Exotica July 2022

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EXECUTIVE EDITOR Navin Upadhyay CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER Abhishek Saxena 09818600128 EDITORIAL Sub-editor Supriya Ramesh Chief Designer Anand Singh Rawat Production Manager Syed Nawab Raza Staff Photographer Pankaj Kumar SALES & MARKETING Vice President Jetender Rawat 9810404096 General Managers Kumar Gurudutta Jha & Sweety Verma Senior Managers Madhukar Saxena & Divyesh Kothari Managers Bharat Singh Sajwan Prabhakar Pathak & Barun Choudhary MUMBAI OFFICE General Manager Devendra Adhikari HYDERABAD OFFICE V Sunil Kumar General Manager (Circulation) Rajeev Gautam Printed and published by Navin Upadhyay for and on behalf of CMYK Printech Ltd, printed at JK Offset Graphics (P) Ltd, B-278, Okhla Industrial Area, Phase-1, New Delhi-110020 and published at No. 6, Behind Gulab Bhawan, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi-110002. Executive Editor: Navin Upadhyay. Entire Contents Copyright (C) 2006 CMYK Printech Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction or translation in any language in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Requests for permission should be directed to CMYK Printech Ltd. Opinions carried in Exotica are the writers’ and not necessarily endorsed by CMYK Printech Ltd. The publisher assumes no responsibility for the return of unsolicited material or for material lost or damaged in transit. All correspondence should be addressed to CMYK Printech Ltd; F-31, Sector-6, NOIDA, Uttar Pradesh-201301 Phone: 0120-4879800 & 4879900 Email: letters2exotica@gmail.com



any form, true art and artwork, be it drawing or calisthenic, painting or sculpture, literature or cinematography, acquire a sort of timelessness and immortality. The 8,000-year-old Magura cave (Bulgaria) paintings or 13,000 years old paintings back home at Bhimbetka rock shelters are the enduring legacy of the timelessness of artwork. We begin this issue with a write-up on “art affair”, which rightly says that Indian artists need not emulate others because India has its own rich culture and heritage. The author points out that no other nation in this world has the diversity that India has. She author tracks the journey of Indian art affairs and the role of women in this field, talking about the enduring contribution made by the likes of Amrita Shergill and Anjolie Ela Menon. From there, we move on to another interesting write-up dealing with furniture and how to go about choosing it. The write-up makes valuable suggestions about picking up the right type of furniture and upholstery for your home. From fabric to colours, shapes, patterns, textures, durability, maintenance, design et al, the write-up covers it all. Have no doubt, after reading the article you’re bound to take a close look at the set of your living room, its furniture and upholstery. Now let’s turn to fitness—both mental and physical. So, we have produced an excellent piece on yoga asanas. The author has summed up the gist of the write-up in a succinct passage: Yoga is a journey of transformation. It is like a ladder with different yoga practices for each stage. The first step of the ladder automatically takes you to the next. One starts by becoming aware of the body and your breath. Then the focus shifts to breathing. After that, one becomes aware of one’s mind with its weaknesses and blocks. With practice and effort and an experimental attitude, practising yoga can help one to be healthier and stronger and move into a state of awareness and a happy state of mind. This is the ultimate goal but to whatever level you are inclined to practise it, you will feel this amazing science’s benefits. Don’t only read the article but also practice the asanas and see the difference. Yoga is a holistic way of life and we would endeavour to devote more space to such write-ups in the future. After all, it is now becoming a way of life for millions. Then we have an excellent write-up on the mental health of your pet. Like humans, animals also are affected by loss, fear, separation from loved ones, injuries, bullying and dominance. All those who love their pets must spare some time to go through the writeup.


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Celeb talk [p6] If simplicity were a person Remote ride [p10] Way forward for travel-hungry souls Spesh lens [p14] It is more than just a picture Suave Sweden [p18] Sweden has it all Noble Naval [p24] Halcyon days, a reflection Smart swap [p32] ‘We are doing a lot but unfortunately not enough’ TOTAL NUMBER OF PAGES 64 INCLUDING COVER



Fair fixture [p36] Not book, judge furniture by its cover Tidy tale [p40] Cheer up your pet Grub grab [p44] Absolute Indian delight Decor decorum [p48] Take the classic route Art affair [p52] More than just colour

NUMBER GAME: Count your fate SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR [p56] GURUSPEAK: Changing mindsets BHARAT THAKUR [p59] FITNESS: Journey of


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O U R PA R T N E R H OT E L S Send us your feedback at letters2exotica@gmail.com; Facebook: www.facebook.com/Exotica-394686670715776



Quirky face masks are my go-to accessory; stylish and safe.

Grandfather’s mundu (garment worn around the waist in a few southern States) because it is lightweight.

Lives of the Monster Dogs by Kirsten Bakis makes for a fascinating read.

Appearing primarily in the Hindi and Telugu language films, ADAH SHARMA made her acting debut with a leading role in horror movie 1920 and followed it up with Phhir, Hasee Toh Phasee, Commando 2 & 3, among others.

No hill station or beach, I find calm in my bed at home, which is a mattress on the floor.


Citronella oil over any scent. It smells good and keeps mosquitoes away.

Homemade rice and sambar is my comfort food.


If simplicity were a person


Hardworking and grounded, these are the two adjectives that come to mind when one hears the name PANKAJ TRIPATHI. When we meet him at a hotel, he looks very calm and constantly jokes around. He is to the point. The actor, who primarily appears in Hindi films and has garnered massive love and fan following with his remarkable work across different genres, was in town for Sherdil: The Pilibhit Saga’s promotion. It is a Hindi-language film written and directed by Srijit Mukherjee. Tripathi’s breakthrough came in 2012 when Gangs of Wasseypur became everyone’s favourite and success has since followed him as he signed up multiple award-winning web shows and movies like Mirzapur, Ludo, Sacred Games, Newton, Stree, Criminal Justice and many more. He says that success has not come easy to him. Asked about his journey, in a serious tone, he asks us to look at Sherdil’s hoarding, where his eyes tell a lot about him, his hard work and love for his profession. Tripathi, who is mostly seen doing negative roles, says that he never decides which character he wants to be. He takes up whatever is given to him and makes sure he gives it his hundred per cent. Whatever role he gets, he dedicates himself to it as if it’s a dream role. He speaks with SUPRIYA RAMESH. Photos by PANKAJ KUMAR. Edited excerpts from an interview:

Since your debut in the film industry in 2004 and the industry changing drastically over the years, how has your journey been? To know about my journey, look into my eyes (he says, pointing towards Sherdil movie’s hoarding). It will tell you how much hard work and dedication have gone in. Things did not come easy to me. I have earned whatever I have today all by myself. Everything is organic! I hail from a non-film background and you know how tough the competition is out there. Being


honest and determined to my profession is why I am what I am today. I studied in a Government school, chose to be a chef first and also worked as one for year before I decided to enrol in the National School of Drama. Obviously I did not want to spend too much money on learning theatre, which is also why I got into drama school so late after years of working in a hospitality sector. However, I obediently went there and learned everything I could. You started off with small roles in movies like Apaharan, Bunty Aur Babli, Omkara and these were quite a hit. Did it help you make a mark or open doors in Bollywood? Of course! Just like drops and drops of water fill up a jar, I have acted one scene after another to make it up till here. That’s how you get work done, right? When they find you performing well in one movie, they come and look for you, they like you. The next thing you know, you get more and more projects. My story is quite similar. I kept signing up for projects, small or big. That’s how I keep getting multiple projects. Moreover, nobody launched me and nobody is my godfather. It’s a good thing that there is nobody because all the achievements are self-made. Your breakthrough came in 2012 with the Gangs of Wasseypur series securing massive attention and people absolutely loving your daring character. How did you land this project? It so happened that I was called for an audition and casting director Mukesh Chhabra was conducting it. It wasn’t a two-hour-long audition but a solid nine-hour-long audition. After that, director Anurag Kashyap was called to see the audition and he loved it. It might seem easy but trust me, it was not. Howbeit, I bagged the role. Your characters are quite bold and you often don negative roles like Kaleen Bhaiyya, Sultan and Guruji. Do directors see that in you or are you attracted to such roles? To be honest, I have never wished to do a particular kind of character. I have kept myself open to challenges and have always taken up whatever role I have got. I don’t like complaining. Coming to the question, yes, I have always been the director’s choice. From comedy to negative, I have done it all without any whining. Since the beginning of my Bollywood career, I have been true to my work and have done it organically. Whatever



comes my way, I just keep talent over stars? How has it accepting it. helped you? How do you prepare and I believe that OTT favours perform a character in mind talent over stars. The before you start your hard entry-exit and on-off switch work? to OTT is very easy. Here You see, in the mind, it’s promotion and marketing similar to cooking. It is don’t guarantee a hit. like an art. Before you step There are no 10,000 cinema on the ground or put your screens. Here, if people paint brush on a canvas, you don’t like one episode, they prepare yourself, you prepare lose interest in the show. To you mind. You imagine the me, OTT has been a good preparation. Once you are space. Mirzapur, Sacred mentally and physically Games, Criminal Justice, Ludo, ready, you get down to Gunjan Saxena and Kaagaz, acting. You obviously have among others are all on OTT to be dedicated to your work and are some of my most and never forget that hard liked works. Also, it was work pays off. due to Mirzapur and Sacred Coming from a non-film Games that I got to see my background, did you have face on the hoardings for problems getting into the the first time. It was a new cinema world initially? experience and I felt really Very tough, indeed. good. MY JOB IS TO ACT AND ALL Thousands of people come People are already looking I CARE ABOUT IS ACTING to Mumbai daily. How will forward to Mirzapur 3. What WITHOUT WORRYING ABOUT THE FUTURE, WHERE MY people know if you have do you want to say about it? PROJECT WILL BE RELEASED talent? The competition AND HOW MUCH LIKES IT WILL All I will say is that it is going is immense and vigorous. to start. My job is to act and GARNER. I DON’T BOTHER MYSELF WITH ALL THAT When I came to Mumbai, all I care about is acting TROUBLE even I was learning. In without worrying about the fact, I am still learning. I think learning is a future, where my project will be released and how life-long process and to grow, one needs to learn much likes it will garner. I don’t bother myself with wholeheartedly and openmindedly. Of course, it all that trouble. wasn’t smooth sailing for me up till here. I wasn’t What is your dream role? Or what is your long-term the same actor back then. I used to watch my own goal? TV show even when my acting wasn’t upto par and I don’t have a dream role nor do I have a favourite see for things I can do better and excel at. I believe character. Whatever role I get, I dedicate myself to that one needs to always go back and see where and it as if it’s a dream role. how they started off. You will learn and understand What is in the pipeline? a lot. Art cannot be perfected but you can always try There are quite a few. Oh My God! 2, Criminal your best to get people to say you are the best. Justice 3 and an Amazon Prime series, among OTT platforms have opened a plethora of others. They all have been shot and will be released opportunities for newcomers. Do you think it favours within this year.



