Brew- April 2016

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Contemplate. Create. Live.

APR 2016





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 ‘Contemplate. 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

Evolution is the epiphany that achievers thrive upon. With that in mind, Brew embraces the power of foresight and the subsequent progress that comes with it this month. With renowned squash player Dipika Pallikal on cover, we couldn’t convey that thought to you any better. From embracing a loving marriage with cricketer Dinesh Karthik to being steadfast in accomplishing her dreams, she is the ideal inspiration for the young and the old alike. Being bold and talented, Dipika talks about her love for the sport, the challenges she faces and the grit that keeps her going. Similarly, the Contemplate section throws light on evolving as a society with a thought provoking story of a blood donation camp by the differently abled. The Create section carries an interview with the famed playback singer Benny Dayal. With other intriguing features that include a rendezvous with sweet tooth expert Meghana Karthik and a travelogue on Gokarna for a quick summer getaway within the Live section, there’s ample to read. Enjoy.


“Based on its tagline ‘Contemplate. 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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CIRCULATION K.Sathish kumar



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.

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Published from New No. 68 / Old No. 63, Cathedral Road, Chennai - 600 086. Tel.: +91 44 4208 9392.

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‘Rebels with a cause’ is a phrase often used to describe individuals ‘fighting’ against social norms to bring about change that will typically go down in history. But then, there are those, who do just the same with nothing more than just a little act of love. There is no rebellion fought, no arguments made and no rules broken. The recent Blood Donation Camp by the Differently Abled that Chennai saw is one such. By Vidhya Anand

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olunteered by the members of December 03 Movement Society- Chennai Chapter, organised and facilitated by Chennai Volunteers, supported by the British Dy . High Commission and Hon. Consulate of Ireland along with Jeevan Blood Bank and Research Centre, the Blood Donation Camp by the Differently Abled was undoubtedly one of its kind. Breaking past stereotypes, the core purpose of the camp was to let the world know that equal contribution leads to an egalitarian society. INSPIRING WITH A CAUSE Walking into the British High Commission on Anderson road and observing the considerable turnout of people for the camp was overwhelming. The mere fact that numerous people had travelled their share of distance to donate blood was reason enough to believe that we are progressing as a society to a better place. As the security personnel kindly ushered the differently abled people on a happy summer afternoon into the building, the air filled up with joy and inspiration; joy from those donating blood and inspiration from those watching the camp unfold. “Being a social psychotherapist, I know how important it is to do this. I happened to meet Ms. Rinku Mecheri of Chennai Volunteers. So, one fine day there was this blood donation camp going on and I happened to be there. I had this idea as to why differently abled people should be looked upon as only receivers by the society, not as people who can contribute too. I wanted to do something that worked on that. I knew it wouldn’t be a big event. But here we are,” smiles Mr. Deepak Nathan, the man behind the conception and execution of the camp along with the other teams.

The core purpose behind the camp was to demonstrate how helping and giving is intrinsic in all citizens of our civic society, regardless of other factors. Differently abled blood donors are keen to give back to the society they belong to by donating life-saving blood. THE JOY OF GIVING Gone are the times when we needed a rebellious revolution to establish equality. As Ralph Waldo Emerson rightly said, “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” Abiding by that, all that the differently abled needed was an act as little as being able to aid, and not just get aided. The central idea of the blood donation camp revolves around the beauty of giving. Giving even by those who usually only benefit. Elaborating on the same, Rinku Mecheri, the founder of Chennai Volunteers says, “They are all the ones who say we want to give back to the community. This is when people who are normally beneficiaries become the donors. Some of them today are not allowed to donate as they haven’t slept enough and they are heartbroken. They have to go back to Trichy, so I’ve told them we can do it at Trichy, and that makes them happy! We should be able to give them dignity, that’s all they need.”

“They are all the ones who say we want to give back to the community. This is when people who are normally beneficiaries become the donors”

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“Biologically it is not at all an issue for a differently abled person to donate blood” BREAKING STEREOTYPES In an attempt to break ideologies and beliefs that have forever marginalised the differently abled as blood donors Dr. Prabhakaran of Jeevan Blood Bank says, “Biologically it is not at all an issue for a differently abled person to donate blood. Of course, there are other concerns such as safety, diseases and more. However there is really no restraint in a differently abled person donating blood.” With renowned people such as Mr. Rajeev Mecheri and Mr. Bharat Joshi participating, inaugurating and supporting the camp’s conception, combined with the buzz of joy and immense grit of the donors let out one loud message on the afternoon of March 12th- the only constraint that we as a society face is stereotypes. Yet in truth when someone can be of significance even in the smallest way possible, they eventually will be.

About December 3 Movement Society for the Disabled: December 3 Movement is a confluence of associations of people with disabilities working with global thought in local communities. Articulating rights of last persons with disabilities so as to make Disability rights are made real and inherent dignity is made felt. The movement has resolved to work on the economic uplift of its own stakeholders so that people with disabilities are seen as contributors for society.

