a bi-monthly e-magazine for Indians in Dubai An e-magazine that captures the colour, culture and chaos of India that NRIs crave and miss, once every two months
PRAN, A VILLAIN WE LOVE TO CHEER FOR. WE APPLAUD THIS YEAR’S DADASAHEB PHALKE AWARD WINNER. PAGE 14
To all the people I knew, got to know and will know through this magazine.
A TINGE OF MASALA FOR YOUR DESSERTS. PAGE 18
Big fat Indian magazine. Supporters, critics and stress. Enthusiasm and challenges. Dreams and deadlines. NRI readers. Proof reading. Uploading the magazine.
THE GOOD OL’ AMBASSADOR. OUR TRIBUTE. PAGE 62 SWING TO BALAM PICHKARI WITH SINGER & SONGWRITER SHALMALI KHOLGADE. PAGE 72 WE OFFER OUR PRAYERS TO THE PEOPLE OF UTTARAKHAND & SALUTE THE BRAVEHEARTS TAKING CARE OF THEM. A PIECE ON THE BEAUTIFUL DESTINATION. PAGE 98
AND A LOT MORE OF BOLLYWOOD BITES, GOURMET CHOICES, LOVELY MEMORIES…
Rights: All rights reserved. The writing, artwork and photography contained herein may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of The Indian Trumpet. The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of The Indian Trumpet. All efforts have been made while compiling the content of the magazine but we assume no responsibility for the effects arising there from. We take no responsibility of the availability of the products mentioned in the various sections of the magazine. Reprints as a whole or in part can be done only with written permission from The Indian Trumpet quoting “The Indian Trumpet magazine” for texts and pictorial material. Signed articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editor. No responsibility can be taken for the loss of unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or artwork. Contacts: Purva Grover, founder & editor theindiantrumpet.com All queries to be addressed to email@example.com The Indian Trumpet Magazine is released six times a year. It is available to the readers absolutely free of cost on the portal theindiantrumpet.com.
Big fat Indian wedding. Friends, food, family. Tears and happy tears. Heena and happiness. NRI husband. Packing bags. Saying good bye to home.
The last few weeks have been exciting, tiring, fascinating and challenging. I lived through moments that made me smile and scream at the same time. There were times when the laptop misbehaved, fonts got mixed up and writers and photographers missed deadlines, but then these were complemented with times when my inbox got flooded with encouraging words, download speeds improved and colours and words just fell into place. And while the ‘new’ bride in me had made me believe that planning an Indian wedding was perhaps the toughest thing to do in the world, I realised that it was easier than living the dream of starting a magazine on your own. (Honestly, my mom-dad and sister were the real wedding planners and I was just the showstopper, but even watching them do it all was exhausting. And yes, they were patient with me both when I chattered about the wedding or mag! ) I also learnt that a husband could be a perfect roommate and be as supportive as a 4 am friend in the hostel room. (I was happy to watch the NRI husband switch roles between being a business development manager and a web-designer & proof-reader.) I even accepted that while I couldn’t do it all in one issue, each day would bring me one step closer than I was the day before to achieving my dream of starting my own magazine. I began to smile at the thought that as an NRI, I was getting a chance to love, miss and appreciate the ‘home’ as well as greet, explore and admire the ‘new home’. And honestly, even if someone had told me that this is how the journey would be from New Delhi, India to Dubai, UAE, I would have still done exactly the same thing and with the same enthusiasm. Yes, when this Indian girl landed in Dubai she felt she couldn’t leave behind her passion for journalism& love for home. At the same time, she couldn’t help but play with fonts, colours and words to create something for the fellow NRIs here. Little did she know that hearts & minds from all communities would greet her dream with the same passion and love. So this is my story. And the story of how The Indian Trumpet magazine came into being. And from here on it is going to be our story for this is your space. Till we meet next, happy tooting!
Purva founder & editor firstname.lastname@example.org
our first step
Michelle D’costa is one of our youngest writers/poetess. Born and raised in Bahrain she loves spending her days penning poetry, dancing and watching Mrs. Doubtfire. Her works have been published in more than 30 literary online/print journals. She confesses she laughs out really loud & takes pride in it. She can be found at pikoomish.wordpress. com.
Abhinav Bhatt is an engineer by profession and designer by passion. He launched Minimal Movie Posters in January 2012 to have some fun with his love for Bollywood and graphics. Since then his venture has grown and many others have joined him. They hold over 400 minimal posters, which belong to many regional Indian languages as well. He can be found at minimalmovieposter.in. Ayandrali Dutta is a fanatic when it comes to travelling. On days when she doesn’t answer our phone calls we know that she is on board a bus, train or plane! She loves being a journalist for it allows her to meet new people. Her other big love is food.
Kamaini Mittal has been fascinated with arts and designs forever. Bachelors in Fine Arts in Applied Arts she works with India’s leading English news channel besides undertaking assignments for various design firms. She observes her surroundings to expand her design vocabulary. She doesn’t sleep much, and that explains why she answers our e-mails at all odd and insane hours. Gurleen Kaur is an eccentric designer. She often drives us crazy with her obsession for colours and designs. She works to create a good artwork and discards it the moment she gets another idea just to reach another level of perfection. When not working, she is either renovating her home or
taking a walk in the garden with her DSLR. She can be found at facebook.com/designrecipes. Prachi Grover is a food maniac (read: food blogger & consultant). On days that she is not able to cook a lavish & large enough meal to feed friends and families she suffers from a migraine. Her other obsession is design. Her home turns a new leaf every few days making you want to re-visit her for inspiration. She can be found at orangekitchens.blogspot.com and purplehomes.blogspot.com.
Ritika Kochhar Bahl
Ritika Kochhar Bahl loves fashion. Her favourite place in the world is the trial room or the spot in front of the mirror in her room. She loves a good meal, especially her fish and chips. She works hard during the week believing it will bring the weekend closer! When not shopping, gorging or working, she indulges in a dip in the pool. Nabi Ahmadi fits in great both in front & behind the camera. He loves to capture the people and places of Dubai in his lens. A freelance photographer by profession, pictures is not the only thing that he dreams about. His heart beats real loud for all things Bollywood. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
Sanket B Jack
Jinali Sutariya is a young Gujarati girl who founded her company House of Chic at the age of 21. Her love for baubles and bags is reflected in her work. She loves to travel and of course admiring and creating & buying all things beautiful. She can be found at facebook.com/houseofchic.in. Chandni Lahoti is an eternal golgappa lover, a furious saas-bahu serials hater, a spring-junkie by heart, a blogger by passion, a photography enthusiast and an accountant by mistake. She is caught up between her love for India, London (she was there for the last five years) and her new home, Dubai (she is just fourmonths old here). She can be found at chandnilahoti.wordpress.com.
Reema Bajaj believes in listening more and talking less. She confesses she transforms into a maniac when it comes to writing and grammatical flaws drive her nuts. Her best friend is her imaginative mind, next comes music. Navneet Banwait calls designing an act of meditation. An independent designer she believes every sunrise unfolds a new surprise. She set up her own design studio, Vichitra Design Studio in 2011, which allows her to play with colours, concepts and more.
Sanket B Jack is an engineer by degree, MBA by profession and a cartoonist by passion. He portrays the societyâ€™s nuisance, behaviour and ignorance through his cartoons. He believes as much in the power of a smile as that of a satire. He believes in the saying, It takes 43 muscles to frown, 17 to smile but only 1 to criticise. He can be found at facebook.com/ Jackartoons.
Beth Watkins has been blogging about Hindi cinema since 2005. ‘Can my love for Indian films be explained by a mysterious locket half and the unshakeable sense that maybe Jeevan stole me away as an infant from my real mother Indarni Mukherji?’ is how she introduces herself to her blogger fans! Her blog has been featured in numerous publications like The Times of India, Business Standard, and The Globe and Mail (Canada). She has contributed to pieces in international media such as BBC radio and CBC television, as well as in print at Tehelka and, most
recently, as a weekly column in The Wall Street Journal’s India Real Time. During business hours, she works in education, exhibit development, at
World Cultures at the University of Illinois. She can be found at bethlovesbollywood.blogspot. com.
Megha Sabharwal is a young thinker and philosopher of a kind. This writer believes in carving her own destiny, and that’s what motivates her to wake up each day and work hard. Her passion and hunger to make dreams come true keeps her going. She nurtures a dream of visiting every hilly spot not just in the country but the world! Jayanthi Somasundaram loves eating, cooking and travelling. She ensures that she travels to a different country every year (all her savings go into that!) and loves visiting the local markets and interacting with the locals there. She nurtures a dream of running her own little coffee shop with a really nice library. She grew up in tropical Malaysia and now lives in Chennai. Besides working on her book, she enjoys long walks and spending time with her pets, a dog called Simba and a cockatel called Paru.
OUR GUEST WRITERS Nikhil Sharda is a writer, filmmaker and an IT professional based in New Delhi. His journey to the written word started with his first blog in Windows Spaces with a pen name effortlesslife. The site was banned by the government due to its antiestablishment content. Since then he is trying to get back at them. He’s written a much talked about novel, Sans Destination besides writing columns for mainstream media. He’s helped market jeans, photographed icons of beauty, etc. As of now, he is currently working as a managing editor of eFiction India, an international literary journal. He can be found at effortlesslife0. blogspot.ae. Suzanne Sangi is our little author from Bengaluru. At 17, she had released her debut novel Facebook Phantom. When not writing novels she likes to pen down poems, songs and short stories. This young girl loves to sing and play the guitar. She can be found at suzannesangi. blogspot.ae.
