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WEEKLY MAGAZINE, MAY 26, 2013 Free with your copy of Hindustan Times


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


B R E A K FA S T O F C H A M P I O N S Front Row

by Saudamini Jain

Brunch Opinion

by Prachi Raturi

The very, very hot wheels

Review: And The Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini

Scooters are no longer for unclejis, they’re cool enough for Bollywood. Here are our favourite phatphatis, er, our favourite actors on scooters

Ranbir Kapoor in Rocket Singh and Bachna Ae Haseeno

“So, then. You want a story and I will tell you one. But just the one. Don’t either of you ask me for more.”

Except, the book isn’t one story, but nine. Nine chapters, nine interconnected stories, tailored in typical Hosseini fashion – family, love, grief and emotions. It begins with a fable. And then the tales follow: the separation of 10-year-old Abdullah and his three-year-old baby sister Pari; half-French Nila Wahadati – the most fascinating character of the book, the daughter of a Pashtun aristocrat, who grows from a sensuous, rebellious young woman into an emotionally-damaged alcoholic; the disquieting relationship between two sisters in Shadbagh; a Greek aid worker in Afghanistan and his Photo: RAJ K RAJ life back home; the relationship between a disabled Afghan and his manservant in war-ravaged Kabul; a young boy grappling with the realisation that his father is a druglord; two Afghans in exile struggling with mixed emotions when they visit Afghanistan after many years… story after story, stories within stories. You move back and forth in time and space with every chapter. You’re in Paris, Greece, California... and you keep coming back to old, familiar Afghan territory. This book is unlike either of Hosseini’s previous novels. The setting is still Afghanistan, but the book isn’t about the war or the Taliban. It’s about interesting characters and their heartfelt lives. You’ll need that box of tissues. Saudamini Jain read the book a month before it released. She also interviewed Khaled Hosseini (turn to page 8). He was absolutely charming. Two things struck off her bucket list

Now Playing

Because this man can do anything with a scooter. Correction: he can do anything and look amazing. We loved Rocket Singh, the salesman, and we gushed at him speeding on the scooter with Minissha Lamba in that awful song Ahista Ahista.

Quick, hardcore sex Stronger – Kanye West

The beautiful Pangong lake in the background; Bebo, the runaway bride, riding a Scooty to her man, a kiss, and happily ever after. Now, that’s true love. Oh, and that scene with that collapsing old man squeezed between Aamir and Kareena! Hilarious.

Making babies All That She Wants – Ace of Base

Cover design: MONICA GUPTA Cover photograph: TIZIANA FABI/AFP

Being with a MILF Crash Into Me – Dave Matthews Band

When you’re a playa’ Mambo No. 5 – Lou Bega

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, Manit Moorjani

MAY 26, 2013

By Shreya Sethuraman

You worship Nigella Lawson, but are not much of a baker? Here’s my recipe for a brownie in a mug. It takes less than two minutes! MODUS OPERANDI ■ Microwave butter in a mug for 10 seconds. ■ Stir in the sugars, vanilla extract and salt. ■ Add egg yolk, flour and cocoa powder. ■ Sprinkle chocolate chips. Fold. ■ Shove it in the microwave for 45 seconds.

WHAT YOU NEED ■ 2 tbsp white butter ■ 1 tbsp cocoa powder ■ ¼ tsp vanilla extract ■ 1 tbsp brown sugar ■ 2 tbsp sugar ■ Pinch of salt ■ 1 egg yolk ■ 4 tbsp flour ■ 2 tbsp chocolate chips

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


Hmmm. Nashe ki goli (Smelling a glass)

When it’s love Romeo and Juliet – Dire Straits

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

Boss, saara maal Madh Island pahuchne wala hai

Humne uska bahut peecha kiya, par woh haath se nikal gaya

On The Brunch Radar ■ Floral Sonam Kapoor at Cannes ■ YouTube just turned eight! ■ Following spot-fixing news ■ Tandoori momos ■ A woman with a purpose

Sex like a rockstar Gloria – Jim Morrison

Going back to an ex Lying Is The Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off – Panic! at the Disco

Do din jail ki hawa kha ke sab kuch ugal dega

by Saudamini Jain

Sex with yourself Dancing With Myself – Billy Idol

Drop us a line at:

Our favourite crime-show clichés

Ungliyon ke nishaan se pata chalta hai ke iska galla ghot ke khoon kiya gaya hai

Baking a brownie in a mug

Badass lovemaking Blues Jam – Bryan Adams

by Rachel Lopez

Batao 26 September ki raat ko tum kahaan the?

The Step-By-Step Guide To

Sudden seduction Sex and Candy – Marcy Playground

Idiot Box

Kya tumne iss aadmi ko kahin dekha hai?

Shahid Kapoor in Kaminey Aww. A dulha on a Scooty! Need we say more?

We assume you have a lot of sex. Or at least think about it a lot. We certainly do. There’s more to music than making Sex at work sweet love to Pink Floyd on Short Skirt/ loop. You’ll thank us . Long Jacket Disclaimer: This playlist does not enhance – Cake Break-up performance

sex Wicked Game – Chris Isaak

The scooter is both the hero and the villain. And Rishi Kapoor is amazing as that honest, middle-class maths teacher who rides a scooter but aspires to own a car.

Kareena Kapoor in 3 Idiots

Brunch Sex Playlist

by Vipul Nanda

Rishi Kapoor in Do Dooni Chaar

Out-of-thisworld sex Is There Love in Space – Joe Satriani

NRI wisdom Summer, no vacation ■ Small talk at the gym ■ Water at room temperature ■ Priyanka Chopra in school textbooks ■ ■

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



FGHANISTAN HAD long been the very definition of remote. Tucked away in the inside pages of newspapers for decades, it suddenly became the centre of global attention when it was invaded by the USA to oust the Taliban in 2001. Shocking stories poured out every day – the terrorism, the violence, the brutality, the tortured women – all things the world at large had chosen to ignore. And then, in 2003, came a book by a first-time author. And the country of cold, grisly headlines captured the hearts and minds of millions across the globe. All it took was The Kite Runner. Khaled Hosseini is perhaps the most well-known Afghan in the world. The Kite Runner was a heartbreaking story of an Afghan living in California who returns to Kabul to redeem himself of the guilt of shunning a childhood friend. In 2007, Hosseini released his second work, A Thousand Splendid Suns, a profound tale of two women and how their lives change through Afghanistan’s tumultuous decades. Both books, at heart, are a narrative of Afghan life – of human experience during war and how it brings out the best and

worst in people. They’ve sold 38 million copies across 70 countries. Hosseini wasn’t always a writer. He was a doctor in Los Angeles, although he enjoyed writing stories, even as a child. And it is ironic that when he wrote his first book, he hadn’t been to Afghanistan since 1976 when he was merely 11 years old. Hosseini was born in Kabul in 1965, the most peaceful time in the history of modern Afghanistan. Luckily for them, the Hosseinis moved to Paris (where his father was a diplomat at the Afghan embassy) just two years before the communist coup in 1978. As things got worse in Afghanistan – the Soviets invaded in 1979 – the family knew they couldn’t go back. “From our apartment in Paris, we received regular news of family members, friends, or acquaintances who had been imprisoned, tortured, killed, or had gone missing,” the author recalls. In 1980, when he was 15, the

