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  • 02/09/18--19:18: From all corners

  • Liddle has a complete grasp of her stories, which makes her characters and all that is happening in their lives very believable.

    Paro tells the story of Sana, a young girl whisked away from Assam to parts of North India, as she changes hands from one man to another. She realises why she is called paro when she is told, "Don't you know what a 'paro' is? A stolen woman, a bought bride... Little better than a whore." Though Sana does have a pyrrhic victory finally, the author's note at the end of the story brings no joy, with mention of the 10 lakh trafficked brides, known as 'paros' or 'molkis', who live in the states surrounding Delhi.

    Ambika, Mother Goddess recreates the trauma of rape, coupled with the insensitivity of dealing with accusations like, "She must have been making eyes at him. That's why he did it."

    Mala brings out the absolute hypocrisy and lack of concern of the middle class towards their domestic help, as much as it does the exploitation of this class of women workers.

    The title story, Woman to Woman, could probably be termed the pick of the collection. Madhulika excels in recreating a tale charged with tension as a nun boards a bus and takes the only vacant seat in it, to realise soon enough that she is seated next to a prostitute, who has no hesitation in confessing this to the nun.

    The dynamics of the nun being forced to listen to a confessional and then opening up for a sharing of her own life story is riveting, as is the converging of their seemingly unconnected lives.

    Collector of Junk is unusual in the way that the story is titled and the manner in which it finally pans out. Amongst the moving lines is the protagonist saying, "Death is not the worst thing that can happen. The worst thing that can happen is to be left without anybody by your side."

    Two Doors unravels societal pressures on a woman who is unable to conceive, and how it starts playing on her psyche, forcing her to succumb to painful tests and other fertility treatments.

    Intense loneliness is the theme reflected in both The Letter and Maplewood, whilst Laxmi, the protagonist of Captive Spirit, has shades of the heroine of Tagore's Monihara, with their all-consuming obsession for jewellery over everything else.

    The author manages to cover many emotions in her compilation. The theme of extra-marital affair becomes the subject of Wronged, whilst the Kashmir conflict is touched upon in Poppies in the Snow, with its surprising twist at the end.

    The one story that adds lightness to the collection is The Sari Satyagraha, and is, therefore, most enjoyable. In this tale, Sulakshana, the long-suffering wife of an overly interfering and pompous husband, turns the tables on him, in a way that one cannot help but laud her genius.

    If the stories are found wanting, it could be in their sometimes abrupt endings, but in all fairness, it could be the constraint of word limit that perhaps prevailed. But Madhulika Liddle deserves kudos for touching upon different aspects of women's lives and creating an awareness of the many injustices that are heaped upon them.

    The sensitivity and compassion with which she deals with the deep and dark corners in the lives of each and every one of the marginalised women that she writes about, make all the stories rich and layered. The book certainly has a place in a woman's library, and it is suggested that men read it, too.

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  • 02/09/18--19:42: The man behind the glasses
  • Rajaji and my father shared a close and abiding friendship for over six decades till the end. Whenever Rajaji visited Bengaluru, he invariably stayed in our house notwithstanding the protocol warranted by the official positions he occupied from time to time.

    A pair of dark-tinted glasses he wore owing to his eye condition was a matter of much speculation in the political circles then, attracting several interpretations, some of them even atrociously humorous.

    According to some, he wore dark glasses because the Southern Chanakya did not want anyone to make out who he was looking at, and also to prevent his eyes from giving away his thoughts!

    On one such visit to Bengaluru in 1950, he was holding the exalted position of the governor-general of India. Despite stiff resistance from his security staff, he stuck to his decision to stay with us.

    During the course of his three-day stay, many people from all walks of life were eager to meet him and seek his guidance on personal and several other matters. Despite his enormous pressing engagements, Rajaji never hesitated to spare as much time as he could to patiently interact with them.

    It was at this juncture that a young lady in deep distress (daughter-in-law of a distant relative of ours) sought to meet him urgently, and seeing her condition, Rajaji readily agreed. She narrated, amidst uncontrollable sobs, how she was being ill-treated, humiliated and tortured by her unscrupulous mother-in-law.

    "I am shattered… I have no one to turn to as my parents are no more; even my husband who has married me for love, supports his mother outright and lets me down! He is a total mammas boy," she lamented.

    "Rajaji uncle," she continued to plead with folded hands, "you are known to fight for the cause of the weak and the oppressed. My position, as you can visualise, is worse than that. But for my only young son, I would have definitely resorted to something drastic. Please do something to put an end to these atrocities being perpetrated on young daughters-in-law like me by their ruthless mothers-in-law! Only you can help me!"

    Rajaji slowly took off his dark glasses. He made no effort to hide his tear-filled eyes reflecting his soft and compassionate interior. There was no trace of the tough politician in them. The grief of the young woman had melted the iron man.

    "What a strange and tragic coincidence, my dear child," said Rajaji with a heavy voice. "Nearly two decades ago, your mother-in-law had come to me, to this very house, with an identical problem, and believe me, she had described her woes against her mother-in-law in exactly the same language and tenor as you have just done. I had told her that when she got her daughter-in-law, she should treat her as her own daughter by forgiving her lapses. Obviously, nothing of that kind seems to have happened! Now, dear young lady, you say you have a son. When you get your daughter-in-law, will you break this vicious chain by making her find a mother in you? Right now, excuse the lapses of your mother-in-law as you would of your own mother and make her see a daughter in you. Do this for me. I shall do the rest!"

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  • 02/09/18--19:48: Quick Take
  • Shes known as the witty go-to style guru of webspeak. She loves exploring the new rules of writing in the age of social media, memes, emojis, and web slang. And her book, A World Without Whom: The Essential Guide to Language in the BuzzFeed Age, is all about that. Meet Emmy J Favilla, the BuzzFeed global copy chief...

    What does language mean to you?

    Something thats fun, alive, limitless, & personal.

    What about language excites you?

    The fact that we are constantly finding new ways to communicate nuanced expressions.

    Your favourite word...


    Your prompt for this book...

    I felt there hadnt yet been a book that gave style advice for the current state of communication - one that explored the intersection of technology and language
    in plain English.

    Your favourite book...

    Anything David Sedaris.

    Your current read...

    Devoured, by Sophie Egan.

    Your most indulgent habit...

    Drinking sake.

    What do you have on your desk at work?

    A cactus, a small succulent, a few books, vitamins, hand lotion, chapstick.

    What cant you live without?

    My pets.

    If you could swap jobs with anyone, who would it be, and why?

    I would love to manage an animal sanctuary or rescue organisation - animals are my lifes passion!

