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WEEKLY MAGAZINE, APRIL 1, 2012 Free with your copy of Hindustan Times

Actors and filmmakers in a gritty conversation about gangsters, guns and girls – at the first ever Brunch Dialogues

(Clockwise from top right) Our star panellists – Sanjay Gupta, Manoj Bajpayee, Kangna Ranaut, John Abraham, Ekta Kapoor and Tigmanshu Dhulia



Foodistan’s Emperor


Is the iPad flawed?


Of likes and dislikes

SEEMA GOSWAMI A feel-good diet



01.04.2012 18.03.2012 WHEN WE DECIDE TO MAKE CONVERSATION... ...we do it in style. For the first Brunch Dialogues, we got Vir Sanghvi to talk to Bollywood filmmakers and stars about the underworld in Hindi cinema. We want to share the wonderful evening with you; here’s a run-through of what happened...

The bikini myth

THE S0-CALLED bikini body (Are Indian Girls Bikini Ready?, March 25) is a myth. Most women across the world care little for streamlined bodies. If an Indian woman puts on weight, she should still wear a bikini. The men flaunt their Speedos with a paunch. Why expect women to have oomph figures?

— RAVINDER KUMAR, via email Ravinder wins a shopping voucher worth R2,500. Congrats!

It’s like magic

Binoy Dass Indian girls are ready (Are Indian Girls Bikini Ready?), but the men are rowdy! Apurva Parekh Brunch is an excellent magazine. Your Editor and team deserve special thanks for their efforts in giving the best reading material to its readers. Namira Khan Rajiv Makhni’s column was AWESOME! I was amused with his act of getting completely wire-free. Although the column was a bit late, it was worth the wait!

TWEET YOUR HEART OUT @rasnabhasin Enjoyed reading every bit of @YashicaDutt’s article (Are Indian Girls Bikini Ready?). It’s a must read! :)

Drop a line at or to 18-20 Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi 110001 APRIL 1, 2012

RUDE FOOD 14 The rise and rise of Manish Mehrotra, the master of modern Indian cooking 16 TECHILICIOUS The new iPad may overheat. But is it a deal-breaker? 17 DOWNLOAD CENTRAL The exponential growth of genres and sub-genres of music on the Web 18

SPECTATOR The five key ingredients of a feel-good diet 20


The A-Z of the 2012 edition of the Indian Premier League


The night in pics

The first edition of Brunch Dialogues was absolutely fabulous. As were the celebs! We talked to them, clicked lots of photos and got happily buzzed. Log on now for the best of the event!


DESIGN: Ashutosh Sapru (National Editor Design), Swati Chakrabarti, Rakesh Kumar, Ashish Singh, Saket Misra, Suhas Kale, Shailendra Mirgal, Monica Gupta

It’s the booze talking You know what’s more fun than schmoozing with celebs? Schmoozing with them a few pegs down. Needless to say, the after party rocked!


@Thats_so_Sana Out of town n missing my copy of @HTBrunch so much!!!

– NIDHI, via email

EDITORIAL: Poonam Saxena (Editor), Aasheesh Sharma, Tavishi Paitandy Rastogi, Mignonne Dsouza, Veenu Singh, Parul Khanna Tewari, Yashica Dutt, Pranav Dixit, Amrah Ashraf, Saudamini Jain

Tech-ing it beyond For once, Techilicious columnist Rajiv Makhni wasn’t talking tech, but keeping the audience in splits. They all loved him!

@VinayVictorious @chitrangadasing Your interview in @HTBrunch was awesome. Really liked it. :-)

ON MY honeymoon to the Maldives, I experienced bikini agony (Are Indian Girls Bikini Ready?, March 25). My husband was ogling bikini-clad women instead of talking to me! So I bought a bikini, spent a fortune to get rid of my excessive body hair and hid my paunch and thunder thighs with a dupatta. I could capture my husband’s attention all thanks to the bikini magic.

Write in, the best letter every week can win you a SHOPPING voucher worth

And all that jazz The music band Bartender performed modern versions of classic Bollywood songs. And boy, did they look good!



Tete-a-tete Vir spoke to Sanjay Gupta, Ekta Kapoor, Tigmanshu Dhulia, John Abraham, Manoj Bajpayee and Kangana Ranaut.

Split-Screen makes changes This week, award-winning writer/filmmaker Gautam Chintamani’s writes on how casting makes all the difference to a film. Read Split-Screen every Friday online!


The Brunch Blogs

This week, read It’s All Geek To Me by Pranav Dixit. Everything about technology and geekdom


Personal Agenda

Why restaurateur Ritu Dalmia has never been able to perfect home-style kheer Cover Design: ASHUTOSH SAPRU Cover Photo: MONISHA AJGAONKAR Location: HOTEL TRIDENT BANDRA KURLA, MUMBAI


The Big Sleep





“My daughter goes to sleep on weekdays at 8.30 pm in order to be ready for school at 8 am the next day. As a rule, I try and make sure she gets nine and a half hours of sleep at least. That means no going out to parties on weekdays for me, so that I too can do the school run in the morning.” Model and mother of Nayantara, 9


Family alarm: An early bedtime may not be the best thing for your child by Mignonne Dsouza


T’S A FAMILIAR sight in many Indian homes – the spectacle of kids awake well past their bedtime, either watching TV or driving their parents crazy by refusing to go to sleep. At the same time, the virtues of an early bedtime are trumpeted by various research studies conducted abroad that suggest that children who go to sleep early stay less obese and become smarter – a variation on the saying ‘early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise’. But is that really true? And can Indian kids keep to an early sleep time considering that in most urban households, parents arrive home only post 8 pm? “Absolutely not,” says software professional Meenakshi Agarwal, mother of sixyear-old Renuka. “Neither my husband nor I would get to spend any quality time with her,” she says.


Dr Sonu Udani, consultant paediatrician and head of paediatrics, Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai, refutes the notion that early sleep times make kids smarter or less obese, saying that there is no hard evi-

dence to support this. “If sleeping early means that kids never get to see their parents, that’s not desirable. But kids should sleep for eight to 10 hours.” The only thing Dr Udani advises against is letting kids stay up late to watch TV. And she also cautions against letting older kids go to bed late and then catching up on their sleep in the afternoons. “No child above the age of six should take an afternoon nap,” explains Dr Udani. That view is supported by Dr Pulkit Sharma, consultant clinical psychologist and psychoanalytical therapist at Vidyasagar Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences (VIMHANS), New Delhi, who argues that the stress should be on consistent bedtimes. “Whatever time you set for your child to go to bed, stick to it on weekdays,” he advises.

“Zeke and Zene both go to sleep at 8.30 pm because they get up to go to school at 7 am. Lately, though Zeke has been fighting his sleep time. I have to fight with him to get him to go to sleep.” TV host and mother of Zeke, 8 and Zene, 5


“Kaveri’s bedtime on school days is 9.30 pm. But in the holidays, I allow her full freedom to do as she pleases. Sometimes, when she has her friends over for a sleepover or pajama party, they don’t sleep till 5 am and keep waking me up for late night treats.” Actor, mother of Kaveri, 12

days,” she explains. Dr Sharma explains that parents should also be aware that their kids might suffer from sleep anxiety. “Kids feel more secure in going to sleep when they know their parents are around,” he explains. Dr Udani agrees, saying, “Set a pattern every night with your kids. Put them to bed, spend 1520 minutes easing them in, maybe read them a story. This will soothe them,” she advises. TV host and mother of two Maria Goretti has a similar bedtime routine for her two kids, son Zeke, 8 and daughter Zene, 5. “They start by taking a shower, after which I read them a story, they say their prayers, and then it’s lights out,” she says.

