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WEEKLY MAGAZINE, NOVEMBER 17, 2013 Free with your copy of Hindustan Times

Groom, bride, guest or host – everyone’s pitching in for the big day Fashion, gowns and gorgeous looks


Filmi videos, proposals that dazzle


The rise of the chefs

Fixits, fundas and tips for every faux pas


On my playlist


The Charles and Camilla love story



To read Brunch stories (and more) online, log on to To discuss the stories (or give feedback), follow @HTBrunch on Twitter. For everything cool on the Internet, like Hindustan Times Brunch on Facebook. And for videos, check out our channel (

Brunch Opinion

by @HTBrunch

Salty, swee t, bitter, spicy. Umami, what’s that ? Pick up this wee kend’s @HTBrunc h and read @virs anghvi #sundayre ad @preetha8 7


Friends or family singing either of the following songs

Shiny deckedup aunties dancing with the baaraat, with their equally shiny purses tucked into their armpits

Friends planting alarm clocks in the room where the bridal couple is staying the night

One funny uncle getting very The drunk and doing photographer strange moves on the zooming in on dance floor people eating. (And people posing for the video camera like it’s a still camera)

The same little kids being the first, and the last on the dance floor!

Relatives embarrassing the couple with very strange sex talk. “Kyun? Abhi se hi thak gaye? Heh Heh”

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

NOVEMBER 17, 2013

rt on ic repo Fantast rack! Loved the F1 t ver story! the co bs – @aidla

Love yo of Cham ur Breakfast p It’s ’s so, so ions page! funny!

You got to be brainy or beautiful to survive this world (unfortunate but true). God help you if you are dumb and ugly!


There’s no Techilicious this week Rajiv Makhni is swamped with shoots and such. He has promised to be back next week with a cracking new column. But feel free to bombard him on Twitter @RajivMakhni!

The NRI branch of the family looking more Indian than the Indian branch of the family

One chachaji who is perpetually cheesed off Both parties secretly believing that they People are superior to who the other side. change into “At least we comfy casuals have before the culture” pheras

YOU GU Y LEWIS S MET H I hope y AMILTON? o y’all ha u know ve job in th the best e world – Anon !

One child crying loudly through the ceremonies

People matchmaking furiously, so there can be another wedding

Cover image: Neal Kartik Cover design: Monica Gupta and Swati Chakrabarti

You Said It

On The Brunch Radar

by Saudamini Jain


Ever Jane, the Jane Austen video game prototype where you basically gossip and attend fancy balls ■ Male novelist jokes on The Toast (Q: How many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb? A: The terrible sex had made him feel deeply interesting, like a murder victim) ■ Fawad Khan, the hot Pakistani from Khuda Kay Liye (He’ll debut in the Khubsoorat remake opposite Sonam) ■ Men who can carry off Movember ■ Th The new and improved Ka Kangana Ranaut!

Blouses never being ironed on time

One elderly female relative who’s asked to guard all the bags

DESIGN: Ashutosh Sapru (National Editor, Design), Monica Gupta, Swati Chakrabarti, Payal Dighe Karkhanis, Rakesh Kumar, Ajay Aggarwal

The Chinese man who sued su his wife because their kids were ugly (Fun story: he accused her of infidelity because the kids didn’t look like they could be his. Turns out, they were his all right. Only, she’d had extensive cosmetic surgery before she met him) ■ The people disappointed with every film and project depicting sexual violence. (We thought That Day After Everyday was brilliant, Mr Kashyap) ■ Journalists without an opinion (Notice how some stories are just compilations of tweets?) ■ If you’re incredulous that “poor countries can afford space programmes” ■ Caring about Jennifer Aniston’s new haircut

SHOVE IT CORRECTION: In the story on men’s fashion titled Bright, Shiny, Happy Men (November 10), the Nehru jacket was wrongfully credited to Abraham & Thakore. It was from Raghavendra Rathore’s collection.

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

FOR ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES, PLEASE CONTACT National — Sanchita Tyagi: North — Siddarth Chopra: West — Karishma Makhija: South — Francisco Lobo:



MIND BODY SOUL For any worries related to unplanned pregnancy: Write to us at or call us at 1800-22-0502 (toll free) or sms ICAN to 56070 Website:

1. Dear doctor, we got married just 3 months back and my wife has taken 2 emergency contraceptive pills till date due to condom failure. She has not experienced any major side effects after taking these pills except for slight nausea. But I am observing that she has put on a lot of weight and her abdomen has grown bigger. Does it mean she is pregnant or is this side effect of the pills? Many people believe that contraception pills, regular or emergency, makes a lady put on weight. However, this is not true. Emergency contraceptive pills do not cause any weight gain or abdominal bloating. If your wife is getting her periods on time then she is not pregnant. It could be natural weight gain. However, if you feel that there might be some medical condition, other than pregnancy, which is causing the weight gain, we suggest you consult a doctor. 2. Dear Doctor, I am 27 years old and got married in May this year. My husband and I never discussed about any contraception method and due to lack of communication, we always indulged in unprotected sex. Hence, I conceived within 2 months of our marriage. Although my husband is ok with having this baby, I feel I have lost all opportunities to enjoy with him. Please suggest me some contraceptive options that I can use after my delivery so that I can space out my next pregnancy. Your disappointment on having become pregnant so soon is

understandable. Please do not feel sad, as there are many couples who become pregnant within couple of months of their marriage. You will get plenty of opportunities to enjoy the company of your husband. The most important step for you now should be to develop good communication with your husband, so that both of you are clear on your priorities. Once you deliver, you can ask your gynaecologist for IUCD like copper T that will help you in spacing out your pregnancy. 3. Dear doctor, I will be getting married soon and want some information on emergency contraceptive pills. If I consume it during an emergency situation, will it cause any major problem in my menstrual cycle? Emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) are synthetic version of a natural hormone present in the female body. ECPs that contain only progestin prevent pregnancy by delaying ovulation. Hence, there is a chance of a slight change in menstrual cycle after consuming these pills. However, this change is short-lived and resolves by itself from the next cycle onward. You need not worry as the effect of emergency contraceptive pills wears off within few days like any other medicine. But remember to take these pills only in case of an emergency. For regular contraceptive method, please consult your Gynaecologist who can suggest you the best suitable option for you.

Queries answered by Dr Nirmala Rao MBBS, MD, DPM; a well known psychiatrist who heads Mumbai based Aavishkar - a multifaceted team of expert doctors and health professionals. Aavishkar has a comprehensive approach to mental and physical health, with an emphasis scan this QR code to visit website on counselling and psychotherapy. Supported by:



infections as it is a natural antibiotic and immunity booster. For children, make a clear vegetable soup with crushed turmeric OU KNOW the added to the boilfeeling. There’s ing broth. Make it a nip in the air; part of their winter it’s harder to leave meal everyday. your warm bed Ginger is great for dry in the mornings; cough. Add a few drops you pull out the of crushed ginger juice woollies and eveto half a teaspoon of rything feels lovely… honey and consume up to four and then it begins. times a day. Make sure that chilA sneeze, dren don’t consume more than a cough, a one full teaspoon of the sniffle, concoction over the blocked nose, full day. congested Ajwain is a chest friend of the and a stomach. Roast ghastly feeling the herb and add that you’ll be sick it to rotis for lunch all winter. or dinner. AlternaThe best way to tively, crush a pinch, fight winter illnesses is THE TRIGGER Heavy fried foods like add it to some onion to address them from pooris and parathas can juice and boil with a the root. Congestion, lead to congestion bit of jaggery. Have it coughs and colds are twice a day. the result of accumulated toxins Guduchi helps boost immuin the body and lowered imnity. Mix a pinch with honey or munity. Other agents can be a jaggery and have it once a day. trigger as well. Amla, with its copious quantiWHY IT HAPPENS ties of vitamin C, helps fight Overindulgence of heavy fried colds. It’s especially good for foods (pooris, parathas, matkids, so make sure they get the this, bhajiyas, etc). right amount of chyawanprash An overdose of junk food and for their age. foods containing a lot Keep saline nasal drops of trans fats. near your bed. It helps Overconclear a blocked nose sumption of at night. cheese and ice Eucalyptus oil cream. helps clear the Lack of exercise nasal passage too. If the and a sedentary lifearea you live in has style of watching TV. particuFIGHTING FIT Turmeric is an excellent Inadequate proteclarly antibiotic for fighting tion from extreme dry air, cold, when vulnerable inflammations conareas like feet, hands, sidears and throat are left unproer a steamer tected. in the bedroom, Bed wetting among younger with a few drops children keeps them wet longer, added to the water. thus more vulnerable to cold. Switch it on for half an hour before HOW TO TREAT IT bedtime. Turmeric is an excellent herb for fighting inflammation and

