JANUARY 2017 `150
A MANâ€™s GuiDE TO WiNNiNG AT LiFE iN 2017 WiTH iNsiGHTs FROM
sRK NEW sTYLE TRiCKs TO LOOK sHARP
THE sTORY OF THE ORiGiNAL MOONsHOT
THE 100 TH issuE suCCEss sPECiAL
CONTENTS COVER STAR
SHAH RUKH KHAN
THE KHAN ACADEMY SRK, PhD. By Shikha Sethi
ON THE COVER
JANUARY 2017 `150
A MAN’s GuiDE TO WiNNiNG AT LiFE iN 2017
THE 100 TH issuE suCCEss sPECiAL
WiTH iNsiGHTs FROM
sRK THE sTORY OF THE ORiGiNAL MOONsHOT
SHAH RUKH KHAN photographed by tarUN KhIWaL
NEW sTYLE TRiCKs TO LOOK sHARP
SUIT BY TOMMY HILFIGER. JUMPER BY DOLCE & GABBANA. POCKET SQUARE BY HACKETT LONDON. SHOES BY OLIVER SWEENEY. WATCH BY ROLEX
PHOTO: TARUN KHIWAL
JUMPER BY BOTTEGA VENETA. JEANS BY DOLCE & GABBANA. SHOES BY TOD’S. WATCH BY ROLEX
166 CheCked In
the conventional pattern gets an upgrade. Photographed by Nil hoppenot blazer by canali. shirt by PaUl SMiTH. trousers by aMi. boW tie by ERMEnEGilDO ZEGna
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For nearly three centuries, Jaquet Droz has placed time under the banner of astonishment, excellence and constantly renewed creativity. The Grande Seconde Deadbeat, ref. J008033201
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18 22 26 197 198 204
Editor’s letter Contributors GQ access Where to buy GQ central Open letter
FEATURES 114 The man commandments Every rule you need to start 2017 off on the right foot. By Tony Parsons & Anish Trivedi ON THE COVER
126 The circle of life Success comes in different forms. By Che Kurrien 130 Flights of fancy The whisky world’s exploding – these are the vintages to stock up on now. By Megha Shah 154 Wild child Saiyami Kher defines #goals – all of ’em. Photographed by Errikos Andreou 160 Southern odyssey Three cities, three artisanal foods, one dynamic foodscape. By Megha Shah 176 The most influential runway shows of all time That changed the way we dress. By Noah Johnson
146 THEATRE OF THE REAL
Lessons from the world’s most famous spymaster. By John Le Carré
184 The strong suit James Marsden shows you the power of a good suit. Photographed by Sebastian Kim 190 Status symbols Designer accessories that live up to the hype.
graded; The coolest spa retreats on the continent
Photographed by Arnaud Pyvka
The year TV takes over the world; Parekh & Singh are our newest favourite indie act; How to sleep early (and well); Brothers who’re award season frontrunners; Camera vs camera: low-light edition; Meet bionic artist Viktoria Modesta; How do you classify the Microsoft Surface Studio?; Made-in-India videogames; JLF’s gonna be lit; Collecting tips from artists, collectors and all-round art insiders; What not to miss this month: The India Art Fair
THE GOOD LIFE
India’s coffee scene has arrived; Health fads, 10 —
We’re all about accessorizing that old suit; Hermès’ Christophe Goineau gives an expert take on the tie; What to wear around your neck; The Style Shrink addresses dressing down, bombers and that pocket-in-a-pocket; The List; 50 shades of Van Heusen + GQ Fashion Nights; How to wear your hair this year 76 Double take How to resurrect your DB – plus, 1 suit 4 ways. Photographed by Arsh Sayed ON THE COVER
The crown jewel of Breguet’s Tradition collection
103 Space case The story behind the first watch on the moon. By Parth Charan ON THE COVER
What 2017 means to Elon Musk; The cars (and bikes) that changed their makers’ fortunes
139 Travel: Kazakhstan, minus Borat. By Lindsay Pereira 142 City: The man who built Mumbai’s heritage ’hood. By Alisha Sadikot 150 Film: Will Trainspotting: T2 live up to its predecessor? By Tanul Thakur 152 Humour: How to live, according to (near-) centenarians. By Sandip Roy
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THE 100 TH issuE
JANUARY 2017 `150
A MAN’s GuiDE TO WiNNiNG AT LiFE iN 2017
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NEW sTYLE TRiCKs TO LOOK sHARP
THE sTORY OF THE ORiGiNAL MOONsHOT
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YOU SPENT HOW MUCH? THE MOST EXPENSIVE STUFF ON THE PLANET
THE WORLD’S LEADING MEN’S MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2008 RS 100
THE KARAN JOHAR INTERVIEW:
ADITYA MITTAL ON WEALTH, WOMEN AND GLAMOUR THE GQ GUIDE:
MONEY & POWER HOW TO MAKE IT IN THE NEW INDIA
THE GOOD LIFE GQ KICKS OFF THE YEAR’S COOLEST PARTY WITH INDIA’S HOTTEST STARS
CHE KURRIEN Editor
•KEITH RICHARDS •BUILD A BOND BODY •10 RULES OF STYLE •PORSCHE
INDIA’SST PE SHAR NISTS HVI COLUM SANG
★VIR EL SETH ★SUH NJAY ★SA REKAR MANJ
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•SEX ADVICE FROM VJ MIA •BACHELOR’S PARTY GUIDE •CHARLIZE THERON
MOMENT IN TIME
his magazine’s first cover shoot took place in the summer of 2008, at the poolside of the Four Seasons Hotel, Mumbai, which hadn’t officially opened yet. At the time, Western economies were roiled by the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression; but somehow we felt immune to the crisis in India, confident that good times were ahead of us. The shoot took place on the hottest day of the year. A pack of sculpted models in Mediterranean beachwear preened and pouted for the French photographer Pascal Chevallier, while our producers fretted about the delays, imploring the three major cover stars to descend from their suites. The first to arrive was leonine Arjun Rampal, India’s greatest male supermodel, who seemed perfectly at ease with himself, making everyone swoon and giggle. The second was Yuvraj Singh, who strolled onto the set with an imperious swagger: He’d just smashed six sixes in an over against England, and was at his peak. He was also clearly enjoying himself – smirking like a teenager as the photographer arranged a group of bikini-clad women around him. His agents, on the other hand, were terrified, sensing that their golden goose was going to be censured for unbecoming behaviour by the mandarins of the Indian cricket board. Yet it was the central cover star Saif Ali Khan who proved most difficult. He simply refused to leave his room, first dithering over a languid lunch with his kids, then holding an intense, marathon-like conversation on the phone with Kareena Kapoor, whom he was dating at the time. The shoot had come to a standstill, with the temperature hitting 40 degrees and tempers fraying badly. Yuvraj and Arjun’s managers barked at the producers, threatening to leave if the group cover shot wasn’t taken in the next minute. The make-up began melting off the models’ faces. Pascal was in a tizzy. And then, just as Yuvraj was walking off, the Nawab arrived, taking his place at the centre of the tableau. Pascal began shooting ferociously, and I breathed a sigh of relief. Yet two minutes later, Saif bolted for the exit, without any explanation. I dashed after him, only to find him pacing around a room strewn with yoga mats, lost in thought. Guess he needed a time out. I gently led him back to the perplexed group, and we soon had our first cover shot. Looking back, each of our 100 issues has had a similar tale – including a manic shoot inside the Trump Tower. But that’s for another time…
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Contributors nil HoPPenot WHo: Photographer. Instagram @nil_hope WHat: The season’s reinvention of the check in “Checked in”, page 166 tHe tiP: “Style is something inside, before all else. If you don’t believe in your look, in what you’re sending as a message – how you want to communicate to the people around you through your clothes – it won’t be honest.”
alisHa sadiKot WHo: Independent museums and heritage learning professional. Instagram/Twitter @alishasadikot WHat: Delves into the history of Mumbai’s most iconic neighbourhood, Ballard Estate, and its designer, George Wittet, page 142 arcHitectural Wonders: “The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya is one of the most fascinating buildings in Mumbai. It’s designed in the imperial Indo-Saracenic style, with inherent messages of control that aren’t immediately obvious today, and which only add to how interesting the building is. Look closely and its varied individual features reveal Wittet’s ingenuity in combining them to form a coherent whole.”
PrabHat sHetty WHo: Photographer. Instagram @prabhatshetty WHat: Captures Jim Sarbh acting out “The Man Commandments: GQ’s 100-point guide to winning at life”, page 114 taKe it WitH a grain of salt: “I’ve always thought that the part about luck playing into one’s success is overrated. That and the rule about sleeping early and on time. Never works for me!”
KalaKaari HaatH WHo: Illustrator, inspired by traditional handicrafts of India. Instagram @kalakaarihaath WHat: Brings a John Le Carré novel’s excerpt to life, page 146 fresH eyes: “In the excerpt, Beirut is characterized by an inconsistent environment and volatile character. Yet, although the content is meant to be serious, Le Carré used an undertone of humour – making it easy to convey a balance of the two with these grunge-style line drawings.”
anisH trivedi WHo: Author. Maker of mix-tapes for bars. Twitter @anishtrivedi WHat: Hands down life lessons for the GQ man, page 114 tHe drinKing rule: “The simple rule is to drink what you like. GQ men do not need to answer to others in a bar. There are times when we choose Solan No 1 over single malt because it takes us back to when we had more hair on our heads and fewer inches around our waists. There are times when we drink beer instead of a 1982 Bordeaux because it’s been that kind of day. We do not judge. And we sure as hell don’t listen to some silly twat who wouldn’t know his ass from his absinthe.”
YOUR EXCLUSIVE PASS TO THE MOST HAPPENING PARTIES AND EVENTS
Theron Carmine De Sousa & Harpreet Baweja
Che Kurrien, Shahid Kapoor & Kunal Rawal
WHAT: Pre- GQ Fashion Nights WHERE: Olive Bar & Kitchen, Mumbai The city’s fashion tribe came together at Olive for an under-the-radar bash thrown by designer Kunal Rawal and GQ. It was a prelude to the Van Heusen + GQ Fashion Nights, the mega menswear showcase that took place at the Taj Lands End, Mumbai on December 3 & 4. A relaxed-looking Shahid Kapoor hung out in a T-shirt and joggers while current “it” girls Pooja Hegde and Amyra Dastur sipped on delicious cocktails with their friends. It was a night of the familiar and comfortable, made up of the kind of people GQ would invite home. Prateik
Nitasha Berry & Sapna Pabbi
Vijendra Bhardwaj & Gautam Kalra Ashiesh Shah
Gizele Thakral, Kainaat Arora & AD Singh
Kelvin Cheung & Andrea Brown Cheung
Shahid Datawala & Shakeel Sutarwala
EDITED BY nidhi gupta
COUCH POTATO 2.0 28 â€”
music tv film art tech gaming
wOrdS: Nidhi GUPTA. illUSTrATiON: SUdhir ShETTy
EvErything you nEEd to know this month
2017 is the year that TV will take over your world
ummer 2016: John Landgraf, head honcho at production giant FX and often referred to as “the mayor of TV”, was compelled to re-evaluate his own predictions about “Peak TV”. Not only would we not be getting there for a good while – perhaps by 2019 – he estimated 2017 would only be the start, with about 500 original scripted series set to air this year alone. And while it stopped mattering where we found our cliffhangers a while ago, things are getting more legit here, with Netflix, Hotstar and now Amazon Prime Video hogging your data and memory. To watch or not isn’t the question any more. Of course, we’re batting for our favourites: Daenerys and Jon get it on, according to those “leaks”, in the penultimate season. Benedict cumberbatches through another season of “Looking For Moriarty”. Frank Underwood will give us mixed feelings, while Selina Meyer will just make us veep, about the fact that neither of them is actually POTUS. Elliot will turn more badass in Season 3 of Mr Robot. And you will continue to secretly love Modern Family, for two rather obvious reasons. The new season of American Crime Story promises to be a stormy affair, with all eyes on Hurricane Katrina. “Toke with Aziz Ansari, Erlich Bachman and BoJack Horseman” will move up on your bucket list. And Westworld and Black Mirror will continue to compete in the race to terrify us about the future. There will also be shiny, new shows: Donald Glover, aka that guy from Community, is putting the city of music on the map in Atlanta. Neil Patrick Harris suits up in a cape and pointy ears as Count Olaf in A Series Of Unfortunate Events. Marvel’s newest TV superhero, Iron Fist, sounds like Bruce Wayne went green and gold, and trained in Tai Chi, in a parallel timeline. And this is all just the beginning. So where does this leave us? To quote the great Homer Simpson, the original couch potato: basking in “television’s warm glowing warming glow.”
For January, GQ recommends A Series Of Unfortunate Events on Netflix; The Grand Tour on Amazon Prime Video
Meet Parekh & Singh, our favourite act this festival season, and a rare case of an indie outfit adulting well WHO: Berklee-graduate singersongwriter Nischay Parekh and RBMA-trained versatile drummer Jivraj Singh met in 2010, and “dabbled in slightly directionless musical experiments for six months.” Six years later, they found themselves in “fertile alignment,” as Singh puts it, and formalized things. Parekh & Singh – or, those guys in mustard and powder-blue suits in that viral Wes Anderson-inspired music video for “I Love You Baby, I Love You Doll” – are now in stellar company at London-based Peacefrog Records. WHAT: Heartache and disillusionment plated as gentle, folksy tunes. Sample it on their 2016 album Ocean, featuring throwbacks to Woody Allen’s Annie Hall. There’s also the upcoming //, which Singh describes as “the forward momentum of our digital age, but without the sinister undertones of IRL vs URL angst that seem to be floating around now.” WHY: “Nischay spent many lazy afternoons listening to pop music and ghazals. He, being a sponge, eventually held more music in him than he could quietly contain. My parents have played music since the Seventies. I grew up in their rehearsal room and on the road with their bands. I resisted music until the age of 18, but then something had to give!” WHERE: Parekh & Singh are part of a simmering scene in Kolkata. The vibe is “a heady clash of vibrant, dated, studious, experimental, extra-safe, tight-knit and inconsistent,” with a handful of venues like Jamsteady and bands like The Ganesh Talkies and Fossils for company. HOW: “Our music is best experienced with a wry twitch from the corner of your mouth and a refreshing beverage in your hand,” says Singh. But we reckon it’s just as suitable for a stuckin-traffic singalong as it is for a beachside sundowner. Catch Parekh & Singh at Nariyal Paani, Alibaug on January 21-22, along with Donn Bhat + Passenger Revelator, Fiddler’s Green, Bellatrix and others
Switching your screens off at 10pm out of the question? Try GQ’s starter pack for shutting down early READ Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep
Revolution. No one says it better: Nothing good can come out of a burnout. And the journey to optimal levels of productivity – and that coveted seat at the board – begins with a good night’s sleep. Penguin Random House; `599 (paperback) DOWNLOAD All the apps that’ll help you drift off. There’s ones that play the right music (Pzizz); kill the blue light your phone emits (Twilight); study behaviour that has helped or hampered 30 —
last night’s slumber (Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock); and even modulate it by “saying” random words that’ll help you get there (MySleepButton). BUY Aura, the smart-sleep system from
Withings. The bedside gadget uses white noise (like the soothing sound of ocean waves) and contextual coloured lights to lull the brain; comes with a tracking sensor to place under the mattress; and is controlled via the Health Mate mobile app. `26,000; available on leading e-retail stores LOG IN To Napflix, a Spanish “siesta platform”
that brings you the dullest videos from around the internet. Take your pick from “Aquarium Fish Tank”, which is literally just fish swimming about; the ballet Swan Lake (not the Natalie Portman version); or even an eight-hour-long Test match between Nepal and MCC. #Nocliffhangers
WORDS: NIDHI GUPTA
BETTER THAN EVER
A bionic artist transcends the human body
PROSTHETIC BY ALTERNATIVE LIMB PROJECT. OUTFIT BY KTZ
TOP OF THE DESK
Microsoft’s Surface Studio wins on design and utility. We’re just not sure what to call it yet Is it a PC? Is it a tablet? It’s... Well, Microsoft’s latest is a bit of a super-hybrid. The 28” screen is set on a 12.5mm LCD monitor – the thinnest in history – that’s flexible enough to bend to a 20-degree angle. Appendages include a keyboard, a mouse and the ever-reliable Surface pen, but the truly remarkable addition is the Surface Dial: a knob you can place on the screen to flip between documents, tabs and windows. This is basically next-level hardware built with Apple-loyal creatives in mind. Safe to say even Netflix & chill is better at a resolution of 13.5 million pixels. Just call it the coup of the decade. `2,00,000 approx.
Viktoria Modesta thinks of herself as a prototype. Born in Soviet Russia, where an accident at birth left her with a defect in her left leg, she spent her childhood in a great deal of pain. Reconstructive surgeries didn’t help, so when she was 20 and living in London, she decided to get a voluntary amputation below the knee. The operation freed Modesta to pursue her art: She sings in multimedia pop acts, and she rocks a different prosthesis depending on the performance. As the Snow Queen in the 2012 London Paralympics closing ceremony, she wore a limb covered in Swarovski diamonds. “That’s when I understood the concept of working on this futuristic identity and how limitless it could be,” she says. “It’s easy to transcend what you think makes a human body.” In conjunction with the release of her album last year, Counterflow, Modesta teamed up with neuroscientists, coders and clothing designers for a show at Berlin’s Music Tech Fest, where she used 3D-printed nails and sensors on her wrists to trigger sound effects and shifts in lighting on her skin. Her most stunning work, though, might be the music video for her single “Prototype”. In one scene, moths flutter around her electric prosthesis as it lights up a dark room. In another, she catwalks across the screen with her favourite leg, a jet-black cone that sharpens to a daunting spike. It symbolizes everything Modesta stands for: Arresting beauty with an exquisite edge.
WORDS: AMY DAVIES (THE LAB), NIDHI GUPTA (SURFACE STUDIO & FILM). VIKTORIA MODESTA: WORDS: MARLEY WALKER. IMAGE: LUKAZS SUCHORAB, NHU XUAN HUA (ALBUM). STYLIST: JOANNA HIR
BROTHERS IN ARMS
There’s a new power pair of brothers dominating the big screen this month – and it’s not the Wilsons The only thing Ben and Casey Affleck have in common, they say, is their reputation for being really smart. And ordinarily, you wouldn’t find them mentioned in the same breath, unless you’re talking about Good Will Hunting. Not this month, when both have massive films – already sizzling on the festival circuit – hitting theatres.
A SHOT IN THE DARK
We pit three big-brand full-frame digital cameras against each other to see which one comes up trumps in the low-light stakes
There used to be certain universal truths when it came to digital cameras. The bigger the unit the better it was, and the higher the pixel count the greater the impetus for you to buy it – until the numbers rose again. Neither of those sentiments necessarily rings true any more, however, with high pixel counts being the exact opposite of what you need when shooting in low light. The more pixels you cram onto a sensor, the smaller each one has to be – and that’s bad news for light capture. This is why the three cameras in this test have modestly low pixel counts – in one case as low as 12.2 megapixels. First up, the Sony A7S II, which has been wooing low-light shooters for some time, and also has an expanded top ISO speed of 409,600. Next, the Nikon D5, which grabbed headlines at launch for its incredible expanded ISO setting of 3,280,000. This is very, very, very high and means it’s super sensitive to light. Finally, the Canon EOS-1DX Mark II is not as specc’d as the Nikon, but still boasts a pretty good sensitivity of ISO 409,600.
While Ben’s not being cruel and not kissing rings in the Prohibition-era saga Live By Night (which he’s also directing), Casey drawls, in his signature winning way, about having to play guardian to his nephew in Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester By The Sea. And, yes, there’s already Oscar murmur around both films. If you’d rather something lighter, there’s a pair of numbnuts on a road trip in search of their long-thought-dead father (in Lawrence Sher’s Bastards). Kinda like Thor and Loki in their next instalment, except this is comedian Ed Helms and, yes, the blonder Wilson.
HOW WE TESTED
We used each camera in lowlight situations to assess focusing speeds and image quality. These included dimly lit rooms and subjects lit only by moonlight, to an almost pitch-black situation. All images were reviewed for the test, but only the Sony A7S II focused and produced an image (of varying quality) in all situations.
You will likely want your camera to do more than perform in low light, and each of these cameras has pros and cons. The D5 sports a battery that can last for a superlative 3,780 shots (the A7S II is only good for 310). The A7S II, however, is much smaller, lighter and cheaper. The Canon’s party trick is that it can shoot at 14 frames per second.
While the Nikon wins in terms of technical capability, being able to capture an image at ISO 32,80,000 doesn’t mean you’ll want to use it. Images shot at this level are grainy, noisy and in some cases barely recognizable. Meanwhile, at Sony and Canon’s top speed of 4,09,600, images are usable at very small sizes, revealing subjects you may not have even noticed were in front of you. For the average user, it’s the mid-range ISO speeds that are of most interest, since you’ll be using these in situations where there is some – if not a lot of – light. Think dark street scenes, a party or rooms lit by candlelight.
The first problem when attempting to shoot in dimly lit conditions is likely with autofocus. If your camera can’t focus on what’s in front of it, the image is going in the bin. In a dimly lit room, all three cameras locked easily onto a target, with a fraction of back-and-forth from the Canon. When it was only the moon illuminating the subject, the Sony was the clear winner. Simply put, the Canon can see in the near-dark, while the Nikon and Sony can go a little further. However, the Nikon loses out simply by virtue of not having a focusing assist light like the Sony.
SONY A7S II Score: 8/10 Sensor: 12.2MP full-frame Exmor CMOS ISO range: 100-102,400 (native), 50-409,600 (expanded) Focus points: 169 points Price: `2,34,990
CANON EOS-1DX II Score: 7/10 Sensor: 20.2MP full-frame CMOS ISO range: 100-51,200 (native), 50-409,600 (expanded) Focus points: 61 points, including 41 cross-type sensors Price: `4,55,995
NIKON D5 Score: 8/10 Sensor: 20.8MP FX full-frame CMOS ISO range: 100-102,400 (native) 50-3,280,000 (expanded) Focus points: 153 focus points, including 99 cross-type sensors Price: `4,45,950
ROYAL SALUTE EVE OF REGALIA
Royal Salute hosted the second “Eve of Regalia” — a bespoke evening – to salute the anecdotal journey and timelessness of the modern traditionalist. Co-hosted by Nakul Anand, Executive Director, ITC Limited, the evening welcomed Torquhil Ian Campbell, the 13th The Duke of Argyll and Royal Salute’s international brand ambassador In 1953 Charles Julian introduced Royal Salute 21 Years Old – a fine blended Scotch named after the 21gun salute – as a tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, who was crowned sovereign during the same year. Since then, apart from being the only luxury blended scotch brand whose range begins with a 21 year old dram, Royal Salute has continued to celebrate royalty. Their latest tribute “Eve of Regalia” is a series of bespoke evening, which commemorates those, who like the kings and queens of yesteryear, add the extra into the ordinary. The brand, along with Nakul Anand – Executive Director, ITC Limited – hosted
the second evening from the “Eve of Regalia” series in the verdant environs of the Nandiya Garden at ITC Maurya, Delhi. Nakul Anand set the tone of the evening with a beautiful Winston Churchill quote and went on to say, “Eve of Regalia bears further testimony to ITC Hotels’ endeavours to host distinctive luxury experiences.” He then introduced Torquhil Ian Campbell, the 13th The Duke of Argyll with riveting stories about the Duke’s experiences and achievements. The guests, who included the likes of Timsy Anand, Dipak Haksar, Rajat Khatri and Deepak Bangla, amongst others, listened with apt attention.
“It has always been a pleasure to visit this country of rich cultural heritage and élan. I feel truly honoured to share the timeless journey of Royal Salute with such distinguished guests. Through the Eve of Regalia we have been able to celebrate and savour the taste of this premium Scotch paired with an alluring course which undoubtedly is a delight for every connoisseur. - The Duke of Argyll
A perfect reflection of a contemporary king, Torquhil Ian Campbell not only fulfils his royal duties, but also runs an international business and is a keen supporter of Scotland’s Scotch industry. He even represents Royal Salute in his capacity as the Duke of Argyll, and travels around the world telling the story of this luxuriously crafted Scotch. During the course of the evening he enthralled guests with tales about the brand and its history. He said, “It has always been a pleasure to visit this country of rich cultural heritage and élan. I feel truly honoured to share the timeless journey of Royal Salute with such distinguished guests. Through the Eve of Regalia we have been able to celebrate and savour the taste of this premium Scotch paired with an alluring course which
undoubtedly is a delight for every connoisseur.” Guests were then introduced to the Quaich experience – a traditional drinking ritual that cements bonds of friendship. The Royal Salute 21 Years Old and other variants of the brand were beautifully paired with the Royal Repast, a sevencourse signature menu by the Dum Pukht. As conversations grew, so did the surprises. The Duke presented a special tasting of the Royal Salute 38 Years Old Stone of Destiny and introduced its rich flavours and complex characters. A beautiful evening, brimming with fascinating flavours, unforgettable stories and intriguing conversations, the next “Eve of Regalia” by Royal Salute is something to look forward to.
Do you even JLF, bro? It’s going to be lit
Full steam ahead
Fallout 4 all chewed out? Check out these made-in-India indie games
Anyone with a decent Wi-Fi connection and even a casual interest in gaming knows there’s a whole scene outside AAA. Platforms for developers like Steam Greenlight or communities like Gamasutra are to indie gaming what Kickstarter is to every “Uber for potato salads” pitch sent into the universe. Take Asura, a 3D RPG hack-and-slash PC game from Hyderabad-based Ogre Head Studios. Drawing upon Indian mythology, it has you spill blood as a demon trying to break free from the “Devas”. Jaipur-based Pyrodactyl Games’ Good Robot, on the other hand, is a rogue-like 2D PC shoot-’em-up that has you intuitively burying evidence of the fictitious PyroCorp’s misdeeds in 2031. And if you loved Monument Valley, Bengaluru-based Xigma Games’ Rubek, a minimalist colour-based puzzle game for smartphones, would be just the head-scratcher you need for the weekend.
