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Dias Journey to stardom
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Contents 59 62 12
30 food for thought
Shouting Across the valley
Tale of desi Yankees
Where's the party
Major European party places
A festive cakewalk 26 Staples of Christmas eve
Poems of love
Celebrity music album
INAC comes to Kochi 56 R3A AutoCross of Kerala DECEMBER 2012
34 leisure Instore
Label autumn winter collection
Reliving childhood 58 Children's Day celebrations
Ball of fame Navy Ball 2012 curtain raiser
Different X'mas dishes
Calling all the foodies
Dias Journey to stardom
Bone up on lifestyle
Spin yarns, say goodnight
Soft kitty, warm kitty
FWD Life cover launch function
Father's unique gift
A report on BarCamp
"Is space for freedom of speech shrinking?", readers respond
AUDI Q Drive 10
Get to know what are the picks of this month
With India becomes a favourite destination by foreign patients for cost-effective medical treatments, the medical tourism sector is all set to burgeon here Text thabitha marion Photos Various sources
Most of the patients from other countries after diagnosed with cancer or heart ailments come to India for treatments and further health checkups
one are the days when Indian doctors and medical treatments were considered inferior to their foreign counterparts. Ironically, now it’s the Indian medical system that gives solace to thousands of patients from different parts of the world. With our magnificent healthcare and hospitality, prominent hospitals here have accomplished in reviving the smile on the face of foreign patients. Hailing from Africa or the Middle East countries, they feel secure about coming to India, especially to Kerala for treatments. Each hospital in Kerala has its own specialty which people opt for to get the best of treatments. If AIMS (Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences) is known to have the best of pediatric cardiologist and surgeons along with other specialties like orthopedics, urology, oncology and endocrinology, Sunrise Hospital, Kochi is famous for its keyhole surgeries and bariatric surgeries. KIMS (Kerala Institute of Medical Sciences) is known for its plastic and cosmetic surgeries like face correction, face lifting and liposuction.
Foreign patients Clad in burqa, Yusra Alhasani, an Omani national, who came down for her mother’s knee treatment at AIMS, says, “My mother has been suffering from splitting knee pain for the past few months. We went to a hospital in Oman for diagnosis, and they said that she had to undergo a surgery, which she doesn’t want to. So for a second opinion, we thought of coming to India.” There was an Arab interpreter 12
in the hospital to assist them with the registration and other formalities. One can see more foreigners waiting there for appointment. Nithin Gopal, Additional General Manager at AIMS, believes that there are three solid reasons which make foreigners to visit hospitals in India. The first being the reputation of Indian doctors worldwide. “Secondly, the facilities available in our hospitals are on par with the best hospitals around the world, and thirdly, the affordable cost, which comes to only one-third of the cost in other countries,” he says. According to him, these patients seem to be more comfortable with the competence of doctors here. “We have patients from Maldives, Arab and African countries. Our patients tell us that Middle Eastern countries lack good medical facilities, and patients from Nigeria and Zambia say that they have dearth of experienced doctors in orthopedics, oncology, pediatric cardiology and gynecology. Last year, we had 6,500 foreign in-patients admitted to the hospital,” says Nithin. Most of the patients after diagnosed with cancer or heart ailments come to India for treatments and further health checkups. “Some patients have their surgeries there and come to India for chemotherapies. Many of our patients who come for chemo are from African countries. They say that it is very expensive over there,” he adds.
Facilities Mazim Mohammad from the Middle East had undergone a surgery on his spine, but unfortunately it
wasn’t a success. There was a tumor which wasn’t detected. After the surgery, he became paralytic and began to have bed sores. So for further treatment, he was brought to AIMS. In consultation with the surgeon, it was found that a second surgery was not advisable as it can be risky. Now, he is being treated to cure bed sores. As foreign nationals hinge on the medical facilities available in Kerala, most hospitals take special effort to receive the patient and their bystander from the airport and assist them for accommodation and provide with special food based on the diet prescribed by the dietician. “The hospital has deluxe and super deluxe rooms which are mostly occupied by foreign patients. They are not admitted to general wards,” says Sona Chaudhari, PRO at AIMS. Anwar Pareedh Kunju, International Marketing Head, Sunrise Hospital, says, “Medical tourism is flourishing year by year. Annually, there is a 30 per cent growth in medical tourism in India. But I would say Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai to be the hubs of medical tourism as they have Apollo Hospitals, AIIMS and many others.” Even with options like these, there are patients who opt for Kerala, as they get the same treatment at a lesser cost. “Many clients come to us by word
of mouth and some through agencies,” he adds.
Healthcare There are health tourism companies who function in India and abroad helping foreign nationals to get the best of health care. These companies join hands with agents in India to get foreign patients admitted to hospitals. Dr. Pratap Kumar, an ortho surgeon at Sunrise hospital, who had been a consultant in the UK for 16 years, says, “When I was practising there in the 90’s, the treatments given to patients in India were looked down upon because of the lack of facilities and expertise in doctors. But eventually it changed over the years, and there came a time when patients would come asking me for the approximate cost of treatments in India. I reckon that many who come for treatments in Kerala club sightseeing trips.” Last year, KIMS (Kerala Institute of Medical Sciences) had around 20 to 30 foreign nationals visiting the hospital, of which most of them were for plastic surgeries. Dr. Alexander George, plastic surgeon at KIMS, says, “I have people coming from US, UK, Zambia and the Middle East for cosmetic surgeries which don’t require frequent reviews after operation. It’s mainly for body sculpturing, tummy tucks,
Last year, KIMS (Kerala Institute of Medical Sciences) had around 20 to 30 foreign nationals visiting the hospital, of which most of them were for plastic surgeries
According to a study by brachioplasty (surgical procedure to remove excess fat from the upper arm), thigh reduction and breast research firm Technopak implants. Thought these surgeries can be done in Advisors, the revenue the US or other countries, people prefer India, espefrom medical tourism is cially Kerala as the cost is affordable here.â€? set to grow 250 per cent Indian scenario between 2010 and 2015 According to a study by research firm Technopak from Rs 4,500 crore to a Advisors, the revenue from medical tourism is set to whooping Rs 16,000 crore grow 250 per cent between 2010 and 2015 from Rs 4,500 crore to a whooping Rs 16,000 crore. In these five years, the number of international patients visiting Indian hospitals also will grow 100 per cent from six lakh in 2010 to 12 lakh by 2015. As per the report, the presence of well-established healthcare brands will help India outgrow other countries in tapping the medical tourism market. Technologically advanced and cost-competitive specialty care ranging from high-end cardiac care and orthopedic surgery to superior quality cosmetic surgery and eye care will give India an edge over countries like Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. Further, India has the unique opportunity to combine Ayurveda and other alternative medicine for a more holistic approach towards healthcare delivery. Of the six lakh people who travelled in 2010 for
medical purposes, 30 to 35 per cent went to the top six or seven hospital brands. Of the total number of patients around 30 per cent were non-resident Indians and out of familiarity with the market they had chosen smaller hospitals or other healthcare centres for treatment. Among source markets, Middle East and Africa constitute 55 per cent of the medical travel. SAARC nations are another big source market. Patients from low GDP countries seek high-end specialties like cardiology, transplants and general surgery, while high GDP countries are more interested in cosmetic surgeries, dental procedures or orthopaedics. In general, medical tourists prefer to travel for procedures that can be planned in advance. In order to promote the healthcare industry abroad, establishing clinical protocols, strictly following them and publishing clinical outcomes is very important. External factors like flight connectivity easy visa norms also are necessary to promote medical tourism. Getting international accreditation like JCI and partnering with medical travel providers in source markets are some of the steps been undertaken by different hospitals. Despite the galloping pace of the healthcare sector and medical travel, there remains several
obstacles in its path towards greater growth. Some of the challenges being faced by corporate hospitals include, low penetration of health insurance, nonavailability of required medical staff at all levels and the difficulty of getting land and exorbitant costs in big cities.
Absolute ayurveda When 80-year-old Rudolf arrived in a tourist resort for treatment a few years ago, he was a Parkinson’s patient confined to a wheelchair. Once he started his rehabilitation treatment at a resort in Kerala, there was tremendous improvement. Next two years, he came to Kerala for treatment in every six months. Since last two years, this octogenarian from Austria visits Kerala once a year without his wife in tow. Last time, he came to the resort in Thiruvananthapuram after spending a couple of days in Mumbai. Sounds like a fairy tale? Actually, it’s the magic of Ayurveda. Foreign tourists find Kerala as the favourite destination for ayurveda treatments, especially for rehabilitation of Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and stroke etc. According to Dr. U. Viswanathan, B.A.M.S, Consultant Physician at a resort near Kovalam,
stress related diseases and burnout syndrome are common among foreigners. “Europeans come here for revitalizing treatment. There are also patients having disc collapse, osteoarthritis and knee injuries. Once they got treatments from their country, their doctors prescribe rehabilitation process in ayurveda. Unlike our people, they have great faith in it,” he says. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It usually causes pain and limited motion, and is most common in the knee joint and hip joint. Once they decided to go to India, they enquire with the travel agents about the best ayurveda treatment centres. After that there will have an online consultation with the centre and the patient.
Foreign tourists find Kerala as the favourite destination for ayurveda treatments, especially for rehabilitation of Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and stroke etc
Dental tourism For dental problems, the treatment is very expensive abroad. With the dental implant charge there, they can complete full 3-week ayurveda package and implant here. Along with the ayurveda treatment, they can take treatment for dental problems also. Some resorts have exclusive ayurveda village where separate kitchen, restaurant, swimming pool and yoga centre have been provided. Tourist resorts have patients mostly from Ger2012 DECEMBER
many, Switzerland, Scandinavian countries, Russia and Australia. Recently, Sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan, former Australian cricketer Steve Waugh and Tamil filmmaker S.A. Chandrasekhar have visited a resort near Kovalam for ayurveda treatment. Surprisingly, NRIs spend maximum one week for treatments in resorts. Since there is no dearth of ayurveda centres in Kerala, it’s an arduous task for a foreigner to locate a genuine one. In fact, there are numerous interpretations have been given to this traditional medicine. “Even in ayurveda colleges outside Kerala, they teach modern medicines. In Sri Lanka, ayurveda is used only for wellness. But they propagate it as real ayurveda,” says Dr Viswanathan, who believes that a strict monitoring system needed to keep tab on illegal ayurveda centres in Kerala. “In foreign countries, media provides awareness on ayurveda and alternative medicines, though pharmaceutical lobby works strongly against ayurveda there,” he says, and adds that
Kerala government has implemented a screening system to issue license to genuine ayurveda treatment centres. “The Tourism Department and Ayurveda Health Directorate jointly classify each centres according to the doctors’ qualification and facilities they offer. A ‘Green Leaf’ classification will be awarded to a resort with highest treatment facilities. Meanwhile, Ayurveda Medical Association (AMA) also works constantly against fake ayurveda centres,” he adds.
Arrival This year, tourist influx is yet to gain momentum, thanks to the reports of euro recession and the Dengue fever in Kerala. A resort owner near Kovalam says, “Foreigners are very rate conscious now and their spending has come down gradually. The treatment and accommodation in a resort are given as a package. They are ready to spend maximum 30-50 euro per day.” But he can’t deny the fact that medical tourism has a promising future.
Meet the British couple who was on a bicycle tour in Kerala to feel the essence of God’s Own Country Text Thabitha Marion Photos STUNITA
“A couple of months back when I went to Sri Lanka, a friend proposed the idea of a bicycle tour. When I flew back home, I shared the idea with Stuart. He was sceptical first if such a trip would materialize,” says Anita, a child psychologist
DECEMBER 2012 DECEMBER 2012
ow comfortable would you be if you had to travel without luxuries, pedalling miles on end in the heat and dust, in search of a truly unique experience? Architectural engineer Stuart Balkham and child psychologist Anita, both Londoners, did just that when they cycled through Kerala without the aid of official tourist guides, taxis and business hotels. Riding 27-gear bicycles from Kochi to Kanyakumari, their tour follows sharply on the heels of previous bicycle journeys through several European countries. I managed to bump into this intriguing couple at my landlord’s home where they were put up. Stuart and Anita seem like the sort of couple who are always up for a bit of fun. That this fun is experienced through the unique pleasures that budget travelling can afford rather than through an extravagant and tailor-made holiday is certainly to their credit. I met them shortly after they had completed their Kerala tour. Anita shared with me how it had all come about. “I was in Sri Lanka a few months ago and a friend of mine came up with the idea of a bicycle tour. When I got back home, I shared the idea with Stuart. He was sceptical at first – I don’t think he thought it was a very realistic idea.” Anita was eventually able to convince Stuart
to undertake the ‘bicycle mission’. Stuart used his engineering expertise to assemble the purchased bicycle parts while Anita took on the task of searching for willing couchsurfer hosts and other necessary facilities. After cudgelling their brains and browsing websites, the groundwork and preparations for the six-month cycling holiday were complete. This initial phase was very important as it prepped the couple for what they might be up against on their trip. “Europe has proper cycling lanes and a strong pedalling culture ... we hadn’t known that until we’d made plans for our tour. To warm up, we did a bicycle marathon in Wales and that experience kept our stamina up on the roads,” says Stuart.