14 70mm PRAN, THE ACTOR He’s never cardboard and never sleepwalks through a performance. Why we love Pran, the recipient of this year’s Dada Saheb Phalke Award. 18
SUGAR, SPICE, AND EVERYTHING NICE Indian spices on the dessert menu is the sweet news this season. Can the humble & exotic Indian spices really tempt a sweet tooth? 24
follow the noise
COUNTRY ROADS, TAKE ME HOME… A blogger who lives in Dubai says that Dubai with all its glitter & glitches has claimed her heart. She misses the Indian gullies she grew up in but then she loves strolling in the malls here. The heat & the humidity irks her but then the comforts & home-like feel here cools her down. …TO THE PLACE I BELONG Suzzane Sangi, our guest writer who lives in India says that India with all its charms & faults has claimed her heart. She dislikes the political scene but then she loves the yummy Indian meals. The strikes &
rapes get her fuming. She finds solace in lovely Indian films. 30
THE BEACH BABE A fashion designer & enthusiast plays our stylist this beach season. 34
tax free entertainment
PHIR BHI DIL HAI HINDUSTANI! When it irks us we give ourselves a moment to laugh it off. Then, we stand up & fight. 38
BOLLYWOOD SONGS, SOAP TITLES Bollywood numbers are ringing on the Indian telly as titles of routine soaps. It seems like we canâ€™t even come up with original names for our serials! 42
ON THE JASMINE TRAIL The Madurai malli gajra (jasmine flower garland) is sold at the roadside down South. Women often wear it in different styles either around a bun or tuck it into a plait; we visit Nilakottai, a small village in Tamil Nadu, to know more about the flower. 46
satte pe satta
You know you are a NRI living in Dubai if... 48
KEEPING THE SHORT ALIVE As a managing editor of an international literary journal he works to keep the short fiction & poetry alive, as a writer he confesses that he is not expecting to make a living off poetry & short fiction and as a reader he shares it saddens him to see that a large part of the literary voices of the Middle East have rarely been made available to the universal English speaking world. Our guest writer Nikhil Sharda of eFiction India writes. bazaar
52 A touch of glamour to make every gorgeous meal & drink count. 60 Just a few of our favourite things for the adorable angels & brats. 84 Transform from a simpleton to showstopper with these fashionable buys. 54
the globe & the gully
A GOURMET TRAIL A hotel with twelve eating destinations! What could be better than taking your taste buds on a holiday to Yas Viceroy Hotel, Abu Dhabi?
horn OK please
BATTI WALI GAADI? Today, the Ambassador is on a life support system with even politicians opting for other machines. Funny enough, although, the car is based on a British model, thereâ€™s no other car in the country, which is considered as Indian as the Ambassador. Our tribute. 68
LIFE IN A METRO Foremost, we fall in love with the Dubai Metro. Later, we hail cabs, rent cars & drive our own machines. Let the affair unfold. 86
BUTEH, THE PAISLEY Also known as Ambi in Punjabi, Carrey in Urdu, Kalga in Kashmiri, Kolke in Bengali, Koyari in Marathi and Mankolam in Tamil.
follow the noise
THE BUDGET FASHIONISTA When an Indian choreographer landed up with a job as a client relations executive in Dubai she decided (and was compelled) to redo her wardrobe. She shares how she added rhythm to her corporate closet on a budget.
I BELONG, I UNBELONG A young poetess shares her experience of struggling between multiple personalities. 98
the globe & the gully
WALK THE RAINBOW I lie down on a bed of flowers and pinch myself to see if I am dreaming. I am at the Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand and living a colourful and gorgeous dream.
over a cup of chai
ON A SONG She has given us hit numbers like Main Pareshaan, Daaru Desi, Lat Lag Gayi and the latest being Balam Pichkari! So when Shalmali Kholgade, singer & songwriter, visited Dubai recently we got talking to her on what gets her pareshaan, the love divide between glam Dubai & humble India & more. Excerpts.
MUGHAL-E-AZAM We met up with the brains & souls behind Minimal Movie Posters India and got talking on how would the poster of Mughal-e-Azam be like if created using minimal graphics & photos. They delighted us by creating one just for us.
over a cup of chai
LADY WITH A BAG She walks into a supermarket carrying her jute or cloth bag with pride. Our neighbour Shilpa Parmar is on a green mission. We walk along to learn more. 72
INDIAN STREETS The mind & heart misses the local Indian streets as it explores alien lands.
Kab? Kyun? Aur Kahan?
pran, the actor
HE’S NEVER CARDBOARD AND NEVER SLEEPWALKS THROUGH A PERFORMANCE, EVEN AFTER MORE THAN 400 ROLES, MANY OF WHICH START TO LOOK SIMILAR IF YOU WERE TO LIST BASIC ATTRIBUTES OF THE CHARACTERS. WHY WE LOVE PRAN, THE RECIPIENT OF THIS YEAR’S DADA SAHEB PHALKE AWARD. words BETH WATKINS
Johny Mera Naam Dharam Veer
PRAN, the legend
Kab? Kyoon? Aur Kahan?
It’s not my habit to yell actors’ names out loud at my TV screen when they enter a film but that is my customary greeting for Pran, this year’s winner of the Dada Saheb Phalke award. Although he is known best to many film fans as one of the all-time great villains, he’s not someone I love to hate, the way I do, say, creepy Jeevan, wild Amrish Puri, or hammy Ajit. Pran is an actor I love to love because he is, simply, just that: an actor. He’s never cardboard and never sleepwalks through a performance, even after more than 400 roles, many of which start to look similar if you were to list basic attributes of the characters. When his name appears in the credits, you know that there will be at least one reliably interesting and thoughtful performance in the film. He can menace a heroine with a steely brutishness that feels disarmingly reel but he is just as effective as a sort of noble loner in a track that parallels the hero’s story or as an enemy who winds up a brother-in-arms of the side of right. Several articles noted when the actor was awarded the Phalke that Pran, “Bollywood’s Black Gold,” as NDTV calls him, (NDTV, ndtv. com/photos/entertainment/pran-bollywoods-black-gold-14210] inspired new respect for villains from the film industry (DNA, dnaindia. com/entertainment/1821788/report-dada-sahebphalke-award-for-bollywood-veteran-pran). Part of Pran’s appeal as a performer is that he makes the very most of the tools available to him. Most striking is that creaky, slightly nasal, very distinctive voice that renders him unique no
matter what else he’s doing or wearing in a scene. In his villain roles, his voice lends just a touch of that uneasiness that comes from something unusual, making him somehow more threatening. In his more noble characters, it makes him sound more resolute. There is also something especially dignified about his physical bearing. Though not a tall man, heroes don’t overshadow him, and he looks equally comfortable in whatever the wardrobe department gives him, whether a three-piece suit, a police uniform, or a dacoit’s moustache and an earring. My personal favourite performances by Pran come from the later period of his career when he plays roles that link him with, rather than set him up as opposing, the hero. These roles tend to be a little more complicated than straight-up villains and give him even more room to shine as an actor. Do Badan (1966) is a nice example of him getting to be the villain and to show some depth, as his character realises the tragic impact of his wrong doings too late to do anything about it, rendering him impotently weepy along with everyone else in the film’s finale. Phaansi (1978) too has him as an ethically layered character, this time in reverse: he is a reformed dacoit from the beginning, part of the film’s introductory pronouncements about the patriotic value of following the law, contrasted with the selfishness of crime, and continues to be a moral centre for the story, embodying the value of reform over revenge.
Could we overlook his turn as the reluctant criminal circus performer and grieving widower and father Jasjit in Don (1978)? Koi chance nahin! It’s similar to his role as the wronged patriarch of the infamously demographically distributed family in Amar Akbar Anthony but Don sets up an even better back story. Pran balances the filmi, the absurd, and the poignant just as successfully as the injured Jasjit makes his way across a very slack tightrope over a busy street with a child under each arm. When considering the physical traits characteristics the role would seem to require, Pran is a ridiculous choice, well into his 50s when the film was made, but when it comes to the actual performance, no one else could have made it work so well. And he’s even convincing, in that masala film sort of way, as a physical opponent to Amitabh Bachchan, just as he is in Zanjeer a few years earlier. It’s a fascinating character: Jasjit’s life is high-stakes throughout the film, but he swings back and forth between desperation and arrogant bravado. I love the 2006 remake of Don but to me casting Arjun Rampal in a role that has so much room for actual expression was a huge mistake. Dharam Veer (1977), probably one of the most fantastical works of the golden age of masala, establishes Pran as a noble lone wolf, a dignified centre of discipline and loyalty in the complicated story of not-yet-realised family identities.
My very favourite Pran film, Gaddaar (1973), all but makes him the hero. Vinod Khanna is around to provide some of the services traditionally rendered by leading men, but Pran is the story’s emotional centre. Gaddaar shows the unravelling of a gang of thieves after one of them turns traitor and runs off with their loot. Pran, as the mastermind of the group, is the most invested in the recovery of the money and in the punishment of the traitor. And watching him slowly unravel as his ambition keeps slipping out of his grasp is a delight. The film is full of other star character actors like Iftekhar, Ranjeet, and Manmohan, and in a rare turn as something other than side acts, they interrelate and get a little more depth than they usually do as the token police inspector or henchman. It is perfectly appropriate that Gaddaar has Pran as the literal leader of the character actors, for 40 years after its release that is still a significant component of his legacy.
Again, as I mentioned before Pran is an actor foremost, a villain later. He is simply an actor I love to love.
Surrounded by a film full of mind-boggling plot twists and history-bending costumes Pran’s
consistent gravitas somehow reinforces just how unflinchingly ethical his character is, making him a perfect parallel and partner for the queen of the local royal family. Plus he has a sidekick who is every bit as principled and proactive as he is, the respectfully credited Sheroo the Wonder Bird. Only Amitabh Bachchan gets such strong support from the animal kingdom.
and everything nice INDIAN SPICES ON THE DESSERT MENU IS THE SWEET NEWS THIS SEASON. CAN THE HUMBLE & EXOTIC INDIAN SPICES REALLY TEMPT A SWEET TOOTH? words PRACHI GROVER images & artwork GURLEEN KAUR
My mother dry roasting Indian spices to make garam masala that later she would pound in the white marble mortar and pestle, which would be sprinkled on many a curry.
