THINK. Create. Live.
Vol-1 ISSUE-4 ` 100
STAYING CONNECTED THROUGH NOTES AND STRINGS
DISCOVERING THE PEARL OF THE ORIENT
TRAVELOGUE ON JORDAN
OF ETERNAL BONDS AISHWARYA R. DHANUSH AND MEENAKSHI CHITHARANJAN SPEAK
The Brew magazine is based on the Entertainment genre has seen stupendous growth in the past five years of its existence. Based on its tagline ‘Think. Create. Live’, the Brew magazine urges readers to contemplate, create and live- in that order. Featuring human interest stories, articles about the most famed artists and elite lifestyle stories, we are immaculately selective about our content. With the support of the advisory and contributory board comprising of a team of great individuals, we host a minimum of eight events a year as well. Sameer Bharat Ram Publisher & CEO
Aishwarya R. Dhanush and Meenakshi Chitharanjan are two women who made me realise that some of the most beautiful relationships between people are often unsaid, hidden and nevertheless thriving in full glory. The teacher-student duo is nothing like the stereotypical outlook you would expect to witness. Sharing a bond unhindered by time, distance or the occasional lull of not being in touch, they are unique in an almost envious way. Surprising us with an intriguing connection they share, this cover story was an absolute delight to conceptualise and acts as a quiet reminder of all the good things life has thrown at you this New Year that has now grown old. The Think, Create and Live sections are filled many more interesting articles ranging from a feature on Vidya Iyer, an Indian-born American Singer popularly known for her unique mash-ups to a feature on artist Silvia Sanchez Ortega. Furthermore, from a travelogue on Jordan to the newest product picks this season, there is plenty to read. Enjoy. VIDHYA ANAND EDITOR
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“Based on its tagline ‘Think. Create. Live’, the Brew magazine urges readers to contemplate, create and live- in that order. Featuring human interest stories, articles about the most famed artists and elite lifestyle stories, we are immaculately selective about our content. ”
CONTRIBUTORS & ADVISORY BOARD Thota Tharrani A senior Indian film art director and production designer who has worked in Tamil cinema, Telugu cinema, Malayalam cinema and Bollywood. He has won two National Film Awards, two Filmfare Awards South and four Tamil Nadu State Film Awards. His work consists of paintings, murals, paper collages, wooden montages, installations and so on
G Venket Ram A leading Indian fashion photographer, who has shot principal photography stills for several notable films as well as portfolios. He quit his engineering studies to work with cinematographers for a while, after which he joined a course in Visual Communication at Loyola College. He then worked with photographer Sharad Haksar and in 1993, he started his own studio
Mallika Sarabhai Educated as an economist and business manager, she is one of India’s best-known classical dancers. She has taken her work and her company ‘Darpana’ to not only over 90 countries around the world, but also to the most remote parts of India
Neeru Nanda A graduate from Delhi University, she’s passionate about writing. She freelanced as a feature writer for ten years before switching to publishing. Author of a collection of short stories titled ‘IF’, she has also worked on novels and short stories for children
Ashok Verghese One of the youngest education entrepreneurs who is making a great difference in this field in the country. He is the Director of the Hindustan group of Institutions, one of the pioneering educational groups in the country. He supports the cause of promoting young talent in art and music
Veejay Sai An award-winning writer, editor and a culture critic. He has written and published extensively on Indian classical music, fashion, theatre, food and art, and loves traveling, researching literary and cultural history. He is an editorial consultant with over 40 brands and designers in and outside India and is on the jury for several prestigious awards in the arts sector across the country
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INTERNAL TEAM EDITOR Vidhya Anand FEATURES WRITERS Padma Murughappun Ajay Srikanth Nanditha Vijayaraghavan Aasha Sriram Lata Prakash MARKETING MANAGER Reesha N DESIGN Ramkumarnagarasan P CIRCULATION K.Sathish kumar
COVER CREDITS MAHESHWAR SINGH
We are pleased to announce that celebrity PRO Mr Nikkil Murugan officially gets on board as the public relations officer of BREW LIFESTYLE.
S T R A T E G Y
D E S I G N
Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India RNI No.TNENG/2016/68719 Published by Sameer Bharat Ram, and owned by SM BrandMuni Consulting Pvt. Ltd, Published from New No. 68 / Old No. 63, Cathedral Road, Chennai - 600 086. Tel.: +91 44 4208 9392. Printed by NPT Offset Press Pvt Ltd., at New No.11, Old No. 77 & 78, Avvai Shanmugam salai, Royapettah, Chennai- 600 014. We are not responsible for incorrect information or listings. Readers are advised to cross-check information with establishments, although we do all we can to ensure correctness.
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MUSINGS UNFATHOMABLE DISPOSITIONS
ANIRUDH NARAYANAN ENTREPRENEUR, DIGITAL NOMAD AND GROWTH HACKER
NAMITA JAIN EAT RIGHT, RUN RIGHT
CREATE SILVIA SANCHEZ ORTEGA ILLUSTRATING A POPPING PALETTE OF SORTS
SAI PRAPANCH MEET THE YOUNGEST ANIME-LOVER TURNED AUTHOR
VIDYA VOX STAYING CONNECTED THROUGH NOTES AND STRINGS
GARBA A COLOURFUL RENDITION OF WORDS ABOUT THE SEASONâ€™S MOST-AWAITED EVENT
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LIVE QUILLING PAPER WONDERS
MALDIVES SOJOURN TO NATUREâ€™S SUNKEN GARDEN
JORDAN AHLAN WAH SAHLAN TO THE PEARL OF THE ORIENT
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“The day I lost my very first tooth, Was halfway through grade four, I’d run my tongue along the gap, Where my tooth had been before, I remember I went home crying, And I showed it to my mum, She told me that a brand new tooth, Would grow up in my gum, In a while the gap would stop feeling strange, I wouldn’t notice the tooth was gone, The only reason I missed it now, Was because it was there for so long, Then slowly but surely over the weeks, In the gap a new tooth grew, And now it makes me wonder, If people are like teeth too.” - Ernest Hemingway
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Lata Prakash is the Manager HR at Wipro Technologies and a passionate animal lover. She loves writing and is constantly in touch with her readers on her blog ‘Honey n Spice – The Journey Of Life.’
THE PEOPLE People – this particular social species fascinates me day by day. I love watching people so much that it has almost become my hobby. There will be times when we sit back and contemplate on the dichotomy in these fascinating creatures - the good and the bad, the right and the wrong. One could even call it the million dollar unanswered question. I would like to add on my opinion while all of you muse over this fact - each one of us have both the good and bad in us, the angel and the devil. We, as individuals are a blend of the positive and the negative, the right and the wrong and everything else in between. AS WE DIG DEEPER I remember, one beautiful morning, I was at a café, sitting all by myself, observing people. I got to notice various age groups of people from different walks of life, races and statuses but all carrying one similarity between them – they were all people. There were a bunch of college kids, having fun – their loud laughter made the place so lively. On the other side, I saw an English couple with a kid, quietly enjoying their family time. This might seem like the simplest thing that goes on around you on an everyday basis. But as you look closer, their expressions and their demeanor can tell you so much about them on keen observance. Sometimes seeing a happy face makes you feel good and sometimes faces make you think, make you feel for them, make you empathize for them bringing out the compassion you. The funniest part is the moment when you realize almost all of us crave for that little attention, that one smile, that one friendly hug and how things take a change of course over such little gestures.