Winter brings crisp breezes, coughs and colds. But there’s a natural way to cope



MORE ON THE WEB For more columns by Dr Shikha Sharma and other wellness stories, log on to NOVEMBER 17, 2013




Indian wedding wear is changing. Brides and grooms know their mind and won’t settle for anything less than spectacular. Four top fashion designers tell us how by Parul Khanna

How are the trends changing? JJ VALAYA



RAGHAVENDRA RATHORE JJ Valaya, Raghavendra Rathore, Shane & Falguni showed their collections at the Aamby Valley India Bridal Fashion Week

Valaya: Till a few years ago, the heavier the outfit, the more the embroidery and embellishment, the heavier the fabric, the more exquisite and expensive it was considered to be. Today, whilst the look and feel has to be heavy, there is an equal focus on cut and style. Modern designs involve new fabrics and a degree of experimentation in hybrid cuts and colours. Malhotra: Brides and grooms are open to experimentation, now more than ever. I recently gave a bride a royal blue lehenga for her engagement; a bride in Jaipur wants Western-influenced clothes for her reception. They are open to not-so-traditional shades and modern silhouettes – clothes with pops of colour, interesting fits and cuts. People are adopting and adapting styles from films. They are extremely individualistic, and they want something that will make them stand out. They don’t just want to copy designs. Rathore: They are looking for elegant, sophisticated, extremely well-crafted garments that reflect international trends, yet are

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Today, garments have subtler embellishments. There’s a focus on cut and style, and designers are playing with newer textiles

rooted in tradition. The surfaces are subtler and less embellished. There’s experimentation in textiles. Classic colours like black, white and ecru have crept into the palette. The silhouettes are moving towards global trends. Falguni: Tastes are changing. Everyone wants to experiment. We constantly have clients telling us they don’t want the typical traditional look for their wedding. Today you will see brides in different versions of the traditional outfit – lehenga gowns or pre-stitched or dhoti saris. The men are breaking away from the typical sherwani.

So what remains the most popular look for the bridal couple?

Valaya: For the main wedding day, undoubtedly, the lehenga for the bride and the sherwani for the groom. Other events nowadays involve a medley of concepts. Men are actually the true peacocks! Newer styles and an evolved appropriation of tradition has resulted in some fantastic looking Indian grooms recently. Having said that, they also need to be careful that they don’t get carried away by excess. Elegance comes first and must never be compromised. Indian men look great in Indian


Red is still a favourite, but classic shades like white, black and ecru are being chosen by a few daring brides Photo: ROHIT BAL

clothes. If you’re fit, it opens up a sea of options in silhouettes: pyjamas, flared kurtas, full-bodied designs. If not, go for the basic cuts in sherwanis, kurtas and bandhgalas. Malhotra: I like old-world clothes. That’s why I gave actors Varun Dhawan and Siddharth Malhotra a traditional Punjabi salwar-kurta, and pyjama kurta in Student Of The Year. These have become huge hits with men, who wanted a change. Films are making these trends more accessible. Rathore: Choose from a variety of bottoms: breeches, trousers or a Pathani, Patiala or Pakistani salwar, churidar or dhoti. Team them with bandhgala jackets, achkans, and waistcoats over your kurta or shirt. The big colours for men are jewel tones, plum, purple and burgundy.

And women clearly don’t want to be left behind…

Valaya: There are a lot of options. Cuts for lehengas are getting sexier, using unique materials and details. Saris are being worn dhoti-style, with long jackets, over strappy blouses. We’re seeing a sprinkling of Indian-western hybrid gowns (some of which I love; some I abhor), fine embroidery and





The Western influence is growing. Is that a good thing?


RATHORE: The Western trend is quite interesting. It produces garments that are elegant and exquisitely crafted, appealing to a global audience.


VALAYA: There’s a plus and minus to this. While fusion is the way forward, it can’t be at the cost of losing our Indian identity. But I suppose it’s a matter of personal preference.

Newer, interesting cuts in dhotis are now visible at weddings

MALHOTRA: I like to be traditional myself. And I love embroidery. In the past few years, I have hired so many karigars known for hidden Indian crafts. For me, the Western influence shows largely in the colour and fit, not the trimmings.

Brides want their weddings to be larger-than-life. Flowy, layered, grand garments are becoming a hot favourite

Valaya: Of course! Most brides are leaning towards trendier versions of traditional clothes, gowns and floor-length jackets. Rathore: Anarkali kurtas with churidars are still in.


As are straight kurtas worn with shararas or voluminous salwars.

So many designers are showing whites, creams and blacks. Are brides really wearing these colours?

Falguni: Clothes showcased on the ramp are definitely more dramatic and exaggerated. They are always modified for retail. We showcased a black wedding gown as our showstopper at bridal week recently. A bride may not want one, but they are going in for shades like blue, green and other neon tints. Valaya: While Indian bridal outfits are dominated by shades of red, there is a move towards hues like champagne, metallics, nudes and deeper jewel tones. Some women avoid cream and black but there are a few who are breaking the rules.

But the lehenga is the staple...

Rathore: It is more of a trend than a staple, courtesy the lovely

young ladies ruling Bollywood. Falguni: It’s still the most popular wedding outfit, even as brides attempt different versions of it. Malhotra: I accept the blame for making lehengas a Bollywood movie staple. And the trickle down effect that followed!

Are we ushering an age of the Indian bridal gown?

Falguni: Wedding gowns have Western influences with traditional interpretations. They are extremely comfortable compared to heavy saris and lehengas. They can be worn to cocktails, formal dinners and wedding functions as well. Valaya: A beautiful well-cut gown on a well-shaped body is a visual treat. But sadly, I often see strange and distasteful versions of an otherwise beautiful silhouette, ruined further by being worn by bodies which are simply not meant for gowns. My advice to designers: stick to what you do best. And to the wearers: be true to yourself and your body! Malhotra: I am being asked repeatedly to make gowns, but I refuse. If I were to ever do it, I would make it very Indian. Rathore: Wear a gown only if you can pull it off with confidence. Follow @ParulKhannaa on Twitter

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Most grooms wear bandhgalas at least one of the functions






But women can wear something different at the reception, right?

FALGUNI: Bridal gowns have been in demand recently as women prefer them over lehengas for receptions. We think they look modern and sexy, and it’s a good change.


creating volume with sheer fabrics. There has to be a sense of drama and a definitive stamp of exquisiteness. Rathore: Women have so much to choose from! Saris, suits, Indo-western tunics with churidars, gowns, dresses, jacket-inspired styles, lehengas, separates combined with dupattas... Falguni: Brides want their outfits to look larger than life, hence the whole craze of layers and flowy garments.

