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WEEKLY MAGAZINE, JUNE 3, 2012 Free with your copy of Hindustan Times

It’s It’s cool, cool, it’s it’s coveted coveted and and only only Bollywood’s Bollywood’s brightest brightest stars stars with with the the biggest biggest hits hits can can get get in in

Hottest item

No Chameli or Munni, Sonali Bendre loves Kajra Re

SHAH RUKH KHAN Ra.One Don 2

Cannes do spirit Rajiv Makhni on the red carpet!

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SALMAN KHAN Dabangg Ready Bodyguard

VIR SANGHVI

Living life five-star

AAMIR KHAN Ghajini 3 Idiots

SANJOY NARAYAN Jack White rocks

SEEMA GOSWAMI Damsels no more


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inbox LETTER OF THE WEEK! An inspiration

YOUR COVER story Champs to Riches made me think beyond my skills. From small towns to big cities, from crowded buses to luxurious cars, from rented homes to self-owned ones... your cover story about sports stars was outstanding and an inspiration for the middle class. It has provoked me to transform myself into a more active person.

— ADITI GUPTA, via email Aditi wins a shopping voucher worth `2,500. Congrats!

Right season, right read IT WAS really nice to read the article on mangoes, Will The Real King Of Fruits Please Stand Up, May 27. This is the right season to read the article. The best part is that I came to know of the popular varieties across the world. My favourite is the paayri which is a bit soft and delicious. No doubt the mango is the king of fruits. – RAJESH C ASHAR, via email

To the champions! WHILE READING Brunch, I realised how much effort goes into bringing out each issue as it appears to us...absolutely flawless! All things in place – the content, the pictures and the presentation. Your cover story Champs to Riches was so refreshing. Likewise, I am short of words to completely appreciate all the other articles. Just wanna say that Sunday is incomplete without Brunch :-). – ANUPRIYA, via email

Gear up, for every week the best letter will get a SHOPPING voucher worth

R2,500!!

The shopping voucher will reach the winner within seven to 10 working days. In case of any delays, please contact chirag.sharma@hindustantimes.com EDITORIAL: Poonam Saxena (Editor), Aasheesh Sharma, Tavishi Paitandy Rastogi, Rachel Lopez, Mignonne Dsouza, Veenu Singh, Parul Khanna Tewari, Yashica Dutt, Pranav Dixit, Amrah Ashraf, Saudamini Jain, Shreya Sethuraman DESIGN: Ashutosh Sapru (National Editor, Design), Monica Gupta, Swati Chakrabarti, Ashish Singh, Rakesh Kumar, Suhas Kale

Drop a line at

brunchletters@hindustantimes.com or to 18-20 Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi 110001 JUNE 3, 2012

03.06.2012 LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE facebook.com/hindustantimesbrunch

Namita Mohile I wait for Brunch every Sunday and enjoy it with my cup of tea :) Talking about today’s Brunch, I really loved reading the cover story Champs to Riches. Keep up the good work guys! Binoy Dass The cover story Champs to Riches by Saurabh Duggal makes for a good read. These are the real heroes who have earned money the hard way and have changed people’s view towards CWG where people have made crores through scams. These five champs have really worked hard to earn crores through their achievements in a right way Deepti Gupta Loved chef Vikas Khanna’s personal agenda :-) Thank you Brunch:-)

TWEET YOUR HEART OUT twitter.com/HTBrunch @Pooja_Gupta: Awesome article @RajivMakhni – Saving Face. Loved the opening para. Well said. Also, couldn’t stop drooling over the mango pics @HTBrunch @Ardhra_ @HTBrunch @SeemaGoswami I totally agree with you. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is going the natural way (Am I Looking Fat In This Baby?)... Why should people have a problem with that? @Ajaythetwit @HTBrunch @vikaskhanna1 was great read for a ‘cook at home’ like me...Kudos to you for bringing this along with Vir Sanghvi’s research on cooking! @karishmau Loved @ashokbanker’s interview in Brunch, (I have no caste, I am an Indian). I only wish it was longer. @oneworldgovt @HTBrunch @SeemaGoswami I can’t understand why people worry about Ash (Am I Looking Fat In This Baby?). Why can’t they worry about more important situations of our country and the world? @brightstar464 @seemagoswami excellent article in Brunch over Ash’s post partum weight gain. Sounds like a tight slap on all the nose pokers face....

BRUNCH ON THE WEB hindustantimes.com/brunch

Scripting new stories of success The 100 crore club isn’t exclusive to the Hindi film industry. Various Hollywood movies have set the cash registers ringing. Superhero film The Avengers grossed over $1.3 billion. The 1939 classic, Gone with the Wind, has held the record for the highest grosser for 25 years. To know more, log on to our website!

Cover Story

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Membership to the 100 crore club is coveted, competitive, and comes automatically. There’s no one way around it 16

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My premiere at Cannes

Rajiv Makhni thought he’d give Techilicious a break this week. Catch him at Cannes as he writes about his red carpet experience

Personal Agenda

Actress Sonali Bendre would love to fly to outer space

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10 RUDE HOTELS Indian hotels are set to improve guest convenience 12 DOWNLOAD CENTRAL What makes Jack White’s music so compelling? 14 SPECTATOR Why are women their own worst enemies? Cover: ASHUTOSH SAPRU

Famous Five Don’t miss Gursimran Khamba’s irreverence on Monday, Rajneesh Kapoor’s comic strip Rezi Vastav on Tuesday, The Fake Jhunjhunwala’s sarcasm on Wednesday, Judy Balan’s uncanny take on life on Thursday and Gautam Chintamani’s SplitScreen on Friday.

Brunch Blogs This week, check out Everything Alternative by Amrah Ashraf. The underground world of alternative culture.


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Imaging: MONICA GUPTA

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It only admits stars whose films have made the biggest bucks. So who’s in? *Membership is competitive, coveted and can come any time. Kuch bhi ho sakta hai! JUNE 3, 2012

AMIR KHAN was the first member of this club in 2008. Salman Khan gained entry two years later. And though Shah Rukh Khan can’t see eye to eye with Salman and is hardly best friends with Aamir, he was hoping he’d be inducted too. His hopes turned to reality last year, making membership probably one of his biggest Diwali gifts, ever. Ajay Devgn needed the support of some co-stars to gain entry to this club in 2010. But once in, it only took a year for him to prove that he could well have done it solo. Hrithik Roshan was admitted to the club only this year. And though he has tried several times, Akshay Kumar has been denied entry. He finally got inducted only in April this year. Just what is this club? Where is it located? Why is it the apple of every star’s eye? Who are the other members and what does the club do? Welcome to the 100-crore club! It’s not an actual organisation, but a term used by the film industry to segregate the more successful stars from the rest: only those actors whose films net R100 crore or more in India are approved for membership. It’s cool, it’s coveted, it’s for the crème de la crème. And it’s the latest status symbol in Bollywood!