JLF is on January 19-23 at diggi palace, Jaipur; Jaipurliteraturefestival.org
• 1,300+ writers have taken stage at Jaipur Literature Festival over a decade
• 250+ speakers at JLF 2017; including Pulitzer-winner Alice Walker, Man Booker-laureates Alan Hollinghurst and Paul Beatty
• 1 author was uninvited in the history of JLF. But who can say Salman Rushdie is any verse off? Words: nidhi gupta. image: getty images (JLF)
a still from asura; (Below) good robot and rubek
there will be novelists, historians, philosophers and journalists on dignified panels, launching passiveaggressive barbs at each other. But the real action at Jaipur Lit Fest will happen in the radius of smug B-town celebrities, cricketers and rishi Kapoor. tweed-loving american professors will school intellectuals in sanskrit and similes. the café by the pool will be studded with wide-eyed bloggers high on Blue tokai coffee, hawking first books, cozying up to surly publishers in dark corners. there will be ruddycheeked festival organizers, bouncing under the stars to great music from indian scene “exports”. and there will be you: smart enough to have packed Band-aids, party smart capsules and a lot of cash. Because you haven’t yet reached the point of Jomo and, in its 10th year, this Coachella For nerds just keeps getting ridiculously cooler. try to read more than book blurbs before you head in.
The Sound Of Rain (2011) by Karen Knorr, part of The Cloud Room, Junagarh Fort, Bikaner. Archival pigment print
PUT A FRAME ON IT
ever mind that you don’t get the big deal about that geometric abstraction (you’re not the only one who thinks your kid can do better), no matter how many hours you spent contemplating it from your perch at the local art gallery. That doesn’t mean you don’t get art. Maybe that’s just not the piece you’ll take home. Contrary to all perception, collecting art can be an exciting, adventurous activity. Especially in a time when biennales and art fairs, museums and galleries are growing in number, and auction houses (like Sotheby’s) are setting up offices in India. There are no rules, except one: Don’t buy it unless you can live with it. Here, three of India’s most prominent gallerists and artists weigh in on their collections, and confirm that once you’ve got conviction, budgets will follow.
CLASS ACT As the founder of Tasveer, one of a handful of galleries in India with a deep focus on photography, Abhishek Poddar believes “Art history is essentially cultural and social history. Within each painting, or textile, or piece of folk art, is so much more information than you can see on its surface. Much of my knowledge of history, culture, even geography has come from learning about art and being a collector.” Poddar started collecting art rather early – while still in school, in fact. “I’d set up an art magazine, and began corresponding with some of the famous artists of the time and visiting their studios.” His first acquisition was bought with “a modest budget” set by his
father. But it was during the late Eighties that he began picking up some of the most important pieces of his collection – works by Tyeb Mehta, Manjit Bawa, SH Raza, Bhupen Khakhar, VS Gaitonde. “Then I met the [late] Prabuddha Dasgupta and Dayanita Singh in the mid-Nineties, which really got me interested in collecting photography.” What started as an “intuitive” collecting process has grown into a more deliberated effort. Poddar’s approach is from “an art history perspective: showing more of an overview of an artist’s oeuvre, rather than a period I happen to enjoy, as well as artists and disciplines not as well-represented in other institutions.” His advice for beginners: “It’s more fun to collect in areas that are not necessarily the fashion at a given time; there’s more choice, and less competition.”
WORDS: NIDHI GUPTA. IMAGE: COURTESY TASVEER (THE SOUND OF RAIN)
Take that painting home – but only if you really, really like it
rehearsal acts Vii (2014) by nikhil Chopra. Charcoal and pastel on paper
Gilles Peterson talks record collections, pirate radio and headlining goat, a new music festival in ashvem, goa on January 27-29
Breaking thrOugh Tara Lal and Mortimer Chatterjee found each other through a mutual love for art journals and publications. “It was a thrill,” says Chatterjee, “to find someone else interested in ferreting out dusty editions of Lalit Kala Contemporary dating back to the Sixties.” The pair behind one of Mumbai’s edgiest contemporary art galleries focus on three areas: “Artists we work with in the gallery; video art coming out of South Asia and its diasporas; and registered antiquities, with a focus on terracotta dating back to the Maurya and Gupta periods.” Their approach is just as varied: For artists they work with, they acquire art as and when they can afford it. For video works, they’re always on the lookout for young artists putting together their first or second solo exhibition. And with collecting antiquities, provenance is key. While they aren’t normally driven by “value”, Chatterjee and Lal consider a “breathtaking Nataraja from the Chola period, dating from the 11th Century”
as the most important work in their collection. For the modern, forwardlooking collector, they suggest looking into works by sculptor Kiran Subbaiah, Brooklyn-based artist Chitra Ganesh and multimedia whiz Nikhil Chopra. As for budgets? “We’re collecting in fields where prices rarely exceed `4,00,000 per work; and in the main they’re comfortably within `1,00,000.” Sometimes, if they’re really keen on a particularly significant work, they’ll scrape around, and “hope the seller will allow us to pay in instalments.”
Compassion (2006) by Jogen Chowdhury. Pen and ink and pastel, 50x70 cm
form & content the india Art Fair, now in its eighth edition, keeps capitalizing on its position as the country’s biggest art market: For three days, it will host galleries, artists and experts from around the world. this year, there’s a sharper focus on providing a platform for south asian art, featuring work from galleries from Bangladesh, nepal and sri lanka; and on underlining folk and vernacular art (think gond, madhubani and mysore paintings). there will also be a series of talks with private collectors from around the world, including Jean-Conrad and isabelle lemaitre, anurag khanna, krupa amin and Vir kotak, among others. Which means, novice collectors: this is where you begin. Brush up those bargaining skills. india art Fair is on from February 2-5 at nsiC grounds, new delhi. indiaartfair.in
Words: nidhi guPta. image: Courtesy nikhil ChoPra (rehearsal aCts), ChatterJee & lal (ComPassion)
Ordinary Oddities Mumbai-based artist Sameer Kulavoor has a thing for hands. It’s a fascination that bleeds off his canvases and into his home: He has ceramic and wooden hands, bought in New York, in his study, and a hand-shaped backscratcher found while travelling, in Rajasthan. He’s also intrigued by scissors – so far he’s collected seven, with a pair from London-based Hay Design being a particular favourite. “I buy impulsively,” he explains. “I strongly believe that a collection should reflect the person behind it.” To wit: Unless you’re into collecting for the money, even a tattered old pile of The Illustrated London News dating back to the early 20th century can be valuable. On a more conventional note, Kulavoor says that he is drawn to Santiniketan-based contemporary artist Jogen Chowdhury’s folk-artsy serigraphs, as well as Mumbaibased Sudhir Patwardhan’s layered cityscapes. “There’s something about simple drawings that cannot be compared to a finished painting.”
EDITE D BY M EG H A S H A H
ARE ALL THOSE HEALTH FADS WORTH THE HYPE? • THE SPA DETOX YOUR MIND AND BODY NEEDS
AND SMELL THE…
Cross-cropped, single-estate, barista-crafted coffee coming out of India right now
WRITTEN BY KARINA AGGARWAL PHOTOGRAPHED BY MANISH MANSINH
FRESHNESS, TIMELINESS AND TREATMENT OF THE BEAN DEFINE THE BEST OF THE NEWWAVE INDIAN ROASTERS it’s a potion that demands to be spoken about. This “third wave” (as the jargon goes), with its emphasis on coffee character, process transparency and provenance, has only recently washed up onto Indian shores. But the tide is coming in thick and heavy, one strong cup at a time. Thankfully, we’re still a couple of waves away from hipster deconstructed coffee (or are we?).
our relationship with it has evolved since the days when burnt watery drip got you through finals. You’re a macchiato man now. A lover of la dolce vita. But there’s a whole caffeine-fuelled world out there that’s going to change that once-uncomplicated habit of yours into an elaborate ritual. You think we’re exaggerating, but just try uttering the words “instant coffee” around the new breed of “caficionados”. And brace for impact. (Hazelnut cappuccino is the intermediate level, if you’re wondering.) Whether you subscribe to the fold or not, this new wave of coffee evangelists are drawing attention to the story of the bean. Thanks to them, “grabbing a cuppa” has been elevated from the mere vernacular of a social sip to an experience involving myriad flavours and processes. It’s the difference between a bargain bottle of red and a Bordeaux Grand Cru – 46 —
THE AMMO • AEROBIE AEROPRESS Whether you want a large cup to nurse or a concentrated espresso shot, this durable plunger does the job. For those who’d rather not wait for their brew. • PRESSE COFFEE BREWER For instant hot coffee on the go. The former Kickstarter project is a travel mug that will filter a fresh cup in minutes, and keep it hot for hours. • HANDPRESSO PUMP This bicycle pump-like portable espresso maker requires just ground coffee, hot water and a little muscle.
IMAGE: HANDPRESSO (HANDPRESSO PUMP) & THIRD WAVE COFFEE ROASTERS (CAFÉ)
THE INDIE INDI COFFEE SCENE
Freshness, timeliness and treatment of the bean – from its growth to the final grind – define the best of the new wave of Indian roasters. The name that’s become synonymous with quality Indi brews is Blue Tokai. Four years ago, Matt Chitharanjan and Namrata Asthana moved from Chennai – where the smog’s at bay and good coffee is aplenty – to New Delhi. The only beans they found easy access to in the capital were the commercial packs or imported specialities that lacked freshness. After zeroing in on a handful of estate sources across south India, Blue Tokai made its way into established restaurants and cafés, with online sales, direct to customers, soon following. Today, it has two cafés – in New Delhi and Mumbai – where coffee is king and the Indian coffee farmers are the heroes. Third Wave Coffee Roasters is one of the youngest on the scene, with its single-origin beans sourced from six curated Chikmagalur estates. With a dedicated space in Koramangala, Bengaluru, that draws allusions to a high school chem lab, the café is tailormade for tinkering and experimenting. Luckily, with
immediately after. Packs are also available for sale at the café, and it’s even likely to bottle its cold brew soon. There are others pushing this third wave of coffee too – The Indian Bean, Black Baza, Halli Berri, Seven Beans – all of whom offer monthly subscriptions to have freshly roasted whole or ground beans delivered directly to your home. In an attempt to keep things local yet convenient, Delhi-based Karan Tibrawalla has taken a slightly different route with Fresh Brew Company. Via its website, the brand offers a range of organic-certified, Indian-origin, Nespresso-compatible capsules that are ground to order, to keep things as fresh as possible. Since the hot new thing is the cold brew, a style that caters to many newbie coffee converts, Fresh Brew Co also bottles its cold brews and delivers them to your doorstep, as frequently
co-founders Ayush Bathwal and Anirudh Sharma overseeing the space, there aren’t any mishaps. The Ranchi boys take turns handling the floor, spreading their love for fine coffee and teaching folk how to tell their Arabica from their Robusta. Another Bengaluru favourite is The Flying Squirrel, founded by Ashish D’Abreo, which sources about 80 per cent of its artisan coffee from a single estate in Coorg. There, they experiment with cross-cropping (growing in the midst of citrus, vanilla or spice patches, etc) and profileroasting to create unique expressions. The range includes single beans and blends that are roasted two or three times a week and shipped to customers
NEXT BIG THING: NITRO COFFEE What is it? Basically an iced coffee infused with nitrogen. Tiny nitrogen bubbles band together to create a thick, foamy head and impart a smooth, creamy mouth feel. Think of it as a coffee stout your boss won’t object to. Currently only Blue Tokai pours it on tap, but it’s only a matter of time before the trend explodes in local cafés.
as you’d like, in neat packs of four. Add a splash of Fever Tree – or vodka or gin, if you’re so inclined – for a refreshing coffee tonic. BEAN THERE, DRANK THAT
› BLUE TOKAI, New Delhi and Mumbai
Sip: The Nitro Coffee, and not only for how rare it is to find in India. Coldbrewed for 20 hours, it’s fruity and chocolatey, with low acidity and, of course, that lush, creamy nitro texture. The Baarbara Estate pourover offers a biscuity, citrusy brew with a lingering chocolate finish. For a fruity, nutty and balanced cup try the pourover with MS Certified Organic Arabica instead.
› PERCH, New Delhi
Sip: The proprietary House Blend is 80 per cent Mysore Nugget and 20 per cent Brazilian, and works well as an espresso or as a cold brew. For a rich, fruity, full-bodied cup, try the Ethiopian Aeropress. A little tipple goes a long way: The Coffee Shrub – coffee steeped in a balsamic and maple syrup reduction and topped up with vodka and tonic – is a winner. And there’s always the Espresso Martini and, if you’re lucky, a Cold Brew Negroni.
› THIRD WAVE COFFEE ROASTERS, Bengaluru
Sip: The MS Estate with a Hario V60 pourover for a bright and balanced cup. For something heavier, a French press with Bettadakhan Estate will hit the spot.
› THE FLYING SQUIRREL, Bengaluru
Sip: Sattva, a single-origin organic Arabica with berry notes, makes for a nice pourover. If you’re in the mood for a cappuccino, Parama has a great body with chocolatey caramel notes and a creamy finish. Its high-altitute blend is only available at the café and can’t be purchased online.
› THE PANTRY, Mumbai
Sip: Italian press medium-roast coffee from Chikmagalur medium. The Pantry also pours a refreshing cold brew. Best paired with the double chocolate waffles.
› LE15 PATISSERIE, Mumbai
Sip: Sourcing beans through Blue Tokai, Le15 serves up a great espresso that goes great with a Nutella brownie. Or, try the cappuccino with the passion fruit macarons.
survival of the
faddest From things you eat to stuff you exhale, we tell you if you should be bringing these five health crazes into 2017
rend-obsessed health freaks can be a smug bunch. They’re judging you at dinner, they’re judging you in the gym (or because you’re in it) and they’re judging you when you step outside the bar for a smoke. The internet spits out fads with increasing regularity, and these are the guys who adopt them with alacrity. But let’s take a breath here, sip some organic matcha and wonder: How many of these supposedly healthy trends are actually, you know, healthy?
Who it’s for: Those concerned about the food they put into their bodies. Most farm-to-table produce is organic and pesticide-free.
Vaping A substitute for smoking, vaping uses an atomizer to convert flavoured liquids into smoke. By slowly reducing the amount of nicotine in the flavours you buy, you can theoretically rid yourself of your addiction. In India, Evolve Vapors and iVape offer starter kits. Who it’s for: People who can’t quit cold turkey.
And that stray trendster outside Woodside Inn who’s just come from Portland, Oregon. is it right for you? Vaping is the equivalent of people who claim they don’t drink but love Breezers. If you’re looking to stop your nicotine addiction, and haven’t been able to in the past, this is an alternative. Just don’t turn it into another addiction.
is it right for you? In theory, this is one trend that’s easy to get on board with. But at the moment, most restaurants work with big suppliers instead of smaller farmers. It can also be difficult for many to source these ingredients throughout the year. Another problem comes from trucking the ingredients in: Does Mumbai really need to serve Andaman Lobster or Himalayan Trout when it’s got the sea at its doorstep? How fresh can something that’s travelled that far really be? A focus on local foods has been a hallmark of the movement globally, and is something that needs to be better managed in India. Till that happens, let your taste buds guide you, not the origins of the pig on your menu.
words: aatish nath. image: getty images (vaping), shutterstock (icons)
Farm-to-table has become synonymous with high-end restaurants that want to emphasize the provenance of their produce. Abroad, it’s used to classify restaurants like Dan Barber’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns or Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse, both of which are attached to farms, or restaurants that buy produce from local farmers. In India, it describes restaurants like The Table and Masque in Mumbai, and Chi Ni in Delhi, which use locally grown ingredients.
WELLNESS RETREATS You take care of the (not-inconsiderable) expenses, and these guys do the rest. Atmantan in Maharashtra, Bengaluru’s Shreya’s Yoga Retreat and Vana in Dehradun are just some of the properties that offer immersive stays: Information gathered before checking in is
CONNECTED WORKOUTS Gamification plays on our competitive nature, connecting your exercise with your friends circle. Fitbit was a pioneer in fitness tracking, logging the number of steps taken, calories burnt and more, but now there’s a whole range of products like Intex’s Fitrist and Xiaomi’s Mi Band out there. There are also apps that project your information onto a big screen in your workout class. Then there’s companies like GOQii – it sets you up with a proprietary band and app that allows you to get coached remotely by experts to achieve your goals. WHO IT’S FOR: Tech lovers who eagerly await the internet of things. And data geeks who like to keep track of their fitness numbers. IS IT RIGHT FOR YOU? Sport pretty much exists to make exercise competitive, so very soon you’ll be discussing fitness leader boards like you do league tables.
used to put together a bespoke experience that takes into account everything – diet, exercise regimes, spa treatments and more. It’s not just your physical well-being that’s taken care of, but also mental health, all using both ancient and progressive techniques.
WHO IT’S FOR: People who want to retreat from city life (most offer stays ranging between 3-21 days) and those who don’t have the willpower to detox at home. IS IT RIGHT FOR YOU? If you’re looking to take
the guesswork out of leading a healthier life, wellness retreats offer luxury while also doing your body some good. Though, chances are you’ll regain all that weight as soon as you check out, and get back to your regular lifestyle. So go with the right expectations.
MyDaily Meal and Happy Ratio both offer easy-to-prepare milkshakes that fulfil all of your nutritional needs (from a single meal), without the fuss of whipping up a full plate. Modelled after Soylent, an American open-source meal replacement, everything that goes into their shakes is 100 per cent vegetarian. While neither will disclose their proprietary formulas, one glass has the same nutritional value recommended from a wellbalanced meal. WHO IT’S FOR: Time-starved people who don’t want to make the effort to prepare a full meal. And futurists who want to live in a post-taste world. IS IT RIGHT FOR YOU? We’re not against a meal substitute, since people like Elon Musk prize consistency in daily life over anything else. But with meals in a box like Holachef and delivery services like Freshmenu around, there’s enough options for the time-starved executive without having to forego chewing entirely.
AMANEMU WHERE: Ise-Shima National Park, a cultured area in the Japanese countryside. Why: Be one with nature (literally) at the newest Aman resort, where you can soak in mineral-rich hot spring water, that arrives on command with the twist of a tap. LATEST TREATMENT: The Amanemu Seasonal Journey for winter uses seasonal kampo (medicinal) herbs and essential oils for the mind. BEST TIME TO GO: November through April. aman.com/resorts/amanemu
REST YOUR CASE Progressive spa retreats in Asia that are the hottest health overhauls for your destroyed liver and frazzled psyche
CHIVA SOM WHERE: Legendary spa retreat in Hua Hin, Thailand. WHY: This celebrity haunt allows alcohol post 6pm and two cups of coffee a day. MOST EFFECTIVE TREATMENT: If you have digestive issues, the Chi Nei Tsang massage helps release intense emotional blockages in your abdomen. You may feel desperate for it to be over, but those in the know book a session as soon as they confirm their next stay. BEST TIME TO GO: November to February. chivasom.com 52 —
ANANTARA KALUTARA WHERE: An hour’s drive from Colombo, Sri Lanka. WHY: It’s a visual delight, one of the last projects initiated by the late Geoffrey Bawa, the renowned Sri Lankan architect whose “tropical-modernist” style has shaped architecture across the country. SIGNATURE TREATMENT: The Chakra Crystal Balancing Treatment using crystal-infused oil and lymphatic drainage techniques is great for stressed bodies and overworked minds. BEST TIME TO GO: January to April and July to September. kalutara.anantara.com
WHERE: Five luxury lodges in Bhutan, creating a circuit journey through Thimphu, Gangtey, Punakha, Bumthang and Paro, that open this year. WHY: Known for its sensational spas, Six Senses will take only 72 guests across the five properties. LATEST TREATMENT: The Sleep With Six Senses programme dedicates itself to giving you quality zzz’s through bamboo-fibre pyjamas, personalized room conditions, M2M massages and sleep tracking apps. BEST TIME TO GO: October to December. sixsenses.com
KAMALAYA WHERE: A refreshingly otherworldly retreat in Thailand’s overdone Koh Samui. Why: Try a yoga session with Rajesh – a former monk so profoundly wise some people book their trips around his availability. COOLEST TREATMENT: The Emotional Balance programme is a five-day exploration of your emotional habits. BEST TIME TO GO: Come here when it’s time for a big decision, a life shift. Or, July to August and late December through January. kamalaya.com
WORDS: MEGHA SHAH, KARINA AGGARWAL. IMAGE: SHUTTERSTOCK (MAP)
SIX SENSES BHUTAN
Millennials who are making big changes, student entrepreneurs, and other bright young things
INNOVATIONS IN EDUCATION A new breed of start-ups
is changing how (and what) students learn
COIMBATORE COOL How this southern city
is attracting—and nurturing—fresh talent
UNVEILS A SPECIAL ISSUE ON
PHOTOGRAPH: PANKAJ ANAND
A PREVIEW OF THE MAKE IN INDIA (YOUNG INDIA) MAGAZINE
Indian millennials are ‘digital natives’ that are culturally affected by the vast canvas of technology. They are also adventurous and value-driven, along with being socially and environmentally conscious. Make in India magazine—now in its third edition—attempts to profile some of the young, dynamic and creative minds of the country, while shedding light on what drives them. You can also look forward to stories written by game changers along with features on Coimbatore as India’s start-up hub, a breed of student entrepreneurs and the urgent need to develop skills in the country, among others, that promise a fascinating read.
Founder, Menstrupedia Challenging the “culture of silence” that surrounds the subject of menstruation, Aditi Gupta launched Menstrupedia— an online platform and comic book to educate adolescent girls. Menstrupedia registered 50 lakh users through their online and offline engagements. The comic book has been translated into 11 languages to create a future where menstruation is a welcome change and not a matter of confusion.
TARUN MEHTA & SWAPNIL JAIN
Co-Founder & CEO; Co-Founder, CEO & CTO, Ather Energy As fuel prices continue to rise, Ather Energy by Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain, is poised with their S340—India’s first-ever electric scooter, which is due to launch shortly. While they’re in the midst of creating an eco-system around it, the founders are looking to sell 10,000 units of the S340 in the first year of its launch.
Founder, Thelabelife.com With an aim to marry content and commerce, and give users a personalised shopping experience, Preeta Sukhtankar set up thelabelife.com in 2013—India’s first-ever editorial-led, e-commerce brand. Breaking conventional ways of doing e-commerce, her website inspires urban Indian women to make informed shopping decisions. After battling hardships, she has emerged as a forerunner in her business.
THE FINEST UNDER 40 RAHUL SHARMA
Co-Founder, Micromax & Yu Televentures The idea of creating a phone with a long-life battery came to Rahul Sharma’s mind when he visited a village that received electricity only for a few hours. He set up Micromax and in 2008 introduced 10,000 units of a 30-day battery phone. It was a sell-out. Today, with 1,045 employees, Micromax is the only Indian brand in the list of top 10 handset makers in the world.
“MY MISSION IS TO MAKE MY CUSTOMERS HAPPY AND LOOK AFTER MY STAFF. THE AKSHAY NARVEKAR REST WILL TAKE CARE OF ITSELF.” -Kainaz Messman
Founder, Bombay Shirt Company Stemming from his own appreciation for immaculately constructed shirts, Akshay Narvekar launched the Bombay Shirt Company. While India has always had a thriving bespoke apparel market, this company creates shirts by combining technological efficacies and haberdashery skills. With three manufacturing units in Mumbai, Narvekar prides himself on offering a world-class product that’s entirely Indian and plans to go global.
Founder & Creative Director, Cocoon Fine Rugs In 2009, Ayush Choudhary founded Cocoon Fine Rugs to give domestic consumers access to this ‘made-in-India’ luxury brand, which was born out of the family-run export business. He says, “As a country, we have always been fascinated with imported goods. What we are slowly realising is the potential India has.” Cocoon Fine Rugs is about bringing the highest international standards of luxury.
“AS A COUNTRY, WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN FASCINATED WITH IMPORTED GOODS. DIVYA PALAT WHAT WE ARE SLOWLY REALISING IS THE POTENTIAL INDIA HAS.” -Ayush Choudhary
MD, Balancing Act Films; Founding Partner, Balancing Act Productions Incredibly active, despite living with Multiple Sclerosis, Divya launched Balancing Act Productions in 2003 to make theatre more accessible. After several performances, in January 2016, she launched Balancing Act Films to promote video content. She even has a non-profit Balancing Act Trust, which supports numerous causes with funds collected through theatre and film.
PHOTOGRAPHS: PANKAJ ANAND, SAM PAREKH, BEYNAZ MISTRY
PROFILING MORE THAN 50 YOUNG INDIANS (UNDER THE AGE OF 40) WHO ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Founder & Head of Production, Theobroma Kainaz Messman launched Theobroma (which means ‘food for the Gods’) in 2004 with a dream of introducing all things delicious. Today, Theobroma has 500 employees and 12 outlets across Mumbai. Her goal? To double the company’s turnover in the next five years. She says, “My mission is to make my customers happy and look after my staff. The rest will take care of itself.”
Co-Founder, Akaar While the custom-manufacturing market is on the rise, there is still a missing link between customers and manufacturers. To bridge that gap, in October 2015, Nikhil Bhansali launched Akaar—an online platform delivering custom-manufacturing—3D printing, laser-cutting and more. His mission is to empower India’s next generation so that they can create world-class Indian products.
JAI SINGH & VIKRAMADITYA BARKANA
Founders, Polofactory At a time when quality polo equipment wasn’t available in India, Jai Singh and Vikramaditya Barkana launched Polofactory. While they manufacture polo equipment and polo-inspired fashion wear and accessories, they also cater to polo clubs across the globe.
