July-August 2014

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A year ago in my first note here I’d said that even if someone had told me that the journey towards launching The Indian Trumpet would be tough and exhausting (also, exciting & fascinating) I would have still done exactly the same thing and with the same enthusiasm. Today, on our first birthday as we get together to blow the candle, cut the cake and sing the song I am having a déjà vu moment. Really, a year has flown by? And at this moment I can’t help but wonder if turning one is a milestone or a beginning? A time to look back at how far we’ve come or a time to look ahead & see how far we’d go from here? Or both. Yes, it’s time…

To feel grateful for the collapses and cheers. To pat our backs and learn from mistakes. To strive harder and dream bigger. To gather love & spread smiles across the latitudes and longitudes.


And what better way to celebrate our turning one than romancing the very digit ‘one’ in its many avatars: from the one rupee in the shagun to the race to be number one. In this edition, you’d find: One in Bollywood: Actors aspire to reach the top spot. Filmmakers affix ‘one’ as a kick starter. Viewers rush to catch the First Day, First Show. One portion meal: Do you like cooking a solo meal and ordering for one? One minute: How often do you try to get away from situations by saying, Bas, ek minute? One rupee: The times when a single rupee was quite valuable. One channel: When DD1 was what we all watched, together!

editor’s note

One game show: When Omung Kumar’s show challenged us to complete tasks in a single minute. 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 theindiantrumpet@gmail.com The Indian Trumpet Magazine is released six times a year. It is available to the readers at a minimal cost. The readers can purchase single issues or subscribe to the magazine via our portal theindiantrumpet.com.

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One song: When Ek Chidiya, Anek Chidiya taught us about unity in diversity. One crore: When KBC took our level of obsession with the number one to another level! And more… So, here’s to each one of you. The Indian Trumpet belongs to each one of you. Till we meet next, happy tooting.

Purva founder & editor editor@theindiantrumpet.com



each one counts...

Letter of Gratitude: The Indian Trumpet is celebrating its first anniversary and I can’t resist writing to the Editor and thanking her. I am close to the magazine since it was my first step to write for a publication. My dream of getting a byline was fulfilled through The Indian Trumpet. I think the magazine’s USP lies in the fact that it gives old & new writers a space to exercise their creative freedom. It’s amazing to see that the magazine is being celebrated all around the world. I wish all the luck to the team, and many more anniversaries. Cheers Megha Sabharwal India ............................................................... This just popped into my inbox this morning, it’s a lovely publication - beautiful design! Sudeshna Ghosh Editor BBC Good Food Middle East Dubai ............................................................... Kudos! Another very energizing issue! Parthiv. N. Parekh Editor-in-chief Khabar Magazine Georgia, US ...............................................................

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I have been reading The Indian Trumpet for a year now and I am a huge fan of its content, themes and design! It is a pleasure to visit and re-visit India through the pages of the magazine. Neha Arora, Oslo, Norway ...............................................................

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A year full of hard work, love and happiness. We have turned one! It’s time to look back & ahead. In the pages of our anniversary special we celebrate the number one: from the first birthday to the first salary, from the obsession of winning one crore in a game show to watching the good ol’ channel DD1, from Bollywood’s fixation with ek to the auspicious one rupee coin added as a token of blessings to the 11, 21, 51 of the shagun... One is special. One is us. The Indian Trumpet is ONE-YEAR-OLD.

Remember! The most easiest thing to do is : CRITICIZE!

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12 70mm YEH DUNIYA EK NUMBRI What is it with No.1 and Hindi cinema? Actors aspire to reach the top spot. Filmmakers affix ‘one’ as a kick starter: think Hero No.1 & Aunty No. 1. Music makers are tempted to create & re-create tracks on first love, and viewers rush to catch the First Day, First Show. 16

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TABLE FOR ONE Portion size: one. Eating alone: at home or outside. Does cooking & eating a meal alone make you uncomfortable or do you find it empowering? Here’s how to savour every solo bite.

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BAS, EK MINUTE Bas (just), ek (one) minute: a code that’s understood by Indians around the world, and often our salvation, like the blank tile in scrabble. How often do you say, ‘Bas, ek minute’?


EK KA KAMAAL From phrases to book titles, movie dialogues to songs, tongue twisters to telly shows: all are fascinated by the magnetism of one.

follow the noise


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ONE RUPEE. A nostalgic trip into the not-so-distant past when the single rupee was indeed quite valuable, if not mighty.


DOORDARSHAN, EK YAAD If you grew up in the 80s we bet you remember watching the only channel, DD1. Yes, before cable invaded our telly hours we watched Buniyaad, Mowgli, Ramayana, Nukkad...


THE ‘EK MINUTE’ MAN Two decades ago he gave India a whole new kind of game show. Now he’s making a biopic about Mary Kom, the Olympic medallist boxer. Director Omung Kumar talks ‘Just Ek Minute’ and the days when having fun was all about childlike innocence.


EK CHIDIYA, ANEK CHIDIYA The film about ‘Unity in Diversity’ released more than three decades ago still resounds in our hearts. An artist pays tribute by sketching a few lovely scenes from the film.


EK CRORE! Kuch sawaal, Ek crore: the game show Kaun Banega Crorepati took our level of obsession with the number one to another level!


ONE VS. NONE One is a unique number…pun intended. It is one of a kind and one in a million. Here we talk about the different manifestations of the number one in our lives, why it is so important, and why, at times, even harmful.



Inspiration for every little corner of your home


A few of our favourite things for your adorable angels


Transform from a simpleton to showstopper with these buys


angry toot

The screaming headlines on gang rapes have got us fuming. Each issue, we bring to you our readers views on the topic of women’s safety, security & respect.




idhar udhar

trumpet tastes


THE ‘CURRY’FUL LUNCHEON Masalas and tadkas from the House of Curry, Beach Mall, JBR, Dubai


THE GUILT-FREE MEAL World’s thinnest pizzas from Nonno, Business Bay, Dubai


THE GOLDEN KELA Anant Singh, the man behind the Golden Kela awards says the Kelas stand for the revenge of the ‘Aam Aadmi’ against the ‘Khaas’ of Bollyw ood’ who keep hurling unoriginal crap at us as entertainment.

fashion fry

DHOTI, REMIXED! The traditional Indian dhoti silhouette is making heads turn at cocktail evenings and runway soirées: slip into voluminous, breezy and comfortable dhoti jumpsuits, gowns, saris and more.


over a cup of chai


tax free entertainment


bharat darshan

RAHAT FATEH ALI KHAN On the difference between the Punjab in India & Pakistan, his latest album, the charm of Sufi & more. In conversation with the legend. THE CHARISMATIC ONE One: a digit, a goal, a dream, a saviour...

follow the noise

WHEELS OF INDIA Modern India is talking about a revival in the art of cycling. We pay tribute to the ‘tortoise’: a simple steed in search of newer grounds.

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last word

ONE A poet reflects on the depth of being one.

t n e r e f f i D trokes ath S by Manoj N

Art | Graphics | Illustrations

manojnath4u@gmail.com | +91 9341042598 | facebook.com/DSbyMN

yeh du num

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‘“Oh no, no, Dipankar,” said the Grand Dame of Culture, slowly shaking her ancient and benevolent head from side to side in pitying condescension as she held him with her glittering eye, “that’s not it at all. Not ‘Duality’: I could never have said ‘Duality’, Dipankar, oh dear me, no. The intrinsic essence of our being here in India is a Oneness, yes, a Oneness of Being, an ecumenical assimilation of all that pours into this great subcontinent of ours.” She gestured around the drawing room tolerantly, maternally. “It is Unity that governs our souls, here in our ancient land.” (Seth, 404:1993). Or as the great seer Rahul (SRK) puts it in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, “Hum ek baar jeete hain, ek baar marte hain, shaadi bhi ek baar hoti hai, aur piyar...ek hi baar hota hai”. What is it with Number One and South Asia? While our generation catches up with the rest of the world and ‘everyone can be a winner’, there are certain ‘life worlds’ out there where One still reigns supreme: Hindi Cinema (how else do I put it?) for one. Actors have never ceased coveting the top spot, even though it’s quite fashionable to scoff at the ranking system: “I’m really not into this numbers game, I’m here to do MEANINGFUL cinema”, or “Numbers change every Friday.”

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But in the current decade – when it’s never clear whether it’s the length of our attention spans, or the money riding on a film, or the cast that makes any particular film successful - actors and actresses can, at best, only play musical chairs with being Ek Number. Barely have their posteriors made contact with the coveted chair before the music changes and everyone is scurrying round again. For my generation

As the great seer Rahul (SRK) puts it in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, “Hum ek baar jeete hain, ek baar marte hain, shaadi bhi ek baar hoti hai, aur piyar...ek hi baar hota hai.”

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there could only be ONE candidate for #1 Actor or Actress for Hindi Cinema, and it would stay consistent whatever the fickleness of real life. Of course, in the ‘90s, most Indian film heroines struggled even to cling to slot Number 2: Number 1 had Madhuri Dixit’s name stencilled permanently on it. Ask Juhi Chawla, someday! Male actors? All Kings: the Shahenshah led to King Khan who faced a challenge from Jodha’s Akbar until it all became confusing with the Ranbirs and Ranvirs. Number One became part of the Hindi film lexicon after a string of movies were all suffixed with One. From ‘state of mind’ - Anari#1, Khiladi #1 - to ‘this is what I do’ - Hero#1, Coolie#1 - to ‘familial relations’ - Aunty#1, Biwi#1, Beti#1, Jodi#1. But before that there was Dev Anand’s Awwal Number released in 1990: Aamir Khan playing an aspiring cricketer (number one thing on most Indian minds) and a terrorist placing a bomb on a cricket pitch. And then there’s young love, and pehla pehla piyar, which is Formula One when it comes to being first past the turnstiles. Rare is the ‘debut’ film that doesn’t feature First Love prominently with lovesick youngsters hoping to find happy endings in Ek Chutki Sindoor. This, as a script involving Ek Dil Dou Jaan, features enough drama, action, comedy and tears for the ‘new hero’ to exhibit his acting and karate chops, while the young woman making her first appearance will hope for enough successful songs to give her portfolio its first decent hit. Which brings us to the film songs demonstrating that having Pehla or Ek as part of your lyrical repertoire will

Number One became a part of the Hindi film lexicon with a string of movies: Anari#1, Khiladi #1, Hero#1, Coolie#1, Aunty#1,Biwi#1 , Beti#1, Jodi#1.

