WEEKLY MAGAZINE, JULY 21, 2013 Free with your copy of Hindustan Times
Anything you can do, a robot can do better and faster. They’re already here. They’re getting smarter. They will change your life. Forever.
Do you have to finish every book?
In sharp focus: Nokia Lumia 1020
Photo: Avinash Gowariker. From the Brunch Collector’s Edition
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This Too Happened
by Shreya Sethuraman
AND THEN THERE WERE NONE...
While the dot-dash-dot script will be sorely missed, read about some historic telegrams sent across the world. For more on the history of telegram, turn to page 11.
offices should close entirely and flags half mast from sunrise. THE SHORTEST RECORDED TELEGRAM Oscar Wilde is said to have sent the shortest telegram, when he sent “?” to his publisher enquiring about book sales. The reply “!” ONE FROM THE TITANIC, APRIL 15, 1912 “SOS SOS CQD CQD TITANIC. WE ARE SINKING FAST. PASSENGERS ARE BEING PUT INTO BOATS. TITANIC.”
MAHATMA GANDHI’S ASSASSINATION, 1948 The Government of India sent a telegram with the following message: Government of India. Regret. Mahatma Gandhi was victim of shooting outrage. Gandhiji expired yesterday evening. Cremation will take place Saturday 4pm. Prime Minister has broadcast Saturday 31st be observed as day of fasting and prayer. Suggests
The Brunch Bollywood Collector’s Edition is Out!
STARRING... AND PRAN!
This special issue brings you the top 50 Bollywood stars of today. We also got very interesting people from the film industry to talk about them, and we have exclusive photographs by Mumbai’s best photographers as well! Grab your copy NOW!
Madhuri Dixit – Classic Beauty
by Anil Kapoor
inema is a very visual medium, and Madhuri has a beautiful face. She possesses all the three qualities people look for in an actress: a lovely smile, face and a wonderful voice. To add to that, she is a very good performer. She is also a spectacular dancer. That’s everything in one package. I am waiting to see Madhuri in Dedh Ishqiya. Simply because good actors are very competitive. She will give her best since Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi are there in the film. AVAILABLE AT LEADING BOOKSTORES AND NEWSSTANDS
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The bone-chilling voice, the stareinto-your-soul sneer and the limp cigarette hanging from the side of thin lips. None of these would have made Pran the most terrifying villain of all times, if it wasn’t for his well-cut stylish clothes. Born in a wealthy family in Delhi of the early ’20s, it was no surprise that he took to the dapper fashions of the ’40s and the ’50s with such flair. He’d easily pull off a Fedora, a pipe and a tweed suit in Adalat (1958) and a Woodstock-inspired slim-fit, round-neck, tie-and-dye T-shirt and bell-bottoms in Jungle Mein Mangal (1972). Pran’s early wardrobe in films looks like a vintage fashion dream of a well-dressed man in any era. So, if you haven’t gone through a Pran retrospective of films, we suggest you do right away. Films You Need to Bookmark For You/Your Man’s Wardrobe ■ Anjaana (1969) ■ Chingari (1953) ■ Aap
JULY 21, 2013
On The Brunch Radar
by Shreya Sethuraman
Dancing to Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon... ■ Jugal Hansraj in Masoom *sigh* ■ Calvin interrogating his parents about parenting skills. ■ LEGO-styled stationery.
Waterlogged streets everywhere! ■ No heat. Only humidity. A lot of humidity. ■ ‘Modern’ men with a ‘traditional’ outlook. ■ Strawberries and cream. Ugghh! ■
by Amisha Chowbey
Olympia: Édouard Manet Year: 1863; Displayed: Musée d’Orsay, Paris Manet gives us a peek into the room of a wealthy Parisian prostitute, loaded with gifts and a maid bringing in more. It disgusted the Emperor when displayed at the Salon. Sneaky men visiting with wives would hurry past it. Also, Manet died of syphilis at 51. Just saying!
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
Akbar Anthony (1977)
CHECK OUT THE NUDES, DUDES!
Cover design: MONICA GUPTA Cover images: CORBIS, SHUTTERSTOCK
Said The Men In White Coats David: Michelangelo Year: Between 1501 and 1504 Displayed: Galleria dell’Accademia, Florence Michelangelo sculpted a glorious David out of one block of Carrara marble. Standing at 17-feet tall, it is stunning. When the Grand Duke of Tuscany gifted a replica to Queen Victoria in 1857, she had a fig leaf cover his private part (alt. disco stick) to avoid red faces. Probably, only hers.
by Yashica Dutt
Ever wondered cholikepeechekyahai? Here are your answers to that pertinent question. Doubts are a thing of the past! Oh, and there’s a nude dude too
Woman V: Willem de Kooning Year: 1952 to 1953; Displayed: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Imagine a man with a paintbrush, attacking the canvas in a mad fit. Of a series of six works, Woman V is a half-ogre halfwoman product of this sort of attack. This is advanced art, action painting by a so-called misogynist.
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Gala nude/ Abraham Lincoln: Salvador Dali Year: 1975 Displayed: Dali TheatreMuseum, Spain With the view of Gala’s well formed behind, who’d believe Dali’s muse was in her 70s when this was painted? A master of illusions, the sexy back turns into Abraham Lincoln’s portrait, viewed from 20 metres.
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Le Rêve: Pablo Picasso Year: 1932, Private Collection It’s Picasso’s way of saying that at the age of 50, he’s nailing this 22year-old girl despite a wife and children back home. He immortalises the beauty of his muse MarieThérèse Walter, with his privates on display, casually strewn over and making up half her face.
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Q1. I am a mother of 2 kids and I feel my family is complete. I do not wish to have any more kids and would like to undergo permanent contraception. Please tell me the pros and cons of this option. It is no doubt a tough decision to make regarding permanent contraception, but you have made a good choice if you think your family is complete. This procedure for woman is quite popular in India and is an easy procedure which does not necessarily require being in the hospital for a long time. If done in consultation with a good Gynaecologist, the success of permanent contraception is almost 100%. However, before undergoing this procedure, discuss with your family, especially with your husband thoroughly because it is an irreversible process. A l t e r n a t i v e l y, t h e r e a r e contraception options for males too.