WHO’S WHO

Getting into the 100-crore club is not as simple as being in a movie that has rung up R100 crore. To be considered for entry, a film must have made that gigantic amount in net collections, not gross. For the uninitiated, gross collection of a film is the sum total of the money which is collected at all the ticket counters of cinemas across the country screening that film. Net collection is what remains in the film industry’s hands after paying off the entertainment tax to the different state governments. ■ Membership can’t come on the strength of a film’s overseas success either. Otherwise Shah Rukh Khan would’ve been the club’s founder member. Since Ghajini (2008) was the first film to net more than R100 crore on Indian soil, Aamir Khan has gone down in Bollywood history as the inaugural inductee of the club. At the time, Aamir would hardly have been aware of what he started or known that he’d just broken into an exclusive echelon that would become the measure of a star’s box-office appeal in the months and years to come. His film 3 Idiots (2009) actually crossed the


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R200 crore mark, but if there still isn’t a R200 crore club, it is because no film has come close to netting that amount since! Apart from Aamir, the 100-crore club has only five other members: Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Ajay Devgn, Hrithik Roshan and Akshay Kumar. ■ Salman Khan gained entry in 2010 with Dabangg (R143 crore) and consolidated his position with not one but two blockbusters the following year. Both Ready and Bodyguard crossed the R100-crore mark with net collections of R122 crore and R145 crore respectively, making Salman the highest scoring Khan on the 100-crore scale. ■ Had Shah Rukh Khan’s My Name Is Khan (February 2010) been as successful in India as it was on the overseas circuit, he would’ve been the second member of the club. But since it did not collect R100 crore in India, he had to wait for almost two years till his Ra.One released in the Diwali of October 2011. Director Shirish Kunder may have tweeted about how he “heard a 150crore firework fizzle” at the time, but the fact is that Ra.One gave its

hero-producer, Shah Rukh, credibility in the form of the club membership by collecting R115 crore – and of course a huge windfall (revenues from other sources like satellite rights, subsidy from the UK government, overseas business etc). Shah Rukh quickly followed up Ra.One with Don 2, which netted R110 crore when it released two months later. ■ Ajay Devgn became a member of the club even before Shah Rukh, surprising as it may seem. His Golmaal 3 released in 2010, just managed to cross the threshold figure (it made R108 crore), and although it had a multistar cast, only Ajay gained entry into the club because, of all the stars of the film, only he could have repeated the feat with a solo starrer a year later (Singham, R100 crore) in 2011. ■ Hrithik Roshan and Akshay Kumar are the latest entrants to the 100-crore club. Hrithik’s Agneepath, released early this year, managed to earn R122 crore, while the club doors finally opened for Akshay Kumar with Housefull 2, which earned R112 crore when it released this April.

After 3 Idiots, no film has come anywhere close to netting R200 crore!

Only stars whose films net R100 crore or more in India can become members of the elite 100 crore club. Here’s how they have fared so far The Khan with the most number of 100 crore movies

Dabangg R143 cr

Founding member

Ghajini R115 cr 3 Idiots R202 cr

Ready R122 cr

Ra.One R115 cr

Bodyguard R145 cr

Don 2 R110 cr

Golmaal 3 R108 cr

Housefull 2 R112 cr Akki tried several times to gain entry into the club but was denied every single time till April this year

King Khan was inducted after the sci-fi hit Ra.One released in October last year

Singham R100 cr

Agneepath R122 cr The new kid on the block

Though it was a multi-starrer, Golmaal 3 propelled Ajay Devgn into the club All figures are net collections

THE FINE PRINT

The public may have its own definition of hits and flops, but the film industry has always gone by the cost-versus-revenue analysis to determine success (it is also the only objective way of defining hits and flops). A number of avenues of revenue now exist for a producer in addition to a theatre screening. But it is a generally accepted principle in the film trade that income from most of the other sources like satellite television, home video, etc depends largely on the earnings from the theatrical business of a film. The 100-crore club does not take into account the cost of a film as it goes solely by revenue. It is for this reason that Shah Rukh Khan, with Ra.One (total cost R150 crore approx) and Don 2 (total cost R80-85 crore approx), is as entitled to club membership as Aamir Khan, with a blockbuster like 3 Idiots (total cost R55 crore approx) and Salman Khan, with a superhit like Bodyguard (total cost R75-80 crore approx).

NO WOMAN NO CRY

Only male stars are members of the club so far. To understand why no actress is a member, it must be understood that the club has, after all, been ‘formed’ by the trade and the media. And excluding women from the group is characteristic of an industry which exercises gender discrimination more than other industries. You may have heard of producers paying Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan fees of R20 or R25 crore but have you ever heard of an Aishwarya Rai or a Kareena Kapoor getting that kind of remuneration? Frankly, the industry can’t be wholly blamed for the gender bias because it is the audience which gives male actors far more importance than female stars, the occasional Vidya Balan film notwithstanding. In commercial potboilers (which are the only films capable of catapulting their heroes into the club), heroines get far less scope than the heroes, which is the reason why the club membership has so far been restricted to male actors. It would’ve been interesting to see who the industry would’ve inducted

Like any club, the 100 crore club also has rules of its own. But since it is more a nomenclature than an actual club, the rules are unwritten. In fact, there is neither a statute nor any memorandum or Articles of Association for Bollywood’s latest club. Some basic club rules: You must be a star to be eligible for membership. The club does not recognise any other community – neither producers and directors nor distributors. You must be saleable, since only stars whose films collect R100 crore or more can join the club. (These are net collections, not gross. Net collections are defined as total box-office collections – that is, gross collections minus the entertainment tax). Their saleability is of paramount importance. It is measured in terms of how much money their films make. Since the club is more of a league than a real club, it goes without saying that its members never really meet under the auspices of the club. You cannot ‘apply’ for membership in that sense of the term. It comes automatically. The club has no other rules, besides the aforementioned. It is not a registered body.

into the 100-crore club if The Dirty Picture had touched 100 crore – Vidya Balan, Naseeruddin Shah, Tusshar or Emraan Hashmi? On second thought, it would’ve been an impossible task for a woman-oriented film to collect R100 crore in the first place. An interesting aside: Kareena Kapoor has the maximum number of 100-crore films under her belt, more than even Salman Khan. Kareena’s report card reads: 3 Idiots, Golmaal 3, Bodyguard and Ra.One. Unfortunately, as the club is not open to heroines, Kareena is a non-member despite her enviable score. Even among the male stars, it is only the main leads who are considered worthy of membership. Sanjay Dutt and Rishi Kapoor in Agneepath

Kareena Kapoor has the maximum number of 100 crore films under her belt

“... Na baap bada na bhaiya... The whole thing is that ki bhaiya sabse bada rupaiya!” – Mehmood in Sabse Bada Rupaiya (1976) JUNE 3, 2012


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Had the membership of the 100 crore club not been restricted to male stars, these are the five leading ladies who would have been rubbing shoulders with them. Minus ten for gender bias!