‘No child above the age of six should take an afternoon nap’

According to Dr Udani, parents should pay attention to what she terms ‘sleep hygiene’ to ensure that bedtime is not battle time for parents. “It involves three aspects – the place where the child goes to sleep, the time at which they sleep and the time at which they get up – and this should remain standard on most



And what happens when kids effectively ‘hijack’ their parents, and refuse to sleep alone? “Explain to your kids that just as they enjoy watching cartoons, you too want to

watch a movie meant for adults,” advises Dr Sharma. Freelance writer Sonya Dutta Choudhury very early on decided she needed to set a sleep pattern for her three kids to give herself and her husband some time together. “When they were very young, my kids would sleep by 6 pm in their own room,” she reveals. “They used to get up for a feed around 10 pm. I always did it in the dark, and did not talk to them, replying only in whispers if they insisted on my saying something.” Today, her daughter Analie (the youngest) sleeps at 8.30 pm, Aleya (12) by 9 pm, and Diviya (14) by 9.30-10 pm. According to Dr Sharma, the process of getting your child to sleep alone should start by explaining why it is important to sleep alone. “Do it gradually,” he advises. “Maybe by placing them in a cot by the side of your bed. Leave a night light on, and place an alarm bell by the bed which they can ring if they have nightmares. As they get more comfortable with the concept, ease them out in sleeping on their own.”

“People who say they sleep like a baby usually don’t have one” – Leo J Burke, writer APRIL 1, 2012


Lights, Camera,

Shootout! Edifying and engaging — the first Brunch Dialogues had Mumbai asking for more At HT Brunch, we like to stay off the beaten track. That’s why our maiden edition of Brunch Dialogues – Conversations with Indian Cinema, turned out to be such a different event. We love the movies. And what better way to extend our engagement with entertainment than through an event where conversation – about ideas and trends in cinema – ruled. The topic of the first Brunch Dialogues, held recently at Trident Bandra Kurla, Mumbai, was Bollywood’s obsession with organised crime, underworld gangs and tough cops. It was engrossing, absorbing, completely riveting.


ANGSTERS AND their molls have always fascinated filmmakers all over the world. Bollywood hasn’t been immune to the high-octane mix of guns, goons and girls either. It first dazzled us in the ’50s with stylised movies such as Baazi. Later, Haji Mastan inspired a few blockbusters and in the shootout capers of the 2000s, glamour gave way to grit. No wonder the maiden edition of Brunch Dialogues – Conversations with Indian Cinema that tackled the twin themes of cinema and crime, turned out to be so smokin’ hot. It had to be, what with Brunch columnist and advisor, HT Media Limited, Vir Sanghvi quizzing the panellists on urban capers as well as gritty tales from the hinterland. In the first session, filmmaker Sanjay Gupta recalled a newspaper photo that set him thinking about a movie on the shootout that killed don Maya Dolas. “It showed the then Maharashtra DIG AA Khan walking out after the encounter, shirt unbuttoned, sporting flashy sunglasses.” That movie was Shootout At Lokhandwala. Coming up next (in

December this year) is a prequel, Shootout at Wadala, produced by Ekta Kapoor of Balaji Motion Pictures, about Mumbai’s first shootout in 1982. Ekta, also on the panel, spoke about how Shootout At Wadala was the best script she had read in years. The third panellist, Tigmanshu Dhulia, fresh from the success of Paan Singh Tomar, said that “in Bihar and UP, they don’t hire a teenager from Azamgarh to kill. They pull the trigger themselves.” After the first session ended, Bartenders – a noirish band – played classic Hindi film numbers with a sensuous, modern twist. They were followed by Brunch columnist Rajiv Makhni’s short, sparkling question-andanswer session with the audience.

In the 2000s, gangster capers gave way to gritty portrayals


And then the stage was set for the second session on ‘Glamour in Gangland.’ The panellists included Manoj Bajpayee, whose portrayal of Bhiku Mhatre in Satya is a touchstone for celluloid baddies; Kangana Ranaut, who has perfected the moll act in Gangster, Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai and John Abraham, who plays Manya Surve in Shootout At Wadala. John said he wanted to move away from roles that showed him “emerging from the water in yellow trunks.” Both the sessions were engaging, edifying. The 200-plus audience, which included Mumbai’s movers and shakers, then repaired to the after-party at the terrace of the Colosseum. And as conversation flowed over Fratelli and Vat 69, Mumbai raised a toast to this new exciting platform for cinema. Catch the Brunch Dialogues on NDTV Good Times, soon. Watch this space.

APRIL 1, 2012

Talking Movies, Mafia Style


Gangland tales, all glammed up Manoj Bajpayee, Actor



he session on ‘Glamour In Gangland: The Men And Their Molls’ turned out to be a heady concoction of sex appeal, style, and lots of laughter. Each of the three stars who sat down to talk movies with Vir Sanghvi: John Abraham, Manoj Bajpayee and Kangana Ranaut, have a unique passion driving their approach to life and acting. Of course, all three are part of the cast of Shootout At Wadala. Sanghvi set the ball rolling by revealing that many directors and producers had complained that Abraham’s intensity and passion had been underutilised. “Cinema is a visual medium so I am not apologetic about the way I am portrayed. But eventually, it is about getting your performance right. Many directors bow down to commercial wisdom, but I

thank Sanjay for giving me a challenging role.” Abraham, who is taking Marathi lessons, said he was working on getting under the skin of gangster Manya Surve’s character. “He began as a simple Maharashtrian middle class boy who wanted to be an engineer and studied at Kirti College.” Bajpayee remembered the time when some financiers wanted to add jhatka songs to the original Satya script and asked him to shake a leg to Sapne mein milti hai. Having internalised the character of Bhiku Mhatre, the tough, pensive baddie, he did his own spontaneous moves instead. Ranaut said her histrionic skills were only discovered after people learnt to look beyond the veneer of her beauty. “Good looks can get uncomfortable at times,” agreed Abraham, saying he gets


how an event DIALOGUES is ought to b: ch illed-out, informative, fu n & (most impo rtantly) with tht special vibe! Gala tim e tonight. - Actor Meiyan g Chan g


F GREAT STUFial ogues @HTBrunch #D xoxo really enjoyed it! - Malini Agarwal


A brave new world of crime capers TIGMANSHU DHULIA, Film director

SANJAY GUPTA, Filmmaker, director


John gets mobbed at public places by five-year-old girls who call him hot


From left: Bajpayee, Ranaut and Abraham chat with Vir Sanghvi


From left: Dhulia, Gupta and Kapoor during the Brunch Dialogues

he trio of panellists in the first session of the Brunch Dialogues had a double-pronged connection: cinema and crime. Soap queen turned film producer Ekta Kapoor has launched a prequel to Shootout At Lokhandwala to be directed by Sanjay Gupta (it’s called Shootout At Wadala). Tigmanshu Dhulia, the brain behind Haasil and Sahib, Biwi Aur Gangster, entered the Chambal heartland to tell the riveting story of Paan Singh Tomar, the rebel with a cause. With filmmakers like Dhulia, is Bollywood’s obsession with crime in Mumbai changing, asked Brunch columnist and moderator Vir Sanghvi. Dhulia agreed: “Outlaws like Paan Singh are like wild horses. He was a sportsman, he didn’t want money out of crime.” Kapoor said that movies such as Paan Singh Tomar and Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai, were telling stories about all kinds of people willing to stand up against the system. “Our attention span is diminishing. Whether it is realistic or escapist cinema, what works is a good story


told well,” she said. “This year, for instance, three seemingly disparate movies did well – Paan Singh Tomar, Kahaani and Agneepath,” she added. In the last underworld movie that she made (Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai) the writers had refrained from naming characters that inspired the film. But in Shootout at Wadala, every character will be given real names, said Gupta. The film is the story of Manya Surve, the first Mumbai ganglord killed in a shootout. “The story is about his conflict with the Ibrahim brothers Shabbir and Dawood,” said Gupta. “Dawood was just a henchman. Shabbir’s death turned everything upside down. There was bloodbath on the streets and the D Company came into being,” he added. When Sanghvi asked Gupta and Kapoor if they were scared of the D gang since they were portraying real characters, Kapoor replied with a laugh: “Sanjay has said if a bullet comes our way, he will take it!” For her, it’s been quite a journey from bahus to bullets!

mobbed at public places by fiveyear-old girls who call him hot. When he said he found this awkward, Bajpayee interjected and said it was better than “aunties calling you Manojji.” The conversation turned cosier when Abraham described the manner in which young female fans expressed their admiration for him. “Excited young girls put their hands inside my shirt and my bodyguard tells me not to move till they finish doing what they have to. It usually takes five seconds,” he said as his lady fans in the audience broke into laughter. Bajpayee also had a comical take on his unconventional looks: “My father wasn’t very good looking. To be an actor I had to chose between Sanjeev Kumar and Jeetendra. I chose Sanjeev Kumar.”


