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2.2012

BMW Magazine

The amazing BMW 328 Hommage

Passion, Foresight, Dream


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inspire

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on behalf CEO: Kuldip Singh Information: info@gujindia.in

CELEBRATIONS

Registered Office | North|Delhi: Le Meridien Hotel, Old Business Centre, 2nd Floor, Windsor Place, Janpath, New Delhi-110001, India Tel: 91.11.43011111, Fax: 91.11.23730511

The glamour of vintage cars

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MACHINE

BMW 328 Hommage – the dream car

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INDULGE

BMW’s Olive Beach Bistro

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COUTURE

Saree gets a modern avatar

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Celebrating the power, glamour & grandeur on the Indian roads

Gruner & Jahr India Pvt. Ltd.: M-108, Punj House, IInd Floor, Above Bank of Baroda, Connaught Place, New Delhi-110001, Tel: 011-47411100, Fax: 011-23416265 West | Mumbai | T.V. Industrial Estate, Basement, B-22, A.K.Ahire Marg, Worli, Mumbai - 400018, Tel: 91.22-61991111, Fax: 91.22.61991115 Ahmedabad | Top floor, Navrang Bldg., Opposite Pizza Hut, Near Swastik Char Rasta, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad 380 009, Tel: 91.79.65102355 East | Kolkata | Sudarshan Business Centre, 7B, Ranirash Muni Road, 1st Floor, Kolkata- 700013, Tel: 09831342496, 033-22658479 South | Bangaluru |1010 A Wing, 10th Floor, Mittal Towers, M.G. Road, Bangaluru-560001 Karnataka, India, Tel: 91.80.40921037-38, Fax: 91.80.41510657 Hyderabad | Executive Business Club, Mount Banjara Apartment, 1st floor, Road no 12, Banjara hills, Hyderabad-500034, Tel: 040-66786800, 9700001177, Fax: 040-66785800 Chennai | FL 9, Alsa Mall, First Floor, 149 Montieth Road, Egmore, Chennai-600008, Tel: 044-42015685, Fax: 044-42015684

DESIGN

Art resides in these luxe hotels

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CONVERSATION

A rendezvous with watch monarchs

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PHOTO ESSAY

We explore the beautiful Rome

BMW magazine is printed and published by Kuldip Singh on behalf of Gruner & Jahr India Pvt. Ltd. (GJIPL) for BMW India Private Limited and published at GJIPL, Le Meridien, 2nd floor Windsor Place, New Delhi - 110001, India. BMW magazine is published four times a year. All rights reserved. the writing, artwork and/ or photography contained herein may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of GJIPL. GJIPL does not assume responsibility for loss or damage of unsolicited products, manuscripts, photographs, artwork, transparencies or other materials. The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher. All efforts have been made while compiling the content of this magazine, but we assume no responsibility for the effects arising there from. FOR INQUIRIES | GJIPL Tel: +91.11.47411100, FAX: +91.11.23416265 www.bmwmagazineindia.in www.gujindia.in

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celebrations

time goodwood revivaL

travel Once a year, a vast English park is transformed into the world’s largest garden party for historic cars, with the Earl of March’s country estate resembling a 1940s–1960s film set, complete with period costumes and racecars. Words jo clahsen Photos antonina gern

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celebrations

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Pit crew team members and photographers intently follow one of the many races (top) that pit rare classic sports cars against one another (below)

unday morning, about oneand-a-half hours southwest of London by car. A man in a hat, tweed jacket and knickerbockers exits a RollsRoyce Phantom and opens the rear door. A delicate pair of ladies’ legs emerges, clad in high heels, followed by a voluminous petticoat, a wasp waist, the remainder of the boldly polka-dotted dress, and finally a happy, beaming face. The second woman wears tall pumps, fishnet stockings, a form-hugging black outfit complete with mink stole, and a hat with a birdcage veil. Is this a time machine or some sort of parallel universe? Neither. The “Goodwood Revival” is the title of this event, which could easily pass for the set of the latest James Ivory period film. The festival’s overriding theme – with respect to both fashion and cars – is the 1940s, 50s and 60s. The word “revival” truly encapsulates the festival experience, which immerses visitors in the trappings of the postwar era, a period often recalled in the United