Bon voyage The couple set off from their home with bars of chocolate, bread, cheese spread and other provisions stuffed into their backpacks – each weighing somewhere between 20 and 25kg. “The bike ride started with us pedalling to spots in the UK. We swam in river Rother and slept in tents overnight. We really enjoyed being able to relax under the open starlit sky.” “After five days of travelling in the UK, we visited the Netherland and the Czech Republic where we got to taste some Moravian wine,” says Anita excitedly. The Czech Republic is also a haven
for beer lovers as low prices and deliciousness go hand-in-hand there. Cyclists beware! One of the difficulties that travellers might face is the country’s many bumpy roads. “After 10 days in the Czech Republic, we headed for Hungary and Serbia. Bulgaria was a great time! We went for a swim in the Black Sea and did some cliff-top camping... but that was ruined after we came down with food poisoning for a few days,” Anita says. “Of all the places we’ve been to, driving along France’s breezy coastline gave us the smoothest and most spacious bicycle ride to date.” The tour itinerary also included Germany (around 1120km of cycling), Austria, Romania and Turkey. In Turkey, the couple learned to play Backgammon, one of the oldest two-player board games in history. By that point, their overloaded backpacks were beginning to hurt their backs and so they decided to reduce the luggage weight to 8 kg each.
To God’s Own Country After a week’s stay in Istanbul, the day arrived for Stuart and Anita to fly to their next destination – Kerala. They checked in their bikes at Istanbul airport, hoping that they would be treated well. “As the flight was descending, we saw this lush land with varied patches of green everywhere... buildings like little button mushrooms and waterways that stood out like blue borders. We collected our bikes at Kochi airport and were promptly welcomed by a group of cab drivers pushing each other aside and shouting out their best offers. Eventually, we reached couchsurfer host Jimmy’s house,” Anita recollects. Three days later, Stuart and Anita set out to ‘River Edge,’ a home stay run by Jimmy’s friend Sunil, about 15km from Kochi. “River Edge took us away from the din of the city.” Stuart explains. “The
ride there was stunning – country roads, meat markets on open marshland, and box-like shops with bananas hanging out in front. Customers could easily pluck these bananas as they walked by. In fact I saw a man take two bananas, put some money on top of a sweet box and walk away without telling the shopkeeper. Jimmy informed us that there was a sort of understanding between people here.” The next three days were spent in relaxing near the backwaters and exploring the sites of Fort Kochi. The couple took in the Dutch Palace, Jew Street, St. Francis Church and of course the famous Chinese fishing nets amongst other things. They connected with a local bicycle club called ‘Happy Hikers’ and thanks to Jose, the organiser, were given some great tips on cycling routes in Kerala. Jose also organised a morning bicycle ride with three other members of the club. “By 6.15 am the next day, we began our 35km ride – wheeling through railway tracks, bridges, slums and markets. It was such an experience, taking in everything while pedalling away like hungry monsters. By the time we got back home, Sofe, Jimmy’s wife, had prepared a fusion meal of both English and Indian breakfasts. The ‘Poori’ made with coconut oil was just delicious. I think it was also the first time we’d ever eaten anything with mustard seeds in it,” says Anita with a smile.
In Turkey, the couple learned to play Backgammon, one of the oldest two-player board games in history. By that point, their overloaded backpacks were beginning to hurt their backs and so they decided to reduce the luggage weight to 8 kg each
To Alappuzha The following day, ‘Stunita’, as they were now being called, cycled to Alappuzha. The deafening honks and chaotic traffic were tiresome and the couple admit to being driven a little crazy by it all. “Keralites seem so fond of communicating with each other through honking. They honk at a slow driver, they honk to indicate when they’re overtaking... they even honk just to say hello to someone they know on the road,” says Stuart. By noon they 2012 DECEMBER 2012 DECEMBER
According to Stuart, on reaching the capital city, they could suss out the culture of Kerala. The women’s stir in front of the Secretariat changed their view about Kerala women, whom they thought of submissive
DECEMBER 2012 DECEMBER 2012
had reached a guest house in Mararikulam where they spent the night. The next morning, the two were on the road to Alappuzha again, stopping only to get some chai at a tea shop. “There was loud music blaring and a bunch of old men sitting on benches, reading newspapers over their glasses of hot black coffee,” recollects Stuart. There they met Satheesh, a local shop owner who attempted to communicate with them through a series of animated gestures. Despite the language barrier, he took them to a nearby coir factory and introduced them to the joys of tender coconut water and even schooled them in how to scrape the inner portion of the coconut with a spoon made from the husk. “After licking our lips and thanking Satheesh for his kindness, we got back on our bikes and headed for Alappuzha, the tourist centre of Kerala’s backwaters,” Stuart recalls. “We needed a place to stay, so inevitably we ended up at the Tourist Information Centre. What a truly useless place! The employees there had absolutely no sense of propriety.” The look of frustration on Stuart’s face as he remembers the incident says it all. Just when it was beginning to seem like the pair were going to be left frustrated and stranded in the picturesque locale of Alappuzha, a man called Anthony approached them and offered them accommodation in a home stay he owned – an offer they accepted readily. The next two nights they indulged in some basic comforts which included playing caroms on the home stay’s rooftop and enjoying sunsets on the beach. They also managed
to partake of Kerala cuisine’s pride and joy – some spicy golden-brown ‘Karimeen Pollichathu.’ The next day, Stuart and Anita took a canoe along the backwaters. Their descriptions of what they saw could easily have been written for a tourist brochure. “Village women with their children were walking towards the water, carrying vessels and clothes to be washed. Whilst the ladies carried on their chores, the children could be seen splashing around in the water and having swimming competitions.” Anita relates how Anil, their guide, stopped the canoe near his home where his wife served a delicious Kerala ‘thali’ with boiled rice and several curries. “We tried eating without cutlery but hardly any food reached our mouths. We were a bit like kids learning to eat with hands,” she chuckles.
To Kollam The next day, Stuart and Anita decided to take a tourist boat to Kollam. They were shocked to find that for only four pounds they could travel a distance of 85 kilometres. That night they stayed in a guest house but their plans were cut short by a power outage. After waiting for nearly an hour for the power to come back on, the disappointed couple decided to have dinner by candlelight. “The fan wasn’t working so we had tonnes of mosquitoes eating away at us. You could hear frogs croaking and squishing around outside. It was a restless night.” recounts Anita. “Thankfully, the next morning we managed to reach Varkala. We checked into a resort located on top of
a cliff, overlooking the sandy bay.” Early the next morning, they set of once again, this time heading towards Thiruvananthapuram.
In the capital city According to Stuart, on reaching the capital city, the culture and lifestyle of Kerala became a little more apparent to them. The women’s protests they saw in front of the Secretariat surprised them and changed their views about Keralite women, whom they had thought of as being shy and submissive. At the Indian Coffee House in Palayam, there was even more confusion waiting. Anita remembers it well. “After looking through the menu, we asked the waiter if they had any ‘samosas.’ Instead of answering, he silently shook his head right to left and then left to right. Of course I’d seen the same gesture many times in Kerala and I’d made myself believe it must mean something – but we really hadn’t the faintest idea what.” “Tickets for Trivandrum zoo were bought for a song [ie; cheap as dirt]. We spent a few hours watching the animals prowling around and making their noises. Interestingly, most of them were christened with traditional Indian names,” Anita says. Later that day, they headed first to Kovalam and then from Kovalam they set out one last time for the southern tip of India, Kanyakumari. After two days at the very bottom of the Indian subcontinent, it was time to take a train back to where they had begun - Kochi.
bought all the ingredients, we headed back to River Edge. It took almost two hours for the aroma of biriyani to finally waft its way into the air,” says Anita. It was a dinner party to remember. On their bicycle tour of Kerala, Stuart and Anita had experienced plenty of good, bad and confusing incidents along the way. Recollections of speeding trucks jam-packed with buffaloes, garbage strewn across the sidewalks and casually-laid electrical cables were mixed in with the meeting of new friends, the generosity of strangers and the unique and beautiful experiences of travelling through a new land. Bidding adieu to Kochi and their newly-made friends, Stuart and Anita’s itinerary will see them take a train journey to the Western Ghats. From there they will go on to Goa for a couple of days and follow that up with a trip to Kolkata in December to attend their friend’s wedding. Wherever they go, and in all they do, we wish them both the very best.
On their bicycle tour of Kerala, Stuart and Anita had experienced plenty of good, bad and confusing incidents along the way
English biriyani “On the following day, we went to a toddy shop about 15km away from the city. Some of these country pubs had white flags fluttering outside, apparently an indication that they had toddy in store. Sitting in that relaxed atmosphere with frequent breezes blowing in from the fields – there’s nothing quite like it. I really can’t remember how much food and toddy I wolfed down that day,” Stuart says with a laugh. That evening, back at River Edge, the families of Jimmy and Sunil had arranged for a dinner party. Anita had promised earlier that she would be preparing biriyani for the meal and the time had now come for the English lady to prove herself by cooking an authentic Indian dish. “We went out shopping for some Basmati rice, spices and veggies. When we went to buy some chicken, the butcher pulled one out from the coop, weighed it on a scale, strangled it and then cut it into small pieces. I’d really never seen anything like that. Once we’d 2012 DECEMBER 2012 DECEMBER
Calling all the foodies Three master chefs showcase their suggestions for Christmas lunch & dinner
Pinch of grated nutmeg
12 sliced bacon
Sprig of sage leaves
1 bulb of garlic
12 small rosemary
sprigs as needed
4 peeled onions
Zest of 1 lemon
2 sticks of celery
20 gm plain flour
Handful of dried apricots
1litre chicken stock
By Soman Thapasimuthu, Execuitve Chef at the Le Meridien, Kochi
Stuffed Roast Turkey served with Pinot Noir Wine
Roast turkey stuffed with black currant, raisins, olives and parsley. A roast for a toast. Heat a saucepan and put some butter, sage leaves, bacon strips, chopped garlic, cloves, onion and celery. Fry until golden brown, add breadcrumbs and chopped apricots. When stuffing cools down, add lemon zest, nutmeg, rosemary sprigs, egg, salt and pepper. Allow the mix to cool. Lift the loose skin at the neck end and stuff the turkey. Pop the orange in the microwave for 30 seconds to warm it up and stuff it into the cavity. Weigh the stuffed turkey and calculate the cooking time (about 20 minutes per 500g). Place the bird on a roasting tray, rub olive oil and season well. Place chopped carrots, onions, garlic and cover with aluminium foil and place it in a preheated oven. Bring down the heat to 180째C. Remove the tinfoil for the last 45 minutes to brown the bird. Lift the turkey out of the tray and remove the surface fat from the roasting tray. Prepare gravy with sauce, flour and stock. Carve your turkey and serve with the roast gravy.
Stuffing can have ingredients like black currants, raisins, olives and parsley
By Sunil.V. Nayar, Executive Chef at the Raviz, Kollam
1 ½ kg Beef Tenderloin
1 tablespoon Garlic chopped
1 tablespoon English Mustard
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried Rosemary
2 tablespoon Double cream
1/4 teaspoon Worcester sauce
2 tablespoon Bread Crumbs
1/4 teaspoon Refined oil
1 Roll Cooking String
2 big Carrots Diced
2 Onions Diced
½ kg Button mushroom Chopped
2 Celery Stalk Diced
2 tablespoon Clarified Butter
1 Leeks diced
3 tablespoon Shalots Chopped
Beef Roulade stuffed with Mushroom Duxelle (served with a Premium Red Wine) Grilled meat rolled with cheese, vegetable and other meat. A stuffed nibble...
Heat a pan with clarified butter; add chopped shallots and garlic and sauté it. Add chopped button mushroom and stir it till water has evaporated. Blend double cream to moisten the mushrooms Add bread crumbs as a binding agent to hold the mixture and keep the duxelle aside for cooling. Now roll out the meat with a sharp knife to get a flat base and marinate it with English mustard, salt, pepper, Worcester sauce, herbs and oil and keep it aside for 10 minutes. Now place the mushroom duxelle on one side of the meat (lengthwise) and roll it till you get a long stuffed log of meat. Tie the meat with a cooking string. Keep it for 10 minutes, before cooking. Grill the beef roulade over a hot griddle till the meat is sealed. Place the diced Mire Poix in a baking tray and place the roulade on top of this. Bake this in a preheated oven at 200°C for approximately 30 minutes and slice and serve it after cooling.
