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t ar e P u o- ss w yI l T ar ia rs ec ve Sp ni n A

WEEKLY MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY 23, 2014 Free with your copy of Hindustan Times



Look how we’ve changed! The first issue of Brunch in Delhi came out on 1 February, 2004. Nine months later, with the launch of the Hinudstan Times in Mumbai, Brunch was introduced to readers there as well. The Delhi Brunch completes ten years this month. And so we bring you a special two-part anniversary issue, on the theme ‘Look How We’ve Changed!’ Not just the magazine, but also our lives, in every which way. We asked writers and authors, specialists in their field, to do a series of essays for us, chronicling these changes. And with each essay, we also give you glimpses of past issues of Brunch, and highlight some of the landmark changes. Happy reading!

Letter from the Editor-in-Chief, HindustanTimes Sanjoy Narayan

6 14 16 18 20 22 24

Jamal Shaikh on our obsession with fad diets and six-packs


n the ten years since Brunch was born in 2004, there has been more change in India than in the first ten years after liberalisation and the opening up of the Indian economy in 1991. This is particularly true of what we call urban lifestyle – a phrase that can include almost everything, from the way we eat, travel and shop, to the kind of books, movies or music that we prefer. There have been changes too in the way we live, our relationships, our attitudes towards traditional mores, our careers, and in the way we communicate. In many ways, over the past ten years, Brunch has been a reflector of these changes, spotting, chronicling and putting the spotlight on these trends of change. Our stories on the rise of single living in urban India; on the challenges of being gay or transgender in a society not nearly as liberal as one would want it to be; on the rise of indie cinema; and on the way the all-pervasive social media has taken over our lives are just a few examples of how Brunch has brought to you all of what has been happening in the decade that’s just behind us. Brunch is a unique Sunday offering and the magazine, staffed by a small but talented team of editors and writers, has built up a committed readership with its mix of engaging, relevant and entertaining cover stories, features and columns. On a personal note, I began writing my music column Download Central in November 2008. This was an attempt (and perhaps a self-indulgent one) to nudge readers in the direction of the good music that lies under the radar, to look at bands and musicians you wouldn’t hear on commercial radio or on TV channels but were ones that were just a click away on the Internet. I’m gratified that the column has gathered a loyal following. Brunch has come a very long way since it began in February 2004, turning up on your doorstep every Sunday morning to make things a bit more fun, a bit more entertaining, and sometimes, we hope, thought-provoking. Stay with us to see how exciting the next ten years are going to be.

Palash Krishna Mehrotra on the highs and lows of social media

February Flashback A random selection of February covers, right from 2004 to 2013. Do you remember any of them? 2004: We said it ten years before! Delhi is a far more happening city than Mumbai 2005: What exactly is love, and why do we love one person and not another? 2006: An interview with the legend Asha Bhosle, she of the eternally youthful voice

Rishad Saam Mehta on the adventurous Indian traveller Jai Arjun Singh on the boom in Indian publishing Veer Munshi on why he loves painting Delhi’s new avatar

February 11, 2007

February 19, 2006

2007: Sanjay Dutt speaks with candour about his turbulent life


Sanjay Dutt on the sets of Dus Kahaniyan, being shot at Mumbai’s Mukesh Mills

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Sujata Assomull Sippy on India becoming a label playing field Ira Trivedi on love, sex and roka

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SUNDAY MAGAZINE, MUMBAI, FEBRUARY 1, 2009 Free with your copy of Hindustan Times

February 10, 2008


Misplaced jaimalas, overdressed auntyjis, intrusive videowallahs, dinner stampedes... but we still love our dhinchak desi weddings

Parents Padmanabh and Sunalika Sinha spend a happy afternoon with son Aranis




2010: Yes, men can cook and what’s more, they’re enjoying it!

2008: With nuclear families on the rise, old parenting styles fall by the wayside 2009: The extravagant desi wedding provides endless entertainment

SUNDAY MAGAZINE, MUMBAI, FEBRUARY 28, 2010 Free with your copy of Hindustan Times

2011: Cutting-edge, life-transforming techologies are no longer in the realm of sci-fi

SUNDAY MAGAZINE, NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 20, 2011 Free with your copy of Hindustan Times

Cutting-edge, life-transforming technologies are no longer in the realm of science fiction. Are you ready for the new world that awaits you?


2012: Directordesigner-mentorTV anchor; is there anything Karan Johar can’t do?

WEEKLY MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY 19, 2012 Free with your copy of Hindustan Times

Anniversary Special

Tech It Easy!

The new long-distance relationship

Switch Gear

And ride out of that style rut

2013: We asked and you obliged. This was the time you, dear readers, wrote the entire issue!

Gimme More!

Your lunchbox reloaded



‘I’m finally me!’

The Bollywood Transformer RISHI KAPOOR

What drastic weight loss did for Kalli Purie



New York diary

His First Villain Act RAJIV MAKHNI

The wire-free challenge

SANJOY NARAYAN Getting the blues


There’s nothing like a trench

This two-part anniversary issue was put together by Poonam Saxena, Aasheesh Sharma, Parul Khanna, Saudamini Jain and Monica Gupta FOR ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES, PLEASE CONTACT National — Sanchita Tyagi: North — Siddarth Chopra: West — Karishma Makhija: South — Francisco Lobo:

Cover design: DEVAJIT BORA

FEBRUARY 23, 2014

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

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

Drop us a line at: brunchletters@ or to 18-20 Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi - 110 001

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The Indian photography market is being hailed as the next big thing. But is it really? VIR SANGHVI ON THE LEGEND AND IMMORTALITY OF INDIA’S GREATEST HOTEL

What makes KBC work? Dayanita Singh, Self portrait, Berlin, 2008



A: You play along with the contestants

B: Turns nobodies into crorepatis

Health is stealth!

In the new fitness regimen, girls don’t just diet, they also lift weights – even as guys fret over developing six packs


joke doing the rounds of smartphones of some not-so-smart people at the gym recently went something like this: If Deewar were to be remade in 2014, what would Amitabh Bachchan’s character have to say to elicit the “Mere paas maa hai!” response? The answer: He’d say “Mere pass bangla hai, gaadi hai, paisa hai… (and then, the 2014 addition…) six-pack bhi hai! Tumhare paas kya hai?” Hah, ladies and gents, welcome to the world of fitness fanaticism, where vanity rules, selfies abound, and beauty spots don’t really matter… lip plumpers do! It’s all about looking good, feeling better. Girls don’t just diet, they also lift weights. Guys can’t stop at crunches to carve their six-packs, they must also frequent grooming salons to scrub, clean and… ugh… wax! Less than 10 years ago, things were more than just a little different. ‘Our genetics don’t allow the Indian body type to have rock hard abs,’ I was told emphatically by the marketing types when we set out to launch Men’s Health magazine in India. I reckoned the same naysayers must’ve scoffed at the Miss India pageant a decade earlier, saying that the full-bodied Indian woman was meant to rock a sari, folds of fat weren’t meant to be in a swimsuit! How wrong they were! The once-voluptuous supermodel Bipasha Basu has grown never-ending legs and sells workout DVDs. Indian girls went on to win world titles (including Miss Perfect 10) and made us proud. And male superstars from Bollywood, who once had jiggly bellies are now frequently made to unbutton their shirts to prove their six-pack-ability… the biscuitlike protrusions on the torso are the epitome of male fitness and beauty. You’ve either got them, or you have nothing! So, besides these things, what else has changed in health and fitness in India in the last 10 years? Here’s a quick recap:

Vanity wins the hand: Make no mistake, today’s obsession with being fit

is as superficial as an Instagram filter. It’s not about living longer, feeling stronger or any of that crap. It is about looking good tonight, at the party on Saturday, or at the family wedding next month. Shallow pursuit, you say? Deeper gains, I point out!

Food for naught: From being the root of

all evil for diet-conscious women, food is now a series of complex words that everyone uses, but nobody fully understands. ‘Fats’ are the easiest to comprehend and are to be avoided, but most women also feel ‘carbs’ are just as villainous. Men who work out are obsessed with ‘protein’, and chicken is every Gymbo’s favourite dish. Whey powders and supplements thrive, and are considered magic potions to Muscledom and Glory. What to remember: Carbohydrates are necessary to process protein, fibre is even more important, and nobody needs steroids or energy drinks… not sportspeople, not party animals, no one!

FEBRUARY 23, 2014

Health off the shelf: From ‘As Seen On TV’ slimming belts and fat busters to overpriced dieticians, poorly qualified personal trainers and gyms that seem fancier than five-stars, the business of fitness is big business indeed. Remember: You pay your trainer/dietician to guide and motivate, not to actually do the job at hand. Employ a strong resolve instead; it costs nothing, and gets you the best results ever! Gadgets and gizmos: Remember stand-

Jamal Shaikh is Editorial Director of the men’s lifestyle magazine Men’s Health, In spite of pushing rock hard abs on every other cover, he insists it’s a six-pack in the brain that really counts

Men who work out are obsessed with ‘protein’, and chicken is every Gymbo’s favourite dish

ing on a clunky weighing scale and being told to look straight ahead – not down at the display – lest the reading deviates by a few hundred grams? You wondered how to check your weight, which was the purpose of getting on the contraption in the first place! From being the solo go-to gadget for weight watchers a decade ago, the machine now shares space with fitness bands, heart rate monitors, sleep enhancers, and apps that record every move you make. What you should pick: Nothing, except a good pair of shoes. Even the developers know that none of the fitness tech available is backed by foolproof science yet!

Abs for all: Back to our topic du jour: abs! Every guy today wants a six-pack, not realising that abs are not a sign of ultimate fitness, they’re just a sure-fire indicator of low body fat… a guy with a 36” waist could be fitter than the guy with a 29”! What you should do: If you’re young, determined and restless, bite the bait and get those abs to pop. Then, do a photo shoot for posterity, and return right back to your regular levels of working out ASAP. Your pictures of pride will tell your tale forever! Men checking out men: Men checking

out women is common. Women checking out women is still OK. But men comparing bicep inches and abs with other men? It’s common enough in men’s locker rooms these days, but must be contained. What guys mustn’t forget: Sense of achievement aside, do not overdo it. You may be a legs man, or a breasts man, but have you ever heard of a girl who says she’s an ‘abs girl’ or a ‘big arms fanatic’? The only number she’ll ever go for is the one hidden in your bank account. The bigger, the healthier, the better. Obviously, some things just don’t change! ■

Calories versus inches: The units of

measurement once associated with energy and tailoring, now form an intrinsic part of the aesthetic body movement. ‘A rasgulla has fewer calories than a gulab jamun!’ the kitty party aunty professes whilst planning a lunch menu, while her daughter regularly buys branded clothing that’s one size smaller in the hope that the inches will eventually disappear and the compliments will begin to pour… What to do: Measure inches around your waist instead of taking on the impossible task of counting calories. And if you’re the daughter, please do not

wear the one-size-small until you’ve lost the weight, will you?


Postscript: If Deewar were truly to be remade in 2014, do you feel that even the maa would go for the beta with the paisa? Abs can buy pride, not solitaires.

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Luxury special

Sprawling penthouses and farmhouses are a great escape from the rigours of city life

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Hindi How the upanyas jasoosi fascinate to continues Meet the readers. ors of last emper pulp

Forget grandma’s dodgy tips, fling your best friend’s advice out of the window, don’t believe the hype. We’ve tackled every beauty myth and roped in the gorgeous Aditi Rao Hydari to bring you...

Ad agency CEO Swapan Seth with wife Sreya and sons Reyhan and Sirhaan, in their Gurgaon penthouse

Because in India, glitter is a tradition. And we can’t celebrate our festivals wearing black!

WEEKLY MAGAZINE, JUNE 16, 2013 Free with your copy of Hindustan Times

A new generation of radical young designers is ready to take Indian fashion to the next level

Decade of the fitness fanatic Between covers

Self-help books on shedding inches and becoming fitter have become the new bestsellers for a generation whose attention spans are shrinking and waist lines expanding. Dietician Rujuta Diwekar, yoga expert Payal Gidwani Tiwari and weight-loss writer Kalli Purie, have all featured in the pages of our magazine. If Tiwari can count Kareena Kapoor, Tusshar Kapoor, Sridevi, Rani Mukerji, Saif Ali Khan and Malaika Arora Khan among her celebrity clients, Diwekar, too, clocked record book sales on the back of her reputation as the woman who helped Kareena attain her size-zero fame. We have them all figured!

“Having conquered my weight and lost 43 kilos I feel I can do anything. I talk about this in my book. About transformation which is not akin to ugly duckling to swan but caterpillar to butterfly,” says Kalli Purie. From a story by Poonam Saxena, February 19, 2012, on Purie’s book Confessions of a Serial Dieter

The number of overweight Indians in Delhi (with a BMI greater than 23%) has increased by

45% in the last 20 years

Source: A study conducted in 2013 by the Centre for Chronic Disease Control, AIIMS and Indian Council for Medical Research Photo: THINKSTOCK

Although Kareena is pear-shaped, her butt is her asset. Her arms were heavy and her shoulders were broad. Hence Suryanamaskars worked wonders for her to get her upper body into shape. From a cover story

by Payal Gidwani Tiwari, on November 7, 2010, about her new book that claimed you could change the shape of your body through yoga

A leaner chapter A few popular fitness self-help books that captured our attention

The doctor is in

To eat according to blood type may seem an amusing concept to many people. But the arresting fact in this diet is a link between your genetic constitution and its synergy with certain foods. From a

cover story by our health columnist Shikha Sharma, on November 21, 2004, about the top 10 diet plans

Diet Another Day

How did Kareena get that lean Tashan look? Our January 18, 2009 cover story, with excerpts from Rujuta Diwekar’s Don’t Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight, provided some clues

Surgeons with the cutting edge

In a country where less than a third of the 1.2 billion population reaches a hospital in an emergency, surgeons have a star status. They are the new-age celebs, who routinely save and change lives with a magical flick of their scalpel or laser. But who are the best and brightest among the new crop of surgeons?

He’s called the ‘bandana guy’ because he wears a bandana instead of a surgical cap while operating. “You have to strike a chord with the kids you’re treating, and a bandana with Dalmatians on it helps to break the ice,” says 40-year-old Dr Raja Joshi, a paediatric cardiac surgeon. From a cover

story by Sanchita Sharma, April 10, 2011, on the top 10 surgeons in India in the five most common surgical specialities FEBRUARY 23, 2014

The path to designer body salvation needn’t always pass through starvation. Over the last decade, a nation with one of the youngest populations in the world has been fighting fat armed with self-help books, fad diets, fitness DVDs and YouTube videos. For the uninitiated, Body mass index (BMI) – weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in metres (kg/m2) – defines overweight and obesity. The standard for ‘overweight’ is BMI equal to or more than 25, and ‘obesity’ equal to or more than 30.

The weight-loss business is booming, with people in the US spending $30 billion a year on diet programmes. India, too, is getting there, with more slimming centres sprouting up in the Capital than fast food outlets. In the Gandhian tradition, this fight against fat is fought passively. From a cover

story by Sanchita Sharma, on April 10, 2005, on whether ‘passive’ exercise can really trim us to size

2.6 million

people die as a result of being overweight or obese every year worldwide, which makes obesity a bigger killer than malnutrition

Source: The World Health Organisation

Most obese people develop Type II diabetes. “Approximately 85 per cent of people with diabetes are Type II, and of these 90 per cent are obese,” says bariatric surgeon Dr Muffazal Lakdawala. From a cover story by

Colleen Braganza, on October 19, 2008, about the rapidly growing tribe of urban overweight Indians

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That’s what we are calling ourselves today. We sought out everything horror-related and found it all hilarious! Halloween is just around the corner. Here’s our trick and inside is your treat...



hours online and offline

Forget what those financial planners and wealth managers have been telling you all week. We’ll show you how to make it, hide it, understand it and even give it away. Cash in on this advice in our special issue...

Is the world in your laptop or can you live your life without the Internet? We

The splendour of Braj Holi The Krishna connection


Everybody says I’m veggie In a decade where people turned health fanatics, even popular Bollywood actors decided to propagate the merits of vegetarianism

Amitabh Vidya Balan Bachchan She was A few years voted India’s back, the Hottest superstar went Vegetarian from being Celebrity in strictly non-veg 2011 to completely vegan

Mallika Shahid Kapoor Lara Dutta Sherawat & Turned The former Dhanush vegetarian beauty queenShared PETA’s turned-actress more than a hottest decade ago has long been vegetarian after reading advocating honour in a self-help the cause of 2011 book eating ghasphoos

A vegetarian diet lacks nothing provided it is varied. With the exception of soya, which contains all essential amino acids, no single vegetarian item can provide all the protein we need at one shot. So, you have to eat a variety of dal, sabzis and grains. From a cover story by Kushalrani Gulab, on April 6, 2008, on

vegetarianism becoming a rage

Revolution in a test tube

Even as most experts stand by the view that the best and most fun way to make a baby is inside a bedroom, childless couples are now aware of other ways to procreate. “Thank God, people are now not just discovering but also making use of the ‘other ways’ rather comfortably,” says Mumbai-based infertility specialist, Dr Aniruddha Malpani. From a story by Tavishi Paitandy Rastogi, July 15,

Doga-Day Afternoon There’s Circus Yoga, Nude Yoga, Pre and Post-Natal Yoga, Ball Yoga (with a ball as the accessory) and even Yoga for dogs (or Doga). Nude Yoga is self-explanatory and comes in several variants. One of them is led by a New Yorker who goes by the name of Phoenix. The version is known as Asana Exposed and is defined as “an au natural yoga movement that has been paving the way for yogis to embrace another layer of freedom in their yoga practice.”

Every year on the summer solstice, Times Square in New York transforms into an outdoor yoga studio as hundreds unfurl their mats at an event called Mind over Madness that aims to find “tranquillity and transcendence in the midst of the world’s most commercial and frenetic place” From a

201 2, on 15 ways to make a baby

Infertility affects Some clinics in India claim one in 10 couples 50% success, compared worldwide, of which to the global average of 19-20 million live in 40%, giving new hope to India, says the WHO childless couples

Mind games

We know what you are fretting about this very second: shopping for groceries, scrambling for movie tickets, preparing for that Monday meeting…Relax. Focus. Learn to handle your worries.

