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WEEKLY MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 29, 2013 Free with your copy of Hindustan Times



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

Brunch Opinion

Stuff You Said Last Sunday


Such a well compiled article on #Suits! U guys do such amazing work. – @seltsamefrau

Sneha Khanwalkar, Amit Trivedi, Deepika Padukone – did very well for themselves, as predicted. With the last issue of 2013, we bring you a list of people – newer names who, our jury says (and we agree), are going to stand out in 2014. We wish them all the luck, and we wish you, our readers, a very happy New Year! Take our advice and party hard – the rest will follow!

Ab Tak Aapne Dekha

ristmas Ooh, Brunch Ch ing to do go I'm !! ...! ide Gu d have such an it on ng thi every happy holidays! ! Thank you, guys – Ridhi Sharma

by @HTBrunch

of our biggest highlights (er, bloopers)

I met Kunal Khemu for an interview. He was running late, so being the gentleman that he is, he let me chill in his vanity van. He even sent someone with chai, biscuits and a message that I could sleep there if I wanted to. And I did, for 15 minutes, before I was woken up by the man himself. He smiled and I gushed! – If Amrah Ashraf wasn’t as stunning as she is, none of this would have happened While working on a story on nightlife in Delhi in the ’90s, I called Jaaved Jaffrey’s publicist. Except, there was some inexplicable mix-up, I called a wrong number (the caller tune was Pehla Nasha) and asked why she never connected me to Javed. After a few minutes of stunned silence, she calmly asked, “Who do you think you are talking to? This is Pooja Bedi.” A bomb dropped on me. I apologised at least 13 times. Thankfully, she took it in her stride. – Murphy’s Law is consistently applicable to Yashica Dutt

Free Advice

Arnab Goswami Never say ‘Never ever ever’ on national TV. The nation doesn’t want this

Pope Francis All India Bakchod’s viral video, Humble Plea to Bollywood n Film reviews on Twitter (My favourite: Uday Chopra is the best thing about Dhoom:3) n That you can make it snow in photographs on Google+ on your Android phone (and make things sparkle too) n Randomly chatting up bots on the Internet n

NaMO I will buy NCERT’s standard history books, make copious notes and still refrain from making any historical references in future speeches

Cover photo: SHUTTERSTOCK Cover design: MONICA GUPTA

Kapil Sharma Never to say ‘Babaji Ka Thullu’ again. Even six-yearolds have found a way to answer back to their mothers!!!

Devyani Khobragade I will learn to cook, clean and use day care so I don’t create an international situation again

and a buffet of Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai dishes. Plus, retro-electro, fusion, progressive and house music. Where: Woks and The Grill, The Lalit, New Delhi. Price: `8,500 (couples), `6,000 (singles). Don’t drink and drive, club it all with a room: starting `13,500 (dinner at your choice of restaurant, followed by champagne

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

n “Indian media is all fake/ journalists don’t know anything” and other mediadissing idiots n The animation in the new celeb-studded 3D Mahabharat n That most authors in Chetan Bhagat’s league are worse writers than him n Christmas e-cards from HR n Political correctness

brunch on New Year’s Day).


n A bird’s eye view of the city from the 28th floor,

Sakshi Tanwar Never agree to go into coma in the middle of a TV soap. The world is not so kind to Rip Van Winkles


Sherlyn Chopra Never tell the world what I’ll wear on the Oscar red carpet, even if my Kamasutra 3D has been nominated

n Dinner with unlimited drinks, a room, New Year brunch and a spa treatment Price: `22,000 per couple. Venue: Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi, Mahipalpur, New Delhi For reservations contact: 011 26779191.

DECEMBER 29, 2013

On The Brunch Radar



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

Psst, st, send us an email, find us on on F Facebook or tw tweet eet to @HTBrunch

by Saudamini Jain

We’re not making any resolutions (studies show, they’re all broken by January 10 anyway). But we are making up resolutions for others...

I interviewed indie filmmaker Ajay Bahl for an hour on the telephone for a cover story. And then, the office boy decided to clean my desk and throw out all the “trash”. So I had to call Ajay all over again and ask him the same questions, while he gave me the same answers again. Some deja vu! – Parul Khanna keeps losing weight. Recently, she lost a ton of weight. Oh, and most filmmakers adore her

n The Ball Room transformed into a party hub. A lavish buffet (including premium international beverage selection) and special DJs. Price: `17,000 per couple, all inclusive. Don’t drink and drive, club it all with a room: `29,999. Venue: Dusit Devarana, Samalkha, New Delhi.

by @HTBrunch

New Year resolutions for famous people

I was scheduled to interview an ‘upcoming’ star. I got a message from his manager to meet him in room number so-and-so. When the door opened, I said, “Hi, I’m Veenu Singh and you must be the manager.” He smiled and said, “Ma’am, I am that young chap hoping to be labelled a star by people like you soon!” – Veenu Singh meets so many stars, she forgets their faces

Overheard during production: “How about we let these halffinished pages go to press and ask readers to complete the text and fill in the photo captions? We’ll call it the Brunch Activity Book.” – Unfortunately, true genius is never appreciated, and so we sit in office till the crack of dawn week after week, finishing every page when it could all be so simple.

Eagerly wa aiti itin ng g for morning. A cup of tea with @H TBrunch Perfect combination. – @HeartSaviorNick


THE YEAR THAT WAS Like every year, we’ve had an eventful year. We take you through some

Always look ur forward to yo t. lis it ve Love it/Sho to le ib ss po Im a read without smile. – @SunandaK

I would lik to do a c e to ask you ov teenage er story on rs. What like to e they at, peer prre read, watch, ssure... everything yo u It's my e can think of. arnest re quest – BG [Aww!]


Every year is about the people (and things) that make it fabulous. And so, in our year-end issue, we always look forward to who’s going to make it big next year. We ask a jury of experts in our favourite fields – films, music, sports, technology – to suggest names of people and products that will hit the jackpot. Some of the names we have recommended in the past – MS Dhoni,

n Buffet dinner, unlimited imported drinks and a dance floor pass for a couple. Where: WelcomHotel Sheraton, New Delhi. Price: `10,000 Don’t drink and drive, club it all with a room: `18,000 (dinner, night stay and brunch).

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

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




More gig venues, more money for stand-up comics and a lot more laughs for you... Give a big hand to 2014 by Amrah Ashraf



Everyone loves the All India Bakchod (AIB) boys. They have over one million subscribers on their YouTube channel and they perform to houseful shows regularly. The branchild of Gursimran Khamba and Tanmay Bhat, AIB produces its own shows and skits. And considering how outright cheeky they are, it’s just as well that they do. Check out their spoof on Yash Raj Films.


She has her A-game on every time she goes on stage. Even her bad shows are funny. Mittal is moving up the ladder fast and will be doing exciting things next year. Plus, she’s a woman with a lot of guts. Who else can swear and succeed? Photo: SATISH BATE

This Bangalore-based standup comedian has done a few shows in Mumbai and the audiences have loved him. He is new to the circuit, so not too many people know him but his brand of comedy – musical satire – is slowly gaining favour.

Some hilarious election specials Spoofs, satires, improvs, you name it and these comics are working on it. They are already preparing their shticks, and the stuff I’ve seen is hilarious. More dedicated gig venues Canvas Laugh Factory is opening a store in Delhi later next year and another one in Mumbai. More improv comedy The comics have been experimenting with a bit of improv and the audience response has been phenomenal. 2014 is the year for improv comedy. People making money off stand-up! Finally! With the number of commercial and corporate gigs increasing by the day, you can easily be a full-time stand-up comedian. Let me assure you, if you’re any good, you will eat all your meals, plus more. – Inputs by Tom Course, director – Creative/Technical and Programming, Canvas Laugh Factory





Our winners

Photo: Akshay Tambe

“There’s a unique quality about her” Our judges


Kholgade made her Bollywood debut with the number Pareshaan from the film Ishaqzaade. She won an award for the best female playback singer for it. Her success continued with Daru Desi (Cocktail), Lat Lag Gayi (Race 2) and the recent Balam Pichkari (Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani)

ANU MALIK music director

Female singers Chinmayi She has a very expressive voice, which I like very much. Palak Muchhal She has a lot of pain in her voice, which gives it a very nice quality. Anmol Malik She has a very fresh and unique voice, and I feel she’s really going to make a mark. Male singers Shriram Iyer He’s just got a fabulous voice. Vipul Mehta I love his voice and he can sing any kind of song. Aditya Narayan There’s a freshness in his voice that’s very different. Besides, I like the way he throws his voice.