“ONCE UPON A TIME, A FEW EMOTIONS AGO…” Everyone has a story to tell, a story that holds a special place in their lives, a story that is close to their heart. It could be about their loved ones, lost ones, their career or their love. These stories are just a way to showcase how different people are. Some love to dream, fly high and some just want to be with themselves. Some are always cheerful and exuberant who live life each day as it comes happily and positively and some like to be prepared to face the faceless future. This diverse nature is what makes people as interesting as they are. How I wish I can solve that little girl’s romantic fairy tale that’s incomplete, how I wish I can find a way to make that old couple happy who hold each other’s hands with pain and longing in their eyes to see their children and how I wish I can bring a smile back on that face which has lost a dear one, be a strong inspiration to the ones who dream and want to fly high. AS WE SIGN OFF People can never be that easily categorized into good or bad. It is the circumstances that make them what they are. While a confident, aggressive and an ambitious businessman might have a hidden story of sadness, a dutiful homemaker on another hand could have a story that might inspire millions.The most beautiful people for me are those who have seen failure, have experienced defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way to the daylight – people driven by strength and optimism. And today, as I sit by my balcony, people watching, it tickles my mind, sets me off on a whirlwind journey to just watch and learn from the millions of unsaid stories, waiting to be heard.
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THE SUAVE STARTUP
The heart of human excellence often begins to pummel when you discover a pursuit that imbibes you, liberates you, stimulates you, shudders you, challenges you, or gives you a sense of meaning, joy, and passion! The most idyllic modern testimony to this is Anirudh Narayan, Growth Evangelist – Digital Nomad– Creative Polymath – Travel Trendsetter. Intrepid, intuitive and incandescent, Anirudh is the beau idéal of the digital-first, tech-savvy generation of millenials, in following his passion and true calling. BY NANDITHA VIJAYARAGHAVAN
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With a Bachelor’s Degree in BioTech Engineering from Bangalore and a Master’s specialization in Mathematical Modeling, Optimization and Business Concepts from Columbia University, Anirudh has been a whip-smart non-conformist from the very start. The ethos that novitiated his growth peregrination into the startup milieu was infact, intellectual curiosity. His passion for growth hacking gradually evolved during his stint at Lean Startup Machine, where he was instrumental in coaching over 300 entrepreneurs and enterprises such as ESPN and TLC on lean startup methodologies. He then went on to re-engineer the growth hacking paradigm at Shutterstock. Today, the buzzy Bangalore-based startup ninja is a lot more than just a newbie maven in this sphere. Anirudh’s stellar reputation and professional excellence precedes his every stint. He has been cardinal in helping over 500 aspiring entrepreneurs and 15 startups across America, Africa and Asia reach product-market fit and scale up through consulting programs, bootcamp trainings, mentoring workshops and accelerators. For Anirudh, growth hacking is a process, a strategy, a state of mind, a way of life. With the hyper-evolving growth of the startup landscape today, it is imperative for brands to rise above the noise, reach their customers and build better brand loyalty, despite facing tremendous resource constraints. Breaking through the pandemonium is arduous especially when well-entrenched companies have the resources to dominate traditional channels. Furthermore, another massive challenge facing startup leaders today is finding scalable, repeatable and sustainable ways to grow their brand and business, after product-market fit and efficient conversion. This resource-constrained scenario eventually leads underdogs to extreme innovation and that’s where alpha geeks like Anirudh step in. Anirudh’s ingenius skills and tactical strategies help brands find their best product fit to suit the right audience in a way that they outperform competitors and subsequently get traction. An empirical strategist and a conversation optimiser, Anirudh has experienced manifold successes in striding through the bootstrapper’s bind for several technology enterprises across the globe.
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THINK|Mavericks Commencing the Building stuff and inspiring people is the dual-themed bedrock of Anirudh’s endeavours – both personally and professionally. He asserts, “I honestly just love putting in the work and seeing a business grow. Most of my projects are around helping others achieve their goals. Whether it’s mentoring entrepreneurs, counselling startups on growth or even teaching courses. It’s all about helping people achieve their dream and personal goals. Helping others motivates me and I find that extremely liberating as an individual.”
“I seek to create a lifestyle such that I can work from anywhere in this world” An independent growth consultant by design and a joie de vivre vagabond by choice, Anirudh blissfully divides his time between mentoring entrepreneurs, travelling the world and playing his favourite sport, basket ball. Anirudh also prides in his zest for being a solivagant. For him, travel, often solo, essentially means stepping out of his comfort zone and exploring life on the other side of that mountain. It is also about meeting marvellous people along the way who inspire you and change your perspective for the better. He is a fervent believer of the fact that half the fun of travel is the aesthetic of being lost and when you are brave enough to travel far enough, somewhere along the journey, you meet with yourself. An ebullient globe-trotter in true sense, Anirudh’s expeditions are merely his opulent escape into disruptive radical thinking that inevitably impact his professional life. He asserts,“I seek to create a lifestyle such that I can work from anywhere in this world.” When he is not digital nomading, Anirudh is usually spending quality time with family and friends or reading. Some of his all-time favourite reads include The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene, The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida and Give & Take by Adam Grant.Ask him about whom he considers his icon in this modern digital age and he instantly gushes to profess, Timothy Ferriss. Anirudh elucidates his brazen fascination and
inveterate adulation for Ferris after reading his bestseller, The 4-Hour Workweek. An Entrepreneur, a World Champion of Kick-boxing, a Guiness record-holder in Tango championship, a Polyglot, a Motorcycle Racer, a Chef, and a Weight-lifter, Ferris’impregnable story, progressive beliefs, audacious life goals and kaledoscopic vision have influenced Anirudh in more ways than one. Anirudh explicates how he often draws parallels to his own way of life from Ferriss’ meanderings. He uses the learnings to share street-smart tips for simplifying your life, automating your work, being more effective with your email/communications, cutting down on interruptions, and using your time to actually achieve something meaningful. At the moment, Anirudh is mentoring at Numa, a France-based group of digital innovators, helping all types of entrepreneurs to collaborate through – coworking, start-up acceleration, community outreach and open innovation programs. In addition, Anirudh teaches Digital Marketing at SimpliLearn, a leading certification training provider in an attempt to empower everyone through learning and eventually cultivate the next generation of dynamic leaders. Anirudh embraces a deep sense of individualism that prioritizes self-improvement as the definition of success. And at the locus of this ideology rests his prospective brainchild of co-authoring a book to help aspiring entrepreneurs move from their initial idea to a strategic point where they get customers and then eventually scale their business. Anirudh is currently researching the innovative growth discovery approaches of some of today’s successful startups like Practo, Freshdesk, InMobi, Bharat Matrimony and Quick Heal to chart out their respective growth hacking processes and strategies. The book is designed to offer the perfect decoction of eminent entrepreneurs and startup trailblazers to understand their business expeditions and how they got their initial set of customers. In a frenetic, overscheduled world, the fastest path to success is promising the masses a way out. This has worked miraculously well for Anirudh Narayan, who continues to be an iridiscent change-maker and a buoyant winning formula for a bevy of jet-setting digital pundits.
