WEEKLY MAGAZINE, JUNE 9, 2013 Free with your copy of Hindustan Times
Risotto, the first resort
Whatâ€™s old is now new
How 2013 is shaping up for tech
B R E A K FA S T O F C H A M P I O N S On May 26, we held a short quiz in Brunch. You had to answer five simple questions about Khaled Hosseini, based on his books and our interview. And my! we received more than 2,000 (and counting) entries. Thank you so much, guys! The three lucky winners are:
1. Priya Kamra, Delhi 2. Paulami Sane, Mumbai 3. Neeraj Mehra, Gurgaon
Oh, and not that you need them (since there were barely any incorrect responses), here are the correct answers. 1. How many copies of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns have sold to date? Answer: 38 million 2. In which years were The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns published? Answer: 2003 and 2007 3. What is Abdullah’s sister’s name in And The Mountains Echoed? Answer: Pari
4. Where did Amir live with his father in The Kite Runner? Answer: Kabul 5. What was Mariam’s mother’s name in A Thousand Splendid Suns? Answer: Pari
The winners will receive a signed copy of Hosseini’s new book, And The Mountains Echoed, and a gift book hamper worth R3,000 courtesy Bloomsbury India. You should get it by June 15!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Last year, The Brunch ROFL Issue featured pieces by the funniest stand-up comics in India. This year, we’re doing things a little differently. For The Brunch Comics Special, we hand-picked some of India’s best graphic and comic geniuses to work with the theme: How To Survive The Big City. In the pages that follow, we promise you some very graphic details – it’s comic and it’s serious. But it’s all fantastic visual literature. Before you dive in, meet the gentlemen and the lady who fill up the next few pages.
Tejas Modak’s first graphic novel, Private-eye Anonymous: The Art Gallery Case was published in 2008. Animal Palette followed in 2011. Every now and then, he illustrates for Brunch. He spends most of his time at his Pune design studio, Euphoric Acid. To survive his city, here’s Tejas’ trick: dress up in mountain gear and labour up the building staircase. “Pesky neighbours will think you’re crazy and stay away!” Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org (especially if you want to dispose one of your old Phantom comics).
Garbage Bin is Faisal Mohd’s brainchild. He remembers creating a character based on his childhood one dull afternoon. His middle-class wit made his Facebook page an overnight success, with more than 3,85,000 followers in under 18 months! When he first moved to Delhi, he hated it. Especially “getting out of the house because of traffic and the bus travel,” he says. The Metro is a blessing! Meet him at garbagebinstudios.com
Vishwajyoti Ghosh is the author of the graphic novel, Delhi Calm. His cartoon column, Full Toss appears in Hindustan Times every Sunday. Currently he is curating a project on the workers in Gurgaon and a graphic anthology about Partition. The worst thing about a city, he says, is that living elsewhere instills large doses of FoMo (Fear of Missing out). In order to survive the big city, he advises, “Keep your eyes and ears open. Always use hands-free so that you can grab every opportunity. Ruthlessly.”
Sumit Kumar believes that cartoons change the world – his doodles about child labour forced the government to find a solution. Fake studies show that his cartoons decrease cancerous growths. His last comic on global warming reduced worldwide temperatures and carbon emissions. “People in cities are the opposite of who they think they are. They’re easy to exploit. This helps me survive,” he says. Look at sumitdrew.com.
Amruta Patil is a writer and painter. She is the author of the graphic novels Kari (2008) and Adi Parva (2012). The best thing about Delhi is its winter morning sun and the lake at Hauz Khas. What about the worst? She can’t pin the blame on the city! “When I’m in a rotten frame of mind, any place under the sun is hard to endure,” she says. Her trick to survive a city is to look at its people with kindness. To follow her writing and artwork, check out her blog, amrutapatil.blogspot.com.