drive you to the top of the charts: Leke Pehla Pehla Piyaar; Pehla Nasha; Pehla Pehla Piyar Hai. The emphasis remains on One Love: EK Ladki ko Dekha... Ek Haseena Thi; Ek Deewana Tha. Ah! The power of One. Ek. It is important that one devotes some time to the study of “One” or “Ek” in Hindi film lore, otherwise one would remain under the misperception that ek Emran Hashmi hi hain making Olympic records in kissing where any serious student of Hindi filmology would tell you immediately that Devika Rani and (reel/real) life partner Himanshu made a record of firsts in film history, for kissing for four minutes (this was 1933 and the film Karma—making celluloid history as the first and to date longest film kiss for Hindi cinema) and never coming up for air. Or, that for all the good fortune connected with Ek and One, when they were put together in a film title (Ek: The Power of One) it resulted in a big, fat, flop. Did you also know that some time ago Ram Gopal Verma planned on making a film on international terrorism (Al Qaeda) and counter terrorism (CIA, RAW) called Ek with a prospective star cast of Amitabh Bachchan, Nana Patekar, and Ajay Devgan? The action was slated to take place over several world capitals; unfortunately Ek’s story didn’t progress beyond press conferences. Ek can be quite the unlucky number too. Even so, there’s been an Ek Hi Raasta every twenty years (1939, 1956, 1977 and 1993). I’m guessing that by the new millennium and Google Maps everyone decided that the journeys by alternate scenic routes were more important than the destinations. Ek or rather Ek Crore was how Karisma Kapoor struck a blow for female empowerment as the first Indian actress to ask for and receive a crore for a film (though one leading actor did pass the snide remark “Arey, for what? All they do is shake their bums”). Better days were to follow. And while the poet/philosopher wrote about ‘one’ nation neel ke sahil se lekar ta ba khak-e-kashgar, it is only Shahrukh Khan who can guarantee that kind of unity in fandom from Northern Africa to South East Asia (and a significant portion of Northern America and Europe). Even though we can all say that there’s only one, ek hi Amitabh Bachchan (or as they say in Tamil, onru Rajnikanth), the scion of the House of Bachchan and all other aspirants can only rue their fates.



Aneela Z Babar divides her time writing on gender, religion, militarism, popular culture and telling people her boy is toilet trained, sleeping through the night. She is in Delhi for the year with her husband and a boy who is toilet trained, sleeping through the night.

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words PRAC

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They say the family that eats together stays together and I completely agree with that. When we were growing up, my parents made sure that even though we had our breakfasts and lunches at different times and in different places, at dinner we’d all be together. There was comfort in knowing that there’d be evening food prepared with love by mum around a table set by her ‘sous chefs’: dad, my sister and I. Dining like this encouraged us to share our days with each other: laughing at what happened on the school bus, complaining about strict teachers, finding out about dad’s new bonus, talking with mum about that one naughty yet totally adorable child in her class, planning our next vacation or debating the paint colour for the walls of our home.

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And then I moved away from comforts of home for a new job that took me all the way from Delhi to Bengaluru (then Bangalore). Staying alone and setting up my little abode in a new city was absolutely thrilling. What I didn’t realise was that beyond the home decorating, living alone also meant dining alone and cooking for one. The first few days were a mixed bag of emotions: excitement at the success of one dinner and moping at the failure of the next. I celebrated my new earning power by ordering pizza for five days in a row then never wanted to see molten cheese or garlic bread again. One night my food went cold because the plot of the book I was reading was so mesmerising. On another, I felt like throwing the book away because it was no substitute for being with my family around the dinner table. But looking back at those meals for one, eaten in solitude, I truly appreciate what I learned. Calling mum up and taking down the recipe for my favourite Paneer Bhurji in the hope of recreating the magic and memories she created in her own kitchen. Understanding the true value of home cooked meals and how much effort went into preparing them. Spending entire afternoons in the book store’s food section to find new cookbooks then immersing myself in them, sticking post-its near recipes I’d soon be trying. Gaining the confidence to make a three-course meal for one then finding the courage to invite my colleagues and new friends over for Sunday lunch. Just as I was getting comfortable with cooking for one – enjoying it immensely, in fact - I went through a remarkable experience, which readers who travel

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for work will relate to: the contrast between solo dining at home and going out alone and ordering for one. My work often took me to different places every day of the week, and a girl has to eat. The first time I ventured out to eat alone required more courage than moving cities. I entered the restaurant and felt that everyone’s eyes were on me. What were they thinking? “Maybe someone’s joining her later.” “What a shame she’s single.” “What kind of woman dines alone?!” Those digging eyes completely unsettled me; I decided to dive into a book and read as I ate. Interestingly by the last few such meals I began to enjoy going out alone. I’d look forward to my unique lunches and dinners. The shabby joints with five things on the menu where sharing tables was part of the eating experience. The crowded food courts where no one cared who I was or why I was there. The fine dining restaurants where I’d order gourmet food and wine and later ask them to pack the uneaten half. I’d learn a lot: making conversation with strangers, managing to avoid elbows (make a leftie sit next to a right hander and you’ll see what I mean), experimenting with dishes I’d never tried, randomly chatting with chefs, being taken on ‘behind the scenes’ kitchen tours and most importantly focusing solely on the food. For many, having eaten in the company of parents, family or friends since childhood, eating in or out alone isn’t something to look forward to. After all, eating nourishes our bodies and our souls. But there’s something I’ve realised: eating solo is also cause for celebration because it allows you to have occasional conversations with yourself. When you take time out to cook what you like, you can indulge without having to consider others. It could be a quick meal that takes five minutes to prepare because you want to watch TV, read a book or light up a candle and set

What’s your favourite ‘eating alone’ dish? A quick bite or a fancy meal!



(Clockwise) Pasta any shape/size with any sauce. A generous bowl of salad. Grilled chicken with sweet potato fries or greens. Easy to make sandwich.

up a table just for yourself. Each of these experiences is valuable and sometimes when the husband’s away and the little one dozes off at seven, there’s a big smile on my face: I’ll be eating solo. Eating out alone can be truly empowering. Choosing a dress and a restaurant, walking in alone and ordering for yourself is an experience in itself. And I think my solo eating experiences started me on my quest for food, flavours, recipes, techniques and a new relationship with my kitchen. Give it a shot: try beginning with breakfast at a nearby café. Before I finish this story here’s a list of books that’ll keep you company whether you’re eating alone at home or choose to step out for a bite. Until we meet again, savour every single bite. • Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant: Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone by Jenni Ferrari-Adler • Going Solo in the Kitchen by Jane Doerfer • Table for One: Perfectly Portioned Meals for the Single Cook by Camille Funk • The Pleasures of Cooking for One by Judith Jones • What We Eat When We Eat Alone: Stories and 100 Recipes by Deborah Madison

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Maggi when I want to get done with cooking in “two minutes” with a glass of masala Thums Up for junk nights with a book.

Leftovers when the fridge is screamingl ”Clean me!”

One pot meals with just a little bit of this and a little bit of that when the stomach and soul both need comforting (Khichdi, soupy noodles, Nasi Goreng).

Grilled chicken with sweet potato fries when I want to indulge myself.

Pasta. Any shape, any sauce, any topping. Can’t live without it.

Eggs for whenever I don’t know what I want. Eggs make every meal complete.

An egg, a glass of milk or a fruit: The best, healthy solo choices.

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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.

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One fine day, driving home after a rather awkward situation with my tight-fisted German boss, I began to dwell on what exactly we Indians mean when we use ‘ek’ (one) in conversation. My boss had asked me to come into his office, prompting my instant response: ‘Yes, I’ll be there in one minute’. After 10 minutes, as I chirpily walked into his office, he said, with a raised eyebrow: “Which part of 1 minute is a quarter of an hour for you?” As he questioned me I realised what I’d actually meant was “Boss, I’ll be in your office shortly, once I’m done with this e-mail.” I think most Indian expats are caught at the crossroads of imbibing new ways and remaining true to our grassroots, the Indian culture. From

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New York to Tokyo and all points between, every Indian has been on the receiving end of that eyebrow-raising look because of one thing we said or did that made total sense to us but not to the person across the room. And more often than not that classic look has been the result of our using the famous ek in absolutely no context at all in our daily conversations. The paradox of our lives is that we think ek is what we make of it, almost like the blank tile in Scrabble. I’d like to think of it as the cultural curse of Indianhood. Growing up in Indian schools, we’re taught that ek is Hindi for one. But, at home, ek represents everything unquantifiable. So what is it with Indians and Ek? Why have we made such a khichdi (messy mix) of the glorious number 1? It’s a mystery, a science, a joke we Indians live with and pass on from generation to generation. ‘Bas, ek minute’ never EVER in the history of Indian-kind meant one minute! In fact, it’s safe to assume the speaker means at least 10 minutes.

error equates the indefinite article (‘a’/’an’) with one. Neither ‘a’ nor ‘an’ does the duty for one. The word one emphasises the singular number, ‘a’/’an’ doesn’t.” So, next time you catch yourself saying: “May I have one glass of water?” think again! The correct usage is: “May I have a glass of water?” Curse or a boon, Ek defines our Indianhood. It’s what makes us stand out in a crowd. We may have constant debates on politics, cricket, religions, food and accents but the one thing that unites us is in the ways we use Ek: - When we have someone waiting for us, “Ek minute yaar, mein aa rahaan hoon!” really means: “I’ll be there in 10 minutes or more.” - When kids are trying to persuade their mums: “Mummmy! Please ek minute – I’m coming!” really means: “Mum, I’d like to stay out a little longer.”

If there was a figure that’s blessed inheritance since creation, it’d be the number 1: ONE. It stands for oneness, unity, as a reference point, almost the pseudogenesis of the numeric chain. It’s the surreal feeling of premier, authority and pride. If we could re-engineer Chinese cuisine to suit our taste buds (bless the Chinese who visit India), how could ek escape its fate: being re-engineered?

- When your loved one tries to wake you up from bed, “Ek minute aur please. I’ll wake up soon” really means “I’ll wake up when I feel like waking up!”

One of my favourite books on Indian English is Jyoti Sanyal’s Indlish: The Book for Every English-Speaking Indian. She explores another common Indian error in the usage of ‘one’. In her words “a common Indian

Perhaps the only time in history when we really meant ‘Ek’ was in the movie ‘Ek tha Tiger’. After all, there is only one Khan that could pull off that role. What was his name again? Ek minute, let me check. I’ll be right back.

... and I could go on about the other situations in which we use ‘Ek’ as our saving grace. It’s a clutch, an interpretation, a code, that’s understood by Indians across the world.



Indian in origin, Delna was born and raised in Dubai. A true vagabond by nature she loves experiencing world cultures through food and travel. She is a World Food Travel Association (USA) Certified Culinary Travel Professional (CCTP). Visiting Antarctica and publishing her own book are both on her bucket list. “My life isn’t perfect – but I’m grateful!” is her mantra. Meet Delna as she blogs at discoverspice.net and thenomadthinks.wordpress.com.