SALIM MERCHANT music director

Female singers Shalmali Kholgade She will continue to shine and she has a very unique tone. By that I mean, when she sings, there’s a unique quality about her and her vocals make you want to dance. Previously, I thought only Sunidhi [Chauhan] could create that magic. Aditi Singh Sharma She proved herself in Dhoom with her voice quality. Jonita Gandhi She’s a new singer and has a fantastic and fresh voice. Male singers Arijit Singh He is very versatile as a singer and has a great cinematic voice, a voice which is really loved by a lot of people. He is pleasant yet has attitude. One can fall in love with his romantic voice. Plus, he can sing nice fun songs as well. Divya Kumar He has got a good range, has good potential and is very versatile, though he’s not been utilised the way he should be. Sanam Puri: He’s one of the fresh voices around and has good potential.


he made the whole nation sway to her debut song Pareshaan from the film Ishaqzaade (2012). In just one year, Shalmali Kholgade is being touted as the female singer to watch out for. “I’ve received a lot of affection from the very first song I sang in Bollywood. I feel blessed and determined,” she says. It was her mother, a teacher of Hindustani classical music, who initiated Kholgade into singing. “She is the reason I sing. My mother was learning music when she was expecting me and she believes that it affected my musical leaning. She made it compulsory for me to sit for one-hour music classes twice a week,” says Kholgade. But she didn’t just enjoy listening to Hindustani classical sounds, she had an equal interest in Western music thanks to her older brother. “I took to the guitar after watching him sing

– by Shreya Sethuraman


“He has a great cinematic voice”

SHANKAR MAHADEVAN composer and playback singer

Female singers Shalmali Kholgade She has a very lyrical voice and is giving great hits. She will go a long way. Neeti Mohan She sings from her heart and has a pure voice. Her Jiya Re is great. Nihira Joshi She has a very sweet and melodious voice that works well. Male singers Arijit Singh The new kid on the block who has swept everyone away with his soulful voice. Siddharth Mahadevan The way he sang his debut song Zinda shows that he will go places. Vijay Prakash He has a nice high pitched voice that worked wonders for a song like Jai Ho.

and he’s been my encyclopaedia for English music.” Her entry into Bollywood was accidental, says Kholgade. “I was heading to the US to pursue a degree in vocal studies. Two demos (in English) that were meant to be used solely as audition material to get into the LA Music Academy were sent a week later to Amit Trivedi’s studio. I did this after being persuaded by a friend who worked with Amit then. I had no expectations, and hence no fear of getting lost among the many voices in the industry. The song that I bagged was Pareshaan,” she reveals with a smile. What does the chart-topper look for in a song? “I know I am associated with a handful of ‘hit songs’. But I’ve never gauged my songs on that meter,” she says. “Songs with a beautiful arrangement and melody have made it big before they even release.”


is voice swept lovers off their feet with the chart-bursting Tum Hi Ho from the film Aashiqui 2. And then he mesmerised his fans with Kabira in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. Arijit Singh is the male singer to look out for in 2014, according to our judges. From Murshidabad in West Bengal to Mumbai, Arijit Singh has come a long way. A participant in the reality show Fame Gurukul in 2005, he was one of the top six contestants in the show. “Even though I did not win, participating in a reality show brought

DECEMBER 29, 2013

Arijit was one of the top six contestant on Fame Gurukul. He has assisted music director Pritam, too. His popular chartbusters include the soulful Tum Hi Ho from Aashiqui 2. Other songs that became popular: Dilliwali Girlfriend and Kabira (Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani) and Kashmir Mai, Tu Kanyakumari (Chennai Express)

me into the public eye,” he says. Several music directors noticed Singh’s work and he was soon working with Shankar-EhsaanLoy. He also assisted music director Pritam. A trained classical singer, Singh has lent his voice to several Bengali movies and sung the title song Hum Hain Deewane from the popular serial Madhubala – Ek Ishq Ek Junoon on Colors. Apart from singing, Singh also programmes musical tracks. The popularity of Tum Hi Ho is a particular point of pride. “I feel happy it has become so big despite not being a peppy, upbeat song or a dance track,” he says. How does he react to the tag of the singer to look out for in 2014? “I’m honoured that such esteemed people have liked my work. Now I’ll have to work extra hard to prove the judges right,” he says. – by Veenu Singh


Our winners


“She is a natural drama queen”

B Our judges KOMAL NAHTA film trade analyst Actresses Shraddha Kapoor She is a fine mix of glamour and talent. Kapoor proved herself in Aashiqui 2, essaying a difficult role with finesse. Her performance in the 2013 blockbuster reminded people of her aunt, Padmini Kolhapure, who was also a very fine actress. Additionally, Kapoor is very glamorous. Young people find her ‘hot’. Parineeti Chopra Her style of acting is so natural that you don’t even feel like she’s acting. Chopra may not be very glamorous, but her talent makes up for it. Alia Bhatt She is young, pretty and cute. Bhatt is every young boy’s fantasy; and her first film, Student Of The Year (SOTY), was a hit. The headstart that she got with SOTY will work to her advantage. Actors Sushant Singh Rajput He seems to be a born actor. Looking at the films Rajput’s done so far, it appears that he enjoys acting and gives his everything to the role he is offered. There is not an iota of doubt that Rajput has a very bright future ahead of him and should soon become a force to reckon with. Ranveer Singh The young man swayed audiences in his first film, Band Baaja Baaraat. Singh didn’t do as well in his next films, but shone like never before in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela. With this hit under his belt, he’s now looking at a brighter future. This year will probably force even those who would like to give all the credit for his performance in Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela to Bhansali, to sit up and take notice of Singh. Aditya Roy Kapur Like Shraddha Kapoor, Kapur was also not fortunate enough to taste success in his debut film. But Aashiqui 2 gave him name, fame and stardom, much like it gave Shraddha Kapoor.

orn and brought up in Ambala in Haryana, Chopra was studying to be an investment banker in England when the downturn hit and she returned to India. The fact that her first cousin, actress Priyanka Chopra, was a part of Bollywood didn’t stop Chopra from laughing at the “frivolous” world of movies, till one day when she accompanied Priyanka to Yash Raj Studios. She liked the sharp marketing strategies that went into making a film a success and took up a job in the marketing division of YRF. It was here that Maneesh Sharma, director of Band Baaja Baaraat, spotted Chopra and signed her for Ladies vs Ricky Bahl. Her spunky, bindaas Delhi Punjabi girl act drew much applause and many awards. Her next film, Ishaqzaade, in which she played a bubbly but gutsy, revolver-wielding girl from the badlands of UP, established Chopra as an actress. “She is a natural drama queen,” says Sharma. Adds film trade analyst Komal Nahta, “Her films Hasee Toh Phasee and Daawat-E-Ishq are eagerly awaited.” CLAIM TO FAME

Age: 26 Audience appeal: The fans love Chopra’s bindaas, vivacious, in-your-face lovable girl-next-door persona. Best performance: Ladies vs Ricky Bahl in 2011. She won all the Best Debut and Best Supporting Actress awards that year. Chopra’s next, Ishaqzaade, got her a special mention at the National Awards.

VIKAS BAHL director and producer

“A man among the boys”

Actresses Alia Bhatt Everyone wants to love her. Parineeti Chopra Her USP is the magic of seeing the girl next door on the big screen. Shraddha Kapoor She’s lovable and will grow with each film she does. Actors Arjun Kapoor He’s a man amongst the boys and has great screen presence, as we saw in his two movies, Ishaqzaade and Aurangzeb. Sidharth Malhotra It’s the sincerity in his eyes and ‘the guy you can depend on’ vibe that makes him tick. He’s the teenagers’ new fantasy come true. Varun Dhawan A livewire and effortlessly charming.


e is the quintessential ‘baba’ of the film world, the son of producer Boney Kapoor and his deceased first wife. He grew up breathing and living films, but Kapoor never thought of getting in front of the camera with his 140-kg body until Salman Khan took him under his wing and got him to lose weight. Unlike many star sons, Kapoor didn’t wait for his father to launch him. He put up his pictures on Facebook and auditioned nearly five times before he was finally selected by Habib Faisal for his debut film Ishaqzaade in 2012. Kapoor metamorphosed from a big-city Mumbai lad to the rugged, rural vagabond Parma. The film marked the arrival of what Vikas Bahl calls “the man amongst the boys.” With his next film Aurangzeb, where he played a stylish, bad boy, Kapoor reinforced his macho persona. With Two States and CLAIM TO FAME Gunday lined up next Age: 28 Audience appeal: His uninhibited flamboy- year, 2014 appears to be another hot year for ance on screen. Not a ‘hero-type’ looker, Kapoor, with his mischievous laugh and haughty the cool Kapoor.

