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  • 10/26/17--04:24: In a fit of fury
  • The average Bengalurean's drive in the city is often spiced with irritation cause by blaring horns, people taking dangerous U-turns and broken roads. This in turn leads to squabbles and fights on the roads which even escalate to more serious episodes. In the light of recent road-rage incidents that happened at Tavarekere Main Road and KG Halli, in the last few weeks, Bengalureans raise their concern over the need for sensitive driving.

    Be it the smoke or the constant honking, many factors on the road contribute to recurring road rage incidents. Bengalureans like Abishek Ananda, a customer care representative, who travels for around 30 kms everyday within city limits, says that cab drivers around IT parks add to the frustration with their callous behaviour. "Their target is to leave and reach on schedule and they don't mind inconveniencing others in the process," he adds.

    Abishek adds that road rage can only be addressed from an individual point of view. "Patience is the key to safe driving," he says.

    The self-centered approach is only leading to accidents and averse situations, observes Kamala Ramesh, a technical delivery manager. "Everyone is in a hurry and wants to reach their end destination sooner. And they don't mind doing so by inconveniencing others. A sensitive approach while on the road is a must," she says. When vehicles suddenly jerk, bikers suffer a bigger impact. "They could either fall off the bike or hit someone else," she adds.

    Kamala who travels from Jayanagar to Hebbal daily, says that arguments on the road are a common sight now. "It's a lack of discipline and knowledge of rules that leads to exchange of words. Creating awareness about basic road etiquette is the only way out," she points out. Better traffic management is the best solution, she adds. "The traffic cops should be strict with rules and a frequent perpetrator's driver's license should be revoked," she details.

    Karthik Kumar, an associate vice-president with a software firm, who travels by the Outer Ring Road everyday says that he sees at least two to three similar incidents everyday. "From minor accidents to physical brawls, I witness something everyday. Most often, the riders forget that brakes exist and just use the accelerator and the horn. Many are seen taking sudden U turns, which leads to confusion on the road," he adds.

    Add to these, the broken and tattered condition of the roads contribute to any Bengalurean's plight. "With huge crater-like potholes in the middle of the roads, everyday is a battle. While one is trying to maintain their balance through this, if suddenly someone honks or overtakes, it can make one lose their balance," he says. Proper infrastructural changes like better roads and use of public transport can lead to lesser traffic, he adds.

    Agreeing to this, psychologist and life counsellor Aditya Mansingh, pitches in that frustration at work also leads to irritation during travel time. "There have been incidents, when I lost my temper on autodrivers. Most of them have the tendency to yell out, even when a vehicle hasn't hit them. This by itself can make one lose their balance," she says. Staying cool-headed when hitting the road, is the biggest need of the hour, she says.

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  • 10/26/17--04:26: 'It's fun being married'
  • Celebrity comedian Sundeep Rao takes his humour very seriously and outs in a lot of work into it. He likes to be known as 'India's funniest partially blind comedian' and draws inspiration for his jokes from the nitty-gritties of real life.

    He will be headlining a show titled 'Wedx - Where Husbands Dare' on October 28 at Alliance Francaise. Gearing up to give Bengaluru a bad case of the giggles, Sundeep talks to Rajitha Menon about the requirements of comedy and more.

    How has the journey been so far?

    It's been great. I have picked up things along the way and there has been a growth in my performance, delivery and writing over the years. But there have also been things which I could have done but didn't do.

    What is the standup comedy scene in Bengaluru like right now?

    It is quite vibrant in terms of show frequency and audience interest. Acceptance of live comedy shows as an option for entertainment has increased. The audience has become more discerning in terms of what they like. Unfortunately, the quality of the comedians themselves hasn't really improved. For every 1-2 comedian who is good, there are around 20 who are substandard.

    Thoughts about hecklers..

    You can't avoid them but you shouldn't give them too much importance either. There are hecklers who think they make the show better because they participate, which is not true. You can support a comedian by laughing or even not laughing, but interrupting is not cool. But one shouldn't become aggressive and go after them as it ruins the experience for the rest of the crowd.

    If you could choose your audience for a show...

    Since my entire routine is in English, an audience that thinks and speaks in English is ideal; people who have lived life, who have travelled, who have seen success and difficulties and who have come to grips with their insecurities.

    If you could trade jobs with someone for a day...

    I have already traded jobs with my gardener for a day when he didn't turn up. But if I could, I would like to be a supercar racer. I love cars but my medical condition doesn't allow me to do this.

    One thing you hate being asked...

    As a comedian, I hate being asked to incorporate people's recommendations into the show. Honestly, if you are so eager to tell me what I should talk about, then do it yourself. As an individual, I hate being asked how much can I see. I have no issues when people ask me about my disability. What irritates me is when they say things like 'Haven't you gone to a doctor?'. Yes, like I have never tried that.

    Requirements to be a standup comedian..

    Differs from person to person but basically you have to be willing to learn and not have an ego. You can be opinionated and cynical but not judgemental.

    Tell us a bit about this show...

    As the theme suggests, it's about men who are married. But these are not the cliched jokes about suffering and loss of freedom and all. That's very old school; it's fun being married. I will be talking about my relationship with my wife - how she is the one who drives and goes out for work while I sit at home.

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    Football has been a part of Graham Stuart's life for as long as he can remember. He grew up playing football in school and college and was a professional player for some of London's leading teams till he retired a few years ago.

    The Ambassador for Everton Football Club in Liverpool, Graham travels across the world, nurturing young minds and giving them a tip or two about what it takes to be a professional footballer. Graham, who was in the city recently for the Premier League Fanpark event, chats with Nina C George about his love for the sport and his experience in India.

    How did your love for football begin?

    I grew up in a small town in London. I remember playing football during break time at school and I would return home only to play football, till my mother called me in for supper. Such was my craze for the game and it lasted till the last day I actively played the sport. My 16-year-old son Joseph has taken after me in this regard.

    What do you and Joseph bond over?

    My son and I bond over football. Most of our conversation revolves around sports and of course, food.

    Do you both experiment with Indian food?

    Joseph, like me, loves Indian food. He enjoys a plate of 'Chicken tikka masala' and 'Tandoori mixed grill'. I recently tried 'Lamb biryani' so I have recommended that to him. I like my curries to be spicy. The spiciest curry that I have eaten so far is 'Chicken Madras' which is a dish that we get in one of the Indian restaurants in England.

    Your advice to young footballers.

    I always tell the young footballers to work very hard and practise even harder. I also caution them to eat the right kind of food and work on building their strength and stamina.

    How do you interpret the sport on a personal level?

    It's our national game just like cricket is ingrained in mindsets of the people of India. The sport now keeps me occupied on a daily basis and keeps my mind active.

    Your thoughts on the football scene in India.
    The football scene here is growing and the players here are quite open to learning.

    How do you connect with Bengaluru?

    I was in Mumbai a couple of years ago for the 'Premiere League Live' and the culture between the two cities is very similar. I can see a huge passion and appetite for football here.

