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CHENNAI’S LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

January ’11

Volume 2 | Issue 9

Mass appeal

is not important to me -

Andrea Jeremiah Sushil Rajpal on

Indian Film Industry and More The Flipside of

Beauty

Top 10 Restaurants

of 2010


Volume 2 | Issue 9 | January ‘11

Letter Editor-in-Chief’s

LENIN PAUL FOUNDER

VIJETHA RANGABASHYAM EDITOR IN CHIEF

KARTHIK.R CREATIVE AND DESIGN HEAD

NANDITA THOMAS MARKETING HEAD

LEKHAMITHRA SHANMUGAM MANAGER - SALES

JERALD W. ADMIN

ASHOK RAJ C. U, ABHAY KUMAR PHOTOGRAPHY

SAMYUTHA BALASUBRAMANIAM, VIBHA BATHRA, AMRITA SAMANTH, APARNA NAGESH, SARITHA RAO, MEGHNA SHANKARANARAYANAN

What is it about entering a brand new year that gets us all so hyper? Every year, I tell myself that it is just another day and dates and years are completely man made for the sake of convenience. There is nothing supernaturally different from December 31st and January 1st, is there? However, the more logical I try to be about it, the more I end up defying it. The plans start to formulate the minute the calendar page turns to December. I get excited about so much as buying a new Diary. All things kept constant, there is something so magical about a year beginning. It’s probably one of the few times when people are actually eager to bid goodbye to what’s gone by and embrace something new. The day almost makes you feel like you are invincible. The waves of confidence surge from nowhere and you feel like anything is possible. If you’ve had a bad year, you look forward to a better year. If you’ve had an amazing year, you hope that the jubilation would continue. Taxi has journeyed through a fantastic year and we expect 2011 and the coming years to be better. As far as this issue goes, in the spirit of celebration, we’ve churned up a few fascinating articles that would make an interesting read and we’ve also reminisced through the year that went by. On that note, I wish all of you on behalf of my team a great year ahead! If you require a personal arsenal to start off this year with, this issue is it!

COLUMNISTS

SRIKALS GRAPHICS PVT LIMITED, CHENNAI PHONE: 044 2225 3092-94

Vijetha Rangabashyam Editor in Chief

PRINTING

EMAIL: marketing@thetaximag.com URL: www.thetaximag.com PHONE: 044 4308 4448 FOR ADVERTISING

IRON QUILL PUBLISHING SERVICES PRODUCTION 4 TAXI January 2011

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR CAN BE SENT TO vijetha@thetaximag.com The best feedback/opinion will be featured in our forthcoming issue.

www.thetaximag.com


Creating Masterpieces

since 1936


08

14

22

46


Contents 8

The Dreamweaver The Flip Side of Beauty

22

Stones of Divinity

28

Taxi your way up to the Top 10 Restaurants

32

Experience a Holistic Retreat at Kenko

36

Podelicious! Italia, where stars like to dine

40

Top Television Commercials of 2010

42

Junk in the Trunk

Gadgets

50

COVER: Photography: Sunder Ramu Cover: Andrea Jeremiah Hair & Makeup: Samantha, Page 3 Wardrobe & Jewellery: Button Green Venue: Rhapsody, Courtyard by Marriott

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January 2011 TAXI 7


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The Sushil Rajpal describes his life as a journey of colour and light and his closest companions are shades of grey. This multifaceted, National Award-winning filmmaker has converted his passion for the camera into a profession. Aside from being a fantastic cinematographer, he creates monumental ad commercials, documentaries and television shows. His debut film ‘Antardwand’ (inner conflict) is based on a true story that deals with groom kidnapping and marriages at gunpoint. The film has received laurels across the country, bagging several awards and is also being screened at several international film festivals. Sushil Rajpal in conversation with Samyutha Balasubramaniam…

What lead to your passion for the camera? I was born in Gorakhpur, a small town in UP and I was lucky enough to travel extensively. While traveling from one place to another, the beauty of nature always overwhelmed me and I would always want to freeze those moments. That’s when the camera came in handy. Most cinematographers have very fond memories of their first camera – could you tell us about your first camera? I was studying in a boarding school in Ranchi and I often used to get homesick. Having stayed for a year in the hostel, I came back home for a summer vacation and I refused to go back. My father offered me a bribe that I couldn’t deny. He gifted me an SLR camera (Olympus OM 1) and made me promise that I would go back to school. The offer changed my life and I still have the camera with me. From shooting commercials to feature films, your portfolio is quite diverse; but what is your preferred medium? I personally love advertising, as it is a challenging task to make an image stay in the minds of the people for a long time. Having said that, films are not any less important to me. Your debut feature film, Antardwand, has created waves for its bold portrayal of a relatively little-known social issue. What was your inspiration for making this film? One of my friends was kidnapped and forced into marrying a girl when we were in college. He never accepted the marriage and managed to run away but surprisingly, 90% of these marriages exist because of the law and the social acceptance of forced marriages. The whole incident was so bizarre and I couldn’t resist making a film on the issue.

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January 2011 TAXI 9


RAPID FIRE Black and white Vs. Colours? - Black and white Your inspirations and influences - Bicycle Thief, Ardh Satya, Jane Bhi Do Yaron Three things on your bucket list – educate an underprivileged child, learn to fly a helicopter and making a road trip across Europe The movie you wish you had directed - Ganga Jal

What are your views on India’s contribution to the world cinema? Where do we stand on an international level and where exactly are we heading? I don’t think Indian cinema has contributed as far as the technique of filmmaking is concerned. Although, we fairly contribute to the world cinema in terms of our unique narratives and the way we incorporate music in our films. I am a little skeptical about the current Indian film industry evolving, as there are not many people willing to invest in good films. Mostly we are copying tried and tested methods, either in techniques or in formulas. We’ll have to wait for that day when the investors realise that cinema is not just mere entertainment but also a form of art and social responsibility.

films that are not commercial in nature but are great in terms of contributing to the society, I don’t see any change happening. There is quite a bit of money that goes into making films and favouritsm is universal to any industry. Take cricket for example; you have any number of sponsors who are willing to invest in cricket, causing the other sports to degenerate. However, I think we have to stay optimistic. There are people who will come forward to make the change in the future. I did it with Antardwand, didn’t I? Don’t you think documentary films as a genre is still a lot less significant in India? What is the scope for documentary film makers in our country?

What is your take on the film industry becoming extremely commercial where there is a lack of substance in the movies that are being made?

Till the corporate houses realise the importance of documentary films, or till TV channels support them, I don’t see a bright future for the same.