Dabangg

Saif Ali Khan, Shahid Kapoor, Emraan Hashmi, Imran Khan could all make it to the club given the fickle nature of the audience and the industry. Ranbir Kapoor seems a likely candidate but needs to do more pan-Indian films.

Ghajini Ready Housefull 2

3 Idiots Golmaal 3 Bodyguard Ra.One

were as brilliant as hero Hrithik Roshan and, therefore, by implication, as responsible for the film crossing the R100-crore mark. But they weren’t included in the club simply because they were villains, not heroes. Ditto for Prakash Raj in Singham, whose comic villainy went down famously with the audience; but again, it was only hero Ajay Devgn who made it to the club.

STAR POWER

Interestingly, although it is the film which touches the 100crore mark, it is the star who gets membership of the club. This is another indicator of how stars are worshipped by the industry. Bollywood has always been a star-driven enterprise and it is not uncommon for stars to hog the limelight for a hit. Even in earlier days, when the success of stars and films was measured by jubilees, it was Rajendra Kumar who was reverentially referred to

Don 2 Agneepath

as ‘Jubilee Kumar’ because of the line of silver and golden jubilees he had to his credit. No director or producer has ever had the ‘jubilee’ word appended to his name. Most of the R100-crore films have worked equally well in multiplexes and single-screen cinemas. Perhaps Don 2 is the only exception because it scored largely in the cineplexes. But unlike most other 100-crorefilms, Don 2 had the brand advantage since it was a sequel. Golmaal 3 had a similar brand value even though the previous two films were not half as big or successful. Agneepath had tremendous recall value because of the 1990 version of Agneepath starring Amitabh Bachchan (despite the fact that the first one was a box office debacle and became a cult classic only

Singham

much later on TV and DVD). Although there is no time frame, films normally touch the 100-crore figure in two to four weeks. Today, the business of films has become touch-and-go. Most hits have a run of only four to six weeks. Among the stars who are members of the club, Salman Khan holds the distinction of touching the 100-crore mark in the shortest possible time (Bodyguard, one week!). It would be interesting to see who the new members of the club will be and whether anyone will be able to break the records set by Aamir (3 Idiots is the only film to cross the R200crore mark) or Salman (Bodyguard is the fastest R100-crore film). Komal Nahta is a trade analyst and the editor of Film Information

Salman Khan’s Bodyguard touched the 100 crore mark in the first week itself

brunchletters@hindustantimes.com

“Mere paas bangla hai, gaadi hai, bank balance hai, izzat hai, shohrat hai. Tumhare paas kya hai?” – Amitabh Bachchan in Deewar JUNE 3, 2012


Free with your copy of Hindustan Times

Education has played a pivotal role in building this new india. The growth in the Education Sector is phenomenal.


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PROMOTION

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EDUCATION SPECIAL

EMPOWERING INDIA A

wise man once said, “Knowledge is Power”. And in a country like ours it is not just empowering but imperative given that more than 50% of India’s population is below the age of 25 years. Like most areas of Indian life, even the world of education has seen a major gap in demand and supply. With a larger number of applicants and lesser number of government universities and seats, many students find it difficult to get into courses and institutes of their choice. Earlier on, missing or dropping a year seemed the only option but now with the advent of many reputed private colleges and universities, a plethora of avenues have opened up for the young and ambitious. Many engineering aspirants who fail to clear the JEE now find themselves landing the course of their choice in premier private institutes. Even the thought of dropping a year is passé. And to add to this bright side, even the teacher student ratio in most of these private institutes is rather good enabling a lot of personalized attention to each student. Private universities have almost evangelized an overly competitive milieu that often pushes many bright students to depression. The last few years have witnessed a rise in the number of private institutes offering an array of courses. From mainstream courses such as Engineering, Architecture and Journalism to new age courses such as Anthropology, Financial and Investment Analysis, Forensics, Solar and Alternate Energy to name a few. Private universities are modelled on the lines of providing great customised solutions. The intent and motive of most private universities is to be able to break away from traditional fields of study and provide for better and bigger avenues to the youth of India. This is not to say that tests and entrance

ISSUE EDITORIAL HIGHLIGHT ROLE OF GOVT. BODIES & UNIVERSITIES IN NATION BUILDING CURRENT PROFESSIONAL STUDIES OPPORTUNITIES ROLE OF PVT. UNIVERSITIES IN PROFESSIONAL STUDIES PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN INDIA These are some key factors which have influ enced us to bring a world class education product for the bright energetic youth of India

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APG SHIMLA UNIVERSITY

examinations in such places aren’t stringent and take in poor talent but yes the criteria are slightly more relaxed and options available broader so as to enable as many students as possible. Bright students from economically weaker sections aren’t denied admissions and are taken in on 100% scholarship in most such universities. Also, a healthy mix is provided to ensure all ethnicities and even nationalities study under one roof. In order to broaden the horizons of the students studying with them, most universities tie up with ones abroad to enable their faculty to upgrade skills and also conduct exchange programmes. The success stories of many private universities has not just been scripted in India but also abroad. Many such universities have now opened campuses in countries like Dubai and are eyeing opportunities in countries South East Asia, Middle East etc. While everyone is in the business of making money, the intent and effort of private universities is quite admirable given that many of their students find themselves landing plush job offers through campus placements alone. So all’s well that ends well and in the end continuous effort not strength or intelligence is the key to unlocking potential. Over the years there has been huge boon in Education Sector in India. With the Private Players coming into the foray the gap between the education imparters and education receivers has reduced where-in the private universities have a huge role to play today in the Nation Development. These institutions has widened the reach of the education in the country, And now lots of opportunities has arisen due to these institutions. Let’s take a look at these Universities in North India who has taken step & contributed immensely in the overall development of India.

GALGOTIAS UNIVERSITY What differentiates Galgotias University from other universities? Galgotias University has been founded with a vision to create and perpetuate a thinking ecosystem for the education of students so as to enlarge their thinking and imagination, such that they emerge as intellectually, socially and spiritually evolved global leaders. We foster openness to cutting-edge future roadmaps and emerging knowledge blocks with a constant eye on applicability and scalability. What global advantages is Galgotias University bringing to India? We firmly believe that only the finest minds can shape the finest minds of the future, for life. Which is why Galgotias University's global-level faculty comprises the finest academic minds drawn from Purdue University, Georgia Tech, Oakland, Arkansas State University & National University Singapore. SECONDLY, to augment our quest for academic excellence, we have put in place a basket of international pedagogies right from the beginning. These

GGS INDRAPRASTHA UNIVERSITY

bring out the best in every student and enable students to maximise their potential. What building blocks enable Galgotias to get 100% placements? CONTINUING WITH THE ACADEMIC BUILDING BLOCKS, Galgotias industry-led syllabus enables comprehensive student training, industry-relevant project support, industry visits and internships, hands-on technical and soft skills training. Extensive interaction with domain experts ensures the absolute jobreadiness of each student. How important is research and development at Galgotias University? We have empowered our students with the power of thinking quotient, the art of experiential learning and skills to learn continuously for life. This is supported with Galgotias University's research-driven education, huge laboratory infrastructure and dedicated research-oriented faculty with a proven track record of instilling a research culture in the students body right from year one. NASA has recognised Galgotias' talent by selecting the Moon-Buggy designed by Galgotias student's for permanent exhibit at the NASA Marshall Space Centre, Huntsville, Alabama, U.S.A. How do you ensure quality in terms of student enrolment as well as quality faculty? Galgotias University has emerged as the institution of choice for high calibre students pursuing higher studies. To ensure this we take students of good merit only, like in the case of engineering, students with less than 85%(PCM) do not qualify for admission at Galgotias University. High quality intake applies to the faculty too. The basic qualification for teaching here is a Ph.D., so that even first year students are taught by Ph.D. level faculty who have studied and taught in institutions of excellence across the world. JUNE 03, 2012 V


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BEST EDUCATION & ENVIRONMENT FOR TOMORROWS LEADERS care of industrial training and soft skills development of the students, so as to fulfill the requirements of the market. Students of APG Shimla University are taught to learn how to earn.