Serve hot with lots of boiled vegetables 2012 DECEMBER
By Joji. K. Joshua, Executive Chef, Holiday Inn, Kochi
2 kg duck
1 tsp garam masala
1 kg shallots
20 gm nutmeg
150 ml coconut oil
Coconut milk of one
1.5 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp coriander powder
200 gm ginger garlic
1.5 tsp chili powder
Pinch of mustard seeds
Christmas Special Duck Roast
Kerala style duck preparation cooked in coconut milk Clean the dressed duck and cut it into big pieces. Mix chili powder, turmeric powder, salt and vinegar and keep it aside for an hour Crackle mustard seeds in coconut oil and fry shallots till golden brown. Add ginger garlic paste, spices and continue sautĂŠing. Add the duck pieces and coconut milk. Cook in slow fire till oil turns up. Garnish it with curry leaves and fried onions and it is best served with appam.
Adding fried potato sticks will better the taste
Ball of fame The much-awaited Kochi Navy Ball 2012 will be held on December 21
he classiest celebration in Kochi is back again. The Kochi Navy Ball 2012, the platform to crown the Navy Queen, is scheduled to be held on December 21. Over the years, this event has been a stepping stone to the limelight for many budding models, including former Miss India Parvathy Omanakuttan, who was the Navy Queen 2006. As the countdown has already begun, preparations are in full swing at the naval base to host the colourful event. Navy Ball is associated with the Navy Day celebrations on December 4, a day designated to commemorate the success of “Operation Trident” during the Indo-Pak war in 1971.
Navy Queen Pageant Explaining the reasons behind conducting such an event, Commander Ashok Balakrishnan, chief coordinator of the Navy Ball Committee 2012, says: “As you may be aware, traditionally mariners refer to a ship as a ‘She’. In the Indian Navy it is customary for us men in white, to salute any lady embarking or disembarking a ship. The Navy Queen Pageant is just another way that the Indian Navy celebrates womanhood. The event also adds the necessary glamour and glitz to the Navy Ball.” Asked as to what separates this event from the other pageants in South India, Ashok says, “The Navy Queen Pageant is not region specific, any lady who is a citizen of the country can participate, be it married or single. However, we have established a minimum height of 5.5’and age between 18-27 years as the criteria for contestants”. “We believe that married women should also have an opportunity to be recognised for their outstanding ability to integrate intellect and beauty,” adds Ashok.
Experts Well-known choreographer Dalu is the official choreographer in the event. Personality trainer and fitness expert Aaradhana Mahlawat will be conducting sessions on communications skills and
personality development. Mahesh and his team from Studio Revive (Hair & Make-up partner), Panampilly Nagar will doll up the participants. The girls will also have a session with designer Jules Idi Amin from Chennai to finalise the wardrobe for the big day. A visit to the showroom of jewellery partner ‘Sunny Diamonds’ for selection of jewellery and a photo session by an official fashion photographer are also part of the programme. More importantly, there will be a guided tour in the Naval Base where girls would get to explore ships and aircrafts of the Indian Navy up-close, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The Bangalore-based contemporary dance company ‘Nritarutya’ would be performing the opening routine and two more dances during the break between the rounds of the pageant.
The Navy Queen gets jewellery worth Rs 1,25,000 along with Rs 1, 00,000 as cash prize
Prizes The Navy Queen gets jewellery worth Rs 1,25,000 along with Rs 1, 00,000 as cash prize. The first Runner Up gets jewellery worth Rs 1, 00,000 and a cash prize of Rs 75,000 while the second Runner Up gets jewellery worth Rs 75,000 and a cash prize of Rs 50, 000. All three winners are slated to get tickets for two to international destinations. Jewellery for the winners is all courtesy of Sunny Diamonds.
Celebrities The pageant will have the talented Ayushmann Khuranna, who played the lead role in the Bollywood movie “Vicky Donor,” as one of the two hosts, the other being Mayanti Langer, the articulate and attractive sports journalist with ESPN. The popular Hindi pop group ‘A Band of Boys’ will take stage later to rock the party after the Pageant. The crowd having been warmed by ABOB will then groove to the music of the Mumbai-based DJ Praveen Nair. Now, all what you can do is, hold your breath till you get to be there at the breathtaking event on that starry night. 2012 DECEMBER
cakewalk Christmas spreads the message of peace and love. Here’s a close look into some of the staples associated with Christmas eve Text thabitha marion Photos Various sources
The cakes which began as plum porridges centuries ago, eventually had dried fruit, spices and honey added to it, making it a Christmas pudding served on Christmas eve
hristmas cakes always make everyone drool for it. For that reason, during Christmas even diabetic patients too get brief respite from their ‘bitter’ diet; thanks to the generosity of the family members. When we talk about Christmas cakes, there has been a whole lot of transition with its ingredients. The cakes which began as plum porridges centuries ago, eventually had dried fruit, spices and honey added to it, making it a Christmas pudding served on Christmas eve. Improvisational cooking replaced oats with wheat flour. Adding butter and eggs gave it a solid shape, and down the lane to make the recipe richer and crunchier they added dry fruits, nuts and spices and named it Christmas cake. Having mentioned about spices, do you know the significance of having it in a sweet dish? It represents the exotic spices brought by the ‘Three Wise Men’. I am not referring to the ‘3 wise men cocktail’ (a blend of Scotch Whiskey, Tennessee Whiskey and Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey), but to the kings who visited the newborn with gifts of gold and myrrh in the manger. The changes in ingredients continued, the next being ‘feeding the cake’. To kick off the
celebration, a few spoons of brandy or rum used to be poured into the cake holes every week till the Christmas eve. And Keralities are good at increasing the number of additives while baking a Christmas cake.
Cakes all the way “For years we have been having plum cakes, black forest and white forest cakes, butter cream cake. But fresh cream cakes, the ‘just in’ cakes, are slowly becoming people’s favourite. However, in Kerala, plum cakes have most takers during Christmas because of its affordable price,” says Anoop, Regional Manager of KR Bakers. “Its shelf life is one month, so we need not wait for the orders to be placed by customers to begin baking,” adds Anoop. Vijeesh Viswanath, a partner of Best Bakers, says, “We sell both dry and cream cakes: Dry cakes without cream like the rich plum cakes, Irish cakes (softer and tastier), date and walnut cake and cream cakes like white truffle, dark chocolate truffle and the flavoured.” They are also having Christmas gift hampers ranging from Rs 1500 to Rs 3,000 packed with cakes, chocolates and biscuits, this season. Sugar free and eggless cakes have to be ordered two days prior to the date of delivery. And this would be charged with an extra sum of Rs 100. The elite would surely opt for the best of cakes in town. They wouldn’t prefer to go in for anything other than the premium rich chocolate or fresh fruit cake recipes like the ‘Rich Choco Gateau,’ a cocoa flavoured treat made of sponge cake coated with strained melted chocolate, or a three-layered ‘Mixed Fruit Gateau’ garnished with a mixture of fresh fruits like sliced apples, imported blueberries, cherries, pineapples and strawberries. It would definitely be worth spending Rs 430-Rs 650 for relishing a kilo of
fresh fruit taste and treating the eye with its juicy appearance. “These cakes are baked based on the customer’s choice of fruits and will be delivered within a day from the time of order,” says Anoop. For those located in and around Central Travancore, Anns House of Sweets at Kottayam, known for cakes, will be unveiling a list of newest Christmas cakes for all cake lovers, be it eggless or sugar free. Sudha Mohandas, sales person at the very old Shantha Bakery in the capital city says, “We are having exquisite delicacies like Italian nut cake, Chocolate Venice and the usual plum cakes, butter cream and fresh cream cakes.”
Baking history How did this English recipe of baking cakes become the favourite of Keralites? All we know is that Kerala Bakeries have its roots from Thalassery. Mambally Bakers is one of the oldest bakers in Kerala. In the 18th century, Bappu, a member of Mambally family, had been to Burma to learn about biscuit making. After a couple of years, he returned to his hometown where he was into part-time teaching. He then thought of starting a biscuit factory and he set up Mambally’s Royal Biscuit Factory in 1880 at Tellicherry, the second bakery in India (the first being in Kolkata). “At the outset, he baked tea biscuits and barley crackers. English butlers too helped him a lot to try out new recipes. His loyal clienteles were mostly Britons, with very few elite natives,” says Prakash Mambally, the great-grandnephew of Bappu. The biscuit shop got to be famous, even internationally. During World War II, he was asked to supply biscuits for soldiers in Egypt. It is said that his expertise got him baking biscuits for other countries too. It was a cold December in 1883. Brown, an Englishman and owner of a cinnamon plantation in the nearby area, went to Bappu and asked, “Do you know how to bake Christmas cakes?” Bappu having said a ‘no’ accepted the recipe which Brown handed over to him. The ingredients had flour, spices and dry fruits. Under Brown’s guidance, he baked it. That was the day when the land smelled cake for the first time. The cake story begins here.
Christmas trees We have readily available Christmas trees in the markets, in different sizes with technological advancements fixed to it. By buying one of them, you need not bother about its leaves drooping or falling or worry about the expensive decorations being faded due to prolonged exposure in the sun.
These detachable trees can be taken indoors, and be placed in the living room, visible to all. To begin with the culture of celebrating Christmas with Christmas trees, we had the regular Chinese Christmas trees. But now, we are left with a lot of choices, right from pine Christmas trees to optical trees ranging from a few hundreds to thousands. Thaseer, a salesman at Happy Collections in Jews Street at Broadway, says, “This year, we are selling 10 varieties of Christmas trees. We have trees in stock which are as tall as 2 ft to 10 ft. The regular Christmas trees are too very simple with only a few branches. And so to make it look attractive a lot of heavy decorations with illuminations need to be adorned on them.” Like last season, this year too white Christmas trees which give a frosty appearance are so much in demand. Though the white trees are similar to the regular Christmas trees in size and thickness, its white branches makes it look like a snow clad tree. If you want to have a bushy Christmas tree then bag the deluxe tree which has branches that can be dismantled one by one. The market also has pine trees with fine tendercoloured green leaves coming in various models. And one such is the ‘Pine Tree Jerry Tips’ having silver lining at the tip of its leaves. From a distance these silver tips look like dew drops accumulated on the tip of each leaf, giving the tree a natural outward appearance. For those who like to escape the hassles of illuminating the tree, buying an optical tree would be a wise decision. As these trees come along with illumination attached to it, there is no need to have another set of lights.
Like last season, this year too white Christmas trees which give a frosty appearance are so much in demand. Though the white trees are similar to the regular Christmas trees in size and thickness, its white branches makes it look like a snow clad tree 2012 DECEMBER
The most expensive Christmas trees of this season are the ‘Optical Trees with LED lighting’, ‘Optical All Tip LED’ and the ‘Optical Tree Peacock’ which has branches spread like the feathers of a peacock dancing in the rain. However beautiful the tree might be, it’s never complete without glossy baubles, tiny weenie stars, glowing angels, glassy reindeers and so on.
Stars Christmas is incomplete without stars. Celebrating Christmas with limited decorative is passé. As the Christmas star trend keeps changing; children are keen on having particular designs with desired colours. Have you noticed? Every year the number of spokes in a star increases. To begin with it had five spokes, then it increased to seven, then the seven spoke star with a long tail at the bottom, eleven spokes, sixteen and it goes on. These are given movie names like “Enthiran” and “Vellinakshathram.” The same applies to fire crackers as well. But the difference is when it comes to crackers, there are couple crackers - ‘Hrithik Roshan-Kareena’, ‘Shah Rukh Khan- Kajol’, which customers particularly ask for. “This is a business tactic to attract customers. Their craze for celebrities and movies can draw attention to these titled stars,” reveals Rahim Ahmed, one of the Christmas star sellers at Broadway. Anthony Nelson, who has been manufacturing stars for the past 35 years, says, “In a year, I sell around 30,000 stars, including the seven pointers, 11, 16
and 21-pointer.” Even at this age of laser prints, this man sticks to the making of screen print stars or the dyed stars. “Laser is fast but expensive. When there are people who still likes buying dyed stars, why should I run after latest technologies,” asks Anthony. In a star factory at Vaduthala, star making is going on at a brisk pace even at night and boys are collecting stars and packing them for sale in the markets. “I undertake bulk orders from Tamil Nadu and other neighbouring States. I have 10 to 15 boys who work for me after their school hours. They help me with designs, dying and packing,” said a star maker.
