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WEEKLY MAGAZINE, NOVEMBER 11, 2012 Free with your copy of Hindustan Times

Gold and silver, diamonds and steel, gadgets and gizmos – whip up some shopping frenzy this Diwali

Cracker of an issue Return of the kamarpeti ■ Gold goes heavy (and light) ■ Legend of the metal fest ■ Fierce festive looks ■ Why steel is a big deal ■ Eco-friendly party ideas ■



The restaurant wars

SANJOY NARAYAN The Italian job


The iPad killer is here


Down nostalgia street



LETTER OF THE WEEK! From kaapi to cappuccino YOUR COVER story (Battle of the Brews, November 4) was a well-researched article. It traced India’s journey from the kaapi to the cappuccino, opening up an aromatic world of lattes and more! It was enlightening to have the coffee connoisseurs’ views on the coffee chains that have mushroomed in the recent past. Coffee is more than just a buzzword. This issue was the perfect way to wake up to déjà brew! — DIRGHA SAMPAT, via email Dirgha wins a Flipkart voucher worth `2,500. Congrats!

For the love of caffeine THE COVER story (Battle Of The Brews, November 04) was a treat for a coffee aficionado like me. With myriad coffee houses, one can reach out to a fine aroma any time. The assessment of various coffee houses by your distinguished coffee connoisseurs made for a delectable read. — KANIKA CHANDRA, via email

The best letter gets a Flipkart voucher worth R2,500!! The shopping voucher will reach the winner within seven to 10 working days. In case of any delays, please contact

by Jayanto

Brunch Opinion

WALK OF LIGHT! by Manit Moorjani


HERE’S THAT familiar chill in the air... Every house has its own display of lights, lanterns, diyas, and its own pile of goodies. For some people, Diwali could be a walk down memory lane. And for others, it’s “the day the tummy had too much”! (Always). Then there’s the shopping and the gifts. There is the puja, the hazaar ke crackers, the stacks of dry fruit boxes and sweets (and of late, also the chocolates!). These are the Diwali clichés that never become boring. And we always look forward to them. Wish you all a wonderful Diwali!

Rules Of The Game...

TEXAS HOLD ’EM POKER by Samar Khurshid


HE MOST commonly played game. Each player is dealt two cards. Three cards are open on the table and each player must make the best combination of five cards. First the dealer burns (discards) a card and the ‘Flop’ (three cards) opens. Then after the betting is over, the dealer burns another card and opens the ‘Turn’. Finally, after betting, the dealer burns another card and opens the ‘River’ card.


Treasuring your treasures

Brunch post-its

You never want to part with your precious gems. And we’ll tell you how to take good care of them too! Log on for some secret tips!

by Shreya Sethuraman

Game Over

Two days for the late Yash Chopra’s last love story. Have got your tickets yet? Film, music and literature fests. Just follow the path to erudition! ■ Sunday brunches. Bring out the wine and cheese, por favor! ■ Hoarding all the Diwali dry-fruit hampers. And the fire crackers too. Boom!! ■ Test matches are back. Now that’s what you call cricket.


EDITORIAL: Poonam Saxena (Editor), Aasheesh Sharma, Tavishi Paitandy Rastogi, Rachel Lopez, Mignonne Dsouza, Veenu Singh, Parul Khanna Tewari, Yashica Dutt, Amrah Ashraf, Saudamini Jain, Shreya Sethuraman, Manit Moorjani

NOVEMBER 11, 2012

Combinations ■ High card ■ Pair ■ Two pairs ■ Trips (three of a kind) ■ Straight (five cards in a row) ■ Flush (five of the same suit) ■ Full house (three of a kind and a pair) ■ Four of a kind ■ Straight Flush (a sequence of five of the same suit) ■ Royal flush (a sequence from 10 to ace of the same suit) Photo: THINKSTOCK

Superstorms and cyclones. What did we do wrong? Traffic jams. Mile-long ones at that. Everyone’s shopping! ■ Nail extensions... but WHY? ■ Happy Diwali mass texts. ■ Au revoir, BBC Entertainment. Did you hear our heart break? ■

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



This week, read Bohemian Rhapsody by Shreya Sethuraman. Poetry is more than just words. Log onto



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



The Metal Fest Photos: IMAGESBAZAAR

So what’s the story behind Dhanteras? by Manit Moorjani


O, WE’RE still left with that one nagging question: what’s Dhanteras all about? Why do we celebrate it? Of course, most of us know that we’re supposed to buy metal objects or utensils and jewellery, but that’s about it. So we decided to do some digging up for you. Read on.


Let’s begin with how we celebrate Dhanteras. Traditionally, everybody buys new bartans and jewellery; there is also a pooja on that day. “Dhanteras marks the beginning of the fiveday Diwali festivities,” says businessman Naresh Garg, whose family has followed the Dhanteras tradition faithfully, every year, for generations. “Earlier, we used to exchange old utensils with new ones for the home. But over the years, it has translated into buying new metal jewellery.” Adds Sanjay Kamath, a priest at Delhi’s Hanuman Mandir, “Even an inexpensive utensil purchased on that day is considered shubh (auspicious). That’s why everybody

buys something or the other, even if it’s a katori.”


Buying shiny new metal is fine, but how did the tradition actually begin? What is the lore behind the ritual? This is how the story goes: There was once a newlywed prince who was doomed to die on the fourth day of his marriage, according to his horoscope. But when Yamaraj (the god of death) reached the prince’s house on that day, disguised as a snake, he was met with a dazzling heap of metal artefacts and brightly burning lamps everywhere. The prince’s smart young wife had been on her toes making these preparations all day. Besides the collection of sparkling metal objects and diyas, she had also made her husband bathe in the evening, sat him down, sung songs and told him stories all night, so he wouldn’t go to sleep. Blinded by the sparkle of the jewellery and utensils, Yamaraj couldn’t cross the threshold. He just sat down on the heap of utensils, heard the pleasant songs and stories and went away in

As with any other festival, there is more than one mythological tale behind it

the morning. So the newlywed wife, by placing gold at the entrance of the house (not tough for a princess!), saved her husband’s life. Ever since, husbands have been buying precious metal for their wives on the day. Now there’s a bargain if you ever saw one!


But as with almost any Hindu festival, there is more than one mythological tale behind it. Another version has it that when the gods and demons were churning the ocean in search of amrit, the elixir of life, Dhanvantari, the physician of all gods, emerged from the ocean with the amrit in his hands. That day became known as Dhanteras, and it marks the discovery of Ayurveda, the science of healing using natural ways. Explains Hemanand Joshi, another senior priest with Hanuman Mandir, “Dhanteras is the day of amrit sidhi yog. Also, an atte ka diya is placed outside the house for Yamraj pooja to avoid akaal mrityu (premature or untimely death)”.

“A fit, healthy body - that is the best fashion statement” – Jess C. Scott NOVEMBER 11, 2012

MIDNIGHT MANIA Dhanteras is to jewellers what a carnival is to kids. Buyers visit jewellery shops on that day because buying baubles is considered auspicious. Some jewellery stores stay open way past midnight. Says Ishu Datwani of Mumbai’s Anmol Jewellers, “We keep our store open till 1am, as customers just keep coming.” Delhi’s Kesar Fine Jewellers’ Lalit Parakh says there’s a surge in demand that begins from Navratras and goes on till Diwali. “In this period, one can expect double or triple sales, as compared to any other day. But we pull the shutters down by 9pm, as after that, staying open becomes a security concern. It’s only in Dariba Kalan in Old Delhi that one can buy metal items like chandi ke bartan till late at night that day.”

