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SUNDAY MAGAZINE, NEW DELHI, JULY 17, 2011 Free with your copy of Hindustan Times

JULY 10, 2011 E, NEW DELHI, Times SUNDAY MAGAZINcopy of Hindustan Free with your

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India’s most influential tweeters

We’re Logged On Sonam Tomari thnk seema forgt to write abt poonam overall nice article Salis Afaque wow !! cover stry was very nicely displayed about to different avtars of a lady in this weeks Brunch !! It was really good work !! :)

Bhawan Waraich @vir sanghvi.. Well, u forgot that james bond movies were the first spy movies.. All others got inspired for them..!! Everybody want that 007 tagi



Have Money; Will Spend


It’s in The Wash

Arjumand ShayanThis Brunch issue was fantastic....with a very strong message..well done

There’s more to a bath than a two minute shower

Shweta Sehra Budhiraja I knew many of my frnds who who r doctor or engineer by prof but like to stay at home and manag family.


The actress/TV judge reveals why her breakfast needs to be a certain way, what early morning compliments mean and her first kiss!

@SoniaChopra2 Deeply disappointed/shocked with Cover Story "Kamla Comes Home". It shows a skewed picture and is plain insulting!



I HAVE often wondered why independence and feminism are almost always exclusively associated with working women. Aren’t these more a state of mind? My mother has always stayed at home all her life, but few can compete with her when it comes to her sense of independence. My father worked hard and brought home the bacon and my mother slogged hard and did everything else. That she chose not to work does not diminish her spirit and her contribution to our lives!

It’s difficult to make the complex seem simple. The perfect raan is one such dish 30


Tales of Tech and Travel

Be always one, always available, always connected – anywhere you want! LISTEN

A Friend Like Ben

What happened when a gig went wrong? Ben Harper saved the day!


POINT, CLICK, SNAP! The HT Brunch Photo Contest

@Durish Brilliant article on Kamla! women now have more choices available & thus can choose wisely rather than going with the trend alone @amritochates Feminism is perhaps among most misunderstood/misinterpreted cultural theory. Its proponents & subscribers often are most confused @GeetanjaliD Totally loving jayanto's kamala illustrations today!

Write to or to 18-20 Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi - 110001

MY WORST fears came true when I opened HT Brunch on Sunday morning (Kamla Comes Home, 10 July). I have often seen women cancelling themselves out for success in favour of domestic bliss and mostly they belong to the upper middle class or affluent sections of society. My aunts studied medicine when lady doctors were unheard of and were commonly labelled as ‘un-virtuous’ or ‘loose.’ But later when they became prestigious gynaecologists / professors, they set sparkling examples of realising one’s potential not only for me but for the entire community. On the other hand, my mother remained a housewife throughout her life and chose to look after us, like many women in your story. But now I see her as a lost and depressed soul who thinks of herself as a non-entity after all of us children moved out of the house for various reasons. So, having seen both sides of the coin in my very own family, I feel that the comfort and love of your partner alone cannot sustain a woman throughout her life, if she lacks her own space and intellect.

There’s a new disease affecting the middle classes: it’s called affluenza

Getting My Goat


@SavarSuri Dear @seemagoswami ur column ws BANG ON!under d false pretence of entertainment we're watching crap like swayamvars #sick


Brand new smartphone driving you crazy? Relax and read on!

Calling All Tweeple



Take It Easy

The dilemma


Sometimes, in the online world of the Twitterati, the most surprising people turn out to be the most influential. With the Dalai Lama heading the list, meet six of India’s most significant tweeters



Vipassana is an ancient meditation tradition that helps you be in touch with your inner self. The idea is to focus on the physical sensations of your own body. Model and actress Aditi Govitrikar reveals her spiritual journey

Here’s an exclusive preview of just one of our stories from the latest issue of the Brunch Quarterly! Read all about spiritual retreats, from vipassana to yoga

Ankit Verma Vir sanghvi sir hats off to u i m a gr8 fan of bond movies & once again an amazing article by seema goswami







Have camera, will shoot? Then we are looking at you! Enter your pictures in our Photo Contest. It’s simple: Go to – Like our page on Facebook and upload a maximum of two pictures to the album we have created especially for you. The theme for this week Magical Monsoon’ is ‘M – The five best photographers will be chosen by the Hindustan Times Photo Editor T Narayan and winners will receive free subscriptions of Brunch Quarterly for a whole year! – The last day for the weekly submissions is Friday and the winner will be announced two weeks from now. Once a month, a grand prize winner selected from among the winners will receive a Brunch goodie bag! Go click!

EDITORIAL: Poonam Saxena (Editor), Kushalrani Gulab (Deputy Editor); Tavishi Paitandy Rastogi, Mignonne Dsouza, Veenu Singh, Parul Khanna Tewari, Pranav Dixit, Yashica Dutt

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


— MONPI, via email YOUR COVER story reminded me of my NRI son and daughter-in-law’s statement that in the US, wives mostly prefer to be non-working housewives, and are happy to have a leisurely life and work for economic considerations, eg. to supplement the household income. I left my post graduate lecturership three decades back for my family and children and never really regretted it. True, I did feel the middle age crisis, after my children did not need me that much, but then I took up long lost hobbies like music, journalism, reading, travelling etc. I am not surprised that many modern women also think like women of an older generation. — MANJULA PAL, New Delhi

Cover design and imaging: Swati Chakrabarti

Variety …Or, in fact, anywhere, ever! Celebrities may place all their faith in these crazy diet plans, but make sure they’re never on your menu by Yashica Dutt

AS THE WORM TURNS Model and TV host Tyra Banks brought back memories of the tapeworm diet




The Tapeworm Diet Yes, it is exactly the gross, draconian, ghastly plan you are guessing. Rising to fame in the early ’30s and ’40s, actresses were rumoured to introduce TAPEWORMS in their system to knock off the extra pounds. While this does not involve eating raw meat or coming in direct contact with human excreta (which are the other more popular ways of being infected with the parasite), you still need to swallow the eggs. Packaged neatly in the form of a diet pill, it carries the parasite to your intestine so it can feed off the nutrients by not allowing them to be absorbed by the body. The infamous diet made a brief comeback a few years ago when former supermodel and TV host Tyra Banks discussed it on her talk show.


IETING IS the most common destination when we get stuck on overweight island or in the middle of fat freeway. And while many of us claim to have it all under control while maintaining a strict diet, the challenge gets quite murky if one is in the body business. And by that we mean celebrities who, with their fluctuating role-weight ratios and unwavering proportions, tend to top the insanity curve when it comes to diets. We bring to you some absolutely crazy, off-the-rocker celebrity diets, that you must never follow.



Ritika Samaddar, chief dietician at Max Healthcare, Delhi, says that the worm does not exclusively feed on calories and will attack nutrition which mainly involves protein. While the diet might cause rapid weight loss, you also present the risk of the parasite reaching the brain and causing death. Other side effects may include nausea, abdominal pain, weakness and diarrhoea. HINDUSTAN TIMES SUNDAY MAGAZINE JULY 17, 2011

SLEEPYHEAD The late rock ’n roll star Elvis Presley was apparently into the Sleeping Beauty diet

Sleeping Beauty Diet We all wish we’d wake up thinner than before we had slept, and this is what this diet claims to achieve. You force yourself to sleep 24/7, based on the premise that you don’t need calories when brain and body activity are at their lowest levels. So either you compel yourself to sleep throughout the day, ignoring all worldly activities, or rely on sedatives and medication to sleep for the desired time. The late rock ’n roll legend Elvis Presley was an alleged fan of this diet. If you are for even one second contemplating trying this, then do understand that you might wake up in a wet bed. The body still needs to function, doesn’t it?



Samaddar warns that it might lead to a dangerous drop in the Basal Metabolic Rate. If sedatives are involved, the risks increase. Also, while you may wake up thinner, you will also be uncontrollably hungry, which might lead to an increase in weight. Side effects may include hallucinations, mood swings, impaired speech, bad temper and disturbed sleep patterns.

Baby Food Diet


If it just involved eating like a baby, rejecting what you dislike, being spoon fed and eating with a food-halo around the mouth, we wouldn’t complain at all. But with this diet, you actually eat baby food, the kind that comes in jars, specially formulated to provide exactly the right nutrition for a tiny body. This controversial diet is the latest fad this year with celebs like Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston and Lady Gaga relying on toddler grub to remain in top form. True, snacking on a jar of baby food once a while wouldn’t hurt you at all, because it is devoid of sugar and spices. But relying solely on baby food as an adult would only render you weak and unable to perform complex brain activity. Just like a baby!

e OH BABY, BABY Singer Lady Gaga snacks on jars of baby food to keep in shape


Maple Syrup Diet


Maintaining this diet could be a problem, says Samadda. Baby food is essentially bland and meant only as a snack, if at all, for adults, so bingeing could be a serious problem. Consuming high quantities of it could inversely lead to a weight gain. Side effects could cause gallstones and loss of muscles.

HCG Diet

Advocating a bite-sized 500 calories per day, this diet requires both men and women to take daily injections of HCG (Human Gonadotropin) a hormone which is released in women during the early stages of pregnancy. It rationalises the inadequate calorie intake with the fact that HCG curbs the desire to eat while body uses the excess fat for survival. Having gained a massive following including Jersey Shore starlet Jenny ‘JWoow’ Farley and celebrity therapist Dr Oz who discussed it on the Oprah Winfrey Show, it now comes in oral drops as well. We are not going to say much here, except that men taking a female fertility hormone will perhaps be aware of what they could turn into later!



