Ritz septemper 2013
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SOUTH INDIA'S PREMIER UBER LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
VOL 10 ISSUE 2
THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDSA roundup of the Delhi Couture Week and LFW
SPELL OUT S.P.U.N.KSriya Reddy shows us every bit of the candour and energy we love her for!
ON OUR RADARShooting acionados and passionate gun collectors
fashion trends, the coolest products and a generous slice of the uber
FROM THE EDITORS DESK
I look around and see a lot of beautiful women looking like clones of each other at events, sticking to the usual routine of wearing a pretty dress, aunting a poker-straight blowout, girly makeup and carrying a box clutch. Just how boring is this look? If you ask me, very! Time for some experimentation, much? Take international designers for example. While weve fallen hook, line and sinker for the known names, such as Oscar de la Renta, Saint Laurent, Dolce and Gabbana and Valentino, there are several other designers like Roksanda Ilincic, Mary Katrantzou, Christopher Kane and Erdem who surprise fashion lovers every season. A little effort at experimentation in the style department is sure to yield gorgeous results.
At RITZ, weve renewed our interest in fashion by presenting you with interesting choices. On the one hand we feature newbie designers who are upping the ante with their bold creativity, and on the other, you have the big guns bettering their best with every passing season. And if our effort helps men and women across South India look their best, itll all be worthwhile.
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9 years of style & success
BUZZINWere buzzin about the high life this month
GLAM BRIGADEA highlight of people and events that caught our attention
SNAPPEDOf special occasions captured for memory
PORTFOLIOCheck out some of the hautest bridal couture this season while we catch up with some interesting work by fashion heavyweights from Sabyasachi to Anamika Khanna, Ritu Beri, and Manish Arora. We also show you how to go bold with some intrepid punk plaids.
PERSONALITYSriya Reddy on cinema, life away from the camera and her obsession with tness
62UBER LIVINGSome people just need to take that shot! Collecting and caring for your own set of ries and rearms is not something everyone can afford. But theres certainly a rush when handling one as we nd out.
66TAKE OFFYou dont really have to head to the Gold Coast to catch that wave! Grab that board and head to the South Indian coastline!
VIEWPOINTArt entrepreneur Sharan Apparao explores the interaction between the visual and text in art while Sujaya Chandran nds that retail therapy can in fact be cause for therapy itself.
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EDITOR & PUBLISHER ARUNA R KRISHNAN EDITORIAL CO-ORDINATORS SHRUTHI SUDHAKARAN & ROHIT PANIKKERCONTRIBUTING WRITERS ASMITA AGGARWAL, KIRTHI JAYAKUMAR, MARCUS.A.CLAY, MINAL KHONA,
RICHA TILOKANI, ROHIT PANIKKER, SIDDHARTH KUMAR, VINITA NAYAR, VIRA SHAH GUEST COLUMNISTS SHARAN APPARAO, VIDYA SINGH DESIGN PURPLE MANGO CREATIVE SOLUTIONS MARKETING MANAGER PRAVEEN KUMAR M EXECUTIVE-CLIENT SERVICE SWATHI RAMAKRISHNAN
SENIOR MEDIA EXECUTIVE FILM PROMOTIONS SANJAY.G FEATURES PHOTOGRAPHER ARUL RAJ EVENT PHOTOGRAPHER, CHENNAI M.GURUNATH PRABHU
All correspondence should be addressed to:
RITZ, 7th Floor, Sigma Wing, Raheja Towers, 177, Anna Salai, Chennai 600002. Contact: 42113871 / 2
Edited and Published by Aruna R Krishnan from 7th Floor, Sigma Wing, Raheja Towers, 177 Anna Salai, Chennai 600002.All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited. RITZ is not responsible for unsolicited material. RITZ assumes no responsibility for the veracity and authenticity of the advertisements published herein. Readers are requested to make appropriate enquiries before incurring any expenses or acting on medical recommendations or otherwise in
relation to any advertisement or article published herein. Also views in articles published herein are those of the respective authors only. RITZ does not necessarily subscribe to these views.
To advertise in RITZ, call Praveen Kumar on 9841973090 / 044 42113871
INDULGEWe take an intense look at the works of Jean Sasson and Susan Abulhawa. As fodder for more entertainment, we catch up with Live Banned.
MAINCOURSEVidya Singh and a group of friends enjoy a lazy Sunday lunch at The Focaccia at The Hyatt Regency.
THE RITZ READERDeepak Suresh on his idea of luxury
OVER A CUPPAWe get up close with actor Forest Whitaker on his new lm The Butler as Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston get together, talking about their latest release Were The Millers.
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Big Sundays at ITC Grand Chola now give you an even more enticing chance to relax. Head to Ottimo the Cucina Italiana that offers gourmet antipasti, pastas and pizzas. At Pan Asian, you can indulge in an assortment of crisp salads, cold appetizers, lighter-than-air dim sums and fresh sushi. The Madras Pavilion restaurant features Indian and international gourmet desserts.
The ITC Grand Chola is at 63, Mount Road, Guindy, Chennai.
Indulge in the soulful avours of southern Italy at the antipasti & dessert buffet at Focaccia, The Hyatt Regency, all through the week from Monday until Friday. The menu ranges from bacon to fagioli salad to tenderloin carpaccio and you can top it off with a buffet of all things sweet at their exquisite dessert bar. Also be sure to check out the Trattoria-styled brunch for the entire family, offering unlimited antipasti and desserts. With pasta and pizzas ahoy, have a fantastic time as you lounge at the poolside with your family before you indulge in the colossal Italian feast. With unlimited juices and mocktails: ` 1299 + taxes; with unlimited spirits and cocktails: ` 1599 + taxes.
The Hyatt Regency is at 365, Anna Salai, Teynampet, Chennai.
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Tom Ford presents his best in striking frames as he aunts his new collection, which includes 22 new sunglass frames and 14 optical frames for women and men. Sophisticated and sexy, these new, clean, linear shapes make a powerful statement of personal style. Minimalist and modern, the Tom Ford collection denes luxury at its best. Crafted from exquisite materials and featuring superb fabrications, the range is lightweight, comfortable and just what the doctor ordered!
Availability: Available at all leading optical and multi-branded stores across the country
Price: on request
If youre looking for suave and slick, then Tom Fords new collection is your best pick.
Funky, clear bags are great for an outing on a rainy day. Take a look
Be a monsoon diva!
Make a style statement even when the skies are rumbling. Lucite bags are perfect for the monsoon, and at any time of the day or evening. Time to ditch the leather totes for these see-through beauties, indeed.
Available on www.shop.inonit.in
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SHOPPING Sanskrriti brings to you an exciting range of gifting options for this festive season. Be it Ayudha Pooja, Navratri, Diwali or any other celebration, make each occasion extra special with exciting gifts from Sanskrriti. Choose from a wide range of hampers, gift baskets, potlis and trays laden with fruits, dry fruits, cookies, chocolates, biscuits or any other goodie that you may desire to gift.
All the gifts are designed and attractively packed in bright neon colours, which are so hot this festive season. So get ready to celebrate the special occasion called life with Sanskrriti.
Drop in at:
Old No 14, New No 15, Sulaiman Zackaria Avenue, Casa Major Road, 3rd Lane, Egmore, Chennai.
Call the store at +91 44 64992496
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THIS MONTH WE LOVE
Quirky and Eclectic
We went gaga over Quirk Boxs collections at the LFW 2013. On a boring evening for a dose of eccentric fun, slip on this printed number from Quirk Box and pair with coral pumps.
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THIS MONTH WE LOVE
Shilpa Reddy makes a stunning statement at LFW
Designer and former model Shilpa Reddys LFW collection inspired by Thai warrior-queen Suriyothai has been receiving accolades all around. The designer who in the past, had famously graced the Kingsher calendar, has put together a strong statement with her current line. Cheering her at LFW were superstar Nagarjuna and actress-producer Lakshmi Manchu.
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Mechanical perfection, unique style and elegance is what Rolex is all about. Of all the collections, the Daytona is arguably the most sacred watch to Rolex collectors. First introduced in 1963, the Rolex Daytona range was made famous by actor and motor racing enthusiast Paul Newman.
The 50th anniversary of the iconic watch has been marked this year with the launch of a rst prestigious edition of the Cosmograph Daytona that replaces the usual steel case for one made entirely of platinum. Rolex created an instant collectors piece featuring a case made entirely of 950 platinum, with a chestnut brown Cerachrom bezel that matches the sub-dials in the beautiful ice blue dial and white gold borders.
The 50th Anniversary Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Reference 116506 features the Rolex caliber 4130 and will have a retail price of $75,000 (` 48 lakh approximately) when it hits stores later this year. Needless to say, the Cosmograph Daytona is on every Rolex acionados wishlist.