RIVETING & INSPIRING
STORIES ABOUT YOUNG INDIA WE DON’T NEED NO EDUCATION
…But we’re still going to get our degrees. Meet this breed of students who turned entrepreneurs while still on the campus Dell, Facebook, Wordpress, Google, Snapchat and Dropbox are all companies that were conceived and launched by college students from their dorm rooms. But hey—such things happen only in the US, right? Wrong. In the last decade, the trend of student entrepreneurs has caught on in India. And here’s a story that features some of the people and the companies that emerged on college campuses. Take for instance, Shashank ND and Abhinav Lal from NIT Surathkal, who came up with a number of ideas during their stint at NIT. At the end of which, the duo had 10 paying clients and handsome job offers. But instead they took a leap of faith and started Practo—a company that went from strength to strength. In 2014-15, it reported 15 lakh users and about US$4.4 million (`29.73 crore) in revenues. Similarly, Aruj Garh started Bhukkad— a late-night food joint in the National Law School, Bengaluru. Learning the ropes of the food business in this manner, he gave up the idea of a law career, and is now taking the venture into the city.
START-UP HUB: COIMBATORE
It may not figure on Indiaâ€™s list of metros but Coimbatore is increasingly becoming a hub for a number of home-grown entrepreneurs across industries and social interests
PHOTOGRAPHS: PANKAJ ANAND, ARJUN MENON
Making way for a dynamic ecosystem that incubates startups, Coimbatore has a unique mix of diverse businesses, entrepreneurial camaraderie, aggressive work ethic and an old-world preference for stability and humility. While shedding light on the several new businesses that have emerged and are thriving within the city, this story tells you why it is the perfect place to kick-start a new venture.
GLOBAL SEEDS TAKE ROOT
A young generation of new-age farmers is cultivating varieties of super exotic vegetables and fruit that until recently, were being imported into India Much of what was earlier considered â€˜exoticâ€™ in vegetables and imported, is now home-grown. A new crop of Indian farmers have achieved this, simply by browsing seed catalogues online and purchasing the quantities they need. Also, fortunately, the geography and climatic conditions across India vary vastly to make way for food plant varieties that are not native to the country. This is why farmers can grow tropical fruit right through the winters in the Konkan region, where there are no cold nights or that avocados and basil thrive in Coonoor and Ooty, where the weather is cool all year round.
A TIME TO SKILL
This story sheds light on the supply-demand gap of skilled workers and the social changes needed to address it
Although skill development programmes have been running in India for decades, it wasnâ€™t until November 2014 that India had a dedicated ministry to helm this effort. Skilling is both urgent and crucial for the country. Economists and policy makers have weighed in on the demographic dividend (or demographic burden) debate. On one hand, the country adds 26.5 million people to its working population each year. On the other hand, the shortfall of skilled workers across 24 sectors by 2022 is estimated at 109 million. If this demand for skilled workers is not met, both industries and the economy will lose out. A look at the supply and demand for skilled workers leads to the inference that some of the problems in this landscape can only be solved through large-scale social change.
PHOTOGRAPHS: TALIB CHITALWALA, PANKAJ ANAND
ALSO FEATURING A CLASS APART
Innovation in the education sector is attracting more children to school and helping them learn better.
BOOMING BABY BUSINESSES
Mothers-to-be, mothers and infants have become a target for a host of enterprises. This story chews on teething issues and first steps babyfocussed brands experience in India.
“Film—art in general—can be a great unifier. I’m excited, as a young director, to be able to contribute, to tell stories made by us, for us. Making in India is also about making for India and—in a way—making India”
“We believe that mobility in India is a creation opportunity and not a disruption opportunity”
“We need to stop thinking of sport as a frivolous waste of time. Instead, we should use Squash to raise our international profile just as other countries have done”
“The stage has been set by the National Skill Development Corporation and it’s now up to us to work alongside the government to realise the dream of skilled India”
“This is the time to invest, to start companies”
“As a leader your job is to find and train your replacement, so that you can go on to do something new”
RITESH AGARWAL Founder & CEO, Oyo Rooms
Co-Founder, Ola Cabs
Founder & Managing Director, Matrix Partners India
Founder & Blogger-in-Chief, MissMalini Entertainment
…AND THEIR TAKE ON MAKE IN INDIA
“The Make in India initiative is truly a great one as it helps promote start-ups which really need incubation and inspiration”
SHRAVAN AND SANJAY KUMARAN
ILLUSTRATIONS: PADDY MILLS
“The pyramid has inverted. Companies don’t dictate terms these days”
Founder & CEO, InMobi
“India’s youth are creative and innovative. They demand meritocratic experiences and transparency”
Vice Chairman, Times Internet
“Going forward, I see us delving more into India’s culinary depth and heritage and adapting modern techniques to interpret it for future generations”
CEO, Impresario Entertainment and Hospitality; President, National Restaurant Association of India
Download your digital edition on www.makeinindia.com /makeinindiaofficial @makeinindia /makeinindiaofficial
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STYLE EDITED BY VIJENDRA BHARDWAJ & SHIVANGI LOLAYEKAR
NEW TRICKS OLD GAME
We’re living in a time where looking good lies somewhere between a threepiece suit and a radical casual approach to menswear. To strike a balance, wear your sharpest suit and top it up with your most versatile accessories.
Tousled hair is to 2017 what the man bun was to 2016. Make the shift THE BELT
Add a little edge to your look with a braided belt
PHOTO: R BURMAN. HAIR & MAKE-UP: DEEPA VERMA. MODEL: LAKSHYA LATHAR
Carry a backpack to work – as long as it looks like this THE SHOE , S 00 ,5 TIE Y S BY 1 1 E B H ICE ` T, TH IN OT R IR Y L P ; B , P SH R B PE 00 ON . T A A ,0 T T ES B . L 9 I T U IE 0 `4 U S Q . T ,50 S, S V UE E R K `6 ER UI Q N IN , K O RE O S P AN EA Y L N CE A -B SN B O RI M AY 0, CK ICE , P THO R ,00 PA PR S S Y BY 0 CK O, BO B ES , `3 BA AD H T GO OT AM EL A. Y R U H 0; B . FR 0. B EGN B H BY 00 00 50 Z TC IT `7, 1,3 `3, DO A U W L , S IE, , ` E GI T. T UB M E ES H OM EN QU H RM RE E N O
Invest in sneakers that go with your suit as well as jeans
Knotty AffAiR Should you still be wearing a tie in 2017? Hermès’ silk savant Christophe Goineau shows you why
he buzziest shows on the international fashion week circuit are the ones with behemoth set-ups: Guns blazing? Larger-than-life installations? Thirtypiece orchestra? The bigger the spectacle, the louder the chatter within the inner circle. Hermès however focuses on menswear without any added frills. So when the Parisian house decided to take on Tokyo in October for a dedicated men’s presentation – off the routine calendar – the curiosity was palpable. A private hangar in Haneda Airport was the backdrop for a gentleman’s fun fair, “The Nature Of Men”: a Fall/Winter 2016 runway show that preceded interactive photo walls, whisky bars, tap dancers and installation booths – all at par with the quality you’d expect from Hermès. Each booth featured a different aspect of its men’s division: from a bedroom of shoes stuck to the walls and ceiling to a wall of vinyl covers showcasing Hermès’ scarf prints. Christophe Goineau, the creative director for the men’s silk division, was sporting the brand’s Mumbai-inspired scarf. GQ caught up with him to talk about the very accessory that defines success in a man’s style: the tie.
I started off very young as a trainee. I was quite old-fashioned, very conservative and when I discovered Hermès, I found it to be quite modern. I started out in the tie department, before scarves came about. That meant travelling a lot, visiting flagships. What I discovered to be the most interesting part was product creation. Today, I only talk design, pattern, print.
So much has changed, in terms of design technology. Has that affected your creative process?
Yes. But more than technology, I think it’s the 66 —
IntervIew: ShIvangI LoLayekar
In your 27 years at Hermès, what have you learned?
way people wear ties now, the way they buy them. Today, guys see ties less like a uniform component. When they do buy one, they choose something that reflects their personality. That makes a difference to the collection, and pushes us to include new materials, shapes and designs. Ten years ago if you’d asked me what the future of the tie was, I wouldn’t have been so enthusiastic. Now, I’d say it’s very interesting.
It’s true that men don’t want to look like their fathers anymore. I’ve tried to make designs that show where we are globally. When we did the 8 Ties exhibition in Mumbai three years ago, we had an interactive installation to represent ties printed with flash drives. There were also sport- and hobby-themed ties that men could connect with – inspired by running and pétanque to poker and music. The young generation also pay closer attention to colours. So we included a range of colours. We work very differently now from how we did in the Nineties. Our ties were very classic at the time. We didn’t experiment much. Today, we’re very creative and audacious because we don’t mind if we sell only 200 pieces of a particular design.
With casual dressing taking prominence, what’s the relevance of a tie today? There are people who wear ties for occasions because it’s the norm. Then there’s a whole other kind. I once saw a young guy at the Paris flagship who was wearing a tie because he just felt like it on that day. The younger generation see ties as an accessory. If I compare it to my father’s time, the tie was an everyday necessity. He didn’t think of it as a style element. A hundred years ago, a man had a hat, umbrella, gloves and a tie. Slowly, the hat, gloves and umbrella became optional. But
(above) the hermès Fall/ winter 2016 runway show (right) shoe porn in a bedroom (Below) the Mumbai-inspired scarf print vinyl cover
I’m optimistic about the tie sticking around. It doesn’t have utility, but it looks good.
How should you wear a tie today?
It’s the only touch of colour for men. If you remove that element, then you need to replace it, with maybe a scarf. But there aren’t any rules anymore. You used to hear that stripes shouldn’t be paired with checks, checks shouldn’t be paired with dots. This thought process has completely changed.
What’s the most difficult part of your job?
“I like that you can forget about a tie and a year later realize ‘Oh yes, I have this tie!’, and still wear it”
If you have a product of good quality, then it can last you a lifetime. I like that you can forget about this element of your wardrobe, and a year or two later realize, “Oh yes, I have this tie!”, and still wear it. That’s the difference between wearing fashion and wearing quality. This is the only thing that makes my job difficult – to strike the right balance between the two and still keep it within the Hermès universe. Sometimes I feel like a writer. Everyone’s happy with the first book, eagerly awaiting the next one. You have to change the character, make him evolve because it still needs to be new and fresh. But if you change too much, the reader gets lost and doesn’t recognize him anymore.
IntervIew: shIvangI lolayekar
…BECAUSE WOOL IS WONDERFUL Focussing on Merino wool’s potential as a natural, luxury fibre that would further enrich India’s fashion industry, The Woolmark Company showcased the Journey Of Wool — a Farm to Fashion Story
here are only a few things that stand the test of fashion and time. One of those things is Merino wool. And now, more than ever before, fashion moguls and enthusiasts from around the world seem to be gravitating towards this luxurious and versatile fabric. As a global authority on wool, The Woolmark Company hosted its first-ever Wool Conclave in Delhi, along with the India Fashion Forum (IFF). While the event shed light on the Grown in Australia, Made in India initiative, which told the Farm to Fashion Story of Merino wool, it also promoted the limitless possibilities of earth’s finest, most precious fibre. The day-long event included panel discussions with inputs from industry leaders, the media, retailers, fashion stalwarts and dignitaries, like the Australian Deputy High Commissioner, Mr Chris Elstoft and Honourable Textile Minister, Mrs Smriti Irani, on the endless possibilities of wool within India. It was almost unanimously agreed upon that Merino wool is an allnatural, eco-friendly fabric that’s wrinkle-free and rich in texture. High on breathability, it’s extremely durable and, better still, has temperature regulating properties that keep you warm in winter and cool in summer. With
STYLING CREDIT BY NITAL GANATRA
its ability to effortlessly mix with non-natural fabrics, it is perfect for suits, bandhgalas, sherwanis and jodhpuris. Speaking about wool and the event at large, Smriti Irani said, “This natural and biodegradable fibre is easy to tailor, which makes it a popular choice for most manufacturers and retailers in India. Bringing these two forces together, this event serves as the perfect platform to explore the different opportunities available in the wool industry. “I am sure that this endeavour will spur growth of the Indian textile industry. Adding to the discussion was Arti Gudal, Country Manager, The Woolmark Company, who said, “There’s a lot of unexplored potential of this
fibre in the Indian market, making it ideal for emerging designers to experiment with and discover. Today’s event allows us to promote the wool industry in India through global and local retailer inputs and highlight the endless properties of this remarkable fibre.” While highlighting the versatility, innate luxury and boundless potential of Merino wool, designers Karishma Jamwal and Jimit Mistry brought the Wool Conclave to a crescendo with a spectacular fashion show by leading fashion brands. While Monte Carlo revealed their Autumn/Winter line with stylish dresses, jackets, caps and scarves, OCM presented an array of lightweight jackets and
formal suits. Ambassador Shawls wowed a rapt audience by showcasing the many ways in which a shawl could be draped. Speaking about her experience with Merino wool, Karishma Jamwal said, “Wool as a fabric is extremely versatile, allowing various shapes to be beautifully executed. The common perception is of clean, classic cuts. The challenge for me was giving this fabric an edgier feel. Consciously staying away from clean and simple lines, I wanted this fabric to convey a language that was artful and bohemian.” Jimit Mistry further added, “It is a privilege to be a part of the initiative Grown in Australia, Made in India. It gives me a sense of responsibility and
opportunity to contribute to the journey of wool.” Popular television celebrities like Shravan Reddy, Ekta Kaul and Ruslaan Mumtaz walked the runway, delighting audiences with their glam factor. All in all, the event made it evident that Merino wool has come a long way from the Land Down Under to India’s fashion scene, making it the fabric of the season. For more information on Merino wool, visit woolmark.com
1. ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA, `16,000 2. HERMÈS, `16,000 3. EMPORIO ARMANI, `10,000 4. GUCCI, PRICE ON REQUEST 5. BURBERRY, `14,500
PhOTO agENCy: PhOTOlINk
y l Pho ed to by g r De a Ph sir e Ée d b Fe y J r n ig a n ne s De h s Jh
W su he o iti th ou ffic ng er a t e up yo te tie at or fo u’r to xtu th nig ste r t e yo re at ht, pp he ur an ad pi ing lo d ds ck ok co lo ur
aL TI L Ed UP THE LINE-UP
6. BROOKS BROTHERS, `7,000 7. GIOVANI, `1,500 8. PAUL SMITH, `10,000 9. LOUIS VUITTON, PRICE ON REQUEST 10. HUGO BOSS, `12,000 11. HACKETT LONDON, `12,500 12. THOMAS PINK, `7,000 13. CANALI, `9,000
PhOTO agENCy: PhOTOlINk
THE BIG MOVE
Nothing says power better than a striped double-breasted suit – as long as it has all the trappings: your best accessories and a furtive glance. SUIT BY GATSBY.ALIPH, `42,000. SHIRT BY THOMAS PINK, `11,000. TIE BY HUGO BOSS, `11,000. TIE BAR BY THE BRO CODE, `1,800. POCKET SQUARE BY VAN HEUSEN, `800. SHOES BY ROSSO BRUNELLO, `10,000
A DB used to make for a rigid look. Now, it’s ready for any occasion PHOTOGRAPHED BY ARSH SAYED STYLED BY DESIRÉE FERNANDES
DARK AMBITION Try your Casual Friday look on a Tuesday, and you’ll surprise the office, in a good way.
Note No e the e llength g of the jjacket; a hint of cu cuff sshould o ou d always a y show.
Always y leave that t at last ast button open. p
Yes, y you can wear a sslick we c brown leather b o e e belt,, without b matching m g it to your shoes. y
Your trousers should skim the top of your shoes. Nothing more, nothing less.
Wear your jacket with washed-out jeans and sneakers for a day brunch or drinks at the gymkhana. Leave the buttons open for a studied nonchalance. SUIT JACKET BY GATSBY. ALIPH, `42,000. POLO T-SHIRT BY JACK & JONES, `2,000. JEANS BY G-STAR RAW, `16,000. BELT BY CELIO, `1,300. SHOES BY KENNETH COLE, `10,150
HAIR & MAKE-UP: MONA ANAND/BBLUNT. MODEL: UDAYBIR SANDHU/TOABH
SUIT JACKET BY GATSBY. ALIPH, `42,000. SHIRT BY JACK & JONES, `2,500. JEANS BY CELIO, `3,500. POCKET SQUARE BY VAN HEUSEN, `540. SUNGLASSES BY RAY-BAN, `8,000. SHOES BY KOOVS, `1,500
SABYASACHI C A L C U T TA
AT THE OFFICE
1SUIT 4 WAYS We’re not judging you for having one suit. We’re helping you wear it four different ways PHOTOGRAPHED BY ARSH SAYED STYLED BY DESIRÉE FERNANDES
A sharp twopiece suit is inherently bold, but it can also handle other elements, like a tie, tie bar, pocket square and your favourite brown shoes.
SUIT BY GIOVANI, `12,000. SHIRT BY CALVIN KLEIN, `7,000. TIE BY SS HOMME, `4,000. TIE BAR BY THE TIE HUB, `1,300. POCKET SQUARE BY ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA, `9,200. BAG BY TUMI, `58,000. SHOES BY ROSSO BRUNELLO, `7,500
Polo shirts work under a suit – even when it’s a subtle graphic print.
SUIT BY GIOVANI, `12,000. POLO T-SHIRT BY TOMMY HILFIGER, `4,600. POCKET SQUARE BY THE BRO CODE, `800. SUNGLASSES BY RAY-BAN, `5,500. SHOES BY KOOVS, `1,800
HAIR & MAKE-UP: MONA ANAND/BBLUNT. MODEL: SAMI TAHA/TFM
ON THE GO
AT THE CLUB
Top up your suit with a trench that’s in the same colour family.
On the weekend, pair it with a knit and sneakers – and ignore anyone who says wearing a suit is “uncomfortable”.
SUIT BY GIOVANI, `12,000. SHIRT BY BROOKS BROTHERS, `9,000. TRENCH COAT BY BURBERRY, `1,25,000. POCKET SQUARE BY VAN HEUSEN, `800. BELT BY LOUIS PHILIPPE, `1,700. SHOES BY CLARKS, `7,000
SUIT BY GIOVANI, `12,000. JUMPER BY BROOKS BROTHERS, `10,000. POCKET SQUARE BY THOMAS PINK, `2,600. BELT BY LOUIS PHILIPPE, `1,700. SHOES BY SUPERDRY, `6,100
M-66 Greater Kailash-1 Market New Delhi 110048 T: 41634788 29231155 JMD The Empire Square MG Road Gurgaon Next to Bristol Hotel T: 0124-2889101/02 For Appointment Call: 9873173456 W: www.sunilmehra.co.in E: email@example.com
KEEP IT SHARP Tom Cruise’s oversized bomber in Top Gun (1986)
GQ’s style guru Vijendra Bhardwaj addresses your sartorial dilemmas. This month: dressing down to dress up Andrew Garfield
Q2 DROP THE BOMB
Cruise getting with the times
Leather jackets are cool but is there a way to wear them without looking like a Hells Angel? —Rian, New Delhi Virat Kohli
Q1EASY DOES IT
I keep seeing guys in suits, ties, pocket squares and lapel pins, flaunting what they call the details. But is there a way to keep to the basics and still look sharp? Any hope for the guy who likes to keep it simple? —Sheldon, Bengaluru
You’re right, Sheldon. Designers pay great attention to the details when it comes to contemporary menswear. And rightfully so – the little things can make a big difference. However, you can keep it simple and still look damn good. The key is to wear highquality pieces (think fine cashmere jumpers, crisp Oxford shirts, brushed cotton chinos or dark jeans) and play safe with colours. Trust in a well-tailored jacket – it can be dressed up with a shirt and tie, or worn casually with a grey T-shirt and chinos. Look at Andrew Garfield here, a superb example of how to work slick minimalism. The look’s casual, but sophisticated. Something one can wear almost anywhere.
You’re in luck, Rian, because right now leather jackets don’t have the Brando-Dean vibe at all. As long as you don’t pair it with ripped jeans and a tee. Wear it like you would a blazer, with a shirt and trousers, and occasionally a tie. Or throw it over a turtleneck jumper. Also, note the fit. In 1986, Tom Cruise’s bomber was cut so loose it could’ve been borrowed from a retired officer with a beer gut. Today, it’s snug, short and cut close to the body.
Prateik Babbar at the GQ Men of the Year awards 2016
Q3 SMALL WONDER
Why is there a little additional pocket inside my denim pocket? —Karan Sharma, New Delhi The tiny pocket serves both a stylistic and a functional purpose – you can use it to store coins, a fob watch, tickets, chits or condoms. Send your sartorial queries to firstname.lastname@example.org
IMAGE: GETTY IMAGES (TOM CRUISE, ANDREW GARFIELD). PHOTO: KENNETH LAM (KHANNA), TARUN VISHWA (KOHLI), ERRIKOS ANDREO (KUMAR)
MIX IT UP
Who says smartwatches can’t have analogue flair? Fossil’s new Q Crewmaster Hybrid Black Silicone Smartwatch sidesteps all the pitfalls of technology (specifically, the constant recharging) and replaces it with tactile, non-batteryconsuming visuals while allowing you to take calls, photos and control music via Bluetooth. fossil.com
UNITED COLORS OF BENETTON
SWEAT IT OUT
You don’t have to wear a bulky coat to stay snug. A fine knit under a bomber is sharper and will keep you just as warm. Plus, this season designers have played up graphics, stripes and sumptuous colours. You’ll make a statement even while covered up. ferragamo.com, global.tommy.com, world.benetton.com
GQ EYE TOP PICKS FROM HE STYLE DESK THE
They’re in between the bellbottom and skinny variety and are being endorsed by guys all over, including fashion heroes like Lucky Blue Smith and Brooklyn Beckham. Slim straight-cut jeans not only go with almost everything you own but also make you look taller by pulling you in at the waist. Our pick? Being Human’s patchwork pair. beinghumanclothing.com
LABEL ALERT New e-label Lulu & Sky has a dedicated men’s section full of vintage bags, cardholders, cufflinks, pocket squares, bow ties – even pill boxes. While it’s dominated by womenswear, we suggest treating yourself when buying something for her. luluandsky.com
BE A SNOB
The name instantly catches your eye. But what makes new label Snob (Son of a Noble) cool is its nifty selection of basic graphic T-shirts and pop-coloured pocket squares that you can’t find elsewhere. sonofanoble.com 84 —
WORDS: SHIVANGI LOLAYEKAR, PARTH CHARAN
The best way to add a pop of colour to your serious suit
OFF THE RUNWAY
GREY MATTER One of the strongest trends to come out of the second edition of VH + GQ Fashion Nights, designers urge you to try all 50 shades
ROHIT GANDHI + RAHUL KHANNA
STRIPED ALL OVER
TONE ON TONE
Who said your clothes can’t create magic?
Bring in a touch of leather to your stately look.
The only way to wear Indianwear in the new year.
Dress like a shade card for rock star appeal. Mask optional.
RAJESH PRATAP SINGH
VAN HEUSEN MR GREY The new and improved version of your grey three-piece suit.
PHOTO: SAGAR AHUJA. IMAGE: GETTY IMAGES (STEVE)
Steve McQueen in The Thomas Crown Affair, 1968
AVAILABLE IN ALL LEADING STORES
3 THE HIPSTER UNDERCUT
Last year, almost everyone got the same – or a version of the same – haircut at least once. You know the one, short on the sides, long on top. The almost undercut. But it’s time for an intervention. Box yourself out of the cookie-cutter dos and find a new favourite way to wear your hair in 2017
If the ultra-short fade isn’t for you, take things in the opposite direction by keeping the length even longer on top. The trick to achieving this look is to keep the sides tight and make sure you condition the hell out of the top.
In today’s extreme haircut world, a medium-length, tapered haircut can’t just flop around as is. That would be a little too Hugh Grant circa 1995. Instead, guys with this length are slicking their hair with high-shine pomades and gels in order to give it a bit of a Twenties polish. The effect is pretty damn charming, and looks great with a nice suit.
A Seventies-era offshoot of the skinhead subculture in Britain, suedeheads wore dressier clothes and kept their hair slightly longer than their induction-cut friends. Today, the look is just an unpretentious take on the buzz-cut, which simultaneously makes you appear younger and a bit edgier too. To get the cut ask your barber to use a #2 or #3 guard, keeping the length uniform all over.
THE LAZY 4 MAN’S POMPADOUR
Pompadours, or “quiffs” as they say in England, have been trending for several years now, but guys with full hair shouldn’t give up on the look yet. To adjust the cut for right now, take a less precious approach to styling it; enhance your natural wave with soft wax or pomade instead of trying to shellac it into submission. Then, run your hands through it all day long.
WORDS: MEGAN GUSTASHAW. PHOTO: FARROKH CHOTHIA (SAIF), DABBOO RATNANI (HRITHIK). IMAGE: REX FEATURES (NICK, ZAC), TARUN VISHWA (TIGER). IMAGE: GETTY IMAGES (LIAM, RYAN), REX FEATURES (KANYE)
The Gatsby Slick-Back
5 THE HANDSOME DAD
Find yourself shaking your head and saying “I’m too old for this shit” as you read this story? Meet the handsome dad haircut; a classic cut that’s a little bit longer on top and towards the front with gentle tapering on the back and sides. As long as you keep it fresh, this cut will always be cool.
THE BRITBOY FADE
The long-on-top fade has had its moment in the sun. For an updated take on the look, try a shorter, textured version of the cut. It has the same edgy creative-guy feel but is a little less Brooklyn, a little more London in spirit. Bonus points if you trade out your brown lace-up boots for a pair of shiny black Docs.
7 THE DOWNTO-NOTHING BUZZ-CUT Or, screw everything – keep it real, real short and let your clothes do the talking instead of worrying about what’s on top of your head. While any hair texture can pull off an induction-style buzz-cut, we like it on guys with coarse hair textures who can pull off the freshfrom-the-barber line up around the hairline.