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(ACADEMIC YEAR 2016 - 17)
TOWARDS PRAGMATIC FITNESS Physical exercise rejuvenates and revitalises the human body in ways more than one.While many talk about getting fit and healthy, not all tell us how to do it sensibly and in sync with our mind, body and soul. Brew was in conversation with one such fitness and health stalwart Namita Jain. Read on to enlighten yourself about fitness, health and much more. BY PADMA MURUGHAPPUN
HOW IT ALL STARTED Namita Jain was very athletic as a child. Swimming was her favourite sport. As she speaks about her journey from sports to fitness, she says, “From the age of five, I used to love to swim and play sports. Then I started taking training in swimming and became a competitive swimmer. Around 30-35 years ago, fitness was at a very premature stage. Any kind of query about anything you can google search it today. At that point of time, it wasn’t that easy. So because of my deep interest in the subject to know what is right and what is wrong, I went through and I studied several international courses. And when I did the courses and I became a little bit equipped with the answers, I started getting offers to write columns in various magazines and newspapers. The first magazine I wrote for was Elle. I started teaching classes, I did more books. I did more DVDs. I got attached to doing a lot of consultations. So, that’s how it started.” KISHCO LIMITED Talking about her career, Namita Jain is also the managing director of the heritage company Kishco Ltd., which majorly deals with cutlery, tableware and hotel ware. In a country where we traditionally use our hands to eat. And so often
when we go to a fine dining set up, one could be lost. Being the pioneer in the dining ware industry, Namita Jain decided to teach the children just that through a social initiative.“I’m bringing to the city a social initiative in the form of a film called Kishco Dining Etiquette. It’s a 17-minute animated film, teaching children in a story form, about Dining Etiquette. It talks and teaches about what are the postures, how to sit, what are the faux pas that you should avoid, how to use the napkin, how to lay the table, social braces, manners, what to do what not to do. We are targeting major cities pan India.” WHAT IS FITNESS Fitness can mean many things to many people. Some perceive it as being thin and in shape, some think fitness is being healthy without any ailments and some also think that fitness happens only if one hits the gym. While the society perceives it in many different ways, a fitness expert
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expresses hers, “I think fitness is a sense of wellbeing. When the body is unwell, with disease or symptoms like diabetes or tension or over-fatigue, that sense of wellbeing goes away from you. So I would say it’s a sense of wellbeing of the soul, mind and body put together feeling the sense of energy, feeling fit, feeling that I can work. If you don’t exercise your body and don’t give it correct food, it doesn’t remain fit. If the body is fit and the mind is stressed because of so much work again that pulls you down. It is a synergy of both. It is a striking of priorities and cutting off of things that you can’t fit into the day. So that you don’t feel depleted.” COPING UP FADS AND FASHIONS Losing weight is a Herculean task. Everyday going to the gym, slogging on the treadmills, sweating our way to the hourglass figure! Thanks to social media, all of us now have a lot of famous people’s fitness regimes to follow and get inspired and lifestyles to live up to. But then, at some point of time, all of us have had this revelation that makes us wonder if what we’re doing is right or not. To all those youngsters on the fitness bandwagon, Namita Jain has something to say, “Any obsessive behaviour, anything that happens too radically and too drastically is not going with the harmony of the body. When you do something, it’s better to have a balanced approach. Do it slowly, do it sensibly, so that you’re working in harmony with your body. If you start beating yourself up by taking diet pills or by over-exercising or by drastic eating or starvation or a combination of one or more, it could tell on your health. I would say it’s better to have a sensible approach and also one needs to realise everybody’s body is made of different genetic material and has different genetic make-up. So because someone looks that way, you may not be able to look that way too.You just have to accept that.” SEXY AT 60 Passionate as she grows older, creative in every sense and having the most sincere demeanour and attitude towards what she does is what has made Namita Jain what she is. She has been in the industry of fitness and wellness for over 25 years now and has authored more than ten books on health and fitness. Amongst all of this, as part of her Jaldi Fit series, she has done one unusual focusing, that on older adults. “The book ‘Sexy at 60’ is titled “sexy” because it’s more about your own feeling about yourself. It’s more like a feel good factor. Just because you’re sixty don’t feel everything is downhill. Don’t feel that you don’t look good or don’t feel not good about yourself. Don’t conclude that you don’t have the zest to wear good clothes and look glamourous.You can still do it. In the book, what we’re saying is, telling the older adults to take charge of themselves. Stay enthusiastic. Do not think it’s the fag end and lose interest with life.”
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OF MIND, BODY AND SOUL
Living in harmony is an endless pursuit, and nothing takes you there as swiftly as the art of yoga. Brew brings to you insights from one of the worldâ€™s best Yoga teachers, so as to help you fathom the deepest philosophies and truths ofthis very art form. Yogacharini Maitreyi is a Practical Mystic who trains Healers and Arkaya Yoga teachers around the globe. BY VIDHYA ANAND
Ranging from the tiniest impact that body posture can result in to the biggest positive behavioural changes that can benefit you, Maitreyi has layers of significant information to delve into. Her years of experience coupled with her love for Yoga makes her the expert she is today. How would you in simple language explain the need and beauty of yoga? The yoga I share is not just asanasor pranayama but the life skills required to lead an integrated and harmonious life. So,
when we become more mindful of how we move in class we are impacting muscle memory and changing bad posture and body language. When we consciously change body language for the better we are improving self-confidence as well as know on a deeper level that we are worthy of love and support. When we go even deeper into asana we master effortless effort and move beyond duality or divisiveness. This impacts our entire life. Similarly when we breathe deeply we are calming the nervous system and this translates onto a calmer way of dealing with stressors in life.
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When we go deeper we use the breath to dissolve old pain and trauma as well as behavioural pathways. Then we allow pranayama to increase energy in our system and remove the veils that prevent us from seeing the truth. As we apply the yoga psychology and philosophy we learn how to deal with suppressed emotions and beliefs that limit us and make us unhappy and unhealthy. Also we become aware of the foods we eat, our lifestyle, our associations, relationships, our attitudes, how we make our living and everything that impacts us and everything and everyone around us. Did you always aspire to be where you are today? If not, do give us a brief of how it happened. I wanted to understand myself better and why I was doing what I was doing. These questions led me to go deeper and eventually share these principles. So, yes and no is the answer. I did want a more harmonious life and envisioned living in another country for part of the year. So that unfolded with me spending winters in India and summers in Vancouver. I also wanted to travel sharing beauty, peace, love and harmony and that has led me to speak at conferences and teach in many countries like, Sweden, Italy, Dubai, Hong Kong etc. I was also travelling to Srilanka for five years during war times to conduct yoga and peace programs When younger, I never realised I would be teaching Yoga and thought maybe my filmmaking career or conscious documentaries might lead me to travel. Positive thinking, positive living is the very essence of life - how does practicing yoga nurture that? Yoga starts on the premise that we are infinite and are divine. However physical, emotional and mental habits have clouded us from seeing the truth and acting in ways that are aligned with this highest truth. So, if we are all interconnected we will do things that are good for us, the planet and others. The practice removes this old survival oriented conditioning which is more deeply ingrained in some than others. However everyone will benefit. We are what we think and feel and do and start to act and attract that which we focus on. So Yoga helps shift all three aspects in a positive way through the tools and awareness in yoga. So the head, heart and hands align with goodness and positive living. What is your universal truth? That one philosophy that makes you who you are. I believe that, “One needs to reach for the stars yet have one’s feet firmly planted on the ground.” This means that one needs to tune into and attract positivity and at one’s highest.Yet one must not lose sight of ground realities and practicalities. How does an individual evolve if they practice yoga? An individual becomes a humane being. They tune into their true essence and being which enables them to exude love and peace. They also learn spirituality is not an escape from their responsibilities but helps them to deal with it better.