Like I said, till we have investors who are willing to promote

Do you feel that marriage laws are unfairly favourable

10 TAXI January 2011

towards women in India? Perhaps. However, in India, there have been several cases were women have always been condescended. Even today, in a few villages, women are being deprived of basic rights. Hence, the laws lean towards women and some of them take undue advantage of this situation. Our society should get rid of gender bias and I hope the day will come soon. Do you think films like yours will help eradicate burning social evils like groom abduction? I don’t know if they will eradicate the problems in our society but it will definitely make a few minds think and that by itself is a difference according to me. Even if one person chooses to live a different life after watching these films that throw light on social evils, the job is done. I will continue to make films and contribute to the society, till I see the change myself. www.thetaximag.com


Ispahani Centre, 123/124, Nungambakkam High Road, Chennai 600 034. Tel No: 044-2833 0833/34 | E-mail: rituchennai@ritukumar.com www.ritukumar.com


Artsy andREAL by Vijetha Rangabashyam

She’s all woman with a boisterous charm. Performing is imbibed in her blood stream and it’s the only way she chooses to live her life. We’ve heard her voice that is malleable, seen her histrionics in a few plays and she made her debut in the big screen as an affable, demure wife. I asked her when we could have our little chitchat and she said, ‘email me the questions, that way you can’t misquote me’. Guarded yet outspoken, I give you Miss Andrea Jeremiah.

Venue: Rhapsody, Courtyard by Marriott

ON SHOOTING FOR TAXI It’s my first ever hi-fashion photo shoot, so yeah, it was quite an experience! I didn’t think I would ever be capable of doing anything that is fashion-oriented, but thanks to the styling team, and the cool clothes, I think it turned out pretty ok! And of course, shooting with Sunder is what makes it happen and I’m especially glad that it’s not me who has to chase him for a shoot date!

Wardrobe: Nazia Syed Diamond Bracelet: Sitaram Jewels 14 TAXI January 2011

www.thetaximag.com


WHAT WAS IT LIKE GROWING UP IN CHENNAI? I don’t think there is anything particularly special or extravagant about growing up in Chennai. It’s not like I grew up on a circus! And I actually spent the first 8 years of my life in a sleep little town (at least it was so at that time) called Arakkonam. Growing up in Arakkonam was lovely, and I resented the stifling city atmosphere of Chennai when I first moved here. But over the years, Chennai has become home to me. WHY AND WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO BE A PERFORMER? It was right after my 12th board exams. I was supposed to do the TNPCEE because I had studied science to be a psychiatrist. But two years of singing at culturals made me realize that being onstage was what really made me happy. And I knew that if I went ahead with medicine, I would never make the time for music. I would’ve been one of those doctors who could sing really well. But all we get is one life, and while it was a very hard decision to make, I’m so glad I made the right choice.

ON YOUR ENTRY INTO THE WORLD OF CINEMA. HOW DID THE JOURNEY BEGIN? Truly, I can say very little about my entry into the world of cinema. It was an accident in every sense of the word. I had no intentions of becoming a South Indian actor. It was supposed to be a one-off thing before I went abroad to study music. Of course, as someone said, life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. DO YOU FEEL MORE SECURE ABOUT YOUR MUSICAL TALENT? I am extremely secure about the fact that I am a competent singer with a distinctive style. One can never feel too secure about what one does because there is always someone better, and really, the day you start to believe that you’re ‘IT’, is the day you start getting complacent, and complacency is a ticket to failure. Wardrobe & Earrings: Nazia Syed www.thetaximag.com

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I CAN LITERALLY COUNT THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO CAN ACTUALLY BOTH SING AND ACT. ALTHOUGH, IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO BE IN, DO YOU THINK IT HAS ITS OWN DRAWBACKS? PERHAPS YOUR P R O F E S S I O N AS AN ACTRESS OVERSHADOWS THE FACT THAT YOU ARE A MUSICIAN OR THE OTHER WAY AROUND?

Acting helps me shed my inhibitions when I sing, and music makes me a sensitive actor

Yes it is a huge drawback, but mostly because of the stories people choose to float about me. I don’t know whether they do it out of spite or because they’ve decided that they know what’s best for me. If you look at it objectively, juggling both music and acting is quite easy. Neither hinders the growth of the other, rather, acting helps me shed my inhibitions when I sing, and music makes me a sensitive actor. It is most definitely a great place to be in.

Wardrobe: Ritukumar Emerald & Diamond Ring: Sitaram Jewels 16 TAXI January 2011

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WHAT IS MUSIC TO YOU? AND WHY JAZZ AS A GENRE? I came across this beautiful line somewhere which sums up exactly what I want to say- Music is what feelings sound like. And really, that’s exactly what music is to me. To elaborate further is pointless, because there are some things that defy description, and just to experience it is a blessing. While it’s a misconception that I sing only jazz, it’s one of my favorite genres, both to perform as well as to listen to. To me, jazz represents immense freedom, and as a person, the one thing I crave most in the world is absolute freedom. Maybe that’s why I love jazz, because it’s the thing that comes closest to flying. ON YOUR MUSICAL INFLUENCES. WHO DID YOU GROW UP LISTENING TO? I grew up listening to the pop diva’s of the 90’s- Mariah Carey and Celine Dion. Singing their songs out loud in the bathroom has given me my technique. I’m not a trained singer and this was the way I learned to sing. I discovered jazz when I was 19 and I never looked back. The first artist I heard was Ella Fitzgerald, but my vocal idol has got to be Aretha Franklin. She is pure magic. In terms of songwriting, I love Sting and Stevie Wonder but I also adore Simon & Garfunkel and of late I’ve been tripping on Bob Dylan. THERE IS A CERTAIN STEREOTYPE WHEN IT COMES TO SOUTH INDIAN ACTRESSES AS FAR AS THE “MASS” IS CONCERNED. THE GENRES OF MOVIES YOU’VE ACTED IN AND THE ROLES YOU’VE PERFORMED SO FAR, CLEARLY CATERS TO A SELECTIVE AUDIENCE. DO YOU THINK YOU FIT IN THIS CATEGORY OF “MASS” ACTRESSES? HOW IMPORTANT IS MASS APPEAL TO YOU? Clearly, mass appeal is not important to me. As you’ve pointed out yourself, the films I’ve been involved in so far, point www.thetaximag.com