Q2. I have a regular cycle of 28 days. I got married three months back and my husband does not like to use protection. He says we will avoid having sex from 11-15 days of my cycle to avoid pregnancy. Is my husband right? Will this method work as a contraceptive measure? Can I be 100% sure that I will not become pregnant? One cannot rely on this method
completely. It is correct to say that there are a few days in a month when a woman can get pregnant, however, these days (when ovulation happens) may vary from woman to woman and also for one woman from cycle to cycle. Hence, this method, which is known as natural contraceptive method, is not full-proof and any miscalculation can expose you to the risk of an unwanted pregnancy. So it is recommended that you adopt a regular contraception method such as a condom or other methods of contraception as advised by your Gynaecologist. Q3. I am 41 years and sexually active woman. Recently I had an unprotected sex with my husband and I immediately took an emergency contraceptive pill. Will i t h a v e a n y s i d e e ff e c t s considering my age? I still get regular periods and the history of menopause in my family is above 50 years. You did the right thing by taking an emergency contraceptive pill, as even at the age of 41 some women have the potential to conceive. Apart from some menstrual cycle disturbance (which is also not necessary), you may not feel any other serious side effects. Going forward, do adopt a regular method of contraception to be safe, as emergency contraceptive pills are to be used only in case of emergencies.
BE AN AAM AADMI Theyâ€™re still in season. And mangoes may just be the most delicious medicine youâ€™ll ever have
compound of vitamin A) than any HE BEST THING about July? other fruit. In addition, it contains Some varieties of mango are still abundant levels of vitamins B1 and abundantly available, are less likely B2, niacin, iron and fibre. Ripened to be artificially ripened for the May yellow mangoes act as a diuretic, demand and so offer more natural helping those with water retention goodness with each juicy slice (or shed excess fluid and keep kidneys bite, depending on how mangoin good shape. The sweet mango crazy you are). The luscious golden also improves haemoglobin in the fruit, much loved across India, has blood, its fibre promotes been around for thousands of intestinal movement by years and was even acting as a laxative and mentioned in Vedic texts. Roydelivers a boost of energy. alty and humble folk alike Green mangoes have a have succumbed to its delights much higher proportion of every season. vitamin C, which keeps The mango is not just FISTFUL OF IRON Eat aamchur powder skin glowing, helps clear delicious, it offers great regularly to combat clogged pores and prenutritional value and anaemia vents scurvy. The typical advantages for health. If sour astringent taste comes from you eat your mangoes ripe, natural acids that combat heat-reyou benefit from a good dose of lated problems (fix yourself a glass vitamin A. In fact, the fruit has more of aam panna) and reduces cysts. beta carotene (the parent
WHAT MANGOES CAN DO tive system. Add it to your recipes as a souring agent. Both varieties of the fruit are antioxidant rich and have been HELP YOU BULK UP shown to help prevent Mangoes are sweet and calorific cancer and heart diswithout being cloying. Mango ease. In addition, each with milk delivers a combibite delivers a dose of nation of easily digestible potassium, which is very carbohydrates and protein good for maintaining blood for those looking to gain pressure, and weight. flavonoids, the CURB DIABETES FRIENDLY CARBS compounds that boost Blend mango with Look to the leaf, not our immune system. milk for a healthy way the fruit. The soft to gain weight AID DIGESTION young leaves of the The acids in green mangoes inmango tree prevent and control crease the secretion of bile and act early symptoms of diabetes. Dry as an intestinal antiseptic. Have it and powder the leaves. Take half a with honey and black pepper daily. teaspoon of this powder, twice a Aamchur (sun-dried raw mango day. powder) is great to aid the diges-
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 on counselling and psychotherapy. Supported by:
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JULY 21, 2013
B R U N C H D AT E
Photo: SATISH BATE
Charting A New Course With Kiran Rao at the helm, Anand Gandhi’s acclaimed Ship Of Theseus is all set to sail the Indian seas. Will local waters part for the duo? by Amrah Ashraf
NAND GANDHI is at an interesting moment in his life. His film, Ship Of Theseus, has picked up awards from festivals in Tokyo, Dubai, London, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, but he still hasn’t realised that people might be interested in knowing him or his work. He has a spring in his step, talks to everyone and is very inquisitive, but is slightly spooked when the media comes chasing. “It’s all too new for me,” he admits readily. “Maybe Kiran [Rao] can teach me how she handles the attention so well.” Rao, who is presenting the film, is a surprise too. She walks up to me, puts a hand around my shoulder and asks if I’m ready for the interview. She then shouts out to Gandhi to join us. On an overcast evening, at Mehboob Studios, we chat about the film, art, and Bollywood.
What about the Theseus paradox intrigued you to make the movie?
ANAND: It all started in 2005, when I was battling with many ideas – questions of identity, the inevitability of change and the constant state of fluxes. Obviously the solutions were elusive for the longest time. But I realised that the question of identity is central to all problems. That is when the Theseus paradox [see box] hit me. Originally, it was a very small part of another feature idea I was working on. But the more we spoke about it, the
more I understood that it merited a movie of its own. In the movie, the paradox is just a thread that weaves the film together. It is a springboard for each of the three very real stories that you and I have experienced.
Kiran, when did you come on board and what made you do it?
film that everyone should watch. ANAND: With Kiran coming on board, I get to attach her name to my film. She has a great fan following and has spent the last few years engaging the audience in parallel yet commercial films. It is a great boost for an independent filmmaker like me because I get to use the infrastructure that she has built over the years for my film. We stand for the same kind of cinema and she has seen commercial success. That gives me hope.
audience in the bigger cities. ANAND: I don’t understand why people think the movie is too niche or out-of-the-box. It is a very simple movie about identity crisis. When I was making the movie, I intended it to be seen by everyone, not just the festival janta. Yes, there is scope for philosophical inquiry. But philosophical inquiry, whether informed or not, happens to everyone who consumes any art. This movie, like any other piece of art, will make you think and that will in turn make you participate in the film.
How did you go about selling a film as niche as this?
KIRAN: It has to be the audience. Mostly filmmakers make movies that people want to watch, films which are a reflection of the society at the time. Of course, the Hindi film industry is also expanding and letting filmmakers find their voice and not dictating terms to them.
