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Monthly Archives: January 2017

This bike rental platform makes commuters’ life easy

Life for an urban Indian runs on the concept of instant. From instant coffee, instant food, on-call rental furniture to medicines delivery on a click, it’s an easy life.

But wait a minute! Commuting from home to work and back home is still a laborious process for most. Cashing in on this daily bane is rentomojo.com that has launched bikes on rent (instant) service.
“Our idea was to solve the daily short-distance transport for the young Indian professional,” says Geetansh Bamania, founder and CEO, Rentomojo. “Typically any office-goer ends up spending at least `300 per day which adds up to `9,000 per month. Instead, renting a bike saves all the effort and is more affordable,” he adds.
Rentomojo works on a simple model, you can book the bike on the app or website. Log on and choose a bike from a range of two wheelers. Select a subscription plan — minimum one month to a maximum of 12 months, pay the rental amount (That starts at `2,100 per month for a few bikes) and the bike gets delivered next day. “But we will need a few KYC (Know Your Customer) documents before we deliver the bike. Photocopies of DL, current address proof and a refundable deposit of `5,000 needs to be paid,” says Geetansh.
Since the bike rentals were launched in November last year, Rentomojo has seen the number of bookings going up to 33 per cent of their total business revenue. They have a large inventory of bikes and are currently providing this service in eight cities — Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, NCR (Delhi and Gurgaon), Chennai and Hyderabad.

Details:
rentomojo.com

Rahul Bhattacharya on how to ace the YouTube game

With an ever-growing fan base, the YouTube channel Quick Response Team
is getting millennials to talk about tough issues like rape, Section 377 and the truth about periods. While, in fact, this may not be the safest bet for topics in a country where everyone takes offense, New Delhi-based Rahul Bhattacharya, the channel’s founder, says it’s easy not to rub people the wrong way. “Our content is usually a mix of social issues and current affairs. The topic could be something that makes you uneasy and think. But it is all about how situations are handled. Moderating questions reduces the chance of making things seem offensive,” he says.
Having launched their channel in September 2015, QTR, as they call
themselves, has 104 videos and over
255, 611 subscribers. With other creative firms vying for a spot in the vox pop niche, he is quick to admit that involving the viewers as a part of their creative process has benefited them in term of subscriptions. “We also use a lot of our viewers’ suggestions and questions. I think we have benefitted by involving them as a part of our creative process,” he adds.
Over the course of the year, Quick Response Team has collaborated with the likes of comic and actor Abish Mathew and has had a couple of quick snippets with comedians Kenny Sebastian, Tanmay Bhat, and Rohan Joshi. Choosing to remain tightlipped about their plans for the coming year, Rahul does let in that the channel has an ‘end of the year’ special lined up.
Details: youtube.com
— Rebecca Vargese

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    New beginnings
    Titan’s largest store reopens with a new look. It brings together all its retail chain brands under one roof. From Xylys, Fastrack, Raga and Purple, Zoop to SKINN fragrances, there’s a lot to choose from. The store also showcases luxury timepieces from the latest collection of Nebula.`2,000 upwards. At MG Road. Details: 9799840707

    Glow light
    Give your face the perfect sculpted look that lasts all day with the Ultime Pro Face Palette. Introduced by FACES Canada, this base gives your face a flawlessly defined look. Whether you’re looking for a blush, contour or highlights, this palette is the perfect partner. The light shimmering colour of the blush gives your cheeks a natural glow. It’s totally paraben free. `899. At Lifestyle, Victoria Road. Details: 18001231555

    All that glitters
    Yoube jewellery adorned by popular celebrities in India is now available online. Choose from their exclusive collection of solitaire studs, ear cuffs, chaand balis and jhumkas. If you like statement pieces then it’s their cocktail rings that will catch your eye. If you are a bride-to-be, then pick from their bridal jewellery sets. `10,989 upwards.
    Details: youbejewellery.com

     

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      Adria Arjona on playing a Latina Dorothy in a contemporary Wizard of Oz

      We’ve certainly come a long way from Kansas. How else would you explain a Wizard of Oz shot in Budapest and Barcelona? In a dark, modern-day retelling of the musical that premieres this weekend, Adriana Arjona of True Detective fame talks about a cross-cultural cast and playing a Hispanic Dorothy.

      Why revisit the iconic world of The Wizard of Oz? And why now?
      I think it’s a good moment. The original stories were written at the turn of the last century, but they’re still timely and relevant today. You can interpret them now in a deeper way than you could before.