towards the opposite direction. I don’t think I fit the stereotype, and I know that it takes very little for me to try to fit in, but it’s a conscious choice not to. Besides, there are enough people to cater to the ‘mass’ audience as you put it, and since they do it well, I’m not even going to try! YOU ARE EVIDENTLY COMFORTABLE IN SHARING YOUR SCREEN SPACE WITH OTHER ACTRESSES. DOESN’T IT BOTHER YOU THAT IT MIGHT UNDERMINE YOUR ROLE IN THE MOVIE, WHICH MIGHT JEOPARDIZE YOUR CAREER AS AN ACTOR? The only thing that can jeopardize my career as an actor is if I’m actually terrible or work with an incompetent director or consistently choose the wrong scripts. Who or what I share space with cannot affect the scope of my actual performance. As an actor, I’d be happier doing a very powerful 15 minute role than being in every frame and giving a lukewarm performance. Again, it’s just a stereotype of the ‘heroine syndrome’, and has nothing to do with me being an actor. ON WORKING WITH GAUTAM MENON AND SELVARAGHAVAN. HOW DIFFERENT ARE THEY AS FILMMAKERS. They are both extremely good at what they do which is writing and making films, but as individuals as well as in terms of their working styles, they are poles apart. IF YOU HAD TO PLAY AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL ROLE OF SOMEONE, WHO WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO PLAY AND WHY? Hmmm, that’s an interesting question, and one I haven’t thought about at all. And whoever reads this might want to laugh at me because there is no physical similarity whatsoever, but I would love to play Princess Diana. I think she epitomized ‘accessible royalty’. In many ways, her life was similar to that of a tragic movie star, and

I can relate to her ‘humaneness’, her need to be loved, and how she gradually evolved into a strong woman, without ever losing her vulnerability. WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU CAN’T REALLY APPRECIATE THE MUSIC OF THE SONG YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO SING FOR? I’ve been rather lucky that way. Since my voice and style is distinctive, no one ever calls me for a run-of-the-mill song. I’m only ever called to sing when the song requires that kind of sound and mood. And even in the rare instance where I’ve not fully connected with the song, I either do my interpretation of it, or I’m honest with the music director and we arrive at a mutual decision that the song requires another singer. However, that has only happened once and I’ve sung for the music director in question at a later date, with satisfactory results. WHAT DO YOU REALLY THINK OF THE INDIAN FILM MUSIC THESE DAYS? CONSIDERING YOU ARE A MUSICIAN YOURSELF, WHAT EXACTLY GOES ON IN YOUR MIND, WHEN MUSIC IS SOMETIMES RUTHLESSLY RIPPED OFF AND INDIANIZED TO SUIT THE AUDIENCE HERE? I know I sound like a relic of the twentieth century, but I still go out and buy cds instead of downloading music from the Internet. If I feel that strongly about downloading music illegally, you can imagine what I feel about people who plagiarize music. And it’s worse when those people in question are respected music directors. Having said that, to each his own. All music is inspired, but there is a thin line between inspiration and theft. WHAT IS THAT YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE IN TERMS OF FILMS? I want to be the best that I can be, without ever selling myself short or taking any of the tempting short-cuts. January 2011 TAXI 17


THERE ARE ANY NUMBER OF PERKS WHEN IT COMES TO THE ACTING PROFESSION. FAME, GLITZ, MONEY‌THE LIST IS ENDLESS, REALLY. BUT HAVE YOU HAD ANY REGRETS ABOUT GETTING INTO THIS INDUSTRY? If there are so many perks, why would anyone have regrets about getting into this industry? But there are as many pitfalls as perks and one has to be very balanced about the whole thing or it could easily make anyone insane, or at the very least, delusional!

Wardrobe & Bracelet: T.H.E.O.R.Y 18 TAXI January 2011

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The one thing I crave most in the world is absolute freedom

HOW DO YOU HANDLE INFRINGEMENT OF PRIVACY AND GOSSIP? I’m still learning to handle it. I think I’ve been through the worst already and it can only get better from here on! ANYTHING YOU MIGHT WANT TO SAY TO OUR READERS? I hate to sound preachy so I have no ‘messages’. All I can think of is, follow your heart and don’t ever let anyone take your dreams away from you! www.thetaximag.com

Wardrobe & Ring: T.H.E.O.R.Y Diamond Earrings: Sitaram Jewels January 2011 TAXI 19


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Pamper your loved ones with T&G Gift Vouchers this season S# 130, 1st Floor, Express Avenue, Royapettah, Chennai 600 014. Tel : + 91 (44) 2846 4550 / 2846 4551 Email: toniandguy.chennai@gmail.com


The Flip Side of

Beauty Pageant.

The very term invokes images of reed thin girls, attired in the skimpiest of clothes, sashaying down the ramp, spouting wellrehearsed lines on, what else, world peace. Sure, they seem glam, glitzy and exciting but that’s just one side of the coin. Behind the arc lights and the glamour and the mega bucks, lies the lesser known side of beauty pageants: Stress, starvation, exhaustion, heartbreak. Scratch the surface and the murky truth comes tumbling out. As they say, all that glitters is certainly not gold.

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Beauty

by Vibha Bathra CATCH ‘EM YOUNG To begin with, take the age of the contestants. Most of them are in their teens and the rest are in their early twenties. At such a tender age, one can hardly expect them to be worldly-wise. They aren’t old enough to deal with the pressures that come with money and fame. Is it right, then, to expose them to such a cut-throat world? A world where one is only as good as they look; a world where they are judged, not by their thoughts and deeds, but by the colour of their skin and the measurement of their waist. THE LAST WORD And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Take the fact that most beauty pageants claim to represent the world. ‘The hunt for the most beautiful woman on earth’, ‘Are you ready to take on the world?’, ‘Come, represent your planet!’. What credibility do these self-appointed guardians of beauty have, to make such tall claims? Who gave them the right to appoint ambassadors of beauty? NEGATIVE SELF-IMAGE Young, impressionable teens, in a bid to look like their role models, take to crash dieting, ruining their health and developing low selfesteem in the process. Since time immemorial, beauty pageants have subscribed to a certain standard of beauty. They are known to promote an ideal image of the female form. Tall, slim, fair. The concept of beauty may have changed over the years: From 36-24-36 to a worrying size zero. From hour-glass to stick-thin. From curvy to boney. While a mature, intelligent woman may be able to distinguish

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January 2011 TAXI 23


between reel life and real life, between make-believe and real, most teens can’t. Without realizing that it takes an army of photographers, make-up artists, hair stylists, dieticians, trainers to make a beauty contestant look a certain way, they jump in on the bandwagon. And thus starts a long, unhealthy, and ultimately destructive race to look like someone else. Recent studies indicate that eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia are on the rise. And this trend isn’t limited to the west anymore. Indian teens have fallen prey to it as well. Ask any child what they want to be when they grow up and along with the traditional answers like ‘doctor’, ‘engineer’, or a ‘lawyer’, prepare to hear ‘Miss Universe’ as well!