About Chennai Volunteers Chennai Volunteers is a social initiative that fosters civic engagement and ensure that non-profits can engage with volunteers in a sustainable and meaningful way. For almost 5 years, CV has worked to promote the values of volunteering, while building and reinforcing volunteer networks across the cities. We leverage our dynamic portal, where volunteers find various opportunities to share and care, members can find local/international partners and NGOs can share resources and exchange best practices, 24x7.

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CONTEMPLATE | Lone Crusaders

A STEP, A STRIDE AND A GEIT Scaling the top of the world has not put a stop to Peter Van Geit’s adventures. The founder of Chennai Trekking Club has much to say about the organization and his tête-à-tête with great outdoors. By Sanjana Ganesh APR 2016 | Brew entertainment | 14


he highest level of adventure a Chennaitte

encounters include haggling with auto drivers, battling the dustand grime of traffic, and the racing to get hold of the last few tickets of Kabali when Satyam’s midnight bookings open. Peter Van Gait is a Chennaitte with a difference. Born and brought up in Belgium, this person has made ‘the land of rice’ his home. After relocating to India, Peter was overwhelmed by the natural beauty of the country. He started the Chennai Trekking Club in 2008 in order to connect others like him to trails unknown. Peter is no stranger to the term ‘wanderlust’ that has now found its way into every Instagram profile. He has travelled the length and breadth of the country on his treasured Royal Enfield. “The years from 1998- 2001 was when I explored known Indian routes. I got myself a bike and rode through the Western Ghats, Kerala, Kashmir and the Himalayas. Coming from a flat land to climbing the rooftop of the world was challenging but fun. Many of the lesser known valleys were very remote and beautiful. The people were fantastic as well.” His journey has taken him to tiny villages and stunning cities. The adrenalin however started pumping at a very young age. THE FORAY Peter got great exposure to sports during his childhood because he lived in the outskirts of a small town. As a boy, he would join his parents on hikes and long walks in the country side. With the cool winter breeze setting in, he would skate on sheets of frozen rivers and have the time of his life. He would play football and run freely into the wild. His attraction lay in overcoming the challenge of climbing a mountain. He scaled the tallest mountains and visited the lowest of plains as he entered the portals of ‘Incredible India.’ “I came in 1998 to Chennai. Belgium is a small country. It is usually pretty cold, grey, rainy and unpredictable. The beauty of the Indian subcontinent mesmerized me. There were a variety of locations such as the mountains, the beaches of Goa, the plains of Tamil Nadu. Throughout the year, one can engage in outdoor activities. It was pretty interesting to be here weather-wise.” He found that this thirst existed among several people from the city. He began organizing walks and treks through the year. This eventually led to the creation of Chennai Trekking Club.

treks, doing the navigation, map reading, the accounts and arranging the plans. It was tricky to handle both my day job as a project manager and as the founder of CTC. The group slowly began growing and now consists of twenty seven thousand members. Over the years, people began picking up skills and managing activities. They eventually helped in running the website and in overall planning. ”After much effort, this organization has seen myriad growth in terms of members, trails and areas covered. Its essence has remained intact. Peter has worked hard to ensure that nobody is benefitted monetarily through this process as it strictly aims to create awareness about nature. The zeal of this group remains undented even after eight years. Activities are organized every single day ranging from running to cycling to mountain biking, photography trips and (obviously) trekking. They have recently begun regular beach clean ups to welcome the olive ridley turtles to the shores. The recent rains that flooded the city of Chennai disrupted several lives. Peter Van Geit saw the need to step in, literally. “I am a decent swimmer so swam through over eight feet of water to give people some bare necessities. It was disheartening to see areas like Kotturpuram being submerged in the rains. There was so much stink and dirt but people refused to move. Over one hundred CTC volunteers helped in the process of relief, rehabilitation and restoration. It was great to see everyone come together.” REJUVANATION

AS CTC GREW When the club began, Peter found it hard to handle his daily work and the weekly activities. “Indeed, you need to have a little bit of time. In the beginning, I was driving the group in terms of organizing and planning new

“We should begin by first segregating the waste that we generate at home. Through awareness, I have come to understand that there is a gloomy picture of the future if the amount of waste is not reduced. By staying fit and keeping ourselves active, we will be able to create a sustainable future,” he adds. Not as easy to be a trekker, eh?

