Home Archives 2017 January 6

Daily Archives: Jan 6, 2017

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Good endings
2017 hopefully will have an answer to the question that had
frequently popped up during the year gone by and on various platforms. Even Hindi TV channels in their reality and chat shows had brought up this question, ‘‘Why did Kattappa kill Baahubali?’’ We had earlier asked Satyaraj, who played Kattappa, but all that we managed to elicit from him was a boisterous laugh. With Baahubali 2 planned for a 2017 release, we’ll finally get to know the answer. And with Anushka’s backstory to be revealed too, the actor who made
a brief appearance as the queen condemned to a pitiable life
in chains would find her space here.

Second innings
Remember the awesome bus movie Journey, starring Anjali and Sharwanand? Expect something similar from the sequel to Madurai — Theni Vazhi Aandipatty from the neighbouring Kollywood. A delightful little film, it is centred on romance during a bus journey. But the sequel has quite a few changes. For one, it’s SPS Guhan, the producer-cinematographer of the earlier film, who helms the sequel. The lead pair is a fresh one. Says Guhan, “Except for the bus journey, which this time takes a return route, the plot and characters are unconnected to the earlier one.’’ Will it also delight the Tollywood audiences like Journey did?

Pole position
Going by the films she has to offer this year, it seems like Nayanthara is all set to consolidate her position as the top heroine of South screens. After Maya and Kashmora, the actor will be seen in yet another Kollywood horror movie Dora. And there is the psychological thriller Kolaiyuthir Kaalam again Tamil. Meanwhile, in her upcoming Tamil projects she will be playing a district collector in Aramm, and as a cop in the crime-thriller Imaikka Nodigal.
Varied themes and roles will re-establish her credentials as a performer. Looks like she will continue to rule both Telugu and Tamil film industries in the years to come.

 

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Is there a single day in any year when the world celebrates one festival, with one mood and marks an event like we do – as the New Year’s Eve? As humankind’s biggest tradition, we mark our lists of resolutions – a youthful faith that life can be willed, that destiny is in our hands, and we can, each one of us, make ourselves better – with decisions to change things about ourselves, our lives, our bodies, our habits, and our pursuits.

Resolutions are individual, largely, and often, private. With socialisation of every facet of our lives, our resolutions too have become public over time, and we share it for the world to know; often, adding an additional pressure to live up to them.Maybe, it is now time for more collective resolutions. Teams working together, or in
a personal sphere, families, can make joint resolutions to make their commitment stronger, and working together, we have better chances of transforming our deep urges into reality. With greater accountability, and an additional push, our resolves more likely to fructify.

We can easily imagine offices abuzz with collective resolutions – like a formal oath for a new year, at a large group, small team or even corporate-level commitment. For a cleaner office, a healthier lifestyle and culture of fitness, a resolve to never break a traffic law or abet drunken driving amongst our peers – office oaths, or family resolutions – printed, written, and pasted on our walls and public spaces can take us a longer way to sticking to our view that life can be improved.

Since a larger part of our lives are increasingly being spent at work, with colleagues and at our work spaces, it is a good approach that we invest our resolves there, and augment our will power with the power of social scrutiny. This year, let us better the world, and our work groups, with collective resolve. Then even in failure, we will be together in effort.

TAILPIECE: The trend is important for us to build the new country we want to build – what we can resolve together and achieve at schools and colleges, homes and offices today, we can tomorrow extend to city, state, region or nation. It’s time to put all the ‘make your resolution and don’t break it’ apps to good use.

(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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Rajasekhar Mamidanna picks stories from the Ramayana for his stand-up comic show

Rajasekhar Mamidanna aka ‘Anna’ of comedy in the city, is not the one to shy away from controversy. He will stage his interpretation of the Ramayana in the city – The Story Of Ram but with‘clean and non-offensive comedy,’ he assures. This 32-year-old comedian, who was formerly working in an insurance company, began his journey on-stage in 2012. Ahead of the show, Mamidanna talks about his beginnings and what you can look forward to this weekend.

Tell us how you got started in this line and who inspired you.
I was a mimicry artist in college. The feeling you get when the audience laughs at your lines is amazing. I started doing stand-up after watching Jim Carrey and George Carlin. In India, I follow Nitin Gupa (Rivaldo) and Vipul Goyal for their energy and presence of mind
on stage.