    What are your thoughts about Bengaluru?

    The traffic jams here are quite similar to the ones we have back home in London.

    Would you like to come back to India?

    I wouldn't miss any chance to come back to India. I am happy to come to India only for the food.

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  • 10/27/17--02:56: The next big adventure
  • You know you are getting older when...

    You can still sing the jingle to 'washing powder Nirma'.

    'The World This Week' told you more news in an hour than half a dozen news channels do in a week today.

    Breakdance was 'the' dance of the century, whether you could do it or not.

    You thought everything in the world would crash when the year 2000 came along.

    Atari was a state of the art video game.

    Neon, fluorescent colours were 'in' (and secretly still are).

    You remember when David Hasselholf had a talking black car with attitude.
    The 'A-Team' and 'Street Hawk' monologues are still there at the back of your head.

    Brand new geometry boxes were cool accessories in Math class.

    You did a 'FLAME' test to check if you were best friends with somebody.

    Every home you went to had at least one Godrej cupboard with the family heirloom locked safely away.

    The Onida advertisement on your TV carton scared your sibling out of your room.

    Nutties and Hajmola candy rubbed shoulders on the kitchen shelf.

    Goldspot was the zing thing.

    You remember when 'Amar Chitra Katha' and 'Shikari Shambu' took over from 'Sputnik'.

    The safe Ambassador was your family car.

    From new year's resolutions to birthday resolutions, there's always some underlying reason behind why the average person goes on a quick spree of doing things out of the ordinary at a milestone. There's always a tattoo to get, salsa to be learnt, gym routine to begin and more before you're even 30. And all of a sudden you wake up, and before you can say 'zootopia', you find children calling you 'aunty or uncle' in an elevator and people offering to read the price tag for you at the supermarket because your reading glasses were left at home. Welcome to the 40s.

    If there ever is a tricky number, 40 it is. From Ali Baba's 40 thieves to the 40 squares on a monopoly board or 40 days of fasting and basically even 40 winks, 40 is literally everywhere. To make matters worse, 40°F is actually equal to 40°C.

    It's generally a pattern if you go through the whole evolution study of how we finally grow up. It begins with the troublesome twos to frustrating teenage years when you're not sure whom you're fighting. Move on to the 20s when you wonder where you're headed professionally or the 30s when you're not sure you're doing the right thing at the right time. All of a sudden, you've hit the 40s — which surprisingly, tend to come as a bit of a welcome relief. To a certain extent, you're fairly settled personally, have a fair idea of where you're headed professionally, and if it weren't for those reading glasses, you'd still feel 22. Quite logically, you're technically still 22 with 18 years of experience.

    Happiness quotient

    A study by the University of Alberta researchers, conducted over 25 years, concluded last year to the fact that contrary to popular belief, happiness doesn't really stall at midlife, but instead has an upward trajectory. "People are happier in their early 40s than they were at age 18. The rise in happiness between the teens and early 40s is not consistent with a mid-life crisis," according to a paper initially published online in Developmental Psychology.

    Arun Edward, senior manager in an ITES firm, talks of how turning 40 hasn't really changed how he feels, but could change the world's perception of him. "It's funny how I still feel the same, and still enjoy the same things I did 10 years ago, but suddenly I have children in the neighbourhood who call me uncle and a lot more grey hair than I know about."

    Pitbull, among other interesting celebrities, put it rather nicely — "40 is the new 30". There's nothing really stopping those of us hitting the other side of middle age from living it up. Bucket lists be damned, there's a lot more to be done before you write that bucket list down in two decade's time.

    Here, instead, are four pointers that help declutter the wardrobe of your mind now that you've spent all those years on planet earth:

    Find a passion: Get moving. You're finally old enough to do something, or nothing — your choice. You don't really need permission to do anything anymore. Whether it's a hike to Spiti or bungee jumping, if you want to do it, go for it. Face those fears, conquer those mountains and get moving. Samuel L Jackson was actually 46 when he got to share that Big Kahuna Burger for breakfast in Pulp Fiction. So, if you want to take up professional Latino dancing tomorrow, go for it! You never know how famous you'll get two decades on.

    Respect your decisions: You are your best answer, and there's mighty little you don't know. Not to say you know the answers to everything, but it helps to have a smart phone here. There's no conversation you cannot join or contribute to. Life has actually taught you enough to make you an authority of sorts on practically all trades. Stop searching for advice in the wrong quarters; what you decide is your final and best answer to every question. You can choose to dole out advice, having actually been there done that, or not if you don't want to interfere.

    Stay true to yourself: Know that it doesn't take a village: Trim your friend list. You can finally cross the thin line between whom you want to talk to and those you don't. There's a difference between a friend and an acquaintance, and you finally no longer need to stay with people who don't make you feel happy after you've met them. Your age gives you the excuse to stop staying in touch with people who don't contribute positively, and wisdom should tell you when it's time to cut some people loose.

    Prioritise everything: From the minute you wake up, prioritise. If you want that fancy corner office, don't leave early because it's raining. If you'd rather spend time with the kids, don't waste time texting someone on your phone while they wait for your attention. Shut down your laptop over the weekend and make time for yourself. Do things you enjoy. Travel, read, or just stop and do nothing. Your option, your dream.

    Learn an instrument, sponsor a child, dance in the rain, stay home from work, write a letter or two; there's so much more to be accomplished before you reach the end of the road. Besides, quite frankly, the best part about getting older is that we did all our crazy stuff before social media took over the Internet. And ain't that something we can sleep easy about today!

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  • 10/27/17--03:30: Mentors for every mood
  • Professor Dumbledore tells Harry Potter that it's our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities. Don't we all yearn for someone who makes us feel our mind is a wood to be ignited and not an empty vessel to be filled? What happens when you wake up one morning and realise you are surging ahead like a rudderless ship? Then a mentor comes into your life, like a knight in shining armour, to guide you towards your goals and aspirations.

    We all need a mentor in every aspect of our life, be it spiritual, vocational, personal etc. The one who sees our weaknesses and makes them a springboard to develop our skills. A mentor tells you to tread a path in the right way without feeling lost as to why you chose that journey in the first place.

    Anyone can walk the path, but few know how to walk with diligence and determination. Only a mentor can steer you in that direction. A mentor can be anyone you look up to and you emulate their ideas to motivate you into shaping your life.

    How often are we productive, focused and mindfully involved? Edward De Bono, a psychologist devised a parallel thinking method to aid us in our decisions. He can be a mentor to anyone who struggles with decision making. He said we all mentally switch hats while using the six-hat thinking method.

    The white hat stands for information and facts. The red hat talks about our feelings and intuitions. The yellow hat makes us probe for positives, value and benefit in a situation or person. The green hat, indicating creativity, gives us an opportunity to put forth new concepts and perceptions. The black hat spots the difficulties and dangers where things might go wrong. The blue hat directs and manages the whole thinking process. It makes one focus on what is important and which aspect of thinking should be prioritised based on the situation.

