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  • 11/03/17--02:52: Hip and happening
  • UK rapper and YouTube star 'Lady Leshurr' will be performing on November 17 at The Humming Tree. The performance is part of a campaign called 'FreeFlow', presented by 'Bira 91', which places a focus on hiphop and its subcultures in India.

    'Lady Leshurr' is one of the UK's most exciting rappers, known for her ingenious freestyling that combines mischief, wit and expert comic timing. Her music is packed with witty asides, fast and furious put-downs and a tongue-in-cheek aesthetic.

    Supporting her will be Delhi-based rapper Prabh Deep, widely acknowledged as one of the best underground MCs in the country and audio-visual, sample-driven act, 'Aerate Sound'.

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    They cycle across the UK performing Shakespeare plays out-of-the-box, quite literally! Carrying the set, the props and costumes with them, they cycle uphill and downhill, to take the Bard to audience across the world. The Handlebards' previous tour in the city was by an all male-troupe but this time around, it's the all-female team who is here and they are bringing 'As You Like It' to Bengalureans the way they like it.

    Charlotte Driessler, Jessica Hern, Lucy Green and Eleanor Dillon Reams, along with Tom Dixon, the producer and founding member of The Handlebards, stopped by to chat with Anupama Ramakrishnan about their Indian adventures and their chaotic but charming life, before they cycled on.

    So, this is the female team's first trip to India...

    Lucy: The cultural shock is massive. You cannot walk on the streets without being noticed. But the people are so friendly. The thing that struck me most was the number of small communities that you see around. And the shops too. You look out of your car window, and there is so much vibrance. So though we may be tired, we don't want to sleep.

    Charlotte: We were warned about the traffic. Oh my goodness! We drive quite a lot back in the UK. But no way we can do that here.

    How tough is it travelling on bicycles with all the props and the set itself?

    Jessica: It's your job and you got to do it. We are fortunate that our job is to be silly. It's incredible to talk about theatre, to step on to the stage and perform. We carry everything with us. Back in the UK, it rains most of the time. So we use inner tubes of the bicycles to set up the tents.

    Tom: Our travelling is spurred on the fact that you get to meet different people and have different experiences. You are exhausted a lot but that's okay. Once when we were on tour here in India, I was so ill but then we managed to get on to the stage and perform and that's because the audience in Bangalore are so giving.

    How different is it performing for children?

    Jessica: I wanted to know what they would take from the characters. But they had already studied the play and they understand it. Sometimes even better than some schools in UK.
    I wasn't expecting that. They were also asking questions like 'were you inspired by Brecht'? I was not expecting that all!

    The female team of the 'Handlebards' was formed in 2016. How did you become a part of it?

    Jessica: I was training for a cycling event when I found on Facebook that they were looking for actors. I have done musical theatre in UK. But this is more exciting. In Shakespeare, you get to play so many different characters. Women get the opportunity to play male characters as well. That is amazing.

    Charlotte: I was trained in theatre in Scotland. I took part in the audition and got it.

    Lucy: As part of the fitness test, I had to jog across the road. And by the time I looked, Tom (Dixon) had reached the other side of the road.

    Eleanor: It's fun and adventurous. It was a new challenge for me. I was told quite a lot of fitness is required for it. I have seen their shows before and I love the energy. It is so completely engaging. And you get to travel and to come to India too.

    Any experiments with food here?

    Tom: I'm fine with Indian food, the girls wanted to try the local food -- idlis, dosas -- and the different curries. Curry for breakfast is not a thing in UK (laughs). We want to have fresh food, the one served on banana leaves.

    Eleanor: We haven't eaten with hands yet. There is always an attempt though. But we give up because we are so hungry by then.

    Lucy: Missing the salads though (laughs). When it's hot, we have lot of salads back home.

    Any faux pas on stage?

    Charlotte: The set broke when we were performing at a school here. But we are completely engaged on stage as a team and it become a part of the play. By the time, you have already charmed the audience. They are in the palm of your hands.

    (The Handlebards will present 'As You Like It' at Jagriti (November 4, 8 pm and November 5, 3 pm and 6.30 pm), Ranga Shankara (November 7, 8 and 9 at 7.30 pm), and at Humming Tree (November 12, 2 pm and 6 pm. Tickets are available on

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  • 11/03/17--03:02: On cloud nine
  • The humble yet colourful interiors, fast service and umpteen choices, are some of the many things that will impress you at 'Cloud Cafe', a Continental eatery in Nagarbhavi. With its finger-licking culinary options, this cafe, which has been around for seven months, has quite a fanbase.

    Popular among college-goers and young professionals, this cafe, that also has some Italian delights to offer, is a good option to just go and relax in.

    While you sit back and enjoy the view from the fourth floor, where the cafe is located, you could sip on some interesting mocktails or munch on some filling starters.