WH Auden wrote The Age Of Anxiety to describe the anxious times of the 1930s, but people got out of it. We shall too. So stop. Don’t pour yourself another drink, light that cigarette, rush to the fridge for comfort food or tweet on the smartphone. Relax. As Bobby McFerrin sings: Don’t Worry Be Happy.” From a cover story by Parul Khanna on April 29, 2012, on ways to handle anxiety and worry

Why So Anxious?

Depression is already the fourth leading cause of health problems according to the World Health Organisation. By 2020, it may become the top or second leading cause of death. Worldwide, the prevalence of mental illnesses is 10 per cent of the population. When it comes to depression, 5 per cent of people are diagnosed with diagnosable treatable depression. Of these, 80 to 90 per cent never approach a mental health institute. But the good news is that 99 per cent of those who do, recover through counselling and medication.

Red Flags

If someone has any of these symptoms for more than four weeks, he/she should visit a doctor to rule out a disorder.

n Sudden neglect of n Irritability, crankiness personal hygiene n Anxiety n Fall in work or academic n Depression performance n Social withdrawal n Extreme ups and downs n Thoughts about harming self or others n Aggression

FEBRUARY 23, 2014

cover story by Anirudh Bhattacharya and Dipanker De Sarkar, on May 23, 2010, about the innovative ways in which the West packages yoga, which has become a multimillion dollar industry

Dancing release endorphins – happy hormones – believes Dr Lalita Badhwar. So, after a long day at work, the gynaecologist, a specialist in laparoscopic surgery, spends her evenings on the dance floor. In her fifties, Badhwar is full of life. “Every time I dance, I feel exhilarated and young,” she says. From a cover story by Sanchita Sharma, on September 7, 2008, on how top doctors bust stress

Tech-health myths Can iPods cause hearing damage? No, there is no direct correlation between loud iPods and hearing loss, says Dr Shomeshwar Singh, cochlear implant surgeon, Columbia Asia Hospital, Gurgaon. Can laptops sizzle your thighs? They give off huge amounts of heat, which can raise the temperature of your laptop to a sizzling 52 degree Celsius in some cases. Do Tablets cause neck pain? Most common ways of holding and using Tablets seem to put considerable strain on your neck muscles – compared to typical desktop computing setups. Can excessive use of smartphones cause wrinkles? Some studies say squinting at smartphone screens can give you wrinkles. Still, read that finding with a pinch of salt. From a story by Pranav Dixit on June 17, 2012, on whether technology can harm your health or not

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Across India, a handful of eco warriors are weeding out pollution. Their tools of choice: firm resolve and radical lifestyles


Information overload. Overwork. Media saturation. Too many things to do. Not enough time. The casualty: your ability to concentrate.

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Do You Know Yourself

Who deserves applause? Who needs new in-laws? Whose pati is nutty? We hand out the wackiest awards to Hindi TV characters we abhor and adore

WEEKLY MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 1, 2013 Free with your copy of Hindustan Times

In love and don’t even know it? Never have enough money? Work-life balance tilting the wrong way? Take our expert quizzes to find answers to all these questions and more... Katrina Kaif and Shah Rukh Khan are the top two celebrity endorsers, covering 50 brands between them

Time for the Wall to Fall? A journey from handwritten letters to Orkut to Facebook to Twitter to Instagram



round 2004, Orkut became the first social networking site to go mainstream in India. Old school and college friends found each other. More lasting things happened on Orkut too. Like marriage. A friend of mine in Dehradun met a local girl on Orkut. They started hanging out at the Barista in Astley Hall. Soon they were married, the first Orkut wedding in Dehradun. It was a sign of things to come, of face-to-face interactions decreasing even in small towns, where, previously, everyone knew everybody. Facebook killed Orkut. The initial novelty of meeting old friends online gave way to boredom. After you’d exchanged nuggets of nostalgia, and informed each other of how well you were doing, you realised you had little to say to each other. We defected en masse to Facebook. One of the first groups I joined on FB was called Orkut Orphans. I belong to the cusp generation that grew up in the Eighties and Nineties. We came to the Internet when we were in our twenties, and Facebook even later. I wrote my first poems on a typewriter. I was in love with a girl in Bombay – we wrote long letters to each other, which we posted to each other in instalments. Often, owing to the vagaries of the postal service, Part Three arrived before Part One leading to much narrative confusion. Sometimes, the letter wouldn’t arrive at all, leading to accusations and heartbreak. Initially, I was uncomfortable with Facebook. It was as if you’d opened your letters for the world to see. ‘Come, have a look at what I say to people and what people say to me.’ I rarely visited other people’s walls. It seemed rude, an invasion of privacy. I was in danger of missing the very raison d’etre of FB. Thankfully I didn’t. I soon discovered its venal joys. Like stalking people’s photo albums, for FB, unlike Orkut, followed a policy of anonymity. Unlike Orkut, FB also allowed one to do ‘status updates’, where one could offload/upload one’s thoughts and opinions about anything and everything. Just as one was getting settled into the idea of FB having become a stable fact of life like cars, computers and parents, along came Twitter. ‘What?’ friends would say, ‘You still do FB? C’mon, man. Twitter is where the action is.” Right now, it’s a time of fragmentation. FB is a one-stop shop – you can do everything under one roof. But that obviously is not enough. The status update idea has been hived off and turned into a 140-word fetish by Twitter. Now, you’d also rather share your photos on Instagram, an app dedicated exclusively to that purpose.

FEBRUARY 23, 2014

Palash Krishna Mehrotra is the author of The Butterfly Generation

The other day I was invited for lunch to a friend’s place. I was famished and made the mistake of digging in a minute too early. After all, the table was set and we were all seated. We don’t say grace anymore, do we? There was a minor commotion, murmurs of disapproval. I stopped short of the roast chicken, the spoon suspended in mid-air. The host whipped out an iPhone. She took a photo of the Fab India table laden with immaculately laidout food and Instagrammed it. It was the green flag we’d been waiting for. We could now finally eat.


Just as one was getting settled into the idea of FB having become a stable fact of life like cars, computers and parents, along came Twitter

witter never appealed to me. It’s often nothing more than the unreasoned voice of the mob. Do we really need to know Johnny93’s half-baked views? Writing a letter to the editor of a newspaper, expressing a considered opinion, is one thing. Trolling on Twitter another. Every time I hear the cliché ‘Twitter was abuzz’, that image from Life of Pi comes to me, the one where millions of meerkats swarm the carnivorous floating island. They come out to play at night; they stand on their hind legs, throw their heads back, and utter horrible, shrieking, mewling sounds. A new study published recently compared FB to the bubonic plague and predicts its demise. Trends, like epidemics, spread indiscriminately, then die. This seems unlikely. It’s true that teenagers are not signing up as much as they used to. Kids, out of privacy concerns, might not want to share intimate details of their lives with aunts, parents and teachers, and so move to newer networking sites. But there’s an older demographic that remains hooked. Facebook invented a new human need – the need to invent a false narrative of personal happiness, and project it to the world. Post-FB, this need seems as natural or real as apples and oranges. To feel the desire to record one’s life is innocent; what makes it phony is the impulse to manipulate this narrative, and to brag to the world. We put everything up on FB – our lives as Page 3 celebs, selfies of painted toenails, the insides of our homes, births, marriages, even deaths. These days, you might not visit the Lodi Road crematorium, or even drop a personal line, or make a phone call to the family of the deceased. You go to the dead one’s FB wall and type R.I.P. Time for the wall to fall? ■

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YEARS OF BRUNCH Norah Jones opens up about her music, lyrics and her famous family in an exclusive interview with Karsh Kale

People celebrate Independence Day on the streets of Calcutta, August 15, 1947


Shop but don’t drop. Grab the best deals. Snaffle the coolest gifts. Diwali shopping? It’s a blast!

Whether it’s palmistry or astrology numerology or tarot readings

Ten very smart years The Tablet Decade

They’re watching you In the last 10 years, the Internet has become an intimate place. At the same time, it has stripped us of privacy. There are no secrets on the Web. Everything you do – emails, social media, video chats or anything else – is stored, analysed, indexed and sold to data brokers who might sell it to advertisers, employers, insurers, credit rating agencies

2000-02 Microsoft’s first Tablet computer arrived in 2000. Bill Gates said “within five years I predict it will be the most popular form of PC sold in America.” Didn’t happen. In 2002, came the Windows XP tablet, a version that ran on XP. But the Tablet PC died


There were lots of tablets to choose from, but mostly used in factories, by the military and by other field workers. The Motion Computing Tablet PC LS800 was the smallest tablet at that time with an 8.4-inch. It cost a cool $2,167


2014 Gmail boasts more than 425 million users worldwide Source:

The Apple iPad. A lot of people said it would fail. “You might want to tell me the difference between a large phone and a tablet.” Eric Schmidt, Google, 10 January 2010

Web 2005

Back in 2005, we’d done a cover story on all the things you could do on the Internet. You could shop, blog, get an education or some music. All major banks were already online. And get this, we were almost right:


Lots of tablets follow. Samsung announces Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and 8.9, the world’s thinnest tablets; Motorola announces 10-inch Xoom tablet, Toshiba announces Toshiba tablet

“It’s 2005 now. What’s going to be new on the Internet in 2015?.. we’re going to face far more government and business surveillance... human relationships will also change drastically, as telecommuting and home schooling options increase”

2012 The iPad Mini: Apple launched a smaller version of its hot-selling iPad jumping into the market for smaller tablet computers dominated by Amazon, Google, and Samsung “Something very strange happened in 2013. There was a general sense of lag and fatigue in the market around tablets and most of if it was coming from the users themselves. The favourite question, which tablet to buy, was suddenly disappearing off discussion forums, the crowds around the tablet section at retail stores were thinning and the general euphoria around new tablets was that much lower. Three serious reasons were at play: Phablets, sleek new indulge devices and sameness (they all The STarTT Of The end fOr TableTS? looked the same, did the same thing).... Rajiv Makhni’s column

DARKEST MOMENT: George Eastman invented the Kodak camera in 1888. Since 2004, the company reported only one full year of profit. It was struggling with the digital world. It filed for bankruptcy in 2012

Techilicious (The Start Of The End For Tablets? December 21, 2013)

ABLETS CAME in riding an unstoppable of brute force stallion sales and fantastic proving to be mand. A new the biggest phenomenon category in technology customer descreen phones time to mature of 2013. Yes, were the butt big and create universal usually takes of a lot of jokes tablets were also written a whole different off by a lot of demand, but and were experts in 2012, been around ers responded ball game. While for a while, but customby plonking they had it took the curation money down of Apple to make them up in and picking droves. Today, and tweaking it into a consumer every flagship on a daily basis. announced product that by any smartphone And from there was usable lets became with a mind-bogglicompany has to have a the hottest category the market exploded. Tabbig screen ng resolution. a serious portfolio, some people in tech, every While this quite frustrated company had leaves it appeared took on the role (it’s very tough top-of-the-lin on everybody’s e phone in of the second wish list, it to buy a a size tour de force phones, and widespread of devices after consumer demand that is easily pocketable), turned out to be one of the tors to many and fantastic have made this biggest contribua company’s sales numbers an unbeatable bottom of the Hill’ and ed ripple effect category. And line. Tablets were an unexpectof this is the were ‘King realisation that become an integral expected to fuel both growth phone with a fantastic resolution a big screen as well as part of the ‘must for everyone. negates the have’ circle of It was predicted need to buy devices a separate that every person planet who had a phone on the TOUGH ‘tablet’ tablet. In fact, the would have a tablet. experience on COMPETITIO Until something also eventually a 6-inch+ very strange happened in Notebooks became N smartphone with a 2013. full HD thin- screen ner, lighter, gained is remarkably fantastic than better what you can battery life, better ever get on screens, a 7 or Rajiv Makhni hybrid form factors 8 inch tablet with a midand awesome ergonomics dling resolution. Plus Phablets are that much more portable and easier to carry around. Strike 1 for tablets, especially the smaller ones.



To get some real use out of their tablet, users were buying Bluetooth keyboards and carrying them with the tablet



While tablets DEVICES were nomenal numbers, on the rise and posting phelaptop and fa facturers weren’t notebook manusitting idle. Notebooks became thinner thinner, lighter, gained fantastic ter screens, battery life, hybrid form gonomics. In factors and awesomebetfact, the difference era tablet and in size and weight a thin and light between notebook was ble. Most people almost negligicarrying a tablet padded protecti were strapping protective covers on thick to make sure its daily ad the tablet survived adventures. And to get some tablet, users real use were buying Bluetooth keyboards out of their carrying them with the tablet and tablet more too. This made unwieldy, thicker a weight than and gain more a thin and light version on its own. Plus a sleek notebook already has a cover and keyboard built in. The resurg resurgence of notebooks the redisco and The two news rediscovery of the pleasure snippets above prise to those ing a device weren’t a very that has everything of havthat had been tracking consumer big surto tablets for doesn’t need built in and fiddly moving the last few response months. There parts to make it efficient and sense of lag was a general usable made and fatigue in larger lets look very the market around clunky. Comparativetaband most of tablets if it was coming stories of life with an iPad users themselves. from the compared to life The favourite with a MacBook tion, which questablet to buy, Air 11 or a was suddenly Lenovo Yoga disappearin 11 g off discussion were starting to get serious forums, the crowds around traction. And the the tablet section notebooks were stores were at retail thinning and winning. Strike the general 2 for tablets, phoria around euspecially SHARING new tablets the larger ones was that much lower. And while NOTES it seems shocking Comparative stories from the blue, and a bolt there wasn’t SEA OF SAMENESS of life with an iPad really a mystery as to why it was happening. Many other compared to life reasons contributed Three serious reasons were with to the waning at play. a MacBook Air 11 tablet demand. or a Foremost was Lenovo Yoga 11 (above) the price equation. PHABLETS Tablets have were starting to get always had The most vilified a better serious price point, traction but mature bly named device and most terribuyers were starting on the planet to realise that was this was an illusion portions. For DECEMBER 22, a tablet to be 2013 a serious computingof epic promachine,

Super smartphone


2003: Hi5 was founded in 2003 by Ramu Yalamanchi, 34, and Akash Garg, 31, both computer science graduates and secondgeneration IndianAmericans

2004: Orkut launched. (Now 13.5 per cent of its users are Indian)


Our cell phones are now super smart portable computers. Your phone camera is pretty much all you need. It all happened in the last decade. ■ BlackBerry

5810, released in 2002, was the first BlackBerry phone (it needed a headset because it didn’t have a built-in speaker). In the same year, Nokia launched the 7650 the first Symbian smartphone in India at `36,000 approximately. It was only in 2007 that Steve Jobs brought out the first iPhone, and it was only in 2008 that the first Android phone, HTC Dream was released.

■ Then iOS launched the App Store and that’s when it all completely changed and your smartphone became this unimaginable powerful magical creature. ■ A recent report from the International Data Corporation revealed that smartphones are outdoing feature phones, for the first time in the history of mobile phones. Out of 419 million mobile phones shipped worldwide, smartphones constitute around 216 million (51.6 per cent), compared to 189 million regular cellphones in the first three months of this year. While US saw the shift since 2011, India, China and Indonesia are the next countries in line.

There were 37 million Internet users in India in September 2006. By October 2013, there were 200 million Internet users in India (third largest in the world after the US and China) Source: Internet and Mobile Association of India and IMRB International

Social (media) evolution


A ‘must have’ on everybody’s list, tablets are seeing a dip in their popularity. An exciting product needs some rescuin g

Voyeur Tap: They See You, Cover story by Pranav Dixit, July 1, 2012

Are You Caught In The Net? Cover story by Samrat Choudhury; February 27, 2005



2004 launch of Gmail on April Fools’ Day. At first invite-only

Over a period of time, it is possible to build a profile of who you are, what you do online, where you are located, who your friends and family are and more... The implications are far greater than most of us can imagine: governments could use such online attributes for surveillance, cyber criminals can use this information to carry out targeted attacks and identity theft and websites could use your information and photos in advertising without consent.