    We can take decisions with much clarity if we use this above thinking mode opting different coloured hats each time we feel deadlocked in a situation.

    Why mentors are invaluable?

    Bill Gates credits his success to Warren Buffet for giving him the best of advice on how to deal with tough situations and how to think long-term. Gates also admires the way Buffet teaches things that are complex and puts them in a simple form so that people can understand and benefit.

    Sometimes mentors also look up to their students, as Buffet says he loves Bill's view that one should always contribute to the society when there is so much wealth accumulated.

    Henry David Thoreau said, "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation." A mentor tells you not to resign to that and how to break out.

    When you find 'the one'

    Find someone you want to be like. Although you can never be like someone else, it would help you take decision to follow the path you want in life. Be like a sponge and soak up every ounce of advice the person has to offer you to break through the hurdles.

    Mentors can be found anywhere

    You are conversing with a friend on WhatsApp who says you're a masterpiece no matter who comes and goes in your life. Your self-worth is independent of others.

    This genuine friend is a mentor at that particular moment. He makes you see yourself for who you actually are. He brings you back to life when you were feeling down.

    There is no hard and fast rule that a mentor has to be someone who is wiser and older to you, doling out wisdom more than you can handle. Someone who is generous enough to invest time on you and see your true nature is also a mentor.

    Mentors provide a spark

    A simple path of guidance pushes you to take that first step in accomplishing your goal. Richard Branson's uncle Jim told him, "Whenever people think your idea is barmy, it could actually prove to be a stroke of genius." Branson felt encouraged to
    take the path less travelled for whatever it is.

    Someone who walks the walk

    Why do you need a mentor? You want to know the experience of someone who has already arrived where you want to be. The opportunity to see the day-to-day experience of someone, who has ended exactly where you see yourself in the future, is invaluable.

    A mentor can be anyone who stands like the light at the end of a tunnel and paves the way for you to see your real worth.

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  • 10/27/17--03:34: Breathe mindfully
  • The human mind is mostly chaotic, restless and causes stress and anxiety. Stress causes mental, emotional and physical problems — it makes people angry, unhappy and often depressed. Stress also causes heart problems, diabetes and other chronic diseases that become hard to manage. Protecting your health is important, and your breath is the route to a happier and healthier you.

    Your breath is the most powerful tool that will help you relax your mind, release stress and anxiety. Most human beings breathe shallow, from their chest to their nostrils, which reduces the oxygen intake in the body, lowers energy levels and adds to a chaotic mind. When you slow down and lengthen the breath, the mind becomes calm, harmful stress hormones get released, and the blood gets richly oxygenated, resulting in overall health and well-being.

    The more often you practice focusing on your breath, the more focused and relaxed your mind will become, and your ability to live life being more peaceful and alert will also improve significantly. Do not hold your breath if you suffer from heart disease, low or high blood pressure, vertigo, or are pregnant.

    Lets take a step-by-step approach towards breath meditation:

    Sit up straight in a comfortable crossed-legged position (or on a chair), with your lower spine drawn towards your navel. Feel the natural lift of your entire spine and let your shoulders roll back and down, keeping your chin parallel to the ground.

    Focus on the inhalation and exhalation of your breath, as you slowly begin to disconnect from the outside world. Keep your eyes closed throughout this practice. Use your inhalations to draw your senses inwards and your exhalations to release all your thoughts and emotions — positive or negative.

    Take a few moments to settle your mind. Then drop your attention to the navel and slowly inhale for four counts, using your abdominal and spinal muscles. As you begin to inhale, mentally say, 'inhale — 102, 103, 104,' gently drawing the breath up your spine, extending the breath to the crown. Do not create any stress in the chest as you breathe. Become aware of your expanding lungs, and extend your stomach outwards like a balloon, until your lungs are full. If you place two fingers on your relaxed abdomen, you will feel your hand being pushed outwards as you inhale deeply. Pause for a moment.

    Then exhale for four counts, mentally saying, 'exhale — 102, 103, 104,' as you gently release the breath back down the spine and through the navel, emptying your lungs out completely. As you exhale, slowly draw the navel into the spine. To understand this movement better, place two fingers on your relaxed belly, and as you exhale deeply, you will feel the abdomen move away from the fingers and towards the spine.

    The length of the inhalation should equal the duration of the exhalation. Each inhalation and exhalation makes one round.

    Complete five to 10 rounds then continue to sit quietly with your eyes shut and let your breath come back to normal. Stay with the breath.

    Continue to breathe slowly, and make an effort to breathe consciously and feel each breath — you will find that you become more focused and present.

    Every time the mind wanders off, you should be alert enough to recognise this and come back to your breath. Don't worry about the fact that you have thoughts in your mind, but be alert and don't let yourself get swept away by them. Just keep coming back to the breath, until you manage to steady your mind.

    The mind is the root cause of all your experiences of pain, unhappiness and ill health. Taking the time to bring order to your mind and to make it a healthier place to live, is critical if you want to live a happy, meaningful and healthy life.

    Staying centred

    Each asana provides us with a gateway to the mastery of the physical body. It requires that we approach each posture with reflective attention, finding our balance and centredness, despite the distractions of the mind and the physical body. Similarly, every challenge we face in life has a solution, but it requires that we retain our centredness.

    Through the regulation of the breath, we are able to relax, focus the mind and become present. Only then are we able to move within to find that point of stillness that enables our clarity and creativity to awaken and flow. Our life practice requires us to constantly step back from the chaos and confusion of our lives, to detach and allow all the necessary elements to come together before clarity sets in.

    It takes a mindful state of being to approach our lives with creative intelligence, and to successfully overcome the issues we are confronted with. Ultimately, whether we practise Iyengar Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, the Bihar School of Yoga or any other, the ultimate challenge is to move beyond the physical practice of asana, to tame our minds and our senses so that we can move towards a cultivation of the inner Self, to a deeper level of
    consciousness where greater clarity and wisdom reign — this is the true path of yoga.

    (The author is a wellness expert and has written the book 'Just Breathe')

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    With the delightful zest of raw mango and zing of ginger, mango-ginger (maavina shunti or amba haldi) is a close cousin of turmeric and is used in pickles, dips and seasoning. This rhizome has the combined flavours of ginger, turmeric and raw mango and has potent carminative, digestive, antihistamine and antispasmodic properties.

    Known as amragandhi haridra in Sanskrit, it is said to have a cold potency and can balance the tri-doshas. Ayurveda uses mango-ginger as a remedy for a broad spectrum of ailments like fungal infections, colic pains, anorexia, bloating and cold and cough to name a few.

    Studies indicate that mango-ginger is a rich source of phytosterols or plant sterols, which are similar in structure to the cholesterol produced in our body. When consumed, phytosterols fight cholesterol cells, thereby hindering their absorption in the digestive system. This in turn brings down the body cholesterol count.

    Let's take a look at a few remedies where mango-ginger is utilised:

    For relief from cold and cough, mix a few drops of honey to about a tsp of fresh mango-ginger juice. Consume this to get relief from chest congestion.