    Your fave person in the world?

    Does my dog count?

    Your most cherished dream...

    I barely remember any of my dreams!

    Your chosen cuisine?


    A cause dear to your heart...

    New York Bully Crew - an organisation dedicated primarily to
    rescuing pit bulls and bully breeds.

    What do you do to unwind?

    Watch trashy TV over a glass of sake or wine.

    Ideal place to holiday...

    New Orleans.

    Your worst nightmare...

    Lots and lots of buttons (they freak me out).

    Your life in two words...

    Words, animals.

    Your idea of happiness...

    Being surrounded by my favourite people - eating, drinking, & laughing, OR napping all day in a giant pile of dogs.

    Your present state of mind...

    Thinking about what I need to check of off my to-do list (and what Im going to eat for dinner).

    The quality you most like in people...

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    Mountaineers and seafarers, they say, are given to tall tales. I had told my share as a mountain-born and an amateur mountaineer, having been on at least one major mountain expedition (Kanchenjunga).

    Therefore, it seemed natural to turn to the polar opposite - the oceans. And it was just as well that my fascination for the deep began with the Maldives, a country usually described as 99% water.

    A clumsy snorkelling dip here many years ago with a no-nonsense female Russian instructor set me on a blitzkrieg of diving and snorkelling across the Indian Ocean from East Africa to Indonesia.

    Answer this...

    But while there are ready mountain vocabularies to mythologise mountains, how do you mythologise a mythology? Oceans below their surface have, after all, hardly been part of the human experience. Our obsessions, our aspirations, our pursuits are all firmly on land. Oceans in stories across cultures have been long odysseys to undertake, to arrive with relief at some shore. We are content to live out our dreams on 29% of the planet.

    Therefore, when you descend into the deep, hyperboles fall short and you are your own Columbus and Marco Polo.

    Perhaps, a reason why diving has been described as something of a spiritual experience. Could it be a harking back to when we were not even vertebrates and yet to slither out to land from the primaeval soup?

    Diving has also been compared with space voyages. The vulnerability, the strangeness of gravity, the Star Trek movements and the science fiction landscape are all the same. A reason why astronauts are dunked into water-tanks to simulate the weightlessness of space and practise their spacewalks. In fact, diving is the best pranayama. You no longer have to trick your monkey mind to focus on the breath. Breathing is divings main event.

    In this second diving trip to the Maldives, I was in the southern atoll, with its relatively healthy corals. And once again, the epicurean delights on offer in the Island resort weighed heavily against any open-water escapades.

    A new property offered all the hedonisms of an island resort, plus personalised pampering designed to make the resort your oyster.

    Amidst all the mollycoddling, its easy to forget that just beyond the placid lagoon and the infinity pools, just where the light blue of the ocean meets the dark blue, the coral reefs cradling Maldivess 1,190 or so islands in a protective embrace are crumbling. And that if global temperatures continue to rise, this El Dorado, barely one metre above the sea, would all be submerged.

    Those diving for years can best gauge the corals health from a few years before. The diving group I was with this time, however, was made of shark freaks. So, we ebbed along the crystal-clear waters, just off the island reef, waiting for the incoming. The incoming tide hauls with it sharks, signalling the time to jump.

    But despite plunging in with the incoming, we had to wait for the sharks, and it was only after descending to about 15 metres below water that we saw them skimming the surface in schools, ignoring us completely. The sharks in the Maldives, along with other creatures of the deep, are famously non-aggressive. It is as easy to swim with them as it is to take selfies with half-sedated felines in tourist traps around the world.

    But I was there for one boring reason. Corals. And it is getting increasingly boring and depressing, what with the corals dying all around the world. In an event called coral bleaching, triggered by rising water temperatures, corals, as a defence mechanism, shed the algae that live on them, dying in the process. One can see wrecks of dead or half-bleached corals at almost all diving spots in the world.

    To see unharmed corals, we had to drop deeper where the water temperature had remained comfortable for the corals to thrive. The fish here was the variety that came in shoals, and like a single organism danced and swerved this way and that without any apparent reason. It was eerie when the shoals swam below us and we floated as if on a fish carpet.

    Among the reefs warrens, many unfamiliar creatures popped in and out to see the aliens. The dive instructor pointed to a piece of coral rock repeatedly. On the boat, he told me he was trying to show me a camouflaged scorpion fish. The ubiquitous clownfish were warier in these depths. They peeped cautiously from behind the swaying tentacles of the anemones.

    Change of breath

    But the sight rather unexpected and one that stayed was that of the turtle. The incoming hauls them in, too, and we saw one giant green turtle swim along the reef just as we had used up the air in our tanks. I had seen green turtles slither painfully to the shore on a hatching site in Oman. The turtle is as nimble and graceful in water as its awkward and cumbersome on land.

    The spiritual moment for me occurred, as always, when I was back on the surface and within the sight of the boat, and began to breathe as a human again. Just so. A spiritual experience is often a relief, a sort of catharsis from a preceding episode of physical or mental stress.

    From Buddha to Jesus, mystics have documented their days and years of ordeal before entering a blissful state, which the followers called Enlightenment.

    A mystical phenomenon of a dive is perhaps another tall tale told by a minority that knows it is something the majority would never investigate or experience.

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  • 02/09/18--19:58: Grand in defence
  • The dawn has just broken and the air is cool and pleasant. We join a group of locals spreading grains for the flock of pigeons. Breakfast is not ready yet in any hotel. So we have a cup of tea near Tripolia in Jaipur and head straight for the famous Amer (Amber) Fort, the ancient capital of Jaipur (Dhundhar) state.

    The fort is built mainly of red sandstone and white marble on a forested hill headland, Cheel ka Teela (Hill of the Eagles), in the craggy Aravallis. Its ancient Indian architecture displays a beautiful melange of Rajput and Hindu styles, while its decorative ornamentation is a confluence of Hindu and Muslim styles. The massive fort stands as a silent sentinel and its imposing appearance dominates the view for miles around, while the Maotha lake stands stretched at its feet with the forts reflection shimmering in its crystal-clear waters.

    The Kachwaha Rajputs won a small structure from the Meenas, transformed it into the grand Amer Palace, and ruled over it from the 11th century onwards.

    The fort was built to the orders of Raja Man Singh I in 1592 AD. Mirza Raja Jai Singh I expanded it, but successive rulers modified and added to the structure during the next 150 years. The palace fortress was home to 28 kings of the Kachwaha dynasty until they shifted their capital to Jaipur in 1727 AD, during the reign of Sawai Jai Singh II.