Orkut had scraps, hi5 had testimonials. And guess what, they’re still very much around

2004: ‘The Facebook’ debuts at Mark Zuckerberg’s alma mater, Harvard University. By 2005 it had more than 800 college networks. 2013: 93 million monthly active users in India alone FEBRUARY 23, 2014

2006: Twitter launched 2013: A survey by internet marketing firm GlobalWebIndex shows that of the 123 million Internet users in India, 67 per cent have a Twitter account but only 30 per cent of the account holders have used Twitter in the last one month


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■ ■


Survive the sun with the stars Toss up summer’s coolest salads Find the ultimate skin guard

Why Our God Lies in Retail

From hoarders, we have turned into spenders, thanks to the arrival of foreign brands and the mushrooming of malls


e it Armani or Zara, nearly every major international fashion brand has opened shop in India. If not, they have India on their plans. Luxury brands are easily accessible in every major metro thanks to the malls. All the major fashion magazines are now in India. We have the choice, we have the experts and we have the locations. And all this has happened in just 10 years. And the major outcome of this is that shopping is no longer something we do out of necessity, it has almost become a favoured pastime. Shopping is a way of life. A decade ago this was not the story – we were hoarders, we waited to take that trip abroad to stock up on our fashion necessities and perhaps indulge in a few style buys. If a cousin or friend was travelling, then we would be happy to give them a shopping list. For women, lingerie and makeup normally topped the list. You shopped in India out of necessity, for a wedding, for an occasion and when there was real need. Many of us bought fabrics and headed to the darzi. Otherwise, options were limited. Ten years ago, the only international luxury brand available in India was Louis Vuitton, located at The Oberoi Hotel. An intimidating location for many potential customers. For Indian designerwear, the elite headed to designers’ private studios. Recalls designer Suneet Varma, “You had to climb over pot holes and come to a designer’s studio. If there was a wedding or you were buying for a season, it was normally a two-day process. We had fabrics books and swatches and we worked from those.” Cut to Suneet Varma’s 2,200 square foot store at Emporio Mall today, right next to Tarun Tahiliani’s flagship and just above from Dior’s and Gucci’s stores. It has been a process. Though there was Delhi’s MG Road as well as Ansal Plaza ten years ago, they did not really make the shopping process more enjoyable. Sanjay Kapoor is the man behind Satya Paul and also Genesis Luxury, the company responsible for bringing a bouquet of luxury brands to India, including Bottega Veneta, Canali and Jimmy Choo. The first

Sujata Assomull Sippy has been a fashion commentator for almost two decades. A columnist and brand consultant, she has worked at Elle and Verve and was the launch editor of Harper’s Bazaar India

How we dress has changed too, as international brands have made us more western in our day dressing, but also kept us Indian when it comes to occasion wear



FEBRUARY 23, 2014

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Fashion is no more seen as an indulgence

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Luxury special

Because in India, glitter is a tradition. And we can’t celebrate our festivals

wearing black!

malls to get it right according to him were Select City Walk which opened in 2007 and after that DLF Promenade. And for luxury, Delhi’s five-year-old DLF Emporio is still considered to be the blueprint. There is no question that without these malls, international brands would have not even looked at India as an option. Luxury is all about location, location, location. The correct anchor stores, be it Zara at Mumbai’s Palladium or Louis Vuitton at Emporio, the right non-shopping activities – the cinemas, restaurants, food courts, salons, and play areas for children – is what makes a mall. Says Dinaz Madhukar, senior vice president, DLF Emporio and DLF Promenade Malls, “We have consciously worked to make malls into destinations.”


he mall has been the catalyst that changed how we look at fashion. Malls have made fashion part of a larger picture. A mall is where teenagers, after school, “hang out”, families spend their weekends and ladies lunch. The mall culture means shopping is now no longer about an investment or the need to buy. It is something you do casually, perhaps on your way to a film. Fashion is no more seen as an indulgence, it is simply what you wear. Says Madhukar, “Dressing well is something people are comfortable with, you feel like a laggard if you don’t do it.” How we dress has changed too, as international brands have made us more western in our day dressing, but also kept us Indian when it comes to occasion wear dressing. Says Kapoor, “International brands have hurt Indian designer brands. Indian wear has become more occasion wear and Indian designers have reinvented themselves. They have become more Indian, which is a good thing.” Now an Armani can be compared to a Satya Paul. It can also be a positive for Indian fashion. Being in the same location where Armani is a neighbour means Indian designers are now seen in the right company. This has also forced Indian designers to be more conscious of commercials. Comparison can be a good thing. Says Varma, “I had a client who bought a `6 lakh wedding outfit from me, and saw a dress at Armani for the same price. She wanted to wear that dress to another occasion but found the price tag a bit too heavy. So she came back to me and I made her a dress at a much better price.” The mall is really what has changed fashion in the last ten years, it has put India on the international fashion map, it has made us fashion aware and most of all, it has made shopping part of everyday lifestyle. So the fashion industry has a lot to thank malls for. ■

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Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, opens up about his books, his people and his remarkable life. Plus, read an exclusive excerpt from his new novel, And The Mountains Echoed




One-stop-shop Our Favourite Weekend Destination


Malling (going to the mall with a large group of people) caught the fancy of millions of Indians. Shopping was just one of the things people did there!

Check out stores: Watch movies: Malls and multiplexes Malls encouraged developed a mutually beneficial relationship. impulse buying, Multiplexes came up in malls, and people now you may go there had the choice to watch English films, Hindi with no intention of blockbusters, regional cinema, as buying anything, but could well end well as indie, alternative cinema, in up with something (and that’s what the safe confines of a mall, even brands count on). With the coming in of till late into the night. international brands, this became a Eat: Eating out is Have coffee: reality. big. In fact, a few Coffee outlets existed food chains even before malls, but the have restricted coffee culture picked up pace in themselves to malls. malls. While malling, people take People could choose between breaks, sit down, rest for a bit, a quick meal at the food court, or chat – all while sipping their fine dining, or even just drinking at coffees. the pubs. Malls had every option. Family outing: Going to the mall has become like a weekend ‘outing’ (what a picnic used to be once upon a time). Kids can be entertained at the little amusement corners, husbands have brands to keep them interested. Facilities such as air-conditioning, designated parking, clean loos, diaper-changing areas made malls comfortable to visit. Malls embody metropolitan modernity in the urban imagination. They are the places where all the seductive delectables of progress and affluence are on show. That’s fine as it is one of the several strands of India’s evolving story in this new century From a story

by Pranav Dixit, April 3, 2011, The Call Of The Mall, analysing the appeal of the mall. What are the chances that you’ll be spending your day at the mall this Sunday? Pretty high, we think!

The Different Kinds Of Shoppers

The shopaholic: With so much choice, they get addicted to buying, it’s a high for them. Shopaholics became a reality in India. ■ The male buyer: With an influx of international brands, men now have a choice, they’ve stopped being averse to shopping. ■ The window shopper: This type walks around, checks out all that’s new, updates himself/herself, just for fun and recreation. ■ The sale scorer: With brands have come genuine sales, and ‘smart buyers’ who shop only during ‘Sale’ time. ■ The personal shopper/fashion stylist: Enter the professionals with good fashion sense, who buy clothes and accessories for clients, to help them (celebrities, models or even ordinary people) look better.

of malls in 16 number Delhi in 2004 of malls in 95 number Delhi by 2013

Source: Ashutosh Limaye, Head – Research & REIS, Jones Lang LaSalle India

FEBRUARY 23, 2014

Men have started participating actively in household shopping and are fast becoming the deciding factor in what brand to buy and even what quantity to buy. In fact, compared to women, men are more likely to try out new products or even go for a sampling scheme From

a story by Veenu Singh, April 4, 2004, The New Mall Male (why are so many men thronging supermarkets if shopping is a ‘woman thing’?)

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

1. Dear Doctor, I consumed a n e m e r g e n c y contraceptive pill within 24 hours of unprotected sex last month and this month I got my periods 10 days early. The bleeding is little scanty compared to normal periods. Is it my actual periods or implantation bleeding? Please help me. We are not ready for a baby now. Getting periods earlier than the expected date is a common occurrence after consuming emergency contraceptive pills. Since you consumed an emergency contraceptive pill within 72 hours, your chances of pregnancy is quite low. We suggest you wait for your next monthly cycle. In the event that your period is delayed by more than 10 days, you may want to get a pregnancy test done. 2. Dear doctor, I have read on the internet that using contraceptive pills can lead to weight gain. As I am already over-weight, I do not want to use pills. Please suggest better methods of contraception other than condom and regular pills.

planning for a baby is highly recommended. Counting safe days is not a reliable method of contraception as sometimes factors such as stress, traveling, poor diet can cause an early or delayed ovulation. I suggest you consult a local gynaecologist and conduct a pregnancy test. 3. Dear Doctor, I consumed a n e m e r g e n c y contraceptive pill with milk last week and till now I did not have any bleeding as other women experience. Does milk make the pill ineffective? How can I know that the pill has worked? Please advice what I should do now. Spotting in between periods after consuming emergency contraceptive pill does not indicate the effectiveness of the pill. Moreover, it is not necessary that all women must observe this spotting. Milk is not known to cause any obstruction in the pills effectiveness. The only way you can know that the pill has worked is having your monthly period on or around the expected date.

Use of regular, reliable contraception if you are not Queries answered by Dr Nirmala Rao MBBS, MD, DPM; a well known psychiatrist who heads Mumbai based Aavishkar - a multifaceted team of expert doctors and health professionals. Aavishkar has a comprehensive approach to mental and physical health, with an emphasis scan this QR code to visit website on counselling and psychotherapy. Supported by:

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July 1, 2007

A good night’s rest is proving elusive for many of us, as insomnia turns into an urban nightmare. But there’s help at hand to get you your share of shuteye


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How to live a full life after a heart attack Why junk food is so addictive What you should do in the monsoon to stay fit

How to party with success in the season of excess Add sparkle to your wardrobe Diyas and tealights to chase the gloom away from every room Dial H for Halwai cutting-edge ideas for your kitchen

❖ Sharp,

Love, Sex and Marriage Young Indians have started to believe that love and sex are the main themes that matter in relationships, particularly marriage. And the last decade has been that of women

and romance as opposed to betrothal and shaadi of those of the past.



decade ago, my grandfather, Dadaji, took me aside after a family puja, and nervously told me that I should get married quickly because ‘women are like balls of dough. If they sit around for too long they harden and make deformed chapattis’. My grandfather believed that a good marriage was like a perfectly round chapatti and to make a skilled, perfectly round one, the dough had to be supple, fresh, and young. I agreed with Dadaji, and promised him a hasty wedding to a Brahmin boy (an IAS topper if possible). I was his favourite grandchild for a few years, but as years passed and I remained unmarried, I lost my crowning position. Fortunately in 2014, things have changed significantly. Ten years ago, I would have been considered way beyond my sell-by date, but today it is no longer unthinkable for an Indian woman to be single at 28. Getting married at 18 is considered by most, even by Dadaji, as precocious. In fact, most recently, I heard reports of Dadaji telling his old classmate in our native village of Etawah, that he was happy that girls were finding their own husbands and that he “doesn’t have to run from door to door with birth-charts.” In the past ten years, the mating game so inherent to Indian society – the game that began with marriage arranged by the family based purely on caste and economics, followed by sex, usually for the first time for both people, and then ‘love’, if the couple was lucky – has been radically altered. Love marriage makes up almost 30 per cent of the marriages in urban India today, and is increasing at a sky-rocketing rate. Even arranged marriage has changed. We have gone from the age of newspaper matrimony to the cyber age of, from the age of the pandit to that of the marriage bureau. Even arranged marriage entails a period of courtship, and usually even physical intimacy. As I travelled the country researching love, marriage and sexuality for my book, India in Love, I spent a significant amount of time on college campuses across India. From the serious bunch of engineers at IIT, to the more carefree campuses of the private colleges, I discovered that today’s young Indians have started to believe that love and sex are the main themes that matter in relationships, particularly marriage. And who would really blame them? They have come of age in the time of Facebook, iPhones, and MTV. Even the most popular Bollywood movies of their times showcase dating


Love marriage makes up almost 30 per cent of the marriages in urban India today

Ira Trivedi is a bestselling author. Her latest book India in Love is about India’s new social revolution in marriage and sexuality

Sexual mores have been redefined. Never before have Indian women (or men for that matter) been so free about their sexuality

Photo courtesy: NEAL KARTIK


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FEBRUARY 23, 2014

he past decade in India (at least in urban India) has been that of women, maybe even the single woman, and the freedom that women have seen economically, and emotionally is a tremendously positive sign. But a consequence of this has been a breakdown of marriage, and divorce rates across the country have gone up over 100 per cent in India’s metros. No longer is marriage the be all and end all of relationships, and divorce is no longer the anathema it used to be. But this has also led to the break-up of families, and perhaps the first generation of Indian children are being raised in single-parent households. Sexual mores too have been redefined. Never before have Indian women (or men for that matter) been as free about their sexuality. Even in the malls of Indore or Jaipur, we see women wearing shorts and skirts, and feeling safe about it. For the first time, a mainstream movie like Dostana (2008) can bring homosexuality to the golden screen without censorship and more young Indians are receptive to their gay peers than ever before. Young Indian couples can be seen holding hands and strolling in public parks without prosecution, and even Shah Rukh Khan has given in and kissed on screen. More than anything else, sex is no longer the taboo that it once was, and dialogue has brought sex from out of the bedroom onto the drawing room table. The unprecedented attitude shift in love, sex and marriage, has led to more fulfilling relationships than those of the past, but has led to multiple crises in society. After all this sort of change, at cyber-speed, is bound to be turbulent. Repressive forces like khap-panchayats, and sometimes even families and communities try to stop the change by resorting to violence. There is also an over-sexualisation in our consumer culture and this has to some extent led to violence and crime on our streets. We have miles to go before we reach an equilibrium and there is more strife around love, sex and marriage than ever before, but I can proudly and confidently say that we as a society have evolved in a positive direction and that we are in the midst of major social change, and no one can stop it. ■

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YEARS OF BRUNCH Ten things that have vanished from our lives – and five that have made a comeback


Suneet Varma’s game-changing metal bustier from his first collection in 1992, which later evolved into the mega-popular corset blouse

Bollywood’s powerhouse performer on love, life and the movies


We’ve grown, yet regressed All you single people Rights & the woman YOUNG INDIA


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Like everywhere else, the women’s movement through the 1970s and ’80s in India flowered. The changes were felt most in the last decade. Traditional views about women and family were challenged. More importantly, two crucial laws were introduced: n The first was The Domestic Violence Act (2005), which offered women protection from violence in the household (and not only from male perpetrators, but also female members in extended families). n And the second was a result of the charged atmosphere after the brutal (subsequently fatal) December 16 gangrape in Delhi. (A 2012 UN-affiliated Working Group on Human Rights report also found that in India, “every 60 minutes two women are raped.”) n The weeks that followed saw a mammoth uproar – a massive women’s movement whose echoes were felt across the globe, opening up a huge discourse about women’s safety and other related issues.

According to a Euromonitor International 2012 report, the number of single-person households globally has risen by 30.1 per cent between 2001 and 2011 and reached 277 million. By 2020, 17.4 million of these are estimated to be in India.

They’ve been accused of being self-obsessed and indifferent. But India’s youth have finally found their voice. They want change and they want it now

n And so the Criminal Law [Amendment] Bill, 2013, was passed. Now, a rape convict can be sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for a term not less than seven years (20, if it causes death or the woman in permanent vegetative state), which may extend to the remainder of the convict’s natural life. It provides for death sentence to repeat offenders. For the first time, stalking and voyeurism were defined as non-bailable offences if repeated for a second time. Acid attack convicts can get a 10-year jail sentence.

Indeed, the young people have held up a mirror to older people as well. “I have never seen this kind of youth mobilisation in my life and it is really heartening to see it happen in Delhi, where rapes had become so common,” says 54-year-old feminist activist Chayanika Shah. “We are proud of the youth for showing us that they are committed, aware and conscious citizens” From a cover story, “We Just Had To Make Ourselves Heard!” by Yashica Dutt, January 6, 2013, on the protests after the 16 December 2012 gangrape 10, 2011 NEW DELHI, JULY SUNDAY MAGAZINE, of Hindustan Times copy Free with your




Colleen Braganza; March 29, 2009

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Today’s single s everything goinghave them: great jobs,for friends, health lives. They don’ty sex need to marry. But they still want to. Why? RUDE FOOD MADE TO ORDER HEAVEN LANGUAGE BARRIER DOWNLO STAR TECH PAY AD CENTRAL BREAKING THE YOUR BILLS ON THE GO

And so in a cover story four years later, we tried to figure what singles really wanted!

Nearly 83 per cent of women said they faced pressure to be in a relationship from their family, friends and colleagues – 25 per cent felt that their social status was lower because they were single. And 47 per cent of single men think that love is all about romance, but 39 per cent valued their independence too much to be in a relationship. From a cover story on

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Singles in the City and The Floh-HT Brunch into the minds Survey takes yousingletons who are hearts of urban

looking for love indulge


Istanbul: flavours

on the cusp

SANJOY NARAYAN Twist in the playlist

RAJIV MAKHNI Bangkok from A flatscreen

SEEMA GOSWAMI step A spring in my

the Floh-HT Brunch Singles In The City Survey 2013 by Saudamini Jain

To work or not to work

Many women are now choosing not to go out into the workplace. In a cover story, Kamla Comes Home (July 10, 2011), we explored the trend to figure what happened to the fierce desire to be someone other than stayat-home-women. Interestingly, a 2012 study by the Center for Talent Innovation showed that 36

In 21st century India, urban singles seemingly have everything – social security in the form of well paying jobs, hectic social lives, plentiful friends. Many have invested in homes and are in live-in relationships. Then why are they still looking at marriage? From a cover story by

The second issue of Brunch (February 8, 2004) was also our first survey, the Brunch-C Fore Survey On Love And Lust. Back then, we were surprised at the “new openness in the air” – 45 per cent of those surveyed admitted to having had casual sex, 87 per cent had watched pornography.

per cent of Indian women take a break from work (the numbers are similar for Germany and US). While most women elsewhere take breaks for childcare, 80 per cent of Indian women surveyed took time off to look after their elders. A large number also leave because they find their careers stalling.

Gay rights in the last ten years

A few weeks ago we thought we’d come far. Now we’re just ashamed

2001: An NGO fighting for gay rights, Naz Foundation, files PIL in the Delhi High Court seeking legalisation of gay sex among consenting adults 2004: The Delhi High Court dismisses the PIL seeking decriminalisation of gay sex. Gay right activists file review petition, the High Court dismisses the review plea. Activists approach the apex court 2006: The Supreme Court directs the High Court to review the matter 2008: The Centre says gay sex is immoral and a reflection of a perverse mind and its decrimi-

nalisation would lead to moral degradation of society. Gay rights activists contend that the government cannot infringe upon their fundamental right to equality by decriminalising homosexual acts on the ground of morality. The High Court pulls up the Centre for relying on religious texts to justify ban on gay sex and asks it to come up with scientific reports to justify it. July 2, 2009: Delhi High Court allows plea of gay rights activists and legalises gay sex among consenting adults July 9, 2009: A Delhi astrologer challenges the

High Court verdict in the Supreme Court. Several others, including religious organisations, also oppose the judgement Dec 11, 2013: The Supreme Court upholds section 377, sets aside the 2009 Delhi High Court order which had decriminalised gay sex Dec 20, 2013: Government petitions Supreme Court to drop gay sex ban Jan 28, 2014: Supreme Court dismisses a Central government petition seeking a review of its verdict that had declared gay sex an offence. 12, 2014 WEEKLY MAGAZINE, JANUARY Times Free with your copy of Hindustan

Yes, I am gay. Correction. I am happy and gay. Is this different from saying “Am I gay?” Yes, quite different. The moment I said these three words to myself, the world changed and so did I.