An iconic benchmark for those who are passionate about luxury and prestige, Rolex continues to dazzle...
WEARING YOUR STYLE
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The Bentley Luxury Handbag Collection
The worlds leading luxury carmaker has now introduced a limited edition luxury handbag which transfers the functional luxury of the car into an accessory that women can cherish. Each limited edition Bentley luxury handbag will feature a metal plaque, commemorating its individual number. This plaque can be personalised to the handbag owner and their car.
The collection features two distinct models that create a strong link with some of the key features of the cars. The Barnato is named after the rst British woman to break the sound barrier; she was also the daughter of the founding chairman of the company. The Continental is named after one of Bentleys famed model lines, used on successive generations of Grand Tourers since 1952. The Bentley Handbag collection is available from October 2013. This limited edition collection comprises 160 bags globally, 80 of each style, in four colourways. This palette of options will be expanded in 2014 to include new models.
Gemelds to offer collaborative jewellery on Couturelab
Gemelds has collaborated with a selection of international jewellers to create one-off designer jewellery. For the 12-piece collection, the designers used Gemelds Zambian emeralds and amethysts, and Mozambican rubies to create one-of-a-kind pieces exclusively for the environmentally and socially responsible mining company.
Prices for the Gemelds collection at couturelab start from $4,050 (` 2.6 lakh) for a brooch by Askill.
Available at www.couturelab.com
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Under the maestros tutelageThe launch of AR Rahmans KM College of Music and Technology in Chennai featured an interesting blend of musicians and famous personalities. While Mukesh and Nita Ambani inaugurated the institute, the guests at the event were held spellbound by the magical strains Su music, including Rahmans own composition Khwaja Mere Khwaja, performed by students of his music conservatory.
Shakthishree Gopalan Adam
Gilles and Aramia
Rajiv Menon with
Mukesh and Nita
Ambani, AR Rah
man and Saira
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The 9th anniversary edition of RITZ, South Indias Premier Uber Lifestyle Magazine was celebrated with much fanfare on the 14th of August, 2013 at Greenways Hall, Hotel Park Sheraton. The dynamic Col David Devasahayam and his charming wife Dr. Renuka David of the hugely successful Radiant Group of Companies presented and spearheaded the 9th anniversary celebrations of the magazine. Speaking at the event, Col David was very appreciative of the success of RITZ. US Consul General Jennifer McIntyre presided over the elegant occasion and unveiled the cover of the 9th anniversary edition, featuring real estate tycoon Varun Manian.
Senior BJP politician, lawyer and highly respected activist Dr. Subramanian Swamy congratulated the magazine on its spectacular success and commended the quality and journalistic standards of RITZ. Actress Gautami, designers Rehane and Vivek Karunakaran, Grammy Award-winning singer Tanvi Shah and entrepreneur Omar Sait, who have all graced some of the most memorable covers of RITZ in the past, were all praise for RITZ. Gautami charmed and wowed the audience with her trademark candour.
A very special work of art by legendary artist and art director Thota Tharrani, inspired by Beethovens 9th symphony, to commemorate 9 years of RITZ was also unveiled on the occasion. The event saw an eclectic mix of socialites, politicians, bureaucrats, industrialists, diplomats and lm stars from around the country. Bollywood actresses Evelyn Sharma (of Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewaani fame) and Sonal Chauhan (of Jannat fame) graced the event. Tamil stars like Vijay Sethupathy and Mirchi Shiva were also present at the do. The gorgeous Greenways Hall at Park Sheraton was indeed a tting venue for such an elegant evening.
The team at reputed event management company Aura was at the helm of affairs and ensured everything was perfect.
9 years of style & success
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Darshana Vijay Yesudas launched a new line of clothing under her label DVY at the Studio Saks House of Fashion in Chennai recently. The collection titled Bespoke features classic and contemporary ensembles, tailored for the festive season. The launch of the line saw many celebs and P3Ps in attendance, including Darshanas husband and playback singer Vijay Yesudas along with her close friend Aishwarya Dhanush.
Couture galore at Studio Saks
Arti Bagdys Jewel Collezione proved to be a big hit once again. The very luxe and glamorous exhibition showcased stunning jewellery by an ensemble of ne jewelers and jewellery designers from across the country. On display were exquisite pieces crafted in Victorian, contemporary, Mughal, Nizam, Chettinad and styles, set in gold and platinum.
A hit Collezione
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Now you can shop affordable luxury brands like Love Moschino, Versace jeans, 7 for all Mankind, True Religion, Ted Baker and others right here in Chennai. The Collective retails these brands and many more at its agship store located in the chic Buva House on Khader Nawaz Khan Road in Nungambakkam.
The Chennai launch last month saw the likes of director Selvaraghavan, actor Jeeva, music director Harris Jayaraj, designer Sidney Sladen, actress Vimala Raman, Kiran Reddy of Sathyam Cinemas, cinematographer Ravi K Chandran and others.
The Collective comes to Chennai
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Driving enthusiasts were in for a treat at the Audi Sportscar Experience (ASE) event in Chennai recently. More than 120 people experienced exhilaration driving models the TT, S4 and R8 models of the reputed German luxury carmaker. ASE is a unique initiative in India which enables patrons to drive high performance cars of Audi.
Audi Sportscar Experience
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Ritu Beri drew on all of her Punjabi air for DCW 2013, showcasing a collection that bridged Victorian-era gowns with over-the-top Punjabi exuberance. The designer used an array of crystal embellishments and gota work, pairing them with jackets and ballroom gowns in a manner that can only be described as a Victorian crossover, Punjabi style.
The fourth installment of the Delhi Couture Week (DCW) held recently at the capital showcased a melting pot of designs that were on the cutting-edge of experimental couture while remaining deeply rooted in the traditional. We take a look at some of these stellar collections, heralded by the likes of Ananmika Khanna, Manish Malhotra, Ritu Beri and Manish Arora. Heres a roundup of the various designers whose work dovetailed both the spark of experimentation as well as an identity that is distinctly Indian.
Siddharth Kumar does a roundup of the most impressive designs on display at the Delhi Couture Week and the recently concluded Lakme Fashion Week and comes away awestruck.
A Melting Pot Of
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Anamika Khanna exhibited one of her strongest and most awe-inspiring collections to date at the Delhi Couture Week. The ace designers ora and fauna inspired collection had fashion folk raving about her contemporary Western take on Indian couture. The collection included sarees, jodhpurs and lehengas adorned with zardozi, lace and crotchet work.
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This was Manish Aroras debut attempt at bridal wear, and naturally aimed at the unconventional bride! We loved the way he has used bright-coloured digital prints on pure fabrics, nishing each design with painstaking craftsmanship. Take a look.
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The opening night at this years edition of LFW was a glitzy affair, with the fashion badshah of Bollywood, Manish Malhotra kicking off the proceedings by showcasing a spectacular festive/pre-bridal collection titled Reections. Using contrasting mirror images for the ramp, Manishs collection looked to be inuenced by the colours and textures of Rajasthan and the Kutch region and proved to be a tting opener to this years LFW.
LFW proved worthy of every bit of the hype it generated, as several designers presented some of their strongest fashion statements on the ramp.
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The grand nale of LFW 2013 was heralded by Sabsayachi Mukherjee, with his Absolute Royal collection. A stunning Indian wear line, the outts in this collection included waistcoats, sherwanis, jackets and kurtas for the men while the womens line included heavy dupattas, glares and heavy jewellery. The likes of Nargis Fakhri, Kalki Koechlin, Sameera Reddy, Shraddha Kapoor and Jugal Hansraj were also present at the grand nale.
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Vira Shah shows you how a bold twist on the classic Tartan makes a world of difference
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Tartan is the latest trend, making its way back from the 90s with the help of some colour changes, added leather and studding giving it a rebellious feel. For the uninitiated, the Tartan print features multiple horizontal and vertical bands going criss-cross in myriad colour codes. The classic print has now been given an unexpected twist making it bold yet sophisticated, while drawing inspiration from the brash and intrepid punk movement. Coming in everything from irty skirts with zippers to playful checked tights to designer collaborated accessories, experiment fearlessly by adding a dose of punk to your style.