RUNCH dialogues even ing. Looking forward to expl osive, enterta ining and insightful exchange!

- Fashion desig ner Nachiket Barve

CH DINNER m THE @HTBRUN e meeting the tea was fun it was nic to for so many that I have spoken e but never met on ph the on ars ye ni n Noora - Composer Ehsaa



RUNCH dialogue conv o with @PrAtEiK1986 @nachiketbar ve and the gorgeous @i_ am_amyjackso n. - Rohan Sh restha

APRIL 1, 2012

H FIRST PAasRT DONE WIT#D great ialogues. W

@HTBrunch ngh, chana Puran Si fun. Victims Ar Mishra oja Po , di Be oja Kabir Bedi, Po i - Rajiv Makhn



Left to right: Admen Prasoon Joshi and Prahlad Kakkar share more than just their profession, wearing almost similar outfits; actor Sushant Singh looks pretty darn good in jeans, black T-shirt and a mooch; and funny man Cyrus Sahukar claims he got late because he was meeting his CA (seriously, Cyrus?)

Actor Prateik tries convincing actress and girlfriend Amy Jackson and designer Nachiket Barve to take him seriously

And The Conversation Continues...

TV anchor Ayushmann Khurrana is playing a sperm donor in his new film, Vicky Donor. Seen here with co-star Yami

...with wide smiles and witty repartee, at the first HT Brunch Dialogues, held in Mumbai. Discussion, debate, music, masala, food, wine...whatta night! Photos: SATTISH BATE, PRODIP GUHA, VIJAYANAND GUPTA

Konkana works the pink sari and potli brilliantly Chef Sanjeev Kapoor and wife Alyona in the audience

Left: Crime Patrol host Anup Soni; above: director Sanjay Gupta’s wife Anuradha and right: actress Yuvika Chaudhary listen to the conversation APRIL 1, 2012

Above: Actress Pooja Bedi gives father Kabir Bedi a warm hug; left: designer Narendra Kumar is completely Gadget guru Rajiv Makhni engrossed in the does a fun Q&A with the sessions invited audience




Left: Dipannita Sharma looks stately in a Nachiket Barve dress; above: director R Balki looks happy to be on the red carpet

Above: TV host and singer Meiyang Chang and singer Shilpa Rao wish they too could have performed; right: actor Arunoday Singh is very witty Maria Goretti is stunning in a black sari (we can vouch for that!)

Abhishek Panshikar, Executive Associate Manager, Trident Bandra Kurla, greets panellists Manoj Bajpayee, Kangana Ranaut and John Abraham with red roses

Musician Ehsaan Noorani makes up for missing a session by catching up with HT Media Ltd advisor Vir Sanghvi

Above: Photographer Rohan Shrestha and TV actor Sky pose gladly for our shutterbugs Above: Actress Archana Puran Singh shares a secret joke with husband and director Parmeet Sethi; right: singer Anushka Manchanda gives a powerful performance between the sessions; left: director Ketan Mehta, whose last film was Tere Mere Phere, with Vinay Pathak

Aditi Rao Hydari looks chic in ruffles

LITTLE LESS conversation, a little more action. Or so it was at the red carpet of the first HT Brunch Dialogues – Conversations With Indian Cinema, where the glitterati showed their often effortless and sometimes cultivated sense of style. As usual the women had a leg up over the men (literally) but the boys couldn’t be overlooked either. The fashionable knights of the evening were actor Prateik, who looked smashing in a monochrome black look, broken only by the sequinned joker print on his Armani T-shirt. Then there was John Abraham sticking to a crisp white shirt, strategically frayed blue jeans and unheeled black sneakers. Not far behind was designer Narendra Kumar who looked dandy in an inky blue blazer, paired with scarlet pants, white T-shirt and tan laceups. But surprise, surprise! Manoj Bajpayee looked drop-dead-dishy in a Shantanu & Nikhil textured black bandhgala. (We couldn’t have wanted more!) The ladies ensured that the evening was a Pink Crusade with many sporting it in several different shades. While model Dipannita Sharma looked creaselessly statuesque in a magenta Nachiket Barve one-shouldered creation, Amy Jackson contributed with an asymmetrical dress by Giovanni and spiked Christian Louboutin heels. And Konkana Sen Sharma took the ethnic route in a pink sari, a green blouse and a potli. Then there were the ladies in black like Kangana Ranaut who worked a tiny lace dress without a single accessory. Ekta Kapoor was in a beaded Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla sari (the extra small, toe-sticking shoes remained the same) and Aditi Rao Hydari looked classically cute in a ruffled black dress with nude slingbacks. Now, that’s what you call a red carpet success!

Hospitality partner

APRIL 1, 2012

Television partner



The Closed Circuit Path is yet another social networking platform. It’s cosier than Facebook, but do we really need one more place to show off?

by Pranav Dixit


the layout was easy to understand. Connecting mainstream social networks like Facebook and Twitter was easy. I use Path as the primary place to post all updates and then selectively push them out to my Facebook or Twitter streams.”