At Orange Kitchens we believe that children who are more involved in preparing food are more likely to try out new flavours on their plates, respect their food, respect where the food that they eat comes from and in the process wipe their plates clean. When we teach them “real� cooking we talk about where that dish came from (history & geography & learning about different food habits), we follow a certain method (science and following instructions), we are measuring (maths), we are trying to choose the right ingredients (lessons on nutrition and using fresh produce), we share how our elders would always make it or how each Diwali/Christmas/Eid our parents would eat this as a kid (getting to know their family and their traditions better) and of course each time we cook we encourage them to add their special little touch to it... replace that chive with basil, chocolate chips instead of vanilla, serve it differently (getting creative and adventurous)... now that is quite a lot of learning while putting together just one simple dish. While the kids think we are just here in for some fun! For all this and more, send your kidlets to become a part of the food lessons at Orange Kitchens.

Call +971554193522, drop a line at orangekitchens.blogspot@gmail.com, or visit us at orangekitchens.blogspot.ae















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BOLLYWOOD NUMBERS, TITLES & DIALOGUES Do you remember the Bollywood blockbuster Ek Tha Tiger starring Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif? Well, that was just one of the many movie titles with Ek prefixed to it. Here a few old & new film titles to savour: Ek Thi Daayan, Ek Nazar, Ekk Deewana Tha, Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu, Ek Ajnabee, Ek Anari Do Khiladi, Ek: The Power of One, Ek Alag Mausam and Ek Hasina Thi. Interestingly, Ek has been the starting point for many songs too. Sing along: Ek ladki bheegi bhagi si (Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi,1958), Ek chatur naar karke singar (Padosan, 1968), Ek pyar ka nagma hai ( Shor, 1972), Ek ajnabee haseena se yu mulakat ho gayi (Ajnabee, 1974), Ek se badhkar ek (Ek Se Badhkar Ek, 1976), Ek ladki ko dekha to aisa laga (1942-A Love Story, 1994), Ek din aap yun humko mil jayenge (Yes Boss, 1997) and our favourite Ek, do teen… (Tezaab, 1988). And lest you think that Bollywood’s love for Ek is limited to just titles and songs here are a few dialogues for you to voice. Salman Khan in Wanted: Ek baar jo maine commitment kar di, fir main apne aap ki bhi nahi sunta. Nana Patekar in Yugpurush: Ek machar aadmi ko hijda bana deta hai. Deepika Padukone in Om Shanti Om: Ek chutki sindoor ki keemat tum kya jaano Ramesh Babu?

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DOORDARSHAN’S TAKE ON ONE, MANY & UNITY Who doesn’t remember the lovely melody Ek Chidhiya, Anek Chidiya? The short educational film, Ek Anek Aur Ekta (“One, Many, and Unity”) aired on Doordarshan was a brilliant initiative to educate the children about the importance of unity and team work. Recently, the song featured in the teaser of the 2013 released film, Shuddh Desi Romance. (Don’t miss our special feature on Ek Chidhiya, Anek Chidiya in this edition!)

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ON THE SMALL SCREEN Talk of Bollywood and the world of television can never be far behind. The golden Ek has charmed telly viewers with soaps like Ek Boond Ishq (Life OK), Ek Veer Ki Ardaas...Veera (Star Plus), Ek Ghar Banaunga (Star Plus), Ek Hazaaron Mein Meri Behna Hain (Star Plus), Ek Mutthi Aasman (Zee TV), Ek Haseena Thi (Star Plus), Ek Doosre Se Karte Hain Pyaar Hum (Star Plus) and more.

IN CONVERSATION The usage of Ek never fails to make our language more vibrant. Here are a few popular proverbs painted in the colour of Ek: Ek teer do nishane (To achieve two things with one means), Ek aur ek gyarah (to depict strength in unity), Ek hath se tali nahi bajti (it takes two to quarrel), Ek myan me do talware rah nahi sakti (one man cannot serve two masters / two of a trade seldom agree), Ek anar sau bimar (the want for the same thing by many), Ek hi thali ke chatte batte (belonging to the same group/similar attributes), Ek gandi machli sare talab ko ganda kar deti hain (one bad person could turn those around him bad too), etc.

EK TONGUE TWISTER Repeat this one! Ek ooncha oont hai, poochh oonchi oont ki, poochh se bhi oonchi kya, peeth oonchi oont ki.

IT’S SACRED Ik Onkar is the symbol that represents the One Supreme Reality and is a central tenet of Sikh religious philosophy. Ik means one or united, On means supreme, ultimate, or highest bhrama (God), and the Atma (Soul) of the entire universe or system, and kãr means without shape or form.

EK NOBLE CAUSE Grundfos Pumps India’s noble initiative to conserve water is called Ek Boondh Pani (facebook.com/EkBoondhPani). Their message is simple: Water is the driving force of all nature and we should vow to conserve every drop that we can!

ON THE BOOK SHELVES The world of books is also fascinated by the magnetism of Ek. Various authors have embellished the title of their books with Ek. To name a few: Narendra Modi : Ek Rajneetik Katha by Kingshuk Nag, Ek Fakkar Masiha Osho by Swami Gyan Bhed, Ek Prem Kahani Meri Bhi by Ravinder Singh, Ek Nayi Prithvi by Eckhart Tolle, etc.

WHAT’S IN A NAME? Ek when prefixed to certain words results in powerful, meaningful and wonderful names. To name a few such names for boys: Ekjit (victorious one), Ekaksh (one-eyed), Ekavir (bravest of the brave), Ekdant (another name for Lord Ganesha) and Eknath (Lord Shiva). To name a few such names for girls: Ekta (unity), Ekantika (focussed), Ekaparnika (Goddess Durga) and Ekani (One).



Surbhi Thukral is a marketing professional turned writer. She has worked with corporations in India and the UK. After gaining success in business writing, she is determined to make a mark in the field of fiction writing. She has become a compulsive writer who dedicates many hours a day to fulfil her passion for creative writing. She holds a Masters in Business & Management from the University of Strathclyde, UK.

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One Rupee. I know what you’re thinking: I had the same thoughts as well.

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“You’d need a LOT of those to buy anything of value. Just one will get you nothing and nowhere.”

a time when their entire monthly electricity bill was less than a rupee. I remember having a super amused expression on my face. A rupee. One. Ek. A solitary rupee. That was simply too long ago.

There was even that song ‘Aamdani athanni, kharcha rupaiya’, which implied that spending one whole rupee was definitely living beyond your means. Was it really that long ago?

But then I stopped to think...was it really? In these times of inflation, expensive onions and designer labels has the humble rupee been completely forgotten and rendered useless? It’s definitely less prevalent now. These days, grocers hand you a piece of rock-hard, inedible candy, making a sale, claiming not to have a single rupee to give you as change.

I couldn’t immediately think of anything obtainable for a single rupee. I’m well aware that in days gone by, a rupee was a big deal: I’ve often heard my parents talk about it. In fact they even mentioned there was

After sifting through my treasure chest of memories and having a few leisurely conversations with my folks, I was pleasantly proved wrong. We came up with a host of things that were and are yours for the taking,

“Do they even make those any more?” “They’re nothing more than collector’s items now.”

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Image: Ramnath Bhatt

all for ek rupaiyaa! One of my favourites? Chai. That’s what I remembered you could get with a single, glorious, 1 rupee coin. Whether it was a shiny rupaiyaa or a grimy one, it would bring the homely comfort of a roadside chai, where the chai-walla would mix his special combination of sugar, tea, milk and in my case; cardamom. He’d blend it all together, pouring it from one shiny steel glass to the other - up and down, up and down, till that frothy loveliness appeared - and present it to me with flair: wah bhai wah.

Speaking of railway stations, you could get your weight and your fortune for the day printed on a thick piece of cardboard for one rupee. Those tall, hefty weighing machines were such beautiful relics. I believe they still exist, but the fees are a little higher now. At the local marketplace in my hometown of Goa, certain varieties of candy are still sold at 2 pieces for a rupee. Lest you think these ‘cheaper’ candies are inferior to the others, don’t be fooled. They’re delicious and have been a favourite with



You could also get a drool-worthy hot samosa for 1 rupee at the nearby train station, always

accompanied by tamarind-flavoured dip. I can almost guarantee you remember it the way I do: perfectly crisp edges, filled with precisely the right amount of potatoes and peas and when dipped in that chutney – sigh. Heaven in your mouth!

my mum for years in their black and red striped goodness. The joy of an eating a candy ball is unparalleled.

What can you get for

ONE RUPEE? A crispy samosa. A hot

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cup of chai. A bhutta. A candy. A phone call at a public booth. A photocopy. Or... you could check your weight or make a trip to the loo with that


As a kid, I remember using the rupee to make decisions: heads or tails solved many a quandary. Deciding where to eat, what games to play, which movies to watch: everything. I wonder if they still use a rupee coin for the toss at cricket matches any more. On family holidays, retrieving a fallen rupee was a popular pool time game, one that tested our speed and sight under water. Through my growing years, we often made road trips along the Bombay-Goa route. As is customary, regular stops were made for snacks and of course ‘loo stops’. This is probably the oddest utility of the one rupee coin, but definitely the most useful one. Whenever we needed to make a trip to the washroom, we’d hand over a rupee to the lady at the entrance and in return were rewarded with sparkling clean, non-smelly facilities. And we all know how rare they were. As I grew older and did more home-related chores like market trips, I encountered random shopping tales of the rupee. I once overheard a vendor telling a friend how expensive coconuts had become, a staggering `30 each, compared to the good old days, when they were just one rupee. Despite their drop in value, the single rupee is still an important part of Indian traditions. Cash gifts at auspicious occasions like engagements and weddings always end with a ‘1’: that single rupee added to the main amount. Whether it’s a small gift of `11, or a large one of `50,001, that ‘shagun ka rupaiya’ is always tacked on for luck. A friend of mine also mentioned a tradition in certain Gujarati families where a single rupee is given by a girl’s family to a boy’s family to formalise their engagement. It’s as simple as that. No fancy ceremonies, no flashy rings (though these have been added in recent times): just a token rupee handed over. A while ago, since I’ve been here in the UAE, at the end of a vacation to India (where my home and heart remain) I usually went to the airport armed with a little bag full of ek rupaiyaas. Once past check-in, I would patiently wait in queue to use the shiny red payphone to make my last goodbye calls to the family I was leaving behind. This wondrous link to the outside world only took one rupee coins. And I remember how every time I’d keep digging deep into my pocket to find another, another and yet another... just to keep chatting for a few seconds more,

Rosemary Fernandes is a banker by profession but her first love has always been writing. She’s happiest surrounded by books, her family and a hot cuppa. Ever the optimist, this lover of musicals and doodler of cuboids can be found at countingsheepinmysleep.blogspot.com. Drop by, she promises beanbags and cookies.