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Create | Time out

On the

International Premier Tennis League


he IPL started it. Since then, a lot of such professional leagues have sprung up. They offer a much needed alternative to this cricket crazed country. And on the surface, it seems like a great idea. It makes the sport more visible. Players get playing time and national and international exposure. Everyone wins. But how much of it is truly a service to the sport remains to be seen. Mahesh Bhupathi announced the founding of the International Premier Tennis League in 2013. Two seasons have since taken place, with Indian Aces (based out of Mumbai) winning the inaugural edition. Singapore Slammers won the 2015 edition.

games played. Nadal has 49. Federer 43. Somdev Devvarman has 1. What does this tell us? It just tells us that the IPTL is a fairly ordinary tennis tournament. There is an argument to be made for its existence. It offers a nice change from the rigid structure of tennis tournaments. The five grandslams have existed for years. One could argue that adding another tournament just for the sake of it is pointless, but the stars seem to disagree. And ultimately it’s their presence or absence that will decide the fate of the league. An Indian version of the league a la ISL probably won’t work. We don’t have the numbers it takes to make tennis as accessible as even football. But the international version probably will. The league format offers something new. You know you’ll probably get to watch a Nadal-Federer battle. But you could also discover someone relatively new.

The league certainly has the approval of the stars. Nadal, Federer and Serena Williams all played for different teams. Wawrinka, Moya and Sharapova were also there. One thing it its favour is that the IPTL doesn’t try to pass it off as a vehicle for upcoming players to breakthrough. It advertises itself as So ultimately, is the IPTL good or bad? The author would another tennis tournament, and it succeeds pretty well in this venture to say that is neither. It has no huge drawbacks. It’s venture. one more set of matches to catch. Like the Chennai open. Each team has ten players, and each match has five sets of While it isn’t clear if its ability to generate future stars like the ISL or the IPL, it certainly can’t be neglected as just another different categories. This ensures a fairly level playing field. tennis tournament. It offers upcoming players to play with and One single player won’t be able to force a win, which is how against tennis legends, and it must be heralded just because a league ought to work. But the stars are obviously going to get a lot more playing time. The IPTL website doesn’t give the of that. Time will tell how much of an influence the IPTL will number of matches played in each match, the number of have in international tennis. winning points gives a decent measure of the amount of

Create | Arts Galore

“MUSIC IS EVERYTHING TO ME” With vocals that bewitch the young and the old alike, Benny Dayal stands apart in the huge sea of playback singers this country has seen. Driven by philosophies that will leave you pondering to that much needed swag that mesmerizes the crowd; he’s an artistic of great foresight, confidence and dreams that compel. By Vidhya Anand

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alking calmly into the conference room of our interview prior to his concert at the Forum Vijaya Mall in Chennai,Benny comes off as a man of few words. With a huge fan base and the perfect mélange of zest and talent, he has all that a contemporary artist would crave to achieve. Holding on to a keen end in mind to evolve, focus and grow as each day passes, this artist is one of a kind. What is music to you? Everything! How did it all start? I believe you were a journalism student. I worked here and there and tried to approach people for music as well, after college. And, none of it just happened! In due course of time, I met Mr. Rahman and then things unfolded. Talking about Mr. Rahman, how was the Nenju Ezhu concert? Concert was amazing! I feel humbled to have been a part of it. Do you think that experience is going to help you today? Every experience helps me every day. I see it one by one! Especially, when it comes to learning from all of them. With regards to music that the masses listen to and music that is truly artistic, here’s a question- the artistically good ones sometimes don’t make it to the charts. What are your thoughts on this as an artist? What masses listen to and comes on the countdown is called hit music. What people listen to according to their liking is called good music. And that is the very definition of hit music and good music. They’re very different. So, you can’t compare the two of them? (smiles) If your intention is to make good music, you make good music. And be happy about it. If your intention is to make hit music, you make hit music and remain happy about it. The intention at the end of the day is to attain happiness. What do you think is your intention? Both. I want to make good hit music. Does digitalization affect musicians now? No. Technology is always going to be one of the reasons that people move forward. Like, the age keeps going forward. The era keeps pushing forward because of technology, software, social media, and every form of digitalization. It’s only wise for a human being to accept it and move forward. Otherwise, you’d be lost and everyone else will be moving ahead of you. On a personal note, what has been your favorite part of life? Yes, it could be everything, but there might be a few phases you enjoyed. The question has the answer in it. The beginning, the end and the middle, none of it would have been there without the other. So, it’s everything! I’m not being diplomatic, it’s everything put together.