Cribs Till a few years back, cribs used to be made out of a few thick sticks for support and the rest being covered with dried straw. Those were the days when most of the houses had cowsheds heaped with fodder. During Christmas, these dried up straws had much demand by the children getting prepared to make crèche. After making the stable, there came Joseph and Mary, modeled in clay to the scene, followed by the three Wiseman and shepherds on both sides along with their sheep and cows and baby Jesus to be placed at the centre of the stable. Here kids often tend to have arguments over ‘Who is the one going to place baby Jesus in the manger’, which finally would be calmed down with the intervention of an elder. Sets made out of cribs are in demand even today as it is pocket-friendly. Plaster of paris crib characters are vastly used in cities like Kochi, Thrissur and Kozhikode. “These models are manufactured in Madurai. Each set of 18 items comes in different sizes have model numbers. The smallest set numbered 3 costs Rs 240, following models 4, 6 and 8. While model number 8, the biggest of the models, made of plaster of paris costs Rs 850, the same model in clay costs Rs 350,” says Babu. J.B, a seller on the streets of Broadway in Kochi. Long back, crèches built by churches were covered with gold, jewels and silver; and overtime it became fancier. The word ‘crèche’, a French term for manger, which originated from the Italian word ‘Greccio’. ‘Greccio’ was the small town where the first manger scene was set up by St. Francis of Assisi in 1223. That was a time when Bethlehem was occupied by Turks. So for the pilgrims who wanted to visit the birth place of Jesus, he made an alternative manger at ‘Greccio’, with prayers and songs in the backdrop.
thought K. Muraleedharan, chairman and managing director, SFC Group, goes down memory lane and recounts how did he evolve as a successful entrepreneur Text K.R. Rejeesh Photos Jinson Abraham
The company has aggressive expansion plans in Kerala within three or four years. Muraleedharan believes that to become a successful businessman one should have good morale and ethics
hen the father gave money to the poor ignoring his son’s wishes, the boy seemed sulky. He couldn’t make out the way his father described charity then. After many years, while ensconcing himself as the honcho of Southern Franchise Company (SFC Group), K. Muraleedharan has proved that he is equally good as a businessman and a philanthropist. He was born in Anchal,a small village in Kollam district,as the son of a rice mill owner. Muraleedharan began his career in Dubai as an accountant in the late 70’s when Keralites’ affinity with the Gulf took off. After holding various posts, including that of the general manager in K.M. Brothers National Co. LLC, he pondered over starting up his own company. “Mr. K.M. Bhatia, The MD of K.M. Brothers, was like a father figure to me. On expressing the desire to start my own business he told me that he didn’t want me as his competitor. He made me his partner and gave me 20 per cent share of the company. That was the beginning,” reminisces Muraleedharan. In 1990, he started a cafeteria in Abu Dhabi. “It went on for one-and-a-half years.Then my contract was not renewed by the landlord. I found that they had given it to an international fast food chain. I realized the importance of developing an in-
ternational brand, especially in the evolving business climate of UAE those days,” says Muraleedharan.
Southern Fried Chicken (SFC) After the initial setback, he started a restaurant with international standards. Armed with the training from UK in fast food systems and products, Muraleedharan launched the first Southern Fried Chicken outlet in 1992. “The first outlet was not success. Then I concentrated on expanding the product varieties. Instead of selling solely chicken products, and only focusing on counter guest relation, it became a quality service restaurant,” he says. Today, SFC has 25 outlets across UAE. The company recently forayed into the Indian subcontinent by launching its first outlet in Kochi. According to Muraleedharan, the culture of Kochi is changing rapidly. “The economy is booming and the timing of our expansion was right. Unlike what investors dread, there are no hiccups in running a business in Kerala. If you take short cuts, there will be hiccups. We have an open policy,” asserts Muraleedharan. SFC is driven by the concept of five senses and five sensations. The sensations stand for the five sensational products that are offered in SFC –The juicy fried chicken, freshly baked pizzas, yummy burgers, seafood specials and fresh salads. “We ensure that only trans-fat free oil is used
for cooking. Before frying the chicken, its skin is removed and after the marination of chicken, it is given a secret coating. The coating helps in the penetration of oil that will not go into the meat when you fry. Then it is leavened up with 12 different herbs and spices which help in giving our chicken a unique-aromatic flavour,” he says and adds that they have strict procedure before receiving chicken from the poultry. The SFC Group, a leading conglomerate in the U.A.E has diverse operations such as fine-dining restaurants, quick-service restaurant, hotels and contract catering services. Commenting on the competition in the field, he says, “Competition makes us more responsible. We don’t find anybody as competitors. If you are there, you are always responsible to ensure the quality of your products.”
Future plans The company has aggressive expansion strategies and plans to open over 200 quick service restaurants across India by 2020. SFC is also sets to open its outlets in other G.C.C and European countries. Muraleedharan believes that to become a successful businessman one should have good morale and ethics. “You must know about your business first. Don’t follow somebody else’s ideas in business. It is also important that you must trust your staff and give them responsibility,” he adds.
Social activities It is no exaggeration when Muraleedharan reveals that he is addicted to philanthropic deeds and finds satisfaction in social activities. He founded the Muralya Foundation in Kerala to synergize and diversify his community upliftment programmes. The foundation runs a hospital in Anchal, Kollam where free treatment is provided to patients who belong to BPL category. It sponsors over 500 students of a government-aided school near Punalur. “I have adopted a village at Anchal where I visit many mothers every month to look after them,” says the entrepreneur. He is the Founder Chairman of Vidya Academy of Science and Technology, Thrissur. The engineering college was set up using the donations given by the NRIs. Affiliated to the University of Calicut and approved by AICTE, this institution offers free educationalsponsorship to more than 22 per cent of its students. Muraleedharan is also the chairman of the Care & Share foundation, which under the patronage of Padma Shri Mammootty organises free cardiac surgeries for pediatric patients below 12 years, listed under ‘Below Poverty Line’ in Kerala & Lakshadweep. The scheme rescues over 100 children from life threatening cardiac diseases every year. 2012 DECEMBER
Tale of desi
Text merlin james Photos Jinson Abraham
he serial “Akkara Kazhchakal” (AK) was able to introduce the day-to-day life of a Malayali-American in a lighter mood. Like the sitcom, the character Girigiri, assistant insurance agent, played by Jacob Gregory stole the hearts with his witty stuttering speech. Living in the US for more than 20 years, Jacob Gregory has already proved his acting prowess through a number of stage shows. In a freewheeling chat, Jacob Gregory unwinds himself.
Excerpts: Like the character in the serial, do you really have stutter? No. But even after doing the serial, I was speaking like a stutterer. It took quite some time for me to rectify it. Though interesting to watch, it was not easy to portray the character. I have spoken without stutter in one or two scenes; especially the scenes where I recite poetry.
Were the poems in “Akkara Kazhchakal” written by you? The credit for script and poetry goes to its creators. I have improvised certain scenes with Josekutty Chettan (George Thekkinmootil), who usually delivers witty riposte which wouldn’t be there in the original script. As a quid pro quo, I have also contributed from my part.
What was the experience when the serial was made into a film? Both were two different experiences. While the film was released only in the US, the serial was telecast on Kairali TV and besides, uploaded on YouTube. The film had garnered good reviews from audience in the US. But when you consider reachability, serial is the winner. Personally, I liked the serial as there was more flexibility. In fact, TV serial gave me popularity among family audience.
About the stage shows by AK team… We have performed stage shows in various countries. Our stage shows consist of four stories with 30 minutes duration for each. It was very exciting in the sense that there was anxiety about audience response. We got positive response for our shows. It was only after the stage shows I got the confidence to act (laughs). AK was my first serial. But my co-stars had acted in plays organized by the American Malayalee Association. We all were like a family and even after the shooting; we often meet in our get together parties. Moreover, it was a different experience to work with people from different professions.
US-based Malayalam sitcom “Akkara Kazhchakal” fame Girigiri aka Jacob Gregory makes his debut on the silver screen
There was frenzied search for the 51st episode on YouTube. Why AK was stopped after 50 episodes? It was the director’s decision prior to the shoot to wind it up after 50 episodes. Also there were date problems and time constraints for the shoot. However, the last episode ends in the beginning of first episode. So it was like a cycle. Everybody liked it.
How was the response when you came to Kerala? Regular viewers of AK realized me. They started asking me if I was Girigiri. Once while I was waiting in a serpentine queue to watch the film “Trivandrum Lodge” at a theatre in Aluva, one guy from behind called me “Girigiri chetta” and requested me to pose for a photograph with him. Though I was struggling to get a movie ticket, I had to oblige. After fulfilling his wish, I joined the kerfuffle for the ticket (laughs).
Tell us about your debut in Mollywood… “ABCD” (American Boys Confused Desi), directed by Martin Prakkat, is my debut film in Malayalam. Dulquer Salman plays the lead. The film tells the story of two Malayali boys, born and brought up in the US. I have full length role along with Dulquer. 2012 DECEMBER
Dias Journey to stardom Hair & Make-up by Binita Ashar Location Mezzo, Avenue Regent Costume Courtesy Fariyadh Colour Grading Whitemarker
Follow Fariyadh on 2012 DECEMBER
courting cinema Model-turned-actress Sarah Jane Dias is living the Bollywood dream as well as enjoying her stint in South Indian film industry
Text Ashik Abdulla Location Avenue Regent Costume courtesy FariyadH
nsconced on a white sofa at a swanky apartment, Sarah Jane Dias looks every inch the up and coming Bollywood starlet. The “Game” actress has more than enough on her plate at the moment. She had just finished a hectic video shoot; but there was no dearth of zest on her face. Biting an apple, she talked nineteen to the dozen about Kerala. It was during her VJ days at V Channel Sarah Jane visited Kerala for the first time. “We came to Kerala as part of a TV show in 2004. I was spellbound by the backwaters here. If there is something magical about Kerala, it’s the monsoon. It’s wonderful,” gushes Sarah. The former Femina Miss India also recalls the memories of her visit to Alappuzha, Munnar, kalaripayattu centres and the yummy combo of appam with fish curry. While elaborating on the landscape of the God’s Own Country, she appeared to be an individual who loves nature and arts. Amidst all this, she found time to reply to the chat messages of her friends through her Blackberry. There were intermittent telephone calls which distracted her nostalgia. And
then she adds, “I would love to live without my cellphone.”
Career Born and brought up in Muscat, Oman as the daughter of a marketing professional, it was Sarah’s decision to pursue modelling as her career. Her passion burgeoned in Mumbai where she completed her college education. After short stints as model and VJ, Sarah Jane became Femina Miss India World in 2007. Sarah Jane entered Kollywood with Vishal-starrer film “Theeradha Vilaiyattu Pillai” in 2010. Then she made her debut in Bollywood in the film “Game” opposite Abhishek Bachchan. Her Tollywood entry was also with a big star, Pawan Kalyan, in the film “Panja” in 2011. She recently appeared in the Hindi movie “Kyaa Super Kool Hai Hum” opposite actor Ritesh Deshmukh. As an actress, Sarah’s film career is also not devoid of gossips. Commenting on this, she says, “Initially it’s hurting. Over a period of time I got used to it.” The rising star also adds that South Indian film industry is not a stepping stone to Bollywood.
After short stints as model and VJ, Sarah Jane Dias became Femina Miss India World in 2007. She made her debut in Bollywood in the film “Game” opposite Abhishek Bachchan
Excerpts Your close friends call you… Sarah. But my mom calls me “Keeki”. A favourite actor with whom you would like to share screen space, and why? Ranbir Kapoor. He is a great actor and also a wonderful person. I liked his new film “Burfi!” Given a chance would you sign up for a Malayalam movie? Definitely. I’m waiting for someone to offer me a Mollywood movie. I haven’t watched Malayalam films, but I have heard a lot about the meaningful scripts in Mollywood. How do you keep yourself fit? I eat everything. But I work out and keep ‘super cool’ mind. I also do yoga regularly. My evening drink will be lemon tea with honey. Have you bumped into someone whom you think to be your “Mr. Perfect”? I don’t believe in the concept of “Mr. Perfect”. But someone who would make me laugh and I could talk a lot with him would be my “Mr. Perfect”. Have you been suspended from college any time? No. College days were so interesting. I had great schooling in Muscat. As a student I was studious and fortunate to have lot of people around me who positively influenced my life. One thing that you hate to remember about school life… I once wore my old school uniform to my new school.
What would you name your relation with cricketer Virat Kohli? (laughs) I have never met him and shook his hand. Actually, we have never been together in a party or an event. I laugh at those gossips. What’s the best way to deal with scandals? Gossips won’t affect me. I think it’s part of a celebrity’s life. If not an actor, you would have been… A chef. I love cooking; especially sea food and continental. I also make crazy sandwiches and mocktails. When life gets tough, what does keep you going? I have associated with lot of events that would empower the girls. I sponsor my maid’s child as I believe charity begins at home. How would you define yourself? I am more of a visual person, I read a lot but I am very choosy. Recently, I have read “Emotions Revealed,” a book about study of human behaviour, by Paul Ekman and “Making Movies” by Sidney Lumet. What are the five things you can’t live without? Music, seafood, passport, mascara and flat shoes Craziest thing you have ever done… I have jumped off a 10,000-ft high cliff for paragliding. I have also done bungee jumping in the parking lot of a shopping mall.