The paradox is just a thread that weaves in three very real tales
KIRAN: I watched the movie at the Naya Cinema Film Festival towards the end of 2012 and it blew me away. I wasn’t prepared for how much it would affect me. But I never thought I could be a part of it. I was just a member of the adoring audience. After the movie, I met Anand and asked if he needed help selling the movie. Thankfully he said yes. If we don’t support independent artists then brilliant movies like Ship of Theseus will go unwatched. All films, no matter what genre, need to be given a chance. That is why I’m supporting this film. It is a
KIRAN: You’ll be surprised to know that there is a market for these movies in unlikely cities like Thoothukudi, Sri Ganganagar and Coimbatore. The number is small but not insignificant. If there is an audience there, there is definitely an
THE THESEUS PARADOX In simple words, if you were to replace all parts of an object one by one, then would that object remain the same object? For example, if you were to replace each part of a ship with a new part, would that ship still be the original ship? And if you were to reassemble the ship with its discarded parts, which one the two ships would be the original ship?
A few years ago, a movie like this would not have seen a theatrical release. What has changed now?
ANAND: I am working on Tumbaad with Sohum Shah and am very excited about participating in Kiran’s writing process. KIRAN: I just want a long vacation! Then I’ll start chiselling away. firstname.lastname@example.org
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OR NEARLY 100 years, the word ‘robot’ has carried a connotation of something exotic – a future yet unseen, gleaming humanoids and behemoths either being our beasts of burden or our overlords. It began in 1920 with a Czech play, Karel Capek’s Rossum’s Universal Robots. It was the first time the word was ever used in the English language. Now the combined imagination of generations of sci-fi writers is at our doorstep – robots are here.
Literally translated from Czech, a robot means slave. It’s a machine capable of being programmed to perform complex actions. If your smartphone had wheels, it would be a robot. It could talk, it could be used for surveillance and it could roll in circles around your bed, ringing an alarm till you wake up. Half a century ago, when Isaac Asimov was churning novel after novel about robots and humanoids, enthralling generations of geeks JULY 21, 2013
across the world, “robotics was a very specialised field,” says Santanu Chaudhary, professor of robotics at IIT Delhi. “Now, robotics is here in a big way and a variety of forms.” There is an abundance of research going on across the world into making robots faster, smarter, stronger and more adaptable. In other words, we are the generation that gets to see robots growing up. We’re standing at the edge of tomorrow. These robots will change our lives. We show you how.
If you’re the guy who screws on caps on tubes of toothpaste, you’re already a goner. Robots can do all our mundane work, all our dirty work – people no longer have to be subjected to hazardous environments or physicallydemanding tasks. Robots work seven days a week, don’t go on strike and they never get pregnant.
But there have always been a few glitches. Powerful industrial robots could cause serious accidents as they couldn’t tell humans apart. They needed a programmer to feed in codes. And they were expensive. One robot could cost half a million dollars. But last September along came Baxter. A very smart industrial robot designed by Rodney Brooks, the world’s most celebrated roboticist. It can see and perceive humans, and is thus able to work along with them. And any idiot can train it. Holding its hands, you guide it to complete a task and Baxter learns what and how it is supposed to work. And at $22,000, it may even give competition to Indian labour, when it releases internationally as early as next year. Before the end of this century, claims Wired magazine, “70 per cent of today’s occupations will be replaced by automation... from manual labour to knowledge work.” Not real knowledge work, surely”? Your white-collared job is safe, right? Mine isn’t. A robot can write a news story. Neither is yours. Robots are entering all professions. They are entertainers, cops, teachers. At the Robot Restaurant in Harbin, China, bots cook noodles and dumplings and wait tables. Hell, robots even play football! The official objective of annual RoboCup is to have humanoids go against the winning human team of the most recent World Cup by 2050. And for everything a robot can’t do yet, there’s a human working somewhere to make sure that it can eventually. We found out that even fashion designer Raghavendra Rathore once made a small robot for a robotics course at Hampshire college, Amherst, Massachusetts. He sees a lot of potential for robots in the fashion industry. “I’d love robotic feed-
Roxxxy, a sex robot, comes with artificial intelligence and flesh-like synthetic skin. She is 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighs 120 pounds and responds to your touch. Seen here with her maker Doug Hines back. I wouldn’t have to wait for models, we could have robot mannequins which can tell if the clothes don’t fit well,” he says with a laugh. Except, he’s dead serious. Now that somebody famous has said it, you’re not sure whether you want to be a luddite or laugh. Well, they’re coming home too... People already are. Even in India. The Milagrow floor cleaner is a very simple robot. It’s a flat disc, which moves in circles, brushing the dirt off your floor till the area is absolutely clean. You don’t even need to charge it. As soon as its battery drops to 15 per cent, it finds its way to the charger and charges itself. “Bye! Bye! Shanta bai!” says a user review on Flipkart. India is a great market for domestic robots. By 2015, says Rajeev Karwal, CEO of Milagrow, “we plan to bring in service robots which can wake you up in the morning, keep
Baxter by Rethink Robotics is an industrial robot, which can see and perceive humans. It can adapt to its environment – so the conveyor belt going too fast isn’t a problem anymore
your home safe, among other things.” But the robot you would want to own some day is a telepresence robot. This is basically your alter ego. A standard model looks like a stand with an attached screen, used for video-conferencing. It can move around by itself, attend meetings for you or visit remote locations. You can sit at home and manage an entire office on another continent. Every time you want to speak to a colleague or look at a presentation, just ask the robot to roll over to that area. You’ll be connected on video-conference. When it’s gliding through the hallway, you can even greet your colleagues on the way. You could have a robot all through retirement too. By 2050, the world’s 65plus-year-old population is projected to
Ava 500 (to be made available next year), made by Cisco and iRobot, can autonomously drive around an office and offers crisp HD video experience. It doesn’t need you to navigate. You feed in the floor plan of the building, and it will go to whichever room you ask it to
triple. All it means is more lonely years spent struggling to take care of your aching bones and popping countless pills. Luckily for you, Cody, a robotic nurse, is “gentle enough to bathe elderly patients.” Another robot, Hector, can remind you to take your medicine and review your agenda for the day. In case of emergencies, it can get help. The Japanese have made exoskeletons, battery-powered suits that amplify the wearer’s muscle action so he can lift heavy objects. Robots like these are also being used to aid the disabled. And none of this need be a heartless relationship between man and machine. Robots can be fun as well. Data, a stand-up comedy bot, can tell how the crowd perceives his routine and adjust accordingly. “I would like to say it is a pleasure to be here. But I’m a robot and know no emotion,” he says. Everybody cracks up. And because we know what you’re thinking, we’ll get to the most pertinent question before anything else.