Jayanto Banerjee began with freelancing with an ad agency in 1987 and moved on to making Abhijeet Kini is an illustrator, animator and comics creator. He recently comic strips for children and launched two titles – Milk and Quickies and Angry Maushi – under his name. then creating political satires for He is a regular illustrator with Tinkle, working on characters like news magazines and newspapers. He Butterfingers, Defective Detectives and SuperWeirdos. His work has been believes that without politicians in India, he featured in Time Out Mumbai, ComicCon India and of course, HT would have been jobless. Brunch, among others. Check out abhijeetkini.com. Moving from the ‘Aap Janaab’ city (Lucknow) to To survive in Mumbai, he says, you should be in the right ‘Peeche Haat’ (Delhi) was a shock! But the best part about position at the railway platform (right in front of the doors) living in Delhi, he says, are the barsatis, which are now during rush hour, so you get pushed into the train autocalled penthouses. matically.
Cover design: MONICA GUPTA Cover illustrations: SHUTTERSTOCK
EDITORIAL: Poonam Saxena (Editor), Aasheesh Sharma, Rachel Lopez, Tavishi Paitandy Rastogi, Mignonne Dsouza, Veenu Singh, Parul Khanna, Yashica Dutt, Amrah Ashraf, Saudamini Jain, Shreya Sethuraman
JUNE 9, 2013
DESIGN: Ashutosh Sapru (National Editor, Design), Monica Gupta, Swati Chakrabarti, Payal Dighe Karkhanis, Rakesh Kumar, Ashish Singh
Drop us a line at:
brunchletters@ hindustantimes.com or to 18-20 Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi 110001
Rules of the Game
The last of the
by Shivam Singh
ICC is doing away with the Champions Trophy so there is only one major tournament for the three formats: World Twenty20, ODI World Cup and World Test Championship. Notes for the ongoing last edition. Don’t skip it
Bad News First Sachin, Sehwag, Zaheer, Yuvraj, Harbhajan and Gambhir are absent due to retirement, fitness issues and poor form. Hot New Blood Opener Shikhar Dhawan after his swashbuckling 187 against Australia; Rohit Sharma, who led Mumbai Indians to victory at the IPL; and speedsters Umesh Yadav, Irfan Pathan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Ind vs Pak: The Marquee Clash
Saturday, June 15, 2013, promises to be an absolute crackerjack when India squares off against Pakistan at Edgbaston. India is still smarting from the ODI series loss at home against Pakistan! England’s Home Advantage Because no argument on any tournament is complete without this one. England hasn’t won any major ICC crown except the 2010 World Twenty20. Maybe the home crowd and conditions will help? Gary Kirsten as Proteas’ Coach He’s the fella responsible for our 2011 World Cup win. Perhaps, in his last tournament as the South African coach, he will stop the Proteas’ from “choking” in all major tournaments!
FOR ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES, PLEASE CONTACT National — Sanchita Tyagi: email@example.com North — Siddarth Chopra: firstname.lastname@example.org West — Karishma Makhija: email@example.com South — Francisco Lobo: firstname.lastname@example.org
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THE BUCKET LIST The most mundane of everyday objects can double up as design elements in interior decor
ERY RARELY do hotel bathrooms surprise me (if you discount the increasingly complicated shower attachments that take hours to figure out). The way they are designed epitomises the term ‘cookie-cutter’. There’s a bathtub on one side, a sink on the other. If the hotel is particularly posh, there will be a bidet beside the loo. And if there is space enough, the designer will try and squeeze in a shower stall. So far, so regular. Which is why I was surprised into a smile at the Royal Monceau, Paris. Designed by Philippe Starck, this had all the quirky eccentricities that he is famous for. But what took my fancy was the trashcan below the bathroom sink. This was not your standard dustbin with a pop-up cover that all hotels buy in bulk. No, this
Photo courtesy FABINDIA
one was a gleaming stainless steel bucket, an Indian-style balti that is a regular fixture in our homes (and our bathrooms). Yes, that’s right. The humble steel balti that we use for bucket baths and washing clothes back in India had been converted into a design element in a hotel in Paris. And I have to say that it looked very fetching and just a touch exotic as it glistened beneath the sink. Two thoughts struck me. First, why was it that no interior designer at an Indian hotel had thought of doing something like this? It would be the easiest thing in the world to buy a few hundred baltis, paint them with interesting patterns perhaps, and place them in the loo or even in the rooms as a waste receptacle. It sounds like a low-cost, minimal-effort way of jazzing up an interior. And yet, as far as I know, nobody in the Indian hotel business had done anything like that. (If you have seen something like this in India, do write in and let me know.) And then, a moment later, I wondered if this balti would have looked quite so quirky, even cute, if I had seen it in a bog-standard (pardon the pun) Indian hotel rather than at a fancy Paris one? Was it because it was outside its usual milieu that the bucket looked like a design element rather than an everyday object? I’m THE DRAPE EFFECT