    "There are not many Continental cafes around this area which is why I went ahead with the concept. We have tried to keep our flavours distinct yet original. A
    foodie could glance at our menu and choose from the American, Italian and Continental options," says Ravindra D S, owner of the cafe.

    The cafe tries its best to retain the quality of food, while keeping it cost-effective. From starters and the main course to desserts, there's much to choose from.

    If you're hanging out with friends and want to nibble on some starters, the 'Chicken lollipops' won't fail to impress. In vegetarian, one could have the 'Crispy exotic vegetables' or 'Garlic mushrooms'.

    If you're here for a proper meal, indulge in 'English fish and chips' or the 'Chicken rollet with green apple', if you are a meat lover and 'Veg casserole', if you are a vegetarian. But if you're looking for something more exciting, indulge in the 'Chicken sizzler' or the 'Margarita pizza'.

    "Most of our main course options have generous portions and two people can share it," says Ravindra.

    To wash down the meal, you could sip on some palate-pleasing mocktails like 'Shangrila', 'Virgin mojito', 'Green apple fizz' and 'Flying kiwi' or even healthy drinks like a 'Cucumber cooler'.

    If you're a person who must conclude their meal with a dessert, the cafe's 'Sweet crepe with ice-cream' is not to be missed. The best part about the cafe is that the staff is open to customisation.

    "Some people do not like certain accompaniments or want a different item with their order and we try to meet their requirements. For example, if someone wants a fish and lamb sizzler instead of a chicken one, we do that," he adds.

    The cafe can seat around 100 people. It also has private cabins as well as open seating. 'Cloud Cafe' is located at No 626, 4th floor, Aditya Towers, 80 ft main road, Nagarbhavi.

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  • 11/03/17--03:05: Much ado about 'khichdi'
  • It was just another day in the Twitter and Facebook world, when posts appeared about 'khichdi' being announced as the national dish of the country.

    Phones started ringing and social media started buzzing with comments after the dish was announced as a record entry for the 'World Food India' event that is going on in the capital.

    While some took the 'news' in all seriousness, others handled it in a lighter vein. Though the Union Minister for Food Processing Industries, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, later clarified that it was a bid to make it a 'Brand India food' globally, food lovers continued to post interesting one-liners and opinions online.

    Suraj Prasad, a customer service engineer, says that it is interesting how a simple dish like the 'khichdi', which has always been prepared in our households, is being glorified.

    "From the everlasting presence that 'khichdi' had in our lives to the fact that some eat 'khichdi' on specific days because of religious significance, a lot of these views are out in the limelight now," he says.

    For some like Urmila Chanam, a social activist, such a buzz goes beyond culinary preferences.

    "Such a move would be a very wise positioning of the culture that we all grew up in. A conscious effort to retain our culture would be a good move," she says.

    Having travelled across the country from childhood, Urmila has tasted 'khichdi' in different formats from different communities.

    "While the flavours and the way of preparation might be varied. In Manipur, our 'khichdi' is more spicier compared to the liquid version of the South. Such a positioning for the dish would communicate the strong message that 'we are one'," she adds.

    There are others like Suman Kumar, an author and comedian, who feel that 'khichdi' will meet the same fate that other 'national' things have in the past.

    "The national animal is endangered and nobody cares about the national sport. I think that 'khichdi' will also slide into obscurity after it has been added to the list," he says.

    "Having said that, I feel the national food should be 'upma' and for those who don't like it, definitely 'dosa'. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, everyone loves 'dosa'. I've lived in Madhya Pradesh and I know a guy who was in the textile business, who started a 'dosa' cart and struck gold. There is so much in the culinary world, why is
    'biryani' not a national food?" he says.

    He also questions the need for such debates,
    in times when malnutrition deaths are still a

    On a lighter note, stand-up comedian Punya Arora feels that online conversations are very entertaining and a great break from the mundane life.

    "In June, it was the 'upma' and now here we are with the 'khichdi'. As long as the concept of 'khichdi' means mixed rice and includes 'biryani', I'm alright
    with it," she says.

    Punya adds that "in a nation where people pick their food like they pick their politics", everything seems apt!

    Well, hello 'khichdi', enjoy your five minutes of fame while it lasts.

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  • 11/03/17--03:07: A festive feast on display
  • Thai restaurant 'Benjarong' is hosting the Loi Krathong festival at its outlet on Ulsoor Road until November 30.

    The festival is celebrated annually across the southwestern region of Thailand on the full moon day in November and brings people together as they make a wish for a better future.

    Some of the dishes in the festival menu include 'Tung Tong', golden pouches with water chestnuts and minced vegetables, served with sweet chilli sauce; 'Goong pakchi lae prik', grilled prawns with chilli coriander marinade, rolled over on zucchini; 'Ayutthaya boat noodles soup phak', flat noodles in a spicy 'tom yum' topped with vegetables or grilled chicken breast and chicken dumplings and wontons; 'Khao pahd keow wahn', green curry fried rice with choice of vegetarian or non-vegetarian toppings; and more.