AMAR BUTALA creative director, studios, Disney UTV Actresses Deepika Padukone With four blockbusters: Race 2, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Chennai Express and Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela, 2013 has been Padukone’s year. She’s incredibly talented; audiences both in India and overseas love her; and with some good films in her kitty, 2014 will be another good year for Padukone. It would be great to see her do a film that’s about her: no hero, just her and a good script. She’s one actress who can pull that off! Alia Bhatt She made a confident debut in her debut film. I think Imtiaz Ali’s Highway will be the game changer for Bhatt, who is set to emerge as one of the hottest young stars. Parineeti Chopra She is a natural. Chopra is a favourite with filmmakers and audiences alike, perhaps because at an early stage in her career she’s picked films with strong, interesting characters. Actors Ranbir Kapoor He’s rewritten every rule in the film business and yet his winning streak continues. Barfi! was a brave choice for any actor to make, but Kapoor did the film, and even now continues to create a brand of cinema he believes in. The 18-35-year-olds who go to the movies both in India and overseas love him for his choices. A Ranbir Kapoor film is already an ‘event film’. In the business, not many young stars can boast of that so early in their career. Disney UTV, Ranbir Kapoor and Anurag Basu come together again, post Barfi! for Jagaa Jasoos which we believe will be another landmark film. Aditya Roy Kapur He has what it takes to grow into a major star in the coming year. Aashiqui 2, a sleeper hit, has set the stage for it. With Disney UTV’s next, Fitoor, we believe Kapur will emerge as a major star in the next year. Arjun Kapoor He is a talented actor and has the charisma to grow into a major star. Kapoor’s picked an interesting mix of films for the coming year – from Two States, a Homi Adajania film, to Gunday, all with good strong characters and interesting scripts. This year should be a good one for him.

DECEMBER 29, 2013


attitude, fills the screen with his big presence. Best performance: He took home all the Best Debut awards for Ishaqzaade.

“He’s a force to reckon with”


ith his cheeky wit, Kapur was a hit as a Channel [V] jockey. He made his debut in Bollywood in 2009 with Vipul Shah’s London Dreams, but couldn’t make much of an impact. Next, Kapur did bit roles in Action Replayy and Guzaarish, and got his first starring role in Aashiqui 2. This ‘sleeper hit’ brought Kapur to the forefront, thanks to his portrayal of a self-destructive, alcoholic singer. His next, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, made people start taking him seriously. These films also brought Kapur out of the shadow of his brothers, Disney UTV CEO Siddharth Roy Kapur and Delhi Belly actor Kunal Roy Kapur. Trade analyst Komal Nahta says that after Aashiqui 2 and Yeh Jawaani..., Kapur is a man to watch out for. His 2014 release, Fitoor, could make him a force to be reckoned with. CLAIM TO FAME

Age: 28 Audience appeal: His super sensitive persona and eyes that speak volumes make girls go weak at the knees. Best performance: Critics and audiences first took serious note of Kapur for his performance in Guzaarish. With a stellar act in Aashiqui 2, he is hot property again.


“Everyone wants to love her”


he has the acting finesse of her mother, actress Soni Razdan and the fire of her dad Mahesh Bhatt. But in looks and temperament, Bhatt is nothing like either of them. As director-producer Karan Johar, (who also launched her in Bollywood) puts it, “Alia Bhatt is a star, naturally.” Bhatt was still studying in junior college in Mumbai when Johar spotted her and signed her up for Student of the Year (SOTY). She created quite a flutter with her first CLAIM TO film. Bhatt seemed to FAME be a perfect fit for her Age: 20 character in SOTY: Audience appeal: Her fresh, innocent, Barbie-doll a cute, super-rich kid looks are an instant hit with with loads of attitude. the boys. Add to it oodles of As director-producer chutzpah, sex appeal and Vikas Bahl says, “She glamour. Best performance: Bhatt is cute and sexy. Everywon most of the Best one wants to love her.” Debut awards for her Pundits are putting performance as the supertheir money on her rich, classy but clueless Shanaya (her character) in as the ‘hottest young Student Of The Year. thing’ in Bollywood. And with Imtiaz Ali’s Highway and Two States, produced by Karan Johar, to be released early next year, 2014 looks like a game-changing year for Bhatt. – by Tavishi Paitandy Rastogi


Our winners


“An intense and strong person”


Our judges NIKHIL SINHA (Triangle Film Company) producer of Devon Ke Dev... Mahadev Actors Rajbir Singh A promising newcomer, he fit the lead role of Hatim perfectly. He has the right physique needed for a fantasy show hero. Vivian Dsena He really suited the role of RK in Madhubala. His intensity and persona worked in favour of the character. Ashish Sharma He is quite spontaneous and has unconventional looks. He is very versatile and good body language. Actresses Pooja Banerjee She plays the lead in Hatim convincingly and is spontaneous. She is very expressive too. Sriti Jha She is a natural with lots of potential. There is depth in her acting and she gets into her character effortlessly. Mouni Roy This spontaneous actress played Sati to perfection. She needs the right opportunity to prove her versatility.

RAJAN SHAHI (Director’s Kut Productions) producer of Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai Actors Mishkat Verma I spotted him in an ad. A new face that I’m launching, Verma has the kind of vulnerability that can connect with the audience. Vivian Dsena He has an extremely strong and intelligent personality. Plus, he has the X-factor and attitude required in an actor. Ravi Dubey Like Dsena, he too has an extremely strong and intelligent personality. He’s a force to reckon with and has struck the right balance between being a good actor and having a pleasing personality. He has the ability to do any strong and difficult authorbacked role, given a chance. Actresses Kanchi Singh When I saw her, I knew she had to be the new face I’d like to launch. She too has the personality that will find a connection with the audience. She can bring a character alive. Sanaya Irani She was my first choice for Sapna Babul Ka...Bidaai (though she was later replaced with Sara Khan). Irani has the correct mix of good looks, beauty with brains, and a pleasant personality. I’m very happy for her. Parul Chauhan A brilliant actor, if she gets good author-backed roles. She definitely has the potential to be in the league of Sakshi Tanwar, and can be the big face of 2014.

SIDDHARTH KUMAR TEWARY (Swastik Productions) producer of Mahabharat Actors Shaheer Sheikh He has a charming personality. There is a sense of purity in his work, and that’s what makes him stand out in the crowd of television actors. Saurabh Raj Jain He is a fabulous actor. Playing the character of Krishna is extremely difficult, but he just makes it look so easy. I believe he was born to play Krishna. Shivin Narang I really loved his performance in the show Veera. He has a good mix of boyish looks and maturity, which is rare. Actresses Pooja Sharma She plays the most difficult character of Draupadi. She is a very hardworking girl who constantly tries to improve herself. She will forge her own identity with this role. Sriti Jha She gets into the skin of the character, and is proving her versatility and ability with each passing year. Divyanka Tripathi She knows how to deliver a performance depending upon the character. Her sweet smile works wonders.


uperstar RK (played by Vivian Dsena) was CLAIM TO delighted to hear that he had been chosen FAME as the TV actor to look out for in 2014. Dsena quit engineering to try his Thanking everyone who put their faith in hand at modelling and him, he says, “After my first show on TV, where acting. He won recogniI hardly knew the nuances of acting, I got comtion for playing a vampire ments like ‘ab acting ka tag lag gaya hai to acting in the serial Pyaar Kii Ye Ek Kahaani, which still bhi kar lo.’ It feels great to get complimented for has an online fan followmy acting skills now.” ing. Currently seen in the Dsena comes from a family of engineers and role of superstar RK in doctors. He shocked his mother by deciding to Madhubala. become a model. He started his television career with the show Kasamh Se, but it was his role of a vampire in the serial Pyaar Kii Ye Ek Kahaani that made Dsena a household name. Unfortunately, the popularity of the show on Star One was not reflected in the TRPs, but he had a huge fan following. Dsena bagged the role of the arrogant superstar RK in Madhubala – Ek Ishq Ek Junoon, currently showing on Colors. “RK is a superstar who is supposed to be idolised by everyone and he always gets what he wants,” says Dsena with a smile as he describes the character that shot him to fame. “He is an intense, calculating and composed star who cares little for emotion and can be ruthless in getting his work done. He’s a larger-than-life character.” Is there any particular character Dsena wants to portray? “Not really. I prefer to go with the flow and see where destiny takes me. But I have been lucky to have had the chance of playing a variety of roles,” he adds.

