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PURNAM --- The Path to Responsible Entrepreneurship

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Is there an alternative Delhi that loves subtle, slow and sustainable fashion? Actually, there is. There is a batch of sartorial cognoscenti and connoisseurs who passionately flaunt handwoven, handspun and handcrafted apparels. Be it separates or saris, this burgeoning tribe has taken to the organic fashion movement very seriously. Then, why is it that when I walk into any fashion and lifestyle exposition in the city, all that I witness are ornate, heavily embellished clothes far removed from slow or sustainable. In the garb of couture and wedding wear, most often than not there are designer creations that, I’m afraid, use synthetic fabrics and machine-crafted embroidery. And strangely, every single thing looks like the other. But there’s hope yet. For the last 12 years, there is one exposition that has been promoting responsible fashion, lifestyle and crafts. Purnam (this year the exhibition is on July 20th) has been an arena where Indian handloom, weaves and crafts have got a major f…

Sonar Baangla at Sonar Tori

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Sometimes I hear my father-in-law talking about his childhood. How he and his friends plucked ripe mangoes in a huge orchard in his ancestral village. How the taste of his grandmother’s duck egg curry has stayed on in his mouth. He wistfully recalls the times he crossed the Padma to reach his uncle’s home… the soft breeze of the evening lulling the boat in a gentle sway…
Nostalgia is a magical balm. We know that he will probably never he able to go back to his village of birth but when he tells these heart-warming stories to my five-year-old, I realise how the old man is deriving happiness by sharing these memories. The click at the end of his throat is overcome by the joy in his eye…
I wonder what would he say on tasting the Haasher Dimer Kosha at Sonar Tori? Would the tasty preparation match up to his grandmother’s… Would it again take him back to the languorous afternoons in Barishal, Bangladesh. Will he find the Maajhir Ilish Jhol as light and flavourful as he tasted on the boats wh…

A Smorgasbord of flavours at Milee Droog Cafe & Bistro

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All the action is in Russia at the moment. But would that take me to, leave alone Moscow, a city eatery to catch the game on the big screen amongst cheering fans and clanking beer mugs? I don’t think so. Then, what found me dining at Milee Droof (literally meaning My Dear Friend in Russian) Café and Bistro last evening?

My brother used to frequent Gorky Sadan whilst in high school. He had expressed a desire to pursue his higher studies in Moscow and wanted to learn the nitty gritty about scholarships for courses at college and universities there. While he was at it, I accompanied him on several occasions and discovered a chess club and often caught a regional film or two at the Sadan. That was many, many moons ago. Soon, the brother realized maybe the harsh clime of the country would interfere with his grades and relinquished the pursuit of both the Russian language and the scholarships. I did go back to catch some more films but then the visits dwindled.
That is why when I heard abo…

Asian plunge at The Fatty Bao, Kolkata on a rain-drenched afternoon

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We caught the first day first show of Incredibles 2. Bono and his mamma were simply enthralled by the action-packed narrative interspersed by the comic high points. Yes, it was a good two hours spent. But, before the film started Bao, a computer-animated short film by Domee Shi, warmed the cockles of my heart. Depicting in brief the emotional state of a Chinese mother going through empty nest syndrome, it was a perfect way to whet my appetite for what followed. Also, now I think it was prophetic. The next afternoon I found myself at The Fatty Bao for an Asian meal, comprising dimsums, sushis, baos and ramens. I’ve been hearing about the many new eateries sprouting in Kolkata and this place has been making some noise ever since it opened in December. Any venture by the Olive group promises quality food amidst a classy ambience considering the name behind them is AD Singh. After conquering foodie hearts in Delhi and Mumbai, The Fatty Bao needed an outlet in City of joy to appease its di…

Morphogenesis: Creating a Green Imprint

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Ibn Battuta in his writings of 14th century describes Kandahar as a large and prosperous town. The arid terrain has also found extensive mention in Mughal emperor Babur's discourses. It is the second-largest city in Afghanistan and also one of the most culturally significant cities of the Pashtuns. History speaks of it as being their traditional seat of power for more than 300 years. A major trading center for sheep,  wool, cotton, silk, food grains, fresh and dried fruits, and tobacco, the city has plants for canning, drying and packing fruits. Had… Sadly, Kandahar today is reckoned not for its history, culture or commerce. Many empires have long fought over the city due to its strategic location along the trade routes. And unfortunately, it became the target of Muslim extremists as well. Ravaged by the Taliban regime from 1996 to 2001, the city sparked into spotlight during the hijacking of the Indian Airlines Airbus A300 in 1999. Kandahar became famous overnight. Or rather, inf…

Happyness by Dr Yusuf Merchant, and the tricks behind it...

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“These mangoes are different from the ones we have in Delhi Mamma!” said my five-year-old yesterday morning. “Really? How?” I was surprised. “They are sweeter and juicier,” Malhar enumerated. “You think so, baby? Great! Yes, they are Himsagar. Mangoes Mamma and Papa grew up on. You only get them in Calcutta.” An appreciative nod later, the fork went back in action. All I could do was smile to myself. The whole day was packed with activities that one would expect off a five-year-old hyperactive boy. Exploring hidden crannies of the kitchen to discover a rusty old cleaver and pretending to be Thor with it! Accompanying the granny to the garden and poring over a fledgling anthill... Or demanding ice cream by the minute because its vacations in aGranny home! I can’t begin to tell you the rest that makes me marathon behind this Dennis of mine. But it’s super fun and a natural workout. Why I mentioned the aforesaid conversation is because I make it a point to smile and appreciate my baby wh…

Summer Song at Music and Mountains Cafe

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“This apple crumble is really good,” the mister remarked. “The apple is still juicy and tart, the crumble has that crunch and the buttery whiff just binds it all together. We have to go back soon.” Our morning today started on this sweet note, thanks to the generous helping of fresh apple crumble we got back yesterday from Music and Mountains Café after almost stuffing our faces with goodies from their summer menu. This time was even more special, because I could share my experience with my husband, a die-hard foodie and the tot, a soon to become die-hard foodie! I’ve told you all before how I love the eatery, the food it serves, the music it plays and the halcyon vibe it carries. This time too, it wasn’t any different. While the sun blazed down on humans, the quaint café continued looking like a pretty Swiss chalet or log cabin in hills. And we couldn’t wait for the food to be served. The heat outside was first countered with a grape and elderflower teaser, while the first starter…