    Three pathways

    We alight at the pleasant Dil Aaram Bagh, a garden full of pigeons fluttering and hovering around us. A girl kneads balls of dough and sells them to tourists as food for the fish in the lake. The tourists are getting ready for the elephant safari at the nearby stand. There are three ways to reach the palace fortress - car, elephant-back ride and walking. We opt for a trek that takes us through the Suraj Pol (Sun Gate) to Jaleb Chowk, a vast courtyard in the fort complex built during the reign of Sawai Jai Singh II (1693-1743 AD), where the king inspected his guards contingent.

    The Singh Pol, reached by a flight of steps, admits us into a court. Here we visit the Diwan-i-Am (Hall of Public Audience), built to the orders of Mirza Raja Man Singh I (1589-1614 AD). It is a raised platform with many colonnades, built over a double row of columns in marble masonry and red sandstone. This was the venue for celebrating some special events like the kings victory in battles and Dussehra.

    The Ganesh Pol, built by Mirza Raja Jai Singh I (1621-67 AD) and decorated with mosaics and frescoes, is the most colourfully decorated gateway in the palace, while the Suhag Mandir placed over it has latticed screens, which once allowed the royal ladies to witness the functions held in the Diwan-i-Am below.

    We reach a well-spread-out garden in a sunken bed shape in a hexagonal design, flanked on both sides by two beautiful marble buildings. To our left is the Diwan-i-Khas (Jai Mandir). It is also known as Sheesh Mahal because of the many glass pieces embedded in it. It was built in 1623 AD during the reign of Mirza Raja Jai Singh I. The glass used in its decoration was imported from Belgium in the same year.

    Embellished with glass-inlaid panels, glass pieces and convex multi-mirrors, this mirror palace is a beauty. Its said that even if a single candle is lit inside, it creates the impression of a thousand stars glittering in the sky, with a thousand reflections dancing around in the mirrors! The king met his special guests in this room.

    Hidden images

    We can only marvel at the artistic ingenuity of the Kachwaha craftsmen who created and left behind masterpieces for generations to come. We see a magic flower carved in a panel at the base of one of the pillars of Sheesh Mahal. The design appears incoherent at first glance. But our guide partially hides different parts of the panel with his hand and reveals the seven unique designs hidden in it: a fish, a lotus, a hooded cobra, an elephants trunk, a lions tail, a cob of corn, and a scorpion!

    At the other end of the garden, we visit the Sukh Mahal (Hall of Pleasure). It has doors made of sandalwood that are decorated with ivory. Its main chamber has a marble cascade connected to a water channel.

    The water flowing through the cascade cools the room and virtually creates an air-conditioned effect in summers. We move on to the palace of Raja Man Singh I (1589-1614), the oldest part of the palace fort that took 25 years to build, that was completed in 1599 AD. There is a baradari (pillared pavilion) in the centre of the palace, where the queens used to meet.

    We move from one place to another and are lost in taking photographs, not knowing how time has slipped. The sun dusts the palace with gold and sinks, leaving behind a crimson glow. An eerie silence grips the fort as it assumes an ethereal look in the enveloping darkness. We are sitting in the Kesar Kyari complex, under a star-studded sky with a half-moon, waiting for the Amer Sound and Light Show.

    A grand spectacle of visual delight unfolds before our eyes - it is a colourful symphony that highlights the local legends, celebrates the maestros of Rajasthani folk music, paints the history of Amer for six centuries, and revives our feelings of patriotism. It comes to an end with the song Padharo Rajasthan, Padharo Rajasthan and the audience sings in unison. We leave Amer that night, but the images of the imposing fort continue to haunt us.

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  • 02/09/18--20:02: Sweet, sweet escape

    A chocolate tour of the USA isnt complete without a visit to the most popular chocolate attraction of all. Hersheys Chocolate World in Pennsylvania brings visitors on an interactive ride that delves into the making of some of the worlds most recognisable chocolate bars. As part of the experience, children have the option to make their own customised chocolate bar and wrapper.


    Imagine immersing yourself in chocolate heaven without worrying about calories. Whether you fancy a whipped cacao bath or a chocolate sugar scrub, The Chocolate Spa at The Hotel Hershey in Pennsylvania has you covered. The spas range of cacao-inspired treatments takes advantage of chocolates detoxifying properties, leaving visitors feeling as silky smooth as their favourite pot de crème at checkout.


    Established in 1986, its clear that The Chocolate Fetish knows its cacao. Located in Asheville, North Carolina, this award-winning establishment is the perfect place to taste the chocolate concoctions of some of the most famous chocolatiers in the US. Gaze through the windows that overlook the in-store production area and watch these beautiful chocolate creations come to life.


    Texas is renowned for its quirky food trucks, but this one is extra special. Chocollazo is San Antonios first and only chocolate food truck, serving up a feast of enchanting sweets on wheels. The Chocollazo truck is always on the move. If youre lucky enough to cross its path, make sure to get your hands on an indulgent chocolate assortment. Dont worry about missing out; it was so popular that two permanent stores also opened.


    San Francisco is home to a collection of bean-to-bar chocolate factories. Whether its the chocolatiers bouncing around Dandelion Chocolate Factory or chatting with a chocolate expert in the Ghirardelli Chocolate Marketplace, San Franciscos chocolate frenzy is sure to catch your imagination before taking over your taste buds. Free tours are in high demand, so make sure to book your place on a bean-to-bar tour in advance of arriving in the city.


    Is life really like a box of chocolates? Make your way to
    Savannah, Georgia, and explore the setting of arguably one of the most famous chocolate movie scenes of all time. The Forrest Gump chocolate scene, starring Tom Hanks, was filmed on location in Savannah on the north side of leafy Chippewa Square. Theres certainly no better place to relax and ponder the meaning of life with a box of your favourite chocolates. The actual bench from the scene has been moved indoors and is now on display in the Savannah History Museum on Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard.


    Twenty-five sculptures line the walls of our next stop, and youve guessed it, all are made from chocolate. The World of Chocolate Museum & Cafe in Orlando, Florida, takes visitors on a trip around the worlds most iconic attractions. Can you fight the urge to take a bite out of a perfectly crafted replica of New York Citys Statue of Liberty? This attraction is also a great place to step back in time and learn the history of the chocolate industry. Retired chocolate machines, tools and instruments are on display throughout. Occasional in-house musical performances are featured.


    The East Coast plays host to an impressive collection of chocolate tipples ranging from the distinctive tastes of Massachusetts-based Night Shift Brewing Company to the more adventurous flavours of the Ayza Wine and Chocolate Bar in New York City. Cocktail connoisseurs can sample delicious chocolate-infused beverages featuring crème de cacao.

