I’m pretty certain most of you would be looking forward to the advent of the festive season which almost begins with Rakhi and flows into Pujo’s, Diwali, Christmas and ultimately New Year. Additionally, two national holidays – Independence Day and Gandhi Jayanti also fall in the same period and often results in long weekends which we all so love. Bear in mind that this period is also the time when the Hindi film industry begins to book and release some of the most awaited films from their creative factories. With huge economics riding on films it’s imperative that big stars (won’t call them actors, since some don’t really know how to act) reserve festive dates in advance for distributors and exhibitors to put their might behind their film and ensure that the film trumps simply through its wide distribution. This has been the trend for many years now and at times when two competing production houses or stars announce similar release dates it leads to a good amount of friction. Winter in northern India adds to the mystique and creates great anticipation for the audience and delivers great value for the producers.
Nevertheless, in all of this though the viewer gets deprived of variety he surely does benefit from the fact that some of the most entertaining and attractive cinema hits theaters in these four and a half months. My attempt is to list some of these awaited Hindi film releases below:
- JAB HARRY MET SEJAL: Coinciding with the Rakhi week, this SRK starrer directed by Imtiaz Ali releases on August 4th. This is SRK’s first film with Ali who is known to make cinema which depicts the search for the inner voice to achieve a larger slice of life and emotions. As per sources and pre-release publicity the story apparently revolves around Harry (SRK) and Sejal’s (Anushka Sharma) journey across Europe. A search for Sejal’s engagement ring makes Harry understand love and relationships better. Sejal experiences new found freedom, security and solace in Harry’s company and in between all of this – there is love, life, lies, thrill, fantasy and of course the search for the voice within. Needless to mention it will be film filled with pretty visuals and good music and will have the required ingredients to entertain and appeal to your sentiments. SRK is an aging star (he is fifty plus) but keeping himself slim and now that he has grown a neat beard to cover his wrinkles has allowed him to romance young leading ladies without turning off the audiences. There are enough fans who still sway for SRK and thus this film will evoke enough and more interest. Not too certain of the hinterland audiences wanting to watch this film but I guess the star power may pull them in too.
- TOILET: EK PREM KATHA: Co-produced by the grand master Akshay Kumar and his director of past films like Special 26 Neeraj Pandey, the film which also stars Akshay Kumar is written by Siddharth Singh and Garima Wahal, the writers of the 2013 Hindi film Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela. The film has some similarity with an original event in which a 19-year old Priyanka Bharti ran away from her husband’s home in 2012, because there was no toilet. The film seems to be a satirical comedy in support of Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, a governmental campaign to improve the sanitation conditions in India, with emphasis on the eradication of open defecation in public areas, especially in the rural areas of India. Bhumi Pednekar (she can also endorse weight loss programs) is Khiladi’s co actor and the setting seems perfect for a film which will entertain with a social message appealing to the semi urban and rural audiences in a big way. Such films usually get tax free status but with GST in now I’m not too sure of the modalities but in anycase the film is set to enthrall and promises viewers a delightful watch on August 11th.
- BABUMOSHAI BANDOOKBAZ: With Nawazuddin now becoming a star (an actor who is also a star) not mentioning his film will be an oversight. Nawaz’ films are now eagerly awaited for his acting talent and for the depiction of a character which is evil and borders on insanity. Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Babu plays the role of a UP based sharp shooter for which he took special lessons in action and handling guns. Prague based cinematographer Vishal Vittalwas brought on board for the film and has worked on adding an international look to the rustic landscape of Uttar Pradesh while the crisp dialogues add humour and spark to the desi flavour and dialect. One thing that is guaranteed in the film is that Nawaz will present an act which will be thoroughly entertaining and real and will force viewers to love the character despite the evil shades. His screen presence despite his diminutive physicality is a delight to watch and the interiors of India’s largest state always presents tales which are laced with humour in the seriousness of the matter (ala Ishqiya). This is a must watch on August 25th.
4. BAADSHAHO: Emergency is a dark phase in our country’s history and if a film proposes to show a tale against its backdrop its bound to raise curiosity. Ajay Devgn is one of the more reliable actors when it comes to thoughtful cinema (read Drishyam and to a certain extent Shivaay) and with him in the lead viewers can look forward to a treat. Serial kisser, Mr. Hashmi is also part of the star cast and its late respected Mr. Raj Khosla’s son who is at the helm of the film. Milan Luthria has made some good films in the past and I’m sure we can expect another sensible and entertaining thriller from him. It set for release on September 1st and the promos look menacing.