The Indian-Western gown has emerged as a popular outfit for wedding functions like the reception (not the wedding)


The sherwani remains the most popular garment for the groom


A Whiter Way To Wed

For a Christian ceremony, it’s got to be a gorgeous floor-length gown. And that’s when all the drama begins by Rachel Lopez

Go with the flow

And what they want these days is the very antithesis of the lehenga. The big white dress is still grand and gorgeous – but it’s gone simpler and simpler over the last decade. No flouncy frills, no ridiculous bows, minimal crystal or beadwork, and no nightmares in white satin. “The focus is on sedate styles that show off the fit and the fabric,” says Tinamarie Pereira, Lopes’s daughter and second-in command at Dann’s. “Grecian styles are in. We’re seeing lots of chiffon and georgette instead of satin and net.” Still, the women play it up – we are In-

dian after all. Lopes finds customers picking “a neckline from this pattern, a sleeve from another, an embellishment from the third” and skipping snow white for light pink and light blue. “Many brides also wear off-white [a colour traditionally reserved for one’s second marriage ceremony], as it looks better against our skin tone.”

Rock the frock

In vogue everywhere are lower necks, exposed shoulders (what Lopes calls the ‘willpower style’ because that’s what it takes for the dress to stay up!) and tight fits. Seamstresses add velcro straps or flat sleeves so the bride can pass muster at church but rock the reception. Not all problems are as easily solved. Part of the gown maker’s job is giving brides a reality check – silhouettes that look stunning on East European models in a magazine will not flatter Indian hips; corseted silhouettes will spell disaster for a living, breathing, walking, dancing bride. “Women are also getting married later so we have to be particular,”

Gowns these days have sedate styles that show off fit and fabric Pereira adds. “They don’t want to show their tummy, their rear.” No wonder the princess-cut gown is so popular. Nipped at the waist and flared out from the hip down, it flatters most women.

Royal treatment

Most women, however, prefer Duchess to princess. “So many women ask for Kate Middleton’s


HE WAY gown makers tell it, every Indian girl wants a white wedding – even if she’s not Christian. Young Hindu girls marrying Christian boys are happily abandoning their red lehenga for swathes of floorlength lace and tulle. Even if neither party is Christian, they’ll still order a frilly, off-shoulder number for the reception or cocktail party. In Mumbai, Ruth Lopes, who runs the legendary Dann’s (the store is 40 years old and has clothed two generations of brides), finds that gown seekers, like lehenga wearers, are now more demanding. “Back then, we’d tell them what they’d look like,” Lopes recalls. “Today they come in knowing what they want to look like.”


Kate Middleton’s wedding dress has been the most popular style recently wedding dress,” says Lopes. “I think I’ve made 20! Some want an exact copy. I tell them if you want the same dress, they’ll have to order it from Alexander McQueen!” Follow @GreaterBombay on Twitter

CODE WHITE What if the wedding gown of your dreams was finally within reach... online? You could reject pattern after pattern, argue with your seamstress, go crazy trying to replicate the structured organza gown you saw in a Vera Wang ad. Or you could order your outfit online. Threemonth-old Knots & Vows (knotsandvows. com) claims it’s India’s

NOVEMBER 17, 2013

largest online gown store and their red-carpet style wedding dresses offer hope to Indian brides who wanted matte organza but found only reflective satin. “We wanted Indian brides to have a wider, more international choice and be able to order a good quality dress even in a small town,” says Alastair Bangera, one of the three IT geeks who’ve founded the site. Knots & Vows’ dresses are manufactured in South East Asia in UK/

US sizes and offer gowns to buy or rent. They also take custom orders (submit measurements online) and get a consultant to talk to each bride before the order is confirmed. Current bestsellers include strapless styles (local tailors can’t replicate the construction easily), the classic A-line, and full-skirted ball gowns, “because it gives you the full fairytale experience,” Bangera says. “That’s what women want on their wedding day.”



Don’t Just Put A Ring On It!

video went viral. For millennials, who’ve grown up on Hollywood rom-coms, where the male lead exists only to pop the question at the end, the proposal is a very big deal. They’re the stars of their own movie-style love stories. And a grand proposal is the penultimate act, which sets the tone for what lies ahead. Like most trends these days, this too finds its roots in the Internet. Richha Arora, a wedding planner, says that men face intense pressure to make the proposal a memorable experience for the girl, what with wedding proposal videos going viral every few days. Maybe it’s the grand declaration of love on Facebook or a story for the extended family and friends, but wedding proposals are getting bigger and more important for a generation that documents every aspect of their lives and loves being the jewel in the crown. Here are few wedding proposals that’ll leave you gasping.

Love On The Radio

Flash mobs, special videos, trips to London... When did wedding proposals reach this Hollywood-level of crazy? by Yashica Dutt USTIN BALDONI, a filmmaker from Los Angeles, was planning to propose to his longtime girlfriend, Emily. Keeping with the current level of craziness involved in wedding proposals, he obviously wanted to do something special. It couldn’t just be a cheesy routine of slipping the ring in her champagne glass and having her choke on it (like Kareena Kapoor in Ra.One). Popping it with lights (remember Rab Ne Bana De Jodi?) or having it written in the sky by an airplane, was also, well, too Eighties. Even a flash mob had become a tired cliché after Justin Timberlake’s proposal to Mila Kunis in Friends With Benefits. So, here’s what he did. Everything! He not only

booked the whole restaurant where they had first met, but also directed an elaborate 27-minute proposal video that included a flash mob, a spoof of ’N Sync and ABBA, him asking her late father for his daughter’s hand at the former’s grave and a montage of the couple’s happy moments, where he said that Emily was the most amazing and beautiful woman he’d ever met. No wonder when he finally got down to asking her whether she’d marry him, Emily said this was the stupidest question ever (and obviously answered in the affirmative). And yes, the

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Aparajita Ninan, a graphic designer who got married two years ago, didn’t want a cheesy proposal. But she did expect her then boyfriend, Anand, to do something special that would make his commitment even more evident. Sort of a modern version of a roka. Two days after ‘discussing’ the idea, they were going to a friend’s wedding reception and stopped to buy flowers. As Anand got out of the car, Aparajita received a call where she was asked to guess the identity of the caller. After playing along for a while, she spotted Anand, down on one knee, holding a phone in one hand and a ring in the other – he was on the same conference call. The voice on the phone was that of a radio jockey, who revealed that they were on air! Anand then spoke about their relationship and

gave Aparajita a ring with seven diamonds, one for each year they’d spent together. Aparajita struggled not to cry and – of course – said yes! Soon calls and messages started pouring in, because Anand had ordered all their friends and family to tune in.

The Sky’s The Limit For Mehak Shahani, who runs a wedding and makeup blog, Peaches and Blush, her own wedding was obviously a big deal. She wanted a big proposal, since “our weddings suck the romance out of a relationship.” As she says, “In India, weddings are all about the family and the couple gets lost amidst the madness. It’s nice to have a special moment you can cherish and tell stories about.” While the preparations were on, and there was no sign of a ‘grand proposal’, she dropped bomb-size hints to her fiancé about how adorable movie proposals were. So she was sort of prepared. But when a car titled ‘Skywaltz’ came to pick her up, she shuddered. “I thought it was going to be something crazy like jumping off a plane,” she laughs. Thankfully, it wasn’t. It was a hot air balloon ride and at 6,000 feet, he popped the question. “I don’t think I even said yes. I just stood there with a goofy grin on my face, feeling dazed and slightly in shock.”

Men face intense pressure to make the proposal a memorable experience

What A Day!

Poonam Vora was to marry Terrence Raphael and didn’t bother much about a proposal. It was all right if he didn’t make it a big deal, as long they were strongly committed to each other. But Terrence obviously didn’t agree. He planned the proposal over two weeks. Starting her day with a spa visit, he whisked her away for a movie and an elaborate dinner. While driving back, he faked a car breakdown. As she waited impatiently on the road, out came the balloons and Raphael went down on one knee on an empty road under the night sky. Something she had never expected in her wildest dreams. Of course she cried, but now the memory only makes her smile.


Photo Courtesy: NEAL KARTIK

What Should A Best Friend Do?