MAY 26, 2013

family gained asylum in America. It’s where Hosseini learnt English, became a doctor, married and had two children. All far from the turmoil of his homeland. So where do the stories come from? At first, they were derived from what he heard at weddings, parties, at small Afghan gatherings in America and from accounts of other Afghan exiles, many of whom had lived under the Taliban. And from news reports. Now, they also come from his visits to Afghanistan after 2003. A few weeks before the release of his latest book, And The Mountains Echoed, he spoke to Brunch on the phone from his home in California, about his life, his books and Afghanistan. Excerpts from the interview...

And The Mountains Echoed is your first book that doesn’t deal with the Taliban. Is it a conscious effort to move past the Taliban in your writing?

I had written about it already in both my previous books. And I didn’t want to dwell on the same thing again. I also felt no responsibility, because I was born in Afghanistan, to write about something that’s going on in Afghanistan right now. I’m a novelist. I see my role as someone who is guided by ideas that compel him. And for me, it wasn’t a conscious effort not to write about the Taliban. It’s just that it doesn’t appeal to me at this point anymore. Because I really didn’t want to retrace my steps. But also, the way these characters were formed in my mind; they were characters that grappled with things


When I go back to Afghanistan, I realise it was just pure genetic lottery that I ended up where I am right now. Nothing more than chance separates me from a family of refugees living in a camp in Pakistan.

When you take stock of everything, the life you’re living, and compare it to the obstacles other people are facing, it’s human to feel a sense of guilt. That’s partly the reason I started the foundation [The Khaled Hosseini Foundation provides humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan] – to try to turn that into something positive, something that can make a difference in people’s lives.

Photo: AFP

Social boundaries are quite rigid in South Asia. But in your books, people from different backgrounds form intimate relationships. Did those lines blur in Afghanistan at the time? Or does it just make for a good story?

that didn’t play out in a large political war, things far more intimate – loss of home, loss of parents or a child, trying to reconnect with your family...

What inspired you to write it?

When I travelled to Afghanistan with the UN Refugee Agency to visit returning Afghan refugees in 2007, one of the most striking parts of that trip was learning from village elders about the devastation that Afghanistan’s notoriously brutal winters visited upon impoverished villagers, routinely taking the lives of

the young, the elderly, the sick and disabled. I listened with a mix of horror and admiration to the tales of survival, the lengths to which they went to protect their families through the cold season. I tried to picture what I would do under those circumstances. A family began to take shape in my mind – not unlike the many I had visited. At the heart of this family, I pictured a young brother and sister, who become the unwitting victims of their family’s despair. The novel begins, then, with this single act of desperation, of sacrifice, that ruptures the family and ultimately becomes the tree trunk from which the novel’s many branches spread out.

How long did it take to write the book?

This book didn’t actually take six years to write, although it has been

six years since the publication of my last novel. I spent a year just forming ideas, just to find a proper voice to follow. I spent one year taking care of my father who became very ill. This novel was started a month before my father died, in November 2009. So I spent about two-and-a-half years actually writing this book.

Idris, one of the main characters in your new book, a doctor like you were, often feels guilty about living a comfortable life in America. Do you?

You know, I have been extremely fortunate. I’ve had a very good career, a very good life. And my living circumstances are not that different from those of Idris. So I share some of the sentiments about Afghans living in exile and some of the conflicts he faces when he goes home. MAY 26, 2013

I think it makes for a good story. Although, in Afghanistan, those social boundaries were certainly prevalent but not quite as formal and rigid as they are in India. For me, what’s interesting about this is that while growing up in an impoverished country, even in an upper-crust, middle-class, semiWesternised family like mine, you live right next door to poverty. All you do is just walk down the street and you see abject poverty and you can’t escape the two things living side by side. It’s a fact of life. This opulent lifestyle right next door to poverty is fascinating to me. It’s something I used to write about even as a child.

What’s your life like in the US now?

I have two children, I live in a suburban area in northern California in San Jose. I send my kids off to school in the morning and then I try to write from around 9am to 2pm. Then they come home and I kind of become a dad to them. I travel with them in the summer...

So, you’re absolutely American now.

I’m not absolutely American and I’m not absolutely Afghan! I spend little time thinking about these issues unless somebody asks me in an interview [laughs]. I’ve learnt organically to live this hyphenated life, you know, with my Afghan side and my American side. I’ve lived here for 30 years. Inevitably, American Western


sensibilities have seeped into my identity and personality. But, every time I go to Afghanistan and the plane is about to land in Kabul, I feel a surge of emotion. I think to myself, this is where I was born, where I was loved for the first time, where I learnt to speak, to walk. A very strong bond will always be there. Obviously, the bond is far less for my children. They’ve never been to Afghanistan; I hope to take them one day when it’s more peaceful, and as a parent, I’m less paranoid about them being hurt. I want to show them the city where I was raised. That’s a dream for the time being.

What do you think will happen to Afghanistan when the US withdraws troops in 2014?

I think the next few years will be a time of uncertainty and anxiety, probably marked by continued political instability and spikes of violence, even as the country moves gradually toward some form of peace negotiations with the insurgents. The path to peace promises


he last discovery was, in some ways the most surprising to Adel. The revelations of what he now knew his father had done – first in the name of Jihad, then for what he had called the just rewards of sacrifice – had left Adel reeling. At least for a while. For days after that evening the rocks had come crashing through the window, Adel’s stomach ached whenever his father walked into the room. He found his father barking into his mobile phone, or even heard him humming in the bath, and he felt his spine crumpling, his throat going painfully dry. His father kissed him good night, and Adel’s instinct was to recoil. He had nightmares. He dreamt he was standing at the edge of the orchards, watching a thrashing about among the trees, the glint of a metal rod rising and falling, the sound of metal striking meat and bone. He woke

to be a treacherous one, as there is no clear leadership structure on the Taliban side, and the conditions each party will bring to the table are likely to create, at least for some time, a series of impasses. I’m still cautiously optimistic that peace is a possibility. Though I do fear – with the withdrawal of the West – a return to the chaos and ethnic civil wars of the ’90s, I’m also hopeful that important lessons have been learnt from that catastrophe and that the various factions have come to see the dividends of peace. Of course, outside parties have to observe and respect Afghanistan’s sovereignty and allow Afghans to attain their own peace.