Yet, I definitely have a soft corner for the beginning. I was fresh, I didn’t know anything. Just had to learn and remain focused on what I was really good at. Were you always focused on ‘getting there?’ There is no ‘getting there.’ It never really happens. No one really has it. There is no definition to it. Everybody is there (laughs). Do you have any fears? Yes, I fear that one morning I might wake up and I can’t sing, then I might as well kill myself. That’s my only fear. Is sustainability a fear? Sustainability of my career or my fear? (laughs) No, sustainability is not a fear. Because I know I’m an evolving musician, not a stagnant musician. I know I’m hungry, I’m passionate and I’m doing different things every day. I sound different every time. So, it’s about moving forward. What would say to a rookie or an upcoming artist? I’ve always said only this all my life and I learnt this from my father. Just do what makes you happy, otherwise just don’t do it. Very simple! I don’t have too many philosophies in life. They might sound like philosophy to people. When I say something, they’d be like ‘Oh Philosophy?’ No, I would say, it’s the truth. Are you happy doing what you’re doing? Are you happy waking up in the morning, going to work and happy going through your day and not just the money that comes to you at the end of the month? Who or what is your inspiration? My inspiration is basically music and movies. I have been groomed in college, brought up really well by my parents. You know, give respect, take respect. I’ve learnt that from everyone in my life. I’ve learnt beyond all that through movies and music. Be it from the stories said or the dialogues spoken. People just let those things go, but these things truly make sense for anybody and everybody in life. You just need to open up and listen.

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Create | Cine Binge


Constipation is not something we would like to discuss publicly, and here’s a filmmaker who has decided a base a whole film on it. Shoojit Sircar is known for his quirky choices, be it in terms of the subjects he tackles or the actors he casts, there is unpredictability written all over him. You never know what he is going to surprise you with next. His outing Piku revolves around the relationship between a daughter and father, their dilemmas and aspirations. With a stellar cast of Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone and Irrfan Khan on board and soulful music, the film looks is a fun ride. Long Live Cinema speaks to filmmaker Shoojit Sircar and lead cast members Irrfan Khan and Amitabh Bachchan on their experiences of making the film.

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film is the relationship between Piku and her baba. In real life also, the relationship between a daughter and father is very special. With sons, fathers are more free, they behave like friends with each other. With daughters, even if they are friendly, there is a sense of respect the father also has towards his child. Because, being a woman is not an easy thing. You are raised in one family and you are asked to make your home in another. And she is the one who is key to every family. How was your experience working with Irrfan and Deepika? I feel fortunate to be able to work with such talented actors. I get to learn a lot from them. Their style is very different from ours. For instance, Irrfan is a master of subtle acting. Scripting Piku was the real challenge Shoojit Sircar, Director How did the idea of Piku come to you? I had already worked with Juhi [Chaturvedi, co-writer] on Vicky Donor and we used to chat a lot about what to do next. So she was the one who came up with this idea. She developed the script. I felt that the father-daughter relationship she had come up with was very unconventional, which was an interesting aspect. Then, there was the constipation angle, which again was something which we all experience in our lives but do not talk about openly. Piku is not a film about constipation, that is a part of the narrative. The three main characters have an interesting and quirky relationship with each other. So I thought this would make for a 2-hour fun ride. And, Juhi wrote a great script, so we went ahead and made it! Having managed to strike such a casting coup with Deepika Padukone, Irrfan Khan and Amitabh Bachchan, was it challenging to direct them together on set? Actually, not at all. Them, being who they are, they made the task so much easier for me. As a filmmaker, shooting a film is the easiest part of the process for me. In Piku, the most challenging part was scripting the film. We were not sure whether the seed of the idea we had was in fact fit to be turned into a 2-hour film. I believe in having a full script ready before going on the floor. When people tell me that the performances on screen looks effortless, I would want to tell them that there is a lot of hard work that goes behind the scenes by the actors and the crew to make it seem so. There is a lot of preparation that happens to deliver such a film. The rehearsals we went through for the film, for every scene, was in itself a learning. It is a very verbose film and has long scenes where characters are always saying something. So because I come from a theatre background, we used a lot of stage techniques to rehearse them. How is your role in Piku different from the earlier films in which you have played a father? In Piku, as you may have seen in trailers, I have a huge tummy. And, it keeps bothering me in the film. Other than that, he is just a normal cranky old man. What interested me about the

It is always easy to overdo something and he is so good at underplaying his roles. When you look at him, you may not see his hands or body moving, but he conveys so much, sometimes with just a look. I don’t have that talent and I am trying to imbibe it from them. Shoojit says that bringing Amitabh Bachchan and you in a film was like getting Al Pacino and Robert Di Niro together? Tell us your experience of working with Amitabh Bachchan? If, while working on this film, I ever thought that I was, indeed, working with Bachchan saab, I wouldn’t have been able to work. I had to keep that thought aside. But he has always been very warm to me so there was no intimidation factor also. When I saw him on set for the first time, he was rehearsing for his scene. The moment I saw that, I became so comfortable and then we started having so much fun. It happens very rarely for me that I have fun on a film set. You get paid to do your work, everyone comes, does their work and leaves. But on the set of Piku, we had so much fun that we didn’t want the shoot to end. And, this says a lot about the kind of people who worked on this film. I would want to relive this experience again and again. The biggest plus point that I have felt Bachchan saab has is a mastery over the language. This is a very important tool for an actor. Whenever he used to say his dialogues I used to wish I could say it with such a mastery. I am sure he prepares all night long for a scene, he has that much dedication and passion for his work.