Gay In The City, an account of what it’s like to be gay in Delhi, August 29, 2004

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India’s gay community coming out of the closet (June 4, 2006) ence as more and Confusion gives way to confid ate sexuality altern more people accept their

Meet the low-p rofile lawyers who’ ve just got their first big victory in the fight for gay rights RUDE FOOD FIVE DAYS IN DOWNLOAD CENTRAL ONE MALAYSIA STAR TECH ALL WEEK’S HOAR ABOUT INVER D SPECTATOR TERS NO LAUGHING MATTER

Profiles of lawyers who fought against Section 37 7 of the Indian Penal Code (July 12, 2009)


As India recriminalised homosexuality, a story on how Nepal’s rainbow movement has made it the subcontinent’s most gay-friendly destination (January 12, 2014)

g be on its way to recognisin homosexuality, it might across the border Not only has it legalised at an alternative reality in a land just A look same-sex marriage.

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Vijayalakshmi Iyer

Naina Lal Kidwai


The India-Australia matches were the most ungentlemanly of all cricket games, but we fought the Aussies and beat them on their own turf


The World is Not Enough

Want a driving holiday in the Alps? Or a cruise to Antarctica? Today, boutique travel agents suggest experiences rather than destinations


s a travel writer it is not uncommon for me to sometimes get invited for a trip. A few years back I remember receiving a call from Gauri Jayaram, who was head of Globus and Cosmos in India, inviting me to take a luxury bus trip from Warsaw to Moscow through the Baltic countries. A few months ago, I received another call from her saying that she now runs The Active Holiday Company and inviting me to pick up a cycle and a map in Pisa and cycle on my own from there to Florence. This is quite a good example of how travel and travel experiences have evolved over the past few years. We Indians are finally and thankfully breaking off the shackles of packaged tourism. While there are still plenty of travel agents who will pull out a pre-planned itinerary and try to get their clients to stick to those itineraries, their clientele is dwindling. There is a new breed of travel agents – very savvy and much keyed in to new trends. They often call themselves boutique travel agents and listen to what the traveller wants and suggest experiences rather than destinations. So, if you want to drive a Ferrari in the Alps, or take a cruise to Antarctica or go caving in New Zealand or trek to the Annapurna or Everest Base Camp – no problem – they’ll set it up for you.

Rishad Saam Mehta is a travel writer, photographer and author of Hot Tea Across India

Because most of us lead inactive lives working behind a desk, travellers are looking at holidays that are a sort of detox from their sedentary lifestyles


or many years travelling abroad was a mid-forties and beyond activity. And then since it was ‘the’ trip of a lifetime, you had to squeeze in as many places as you could and come back with the entire holiday seeming like a psychedelic blur. But today with the power of spend and disposable income on the rise, trips abroad are no longer like vaccinations – just one shot in a lifetime. Today middle class Indians in their twenties and thirties travel abroad maybe once every two years or more and they’re off the tour buses, and are hiring cars to drive themselves around foreign lands, hopping on and off local transport and generally experiencing the world on their own terms. And they’re getting more adventurous too. Indians are now hiring huge SUVs and driving into South Australia’s Flinders Ranges for an Outback experience; they are into cycling tours, running-a-marathon



Shikha Sharma

Kaku Nakhate

OFF THE BEATEN TRACK Tourists en route the Gadsar Pass in Kashmir

Chanda Kochhar

Kalpana Morparia

t. Six women emerged triumphan best life or work, they’ve insights on how to get the Whether it is provide exclusive of the corporate ladder banking leaders on top orlds and stay

holidays and walking trips. Thailand, which has been notorious for years as a sleaze destination, is now seeing groups of guys headed there for some clean fun in the form of motorcycling holidays. It is also not uncommon for Indian travellers now to travel to visit a music festival like the New Orleans Jazz Fest or follow a cricket or soccer world cup. Besides the means at hand, social media also plays a big role. With free Wi-Fi available almost everywhere, travellers often update their social media pages on the go and this fuels the desire amongst their followers, friends and families to go out and do something similar. E-commerce with respect to hotel, flight and car rental bookings, is also another encouraging factor. There are plenty of deals to be had online and the Internet-savvy Indian traveller is learning where to find them. Within India too, the ‘Shimla-KuluManali’ or ‘Ooty-Kodai’ or ‘Delhi-JaipurAgra’ holiday chant is growing softer, thanks to more awareness via newspaper and magazine articles and travel blogs. Travellers are realising that there is more to India than just these few circuits – they are discovering the joys of fishing on the Tirthan River, trekking over the Chandrakhani Pass or doing an extreme winter driving road trip to the Spiti Valley in winter. They are going bird watching in Saurashtra, checking out temples in Khajuraho and going caving in Meghalaya. Recently on a trek in Kashmir, I met a family of three (mum dad and teenage daughter) and they told me that trekking is the only holiday they do together as it is fantastic family bonding without the distractions of a cell phone, television, corporate or college commitments. Besides that, it is an opportunity to see parts of India that you could never see otherwise. Because most of us lead inactive lives working behind a desk during the day and lounging in front of the TV during the evening, travellers are looking at holidays that are a sort of detox from their sedentary lifestyles; hence you now find Indians huffing and puffing up the high altitude Manali to Leh road on a bicycle or enrolling for a week-long riverrunning rafting expedition or heading to Gulmarg during the winter for some world-class skiing. With plenty of destinations all over the world looking at India as one of the largest emerging travel markets in Asia if not the world, the Indian traveller has never had it better, there is no better time than now to take a holiday. So don’t continue to keep your life on hold – go out there, travel, see the world and feel yourself come alive! ■

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Saas-bahu serials are passé. passè. The Ramayana and the Mahabharata are TV’s next big things

Hindi entertainment channels enter a bitterly competitive era as a new entrant challenges traditional leaders


Ten years in wanderlust We are going places

Over the last decade, as Indians became more Netsavvy and began to explore newer terrain, one of the focus areas of Brunch was decoding the mind of the new, adventurous desi traveller. The growing Indian middle class is fuelling a frenetic growth in outbound travel. An increasing number of Indians are going abroad on holiday. By 2020, predicts the World Tourism Organisation, India will account for 50 million outbound travellers. Many more of us are treading into unexplored destinations, and we’re doing it in style. A rewind of the coolest trends stories and most engaging travelogues.

story by Saudamini Jain, October 27, 2013, on the must-visit Ramleela at Varanasi, the longest and grandest in the world

No fear of frills

Deccan In 2003, Captain Gopinath’s Air e became the first low-cost airlin

story by Madhushree, October 21, 2007, on Indians becoming among the biggest spenders on travel in the world


million Outbound Indian travellers in 2004

14.92 million

Outbound Indian travellers in 2012 Source: Bureau of Immigration, Government of India

Reading railway fiction might help you brace up to spending 82 hours on a train, but as India flashes by the window, nothing prepares you for what lies inside: a yatra that opens your eyes to ways of living, travelling and surviving the Great Indian Railways experience. From a

cover story by Aasheesh Sharma, May 19, 2013, on the longest train journey in India – from Dibrugarh to Kanyakumari


ore th Following a model pioneered by the Southwest e Airlines in the United States, Air Deccan took flight as the first low-cost airline in the country in 2003. It was followed by a Number of low cost spate of airlines which promised to take airlines in 2004 aviation to the common man – SpiceJet, Indigo, Go Air, Paramount – in 2005. It appeared that the sector once Number of low dominated by full-service airlines would make way for cost airlines in low-cost airlines. But over the years, as the fate of the 2014 now-departed Kingfisher shows, the good times seem to be on the wane for the aviation industry as a whole. Still, in 2014, the news of an Air-Asia-Tata budget airline based in Chennai has injected excitement into the sector. Fasten, sorry, tighten your seat belts!


rier m er

“Har Har Mahadev,” chants the crowd. The people of Varanasi view the Kashi Naresh as a descendant of Shiva. Twelve wise men, the Ramayanis, sit in two concentric circles, illuminated by flaming mashaals. From a cover

The new Indian traveller is charting her way through the great Indian tourist trail that has extended from predictable Southeast Asia destinations like Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, to the aspirational first-on-the-list UK and US, to the somewhat more offbeat Greece, Turkey, Egypt, China and Zanzibar. From a cover


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Ashok Gopala left his MNC job to start farming in Roorkee

Stuck in a Groove





Two dishes, six recipes by four bestselling cookbook writers. Which one tastes the best? We find out


New Writers and Young Readers

publishers have imprints – such as Penguin India’s “Metro Reads” – that cater to this market. With the broadening of readership, the definition of “bestseller” has expanded from a decade ago (when 3000-4000 copies sold were enough to give a novel the tag).


A decade ago, things happened that cumulatively helped make Indian publishing a multi-headed beast


he author was exiting the hall after his session when I asked if he had some time for an informal interview. “Sure,” he said. We strolled across to the solitary seating space on an empty lawn. A few session-attendees stood about, but mostly we were undisturbed and could speak softly – the only other sound was that of the birds chirping. Such was an encounter with Hari Kunzru at a small literary event held in Jaipur’s Diggi Palace in the middle of the last decade. This may be hard to picture for anyone who has only experienced the Jaipur Literature Festival as it has been in recent years: a cavalcade on the scale of a DeMille epic, with every square foot of the grounds packed with famous authors, publishers, agents and thousands of autograph-seekers. But the festival’s expansion from that modest, single-hall event to one of Asia’s most spectacular cultural must-visits has paralleled the boom in Indian-English publishing. At the start of the millennium, it was easy to make generalisations about Indian writing in English (IWE). A limited number of titles came out each year, the most celebrated were by non-resident authors, wellestablished in the West. The perception was that this writing was cut off from everyday non-metropolitan life in India, there weren’t enough young, homegrown writers around, and IWE was an elitist affair. But around a decade ago, some things cumulatively helped make Indian publishing the multi-headed beast it now is. International publishers set up India offices and expanded their catalogues. Literary agencies such as Siyahi, Jacaranda and Writer’s Side were established. And the Internet provided aspiring writers with new forums, and publishers with new talent pools to dip into. The success of Chetan Bhagat’s Five Point Someone (2004) was a tipping point. It forced publishers to acknowledge the many reading hierarchies within India, including young readers for whom English was a second (or third) language, who might pick up a low-priced book because they could relate to a breezy tale about growing up in a changing India. Today most


Jai Arjun Singh is a Delhibased writer and critic

The definition of “bestseller” has expanded from a decade ago (when 3000-4000 copies sold gave a novel the tag)

The Jaipur Literature Festival (above, 2013) has become one of Asia’s most spectacular cultural must-visits

FEBRUARY 23, 2014

Many of us dream of chucking up our city lives and heading off to quieter parts of the country to become farmers. But can the dream survive reality?

Former Pink Floyd frontsman Roger Waters performs in Mumbai



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he results have been mixed. On one hand, just about any semi-literate, overconfident 19-year-old who thinks he has a story to tell can get published by low-investment houses such as Srishti: hence a sub-culture of poorly edited (and barely written) “national bestselling” novels with titles made up of long, grammatically irrelevant word arrangements and ellipses. On the other hand, solid, inventive work is happening within fields that barely featured on IWE’s radar – science-fiction, fantasy and thrillers. Internationally popular genres have been merged with indigenous stories – whether it be a Mughal era detective story or a fantasy epic that draws on Indian mythology, or visual storytelling that uses local forms such as Gond art or Pata-chitra. Children’s writing and young adult fiction have made strides too, thanks to such publishers as Young Zubaan, Duckbill and Tulika, with their willingness to be wacky and to set higher benchmarks for illustrations. The annual festival for children’s literature, Bookaroo, draws large enthusiastic crowds, as does Comic Con, which provides representation for visual storytellers of all stripes. The graphic novel drew hesitant glances at first, but struck out in new directions, dealing with dark subjects such as communal violence or big-city alienation. There has also been an increased representation of literature from regions that are cut off from mainstream Indian culture, such as the north-eastern states, and fine work in the field of translation from regional languages into English. The variety has come at a cost. Publishing houses are driven by quotas, editors usually have too much on their plates, and many books are left to fend for themselves when it comes to publicity, authors are expected to build a presence for themselves through social media. But these are in essence exciting signs, indicative of a burgeoning reading and publishing culture. And yes, there are dozens of literature festivals now, many in small cities and towns. (There were two lit-fests in Chandigarh last November!) At these cosier events, it may still be possible for casual readers to meet a high-profile author for an undisturbed chat after a session. Whether any of these newer fests becomes Jaipur-sized, and how far the publishing boom continues, are questions for the next decade. ■

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YEARS OF BRUNCH Twin models Tapur and Tupur Chatterjee

18, 17, 16... Girls and boys entering showbiz are getting younger by the day

It’s raining raining celebrity celebrity twins. twins. AA peek peek into into the the It’s fascinating world world of of extraordinary extraordinary siblings siblings fascinating

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, a ten-point manifesto for action and fun

Hansika Motwani, the heroine of Aap Ka Surroor, is only 16

Global warming, carbon footprints, climate change… We keep being told that we must change our way of life to save the planet. But is it really possible without moving back into the stone age? We sent Kushalrani Gulab on a mission to find out

Gold medals, glory and

So many books, so little time A Short History Of Indian Publishing (circa 2004-2013)

Book sales volumes (in per cent) in 2013

India has been enjoying an English language literary boom with Salman Rushdie, Amitav Ghosh, Vikram Seth, Arundhati Roy and Aravind Adiga all bringing out brilliant books

2004: Hello, campus novel

April 27, 2008

Five Point Someone, the first Chetan Bhagat novel – bad but simple prose, passable plot, he opens the floodgates for the campus novel

2006: New blood on the block

Right here. First-time authors are here. The thriller is here (Ravi Subramanian’s If God Was a Banker, Ashwin Sanghi’s The Rozabal Line). Ravinder Singh and Durjoy Datta start churning out romances in 2008

2003: The publishing boom begins Foreign publishing houses start pouring in. HarperCollins comes in 2003, Random House in 2005, Hachette in 2008, Macmillan in 2010, Bloomsbury in 2012. There are more books by Indian writers in English than ever before. But the number of saleable writers hasn’t grown much

2005-6: Wanted: writers

Publishers are desperately seeking authors – those who can write good commercial fiction. Indian fiction in English lacks complete genres – obvious ones like mystery, thriller and romance. Where are the writers, more importantly, where are the new writers?

2009-11: Book overload

There is more fiction, non-fiction and travel writing than ever before; between them, the major publishers now annually produce around 600 new titles each year. Nielsen BookScan India reports that the Indian market has grown by 45 per cent in the first half of 2011

2010: The rise of self-publishing

For decades, there have been small presses and self-publishers in India and abroad. In 2010, Amish Tripathi self-publishes Immortals of Meluha (EL James self-publishes 50 Shades of Grey in 2011). Both books are bestsellers. Now many publishing houses have co-opted Amish self-publishing

Unlike in the West, where as a recent PricewaterhouseCooper report reveals, ebooks have garnered nine per cent of the publishing market, ebooks in India account for a paltry one per cent or less


The International Festival of Indian Literature at Neemrana in 2002 was the “first Kumbh Mela of literary gatherings, the mother-ofall literary fests”. The writers included Vikram Seth, VS Naipaul and Amitav Ghosh. The first edition of the Jaipur Lit Festival (2006) was with only 18 authors In 2014, there were more than 100 speakers and writers. Now, there are more than 60 literary festivals in the country

Sources: The Indian Litfest Bug by AMITAVA KUMAR (The Caravan, February 2012),, HT archives

100 people attended the first edition of the Jaipur Lit Festival in 2006


people attended the latest edition of the Jaipur Lit Festival in 2014

These figures are approximate

–9.3% -8.8% –3.4% USA


Source: Nielsen BookScan

Seth in an interview with Aditya Sinha, October 16, 2005

2013: Nobody’s reading ebooks

Festive Season Naipaul’s Neemrana moment

Although retail book sales volumes are dropping globally, the figures in India show an impressive rise (16 per cent last year) according to data released by Nielsen BookScan

“...People don’t want to talk about their homosexuality – or heterosexuality – but I don’t have to worry about being sacked...Or driven out of Delhi,” he laughs. “It’s just a part of life.” Vikram


1990s-2000s: Great writers


Indian writing in English is now bursting at the seams, everybody’s writing a book... this is exactly what (and how it) happened



So however did Just William turn into William-saab? “It was pure accident. Unlike my contemporaries in school, I had hardly travelled – apart from a package trip to Paris with my mother when I was 11. By the time I grew up and was in Cambridge, archaeology excited me. I had wanted to go to Syria to make digs at Nineveh. That somehow didn’t happen. Then, when I was 18, I made plans to go to Swaziland where my brother was posted. Somehow that too didn’t happen. Instead on January 26, 1984, I landed in Delhi. I travelled around the country and,” he says as if meaning to say ‘but’, “I fell in love with this city.” William Dalrymple in an interview with Indrajit Hazra,

October 15, 2006

“Oh absolutely. Satyajit Ray was a major influence for me. I was deeply immersed in his films. In a way, Indian cinema of the ’60s and ’70s was very important to me. I remember the early Mrinal Sen, his Bhuban Shom. I’m still haunted by that film, its images. But also Hindi cinema of that time. Aradhana.” Aradhana? Shakti Samanta’s 1969 Sharmila Tagore-Rajesh Khanna-starring remake of the ’40s Hollywood film To Each His Own? Er, why, I ask Ghosh. “I loved that movie,” he laughs. “I also loved the old Kishore Kumar movies. The ways in which the stories were constructed in Hindi cinema, in Aradhana, had an important influence on me and many other writers.” Amitav Ghosh in an interview with Indrajit Hazra, June 26, 2011


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It was one of the few movies to do well in the first half of the year


In Transit

July 8, 2007

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Whether it is films or fashion, you can never get over the past


This multi-starrer, and many others, bombed







BUILD YOUR WILLPOWER: RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW With five new editions, the ‘Kama Sutra’ continues to be India’s ultimate guide to love and sex

by Veer Munshi For our 10th anniversary, HT Brunch commissioned leading artist Veer Munshi to interpret the theme of change over the decade. Here’s how he sees it:

“I love Delhi in its new avatar. As an immigrant, I have witnessed Delhi evolve over the last decade. The city’s landscape and our lifestyles have changed dramatically. My work is about the city’s vertical growth and the magic of the Metro, which hasn’t just facilitated commuting but also narrowed the gap between people from diverse walks of life. Delhi has become a hub of art and fashion. Travelling by world class roads and landing at swanky airports does not give us a complex any longer.”

