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WEEKLY MAGAZINE, APRIL 14, 2013 Free with your copy of Hindustan Times

Heated discussions will follow after you read the season’s new titles. There’s one for every reader



Monte Carlo – the legend

Spend this summer in a sunny daze, and you will be blessed with glowing skin, better fitness levels, and a good mood that will last all year


There’s nothing on TV


There is a hot white shirt for everyone. Cut, fit, fabric, we’ve got it all sorted

The best smartphone you can buy – Part II



Scorch on the Rocks

by Jayanto

On The Brunch Radar

by Shreya Sethuraman

THE HEAT IS ON Alaa Wardi. A cappella. Pehla Nasha *in love*

Aurangzeb. Arjun Kapoor hasn’t looked hotter! A banana leaf meal Pool parties. Bikinis. This is the stuff life is made of Hawaiian pizza. Pineapple on a pizza has to be the worst thought ever!


Planning a budget solo domestic trip. Woe betide you, inflation!

Why are there no good stationery stores in India?? The cell phone ad glorifying a shooting squad. ’Nuff said already!


Wishful Thinking

You wear WHAT to work?

It’s too hot for full sleeves or any sleeves. That why we’re so jealous of the people who have these jobs Ballerina: Close your eyes. Imagine a white fitted dress that flares out from your waist and pretty much stays gravity resistant. Now imagine wearing it to work every day (left). There! Waitress on True Blood: This is what the girls wear to work at Merlotte’s Bar and Grill: tight white tee, black shorts that cover about 10cm and a tiny green apron no bigger than a hanky. Lots of tips! Royal Challengers cheer team: A midriff-baring top, shorts bound together by a mere criss-cross of strings and pom poms. Want this as your work uniform? The Bangalore cheer team awaits. The gardener on Desperate Housewives: John Rowland didn’t do much pruning, but he did tend to one

housewife’s roses, if you know what we mean. And he stayed stubbornly shirtless through season one. Meter maid: All you need is not love, but a bikini to qualify for this job. Gold Coast meter maids wear a gold two-piece and cowboy hat all day. They also wear a sash – it proba- John Rowland bly is the largest garment on their bodies. Bermuda banker: Ditch trousers for cotton knee-length shorts with your suit. They do it on the island of Bermuda, which explains why they stay cool through tough financial mergers. The Naked Cowboy: This NYC street performer (left) coordinates his guitar with just a hat, boots and briefs. Makes you wonder why you spend so much time wondering if your striped tie goes with those khaki pants.


This week, on the Web Always wanted a peek into a celeb closet? Here are a few we discovered. Read this story from Brunch Q for more. Go to GAUAHAR KHAN, actress ■ She’s guilty of buying ganjis by the kilo and stacks of palazzos, crisp shirts, high waist skirts and cute day dresses ■ Pumps, peep-toes, kitten heels, T-strap wedges… if you can think of anything else, she has it!

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, Manit Moorjani

APRIL 14, 2013

by Poulomi Das

BIKRAM SALUJA, documentary filmmaker ■ A cupboard just for his jackets and one just for his bags ■ He’s a classy guy who likes well-cut suits and sharp structured pants by Amrah Ashraf

DESIGN: Ashutosh Sapru (National Editor, Design), Monica Gupta, Swati Chakrabarti, Rakesh Kumar, Ashish Singh

Drop us a line at: brunchletters@ or to 18-20 Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi 110001


If you like them slow and wise The Dalai Lama’s Cat - A Novel

David Michie’s heartwarming novel describes itself as a “not so much fly-on-the-wall as cat-on-the-sill” tale of a kitten rescued from the slums of New Delhi who finds herself in a beautiful sanctuary with sweeping views of the snow-capped Himalayas. As the Dalai Lama’s cat, she meets Hollywood stars, Buddhist masters, Ivy League professors, famous philanthropists, and everyone else who comes visiting His Holiness. Each encounter brings fresh insight into finding happiness and meaning in our busy lives. Curl up and purr with delight. If you like a novel with lots of masala Mothers Lovers & Other Strangers

Bhaichand Patel’s thriller dresses up a whodunit with Bollywood’s glitz and glamour. Ravi has a dark past, but in Mumbai, he can leave it all behind for a new life – a home in Pali Hill, a socialite fiancée and success as a song composer. Or can he? When a body is found on the railway tracks, Ravi’s charmed existence is threatened by police enquiries that probe into his past. Zip right through it. Mumbai has no patience with laggards.

Red Hot Reads

Everybody’s curling up with a book. Which one is the best for you? by Rachel Lopez If you like epic stories of love, art and war The Blind Man’s Garden

Nadeem Aslam’s novel is set in the months after 9/11. Western armies have invaded Afghanistan. Jeo and his foster brother Mikal have left Pakistan to help care for wounded Afghans. But within hours of crossing the border they’re separated. Emerging from the carnage, Mikal begins his search for Jeo. But all he wants to do is return home to the woman he loves and who loves him – Jeo’s wife. Aslam’s fans love his symbolism, imagery and complex characters. Perhaps you will too.

If you’re not done discussing The White Tiger and Slumdog Millionaire How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia

At first, Mohsin Hamid’s book seems like a self-help book. Twelve simple rules guide you from poverty to a mansion, bullet-proof car and bodyguards. But this is no how-to guide. It’s the tale of a poor boy’s rags to riches tale that rides on the back of the success story of the subcontinent. It’s set in Pakistan, but the tale will hit home in Mumbai and Delhi too. Don’t take Hamid’s rules too seriously. Or we’re all doomed.

Steamy summer reading? How about a bunch of racy Confessions? I had been paid. I had been paid for sex. I had been paid well for sex... As Vikram Mathur recounts his journey from maths tutor to society gigolo in Confessions Of A Private Tutor, you’ll be amazed at how many other stories lie hidden in plain view in India. Enter Rupa’s Confessions series (Confessions of a Call Centre Worker is out in May and Confessions of a Page 3 Reporter in June), frank and fiercely honest stories about love, sex, money, deception and power. “Everyone knows – or knows of – someone who is a journalist or a tutor or a hotel manager or works at a call centre or parlour. But we never quite know exactly what their lives are like,” says Pradipta Sarkar, commissioning editor at Rupa. “We wanted to publish the stories of these people – and we wanted them told as they are lived.” Kris Yonzone’s insight into call-centre life is rife with tales of


monster workloads, rotten food and what happens between colleagues on the break-time couches. “Most of what is in this book actually happened – to me, to my friends,” Yonzone says. Megha Malhotra, whose job landed her free concerts and facetime with Bollywood stars, talks of the inevitable compromise Page 3 journalists make. “The kind of stuff that happens in this book is all very real!” she says. “But the steamy stuff is better experienced than written about.”