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Create | Zeroed In


LET NO ONE STOP YOU” says Dipika Pallikal, the celebrated Indian squash player who brought honour to her home country. Having achieved myriad feats that will go down in the nation’s sports history, she thrives harder for bigger dreams. By Vidhya Anand and Sanjana Ganesh

Photography by Jitu Savlani

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Create | Zeroed In


hough knocking the ball out of the park isn’t an option in squash, Dipika Pallikal seems to have achieved this in all other facets of her life. Buried under the shadow of cricket, sports such as squash find a niche audience. Somehow, this 24 year old seems to have enamoured an entourage into following the game. After fostering a hunger to strive for greatness since childhood, everything now seems to have fallen in place. Having setup an exceptional career, a loving marriage and a beautiful home, Dipika looks forward to conquering greater heights. This Chennai girl grew up seeing the splendour of the 90s. With a supporting family continuously cheering for her victory, she worked her way to the top. Her undying and committed practise paid off as she soon broke into her career best ranking- World Number 10. Eventually the Commonwealth games came along and so did Midas’ touch. Striking gold there became her crowning glory and Dipika Pallikal became a household name. Medallions decorate her household as she continues to train harder each day. What sets this victor apart? How has she changed with the tides? Dipika answers these questions in an interview with The Brew Magazine.

After fostering a hunger to strive for greatness since childhood, everything now seems to have fallen in place. Having setup an exceptional career, a loving marriage and a beautiful home, Dipika looks forward to conquering greater heights.

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Create | Zeroed In

How did it all start? Has playing squash always been your dream? It started off with a summer camp and from there on things have just fallen in place. It was my best friend who introduced me to the sport. I used to play tennis before, so being a professional squash player wasn’t the dream I grew up with. But as soon as I was done with my summer camp, I knew there was no turning back. I had most definitely fallen in love with the sport and since then it had become my dream. As a player, what is your ultimate goal? Of course every athlete wants to be No.1 in their respective sport, so do I. But as an athlete my goal is to produce the best squash I’m capable of and just going out there and enjoying myself while I do my best. Who or what inspires you? Coming from a sporty background, my grandparents and parents have inspired me to stand for everything I believe in and do what I love to the best of my ability. What are the challenges your face in terms of improvising or sustainability and how do you manage them? Fortunately the love and passion for the game gets you through all the negativity, so much so challenges become few or nothing at all! What according to you has been your biggest breakthrough? I think for me breaking into the top ten was definitely a dream come true. It has only made me want to strive for more. Also, I had taken a couple of months off from training during my wedding, but getting back on court this year and making my way through my first quarterfinal after having beaten World No.5 at the US Open is another break through.

“It started off with a summer camp and from there on things have just fallen in place. It was my best friend who introduced me to the sport. I used to play tennis before, so being a professional squash player wasn’t the dream I grew up with”

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Create | Zeroed In

Do you have any views about general societal issues that we face as a country. It could be with regard to sports, the environment or culture. If so, can you share it with us? Indian society has so vastly changed its view towards young girls taking to sport be it an indoor or an outdoor sport. So, kudos to that! Women achievers in sport in our country have multiplied in the last five or six years and with it parents have been encouraging girls to take up sport at a young age. And, that is a really good way to progress in the realm of sports as a nation. What do you think sets you apart from other players? The uniqueness that makes you, you. I think all of us have our own sense of individuality that we bring to the table. I’m a big believer of being true to yourself and what you believe in. As an achiever who can inspire those in pursuit of dreams, what do you think keeps one going forward in hard times? There’s a point in every athletes career where the going gets beyond tough but it is in those trying times that we have to go back to the start and think of everything we’ve been through to get to where we are. For me those hard times have only pushed me to strive for more. Also, the faith my family has in me has only made me want to work harder and keep going. Do tell us a little about squash, your love for the game My love for squash is paramount. It has made me what I am today. From holding the position of world No.1 in the junior circuit for over a year, the only Indian to have achieved this feat, then racing to world No.10, again the only Indian man or woman to have climbed to this spot, being awarded the Arjuna and Padmashri, it’s been a journey I will cherish forever. To all sports lovers, chase that dream, let no one stop you, you’ll be surprised where it can take you.

“Women achievers in sport in our country have multiplied in the last five or six years and with it parents have been encouraging girls to take up sport at a young age. And, that is a really good way to progress in the realm of sports as a nation”

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Let Your Jewels

Sparkle There is always a gush of excitement to buy and wear a new jewellery and enhance your exquisite jewellery collection. However the thought to clean and maintain the sparkle goes amiss. Here are few simple ways to keep your jewellery safe and shine like new!! Bubble Bath: Take dishwashing liquid soap add it in water and put it to boil. Carefully place your precious Diamond in the hot water and let it stay for 3-4 minutes. Remove diamonds from water and scrub the pieces carefully with a soft toothbrush. Dip it in any alcohol if you have it, as this will take care of any remaining dirt on the piece. Rinse thoroughly with clean room temperature water to ensure all the soap content is washed away and dry it with a soft cloth. Rings and Earrings need regular cleaning as besides the dus even the soap and the lotion that and reduce the shine. Additional point: Use strainer and clean under running water for safety of your jewel.