Both stories point at a common Dhanteras ethos. Dhanteras symbolises the victory of life over death. Just like the husband lived on owing to the dhan (wealth) in the first story, the amrit in the second story represents the knowledge of a healthy life. But husbands be warned. Precious metals burn holes in pockets!



Take Out The Kamarpeti

Girls, go beyond the jhumka-haar routine this Diwali. Traditional jewellery (bajubands, hathphool, kamarpeti) are way more exciting by Yashica Dutt


ALL IT the Instagram effect, but everything vintage is suddenly desirable when it comes to fashion. And even though fashion glossies have been asking you to dig into your grandma’s closet for a long time, this season is the time to try harder. Fish out those exquisite pieces of jewellery that you’ve previously looked at with nothing but amused scepticism. “You mean this gold

waistbelt that crooked-faced motherin-laws from Eighties Bollywood wore?” Yes, that’s what you should be wearing, along with other not-so-evilby-association antiques, like the hathphool, bajuband and mathapattees. That is, if you don’t want to repeat the jhumka-haar look from last Diwali. We’ve got together a few such pieces and some sound advice from those in the know. ALL TO WAIST

This kamarpeti from Anmol Jewellers can elevate a plain denim dress to festival chic


waist,” says Anaita Shroff Adajania, fashion director of Vogue India. Alternatively, you could also get on the body-belt wagon. “Maharajas used to wear body belts that went across both shoulders and had a clasp in the middle. Try the same with crystal studded chains with a fitted sheath dress,” says accessory designer Sasha Grewal. Shroff suggests you wear one under a black shirt and a flared pant and let it peep out for a sultry effect.

These were supposed to keep your weight in check in a time when there were no measuring tapes, says Khushboo Gupta, jewellery designer at Boombox Designs. Today you can pair kamarpetis with T-shirts and shorts if you keep the rest of the look simple. For an afternoon event, try this: “Wear a simple cotton kurta with white Pakistani pants and fresh flowers in your hair. Use the chunky gold belt to add definition to the

PAJEBS Give the tried and tested anklet a rest and try the thick gold and silver pajebs with dainty trinkets. Since this is a statement piece, don’t be afraid to show it off. Wear ankle-length pants, a kneelength skirt or even a fitted churidar for maximum effect. And don’t think you need to wear them only with flats or tra-

ditional footwear. Add them to your favourite platform shoes instead of the same old crystal heels for a stunning result. “I would love to wear them to a brunch with linen shorts and ballet flats,” says Anaita Shroff Adajania.

NOVEMBER 11, 2012


Sonam Kapoor was the modern champion of traditional jewellery at the India International Jewellery Week





You’ve seen them in old wedding videos or in Chanel’s Paris Bombay Pre-fall collection last year. Even Manish Arora used a hathphool for his Spring-Summer 2013 collection. So you could either opt for a traditional mommy version as a statement piece with a cotton salwar-kurta or the modified variety. “Instead of rings for all fingers, we have a single ring for the middle finger with a delicate pearl/gold chain with ghungroos that connects to a single bracelet,” says Amrapali CEO Akansha Arora.

You might remember Malaika Arora doing the whole maang-tikka thing 20 years back in a music video, launching herself to super-hot, sex symbol status. But that’s not what we’re talking about. Think a maang tikka with two chains that trail to the back of your earrings. Except that the chains are in thin kundan or small pearls and you could partition your hair to tie them in a bun. Or “pair a maatha patti or the South Indian sagi phool (round, floral design, bridal hair ornament) with a dramatic long skirt and a fishtail braid along with a fitted embroidered top,” suggests accessory designer Sasha Grewal of Kaabia & Sasha, who showcased at the last Lakme Fashion Week. You can drip glamour if you listen to Vogue’s Anaita Shroff Adajania: “Don’t limit traditional pieces to the same context. Combine a maatha pattee with a retro hairstyle and long dresses for oomph.”


Wear this neon Manish Arora hathphool with a printed floral dress


BROOCHES Get over your Sex and The City hangover and their boring flower brooches. Think bright, serpent shapes from Felix Bendish or the big old ones like the British soldiers of yore. “Medals and other military ornamentation are very fashionable right now. Wearing them over a plain Kanjeevaram sari sans any neckpiece and with the right attitude could do wonders,” says Sasha Grewal. Or work this. “The turban ornament – kalgi – can be used as an interesting brooch or as a unique hair ornament. The characteristic paisley shapes studded with colourful stones and pearls make for a perfect Diwali look,” says Khushboo Gupta.

Matha patttees work well with smoky eyes and a short kurta-salwar


Use this brooch by Dolly Oberoi to pin the pleats of your sari


CHOTI Braids are back and if you too are planning to do your hair in a simple braid, a fishtail or even a complicated French plait, you could decorate it with a gold/silver clip (choti) that is attached at the base of the braid and runs along the length, with golden threads hanging from the bottom. “You can add extra gleam to the hair by wearing the hair choti and showing it off upfront in a side braid,” says Khushboo Gupta.


Use Ganjam’s choti lat to showcase your fishtail braid this season

We’re not talking about the snakeshaped bajuband, the lucky charm of TV vamps, circa the 2000s. Think jadau heirloom pieces that’ve been posing as statement pieces for quite some time. And there are more ways of sporting them than you thought. “I saw a man wear a thick gold bajuband over a black three-piece suit and I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve never seen a man do that,” says Anaita Shroff Adajania. Women can create the same contrast by wearing an off-shoulder top, jeans and bajuband for parties during the season, she says. Adds jewellery designer Anuradha Chabbra: “Pair a bajuband on a full-sleeve blouse worn with a rich Kanjeevaram sari sans jewellery.”


Pull off a heavy brocade dress with this bajuband from Jewels by Anu

JHOOMAR Traditionally a Muslim headpiece and a few years back Aishwarya’s jewel of choice in Kajra Re, a jhoomar works extremely well with the clothing trends of the season. “Shararas and anarkalis are going to be huge this season too and a jhoomar looks extremely elegant with both. But one has to keep in mind that even if the outfit is slightly ornate, the jhoomar has to be the key piece of the look. Especially if one decides to go to any card parties this season,” says jewellery designer Anuradha Chabbra.

NATH The big ol’ nose ring for the bride has been reinvented for less heavyweight occasions too, with a small nose ring and a diamante string that connects to the earrings. “When you opt for a nath, keep your makeup minimal and the rest of the outfit plain, to not look tacky,” advises Sasha Grewal. But if you wish to introduce an edge to your look, wear it every day during the festive season. “I have seen people wearing it every day as a strong style statement with whatever they are wearing,” says Anaita Shroff Adajania. Photo: IMAGES BAZAAR

“Jewellery takes people’s minds off your wrinkles” – Sonja Henie NOVEMBER 11, 2012



Why Gold Is Old


A navratna gemstone silver neckpiece from Apala by Sumit could give gold a run for it style. Price on request

Get the gilded edge with substitutes in silver, platinum or lightweight 18-carat gold

agency, lightweight jewellery works best. “I don’t want to feel decked up like a bride on Diwali. So, wearing a light chain with a pendant or a light bracelet is better than a necklace. It is safer, too,” says Saxena. Also, compared to gold, silver and diamonds offer that unmistakable white-on-white look which can be carried off well by most people, says Varda Goenka, owner of Diagold Jewels

Fresh flowers with jewellery can look even better than just gold

by Veenu Singh


OING FOR gold on Diwali and Dhanteras has always been perceived as auspicious. But in case you want to break away from those who dig just 24-carat gold, there is a range of lightweight alternatives available in the market, too. Of course, the tradition of buying jewellery, particularly gold, is meant to usher in good fortune in the festive season. Even as gold continues to appeal to the traditional investor and the aficionado, with festive frenzy rising to a fever pitch in the run-up to the wedding season, you can also acquire the gilded edge with substitutes in silver, platinum and lightweight 18-carat gold. In its purest form, the yellow metal is still the most preferred. But monotony has set in among many urban buyers. “Every year on Dhanteras I pick up a piece of gold jewellery, but this year I am looking for alternatives,” says Delhi-based HR consultant Shubha Srivastava, 39.