Way forward for

travel-hungrysouls Remote tourism via Virtual Reality tops the list of ‘pandemic-friendly’ alternatives, discovers ALOK K SINGH


scholars have pointed out that technological advances in the field of Virtual Reality (VR) provide tourists with a taste of the tourism experience along with a set of ample and trustworthy information. The post-1990s era has witnessed a tremendous growth both within the academia and industry of immersive digital technologies, specifically VR. Considering this, it can be inferred that VR proves to have a notable potential with regard to marketing and promotion of tourist destinations and experiences. During the pandemic, several Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) deployed VR as a marketing tool in order to gradually recover the tourism industry. Many initiatives were launched, of which several failed. However, one of them gained striking visibility in international media; Faroe Island’s ‘Remote Tourism Campaign’. It was launched shortly after the beginning of the global pandemic in the second quarter of 2020. It allowed prospective tourists to a local guide through a live video stream. Around seven lakh online visitors across the globe participated in the live stream tour during AprilJune, 2020. Remote tourism via VR tops the list of a “pandemic-friendly” alternative. It alleviates anxiety and overcomes travel constraints. Countries like Maldives and Germany, among others, have invested in similar interactive projects. India also didn’t lag in remote tourism, from Indian museums to Taj Mahal; one of the Seven Wonders the World, it offers a surprising amount of 360-degree virtual tours to satisfy your travel loving eyes. Some of the best remote tours in India:

DELHI There are several remote/virtual tours and exhibits available if you want to take a virtual tour of Delhi, the Capital of India. A glance at the Lodhi Garden monuments in south Delhi, Red Fort, Qutub Minar, baolis or stepwells, hustle and bustle of Old Delhi and Connaught Place. These include 360-degree pictures, YouTube films and online exhibitions. You may view the beautiful museums/parks and learn about the monuments’ history, architecture and designs by viewing the online display.

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MUMBAI Mumbai is without doubt one of the most beloved Indian cities. It is the centre of the country’s economy and, more famously, its film industry. Its virtual tours would showcase more of its splendour via lovely images of the calm and tranquil Marine Drive during the lockdown. Some of the best virtual tours of Mumbai include a tour inside the famous CST station, a visit to the caverns on Elephanta Island and a (virtual) promenade along Marine Drive, a fascinating online display about street art in the Dharavi slums and more.

AMRITSAR The virtual tour of the Golden Temple is indeed breathtaking. This online exhibit of the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab, with content supplied by Incredible India, is full of wonderful photographs, details about Sikhism and a 360-degree video, including a look at the enormous hall in which the world’s largest langar (a free holy meal made available to all) is served to over one lakh people every day.

BENGALURU Bengaluru is a wonderful place to visit and has a lot to offer, but it is far less popular (among foreign tourists) than some of India’s other cities (only if you can get through Bengaluru’s traffic!). The nicest thing about a virtual tour of the city is that you can ignore any traffic and just get a sense of what this southern city has to offer without having to get stuck in a traffic jam. The virtual tours of Bangalore offer its historical neighbourhoods, botanical gardens, temples, top restaurants, IT hubs and Lalbagh with The Guiding Factor (TGF) hosts.

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JAIPUR Jaipur is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India, the Pink City is famous for its pink-hued walls that surround the palaces, havelis and the city itself. Virtual tours of Jaipur provide ample information about women musicians of the State, jewellery making, Rambagh Palace, virtual walks in Hawa Mahal and other famous spots.

AHMEDABAD Gujarat Tourism has a wealth of video and virtual tours available on the internet with 360-degree maps of many sites, including some of Ahmedabad’s historical monuments. When it comes to remote tourism, this western State of Gujarat has plenty to offer. One of the most liked virtual tours of Gujarat is Rani Ki Vav stepwell in the northwest of Ahmedabad.

HAMPI Hampi is one of southern India’s most renowned tourist sites and has long been a major stoppage on the hippie path. Fortunately, Incredible India has some useful virtual tours and online exhibitions to satisfy your travel appetite. Such visual tours help one find out more about the past of the city, the stone sculptures’ poetry, the nomadic Lambani people’s history, art and crafts and so on. One can also visit Hampi360.com for more virtual footage of Hampi.

GOA Goa has a lot more to offer than just its beaches. The remote tours of Goa exhibit the history of the State, the Portuguese legacy, forts and lighthouses, arts and crafts, local markets, virtual walks around the museum of Goa, virtual train ride with a breathtaking view of Dudhsagar Falls and more.

VARANASI Varanasi AKA Kashi is undoubtedly an assault on the senses. No matter how many virtual tours it offers, one will only get a small taste of the City of Ghats, the rest of the experience has to be seen through naked eyes, felt and smelt with one’s own senses.

The virtual tours of Varanasi are a great way to help someone to know more about the city and prepare them for its visit. The online exhibits showcase the most famous Ganga Aarti experience, rich craft and textile tradition, master weavers of Varanasi and a more general look of the city.

‘DEKHO APNA DESH’ awareness. The session The moment the pandemic was conducted by India appeared, all of us were unclear City Walks and around 5,500 about how to react. We were people registered themselves restless and anxious. Sitting back and attended the session. The and relaxing was not just something second webinar unfolded the we could do at that moment. It is our information and facts about the city of nature to bounce back when exposed Kolkata. The Union Minister for Tourism to adversities, be it personal or stated that the series shall be going professional sphere. forward, showcasing the remarkable At first, we were terrified and halted and diverse history of India including but after some time we decided to face the its culture, cuisine, monuments, festivals, scenario standing strong. It’s inherently natural landscapes, arts, dance forms and human nature to bounce back and to survive. many other aspects. That is exactly where the thought of aligning the The “Dekho Apna Desh” webinar has technology to our daily lives struck our minds. not only highlighted the well-known and popular The idea to harness the capabilities of digital travel destinations, but also lesser-known and technology to handle this lovely concept and off-the-beaten-path travel destinations, heritage, product, Incredible India with original content, experiences, products, and experiences—such as originated from there. A highly popular “Dekho “Chau dance” since its beginning in April 2020, the Apna Desh” webinar series then occurred, and initiative was launched as a short-term and test many people are still waiting for their chance to project intended at educating and engaging the share what they are most enthusiastic about. tourism sector and travellers alike. It has hosted The deadly pandemic has hugely impacted the over 113 webinars lately and is still going strong. tourism industry in India, with all major players to “Dekho Apna Desh” is today not only for Indian work out ways to stay relevant and keep tourists virtual tourists, but for everyone. engaged. The Ministry of Tourism launched its On the other hand, the webinar series is initiative ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ on April 14, 2020, in being watched in over 60 countries, with viewers order to offer virtual tourism. This initiative intended occasionally getting up at inopportune times to to provide an in-depth knowledge of many travel catch the webinars live in other time zones. Such destinations along with information about the webinars were held more frequently during the cultural heritage of India. lockdown. The Ministry of Tourism wanted to The first webinar was ‘City of Cities’ that took make this even more participatory, relevant and place on April 14, 2020. It touched upon the history fascinating in future, based on the kind of insights of the Capital of India. The webinar was filled and feedback it received from viewers. But right with interesting anecdotes and facts about the now, it’s a little uncertain where the webinar series city, and based itself on social history and tourism is going. ­— The author is Co-founder and CEO, Travomint EXOTICA [13] JULY 2022


It is more than

just a picture EXOTICA [14] JULY 2022



From soft, romantic him-and-her shots to quirky photo booths and cheeky posers, wedding photography has evolved significantly over the last 10 years. SUPRIYA RAMESH delves deeper


decades, wedding photography mainly consisted of cliched portraits of the bride and the groom, sitting stiffly on gilded chairs, flanked by their family or wedding guests. Recently, however, that has changed drastically. Wedding photography has reached a whole new level. Gone are the days of shy brides and impassive grooms. It is all about bold and beautiful poses now. Amitoj Marwah, a photographer based out of Dehradun, who has been in this field for the past 22 years, says: “The modern-day bride has taken an old wedding tradition and given it an update, which allows her to express her own personality without feeling restrained by certain customs.