Black and yellow checked laptop bag by Fastrack
Buckled tartan pumps by Christian Louboutin
Suede with gold hotx by Jimmy Choo
Studded pumps by Aldo
Studded platform pumps by Metro
Steve Madden women black studup leather sandals
Check dress by Pepe Jeans
F6 Sheer Calamity shirt Pink Confederate by Superdry
Check wrap blouse by Mango
Checked skinny trousers with zipper detailing by ZaraChecked sweater
by Miu Miu
Corvus ring by Manish Arora for Amrapali
Gold-triple hoop earrings by Accessorize
MCQ available at Kitsch
Patterned biker jacket by Diesel
Zippers plaid miniskirt by Mango
Set of 4 gold toned bracelets by Accessorize
Silver metallic spiky hair elastic by Ayesha accessories
Studded and fringe sling bag by Steve Madden
Dior 2013 Lady Dior pouch tartan
Plaid Jane Punk
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Started in May 2011, Aharin literally means a collection of beautiful things. The brand is strongly inuenced by Indian traditions, and the collections use hand-drawn bold motifs sketched by Prasansha herself, which are then worked upon by a class of antique embroideries, traditional silhouettes and a strong play of hand-dyed colours. I design because I feel for it says Prasansha, who graduated from NIFT with the recognition of Most Creative Design Collection and the Persis Khambata Award in 2007. I love what I do and I can relate myself to it, she stresses on what inspires her creative streaks and designs.
While Prasansha uses hand-drawn motifs, Ashish embraces an aesthetic approach to every detail in design. His interests lie in focusing on the bold Indian look, antique costumes, and the traditional drapes & dresses of the royalty of yore. Shop this
Asmita Aggarwal finds that designer duo Prasansha Saha and Ashish Tagra of Aharin continue to be inspired by Indian motifs and history...
Inspired by India
What woman doesnt like to aunt beautiful cocktail rings? Senco Gold has a stunning range that is now available at the luxury brands stores in India. We noticed that the stones used in the rings are arresting and vivid, while the designs are all about contemporary glamour. One look at the rings we have featured here and youll know what we are talking about.
Price: ` 20,000 onwards
Availability: Delhi, Mumbai, Eastern India
Senco Gold promises an evening of glam and glimmer with their alluring range of cocktail rings
designer duo at various designer outlets and exclusively at their web shop at www.aharin.com/shopnow.
Price range: ` 24,000 onwards.
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Whether youre heading out to a ball or a big night out, designer Payal Sens collection The Princess Diaries an exquisite Fall 2013 capsule promises more than just style. The uniqueness of the collection lies in the cut and the design as each piece speaks for itself.
What started as a hobby shaped into a successful business model for the designer. Payal went on to study at Richmond University and pursued her MBA at Amity. Her innate creativity propelled her to combine her business acumen with her passion, which happens to be clothing. She believes that fashion is a fantasy and her clothes reect the exact same spirit.
Designer Payal Sen combines talent and knowledge with her new exquisite fall collection 2013. Asmita Aggarwal nds out more...
Sparkles and Shine
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An array of fabrics like velvet, raw silk, silk tulle and satins used in this collection take one back to the bygone era. Generously embellished and encrusted with Swarovski elements, Tahitian and fresh water pearls, Japanese beads and Renaissance inuenced owers, beads and silk threads, the fusion of Indian drapes and silhouettes with 18th century French decadence has only helped enhance this couture collection. Drenched in colours like Rococo Red, Pink Flamb, Sapphire, Viridian, Spinach, Bordeaux, Amethyst and a dash of French Vanilla the brides are but spoilt for choice!
With its extravagance inspired by Marie Antoinette, the eccentric and much-hated queen of France, we nd out more about Rajdeep Ranawats bridal couture collection and why the French have inspired it...
Rajdeep Ranawats Bridal Couture collection for 2013 is indeed one to reckon with. It is deeply inspired by Marie Antoinette, the controversial queen of France, and the wife of King Louis XVI, who became a symbol for the wanton extravagance of 18th century monarchy.
The couture collection is meticulously handcrafted with motifs from 18th century Austria and France. The collection is a fresh mix of exotic owers such as peonies, roses, hydrangeas, orchids and chrysanthemums along with paisley motifs to create an Asia-inspired ornate feel.
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Sunil Mehra impresses with his new range of menswear specically designed for the working business class. Available in shades like white, beige, ivory, tan, lemon, and powder pink, the product lines in the collection are tailored, relaxed, rare, luxury shirts and suits along with relaxed and tailored trousers. It is very important for a man to take note of the tiny details,
Sunil Mehra denes amboyance with his new collection of corporate wear, making it a one-stop-shop for mens designer wear.
especially when he is in a corporate setting where there is no space for mistakes. From tiepins and cufinks to socks, you can nd it all here.
Known for quality and authenticity, Sunil Mehra is a label to be reckoned with. With a gamut of options for men, the brand appeals with its signature style.
Sunil Mehra agship store, New Delhi.
For the Young &
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At RITZ weve always loved shooting with Sriya Reddy and featuring her on the cover. The timing of this feature is quite exciting. The dusky former VJ and actress is all set to make a comeback into the world of lms after a long sabbatical. Marriage and motherhood may have mellowed her but they have not tamed her irrepressible spirit and today, the talented actress is looking forward to a new
innings. In conversation with Vinita Nayar
Spell Out S.P.U.N.K
Photography: Sunder Ramu
Make up and Hair: Rachel.B.Singh of Stylesmith
Styling by: TN.09.9696
Location courtesy: Hyatt Regency
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Dress, neck piece, clutch & shoes: Sriyas own
Rings: Studio Tara
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Fans of dusky, sexy Sriya Reddy will be glad to know that her sabbatical from acting is coming to a close. After her marriage to producer
Vikram Krishna in 2008, the talented actor hasnt been seen on screen. Dressed in a tted green T-shirt and tracks, Sriya looks healthy and toned. She greets me with a smile saying she was trying to t in a workout before I came. (More on her obsession with exercise later!)
The last few years, since 2008, have been quite a change for Sriya. She is the proud mother of a pretty little daughter now. She smiles and says, My daughter is hardly two. Once I got married, my husband decided I shouldnt act. Ive been a good wife and a good daughter in law, she says with an eln smile. I come from a lm family so theres so much drama in the family! Plus my husband is a producer, my brother-in-law is an actor and my father-in-law is a producer. She turns thoughtful. The question is what do I really want to do? When I was acting, I had got a good name and worked with extremely good producers and directors. I was known as a good actor. So, if I come back, I have to come back to a good lm, denitely not just for the sake of it. So I am still in search of that. Right now, mentally I am extremely ready to act. I was very content being married, having a child, doing things I couldnt do earlier like travelling. She adds resolutely, Yes, the future is acting. Its been a long break and my mind tells me my future is there.
Actor over Producer
Sriya has produced a couple of lms with hubby Vikram. Nevertheless, she rmly says, I would prefer acting seriously. Producing is not my cup of tea at all. It is a different ballgame. Its a lot of hard work and I dont know if I want to be in those shoes. She reiterates, I prefer acting; I am bloody good at that.
Sriya is animated and full of life. She speaks her mind, not pausing to think about whether her replies are politically correct or not. And this forthrightness is
such a refreshing change in a time when most celebrities dish out bland replies to questions, always trying to sort out mineelds in their mind and keeping the PR angle on top. Talking about her marriage, we see her candour once again. Even though when she got married, she was an independent woman at the pinnacle of her career, she is not afraid of telling us what makes her happiest in her marriage (something many feminists would bristle at!): I think being secure. When I got married, a lot of young girls were very shocked they said You are quite young; are you sure? She muses, This security is a different kind of security. And happiness too at the end of the day you are happy if you have the right man. My hubby is like a friend to me. I have nice in-laws; I consider them my friends and talk to them a couple of times a day. During the interview, her sister-in-law pops in with an adorable Labrador puppy that she has just picked up. We coo over the furry golden bundle and Sriyas cute pug comes out. Sriya grins and says, We are a family of dog lovers as you can see.
Talking about her decision to get married Sriya says, Im quite a sensible girl. I did what I had to at the right time. I knew I had talent I was the rst VJ (at SS Music) and I did that extremely well. I became very popular. After that, acting happened. Im glad I did those good movies. Even today people come up to me and say, Wow, you were so fantastic. There is no difference between my life earlier and now except that my husband pampers me more! She grins mischievously and says, Earlier my parents would tell me what to do. Now my husband does that. But at least I can tell him to shut up!
Amalia, Sriyas cute daughter, has just woken up from her sleep and is carried into the room. Sriyas eyes light up at the sight of her sleepy daughter. The little one is already in play school and Sriya has just attended a parent-teacher meeting; she makes a face and grins. Can you imagine? Parent-teacher meetings for
Dress: Sriyas own
Accessories: Studio Tara
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Dress: Sriyas own
Earrings and bracelet: Studio Tara
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such young kids! So, we wonder, has motherhood changed the spirited lass? A wide grinIts changed me to be a little more responsible and a little more serious. Then she delivers her punch line: But I think Im still the same. So what does she love about motherhood? Pat comes the reply: I can dress her up! And she adds with a laugh, But I take it a little too forward. She has to have the right socks, shoes, t-shirts. My husband thinks I am a crazy cat. When her husband travels, which according to Sriya he does a lot of, he asks her what kind of clothes he should get for the little one. Sriya is very clear no cartoons, no funny faces on her clothes. She wants to dress her child like Suri Cruise; to which her hubby apparently points out that he is not Tom Cruise!