Fortunately for Srivastava, brands such as Tanishq have festive collections that focus on lighter styles and metals that can be worn every day. “Our Mia range of 18karat jewellery is spread across

al gold jewellery is exciting but also profitable,” says Sumit Sawhney of Apala Jewellers. The Italian collection by jewellery portal CaratLane, for instance, keeps the use of gold at minimal levels while still managing to look chunky. People who still hanker for gold can always get their silver jewellery goldplated. “Silver in its original form is beautiful and sometimes easier to handle than gold, but I still get customers who want to buy silver with gold-plating as it is less expensive than actual gold,” says Mamta Gupta, designer at Zariin Jewellery which offers innovative jewellery options with 22-carat gold plating. The Platinum Guild, too, has launched a line of easy-to-wear diamond jewellery. “It is 30 times rarer than gold, exclusive and distinctive,” says Vaishali Banerjee, country manager India, Platinum Guild International. “Recent research indicates that the desire to own platinum is growing.” A new, non-gold trend which is catching every designer’s eye is floral jewellery. Fresh flowers, combined with jewellery in various designs, can accessorise formal Diwali outfits better than gold. One way of sticking to the Dhanteras tradition of buying jewellery in the festive season without breaking the bank is to pick up pendants, rings, or earrings rather than elaborate neckpieces. So the purchase is just a token. Or, buy gold and silver coins from established players such as reputed jewellers and trusted banks. Don’t let the dazzle of gold blind you to the sparkle of other lightweight options this Dhanteras.


earrings, finger rings, pendants and bangles,” says Tanishq COO, CK Venkatraman. “Lightweight bangles and chains are in demand and we have options to suit everyone’s pocket,” adds Rahul Gupta of PP Jewellers. For women professionals such as Sapna Saxena, 42, owner of a Delhi-based travel PUT A RING ON IT

This floral silver ring from Safeera Jewels makes for a bright, festive statement. Price `5,700

Delhi homemaker Shivani Sharma, 35, has always preferred silver over the yellow metal. And she is happy about the shift towards the shinier white alternative. “This Diwali I will wear silver with ethnic clothes and no one can question me about not wearing gold,” she states. “Breaking away from convention-

THINK DIFFERENT Alternative jewellery – silver, gold-plated or diamond – goes well with most outfits, be it traditional or Western ■ The white-on-white look (silver and diamonds) works well for weddings and other special occasions ■ Don’t match every piece of jewellery with your clothes. Mix a little, experiment a little. Contrast is key ■ Instead of decking up like a Christmas tree, wear a

single statement piece – whether it is a neckpiece, earrings or a bracelet ■ Take as much care of your alternative jewellery items as you would your gold ornaments ■ In case of gold-plated jewellery, make sure you buy it from a certified brand, which offers the best value ■ Look for a guarantee on the polish

(Courtesy Varda Goenka of Diagold and Mamta Gupta of Zariin)

“I have never hated a man enough to give his diamonds back” – Zsa Zsa Gabor NOVEMBER 11, 2012





Gold plated necklace with blue agates and topaz from Zariin Price `12,000

Lightweight neckpiece from Mia by Tanishq. Price `21, 727


Estelle golden antique bracelet from Price `995



Shubhkamna collection by Utssaav. Available at Homeshop18. Price `13,600

Solitaire ring in 18k yellow gold, from Caratlane. Price, `15,250


Lakshmi Ganesha silver coins from Apala for good luck. They can be worn as pendants too. Or choose a 50-gram gold coin with 999 purity from MMTC. Price on request.

This Dhanteras check out these options in silver, platinum, diamond

Sparkle Street


Antique ring by Posy Samriddh in 92.5 sterling silver with gold plating from Price `3,600

Ruby Embrace earrings in 18k yellow gold. Price on request



Maang tikka made of kundan, diamonds and ruby set in yellow gold. Price `40,000 onwards

Dance of Snakes earrings from Sanchi by MMTC. Price R1 lakh to R1.5 lakh


Florals are a statement this season and you can make yours with this silver ring by Diagold. Price `25,000


Black onyx sterling silver earrings from Radhika Jha. Available at Pink Gold. Price `7,250


Bangles crafted in 18k gold with jaali work on the inside. Available at Notandas jewellers. Price on request


Swan-shaped earrings in blue sapphires and green tourmalines from Ganjam. Price on request

Diamond solitaire ring by Forevermark. Price on request


Rajputana Collection of watches for men and women from Nebula. Price `90,000 onwards


Brilliantly coloured bracelet in enamel. Price `95,000 NOVEMBER 11, 2012


Platinum love bands from Orra. At Khanna Jewellers. Price `10,000 onwards



Gadgets For Good Times

Sick of barfi boxes and chocolate hampers? Plug into these great gift ideas and have a digital Diwali by Rajiv Arora

AURAL STIMULATION Skullcandy Supreme Sound Cassette: You may have seen a gazillion wired headphones with an inline microphone and controls to manage audio as well as phone calls. But what if we told you that you can fold these cans and carry them wherever you go? And, oh, don’t let us start on its cool blue shade. Price: approx R3,900


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THE HEAT IS ON Philips Induction cooktop HD4907: Giving an induction cooktop to someone is the easiest way to show how much you love and care about them. We have come to this conclusion after exhausting our annual quota of subsidised LPG cylinders. Price: approx R3,500

EXPRESS YOURSELF Boogie Board: An ideal gift for those who love scribbling on paper but loathe typing it out later. Make your notes on the Boogie Board using a stylus and transfer them to the computer with a data cable. Save paper, go digital. Price: approx R4,000

RIGHT HEAR RIGHT NOW iPod Shuffle: One thing you should know about the iPod Shuffle is that it doesn’t have a screen. So if you don’t mind pressing the next button over and over again in the hope of listening to the song that’s stuck in your head, the Shuffle is a good music player for you (it’s an Apple product, after all). Price: approx R3,700

THE UPPER HAND Anno Domini LED watch: Reading the time on this watch is quite a task: the manual tells us that the numbers on the double hyphen separator indicate hours and the ones below it stand for minutes. It’s not as simple as it sounds. The only reason for this band to be on this list is because it looks very, very cool on your wrist. And it doesn’t even burn a hole in your pockets. Price: approx R500

JOLLY WALKER Desire DSM 100 Swing Walker Massager: A good gift for those lazy bums, always cribbing about no time to join the gym. Why? This massager dissolves fat, improves blood circulation, relaxes your spinal column and tones thighs. All while you watch TV! Price: approx R5,000

NOVEMBER 11, 2012


STORE ALL Seagate External Hard Disc (1TB): You won’t have to worry about losing data on your computer or laptop again. The Seagate Hard Disc comes with a 3.0 USB cable but can work with 2.0 USB too. This means that it can back up all your data in about as much time as Felix Baumgartner took to create history. Price: R4,950

SEE THE BIG PICTURE Eyeclops mini projector: Blow up every photograph and all the videos stored on your mobile phone or DVD player by projecting it on any surface with the help of this palm-sized wonder. Price: approx R4,500

CONTROL FREAK Kymera Universal Remote Wand: All you Harry Potter fans can now relive your wizardly fantasies. You can control many of your gadgets (TV, fans and lighting devices) at home with this wand. The remote control recognises your hand movements and makes you feel like a sorcerer (oversized robes, nocturnal pets and sorcerer’s hat not included). Price: approx R3,500


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A GREAT FIND NFC (Near Field Communication) tags: They work on the basis of short range wireless technology and act like a Bluetooth device. Once two objects with NFC tags are placed next to each other, these automatically connect. You can quickly copy contact information from a business associate or a friend, and transfer data between NFC-enabled phones too. Imagine you pass a poster for a movie you’ve wanted to see. If it has an NFC smart tag, you could hold your phone next to it and instantly get trailers, show timings and links to buy tickets online. Price: A pack of 10 NFC Tag bundles with NFC keychain and stickers costs about $16 (approx R880) at (shipping extra).