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These days, it is common to find over-ambitious parents who think of pushing their children into participating in these pageants. No doubt, they project their own unfulfilled desires on to their offspring. MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL Yet another drawback of beauty pageants is the growing demand for cosmetic surgery. Many of these contestants are now dissatisfied with the way they look and imagine that they will be much happier only if their nose was a little sharper, jaw was a little more chiseled, and legs were a trifle longer. The beauty myth has sunk in very deep and today, the beauty parlours, slimming

centers, and skin care clinics are on a rise than ever before. THE BEAUTY BUSINESS Some beauty pageants market themselves as ‘beauty with substance’ but can one take them for their word? Where is the room for intelligence when the contestants are judged purely on their looks, height, and weight? How intelligent does a person have to be to excel in the evening wear round or for that matter, the swimwear round? The questionanswer round that comes at the fag end of the contest merely judges the communication skills of the contestant. Even then, most answers and ‘spontaneous’ speeches sound decidedly rehearsed. Where does that leave the concept of ‘beauty with brains’?

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YOURS POLITICALLY Also, most beauty pageants are a hotbed of politics. They have an agenda and titles are awarded accordingly. Over the years, there have been controversies and claims that most of these pageants are rigged and the winner is decided weeks before the pageant kicks off. A case in point is a popular beauty pageant that crowned a contestant who gave a wrong answer in the crucial final round! CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME? Many beauty pageants associate themselves with charitable causes and claim to donate a certain part of the proceeds towards the upliftment of the underprivileged. But the sad truth is that in the blitzkrieg of glamour and beauty, social causes get eclipsed and fail to attract attention. Beauty

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pageants are highly publicized events and command a huge TV viewership that translates into millions of dollars. In such a scenario, making money becomes the primary objective and unfortunately, charity takes a backseat. FREE WILL OR EXPLOITATION? In their defense, organizers of beauty pageants don’t force anyone to join the pageant. Contestants enter them of their own free will. And then there is the pride factor. Didn’t most of us rejoice when Indian beauties brought home prestigious titles in quick succession? Clearly, there are two schools of thought. One that believes beauty pageants are demeaning to women and should be banned, and the other that believes beauty pageants merely provide

a platform to women to showcase their talent. Whichever school one may belong to, there is an important question to be considered: should beauty pageants exist? Especially in their current form? A BALANCED APPROACH Shouldn’t steps be taken to ensure that they are not just about beauty? Shouldn’t more restrictions be placed on the organizers of these pageants, in terms of minimum age and weight requirements? Shouldn’t parents and teachers counsel teens on the pros and cons of aping the winners of these pageants? To conclude, a sense of responsibility among the promoters and enhanced social awareness will certainly go a long way in protecting youngsters from the damaging and long-lasting effects of the beauty business.

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STONES of

Divinity by Amrita Samanth

A

s traditional-styling has stayed firmly over the years, jewellery designers have keenly incorporated the trends of the past decades in their latest collections. Whether they use genuine vintage jewellery to create unique couture pieces or use tradition as an inspiration to fashion modern designs, they clearly exhibit the passion for preserving our heritage.

Incorporating the auspicious ‘Navratna’ in modern jewellery to create unique pieces of jewellery is one such trend. The Navratna, a Sanskrit word that translates to “Nine Gems” is a highly valuable asset from our ancestral times, is given sacred significance in several Asian Countries. Related to the Navagrahas i.e. the nine planets used in Vedic astrology, these auspicious gems are said to provide an astrological balance to the wearer. They are mostly worn as body ornaments, to showcase status and wealth. The Nine precious gems, a term applied to a group of nine extraordinary people in the royal court in India, are namely Diamond, Ruby, Emerald, Coral, Pearl, Sapphire, Garnet, Topaz and Cat’s Eye and they are being revived as a trend setter for the continuity of our ancient cultures. It’s not hard to understand why the gems have become so popular. There is something highly intriguing about them. Due to the strong belief of their potential to ward off danger and diseases and bring people good fortunes, the gems captivate you with their quirky charm. It is believed that, when the nine gems are combined and worn, they give the wearer a distinct power and influence. According to the ancient lore, the nine gems are attributed to have their own positive effects on the wearer based on the planetary positions. Based on the endearing popularity of these nine gems, let us look at what each of these gems brings to the fore.

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RUBY Associated with the sun, thus forming the central star of the solar system, this pink to blood red coloured stone is known to help attain professional success and popularity. Pricing is determined by the colour and the clarity. A ruby that glows in the darkness is considered of superior quality. It is mainly worn to protect the wearer from ill health and sickness and is believed to change colour if the wearer is in bad health.

TOPAZ Topaz exists in a variety of colors, including many shades of yellow and gold, a silvery blue, and pink. The yellow sapphire is especially known to bring prosperity, education, happiness and success. This unique and exquisite gem piece has been in existence for over 2000 years. It helps protect the wearer from enemies and is also known to add an ounce of beauty and splendor. Golden topaz also helps the wearer to attain health, wealth and happiness.

SAPPHIRE Known to be associated with the planet Saturn, it best suits the zodiac signs Aquarius and Capricorn. This ‘blue jewel’ is believed to remove poverty and helps attain wealth.

EMERALD Emerald is the green coloured gem stone of Gemini. It was used by mariners in the ancient times to prevent storms. It is believed to give the wearer success in professional activities and also makes the wearer a very influential speaker. A flawless emerald is also known to give its wearer good health and a strong mind. Emeralds are said to pale if the wearer is faced with deception.

CAT’S EYE The birth stone of the zodiac sign Pisces, this stone protects the wearer from mental worries. Strength, good health and lost wealth are restored by the wearer, when this precious stone is worn. When paired with a diamond, it brings good fortune. The cat’s eye is usually a brownish yellow. There is often a light line which shines through the stone, which resembles a cat’s eyed instinctively, and hence the name.

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DIAMOND The most expensive and exquisite gem available today, this stone gives any piece of jewellery more character and individuality. Diamonds are associated with the planet Venus and zodiac signs Taurus and Libra. A Diamond exuding a white hue is believed to be suitable for religious, social and spiritual affairs. Those exuding a yellow hue bring success and prosperity and those with a pink tinge is for love and happiness.