This is especially true for solitaires. Remove your diamonds before you oil your hair or go in for a facial or a massage. Change with Caution: Never stand while removing or changing your jewellery. Do not remove your earrings over a sink or in the bathroom! It is most likely that you will drop them and the chances of their going down the drain are high. Sit down and remove them patiently Wrap it safe: Wrap your precious jewellery in cloth and store them separately so that they do not rub against each other, bend and snap. Do not use tissues to wrap your jewellery as the fuzz could dim the lustre. Instead, wrap each piece in a soft cloth, butter paper or cotton to ensure safety and shine.

Handle with Care: Do not touch your diamond habitually as the oil from the skin will make it lose its sheen! Always hold it on its sides or from the back and avoid touching the surface.

-Ms. Seema Mehta, Director- Creative, Kirtilals

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(ACADEMIC YEAR 2016 - 17)


LIVE|Culinary Gaffers


The conventional image of a baker reminds us of a joyful Julia Child teaching her audience to make a perfectly fluffy tea cake. Meghana Karthick carries the same cheerful demeanour. The owner of Fresh Baked Goodness gives us an insight into her life, her baking and her future. By Sanjana Ganesh Photography by Samuel Anand APR 2016 | Brew entertainment | 34


nid Blyton did us some harm as children. Her eloquent description of desserts set unattainable standards on the dinner table when badam halwa (scrumptious nonetheless) was our only solace. Pots of jams, marmalades, hot cross buns, tarts and cakes that The Famous Five took on their adventures, left us drooling. Entering Fresh Baked Goodness gives us the same refreshing feeling of picnic basket-worthy desserts. This quaint little shop tucked in the sullen streets of Mylapore is run by Meghana Karthick and has found an ardent following among vegetarians and vegans having a sweet tooth.

TUMBLING INTO BAKING Upon doing some research, one might be shocked to find that this home baker has an IMDb page. “After working as an assistant director in the cinema industry for about six years, I told my director that I wanted a break. I started baking as a hobby and people began asking me to start selling my food. Wanting to give this a shot, I went ahead. It took a form of its own with no particular ‘ strategy’ or ‘agenda’ in mind. The aim was to give out good products and that worked well.” she says The six month break has now extended to four full flourishing years and Meghana is proud of her baby. THEOBROMA TALES The proprietor says that she just woke up to the name ‘Fresh Baked Goodness’ in her head as it had a green and warm ring to it. Her famous Theobroma on the other hand took a lot of exploration. “I was on the hunt to name my dessert. Theobroma is the botanical name of the plant from which cocoa is derived. It is also called the food of the gods. The dessert was entered into a bake-off and it caught the attention of people over there.It received rave reviews and the rest is history”.This ex-chocolate lover went on to create her melt-in-the-mouth layered mousse cake with different kinds of chocolate. Needless to say, this dessert rejoiced the taste buds of foodies all over and became her claim to fame.

OF MORE DESSERTS AND THE FUTURE Meghana’s business now supplies to That Madras Place in Adyar, all of Tovo’s branches, Chamiers, Plan B and East Coast at Madras Square. She also occasionally designs specific items according to the needs of the restaurant. Her impromptu attitude towards baking is apparent in the prolific nature of her desserts. “I don’t like being confined to a certain idea. I bake a tart because I feel like eating a good one” she says. Her USP lies in not using chemical infused colour and strictly creating vegetarian and vegan desserts. The success of Fresh Baked Goodness has not hindered her love for movies as she remains a ‘cinema girl’ at heart and would love to enter the silver screen arena again. Currently however, she is satisfied with the sugar rushes her customers experience as they dwell into some of her classics such as the Banoffee Pie or the Blueberry cheesecake. “Expansion is at the ideating stage” she says when asked about how she sees its growth. It can only be hoped that there will be a day when Meghana fresh bakes several Enid Blyton picnic baskets, for us fiction lovers.