The BFF tag doesn’t come easy. And the day to pay your dues is at your best friend’s wedding. Here’s what you need to do

EING THE bride’s best friend is no less challenging than being the bride herself. When your lovable, mildmannered friend is all stressed out, it’s your job to keep her relaxed. And not just during tiring shopping trips. Your duties start from the very beginning: helping to decide the venue, select the menu, the wedding card and even zeroing in on the exact shade of the flowers. Everything needs your attention. But the real duties of the bride’s best friend start a few days before the wedding. You need to throw the best bachelorette party ever (pro tip: Don’t believe everything that the movies tell you, male strippers aren’t always needed!) And it will reflect well on your status as a BFF if you prepare a wedding video to play at one of the ceremonies. All you need is to log on to Facebook for the couple’s pictures. You could also document their individual childhoods through pictures. For the sangeet, keep a

by Yashica Dutt tab on the dancing. Be the first one on the floor. And pull other relatives/guests along too because you need to start the party. When the big day arrives, the bride’s wish is your command. Roli Gaur Vashisht of the blog, The Crazy Indian Wedding, remembers how her set of 10 friends took turns to ensure that at least two of them were always with her. “They made sure my makeup was in order, carried my cellphone and wallet, and most importantly, made sure that I was well fed through the day,” she says. While the family looks after the baaraat, the friends look after the bride. “The wedding lehenga weighs a ton and going to the loo can be impossible if your friends aren’t around,” laughs Shinjini Chawla, who runs the wedding blog, The Delhi Bride. Bottom line: just be around!

Friends carry the bride’s wallet, cellphone, and help her manage the lehenga

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Groom’s best friend HE BRIDE may hog all the attention at the wedding, but the groom’s best friend doesn’t have an easy role either. Most grooms have only the vaguest idea about what they want to wear, it’s most likely that they won’t be au courant with the latest trends. Even if you are no fashion maven, at least go through a few blogs on the Internet and magazines to find out what grooms are wearing these days. Your groom might not have as extensive a trousseau as the bride, but he will be attending at least three functions and needs clothes that won’t all look the same. So, go shopping with him. You probably have a fair idea of what a bachelor party should include, but apart from organising it, you need to help him understand that it’s not going to be the last party of his life. Unfortunately, the bachelor party is no time to Photos: THINKSTOCK

Bride’s best friend

You can’t get drunk at the bachelor’s party; you have work to do the next day! get lose-your-marblesdrunk, especially if you have a busy day ahead. Like the bride’s friend, you too need to bring in the fun factor at the wedding and mingle with those guests who the groom is too busy or exhausted to spend time with. Aman Chawla, (Shinjini’s husband) recalls how his friends made the wedding reception a day to remember. “We wanted to have a photo booth at one of the functions, where all our guests could pose with different props and take pictures. But Shinjini and I couldn’t find time to arrange it. So my friends graciously took charge, got all the supplies, arranged the backdrop and gave us the photo booth we wanted.” On stage, the groom might not face makeup trouble, but you may need to keep his posture in check. Nothing looks worse than a slouchy groom!


Weddings In Motion

VERY TIME I flip through the wedding albums of my parents and even relatives, I wonder why there are so many pictures of the guests eating. They make for such unsightly photographs! Skip forward to a couple of decades, and today, we have gone beyond candid photography, to candid filmmaking in high definition. In India, wedding films started being professionally shot three to four years ago, but it’s only over the last few months that it’s developed into a trend of sorts, with an increasing number of couples wanting to tie the knot under video lenses.

Always in focus

by Sonali Shah


Once the footage is shot, videographers collate bytes and visuals and show clients a few rough cuts for approval


Wedding films capture all the tender moments of the ceremonies

NOVEMBER 17, 2013

score. He says, “The track Radha from Student of the Year was very popular in 2012, but now, it’s likely to sound dated. When a song is especially composed for you, it remains timeless.” Rathi has similar thoughts on music. “Usually, the songs have a touching backstory,” he says. “Think of the sounds in Coke Studio. That’s the feel we give to the music. It’s often a folk song; we weave contemporary sounds into it for the film.” To know these backstories and put the couple at ease, these lensmen spend considerable time with them, their family and friends.

Candid camera

The latest in wedding films is a videobooth. The Photo Diary’s founder Monisha Ajgaonkar, who just shot a wedding film for model Pia Trivedi, has set up videobooths at a couple of weddings. “We videotape people in the booth, use

the footage in slow motion and add funky music to it. The clients love it!” she explains. After the wedding, videographers collate bytes and visuals, edit it and show clients a few rough cuts for approval. Finally, in four months, you can expect to receive the CD of the most coveted film of your life. “Some clients,” Ajgaonkar says, “have a solid idea of what they’re looking for – classy, funky or traditional – some however, tell me, ‘surprise us!’”

WHAT IT COSTS The Wedding Filmers charge a minimum of `5 lakh a day, and about `12 lakh to `20 lakh for a three-day event, including mehendi and sangeet ceremonies. KnotInFocus averages between `3 lakh to `6 lakh a day. Depending on customisation, it includes DVDs, albums, prints, movie trailers, etc. The Photo Diary charges `1.5 lakh to `2 lakh for a three-day event, including a videobooth on the wedding day. It’s preferable to book them at least 4-6 months in advance.


ding, and when the couple watches it, we want them to go, ‘Oh my God! That was how the wedding went!’” Anand Rathi, who forms one half of KnotInFocus (the other is Abhinav Sah), credits a few things that led to the rise of the trend. “Contemporary photography has picked up in India, thanks to DSLR cameras getting cheaper and increased wedding budgets. People have grown up watching Karan Johar’s larger-than-lifefilms and that’s what is sought to be replicated in their own weddings.” These films are professionally made using high-end equipment (including heli-cams for grander locations such as palaces), the latest special effects and original soundtracks as well. Punjabi, who also composes music, emphasises the importance of an original

The films feature special effects and even an original score

Vishal Punjabi and Zara Chowdhary (both from a Bollywood background) had their wedding made into a short film. The couple then began to create wedding films professionally and turned, literally, into The Wedding Filmers (a photographer friend describes them as the “baap” of this fledgling industry). Wedding films typically go up to 30-35 minutes and apart from the ceremonies, include bytes from guests, pre-wedding shots and chronicle the chaos that envelopes a household. “The idea,” Punjabi explains, “is to create original cinema for the couple. We want to make the film better than the wed-

New-age videographers can make your big day look just like a Bollywood shaadi



The Beauty Bible

Want a natural glow on your wedding day? Give your skin all the care it needs by Veenu Singh OTHING AT a wedding glows brighter than a bride. Her radiant smile and that slight blush on her cheek is something even the best makeup artist can’t replicate. Still, many brides end up looking like tired versions of themselves on the big day. That’s why professional expertise is essential. “In order to look your best, you have to pay a lot of attention to your skin,” says beauty expert Blossom Kochhar. “The groom also needs to pay equal attention to his skin, in order to match up to his bride.”

Starting off

Determine your skin type. Oily, dry or combination. Let an expert determine what your skin needs and pick the right treatments.


The groom needs to pay attention to his skin to match up to the bride

Begin with sunscreen. “Invisible ultraviolet rays affect your skin all day,” says Delhi makeup artist Niti Luthra. She advises slathering on sunscreen every time you step out. “And male skin is as prone to harmful rays as a female skin is.”

Pull night duty. Cleanse, tone and moisturise before bedtime. “This ensures that your skin is problem-free,” says Kochhar.

From the top

Feed your hair. “Nourish your hair with a good diet,” recommends Luthra. Eat fish, nuts and eggs, get regular scalp massages and a deep conditioning treatment, at least one month before the wedding. “If you suffer from dandruff, go in for hair spas too,” she adds. Quick fix. “Get a Moroccan oil treatment for your hair,” says Sushma Khan, national skin and makeup trainer at Lakmé. And keep it bare. “Avoid wearing a heavy dupatta as it might spoil your hairdo. You can also opt for different styles for different functions,” says Khan.