Dietician Ritika Samaddan says that while the juice has just enough carbohydrates and proteins to keep you going, prolonged use of the concoction could induce cramps, weakness and blackouts. Also, it is extremely impractical to follow over a long period of time.


Samaddar cautions against external tampering with the natural hormonal system of the body. Weight loss does occur, but rapidly, which could be very harmful in the long run. Also, taking a female fertility hormone could lead to long term effects like diabetes and osteoporosis and could even aid in pregnancy. Side effects include severe headaches, bloating, nausea and hair loss.



Going by its name, this does not sound like a diet at all. But when all you can do when following it is drink a concoction of water, maple syrup and cayenne syrup for 10 days straight, things wouldn’t seem as syrupy. R&B star and actress Beyonce popularised it immensely during her weight loss for the preparation of her role in the Oscar nominated musical Dreamgirls, when she famously appeared on Oprah and admitted to following this diet. Admitting to being hungry all the time and gaining the weight back as soon as she had lost it, Beyonce herself didn’t advocate it to her fans. Side effects may include upsetting Beyonce if she found out that you ignored her wellmeaning advice, headaches, irritability, aches and pains.

BIRTH PANGS Actress Jenny Farley is a fan of the HCG diet


Tech Talk

TAKE IT EASY Brand new smartphone driving you crazy? Here’s how to piece the puzzle together by Pranav Dixit


HE BOSS just swapped her ageing Nokia phone for a swanky new BlackBerry Torch, one of the higher-end smartphones out there. Once the initial euphoria – “look, that’s the Brunch website on the tiny screen!” – had died down, however, let’s just say it wasn’t exactly easy. For someone who had lived in the comforting, yet somewhat limiting world of feature phones, moving to a high-end smartphone was a paradigm shift. After all, the things smartphone users take for granted – pull-down menus, IM notifications, touchscreen keyboards, app stores and more – are the same things that novice smartphones users struggle with. Everyone wants a smartphone but making the move could be more painful than you would think. Most people simply aren’t technologically savvy and just want to get things done. For others,

it’s simply too much re-learning. My mother, for instance, gave up on her brand new Android phone and went back to the (dumb) phone she’d been using for more than five years (“I hate it”, she hissed when I tried to coax her. “It’s a vile thing”.) If only there were a guide to make your transition from the Stone Ages to the 21st century – at least as far as phones go – less painful! Guess what? It’s right here.




Six smart ways to get a grip on your smartphone Do you need one?


Because if all you need to do is make calls and send messages, maybe listen to FM stations or even post the occasional update to Facebook or Twitter, you might not. “The whole point of a smartphone is having a powerful device that can do many things at once and on the go,” says Annkur Agarwal, editor of “It’s about using your phone to be more productive in general and also as a means of entertainment any time, anywhere.” According to Agarwal, if you aren’t looking to be online 24x7, or editing documents in the car, reading (ebooks, websites, blogs, etc), are allergic to touchscreens (or QWERTY keypads) and don’t really like gaming, a smartphone isn’t for you. They don’t come cheap either. Sure, you can buy a mid-range smartphone anywhere between R10,00015,000, but the powerful, lust-worthy ones easily run into the 30s. At that price, reason most Indians, you can get a full-fledged laptop. If you’ve decided to take the plunge, however…


Choose a platform wisely

There’s not that many to choose from anyway. You can choose between iOS (which is what the Apple iPhone


uses), BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Symbian. A platform is essentially an operating system that runs your phone, like, say, Windows, which runs your PC. Depending on which one you choose, your smartphone experience can greatly vary. We’re not taking any sides (though we do have personal favourites) but here are some guidelines to help you make a (somewhat) informed choice: iOS: Fast, clean and simple. One hundred per cent novice-friendly. Get an iPhone if you have the cash and don’t want to read the manual. Android: Easy enough to use with a little help from a techie youngster in the family. Once you know the basics, however, you can tinker with Android to your heart’s content. BlackBerry: Must-have for email addicts (and serious, corporate types). Word of caution: the clunky user interface takes some serious training to get used to. Windows Phone: New kid on the block. Not as simple as an iPhone but comes a close second. Symbian: Familiar territory for Nokia users. Choose this if you’re nervous about graduating to a smartphone and prefer to stick to the ‘good old Nokia’ interface.

Show brand loyalty


Brands like customers to have a certain level of familiarity with their products, so chances are that a feature phone and smartphone of the same brand will have similar user interfaces. “They have similar menu structures and sometimes, even the same icons,” says Prasad Naik, technology writer with, a site about smartphones frequented by techies.

Battery life sucks. That’s a fact of life. Get used to it.

5 4

Practise your touch

Ever since the iPhone kicked off the modern smartphone revolution, every smartphone looks more or less like a rip-off: a large touchscreen with maybe a button or two at the bottom. Touch works just fine in most cases (and how else would we play Angry Birds?) but it’s not for everyone. “I find typing on a touchscreen extremely cumbersome,” says Ankit Vohra, a Delhi-based banker. “Unlike a real keyboard, there’s no tactile feedback, which makes it difficult to gauge what key I’ve pressed.” Others, like Swati Joshi, a student at Mumbai’s Sydenham College, say that touchscreens rely too much on pinpoint accuracy. “I have big fingers and I invariably end up touching stuff that I don’t mean to. It’s so frustrating!”


If you’re set on getting a touchscreen phone, practice your skills on a friend’s phone just to get a feel. Otherwise, you can get the best of both worlds by getting a touchscreen phone with a slide-out keyboard.

A little more than a day. And that’s if you’re lucky. So get used to lugging your charger around with you. “Your phone does so many things simultaneously – play music, send and receive email, run apps, give you directions via GPS and, of course, make calls!” says Naik. “All these things consume some serious power.” Our advice? Multiple chargers – one for the office, house and car to banish the ‘Low battery’ sign forever!

Look and learn


Ever Googled your phone? There is a treasure trove of tutorials and how-to videos for every smartphone model available on the Net. Spend some time browsing through these and you might just be the one doling out some pearls of wisdom.

In the world of Twitter, a person’s influence often has little to do with the number of her or his followers. Meet six of the most surprisingly influential Indian tweeters by MAHESH MURTHY


That entertainment dominates India is easily seen by scanning the IndiaInfluencer list – 17 of the top 20 names come from the movie world – and all, with the exception of Andhra superstar Siddharth, are from Bollywood. The three nonentertainment omissions being the Dalai Lama, Barkha Dutt and Vijay Mallya – though it can be persuasively argued that the latter two do provide significant entertainment value. Rather than this being a Bollywood special, we wanted to highlight six not-so-obvious names. Here’s our choice of the six most surprising names in the top 100 list.

*The scores and ranks literally change on a daily basis – all numbers quoted here are correct as of July 12, 2011




Supreme Leader of Tibet and the online community

With almost 20 lakh followers around the world – far ahead of Sachin’s 12 lakh, the Dalai Lama surprises us by making it to the list. And astounds us by being undisputed No. 1 in India with an amazing eight point lead over the only-slightly-less-surprising No. 2, Sallubhai. The Dalai Lama’s account is certainly not handled by RANK* the man himself but by someone on his team. They do a SCORE: good job – his messages range from the spiritual (“Non84.86 violence is a sign of strength. Violence is a sign of desFOLLOWERS peration and weakness”) to the temporal (“His 2,015,991 Holiness Dalai Lama speaks to the press after a meeting with Congressional leaders in Washington DC”). TWEETS The Dalai Lama doesn’t follow anybody on Twitter – PER DAY but I guess if you have 20 lakh people following every 0.63 word you say, they probably don’t expect you to listen to others.


THIS IS ABOUT THE TOPSYTURVY WORLD OF ONLINE So who do you think are among the most influential people in online India? Surely INFLUENCE. CAN YOU Sachin Tendulkar must be high up on that IMAGINE GUL PANAG list. And Big B of course. Oh, and Priyanka PIPPING PRIYANKA Chopra made a big deal about crossing a CHOPRA IN THE ONLINE million followers on Twitter – she must be a shoo-in. Are we forgetting the badshah of INFLUENCE STAKES? celebrity endorsements, SRK himself? Well, guess again, for the famous four don’t even make it to the top 20 list of influencers in our online country! So who are the gurus of the new online India, the ones that millions follow every word or to be more accurate, every 140 characters they spew? Well, we at the digital marketing firm Pinstorm have been tracking about 1,500 Indian identities online every single day over the last few months, and we’ve found some truly surprising results. Page 3 party organisers, prepare to re-do your lists! Do the names Karthik Srinivasan, Pragmatic Desi, Mahendra Palsule, Ramesh Srivats and Gautam Ghosh mean anything to you? If they don’t, they soon will – they’re just a few among the lesser-known names in our IndiaInfluencer top 100 list. But this is not just a story about the lesser-known digerati – but about the topsy-turvy world of online influence, and the curiosities it throws up today. Can you imagine Uday Chopra, the butt of most jokes about Bollywood acting capabilities, being more influential than Amitabh himself? Or Gul Panag pipping Priyanka Chopra in the online influence stakes? But before we get into the list itself – why is it important? India is now no longer a digital dilet-