PRAMOD GOYAL

CHAIRMAN, APG SHIMLA UNIVERSITY

As APG Shimla University will be focusing on professional educationthat of engineering & technology, management, law, fashion, hospitality & hotel management-How does it plan to meet the changing job requirements in these fields? Jobs in different fields of education have different requirements. But there has been a radical change in the requirement of the present day corporate world. Proficiency in his or her own field of specialization is not the only need of the day, rather the industry today needs a complete package comprising of excellent communication skills, sound intellect, presence of mind, adaptability and professionalism. In this regard, APG Shimla University has a very dedicated placement cell to take

What are APG Shimla University’s new initiatives? APG Shimla University, located in the lap of Himalayas, the Queen of Hills, Shimla, draped in forests and exotic water falls has been set up with the vision to serve the society by shaping global achievers of tomorrow, ready to be “leaders par excellence”. We provide students with the best education & environment for all round development of a person with professionalism of highest standard. Some of the initiatives of APG Shimla University to meet world class education standard are: ■ Global Orientation: student exchange programs with various esteemed Universities abroad. ■ Diversity: interaction between diverse community of students of different social and cultural background. ■ Preeminent Faculties: Excellent & experienced faculty group comprising of ExIITians, IIMs, Delhi University academicians. ■ Technology: personal laptops with Ebooks and national and international journals. ■ Placement: dedicated placement cell for industrial training and guidance and to provide best placement opportunities. We invite students to “COME AND DISCOVER THE APG SHIMLA EXPERIENCE”.

EDUCATION SPECIAL

POONAM SHARMA, GROUP DIRECTOR – ACCURATE GROUP OF INSTITUTIONS

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he main force behind the growth of the Accurate Institute as one of the premier management Institute in Delhi/ NCR is none but its Group Director Ms. Poonam Sharma. A great & firm believer & follower of her own ethics, values, crafts and principles, she moves selectively & meticulously on pre- fixed, preset, well-planned & defined path ensuring hundred percent achievements. She was conferred with many renowned awards like■ “Best Woman Entrepreneurship Award” in All India Achievers Conference. ■ “Edupreneur of the year Award” in 18th Devang Mehta B – School Affairs Award. ■ “Leader in Education Award” in “Women Leader in India Award2010”. ■ Recognised among top 5 in “Best Young Women Entrepreneur in India” in the “Women Leader in India Award-2010”. ■ “CSR Eminent Directors of Leading Institutes Award-2011” by the Competition Success Review. ■ “Leader in Education Award” in “Women Leader in India Award2011”.

GGSINDRAPRASTHA UNIVERSITY : WORKING TOWARD’S NATION BUILDING PROF. D. K. BANDYOPADHYAY VC, GGS INDRAPRASTHA UNIVERSITY

Is research considered to be geeky and tough and do students shy away from it? We receive 4000 applications for research with only 100 seats every year so obviously your question is a myth. What is missing is the right culture for research and a certain sensitivity towards a research scholar. If the research scholars gets the degree in time and can engage in work of his/her kind, why would he/she not pursue it. Indians world over are known to have fertile minds.

Do you try and cater to the non-conventional job requirements emerging in the market? How? Different sectors of the economy, government, NGOs, corporate sector etc are showing different job requirements. And these are spearheading innovations in courses and curriculum as well. We at IPU are totally aware of such requirements and upgrade our course curriculum every 4 to 5 years. The government has given licenses to a lot of private universities? CONTINUED ON PAGE VIII

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EDUCATION SPECIAL

CONTINUED FROM PAGE VI

What are the advantages and disadvantages of this trend? Pvt. Universities are coming to the fore in the form of State Legislatures or Deemed Universities. No Doubt it has enhanced the GER( Gross Enrolment Ratio) of the country and is providing education to many students but quality is an issue, There is great dearth of qualified faculty in the country that can make or break a student’s career. Proper infrastructure is considered pivotal to education. What are your views on it? Bricks and mortars are no doubt needed,

but they do not make a grand institution. The faculty and facilities make up for the infrastructure and if they are in place, good education is not far away. Please tell us something about IP University’s new initiatives? In the journey of 14 years of IP University, we have never looked back. There is a tremendous support both from my Chancellor’s office and by Govt. of NCT. We have been given total freedom to shape this University as a national one of repute. But with all comes great responsi-

bilities and I’m happy to say that all my faculty members and staff members are in unison working towards living upto this. We endeavour each day to take this university to great heights. We have a state of the art campus, where teaching and learning are both equally enjoyable processes. We are taking in PHD scholars every year to produce 100 PHD holders every year. This has given us tremendous amount of boost to our research activities. We are following semester system with a very stringent attendance and credit system.

ACCURATE INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT : A HAPPENING CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE

POONAM SHARMA

GROUP DIRECTOR, ACCURATE INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT For education, having an environment conducive to learning and developing fertile minds is a pivotal. While there are universities galore claiming to be making an impact by equipping the youth with all skill sets required in this cutting edge modern day work life, few and far possess the right infrastructure to make these claims a reality. Accurate institutes of Management, have got all the pre-requisites to provide an ideal environment. Set in a 16 acre lush green campus at Greater Noida, the institute is imbibed with modern infrastructure, Wi-Fi facility and technological support to facilitate teaching, learning and personality development. Accurate

inculcates in its students a global perspective, while at the same teaches them how to be keenly perceptive about local conditions. Even the building of the Institute has been innovatively designed with world class facilities and amenities to match the expectations of the exponentially dynamic corporate world. To help students relax, indoor and outdoor recreational activities like table tennis, badminton, volleyball, billiards etc. are widely available. The Institute offers an array of courses from engineering and management programmes to MCA, PGDM, PGDM-IB and PGDM-MM. All programmes are approved by AICTE, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. The PGDM programme has been developed with an innovative teaching methodology and includes regular industrial interactions, with foreign trips to groom students into becoming techno business managers. The Institute has been ranked among the top 50 business schools of India by an independent ranking body. The faculty of Accurate emphasizes on quality education with focus on case study teaching methods. However, the academic life at Accurate goes beyond the curriculum. For cultural and social functions, the auditorium with a large capacity at the campus provides an ideal platform for students to express themselves through public speaking, theatricals, plays and general entertainment. While food is a