The bubbly actor has also donned a new role of businesswoman helping out in the familys granite business. With refreshing frankness she says, Im getting into a side of business which is alien to me. It requires a different kind of intelligence and hopefully, I will be able to learn. She has been travelling extensively on work especially to New York, where they have an ofce. Shes been clocking at least six trips a year to the Big Apple.
A self-confessed tness freak, Sriya admits she is obsessed with working out and says, Right now I eat and breathe tness. The previous night, she tells me, she had eaten Maggi noodles, and discovered that they packed in a whopping 400 calories. So what does she do? She works out close to midnight to burn off the extra calories! She ruefully says that she couldnt sleep all night.
Before I sleep, the last thing I think about is not my daughter but about what my next workout will be, she fesses up. Her bedrooms walk-in
closet is cluttered with papers stuck inside with her current weight and measurements and target weight and measurements. Another room is a jumble of schedules; these schedules for the next hold your breath three months have been stuck on the walls! She continues fervently, I wear a heart rate monitor. I have an app to count all the calories I consume. It is very calculative. And what she loves most about working out is the results of all that hard work. She says with a gleam in her eyes, It is amazing when you see your stomach getting stronger and harder; you feel you have achieved something.
Sriya was a sprinter in school and even today, strapping on her running shoes and heading out for a jog gives her a high. Walking, to me, is all crap. I hear people talk about how they walk 45 minutes or one hour every day, she says. Running is my passion. Once or twice a week, I do a 10-kilometre run. I also do a lot of circuit training. I nd the gym boring. I try and do different things to shock my body. She shows me an app on her phone where over a month you increase the number of squats performed daily; My target is 250 squats a day, says the tness acionado. I work out every single day, she emphasizes. Her only break is on Sundays. She laughs and says that her in-laws think she is insane, thanks to her obsession with tness.
Net result, the young lady is most denitely NOT a foodie. Surprisingly, she never eats out. Even if she goes out to a restaurant with her hubby or pals, she has some grilled chicken or something healthy at home and only then ventures out. She laughs and says that she and her husband have stopped going out to restaurants; hubby obviously doesnt fancy eating alone with Sriya just watching! So, is there any food she likes? Just lots and lots of chocolates, she says impishly. Anything that has chocolate
FASH FORWARDDene fashion according to you
Fashion is so much! I do follow whats in trend but I have a style of my own and I try to put it together. Basically, for me fashion is everything. I love dolling myself up, looking in the mirror and posing endlessly.
Name three people who have inuenced the way you style, dress and carry yourself.
My mother, my grandmother and Maharani Gayathri Devi.
An attire you wouldnt be caught dead in?
Anything which is too blingy.
Your favourite accessory
Right now, I am into headgears. I like using a strand of pearls or pearls and diamonds as a headband.
Any fashion faux pas that youve committed?
Oh God, yes, a terrible one! Even today, my friends make fun of me. Once I was in Hyderabad. I had this beautiful gown made by Rehane; it was mother of pearl and I had got it made for a lm premiere in Canada. However, there was this party at the Falaknuma Palace and I had this dress with me. It was a beautiful dress with a plunging neckline but it was not suitable for this party. I covered up with a stole from one of my friends. I looked like an overdressed Christmas tree! It was a disaster.
Your favourite designer?
Plenty. Two I will name Alexander McQueen and Monique Lhuillier.
Any favourite clothes?
Season by season! I go from fall, winter, spring, summeranything which is in vogue and makes me look good.
SEPTEMBER 2013 61
Shooting is quite a craze among the afuent. Some take to guns for competition, and there are those who go the
extra mile to nurture it as a passion. Marcus A Clay looks at the uber lifestyle through the barrel.
62 SEPTEMBER 2013
The sepia-tinted image of a nawab standing triumphantly beside a freshly killed animal, a double-barrelled gun slung across his shoulder, is a scene so distant that its hard to imagine the era when shikaar was a popular pastime. Yet, in modern India, guns remain an integral part of the uber lifestyle. While rearms are a must-have for the rich and powerful, a few have a love for weapons and the sport of shooting that it has taken them to great lengths, even around the world, to keep the passion alive.
Meet Mohan Sundar Pandian, who has a private collection of modern and old guns, and is the rst in Tamil Nadu to register a collection of guns as antique. Pandian, a property lawyer and native of Ramanathapuram district, is from a family that has always been dealing with guns. He not only continued the tradition but took it to much greater heights. My father was a hunter and owned a muzzle-loading gun. Those days, if one wanted to own a breach-loading gun, one would have to be very rich, Pandian begins. His father sold the gun after he had a life-changing experience. One day, he killed a crow and found that it was carrying food to edglings in its nest, recalls Pandian, The incident affected him deeply and he gave up hunting.
Pandians love for guns, which was triggered when he was just 12 years old, never involved hunting. He says his rst gun was an air rie that he got when he was in high school. When I moved to Chennai, at the age of 24, I bought a 12-bore single barrel breach-loader, he says.
He then joined the Chennai Rie Club, learnt shooting and later became a member of the National Rie Association of India in New Delhi. Today, he is a gun expert, so to
say, and can handle all types of weapons, service, dismantle, overhaul and shoot with them. However, he says he has no interest in competition. I have never participated in any competitions. My character is such that if you see me jogging and try to overtake me, I will stop and let you go by. I dont believe in competition.
Despite his passion for weapons, the countrys strict gun control laws left him with just one logical route to nurture his passion become a gun dealer. And, thats what he did. Today he owns more than 100 guns, many of which are antiques. Although the antique rearms could be sold for high prices abroad, he says he acquired them to ensure that they remained in India. Once an antique weapon is registered with the Archaeology Department, one does not require a licence to possess it, claries Pandian, But antiques cannot be exported and can only be transferred to a museum or a collector.
A witness to history
Among the guns in his collection, many are of historic importance. A long-barrelled Eneld Rie used in the 1857 uprising, where sepoys had to bite the cartridge layered with pig fat and pour the gun powder into the barrel; a rie from the Roman period; guns from the world wars; and several guns owned by maharajas are among his prized collection.
Ask him how he acquired the guns, and he says, A double-barrel gun that was once owned by the Pudukottai maharaja was given to me by an Anglo-Indian, a famous hunter who used to accompany the maharaja on hunts. He gave me a double-barrel gun and a rie. Then, there is the gun that must have been owned by an Englishman, which I bought. This one is
Know the Law
While only a few own guns, most dont know that anyone above 21 years of age can keep up to three weapons; neither do they know the procedure to apply for a licence. Says Pandian, The Arms Act is so ne and extremely simple for those who know how to read it. In cities, the Commissioner of Police is the licensing authority and in towns, the Collector is the one to approach.
Although the licensing authority has full discretionary powers, a license can be denied only on solid grounds, which have to be given in writing. If denied a licence, the applicant can challenge the order, he further claries.
special because it is a rie-cum-gun on one side it is a rie and the other is a gun. It was used to hunt small animals and birds as well as big animals like elephants, lions and tigers. I also bought one gun from the Hyderabad Nizams palace.
He also recalls how luck favoured him in acquiring a few guns. About 15 years ago, when my relatives were selling their old house and had demolished a part of it, they found a secret chamber in the wall, which could be approached only from the top. The chamber contained a package of guns and they were afraid to take it out or even inform police about it, so they telephoned me. I went over and took out the package; it contained a double-barrel gun, a muzzle-loading gun and a revolver. The guns must have been over 100 years
Credits: Shailesh Vummidi
SEPTEMBER 2013 63
old, he says. The house initially belonged to one of his ancestors, who was part of Subash Chandra Boses Indian National Army; the guns must have belonged to him. I wrote a letter to the authorities, and after all the legal formalities, I took the guns into my possession, he says.
Over the years, he has managed to lay his hands on almost every type of gun, and has even bought his dream gun. It was always my dream to possess a Holland & Holland. Its one of the oldest brands in the world, and one of the most expensive while the cheapest would cost about 20 lakh rupees, good ones cost a few crores. I was lucky to get one at a much cheaper price, he says.