- SIMRAN: Enough of debate on nepotism, but the super talented hero of Hindi cinema, Kagana Ranaut is back with a film where she plays the central character. Not much is known about the film yet, but its shot in Atlanta, US and is set to hit screens on September 15th. With Kagana and her repertoire and with director Hansal Mehta one can safely assume that the film will rise to a level which will be tasteful and exciting. In an industry dominated by male leads, Kagana & Vidya through their immense talent and smart PR have managed to establish themselves as actors who can shoulder a film alone. Kudos to them!
- BHOOMI: The khalnayaak is back and how…the first poster of the film has just been released and it looks gripping. Sunjay Dutt, Sanju Baba as he is fondly called, is going to make a comeback with this film post his prison stint and it seems he has chosen a project which will showcase his powerful acting talent and re-establish him in the hearts of his diehard fans. Co staring the gorgeous Aditi Rao Hydari, the film is apparently a father-daughter story directed by Omung Kumar (maker of Mary Kom & Sarabjit). Shot in Agra and Jaipur the film is scheduled to release on September 22nd. Must give credit to Sanju baba to put his head down and work on a single project dedicatedly to ensure that his comeback is a hard-hitting film which creates memories.
- SECRET SUPERSTAR: This year our Diwali offering has been reserved by this Indian musicaldrama film, written and directed by Advait Chandan and produced by Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao. The film features Zaira Wasim of Dangal fame, Meher Vij and Aamir Khan in lead roles and tells the story of a child who aspires to be a singer. The film is scheduled for release on October 18th. The story revolves around a teenager who saves her mother from her abusive father with the help of an alcoholic divorcee. With Mr. Perfect behind this venture one can almost be assured of good returns on your investment. Aamir’s new look is also rather intriguing and post Dangal, this film promises to show him in a completely new avatar. So, light your diya’s and get your ticket to this Diwali release.
- PADMAVATI: Maybe another classic in the making, Padmavati is an upcoming Indian period drama film directed by the visionary Sanjay Leela Bhansali, The film features Deepika Padukone in the title role as Rani Padmini, alongside Shahid Kapoor, Ranveer Singh, Jim Sarbh and Aditi Rao Hydari. It is currently scheduled for release on November 17th. The film is a fictionised account of the life of Rani Padmini, a legendary queen mentioned in Padmavat. She was the wife of Rana Rawal Ratan Singh, the ruler of Mewar. As per historical records, in 1303, Alauddin Khilji, the Turkic ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, led the invasion and ultimately laid siege to the Chittor Fort in Rajputana motivated by his desire to capture Rani Padmini.
- TIGER ZINDA HAIN: Director Ali Abbas Zafar and star Salman Khan come together again in this second installment of Ek Tha Tiger. Interestingly Katrina Kaif reunites with Salman for this film which will be your Christmas and new year offering releasing on December 22nd. Post the lukewarm response to bhai’s last film – Tubelight, he will be hoping hard that Tiger Zinda Hain will help him roar back into the hearts of his innumerable fans. So, a lot riding on this film, we hope that it doesn’t pipe down our NY celebrations.
*please note all sequels have not been included except for Tiger Zinda Hain.
Product tested as per International benchmarks; Trails conducted for over two years
21 stunning hair colour shades along with an extensive care range including Shampoos, masks and styling serums made for Indian hair
The hair colour market in India is pretty fragmented and disorganized. Despite the fact that increasingly both men and women are applying and adopting hair colour for multiple reasons – to look young, for fashion purposes and at times because they are inspired by celebrities, the purchase and consumption is rather hazy.
There are multiple brands available for what is called the ‘at home market’ where basically a user buys a hair colour from the retail channel and most often applies it him/herself at home and at times takes it to the local saloon which they patronize and asks their barber to apply it for them. This ‘at home market’ forms a large chunk of the hair colour sales and is increasingly undercutting price to stay competitive and drive sales.