My favourite way with old chanderis or muls is to use them as transparent drapes JUNE 9, 2013
still not sure what the answer to that one is. I do believe, however, that we couldn’t do better than incorporate some of our everyday objects into our design schemes at home. And as it turns out, I’m already doing that, purely by accident. A couple of years ago, some friends sent me a birthday hamper in an oldstyle steel trunk – the kind that we would pack clothes in or travel on trains with as kids – painted a vibrant red THAT WARM FEELING with bright and cheerful yel- I love to keep a nice, snuggly pashmina low flowers stencilled on it. at the bottom of the couch in winters to Ever since, it has lived in my keep my feet warm living room, storing everything from old magazines, DVDs, newspaper clippings, books, pens, and other assorted bric-a-brac that tends to clutter up any space I am inhabiting for any length of time. But storage is not the only use an old trunk could be put to. You could spruce it up whichever way you fancy, stick a glass top on it, and use it as an occasional table or even a coffee table. If it is nice and long, push it against the wall, pile some cushions on, and it could double up as a seating option. Or you could just use it to create some installation art of your own, a conversation piece for when guests drop in. Old saris are another element that can be incorporated into your interior design scheme with minimal effort. You can turn them into interesting curtains, use the borders to embellish cushions, drape them around your four-poster bed to create a dreamy bower to sleep in. The possibilities are endless. My favourite way with old chanderis or muls is to use them as transparent drapes. White and cream are always safe choices but sometimes a golden yellow or a bright orange or even a lime green work very well, allowing the sunlight through and imbuing it with their own colours. Old brocade borders can be stitched together to make cushion covers; embroidered garas can be used to make lampshades; and filmy chiffons can be used to frame doorways. Winters are the time to play around with shawls. I love to keep a nice, snuggly pashmina at the bottom of the couch so that I can warm my feet as I watch TV. And it looks rather nice too, the deep blue of the shawl is contrasted beautifully with the taupe upholstery. In fact, a good way to give your old, battered sofa a new lease of life is to drape a paisley shawl over it. This serves as not just embellishment but a practical nod to the season, when it’s good to have a leg-warmer within arm’s reach. And that’s just for starters. You could hang your costume jewellery off tiny ceramic hooks on the wall to jazz up a dull corner of the room; you could frame an interesting piece of embroidery to liven up the entrance to your house; or better still, create a collage of memorable family moments and devote an entire wall to that. When it comes to converting everyday objects to design elements in your interior décor, the only limit is the one set by your own imagination. MORE ON THE WEB
For more SPECTATOR columns by Seema Goswami, log on to hindustantimes.com/Brunch. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/seemagoswami. Write to her at email@example.com
DO THE REAL RISOTTO
Even with a dish as traditional as risotto, the old ways are not always the best. Newer recipes can often turn out better
HIS PIECE is dedicated to different techniques for making risotto. If you have no interest in risotto then you may want to turn the page. On the other hand, I suggest that you pause a while. Risotto is about the easiest dish in the world to cook and these days, you get all the ingredients you need at your local grocer. So, whether you want to come home to a nice warm risotto, or whether you want to make one to help you relax (which is why I cook risotto) or whether you want to turn out a dinner party dish that looks impressive but is actually very easy to make, there is always an argument for learning how to cook risotto. An authentic risotto is a rice dish in which the rice takes on something approximating the texture of a firm khichdi without
Italians call the mantecura, and add butter or cheese in the finishing. You let the risotto rest for a few minutes and then, it is ready to serve. When I first started cooking risotto over a decade ago, I consulted many scholarly texts to understand the secret of the texture. I gathered that the consistency of a risotto came from the starch released by the rice grains. So, you could only use certain kinds of rice with a high starch content. You never ever washed the rice before cooking (lest you lost Vir Sanghvi some of the starch) and you stirred because this had the effect of persuading the rice to give up its starch. As time has gone on (and risotto remains about the only dish I know how to cook), I have made refinements to (or have corrupted) the basic recipe to suit my tastes. I rarely use cheese in the finishing but serve grated parmesan on the side, should anybody want it. I no longer the assistance of cream or cook every ingredient in the sofrito as I’m cheese. (Though