Your books are so emotional, unlike writing coming from the West. Why do you think your writing appeals to a Western reader?

Yes, my books are more or less set in Afghanistan, but at their heart they’re family stories. They’re about parents and their children, about love, loss and about wanting to belong to something. Those are very human experiences. No matter where you’re from, you can identify with that.

from these dreams with a howl locked in his chest. Bouts of weeping side-swiped him at random moments. And yet. And yet. Something else was happening as well. The new awareness had not faded from his mind, but slowly it had found company. Another, opposing current of consciousness coursed through him now, one that did not displace the first but claimed space beside it. Adel felt an awakening to this other, more troubling part of himself. The part of him that over time would gradually, almost imperceptibly, accept this new identity that at present prickled like a wet wool sweater. Adel saw that, in the end, he would probably accept things as his mother had. Adel

MAY 26, 2013

Hosseini talking with Mohammed Ibrahim (right) a nomad leader in a tent colony of squatters outside Kabul in 2009 The success of both my books continues to bewilder me! I just have to believe that people find something of themselves in my stories. I think, modern, contemporary fiction shies away from the emotional because they fear they might seem sentimental, which appears to be the great crime of writing contemporary fiction. And there’s a respect for writing that is comical or analytical. And a kind of frowning on fiction that is strong on emotions. They call it ‘pulling the heartstrings’. But none of that is of much concern to me. I write my stories the way that I feel them in my heart.

had been angry with her at first; he was more forgiving now. Perhaps she had accepted out of fear of her husband. Or as a bargain for the life of luxury she led. Mostly, Adel suspected, she had accepted for the same reason he would; because she had to. What choice was there? Adel could not run from his life any more than Gholam could from his. People learned to live with the most unimaginable things. As would he. This was his life. This was his mother. This was his father. And this was him, even if he hadn’t always known it. Adel knew he would not love his father again as he had before, when he would sleep happily curled in the bay of his thick arms. That was inconceivable now. But he would learn to love him again even if now it was a different, more complicated, messier business. Adel could almost feel himself leapfrogging over childhood. Soon, he would land as an adult. And when he did, there would be no going back because adulthood was akin to what his father had once said about being a war hero: once you became one, you died one. Bloomsbury, pp 416, price: R599

You write from the point of view of men, women, children... is it as effortless as you make it seem?

You’re very kind to say that, first of all, thank you. But nothing about writing is easy, ever, ever! Not a single moment in the entire writing process is easy. Everything comes with pain, effort, and is unpleasant. Your only hope is that after the suffering there is something that can be salvaged, something that can make you happy… Every single word that is on the pages of this book is a struggle.


This interview has been condensed and edited. For the full version, log on to Follow @SaudaminiJain on twitter

Loved the books? Here’s a quiz. WHY? Well, because three lucky winners will win R3,000 worth of books in a gift hamper including a signed copy of Hosseini’s new book! HOW? Email your answers to WHEN? Today, tomorrow, day after, the day after that... send your answers by Thursday, May 30. WHAT? These five simple questions: 1. How many copies of The Kite Runner and A Thousand splendid Suns have sold till date? 14 million 24 million 38 million 2. In which years were The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns published? 3. What is Abdullah’s sister’s name in And The Mountains Echoed? 4. Where did Amir live with his father in The Kite Runner? 5. What was Mariam’s mother’s name in A Thousand Splendid Suns?

*The winners will be announced on June 9. They will receive their book hampers latest by June 15.






Sp or ts

in m

In this three-part series, young sportsmen show us how doing their exercises is enough to keep fit PART 3: BASKETBALL

Dr ills in

The Push You’ll Like

Basketballers need to have a strong upper body as well as powerful legs. That’s why Akimjeet Singh Sohal’s drills have an emphasis on push-ups by Manit Moorjani


HERE IS more to basketball than jumping high to shoot hoops. You need to push your way through all the other players first. Apart from skill, what also comes in handy are strong shoulders and thighs, strong arms and a fit upper body. It’s no wonder then that many of the drills performed by former Delhi under-19 basketball captain Akimjeet Singh Sohal involve variants of push-ups. In one, he rolls a basketball from one hand to the other while doing a push-up. His hands sometimes shake a little, but he controls them with his core muscle strength. Sohal first encountered the gruelling fitness regime that he now follows, at an NBA clinic in California in 2009. “A little bit of

weight training in the gym and some running can’t keep a person fit. Doing many repetitions of on- and off-court drills are my way of staying fit,” says the player who was part of the Indian squad for the Asian Games qualifiers and the Asian Basketball Championship in 2011. “In the four-day NBA camp, it was four days of fitness along with basic basketball skills,” he adds. Sohal’s own workout features 30 minutes of running on the field, after which he does 90 minutes of drills. One of his routines is called ‘Figure of 8’, in which four or five people run behind one another in a figure of 8 formation. This might sound easy, but it isn’t, especially when you cross other players. Sohal, who had a short stint with a local county club in San Francisco

called the San Francisco Hurricanes after his NBA clinic, also does jumping exercises using platforms and steps. He also AKIMJEET skips and practises the SINGH SOHAL one-legged hop (the langdi-taang game from He’s played in the Asian Games qualiwhen we were young!). fiers for India and The trick is to strike represented Delhi and a balance between fitHimachal Pradesh. ness and skill, he says. “Knowledge of fitness “If you are not fit but is the key. Being your skills are good, you active and strong at the same time is imcan’t really use them. portant,” says Sohal. And if you are very fit, but you don’t have the skills, then there isn’t much you can do on the court either. It all begins with an aptitude for fitness and a passion for sport.”

(This concludes our series)

How AKIMJEET SINGH SOHAL exercises every muscle and body part BURPEE: For strong chest, triceps, arms, lower abs and shoulders 1) Do a standard push-up first. 2) Push your legs inwards, while maintaining the upper body push-up stance. 3) Stand up quickly with your thigh and abdominal

strength, and raise your hands. (4) Get back to the ground for a push-up. Repetitions: Do 10 rounds. Then rest for a minute and get back for another 10. 5


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STEP-UPS: For stronger calves, quadriceps, lower abs and groin muscles

COORDINATION PUSH-UPS: For stability in the core and strength in the chest and arms 1) Do a push-up with a basketball under one hand. 2) As you raise your body, roll the basketball from one hand to the other. 3) Perform the next push-up, and switch again on the raise. Repetitions: To begin with, do this 10 to 15 times. Feel good about yourself once you can do 25 reps!

1) Stand in front of a platform and place your right foot on it. 2) Bring your left foot up with a jumping action, while taking your right foot to the ground. 3) Alternate your legs with a continuous hopping action. Repetitions: Do 30 to 40 hops in one set, then rest and do one more.