My grand mum would leave the juicy ruby red pomegranate seeds out in the sun and leave them to dry for days to make anardana, which we would later enjoy in each bite of our allu parantha (Indian flatbread stuffed with potatoes). Our neighbour Mrs. Chellapa, would make and share her special madras curry powder blend with us and we would use it as a dry rub for our fish. Does it sound really strange that my childhood evokes such spicy memories? And quite honestly as I write this I can actually smell each of the spices and it just warms me up and makes me all fuzzy. That is the power of spices. If India is called the spice nation it is for a valid reason. We are not just home to some of the most aromatic, mouth watering and gorgeous
spices of the world but also are firm believers of romancing these treats. We like to use them to bring out the complexities in a recipe (garam masala), to brighten a dish (turmeric & kashmiri red chilli powder) and to warm the palate (cinnamon & cloves) across our courses. Of course we are partial to using them for main courses, however recently we have started using them in our desserts too. I believe the practice of using spices for desserts started some 500 years ago and it continues till date. But when it came to experimenting with spices we mostly stuck to the good old cardamom (kulfi, barfi, shrikhand and payasam, all with a hint of cardamom), sometimes khus khus and cinnamon and of course the exquisite saffron. However, lately we have observed a change and are seeing a lot of interesting culinary experiments. A lot of spices that had not met desserts till now are being introduced to the sweet treats. The mint chilli hot chocolate milk, a recipe by the Michelin starred Chef Vikas Khanna where he uses a combination of chilli flakes and cinnamon with
We are not just home to some of the most aromatic, mouthwatering and gorgeous spices of the world but also are firm believers of romancing these treats. And lately, we have started using them in our desserts too.
chocolate, raises the aphrodisiac quotient by tenfold (Just like in the Mexican Chilli, cocoa is used with the chilli to make it more delectable). This is just one of the many yummy examples. Kali mirch (black pepper) is known for its heat and very recently I came across an article where Chef Kierin Baldwin, pastry chef at the Dutch, New York used it in a cake icing. Thatâ€™s right! An icing made with freshly ground black pepper, kosher salt, sugar and egg whites! In fact another interesting use of black pepper that I came across was in an ice cream
where it has been successfully paired along with black cardamom that lends a smoky flavour to the ice cream. This innovative combination has been created by Chef Ethan Frisch who is the person behind Guerrilla Ice cream. Closer home, I remember watching Chef Vicky Ratani create some masala chai ice cream. I did try it out in my kitchen and the result was spectacular. The trick lies in practicing a restraint and also experimenting and figuring out, which spices actually do justice and bring the dish a notch above. Usually
I suggest get yourself a bottle of a â€˜dessert sauceâ€™ to get acquainted with new flavours. Paresh Tejura, MD at chutney & pickle producer, Curry Cuisine has developed a range of dessert sauces using spices that are associated with Indian cooking; mango, cardamom and ginger, cherry chocolate and chilli and lemongrass and ginger. These can be used over ice creams or even cheesecake toppings. Leaving you lovely people with a recipe for cumin and dark chocolate truffles. Till we meet again have fun spicing up your desserts.
the ones that work well in savoury dishes work well together in sweet ones too, of course with some tweaking. At home, I insist you try out the simple combination of strawberries soaked in a teeny bit of balsamic vinegar, sugar and some freshly ground black pepper. The result will be sublime, I promise. Or use cumin to flavour a loaf cake and watch the nutty cumin with its citrus notes really lift the taste of the regular loaf. Lime and black pepper cookies or lemon and poppy seeds cookies, anyone? But if you are too scared to experiment at home then
Cumin, chilli & dark chocolate truffles Ingredients 50 ml heavy cream 500 grams dark chocolate 6 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/2 teaspoon cumin, roasted and ground Â˝ teaspoon red chilli flakes 1/3 cup cocoa powder ( you can substitute plain cocoa)
Instructions 1. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate, cumin powder, chilli flakes and butter. Stir until completely melted and smooth. 2. Leave it in the refrigerator to chill. 3. Use a small melon baller to form truffles out of the ganache. Roll them all in the cocoa powder and enjoy this unique pairing with chocolate.
Name of the Spice (English)
Cookies and biscotti
Ice creams and icings
Cakes, milk-based puddings and cookies
Sharp & slightly bitter Breads
Spicy, warm & sweet
Cakes, crumbles or simple poached fruits
Pungent and strong
Earthy & nutty
Cookies & pound cakes
Earthy & smoky
Ice creams & cookies
Sweet chutneys and cakes
Sweet and nutty
Custards, cakes and cookies
Faint honey like
Panna cotta, milk puds and ice creams
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ee s tr th e n
Mou nta ins ,
Ridg e Blue
r e d ol
n ge r t h u o an Y
A BLOGGER WHO LIVES IN DUBAI SAYS THAT DUBAI WITH ALL ITS GLITTER & GLITCHES HAS CLAIMED HER HEART. SHE MISSES THE INDIAN GULLIES SHE GREW UP IN BUT THEN SHE LOVES STROLLING IN THE MALLS HERE, THE HEAT & THE HUMIDITY IRKS HER BUT THEN THE COMFORTS & HOME-LIKE FEEL HERE COOLS HER DOWN… words CHANDNI LAHOTI artwork GURLEEN KAUR
Dubai. A city where big dreams get wings, ambitions challenge the high-rise buildings, sun shines as bright as the jewels and the sea casts its spell. Dubai is a destination where many people ‘like’ to move not just from India but other countries as well. A lot of my
friends in the UK and US often express their interest in moving to Dubai, a place that has best of both the worlds, home & abroad. The power of both ambition and need that tempts and compels an individual to leave home and head to Dubai amazes me, makes me wonder and leaves me in awe. Before I boarded the flight to Dubai I had asked myself why I was willing
hea ven ,
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to leave behind my family, home and country and start life all over again in an alien land. But then when I reached here (which, was four months back) I found all my answers, some made me happy, a few unhappy.
in you. Shafique Qureshi who hails from Bhopal works as a cleaner in my residence building and each time I speak to him he tells me how grateful he is to the city for giving him a chance to work here and in turn look after his family back home. “The in-the-face lavishness of the malls and villas surprise me but then I feel that Dubai is a place that can feed both the ambition and stomach of one and all. I love working here and I hope that one day I manage to save enough to buy a house for my family in Bhopal,” he tells me. Yes, the lavishness is what strikes most of us when we first land in Dubai. As a friend, Geetika Nayyar Malik, puts it, “On my first day in Dubai I felt like the Alice in Wonderland, especially because of the well-lit high-rise buildings.” Geetika is an HR professional and a new mum. She is three-months old to Dubai. She loves Dubai, already, minus the heat and humidity. And hailing from New Delhi what she appreciates the most about Dubai is the safe environment that it offers to both men and women, “Also, I love how Dubai has made place for people from all nationalities and emerged as a true cosmopolitan destination.” Would she want to go back, I ask her. “Dubai has not disappointed me and if I’d leave the place to go back to India it would be only to connect to my roots not because of anything that Dubai lacks in.” Yes, that’s the thing about Dubai that even though it is draped in glitter it still offers the cosiness and comfort, just the right kind of protection that makes you feel at home because somewhere we are all looking for a safe harbour where we can moor our boat awhile.
There was a lump in my throat as I had removed the ‘clutter’ from my home where I had celebrated moments filled with happiness and spent time with friends and family. The ‘clutter’ was my past and the little stories that had defined my life so far. My life played in front of me like a flashback on the screen. Simple little objects like my vases, books, candles, etc. left their familiar spots to be packed in boxes, waiting for the change. Simple things like lifting my things from their years-old spots and wrapping them in newspaper sheets made me teary-eyed. I was to leave ‘my’ cosy corner in the whole world and find a new corner for myself. Yes, the emotional journey of an NRI in Dubai can reflect a tearful soap opera at times but nonetheless it still manages to culminate into a happy ending because unlike other foreign countries the beauty of Dubai is that to an Indian it offers a ‘home’ away from home. Packing years and memories in the boxes is definitely not easy but as soon as you land in this glossy land you experience an instant kick. And that’s not because of the sky-risers or high-end restaurants or the large malls (we have all that in India too, may be not as large and lavish though) but because Dubai allows one to believe that one can accomplish the impossible here. And that is the X-factor of this fascinating place. It puts its faith
g elon b me eI c a l home To the p
And once you are here the choice is up to you to choose between what you are willing to give up for what you want. The things you give up could be as simple as playing or walking in the outdoors, laughs Ahmed Mukhtar Siddique, who comes from a Gulfbased attar-business family, “I am a big fan of the law and order in this country but I do miss the fun of the outdoor activities. Coming from Mumbai I do miss the free spirit of Mumbai but then I have not much to complain about my life in Dubai.” Yes, so the choice is yours and Dubai makes it easier for it doesn’t ask you to leave behind much. You do say goodbye to the dear ones, the familiar gullies where you grew up, etc. but you find yourself being welcomed to Indian aromas, spices and faces! Neha Bagdare Daftary, a housewife, and another Mumbaiker finds the same buzz in Dubai as in Mumbai, “It is so well planned and organised. Also, I love the fact that something or the other is always happening in this city, which makes each day special and interesting. Only, I wish the rents and education fees were slightly less!” Well, so guess it is the price we all pay for a little comfort.
an K i i Mittii Aa i i Ha i, C
Chi th i
i H ai B A a yi
Chi thi Aaii Hai Aaii Hai Chithi Aaii H ai C h
ih thi Aaii Ha i... ..U u
Yaa d V
In the end, I’d say we are all different people with different backgrounds and different stories but one common thing that holds us all together is our love for the roots and our love for the new home, Dubai. Life is all about looking forward and Dubai makes you look forward with a new perspective. The memories blur when dreams materialise and soon you began to think of India with a smile on your face. As for me, when I start dreaming backwards I stand for a moment, I flip through the memories, give it some air to breathe and then fold them back carefully to revisit some other day. Memories, too precious to lose and too poignant to linger in long, yes memories at times can be difficult to navigate through but it’s a good sign when they bring a smile of fond recognition and a realisation that you are not far but near home, at a home near home. And yes, such are the lives of many NRIs in Dubai, making a home near home. And that’s exactly how the tearful soap opera gets its happy ending. A big smile and a little tear follows for Dubai truly is the best place ‘to live in India’.
ade Dinon K
a a d eB ,H n a m Bevatano
H ithi ai Va ta n
e Va ale Saat S am
le, L Va a
Ja OP o K arades
Na hi r eP
Li k ha
dar Pa n u
dar Ye Paigaa m An L i khaa Hain
a in , aH
a A an
OUR GUEST WRITER WHO LIVES IN INDIA SAYS THAT INDIA WITH ALL ITS CHARMS & FAULTS HAS CLAIMED HER HEART. SHE DISLIKES THE POLITICAL SCENE BUT THEN SHE LOVES THE YUMMY INDIAN MEALS. THE STRIKES & RAPES GET HER FUMING. SHE FINDS SOLACE IN INDIAN FILMS â€Ś words SUZANNE SANGI artwork GURLEEN KAUR India.