major dampener in most institutes, the cafeteria at Accurate offers exclusive variety of Indian and Chinese dishes and is an ideal place to chill out after the hectic class schedules Under the able guidance of Group Director Ms. Poonam Sharma, Accurate promises a rich pool of highly qualified and dedicated team of faculty that is responsible for having industrial academia interface so as to plan the Syllabus for the various management courses offered. The syllabus is reviewed every trimester. To further enhance the knowledge of the students towards management challenges, the library at Accurate Institute is well equipped with precious books, textbooks, reference books, periodicals and journals. It is supported by a large well-ventilated two floored reading-room. The library is enriched with digital facilities and computer system. Placement is on top agenda at campus for all. The entire gamut of academic activities are oriented to provide the best possible placement in leading corporate houses/ MNC’s preferably in Delhi NCR as well as in other parts of India. Accurate Institute has established a dedicated Centre for Corporate Relations for enhancing the exposure of the students to the corporate world and to act as an interface between the Institution and the corporate world. The CCR also focuses on final placement as well as arranging summer internship for various students.


EDUCATION SPECIAL

PROMOTION

TO BE A TRUE GLOBAL UNIVERSITY

SHARDA UNIVERSITY BUILDING What is Sharda University doing in the field of Research ? At Sharda, we are constantly working towards changing the set pattern and delivering quality education that goes beyond acing exams. We believe that a system that binds and confines students, is one that isn’t conducive with the idea of learning. We inaugurated a research unit the day we opened the gates of our campus, , Scientific bodies has also got approved for entrepreneurship unit, We’re also setting up “Incubation Centres” – an open and free space for students to develop ideas and bring them to fruition. Once these ideas are can be turned into workable proposals, we’ll also arrange for students to take them to Venture Capitalists. At Sharda, we take great pride in our student body and hence are careful and thorough with our selections. The admission procedure for our M.Tech and PhD programmes is very stringent, ensuring that only the crème de’la crème of the applicants are admitted. Our scholarship program funds a 100 of the brightest students from those selected to work in the field of research, and we bear all expenses for student or faculty travelling overseas to publish papers and attend conferences. Our stipends for PhD scholars and guides can go upto R30,000. In order to keep our great student minds alert and to best facilitate their learning experience at Sharda, we take great care to provide them with the best-equipped faculty from across the world. This year alone, we have hired 20 Professors from abroad, out of which 12 are NRIs and 8 are from the US, UK, Japan and China. To further ensure that our course material lives up to global standards of research, we make sure to regularly send our faculty members to international universities and conferences. At Sharda, we value the trust being put in us by the society, and are leaving no stone unturned in our efforts to establish the university as a leading name in the field of research in the `country. X JUNE 03, 2012

Sharda University is known to focus on professional education, How are the job requirement’s changing and where do Sharda University grades fit in? It is our ability to adapt according to the needs of the market and the corporate world that keeps us a step ahead of other universities. A robust mechanism keeps us updated on industry trends allowing us to tailor our course curriculum to best equip our students for their careers. Our focus on practical training and industry experience gives our student the push they need to succeed in their professional journeys. For long there has been a discussion on the infrastructure being a key part to education and the environment. How do you see it? Infrastructure is very key to any university, Good surrounding, laboratories, journals all are key to the general being of any university, We have spent crores of rupees on sourcing advanced journals, as without all these you cannot do good research. Since we are in North India where temperatures go upto 45 degrees, we have 80% of the entire campus airconditioned, as we don’t see it as a luxury but as a necessity for a comfortable learning and research environment. Also we are spending around 10 crores of maney to implement Oracle PeopleSoft University Management System Suite to manage university processes. PeopleSoft is the world leader in such solutions and we are the first university in the country to go for the end-to-end suite implementation. With such inititatives, Sharda University will be one of the most technologically advanced universities, not only in India but globally. Please tell us something about SHARDA University’s new initiatives? We have come out with a diversity policy, where-in we have representation from different cultures, religions, nationalities, so as to

PRADEEP K GUPTA

VC & CHAIRMAN, SHARDA UNIVERSITY become a true Global University. We have opened a full-fledged language school in the university to train students in foreign languages. We are aiming at increasing the foreign students intake, from China, Korea, Asian Countries, Mangolia, African Countries, Middle East etc. We are aiming at bringing the Overseas Students as well as the faculty ratio to 20%. We already have 450 foreign students enrolled this year, and by this trend we see it reaching 1000 soon. We have tie-up with 20 leading foreign universities wherein and, students can get credit transfers and study a part of their course in these foreign universities. We are also planning to open a campus in China, The students will go to China to study for 2 years and the students will be taught by Indian origin faculties. We have sent students to many countries such as Thailand, Singapore on exchange programs, to understand the culture, methodology all these without any extra fee. We are also in the process of opening up campuses in Middle East, Africa. We believe in equal representation from across the country in our campus 40% faculties are from North India and 60% are from rest of India.


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10

IT’S A FIVE STAR LIFE. REALLY?

A MATTER OF SIZE

Vir Sanghvi

SPENT LAST weekend at the soon-to-beopened ITC Grand Chola in Chennai. Though the property is still weeks away from its launch, the rooms and some of the restaurants are ready and it has already been the subject of raves in travel publications (Conde Nast Traveller, Travel and Leisure etc.) and in trade magazines. I don’t think ITC wants the media to say very much about the hotel till it is launched properly, so I will hold off doing a full-fledged review. But it was while staying in a standard entrylevel room (the ITC One rooms and the suites are not finished yet) that I began to wonder about hotel-room design. The Grand Chola rooms are incredibly well designed in terms of user-friendliness and guest-convenience. Not only are they large (probably the largest standard rooms in any Indian deluxe hotel) but they are also thoughtfully designed so that you never have to strain or struggle to do anything. If ITC can do it at the Grand Chola, I thought to myself, then why can’t other hotels? Why are so many expensive hotel rooms, the world over, so badly designed? Why is staying in a five-star hotel not always the luxury experience it should

Photo courtesy: ITC GRAND CHOLA

Not only are the rooms at ITC Grand Chola, Chennai, large, they are also thoughtfully designed

I

SIZE DOES MATTER

rude hotels

Why is staying in a five-star hotel not always the luxury experience it should be, given that you are paying through the nose?

be, given that you are paying through the nose?

JUNE 3, 2012

I’m past the age where I can live in a broom closet and spend all my time in the hotel bar or lobby (as the American hotelier Ian Schrager wanted guests at his pioneering trendy hotels to do). I want a room of a reasonable size. I don’t care how fashionable or famous the hotel is. Guests at five-star hotels like to look half-decent when we go out for meetings or to meet friends. So we need space to keep our clothes and to dress. I hate hotels that don’t have enough drawers or cupboards. Nor can I understand why deluxe hotels do not install full-length mirrors that are placed so that you can step back and look at yourself properly. Part of the problem is that Indian hotel rooms tend to be Western and masculine in conception. Designers don’t take into account that Indian women wear saris and need full-length mirrors. And it isn’t just the women: even guys like full-length mirrors.