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celebrations Kingdom as the “good old days”. Those familiar with the name Goodwood can generally be divided into three categories. First are the members of the European aristocracy who know Lord March personally. He lives here, and his family’s auto racing pedigree dates back to the 1930s, when his grandfather first organized races in Goodwood House’s sprawling grounds. The second group includes those already acquainted with the Festival of Speed, the weekend gathering which takes place every summer and attracts hordes of auto racing fans anxious to watch the likes of Formula 1 drivers Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button ply their speedy trade. Then there’s the third group, those for

whom vintage automobiles are a passion, including Lord March himself and other high-profile aficionados. This group actually numbers quite a few: 1,40,000 classic car devotees showed up at this year’s Goodwood Revival – the retro cousin of the Festival of Speed – whose events have since 1998 unfolded against the backdrop of throaty roars from mighty racing engines. That’s because, when Lord March issues his annual revival announcement, he’s not merely referring to a genteel exhibition of classic automobiles polished to a mirror-like shine; he’s also talking about over a dozen competitive races involving roadworthy classic racecars. Picture an assortment of cars

and motorcycles, each one worth as much as a good-sized house, hurtling around the short racing circuit, piloted not only by young ambitious racecar drivers, but also by gray-haired legends. No place else on Earth boasts a higher per capita concentration of famous racecar drivers than idyllic Goodwood (nor a greater concentration of people dressed in 1940s–1960s period clothing). Whether it’s Giacomo Agostini, 15-time world champion motorcyclist, German racecar drivers Hans Herrmann and Jochen Mass, or Formula 1 legend Sir Stirling Moss, who celebrated his 82nd birthday on Saturday of this year’s revival, everybody – and that really means everybody – is here.

The festival’s overriding theme – with respect to both fashion and cars – is the 1940s, 50s and 60s. The word ‘revival’

The visitors take a good glance at the vintage beauties. It is a get-together of motor enthusiasts who value all things old & beautiful.

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machine

piston power

BMW defines the future

The BMW 328 Hommage lightweight construction as a principle

The state-of-the-art concept cars by BMW arouse desire. We pay homage to the BMW 328 Hommage Text & picture courtesy Internet

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he BMW 328 is considered the most successful and bestlooking sports car of the 1930s. The BMW 328’s success was the result of its design parameters – through the use of systematic lightweight construction, aerodynamic lines, optimum engine types and outstanding suspension technology, it laid the foundation stone for a new vehicle concept, by which performance only leads to success if combined with perfect harmonisation of all parameters and maximum efficiency. With these characteristics, the BMW 328 was even then the embodiment of what the BMW brand still stands for today – dynamics, aesthetics and a high level of innovation. Last year, the dream sports car celebrated its 75th birthday. To this day, the award-winning vehicle BMW 328 Touring Coupé still holds the record for the highest average speed on the Mille Miglia circuit and, in 2010, was again able to win the historic revival of the race. A week later at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, the two-seater’s functional aesthetics will be the focus of attention. In this area of conflict between tradition and modernity, the BMW Group paid a tribute to the BMW 328 on the occasion of its anniversary with a special model – the BMW 328 Hommage. “With the BMW 328 Hommage, we wish to pay homage to the passion and inventiveness of the fathers of the BMW

The BMW 328 Hommage is a dream sports car with stateof-the-art technology and fascinating features that makes driving more fum

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machine

The vertically mounted kidney grille is dynamically incorporated into the flat silhouette One can notice the sleek interiors of the car that blend well in the modernist design