Liberal gun culture
Shailesh Vummidi, Partner, Vummidi Bangaru Chetty Jewellers, has given wings to his passion by travelling to countries where the gun culture is liberal and rearms are easily accessible. Since it is not easy for one to own a gun, get licences, or acquire quality weapons and ammunition in India, it is a challenge to nurture a passion for weapons or shooting, he says. So when Shailesh travels abroad, he uses the opportunity to indulge his favourite hobby. I shoot more when I travel to some of the Southeast Asian countries, where you can just walk into a club and you have a selection of weapons and any number of rounds. That not only gave him the opportunity to pull the triggers of some world-class weapons, but also many that one would not come across in India. I have handled the M16, AK47 and even a light machine gun, which would be impossible here in India, he says.
Shailesh personally owns a Spanish revolver, but ask him to name a favourite among the many he has handled, and he says, It has to be the M16. It is an assault rie used by the US Army; its very easy to use and the recoil is minimum, making it highly accurate.
Among the other types of weapons that he loves to handle are the Glock and the Beretta handguns. And if theres one word from a man who loves the sport of shooting, Prabhu Laksshman, Director of PSNA College of Engineering and Technology, says it has to be one of caution: Shoot for fun, shoot for sport, or even for the thrill, but never to kill.
Since the rst rearms were invented, they have gone through several changes. Here are a few of the guns that made a mark in the history of rearms:
Puckle Gun: James Puckles invention was a tripod-mounted, single-barrelled intlock gun tted with a multi-shot revolving cylinder. It red nine shots per minute at a time. James Puckles 1718 patent for the gun was one of the rst to provide a description of its working, a condition required by the Patent Ofce of the United Kingdom during the reign of Queen Anne.
The Colt Revolver: Invented by Samuel Colt, it was named after its revolving cylinder that contained ve or six bullets with an innovative cocking device. It was patented in the U.S. in 1836.
Ries: The breech-loading rie was invented by Captain Patrick Ferguson of Scotland. The Winchester Rie was invented by John Moses Browning, a prolic gun designer who also invented the pump shotgun, and the Colt 45 automatic. Best known for his automatic pistols, he was the rst to invent the slide, which encloses the barrel of a pistol and the ring mechanism.
Gatling Gun: Doctor Richard Gatling patented his design of the Gatling Gun, a six-barrelled weapon capable of ring, what was then considered phenomenal, 200 rounds per minute.
Thompson Submachine Gun: When the Thompson or the Tommy Gun was invented by General John T Thompson, it was the rst handheld machine gun. Thompson was driven with the thought of creating a handheld machine gun that would help end the First World War. However, the rst shipment of prototype guns destined for Europe arrived in New York city on November 11, 1918, the day the War ended.
If you take these cardinal rules of gun safety seriously, you will never nd yourself explaining how you accidentally shot yourself in the foot.
1. Treat every gun as if it is loaded.
2. Never point the gun at anything you arent prepared to shoot.
3. Place your nger on the trigger only when prepared to re.
4. Know what you are shooting at and whats behind it.
5. Protect your eyes and ears.
6. Teach gun safety to everyone in your home.
7. Store ammunition separately from the guns. Storing guns and ammo separately ensures no one has access to a loaded gun who shouldnt.
8. Use a gun safe for storage.
64 SEPTEMBER 2013
While it may not always be that easy to just pack up and hit some of the pristine beaches abroad, surng enthusiasts are nding equally interesting stretches right here in South India to grab that board and ride out into the waves, as Rohit Panikker nds out.
Out For A 'Board' Meeting
66 SEPTEMBER 2013
For the longest time, the concept of surng to your average Indian was something that we viewed only on TV; like some sort of western import. Although it took this extremely popular watersport years to get as popular here in India, that has nally changed, especially with the beaches of South India playing host to a horde of ardent surfers in the last few years, particularly, the last three.
Most surfers hit the vast coastline of South India that runs over 7000 kilometres, usually with the aim of nding stretches of silent, unexplored beaches where they may ride the waves. These vast unexplored coastlines across Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka and Goa have become popular for those who just want to surf and get away from the hype of it all as well as the sheer enormity of the crowds that throng the beaches in a more established surng vacation spot like Bali or the Gold Coast. Closer to November is swell time and thats when you will see the more seasoned surfers around, explains Nigel Noronha, an ardent surfer for the last four years. He was among the rst group of surng enthusiasts who would go around exploring stretches that were previously unknown or probably not visited because nobody really looks out for the waves except a surfer. But now, the idea of surng tourism has caught on rapidly, what with surng schools operating out of beachside villages or resorts, adds Nigel. Its true. The popularity of this watersport is evident from an endorsement by cricketer Jonty Rhodes, who often hits Indias beaches with his surfboard, and was declared the ofcial ambassador for the sport in the country.
Rammohan Paranjpae, who is Indias only professional surf photographer and one of the founding members of the Surng Federation of India, was one of the early students of Jack Hebner, or the Surng Swamy, as he was known better. Surng was introduced to a bunch of us by the Surng Swamy in early 2000, he explains. His efforts led to the rst ever surng school in India that was established here in 2004. The Swamy started the rst unofcial surng school in Mangalore, something which has since caught on in many other spots frequented by surfers now, including the narrow coastline in and near Chennai, Puducherry and the southern tip of Kerala, namely Kovalam and Varkala beaches.
Getaway with the surfboard
People from the cities steal away to these beaches, curious about surng, and wanting to learn how to catch a wave, explains Rammohan. He says that this newly generated interest in surng has denitely helped make surng schools popular. This kind of curiosity and enthusiasm is what will take surng to the next level in this country. I think its just a matter of time before we see India become a much bigger part of the surng map, Rammohan adds.
If youre a surfer looking for that stretch of beach and some impressive waves to drift on, or even if youre a beginner looking to learn the nuances of this watersport, your options are many. But if you are a beginner, always make sure that you surf with an instructor or when a lifeguard is present. Also, there are a set of rules and etiquette while surng; the most important rule being that you never hog the waves and you let each person tackle their own wave.
People from the cities steal away to these beaches, curious about surng, and
wanting to learn how to catch a wave
SEPTEMBER 2013 67
KeralaAlthough Kerala was always a popular beach holiday destination, it was not frequented by too many surfers except for a few tourists who would head to the beach with their own boards. Now, after having played host to a massive surng festival earlier this year, Kovalam beach, near Trivandrum, has been generating a lot of interest, both locally and from all over as a fast rising surng spot. Hit this beach before it gets too crowded. Further up the map is Varkala beach, which is yet another interesting spot to check out the currents. For a tutor, look up the Soul and Surf school.
KarnatakaGokarna: Although known better as a haven for hippies, Gokarna sure does have a certain charm about it, and a glow along the coastline as dusk edges closer. Gokarna is a must-visit for more reasons than one, the waves and the sand included. If you need some help getting your hands on a board or want some tips, theres a surf school on this corner too! Look for Cocopelli Surf School.
Mangalore: Known as the ofcial hub of surfers and veteran surng acionados, Mangalore is the spot where the rst time a group of surfers got together with the idea of furthering the interest in the watersport and to increase participation in India. If you are ever looking at exploring surng as a serious undertaking, then Mangalore is the place to hit!
GoaOf course, the rst mention of surng or even anything remotely having to do with watersports and we immediately imagine the wide Goan beaches and the surfboards slicing through the waves. Goa is one very obvious choice for surfers, but if surng is just one among the many beach activities planned, then Goa isnt too bad an option. Although you might have to reconsider if youre thinking of a my board and I kind of time.
PuducherryPuducherry is one of the most popular destinations for surfers from all over India. In fact, the credit for popularising the watersport in the area goes to brothers Juan and Samai Reboul, who run the Kallialay Surf School, a popular hub for surfers and students alike. The brothers specialise in handling beginners and can usually have you up and on a board condently in about 10 days!
68 SEPTEMBER 2013
Sharan Apparao explores the interaction between the visual and text, and believes that it offers an incisive semantic portrait of our times.
Words and Image in Art
Credits: Banoo Batliboi
70 SEPTEMBER 2013
Credits: Reddappa Naidu
Word and image have become something of a hot topic in contemporary art history, largely because of what are often seen as invasions of the visual arts by literary theory. The relation between words and images is an extraordinarily ancient problem in the study of the arts and in theories of rhetoric, communication, and human subjectivity. In the arts, the comparison of poetry and painting, literature and visual art has been a consistent theme since antiquity in both Eastern and Western aesthetics.
Contemporary culture has made the interplay of word and image even more volatile, intricate, and pervasive. What is it about the construction of the human mind that makes the interplay of words and images seem, despite innumerable historical and regional variations, to be something like a cultural universal?
Alternating between fact and ction, the public and the private, the universal and the particular, the text sometimes offers an incisive semantic portrait of our times. The images can be read as all things simultaneously, and yet resist any one reading when viewers see more possibilities unfold.