The Brunch team was unanimously repulsed by the idea. They’re a bunch of prudes. We’re sure there are many others who wouldn’t mind. By 2050, according to a study from University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, nations may have to figure out legality for humans to marry robots. “It may sound a little weird,” researcher David Levy was reported saying, but, “Love and sex with robots is inevitable.” Although she hasn’t reached the supermarket yet, for $7,000, Roxxxy is more than just a sex doll. She’s made of silicon, can talk to you endlessly, respond to your touch and even shudders to stimulate orgasm. The makers are working on a male version, Rocky, too. Asimov’s first law of robotics: A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. Yeah, well that’s not real. But, robots can and are saving our lives. With the Da Vinci robotic surgery, now available in many Indian hospitals as well, surgeons can manoeuvre the robot with a console. They can see the insides of the body better than ever before through the robot’s eyes – an excellent HD camera. It doesn’t work on its own, it has very little Artificial Intelligence (AI), and needs a
India’s first humanoid was built by students from BITS Pilani in 2008. So far, the team has created six robots in the AcYut series – this one is Acyut 1. It could walk, fight and dance to Bollywood songs. AcYut 6 came fourth at RoboCup 2013 human coordinator. But it can successfully facilitate gynaecological surgeries and even heart surgeries. Dr Mangesh Patil, head robo-urologists at Mumbai’s Asian Heart Institute says a prostatectomy (normally four hours, plus a week of hospitalisation and one-two units of blood) is now a 75-minute keyhole procedure and you’re out in two days. And there are robots, which save your life in non-medical emergencies. Unmanned robots can navigate inhospitable terrain, and defuse explosives. Anuj Kapuria, the director of Hi-Tech Robotic Systemz, a company that makes robots for Defence, says, “We’ve seen it with computers, cellphones and all other technologies, defence is always the first user.” Last week, DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), America’s equivalent of the DRDO, unveiled a six-feet-two-inch, 300-pound humanoid which saves lives in hazard zones. While governments have so far kept humans as the operators of robotised weaponry, a UN report cites that Israel, South Korea, the UK, and the United States have developed weapons systems with various degrees of autonomy. And that answers the next question.
You’re already worried. Robots can terminate the entire human race, Hollywood tells us. Asimov called this the “Frankenstein complex” – Man’s obsession with the fear of robots; that
man will lose control over his technological creations. The thing with robots is, you can always switch them off. Robotic engineer Samay Kohli, CEO and cofounder of Grey Orange Robotics, (he was also part of the team that made India’s first humanoid AcYut), makes a fair point. Robots are just as safe/unsafe as your computer. “What if one day your bank balance is zero? Viruses and trojans pose a threat. Robots will be in the same space.” But will we be able to trust them? “You will,” he insists. “Look, do you
trust an aeroplane or not?” Precisely Asimov’s point. He said fear was rooted not in being physically harmed but in becoming obsolete. Economists Frank Levy of MIT and Richard J Murnane of Harvard conducted a study of jobs that have been lost and those which are likely to be lost as technology keeps advancing. They argue that the problem isn’t mass unemployment but the need to educate many more young people for the jobs computers cannot do. We’re not entirely sure what those jobs will be – in all probability, your primary role is going to be of managing the robot doing your job. Machines have been making our lives easier since the beginning of time. It’s the job of the machine to do what you once did. The wheel, the plough, the loom, the steam engine, the computer, the smartphone... It’s now time for the robot to shine. Ashutosh Saxena, a top robotic researcher at Cornell University (his team recently made a robot that can sense human anticipation and even pour you some beer when you need it to), says this is all happening right now. “Certain states in US (such as Nevada and California) have changed
We bring you our five favourite robots and what they taught us 1. OPTIMUS PRIME (Tranformers): The leader of the Autobots; a Viking hero masquerading as an alien robot masquerading as a giant truck, Optimus shows us how the good guys can still be cool. It Taught Us: Victory isn’t just the opposition’s defeat, it is the achievement of your objective through the right means. 2. R2D2 (Star Wars): This galaxy-saving robot can make and serve cocktails and hack a gigantic space station that could destroy planets. Never has so much love been showered on something that communicates in hoots and whistles. It Taught Us: It is possible to be cute, cool, save the world and play pranks on your buddy C3PO. 3. MARVIN THE PARANOID ANDROID (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the
driving laws to make robotic cars (self-driving) legal. I see significant changes in under five years,” he says. Kapuria, who studied at Carnegie Mellon University, estimates that robots will enter the market, “in about 15-20 years.” And this isn’t a first-world scenario. The Robotics Society of India (and no, we did not make this up) just had its first international robotics conference in Pune earlier this month. “We’ve never needed robots before because our labour is cheap,” says Professor Chaudhary, also the vicepresident (academic) of the Robotics Society. “But other kinds of requirements are coming up – security, terrorism, healthcare. There’s impetus.” And it is this impetus that is driving scientists and engineers in research laboratories across the world to make all kinds of robots.
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by Vipul Nanda
Galaxy): With a brain that’s the size of a planet, Marvin is not paranoid – just depressed and bored. He can’t be bothered about anyone because everything’s a waste for his awesomeness, anyway. It Taught Us: That existence is tough, even if you’re the most intelligent being in the universe. 4. WALL E (Wall E): This trash collecting robot exhibits more humanity and courage than most humans would manage. It Taught Us: Protect the environment! Also, fall in love. It makes everything look better. 5. T-800 (Terminator): Either way, the journey begins with an icecold killing machine, and ends with a child-saving hero with a heart of gold. Never has wooden acting in leather jackets looked quite so badass. It Taught Us: “Hasta la vista, baby!” - the best kill line ever.
L A ST LO O K
MESSAGE NUMBER 100
Our Deepest Condolences It’s goodbye to that thin strip of paper which once brought urgent news to people all over the country by Shreya Sethuraman
OU RECOGNISED the knock instantly, you sensed the urgency and knew something was up. Known as the taar, the telegram was always the harbinger of Big News. You reached home safely and sent a telegram to your parents back in your village. Your wife delivered a baby and you let all your relatives know. Your mother-inlaw announced her impending
arrival by telegram. What was earlier transmitted via a dedicated telegraph line was later transmitted via the Internet. Now there will be no more dots and no more dashes.