328,” explains Karl Bäumer, CEO of BMW Group Classic. “They created an icon, which is considered a milestone in the history of the automobile.” The BMW 328 Hommage translates the principles and the character of the vehicle of that time into present times and offers a possible interpretation of how the designers of that time, Fritz Fiedler and Rudolf Schleicher, might have built the BMW 328 in the present day using current technology. The BMW 328 was also a special BMW insofar as the lightweight construction principle was systematically implemented on a BMW automobile for the very first time. Wherever possible, the lightest and at the same time most robust materials were used, thereby keeping the gross vehicle weight down to just 780 kilograms. In order to translate the idea of lightweight construction into this day and age, major parts of the exterior and interior of the BMW 328 Hommage are made of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP). Whilst in the old days they favoured the materials aluminium and magnesium, CFRP is now considered to offer the best ratio between weight and stability. The high-strength fibre fabric is lighter than aluminium, but also more stable. Wherever the material has been used on the BMW 328 Hommage, it is also visible. In this way, the BMW 328 Hommage not only reflects the lightweight construction principle functionally, but also visually. The BMW Group leads the way in the production and use of CFRP in automotive construction and already possesses many years of experience in the series production of CFRP roofs and structural components for the BMW M6 as well as CFRP roofs for the BMW M3. The expressive exterior design of the BMW 328 Hommage depicts the modern interpretation of a highly emotional and dynamic two-seater Roadster – just like the BMW 328 75 years ago. As a result, a subtle contrast between the tense surfaces and the sharp edges is created within the flat, dynamic silhouette.

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indulge

A taste of

luxury Get a taste of BMW luxury as Olive Beach Bistro serves up an appetising menu at the BMW Studio in New Delhi Words Meghna Sharma

The Olive Beach Bistro will warm the cockles of any car lover’s heart

carmaker in India. The BMW Studio was conceptualised to offer an experience that fully meets their customers’ requirements and make best use of the brand’s strength. The BMW Studio aims to provide an exclusive experience coupled with excellent service and the perfect ambience. The 1600 Sq feet BMW will offer actual and virtual test-drives, along with customised car solutions to influence customers’ buying decisions and generate sales. The studio will also showcase a wide range of BMW lifestyle products such as BMW Shirts and Jackets, Golfing kits and baggage.

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rust BMW to always bring something fresh and exciting on the table. And in a firstof-its-kind concept, BMW opened a lounge at its studio in New Delhi. BMW Studio brings you a unique lifestyle experience by offering a full-service bistro and lounge through Olive Beach Bistro. Stop by for a coffee, a business lunch, an early dinner or in between. Enjoy exclusive luxury synonymous with BMW and discover the pleasures of the BMW Studio. BMW, which has been running this lounge in New Delhi for three years now, plans to open a second lounge in Mumbai this year. This is a great way for people to indulge with the brand. The lounge conducts art exhibitions and cooking classes to connect with customers of tomorrow. It’s a studio unlike any other. But it will still warm the cockles of any car lovers’ heart. For any motorhead, BMW produces high art. It is only the second such studio by the German luxury automaker anywhere in the world and the first one by any

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couture

chic confessions

The aura of red

In Indian culture red is the colour of purity, probably that’s the reason Indian designers can’t resist but use this colour so extensively Words meghna sharma

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he colour of love, seduction and power, red plays a symbolic role in many cultures. The vivacity intrinsically aligned with the colour has been interpreted and followed across the world. The devilish connotations of red in the West are amusingly juxtaposed by the traditional bearings of red in the East. The colour red plays an instrumental role in Indian traditions and beliefs, perhaps the most crucial one being in the life of a married woman. In our culture every girl’s arrival into her role as a married woman is symbolised by the red henna (mehendi) on her hands and is sealed with the pinch of red powder (sindoor) on her head. The matrimonial bliss and a promise of togetherness are all sealed by the warmth and

binding power of the red drape and red accessories. The red vermilion (tilak) is also used as a ritual mark while greeting guests or family members at a festival or simply into one’s home, whereas in mythology red denotes bravery, protection and strength. Indian culture and customs are often described as riots of colours with almost every desirable colour thrown in for good measure. But the colour red truly remains the core symbol of power and spirituality, of protection and commitment. It is a colour that has not faded the trials of time and stands alone as the most powerful. The sexual connotations of the red colour in the West are replaced by the simplicity, purity and ritualistic candour of this colour in India. The dynamism of red has always