PEARL Though diamonds are said to be a girl’s best friend, it is the pearls that are currently enjoying resurgence and a new lease of life with the younger generation. Considered safe, feminine and incredibly versatile, natural pearls are organic gems formed in bodies of certain salt water and fresh water Mollusks. The distinctive pearly luster is made up of crystalline layers called Nacre. A symbol of purity and peace, this white gem is associated with the moon and is the birth stone of the zodiac sign Cancer. Pearls were a favourite ornament in the royal courts. Wearing pearls ensure a happy married life. The pearls should be round in shape and have a glow and luster that brings good luck to the wearer.

CORAL Found in coastal areas, under the sea, this gem holds a coveted place among the nine gems. The reddish tinge symbolizes victory. Wearing a coral can beget all the good things of life. It wards off evil spirits and protects the wearer from bloodrelated diseases.

GARNET Like most red and pink stones, garnets have been connected with the heart, passion, and blood. Garnet is favorable for people born in the month of January. People born under the zodiac sign of Capricorn cusp Aquarius should wear garnets. It is mostly seen in reddish-brown in color, but also comes in shades of red, violet, and purple. In ancient Egypt, garnets were used as an antidote for food poisoning. Garnets are known to help build its wearers’ professional life thus improving prosperity and wealth. These gems are offered in various combinations to ensure general well-being. A lot of attention is paid to the stones to ensure they are flawless and translucent. 30 TAXI January 2011

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Taxi your way up to the

TOP 10

Leave the skinny jeans in your wardrobe. Wear a pair of comfortable shorts, kick the weight machine under the bed on your way out. Skip the heels as you are going to be stuffed by the time we are done. We don’t want you to have trouble walking. Now you are ready to taxi to the top 10 restaurants in our city. Italian and Mediterranean fare take the top spots. Two pure vegetarian eat-outs make it to the A list (yes, PETA we are doing our bit). Some are well established restaurant chains others are just sampling their taste of success...

1 TUSCANA What’s up: The panna cottas - amazing texture and flavored just right. The pizzas definitely so! Go classical ham or try the seafood, they do not disappoint. The pizza crust is lighter than air and very authentically Italian. You will be wrong to skip the Tiramisu here. This place attracts a big crowd, so be sure to make reservations online! The staff is friendly and the customer service is impeccable. No.19, 3rd street, Wallace Garden, Nungambakkam, Chennai. Phone: 044 - 4503800

What’s down: The tables are too close for comfort and the pastas are just not as good as their wood fire oven pizzas.

2 KEFI (Taj Mount) What’s up: It is THE perfect romantic destination folks! A roof top restaurant with smiling waiters and a band that plays your requests while transporting you to a dreamy Mediterranean land. The baba ghanoush is soft and smoky. Vegetarians, this is your chance to taste the best pita and hummus, as not many can make it this well. The portions are sizeable but do your best to make way for the ultimate Turkish delight the baklava pastry, which melts in your mouth. What’s down: Rein.

# 2 Club House Road, Mount Road, Anna Salai Chennai. Near Spencer Plaza. Phone: 044 - 66313131

3 AZULIA (GRT) What’s up: Chef Chahine. Period. Let him choose for you, He says ‘It is easier to choose if there are no vegetarians in your group. Veggies don’t shy away yet, the lasagna on the menu is arguably the best you could have ever savored.

120, Sir Thyagaraya Road T Nagar, Chennai – 600 017 Phone: 044 - 28150500

Try the Greek mousakka with its many layers, the flavors are authentic. No garam masala to alter it for the Indian palate. Ask for duck sausages with your starters and finish your meal with the orange ice cream - the true tangy flavor with a dash of ginger was tastefully refreshing. What’s down: Price point.

32 TAXI January 2011

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RESTAURANTS of 2010

by Meghna Shankaranarayanan

4 CRIMSON CHAKRA (Cornucopia) What’s up: Very fishy. Every time I hit this place I try a different dish and change my list of favorites. Hard to choose between King Fish Maletais, a fish dish flavored with mango and turmeric or even better the fish fillet soaked in ginger and soya. The Mississippi mud pie is their signature desert but you should try the lesser known ‘warm & indulgent’. What’s down: It is packed all the time! 13, First Crescent Road, Gandhi Nagar, Adyar, Chennai – 600 020. Phone: 044 - 43504104

5 RAJDHANI What’s up: Thali. It covers everything on the menu! Gujrati/Rajasthani food at its best. Salad, starter, 2 gravies, 5 subjis, buttermilk, endless servings of puri, pulka, moong dal khichdi and kadhi, curd rice, kheer, halwa, and jamun! All this at just Rs.220. What’s down: You are always kept waiting for a table. What can I say? Demand supersedes supply. Express Avenue Mall 49/50 L, Whites Road Royapettah Chennai – 600014. Phone: 044 - 28464422

6 KRYPTOS

Basement, Yafa Towers, New No 18 (Old # 24), Khader Nawaz Khan Road, Chennai. Phone: 044 -45038001

www.thetaximag.com

What’s up: The space is smooth. Interiors are classy with a community table to go. Come on Chennai grab some Greek food and socialize. I sampled the fatayer bi sabaneq (a pie containing spinach, pine nuts and sumac) - it was an excellent baked dish! I hear the chicken breast stuffed with spinach is a hot dish as well. The chocolate fudge with walnuts and almonds had to be re-filled every few minutes at the desert counter. What’s down: This place should have opened a couple of years ago!

January 2011 TAXI 33


7 DEWBERRIES What’s up: The outdoorsy resto-cafe ambience is sweet and so are their crepes!! I tried the one with apple and cinnamon filling. The flavored yoghurt served with it was a nice touch. The ‘Chilly Twist’ has to be on your list - It could get a tad too spicy but is well worth at least one try. What’s down: The menu is too extensive and a few dishes don’t deliver. # 6/29, Rajasekaran Street, Dr.Radhakrishnan Salai, Mylapore. Phone: 044 - 28473439

8 KAILASH PARBHATH What’s up: Street food now with a table etiquette. Apart from their usual chatpata chaat, there are a whole horde of dishes ranging from batooras to sizzlers. The true veg Indian flavored sizzler is a treat with hakka noodles, paneer, manchurian and fries. What’s down: They do not take reservations for weekends, and sometimes the food is too spicy! Atop French Loaf, #9, Harrington, Chetpet HO, Chennai. Phone: 044 - 43510601