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MORE ON THE WEB For more images of Akimjeet Singh Sohal and his exercises, log on to hindustantimes. com/brunch


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Illustrations by: PRASHANT CHAUDHARY



“I’ve pushed myself more in dance than music”

Shaan, singer, host and all-round nice guy, is now dancing in a TV reality show. Well, at least he’s trying...


by Rachel Lopez

“You know, until Jhalak, I never ever noticed people’s dancing,” Shaan says. “I thought it was very easy, that anyone could do it. But man, it’s hard” Here are the dancers who get his respect


T’S A MUGGY summer evening and Shaan is showing off his battle scars – red elbows, bruised shoulder, kneecaps that have seen better days. It’s been barely a week into his training for the reality dance show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa and already his inexperience is showing. “This is my first step outside of music,” Shaan points out. “And most of the other contestants have had some dance training.” But he’s grinning that grin of his and bearing it. “I can’t let the fact that I’m an established singer cast a shadow over my performance,” he says as he takes a breather with his pug Chowder and chats with Brunch. You’ve been a wholesome good guy for two decades. Is it hard to pull off? Quite often, being the good guy means people walk all over you. I’ve tried to be something I’m not, putting my foot down and being a tough act, but it’s never worked. It happened recently at a multi-artist concert in London. They kept changing the line-up, pushing me from opening act to finale and back. I tried shouting back but it changed nothing – I was the opening performer anyway. At the end of the day, it’s also the kind of person you are. I’ve never had to struggle to get here so I guess easygoing is the natural way to be. I feel that there is something called destiny – that there is a plan and as long as I can just go with it, good things are meant to happen. If you try something that doesn’t come naturally, you end up hating what happens after.

Michael Jackson

For me, it begins and ends with him. His music is just so danceable, right from the early boogie and disco to the later punk. He’s the guy that makes me dance.


With her, it’s full-on choreography. And what’s amazing is that she doesn’t let her talent stop at her voice. She’s the one I want to dance with. Maybe a tango.

Ranveer Singh

I saw him perform at an awards show and I was surprised and impressed at how he moved with such energy and perfection.

Madonna And they are happening, with alarming regularity, aren’t they? Yeah. But if you’re talking about Jhalak, I’m not sure that’s a good thing! I’m 40. I’ve done simple choreography, but I never gave dance much thought. I was in for a rude surprise. I’ve been hurled around this past week and I’m trying so hard to keep up. But I’m also discovering so much about myself as I learn the steps. I’ve pushed myself more in dance than I ever did with music. It’s made me realise there are other aspects of life that could do with a push too. I’m discovering so much about myself with this show.

I’ve been hurled around a lot this week and it’s hard to keep up

MAY 26, 2013

Are you any good? How long do you reckon you’ll last? My wife is impressed! But I’ve already made vacation plans for mid-July. I’m sure I’ll be out of the running by then. See, I can’t do more than one thing at a time. If I’m talking and driving, I often don’t know where I’m headed. If you ask me to move my left hand, my right hand will have a life of its own and will be doing something else altogether. I’m so uncoordinated, even a bounce is a move, a step in itself. Then I’m supposed to do the bounce with moves for the feet and hands... it’s terrible! I’ll be great fun to watch – the comedy relief on the show. Who knows?

She’s 55, but she really knows how to put a show together. And she’s always ahead of the game. You’ve got to respect that.

Hrithik Roshan

I’ve always heard about his dancing. But now that I’m dancing, I know how hard his moves are to execute. He’s fantastic!


For our seven favourite dance movies, see brunch


Gul For Travel

No vacation plans for summer yet? Gul Panag offers some inspiration



LOVE TO travel and I travel a lot! Last year, on average, I travelled 18 days every month! I also try and take a three- to four-day break every six weeks. This is probably because my father was in the army; we have lived in many parts of the world. So I have the nomad in my genes! I enjoy trying new things, meeting different people and eating different kinds of food. I enjoy the adventure travel brings. And travelling is much more than just sightseeing. It’s absorbing, experiencing, and having fun! When we drove across Switzerland recently, my entire itinerary was dictated by my Twitter followers – they would tell me what to do, where to go, and it was great fun! I’ve just returned from the Andamans; it was quite amazing. We dove, swam and lazed on the beach...

My travel must-haves

Light clothes, a roaming data card and SIM, phone, credit cards, camera, enough music on my iPhone, and a spirit of adventure. Also, my running shoes and swimsuit for exercise on the go

it was great! I love how untouched a lot of the islands still are. Many places like the Maldives or the south of France have this opulent take on luxury travel, which is great. But the Andamans is just raw beauty that really does touch your soul in a very different way. My plan this summer? Munich! – As told to Prachi Raturi



But the nath was clearly a popular choice (the maang-tikka is obviously far too ‘safe’ these days) with the Indian designer duo of Anamika and Sabyasachi. It was back the next day, this time in chunky gold and perched delicately on Vidya Seema Balan’s chiselled nose, as she walked the red carGoswami pet in an uncharacteristically low-key number from Sabyasachi, so subtle that it came within a hand-weave of being downright matronly. It is entirely a tribute to Vidya’s expressive face that she managed to pull off the look without straying You can rock the sari and into headmistress-at-a-school-function territory. the lehenga on the red So, did it all work? Well, if carpet; as Vidya Balan and you ask me, on the whole it did. Our ladies managed to cut Sonam Kapoor proved a dash and score with the S IT HAPPENED, I was in Cannes when paparazzi who were grateful our media went into overdrive about how to see something other the Indian presence at the film festival than a floor-length had turned the red carpet even redder with sheer gown with a train. You embarrassment. So, I missed all the stories that may quibble about basically went along the lines of: “What on earth the accessorising, as was she/he (insert name of concerned actress and many of us did, but the designer who dressed her) thinking?” there was no denyIt was with some bemusement, therefore, that ing that our actressI caught up with all the shock, horror and of course, es looked absoluteoutrage, on my Twitter feed. Well, I’m sorry guys, ly radiant no matbut this time I disagree. In fact, I am going to stick ter what they wore. my neck out here and say that, some minor And it is a testimoreservations aside, I actually loved how Vidya ny to our self-confiBalan and Sonam Kapoor made their mark in dence as a nation Cannes (alas, I missed Aishwarya Rai; a late arrival that they now have this year). the chutzpah to wear Indian See, here’s the thing about red-carpet dressing. You have about clothes in a Western setting, five minutes (10, if you’re lucky) to make an impact on the intersecure in the knowledge that national media gathered around. And given that the tapis rouge they can hold their own. (just to go all annoyingly French on you) is awash with drop-dead It may, however, be useful to gorgeous women in the most amazing costumes ever, you have remember that when it comes to raise the bar to be more than just a blip on the fashion radar. to Indian clothes, there is a So first up, the key is to be visible. And there is no better way thin line that separates couto stand out in a sea of couture gowns than by wearing Indian ture from costume, and cosclothes. There was no missing Vidya Balan in her Sabyasachi tume from caricature. And wardrobe. She started off in a stark maroon lehenga-choli, went sometimes that thin line on to dazzle in a white, beige and gold sari, and then at the is a nose-ring. opening, wore a cream lehenga-choli, with her head covered with NATIONAL FERVOUR a gauzy dupatta (no, I didn’t get that either, sorry Sabya!). There was no missing Sonam Kapoor is so gorgeous that she can carry off both, a Vidya Balan in a Dolce & Gabbana couture gown (as she did on her second redmaroon lehengacarpet appearance) and the Anamika Khanna white-and-gold choli by Sabyasachi sari she wore for The Great Gatsby premiere, paired with a long metallic coat which subtly referenced the Jazz Age recreated by the movie. The sari was accessorised with a large, diamanteMORE ON THE WEB For more SPECTATOR columns by Seema Goswami, log studded nose-ring; again an attempt to push the fashion enveon to Follow her on lope. I am not entirely sure that it worked; in my view it would Twitter at Write to have been a far more subversive choice to pair the nose-ring, her at seema_ what we call a ‘nath’ in these parts, with the couture gown.