Religion in India is a sensitive topic and your next act is based on a much revered epic. How difficult was it to keep the script non-controversial?
When I took this up, I knew people might think I would mock the Ramayana. But, No. I am talking from the perspective of how wonderful a story it is and what I have learnt from reading it. I did a lot of reading and researched the topic. I gave it some time and tried to understand different interpretations of the Ramayana by various scholars in Hindu mythology.

There are vast reserves of literature on religion and mythology. Why the Ramayana?
There are many concepts one can miss if we read it superficially. Every character is a metaphor of some philosophy which saints and sages wanted us to understand. Even if you don’t want to look at it as a religious story, it is still an epic body of work which could teach us a thing or two about how to lead our lives.

At Phoenix Arena on January 8 from 7 pm onwards.
Tickets at `200 per head.
Details: 7893656789

— Nishad Neelambaran

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Chakra’s best friend becomes his new superhero partner, Mighty Girl

SHARAD Devarajan is a rock star in the Indian comic book world. He’s likely to make the covers of magazines for his entrepreneurial prowess soon. Until then, the superheroes from his company Graphic India are making it to bookshelves — and digital devices — around the globe.

Graphic India has now introduced Mighty Girl, to join their superhero Chakra The Invincible, the star of a web series and a 2013 animated TV film. Mighty Girl starts out as Leela, Chakra’s best friend, and one of few people who know his secret identity, before she gains superpowers to become Mumbai’s newest super-heroine.

The decisive factor for Sharad’s success was a tie-up with former chief of Marvel Comics, Stan Lee, who helped create the story, along with the designer Jeevan J Kang. “Working with Stan is like creating a painting with Da Vinci or a poem with Shakespeare,” enthuses Sharad. “He’s the ultimate ‘black belt’ master of superhero storytelling. I bet more people recognise Spider-Man than Mona Lisa.”

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“We don’t see ourselves as people in the ‘comic book’ or ‘television’ business, we see ourselves as people in the ‘storytelling’ business,” offers Sharad, adding, “There has never been a better time for us, with so many ways to bring stories to a global interconnected digital world.”

The plans for Chakra are extensive. “In the same way that people don’t think of Spider-Man as just a comic book, or Harry Potter as just a book, we look at Chakra as a story that can expand beyond the printed page or the animated series, and exist across TV, film, games, animation, comics, digital content and consumer products,” says Sharad. These plans will be executed over the next few years.
“Indian youth are one of the largest and fastest growing audiences, with more than 600 million consumers under the age of 25, and more than 900 million mobile phone users,” notes Sharad. “Character entertainment in India has only scratched the surface,” he adds.

“The next JK Rowling, Spielberg or Stan Lee is sitting somewhere in India, and our responsibility is to find these talents, nurture them and give them the resources and belief to take their ideas to the world,” proclaims Sharad. The Chakra comics were created in collaboration with Lee’s production house, POW! Entertainment, along with The World’s Largest Lesson initiative, supported by GEMS Education and UNICEF.

“We want the stories to be fun, but still deliver important themes,” offers Sharad. In one story, for instance, Chakra switches minds with Leela for a day, and while Leela gets to fly off with his powers, Chakra experiences some of the inequalities faced by girls, thereby learning to be a better hero. Chakra’s adventures are also set to be in an upcoming film, directed by Vikra -maditya Motwane.

“What makes Chakra special is that it tells the story of this generation, the story of globalisation,” says Sharad. “The concept of an Indian boy who wears a technologically enhanced suit that activates the mythical chakras bridging science and spirituality,” he adds.

“India’s heritage positions us uniquely, to tell stories that align with the ambiguities and dualities we see now more than ever, across the world.”Chakra’s stories,
thus, attempt to retain a larger world view.

The titles Gender Equality, Climate Change, Education and Sanitation in the series Chakra and Mighty Girl are available for downloads at `136 each on amazon.in

—Jaideep Sen

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Urban Eatery, the new Gen X space in Habsiguda, lines up all things sugary, spicy, cheesy and greasy

When friends Prem, Rahul, Ayush and Saikrishna, who like to be known by their first names alone, brainstormed about their dream food startup in early February 2016 at their regular hangout spot – Makers of Milkshakes outlet at Kharkhana – they made a list of foods that are sought by the younger generation. Basically all things sweet, cheesy, greasy and quick. Then with a vengeance, they put them all in one menu to launch their new and stylish place called Urban Eatery. Expect noodles, momos, shawarma, fusion dosas and milkshakes in the lineup.