A DELUGE OF SENDERS
Once it was announced that the telegram would soon be history (as of 14 July), I thought it would be a
WHEN THEY MADE IT TO FILM
The telegram could send movie characters into a veritable tizzy. Our favourites: THE SOUND OF MUSIC: The eldest Von Trapp daughter Liesl and her boyfriend Rolfe talk of exchanging telegrams during one of their furtive meetings. She begins by saying ‘Dear Rolfe STOP’ And then says ‘DON’T STOP’ before running into his arms. MUNNA BHAI M.B.B.S: In this comedy directed by Rajkumar Hirani, a telegram announces the arrival of
Munna’s (Sanjay Dutt) parents. This creates panic as Munna and his friends now have to convert their chawl into a hospital. MASOOM: Directed by Shekhar Kapur, DK Malhotra (Naseeruddin Shah) receives a telegram asking him to come to Nainital to pick up his son (the one he never knew existed), Rahul (Jugal Hansraj).
good idea to head to the telegraph office and send a few token telegrams to family and friends. It was not a very original idea, of course! I discovered I was one among hundreds! When I reached the Central Telegraph Office last weekend, I found that all sorts of people were already there, sending off telegrams by the dozen. It was almost like a party, with strangers smiling and teaching newbies how to write a telegram (“No, no! You don’t need to write STOP anymore”, “Don’t forget to put in the pincode, it’s that tiny box on the side”). However, the telegrams that my friends eventually received were just scanned copies of the forms I filled in, and not the thin strips of paper we remember. On the day I sent my telegrams, the weather too seemed to be in farewell mode. The rain came down in sheets when the telegraph lines went silent, for good...
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THE HUMBLE BEGINNING... AND THE INEVITABLE END
May 24, 1844: The world’s first telegram is sent by Samuel Morse to his business partner Alfred Vail. 1850: India’s first experimental electric telegraph line runs between Calcutta and Diamond Harbour. 1851: The telegraph line is opened for the British East India Company. 1854: Telegraph facilities are opened to the public. William O’Shaughnessy, a surgeon, is the brain behind the system in India. June 12, 2013: The official announcement to end the telegram service is made. July 14, 2013: The Dot Dot Dash Dash script bids us goodbye.
To save time, the office had a list of 43 standard greetings. All you had to do was give the serial number. The messages included festival greetings, wishes for a married life, a new birth and a new home. And right at the end – deepest condolences.
THE END Photos: SHUTTERSTOCK
Do you always get there? Or are you the kind who has no problems abandoning a book halfway through? Seema Goswami
Fifty Shades Of Grey was just one of those freak books that you either loved or loathed; and I just happened to be one of those who loathed it
O, TO which author falls the distinction of having written a book that heads the list of the top five most abandoned – as in left unread till the end – titles? I am sure it will come as a shock for you to learn that it is none other than J K Rowling. But before you keel over, let me tell it is not for her Harry Potter series, but for the first ‘grown-up’ book she wrote. And the top reason people gave for abandoning The Casual Vacancy? It wasn’t exactly Harry Potter, was it? Well, as someone who has never read a single word that Rowling ever wrote (I am sorry but all that magic-Muggles stuff is just lost on me), I am really not qualified to comment. But the next book on the list of top five most abandoned titles makes perfect sense to me. It is Fifty Shades Of Grey by E L James, but more on that later. After that, the list gets a bit mystifying. The next title that most people gave up on is Eat Pray Love (which I loved from the word go; and long before it became something of a cult book) on the grounds that the heroine was too ‘whiny’ and ‘self-obsessed’ followed by The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, which many found too much of a slow starter to persist with. Well, I don’t know about you but I firmly believe that when it comes to books, the world is divided into two kinds of people. The first group believes in the ‘I’ve started so I’ll finish’ line and ploughs through to the (sometimes bitter) end while the second just wearily intones ‘Life is too short…’ and gives up the moment boredom sets in. Sadly, I happen to belong to the ‘I’ve started so I’ll finish’ school, so I have wasted years of my life battling through to the last page JULY 21, 2013
of books that were best left unfinished. But somehow, as far as I am concerned, to give up in the middle seems to smack of failure. And while at a rational level, I know that the failure is that of the writer’s and not mine, the reader’s, I am still reluctant to put INDELIBLY DULL the book away. So, there it lies, Many found The Girl With the languishing on my bedside table, Dragon Tattoo too much of a slow starter to persist with so that I can administer a sop to my uneasy conscience by reading a few pages every night before turning in. That way, at least, it serves a purpose: it puts me to sleep like no page-turner would. Of late, though, I have begun to wonder if boring, unreadable books are really worth all that effort (not to mention the self-flagellation involved). The thought first crossed my mind when I tried to read Fifty Shades Of Grey. Sado-masochistic bondage or deviant romances are not really my cup of coffee (I am more of a regency romance-Georgette Heyer kind of girl) but given that everyone was talking about it and that it behoves a columnist to be au fait with popular culture, I tried to give it a shot. Honest to God, I tried. In fact, I tried three times to get beyond page 150 before throwing the book down in disgust and flouncing off to read something – anything! – else. No, it wasn’t the erotica that put me off (frankly, I didn’t find it the least bit erotic) but the sheer banality of it all. Not to mention the utterly execrable writing. (Though what really made me weep was the thought that this book had topped the bestselling charts and made its author a millionaire many times over.) But I treated Fifty Shades Of Grey as a one-off. It was just one of those freak books that you either loved or loathed; and I just happened to be one of those who loathed it. That was before I downloaded Dan Brown’s Inferno on my iPad before setting off on holiday. Now, I am the kind of person who loves long-haul flights for exactly one reason: you can read a nice, fat, fast-paced thriller uninterrupted for eight hours and, with a bit of luck, finish it in one greedy mouthful. And I had loved Dan Brown’s last page-turners, The Da Vinci Code and The Lost Symbol, so I thought I was all set for the flight. Not quite. About 10 minutes into the book, I was beginning to get worried. Half an hour TOO INDULGENT! later, I knew I was in serious trouble. There Most people gave up was no way I was wading through this on Eat Pray Love on bilge for the next seven hours. Well, not the grounds that the heroine was too ‘whiny’ without losing the will to live. Which would be rather ironic, given the plot of the novel: and ‘self-obsessed’ a mad scientist tries to infect the world with a deadly plague and succeeds. But then, it turns out that it’s not really a deadly plague after all… ah well, never mind. Suffice it to say that it took me not eight hours, but five weeks to finish the book. And by the end, even I couldn’t quite figure out why I was persisting with the damn thing. I couldn’t be bothered about what happened next. I didn’t care if Professor Robert Langdon was finally killed off. Hell, I didn’t care if Dan Brown killed off the entire human race in his parallel universe. But still, I persisted until the very last page. Only to ask myself why I had bothered. Maybe the ‘I’ve started so I’ll finish’ argument has run its course and it is time to remember that life is, indeed, too short. MORE ON THE WEB