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couture

Indian customs are described as riots of colours with red truly being the symbol of power, spirituality & commitment

led it to command power and awe and that’s why this colour is such a hit among Indian designers. Be it traditional outfits or contemporary ones, this colour adds a dash of sizzle in any attire. Designer Ritu Kumar who is known for creating dazzling Indian outfits, says, “The colour red as well as all warm colours come in the auspicious category and are used as an expression of fertility in most communities. Red is dynamic and constantly breathes fire in the eyes of the beholder. The connotation is also with harvest and religious festivities, so the use of other colours is not considered as auspicious.” She adds, “This holds true for saffron, orange and green – all of which are accompanied with red. Without really defining the relevance of colours, the anthropology of the colour red reflects in choices made by most brides and their kin who like to complement the vedic fire with a colour which goes with fire. Since the wedding trousseau is an intrinsic part of the fashion world, this colour has made its way onto the ramp and everybody seems to love it. Perhaps it’s our culture that teaches us to love this colour.”

That’s true, our culture does teach us to love this colour as it is so embedded in our lives. Wearing red clothes certainly makes one more noticeable. “Red is a beautiful colour and surely a colour of purity. Not only is it used extensively in the Indian culture but is also used to depict strong fashion on the runway. We designers often love the ombre red as it’s bright and works well on the Indian palette as well. When it comes to our couture collection we do use a lot of red but in different variations and tones from the red family. Red represents confidence and is definitely a head turner. That’s the reason designers love to play with this shade,” says the designer duo Kapil and Mmonika. While designer duo Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna is of the opinion that red colour represents India. “Red is symbolic in Indian tradition and makes for a bold colour. It speaks the language of cupid and that of the devil as well. Even just a splash of it on the garment can add power and change the way one feels. The colour is perfect for those who want to stand out, grab attention and make a style statement. It makes for a cheerful palette and small doses of it are much more striking and effective,” says the duo. As this colour also signifies wedded bliss and eternal togetherness, designer Anju Modi uses this colour to create sensual silhouettes. Says she, “Red is a very warm colour. I use a lot of red in my collection of sarees as it depicts sensuality and romance. A saree says a lot about ones’ personality and I believe the red colour brings out one’s attitude while making one look stunningly beautiful. Red has the power of attraction.” While Indian designers’ love affair with red colour continues, India has always been exalted and remembered as the country of colours. To an outsider, its colourful culture, streets and stories seem like a page out of an ancient folk tale. But the colour red, in essence, it seems has been a large part of the Indian consciousness.

(Facing page clockwise from top to bottom) A model in a Suneet Varma creation; a model in an Anju Modi creation; Kangna Ranaut in a JJ Valaya creation, and, Pia Trivedi in an AshimaLeena creation

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design

We peep into ten popular hotels in the country and discover their art treasure troves

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design

Taj Mahal Hotel & Palace, Mumbai

The landmark hotel that opened in 1903 has been a proud guardian of Indian art. Until the early 1990s the Taj Gallery inside the hotel was one of the few places where one could buy art in Mumbai. Though the gallery shut about a decade ago for restoration, the hotel’s own art collection grew. Today, after the hotel has reopened its Palace Wing since being destroyed in the terror attacks of 2008, guests can admire the impressive collection of 300 pieces of art. The artworks have been painstakingly restored by five specialists over 10 months. However, unlike before the attack, when much of the art collection was scattered in the lobbies and rooms, the hotel now showcases them in three prominent locations: a banquet hall, a lounge and the bar.

knowhow The Taj Mahal Hotel and Palace Apollo Bunder Mumbai 400 001 tajhotels.com