WATCH WHERE YOU ARE GOING Garmin Nuvi 40LM: A no-frills navigator for your car that takes you from point A to point B accurately. It’s easy to understand and has a basic layout. The voice of the navigator may remind you of a bad alien movie which you won’t watch ever again. But as long as it takes you to your destination, who cares! Price: approx R8,450

PICTURE PERFECT Sony DPF HD-800 digital photo frame: Tired of looking at antique photo frames? Replace all of them in one go with Sony’s digital photo frame. Its 8-inch LCD display can not only put over 3,000 pictures on a slideshow, but also play soothing music in the background. Price: approx R6,500

IN YOUR HANDS Micromax Funbook: Have you been bitten by the iPad bug, but can’t afford a tablet? Then the Funbook is the one for you. It works on the Android platform, has a 7-inch screen and an expandable storage capacity of 32 GB. It may not be as good as Apple, but it’s one of the best in its league. Price: approx R7,000

CAPTURE THIS Canon Powershot A2400IS: We have nothing to say about this product. Not because we are feeling lazy but because TV advertisements featuring Bollywood actresses have said all that there is to say about point-andshoot cameras. Price: approx R7,270

NOVEMBER 11, 2012




1 3


I was impressed by the snackier elements of Otto Infinito’s menu 2. Umame is a fun place to go to with pleasant ambience, reasonable food and good service at 2 prices that are not excessive 3. Ellipsis aims to give you a meal as good as anything you would get in New York 1.

Vir Sanghvi

I think Delhi has better food. But – here’s the twist – as the restaurant scene hots up, Bombay may well be gaining an edge


S IT my imagination or are people in Bombay more obsessed with the Bombay-Delhi rivalry than people in Delhi? All the people I know in Delhi are fascinated by elements of the Bombay experience (the film industry, the sea, the tall buildings, etc.) without feeling at all threatened by the city. In Bombay, however, it is still fashionable to rubbish Delhi, to say how small townish, how unsophisticated and parochial it is, etc. etc. One aspect of the Bombay-Delhi rivalry that nearly always crops up when the issue is discussed is the restaurant scene. Having now lived in both cities and having studied the subject at close quarters for many years, I think the answer is clear. Delhi has better food. But – and here’s the twist – as the restaurant scene hots up, Bombay may well be gaining an edge. Over the last month or so, I’ve been to three new (or newish) restaurants in Bombay and all three have been pleasant surprises. The big boy on the list is Otto Infinito largely because of its pedigree. It is owned by Kishore Bajaj who made his reputation in men’s tailoring (Bada Saab) and his fortune from real estate before venturing into the restaurant business. Bajaj owns the Bombay Hakkasan, part of the global chain of glitzy upmarket Chinese restaurants and his Yauatcha (part of the Hakkasan group) must rank as one of my favourite restaurants in India’s commercial capital. It is bright, buzzy and cheerful, and serves dim sum all day. When it opened, there were teething problems but these have now been largely sorted out and it is a fun place that is usually packed. Otto Infinito is next door to Yauatcha in the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), but differs from Bajaj’s other ventures in that it is entirely his own, not part of some global chain. The idea is to run a happy Mediterranean restaurant that can be different things at different times: it does snappy breakfasts for financial analysts who can’t wait to check on the Tokyo market; light lunches for people who work in the area; food-on-the-go for those in a hurry; and casual but elegant dining at dinner time. As with all of Bajaj’s places, Otto Infinito will get better with time but I loved the concept, liked the restaurant and was impressed by the snackier elements of the menu (panini, pizza, cheesecake etc.). The pastas have caught on too and the raviolis (chorizo or truffled mushroom) are especially popular. Now that Bombay is cooling down, Otto Infinito will offer al fresco dining, which will be nicer. Better still is that unlike Bajaj’s other places, prices are

rude food


surprisingly low for food and ambience of this quality: a basic pizza for under `300; sandwiches at around `220 to `375; and a full breakfast (eggs, bacon, hash browns, fruit, yoghurt etc.) at `275. My favourite breakfast dish was the Moroccan Berber Omelette at `250. Far more ambitious than Otto Infinito is Ellipsis, many months in the making, located in the heart of South Bombay and aiming to give you a meal as good as anything you would get in New York. The site has been the graveyard of many good restaurants, most of which made so little impression on me that I barely remember their names (Villa something, Many Flags, etc.). But my guess is that Ellipsis will break the jinx. The restaurant was recommended to me by Brunch’s Rachel Lopez, who is pretty obsessed with the Bombay-Delhi rivalry herself and who rated it as one of the have-to-go-to places in Bombay. I went for lunch (dinner is fancier) and though I was told that the main chef was off that day, the food was still pretty amazing. The pork buns, sandwiches, burgers and the like were world class and I can’t wait to go back for dinner to see how that can possibly be even better. I sneaked into Umame, a restaurant on the first floor of the Eros cinema building without a booking and for most of my meal remained entirely anonymous. So I can tell you that though the place had its share of celebrities (S Ramadorai of TCS, Rita Mehta, the founder of Cine Blitz, etc.) the waiters treated everyone with the same politeness and attention. The food is a mix: pop Japanese (sushi, spicy rolls, etc.); fun Chinese (crispy aromatic duck); basic Thai (curries); and some Western. I thought the Japanese was okay (basic conveyor-belt quality sushi with pellets of tightly-pressed, very cold rice) though it may be a good idea to clean the fish more thoroughly (it is not nice to find a fish bone in your sashimi). Chinese soup dumplings were fun if slightly doughy (but then you’ve got to keep the soup in); and the Massaman curry was tasty and authentic (though it could do with something for texture: peanuts or potatoes perhaps). But the standout dishes were the scallops wrapped in bacon (not sure the quality of the scallop lived up to the quality of the bacon; the dish would work as well and have a lower food cost with prawns) and an outstanding pork belly. It is a fun place to go to with a pleasant ambience, reasonable food and good service at prices that are not excessive, so I would recommend it. Which brings us back to the Bombay-Delhi rivalry. None of the newer places I’ve been to in Delhi over the last month lived up to the standards of the Bombay restaurants. What was most noteworthy about them, I thought, was that they had opened in parts of Delhi that I have always regarded as gastronomic wastelands. And that alone is worth celebrating. You don’t usually expect to have great meals in Okhla or even at a Crowne Plaza hotel so I was astonished to find that the food at the Okhla Crowne Plaza was so good. This may have something to do with the fact that the Intercontinental group, having thrown away its historical brand advantage in India, is now determined to recover its lost market position by managing all of its Indian properties itself. (Crowne Plaza is an Intercontinental brand.)