If you want something to ruminate over, all summer Farther Away

Critics love Jonathan Franzen. Therefore snotty literary types like him too. So you’ll see a lot of local “thinking types” pushing their geek-chic glasses further up their noses as they get ready to read his collection of essays and speeches. In Farther Away, Franzen recounts his violent encounter with bird poachers in Cyprus, examines his mixed feelings about the suicide of his friend and rival David Foster Wallace and offers a moving and witty take on how technology has changed the way people express their love. If you think Dilliwallas are crazy, but love them anyway Those Pricey Thakur Girls

Anuja Chauhan’s witty yarn is set in a bungalow on Hailey Road in the ’80s, where Justice Laxmi Narayan Thakur and his wife Mamta live with their five daughters: the flirty, married Anjini; slightly selfish Binodini; wild child Chandrakanta; quietly fiery Debjani; and alittle-too-popular Eshwari. Yes they are alphabetically named. There’s a lesson here, a tale of a father learning to let go, and of a Delhi that once was. And woven though it all, a sparkling rom com that Chauhan does so well. If you’re all for simple stories with easy-to-digest messages Manuscript Found in Accra

Paulo Coelho’s at it again. After lying undiscovered for over 700 years, a manuscript holding the answers to a city’s final questions is unearthed from a cave in Cairo. The manuscript is a transcript of a man’s extraordinary insights on courage, solitude, loyalty and loss gathered on the eve of the invasion of Accra. Like most Coelho works, you’ll find something you can use even in summer 2013.


It lifts your mood, keeps you in good health and makes your skin glow. This summer, instead of whining about the heat, spend some time with the sun and heat up your body and soul by Kavita Devgan


own near the bottom of the crossed-out list of things you have to do today, between “green thread” and “broccoli,” you find that you have pencilled “sunlight.” Resting on the page, the word is beautiful. It touches you as if you had a friend and sunlight were a present he’d sent from someplace distant... to cheer you up... This poem by Tony Hoagland is as beautiful as

the sunlight it talks about. But as the weather turns warmer, Indians tend to scurry away and hide from the hot ball of light in the sky. But you’ll be doing yourself more harm than good. Early morning sun, when it’s not so hot, does wonders for your body and soul. So don’t hide from the heat, don’t shy from the light. You’ll benefit in countless ways. Read on...

Happiness is a warm sun


get mopey when I don’t get to go out in the sun, and just a few minutes spent stretching out in it lifts my mood,” says actress Renuka Shahane. “Warm morning sun is the best, of course, but even its severe rays don’t scare me; I soak them up and my mood moves from mopey to magnificent. My most creative ideas come when I am sitting out in the sun; in the cold my brain kind of freezes. It’s the warmth that does the trick, I feel.” Shahane’s mood changes aren’t just a figment of her imagination – As more Indians live insulated lives away from the elements, we miss out on all the benefits of being outdoors too. Sure, summer days can get torturously uncomfortable. But avoiding the sun totally can spell disaster too – for body and mind. Vitamin D, which the body produces in the presence of sunlight, is responsible for neuron growth and has a positive effect on our moods. A 2002 study by scientists at Melbourne’s Baker Research Institute, published in the Lancet journal, showed that the brain produces more of the mood-lifting chemical serotonin (a natural antidepressant) on sunny days than on cloudy days. This cheers us up and

positively influences our moods. Another study, this one by the University of Colorado in 2009, found that as the temperature goes up, so does our sense of well-being. Scientist Christopher Lowry, an assistant professor of integrative physiology, studied the link between temperature and mood and stated that people intuitively associate feeling warm with a sense of relaxation and well-being. That explains why we are far happier catching some morning sun before our day begins than being cooped for the whole day with stale cold air conditioning and harsh fluorescent lighting. Of course, the sun also radiates light, and light represents positivity and happiness; maybe that’s why we all have a lot of positive emotions and memories connected to the sun. Alankrita Shrivastava, director of the 2011 film Turning Thirty, is an

People often associate feeling warm with a sense of relaxation and well-being APRIL 14, 2013

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Just Step Into The Light

absolute sun worshipper. “Last year I shot a documentary about the cultural history of Bihar and there, in places like Bodh Gaya and on the banks of the Ganga, I shot some spectacular sunrises and sunsets. It made the assignment really special,” she says. “I still cherish the moments when I’d set up the camera and soak up the energy as the sun changed size. My body clock functions in tandem with the sun, so I am thankful that I live in a place like Mumbai, where it’s sunny for most of the year. Early morning is the best time of the day for me. I live on the 14th floor and have huge windows in my bedroom. Being woken up by natural light rather than an alarm clock marks a positive beginning to my day.” Getting some sunshine early in the day also keeps the sleep-wake up cycle on track (and insomnia away), which again is important for mood regulation. That’s because getting natural light during the day increases our melatonin output at night (melatonin is a natural hormone made by our bodies; it enhances sleep and slows down the ageing process). Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water and let a little sunshine into your life, your body and soul will thank you.

The sun helps lose weight by increasing the metabolic rate by stimulating the thyroid



nee pain was a constant companion for actress Renuka Shahane all through the 2010 TV dance contest Jhalak Dikhla Ja. She blamed it on the sit-ups she was putting in while practising her dance moves. But her doctor thought otherwise. “The first thing he asked me was when was the last time I had been really out in the sun,” recalls Shahane. Although the question foxed her, she realised that it was bang on the mark. “Ever since I had taken a sabbatical to look after my home and children full time, my outdoor time was limited,” she explains. “I had totally neglected to soak up the sun.” Sure enough, Shahane’s tests indicated low levels of Vitamin D3, which was causing the pain. Her doctor’s advice was simple: early morning sun (8-9am) every day for 15 minutes. Shahane’s levels soon returned to normal.


Being woken by natural light instead of an alarm clock is a positive feeling



r Chytra V Anand, cosmetic dermatologist at Bangalore’s Kosmoderma Skin & Laser Clinic, says spending some time in the sun is a ticket to glowing skin. “Moderately tanned skin is more resistant to infections than untanned skin,” she says, adding that diseases like acne, psoriasis, eczema can be controlled through controlled exposure to the sun. Dr Swati Srivastava, Mumbai based dermatocosmetologist, says we should all “aim for 15-20 minutes of mild sun exposure without sunscreen during the day and use an appropriate sunscreen when stepping out in harsh sunlight.” The sun is great for your hair too. “The sun’s rays help keep hair free of infections, but excessive exposure may make it dry and lighten the colour. So keep a scarf or a hat handy,” adds Dr Srivastava.