Park, New Delhi

Unless you are an art critique or artist, chances are you will not notice even a single artistic work at the Park Hotel in Delhi. You may appreciate or in some cases have very strong reactions to the hotel’s hot pink lobby but you will not be able to spot the artworks worth crores that fill the space. From Indian contemporary artists like Subodh Gupta, Bharti Kher, Chintan Upadhyay, Hemi Bawa and Vineet Kacker to international designers like Campana Brother from Brazil and Paul Cocksedge from the UK and others, this often underrated hotel is a museum of modern creativity. Interestingly, the ground floor lobby is one continuous sequence comprising three zones, reception, restaurant and bar, an avant garde trend in global interior design. Mirrors in the lobby hint at the idea of infinity and the white glass wall of the street façade filters daylight into the space but prevents views in from the street. All the furniture has been designed by Conran and Partners, the UK.

knowhow The Park; 5, Parliament Street, New Delhi 110 001, theparkhotels.com

The contemporary decor of harbour bar

“From Third eye to second eye” by Bharti Kher at the lobby and (right) a Yogi Statue by an unnamed artist at the terrace

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design (Facing page) the impressive lobby dome painted by Krishen Khanna and artworks scattered all over the rooms of the hotel

ITC Maurya, New Delhi

Every time you walk into the grand lobby of the ITC Maurya you can’t help but admire its dome that Krishen Khanna, one of India’s most respected artists, has painted with his iconic mural ‘The Great Procession’. Built in 1977, the structure of this art-loving hotel is based on a stepped Buddhist stupa, while the main lobby is designed in the form of a ‘chaitya’, or prayer hall as seen at the rock-cut caves at Ajanta and Ellora. Lobbies display works by Tyeb Mehta, MF Husain, Akbar Padamsee, Krishen Khanna, J Swaminathan, Satish Gujral, Thota Vaikuntham and other contemporary artists. A bronze statue by A Ramachandran that shows King Ashoka with a saddened face in the lobby and MF Husain’s glass panels facing the Nandiya Gardens on the life and times of the Mauryan Dynasty always woo guests. The Towers lobby is also resplendent with a unique three-part painting of a ‘Royal Procession’ created by well- known contemporary painter, Sanjay Bhattacharjee. It represents a state procession of the Mauryan period.

knowhow ITC Maurya, Diplomatic Enclave, Sardar Patel Marg, New Delhi, 110021; itcwelcomgroup.in

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design (Facing page) the fibre glass dancing dolls by Madhumita Panwar; (below) Silver lamps designed by P-49, Bangkok and (bottom right) the Kaya Kalp spa

Sheraton Rajputana, Jaipur

The Sheraton Rajputana at the heart of Jaipur city will not impress the creative soul unless you walk into its lobby where a group of fibre glass Rajashthani dancing dolls hang in air. Interestingly, the dolls, designed by Madhumita Panwar of Mumbai, can’t be ignored even by the busy executive. Resembling metal sculptures, the greenish-grey installation tells the story of merging traditional ideas with contemporary medium. The dolls, a group of dancers in traditional Rajasthani costumes and musicians playing the dholak, could have well been made of brass or terracotta, but the fibre glass makes them modern. The hotel, designed to resemble a Rajshthani haveli, has an art gallery above the lobby that hosts works by contemporary Indian artists. Unlike other ostentatious palace hotels in the region, this property is all about clean open spaces with pronounced art accents. The lobbies of the hotel serve as art galleries, each designed according to a separate theme. So we have the padgi lobby, which showcases paintings of various types of pagdis used by Rajshthani men and the jewellery lobby with paintings on local jewellery. While most of the artwork is done by local artisans, there are works by more popular artists too like a painting of the Jai Garh Fort made by Sanjay Bhattacharjee and one of a royal procession by S Kripal Singh.

knowhow Sheraton Rajputana; 1 Asram Marg Jaipur, Rajasthan 302018; itcwelcomgroup.in

In charge Ranvir Bhandari, Vice President, North, and General Manager, ITC Maurya, Delhi “The ITC Welcomgroup has always promoted Indian arts through its hotels and art initiatives. Our luxury hotels have dedicated spaces for showcasing artists’ works. At the Maurya , Delhi, art by the country’s most respected names are displayed. These artworks have become an integral part of the hotel’s décor. Even at our newer properties, we promote contemporary art like at the Sheraton Rajputana.”