Veer Munshi The Gurgaon-based artist works in multiple mediums including painting, installation, digital photography and video art. Born in Srinagar, Munshi studied painting at MS University, Baroda and has held 17 solo shows including those in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Geneva, Perth and Edinburgh, besides participating in group shows in India and abroad.

t ar e P u o- ss w yI l T ar ia rs ec ve Sp ni n A

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Look how we’ve changed! The first issue of Brunch in Delhi came out on February 1, 2004. Nine months later, with the launch of the Hinudstan Times in Mumbai, Brunch was introduced to readers there as well. The Delhi Brunch completes ten years this month. And so we bring you a special twopart anniversary issue, on the theme ‘Look How We’ve Changed!’

Letter from the Editor, Brunch Poonam Saxena


ime is an odd thing. Five minutes can seem like an eternity and years can fly, like the landscape from the window of a very fast train. Even as Brunch completes ten years, it seems as if it was just yesterday when we were working on the first edition. (I had interviewed Aishwarya Rai in Coorg in a slightly surreal all-night session. She was shooting for Kyun! Ho Gaya Na... with Vivek Oberoi, and there was no possibility of a photoshoot. So I contacted a couple of ‘glamour’ photographers – and almost fainted when they quoted their rates. I could’ve flown to London and back and still had money to spare. We eventually found a lovely agency picture). Ten years is, well, ten years. The world was a very different place then – as you will see when you read this special anniversary double issue. My son once asked me in amazement, “You lived in a time without mobile phones?” I had to acknowledge the sad truth. Here are some more truths: when we started Brunch, there was no Twitter; Facebook was founded three days after our first issue came out. Chetan Bhagat wrote his debut novel that year. Kyunki Saas Bhi Rai Kabhi Bahu Thi was still India’s top arya Aishw with ch Brun of The first issue TV show. No one had heard of sixon the cover: February 1, 2004 pack abs or size zero figures. Just as no one had heard of a microbrewery in Gurgaon. Brunch has done literally thousands of stories, meticulously chronicling changes since 2004. Often, we spotted trends months before they gathered momentum. Editing Brunch over these years has been an incredible experience (though there were times when the thought of becoming a hermit in the Himalayas seemed like an attractive option). But everything is worthwhile when you have enthusiastic, madcap colleagues to work with – so here’s looking at you, team Brunch! Not to forget our battery of outstanding columnists – you make us proud every issue. In the end of course, none of this would matter a whit without you, dear readers. A sincere, heartfelt thank you to all of you.

Not just the magazine, but also our lives, in every which way. We asked writers and authors, specialists in their field, to do a series of essays for us, chronicling these changes. And with each essay, we also give you glimpses of past issues of Brunch, and highlight some of the landmark changes. Happy reading!

6 A 10 12 14 15 18 20 Pradeep Magazine on India’s Olympics resurrection

Letter from National Editor, Design Ashutosh Sapru

Sorabh Pant on how India learnt to laugh

s a young man I remember feeling like a martyr whenever a friend or acquaintance would start off on the ‘achievements’ of their children. So as I hold forth on Brunch on its tenth birthday, I hope, dear readers, you will be more patient than I was, for it is difficult to talk about Brunch and not feel something akin to a warm parental glow. My favourite bit of course, is the ‘delivery room’ story. Brunch was a rushed baby. From the time it was thought up to the time Poonam conceptualised it and I worked on the form, it took us all of 14 days. The new product was rich in content (has always been) but it was thin compared to others in the market. So much of the design challenge was to balance that thin look with a palatial feel that would do justice to the vibrant content. The Brunch design never fell into the formula trap. Be it a cover on SRK or a one-pager on how men’s habits have changed over the years, we always tried to do something different. Such was my paranoia that for the longest time I stopping looking at other magazines for fear it would mar those formative years when a product needs to develop its own identity. Poonam is one of those editors for whom design is not decoration but a parallel story tool. This attitude alone helped Brunch design more than anything. Then with senior colleague Anup Gupta’s entry, Brunch gained another dimension. An extremely well-read journo and a complete techie, Anup encouraged us to adapt design classics to evolving consumer habits. One solid example is the Brunch contents page developed by our youngest team member and dedicated Brunch designer, young Monica. It subtly mimics the growing trend of consuming a variety of topics off multiple platforms and multiple formats. Like I said at the beginning, I can go and on and on about Brunch, but dear reader, all that you need to and want to know about Brunch is in its own pages. So, read on!

Vir Sanghvi on the eating out revolution

Divrina Dhingra on Delhi’s partying habit

Sidharth Bhatia on the multiplex effect on movies

Prasad Bidapa on how looking good became the default option

Brunch for thought Our favourite celebrities on what they like about the magazine





In keeping with the evolution of the magazine’s design, Brunch has had four mastheads over the years

This two-part anniversary issue was put together by Poonam Saxena, Aasheesh Sharma, Parul Khanna, Saudamini Jain and Monica Gupta FOR ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES, PLEASE CONTACT National — Sanchita Tyagi: North — Siddarth Chopra: West — Karishma Makhija: South — Francisco Lobo:

Cover design: DEVAJIT BORA

FEBRUARY 23, 2014

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

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

Drop us a line at: brunchletters@ or to 18-20 Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi - 110 001

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Cricketer M S Dhoni is currently India’s highest earning sportsperson, followed closely by Sachin Tendulkar. Turn to page 4 to find out the other

SRK’s Rude Food: Do your cocktail snacks make the grade? Download Central: Discover the DJ who discovers new talent Star Tech: Touch screens are snazzy, but keypads are quicker


The Decade We Got New Heroes

After its performance at London, India might be on the cusp of a revolution, where winning Olympic medals could become a norm and not an exception


ne of the most embarrassing experiences for the scores of India media contingents covering the Olympic Games used to be when people would deride them with the question: What are you guys doing here when your country can’t even compete, let alone win a medal? The only real reason of pride at the Olympic arena was provided by the wielders of the hockey stick, who kept on increasing our gold tally from 1928 onwards. Even that satisfaction was snatched away in the astro-turf era when even to qualify for the Games became a major event for us. This derision has lessened a lot in the last one decade. In fact, there is now a feeling among the sporting elite that India could be on the cusp of a revolution where winning medals could become a norm and not a rare exception as used to happen in the pre-2004 era. A nation whose obsession with and achievements in cricket are only too well documented, is still is not a powerhouse in Olympic sports, far from it. Winning a few medals in the last Games or a lone Gold that Abhinav Bindra shot at the 2008 Olympics can’t make India believe that it has achieved its goal of competing with the best in the world. Countries with one hundredth of our population and very poor economic growths have done better than us. Yet, India has reason enough to celebrate the last decade, especially given the fact that it had so little to show in the previous decades. The memory of a Tricolour-draped Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore standing on the podium to wear the silver medal at the Athens Olympics is an image that ignited the nation exactly ten years ago. It was followed four years later by Abhinav Bindra’s gold medal: the first individual gold, and still the only one we have won at the Olympics. It has been followed by a double medal winning feat by wrestler Sushil Kumar, and boxer Vijender Singh, lending stature and glamour to the sport of boxing with a bronze. 2012 was a golden year for India, though a gold medal eluded them. Still, two silvers, Sushil Kumar’s second medal and shooter Vijay Kumar’s achievements combined well with the bronze of Gagan Narang, wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, badminton star Saina Nehwal and woman boxer Mary Kom, to give India its richest medal haul at one Games. In badminton Saina became the number 2 player in the world, with the extremely talented and

Pradeep Magazine is a senior sports journalist and Advisor, Sports, Hindustan Times

TRAILBLAZER At Athens 2004, shooting champion Rajyavardhan Rathore became the second individual medal winner after wrestler KD Jadhav in Helsinki 1952

The memory of a Tricolour-draped Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore on the podium at the Athens Olympics ignited the whole nation exactly ten years ago Photo: GETTY IMAGES

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young PVS Sindhu showing potential at the world stage.


n a real sense, one man who has epitomised success for India is chess master Viswanathan Anand, who remained a world champion till Magnus Carlsen dethroned him last year in Chennai. It is either a reflection on the sport itself, or our own responses to a sport which is played more in the mind and has very little or no physical exertion involved, that Anand does not have a cult status in India which many believe he deserves. Add to these the Grand Slam doubles victories of Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes and the achievements of golfers like Jeev Milkha Singh and Arjun Atwal, and you can safely say India is coming out of the one-sport nation mould. The sad part of Indian sport, as in everywhere else, has been the pathetic state of its governance. Despite having hosted the Commonwealth Games, and having done exceeding well in it, the charges of corruption against the administrators took a lot of sheen away from these achievements. We had reached a stage where the global Olympic body had derecognised the Indian Olympic Association for electing officials accused of corruption in 2012, in breach of the Olympic charter. But mercifully, thanks to a sprucing-up act, India is now back into the Olympics fold. One abiding image of Indian sport will always remain the superhuman achievements of Sachin Tendulkar. His astounding record, be it international 100 hundreds, or the runs he has scored in both formats of the game, are mindboggling. In the sport he played, India became, albeit for a brief while, the number one Test team in the world. The decade saw the likes of Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Anil Kumble showcase their skills with great flourish. The public imagination was fired by the irrepressible talent of Virender Sehwag, whose lethal strikes became a nightmare for bowlers across the world. In 2011, MS Dhoni, a lower middleclass boy from Ranchi, led India to its second World Cup victory. He had announced his arrival by leading India to the first T20 World Cup title in South Africa. Cricket also saw a revolution of sorts, with a corporate-driven club league called the Indian Premier League which doled out unheard of sums to Indian and international players for a two-month extravaganza of T20 cricket. Its popularity and controversies have divided the cricket world as never before and it won’t be out of place to say that IPL will impact world cricket in the coming decade as no other event has ever done before. ■


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Our readers set out to capture ‘Sunday’. Feast your eyes on the gorgeous photographs that came in


The much anticipated Abhishek-Aishwarya wedding is high on the target list of scoop-hungry journalists

Those freeze-frame moments Tendulkar’s Classy Parting Shot

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar’s 200th and final Test played at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium was the stuff of sporting legend. A billion fans turned emotional when the batsman took his last bow on November 16 last year. Number of centuries For the record, India went on to scored by 2004 win the Test against the West Indies by an innings and 126 runs to seal the series 2-0 and present Sachin Test ODI with the perfect farewell gift. The entire Indian eleven stood up and Number of centuries gave a lap of honour to the Little scored by 2014 Master as soon as the match ended. Then, Tendulkar delivered a moving speech that had everyone in tears. Test ODI The icing on the cake: the Bharat Ratna honour for the Master Blaster, a first for any sportsperson.

Formula Fun Comes Home

Sachin’s centuries





When Sachin Tendulkar first played for India in November 1989, the Babri Masjid was intact; the Berlin Wall had just about fallen; Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister of the UK; Nirvana was two years away from recording Smells Like Teen Spirit; Steffi Graf was Wimbledon champion; and Mahendra Singh Dhoni was eight years old From a cover story by Soumya Bhattacharya, November 2, 2008, on what makes Tendulkar so special


Widely considered the strongest rapid player of his generation, Viswanathan Anand, 44, who divides time between hometown Chennai and Collado Mediano in Spain, has won the World Chess Championship five times (2000, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012). He reigned as the undisputed World Champion from 2007 to 2013. But last year, India’s greatest chess icon lost his title to Norwegian Magnus Carlsen. Chess used to be a sport you could play well into your sixties, but now you already don’t have anyone in the top 10 who is 45. I would be surprised if I am still at the top at the age of 50. The trend is heavily towards youth. From

India’s Olympian Legacy

Other than hockey, India’s record at the biggest stage in the last century had very few bright spots. But over 2004, 2008 and 2012, the number of individual medals won by India rose from 4 to 12. At HT Brunch we’ve been keeping score.

Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Racing completed a hattrick of triumphs at the Indian Grand Prix in 2013

The F1 circus took a long time coming to India. The first F1 race in India took place on 30 October, 2011, at Greater Noida’s Buddh International Circuit. It attracted a battery of celebrities including Bollywood stars and cricketers, with Sachin Tendulkar flagging off the first ever Grand Prix. Over the last three years, Sebastian Vettel has made it his home race. In 2013, he capped his victory at the Grand Prix by claiming his fourth successive world title. With his fourth win, Vettel joined a pantheon of F1 gods: Juan Manuel Fangio, Alain Prost and Michael Schumacher. In 2013, such was Vettel’s dominance that he arrived in India needing only a fifth-place finish to get the title, regardless of what his only remaining rival Fernando Alonso did.

“I am surprised they say race has nothing to do with the sport. F1 is a white-dominated sport. You haven’t seen any black athletes till now, have you? Tiger [Woods] came in and broke that barrier ...the same is the case with racing,” says Hamilton. From

a cover story by Aasheesh Sharma, November 9, 2013, on Lewis Hamilton, the first ever black Formula One champion

Eyes On Delhi

London, 2012 saw the best-ever all-round Olympic hunting ground for an Indian contingent, ever. Wrestlers Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt, who both learnt their daanv pench at Delhi’s Chhatrasal Stadium, made the nation proud with a double medal haul. Not to be outdone, the ladies – badminton ace Saina Nehwal and pugilist MC Mary Kom – smashed and punched their way into Olympic history respectively. India’s domination at the shooting ranges continued with Vijay Kumar and Gagan Narang adding a silver and bronze medal to the medals kitty.

the Sheru, the mascot for es, Commonwealth Gam held in Delhi in 2010

a cover story by Kushalrani Gulab, December 21, 2008, on the champ

Kumar, m left Sushil r Dutt e power: Fro and Yogeshwa They’ve got th m Ko ry Ma MC Saina Nehwal,

For long, the world perceived Indians as physically weak. Till Vijender [Singh] and Sushil [Kumar] made the world take note of India’s warriors of the ring.“Today even the best in the business can’t afford to take us lightly,” says Sushil. From a cover story by Saurabh Duggal, July 8, 2012, on India’s medal hopefuls in boxing and wrestling at the London Olympics

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The Capital hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2010. It was India’s most successful Games to date with our athletes winning 38 gold, 27 silver and 36 bronze medals. But the Gold Rush, which would pave the way for our pugilists, paddlers and grapplers to give their best-ever performance at the Olympics two years later, was also tinged with controversy. It would ultimately lead to the arrest of chief organiser Suresh Kalmadi

“Above the doors that lead to the court at Wimbledon, are lines from Kipling’s poem, If. Two lines stand out vividly for me: ‘If you can meet with triumph and disaster/And treat those two imposters the same…’ I look forward to the day when Aiyana [his daughter] will be old enough to soak in the atmosphere at Wimbledon.” From a cover story by S Kannan, October 8, 2006, on how Leander became India’s best tennis player

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The bhut jalokia from the North East is the most fiery chilli ever. And it’s setting the world on fire

A model wears a Maheshwari saree, revived by the kings of Indore


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Smriti Irani, who played Tulsi in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, recently ‘died’ in the serial

We Are The Champions!

The Brunch gallery of quotes

Find out why Sehwag identifies with Aamir Khan and Rahul Dravid’s views on matrimony. The biggest sportspersons spilled the beans to us

“Marriage has been a new experience, very different from being single and travelling with the guys.” Rahul

“Everybody was hugging each other. Too many tears, too many emotions,” is how Yuvraj Singh, the man of the tournament in the World Cup 2011, described the moment of victory. Fans had been waiting for an encore since Kapil Dev Nikhanj, another captain hailing from a small town, held the trophy aloft in England in 1983. This time round, like Kapil’s Devils, Dhoni’s Daredevils made every Indian feel on top of the world.

Nothing sells in India like cricket and cinema. The HT Brunch 2005 story on the top 10 celebrity endorsers included four cricketers.

SACHIN TENDULKAR: His fee per endorsement ranged between `3.5 crore and `6 crore. SOURAV GANGULY: Fee per endorsement ranged between `1.5 crore and `2 crore VIRENDER SEHWAG: Approximately `1 crore RAHUL DRAVID: Fee per endorsement `1 crore

When Brunch revisited the subject in 2013, Bollywood had nudged ahead, with as many as eight actors making the top 10. The two cricketers featuring on the list were: MS DHONI: Fee per endorsement `8-10 crore. Brands endorsed: 21 VIRAT KOHLI: Fee per endorsement `3.5-10 crore. Brands endorsed: 15

Source: TAM AdEx and industry estimates

The cricketer-celeb as salesman

Glamour, big bucks, controversy! In 2008, when the Indian Premier League first came along, Indians were getting familiar with the concept of cricketainment. But the IPL was a different beast altogether: multi-million dollar salaries, cheerleaders and glamorous team owners.

With all the glitz, could controversy have been far behind? Enter Shanthakumaran Sreesanth’s facepalm moment. Then there was the sweat equity row that led to a cabinet minister quitting. It isn’t quite cricket, but nobody’s complaining.

Life has swung the hard way for him. Sreesanth, a member of India’s World Cup winning squad in 2011, has been in the eye of many storms. If being slapped by Harbhajan after an IPL match wasn’t enough, the BCCI has also banned him for life for spot fixing. The fall from grace of Lalit Modi, the flamboyant all-powerful Indian Premier League Commissioner, made headlines. Accused of foreign exchange violations, a red corner notice was issued against him and Modi has been fighting legal battles since. At the Pepsi-IPL player auction in 2014, Vijay Mallya broke the bank for Yuvraj Singh, the all-rounder from Punjab, when he bought him for a record-breaking $2.33 million `14 crore). He’ll join the hard-hitting Chris Gayle in the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad.

“Once upon a time Delhi’s Kotla was my home ground. But today, Kolkata is my side and the kind of reception I get when I turn out at Eden is overwhelming,” says Gambhir, 30, the Delhi boy-turned-Kolkatar chele. From a cover story by

Dravid, in a cover story by Kadambari Murali, August 7, 2005, about how the new Indian skipper is an intensely private person

“If I am here today, it’s because of my faith in God. I have lived life each day as it comes, and I don’t want to hang on to the tennis court till I am 30.” Sania Mirza, in a cover story by S Kannan, September 18, 2005, about the then 18-year-old tennis sensation

“My thinking is similar to the character Aamir Khan plays in 3 Idiots. I don’t play to make records, nor to make money, I play because that is the thing I enjoy the most.”