Sonam Kapoor paired her Anamika Khanna white-and-gold sari with a long metallic coat





BBM: IS IT OPENING A PANDORA’S BOX? BBM just launched on Android and iOS. But it’s not the fatal mistake you think. Here are three reasons I believe it just might work


Using the BlackBerry Messenger on the Android or iOS will be a dream come true for users worldwide


Instant Messaging is the killer app of this decade. And BBM is Rajiv the king of it all. Yes, Makhni there are many more out there and yes, there are many that have a larger number of users (Whatsapp has about 200 million users to about 60 QWERTY COMFORTABLE HAT’S WHAT I tweeted out as news of million on BBM). But The BlackBerry Q10 BlackBerry Messenger moving out from once you do a real keyboard is said to be addictive with notebook only on BlackBerry phones to two compethand-on-your-heartlevel typing speeds ing platforms exploded. The reaction from most honest-shoot-out of people on Twitter, plus journalists and media across features and usage – BBM still wins. the world, was singularly conclusive. BlackBerry Its biggest trump cards are the fact that it’s (BB) had lost their mind, the only reason people easily the most robust, is very secure, is reliable, bought BB phones was for BBM. Now those who has very intelligent group chats and message were being loyal to BB for BBM would also move broadcast capabilities, gives you control over who away. This was what BB should have done three you want on your contact list, has free video and years ago – now it was way too late. This stank of voice calls with your contact list, can do a realdesperation from a company that was seeing the time screen share, is adding BBM Channels and writing on the wall. This would go down as the BBM Money, and has an easy-to-use user interbiggest mistake, ever, by any tech company and of face. Now get this great IM platform out of its BB course the final conclusion – this was the final nail chains and unleash it onto the rest of the world. in the BB coffin! It already has 60 million active users and buildWhenever I see complete harmony of opinion ing on that base, it can easily become the numin the tech world, it gets me nervous. Conventional ber one IM system in the world. It can monetise wisdom would say that setting BBM free from its this, it can leverage its user base power and it can BB hardware confines was literally like opening dominate this field. To own and be king of the a Pandora’s Box. This wasn’t a gamble, it was surefire death. But instant messaging space – now that’s a great place for BB to be. was it really? Would a company like BB do something as enormously foolish if it was that obviously foolish? If it was obviousSMART STRATEGY 3: THE DOUBLE ADDITION ly wrong to everybody then wasn’t it obvious to them? There had Once they have the momentum behind an open BBM platform, to be more to it than just a brash, rash and crash plan to destroy let’s take a look at what could happen next. An instant messagBB forever! Here’s my take on why I think opening the BBM ing platform is only as good as the number of people on it. Once platform to the rest of the mobile world is actually a very smart BBM has the largest base, a few things will happen. Stage One: tri-fold strategy. The growing user base will stop people from leaving their own BB phones as all the people who had left will come right back SMART STRATEGY 1: A CONFIDENT MOVE? into their contact lists on their Android and iPhone BBMs. That’s BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins said that BB10’s start has been a huge advantage as it stems the tide. “so strong that we are confident that BBM can become an Stage Two: Give all the fantastic features that BBM currentindependent messaging solution.” Let’s take that statement with ly has to all the platforms but always keep one feature exclusive a pinch of salt and add some hidden spices to to BB phones only. Thus, people all over the world using the allit. Yes, the BB10 OS is good and sales of the platform BBM get a taste of it, like it, use it but also get seduced Z10, Q10 and the forthcoming Q5 seem strong, by the fact that BBM on BB is always one step ahead. Some may but what if the sales are strong due to BBM then buy a BB phone as a second phone and some may just switch on them? Would you thus give up on your entirely based on either the Qwerty keyboard advantage or preone and only ‘strong sales’ trump card? The vious BB user nostalgia. Either way, that adds millions to the BB only reason you would do that would be if phone user base. you are sure that BBM isn’t the main reaPlaying devil’s advocate is always the best way to get egg on son for those better-than-predicted-sales. my face and that’s exactly what I am doing here. This is how Could it be that the BB10 OS, combined I see the open BBM platform play out. But do remember, this is with the still best in its class email, fanthe cruel, unfaithful world of tech where almost nothing is assured. tastic typing speeds, the only real Qwerty Is the open BBM strategy a risky one? Yes! But is it a fatal miskeyboard phones (Q10 and Q5) that can take? Absolutely not! All of us will know whether this was a give you notebook-level typing speeds, Pandora’s Box that was opened or the Holy Grail – in about three the sheer joy of discovering things that months from now. Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV and the anchor of Gadget Guru, just work, the fact that BB10 eschews Cell Guru and Newsnet 3 complexity and keeps it simple and easy – maybe BB discovered that peoMORE ON THE WEB ple are buying BB10 phones for all For previous columns by Rajiv Makhni, log on to of that. Thus they were quite sure hindustantimes. com/brunch. Follow Rajiv on that they would keep selling BB Twitter at phones quite well.