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Ramnath Bhat hails from Pune. A civil engineer by profession, he’s been breathing photography for the last 25 years. Still life, live events and travel photography are what he enjoys the most. When not reporting for work, he undertakes photographic assignment for ad and stock agencies.

before I boarded the flight out. Dad remembers a time when bus fares were one rupee. Similarly a kilo of rice, a decent bunch of sardines from the local fish market, a novelty matchbox and a handful of nails from the hardware store were all available for a single rupee. You can still buy a few random things for ek rupaiyaa: a sachet of shampoo, three pieces of Polo, a dash of washing powder, a photocopy. In some restaurants, you might get an idli, and in smaller towns or villages a glass of nimbu paani or a pudiya of chana or bhel. And while a child would probably be richer with a piggybank full of silent, folded, larger denomination notes, there’s nothing that can replace the pleasant jingle-jangle of a moneybox full of one rupee coins and the glee it brings. Perhaps the modest little one rupee coin is able to hold its own, after all.



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show. Zee TV had just started, the first new channel after Doordarshan, and they only had ‘Antakshari’ on at that time. When I auditioned, it was immediately decided that I’d host Just Ek Minute, and I was asked to design the sets as well. The colourful designs were new to Indian audiences so the challenge was to make the format work. My then fiancé Vanita had written close to 10,000 games for the show and even featured in the title song with me. After the show was aired, we married. Was doing a game show easy back then? Yes, because I was this crazy guy who wanted to have fun all the time. The multi-camera set up was new and exciting: people were always checking out how we shot with so many. But it was a simple show, and I think that’s why it became famous: from the youngest to the oldest in the family, everyone loved it. And there was much less competition on air, so it became an instant hit.

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On the sets of Mary Kom’s much-awaited biopic, director Omung Kumar is a very busy man. He has no time to waste as the release date has been preponed. It’s the first time he is directing a movie, and there’s a lot to do, but as one who’s donned several hats - from acting and modelling to advertising and set designing – he’s adapting smoothly and enjoying this new phase of life. Taking a small break to chat he shares his secret love for acting and reminisces about the days when entertainment was simple and unpretentious. Tell us more about Just Ek Minute: the context, concept and production. Just Ek Minute was the first crazy game show in those days. I was with HTA Advertising World as an art director but always inclined towards modelling and acting. Both my parents went through Pune Film Institute, so acting was in my blood. I don’t know how I drifted towards advertising which I did for 12 years. Seeing how passionate I was while presenting my ideas to clients, Tarun Chopra, who had just quit HTA to start Picasso Films Pvt. Ltd approached me to host a game

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What was the best part about the show for you? That there was no script for me: I could say whatever I felt in front of a live audience. The USP of the show became the interaction between the audience, me and the crazy games that we played in just one minute. Everyone started using the Ek Minute concept to play simple yet fun games at family functions, parties and social dos. I think people just wanted to feel young again. Why didn’t you do more game shows after that? The show became my life: everywhere I went people started recognising me as the Ek Minute man. The response we had is almost indescribable. There was no internet, no mobile phones, no SMS or YouTube yet Ek Minute was famous. We used to get lakhs of letters: everyone wanted to be part of it. They looked up to me as this goody-goody boy with a clean act, pulling legs and having fun with people aged 6 to 60. I started hosting shows all over India – in big auditoriums and schools – and large organisations invited me to host their events so that they could be like kids again. After Ek Minute I didn’t do many shows apart from Gol Gol Gulam which ran for three years, and a few others, because I had to focus on my other businesses: making sets and designing for films [he was the production designer and art director for Black (2005), Saawariya (2007) and Just Dance


The most loved show on Zee TV... … was the one that challenged contestants to complete all kinds of wacky tasks in 1 minute. Thousands of fans from across the country thronged to participate, and the charming host Omung Kumar secured a special place in the hearts of viewers with his easygoing screen presence and comic antics. It was one of the most popular shows on Indian television.

(2011)]. They became my priority. I did the art directing and Vanita did the production design: we were a movie team. From a game show to direction of a biopic of an athlete, where does the love for sports come from? That’s just a coincidence. Five years ago, I started to write and thought about directing a movie. Back then, I had a different script in mind - a musical - but as the years went by, there was a shift in interest. I found the story of Mary Kom and decided to make a movie about that. Why Mary Kom? Because her life is so inspiring. I’m glad she’s the subject of my first film. I’m a child at heart: competing comes naturally to me and winning is a must. Maybe that’s why I inclined towards Mary’s story: she’s a fighter, a winner.

MANGTE CHUNGNEIJANG MARY KOM The medallist boxer, inspiration...

… is also known as MC Mary Kom, Magnificent Mary or simply Mary Kom, is an Indian boxer. She is a five-time World Boxing champion, and the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world championships. She is the only Indian woman boxer to have qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics, competing in the flyweight (51 kg) category and winning the bronze medal. She has also been ranked as No. 4 AIBA World Women’s Ranking Flyweight category. In 2012, Sanjay Leela Bhansali confirmed that a biographical film will be made on the life of Mary Kom starring Priyanka Chopra in lead role. The movie is directed by Omung Kumar and is set to release in October 2014.

Which role have you enjoyed the most and why? That’s difficult to say. Whatever I’ve done in life – acting, advertising, modelling, set designing, directing – I’ve given 100%. I’ve always focused on being the best at my job at any given time. My passion never fades. Directing is giving me all the fun I require in life NOW, but when I was hosting, that was my priority. I love being in front of live audiences: it brings out the actor in me. While explaining the shots to the actors in my film, I enact them all, so maybe my heart still calls for acting. People say you on still look as young and vibrant as you did 20 years ago, what’s the secret? Maybe it’s in my genes, or maybe because I’m young at heart it shows in my face. I don’t smoke or drink, so I steer clear of all the sins that could change me. There are no other secrets. Would you ever do Ek Minute again? I’d like to revive Ek Minute my way because kids have stopped having fun nowadays: they’re stuck in their rooms on their computers, I want to show them how much fun we used to have. What’s next after the biopic? A huge musical love story to make you sing, dance and fall in love again.



Nasrin Modak-Siddiqi is a writer, foodie, traveller and movie-buff. She has many stories, some real, others figments of her imagination. On sabbatical from full-time scribing, her current motivators are good trips, meals, books or movies. She writes fiction, clicks photographs and edits old ones to add drama. Find her at continuumera.blogspot.com.

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artwork RITU DUA

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Ek Anek Aur Ekta, or One, Many and Unity, popularly known as Ek Chidiya, Anek Chidyan, was a traditional animated short film released by the Films Division of India (Government of India) in 1974. It was aired on the state-owned Doordarshan, became very popular among children, and won the National Film Award for Best Educational Film. It also received the award for Best Children’s Film in Japan. Considered one of the finest examples of animated story telling ever produced in India, it’s well remembered by the 80s generation as a classic illustration of Anekta mein Ekta.

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The film sought to teach children the values of unity and teamwork, embodying the message that India is stronger if its citizens stand united, regardless of cultural differences (Unity in Diversity). It begins with a group of children playing in a garden. One of them asks his elder sister: “Didi, yeh anek kya hota hai?” (“Sister, what do you mean by Many?”) The rest of the film is devoted to the sister’s reply, using a metaphorical story about a group of birds that unites to recruit their friends, a group of mice, to help them escape a bird catcher.



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The lyrics for Hind Desh ke Niwasi were written by Pandit Vinaychandra Maudralya. Sadhna Sargam, now a popular singer, was only five when she sang the song, recently heard in the teaser for 2013 romcom Shuddh Desi Romance. (Text source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ek_Anek_Aur_Ekta). (Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-tTOJ1RvUY)

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Ritu Dua, a banker and teacher, now focusses on what she enjoys most: art. Self-taught, her forte is mixed media. Besides her charity exhibitions, she’s worked with an NGO, shown underprivileged children how to turn recyclables into art, and volunteers at Dubai’s Al Noor School. She also celebrates all things delicious at beneathmyheartart.blogspot.

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dqN SAWAAL, ,d




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Two decades ago, something unprecedented happened in the history of Indian television with the start of the mythological series Ramayana. Each Sunday morning roads were deserted as people sat alert in front of their televisions watching the epic life of Lord Rama. Legend has it that some of the more devout viewers even took off their slippers before watching! It was the 80s and until the next century, no other TV show captured the Indian imagination to such an extent. Then one fateful day in 2000 the legendary baritone of Amitabh Bachchan boomed into our living rooms. Deviyon aur sajjanon (ladies and gentlemen), you were watching the first episode of Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC), which once again changed the way India watched the telly. And rest, as they say, is history. It was Star TV’s biggest coup to bring the desi avatar of the UK game show ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?’ to Indian small screens, all the more for having superstar Bachchan as host: Bachchan, the powerhouse of talent, the country’s darling for his rich, deep voice. From the very first episode, the country’s roads started emptying again every evening from Friday to Sunday. Dinners were cooked and eaten well in advance, guests ushered out minutes before the clock struck 9, children finished their homework early and not a soul moved away from the TV until the ghadiyal babu (Mr. Clock) stopped at 10pm. That hour turned into family bonding time, with grandparents, parents and children brainstorming together to find the correct answers, while the contestants hawed and hummed with the host and the Computer ji (Mr. Computer). The show, running for its 8th season this year, has remained part of our lives. We still draw famous phrases from the show in daily conversations. Any word of finality is still ‘Lock kar diya jaaye’, over-sharp

persons (and humble desktops) ‘Computer ji’, and, of course, there’s the distress call: ‘Phone a friend’. Every episode is replete with Bachchan’s anecdotes, his jokes with competitors, winners going teary-eyed as they hug and dance with him in sheer awe, and recitations from his father Harivansh Rai Bachchan’s poems: just a few of the things that have made the show so endearing.

From the very first episode of KBC, India’s roads were empty from 9-10pm As Bachchan’s charisma drew people in, the nation experienced a collective awakening in terms of general knowledge. Children, teenagers, adults: everyone took a fancy to books on factual books and board games designed along on the lines of KBC. Schools and colleges witnessed an upsurge in GK quiz competitions. From current affairs to Indian history to classical music: all were read about and brushed up on. No surprise: over seven seasons, the show has given India over five crorepatis. Bachchan was so captivating, that efforts to rope in Shah Rukh Khan for season three after Bachchan fell ill came a cropper. Khan couldn‘t engage the audience and the show’s ratings fell, forcing the channel to re-employ Bachchan for subsequent seasons.