Eat street

That they opened this one-floor, barely 600-sq feet space bang in the middle of Habsiguda which boasts of a multitude of dining options shows that the four 20-plussers are super confident of their venture. “Urban Eatery is a bit like a drive-in concept, without the road and parking space of course. Here we have the best of what the collegians and IT crowd (Genpact is in the vicinity) love, curated under one roof,” says Sai. The restaurant features four franchisees – Makers of Milkshakes, Aaha Dosa, Sultan’s Wrap and Noodles & Rice.

Funky interiors

Opened two weeks ago, the place flaunts quirky interiors with a bicycle mounted on a wall, silhouettes of Harley Davidson bikes painted on the others besides chairs in metallic yellow and brown and a lounge space for a private party. The best spot, however, is the little outdoor space with a shack-like feel. The interiors are done up using ropes (tied across horizontal metallic poles in a zig-zag fashion) and wooden benches.

Ayush, who owns Sultan’s Wrap and has introduced shawarma to the upmarket Habsiguda says,“He quit IT firm ADP to follow his passion. What’s their background like? “Eating,” quip Sai and Ayush.

The variety

The milkshake section has innovations like Paan shake, where the traditional meetha paan is blended into a milkshake to create a viscous shake that is filling and tasty. “Compared to shakes on the street, we offer healthy ones fortified with corn flakes and other secret ingredients to make it rich in proteins and low in calories,” explains Sai. About the shawarma, Ayush adds, “Luckily, there is a quality chicken mart next door that ensures we use fresh stock always.” In the dosa section, the must-try is the double red and green spiced variety where they smear your ordinary dosa to glorify it into a masterpiece with a thick paste of green chilli (popular in Telangana) and red chilli (borrowed from neighbouring sister state Andhra Pradesh) plus ginger and garlic paste and oodles of ghee.Timing: 7 am to 11 pm. Meal for two at `800, Details: 9704359597

— Manju Latha Kalanidhi

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The new Ciclo Café is all set to woo cyclists and foodies with a range of bikes and fusion bar snacks

Ciclo Café, on Road No 36, Jubilee Hills, might be only a few days old given that it was launched during Christmas weekend last month, but it is on the right track already. “We are possibly one of the biggest cycling cafes in Asia,” states Arrzaan Jila, Manager Operations, from Chennai who was in Hyderabad to set up the
operations.

Bike bonds

This pan-India chain which started its first outlet in Chennai in 2015 is all set to organise campaigns for cycling enthusiasts apart from rustling up unique café combinations, like Kuzhi Paniyaram with bacon strips. A joint venture of Tube Investment (TI) Cycles of India and Absolute Speciality, there is more to its name (pronounced ‘chee-kloh’). “The etymology of Ciclo comes from both Spanish and Italian countries that are associated with cycling in a big way,” informs Ashish R Thadani, chief executive officer, TI Absolute Concepts.

Themed décor

The two-storied building in yellow is reminiscent of a laid-back European holiday villa. The 12,000 square feet space is decorated with chandeliers and clocks, designed from the recycled parts of a cycle, be it forks, rims and saddles. The first floor is dedicated to bicycles that patrons can rent or buy. “We stock five kinds of bikes: road bikes, mountain bikes, hybrids, foldies and BMX,” says Jila. The first floor is dedicated to the bicycles that start from around `5,000 and go up to `8 lakh. The highlight of their collection, however, is the one which was used in Tour de France by Kenny Dehaes of the Lotto Soudal team and is for `8 lakh. The second floor has a shelf stocked with books about cycling trivia. With laidback cozy sofas and an area with open French windows, the setting could be ideal for a winter morning breakfast outing.

Around the world

The team of chefs have come up with a menu to cater to all tastes. Besides breakfast staples like waffles, pancakes and Eggs Benedict, the menu also boasts of Middle-Eastern dishes like Shakshouka (a dish of eggs cooked with tomatoes with a hint of cumin) and Mexican speciality Huevos Rancheros (a breakfast dish consisting of eggs). Chef MrinmoyAcharrya, says, “No matter what dish we serve, we make it a point to source the ingredients from their places of origin. For instance, if it’s a dish comprising Goan sausages, we source it from there.”  The outlet aims to provide a pan-India reach, hence the variety in cuisine. Dishes like Ciclo Hot Mini Idli platter, Karari Roomali Roti (a crisp and buttered variation of roomali roti) are a few of the culinary surprises in store. We tasted the Mini Bombay Vada Pav with Teekha chutney; the pav was crisp and delicately buttered. Next came the Black Pepper and Chilli Rubbed Chicken accompanied with potato wedges, carrots beans and cilantro cream that could very well be an entire meal in itself. Ciclo also has an elaborate cocktail menu and all their drinks are made of fresh juices sans any reserves. The Cranberry and Rosemary smash and Peach and Ginger Collins are absolute must-trys.