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ATHI PRASADHAM INGREDIENTS MARINATION 200 gms fresh fig cut into wedges ---------------------------------------------------------------------------


80 gms horsegram - soaked for 8 hours ---------------------------------------------------------------------------


30 gms raw mango chopped ---------------------------------------------------------------------------


20 gms capsicum chopped ---------------------------------------------------------------------------


5 gms green chilli chopped ---------------------------------------------------------------------------


Salt to taste ---------------------------------------------------------------------------


TEMPERING 5 ml gingely oil ---------------------------------------------------------------------------


2 gms mustard seeds ---------------------------------------------------------------------------


3 gms Urud dal ---------------------------------------------------------------------------


2 gms chopped ginger ---------------------------------------------------------------------------


2 sprig of curry leaves ---------------------------------------------------------------------------


1 gm red chilli ---------------------------------------------------------------------------



2 gms Asafoetida powder

--------------------------------------------------------------------------METHOD n Wash the soaked horse gram and boil in fresh water with salt.

Strain it and reserve. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------n In a clean bowl, mix it with fig, prepared horsegram, raw mango, capsicum, green

chilli and salt. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------n Set aside this fig and horse gram mixture.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------n Heat gingely oil in a pan, add red chilli, mustard, urad dal, chopped ginger, and

sauté. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------n Add curry leaves, asafoetida powder and sauté for a few seconds.Add this to the

prepared fig and horse gram mixture and serve at room temperature.

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LIVE|Glimpses Within

MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM The scorching sun is starting to beat down on us and the body is yearning to cool off by the sea. The image of coconut water and swimwear has deeply ingrained itself in the holiday paraphernalia. Goa maybe the party capital of India but Gokarna is soon catching up. If you are looking to have the ideal ‘sun and sand’ break combining the holy and the unholy, this might be your perfect destination. By Sanjana Ganesh


ome summer and there is abundant light at the end of the tunnel. The mood is immediately reflected in the weather with ‘Summertime Sadness’ and ‘Pachai nirame’ flooding everyone’s playlists. Sweat blurs vision and the craving for ice cream is immense. The stale recycled air of the A/C gets on to one’s nerves but it the only way out. Gokarna offers sun daze- the illusion of turning back time to the good old days where you make sand castles while sipping on some freshly brewed Indian beer. This vision is contrasted with the pious life of pilgrims flocking this town to visit the ancient temples of the land. Clearly, there are two sides to this coin.

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CRASH DEVOUR EXPLORE Gokarna is flooded with shacks that offer accommodation for really cheap prices. One can walk in at any time and find these tiny cottages to be in pleasantly habitable conditions. The central area is ‘Om Beach’ where the rates are higher than that of the adjacent beaches. Each location is a twenty minute hike from the other. Many of them also offer breakfast in the morning. Gokarna caters to the elite as well. There is some fantastic lodging around Sanskruti Resort and Kudle Beach view resort and Spa.

One can choose to have a variety of cuisines at Gokarna. Authentic south Indian food is available at small restaurants at all moments of the day. Prema Restaurant is among the favourites. Several places also offer elaborate thali for lunch and dinner. To taste the local seafood, you might want to visit Namaste Café or Om Beach Café. Splendid continental food in these cafes is also up for experimentation.

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There are tons of interesting things to do at this beach town. The temples here are said to be beautiful as they hold a deep aesthetic connection with the earth. The intricate designs on the walls have been the subject of interest for many years. Beach hikes and water sports are activities for the adrenalin junkies. There are several spas that offer appeasing massages. The aim of Gokarna is however to hakuna matata and be the king of good times (Not the one escaped convict). Go to Gokarna and experience the sun, sand and salinity.

LIVE | Glimpses Beyond

THE GEM ALONG THE DANUBE Soak in elegance in the steam baths, break a leg with the traditional dancers, taste the paprika amongst a goulash of ethnic splash to get the best of Budapest and its people. Straddled between Europe and Asia, this city is a wonder on the Danube River. By Padma Murughappun.


combination of two cities, Budapest never ceases to amuse the avid traveller.In spite of its cosmopolitan and heavyweight outlook, it has its own subtle charms that has been luring people in. Most of what one might see today in Budapest was built during the capital’s “Golden Age” in the 19th century. The beauty is not just God given as it has an unmistakably striking loveliness in its architecture. History doesn’t just showcase itself but still lives in the walls on the streets with the World War II bullet holes and pockmarks reminding us that past does not just become another country. But the sad past didn’t affect the prettiness of the city’s treasure troves with its wondrous architecture what with baroque, art nouveau and much more to satisfy everyone. There’s more than one way to discover Budapest. Whether you take a dip in its famous bath, savour the cuisine, walk down the Chain Bridge or sit and people-watch in the downtown cafes, this marvellous capital never disappoints its visitors.