Everything about growing up in India amazes me and I would not trade it for anything. Where do I begin to narrate my tale from? Food, I guess for I must confess that I am quite a foodie and India has spoilt me totally. The variety and authenticity of tastes in the different foods of India fascinates me and each time I travel to a new city or state I make sure I eat something new. Up in the North you have people obsessing over rotis and paneer while
The first thing that comes to my mind is the variety and spontaneity that it offers. Be it a festival, marriage, pooja or cricket match the buzz of the events in India makes you stop in the middle of a bustling street to simply stand and stare in fascination. A true blue Bengaluru lass I have been born and brought up in the city and that too under the simultaneous influence of two very unique cultures, my mother being Mizo and my dad a Tamilian. It is an amazing feeling to be able to relate to
two different cultures as my own, together they transform into a whole new culture of its own.
from different cultures join in the madness. You’d be
And it was in school that I was introduced to the amazing beauty and geography of the country so I never leave a chance to explore our land. It is fun how one can explore different means of transportation too as one travels. From a bullock-cart to a train and a bus to an airplane, journeys would have not been the same had I not hoped on and off these means! And wherever you go one thing you can’t ignore is a sea of people, all so different yet so same. The best place to experience the varied cultures of India is to visit any railway station, I say. If not the station then you should be a part of any Indian celebration and watch people
or an act as silly and sick as spitting on the roads. But
love the annoying patakhas too. There is something magical about how seriously we take our festivals! And what’s equally magical is how non-seriously we take politics in our country. Even a five-year-old knows that we are a melting masala pot of politics. I, personally, have learnt to enjoy the happenings of our political world without understanding the intricacies. I also wonder if anything would ever change. And just like the scams, strikes too are inevitable to the Indian fabric. And oh yes, election is a synonym for ‘jackpot’ for the rulers. The catch is that despite it all democracy still reigns in one way or the other. I dislike the politics but I like the fact that there are enough opportunities for all of us to grow. And I surely love the fact that after every disaster we stand up yet again, hopeful and ready to win. We need our wakeup calls be it a crime as serious and ghastly as a rape we do wake up. And yes when everything gets dull we look towards Bollywood to add a spark to our lives. That always does the trick. So how do I sum up my 17 years of growing up in India? There are things that amaze, moments that make me angry, events that shake me up, people that get me curious…yet India is a country that I keep falling in love with each passing day. I must say with all its faults and its charms it has claimed my heart! And then as goes the saying, home is where the heart is.
Hu a a Y e d n Me Ba l. a ... a h
Though I have never gone beyond lighting a lamp I
a ra eha Ch
u Tu ab le J
Ka tL ik hat aa
aa h T
ga z a Ka
lucky if you find yourself in the country during Diwali.
in the South a meal is not a meal without rice and sambar. It is fascinating to note that sambar doesn’t taste the same up in Delhi like it does in Chennai even if the same Mrs.Subramanyam prepares it and the same goes for the Punjabi lassi. Authenticity is what makes every meal a delight. And also as long as you are in India the roadside treats will ensure you are well fed! I love the chaats, pakodas and the many other Indian street-side snacks. After food what I love next is having had a chance to study in a school here. I have had the best time in school be it strolling on the school grounds during P.T. classes, sitting on the first bench in the class and passing notes to each other from underneath the desk, giggling during classes, playing pranks on teachers and more. School would have not been school had I not got a chance to be a brat and a student, at the same time. I don’t know what is it that makes it happen for us, but as students in India while we play pranks with our teachers in class we also respect them as much. Does it happen outside India too? I wonder.
A O FA KN UR SH O ST IO w im ord W YL N D ag s W IS E es J H T T SI I N AT H G HO A ’S IS NE US LI S E UT RU BE R OF A LI AC & E RI CH YA N G H NT IC TH SE RE E AS PR BE O E AC N. NE H RE UR -O A P -M D O LA ET N YS RE TO .
When the beach calls out your name you can’t dare to ignore it. You quickly soak yourself in a sun block and slip into your swimwear, and well walk up to greet the gleaming sun rays and the smashing waters. The turquoise waters and stunning sands of the beach don’t discriminate between the oh-so-gorgeous and not-so-gorgeous figures, for it calls out everyone’s name. So, all you lovely ladies out there don’t let a
few inches spoil your beach vacation for there is more to looking glamorous on the beach than sporting a bikini. Yes, beach accessories are what you need to get your hands on this season. Make a statement with a rhinestone clutch, embellished wedges, feather hair adornments and multi- hued earrings and anklets. I am going to give you a lowdown on the ‘it’ accessories of this beach season.
Slip into a maxi dress or a one shoulder dress. Or how about wearing an over-sized shirt or a kimono robe over the swimwear?
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Chunky bracelets are best for a beach outing for they wonâ€™t come off as easily as delicate pieces
Phir bhi dil hai Hindustani! WHEN IT IRKS US WE GIVE OURSELVES A MOMENT TO MOCK AND LAUGH. THEN, WE STAND UP & FIGHT.
tax free entertainment
words & artwork SANKET B JACK
1. When Sachin Tendulkar retired in December 2012. It wasnâ€™t only the end of a career but the end of a religion, which the people had been passionately following for over 23 years. Sachin has not made just many fans over the years but diehard, core fanatics!
2. So who will win the BIG ONE in 2014? Will it be the silent leader or the outspoken kid? Will it be the calculated Kumar or the aggressive Modi? Or is there a scope for the veterans? Or for a clowny baba? Or can it be Mr. Fast? or ... ????? Whoever it is… We will be fully ready to criticise! 3. We have forgotten whether there are craters on roads or roads in a crater! Traffic jams, accidents, pollution, health issues. But hey, they claim “short term pain for long term gain” so we think there is hope but this is what they said even 10-15 years ago! This is certainly not what I pay tax for!! Stand up and scream- No More!
4. Well, we truly are art lovers. I mean be it the train windows or below the seats or on the exteriors of the buses or on clean roads or clean walls or on people! We believe in creating art everywhere by spitting out “paan” and tobacco and thereby exploring our artistic side. Applauding these art fanatics! 5. Summer of 2013 Hot, humid, tiring, scary, horrific! Evaporating ice, water and now... humans!!
POPULAR BOLLYWOOD NUMBERS ARE RINGING ON THE INDIAN TELLY AS TITLES OF ROUTINE SOAPS. IT SEEMS LIKE WE CAN’T EVEN COME UP WITH ORIGINAL NAMES FOR OUR DULL SERIALS!
words REEMA BAJAJ
The good ol’ TV never fails to surprise us especially when it comes to the lack of creativity and innovation. The unexciting soapy situations on the idiot box continue to revolve around saas-bahu revenge plots, re-marriages, rebirths, memory loss, generation leaps, etc. but what has got us questioning the dearth of creativity this time around is the TV crew’s act of adapting old and new Bollywood songs as their show titles. Yes, the days of every Indian soap suffering from ‘K’ mania (courtesy Ekta Kapoor) are
over and have given way to the names of the shows being adapted from Bollywood numbers. Think Bade Acche Laggte Hai, Kya Hua Tera Vaada, Na Bole Tum... Na Maine Kuchh Kaha, Kuch Toh Log Kahenge, Sasuraal Genda Phool and more. So why are the serials choosing to earn their TRPs via Bollywood songs? Good recall value and instant connect say the experts. As for us, we’d say the laid back attitude has now engulfed the show titles too (after the scripts, of course!).
Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai on Star Plus portrays the journey of a couple as husband-wife, parents, their love, etc. It gets its name from M. F. Husainâ€™s film Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities.
Kuch Toh Log Kahenge on Sony got its name from the hit song of yesteryears from the film Amar Prem starring Sharmila Tagore and Rajesh Khanna.
Sasuraal Genda Phool
the popular song from the Abhishek Bachchan and Sonam Kapoor starrer Delhi-6 was adapted by a serial of the same name on Star Plus. The title track of the show became as huge a hit as the serial.
Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon? on Star Plus got its name from a song from the film Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai starring Tusshar Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor. Ekta Kapoorâ€™s latest offering
Bade Acche Laggte Hai
on Sony is christened after a song from the 1976 released movie Balika Badhu.
Sapno Se Bhare Naina which was on air on Star Plus till last year got its title from the Farhan Akhtar starrer Luck by Chance.
Na Bole Tum... Na Maine Kuchh Kaha a serial on Colors is in its second season now. It gets its name from the Amol Palekar and Tina Munim starrer Baton Baton Mein. Do you remember the song
Kya Hua Tera Vaada
from the movie Hum Kisise Kum Naheen (1977) sung by the great Mohammed Rafi? A serial by the same name is running on Sony these days.
Another lovely song Phoolon Ka Taaron Ka Sabka Kehna Hai
Ek Hazaron Mein Meri Behna Hai
from the movie Hare Rama Hare Krishna is upping the TRPs of a serial on Star Plus. And for a change the storyline of this serial corresponds to the song.
a serial that was on air on Sony was inspired by the romantic number in the classic, Silsila.
Dekha Ek Khwaab
fashion fry 42 theindiantrumpet.com
THE MADURAI MALLI GAJRA (JASMINE FLOWER GARLAND) COMES WRAPPED IN A BANANA LEAF & IS OFTEN SOLD AT THE ROADSIDE DOWN SOUTH. WOMEN WEAR IT EITHER AROUND A BUN OR TUCK IT INTO A PLAIT; WE VISIT NILAKOTTAI, A SMALL VILLAGE IN TAMIL NADU, TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE JASMINE FLOWER. words JAYANTHI SOMASUNDARAM images K.KIRANKUMAR
We drove past dry arid lands, for a very long time. The scorching sun, the empty roads and the eerie stillness did not deter us. We were in search of the famous Madurai malli. The local guide, internet research and every villager whom we stopped to ask for directions said the same thing: keep going straight and you will see jasmine plants till as far as the eye can see. So, we drove in the scorching heat for miles, through the small village called ‘Nilakottai’ and could only see emptiness. Madurai and malli (jasmine) go hand in hand and this one flower defines the very essence of this temple city, often referred to as ‘Jasmine City’. With an international fan following, including fragrance barons, a single bud of malli dictates the whole city, from morning to night. So, what makes the Madurai malli different from the jasmine found in other parts of India? This particular jasmine cultivated in this part of Tamil Nadu has thick petals and a very strong fragrance. Usually the stalk of a jasmine is thick and heavy and the petals are delicate. However, in this variety even the petals are heavy. So, the thick strands of jasmine that you find flower vendors selling at premium prices are usually the Madurai malli variety. The jasmine cultivated in Madurai and its surrounding taluks of Perungudi, Nilakottai, Uthappanaickanur and Ammainaickanur are collected early morning and transported to Chennai by 8 am and are safely kept in an ice box and flown to different countries across the globe; and this happens almost every day. The colour and the fragrance of the flower
stays intact for two days and hence is a popular choice for overseas vendors. Though, I personally know how to tie the flowers in one style (the simple knot), the Madurai malli can be tied together in a variety of styles. It is woven in six different forms, ‘uruttu kattu,’ ‘pattai katti,’ ‘kadhambam,’ ‘maalai’ and ‘thirumbipaar’ and with time it turns from greenish white to a milky white before drying out. It is usually in the evening that the fragrance emanates; there are women who buy jasmine garlands in the morning and save it for the evening to tuck them into their neatly plaited hair. The best season for jasmine farms is from February to November when the flower is cultivated on vast stretches of land. We were on the jasmine trail in late December and we knew that these famous plantations had to be in full bloom. Just as we were about to give up, we decided to ask three villagers who were waiting at what looked like a bus stop. We expected them to tell us to keep going straight but they asked us to take the next right and go in. The lane they pointed at was narrow and if one vehicle went in another would have to wait on the main road. We turned in, only to find houses on either side. After a point, we saw vast empty land, and then we spotted it. At the furthest end, we saw a farmer tend to his jasmine plants. It seemed like a very small farm, yet, we were delighted to have found it. We parked the car and walked across the dry and heated red soil to meet this man.