THE REBEL CURLS
Got a head of curls hiding underneath your cap? Follow in the footsteps of 2016 Youth Icon Tiger Shroff and let ’em shine with a long, shaggy cut that’s meant to be worn messy. Unwashed, unstyled and paired with your favourite leather jacket, the look is more Gavin Rossdale than Shirley Temple.
H N K A ACADEMY
the world’s biggest movie star on failure, forgetting – and why he’s fascinated by strange minds P h o t o g r a P h e d b y TA R U N K H I W A L S t y L e d b y V I J E N D R A B H A R DWA J
WrItteN by SHIKHA SETHI
SUIt by TOMMY HILFIGER. JUMPer by DOLCE & GABBANA. PoCKet SQUare by HACKETT LONDON. LaPeL PIN by THE BRO CODE. ShoeS by OLIVER SWEENEY. WatCh by ROLEX
JUMPER BY BOTTEGA VENETA
hah Rukh Khan is wired: Our interview – which takes place over three hours – is fuelled by cigarettes and espressos. It starts in the actor’s `4 crore vanity van, continues at Stage 5 at Bandra’s Mehboob Studio and ends back in the van post GQ’s cover shoot. The crew on set is a little flummoxed when, even though his shot is ready, Khan pulls up a red plastic chair next to me and, as promised, continues with our conversation. For a good 30-minute interlude, we sit quietly, as flashbulbs pop and lights are tested, stylists, caterers and managers hover about us, never quite daring to encroach on our circle of intimacy, as we talk about faith, love and death. What’s your first memory of failure? I remember running a 100-metre race in school [at St Columba’s, Delhi], against boys who were a little older than me. Till that point, I’d been running with boys my age and I was used to being in the lead. In that race, though, I came fifth out of six or seven boys. As soon as the race was over, the school officials rushed over to the winners and whisked them off to the podium. There were people around, but no one came to me. It was the emptiest feeling. You felt invisible, like you didn’t count? It was depressing. Not the kind that makes you feel like crying or sad. That comes later. It’s a mental thing. You go back to your bench, and take off your spikes – as cynical as it sounds, failure is something you face alone. Success has a lot of masters, friends and well-wishers. But failure is lonely. Still, it’s just as textured as success.
What are some of the nuances of both? It’s almost impossible to replicate either. With success, you can do everything you did before, but you’re not guaranteed the same results. It’s why you can’t pass success on to your children. When you talk to extremely successful people, they often sound cagey or vague when
they’re talking about their accomplishments. It’s not because they’re hiding a secret; they genuinely don’t know how to explain their success. Failure is like that too. The only difference is that success comes with confetti and streamers; failure is that corner you go back to. You deal with it, and then you wake up and start all over again. It’s a process of emotional detoxification. What are the benefits of failure? If you fail repeatedly at something, it can tell you that perhaps you’re not cut out for it. It can make you look at a situation more carefully, so you avoid repeating certain mistakes. It strips you of arrogance and can shake you out of your complacency. It can make you more humble and focused. But I think we say these things to make ourselves feel better, because the truth is, failure feels like crap. But it’s also inevitable. As an actor, a producer, a co-owner of an IPL team, you’ve seen your share of highs and lows. Yes, both are transient. As human beings, we’re fixated on permanence. And that’s the biggest screw-up. We don’t want that holiday to end; we want to be young forever. But nothing is going to stay the same. We know it’s all going to end, and yet look at the conviction with which we wake up and go through every day. You lost your parents fairly early on. That must have had a big impact on you. I’m 51. I lost my dad when I was 14 or 15, and my mother when I was 25. That void never gets filled. If you lose your parents too early, you have to grow up too fast. You can’t play with toys, you have to start playing in the real world. I play with my children’s toys now. People find it odd, and think perhaps I’m just a good father, but that’s not true. I’m just a father who didn’t have toys. You spoke earlier about faith – a kind of faith that’s unreasonable, unshakeable. My father passed away suddenly, and then my mother redeemed
“YOU HAVE TO DEAL WITH FAILUrE In sOLITArY cOnFInEmEnT. In THAT rOOm. ALOnE” the situation for a bit. Then she died suddenly and we were all shaken up again. Today, I don’t know whether it’s better to lose your parents when you’re young and get over it faster, or to have them around and see them get older. It’s a bit childish, but I do believe they’re looking out for me, stars in the sky, perhaps. I think I recognize them, but it’s quite possible I’m praying to someone else’s parents. Do you really believe that everything happens for the best? No, it’s for life. I couldn’t say whether it’s good or bad. I think in the end it evens out at about 50-50. There can be a bad spread, a worse spread, and then it gets better.
What does power mean to you? Power is about patience. It’s about acceptance – because acceptance and patience make you resilient. It is not about being able to override things, or overcoming calamities, or beating down people. It’s not about getting the deal. Doing business is power, longevity is power, and resilience is power. My father used to tell me, “The guy who screams the loudest in a fight is the weakest. The one who acts the smartest will go down first.” So if you really want to be powerful, you need to be resilient. See what’s happening, let it hit you. The strongest person in the room is defined by the number of hits they can sustain; not how many punches they can deliver. You have to be able to take a beating. That’s how I deal with failure. I will ride it out. I will not fight it. Just move out of the way and go on. What’s the right attitude towards money? Don’t philosophize until you’re rich first. I used to be poor, and I can tell you there’s nothing romantic about it. When young people, friends, say they want to be great creative novelists, I advise them to be a copywriter first, make a little money. Don’t be a struggling artist; be a happy one. What do you like spending money on? It’s very important for me to smell good. I mix two fragrances – a Dunhill scent that’s only available at their London store as well as a Diptyque one. I’m not big on fashion, but I have a good eye. I don’t like wearing formal shoes, so I mostly buy sneakers. I recently picked up these pre-distressed, worn-in Golden Goose sneakers, which both my son and Ranbir Kapoor tell me are all the rage. 98 —
Your current home, Mannat, was previously owned by the Gandhy family, who run South Mumbai’s prestigious Chemould art gallery. Do you enjoy art? We have a lot of nice art at home – Subodh Gupta, [MF] Hussain saab, [SH] Raza saab’s work, but I don’t really understand it. I’m happy it’s there, but I don’t know how to appreciate a painted work in the same way that I can appreciate a poem or even a scene from a film. What’s on your bucket list? My family used to own restaurants, so there’s a part of me that’s quite servile. I’m learning how to cook Italian food – I can make pasta, risotto and tiramisu right now – but what I really enjoy is serving people, and making sure they’re well fed. I’m building a new kitchen so I can cook more. I also want to learn to play the guitar well. A few years ago in Spain, I bought two really expensive guitars – one for me and one for my son Aryan – and told him that we should learn to play together. The good thing is he has, and he’s pretty good. [At this point, the actor plays a video clip on his phone of Aryan strumming a guitar and crooning Mike Posner’s millennial hit “I Took A Pill In Ibiza”, looking and sounding every bit like an Indian Justin Bieber.] AbRam, my three-and-a-half-year-old, is musically inclined too. If I ever do learn the guitar, we could have our own boy band. What pisses you off? I don’t like badtameezi. I am personally very well-mannered, so it disturbs me when people speak too loudly or get aggressive after a few drinks. I’m very careful about trying to be respectful; so I expect that of others too. I try to be patient, but sometimes I just lose it. And I have the videos to prove it. What are your thoughts on social media? We live in an age where we are over-informed. There’s a lot of noise – the TV guys think I’m five hours late, the newspaper guys feel they’re a day late – the emphasis is on putting news out there. Doesn’t matter if it’s true or not because it’s no skin off their back. But the truth is, it does matter, and there are real implications. As far as social media is concerned, I find it very distasteful when people bring your family into it. I tweeted recently about Sunny Leone’s song in my film Raees, and I’ve got these disgusting comments about my daughter. Sometimes, I want to create an app that tracks down the people who tweet to me. I’d like to do a Liam Neeson from Taken: “I’ll find them and I’ll fix ’em.” There are dangerous implications in this rush for “news”. Post-truth is now officially an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary. A couple of days ago, Madonna – she’s my favourite star along with Michael Jackson – said that earlier, if someone had something to say to her, they’d have to say it to her face. And most times they wouldn’t, just because it would be too awkward. On social media, people say and do things that are barely legal because nothing is really regulated online. It’s like that inappropriate family member you’re always shushing because they’re being plain offensive. The digital world is full of these rude family members – sometimes it’s like they’re the only ones left. Do you think of yourself as a good role model? I don’t want to be a role model. I’m an actor; not a social worker. People are already complaining that I’m playing a bootlegger in Raees, but it’s just a role. I’m fascinated by strange minds. I started my career playing a villain in Darr and Baazigar – I love Scarface, Narcos… And it’s frustrating as a star when you’ve got to meet certain expectations. Raees was originally more hard-hitting, more realistic, but unfortunately we’ve had to tone it down. You eat too little, sleep even less, drink coffee like it’s water and smoke incessantly. What are the chances of your getting healthier in 2017? I will be from January 5th. I’d say earlier, but on New Year’s I think I should be drinking.
STATUTORY WARNiNg: SMOkiNg iS iNJURiOUS TO HEALTH
JUMPER BY BOTTEGA VENETA. JEANS BY DOLCE & GABBANA. LOAFERS BY TOD’S. WATCH BY ROLEX january 2017
“Power is about longevity. it’s about Patience and accePtance – both make you resilient”
THREE-PIECE SUIT, SHIRT; boTH bY DOLCE & GABBANA. TIE bY THOMAS PINK. PoCKET SQUARE bY BROOKS BROTHERS. SHoES bY SALVATORE FERRAGAMO. WATCH bY ROLEX
JUMPER, SHOES; BOTH BY SALVATORE FERRAGAMO. JEANS BY KENNETH COLE. WATCH BY ROLEX ASSISTANT STYLIST: TANYA VOHRA FASHION ASSISTANT: DESiRéE FERNANDES FASHION COORdINATOR: SHAEROY CHiNOY HAIR: RAJ gUPTA MAKE-UP: ARUN iNDUlkAR SET & PROPS: BiNDiYA AND NARii PROdUCTION: MEgHA MEHTA, TEMPlE ROAD PRODUCTiONS
The one unmissable trendsetting show for the entire watch and jewellery industry, where all key players unite to unveil their latest creations and innovations. Be a part of this premier event and experience passion, precision and perfection in action.
MARCH 23 â€“ 30, 2017
EDITED BY PARTH CHARAN
Unravelling the mystery of Omega’s moonwatch The Breguet watch to rule all Breguet watches
WORDS: PARTH CHARAN. IMAGE: ©NASA
CASE How the heroic Omega Speedmaster Professional came to be the world’s first, and only, moonwatch JANUARY 2017
SPEEDMASTER TIMELINE Each avatar of the Speedmaster, beginning with the OG chronograph
The fact that the Speedmaster’s birth year coincided with that of the Soviet’s sputnik satellite seems appropriate only in retrospect, since the space race was nowhere on the watch’s (or Omega’s) agenda. It was, as its name suggested, simply designed to calculate speed (up to 500kph, not 27,000kph). And yet, over half a century later, the Speedmaster remains the chronograph that all chronographs wish to grow up to be – thanks in no small part to its celebrated lunar adventure.
ew periods in modern history have been as
densely packed with ingenuity and pluck as the Space Age. One of the positive highlights of the Cold War, it gave the US and the Soviet Union carte blanche to let their hubris run wild, sublimating their dreams of global conquest into a highstakes superpower dance-off in outer space. Meanwhile, in 1957, nestled away in politically neutral Switzerland, Omega had just finished crafting its first Speedmaster chronograph – charged with the perfectly terrestrial task of timekeeping at the Olympics.
WITH THE EXCEPTION OF SENDING A WATCH TO THE CORE OF THE EARTH AND BACK, THERE COULD BE NO GREATER TESTAMENT TO A WATCHMAKER’S ENGINEERING PROWESS
WORDS: PARTH CHARAN
ow did the Speedmaster end up on the moon? Unlike other brand associations, the wholly tax-funded NASA was looking for nothing less than the most reliable equipment for a fail-proof lunar expedition. Pilots and astronauts were no strangers to chronographs, since they had a better working relationship with speed than most men do with their barbers. But NASA had to find a chronograph as hardy as its space crew – after all, it wasn’t a simulated dogfight it was aiming for, but a moon landing. The watch had to withstand the rigours of outer space, and be “flight qualified by NASA for all manned space missions”. A Speedmaster had accompanied astronaut Walter Schirra on the Mercury-Atlas 8 mission in 1962, so NASA shortlisted it for a series of endurance tests that make the Mossad training regime look like geriatric physical therapy. Think that’s an overstatement? The tests, conducted by engineer James H Ragan, exposed the watches to constant extremities: temperatures ranging from -18°C to 93°C, prolonged exposure to humidity, violent acceleration, highpressure situations, shocks of up to 40g and acoustic vibrations. By March 1965, after over four months of constant testing, NASA finally settled on the then-latest
(Above) Omega advertisements for the Speedmaster moonwatch; (below) each Speedmaster Professional comes with “The First Watch Worn On The Moon” engraved on the caseback
Omega Speedmaster Professional. It went on all the Gemini and Apollo missions, leading up to that famed Apollo 11 journey. Both Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were given, according to the Omega museum in Switzerland, identical ST105.012 models. Armstrong left his Speedy inside the lunar module, deeming it more reliable than the onboard (and malfunctioning) electronic clock. And so Aldrin’s became “the first watch worn on the moon” – something Omega hasn’t shied away from, even engraving the phrase on the casebacks of all Speedmaster Professionals.
t’s an understandably surreal moment in Omega’s history. There was the Speedmaster Professional – with no mechanical modifications – unassumingly ticking away in the abhorrent vacuum of space, aiding its wearers in their pursuit of the impossible. With the exception of sending a watch to the core of the Earth and back, there could be no greater testament to a watchmaker’s engineering prowess. Presumably, Aldrin’s watch still continues to tick
somewhere on Earth. Its exact whereabouts are unknown, since shortly after it landed back on our planet, it was lost in transit on its way to the Smithsonian museum. But the Apollo 11 mission was far from the last feat of heroism to be performed by the Speedmaster. After that first moon landing, Omega’s flagship found itself aboard the Apollo 13 in April 1970, strapped around astronaut Jack Swigert’s wrist: When their oxygen tanks exploded, both Swigert and Lowell were forced to put the vessel’s power in reserve mode to preserve life support and communication systems. But as the electronics proved their limitations in the extreme conditions, it was up to the Speedmaster to calculate the critical 14 seconds of burn needed to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere. It was the first time the moonwatch had actively assisted in a mission. Although Omega has tweaked subsequent models of the Speedmaster – adding a selfwinding movement, a new case shape and refining the calibre – it has kept its mechanical core unchanged, in a very literal case of not fixing what isn’t broken. Even when it was time to re-qualify a watch for manned space missions in 1978, the Speedmaster was the undisputed and unaltered choice. It has, ever since, constantly faced and aced gruelling tests, to the extent that it’s now the world’s most tested watch. And now it is evolving into an even more rugged watch, with Omega reportedly developing a version of the Speedmaster capable of going to Mars by 2030. No matter where NASA’s technology and priorities may take the Speedmaster, it will always remain one of the best examples of old-world, analogue durability – one which will continue to challenge electronic systems for decades to come.
OF METAL AND
One watch to rule Breguet’s Tradition collection? We choose the 7087 Minute Repeater Tourbillon
WORDS: PARTH CHARAN
t seems almost unbelievable that the Breguet 7087 Minute Repeater Tourbillon can be acquired through a regular commercial transaction – however sizeable it may be. A watch that contains so much of the 242-year-old brand’s innovative history ought to be guarded by fire-breathing dragons – or wedged in stone, at least, able to be pulled out only by the worthy. If you were to point to any of the intricate complications in an automatic watch, odds are Breguet has had something to do with it. Gravity-defying tourbillon? Abraham-Louis Breguet patented the first one in 1801. Shock protection mechanisms? Invented in 1790. Gong springs, crucial to the modern minute repeater complication? 1783. First introduced in 2015 to mark the 10th anniversary of the Tradition collection – a vintage tribute collection inspired by 18th-century pocket watches – the 7087 is a symphonic mix of Breguet’s most iconic complications and modern technologies. Literally, too: The Swiss watchmaker has painstakingly ensured that the acoustic quality of the minute repeater’s chime NEARLY was par none. The idea was not so much to A HUNDRED emit a sound as a note – so, to arrive at the THOUSAND DIGITAL right one, Breguet ran nearly a hundred SIMULATIONS WERE thousand digital acoustic simulations. RUN TO CREATE THE PERFECT But it’s not just this timepiece’s gong CHIME NOTE springs that strike the right note. The visuals are equally stunning: The off-centre guilloché Breguet dial, with its needle-thin Breguet hands, has been shrunk to reveal an almost pornographic level of mechanical intricacy. Completely visible through the openwork dial, front and back, is a tourbillon at 6 o’clock, updated with a titanium bridge and silicon springs to give the 7087 a more modern identity. Hours could go by delving into the exquisite details, from the pocket watch-like bayonet pusher at 10 to the magnetic strike governor that keeps the chimes reliable. It all just confirms that the 7087 Minute Repeater Tourbillon is an acoustic and aesthetic heavyweight, a testament to why Breguet continues to rank so high in the horological order.
Showcasing India’s Greatest Menswear
DECEMBER 2016 `150
THE LUXURY SPECIAL
5IN 0THEBEST THINGS WORLD RIGHT NOW
Abu Dhabi Strikes Back THE 21 GREATEST DOCUMENTARIES OF THE 21st CENTURY
EDITED BY PARTH CHARAN
Will 2017 be the year of Tesla? How our favourite brands became so big
WORDS: PARTH CHARAN. IMAGE: GETTY IMAGES (MUSK)
The coming of age of Elon Elo Musk
uch like his sci-fi-esque name, Elon Musk’s vision and thoughts firmly belong to the future. In a lot of ways, he’s the 21st century’s new blueprint for success. He’s courageous without being reckless, a certified genius minus the temperamental volatility of other inventor-industrialists. He’s taken on the two most failure-prone ventures – electric cars and private space travel – and emerged victorious, thanks in part to the Model S. Tesla’s second car offering was not only practical and efficient, it was what most electric cars before it had failed to be: gobsmackingly fast, and exciting. In its famed “Ludicrous” mode, the Model S could leave thoroughbred supercars gasping for breath. One software update later, it sits squarely in hypercar territory with a 0-100 kph time of 2.4 seconds. And yet, Musk’s trajectory hasn’t been smooth. Lowered fuel prices in the US last year led to a sudden drop in Tesla’s stock, while mishaps concerning its autonomous driving tech dented the firm’s bulletproof reputation. But while Musk may have lost some traction, he’s course-correcting with a JANUARY 2017
The Model 3 is, along with Tesla’s other projects, umbilically connected to the Gigafactory, which will strike a lethal blow to the internal combustion business
WORDS: PARTH CHARAN
sprint towards a renewable energydriven future. Starting with Tesla’s recent acquisition of SolarCity, which aims to make solar energy as accessible as possible. Combined, the two ventures will go a long way towards making Tesla a global, one-stop energy solution: from powering the tiles that make up your roof to the car that sits underneath it. The latest piece in Tesla’s jigsaw puzzle is the Model 3. With over 4,00,000 advance bookings across the world already since its announcement last March, the premium performance sedan, which rolls out this year, is likely to irrevocably upset the established, fossil fuel-driven order. At $35,000, it’s also the cheapest electric car Tesla has ever made. Musk claims that the Model 3 has an approximate range of 350km, a builtin autopilot system and as much space and comfort as a similarly priced sedan. So it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that the fate of electric mobility – and that of electric cars becoming the norm – rests on its svelte shoulders. There are a lot of factors that could impede the Model 3’s immediate success: further drops in fuel prices, an increase in the efficiency of other hybrid and electric vehicles, the inability to create a fully functional autopilot system. But if it succeeds, it will be one of the greatest automotive revolutions of our time, the likes of which were last seen a century ago with the Ford Model T. And the Model 3’s aiming to take its revolution global – starting with India. Top Indian businessmen from Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma to Voonik CEO Sujayath Ali have already queued up for theirs. And though the car may take more than two years to reach our shores (simply owing to overwhelming demand), that’s time
spent setting up the infrastructure necessary for Tesla to become a common fixture on our roads: an extensive network of its patented Superchargers, which charge the car’s batteries significantly faster than traditional charging stations. Musk has reassured Indians about Tesla’s plans, tweeting that the brand’s arrival “will include an India-wide Supercharger network.” Given the minimalistic componentry of an electric vehicle, local assembly could be a strong possibility in the not-too-distant future as well. As big a role as the Model 3 plays in Tesla’s masterplan of ushering in a new, aggressive age of renewable energy, it is, along with all of Tesla’s other projects, umbilically connected to the Gigafactory. SolarCity’s upcoming battery-producing motherlode in Nevada, which will see completion in 2018, will make lithium-ion batteries cost-effective enough to strike a lethal blow to the internal combustion business. With batteries being the single most expensive component in an electric car, the Gigafactory’s goliathan scale of production will help to make the already cheap-to-own electric cars even more cheap to buy. Not to mention allow Musk to keep his promise in meeting the ever-increasing demand for the Model 3 and expedite the process of putting more electric cars on the road. When Musk’s efforts pay off, the scope of what Tesla and SolarCity can accomplish will more than upend the status quo: It’ll further open up the renewable energy sector to private competition, and do what most climate change activists have been unable to do – incentivize the process of reducing our collective carbon footprint and, hopefully, keep those glaciers in their place a little longer.
The cars, tech and people that made their storied manufacturers what they are today
BONNEVILLE TRIUMPH In the late Nineties, Triumph, much like most of the British motorcycling industry, appeared to be living out the last days of its meagre existence. Until it decided to mine
its infinite reserves of retro-cool and revived the Bonneville range in 2001 – re-introducing the unique charm of Sixties Britain to the delight of an ever-growing breed of nostalgists. Once the fastest production motorcycle in
the world, ridden by the likes of Steve McQueen and Bob Dylan, the new Bonnie is single-handedly responsible for kickstarting the retro trend. And making Triumph one of the fastest growing motorcycle brands today. 2016 TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE T100
AUDI R8 AUDI
CAYENNE PORSCHE Although SUVs are generally perceived as polar bear-killing, ice cap-melting chariots of doom, they also happen to be one of the fastest growing segments. Which is why in 2002 Porsche decided to momentarily stray from its puritanical pursuit of perfecting its flagship, the 911, and create its firstever SUV. Despite roaring disapproval from hardcore Porsche enthusiasts, the Cayenne was a smashing success, bringing the brand back from the brink of financial collapse, and giving it the firepower needed to fund its supercars for decades to come.
2015 TRIUMPH THRUXTON
WORDS: PARTH CHARAN. IMAGE: SHUTTERSTOCK (GRAPH BACKGROUND)
2001 TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE T100
Back in the mid-Noughties, Audi wasn’t shaping up to be one of the most exciting brands of the new millennium: The sheen from its days of rallying glory was slowly fading, and its unshakeably tweedy and professorial air had begun to turn off hot-blooded enthusiasts. Then the Audi R8 came out. Few carmakers had gotten a supercar so right in their very first attempt – the R8 hit the trifecta of being thrilling, sensational and friendly. Unlike more extreme supercars, it could be docile as a gerbil during a milk-andeggs run, and vicious as a honey badger on a race track. Now it’s down in history as one of the all-time greatest everyday supercars.
BMW The new goal in ultimate driving luxury clearly is not having to do most of the driving. While this notion may be anathema to purists, it’s approved by the well-heeled corporate alphas of the world – the ones BMW has designed its bleeding-edge ConnectedDrive technology around. Several aspects are still being perfected (including a collision avoidance system). But plenty others have been showcased in the new 7-Series, such as “parking assist”, which allows the car to parallel park itself in the narrowest spots through a highly advanced key fob, as well as an onboard driving assistant that puts BMW way ahead of the technological curve.
2013 RANGE ROVER
LAND ROVER Bred in the swampy moors of the perennially wet English countryside, the original Range Rover never failed to evoke the feeling of “old money”, having been one of the most reliable aides to Britain’s landed gentry. Today, the revamped brand is synonymous with so much more than just off-roading. With
hordes of stars pouring in and out of its doors, it’s now symbolic of a jet-setting, glittering lifestyle. No driveway ornament this, the new Range Rover still packs one of the most complex off-roading systems, enabling you to tread pretty much any corner of Earth’s landmass in sublime luxury.
NISSAN For more than a decade-and-a-half, Shiro Nakamura has architected Nissan’s complete design overhaul, creating its identity as one of Japan’s quirkiest and most diverse carmakers. Nakamura’s clearly one of the most versatile car designers in the industry, with a portfolio that includes everything from the scimitar-like Nissan GT-R to the pocket-friendly, pocket-sized Nissan Cube. There isn’t much that doesn’t fall under his design oversight (brand logo and letterhead included). And while his work may have left people inspired on occasion and polarized on others, one thing it’ll never do is leave them underwhelmed.
THE Man CoMMandMEnTs:
100-point Guide To
Winnin At Life
From affairs of state and marriage to the hunt for happiness and a healthy bank balance (they’re not the same), rules every man should live by
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THE 100th ISSUE
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's100-point Guide To Winnin
The man who strays eventually gets caught. The woman who strays eventually falls in love.
Learn exactly how much you can drink without losing your temper, your wallet or your erection. Learn this as quickly as possible.
Never take drugs, talk about politics or go down on someone just to be polite.
You should weigh yourself every week. It is only when you weigh yourself every week that you realize everything counts – the hours in the gym, the food delivered to your door, the calories of alcohol, the sit-ups and the snacks. Putting on a kilo a year makes you old.