      So Emerald City draws more closely from L Frank Baum’s books than the 1939 MGM musical?
      Yes. And the books are a lot darker than the musical.

      That’s where the show takes its cue?
      Yes. We have the same characters that were in The Wizard of Oz. We just explore them in a different, deeper way. You get to know these characters for who they truly are. It’s a ten-hour movie, really, directed by Tarsem Singh (Mirror Mirror). He’s created this crazy, fantastic world that he throws my character into.

      A Latina Dorothy seems like a contemporary choice.
      I think it’s a realistic choice. Nor do I think it should really matter. You walk down the street in Los Angeles and you’ll hear 500 different accents—so many different colours and ethnicities. We’re a huge melting pot and that should be reflected in our TV shows. Our cast comes from everywhere. And that’s how it should be.

      How did you become involved in the project?
      I remember going in for the audition and thinking I was going to be the ugly duckling in the room, the ‘Hispanic’ in the room. “I’m obviously not going to get this.”
      But I went in there and thought, I have to prove myself. I have to prove that I can do it. That any girl can do it, no matter what their ethnicity. So I went in there and did my best and they called me back. I then met with Shaun Cassidy and David Schulner (executive producers). Then I got the call. I was in a restaurant eating chocolate soufflé and it was hands down the most embarrassing moment of my life (laughs).

      What happened to the chocolate soufflé?
      I shoved it down my throat while I was crying and screaming, “I’m Dorothy!” I just looked like a psychopath. It was not cute at all!

      Where did you film Emerald City and what was the experience like?
      We filmed all over the south of Spain. Barcelona, Torcal… that was an experience of its own. For me, it was like my childhood. I was back on tour. For a month and a half we traveled throughout the South of Spain. We would stay in these beautiful little hotels. We were all together, travelling like a family of nomads; filming by day and travelling by night. That was a wonderful experience and a very bonding experience. We all became best friends, very quickly. Cast and crew alike – one big family.

      Emerald City premieres on Colors Infinity on January 7 at 8 pm.

      — Team Indulge

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        Label Karigar Weaves comes to the city with a pop-up of tussar and Maheswari saris

        Gurgaon-based Karigar Weaves presents a distinctive range of tussar-silk and Maheshwari saris and fabric sets at the Hatworks Boulevard this weekend. The renowned textile outfit was started by Ritu and Jai Gupta in 1993 to preserve the rich weaving and textile printing traditions of India. “Our aim was always to harness the vast heritage of crafts in our handloom sector,” says the design lead of the brand Ritu Gupta. “Over the last two decades we have grown from a small outfit to supporting over 200 weavers, dyers and printers all over the country,” she smiles.
        In the twenty-odd years since its inception Karigar Weaves has been patronised by several leading ladies in the diplomatic and arts’ circles including Sheila Dixit, Maneka Gandhi and Gursharan Kaur (Manmohan Singh’s wife) and artiste Vyjayanthimala Bali.
        Gupta works with artisans from all over the country, “We have weavers in Chapa and Maheshwar (Madhya Pradesh), Benares and Kolkata, and printers in Jaipur.”
        The textile aficionado explains what makes their weaves unique, “You will find that our tussars are beautiful and soft; unlike other tussar saris available. The reason for this is that we bleach our saris first and then dye and print them.” One only needs to look at a Karigar Weaves creation to appreciate the outstanding quality of the fabrics and originality of their prints. “We employ a combination of traditional floral and modern geometric motifs. We also use a little bit of embroidery on a few of our creations to add a little more grandeur; and of course our signature ombre colours.”
        The exhibition will also showcase fabrics and stoles.
        `3000 upwards.
        January 6-7. At Cunningham Road. Details: 9810990506
        — SK

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          UK brand, Cath Kidston sets up shop in India

          With loyal customers such as the Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton) and pop idol Taylor Swift, British brand Cath Kidston needs no introduction. Famous the world over for their quintessentially English floral patterns the brand opened their first store at the popular Ambience Mall in Gurgaon in October last year. The international brand joins fashion retailers Coach, Longchamp and Massimo Dutti who launched in India earlier last year.
          What started as an eponymous boutique in West London in 1993 by interior designer Cath Kidston is now a £250 million legacy with stores across the world. Partnering with company Planet Retail Holdings in India – whose other brands include Accessorize and Wacoal – CEO Sandeep Goenka is enthusiastic about the
          response, “We noticed a growing number of online orders from India, which mirrors the country’s growing economy, so we think that India could potentially become a very successful market for us,” he says.