9 KIRKY’S What’s up: Good music. How often do you hear that in a food review? It’s a pretty place with a boutique tucked in. Order the sizzlers, pizzas and the salads. Chocolate lovers, please ask for the molten cake. It was so good that I had two! What’s down: Their list of beverages can do with a little more thought and care. No.19, 4th Main Road, Nehru Nagar, Adyar, Chennai. Phone: 044 - 42115135

10 THE PASTA BAR, VENETO What’s up: They have a whole list of mocktails and flavored mojitos! I guess if you are not allowed to serve liquor, you can at least pretend to do so. The pizzas, the pastas and the lasagnas are good. The berry and wine mousse was splendid. Mango cheesecake is also a mouth watering draw. Alsa Mall, Montieth Road, Egmore, Chennai. Phone: 044 - 42145534 34 TAXI January 2011

What’s down: Crowded with students and therefore noisy

www.thetaximag.com


The possibilities are endless...

r

So is ou

food Pizzas Sea Food Burgers Steaks Tapas Desserts

7, Kadar Nawaz Khan Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai 600 006.

28330808, 64500500

& D n u s w k a D food at devil’s y l n ho ave ur e H

For free home delivery or take away

Call: 044 - 28330808, 97866 55877 / 55845 No.7/11. Khader Nawaz Khan Road, Ch-06.


T

he good spa spies that we are, we fluttered off in a flock to Kenko, the all new international day spa that redefines the spa concept ingeniously. Kenko welcomes you with a wonderful celestial ambience with purple hues soothing your eyes and scintillating music calming your ears. The coordinates to Kenko is not rocket science, considering it is located in Chennai’s brand new mall, Express Avenue. The whiff of aroma oils brewed with lavender fragrance wallops you, as you enter and you are ushered to the couch, while someone brings you a pair of cushiony footwear, custom made by Kenko. WHEN THE FISH TICKLES YOUR FEET Kenko is probably the only spa in the city that offers fish pedicures, aka fish spa. At first, it gives you the jitters to see a cluster of fish tending toward your feet as you are just ready to soak your feet in a pool of fish filled water. Once you are past the iffy moments, (the first five minutes may be), the sensation is quite synonymous to acupressure needles. The fish bite into your feet, removing the dead cells, keeping them spotless and supple. The fish pedicure comes in various time durations and a regular dose of this treatment would even change the complexion of your feet.

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Editor’s Picks 99 30 Minute Head

Acupressure 99 60 Minute Harmony

Body Massage SPINETASTIC!

99 30 Minute Foot

Our backs deserve a break from hours on end driving and sedentary lifestyle, and there is no better place to get your back relaxed than Kenko! You are taken to a quintessential lounge, where you are made to lie down on your stomach, on a custom made massage chair. The lighting is just perfect and the whole atmosphere takes you to a magic land altogether! The masseur starts to massage from the nape of the neck, all the way down to the tip of your spine. The pressure is just about right to calm the tense spine muscles. The massage lasted for almost twenty minutes, and one can sense an immediate relief. While we opted for the 20 minute package, you can go in for a longer treat!

The Must List

TREAT THE FEET AGAIN!

99 Fish Spa

Our fish tickled feet experienced yet another healing touch. We’ve heard about foot reflexology before and some of us have even experienced it. Some of them end up poking your feet, leaving them achy and uncomfortable. As expected, Kenko is vastly different from those. While you are led to lie down on a comfortable bed, the masseur gently kneads your feet and calf muscles. It is evident that the masseur knows the pressure points at the back of his palm. The therapeutic foot massage takes you through a short nap, leaving you invigorated as you wake up!

99 Ear Candling

Reflexology 99 30 Minute Aromatic

Head Massage

99 Shoulder and Back

Massage 99 Harmony Back

Massage

THE FINAL TOUCH What spa-day-out is complete without a head to toe aroma massage? Asmitha, the masseuse lends you a warm welcome and escorts you to the massage room lit with scented candles. She generously pours the aroma oil on your body and frees you from your aches and eternal stress. “Is the pressure alright ma’am?” she asks sporadically. After a one hour massage, your body feels fresh and you are rejuvenated in every sense! Even an hour of a full body aroma massage is a complete injustice considering how blissful it felt. To finish the enduring spa experience, you are served with a dash of herbal tea on your way out. You will experience the idyllic treatments in Kenko without feeling the pinch in your pocket. The treatments are offered at attractive prices, and try the combo packages for an even better deal!

www.thetaximag.com

January 2011 TAXI 37


PODelicious!

Italia - Where stars like to dine by Aparna Nagesh

I

am usually not a fan of fine dining in fancy restaurants. I like my food to be wholesome, simple and full of flavour. Italia is definitely fancy, albeit, the food it offers is tasty, generous and a one hundred percent authentic.

The futuristic ambience quadruples the quality of the entire dining experience, and everything from the cutlery to the furniture is not just pristine but inimitable. This award winning restaurant from The Park Group has been fully functional in Chennai’s hot spot, Khader Nawaz Khan Road for almost a year now. 40 TAXI January 2011

www.thetaximag.com


Perhaps, it is an epicurean’s dream to soak in the flavours of freshly prepared Italian food in one of those unassuming Italian cafes. You will definitely get a dose of that in Italia, at least when it comes to food. Foccacia bread stuffed with provolone, sun dried tomatoes and basil, is the best way to start your meal. Of course, the crisp salads or the exotic cold soups (think chilled melon and mint) are not any less tasty. But we decided to take the pizza route and by we, I mean the charming Sarah Stephanos (Associate Director, PR) and the very down to earth Archana Kurup (Junior Sous chef, The Park). They say a meal is much better with good company and I definitely second them.

and sensations. Although, you should be a fan of pungent flavours to enjoy this pizza.

kinds of cheeses, pine nuts and the smell of freshly ground pepper, this pizza was a work of art.

The Fresco – This pesto dripping pizza was truly sinful. The sauce was blended to perfection, and it complimented the pizza immaculately.

I decided to skip the desert, considering how stuffed I was. But I couldn’t resist the delectable hazelnut and ricotta torte sitting in a small pool of chocolate sauce, topped with a curl of dark chocolate shaving. My plate was empty before I knew it! A fine dining place that offers, simple yet tasty food. Italia is a must visit!