Our body gets 80 to 90 per cent of its Vitamin D from sunlight. This helps prevent brittle bones The brain produces more of a natural antidepressant on sunny days than on cloudy days Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium in the body, says Dr Rommel Tickoo, consultant on internal medicine at Max Hospital, Delhi. “It prevents brittle bones. In fact, our body gets 80 per cent of its Vitamin D from sunlight as the food sources of this vitamin are few,” he says. Good examples of these include tuna, egg yolk, liver, fatty fish and fortified cereals. In addition, research published in 2008 in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, shows that people with the lowest Vitamin D levels have more than twice the risk of dying from heart disease and

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stroke, when compared to those who have high Vitamin D levels. In fact, an Oxford University study has revealed that childhood exposure to sunlight appears to dramatically reduce the risk of developing multiple sclerosis later in life. The big daddy of all, cancer, too can be arrested with enough Vitamin D. “Although there are reports that overexposure to the sun increases the risk of skin cancer (Indians because of their darker skin are thankfully less prone to it), Vitamin D from sunlight can actually help reduce the risk of other types of cancer significantly,” says Dr Rajeev Moger, senior consultant on internal medicine at Apollo Hospitals, Bangalore. A study carried out by the US National Cancer Institute found that people exposed to high levels of sunlight were significantly less likely to die from breast and colon cancer. A similar effect was seen in cases of bladder, womb, oesophagus and stomach cancer too.

A hot day will make you tired and dehydrated, so keep it simple – small doses of weak sunshine (dawn and dusk) and plenty of fluids. “The sun’s rays also boost the production of white blood cells, which strengthens our immune system,” says Dr Tickoo. “And if you are looking to lose weight, step out in the sun a bit more, as higher levels of serotonin in our bodies not only makes us happier but also suppress appetite.” The effect in fact is two-pronged: “The sun also helps us lose weight by increasing the metabolic rate by stimulating the thyroid,” Dr Tickoo adds. Good news all around!

An effective germ killer, sunlight can prevent your rooms from becoming damp and mouldy

APRIL 14, 2013

Moderately tanned skin is more resistant to infections than untanned skin



he ultraviolet rays in sunshine act as a natural antiseptic. These rays kill viruses, bacteria, yeasts, fungi and mites in the air, in water, on your carpets and blankets and the day’s washing. Apart from being an effective germ killer, sunlight can also prevent the rooms in your house from becoming damp and mouldy. In feng shui, the sun is the symbol of health and is the giver of life. Feng shui expert Jayme Barrett writes in her book Feng Shui Your Life that light can make a big difference in how we feel: “It lifts the energy of a room, brightens your day, expands the space and inspires new ideas.” So bury your nose in the clean scent of air-dried laundry, replace heavy drapes with airy sheers. Expose as many rooms as possible to fresh air and sunlight on a regular basis. If you are worried about furniture and pictures fading, try rearranging your room so that your valuable items are out of the path of direct sunlight.

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Get Bronzed, Not Burned Y


ou need the right balance between not enough sun and too much sun, so that you can enjoy its benefits without looking like a boiled lobster. Here are some tips: At the peak of summer, try to avoid direct sunlight between 10am and 4pm. Generously apply a broadspectrum, water-resistant sunscreen to all exposed areas, including your ears and neck, around 30 minutes before you step out. A broad-spectrum sunscreen provides protection from both ultra-

During the summer, avoid being out in the sun between 10 am and 4 pm

Singing Songs Of The Sun W

e got celebs who love the sun to tell us their favourite sunshine song and tell us why they love it so! It’s time to let your playlist run on solar power.

MUGDHA GODSE, Actor Walking on Sunshine by Kimberley Rew is a lovely song and makes my heart dance to its tunes. I can listen to this on loop any time of the day. I also love The Sunshine Song by Jason Mraz and the You Are My Sunshine by Anne Murray; both are superbly feel good. SAMIR KOCHHAR, Actor Pocketful of Sunshine by singer Natasha Bedingfield is one song I love to listen to. This song helps me escape my troubles and makes me feel positive about everything in my life. It is one of her highest selling albums and with good reason too. The lyrics and music are both to die for.

Celebrities who love the sun tell us their favourite sunny songs

RAJAT GUPTA, Lyricist and screenplay writer It has to be “Jaado ki narm dhoop aur aangan main let kar..”. from the song Dil Dhoondta Hai in the film Mausam. When you close your eyes and hear Bhupinder’s voice sing, you can feel the warmth of the sun, that soft veil on your face and goose bumps on your skin! Each time! JASLEEN ROYAL, Musician, composer and performer I love the song Hard Sun by Eddie Vedder from the movie Into the Wild. I love it because this song revolves like a cycle from hope to despair to hope again. SHARMAN JOSHI, Actor I love the song from my film 3 Idiots, Give me some sunshine... I loved picturising it; besides it is a APRIL 14, 2013

violet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. For people who live in tropical areas, a higher SPF (50) is recommended for outdoor use. For indoor use SPF 24-30 is recommended. Also, reapply your sunscreen every four hours for complete sun protection. Finally, never ever stay out long enough to get sunburnt (this can range from a light burn to an excruciatingly painful situation), to the point of needing hospitalisation and causing severe damage to the skin). You need to be especially careful if you have fair or sensitive skin or a personal or family history of skin cancers, or if you are taking medication that makes you sun sensitive. Expert: Dr Geetika Mittal Gupta, medical director and consultant dermatologist, ISAAC (International Skin and Anti-Ageing Centre), Delhi

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lovely song with great lyrics. Everyone I know loves it and it has a special place in my heart.

And the winner is.... Here Comes The Sun...

CYRUS BROACHA, TV star The Beatles’ simple yet hugely uplifting song “Here comes the sun (doo doo doo doo), Here comes the sun, and I say it’s all right..”. is my ultimate favourite. The lyrics showcase my relationship with my wife perfectly – never stable, never the same – either up or totally down, sometimes smoky hot or totally frosty... and as in the song ice melts and warmth envelopes, it’s almost like Harrison is singing lyrics that are a perfect metaphor for our relationship. Besides, Harrison sings with his lips hardly

SUHAIL YUSUF KHAN, vocalist and sarangi player I like Here comes the sun by the Beatles. Why? Because I remember a very cold winter and I was going through a very low phase in my life. So one day, bored of just sitting in my room, I decided to visit the Deer Park near Delhi’s Hauz Khas Village. It was one of those typical January days so obviously there was no sun, and I started to walk. I had with me a friend’s Discman (iPods weren’t really in then) and it had a Beatles’ compilation CD. One after the other, the songs kept playing and everything was normal until the sun suddenly came out and at that very minute the song Here comes the sun... started playing. I got goose bumps, and trust me, something happened then and I came back from the walk in a very, very positive frame of mind, which changed a lot of things for me. So both the sun and this song are special for me. SUBIR MALIK, keyboard player with Parikrama and manager of several musicians Here comes the sun was the morning alarm on the phone at the Hard Rock Hotel, Bali. What a lovely way to get up! I find this brilliant song super positive!