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design

Le Dupleix, Pondicherry

If you can step into this charming and intimate boutique hotel and look beyond its antique wood carvings, you will discover the love for heritage that its hosts. With 14 well-appointed rooms nestling in an 18th-century French colonial villa, originally built for the “Maire” Mayor of Pondicherry, the Le Dupleix offers a fusion between the rich, colonial heritage and a contemporary flavour. The hotel displays antique textiles lent by couture embroidery master John Francois Lesage and a custom design stone courtyard. Architects Eric Locicero & Neils Shonfelder helped restore the ancient building following the traditional methods of construction from the 18th century. The old building was completely refinished with a lime plaster in the old process known as “Chettinad Egg Plaster,” which consists of covering the walls with layer after layer of egg white, powdered sea shells and yogurt.

The Imperial, New Delhi

The British still rule India, or at least they do so on the walls of the Imperial Hotel in the heart of Delhi. Even a hurried business meeting becomes a relaxed Raj-like affair as lithographs and life-sized paintings from British India look down from every corner. Called the only museum hotel of its kind, the Imperial, set up about 70 years ago, is a storehouse of colonial Indian art. Each floor in the hotel is dedicated to an artist whose original works adorn the walls of the rooms and the corridors. It also hosted one of the earliest art exhibitions in India in the year 1936, inaugurated by the Maharaja of Patiala. A stroll down its corridors is like revisiting British India through the eyes of British army officers, their wives and officials of the Queen. Works by some of the artist like Thomas and William Daniells, William Simpson, William Hodges, John Zollony, James Ferguson, JB Fraser, Emily Eden and Charles D’Oyly, can’t be located anywhere else in the world! Walk in for a lazy tour.

(Left) Framed paintings and lithographs at the entrance of the hotel and (below) the Spice route restaurant that has won awards for its interiors

In charge Hidesign boss Dilip Kapur’s comfort zone is the swing outside Room No 5 at Le Dupleix. “The house of Governor Dupleix in the old part of the town

knowhow The Imperial, Janpath, New Delhi-110001 theimperialindia.com

was being brought down in spite of us trying hard to preserve it. We decided to at least salvage all the woodwork and furniture and reinstate it into my old house. It was hardwork but worth it. The hotel was more an afterthought. Now we are creating a one of a kind luxury resort on the East Coast road, 30 km out of Pondicherry.”

knowhow Le Dupleix; 5, Rue De La Caserne; Pondicherry 605 001 sarovarhotels.com

The hotel has several antique wooden pillars (Left) and samples of exquisite wood carvings. (Right) every corner has a design detail

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design

Grand Hyatt, Mumbai

You may have visited the Grand Hyatt in Mumbai and even noticed the quirky woks of art displayed throughout the property, but not many are aware that this busy hotel’s lobbies, gardens and restaurants are unique galleries of art with specially commissioned installations. Conceived by curator Rajeev Sethi, Grand Hyatt Mumbai reinterprets the Shiva myth as envisioned by seers centuries ago. The complex showcases over 100 commissioned artworks by both established and upcoming artists such as Laxman Shreshtha, Jitesh Kallat, Hema Upadhyay, Chintan Upadhyay, Nalini Malani, Atul & Anju Dodiya, Tanuja Rane, Krishnamachari Bose, Sudershan Shetty, Prabhakar & Jyotee Kolte, Yogesh Rawal, Jaideep Merhrotra, Sunil Gawade, Daroz, Bhupinder and Mohan Malviya among others.