However, there is an important segment which consumes hair colour not at home but at the salon. Here the choice of colour and its post application regime is largely determined by the hair stylist based on the brand that particular salon is pushing or stocking. Plenty of times popular chain of salons are stocking just one brand of hair colour (monopolistic situation) and thus leave the consumer with slim choice. Importantly the price of the tube of hair colour is also something the consumer is not too concerned about since the customer is charged by the salon as a service (most salons have different prices for the exact same colour).
Godrej Professional is entering the latter and though the pricing approach is not something that seems to be changing, it definitely seems like the choice of hair colour is set to increase in leading salons in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore & Pune, the four markets where its launching in its first phase. The launch of Godrej Professional was held at an event at Taj Palace in Delhi and included an informative conversation with three hair stylists apart from an introduction by Mr. Sudhir Kakkar, category head. This was followed by a well curated ramp show exhibiting some funky hair styles by male & female models on some pulsating music.
The press launch was preceded by a trade launch and most leading salons seemed to be part of it thus reinforcing the fact that now Godrej Professional hair colour will be available for customers to choose from when they enter a salon. Best part of the product is that it’s ammonia free, yet it provides adequate uplift for grey hair. The product has been in the R&D phase for almost two years and is now ready to serve as an effective option for customers. Apart from the hair colour range (most and not all of it are ammonia free), Godrej Professional also launched products in the post care regime including four variants of shampoos depending on hair type, oils and serums. Godrej Professional seems to be focused on addressing the needs of both concealment of grey and fashion colours. So it’s time to Go Pro.
Talking about the launch, Sunil Kataria, Business Head – India and SAARC, Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPL) said, “Given our hair category presence and know-how of Indian hair, entering the professional hair space was the next most obvious move. We are proud to launch of Godrej Professional, a full range of scientific colour, care, finish, backwash and technical products, all specifically created for Indian hair. With this launch we have a larger objective in mind, which is to elevate the ‘Salonists’. With industry stalwarts, we have put together a refined skill education academy, which will be made available to Salonists 24×7 through an app. Adding to this, is the first ever social platform for the Salonists to share work and establish themselves in the industry – inbuilt in the app. The Godrej Professional offering of world-class products, skills and sharing opportunities, will take the entire salon business to the next level.”
Celebrated hairstylist & Godrej Professional consultant Asha Hariharan said, “The Professional hair product category in India borrows heavily from the west, discounting the difference in our hair, weather and lifestyle. Each Godrej Professional product is created for Indian hair, keeping in mind the melanin and oil content present in Indian hair, which ensures a noticeable difference in the product performance.”
With years of research & development and global exposure, the Godrej Professional range, brings the best of the natural ingredients and science of Indian hair together. The colour range consists of 21 stunning hair colour shades, all specifically created for Indian hair. The ‘No Ammonia’ crème hair colour range has been designed for longer colour retention and 100% grey coverage, with the power of Argan oil for healthy hair. The ‘Colour Play’ range of hi-lift colour formulations bring about brilliant colours with intense, visible results on dark Indian hair.
To ensure great hair health, Godrej Professional also offers a complete care range comprising of shampoos, masks and styling serums. Developed with high performance formulas and infused with natural ingredients like Avocado, Honey, Argan oil, Quinoa and Keratin, the range helps strengthen weak hair, smoothen treated hair, fight dry frizzy hair along with restoring health for thin hair.
To empower the Salon industry as a whole, a unique Godrej Professional online academy has been developed. The objective is to help ‘Salonists’ and hair experts transform the quality of Professional hair care in India by bringing hair expertise at a click of a button. The mobile application will help the Salonist learn new cuts, styles, ways to apply colour, develop new technical capabilities etc. complete with extensive modules and loyalty programmes. It aims to be the one stop destination for Salonists to up their game !
Yes, you read it right. In Goa, there is a pretty distinct divide between North & South Goa. Enough and more has been written about both but my attempt is to illuminate three lovely places one must visit in South Goa. I mean your trip would be incomplete without a visit to these three, similar in many ways and yet quite distinct, restaurants.