MAY 26, 2013



TOPPING THE CHAATS The love of street food is a global trend. And modern Indian chefs have realised the potential of pani puri and other street foods

rude food

Vir Sanghvi




HAT DO you think is emerging as the trendy haute cuisine ingredient among modern Indian chefs? The answer is kind of bizarre: the golgappa puri, otherwise known as the puri in pani puri or the

puchka puri. About a decade ago, such restaurants as Punjabi by Nature began serving vodka golgappas to great acclaim. And in the early Nineties, I tried an early version of the vodka golgappa at a glamorous Bombay party catered by the Taj’s master chef Hemant Oberoi. But, these days, the golgappa puri has moved beyond mixology and into the field of gastronomy. Hemant Oberoi does many nouvelle cuisine versions at Varq at the Delhi Taj, none of which involve vodka. Manish Mehrotra, a great lover of chaat, does golgappas with unusual fillings at Indian Accent in Delhi. And at the Singapore Gourmet Festival this April, I tried Sanjeev Kapoor’s take on the tarted-up golgappa – with a chicken filling – when he was the guest chef at Song of India. I asked Sanjeev when he thought of transforming the golgappa into a fancy food. He said the idea struck him over two decades ago, long before he became famous, when he was cooking at an Indian restaurant in New Zealand. He had been experimenting with sour black grape juice, he recalls, when it struck him that the sourness of the juice would go well with the puri of the pani puri. He tried the combination and since then, he has never looked back: now golgappas turn up in all forms in his cuisine. But Sanjeev denies that he was the first chef to think about doing innovative things with the golgappa. He says that it is such a simple idea that he is sure it must have occurred to other chefs too. Two decades ago, when he first tried his golgappa dishes in NOT SO SOUR GRAPES

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor had been experimenting with sour black grape juice when it struck him that the sourness of the juice would go well with the puri of the pani puri MAY 26, 2013


The best thing you can do with a puri is to make dahibatata puri (or dahi-bataka puri if you want the real name)

faraway New Zealand, he thought his was an original idea. But, looking back, he says, he is more and more convinced that there are hardly any truly original ideas in cooking. There is always some chef who had the same idea before you. I guess he is right. As far as I can tell (and I am no expert), the origins of the golgappa lie in a simple combination of spicy pani and puri. Somebody, somewhere, had the idea of adding mashed potatoes, chana, moong and all the things that go into the many variations of pani puri you find all over India. Presumably it was somebody else who put dahi and pieces of aloo into the puri to create dahi-batata puri. And yet another person put the cooked little pakodas inside it to create pakodi puri. So while it is easy to hail modern chefs for their innovative golgappa recipes, the truth is that the golgappa has actually never stopped evolving. Whether it is the dahi variations or the seven different kinds of pani you are offered in Lucknow or even the difference between the kinds of flour that the puris are made with, Indian cooks and chefs have been experimenting with the basic idea for decades. The excitement over the golgappa’s current resurgence as a gourmet ingredient has to do with one of our failings as a foodie nation: we just took it for granted. Many years ago, my colleague Namita Bhandare, who was then editor of the HT’s weekend editions, interviewed the famous British chef Tom Aikens when he was visiting Bombay. Namita asked him what he had liked the most of all the dishes he had tried. She was surprised when Aikens said that his favourite Bombay dish was “those little round pastry cases filled with a spicy sauce”. It took her several minutes to figure out that Aikens meant pani puri and all its variations. Modern Indian chefs have realised the potential of pani puri and other street food dishes. Often these dishes have been successfully reinvented. And as often, the reinvention has been a disaster. I am sick of eating third-rate bhel puri at restaurants in New York and London. But when it does work, the results can be startlingly good. I wrote some weeks ago about Gaggan Anand’s molecular version of papri chaat. And when a genius chef like Manish Mehrotra is driven by nostalgia – as he is in much of his cuisine – the reinvention of pavement dishes can be a revelation. My friend Gautam



My view of chaat – and of the golgappa in particular – is that it should not have a great deal of finesse


Anand is still raving about Manish’s version of keema kaleji: the flavours were the same as the original but the kaleji was foie gras. The love of street food is a global trend. Chefs all over the world are keen to reinterpret the cuisine of the streets where they grew up. And pani puri has special uses. If you are a French chef and want a pastry case for interesting flavours or sauces, then there are dozens of options. In Indian cuisine however the options are limited. Hence the popularity of the golgappa puri as a case for various fillings. I have enormous admiration for many of the chefs who are doing new things with the golgappa puri. But speaking for myself, I still prefer the original – as it is made on the Indian streets – to all of the modern variations. Because I grew up in Bombay, my favourite version was always pani puri. I did not even know that they called it a golgappa in Delhi. Then, as I began visiting Delhi more frequently, friends tried to get me to like the capital’s version. And God knows I’ve tried. But frankly, it really is not in the same league as the Bombay pani puri. Delhi just doesn’t cut it. When I moved to Calcutta, everybody in my office kept telling me that the city’s puchkas were the best. I was sceptical at first, but it took only a couple of visits to puchkawalas at Victoria Memorial and on the streets of central Calcutta for me to change my mind. The secret of a Calcutta puchka lies in the masala mashed aloo that they stuff it with and in the sour kick of the Calcutta pani. This is not a polite dish. It is like the streets of Calcutta themselves: a boisterous kick-ass kind of experience. Over the last decade or so I’ve come to give UP chaat the


Somebody, somewhere had the idea of adding mashed potatoes, chana, moong and all the things that go into the many variations of pani puri


Judged on a purely objective basis, the best chaat in India is to be found in Kanpur, Varanasi (above) and Lucknow respect it deserves. Judged on a purely objective basis, the best chaat in India is to be found in Kanpur, Varanasi and Lucknow. There is a finesse to the dishes that is missing from chaat in other parts of the country and many of the specialties are hard to find outside of UP. But my view of chaat – and of the golgappa in particular – is that it should not have a great deal of finesse. The first mouthful should take you back to the streets of the crowded city, to the heat and dust, to the bellowing horns, to the pedestrians who jostle you as you eat and to the Hindi film music that is always playing somewhere in the background in every Indian neighbourhood. No version of the golgappa comes near the Calcutta puchka when it comes to evoking those feelings. So regrettably, I have to respect the memories of the pani puri I grew up eating in Bombay, but I also have to accept that the Calcutta puchka is India’s best version of the dish. However, when it comes to the puri itself, I am not sure that filling it with pani and aloo is the best thing you can do with it. My favourite dish, based on the puri, is not pani puri/golgappa/puchka etc. Nor is it some wonderful nouvelle version created by some modern Indian chef. The best thing you can do with a puri is to make dahi-batata puri. (Or dahi-bataka puri if you want the real name). You find this dish all over India now. But it is, I suspect, like bhel puri, a marriage of the chaat tradition of UP with the culinary ingenuity of Bombay’s Gujaratis. A perfect dahi-batata puri comprises a really crisp and entirely leak-proof puri filled with a little sprouted moong, a little boiled chana, a few small pieces of boiled aloo topped with dahi and two different chutneys: teekha and sweet. The dish has to be eaten within minutes of being prepared and it is unusual in the sense that it does not need the pani that usually accompanies the golgappa puri. It is also complex in the number of ingredients it uses and sophisticated because it combines so many flavours (sweetish, cool dahi, hot chutney, boiled vegetables and pulses) and textures in one little puri. So, find yourself a good dahi-batata puri (only in Bombay, I’m afraid) and you’ll never waste time on papri chaat in Delhi. And you will realise that no great chef can improve on the wisdom of the Indian street.