method of manufacturing. Just like the Darjeeling tea or the Pochampalli sarees, the Madurai malli has created a unique space and demand for itself. When we drive back in the evening to the city centre we spot women wearing long strands of malli tucked into their plaited hair or wound around a bun. It is believed to be one of the oldest flowers cultivated by man for its mesmerising fragrance and is considered the plant of love because it has aphrodisiac qualities. In fact, South Indian men, after a hard days’ work, usually buy home a ‘mozham’ (roughly one-feet long) of jasmine flower wrapped in a banana leaf for their wives. Author and cultural anthropologist Uma Kannan writes in her book ‘Madurai Malligai – Madurai and its Jasmine- A Celebration’, “When I arrived in Madurai after my marriage, the city seemed to revel in an abundance of jasmine. The only Indian Airlines flight to Chennai, which was known as the ‘Malli Special’ in the 1970s, would be loading baskets and baskets of Madurai malli.” She further explains in the book that sometimes there were more baskets of Madurai malli than passengers on the flight! With the new GI status, the city of Madurai is quite literally blooming. The flower market seems to be getting busier each morning, and prices of the jasmine fluctuate steadily, even
during off season, but the demand for the Madurai malli only seems to increasing, cluster by cluster and thread by thread.
Though I don’t recollect his name, I remember that he was excited to see us. In his small 1 ground property he had bunches of jasmine growing and in between them he had vegetable saplings. At three pm, they were not in bloom, but he went onto explain that jasmines bloom at night and by 6 am his family starts work on the farm. “We pluck the flowers, and once we have a certain quantity, I take in a large sack to the Nilakottai town market. Here we trade it and it’s always by the kg. Sometime, I also take it to the flower market near the Mattuthavani bus stand in Madurai. In the meantime, the women of the household continue plucking the flowers for the next batch,” he explained. Children are also a part of this process and they rise early and work on the farm, then head out to school. His children smile at us and are bewildered, wondering why this interest in a flower. On bare foot these children took us to another farm, where we saw vast stretches of jasmine. In some families, children are sent to school with a bag in hand and flower basket in another. After school gets over, they sit in the market selling these flowers. This kind of fragrance and size of jasmine produce is only possible from this city. It is superior in quality and it can be attributed mainly to the soil. There is a heavy presence of aromatic alkaloids jamone and alpha terpineol in the soil. The lateritic and red soils of Madurai district are rich in sulphur, which is the precursor of these alkaloids, hence the fine quality buds. Earlier this year, the Madurai malli got a Geographical Indications tag (GI tag). This tag certifies the product’s reputation completely based on its geographical origin or traditional
YOU KNOW YOU ARE AN NRI LIVING IN DUBAI IF…
You have a bucket in your bath tub
You don’t get a heart attack when the prices of petrol shoot up
You know which end of the shawarma to open!
You would be dressing up in Indian wear on 15th of August!! HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!
You can convert AED into INR within seconds
satte pe satta
You use grocery bags as garbage bags
You are forced (all the time) to have long conversations with cabbies!
AS A MANAGING EDITOR OF AN INTERNATIONAL LITERARY JOURNAL HE WORKS PASSIONATELY TO KEEP THE SHORT FICTION & POETRY ALIVE, AS A WRITER HE CONFESSES THAT HE IS NOT EXPECTING TO EARN A LIVING OFF POETRY & SHORT FICTION AND AS A READER HE SHARES IT SADDENS HIM TO SEE THAT A LARGE PART OF THE LITERARY VOICES OF THE MIDDLE EAST HAVE RARELY BEEN MADE AVAILABLE TO THE UNIVERSAL ENGLISH SPEAKING WORLD. OUR GUEST WRITER NIKHIL SHARDA OF EFICTION INDIA WRITES…
“So, what is it that eFiction India does?” is a question that I am asked often. And each time I begin to share what we at eFiction India do and aspire to do I find myself thinking about the mess literary magazines have been in since the days when I worked on my school literary magazine in 1996. The conventional wisdom has always been that short stories and poetry are not commercially viable. As a result, book publishers have been reluctant to publish serious literary efforts in these areas, and have failed to promote them when they did. Thus, the burden and potential reward of publishing short fiction and poetry has often fallen into the hands of subsidised university publishers (who on the whole have done a miserable job) and a few determined individuals who dip heavily into their own personal resources, financial and otherwise, to bring neglected writers and works to
the attention of a slightly larger audience than they had enjoyed before. We, at eFiction India, have a similar humble dream that to keep these forms of writing alive. And to transform this dream into a reality we meet up with individuals who share our enthusiasm for the literary cause. That’s what we do. And we know that we have set ourselves on a long journey but then with every today we’re closer to our goal than we were yesterday. As a freelancer for many years I found this situation daunting. A short news piece of mine, for say, Radio Mirchi, would find millions of listeners north to south -- but an experimental verse play that had taken years to write was experienced only by a few hundred people. Of course no one expects to earn a living at poetry and short fiction, and the way the culture is going, it will never be a road to fame and fortune either. Nevertheless, I know there are many
fine writers out there whose lights are never seen. I see their manuscripts every week, more than even eFiction India could ever publish, work that deserves a greater audience than the shadows of a dark file cabinet.
In light of some of the serious work that I came across, from a place least expected - from the hearts of those in the Middle East. A way I have discovered to learn about the Middle East that exists beyond the headlines and the news coverage on CNN is to read books
Looking out at the market I find that the courageous little magazines who struggle to keep the fresh and independent spirit of Indian literature alive find themselves constantly at the brink of exhaustion and bankruptcy, while university publications publish work that is arch, bloodless, contrived, and often - simply bad. Being bad of course, is part of the price of taking risks, and can even be invigorating and refreshing if it is done with imagination, but my feeling is that many “successful” literary magazines, having established a loyal following,
take almost no risks at all, publishing work that has exactly the same tone and flavour over and over in order to maintain their established recipe for survival. As a matter of fact, “good work” has come to mean only work that takes no risks and strikes the “high tone” of the rest of the publication. The result is a plethora of literary publications that are more concerned with being taken seriously by their peers and other “literati” than with publishing serious work.
by its novelists and short story writers, which I’ve been doing ever since I read Forugh Farrokhzād’s translated works. Forugh was one of those thinkers who experienced this suppression within her modern family life and society. The climate in which most of these individuals had lived provided a solid ground for some outstanding poets, filmmakers, writers, painters and playwrights to adopt a democratic modernism, and created some important works. In this great gathering of artists Forugh’s voice stands
out. She as an individual and poet captures the repression of women and people, without slogans. Her politics was her body and her experience as a woman, and her message was against traditional society, which was in a macabre dance with modernity. Her struggle was to expose all hypocrisy regardless of their names and isms. Her poetry runs against the social and ancient norms and attitudes of a male society, which prevented her from being ‘herself’. Another contributor of eFiction India, Michelle, from
Bahrain, argues that reading novels helps you understand and appreciate the experience of individuals within other cultures and subcultures. It is imperative to note here that people in other countries come to life for us as living, breathing human beings when we read fictional narratives set in those countries - they stop being the stereotypes of news coverage, politicians, and media commentators. Those from the Middle East often define themselves by the arts of their culture. A friend of mine went to Iran not too long ago, and he came back, and the thing that he was most struck by, he said that, “you know, when you go to Washington, D.C., or whatever, all the statues are of soldiers and politicians. When you go to Iran, all the statues are of poets and writers.” Pretty ironic to the popular perception of them having their creative freedom controlled. On the flipside, concerning a playlet I received last month from a fellow writer in Iran for eFiction India where he mentions of the protagonist, going through a writer’s block, a strong metaphor for a country that is culturally blocked, is speaking to another character addressing the struggle “Have you ever thought of how it may feel to be free, to say the things that you want to say, out loud, without having to censor your words, without pretending – without fear?”. The protagonist goes on saying “I lived in total fear. I wasn’t the normal me. Usually I’m strong and outspoken. That’s why I write. That’s why I tweeted that day. So I’ve decided to speak out lately. I feel it is part of getting myself back. Maybe it’s going to help me to get back to normal.” And with the protagonist we see Iran a little liberal lifting the ban on Twitter for public self-expression. It is imperative to note that it is in the Middle East that the Sumerians invented writing in the third millennium BC and the world followed suit. It saddens me as a reader that a large part of the literary voices of the Middle East have rarely been made available to the universal English speaking world. Yet some trickle in by our contemporaries and in this energy is the seed of a new voice struggling to articulate itself, and make itself heard in spite of all the proprietary claims upon its possession and stewardship. In this new voice which I find in every submission is a hunger for a literary culture which is neither exclusive nor simplistic, whose sophistication rises from what is written, not from those committees who render opinions as to what is good, and what is not. A voice, which has a genuine chance to evolve and improve itself on the basis of hearing and being heard. A voice, which will be equally cautious of adulation and venomous critiques. It is eFiction India’s purpose to respond to this need. And that’s what we do and makes us different from other literary magazines.
(The views expressed by the writer are his/hers and don’t reflect that of the editor or the publication)
A TOUCH OF GLAMOUR TO MAKE EVERY GORGEOUS MEAL & DRINK COUNT
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the globe & the gully The stunning fountains at the hotel make for post card pictures
a gourmet trail A HOTEL WITH TWELVE EATING DESTINATIONS! WHAT COULD BE BETTER THAN TAKING YOUR TASTE BUDS ON A HOLIDAY TO YAS VICEROY HOTEL, ABU DHABI? words & images CHANDNI LAHOTI
We love food, so much so that for us every celebration begins and ends with food. So when this April we woke up with a happy realisation that we have been married for five years we decided to celebrate it by visiting a hotel that is home to twelve different restaurants/lounges. And that’s how on the weekend we reached Yas Viceroy Hotel in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. And I must say that a day later we came back well-fed and satiated. Join me on my food trail.