11 Never lose your temper with airport security, crying babies or other drivers. Patience will relieve many of life’s little miseries, but is a skill that needs to be learned and mastered, like a language or a martial art.
When you get back from the gym, you must immediately pack your bag for the next time. Because it doesn’t end. It never ends.
Never covet thy neighbour’s wife – unless thou wants to screweth up four lives (not including the lives of the children and domestic pets). Facebook is not your friend. Your friends are your friends. You have a problem, pick up the phone and call them. Don’t look for sympathy from a wall post. Unless you have no friends.
Porn is the opposite of sex. You can have an addiction to porn. Or you can have a sex life. But it’s difficult to have both.
Don’t expect the state to do a thing for you. Ask what you can do for yourself, not what your country can do for you.
A little of what you fancy will always do you good – unless what you fancy is crack.
There is a reason why a personal trainer will always get you fitter than you can get yourself – it is not rational to be pushed in the manner that he or she will push you.
When you feel nostalgic for an old lover, always remember they do not look as hot as that anymore.
Pain is just 10 weakness leaving the body.
Working out with a personal trainer is a lot like taking an enema; painful AF but entirely rewarding. Last year, a friend who runs a gym took pity on the sedentary medical nightmare that passes for my body and assigned me a personal trainer. So one morning, this absurdly fit man was in my living room, waiting, not 12 feet from where I slept. Now, four months in, I can
You know that you are truly in love when you are shocked to be waking up without her by your side.
Our greatest illusion is that happiness will come if only we can get that woman, that job, that house, that car, that prize. But true happiness always resides in the quest.
confirm two things: 1. It’s been the most gruelling experience of my life, and 2. I would heartily recommend it to every person I know. Ten minutes into my first workout, I thought I was going to cry. Twenty minutes in, I aimed simply to stay conscious. At the half-hour mark, my mind separated from my body. When it was done, I was thrilled to be alive. By night, in the throes of muscle soreness, I wished for death. But the man in my living room came back the next day. And the day after. After years of false starts and failed attempts at establishing a regular workout regimen, I now look forward to training every morning. And getting a personal trainer has made all the difference. Every time I’m ready
to give up, he eggs me on. If I struggle with exercises, he isn’t a dick about it. If I lose interest, he mixes my routine up by weaponizing random household objects. Thanks to this wheyprotein Willy Wonka I finally know what the “after” part of an energy drink ad feels like. Will I ever have a six-pack? Probably not. But that’s hardly the point. Today, I wake up energized, I stay away from that second brownie, I no longer slouch over when I walk. So if you’ve got a living room, or a tiny park corner to yourself, find yourself a trainer who can kick your ass into shape, while working with your temperament and limitations. The near-death experience is worth it. —Rohan Joshi, co-founder of All India Bakchod
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Men are, by nature, more promiscuous than women. But a woman who is newly in love is wilder than any man could ever be. Unfaithful married men are often cut to the bone when their faithful wife suddenly falls hard for some new man. Because she will do anything for him.
When his work feels just like his play, a man is a king.
It is always healthy to remember the bad times. When you are in a monogamous relationship, you will long for your promiscuous years. When you are living wild, you will get nostalgic for when there was someone waiting for you at home. But every lifestyle has its drawbacks. So when you are free, remember how stifled you felt being in a relationship. And when you are settled, remember how
unhappy promiscuity made you in the end. Always count your blessings of the here and now. And remember the bad times.
If you knew how long you were going to live, you would take better care of yourself.
Political opinions are like sex: Something you do not discuss in public. If you are discussing sex in public, you had better be a stand-up comic. From anyone else, it’s unacceptable.
It is good to remember old lovers with affection. But don’t get too sentimental or you will end up dragging the dead carcass of that relationship around the block one more time.
Never bicker with your neighbours, your colleagues or your girlfriend. It can only end badly.
The only success that matters is being able to live the life that you want. This does not mean that there will never be failure, disappointment or more work than you can handle. Living the life you want means you will still be regularly visited by all of these. And yet it will always be worth it.
The rule about finding the perfect age for your partner is to divide your own age in half and then add seven. This seems to work. Especially if you are a woman.
You should earn more than your woman. This is not being sexist or old-fashioned – it is an act of love.
Men fear commitment because we think that if we do not give our hearts away, then we will stay free. But if he forever walks alone, a man does not become free. He becomes lost.
We’re happy for your success. But if the only time you “check in” on social media is when you’re in the First Class lounge or at a three-Michelin
star restaurant, you need to rethink who you are. Because the rest of us are laughing at you.
A boy’s life is largely about seeking sexual encounters. A man’s life is largely about avoiding them.
Never skimp on shoes.
It is all right to cry, but don’t make a habit of it. You do not have to reserve your tears for the big stuff. You do not have to wait for a parent to die or for your own diagnosis of terminal disease – it is perfectly acceptable to be deeply moved by a song, or a film, or a news item. But remember that no woman ever really wants to see a man cry.
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25 As you get older, you become much fussier about who you sleep with. But this is not necessarily the same as becoming a better person.
Your body will tell you when it is time to see a doctor. Only a fool doesn’t listen to his body.
Pay your way. Buy your round. Avoid those who go to the loo when the bill arrives. No matter how much money they have, these are cheap people.
Money spent on dental work and travel is never wasted. Plan to die with good teeth and great memories. JANUARY 2017
's100-point Guide To Winnin
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The worst thing about having children is that you are never truly free again. The best thing about having children is that you will never have a better reason to be alive.
Prepare yourself for every task you face. Really prepare – you’re too old to be doing your homework on the bus. When the time comes, be ready. As they say in boxing: Train hard, fight easy.
The big lie: Everything happens for a reason.
Always treat your parents as if they are close friends who are soon to move to a distant land from where it will be impossible ever to return. Never take them for granted, no matter how busy life gets. You can’t imagine your mother and father dying. And then they do.
The slower you move, the faster you die.
Switch off your phone when you drink. And leave it in another room. Tequila texts are not something you can take back.
Phone sex is great. But one day you will make a mistake. And then either your mother, your wife or your Facebook family will be staring at pictures of your body parts. Do not let that happen.
Soft drinks should be consumed as sparingly as hard liquor.
trends for 2017. Here’s what should be on your plate:
Collagen great for muscles, bones, skin and tendons, it is the glue that holds your body together. Your diet should have plenty of collagen-rich foods, including fish (salmon and tuna), dark green and orange vegetables, as well as strawberries and raspberries.
How to eat rigHt in 2017
“Shift from chemical protein supplements (such as whey) to more natural ones: organic brown rice protein powder, vegan pea protein, soya supplements.”
Bengaluru-based nutritionist Ryan Fernando – the man behind aamir Khan’s transformation in Dangal and olympic medallist Sushil Kumar’s impressive physique – gives us his top
akshay Kumar, the fittest 49-year-old we know, swears by the blood-group diet he follows. now there’s an even more
precise technique to figure out what foods will keep you feeling light. nutrigenomics (gene testing for nutrition) identifies food groups that work best for you depending on what your body processes most easily. “there are four genes that govern the absorption, digestion and processing of food in the human body. if someone can’t absorb gluten properly, for example, the result can be a cascade effect of gluten intolerance, which could in turn lead to an auto-immune disorder, bad skin, acne, pimples, dandruff, irritable bowel syndrome, thyroid issues. it’s simple: eating according to your genetic composition will give you optimum results, in the gym and outside it, because your brain will function better too.”
Eye contact. Eye contact with everyone. Eye contact and a big smile. These small, good things will transform your world.
SoupS “Switch from detoxing with fruit juices (many of which have added sugar) to souping. Soups have more nutrients from vegetables and tons of fibre, so you’ll be fuller for longer and consume fewer calories too.”
+ tHingS You DiD laSt Year tHat You SHoulD Keep up “Swap processed sugar for natural sweeteners like honey and jaggery. add antiinflammatory turmeric by the teaspoonful to your milk. Favour coconut oil for healthy fats. include a daily shot of apple cider vinegar to boost weight loss and lower blood sugar levels. and up the goal on your fitness tracker from 10,000 to 18,000 daily steps.”
Unless you are 12 years old, there is no excuse for taking selfies at the dinner table. Or anywhere else, for that matter. If you own a selfie stick, you should consider professional help.
It is okay to unfriend people. And you don’t need to give them a reason why. And that is not just on Facebook.
Talking about how much money you have impresses no one. Telling people what you paid for your new watch, car or home generates neither envy nor awe. It will someday generate an inquiry from the income tax department, however.
Don’t justify the locker room talk. Gentlemen do not kiss and tell. Never hit anyone if you can avoid it. There are really only two
good reasons to hit someone – you are fighting for your life, or they have insulted your family.
If you do hit someone, then try to keep it neat – don’t throw wild, swinging punches. Your punches should be as straight as a piece of scaffolding, and they should snap back as quickly as they snap forward (as if you are catching a fly). The exception is hooks, which should be powered by your hips, not your arms. A good hook to the body will break your assailant’s ribs – and his will.
Unless you run a global corporation that will file for bankruptcy if you don’t reply to email immediately, put away your phone in a social gathering. Stop texting. You are not telling people how wanted you are. Just how rude. JUMPER BY JOHN VARVATOS. JACKET BY UNITED COLORS OF BENETTON. JEANS BY DOLCE & GABBANA
Drugs shoulD be behinD you by the time you are 25, unless your Day job is playing guitar for the rolling stones (leaD rhythm, not bass).
I was living the ultimate chef’s life – working 18-hour days and partying every night till I had to be back in the kitchen at 5am. I’d do everything – except stuff you need a needle for. But eventually, watching other chefs struggling to breathe and using two aprons, because one wouldn’t go all the way around, was a rude wake-up call. It was fun while it lasted, but as you mature, you find highs in other things – for me it was rockclimbing, hiking and mastering trapeze. And here’s the best part: Life as you know it won’t be any less thrilling. —Kelvin Cheung, chef at bastian and one street over
If you and your woman have loud arguments, then you are with the wrong woman.
You will sometimes fail. There will never be a point in your life when you are too successful, too old or too wise to fail. Expect failure and let it put steel into your soul. Be made strong by your failures and be made grateful by your success. Like night and day, both will surely come to every life.
55 the best cure for jet lag is sunshine. the best cure for a hangover is the black Doctor (Coca-Cola – regular, not diet). the best cure for diarrhoea is yoghurt. the best cure for a broken heart is another trip to the moon on gossamer wings.
's100-point Guide To Winnin
Good manners are important. There is never an excuse for rudeness. The quality of a life is largely about small human transactions, and politeness makes human existence bearable.
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If you and your father have loud, shouty arguments, then this is completely natural – but you should make every effort at reconciliation. The time that fathers and sons have together is limited. The tears you shed at your father’s funeral should be tears of loss and grief, not of bitter regret.
There are lots of fabulous women in the world, but you can only truly love four or five of them in a lifetime.
Dating apps are great for hookups. But do not expect a long-term relationship from someone whose most important decision that day was whether to swipe right or left.
Public speaking and practising safe sex are two skills you need to master. You will be expected to do both, sometimes at the same event.
Learn which bridge to cross and which bridge to burn.
Do not become a father until you are prepared to put another human being before yourself.
Never get drunk the night before you catch a plane, go to the gym or make love to someone for the first time.
Think about your health, but don’t be obsessed with it. Resist hypochondria. We are all going to die. But not just yet.
If you do not have regular orgasms, you will die. Your
Friendship – true friendship with that special handful of people – takes effort. Left to itself, it will wither on the vine. So think about your friends. Love them and cherish them. Cut them some slack when they make mistakes. Friendship is important. But remember we are all alone in the universe. Never be afraid to fly solo. You were born alone. You will die alone.
Moving to California fresh out of college was exciting, a brave new world of independence and anonymity where no one asked, “What time are you coming home?” Moving back to India as an adult was a whole different ballgame. People would ask what I missed the most. It wasn’t the clean air or the neighbourhood sushi joint or my favourite 24hour diner. It was friends. Coming back to Kolkata, I realized that everyone’s friend circles were already complete. There were school buddies settling
prostate gland will assume that you have no further interest in the human race and it will rise up and smite you down. When the coming stops, the breathing is never far behind.
Love your work. Try to make your great passion and what you do for a living impossible to tell apart. This will make for a happy life. When everything else lets you down, work will sustain you – give you self-esteem, fulfilment, money, human contact and a reason to leave the house. At some point you will have to do a job you hate. This is to be expected – just make sure you know how to find the exit door.
into middle age at the same clubs. There was the colleagues circle from work. There were the parents of kids who went to the same school as your kids. If you came up empty on those boxes, good luck to you. But, of course, the biggest issue was me. When you are 25, you are more forgiving about people (except parents) than when you are 35 or 45. At 25, you accumulate friends with every beer drunk at a party. At 35, you just notice every tic that annoys you about someone. You do not have the patience to tolerate all those foibles. Now I have to re-learn making friends as an adult. Facebook screwed us over by appropriating that word for both an acquaintance and a person who knows our deepest, darkest secrets. In that virtual world, just a click turns a stranger into a
friend. In the real world, we have to find common interests. We have to have conversations about those common interests. We have to go from saying, “We should get together soon,” to actually getting together for a coffee. It feels almost foolish. Coffee actually means coffee. It’s not code for romance. But there are a few things that can help you get by: I’ve had to learn to talk to strangers instead of playing with my phone. I’ve had to take a chance on invitations where I did not know the other guests. At the end of it all, it still might not work. Some new friendships just sputtered. Some old friends had lives too far removed from my worldview. And the biggest lesson I’ve learned about friendship is to accept that. —Sandip Roy, author of Don’t Let Him Know
There will be one night in your life when you turn up for a black-tie event in a lounge suit. And there will be another time you are instructed to wear a lounge suit (or tracksuit) but you arrive in black tie. We all mess it up sometimes. When it happens, you just have to butch it out.
When you’re considering divorce, do the right thing. Give her the alimony she needs, not what you think she deserves. You don’t want a judge looking at social media showing you with a champagne glass and cigar, when you’re in court claiming you can only pay a pittance.
Nobody knows the full story of marriage. Not even the husband and wife.
Most relationships do not end too soon. Most relationships go on for far too long. Know when it’s time to quit.
The one with the power in the relationship is the one who cares the least.
HoW To up your sTyle gAme The history of fashion is a rich source of inspiration: men have used it to find their individuality and become paragons of distinctive style – be it rule-breakers like Bowie or The Beatles, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Rahul Khanna or the rakish Rohit Bal. Some of my top books to turn to for inspiration are One Hundred Years Of Menswear by Cally Blackman and The Man Of Fashion: Peacock Males And Perfect Gentlemen by Colin McDowell, both of which capture bygone eras with beautiful photographs and illustrations. Your look is more than the clothes you wear; at its best, it can be an important anthropological moment. Err on the side of looking eccentric rather than always playing it safe. A suit to a cricket match is fine; looking like a hobo at a wedding is not. A sharp suit is a man’s sartorial trump card. So wear your suit like you would a T-shirt – like you’re damn comfortable in it. —Vijendra Bhardwaj, fashion director, gQ India
Don’t worry – you will get a second chance to get everything right. Even if it all goes wrong – the marriage, the career, the life – you get a chance to try again. But you don’t get a third chance. A lifetime is just not long enough for a third chance.
Strain every fibre of your being to resist hating someone you once loved.
Never sleep with a crazy girl, no matter what she looks like. you learn the hard way that it is just not worth it – usually when she is standing in front of your house at four in the morning spray-painting “I hate you” on your front door.
Stun them with your talent. Dazzle them with your genius. Never be half-hearted. Never be lukewarm. Attempt to knock every ball out of the park. SHIRT, TROUSERS; BOTH BY TOMMY HILFIGER. BELT BY DIOR HOMME. SHOES BY CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN
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A thick skin will serve you better than a trust fund. Be decent and kind to all the people who can’t do anything for you. Self-pity is more destructive than heroin.
If you are going to register on a dating site as a married man, you will get caught. It is not hackers disclosing your identity you need to worry about. That girl you just tried picking up? She’s best friends with your niece. This is India: 1.3 billion people, and still everyone knows everyone.
Only fat people skip breakfast.
Happiness will come and go – the important thing is to recognize when it is here.
's100-point Guide To Winnin
Earn money before you spend it. The countries that invented capitalism forgot that wealth has to be created before it can be distributed.
How to die solvent over the years, i’ve learned that investment professionals are good at one thing: making money for themselves. which is why, no
matter how financially ignorant you are, you need to master the basics:
those that fall below the inclusion threshold. these are better company in your old age.
save as much as you possibly can; a good target is 30 per cent of post tax earnings (including what you put into your PF). don’t save too much more – you need enough to have some fun before you enter the wheelchair brigade at the airport. As you grow older, you’ll also need to shell out for destination weddings, big anniversaries, your kid’s education, etc, so plan accordingly.
ignore fixed deposits, bonds and even real estate. the first two are a mug’s game in a developing economy where the producers’ interests beat those of consumers, in order to keep growth rolling. Real estate in india has always paid less than the stock market in the medium to long term, and demonetization will dull it further. the exception: buying a place to live – you don’t want to be priced out, in case real estate does exceptionally.
of the balance, invest 50 per cent in index funds, which have the lowest cost. An index fund buys all the stocks in the proportion in which they make up an index such as the nifty, Bankex or sensex. Follow one you like, and one that’s large enough to represent the indian economy. A “passive” index fund ultimately catches all the companies that succeed when they make it onto the index, and culls
Never drink at lunchtime unless it’s some kind of celebration.
Eat plenty of fibre. Dean Martin maintained that the key to his happiness in his last years was not fame, money or his friendship with Frank Sinatra, but the massive bowel movements he had every morning.
The best way to keep your body fit is all the hard, unglamorous stuff – sit-ups, press-ups and being punched in the face.
Learn to trust your instincts. Only the dead go with the tide. Only the living can go against it.
Do not procastinate – begin. Time is always accelerating. With every passing season, a year is always a smaller percentage of your life.
Once you are past 30, get regular medicals. An unexpectedly good calcium score on your arteries will mean as much as an unexpected blow job did when you were 17.
Have plenty of sex before you settle down. Lots of it. All over the world. With all kinds of women. If you can count the number of sexual partners you have had, then you haven’t had enough. On his deathbed, asked about regrets, the poet John Betjeman said, “I wish I had had more sex.” You
Art has been an investment buzzword in india since the early noughties. Forget it. Price rises have been driven by excess liquidity and a dearth of other options for the uber-rich. this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy art; just buy works you want to put up on your walls, and budget for them as consumption items
should plan to say, “I wish I had had a little less sex”.
Try to avoid using the great get-out clauses. For men: “Drink made me do it.” For women: “Love made me do it.”
Respect the lifestyle choices others make. No matter what your religion has to say about it, if you don’t already support same-sex marriages, you should. It’s just the right thing to do.
It is okay to lie to your parents, your wife, your children from time to time. It is stupid to lie to yourself. Accept your faults and failures. Then see what you can do to fix them. Pretending they don’t exist is not going to make you a better person. Just a bad liar.
If you’re new in a relationship, learn to accept that she has friends other than you. And if you want to stay in that relationship, you’d better make sure those friends like you. You don’t need to suck up, but being an asshole to the guy she’s known since first grade isn’t going to get you far. She’ll be friends with him long after you’re a forgotten episode.
You can, should you wish to consider a career in espionage, betray your country. You cannot, under any circumstances, betray your friends. Put that in your gospel and follow it.
(assume you won’t get your money back, like you wouldn’t for a used toothpaste tube). think younger artists bought cheap. if one of them makes it big, you’ll make money and have bragging rights too. insurance is a must. But buy term insurance, which pays your heirs if you die and has no saving element. that’s because the savings plans buried in normal life insurance policies give substandard returns. Have some fun, and trust your instincts. You’ll come across companies and areas in your work that are likely to define the future of india; invest in 10 of the best of these directly (say, 25 per cent of your financial portfolio) to win big. Anything consumer-facing will be a big winner for the next two decades. —Bharat Kewalramani successfully invests his own money. It’s harder than it looks
Make room for her stuff. She may not want to spend the night, but if she does occasionally, she doesn’t want to carry an overnight bag every time. Sharing a toothbrush is only sexy once. And yes, unlike you, she does want clean underwear in the morning.
Don’t do your best. Do what is necessary.
At some point your in-laws are going to come visit. Not just your partner’s parents: uncles, cousins, brothers of cousins by marriage. It doesn’t matter where you live. Indian families love free holidays. That 1BHK you’re proud of having purchased? Make sure it has a pull-out bed.
You decide if you are going to succeed or fail. Luck does not come into it. The decision process goes by many names – creative visualization, neurolinguistic programming, the power of positive thinking, self-hypnosis – but it all comes back to the same thing. If you tell yourself you are going to do something well, and you tell yourself until you can actually see yourself doing it well, then you will. If you picture yourself lumbering towards the cold sweat of failure, then success is an impossibility. Believe in yourself. Do not let negative thoughts into your mind. There will be enough people in your life who will be only too eager to underestimate you, to denigrate you, to put you down. Never do it to yourself.
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100 Money buys you the one thing that is really worth buying – time. Poverty makes a prisoner of every man. But if you love money too much, you’re worse than a prisoner, you’re a slave.
Showcasing India’s Greatest Menswear
DECEMBER 2016 `150
THE LUXURY SPECIAL
THINGS 5IN 0THEBEST WORLD RIGHT NOW
Abu Dhabi Strikes Back THE 21 GREATEST DOCUMENTARIES OF THE 21st CENTURY
My old apartment building in the East Village
THE CI T C RCLE CIRCLE OF LIFE
They say success means different things at each stage of a man’s life. And where better to test this theory than the greatest city on earth
PHOTOGRAPHED & WRITTEN BY CHE KURRIEN
ome of life’s greatest triumphs are met alone – private arcs that can’t be explained fully or honestly to anyone. Only you can truly understand, because only you’ve witnessed it all. These moments aren’t filled with rapturous applause, and are usually imbued with nuance and texture that can’t be captured on our manicured social feeds. An incredibly random set of circumstances caused me to be studying journalism in Manhattan soon after 9/11. I was 22 at the time, feeling my way into adulthood, reluctant to abandon the excesses of my American undergraduate years. Yet I was acutely aware that I needed to grow up fast, get a job, make some money, and that this wanton phase was coming to an end. My visa would expire soon, and I would return to India – hoping to make it as a journalist, with a wholly different life just around the corner. So I bit greedily into the Big Apple. I had some savings from working a deadbeat market research job in New Jersey, which I used to pay for my tuition at NYU, and to rent out an apartment in the East Village that I shared with four students from the Tisch film school. Most evenings were spent on the roof drinking 40s of Miller High Life, then devouring $1 hotdogs at the no-frills Gray’s Papaya. The day’s plan was determined by serendipity: One night my roommate Dean discovered that Ziggy Stardust was playing on 70mm at a fading cinema on Houston Street, and bought us tickets. I entered the dark, cold hall not knowing what to expect – and left two hours later bewitched and transformed forever. A few days later, I witnessed 70-year-old reggae master Burning Spear give the most hypnotic performance, the air in the Edwardian theatre rife with songs of revolution and smoke from the kindest bud. On July 4th, we sipped cheap summer wine in Central Park while watching the New York Philharmonic Orchestra perform Tchaikovsky. It was perfect till I clumsily
sprayed insecticide into the eye of a woman next to me. While I was feasting on the artistic bounty available in this greatest of cities, I was also working hard on my writing, and my effort began to bear fruit: I’d been polishing an essay for a couple of months, and the first editor I pitched bought it on the spot. To get my first piece published on the Op-Ed pages of Newsday, New York’s third-largest newspaper, was a serious shot in the arm. I started believing in myself, and that I could have a successful career in journalism back home. On my final night in New York, two days before my American visa expired, Dean and I rode the subway to the Bronx to watch the Yankees play the Oakland Athletics, in what turned out to be a historic 16-inning game, which was later immortalized in the movie Moneyball. That night I spent my last greenbacks at Gray’s Papaya on a feast with Dean, and the following morning flew out of Kennedy airport to a different life in Mumbai.
I return to New York fifteen years later. A Cadillac Escalade whisks me to the chic Andaz hotel on 5th Avenue, located across the street from the New York Public Library, its imposing stone lions keeping vigil. On entering the Tony Chi-designed lobby, a friendly host greets me by my name, and leads me to an expansive loft-like room that’s reminiscent of wealthy apartments in pre-war New York. From my room high above the street, I gaze through the 12-foot ceilingto-wall windows, catching a glimpse of the sunlight bouncing off the Empire State Building and other Art Deco masterpieces dotting the stretch of America’s most storied street.
FIFTEEN YEARS AGO I WOULD HAVE DISMISSED BROADWAY AS A TOURIST TRAP; BUT THIS CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED MASTERPIECE WAS BURSTING WITH VITALITY, HUMOUR AND TRUTH – THE KIND THAT ONE ONLY FULLY APPRECIATES AS AN ADULT
That evening, I don’t head to the divey bars of Alphabet City like the old days, but walk towards Times Square, and line up outside the Eugene O’Neill Theatre to catch a superb play: The Book Of Mormon. Fifteen years ago, I would have dismissed Broadway as a tourist trap; but this critically acclaimed masterpiece is bursting with vitality, humour and truth – the kind that one only fully appreciates as an adult. For a nightcap, I head to The Bar Downstairs, located in the hotel’s basement, and listed as one of the best speakeasies in Manhattan. The space is gargantuan, dimly lit and dark-walled. I set myself up at the 14-foot-long bar made of walnut that’s polished to a high shine, and exchange banter with the tattooed mixologists. The next day I check into what is arguably the city’s finest new hotel: the Park Hyatt New York. Old timers may swear by The Plaza (once owned by Trump and now Sahara), but for the modern gentleman there’s likely no better address in New York than this minimalist marvel – located a block from Central Park, and housed in a stunning 75-storey building that stands out even in the imperious New York skyline. Unlike many of the grand hotels of the city that are populated by crusty New York aristocracy, the Park Hyatt has a decidedly international bent, with staff from across the world, reflecting the nationalities of the guests – a jet set who fly in from all corners of the earth. At the time I am there, the hotel team are working out how to best service the intricate requirements of a Saudi prince’s 30-strong entourage, who are visiting during Ramadan. Yet I also notice Upper East Side types enjoying a spa day by the jaw-dropping indoor pool. This global mix of guests and staff gives the property a uniquely New York feel. It doesn’t have the cool East Village vibe, but one that���s very highend, understated and detailed: from the group of gloved doormen who greet you with genuine warmth at the street, and spirit you to the lobby upstairs, to the locally sourced Le Labo toiletries and cavernous personal bar in each room
that stocks Krug. I dine that evening at The Back Room, the hotel’s uber-masculine grill, where I sink into a highbacked chair and carved up a filet mignon – medium rare. For a moment, I feel like the king of the world. Later that night, I take a stroll downtown to catch a glimpse of my old apartment building. It looks exactly the same, with its strikingly beautiful brick façade and black cast-iron windows. A profound sense of gratitude wells up within me. I had been happy then; and I’m happy now.