HERE’S A scrappy little most smiles are plastic). Unlike startup, not yet two, barely an Facebook, where everything is pubhour’s drive from Facebook’s lic by default (unless you are brave WE’RE ALL FAMILY headquarters in California, enough to navigate the labyrinth of What makes Path work is the innate that’s giving Mark Zuckerberg and privacy settings), you simplicity, says Mathur. POST A PICTURE his team sleepless nights these days. can lock down every There are no circles to OK, so it’s not that scrappy. Its post you make on create (like Google Plus) claim to fame is a spiffy, mobile-only Path with one simple and no confusing lists of social network called Path, which tap of the finger (you family, friends and colrecently crossed two million users can always crossleagues to maintain (like and has been growing at a rapid clip post selective updates to Facebook). “You share or Sipping coffee in my since it first debuted in 2010. What both Facebook and you don’t share. That’s it. cool Angry Birds mug! does it do? It lets you post photos, Twitter). And by the And the small group of #win :D share status updates and locations, way, just to keep things Posted on Saturday, 11:04 AM people who are on my what song you’re listening to and close-knit, you can’t Path is the one I have much more. Heck, there’s even a have more than 150 friends on Path. shared interests with. They are not nifty little button that lets you tell Yes, that’s a feature, not a bug. the people I am forced to acknowlpeople what time you went to bed The question is: do we need yet edge because we were friends at another social network? and when you woke up. But wait. some time or are related in some Isn’t that what Facebook is for? distant way. These are people who SMOOTH AND SIMPLE According to its website, Path are close and share my interest in MW magazine’s technology editor, wants to be ‘the smart journal that technology, music and fitness,” she Madhulika Mathur, has been using helps you share life with the ones says. Path ever since it you love.’ “Our long-term Path has also been designed from launched and is an avid vision here is to build a ground up to be a mobile experience UPDATE YOUR STATUS user. “I don’t blog regunetwork that is very unlike Facebook or Twitter, where 200 words in on a high quality and that the mobile experience feels tacked Saturday morning. larly, I don’t keep a diary It’s great weather and I have reduced my people feel comforton to the main desktop websites outside – I don’t trips to Facebook. Path able contributing to at (the Facebook app in particular is want to work! :( felt like this beautiful litany time,” Path cohorrible). And while Facebook is all Posted on Saturday, 10:32 AM tle app with a simple, founder and CEO, Dave about seeing what everyone else is intuitive interface for life Morin, a former doing, Path largely puts you and journaling and that’s what appealed Facebook staffer, has said in your life in focus. “In that sense, it’s to me instantly,” she says. Mathur interviews. Using Path is like being not really one more social network. has just 40 friends on Path (she has at a private get-together that has Rather, it’s a supplement to the ones over 500 on Facebook) and posts only your closest friends and family you’re currently using. That’s a check-ins to new places, photos, members in attendance. Facebook, point that’s hard to drive home to music and thoughts at in comparison, has started resemnew users who often see least twice a day. “I even bling a Page 3 party, where everyone it as ‘yet another place SHARE A SONG have my resolutions in knows each other only vaguely (and to broadcast my private Listening to there, locked away life,’” says Bhade. Rolling in from the world, of That said, Path still the Deep JUST 150 FRIENDS? course. So I can look by Adele “Nothing has teething troubles. like Adele to get back and know when On a non-3G/WiFi conLong before social networks even me through work” I resolved to start biking nection, it can often take existed, British anthropologist Robin Dunbar came up with what is known Posted on Saturday, 12:22 PM unacceptably long to and how long have I not as ‘Dunbar’s number’ – 150 (that’s the made good with it,” she load; a feature that is maximum number of friends you can laughs. “Or I can look back and supposed to automatically post your have on Path). Dunbar claims that know when I met friends for that location when you move from one there is a relationship between the special dinner.” neighbourhood in the city to anothsize of your brain and the size of your social circle. About 150, he says, is Mumbai-based technology enthuer never worked for us; and right the number of people with whom you siast Rohan Bhade, 28, says that it now, only Android and iPhone users can have a stable social relationship was Path’s beautiful interface that have the privilege of using it (a on a one-on-one level blew him away. “It felt snappy and BlackBerry version is reportedly in

ALSO PLAYING... It’s not just Path that’s hogging all the limelight. Other indie networks are catching users’ fancy like never before PINTEREST Pinterest is a pinboard-style social networking site that seems to have sprung up from nowhere suddenly has over 10.4 million users. It lets you organise and ‘pin’ anything interesting you find on the Web – pictures, videos, text and more – on ‘boards’ based on specific topics. The social feature comes in with the ability to see what other users ‘pin’ and ‘re-pin’ it to their own boards in turn. More than 97 per cent of Pinterest users are women. Pinteresting! INSTAGRAM Instagram is a popular photo-sharing app available on the iPhone and iPad, which just announced it has more than 27 million users. It allows you to quickly take pictures and turn them into frame-worthy images by applying upto 11 different filters (everything from retro to futuristic) and then sharing them with followers. You can also ‘follow’ people on Instagram and ‘like’ and ‘comment’ on their pictures. Sound familiar?

the works). And because it’s still so new, chances are that the people who you do want to share your life with just haven’t signed up. “Most of my friends don’t have smartphones yet, so my posts didn’t have an audience. I got bored after two weeks”, says college student Berges Malu. Once these kinks are worked out, though, expect Path to make waves. Mark, giddy up!

“Twitter is great... to tell the world what you’re thinking before you’ve had a chance to think about it” Tech columnist Chris Pirillo APRIL 1, 2012


It isn’t easy to slot the chef who won Foodistan. Manish Mehrotra’s innovative, ambitious cuisine has an identity of its own



In New York, Vikas Khanna (below) has introduced quality Indian cuisine to new audiences

Vir Sanghvi

rude hotels




OW THAT Foodistan is finally over, I can talk about the show. During its 26-week run, I did my best to avoid saying anything about it even though it was the one thing that most foodies asked me about, both in person and on my website. One of my problems was that though we finished shooting the show last year (in one exhausting fortnight’s break from my punishing Achievers’ Club schedule), they didn’t begin the telecast till months later. This meant that by the time the first episode was on the air, we had already shot the finale and all of the show’s participants knew exactly who had won and who had lost. We knew all the little dramas (such as the time a Pakistan chef walked out and took a plane back to his own country), the kitchen tensions and behind-the-scenes squabbles but we were not allowed to talk about it. In a sense I guess it helped that there was such a long gap between the shoots and the telecast because I forgot a lot of what had gone on. When I did catch an episode of Foodistan on TV (and I saw about half of the episodes), I discovered that I had usually forgotten who had won or lost that particular round. I did know who the finalists were, though. I remembered that Poppy Agha had emerged at the top of the Pakistan contingent (to the anger of one or two of the Pakistanis who resented her because she was what they called a “celebrity chef” and inevitably, because she was a woman who had beaten all the men). And of course, I remembered that Manish Mehrotra had won. Keeping that quiet was the most difficult part of living with the secrets of Foodistan. Anybody who watched the show knew that Manish was trouncing all his rivals and winning every single round he took part in. But when people asked me whether he maintained his unbeaten record till the end I had to maintain a stony silence. And to the credit of the other chefs who took part in Foodistan, news of Manish’s victory did not leak till the very last episode was telecast. All of us kept the secret. Speaking for myself, I was not surprised that Manish won. There were many good and versatile Indian chefs in the competition (at one stage, I thought Girish Krishnan would end up being Manish’s challenger) but Manish was easily the biggest name on the show. He was my Chef of the Year at the HT Crystals two years ago and his restaurant Indian Accent has won nearly every award there is to win. In foodie circles, the big questions were “Why is Manish doing this? Why is he risking defeat? He is such a big name, he doesn’t need to compete with the other chefs.” And, early in the competition, I asked Manish if he wasn’t scared of losing to a chef nobody had heard of before. But Manish APRIL 1, 2012


Manish Mehrotra concedes that many of his dishes are influenced by other chefs

was unfazed. “It’s just a game,” he said. “I don’t mind if somebody beats me.” Plus, there was another factor. I think he wanted to prove that despite his awesome reputation as an executive chef he was still a guy who could cook with his own hands under the glare of the TV lights. Most good Indian chefs fall into two categories: those who can innovate and create and those who can actually cook. I suspect Manish was keen to prove that he could do both. I’ve watched Manish’s rise with fascination for over a decade now. He grew up in Patna though his family is from UP. (He is not a Punjabi though I fear I may have described him as one on the show). His father owned a petrol pump and the world of haute cuisine seemed very far away. But he was interested in food, got into a hotel school and then ended up with the Taj Group. His first job was at the President where he trained in the kitchens of the Thai Pavilion, working under Ananda Solomon. He says he admired Ananda’s passion for cooking with his own hands and his attention to detail and authenticity even though he spent most of his time working with the great man’s protégés (chefs Easso Johnson and Sheroy Kermani) rather than with Ananda himself. It was this stint at the Thai Pavilion that filled him with a passion for the flavours of Thailand and South East Asia. But he longed to come to Delhi and the Taj had nothing for him in the capital. So he applied to ITC which was opening Pan Asian at the Marriott (now the Sheraton New Delhi) and said that he had experience of the Thai Pavilion. In the finest traditions of ITC, the chain turned him down. (They rejected Vikas Khanna as well!) Manish then approached Rohit Khattar who had just opened Oriental Octopus at Delhi’s Habitat Centre. The Thai chef had left and the restaurant was struggling. Rohit took a chance on Manish and put him in charge. It was a shrewd move. Manish turned Oriental Octopus around. Sales soared and it quickly became the best pan-Asian restaurant in Delhi. Encouraged by its success, Rohit took another