Brides today prize comfort as much as tradition.” Couples no longer do photos for gilded wedding albums. They want records of every moment of emotion, drama and colour that defines the Great Indian Wedding. In many ways, wedding photography is now having a cinematic moment. There is a rise in the popularity of artsy videos. In pursuit of capturing the essence of the moment, there has been a change in wedding styles, ranging from gardenia to beachside. A photoshoot is not just limited to the day of the wedding. There are pre- and post-wedding shoots, bridal shoots, couple shoots with various themes and styles and even a trailer for the wedding film. Shooting aesthetic wedding videos with realistic

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storylines just like an impressively shot film is a thing in this day and age. Kapil Sharma, the co-founder of Delhi-based firm Divine Mantra, which mainly focuses on destination weddings and has covered 35 countries, says that many pre-wedding shoots are story-based now. He recalls, for instance, a recent shoot of a pilot couple. It was shot in Iceland, he says, adding that the whole theme was planned, keeping in mind their profession. “They dressed up in their uniforms and were photographed near an abandoned aeroplane,” he says. Access to global trends and information helps, too. Today’s clients and photographers are more clued into different sorts of editing the lighting, theme and other aspects of the wedding video would look like. Wedding blogs, wedding magazines and YouTube videos are a big source of information and inspiration for couples to decide their wedding theme and wedding film storylines. Weddings aren’t season or hometown-specific anymore; it is about going beyond the ordinary. Destination weddings have been a trending category in wedding photography for several years. Photographers take great delight in shooting at exotic and unexpected locations. “Shooting at different venues is fun, and you learn about different cultures,” says Sharma, adding that more and more families now prefer to get away from their hometown with a smaller, tight-knit circle of loved ones. Social media has become an important part of everybody’s life. It has also become an essential part of wedding photography. Facebook and Instagram are great resources for finding affordable venues inside or outside India. Photographers embed the culture and lifestyle of the location into the wedding photographs to make these more vibrant. “We pulled in the concept of Tik-Tok and Instagram reels into wedding videos, and it has helped us reach the masses in huge numbers. Social media helps in spreading different ideas with changing trends, too,” Marwah says. Technology has transformed the landscape as a


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whole. Thanks to advances in it, once camera-shy people have become posers, who don’t hang back when it comes to getting clicked and enjoy every moment of their wedding. Steadicams and drones have taken the limelight in shooting a wedding. “Earlier photographers had to hire a crane to shoot incredible shots. Now, drones have made things very easy; their size makes it possible for photographers to fly the drones in areas that would never have been possible with a crane,” Sharma says. Marwah believes in getting on friendly terms with the couple and their family to feel comfortable with him on their wedding day. “Communicating

with the couple prior to the shoot is very important and helps you know their vision for photographs,” he says. The gradual lifestyle change has brought out the importance of wedding culture worldwide, allowing photographers to capture the moments through an innovative lens. “Wedding stories are the most precious memories that are captured for a lifetime by a photographer. Capturing emotions that you want to preserve is what I have understood from my experience, the emotional moments of the family and friends and tears of joy that are shown with smiles,” says Marwah.

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You can see the aurora borealis admire the inland lakes and relax on the coastal islands of this Scandinavian nation. The Swedes are warm and welcoming people, excited to share their unique traditions and culture with visiting tourists



are over 190 countries to visit, but Sweden and its neighbouring Scandinavian countries are probably at the top of everybody’s bucket list. In Sweden, you can enjoy endless rugged mountainscapes, glittering city views and lush greenery. Sweden’s natural beauty is a feather in its cap. It is home to grand palaces, fascinating museums and thrilling AMUSEMENT PARKS. On your holiday, get to enjoy life in one of the world’s happiest and safest countries — what more could you possibly want? Sweden’s natural beauty invites travellers from far and wide. Tourists can go island hopping with just a 25-minute boat ride from Stockholm or lose themselves in magnificent beauty of the expansive national parks. Swedes encourage tourists to explore the wilderness freely. The Swedish law Allemansrätten, meaning freedom to roam, gives everybody the right to enjoy nature as long as they do not disturb anybody or destroy the area. Of course, the country’s biggest draw from September to March is the Aurora Borealis, which brightens up the sky with lively hues of purple, pink and green. The celestial phenomenon draws the crowd to the northern part of the country, where dramatic mountainscapes serve as the perfect backdrop for your adventurous holiday.

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Sweden is known for its delectable meatballs, there is more to its cuisine. Traditionally heavy on pork and fish, Swedish food is slowly changing to accommodate the palates of vegans and vegetarians. In southern Sweden, fresh vegetables play a crucial role with potatoes often finding a place on most family tables. Ärtsoppa, or yellow pea soup is every Swede’s comfort food. You will find it simple, yet delicious and available in almost all restaurants. Bread plays a massive role in every meal and you’ll find a mind-boggling variety of loaves here. You can indulge in some rye, oat, wheat and sourdough bread in any café in Sweden. Flatbreads, commonly called crispbreads, serve as the base for open-faced sandwiches, a breakfast favourite. Locals top their savoury bread with hard cheese, tomatoes, cucumber and ham. Some choose to kick-start their mornings with sweeter versions, layering chocolate or jams on their flatbreads. If you’re looking to satiate your sweet tooth, Sweden is the place for you. Pancakes with jam and whipped cream are a popular dessert as are waffles and apple and blueberry and rhubarb pies. To truly relish a taste of Sweden, order a Klappgröt—a classic dessert made with semolina and berry juice — to finish off any meal and leave your buds feeling fresh.

NATURE’S BOUNTY: Most tourists head to Sweden for its spectacular natural gifts. The Stockholm archipelago, made up of 30,000 islands, offers the perfect blend of green islands, sandy beaches and rocky cliffs. Excursion boats, ferries and guided tours run through the year, ensuring tourists enjoy a taste of island life just 25 minutes away from downtown Stockholm. If you want to unwind on the beaches for a few days, you can find accommodation at GRINDA, Finnhamn or VAXHOLM. Tourists, who want to enjoy solace in the wilderness can head to one of Sweden’s hiking trails. City lovers can try a quick urban day trail through the Royal National City Park in Stockholm. Those looking for a challenge can pick a multi-day hike deep in the countryside. You can ask the locals for hiking suggestions or explore on your own.


RICH CULTURAL HERITAGE: Sweden has more to offer its tourists than just natural gifts. The country’s rich history and legacy have been immortalised in the countless museums, palaces and architectural wonders that dot the country’s landscape. You can feel the country’s mediaeval charm come alive in cities like Gothenburg and Sigtuna. Explore the dungeons of the BOHUS FORTRESS or feel like a royal when you walk the hallowed halls of Örebro Castle, UPPSALA CATHEDRAL, and Gripsholm Castle. Uncover the true roots of Nordic culture when you visit BIRKA to learn about the mighty Vikings. The UNESCO World Heritage Site dates back to 760 CE and houses a museum where you can marvel at artefacts found during excavations in the area. Head to the country’s VASA MUSEUM in the capital city for an awe-inspiring experience. The restored VASA SHIP, which sank during its maiden journey in 1628, is the main attraction here. Possibly one of the best-preserved warships of that time. The museum allows you to marvel at the astounding beauty of the intricately carved vessel. Learn more about local Sami culture at Ájtte, a museum focused on the indigenous people of the country. Tucked away in the north, the museum serves as a gateway to the mountains. Sweden is also home to Fotografiska, the world’s best museum for contemporary photography and a must-visit on your trip. From museums dedicated to the pop sensation ABBA to others that preserve the country’s Renaissance legacy, you can find something that appeals to your unique interests in Sweden.

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THRILLS APLENTY: Thrill seekers, who want to try something different can head to Sweden’s amusement parks. Gröna Lund Tivoli, on the picturesque Djurgården island, dates back to 1883. From teacup rides for young kids to the stomach-churning rollercoaster, both solo travellers and families can enjoy a day at the park. LISEBERG in GOTHENBURG and Astrid Lindgren’s World in Vimmerby are also must-see attractions here. LIVE IN THE WILDERNESS: Get a taste of outdoor life in Sweden. While visiting, opt for accommodation in the middle of nature to fall asleep under the stars. You can stay in elevated tree houses, historic manors or city hotel rooms. In Sweden, you can try sleeping on a block of ice at the famous breathtaking ICEHOTEL or let the gentle waves rock you to sleep when you book a room in the country’s floating hotel. From isolated rooms in the middle of the wilderness to rooms immersed underwater, Sweden offers a wide range of unique experiences. A true paradise for travellers, Sweden has something to offer to every kind of tourist. Those who thrive in the city can enjoy the sights and sounds in bustling Stockholm, while those looking for solace can find it in the expansive national parks. The Swedes are warm and welcoming people, excited to share their unique traditions and cultures with those who visit. Visit stylish and suave Sweden for one-of-a-kind holiday that will truly delight your soul.

REST & RELAXATION: In between all the sights and sounds, take the time to unwind in Sweden. The Swedes prioritise having a good time, and you can’t mention the country without talking about SAUNAS. Locally known as bastus, you can find it everywhere in the country. Most saunas are near water bodies, so locals spend 30 minutes sweating it out before cooling off by diving into the inviting water. For a taste of local life, head to the nearest bastu and refresh your body and mind as you switch between sweltering heat and icy cold water. When you visit Sweden, you realise how much the locals love socialising. In fact, they have a daily tradition built around meeting friends for a quick coffee and chat. A defining feature of Swedish culture, FIKA refers to a coffee and cake break. While you explore the country, make sure you stop at a café at least once a day to relish a steaming cup of coffee and your favourite Swedish sweet treat. Sit and enjoy the moment as you unwind. It’s become an integral part of every local’s daily routine and is definitely something you should experience while you’re here.

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CRUISE COUNTRY: If you want to view Sweden from another perspective, you can enjoy a cruise down Sweden’s canal. The Göta Canal ambitiously connects the country’s largest lakes to the Baltic Sea. With two aqueducts and 66 locks, the coast-to-coast cruise lets you admire the country’s quaint villages and lush greenery from a unique vantage point. You can step aboard a historic canal boat and plan day trips inland or rent your own boat and travel at your pace. Whatever you choose, you mustn’t skip this unique experience in Sweden.