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  • 02/01/18--16:42: The beauty spot
  • Q: A runners got to run, and sweat, no doubt. The feeling is great but for the hair (medium length, straight, not-too-oily scalp) that demands a wash every day! Which hair-care routine would you recommend for me? Please suggest some gentle hair-care products. - A runner

    Congratulations on running daily. Running helps in a rush of fresh blood that contains oxygen and nutrients. This also helps flush out the toxins, so the running itself is helping you. But the hair could get sweaty, damp and give rise to dandruff and non-shiny hair due to the dust and grime on its surface.

    Since you wish to shampoo every day, use a shampoo from a reputed company labelled as frequent wash. In a frequent wash shampoo, the chemical component of the cleanser is mild so the hair damage is less. The sun, the wind and other environmental factors also have a drying effect on the hair. So conditioning your hair before wash with coconut oil or after wash with a conditioner will also help.

    Q: Im 23 and have dry skin on my feet. I workout regularly and eat healthy. I have tried moisturising, but it hasnt been of much help. - Sam M

    You are only 23, so this seems to be a hereditary problem. Most probably, the palms will also be dry. Deep moisturising agents that contain urea and lactic acid may be used frequently. But the one thing that will help you a lot is a cream that contains salicylic acid component that can be applied at bedtime on the dry skin covered with cling film. Do this every night, followed by soaking your palms in warm water every week to remove the dead skin. Do apply a good amount of moisturiser after soaking in warm water.

    Q: I have straight hair, but it is really dry. Im 26, with a wheatish complexion. I also tend to have a dry scalp and skin. - Nira Malik

    Since your skin, hair and scalp are really dry, you may use coconut oil on your scalp and leave it overnight. Coconut oil works well on the skin too. Our aim here is to flatten the cuticles of the hair that have got lifted due to blow drying, sunlight, chemical products etc., so a good conditioner will really help. On your skin, if you dont have pimples but have dry skin, you may use an oil-free moisturiser.

    Q: I have acne-prone skin. Its also very dry and starts to peel the minute the weather changes. I just apply a good moisturising cream in the morning and dont use a lot of make-up. What would be a good cleansing ritual for me? Should I invest in some specialised acne products? - Varshini Iyer

    Try to first find the cause of your acne and get it treated. Since you have dry skin, your daily cleansing routine should be, first cleanse your face with cleansing milk, followed by a good face wash. Because the skin is dry, do not use a toner, but finish this routine with an oil-free moisturiser while the skin is still damp.

    Q: I am 18 and suffering from PCOS. Though I am recovering from it, my face, especially my cheek and chin areas have worsened with acne marks and tiny pimples. I have tried a lot of creams and home remedies, but I still have dark spots. How do I get rid of them? - Pallavi Sreenivas

    Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a medical condition that needs proper medical treatment and daily regime. Please visit your nearest dermatologist/gynaecologist/endocrinologist. Meanwhile, you can use a cream with glycolic acid in it.

    Dr Jamuna Pai is a cosmetic physician and a beauty expert.

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  • 02/01/18--16:44: Reflect your sole
  • What do your favourite pair of shoes, the ones you gravitate towards time and again, say about you? According to numerous studies on fashion and footwear as a means of expressing ones personality, a lot more than you think! In fact, studies go as far as to state that a persons personality can be accurately assessed to an extent of 90% by just looking at his or her shoes.

    Although the heel takes centre stage in such discussions, fit and shoe quality also plays an important role. High-end, well-polished shoes show attention to detail, but quality shoes, if not well maintained, dont necessary translate to sloppiness. It could mean the wearer is comfortable in his own skin, busy, confident and lets his success speak for itself.

    Designer shoes

    Youre rich! Duh. And if there are no obvious logos on display, you have good taste. According to Ranjit Kale, a consultant psychotherapist, "If you are under 24 and brand-conscious, youre trying to say Look at me and look at me now! When youngsters sport brands they cannot easily afford, with names they cannot pronounce, and have no knowledge of the history of the brand or what it represents, it is often a cover-up for deeper issues. They feel complete when they don items with a visible brand. When it comes to the older generation however, logo overload is common amongst the nouveau-riche. The message theyre giving out is I have arrived, and how! These are the people who didnt have a lot of money while growing up, and now that they have it, they want to flaunt it."

    Unless you want to look like a walking-talking advertisement hoarding, keep logos to the minimum. If your shoe is sporting a logo, stay away from another one on your bag. You dont need visible branding is all over your bag and shoes and sunglasses and belt and t-shirt and jacket… phew.. We get it! Youre rich! Now get over it!

    Ballerina flats

    Youre a laid-back, practical person and most likely lead an active lifestyle. Chances are, you have some running around to do and prefer not to do it in heels, much as you love them! You also choose comfort over fashion, and prefer casual dressing. Then again, maybe you just have a weak back, in which case, youre smart to stay as far away from high heels as possible.

    Aneesha Goenka, curator and founder, Smitten Shoes, says, "Women who love flats are considered relaxed and easygoing, while high-heeled lovers are considered to be high-maintenance."


    Theres something about well-made pencil heels (especially those with the tell-tale red sole), which screams sexy. A high-end, well-designed shoe is cut in a way to make legs look endless and calves look toned.

    Though there have been arguments that women who are willing to put up with discomfort to look good would in all likelihood be frivolous and insecure, numerous studies have shown this is not the case. In fact, the opposite may be true. A host of uber-successful women have often been seen donning the towering heel.

    High heels enhance the posture by repositioning thigh muscles, lengthening calves. It forces the wearer to walk straight and has a perceptible positive influence on her confidence. "Stilettos, to me, signify femininity and self-assurance. It brings a certain polish, sophistication and sexiness to an outfit, and this reflects in the wearer," adds Aneesha.

    Staid, sensible shoes

    Women who regularly opt for sensible shoes with no regard for fashion or how they pair them with a certain outfit are likely to be unconcerned with their appearance. They may be too busy and occupied with a host of other pursuits, possibly academic or intellectual, which have little to do with their appearance.


    There are platforms, and there are Lady Gaga platforms. Wedges or platforms with modest heels show youd like the added height without the hassle, and have a grounded personality. Ridiculously high platforms shoes are a tell-tale sign that you crave attention.

    Flip-flop flats

    Youre in flip-flops that have no platform. Youre not at the beach, and youre not in your teens. What you are is a little too laid-back! Its obvious you slipped your feet into the most convenient option, and youd likely make similar choices in life.