Credits: KCS Paniker
SEPTEMBER 2013 71
The younger artists of the next generation like R.M. Palaniappan, C. Douglas, and Muralidharan are joined by A. Balasubramaiam, N. Ramachandran, George K., Bhavna Sonavane, Rajesh Patil, Bangalore Srinivasa Reddy, and Sunil Shree Prasanna, in still more different aspects of the written word as a layer to their paintings and sculptures.
Prasanna, for example, works in a space where he explores the communication with the blind with a series of white on white works that make complete sense to the sight impaired while almost being missed by others. It is this communication that sometimes words bring, that is revered and respected by those who open their minds to look and listen to what lies in the pictorial space that artists create. It is but a narrative, a chronicle of a time, a personal line that art brings us... and for us as followers of art and viewers of these personal thoughts, it is the form that we are left to enjoy.
typographic characteristics of the work, as well as from the sense of the words. Books by contemporary artists are noteworthy for their many different forms and perhaps because of this they have an equally large number of precursors and inuences. Artists have been associated with the written word since illuminated manuscripts were developed in the medieval times. Artists letters, gleanings and drawings have often been known to give a glimpse into the innermost sanctums of an artists thinking.
In India, the religious manuscripts gave into legitimate platforms to extend the non-secular elements to secular explorations as in the work of K.C.S. Panikers words and symbols series where he worked with mathematics and the joy of the script against his earlier impressionistic garden series. Redappa Naidu, also an iconic gure in the Madras Movement, used the script dramatically creating a beautiful gauze-like shadow in his now iconic series of the Mahabharata that he created in the seventies.
Some of the most well known international artists using the written word in their work or including an aspect of it are Cy Twombly, Robert Rauchenberg, Jasper Johns, Ed Rusha, Bruce Nauman, Joseph Beuys and later, Jean Michel Basquiat, Ugo Rondinone and Jenny Holzer to name a few. Love, the famous sculpture spelt out in letters by Larry Rivers became one of the most iconic works in this genre especially at the time of the pop art movement. Artists were sometimes inspired by literature, at other times by the need to emphasize the play of words and further in artists notebooks to pen their mindscapes as another expression.
Artists books that maintain the traditional structure of a book are often known as book art or book-works, while those that reference the shape of a book are known as book objects. Other types of work produced by artists in book format include concrete poetry, where meaning is derived from the spatial, pictorial and
Credits: Srinivasa Reddy N
72 SEPTEMBER 2013
Sujaya Chandran wonders if one would need therapy after an overdose on retail therapy.
Standing in a bustling mall surrounded by level upon level of boutiques and stores is something that is not second nature to me. Shopping is not an activity I enjoy. In fact, I would more refer to it as a chore. Whenever there is an event or function which I need to attend, I pull out my little red book of excuses that I could possibly use to avoid having to dress up. Lets face it, I am not a girly girl. I dont own a dress or even a skirt and am most comfortable in my jeans. Dressing up for me, involves wearing a smart top and applying a little make-up, which for me is a huge effort. So when friends excitedly call me up for a day of shopping, I cannot think of anything Id enjoy less.
I know that this may seem very difcult to understand for a lot of people, as those
of us who loathe shopping trips are few and far between. But it really is a process which makes me very uncomfortable. How could this be, you may wonder? Well, for instance, standing around while people try on clothes and asking you for your opinion on each item is difcult. I understand how husbands must feel when their wives take them shopping and ask if they look fat, or pretty or nice in different items! Sometimes you have to choose your words carefully as to not offend your friends. For instance, you cannot tell someone that the beautiful satin green sheath dress she has lovingly picked up, makes her look like a watermelon. In a situation where I dont want to comment, Ill step out at that moment for an unexpected phone call which I cannot avoid.
Obviously, its not possible to go through life avoiding shopping completely. But thats why I enlist the help of my good friend, the internet. I can happily sit back and purchase everything I need or want without leaving the comfort of my own home. My goods
are delivered to me and Bobs your uncle! Ive actually been trying to convince my friends to come over to the dark side and shop, by extolling its advantages such as being able to shop from stores out of the country, a wider range of goods and most importantly ... never having to set foot in a hot, sticky mall lled to capacity where parking is a pain and you end up buying things you dont really need.
I think more stores need to get online to cater to a wider audience and make goods more available. Think of the pollution youd be cutting down on if you didnt have to leave your house to indulge in your retail therapy!
SEPTEMBER 2013 73
Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston rib each other talking about their latest lm Were The Millers, a hilarious comedy in which they play a drug dealer and a stripper (respectively, of course) as Rohit Panikker nds out...
Family MattersFilm Name: WERE THE MILLERS | Copyright: (C) 2013 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC.Photo Credit: Michael TackettCaption: (L-r) EMMA ROBERTS as Casey Mathis, JENNIFER ANISTON as Rose OReilly, WILL POULTER as Kenny Rossmore and JASON SUDEIKIS as David Clark in New Line Cinemas action comedy WERE THE MILLERS, a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
Film Name: WERE THE MILLERSCopyright: (C) 2013 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC.Photo Credit: Dave Allocca
74 SEPTEMBER 2013
OVER A CUPPA
They say you cant really choose family. But thats not how the Millers work. In Were The Millers, the hilarious new comedy from Warner Bros, Jason Sudeikis (The Campaign) and Jennifer Aniston (Horrible Bosses, Friends) team up for the rst time, where Sudeikis plays David Clark, a small-time drug dealer and Aniston, a cynical stripper called Rose. The premise is hilarious by itself owing to an unfortunate attempt to play good Samaritan, David lands himself in a situation where he has to recruit Rose, a wannabe teenage customer (Will Poulter) and a teenage tattooed and pierced runaway (Emma Roberts) to pose as a fake family going on vacation to and from Mexico in an attempt to smuggle a smidge of marijuana. Besides being chased by Mexican goons, the four face a series of events and people that will ultimately bring them together, sticking up like a real family would for each other. The two lead actors of the lm recount the experience of making the lm and revisit some hilarious moments from this seasons biggest laugh riot!
The timing between Jennifer and you is amazing in this lm. Can you talk about how you formed that relationship on-camera and whether there was a lot of improvisation?
JASON SUDEIKIS: Well, to answer your rst question, weve worked together in the past, but then Jens made Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Adam Sandler, Jim Carrey and every major comedy star for the last ten years look good. So, I just stood there
and looked pretty, let her do it, which I think was a refreshing change of pace for her.
As actors, you frequently have to bond with strangers or people you dont know very well to create an illusion. So, could you relate to this storyline where these people have to come together for a purpose and really pretend like they like each other?
JENNIFER ANISTON: Yeah. Well, thats what was fun about it, the attitude we have towards each other at the beginning. I mean, my character cant stand him. And she doesnt know the kids.
JASON SUDEIKIS: She doesnt give me the time of day at the beginning of the movie. Thats where we begin.
Does that happen to you when you go on a movie set and you have to suddenly become a family?
JENNIFER ANISTON: I think we actually do become a family. You spend three or four months of your life every day, all day, sometimes way too long (laughs), and you just have each other.
JASON SUDEIKIS: Its the reality show model. You put people in the same town in the middle of North Carolina for four months, give them a job. But were not working in a T-shirt factory, were making a movie. And then you end up loving each other and liking each other and hating each other and getting annoyed with each other and everything that the movie goes through. So its not so much like the process of making a movie and faking it. As an actor, its probably being used to having done other movies and having to get across the familial aspect or thing that occurs when you hang out with people so long.
QUESTION: What was your favorite scene to shoot?
JASON SUDEIKIS: Striptease, right, Jen? But I would say the tent scene. I enjoyed our father and son scene that came right after the Pictionary.
JENNIFER ANISTON: Oh, yeah. The striptease was the best! There were so many fun scenes, but Nick (Offerman) and Kathryn (Hahn) in that tent for me was fun.
QUESTION: Jennifer, you look amazing in the movie. Can you give us a few tips on how you got into that kind of shape? Did you have any secrets?
JENNIFER ANISTON: No secrets. A few tips? There was an amazing choreographer, a wonderful trainer and a beautiful cinematographer, and all that good stuff. But I did work out a lot. No food. There was a lot of celery, a lot of salads, a lot of celery sticks, a lot of cucumbers. Ice chips. They did let me eat ice chips. Water was good. No. (laughs) I mean, I ate normally, just no carbs.
Jennifer, how did you get into the head and body of a stripper? And also, shes a pretty angry stripper. Did you discover something that you put into it about stripper rage?
JENNIFER ANISTON: Well, they had to drag me out of that strip club every night! (laughs) I think shes a sad stripper who has built up this sort of tough exterior from being disappointed many times throughout her life and making some bad choices. Bad men choices, decisions. I thought of her maybe as a classically trained dancer who then didnt quite make it. But the rage. I dont know, I think rage is sadness turned outward. What is it? But how did I get into it? I pretended and acted. I saw it as just very hardened. Not so much rageful.