We zeroed in on Origins for our first meal. Origins offer an elaborate and expansive buffet featuring a superb selection of local, regional and international cuisine. In addition to good food, its terrace provides the guests a stunning view of the Yas Marina Circuit. The outdoors also has a BBQ setting for those who love the grills and steaks. I was pretty impressed with their variety of salads on the buffet table. A lavish spread of Chinese, Mexican, Lebanese and Indian dishes is what we savoured here. My husband, who is a big sea food fan, enjoyed his lovely smoked salmon and a roasted lobster. But what made it to the winner’s list for me was the range of desserts, they were yummilicious beyond imagination. I loved biting into their healthy fruit shots, apple and kiwi and even watermelon and carrot. What also got me
the globe & the gully
The drive from Dubai to Yas Island is just about an hour and the route is pretty easy to follow especially with all the signages; so much so that we reached the hotel much before the check-in-time. And luckily for us the sun hid behind the clouds all through the drive and we were happy to look at the puffy grey clouds spotting the skies. One look at the hotel and you know you are in the midst of luxury. A fish-net inspired façade casts a luxurious spell on you. As we walked in the lavish white ambience contrasted beautifully against the stylish sofas in different colours made us feel relaxed instantly. The interiors of the resort are a contemporary fusion of elegance and momentum. And what I liked in particular was the use of sensuous
curves and sleek lines in the designs. Now since we had reached there before the check-in time we had time to indulge in a nice and relaxed brunch, and truly kick start our holiday. And that’s when the real fun started for in front of us were twelve wonders, offering sea food, modern Italian, yum sushi and even regional Indian cuisines among other colourful delicacies.
Rush, a stylish bar, creates a lovely ambience with their play of red-coloured lights
The gorgeous spread of desserts at Origins, my favourite were the fruit shots!
excited was watching the chefs prepare the delicacies in the open kitchen. I had hardly finished my meal when I was eyeing Rush, a stylish bar with a part-retro feel, as my next stop. And thatâ€™s where we spent our evening. The bar is a creative concept from the same bunch of designers who have given us the George V Paris restaurants and Buddha Bars worldwide. Rush Bar is topping the charts when it comes to Abu Dhabiâ€™s nightlife. And why not, for it has the best of international DJs on their console and premium spirits on their menu. What I loved most about Rush was their play with red-coloured lights. But then this is not the only bar here, there are three other lounges/ bars here too. Skylite is an alluring roof deck destination done up with canopies in different colours. Latitude and Longitude, one of the two pool bars, is the place to stop for finger food, salads and desserts. And Yas Lounge, the other pool bar is a must stop for those who
the globe & the gully
The fish-net inspired façade of the Yas Viceroy Hotel in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi casts a luxurious spell
love all things sweet and beautiful. Designer cakes, chocolates, fresh scones, flakey pastries, muffins, croissants, etc. tempted me to overeat here! Also, you would love their speciality, the Yas cake that deliciously compliments tea or coffee. After spending a lovely evening at Rush we decided to take a long walk to take a closer look at the stunning interiors of the hotel. It’s interesting how different moods have been given to different spaces here. Also, impressive is the collection of paintings that are on display here. Together, they transform the plain walls into works of art. I also checked out their gym and spa boutique, ESPA, though I didn’t use any of the services. We ended our day with a lovely meal at Angar, known
for its Indian grilled and tandoori delicacies. Next morning, we woke up still full and happy! We had our breakfast (which, was part of our holiday package) at Origins but this time around the place disappointed me. We had to wait for a long time in the queue and when we finally got to the food it was laid down very poorly and didn’t even taste that good. But that didn’t spoil our mood much for we had enjoyed our stay and meals in the hotel thoroughly. Will I go back there again? Yes, after all I didn’t get a chance to explore all the dishes and the eateries, and then the hotel did make my anniversary special with its gorgeous food and stunning experience.
To know more visit viceroyhotelsandresorts.com (The views expressed by the writer are hers/his & don’t reflect that of the editor or the publication.)
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horn OK please There have been stories and sightings of a new compact Ambassador, which could be slotted in the popular sub-four metre segment! Hereâ€™s a sneak peek.
batti wali gaadi? YES, THIS IS THE GOOD OL’ AMBASSADOR IN ITS NEW AVATAR, A CAR OFT REFERRED TO AS THE ‘BATTI WALI GAADI’! THE CAR, IN WHICH MANY OF US WERE BROUGHT HOME AFTER BIRTH, TOOK IT TO THE COLLEGE, TOOK THE GIRLFRIEND IN IT FOR A DATE, FERRIED KIDS TO THE SCHOOL IN IT… TODAY, THE AMBASSADOR IS ON A LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEM WITH EVEN POLITICIANS OPTING FOR OTHER MACHINES. FUNNY ENOUGH, ALTHOUGH, THE CAR IS BASED ON A BRITISH MODEL, THERE’S NO OTHER CAR IN THE COUNTRY, WHICH IS CONSIDERED AS INDIAN AS THE AMBASSADOR. OUR TRIBUTE. words NAYNA ARPIT
horn OK please
Ambassador – Revisiting India When It was Young There are many cars across the globe, which have carved a special identity for themselves over the decades. The Ambassador is one of them but totally unique in the way that it’s still being produced. Yes, a 1958 model, which hasn’t been changed much and is still selling and also finding some growth! Ambassador’s journey started as a Morris Oxford III by Morris Motors, which made it from 1956 to 1959. Since 1957, the car is being manufactured at Hindustan Motors’ plant in Uttarpara, West Bengal, India. Although, the car is based on a British model, there’s no other car in the country, which is considered as Indian as the Ambassador. Generations in the country grew up in the car only to buy another one in their lifetime. In its nicer days, the Ambassador was an arriving
statement in life. Everything about it, right from the exteriors to the interiors was exactly the way we Indians like it, extra large. Today unfortunately, the car is no longer a part of the buying ideas of the public as better and modern cars offer more VFM (Value for Money). However, the car continues to play a diverse role in the country’s transportation paradigm. On one end it continues to be used as a black and yellow cab in many parts of the countries, especially the East. On the other end, it’s still the preferred vehicle of politicians and bureaucrats, even if its popularity is now fading. The car had bench seats in the front and rear and a steering column mounted transmission lever. This meant even four adults could be accommodated in the front seat along with five more in the rear. The rear seat of the car is something that the modern cars too find it hard to match. Ambassador’s seat was more like sitting
on a couch and the acceptable ride quality made it a good place to be in for hours if one had to. A rigid leaf spring suspension meant it could easily handle the roads or the lack of it at a time when India was still in a building stage after Independence. Looking back in time the Ambassador actually seems to be the right car for the country in the old days. India was a huge country, which was moving slowly at that time and its people needed a vehicle, which could handle abuse, carry at least twice the number of people the car was meant to carry and be easy to repair. The Ambassador did all of that and that too prêt well by the standards back then. It did lack refinement and power but Indians were in no hurry at that time and buying a car, be it any, was a lifetime event. The Decline
As more companies across the globe started entering India, Indians started getting spoilt for choices when it came to cars. Unheard technologies such as power windows, AC and power steering were the new social status symbols and the Ambassador was slow to catch up. New designs and better performance meant the young Indians were no longer interested in the car and were looking at sleeker cars. Over
Ambassador’s decline started right after
India’s economy got liberalised, before which the company had almost no competition. Indians would happily pick the Ambassador despite its lack of technology as they didn’t have any options. Things changed a lot when Maruti came into India and provided a car which was better suited to the needs of the growing middle-class of the country. The 800’s compactness was appreciated by people and made the Ambassador too large for convenience.
Here’s hoping that the future model/s of the Ambassador does well for the company so that the Ambassador brand and its iconic presence stays with the country in some way or the other
horn OK please
the years, people also realised that Japanese cars were extremely reliable and that too played against the Ambassador. Suddenly, in a span of about a decade, India’s most beloved car became irrelevant on the sales charts. The company experimented a lot with new features and engines but the new India had made its decision and it no longer wanted dated technology. Today, the Ambassador sells in some small numbers and has surprisingly witnessed some growth as well, although that is mainly due to some political reasons. There have been stories and sightings of a new compact Ambassador, which could be slotted in the popular sub-four metre segment. It’s hard to comment on the future of the new car as its technical details and design are yet to emerge. However, the future of the present Ambassador is certainly on a life support system and the road ahead doesn’t seem to be long enough. The only hope for the company is its upcoming car and if the company gets it right, there’s an ocean of emotion that it could cash on.
Conclusion The burgeoning middle-class and rising incomes have been tapped well by most automakers from the globe. Hindustan Motors though failed to move at the required pace and is presently going through a challenging phase. Even the government, which ensured decent sales regularly, is now moving to newer cars. One of the most recent examples is Delhi Police, which has moved to the SX4 from the Ambassador for its top officials. This only signals an inevitable fate for the car if not the company. However, there would be many people reading this story, who were brought home after birth in an Ambassador, grew up in it, took it to the college, took the girlfriend in it for a date, ferried kids to the school in it and lots more. That’s the kind of part the car played in many Indians’ life and that’s the only reason why millions would be sad to see it go away. I’m still hopeful that the upcoming car does well for the company so that the Ambassador brand and its iconic presence stays with the country in some way or the other.