They learn to slow down consciously so they can change course and speed in the right direction. If not, they try to change course when they are speeding in the wrong destination and meet with physical or emotional accidents or end up in the wrong destination. From all your travels and experiences, can you tell us an incident or two that is etched in your mind? There are many incidents and synchronistic meetings that are etched. Around eight years ago as I was leaving a building, I smelt healthy freshly baked items. I went towards the aroma and peeked into the room where the smell was coming from.The place looked like a commercial cooking space and asked the girl there what she was baking, and if it was for sale. She was very happy and said yes and mentioned she was looking for a healer and traditional yoga teacher. This was when I was relatively new to Vancouver. We went on to exchange numbers, we ended up renting a place together and sharing it for three years and Tricia is still like a little sister to me. She has done my 30 hour Arkaya foundations for life course at least 6 times and even came to India to do the 33 day Arkaya Teacher Training in 2014, December. This was in a retreat centre with ayurvedic treatments included. There we created a sankalpa (intent aligned with the highest) that she will come to India with her baby and man when there was no man in her life at that point. She attracted a conscious man and is delivering her baby this October and planning to be there with her husband for the Arkaya Healing and Yoga Teacher Training in Soma Kerala Palace on January 25th the following year. I am very excited about meeting my God child. How does it feel healing people? Must be one of the best things that can happen to a person! Yes I feel like I am following my calling and that is the best service I can do for myself and others. However, I see people also want to give over their power and become dependent. So I tell them that they need to take responsibility for their own well-being. It is fascinating to see how by rebalancing the system and addressing the root cause the body is healed. I had a lady in Vancouver who could not conceive for years despite in vitro treatments. She attended my program in 2014 in Vancouver and now is pregnant with her second baby. Similarly I have seen many people across the world with physical ailments like diabetes or emotional, mental and psychic imbalances heal. The most important thing is they need to become their own healers which I teach them to do.
“One needs to reach for the stars yet have one’s feet firmly planted on the ground”
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SILVIA SANCHEZ ORTEGA, Artist and Teacher
With paintings that can draw you into a never-ending wave of intrigue and inspiration, Silvia Sanchez Ortega is an artist and teacher with a Bachelorâ€™s degree in Fine Arts from the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) and a Masterâ€™s Degree in Secondary Education Teaching Drawing Speciality from the University of Valencia (UV), Spain. Read on as she opens up about her experiences so far, her techniques and much more in a conversation with Brew. BY VIDHYA ANAND
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urrently combining teaching with her work, as an artist, Silvia is among those few individuals who have a charming way of passing on that bountiful knowledge that they have acquired over the years. Her practice of frequently conducting workshops in painting, drawing and printmaking leaves trails of that much needed artistic edge in people’s lives. Her ideologies, and love for art ripples across many communities, often touching lives. She has exhibited her paintings in solo art exhibitions and in collaboration with other artists in Spain and elsewhere in Europe. Her most recent and highly successful exposition was in the School of Art Rudy Mercado, La Albufereta, Alicante, Spain. As for India, she has lived and worked in Chennai in the mid-90s as a designer for books in the Theosophical Publishing House of The Theosophical Society, Adyar.
When it comes to different expressions, movements or techniques it all tapers down to this; a creative person has to be curious and has to try new things, new points of view and new ideas! Sometimes, there might be an idea and you can work on particular material for that idea, you can always mix things, the permutations and possibilities are endless. I can’t help but keep asking myself what happens when I mix this with this? And it goes on. There are just so many ideas; there is never enough time to delve into all of them.
Can you tell us a little about yourself? Well, I was drawing and painting since I was very small. I was continuously doing it. I was working in things not related to art in Spain. Finally I left all that and I started doing art again. Surrealism is an intriguing cultural movement. Do you believe in it or any such ideologies of expression? Yes, why not? Because we have a very obscure part or side about ourselves! And dreams, you know they leave a very important impression of that obscure characteristic for some people. They bring out and expose that side of us. I do like surrealism to certain point. However, I am inclined towards abstract more. Sometimes, I work on abstract themes. This is because it lets me be liberated or little free, that way I do not have to be too much into figurations. Having said that, I do try to test a new technique or a new material; and then I work on compositions that are very abstract. Sometimes the end product is so beautiful and likeable that I get the chance to sell them just as they are.
For common people who visit art exhibitions; they don’t have the perception that you do. For example, say they happen to see an artwork which is nothing more than a box or a cube or something.That is how the layman perceives it although it’s called art.This is something the common man cannot understand. What do you say about this? Contemporary art is very strange to people, they don’t understand it. Sometimes even an artist like me wouldn’t understand it because there is always good art and then there is art that is not so good. Also, there are good artists and not-so-good ones. It is always good to look at an artwork and look at it and see if it conveys something to you. Because maybe you won’t like abstract, but suddenly you find the objects in the abstract painting find a way to be aesthetically nice. It has a composition which is very nice. In a figurative work, maybe it’s very well done we don’t search for the forms, you know the face or the body or the landscape there is. And it is beautiful. When that happens, you tend to relate and thereby admire. People who don’t know too much about art can try searching for that something. It could be the expression of a person in a painting, try to understand what really is being portrayed, whether it is melancholy or it’s very violent.You can always search for such details as a layman, I say this because that way you’ll know what the artist wants to convey. It helps you relate. That sense of being able to relate is just as interesting as it is important for me or any artist.
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OFLEGENDS AND CONTRACTS
Aged 20, sold 12,000 E and hard copies of his debutant novel, also ranked 3rd worldwide for new Fantasy releases in Amazon, the author of the‘Contractor Series’ is an epitome of excellence. Sai Prapanch has always been fascinated by anime and books and its amalgamation gave birth to the World of Gara.With his latest and second book in the series, ‘Crusade for the Dragon Contracts’ selling over 1,200 copies worldwide in the first month of its release, Sai Prapanch is on an inexorable roll. BY PADMA MURUGHAPPUN
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THE BEGINNING “Ever since I was a kid I have been hooked to Japanese anime. My childhood is filled with episodes of Dragon Ball Z, Pokémon and the likes. My parents instilled a reading habit in me early on as well. I started to love books and couldn’t pass a day without reading at least one chapter of some novel or the other,”says Sai. While probing more about how the idea came about for his books, he says,“My affiliation to anime brought about a different dimension to my imagination. I used to daydream my own storylines and plots, especially while sitting in class during school. One day in 9th grade, this particular idea struck me and I started building on it. That idea became the foundation for the “Contractor” series. The concept was blowing up in my head and I had to let it out. And I did it in the only way I knew how to – through words.” Passionate, eloquent, weird and talented, Sai Prapanch has the ability to use them all capably. Having already completed 2 short stories – School Can Kill You – Literally! and The Locksmith, his dream includes publishing a string of novels for his readers. THE BOOKS Writing is a process so deep that it demands the writer to analyse various parts of his brain that he didn’t know existed before. It requires time, self-motivation and a conducive environment for him to bring the story to life through words. Writing, in that manner, reflects the author’s thoughts and perceptions in the process of creating his work. Sai also has done just that. When asked how he has put this forth effectively in a fantasy genre, Sai explains, “I started writing my book to express the idea in my head. But while the plot itself is based purely on fiction, the character’s personalities and their interactions as well as the way they respond to various situations highlight many of the perspectives and thoughts that go through my mind. But honestly, more than reflecting your thoughts and perceptions, I believe writing broadens and develops them more instead. I put myself in the shoes of the different people with different personalities and various scenarios which helped me understand much more about the way people think.” The Contractor Series is a fantasy novel series with a storyline based on Japanese anime unlike many fiction works that one comes across. Apart from his love for anime, Sai also says, “Japanese anime is very unique in their plots and narration. Each anime broadens your perspective and are hardly linear in the flow of story. They can keep you intrigued and in awe for thousands of episodes. For my generation, anime is what put Japan on the map.” SKILLS AND REWARDS There are innumerable qualities that make up a good writer of which wild imagination and good narration skills lay the foundation to its success. These two attributes have to go hand-in-hand depending upon the genre of the content. While discussing about his opinion, Sai said, “If I have to pick, it would be good narration.You might have a plot that could put Christopher Nolan’s movies to shame. But if you can’t write in an engaging way, even the most avid reader won’t be gripped by the book. What keeps readers hooked at a book is not as much as what you write, but how you write it. If Dan Brown wrote my history textbook, social studies would’ve been a breeze in school.” Goodreads has given the first novel a rating of 4.13/5 and the sequel, 4.6/5. When the novel is said to be enthralling, it holds the reader’s attention in various aspects. The author has created this by subsuming the best of all of his favourite authors – Enid Blyton’s simplicity, J.K.Rowling’s human element to fiction, Tolkien’s gift of painting an extravagant portrait on white canvas with words and Dan Brown’s magic of keeping the readers hanging to every single page of the novel. In addition to that, diversity in characters, personalities that inspires you and a storyline with spice and sugar balanced, Sai Prapanch’s Contractor doesn’t fail to impress all its readers.