    Bright shoes

    Although the general impression is that youngsters gravitate towards brighter choices, this is misleading. Nupur Nagpal, co-founder and design head of Chalk Studio, reiterates that shoe choice has more to do with personality than age, as she recalls an incident when a mother-daughter duo were perusing her shoes. "The daughter leaned towards basic colours like black and tan, whereas her mother preferred bolder options like marsala, olive green and canary yellow, and actually ended up picking more colour than her daughter!" Not surprising, given that confidence increases with age.

    "Theres no doubt that bright shoes are eye-catching and draw attention, and when you wear them it goes to prove youre not afraid to stand out. You could be dressed casually in a basic denim and white t-shirt, but as soon as you put on a bright yellow pair of heels youre ready for anything; a day at work or a party! You lead a colourful life!" concludes Nupur.

    Sporty shoes

    This is pretty straightforward. Always on the go, you lead an active, sporty life. Youd rather walk short distances than take the car! You go girl!

    So there you have it. The next time you get dressed, consider what message youre sending out with your shoes. Choose wisely. Inject some zing into your swing and put those flip flops away!

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    Cancer is a chronic condition and can be emotionally and mentally overwhelming for those diagnosed with it. While timely detection and treatment are critical to combat this disease, there is another aspect of managing cancer - palliative care. Medication, radiation therapy and surgery focus on the curative part of a disease. However, palliative care is given to improve the quality of life by addressing the symptoms in a cancer patient.

    Palliative care starts at the time of diagnosis and continues till the end stages of cancer. It is built around identifying, assessing and treating pain, and the patients physical, psycho-social, and spiritual problems.

    Palliative care entails therapies to alleviate cancer-related symptoms, addressing emotional concerns such as depression and fear; helping the patients and families understand the course of treatment and terminologies; and come to terms with what is ailing them. When integrated with other treatment options, this approach can help cancer patients live longer with acceptance and respond better.

    The aim of this kind of care is to support the patients and their the families when diseases such as cancer do not respond anymore to curative treatment. Not only does it alleviate pain and other symptoms, but also relieves the patient of mental distress.

    There are about 0.3 million cancer deaths in India per year and about 80% of those with this condition get diagnosed only in the last stages. What exacerbates this condition is that most patients may not be able to afford standard and institutionalised treatment.

    This and the fact that many people would be happy to spend the remainder of their lives surrounded by their family indicates that a home-based palliative care is effective for cancer patients.

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    A diet high in fibre, low in fat, particularly animal fat, and the one that includes generous portions of fruits and vegetables is key to preventing cancer. It also minimises or excludes alcohol consumption and nicotine intake.

    Dietary recommendations

    Emphasise on plant-based sources. Eat five or more servings of vegetables and fruits. This food group is not only low in fat and high in fibre, it also contains many cancer-fighting substances.

    Carotenoid, the pigment that gives dark colour to fruits and vegetables, has been proven to prevent cancer. Cabbage, broccoli, sprouts, carrots, yellow-coloured fruits and vegetables and turnip contain flavones and indoles, which have anti-cancer properties.

    Food high in phytoestrogens, particularly soy, or high in precursor compounds, such as grains and vegetables with woody stem that contain lignans, can lower the risk of cancer.

    Vitamin C found in citrus fruits and several vegetables may lower the risk for cancer of oesophagus and stomach. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant neutralising cancer-causing chemicals that form in the body.

    Food preparation

    Studies have shown increased cancer risk posed by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon and heterocyclic amines, which are formed when cooking methods like grilling, boiling, barbecuing and smoking are used. These toxic substances are formed during combustion of carbon fuel and hydrolysis of proteins. Research has found mutagenic activity in foods after frying and charcoal broiling. Healthier cooking alternatives for meats include boiling, poaching, steaming, stewing, bracing, baking, microwaving and roasting.

    (The author is HOD - Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, Aakash Healthcare Super Speciality Hospital)

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    My pet dog Sweetie came home when he was a pup. I could feel his heart thumping as I held the infant in my arms and put him in his new home. At first, I was scared to interact with him and so was he. After all, we were strangers.

    Sweetie is a snow-white Mudhol Hound, a hunting dog. Although skinny, he is a skilled athlete. Now hes all grown up and loves to run. His favourite sport seems to be high-jump though. Its now a frequent affair where he jumps over the compound walls landing in the neighbours house. He licks their cats milk and Id get a call saying Sweeties gotten lose, come over quickly!

    Although now Ive had to tie bamboo sticks to prevent him from stealing others food or getting into a street fight, I never doubt Sweeties loyalty. As they say, as loyal as a dog. Because however far he runs away Im sure to hear a bark at 3 am for me to open the gate for him.

    Sweetie has now become a part of my life. My midnight snack buddy and of course my therapist. I truly believe love is a four-legged word. Weve shared so many memories together, right from the morning jogs to me shooting things at him and him biting my overly-prized brand new shoes, and what not.

    And for everything hes been, heres a thank you note:

    I am thankful for.....,

    Paw-prints on my floor,

    Slobbery kisses on my face,

    Nose prints on my windows,

    Dog hair on my clothes and no room in my bed.

    I only wish I could put everything about Sweetie in words.

    Sweetie along with his usual routine loves to keep up his hobbies like deciding to stand up on strangers shoulders, thanks to his five-feet height and also at the same time take my baby sister on a doggie ride and bear her pull his tail and ears.

    Growing up in a vegan family all Sweetie gets for his diet is milk and rice. What keeps up his appetite is Pedigree though. The main drawbacks for Sweetie are the urban surroundings, with very little open spaces to run. Moreover, Sweetie loves to bask in the sun.

    He hates the winter chills, along with the newspaperman who in a hurry throws newspapers at him every morning. They say those who teach us most about humans arent always humans I think Sweetie is the living example for this.

    Sweetie has been the best example for many positive things. At the end of every demanding day or even a perfect day and mostly a disappointing day... It really doesnt matter because at the end of Everyday all I need to is lay of the floor with Sweetie beside me and he completes my day!

    Cant imagine how a furry creature, who was just a stranger, now means the world to me.

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  • 02/10/18--21:48: A cut above the rest
  • His life journey is as colourful as any of his creations. Hailing from Dhenkanal in Odisha, Prasant Kumar Barik became interested in art from the age of seven, a passion which landed him in trouble in school. "I would sit on the last bench in school and draw in my notebooks. I kept getting punished by the teachers for that".

    But that didnt deter the artist in him. "At home, I would make small figurines from the dough my mother used to make for dinner or draw in my books again. After I completed my tenth standard, I wanted to pursue Fine Arts but there was no support from my family and relatives. I gave in to their demands and went for PUC half-heartedly. After that, even though my parents wanted me to go for engineering, I applied to an arts college. Unfortunately, admissions had closed by then. So I came back and joined a regular graduation course," he says.