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PHOTOGRAPHY REINVENTED Shoot now, ask questions later. Why the Nokia Lumia 1020 is the cameraphone
EINVENTING PHOTOGRAPHY is a very big statement to headline a column with. But apart from it being a typically sneaky way of getting more people to read this column, it’s also true. Photography is a strange mix of hardware, tools, features, optics and software combined with the artistic wizardry of the person behind the camera. And any technology that can give wings to that aspect of shooting images is a true game changer. And one breakthrough has made that happen. THE NY STORY: Let me start from the start. Last week found me and my brutally fractured foot hobbling its way through airports and airplanes, on my way to New York. Thanks to British Airways (no, this is not a paid endorsement, just acknowledging the great work put in by the people working there) my broken foot and the fact that I was in a cast was forgotten quite easily. The next two days were a burst of activity that included walking in Central Park at 4am, watching the Broadway performance of Chicago and being the only one in the group that didn’t go off to sleep (all of them were severely jetlagged), experiencing the fun-
SEE THE BIG PICTURE
The Nokia Lumia 1020’s 41 megapixels mean you zoom into a dot to find it’s actually some balloons
niest stand-up comedy act I’ve seen in years (It’s called The Ride and it happens in a moving bus with sideways theatre seating. If you’re ever in NYC, you have do this), meeting more Indians in Times Square than I meet in Delhi - it was a blur that was typical of the buzz that the city of New York always manages to pull off. THE EVENTS BEFORE THE EVENT: Then it was time to do what I had really come for. The unveiling of a brand new Nokia Lumia phone that was to be the flagship of the series. This pre-reveal to the event turned out to be a bit of a comedy of errors. First the ‘supposed’ specs got leaked, then a video of the phone was outed by a partner for a few minutes before being pulled-off, then some photos taken on this new device were posted online – the leaks came hard and fast. And while most of the people at Nokia looked very worried and stressed, the final outcome was the exact opposite – the noise, buzz and hype behind the device escalated to incredible proportions. Would the new Lumia live up to such lofty expectations? THE REINVENTER: The all new Nokia Lumia 1020 is a great smartphone with all the right specs (4.5-inch screen, 332-pixelsper-inch-display resolution, Qualcomm Snapdragon Processor, etc.) but its real prowess lies in what it does with photography on a cameraphone. Till today, photography was all about framing the right picture, making sure you got the subject perfectly lined up, zooming in to get all the details right, checking, tweaking, then rechecking some more and then pressing the shutter release button. Basically all the hard work had to be done BEFORE you took the photograph. With the Lumia 1020 you can throw all of that out of the window. The reason I call the Lumia 1020 a reinventer of photography is that with this you shoot FIRST and do all the fine tuning and tweakJULY 21, 2013
Videos have incredible detail. The camera grip boosts battery life ing later. With its 41-megapixel sensor, this phone can capture some startling details. After you take a photograph, you can zoom in to the picture and discover that what looks like a yellow dot is in fact a beautiful balloon with a grid pattern. You can create multiple stories from within the same picture where you can find different people doing different things in a park; each can be zoomed into, twisted and turned and tweaked to your heart’s content and then each saved as a new picture without losing any detail. The fact that you don’t have to take those extra few seconds to frame the perfect picture in advance, means you end up with some incredible images and that you’ll never lose a moment because you took too long to set up. The 1020 has six lenses plus some very nifty optical image stabilisation technology that can literally make even a bumpy bus ride look smooth as silk. Also thrown in are excellent manual controls – each change is depicted in real time on the display. If you never knew what fiddling with the exposure setting does, or what speed or aperture control was for, this cameraphone will teach you exactly what each does instantly. And because of that amazing sensor in this phone, even videos have a detail that is impossible to replicate on any other device. Add to that the new camera grip in which you slide the phone into. This is made of the same material as the phone itself and apart from giving you extra battery life, this also gives you great balance, hold, a real standalone camera style body and shutter-release button. GREAT CAMERA, BUT SO WHAT?: It’s firmly established that the Nokia Lumia 1020 takes photography on a phone to new heights and add a new dimension to creativity in image shooting. But it also brings up another important question. Will people buy this amazing camera on a phone as their next phone and will this new flagship phone turn the fortunes around for the Nokia Lumia brand? Well, that’s a tough question to answer but I will say this. Almost anyone I know who has tried and used a Nokia Lumia phone with Windows on it seems to love it. Nokia’s problem is getting people to reach that stage – to try the phone! The Lumia 1020 has enough of a jaw dropper halo around it to make people reach that tipping point, to get some momentum, to get the nonbeliever and the sceptics to go to a store to try out the photography wizardry on this device. Some of them may stay to discover that the phone and OS are great too. After all, when a company literally reinvents photography, that’s the least one can expect. Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3
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WIMBLEDON DIARY Vir Sanghvi
For someone like me who has no great interest in tennis, there could not have been a better match than the Wimbledon men’s singles for my first visit to Centre Court
HE LAST time this happened, the Second World War was still some years away, Edward VIII was KingEmperor of the United Kingdom and its empire (including us, by the way) and men still played tennis at Wimbledon in long-pants and full-sleeved shirts. So you can understand why 77 years after Fred Perry won the men’s singles at Wimbledon, the prospect of a British winner at Wimbledon was so enthralling. Last year, Andy Murray had made it to men’s finals, only to be demolished with cool Swiss efficiency by Roger Federer. But this year Federer was gone, a victim of an upset defeat in the early part of the tournament. And though Andy Murray was up against the world’s greatest living tennis player Novak Djokovic in the finals, all of Britain hoped that he might triumph. After all, he was playing in front of a home-crowd, had shown remarkable resilience in the tournament (bouncing back from what looked like certain defeat in the quarter-finals) and this time, he seemed to have what it takes to be a champion. For someone like me who has no great interest in tennis other than a superficial knowledge of who the players are, there could not have been a better match for my first visit to Centre Court. JULY 21, 2013