knowhow

Grand Hyatt Mumbai, Off Western Express Highway, Santacruz (East), Mumbai 400 055, mumbai.grand.hyatt.com

(Above) Gangadharamurthi by Rajeev Sethi & Sudarshan Sethi and (extreme right) Yogadakshinamurti by Sheetal Gattani, Dr JJ Rawal & Arvind Saksena. At a closer look you will discover the windows, with the theme of Shiva as the divine Yogi, the resilience of Mumbai’s slums with their roadside shrines and (right) the attractive Cave senthils by Rajeev Sethi. (facing page)The latest addition is an abstract done by renowned abstractionist Laxman Shreshtha at the lobby.

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design

Le Sutra, Mumbai

When Le Sutra, “India’s first art hotel”, at the posh Bandra locality in Mumbai opened its doors to guests last year, it attracted strong reviews. Some were awed by the concept of a hotel designed to depict the Hindu concepts of the human consciousness with a floor each on sattva, tamas and rajas. While others called it a “is a bona fide tourist trap.“ But no one could deny that this hotel has given a new meaning to the concept of artistic spaces in India. Its decor concepts are taken from the vast repertoire of Hindu folklore. These tales are told through art pieces that often double up as furniture: like the Yoni lamp that explains the theory of sex to salvation and the Trishul coat rack, that turn the powerful symbol of Shiva into an utilitarian object.

knowhow Le Sutra; 14, Union Park, Hanuman Nagar, Pali Hill, Mumbai 400052; lesutra.in

In charge Radha Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Hotels, and the creator of Le Sutra, is busy planning her next project; a Le Sutra at Dehradun. “Le Sutra is the effort of about 25 young artists, which has been put together and represented in the form of an art hotel. We didn’t want to buy art and decorate our hotel. India has such a rich bank of art and philosophy and we wanted to use that. However, we didn’t want the hotel to be too heavy on philosophy either. A room should appeal to the senses and guests should be comfortable too.”

(facing page) A room depicting the theme of sex to salvation, the yoni lamp in the same room and (below)the Nirvana room

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design

Falaknuma, Hyderabad If a walk with the Nizams of Hyderabad is what your royal heart desires, step into the grandiose Taj Falaknuma Palace, the former residence of Nizam Mehboob Ali Khan of Hyderabad. Restored over a period of 10 years, the hotel now offers its guests a chance to live like a king amid its opulent Venetian chandeliers, rare antique furniture, grand marble staircases and gurgling fountains, priceless statues, stained-glass windows, unique sketches and murals encased in ornate frames, a world-class collection of crystal. While no corner of the hotel can be termed pedestrian, its gardens, Mughal, Rajasthani and Japanese, personally conceived by the Nizam, impress the most. The Palace Library, a replica of the one at Windsor Castle, is home to the rarest of manuscripts, books and one of the most acclaimed collections of the Holy Quran in the country.

knowhow Taj Falaknuma Palace Engine Bowli, Falaknuma, Hyderabad - 500 053; tajhotels.com

The hotel is home to many antique and priceless marble statues

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design

Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur

When you enter Umaid Bhawan, you instantly feel like you’re entering a castle, not a hotel. The soaring, gilded entry hall seems to serve no other purpose other than to give royal guests a prelude of the Reinassance style grand domed cupola, soaring 105 feet overhead. This glowing sandstone behemoth, with its massive Indo-Saracenic domes, was designed by renowned Edwardian architect Henry Lanchester. The lavish interiors with gilt furniture and elegant artwork follow the Art Deco style, complemented by the exotic murals of the self-exiled Polish artist Stefan Norblin.

knowhow Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur - 342 006 ; tajhotels.com

(top) the palace entrance and (above) the grand lobby


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conversation

time trackers We get up, close and even personal with the monarchs of the watch world Words jo clahsen Photos antonina gern