    The menu will be available from 12-3 pm and from 7-11 pm everyday.

    The price varies from Rs 350 to Rs 1500 per person.

    For details, call 7846848837.

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  • 11/03/17--03:13: Traversing the food map
  • For long, Bengalureans have been under the impression that places in the heart of the city are the only options to indulge their tastebuds. Not anymore! RMZ Eco World in Bellandur now boasts of a spanking new outlet of 'Bombay Brasserie'. Like the other outlets, this one too is a visual treat with its green and glass interiors. Soft lighting, an open plan, comfortable chairs, poolside seating — need we say more?

    If the decor doesn't make you happy enough, the food will do the rest though it is slightly on the pricier side. 'Bombay Brasserie' focuses on flavours that have never been tried before, twisting traditional recipes to suit today's tastes. They use regionally-sourced ingredients, like 'Aam papad' from Amritsar, 'Kashundi' from Bengal and 'Malwani masala' from the Konkan belt to give an authentically delicious twist to their offerings.

    Begin your meal with starters like 'The 6 chutney papad tokri' and 'Chakhna tray', that comprise assorted crunchy nibbles, or choose between the 'Crackling tamatar soup' and 'Home-style chicken and almond soup'.

    Next come the 'Smalls' which have some delectable options like 'Aam papad paneer', 'Chilli cheese kulcha', 'Spicy pahadi mushrooms' (highly recommended) and so on. From the 'Calcutta club fish fry', with its generous portions and mouth-watering mustard and salsa accompaniments, to the 'Andhra chicken', the aromas and tastes of authentic ingredients from different states are sure to woo you. A special shoutout to the 'Marathi jhinga mirch', which is prawns tossed in a fiery coarsely-pounded green chilli chutney with crunchy peanuts and garnished with freshly grated coconut.

    Their signature street kebabs are next in line. The flavourful 'Kashmiri naan kebab', which is hand ground mutton mince seekh infused with flavours and served on a saffron-brushed 'naan', is a must try.

    The eatery believes that the right pairing highlights every ingredient and enhances the taste of the curry. Options like 'Amritsar mall road paneer bhurji' and 'Kheema aloo pie with bun maska' await you in 'Paired curries'. For chicken lovers, the 'Coast-to-coast chicken with mixed seed roti' is a good try. In the 'Mario's mango prawns and coconut rice', the prawns are cooked in traditional Goan 'ambotik masala', which is a spicy and tangy gravy, and is served with rice wrapped in banana leaf.

    Next are the mains with a generous selection of delectable eats made of 'paneer', chicken, mushrooms and fish. The accompaniments range from steamed rice to Indian breads like 'Amritsari aloo kulcha' and 'naan'. The 'Chur chur paratha' has managed to command quite a fan following within a short span of time.

    Finish your meal in a sweet way with the 'Amritsari kulfa' or the 'Bombay ice cream sandwich' which takes you on a trip down memory lane with ice cream sandwiches made with Jim-Jam, Parle G and Bourbon biscuits with an addition of Gems, toffees and jujube candy. The place also offers an extensive selection of drinks.

    'Bombay Brasserie' is located in International Bay, Campus 8/A, RMZ Eco World, Sarjapura, Bellandur.

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  • 11/03/17--03:16: Julia's key to joy
  • Actor Julia Roberts says a woman should marry the "right person" and have great girlfriends to stay happy in life.

    The Hollywood star says, "Marry the right person, give birth to a redhead, and have great girlfriends (is the key to joy)."

    Julia was briefly married to singer Lyle Lovett from 1993 to 1995.

    The actor, who has three children, Phinnaeus, Henry and Hazel, with her husband of 15 years, Danny Moder, says she is proud of her kids.

    She has won three Golden Globe Awards and has been nominated for four Academy Awards.

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    Mindy Kaling is developing an anthology series remake of the 1994 romantic comedy 'Four Weddings and a Funeral'.

    Similar to the film, the series will follow a group of friends as their lives intersect through the five events. Each season will center on a different story arc.

    The American actor, comedian and writer is the creator and star of the television sitcom 'The
    Mindy Project'. She is also known for her work on the popular NBC sitcom 'The Office'.

    Kaling will pen the remake of 'Four Weddings...' with 'Mindy Project' showrunner Matt Warburton.

    The two will executive produce the series with the original film's writer, Richard Curtis, Working Title's Jonathan Prince, Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner and 3 Arts' Howard Klein.

    The project comes as 'The Mindy Project' heads closer to its November 14 series finale.

    'Four Weddings and a Funeral', starring Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell, grossed more than $245 million worldwide when it was released in 1994.

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  • 11/03/17--03:22: A reel life fantasy
  • There's something about the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) that connects with the audience. The name itself is enough to whip the movie-going crowd into a frenzy.