    To heal joint pains and swelling, apply a paste of mango-ginger over the affected area.

    Treat indigestion with a glass of buttermilk spiced with a tsp of dried mango-ginger powder. Consume this 2-3 times a day to get relief from bloating and indigestion.

    About 10 ml of the mango-ginger juice taken at night can provide relief from the stomach worms.

    If you wish to benefit from mango-ginger's medicinal properties on a daily basis, use it as an appetiser before your meals for better digestion and gut health.

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  • 10/27/17--03:44: Let's build healthy bones
  • Bones are tissues that continuously break and rebuild in tiny amounts. It is extremely important to keep them healthy, as they provide a frame to the body, protect vital organs and help one walk or run.

    Osteoporosis affects people who don't have a healthy bone mass, and can't rebuild or replace the old bones after wear and tear. It is also called the brittle bone disease, and is estimated to affect 200 million women worldwide and over 10 million people in India each year.

    According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, osteoporosis causes more than 8.9 million fractures annually worldwide, accounting for an osteoporotic fracture every three seconds.

    Osteoporosis is more rampant in women than in men. Women go through osteoporosis in their 50s, while in men, it comes much later when they are in their 60s. Here are a few tips to keep your bones fit and fine:

    Track your calcium and vitamin D levels: Indians are more at risk of developing bone disorders due to low peak bone mass, calcium and vitamin D deficiency. A calcium-packed diet that includes dairy products, almonds, soy and leafy vegetables is essential to counter osteoporosis.

    Avoid weight gain: Bones grow in size and strength during childhood. Excess weight gain in children can seriously impact the growth of bones, joints and muscles. Extra weight can damage the growth plates, which are areas at the end of your arms, legs and other long bones, where the cartilage tissue is developed. Growth plates regulate the length and shape of a bone at full growth. Excess weight gain can build pressure on these growth plates, which can lead to early arthritis, broken bones and other serious conditions.

    Exercise: Regular exercise helps boost your immunity, maintain bone strength, improve joint function, control weight gain and improve the overall quality of life.

    Cut down on alcohol: Avoid alcohol, smoking and caffeine, as too much of these can hinder with body's capacity to absorb calcium, thus decreasing bone mass in the process.

    Yoga: If you want a sure-shot way to improve your bone density and you have six minutes a day to spare, give these 12 positions a whirl — tree, triangle, warrior II, side-angle, twisted triangle, locust, bridge, supine hand-to-foot I, supine hand-to-foot II, straight-legged twist, bent-knee twist and corpse pose.

    Health supplements: Consume supplements that contain calcium and magnesium, as they promote bone healing. Other good alternatives are fish oil and green superfood powder. Fish oil helps fortify the bones, as it contains omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce inflammation and speed up the healing process. A green superfood powder contains spirulina and chlorella, which have bone-healing properties.

    Sunbathe: Vitamin D is a crucial bone-building nutrient. It improves absorption of calcium from the gut, increases bone density and enhances muscle function, reducing the risk of falls and fractures. However, it's tough to get adequate amount of vitamin D from food alone. Sunlight is the only ideal and easily available source of vitamin D.

    Dr Aashish Chaudhry
    (The author is managing director & orthopaedic surgeon, Aakash Healthcare)

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  • 10/27/17--03:49: When weight matters
  • When was the last time you checked your body mass index? The revelation that a BMI above 30 is a recipe for disaster will shock you and will force you to head straight to the doctor's. A person with a BMI of 30 or above is considered obese.

    Obesity is a gateway to a host of lifestyle disorders including diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. If you are pregnant, excess weight may lead to short and long-term health issues for you and your unborn child. Losing excess weight and maintaining a normal BMI may help you and your loved ones stay healthier as you grow older. Excessive weight gain may increase the risk of the following health problems:


    There are many risk factors for type 2 diabetes such as age, race, pregnancy, stress, certain medications, genetics or family history, high cholesterol and obesity. However, the most likely cause of type 2 diabetes is obesity. Almost 90% of people suffering from type 2 diabetes are overweight. Obesity puts pressure on the body's ability to produce insulin to control blood sugar levels.

    Blood pressure

    When there is increase in weight, the blood vessels have to take a lot of effort to move the blood around the body. When the weight gain is in the abdominal area there is a greater risk for high blood pressure because this type of fat is more likely to cause the arteries to thicken and stiffen. When the blood vessels stiffen, it is harder to push the blood through. When it gets hard to move blood around the body, there is an increase in adrenalin. This will cause salt retention and increase blood pressure.


    Fat cells in the body are active and produce hormones and proteins that are released into the bloodstream and carried around the body. Because they are spread through the circulation, these 'chemical messengers' can affect many parts of the body, and increase the risk of several different types of cancer. Fat cells can also attract immune cells to body tissues. These immune cells release chemicals that cause inflammation.

    Sleep apnoea

    This is a serious disorder, in which breathing repeatedly stops for 10 seconds or more during sleep. It also brings down the level of oxygen in the blood and can keep you awake at night. The most common cause of sleep apnoea in adults is obesity, which is associated with the soft tissue of the mouth and throat. During sleep, when throat and tongue muscles are more relaxed, this soft tissue can block the airway.


    Excess body weight can put extra stress on your joints, especially those in your knees, making it a major risk factor for developing osteoarthritis. For every kilogram of weight gain, you're adding pressure on your knees. Weight loss and a regular exercise regimen can help prevent osteoarthritis.


    In women, early onset of obesity causes irregular mensuration, chronic oligo-anovulation and infertility. Obesity in women can also increase risk of miscarriages and impair the outcomes of assisted reproductive procedures and pregnancy. Excess insulin and insulin resistance are major contributors for this problem. The adverse effects of obesity are specifically evident in polycystic ovary syndrome.

    In men, obesity is associated with low testosterone levels. In men who are overweight, reduced spermatogenesis associated with severe hypotestosteronemia may cause infertility. Moreover, the frequency of erectile dysfunction increases with increasing BMI.

    Combining exercise with a healthy diet is a more effective way to lose weight rather than just cutting down on calories.

    (The author is director, surgical gastroenterology, bariatric & minimal access surgery,
    BLK Super Speciality Hospital)

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    To remove or not to remove? All of us experience this dilemma when we suffer the inevitable unbearable pain because of wisdom tooth. Wisdom teeth erupt later than all the other teeth, mostly between late teens and mid 20s. Presumably at an age when a person gets wisdom!

    Ideally humans have four wisdom teeth — two in the upper jaw and two in the lower jaw on each side. For many years, removing wisdom teeth was the rite to passage, but now it may not always be a good idea to do so.

    If they are upright and positioned correctly in the mouth and are devoid of any symptoms like pain or other dental issues, wisdom teeth don't have to be extracted.

    Let's take a look at why wisdom teeth need to be removed:

    If they are not fully formed, i.e. they are partially or fully impacted in the bone or gums, causing pain.

    If they sprout sideways and cut into the cheek causing ulcers and cheekbites.