tante – we’ve come of age. Over 100 million of us – that’s 10 crore+ are already online – and that number is greater than the television sets that tune in to cable or satellite around the country every night. Yes, digital is no longer a niche medium – it’s the big kahuna. More than three crore of us have Facebook accounts and over 60 lakh of us – you probably included – use it every single day of the month. More than two crore of us watch YouTube every month – making it the largest English TV channel in India. And an estimated 80 lakh of us are already on Twitter. Interestingly about five crore of us access the Net through our phones – and that number is bound to grow as 3G and later LTE or 4G spread their way across India. So we’re not just in the world of TV and print – we’ve moved far beyond. We’re digital creatures now. A new world deserves new heroes. The old world of influencers – pick up a magazine and you’ll see the faces of the same celebs over and over – is due for a makeover. There is now a radically different bunch of people today’s India get their advice, or fix of humour, or gossip from. The Pinstorm IndiaInfluencer list

measures their influence using two internationally recognised tools: Klout and PeerIndex. Each of these does a complex set of measurements and calculations of someone’s activity across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Quora and blogs – and the responses to these people. It’s not about followers – but how you engage with them. It’s not enough just to have followers. Sachin is No. 2 in India in this respect with about 12 lakh people following @Sachin_RT – but he’s on the fringes of the top 50 ranking because he’s tweeted only some 243 times – an average of once for every two days he’s been on Twitter. At the other end, Venkat Ananth, who writes for Yahoo Cricket, has only some 6,000 odd followers but ranks ahead of Sachin in influence, one reason being that he has tweeted over 112,000 times in the two-odd years he’s been on – for an astounding average of 116 tweets a day – or one for every 10 minutes he’s awake. Then again, it’s not just about how much you tweet either. Klout and PeerIndex measure things like your reach, authority, amplification and activity among other attributes and show their result in a score from 1 to 100. (See box for info on the methodology.)

THE LEADERS Despite the disputed claim of being human, there’s



On his Twitter bio, this one-time alleged assaulter of girlfriends, endangered species and sundry sidewalk sleepers claims to be an artist, painter and humanitarian in addition to being an actor. It’s not our business to question him. But we will try to understand his huge online popularity. It appears Sallu is managing his own account – the spellings give him away. RANK* (They’re not as bad as Shahid Kapoor who could not posSCORE: sibly have passed his Class 8 English exams given his 76.98 complete inability to spell anything correctly.) FOLLOWERS Sallubhai’s charm is in ingratiating himself with the 819,221 aam aadmi online – it’s easy to believe he is one of them. His tweets run the gamut from Hindi (“Yeh lo phir se TWEETS pani bhar gaya Mumbai mein”) to Gibberish (“Girl’s, PER DAY Sending u guys sm pic’s of being human ladies 2.3 watch’s”). Hot on Salman’s trail is his counterpart from the south, actor Siddharth, who is just half a point away.


TOP 10

in terms of followers DalaiLama: 2,015,991

sachin_rt: 1,204,715 priyankachopra: 1,164,563 iamsrk: 1,001,881 SrBachchan: 899,498 aamir_khan: 847,557 deepikapadukone: 830,703 BeingSalmanKhan: 819,211 realpreityzinta: 698,825 iHrithik: 633,210


Mr. Recent-Retiree-After-A-Distinguished-CareerIn-Acting Uday Chopra


If Salman’s name brings a “what-the-” epithet to your mouth, this should do twice as well. Uday Chopra? The peanut head on gorilla body? It does seem like Uday’s been doing well online – he’s been tweeting five times or more every day for a couple of years now. His utterances range from the physical “Imm off to the gym in a bit...anyone RANK* wanna workout with me” to the, umm, physical SCORE “They just kicked me out of the bar for taking my 74.65 shirt off...I was just trying to impress the chick!!” to FOLLOWERS the even more physical “To @SoSassy Your place or 216,137 mine, ha ha ha”. What of course tells us a lot about social media is TWEETS that some two lakh people have chosen to follow PER DAY this man’s updates. Dear all of you who claimed that 5.2 digital in India was only restricted to the sophisticated elite, please eat your words now.

The CEO of Gujarat, and bête noire of secularists everywhere: NARENDRA MODI


Tweeting once every two days has obviously taken Narendra Modi much further than it took Sachin. That’s probably because his tweets are re-tweeted (or RTed in the jargon) ad infinitum by Modi-vadis and Gujarat-vadis everywhere. Here’s a sprinkling: “The atrocity on innocent females & children last night is extremely derogatory; even the British RANK* had not been so mean” and “Going to review the arrangeSCORE: ments for tomorrow’s Jagannath Rathyatra” to “Will develop 71.86 Dholera SIR as a global model for urban and economic develFOLLOWERS opment”. After the Congress muzzled Shashi Tharoor (once India’s 237,810 foremost Twitter celeb, now a lowly #187 on the IndiaInfluencer ranks) Modi has become the visible face of TWEETS PER DAY BJP online and is knowingly taking on a larger, national role (a recent tweet: “Nation is furious over black money, 0.52 Ramdevji asks for banning Rs 1000 notes. GoI removes 25ps coin”). One can only hope that the old men of the BJP in Delhi don’t shut him down – he’s the closest they have to any icon with a following online.






Whaa? He seems to tweet endlessly, but he doesn’t even make the top 20 of this list

Though he’s stopped tweeting as much as he used to, SRK’s clearly still a hero to us





Even better than the original



Not often do CEOs of billion dollar firms talk to their customers but glad ANAND MAHINDRA does

28 RANK*






Yes, Vijay Mallya ranks higher – but you would expect him to, given the somewhat extroverted nature of the individual. What Anand Mahinda has managed can be a role model for Indian CEOs: to connect directly with customers to delight them – and take on naysayers with aplomb. Here are some examples. From an irate prospect: “I requested for Test Drive of the Reva almost 15 days ago! No response! To top that I am a Mahindra employee!” Our man’s response, within a day “Customer care?” Next day, the prospect says: “The guys from the local dealership called. Test Drive arranged. Thnx”. The same confidence oozes against opposition. His answer online to the gent who says: “Will we see dis ad after 10yrs: M&M 4 sale after failed adventures with w201 & Ssangyong” is a cool “Don’t hold your breath”. I do believe we will see more of our corporate leaders come out from behind their big desks and connect with their audiences in times to come. And they’ll be following in his footsteps.

“I invented Twitter. I am humble”. And: “I always knew I was going to be rich. I never doubted it for a moment”. With a bio that starts RANK* thus, there’s little else SCORE that needs to be said 61.47 about the closely guardFOLLOWERS ed secret of the real person who is behind the 22,878 fake Rakesh Jhunjhunwala blog. When it launched a few years ago, it was so accurate in depiction of the Dalal Street star that many swore it was the real him – till someone pointed out that it was unlikely the man would parody his own egotism. Nevertheless, The Fake Jhunjhunwala today blogs and tweets about a lot more than just being the inventor of Twitter, the Internet and Facebook – but also takes on the much-reviled cricket commentary skills of Ravi Shastri. India needs a lot many more satirical accounts and this is a great precursor of, I hope, many more to come. (The Fake Rakesh Jhunjhunwala writes ‘RJ’s Secret Dossiers’ – an exclusive weekly column for Brunch. You can read it on Wednesdays at



India’s original tweeter is now not even in the top 100!





Cricket’s God at No. 46? Heavens!

Now that’s a respectable rank


MS DHONI Not that far off the top 20. Way to go! HINDUSTAN TIMES SUNDAY MAGAZINE JULY 17, 2011

Top 10 influencers 1. Dalai Lama (DalaiLama) 2. Salman Khan (BeingSalmanKhan) 3. Hrithik Roshan (iHrithik) 4. Siddharth (Actor_Siddharth) 5. Ram Gopal


(RGVzoomin) 6. Farhan Akhtar (FarOutAkhtar) 7. Preity Zinta (realpreityzinta) 8. Uday Chopra (udaychopra) 9. Akshay Kumar (akshaykumar) 10. Aamir Khan (aamir_khan)

Measuring influence Pinstorm is a leading India-based digital brand management firm. The IndiaInfluencer rankings are produced by Pinstorm every day in collaboration with two leading global firms: Klout, based in San Francisco and PeerIndex, based in London. Each of these firms publishes their influence rankings of social media users from around the world. Klout tracks around 60 million profiles while PeerIndex tracks around 45 million profiles. Each uses a different methodology – but both give a profile a score from 0 to 100. A Klout score analyses your profile and publicly viewable interactions on Twitter and Facebook, and then scores you on three broad categories: your True Reach – that is the number of your followers who are not merely passive but actively react to what you say; your Amplification Probability – which is the likelihood that what you say will generate some sort of action as in a like or a re-tweet; and your Network Score – which is a measure of the influence of the people that follow or ‘friend’ you. Peer Index takes a different approach, based on the content of what you say on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Quora and your blog on eight groups of topics: arts, technology, science, health, lifestyle, sports, politics and business. It constantly measures what you say against what others are saying and listening to across these topic clusters and then scores you based on a formula that includes measurements of your authority on the topic, how what you say resonates with the community on that topic, the influence and activity of your audience – not just numbers but active fans and followers; your activity – how much you do online and your realness – whether you’re a real person or a bot account. Pinstorm sees value in both approaches and gives equal weightage to both, measures these scores for a list of over 1,700 profiles of Indian origin every morning at 9 am IST using API access from both Klout and PeerIndex – and publishes the aggregate results in real-time at You can also self-add your profile to see its ranking (even if it’s outside the top 100) by going to and entering your profile ID. The service is free.