    They say persistence is the key to success and Prasant is an embodiment of this thought. " I never gave up on following my dreams. During my second year of graduation, I went for the entrance exam in that arts college and emerged as the first rank holder. Without informing my parents, I left my graduation course in between and joined this instead. After an entire year, when they finally came to know, they were furious and disowned me. Then I started taking tuitions to pay for my college fees."

    Now Prasant has a Masters degree in Art, is the HOD of the art department in EuroSchool, has held numerous exhibitions in India and abroad and has his paintings displayed in places across the globe, like Dubai, USA and South Africa. "After I started winning awards and received recognition, my parents realised that the path I had chosen was right for me. Now they are quite encouraging. My wife is also very supportive," he adds.

    For someone so passionate about art, it is no wonder that Prasant has a hobby which involves dealing with the lesser known side of this field. "I kept seeing a huge amount of paper getting wasted every day, whether it is the newspaper that you throw away after reading or the chart paper that goes waste after a crafts class in school."

    Now his house and art studio sport wall murals, hanging paintings and other craft work made from waste paper. Nature is his favourite muse and most of his works involve animals, singing birds or fluttering butterflies.

    "Once I even made a life-sized elephant head using newspaper, cardboard and paint. People actually thought it was a sculpture," he says with a laugh.

    (Prasant can be contacted on 8088923038)

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  • 02/10/18--21:50: Different shades of love
  • In an age and time where online greetings and Facebook posts are the common ways of expressing love, would you dare to pick up the phone and call your crush from school to tell her how much you liked her? A social media campaign exhorts you to.

    14 days, 14 different people, 14 special calls. Poster Boy Art Studios is running a series titled #14daysOfLove where each episode will feature a phone conversation of people talking to a special somebody in their lives. And straying from the usual its a time for couples only concept, a mother, a sister living in the USA and a school teacher were among the recipients of these phone calls, apart from the first loves.

    "I had already run a couple of successful campaigns on the social media in the past like #thekatheproject, #Welikeit and so on. I wanted to do something for Valentines Day and this concept about highlighting different relationships struck me. Many people dont express their feelings nowadays because of reasons like ego, misunderstanding and fear of rejection," says Puneeth B A, founder and creative head at Poster Boy Art Studios.

    "Our first caller was a married guy who called up his school crush. He told her about all the things he used to do for her back then - like fighting with other boys for her and waiting in front of her house and all. She didnt even know this part of the story and kept on laughing," he adds.

    The people, who were selected by Puneeth, were captured on camera while making the calls and the videos are being uploaded on the official page every day till February 14. Others can also take part in it by uploading videos of themselves, making that one special call, with the hashtag #14daysOfLove. The best ones will get gift vouchers from Aralikatte Lifestyle Store and Project Gypsy. People who are not comfortable making videos can express their love in four-line stories, poems, short stories, posts, short videos, creative posters etc.

    The campaign, which is running on their digital media platform Ideeria, will have a grand finale of sorts on Valentines Day. "In the Kannada film industry, when you talk of special phone calls, just one name comes to mind - Beladingala Baale. The entire film sees Anant Nag talking to an unknown lady and getting drawn to her without knowing her identity. This part was played by actor Suman Nagarkar. And in the last episode, she will be seen making a phone call to the filmmaker Sunil Kumar Desai," says Puneeth.

    Puneeth is leading the team that is bringing this project. The project has the Poster Boy Art Studios team - Rahul Mahabaleshwar, Samartha S Nadig, Chandra H M, Pratham Sheshadri and Subhash Hebbar - working on the technical and execution end of the project. With Puneeth, Sandhya Prakash (Aralikatte Lifestyle Store) and Sandeep Hatti (Project Gypsy) have backed the production.

    Shreyas K was one of the bold ones who decided to bare his feelings towards his office colleague as part of this project. "My present office, by the way," he says laughingly. "We have been best friends in office for a long time and I was worried whether I should jeopardise this friendship by voicing out my feelings. I could never do that in office anyway because we never got the time. So when Puneeth approached me for this, I decided to go ahead."

    And how did the lady react? "She had a hint of it already but was waiting for me to say it out loud. And when I did, she kept on laughing. Later when I met her in office, she said it was a lot of fun. She even watched the video these guys put up and told me I was blushing too much in it," says Shreyas with a laugh.

    Puneeth adds, "Some people asked me if I was putting people in some sort of risk because of this. I told them jokingly- We are the first generation to put up so many status messages and posts about taking risks. We should do it in real life too."

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  • 02/10/18--21:50: Bowled over
  • This photograph of the under 14 cricket team of the St Josephs Indian Middle School was taken sometime in 1977.

    The photograph was taken for the annual magazine. I was in the seventh standard at that time.

    A lot of importance was given to sports in our school. During the lunch interval or physical education classes, cricket, football and hockey were played simultaneously.

    The roads were mostly empty those days and I would sometimes cycle down to school or take the HMT company bus. It would take us exactly 30 minutes from Jalahalli to Kanteerava Stadium.

    The smell of beer from the neighbouring United Breweries factory mixed with the aroma of the sweet bread from the Tiffanys nearby.

    The space between our school and Bowring Institute on St Marks Road was almost vacant and we used to dash down during the short interval to pick up the delicious kulfis sold by Shreeraj, also known as Bowring Kulfis. The Nanking Hotel behind our school also used to be a landmark with a lot of Kannada movies being shot there.

    All the principals of our school were very enthusiastic about sports. Our school was the winner in all sport tournaments.

    Sports and studies went hand in hand. High school was the best part of our lives, when we were under the dynamic guidance of Rev Fr Sunith Prabhu. He once told us that it was a tradition in this school that every cricketer achieved a first class in all the examinations. I was proud to be one of them.

    I was the captain of the U-14 middle school team and had a bunch of lively and talented cricketers with me. We won many matches. During the matches, we used to be supported by our fellow students from all classes.

    Cricket meant everything to me in those days. Supporting me and sharing a common name on the other end was my classmate and also a teammate called R Shiv Kumar. We had a healthy competition between us.

    He went on to play the state U-15, U-19 and the University teams while I used to miss out by a whisker the chance to be a part of the main team and would always land up being the first or second standby.
    However, I did represent the Tumkur zone in the state level SA Srinivasan Memorial Tournament for three years. R Shiv Kumar and I did engineering. While he graduated as a chemical engineer from RVCE, I graduated as a mechanical engineer from SSIT in Tumkur. We used to meet regularly during inter-zonal matches or the Bangalore University inter-collegiate matches but on opposites sides.