    If the teeth lie horizontally in the jaws and are unable to erupt.

    If the gum around the tooth is infected, causing pain till the ears and making it hard for you to swallow food.

    If it pushes the front teeth causing crowding and malalignment.

    In cases where none of these complications exist, it is best to let the teeth be or go for dental examination with proper evaluation and treatment plan.

    Dr Shraddha Bahirwani (The author is senior consultant, dental medicine at Manipal Hospitals)

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    Complementary feeding refers to the transition for an infant from exclusive breastfeeding to regular food, which should be initiated after the baby turns six months old, while continuing to breastfeed up to two years and beyond.

    After six months, breast milk alone is insufficient to meet the increased nutritional requirements of a rapidly growing infant. An infant should receive energy and a nutrient-dense diet to ensure appropriate nutrition at every stage.

    According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4), only 40% of children in India were introduced to timely complementary foods, while only 10% children between six to 23 months received adequate diets.

    Complementary feeding is a foundation for good health. It is important to consider the right time for introducing complementary foods, as early introduction (before four months) has been associated with the risk of obesity and too late (after seven to eight months), with the risk of fussy eating.

    Here are some dos and don'ts of complementary feeding:

    Infants should be introduced to new textures gradually (from thick puréed, lumpy to normal foods) while branching out to wide variety foods from different food groups like cereals, pulses, non-vegetarian components, fruits and vegetables.

    Iron is an important micronutrient, which needs special attention and iron-rich foods should be introduced during complementary feeding. Around
    82% of infants, who are less than two years of age, reportedly suffer from anaemia.

    In India, cow's milk is also commonly given to infants. Cow's milk has low concentration of iron and it may put a strain on infant's immature kidney and is also difficult to digest.

    Dr Nandan Joshi
    (The author is head nutrition science & medical affairs, Danone India)

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  • 10/27/17--04:02: Reinvent your wardrobe
  • Couturier Rebecca Dewan hands in one big wardrobe hack, "You've got to eliminate from it to add to it — that's a tip I don't think you must forget! Besides decluttering, it is also a good idea to throw out all your clothes on the bed and try to mix and match — revisit colours, blend the old with the new, fresh styles. Think of the different ways you could layer your outfits. Throw on a jacket over old jeans or a sleeveless long pullover and you could look like a new person!" she adds.

    Since not being 'with it' is a serious complication in today's fashion-savvy world, reinventing yourself is the way to go. But how exactly does one throw out the riff-raff and pick out the best? Listen in to the experts. Simple as that.

    Pick #1 - Denim

    Mumbai designer Karishma Trehan says that picking a mix of classic and cool can make you stand apart. "Pick out a great pair of fitted deep blue/carbon jeans, which can easily be a part of your day and night look. It's an absolute must have," she says. Designer Melicia Ana Noronha also swears by the fitted denims. "You can never go wrong in them," she says, adding, "You team it with a white-lace collar shirt — and voila! Dark blue and white has always been a classic and elegant outfit. Complete your look with a pair of white sneakers and you are all set for a day at work and switch to a pair of heels for the evening."

    Pick #2 - Top

    With the bottoms sorted but what about the top, you wonder? Karishma says that you could jazz up the crisp formal tunic or top. But if you are looking at other alternatives, get yourself a cami top in a nice bright colour. It adds a cool feel to whatever you plan to wear with it. In fact, if you add a long-length duster shirt, a throw-on with kimono kind of sleeves, to your jeans and cami, it will make for an electrifying ensemble!" says Karishma.

    Layering works very well, concurs Rebecca. "The beauty of layering is that it makes the outfit look effortlessly put together and dressy at the same time. If you don't have one, you must pick up that long sleeveless throw-over to pair with denims."

    Pick #3 - Dress

    The little black dress is an absolute must-have. "For a party or a date over the weekend, keep the confusion away with a black backless dress. It can be short or knee-length. Accessorise it with a lovely Bohemian neck piece and wear your red stilettos — that's all you need to dazzle!" says Melicia.

    And if black is not your style, you can experiment. "A nice hot dress preferably in a neutral colour palette is just right. You can repeat it too with different shoes and accessories," she says.

    Pick #4 - Blazer

    "A well-fitted blazer is a must for the out and about woman," says Rebecca. "Even if you wear it with a great pair of jeans, it creates a smart look." Melicia says it would be good to invest in a two-sided blazer. "The solid black can be worn for a business meeting and the other side can be worn to give to a nice and trendy 'airport' look!"

    Pick #5 - Accessories

    "Accessories work even if you have old ones — in fact, older the better! Bring out all the hats, scarves, necklaces that you have in your wardrobe for a complete makeover," says Rebecca. "What you need to invest in are a good pair of open-toed platforms and a trendy bejewelled or hand-painted cotton bag."

    A shake-up of your wardrobe must happen every six months, say designers, and that doesn't necessarily mean spending new money! All you need to do is get inventive with your existing outfits and keeping an eye on what looks good on you.

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  • 10/27/17--04:05: Get under the skin
  • With the cool air of winter upon most of us and cold, dry winds approaching, it's time to get serious about caring for the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of skin, the body's largest organ, which protects the vital tissues within.

    Long thought to be biologically inert, the stratum corneum is now known to be an intricate, biochemically complex structure, the sanctity of which is critical to having healthy skin. It has a brick-and-mortar construction; the bricks — or corneocytes — are made up of organised threads of keratin that can hold large amounts of water, embedded in a mortar consisting of fatty acids and other lipids.

    Skin, in fact, is 64% water, making water an essential ingredient of healthy skin. If the stratum corneum gets too dry, the skin can become itchy, scaly, inflamed, leathery and unattractive. For most people, whether their skin is dry or oily and especially if they live in a cold, dry or windy climate, routine use of a moisturiser can protect the skin's water supply.

    Spoilt for choice

    But faced with the dizzying array of choices on store shelves, how is the consumer to select a moisturiser likely to be effective and unlikely to cause an unwanted reaction? Should you choose a lotion, cream or ointment? Should you look for one labelled "dermatologist-recommended," "fragrance-free," "non-comedogenic," "organic," "natural," "clinically proven" or "hypoallergenic?" Do you make a selection based on brand name, price, a doctor's or friend's recommendation?

    Those are good but hard-to-answer questions, says Dr Shuai Xu, a dermatologist affiliated with Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. One of the most frequent complaints about skin care products like moisturisers is their all-too-common ability to trigger an allergic reaction, resulting in itchy, red, inflamed skin.

    Dr Xu and colleagues recently evaluated 174 best-selling moisturisers of different types, with special attention to the presence of allergenic ingredients. Lotions were by far the most popular, accounting for 59% of moisturisers sold, followed by creams at 13%, oils at 12%, butters at 8% and ointments at 2%. The team found that only 12% of the best-selling moisturisers were free of allergens. The three most common allergens were fragrances, parabens and tocopherol.