FLIGHTS OF F NCY From Tennessee to Taiwan, the world is exploding with great whisky. And how better to spend your time in transit than picking out a good bottle – or five? Here’s our pick of the best and rarest expressions at the Mumbai Duty Free that alone are worth travelling for
ROYAL SALUTE THE ETERNAL RESERVE The inaugural batch (2015), which marries 88 casks, will be included in each subsequent bottling. We’ve tried the original blend, and it’s worth preserving. `12,200
JW & SONS MASTER BLENDERS COLLECTION SIR ALEXANDER WALKER The iconic striding man was brought to life in the Art Deco era, and paying homage to the man behind it is this limited edition. This one’s for sipping, not swigging. `3,35,600
THE BALVENIE MADEIRA CASK 21 YEAR OLD Orange blossoms, pineapple and vanilla syrup. This twice-aged whisky seduces slowly and completely. `15,250
GLENFIDDICH 40 YEAR OLD Made with different whiskies aged for a minimum of 40 years and the remnants of the previous vatting, this one’s luxury in its truest form. `2,23,750
WORDS: MEGHA SHAH. PHOTO: JIGNESH JHAVERI/PHOTOLINK. DISCLAIMER: PRICES SUBJECT TO EXCHANGE RATES
IPAD CASE BY TUMI. KEYCHAIN BY BOTTEGA VENETA
MONKEY SHOULDER A unique triple malt – a mix of Glenfiddich, Balvenie and Kininvie – it’s one of the smoothest, most drinkable drams out there. `3,000
JACK DANIEL’S GENTLEMAN JACK Charcoal-mellowed twice, before and after the aging process, results in a cleaner, more refined and premium product than the original Tennessee whisky. This one you can order with pride. `3,000
Launched over a century ago, Chivas was the first luxury brand the world had seen and loved. The Icon, the pinnacle of its portfolio and made with rare whiskies – some from now–closed distilleries – makes it easy to see why. `2,37,300
GLENLIVET 25 YEAR OLD For when you’ve travelled the world and sampled scores of modern malts but feel only a solid, classic Speyside single malt will do. `25,800
WORDS: MEGHA SHAH. DISCLAIMER: PRICES SUBJECT TO EXCHANGE RATES
CHIVAS REGAL THE ICON
DEWAR’S SIGNATURE GLEMORANGIE SIGNET Made with a roasted “chocolate” barley malt, this rich blend of Glenmorangie’s oldest whiskies is all about the taste. `13,560
Awarded 95 points in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible, this scotch begs to be paired with a fine cigar. `12,900
HIBIKI JAPANESE HARMONY MASTER’S SELECT Made with malt whiskies from the Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita distilleries and aged in five different casks, this striking limited edition bottle will make you look good at any gathering. `11,500
WORDS: MEGHA SHAH. PHOTO: JIGNESH JHAVERI/PHOTOLINK. DISCLAIMER: PRICES SUBJECT TO EXCHANGE RATES
A special Mumbai edition of the smooth modern blend that combines 50 different single malts. This is one to unwind with. `1,500
KAVALAN SINGLE MALT WHISKY The flagship single malt of this Taiwanese distillery. Only operating since 2005, it’s already wowed the world with its young but full-flavoured whisky. `5,400
One of the rising stars in the premium bourbon market, this one’s aged to taste, not time. Find a good friend and put the world to rights over a few glasses. `3,300
A lesser-known name outside the Japanese market, this charming blend of Japanese and foreign malts is ridiculously easy to drink. The perfect everyday drink for the global citizen. `3,300
HOUSE OF HAZELWOOD 21 YEAR OLD Inspired by Twenties Mumbai, it’s a spicy, rather bold variant for a scotch. The perfect end to a meal where nostalgia’s on the menu. `8,100
WORDS: MEGHA SHAH. PHOTO: JIGNESH JHAVERI/PHOTOLINK. DISCLAIMER: PRICES SUBJECT TO EXCHANGE RATES
PASSPORT WALLET BY TUMI. SUITCASE BY LOUIS VUITTON
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P L U S W H AT ’ S H O T ( A N D N O T ) I N L O N D O N
T AL K EDITED BY SHIKHA SETHI
Travel: Lindsay Pereira City: Alisha Sadikot NEW Spy: John Le Carré Film: Tanul Thakur Humour: Sandip Roy
ILLUSTRATION: KASHMIRA SARODE
POSTCARDS FROM KAZAKHSTAN
BY LINDSAY PEREIRA
WHAT BORAT DIDN’T TELL YOU
PENISES OF ALL shapes and sizes surprised me, if only for a second or two, as I stepped into the male section of the Arasan Wellness & Spa in Almaty, Kazakhstan. It was really a public bathhouse, but I suppose marketing graduates need to be gainfully employed, hence the more Google-friendly name. I have never had a problem with nudity, but this was disconcerting because, as a straight man, I simply hadn’t been trained to confront so many penises swinging wildly in front of me. They belonged to the very
young and the quite decrepit, the fit and the obese, all strolling casually the way God presumably intended us all to, before Eve bit into that apple. Everything until that point was very 21st-century. I was given an electronic wristband that tracked every product and service I chose, with payments collected at the end. After spending some time in the Finnish sauna, I moved to the hotter and more humid Russian one, followed by the steamy Turkish one, before the Moroccan bath with heated floors. Some of the nude men around me carried branches of birch leaves, with which they slapped themselves in the sauna; others JANUARY 2017
THE WEIRDEST THING ABOUT SITTING AT A BAR CALLED MAD MURPHY’S IN ALMATY IS OVERHEARING AN ARGUMENT IN WHAT SOUNDS LIKE MALAYALAM. THE SOURCE IS A GROUP OF MALAYALI MEN, ALL OF WHOM, I EVENTUALLY FIND OUT, ARE MARRIED TO LOCAL KAZAKH WOMEN AND HAVE BEEN LIVING IN THE COUNTRY FOR DECADES. “RUSSIAN WOMEN LOVE INDIAN MEN,” THEY TELL ME. I CAN’T FIGURE OUT WHY, CONSIDERING EVERY SUCH COUPLE APPEARS IN MY MIND TO RESEMBLE VARIOUS VERSIONS OF BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. AND YET, IT’S TRUE
purchased them inside the spa and paid attendants to hit them in hard-to-reach places. I stuck to sweating, splashed myself with icy water from wooden buckets hanging overhead, and headed to the massage room. Waiting for me before a marble slab was a large Russian man surrounded by tubs. I lay down and was doused with warm water while he pounded my body in exchange for a small amount of money. I can’t say I didn’t like it. Here’s the most important thing I learned: That rumour about Asian men having the smallest penises? It’s not true.
THE WEIRDEST THING about sitting at a bar called Mad Murphy’s in Central Almaty is overhearing an argument in what sounds like Malayalam. The source is a group of Malayali men, all of whom, I eventually find out, are married to local Kazakh women and have been living in the country for decades. “Russian women love Indian men,” they tell me. I can’t figure out why, considering every such couple appears in my mind to resemble various versions of Beauty And The Beast. And yet, it’s true. I meet more Indian men, and a few Pakistanis, accompanied by the gorgeous women they are married to. Now registered citizens, they run small businesses and restaurants, speak Russian fluently and have absolutely no intention of returning to India. I can’t blame them.
MY FRIENDS AND I decide to do something other than visit Dostyk Plaza, the mall every resident of Almaty appears to spend time in h f decades to on weekends. We ask friends who’ve lived here for suggest something out of the ordinary, and they tell us to head for the hills. “Google translator,” says the Russian car caretaker off a place up in id i the mountains, advising us on how we can converse, considering W have booked the few people in the country speak English. We do place for a weekend with the intention of doing what locals do c d when the temperature drops – retreat to a cosy wooden hut with an outdoor sauna called a banya and a barbecue pit called a shashlik.. The place comes com with ih th living li i a karaoke system and disco balls that turn the ci . room into a tiny nightclub high above the city. “What about the police?” I ask. “No polic police,”” he S replies. “Drink vodka. Bring women. Party.” So that is what we do.
IV THE BOUNCER AT the nightclub called Esperanza refuses to let us in. The guys monitoring its Face Control system have deemed us unfit, 140 —
possibly because most nightclubs find it strange when five single men turn up on a Saturday night. We are directed to a smaller nightclub in the basement of the same complex instead. It’s dark; full of stunning women gyrating to what I assume is Kazakh hip-hop, and there is an MC who raps verses in between songs that drive the women wild. In short: it is fantastic. To the right is a smaller room marked Private, for those who prefer the company of naked women. Five shots of vodka later, a few of my friends take to the dance floor with abandon. Three of them go back to their hotel with companions. I stay back and drink more vodka because the music is more interesting to me. I now regret that decision.
YOU CAN’T MISS Panfilov Park even if you try. It’s where young people stroll on weekends, newly married couples pose for their first few photographs and mothers encourage overexcited children to run around in the hope that they will tire themselves out. At the centre of the park stands a giant monument of soldiers bursting from a map of the USSR. They are the Panfilov Heroes – 28 soldiers of an infantry unit who died fighting Nazis outside Moscow in 1941. I love the park best because of Zenkov Cathedral, a multicoloured structure built entirely of wood, including the nails. Constructed in 1904, it is one of the few surviving buildings from the Tsarist era. Photography is not permitted inside, which is a pity because the interiors make me gasp with delight. The iconography of the Russian Orthodox Church l k me wantt to convert to that religion. almost makes
I GAUGE HOW W evolved a place ce is by looking at how it treats its lesser f O that front, f , Almaty scores high. The kerbs are fortunate. On mps for the disabled at every corner, marked clearly, with ramps friendly crossings and polite drivers. pedestrian-friendly IInterestingly, estingly, every private car owner can d bl as a cab driver at will, picking up travellers double f a fee. f I didn’t have to wait more than 45 seconds for y arm outstretched before a vehicle with my hed to a stop. screeched Maybe Almaty won’t find itself on a map of y destinations or honeymoon spots any time party soon,, but it ought to. It’s pretty, spotless, low on e, full of the most gorgeous women I have crime, everr seen and crowded with stores that sell the st and cheapest vodka money can buy. I’ll best b back. be Lindsay ndsay Pereira is a Mumbai-based writer
A ballad (for Ballard Estate)
By AlishA sAdikot
The heriTage ’hood – also home To gQ hQ – is an archiTecTural gem wiTh a rich pasT 142 —
o dine in a former ice factory, visit a prominent auction house or peek into Mumbai’s oldest photo studio, head to Ballard Estate. Here, the past, quite literally, stares you in the face, with wide, tree-lined streets and elegant Renaissance-inspired architecture reminiscent of London’s city centre. A walk through this historic neighbourhood will transport you to early 20th-century Bombay, when the work of one man, George Wittet, transformed the city’s skyline. When the Scottish architect arrived in Bombay in 1904, the city’s romance with the Gothic-Revival style was on the wane. For much of the previous four decades,
Bombay had marked its rapid growth into Urbs Prima in Indus, the first city of India, in monumental Gothic buildings, an all-out celebration in stone of vibrant form and sculptural decoration. Think of the ornate Victoria Terminus (now CST) or the University of Mumbai Library and Convocation Hall buildings. As consulting architect to the Government of Bombay from 1907, Wittet forged a new path, making buildings in his preferred European, Neoclassical style. By 1926, the end of a prolific career shortened by an untimely death from dysentery, Wittet left Bombay looking more sedate, with the quieter, dignified charm of a city that had come of age.
image: nidhi gupta
geore Wittet’s iconic grand hotel in Ballard estate
TALK Dimsum at the clearing House, set in a former ice factory. the fine dine’s name is a nod to the area’s commercial past
ombay as we see it now, is the outcome of a rapid commercial growth in which European trade and influence have been prime factors and this is naturally reflected in its buildings…” –Wittet at a lecture in Bombay. Ballard Estate was Wittet’s masterpiece. Conceived and laid out by him for the Bombay Port Trust between 1908-1914, it was intended to be the city’s premier business address. It was spread across 22 acres of land reclaimed during the construction of Alexandra (now Indira) docks, its building styles and heights closely followed Wittet’s guidelines, creating a unified, harmonious assemblage of Edwardian design. With bright and airy work spaces, Ballard Estate rivalled the closed, dark buildings of the older Fort area, and soon found favour with some of the leading companies of the day: including shipping giant British India Steam Navigation Co Ltd, established by Sir William Mackinnon and Robert Mackenzie in 1862. By the turn of the 19th century the “BI’s” formidable fleet was described as “straddling the seas East of the Suez, here, there and everywhere.” Its rival, the Scindia Steam Navigation Company, the first wholly Indian shipping company that defied British monopoly over the sea trade routes, also chose Ballard Estate. As did
Forties, the nearby Port Trust Railway line from Ballard Pier Mole station would ferry troops and passengers to larger stations and long-distance trains bound for destinations such as Karachi. From behind the high stone wall today, you can still imagine the sounds of a bustling railway platform as tourists, travellers and soldiers prepared to set off on the journey of a lifetime through India 100 years ago.
you can still imagine the sounds of a bustling railway platform as tourists, travellers and soldiers prepared to set off on the journey of a lifetime through india 100 years ago the Indian branch of the multinational Pathé Frères, at the time a noted manufacturer of cinematographs and other motion picture equipment, which built its headquarters, Pathe House, in the Estate (now Hague building) Close to the entrance, on Shoorji Vallabhdas Marg, stands Wittet’s building for the Port Trust, its stone façade marked with two sculpted ships in subtle reference to the institution’s legacy, since 1873: of developing and administering the port along the city’s eastern seaboard. Next door, the imposing New Custom House, with its striking portico, stands testimony to Bombay’s growing mercantile reach and ballooning volume of trade and custom clearances in the early 20th century that necessitated the construction of an additional “new” customs house. Street names such as “Cochin” and “Calicut” in Ballard Estate recall the maritime world of which Bombay was once the centre: You can almost picture ships laden with spices and textiles from those cities, anchored at the city docks as they prepared for their long journeys westward. Further down the street, the listed Ballard Bunder Gatehouse, now a museum of Mumbai’s maritime history, was designed by Wittet as the original entrance to Ballard Pier, the point of arrival for passenger ships – for many, the real “‘gateway”’ to the city. Before the
he elegant Grand Hotel, once the place to stay and be seen by the city’s elite and visitors alike, continues to occupy its iconic corner plot. Those who didn’t find space there could check into the Regent Hotel, which once occupied Darabshaw House, and now houses the Vogue India office. For travel weary sailors, the Prince of Wales Seamen’s Club has since 1837 provided a comfortable home at reasonable rates and without discrimination. Neville House, the headquarters of Bombay Dyeing, the flagship company of the Wadia Group, takes us back even further, past Bombay of the early 1900s to its humble beginnings two hundred years earlier. In 1736, the British East India Company persuaded master shipbuilder Lowjee Nusserwanjee Wadia (“shipbuilder”) to leave Surat for Bombay and build the fledgling port’s dry-dock, the first in Asia. Through the 18th century, the Wadia family would establish a shipbuilding business of international renown in Bombay, putting the port town quite literally “on the map” of a world dominated by sea trade and travel. (They also built the first British Naval ships outside of England; in fact, it was on one of these, the HMS Minden, that the American national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner”, was composed in 1812.) Ballard Estate’s elegant façades are home to so many historic legacies. So the next time you’re in the neighbourhood, most likely at the iconic Parsi café Britannia washing down too much berry pulao with a raspberry soda, spare a thought for its architect, George Wittet, who rests, largely forgotten, in an untraceable grave at Sewri.
Alisha Sadikot works in museum and heritage learning. Follow her on instagram @alishasadikot
imAge: AAtiSH nAtH (bAckgrounD), tHe cleAring HouSe (FooD)
Ironically, though, Wittet is best remembered for introducing Bombay to the more baroque Indo-Saracenic style of architecture – which he adopted only with some reluctance – for the Prince of Wales Museum (now the CSMVS) and the landmark Gateway of India. IndoSaracenic, which combined indigenous Hindu and Muslim architectural elements in a new style meant to showcase imperial control and mastery over India, rivalled Bombay Gothic in its decorative exuberance. Wittet used it sparingly and only for certain types of buildings – it suited the Prince of Wales, a museum of India’s art and antiquity, but was inappropriate for the Institute of Science, built across the road at the very same time. (In the architect’s opinion, a college of science was not a native construct, for as a western import it deserved a western, Renaissance-inspired building.)
AD presents the trends in architecture and design for the new year January-february 2017
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HOW NOT TO BE A WAR TOURIST (AND OTHER LESSONS) FROM THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS SPY WRITER
he Commodore Hotel in those tense days – and it’s hard to remember a time when days in Beirut were not tense – was the favoured watering hole of every real or pretend war correspondent, arms dealer, drug merchant and bogus or real aid worker in the hemisphere. Its aficionados liked to compare it with Rick’s joint in Casablanca, but I never saw the comparison. Casablanca wasn’t an urban battlefield, it was just a clearing station, whereas people came to Beirut to make money, or trouble, or even peace, but not because they wanted to escape. The Commodore was no great looker. Or it wasn’t in 1981, and today it doesn’t exist. It was a boring, straight-up-and-down building of no architectural merit, unless you included the four-foot-thick welcome desk of hardened concrete in the entrance lobby, which in troubled times doubled as a gun emplacement. Its most revered resident was an elderly parrot named Coco that ruled over the cellar bar with a rod of iron. As the techniques of urban warfare became ever more sophisticated – from semi-automatic to rocket-propelled, from light to medium, or whatever the correct vocabulary is – so Coco updated
his repertoire of battle sounds to a point where the uninitiated guest grazing at the bar would be roused by the whoosh of an incoming missile and a shriek of “Hit the deck, dumb bastard, get your ass down now!” And nothing better pleased the war-weary hacks returning from another hellish day in paradise than the sight of some poor neophyte disappearing under a table while they go on sipping nonchalantly at their mahogany whiskies. Coco is also credited with the first bars of the Marseillaise and the opening chords of Beethoven’s Fifth. His leaving is shrouded in mystery: he was smuggled to a safe haven where he sings to this day; he was shot by Syrian militia; he finally succumbed to the alcohol in his feed. I made several trips to Beirut and South Lebanon that year, partly for my novel, partly for the ill-starred film that resulted from it. In my memory they form a single, unbroken chain of surreal experiences. For the timid, Beirut did fear round the clock, whether you were dining on the Corniche to the clatter of gunfire, or listening carefully to the words of a Palestinian teenager who is holding a Kalashnikov to your head and describing his dream of getting himself to university in Havana to study international relations, and can you help?
As a new boy to the Commodore, I had been drawn to Mo on sight. He had seen more death and dying in an afternoon than I had in a lifetime. He had filed scoops from the worst hearts of
WORDS: THE PIGEON TUNNEL (FIRST PUBLISHED 2016) © DAVID CORNWELL. ILLUSTRATION: KALAKARIHAATH
BY JOHN LE CARRÉ
darkness the world has to offer. You had only to glimpse at him at the end of yet another day at the battlefront, with a tattered khaki carry bag slung over his shoulder, loping across the crowded lobby on his way to the press office, to recognize his apartness. Mo has the brownest knees in town, they said. Seen it all, done it all, no bullshit, and nobody better in a tight corner, that was Mo, ask anyone who knew him. A little depressed sometimes, a little droll, maybe. And given to locking himself in his room with a bottle for a day or two, why not? And the only known companion of his recent life, a cat, which according to Commodore folklore had hurled itself in despair from a top floor window. So when Mo casually suggested, on the second or third day of my very first Beirut visit, that I might care to join him on a little road trip he had in mind, I jumped at the chance. I had been picking the brains of all the other journalists, but Mo had kept himself aloof. I was flattered. “Take a ride out to the sands? Say hullo to a coupla crazies I know?” I said I could wish for nothing better. “Lookin’ for colour, right?” I was looking for colour.
“Driver’s a Druze. Druze ass’ls don’t give a rat’s fart for any ass’l ’cept themselves. Right?” Very right indeed, Mo, thank you. “Other ass’ls – Shia, Sunni, Christian – they go lookin’ for trouble. Druze ass’ls don’t go lookin’ for trouble.” Sounds really good. It’s a checkpoint trip. I hate airports, lifts, crematoria, national borders and frontier guards. But checkpoints are in a league of their own. It’s not your passport they’re checking, it’s your hands. Then it’s your face. Then it’s your charisma or lack of it. And even if one checkpoint decides you’re okay, the last thing it’s going to do is pass on the happy news to the next one, because no checkpoint is going to let itself be sold short on its own suspicions. We have stopped at a barber’s pole balanced between two oil drums. The boy pointing his Kalashnikov at us wears yellow Wellingtons and frayed jeans cut short at the knee, and has a Manchester United supporters’ club badge stitched to his breast pocket. “Ass’l Mo!” this apparition cries delightedly in welcome. “Hullo indeed, sir! And how are you today?” – in studiously practised English. “I’m fine, thank you, Ass’l Anwar, just fine,” Mo drawls easily. “Is Ass’l Abdullah receiving today? Proud to introduce my good friend, Ass’l David.” “Ass’l David, you are most extremely welcome, sir.” We wait while he bawls joyously into his Russian walkie-talkie. The rickety red-and-white pole lifts. I have only a hazy picture of our conference with Ass’l Abdullah. His headquarters was a pile of brick and rock, pitted by gunfire and daubed with slogans. He sat behind a gigantic mahogany desk. Fellow ass’ls lolled around him, fingering their semi-automatics. Above his head hung a framed photograph of a Swissair Douglas DC-8 being blown apart on an airstrip. I remember knowing exactly that the airstrip was called Dawson’s Field, and that the DC-8 had been hijacked by Palestinian fighters with the assistance of the Baader-Meinhof Group. In those days, I flew Swissair a lot. I remember wondering who had gone to the trouble of taking the photograph to the framer and choosing the frame. But most of all I remember thanking my maker that our exchanges were being conducted through an interpreter whose grasp of English was at best uneven, and praying it would remain uneven long enough for our Druze driver, who didn’t go looking for trouble, to return us to the sweet sanity of the Commodore Hotel. And I remember the happy smile on Abdullah’s bearded face as he laid his hand over his heart and cordially thanked Ass’l Mo and Ass’l David for their visit. “Mo likes to take guys to the edge,” a kind person warned me when it was too late. But the subtext was clear: in Mo’s world, war tourists get what they deserve.
id the phone call from outer space happen to me that same night? If it didn’t, it should have done. And certainly it happened at the outset of my Beirut period, because only a first-time guest could have been fool enough to accept a complimentary upgrade to a bridal suite on the Commodore’s mysteriously empty top floor. The Beirut nocturnal orchestra in 1981 was not up to the quality of later years, but it was coming on. A standard performance would start around 10pm and hit its climax in the small hours. Guests upgraded to
I eat my heart out thinking you’re lying the top floor would be treated to the entire dead in a ditch, and where are you? spectacle: flashes like a false dawn, the clatter In fucking bed!” – her voice drops as a of incoming and outgoing artillery fire – but SLOWLY, BUT ONLY SLOWLY, I DISABUSE sudden thought strikes her – “Are you which is which? – and the rattle of small-arms HER. I EXPLAIN THAT SHE HAS THE fucking some woman up there? Because fire followed by eloquent silence. And all of it, WRONG JOHN; THAT I’M NOT ACTUALLY if – stop! – just don’t give me that fucking to the untrained ear, happening in the nextA JOHN AT ALL, I’M A DAVID – PAUSE FOR voice, you British bastard!” door room. A LIVELY EXCHANGE OF GUNFIRE – AND Slowly, but only slowly, I disabuse her. My hotel phone was ringing. I had been THAT JOHN, THE REAL JOHN, WHOEVER I explain that she has the wrong John; that considering lying underneath the bed, but now HE MAY BE, MUST HAVE CHECKED OUT I’m not actually a John at all, I’m a David I was sitting upright on it with the receiver to – pause for a lively exchange of gunfire – my ear. – BOOM-BOOM AGAIN – BECAUSE THE and that John, the real John, whoever he “John?” HOTEL MADE ME A GIFT OF THIS FINE may be, must have checked out – boomJohn? Me? Well, a few people, mainly SUITE EARLIER IN THE DAY boom again – because the hotel made journalists who don’t know me, do sometimes me a gift of this fine suite earlier in the call me John. So I say, yes, and who’s this? – day. And I’m sorry, I say, I’m really sorry, and in return receive a blast of abuse. My caller that she has suffered the humiliation of blasting off at the wrong is a woman, she’s American, and she’s cross about something. man. And I really appreciate her distress – because by now I’m “What the fuck d’you mean, who’s this? Don’t pretend you don’t grateful to be talking to a fellow human being instead of dying recognize my fucking voice! You are one slimy British bastard, okay? alone under the bed in a complimentary hotel suite. And how You are an utter weak, cheating – just don’t fucking interrupt, all rotten to be stood up like that, I go on chivalrously – because by right?” – now furiously shouting down my protestations. “Just don’t now her problem is my problem and I really want us to be friends. give me that blasé British shit like we’re taking tea in Buckingham And perhaps the real John has a perfectly sound reason for not fucking Palace! I counted on you, okay? It’s called trust. Just fucking appearing, I suggest, because after all, in this town anything can listen. I go to the fucking hairdresser. I pack my shit in a nice little happen at any moment, can’t it? – boom-boom again. bag. I stand on the sidewalk like a hooker for like two fucking hours. And she says, it sure as hell can, David, and why had I got two names anyway? So I tell her that too, and ask where she’s calling from, to which she says the bar in the basement, and her John’s a British writer too, isn’t that really weird, and her name is Jenny – or maybe it’s Ginny, or Penny, because I’m not hearing everything rationally amid the boom-booms. And why don’t I come on down to the bar and we can have a drink together? To which, prevaricating, I say, what about the real John? And she says, oh fuck John, he’ll be all right, he always is. Anything is better than lying on or under my bed and being bombarded. Because her voice, once calmed, is quite agreeable. Because I’m lonely and scared. And after that I have only bad excuses to offer. I put on some clothes and go downstairs. And because I hate lifts, and because by now I’m feeling shifty about my true motives, I dawdle and take the staircase. And by the time I reach the bar in the basement, it’s empty apart from two drunk French arms dealers, the barman and that old parrot who I think must be male – but who knows? – working on his repertoire of ballistic effects.