Mahesh Murthy is an investor and marketer (and influencer too, it seems: his IndiaInfluencer rank is 51). He helps manage VC firm Seedfund and digital brand management firm Pinstorm while he’s not travelling, writing or tweeting as @maheshmurthy.


The Way We Are





Insecurity breeds negativity and makes you an unpleasant person. It’s important to learn how to be comfortable in your own skin by Tavishi Paitandy Rastogi


ONSTANTLY FRETTING about what others think of you? Always looking for applause and compliments? Prone to descending into gloom at the slightest criticism? Trying to be a good sport but forever suspicious of everybody else’s motives? Wanting to be one up at all times? If you answered yes to all these questions, you’re in trouble. Experts define all these characteristics as perfect traits of insecurity of the mind – a personality aberration which, if not checked, can snowball to monstrous proportions. Lack of confidence and self-esteem coupled with false ego and a negative bent of mind are all manifestations of insecurity. Like in most other personality disorders, insecurity carries the danger of collateral damage. An insecure person is fully capable of ruining not just his own life and relationships, but also creating bitterness in his professional world. I, me and mine, that’s the mantra – Insecure people tend to talk about themselves constantly. For them, only their opinion matters. Open the doors – Pause and look around you. There is a big world out there. And there are other people, other perspectives. And they matter too.


Says psycholoDr Chavda. e? ays defensiv gist, Dr Surbhi Perhaps that was Are you alw ople tend pe re Soni, senior conwhat troubled businessu c se In – sultant, Fortis man Vikrant Seth’s sensitive to to be very bly nd invaria Health Institute, wife Neerja. “My wife’s criticism a nsively. They fe e d “Insecurity affects severe insecurity took d t h ig respon m y e pt that th e c an individual’s daysuch a toll on our perac ’t n a c . to-day relations and sonal life that it be flawed rt fo e com functionality. Besides, ruined not just our Don't be – B wn skin. ro in severe cases, it can marriage but also my able in you And it’s perfect. also lead to depreswork life. I had to No one is e flaws. sion and aggravated quit my MNC job okay to hav mental problems.” because my wife just wouldn’t let me work. She GENE FACTOR couldn’t handle the fact that I had But what makes a person insecure? women colleagues,” he says. The reasons, say experts, are a comIncessant calls, constant questioning bined result of environment and genet- and going to the extent of surprise ics. “But genes actually play a minute checks in office, she did everything. role,” explains Dr Kersi Chavda, con“No amount of love, affection or even sultant psychiatrist, Hinduja Hospital, fighting helped,” he says. Seth even Mumbai, who blames the upbringing tried to get his wife to work “to keep of a person for the insecurity trait. “If her idle mind occupied” but that too children are subjected to constant didn’t help. “Things got so bitter that comparisons with siblings or other I couldn’t concentrate on my work children or are always told that they’re and had to quit – both work and marnot good enough, they riage,” he says. Now two years after tend to develop low selfhis divorce, Seth is just about recoupesteem. They then tend ing. He has started out on his own to become extremely and has sworn to stay away from anyconscious about themthing and anyone even “remotely selves and always do insecure and negative.” things to prove their worth – to themselves EGO TRIP and others around them. While accepting the point about conThey also develop this stant comparisons and low self-conficonstant fear of being dence, Dr Soni also points to a abandoned, making reverse reaction. Insecurity, she feels, them unsure and insealso tends to make people overtly cure in their personal egoistic, sensitive, and prone to take relationships,” explains failures very badly. “Insecurity can


Control freak – Starts telling you how you should behave, what you should wear, eat, etc, because it makes him/her happier. Jealous –Jealous over seemingly minor things, and not because he/she cares. It is because he/she feels threatened. Martyr – Will always tell you all that he/she has done for you and want to make you feel guilty. It’s your fault – Any disagreements or fights are always your fault and creation. He/she is never accountable for their own behaviour. Sorry game – Very quick to say sorry and promise never to repeat the behaviour, especially if there is a fear of losing you. But there is no guarantee. Usually goes back to the original bad behaviour once he/she thinks they have won you over again. Praise me – Wants constant reassurance about how you perceive him/her and how your friends perceive them. However, puts down all naysayers and berates them. He/she finds their critics stupid and insignificant.


■ My way or the highway – Insists

on absolute control over everything in the department or office. Rules with an iron hand and refuses to delegate any real authority. He/she doesn’t trust anyone and has few allies or friends. ■ Nitpicker – Constantly interferes in your work. Second guesses and is always judgmental. ■ Can’t do wrong – Constantly defends his position. Even a hint of criticism is treated as a challenge to his authority. Hates the fact that you could have a mind of your own. ■ Perfection freak – An insecure boss is most often an absolute perfectionist. You just cannot make a mistake with him/her. And if he/she makes a mistake, will blame it on someone else. ■ Fickle – Resists making decisions. ■ Is not funny – Finds it next to impossible to laugh at himself, but is quick to laugh at others.

Can’t be a ru nne Co

r up mp develop if one is conscenarios,” says a hea etitivenes s is p lt h make y em stantly told by parents HR consultant a r t of o u tiven p, but ove tional or teachers that they Aparna Verma. ess is r-com a sign lem. If petishould or can never “Each working indiindulg you’re in t of a probgo wrong. Such chilvidual needs his/her he ha ing in bit of burst emot dren tend to develop share of appreciation s io lack c when you nal outfalse egos and react and an insecure person onfid lose, ence y ou . severely to failmakes matters very difDon’t be can’t a loser – If ures.” ficult,” she adds. The sitt y are a ake d ou lo e Such an attiuation becomes tougher lose s ser. It’s q feat, you uite o omet tude can be cataif the insecure party hapkay to imes. next tim Winn strophic, espepens to be the boss. “No satisf e will be in ying. more g the cially professionone really wants to report ally, feel experts. to or work for someone who “Ego trips, constant games is constantly negative and of one-up manship, being suspicious of takes away all credit for good each and every move of colleagues, work. It’s the same in the case subordinates or bosses, finding fault of colleagues too. Such attitudes generand taking credit for everybody else’s ate office politics and can make work work doesn’t work well in professional life very vicious,” says Verma. The worst, however, is the constant negativity that such people generate. You are mine - An insecure “They can never see the positive person is constantly worried about the partner leaving him/her. aspects of anything, be it love or a proHe/she is extremely jealous. This motion,” says Dr Soni. “It’s a cliché leads to constant questioning, but it’s true: such people can never mistrust and altercations. look at the glass as half full, for them Trust your partner – Not just your it’ll always be half empty. Nothing in partner but also yourself and their life is good enough and they feel your relationship. Give space. Show shortchanged at every point.”

confidence. There is nothing worse than a claustrophobic relationship.


The key issue here is: how on earth does one deal with such insecure people? Vikrant Seth could opt for a divorce, but that may not be an ideal escape route for everyone. Neither is quitting a job or politicking against an insecure boss or colleagues the solu-

Spread the fear - Insecure people feel threatened by others, and often cope with this by trying to put others down. Try the polite way, it works better – Everyone hates a bully. But people will go out of their way to help you if you are pleasant and congenial.

tion. Experts say you will become more confident and need a lot of secure. And when the help ay w patience and comes from a confidante, e n O pend clear communipartner or friend, the Spend, s with insecuri g of copin uying things cation; and you effect is much better. This keep b The latest will also need to works in both personal . ty is to rd o g ’t aff make a sincere and professional situayou can cars, everythin st effort at boosting tions,” asserts Dr Soni. . TVs, fa n io h s fa spend ’t the low selfOnce the confidence is that’s in n o D ve – Save, sa necessarily. esteem of the inseback, the road to recovn u y ing mone cure partner or ery say experts, is simt in buy u no poin Yo friend in question. pler. While this may be There’s u don’t need. yo g like a d. enough for most peothings in This is the only k o lo up stea will end . Try saving in thing that will help ple, chronic cases (like nabe n a w “Friends and spousthose suffering from es can play a big role depression), may need medicain moulding the tion and therapy too. other’s personality defects back into Says Dr Chavda, “Once they are shape,” says Soni. “Just the way conwilling to listen, it becomes easier to stant dismissal is damaging, vocal talk to them, make them understand appreciation, balanced criticism and their situation and start treatment.” clear communication with no hidden And then they may finally be on the agendas help build up a positive outroad to recovery. look. It assists the insecure party to