Mehrotra’s Indian cuisine is vast ranging in its influences and ambitious in its scope



Mehrotra trained in the kitchens of the Thai Pavilion, working under Ananda Solomon (below)

chance with Manish. He sent him to London to open Tamarai, a pan-Asian restaurant on the edge of Covent Garden. Manish says that the London experience transformed his life. There was a certain amount of derision at first. The fancy PR company that had been hired to promote Tamarai was openly scornful of Manish’s abilities. Many London critics refused to take Tamarai seriously because they regarded pan-Asian restaurants as no more than glorified food courts. And because he was an Indian chef who was not cooking Indian food, Manish never received the attention that many other Indian chefs in London were given. But he says that the scorn and derision did not bother him. As far as he was concerned, London gave him an opportunity to play with ingredients he had little familiarity with: foie gras, caviar, truffles, good quality pork, Wagyu beef, etc. Rohit paid for him to eat at the best restaurants in England and Manish learnt from every meal he ate. (His favourite British chef, curiously enough, is Rick Stein “for the simplicity he brings to his dishes”.) By the time Rohit was ready to take over the Manor Hotel in Delhi’s Friends Colony, Manish was also ready to come back to India. But Rohit who also runs the highly-rated Chor Bizarre in London wanted to open an Indian restaurant at the Manor. And as far as he was concerned, Manish was a South East Asian chef. But Manish believed he could take on the responsibility and auditioned for the job, creating sample menus at Tamarai till Rohit was persuaded that he could do Indian food. Once again, Rohit made the right decision. Indian Accent has been a success from the day it opened. Much of its success is due to Manish’s background. He has seen European food in

London up close but his basic grounding is in Oriental cuisine. Plus, he is conscious of the food he ate while growing up. So the food at Indian Accent combines French, Thai, Malaysian and Japanese influences with Manish’s own memories of Indian food. So there will be nostalgic touches like a sweet Phantom cigarette or Old Monk rum in his desserts combined with truffle flavours in his mushroom dishes. The result is a cuisine that is vast ranging in its influences and ambitious in its scope. Normally when we talk of modern food, we talk of some London-based chef trying to Frenchify Indian food. But Manish’s cuisine yields to no such easy categorisation. It has an identity all of its own and I certainly have never eaten anything like it anywhere in the world. It helps also that Manish is one of the nicest, most humble chefs I know. I have never heard him utter a bad word about a rival and he cheerfully concedes that many of his dishes are influenced by other chefs. (The truffle oil on his naan is an effect popularised by Vineet Bhatia and Manish is the first to admit it.) There are many outstanding chefs cooking Indian food all over the world. In London alone, both Vineet and Sriram Aylur have well-deserved Michelin stars and in Bangkok Gagan Anand is doing interesting things with molecular gastronomy and Indian food. In New York, Vikas Khanna and Floyd Cardoz have introduced quality Indian cuisine to new audiences. So I mean no disrespect to all these masters when I say that in my opinion Manish Mehrotra is the most exciting modern Indian chef in the world today. He cooks for the toughest audiences of all – Indians who understand Indian food – and he never fails to wow us, time after time, meal after meal. He really is the Emperor of Foodistan.

London gave Manish an opportunity to play with ingredients he had little familiarity with – caviar, truffles etc


APRIL 1, 2012



Poppy Agha emerged at the top of the Pakistani contingent in Foodistan



The new iPad may overheat. But is it a dealbreaker?




HE NEW Apple iPad has a flaw! Now before all you Apple fan boys go into a rabid frenzy and all you Apple haters start breaking into a celebratory war dance, let me quantify that. First, I said flaw, not a defect. Second, let’s get the meaning of the word flaw right. A flaw is described as something that curtails the completeness of a thing. The Apple iPad has a flaw that is not a big deal. And as far as the history of flaws in gadgets and technology go, this is a very minor one. Yet the world is all up in arms about this one. The all new iPad runs hot. And once you’ve exhausted all your puns and innuendos on how it is the ‘hottest seller’ in more ways than one and how it’s ‘burning up the sales charts’ and even how it’s a ‘red hot device’, let’s take a break from all that mirth to understand what’s really going on here.



LG recalled the LG 150 mobile phone due to excessive radio frequency exposure

For all those of you who’ve been living under a rock and don’t know much about the new iPad, let me get you up to speed in a sentence. It’s got a ‘resolutionary’ Retina screen (Apple’s tag line, not mine), which in normal everyday language means, it has got the most kickass screen ever on a Tablet; it looks just like an iPad 2 from the outside; it’s got a great amount of processing power inside; the voice dictation works like a charm; it’s sold in record millions ever since the launch and it is the top dog in Tablets right now. And yes, it runs hot: almost 15 degrees hotter than its predecessor when doing something similar like playing a graphic-intensive game or running a full 1080p movie. Overheating devices are very dangerous, can lead to injuries, explosions, catch fire, burn laps and fingers and seriously affect the sperm count in men. So why is this not a big deal?



Laptop makers like Dell have recalled laptop batteries because they could overheat and cause a fire

Well first and foremost, flaws, defects and even recalls are now very much part and parcel of the complex world of technology and devices. With almost all companies contract manufacturing outside in the mad rush to get new devices to market, a frighteningly large amount of hardware crammed inside each gadget, the complexity of features and the intense competition to be APRIL 1, 2012

out first with the next big thing, somewhere something has to give. Just in the last few years, minor and major flaws and defects have appeared across the board. Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo, Panasonic, Sharp, Fujitsu and Sony have recalled laptop batteries because they could overheat and cause a fire; LG recalled the LG 150 mobile phone due to excessive radio frequency exposure; Sony Ericsson’s Aino phone had customers reporting serious problems while using the touch screen; Apple’s iPhone 4 had the famous Antennagate problem where we were told to learn how to hold the phone correctly; Nokia had an issue with chargers and had offered to replace them free of cost. It’s an ever-growing and huge list of the best of the best.


The other reason why it’s not a big deal is that this really isn’t a major shock to the system. It’s just being made to appear so. Most laptops and Notebooks run hotter (despite having a fan inside) and the only reason this is making so much news is that this is an Apple product. Apple makes news irrespective. It gets billions of dollars of free publicity every time a new product is about to come out; it has an unpaid, yet very loyal and hard working army of iWarriors, who sometimes over-defend a minor situation and blow it out of proportion. And most importantly, the new Pad is currently a very popular piece of news. Thus those who live by the sword, die by the sword and here Apple is just discovering that. Yet, it is amusing to hear some of the iMafia-reasoning for the heat (it’s a feature, it’s not hot, it’s pleasant) and how the iHaters have declared self righteous war (it can lead to the battery exploding, it works great as a blanket warmer). The truth is that the new iPad running hotter than before is par for course as it is pushing new boundaries in hardware and still trying to maintain size, form factor, battery life and user experience. It’s got a much larger battery, a bigger and faster processor, a screen with 3.1 million pixels that are all firing at the same time and more antennas inside than any other device. When you’ve got that much of hardware all stuck inside a case as small and thin as the iPad with no fan, no heat sink and the back playing the role of the only cooling surface, you’re going to get some heat!