Sometimes this takes the form of bizarre concepts. 4 The menu at ChaoBella (their spelling, not mine) 5 describes it as “an authentic Chinese Italian restaurant”, thereby robbing the word “authentic” of any meaning at all. It is actually a multi-cuisine restaurant with Italian and Chinese menus not some idiotic fusion place. The restaurant is proudest of its Chinese food (the dim sum chef worked at the Oberoi’s Taipan) and everything I had from his menu was fine. But they need to take more pride in their Italian food (cooked by Indian chefs) which I thought was better than the Chinese. But, no matter which of the two cuisines you choose, it is nice to get authentic hand-pulled noodles and fresh tagliatelle in Okhla. Who says Delhi’s food scene is not changing? And Intercontinental finally seems to be getting it right. Just a month or so after I complained that it was impossible to get a good meal in Delhi’s South Extension. I had the best and most authentic Chinese meal I’ve eaten in India in ages at a new restaurant, on top of the Croma store. China Doll is run by the family which runs the (not very nice) Moti Mahal Deluxe in South Ex but it marks an attempt by the new generation to go upmarket and do something different. The room is airy and high-ceilinged and the décor is tasteful. But the food is the real star. The kitchen relies on Sanjeev Goswami who used to run the late, lamented The Chinese in Connaught Place and who owns many Indian restaurants in China. Goswami has imported a team of chefs from Hunan who serve the sort of food they actually eat in China. I had a pork belly that was dripping with chilli flavour, velvety, spicy fish, deliciously sour beans, and much more. Nobody in Bombay serves Chinese food this authentic and even in Delhi only two restaurants do Chinese dishes that are as good (the capital’s branch of Royal China, and China Kitchen). The problem is that the service is terrible – as bad as Moti Mahal Deluxe South Ex. Waiters don’t know the food, managerial staff are functional illiterates, and everyone seems to have been trained to wander around the restaurant avoiding looking at customers. Given how brilliant the food is, it is crazy to run this restaurant so badly. With a bit of luck they’ll get it right soon enough. And once they do, I’ll go back. As must you. Food this good is hard to find.

New places have opened in parts of Delhi that I have always regarded as gastronomic wastelands


ChaoBella is actually a multi-cuisine restaurant with Italian and Chinese menus, not some idiotic fusion place 5. At China Doll, I had the best and most authentic Chinese meal I’ve eaten in India in ages




Rajiv Makhni


IZE DOES matter. Thankfully, in this case Early it seems to be the other end of the tape that indications matters. Small seems to be preferred over big, diminutive will conquer the immense, and petite seem to will win over huge. suggest that THE MONARCH the iPad The iPad has been a ground-breaking device that rewrote market rules and redefined on-the-go Mini is computing. With sales hovering around 90 miloutselling lion pieces, the iPad is the undisputed king in its category. Many have tried to take it on, the comthe original petition has played every card it can (price, feaiPad by a tures, looks, subsidisation, giveaways) and none wide margin. have come anywhere close to the iPad in both aura and numbers. And suddenly, out of the blue, there Here’s why is an iPad killer – and this one is guaranteed to take the crown away from the unbeaten champion of the world. The only problem – it’s an iPad that will unseat the iPad. And that’s not how this story was supposed to be written.





The iPad Mini has taken off like wildfire. While it may not have had those iconic serpentine lines weaving through Apple stores – the demand has been terrific. Apple released record sales numbers – three million iPads sold in three days. That is huge! That is amazing! That is strange! Yes, strange, as it says three million iPads – not individual sales numbers for each. We don’t know how many of the new full-size iPads, nor the breakup of iPad 2 or 3 or refurbished units. Three million is the straight number. And buried in that three million number lies what I believe is the greatest truth to have come out from Apple: The end of an era. I believe that out of the three million iPads sold, 2.5 million or so were iPad Minis. POCKET-FRIENDLY

Had the iPad Mini been priced at $249, this whole Tablet war that includes the Google Nexus and the Amazon Kindle Fire, would have come to an end in one shot


Let’s trace this story from the beginning. The iPad Mini was a very important and necessary device to take on the numbers that the Galaxy Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire were racking up. With the introduction of the iPad Mini, the first real doubt in the mind of a small tablet buyer was put into motion: Which one of the three should I buy? Due to the pricing of the iPad Mini, this became a fairly easy question to answer. At almost twice the price, the Mini has left enough room for Google and Amazon to live, breathe and flourish. Had the iPad Mini been priced at $249, this whole tablet war would have come to an end in one shot.


But far more important than question one is the additional question that now pops up. Once you’ve made up your mind that you’re not buying from Amazon or Google and going with Apple – and you walk into a store – that’s when it hits you. Which one? A full-sized NOVEMBER 11, 2012

All the apps that work on an iPad will work on the Mini without any compromise. That, in a smaller, sleeker, thinner, 10-hour-battery-life device is a big deal iPad or the new iPad Mini? On paper it seems like a fairly easy choice. For just a little bit more than the iPad Mini, you get a retina display, bigger screen, more storage, far more powerful processor and more capable tablet. And yet, early indications seem to suggest that the iPad Mini is outselling the original iPad by a wide margin. Even people who originally came in to buy the original iPad seem to be drawn to the Mini instead. And here’s why.


The iPad Mini has some serious advantages. With the advent of 7-inch tablets, it’s been proven that a tablet’s utility is distinctly higher the more portable it is. The best tablet is the one that is with you when you really need it – and a 9.7-inch device is that much tougher to carry than its smaller, more portable sibling. The iPad Mini scores big time here. It’s perfectly sized to carry without a thought, fits well into a jacket’s inner pocket and doesn’t weigh you down when you put it in a handbag. It’s also easier to hold in one hand, much easier to type on, thumb typing is very doable and it doesn’t need you to set it on a table to do so. Add to that the incredible sleek form, thinness and just how ridiculously light it is. Reading a book in bed, watching a movie with it held in one hand, or browsing the Net – if something’s that thin and light, it makes a huge difference. It’s also very well built with almost zero plastic parts. This adds to the whole Apple premiumness and no compromises approach. And while it not having a retina display is a bit of a bummer, do remember that this one has the same display as an iPad 2, but with more pixels crammed into a much smaller screen. Text is sharp, movies look good and browsing is a pleasure. The big deal is that all the apps and stuff that work on an iPad work on this perfectly and without any compromise. That, in a smaller, sleeker, thinner, 10-hour-battery-life device is a big deal.


I believe that the iPad Mini will outsell the original iPad by a factor of 3:1. And that, in the world of technology is a very large number. I also believe that the next generation iPad Mini 2 will have a retina display and some other whiz bang features and that this iPad Mini will then drop in price to $199. That’s when Amazon and Google will start to feel the wrath of the Mini. Unfortunately, so will the original iPad. The iPad is dead! Long live the new iPad! Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3. Follow Rajiv on Twitter at




Ever since Jovanotti played at the Bonnaroo festival in 2011, he’s been on the road to fame outside his native Italy


Jovanotti seems bubbling with happiness and is someone who enjoys his music enormously



Sanjoy Narayan

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UTSIDE OF Italy, where he is a superstar whom everyone knows, singer Jovanotti is hardly famous. He ought to be. And probably will soon be. Ever since the 46-year-old played at the Bonnaroo festival in 2011, he’s been steadily building up a fan base in the US, a sure sign that he’s on the road to fame outside his native Italy. Jovanotti’s real name is Lorenzo Cherubini and he’s an Italian singer, songwriter and rapper. His music is full of exuberance (as is his personality) and his songs, even though he sings mainly in Italian, are infectious. He may be classified as a rapper but he does funk, African and Eastern beat-influenced music as well as plain old pop songs. After his foray into the US, some of his lyrics are in English and he’s played with the likes of reggae rapper Michael Franti with the both of them collaborating to compose songs as well. Anyone even faintly familiar with Italian knows that the letter ‘J’ is not really used commonly in that language. ‘J’ is called i lunga (that’s pronounced ee loonga in Italian) and is usually reserved for use in foreign words that do have a ‘j’ in them. Yet, quite early on (he’s been performing since his mid-teens), Lorenzo Cherubini decided, perhaps with an eye focused across the Atlantic from his native

he late Robert Moog changed the course of modern music with his invention of the synthesiser. In his honour, every year in Moog’s native Asheville, North Carolina, a festival is organised where some of the world’s top electronic ensembles, DJs and producers perform. This year’s two-day Moogfest was held in late October. If you’re an electronic music aficionado, you could get online to listen to some of those gigs. Watch and hear Morton Subotnick, Ana Sia, Andy Stott and many more, representing the genre and its many sub-genres (Links in the web version Jonsi of Sigur Rós performs at Moogfest, 2010 of DC).