GETTING AROUND: Sweden is famous for its robust PUBLIC TRANSPORT system. Tourists can hop on a bus, metro or tram to travel around the city. To visit the islands or ARCHIPELAGOS, you can take one of the many coastal ferries from Stockholm and Gothenburg. To travel within the country, you can book a ticket on the high-speed train service between cities or to get to the airport. GETTING A SCHENGEN VISA: A Schengen visa allows you to travel to 26 countries, including Sweden. To avoid last-minute hassles, the Embassy of Sweden urges all travellers to apply for their Schengen visa to visit Sweden in advance. As per the current EU guidelines under the visa code, you can apply for a visa up to six months before travelling. To ease the burden on seafarers, they are allowed to apply up to nine months before their travel date.

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Halcyondays, areflection Veteran actor DEEPTI NAVAL recently launched a memoir A Country Called Childhood. SANTANU GANGULY pens a detailed review of her book

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Naval, one of the finest actresses India has, started her career with veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal’s Junoon in 1978. Shashi Kapoor-produced film Junoon had an ensemble cast, where Naval’s role was quite small. However, with her acting skill, she made her presence felt by the film lovers. As a result, within two years, she was chosen for the lead role in Ek Baar Phir directed by Vinod Pandey, and since then, along with Smita Patil and Shabana Azmi, Naval also became the top-notch actress of Indian parallel cinema. She has given amazing performances in the films for the last 44 years constantly.

Naval along with another incredible actor Farooque Shaikh, made an all-time favourite on-screen couple in the 80s with the films like Chashme Buddoor in 1981 and Katha in 1983, both directed by Sai Paranjpye. Kissi Se Na Kehna, Rang Birangi, both in 1983 directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Saath Saath in 1982 directed by Raman Kumer and Faasle directed by Yash Chopra in 1985 are some more of their record-breaking movies. Later, almost after three decades, Hema Malini reunited the pair in her film Tell Me O Kkhuda in 2011. In 2013, Listen... Amaya was their last film together; Farooque Shaikh died the same year. Naval has also acted in some remarkable films

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BESIDES HER SUCCESSFUL ACTING CAREER, SHE IS ALSO AN AVID TREKKER, WHO ADMIRES MOUNTAINS. SHE IS INTO PHOTOGRAPHY AND PAINTING AND SHOWCASES HER WORK IN VARIOUS ART EXHIBITIONS, MAINTAINING THE DEEPTI NAVAL STUDIO AT KULLU IN HIMACHAL PRADESH. NAVAL LOVES TRAVELLING AND WRITING like Gulzar’s Angoor, Saeed Akhtar Mirza’s Mohan Joshi Hazir Ho!, Jagmohan Mundhra’s Kamla and Bawandar, Tinnu Anand’s Yeh Ishq Nahin Aasaan, Prakash Jha’s Damul and Hip Hip Hurray, Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s Andhi Gali, Ketan Mehta’s Mirch Masala and Holi, Amol Palekar’s Ankahee, Arbind Sen’s Nasihat, Sudhir Mishra’s Main Zinda Hoon and Inkaar, Tapan Sinha’s Didi, Girish Kasaravalli’s Ek Ghar (also in Kannada version Mane), Subhash Ghai’s Saudagar, K Hariharan’s Current, Freaky Chakra by VK Prakash and Ziba Bhagwagar, Goutam Ghose’s Yatra, Nandita Das’ Firaaq, Sanjoy Nag’s Memories in March, Zoya Akhtar’s Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Navdeep Singh’s NH-10, Sekhar Suman’s Heartless and Garth Davis’ Lion. She has also acted in Zoya Akhtar’s web series for Amazon Prime, Made in Heaven and Rohan Sippy-, Arjun Mukherjee-directed web series Criminal Justice: Behind Closed Doors.

Naval has also written and directed a very popular women-oriented television serial Thoda Sa Aasman. Her directorial debut feature film is Do Paise Ki Dhoop, Char Aane Ki Baarish, which has been critically acclaimed and awarded in many film festivals. Besides her successful acting career, she is also an avid trekker, who admires mountains. She is into photography and painting and showcases her work in various art exhibitions, maintaining the Deepti Naval studio at Kullu in Himachal Pradesh. Naval loves travelling and writing. She published her Hindi poems collection Lamha Lamha in 1983, Black Wind in English and other poems in 2004 and The Mad Tibetan in 2011. Naval has recently come up with her fourth book A Country Called Childhood: A Memoir, published by the Aleph Book Company. She always wanted to talk about the unknown phases of her life. Most of us know about her successful film

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career. Howbeit, in this book, she has penned down her beautiful memories very articulately, adding some literary value to her writings. In the introduction of her memoir, she has mentioned: “When I started to write about my childhood, I thought of it as not just a regular book where I tell people about all that I lived through. Rather, I wanted to recreate my childhood for the reader, I wanted to take you through those corridors of memory, setting up things the way I remember them. In that sense, it is not a typical memoir, it is more like a screenplay. This book could simply be titled, ‘Stories From My Childhood’ and it would be appropriate. I felt that life is all about stories. I am the sum total of all the stories that impacted me since I was a little girl, stories from my early days. These stories fill me up with life, make me what I am today, make me look at life the way I do and make my world come alive. If it were not for the stories that come down to me from

my mother, my father and all the people around at the time I was growing up, then who would I be? What would I be without the stories that crept into my heart, found a nesting place and stayed in there forever? Stories… I don’t nurture them, they nurture me.” Talking about her grandparents, she described how difficult life can be for some people, as her maternal grandparents became refugees twice in their lifetime. First time when they had to leave Myanmar, they left behind all their belongings and had to settle down in Lahore. Unfortunately, they had to leave Lahore also because of the India–Pakistan partition in 1947. However, as a souvenir, her maternal grandmother brought her

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gramophone all the way from Myanmar to India. All memories are not personal experience but we accrue them from our parents or close relatives, which passes from generation to generation as oral history. Naval has learnt a lot from her mother and shared an anecdote: “I was born on a very stormy and disturbed night on February 3, 1952, at The Victoria Jubilee Hospital in Amritsar. My mother was all alone and it was raining like cats and dogs and water started to seep in through the cracks of the red-bricked British structure. Later, when it was still dark outside, a Sadhu came and knocked the door constantly for some time. My mother was unable to get up as she didn’t have enough strength to stand up and open the door. But at the end,

the Sadhu cursed my mother and left.” She added that every time her mother sat narrate a story, it fascinated her. She learnt about the India–Pakistan Partition from her father, whom she used to call Piti, short form of Pita ji. Her father Dr Uday C Naval was an English professor at the Hindu College. He later moved to the US along with his family and joined the City University in New York. Earlier in India, his Hindi book Kaarya Jaanch Kyoon Aur Kaise won him Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s commendation in a personal ‘Dear Professor Naval’ letter of July 10, 1962, as the first ever Asian publication on the management technique of ‘work study’. His book Striped Zebra:

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The Immigrant Psyche also got published in 2008. Her mother, Himadri Naval was a prolific painter, art and culture loving person. Naval revealed that her father always wanted her to become a painter like her mother. Even her memoir’s back cover is one of her mother’s paintings. However, Naval’s parents wanted her to pursue English literature, art and culture. The book also revealed that after school, Naval wanted to be self-sufficient. So, without her parents’ knowledge, she applied for the air hostess job at Air India. Later, however, she had to tell them

as she got the call for an interview. Naval’s parents agreed to send her to Delhi to attend the interview. Of course she does not remember all the questions she was asked but she cracked it. Destiny, however, had other plans for her. By the time she received her offer letter, her family had decided to move to the US permanently for good. In the memoir, Naval has concluded with the stories from her teenage years. As Naval described, she was enjoying her life in New York quite nicely. She was studying fine arts at Hunter College in the City University of New

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York. She also pursued extracurricular activities, hobbies in the city. But nostalgia hit her hard and she started missing her childhood days of the walled Amritsar city. She missed her friends, cousins, relatives, by-lanes of the city, little shops, lifestyle and culture. And that is how the idea of writing a memoir came up. Both her parents were very much supporting, liberal and broad minded. When Naval approached her parents, they never objected to her choice at all. On top of that, they tried to help her out to find her preferred way.

Naval candidly agreed that the Hindi film industry in Mumbai never ever consumed her fully and she has always been choosy about selecting a film or a role. She is aware that her contemporaries have acted in more than two hundred films, whereas she has limited herself to about one hundred films so far. It helped her satisfy all her other creative hunger. ­­ Santanu Ganguly is a Delhi-based Film Festival curator, filmmaker, producer and freelance writer. He has been working for various national and international film festivals for the last two decades.

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STEFANO FUNARI, an upcycling entrepreneur working on climate change, talks about women from Mumbai slums making recycled products, to SUPRIYA RAMESH


exactly is climate change? What is causing it? How is it affecting our planet right now? Climate change refers to all the long-term changes in our climate, including Earth’s rising surface temperature, sea level rise, extreme weather and ocean acidification. The cause of current climate change is largely human activity like burning fossil fuels, natural gas, oil and coal. Burning these materials releases greenhouse gases into Earth’s atmosphere. Global warming and climate change are two terms used interchangeably in colloquial language but global warming, which refers to the Earth’s rising surface temperature, is just one of the manifestations of climate change. Climate change is posing a serious threat to human health and putting lives at risk. The effects of climate change cause less predictable weather patterns and increase the number of natural disasters that occur worldwide, such as hurricanes and wildfires. And it goes beyond that by altering where species live, how they interact and the timing of biological events, which could fundamentally transform current ecosystems. While everyone around the world feels the effects of climate change, the most vulnerable are people living in the poorest conditions. “We see this every day in