Are you ready for a jamboree? Let's check out some of the sizzling party destinations in Europe
Ibiza els e
he party capital of the world! The capital of electronica, Ibiza is where the top DJs in the world present their new music in a slew of events called 'Opening nights' every summer.
ormal entry varies from 25 Euros to 100 Euros, with opening nights being expensive. Tickets can be cheaper if booked in advance or bought from restaurants along the beaches. Walk around and hunt for the cheapest. The best mode of transport is by bus. Taxis can be quite expensive. Or you can completely avoid travel costs by booking a hotel near the party areas. There are a lot of boat parties that happen around the San Antoni areas. These are overnight parties and can be fun.
biza has a beautiful rustic landscape outside of the main party areas. Large portions of the island is maintained as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the biggest attractions is Cafe Del Mar which sports a spectacular view of the sunset.
he party scene is centered around Ibiza town (known locally as Evissa) and San Antoni areas. The biggest clubs are Privilage (which claims to be the biggest club in the world), Pacha, Eden and Es Paradis. The party season normally starts in early June and lasts till the beginning of October. The big clubs normally open only close to midnight.
t’s a city that doesn’t sleep. The parties are like the city itself, vibrant, trendy and full of energy. What more do you want!
or most clubs entry is free from Sunday to Wednesday. They usually have an entry fee on other nights, but is really cheap (5 to 10 euros) Prague also has a lot of ‘outdoor clubs’ that open only during summer. Hunt around the Letna park and Legii bridge. Travel around in trams. They are slow, but very cheap. Another great way to travel is to rent a segway. Riding one is an experience in itself. Check what DJs are playing before you plan your night out.
rague is regarded as one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. It still preserves its Medieval roots impeccably and a stroll out into its cobblestone alleys looking out at the numerous churches, bridges and cathedrals is an experience of a lifetime. The Prague castle, Charles bridge and the old town are some of the biggest tourist attractions in the city.
azzmataz is one of the most popular clubs here. It is actually five clubs rolled into one and your entry fee allows you to take your party anywhere. If you want the charm of the outdoors while you party hard, then Mac Arena Mar is the one for you. Great music and what’s more entry is free! Other popular clubs include Mirabe, La Terazza and Row 14.
ightlife begins quite late in Barca, a good time to start would be 1 am. Most clubs have an entrance fee, but there are offers from time to time. Barcelona metro closes by around 12 AM unfortunately, so it is a good idea to have the schedules of night buses. Some clubs have free entry if you arrive before midnight, but beware the floors would be close to empty.
rague’s nightlife flows with energy. The clubs of Prague play from dawn to dusk and are teeming with people from all over the globe. Prague offers everything from crazy all out parties to cosmopolitan dress up and dance nights.
he most well known club in Prague is Mecca. It is a super trendy high fashion club and usually has long queues for entry. Duplex is another such club spread across two levels and conveniently located near the city center. It is one of the most exclusive clubs in Europe, so entry will not be easy. Dress classy! More accessible clubs include the Karlovy Lazne, Lavka and XT3.
arcelona has striking examples of brilliant architecture, so its a good idea to walk around the city. The beaches are lively. There are plenty of shacks on the beaches where you can enjoy a good Catalan meal. A stroll around Las Ramblas is a must if you are in Barcelona. Another great place to meet locals La Placa Catalunya where all the major streets in Barcelona meet. If you are die hard FC Barcelona fan, don’t forget that trip out to Camp Nou. 2012 DECEMBER
o on a quiet boat ride on the canals of the city. The history that surrounds the place is amazing. If you are an art lover, Van Gogh museum is a must visit. Some other places worth checking out are the tulip gardens, the Heinekken museum and Vondelpark.
ouple entry is usually free. Most clubs have a high girls to boys ratio, so it is quite possible to ask someone outside a club to get you entry. Bar brawls are common, so you have to be careful.Tip generously, you’ll be the star if you catch the eye of a bartender.Tallinn is a small city, so you should be able to get around by just walking.
ou might be tempted, but contrary to popular notions buying drugs in Amsterdam on the street is illegal and you might get arrested. Amsterdam doesn’t have a metro, but they have a good tram network. Hotels are expensive around the main city areas, but you might get a bargain if you are willing to stay away from the touristy areas.
here are plenty of nightclubs around the old town. Entry, liquor and food are cheaper compared to most places in Europe but Tallinn has its upscale locations too. The hottest parties happen in clubs like Hollywood and Cathouse. Other places worth checking out are Shooters, Class and Deja Vu.
allinn used to be the party capital of Europe at one time. It has slowly lost that spot, but the city still attracts a huge influx of people just to enjoy its night scene. And nobody knows how to party better than the Estonians!
msterdam is the city that lives up to its reputation of ‘everything-goes’. The city even has a night mayor to take care of its nightlife affairs! It is everybody’s sin city. Like they say, if you haven’t partied in Amsterdam, you haven’t partied ever.
msterdam has plenty of nightclubs, but be warned that not all of them are for the faint of heart. Club-up is an excellent friendly club where everyone’s welcome. It has got some nice music too. Trouw is located in a refurbished old printing press and has been transformed into one of the cities hottest destinations. Supper club and Sugar Factory are two other clubs worth checking out.
allinn is a strange mix of modernity and Soviet remnants. The old town is really worth a tour. There would be some cultural events happening in the main town square almost everyday. Explore the city and every nook and corner would have a surprise for you.
AUDI Q Drive
ctor Suresh Gopi flagged off the test drive event, "Quattro", in Kochi. Rohitaaz Kumar, a prominent car rally driver in the country, was seen instructing and overlooking the whole off road event. Quattro (4 wheel drive) feature is there for the Q3,Q5 & Q7 vehicles. All the cars were open to test drive through the course.
The course was made in such a way that they emphasis the use of each of the features.
The road trip from Kochi to the serenity of Kumarakom in Skoda vehicles was nothing short of a riveting experience drivers and passengers, abundant leg and headroom and a 460 litre boot volume each contribute to all five passengers travelling relaxed and in comfort. Representing essential elements of Škoda’s new form vocabulary, the car’s clear design is convincing. The Rapid’s perfect proportions and precision, its cleanly shaped surfaces, crisp lines and distinctive presence make for a captivating personality. This is just as true of the interior: A tidy cockpit layout, easy-to-read instruments and gauges and absence of clutter all create a permanent feeling of well-being on board.
The convoy for the road trip was the entire model range from the Škoda fleet: The Superb, Laura, Fabia, Yeti and recently launched Rapid
t was the day when Skoda cars ruled the roost on Kochi-Kumarakom stretch. Starting off from their Kochi dealership, the road trip organised by Škoda Auto India culminated at the scenic locale of Zuri Resort, Kumarakom. Located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake, the resort was an apt destination for a road trip that was organised for the auto enthusiasts of Kerala. The convoy for the road trip was the entire model range from the Škoda fleet: The Superb, Laura, Fabia, Yeti and recently launched Rapid. Driving from the Kochi dealership to Zuri resort was an amazing experience, as Kerala’s beautiful landscape came into full view. This journey from Kochi to Zuri resort at Kumarakom in a Škoda was a memorable one, providing a short yet sweet escape into nature’s lap.
Rapid The new Rapid is the youngest addition to the attractive model range which Škoda offers in the Indian market. The car is Škoda’s answer to growing demand in India for spacious yet compact cars. It has a vast interior space: Five full-size seats for 46
Yeti One of the most likeable members of the compact SUV segment, the Yeti, proved a fun companion on the drive. Its excellent off-road capabilities and city driving dynamics make the Yeti an obvious choice for demanding terrain and a pleasurable city drive. On the road, its driving dynamics are nothing short of those in a saloon. Five stars in the Euro NCAP crash test are testament to a well-designed safety concept.
Superb Winner of six awards and the no.1 selling car in its segment, the Škoda Superb has established itself as the segment benchmark. True to its name, the car delivers a simply ‘superb’ experience. The all new Ambition version now extends the model line with greater accessibility, while retaining the Superb’s class-leading values in safety, comfort and efficiency. This edition will further consolidate the car’s dominating position in the segment and open the doors to opulence for the uncompromising customers seeking excellence at an excellent price.
Laura Since its launch, the Škoda Laura has been a win-
ning model in the Škoda portfolio. The Laura successfully continues its challenge to new competitors with pioneering safety and performance technologies, optimum interior space, and high quality build. The first model in its class with the revolutionary and award winning TSI technology, the Škoda Laura has won praises, from media and customers alike. The advanced direct injection technology with turbo charging translates to superlative refinement, classleading performance and low consumption. Customers looking for a more focused sporty experience can look at the new RS edition. The new Rally Sport model is a celebration of Škoda’s illustrious 110 years of motorsport heritage and its recent victory of the 2010 IRC championship. The new Rally Sport version ties the performance of the TSI engine to a dynamically sharper chassis; and, is presented in a visual package that is inimitably RS. The new RS will appeal to both the rational and emotional needs of the performance enthusiast and its unique positioning in the segment makes it instantly identifiable among other cars.
Fabia The new Škoda Fabia launched in October 2010, has brought great success for the Fabia brand. It has firmly established itself as a benchmark for spacious interiors, quality materials and value proposal. To further extend the appeal of the Fabia, Škoda has introduced the new Škoda Fabia Scout, which – like all Škoda cars – has to its credits many firsts for the segment. ŠKODA cars are sophisticated yet simple, premium yet accessible, precise and spacious, smart and caring, giving its owners an experience they cherish. With smart features like a wet case umbrella holder, light in the glove box, adjustable
driver's seat among others, customer comfort is a primary concern for Škoda irrespective of the customers' budget and preference. Škoda Auto India made its foray in the country way back in 2001, with the launch of the Škoda Octavia. Marketed as a premium sedan, the model was an instant hit with Indian car buyers. This was followed with the launch of the Superb, Laura, Fabia, Yeti and Rapid. Eleven years later, Škoda Auto India continues to enthral auto enthusiasts, with cars that can be best described as ‘Simply Clever’. The company has five outlets in Kerala represented by three dealers: Marikar Engineers Private Limited, St Antony’s Trading Company and Vision Motors Pvt Limited. With two showrooms in Kochi, Škoda is represented with one showroom each in Trivandrum, Calicut and Thrissur.
ŠKODA cars are sophisticated yet simple, premium yet accessible, precise and spacious, smart and caring, giving its owners an experience they cherish 2012 DECEMBER
Makeover Mithra Kurian
The demure actress turns gorgeous damsel with Emmanuval Makeover World's largest fashion Empire Emmanuval Silks' Studio White helped her become the beautiful bride
Gorgeous in gowns Studio White, the gallery of gowns collection at Emmanuval Silks, offers specially designed gowns according to a brideâ€™s choice
An elegant A-line white gown with vertical seams flowing from the shoulders down to a flared skirt with intricately laced fitted bodice and cap sleeve with glossy netted skirt having floral and bead embellishments merged with fingerless-embroidered satin gloves and shoulder length veil. (These sleeves work best on women with fairly slender and well-toned upper arms)
hat does make a bride the cynosure of all eyes on her wedding day? When the bride steps out of the wedding car and walks down the aisle to the altar, the guests would be gazing at her gown which transforms her into a beautiful goddess. So if you are about to jump over the broomstick soon, think of your dream gowns that are stunning and elegant with embellishments, cuts and frilly laces. For those who want a different look in their gowns, Studio White at Emmanuval Silks is ready with a large collection of specially designed bridal gowns in their showroom. Ranging from simple designs to specially designed designer gowns, Emmanuval Silks has worldâ€™s largest collection of white bridal gowns in its Studio White gallery. The latest fish cut models, back tail models and trendy model gowns are also available in the showroom. The forthcoming exclusive wedding gowns studded with diamonds and gold are one of the specialties of Studio White. Over 300 collections of bridal gowns with a price range of Rs 4,000 to Rs 1,50,000 adorn the more than 6,000 sq ft shop. The bridal consultants in the shop will help you get the design of your choice for your gowns and it will be delivered within 15 days. Apart from gowns and wedding saris, there are accessories matching for each gown. The accessories include two to six-layered wedding veils, wedding crowns ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 2,000, wedding sandals and dry flower bouquets. So carry on dreaming about your unique bridal gown which is going to make the auspicious day a memorable one. 2012 DECEMBER
Wide necked white Cinderella wedding gown having motifs, thread embellishments and stones at the yoke and cap sleeves, with embossed petite floral applique accessorised with pearls added on to the full-length skirt. The bride look is made complete with a pair of dainty fingerless elbow-length gloves and shoulder length veil. 50
Wide necked, multi layer, cut worked model with white beads, stones and silver threads spread across the yoke of the gown and at the bottom line of the wedding dress. the cascading wedding veil compliments the wedding gown and would be an ideal bride wear for the one who wants a long, luxurious cathedral floor-length veil.