    Starting from the way the story is told to the production aesthetics, almost every Marvel movie has something different.

    The latest release 'Thor: Ragnarok' has been receiving rave reviews and seems to have ticked all the right boxes for the viewers.

    Prateek Thakker, a professional, says, "'Thor: Ragnarok' is one of the best MCU movies that I have seen. It almost felt like I was in a video game. The 3-D screen definitely added to the experience."

    The comic book fan has been following both Marvel and DC comics for years now. However, when it comes to the cinematography, he likes the production value of MCU films.

    "While DC movies are very grim, Marvel portrays its characters in a light manner. 'Thor' raised the bar with its quirky dialogues and the way the characters played their parts. The soundtrack was also mindblowing; I've made it my ringtone now," he says.

    Food and lifestyle blogger Rumana Nazarali also felt that it was a great movie.

    She says, "It was a complete package — comedy, entertainment, action, thrills and melodrama. Even 'Doctor Strange' made an appearance in the film which was an interesting twist to the story.

    The chemistry between 'Thor' and 'Bruce Banner' was on point and 'Loki'
    was his usual entertaining self."

    Rumana went in with the intention of seeing a continuation of the last 'Thor' film but she came back quite surprised.

    "I went with a mindset that this will be like any other Marvel movie but it was just brilliant. I would recommended it to other Marvel comic fans. But it has to be watched in a theatre. You won't be doing justice to the film if you watch it on any other screen."

    Many moviegoers are looking forward to watching the film over the weekend. Nisha Chandrasekaran, a communication professional, says, "My sister has exams going on so I am waiting patiently to watch the movie with her. The trailer has already created a buzz as it looked different from the usual MCU trailers. There is more comedy than usual which I am looking forward to."

    Nisha grew up reading comic books, especially Marvel and DC comics. She says that the best way to enjoy these movies is to not compare them with the books.

    "MCU movies don't always have a great storyline but they are highly entertaining. And you enjoy the film only if you are not comparing it to the books. I can't wait to watch the
    film as I have been hearing great reviews about it," she adds.

    Have you booked your tickets yet?

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  • 11/03/17--03:27: 'Acting helps one dream'
  • Kannada movie lovers might remember him in the cameo role of Ravi in 'Kahi' and as Loki in 'Kirik Party'. He is Aravinnd Iyer, an actor who loves to explore himself with challenging scripts.

    Soon to be seen in movies like 'Bheemasena Nalamaharaja' and '777 Charlie', the actor is quite excited.

    In a candid chat with Tini Sara Anien, he talks about his love for acting and his upcoming movies.

    What about acting attracted you to it?

    I think films are a very powerful medium. Acting helps one dream. I have seen many people come out of the theatre and walk out as if they were in a dream. People who dream for long become actors (laughs).

    Tell us about your upcoming movies.

    It is on the sets of 'Kirik Party' that I met Kiranraj K, which led to the discussions on '777 Charlie'. I was initially supposed to work in 'Godhi Banna Sadharana Mykattu', but that didn't happen. After that Pushkar Mallikarjun and I were looking to work together in a project and that's when 'Bheemasena Nalamaharaja' came our way.

    What was it about these scripts that made you accept it?

    As cliched as it sounds, the story and the impact the story can create is what pulled me to it. Both the movies that I have signed have fresh subjects.

    Tell us more about your roles.

    I play the protagonist in 'Bheemasena Nalamaharaja' and '777 Charlie'. 'Bheemasena....' is connected to food and a lot more, while '777 Charlie' is about the bond between a man and an animal.

    Are you a foodie?

    I am! I love cooking and I used to cook for almost 10 people everyday when I was away from home. I come from a family of great cooks, my mother cooks extremely well and my brother, Ashwin Iyer, is a MasterChef India contestant. I am fond of good food and have travelled far and wide to taste it. I remember a time in college, when someone told me that one could get excellent 'thatte idli' in Tumkur and my friends and went all the way to have it.

    Do you love dogs? Do you own any?

    I don't think it's possible to work in a movie like '777 Charlie' if I didn't love dogs. I do not have pets at home at the moment because the ones we had passed on and it was heart-breaking.

    According to you, what elements make for a good movie?

    A good movie comes out when all sections of filmmaking do a good job. The synergy of cinematography, makeup, music and all combine to make a successful film. If any one of them falters, the final product suffers.

    A role that you really want to explore... There are so many! I know that the movies I am doing are not run-of-the-mill kind of movies. I believe in content that can be sold commercially.

    Three traits an actor should have...

    Patience, hardwork and vulnerability.

    How hard is to be an actor?

    Anybody can act, provided they have an interest in the field. Being a student of science, I learnt the dynamics of acting as an equation (laughs).

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    Model-turned-actor Sarah Harish always knew that she would get into acting someday. She was particular that her debut must be with a big banner. And she seems to have found everything that she was looking for in her debut project, 'David' where she will be seen playing the role of an industrialist's daughter.