Virender Sehwag, in a cover story by Pradeep Magazine, January 17, 2010, on the Delhi batsman’s journey to the top

“I do aspire to be back with whatever cricket is left in me. I’ve bounced back before and I hope to do it again. I still hope to play 80 to 90 Test matches. Let us see how much fuel is still left in me.” Yuvraj Singh, in a story by Pradeep Magazine, March 17, 2013, about his battle with cancer and epic comeback

“I am not worried about failure. I never was, even when I played for the country for the first time in 1990. Some people concocted stories that I was arrogant and hated carrying drinks on that tour.” Sourav Ganguly, in a cover story by Pradeep Magazine, January 8, 2006, on how the combative Indian skipper is an altogether different person at home

There’s life beyond cricket for football fans!

We may be ranked 154th in the world, but that hasn’t prevented admirers of the Beautiful Game in India from turning into football fanatics. Consider these pointers:

n Thanks to 24-hour sports channels and the Web penetration, football’s popularity is rising. So, you have Arsenal fans fighting Facebook wars with Manchester United supporters every time the two clash in the English Premier League and Barca fans heckling Real Madrid ones on Twitter when they lock horns in the La Liga. n Beyond TV, the rising popularity of lona and welcome Barce in Kolkata to 11 20 Fans line up in i r Lionel Mess Argentina sta

Aasheesh Sharma, June 10, 2012, on Gautam Gambir, who led Kolkata Knight Riders to victory in the IPL after losing for four years

FEBRUARY 23, 2014

football has been helped in no small measure by seeing superstars such as Lionel Messi in flesh and blood. Messi’s visit to Kolkata in 2011 was just the latest in the series of superstars who’ve touched down on the City of Joy including Diego Armando Maradona, arguably the greatest footballer ever.

n Behemoth clubs like Manchester United have set up stores in India and a recent soft drink commercial featured Fernando Torres and Didier Drogba playing cricket stars before persuading them to play football.


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In war-torn Kabul, Hindi film songs play at street corners, the burqa is just an accessory and expats are everywhere

Badminton star Saina Nehwal is one of our big medal hopes

Gimme gold! That’s the war cry of our athletes just before the Commonwealth Games

Ajay Devgn as police inspector Bajirao Singham in Singham



By the end of 2009, more than eight Indian-made animated films will be in the theatres. Why are so many Bollywood producers putting so much money in a genre of movies that’s never been tested before?

India’s Ministry of Jokes It’s a miracle that in the last decade India’s stand-up comedy scene has flourished


ussian comedian, Yakov Smirnoff tells a story that sounds like the setup of a joke, “In 1970s Russia, we had to get our jokes approved by a Soviet Ministry of Jokes. Really! They didn’t allow any jokes about sex, religion and especially the government. So, basically no jokes that were funny. All Russian comics of the time could joke about were ants, giraffes and their mothers-in-law.” It would’ve taken vats of vodka to make that funny! Ridiculous, right? Then you see Indian TV… no jokes allowed on sex, religion, politics or celebrities. Our Ministry of Jokes is the I&B Ministry whose punch line tends to be Kapil Sibal’s words. It’s a miracle that in the last decade India’s stand-up comedy scene has flourished. As with everything else in India: We flourished despite the government, not because of it! Perhaps Kingfisher Air would disagree. Comedy has squeezed itself into every part of India: TV, radio, the Internet, films, stage, newspapers, magazines and occasionally in the courts – where someone or the other is trying to sue one of us because of some perceived grievance. (A good defense for a joke is not, “Your honour, I’d like to countersue the plaintiff for being a boring, uptight, unemployed moron who belongs in a Bengali film in the 1950s.”) It’s a great time to be a comedian in India. This has as much to do with the initiative of comedians, as it does with our audience. I started stand-up five years ago, back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, LK Advani was still a young boy and nobody understood what stand-up was. The refrain from organisers was, “I have place. No mike, no stage, no people. You come and do your whatever mimicry and people will come. I will pay you in gobar gas, three months later. OK?” And, this was well after the apparently biggest influencer of English stand-up comedy in India: Russell Peters had already been on the Internet for years. Indians knew what stand-up was but, much like freedom in the 1930s, Toblerones in the 1990s and chivalry in Haryana, we didn’t know these things were available in India. Several things pushed the comedy growth: Russell Peters, Comedy Circus, The Comedy Store in Mumbai, theatres trying young comedians, social media (16 of the top 200 ‘influencers’ on India’s social media are comedians), YouTube and the fact that comedians are so damn sexy. The most important thing though is: the sociological perfection of India for stand-up. India is the best country to be a stand-up comedian right now. I’ve done shows in China – where I took a flight right after my

FEBRUARY 23, 2014

show to reduce the chances of getting arrested by the People’s Army for jokes on its people, Singapore – where people’s idea of edgy humour is making fun of Malaysians, or even the US – where any kind of racial stereotyping is now perceived uncouth. Racism is terrible, but have you heard the one about how many Jatts it takes to screw in a light bulb? It doesn’t end well.

I Sorabh Pant is one of India’s best-known comedians, and the founder of East India Comedy. He’s also an author. His second novel will release in April

Things that pushed India’s comedy growth: Russell Peters, Comedy Circus, Comedy Store in Mumbai, social media, YouTube and the fact that comedians are so damn sexy Photo: GETTY IMAGES


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The apparently biggest influencer of English stand-up comedy in India: Russell Peters

ndia is the only country in the world where we have enough things to be annoyed about and enough people to listen to our gripes on those things! And, our grouses are so diverse: we have more religions than anyone, more political parties than anyone, more TV shows than anyone, more films than anyone. 30,000 comedians could work simultaneously and not cover every joke about what it means to be an Indian! And that’s glorious! But I will probably assassinate any more comedians that enter the fray because, as SRK demonstrated to Sunny Deol in the movie Darr, competition is never a good thing! Our development also helped us. Coincidentally, Russia – at the time of Yakov’s time – was an impoverished state with very little to be happy about. And, that’s the very rule of comedy: a country that allows its comedy the freedom to flourish is usually a country that is developed or developing. Or, in India’s case, has at least a majority of its people who are developed. The rest of them think Bigg Boss is art. Two things prove your status as a developed nation: success at the Olympics and a burgeoning comedy scene. So, Olympics and LOLympics. Comedians are like Olympic athletes though with not as much drug intake. Not as much. The psychology of why people laugh is apt for Indians. A laugh is an expression of fear, which is why you laugh at things that are usually inappropriate or racy for public discussion. And, we Indians have so much we consider ‘inappropriate’ – sex, religion, communities, politics, celebrities, our history, smoking on screen. With that kind of suppression, we are more Russia than Russia itself ! Which is why we had hasya kavis for centuries before comedy, why we ensured a comedian in every one of our films and why also we vote for the clowns we do. ■ PS: My congratulations to Brunch on finishing a decade. You’re the longest reading relationship I’ve ever had, since the end of Harry Potter

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YEARS OF BRUNCH Crazy characters abound in TV funny man Cyrus Broacha’s first novel. Here’s an exclusive look


Please stand up! It all began with these guys...

Raju Srivastava, second runnerup of the first season

Stand-up became an instant hit in 2005 with the Great Indian Laughter Challenge, the first stand-up comedy Kapil Sharma, the winner of show and contest season three Sunil Pal, who on Indian television. It in 2007 won the first lasted four seasons and season produced many gems! The biggest success story: Kapil Sharma (The Comedy Nights with Kapil guy)

But what about English stand-up?

In 2003, Vir Das returned to India (he’d worked in comedy clubs in Chicago before) and started performing all over the country. Papa CJ, who’d given up a corporate career for comedy and performed across the globe, came back in 2008. But apart from them, the comedy scene, say stand-ups, was “thanda”. By next year, though, the English stand-up scene perked up. And Brunch picked up the trend... March 16, 2008 of Hindustan Times

Today, however, there are many opportunities for us to laugh. On television, in books, magazines and newspapers, in movies, in advertising campaigns... humour is hot. From a cover story by Kushalrani Gulab, Colleen Braganza and Smita Mitra; March 16, 2008

In 2010 we featured seven of the funniest people in the country on the cover: Cyrus Sahukar, Suresh Menon, Cyrus Broacha, Vinay Pathak, Anu Menon aka Lola Kutty, Archana Puran Singh and Vir Das

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Top row, from left: Sahukar, Suresh Cyrus Cyrus Broacha Menon, Middle row, from left: Vinay Pathak, Anu Menon aka Lola Kutty, Archana Puran Singh Third row: Vir Das (To find out more, turn to page 6)

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By 2009, there were corporatesponsored gigs for stand-up comics. Companies woke up: there were live events, videos and even conceptualising television shows. And in 2010, The Comedy Store set up shop in Mumbai



RAJIV MAKHNI t phone the smartes Pick

N SANJOY NARAYA The Poliça beat

MI SEEMA GOSWA leg Beyond the fine

In 2012, we got the best standups in the business to offer their take on celebrities in the Brunch ROFL issue “Seven out of 10 searches on YouTube are for comedy content,” says Sandeep Menon, director marketing, Google India. “It made sense to curate some of the best comedy content for audiences. We just want to make India laugh more.” Not that we need the push. Apparently everything’s making us laugh now. The Joke’s On You Cover story by Amrah

Ashraf, September 22, 2013

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Living in the glare of flashbulbs isn’t easy. Everything – from your cellulite to your wardrobe – is under constant scrutiny by the flab and fashion police. What in the world do celebs do?



Model turned actress Nafisa Ali Sodhi with husband Pickles Sodhi


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Coming Of Age!

Prosperity, global media, digital media, travel, mall dining and demographics have changed the way we eat and drink


ow have things changed in the food scene in Delhi in the decade since Brunch came out? Well, cast your minds back – if you are old enough to remember that era. Western food was a hotel cuisine. Unless you went to Diva or one or two other restaurants, there was little European food to be had outside of the big hotels. Pasta meant strands of over-cooked maida in an ocean of sauce. Sichuan was regarded as a suburb of Ludhiana. Nearly every Chinese restaurant served all dishes in a thick red gravy (usually the same gravy with minor variations to pretend that the kitchen was making distinct and different dishes). Sushi was something that expatriate Koreans and Japanese ate. It was very expensive and few Indians would go anywhere near it. Indian food – in restaurants – meant Punjabi food of the sort that no self-respecting Punjabi would eat at home. Butter Chicken was the signature dish of Delhi. Few restaurants offered any kind of South Indian cuisine – or any other regional food experience, for that matter. There were, funnily enough, lots of Thai restaurants. But nearly all of them were terrible even if Thai chefs had been hired. (Not all Thais know how to cook). Coffee was yet to become a big thing. Barista waged a brave battle to get Indians to drink good coffee but most restaurants served Nescafé and even at hotels, the coffee was usually disgusting. For the home cook, options were limited. The shops had very few imported ingredients. It wasn’t that the government banned imports, more that the shops believed that nobody would buy them. Adventurous foodies fell back on dirty and slushy markets and dodgy outlets where smuggled foodstuffs, many long past their sell-by dates, were on display. Hotels lorded it over the rest of us because they had import licenses. Even stand-alone restaurants despaired of ever getting access to quality ingredients. The wine scene was a wasteland. Imported wines were hard to find. Even if you did locate a shop that sold foreign wines, the chances were that the wine had been so badly stored that it was not fit to drink. Sadly the same was true of hotels. The wine import business was dominated by a handful of big players and many of them sold white wines that had not been properly maintained. But because most of us were too intimidated to send back bottles of spoiled white burgundy, we drank sour Chablis anyway. The Indian wine scene was non-existent. Grover made some decent red wine. But that was about it. There was not a single wine from Maharashtra in that era, which I would bother to drink. So why is it all so different now? Here’s my theory: prosperity, global media, digital media, foreign (and domestic travel), mall dining and most important, demographics.


rosperity is easy enough to cite as a reason. Experience all over the world demonstrates that when the middle class begins to have a greater disposable income, it spends more money in food and restaurants and upgrades its drinking habits (from gin to wine, perhaps). Global media is a little more controversial but I genuinely believe that satellite TV transformed the way Indians look at food. Partly it is the phenomenon of the Australian MasterChef but it is also Nigella Lawson, Donna Hay and Top Chef that have made the difference. Our benchmarks are now global. Dishes that seemed strange a decade ago now not only seem familiar, but thanks to the TV chefs, we know how they are made. Digital media has only just become a player but its influence is going to grow in the years ahead. At one level it is convenience. If you are looking for a recipe you need only go to YouTube to see someone making the dish. And at another level, digital media will become the key to restaurant selection. Already people go on the Net to find out about new

FEBRUARY 23, 2014

Vir Sanghvi, Advisor, HT Media Ltd, writes the influential Rude Food column for Brunch

Ten years ago, Indian food – in restaurants – meant Punjabi food of the sort that no self-respecting Punjabi would eat at home. Butter Chicken was the signature dish of Delhi


Satellite TV transformed the way Indians looked at food. Partly it is the phenomenon of the Australian MasterChef

restaurants and check out their menus. I’m writing this while judging Webchef, a contest where amateur cooks posted their recipes on the web and are now slugging it out in Chennai for the finals. The winner gets his or her own YouTube food show. Five years ago, such a contest would have been unthinkable. The influence of travel is self-explanatory. If you have been to Thailand, you’ll know that the Thai food you are being served in Delhi is rubbish. So restaurants have to up their game. But domestic travel makes a difference too. Most Delhiites now recognise that there is more to Indian cuisine than Murgh Makhan. Mall dining is more influential than we realise. Till now, prospective restaurateurs were deterred by the problems of finding real estate, ensuring security, depending on a collapsing infrastructure etc. Malls have changed all that. As more malls open, so do opportunities for restaurateurs. And finally there is the most important factor of them all: demographics. Our children are smarter than us. They are more tech-savvy. They are more willing to experiment. They are globally focused. They expect world-class experiences and cuisine. And they want to eat much better than you and I ever did. They fill the new mall restaurants. They go on YouTube for recipes and competitions. They tweet when a restaurant lets them down. And they push our restaurateurs into breaking free of pre-conceptions about the limitations to the Indian palate and into trying new things. So, there is one thing I am sure of: ten years from now, when this generation comes of age. India will have the best food in the world. ■

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Before the mercury soars... Before the city starts to scorch... 10 amazing ways to spend the coolest hours of a summer day

How would you know if you’re a woman in a man’s body? Two extraordinary women tell us their stories

Our opinion makers have found a whole new way to broadcast their views – on

Tamil talk show hostess Rose is a transgender person

We now live to eat The Eating Out Boom

The restaurant revolution began in 1996 with McDonald’s and other international fast food giants setting up shop in India. Over the next decade – for the first time – Indians were eating out so much The Feeding of India: Your le regular scramb nt for a restaura t table is jus e one sign of th om. eating-out bo e We covered th mtrend on Nove ber 5, 2006

Who’s cooking?

Look around you. Chances are, you’ll find this happens more often than you think. While men from previous generations prided themselves on not being able to even boil water, today their urban counterparts are turning on the gas, cutting, dicing and slicing their way to culinary heaven – from making quick staples for dinner to elaborate meals, to exotic dishes from the last foreign country they visited. From a cover story Where No Man Has Gone Before by Parul Khanna; March 18, 2012

VJ-actor Gaurav Kapoor and composer-guitarist Ehsaan Noorani also belong to the ‘I love to be in the kitchen’ tribe. Ehsaan told us cooking is like making music; Gaurav said he’s like Genghis Khan in the kitchen



20 0 3


2 00



the number of times urban Indians ate the number of times out in a month urban Indians ate out in a month Source: Food Franchising

`2,47,680 crore The current size of the Indian food service industry

Report 2009

Indians spent an estimated $1.3 billion on eating at chain restaurants in 2009. According to Euromonitor, about $400 million of that was at fast food restaurants

A new kind of chef

Some time in the Noughties, a new kind of restaurateur appeared. These enterprising individuals had no training in hospitality. They hadn’t gone to catering college. And often, they had little or no experience of establishing a business. But they loved food and loved entertaining and put some fantastic food on the table. In a cover story on June 8, 2012, we spoke to chefs and restaurateurs who had entered the food scene from other unrelated backgrounds and they told us how they did it!

Rewind 2004

But my own experience suggests that there is some merit in following the principles of Atkins – more protein, less carbs – without getting too carried away. And don’t worry too much about doctors. They were wrong about calories, their advice made America obese and they are probably misguided about protein and fat too. Think about it: how many really slim doctors do you know? The first Rude Food column by Vir Sanghvi (when New York’s mayor Michael Bloomberg had to apologise to Veronica Atkins, wife of late Robert Atkins for a joke he made about her husband and his diet); February 1, 2004

Source: National Restaurant Association of India

India’s explosion of home bakers echoes a worldwide trend. It helps that for the first time, a recipe you may see in a magazine or on TV is actually 100 per cent replicable at home – you don’t need to rely on make-do substitutes for ingredients, tools or equipment... From a story on home bakers by Mignonne Dsouza; December 22, 2013

Gourmet Revolution The food market in India has exploded, you can go to gourmet shops and buy anything that was once only available abroad. Turns out, pasta is one of the most popular gourmet products (along with olive oil and cheeses). Barilla, De Cecco and San Remo are the most popular brands of imported pastas. In 2013, the size of the gourmet food market in India was `6,500 crore, growing at a compound annual growth of 20 per cent.