Best face forward

Take care of problem areas. Brides should start taking care of their face six months before the reception. “For problems like acne, visit a dermatolo-

gist,” suggests Valerie Culmann, spa director at Jean-Claude Biguine. “Get facials after determining your skin type.” Yatan Ahluwalia, a stylist and corporate grooming trainer, points out that grooms need to pay special attention to their skin. “Men should go in for a cleansing session or a facial to address specific concerns,” he says. “Regular moisturiser and sunscreen are a must.” Eyes right. “Get adequate sleep,” says Khan, adding, “Keep eyes hydrated by cutting down on salty food.” She also advises using a good under-eye cream every night. Kissing zone. Moisturise your lips every day for a week before the day. Smooth operation. If you plan to bleach, don’t go overboard. “It won’t make you fairer, and will actually give you a grey cast,” warns Khan. “Bleach your face only once every six months, and if you’re concerned about facial hair, opt for laser removal.”


Use cucumber slices on your eyes to reduce puffiness Photos: THINKSTOCK



Lovely To Look At No one can take their eyes off the bride at the wedding. Here’s how to stand out by Veenu Singh

Profit and gloss

Book your makeup artist in advance, and get a trial at least one or two months in advance to decide on the products that match your skin type and skin tone, and colours that match your clothes, suggests Celina Rajamanickam, makeup artist at Jean-Claude Biguine India. Take flash photos at your trial. If your foundation shows up grey, switch to a deeper shade and one without SPF.

Colour coded


Keep your powder and lipstick or lipgloss at hand for quick touch-ups

The coming months are the best for makeup for Indian skins. Gold and

If you want heavy makeup,

bronze are in. Greens and blues light up eyes and complement Indian tones and eye shapes “Blue and green smokey eyes are great for cocktail receptions while gold and bronze are ideal for a more traditional wedding function,” says Sushma Khan, national skin and makeup trainer at Lakmé. White weddings, events that call for a gown and Western wear, however, call for a subtler but more polished face. Focus on the glow with lots of highlighter, neutral eyes with false lases and a statement lip colour that doesn’t compete for attention with your outfit.

Touch it up

Keep your powder and your lipstick or lipgloss at hand for quick touch-ups, especially before taking pictures, suggests beauty and skin expert Bharti Taneja of Alps.

Keep it real

Natural looking makeup will bring out your personality and enhance your features. “Adjust the brightness of the makeup according to your photog-

use long lasting and waterproof products. “For foundations, choose something that’s longlasting and blends well with the skin, because you don’t want the foundation to melt or crease,” says beauty expert Bianca Hartkopf.

Spray it on. Opt for airbrush

makeup as it requires fewer touch-ups. “It doesn’t come off until it’s washed and has lots of silicon which is good for any skin type,” says makeup trainer Sushma Khan. “Using high definition makeup is also a big global trend.”

Brow power. “Let your

eyebrows grow so they can be shaped just before the wedding,” says skin expert Bharti Taneja. Otherwise don’t experiment too close to the big day.

raphy and lighting conditions,” suggests Bianca Hartkopf, Revlon India makeup and beauty expert. A good way to do it is to have the photographer take sample shots when you’re getting your face done. Photos: IMAGESBAZAAR; THINKSTOCK




OR MUCH of the last fortnight, I have been listenAn album that ing to Lou Reed’s music, re-exploring especially jumps genres, his and the Velvet Underground’s discography of the 1960s and early ’70s (see box on the right). But a ‘Madchester there’s been quite a bit of new music on my playlist too. revivalist’ band Here’s a listing in no particular order. with a modern ARCADE FIRE: At 76 minutes, the Canadian band’s fourth twist and some album, Reflektor, which came out three years after 2010’s The Suburbs (which won a Grammy for Best Album of the fantastic covers. Year in 2011), is a very long album. In fact, it could seem a This is what I’m trifle too long. But the talented multi-instrumentalists led by the married duo, Win Butler and Regine Chassagne do listening to not disappoint. Arcade Fire are known for their use of orchestras, horns, pipe organs and other instruments rarely heard on rock albums and also for their theatrical perform-

Sanjoy Narayan

download central

ACROSS GENRES Canadian band Arcade Fire is lead by married duo Win Butler and Regine Chassagne

MORE ON THE WEB To give feedback, stream or download the music mentioned in this column, go to blogs.hindustantimes. com/downloadcentral. Write to Sanjoy at sanjoy. narayan@ hindustantimes. com MORE

ances, right up to the interesting costumes that the band members turn out in. One thing you can’t accuse the band of being is predictable. It never is. On Reflektor, Arcade Fire team up with LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, which explains its greater than usual share of synth-based electronic sounds. But that isn’t everything. On the new album, the band has 12 members including Haitian conga players and, as usual, the songs jump genres – everything, including art-rock, punk rock and electronic dance music. There’s even a cameo by David Bowie. But, as with Arcade Fire’s earlier album, don’t expect the genres not to collide and fuse with each other because that’s what the band does best.

JAGWAR MA: They’re an Australian trio who are described as ‘Madchester revivalists’, Madchester being the genre of music made popular by Manchester based bands of the 1980s and 1990s – New Order, Happy Mondays, Stone Roses, Charlatans and others. A genre that is a kind of fusion of psychedelic rock, electronic dance music and classic rock and roll, all rolled up with a bit of gloominess, Madchester enjoyed a brief but high-salience popularity. Now, Jagwar Ma, who’ve just launched debuted their full-length, Howlin, attempts to give it a modern twist. Their sound on the album is tight, catchy and well-engineered and what I’d call cerebral danceable music, no matter how oxymoronSULTANS OF SWING Howlin is what I’d call cerebral danceable music, no matter how oxymoronic that phrase might sound NOVEMBER 17, 2013

LOU REED (1944-2013)


y now, like me, you must have read a ton of tributes to the late Lou Reed who died at 71 on October 27. Few musicians have been as influential as Reed has been, shaping the sounds of countless bands for decades since he debuted on the New York music scene in the 1960s. Perhaps, like me, you may have also in the past few weeks delved into Reed’s fairly diverse discography – both, that of his band, The Velvet Underground as well as from his long solo career thereafter, and heard and re-heard and re-re-heard those records; records that sadly didn’t really become hot-sellers despite their overpowering influence on generations of punk bands, lo-fi bands and rock n rollers in general. Among the albums that have been making the rounds on my playlist was the iconic first album, The Velvet Underground & Nico with Andy Warhol’s famous yellow banana on the cover, White Light/White Heat, the solo albums, Lou Reed, Transformer and Berlin, the later stuff like 2000’s Ecstasy, and, even though I don’t like it that much, 2011’s Lulu (which Reed made with Metallica). Lou Reed was an unclassifiable musician who could make both gritty, angry songs about sex and drugs and violence as well as super tender ones such as my personal favourite, Perfect Day, off what I think is his best album, 1972’s Transformer. Recommendation: If you haven’t watched the music critic and author Anthony DeCurtis’s more than an hour-long interview with Reed, there’s a link to it in the web version of DC.

ic that phrase might sound. Jagwar Ma is a band to check out. If you don’t believe me, ask Noel Gallagher of Oasis, who recently slammed BBC’s Radio 1 for neglecting to air a good band like them.


ius Bonamassa and soul-jazz-blues singer Beth Hart have collaborated before. In 2011, they released their first cover album, Don’t Explain, which was a collection of covers of songs by Ray Charles, Tom Waits, Billie Holiday, Etta James and other greats. This year, the duo has followed it up with Seesaw, another album featuring covers of songs again by jazz, blues and soul legends. Songs by Etta James, Billie Holiday and Aretha Franklin feature again but there are tracks that are covers of Louis Armstrong (Them There Eyes), Blood, Sweat & Tears (I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know), Buddy Miles (Miss Lady) and Al Green (Rhymes). Hart’s vocals are electrifying and awe-inspiring. As for COME TOGETHER Bonamassa, what more can Joe Bonamassa and Beth one say about a guitarist who Hart’s Seesaw features covers opened for BB King when he of Louis Armstrong, Buddy was only 12 and who is unar- Miles and Al Green guably among the world’s best ever bluesmen? Download Central will appear every fortnight