Italy, to rename himself Jovanotti. After all, it’s easier to pronounce in English speaking circles than Giovanotti would be. What you’d need is a more than faint familiarity with Italian to figure out, however, is the wit and humour in the lyrics of some of his songs. I was drawn to Jovanotti’s music quite predictably because I first heard a song of his called India. The first time I heard it, I could make out a couple of familiar words. The first was the word ‘India’, of course, but the second was the phrase bistecca alla Fiorentina, which means a T-bone steak Florentine style. It’s the best style of steak that I’ve ever eaten in Tuscany and I hope I shall get to eat it again. I was intrigued by these words and the rapidfire rap style of the song, so I looked up LyricsMania for the lyrics of the song and then used Google Translate to find out what he was singing about. And here’s what I found. And I’m not making this up. In India, Jovanotti sings about a sacred cow from India who is visiting Palestine where, while passing in front of an Italian restaurant, he recognises a cousin who “worked as a T-bone steak” at the restaurant! And then the sacred cow has a somewhat existential conversation with his cousin, the T-bone steak. Sacred cow from India finds cousin as a steak in an Italian restaurant in Palestine. There’s little possibility of a chap who writes and sings lyrics of that kind to not be interesting. Exploring Jovanotti further, I caught a very entertaining interview-cum-performance by him and his band on Seattle’s radio channel KEXP via the Internet. There’s a video too of the session and Jovanotti comes across as a very funny guy with a great sense of humour, pride and, of course, not unusual for an Italian, a sharp sartorial sense. His first album in the US on the discerning label ATO Records (which has on its rolls artists such as Alabama Shakes, My Morning Jacket, Gomez, Trey Anastasio and Widespread Panic) is called Italia 2008-2011. It’s a compilation actually and has a few songs in English. Via a Flipkart download, I bought another earlier album by Jovanotti, Safari, which also showcases the singer’s different styles – he crosses over from rap and funk to classical and operainfused songs, easily and manages to fit into these disparate genres so naturally. The interview on KEXP with Jovanotti reveals a lot about the man. He’s bubbling with happiness and is someone who enjoys his music enormously. In America, he says, he feels like a little child with a new toy. The American audience too appears to feel the same way about him. All of the past couple of months, he’s played gigs to raving audiences who just can’t seem to get enough of him. This is one musician to watch. To give feedback, stream or download the music mentioned in this column, go to, follow argus48 on Twitter

Photo courtesy: FACEBOOK

NOVEMBER 11, 2012



Sometimes just an image, a sound or a smell, can take you right back to your childhood


If you ignored the high heel, the shoes that the model wore on the ramp on FTV were a dead ringer for the Mary Janes that I had worn to school all through my childhood


Seema Goswami

T IS the strangest things that remind you of your childhood, at times, evoking memories that lay long buried in your brain. It could be anything really: an image, a touch, a smell or even a sound. And before you know it, you have been transported back in time to relive those childhood moments that you had thought lost forever. Last week, I had one such moment of déjà vu. Aimlessly channel-surfing, I stopped at FTV because the clothes on the ramp looked mildly interesting, when my eyes were caught by the shoes of one of the models. The square toes; the little strap across the ankle fastened with a buckle; the shiny patent leather; it all looked so familiar. If you ignored the high heel – as I did – the shoes were a dead ringer for the Mary Janes that I had worn to school all through my childhood. That one image took me back instantly to the Bata store on Chowringhee, Calcutta’s busiest thoroughfare, where I would make an annual pilgrimage at the start of every year to buy the school-mandated black shoes that made up my uniform. There was no agonising over styles, dithering over alternatives, or pondering over colours. There was only one option that I could choose (if choose is the right word) but that didn’t detract from the shopping experience one bit. The thrill of buying a new pair of shoes; the joy of seeing that my feet were finally growing to adult size; and the knowledge that I was going into a new class with all the possibilities it represented; all of this combined to make this trip to the shoe shop one of the highlights of my year. That same feeling of déjà vu struck me on a recent visit to the local Marks & Spencer store. One entire rail was devoted to leggings with stirrups, a style that I had last worn when I was 10 years old. Now of course, I would not be caught dead in them, so I quickly moved on to the next rail. But quite without volition, an image jumped up and took possession of my brain: the pair of olive-green leggings with sturdy stirrups that I had refused to get out of for an entire year (and which are immortalised in several family photographs taken over the period). And with that image came the memories: of visits to the zoo; of raucous birthday parties where everyone ate far too much cake (and which, suffice to say, not


Cupcakes with old-style frosting and sprinkles and home-style finger chips conjure up memories of my childhood almost instantly

everyone managed to keep down); of picnics with friends; of family weddings where I was the only one not in the regulation ghagra-choli. Of course, it’s not just clothes or fashion that reminds me of my childhood. Coming across a rerun of Yes Minister on BBC Entertainment has much the same effect. In the days before satellite television arrived in India and we were all at the mercy of Doordarshan programmers, this was the one show that I would hurry home to watch. The opening credits of Chitrahaar, which was pretty much appointment viewing in those days; the notes of Abide with me, which we sang every morning assembly; the sound of a tolling bell, which punctuated my day at school; all these sounds double up as aide-memoires. And then, there’s food. There are some things that always take me back to the nostalgia-tinted meals of my childhood. Cupcakes with old-style frosting and sprinkles (rather than the new-fangled dollops of cream) remind me of the pastries that I bought every lunch-time from the school cake-wallah. I would carefully consider his two layers of cakes (I could buy only one every day, given my meagre pocket-money), each in a different style and colour, before buying the vanilla cupcake yet again. Clearly, even at that young age, I felt a certain comfort in the familiar. Of all things, home-style finger chips – rather than the new-fangled French fries we all scoff down these days – conjure up memories of my childhood almost instantly. Cut in chunky bits and deep-fried to a lovely golden, crisp on the outside and moistly crumbly inside, these were served up every Sunday lunch-time, right after Mahabharat, with a side of blood-red ketchup. The aromas wafting from a cup of steaming black tea take me back to holidays spent exploring the grounds of my aunt’s tea estate in Assam, the gardens redolent with what I only later discovered to be the smell of drying tea leaves. The taste of an orange bar, the ice lolly on a stick that was a staple of my growing years, reminds me of evenings spent hanging over the balcony waiting for the ice-creamwallah – with his colourful van teeming with goodies – to hove into view. And then, there are the images. The sight of scraggly rows of roses always takes me back to the lawns of the old-style dak bungalows; the good old Ambassador – a rare sight on the road these days – reminds me of road trips taken as a child; and a bouffant hairdo reminds me of the styles my older sister sported in her youth, and which I longed to replicate when I grew up. Of course, by the time I grew out of pigtails, the bouffant was long gone, having been replaced by the gamine crop – but that, as they say, is quite another story.




The taste of an orange bar, the ice-lolly on a stick, was a staple of my growing years Follow Seema on Twitter at

NOVEMBER 11, 2012


Let there be light

If you’re just getting started on your Diwali decorations, ditch the energy-gobbling fairy lights for LED versions that last longer, turn out to be more economical in the long run and consume less energy. If you want to save even more energy, opt for diyas and candles fuelled by scented beeswax. They’ll create a great ambience for the festivities. Also, after you have fried your batch of gujiyas and pakodas for your party, don’t throw the oil. Instead, use it to light up diyas PHOTOS: MCT

How Green Is My Rangoli!