lady with a bag SHE WALKS INTO A SUPERMARKET CARRYING HER JUTE OR CLOTH BAG WITH PRIDE. OUR NEIGHBOUR SHILPA PARMAR IS ON A GREEN MISSION. WE WALK ALONG TO LEARN MORE. words MEGHA SABHARWAL images GURLEEN KAUR
over a cup of chai
We’ve all heard of ‘The lady with a lamp’, the lovely Florence Nightingale who healed the wounds of the soldiers during the Crimean War. Today, we’re going to meet ‘The lady with a bag’, the lovely Shilpa Parmar who is taking care of the planet for us. A Dubai resident, Shilpa is on a healing mission of a kind. When she first moved to Dubai, 13 years back, she was taken aback by the usage of plastic in this land. “Having grown up in the countryside I was always very particular about our harmful actions on the environment,” she says. For the last 13 years she has been walking into supermarkets and stores in Dubai carrying her own green bag, jute or cloth, with pride. We get talking. …her roots I belong to an Army background, which naturally means that I had a chance to travel the country. During my growing up years I was in Mumbai, where I studied medicine. I worked for close to a decade in Mumbai and took a break when I got married and came to Dubai in 2000. These days I am completely enjoying being a mom to my four-year-old son! …her beliefs Everyone in my family is a nature lover. As kids we were encouraged to spend a lot of time with animals and plants. On growing up we were taught ways to conserve electricity and water. It was in 1992 that I started reading up on the hazards of plastic on the environment. I learnt how plastic ‘did not’ disintegrate in soil and had a harmful effect on us, animals and the environment. …journey so far During my initial few days in Dubai I was shocked to see the amount of plastic that came home after the weekly
grocery shopping trip so I decided to carry my own jute or cloth bag on each visit. The staff members used to exchange weird looks each time I took out my bag, however after a few visits they began to smile at me and understood the motive behind my action. Things have changed a lot from then to now, even supermarkets are encouraging people to use recycled bags these days. … carrying bags whenever on the go There is both a jute and cloth bag always in the trunk of my car. Also, when I am not driving around I carry a small cloth bag in my handbag. I use only degradable trash bags, which by the way are easily available. It is very easy to convert these simple efforts into a habit just that one needs to begin from somewhere. …why jute & cloth bags These degrade in soil, are long lasting and easy to carry too. …support from one & all My sister, brother and husband are all nature lovers so we all share the same school of thought when it comes to doing our bit for the planet. Even my friends have been very supportive of the whole move. …set an example I feel the children need to be educated on the harmful effect of plastic on the environment. As parents (and even teachers) we should set an example for them to follow. …one step at a time I completely understand that my actions are just a drop in the ocean. But it gives me immense pleasure and self-satisfaction just knowing that I am giving back to the nature and community in my little way. It makes me very happy.
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on a haan
SHE HAS GIVEN US HIT NUMBERS LIKE MAIN PARESHAAN, DAARU DESI, LAT LAG GAYI AND THE LATEST BEING BALAM PICHKARI! SO WHEN SHALMALI KHOLGADE, SINGER & SONGWRITER, VISITED DUBAI RECENTLY WE GOT TALKING TO HER ON WHAT GETS HER PARESHAAN, THE LOVE DIVIDE BETWEEN GLAM DUBAI & HUMBLE INDIA & MORE. EXCERPTS.
Image: Yogesh Sharma. yS photography
over a cup of chai
words PURVA GROVER
Main pareshaan pareshan pareshaan pareshaan, Aatishein woh kahaan, Main pareshaan pareshan pareshaan pareshaan, Ranjishein hain dhuaan haan… What is the first thing that you’d want to ask the girl who got the entire country to sing this anthem? Well, you’d want to know what gets her pareshaan! So when we met up with Shalmali Kholgade, the voice behind the track, on her recent visit to Dubai our first question to her was exactly that. “Oh the chalta hai attitude of the people really gets on to me! I get pareshaan when I see people act callous about things like littering on the roads, breaking queues, arriving late for meetings, disregarding other people’s time, skipping signals and more. I wish there was a way to teach people the basic courtesies,” she said. In that case, she’d like Dubai we tell her for here we are fined for every courtesy we disobey. She laughed, “Oh yes, Dubai has unmistakable discipline that India lacks in most avenues,” and in the same breath she added, “But then India does come across as a humble and real country as against Dubai.” The story of every Indian! We love the discipline and glamour of Dubai yet we can’t help but state that we still love the indiscipline and humbleness of India more. We get talking to Shalmali the songwriter and singer who made her debut in Bollywood as a playback singer with Pareshaan from Ishaqzaade and even won a Filmfare Award for the Best Female Singer for
Image: Yogesh Sharma. yS photography
more because I relate to it more but I have great respect and awe towards Indian classical music.” Her biggest fascination in music can be described with just one name, Amy Winehouse, who happens to be her second inspiration after her mother. So what if she was to introduce them to each other, how would that go? “It will go something like this - Amy, meet Uma Kholgade, my mother and the reason why I sing. Aai, meet my lifelong inspiration and the epitome of honest song writing, the legendary, Amy Winehouse,” she shared.
over a cup of chai
it. Later, she went on to sing numbers like Daaru Desi (Cocktail), Aga Bai (Aiyyaa), Lat Lag Gayi (Race 2) and the most recent hit Balam Pichkari from Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. So how did Bollywood happen to her? “Two demos that were meant to be used solely as audition material to get into the L.A. Music Academy were sent a week later to Amit Trivedi’s studio and became my ticket to Bollywood. A friend who worked with Amit persuaded me to send them across and the next thing I knew I got a call from his studio and I was recording a scratch version of Pareshaan that very night!” she shared, “Amit Trivedi said ‘Are you free tomorrow to record the song?’ and just like that I was recording Pareshaan the next day.” Shalmali began performing at the age of 16 and had her tutelage in music from the age of eight under her mother, Uma Kholgade, an Indian classical singer and theatre personality. Later, she studied under Shubhada Paradkar and though she was accepted by the L.A. Music Academy she decided to let that go to meet her recording commitments. That makes us wonder what genre of music appeals to her more, Indian classical or Western music? “I enjoy Western music
As we got talking we told her that her latest number Balam Pickhari is extremely popular with both Indians and non-Indians here and that led us to a fun fact that when Shalmali sang Balam Pichkari she was not even aware on whom the song would be filmed till the date a friend called her up asking, ‘Is that you singing Balam Pichkari?’ “I was in New Jersey when I received a call and since I was in the middle of something the title didn’t ring a bell instantly so I actually went on YouTube to hear the song and trust me my eyes popped out when I recognised (I had recorded the song long time back) the song and saw Ranbir and Deepika dancing to it. I love them both so much and I had not the slightest idea that the song would be picturised on them. I heard it on repeat on YouTube so many times that I could be the biggest shareholder in making it a hit on YouTube!” she laughed. So what according to her makes people from all over the world fall in love with Bollywood music? “What brings audiences in India and abroad together is our culture, which gets reflected in every song that comes out of India. It is amusing to see people overseas singing along to our songs and having as much fun as audiences in India do. Bollywood music knows no boundaries.”
What do you have for breakfast (on most days)? Eggs or cereal, fruit and tea. How much water do you drink? Two litres on an average. How many hours do you exercise weekly? I would’ve liked to say that I exercise regularly though I haven’t been lately. I used to run 45 minutes, 5 days a week. How many hours do you practice singing? At least an hour a day.
over a cup of chai
Image: Viky Thakkar
What’s your favourite eating joint in India? Malaka Spice, Pune.
And it’s the ‘open’ boundaries like these that make Dubai special we told her, Dubai is home to one and all. “Totally, I love Dubai’s cultural diversity,” she agreed as she went on to explore ‘our’ new home, Dubai. She visited the Burj Khalifa, “I even paraded through the Dubai Mall and travelled by the Dubai Metro. I love how well organised the place is. The roads are wide and clean. Every road and street is delicately manicured,” she said and added, “I even visited a friend in the Marina area, which was beautiful but the highlight for me was the street near the Fish Roundabout, which had a number of music stores.” As we took her leave she promised us to come back and said, “There’s a lot more to see and fall in love with Dubai, right? I’ll have to come back.” This time, we agreed with her.
How hungry are you by the end of the day? I always feel like I can eat a cow at the end of the day but my appetite is tiny so I end up eating little! How much TV/Internet time do you spend a day? One hour at the most on internet, more on a free day. I don’t have a television at home, so no TV! Sunsets, wildflowers, mountain top views. Choose one and tell us why. Mountain top view, I love trekking and the feeling of accomplishment you get when you reach the top is exhilarating! A book on a couch or a drink in a hammock? A book in a hammock, actually. I am an outdoor person and I love reading. How many pair of shoes do you own? Not too many but it’s growing steadily due to the demands of being a performer. I own 6 or 7 pairs. Can you identify with any bird? No, I am more of an animal. A cat to be precise. Bollywood is… Full of glitz and glam. Mumbai is… Real. Delhi is… Scary Celebrities… Not all are fake. If singing were illegal you would… Paint.
Life a FOREMOST, WE FALL IN LOVE WITH THE DUBAI METRO. LATER, WE HAIL CABS, RENT CARS & DRIVE OUR OWN MACHINES. LET THE AFFAIR UNFOLD. words & images NABI AHMADI artwork KAMAINI MITTAL
- - - - - - - - -Life - - - - -in - - -a - - -Metro ----------------------
Dubai, a city that never sleeps, dreams big, boosts ambitions, inspires richness & spells glamour is connected by the Dubai Metro
The familiar & the unfamiliar meet on the tracks. The old & the new greet us on the doorstep. The journeys & destinations become safer, closer & comfortable â€“ courtesy the Dubai Metro.
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A Polo Player handheld designer bag by Rina Shah is a dazzling beauty. It is made of satin fabric with a zip opening and a pair of parallel handles. The print on the bag features a scene straight from the polo ground with polo riders on their horses. Available at designemporia.in & rinaldidesigns.com
ALSO KNOWN AS AMBI IN PUNJABI, CARREY IN URDU, KALGA IN KASHMIRI, KOLKE IN BENGALI, KOYARI IN MARATHI AND MANKOLAM IN TAMIL
There are many theories on its origin. One of them being that it is a fertility symbol, the fresh shoot of a date palm. The date palm represented the tree of life for primeval Babylonians, being a source of their food, wood and wine. And from there it travelled all the way to Kashmir, India. But how did it get the very Anglo Saxon name paisley? Itâ€™s believed that in Kashmir the motif was incorporated in the popular Kashmiri Pashmina shawls and was soon enough declared as a must have in the wardrobe of the royalty. India at that time was ruled by the East India Company and so taken in were they with the designs and quality of these shawls that many British officers began to carry them back as gifts. But these of course
came at a price. The reason being that the fabric used to make these shawls came from the Himalayan goats. Each winter the goats would produce an underfleece (Pashmina) to protect themselves from the harsh cold and this was shed each summer. This was then collected and used to make shawls. This entire process took about 18 months. The amount of time and effort it took to produce each shawl obviously made it very steep, and not everyone could afford it. This is when they decided to produce it in their very country using regular wool and handloom. Each piece was now ready in just two weeks! This made the shawls within the reach of a common man. And although a lot of European towns started producing it, it was a town called Paisley at Scotland that produced it in the most financially viable way and produced it for the longest time. So when customers shopped for it they would say we are buying “paisleys” both for the shawl and a reference to the place from it came from. And that’s how it came around to being known as a paisley. Today, the motif is being used not only to adorn shawls but also for all kinds of garments, furnishings, furniture and even wall art.