The point is how much? In the time that I’ve spent with it, I’ve done pretty much all I could to get it into nuclear meltdown mode. Yes, it got warm – but never to the point that I couldn’t use it. In fact the iPad has an auto shut-off feature that won’t let it overheat to the point that it can be dangerous. In a country like India where summers can be a furnace, this may well be a very critical safety feature. So rest easy. The heat on the new iPad isn’t a deal-breaker. This is a great device and brings an incredible array of future technology to you in one small little slate. Do remember that almost all the new devices you buy from here on will push the envelope and try and deliver you features and specs that come straight from your dreams. Whether your dreams are red hot or not is something you’ll discover soon enough :) Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3. Follow Rajiv on Twitter at




Andrew Bird is a classically trained violinist, but he plays the guitar too


Craig Finn sings ballads (mainly about losers!)


Bruce Springsteen listed more than a dozen musical genres at his SXSW keynote address


the point that the market for music is more fragmented than ever before. Springsteen traces his own musical history, of when he first picked up the guitar in the early 1960s when you probably could count rock’s great Sanjoy guitar players on your fingers, and of how the Narayan legendary music critic Lester Bangs (portrayed by Philip Seymour Hoffman in Almost Famous) once said that Elvis was the last great popular musician that everyone seemed to agree on. All other musicians and bands appear to provoke highly polarised reactions – those who love them and those who hate them. When we were growThere’s an ing up listening to The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, there would always be rival groups, those explosion of who loved the Fab Four but hated their edgier musical genres online, rivals and those who did the exact opposite. Many other bands evoked similar response. I each with its own cultish never cared for Deep Purple and I know many followers and forthright people who don’t either but I also knew guys who loved them so deeply that when a geriatric avatar haters of the band showed up in Bangalore for a gig in 2001, many of my acquaintances flew in from other cities and giddily thronged the place. Many of the so-called big bands are like that. I like the Grateful Dead and Phish and Widespread Panic but I know many, many people who viscerally hate them. The polarisation thing has become Y DAUGHTER, about to be eight, sharper with the way music is created and has an earworm. You know, a piece distributed. The Web provides such a deluge to of music that seems stuck in your choose from that you end up listening to very few ear so seemingly permanently that you just actually and then, instead of trying to rummage couldn’t get it out. It’s a song that she hums, sings in a haystack, stick to a handful of bands that you and dances with vigorously even though it’s not being played become a loyal fan of. anywhere. And I’m happy. Delighted, actually, because the song Of course, there’s the other, lazier way of looking for bands to happens to be Lonely Boy by The Black Keys. Actually, the duo listen to. You can always listen to what’s getting airplay or what’s that makes up The Black Keys may also seem like an earworm playing in clubs and bars and stick to that. Quite often it is crap. for Download Central, in case you are one of those readers who Music blogs or even magazines – online or otherwise – are a for some strange reason follows this column fairly regularly – I better source of new stuff to try. I find the UK’s Uncut a great don’t know how many times I have written about them, sample provider – a free CD comes with it every month with obsessively, compulsively and, perhaps also, maniacally. new or, at least, undiscovered music. Last month’s issue had the Lonely Boy is off the now-sensational blues duo’s latest release, Watch That Band! CD, introducing new albums that you should El Camino – it’s the first song on that great album, which should look for in 2012. Of the 15 tracks from bands whose albums be in your collection for keeps. I have written so much Uncut says you should try out, I’m checking out two. on The Black Keys here over the past couple of years The first is Andrew Bird’s Break It Yourself. The that it would be unfair to write about them again just track on the Uncut sample CD is called Orpheo Looks now but it is true that their catchy, minimalist hookBack and has all of the cerebral quotient that Bird’s lyrics usually have but it is also the music. Bird is a filled blues music has a way of playing involuntarly in classically trained violinist but he plays the guitar your head without any warning. The other day, a too and the glockenspiel, all of it in a baroque folkcolleague mentioned that his son, on spring break in rock style. He also whistles. On Orpheo it’s the New York, went for a Black Keys concert and has been whistling that grabs you. in thrall ever since. I am not surprised. I have checked The other is The Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn’s with others too – older listeners, younger ones, blues new solo album, Clear Heart Full Eyes. I like The Hold lovers as well as those who’re indifferent to that genre. Steady, a booze-soaked bar band in which Finn sings The Black Keys seem to be liked by everyone. intense ballads (mainly about losers!) with a voice Now, that’s rare these days. There are few bands that gets better as you call for new rounds of pints or today that appeal to everybody. More than half the whatever your poison is. But I was not prepared for Finn’s solo new music that I seem to love is thought to suck by most other work. It’s laid-back, morose even, and doesn’t quite have the ‘bar people that have heard them. One of the problems is the expoband-ness’ that I like about his full band. The songs on Clear nential growth of genres and sub-genres. Last month, in a brilHeart are bleak and the style easier and less driven. Try Apollo liant 50-minute keynote address at the SXSW Bay, the first bluesy track on that album about an unsure festival and conference in Austin, Texas, Bruce bachelor’s drive to the coast. Unlike in The Hold Steady, Finn Springsteen touched upon this very phenomcountry-fies the music on his solo venture – there’s a pedal-steel enon. His speech, a must-listen if you haven’t guitar and also some banjo. It’s different. You could like it. Or, already heard it (it’s available for free streamperhaps, hate it. ing on the Web), lists a dozen or more genres To give feedback, stream or download the music mentioned in and their subs, each of them with their cultish this column, go to followers as well as forthright haters, making download-central, follow argus48 on Twitter


download central


Today the market for music is more fragmented than ever before

APRIL 1, 2012





Seema Goswami

Let’s hear it for the five key ingredients of a feel-good diet Drinking a couple of glasses (not the entire bottle) is healthy


Laughing cuts levels of stress hormones like cortisol, related to fat deposition


F YOU are as dedicated a dieter as I am, you must have noticed how the food orthodoxy changes on us every few years, leaving us thoroughly confused as to what we should (or should not) eat to lose weight. First, it is that carbs are good. Then, it is that carbs are bad. And now, it is that only a certain kind of carb (the refined kind that leads to a spike in sugar levels) is implicated in weight gain. One diet regimen tells us not to mix carbohydrates with protein on pain of death. Another insists that we need a judicious mix of both. One school of thought has it that milk is the elixir of human life; another insists that it is toxic to anyone above the age of five. In other words, one man’s meat becomes the same man’s poison if we give it enough time. I don’t know about you, but this sort of blurry indecision makes me quite dizzy (and not just from the hunger induced by my latest master-cleanse). After all, what is the point of dietary rules if they are going to be reversed every few years as medical science changes its mind yet again on what is good or bad for us? My way of coping with this is to simply wade through all the information floating around and zero in on the tips that suit me best – and then stick to them through thick and thin (sometimes quite literally). And for the benefit of my fellow-dieters these are the five favourite elements of the weight-loss regimen that I have drawn up for myself.


Ah, coffee. Now, how could you possibly go through the day without its enticing aroma to keep you awake and interested? I know I couldn’t. I need a caffeine fix to jolt me into consciousness in the morning – and another in the evening when I am beginning to flag. And just to be on the safe side, a couple of shots in between. Now for the good news. Recent medical research suggests that coffee increases your resting metabolic rate – which means that you burn off fat more easily (and are half as likely to develop diabetes). So, the number of cups of coffee you drink is directly related to the number of calories your burn off. Time to invest in a good espresso machine, don’t you think?



Some amount of chocolate and coffee helps in metabolising fat




First up, the bad news. You aren’t allowed to guzzle a full bottle over the course of the evening. Only a couple of glasses are allowed if you want to reap the health benefits of the antioxidant flavonoid phenolics that red wine contains. How exactly does this work? Well, a substance called resveratrol, contained in grape skins and seeds, increases the good HDL cholesterol and prevents blood clotting and plaque prevention in arteries and thus contributes to your cardiovascular health. APRIL 1, 2012

So, why not just eat grapes, you ask? Now, where would be the fun in that?