Photos: GETTY IMAGES
Even if one lacked a knowledge of the finer points of the game, the emotion and the drama were so all-pervasive that it was impossible not to get caught up in the sense of history in the making. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I grew up watching Wimbledon on TV as a child. But compared to the passion Indians display for sport, the Wimbledon of my childhood seemed curiously unemotional. Everything looked formal and regulated. The players were addressed as ‘Mister’ or ‘Mrs’. (Thus Evonne Goolagong, my favourite female player of that era, was “Mrs Cawley”). When TV cut to shots of the audience, it was always old buffers in suits. And the great champion of that period was an unsmiling little man called Rod Laver who won every match with the air of a guy who was just doing his job. But this year’s men’s final was so full of emotion that you could have been at an Indian cricket match. The woman next to me looked like she would burst into tears every time Djokovic broke Murray’s service. And whenever the two men ranged opposite each other for a sustained volley, the whole of Centre Court seemed to stiffen with tension. The last game of the final, when Djokovic came back from three match points, was so tense that the crowd almost stopped breathing. And when Murray finally won, the audience exploded in such a show of joy (and Murray slumped to the floor, exhausted and drained) that everything I remembered about the formality of Wimbledon was suddenly forgotten. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ But of course, Wimbledon can be formal. A service break is usually greeted with polite applause. (But during this match, the audience jumped to its feet for a standing ovation when Murray broke Djokovic’s service). When the crowd makes too much noise, the umpire demands silence only by saying “the players are ready”. And there’s the royal connection. Usually at Wimbledon, Prince Charles and his family can often be spotted. But there is a tacit understanding that the final will be the Kent show. The
THEY BEAT THE HEAT
Left: Winner Andy Murray kisses the trophy. As the temperature rose, British Prime Minister David Cameron (above left) quickly took his off his jacket. So did actors Bradley Cooper and Gerard Butler (above right) and nearly everybody else in that area senior royals stay away and the Duke of Kent is always the star. The Duke wore a suit, of course, to this year’s final and because Wimbledon is a formal occasion, he did not bother with linen or beige but wore the sort of outfit most of us would wear to office. All around him, in the Royal Box, were more men in sober suits and ties. I had worried about what to wear at Wimbledon. A friend of mine who had attended a match without a tie was given one by the club and asked to put it on. And certainly all the photos I saw – umpires dressed by Ralph Lauren and women in designer wear – suggested stiffness and formality. Fortunately, I turned to Rebecca Richardson for advice. Rebecca is one of the wine-masters for Jacob’s Creek, the official wine of Wimbledon. So she was there every day, hosting elaborate wine lunches at the Jacob’s Creek marquee. “What should I wear?” I asked. “Just a shirt and jeans in this heat,” she said. But surely Wimbledon has a no-denim policy? “I’ve been wearing blue jeans, everyday,” she responded. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The mystery was solved when I got to Centre Court. Yes, you have to dress formally in the Royal Box and in the areas where club members sit. But elsewhere (i.e. 80 per cent of the seating) you can wear what you like, secure in the knowledge that the TV cameras will never focus on your part of the crowd. But I wondered about the folks in the Royal Box. It was 29°C in the stands – and 49°C in direct sunlight on the court itself. Who could wear a suit and tie in this heat? I watched closely. As the temperature rose, the Duke of Kent took off his jacket. Freed from these restrictions, David Cameron quickly took his off too. So did Ed Miliband, Wayne Rooney, Gerard Butler, Bradley Cooper and nearly everybody else in that area. Ronnie Wood had been allowed in without a tie (so much for the rules) and then took his jacket off. Cleverest of all was Victoria Beckham who arrived in what looked like a black lace negligee and seemed cool (and inappropriately dressed) throughout. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It is increasingly difficult to buy tickets for the men’s final. For the Murray-Djokovic match, scalpers were offering tickets at £5,000 a pair or more. So the biggest crowd at Wimbledon consisted of people who had paid small sums of money to sit in front of a large screen to watch the telecast, some distance away from the courts. More and more people get to see the matches through the medium of marquee hospitality. Large companies and sponsors (Jacob’s Creek, for instance) erect temporary clubhouses to which
they invite friends, customers and the media. Each marquee comes with a certain number of tickets. So an invitation from one of the marquees usually includes lunch before the match, the final at 2pm and then tea (if it’s three sets) or drinks (if it stretches to five). Obviously this is an invitation to die for – especially for one of the finals. But at least some of those who turn up don’t care too much about the matches and treat the whole thing as no more than a glamorous social event. (Few people, though, can feel as guilty as I did in Centre Court, thinking: this seat should have gone to a real tennis lover.) Most marquees offer high-quality hospitality. Jacob’s Creek, as a wine maker, had the advantage of offering seven different wines (and of having Rebecca to tell us about them) and a gourmet meal with the traditional Wimbledon strawberries, freshly picked that morning. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Though many people at Wimbledon kept saying how great it was to have an English champion, the truth is that Murray is not English. He is Scottish. No sooner had he won than Alex Salmond, the First Minister of Scotland, (something like an Indian chief minister) whipped out a huge Scottish Saltire flag that he had hidden in his wife’s hand bag, while the English looked outraged at this breach of decorum. But the English were always awkward about Murray’s Scottishness. As one Englishman told me before the final, “If he wins, he is British. If he loses, he is Scottish.” Not that it is easy to define Britishness these days. The night before the final, Rebecca came with us to a dinner hosted by Illy Jaffar of Pernod-Ricard. Illy sounds like Geoffrey Boycott but despite the Yorkshire accent, he is of South Indian origin. But because he grew up in England he is now completely British. Illy took us to dinner at Café Spice Namasté, the first of the chefdriven Indian restaurants to make a name for itself in London. Café Spice Namasté is run by Cyrus Todiwala and his wife Pervin, Parsis from India, who I’ve known for decades in their Taj Group past. But Cyrus, Pervin and their two sons are British now. Not that this stops Cyrus from cooking amazing Indian food or Illy from enjoying it. But it shows us how flexible a concept Britishness can be. (And how international the world now is. Rebecca’s Australian wines went perfectly with Cyrus’ Indian food.) And Britishness can change too. If Scotland votes to secede from the UK in the forthcoming referendum, then Murray won’t be British any longer. In which case, I guess the Brits will have to wait another 77 years for a new champion.