As much as we’ve heard of Monte Carlo, glamorous location of James Bond movies and high rollers at the casino, these are only the obvious clichés and not the full story


From the time you lift off in the helicopter for Monaco and see the sun glinting off the blue waters of the sea, you know that this is going to be a luxury experience


Vir Sanghvi

rude travel


HE TROUBLE with telling people that you are going to Monte Carlo is that you only have to mention the name of your destination for it to sound like you are showing off. In the minds of most of us, Monte Carlo is less a real place than a reference point. Mention the city and the associations that spring forth are casinos, luxury hotels, the Mediterranean, the hill roads of the Riviera, large yachts, and beautiful women sunbathing topless. Many of these associations are bogus (there is not much to the beach and I didn’t see a single topless sunbather) but enough of them are valid for the legend of Monte Carlo to endure. For instance, when you land in Nice (there is no airport in Monte Carlo), the transfer to Monaco, where Monte Carlo is located, is almost always by helicopter. The Monaco authorities keep the price of the helicopter ride low, ask the chopper pilots to take the route over the Mediterranean and urge them to fly fast so APRIL 14, 2013

that you are at the Monte Carlo heliport in just over seven minutes. The chopper ride is part of the experience: from the time you lift off and see the sun glinting off the blue waters of the sea, you know that this is going to be a luxury experience. As much as we’ve heard of Monte Carlo, glamorous location of James Bond movies and high rollers at the casino, these are only the obvious clichés and not the full story. (And many of us still think of a biscuit when Monaco is mentioned, anyway). But there is a history to the jet-set glamour and the legend, and yes, the casino is at the heart of it. Though it is now a millionaire’s paradise, Monaco was not always rich. For most of its existence, in fact, it has been desperately poor. The Grimaldis were seafarers (or pirates, depending on which version you believe) from the Italian port of Genoa, who captured the rock we now call Monaco in the 13th century. In the 17th century they began to call themselves Princes but the




Singer-songwriter Rita Ora (right) performed at the Bal de la Rose in a dress by Karl Lagerfeld (left)


I was one of the invited guests at the Bal de la Rose, organised by Princess Caroline and the Grimaldis and had a chance to see Monaco’s jet set up close

rest of Europe did not take them seriously, the French kept annexing their tiny Principality and in the 1850s, they were bankrupt and had to cope with a restive population that wanted to join neighbouring France and dump the Grimaldis back into the Mediterranean. As the situation grew desperate, the Grimaldis gave a concession to a private company to operate a casino. In 1864, after the injection of Rothschild funding, the casino finally got going in a previously little-known part of Monaco. The casino company (called SBM) developed the new area, built two grand hotels (the Hotel De Paris and the Hermitage) and created the town we now know as Monte Carlo. The Monte Carlo casino soon made lots of money and the Grimaldis were able to abolish income tax and provide lavishly for their subjects. This ended the clamour on the part of the populace to join France. But Monte Carlo remained the only part of Monaco anybody had heard of and even that was owned by SBM, not the Grimaldis. In 1949, when Prince Rainier took charge in Monte Carlo, gambling had become legal in the rest of Europe, so SBM was making losses and the gamblers and tourists had stopped coming to Monte Carlo, choosing to gamble in their own countries. Aristotle Onassis, the Greek shipping tycoon, took control of SBM in the early 1950s, and set about trying to improve Monaco’s global image. One of Onassis’ suggestions was that Rainier should marry an American actress to put Monaco on the map. Feelers were sent out to Marilyn Monroe but she believed that Monaco was in Africa and said she was not interested. When Rainier did find an American actress, he did it on his own without Onassis’s help. He pursued Grace Kelly, then a leading Hollywood star, and was delighted when she agreed to marry him. But neither Rainier nor Monaco were rich. So Grace Kelly’s millionaire father had to pay a dowry of $2 million, some of which Rainier spent on organising a grand wedding which was televised across the world. (Onassis also paid for part of the wedding.) The story of the Prince and the Hollywood star captured the global imagination and after that, Monaco has never looked back. The publicity surrounding the wedding and Princess Grace’s own popularity were enough to turn Monte Carlo into a jet-set hot spot. By 1964, with tourists flocking to Monaco and the casino flush with funds, Rainier finally decided to do battle with SBM.

He ousted Onassis, took charge of the company (now the Grimaldis and the Monaco government jointly own around 70 per cent of SBM) and finally emerged as the true lord of Monte Carlo. The pirate family had become proper Princes via Hollywood. Ever since, Monaco has hardly been out of the news. Princess Grace died young, at the wheel of her car on one of those beautiful hill roads on the Riviera in 1982 but her children have kept Monaco in the gossip columns. Princess Caroline has been among the world’s most glamorous figures all through her three marriages. Her sister Princess Stephanie had many affairs with such high-profile figures as the Hollywood actor Rob Lowe but married her bodyguard. That marriage ended when he was caught having sex with a stripper. Later lovers have included an elephant trainer and a gardener before she married an acrobat and went to live with him in his circus caravan. The Grimaldis tried to keep the Grace-Rainier glamour alive by hosting a grand wedding for Albert, Rainier’s son who is the current Prince. But despite the choice of a glamorous South African Olympic athlete as a bride, the ceremony was dogged by speculation that the lady had tried to make a run for it when she heard of Albert’s many illegitimate children. Nobody knows if this story is true but last week, Albert and the Princess seemed happy enough. They were the hosts of the annual Bal de la Rose organised by Princess Caroline and the Grimaldis to raise money for the Princess Grace Foundation. I was one of the invited guests (this is less impressive than it sounds; there were over 750 people at the ball!) and had a chance to see Monaco’s jet set up close.

Monte Carlo is a battleground between the world’s two greatest chefs, Joël Robuchon and Alain Ducasse


s for as I could tell, apart from a sizable contingent of wealthy Japanese, the cream of Monaco’s society was largely white and middle-aged. The men showed off their dinner jackets and the woman trailed silicone and collagen on the dance floor. Even so, the smell of money was in the air and when Rita Ora (dressed by Karl Lagerfeld who had designed the ball) began to perform, large sections of the audience had no clue who she was. And when the black American singer Theophilus London followed Ora onto the stage, he was possibly the only black man in the house. But Monaco is like that. It has no desire to be a rainbow nation APRIL 14, 2013


The ball was imagined by Karl Lagerfeld, including the menu (above), which even carried an illustration by the designer


Grace Kelly’s daughter, Princess Caroline (below) has been among the world’s most glamorous figures all through her three marriages


indulge Photos: GETTY IMAGES



The televised wedding of Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly captured the global imagination and after that, Monaco has never looked back