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Mumbai, a city which is becoming warmer and facing extreme and unpredictable rainfall,” Stefano Funari, an upcycling entrepreneur, tells us. “What are we doing about it? “My opinion is that we are doing a lot but unfortunately not enough. This is a challenge of epochal proportions that calls for extraordinary measures from all the major stakeholders, Governments and large corporations in the first place. The long-term risk of climate change is bigger than the one posed by COVID-19 but the resources invested are by far not at the same level. Financial interests are still absolutely dictating the agenda and we are running out of time,” he adds. Ten years ago, Funari left his job in Europe and moved across the world to the slums of Mumbai; he needed purpose. Working in technology was just not cutting it for him. He never looked back and understood from the very beginning that the only way not to be constantly lost in translation was to rely on a trusted group of local people. “The cultural gap is big and I need a constant dialogue

with friends, partners and colleagues to read the situations and make my decisions. My biggest challenge has probably been to create this trusted group,” says Funari. Funari is an upcycling entrepreneur. His ‘I was a Sari’ project is a Mumbai-meets-Milan fashion label, making bold accessories and ready to wear from pre-loved Indian saris. They work with women from marginalised communities so that they can carve out a better future for themselves. Women and men all over the world are now dressed in saris. Saris in different avatars-re-imagined as loungewear, shoes and bags. “Inspired by the work of Bangladeshi Nobel laureate and the founder of Grameen Bank, Prof Yunus, I was a Sari is implementing a sustainable, eco-friendly model which focuses on a ‘triple bottom line’—constantly analysing its social, environmental and financial impact and viability, and understanding the relationship each has with the others,” Funari explains. Upcycling, also known as creative reuse, is the process of transforming byproducts,

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waste materials, useless or unwanted products into new materials or products perceived to be of greater quality, such as artistic value or environmental value. “Upcycling can be compared to the Japanese technique of Wabi Sabi—turning something discarded into something valuable and desirable,” says Funari. He says that through such a process, their goal is to reduce the impact on our planet. But in their case, they have a second important goal, too. In fact, they employ women from Mumbai slums to make products. And what’s beautiful is that these women get upcycled themselves as they transform their lives in so many ways. They start off as unskilled and unemployed and become talented artisans; the designers of their own future. Talking about the environmental benefits of upcycling, Funari tells us, “In the textile field, upcycling replaces the need to produce new fabric by using textile products that already exist. So we save the water and land used for growing materials like cotton. And we save oil and water used for making

synthetic fibres like polyester. All this means a huge reduction in our carbon emissions.” To create desirable and soulful products that empower people and respect our planet, and a platform for sustainable fashion brands that share social and environmental values, Funari set up a social business called 2nd Innings Handicrafts. “The very reason we exist is to empower women from not-so-privileged backgrounds to become the architects of their future. Business becomes more beautiful when women start thriving,” says Funari. He says that there is a beautiful transformation that takes place – from beneficiaries, these women become artisans as they learn the skill and start transforming saris into contemporary fashion pieces. They work with pre-loved or post-consumer waste and not virgin materials, which helps us reduce our carbon footprint and save gallons of water. Their aim is to work with more women so that they can make a considerable social impact while they continue to create beautiful products that minimise waste.

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book, furniture by itscover judge

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Choosing furniture for your sweet home could turn tricky. With so many options under the nose, you might end up choosing the wrong upholstery. ANUPRIYA SAHU shares a detailed guide

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patterns, colours, finish. Upholstery comprises the fabric, padding and webbing and springs that make up the soft coverings of chairs, sofas and other furniture. The soft furnishings in any interior design scheme form an integral part of its comfort and ambience. Of course, it’s a big investment! Fabric being the uppermost layer of the furniture has a direct impact on how one experiences a product. To prevent snags, stains and an unprecedented colour mishap, it is essential to know the purpose and usage of said upholstery. For example, places at home with high traffic, such as the living room, would require durable fabrics while furniture in areas like bedroom, formal living room and guest rooms can sport any type of textile.

Here is a guide on attributes to keep in mind when choosing upholstery for furniture: DURABILITY durability and sustainability are measured in double rubs. The testing method uses a particular machine that passes a testing pad back and forth over the fabric until it is worn out. Commercial grade fabrics are usually rated between 10,00,000 to 2,50,000 double rubs, whereas residential grade is generally between 10,000 to 25,000. If the fabric’s count is between 8,000 to 10,000, it is designed for light use and will not sustain everyday wear and tear. Novelty upholstery fabrics that possess qualities of all the blends are stronger than natural fabrics. Polyesters, combination upholstery fabrics and commercial blends are included in the category, in which chenille is a popular combination fabric. A mix of fibres, such as rayon, polyester and cotton add durability to the material. Outdoor fabrics such as sunbrella are meticulously crafted for heavy use upholstery with 15,000 and above double rubs with a typical lifespan of up to 10 years. Such fabrics are ideal for a pet-friendly household, where rough and tough fabrics are a given, namely microfibre cloths, viscose and distressed leather and vinyl.


PROTECTION AND MAINTENANCE should be protected from direct and harsh sunlight as their colours might fade quickly. Another tip on fabric protection is to vacuum every soft surface periodically to prevent invisible dust, bacteria and debris. In this case, washable fabrics are your best bet in prolonging the life of your upholstery. Nano fabrics are contrived with small particles which can make the fabric immune to water, mildew, extreme weather conditions, and for bacterial, odour and moisture resistance. Microfibre fabric and hypo-allergenic cloths are ideal for those suffering from allergies. This nano-coating on fabrics protects it from mutliple washes while protecting you from allergens. The anti-static property of nano-based helps repel statically attractive substances such as lint, dog hair, dust and dirt.


COLOURS, SHAPES, PATTERNS, TEXTURES follows form! It’s important to guage the silhouette and geometry of your furniture when assigning it a fabric. For example, stripes or geometric lines can be used on Scandavian-inspired sleek furniture


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to make them look more structured. On the other hand, round edged sofas and ottomans can pull off florals and tribal prints for a whimsical, old-school vibe. Sometimes rounder and abstract furniture require some fabric manipulation to fit their form snugly. In such a case, it is wise to use solid coloured fabrics to pleat, tuft, quilt and stitch to create different patterns. A quick tip is to ensure that the patterns align well on edges and corners, and that colours and textures work well together. Also, consider the proportions of the space when picking a pattern for upholstery. Bold patterns fit well in large rooms while intricate and smaller patterns are appropriate and proportionate in smaller spaces. Mixing patterns is a good idea when you start with complex designs and work simpler designs around them. Compliment by adding more colour with accent chairs and accessories, changing the look of the furniture or otherwise boring sofa. Many people stay away from bold patterns for the upholstery fabric and prefer to use throw cushions as accessories which amp up the entire look. There is no limit in the variety of different textures available today. Just remember that your upholstery will be consistently compressed and do not use overly dimensional texture as it will be altered with time. And if you’re not limited to the fabrics in the store and open to experiment, consider unconventional materials such as vintage blankets, rugs like kilim, especially paired up with traditional or accent piece of furniture. DESIGN STYLE from assigning the right fabric, draping style, textures and patterns to a piece, upholstery fabrics are vital in creating different themes in a space. Historic furniture is the best example to infer the right upholstery for the right design style. For example, silk appears formal and can be used on furniture in a traditional, elegant set-up. An English sofa or camelback can pull off a traditional fabric like damask. Linen, on the other hand, is casual and works best on modern furniture.


The simple, safe formula here would be to match traditional fabric with classic furniture pieces, modern fabrics with contemporary furniture and so on. However, a room can be made to look adventurous by mixing polar elements. If this helps echo your style and personality, then go for it. To adorn a space is to choreograph the perfect ensemble of products. The permutations are endless, but must eventually align with your requirements of comfort, aesthetics and durability. It is essential to see a large swatch of it to properly understand and make a connection of that fabric with your space.

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health has been a common topic of conversation with our family, friends and therapists. But how many of you have ever wondered about your pet’s mental health? Yes, your pet also suffers from mental stress and needs pampering and grooming sessions like most of us do. Dr Sandeep Yadav, Director, SKRD Veterinary Hospital, Gurugram, shares one such instance. He tells us that Fudge, a labrador and a dear pet of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput, has suffered

serious mental trauma after Rajput’s demise. Well, like humans there could be several reasons for a pet to be sad or mentally ill. These four-legged creatures crave freedom, a lot of patting, scratching and someone to play with. Similar to human babies, separation from their caretaker would make a pet sad. Other reasons could be constant physical pain, an underlying disease like epilepsy or various neurological disorders causing mental illness. So, all the dog dads and cat moms out there, keep a check on your paw-fect friend. Dr Yadav says, “Fear and phobias, emotional

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Pets get affected by fear, separation from loved ones, injuries, bullying and dominance by others just like humans. SUPRIYA RAMESH tells you how grooming helps breakdown due to separation from loved ones, traumatic and pathological injuries affecting the central nervous system, bullying and dominance by others are some of the common factors between humans’ and animals’ mental illness.” Grooming has been one of the easiest and great ways to please oneself during tough times and boost one’s confidence. The question to ponder here is how important grooming can be for pets? Do better physical health and personal hygiene play a role in it? In fact, they play a very crucial role in a pet’s life! “When someone touches the animal with

care and compassion while grooming, that single act gives a lot of confidence and reassurance to a pet. Physical cleansing makes his body feel lighter and happier,” Dr Yadav shares. Speaking to Dhruv Harish Punjwani, pet parent of a seven-year-old German Shepherd, tells us that Zeus is extremely attached to his family and due to his bad back (an issue that he’s had since his childhood) walks aren’t advisable as this would lead to him worsening what is already a heightened chance of hip dysplasia. This adds to the reduction of possible entertainment choices.