Makeover 2012 DECEMBER
trends White satin mermaid gown with thread embellished net cap sleeve with a strapless neckline fitting at the top with its skirt flowing around the knees creating a mermaid shape. The luxuriously laced and intricately beaded bodice and skirt enhances the body frame of a pear shaped bride.
INAC comes to Kochi
AUTOCROSS OF KERALA 1st & 2nd December 2012
3A AUTOCROSS 2012, 4th round of the Indian National Autocross Championship (INAC) 2012, organised by Asian Autosport and Kerala Auto Sports Club, will be held at Synthite Grounds, near Lakeshore Hospital, Maradu, Kochi on December 1 and 2. This is first time Kerala having an INAC round and will be one of the six rounds of the 2012 championship. In this event, two cars will run in two parallel tracks as in WRC SSS format/Race of Champions Autocross Format. Scrutiny and practice session will be on December 1 and Qualifying and Races will be on December 2.
Lohitt Urs and Rahul Kantharaj, top rally drivers in the country, will be driving for PGA Motorsports along with Den Thimmaya, Ashika and Philip Thomas
Autocross is a form of motor sports that emphasises safe competition and active participation. It is a timed competition where drivers compete with each other through a defined course on either sealed or unsealed surfaces. Autocross differs from road racing or rallying. As an entry-level motorsport, it provides a stepping stone for drivers looking to move into other more competitive and possibly expensive forms of racing. Any cars upto 3000 cc can be used in seven different classes – 850cc, 1100 cc, 1400cc, 1600cc, 3000cc, gypsy class and ladies class. Though ladies can compete in motorsports, it’s for the first time in the country
that they have an exclusive championship. There is also a huge captive audience just like F1. In India there are four types of National Championships for motorsports - National Car Racing Championship, National Bike Racing Championship, National Car Rally Championship (INRC) and National Car Autocross Championship (INAC). INAC 2012 has six rounds this year and it is a proud moment for Asian Autosport as they succeeded in conducting the two-day event in Kerala for the first time.
Speed track Cochin based Team - PGA Motorsports, who is the leading National Championship, have confirmed 12 total entries in five classes. Lohitt Urs and Rahul Kantharaj, top rally drivers in the country, will be driving for PGA Motorsports along with Den Thimmaya, Ashika and Philip Thomas. Cedia N+ Rally Car worth 30 lakh will be run by the team in 3000cc class and will be a great spectator puller. “A good number of entries have been confirmed from all places,” said P.G. Abhilash, of Asian Autosports. Thrissur-based R3A Company is the title sponsor of the event. Other sponsors of the event include: Ramada Resorts (hospitality partner), Synthite Group (venue partner), Lakeshore (hospital partner) and Star PVC Pipes (co-sponsor).
Poems of love For the first time, Mollywood actors join together to croon for a music album, “One Love,” which will be launched at Burj Khalifa, Dubai on December 2 Text K.R. Rejeesh Photos Various sources
t was a novel concept of bringing film actors together to croon for a music album. For young music director P.V. Unnikrishnan, it took three years to fulfill his pet project. But his hard work finally paid off. The romantic music album, “One Love”, will be launched in a grand function to be held at Burj Khalifa, Dubai on December 2. So why did the delay happen? Unnikrishnan clarifies: “The concept of a celebrity music album propped up in a chat with my friend singer Vijay Madhav three years ago. But we had to wait till now because of the unavailability of film stars for recording the songs.” “One Love” has six songs sung by actors Suresh Gopi, Saranya Mohan, Ananya and upcoming singers Vijay Madhav, Mridula Warrier and producer Sudeep Karat. Unnikrishnan can’t hide his excitement as he groomed actor Suresh Gopi to sing the song. “He is so much passionate about music. Each time he came to the studio after learning the lines well. After recording the song, he felt that he could have done it even better. But I was sure that he had sung it as a professional singer,” beams Unnikrishnan and adds, “It was a good experience with the film stars and the process of bringing out their singing talent.” “One Love” is produced by Sudeep Karat in the banner Sal Roza Creations. The romantic melodies in the album were penned by lyricists Rajeev Alunkal and Sreenath. Singer Vijay Madhav has sung duet songs along with Saranya Mohan and Ananya in the album. Unnikrishnan began music direction at the age of 19 when he was a student in Mar Ivanios College, Trivandrum. When renowned filmmaker M.P. Sukumaran Nair serialized his film “Ramanam” as “Smarakasilakal” on Doordarsan, Unnikrishnan was approached to do the theme song. His association with him continued in the docu-fiction “Nangyarkooth” too. Sreejith Namboodiri –directed “Ekaroopam”, a docu-fiction, is another important work by this budding musician. He has composed
music for the Kannada film “Charithra”. In the IDSFFK 2009, his first Kannada music video “Ocean of Dreams” bagged the runner up prize. Unnikrishnan has also composed title songs for several TV shows, including Vodafone Comedy Stars, Ranankanam, Star Utsav and Neelambari etc.
Digital platform Realising social networking sites as judicious space for marketing, Unnikrishnan is cashing in on the non-film music digital platform. “Digital platforms like YouTube and Facebook are so helpful to catapult your songs all over the world. Recently, my video song “Anna Kinnam Style” along with Nithin Raj on YouTube has got response even from Australia. A man sent an e-mail saying that though he couldn’t make out the language, the Gangnam Style video made him learn a few lines of it. The video has crossed 55,000 views in three weeks,” says Unnikrishnan, who has formed a group- “Kolambi Records” for making digital platform based musical works. “In this banner, I am working on my new musical work “Asarmulla” with singers Nithin raj and Gayathri, and trying to establish a pop industry, “Mal Pop”. I believe through world music genres, we can promote our language worldwide. Our first Mal Pop album “B+ve” will be out in January 2013 through digital platform,” he adds. Now Unnikrishnan’s song downloads are available in India’s largest Digital Promoters Hungama.com.
Realising social networking sites as judicious space for marketing, Unnikrishnan is cashing in on the non-film music digital platform
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Haridwar Its sights and sensibilities
Text & Photos Harikrishnan. H
Sannyasis are not uncommon in Haridwar. The yogis who recite the mantras with the musical tone of the Ganga, the spiritual aspirants who do austerities and even desist their dresses, those who wear saffron just to get rid of hunger and those who join groups to enjoy the intoxication of marijuana; all are part of it. This is the photograph of a Naga sannyasi on the banks of Ganga. This man with ashes overlaid on his body is always engaged in puja in front of the sacrificial fire. These people rarely speak as they usually follow silence as a penance.
Mendicancy is not a new thing in India. We can observe it around every corner of the country. In Haridwar, beggars appear in different forms. Some dress up like mythical characters and some in a normal way, but mostly dressed in saffron. There are groups who have taken beggary as a business by exploiting the poor ones. The photo is from Daksheswar temple in Haridwar. Most of the beggars are those who are unable to find a support in their old age. Some are alone and some others go in groups. The desperation in their eyes talks about the story of Indiaâ€™s poverty.
This is the famous Ganga Arti of Har Ki Pauri, Haridwar. At this moment, the mind unifies with the silent flow of Ganga. Thousands of devotees assemble on the banks of Ganga every evening to perform the Arti using lighted lamps. Along with this, a ceremony is performed in the main Ganga temple there. People sing hymns in praise of Ganga. One can hear the reverberating â€œJai ganga maiyyaâ€? praise on Ganga from every corner of Har Ki Pauri.
This is a scene from Trivenighat, where Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati rivers meet. Kids enjoy their afternoon by having their bath here. Water flow was less as it was summer and there was considerable heat. People of Haridwar and Rishkesh depend on Ganga for everything. Ganga is the source which sustains their life with food, water, electricity and even mental peace.
Produced by Mercury Theatre UK, Tinderbox UK & Rage Foundation India, the play explores the turmoilâ€™s of border division
ational boarders are often thought of as permanent features, sold and immovable, dry ink on paper, yet in reality they shift in accordance to the fractions in power, their permanence only as stable as the reignâ€™s longevity. This play explores the emotional turbulence and political turmoil that is caused when one such border divides a community and a family? For Saira and Aziz, siblings and the main characters of the play,he absence of their mother who is trapped on the other side of the wire, makes their life incomplete .Each sibling though has their own motives for wanting their mother freed. For Saira thereâ€™s desperation to fill an emotional need, to be seen to do the right thing and reunite the family. For Aziz played by Nabil Stuart, intentions are not so influence by love but by politics. He wants to turn their mother, played by Jasmina Daniel, into a figure for thousand to idolise and be empowered by. Writer, Farhad Sorabjee, has captured a sibling rival that has larger consequence than their petty
arguments would lead you to believe. The writer questions the importance of motive and cooperation, if we all want to same outcome, then does the method matter? However, when that method is illegal and dangerous, is the cause justified. Sorabjee has brought a universal conundrum into a very real setting, a setting that heightens the whole piece. It is incredible to think that people attend ceremonies such as weddings and funerals through megaphones. The abruptly imposed border separated families forever. Although the story is officially not set in one particular location, Sorabjee was inspired by the Shouting Valley in the Golan Heights, in which a border fence erected by Israel divides Syrian-held territory from Israeli-held territory annexed by it during the Six Day War of 1967. Families divided by the fence stand a few hundred metres away from each other and speak to each other through megaphones, unable to cross the no-man's-land that divides them. The sheer promise of this foundation is enough to set the imagination astir. Sorabjee sharply devel-
ops the potential of this situation with three unusual characters. The dialogue is taut, particularly in the intricately crafted megaphone exchanges that must incorporate always the several threads of conversation that emerge simultaneously between three characters who cannot always hear each other. a place where the Israeli border divides families. These families stand atop hill either side of the border, shouting to each other and carrying on as if the divide didn’t exist. Between them though is a deadly no-man’s land, covered by snipers and a mine field. As the practicalities of crossing the closed border hits home though, it seems there are secrets hidden by all three parties. Sorabjee’s writing digs deep into the soul and it’s not always an easy ride. Patience and some work by the audience though are rewarded through a rich, textured look at the impact distance, however tantalisingly small can have on individuals. It’s a slow burn of a production that releases it secrets bit by bit, but this in turn builds the requisite tension in the piece.
There are beautifully observed portrayals from all three actors. The intense yet moving daughter Saira, The rage filled Aziz and Jasmina Daniel’s quiet, reflective mother. There’s a real sense of family cohesion despite the many differences and physical separation all suffer. Chris Whites production, played against Paul Burgess’ simple, yet effective, set, teases out detail a stand at a time, never losing focus or momentum. Without wishing to give away any plot twists, in a way it seems the final scene is somewhat superfluous and the piece may probably be stronger ending 15 minutes earlier on a dramatic cliff-hanger. As it is the piece perhaps ends too neatly for such a tangled situation – sometimes it’s more powerful to leave things hanging unsaid. It’s a small quibble with an otherwise powerful and moving piece that delves deep into the human spirit. Regardless of its location, the divisive nature of barbed wire, fences and deadly no-man’s land echoes in many communities across history, these Hard Places a blot on many countries history books. 2012 DECEMBER
Spin yarns, say goodnight Everyone needs a series of predictable steps that they take every night to help them sleep If your child knows you’re a stickler for the rules, he’s less likely to stall and delay, making bedtime smoother and more pleasant all around
solid routine can make evenings less stressful and far more fun -- for everyone. Whisking your child from playtime to bedtime might actually be depriving him of the very cues he needs to make it smoothly into slumber. Make a plan. Exactly what you do before bedtime is a mix of personal preference and practicality. Your routine might include a bath, brushing teeth, putting on pajamas, reading together, talking or saying a prayer. What matters most is ensuring the routine is soothing and consistent. Once you have a plan, write it down and share it with your kids.