“She’s naturally gifted”


riti Jha, who played Ganga in Balika Vadhu till recently, displays dual emotions of excitement and joy when told that she’s been nominated the TV actress to look out for in 2014. “It is a huge honour,” she says. Born in Begusarai, Bihar, 27-year-old Jha grew up in Kolkata and Kathmandu before moving to Delhi where she studied English CLAIM TO Literature at Sri Venkateshwara College. In her final FAME year, Jha was actively involved in theatre. So when A Delhi UniverDisney held auditions for the musical comedysity graduate, Jha debuted with Dhooom drama Dhoom Machaao Dhoom, Jha tried her Machaao Dhoom. She luck and got through. However, doing the serial played the romantic lead meant she had to move to Mumbai. in Jiya Jale and then It turned out to be a decision that would wowed critics with her portrayal of a girl with a change her life. Soon, Jha got an opportunity multiple personality in to play the lead in the romantic drama Jiya Jyoti. She was last seen Jale on 9X channel. In Jyoti, her next show in Balika Vadhu. on Imagine TV, she won acclaim for playing a character with multiple personality disorder. Jha’s next big soap was Life OK’s Dil Se Di Dua... Saubhagyavati Bhava? where she played a woman with an abusive husband. Then came Balika Vadhu, where she brought the rustic, illiterate Ganga to life on screen. “In both serials, I played a victim of domestic violence,” says Jha. “But Ganga is no ordinary village girl. She doesn’t take her husband’s abuse meekly.” Will Jha’s passion for acting eventually push her towards the silver screen? “I really don’t think so. My first line of interest is TV. Even youngsters are watching mythologicals, which is a great thing,” says Jha, with a smile. – by Veenu Singh Photo: VIPIN KUMAR; Location courtesy: UBER LOUNGE, GK-2, NEW DELHI


Our winners

Our judges

‘I never diluted the core of my brand’


Archana Rao She has a very feminine sensibility, which features intricate details in texture and motif. Rao understands silhouette and uses accessories well. Gaurav Jai Gupta He has maintained his dedication for presenting handwoven Indian textiles with a contemporary twist. His experiments like fusing steel with Banarasi textiles are quite beautiful. Tanvi Kedia Her work is incredible – Indian with a modern twist but done in a very novel way. Kedia does stunning prints that mimic traditional embroidery. which is a very refreshing take on the whole India story.

SUNIL SETHI president, Fashion Design Council of India

Aneeth Arora She is an established women’s wear designer, but her new men’s wear line and kids’ line show versatility. Arora has also done well internationally, without compromising on her quality or the signature style of her clothes. Rahul Misra He uses handlooms extensively but has also managed to adapt them well to contemporary standards. Misra’s ties with major retail outlets like Westside make him commercially viable too. He has adapted well to the needs of the market. Samant Chauhan and Gaurav Jai Gupta I nominate them jointly because of their involvement with ethical fashion. While Chauhan’s Bhagalpur silk has been popular, Gupta has experimented with metals in weaves. His saris are a hit too.


11.11 by Cell DSGN They have been using a combination of textile, silhouettes and dyes in a unique way, which lends their work a great finish. Ruchika Sachdev I have seen her work and I like that it is young, fun, edgy and even has a sense of humour. It’s good to see fresh fashion coming in. Paromita Banerjee She uses a lot of woven fabric and handloom, much like Aneeth Arora, mixed with an Eastern sensibility. You don’t have to be ‘high fashion’ to access her work, which is simple and relevant and makes traditional textiles trendy. There is a friendliness about Banerjee’s clothes, which can fit seamlessly into any wardrobe.

Our judges

GUNEET MONGA co-founder of Sikhya Entertainment, and CEO (AKFPL)

Amit Kumar Very promising. He has a strong sense of what a story should be like. Kanu Behl His film Titli could become big internationally. Behl’s debut will be very strong. Vibhu Puri His work is larger than life. Puri’s’s got scale, is great with colours and has a unique style. Vasan Bala Great at handling urban stories. Music and scripts are his strengths. Shlok Sharma Good with Indian nuances and at translating them.

RUCHA PATHAK senior creative director, studios, Disney UTV

I’m looking forward to Abhishek Kapoor’s Fitoor because he’s going to direct a love story based on a classic piece of literature. Remo D’Souza is going to go up a few notches with ABCD2 – Any Body Can Dance. Looking forward to Raj and DK’s Happy Endings. They push the envelope.

ASHISH PATIL vice president, Yash Raj Films

Ali Abbas Zafar Masaledar! He’s good with large scale entertainment (Gunday). Abhishek Chaubey Great vibe, music, humour, a distinct flavour in his films. Watch out for Dedh Ishqiya. Nupur Asthana She’s a lovely storyteller, unassuming, handles contemporary relationships and love wonderfully. She will come out with Bewakoofiyan. Vinil Mathew Strikes the right balance between style, emotion and story. Vikas Bahl Candid style, the promos of his next, Queen, look very interesting. Gauri Shinde She’s a universal storyteller with the right amount of drama. Vibhu Puri Bambai Fairytale looks beautiful, has great colours, wonderful dialogues, an interesting script and spectacular songs. Ashima Chibber She’s great with humour, and has a unique voice.

DECEMBER 29, 2013




hen we called Gaurav Gupta to inform him of his nomination, he seemed genuinely surprised. “To think I didn’t even set out to be a designer,” he exclaims. “When I came back from Chelsea College of Arts, London, I thought I would get into trend forecasting, since it was relatively unexplored then.” Later, LIMITED EDITION when this boy from Haryana secured Clean cuts defined his Wills Lifestyle admission to NIFT, Delhi, his design India Fashion Week 2013 collection sensibility matured. He trained in design, aesthetic language and textile weaving, which became his biggest strengths. “I have always tried to maintain the freshness and quality in my designs and moved at a constant pace, without giving in to the pressure of producing clothes for MAKING THE CUT fashion weeks,” says Gupta. He is finally getting Gupta stuck to his due for sticking to his belief of working with his guns, even if indigenous textiles, which are woven at his studio. his experiments didn’t “Along the way, I have experimented a lot but I work initially. Before his hit collection for which have never diluted the core of my brand, which is he mixed steel with using Indian weaves and textiles in a contemporary Banarasi weaves, he manner.” With his line of saris, launched a couple fused Swarovski with handlooms. It wasn’t of months ago, 2014 looks promising for this young successful, but he never designer. changed track.

– by Yashica Dutt

‘Cinema moves a person even more than love’


e’s 33, from Delhi’s Paharganj, and like Vikramaditya Motwane, has been mentored by director Sanjay Leela Bhansali. His debut movie is Bambai Fairytale, a biopic about an Indian scientist (Shivkar Bapuji Talpade) who constructed India’s first unmanned airplane. It stars Ayushmann Khurrana, Mithun and Pallavi Sharda. “I am driving my director of photography, costume and production designers mad. They swear they will never work with me again,” he

laughs, referring to his fastidious approach. Puri’s cinema is defined by a strong sense of colour, good dialogues, music and a belief that films are primarily a visual medium. Though adept at drawing and painting, his middle-class parents insisted he have a ‘proper education’. After a degree in business studies, he joined an advertising firm, got bored, joined Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi, to study mass communication, got bored there too, and just when his father was starting to worry, Puri found his niche at the Film And Television Institute Of India, Pune. “It is there I realised I wanted to be a storyteller,” he says. “I want to tell stories in my own way, stories that make the audience laugh and cry.” He had a tough time getting finance for his first film, but finally convinced his producers. – by Parul Khanna


Film and Television Insitute of India (FTII), Pune, alumnus Vibhu Puri’s debut movie Bambai Fairytale will release in October or November. His graduation movie, Chabiwali Pocket Watch, was the official entry from India to the Student Oscars (a competition for college and university filmmakers). It still is the most watched FTII film on YouTube.