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Have Money; Will Spend There’s a new disease affecting the middle classes: it’s called affluenza

spectator ODD JOB MAN Now you have a gardener to mow your lawn


ROWING UP in a middle class home, I didn’t really give much thought to money. But some things were taken for granted. Going out for a movie and dinner afterwards – even if it was just idlis and dosas at the local Udupi joint or kebabs at Kwality – was a major occasion. When we went on a picnic, the food was always home-made parathas or sandwiches. Holidays were spent with relatives to save on hotel bills. And when we felt like French fries or pakoras, they were rustled up in the kitchen by our mothers – or our cooks, if we were a little bit better off – rather than ordered in from the neighbourhood fast-food joint. No matter how much money our parents made, they were always obsessed with putting some aside. Sometimes it was for a big purchase like a car or a home of our own. Sometimes it was for a social occasion like the wedding of the eldest daughter. Sometimes it was for the proverbial rainy day, in case everything went belly-up and we were left without a regular income. But whatever the reason, putting money away was always considered to be A Good Thing and it was something that we were encouraged to do from the time we started getting little cash presents on birthdays, Diwali, Eid, Christmas, Rakhi or Baisakhi. Money was always better when it was tucked away somewhere safe for a day when we would really need it. And no, we did not need another pair of shoes; those school Bata shoes were just fine for a weekend trip to the shops. We did not need to splurge on cold drinks every evening in the marketplace when Mom could rustle up perfect lemonade at home for a fraction of the price. And we certainly did not need big parties thrown to celebrate our birthdays: a few friends, a shop-bought birthday cake (a special treat, you understand), some chutney and cheese sandwiches, home-made chana bhatura and you were set for the year ahead. See, that was the time when parents – well, okay, let’s admit it, mostly moms – had the time, the energy and the inclination to play what we would now call a Domestic Goddess role. And when families actually spent time doing stuff together rather than out-sourcing all the boring bits because frankly they were too darn busy and, in any case, they could afford it – so what was the problem, exactly! I guess it all began with the advent of double-income nuclear families when there was plenty of money to go around but not enough time. And that’s when affluenza struck: the condition in which we throw money at every situation that we don’t have the time, energy or inclination to handle on our own. Here are some of the most common symptoms of affluenza among the cash-rich but timepoor. Let’s see on how many counts you qualify. ■ You have a gardener to mow your lawn, window-cleaners who turn up every week to ensure that those glass French windows always look pristine, and a guy who comes every


Seema Goswami

MAID TO ORDER A large house and a lovely garden just cries out for a dog and another member of staff to look after it, doesn’t it?

morning to clean your car inside out (sometimes, of course, he’s called the driver and also ferries you around all day). There’s the live-in maid who does all the cleaning, dusting, ironing and grocery shopping. And the cook comes in every morning and evening to make a three-course meal and stick it in the fridge for when you are ready to re-heat and eat. ■ Your child can’t master the first principles of physics (or geometry, algebra, chemistry, insert subject of choice) no matter how hard he allegedly tries in class. And frankly, the thought of going back to muddle through middle-school text-books is too much to bear. Not to mention that you’re knackered by the time you get back from work. No problem: just bring out the cheque book and hire a private tutor. ■ Both of you have high-pressure jobs that involve long hours and bringing work back home. And you have that whole competitive tiredness thing going on where each one of you acts more put upon than the other. So when you finally do get away for that long weekend without the kids, you spend more time getting massaged in the spa rather than in bed with one another. ■ Your kids are home long before you are. And you don’t want them vegetating in front of the television, watching endless re-runs of Friends or worse, The Simpsons. So bring on the tennis coaching, the piano classes, the salsa sessions, horse-riding instruction, hell, even synchronised swimming will do. Try and get the little mites to learn every skill that money can buy. Keep them so busy that that they don’t have a moment to call their own until Mummy and Daddy finally stagger home. And then you can appease them by ordering in a nice, large pepperoni pizza with all the extras. ■ A large house and a lovely garden just cries out for a dog, doesn’t it? But given that the entire family is out all day, either earning money or spending it, who is going to take the cute little thing out for walks and the like? Yes, you’re right – yet another member of staff, bringing up the grand total of home help to a grand four or even five. See, that’s the thing with affluenza. It strikes when you’re not looking. And before you know it, you’ve got a full-blown case of infection to deal with.



HINDUSTAN TIMES SUNDAY MAGAZINE JULY 17, 2011 Follow Seema on Twitter at


rude food

Vir Sanghvi

CHANGING FLAVOURS Imtiaz Qureshi is the chef who originally created the Dum Pukht raan

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The raan is not a mere roast leg of mutton. Nothing in classic Indian cuisine is ever simple and this spectacular, complicated restaurant dish proves that


HE RAAN is one of those spectacular restaurant dishes that always create a stir when served at the table. Usually described as a whole roast leg of mutton, it should be vast and impressive; lots of red meat with a texture that is soft and melting. The way the raan is often described, you would think that it is the Indian equivalent of British roast lamb – the same dish but with Indian spices. And indeed, when restaurants abroad serve the raan, this is how they describe it. And even on Indian menus, it is often called a leg of lamb even though this is usually a bare-faced lie. In reality, a classic raan is never made with lamb. Most traditional Indian recipes call for goat – which is the point of the dish. A goat has four legs. The front two – often called the dast – represent the choicest part of the animal. Most Indian goat recipes use the front part of the animal. The meat at the back, including the two hind legs, is regarded as inferior. The point of the raan is that it comes from the hind legs. Because this meat is tough and difficult to cook, it is usually minced and used for keema. The trick with the raan is to take the toughest meat in the goat and to make it so tender and succulent that you should – in the words of that famous cook, Digvijaya Singh, the late maharaja of Sailana – be able to eat it with a spoon. I’ve been looking at raan recipes and though I have found versions from Avadh, from Hyderabad (in Pratibha Karan’s definitive cookbook) and from Kashmir, the consensus is that the raan is a rustic dish that does not come from any of these regions. It has nomadic origins and probably developed in campfires and military kitchens in Central Asia as a food for warriors and tribesmen. Manjit Gill, ITC’s corporate chef, thinks that the first raans were not made with the domesticated goats of today but with mountain goats and sheep. The challenge for a modern chef is to take the tough meat and make it palatable while still maintaining the simple appearance of the dish. Though restaurants act as though they simply stick the leg into the tandoor, the reality is far more complicated. Take the hind leg of a goat, shove it in an oven, and you will end up with a dish that nobody can eat. Marut Sikka, the restaurateur who runs Kainoosh in Delhi, says that the problem LAMB EFFECT with many restaurant raans Chef Manish Mehrotra uses New is that chefs go berserk with Zealand lamb braised for two-and-athe papaya and other tenhalf hours and finished with a few derisers which interferes with minutes in the tandoor


ORIGINAL FARE The most famous raan in India and the one most copied by other restaurants is the Bukhara version

the taste of the dish. Actually, only slow cooking gives you the right tenderness. In Pratibha Karan’s recipe, the meat is fried in masala for a few minutes but is then covered with water and then cooked for ages (‘until the meat is tender’). As Marut says, the English roast is a precision controlled dish with a fixed cooking time in the oven at a certain temperature. An Indian raan – at least, one made with goat – cannot be made that way and there is nothing precise about our cooking techniques. Of all Indian hospitality companies, it is ITC that has probably done the most research into creating the perfect raan. Even today, most ITC hotels serve two different raans, one at Bukhara (or Peshawari) and the other at Dum Pukht. Of the two, the Bukhara raan conforms to the traditional recipe while the Dum Pukht version is a reinvention. I asked my old pal Gautam Anand who has spent his life with ITC chefs what the secret of the perfect raan is. Gautam believes that the raan has its origins in frontier cuisine. His Hindu Punjabi grandmother wrote out a recipe for her kitchen in Peshawar in 1932 and it does not conform to most modern styles. His grandmother’s secret was to take half a seer of mutton and then cook it in half a seer of chaach or buttermilk. It was the slow cooking in chaach that broke down the tough membranes and softened the meat. Gautam thinks that the modern raan is a combination of home style Peshawari cooking and the influence of the British



COOK IT SLOW Marut Sikka (right) uses the techniques of modern Western cooking to tenderise his raan (above)

REINVENTING TASTE The Dum Pukht version of the raan is a reinvention as it had to compete with ITC’s own world-famous speciality

Raj. His view is that the raan became popular not in the era of the nawabs but during the empire when Brits longed for a meaty, not particularly spicy, dish. Why else, he asks, would so many modern recipes use malt vinegar, hardly an integral part of Indian cooking but a staple of the Raj kitchen? The most famous raan in India and the one most copied by other restaurants is the Bukhara version. ITC is notoriously secretive about its recipes but all of us know enough chefs who have worked in their kitchens to get an idea of the basic methods. The Bukhara raan uses one mutton leg (with bone) weighing about 1.2 kg of meat. The crucial part of the recipe consists of trimming the white membranes around the leg which make the meat tough. Then, the raan is marinated for a couple of hours with lots of malt vinegar, salt, red chilli, ginger, garlic. Whereas papaya would pulverise the meat, the malt vinegar tenderises it and contributes to the flavour. Then, the raan is seared for a few minutes, braised in a little water, put in a convection oven for an hour and 20 minutes, and then basted with ghee and finished in the tandoor for 20 minutes. It is a long and complicated process. Restaurants like to give the impression that they begin cooking the dish when you order it. Actually, nearly everything is done before service begins. Only the finishing in the tandoor is done a la minute or once your order is in. Even the Dum Pukht raan is enormously complicated. ITC’s problem was: if you already serve a world-famous raan, then how can you compete with your own specialty? Though this is not the company’s own view, I suspect that Imtiaz Qureshi, the chef who originally created the Dum Pukht version, decided to go more Western with his recipe. The Dum Pukht raan – and again, I’m going by hearsay because the official recipe is secret – is made with half a kilo of baby leg, off the bone. The chef sautés pickled onions, garlic, mint etc in a pan and then stuffs all this into a raan. It is tied with a thread and marinated for two hours with salt, ginger, garlic etc and – of course – malt vinegar to break down the fibres. This is followed by a second marination in hung curd, red chilli, brown BLENDING CULTURES Gautam Anand thinks that the modern raan is a combination of home-style Peshawari cooking and the influence of the British Raj