The heart of Monte Carlo is the area around the casino (above) which includes the grand Hotel de Paris and the more elegant Hermitage

and is quite happy being a millionaires’ playground. The country is tiny (about the size of Delhi’s Greater Kailash I would guess: around 480 acres) and there are only about 7,500 or so native Monegasques with another 30,000 or so tax exiles. Nearly everybody who works in Monte Carlo lives in neighbouring Italy or France and commutes every day. There are day-trips by tourist coach parties but Monaco does not attract downmarket tourism and there are few cheap hotels. The heart of Monte Carlo is the area around the casino which includes the grand Hotel de Paris and the more elegant Hermitage. All of this is owned by SBM, which also owns two seaside hotels and all the big clubs: Buddha Bar, Jimmy’z etc. A short distance away is the Metropole Hotel, which SBM does not own, and which is much cooler and trendier with interiors designed by Jacques Garcia (him of Hôtel Costes in Paris fame) and all the restaurants supervised by Joël Robuchon. Monte Carlo’s appeal to those who do not want to gamble (and though the casino is beautiful with both a janta area full of slot machines and more elegant rooms inside, it posed no attraction to me, a dedicated nongambler) is as a centre of gastronomy. Not only does it have the best food in the South of France, it is also a battleground between the world’s two greatest chefs Joël Robuchon and Alain Ducasse. Of the two, Ducasse is now the bigger name with three different restaurants in three cities possessing three stars, (the highest honour the Michelin guide can bestow) in London, Paris and Monte Carlo. Of the three, it is Monte Carlo that forms the nerve centre of his operation because Franck Cerutti who masterminds the food for the Ducasse organisation is based here. I ate an exquisite meal at Ducasse’s Monte Carlo place (it is called Le Louis XV) where the many courses included a shellfish salad with coco beans, sea bass from the Mediterranean with fresh asparagus from the south of France, and lamb from milkfed baby sheep that was so pure and white you felt you were eating roast chicken. The meal took three hours and after five different wines, I had to go and lie down to recover. On the other hand, not everything Ducasse does in Monte Carlo is as successful. I had a godawful meal at the Grill at the Hotel de Paris which Ducasse also runs: asparagus turned to mush, an over-salted risotto with morels and beef that had been cooked for much longer than medium rare required. Robuchon, on the other hand, has the advantage of consis-

tency. His gastronomic restaurant at the Metropole has two stars to Ducasse’s three but this could be because it is merely a fancier and warmer version of the L’Ateliers he runs all over the world. The food though, was light and terrific: the famous onion tart with black truffles, his foie gras-filled version of the hamburger, scallop Carpaccio and tartare, followed by a nice old-fashioned Floating Island. Robuchon’s Japanese restaurant Yoshi, only has one star but the food was even better: teppanyaki prawns, crispy veal, Wagyu tartare and more. This was Japanese food done to Japanese levels of precision and sophistication with the flair of a great Western chef. There are many other great places to eat in Monte Carlo. Vistamar, at the Hermitage, where I stayed, has one Michelin star and serves Oriental-influenced French food cooked by Joël Garault. You can eat well at the Monte Carlo branch of the Cipriani if you stick to the classics: Carpaccio, the veal chop and lots of Bellinis. And all over Monte Carlo you will find serious food designed for serious foodies. So what kind of person visits Monte Carlo? The obvious answer is: rich people. But this can be a little misleading. Nothing is cheap in Monte Carlo but, on the other hand, it is actually less expensive than Paris or London. The hotels can be cheaper and judging by my experience of the Hermitage and the Metropole, they may even be better. There are other advantages. Except for two months of the year, it is never too cold. It is bright and sunny all summer. There are no traffic jams, nothing is crowded, you can walk everywhere and the city is remarkably safe. Women flashing large Kelly bags (the bag was named for Grace Kelly) and lots of diamonds walk the streets at night without any fear of being mugged or robbed. And there is always something happening. I went for the Bal de La Rose. But there’s a Grand Prix, a huge yacht show, a jazz festival, a golf tournament, a tennis masters, a flower show and God alone knows what else. So if you have four days to spare, want to relax and to eat some of the world’s best food without having to pay Paris prices or fight the crowds in Europe’s big cities, then Monte Carlo is probably the place for you. And of course, there’s the glamour. As your chopper angles over the Mediterranean, it is hard not to think of Aristotle Onassis, Grace Kelly, James Bond, the casino and even of the Grimaldis and their colourful love lives.

Nothing is cheap in Monte Carlo but it is actually less expensive than Paris or London


The 1983 Bond film, Never Say Never Again, starring Sean Connery, is among the many Hollywood films set and shot in Monte Carlo


For more RUDE FOOD columns by Vir Sanghvi, log on to hindustantimes. com/brunch

APRIL 14, 2013

indulge 57 CHANNELS AND NOTHIN’ ON… Why can’t Indian TV give us the equivalent of Homeland, Newsroom, Mad Men or Modern Family?


Modern Family has wit, charm, and some of the best one-liners on offer


Seema Goswami

S YOU MAY have gathered from my occasional references to my TV viewing habits, I am a big fan of TV shows. Offer me a choice between a Hollywood/Bollywood blockbuster and a box set of the most recent TV series and I will always plump for the latter. And every single time I spend the evening feasting on the best Western television has to offer, I set off for bed wondering why we can’t do anything half as good in India. Why is it that we don’t have an indigenous Homeland, the cracker of a TV show that had the entire world on tenterhooks for its two-season run? Even President Barack Obama – who presumably knows a thing or two about tackling terrorism – is a fan, going so far as to invite Nick Brody (British actor Damian Lewis) to the White House for an official banquet. It’s not as if we are starved of inspiration, given the number of terrorist attacks that have pummelled us over the last decade or so. And yet, we don’t have a single TV show that brings this alive on the small screen. The best we can do, apparently, is to have Anil Kapoor threaten a re-make of 24, the thrill-a-minute Jack Bauer series which has already run its course. Then there’s Newsroom, the Aaron Sorkin show about primetime news programming. Despite a weak (and much too wordy) start it took off after a couple of episodes, bringing the dilemma of TV news networks home to us. How do you keep your news judgement and your integrity intact and still score high ratings while competing with hysterical, jingoistic anchors who fall back on hype and sensationalism? This is a subject that is bound to resonate with Indian viewers given the amount of sound and fury on our prime-time news shows. And yet, there isn’t a single Indian TV show that has strayed into this territory. Everyone is busy making saas-bahu serials, the tried-