    She is paired with actor Shreyas Chinga. In an interview with Nina C George, she talks about her role in 'David' and more.

    What impressed you about 'David'?

    'David' is not a regular story. I was impressed with the script and the way every character has been conceived.

    Tell us about your character.

    I play the daughter of an industrialist. She is not a spoilt brat and is someone who doesn't believe in love. Unlike the usual rich kids, she prefers to keep to herself. But her perception about love and men change after she meets the character played by Shreyas Chinga.

    From modelling to acting...

    The two are very different. In modelling you have only one shot and you are done with your job. But acting is a different ball game altogether. You have so many scenes and every scene requires a different kind of an emotion. There are definite schedules when it comes to movies.

    How is it to work with a young crew in 'David'?

    I was skeptical at first but when I read the script and how every character was knit together, I was thrilled. I had no second thoughts about accepting the project. I enjoyed working with director Bhargav. I never saw him yelling at anybody even when they made a mistake. He was very supportive and always motivated the actors to perform better.

    On working with Shreyas Chinga....

    Shreyas and I have worked together before. Our scenes together was a smooth flow because the good rapport we share. It helps when costars happen to be good friends. It made my job easy.

    Any lessons learnt?

    It is hard to quantify the hard work put in by every single person who has worked on 'David'. Whether production or direction, everybody was equally involved. The team work put into this project is indeed commendable.

    Would you call 'David' an intense film?

    There are intense action sequences in the film. The story is mystery-thriller and this is itself makes it worth a worth.

    Where has the film been shot?

    Most of the film has been shot in Bengaluru. The city has been portrayed in a very different way. We have shot in very different locations.

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  • 11/03/17--03:31: A change of image
  • There is really no role that veteran actor Avinash hasn't played so far. In his latest release, 'Nishabda 2', he plays the character of a visually impaired retired Army officer.
    Avinash's strong performance has made the character stand out in the film.

    About his role, Avinash says, that he thoroughly enjoyed stepping into
    the shoes of an Army officer.

    "I agreed to the script because I found the subject and my character different from the usual. At first, my role of a visually impaired retired Army officer may come across as innocent but there are enough instances in the film to prove the character is not an
    ordinary one," explains Avinash.

    In the film, Avinash's character lives alone in a bungalow with a dog. The strength of the character comes through when somebody tries to break into his house.

    But their exit becomes a challenge. "The film turns interesting when somebody tries to break in to his house. He might be visually impaired but is not weak and that is the message that is conveyed through this scene. Those who enter the house are trapped by my character and their very existence and survival becomes a challenge," he adds.

    His character is also created in such a way that he prefers to be aloof and doesn't mix with anybody. "But he is sharp and knows every corner of his house. These qualities add to the mystery of the character," he says.

    The actor has also undergone a makeover for his role. He has worked out to improve his physique. "Since I play an Army officer, I was expected to look muscular which I have achieved through my regular workouts. You will also find me sporting a salt-and-pepper beard and wearing light contact lens. These additions have made to the character to make him appear real and believable," says Avinash.

    The actor is cast alongside newcomers but Avinash doesn't seem to have a problem working with a young crew.

    "I have no qualms about working with newcomers. I work on a project only if the script and my role are convincing. In fact, I like working with young people because you get an insight into how young minds work. What is also evident in the film is teamwork and the exploration of new ideas," adds Avinash.

    Has Avinash ever felt a sense of stagnancy in his career? "I think at some point everybody experiences stagnancy and monotony in their careers, but I
    make sure I break that monotony by carefully choosing my roles. I don't work on cliched characters. And fortunately, most of the offers that I have been getting are indeed unique," he says.

    The actor looks nothing like his age. How does he manage to stay so fit? "Working out is an addiction for me. I feel that something is amiss on days that I don't workout. I also make sure that I don't alter my diet," he signs off.

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    Sumeet Vyas has been increasing his fanbase with every performance.
    This weekend saw his film 'Ribbon', starring Kalki Koechlin as the female lead, hit the theatres.

    The movie is about a working urban couple who are overwhelmed by the birth of a baby girl and how they realise parenthood comes with its own challenges.

    Sumeet speaks to Anila Kurian about the experience of working in 'Ribbon' and his upcoming projects.

    You've done some interesting roles so far. What makes 'Ribbon' different from these?

    The coolest part is the way it has been shot. I loved the whole approach to the narrative and this film is as close to realism as possible. It portrays the struggles an urban couple goes through on a day-to-day basis, the arguments and conflicts they have and how they become unreasonable.

    What's it like working with Kalki Koechlin? Did both of you being theatre actors help?

    Yes! Kalki is known for being open and professional, which was helpful. From the time we went for workshops, we knew it'll work. There are certain scenes that are stressful so we were given a structure and asked to improvise and react. So for scenes like that, it was great to have someone who knew the basics
    of it.