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Four years ago, when Sony took on the show, the show’s directors tried to bring in people from small towns and distant hinterlands as centre stage players. The 2010 season started with the tagline ‘Koi bhi aadmi chhota nahi hota’, specifically targeted at people from smaller communities. Ensuing programmes have seen students, teachers, shopkeepers and farmers racking their brains and emerging as winners. The show has given a massive boost to the confidence of the common man in its last three seasons, with each focusing on a different issue of significance. In 2011 the tagline changed to ‘Koi bhi sawal chhota nahi hota’ - ‘No question is too small’: every bit of learning counts - while the 2013 season emphasised the importance of learning irrespective of age, with ‘Seekhna bandh to jeetna bandh’. KBC has also been sensitive to the ways in which India has changed, which is why it’s the only show to command such a massive following after a decade. KBC changed its logo in 2010, using the Indian rupee symbol as its hallmark. In the seventh season the prize money was increased

to `70 million and the number of questions went up from 13 to 15. This season became known as as Kaun Banega Maha Crorepati (‘Who Wants to be a MultiMillionaire’). We are now waiting eagerly for season 8: lines were opened on the 5th of May, and the show is expected to go on air in August on Sony. Gaurav Seth, Senior Vice President and Head of Marketing for Sony Entertainment Television says, “KBC is a reflection of the hopes and aspirations of millions of people who are looking at transforming their lives. This year we are attempting to bring the show closer to our viewers by engaging various mediums through which they can enhance their chance of being in the much-coveted Hot Seat. We are confident that once the season gets underway, it will strike a deep emotional chord with the entire country, like never before.” As we await KBC 8, it’s time to brush up our GK and play the game from our living rooms with the selected players, sharing their victories and losses as our own.

Chhavi Bhatia ventured into journalism early on life; after many years working on leading English dailies, she realised the profession is more about the proverbial nose for news than being creative. She now indulges in poetry, some serious blogging, music, cooking and buying books, which gives her a far better high than the yellow metal.

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101 or 11 rupees as Shagun means these amounts cannot be divided equally & recipients can enjoy their bounty without anyone claiming an equal share

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If zero is the hero of numbers, let’s not forget life begins with one single cell! It dominates the scene unlike any other number. Whether it comes to job performance or life’s milestones or even TV channel ratings, being “number 1” can make or break any situation. We feel butterflies fluttering in our stomachs the first time we fall in love, feel amazing joy and pride when we get our first salary, our love knows no bounds for our firstborn child. Here’s an ode to this one and only number - because we live only once! The count begins with One and this very number makes life fun. Rhyming apart, this number is so special that every occasion or event that happens for the first time becomes memorable by default: your child’s first birthday, your first day at school, college or the office and even your first trip abroad. The list goes on and on. It must be a very special number since the Shagun in Indian culture is considered incomplete without rupee one in it. What makes it so powerful? Why is the entire world focusing on it? No one wants to be second best! Numero Uno is what matters. From parents’ obsession with having their children stand first in class (and children’s obsession with who finishes their food first) to the core belief that God is one, no other

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number is as important. Is it spiritual? As we want unity among mankind, treating everybody as one would solve a lot of problems. Or is it competitive? One millisecond could bring you a gold medal. Or not! What makes it No.1 in numbers? India’s renowned astrologer P. Khurrana joins in the quest to find the number’s magic. “According to numerology, this number is governed by the Sun and indicates originality, activity, energy, enthusiasm, art and vividness. As regards one being the Shagun number, Vedic belief says that while giving someone something, it is always auspicious to give an amount of increasing significance. Indian culture is flawless: it believes in giving someone something indivisible. 101 or 11 rupees as Shagun means these amounts cannot be divided equally and recipients can enjoy their bounty without anyone claiming an equal share. In daily life, one dominates simply because the count begins from one. There is nothing before it, and nothing after it will hold the same intrigue. It is also the number of competitiveness. As long as it does not become an obsession, the wish or will to be Number One is good as it fuels human zeal and energy.” To understand it more deeply, leading educationist and human psychology experts join the discussion and share their perspective. Psychologist Shilpa

The number one has an associated novelty factor: routine sets in after it. The first time is charmed. Suri goes first: “Number one has a novelty factor associated with it; a routine pattern sets in after it. Anything happening for first time is a charm but it also brings along some psychological pressure that we often tend to ignore. If the first-experience of anything fails to meet expectations, the person might fall in to depression or a short-term self-depreciation phase. They may lose their confidence. We all need to remember this and tone down this first experience hype!” Shikha Katyal, an educationist, echoes similar sentiments but in different contexts. “Number one in academe and the competitive world is a pressure number. Its over-importance has parents dreaming about it and students slogging ceaselessly to realise those dreams. Education would be a lot better without the ranking system. I appreciate the grades but somehow having one topper in class shouldn’t lessen

the importance of the other 49 students.” In yet another context, one means completeness and unity, with your spouse, your family, and, by extension, your community and the whole world! One peaceful world! So it seems that number one offers much food for thought. While it’s truly loved and admired, it also receives its fair share of criticism. So while this review may have triggered memories of your first love, first kiss or first achievement, here’s an innovative ad campaign from a few years back that takes number one for a ride. Enjoy the twist and pay attention all round. You may see many automobile and electronic companies offering products with a `1 down payment. Seems like One means a lot of fun!




Anu M explains that the ‘M’ stands for Massakali, a name earned from friends for her lively spirit. She writes with passion: every piece is her flight of fantasy. She loves music & dance; food, fashion and fun are by default her forte. She can be reached at anusehg@ gmail.com.



The scooter stands for good times, style and easy handling, all qualities shared by this clever little device. Drive it in straight lines across your pizza: the razor sharp wheels allow you to cut across the crust, making for perfectly neat slices. Available at thegiftoasis.com

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A quirky set of four plates adorned with rural wildlife from Magpie’s Wildlife range. Bristolbased artist Tom Frost has produced a fun selection of items – mugs, plates, bags, cake tins, tea towels, iPhone covers and notebooks - featuring various British creatures. Available at magpieline.com

This wonderfully crafted, 100% cotton luxury cushion would look great on a lounge chair, couch or bed. In addition to the Pink Flamingo pattern shown here, there are two other eye-catching designs to choose from: Yellow Elephant and Green Dachshund. Available at cuckooland.com

Add a floral touch to your living room with the Boardwalk triple stool set. The soothing hues of blue and grey help to create a soft, cosy look. Available at furniturevillage.co.uk



angry toot


angry toot


There are seasons. Natureholics note the differences between summer, autumn, spring and winter. Fashionholics fixate on Winter, Spring/Summer and Fall/PreFall collections. And Indians have come to expect the scam season, the rape season, the bomb season and the murder season… these seasons, too, shall pass? Unresolved? Once upon a time everyone in India was obsessed about kids falling into pits. The whole nation prayed for a child stuck in a pit as troops tried to save his life. Did no one fall in a pit after that? Were all the manholes covered over? Who knows? We all moved on. The obsession moved to incest victims. The newspapers splashed gruesome tales. Did hands cease straying where they shouldn’t, after that? We don’t remember. We all moved on. A 23-yearold was gang raped. The rape continued: a 6-year-old, then a 45-year-old, and now a 22-year-old. Soon we won’t remember them, either. We’ll just move on. But now should be the season of anger, and action. LET’S NOT MOVE ON. DON’T LET THIS SEASON PASS.

Shagun Sharma

A selfless mother, a caring sister, a loving daughter, a supportive wife, a loyal friend: a woman is all this and more. Yet, she suffers immensely in the hands of the Indian Patriarchal Society where men are greatly revered. The word ‘darkness’ has found an all new meaning. From the equivalent status enjoyed by women in ancient India, to its deterioration during medieval period with evil practices such as female infanticide, Sati, child marriage, Zenana practice and Purdaah , to the modern period of reformers like Kiran Bedi, the journey of women has been very eventful. They are adapting to Western feminist ideology as it relates to their very traditional and religious cultures but the challenges they face fly directly against this orchestration.

Ridhika Kapur

Women have been fighting for decades to secure recognition for themselves in India’s male dominated society. Initially, the incidents of rape, violence against women and other assaults were not highlighted and we felt that women were safe, but with the support of the media and women themselves, the dark reality – women being treated as mere objects – has shocked the whole nation. Women and girls were never safe in India. For Indian women, gender discrimination is the least The only difference initially was of their worries. India is the most dangerous country that we didn’t accept this, and now in the world for women. It is only in India that glaring we have. We live in a nation where and brutal gang rapes occur frequently in a state that men worship ‘goddesses’ but don’t was headed by a woman chief minister for about three respect their wives, mothers and terms. Violence against women has an astonishing and daughters. grim variety to it with acid attacks, domestic violence stemming from dowry issues, harassment and an assortment of other forms accounting for 2,44,270 incidents of crime against women throughout the country. Education is a great determinant in this regard: making women aware of their rights and privileges in modern society. Their participation in different spheres of life would help to narrow the gender gap. There is a need to make India’s urban and rural areas more secure to protect women’s rights to movement, safety and the formation of strategies and campaigns to resist violence.

Smridhi Mehra

It’s high time that women themselves realise that tolerating rapes and violence will lead us nowhere. If we won’t raise our voices against the evils inflicted on women in our society, how will we provide our future daughters with a safe India for them to live in freely? No place in India is safe for There is a long road ahead. “Arise Away And Stop girls and this is one of the reasons Not Until The Goal Is Reached.” Not just the women India is still a developing country, themselves, but the men have to wake up to a world that is moving towards equality, equity, safety, freedom despite being a hub for so many vital resources and the world’s largest and thus happiness. The honesty and sincerity on the democracy. part of those involved is a must. It is better that these are embraced earlier rather than later for our own good.

(Please note: The views expressed by readers in this section are solely theirs and don’t reflect that of the editor or the publication. These are original pieces/words sent by the readers, and are being ‘printed’ as ‘submitted’. We don’t edit these pieces to confirm to our views, writing styles, grammar rules & more.)

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dsyk !

idhar udhar


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It’s raining awards... and who’s vying for the critical accolades among our 200 crore-plus stars? Oops… critics be damned! The Golden Kela Awards were back on March 29 with a bang, and highlighted the worst in Hindi cinema and waged war against the nonsensical, mass-produced stuff churned out by Bollywood. Deepika Padukone swept heaps of awards this year and Golden Kela celebrated her performance too: she won the ‘Dara Singh’ Award for the worst accent in Chennai Express. Ajay Devgn and Sonakshi Sinha won awards for being the worse actors for Himmatwala and R…Rajkumar, respectively. And yes, Shahid Kapoor’s one liner ‘Silent ho ja, nahi to main violent ho jaaonga” got him the ‘Why Are You Still Trying’ Award for R...Rajkumar. In this tongue-in-cheek chat, Anant Singh, Creative Head of the Golden Kela Awards - based on Hollywood’s Razzies (Golden Raspberries) - talks to us about the Kela and the ‘anti-Kela’ awards! And more. Munch your popcorn and enjoy.

idhar udhar

Golden Kela Awards! Are you trying to match the histrionics of Jacqueline Fernandez, Sajid Khan, Rakesh Roshan and Ranveer Singh, to name just a few, hitting mediocre notes and going over-the-top to woo the audience? It’s a movement. It’s a demand for change in the film industry! It’s a call against dynastic rule and moneymindedness! It’s the revenge of the ‘Aam Aadmi’ against the ‘Khaas’ of Bollywood’ who keep hurling unoriginal crap at us as entertainment! Golden Kela is recompense for the money we waste at theatres (don’t even get me started on the popcorn) to watch mediocrity! It’s an attempt to recognise the Worst of Bollywood in the year 2013! This season was the 6th Annual Golden Kela Awards!