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FROM RAHMAN TO JACKSON
If you were enthralled by her looks, wait until you hear her singing.With a powerful and energetic voice luring hearts from Bel Air to the maami-clad streets of Mylapore, Vidya Iyer popularly known as Vidya Vox is rocking YouTube and the rest of the world with her innovative mashup videos. From Taylor Swift to A R Rahman and Ellie Goulding to Pritam Chakraborty, she has found the knack to surprise with the right mix, every single time. BY PADMA MURUGHAPPUN AND VIDHYA ANAND
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orn in Chennai and brought up in Virginia,Vidya has always experienced a wide range of cultures. While many Indians around the world figure out a way to keep their roots close to their heart, she found her salvation in music. With her YouTube video reaching a whopping 50 million views it marked the start of her incredible journey of making mashups. She has performed at the White House, the Webster Hall and India’s National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA). Read on to find out this melody sorceress’ life, love for music and much more. What is music to you, your perception and conception of it? Music has always been my refuge from stress. Anytime I’m anxious or overwhelmed, I always sing because it calms me down. Or I listen to some Indian classical music. There’s nothing that balances me more. Clearly, your in-depth learning of various forms of music has led to the birth of your unique mashups. Tell us more about the science behind them. Ah! I’m still learning and I feel like I’ll be a student forever. I had a long break from learning during college because academics took over. After that, I moved to India for about a year or two to just restart my learning. I started from the basics! I love mashups! It represents my childhood in so many ways and my love for different types of music. There really isn’t any science behind them. It’s important to look at the tempo and scale of the songs to see if they will go together. A lot of times they don’t work though. For every one song I’ve released, there are about three I haven’t. It’s just about playing around with them till they feel good. The fact that a girl, raised in the US, still pronounces her ‘zhas’ and ‘rhas’ in the right manner is unmissable. How imperative was the role of music in your life as to stay connected to your roots being an immigrant? (laughs) I really only have my mom to thank for that! She was strict with my sister and I growing up, that we keep speaking Tamil at home. I learned a lot of musicgrowing up;kritis and bhajans were in Tamil or Hindi or Telugu, which has definitely helped keep my pronunciation sharp today. Music also showed me how different cultures can be and how it is shaped by different cultures. At home, I’d listen to AR Rahman, on the way to school, I’d be listening to Destiny’s Child. It always felt like two separate worlds. I feel like mashups make it meet in the middle. I’ve also realized fromdoing mashups, maybe the two types of music are not so different after all. Which genre of music is your favourite? What aspect of it inspires you the most?
classical Indian music. Maybe it’s because I’ve grown up hearing my grandmother sing it and learning it? I also love R&B, Soul, Rap, Pop and even some Vivaldi. Each genre is so beautiful in its own way, and I try and draw inspiration from that. How do you pick out your numbers for a mashup? What does it really take, behind the scenes to conceptualize a music video? I usually start with a song I love to sing- Western or Indian. Then I explore and brainstorm another song that could go with it. Sometimes it works, mostly it doesn’t. I’ve gotten much better at knowing what will work before I get into the studio. It wastes less time! Shankar and I usually spend a day or two producing and recording, respectively. If we are loving the mashup, we then start thinking about the video. We brainstorm locations and have a list of shots we need. We can finish a shoot in about three to four hours depending on what’s involved. Then I take the footage and do a rough edit same day following which Shankar polishes it up. Then it’s time to upload! It’s just the two of us, so it takes a few days, start to finish! Do you have fears? How do you cope? Tell us a little about the hardest thing you’ve ever done. So many! Who doesn’t, right? But I’ve learned to let them not get in the way of writing or recording my music. Anytime I fear people aren’t going to like my song, mash-up or video, I think about why I started doing this in the first place; because I love it! But the support I’ve gotten has overwhelmed me, people have been so amazing. I’m so grateful. The hardest thing I’ve done (so far) is to make the decision to do music full time. As a psychology major on a pre-medicine track, I was petrified even thinking about it. A year after I graduated, after lots of late night talks with my family, I made the switch and moved to India to start learning all over again. Best decision ever! Is there another side to you that not many people know of? What do you do when you’re not performing? Nobody expects it when I meet them, but I’m actually very goofy. I also love to read, play tennis and explore cities via self-guided food tours! Chennai loves you, you’re extremely popular here - would you ever come down for a concert? And what would you want to tell the people here? I love Chennai too! I was born there and my grandmother still lives there, so I visit often. I would love to perform there, hopefully soon! I’d love to thank everyone for their unwavering support and love, because of which a Tamil girl is following her dreams.
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GUJARATI SUNBURN If you find yourself amidst pretty ladies clad in traditional Channiya Cholis, handsome men in brightly coloured kafnis dancing around in circles with infectious energy during Navratri you’re probably at the right place at the right time. Put on your dancing shoes and pump up the music, as you’re about to witness the world’s longest dancing festival, Garba Raas BY PADMA MURUGHAPPUN
- Photo Credits : Manivel Baskar Photography
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Appreciated worldwide due to the Gujarati diaspora in large numbers, Garba is a colorful depiction of life, divinity and women power. Performed during the nine-day autumn festival Navratri, men and women from all walks of life dance around the Goddess Durga in circles symbolizing time and the cycle of birth and death. The word Garba has an interesting etymology – a Sanskrit word Garbha which means womb, implying life. Traditionally, dancers moved around an earthenware lamp “Dheep”, depicting the fetus and the womb in particular. While Garba might mean many things to many people, for some it’s an addiction, it’s a passion, its portrayal of their emotions and everything in between. It bursts all inhibitions among the people and is a beautiful sight to witness when all of them come together at one place. No man or woman in close quarters to such an art form would want to stay out of it. Many would agree with me if I say that Garba brings out not just the dancer in you, but also a sense of brotherhood and complete and pure happiness. Increasingly being danced all over the country and even the globe, Garba has reached a status and liking outside of its traditional place. Weddings, college fests, parties and many more social gatherings celebrate Garba to expose their happiness and share it with everyone around. Gujarat is the birthplace of this traditional folk dance but it is famed all around world. Performed during Navratri, the Garba Raas is organised during the night times. The energy of the crowd gradually becomes high as the night advances and the tempo increases vigorously with ‘Tara VinaShyam Mane’. Loud music amongst other factors is one thing imperative that drives the Garba dancers to jive. Gigantic avenues with raised platforms are arranged during the festival times in the cities and towns of Gujarat where people throng to Garba their way through the night to Atul Purohit’s Ruthambara. Garba songs majorly focus on Lord Krishna and the Goddesses celebrated during Navratri. Apart from the public grounds, community and private gatherings are also popular among the elite class and young hipsters in the state. But these places require a special pass to enter, which is in huge demand days before the festivities start. While this might be the scene at the inception point of the dance form, other cities, states and countries also celebrate Navratri and Garba Raas nights. In this manner, us chennaiites can also catch this fever at various prominent venues hosting Garba nights. No occasion in our country can be complete without dressing up. Even men have their share of color here. A typical woman Garba dancer is seen attired in heavily embroidered cholis and odhanis with glittering mirror work on them drenched in silver jewelry from their heads to their ankles. Their male counterparts wear kadiya-kafnis and aangrakha-dhotis covered with mirror work and paired with traditional kurtas or pagris. Their heads are also covered with an embroidered cap to complete the look. The reason for such fervor towards this beautiful art form is the simplicity associated with its practice. The energetic crowd shouting Ke Hove Hove, the colorful clothing and the heart throbbing music as the Dhol Tara DholBaajes, is more than enough to pull you out onto the dance floor. Clap, swirl and twist your body, move around with the crowd matching their energy, follow the circles dancing around people in their garish attires twinkling and twirling to have the time of your life!