you can add cheese supposed to. I cook some things (say to a finished risotto for flavour). The asparagus) separately and add them basic taste of a risotto comes from the to the risotto near the end of the cooking rice and the stock it is cooked in, but you process. I nearly always add garlic to the THAT SPECIAL TASTE onions in the sofrito. Italians do not but – hey! – I am can add other ingredients from the simThe consistency of the Indian. I keep refining the taste as the risotto is ready, ple (mushrooms, asparagus etc) to the grand (chamrisotto comes from the pagne, truffles etc) to the complex (boned quail, foie high content of starch adding ingredients that would have me thrown out of gras, braised snails, etc). any Italian kitchen: a dash of Tabasco for depth, a litFor years and years, I’ve never bothered too much with risottle soya to boost the umami content of the fungi in a mushroom to recipes because the basic method is always the same. You risotto; a dash of fresh herbs at the final stages. And so on. sauté onions and perhaps some other ingredients (vegetables, And nearly every time I meet a great Italian chef, I pester him chicken etc) in olive oil. Then you add risotto rice (two popular for risotto tips. Till now, my guru on the subject has been Luciano varieties are arborio and carnaroli)) and toast it till each grain Parolari, the former executive chef at the Villa d’Este who is is covered with the rich mixture of olive oil, onions etc called the King of Risotto. Luciano who endorses the standard (what they call the sofrito). recipe, would fume about my little corruptions and does things When the rice begins crackling and gives out a that I, in turn, do not understand, like adding a dash of chamnutty smell, you add just enough white wine to cover pagne to some risottos at the end: “to geev eet a leetle sparkle….” the rice in the pan. Then, over medium heat, you But the last time I went to the Villa d’Este, Luciano had retired begin stirring. When the wine is and his successor Michele Zambanini had thrown out the carnaroli absorbed, you add boiling stock, one rice that Luciano loved. He made his risottos with a new rice, ladleful at a time, and stir till this acquerello, and bragged that risottos made with acquerello did too is absorbed. Eventually, a stage not even need stirring. will come, (in around 20 minutes Then, last month, I met Gabriele Ferron, Italy’s Ambassador or less) when the rice will taste of Rice. Ferron thought the traditional method was rubbish. First done. Now you stop adding the of all, he said, the whole idea of a sofrito is flawed. If you fry the stock and proceed to what onions and then add the rice, the onions will be burnt by the time
WHERE TO BEGIN?
Sautéing onions and ingredients like vegetables or chicken in olive oil is the first step required to cook a risotto
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HIS WAY IS THE BEST WAY
Michele Zambanini of Villa d’Este, makes risotto with acquerello rice. It turned out to be the best tasting among all three methods
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A PURIST
An authentic risotto is a rice dish in which the rice takes on a similar texture of a firm khichdi without the assistance of cream or cheese. It’s the easiest dish in the world to cook and all ingredients are easily available
My guru on the subject of risotto has been Luciano Parolari, the former executive chef at the Villa d’Este, who is called the King of Risotto. He would fume about my little corruptions to the standard recipe
the rice is ready. What you should do, he said, is to fry the sofrito ingredients (onion, mushrooms etc.) as normal. But then, you should remove them from the pan. The rice should be toasted on its own. The sofrito should actually be added (in its cooked form) only at the last stage. Secondly, it is idiotic to add wine. The whole point of cooking a risotto is the temperature of the pan. How can you possibly add a glass of room temperature wine? Skip that stage and go directly to the boiling stock so that the contents of the pan do not cool. Thirdly, you need to stir the risotto only at the end. That is the only time the starch is released. The notion of constant stirring is absurd. As for the mantecura, he was as unconventional. Add a little olive oil if you want. And sprinkle a little cheese if you like. But no butter and certainly no cream in a risotto, and here he paused to make a dramatic Italian gesture, “because WE ARE NOT FRENCH!” I was now thoroughly confused. The only solution, I decided, was to try all three methods. That evening I went to my local market and bought the ingredients for a mushroom risotto: fresh shitake, a packet of carnaroli rice, chicken stock cubes, onions, garlic and some Ligurian olive oil. All of these are now easy to find in Indian metros. I made a chicken stock using the cubes and kept it on the boil. Then I put two pans on the gas. I sautèd onions, garlic and sliced shitake in olive oil in both pans. Then, I added rice to one pan and toasted it. Next, I covered the rice with wine (Fratelli) and when that was absorbed, began adding the stock ladle by ladle. As you may have guessed, this was the traditional method and I kept stirring.