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Okay! Tell our Bollywood friends, and me, who you are and ‘why the fish’ you founded the Awards. Has the run-of-the mill gone to our heads (audience and critics) like ‘Black’ did to Aamir Khan? See, I’m quoting Amitabh Bachchan! First and foremost, I’m a huge fan of Bollywood. I grew up on Zee Cinema and Kehne Mein Kya Harz Hai. I’m also a huge fan of Joginder and Kanti Shah. I see films a zillion times and constantly obsess over them. The ‘Golden Kelas’, like most things in Bollywood, were ‘inspired’ by Hollywood’s ‘Razzies’ (Golden Raspberries). But it’s only a loose adaptation with loads of original ‘Special’ Awards (including the long-standing ‘Baawra Ho Gaya Hai Ke’ Award). There’s an emphasis on the special problems of Bollywood: the crappiness of mainstream cinema, the prioritisation of birth and beauty above talent, the insults to audience intelligence and the triumph of commercial success in awards shows. Why was Yo! Yo! Honey Singh not invited to rap on the red carpet? We’re a non-profit (loss only) organisation and don’t have the budget to invite megastars like Yo Yo. Of course, we would have been delighted if he had showed up at his own expense: two of his songs were nominated in the Most Irritating Song category. The Most Irritating Song award went to Yo Yo’s Party All Night song from Akshay

Kumar’s movie Boss! Golden Kela as the ‘rockstar’ of awards? I don’t mean Jordan aka Ranbir but is this an outlet for rebelling against the mainstream: awards for obliging stars who perform at the event? We’re most definitely against mainstream awards and critics as well. All of them seem to be working on a different plane from mortals like us who just can’t understand some of their decisions. Why ‘Golden Kela’ Awards and not ‘Aam’ ya ‘NaReal’ Awards’? Any specific reason for the Kela concept? Okay. I’ll give you a few options: Option 1 - Kela is a phallic symbol and used as a slang word meaning pretty much what Kapil Sharma means by ‘Thullu’. Option 2 – Kela is a very nutritious fruit that helps out in dealing with diarrhoea. Our humble awards strive to help the industry overcome their curious case of mental diarrhoea. Option 3 – It’s based on the legendary piece of dialogue from ‘Gunda’ spoken by Ibu Hatela: “Mera naam hai Ibu Hatela, Maa meri chudail ki beti baap shaitan ka chela, khayega kela?” The name ‘Golden Kela’ is from none, all, or a combination of the above options. Take your pick! In the coming seasons: Would you give ‘Kela’ to stars willing to perform at the Awards. Or invite the ‘Who’s Who’ of ‘Bollywood’? Say, have Ram Gopal Varma the chief guest or are you scared to incur ‘RGV Ki Aag’? No, we’ll give them T-shirts saying ‘I Sold My Soul For a Golden Kela And All I Got Was This Lousy T-shirt.’ Is Ram Gopal Varma invited anywhere anymore? He isn’t

even invited to the premieres of his own films, so why should we ask him along? Okay. Let’s be serious now or at least try. What do you make of the black lady at the recent famous awards function telling a big star “Tera haar baar maska lagana nahin chalega… setting kar ke khud ko jeetwana hahin chalega.” Are the awards rigged or are you scared that stars can woo the ‘Kela’ awards so they dance to their own tune? We don’t really give a damn about the mainstream awards any more. We only watch the clips on YouTube when something like the Sajid-Ashutosh fight happens. So we don’t really care if they’re rigged, bought completely or fairly judged on a number of technical and aesthetic considerations by a jury consisting of peers, critics and audience members. As for the Kelas being fixed, “Koi Chance Nahi”, as Pran said to Kamal Kapoor in the real ‘Don’. Dhoom:3 raked in 500 crore and movies like Krissh 3, Himmatwala and R...Rajkumar tortured audiences to death. It was very courageous and daring on your part to honour them with the Kelas. The fact that some of these megaliths of mediocrity earned so much money tells us that Indian audiences are the biggest offenders. But glimmers of hope like Himmatwala and Jai Ho remind us that audiences aren’t as stupid as some might think. These honours go out mainly to audiences that don’t demand enough from films. And to get that message out, it’s necessary to dredge out all the Bollywood crap from the gutters of pop culture. We’re performing a public service! Now let’s give some awards that you may have missed on March 29: Who would’ve been contenders for?



Golden Kela is recompense for the money we waste at theatres (don’t even get me started on the popcorn) to watch mediocrity! It’s a movement. It’s a demand for change in the film industry! It’s a call against dynastic rule and money-mindedness!

Gandi Baat song ‘Stuff of Nightmares’ Award Priyanka Chopra singing with Pitbull ‘Akhir Kyon’ Award for Exotica Why no special award for Abhishek Bachchan sleepwalking, Uday Chopra showing his biceps and Katrina Kaif performing daredevil acts in Dhoom:3? Extras don’t get any awards anywhere in the world! Gabbar Singh Award for Atrocities wreaked on Audiences (film)? So many of them… all our worst film and director nominees. Take a Break award (male and female): Everyone related to Anil Kapoor, except Anil Kapoor. Take long breaks… very long breaks. ‘Hindi Bhasha ki taabahi’ Award (female): Kangana Ranaut. Her diction is just awful, no matter what language you make her speak. Dancing Disaster a.k.a. ‘Tamanche pe’ Disco Award: Kalki Koechlin in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. Some more awards:

idhar udhar

Uday Chopra ‘Aap Yahaan Aaye Kisliye Award’ Tanisha ‘Please Filmo Mein Wapas Mat Aana’ Award Nargis Fakhri ‘Learn Hindi First’ Award Sonakshi Sinha in Bullet Raja or

‘Bas Kijiye bahut hogaya’ Award to Shah Rukh Khan for hosting the Filmfare Awards or Yo! Yo! Honey Singh’s guest appearance in Chennai Express? Bas Kijiye Bahut Ho Gaya is kind of our Lifetime Achievement Award and too important to waste on the likes of Yo Yo Honey Singh. SRK could be a contender soon. Definitely not for something as frivolous as an Award Show where he (SRK) gets one trophy every year. It doesn’t matter even if they have to make up an imaginary new category every year, specially, for him. Why did you not bestow an award on our Desi Nautanki Arvind Kejriwal? We don’t believe politics is as important as Bollywood. So it doesn’t matter to us whether you voted for Modi, Rahul or Kejriwal. Voting for the Golden Kelas is the decision that really counts! Anti-Kela Award!! What do they got…Zombie (Go Goa Gone), Dabba full of Mithai (Lunch Box) or fake pistols (GOW) as a starter

(Left & below) Snapshots from the 6th Annual Golden Kela Awards: Anant Singh (L) in both images

kinda incentive? We gave them a beautiful statuette, a ‘Black Kela’, which they can now proudly display in their office to impress visitors. We also gave them the right to use the title ‘Savior Of Bollywood, Konqueror of Kelas’ in all formal correspondence, up until the time our Kommittee revokes this title when they are lucky enough to be nominated for an actual Kela. Our Anti Kela Award landed in the hands of four outstanding films, Saheb Biwi aur Gangster Returns-only real sequel made last year; Go Goa Gonefor being India’s first ever Zombie Comedy and Stoner film in one cool package; The Lunchbox for showing the world that Indian films are not all about song and dance and Shahidbest biopic made by Bollywood in a long time.

Vishal Bheeroo worked as a journalist for three years in an English newspaper based out of Mauritius. He holds a bachelor degree in Economics. He loves to write & blog about all things related to India. He loves Indian cinema and dreams of making a short film, someday. He is currently working on a rom-com novel and a script for a short film. He is a huge Amitabh Bachchan fan. He loves poetry, travelling and reading. He is currently based out of Mauritius but has plans of returning home, someday soon.

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Four passionate, fearless, vociferous women decided to let their passion take over their lives 3.5 years ago. In a gali of Trilokpuri, when old friends performed for the love of theatre, the idea of Aatish was born. Aatish, meaning sparks of fire, is an independent theatre group, sustaining themselves and alive in the parks, streets and lanes of Delhi. The Delhi that opens with slums and ends with amphitheatres located amidst high rise buildings hears their daphli announcing to the world their presence. Their voices carry above the din of everyday life that eclipses uncomfortable truths, and shatter the silence. Aatish represents concerns often forgotten by the ‘mainstream’, and finds their own perspective on other, more talked about issues. For instance their play Maa Kehti Hai travels through various facets of motherhood and insists that the choice of becoming a mother needs to rest with the woman, while Kya Yahi Hai Rajdroha tries to familiarize the audience with the draconian anti-sedition law. Himmat shows the role of the family in perpetuating various forms of violence against women and Chhotu lends its voice against child labour. Each play is crafted after extensive study and brings forth a certain point of view.

(Above) The hearts & souls who make Aatish (Right) The feiry logo of the group, Aatish


The team has been travelling outside Delhi on various assignments, the latest one being Bas Hum Hain performed at the Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan Mela on 1 May (International Labour Day). Since their inception, Aatish has created more than 15 plays and performed at multiple places-from the villages of Uttarakhand and Haryana to the police stations of Delhi. With the will to change what outrages them, Aatish burns. But what is it that keeps them going? It is the desire to create the tomorrow they wish the coming generations to live in, making possible the present they themselves wish to live in. It is their pledge that they will question injustice and inequality every day, not only on stage but in life. Gender equality is a subject close to the team’s heart, and at present they are looking for different ways to showcase their belief, even build a campaign through their plays. Aatish. Fire. Undying voices for a tomorrow that they will create. One play at a time.