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SWIRLS OF WONDERMENT
Strips of paper, about half a centimetre across, and as long as ribbons, donâ€™t really strike one as the most pliable of artistic tools at first glance. However, thatâ€™s more because quilling, an art form that has existed since the medieval times, is quite a niche pursuit indeed. Or rather, it was. BY ABINESH KUMAR
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In recent years, the number of artists who quill using paper has slowly begun to increase again. A rather intricate art, the practice involves the process of twisting paper strips to give form to a number of shapes and designs. Usually, this is done using a thin rod with a small tweezer-like clamp at the end. The tip of the paper strip is fed into this tweeze and the rod is then rotated, shaping the paper strip into a tight coil. This coil can then be pressed into shapes of the creator’s choice. Classics include ovals which are formed by flattening the coil on its sides, which can be used for the petals of a floral piece. Other shapes include large, glossy circles, where the eye of the coil is ‘pushed’ out to give it a dome-like appearance. Quilled paper jewellery has a use for this type of technique; especially in the making of earrings. The designs that result are enormously versatile - they are light, colourful and chic. If skilfully made, the jewellery can also be created to mimic classical designs, making them appealing to a relatively older crowd as well.
“When I came across quilling via a beautifully photographed magazine article, my first thought was -Why have I never seen or heard of this until now?!” says Ann Martin a quilling artist from America, and the owner of the quilling blog, ‘All Things Paper.’
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An author of numerous tutorial books for aspiring quilling artists as well, she talks about her passion for the art form, â€œMy second thought was that I needed to learn everything about it. At the risk of sounding dramatic, I was captivated by the process of rolling narrow strips of paper and arranging them on edge. The possibilities seemed limitless and tremendously exciting. What I enjoy most about quilling is its versatility. It can be a simple craft, easy enough for young children to learn and a fun way to increase fine motor skills. For adults, it is a satisfying and relaxing hobby. For those who enjoy designing, it can be a true creative outlet.â€? Quilling is unique in the sense that it presents a challenge for the artist to impose his or her personality onto a work while working with limited shapes. This does however, encourage many of them to push the boundaries of the art form as much as possible. Experienced artists use more complex techniques, such as creating long, multi-coloured strips of paper to enable the shapes to show distinctive colours at different angles. There is no shortage of fellow artists to bounce ideas off, either. Already, tightly-knit quilling circles have sprung up all over the cities of Chennai, Bangalore and Pune. With an international community that organizes contests, giveaways and supports fellow artists from as far as America and England, a strong base is already in place for new entrants to take up the art form themselves.
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OF ETERNAL BONDS The propensity to connect to another person, the vibe that lets you synchronize with each other and the little something you share that neither of you will ever speak about out loud, is the alluring essence some rare relationships are made of. Drawn into a bond of everlasting mutual respect, love and much more, Aishwarya R. Dhanush and Meenakshi Chitharanjan are a rare duo with an envious connection that every individual would crave for. BY VIDHYA ANAND
haring a conspicuous sense of comfort, it is delightful to watch two highly achieved women of power chit chat away as they pose casually for a photo shoot. A lot of interactions in a public set up could easily be dismissed as oneâ€™s skill in being social, it ishowever hard to do so here. In time, sitting back for some warm cups of coffee with two remarkable ladies, Brew was in for one of the pleasantest surprises in a long time.
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AN ENDEARING RELATIONSHIP Director, dancer Aishwarya R. Dhanush is also popularly known for being the elder daughter of Superstar Rajinikanth. Her guru Meenakshi Chitharanjan, is a classical dancer, teacher and exponent in the Pandanallur Style of Bharatanatyam. Much like the rise of the phoenix, Aishwarya came out and into the limelight after over seven years.As a performer this was a glorious way of getting back home to an art form, she is in love with. Unlike the typical teacher-student bond that is expected, Aishwarya and Meenakshi share a unique kinship, one that has been nurtured and developed over the years. The passive nods of understanding and unsaid acknowledgements to ideologies they believe in, was truly astounding to witness. Going back in time, Meenakshi reminiscences how Aishwarya came to become her student, “I’ve been in the field of dance for over five decades now. Back then I was only a performer, and then established a dance school wanting to impart this beautiful form of art to children. It started in a small way in the house, and it was slowly gaining popularity and more children were joining me. To retrace and go back in time, I got a call from Latha Rajinikanth, Aishwarya’s mother. I knew the family via Sudha, Latha’s sister, Madhu’s mother who was closer in age and who was in college when I was in Ethiraj. I knew the sisters from then. So, I got a call from her saying ‘My elder daughter Aishwarya always seemed to be interested in the arts, dance, art and music. I would like her to go through a proper classical training and I would like you to start teaching her. That’s how it started. And then, yes one does have all the apprehensions when you have the superstar’s daughter coming.You would have doubts as to how serious one would be in something like this. This is nothing like, film dancing. This is really a lifelong journey and whether she would be prepared for a regimen like that. So, I just took it as it came. My first impressions were such that there was absolutely no starry paraphernalia around her. She just walked in like any other youngster, very simple and she started learning it earnestly.” Aishwarya adds, “Certain things cannot be explained, certain relationships, you cannot put a finger to it and say anything about it. My relationship or this whole journey with her, I believe, was destined. I believe a lot in destiny. There’s a reason why certain people are there in certain people’s lives. She was more than a guru. More like a guide, more like a support system, more like a friend that you need.You know when you come from a background like the one I come from, you are brought up to be defense.You think everyone around you is there for a reason and they have some sort of an agenda with you. And so, you end up having a wall that is built around you. And you don’t let anybody go through that wall at all. Certain people kind of don’t care about the wall and it didn’t seem to be a problem between us at all. It was very difficult for somebody like her to get adapted to my kind of thinking. There have been times when I have not been serious, and when I’ve been like ‘Okay you can take it for granted.’ Cause everybody around you tends to take it, tends to draw the line. She always knew where to put her foot down and say, ‘No, this doesn’t work this way.’ There is a balance between being stern and sweet. She understood how different kids work, and she got that when it came to me. So, for me with her, it was more than just dance that I learnt and we shared. It was a relationship that grew through the years.You know I don’t call her the guru, my teacher. I refer to her an aunt.”