Unplug and wind down According to experts, long before his head hits the pillow, your child will need to start the process of winding down his body and brain. That means no caffeine and also “no screen time -- computer, TV, video games, texting, even the iPod -- for at least an hour before bedtime.” Instead, think gentle play, reading or conversation. You might also try a warm bath or even sleep-inducing, kid-friendly yoga poses. Setting the mood is also important. Aim for low lighting and soft sounds. If your child needs music to sleep, go with music only -- no lyrics. And aim to stay within the sleep environment by reading bedtime stories in his room -- not yours -- and resisting his pleas to “give the dog one more kiss,” or do anything else that will have him leaving the bedroom. Stick with it. Following the same routine nightly actually makes it physically easier for your child to fall asleep by giving his body cues to secrete hormones that induce sleep. And if your child knows you’re a stickler for the rules, he’s less likely to stall 64
and delay, making bedtime smoother and more pleasant all around. There’s no one-size-fits-all bedtime routine. Some parents go with the bare essentials, while others turn the evening witching hour into something magical. Mix and match from the options below, or add your own:
Bath: Aim for a warm soak, rather than a manic splashing. Brush teeth: It’s important for health reasons, but over time it will also help to send your body “go to sleep” signals Wash face: More signals to tell your little one it’s time to sleep. Potty time and glass of water: One last chance to use the toilet before bed and to fill up a small glass of water. Having water bedside will help ward off requests for water later. Pick out pajamas: Give your child a feeling of control over bedtime by letting him choose. Pick out books: Again, he’s in charge. Let him choose two or three books for you to read. Talk quietly: Connect by talking about his day or engaging in some creative thinking. Or, have him “pick a dream” to decide what he’ll dream about tonight. Read to your child: Avoid the “one more story” plea by establishing ahead of time how many books you’ll read. Lullaby: Quietly sing or hum your child’s favourite lullaby. Say goodnight: To each other, the moon, the stars, the teddy bear -- let your child lead the way. Snuggle: Tuck him in and kiss him goodnight so you can both go to bed feeling warm and fuzzy.
on gold Know about a few more investment options of gold in this final section of the article
he previous two articles in this column had provided a vivid description of different ways of buying and investing gold. This final article also provides a lot of information and it highlights the intricacies while selling jewellery for cash to the same store from where you have purchased it.
the country, mutual fund has a very wide investor base. At just half per cent more charges, a person without a demat account can invest in gold. In the case of gold ETF, investors have to go through stock brokers as they are traded on stock exchanges. Gold fund of funds provide the returns of gold ETF at the convenience of mutual fund.
Difficulty in cashing gold jewellery keeps money locked in metal
Gold ETFs operate like mutual funds with gold as an underlying asset. The brokerage charges are similar to that of e-gold. There is an additional one to two per cent annual expense charge. The landed rate at the ETF counter is arrived at based on the London bullion market rate, converting it to Indian rupee and adding charges like octroi and VAT. Some of the gold ETFs hold gold as well as liquid instruments and so may not exactly reflect the gold price appreciation. While selling gold ETFs also one has to pay the brokerage charges and the transaction usually closes in a T+2 cycle. According to Vishal Jain, chief investment officer of Benchmark Gold BeES, the seller does not usually face the problem of absence of a buyer.
Gold fund of funds Gold fund of funds could be the next driver of investments into gold ETFs, offering mutual fund customers an opportunity to invest in the metal. The first Gold Savings Fund was launched by Reliance Mutual Fund in February last year and a few other fund houses have followed suit. Gold fund of funds invest into gold ETFs. Gold fund of funds is a good vehicle to take mutual fund to mass retail market through systematic investment plan. While gold ETFs are still at a nascent stage in
A person buying gold jewellery for investment purpose can buy it for cash from any jewellery store, but when he wants to sell it off for cash there are several hurdles
A person buying gold jewellery for investment purpose can buy it for cash from any jewellery store, but when he wants to sell it off for cash there are several hurdles. “Any jeweler will readily take back the jewellery brought from the same store, provided he furnishes the bill. If the jewellery has been bought some other jewellery, we gauge the purity and lessen Rs 100 to Rs 200 per gram as labour charges before paying cash,” said Lalit Jagawat, proprietor of Nakoda Bullion and director of Bombay Bullion Association. “However, if it’s a jewellery without a bill, the seller has to get a certificate from the governmentapproved valuer in the jewellery bazaar on the purity of the metal before selling it. In such cases, the seller should be a known person or a person referred by a known person of the jeweler. We do not buy gold from any unknown person as it may also be theft jewellery,” he said. As per World Gold Council, India has over 18,000 tonnes of gold stocks worth approximately US$800 billion held by private persons, government and institutions. Only 10 per cent of this is pledged with gold loan companies, pawn brokers and banks. Majority of the nation’s gold stocks in the form of jewellery remain with the owner for years as dead asset. 2012 DECEMBER
Bone up on lifestyle According to WHO, osteoporosis is second only to cardiovascular disease as a global healthcare problem
steoporosis is weakness of bone due to lack of mineral contents reducing the density of bone. The weakness of bone makes it susceptible to fracture. Osteoporosis is either age related (primary) or due to any other existing disease (secondary). Women are more susceptible to this condition early in their life. After menopause, the levels of oestrogen, which is a supporting hormone for bone formation, goes down thus demineralising it. In men, by the age of 70, the level of male supporting hormone testosterone goes down producing similar condition. After the age of 70, the risk of fracture is the same in men and women. Osteoporosis is the result of imbalance between the bone forming cells (osteoblast) and bone destroying cells (osteoclast) connected through a network of bone cells (osteocytes) and regulated by blood calcium level and a few vital hormones of the body. The osteoclasts are programmed to release calcium (main mineral) from the bone. Calcium is essential for the day-to-day activities of all vital structures of the body, including the nerves, brain, muscles, heart and blood clotting. So unless the initial bone density due to mineral (calcium) content of the bone is high, the demineralisation after 50 years of age can lead to a critical level producing osteoporosis and its complications.
Dr. K.R. Prathap Kumar MB, FRCS (Tr&Orth), FRCS (Gen), Dâ€™Orth; Consultant Shoulder and Upperlimb Surgeon. Sunrise Hospital, Kochi 30, Kerala Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 66
Bone building starts at early teenage and progresses till the age of 28 years in women and 32 years in men attaining the maximum bone mass. During this period, the stimulating factor for bone formation is stress applied to the bone. The best stress for bone building is weight bearing exercises like walking, running, skipping and jumping on trampoline. Proper exercise with sufficient intake of calcium and vitamin D are the key factors at this age to maximise bone mass. A balanced diet containing Green leafy vegetables, milk, yogurt, fish and meat will provide required amount of calcium.Half-an-hour exposure of the 50 per cent of body to the sunlight is sufficient for conversion of naturally available vitamin D precursor (7 DeHydrocholesterol) to vitamin D.
Lifestyle Dependency on fast food can lead to calcium insuf-
ficiency, which can adversely affect bone building process. When you are young, you should maximise your mineral deposit in the bone which can be utilised during old age. After the maximum bone building age, the next phase is a plateau or slowly declining phase of bone mass and its mineral. After the age of 50 (menopause), there is accelerated loss of mineral content from the bone in women where it increases the risk of osteoporosis. Similar phase in men is after the age of 70. In this accelerated phase of bone loss, extra supplement of calcium and vitamin D along with regular exercise will reduce the rate of bone loss.
Myths One of the myths regarding osteoporosis is that this condition can be diagnosed by a plain X-ray. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a special X-ray technique called DEXA scan (Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry) is needed for diagnosis. This is a modified X-ray technique where X-rays are passed through the area of interest and the amount of the rays absorbed by the bone is calculated. If the bone mass is high due to increased mineral content then the Bone Mineral Density (BMD) will be high. To compare the BMD in different people and to predict osteoporosis, different scores are used. T-score, the gold standard used to diagnose osteoporosis, compares BMD of the individual with that of a healthy 30-year-old of the same sex and ethnicity. Z-score compares BMD to age, sex and ethnicity matched population. It is a better score for children, pre-menopausal women and men below the age of 50. Both these scores are given in standard deviations. Standard deviation upto -1 is normal, -1 to -2.5 is osteopenia and value below -2.5 is consistent with osteoporosis. To predict a fracture more accurately in patients with osteoporosis, a FRAX Tool has been developed by WHO, where along with T-score other risk factors are also accounted.
What is osteopenia? Osteopenia is a pre-osteoporosis condition and needs to be attended vigilantly with regular exercise and supplementation of calcium and vitamin D.
Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty
eow…Meow… ‘What a menace’. Hold on before you say this. Don’t drive it off; it could be your good friend. Go through the studies which have demonstrated cat petting to improve a person’s psychological and physical health, including lowering of one’s high blood pressure. Let’s say you wake up in the middle of the night and fix yourself a snack in the kitchen. You might realize your cat is awake and become concerned. Is she having trouble sleeping? Not getting enough exercise? No! Cats are instinctually crepuscular. Long ago, cats hunted at night to avoid predators. Over time, they trained themselves to be night owls capable of detecting motion in minimal lighting. In Kerala, we may find plenty of stray cats loitering at markets. When it comes to dedicated petting, how many are keen on having a cat as their pet? They are more or less the labeled lot called to be ‘unfaithful’ when compared to dogs. Expecting their disloyalty there are a few who still keep them for selfish reasons. Say like mobile garbage, clearing off edible remnants now and then or else like a rodent or reptile chaser. Animal lovers mostly prefer to have dogs as their companion and so little do they know about cats. It has been scientifically proven that cats and humans tend to get along well with each other than dogs. Researchers have proved that a cat’s brain is biologically more similar to a human brain. So psychologically cat’s compatibility with humans
Meow Chronicles Now to prove how adorable they are, read a real life incident of an animal enthusiast who shared with us a jaw-dropping encounter with her pet cat. She said, “I have a tom cat ‘Tintin’ which I dearly love, but due to its mischief, my parents decided to leave him at a fish market, three kilometers away from home. Four days went by, but the little mischief he had left unfinished haunted me. On the fifth day, as I went to my garden in the morning to water the plants, I faintly heard a meow similar to his. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was him. After four days with too many heavy rains how did he manage to get back home? Experts call it ‘psi-travelling’, the ability of a cat to find its way home.
Unacquainted facts about ‘the inquisitive puss’ Cats have five-toed paws in front and four toes on its back paws. Perspiration through their paws makes them spend 30 per cent of their waking hours grooming them. Confused whether an unidentified dead cat is yours or not? Confirm it by cross checking it with the nose print of your pet and that of the deceased. It’s unique, like human finger prints. Cats prefer being rubbed between their eyes and ears as this area has a major scent gland which enables them to deposit their scent on our hand.
Cats can be downright bizarre! But there’s an instinctual reason behind most of a cat’s actions. Know more…
Fun Facts • Cats hate water but the Turkish Van, one-of-itskinds, likes swimming. They have a fur coat with a unique texture making it water resistant. • Kopi Luwak, world’s rarest coffee comes from Indonesia where wildcat Luwak’s are found. The coffee berries and beans collected from cat's dung
heaps are cleaned and roasted to make Kopi Luwak, a coffee powder sold for about $500 for a 450 gm packet. • In 1888, more than 300,000 mummified cats were found in an Egyptian cemetery. This shows the attachment Egyptians had for cats. 2012 DECEMBER
he November issue cover launch of FWD Life held at Oberon Mall, Central Atrium, Kochi on November 1, was a glitzy affair. FWD Life cover featuring actor Vineeth Kumar, the new heartthrob of Mollywood, had a different look of the ‘rising star’. His makeover was a surprise for the celebrities of Malayalam Cinema, who attended the “Renault Scala – FWD
Life Cover Launch” function with great gusto. Actors Vineeth Kumar, Anu, Daniel Balaji, Vijeesh, Saiju Kurup, Jishnu, Rejith Menon, Nishan, among others were present on the occasion. Shani was the photographer and stylist for the magazine cover. The interactive drumming session by Indo– African drumming band, Drum Beats, was one of the highlights of the function.
The informal occasion also provided an opportunity for some celebrities to meet their co-stars for the first time in an event. They greeted each other and sat together for dinner at Nalukettu restaurant in the Mall. We spotted some of them conveying pleasantries and chatting on for a long time. In short, the venue became a meeting place for celebrities to buttress their friendship or relation with others. From their jovial mood, one can assume that
they had a whale of time there! FWD Life magazine, the sole premium lifestyle magazine in Kerala, has took off within a short span of time in the State by featuring talented celebrities, personalities and riveting articles in its previous issues. The overwhelming response to the cover launch function at Oberon Mall was a testimony to the magazineâ€™s impact among its readers. 2012 DECEMBER
Father's unique gift
Jim Rogers’ book “A Gift to My Children” is a great gift for all those just starting to invest in their futures
Rogers is a big proponent of the idea that it's essential for young people to study history and to experience world’s culture first-hand through travel
hat makes for a successful investor? And more importantly, what makes for a happy and meaningful life? According to legendary investor Jim Rogers, the road to financial success and the road to happiness are one and the same. Rogers co-founded the phenomenally successful Quantum Fund, which in 10 years delivered a return of 4,200 per cent. He retired from Wall Street at the age of 37, and continued to manage and invest his own funds with great success. “A Gift to My Children: A Father’s Lessons for Life and Investing” marks his effort to share wisdom and insights about finance, investing, and life in general with his two young children. It is anchored by the two basic rules Rogers invests and lives by: The first is that you have to see the world up-close if you're going to understand how it works. Rogers begins with exhortations to work hard, think critically, trust your own judgment, and work to identify your passions and dreams beyond simply making money. The second is that you must always question conventional wisdom, as many of his most successful investment strategies and ideas have resulted from swimming upstream. Rogers reveals how to learn from his triumphs and mistakes in order to achieve a prosperity:
Trust your own judgement Rogers sensed China’s true potential way back in the 1980s, at a time when most analysts were highly skeptical of its prospects for growth.