This one comes with a rider. You have to choose a dark chocolate which has a cocoa content that is higher than its sugar content. And limit yourself to a couple of squares instead of wolfing down the entire bar. But if you stick to these rules, your body will benefit from the antioxidants that cocoa contains, which reduce degeneration of aortic arteries and help shift fat deposits. In layman’s terms, this means that a judicious amount of chocolate actually helps in metabolising fat and turning it into energy (or so, at least, I would like to believe).


If you truly want to lose weight, then don’t lose any sleep over it. Recent studies have shown that dieters who cut back on sleep while trying to lose weight had 55 per cent less fat loss compared to those who clocked up 8.5 hours of shut-eye. This is because sleep deprivation causes the body to release higher amounts of something called ghrelin. And increased ghrelin levels stimulate hunger and food intake, so that you find it more difficult to stick to your diet and eat more than your otherwise would. They also reduce energy expenditure (so whatever you eat doesn’t metabolise as easily) and thereby promote retention of fat. In other words, if you sleep less while on a diet you will eat more and your body will store what you eat as fat instead of using it up as energy. So make sure you get a good night’s sleep if you want to lose weight.


Laugh more; weigh less (especially around the midriff). Okay, I exaggerate but only a little. Laughter does have an effect on our weight, albeit in a roundabout way. If you are happy and contented, the level of such stress hormones as cortisol and epinephrine in your body remains low. And that’s a darn good thing because increased levels of cortisol are directly related to fat deposition in the abdominal area – the so-called ‘toxic fat’ that is related to heart disease and an increased risk of strokes. So, to sum up: being on my kind of regimen means sleeping for 8.5 hours; waking up to a nice, steaming cup (or two) of coffee; snacking on dark chocolate; drinking red wine; and laughing as long and hard as you can. Now, that doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Try it. You may or may not lose weight. But you will be a much happier person at the end of the day. Follow Seema on Twitter at





UCCESSFUL PEOPLE are always objects of research, and for very good reason. That is because determining what makes people successful is a very exciting discipline. A lot has been said on this matter, but I will bring out some of the more interesting points. EMOTIONAL STATE AND ATTITUDE When we feel good, we usually end up giving a task our best. What we experience during this state is called ‘flow’, and in states of flow, we become high performers. Yet it is hard to feel good all the time, which is why we end up having a range of emotions, from misery, anxiety and restlessness to irritation, anger or frustration. All these states do not lead us to good outputs. Our emotional states have an impact on the kind of energies and people we attract. It is well known that ‘birds of a feather flock together’. So if we are feeling frustrated and experience negative feelings, we will choose to be around people who have synergy with our

emotions, and together create more of the same negative emotions. Optimism is one of the powerful emotions that can turn things around. Looking at the best option in the worst of situations is like finding a log of wood to hang on to when drowning in a sea of hopelessness. Sometimes, we simply let ourselves drown in a flood of negative emotions, and like a whirlpool we are sucked deeper and deeper into self-pity and other negative emotions. The result is that we make wrong choices, which pull us further down. Looking at the glass half full is not escaping reality or living in a fool’s paradise. It is looking at how best a situation can be salvaged. Optimism can be followed by positive action because only an optimistic state of mind can make the correct choices. ACTION AND DYNAMISM Most people imagine that successful people are just plain lucky. Contrary to this thought, successful people

The foundation of success is laid out only during tough times

are not luckier but they are the people who continue working, both in good times and also in testing ones. Many people have talent, which means they can do some things very well with less effort as compared to others. But amongst all these talented people, the ones who emerge successful in the long run are the ones who keep working and polishing their talents. Interestingly, even people who do not look particularly talented end up being successful because they have tremendous determination to keep going. When we consult astrologers, we usually ask them when the good times will come. But the truth is that the foundation of success is laid out not during good times, but during tough periods. In good times, only the fruits are more visible. Therefore, optimism + dynamism = a potent recipe for long-term success. In the next column we will share some more research on certain behaviours that lead to success. (To be continued)




20 V A R I E T Y

C For Cheerleaders, K For Katy, L For Lalit... ...T for Tuskers, R for Romance. The 2012 edition of the Indian Premier League is likely to spawn a whole new lexicon

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by Rohit Bhaskar


Guess who has the most runs in the history of the IPL? Suresh Raina. So what if Sachin is only the second highest run-getter in IPL history, he’s still the alpha male of this league as much as he’s the top dog of world cricket.


This will be the first IPL without Shane Warne. You know him, right? The cigarette-smoking, dirty-texting, doll-distributing, nickname-assigning, Estee Lauderapplying beach bum with wrists that could impart more fizz on a cricket ball, than a bottle of Coke in Michael J. Fox’s hands. We will miss the charisma, the almost unholy swerve of his deliveries, but most of all we will miss the maiden he bowled over. XOXO Liz Hurley.



Can there be anything more nauseating than listening to Ravi Shastri utter those infamous words – “that one went like a tracer bullet,” for the (D) Don & Co. SRK on the sidelines hasn’t brought luck to K..kk..KKR



It may not have the gripping appeal of Test cricket, but the IPL has its own appeal – sex appeal – and a lot of it. The cheerleaders, the actresses, the anchors, the models et al are set to heat up your summer. What you wouldn’t give to be Virat Kohli right now!

Which is the bigger draw, cricket or Bollywood? A question which has hounded many Indian citizens, and one Supreme Court judge. Now when you see Adam Gilchrist hitting those DLF maximums, Preity Zinta is performing a Farah Khan dance routine. This is our revenge for all those Salil Ankola movies, the film aficionados may well say.



When news of the termination of the Kochi Tuskers Kerala hit cyberspace, Twitter must’ve been the first to offer their condolences. The mother of all Twitter battles involved the erstwhile franchise, a former United Nations undersecretary general and Lalit Modi. We would say thank you for the memories, except there weren’t any.


(B) Bowled Over Shane Warne and Liz Hurley will be missed this year


If the past is any indication, players are more likely to risk injury while playing in the IPL than risk losing out on that moolah. Enjoy these 53 days, there’s a very good chance you won’t enjoy what follows. (O) Owner Celeb Nita Ambani in a VIP box with a view

APRIL 1, 2012

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millionth time? Yes, indeed. Ravi Shastri saying, “that’s another DLF maximum” for the millionth time. F1 drivers often emblazon a zillion logos on their overalls. But even Bernie Ecclestone never came up with a “Pirelli pitstop moment” or an “iPill accident”.


With Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle in the league, the baseball parlance most likely to be used during the IPL is third base. Home run is also not that bad an option. Everyone from players, sponsors to owners have hit one out of the ballpark with the lucrative, eyeball-grabbing deals that are all part of the IPL experience.



With Kolkata Knight Riders around, there’s never a dull moment. Four captains, you say? Brilliant idea. A fake blogger? Right on the money. No space for Sourav Ganguly? Can’t be that bad a PR move. Poker-faced, iron willed, Gautam Gambhir seems an odd fit in such an environment.



Dravid padding up once again, Ganguly caressing the ball through the off-side, Gilchrist, squash ball squeezed in glove, demolishing the (M) Million Dollar Baby Ravindra Jadeja is raking it in

bowlers, these are sights you thought you’d never get to see again. Well, the IPL is where retired legends come out to play.

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Where’s the party, yaar? The IPL is a time when a heady mix of actors, businessmen, cricketers, models and cheerleaders mingle. It’s also a time for Chris Henry Gayle to entertain cheerleaders. Wondering why he was best ‘player’ last season?


Like the spurned lover who’s failed to get closure, he keeps resurfacing, mostly through Twitter. Just wonder what would have happened to our IPL experience if he still had a valid passport or any money. Bankruptcy’s a bi*ch!