More and more of Delhi’s restaurants seemed defined by their chefs. Now, even the guys with sure-fire concepts are investing in – and publicising – their chefs Vir Sanghvi

rude food A ALL IN HIS HANDS

By hiring Achal Agarwal (ex-Wasabi, ex-Megu) and pushing him to the forefront, the Hyatt (Delhi) is trying to provide a more chef-driven experience at TK’s

FEW WEEKS ago, I was talking to Rahul Akerkar, Bombay’s best-known non-hotel chef about the restaurant scene in Delhi. I didn’t want to get into that whole Delhi-Bombay thing all over again, I said to him, but it struck me as interesting how so many Bombay restaurants seemed entrepreneurdriven while more and more of Delhi’s restaurants seemed defined by their chefs. There’s Ritu Dalmia, of course. But there are many, many others. Chez Nini is all about the eponymous chef. Tres is about the passions of Julia and Jatin, its two chefs. Le Bistro du Parc is entirely dependent on the ingenuity of its chef. Each time a new restaurant of any consequence opens in Delhi, it is the chef who is the star. Even the guys with sure-fire concepts are now investing in – and publicising – their chefs. TK’s is one of the Delhi Hyatt Regency’s most consistent successes. But by hiring Achal Agarwal (ex-Wasabi, ex-Megu) and pushing him to the forefront, the Hyatt is trying to provide a more chef-driven experience. Zambar was a successful mini-chain long before Amit Burman and Rohit Aggarwal of Lite Bite Foods hired Arun Kumar. But they’ve allowed him to reinvent the menu and the restaurants themselves. Rahul is due to open a massive outpost of his flagship Indigo restaurant in Delhi in a few weeks. Like all Bombay chefs, (Ananda Solomon, before him, for instance), he has been fed a lot of nonsense about how Delhi audiences consist largely of unadventurous Punjabis who want to

NOVEMBER 17, 2013


Uzuri (above) is driven entirely by the passion of two young chefs, Rishim Sachdeva (executive head chef, right) and Guy Clark (head chef) eat chicken four times a day. But he agreed with me when I said that if the caricature was valid, then the new chef-driven places would not all be successful. (I’ve reviewed them all here over the last year or so and am pleased to see them booming.) Once Rahul opens Indigo in Delhi, he will set the bar even higher (he intends to run the kitchen himself for several months) and I hope the chef-driven places are up to the challenge. Shortly after Rahul and I had our little chat, a friend suggested I visit Uzuri. Like many recent openings, this is a venture driven entirely by the passion of two young chefs, Rishim Sachdeva (executive head chef) and Guy Clark (head chef). The food is modern European with an African theme which is reflected in the décor. Uzuri is in the M Block market in GK-II (the Diva-China Garden market, in foodie terms). There is a main dining area on the second floor (don’t worry, there is a lift) and an open deck one level higher. I did not get to see the deck but I liked the dining area, which was pleasant without being overly pretentious. I can’t judge the service because I was busted the moment I walked in by a manager who had previously worked at Chez Nini and the Taj. I liked the menu because it attempted (like Bistro du Parc) to do interesting things to simple ingredients. My lamb starter was good and the fish cakes, which apparently drew inspiration from the cuisine of the Malays who live in South Africa’s Cape region, were great. I had two beef mains, both made with buffalo meat and proof, if any were needed, that a talented chef can work wonders with this relatively inexpensive meat. The steak had a coffee crust but I was more impressed by the skillful use of sous-vide cooking techniques. This process is now the norm at many Western restaurants but unless the chef knows what he is doing, the meat can lose all texture and taste like wet rubber. Here the steak was tender and sliced neatly and easily. A gluten-free burger, with a polenta cake taking the place of the bun, was skillfully put together though I would have preferred a little more beef fat in the patty to keep it from drying out in the middle. There was only one dud dish. I like my pork belly nice and crispy on the outside and fatty and piggy on the inside. The belly at Uzuri was neither and I sent it back. To the credit of the chefs, they conceded that they had been trying something different, which had not worked out as planned. With no alcohol (they are yet to get a proper licence), lots of Diet Coke and dessert, my bill was around `4,500. It’s not cheap as restaurant bills go. But for cooking this adventurous, it is well worth it.


All the back of the shop you will find Le Café, a tiny place (seats about 20 or so, I would guess) that serves good coffee, hot chocolate and Frenchified sandwiches like the Croque-Monsieur. There’s a nice warm chocolate fondant that captures the spirit of Bournvita. But at `200 or so it is good value as is nearly everything else at the café. It is a nice escape from reality if you are in the area and feel like coffee. Though, by the time you have negotiated the streets and alleys of Shahpur Jat, you will need something stronger. I wandered into Sakae Sushi, hidden in a corner of Delhi’s Ambience Mall, almost by accident. It claims to be a branch of Singapore’s largest sushi chain, part of a collaboration between the Singapore owners and local Indian truck-owners. All of which is fine, except that I’ve never been to any of the Singapore branches so I have nothing to compare it to. Judging by the décor though, the idea must have been to open a conveyor belt-sushi place in Delhi. And judging my experience there, they’ve ended up with just another ALL DOWN TO ONE CHEF Pan-Asian restaurant. The menu includes such dishes as Chez Nini’s (above) sucess is all due to its eponymous chef honey chilli potato, classic chilli chicken, Not everything in Delhi is chef-driven, crispy konjee lamb and golden fried baby of course. I went some Sundays ago for corn. These are dishes you are more likely lunch to Café 88, a lavishly decorated resto find in Ludhiana than in Tokyo. So I’m taurant in Mehar Chand Market, a stone’s guessing that massive concessions have throw from Chez Nini. They’ve spent a lot been made to local tastes. of money on the two rooms (there is an upI stuck to the Japanese, however. And I stairs and a downstairs) and they clearly was surprised by the quality of the cooking. mean well. But I thought that the restauThe nigiri sushi had a conveyor-belt quality rant looked like the set of a Simi Garewal to it (well, what did I expect?) but the other show, all in white and a bit soulless. It did dishes were well executed: perfectly-fried not help that the place was mostly empty, prawn tempura and Tori Karaage, delicate giving it the air of a dining hall in a newly pork gyoza, and good Japanese rice. renovated grand hotel in Darjeeling during The chef used to work at Izakaya and the low season. the manager cut his teeth with Lite Bite. Service was cheerful but inept and the Given that serving staff are not terribly menu resembled the sort of multi-cuisine enthusiastic or smart, my guess is that the mishmash that the old Connaught Place chef and the manager keep the place gorestaurants used to serve: Oriental stiring. Ask for one of them and order a real fries, sandwiches, Indian curries, cakes, Japanese meal, if you do go. You won’t be pasta, fish pie, nachos, ratatouille, and God A NEW BEGINNING disappointed. alone knows what else. Of the many dish- Lite Bite Foods hired Arun Kumar to But everything in Ambies I tried, the sandwiches were so-so, the reinvent the menu of Zambar (above) ence mall will change by the Oriental stuff was distinctly mid-market and the restaurants themselves end of this year when anothIndian-Chinese style, and the desserts were er Bombay import arrives poor. But there was one outstanding dish: mutton over rice. in Delhi. Yauatcha is all set to open at AmbiThis comprised tender mutton chunks in a curry sauce ence, and already the existing restauwith rice. I’ve never eaten this version before and it had a rants are running scared. It is easvaguely Raj-era air about. It did make me feel more warmly ily the best Chinese restaurant in towards the restaurant. But it also fixed the dining-room-inBombay so it should shake up a-hill-station-hotel image in my mind. the local market here. It is ages since I’ve been to Shahpur Jat. And in the inIndigo and Yauatcha openterim, the area has grown – in the sense that Dharavi has ing at the same time? Yups. grown, for instance – to the extent that it makes the Hauz The restaurant wars in Delhi Khas Village look like a paragon of urban cleanliness and have just begun. sophistication. But Shahpur Jat has its quirky little places, MORE ON THE WEB one of which is the clothing shop, Les Parisiennes (to get a For more columns by Vir Sanghvi, feel of the ambience, think of a middle-aged French woman log on to living in an Indian haveli while the world crumbles around /brunch her) which is charming and eccentric.