    You have also started working on 'Veere Di Wedding'…

    Yes, we just started shooting for it. It's a big budget Bollywood film and I'm excited to be a part of it.

    What else are you busy with?

    I'm writing the second season of the web series 'TVF Tripling'. We will start working on it next year.

    What is your acting mantra?

    I don't like faking my characters. The best part about being an actor is that I get to live so many lives. I just portray them as they are; I don't know how else to act! This also influences the content I watch.

    You're known for being a writer and actor. Anything else you want to dabble in next?

    I really want to be a director but I just haven't found a full script to work on.

    You work in theatre, movies and in the digital world. Do you find any similarities between these mediums?

    I honestly don't pay attention to the medium. I only focus on the kind of scripts I read and the people I'm working with. It's important to me because I am giving my
    time which I will not get back. So I would rather enrich my time than waste it.

    Any plans after the release of your movie?

    Yes, I'm waiting for some free time to go on a biking trip.

    What is your guilty pleasure?

    I love to eat and drink beer. I'm very unfit when I'm not working.

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  • 11/03/17--03:40: A fun evening
  • DJ Hassan will perform at High Ultra Lounge, World Trade Centre, Malleswaram on November 4, 9 pm onwards.

    DJ Hassan has played at various music festivals and concerts in Doha, Sri Lanka and Dubai.
    He is is all set to churn out tunes in genres like EDM blowout, house and electro Bollywood
    during his concert in the city.

    For details, log on to

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  • 11/03/17--03:43: Kriti goes traditional
  • Last seen in 'Raabta' opposite Kriti Sanon, Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput, stressed on the importance of education while speaking at a special session of an arts and culture club in Delhi.

    "Sushant talked about how the choices he has made so far have helped him get to where he is in life and career. Since education is extremely close to his heart, Sushant also spoke about that and how he has always believed in the power of education.Since he dropped out of engineering college to pursue his cinema dreams, the actor also discussed how difficult it was to leave something you are good at and pursue something that comes with no surety," said a close source.

    Says the 31-year-old, "It was a thoroughly engaging session at Algebra. It was an evening filled with great conversation with some of the leading minds in the business."
    On the work front, Rajput is soon expected to begin shooting for the second schedule of Abhishek Kapoor's 'Kedarnath'. Slated to release in June 2018, the film also marks the debut of Saif Ali Khan's daughter Sara Ali Khan.

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    Once More Kaurava

    Kannada (U/A)

    Cast: Naresh Gowda, Anusha Ranganath, Devaraj, Anu Prabhakar, Shivaram, Master Ayush

    Director: S Mahender

    Rating: Average

    Once More Kaurava takes viewers back to bygone days of storytelling. Its the moth-eaten tale of an honest police officer, Kiran, taking up challenges while discharging his duties to maintain peace in society.

    Posted in a town full of miscreants, Kiran sets about his task in regimental fashion. The man takes on the corrupt bunch single-handedly, with eye-for-an-eye mantra, and also finds time for love. He also learns that those behind his parents killing are in the town, and determines to avenge their death. It is the familiar tale of revenge and retribution sprinkled with family sentiments and romantic interludes, as the no-nonsense cop goes about his Mission Justice.

    Newcomer Naresh tries to live up to his tailored role, while Anusha makes for a pretty presence.

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  • 11/03/17--07:58: A thriller with no intrigue
  • Ittefaq

    Hindi (U/A)

    Cast: Sidharth Malhotra, Sonakshi Sinha, Akshaye Khanna

    Director: Abhay Chopra

    Akshaye Khanna sips tea nonstop. But the cop's piping hot sessions do little help to the proceedings which remain as damp as the rainy night when two people drop dead. And at the end, the supposed tubelight moment makes for the biggest yawn in the whodunnit.

    Sidharth Malhotra, an NRI writer, is in town with his publisher-wife for a book launch. The next thing we know, she is found in a pool of blood and suspect hubby is on the run. He takes shelter in Sonakshi Sinha's house, where apparently her lawyer-husband's corpse just tumbled out of the closet.

    He says she killed him. She says he did. Hence starts the blame game, which also marks the official beginning of the tea-sipping season.

    Akshaye Khanna has a blast, sizing up his suspects. He makes for a gripping watch. Sorry, his objects of interest aren't even remotely near.

    Malhotra ups his game after a shaky start, but Sonakshi gets none of the tones right. As the bored wife devouring news channels (even when she is held hostage), Sonakshi kills the small pleasures that come in the form of feeble clues.

    So whodunnit? Whocares? After a while, one stops guessing. And Ittefaq fails even with its borrowed thrills from the 1969 original.

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  • 11/03/17--21:34: Colours of India
  • Mini Krishnans edition of twelve memorable stories from India is like a box of sweets of different shapes, sizes, colours and garnish, nestling comfortably together, each promising a taste of heavenly sweetness and yet each distinctive.