The millionaires club, headed by US $2.4 million-a-year Gautam Gambhir (R12.28 cr), swelled this past auction and included some new members. Shane Warne’s former ‘Rockstar’ sidekick Ravindra Jadeja earned the biggest bucks in this year’s auction – a cool US $2 million ((R10.23 cr). (A) Alpha Male Surprise! Surprise! Sachin is not the top scorer in the IPL (P) Party Animals Vijay Mallya pumps up the volume

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Good going for someone who a year ago was barred from participating!


For all those pointing towards his torrid run in Australia, remember this – the last time he batted on Indian soil he hit 219 runs in 46.3 overs of an ODI match. With new teammate Kevin Pietersen for company, Viru has an effective foil. Now, for that six-hitting contest.


IPL franchises are owned by some of the richest and well-known men in the country (and a third category – friends and relatives of Lalit Modi). They are very likely to cringe about the Vaastu at their home stadium, or brazenly root for their franchise with their celeb friends in the owner’s box.



At any IPL stadium more eyeballs are fixed on four tiny dais’ behind the boundary rope than on the action in the middle. When a four is hit, eyes turn towards cheerleaders in mini-skirts gyrating to hip-hop music, shaking their pom-poms. There is, however, one aberration – Chennai Super Kings. The


two-time defending champs have a crew of male cheerleaders.


To pump up the decibel count and the oomph quotient in last year’s inaugural Indian Grand Prix, the organisers brought in Lady Gaga. Not to be outdone, the wise men at BCCI got their own pop star – Katy Perry. As for all the other Queen Bees in attendance which include Nita Ambani (Mumbai Indians owner), Preity Zinta (co-owner Kings XI Punjab) and Shilpa Shetty, they’ll have to watch their step, Katy kissed a girl and she liked it.



The IPL has had its fair share of hookups. This is where Liz Hurley and Shane Warne came out in the open, where Siddartha (Mallya) met Deepika (Padukone), and, where Chris Gayle was introduced to the entire cheerleading outfit of RCB. Who’ll be this year’s love couple? Watch this space.



(Q) Queen Bee Katy Perry will up the oomph quotient at the IPL opening

One of the drawbacks of cricket had been that you could sit through five days and still not see a winner. In the IPL every match has a winner (and a loser). If the scores are tied after 40 overs, there’s a one-over faceoff between batsman and bowler, if even that fails to produce a result, the game will be decided with a coin toss.



A century is rare in IPL. Oddly enough Brendon McCullum hit one in the first match of the league, but in the four years since only a further 17 centuries have been hit, that’s roughly 4 tons a season and none has topped the 158 the Kiwi hit. Will (W) Waltzing Matilda Matthew Hayden’s mongoose moment


you be one of the lucky ones to catch a ton this season?


Necessity is the mother of all inventions, there, the IPL is a necessity! The switch hit, the upper cut, the Dilscoop, the Helicopter Shot, all these and more will be on display, and to capture these unorthodox shots they don’t use your ordinary Super 8 cameras, there’s the Spider Cam.



Take an unheralded domestic cricketer, throw in a performance of a lifetime, and what do you get? This season’s Valthaty, named in honour of Kings XI Punjab’s Paul Valthaty, who usurped his captain, coach and family’s wildest dreams with his spectacular century in IPL-IV. Benefits include lucrative deals in the Bangladesh Premier League.



be asked to wear burqas).


On any IPL matchday, Chepauk, home of the two-time defending champions Chennai Super Kings, is a sea of yellow. The stands are drowned in the colour, the CSK officials are dressed in yellow, hell, even the ride in to the stadium is in a yellow autorickshaw. All in all, it adds up to great, if daunting (for visiting teams), atmosphere.



Want success in the IPL? Hire an Aussie cricket legend. Each of the first three editions of the IPL saw a retired Aussie great win the title. Shane Warne led the Rajasthan Royals to glory, Adam Gilchrist swung it the way of Deccan Chargers and Matthew Hayden won it with MS Dhoni & Co at CSK. The Aussies’ high rating is hurt slightly by the Ricky Ponting-KKR fiasco, and Hayden’s mongoose moment.


In these times of financial uncertainty, big bucks just don’t guarantee the kind of returns they used to. The IPL is not an exception to this economic reality. You can’t debate with the business acumen of Mukesh Ambani, but neither can you with returns. Two reputed bighitters in world cricket, Kieron Pollard and Andrew Symonds cost the Mumbai Indians a combined US $1.6 million (R8.18 cr). In all they hit 9 sixes all season, at US $177,000 (R90.58 lakh) a six! Every run they scored cost $5,694 (R2.91 lakh).



The IPL is when the moral police also come out to play. The Shiv Sena will stage a protest against allowing Pakistan players. Cheerleaders will be taught the nuances of clothing by pot-bellied cops, miniskirts will make way for sarees (since cheerleaders from Pune Warriors are already draped in sarees they’ll (R) Romance Will Deepika and Siddhartha relive the good times?

APRIL 1, 2012

(P) Pom-poms The glamour beyond the boundary (N) Najafgarh’s Nawab Sehwag could unleash fireworks, again



Restaurateur/cookbook author

Ritu Dalmia if i could... I WOULD PLAY THE VIOLIN

I’ve been trying to do so for the last 22 years!



September 21


Convent of Jesus & Mary, Delhi. Instead of college, I joined my dad’s business




But it doesn’t last long


First restaurant MezzaLuna that opened at Hauz Khas Village, Delhi, in 1993

When I went to Italy for the first time as a businesswoman in 1990, I thought I had truly arrived


When I had to close down MezzaLuna. I was crushed

What will we find in your fridge right now? Champagne, cheese, diet Coke, yoghurt, salami and chocolates but no bread. You destress with? Music – my choice changes every week. If you had to invite five people for dinner, who would they be? Author Jeanette Winterson, actor Maggie Smith (I adore her), Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, Mexican artist Frida Kahlo and AFTER A LONG singer Cesaria Evora. DAY AT WORK, What makes your day? A compliment from a YOU LOVE TO client. GORGE ON? What spoils it? Any complaint from a client. I can’t sleep at night then. You are closest to? My friend Gita. Your favourite destinations? Italy and Burma. The dish you can never cook? I have never been able to perfect a simple dessert like a bread-butter pudding and also home-style kheer. What can you live in? Kurtas from Lal Bihari Tandon and worn-out jeans or Afghani pajamas from Anokhi. Your favourite cartoon character? Of course Tom and also Bart whom do you prefer? from The Simpsons. Manish Mehrotra for his divine The most overrated movie/book cooking. according to you? Your plan for a romantic date? I feel it is the movie Kahaani. Life in the fast food lane: Choose your A picnic in a garden with a menu. hamper filled with chilled Hot dog from a New York bubbly, strawberries, slivers of vendor, jhaal moori from pure ham, buttery paté and a Russell Street, Kolkata, dahi chocolate cake. bhalla from Chandni Chowk and The last thing you bought for under kulfi from Kude Mal in Old Delhi. `10? Ram laddoos (churan) from Defence Colony market. — Interviewed by Veenu Singh

Hot dogs


Photo: RAJ K RAJ

I can cry at the drop of a hat



Been at it for some time

If you weren’t a chef, you would have been? Perhaps, I would have been a bookshop owner. Chicken tikka or fish and chips, what’s your pick? I shall take chicken tikka as fish and chips will give me some 2,000 extra calories! The last line of your autobiography would read? ‘I’m such a genius!’ Manish Mehrotra or Gordon Ramsay – APRIL 1, 2012

Hauz Khas Village and compiled the book Travelling Diva, a collection of recipes

Hindustantimes Brunch 1st April 2012  

Hindustantimes Brunch 1st April 2012

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