I have to accept that the Calcutta puchka (above) is India’s best version of the dish


I am sick of eating third rate bhel puri at restaurants in New York and London


For more columns by Vir Sanghvi, log on to hindustantimes. com/brunch



Ways To Drape A Sari

Draping the six-yard was complicated enough, now designers are making the garment still more eccentric by Yashica Dutt



UESTION: Since when did draping a sari become so difficult? Answer: When just about every Indian designer and every other international designer suddenly discovered the ‘Sari 2.0’. Worn with jackets, tucked under belts, stitched with pleats, worn with jeans, cut till the hips, draped over skirts, and thrown under waistcoats, the sari is EXPERT draped in so many difSPEAK ferent ways today that Textile historian Rta Kapur your grandmother Chishti runs sari-draping workwould have had a shops. Women have stroke. Because she experimented with saris for pretty much wore been dressdecades and some of her sari the usual way. Not ing stars like these styles can be worn today too that that was easy to begin with. Katrina Kaif, Question: So what do awkward, Deepika stepping-over-pleats youngsters do Padukone and Kareena when it’s time to wear a sari? Kapoor; the women of the Mittal, Answer: Attend sari draping Jindal and Hinduja families and classes, of course. top corporate women for more It’s not as weird as it sounds. than 30 years. She also worked on The Whole Nine Yards, a coffeeEspecially since sari-draping table book on the art of draping a lessons are now being offered by sari correctly. “It’s essential to more than the neighbourhood aundrape a sari well, since it’s an open tiji. Enterprising people like textile fabric,” says Shah. “Care should be historian Rta Kapur Chishti or taken not to hide the embroidery sari-draper-to-the-stars, Kalpana or the crystal work on the border Shah, offer lessons too. Shah has or the pallu.” CLING-ONS

Deepika Padukone (left) wears a sari Bollywood style; Mumtaz’s iconic orange sari in Brahmachari (right)

DO THE SEXY DRAPE Women who have great bodies – flat stomachs, slim waists and curves in all the right places – look sensational in well draped saris MAY 26, 2013

Photo: RAJ K RAJ


SIX YARDS ON A RED CARPET After being shoved into dark, naphthalene-filled corners of the

■ The Bollywood style: The sari has very tiny pleats and the border shows clearly as it drapes around the waist. The pallu is very narrow and covers only a part of the torso, going between the breasts and leaving most of the midriff exposed. It works best if one has a toned, hourglass body.

■ The retro style: That’s the way in which award-winning costume designer Bhanu Athaiya draped Mumtaz in the iconic orange sari for the movie Brahmachari. “It’s the opposite of a basic sari, where first you drape the sari and then form the stomach pleats. For the retro style, you tuck in the stomach

closet, the sari is having its moment in the sun again. With increased sightings on the red carpet (most recently at Cannes) and a renewed ramp focus, there are designers like Masaba Gupta and Sabyasachi who are encouraging fashion-conscious twenty-somethings in the throes of a vintage moment to take the sari out for a spin. And evidently no one wants to do it the old way. “The fashion world is now looking inwards, ever since they started showcasing on a wider international platform. The world wants to know

pleats first and then drape the sari on top of them, keeping the pallu extremely narrow. That’s a big trend these days,” says expert draper Kalpana Shah.



If we still haven’t managed to convince you to try the six-yard wonder, then test the waters with these variations by Indian designers. Note: almost every major fashion house in the world (Chanel, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Balenciaga et al) has their own version

■ Sabyasachi’s Chhotu Sari: It wasn’t surprising that this sari caught everyone’s imagination the moment it debuted on the ramp. Stopping short at the lower calves, it’s about six inches above the ground and supposed to draw attention to sexy ankles and even sexier footwear. Sabyasachi was apparently inspired by indigenous women from the country’s tribal belts. ■ Anamika Khanna’s Sari with Pants: If restraint is not your strong suit, this unique sari is for you, which, to quote the cliché, looks as vintage as it does modern. It’s been teamed with strong shoulder pads, chic embroidered blouses, long jackets and waistcoats.

■ Tarun Tahiliani’s Sari with Obi Belt: This one comes with a big Japanese obi belt to hold your pleats in place and gives you that one essential accessory that will turn your sari from a sloppy mess to a razor-sharp power outfit. Works for the workplace too. ■ Wendell Rodricks’ Sari Gown: The way this sari looks, we’d hardly call it a sari. It’s more like a swimsuit with pleats in the front. But you can’t ignore the carnality that this outfit exudes. Slit all the way to the mid-thigh on both sides, the blouse is swimsuit style, cut on either side of the waist, with a pallu attached to the shoulder. Try this when you have a body like Jesse Randhawa’s.

IT’S A WRAP Sabyasachi’s Chhotu Sari (far left); Anamika Khanna’s Sari with Pants (left); Tarun Tahiliani’s Sari with Obi Belt (right) and Wendell Rodricks’ Sari Gown (far right). And these are just four designers who have experimented with the sari!

what we can give that’s related to our roots. And the sari is the best answer,” says Chishti, who has written three different books on saris, the latest being Saris: Tradition and Beyond, in which she lists 108 ways of draping a sari. A sari is more than just a rectangular piece of cloth – it comes in different densities of fabric and the body of the sari is often lighter than the pallu so as to let it wrap around the body easily. “Its versatility and uniqueness allow for adjustments at all times and it can transform

itself according to the need and function of the moment,” says Chishti, who points out that experimentation with the garment is probably as old as the sari itself. “Women once rode horses in saris in Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh and swam in rivers and ponds with their saris tucked between the legs, much like an unstitched pair of shorts.” Over the decades, women have tinkered with saris, making them into short dresses and gowns or changing the length of the pallu. At one stage the pallu became so short that it could not cover the head and thus, a mukut (crownlike topi) was worn with a flowing backcloth. “Suniti Devi, the Maharani of Cooch Behar, preferred to have a scarf over the head, worn like a Spanish mantilla,” says Chishti. “Some of these styles can be tapped for contemporary needs.” HANDLE At her workshops WITH CARE or ‘sari school’, Kalpana Shah drapes saris Chisti teaches for Bollywood movie stars. students as many She says many sari fabrics as 25-30 ways of such as chiffons and heavy sari-draping from Kanjeevarams are not different parts of easy to drape well the country, over four classes.