          Sandeep sheds light on the British designer’s legacy and explains, “Originally inspired by taking traditional prints and using it in a fresh, surprising and modern way, Cath began to design her own unique printed textiles and used them to create simple practical everyday products.

          One of the first ‘Cath Kidston’ products was a printed ironing board cover. Practical, quirky and with a distinctive floral print, it has come to epitomise the Cath Kidston look and remains an iconic item in the collection to this day.”

          Sandeep gives us an insight into the design process. “Christine Hafsten (in London) is currently the design director for the brand and heads the 14-member design team. The designers find inspiration everywhere; from research trips and holidays, to books and the nature. They are always looking for subjects that capture iconic British traditions and scenery. ”

          Expect cheeky white cats on a pastel blue background, peonies, pansies and magnolias adorning the latest Spring-Summer ’17 collection. They also have a collaboration with Disney which features Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Winnie-the-Pooh prints on kid’s clothing, bags, lunch boxes and water bottles.

          The products available in India are the same collections available in stores across the world. Bestsellers include the retail star’s handbags, luggage and homeware comprising tea sets, coffee mugs and lunch boxes. We recommend the brand’s colourful PVC and cotton totes, as well as children’s school bags and luggage (also in the distinctive brightly-coloured PVC and inner cotton lining) which are virtually indestructible and easy to clean – another facet of Cath Kidston that makes the brand popular.We like the joyous prints (including terrier dogs and vibrant garden birds) on a gamut of useful household accessories like aprons, umbrellas, phone covers, spectacle cases, key chains and more. It is the brand’s unique combination of quality, accessible prices and vintage British prints that “…entice customers the world over. The brands’ ‘Britishness’, sense of humour and fun really engage our customers.” affirms the India business head.

          “The original inspiration for the brand remains the same 23 years on; creating distinctive, vintage-inspired prints and applying them to modern products,” he adds. At present there are no plans to launch an Indian online boutique since their British site delivers across the globe.
          `145 upwards.
          Details:
          cathkidston.com
          — Shibi Kumaramangalam

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          Kickstart the year on a bright note with hues of yellow ranging from mustard to lemon

          From Gigi Hadid to Beyonce, everyone seems to be embracing varying shades of the cheerful colour, which is touted to be one of the biggest trends in 2017. Here’s our pick of skirts, dresses and accessories that will help you get the look.
          Text: Rashmi Rajagopal Lobo

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          Feeling fizzy
          Aptly called Sunshine, this pair of juttis from the label, Fizzy Goblet manages to be understated and dressy all at the same time. The yellow silk fabric forms the perfect backdrop for the Champagne-toned zardosi work and golden ghungroos dotted across the top of the shoes. `2,500. At Shahpur Jat, New Delhi. Details: 011 49071202

          Ruffle up
          Opt for the free-spirited look with this top from Chloe. Made from silk-crepon fabric, the high neck gives it a classy touch while the ruffles add a fun vibe. Team with
          fitted black trousers for the office or blue denims for a casual lunch date. `2,27,406 (approximately) on matchesfashion.com

          Vintage romance
          From indie label, Kinche comes this vintage jacket crafted in the traditional, Gujarati kediya style. Featuring Kantha embroidery, the bright yellow jacket is handmade by local artisans in Orissa and West Bengal. The tie-up detailing at the front, complete with tassels, adds to its appeal. `10,500.
          Details: kinche.com

          Animal instinct
          Crafted from Mangrovia and Ayers Livrea leather, this clutch from Bottega Veneta is a fine way to take on the trend. Lined with soft leather in a matching yellow shade, the knotted clasp detail lends the accessory a funky edge. `1,27,810 approximately. At UB City, Vittal Mallya Road.
          Details: 41738931

          Tier story
          If there’s another trend that’s catching up it’s the cascading ruffles, and this number from designer Prabal Gurung has got that in spades. The tiered marigold gown is cheerful and bold thanks to sheer panels and a sexy neckline. Wear with statement teardrop earrings, we say. `3,15,096 (approximately) on
          farfetch.com

          Play it bold
          This bright skirt from Proenza Schouler makes for the ideal brunch outfit when paired with a plain, tucked-in top in a contrasting shade. The wrap around skirt is crafted from silk crepe and features a playful asymmetrical hemline. However, it’s the button detailing that sets it apart. `86,872 approximately on netaporter.com

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          Saturday blues
          B Flat presents a musical weekend with Ananth Menon Trio and Mi and Soul. The band will play covers by musical legends like Mountain, Allman Brothers, Robin Trowers, while Mi and Soul will entertain with old school pop, funk and blues. `400 upwards. Tomorrow. At Indira Nagar, 9 pm. Details: 25278361