Cost for two (including alcohol & taxes):` 2500 ++,
Details: 7995991111
— Paulami Sen

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Ritika Sachdeva’s chokers and brooches with a tribal touch reflect what’s in vogue  

Concept jewellery designer Ritika Sachdeva boasts of a clientele that includes Bollywood A-listers such as Sonakshi Sinha, Deepika Padukone and Vidya Balan. The designer, whose collection of silver-plated jewellery from her line, Tribal Tryst, garnered attention from the fashion conscious has made new additions for winter.“Chokers are trending this season and brooches are set to rule the roost. These accessories will add a  touch of glamour to winter ensembles,” says the Delhi-based designer whose pieces are inspired by tribal artefacts with a dash of boho chic. Dapper men have been keen on her customised brooches as well and recently,
actor-singer Ayushman Khurana wore one of her creations.

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Gold to silver
Talking about shifting from gold to silver plating, Sachdeva says, “After Sonakshi Sinha wore my silver earrings at a party hosted by Amitabh Bachchan last year, I have had people asking me to make more of them in silver,”says the designer who adds that she is a silver lover and her wardrobe staples include pieces from Jaipur and Janpath (Delhi). Expect beautifully crafted earrings in silver infused with enamel and meena work in hues like navy blue and white.
Local factor
The jewellery designer has also introduced chokers where the bands are made of thin woven elastic and comprise intricate designs in brass with silver and gold plating and enamel work.

“The new additions, brooches and chokers, are available in Hyderabad at Jubilee Hills-based boutique Talasha,” says the designer who studied at the National Institute of Fashion Design, and adds that people can look up their products and buy them online as well.

Price: `1,200 onwards, chokers from ` 2,500  onwards
Details: shopritikasachdeva.com

— PS

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Designers Dimple Mehta and Amrin Bilakhia take their cocktail gowns online, promising accessibility across the country

Known for their party wear, couture creators Dimple Mehta and Amrin Bilakhia from Mumbai have now found their way into the closets of fashionable folks across the country. Spotted on the likes of Vidya Balan, Sana Khan, Neeti Mohan and so on, their prêt and couture collection that features intricate weaves has a strong following. Their luxe label, DNA Closet, which started in 2015 will be available online starting January 15.

Double impact
Since Mehta was born and brought up in London and Antwerp before she moved to Mumbai eight years ago and Bilakhia studied in Parsons Paris, the ensembles have a distinct European vibe. Talking about collaboration, Mehta says, “Amrin and I hit it off after a chance meeting two years ago. We had some great ideas about showcasing Indian workmanship to a wider audience through modern-western silhouettes,” says the 42-year-old, who had studied graphic design but always knew that fashion was her true calling.
Mixed bag
With the wedding season upon us, the Mumbai-based duo has come up with contemporary apparels with a touch of Indian. The ensembles available online from their Autumn/Winter collection called ‘Fall Fantasy’ incorporate their cocktail gowns with straight cuts, trails and draping work. Some of the ensembles also flaunt a dash of shimmer keeping in mind that “it is a global trend, especially on the red carpet”. “Fashionistas in Hyderabad can also expect a selection of bodycon dresses, jacquard skirts and pants in pastels which can be easily matched with multiple pieces,”says Mehta, adding that she wants her patrons to opt for the DIY-route and create their own look. “We are in talks with boutiques in the city to retail our prêt line to there soon,”she says.
Fusion fashion
The fabrics are a mix and match of cashmere, lace, chiffon with chikankari, zardozi and mirror work that adds to the traditional feel. “From ready to wear to couture – all under one website,” informs Mehta, adding that the label has even come up with bespoke made to order facilities provided for those customers who demand that perfect fit. The colour palette comprises rich metallic, ivory, black as well as a generous range of pastels.
Price: Prêt collection starts from `5,000 to `25,000
Couture: ` 50,000 to `2 lakh
Details: www.dnacloset.com

— Paulami Sen

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Hyderabadis bid adieu to 2016 with aplomb. Reservations were made and the wardrobe was set, well in advance. Many of the socialites were spotted at the Bang Bang New Year’s eve bash hosted by Anup Chandak, Sikander Daredia, Brij Bhutada and Rajeev Doshi at Novotel. The music got the revellers in the mood to dance sans inhibitions. First up was live music by Arun Gattu, followed  DJs Harry and Navi Ahuja taking charge of the console. Also spotted at the do were, Koyal Chandak, Sonal Doshi and Shahee.As always, Secunderabad Club turned out to be a popular hotspot for ushering in 2017. Popular faces of the social circuit, Sabiha Ali, Shalini and Trushna Tibrewala were seen dancing with their partners into the wee hours.