READING AND WRITING

Are many of the people who design hotel rooms functionally illiterate? I’m guessing that they are – judging by the number of hotel rooms in which it is impossible to read or write. Take the writing desk, a standard fixture in business hotel rooms. At least half the time, the chair in front of the desk has been designed so that you cannot sit comfortably in it. Either the back is wrong or it is too high so that your legs do not fit under the table. Nor is there a light over the desk and the lamp cannot be angled towards your book, pad or computer. So it is with reading in bed. It is getting slightly better now


11

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Photo courtesy : THE OBEROI, MUMBAI

with overhead reading lights but many hotel rooms have fancylooking bedside lamps that do not throw enough light on the pillow area making it impossible to read. Hoteliers like to imagine that we wake up each morning, have quick showers and rush down to their breakfast buffets. In fact, many of us like to drink a coffee and read the papers in our rooms before we head out. But in too many hotel rooms there will be no place where you can sit comfortably, a cup of coffee in front of you and read the morning paper.

PLUG POINTS

These days, many of us travel with electrical/electronic devices that need to be plugged in to power points. So why then are hotels so reluctant to provide plug points or adapters? In many hotels I end up using the shaver socket in the bathroom to charge my phone because there are no other convenient plug points available. When plug points are to be found, they are located at floor level or hidden behind furniture so you have to get down on your knees and move tables around before you can plug anything in. Admittedly this is changing. I’ve noticed that the new Oberoi and ITC hotels are plug-point aware. But many other hotels simply don’t think of guest convenience.

FURNITURE

We need space to keep our clothes and to dress. I hate hotels that don’t have enough drawers or cupboards

I always think that the mark of a great hotelier is that he chooses furniture for functionality first and design second. Biki Oberoi has always insisted that the bedside tables at his hotels be large enough to take a glass and bottle of water, a table lamp, a book or two and perhaps a bottle of medicine. At ITC hotels, Nakul Anand is so obsessive about detail that he tested cushions for comfort levels and then issued exact measurements (height, depth, width, kind of padding inside, etc.) for each cushion at the Grand Chola. (He is such a details guy that even the ice cubes have size specifications so that they fit perfectly into each glass!) Lesser hoteliers don’t bother. They think that if a room looks nice, that’s enough. They just don’t get it – regular guests prize comfort and convenience over some designer’s vision.

TECHNOLOGY

The great paradox of hotels is that while they are crazy about technology for themselves (guest recognition software etc), they don’t understand what kind of technology guests need. The thing with most modern consumer technology is that it takes a day or two to familiarise yourself with your Photos: THINKSTOCK gadget – after which it will give you months of service and pleasure. Except that hotel guests don’t have hours to waste learning how to operate the devices in their room. So all hotel technology must be easy to use instantly. And yet, at every basic level, so many hotels fail to realise this. The simplest example is the light switch. I’m always shocked by how difficult it is to put off lights at night in many hotels unless you use a master switch (which also puts off your bedside lamp and the plug points in which your devices are plugged.) MORNING WOES

Most hotel rooms will not have a place where you can sit comfortably with a cup of coffee and read the morning paper

So it is with TV/audio systems. Most proprietary video systems I have seen at hotels (NEOS, movieson-demand etc.) pack up again and again. Nor are they guest-friendly. A classic example is TV volume. All hotels restrict the volume on their TV sets. This may be fine when it comes to TV channels. But the in-house movies – which you pay for and are then played on the same TV set – are usually set at lower volumes so no matter how much you push up the sound controls on your set, you can’t properly hear the dialogue. When you install an external DVD player, it requires three guys from the engineering department to figure out how to connect it. Worse still, nobody knows how to switch your TV set between the various input options. And even if you can find the TV channel you want, there is a chance that it would have gone blank or that the picture will have broken up. The problem is that most hotels leave the monitoring of TV reception to engineers and electricians who couldn’t be bothered to check the quality. At the Grand Chola most of these problems have been sorted out because each guest has an easy-to-use iPad by his bed that controls everything (lights, TV, movies etc.). Perhaps this is what the future will be like.

BATHROOMS

Hotels spend a lot of money on building bathrooms. But all too often, there are basic design flaws. If you have doors to the WC stall or the shower then make sure that they are not transparent. Nobody wants to make a public display of himself while on the toilet. Showers are another problem area. We all want lots of water pressure. But we don’t want spaceship-type controls so that it takes 15 minutes to figure out how to work the shower. As for bathtub stoppers, hotels waste money on high-tech stoppers which always pack up in a few weeks. Why not just use a plug? It’s cheaper and it always works. And finally, my all-time bathroom bugbear: signage. We don’t take showers with our glasses or contact lenses on. So why must hotels place near identical bottles of shower gel, shampoo and conditioner by the shower with the lettering so small that you can’t tell which is which? To be fair, some of these complaints are being addressed. If the Grand Chola is anything to go by then Indian hotels are acting to improve guest convenience. But the changes are not widespread enough. And the speed is too slow. JUNE 3, 2012

TABLE SERVICE

Biki Oberoi (above left) insists that the bedside tables at his hotels be large enough to take a glass and bottle of water, a table lamp, a book or two and perhaps a bottle of medicine

EYE FOR DETAIL

At the ITC, Nakul Anand is so obsessive about detail that he tests cushions for comfort levels

ALL CLEAR

If there are doors to the WC stall or the shower, they should not be transparent


indulge

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It’s always bliss to hear Jack White. His blues-based rock and unpredictable sound make him a singular musician

White is a great producer too and has brought out many young bands’ work

WITHOUT FRILLS

White is an extremely gifted guitarist who uses little or no digital help

J

Sanjoy Narayan

download central

WHITE MAGIC

ACK WHITE is no flash in the pan. Years and years from now, when music writers will look back on the history of contemporary music of the late Nineties and the ensuing decade or two, White ought to feature in their writings as a oneof-a-kind musician – actually, not just as a singular musician but a singular musician’s musician. Anyone who has followed White’s career from 1990 or thereabouts will have been struck by a couple of things – his remarkably prolific ability to produce works of music (he has, either on his own, or as part of his former band, The White Stripes, or with other bands such as Raconteurs and The Dead Weather, recorded around a dozen albums); his steadfast commitment to play stripped-down classic blues-based rock and yet not even once sound predictable or boring; and his huge dedication to curate music, both by young fledgling musicians and old, classic legends. That last bit is demonstrated by the work that White does as a producer. He’s a great producer, by the way. Besides many of his own albums – either as part of bands or on his own – White’s Third Man records has produced many young bands’ work but also greats such as Loretta Lynn, Jerry Lee Lewis and Wanda Jackson, often bringing them out from retirement to cut new albums like last year’s new albums by Jackson and Lewis. He’s played with Alicia Keys as well as with a host of new musicians.