The imported cheese market in India is growing at a rate of 30% (most popular: Parmigiano, Reggiano and Stilton) Source: India Brand Equity Foundation, Technopak

Back in 2004, Brunch had a weekly wine column, Wine Sense, written by sommelier Magandeep Singh. The first was about the art and science of wine tasting

Acres of rolling vineyards confront you as you drive down the roads outside Nashik and Narayangaon... Perhaps all that hype about Indian wine is not hype after all. Perhaps there is something to all that fuss about the Indian wine industry. And to think it only began about 25 years ago. In the same way that everyone associated with winemaking will assure you that no two days in the business are the same, no two winemakers in Maharashtra seem to have become winemakers the same way. A Walk

Through India’s Napa Valley by Kushalrani Gulab; October 9, 2005


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July 15, 2007

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October 14, 2007

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March 12, 2006






If chills are running up your spine, it isn’t only because winter is on its way. A whole new wave of horror films is taking over our theatres. Be afraid


A Neeta Lulla outfit. The designer is heading to the Alta Roma Rome Fashion Week soon


Sridevi is poised to begin her second innings

The Life of the Party How a decade of change has left an indelible mark on the city’s nightlife


ou’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating: a city’s nightlife is really just a mirror to it. What this says about Delhi is that perhaps more than any other city in India, the capital has been a changeling. Look into the archives: we were really cool in the 1980s, embracing bad perms, worse clothes and disco with aplomb. In the next decade we gave grunge a bit of a miss (a wise move), and moved out of the disco into our friends’ homes/farmhouses and became known for “house parties” where anything went. Were you looking to experiment with mild hallucinogens? Your sexuality? There was a party for that, as long as you were okay with tepid beer in plastic glasses. And then came the age of big clubs, over-the-top parties to rival the clubs, and going out to see and be seen. We stood behind velvet ropes, held back by a phalanx of bouncers and PR girls with Lists till we were allowed to enter huge spaces packed to the rafters with people we barely knew, celebrities, photographers and TV crews. The following day, there was Page 3 – the city-wide guilty pleasure – to pore over and dissect. Change doesn’t stop though, and the way that Delhi likes to kick back and have a good time now is proof that we’ve moved on. “I think there’s an appreciation now for places where the crowd is more self-selective and democratic,” says Vandana Verma, 30, editor at Motherland magazine, and a former Time Out Delhi editor. “I love that there isn’t that ‘Wednesday night at Djinns’ situation any longer where clubs were places to be seen and spend money. People are dancing again, and to good music. At least, there’s music to choose from.” Indeed, choice seems to be the new trend. As young people in Delhi choose to do different things professionally, so they carry that over to the after hours. What began a few years ago as a small alternative scene in Hauz Khas Village, with places like The Living Room has become the new normal. It’s almost as though, with the decline of Page 3’s popularity, Delhi woke up en masse, to realise that posturing wasn’t a requisite to a great night out. In its heyday, Page 3 was the arbiter of who and what was cool. A photograph there allowed you to bask in smugness for a while. And then the tables turned. Brand consultant Arjun Sawhney, MD of the New Delhi-based firm The Communication Council/Grey Goose Design, has been at the organisational and attendee end of several memorable parties over the years. According to him, the marketing of the page was its death knell. “It wasn’t cool to be seen on Page 3 anymore,” he says. So everyone decided to retreat to private parties where photographers

New ways to party! Page 3 back then When it started in the late ’90s, Page 3 was the place to be seen. A photograph there meant you had arrived on the social scene. It was supposed to portray the sunny side of life and give readers something aspirational in the morning.

The rules of engagement in a notoriously fickle city like Delhi change every nine months. You have to be au-courant with the current set of tricks From a cover story by image maker Dilip Cherian, May 23, 2004. In How to Break Into Delhi’s Social Circuit, Cherian gave a step-by-step guide to make it to Page 3, which was at the peak of its popularity then

Divrina Dhingra is a freelance multimedia journalist who divides her time between Delhi and Goa

We’re left with nightlife that sounds like it could help Delhi get rid of its reputation for being brash and exclusivist, and lead the way to becoming a kinder city

weren’t invited. That, it seems, is where they have more or less stayed, ever since. The rise and domination of social media in the last half decade is perhaps a part of the reason. More people go out, discover places and post their frank and unedited opinions of them online so that it’s easy to find a place you like and go there with people you like. Choice, once again, seems to define the shift that has taken place, along with a need for keeping things intimate. Designer Dhruv Kapur, whose label DRVV, has earned acclaim for its monochromatic, androgynous garments, is 26 years old, New Delhi based, and enjoys a good party as much as the next person. His idea of what constitutes that underlines the shift. “A good party is a few people enjoying music, drinking and talking,” he says. And a really fun one is when that devolves to lots more drinking with “people dancing on chairs, and generally letting go.” Is that really very different from what used to happen in the past? “People shy away from being photographed. If there’s a camera around, everyone will stay sober.” Pictures of the revelry may make it to Instagram, but as he puts it, “the whole paper thing is over.” So is the whole club thing, and the big fat party thing. What we’re left with is nightlife that sounds like it could help Delhi get rid of its reputation for being brash and exclusivist, and lead the way to becoming a kinder, more tolerant city. “Delhi has a thriving scene, great little parties every weekend if you’re up for it,” says Verma. “There’s something for everyone.” ■

The Capital is India’s first city of revelry and if you have the energy and a strong stomach, you can dine out and drink yourself silly every night of the week

A book release, the opening of an art show, a new restaurant, a fashion do, a product launch, a country’s National Day, a visiting film star… anything’s an excuse for a party

From a cover story by former UN diplomat Bhaichand Patel, October, 2004. Life’s A Party In Delhi looked at how Delhi was the party capital of India

Page 3 today

Page 3’s golden days have long been over. Those who had once lived and died to party didn’t want to be seen doing that any more. Now everything was Page 3 material: birthday parties, mundan ceremonies, dog funerals. The real Page 3 was gone

From a story by Yashica Dutt, July 12, 2012, RIP Page 3, We Mourn Your Loss. (Why did the popular Page 3 lose its sheen?)

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April 13, 2008

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April 9, 2006

YEARS OF BRUNCH Four young ‘strugglers’ take us down the rough road to Bollywood stardom

Not so long ago, it was impossible for young people to admit to their parents that they had a girlfriend or boyfriend. Today, parents in big cities get nervous if their children aren’t dating

Three days before 15th August, Brunch celebrates the particular (and peculiar) characteristics that


Picture Abhi Baki Hai, Mere Dost

It’s a good time for Hindi cinema – the box office blockbuster and the modest, innovative Indie co-exist with each other


nce upon a time, there existed a far away land in which the residents were extremely good looking, they wore top class designer clothes and carried expensive bags, they lived in grand apartments and were sweetly perfect in every which way. Even their emotions were colour coordinated. The rest of us mortals knew it as KJoland. The younger generation today knows little of KJoland. It only knows stories set deep in the Indian hinterland, where the men carry guns and the women are lusty. People speak in strange accents and wear weird, mismatched clothes. These stories are enjoyable even if somewhat strange. Keep KJoland to yourself, you oldies. In less than 10 years, Hindi films have undergone a revolution. Not only in terms of content and storylines, but also how movies actually look and sound. There is no one category today’s films fall into – where there is Moffusil Noir of the Gangs of Wasseypur (and its clones) kind, there is also the period film (Lootera), the biopic (Bhaag Milkha Bhaag) and the charming comedy (Tanu Weds Manu). There is the monster hit (Dabangg, Chennai Express) made and released with the express purpose of bringing in the masses in droves during a three-day period and the sleeper (Kahaani) which surprises everyone. Sequels and remakes of films from the ’80s are in vogue, but a completely original idea (Lunchbox) also finds audience approval. A Ship of Theseus gets the backing of a big name and gets released; at another time it would have languished in the festival circuit. The past 10 years or so have seen an overhaul of the Hindi film scene, allowing a multitude of directorial voices to make themselves heard. Offbeat cinema was always around – in the 1970s, a Hrishikesh Mukherjee could coexist with a Manmohan Desai – but now an entire ecosystem has emerged that supports the making and more important, the distribution and release of the indie and the smaller film. Small doesn’t mean just by way of the film’s budgets, but also the names associated with the project – the unknown producer, the new director and the non-branded stars. Consider the dizzying climb to stardom of Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who became a star in just one year (2012), though he had appeared in films before that. What is more exciting is the sudden emergence of young directors who bring a completely new sensibility to Hindi cinema, coming up with stories that are rooted in contemporary reality but yet seeking out those corners that have remained un-illuminated in the past. Rajkumar Gupta, Shoojit


From family love in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham to family wars in Gangs of Wasseypur

Sidharth Bhatia is a journalist and author who writes on politics and popular culture. He has recently written a book on the film Amar, Akbar, Anthony and another, India Psychedelic, The Story of a Rocking Generation, is on India in the 1960s and ’70s

The past decade has seen an overhaul of the Hindi film scene, allowing a multitude of directorial voices to be heard

Sircar, Habib Faisal, Rajkumar Hirani, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Hansal Mehta, Vikramaditya Motwane and the big daddy of them all, Anurag Kashyap, are all making films that have everyday characters but which never forget that the primary task of a good film is to entertain. And the box office is responding – it tells us something of where the industry is that a big budget film like Dhoom 3 has still grossed less than 3 Idiots, by all means a much more modest enterprise. The reason is simple – while the audience loves loud comedy, flash cars, foreign locales, all staples that are considered essential by many filmmakers, viewers are also ready to watch smaller budget films with none of the above attributes but which tell good stories. Much of the credit should go to the multiplex, those small cinemas that have mushroomed even in the smaller towns; with a capacity of anywhere between 100300 seats, these theatres get filled up fast. The economics of the film release therefore has undergone a revolution – the exhibitor feels comfortable showing films that would not be able to pull in large audiences at the same time. It is a virtuous circle that benefits both the filmmaker and the viewer. The availability of corporate finance is the plum on the pie.


ne outcome of this trend has been that new talent in every field – from actors to technicians to music directors and lyricists – has burst forth as if it was out there, somewhere just waiting for an opportunity. What is encouraging is that these newcomers are not content with following the beaten path – Sneha Khanwalkar, who gave music for some of Gangs of Wasseypur’s songs, set out all over the hinterland to pick up authentic sounds and incorporate them into the story thus adding verisimilitude. Quirky? Perhaps, but most welcome in an ocean of ho-hum techno and bhangra beats. The fallout of all this is that Hindi cinema is now winning over new fans all over the world and we are not talking just the NRIs of the US or Britain. Serious filmgoers in other countries have realised that more than just Bollywood – that pastiche of garish sets, loud “dialogue” and over-the-top acting – India is producing sensible, meaningful cinema that touch universal themes yet remain uniquely rooted in an Indian sensibility. It is a good time for Hindi cinema-both the big box office monster along with the more modest and innovative Indie are peacefully co-existing with each other. Traces of that candy-coloured land of yore are still visible, but no one desperately wants to go there anymore. ■

FEBRUARY 23, 2014


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November 25, 2007

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July 30, 2006

Dream Merchant




A new global bestseller claims that you can get what you want — a house, car, money — by just asking for it. Is The Secret conning gullible readers?



Mystery Woman


What do cricket and Bollywood have in common? Young men who would get nowhere without perfect bodies


It’s no longer raining cats and dogs. These days, exotic is the buzzword when it comes to pets

Model Dipa Shah with Belle, an eightyear-old miniature Falabella horse. Falabellas are one of the smallest and rarest breeds of horses in the world


The coming out of Bollywood

The Explosion Of Multiplexes

1. Movie-watching became an experience again. People started to go out, rather than watch movies at home. 2. The experience became more wholesome – air-conditioned halls, food and shopping – as multiplexes and malls came together and formed a symbiotic relationship. 3. Content changed, off beat movies about urban India started getting made, since smaller theatres supported an aware, educated, middle class audience for them. 4. Low-budget, intelligent, indie, commercial blockbuster – all kinds of genres began co-existing. 5. Movie-consumption got homogenised. People in Tier-1 and Tier 2 cities could now see the same movies (a Lunchbox released in Panipat as well as Mumbai), at the same time, with the same experience.


the number multiplexes in Delhi in 2004


the number multiplexes in Delhi by 2014

A Decade Of New Talent

Bollywood got a shot of ‘freshness’. A battery of people entered the industry during this ten-year period. Young directors and actors came, each with his/her unique brand of talent. A few who made the cut – actors who can become tomorrow’s megastars, and directors who could shape Bollywood’s future.

Over the next few years, Ajay aggressively raided down-and-out cinema halls across Delhi, converting them into multiplexes – such as Payal which became PVR Naraina
















From a cover story by Poonam Saxena, September 4, 2005, on Ajay Bijli, the man who unleashed the multiplex mania

Source: Nakul Malhotra, general secretary, Delhi Cine Goers Association

People Who Defined The Decade: The Khans Still Rule

The Khans were ruling in 2004, the Khans are still ruling in 2014. Forty five plus now, their appeal seems to be increasing each year. Their films storm the box office, they are the ‘reigning superstars’, who consistently give great openings and pull in the crowds.

Salman Khan

Has been called the real true star. ‘He’ makes a movie a success, the movies don’t make him

a success. n Even though he’s a ‘mass’ star (their beloved ‘bhai’), the multiplex audience loves him too. He’s larger-than-life and tough. No one expects great cinema from him, he just has to be Brand Salman (tough guy with a kind heart) in his movies. n Salman Khan entered the 100-crore club in 2010, with Dabangg, then gave two back-to-back blockbusters, Ready and Bodyguard , the next year, followed by Ek Tha Tiger, Dabangg 2, and Jai Ho. He’s the highest scoring Khan on the 100-crore scale.

Shah Rukh Khan

Consistently delivers blockbusters. Stumbled for a bit in between (after Salman Khan bounced back with Wanted, and Aamir Khan opened the 100-crore club with Ghajini). But with monster hit Chennai Express, he’s now in the new 200-crore club. n The man with a string of hits such as Main Hoon Na, Om Shanti Om, Rab Ne Bana De Jodi, Jab Tak Hain Jaan is still Bollywood’s eternal lover boy; no one can romance a woman on screen the way SRK can. n He’s India’s biggest star overseas, with crazy fan followings in countries like Germany and Switzerland. n He was the last Khan to enter the 100-crore club, with Ra.One, in 2011.

Aamir Khan

The audience depends on him to give them something different, interesting, unexpected,

yet entertaining. n He’s still doing one movie a year, but is steady with his hits (Rang De Basanti, Ghajini, 3 Idiots, Dhoom 3). n Over the years, he has established himself as a star with a conscience. Directed a movie like Taare Zameen Par, that dealt with dyslexia, and did the TV show, Satyamev Jayate, that highlighted social issues. n He was the first member of the 100-crore club. The action-packed Ghajini raked in 100-crore at the box office in 2008. In 2009, his film, 3 Idiots crossed 200 crore, so did Dhoom 3.

Only male stars are members of the club so far. To understand why no actress is a member, it must be understood that the club has been ‘formed’ by the trade and the media. Excluding women from the group is characteristic of an industry which exercises gender discrimination more than other industries From a cover story by Komal Nahta, June 3, 2012, Bollywood’s 100 Crore Club (and yes, we coined the term ‘100 crore club’)

A Professional Space Bollywood got its ‘industry’ status in 2001. Legitimate funds made it more professional. n Processes were formalised. Actors signed film contracts and received money by cheque. n Corporate houses collaborated with producers to make films. n Budgets to make movies soared, so did the fees of the stars. n With money, marketing and distribution, movies became big. Production houses started

targeting the overseas market. n Foreign entertainment giants like Fox Star Studios, Warner, Viacom, Sony, Warner Bros began collaborating with Indian production houses. n Professional studios, such as UTV Motion Pictures and UTV Spotboy etc came into existence. n Films got completed in a stipulated time. n The concept of a bound script came into existence.

FEBRUARY 23, 2014

1 Vidya Balan: Trailblazer, a powerhouse performer. Changed the face of the Indian heroine. 2 Imtiaz Ali A director who projects contemporary, complex relationships beautifully. Brought the Indian landscape back into the movies. 3 Shoojit Sircar His films are subtle and endearing. Made the audiences accept and love an intelligent adult comedy like Vicky Donor. 4 Parineeti Chopra: Very real, bubbly, and fun onscreen, audiences love this girl-next-door. 5 Dibakar Banerjee Maker of gritty, experimental movies, made the script the star of a film. 6 Ranbir Kapoor: A superstar waiting in the wings, also a versatile actor. He has struck the right balance between commercial cinema and experimental roles. 7 Sonam Kapoor: Fresh, innocent, brought fashion back into films. 8 Deepika Padukone: Gorgeous, glamorous, with histrionic skills to match. One of the most bankable actresses at the box office. 9 Anurag Kashyap A maverick, experimental director. His raw sensibility has brought Bollywood international acclaim. 10 Farhan Akhtar: The thinking woman’s sex symbol. An intelligent director-actor who also looks good. 11 Anushka Sharma: A natural actress, she has a vivacious screen presence. 12 Zoya Akhtar One of the few women directors, she has a unique voice, makes compelling, mature films. 13. Prabhu Deva The director who brought back the larger-than-life action hero. 14 Nawazuddin Siddiqui: Ferociously talented, his unconventional looks make a statement. 15 Sonakshi Sinha: This statuesque beauty has an old-world appeal, and she’s shifted the focus away from thin girls.

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YEARS OF BRUNCH Do they actually exist? The search for extraterrestrial intelligent life completes 50 years this month; Indian scientists too have been part



TV Gets Big

It was in 2000 that the Big B first came on the small screen to host a game show, Kaun Banega Crorepati. The show became a rage, and resurrected Bachchan’s flailing career. It did another thing; gave TV respectability, and brought Bollywood stars to the small screen: Shah Rukh (KBC 3), Salman Khan (Dus Ka Dum and Bigg Boss), Akshay Kumar (Khatron Ke Khiladi), Aamir Khan (Satyamev Jayate), Hrithik Roshan (Just Dance), Priyanka Chopra (Khatron Ke Khiladi 3) and Anil Kapoor (24). KBC also ushered in the trend of reality shows on TV

With a string of hit films, critically acclaimed performances, and never-ending stream of endorsements, the Amitabh of 2005 bears very little resemblance to the Amitabh of 2000 From a cover story by Poonam Saxena, July 17, 2005, on Amitabh’s return to KBC in its second season, when the Big B’s film career was on an upswing

The Indian Icon

Bollywood went global in the last ten years: film festivals (from Marrakesh to Berlin), big box office numbers overseas, heightened Western interest

Shah Rukh Khan at the Berlin Film Festival. He’s the face of Bollywood internationally. Outside India, he’s the ‘undisputed king’ Photo: GETTYIMAGE

Hindi Movies Go Travelling up in Varanasi; Tigmanshu Dhulia from Allahabad and many others. Realistic films, set in small towns like Wasseypur (Gangs Of Wasseypur), Hardoi (Ishaqzaade), or non-Mumbai cities like Delhi introduced a new language and fresh look and feel to the jaded Mumbai canvas.