NOVEMBER 17, 2013


Rahul Akerkar is due to open a massive outpost of his flagship Indigo restaurant in Delhi in a few weeks


Café 88, a new restaurant in Mehar Chand market, served one outstanding dish – mutton over rice


Tres is about the passions of Julia (right) and Jatin (left), its two chefs



HAPPILY EVER AFTER... L Prince Charles and Camilla: a love story for our times

AST WEEK, Prince Charles brought the house down at one of his many engagements in India by referring to his wife, Camilla, as his ‘mehbooba’. No, he wasn’t inspired by the iconic song of the same name from Sholay. The word had been gifted to him by some of his Indian friends back in the UK, who had explained that it meant ‘beloved’. So, that’s how Charles presented Camilla to the assembled guests, “My wife… my mehbooba” even as Camilla blushed and then flashed her trademark jolly-hockey-sticks grin. And the audience lapped it up; this unabashed display of middle-aged love. And indeed, looking at the many images of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall on their recent trip to India, one thing shines clear: Camilla is clearly Charles’ ‘mehbooba’. The pair of them look as loved up as a newlywedded couple, exchanging complicit glances, the odd giggle, and touching each other with the ease of long intimacy. They share asides, gaze adoringly at one another, laugh easily and often, and seem to take enormous pleasure in each

Seema Goswami


A NEW EVER AFTER? Second marriages have, of late, become a hot topic of discussion in India, not least because of the Tanishq ad

MORE ON THE WEB For more SPECTATOR columns by Seema Goswami, log on to Brunch. Follow her on Twitter at seemagoswami. Write to her at seema_ ht@

other’s company. Not bad going for a couple which first met and fell in love in their 20s, and then made their way back to one another after two failed marriages and much rotten publicity. But clearly, all those scandals are long forgotten as the British heir to the throne readies to take over from his mother, with the woman he has loved for most of his adult life firmly by his side. They were together on the banks of the Ganga in Rishikesh, performing a ritual aarti; they visited the Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehradun; they did the rounds of Asha Sadan, a home for abandoned and homeless children in Mumbai; they were the star attraction at a party hosted by Mukesh and Nita Ambani for the Prince’s British Asian Trust. Then they headed off to Sri Lanka, where Charles was standing in for his mother, Queen Elizabeth, at the meetings of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). For us in India, the contrast to the way things had unfolded when Charles visited with his first wife, Diana, were too stark to miss. There was the famous kiss-that-wasn’t when Charles bent down to kiss Diana on the cheek as she handed him a polo trophy only to have her turn away, leaving him red-faced with embarrassment and fury. And who can forget that haunting image of the Princess posing forlorn and alone in front of that monument to eternal love, Agra’s Taj Mahal, while her husband busied himself with engagements in Delhi? They may have been joined together in what was billed as a fairy-tale wedding, but their strained expressions and public unhappiness made it clear that they were rapidly building up to a nightmare divorce.


ANKHON HI ANKHON MEIN... Prince Charles and Camilla look as loved up as a newlywed couple

Who could have predicted then that Charles would one day be back with a new wife, Camilla – then widely reviled as the mistress who had been the third person in the Wales marriage and had, in the Princess’ memorable phrase, made it a ‘bit crowded’ – the memories of the Diana years finally exorcised? Gone was the miserable git who looked perennially pensive and glum. In his place was a man finally happy in his own skin, who had found the contentment and peace he had always been looking for in his second go-around. I know that this is an unfashionable view, but I have long believed that the saga of Charles and Camilla is the love story of our times. Theirs is the commitment that has stood the test of time, taking on vicious attacks in the media and the derision and anger of the British public to emerge bloodied but unbowed. And you only have to look at the relaxed body language of the Prince and see how he lights up in the presence of his ‘darling wife’, to know that he is finally in the kind of supportive and loving relationship that he always craved. But what I like most about the images of Charles and Camilla on their Indian adventure is how they tell us that even if you screw up big time the first time round, you are not fated to eternal loneliness. Their shining faces and brilliant smiles teach us that it is possible to find happiness the second time round. Second marriages have, of late, become a hot topic of discussion in India, not least because of that now-famous Tanishq ad which features a single mother getting married again (Is she single? Is she widowed? Is she divorced? The answer to all these questions is: Who cares? Or even, how does it matter!) I have to confess that it left me touched and a little teary-eyed. Yes, I know it is cheesy (“Aaj sey Daddy bulaoon?” asks the young daughter) and designed to tug at your heartstrings. But it is moving for all that, with its promise of new beginnings and a brand-new love story. As far as I am concerned, the cynics can carp all they want about second marriages being a triumph of hope over experience. But sometimes – actually most times – hope is all you need when it comes with lavish lashings of love.

Most times, hope is all you need when it comes with lavish lashings of love

NOVEMBER 17, 2013


Nuptial No-Nos When you yo ou plan to attend an I Do, remember to say I Don’t to social faux pas like these by Mignonne Dsouza


The bachelor party is in Dubai. Who foots the bill?

“Sometimes the bride or groom pays, sometimes the guests pay their own way,” says Candice Pereira, co-founder and creative head of Marry Me – The Wedding Planners. If you are expected to pay your way, keep in mind that this includes travel costs, accommodation, meals, night outs and more. If the bride or groom is picking up the tab, be a good guest. “Room service, laundry or telephone charges from the room are all personal expenses and should be covered by you,” she adds. Hosting your stag or hen night yourself ? Let guests know what expenses are being covered. Pereira recommends a polite detailed email. “This leaves no room for doubt and avoids embarrassing situations later.”

Do my relatives still expect gold as a gift when they marry?

aside jewellery for you. “Then, it would be rude to ask for something else,” Agarwal says. “At the end of the day, it is a present; you need to accept it gracefully.”

It’s a destination wedding. You’re paying for your room. Do you still need to give a gift?

“Yes,” says Pereira. “Guests who don’t live in the same city as the couple should carry their present to the wedding; others can present the gift just before leaving for the ceremony.” As a bride or groom, if you don’t want to burden your guests, specify “no gifts” in the invitations.

Most guests give a present even if they can’t attend the wedding

Yes, says wedding planner Vithika Agarwal. But many brides prefer costume jewellery or silver, plus gold prices are climbing. And how will you guess the bride’s preferences? Agarwal suggests gold coins. “Or come to an arrangement with your family jeweller and get the bride a gift card instead.” Find out discreetly if the bride would like something other than jewellery, perhaps a Noritake dinner set? If you’re getting hitched, remember that your family have set

The invite says: no gifts. What do you really do?

Respect their decision, says Pereira. “If you are really close to the couple and feel that you’d like to give them something, have a chat with them,” she explains. “If they still insist, take along a housewarming gift later.”

Is it too cheap to give a group gift? It’s a great idea, says Divya Chauhan. “This can take the burden of thinking of many gifts and you can give them something amazing.”

If I can’t go for the wedding, do I still need to send a gift? Yes. Don’t be cheap. “Visit the person with a gift later, or send one over,” she says.