The Quattro Formaggi - The first bite reminded me of a scene in ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ when Julia Roberts eats the famous cheese pizza in Naples. Topped with four different

The Siciliana – marinated artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, grilled zucchini, goat cheese and chilli. With the delicate flavours of the toppings and the cheese complimenting each other perfectly, this one is for the true vegetarian. The Tartufo – oozing with truffle butter and taleggio cheese, this pizza was an explosion of tastes

Photography: Ashok Raj C. U

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January 2011 TAXI 41


‘AD’zapped

TOP TV by Saritha Rao Rayachoti 1. CADBURY DAIRY MILK– SHUBH AARAMBH While we love the ad at the bus stop, we give the ‘Jeans’ one the top slot for its detailing and treatment.

Abhishek Bachchan continues to give us ideas, and we’ve finally discovered Yuvraj Singh’s secret of a revitalising performance. Closer home in Chennai, the Usman Road brigade (read sarees-jewellery), no less frenzied, upped the ad frequencies to a crescendo for Diwali. The maximum ad clutter was contributed by mobile networks and FMCGs, and therein lies the challenge of creating distinctive out-of-the box advertising. Here are the top ads in order of best brand association, distinctiveness and execution.

Uncle encourages his self-conscious traditional wife to have an auspicious piece of ‘meetha’ (read chocolate) before she steps out of the house wearing jeans for the first time. We love the cramped middleclass apartment with pickles on the table. We love the invisible mother-in-law. Most of all, we love how perfectly cast Neena Kulkarni was, as the Aunty with plaited hair, nose-stud, mangalsutra, green bangles and bindi. Her expression – priceless! Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Directed by Vinil Mathew of Footcandles Films 2. COCA COLA - WARLI A young boy waits at a bus stop in the middle of nowhere for a ride back home to Delhi for Diwali. He opens a Coke bottle, and wishes himself ‘Happy Diwali’. An animated firecracker bursts forth. An old Geeta Dutt song gets trendy. Animated tribal figures do a festive dance on the bottle. The figures spill out and draw the boy’s attention to a mini-bus that he assumed had broken down. The driver gets into the bus, switches on kitschy Diwali-esque serial lights and yells, ‘Dilli.’ The bus leaves with the elated boy on it. We totally dig the song and the use of traditional Warli art in contemporary animation. Agency: McCann Erickson Directed by by Dibakar Banerjee of Freshwater Films

42 TAXI January 2011

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3. CADBURY CELEBRATIONS – CHINTU AND THE DOORBELL Mr. Joshi opens his door to find Chintu from Flat No. 15, who, as a pesky kid, used to ring his doorbell and run away. Now, when kids do the same to a grownup Chintu, he realizes how annoying he must have been. He extends a peace offering – a box of chocolates. Mr. Joshi asks suspiciously if he was the kid who once gave him a chocolate box filled with firecrackers. Chintu sheepishly says that this time, it’s ‘meetha’. When he hugs Mr. Joshi and wishes him Happy Diwali, a smile lights up Mr. Joshi’s face. Sumeet Raghavan is very ‘Chintu’ and Vinod Nagpal of ‘Hum Log’ fame is perfect as the harassed Mr. Joshi. Agency: Contract Directed by Vinil Mathew for Footcandles Films 4. LIMCA SUMMER - NEIGHBOUR A breezy song plays as Hrishitaa Bhatt’s cute neighbour sips Limca to magically convert everything she touches to a splash. The pranks escalate until she is completely drenched and he runs out of Limca. Now it’s her turn to walk across to his place, sip Limca and get even by turning his bike into one big splash. There’s mischief, there’s romance and Caralisa Monteiro’s voice playing in your head long after the ad is over. Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Directed by Vinil Mathew for Footcandles Films 5. VODAFONE DELIGHTS Promoting Vodafone’s exclusive discounts and deals for its subscribers are two school girls. One makes the other feel special by doing little things like giving her more chocolates than others, giving her a ride home on her bicycle and reserving a seat for her at a school gathering. The girls are natural performers and along with the song and the lyrics, they bring the commercial alive. This B&W series has a nostalgic quality, perhaps to remind us of that one friend in school (Hint: like Vodafone) who made us feel special. Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Directed by Prakash Varma for Nirvana Films 6. MIRINDA -ASIN AND SPEED SANGAR This one will score high on recall value in Chennai and will warm the cockles of every auto rickshaw passenger’s heart. Speed Sangar, an arrogant auto driver refuses to return change that’s due to Asin. The polite Asin takes a sip of Mirinda and turns into a galatta-girl. She asks Sangar to start the auto and takes him on a wild goose chase all around Chennai, finally returning to the place they set out from. When he asks for a thousand bucks, she says, ‘I got in here, and I got out here –you want to get paid?’ Atta girl, Asin! Agency: JWT Directed by Rajesh Krishnan for Soda Films www.thetaximag.com

January 2011 TAXI 43


7. ASIAN PAINTS – BROTHERS The big brother laments that Chotu, his younger brother, has become quite the design expert, decorating his house stylishly. Chotu denies this, and says that it’s really easy to simply log on to the Asian Paints website to select colours. But Bhaiyya goes on, hurt that his little brother has become independent and his advice is not sought for anything. The insight into Indian families where elders’ advice is sought for every little decision forms a humorous backdrop for conveying the website’s features. Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Directed by Prasoon Pandey for Corcoise Films 8. IDEA - LANGUAGE NO BAR Abhishek Bachchan plays a speech-impaired tea vendor who has an ‘Idea’ to solve the problem of four tea-stall regulars transferred to places where they can’t speak the local language. Faced with a mob of language-proud Maharashtrians at a railway station, the Hariyanvi calls his Marathi friend and learns to how to ask for toilet in Marathi. The Bengali goes to Kerala and manages to get a room on rent on the basis of a thick Malayali accent. The Maharashtrian sings in Bengali to get a seat on a tram in Kolkata. The Malayali learns the right way to say “Ram Ram Tau” in Haryanvi. And we learn how useful Bluetooth can be in a multi-cultural society like ours. Agency: Lowe Lintas Directed by Amit Sharma for Chrome Pictures 9. AIRTEL – 3G If there’s something that young lovers wish would never occur, its separation. And if there’s anything that video call receivers wish would never occur, it’s buffering. To showcase the quality of video calls via Internet on 3G, Airtel uses an endless loop of lovers’ meeting and parting over and over again. Agency: JWT Directed by Philippe Andre for Independent Films Ltd 10. VODAFONE BLACKBERRY BOYS

And for sheer advertising effectiveness, we would like to nominate the Chennai Super Kings’ 2010 Whistle Podu ad to this list! All that whistling worked, eh?