But in the second pan, I tried Ferron’s method: the moment the sofrito was ready, I removed it. In the now empty pan, I toasted the rice in more olive oil and then added the boiling stock, ladle by ladle. But I did not stir. The first (traditional) risotto was ready before the second one so I let it rest. Then I checked the second, saw that it was nearly done, gave it a good stir and added the cooked onions, garlic and mushroom (the sofrito). Finally I ate both. Ferron was right. There was no difference to the texture: both had the same consistency. But the risotto made his way had a nicer, golden colour from the stock and the onion and garlic flavours were more pronounced. The traditional risotto tasted okay but I began to find the slight sour taste imparted by the wine annoying. The next day I used exactly the same ingredients but substituted acquerello (not available at my local market) for carnaroli. Zambanini’s recipe required me to make the sofrito, keep it in the pan, toast the rice and finally add all of the stock at once. There was no need to stir. When that risotto was ready, I tried it. I don’t think it had the consistency of Ferron’s but it was easily the best tasting – though this could be because of the quality of the rice. What does this teach us? Well, I’ll tell you what it taught me. First of all, even with a dish as traditional as risotto, the old ways are not always the best. The newer recipes can often be better. And secondly, and more importantly: how much of my life have I wasted in the kitchen, endlessly stirring my risotto when there was no need to do so? Not only are the new ways better, they are also less tiring.
I nearly always add garlic to the onions in the sofrito mixture. Italians do not but – hey! – I am Indian
GOING AGAINST THE GRAIN
I keep refining the taste of the risotto by adding a dash of Tabasco and a little soya – ingredients that would have me thrown out of any Italian kitchen
MORE ON THE WEB
For more columns by Vir Sanghvi, log on to hindustantimes. com/brunch
JUNE 9, 2013
Photo courtesy: WORLD GOURMET SUMMIT.COM
WHIP IT ANY TIME YOU LIKE
LAY OFF THE DAIRY
Gabriele Ferron, Italy’s Ambassador of Rice, thinks that no butter or cream should be added to a risotto
THREE RISOTTO TECHNIQUES THE STANDARD METHOD: You cook all the ingredients together. Then you add wine. Next, you add boiling stock ladle by ladle and stir vigorously till the risotto is cooked. FERRON’S METHOD: You fry the vegetables, meat, onions etc and then remove them from the pan. You toast the rice in a little olive oil. You never add wine. You add the stock ladle by ladle but you don’t need to stir till the very end. When the risotto is ready, you add the vegetables, meat, onions etc that you had fried earlier to the cooked risotto. THE ACQUERELLO METHOD: You use acquerello rice and make the risotto in the normal way by first frying meat, vegetables etc. Then you toast the rice and add the wine. But after that, you add the stock all at once. There is no need to keep stirring.
Tech innovations for the rest of 2013 that will blow your socks off
Place it on your forehead to get an immediate analysis of your body
AST DECEMBER, most tech journalists rounded off 2012 with the prediction that 2013 would blow the socks off anything that 2012 had to offer. Thankfully most of these hyperboles have fallen right on target. The Samsung Galaxy S4 is out and selling millions, the HTC One has made serious waves, BlackBerry has the Z10 and the Q10, Microsoft has announced the Xbox One, Google Glass has intrigued the world, the Basis Band is out to rave reviews and the world of personal trackers is on fire! Do we have much left for 2013? Actually we’ve just scratched the tip of the iceberg. Here’s how the rest of 2013 will look like.