onion, star anise, other spices and pastes and lots of rum. After two marinations, the raan is braised on hot charcoal till it is al dente and then finished off in the tandoor. The original Imtiaz recipe called for the dish to be served under a pastry sheet as a sort of Goat Wellington. This pseudo Western presentation was a little poncy and has now been dispensed with. Because the raan is so spectacular a dish, modern Indian chefs have experimented with variations. This year, at Davos, Manjit Gill wowed them with a gin-marinated raan with juniper berries. Marut Sikka uses the techniques of modern Western cooking to tenderise his raan. He first brines the leg (puts it in a salt water solution) for eight to ten hours. Then he cooks the raan sous-vide (vacuum packed in a water bath) for three to four hours at a consistent temperature of 60 degree C. Other chefs – and especially those who cook at Indian restaurants abroad – use lamb rather than goat. This is easier to pull off because lamb is softer and fattier. The dish that results is not a traditional goat raan but many foreigners far prefer lamb to goat anyway. The best lamb raan I’ve had is Manish Mehrotra’s version at Delhi’s Indian Accent. Manish uses New Zealand lamb braised for two-and-a-half hours and finished with a few minutes in the tandoor. One of Manish’s chelas cooked a great version of this raan for me at Saket’s Punjab Grill. It’s not traditional but it’s good. When you see the effort that goes into the cooking of a raan, you realise how complicated fine Indian cooking can be. When the raan arrives on the table at Bukhara, it is just a leg of mutton with a great texture and a fabulous taste. You may be forgiven for thinking – as so many of us do – that it’s just a simple roast leg of lamb. But nothing in classic Indian cuisine is ever easy. The genius of our chefs lies in their ability to spend hours in the kitchen executing a series of long and complicated maneuvers to produce dishes that seem straightforward and tasty. It’s easy to show off about being complicated. It’s far more difficult to make the complex seem so simple. PHOTO:THINKSTOCK

DELICACY FROM THE HILLS Manjit Gill (above), ITC’s corporate chef, thinks that the first raans were made with mountain goats and sheep



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Be always on, always available, always connected – anywhere you want!


Rajiv Makhni

ALL JUICED UP The Morphie juice pack case doubles as an extra battery for your phone


ARK CLOUDS, a spatter of rain, a gentle wind, large waves lashing the coastline, the sand shifting under my feet, miles away from humanity, no Internet connection, no mobile phone, no laptop, completely cut off from the world, one with nature... pure bliss! I woke up with a shock, sweat pouring down my forehead, it took a few seconds to register – yes, it was just a nightmare. A lot of us talk about the complexity of living in an always-on, always-connected world, how our mobile phones and our laptops have made us obsessive and compulsive and how dreamlike it would be on an remote island cut away from the world. I’ve tried it and believe me, it’s not blissful, it’s not calming and it’s not serene. You feel strangely disconnected, as if life is passing you by, that you’re missing something. And then the panic sets in. Thus, this time I was prepared with my bag of travel goodies.


This is advice straight from the heart and the purse. Get a local SIM card the minute you land. International roaming is the biggest rip-off in the world of technology. Voice and data prices will bring you to your knees. You can get amazing deals at the airport itself. Get one with a set number of free calls and a data package. And get one phone for each adult member of the family. There’s nothing more frustrating than needing to communicate in an emergency and realising that a call will cost you a thousand bucks.

GOOD RIDDANCE The Olympus EPL-2 is good enough to make you ditch your camcorder

lit, badly formatted memories). Even more true is that there is nothing worse to carry on a trip than a bloated, heavy, unwieldy DSLR. That’s where the new prosumer ¾ cameras come in. Small little bodies, interchangeable lenses, easy to use and super intelligent with fantastic results. With great HD video as part of the package; you can ditch your camcorder too. Olympus EPL-2 and the Sony Nex 5 are great options.


Yes, it’s finally happened. You can ditch your Notebook and laptop at least when you travel. On this trip out I did a small little experiment. For the first five days, I used only a laptop and for the next five I used only a Tablet. I’m glad to say that the Tablet won outright. You need a little forward planning (load up all the files you need) and you need the right work apps (also helps as a GPS, maps and location finder). This will replace not just your Notebook but also your portable movie player, music player, gaming machine and ebook reader. The jury is still out as to what is the best travel Tablet (7-inch or larger?) – but the Notebook versus Tablet verdict is in.


Despite improving on many things like better seats, better UNLOCK IT in-flight entertainment and Whatever you do, make that switch now. If you’re sometimes even better food, about to buy a new phone, make sure you airlines still persist with one buy an unlocked version. If you’ve bought crappy item: sucky headphones. one already, call your service provider You need your own and and demand for it to be unlocked (after all, some of the new ones are you paid the full price, they didn’t subsidise nothing short of pure it – so why is it locked?). Remember, it takes magic – Able Planet (uses months to set your phone up just right from technology developed to G FORCE contacts to email to bookmarks to apps. On a trip boost the sound quality of hearThe Delorme out, you put in a new local SIM card and realise that ing aids), Bose (still the most Earthmate is a your phone is locked only to your service provider back comfortable and still the most expengreat GPS – home. That is a disaster – a very expensive disaster. sive) and Sony (almost 99 per cent CRYSTAL CLEAR and more active noise cancellation). Able Planet headphones are a CHOOSE IT There’s a lot more I tried out this time on travels good choice to up sound quality Just an unlocked phone isn’t enough, you need the far and wide. The Delorme Earthmate (a GPS, but right one. It needs to be World band (will work in all even more cool is the fact that it can send one-way messages from countries), must allow wireless tethering (your own anywhere in the world at no charge), Grid It (the perfect organiser, WiFi hotspot so that you don’t pay those ridiculous it has interwoven elastic bands that can hold all your gadgets) and hotel broadband charges) and the Philips Powerpack (a rechargeable battery an add-on case that doubles as pack that can juice up any gadget on the road). Put some or all of these together and I can a extra battery like the Mophie guarantee you that you’ll be always on, always juice pack. available, always connected, smack bang in SQUEEZE IT the middle of it all. No silly escapes from the It’s true, the best memories of a complexity and fast pace of the daily grind. travel trip are the photographs Now THAT is real bliss! and the videos you take. Also Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, true is the fact that a DSLR will NDTV and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and POWER PACK give you the best results (you Newsnet 3. Follow Rajiv on Twitter at The Grid It organiser has interwoven elastic don’t want out of focus, poorly bands that can hold all your gadgets



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MAN OF ALL WORLDS Ben Harper’s music straddles genres as diverse as blues folk, reggae, soul and rock. His albums, Diamonds on the Inside, Live From Mars and Give Till It’s Gone (below) are staple fare for me

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Sanjoy Narayan

How wrong could a gig possible go? Quite wrong, it turns out. Thankfully, Ben Harper was there to save the day

2002 when he performed at the first Bonnaroo Music Festival. I heard him on a DVD of the festival and instantly liked his music so much that I went out and bought a couple of his albums – a studio album, Diamonds on the Inside, and a live one, Live from Mars. Both those albums became staple fare for me, particularly while SUALLY, FOR me, a gig is a great way to unwind, a panacea experiencing a terrible low period some nine years ago when Harper’s even for a week fraught with stress, muggy weather and anguished and emotional lyrics helped counter the self-pity I was other discomforts. The problem is I hardly manage to get trying hard not to wallow in. Live from Mars, a double CD album, to see bands performing live. So last week, when I read is divided into two sets, an acoustic and an electric. And Harper, that a local band would be playing on the weekend at a venue around assisted by one of his bands, The Innocent Criminals, is super on the corner from where I live, I was quite happy. I hadn’t heard of the both. His versatility is showcased on this album and, as you band before and I didn’t know anything about the sort of music they traverse his playlist, you discover how easily he can transform play but I thought what the heck, how bad could a gig be? Guitars, himself – from being a classic folk singer and balladeer to a drums, some loud vocals and the boisterous ambience of a gig crowd bluesman and then to a full-blown rocker. are almost always an exhilarating experience. Besides the very personal emotions that characterise most of his How wrong I was. Landing up at the somewhat strangely named songs, Harper’s other trademark is his searing guitar – he often venue (Mozart Café – Kitchen & Kocktails), we found ourselves at a plays a Weissenborn, a special (and rare) kind of lap slide guitar pebble-strewn terrace, largely deserted if you didn’t count the half a that has a unique sound that other slide guitars cannot deliver. On dozen ‘friends’ of the band. The band itself was called The Avalanche Live from Mars as well as Diamonds on the Inside, his guitar and – a bunch of four Delhi boys – with a predilection for, you guessed his vocals, heavily loaded with emotion as they are, made me a big right, hard rock. Incubus, Porcupine Tree and fan of his music. Low Level Flight are some of the bands that Some critics seem to be bothered that The Avalanche lean on for inspiration and, they cannot easily classify Harper’s music unsurprisingly, they covered songs by them. into any specific genre and tend to brand They slipped in an Arctic Monkeys’ cover too him as a purveyor of mishmash. That I think and had a few of their own compositions on is patently unfair because it is his ability to the playlist as well. I started by saying create a variety of genres that sets him apart. usually a gig is a good way for me to unwind. There is method in the madness of Well, this one was unusual. Perhaps the bad Harper’s music. He has different bands for sound system had a something to do with why different genres: the blues-driven, raucous the evening quickly turned sour but I guess rock band, Relentless7, and the softer, more the overpriced crappy drinks at Mozart had contemplative Innocent Criminals. BAD ROMANCE a lot to do with our decision to leave before Yet, a couple of months ago, for his 10th Was it the drinks? The bad sound system? I don’t know. album, Give Till It’s Gone, Harper chose not the band came back for the second set. Back home, I reached for another gig – a I didn’t stay to listen to The Avalanche play another set to use any of his back-up bands. On this solo recording of Ben Harper’s Live from the Montreal International album, the songs are intensely personal and much less gritty than Jazz Festival. Quickly, the weekend began to get much better. Harper on his outings with Relentless7. The album has some surprises too: and one of his multiple bands, Relentless7, were recorded at the Ringo Starr plays drums on two tracks and Jackson Browne sings 30th edition of Montreal’s prestigious festival in 2009. The album harmony on one. It’s a subdued album that grows and grows on you. was released late last year. The CD comes with 13 audio tracks as Reaching for Harper’s music was a good idea last weekend after well as a DVD of the concert. the disaster we encountered when we went for a gig at a I’ve never been able to classify Harper’s music. Pretty much like neighbourhood café. his multiple ethnicity – he’s a quarter African-American, a quarter To give feedback, stream or download the music mentioned in this column, go to Native American and half Jewish – his music straddles genres as, follow argus48 on Twitter or visit our diverse as blues folk, soul, reggae and rock. I got to hear Harper in website:






HOME REMEDIES FOR PERFECTLY RADIANT and clean skin, exfoliate with 2 tbsp of oatmeal – only if you have oily skin.

If you’re a two-minute shower person, prepare to faint. There’s more to a really good bath than you know! by Kavita Devgan

FOR NORMAL SKIN, prepare a scrub of 1 tbsp (each) chickpea powder and milk powder, a pinch of turmeric, half a tsp sandalwood powder, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp glycerine and a pinch of baking soda. Make a soft paste by adding either fresh milk or olive oil (according to requirement and skin type). Rub this into your skin for 15 to 20 minutes before showering at least 34 times a week.


BATH IS not just about getting squeaky clean. A good bath in the morning or evening can be calming or energising – as long as you do it right. “A perfect bath is one that stimulates blood supply to the skin, cleans it of germs, removes dead cells and leaves the skin toned and fresh,” says Siddharth Shankar of Mystic Salon and Spa in Delhi. “Timing is important,” believes Joseph P Skaria, spa manager at The Spa at Shangri-La, Delhi. “It is good to have a bath early in the morning with cold water or late in the evening with hot water. Cold water rejuvenates and hot water soothes muscle aches,” he says. Contrary to what you believe, a good bath does not begin with turning on the tap. “Begin with stretching the body slightly, followed by an oil massage,” says Shankar. “If you can’t do this every day, aim for a massage at least twice a week,” adds Skaria. Dr Meenakshi Joshi, consultant, ayurveda and aromatherapy, Artemis Health Institute, Gurgaon, agrees: “Taking a bath without a massage may wash away the natural oils of the body and lead to dry skin and early signs of ageing. In contrast, a bath after a massage washes off unabsorbed oil. Plus a massage will pacify the vata dosha, it is one of the best anti-ageing, anti-stress rituals.” “A massage also boosts circulation, which adds sheen to the skin,” says Kapil Dhameja, co-owner of Blue Terra Spa, Delhi. “The oil used for massage should not be refined but cold pressed. The benefits of pure oil are incomparable in relation to refined oils.” Pure oils include virgin olive oil, sweet almond oil or essential




oils such as lavender, eucalyptus or sandalwood. “In summer, use lighter oils like coconut, eucalyptus and jasmine. Heavier oils like almond are suited for winter,’’ says Dr Shehla Agarwal, consultant dermatologist, Mehak Skin Clinic, Delhi. How much massage is required? According to Dr Joshi, “The skin is made up of seven layers. To reach and activate the deepest layer of the tissue, roughly 800 matra time of tactile sensation or massage is required. Going by this theory, 15 minutes of massage is enough daily.”


It’s still not time to let water wash over your skin. The next step is exfoliation. “Exfoliating your body helps remove dry and dead skin cells, and

allows your healthy skin to shine through,” says Dr Narmada Matang, head, medical services, Kaya Skin Clinic. “Exfoliate gently, using micro beads. Use a loofah, exfoliating gloves or brush, start at the soles of the feet and work your way up. Use gentle, circular motions. Rub rough spots with a pumice stone. Apply lotion containing alpha or beta hydroxy acids afterwards. This will continue the exfoliating process because the acids further abrade and remove dead skin cells. Do a full body exfoliation once a week for sure.”


Also, perfume your bath. “A bath with essential oils is a most effective aromatherapy treatment. Essential oils can be used directly or mixed with a base oil for superior hydration,” says


A MASSAGE WITH milk cream and a few drops of lemon helps to remove dirt and add shine to the skin. A few drops of glycerine added to bath water keeps the skin supple and moisturised. ALOE VERA JUICE and turmeric paste on the skin are perfect for all seasons and a great way to get soft and radiant skin.

Anita Kaushal, founder-director, Tattva Spa, Delhi. “In the bath, the therapeutic action is twofold. The oil is absorbed into the skin, moisturising the dermis and entering the circulatory system. The aromas stimulate the brain and increase the sense of wellbeing.” Kaushal suggests basil, chamomile, juniper, lavender, neroli and ylang ylang for a relaxing bath and cypress, eucalyptus, fennel, rosemary and thyme for a stimulating bath. For men she recommends basil, sage and sandalwood oils. Says Dr Joshi, “Jojoba or sunflower oil makes a nice base – take 2 tsp, add 4 drops each of lavender oil, grapeseed oil and lemon oils. Add this to an unscented bath gel, shake well and add to your tub. Soak well and scrub with a loofah. This will leave you fresh and perfumed.”




Water WAYS

COLD WATER is best in the morning, because it’s energising. However, essential oils do not work with cold water. WARM WATER is best in the evening, because it soothes aches and pains. It’s also best for releasing essential oils. HOT WATER: Never. It’s an absolute no-no. While the healing powers of a warm bath go far beyond the regular body wash ritual, experts feels that taking a bubble bath more than twice a month is not recommended as bathing in hot water for too long can dehydrate the body and even dry up the skin.

To get the best benefit from the oils, Dr Agarwal suggests, “For a tub bath, fill the tub with tepid water in summer and warm water in winter (not hot). Add 10 to 15 drops of the oil to it. For a bucket bath add 7 to 8 drops of oil in the last rinse. For a shower bath, drop a few drops of the oil on the floor, below the shower, and inhale the aroma as it rises up. Use warm water.”


We’ve grown up using bars of soap, but the variety of shower gels now available lets you enjoy a new bathing experience. If you’re still not tempted, try soaps made from all-natural ingredients. Dhameja advises, “Choose your soap according to your skin type. People with dry skin should choose a soap with a moisturiser like glycerine.” Adds Dr Agarwal, “Don’t use anti-bacterial soaps for bathing. They are drying in nature and also do away with essential microbes like sweat-reducing bacteria.” “A shower gel is preferable as it is con-

■ Switch off your phone. Keep the

bathroom door locked so you can have complete mental peace. ■ Get some good foot mats and soaking towels to avoid spills and falls. ■ Use dim or soft lights in the bathroom. White lights are not ideal. Look for warm light. ■ Use aroma candles as they provide visual relaxation and their scent exudes peace. ■ Alternately, an infuser with light fragrant aroma oil works wonders during a bath. ■ Put on soft healing music or chants for real relaxation. ■ Pot pourri bags are essential. They will keep the bathroom smelling fresh.

venient to use and doesn’t rip off natural oils. Also scrubbing the body with a loofah further lowers the vata component and helps in relieving stress,” says Dr Joshi.


How long should one stay in a bath? “Hop out after 20 minutes to preserve the skin’s natural moisture and oils,” says Dr Matang. Skaria adds, “The outer layer of the skin produces an oily substance called sebum. If you stay in water for too long, much of this is washed off and the skin starts to absorb water, hence the wrinkled skin.” Once you step out, dry off properly. “Often, we miss out on drying the natural creases of the body. This can lead to fungal or bacterial infections,” says Dr Agarwal. “Don’t dry the skin roughly, gently pat it dry. Leave some moisture on the skin so when you apply moisturiser the skin can absorb it fully and seal it in,” adds Dr Matang. Finally, meditate for a few minutes as that refreshes your mind.


Destress yourself


earning to manage stress can be a powerful weapon in your fight against adverse conditions. Coping with stress is all about having a hold, on our thoughts, emotions, environment, and the way we deal with problems. To beat stress there are certain dos and don’ts one must keep in mind. Lifestyle management ■ Identify the sources of stress. ■ Express your feelings instead of bottling them up. ■ Talk with family, friends or other advisers about your concerns and stresses and ask for their support. ■ Take 15 to 20 minutes a day to sit quietly, breathe deeply and meditate. ■ Learn to accept things you can’t change. ■ Chant ‘Om’ daily, and especially before handling an important task ■ When you’re struggling with stress, it can be tempting to turn to alcohol, cigarettes or even unhealthy food for comfort. But beware – these behaviours will only compound your stress. ■ Be positive - look for the good in situations instead of the bad. ■ Reframe problems, try to view stressful situations from a more positive perspective. ■ Don’t try to control the uncontrollable. ■ Choose healthy ways to recharge yourself, like long walks and yoga ■ Spend time amidst nature.