Back in England, I am more than ever determined that The Little Drummer Girl is to be a movie. My sister Charlotte must play the part of Charlie she inspired. Warner Brothers buy the rights and sign up George Roy Hill of Butch Cassidy fame. I put her name forward. Hill expresses enthusiasm, meets her, likes her. He will talk to the studio. The part goes to Diane Keaton, which may be as well. As George himself, not a man known to mince his words, later put it: “David, I fucked up your movie.” John Le Carré is a former MI6 officer and the award-winning author of The Spy Who Came In From The Cold and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. His memoir The Pigeon Tunnel, from which this text is excerpted, was first published by Viking in September 2016
Mind the gap
By Tanul Thakur
TrainspoTTing 2 releases This monTh. Will iT maTch up To The original?
on’t fuck it up. That’s the reaction the announcement of a sequel usually prompts, especially if it’s of a film you adore. For me, that film is the 1996 British dark comedy Trainspotting, whose sequel, T2: Trainspotting (or T2), hits theatres later this month. Based on the novel by Irvine Welsh, Trainspotting, directed by Danny Boyle, captured the raw nerve of a generation in a way few films have been able to. In the world of Trainspotting, set in lateEighties poverty-stricken Edinburgh, a shot of heroin can help endure all kinds of pain: a failed relationship, unfulfilled ambition, the death of a child, unemployment. For the characters, heroin is sex (“take the best orgasm you’ve had and multiply that by 1,000”); heroin is friendship (“it’s got a great fucking personality”); heroin is solace (“there are final hits and there are final hits – what kind was this going to be?”). Trainspotting doesn’t judge; it understands its characters and their ethos so well that it resembles them, embodying their sense of being. If its characters are
unapologetic, then so is the film, never stopping to explain or defend their actions. If its characters are on a trip, so is the film, with scenes emerging through jump cuts, rapid cross-cutting, jerky and surreal shots. At various points, the film’s lead, Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor), aspiring for a better future, tries to quit heroin and, after a brief period of normalcy, sinks deeper into his amoral world, choosing self-destruction as therapy, and being directionless as a way of life. Trainspotting, then, is fundamentally about the difficulties of breaking the shackles of despondency and self-loathing. Take, for instance, the chilling scene in the film where Renton and his friends, one by one, walk towards a cradle in their apartment that rests a motionless child. Allison, the mother, has been howling and screaming for a long time. In Renton’s words, “She might have been screaming for a week for all I knew.” That baby died as a result of their negligence, when they were too dazed to take care of themselves, let alone someone else. As they continue staring at the cradle, Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller) shouts, “Fucking say something, Mark.” He
The momenT you Think you’ve figured ouT iTs inTenT, The film deflaTes expecTaTions, Through irony, dark humour and an ingenious background score whose energy and ebullience ofTen conTradicT The visuals on screen
replies “I’m cooking up,” then walks into a different room, finds Allison dragging herself on the floor towards him, saying, “Cook up a shot, Rent. I really need a hit.” Trainspotting is relentless – to the point of being cruel – in pursuit of getting to the depth of its characters, showing how far they’ve gone. But the cult film isn’t just gloomy or one-note. The moment you think you’ve figured out its intent, the film deflates expectations, through irony, dark humour and an ingenious background score whose energy and ebullience often contradict the visuals on screen. Sometimes they come together, most memorably in a scene where Renton, after having nearly died of an overdose, is being carried to an ambulance on a stretcher. But instead of making the scene obviously tragic, Boyle imbues it with off-kilter humour, for the song in the background is Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day”. Or the scene where Spud (Ewen Bremner) shows up to an interview drugged, and the interviewers look more nervous than the interviewee. Trainspotting, not relying much on its plot, is a ball of manic energy – loud, funny, random, restless – and expertly balances two separate moviemaking idioms. So where does that leave T2, which retains the core team – the director (Boyle), the screenwriter (John Hodge) and the principal actors – of the original? T2 also has its roots in a novel; it’s loosely based on Porno (set in the world of adult entertainment), which was a sequel to Trainspotting. It takes place 20 years later, but its characters still seem to be bumbling through life, barely surviving, doing drugs (snorting coke instead of shooting heroin). T2 also retains the iconic “Choose life” monologue – though it’s been updated: “Choose life. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars …” of the original has become “Choose life. Choose Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and hope that someone, somewhere cares.” The trailer is high-octane, but it does leave you with a sense of déjà vu – like we’ve seen a similar world, felt like this, before. Which prompts the question: Will T2 be able to detach from its predecessor and become its own film? It certainly won’t be easy. And that’s the thing about a sequel: It’s as much intelligent moviemaking as it is an act of responsibility, because a shoddy sequel not only taints the legacy of a wellmade film, it also dilutes the memories, thoughts and feelings associated with the original. And no one should mar something beautiful, least of all the people who created it. So, Danny, please don’t fuck it up. Tanul Thakur is an engineer-turned-film-writer. follow him on @Plebeian42
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WHAT I’VE LEARNED
BY SANDIP ROY
FROM CENTENARIANS (AND NEAR-CENTENARIANS) WHO LIVED IN STYLE
hen I met the artist Beatrice Wood for the first time at her home in Southern California, she was incorrigibly flirtatious. She was wearing a bougainvillea coloured skirt and chunky silver jewellery. She apologized for not wearing one of her saris. I asked her how many she owned. “Twenty,” she said. Her manager protested that it was closer to a hundred. “I didn’t sleep with that many men,” she retorted, without missing a beat. Wood was 104 at the time. She was wondering what she could take with her to the other side, like Egyptian pharaohs. “A nice violent young man with black hair,” she grinned. “And I would like to be in a beautiful sari.” She was the first centenarian I had ever had a conversation with. She had seen Monet painting in his garden. She had made tie-dye costumes for Isadora Duncan. The Dadaist artist Marcel Duchamp had been
in there, an old lady who loved her jackfruit and her fish heads. That old lady was fictitious. But her voice was my greatgrandmother’s. There was such pleasure in hearing it reverberating in my head after so many years, and such bittersweet poignancy in all the questions left unasked. When I met Manohar Aich, the bodybuilder and Mr Universe 1952 had just turned 100. “They took me in a procession, the TV came and took interviews. The government gave me a check,” he told me. The man, 4’11” at his peak, who had once slapped a rude British officer and gone to jail for it, was more shrunken now, an amiable gnome, sitting in the winter sun with his Bengali newspaper. He had no interest in today’s culture of multi-gyms and protein shakes. Once, his wife stir-fried cheap innards because that was the only protein he could afford. He The writer with his spent much of his life as a circus strongman great-grandmother bending iron nails with his bare hands and lifting 600 pounds on his shoulders. “I don’t remember,” he said when I asked him what he did to celebrate that big victory in 1952. “It’s been a long time. her lover. She had a passion for Indian folk I am a hundred years old.” I worried he art and a romance with a top Indian scientist had lost his zest for life. But when I said whose name she never revealed. She had I had lived in California, he suddenly lit up. known Annie Besant, who we read about in “Arnold Schwarzenegger,” he murmured. history books as the president of the Indian “Good body. Give my regards.” Even at National Congress. “I am the world’s oldest 100, he still wanted to meet Arnold. living Theosophist,” she said. “Disgusting.” We think of the old in terms of broken But Wood did not want to talk about hips and hearing aids. We ask them about history or art. She wanted to talk about family trees or long-lost recipes. We seek chocolates and massages. She wanted to wisdom from them. But we tiptoe around inspect my camera. She wanted to tease. She the rich colour of their lives, the messy reminded me of my great-grandmother, not details of what it means to be human. We because she was old but because her zest for are almost embarrassed to ask them about life was still mischievously strong. their dreams and desires. My great-grandmother made it well into I had heard murmurs about a family her 90s, and till the end of her life she was scandal involving a great aunt, about how trying to sneak in every ripe mango, every she had eloped in the dead of night in deep-fried contraband goodie she could 1942, jumping off a moving train to elude find. After a certain age, people like her her pursuers. She was an old lady by cease to be flesh and blood to the rest of us. the time I knew her, avidly involved with We think of them as repositories the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. of history, impossibly old, almost However, when I asked if I saintly figures. But my greatmight interview her about that grandmother was no saint. She escapade, she was thrilled. was wily and gossipy and nosily “You’ve made me famous,” interested in every neighbourhood she chortled on the phone when scandal. She shuffled around the the story came out. “I’ve got house pushing a little wheeled THE 100th ISSUE calls from all over the world,” stool, as diligent about her puja as she said. “Even a Bollywood she was about frying dal-vadas. producer got in touch.” But more than My sister and I had taped my greatanything else, in hearing her tell her story, grandmother reciting the Saraswati mantra, I suddenly got to see her in a new light – as she did every year, when we worshipped as a young woman, hopelessly in love and the goddess of learning. For years after she defying all odds with a stubborn passion. died, we would do that puja with the little “Why did you never tell us all those tape recorder sitting in for her. Eventually details?” her children questioned. the tape warped and that old cracked voice “You never asked,” she replied. became garbled. That was when my greatSometimes we forget that’s all it takes. grandmother seemed truly gone. And yet, not entirely. Years later, while Sandip Roy is based in Kolkata. You can follow him on Twitter @sandipr writing a novel, I had a great-grandmother
IMAGE: COURTESY SANDIP ROY
Wild child When she’s not hanging out with Thierry Henry, or playing cricket with Dino Morea & crew (the former model turned down a spot on the women’s national team a few years ago), you’ll most likely find Mirzya’s breakout star Saiyami Kher riding an Enfield in Ladakh and giving us serious #travelgoals PHOTOGRAPHED BY ERRIKOS ANDREOu STYLED BY TANYA VOHRA
SWIMSUIT BY LINEA AQUA. SHORTS BY MOEVA LONDON
SWIMSUIT BY HEIDI KLEIN
OPPOSITE PAGE: BIKINI BY MOEVA LONDON. DRESS BY MELISSA ODABASH
BIKINI BY TOPSHOP. JACKET BY VERSACE AT INFINITE LUXURY. JEwELLERY BY CHRISTIAN DIOR PHOTOgRAPHER AgENCy: dEU: CREATIvE mANAgEmENT HAIR & MAKE-UP: RosARIo BELmoNTE/ANImA CREATIvE mANAgEmENT ASSISTANT STylIST: dEsIRÉE FERNANdEs PRODUCTION: mEghA mEhTA lOCATION: ThE wEsTIN sIRAY BAY REsoRT & spA, phUKET
ODYSSEY There’s a change in the climate of India’s artisanal foodscape, where individuals with imagination and a desire for excellence are blurring the boundaries of what can be called an indigenous Indian product. Megha Shah travels to its idiosyncratic (and rather unlikely) centres to discover a movement that’s coming of age
PHOTOGRAPHED BY ADIL HASAN
THE 100th ISSUE
Gigi Luigi Avarelli is possibly the country’s most skilled cheesemaker that not many will ever hear of
o ra, no cheese here,” a mustachioed gent leaning on a bright orange scooter insists. His friend, wearing a crisp white shirt and a crumpled lungi, holds up one end to reveal a hirsute leg and clucks his tongue. “Ledu, there is milk factory here. Take U-turn then left.” My driver ignores the instructions, bouncing the car further down the arid dirt road, leaving swirls of dust to envelop the clucking men. A mere 100 metres further, a metal rod holds up a signboard depicting Sathya Sai Baba in his trademark majestic afro, smiling on the words “Caseificio Italia”, which translates from Italian to cheese factory. An uphill path reveals a very different world, unknown to most. Tuffets of bougainvillea and hydrangeas surround a yellow building, with a milk van parked on the side, which looks as though it’s been lifted from Noddy’s Toyland. A small man with tanned, wrinkled skin is immersed in his task of stretching out blobs of soon-to-be burrata, like chewed-up Wrigley’s, on one side of a large glass divider. Minutes later, I’m on the other side, in the whitewashed, almost surgical facility, where every gleaming steel machine imported from Italy has an almost lustral quality. Gigi Luigi Avarelli is smiling down at me through his glasses. “I’m a bit crazy,” he announces, with a heavy accent. “Perhaps, a lot crazy.” It doesn’t seem like an entirely outrageous claim. We’re in Puttaparthi, a short drive from Bengaluru. It’s a town entirely devoid of attractions or natural beauty, known chiefly as the birth place of Sathya Sai Baba, who claimed to be the reincarnation of Sai Baba of Shirdi. We’re watching six young men from the north-eastern states of India rub and roll chunks of caciotta, an intense, aged rural cheese from central Italy, which will be packaged and sent to The Leela in Bengaluru that very day.
Luigi has told me that years ago Sathya Sai Baba appeared to him in a vision, while he was in his bath, exhausted, and told him to move to India. The next day, he was at the travel agent’s office asking for the earliest ticket to Puttaparthi, leaving behind his chain of successful restaurants near Milan, two BMWs and a Ferrari. “My way of doing business does not make sense,” he says. Luigi makes 60-70 tonnes of cheese every month, but often declines to sell it to people he finds unfit to consume his products, or unable to understand his methods. “Sorry,” he says, joining his palms into a namaste. “I’m very sorry, but I cannot.” He sells directly to high-end restaurants – including the set-course-only Masque in Mumbai (try the ravioli with his pear-shaped provolone) – and hotel chains that go through a fair amount of effort to understand his product and procure it fresh. His allvegetarian cheese (the rennet comes from mushrooms instead of the guts of ruminant mammals) is made with three ingredients and has a shelf life of five days, making it impossible to retail. “All pure cheese must spoil in a few days. What they sell in supermarkets is unnatural, it’s impossible.” We walk out into Luigi’s garden, which houses a giant white pyramid. Designed by a Milanese architect inspired by the Egyptian structures, it piqued Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s interest when he visited Puttaparthi a few months ago. Here, he houses his cows and buffaloes in neat rows, which listen to a mix of classical European and Carnatic music through the day. “They don’t need hormones,” he chuckles, “just some music. “Indian cows make better cheese,” he also claims. “More fat.” Across from us looms the large non-profit dharamshala that he runs, offering locals and visitors housing for minimal cost. He introduces me to all his hens, turkeys and ducks, who’ve been following us in tentative herds across the garden. “That’s Christina,” he points sadly to a tottering bird who’s keeping to herself. “Che cosa è successo l’amore?” he coos to her. “She sat on her eggs for so long, but they didn’t hatch. She’s so sad. “I was sad too. In Italy, I was so tired. I worked 15 hours every day. It didn’t stop.” He gestures emphatically while talking. “But it wasn’t easy when I came here, 16 years ago. Nothing made sense to me. I was so angry with Baba.
HERE, LUIGI, THE CHEESEMAKER, HOUSES HIS COWS AND BUFFALOES IN NEAT ROWS, WHICH LISTEN TO A MIX OF CLASSICAL EUROPEAN AND CARNATIC MUSIC THROUGH THE DAY. “THEY DON’T NEED HORMONES,” HE CHUCKLES, “JUST SOME MUSIC” I asked him, what do you want from me? What’s my purpose?” Baba (the physical being, not a vision), he claims, then quoted Bobby McFerrin: “Don’t worry, be happy.” In part Luigi’s peculiar phrasing, and in part his fantastical tales make it difficult to understand him completely. But the cheese, that’s easy to get. It’s quite simply the loveliest I’ve had in the country. The burrata – of which Mukesh Ambani happens to be a fan – is the creamiest, lightest form of dairy I’ve tasted. It’s creamier than cream. The salted ricotta, which his wife spoons onto a cracker with some red and yellow bell pepper jam, crackles with life on the tongue. The mozzarella, which was made an hour ago, is everything it should be, its skin quivering with tenacity, the centre wobbling yieldingly. And the aged, hard cheeses with cracks like an old man’s feet are pungent, at once simple and complex, expressing the rusticity of the Mediterranean, as well as the flavour of something quite local, reminiscent almost of fragrant ghee.
With his bold new rum retailing internationally, Gautom Menon is aiming for all kinds of new highs
et’s have some fun…” says Gautom Menon’s Facebook post. “What should we call my favourite car?” The supporting picture shows him leaning against an Ambassador covered in tiger stripes. Not in a suggestive or ironic way, but in a literal, brazen way. “…Just don’t say PIMPMOBILE ok?” the post continues. A short car ride and flight away from Puttaparthi, I’m in Coimbatore. I’m told by the receptionist of my hotel, and an old acquaintance of Menon’s, that he’s one of the few party boys of Coimbatore society. His father used to produce an herbal rum (not a very good one, I’m told) called Malabar Liquor, which is available in Kerala, but Menon hopes to be the cynosure of a movement that extends far beyond the coastal shores of his birth. The office, which belongs to his father, is fairly bland, but his cabin is a shock to the senses. It smells of heavy perfume and wafting notes of booze, and looks almost as eccentric as its main tenant. The 6’3” Menon is wearing a black T-shirt with bright orange tiger paws on one sleeve
“AT DRINK FAIRS AROUND THE WORLD, PORTUGAL TOUTS ITS PORTS AND WINE, ITALY ITS SAMBUCA, IRELAND ITS WHISKEY. WHERE IS INDIA, THE SECONDLARGEST DRINKING DEMOGRAPHIC?”
and giant claw marks on the other. In front of him is a bottle of his dream product, Wild Tiger Rum. The bottle is bedizened with a furry tiger-stripe sleeve and garlanded with a keychain bearing a tiger claw. Around it, stacked closely on shelves, are prototypes of the bottle in every imaginable colour combination: pink and black, green and yellow, white and brown, each furry to touch and impossible to ignore. There are other rums too, from different parts of the world – Mexico, Jamaica, Cuba and parts of Africa. “Land, sea and water,” he tells me grandly. “How many Indian products can claim the same?” He’s referring to his recent deal with Tiger Airways (“isn’t that a great fit?”), Jet Airways and Virgin Atlantic, as well as a few cruises, that will sell his rum, priced at $23, onboard. Currently, the yearold rum is available at duty-free stores in Chennai and Bengaluru, and is exported to the UAE, 11 European countries and the east coast of the US. “My goal was always the international market, and what better selling point than the tiger?” Menon isn’t bothered with stereotypes or subtlety. “It grabs your attention,” he says. “It sells.” Ten per cent of the profits, he says, go towards his tiger conservation project. “We’ll keep doing special editions with our packaging, like Absolut.” It’s a ballsy comparison, but a crystal glass of the amber pour dispels much of my scepticism. A mix of sugarcane juice and molasses (“only 10 rums in the world use a combination like this”) is aged in Kentucky casks under the eye of an ex-United Spirits blender. The nose is exquisite. More fragrant than any rum you’ve likely sniffed. Notes of vanilla, caramel and toasted wood waft up as you sip the smooth, rounded, not-too-sweet drink. Menon’s distillery in Kerala used to be a bottling plant for the likes of Paul John and Amrut. “It would irk me. We were just bottling someone else’s dream. I’ve been to several drink exhibitions and fairs around the world. Portugal would tout its ports and wine, Italy would have Sambuca, Ireland its whiskey, Japan its sake. Where was India, the second-largest drinking demographic?” he demands. “Sugarcane has its origins in India. So a worldstandard Indian rum makes sense. I would tell everyone I met at the fairs that my forefathers were getting hammered on this stuff before they’d even heard of it.” He laughs loudly. Despite the challenges of grappling with the laws of Kerala geared towards prohibition and a government that, Menon claims, discourages the use of sugarcane, as sugar is considered an essential commodity, he’s dreaming of becoming the next, better Old Monk. I check my phone. His Facebook post has a few dozen comments. “Rumbassador!” suggests one. “Stri-purrrr” says another. “Speechless,” says the latest one. “Hey,” Menon replies. “If you’re gonna walk it, you gotta talk it.”
ndia’s chocolate scene is like America’s coffee scene – 10 years ago,” says Karthikeyan Palanisamy. We’re sitting in his BMW, riding from Coimbatore to Pollachi, where his brother-in-law Harish Manoj Kumar has cacao farms. Karthi has a successful textile business, but for the last year has been cultivating a different profession. Along with Harish, he’s started a small indie operation called Regal Chocolates, making it India’s only tree-to-bar chocolatier. “There wasn’t much awareness, but now there are spurts of interest and a handful of indie chocolate makers who want to do something genuine,” Karthi says. The duo spent 18 months learning about how to sustainably farm cacao beans: harvesting, fermenting, drying and the actual making of the chocolate. “It took me an online course, apprenticing as a chocolate maker in San Francisco and visiting growers in Vietnam to get the cacao beans to the right quality, and even develop the right palate to appreciate chocolate.” Indians, he believes, have been fed crap for far too long. “In Europe, Cadbury isn’t allowed to call its product chocolate on the packaging. Because it’s a compound, not real chocolate.” Real dark chocolate must be made with only two ingredients: the cocoa bean and sugar. But most commercial giants replace the cocoa butter – which is expensive and can be sold to cosmetic companies – with large quantities of hydrogenated fats, “something akin to Dalda.” Karthi says, “My 8-year-old son doesn’t touch my chocolate. My 2-year-old daughter, who’s never tasted commercial chocolate, eats up a whole bar. She has no concept of sweet is good and bitter is bad.” Driving past posters of Rajinikanth balancing on a flying jet and the late Jayalalitha blessing onlookers, we reach the outskirts of Pollachi, where Harish has acres of farmland kissing the bottom of the Anaimalai hills. Here, he cultivates cocoa trees, inter-cropped with coconut trees, for shade. “We used to supply to companies like Cadbury and Campco, but we’ve stopped,” Harish says as he shows me around. He hasn’t 164 —
Harish Manoj Kumar & Karthikeyan Palanisamy, India’s first tree-to-bar chocolatiers
“INDIA’S CHOCOLATE SCENE IS LIKE AMERICA’S COFFEE SCENE – 10 YEARS AGO. BUT THERE ARE INDIE CHOCOLATE MAKERS WHO WANT TO DO SOMETHING GENUINE”
used pesticides in years, but is still awaiting his organic certification, which could take another few years to come. “We’ve even got a DNA test of our trees done,” he tells me excitedly. “The results came in today.” He caresses the bark of a cocoa tree fondly. “It’s a strain from South America.” The ripe beans (in hues between black and red) are cleaned and shelled on the same day that they are plucked. At this point, almost every chocolate maker alkalizes the beans, usually with potassium carbonate. “This homogenizes the chocolates, and all flavours of terroir are lost.” Instead Harish and Karthi skip the step entirely, and the dried beans are sent to their production facility an hour away. Attached to Harish’s ancestral home is a small garage, covered with a bucolic corrugated roof. This serves as the entirety of their “factory”. “Sometimes the most beautiful things need only the simplest methods,” Karthi grins. He snaps up pieces of the bars, which they currently supply to chefs and chocolatiers of their choice – including Manu Chandra, for his Monkey Bar chain. They only make dark chocolate – a 57 per cent, a 60 per cent, a 70 per cent and even a 100 per cent (used by an ice-cream maker in Bengaluru) – with options of healthier sugars such as demerara. It’s not impossible to taste all the things they ask me to: The chocolate is earthy, like the bark of a tree and herbal like green tea, and pungent with a sourness, like cranberries. It is simpler, it occurs to me, to sit in the romantic environs of this little town surrounded by roasting cocoa beans, with nothing else to do but appreciate what I have bitten into. Will the regular consumer have a similar experience? “We’ll begin retailing nationwide in January, under the brand name Soklet,” Karthi pauses and smiles sheepishly, “the way the locals pronounce chocolate.” He continues, “But it’s an acquired taste. It could take a while before this sort of product becomes mainstream.” “For now,” Harish says, “there’s hot chocolate,” as his wife brings out cups of the steaming liquid. It’s not satiny and thick like you might expect, but thin and not entirely homogenous. But it’s a rich drink. Its bitter depth slowly encourages the release of endorphins in your body, the subtle pungency a reminder of its origin. And suddenly there’s a waft of vanilla. “Yes,” says Harish, “we used to harvest vanilla, it’s still there in the soil.” He shrugs. “It just comes.”