    Poverty, superstition, hunger, terrorism, love, disappointment are some ingredients of this unique blend. Whatever the subject, its the poignancy of these stories that is touching. The form of the long short-story allows the writer the freedom and space to explore the subject. Whether the story is translated from Malayalam or Marathi, a common thread of Indianness runs through it.

    The Kings Harvest, the longest of these, is all about a mans fealty to his king. To a country bumpkin from the obscure parts of Sikkim, a taxi is a "wheeled rat" and the pelting rain on it sounds like "a hundred angry spirits seeking entry into the rat." Tontem, who has never ventured out of his corner of the world, now collects his wits and his children, and as an honest man, braves his way to pay his debt to the king. Looking at the city, he is stupefied and thinks "theres evil involved, this strangeness could not have come about by human effort alone." There is a deliciousness to the narration which slows down the reader to savour the story. Tontems lazy wife Duwah runs away. As if in answer to his prayers, Wangmo appears. She has a sweet tongue and cooks him delicious meals, and in appreciation Tontem takes care to avoid her head when he beats her. Tontem brings on a twinge of nostalgia for this preciousness of innocence and the seemingly unintentional humour that runs rampant in the story.

    The Deepest Blue is a siren song of love that beckons from beyond Time. Its the story of a smouldering wife and a husband of 13 years who notices nothing. Like a snake in a wicker basket writhing to the strains of music, desire moves uneasily within the woman. Her search for a house turns into a search for a lover, "two beings wandering through Space and Time searching for the other." Her desire is so persistent and the narration so compelling that we move beyond the realm of moral and ethic, and are caught in this twilight world of ache and longing, and the njaaval (black plum) tree.

    Jumman is the story of a rough, belligerent man who skins animals for a living. An unfeeling work done by an unfeeling man unused to love. His wife and children die one after another, abandoning him to his heartlessness. But life works in strange ways. A little goat kid comes into his life and "hands that had never caressed his children and shoulders that had never carried their weight" caress and carry Jumman with joy. Like all parent-child stories this one too has a great heartache as Jummans mating urge awakens and he roves after she-goats, ignoring the old man. A superb twist of irony at the end of the story is both convincing and a surprise.

    Hunger is a powerful paean to the elemental feeling of hunger, and brings an awareness about it to our overfed lives. Bright, sweet Chinni, a flower of a girl -with a heavily pregnant mother, an older sister and a drooling kid brother - takes it upon herself to find a way to feed her family when her father is found missing.And she almost succeeds in her plan in an agonising manner.

    Lingering Fragrance tells the wily ways of a Nawab family where women are used and discarded with less thought than worn footwear. Chamman Mian is an aberration in this family. He has no interest in land, property or family feuds. Still, his lack of guile does not protect him from his scheming family.

    The Fourth Direction is a straightforward narration of the strained relations between the Hindus and the Sikhs, and a scuttling among prejudices, fears and self-conceived notions like mice among eaves. Forced to face fear squarely leaves one with no fear.

    Seed deals with the age-old feud between landowners and those who work the land. Dulan possesses nothing except the primal urge to survive. The governments ineffectual methods to help the landless, the corrupt police that shuts an eye to the worst of crimes, unscrupulous landowners who squeeze the last drop out of their workers and generously donate to temples - in this unfair world, the triumph of the small man is heartening.

    These and other stories make this a scintillating collection. The richness, the variety and the dilemmas of life in India are mirrored in these stories. Whether the story is from Kashmir or Kerala, it resonates with the reader. Flawless translation adds to the enjoyment. An absolute must-read for anyone who enjoys good literature.

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  • 11/03/17--21:40: Book Rack Nov 5
  • Book Rack

    We That Are Young

    Preti Taneja

    Penguin, 2017, pp 545, Rs 599

    This is Shakespeares King Lear told as a devastating commentary on contemporary India. From Delhi mansions and luxury hotels, from city slums to the streets of Kashmir, from palace to wayside, the author paints a city thats descending into madness.

    A Biography Of Innovations

    R Gopalakrishnan

    Penguin, 2017, pp 256, Rs 399

    This is a definitive book on the life cycle of new ideas and transformations. Defining thought as the
    ancestor of innovation, the author explores the
    questions such as - What happens next? How can you take on challenges and keep your ideas relevant?

    The Fictitious Dream

    Ravish T Ram

    Notion Press, 2017, pp 170, Rs 199

    From the bustling, busy life of a youngster in a

    metropolitan city, Rak wakes up one day to a different world where he is an inmate in a sanatorium. He journeys through as a husband, a friend and a lover, among other roles.

    The Influential Mind

    Tali Sharot

    Hachette, 2017, pp 242, Rs 399

    This is a book full of tricks and stratagems to extend

    the reach of what good minds should do - lead

    other minds toward doing good - and sometimes

    the author works against received wisdom in

    offering them.