    We had inspiring coaches like Keki Tarapore, Salus Nazereth and P S Viswanath who coached us in all state level camps.

    We both also had the opportunity to be trained under the great Col Hemu Adhikari in the U-19 nets in Bangalore.

    About three years ago, R Shiv Kumar passed away in Mysore due to a cardiac arrest. It was very untimely and a big shock for me. I miss him a lot. He was a good cricketer and a friend.

    There were other players like Ranga, Srinivas, Peter Harold, Shantilal, Dinesh and Mallikarjuna who were very good.

    All of them are very successful in life and we do meet occasionally.
    After working for almost 28 years for various MNCs, I am at present a consultant in the wood working industry.

    Every time I pass by my school, my memory goes back to those years. Those were the best days of my life.

    (The author can be contacted at

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    Dino Angelo Luciano is a man of many talents. Hes a saxophone, piano and guitar player. He is a self-professed androgynous dancer, a passionate artist and a chef. Its probably why he became one of the contestants of MasterChef US which airs on Star World India. Learning to cook from his family, especially his Sicilian grandmother, the blonde-haired, tattooed and eclectic Dino is all set to be part of the finale with his stunning entree, appetiser and dessert which will air today. He spoke what its like to be a part of the show to Anila Kurian.

    How has the experience of being part of MasterChef US changed you?

    It has opened my eyes to a whole new level of cooking. Its allowed me to learn more about other cultures and their food. The experience has taught me to execute dishes and know which flavours go together. It was a short-term culinary school.

    Youre the first vegan chef on the show. Was it difficult for you to execute dishes?

    Not at all. Im quite familiar with non-vegan dishes, so I never found it as an obstacle.

    Who is your favourite judge?

    It has to Gordan Ramsey because he was confident throughout the show. He gives it to you straight and told you things as they were. I appreciated all his comments.

    You were already an artist and dancer before you came on the show. How did you use those skills in your cooking?

    Being an artist taught me how to be free and create things in my mind. When I was cooking, it allowed me to concentrate and execute my dishes as how I wanted it. It helped me understand the technical steps and be precise with my work.

    If you hadnt found your place on the show, what were some of your life goals?

    Id still be cooking. My ultimate dream is to feed the entire world. I dont know if itll be possible in this lifetime but thats what Ive always wanted to do and Im sure I would have dedicated my life for that.

    Are you familiar with India and some of the ingredients we use?

    I havent visited the country, but its definitely on my list. Indian food is definitely on my top three list of favourite foods. I do prepare paneer masala at home. It doesnt taste that great but I love it. I always make sure that I have some masalas in my kitchen - it goes well with everything!

    Which are your top three places to visit?

    India for its food, Bali to surf and England because I want to go to London.

    If you could change something about the food industry, what would it be?

    I wish restaurants wouldnt waste so much food at the end of the day. I think we can start the train of saving food and turning it into something useful. It could either be to become a soup kitchen, take it home or feed the homeless.

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    Actor Karthik Jayaram feels that he has emerged a stronger person after spending a little more than 100 days in the Bigg Boss house during Bigg Boss Kannada Season 5. The actor though is certain that he doesnt want to participate in another season.

    Karthik, who has returned to regular work, has turned into a script and dialogue writer with May 1 in which he plays the lead as well. He will also be seen portraying the role of a businessman in Warrant and is set to make his Bollywood debut soon. In an interview with Nina C George, he talks about his current projects and his experience of Bigg Boss Kannada Season 5.

    How was it to be a part of Bigg Boss Kannada Season 5?

    It was tough. Your regular life goes a bit out of gear and your diet goes for a toss. I had lost almost 12 kg and I realised that without a good diet, my muscle quality had also diminished. I understood the importance of having good food, clothing and a roof over your head.

    Did you get along well with the other inmates?

    Yes, I did. You learn how to mix around with all kinds of people. It was hard to kill time because your time is spent completing the tasks and activities given to you. And, it is not always that you have a task at hand. You have to learn how to make yourself comfortable in the given space.

    What is the one emotion you were able to control in the house?

    I learnt how to control my anger. I learnt to talk less and smile more.

    Any regrets?

    I didnt like being linked up with Shruti Prakash, a Bollywood actor. I wonder why people who socialise well are easily linked up. I wish people in the house werent as narrow-minded. I felt a lot of negativity when I was in the house and I am quite sure that I dont want to go back there ever again.

    What did you achieve at the end of it?

    I lot of people thought I was arrogant, but I am glad that their impression, changed after watching me in the house.

    What project are you working on now?

    I have written the dialogues and script for May 1 which also happens to be my birthday. Its a horror-thriller and shows how a man hunts down a ghost. I am also completing the shooting for Warrant, in which I play a businessman who falls in love with a lady cop.

    Any other projects in the pipeline?

    Director Dayal, who was also a participant of Bigg Boss… and I spent a lot of quality time together. He narrated a few scripts and I liked a couple of them. I will be working with him soon.

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    If you are looking to adding some style to your wardrobe this season,
    Scullers SS18 collection gives you sophisticated options.

    The brand has three new ranges namely Vida Nautica, Portfolio and Costa Rica.

    Vida Nautica sees classic combinations of navy blue and white with accents of red, orange and gold. Stripes and checks are combined with embroidery and prints to give a fresh nautical feel.

    The Portfolio range is designed for corporate women. This collection includes ruffled silhouettes, contrast detailing, micro prints, striped shirts, polka dot tie up shirts and blouses, elegant dresses and blazers for easy workwear.

    Costa Rica is the third range in the collection. Bold floral prints and bright colours dominate the collection.

    Priyanka Shetty of BLR College, Chitradurga, wore a cold shoulder top and paired it with white cotton trousers.
    Punchline: "I loved how my attire was trendy yet comfortable."
    Price: Cold shoulder blouse with front overlap (Rs 1,299) and cropped cotton trousers (Rs 1,599).

    Ashika Haresh from CMR Law School kept her look formal by wearing a sky blue shirt and black trousers.
    Punchline: "The outfit is the best pick for a formal event. The trouser was fitting well and stretchable."
    Price: Shirt (Rs 1,499) and PV trouser (Rs 1,799).

    Rubeiya of INIFD, chose a tie-up blouse and cropped blazer and paired them with a pair of high-waist trousers.
    Punchline: "The ensemble is perfect for the young professional. The white top and overcoat added a touch of class."
    Price: Front tie-up blouse
    (Rs 1,299), trousers (Rs 1,699) and cropped blazer (Rs 3,499).