To know more about them: facebook.com/ pages/Aatish/148353111890272 Or write to them: emailaatish@gmail.com



theatre for change

trumpet tastes

a ‘curry’ful


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Arches like those in a haveli in Jodhpur, the white pillars and the mosaic tiles on the floor, jharokas on the walls, a huge tree right at the center: as if I had travelled back in time and was walking into someone’s courtyard. Sacks of masalas hugging the tree, the jallis on the window for awning, paintings from an era gone by, a wall full of antique doors that took my breath away, one which even Mona Lisa couldn’t resist and she decided to don a saree and stand by and watch over. A lovely mix of an ornate chandelier, lanterns and bird cages hanging from the ceiling, a fountain with running water and turquoise and white wrought iron chairs complete the scene. The design lover in me had fallen in love with the gorgeous interiors of the House of Curry and the camera ran into an overdrive. We are a large group craving Indian cuisine this afternoon. House of Curry has a beach view to die for but this hot afternoon we can’t afford to be outdoors. We promise ourselves another dinner date if this lunch meets our expectations.

trumpet tastes

The restaurant has the usual and very popular Indian fare; Butter Chicken, Chicken Tikka Masala, Paneer Tikka, Daal Makhani, Samosas and more but we decide to keep away from it. Most restaurants have mastered them all for they are expecting the Indians to ask for it since the process of cooking most of the above mentioned is laborious and we like to save these dishes for special occasions and most Non-Indians on the other hand sadly only know this as Indian cuisine; Butter Chicken and Dosa. Indian cuisine is much more

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than that. We want to carry out our litmus test with the slightly less popular dishes on the menu. We order a mango lassi and jal jeera to build up our appetite and some chilli pakoras (large green chillies stuffed with cheese and coated in gramflour and spices, and deep fried). The sea food lovers in the group order prawn koliwada (succulent prawns coated in a red spicy batter and fried till crisp) and the meat lovers a portion of lamb chops grilled over charcoal. They also have a starter plate should you feel like having a taste of all of their signature appetisers in one visit. The mango lassi was fresh and with just the right amount of sweetness. The appetisers vanished within minutes. Even the youngest (five-year-old) one of us couldn’t resist the prawns and the juicy lamb. The chef tells us about the locally sourced fresh fish counter inside. He says it is a must try. We walk towards the fish display and my eyes fall upon an Atlas bicycle one that I am seeing after my childhood for the first time and a vintage weighing scale that I want to steal for my home. Next, we chose the red snapper and ask them to grill one half in a light marination of their choice and succumb to the very famous tandoori preparation for the other half. Minutes later they appear in blue ceramic plates shaped like a fish. Guess what, I want to steal the plates too. The fish is flaky, cooked just right and served with sambal a south Indian gravy for the first half and a chatpata masala gravy to dress the tandoori half. We are in fish heaven. We chose our mains next. A long order for far too many hungry adults and a child. A tangy crab masala coastal curry that came complete with the very surgeon like plastic gloves and the heavy duty crab cracker, chicken in a mildly spiced green coastal curry and the tangy goan lamb vindaloo curry. We also tried an interesting bhurji of mushroom and cheese a combination we had never tried before and koftas that we all love but one that is difficult to get right as the deep fried vegetables need to maintain their shape and texture after being boiled in a rich gravy. To wipe all of those rich and luscious gravies from our plates we also ordered a mix of breads (tandoori roti, garlic naans & rotis) and a chicken biryani that was cooked to perfection. Each morsel of that rice shone with the lightly spiced chicken lifting the plain rice to the status of a biryani.

The verdict was positive by everyone for no one talked throughout the meal and didn’t even look up from their plates. Each one of us slowly moving down literally into the comforts of our chair, eyes shutting both in pleasure and deep sleep that comes after a meal as elaborate and delectable as this.

Coffee had to be have for we had to drive back home. Filter coffee and no less. Masala chai for the chai lovers. The chef and his extremely competent and polite staff tempted us with desserts to go along. Just a single portion of all of the desserts we have on the menu to finish the meal, they said. We surrendered. Single portions of gulab jamun floating in a fragrant sugary syrup, a rich gajar halwa, a creamy malai kulfi accompanied by three very novel handchurned icecreams arrived; coconut, rose and chilli. The Indian desserts were exquisite but the ice creams didn’t quite work for us. They were icy. Not creamy: the only thing that didn’t meet our expectations.

House of Curry (Dubai, UAE): THE BOULEVARD DOWNTOWN & THE BEACH MALL. To know more: houseofcurry.me



Will we go back? Yes. Every now and then? May be not. House of Curry is not for everyday dining or for hurried meals. It is for special occasions (a lavish meal) or lazy days (absorb the ambience) or for times when you want to flaunt the Indian cuisine (introduce guests to Indian delicacies).



With plenty of room for four children or grown ups, the Machu Picchu from Bang Bang tents has a solar panel and storage bank for charging mobile phones, cameras, speakers and LED lights. Designed by former MTV presenter Rob Bertucci this ‘glamping’ design stands out at any festival: it’s always the last one with lights and music. Available at cuckooland.com

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These adorable soothing pastel comforters feature bunny, cat and lion designs. What’s your favourite hue for your baby? Available at mandco.com

Leigh Tucker’s Willow Collection presents fresh interpretations of its signature nostalgic items - like this delightful heart cardigan and strawberry print dress - and they’ve never looked cuter or better. Available at dunnesstores.com

Little Bird clothing from Jools Oliver reflects the unique approach to motherhood she enjoys with her wonderful family. The selection ranges from gorgeous newborn baby sets to stylish clothing for older children that’s easily mixed and matched. Available at mothercare.ae




fashion fry


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Designs: Judith Hobby, S/S 2014

Designs: (L-R) Lalit Sengar & Anita Dongre, Jaipur Bride collection

It was some time ago that I first fell in love with the dhoti silhouette. Slightly oversized and breezy, this street-style trend spells ease and effortless chic. And in the last few Indian fashion week seasons I was happy to see that the spotlight was back on the humble garment. The Indian drape stepped up to a completely new level of fusion: think voluminous pant silhouettes in breezy fabrics teamed with Italian cut tuxedos and elaborate dhoti dresses with rich stiffened pleats.

fashion fry

Once reserved for traditional functions and temple visits, the dhoti is now trending at cocktail evenings and runway soirées. On the ramp we’ve recently seen some stunning, sensual versions – from minimal jumpsuits to light, breezy saris and elegant gowns created by designers like Tarun Tahilani, Wendell Rodricks, Lalit Sengar, Krishna Mehta, Anamika Khanna, and Payal Pratap Singh. The modern trouser’s often being donned for social events and casual nights out by fashionforward actors Priyanka Chopra, Sonakshi Sinha, Sonam Kapoor, Prateik Babbar and Purab Kohli.

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At London Fashion Week Summer/ Resort wear 2014 , Tarun Tahilani’s dhoti saris were a huge hit. His amalgamation of the classic sari and the ubiquitous dhoti makes it ideal for women who seek comfort while retaining a sense of panache. If you’ve ever seen a Maharashtrian woman in a fish or vegetable market, you’ll notice a close resemblance between the dhoti sari and the ‘Navvaari’: 8 to 9 metres long and draped like a dhoti but said to allow greater freedom of movement. Designer Lalit Sengar wowed us with his men’s collection of deconstructed floral print jackets paired with dhoti pants.

Designs: (L-R) Tarun Tahiliani’s LFW 2014 & Anita Dongre, Jaipur Bride collection

“I think that dhoti pants (or my take on the classic design) are perfect for summer, plus I love the dropped crotch look with a big belt and a funky t-shirt. The look is quirky, stylish and super comfortable. I make a number of variations of these types of pants in jersey and cotton and I’ll soon be making a pair in butter crepe that’ll have more of an evening style. I completely love the look in all its forms,” says designer Judith Hobby whose latest collection boasts dhoti pants. Even designer Ujjawal Dubey’s collection ‘No Longer the Hunted’ had some elegant dhotis in a sombre palette. The form has also influenced several other contemporary silhouettes such as Afghani pants, patialas, harems and jodhpurs. Although they look more or less the same, it’s the construction of the garment and the placing of the pleats that differentiates them. Kolkata based designer Debarun Mukherjee says the dhoti is forever in fashion in his city. “It should be made of fabrics that have a good flow and must be tailored to fall well. Team it up with the right kurta, which ends about four inches above the knee and you’ve got a noteworthy look,” he adds. The dhoti pant gives women a chance to experiment with their look adding a unique ethnic edge to any ensemble. Pair up ankle-length dhoti pants with an oversized blouse, basic tee, tunic or tank top and add glamour with a statement neckpiece, jhumkas or belt. Finish the look with chunky bangles, satchel and mojris or gladiators: casual but très chic. New Delhi-based photographer Anshika Verma loves her Afghani pants with printed textiles. She often pairs them up with regular tees, kurtas, spaghetti tops, tube tops and even leotards. “They are



DHOTI, THE BOLLYWOOD WAY On screen, Ranveer Singh looked smokin’ hot wearing a dhoti and showing off his sixpack in Ram Leela. Even chocolate boy Imran Khan looked über cool running in a dhoti in romcom Gori Tere Pyaar Mein. Bollywood’s dhoti-clad finest include Aamir Khan in Lagaan and Mangal Pandey, John Abraham in Water, Hrithik Roshan in Krrish and Shah Rukh Khan in Asoka, Devdaas, Swades, Ra.One and, more recently, Chennai Express.

super comfortable and look fantastic. I like Indian prints like ikkat and have a couple of aztec print pants that I simply adore. I prefer buying fabrics and getting them made. With my penchant for experimenting with style, I once wore an Afghani pant as a jumpsuit and got a lot of compliments for it too,” she smiles. For an evening out, designer Anaikka’s red metal jewel dhoti pants, Anamika Khanna’s cocktail dhoti (seen on actress Sonam Kapoor) or Anita Dongre’s hot pink bandhani dhoti gown with bandi jacket would all make for refined choices. Designer Lalit Sengar believes that, as an Indian, working with the silhouette is instinctive because it complements all kinds of body types. Masaba Gupta’s tulip-shaped dhoti pants for instance: they’re spot-on for pear shapes as they grip the frame well and don’t add excess volume to the lower body.

fashion fry

Even men should sometimes ditch the ubiquitous shirt and pants and give the dhoti a try. Designer Shantanu Nikhil’s bandhgala with dhoti pants is now a wedding ensemble staple. “The dhoti looks very graceful and works great with knee length tops like kurtas and long shirts,” says Sengar. For a more urbane look, pair it with a deconstructed jacket, a shirt and a blazer. Thinking about it, an anarkali jacket worn over nude dhoti pants or zesty orange dhoti pants teamed with a short embroidered blouse might be just what you need for your next luxe beach holiday.

Designs: (L-R) Anita Dongre, Jaipur Bride collection & Lalit Sengar

Nasrin Modak-Siddiqi is a writer, foodie, traveller and movie-buff. She has many stories to tell, some real, others figments of her imagination. Currently on sabbatical from full-time writing, she’s motivated to get out of bed by the promise of a good trip, meal, book, movie or all four. Her latest pastimes are fiction writing, clicking photographs and editing old ones to make them more dramatic. Find her at continuumera.blogspot.com.