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Block 22 at Hitech City Road was packed with EDM lovers who wanted to groove to their favourites – Julius Voigtlander and Gregor Brechmann, the famous German duo of Jewelz and Sparks. Well-dressed ladies and dapper men took the dance floor by storm. Spotted at the do was actor Jyoti Sethi in a well-cut black dress. A spectacular show of lights and sound-effects was the highlight of the night.
Meanwhile, socialite Geet Gupta celebrated her 40th birthday with her close bunch of friends at  Tikki Shack.  Dancing to live music, posing for the shutterbugs and enjoying some quality time with the girl gang – that’s how Geet and her friends wrapped up their year and the party.

– Rina Hindocha (The writer is a yoga exponent
and co- founder of Touch a Life Foundation. She loves
connecting with people)

Ghazal night
January 6 | Sirifort Auditorium, New Delhi
Celebrate the beginning of 2017 with Ghazal maestro Pankaj Udhas. Known for his romantic, soulful and timeless tracks, the 65-year-old will be performing live at the Shaam-e-ghazal event in New Delhi today. Expect a cocktail of melodies such as Chandi Jaisa Rang, Aur Aahista and Chupke Chupke among others. Catch him live at 7 pm. Tickets from `1,300 onwards.
Details: in.bookmyshow.com

Past forward
January 7 | The Shri Ram
Universal School
For those who enjoyed watching
R K Narayanan’s Malgudi Days, Shri Ram Universal School’s upcoming Golden Memories of Malgudi Days, promises some nostalgic moments. Expect to see the recreated sets of Malgudi which includes the houses, roads, locality and the ambience from the author’s masterpiece that dates back to 1943. Perfect for a family outing, the school has also set up a carnival and recreated villages sites of ancient India.
From 10 am onwards. Entry: Free.
Details: 9014039119

Theatre basics
January 9 | Green Gables
International School
Known for their intense plays, Samhaara Theatre group will conduct a production oriented workshop. The event is open to all – from professionals to students, senior actors to amateurs. It promises to take the participants beyond the nuances of acting. From Monday to Friday 7 pm onwards. Registration fee: `8,500. Details: in.bookmyshow.com

Banglore Days
January 11 | Hard Rock Cafe
A special act by Chennai-based comic Praveen Kumar, this one revolves around his small town upbringing in an orthodox fashion and the struggles he faced to understand the culture in a city like Bengaluru after he moved there for studies. His topics range across pub culture, emojis, relationships, Snapchat, Hollywood movies and such. The show begins at 9.30 pm. Tickets at `600 onwards. Details: 64636375

Musical trinity
January 6 | Sir Mutha Venkata Subba Rao Concert Hall, Chennai
Kickstart this weekend with an amazing musical evening with legendary tabla artiste
Zakir Hussain, Dr Jayanthi Kumaresh on veena and Kumaresh Rajagopalan on violin. Enjoy the magic created on the stage where percussion, rhythm and melody blend seamlessly. This is the first time the trio will be performing on stage together.
The concert begins at 7 pm.
Tickets from `750 per person.
Details: 044 43561198

Laugh at first sight
January 10 | Canvas Laugh Club, NCR, New Delhi
This could be your chance to become the next big name in the national comedy fraternity. The free-for-all open mic by the Canvas Laugh Club is back with its monthly episodes. As part of the audience, you can come and watch new talent or participate and take your first tentative steps under the spotlight. At 7.30 pm. Entry: `200 per head.
|Details: in.bookmyshow.com

Mythological humour
January 8 | Phoenix Arena
The city’s popular stand-up comic, Rajasekhar Mamidanna, will speak about the tales of Lord Rama with a quirky twist. The stand-up comedian promises to deliver the act in a non-offensive manner and assures that the the audience will be kept in splits.
Details on Page 11.

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Mix ‘n’ match
January 12 | Indira Nagar, Bengaluru
Enjoy the interactive mixology session with your expert mixologist who will teach your group how to make cocktails. Experiment with a wide range of raw ingredients from various spices, herbs, fruits and vegetables to create lip-smacking cocktails that you can make at home later. The members can select alcohol of their choice depending on the availability. From 5 pm onwards. Entry for 10: `26,299
Details: in.bookmyshow.com

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