Photo: JO MCCAUGHEY

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JUNE 3, 2012

REVIVAL OF SORTS

White brought back the “pre-computer, post-hippie” sound with his 13-track solo album Blunderbuss (above)

But it is White’s own work that stands out and makes him what I think no music critic can ever ignore. Each one of his albums, whether it is his The White Stripes ones with Meg White or with other members of The Raconteurs or The Dead Weather is worth collecting and listening to… often. So it is with the 13-track solo album from White, Blunderbuss. What makes White’s music so compelling is, as I said, his being a stickler for sticking to tradition. He is an extremely gifted guitarist who uses little or no digital help (most of his equipment is old-fashioned and analog); he plays his music satisfyingly loud and with nary a hint of the namby-pamby that many of today’s rockers seem to find it hip to embrace; and he is never predictable or same-sounding. Blunderbuss is White’s first truly solo work. For the most part of his itinerant career, he has chosen to be part of bands, albeit bands that have mostly been driven by him and, therefore, their records have usually been oozing with all of what he believes in sounding like. On Blunderbuss, White delves into vintage, traditional sounds – ranging from a cover of a Little Willie John song to tracks that are steeped in country and soul and even funk. Why, he’s even brought in British psychedelic rock sounds of the Sixties in some tracks. As one critic called it, on Blunderbuss, White has brought back the “pre-computer, post-hippie” sound. If you’re a British early prog-rock fan (think Traffic, Led Zep and so on), this album will quickly get glued to your head. Blunderbuss is a studio album, produced, arranged, written and played by Jack White and a team of great musicians. It is like most albums that have come out of White’s projects, an impeccably recorded product but I am told his live concerts too are great. White is touring now and I just missed watching him in concert by a day but that’s another story. The point to note is that he’s been touring in part with another band that is creating ripples – Alabama Shakes, the traditionalist garage-soul band that White has feted (and you would have read about if you come to this column regularly!) since they made their appearance. I missed their concert but I have, of course, done the next best thing: watched every video of theirs – White’s and Alabama Shakes’ – that I could get my browser to go to. And it’s been pure bliss every time. But yes, on my to-do list there’s a Jack White concert written up right on top. He’s one of those in today’s world of rock music to keep watching. To give feedback, stream or download the music mentioned in this column, go to http://blogs.hindustantimes.com/ download-central, follow argus48 on Twitter


indulge THE SAME-SEX WARS Why do women persist in being their own worst enemies?

Seema Goswami

H

ONESTLY, THERE are times when I despair of my own sex. It’s not the small stuff that gets me down – that I can live with by gritting my teeth and counting slowly to ten so that I don’t have a meltdown in public. You know the sort of thing I’m talking about: the kind of meanness that only women are capable of subjecting each other to. Oh, she’s gotten so fat after her baby! We all know how she got that promotion (by sleeping with her boss, didn’t you know?). My God, can that hemline get any higher? Honestly, if she dresses like that, it’s only a matter of time before she gets molested. I could go on and on, based on my vast and varied life experiences, but you get the general drift. Yes, all of this annoying, but it is still small potatoes. You can take a deep breath, tell yourself that you’re better than this, and stay silent. But it’s the big stuff that I really can’t sweat. That’s what makes me foam at the mouth, shout dementedly at the TV set and mutter balefully when I read the papers. That’s what makes me so angry that I can barely form a cogent argument to explain my views. But for the benefit of all of you reading this column, I’m going to try. It all began with the Park Street rape case in Calcutta, which the fabulously rational chief minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, helpfully characterised as a ‘conspiracy’ against her government even before the facts of the matter has been established. It is to the credit of two other women – the rape victim herself, who refused to lie down and play dead; and a courageous police officer by the name of Damayanti Sen – that the culprits were hunted down and that the wheels of justice were set in motion. But I was revisited by the same despair I felt at the time of the Park Street incident by the curious case of Zohal Hamid and the molestation that never was. We were all riveted by the appearance of this US national on TV, telling us how the Australian cricketer Luke Pomersbach, had molested her in her hotel room. And that when her fiancé, Sahil Peerzada, tried to protect her, Luke hit him so hard that he had to be rushed to hospital. So, there we were, feeling outraged on behalf of this brave young woman who had had the courage to take on an influential group of people in a foreign country, in an attempt to gain justice for herself. We hissed and booed at a media that suggested that because she was always so well-dressed, perfectly coiffed and made-up, she couldn’t possibly be a victim. And we felt a strange pride when she threatened to sue Siddhartha Mallya, who sent out a sexist, offensive tweet about her after the incident, if he didn’t apologise forthwith. Here was a woman, we felt, who was willing to fight for her rights, no matter how hard and arduous a battle it might be. This was a woman who was not willing to take things lying down, no matter how powerful the people she was up against. How wrong we were! No sooner had Peerzada been released from hospital than Zohal’s entire body language changed. In a joint interview conducted with the two, she sat poker-faced while Peerzada resolutely refused to refer to her by the ‘f’ word (as in ‘fiancée’). And she JUNE 3, 2012

Photos: REUTERS

We felt a strange pride when Zohal threatened to sue Siddhartha Mallya

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spectator

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MOLESTED! REALLY?

US national, Zohal Hamid (above left) alleged that Australian cricketer Luke Pomersbach (below) had molested her. And that when her fiancé, Sahil Peerzada (above right), tried to protect her, Luke hit him so hard that he had to be rushed to hospital

didn’t raise as much as a murmur when he referred to Sid Mallya as a nice guy, and suggested that things would soon be sorted out between them. Sure enough, the case has now been withdrawn by Zohal Hamid because she wishes to ‘go back to her own country’. And by backing down so cravenly because her boyfriend/fiancé/whatever he’s calling himself this week patently wanted her to, she has made it doubly difficult for other victims of such drunken misbehaviour to be taken seriously by the authorities. All of which makes me wonder: just how long will we women go along with taking the lead from the men in our lives? Just what will it take for us to accept responsibility for our own actions, and live with the consequences of our behaviour, however unpleasant they may be? Well, that day is a long time coming if what I read in today’s paper is anything to go by. A woman has sued her live-in boyfriend of eight years, accusing him of ‘rape’ because he married someone else citing parental pressure. The court had admitted her petition and the man could soon be in jail facing rape charges – all because he refused to marry his live-in girlfriend. Now, I can understand a woman being upset about being dumped after living with a man for eight years. I would get it if she wanted to scratch his face, throw his clothes out on the street, or even egg his car. But to accuse him of ‘rape’? All because he didn’t marry her? Frankly, it beggars belief. And it reinforces the idea that matrimony is some glittering prize that men are good enough to bestow on us. And that a woman’s reputation is ‘ruined’ if the man she is sleeping with neglects to make an ‘honest woman’ of her. Are we really buying into this tosh in the 21st century? If that’s not cause enough for despair, I don’t know what is. seema_ht@rediffmail.com. Follow Seema on Twitter at twitter.com/seemagoswami


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PEOPLE

My Premiere At Cannes

SHAMELESS PLUG

I swapped gadgets for glamour, gambling and goldplated limos. What a week it’s been!