“Certain things cannot be explained, certain relationships, you cannot put a finger to it and say anything about it. My relationship or this whole journey with her, I believe, was destined. I believe a lot in destiny.There’s a reason why certain people are there in certain people’s lives. She was more than a guru. More like a guide, more like a support system, more like a friend that you need” Agreeing with Aishwarya, Meenakshi smiles, “She’s the only one, frankly speaking in class who calls me Athai.” MUTUAL REVERENCE AND LOVE Certain relationships are meant to be. Finding Meenakshi and being an important part of each other’s lives since has been destiny as both of them readily agree. Furthermore, Aishwarya’s respect for her guru knows no bounds. This is evident when she says, “I wanted to take this art seriously and it was because of her. The way I was taught, the way I learnt. It was more than just going to class and coming back. Also, it wasn’t just her. I mean, her mother played an important role in my life, as a grandmother. When I lost my grandmother, I could relate to her. She was such a strong figure who kept motivating me. She said ‘You need to take this up, you cannot let this go. People will think you will leave it coming from the background you do, you cannot leave this.’ Doing that takes a lot you know. Taking all that time to encourage you, is a big deal.”
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Taking her turn to let it out in the open about how driven Aishwarya was as a young girl, Meenakshi adds, “When she came to dance, there was an urge in her to prove that she wanted to do something and not always be known only as the Superstar’s daughter. Whatever she was going to do, it was going to attract attention. There was not going to be a dearth of opportunities to dance or the hall being packed cause of who she is. I tried to tell her that they would all come, having come there, it was always important to say, that they were witnessing some good dance too. I think she wanted to prove that. “Like she said, I believe that there is a plan that is already laid out. And, she had to come to me, through dance, and dance was just a conduit. The relationship is something very special, it cannot be explained. I mean, here there was this youngster who wanted to find the right path, who wanted somebody to air out many of her thoughts, she was a thinking person. And she had a lot of things that she wanted clarity about, and when she went through a phase like that, you are somebody with whom she can relate to. The classes were not just dance, they seemed to be developing character, right views and she was also looking for that person that she can open up with and somebody who would be able to push her. As she rightly says, she would not be there, so I would tell her that there may be any number of reasons why she cannot come, but she has to come. And that the only way she could succeed would be to practice. My mother also played an important role in doing that. She boosted her and generally she brought out the best in the children.”
“I believe that there is a plan that is already laid out. And, she had to come to me, through dance, and dance was just a conduit” In accordance, Aishwarya believes that the growth of a student comes from how motivated a teacher makes you feel. The gurukula like set up at Meenakshi’s adobe was home away from home allowing Aishwarya to feel like she was a part of it, so closely knit within their lives that they even have a story of the pet dog that they share. “She was terrified of dogs. I mean it’s uncanny and here she comes to a house where there is a Doberman. I would get a call, saying ‘Athai, I’m outside, please do something, he’s roaming loose, how do I come inside?’ And I’d tell her he just looks like that; he’s a gentle giant,” laughs Meenakshi. A blend of so many happy memories coming out in the open, makes Aishwarya talk about the immense support that she has always received from other people in her life as well, “Dhanush has been very supportive!” To which Meenakshi adds that he has always made it to the shows and given his full support by being present throughout. THE PANDANALLUR STYLE OF DANCE As the conversation delved into minute details of their performance and how Aishwarya aced her performance and truly stood by what she believed in, Meenakshi explains about the unique Pandanallur style of dance that she is an exponent of, “Pandanallur is the name of a village in Tanjore, which is the seat of dance and music. And in those days, the style that the teachers taught kept being referred to by the name of the village that they came from. My gurus came from this village called Pandanallur. For example, the great teacher was Ramaiah Pillai, from Vazhuvoor. His style was the Vazhuvoor style. The specialty or maybe the tradition of this style is that my teachers were the direct architects or the descendants of Bharatanatyam.” They were known as the Tanjore quartet. She added that four brothers laid down this systematic development of Bharatanatyam in a particular method which is being followed even today. Her masters were in that same line. So this style is considered to be very authentic and traditional giving lot of importance to clean lines, subtlety in presentation and is very aesthetic. In addition to that, it also gives a lot of importance to purity of line and movement and grace in dance. Footwork is very intricate and very clean where all the grammar of Bharatanatyam is followed very well. Overall, it is honest dancing. “There is no dilution whatsoever. The reason why Bharatanatyam is still so popular is because it has been able to adapt, adopt and change. Like we say, everything old is not good and everything new is not bad. So in the way we evolved a foundation very strong. It has to be creativity that is constantly happening. Though in the olden days because of the strict regimen that these masters followed in preserving a particular style and not making any changes, one could identify Pandanallur,Vazhuvoor, Kalakshetra, Tanjavur and all that. But now, in my very own case, my master’s family has not taken to dancing at all. They are all into government jobs or they are all doing some other skilled labor. They have not taken up the profession. So we are now dancers, learners and teachers who are running schools and teaching children the art of dancing. It’s preserving with a lot of innovation. We are all people today who are accepting different styles,” she smiles.
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She believes that today there is no point in talking about these rigid styles. “There are only two styles of dancing – good style and bad style. Today though I have learnt from my gurus what is good in movement, what is good in Bhava, I also allow creativity to be used. Because only then it’s refreshing,” she adds. WEARING MANY HATS When the interaction tapered down to Aishwarya’s life and her involvement in other domains besides dance, she starts off with the intriguing documentary on real, unsung heroes that she is currently working on, “It’s actually something that I have wanted to do for a while. And I wanted to complete my film and then start that. I have been working on it for a year now. It’s a three part documentary and this is the first part. It’s called Unsung Heroes. First part deals with stuntmen of the film industry where you know the kind of hardships they go through, how very minimally they are paid, the kind of risks they have to take and how demanding their job is. Even after losing lives, people still go back to the same things. They still have so much love for the profession they’re in. Also, you know they are not insured. They don’t have a set pattern for them at all. This documentary talks about their life and how hard it is to be and do what they do.Yet they love it so much despite the fact that there is so much of risk involved.” The second part she added would be on junior artists, about how a person joins thinking that they will grow into a better professional and how they end up till the end of their lives being only junior artists. The third part deals with background dancers. “These three people play such an important role in making a film but they are never spoken about, never acknowledged. They earn so much lesser than anybody else in the industry. This documentary is more like a tribute coming from the industry. I have been seeing shoots from the time I was born. And getting married to someone again in the same field and invariably me also coming back into the same field I think this would be the least I could do. It’s very surprising that stunt choreography doesn’t have a category in the national awards. It’s not just here, even in the Oscars they don’t have it. Being such an action driven industry! So, I have met Mr.Venkaiah Naidu, the minister and have submitted a request saying from this year, it would be great if you can add the stunt category also.You cannot not have a category for stunt with so many action films being churned out year after year. At least we are in a position in life where we are able to reach out to people like this and so I feel it’s important that we make a difference,” says Aishwarya. She believes that there is no point, if you have the cloud and you don’t make use of it for the right things. “My father has been renowned and known as an action hero and if it was these people who took him there and these people are not recognized, I feel that at least I should try, before saying it’s not possible,” she elucidates.
“It’s very surprising that stunt choreography doesn’t have a category in the national awards. It’s not just here, even in the Oscars they don’t have it” With one of the best and surprising conversations to carry back in memory, as a final note when asked about the recent Wunderbar App, she laughs and says, “That has nothing to do with me. It’s my husband’s brain-child and my sister has been working with him all along.”