Focus on what you like Rogers was five when he started collecting empty 72
bottles at baseball games instead of playing.
Be persistent Coming to Yale from rural Alabama, and in over his head, Rogers never stopped studying and wound up with a scholarship to Oxford.
See the world In 1990, Rogers traveled through six continents by motorcycle, gaining a global perspective and learning how to evaluate prospects in rapidly developing countries such as Brazil, Russia, India and China.
Nothing is really new Anything deemed “innovative” or “unprecedented” is usually just overhyped, as in the case of the Internet or TV, airplanes and railroads before it. Rogers is a big proponent of the idea that it's essential for young people to study history and to experience world’s culture first-hand through travel. The wisdom he imparts on his young daughters may seem like common sense, but as Voltaire wrote – “Common sense is not so common.” He encourages his daughters to question everything. Conventional Wisdom reflects the past, and Truth lies in analyzing the present. The future cannot be predicted, but history and its context with current events can make predictions quite reliable. The book is a gentle piece on how to learn from triumphs and mistakes in order to achieve a prosperous, well-lived life. It is best viewed as an abridged autobiographical work interwoven and peppered with anecdotes and advice derived from his working life, successes and challenges. Wise and warm, accessible and inspiring, “A Gift to My Children” is a great gift for all those just starting to invest in their futures.
Ideas galore The stage was perfectly set for techies at the 13th BarCamp held at FISAT, Angamaly to showcase their innovative ideas
A The 13th BarCamp started with an informal introduction about the camp, followed by mind-blowing 15 sessions in all
s always, with a lot of conversations and online discussions, FISAT (Federal Institute of Science and Technology), Angamaly was destined to be the privileged ground for conducting the 13th BarCamp, held on November 14. For the past 12 times these BarCamps have proved to be an appropriate platform to exchange thoughts and actions on current and future technological innovations. “The first camp was organised at Technopark, which had a few techies, including me. The first camp was a big success with over 100 people attending,” recalls Kenney Jacob, who has been actively organising all BarCamps in Kerala since its inception. It’s the roof which enables the convergence of novel ideas into a workable format.
and then about God and universe left the crowd in a trance. After a heavy meal with some casual chit chats, the afternoon session continued with an introduction talk on “Windows 8” by Nirmal. T.V. The next was not just a talk but a techie’s testimony: Dhanan Shekar Edathara’s story about a casual mobile game, “Tic Tac Toe Neo”. All eyes were glued to him, eagerly waiting to hear what he was up to after resigning his job. Anxiety was just for the audience, but for Dhanan, confidence was all he had after quitting the job. He knew what he wanted. He created a flash game and also introduced a Tic Tac Toe app in the android market, which permeated like a crazy virus. A session by Bipin Mathew Joseph on “Google Getting Next Billion Online” held next.
The 13th BarCamp started with an informal introduction about the camp, followed by mind-blowing 15 sessions in all. It began with “Healthy Usage of Electronic Media”, a speech on why and how the younger generation misuse Internet and electronic media and how it can be controlled. This was an informative speech by Nijid Pasha, which could, if practically applied, create an enormous impact against misuse of electronic media. The second session by Prasheed Pal. K.T was on FOSS (Free and Open Source Software). As the audience waited to hear about its positives, Prasheed spoke about the mess and commotion created by FOSS like the ‘Barbie Doll Effect’. Next in line was a talk on “Dependency Management with Composer” by Hari. K. T, focusing on management tools for PHP and Facebook search. Jofin Joseph’s session on “Business Analysis” was an interesting one. By sharing Kenney’s bitter experience of how his established business got affected with the big bang of recession and the lesson he learned from it, he talked on “Failed Business”, it’s do’s and don’ts, which generated a lot of questions from the audience. Nelvin Joseph’s “Source Code” was the session prior to the lunch break. His talk on DNA, SWARMS
“Mobile Express” by Vishnu Gopal, Chief Technology Officer, MobMe, was one of the best sessions. It was a revolutionary talk which brought out the concept of safe money handling by using SIM cards. Something like ‘money = mobile’. This was followed by another interesting session, “The Lagaan Style Management of Business” by Saagan Pappachan. He used the Bollywood blockbuster movie “Lagaan” as a metaphor to explain ‘what one should do as a manager or as a responsible person working in a company, to create wonders’. The camp, like always, ended with a political talk, and this time it was “Pirate Party of India” by Jemshid. K.K. It was a concept which most of them heard for the first time. After which, at 7 pm, “BCK 13” (BarCamp Kerala) ended with a ‘cheez’ posing for a photo shoot, bidding adieu saying ‘see you again at BCK 14’. “The location of this camp was a bit remote, but as the college provided transport facility, commuting wasn’t a problem. We are already on the lookout for a venue for the next camp. After the 13th event a lot of suggestions to improve the event have been put forwarded by the participants and it will be seriously looked into,” concludes Kenney.
Babu Moopan, Chairman,Geeyem Chevrolet
Lowell Paddock President and Managing Director, GM India
P. Balendran Vice President, GM India
T.C. Paul Chairman, Deedi Chevrolet
Chevrolet launches Sail U-VA General Motors (GM) India launched the all-new Chevrolet Sail U-VA recently. The hatchback vehicle is built on a new global small passenger car platform.
(from left to right) Babu Moopan, Chairman, Geeyem Chevrolet, Lowell Paddock, President and MD, General Motors India, P. Balendran, Vice President, General Motors India, T.C. Paul, Chairman, Deedi Chevrolet & Dr. Roy, Director, Geeyem Chevrolet
Scribe’s “Kith and Kin” released
ournalist Sheila Kumar’s “Kith and Kin-Chronicles of a Clan,” a debut collection of 19 short stories, was released by filmmaker and scriptwriter Renji Panicker recently in Bristol Hall at Lotus Club, Kochi. The characters in the book are linked with an aristocratic Nair family from South Malabar in Kerala, ‘The Melekat Tharavad’. The main peg of the book is the matriarch Melekat Ammini Amma and the stories revolve around her brothers, children, grandchildren and friends. The author Sheila Kumar has done a good job by stepping into the shoes of a girl who has crossed her marriageable age as per Kerala standards, having said a ‘no’ to many proposals and the other way round as well. To mention a few more characters, the book has efforts taken by a journalist, trying hard to find an apt thread for a perfect story which would fetch another byline, clever and dramatic moves taken by a lady who tries hard to get away from the clutches of her husband and so on. The function was followed by a Q and A session by Elizabeth Thomas with the author and reading of excerpts from the book by Rema Tharakan. The book is published by Rupa Publications and is available at all leading book stores for Rs 250. 2012 DECEMBER
Children’s Day celebrations organised by Ernakulam Round Table -214 provided much fun and knowledge to deprived children of our society mar Jain, chairman Ernakulam Round Table-214, inaugurated the event. The children of Sneha Bhavan sung a welcome song for one and all present there, followed by a well-disciplined march past. The children also sung national anthem and pledge with commitment and faith.
t was a rare day to put their woes to rest. The poor children enjoyed each smidge of the Children’s Day celebrations conducted by Ernakulam Round Table-214 on November 10. The occasion was brimmed with innocence of childhood and the children experienced it literally. It was truly a respite for them from their struggles when they realized the joy and freedom of childhood. Ernakulam Round Table-214 conducted Children’s Day celebrations and child rights awareness campaign in association with educational institutions, clubs, GOs, NGOs, and other individuals in society. Children’s Day, celebrated on Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru’s birthday (November 14), gives children the right to enjoy and grow into healthy and educated citizens of the country. It’s also about fostering new friendship, building up confidence and developing their talents. With this aim, over 100 volunteers and the entire team of Ernakulam Round Table-214 and around 1,000 children from children’s homes of Sneha Bhavan and the poorest neighborhood children converged at Sneha Bhavan grounds on November 10 to celebrate Children’s Day.
At the end of the event, the children were given shirt materials, toothbrushes, toothpastes, toys and gift bags containing notebooks and stationery 76
Children arrived in the morning and registered themselves at the venue. Around 1,000 children were turned up to participate in the programme with full of enthusiasm. Ernakulam MLA Hibi Eden along with social welfare chairperson Essie Joseph, Tyagrajan, chairperson, Standing Committee for Sports and Education, Tambi Subramaniyam, Ward Councillor and Divyaku-
Fun and frolic There were about 25 games booths for the children to play and have a fun atmosphere. Childline campaigns were also held as part of the event. With a view to protecting children from stress, abuse, child labour and missing, Childline provides a 24-hour national toll free emergency phone number- 1098. To make children aware of the Childline services, a presentation was also organized at the venue. More importantly, the children were educated about their rights during the programme. As the music had been played in the background, a group of young men, who were performing for the kids, make children to dance to their numbers. The fun moments of singing and dancing were definitely the golden moments of those children’s life. For them, the price of happiness is invaluable. Occasions like this, indirectly, convey an impression to the poor children that the world belongs to them too. Children from Sneha Bhavan performed cultural programmes and showcased their talents. There was special lunch sponsored by CGH Group for all the children participated in the programme. At the end of the event, the children were given shirt materials, toothbrushes, toothpastes, toys and gift bags containing notebooks and stationery. While receiving the gifts, an infectious smile was palpable on the faces of those underprivileged children. Wordsworth has said, “Child is the father of man.” Through this small initiative by Ernakulam Round Table -214, the children had got lessons of virtue and knowledge which would help them become responsible and committed individuals of tomorrow.
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Definitely it’s not shrinking in the society. Every person in this society has the right to voice his opinion. Bal Thackeray issue can be considered as an isolated incident. We still have a democratic government which ensures that we have the right to express our opinion. Dileep Telecom professional
FWD Life readers respond to the topic " Is space for freedom of expression shrinking in society?" Here’s what our poll revealed
Definitely not, in fact, space is increasing and this increasing space has ignited recent Bal Thackeray controversy. New means of expressing thoughts are coming every day and society will take some time to accept and get adjusted with this change. Arun Raghuvaran Marketing Professional
Any words you utter out to the public always interpret either in political or religious aspects nowadays. Later it leads to comparison of community dominance issues. Many valid opinions one tries to express are either restricted to a local circle or elided completely by themselves due to this fear of dominancy. The ‘unfortunate’ fact is that it not only affects individuals, but the media also. Sajith. M.R IT Professional 78
The space for freedom and expression is definitely not shrinking, what with the massive increase in popularity of social media websites. The actual question to be asked is if we still have the right to speech and expression. The right to speech and expression only holds good as long as a citizen is able to express his/her opinion without fearing its aftermaths. Navya Mariam Professional
Yes. Freedom is shrinking rapidly. Even as constitutional caveats promise freedom of expression, it appears the government machinery is out in full force to curb these rights. The recent arrests for posting ones views on Facebook and the jailing of a cartoonist just highlight the fact that government ssis impervious to criticism. Mohammad Akram IT Analyst No. We have the biggest democracy, no one in the world have the freedom of expression what Indians have. In Kerala, we have very large network of media than anywhere else. The youth are expressing their ideas, thoughts through social media and there is a large audience too. So it is not shrinking, and the opportunities are increased. Sayuj Othayoth Software Engineer
The Complete Reader's Guide TO FWD Life magazine
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Acer Chromebook C7
LG Nexus 4 (Pick of the month) The latest from Googleâ€™s premier line of phones, the Nexus 4 is the first Google phone to be manufactured by LG. The phone has a lot to impress on the features side - 8 MP camera with a great panorama mode, 4.7 inch scratch resistant high res screen and a Snapdragon S4 processor with 2GB RAM. It also sports the latest Android Jellybean. The only disappointments are the lack of LTE support and the missing external SD-card option. But apart from that, this phone is definitely in the same league as the iPhone 5 and the Galaxy S3. And it comes at a fraction of the price.
What FWD Life Liked: Thin and light weight 11.6 inch display with HD video capability Super cheap! Great value for money 100 GB Google Drive space for free
What we disliked Poor battery performance Price: ` 14,000/- approx
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Cyborg R.A.T 7 Gaming Mouse
Price: ` 23,500/- approx for 8GB
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Nikon D600 What FWD Life Liked: Affordable full frame DSLR great dynamic range and ISO quality small and lightweight
What we disliked Lot of autofocus jitter Poor choice for video Price: ` 10,96,90/- approx
FWD Life Rating :
What FWD Life Liked: The most customizable gaming mouse in the world Rigid build quality Everything can be adjusted to your personal preference 15 customizable actions
What we disliked Bundled software driver is very buggy Heavy for non-gaming use Very expensive! Price: ` 7,000/- approx
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Disclaimer: Price and features are subject to change. Buyers are advised to act on data after cross-checking. 80
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