SCANADU SCOUT:The Star Trek tricorder comes alive to bridge the link between technology and health. Place it on your forehead and it gives you an immediate analysis of your body; all the stuff a doctor does. It measures your temperature, blood oxygenation, stress level, gives you a medical-grade electrocardiogram (ECG) and blood pressure reading, and gives you a full blown urine analysis (with an add-on kit). This disc-like device could predict you’re coming down with something before it happens COOL LEAF TOUCHSCREEN KEYBOARD: Almost everyone seems to think that this seductive looking device is the next big thing. What’s not to like? It’s a flat, shiny, touchscreen keyboard, very light with beautiful backlighting modes. The only problem: typing sucks like it does on all touchscreen devices. With no tactile feedback, this is like drumming your fingers against your table – never a good sensation.
techilicious COOL LEAF TOUCHSCREEN KEYBOARD
A step forward, but typing on it is still awkward
LOOXCIE LX2 WEARABLE VIDEO CAM
It’s a camera for your ears and you wear it like a Bluetooth headset
LOOXCIE LX2 WEARABLE VIDEO CAM:It’s a camera for your ears and you wear it like a Bluetooth headset. It streams EarCamlevel video right to your phone (iOS or Android), has internal memory and can also upload directly to the web. It’s a hybrid of Google Glass, Sports Action-capturing cams, and a plain weird accessory. BLACKBERRY Q5: The BB 10 phone for the rest of us. After breaking the hearts of all BlackBerry users who don’t have R40,000 of spare change to plonk down for the Z10 or the Q10, the Q5 may well be the tipping point. BLACKBERRY Q5 By the time this economy BB phone is out, This is a niceBBM will be on all other platforms and the true looking device, test of the BB strategy will come into play. thin, hip and easy Overall this is a nice-looking device, thin, colour- on the pocket ful and very hip. Has to be sub-15k to make a difference. iPAD MINI RETINA: This one is a given. The real thrust of iPad sales are now from the Mini. Expect the same body and shell, slightly souped-up specs, more internal storage and a retina screen. On the smaller sized display, that will be a feature to make those on the fence jump right in. MOTOROLA X: Google bought them out and the world expected a tectonic shift in smartphones. Instead, Google downscaled Motorola, JUNE 9, 2013
This phone is touted as the world’s most powerful Android phone, ever withdrew from many countries and continued with the most boring phones. Enter the Motorola X, touted as the world’s most powerful Android phone, ever! Stock Android, no gimmickry and smoking hardware. Can the X take on the S4? APPLE WATCH: After the Pebble watch and half a dozen other contenders, Apple will try to own the most premium real estate in the world – your wrist. The Apple Watch will play nicely with your iPhone and give you all the info off it, plus add some functionality. Should sell well as the iFan Boys will offer their wrists up for adorning in droves. NOKIA 41-MEGAPIXEL LUMIA: This one is in the bag too. With steady sales of Lumia phones, the 520 selling in serious numbers and the Windows interface finally gaining traction, the 41-megapixel Pureview will be an incredible flagship for Nokia. This better be a good-looking phone. The previous Pureview didn’t get purists excited. iPHONE 5S/6: I really hope they call it the NOKIA 416 as somehow this whole S thing is kind of a MEGAPIXEL LUMIA downer and makes the product seem like a Pureview will be an stop-gap filler. Completely revamped, all-new incredible flagship OS, totally different look and feel, a for Nokia fingerprint scanner, wireless charging and a bigger full-HD screen. That’s the wish list. Now how much gets delivered is Tim Cook’s prerogative. APPLE TV: A lot of speculation, great hype and serious noise. May I go out on a limb and say this: you’re not going to get an Apple TV to hang on your wall this year. So power that one off for now! THE NEXT SAMSUNG NOTE: For many, the Galaxy Mega phones seem to have cut the legs off any future Note phones. Not true. The next Note will up the ante with a full-HD screen and will iPHONE 5S/6 I want a new take the stylus-aware usage of OS, fingerprint the phone to a new level, plus throw in some typical