WELL DRESSED? REALLY?
Victoria Beckham arrived in what looked like a black lace negligee and seemed cool (and inappropriately dressed) throughout
For the Murray-Djokovic match, scalpers were offering tickets at £5,000 a pair or more
JULY 21, 2013
The night before the final, we went for dinner at Café Spice Namasté, the first of the chef-driven Indian restaurants to make a name for itself in London
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Secrets Of The Slim
Every expert out there will tell you how to lose those extra kilos. But how do you not add them on in the first place? by Kasturi Gandhi Photo: IMAGESBAZAAR
E ALL have that one friend, the one who hasn’t put on a kilo of fat since college. That’s the friend relishing every bite from entrée to dessert at a party, fitting into easy sizes, and never worrying about how he or she looks in photos. You, on the other hand, have grown to fear salad, hunt for trousers that flatten your tummy, and have to remember to suck it all in when someone shouts, “Say cheese!” How did you get here? And how did your friend get so far elsewhere? What did you do that made you round, and what kept your friend trim? Health and weightloss advisers show you just where the two roads diverged, how little changes early on reap big benefits later, and how to ensure your children grow lean, healthy and happy. firstname.lastname@example.org
Most nutritionists will track the bulge back to your teens, when you started chilling with your pals instead of heading to the playground. “With longer hours at school and tuitions after, how are you going to get the time for exercise?” asks obesity and health consultant Naini Setalvaad. “Unless you have a high metabolic rate, you’ll end up getting chubby right away!” So trim down tuition time and get your
kids to join the school sports team. “I used to play kho-kho, volleyball and throwball for school,” recalls publicity designer Pratha Narang, who was elected sports captain at school. This way she got all the exercise she needed to keep fit. Research shows that active habits through childhood will keep you fit and consistently healthy all the way into adulthood.
ON CAMPUS Puberty brings more than just acne and mood swings, says nutritionist Venu Hirani. “Hormonal changes crank up the body mass, density and fat.” So, if your teen is feeling glum, don’t pamper them with ice cream. Take them hiking instead and let the outdoors do the trick! Turn off the TV. Play a sport on Sunday as a family. And while you’re at it, make the
AT THE ALTAR
Once hitched, sinking into that loveseat with your partner comes easily. “Comfort food creeps in to your daily diet when you’re in a happy place,” says health psychologist Seema Hingorany. Research on newlyweds shows that most are prone to weight gain. “My in-laws love meat and their idea of greens was a bit of chopped cucumber on the side,” recalls Mogre, a vegetarian. So be smart and work around it. Mogre did just
right food choices. “We never eat packaged food,” says student Diana Mowdawala, whose family takes yoga classes together. Active families pass on good habits to their kids. Fitness expert Leena Mogre agrees, “My mom, a bharatnatyam dancer, pushed me to work out, and I encourage my son much the same way.”
that by introducing tastier salads as a meal and the family grew to love it. At the Bharucha home, parents Taima and Kyan schedule time for exercise. While Taima lost her post-partum belly by jumping in to regular exercise just a month after her first baby was born, Kyan took to the cricket pitch as a coach to kids. Health experts say such a lifestyle helps you enter middle age slimmer and fitter, and if you have company doing it, that’s twice the incentive too. Photos: SHUTTERSTOCK
AT THE OFFICE Once done with college, most of us settle down with jobs that make us sit at a desk all day. Long hours and ghoulish deadlines come at the cost of good sleep and regular meals. Canteen food brings on a potbelly. And short, stress-filled breaths become the only way to operate. “I end up ordering pizza for dinner on most
JULY 21, 2013
days,” says 24-year-old lawyer Param Sampat, who never makes it home before 10pm and still finds time for fitness. When he isn’t representing his law firm at court, he’s busy sweating it out on the football field. “We have regular inter-law firm tournaments, so we practice after work on weekdays and on the beach on weekends,” he explains. If you’re not the football type, have low sugar smoothies and untoasted sandwiches for lunch. Healthy meals on time ensure you don’t binge. Nutritionist Rima Rao adds that regular walk breaks help break down the fat, which otherwise accumulates as inches around your belly if you sit tight at the desk all day.
Konkona Sen Sharma BIRTHDAY SUN SIGN PLACE OF BIRTH SCHOOL/COLLEGE
Calcutta International School; St. Stephens College, Delhi
December 3 Sagittarius Kolkata
HIGH POINT OF LOW POINT OF YOUR LIFE YOUR LIFE The birth of my baby
CURRENTLY I AM...
Decorating my new house and enjoying A role in Indira Whenever my baby (1983) at age four single-origin coffees at Café Coffee falls ill Day Square in Delhi
A Hindi film you wish was your debut film. Mr and Mrs Iyer (2002). The best thing about your mother is... Her passion for life. One thing you do better than your mother. Right now, it’s only changing diapers! One cliché about yourself that you would like to change. That I’m a serious actress. Your dream destination. As of now, it’s Vietnam.
my bookshelf THE BEST BOOK FOR TRAVELLING.
Whatever I’m currently reading THE BOOK THAT ALWAYS ACTS AS A PICK-ME UP.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy THE FIRST BOOK THAT HOOKED ME ON TO READING.
Amelia Jane is Naughty Again! THE BOOK THAT CHANGED MY LIFE. Photo: SANTOSH HARHARE
The Catcher in the Rye. I read it when I was 15
JULY 21, 2013
A CLASSIC HINDI FILM YOU WOULD HAVE LOVED TO BE A PART OF.
What was your first impression of Ranbir as a co-actor? That he was an intelligent person. Your favourite gadget. My cellphone. In Japan, they say Moshi Moshi when they answer a call. A dessert that best describes you. I guess something spicy would describe me better. What clothes would you live in, if you had the chance? I would live in my pyjamas. Who is your 3am friend? My son. He’s the one keeping me up at 3am. What’s on your bedside table? Books, water and foot cream. Your beverage of choice. Water – room temperature. What makes your day? Witnessing unexpected kindness. And what ruins it? Lack of efficiency. You destress with… A head massage. One song that describes your current state of mind. I find myself involuntarily breaking into nursery rhymes. Your strategy in a crisis. To pretend it’s not happening. The last line of your autobiography would read… We’ll find out when I write it. — Interviewed by Veenu Singh