NOVEMBER 17, 2013



Keep Calm And Marry On Making a lifetime commitment is stressful enough. How do you cope with the strain of planning a wedding? by Tavishi Paitandy Rastogi WEATY PALMS, a palpitating heart, headache that won’t go away, panic attacks, the feeling that you are having a heart attack… Perhaps there’s something wrong with you. Or perhaps, you are just getting married! It is nearly impossible to stay calm before one’s wedding day, say experts (and anyone who’s tied the knot). “Last-minute details, follow-ups and the feeling that little things have been left undone play havoc with one’s mind,” says architect Nisha Grewal, who collapsed out of sheer anxiety just three days before her wedding. “It’s not uncommon to feel like your world is coming to a shattering end just before you are supposed to take the ‘life-changing’ vows,” says Mumbai psychologist Dr Richa Jha. And that, people say, is generally the state of affairs for most brides and grooms. “From honouring their lastminute professional commitments to looking at the minutest details of the wedding arrangements, brides and grooms are usually involved in everything. Result: super confusion and stress,” says Dr Jha. “For the big day to pass off smoothly, it’s important to be calm.” To achieve that, the only option, say all the experts, is to plan, and plan well.

1. Save the date and work backwards

If you can, pick a day that’s at least six months away. Determine what you’ll need and set deadlines.

Treat your wedding like a project. Make a core team to delegate the work

2. List it out

Make a list of what tasks need to be done to make your wedding happen. Separate it into ‘Musts’ and ‘Others’ categories. “A lot of things need to be done for weddings,” says planner Kaveri Bora. “What happens in the process is that a lot of the ‘must dos’ get missed in the confusion. A categorised list will make sure you finish all the ‘musts’ before starting on ‘others.’”

3. Build a team

“Treat your wedding like a project. Pick your most reliable friends, cousins and family members and delegate tasks according to their skills and interests. Meet regularly for updates. Give yourself two hours each day to fix details,” says Priya Singh, a corporate lawyer who planned her wedding with a core group of seven people.

4. Involve your partner

Don’t forget to keep the most important person, the other half of the bridal couple, in the loop. It isn’t enough to just ‘keep them

NOVEMBER 17, 2013

posted’. Include your fiancé or fiancée in your core team, and incorporate their likes and dislikes into everything you plan to do, so your wedding represents you both.

5. Do things together

“While on the fiancé-fiancée bit, plan most of your wedding preparations together,” says relationship counsellor Bhavna Kumar. “It works wonders in taking your relationship forward. It will not only bridge any distances, but help you understand each other for the future.”

6. Get counselled

How should you deal with a dominating mother-in-law? What will her aunty say? Isn’t his sister really bitchy? How will I live with all these strange people? Or the big one: Should I be getting married to this person? Or perhaps, should I be getting married at all? “Before your wedding, apprehensions lurk at every corner,” says Dr Jha. “You’re jumpy, scared and unsure. You begin to doubt everything, from the preparations not being up to the mark, to your partner being ‘the one’ or not!” She recommends you discuss your fears with your partner and


Don’t just keep your partner ‘posted’. Include them in all your preparations

a professional. “It will ensure that you’re there for each other in ways that you haven’t thought of discussing before.”

7. Take stock

As the date approaches, make a note of things that are done and those that still need some work. Take a few days off to address all these details.

8. Take a break

“You’ll need it. Step out of the circus, even if it’s just for a day or two before the pre-wedding functions start. Read, go to a spa, just sleep, but take a breather,” says Kumar.

9. Pamper yourself

Your indulgence starts with your short break; continue it with massages, a full-body polish, waxing and very relaxing pedicures and manicures. Your time starts now.

10. Create a memory

Start your big day on the right note – the romantic one. “Pick up the phone and call your ‘would be’ to say ‘I love you’ and that you are looking forward to seeing him/her tonight,” says Kumar. You’ll feel happy and forget the fights, anxieties and stresses. Finally, focus on what matters – the beginning of your happily ever after.


And So It Begins by Amrah Ashraf and Apekshita Varshney F YOU think you were all loved up at your wedding, wait till you go on your honeymoon. Everyone wants to make it special for you,” says newlywed Khyati Kothari. “At Antigua, they have a fast-track line at immigration for honeymooners.” That’s how desperately tourism industries love them. Many couples tend to plan their own honeymoon, which can be a pain. Leave it to the experts, says Vikram Malhi, Expedia’s general manager for South and South-east Asia. Most honeymooners don’t

even realise that they are entitled to discounts and freebies. Ask Ambika Seth, who went to New Zealand, and was advised by her travel agent to darken her mehendi before she left. “When people saw my hands, they realised we were newlyweds and freebies started pouring in,” she says. “A free drink here, a free meal there.”

What to expect

Before you jet-set with your beloved, remember a few things. Be the last people to check in for your flight and tell them that you’re on your honeymoon. “Chances are you will be upgraded to business class,” says Malhi. Hotels, however, are pretty cagey about their deals. Some


Honeymooners get the best travel perks. But there’s an art to snagging the best deals all newly-weds need to learn

refuse complimentary frills outright, others send up a ‘free’ bottle of wine that’s already been added to your bill in disguise. Several, however, go out of their way to make it memorable. Delhi’s Hyatt Regency gives honeymooners the room with the best view, rose-petal decorations, and a sensual bath for two. At Mumbai’s Taj Palace, they knock 15 per cent off laundry services so you always look your best.


Couples on honeymoons don’t even know that they are entitled to discounts and freebies Honeymoons are also the time when, for a fee, all your dreams can come true. Horseriding in the moonlight? Yes sir. Jumping off a cliff hand in hand with your beloved? Err…Of course! So flaunt your new mangalsutra!





Juhi Chawla

Switzerland. But I haven’t been there in a while


November 3




SCHOOL/COLLEGE FIRST BREAK CURRENTLY I AM... Fort Convent School, Mumbai and Sydenham College, Mumbai

As Zarina in Sultanat (1986)


Becoming a mother

If you weren’t an actress, you would’ve been… I don’t know. I was destined to be an actress. You are doing a negative role in Gulaab Gang for the first time. How was the experience? Initially, I couldn’t understand how and why the director could consider me for such a role. But after he convinced me, I had a great time doing it. If you could act in a classic, which one would it be? Pakeezah or Basanti’s role in Sholay. A piece of advice you’d give to a young actress. That they should work hard and not get distracted by all the glamour around them. Who is your 3am friend? My fridge! When I come back late from shoots, I just raid my fridge. The best thing about motherhood. It’s a journey you haven’t travelled before, so it’s full of surprises. To see your kids grow up is beautiful. The most touching thing your kids have done for you. Once they made a collage of all the things I say to them. And suddenly, I could see myself through their eyes. You have three minutes to pack, what do you take with you? You are asking a lady that! I’ll take my iPhone, iPad, all my prayer things, toiletries, pyjamas, a couple of Tshirts, a pair of jeans, hair tongs and straightener. And a bit of make up. Your strategy in a crisis. Take a deep breath and try not panicking. Your favourite street food. Paani puri and bhel puri. NOVEMBER 17, 2013

Juggling some film work, a couple of endorsements and being a good mommy

LOW POINT OF YOUR LIFE Losing my family members

my movies




Fukrey and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag THE MOST OVERRATED FILM

Kai Po Che




How would I remember that!

The biggest risk you have taken. Joining Bollywood. I still don’t know what got into me then. A song that describes your current state of mind. All Izz Well from 3 Idiots. The last thing you bought under `10. Aaj kal under `10 mai kuch nahi milta. Even beggars ask for more than `10. A black saree or a black dress, what do you prefer? I don’t wear black at all. What’s on your bedside table? The Bhagvad Gita, although I haven’t read it yet. The last line of your autobiography would be… “Picture abhi baaki hai mere dost…” — Interviewed by Veenu Singh

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Brunch 17 11 2013  
Brunch 17 11 2013  

Hindustantimes Brunch 17 November 2013