44 TAXI January 2011

Five stuffy-suited postpaid types dance in sync, calling themselves the BlackBerry Boys, when suddenly, some very obvious non-corporate pre-paid types dance into the frame singing about cool additional features in the BlackBerry. The ad ends with the ‘suits’ lost in a crowd of ‘non-suits’. As creatives go, this ad isn’t up there with the greats. But it efficiently redefines BlackBerry as a brand not only for male corporate executives but for everybody. Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Directed by Prakash Varma for Nirvana Films

www.thetaximag.com


Aishwarya unleashes Longines Dolce Vita

Photography: Abhay Kumar

Chennai witnessed the launch of Longines Dolce Vita Collection at the watch abode Helvetica at Express Avenue. Doing the honours was Longines brand ambassador, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan along with Claude Jaunin, Sales Manager, Asia Pacific. Also present was Mr Doshi of Helvetica and a zesty crowd pulled by the beauty of none other than Ms Bachchan.

Yodhaka by Purple Note Purple Note, Satyam Cinema’s new venture to promote non film music, launched Yodhaka. The album was unleashed by filmmaker, Gautam Menon. Yodhakaa is a contemporary Indian music band that has evolved around the idea of finding a bridge between the traditional and contemporary. Yodhaka’s music is a collage of all the inspirations and influences that the team has encountered in their journey as artists.

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Fusion 9 – Chennai Edition Our prayers have come true at last! Nine different cuisines at one single place. A multicuisine restaurant in every single sense. Yes foodies! We now have the opportunity to both wine and dine at Fusion 9, the only restaurant that offers a combination of nine different cuisines from all over the world. These include Indian, Chinese, Thai, Indonesian, Italian, American, Middle-Eastern, Vietnamese and European. The bespoke ambience compliments the dining experience and the food of course is unarguably delectable!

www.thetaximag.com

January 2011 TAXI 47


k

Ju

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nk

Junk in the Trunk

G

ADGETS This season

TRON Evolution (PC)

T his s e as o n

Games adapted from movies are invariably approached with cynicism, and with good reason. With very few exceptions, movie adaptations have historically failed as games. Tron: Evolution faces an uphill task, considering the fact that its predecessor Tron 2.0 is counted among the few successful movie-to-game adaptations. It would bode well to remember that the original was released in 1982, when that kind of eye candy was unprecedented. In the current scheme of things, where CGI has pervaded every single aspect of mass media, Tron needs more than just flashy eye candy for success. A mere adaptation of the movie will not suffice, but to reach out to a larger audience Tron: Evolution needs the game play and design aces up its sleeves to succeed.

TOSHIBA Canvio 500GB As is the case with Toshiba products, simplicity and functionality are given prime importance, and the case is the same with its Canvio series of portable hard drives, of which we have received a 500GB model for review. The drive has a simple yet elegant design and the 2.5-inch hard drive inside has got free-fall sensor for added protection for your data. We tested this drive and got some interesting results. Most portable drive makers do not provide any software disc these days, instead opting to put the software on the drive itself. While this is not such a bad idea, there is a chance of ignorant users accidentally deleting the software from the drive without backing it up. So you can also download the software from the website.

MEELECTRONICS M9 MEELectronics, is a pair of in-ear earphones aimed at the budget conscious consumer. The earphones are decked in black and have a simple yet attractive design. The earphone shells are made out of metal with a flexible cable coming out of their bottom and a bass reflex port at the back. The cable has a snazzy translucent look to it and feels sturdy. Now getting to the important part and that is the audio quality. The first thing you noticeis that the bass is punchy and powerful but without being overwhelmingly so. The treble is pretty decent too although we have heard better. The mid-range is pretty weak and sounds terribly muffled. Overall, the M9 are pretty decent sounding earphones for the money. The best part about them is that they come with a very comprehensive bundle.

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MOVIE BURLESQUE The indescribable voice of Christina Aguilera is a fact but her acting skills come certainly as a surprise. “Burlesque” is simply a fantastic romantic musical that should feed the hunger of those who love music, dance and a pinch of romance. The songs are wonderfully sung and performed by the one and only blond girl with an amazing range that defies any Diva, living or dead. Even Cher gets a chance to show that she too will always walk the earth of the famous and talented, both singing and acting, in spite of her advanced age that never seems to give her away. “Burlesque” is great from the beginning until the end, even though it’s very predictable in its development, but the two leading ladies have strength of character, enough to roll the dice and never let the game come to a stop, providing an hour and a half of pure entertainment.

BOOK THE IMPERFECTIONISTS by TOM RACHMAN Why did a wealthy businessman leave his family to establish a middling international paper in Rome? That question is only answered conclusively in the final pages of The Imperfectionists, an astonishing and heartbreaking look at the flaws, hidden emotions and unseen selves of everyday people. Each chapter reveals the true heart of someone associated with the newspaper, until, by the end of the story, we know more about each of them than the coworkers they see every day could ever guess. The threads of loneliness, grief, isolation and insecurity running through these lives make the occasional glimpses of joy, connection and fulfillment all the more precious.

Courtesy: Full Circle at Chamiers

Ultimately, this book is a reminder to heed Plato’s advice and “be kind, for everyone we meet is fighting a hard battle.” Rachman shows incredible kindness toward his characters; we feel for them and wish them happiness, as much as they can manage.

MUSIC KE$HA – CANNIBAL Taking a cue from Lady Gaga’s The Fame Monster, Kesha’s Cannibal is a mini-LP released on its own and also tacked onto her debut Animal, which has been squeezed dry of hits. Cannibal is expressly designed to rectify that situation, amplifying every annoying element of Kesha’s persona. Despite a tacked-on, unnecessary remix of “Animal,” there is no slowing of momentum on Cannibal. She taunts that she’ll “C U Next Tuesday,” teases that this place is about to “Blow,” raves that “the beat so fat gonna make me come” on the apropos “Sleazy,” then far eclipses Katy Perry’s malicious “Ur so Gay” on the nasty “Grow a Pear.” What makes the album stick is Kesha, a pop star lacking pop star looks and a pop star voice. She’s all ravenous, spitting at strangers and backstabbing friends, humiliating hotties, and laughing at the wreckage in her wake. She is who she is and she offers no apologies.

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January 2011 TAXI 51


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DOWN 1. Rector (6) 2. Kind of puzzle (5) 3. Deluge (7) 4. Grabbed (6) 5. Regions (5) 6. Edges (7)

Sudoku Sudoku Fill in the missing spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 block have all the numbers from 1 to 9. Difficulty level: Mild

7. Fervent (6) 13. Vegetable (7) 15. Remnant (7) 16. Abrasion (6)

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TAXI, the magazine