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

1. Dear Doctor, we got married two years back and are planning for a baby right now. But I am unable to conceive from the last 3 months. I used to take emergency contraceptive pills before and have taken around 6-7 in two years. Is it because of that? Will I ever be able to conceive normally? Emergency contraceptive pills are not known to have any long lasting impact on fertility. Hence, it is unlikely that in your case ECPs are hindering conception. Sometimes it takes time to conceive and it may take up to one year from the time you start planning. Consult a gynaecologist and understand about your most fertile days and plan intercourse accordingly to increase pregnancy chances. 2. Dear Doctor, I had unprotected intercourse with my husband and after that with the fear of pregnancy I am eating lot of pickles and also started skipping everyday for 30 minutes. Is this enough to avoid pregnancy? 30 minutes of skipping can definitely help you in losing some weight but not

avoiding pregnancy. If you do not plan to have a baby now, then you should have used some form of contraception. Please do not follow myths and risk your health. Consult a gynaecologist at the earliest if you miss your next period for over 10 days from the expected date. 3. Dear Doctor, is it normal to have 2 periods in one calendar month after taking emergency contraceptive pill? Yes it is normal to have 2 sets of days in which there may be bleeding in one calendar month. The intensity during the first set of days would be more like irregular spotting or bleeding and are often mistaken as regular menstrual periods. This is a temporary effect and would clear up by the time you have your next period.


(PART 2)

Everything you need to know about fats and oils, including how to make healthier choices COLDPRESSED OILS

This process is healthier because it does not use too many chemicals to extract the oil. Cold-pressed oils retain their natural compounds and even taste better. Such oils are best used in salads.


The healthiest of the lot, this process does not use any chemicals or heat in the first round of oil extraction. Such oils are healthier and very tasty. With every subsequent pressing, the oil loses its taste as well as health properties. These are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. They are also rich in monounsaturated fats, which raise the good cholesterol in the body.


You can use them to moisturise your skin and hair, and also consume them by adding to milk or chutneys. They also improve fertility.

Cold-pressed mustard oil is excellent for your body in winter as it produces heat. But consume it in small quantities.

Peanut butter is a rich source of potassium, vitamin E and folic acid

It is a rich source of potassium, vitamin E and folic acid.


Such oils are usually high in omega-6 compounds. Refined cooking oil should be consumed in limited quantities because the body has to maintain a bal

Supported by:




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.

ance between omega-6 and omega-3 compounds. The reason you can cook food in these oils is because they do not get spoilt when exposed to high temperatures. Refined cooking oils can be made from safflower, canola oil or be produced in blended varieties like sunflower, rice bran and mustard seeds.


Butter used in small quantities is better than margarine. Many commercial low-cholesterol margarine spreads also contain unhealthy trans fats. It is better to consume natural, cold-pressed virgin oils rather than margarine.


n Consume natural fat or oil. n Don’t eat more than 25mg of fat per day. n Avoid large amounts of cooking oil and use them as dips, spreads and salad dressings. Photos: THINKSTOCK

MORE ON THE WEB For more columns by Dr Shikha Sharma and other wellness stories, log on to DECEMBER 29, 2013



The SouThern TaSTe Trail W With Konkan Cafe, the Taj is reconnecting with its roots and preserving a legacy that dates back to 1969

HEN MOST of us think of hotel chains and Indian food, our thoughts always turn to ITC which has three iconic restaurants replicated in its properties – Dum Pukht, Dakshin and Bukhara (called Peshawri outside Delhi) – and is in the process of incubating two more: Kebabs & Kurries and Royal Vega (for vegetarian food). And it is hard to argue with ITC’s record in this field. Till Ajit Haksar, the parent company’s legendary chairman, decided that he did not want to serve the usual Punjabi food at his hotels and declared that he would revive Lucknawi cuisine, hiring such chefs as Imtiaz Qureshi, Indian food at Delhi hotels tended to be an overpriced version of dishes served at Kwality. (The Oberoi Mughal Rooms, for instance, were Kwality-inspired in cuisine terms). But while the ITC tradition is justly famous, we sometimes tend to ignore the enormous contribution made by the Taj group to Indian food. The old Apollo Room at the Bombay Taj was the first restaurant in the city to break away from the Punjabi food formula. Haveli, at the Delhi Taj, was the creation of chef Arvind Saraswat who worked

Vir Sanghvi

rude food


Imtiaz Qureshi had once made me a safed biryani. The point of the biryani, he said, was not the meat but the rice. It looked white but each grain was bursting with flavour

tirelessly to source new recipes and popularised such now -famous dishes as achari gosht. In Bombay, Satish Arora more or less reinvented the standard recipes for many Indian dishes to suit the requirements of hotel kitchens and was a genuine innovator with a passion for food. And now Hemant Oberoi has made the Taj the leading chain for modern Indian food with the success of Varq and Masala Art. There is, however, another Taj contribution that has gone largely unnoticed, perhaps because this tradition had many parents. We may not realise it, but the Taj was the first chain to move away from north Indian food and develop the regional cuisines of India, and especially those of south India. Some of this was thanks to Ajit Kerkar, the man who created the Taj group as we know it today. Because Kerkar is a proud Goan (he would eat a Goa curry with pao each day at his desk at the Bombay Taj for lunch – it would always come from home and not from any of the hotel’s kitchens), he worked hard to create Goa as a tourist destination. (I would argue that had the Taj not opened Fort Aguada in 1973, Goa would never have taken off as a destination at all). And he aggressively promoted its cuisine. Some of the Taj’s best chefs worked at the Aguada/Holiday Village complex

DECEMBER 29, 2013

(Cyrus Todiwala, for instance) and it was thanks to Kerkar that Urbano Rego, perhaps the greatest chef in Goa, stayed with the Taj. (He is still there, by the way). And some of it was thanks to Camellia Panjabi. Put in charge of creating the Gateway brand, Panjabi took over the old three-star East West hotel in Bangalore and transformed it. Her greatest achievement at that property was Karavalli, recently voted one of the world’s top 100 restaurants, which served coastal south Indian food. In Madras, Panjabi launched the open-air Raintree restaurant at the venerable Connemara Hotel and popularised Chettinad food at a time when few people outside of Tamil Nadu knew what the cuisine was like. Also in Bangalore, Panjabi put prawn balchao, appams and stew on the menu of Southern Comfort at the Taj Residency (the first time a national chain had dared do this in a coffee shop) and forced other hoteliers to be as adventurous. Kerkar and Shankar Menon created Southern Spice at the Taj Coromandel as the Taj’s answer to ITC’s Dakshin and though the concept was derivative, the food was exceptional, showcasing the cuisine of India’s southern states (Southern Spice has since been successfully revamped and I actually prefer it to the Madras Dakshin). After the Kerkar-Panjabi regime faded, the Taj was run by a Malayali (R K Krishna Kumar) but this did not lead to new adventures in South Indian cuisine – with one exception. Konkan Cafe at Bombay’s President replaced the old north Indian Gulzar, and tried to create a new kind of south Indian restaurant. In part, it was an attempt to cash in on the popularity of Malvani-Mangalorean places like Apoorva, Trishna and Gajalee which served fresh seafood in south Indian masalas. And partly it was an attempt by the Krishna Kumar regime to extend the Taj’s connection with south Indian food by opening a casual café. But, of course, eventually the restaurant fit into none of these paradigms. Like almost everything else he does, Ananda Solomon made it his own and it came to reflect Ananda’s personality, his background and his passions. More than any other restaurant in any Indian hotel chain it became a chef-driven place, powered by the chef ’s skills and his interests. Solomon is from a part of Mangalore that borders Kerala, so he understands the home cooking of those states well. Plus he worked in Goa (at the Aguada with Rego)