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Soulful, powerful and deep: that’s Khan Sahib for you. Ask Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s fans to describe his legendary voice in three words and this would be their selection. A global figure, Khan Sahib, as he is often referred, is once again spreading love and rhythm in the world and this time around with his latest album (after a hiatus of seven years) aptly titled Back 2 Love. As he hums his favourite song of the album, Rab Jaane, for his fans we steal a moment to engage him in a conversation on love, music, Bollywood and more. He started training at the tender age of three under the legendary (Late) Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali and gave his first stage performance at nine. He is the grandson of (Late) Fateh Ali Khan and son of (Late) Ustad Farrukh Fateh Ali Khan, and says that it’s these three mentors who have defined his life. He describes his uncle’s music as magic verses, which has the power to create a beautiful world. How challenging is it to live up to the legacy of the icons? “It is quite challenging but then I am here today only because of them. I constantly strive to create good music and live up to the expectations that the audience has from Rahat: as a nephew, son and grandson of the legends.” Ghazals and qawwalis have dominated the scene since times immemorial but are now considered as two genres that are slowly fading away, we voice our concern to him and pat comes his reply, “Both these genres of music are inimitable in their own inherent ways, which is why they’ll always have




ahat Fateh Ali Khan

an exceptional audience, who’ll be loyal to the form and unwilling to compare or replace it with any other genre of music.” Interestingly, Khan Sahib had once shared that he had at one point devoted more than an hour to record a qawwali! But does the youth of today that is happily swinging to shor-sharaba (noisy beats) keen to listen to soulful qawwalis or ghazals? “We could add a blend of percussion (drumming & beating) to the music to attract the youth,” he smiles.

over a cup of chai

Well, not just generations but music is known to cross boundaries too. And Khan Sahib is one man who’s living up the very philosophy. “We’re all one and the differences between us are a mere matter of the mind,” says the maestro from Pakistan, who perhaps has as many fans in India as in Pakistan. Ask him to compare the Punjab of Pakistan to that of Punjab in India and he says, “Hum sab ek dharti hain hum mein koyi farak nahin…Punjabi toh Punjabi rahega, chahe voh kaheen ka bhi ho (We belong to one land and there’s no difference between us. Also, a Punjabi is a Punjabi no matter where he is or where he comes from!).” Interestingly, he loves both Lollywood and Bollywood. “Lollywood has come of age and has recently made its mark in meaningful cinema. Plus, we have some great actors,” he says. He recently enthralled the global Indian audience at the IIFA Awards in Florida with his Sufi-inspired numbers and even confessed his love for Indian cinema. “Bollywood is a talent house, creating some amazing films and songs. I feel the industry is full of raw talent that needs to be nurtured, at the same time the current crop of singers, Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghoshal to name a few, are extremely hard working and dedicated.” He is known to be a fan of legends like Mohammed Rafi, Lata

Mangeshkar, Mukesh and Kishore Kumar. We ask him to name one Bollywood film for which he would have loved to create music for and he says, “Honestly, any of the films that were made by Yash Chopra Sahib. His movies touched the heart.” Khan Sahib’s work is not limited to India and Pakistan he has also teamed up with the likes of Beastie Boys in New York concerts, has made vocal contribution for movies such as Apocalypto and Dead Men Walking, as well as Slam Dance Film Festival, etc. As our conversation draws to an end we ask him is he has a message for his Indian fans, “I love you all. And, I hope and pray that I can always win your hearts through my songs. Also, I am planning a tour to India and looking forward to meeting all my Indian fans. Till then, keep smiling.”

FALL IN LOVE... Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan partnered with MixRadio, a global music streaming service, to launch his album Back 2 Love in Dubai last month (June 2014). “It is great to experience what Mix Radio is all about. I want my album ‘Back 2 Love’ to reach out to the global audience and what better platform could I have asked for than MixRadio,” he said. The video ‘Zaroori Tha’ that features real life love birds, Gauhar Khan and Kushal Tandon is already creating ripples! Interestingly, it too was shot in Dubai. Two other worth mentioning numbers in the album are: Habibi that features Salim & Suleiman Merchant & Raag Champa Kali that aspires to be a classical treat for the youth. The event also marked the launch of MixRadio into the Middle East.

Vishal Bheeroo worked as a journalist for three years in an English newspaper based out of Mauritius. He holds a bachelor degree in Economics. He loves to write & blog about all things related to India. He loves Indian cinema and dreams of making a short film, someday. He is currently working on a rom-com novel and a script for a short film. He is a huge Amitabh Bachchan fan. He loves poetry, travelling and reading. He is currently based out of Mauritius but has plans of returning home, someday soon.

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For a liveable planet greengaians.blogspot.com



For those who brave the rains here’s a waterproof rave poncho to make every day a Happy Monday, no matter what the weatherman foretells. Available at thegiftoasis.com

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Stephen Jones presents his very British sensibilities in a stunning collection of hats and fascinators. Fine craftsmanship and eye-catching detail see the milliner remaining true to his trademark couture roots. Available at debenhams.com

Tower to new style heights in these open toe platform mule shoes with Ăźber-bold block heels. Perfect teamed up with a pair of loose pants. Available at spylovebuy.com

The jumpsuit trend shows no signs of slowing down. If you’ve been avoiding it for the past year or so, this irresistible printed version might offer the perfect moment to cave in. Available at laredoute.com



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​Sanket B. Jack is an engineer by degree, MBA by profession and cartoonist by passion, portraying society’s idiosyncrasies and ignorance through his images. He believes as much in the power of a smile as he does in satire: ‘it takes 43 muscles to frown and 17 to smile but only one to criticise’. Find him at facebook.com/Jackartoons

bharat darshan


The humble vehicle of



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bharat darshan


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Pedal-driven. A tough chain. Rusty spokes. A basic, modest seat. The shrilling sound of the bell fixed on the handle. A basket to hold the tools & lunch.




bharat darshan


A vehicle that carried the grime and smell of every street. A vehicle that carried the weight of the father who rode it to work. A vehicle that led to beautiful friendships formed over mending punctures. A vehicle that our grandfather taught us how to ride. A vehicle that was meant for romantic rides for two. A vehicle that every home in India owned and took pride in.

Ajit Kore hails from the beautiful city of Nerul, Navi Mumbai. He’s currently pursuing his Bachelors in Computer Science. He loves travelling, and his curious heart and mind are behind his passion and hobby, photography. His best-loved clicks are those capturing the essences of different cultures. Enjoy his works here: facebook.com/ClickersViewers.

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trumpet tastes

Cosmopolitan: Fresh tomato sauce, skin soft mozzarella and romano cheese, marinated eggplant, shredded medley of a spring vegetable collection & fresh basil leaves: We were surprised with the unique combination of broccoli, egg plant & cauliflower on a pizza!

The ‘guil

“I’ve been trying to lose weight,” says Tamer Qeblawi and then in the same breath adds, “I simply love my pizzas.” There are two reasons to trust Qeblawi, the founding partner & executive chef, Nonno: one, he has lost 15 kgs recently and two, he is the man behind what Nonno claims is the ‘world’s thinnest pizza’. Read: 0.4 cm thin. Well, he surely must have lost the inches if he’s been indulging in pizzas that have been inspired by models, actors and celebrities. Numbers are crucial here: the 32 cm diameter pizzas carry less than 400 calories. “We’ve retained the nutrients, reduced the carbs,” says Qeblawi as he orders a Cosmopolitan for us, the pizza not the drink. Yes, all the pizzas, salads and drinks on the menu are draped in hues and fancies of the runway. We sip in a Front Cover (summer berry coulee blended with rose water and ice) alongside. “The idea was to create something we too would love to eat!” Of course, the primary thought was to offer a full and lip-smacking meal to the models/actresses say on a regular day or even before a photo shoot so that they could survive a

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lt-free’ pizza AT NONNO, DUBAI

Slim Fit: Blended fresh Vitamin C enriched tomatoes, slow roasted free range chicken, cherry tomato, local red onions, local bell peppers, stylishly drizzled with a light pesto trickle: The extremely fresh and flavourful taste of the pesto proved to be a winner!

Red Carpet: Dark red tomato and bell pepper sauce, soft mozzarella, fresh red tomatoes, red sundried tomatos, red pepper corns, pink diamond prawns, lemon & paprika drizzle, local rocket leaves, and a lush aged balsamico drizzle: The hint of sweet in this preparation lifted the taste tremendously.

NONNO, Bay Avenue Mall, Executive Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. 800 69 66 666. To know more: facebook.com/800mynonno



long day yet not feel or look bloated. But hold on the pizza designed for the life for a fashionista is not just for the fabulous & fashionable, who doesn’t enjoy a guilt-free pizza? It’s for women and men like you & me who love the cheese as much as they love the curves & abs. As we take a giant bite of Slim Fit we tell Qeblawi to share the secret behind the non-chewy crunchy base, “It has no yeast, minimal gluten and has been kneaded to perfection,” he says. We ask if that is why the toppings are sitting happily on the base, he nods. All the pizzas on the menu are made using organic extra virgin oil & locally sourced produce, we learn as a Red Carpet reaches the table. “There’s no sugar, salt, colourants and preservatives,” he adds. Now, that’s what we call an indulgence. While on the issue of all things healthy we are curious to know his take on the latest cauliflower pizza. “It’s brilliant but it’s not really a pizza,” he smiles. True, and perhaps that’s why we need a healthy pizza: another big bite and we are convinced that the term is not a misnomer. Before we leave, we tell the chef that we’d be back to try the Couture, a pizza with toppings of our choice. After all, a fashionista loves the bespoke experience!


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one words AMIT GUPTA

One - the word One - the number Their meanings put together or separate Represents the one inside you The transcendent being – that is you, The nothingness – that is you The lover – that is you The survivor – that is you The believer – that is you The soul – that is you.

One day: Came the time of your birth - a single moment You were born one; you did cry a lot that day You turned a year old; turned wiser each year You learnt to walk; been walking since You felt the embrace of a woman; your first kiss You realised God, His love, His oneness You became one with Love; its meaning, its reality You thought to understand Life, its tricks, its games You learned to fight against all odds, to live, to survive You figured the meaning of existence; been searching since.

You are one, I am one too We are all the chosen ones

last word

We breathe as one, live as one; Struggle, fight, lose, and win as one The One who was born one day Dies one day, being one.

Amit Gupta plays the quintessential corporate guy, but at heart he’s a poet, writing secretly for a decade and longing for places where all horizons meet. At the moment he’s busy penning lyrics for a friend who’s putting them to music, and donning the hat of an auteur, with three plays under his belt. He loves freezing time with his camera and dabbles with the piano too. He dreams of the day when he can take recitals of his work on tour around the globe.

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