At the Pullman with fashion blogger Jay Strut (above), on the red carpet (left) quick change and I was taken to town (comically textbook French – quaint luxury shops, streetside cafes and the over burdening sweetness of the French accent). Next stop, the 150-foot poster of Marilyn Monroe (the face of the Festival) that loomed over ‘Palais des Festivals’ – the building where the red carpet takes place.

by Rajiv Makhni

I

KNOW WHAT you’re thinking. “What the heck is Rajiv Makhni doing walking the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival?” Well, I’ve been asking myself the same question.

GOLD CLASS

SON OF THE SOIL

My mother was born in Amritsar. Her parents arrived there from Pakistan at the time of the separation with pretty much nothing more than the clothes on their backs. My father was born in Burma, got thrown out at the time of the conflict and arrived in Assam with nothing (apparently, they survived by eating leaves). Both families are totally self-made and without pretences. Thus my upbringing was very basic and totally son-of-thesoil. When you take that guy and put him into a world of limousines, champagne breakfasts, yachts, photographers and a daily walk on the red carpet – you’ve pretty much got a classic case of a fish out of water!

Tech Grandmasters 2 (it has a brutal schedule of almost 12 hours daily shoot time over 20 days). The mad scramble to get a visa, clothes (at Cannes you need a ‘event’ outfit every four hours) and juggle it all was just perfect to put me in a ‘finally a celebrity’ frenzy. I was done (red carpet outfits – Ashish Soni for the first, Shantanu and Nikhil for the second), finished my shoot at 9 pm and flew out at 11.55 pm.

WALK FOR WHOM?

FINALLY HERE!

All I knew about Cannes (by the way, it’s pronounced kaan, just like the Hindi word for ear) was the annual flurry of pictures I had seen of glamorous filmstars. To me, every man on the red carpet looked like a waiter (I think it’s something to do with the Indian mindset and the fact that most restaurants at one time had all the servers wearing tuxedos) and most of the women looked like fully adorned Christmas trees. It was apparently very prestigious as it is by invitation only and many stars announced that they were “officially” asked to walk the red carpet (that is complete hogwash – unless you’re part of the movie

Cannes is located on the French Riviera and enjoys 12 hours of sunshine during summer. When I arrived, it was raining! Unseasonal, they called it. The limo driver was Algerian, chatty and gave me a running commentary as we sailed past million-dollar yachts and billion-dollar homes. We turned into the Pullman Resort (almost every star comes here for a photo shoot; it has the most stunning overhang to the sea) and Casino (I lost 100 euros in three minutes and never went back). A

Marilyn Monroe is the face of this year’s festival

being screened, you’ll walk the carpet for one of the brand sponsors of the festival). Thus when I was asked to walk the red carpet by two sponsors, not once but on two nights – I was very sure I had arrived. This was to be my debut, my virgin strut, my ‘Le Festival International du Film de Cannes’ walk into glory.

MAD SCRAMBLE

All of this was happening in the middle of my new show, Croma

The rest is pretty much a whirlwind. All meals have the word ‘course’ and ‘black tie’ attached to them (that includes breakfast), champagne is the water substitute, all events are taken very seriously, the whole thing runs like an incredibly well oiled machine, the PR people and minders are the real gods, everything is gold class (the limos are gold-plated) and it’s all about yachts, helicopters and the high life.

MY NEW LIFE?

The red carpet lives up to the hype. It’s very well managed but has a hierarchy to it. Regular Red Carpeters go first, A-list stars go second and the Movie Director and Star Cast come in last. You’re deposited on the sidewalk, a minder will explain when you have to walk and which photographers and channels you have to pose for. From there you’re whisked into the theatre (huge) and plonked down to watch the screening. Once the movie ends, the Director and Star Cast stand up and the audience breaks into a standing ovation (the damn thing carries on for more than five minutes even for terrible movies!). Then you’re off to the after parties and after-after parties. It’s heady, exhilarating, an absolute adrenaline rush. I may have been brought up grounded, very basic and totally son of the soil – but I could get used to this!

Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3. Follow Rajiv on Twitter at twitter.com/RajivMakhni

“So, where’s the Cannes Film Festival being held this year?” – Christina Aguilera JUNE 3, 2012


PERSONAL AGENDA

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Actress

Sonali Bendre if i could... I’D FLY TO OUTER SPACE

SUN SIGN Capricorn

BIRTHDAY January 1

SCHOOL/ COLLEGE

Ramnarain Ruia College, Mumbai

HOMETOWN PLACE OF BIRTH Mumbai

Mumbai

HIGH POINT OF YOUR LIFE

There have been many. The birth of my son, the awards that I have received have been very rewarding

TRAVEL THROUGH TIME

GO DEEP SEA DIVING

LOW POINT OF YOUR LIFE FIRST BREAK Yet to come

Naaraaz, though the first to release was Aag

Yoga or the gym – what do you prefer? Neither, but since I don’t have a choice, I exercise at the gym regularly. The best thing about Bollywood? The drama! Chikni Chameli or Munni, what’s your style? I am more of a Kajra Re girl. Are Indian men still mama’s boys? Probably. I’m glad mine is not. The last thing you bought for under `10? Chewing gum. Your personal style – an earthy cotton sari or a hot mini? Neither. I prefer wearing a comfortable pair of denims. The love of your life? Without a doubt, Goldie! How many pairs of blue jeans do you own? Not too many. I could do with a few more shades of blue. Your ultimate travel destination? YOU HAVE 30 SEC- Europe. ONDS TO PACK One thing you can’t stand. FOR A TRIP: WHAT I am very particular about my things, so I DO YOU TAKE? guess I can’t be disorganised. What will we find in your fridge right now? Fruit, cheese, milk, leftover Chinese or pizza. Five skincare/make-up things you can’t do without? I love Oriflame’s kajal, Giordani Gold liquid eyeliner, Oriflame Beauty Studio Artist lipsticks, a nice hand and body cream and a good cleansing milk. – I have read them all. One thing your son stops you from The movie that always brings a smile doing? to your face? Getting some ‘me’ time. As Good As It Gets. One word you would associate with When you’re alone at home, what do motherhood? you love to do the most? Fulfilling. You’ll always find me reading. — Interviewed by Veenu Singh

Photos: THINKSTOCK

Photo: RAJ K RAJ

My credit card

GET MY HUSBAND TO LOSE WEIGHT

If you weren’t an actress you would have been? I’d still be in movies, probably behind the camera. The book that inspires you? The works of Toni Morrison: Paradise, The Bluest Eye, Love JUNE 3, 2012

CURRENTLY DOING

Acting as the first brand ambassador of Oriflame India



Hindustantimes Brunch 3rd June 2012