- MARTIN’S CORNER: One of the most popular and sought-after places in South Goa close to Utorda, Martin’s Corner has been my haunt in all my six visits to Goa. From the food, drinks to the live music and karaoke nights Martin’s Corner is a place that exudes the true Goan spirit. The moment you sit under the covered roof and side open restaurant your eyes can’t help but notice the live catch of the day. What a sight! Lobsters, crabs, prawn & fish are integral to the menu and believe me they taste delicious because the raw material is of the finest and freshest quality. Somehow their pricing seems so accurate, inexpensive for items which are meant to be (read fresh lime soda, aerated water and bottled water) and well-priced for the lovely sea food preparations. So, while we were there we indulged in Lobster thermidor their signature dish, cheese bruschetta’s, French fries and Manchurian fish. Draught beer and breezers flowed liberally and to top it all there was live music filled with classics by Clapton, Bon Jovi and Elton John. Perfect setting for a pleasant evening. I must add there is plenty of variety in their menu and a good spread of North Indian kebabs if that is your calling. A Live dessert counter adds to the fun and the service is friendly and familiar. We were lucky that the weather was good with mild rain and cool sea breeze and a large screen for live sport.
Location- 69, Binwaddo, Betalbatim, Salcette, Goa
- FISHERMAN’S WHARF: My next haunt that is on my must recommend list is Fisherman’s Wharf close to the Leela Hotel. A short drive way leads you to the place with ample parking. The restaurant has a mix of open air and under the roof sitting. If you want to sit facing the sea you better reserve your table or go early. Else make do with seating in the inside portion of the restaurant which too is nice nevertheless. The interiors are done up very tastefully with lovely vintage chairs, modern bar stools (around a huge bar in the center) and drums which are filled with live catch and a price tag. Once you settle down the menu will amaze you with its spread. We gorged on the butter garlic prawns, chilli prawns, spring rolls, honey chilli chicken and hakka noodles. Blue curacao cocktail and vodka was the order of the day to wash it down, our waiter served with a perpetual smile. At the end of the meal we asked for a tiramisu and I can officially state it was one of the finest ones I have ever had after the one I had in Bali. Attractively served and melting in your mouth I almost ordered another one. And then of course was the live music by a band of boys belting out classic soft rock numbers almost like the original. We were compelled to dance after a bit and the momentum didn’t recede. Singing with such ease they effortlessly switched genres between rock and blues with country roads, mambo no. 5, wonderful tonight, sultans of swing, careless whisper and black magic women amongst many of the tracks they pelted. Oh, what a super night it made.
Location- Before The Leela, Mobor, Cavelossim, Goa
- RAJ’S PENTAGON: Now this is a surprise entrant. Opened only a few summers back and owned by an ex-chef Raj, this place is very popular amongst the locals. Walking distance from the Majorda beach, Pentagon does what it does brilliantly. Live catch is brought to every table to purchase (crabs, prawns and fish) and the crooner is a fellow with a keen interest in reggae music. So, you know he played almost some calypso tunes and did it to perfection. We were a bit early and began with a pint of Bira and Pina Colada and followed that up with fish fingers, calamari, noodles and to my most wonderful surprise chicken gold coins. It reminded me of the good old Calcutta club days where gold coins were a hit. The music soon took over and the place filled up with inhabitants which were all looking familiar with the place and the food. It offers both indoor and outdoor seating and they do a pretty neat job of disinfecting the place for mosquitos. Well priced, Raj is present there in person and does shyly interact with the patrons and enquires if all is smooth. Time moves fast here and food grips you pretty hard. Considering the place has a valet parking, rather rare in Goa, the place is full and ensures you have a feast.\
Location- Majorda Beach Road, Opp. Majorda Beach Resort, Salcete, Goa
If you have been living in Delhi for long, its needless to mention that you have the north Indian food at plenty of places with similar menu’s, with strikingly similar tastes and by now your taste buds have almost stopped recognizing the difference between one Indian restaurant from another. The usual standard fare of dal makhani and chicken and paneer tikka have made you numb.
That’s exactly how I was feeling when I dropped into Masala House during the winter of 2015. Expecting fancy names to camouflage for the same tastes, I began my expeditions at Masala House. Before I move onto describing the food, let me state that since my first visit I have been back to the place almost once every month. Sorry for killing the suspense, if there was any….
So as I settled down in Masala House, the restaurant is situated in the now sleepy market of Sundar Nagar, the place has a nice sit out balcony on the top floor which gives a decent view of some greenery overlooking the gardens of Sundar Nagar.