    Even among products labelled "fragrance-free," 45% had at least one fragrance-related ingredient. Dr Xu said that if a company uses an ingredient that is both a preservative and a fragrance, it can still claim the product to be "fragrance-free" if preservation is the ingredient's primary purpose.

    Also, a product labelled "fragrance-free" or "unscented" could contain a masking agent, a cross-reactive chemical that acts like a fragrance, or a botanical ingredient that is an allergen, Dr Xu said.

    Among the 15 products claiming to be hypoallergenic, 83% had at least one ingredient on the allergen list, and 24 products contained five or more such ingredients.

    Fight allergies

    Furthermore, as Dr Jonathan I Silverberg, who directs Northwestern's Contact Dermatitis Clinic and Eczema Center, explained, "Much of the labelling of products as hypoallergenic is nonsense. If you use a product long or often enough, you can become vulnerable to an allergic reaction. It's not that the product is mislabelled — it's that you can become allergic to almost anything, especially if you have a predisposition."

    An initial mild allergic reaction of itching and redness can progress to a profound reaction of stinging, burning, swelling and pain, Dr Silverberg said. "With each exposure, the reaction gets stronger," he said. Thus, the wise consumer with an allergic tendency might consider switching periodically to a different product and should certainly stop using any moisturiser that seems to be setting off an untoward reaction.

    The American Academy of Dermatology suggests that in choosing a moisturiser, consumers wishing to avoid common allergic sensitisers pick one that is free of additives, fragrances and perfumes, though the new study showed this is clearly a challenge, even for knowledgeable physicians.

    Cost is no guarantee of safety or effectiveness, the new study showed. Products labelled "dermatologist-recommended" are more expensive, but Dr Xu said "the label doesn't mean anything — is it 100 dermatologists, 10 dermatologists or one dermatologist?" The most expensive moisturiser his team analysed contained the most allergens — a total of eight.

    Health-conscious consumers turn to products labelled "organic" or "all-natural" for moisturising in hopes of avoiding synthetic chemicals. But these "are not necessarily unlikely to cause a reaction and may not be effective," Dr Xu said.

    Olive oil, for example, increases water evaporation from the skin, he said, adding that the oils likely to be most protective and free of allergens are sunflower oil, coconut oil and shea butter.

    However, for most people, moisturising lotions, which contain more water than creams or ointments, are effective and least expensive. They evaporate quickly on the skin and do not leave a greasy feeling that many consumers dislike.

    Nonetheless, people with dry skin might invest in a cream or ointment, the cost of which is reduced by the need to use less of the product. Creams contain more water than ointments and offer what the team called "a middle ground" for people who dislike the greasiness of ointments. Ultimately, the team concluded, "patient adherence and willingness to use a moisturiser is more important than a specific formulation or vehicle."

    Ideally, moisturisers are best applied on damp skin within minutes of bathing, after patting the skin dry, to lock in moisture. Also helpful is to bathe or shower in warm, not hot, water.

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  • 10/27/17--04:09: Say holy cheese!
  • Soft, succulent with a salty undertone, a small bite of mozzarella was enough to please my palate and transport me to the streets of Naples. But I wasn't in Naples. I was right here in Bengaluru, tasting fresh buffalo mozzarella made by a group of unlikely cheese makers. I was savouring this premium artisanal cheese made by Benedictine monks in a quaint little convent, Gualbert Bhavan, in a far corner of the city in TC Palya.

    Roman Catholic monks of the Vallombrosan Benedictine Confederation have been making exquisite cheese for the last 13 years and supplying their products to high-end restaurants and five-star hotels around the country.

    The monks, under the guidance of Father K L Michael, chanced upon the idea of making cheese as a means for sustainable living. Following the Benedictine tenet of Ora et Labora, which is Latin for prayer and work, these priests have mastered the art of cheese making for the upkeep of the monastery and its students.

    Italian connect

    As a part of the first batch of priests sent to Italy for higher studies, Father Michael had to choose a vocation for his monastery in India. A man of few words, Father Michael's face instantly lights up when he starts talking about his cheeses. "In our Benedictine order, each monastery has to find some occupation. Each monastery is given a different kind of work — whether it is wine or herb liqueur making.

    The rule was to work from the monastery and earn for the monastery. In our parish in Italy, I met an Italian businessman who said he could never find good cheese during his travels in India. He said the pizzas in India never tasted good because they didn't have good buffalo mozzarella. Cheese making seemed to be an ideal vocation. So I was sent to Naples in south Italy to learn the process."

    However, once Father Michael returned to India, there were several challenges to face. "We started out by using second-hand machines, as we didn't want to take any risks in case the venture fails. We got our small scale industry registration and food license. But procuring pure buffalo milk was the biggest of all hurdles. In 2004, we started with 30 litres of milk procured from a dairy in Hoskote. At first, we made small batches for samples."

    The first sample was sent to one of the city's prominent chefs, Manjeet Singh, who was running one of the popular Italian restaurants in the city, Herbs and Spices, in Indiranagar. "I waited for his feedback. Fortunately, he loved our product, and he was our first real customer. He was probably more sympathetic towards us because we were priests.

    He sent the word out to other chefs in the city, at Park Hotel, Oberoi, Leela Palace and several fine-dining restaurants. The word-of-mouth strategy worked, and soon orders started pouring in. We didn't want to publicise it too much because we are priests and our work is to induct students into priesthood. Cheese making is just for the upkeep of the monastery, and not a business."

    Good cheese is a result of good milk, and finding good quality buffalo milk was an uphill task. "In 2008, I chanced upon a big farm in Hosur, with 2,000-odd buffaloes that produced about 500 litres of milk a day. I used to procure about 200 to 300 litres. Since that shut down, I now source 400 litres of milk per day from a farm in Bannerghatta."

    Cheese making is a science as much as it is an art. Speaking about his learning years in Italy, Father Michael said he had to unlearn a lot of what he had learnt as some of the processes did not suit the Indian conditions. "The weather conditions, milk quality and waterare different in India. By the time the milk reaches us from the dairy farm, the temperature changes and acidity kicks in. Each of these aspects has to be carefully calculated and taken into consideration. Initially, we had to deal with adulterated milk, which was a nightmare."

    Mozzarella mores

    A major part of Vallombrosa Cheese's production is buffalo mozzarella, which is best for pizzas and salads. And the best part about Vallombrosa mozzarella is that it doesn't have any preservatives. "We use full-cream buffalo milk, which makes the cheese tastier than the other niche brands available in the market," he says with pride. The other popular product is the pizza cheese, which is a little hard and easily grate-able. However, the most sought after variety is the handmade burrata, which is creamy on the inside with a soft mozzarella outer shell.

    "Burrata is a mix of cream and mozzarella. Folding is the key to making this cheese, which is made at 90°C. Your hand has to be cool while you are making it, and it has to be done quickly with swift hand movements. We supply our burrata to five-star hotels in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Kochi."