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Just like how COVID-19 has taken a toll on all of us in different ways, it has also impacted pets. Restricting ourselves inside the four walls during the lockdowns, our pets got barred from going or playing outside and it is one of the major reasons for that frowning snout. “I feel that due to this pandemic, the physical and mental health of dogs has definitely taken a downturn,” Punjwani says. But, luckily enough, Zeus has always been a patsy for in-house entertainment, so getting him the right kind of toys keeps him that extra bit happy. There are a few basics of pet grooming that can be done at home. “Regular combing with slicker combs to remove dead hair, cleaning pets’ ears with salicylic acid-based ear cleanser solution, nail clipping and regular normal bath can help big time,” Dr Yadav tells us. Nowadays, pet grooming has diversified and pet parents are more aware. “Anal gland expression, different baths like anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-tick, anti-mite bath and various types of hair cuttings are available,” says Dr Yadav. To go the

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extra mile, specialised grooming activities and parlours can be explored. Dr Yadav says that gentle physical touch with care, love and compassion is itself a therapy and pets sense it most efficiently. Physical wellbeing naturally tends to better your mental health, hence it is equally important. “Grooming helps in elimination of physical pathogens like bacteria, virus, parasites, fomites, dead hair and dandruff and reduces the infection load from the pet’s body; thus helping in improving overall health and immunity making them physically strong,” he explains. Bathing or nail clipping could be a task for pet parents sometimes because not all dogs are calm and easygoing. There are different ways you could calm them down like giving them toys to play with or treats to chew. If lullabies aren’t helping your child, try singing it for your pet; it might work out! “I used to bathe him with lukewarm water, starting from his tail till neck to avoid unnecessary hype. To calm him down, we used to clean his ears with a muslin cloth and a veterinary solution to avoid fungal infections. Neck scratching and foot massaging was the part where he would have slept during washing. We sang loris while bathing to relax him,” says Aastha Rawthan, pet parent of a pug, Tauro. When it comes to pets, people mostly talk about dogs and cats. What about other pets and their mental health? Dr Yadav says that other pets like rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and birds, also require grooming. But for different pets, there are different methods. “You can’t keep a rabbit or a rodent wet for a long duration during bathing. They require thorough quick drying as it may affect their health adversely. Birds too have various unique methods like using a sprinkler device to give a shower,” he explains. Spending quality time with your pet improves emotional quotient (EQ) for both pets and pet parents. Regular exercise, a healthy timely diet, petting, treats, playing, swimming, an outing to the pet parks etc are some of the aspects other than grooming that improve the mental and physical health of pets. To add some adventure and fun to your pet’s life, you can go on a hunt for pet-friendly cafes, which is a thumbs-up for them as they get to make new friends while you grab something to munch on.

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From aloo wadi to balti meat, Dhaba by The Claridges serves the best of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. CHEF MAHAVIR SINGH shares a few dishes from his card EXOTICA [44] JULY 2022

ALOO AMRITSARI WADI INGREDIENTS: Potato 2; tomato 2; Amritsari wadi 100 gm; garlic 10 gm; ginger 10 gm; green chilli 2; cumin seed 5 gm; red chilli 2; red chilli powder 10 gm; turmeric powder 5gm; cumin powder 5 gm; coriander powder 10gm; dried fenugreek leaves 5 gm; refined oil 200 ml; salt METHOD: o Wash all the vegetables, Peel the potatoes and then cut them into batons. Finely chop the onion and tomato along with garlic, ginger and green chillies. o Take a medium-size pan on medium flame gas. Add fresh oil to it. Fry the wadi first and add these to the water bowl to cool them off. o After that, add some cumin seeds and whole red chilli to the oil, along with chopped garlic, ginge and green chilli, and cook for 2 minutes. Finally, add onions to the pan and cook until golden brown. o Combine the chopped tomato, turmeric, degimirch powder, coriander powder and jeera powder, and cook over low heat. After that, add the cut potato to the pan, add 3 cups of water, and cook the potato for another 15 to 20 minutes, add salt and wadi to the pan, and cook it gently. Finally, garnish with ginger Julian and finely chopped coriander.

TIFFIN CHICKEN INGREDIENTS: Chicken tikka 5; bell pepper; onion; kadai masala 10 gm; red chilli powder 4 gm; garam masala; coriander powder; cumin powder; salt METHOD: o On a low flame, add refined oil to a frying pan. Add the chopped garlic and dry kadhai masala, then add bell peppers and onions and cook till golden brown. o Add the julienne chicken, reduce the heat and add the spices. After that, add the onion tomato gravy, makhani gravy, chicken curry gravy, half a lemon and a spoonful of ghee on top. o Garnish it with ginger julienne and fine chopped coriander and serve it with ajwaini prantha.

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MUTTON BURRA KEBAB [SERVES 3] INGREDIENTS FOR 1ST MARINATION: Mutton champ 1 kg; mustard oil 60 ml; red chilli powder 30 gm; ginger garlic paste 50 gm; raw papaya paste 50 gm; dried fenugreek leaves 10 gm; lemon juice 30ml; salt

BALTI MEAT [SERVES 3] INGREDIENTS: Mutton shank 1000 gm; refined oil 150 ml; black cardamom 3; pepper corn 8; green cardamom 4; bay leaf 2; cumin seeds 2 gm; cumin powder 5 gm; cinnamon stick 1.5 inch; red chilli powder 30 gm; ginger garlic paste 100 gm; brown onion paste 200 gm; mutton stock 1.5 l; tomato puree 600 gm; garam masala 5 gm; salt METHOD: o Heat the oil in a handi and temper it with all ofthe whole garam masala. o Wait until it starts crackling. o Add mutton shank and cook it on slow flame for around 30min. o Make a paste by adding all powder spices into the ginger garlic paste. o Add this paste to the mutton and cook it until it starts leaving oil. o Add brown onion paste and cook it until it starts leaving oil. o Add tomato puree and cook it for another 30 min on very slow heat. o Add mutton stock and cook it until it gets reduced, and the gravy gets thick. o Garnish with chopped coriander and ginger julienne. o Serve it hot and fresh!

INGREDIENTS FOR 2ND MARINATION: Hung curd 100 gm; mustard oil 30 ml; red chilli powder 30 gm; garam masala 30 gm; coriander powder 20 gm; nutmeg powder 10 gm; salt METHOD: o Take a bowl putput mutton champ in the bowl, add salt degi,chilli powder,Kasurimethi, lemon juice, raw papaya paste and mustard oil and mix all the ingredients with mutton champ, give rest for 3 to 4 hours at room temperature. Method of 2nd marination: o In medium-sizeded mixing bowl, combine the hung curd, salt, garam masala, dhaniya powder, nutmeg powder, degimirch powder, kasurimethi and mustard oil; mix well. o Add the first marinated champ to the bowl and mix well; set aside for 1 to 2 hours. oCook the Mutton Burra in the tandoor for 20 to 25 minutes; serve with mint chutney.

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INGREDIENTS: Khus sharbat 2 ½ tbsp; lemon juice 1 or 2 tbsp; chilled banta, chaat masala; ice cubes METHOD: o Combine Khus sharbat, lemon juice, chaat masala, chilled banta and ice cubes and mix all the ingredients well. o Pour the fresh Khus banta into a glass and garnish it with lemon.

INGREDIENTS: Kala khatta sharbat 2 ½ tbsp; lemon juice 1 or 2 tbsp; chilled banta, pinch of rock salt; caraway seeds; ice cubes METHOD: o Combine Kala khatta syrup, shahi jeera, rock salt, lemon juice, banta, ice cubes and mix all the ingredients well. o Pour the Kala khatta mixture into a separate glass and garnish it with blackberries.

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Take the classic route

Layout and planning are the most crucial aspects to consider while finalising interiors inspired by tradition, says MEENA MURTHY KAKKAR


with vernacular elements and design schemes evoke a sense of nostalgia and are rooted in traditions, thus enhancing one’s connection with spaces. There are various ways to incorporate heritage accents and traditional Indian elements into contemporary homes that are primarily inspired by luxury and minimalism. India is a country where diversity prevails in unity—an amalgamation of regional influences characterised by the language, climate, festivals and so much more. Hence, the choices are endless and multifarious. For example, the traditional aspects of Kashmir would be entirely different from the vernacular design style of Tamil Nadu. Here are some ideas on how to add a touch of Indian eclecticism and timeless accents to contemporary homes. Like any other home, layout and planning are the most crucial aspects to consider while finalising interiors inspired by tradition. Many

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people feel that vernacular decor cannot work for urban homes with limited square footage, but that’s not true. Instead, take a cue from how ancestral houses allowed plenty of thoroughfares with pragmatic furniture arrangement. Create a checklist of elements that can work with the apartment’s current layout without making it seem cluttered or imposing. An easy yet impactful way of doing this would be with motifs, patterns, fabrics and lots of colour. Explore indigenous products that celebrate local textiles and crafts. Use it in upholstery, furnishing and even as wall art pieces. If going for native furniture designs, choose sleeker, compact, yet sturdy designs. Lightweight interchangeable furniture makes the layout versatile, and one can infuse contemporary and traditional elements in the palette. British influences highly inspire Indian furniture with traces of French and Spanish culture. Commonly referred to as the ‘British colonial style’, this decor blends Western and Eastern architectural and

decor styles. For example, classic louvres bring in the old-world charm. They can be painted in dark wooden hues for a colonial touch or even an energising green that remains popular in Bengali rajbaris. Likewise, one can convert jharokha-style carved windows from Rajasthan into a headboard or accent piece. Another option is the diwan or low wooden seating cum daybeds. They are the ideal piece of furniture to put up your legs, lounge around or enjoy a quick afternoon nap on these. While rooted in traditional design, diwans easily find a place in urban living room setups. Detailing interior elements is of utmost importance. The details could be on the wall panelling, ledge of the wall, in the arches, brackets— the list is endless. Replicating all these details in contemporary homes today is not feasible, but adding some aspects to the design can enhance the home’s traditional look. Including elements like art and vintage showpieces also brings the essence of retro to modern homes.