    Beneath A Scarlet Sky

    Mark Sullivan

    Lake Union, 2017, pp 513, Rs 399

    Pino Lella, a normal teenager, wants nothing to do with the war or the Nazis. When his family home in Milan is destroyed by Allied bombs, Pino joins an underground railroad helping Jews escape over the Alps, and falls for Anna, a beautiful widow six years his senior.

    Kranti Nation

    Pranjal Sharma

    Pan Macmillan, 2017, pp 263, Rs 599

    Since smartphones and cloud computing became popular five years ago, the fourth industrial revolution has been creeping into almost all sectors of the Indian economy. This book chronicles, through more than 50 examples, how visionary leadership in Indian industry is deploying these technologies.

    I Am Watching You

    Teresa Driscoll

    Thomas & Mercer, 2017, pp 299, Rs 399

    Ella Longfield does nothing even when she sees two attractive young men, former prisoners, flirting

    with young girls. She wakes up to the news that

    one of the girls has disappeared. Ella is

    wracked with guilt over what she failed to do.

    Someone is also sending her threatening letters

    that make her fear for her life.

    The first Anglo-Sikh War

    Amarpal Singh

    Harper Collins, 2017, pp 255, Rs 699

    The author writes a warts-and-all tale of a conflict characterised by treachery, tragedy and incredible bravery on both sides. The narrative of the campaign is accompanied by battlefield guides that draw on eyewitness accounts, and invite the reader to take a tour of the battlefields, either physically or virtually.

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  • 11/03/17--21:48: Damsel in success
  • Actor Mehreen Pirzada has been making waves in the Telugu film industry. Her third Telugu film, the recently released Raja the Great, which features Ravi Teja in the lead, has been declared a super hit. With this success, the actor has scored a hat-trick of hits in Telugu films.
    Her upcoming movie, a bilingual, is an important film for her, for it is through this film that Mehreen will be making her debut in the Tamil film industry.

    Regional popularity

    Titled Nenjil Thunivirundhal in Tamil and C/O Surya in Telugu, the film has been directed by one of Tamil cinemas most respected directors, Suseenthiran. The film looks to drive home the point that in this society, one does not need courage to do something wrong; one needs courage only to do what is right.

    Talking about the film, Mehreen says, "I play the role of a confident and entertaining girl, Janani. Basically, she is a rowdy girl. This is one of the best introductions I have got. Even when I heard about my role from Suseenthiran sir, I was like wow. My role might not be too big, but it is going to leave a mark on the audience."

    The actor makes no bones about the fact that she respects director Suseenthiran immensely. "He is my lucky charm. My first film in Telugu was Krishna Gaadi Veera Prema Gaadha. It was a super hit and I signed this film right after that. I finished the first schedule of this film and went back to Hyderabad, and you wont believe it, I was selected for six films in two days. Actually, all six films were great projects. But my manager pointed out that a month has only 30 days, not 60! So, I had to confine myself to signing just four films. I am that kind of a person who will give my 24 hours to cinema. Out of the four that I signed, two have already released and become super hits. The other two are awaiting release," she states.

    She further adds, "I will always respect him for choosing me for the film. Bharathiraja sir unveiled my poster and Suseenthiran sir told me the reason behind getting Bharathiraja sir to launch my poster was that he had launched a number of top stars, including Sridevi."

    Point out that Suseenthiran himself has
    introduced over 100 newcomers to the Tamil film industry, and she says with a smile, "I know. He is a very sweet and simple person who doesnt like to take any credit. I have always seen him directing with his little kid in his arms."

    Mehreen has already made a good name for herself in the Tamil film industry with several members of the unit of Nenjil Thunivirundhal vouching for the dedicated and sincere nature of the actor. In fact, they say that despite sustaining injuries in repeated accidents, Mehreen continued to shoot and complete her portions of the film.

    Work comes first

    Talking about these accidents, Mehreen says, "Suseenthiran sir calls me Action Queen because I was accident-prone on the sets. I didnt know how to ride a two-wheeler but the script demanded it, and so I tried and hurt my foot. But after a quick trip to the hospital, I was back on the sets. I take pride in giving my 100% in everything I do. Also, if your whole team and your director are so supportive, you just feel enthusiastic to work."

    Mehreen might be a popular face amongst the Telugu audience, but she is new to the Tamil audience. So, how would she describe herself to them? "I am a happy-go-lucky girl, who always keeps entertaining people around her. I am unknowingly funny. That is , if you ask me to be funny, I wouldnt know how. I am a straightforward person, and I like being around simple and truthful people. In fact, I like people who have negative things to say about me. The world always tells you about your positives, but I like listening to negatives too," she states.

    How does this young star handle criticism? She replies, "Criticism is welcome. Nobody is born perfect.This is my first film in Tamil. With each film, I am going to become a better actor."

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