Homeland, the cracker of a TV show, had the entire world on tenterhooks for its two-season run and-tested family melodramas that have become such a staple of entertainment programming. But even family shows can pack a punch, as anyone who has ever watched Modern Family knows all too well. The show has wit, charm, and some of the best one-liners on offer. But it also offers us the portrait of a modern family – the jumble of trophy wife, stepfamilies, gay parents, adopted Asian baby, stay-at-home Alpha mom, klutzy dad, teenager going off the rails, nerd kids – which really shouldn’t work but in some mad, out-of-control way, simply does. In its own laughout-loud funny way it gives us an insight into the changing landscape of American society. And what do we have in India? Oh, we do family shows, all right. But what do they show us? A regressive, patriarchal world populated by large, joint families who live in big, imposing mansions, and spend all their time plotting and scheming against one another. The women wake up in the morning wearing full makeup, swan around in Kanjeevaram saris, brandishing their oversized mangulsutras to prove that they are truly ‘pativrata naris’. Their clothes, their jewellery, their lives, nothing has anything in common with us. It is almost as if these shows are set in a different era altogether. Not that I have anything against different eras. I am a huge fan of Downton Abbey and Mad Men, both of which skillfully recreate a bygone world. In Downton Abbey you get the sense of a decaying Edwardian England in which the old certainties are crumbling quietly, leaving disquiet and anxiety in their wake. Mad Men evokes the New York of late ’50s and ’60s, when the advertising men of Madison Avenue ruled the world and didn’t quite know how to cope with the incipient feminism in the air. Can you think of anything remotely like this on Indian TV? No, me neither. And more’s the pity.




For more SPECTATOR columns by Seema Goswami, log on to Follow her on Twitter at seemagoswami Write to her at

indulge THE NO. 1 PHONE IS...

...Read part two of the battle between smartphones to find out!


in random order, are (drum roll) 1. Samsung Galaxy S4 2. Sony Xperia Z 3. HTC One 4. iPhone 5 5. Nokia Lumia 920 6. BlackBerry Z10

THE WINNERS Battery Life 1. Samsung Galaxy S4 2. HTC One 3. iPhone 5 and Nokia Lumia 920 Camera 1. HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4 and Nokia Lumia 920 2. iPhone 5 3. BlackBerry Z10 and Sony Xperia Z Add Ons 1. Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One 2. BlackBerry Z10 and Sony Xperia Z 3. iPhone 5 and Nokia Lumia 920 Price 1. HTC One 2. Nokia Lumia 920 3. Sony Xperia Z


For part one of this week’s column and previous columns by Rajiv Makhni, log on to brunch. Follow Rajiv on Twitter at RajivMakhni


’M TRULY disappointed! I really am not supposed to be saying this and I’ve been advised to erase this part of today’s column – but I think it’s important to put this out there. I am deeply and brutally disappointed. After all the intense buildup, all the amplified hype I gave you (the reader), I am very crestfallen to report that all of you had only nice things to say about the No. 1 Phone in the World column last week. Where was the Twitter thrashing, the Facebook flogging and the public pounding that I had predicted? What happened to the iPhone iMafia, the Android army, the BlackBerry (BB) boys and the Windows warriors? Where was that famous deep polarisation and devotion that borders on religious mania when your personal phone or platform or company is criticised? If you’re not going to defend your own phone then what else is there left to defend? I am truly surprised and did I mention deeply disappointed? I hope that was a flash in the pan, just a slow week for you – and that you’ll come out all guns blazing this week. Because it’s time to crown the number one smartphone in the world. Last week six beautiful phones were taken through the wringer. The head to head battle was fought on looks and style, dimensions and form factor, screen and resolution as well as processor and OS overhead. Today, the battle gets bloodier. IT REALLY CLICKS!

The Lumia 920’s camera is one of the best on a phone


Rajiv Makhni



Some people call this gimmicky, but I believe that the time has come when user features are more important than selling purely on hardware specs. And each phone has quite a few tricks up its sleeve. The Galaxy S4 has dual camera shooting, dual video conferencing, Air View, gesture control, smart scroll and quite a bit more. The HTC One comes with the awesome and very useful Blinkfeed user interface, dual amplified speakers and a noise cancellation microphone. The Xperia Z is water- and dust-proof, plus has some serious features in the photo shooting department. The BB Z10 OS, with its all-gesture and thumb control interface, is unique; plus all its new features like BB Hub, video call on BBM, plus Peek and Flow, are all serious innovations. The Lumia 920 brings in the breath of fresh air of Windows, and adds multiple free Nokia benefits like Maps and Music. And of course the iPhone 5 is still one of the easiest-to-use phones and keeps adding fantastic new features that actually matter with every OS update.


It’s been predicted that starting from August 2013, almost every single flagship smartphone released by every company will be priced above R50,000. Till that nightmare starts, price is still a huge buying criterion. The iPhone 5 is what started the whole BATTERY LIFE R40,000 and more price war. BlackBerry made a The battery on the S4 has been pumped up to 2600 mAh and the huge mistake by releasing the Z10 at an astronomical price point. switching Octa Core processor only draws raw power when truly Sony was smart and broke from tradition and released the Xperia needed. But it does power up a big screen and lots of whiz-bang Z at a pleasant (if R37,000 can be called pleasant) price. The Lumia features. The Xperia Z and the HTC One clock in at 2300 mAh and 920 is very well-priced (R35,000) for what it offers, but that’s slowboth do a good job of conserving power; the Lumia 920 at 2000 ly becoming the Nokia way. HTC shocked everyone by releasing mAh is also a contender as the OS isn’t a battery hog. The BB Z10 the One for R42,000 (everybody expected it to be the first phone to with 1800 mAh and the iPhone 5 with 1660 mAh bring up the rear. be at R50,000), and the price of the S4 is now being predicted at In real-life usage, the mAh is just a ballpark estimate of true batR52,000 (don’t do that, Samsung). tery life – other things like the processor, the OS, the size of the That’s pretty much it. For the last two weeks, I’ve gone through screen and how battery hungry some features are – truly matter. almost every single thing that a phone can be judged on. All that’s left is a verdict. It’s a tough one to call as the gap between compaCAMERA nies, feature sets, product line, hardware as well as style are as close It’s not just about megapixels anymore (it never was), as as it’s ever going to be – but I’m going ahead and doing it optics, sensor technology, size of pixels, image processing A CLEAR WINNER anyway. inside the camera and the software matter. The optic con- The HTC One is the The iPhone 5 is an amazing phone but needs a fresh best phone in the tenders are – UltraPixel vs PureView vs Cybershot vs and totally new exterior as well as an OS that doesn’t still world and has great Apple Optics vs BB Time Shift. The 13.0 megapixel cam- looks to go with it look the way it did four years ago. The Z10 is an excellent era on the S4 sounds very cutting-edge and it actueffort from BB, let down by the price as also the fact that ally does deliver very well in action shots and very it needs more time to convert non-BB users. The Xperia colourful pictures, not so much in low light. The Z is also a fantastic phone but needs that one killer feaHTC One comes with only 4.0 MP but UltraPixel ture that makes it stand tall. The Lumia 920 has it all technology makes it the absolute best in low light, but its Windows OS still needs to get to a tipping point and there’s excellent clarity in action shots. The for it to get some serious momentum. That leaves the Lumia 920 may not be as good as the real HTC One and the Samsung S4. I’m going to go with the PureView technology on the 808 phone but it’s HTC One as the winner as this is a phone that takes some still one of the best on a phone (night shots do serious risks, has a lot of disruptors, has come out with disappoint a bit though). There is 13.0 MP on an aggressive price (relatively speaking) and has great Xperia Z too (no colour bleeds, great contrasts, looks to go with all that. The S4’s biggest weakness is its very fast, but does tend to choke a bit on low looks and what is predicted to be a very high price. If light images) and iPhone 5 (best software, very Samsung also takes on the price war – and prices the S4 easy to use, some artificial enhancements tend below R42,000 – this crown may shift. Till then, the HTC to play their role in some shots though) and One rules! There you have it – don’t disappoint me this BB Z10 (surprisingly great camera from BB, time and let the real flogging truly begin! Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of excellent Time Shift capabilities) brings it in Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3 at 8.0 MP. APRIL 14, 2013