Movies changed, they became more palatable, and movie-making became a ‘respectable’ profession. Result: talent from across India, Delhi to mofussil towns, poured into Mumbai and altered the way films were made. Vishal Bhardwaj, raised in Meerut; Anurag Kashyap, who grew

Delhi has so many characters and layers that it is impossible to put all of it together. It is a thousand cities in one city From a cover story by Tavishi Paitandy Rastogi, March 15, 2009, after a rash of Delhi-based films had appeared. But the city is still waiting for the definitive Delhi film

While Mumbai continues to be the filmmakers’ muse, the action has shifted to Delhi over the last few years. But now, the industry’s lens has zoomed even further inward From a cover

story by Parul Khanna, August 19, 2012, on small town India becoming the new cool in Bollywood

The top 32 film songs ever

In this very special music issue, we got 15 music stalwarts to pick the most loved songs of Bollywood of the last 100 years. The list didn’t have any songs post the ’80s (attention! contemporary music composers). We also attempted the impossible by asking legends Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle to list their favourites out of the thousands of numbers they’ve sung.

Cover story by Shreya Sethuraman, August 31, 2013

FEBRUARY 23, 2014

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In a Republic Day special, join us in celebrating two families where different regions and religions come together in a joyous mix



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Whether you’re a pilgrim or a traveller, journeying to the magical Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar is an experience of a lifetime

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January 21, 2007


Television producer Niret Alva is a Mangalorean Christian married to chicklit writer Anuja Chauhan, who is a Rajput

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VIR SANGHVI interviews the music composer who – after 30 years in Bollywood – still yearns for approval

Mallika Sherawat as a belly dancer in a scene from Guru

Indians on the Runway! Why everyone wants to look like a supermodel on the ramp (preferably international) all day and all night long!


decade of decadence defines ten years of our love affair with luxury brands, and the fascination never stops. It’s a global phenomenon, not just an Indian thing, but we do it better than most. Russian, Chinese or Indian, the New Super Economies want all the trappings of success, branded as visibly as possible. This desire has always existed in our society. The desire to look better, be thinner, fitter and more desirable. To be more expensively dressed than your friends, have glossier hair, a juicier pout and a tighter, gym-toned bubble butt. Carry the ‘it’ bag of the moment, wear the label du jour, spray on the expensive perfume, climb into your Manolos and turn into a sexy beast instantly! It doesn’t matter if your are 14 or 40, for Size 0 can be anybody’s if you are willing to starve yourself into that size which Kareena Kapoor made so famous, even though it made her head look bigger than her body. So guess what? Now everyone wants the 26-inch waist, the tummy tuck, even the bariatric surgery that vacuums out the fat, for everybody craves the social acceptance, the Pg 3 moment, the film star connect, the feeling of Having Arrived! But how did this happen? As the prosperity index went up, so did our spending. Using beauty salons as a benchmark, you can safely say that there has been a growth rate of several thousand per cent in the last ten years. Cut, colour and a blow dry can work magic and every woman knows it! A professional makeover is something everyone can tap into, and today even the largest corporates offer their staff crash courses in everything from dining etiquette to wardrobe workshops, from public speaking to make-up lessons, everybody’s invited to the party! The information superhighway brings the fashion moment instantly to you, and your friendly neighborhood blogger can bring you that designer label at a very special price. Why wait? Every aspect of your life can benefit from the lavish use of luxury services and products if advertisers are to be believed. From the costly cut glass jar of night cream made from Beluga caviar to the expensive salon treatments for your skin, hair and body, India is awash in scented lotions, magical potions and extra large portions of chocolate body scrub. Soon there will be no ugly people left, and everyone will have a nose-job, less fat, fewer wrinkles and look gorgeously young at their own funerals. So what if beauty is only skin deep? What do you want? An adorable pair of kidneys? With the trickle-down effect of affluence, you can be sure it’s only a matter of time before every young person in this country begins to look like a cover shot of an upmarket style magazine. In the corporate world, the power suit is a mark of affluence and prestige. Billion dollar fashion businesses

I Prasad Bidapa is a well known fashion expert based out of Bangalore, who has written for Brunch ever since its inception, commenting on India’s social evolution and other matters of style

Soon there will be no ugly people left, and everyone will have a nose-job, less fat, fewer wrinkles and look gorgeously young at their own funerals


A professional makeover is something everyone can tap into

FEBRUARY 23, 2014


have been founded on dressing CEOs to perfection.

ndia is a hugely aspiring nation. The hard work of a billion citizens paid for this affluence that makes India such a great country, in spite of venal governance. Bangalore techies of the ’80s and ’90s tasted this affluence but their mental bandwidth encompassed a spend on basics like homes, cars and settling their parents, who had usually sacrificed much for their children. But the next generation of successful Indians discovered luxury. They wanted the LVs, the Burberrys. Indian luxury designers like Tarun Tahiliani, Abu Jani & Sandeep Khosla benefited hugely from the luxury bridal market (the true haute couture of India) , as did the jewellers and other purveyors of luxury and sophistication. On the party circuit in any large city in India, one can see the visible sparkle of the glitterati’s solitaires as they wink and twinkle on newly minted cleavages. A slip of a dress by one of India’s celebrity designers like Abraham & Thakore moulds perfectly to a toned waist and a firm behind. (You can even share outfits with your teenage daughter for you are practically the same size now!) The men are not far behind. Armani is de rigeur for more mature men, and youthful brands like Zara and Superdry fill up a lot of blanks. Is being a consumerist society wrong? In my opinion, not really. The wheels of commerce need to keep on churning. But enlightened Indians realise that the big brands are now available to just about everyone, and that true exclusivity will come from the luxury product that is one or few of a kind. This celebrates a global revival and interest in the rare, the precious, the hand-made and the truly special. For me, a hand-woven length of silk or cotton will always represent the amazing and the beautiful, and I’m pretty certain that it cannot really ever be replicated. A gorgeous khadi sari carries a guarantee of originality and reflects a thousand years of finesse and appreciation of beauty, so why would you buy a nylon frock from Stella McArtney at 1 lakh a pop? One day the world will fight for what is made in India, for we have the heritage, the skill and the talent to make something big out of India, to turn our designers into international brands and export Indian luxury and style to the world! ■

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Big does not necessarily mean best. Check out the nine ways in which thinking small has changed our lives for the better


Meet five important, influential women whose decisions can alter the course of our lives

Chanda Kochhar heads ICICI Bank, the largest private bank in India

Rude Food: Three days in Atlantis, with the world’s best chefs Download Central: New sounds for Grateful Dead fans Star Tech: Why you never need to ask for directions again



Darjeeling tea has finally been given Geographical Indication status. Which means the tea grown there is now recognised worldwide as truly unique. What makes this brew so special?


Looking good is the only option Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

The Vain Side Fashion Gets Accessible

Men came out of the closet (the other kind of closet), and proved that they’re no less than women when it’s a matter of looking good – and ‘fair.’ Emami launched the first fairness cream for men in India in 2005. Other companies followed with their own versions: Nivea in 2006, Garnier in 2009. (Apparently, the ‘gents’ were already using the ladies’ fairness creams). The point was driven further home when even big Bollywood stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Shahid Kapoor and John Abraham endorsed men’s fairness creams. ■ They got salons of their own, for regular facials, pedicures and manicures. ■ Manscaping became a reality with celebrities like John Abraham and Shahid Kapoor exposing their hairless bodies. SRK had been doing it for years. ■ A man could finally stake his claim on the dressing table. Moisturisers, sunscreens, shampoos, conditioners, catering specifically to him, were launched. ■ With international brands coming in, ‘he’ had more sartorial choices. The Indian man could wear what men across the globe were wearing. A fashion week solely for men’s fashion, plus men’s fashion magazines made the Indian man better dressed. ■

The total men’s grooming market is estimated around `800 crore. On an average, 30 per cent of all beauty salon clientele is men From a cover story by

Neena Haridas, December 18, 2005, The New Male Order. (There’s pressure on men to look good, fit, well-groomed. Being a man is lot like being a woman now. We sent four HT staffers, who had never been near a moisturiser, for some beauty therapy. They lived to tell the tale) Brunch was one of the first magazines to start a male grooming, style and fashion column, Male Polish. Image consultant and stylist duo Yatan Ahluwalia and Jojo dispensed ‘sound sartorial advice’.

Meet India’s most successful designer

We met Sabyasachi Mukherjee, and spoke to him about his work and life, and growing-up years! He confessed he knew he would be successful even at age 13.

‘There are lives that you end up shaping even without knowing. Once at the Bhubaneswar airport, much to my shock, an elderly lady came and touched my feet and told me that she’s a local designer who has a business of copying my designs, and thanked me profusely. I felt very proud of myself that day. I knew I was doing something right’ In a cover story by Yashica Dutt, June 22, 2013. An in-depth and intimate profile of Sabya

The biggest change: Fashion became a ‘big’ word. It wasn’t restricted to a privileged few anymore. It became accessible, easily available and easily critiqued too. People started dressing better, in sync with international trends. Hindi films, once the biggest catalogue and resource for trends, now shared that honour with what was shown on the ramp by fashion designers. ■ India

Fashion Week became a big event. Trends started to get dictated by fashion designers showcasing at these events, as storeowners, stylists, magazine editors, models, actors began frequenting them. ■ More and more fashion blogs – High Heel Confidential (celebrity fashion), Wearabout (a street style blog), Fashion Bombay (two curvaceous friends find clothes that flatter their bodies) – run by individuals, began popping up on the Net. Fashion magazines entered the country

during this period, and changed the dynamics. ■ The original ‘fash frats’, Suneet Varma, Tarun Tahiliani, Ritu Kumar and Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla completed 25 years in fashion in 2012. Other fashion-defining designers such as Rina Dhaka, Ashish Soni and JJ Valaya completed 20 years. ■ Trends became the buzzword. What earlier worked for at least three years, started becoming outdated in six months. Wardrobe recycling was a hit.

In 2004, there was only one fashion week, The India Fashion Week in Delhi. In 2006, a rival fashion week, Lakme India Fashion Week was announced in Mumbai. Cut to now, even cities such as Jaipur, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore have their fashion weeks

Age Is Just A Number


The Indian man finally discovered the moisturiser, the benefits that exfoliation provides, the liberating feeling that follows ‘manscaping’. He could now be called ‘pretty’.

fashion-related Some of our hemlines to covers, from hits and flops handbags to

Red Carpet Walks Aishwarya Rai continued her appearances at the Cannes Film Festival. She finally found her groove and won over the fashion police with her Ellie Saab gowns. Vidya Balan in Sabyasachi and Sonam Kapoor in Anamika Khanna (also at Cannes) got international attention in 2013. Back home, fashion designers began dressing movie stars for red carpet appearances which were then analysed threadbare by fashion blogs.

With mothers looking as hot as their daughters, guessing a woman’s age became a challenge. A focus on healthy eating and living, along with cosmetic support, significantly cut down their years. ■ DIETS: Books, blogs, and nutritionists became integral to every woman’s world. Women, from 16 to 50, made changes in the way they ate, and brought about a sizeable difference in their weight. Gymnasiums sprouted in every colony, yoga and power yoga, pilates, running – everything contributed to a whole new tribe of ‘fit’ women. ■ COSMETIC REVOLUTION: The anti-ageing industry promised that the effects of age could be reversed. Ayurvedic herbs, anti-ageing creams became mandatory on dressing tables. ■ SPECIALISED SHOTS: Botox-ing out fine lines, creases and wrinkles from the face became the best-sellBotox made ing treatment at salons. Cosmetic a whole gene ration of women rever se the effects surgeries for butt enhancement, of ageing, look younger breast enhancements, fillers for drooping lips, tummy tucks etc helped women look younger, and more glamorous.

We will soon look at wrinkles the way we look at cracked or discoloured teeth: remnants of the past, as something to be fixed. Twice as many people are seeking cosmetic surgery today than two years ago From a story by

Sanchita Sharma, June 13, 2004, Who’s The Fairest Of Them All? (and not just film stars; ordinary boys and girls are in line for cosmetic surgery too) FEBRUARY 23, 2014




Gautam Gambhir, cricketer

Karan Johar, filmmaker

I like the lively content of Brunch. It has a very guy or girl-next-door kind of feel... From Vir Sanghvi’s reviews to the back-of-the-book quick interviews, Brunch is a complete package. Good luck! Most people would consider what I read quite Amish, boring. (I don’t really read human interest author stories or the supplements...) I’m a boring guy. Brunch is therefore my window to fun once a week. It has well-written stories on subjects that I don’t usually read about (like the recent cover story on tigers at the Panna Reserve). Rajiv Makhni’s tech column is useful for a tech-cretin like me to be able to stand up to a tech-wiz like my wife. Seema Goswami writes well, especially when she writes on women’s empowerment! All in all, Brunch is good fun! May the force be with you!

Maria Goretti, chef and TV host Brunch is like family to me. My love story with the magazine grew when they asked me to write on food and recipes for their website. It gave me the most wonderful experience and exposure and of course oodles of encouragement as a chef and writer. Brunch is quirky but simple, intelligent but loads of fun. In short, Brunch rocks.

Palash Sen, lead singer of the band Euphoria Brunch is my Sunday morning dose of positivity in a media scenario that’s flooded with the news of greed, corruption and lies. It is a reassurance of the hope, happiness and fun that prevails on a Sunday morning. The doctor in me prescribes a weekly dosage of Brunch for a euphoric Sunday and the rest of the week. All the music I have heard in the past few years has been prescribed to me by Sanjoy Narayan in his column Download Central... Music Medicine for the Medi‘sin’ Man!

Raveena Tandon, actress Brunch is my perfect wake-me-up on Sundays – it’s the perfect accompaniment to my morning cup of chai... I especially enjoy reading the columns, they make for an interesting fun read and since I too have been a Brunch columnist, there will always be a special connect for me.

Arvind Gaur, theatre director Brunch has always given prominence to culture, which had been pushed to the periphery in mainstream newspapers. I impatiently wait for my copy of the magazine every Sunday!

Amit Burman, industrialist Brunch is a favourite Sunday morning brunch-time companion not only for me, but, I am sure, for millions of others too. The magazine is an absolute delight! It’s like a breath of fresh air in this sea of lifestyle magazines. Personally, I love reading Vir Sanghvi’s Rude Food column. Being in the food business and a die-hard foodie myself, it is an absolute mustread for me. And the day is never complete without reading Personal Agenda! Wish you guys all the best and please keep up the good work!

FEBRUARY 23, 2014

Brunch completes a decade, and it has emerged as an individualistic voice, breaking the clutter of entertainment and lifestyle reportage. It makes for compelling reading and always makes sure you stay connected to the happenings around you, and it does so with flair and restraint. More power to a Brunch that fulfils reader appetite and still leaves space for dessert!

Everybody loves Brunch!

Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi, author

Thank you Brunch, for finding my words such fine friends, and for keeping my Sunday solitude such able company. Ritu Dalmia, chef/entrepreneur There is a strong emotional relationship between me and Brunch. In 2004, I met Poonam Saxena, the editor of the yet-to-be launched Brunch and she was so excited about the whole concept. At that time, Diva Café was just one in number. Today, Brunch has turned 10 and I have six Diva Cafés. In fact, many years ago, I had this thought of becoming a gourmet tour operator and my very first trip to Turkey happened with Brunch. Even though I soon realised that this wasn’t my cup of tea, my association with Brunch has grown. I look at every edition of Brunch keenly and have a vested interest in reading Rude Food by Vir Sanghvi, which is definitely one of the best columns on food. Great going Brunch!

Ajay Bijli, chairman and managing director, PVR Limited I remember when Brunch did a cover story on PVR. During the shoot in my formal business attire, my then five-year-old son jumped on my lap and made what was supposed to be a serious photograph into a most memorable one, where we both had huge smiles on our faces! I still have that picture by my bedside. I read Brunch every Sunday. It’s amazing how much interesting information gets condensed in such a thin supplement.

Siddharth Roy Kapur, managing director, The Walt Disney Company (India) Congratulations to Brunch on the completion of 10 successful years. I have been reading the magazine for years now and it’s a perfect Sunday read. Also, onground initiatives like Brunch Dialogues are quite unique and we’ve had some very successful associations with them on our movies over the years.

Suneet Varma, fashion designer I really enjoy the magazine and look forward to it every Sunday. It has a current round-up of everything you need to know – lifestyle, fashion or latest trends. What I also love is that it’s daring and seeks to be an opinionmaker. They have stories on divorces, Section 377 or what the youth is shaping up to be. It’s a joy to read Brunch.

Anu Malik, music composer Brunch is HT and HT is Brunch. Every week I get a masterclass in food. I’m a great fan of Vir Sanghvi and love the way he writes about restaurants. Whether it’s about the latest films or great women achievers, you can read just about everything in Brunch. Recently, I really liked (Shikha Sharma’s) piece on herbs that help you beat stress. My only wish for Brunch is that it grows more and more and that it covers the positive side of India.

Jerry Pinto, author

Brunch is well-named. It is just as cheerful and just as champagnesoaked as a good brunch should be. Manoj Bajpayee, actor

Brunch has been a big part of my life over these years. It has been a privilege to be featured in the magazine so many times. Unlike most others, Brunch is both cerebral and fun. What is commendable is the number of topics it covers in its tiny format. I look forward to reading Brunch cover stories and Vir Sanghvi’s Rude Food the most!

David Abraham, fashion designer I have been reading Brunch every Sunday for the last 10 years and I still look forward to enjoying it over a late cup of coffee or a big breakfast. I enjoy reading Vir’s column (Rude Food), so I can vicariously visit all the posh places he goes to.

J J Valaya, fashion designer

I have to admit that I look forward to Brunch. Perhaps no other magazine packages technology, food, travel and more so perfectly, topping it up with a rather interesting last page! Amaan Ali Khan, musician I am partial towards Brunch. It’s the only magazine which realises the potential of young talent in the country. Brunch has given young musicians like us and many others space in their pages and been most encouraging of our talent. Ayaan and I have thoroughly enjoyed shoots with them and speaking with them on various occasions. They were the first of their kind and will always remain unparalleled.

Brunch 23 02 2014  

Hindustan Times

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