Konkan Cafe at Mumbai’s Taj President (left) reflects Ananda Soloman’s (above) personality, his background and his passions. It is a chef-driven place, powered by the chef’s skills and his interests and explored the cuisines of the Catholics and Saraswats of that region. Though he made his name with the Thai Pavilion, he was determined to do something more personal and unusual that captured his own origins and experiences. Almost from the day it opened, Konkan Cafe was a huge success, one of the few Indian restaurants in any five-star hotel where you could not get a naan no matter how well-connected you were. Thai Pavilion remained The President’s most successful restaurant but Konkan Cafe became its soul. Two weeks ago, Ananda reopened Konkan Cafe after having had it redesigned. He had shown me the room before, taking me through every tile and every table, discussing their provenance with a passion I had never seen him display before. But still, I wondered: what could he do with the food that would even better the existing Konkan Cafe? I went for a very long lunch a few days ago and found the answer. Such was the quality of the meal that I was blown away. We started with surefire crowd-pleasers like prawns, crab and clams. They were more than good but except for the crab gravy (different and exceptional), it was pretty much the stuff I had come to expect at the old Konkan. But then we moved to the cuisine of Ratnagiri in Maharashtra which I had never tried before: a chicken curry so mouthwatering that the taste is imprinted on my palate, delicious mutton and a variety of breads: hard puris (wadi), bhakris and rotis made from unusual grains like jowar. Because Ananda cares about these things, the chicken were free-range so they were small and full of flavour. His egg appams were strictly nonvegetarian because they were made with fertilised (“country”) eggs and the flour for the bread had been freshly milled. For the final dish however, we relied on one of his mother’s recipes: fish biryani. Many years ago, Imtiaz Qureshi on one of his increasingly rare excursions to the kitchen had made me a safed biryani. The point of the biryani, Imtiaz said, was not the meat but the rice. It looked white (he had used only white spices) but each grain was bursting with flavour. Ananda’s fish biryani was in the same league as Imtiaz’s safed biryani. The fish was fine but it was the rice that had the flavour – and no fishy smell. The secret, Ananda said, was in the fish stock he used. He threw away the first lot of

stock (which had the fishy smell) and then boiled the bones again to get a much subtler flavour. I don’t know what the regional origins of the biryani are. Ananda says, somewhat implausibly, that in his part of Mangalore, biryani is a Christian dish and not exclusively Muslim, but I am not sure he has researched the origins because this is one recipe he has not sought out but merely pulled out of his family’s kitchen. Konkan Cafe is already packed out. The old Café had rather boring service but with Rishi Kumar at the President’s F&B helm, the current service style is energetic and innovative. The restaurant has its own wines, specially blended for Konkan Cafe by Fratelli to suit the flavours on the menu, and if you go for a celebration, the staff have an interesting way of wishing you. (It involves a south Indian umbrella…) The restaurant will be a hit. In culinary terms, it is Ananda Solomon’s crowning achievement. And in terms of history and heritage, it is nice to see the Taj reconnecting with its roots and preserving a legacy that dates back to 1969 when the old Apollo Room was launched. In my experience the Taj group is always at its best when it draws on its past.

Taj was the first chain to move away from north Indian food and develop regional cuisines

MORE ON THE WEB For more columns by Vir Sanghvi, log on to DECEMBER 29, 2013

With Rishi Kumar at the President’s F&B helm, the current service style at the Konkan Cafe is energetic and innovative


Hemant Oberoi (above) has made the Taj the leading chain for modern Indian food with the success of Varq and Masala Art (above left)


I would argue that had the Taj not opened Fort Aguada in 1973, Goa would never have taken off as a destination at all



Crystal Ball GazinG 2014

Your gadget future next year, tech you must have, and the things you absolutely must not touch


HIS COLUMN started off as a report card for the year that is about to bow out, but somewhere right in the middle of analysing the best and worst of 2013, I gave up. Enough has been said and written about the gadgets and devices that came out this year (after all, that’s what I did with 52 columns right here), so it seemed pointless to regurgitate that with a new pros and cons list of the same. Instead, let’s make this a crystal ball gazing of what is to come. Presenting: your gadget future in 2014; the cool stuff to look out for and the gimmicky non-starters you need to avoid like the plague.

Rajiv Makhni


May well be the hero device of next year if they can get it out on time and it delivers on ALL its promises. This is the device that every family worldwide needs. A simple touch to the forehead in the morning for all and it’ll literally tell you your current and future health. It scans and tells you exactly how you are doing (almost all the vital tests they run if you ever go to an emergency room in a hospital) and uses that data to tell how you’ll fare in the future. A device that may be able to tell you that you may come down with a fever one day BEFORE! What’s not to love?



My prediction: every household in India and Mexico will own one of these in the next two years and this will outsell microwaves. It’s an aesthetically pleasing little box in which you fill one transparent container with flour and the other with water. Use the touchscreen to tweak and perfect the kind of roti you want and the Rotimatic then goes into ‘living up to its name’ mode. It’ll mix up the dough, make the atta balls, roll them nicely into shape and out will pop one ‘fulla hua’ roti per minute. I expect to have one on my dining table before the year is over.



Well, I’m putting this in the cool list but this is more a hope against hope plug than a true endorsement. After the rather horrendous start smartwatches have had in 2013 (Samsung, Sony take a bow), it may once again need Apple to get it right and reboot this entire category all over again. Lots of other companies are also planning smartwatches and most will release them soon, but this is now a laggard category already and will need to be infused with some really cool reasons for people to strap them on. I don’t know of a single person who has bought a smartwatch and has been thrilled. Mildly amused, yes. Passionately excited, absolutely not. Apple, come save this category please.

The euphoria around wearing something that tells you how active you were is going to continue into 2014 and explode. New devices that can do a lot more than track activity are just around the corner. The next Basis band, the next Nike FuelBand, the next Fitbit, plus brand new devices like the Misfit Shine, the Amiigo band and a whole lot of others are all set to make sure that every breathing, beating, living movement of yours is tracked as a number and told to the world. I expect at least one Indian company to finally enter this field with revolutionary new features and make sure that we in India aren’t left out in this campaign to make the world a fitter place.


Smartphone wars between Indian companies that source from China and Chinese companies that now sell in India under their own brand name will be the source of great amusement and excitement. Nothing will define the Indian market better and you can expect this war to pay rich dividends to you, the consumer. You’ll see fantastic products, great innovation and truly competitive pricing all play out in 2014. At the end of the year, very few of these warrior companies will survive; but those that do will rule the roost for many years to come.

DECEMBER 29, 2013




Well, OLED TVs are finally here, but 2014 won’t see them drop in price to levels that make them part of anyone’s buy list. The hot category in 2014 will be large-screen 4K LED TVs. Somewhere in the middle of 2014, you’ll be able to buy a 65-inch Ultra HD TV for HALF of what you are paying right now, and right around that time is when you’ll be able to source real 4K movies and TV programming too. And that’s when the whole big screen 4K revolution will start with a bang.

MORE ON THE WEB For previous columns by Rajiv Makhni, log on to hindustantimes. com/brunch. Follow Rajiv on Twitter at RajivMakhni


Most of what I’m predicting is categories of tech, but here’s a device that I think is a serious contender for ‘most wanted’. This is where augmented reality, virtual reality and immersive gaming all merge

NOKIA’S NEXT By far the most important technology story to watch playing out in 2014 will be Nokia’s next. With Microsoft at the helm and vast sums of money and resources, this could well be the year of Nokia. While the Lumia range is already gathering momentum and could see a huge boost of new feature sets and new models, a smaller screen tablet and even a smartwatch may all be released this year. The only true test is going to be how two completely different cultures (Nokia and Microsoft are as different as chalk and cheese) come together and whether Microsoft’s truly terrible history of failed devices screws up this potential world winner. The only good thing, for Microsoft, failure isn’t an option as they need this to work spectacularly well to survive in the long run.

into an awesome mixture. It’s the first time that wearable tech lives up to the hype as these glasses literally take you into an alternate world, yet are still very aware of everything you are doing. Oculus could be the precursor to a whole new level of technology that will blow your mind, literally.


I’ve written a whole column on these, so won’t go into too many details. Suffice to say that 2014 will see Amazon smartphones make an entry and shake up the market with top-of-the-line specs at bottom-of-the-barrel pricing. Nothing like true sledgehammer-like competition to get the rest of the companies to wake up from their slumber. Amazon phones will be the reason why you’ll see more innovation in this field than any other.


Let’s mark this list quickly as it’s an annual ritual. iPhone 6 (bigger screen?), iPad Air Pro (bigger 12.1-inch screen?), Samsung Galaxy S5 (metal body, leather back?), the Samsung Note 4 (even bigger screen crammed into an even smaller body), the next Nexus phone and tablet (awesome specs, not so awesome form factor, super awesome pricing), HTC One 2014 version (new form factor, even sleeker) and the LG G3 (the successor to what some call the phone of the year, the G2). None of these will be serious ‘game changing made from the ground up’ kind of devices. Yet, these will still command 75 per cent of the market worldwide. Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3

Avoid These Like The PLAgue CURVED TV AND PHONES

Once again technology for the sake of technology is being shoved down the throat of consumers who haven’t asked for it. Curved screen TVs and phones are a serious showcase of just how advanced things are in the screen business, but they also have a serious problem. What exactly do you do with a curved TV or a curved phone once you and everyone else has oohed and aahed over it for the first 30 seconds? I’ll leave it at that.



Back into Apple land. Once again, 2014 isn’t going to be the year when you get to hang an Apple TV on your wall. Almost nothing Apple has done in the last year seems to justify any business model in which they will be able to take out a 55- or 65-inch Apple TV. Margins in the TV screen business are at an all-time low, competition is huge and this is playing in the consumer electronics field, an area Apple has very little experience in. If Apple was to take out an Apple TV in 2014, I would still steer clear as it’s always best to wait out for version 2.0, the one with all the initial problems nicely wrinkled out.