THE KITCHEN PHARMACY Everyday herbs have great healing potential – particularly in the summer


DIGESTIVE WONDER OST INDIAN kitchens Mint or pudina is excellent for stock several digestion and even nausea, herbs that contain especially in the summer healing properties. In the past, such herbs were used as medicine. The mortar and pestle were used to prepare indigenous chutcommon kitchen herb, Tulsi aids neys, and the juices of can either be added to herbs were added to veg- digestion and vegetable juices and etables in order to incoron an empty helps fight taken porate them into our stomach or added to food mix. constipation. lemon and ginger juice and diluted with water Here’s a quick lowdown It also boosts (the juice: water ratio of a few traditional herbs immunity should be 1:5). It also found in the Indian aids digestion and helps kitchen that have great levels fight constipation. Tulsi healing potential. also boosts your immuniMint: Pudina, a routine part of staty levels. ple Indian meals, has several Aloe Vera: This is a wonderful herb healthy properties. A teaspoon of to cure summer rashes and skin mint leaves, crushed with ginger, damage. Applying aloe vera juice and rock salt added for taste, is an to sun-affected skin helps the skin excellent remedy to prevent nauregenerate faster. Drinking aloe sea in summer. vera juice promotes intestine and Mint leaf liver healing and serves to detoxify garnishes on vegthe digestive tract. etables also Milk thistle: Also known as enhance digestion silymarin, this herb is known to and help calm a promote a healthy liver. Those upset stomsuffering from liver problems relatach. It also ed to high consumption of alcohol controls can benefit immensely from it. the People who are dependent upon excessive painkillers, or have taken several build-up of rounds of antibiotics, can also congas. Adding pudisume milk thistle and aloe vera na to green juice to heal their liver. chilli chutHEALING TOUCH ney in meals Turmeric: Another herb ubiquitous Turmeric has helps conin India, turmeric is known to excellent antiprevent arthritis and joint pains. To septic properties trol hiccups. consume this herb as medicine, and is good for preventing take a raw turmeric root and juice Parsley: This arthritis and joint herb helps a half-inch piece. This can be pains added to milk control urine COOL REMEDY and drunk in infections, Aloe vera helps the night. whose incidence goes up in the cure rashes and summer. It also helps balance the Alternatively, skin damage acidic environment in the kidney one can add caused by and functions as a diuretic (an harsh sunlight raw agent for greater urine turmeric flow). Ultimately, it also juice to veghelps control kidney etable stones. soup. In case one is Basil: Tulsi, another taking turmeric in soup form, FOR A GOOD DETOX then avoid using Milk thistle is good for liver corn flour or rice flour problems related to too much in the soup. alcohol or even the excessive use of painkillers



For more columns by Dr Shikha Sharma and other wellness stories, log on to

APRIL 14, 2013


t r i h S e t i h W e h T er

t n u H


HITE IS flawless. White is pure. And its sheer simplicity merits a spot in your wardrobe. Besides, there’s no better way to welcome summer than to wear a smart white shirt over your jeans or chinos – picture Shah Rukh Khan in the deadly combination of a crisp white shirt, khakis, Aviators and that seductive stubble in Chak De! India, and you’ll see what I mean! The virtues of the white shirt and its ‘must-have’ quality have been extolled by fashion editors and designers. But finding the perfect white shirt isn’t as easy as it sounds. So when you begin playing white shirt huntsman, there may be a few questions even before you begin your quest: What fabric must it be? How do I experiment with it? Will I have to be careful or just go crumpled chic? Will people confuse me for the wardboy? Start your mission by listening to what well-known fashion designers and stylists have to say. “The best thing about a crisp white shirt is that it pairs well with everything, whether it is formal corporate attire or denims for a casual, nonchalant look,” says stylist Pernia Qureshi. “It can easily be moulded to get any look right.” Designer Jattinn Kochhar stresses the importance of the fit. “Wear something not too loose or tight,” he advises. “You don’t want oversize collars or overly fussy details”.

One reporter sets out to find a white shirt that’s on trend, fits well and doesn’t make you look like a driver. Bid her godspeed! by Shreya Sethuraman

THE GAME OF WHITE This colour block georgette panel top from Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna’s collection works perfectly with a pair of black trousers

“There’s nothing better than white on a woman” RAHUL KHANNA, Designer, Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna

“It’s best to go for something with minimum detail” DAVID ABRAHAM, Designer, Abraham&Thakore

THE CLASSIC GAME This Abraham & Thakore men’s shirt is made of cotton poplin, with a regular collar and cuffs. Abraham says poplin is one of the most ideal fabrics for your classic white shirt.


■ It’s always advisable to get your favourite whites dry cleaned ■ Keep your whites folded inside out or wrap them in plastic when storing in your cupboard ■ Avoid spraying perfume directly onto the shirt. That may leave stains on the garment ■ Bleach if necessary as it’s the only colour that resists discolouring ■ Avoid using a very hot iron


According to David Abraham of the label Abraham & Thakore, the fabric and cut are your biggest guidelines when choosing a shirt. Designer Rahul Khanna of the designer label Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna recommends shirts made of ‘mercerised’ fabric (a treatment


■ Get into action as soon as you stain the garment ■ Put some talcum powder and then dab it with white tissues to transfer the stain ■ The worst thing you can do is to use water, as that will only make the stain permanent ■ Make a paste of good quality detergent and apply it on the stain ■ Keep it for a while and hope for the best!