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RECIPE FOR THE MONTH OCTOBER FROM GRT HOTELS & RESORTS
KHOLRABHI DAL INGREDIENTS n 100 gms Split green gram --------------------------------------------------------------------------n 100 gms Kohlrabi diced --------------------------------------------------------------------------n Salt to taste TEMPERING n 50 ml ghee ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------n 5 gms Cumin ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------n 5 gms green chili ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------n 5 gms garlic ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------n 50 gms onion chopped ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------n 40 gms tomato chopped ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------n 5 gms chili powder ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------n 3 gms turmeric powder ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------METHOD n Boil green gram with kohlrabi, salt, water and turmeric powder until the vegetable and dal is cooked. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------n Heat ghee in a separate hundi, temper cumin, green chilli, garlic and fry till garlic is light golden. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------n Add chopped onions and fry for another 3 minutes. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------n Add tomato, chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt to taste. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------n Add a little water and cook. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------n Pour the dal in, mix well and bring to boil. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------n Check the seasoning and serve hot.
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Maldives consumes you in its overwhelmingly beautiful horizons. Often leaving a traveller mesmerized and dumbfounded, this luxurious tropical nation nestled in the vastness of the Indian Ocean is a favourite tourist destination. As a traveller, experiencing any beautiful landscape is satisfying in its entirety only when the stay, the hospitality and the warmth of the people there becomes unforgettable. Adaaran offers you that and more. Adaaran is the promise of tropical Maldivian splendour combined with abundant comfort and meticulous attention to detail in our services. Adaaran Maldives island resorts offer unparalleled hospitality with a touch of tradition and a comfortable atmosphere lavishly designed and built to suit the needs of each guest. Focusing on offering the best of hospitality, it holds within an array of 617 rooms. The six Adaaran resorts, each special in its own way are branded into three categories, Club (four-star), Select (four-star plus) and Prestige (five-star boutique). Experience a holiday in the tropics beyond compare at Adaaran Prestige Ocean Villas. Blessed with thriving vegetation & pristine waters, the Island of White Gold finds itself in peaceful seclusion in the North Male Atoll. Set in 83 acres of lush tropical beach property near Kani Beach on Lhohifushi Island the resortâ€™s design enables it to blend into its surroundings being one of the best resort in Maldives. Discover a paradise hidden away in plain sight where the sun rises painting the skies in rich orange hues and the gentle waves of the Indian Ocean caress the shore with grace. For Reservations, Call: +960-6640375
oct 2016 | Brew lifestyle| 51
AHLAN WA SAHLAN TO THE PEARL OF THE ORIENT Situated in a region of crossroads and conflicts, luring travellers and tourists from all around the world for centuries with a lunarscape with fantastically shaped rocks and deserts, lies the ancient Kingdom of the Nabateans.With sands that reflect a millennium of human occupation and civilisation, Jordan is not just a place of historical prominence. Chill out in the low-slung tents, sip tea with rug-makers, and walk in the wake of shepherds only in this wonderful land of the Hashemite Kingdom. BY PADMA MURUGHAPPUN
t the end of the great African rift is the beautiful land of turbulent geological and human history. With 90% of its land as deserts, the people of Jordan are experts in conserving even a single drop of water. The ancient city of Jordan is a place that will fascinate even the most jaded of the tourists– the landscapes, architecture, the stories of its past are electrifying enough to match the momentum of its dynamic neighbours. With a culture that’s over a thousand years old, it’s a mythological and biblical town that must top your list of must-see places in the world. Jordan is a captivating land that is rich in Palaeolithic remains and was once fought for by Pharaohs, Syrian Kings and Persian Monarchs, Nabateans, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, traders and merchants leaving their trace in the land making it culturally and historically rich and significant. Bordering Saudi Arabia on the South, Syria in the North, Iraq in the East and Israel in the West, Jordan is a conglomeration of distinctive cultures and ethnicities and is shines bright as the Pearl of the Orient till date.
oct 2016 | Brew lifestyle| 52
AMMAN – FACE OF THE YOUNG MIDDLE EAST The city of Amman has served as the capital of Jordan since inception. It is the perfect blend of ancient and modern times dotted with numerous structures of historical importance. To witness this dichotomy in person, one must not miss out their tour to the Amman Citadel where both the urbane Western Amman and the magisterial earthy Amman are co-existing. Jordan’s most populous city might seem to be sober but there is plenty in Amman to keep you occupied until your ride to other places. The city holds history on every hill that it houses, the Citadel being the highest and most majestic. The highlight of your entire tour to this convergent city would be the remnant of the Romans, the Roman Theatre which has been renovated and stands majestically through time and space. Surely a historic city’s tour would feel incomplete without a visit to its museum that houses the country’s seeds of culture and tradition in it.Visit the Jordan Museum before leaving for Petra.
oct 2016 | Brew lifestyle| 53
LIVE|Travel PETRA â€“ WONDER OF THE WORLD Reached via the Siq, a narrow rift consisting of mountains that cast long shadows, is the Nabatean built wonder, which is carved into of the face of the vibrant coloured mountains. Situated in an inaccessible place into the wind-blown landscapes, Petra was initially built in memory of the dead. The city served as a primary place of stay for the Nabateans who have left behind this city with numerous architectural wonders carved out of the bright mountains. Known only to the Arabic tribes of Bedouin for a very long time, the city of Petra still houses a lot of these people. Reaching this place is a journey of revelation, through a shadowy path to the sunlit El-Deir with the Bedouins on the way for entertaining with their undying energy, this is certainly an experience that will fail to impress.
oct 2016 | Brew lifestyle| 54
DEAD SEA â€“ THE UNMISSABLE DESTINATION At 400 meters above sea-level, the Dead Sea lies at the lowest point on Earth. People consider it a travesty not to visit the Dead Sea while touring in Jordan. Swimming is not an option here, the density of the liquid inside is so much that it increases the buoyancy of the body and makes it float. This extraordinary body of intense, deep blue water has a surprisingly high rate of evaporation which is the reason for its increased salinity and therefore makes the water body inhospitable to any kind of life form. Dead Sea is surrounded by resorts where one can stay and have a Spa day overlooking the beautiful night sky of Jerusalem.
oct 2016 | Brew lifestyle| 55
WADI RUM â€“ GRAND CANYON OF JORDAN This is the place where one can stay at the desert tents and enjoy both day and night despite its typical extreme climatic conditions. The Wadi Rum has Grand Canyon like chisels in the mountains that make it look like a peep through the entire Aqaba region â€“ an unmistakably beautiful view both during the days and the nights. These stays can be the best way one can fulfil their purpose of travelling to one of the most historic places in the world.
oct 2016 | Brew lifestyle| 56
THE KYLIE JENNER FALL LIP KITS
Kylie Jenner, of the ‘Keeping up the Kardashians’ fame, is on a roll since the launch of her very own make-up line Kylie Cosmetics of which the Kylie Jenner Lip Kits are the most sought-after. Keeping up the spirit of October and the season that comes with it, Kylie has recently launched three new Lip Kits in Trick, Moon, Spice and Pumpkin breaking the internet as it does every time a new one is launched.
SURPRISE YOUR BELOVED THIS FESTIVE SEASON BY CREATING A MAGICAL MOMENT! The Interior People, is a leading brand name in the world of interior design and decoration. Recognized for its quality and beautiful design, they work with internationally renowned designers creating innovative, inspiring wall coverings. We have dealers spread across all of India who work in the supply chain model to make our products accessible to the general consumer. Their recent campaign is to surprise people from different households by a face-lift work of their room with Wallpapers, Wall Murals, PVC Ceiling panels and other range of Customized interior décor products; all of which will be done on record for production. Published by Sameer Bharat Ram, and owned by SM BrandMuni Consulting Pvt. Ltd, Published from New No. 68 / Old No. 63, Cathedral Road, Chennai - 600 086. Tel.: +91 44 4208 9392. Printed by NPT Offset Press Pvt Ltd., at New No.11, Old No. 77 & 78, Avvai Shanmugam salai, Royapettah, Chennai- 600 014.
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