SUIT BY CANALI. SHIRT BY DUNHILL. TIE BY THE TIE HUB. POCKET SQUARE BY PAUL SMITH. WATCH BY BULGARI. SOCKS BY UNIQLO. SHOES BY CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN
It might be a conventional pattern, but with checks like this you won’t look common at all PHOTOGRAPHED BY NIL HOPPENOT
S T Y L E D B Y R AV N E E T C H A N N A
COAT, JACKET, SHIRT, TROUSERS; ALL BY BURBERRY. BAG BY Z ZEgna
JACKET BY PARESH LAMBA. TROUSERS BY DUNHILL. TURTLENECK BY ALL SAINTS. POCKET SQUARE BY TURNBULL & ASSER. SHOES BY CHURCH’S
SUIT BY SUNIL MEHRA. SHIRT BY CANALI. TIE BY THE BRO CODE. WATCH BY BULGARI. SHOES BY PAUL SMITH
JACKET, TROUSERS; BOTH BY PAUL SMITH. SHIRT BY GATSBY.ALIPH. WATCH BY BULGARI. SOCKS BY FALKE. SHOES BY CHURCH’S
SUIT BY GATSBY.ALIPH. SHIRT, TIE; BOTH BY DUNHILL. POCKET SQUARE BY TURNBULL & ASSER. SOCKS BY UNIQLO. SHOES BY CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN
SUIT BY ANUJ MADAAN coUtUre. SHIRT BY tHoMAS PINK. TIE BY eMPorIo ArMANI. TIE BAR BY ALIce MADe tHIS. WATCH BY BULGArI. SOCKS BY UNIQLo. SHOES BY JoHN LoBB. BAG BY PAUL SMItH
COAT, SUIT, SHIRT; ALL BY HUGO BOSS. TIE BY MARWOOD. TIE BAR BY TATEOSSIAN
COAT BY GUCCI. SUIT BY EMPORIO ARMANI. SHIRT BY THOMAS PINK. TIE BY PAUL SMITH. TIE BAR BY TATEOSSIAN PHOTOGRAPHER AGENCy: SIlvERlAkE pHOTOgRApHY HAIR & MAKE-UP: ERnESTO mOnTEnOvO/DAvID ARTISTS PRODUCTION: mEgHA mEHTA MODEL: AzHAR SUlEmAn/nExT mODEl mAnAgEmEnT, lOnDOn LOCATION: HOTEl CAfé ROYAl, lOnDOn
INFLUENTIAL S O S SHOWS
OF ALL TIME
When the right designer puts the zeitgeist in a chokehold with an inspired collection, 12 minutes of loud music, bright lights and runway catwalking can send the culture careening in wild new directions. Here, we break down 16 fashion shows hows that changed the he way we dress WRITTEN BY NOAH JOHNSON
THE 100th ISSUE
JEAN PAUL GAULTIER Spring/Summer 1990
IMAGE: COURTESY JEAN PAUL GAULTIER, REUTERS (DIOR HOMME), GETTY IMAGES (DIOR HOMME)
Whether they know it or not, the labels leading the next wave of sporty, gender-indifferent fashion – Givenchy, Hood by Air, Public School, Off-White – owe a major debt to Gaultier. His Spring/Summer
1990 collection had a rather esoteric inspiration (The Invisible Man, the 1933 film of the HG Wells novel), but the clothes, which combined boxing attire with tailoring – think ringready boots, hoodies under suits, blazers with shorts and leggings – set the precedent for integrating luxury fashion and athletic gear.
“There came this new line from Hedi Slimane at Dior that you needed to be slim to wear. It said: ‘You want this? Go back to your bones.’ And so I lost it all. I lost 88 pounds and never got them back.” —KARL LAGERFELD, 2010
DIOR HOMME Spring/Summer 2002
Before he stormed the gates at Yves Saint Laurent, Hedi Slimane made his mark with an influential stint as the creative head of Dior Homme from 2000 to 2007. Among his contributions to the menswear
canon: skinny jeans, skinny ties and skinny models, many cast from the street by Slimane himself. Perhaps his most indelible legacy from those years is the skinny black suit, with high armholes, narrow sleeves and low-rise trousers, that became the uniform for rockers (both real and imagined) throughout the Noughties.
DOLCE & GABBANA Fall 1996
According to the label’s co-founder Domenico Dolce, “absolute elegance” was the inspiration for his then-10-year-old brand’s famous Rat Pack collection, which channelled the masculine swagger of the Sinatra-in-Palm Springs era. That meant retro polo shirts, velvety smoking jackets, coats with massive fur lapels and a raft of swanky accessories: Models wore felt fedoras, chomped on long cigarette holders, draped their necks with silk ascots and even cradled live exotic cats in their arms. (Hey, a show doesn’t become legendary without a few truly wild, unforgettable moments.)
GUCCI BY TOM FORD
Fall/Winter 1995 & 2004 When Tom Ford took the reins at Gucci, his impact was immediate. He slimmed the suits, cranked up the sex appeal (jewel-toned velvet, anyone?) and introduced chic styling touches (like loafers sans socks) that still resonate in menswear. His sense of showmanship carried right through his last Gucci show, which featured pole dancers (both male and female) flanking the runway. Instead of coming out for a quick bow, Ford capped off his game-changing Gucci tenure by swaggering down the runway as only he could: shirt unbuttoned to mid-sternum, highball glass in hand.
As early as the mid-Seventies, Giorgio Armani was gutting jackets of the lining and padding that give them their structure, redefining Italian tailoring along the way. “Around me, I only saw men who wore rigid jackets that concealed the body, imprisoning it, in a sense,” Armani tells us today. “I sought the exact opposite: comfortable clothes that gave ease to movement, comfort and nonchalance. Gradually, I also changed the layout of the buttons and changed its proportions: It was a process that radically transformed this garment. Since then, my jackets have been comfortable, lightweight and even sensual in their construction.” His Fall 1990 collection was the ultimate expression of his mission, one that still resonates today. “The excessive volume of the Nineties now seems outdated,” Armani says, “but the insistence on softness is still seen.”
“I sought comfortable clothes that gave ease to movement, comfort and nonchalance.” —GIORGIO ARMANI
image: courtesy dan lecca/conde nast archive (tom ford ramp), courtesy armani (armani), firstview (tom ford, junya watanabe, thom browne runway). photo: henry leutwyler (suit, briefcase). stylist: jocelyne beaudoin (suit, briefcase)
THOM BROWNE Fall/Winter 2009
Thom Browne doesn’t just make beautifully constructed, instantly recognizable suits – he creates an entire world around them, in the form of fashion shows that are more like performance art or theatre. His Fall/Winter 2009 show was a proper clinic on the Thom Browne aesthetic: Models dressed as office workers wore the designer’s signature grey cardigan and trousers in a Sixties workplace (complete with individual desks and coat racks on which they hung their identical trench coats). They typed up assignments on typewriters and even brought apples to the desk of their model boss.
JUNYA WATANABE Spring/Summer 2006
Fashion is still collaboration-crazy (see recent collections from Gosha Rubchinskiy and Vetements), and nobody did it earlier, better or more obsessively than Junya Watanabe. The Tokyo-based visionary combined tailoring with rugged workwear, bringing new life and a fashion edge to tough fabrics like canvas and denim by partnering with eight iconic brands – including Levi’s, Pointer, Dickies, Lacoste and Converse – in one collection.
“For Kinetic Youth, I wanted a space (or, maybe better, a non-space) – an environment that felt like a record cover from Pink Floyd. A space where technique and surrealism come together.”
IMAGE: COURTESY RAF SIMONS, COURTESY OWENSCORP, COURTESY PRADA. PHOTO: HENRY LEUTWYLER (SHOE). STYLIST: JOCELYNE BEAUDOIN (SHOE)
– RAF SIMONS
Spring/Summer 1998, Spring/ Summer 1999, Fall/Winter 2001 Of his many contributions to fashion, Raf’s first few collections, particularly Spring/Summer 1998 (Black Palms) and 1999 (Kinetic Youth) and Fall/Winter 2001 (Riot Riot Riot), remain touchstones for their mastery of proportion, graphic imagery and bristling energy – the kind Rihanna and Kanye West channel when they wear archival pieces from those collections today. Simons also stays far ahead of the curve with his locations: Kinetic Youth was held in front of an enormous mirror ball in Parc de La Villette’s Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie.
“I wanted monster trucks on my feet.” —RICK OWENS
RICK OWENS Fall/Winter 2006
Few designers can match Owens’ uncanny knack for jaw-dropping runway high jinks. (His recent collections included penis-exposing tunics and models backpackstrapped to other models in the 69 position.) Ten years ago, at Pitti Uomo, he installed a wax statue that depicted him urinating on the floor. But even that wasn’t enough to eclipse the sports-inspired clothes, which were so far ahead of their time they are still influencing collections a decade later. The truly groundbreaking moment came with the introduction of his iconic high-top Geobasket sneakers, the first-ever highfashion basketball shoes (there have been about, oh, a thousand trillion variations since), that came to be known, simply, as “the Rick Dunks”.
Fall/Winter 2012 Miuccia Prada wasn’t the first designer to send celebrities striding down the catwalk as models, but she did it biggest and best. In fact, the wattage she pulled still hasn’t been outshined. In a show that’s gone down as one of fashion’s greatest flexes, she turned her runway into a red carpet for seven Hollywood leading men – among them Gary Oldman, Adrien Brody and Willem Dafoe – and expanded the size of menswear’s circus tent forever.
HELMUT LANG Fall/Winter 1998
DRIES VAN NOTEN Spring/Summer 1996
Thumbing his nose at self-serious fashion shows where models are instructed not to make eye contact or smile, Van Noten hung a disco ball over the statue of David in Florence’s Piazzale Michelangelo and turned his show into a raucous free-for-all party where the models bounded in gangs through the crowd. It felt like exactly what fashion should – something you want to participate in, not watch from the sidelines.
STEPHEN SPROUSE Fall 1984
Back when the East Village concert venue Webster Hall was known as the Ritz, punk-design legend Stephen Sprouse packed the house for a show of graffiti-inspired prints and pop colours that brought street culture to high fashion. Among the 1,500 in attendance were the most glamorous downtown personalities of the time, including Andy Warhol. It was “near pandemonium,” wrote Roger Padilha, co-author of The Stephen Sprouse Book. Transgender model Teri Toye led the show, which ended with a video of a NASA shuttle launching into space – the perfect metaphor for Sprouse’s trajectory. In 2001, fellow punk-influenced designer Marc Jacobs would collaborate with Sprouse on graffiti-print bags for Louis Vuitton (and siphon off untold sums of cash from fanboy Kanye West as a result).
IMAGE: COURTESY DRIES VAN NOTEN, COURTESY HL-ART, GETTY IMAGES (STEPHEN SPROUSE). PHOTO: HENRY LEUTWYLER (PANTS). STYLIST: JOCELYNE BEAUDOIN (PANTS)
For arguably the single most influential runway event ever, the minimalist (and now highly collectible) designer, a man famous for pioneering distressed denim and making military outerwear chic, embraced technology in fashion like no one had before him. The show was initially held in a raw space with concrete floors, where he presented his men’s and women’s collections not for a seated audience but to be recorded and broadcast over the fledgling Internet and later distributed to the press via CD-ROM.
Despite the Great Casualization of menswear these past few years, the suit remains the bedrock of any man’s wardrobe. And here to show you the ropes is the preposterously dashing James Marsden, star of HBO’s epic new series Westworld PHOTOGRAPHED BY SEBASTIAN KIM
suit by j.crew ludlow. turtleneck by michael kors. boots by to boot new york. pocket square by the tie bar. watch by rolex
opposite page: suit, shirt, tie; all by canali. tie bar by the tie bar. pocket square by peter millar
suit by etro. shirt by l.b.m. 1911. tie by burberry. trench coat by the kooples. shoes by salvatore ferragamo. socks by uniqlo. pocket square by eleventy
opposite page: suit by salvatore ferragamo. shirt by john varvatos. tie by eleventy. loafers, portfolio; both by todâ€™s. socks by paul stuart. pocket square by brunello cucinelli. tie bar by the tie bar. watch by rolex
Suit by canali. Shirt by burberry. tie by dolce & gabbana. pocket Square by peter millar. watch by rolex. briefcaSe by louis vuitton
oppoSite page: Suit by john varvatos. Shirt by etro. tie by alexander olch. pocket Square by thomas mason contributing stylist: kelly Mccabe/art DepartMent grooming: Johnny hernanDez/toM forD set design: Juliet Jernigan/clM production: gabriel hill/ge-proJectS
DUFFEL BAG BY GOYARD
oppositE pAGE: Boots BY BOTTEGA VENETA
STATUS SYMBOLS Meet the designer accessories that have the right mix of hype, cred and style to be proud staples in your wardrobe pHotoGRApHED BY ARNAuD PYVkA
stYLED BY EmiliE mEiNADiER
ZIG-ZAG SCARF BY LOUIS VUITTON
oppoSIte pAGe: LoAFeRS BY GUCCI
BRACELET BY CARTIER
opposiTE pAgE: pLAYiNg CARDs BY HERMÈS PRoP STylIST: siNAN sigiC PRoduCTIon: JohANNA sChER/WoRkiNgiRL
Showcasing India’s Greatest Menswear
DECEMBER 2016 `150
THE LUXURY SPECIAL
5IN 0THEBEST THINGS WORLD RIGHT NOW
Abu Dhabi Strikes Back THE 21 GREATEST DOCUMENTARIES OF THE 21st CENTURY
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toboot.com Tod’s mumbai, palladium, 022-4242 1818, delhi, dLf Emporio, 011-4103 3059; bengaluru, 080-4280 0000 Tom Ford delhi, dLf Emporio, 011-4103 3059 Tommy Hilfiger mumbai, palladium, 022-3072 8807; delhi, ambience mall, 011-4087 0041; bengaluru, Orion mall, 080-2268 2091 Topshop topshop.com Triumph mumbai, Skyzone, 96193 33033; delhi, ambience mall; 99999 21984; bengaluru, Orion mall, 080-4511 2345 Tumi mumbai, palladium, 022-6615 2295; delhi, dLf Emporio, 011-4058 2318; bengaluru, Ub City, 080-4173 8948
Turnbull & Asser R Rado mumbai, 022-6743
9856; delhi, 011-4357 5253; bengaluru, Ub City, 080-4098 2107 Raf Simons rafsimons.com
U Uniqlo uniqlo.com United Colors Of Benetton
pHOTO: NIL HOppENOT
Rajesh Pratap Singh mumbai, 022-6638 5480; delhi, 011-2463 8788 Ray & Dale mumbai, 99200 53190 Ray-Ban ray-ban.com Reebok mumbai, phoenix marketcity, 022-2518 2131; delhi, pacific mall, 011-4515 1335; bengaluru, phoenix marketcity, 080-672 66250 Rick Owens rickowens.eu
Rohit Gandhi+ Rahul Khanna mumbai, 022-2648 5622 Rolex mumbai, dia, 022-2204 2299; delhi, Kapoor watch Co, 011-4134 5678; bengaluru,
mumbai, phoenix marketcity, 95618 82747; delhi, dLf promenade, 011-4604 0750; bengaluru, Orion mall, 080-2268 2166
V Vacheron Constantin vacheron-constantin.com Valentino valentino.com Van Heusen mumbai, High Street phoenix, 022-6615 2898; delhi, Select Citywalk, 011-4265 8320; bengaluru, Orion mall, 080-2268 2062 Versace mumbai, 022-3027 7040; delhi, dLf Emporio, 011-4660 9064
Vivienne Westwood available at The Collective
GQ CENTRAL For m ore, see
BY THE BAY The Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa needs no dressing up – especially when you’re shooting GQ’s woman of the month there
ucked away on the eastern coast of Phuket, The Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa is pure indulgence. All 257 rooms, including 43 suites, face the sea – ensuring a picturesque view no matter where you may be staying. The luxury fivestar resort’s tropical haven could only look better with Saiyami Kher added to the mix. For the day-long shoot, the entire GQ team – which included photographer Errikos Andreou and grooming ace Rosario Belmonte – claimed a part of the Westin’s private beach. No props were needed to show off the sultry actor, just the magnificent backdrop of Siray Bay. After the day-long shoot, the team rejuvenated at the Heavenly Spa, which features seven rooms – including an Ayurveda room – and offers various treatments and traditional Thai massages. This, followed up with a dive into the horizon pool that overlooks the bay, offered the perfect end to our Thai retreat before we headed back to our humdrum lives.
ou Errikos Andre lens rt pe ex s hi ns trai subject on his stunning
THE WESTIN SIRAY BAY RESORT & SPA 21/4 Moo 1 T.Rasada A.Muang, Rasada, Phuket, 83000, Thailand Tel: +66 (0) 76 335 600 westinsiraybay.com
The Club at Hotel Café Royal
AFTERNOON DELIGHTS Our latest fashion shoot took place in the sophisticated settings of London’s Hotel Café Royal. We left with a longing to go back
T HOTEL TEL CAF CAFÉ ROYAL 68 Regent Street, London, UK hhotelcaferoyal.com telcaferoyal.com
Moody never od looked this go
he Hotel Café Royal, London, is bang in the middle of bustling, touristy Piccadilly Circus. Yet, when you step inside, you’re plunged into a world of elegant luxury. A perfect backdrop for our contemporary-meets-classic fashion shoot. We were set up in the Dome Penthouse, where a welcome breakfast, courtesy in-house dessert restaurant The Café, awaited us. After devouring the delicious pastries, we got to work, with the wellappointed apartment suite – featuring a lounge, bar, two bedrooms, an open bathroom and two balconies with a spectacular view of the city – at our disposal. We broke only for lunch, served by a butler exclusive to the Dome Penthouse, who ended up shooting with us as an extra. Sadly, we wrapped early. But not without adding a stay at this decadent penthouse suite to our wishlist.
For more, see CHECKED IN
READERS’ TRAVEL AWARDS 2016 WINNERS INSIDE WIN A STAY
AT THE GRAND DRAGON LADAKH
THE LAST WORD IN TRAVEL DEC-JAN 2016-17 | 150
50 SHADES OF BLUE The best beach holidays around the world
A diver’s paradise
SKIING IN ITALY How to do the Dolomites
Best of INDIA
WHAT MAKES SPITI SPECIAL WHERE TO SHOP IN DELHI GOA WITH YOUR KIDS Aditi Rao Hydari at the Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa beach
P L U S W H AT ’ S H O T ( A N D N O T ) I N L O N D O N
GREAT ADVENTURES ARE WAITING For the love of road trips, deep sea diving, skiing and voluntourism. This December, Condé Nast Traveller takes you from Tamil Nadu to Raja Ampat, from Spiti to Italy, and brings you closer to travel’s greatest adventures. Also in this issue: the best beach holidays around the world, what to do in Goa with your kids, and which restaurants are hot (and not) in London.
DECEMBER-JANUARY 2016-17 ISSUE ON STANDS NOW @CNTIndia
Readers' Travel Awards 2016 LIST OF WINNERS DESTINATIONS Favourite Country 1. Switzerland 2. Thailand Favourite Overseas City 1. London 2. Paris Favourite Indian City 1. Mumbai 2. Jaipur Favourite Indian Leisure Destination 1. Goa 2. Kerala Favourite Emerging Overseas Destination 1. China 2. Sri Lanka Favourite Emerging Indian Destination 1. Leh-Ladakh 2. Gujarat
HOTELS Favourite Overseas Business Hotel 1. JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai 2. The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore Favourite Indian Business Hotel 1. The Oberoi, Gurgaon 2. The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai Favourite Overseas Leisure Hotel 1. Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Maldives 2. The Address Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai Favourite Indian Leisure Hotel 1. Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa 2. The Leela Palace Udaipur Favourite New Overseas Hotel 1. The Ritz-Carlton, Bali 2. Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Financial Centre
Favourite Online Tour Operator 1. MakeMyTrip 2. Cleartrip
Favourite New Leisure Hotel in India 1. InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort 2. Novotel Goa Resorts & Spa
Favourite Travel App 1. TripAdvisor 2. MakeMyTrip
Favourite New Business Hotel in India 1. The St. Regis Mumbai 2. Pullman New Delhi Aerocity
Favourite Cruise 1. Princess Cruises 2. Royal Caribbean International
Favourite Indian Boutique Hotel 1. The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa, Gulmarg 2. RAAS Jodhpur
LOYALTY & FOOD Favourite Hotel Loyalty Programme 1. Trident Privilege 2. Club ITC Favourite Restaurant in an Indian Hotel 1. Bukhara at ITC Maurya, New Delhi 2. The China Kitchen at Hyatt Regency Delhi Favourite Restaurant in an Overseas Hotel 1. CUT at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore 2. Nobu at Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai
SPAS Favourite Destination Spa 1. Ananda in the Himalayas 2. The Shillim Spa at Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat & Spa Favourite Overseas Hotel Spa 1. Guerlain Spa at One&Only The Palm, Dubai 2. Talise Spa at Madinat Jumeirah Resort, Dubai Favourite Indian Hotel Spa 1. The Spa by ESPA at The Leela Palace Udaipur 2. Cedar Spa by Lâ€™OCCITANE at JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa
AIR, APPS & CRUISES Favourite Airport 1. Changi Airport, Singapore 2. Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai Favourite Domestic Airline 1. IndiGo 2. Vistara Favourite International Airline 1. Etihad Airways 2. Emirates Favourite Tour Operator 1. Cox & Kings 2. Thomas Cook
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Aman Nath EXCELLENCE AWARDS FOR SHOWCASING THE BEST OF INDIA
Ratish Nanda Devendra Jhajharia Sabyasachi Mukherjee
FASHION, LUXURY AND LIVING IN STANDOUT STYLE
Dram to desire
Following the success of its first release, which was a complete sell out, Old Pulteney recently announced the second release of its limitededition 35 Year Old expression. Matured in exAmerican bourbon and ex-Spanish oak casks, it is initially sweet and spicy on the palate and then develops into honey, rum soaked raisins and orange flavours before revealing heavier notes of seasoned leather, pralines and a touch of the salty North Sea air and dried fruit.
Winter is here
Amongst the many good things about winter is that it gives you the opportunity to dress sharp and look good. Rare Rabbit – a one of a kind menswear brand – brings you a wide array of winter wear from knits, jackets and cardigans to dress shirts, jeans and trousers. Showcased here is a printed shirt, layered with a classic knit sweater, that will effortlessly take you from a weekend brunch to an evening at the country club in effortless style. `3,499 (Rolo Purple Knit Sweater) and `2,599 (Liberty Shirt). For more information, visit rarerabbit.in
Living in luxury
Price on request. For more information, visit oldpulteney.com
Rajesh LifeSpaces, renowned real estate developer, introduces Raj Tattva – an approximately threeacre luxury living complex with 4- to 5-BHK homes across five 29-storey towers. Apart from the four-level parking, residents can access the club house, swimming pools, children’s play area, barbeque pavilion, event pavilions, openair lounge terrace, half basketball court, tennis court, cricket practice enclosure and a host of other amenities. Priced between `1.8 crore and `3.10 crore (for three and four BHKs). Bookings Open. For more information, call +91 9821499458 or visit rajtattva.com
Close to nature
For more information, visit manaprojects.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +917676444000
and Bengaluru. For more information, visit cadini.in
Mana Tropicale — an award-winning residential high-rise in Bengaluru — has integrated around 700 tropical trees into its design to make you feel like you’re living in a rainforest. Built around a beautiful central spine, 50ft above dense tropical trees, it offers a magical lifestyle amidst nature. While each 2-, 2.5- and 3-BHK apartment offers sylvan views, tree-hugging balconies, private backyard gardens, this project is a fine example of how one can construct without disturbing the environment.
Cadini continuously sustains a great passion for style and over the decades has evolved as one of the most sought-after brands from Italy: with a presence across 40 exclusive franchises around the globe. Featured here is a chic and contemporary Italian-made, single-breasted suit that’s crafted from exotic wool fibres, silk and linen, making it perfect for one of the soirées this party season. `35,999. Available at Cadini stores in Mumbai
Taking inspiration from its multifaceted history, Swiss watchmaker Longines introduces The Longines Avigation Watch Type A-7 1935 as a part of its Heritage collection. While it illustrates the brand’s historic ties with aviation, this elegant vintage-style chronograph combines performance with precision. Its honey-coloured accents and angled dial allow pilots to read the indices without having to release the plane’s control yoke, making it a delightful timepiece. `2,10,000. Available at leading watch retailers across India
The luxe life
An urban utopia in the heart of Kolkata, The Reserve by PS Group promises a profound living experience. While the sprawling 4- and 5-BHK residences offer a contemporary aesthetic and a chic ambience, residents have access to The Club, which offers concierge services, a business centre, a mini-theatre, an al fresco party deck, a swimming pool, a spa, a badminton court and a host of other recreational facilities.
Dressed to kill
For more information, visit psgroup.in
Designed for the man who owns his sense of style and always strikes a balance between classic looks and contemporary hits, The Arvind Store’s Autumn/Winter ’16 collection recommends you mix formals with casuals to make a distinct style statement. Featured here is a wool-rich single-breasted suit paired with a crisp double-button, mandarin-collared dress shirt made from superfine cotton. It’s bound to make heads turn. Price on request. For more information, visit thearvindstore.com
Flash that smile
F1 Plus by OPPO Mobiles is an upgraded version of the Selfie Expert F1. Taking selfies to a new level with a 16MP front camera and 13MP rear camera, this 5.5inch, all-metal unibody 4G device runs fast with a powerful Octa-core processor. With the all-new ColorOS 3.0 system, it also features an intelligent fingerprint sensor and OPPO’s patented VOOC flash charge. `26,990. For more information, visit oppo.com/in
A lot can be said about a man by the shoes he wears. No one understands this better than Raymond – a brand that has been dressing gentlemen for several decades. That’s why they’ve introduced these stylish yet supremely comfortable tan coloured monkstrap shoes as part of the Raymond Madeto-Measure range. Crafted from pure leather or suede, they follow the contours of your feet and complement both day and eveningwear. Price on request. Available at select Raymond Made-To-Measure stores
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WORDS: OVERRATED OUTCAST. IMAGE: AFP
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