DECEMBER 29, 2013

Yes, I know – what is Google Glass doing in my list of ‘avoid like the plague’? Isn’t it the hottest and number one most-awaited device of all time? Well, it all boils down to actual utility and practicality. It is a showcase of the future and it is an unbelievable technology. It still has two huge issues, however: it’s not ready for prime time and it hasn’t been able to get over the ‘I look so silly wearing it’ factor. Using Google Glass has been one of the most surreal experiences of my life. The first five minutes, I was giddy with excitement and the next five, I was giddy with heartbreaking disappointment. Not much you can do with it currently, battery life sucks, its dependence on your phone is a total put off and did I mention you can’t do much with it right now? This may be the hottest tech for 2015 – till then, steer clear.



Our winners

The next Sir Jadeja


Our judges AYAZ MEMON senior journalist, author and commentator Vijay Zol He displayed his appetite for big scores as a 17-yearold batsman. But he is not a finished product yet and has a long way to go. Still, Zol has shown that he has the promise and the hunger to perform on the highest stage. Baba Aparajith He is one of the most exciting young allrounders in the country. Aparajith made his mark at the Under-19 stage and his transition to first class cricket was seamless. He is a bright prospect for the future. Amit Kumar Dahiya Wrestling has always been India’s strength. By rising to the expectations pinned on him at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and the London Olympics in 2012, Dahiya has proved that he is not a one-time wonder. He has the right lineage in learning from seniors like Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt at Delhi’s Chhatrasal Stadium, and now has to prove that he belongs up there with the big boys of Indian wrestling.

HARSHA BHOGLE senior cricket commentator Vijay Zol I like the fact that this batsman likes to take on attacks. Baba Aparajith Everyone on the cricket circuit in India is talking highly of Baba Aparajith. What you look for is someone who strings together scores and doesn’t fail for four innings after one brilliant knock. Aparajith, a good all-rounder, does that. I am also excited about the fact that he bowls decent off-spin.

CHARU SHARMA anchor, commentator, sports management professional Vijay Zol Not a typical T20 batsman, he is steady and dependable. He has blossomed early, but ultimately his longevity in the sport will depend on how solid his defence is. Zol can learn some lessons from his idol, opening batsman Virender Sehwag. Baba Aparajith To my mind he is a much better batting all-rounder than Ravindra Jadeja, the flavour of the year. And his bowling is a bonus. If he understands his role in the team clearly, he can lend tremendous balance to the Indian cricket team. Amit Kumar Dahiya The wrestler’s greatest asset is his speed and agility. In case his weight category changes, moving up to a heavier category and doing well might be tough for Dahiya.

PRADEEP MAGAZINE senior sports journalist and Advisor, Sports, Hindustan Times Vijay Zol Probably the most outstanding young batting talent in the country today. Baba Aparajith Making the cut from Under-19 to the senior grade is tough, but Aparajith, an all-rounder, has done it easily. Amit Kumar Dahiya A bright prospect, India is hoping for a medal from this wrestler at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

t was on the bouncy pitches of AusTHE STORY SO FAR tralia, playing in the 2012 Under-19 Born in Chennai, this right-hand Cricket World Cup, that Baba batsman and off-break bowler Aparajith realised the importance was part of India’s Under-19 of playing on the back foot. Rated as team that won the World Cup in 2012. the next all-rounder to watch out for, Playing for South Zone, Aparain the mould of Ravindra Jadeja, he jith hit a double hundred on his was part of the squad led by Unmukt Duleep Trophy debut this year, Chand that won the World Cup last against West Zone. He’s been signed to play for year. Since then, Aparajith has added Chennai Super Kings in the back-foot punches and cuts to his Indian Premier League. impressive repertoire of strokes. Aparajith grew up idolising the impeccable Rahul Dravid. Apart from his compact style of batting, Aparajith bowls decent off-spin and is a superb fielder. His catches, standing in the slips in the Under-19 World Cup, indicate that. In that discipline, the Tamil Nadu all-rounder might have taken a leaf out of Rahul Dravid’s book. Dravid, also known as ‘The Wall’ of Indian cricket, and a great fielder in the slips, is someone Aparajith grew up idolising. Growing up in Chennai, this alumnus of St Bede’s Anglo Indian High School worked his way up the ranks, playing for Tamil Nadu at the Under-15 and Under-16 levels before making his debut in the Ranji Trophy in 2011-12. Just 19, he apparently caught ‘Captain Cool’ Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s eye and was signed up to play for the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League. Aparajith is being hailed Photos: GETTY IMAGES as a serious all-round talent. Mind it! Photo: RAJ K RAJ



The run machine


e doesn’t believe in reining in his instincts. Till now, the strategy appears to be working for Vijay Hari Zol, the left-hand batsman hailing from Jalna, a sleepy town in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad district. Zol first caught the eye of cricket aficionados during a Cooch Behar Trophy match in 2011. Then, at the age of 17, he hit an explosive 451 off just 467 deliveries for the Maharashtra Under-19 team, against Assam. An integral part of India’s Under-19 World Cup campaign in 2012 (he played in all the matches), Zol went on to replace captain Unmukt Chand and lead the team in a triangular series in Australia in July this year. His style of play and the refusal to be fazed by the reputation of his rivals, even if playing overseas, appear to be traits he has inherited from Virender Sehwag and MS Dhoni, two players who scripted unprecedented success stories on the back of sheer batting talent THE and a fire in the belly, despite STORY their modest backgrounds. SO FAR The appetite for big occasions Born in the small town of Jalna, and the hunger to succeed Maharmake this small-town ashtra, boy special. He is Zol was ready for the big part of the Under-19 league. world champion team in 2012. He plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League.

The wrestler


e is carrying the daanv-pech legacy forward. The protégé of Guru Satpal Singh, who has been mentoring him since the age of 11 and the understudy of Olympic medallists Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt, Dahiya, 20, is renowned for his agility and sharp wrestling brain. The son of a milk vendor who grew up THE STORY SO FAR in the village of Nahri in Haryana, Dahiya Born in a village near Sonepat, has consistently performed on diverse platHaryana, Dahiya’s parents forms: He has won the Asian Junior Chamrear buffalos and make a living pionships, represented India at the Comselling milk. monwealth Games in 2010 and displayed his He began wrestling at an akhara as an eight-year-old and mettle at the London Olympics last year. shifted to Delhi’s Chhatrasal But the icing on the cake came with a silver Stadium to work with Guru medal at this year’s World Championships. Satpal Singh next year. With the international wrestling federa- He won a silver medal at the World Wrestling Championtion re-jigging weight categories, Dahiya ships in 2013 and is considered will now have to compete in the 57-kg a strong medal prospect for the Rio Olympics. division. The next year should give him a number of opportunities to display his class at the Asian Games in Incheon, Korea, and the Commonwealth Games to be held in Glasgow, Scotland. Will Indian wrestling’s next big star strike gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016? Don’t bet against it. – by Aasheesh Sharma

DECEMBER 29, 2013



The Films To W Will 2014 be a year of mega blockbusters, surprise hits, cute romantic comedies or


ITH EVERY new year comes renewed hope of better times. And in the film industry, which is so speculative, hope is what drives everyone and everything. So what can you look forward to in 2014? Frankly, lots of films! Some movies are eagerly awaited because


(Clockwise from left) Daawat-E-Ishq is being made on a modest budget; A still from Gunday; Kabir Khan’s Phantom brings together Saif and Katrina


Farhad-Sajid, the writer duo behind such successes as Chennai Express, Singham, Ready, Golmaal 3, Bol Bachchan and All The Best, have turned directors with this Akshay starrer. Additionally, the movie is produced by Tips; and we all know how well the music company promotes its films. If promotion and marketing is as important as content (and it is today), you have a winning combination!

BANG BANG Like Salman’s

Kick, this Hrithik Roshan starrer also seems to be having more than its share of problems. But what are heroes for if not to emerge victorious in the face of adversity? Greek God Roshan, whose medical and personal problems delayed the project, has given bulk dates to complete the film, in which he is paired with Katrina Kaif. It comes out next year.


matter if Prabhudheva’s last two films, R… Rajkumar and Ramaiya Vastavaiya, did not set the boxoffice on fire. His films invariably generate a lot of heat at the time of release. And since this will be the first Ajay Devgn starrer to hit the screens in 2014, there is understandably a lot of anticipation.