Decorate your house with fresh flowers and leaves. Apart from marigolds, use jasmine and red roses to add colour and natural fragrance to your house. Also, while gifting idols, ditch the ones made of plaster of Paris, plastic and thermocol and opt for biodegradable materials like clay and papier mache

Don’t let Mother Earth pay for your festive excess. An eco-friendly Diwali is so easy by Amrah Ashraf



Plaster of Paris idols are no friend of the earth. Mud and clay ones are

Organic rangoli

Avoid chemical-based rangoli colours. Use natural colours and dyes like rice flour, turmeric powder, kumkum, lime, petals, coal and leaves. Keep looking around for different flowers that could be used for bringing more colour into your design




Fresh flowers add colour to your rangoli without the chemicals

RADITIONALLY, the Trehan household erupts in a frenzy of light, sound and colour every Diwali. Crackers worth thousands of rupees are lit, the walls glow with enough mirchi lights to brighten up an entire village and kaleidoscopic rangolis brighten every corner of the house. But this year, 24-year-old Nidhi, is excited about a different idea – an environment-friendly Diwali. “It’s a festival, not a tamasha,” Nidhi points out. “We will not buy eardrum-bursting crackers or use chemical rangolis and definitely not waste electricity on those blinding lights.” There might not be too many families like the Trehans, but a good many people are ensuring that the festival of lights is not an assault on the senses (and Mother Nature) this year. Party planners are organising more eco-friendly parties. “We plan everything – from the kind of ran-

goli to the flower decorations ,” says Anisha V Rastogi, a Delhi-based planner. “Green-themed Diwali parties are becoming quite common and are a good change.” But throwing one can be a tricky thing. “Serving food on paper plates is not as eco-friendly as you think,” says Savita Vijayakumar an ecocrusader from No2CO2. “The recycle value of paper goes down once it gets wet and most of it gets wasted. Serve food on areca leaf plates instead. It is more traditional as well.” Thinking about the climate and resources shouldn’t be just a Diwali concern, but it’s a good enough start. “It is more of a style statement rather than actual awareness, but I am not complaining,” says Varsha Pendhekar, a Mumbaibased environmental activist. If you believe the festival is the first step to a greener life, here’s help.


Plastic flatware will choke the planet. But areca leaf plates will decompose quickly

Reuse, recycle

Reuse old wrapping paper or use newspaper to wrap gifts. If that doesn’t sound too exciting, you can also use handmade paper which is free of chemicals and toxins. Also, while throwing a party, use your own cutlery. You can also use plates made of leaves. Say no to plastic cups, plates and bowls. And say never again to styrofoam flatware. Not only do they look dowdy, they’ll be choking the earth long after you’ve bit the dust

Many people are ensuring that the festival is not an assault on the senses

NOVEMBER 11, 2012

Community living If you must burst crackers, get everyone involved. Ask everyone in your building, society or colony to pool in money and buy fireworks. Gather everyone at a fixed time and burst them. This way, you will not only save money but create noise pollution only at one particular time



Why Steel Is A Big Deal


Try having a party with just candles and no electric lights. It sets the best mood, say event planners. Make sure you take precautions against fire, though. This classic candle stand is from The Great Eastern Home. Price on request.

Because (in its new avatar) it is sleek, sophisticated, reliable, shiny. These aren’t your boring utensils, they’re (almost) art by Veenu Singh




TEEL REALLY has been stealing the show for some time now [we don’t make the news, we just report it]. But it’s only recently that the market’s been flooded with steel, or steel with metal, steel with wood, and steel with many other materials. In utensils as well as decorative pieces. It’s like everyone has suddenly discovered the metal’s versatility. “Steel is a sturdy and reliable metal and that accounts for its increasing popularity. Its lustre makes it ideal for home artefacts, kitchenware and decoratives,” says Deepikaa Jindal, managing


This is the season when flowers (truly) get their space in homes. These handmade vases from I’M Center For Applied Arts at R4,200 (pair), are decorative and functional at the same time

You will need a number of these in the next few days. To store and save all the dry fruits you’ve probably collected over the festive period. They look quite nice too. From Krome, a set costs R875

Do something different this Diwali. Along with the traditional earthen diyas, add a few shiny, white stainless steel ones. This one, when lit, illuminates the Ganesha. From It is priced at `475

director, JSL Lifestyle. It’s also scratch-resistant. This trend works well for everyone, especially on Dhanteras, as buying steel is considered auspicious (read our story in this issue: The Metal Fest by Manit Moorjani for more info). We’re guessing that you have already made up your mind about what to buy this Dhanteras. But being the opimists that we are, just in case you haven’t, here are some choices. Check them out and see if any of them work for you.


Steel is the new aluminium. It is being used with many other materials – ceramic, wood, aluminium etc. This steel and ceramic coffee set (of 10 pieces), four mugs, spoons, sugar jar and tray costs `1,500

NOVEMBER 11, 2012


Load this steel and aluminium basket from Elvy with sweets or dry fruits, wrap in gauzy paper and give as a gift. Food safe and stain resistant, it is priced at `2,295


This season gives you every reason to dine like a king. You could start with this handcrafted steel jug (with silver plating) and two glasses (with gold plating) from Alchemy. Price on request IT’S AN ACE SERVE

Now that you have fancy designs in steel dinner sets, you don’t have to worry about your precious plates and bowls getting broken. Buy this steel scratch- and stain-proof dinner set (of 33 pieces) from arttd’inox. Cost: R9,800


Is it a bird? Is it a mouse? The guessing game has never been more fun. This kettle from Magppie is made of stainless steel and has a wooden handle. Price on request


Steel goes smart. How do we know? It’s making an appearance in home bars. This wine cooler (with wooden handles) costs R9,750 and is available at Renovation Factory.


All that glitters (as we mention in another story) is not gold. It can be steel too. Decorate your home with crystal-encrusted stainless steel tea lights. They will truly blingup your home. From Swarovski, the prices vary from R2,700 (small), R3,850 (medium) and R5,100 (large).


Dump those usual round puja thalis that your grandmom used. Get this interesting square one with a swastika design (steel with silver plating). From Episode, it costs R3,650

NOVEMBER 11, 2012




Fendi This is not a special edition item for Diwali, but the press release that came to us carried a picture of a Zucca-embellished Fendi baguette that is all gold and sequins, with the trademark logo embossed in a different tone of the shade. Priced at around `68,000, it directly translates into what a Diwali special baguette should look like. Our take: It’s not a Diwali-edition bag, but it will work if you need something to compete with the lights. Ideal for a card party where the idea is to look like you are the Diwali party instead of looking like someone just attending one.

Paul Smith Always one for originality, the label has come up with the cutest Paul Smith multi-striped deck of playing cards and a black leather case to store it in. This will set you back by around `11,000, but hey, there’s nothing like a pack of designer cards. The label also ‘suggests’ cufflinks, tie pins and ties as gifts. Our take: How innovative! It’s great that the label has ventured into Diwali accessories without losing its striped touch. But if you still can’t get on board, there are always the eternally chic Paul Smith socks to fall back on.

