest is open to amateur cooks and kids as young as 10 years old. Register your name and your recipe by February 1 on superchefchennai.com. Kicking off the event is a food carnival showcasing world cuisines at the Amir Mahal grounds. Details: 7550105147
From blues music and Kid Creme’s remixes to jazz Latin tunes, here’s our pick of weekend performances
As part of their Republic Day celebrations, Alliance Française de Pondicherry is conducting their ever-popular music jam called Freedom Jam. The event will feature Bengaluru-based band , Ministry of Blues, a four-piece blues rock group consisting of Vinoo Mathew on bass, David Boon with drums, guitarist/vocalist Philipe Haydon and Rauf on the keyboard. Till today. 6 pm onwards at AF Auditorium.
Details: 0413 2338146
Grace on stage
Margazhi season may be over but institutions like the Kalaiaruvi Music and Dance School is continuing to showcase the classical dance flavour this month.The school will host a Bharatanatyam Arangretam performance on Sunday. The evening will also witness performances by musicians like Thirumudi S Arun (mridangam), T Sreenivasan (violin), R Rajkumar (flute) and others. 6 pm onwards.
Pondicherry-based La Plancha is celebrating its third anniversary with a performance by DJ Freddie. The producer, who has been in the industry for
over six years, specialises in various genres such as house, electronic, progressive, Bollywood, hip hop and more. Expect some cool foot-tapping EDM on the floor.
Tomorrow, 8 pm onwards. Entry free. Details: 0413 4300333
If you’re interested in fine-tuning your acting skills, here’s a great opportunity. Vanna Aruvi Art Gallery and Kafi are conducting an acting workshop for beginners. This one-day event will be held next week, and is open to just 25 participants. Register for `250 per head. On February 5. 9 am to
1 pm. Details: 9944084844
Bring some Italian flavour to your weekend. Umami Kitchen is hosting an evening featuring Italian house music exponent, Kid Creme. His remix of Shakedown’s At Night attracted the attention of none other than Kylie Minogue. He went on to remix her hit single, Love at First Sight. Tomorrow, 8 pm to 11 pm.
Two to tango
In for some jazz and Latin music this weekend? Head to the Pondy-based boutique cafe Disdis & Co where Djelan Duo will perform. The two-piece duo comprises of vocalist and MIDI guitarist Djelan and drummer, Suresh. On February 2, 8 pm onwards. Details: 9790321007
As the third Auroville International Potter’s Market gets underway, we tell you what to watch out for at the township this weekend
AS we speak to celebrated potter Adil Writer about the Auroville International Potters’ Market, the ages-old distinction between the arts and crafts comes up for discussion, irking the man. “In Sanskrit there’s only one word— kala. No art and craft. This is a dichotomy the British brought. Consequently, we’ve come to a stage where craft doesn’t command the respect and commercial value that art does. You see paintings fetching big sums but ceramics won’t see that kind of money,” he rues.
He is, however quick to credit change, tracing the evolution of pottery in the country from plain monochromatic pieces to having a vibrant design array. “Everyone is influenced from different sources. Just like how you can paint in a hundred different ways, it is the same with pottery,” he says. Ange Peter of the Forest Pottery studio and organiser of the market, calls for more events to foster solidarity among artistes. “While markets like this bring us closer to our customers, the biggest takeaway has to be how it knits the entire potters’ community together,” she says. The market, in its third edition this year, has over 30 potters, including studio artistes and local potters from adjoining regions taking part.
Running through the itinerary for the three-day-market, we bring you some of the designers and their works to look out for, and everything else you can put on your to-do list at Auroville over the weekend.
Pottery from Rs 50 onwards. Entry free. January 26-28.
11 am-6 pm at the Visitors Centre, Auroville.
Details: 0413 2623101
Just beat it
Catch the likes of Edward Maya, Ma Faiza, Bandish Projekt and
others as they bring the night alive at Electro Storm, Pondicherry’s biggest EDM festival this year. Head to Ashok Beach Resort from January 27-29. Rs 1,000 each day. Details: in.bookmyshow.com
On a high note
Tired at the end of a long shopping spree? Sit back and relax with The Funky Side of Life performing at the Jazz Cafe on January 28. If you’re up for some theatre, catch Monkey and the Mobile at Adishakti Theatre. Entry free. 7 pm. January 28-29.
“Pottery is always an individual act, it represents your influences and each piece is distinct,” says Ange Peter, founder and organiser of the Potters’ Market. With a distinct Japanese influence to her work evident in her Haiyu slipware pieces her studio, Forest Pottery brings both functional and aesthetic pottery to the table. Expect her famous tea cups in addition to sculpted artefacts and jewellery, bringing together imported Chinese porcelain and 18-22k gold for a regal finish. Rs 50 onwards depending on size and material.
Set for her second market, Rakhee says, “I have pieces that use the naked Raku technique—a spin on the Japanese Raku—
whereby the pieces are not glazed.” Delicate as they are, they are better used as artefacts than functional ware and reflect the NID graduate’s strong bauhaus philosophy inspiration. Don’t miss small claywork by Rakhee’s mother as well, with a rich use of colour and form in a range of items from utilities to showpieces. Rs 50 onwards for the smaller products. Rs 4,000 onwards for the bigger sculpted pieces.
The rise in demand for pottery in the country makes this architect-turned-potter a happy man. “We are known for our happy glazes so there will be two palettes in my stalls — a blue-green one and a bottle green one,” says Adil, founder of Mandala Pottery at Auroville. Besides his regular functional pottery, look out for his soda-fired pieces, with plates, cups, vases and other items up for sale. Keep an eye out for his signature red smear from his famous Red Dot Series which also features in his collection for the market. Rs 500 onwards.
Drawing from the country’s folk traditions in her work, Sabrina works with porcelain inlay. “I make a groove on the cup with a needle after which I apply porcelain and scrape off, leaving an inlay. These are mostly not glazed, so that the original brown colour of the cup stays,” she says. Her collection, which includes coffee cups, vases and a few sculptural pieces, carry a predominantly blue-brown colour palette, she points out. We like her kutchi tumblers with their geometric glazing. Rs 50 onwards depending on size.
No Man Left Behind dramatises the stories of real-life war heroes, who have been trapped behind enemy lines. This week, watch the story of three brave US soldiers who fought against desperate odds in the ’93 Battle of Mogadishu. The episode will air tonight at 10 pm, on National Geographic Channel.
Based on the characters of Archie Comics, Riverdale, gives a dark spin to the comics, making it an intense teen drama, and one of the most anticipated shows of the year. The show features the return of Cole Sprouse, of The Suite Life Of Zack and Cody fame. Riverdale premieres tonight at 7 pm on Colors Infinity.
Tracking the lives and connections of several people who all share the same birthday, This Is Us stars Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia, and an ensemble cast. Thanks to its recent wins at the Golden Globes and the People Choice Awards, the show has been renewed for two more seasons. It airs on Star World Premiere HD, Saturdays, 10 pm.