Apart from skill, the one thing that determines how a sari will look when wrapped around a woman’s body is the fabric. “Working with light silk saris is not a problem, they fall very gracefully on the body,” says Shah. “But other fabrics like chiffon and net need a lot of handling, especially with the stomach pleats. Kanjeevarams too require a lot of pinning and setting since it’s a very tough fabric. It’s the same for starched cotton.” Shah believes in using safety pins and clothes pegs. “You have to use high-quality safety pins that do not damage your sari,” she says. She also advocates securing pleats with a clothes peg, before setting them with regular pins. “It’s important to know where to insert the pin, so the sari feels comfortable, and how to do it, so it doesn’t show from outside,” Shah adds. Oh yes, do remove the pegs before leaving home. Chishti, on the other hand, discourages the use of safety pins. “They harm the fabric,” she says. “The sari is supposed to be secured with knots or by tucking it in. If it’s tucked in at least 4-6 inches, it is very secure.” But pins and pegs apart, the only way to drape a sari well (after you’ve learnt how) is to practice,

Women have been known to swim with saris tucked between the legs

MAY 26, 2013

practice, practice. That’s how your mother did it in under a minute – because she wore a sari so often. Shah’s tip: Always wear your sari in front of a full-length mirror.

YOU CAN GO WRONG WITH A SARI How can a sari be unflattering? Isn’t it the most universally versatile garment put on earth to save women in times of fashion stress? Yes, but only if you know how to make it work for you. Here’s what you should avoid or opt for depending on your body shape ■ Apple-shaped: A narrow pallu can make you look odd-shaped if you mostly find it difficult to look at your feet, and are blessed with big breasts. According to sari draper Kalpana Shah, you should avoid transparent chiffon saris. If you do wear them, make sure your blouse is stitched extremely well. ■ Heavy middle/ Pear-shaped: If your problem areas lie a little lower on your stomach, then huge, multiple pleats will make you want to ditch the garment forever. Pearshaped women with big hips and stomachs should try and opt for a Gujarati-style seedha pallu with minimum pleats on the stomach. Tighten the sari well so it skims your body, instead of making it look heavier.





High stress levels can lead to stubborn weight gain


TRESS AND anger is a potent mix. Anger leads to weight gain and stress prevents weight loss. Many women struggling with weight loss actually don’t eat much, but are unable to slim down. There are various reasons for this kind of rigidity of weight, and most are part of our daily lives.


An average city dweller experiences more anger than other people. When we get angry, the body pumps a large quantity of the fighter hormone (cortisol), which rushes to all parts of the body to prepare itself for a ‘fight or defend’ situation. This hormone stays in the body for a long time and changes a person’s metabolism from the ‘consumption pattern’ to the ‘storage pattern’ variety. So the same foods that could have been used up by the body are now stored, which increases a person’s bulk. This hormone is also responsible for weak muscles and pot-belly fat, which are typical indicators of stress-related obesity.

WHAT YOU CAN DO Drink two litres of water every day. Begin your day with two glasses of water on an empty stomach. Have triphala in the night to increase alkaline levels in the gut. Keep dinner as light as possible with minimum or no salt. Take natural diuretics (substances which help address the problem of water retention) such as jasmine tea, barley water and nimbu paani. emerging double chin and darkening or hyper pigmentation. In women, stress obesity shows up as excessive fat around the belly, skin changes such as acne or roughness, and as fat deposits on the back and waist. They may also develop excessive facial hair, and retain water, causing them to feel bloated all the time.


Stress obesity cannot simply be treated by going on a diet because there is a combination of several FOOD CRAVINGS hormones resisting weight loss. It Anger and stress also cause horrequires greater help in terms of mones (neuropeptide Y) to set off professional treatment, which incravings for food that are high in volves herbal medicines, stress fat, sugar and salt. People management, specific find dieting painful exercises and regunot because they lation of diet eat less food, patterns. but because However, their minds there are cerand bodies cry tain steps that out for junk food. can easily be A stress-obese body taken at home to displays certain body halt the march of stubPORTION CONTROL traits. In men, the person born weight gain (see Make sure you develops weak or soft box above). have a light dinner arms or leg muscles, fat with little or no salt around the belly, an Photos: THINKSTOCK


For more columns by Dr Shikha Sharma and other wellness stories, log on to

MAY 26, 2013



Amrita Puri BIRTHDAY

August 20


PLACE OF BIRTH SCHOOL/COLLEGE FIRST Bombay Scottish BREAK Mumbai School and Aisha (2010) HOMETOWN St Xavier’s College Mumbai


The two years after I left my job as a copywriter to pursue acting

HIGH POINT OF YOUR LIFE Being appreciated for my debut performance in Aisha


Planning to go abroad to do a short acting course

You started with theatre. Any memorable Your strategy in a crisis? performances you’d like to share? To focus and take it one thing at a time. My first professional play was when I was And to call someone who can sort me out 19. I was nervous as hell. For my first line, That person is almost always my dad. I had to walk onstage and A fashion faux pas you’ve made. address the audience before I think I have made more the play started. I missed my than one. A DESTINATION YOU mark and said all my lines in How many pairs of high heels WOULD LIKE TO BE the dark. do you own? LOST IN. Your worst day on the sets so far. Not that many. I prefer I can remember a few really flats. rough days on the sets of One thing you will never eat. Aisha. Two things, actually. And your best day? Snakes and dogs. On Kai Po Che, most of my You wouldn’t be caught dead scenes with Raj [Kumar wearing… Yadav] were a huge learning Photo: THINKSTOCK A catsuit. experience. I think I’ve performed A workout that scares you. my best in those scenes. Why would a workout scare me? The directors you want to work with. Was it difficult to learn Gujarati dialogues for the I would love to work with Gattu again. movie? Also Sameer Sharma, Anurag Kashyap, I didn’t have too many. Most of my Anurag Basu, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar dialogues were thankfully in Hindi. Banerjee, Abhishek Chaubey, Vikram Your favourite hangouts in Mumbai? Motwane. The list is long. The Breach Candy Club, The Yoga Of your three heroes in Kai Po Che, which one House, Elbo Room. pulled your leg the most? A rumour you’d like to start. Sushant [Singh Rajput]. That I am Woody Allen’s new muse. A gadget you can’t do without. The best thing about Bollywood is... My phone. That you don’t have to have professional The last thing you bought for R10. training or a degree or an agent to begin. A bottle of water. I think that is also probably its biggest One lie you often get away with. downside. — Interviewed by Mignonne Dsouza “I got stuck in awful traffic.”



my movies


MAY 26, 2013

Breakfast at Tiffany’s


Iron Man 3


I don’t remember


Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge


I don’t cry every time I watch a film. Just the first time

Hindustantimes Brunch 26 May 2013  

Hindustantimes Brunch 26 May 2013

Hindustantimes Brunch 26 May 2013  

Hindustantimes Brunch 26 May 2013