What about the physicality?
JENNIFER ANISTON: Well, I worked with this amazing choreographer and started learning some pretty crazy moves. And it just became easy. It was really fun, actually. So I have a stripper pole in my house now. (laughs)
Normally when youre doing a lm, you only have to prepare for one role, but you had to play two and theyre very opposite roles. How did you balance that out?
JASON SUDEIKIS: Gosh, yeah, I would say, for me, the big distinction for me between Denver David and David Miller was how many buttons I had buttoned on my shirt. That was how I made a distinction. When I was playing button up, that means there was somebody of authority around, or just some way we had to pretend to be the part. Even going through the airport. Anybody with a uniform. That would be two buttons, then one button would be when I was chilled out and relaxed and more angry. So that was the distinction. If you can see chest hair, (laughs) Im angry. And if you cant, then Im annoyed. And those are my two moves.
JENNIFER ANISTON: It was just those horrible capri pants and that awful eyelet blue shirt and the popped collar. That was it. And those little Keds sneakers. It was pretty easy to go into Rose Miller just with the wardrobe. They always say it starts with your shoes. And its true.
SEPTEMBER 2013 75
OF TRUE STORIES AND REAL PEOPLE
It is said that even though history is written by the victors be it in a battle, a political struggle or even in a difference of ideological, the most
honest and accounts of the times come from the oppressed. And in The Butler, a historical race drama, director Lee Daniels (Precious) attempts to tell the story from the point of view of a butler at the White House, serving across different American Presidents. Loosely based on the life of Eugene Allen, a real-life butler, the lm stars Forest Whitaker (Repo Men, Vantage Point) as Cecil Gaines, an African-American who eyewitnesses notable events of the 20th century during his 34-year tenure serving at the White House.
In The Butler, actor Forest Whitaker plays a house help for a series of American Presidents, thus experiencing history from behind the scenes, as Rohit Panikker nds out...
76 SEPTEMBER 2013
OVER A CUPPA
and First Ladies. What positive effect do you think that has in the bigger picture?
We have all these individuals, like Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, who were in powerful positions preceding President Obama. I dont think Obama would be president without the movement of those others and people understanding, and accepting, that there were African Americans in positions of power. These individuals shifted the public opinion, even if it was just subconsciously. I believe Obama was destined to take his position and Im really happy he did.
But destiny has its movement and things build up to a moment until, as Malcolm Gladwell would say, a tipping point occurs. In this sense, I think the character of Cecil is a good example of an individual contributing towards shifting larger opinions on race. In the lm, Kennedys tie and Johnsons clip are the two gifts Cecil gets and keeps. Both of those Presidents shifted policy for civil rights in the country, with Kennedy starting rst before being assassinated. Johnson was sometimes called a racist and was vilied for his position on Vietnam, but he also did things that were monumental for human rights in the US and getting laws passed through.
Cecil gets upset when his son says Sidney Poitier is just a black man acting like a white man wants him to. How do you interpret that?
Cecil gets angered because in his mind, Sidney Poitier is an activist and a trailblazer. Movies like A Patch Of Blue and Brother John were impossible for black men to be in before he came along. The roads he paved are still being walked today; the work and access he created were unprecedented. When Cecils son argues that this man should be disrespected, Cecil wants to be cordial as a father, but its too much for him to bear.
That said, what Lee does with the lm thats really great is that he explores Uncle Tom-ism. My characters son, Louis, looks at me in some ways as an Uncle Tom. In fact, hes sometimes embarrassed of me. Martin Luther King tells him my position in the White House is in fact very important. People like Bill Bojangles Robinson and Louis Armstrong were considered for a period of time as Uncle Toms. But before them, African American people didnt perform
in certain venues or go into certain rooms because they werent allowed. They were activists and treading roads that werent tread on before for others to be able to walk through. If you go through a jungle and youre using a machete to get past the vines in front of you, know that the person who chopped the vines down before you paved a road for you to move forward.
Tell us about working with all these other actors who were portraying US Presidents in the lm.
It was fantastic because I was sort of the common link. Thats the thing about workers in the White House its their house in a way. When I spoke with some of the real life butlers who had been employed there, they would say that they were there for years and would see presidents come and go, yet they would stay working behind the scenes.
While lming, it would be a new experience with each new actor playing a president. John Cusack plays a sort of mad Nixon. I was thrilled to work with him, as hes a great actor. The scene where hes in the middle of Watergate, playing the tapes over and over, was exciting to do. James Marsden brought relaxation and comfort to the Kennedy role. I loved working with him. His character is very linked to mine. Id worked with Robin Williams before. I enjoyed his stillness and simplicity in the role of Eisenhower. It was very delicate. He did a beautiful job of portraying pain and contemplation.
This is Oprahs return to acting. What about this lm in particular do you think convinced her to come back?
She had a relationship with Lee of course from producing Precious and trusted him as a lmmaker. She and I have had a long relationship and had wanted to work together for a while. I think mainly though, what the story is telling historically and showing America through those eyes was important to her. I also think she was interested in exploring family and love. One thing that our characters have as husband and wife throughout the lm was a deep bond of love through all the strains, through her characters alcoholism, and all else. I think as an artist she must have been intrigued by this character because its powerful and complex, and she does an amazing job. Im really happy I got to do the lm with her I cant imagine having done it with anyone else.
Now, for Whitaker, who is no stranger to historical dramas, having won an Academy award, a BAFTA and a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in 2006, the character of Cecil Gaines, as he explains, is a good example of an individual contributing towards shifting larger opinions on race. The lm explores a large cross-section of the last half-century of race relations and civil rights in the United States a historic progression that led to the election of an African American President. With a predilection for the drama, the actor gets talking on the inner workings of the cast and characters of the lm that reportedly made even President Obama tear up, and the experience of working with a powerhouse like Oprah.
This lm simultaneously covers a large span of American history and tells a father-son story, as played by you and David Oyelowo. Tell us a little about that dynamic.
I think what Lee Daniels did with this lm is pretty powerful because he dealt with the civil rights movement through the characters of me (Cecil) and my son (Louis). My sons an activist rst in college, and then working with Martin Luther King and eventually Malcolm X. Its a broad scope of individuals in that particular movement. At the same time, you see me in the White House during those periods where decisions were being made behind the scenes with Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, and so forth. They were shaping the face of civil and human rights in the country and, in effect, the world.
Its also a father-son story. My character represents the old school and the old guard. He is changing opinions by his mere presence in the White House, by his behaviour and his acceptance. In a sense, I humanize the black community because the Presidents and staff have to deal with me on a human level. Then you have my son addressing those same issues in the streets with the civil rights movement, through things like marches and sit-ins. The conict is between us and our different generations. All I want is my son to be safe and have a good life; thats what I think Im doing in discouraging his activism. The growth for me is to realise that I deserve certain rights too, and its through my son that I come to understand that.
As White House butler, Cecil develops personal relationships with Presidents
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and no, this is no spoiler because a perusal of the respective blurbs will tell you this much is that a Palestinian baby is kidnapped/abducted/stolen and taken by an Israeli family. The antagonism, the hatred and the sense of disregard for all things Arab and Palestinian is passed on to the stolen child.
And that makes you think. Profoundly. What is it about conict, really, that keeps it alive? Is it that we as a people are inherently termagant ghters that we simply cannot consider anything in our path to trounce what we assume is
Jean Sasson and Susan Abulhawa present two different viewpoints to the Israel and Palestine conict. Yet the very thing that sets their books apart is the similarity in their plots, says Kirthi Jayakumar.
Of Emotionally Charged Narratives
For anyone who thinks that the birth of Israel has everything solely to do with the Holocaust, a reading of Jean Sassons Esters Child and
Susan Abulhawas Mornings in Jenin is in order. Stories that chronicle a very, very prudent truth both, of how babies can teach us important lessons, and of how it is not who we are told that we are that matters, but it is who we truly are, deep down.
That said, the premise of both books are similar: although the plots are larger and variant. The core premise of both books
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wrong? Is it about making a point, a point that what the right hand gives should be kept from the knowledge of the left hand? Or is it, that we have an inherent sense of disregard for questioning that which is wrong overtly while we covertly do exactly what we want?
In both of the books, there is one simmering undercurrent: that a conict is ultimately one between brothers. Some, related by blood. Some, not related by blood but bound by the greater ethos of the religion of humanity. Whether it is in Jeans uid style of narration with an
authentic charm that starts from the thick of the Holocaust and ends in the cusp of the worst eras of the Israel-Palestine conict, or in the incredibly emotionally charged and beautifully woven fabric of Palestinian society by Susan Abulhawa that chronicles the story through the eyes of a Palestinian girl, the point they make is simply beautiful, and makes you want to question yourself.