    What started off as a one-cheese operation soon expanded to 10 cheeses that include buffalo mozzarella, burrata, bocconcini, ricotta, pecorino, mascarpone, parmesan, caciotta and small quantities of goat cheese, made of goat's milk sourced from Kottayam, Kerala. "As the demand grew, we gradually started producing other varieties. I consulted with the chefs about their needs and soon expanded the range. So we first get in touch with the chefs and ask them for their requirement, like the size of the cheese and so on, and make them accordingly."

    At present, around 80 to 90 kg of Vallombrosa cheese is supplied each day, with supplies going up to 100 to 120 kg during the weekends. While hard cheeses like parmesan and pecorino take a year or a year-and-a-half to mature, the softer ones like mozzarella and ricotta can be stored for almost 15 days in cold conditions.

    Mozzarella, burrata and bocconcini are best consumed fresh with pizzas or as a plain component in salads. "Bocconcini is my personal favourite. These are small bite-sized morsels, which weigh 10 gm each. You can just pop one into your mouth."

    But the monks don't indulge themselves with their own cheese. They enjoy their mozzarella only twice a week with their chapatis and parottas.

    Apart from the five-star hotels and restaurants, in the last two or three years, the expat community in Bengaluru has also started approaching the convent for their divine creations. "The Japanese, French, Russian and Italian communities in the city visit the monastery, taste the cheese, and give us bulk orders."

    However, the monks remain true to their faith and don't want to commercialise their work. "We don't want to make it into a huge business. We just want to keep it small, without compromising on the quality of cheese. We just want to produce enough to take care of our needs."

    Father Michael is setting his eyes on Italian butter next and plans to get more sophisticated equipment to improve the quality of the products and streamline the process.

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  • 10/27/17--04:13: In the mood for moringa
  • Moringa Leaf Chutney Rice (Serves 2)

    Ingredients: Around 100 gm of dry moringa leaves; 50 ml of coconut oil; 10 gm of roasted channa dal; 10 gm of ginger; 20 gm of shallots; 10 gm of curry leaves; 5 gm of dry red chilly; 20 gm of grated coconut; 100 gm of basmati rice; 2 gm of mustard seeds and salt to taste.

    Method: Cook basmati rice and keep it aside till cool. To make the chutney, grind together moringa leaf, shallots, ginger, grated coconut, half the curry leaves and salt. Heat coconut oil in a pan. Crackle mustard seeds, red chillies and curry leaves. Add the ground chutney into it and sauté well. Add the cooked rice and mix well. Season with salt and black pepper.

    Note: If you are using moringa powder, use the same quantity, but add it as a paste after cooking the shallots, ginger, coconut, curry leaves chutney well. It just needs to be heated through.

    Moringa Leaf Cheesecake (Serves 2)

    Ingredients: Around 20 gm of dry moringa leaves; 50 gm of mascarpone cheese; 3 gm of gelatin; 20 gm of icing sugar; 25 gm of whipped cream; 10 gm of sponge cake cut into 6 cm diameter

    Method: Soak the gelatin in 2 tbsps of room temperature water. Blend the cheese and icing sugar together. Add the soaked gelatin and moringa leaves or moringa paste. Fold in the whipped cream and let it rest for 5 minutes. Place the sponge at the base of a 6 cm round tin, where the sides can be opened to slide the set cheesecake out or one which has a detachable base. Gently pour the mixture on top of the sponge and refrigerate it for at least an hour. Serve cold.

    Moringa Leaf & Prawn Curry (Serves 4)

    Ingredients: 100 gm of dry moringa leaves; 10 prawns (peeled and deveined); 2 gm of mustard seeds; 50 ml of coconut oil; 100 gm of shallots; 10 gm of red chillies; 50 gm of ginger; 50 gm of curry leaves; 20 gm of green chillies; 2 gm of turmeric powder; 5 gm of red chilli powder; 2 gm of pepper powder; 20 ml of coconut paste and salt to taste.

    Method: Heat coconut oil in a shallow pan. Crackle mustard seeds, sauté ginger and garlic. Add sliced shallots, green chillies and curry leaves. Sauté till golden brown and add red chilli, turmeric and pepper powders. Add a splash of water and salt. When this boils, add the dry moringa leaves and prawns to the pan. If you are using moringa powder, add it to the coconut paste and combine it in the pan when the prawns are almost cooked through. Serve hot with rice, appam or idiyappam.

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    The promising actor Aahana Kumra, who is creating a mark in the industry with her unconventional choices of roles, is soon going to amaze the audiences yet again.
    The actor, who was last seen in the film 'Lipstick Under My Burkha', has been part of the successful play 'The Father' with her mentor Naseeruddin Shah. The play is now going to be part of an unique project titled '36 Ghante' which is organised by NCPA and RAGE Presentation.

    The concept of '36 Ghante', as the name suggests, will be creating ten plays of ten minutes each in a span of 36 hours. Aahana will be performing in one of these plays. She will get a span of just seven to eight hours to prepare for it and around 45 minutes to do the dry rehearsal before the main performance.

    The other actors who will be working with Aahana would be Ila Arun, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Neil Bhoopalam, Rajat Kapoor, Ranvir Shorey, Sumeet Vyas and many more.

    The actor says, "It is an extremely interesting and challenging concept for me as it is a big test for any actor. The scriptwriters will start working on the script 36 hours before the stipulated time of performance, the directors will get to know 24 hours in advance and the actors will get only eight hours. It is going to be highly challenging for me as in our normal play production we rehearse for days before the final product is seen on stage! I am nervous at the same time super charged up about it."

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    Actor Roshni Prakash is excited as her latest film 'Tiger Galli' just hit the screens. Compared to her earlier movies, she is playing a bold avatar in this and has set her hopes high about the outcome.

    In a candid chat with Tini Sara Anien, the actor sheds light on her movie and more.

    Tell us about your role in 'Tiger Galli'.

    I play a significant role in the movie and I thoroughly enjoyed portraying my character. Playing a cop was like a dream come true. I'm a toddler in the industry
    and most actors get a chance to play such a role only after five or more years of acting. Handling the role of an ACP was not an easy task.

    How did you groom yourself for the role?

    Ravi sir, the director, was very confident that I would do justice to the role which made me want to try harder. He advised me to watch many action movies with intense scenes by Malashri and Suhasini ma'am. I had to express my emotions in a bold manner. I underwent an acting workshop and was continually practising my lines.

    Did you face any challenges?

    Every character demands a lot from an actor. After playing subtler roles, I was now playing a role where I didn't care about anyone in the world. This required a lot of attitude. I'm a shy person. To step out of my comfort zone and play such a character, was quite a task.

    How was it to act with Sathish Neenasam?

    We both were in our own zones during the movie as we were playing difficult roles. We couldn't interact much but when it came to acting, it was fun. I needed someone who could boost my confidence and he has a lot of positive energy. He was the one who suggested my name to the director.

    Your thoughts on how the movie will connect with the audience?

    The film has a strong content which will impress movie lovers. All the
    characters in it have their own stories to narrate and they all are bound to
    create a strong impact.

    What elements make for a good movie?