SINGHAM 2 The sequel to the 2012 Devgn blockbuster, Singham, which made everybody who saw the film feel that he had done his bit to fight corruption. This one is being directed by Rohit Shetty.

WELCOME BACK There couldn’t be a more appropriate title for a sequel to Welcome. Those who’ve heard the script swear it’s a laugh riot. Anil Kapoor, Nana Patekar and Paresh Rawal just might crack again. John Abraham and Shruti Haasan, not part of the first Welcome, have been welcomed in the sequel. HUMSHAKALS Never mind if

Sajid Khan’s Himmatwala was a debacle that could shake anybody’s himmat. The director behind Heyy

Babyy, Housefull and Housefull 2 is back with another ‘H’ film. Saif Ali Khan, Riteish Deshmukh and TV superstar Ram Kapoor play triple roles, promising triple the fun.

JAGGA JASOOS After Barfi!, how exciting would another Anurag Basu film starring Ranbir Kapoor be? We’re waiting for this detective film with bated breath. GUNDAY What gives this twohero project an edge is not just the banner, Yash Raj Films, but also its exciting trailer which has become the talk of the trade. Moreover, Ranveer Singh’s last film, Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, has catapulted him into the 100-crore club. Priyanka Chopra and Arjun Kapoor complete the lead cast.

ON KING KHAN’S PLATE HAPPY NEW YEAR The title says it all. Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone come together once again in Farah Khan’s Happy New Year and the trio expects to repeat the success of Om Shanti Om. The trade, on its part, hopes that the film will live up to its title and indeed make 2014 a very happy new year for the film industry! FAN Every fan of every star will identify with this story of a fan, which is what Shah Rukh Khan will play in Yash Raj Films’ next. The superstar has described this film, which will roll shortly and release by year-end, as a tribute to his admirers. Obviously, this one is going to be very eagerly awaited.

DECEMBER 29, 2013

PHANTOM There are a few directors whose name alone inspires confidence in a film. Kabir Khan is one of them. Plus, Phantom has two saleable leads in Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif.

ON AAMIR’S ROSTER P.K. In a year in which a Rajkumar Hirani film is due, there can’t be any other movie that will set the adrenaline flowing. And if it stars Aamir Khan, you are bound to be reminded of the runaway success of the duo’s 3 Idiots. The question in film trade circles is simply this: how much bigger and better than 3 Idiots will this exposé on godmen be?


Watch Out For little films with a big heart? Here’s a list – decide what you want to see right now by Komal Nahta their trailers or first looks are out, some because of the star cast and technical teams behind them, others because of the talk surrounding them. The reasons are varied, but the result is the same: high expectations! Let’s take a look at the films the paying public will wait for with bated breath next year.

DAAWAT-E-ISHQ After Ladies

vs Ricky Bahl, Ishaqzaade and Shuddh Desi Romance, Parineeti Chopra has earned a reputation for deliberating and delivering. Thatt’s why the modest budget Daawat-E-Ishq stands out among big-budget extravaganzas. Aditya Roy Kapur, a darling of the female audience after Aashiqui 2 and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, is Chopra’s co-star. It is directed by Habib Faisal (Ishaqzaade and Do Dooni Chaar).


again, Parineeti Chopra and another ‘female fantasy’ hero, Sidharth Malhotra are giving a medium-budget film a bigger buzz. Co-star Adah Sharma, very indul-


gently, has this to say about the hot star: “On the sets, everybody was only concerned about Sidharth. He is so good-looking that the unit hands just couldn’t take their eyes and minds off him.”


Saket Chaudhry’s Pyaar Ke Side/Effects cast its spell on city audiences. He now gets to make a sequel with Farhan Akhtar and Vidya Balan. The film’s trailer is already a hot favourite with many film buffs. Why shouldn’t the newage film also be so?

2 STATES Not much is known about this film except that it is jointly produced by Karan Johar and Sajid Nadiadwala; jointly directed by Sreerag Nambiar and Abhishek Varman; based

ON SALMAN’S AGENDA JAI HO Today, Salman Khan’s middle name is ‘blockbuster’. Anything he touches seems to turn to gold. And the hungry public has not seen him on the big screen for a year-and-a-half. Naturally, the first trailer of Jai Ho has set the ball rolling, and his fans – and there are many of them – are already rejoicing that Bhai’s next money-spinner is on its way in Republic Day week. Never mind if Republic Day falls on Sunday this year, lending no apparent advantage to the film, Salman’s fans will patronise it with the same gusto as they did his Dabangg, Dabangg 2, Ready, Bodyguard and Ek Tha Tiger. KICK There may have been a lot of problems in kickstarting this maiden directorial venture of producer Sajid Nadiadwala, but Salman Khan’s name is enough to set the cash registers ringing. Moreover, it is set for release on Eid. And everyone knows what a deadly combination Salman and Eid is!

on Chetan Bhagat’s novel, 2 States: The Story Of My Marriage; jointly written for the screen by the novelist and Sreerag Nambiar; and stars Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt. Johar, Nadiadwala, Bhagat… that’s enough for film buffs to expect good substance.

MAIN TERA HERO It will be pretty interesting to watch Varun Dhawan directed by dad David Dhawan. If the combination brings a smile to your lips, it is as much because you have loved David’s films as it is because of this pairing. TOTAL SIYAPAA The film does not boast big names on camera or behind it. But its trailer has brought a smile to people’s faces. For a small film like this, it will be enough if the film ends up making people leave the theatre smiling. HEROPANTI If not for other things, simply because this film will introduce Jackie Shroff ’s son, Tiger, in the male lead. Now that’s something to watch out for. After all, the guy already has heads turning on the party circuit when he makes an entry. MARY KOM Sanjay Leela

Bhansali’s film on the Indian boxer should be exciting fare, especially after the stupendous success of Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s film on Milkha ‘Flying Sikh’ Singh, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.

DECEMBER 29, 2013

(Clockwise from left) Hasee Toh Phasee stars Parineeti and Sidharth Malhotra; Hrithik’s problems delayed the shooting of Bang Bang; Total Siyappa’s trailer has brought a smile to people’s faces

TEVAR Boney Kapoor returns after a long hiatus, this time with his son, Arjun Kapoor, as hero. A remake of the Telugu blockbuster, Okkadu (2003), the film is being directed by Amit Sharma, whose ad for Google is all the rage right now. ONE BY TWO Abhay Deol has

barely one or two releases a year, but there is a segment of the audience which waits for his films. One By Two comes out in 2014. He is paired with girlfriend Preeti Desai in this romantic comedy.

HOLIDAY This action thriller, starring Akshay Kumar, is the remake of Tamil hit Thuppakki. A R Murugadoss (Ghajini) had directed the original and is also calling the shots in the remake. Of course, this list is not exhaustive because one never knows which film will generate heat at release. A film not even in the reckoning today could just become oven-hot around its time of release because the songs become popular or for any other reason.

MORE ON THE WEB For other stories about what to expect in 2014, log on to





Shilpa Shetty BIRTHDAY SUN PLACE OF HOMETOWN SCHOOL/COLLEGE SIGN BIRTH June 8 St Anthony’s Girls High Mumbai Gemini

HIGH POINT OF YOUR LIFE Becoming a mother


School, Podar College, Mumbai



Losing my grandmother

How difficult is it to judge a dance show like Nach Baliye? Judging a show is a huge responsibility and we all have to be very careful about what we say. Your favourite judge on TV. Both Terence [Lewis] and Sajid [Khan] are great judges. Which has been your favourite genre, romance or comedy? Comedy. A classic film you’d have loved to be part of. Guide (1965). The best thing about Bollywood. It has given me name, fame and a lot of love. A piece of advice you’d like to give a young actress. They don’t need any advice, they are all extremely well-prepared. The best thing about motherhood. It’s a feeling that can’t be substituted. Who is your 3am friend? My husband. Your strategy in a crisis. Be calm.

A full-time mom and part-time professional


Chaalbaaz (1989) MOST PAISA VASOOL FILM.



Disco Dancer (1982)


Yaarana (1981)

Your favourite street food. Pani puri. The best thing about Shamita Shetty. She is my best friend. The biggest risk you have taken. Becoming a producer. The last thing you bought under `10. Cough lozenges. What’s on your bedside table? A baby book. The last line of your autobiography would read… And she lived… — Interviewed by Veenu Singh


Pampers, a water bottle and fruit

DECEMBER 29, 2013


Brunch29 12 2013  

Hindustan times

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