What A Designer Diwali Looks Like

International luxury brands have gone all out to woo us as the festive lights come on. But did they really manage it?


by Yashica Dutt

ID YOU get terribly upset when ‘India’ was not mentioned in the US Presidential election debate? Do you rejoice every time some international tabloid or magazine does an India-related story? Then, feel happy that


Burberry With their Rose Gold capsule collection, which includes accessories like heels, bags, clutches, watches, sunglasses and jewellery, limited edition trench coats in soft gold tones, perfumes and a mini ready-to-wear collection, Burberry seems to have gone all out this time. They even have separate products categorised as ‘Gifts for him/her/children’, where they make an off-handed suggestion about how to have a ‘Model Burberry family’. Our take: We like! They actually made the effort of launching an entire collection for Diwali and rounded it off well. Without shoving the glitter-sequins drama down our throats just because we like to celebrate. The rose gold tone comes off as festive while still maintaining the Burberry aesthetic.


Tod’s Here is someone who went down the paisley route with a limited edition D-bag made especially for the festival of lights. A version of the classic D-bag, named after the late Princess Diana, the Diwali bag is made with purple silk. Only two pieces, one in orange and the other in powder blue, are available in the New Delhi boutique and the price is obviously on request. Our take: Even though the motif is not the most unique representation of Diwali, we’re glad they didn’t just bring something with rhinestones studded on it, like their previous India-inspired collection.

NOVEMBER 11, 2012

many international luxury brands did not forget Diwali and promptly launched special offerings this year. But we are not that easily swayed. So we decided to check out what was on offer. Here’s what we found.


Bottega Veneta This isn’t a made-for-Diwali edition, but this is the one that suits the festival the best. Interpreting the famous knot style clutch, this one has a dark, muted tinge that would look good even after Diwali. Much like the Bottega Veneta Knot India launched a few years ago, the Bottega Veneta Oro Intreccio Pailletes knot clutch features a combination of dark and golden sequins and will set you back by `72,000. Our take: Yes, there are sequins, but they are the way they should be. If we’re ever able to buy it (sigh), then this is the one we’d love to carry this Diwali.



Worst WeightLoss Advice, Ever

Feeling fat already? Then nonsense advice shouldn’t be your thin-down plan post Diwali by Yashica Dutt


OSE WEIGHT now, ask me how. Or don’t. Not this Diwali. This quip of instant wisdom has become integral to my conversations with friends/family/co-workers/anyone who has heard I am trying to lose weight. And having had three false starts in the past four years, by this Diwali I am determined to fit into size 26 jeans. But while I am willing to sacrifice my social life and festive eating at the altar of a thinner waistline, I do not see it happening. Why?

Because the exhaustive list of nonsense advice people dish out is, well, exhausting. Not to say that I haven’t tried some of it, or that bits of the advice don’t have the potential to be the protagonists of my weightloss love story. But truthfully, none of the advice has worked. And if you think you can lose weight by eating chilli, then be my guest. PS. If you want to sue, remember, I didn’t come up with these.

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Chew your food at least 46.7778 times before gulping it down.

Don’t drink water during your meals, even if that means that you slowly start resembling the yellow beaked, angry bird.

Don’t drink water before your meals, it might drown out the precious digestive juices.


Don’t drink water after your meals, at least not until an hour later, or more. Till your tongue swells up just enough to start pronouncing ‘thin’ as ‘fin’.

from a celeb mag). Always eat your dinner before 7 pm, even if everyone is outside bursting crackers as you angrily chomp on celery. Do at least 1,000 tummy crunches every day. Then roll over and die.


Start running for at least two hours. Twice. Every day. Then roll over and die, again.


Paste a cutout of a hot model/actress/superwoman in your kitchen. So in those really low moments, there’s something to stare at as you dig through a

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Don’t drink water. Ever.

tub of Belgian chocolate-chip caramel ice cream.


Give up sugar. Not even a single speck in your tea or coffee. Until you realise you have been sleep-raiding the mithai boxes in your fridge every night.


Why work out when there are slimming pills? So that you still have control over your bowel movements when you need it most, like in the middle of a puja or on a hot date.


Give up meat, fish, eggs, oil, milk, mango, coconut, banana, oil, alcohol and living.

Drink water. Two litres every morning after your tongue has completely withered from begging for two drops of it last night.

Your family is fat? There’s no way you are ever losing that lard.


Sleep before 9 pm. At your work desk. Sure, your boss will understand.


Need a flat stomach for the the card party of the season? Don’t eat the whole day. So when you faint later, there’s always the open bar to blame.


Don’t be stressed about losing weight. Right, that’s how I gained it in the first place.


Chant: “I am as light as a feather.” At least you’ll be one of those awesome, crazy fat people everyone is scared of.


Eat as much chilli as you can. It cuts out the calories. And your intestinal lining too! (I actually figured out this one!)


Drink water. And don’t eat. Anything. For seven days straight. Also, don’t work, walk or breathe. It’s called a water fast.


Going to a Diwali mela, eh? Eat at home. You can safely recoil every time you feel remotely tempted by a paani puri. Or spend the entire evening looking for lettuce.


Laugh. A lot. And run after your dog, or your kids or even the painters at home for the preDiwali clean-up. (A real quote



“I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond” – actress Mae West NOVEMBER 11, 2012





July 18





Army Public School, Bareilly/Jai Hind College, Mumbai The Hero: Love Story of a Spy


It’s now and it just keeps getting higher They are a part of life, one should and higher just keep going on


Promoting my song In my city from my first album and being the brand ambassador for Blender’s Pride Fashion Tour

Are you a born singer or a born actress? It was my dream to be directed by Yash Neither. I’ve always been academically inChopra. Unfortunately, this dream will never clined. Both of these happened by chance. come true now. What has been the inspiration behind the album? One classic you would have loved to be a part of? Darr. I have always loved that film. My own life. It’s like my diary. Most If you were chosen to be a Bond babe? of the songs have been written by I would jump at the offer as it is an honour to me and are a reflection of my be one. experiences. Who was your first crush? Your favourite international There was this boy who lived singers or bands. on the floor above my house I like quite a few, including BOLLYWOOD’S MOST whom I really liked. He was in The Doors and TLC. ROMANTIC PAIR? class 10 when I was in class 6. One rock band you wish you were What is your fondest memory? a part of? Of my brother being born. No Doubt. Who are you closest to? One song you can listen to over Both my parents. While my dad and over again. is my weakness, my mother is Can’t pinpoint any one my strength. single song as there are A rumour you’d like to start? too many of them. That a new law has been How come you never wear passed under which all any jewellery? journalists need to disclose I don’t have anytheir source before printing thing against jewany article. ellery. In fact, I One lesson about fame you want to teach an quite like solitaires and have aspiring singer. now recently started using The pressure that comes along with showbiz accessories also. is very hard to deal with. You should never The sexiest Bollywood actor? forget who you are. Undoubtedly, it is Which body part would you get insured? Mr Bachchan. What My lips and I would also want to make it a personality! clear that these are my real lips. One director you Your last meal would be... are dying to It would be a nice hearty one with dishes like work with. butter chicken, good Gujarati food and lots of other goodies. The biggest risk you’ve ever taken. To be an actor. Three cosmetics you can’t do without. A good moisturiser, mascara and I also love nail art. A dessert that describes you. Gulab jamun – crisp from the outside and soft and sweet inside. MUSIC AS A PICK ME You have five minutes to pack, what do you take? UP Just a few T-shirts and track pants. One street food you can’t resist. Photo: Golgappe. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING MANOJ Your dream destination. TO RIGHT NOW? VERMA Home.

Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha

my music


It’s a mix of Hindi and English music. Right from David Guetta, Titanium to Honey Singh MUSIC FOR A SEASON

Winter - a really nice romantic song

for Dilli ki sardi

Songs from Barfi!

In my city

NOVEMBER 11, 2012

— Interviewed by Veenu Singh

Hindustantimes Brunch 14 November 2012  

Hindustantimes Brunch 14 November 2012