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BUDA CASTLE- IMMERSE IN ROYALTY Visible from anywhere in Budapest, the Buda Castle is also called the Royal Palace not just because of its previous occupants but also due to its appearance. The palace, situated on the Castle Hill began its history of constructions in the 13th century. Six centuries and three invasions later, it was completed in 1904. It is built in a baroque style with its Gothic origins unchanged. Though badly hit during the Second World War, the castle was rebuilt in a neo-baroque style and stands majestically till date. The castle has now become two important museums showcasing 2000

years of history on four floors. The Museum houses some of the best and most important works of art by renowned 19th and 20th century Hungarian artists. Keep an eye out for the Romantic Nationalist “heroic” paintings and depictions of war. The National Gallery consists of a marvellous collection of art from the 11th century including Renaissance stonework and Gothic wooden sculptures. The museum is entered from the basement that has three vaulted halls leading to the Gothic halls and the Tower chapel. There are many ways to get to Castle Hill. The most economical would be through the Funicular

service from Chain Bridge since there are many pretty sites to see while climbing the hill. It’s a short climb for about three minutes. But the adventurous traveller can always relax and hike up the hill. The other way to get there is by bus. The Funicular service is open from 7:30 in the morning to 10:00 in the night.

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PARLIAMENT HOUSE – HOUSE OF THE COUNTRY Built as a Neo-gothic structure without its Renaissance and Baroque characteristics unchanged, the parliament house of Hungary is a magnificent sight to behold. This 100-year-old eclectic structure is the world’s third largest parliament building with 691 rooms and twenty kilometres of stairs. Constructed by the famous Hungarian architect Imre Steindl, the Parliament stands majestically with the Red Star (the National Icon) as the memorial piece marking the 1000th anniversary of the country. It has limestone walls which are being depleted because of constant pollution demanding restoration from time-to-time. The parliament building is

situated on the Kossouth Lajos square with the Museum of Ethnography and Ministry of Agriculture facing it from the other side. Since it is an official structure, the visitors are allowed on a guided tour of the North wing where several rooms and hallways including the Domed Hall and the Congress Hall can be visited. The sumptuously decorated rooms are shown by guides explaining in eight different languages but only when the National assembly is not in session. The easiest and most economical way to get here is through the Metro Subway Station M2 to Kossouth for a 45 minutes tour of the wondrous structure. The admission tickets will be available at Gate X with HUF 2000 for students and EU citizens and HUF 4000 for

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adults. While there do not forget to sneak a peek at the Hungarian Crown Jewels especially the Holy Crown. Its best advised to book a tour of the place online for a better experience. Don’t just tour inside, savour its beauty and harmony from a cruise on the Danube!

SZECHENYI CHAIN BRIDGE – A HANGING MARVEL All the Bollywood fans out there would probably be familiar with this bridge. This is the bridge where Nandini declares her love for Vanraj in the climax of the famous Hindi film Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. This bridge is well-known for two other reasons as well – firstly it is the only dry connector of Buda and Pest and secondly, it was paid for by the aristocracy. Opened in 1849, built by William Tierney Clark, the bridge is an edifice to behold. Held up by twin piers on both the sides, the Chain Bridge is hands down the most prettiest structure over the Danube River. Though the entire bridge is named after its initiator, Count Istvan

Szechenyi, the eastern side of it is named as Clark Adam, after the builder of the bridge. The bridge gets its common name as it’s held together by the Chains running from the east pier to west pier. This magnificent beauty is the second largest suspension bridge in terms of its span. Completely destroyed by the German troops during the Second World War, the Chain Bridge underwent massive repairs during 1947.

the Danube. A walk through that glitter among the other lights of the city will leave one in a trance that’s hard to come out of.

The whole length amounts to 380 metres with two traffic lanes and pavements on either side to walk on. Bus number 16 would take one on a ride on the bridge. The bridge can be best admired at night with the lights of the bridge and the parliament reflecting on

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LIVE | What’s New?

MELANGE BY LIFESTYLE Melange by Lifestyle consists of vibrant ensembles that redefine contemporary fusion wear and fulfil the fashion needs of independent, urban females in the 20-32 years age group. The latest range has been crafted by fusing ethnic elements with global trends, and offers stylish looks for various occasions. The casual collection has a Bohemian vibe with a mesmerising interplay of tribal, garden and paisley prints in sheers, maxis, cover ups and flowy silhouettes. Whimsical elements of Indigo palette, tribal textile from Central Asia, vintage Cross-stitch styles and Indigo tie-and-dyes add a dreamy touch to the collection. With edgy shoe-lace tie up detailing, high slits, romantic lace and ruffles, and asymmetric hemlines, the diverse range also offers Arabesque inspired stylish patterns and summery floral designs.Solid tones and monochromes paired with unconventional volume pants or beautifully patterned kimonos and waist coats are a season must have.

SURPANAKHA, A ROLLERCOASTER OF CONSPIRACIES Surpanakha is a political thriller written by Mr. Hariharan Iyer, a financial professional based out of Dar es Salaam. Surpanakha marks the start of his journey as an author. It is a gripping thriller revolving around conspiracies, revenge and politics. Pondering over the question of what happens when an activist takes advantage of their image in society led Mr. Hariharan to script Surpanakha. After eight months of working on it, Hariharan is now very excited for its release.

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