Books to read: The Paisley Pattern: The Official Illustrated History.
(Compiled by thepurplehomes.blogspot.com)
fashionista WHEN AN INDIAN CHOREOGRAPHER LANDED UP WITH A JOB AS A CLIENT RELATIONS EXECUTIVE IN DUBAI SHE DECIDED (AND WAS COMPELLED) TO REDO HER WARDROBE. SHE SHARES HOW SHE ADDED RHYTHM TO HER CORPORATE CLOSET ON A BUDGET.
words RITIKA KOCHHAR BAHL Courtesy: Elle Fashionwear (ellefashionwear.in)
Shoes Courtesy: Trishulicom) (trishulicreations.
I loved the huge hall with mirrors, my last work place. It was easy and casual. Being a dancer and choreographer spoils you in many ways not just because you begin to think of the mundane job as a lovely party but also because you get comfortable walking into your office in anything from sweatpants and loose cut-up tees to leotards and baggy sweats. So when on reaching Dubai I decided to swirl, twist and twirl with my work choices and zeroed in on a client relations executive at a wealth management firm I found myself wardrobe-less, literally. Now thatâ€™s a shocker and a daunting dilemma for any individual, gender apart. A few ISD calls made back home to friends with real jobs (read: nine-to-five routines sans rhythm and beats) and the images of Chitrangada Singh and Bipasha Basu in all their corporate hotness in my mind I decided to work on how to make a chic statement in the cubicle.
Now, it’s a universally known fact that Dubai is a paradise for the shoppers and while it brings the most gorgeous brands from all across the globe at one’s feet it also makes the choice difficult. I was bemused, should I settle down in the safety of familiar brands or explore names that I have read about only in magazines? I found my answer in a trip to Dubai Mall and Avenue (opposite BurJuman). I decided to start with a shoe-string budget of AED 2500, forgetting the luxury brands. But then how much could I buy in just AED 2500 without compromising on quality? Well, quite a lot, after all I hold a PHD in shopping at Janpath and Sarojini Nagar, New Delhi. Here’s my secret, forget the labels and focus on style. My wish list read dresses, shirts, tops, high-waist pencil skirts, formal pants and suits. And yes, how can I forget matching formal bags and footwear. And I announce with pride I managed to get all of the above.
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Courtesy: Trishuli Shoes (trishulicreations.com)
Courtesy: (shadesofinShades of India dia.com)
Courtesy: Shades of India (shadesofindia.com)
Avenue has a wide collection of office wear that they keep rotating each day so if you go there two days in a row you will feel you are in a different place all together. It has something for all tastes; bright coloured tops with neutral jackets and skirts or bright coloured pants that can be paired with blacks/whites &
Courtesy: Elle Fashionwear (ellefashionwear.in)
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Courtesy: Shades of India (shadesofindia.com)
Courtesy: Hidesign (hidesign.com)
greys. On the downside, I found the quality of the stitching on some of the clothes quite a disaster. I did find a good suit but again the buttons were ghastly, transparent plastic with cheap glitter. Ouch! But all in all, it was definitely worth giving a look. Just remember to inspect and choose closely. I had a similar experience at MAX. While I loved their collection of summery tops, which are light and easyto-wear yet formal enough to wear to the office, I was disappointed with their selection of knee-length tunic dresses. I also found some gorgeous lace shrugs that you can pair with anything from dresses to strappy tops. New Look has an impressive collection when it comes to outfits in general. If I was shopping generally I would have gone crazy in there. A tad more expensive I found beautiful blazers and shoes that looked straight out of Gossip Girl, which really got me excited and so I did splurge quite a bit here. By the time I walked in to join my friends at Forever
21 I had considerably emptied out my wallet and was feeling really sad. I picked up a pretty white silk blouse with an embellished collar and a smart pair of beige pumps on sale from Forever 21, however I must add that while I had entered the store with fond memories of the outlet in New Delhi the brand failed to deliver (at least on this occasion). To sum up my fashion sojourn I’ll say that I already have a list of stores to visit once my first paycheck comes in. I would definitely be seen at Marks & Spencers trying out their clean-cut and well-tailored suits. Also, I’d be spending a lot of money and time at Charles & Keith. I totally love their designs that speak pure class and chic. So ladies if you are new to this land and have just picked up a job you know how to master the look, right? Go ahead and be your gorgeous self at your workplace.
(The images used in the article don’t represent the actual buys of the writer but neverthless make for good corporate clothing choices. The views expressed by the writer are hers/his & don’t reflect that of the editor or the publication.)
mughal-e-azam WE MET UP WITH THE BRAIN & SOUL BEHIND MINIMAL MOVIE POSTERS INDIA AND GOT TALKING ON HOW WOULD THE POSTER OF MUGHAL-E-AZAM BE LIKE IF CREATED USING MINIMAL GRAPHICS & PHOTOS. THEY DELIGHTED US BY CREATING ONE JUST FOR US.
words & artwork ABHINAV BHATT
… the film
Mughal-e-Azam defines Indian cinema in a way that no other movie can. It is an epic historical drama with romance at its core. It is a marvel directed by K.Asif with the finest actors of the era, which created magic with its beautiful songs and intense emotional story line. The story revolved around two lovers and one antagonist who didn’t approve of the love. The classic broke many records and gave us a chance to witness a grandeur never seen before in an Indian movie. It was, is and will always be a strong pillar of Indian cinema.
On the left, the figures reflect Prince
Salim (Dilip Kumar) and Anarkali’s (Madhubala) deep love for each other, overlooking the fact that Salim was a Prince and Anarkali just another court dancer. Emperor Akbar, portrayed by Prithviraj Kapoor, wasn’t happy with the love affair between the two unequals, which is displayed on the right. The centre part of the poster depicts a heart, which is made using the texture of the wall, in which Anarkali was sentenced to entombment alive.
words MICHELLE D’COSTA artwork KAMAINI MITTAL
At times I feel As alien As the crows here
Looking at Bored palm trees Imagining paani puri vendors
Transfer of recipes Through the phone Make me nostalgic And I’m almost tempted To sniff the receiver For the smell Of soil after rain
News on TV Remind me life Goes on back at home While I’m here On foreign land Missing The annoying Company of mosquitoes My accent Gives away My nostalgia I am torn In between Two lands Two cultures
And two tongues No three Or is it four?
I smile Amidst all the confusion For my multiple personality Is what everyone Enjoys the most back home
When I step
With some thing Different to offer They look forward to My arrival
Of the tears that fall
On Mother Land She waits for me With arms wide open And Iâ€™m not ashamed Into her lap Our re-union Makes the distance And time spent apart Worth while
The flight Back home Is a suspension
Dream and reality
I LIE DOWN ON A BED OF FLOWERS AND PINCH MYSELF TO SEE IF I AM DREAMING. I AM AT THE VALLEY OF FLOWERS, UTTARAKHAND AND LIVING A COLOURFUL AND GORGEOUS DREAM.
the globe & the gully
words & images AYANDRALI DUTTA
Itâ€™s a July morning when I find my escape route from the heat in the Indian capital in my sudden travel plans to the Valley of Flowers. A paradise for trekkers and a stunning floral spread await me at the valley in Uttarakhand, Western Himalayas. As I drive along the hills towards Joshimath I am greeted with postcard views of the mountain ranges. The roads cut through the mountains in a way that I can catch a glimpse of the flowing Pushpawati river, a small tributary from the Tipra glacier. Driving uphill (Joshimath is at an altitude of 6,000 feet) is quite a task. I make a stopover to enjoy a cup of pahari (hill) chai (tea).
the globe & the gully 100 theindiantrumpet.com
The Valley of Flowers was declared a National Park in the year 1982 and is today a World Heritage Site. The locals like to believe (and you’d be tempted to, too) that the valley was inhabited by fairies hence the seeds sown here bloom to create a charismatic spread of lovelies. I reach Joshimath, which is home to one of the four cardinal pithas established by Adi Shankara. You can pay a visit to the Shankaracharya Math. The hotels (cheap and comfortable) are many so you don’t have to worry about accommodation. Next day (early morning) I hit the road again to reach Govind Ghat, 20 km away from Joshimath, in a shared taxi. You can deposit your extra luggage at the Gurudwara at Govind Ghat. A 13 km trek from Govind Ghat to Ghangria (along the river) took me around sixseven hours. At the beginning of the trek I cross the bridge and am mesmerised with crystal clear waters. The cleanliness of the trail and the warmth of the locals take me by surprise. I buy my entrance ticket (`150) to the rainbow. I feel happy knowing that starting my day early is now going to give me a chance to romance the greens and flowers in the valley for the whole day. July and August are the best months to arrive at the valley for this is full bloom time! Myriad hues from pleasant purple to sunshine yellow and pure white to ravishing red weave a floral carpet of a kind. I couldn’t get my eyes off the Cobra Lilies and Blue Poppies. Slowly, I walk. I stop to smell the flowers, literally. I stop to click picture. I stop to breathe, fresh air. I stop to soak in the beauty. Just then it begins to drizzle, the valley gets rain without any notice and makes for a lovely surprise. And just before I leave I dip my feet in the icy cold water of the glacier as I watch smaller valleys and the glacier streams.
publication.) Editor’s note: We offer our prayers to the people of Uttarakhand & salute the bravehearts taking care of them.
Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun is the nearest airport to the Valley of Flowers. The nearest railway station is Rishikesh. By road you can drive up to Govind Ghat. (The views expressed by the writer are hers/his & don’t reflect that of the editor or the
Busy, colourful, chaotic. Jumbled up thoughts, unruly traffic and innumerable vendors. I try to find my way in between the crowds, cows and crows. Naked wires, stuffy booths and loud cries. Nothing has changed on the Indian streets. It adds to the flavour of my country. It is on these streets that I played. I miss the chaos. As I boarded the plane to stay in an alien land I realised I am leaving behind these streets. My new home is rich but I miss the modest warmth. The â€˜naiâ€™ (hairdresser) sitting under a tree. A cycle workshop in the corner of the road. The stray dog in the middle of the lane. All these scenes were part of my growing up. I took the Indian streets for granted.
Today, I miss them as I walk on the metropolitan polished streets of a foreign land.
words NAVNEET BANWAIT artwork GURLEEN KAUR
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It's our debut issue! And what do we have in store? Pran, a villain we love to cheer for. We applaud this year’s Dadasaheb Phalke Award winn...
Published on Jul 1, 2013
It's our debut issue! And what do we have in store? Pran, a villain we love to cheer for. We applaud this year’s Dadasaheb Phalke Award winn...