■ Light aroma candles.

■ Listen to music. ■ Learn to say no. Give yourself enough time to get things done. ■ Maintain a stress journal. It can help you identify the constant stressors in your life and the way you deal with them. Each time you feel stressed, keep track of it in your journal. Apart from managing one’s lifestyle, how to eat to beat stress is also a big question. Try to incorporate these foods in your eating schedule. Vegetable juices: The juice of cabbages and carrots, with a little beetroot, ginger and spinach is a wonderful source of antioxidants, which improves memory THINKSTOCK function. Fruits: Eating whole fruits is many times more beneficial than drinking fruit juice. Whole fruits are rich in B complex, which is very essential for the nerves, besides being rich in vitamin C, natural sugar fructose and minerals. Wholegrains: Many of us do not realise that most of the food we eat is so highly refined that it has lost most of its vitamins and minerals, and when we eat such foods, our body gets deficient in many areas. Wholegrains like dalia (with vegetables), unpolished rice, poha and boiled black channa chaat are a few of the healthier version of foods that we can adopt.

Reel World

The Corporate Guide to Struggling in B-town From doing your research to locating your resources and finding your niche, here’s the lowdown on how to get famous by Kanika Dhillon


BOLLYWOOD STRUGGLER needs to remember two things – first that he/she is a struggler, and second, that no one else should know the desperation of his/her struggle. Especially when he/she is desperately struggling. However, a struggler can always indulge in the pleasure of describing the details of what it took to reach where he or she did – after he/she has raced ahead of it all. Of course, one hopes that by that time, he or she has acquired the appropriate discretion to know which colourful tales to glorify, and which slippery hues to erase from his or her memory before divulging the dynamics of it all for public consumption. But before he or she gets to this delightful dilemma, a struggler has a long way to go. Let’s start at the beginning of the strugglers’ journey. These Bollywood hopefuls come in various shapes, sizes and colours. Some are water-proof, some tear-proof. But the ones most likely to survive are the


‘extendables’ – those who have the capacity to take on more than they imagined. Once the candidates have been segregated and the ones with less durability have taken a plane, train or bus back home, the remaining few need to chart a fairly precise path. In the 21st century, this needs a corporate approach (somehow, attaching the word ‘corporate’ to this process adds virtuosity to the phenomenon of trying to be part of Bollywood’s world of gyrating celluloid dreams). So let’s take a look at the Bollywood Strugglers’ Manual. Subtitled: ‘What to Expect When Expecting a Bollywood Miracle’. Before anything else, glance at the index page of the manual. The one where it says ‘choose your poison’. What do you aspire to be? An actor, director, singer, writer, producer? (Don’t forget to read the comforting footnote that states that anyone at any point can pursue acting. It is a universal option.) For those tortured souls who engage in an education and train to be actors –


developing their instincts and emotions to emote for the camera – we’re sorry to tell you that such dedication has merely a theoretical implication. Because, more often than not, ‘genetics’ is the way to superstardom in Bollywood. (And we don’t mean genes determining your perfect physical attributes. We mean genes determining your perfect surname.) So don’t forget to please the gods in this lifetime to get your ‘genetics’ right for the next. Now that that’s out of the way, turn to the first section of the Bollywood Strugglers’ Manual. Chapter 1 is titled R&D – i.e., research and development.


The research in this particular field pertains to reading about the people who are already basking in the glory of stardom. (Strictly the official version, of course.) Development is the extension of your research – you must hone your skills, understand your talent (or lack of it) and acquire the skill sets you need to put your





The ‘Bollywood Strugglers’ Manual’ does come with some wellmeaning mumbojumbo, but in fine print. This is meant especially for those who feel they came here chasing dazzling flashbulbs, but found a malfunctioning light bulb instead – mostly it doesn’t work, but it bursts into a flood of glittering illumination at erratic intervals. But a true blue Bollywood struggler will pretend that this cheeky bulb was the rainbow he chased all his life, or else the insolent ‘bulb’ may weigh too heavy on a life spent discovering it.


best foot forward (assuming you get a footing anywhere). This R&D can help you determine where you want to head… and most importantly, how. For those who have a pretty clear picture already: pat yourselves on the back. For those who are aiming for the stars and the moon right from the start: keep in mind that small opportunities need to be grabbed as well. Because though the grocer down the road may be a movie buff, he is definitely not going to give you his eggs and bread free of charge just for the ‘love of cinema’. For those who don’t ever need to see their local grocer: well clearly, their ‘genes’ have given them a silver spoon. So they should hold on to it with both hands and use it unapologetically.


After the R&D, the Bollywood struggler needs to ‘marinate in her or his creative juices’. This means day after day of inactivity and dis‘appointments’, puffing cigarettes in the balcony while wondering why no one notices her/his talent. This is the phase in which things don’t move, but life races ahead. Many strugglers lose the battle while sitting in that balcony surrounded by wilted plants and cigarette butts, while the rest patiently wait, letting their creative juices soak into their skins. (Note for people with genetic – read surname – advantage: This ‘mythical’ scenario is merely the immature and onesided account of jaded bitter people who don’t really make it. Talent is what one needs – surname or no surname. ) Having survived the ‘creative marinating’, the third step is gathering HR or human resources (inverted). That is, gathering Resourceful Humans. However dedicated, talented and skilled, the struggler

will need a bank of resourceful humans to show her or him the way, provide that elusive phone number, fix that path-breaking meeting or just introduce her or him to someone with a job to offer. The HR (or RH) in this case is not organised, but the struggler can work on instinct. This instinct is something that a struggler develops while sitting on that balcony for months.


However, a word of caution. Self-help books on how to meet the right people, or how to improve your body language to attract the right people will not help here. Barging into a director’s office and depositing yourself on his couch till the springs under the cushions start resenting your weight is not a wise move either. E- stalking on Facebook and Twitter is also definitely not the way. It’s a process that will take time, but slowly and steadily the people around will discover the halo of talent that, all these years, was visible only to you in your tiny bathroom mirror. And then, hopefully, this Resourceful Human will extend a sympathetic ear to your unfulfilled aspirations. This will lead to the next chapter in the manual – application. A job as an assis-


tant, intern, a small role in a big venture or a miniscule role in a small venture will definitely come up. But the key here is to assess, reject and then focus on what you really want to do rather than jumping on the first offer made. (Even though the local grocer is not sending you free gift hampers even now, although he knows you by name and your favourite brands.) Note for those who have landed exactly where they need to be by this point: Rush to the nearest place of worship for thanksgiving. Note for those who are still stuck in the balcony, with an overloaded ashtray: Head for a holiday to Lonavala, Bangkok or Paris. Or get together with friends who are in the same or slightly worse condition. Community pain always helps lift the burden of solitary dejection. Once rejuvenated, you can start the process all over again. And hopefully your path will lead you to the Eden Gardens of glamour, where the war is beautiful, the war paint glossy, and the warfare is executed from the dreamy trenches. Welcome to Bollywood! Kanika Dhillon is an LSE alumnus, a screenplay writer and the author of the best-selling novel Bombay Duck is a Fish



SONALI BENDRE Born and brought up in Mumbai, Sonali Bendre started her career as a model before getting selected by the Stardust Talent Search. She acted in several films, including Sarfarosh, Zakhm, Hum Saath Saath Hain and Kal Ho Naa Ho, but quit the industry in 2002 after marrying film director Goldie Behl. Sonali now regularly appears as a TV judge on India’s Got Talent. The latest season of this Colors show will be on air soon One word that describes you best?

Contradictory might be a good way to describe me.

If a traffic constable hauls you up, what will you do? I’ll smile at him. It always works.

What makes you feel sexy?

Your first kiss was...

Too perfect to be described.

A place where you would like to be lost for a month? It would be somewhere in Europe, which is so full of interesting art and architecture.

You get high on?

Being sexy is a state of mind for me and it has to be a person who can get me into that state of mind.

Life. Very typical but absolutely true.

What did you do with your first pay cheque?

Which superhero would you like to be and why?

I gave it to my parents.

Earth’s crowded and full of trash. Choose another planet.

No superhero, but I would love to be more like the X-Men with all their super powers.

Any other planet that is habitable.

Love is...

If you could have had a star perform at your wedding, who would it have been and why?

Choose: Air India or Indian Railways?

I was the only star at my wedding as it was a very close affair.

Do you love Luv Storys?

Only if they are a little dark.

A tune you can’t get out of your head?

It is a very old but beautiful song, Ye nayan dare dare...

The one law you would break if you could get away with it? I am actually too law-abiding.

Share a secret with us… you can trust us, we’ll only print it!

After all these years, everyone knows a lot about me and what they don’t know is meant to be a secret.

...the only true thing.

Air India simply because it is faster.

What is the weirdest thing that ever went into your mouth?

A creepy, crawly bug went into my mouth while I was on my first shoot in Bangalore.

What makes your day?

Getting a compliment first thing in the morning.

What screws it up?

Not getting my breakfast in a particular style.

If you were the last person left on Earth, what would you do?

I would be really depressed and really not do anything.




— Interviewed by Veenu Singh






Hindustantimes Brunch 17 July 2011  

Hindustantimes Brunch 17 July 2011

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