scanner, a bigger full-HD Samsung-ish jiggery-pokery where they will be able to fit in screen and more a bigger screen in a thinner, smaller frame. Between the S4 and the next Note, Samsung will laugh all the way to the bank. Many more products will dot the tech calendar in 2013. HTC may have the One+, Sony SAMSUNG will take Xperia levels higher and get the PS4 NOTE out, Asus and Lenovo will bring in more CONCEPT astounding products, and jaw-droppers may They will still fit in a bigger appear from unknown companies inventing screen in a stuff at breakneck speed. Like everyone said thinner frame six months ago, 2013 continues its journey to become a true ‘socks-blower-offer’ year. Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3
MORE ON THE WEB
For previous columns by Rajiv Makhni, log on to hindustantimes.com/brunch. Follow Rajiv on Twitter at twitter.com/RajivMakhni
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Actress / Comedy show judge
Archana Puran Singh BIRTHDAY
SUN SIGN HOMETOWN Libra
Convent of Jesus and Mary, Dehradun; Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi
LOW POINT OF MY LIFE
Mr Ya Mrs (1980s sitcom by Jalal Agha)
HIGH POINT CURRENTLY
I guess when I had to leave home OF MY LIFE I AM... The birth of Doing well! and come to Bombay. I was homesick and had to deal with it my kids
The first line of your autobiography would read... “The following has no resemblance to any person living or dead.” The pick-up line that makes you laugh. “Hey gorgeous!” Because I’m anything but gorgeous. I love corny lines, but I’m not picked up too often. What cracks you up? More than humour, it’s wit, and an attitude. If a person delivering a funny line has the right ing humour never fails. attitude, that does it for me. Rate your sense of You’re the editor of a comic book. humour on a scale of 1-10? Who would you put on the cover? It’s off the charts! My husband, because he’s one If you could be a superhero, who real-life cartoon. would you be? Which body part would you insure? Wonder Woman. She’s a My brain. It’s my single most knockout and I’d love to wear valuable asset. her costume. Also, I’ve been The best part about being a judge. Wonder Woman at home for so You get to laugh all the way to long, I might as well get the the bank. costume too! And the worst. Best dialogue from Sholay? You’ve got to discover 1,001 “Kitney aadmi they?” It has so different ways to say many connotations. how bad an act was Which character from FUNNIEST PERSON Sholay would you like to without offending or IN BOLLYWOOD hurting the person’s play? feelings. I’d love to play (DEAD OR ALIVE)? What should every Dhanno or Thakur’s woman know about a severed arms man? (where did That he’s comthey go?). Or pletely dispensable perhaps Jaya and utterly unnecBachchan’s lantern. essary. Mere pass bangla hai, A joke that never fails. gaadi hai, bank balance The joke that’s on hai. Tumhare pass kya you. Self-deprecathai?
Sanjeev Kumar, easily
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FUNNY MOVIES EVERYONE SHOULD WATCH
Not Now, Darling Ferris Bueller’s Day Off The Bird Cage Chupke Chupke (1975) Muskurahat
That doesn’t hold true for me. But my mother lives with me! So I’ll go with the classic answer, “Mere pass maa hai!” A rumour you’d like to start. I spent a lot of time in my heyday quashing rumours. At this stage, there’s no rumour I’d actually like to start. Three funny women on television. Purbi, Bharti and me, because I’ve lasted this long on TV by just laughing. Raising two teenage boys is like... Your worst nightmare coming true, yet it’s the biggest joy. I guess that’s the contradiction of motherhood. Assuming there’s a funny bone, where would it be located?
In unmentionable places. But for want of propriety, it should be located between the ears and behind the eyes. The weirdest thing you’ve been told about your laughter? Actually I’ve become so used to it over the last six years, I’ve heard it all. Every comment, criticism is valid. One song that defines you? Dekho dekho ye hai jalwa. A piece of advice you’d give a budding stand-up comic? Comedy has to be effortless. The moment you try too hard to be funny, you’ll fall flat. But it takes effort to seem effortless. — Interviewed by Shreya Sethuraman
Published on Jun 9, 2013