    I believe that every movie needs a good story to click with the audience. For me, the story is the hero in a film. How the director treats the subject also makes a lot of difference.

    A role you want to explore.

    I want to keep doing roles that will challenge me as a performer in front of the camera. If I had to be specific, I want to do a biopic.

    Did being a Miss India participant help in the whole process?

    Yes. I was noticed by many casting directors after I took part in the pageant. It helped me reach where I am now. Having such a background also helped me groom myself well.

    Is fashion important for an actor?

    Definitely. But every person should have their own individual style. According to me, fashion is about being comfortable in what you are wearing.

    What are you most comfortable in?

    I like sporting a pair of denims with a white top and layering it with a jacket. With a scarf, I can create different looks in the day.

    On an off day, what do you do?

    I do not miss my workout schedule, on and off sets. I also like trekking and
    I like spending time with my family.

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  • 10/27/17--04:24: Frames from life
  • The concept of web series in Kannada is slowly but steadily gaining followers.
    The worldwide reach provided by the internet and the ability to connect to the audience directly without relying upon marketing mediators is what draws budding talents to this.

    The younger breed of actors and directors in the Kannada entertainment industry, who are embracing web series in a big way, feel that it gives one the freedom to experiment with new forms of storytelling.

    Young filmmakers like Vinayak Joshi, Sagar Puranik and RJ Pradeep, who have experimented with this format, think that although it is in its nascent stage, this medium of
    entertainment is sure to gather steam in the years to come.

    The urge to explore the digital space and connect to every corner of the globe is what inspired RJ Pradeep to make 'Loose Connection' a while ago.

    "Apart from television soaps and cinema, there isn't anything short and crisp that people can watch at leisure. This is where web series fits in. The episodes are kept short so that
    people can watch it on their smart phones," he explains.

    Pradeep adds that with 'Loose Connection', he wanted to make a product of good quality to build an audience on the web space. "We made 20-30 minute long episodes that portrayed real life situations and things that happen around us. Even the use of language and grammar is simple with nothing cinematic about it. We explored romcoms and inspirational stories in our series," he says.

    It is the lack of opportunities for budding actors in the Kannada film industry that prompted actor and director Vinayak Joshi to make his first web series called 'Joshelay'.

    "This form of entertainment gives one the freedom to showcase what one wants. My project is a very thought-driven one. It runs into six or seven episodes of 10 minutes each. None of the stories are similar in form and content," says Vinayak.

    "Young men and women between the age group of 25 and 35 years are the ones who use smart phones a lot. In web series, you get to reach an international audience and people will get the chance to explore topics they relate to. It is a common man's mode of entertainment," he points out.

    Vinayak has also paid careful attention to the equipment, "Web series can be shot using a cell phone. We have used a Sony A7s2 camera and IPhone 6s," he adds.

    Actor and director Sagar Puranik made his entry into the world of web series with 'By 2 Bengaluru' where he explored the everyday happenings in the life of Bengalureans. "We have looked at the events in the life of every young Bengalurean in a humourous way. I was inspired to give the title 'By 2 Bengaluru' because of the 'By 2 coffee' concept that is popular among close friends," says Sagar.

    He says that those who venture into web series get into it only for the passion and not to make profits.

    "Making profits is not the primary motive. You may get a lot of views on YouTube but the monetary gains are minimal. I used a sponsor for my film and struck upon a deal that is mutually beneficial. It worked well for me," he sums up.

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  • 10/27/17--04:27: Malabar musings
  • The question of which came first — the chicken or the egg — is an unsolved one, however, 'Biryani Pedia' in SG Palya may well have the answer.

    It's a small place located in a corner that can only cater to around six tables at a time. The decor of the place draws inspiration from Kerala explaining its origin.

    It's got a bit of everything you need to satisfy your craving. However, you might not find the same dish your friend had from his or her last visit. The menu changes on a daily basis, according to the day's special.

    The best way to start your meal is to order their 'special tea'. It's a spice mixed black tea that will soothe your palate. One sip of it will definitely leave you wanting for more.

    The day yours truly visited, there was an array of options to choose from in terms of 'biryani' and curries.

    Staying true to its name, the 'biryanis' offered here are one-of-a-kind. There is a generous amount of ghee in the preparation that you can taste along with the special masalas in the 'biryani'. The 'vegetable biryani' and 'chicken biryani' were both satisfying.

    The chicken was well cooked and the masalas was well prepared and blended with the rice.

    Some of you might find it spicy though. Don't worry, there's 'raita', chutney and lime pickle to accompany your dish.

    As it's a Kerala restaurant, it goes without saying that meat dishes are very popular here. It comes as stews and fried and roasted preparations. Each of them have their own flavour to it. It's perfect with either 'pathiri', 'chappati' or 'puttu'.

    The 'Pepper chicken' is also highly recommended. That hint of pepper when you bite into the piece not only soothes your palate but also leaves your belly happy.

    Though the options for vegetarians are limited, the portions are plenty. If you're a vegetarian, you can choose from options like 'Vegetable Chettinad', 'Kadala curry', 'Green peas masala' and 'Vegetable stew'.

    Complete your meal with either both tea or the sweet of the day.
    'Gulab jamun' can be just the perfect way to end a delicious evening.

    'Biryani Pedia' is located at 3rd Cross Road, Venkateshwara Layout, Suddagunte Palya.
    For details, call 9809202588.

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  • 10/27/17--04:29: Don't lose your tempura!
  • Mamagoto in Indiranagar is holding the 'Super Platter Festival' till December 31. The hearty platters are perfect to get a variety of mama's delicious food. From crispy starters and yummy 'Dimsums' to 'Gangsta sushi', these platters are great for a wholesome family feast or even just a meal for one

    For the sushi lovers, the 'Maki Platter' has an excellent choice of vegetarian and non-vegetarian platters. The vegetarian platter includes 'Asparagus tempura, Crispy mushroom and spicy cucumber & cream cheese roll, whereas the non-vegetarian platter includes the classic 'Ebi tempura' and 'California roll' along with a unique flavour combination of the 'Chicken katsudon'.

    For those in the mood for comfort food, 'Aunty's Platter' offers vegetarian and non-vegetarian platters that will satisfy every taste palate. The vegetarian platter includes 'Hua Hin Highway' rolls, everyone's favourite 'Veg gyoza', 'Tou satay skewers', and the delicious corn fritters. For the Non-vegetarians, the platter will leave you satisfied to your heart's content with 'Chicken satay, Chicken gyoza, Chicken spring rolls and mama's famous 'Basil chicken cups'.

    For those craving for 'Dimsum', the 'Dumpling platters' are just perfect. Vegetarian platter has the perfect mix of classic and unique with 'Veg chive and Pomegranate dumpling', 'Shitake dumpling', 'Veg gyoza', 'Veg pecking dumpling' and 'Street style spicy dumpling'. For the meat lovers, the non-vegetarian platter has plenty in store for you including chicken and 'Pockchoi dumpling', Chicken street style spicy dumpling and 'Lamb roll with Pokchoi'.

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