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Intricately carved wooden furniture with exquisite artistry shouts vernacular Indian style and can be used in small doses throughout the house. For instance, brass items will add the classic touch to a south-Indian designinspired home, whereas incorporating pottery pieces is an excellent option for a space inspired by Rajasthani homes. Similarly, including miniature paintings is also a good way to showcase the art and culture of a specific region. Reusing old furniture pieces from ancestral homes in contemporary interiors is also fun to create a sense of nostalgia in homes. Moreover, even the selection of upholstery significantly impacts the traditional aspect. So many classic furniture pieces go well in modern homes, but perhaps nothing evolves more nostalgia than the humble swing. Also known as jhoolas, these swings are a retrospective of all things traditional. They are embedded in our collective cultural psyche and have adapted well to slightly sleeker, modern avatars that fit the scale of compact homes. During the days of the yore, swings adorned the living room, balconies and gardens. One can still add the jhoola to the living room seating. Since it is suspended from the ceiling, swings easily fit in smaller apartments. For instance, one can suspend it between the living and the dining area and set up a semiformal demarcation. Pick traditional designs that are low maintenance, complement the ambience and offer the ideal perching spot to unwind. Wooden swings with metal suspensions finished in gold and silver add to the elegance of the home and underpin the traditional connect. Nothing keeps us more rooted in tradition than native flooring. India, rich in diversity, offers immense variations in trends, details, patterns, colours and styles in design. Every region celebrates particular patterns or colours. From the Dravidian-style homes of Southern India to the havelis of Rajasthan, the patterns and colours used in flooring or even on the walls vary immensely. For instance, Chettinad homes usually feature athangudi patterns, while the houses in Rajasthan are ornate with inlay patterns in the stones. Characterised by its near-black colour with grey speckles, cuddapah or black limestone from Andhra Pradesh with native patterns is another option. Clay-based terracotta has adorned the underfoot of homes in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal for centuries. It adds eclectic hues and motifs for an Indian vibe. Checkerboard marble flooring is another example of

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colonial influences in our heritage and provides a timeless look. Pillars or load-bearing columns are a potent feature of vernacular architecture. For instance, intricately carved pillars in wood, stone or granite were commonly seen in Chettinad homes. So if you have a load-bearing pillar or column in the house, why not convert the same into a glamorous classical element! Such pillars can become the show-stealer of your home while offering functionality. For example, one can adorn a pillar or load-bearing column in the middle of the living room with wood or even marble. Accentuate the look by decorating the pillar with accessories and bracket lights, and the end result will be a show-stopping centrepiece. Concrete works well for an earthy and subtle finish. A primary distinguishing factor between

contemporary and traditional homes is their connection to the culture of a place. Modern interiors appeal globally, but their origin and aspects cannot be narrowed down to a particular city or country. On the contrary, traditional houses are extremely rooted in the area they belong to with reference to the architecture and interior narrative. One can design a home that is an ode to the regional influences or provide a unique identity by merging native accents from across the country. Alternatively, the traditional elements can be drawn from childhood memories of the homeowner, such as a visit to their grandparent’s home or a holiday in rural areas. No matter what the theme, it is possible to instill the charm of heritage accents in any contemporary home. — The writer is Design Head and Partner at Envisage

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MORE THAN JUST COLOUR We strive to reflect India’s rich culture and heritage in our art work, says SONALI CHAUDHARI


famous artist once said: “An artist is a warrior and his weapon is the brush,” and we cannot agree enough. Throughout history, art in any society has not only reflected the times but has also worked towards changing people’s mindset as a whole. Even where technology is concerned, people who are responsible for bringing about sweeping changes in society are the ones who have been able to think out of the box like artists. Steve Paul Jobs, founder Apple Inc, had put across the importance of art succinctly: “Technology alone is not enough. It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities that yields the results that make our heart sing.” In India, we are surrounded by art not just in galleries but in the form of public art and street art. There is a lot to explore! Women have played a huge role in modern Indian art. From late Amrita

Shergill, who has inspired generations of Indian artists, to Anjolie Ela Menon in contemporary times, there are many women who form the pillars of the Indian art fraternity. Women’s contribution to any society is huge, whether they are in the forefront or behind the scenes. For centuries, women were restricted to just home and hearth. However, since the beginning of the 20th century, women have been coming to the forefront with a rapidly changing society giving them more exposure and freedom of expression. The result is a huge explosion of hidden talent. The Indian art landscape can no longer be imagined without women who form an integral part of the fraternity. All art is a reflection of the times. We can see this clearly where women artists’ creations depict their inner struggles. One who has the eyes to see, can tell about an artist’s innermost core just

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by looking at his or her work. As a woman artist, I feel very fortunate that I live in these times. I wish to draw the reader’s attention to public art too, whether it is a roadside mural or statue or a subway painted in beautiful colours, transporting the viewer to a different world altogether. Art not only reflects reality, it also helps the viewer escape harsh reality. An image speaks a thousand words and colours have actual vibrations that affect our mind. Imagine what would happen if you lived in a house painted all black versus one painted in light and cheerful colours. Its affect on our mind cannot be underestimated. History is a subject I have loved since my school days. Whenever anyone mentions the Third Reich, I am reminded of the red and black flag and the monochrome grey uniforms. Every thought of ours is linked with a visual which in turn is linked with colour. Hence, we cannot ignore its impact. Like everything else in this world, art too evolves. Look how far we have come from the first cave paintings to the latest Non Fungible Tokens which reduce an artwork to a digital format. Frankly, as an artist, I cannot imagine art without the feel of paint, the smell of linseed oil or turpentine and the brushes and spatulas in our hands. However, one has to move on with time. We live in an age where imagination knows no bounds and

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experimentation of all kinds is encouraged. The rapid advancement of technology in the form of computers and tablets has also contributed to this change. Digital art has a place of its own in the overall art scenario. Besides established mediums like oils, acrylics, water colours, charcoal etc, a wide range of materials are being used to create mindboggling paintings, sculptures and installations. Material of all kinds, from discarded plastic to old camera lenses and even sand and anything else one can imagine, are being used as a medium of expression. The latest India Art Fair, held in New Delhi, was a treat for the senses; a sheer avalanche of creativity despite the fact that there were fewer participants this time due to the uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the trying times, art has flourished and continues to do so. However, a word of caution is required, I feel. As artists, we need to know how far we are willing to go in the name of change. Abstract art made its mark many decades back, even in India. But the artists knew the basics of colour, composition and the language of art, so to say. As artists, we need to ensure that the respect for knowledge remains.

The importance of learning and struggling through the initial years cannot be overlooked. As artists, we are responsible for preserving the knowledge passed down over generations. There are many artists, working with many different mediums, who are shaping contemporary Indian art. Like waves in the ocean or currents in a river, they are all important and play their own role. Naming just a few would not be fair. The impact of Indian art on the global art scenario is also substantial. From auctions at renowned auction houses to exhibitions in the best galleries in the world, Indian artists are making their mark. The way world cricket can no longer be imagined without the Indian cricket team, the global art scenario can no longer be imagined without Indian artists. That is not to say that Indian artists have to emulate others. India has its own rich culture and heritage, which is reflected in their work. That is our strength. We must never forget that. What the future holds for Indian art depends on what we collectively bring to the table. Artists, who work together in harmony instead of just competition, are a force to be reckoned with. Let us use this potential within us to create a different world.

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NU MB E RGA ME Sanjay B Jumaani Numerologist


NUMBER 1 (Those born on the 1st, 10th, 19th and 28th of any month) You could look forward to more opportunities but capitalise and choose the better ones. Those who wish to tie the knot or are up for a job change should keep their eyes and ears glued. Be watchful of your expenses as it is the month that could loosen your purse strings. With more power comes more responsibilities.

NUMBER 4 (Those born on the 4th, 13th, 22nd and 31st of any month) For those who want to prove their mettle, now is the time to capitalise all your resources towards your ambitions. For students, it can be an enriching experience. Any high investment shall multiply into long-term returns. Those single and eligible, now’s the best time to give your relationship a tag.

NUMBER 7 (Those born on the 7th, 16th and 25th of any month) It looks like a promising month. You could juggle between spirituality and materialistic spheres. Past efforts could get you the recognition and rewards too. It is a good phase for partnerships, both personally and professionally. Your mind rules over your body; choose yoga and meditation over gym.

NUMBER 2 (Those born on the 2nd, 11th, 20th and 29th of any month) This month can surpass some of your aspirations. If you combat your mind (mood), fame awaits you. You are destined for honours, awards and recognition if you follow your sixth sense. Those suffering from health issues, illness can bounce back. Financially, you may overspend.

NUMBER 5 (Those born on the 5th, 14th and 23rd of any month) Disguise your impulse and aggression and focus on more meaningful jobs in hand. Use your communication and convincing skills to your advantage. However, being a good listener is equally important. Focus on a particular relationship that can endure so you get back the love equally.

NUMBER 8 (Those born on the 8th, 17th and 26th of any month) Those looking to get hitched can have opportunities coming their way. Do not stretch matters till the edge. In matters of relationship and romance, don’t let your shyness make you miss the bus. You will have strong willpower and determination. This month is your cue to shine. Be optimistic.

NUMBER 3 (Those born on the 3rd, 12th, 21st and 30th of any month) Remember that you have, and will, come out of the tightest of situations with bravado. Your hardworking and enterprising nature would sail you. Focus on loved ones. You are hardly ever cashstrapped, so this month would all the more be a financially secure one.

NUMBER 6 (Those born on the 6th, 15th and 24th of any month) This month will give you the privilege of ambition and you will be able to translate those goals with your creative intellect. However, do not allow yourself to get downhearted if your efforts don’t fructify. Don’t be a spendthrift. Let the momentum and bond of love last longer.

NUMBER 9 (Those born on the 9th, 18th and 27th of any month) Do not let your ego come in between relationships, personal or professional lives. Your karmas and hard work can help avoid mishaps. Those looking for a job change shall try to instead lie low; usually we don’t go out for a drive when there’s a storm coming. Leading from the front can come naturally to you.