    Nimisha Prakash from CMR University wore a peach coloured shirt and teamed it with high-waist culottes.
    Punchline: "The combination is great and will look in place anywhere."
    Price: Front tie-up shirt with wide cuff (Rs 1,299) and high waist culottes (Rs 1,699).

    Ritu Ghanghas of Indian Institute of Sciences slipped into a cropped sweatshirt and knit leggings.
    Punchline: "My outfit is very comfortable and the colours are very trendy. It is perfect for the season."
    Price: Embellished cropped sweatshirt (Rs 1,799) and knit leggings (Rs 1,799).

    Priyanka Jain, a student of Alliance University, wore a striped top with lace work and satin chinos.
    Punchline: "My outfit is a combination of casual comfort and style."
    Price: Striped blouse
    with lace and back tie-up (Rs 1,499) and stretch satin chinos (Rs 1,799).

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  • 02/10/18--22:02: 'I missed being on stage'
  • Bollywood actor Amol Parashar had his first brush with acting during his college days. He later kicked up a cushy job just to chase his passion for acting.
    He dabbled with television commercials, ads and the web series before he took up projects on the big screen. He was noticed after his performances in Rocket Singh and later in Traffic. Amol is now seen in the role of Gaurav Singh in Gabru on Discovery JEET.

    The actor may not have a long line of films behind him but believes in working on projects of substance and quality. In an interview with Nina C George, Amol talks about his journey so far.

    The transition from an IITian to an actor...

    My interest in theatre began when I was in school. I was actively involved in dramatics at IIT. But my participation in theatre slowed down after I started working. I missed being on stage. I reached a point where I had to choose between the two and I chose acting.

    After acting in films like Rocket Singh and Traffic, was it easy to portray the character in Gabru?

    It is a very interesting character. The film traces the story of a boy who slowly develops an interest in hiphop and wishes to take to it in a big way. The boy is torn between his own dreams and convincing his parents into allowing him to choose an unconventional profession.

    Tells us about your character.

    I portray the character of Gaurav Singh who loses contact with his family, thanks to his obsession for money and fame. The story looks at how he struggles to deal with fame, success and slips into depression.

    Any interesting mannerisms that you remember about the character?

    Gaurav changes his name to M C Money because money is the most important thing to him. And a change of name says a lot about the person and his character.

    How was it working on web series?

    You have the freedom to tell a different kind of stories on the web series. The content is more real and relatable. Most of the characters are those you see around you on a regular basis. People know me more as a guy from the web series and that really feels good.

    What kind of stories do you want to be seen in?

    People think I am choosy but I would like to work on stories that I enjoy, even if it means that I have on only a limited number of projects.

    Thoughts on Bengaluru...

    I have performed at Ranga Shankara. I always enjoy performing before the audience in Bengaluru because they are well-informed and know exactly what is going on.

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    There was a time when many didnt care about millets, but now it seems like thats the only thing everyone wants to talk about.

    When the International Millet & Organic Trade Fair 2018 was held recently, where Minister of Agriculture, Krishna Byre Gowda, expressed his interest in millets.

    In the F&B industry, the grain is resurfacing again as chefs across the city are making use of these versatile grains. Sous chef Chirag Makwana from Toast and Tonic says that its a great substitute for many other ingredients in the kitchen. The restaurant has been making exotic dishes with this local ingredient.

    He says, "Its been over a year since we started experimenting with millets. We have dishes made with foxtail, kodo, finger, pearl and sorghum millets."

    Apart from using the millets as they are, chefs here use variations of it like flour, rava and seeds for its texture.

    Chef Chirags favourite dishes include Bajra and ricotta gnudi which is made with pearl millet flour and Jackfruit tacos which are made with ragi and jowar. Making breakfast items like Sourdough ragi waffle and even desserts like Raagi rava and jaggery brownie is a trend now.

    Executive Sous Chef Bhuvan Ravishankar from The Oberoi has been using millets to prepare a lavish breakfast menu that includes breads, upma and idli. He says, "Most of the millets we use in our breads are pre-soaked with a calculated amount of water and then used. Its better to buy these grains, roast them and
    grind them to a powder before using them or use them in a whole form." Its not just the food industry that is taking advantage of the forgotten grains. CEO of Geist Beer Narayan Manepally is in the process of making using millets to brew beer.

    He explains, "As we are a State that has millets in abundance, it made perfect sense to make a chilled beverage with it. It requires very less water to grow and is much cheaper when compared to barley and wheat."

    He also adds that many Bengalureans love craft beer, so using millets is just perfect. "Brewing millet beers is a win-win situation for everyone. The farmers are happy, it helps the government, and crafters like me are happy to make the people happy. Its also gluten-free."

    So which millet dish are you planning to have today?

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  • 02/10/18--23:22: Brightening the day
  • Colourful headgear, stilettos and latest trends stole the show at the Catalyst Properties Bangalore Derby 2018 at the Bangalore Turf Club on Sunday. Though the highlight of the day was, of course, the horses, the fashionistas raised the temperature of the winter derby.

    Dressed in her best, Bhavya Chawla, a fashion stylist kept her look classy and simple. She wore a halter top by Ralph Lauren and pencil skirt by Debenhams. Her shades from Michael Kors gave her company throughout the day. "Events like Derby are the best time to showcase international trends," observes Bhavya.

    Hats, glares and high heels seemed to the days favourite accessories.

    Zina, a dentist, says, "I like to create my own trends according to the season. My dress is from a brand called Sassy Dressy and my headgear is from Bounce. I chose this colour as it is a day event and I wanted to wear something that keeps me cool."

    Lakshmi Krishnaswamy, a designer from Chennai, added an Indian flavour to her look. She wore a black and white sari and added a thin waist belt to it.
    She accessorised her look with a black sling bag and statement sunglasses. "I am wearing my own creation. I wanted to give an Indian twist to the glamourous Derby, and since I love wearing saris, I couldnt find any other apt event to wear this."

    Paloma Rao, another fashionista, sashayed in a geometric-patterned knee-length skirt and a white one-shouldered ruffled top. Her headgear added a pop of colour to her subtle look.

    "My outfit is a bit of a mix. My top is by a designer friend from Chennai and I got the skirt from Bangkok. I picked up the headgear from a flea market in London. My shoes are from H&M and bag is by Kate Spade New York. Derby fashion is always fun. I believe that fashion shouldnt be taken too seriously, if it is not fun then you should probably not go for it," says Paloma.

    Nida, a marketing professional, synced her look with the Derby dress code. She says, "I like being comfortable at any occasion and my dress from Atelier is just perfect for the day."

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