          Classical notes
          The 25th edition of the Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival promises an exciting line-up of musical performances. Renowned violinist L Subramaniam
          inaugurates the festival with his performance. Entry Free. January 10. At Chowdiah Memorial Hall, Malleswaram, 7 pm. Details: 23445810

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          Nuances talk
          The National Gallery of Modern Art hosts the screening of the internationally acclaimed film — The Poetics of Fragility. Filmmakers Nicolás Grandi and Lata Mani present their philosophical video contemplation followed by a conversation between Lata and documentary filmmaker Deepa Dhanraj. Entry Free.Today. At Palace Road, 6 pm. Details: 22342338

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            A rock ensemble with bilingual loyalties

            While vernacular bands may not be a novelty anymore, with bands such as Avial singing in Malayalam, Swarathma and artiste Raghu Dixit incorporating Kannada into their tunes, a Hindi rock band from Bengaluru is still something unique.

            Indi Graffiti is just that with a hint of metal. After being on a break for over a year they re-united in 2016 and are playing again as they take the stage at B Flat this weekend.

            “We like to call our music graffiti rock,” explains Bharat Rajagopalan the lead vocalist, adding, “That means our music is free flowing and not restricted to any genre or form.” Their influences range from Carnatic music, in which Bharat was trained, to death metal and psychedelic, which the other members bring to the band. The lyrics, though, are in Hindi. “We are very influenced by regional bands. We present Hindi music which is not Bollywood,” reveals Bharat.

            Their songs Dekh Zara, Barsaat and Safar — talk about life and its journeys. They have a new track, which they will play at the gig, titled Haseen Zindagi. Whilst the lyrics may sound soulful, the music is decidedly progressive and rock.

            With Bharat on vocals, Akshat Kiran Kavidayal on bass, Akhilesh Kumar on guitars and Glenn Joseph on drums, the four-piece outfit promises a distinctive sound. The opening set is by Ady Manral, a Mussourie-based folk fusion musician.

            Tonight. At B Flat,
            Indira Nagar, 9 pm. Tickets (`400) on bookmyshow.com

            — Anagha M

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            Atul Kumar’s experimental piece Khwaab Sa debuts in the city

            That renowned artiste Atul Kumar entered the field of theatre by accident is an incredible fact. Especially given his string of successful productions, namely, Trivial Disasters (starring Kalki Koechlin), Piya Behrupiya and Noises Off amongst a host of others. This weekend, Atul and his Mumbai-based troupe, The Company Theatre, bring to the city their reinterpretation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream titled Khwaab Sa. Shakespeare is a playwright he seems to keep returning to and Atul explains that the legend’s work isn’t necessarily challenging to work with or understand. “The more you stop being afraid, the more accessible it becomes,” says the director.

            Originally commissioned by KHAM Theatre, Taipei, the production makes its debut in India with the Bengaluru show. In keeping with his repertoire of experimental theatre, this play too seeks to push the envelope. The narrative weaves in elements of song and dance, for a truly immersive experience. “We have live Carnatic and Western music, and contemporary dance choreographed and performed by noted dancer, Diya Naidu, while the dialogues are in Hindi gibberish,” reveals Atul, adding that the play, which deals with fairies, lovers and a band of substandard actors, is fun and lighthearted. Apart from Naidu, it also stars Sahiba Singh, Kumar Priyabrata Panigrahi, Shikhar Martolia,  Prashant More, Ronita Mookerji and others.

            Talking about the challenges he faced with Khwaab Sa, Atul shares that making the choreographed pieces, vocal performances and scenes featuring the spoken word come together seamlessly was not as easy task. “But I think we’ve managed to pull it off,” he says, without revealing much more, and adds that the show touches upon themes such as love, fantasy, loneliness and sex. The lighting, done by Pritham Kumar is said to add to the dream-like vibe that the director is going for. “The lighting gives the scenes texture and rhythm, which is very important to this play,” states Atul.

            Following its outing in Bengaluru, the show will travel to Delhi, Mumbai and Pune. As for Atul, he has already started working on a project titled 7 Jewish Children which traces the history of the movement of Jews, right from the Holocaust to the controversy surrounding the Gaza strip.
            January 14 and15.

            At ADA Ranga Mandira, JC Road. Tickets (`300 upwards) on bookmyshow.com

            — Rashmi Rajagopal Lobo

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