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Greenr gets a new spin!

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I wonder at the resolve of those who turn vegetarian by choice. Even more if they do so after tasting the best meats, fishes, oysters, clams and prawns of the world. Then, what exactly prompts them to give all the goodies up? Is it really easy to stick to a tofu roll when you can smack your lips after wolfing down a juicy tuna burger? Or feel sated with a beetroot and caperberry salad when somewhere beside is working a fork through a grilled corn-fed chicken breast? Won’t you miss the rustic beef bolognaise as you slurp down a vegetarian khao suey? Will the succulent scallop or the lobster sushi roll not beckon you while you deal with an asparagus tempura? Yesterday, a very good vegetarian meal at Greenr Café in Dhanmill Compound quelled the doubts. If the green options are as innovative and diverse, with a thought towards health as well, then who wouldn’t mind choosing that over animal protein (the source of which is perennially under the scanner these days).
Last May while the sun …

Incredible India, served fresh at Fire, The Park this season...

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While we almost wilted in the gruelling June heat of Calcutta this time, one morning our house-help of 20 years, shoved a mug of liquid in my hands with a stern, “Drink up. This will cool you down.” The translucent brown liquid had things floating in it. While I apprehensively took a gulp, she affectionately added, “This is kothela.” Surprisingly, the Jigarthanda served at The Park’s Fire yesterday, had kothela too. Almond gum for the uninitiated. And, gond in local parlance. The milky sherbet that was topped with a dollop of caramel ice cream is a popular Madurai drink concocted with almond gum, nannari syrup and milk. On tasting it, I couldn’t help but exclaim, “This is kothela, right! The coolant!” The appreciative nods at the table meant I had been able to connect the dots. How amazing is regional food! Eaten in different kinds of preparations in different states but for similar effects. This is how cultural differences are bridged, I believe. Over unique food that take different…

Abheri --- A Rich Cauldron of Art and Craft

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Imagine a giant canvas. Four young women walk towards it. They pick up brushes, pens and other mediums of art and start doodling. They don’t hesitate. It’s about freedom of expression. So, they pour out their thoughts taking from history, hobbies, memories and all that they have been encountering through their growing up years. What do you think will be the end product? A canvas of colour, lines, scribbles… basically a confused vocabulary, right? But Abheri Crafts is anything but befuddling. It is a beautifully constructed conglomeration of Indian colours, textiles, art, craft, history and so much more. A canvas that takes you down memory lane. Through handmade sarees, dupattas, separates and menswear. Abheri is also an instance of how if you put your mind and dedication to it, you can make it happen. A labour of love that bore fruit on Valentine’s day of 2014, it was conceived by three school friends, Rohini Raychaudhuri, Sanjukta Ghosh and Punnya Guha Thakurta. They were joined in by …

Roong... The Colours of a Happy Flight

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She gets gooseflesh remembering the night her father passed away. She was just above seven. While the world and people around her broke down with the sudden sorrow, she sought refuge in her drawing book. “I painted till the crack of dawn, the colours cutting out the chaos and cacophony. I couldn’t process much of the events but there was a dull wound piercing through the heart. I had come back from school. He was being rushed to the hospital after a sudden cerebral haemorrhage. He went peacefully, in his sleep. But a storm brewed in my heart. I expressed my feelings through swift brush strokes albeit in dark colours,” recalls Saumi Nandy as we meet up in her Calcutta studio called Roong, a hub of exquisite saris, dupattas and artworks. There is bric-a-brac for homes as well. The common denominator in all of them is a display of Saumi’s art. Art inspired by her experiences, travels, insights and thoughts.
Introduced to the wondrous world of books by her father, Saumi recalls how he indu…