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GU R U SP E A K Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Spiritual guru


To maintain peaceful relationship with others, one needs to first build a good one with oneself


look at yourself. Have you always agreed with yourself? You had some idea yesterday; today you may have a different idea. Five years back, you had other ideas that do not necessarily match with the ideas that you have today. So, when you have a disagreement with yourself, why should it not happen with someone else? The ‘someone’ you have a disagreement with is just a photocopy of your old or the new self. You need to take a look at your own thought patterns and emotional patterns. There is a rhythm in them and in the consciousness. We need to find harmony among all these rhythms within us and that’s what is called spirituality. Spirituality is not just fantasising; it’s observing your own existence. How much do you know about your own body? You can know about someone else’s body but have you experienced your own body? Experiencing your own body, your breath, your mind, your emotion and the source of your life is meditation. Meditation is experiencing the life force and being conscious of it effortlessly. The mind and body function on completely opposite laws. In the realm of mind, effortlessness

is the key. You cannot remember something by putting pressure in your mind. The moment you relax, the memory comes back. All these faculties like creativity, intelligence and memory happen effortlessly within us. But you can build muscles only when you put effort. How do you listen? The sounds come and fall on the eardrums but if the mind is elsewhere, can you hear? You are listening through that faculty in you that is called the mind. When you are listening, you are either agreeing or disagreeing. Notice whether you are saying yes or no. This something by which we say yes or no is called the intellect. It is the same consciousness that functions as mann, buddhi, chitta, ahankaara. Our ancient people have called the four different faculties as Antahkaran Chadushtaya. Similarly, if you observe memory, it clings onto something that is negative. You will forget 10 compliments from someone but his one insult will stick to the mind. This needs to be reversed and the process of reversing this tendency of the mind from clinging on to the negative and moving to something positive is called yoga. It not only revives your nature, it also keeps your heart and mind young

and bright. Yoga improves perception, observation and expression. For maintaining interpersonal relationships, you have to first have a relationship with yourself. Your relationship with yourself is called integrity. If you have no relationship with yourself, that’s called lack of integrity. Secondly, being informal keeps your interpersonal relationship strong, for it gives space for mistakes to happen. You cannot expect perfection in any relationship or situation. Today one of the biggest problems with the world is emotional instability. When we create an informal outlook and cordial environment around us, we grease the friction and become the master of our environment and not feel helpless about what is happening around us. Life is very complex. There is no set formula. When you think that you are very honest, that you are righteous, you become a little stiff inside without even knowing it. You point your finger towards others and become intolerant. When you recognise that there are flaws in you, you are then able to accommodate the flaws in other persons. That’s why it is said, ‘‘do a good deed and forget about it’’. It is not only your vices or bad qualities that will harm you. Even your good qualities can make you stiff, rude and angry. That is why you should surrender both bad and good qualities. Relax and let go.

There are three types of perfection — perfection in action, perfection in speech and perfection in feelings — called trikarana shuddhi. One should try to be perfect in all these three spheres. Many who have perfection in their action and speech do not have that at their feeling level. Some have perfection in their feelings and also speak very well but their actions will not be perfect. We don’t keep things in mind; we speak right, but do not do work on time. People from other countries see this as a big problem with us. They say that Indians are very nice but they are not punctual. On the other hand, foreigners work on time but anger and fatigue fill their mind. If you have a positive state of mind you become creative and successful in anything you do. People in the West write books on positive thinking and talk about affirmation. Affirmation is, you wake up in the morning, sit on your bed and affirm to yourself, ‘‘I will be good from today and that I will love myself’’. It does not really help. Meditation is the only way you can transcend negative thoughts. What follows are positive thoughts that will come spontaneously and automatically. Stress and tension cause a negative attitude. Take life as it comes. It is ok to be upset or angry sometimes. Life does not stop with one good or bad event, it keeps moving.

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Bharat Thakur is a yoga guru and founder of Artistic Yoga

Yoga is like a ladder with different practices at each step. Starting from the body and breath, the focus tends to shift to breathing and ultimately to mind

has become increasingly popular all over the world and it is estimated that there are approx 300 million people practising it. Many see it as a form of physical exercise that helps flexibility, stress and various physical problems and diseases. Yes, it certainly does but it is much more than that. Yoga is at least 5,000 years old. It is described in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras as the process by which we cease the modifications of the human mind so that the ‘seer’ is established in his true state. The practice of yoga is a way to reunite the mind, body and soul from the fragmentation and mental distortions we are subject to. We are then able to find the true state of peace, clarity, happiness and connectedness to the cosmos that is within us all. This ancient discipline is a complete process-oriented science. Just as contemporary scientists do, yogis experimented for centuries and formulated their observations on human potential into the science of yoga. They organised this into eight stages into what is known as Ashtanga yoga. These are yama (self-principles), niyama (disciplines), asana (postures), pranayama (breath and energy regulation), pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (bliss). The first two steps define the basic ethical codes of life and personal discipline for an individual to live by. Yama are the ‘don’ts’ — ahimsa (non-violence), satya (truthfulness), asteya (non-stealing), brahmacharya (non-dissipation) and aparigraha (non-possession). Niyama are the five ‘do’s’ — saucha (cleanliness – outer and inner), santosh (contentment), tapah (discipline), swadhyaya (self-study) and ishvara pranidhana (tuning into the higher intelligence or consciousness). Then come asana (postures) and pranayama (regulated breathing). Asanas are practised in sync



with the breath. These two practices energise and revitalise the body and mind. Asanas keep the body flexible, strong, healthy and relaxed, whereas pranayama helps us regulate the levels of oxygen and prana (life force) in the body through controlled breathing. This enables the body’s systems to work at optimum levels. If done regularly, these practices relax both body and mind and prepare us for deeper and more subtle experiences and for meditation. These first four stages make up what is called Bahiranga or external yoga that can be seen and felt through the senses. Anyone who practices regularly will feel marked improvements in excess weight, back pain, stress, hormonal and anxiety levels. This prepares us for the next four steps – pratyahara

(going inwards), dharana (concentration), dhyan (meditation) and samadhi. These make up Antaranga yoga, the inner journey. Yoga is a journey of transformation. It is like a ladder with different yoga practices for each step. The first step of the ladder automatically takes you to the next. One starts by becoming aware of the body and your breath. Then the focus shifts to breathing. After that, one becomes aware of one’s mind with its weaknesses and blocks. With practice and effort and an experimental attitude, practicing yoga can help one to be healthier, stronger and move into a state of awareness and happy mind. This is the ultimate goal but to whatever level you are inclined to practice it, you will feel this amazing science’s benefits.


o Lie on your stomach, feet together, arms beside body. o Bend your knees, draw your feet towards your buttocks. o Clasp your hands around your ankles. o Arching your back and keeping your arms straight, lift your head, chest, thighs up off the ground. o Hold it for 10–30 seconds.

o Lie on stomach, palms down and level with shoulders, elbows bent and close to body, feet together, toes tucked inward. o Breathe in, exhale and pushing down on palms, raise your hips high to form an inverted V. o Tuck your chin in and look at your navel. o Try to get the heels flat on the floor. o Hold it for 10-30 seconds, breathe normally. Gradually increase to one minute.

o Release, come back to the starting position and relax. BENEFITS: o Realigns the spine. o Stretches the spine, removing stiffness. o Helps correct hunching in the chest area. o Improves respiration. o Improves digestive functioning.


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BENEFITS: o Stretches calf muscles, sending blood flow from the lower body to the heart. o Improved blood circulation flushes out accumulated waste and fluid and slows the ageing process. o Stretches and strengthens the lower back, spine, nerves and muscles in arms and legs. o Directs blood supply to the brain and sharpens. alertness. CAUTION: Avoid Parvatasana if you have shoulder or spinal injuries, high BP, headaches.



o Sit in Padmasana (lotus) or simply cross-legged, back straight. o Close your ears with your thumbs, and place fingers over eyes horizontally. o Exhale and inhale deeply to a count of five. o Exhale as you make a humming sound, focusing on the sound vibrations in front of the head. o Repeat it 3-5 times. BENEFITS: o The sound vibrations work like a massage for brain and ease constricted blood vessels and nerves, calms and relaxes the brain and body. o Improves focus and concentration. o Relaxes vocal cords.

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o Place a lit candle at eye level at an arm’s length in front of you. o Sit back on your heels or crosslegged or in Psadmasana, back straight. o Close your eyes, inhale and relax as you breathe out. o Open your eyes and gaze steadily at the tip of the wick. o Try not to blink. o Watch any thoughts that come but keep focusing on the wick. o When the eyes get tired or watery, close them and visualise the candleflame. o Open your eyes and repeat 2-3 times for 1-2 minutes each time. o Inhale, relax as you exhale and open your eyes BENEFITS: o Develops concentration and ability to focus. o Relieves stress, depression and insomnia. o Cleanses the eyes.

I N S TA D I A R I E S JANHVI KAPOOR’s yoga picture being the first slide of her May month’s photo dump shows that she prioritises yoga over everything.

ANUSHKA SHARMA goes down memory lane sharing half a dozen pictures and says, “A throwback of my yoga journey in pictures.”

DEEPIKA PADUKONE takes the healthy route and makes sure she flexes the right way by “some yoga flex”.

YOUGA GIRL! One must not wonder how B-Town stars remain fit. It is simple: They stick to yoga, no matter what

No wonder why the SHETTY girl is so fit! Even if on vacay mode, SHILPA doesn’t take a detour from the fitness road. RAKUL PREET finds happiness in yoga as “it is more than just an activity. It is a way of life”.

MALAIKA ARORA is consistent in keeping her physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health in mind. She asks her fans to “get on the mat and show up every day for yourself”.


Delve into the best of travel, hospitality, wellness, food, fashion, interiors and more every month with Exotica, the monthly luxury lifestyle magazine. Read interviews with trendsetters, celebrities, industry leaders and authors to deep dive into what it took to get them there.








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Delve into the best of travel, hospitality, wellness, food, fashion, interiors and more every month with Exotica, the monthly luxury lifestyle magazine. Read interviews with trendsetters, celebrities, industry leaders and authors to deep dive into what it took to get them there.