What Jeans book does for you is to narrate a tale in as straightforward a manner as one could tangibly expect, with the tenor of a gifted story teller. Susans
book, on the contrary, has episodic snatches from here and there, with almost a documentary-movie feel that etches the core facts of a difcult reality in your mind, with a beautiful storyline.
Whether Mornings in Jenin or Esters Child, there is one common element that you take home from both: the beauty in the human face of literature that they have both carved with ease. Showing you the quintessence of humanity, projecting that it doesnt matter what you grow to be you are human, deep down.
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guitar and Raveesh Trikey on bass, Live Banned derives inspiration from not taking themselves, or life too seriously. According to the vocalist, Live Banned is a live act and the music is nothing like youve heard before. We are shameless, we are mad, we are stylish and we entertain. We are always live and very, very loud. The ENT doctors love us. We are very nice people off stage and you are welcome to hang out with us! Perhaps that should explain the irreverence with which they take to the stage, aiming to do nothing but just entertain.
And its not only on stage. Live Banned has also built a reputation for themselves with their hilarious online videos and promos before their shows like the one they made before their Blue Frog gig or their Soda Studio promo before their Counterculture gig (It is happening this Friday, after the dry day..ah nice, invites Amrit in a hilarious Malayali accented impression).
Now, even after two years since they started, the band has not yet released an album, as is the norm. Amrit says, Were not sure if we would release a full-edged audio album at all. The reason being, we are a very visual band and not just aural. The original tracks would make more sense with a video or at a live show. The songs were written to suit this idea, although it wasnt a conscious effort initially. There will be a release but with a lot of visual content in the form of a DVD or even bigger. Some grand things are being planned and will be announced by the end of this year.
Meanwhile, Amrit has gone on to release his solo project, and with a viral track called Sappa Matter Da. On the Live Banned
front, they released a single called The Auto Tune, a song which Amrit explains, is about not-so friendly, greedy, crazy, rude and mindless auto drivers in India. Its a song the people of Chennai and Bengaluru would relate to the most and brings out the anguish of auto passengers in India. After a decade of autorickshaw travel, there couldnt have been a better subject than this to write about.
So, whats next on the cards for the band? We are working some new compositions and focusing more on them to strike a balance between originals and the mash-ups. We will start shooting for our next music video Death Dance sometime this month, which will be shot mainly in Chennai, Bengaluru and Mumbai and can be expected by the end of this year, shares the vocalist.
Parody is one of the things we do and its very evident. But our music and concept go beyond that, explains Amrit about what they do. We mash up songs, twist them around, shake them a bit and present them in the most unexpected way. Watch their performance for a taste of how Live Banned can mash up a series of popular favourites, be it from your regular Tamil kuthu songs or a David Guetta number. But the vocalist explains that even though parody is an essential ingredient in their act, their original compositions often tend to take on more serious issues, but yet again, nothing better than a load of sarcasm and satire to drive home a message. Our originals are satirical and talk about issues that appeal to everyone, irrespective of the location, class and demographics, adds Amrit.
Rohit Panikker catches up with Live Banned, an entertaining stage act from Bengaluru and picks apart their music, which is a unique blend of genres.
Live Banned is not your typical breed of live band. As funny as it sounds, sometimes its almost impossible to do justice to a live act with mere words on a page. The problem usually arises when the act itself is so entertaining, you can write nothing but about how you felt rather than a prissy review on how the music and the ambience was! Take a look at the Facebook page of this ve-piece act thats garnered so much attention in less than two years of their inception, and you would get a fairly good idea of what you can expect from them on stage; Live Banned is a concept. Live Banned is about entertainment. The bands originals and medleys are popular for their humour that is sometimes intelligent and at other times atrocious. The performances are bold, amboyant and energetic, inuenced by South Indian music, Bollywood, Disco, Pop, Rock and Metal. The band satirises, restructures and twists popular music across genres and languages that appeals to everyone, from the man on the street to an audience from the corporate world.
Comprising Amrit Rao on vocals, Dheerendra Doss on drums, Dhruv Kumar on guitar, Siddhart Kamath on keyboard/
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Vidya Singh checks out Focaccia at The Hyatt Regency with a group of friends for lunch and great conversation.
Photography by A.V.Abhay Kumar
From left to right: Ranvir Shah, Sharan Apparao, Vidya Singh and Benoit Olivier.
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We lunch today at The Focaccia, the Italian connection at The Hyatt Regency Hotel, a trattoria-styled restaurant, that will be showcasing to us food that comes from Southern Italy, Campania, Puglia, Calabria and of course Sicily, all areas that stretch from the ocean to the hills. These names themselves sound so exotic that we eagerly await what Chef Massimiliano Pauletto, will be presenting to us today. Chef Massimiliano himself comes from this very same region, and uses the best ingredients to create very authentic Italian dishes native to these areas.
The food is certainly simple and very fresh with individualistic avours. The ambience is invigorating and we are all eager to settle down to enjoy the lunch amid some great conversation. Sharan Apparao, Benoit Olivier, Ranvir Shah and I look around and nd that we are very comfortable in this casual, trattoria style space, which has been laid out with comfort in mind. The rustic oor, quaint wooden chandeliers and other Italian touches all add to the
experience. At lunchtime there is a buffet of the Antipasti selection, while the main courses can be chosen from the menu.
Sharan Apparao is a leading art gallerist and curator, who travels the world, experiencing contemporary art in its varied forms. Live to Eat and Enjoy is her way of life, being an extremely creative cook and entertainer herself. Ranvir Shah is a culture catalyst, who enjoys the world of business during the day and the worlds of different forms of art in the after-hours. He strives to create islands of beauty even if they are temporary! Benoit Olivier, director of Alliance Francaise Chennai, has been the dynamic driving force behind the organisation during his few years in our city. As you can see, my dining companions are all extremely well-travelled and have an intrinsic appreciation of ne food.
Having begun his career in Milan, Chef Massimiliano Pauletto has been creating food for over a decade and has a nouveau approach to Italian cuisine,
always aiming to make it lighter, healthier and possibly funkier! He has worked in Paris, London and even in Southeast Asia, but his food is inspired from his childhood memories of Italy and hence the simple, holistic approach. With hobbies that range from yoga to deep sea diving, he brings lan to Focaccia.
The food at Focaccia prides itself on being authentic, uncomplicated and fresh. And I am already starting to get great feedback from all three friends. We start by tucking into the delicious focaccia bread that is a signature dish of the restaurant and the tangy sundried tomato dip. We then wander over to the Antipasti selection. For the vegetarians there is the very soft and well-made eggplant, a part of every Italian selection. There is also a classic Tomato Mozzerella salad with basil, which gets an instant thumbs-up from Benoit. An unusual dish of baked onion with cheese catches my fancy and before long, I ask for a second helping of the dish! The delicious zucchini warm salad is crisp and fresh. The
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tomato mushroom bruschetta has always been my favourite choice of starters and I tend to order it at any Italian restaurant I go to. To my joy, Focaccias bruschetta turns out to be certiably good. There is even a tossed salad on offer with vegetables, lots of salad leaves and a choice of dressings to go with it.
Benoit being an avid meat lover livens up the afternoon with his intelligent take on the food. He notes that the style of cooking of a lot of the dishes at Focaccia is authentic, from old recipes around Italy. To our surprise Chef Massimiliano endorses his observation saying that several of them were indeed family recipes! The Beef Carpaccio Tenderloin is tender and perfectly sliced; the Liver Pat with olives is absolutely perfect as is the sliced cured parma ham salad. Benoit tries grilled prawns, calamari and other seafood and pronounces them all excellent. There is a large round cheese platter on the table that everyone took bits out of to accompany the antipasti spread, as well as a wonderful choice of breads.
After all the antipasti, we take a mini break before indulging in the next course. The pasta is simply delicious Chef has made the classic Aglio Olio with organic spaghetti and olive oil, tossed with garlic and chilli and flavoured with parsley. What a deliciously flavourful dish! Benoits pasta has a rustic tomato-based sauce with basil, tossed with slow-braised lamb. He again pronounces it very authentic.
The pizza is sent to us next. With a thin crust, layered with a yummy tomato sauce and plenty of roasted vegetables, the pizza is simply outstanding and the four of us relish every slice.
We nally reach the best part of the afternoon, the desserts! The berry pannacota is gentle on the palate and tastes great, but the highlight is most denitely the Tiramisu. Ubiquitous it may be, but the Tiramisu at Focaccia is just outstanding. Chef Massimiliano has got it just right. Benoit says that the strong
taste of the coffee indicates that it is again, denitely an old recipe. It is just right, not too sweet and I