APRIL 14, 2013

(Courtesy Jattinn Kochhar, Pernia Qureshi and Rajesh Pratap Singh)


for cotton cloth, which strengthens it and gives it a lustrous appearance). “The fit has to be just right with a perfect bottom hem. As far as collars are concerned, a small collar is all the rage,” says Khanna. When it comes to fabrics, Abraham roots for poplin and Oxford cottons. For the uninitiated, poplin is a 100 per cent cotton fabric that is tightly woven, making it smooth and shiny. Oxford cottons, on the other hand, have a soft texture and basket-weave appearance. “Go for something with minimum detail,” says Abraham. He suggests pairing them with good old blue jeans or cotton chinos for men.

Photo courtesy: APOORV NIMBEKAR


“Wear something well-fitted, without oversized collars and fussy details” JATTINN KOCHHAR, Designer, Tatha Vastram

WELL-OILED GARB Kochhar’s collection includes herbal organic clothes, which are handspun and dipped into essential oil and dried. This treated fabric will keep you cool in summer

Most people tend to think a classic white shirt is essentially a guy thing – and that women prefer white salwars or will pick a coloured shirt over basic blanc. Such folly only deters a huntswoman from a quest of her own. “You can’t differentiate between men and women when it comes to the white shirt,” says designer Rajesh Pratap Singh. “There’s nothing better than white on a woman,” adds Rahul Khanna. Designer Gautam Gupta says that while white is not the best colour for heavyset women, bleached shirts made from cotton satin add grace to a woman’s body while hiding unslightly bits. “The ideal length would be anything that covers the hips and thighs,” he suggests. Kochhar, however, recommends a cotton-lycra weave, which creates the illusion of being two sizes smaller. “Try to highlight something good about your body. For example, if you have good collarbones, then a yoke above the bust area will draw one’s attention to the collarbone,” he says. Gupta advises skinny women to wear a brightly coloured inner with a 100 per cent linen shirt to emphasise their curves. Kochhar recommends heavyset cotton lycra knot fabric for thin women as it adjusts to, and moves with, your natural shape. “Choose a shirt keeping in mind your body type as well as the occasion,” advises Qureshi. “A slim fit works best for a formal occasion whereas a regular fit lends a more casual look. Also, pick the correct shade of white. Avoid ones with blue/green undertones. Crisp white, ivory or off-white looks better”. According to Rajesh Pratap Singh, what ought to guide you

APRIL 14, 2013

DRAWING A BLANC Team this Rajesh Pratap white shirt with natural khakis or linens, depending on the occasion. For a formal event pair it with bandhgalas, formal suits or dinner jackets

“You should go in for natural fabrics; khadi is ideal” RAJESH PRATAP SINGH, Designer

when buying whites is natural fabrics. “Khadi would be a great idea. Since the shirt is white, stitching details pop up, so make sure the fabric of the shirt you choose is of fine quality,” he says.


A pencil skirt paired with a well-fitted white shirt, perhaps embellished with jewels, will be great for a girls’ night out. If you’re in the mood for something more casual, pair your shirt with your boyfriend’s jeans. Kochhar suggests a multitude of combinations on different occasions. “Try new styles – pin tucks, darts, piping, coloured buttons, bell sleeves, three-quarter length sleeves,” he says. If you’re not obsessed with wearing only designer wear, brands such as Bebe, Blackberrys, Thomas Pink and More Mischief have smartlooking white shirts for men and women. And when the hunt ends, ask not what you can do for your white shirt, but what your white shirt can do for you. Pooja Shah, creative director of More Mischief, says one should infuse one’s own personality into the shirt to stand

out. “A classic white shirt is usually one that has a collar, long sleeves and falls just below the hip for men and just above for women,” she says. But there are many ways for a woman to style the classic, says Qureshi. “They can button it down and wear it with shorts or tuck it in a formal pair of pants or even wear it with a belt around the waist,” she advises. If you’re one for experimentation, coloured pants are a great foil for white. They work well for men as well. The best way to sport a white shirt, however, would be to wear it the way you think you can carry it off. That’s what Rahul Khanna says when he talks about the individual character of the white shirt. “Wear it with shorts, formal chinos, or just roll up the sleeves,” he says. Kochhar, too, prefers the rolled-up look. He recommends wearing a full-sleeved shirt with lungi pants or black dhoti pants. “Not only does the combination look great, it is really comfortable in summer,” he says. So, whether you want to buy a fitted shirt, a shirt two sizes too large, or one with tiny embellishments, you can seldom go wrong with whites. The quest will take you far, will have you notice more details than you thought possible but will reap pristine rewards. Go forth and conquer!

“A slim fit shirt works best for a formal occasion” PERNIA QURESHI, Stylist, Pernia’s Pop Up Shop

COLOUR ME BRIGHT The grey detailing on this shirt by Karan Johar and Varun Bahl adds character, making it stand apart from plain shirts. The neat collar and traditionally buttoned cuff keep the classic look intact




Vidyut Jammwal Photo: HAIDER KHAN







I went to several BREAK OF YOUR LIFE schools, including Force, with I confess that I Army Public John Abraham, still haven’t had School, Dagshai in 2011 one yet

If you weren’t an actor, you would have been... I am a martial artist first and then an actor. Which classic film would you have loved to work in? Jackie Chan’s Police Story. The best thing about your debut film Force was... ...The fact that I swept all the debut awards that year despite playing a villain. The fittest actors in Bollywood. Hrithik Roshan and Suniel Shetty. Your fitness funda. Listen to your body and understand what it needs. Eat for your stomach and not your eyes. Did you go through any special training for your stunts in Commando? I’ve been training in kalaripayattu since I was three years old. We worked hard to create stunts that would be visual spectacles. I trained for months.


Chocolate for sure

Your greatest extravagance. Watches! I’m an obsessive collector. One director you want to work with. From Dibakar Banerjee, Imtiaz Ali and Anurag Kashyap to Vipul Shah and Tigmanshu Dhulia, I want to work with all of them. One thing nobody knows about you. I was once referred to as ‘Apple Bottoms’. How embarrassing! Your favourite street food? APRIL 14, 2013



The time I was offered Commando. The film has given me the canvas and the freedom to do my kind of action, which is beyond anything India has seen before Bhel and pani puri. The best thing about Bollywood is... The consistently evolving narrative and style of storytelling, along with how the industry welcomes talented people, even from a non-film background. Your strategy in a crisis is... ...To go through the crisis. That’s the best strategy. What’s in your fridge right now? Gulab jamuns. I’ve been craving them for some time. The song that lifts your spirits. Lutt Jawan from Commando. Your dream destination. Rishikesh. One thing you will never eat. Anything non-vegetarian. You destress with. Training. The last line of your autobiography would read… I am with the universe that created me.

— Interviewed by Veenu Singh

Living, breathing and eating Commando and getting hours of martial arts training

my movies


Force - 34 times!


Hangover 2


Enter The Dragon


Robocop in 1987


Singh is Kinng

Hindustantimes Brunch 14 April 2013  
Hindustantimes Brunch 14 April 2013  

Hindustantimes Brunch 14 April 2013