Laurence Nicolas CEO, Dior Timepieces & Dior Fine Jewellery What motivated you to join the watch industry? I worked for 11 years at Cartier and my job was to reorganise the after-sales service for the timepieces. So I had beautiful antique watches in my hand and I fell in love with them. What does time mean to you? Something I am always running after but also something that lasts, like Dior’s Fine Jewellery and Timepieces collections, which take months to be created. Time is precious and deserves precious timepieces. What is the most significant breakthrough in the world of horology? Mysterious movement for wrist watches such as the Quinting’s one that allowed us to create our Dior Christal Mystérieuse. On your wrist… I own 20 watches but wear three regularly (depending on the day of the week): a yellow gold mini D de Dior with a satin strap and a diamond and motherof-pearl dial, a Chiffre Rouge A05 in black rubber, and a Dior Christal on black patent calf with diamonds. I am close to my first watch, a gold Cartier Pasha that I bought with my first salary at Cartier, as well. What is special from Dior this year? This year sees the continuation of the La Mini D de Dior story. There is also the launch of a 38-mm La D de Dior in a limited series of five timepieces. We are launching limited editions of one hundred T01 timepieces, equipped with a new ‘Dior 8 fuseaux horaires’ movement developed by two watch designers, Orny et Girardin.

Jean Frederic Dufour CEO, Zenith What motivated you to join the watch industry? I entered the watch industry by chance, but I was always fascinated by it and art in general, and the watch market is the perfect combination of both. My studies in economics gave me an excellent background to understand the different aspects of the industry. What does time mean to you? It is first a luxury but it also represents life! Having time is the most beautiful gift. And what could be more beautiful but to read it on a watch that is a true artwork of craftsmanship. What is the most significant breakthrough in the world of horology? The watch industry was revolutionised by several big inventions and notably by the arrival of the El Primero in 1969, developed by Zenith. The El Primero movement is the first integrated automatic chronograph with the high frequency of 36’000 VpH capable to measure 10th of a second. In 2010, Zenith has launched the El Primero Striking 10th; a new El Primero patented movement that is not only able to measure the 10th of a second but can also display it precisely on its dial. So, we were the first brand in 1969 to invent an automatic high frequency chronograph and today we are the first to display it. On your wrist… I am wearing the El Primero Striking 10th, which embodies to me all the know-how of a real watch like Zenith. I own several watches and each of them has a specific meaning for me as they all represent an important step of my life.

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Piazza Navona: A city square where the ancient Romans watched the agones (games). It was originally built as a stadium in the first century for athletic contests and chariot races. From 1650 to the late 19th century the square was sometimes flooded in summer and used for aquatic games and staged naval battles. The square still retains its oval shape. It is believed that over time the name changed to ‘in agone’ to ‘navone’ and eventually to ‘navona’. The piazza was featured in Dan Brown’s ‘Angels and Demons’, in which the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (The Fountain of the Four Rivers [i.e., the Danube, the Ganges, the Nile and the La Plata (Plate)]) is listed as one of the Altars of Science.

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The architecture, beauty and life on the street of ancient Rome makes it unique

Ever thought that the reminders from the past could be this beautiful? The Roman Forum, a rectangular forum (plaza), includes the ruins of several important ancient government buildings. Forty metres above the Forum are the Palatine Hill, centremost of the Seven Hills of Rome. Soak in the beauty of the city by spending a lazy afternoon on the monumental Spanish Steps, the widest staircase in Europe. Or visit the spot where the gladiators used to wait at the Colosseum.

(Clockwise from top left) 1. Colosseum 2. Roman Forum 3. Spanish Steps

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photo essay Try your luck with the traditional legend, throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain. It may ensure your return to Rome! Stop at St. Peter’s Basilica and come closer to the masterpieces of Renaissance sculptures. Ruins could be breathtaking, experience it in every corner here.

(Clockwise from top left) 1.Trevi Fountain 2. Ruins on the Palatine Hill 3. View of the Roman Forum from the Palatine Hill 4. Outside of the Colosseum

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