I began with the appetizers and I must admit I stuck to the tried and tested because some part of me wanted to believe that a usual cottage cheese can be made so well / differently that the taste lingers on. So I recommend both the paratwala paneer and the bhatti paneer tikka. As the name suggests the masalas is what makes the difference. Perfectly marinated and excellently presented both these dishes are a must have. I would recommend not distracting these dishes with any pickles or chutneys. For the meat lovers, yes I haven’t forgotten, the bhatti murg is brilliant. It has a garlic pepper taste and that’s what is its differentiator, the dish has four soft chicken legs ready to melt in your mouth. Additionally, the dora kebab is a must have. It’s basically the mutton seekh which we all have so commonly had, but I assure you this preparation will amaze you. It has a unique taste and is served rather creatively with a dori (thread) being pulled right out of the seekh. In short don’t miss it if you want to try something unique and tasty. Period. Moving on the silbatte ki shami, the popular mutton shami kebab is another dish which caught my fancy. Lovely four pieces, well infused with spices, it offers a great balance between the lamb and the lentil. For the sea surfers, the kasoondi machchi tikka, described as a river sole fish in mustard paste is simply adorable.
In the mains, there are plenty of options and the vegetarians will have no reason to crib for lack of choice. The paneer lababdar, dum ki dal and the palak moti (palak paneer) are super. The lababdar is a bit lethargic in its digestion but the taste more than makes up for it. Infact the thick paste is as much a eat, as the paneer and one can simply much of a bread entirely with it. The quality of the palak is supreme, well grounded and hence it brings the wholesome body to the palak paneer. In the meat section the the chicken chettinad is welcome relief from the usual north Indian rich gravy and offers a lovely south Indian taste which in some sense breaks the monotony of the experience. The flavour of coconut laced with the chettinad spice makes it heavenly for the pieces of chicken to swim in them. Having tried both the biryani’s I can safely recommend both, though I would have loved it had the rice been blended only a slight bit better with the meats. But overall no complaints and at times the biryani can be a meal by itself specially for single folks or for guys whose homes have turned them out due to a round of cleaning or a bunk by the cook.(personal experience).
So if you haven’t ventured out to Sundar Nagar market, and I don’t blame you, it has little to offer other than ample parking it will be worth your while to go back there to eat at Masala House a restaurant serving lovely food in a relaxed and classy environment.
Since the middle class values of mine kicked in I haven’t gone beyond the usual cola’s and fresh limes at this place, but the place has a full fledged bar with some exotic offerings and some great wines for the expats and indulgent Indians that I so often see eating at this place. Oh and of course in the breads section both the lachcha and the pudina paratha are great and I did also try the the bread bar which is tempting incase you like variety and would like to be a prudent spender.
The newly opened RADISSON BLU ATRIA is set to introduce the brand’s internationally renowned, Yes, I Can! SM service philosophy along with sophisticated design and premier accommodation.
Just 45 minutes away from the Kempegowda International Airport and a mere 10 minutes’ drive from the City Railway Station, the newly opened RADISSON BLU ATRIA is located within close proximity to iconic attractions including the Government Legislative Building, Vidhana Soudha, Bangalore Palace and Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace.
The hotel is also strategically positioned at the epicenter of the central business district and leisure hubs, making it an ideal destination for the discerning business and leisure traveller.
Designed with the modern traveller in mind, the hotel features 167 well-appointed guest rooms and suites with modern amenities. Bringing exciting flavors from around the globe, the hotel has four food and beverage outlets for guests to indulge in. Guests can enjoy international cuisine at One Atria Café or delight in authentic fine Indian cuisine at the hotel’s specialty restaurant, Tijouri. The Whiskey Bar and Tea and Wine Lounge provides upscale comfort and invigorating drinks, making it the perfect venue to unwind.
Standing out as one of Bengaluru’s premier event facilities, the hotel has over 1,250 square meters of flexible room configurations with six meeting spaces and two boardrooms, capable of accommodating large wedding receptions or intimate team meetings complemented with state-of-the-art presentation and audio-visual tools. Other facilities available at the hotel include the Business class Lounge, business center, swimming pool, spa and a fully-equipped fitness center.