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SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 35
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Howto Eat Right
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DESPATCH HEALTH SPECIAL
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Inside India's surrogacy nursery which produces babies for the world
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DECLINE AND FALL OF THE GENERAL
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MAY DAY
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SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 35
www.indiatoday.in
Howto Eat Right
Decline and Fall of
General Musharraf
DESPATCH HEALTH SPECIAL
Reality Bites Bollywood
THE BABYFACTORY
Inside India's surrogacy nursery which produces babies for the world
SURROGATE
MOTHERSWITH
BABYMASKSATA
CLINICINANAND
SEPTEMBER 2013
ESCAPE
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AT THE BEST SPAS IN TOWN
A MONTHLY CI TY MAGAZI NE
SEPTEMBER 2013
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A MONTHLY CITY MAGAZINE
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his week, the magazine gives you a break from the hurly-burly of poli-
tics which seems more of the same—the disruptions in Parliament, the
careening economy, the tumbling rupee, the electoral posturing and
sop-giving. We tell a very human story up close and personal from the
bustling town of Anand. A town, halfway between Ahmedabad and Vadodara
in the heart of central Gujarat, which has long been synonymous with India’s
cooperative milk industry. It houses the head office of the Gujarat Cooperative
Milk Marketing Federation Ltd, whose brand Amul sparked the White
Revolution and continues to give India some of its most creative advertising
through a chubby little ‘butter girl’ in a polka-dotted dress.
But Anand is now home to a different kind of cooperative cottage industry.
It is fast emerging as an international destination for surrogate babies, and
has so far provided childless parents from India and 34 other countries a
chance to fulfil their aspirations. On August 5, a 28-year-old woman, now
known as Surrogate No. 500, gave birth to a baby girl at Anand’s Sat
Kaival Hospital and Akanksha Infertility Clinic, inadver-
tently becoming a milestone that has come to define what
the surrogacy boom is doing for women from the region.
A single mother of two sons aged five and three, she
earned Rs 2,000 a month doing housework. Being a surro-
gate for a couple from Lucknow has given her Rs 3 lakh
now. “I can build my own house now,” she says. Anand
houses several others like her.
Surrogacy still remains a grey area in terms of how
Indian laws deal with it. Constant government flip-flops on
the status of single parents being used as surrogates, the
marital status of couples, permissions for same-sex parents,
and foreign parents, have caused a host of problems. The Assisted
Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, 2010, which is in the drafting stage,
is expected to change things for the better. But full social acceptance may take
a little longer. Even in Anand, inebriated husbands are found hurling abuses
outside homes where surrogate mothers live together during pregnancy,
suddenly unable to bear the idea of their wives carrying another man’s baby.
The local Methodist and Catholic churches, and maulvis and pundits, have
all preached against surrogacy to their respective congregations. But recent
endorsements by Aamir Khan and his wife Kiran Rao, whose baby boy Azad
was born through a surrogate mother in 2011, and Shah Rukh Khan and his
wife Gauri, whose boy AbRam was delivered via surrogacy this May, are going
a long way towards helping lift the social stigma attached with the procedure.
According to KPMG’s LifeSciences wing, the fertility industry in India is today
worth $125 million. Surrogacy, which forms roughly 7 per cent of that, stands
at around $9 million. Experts say that these are just estimates and the
numbers will grow when more such cases are reported.
Our cover story, written by Senior Editor Gayatri Jayaraman with images
by Rohit Chawla, takes you to the surrogacy clinics in Anand, where they put
together an engaging story on how this new baby boom is affecting the town
and the townspeople. “The most poignant moment of the trip was when a
surrogate called the child in her womb ‘hamara bachcha’ (my child), and then
stopped herself. She said almost apologetically, ‘What to do, we sometimes
begin to think of it as our own’,” Jayaraman says.
Born through any method, a baby is a blessing like no other for any couple
craving one. The clinics of Anand are harnessing this longing. They may be
providing a service, but they’re also providing hope.
SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY 10
(Aroon Purie)
FROM THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
OUR JULY2010
COVER
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www.indiatoday.in
Decline and
Fall of the
General
The stage is set for Pervez
Musharraf to be tried for the
killing of Benazir Bhutto.
36
SPECI AL REPORT
PERVEZ MUSHARRAF
No One
Stole Our
Coal
As crucial coal allocation
files go missing, the CBI
case on Coalgate is on the
verge of falling apart.
22
NATI ON
COAL SCAM
Aprime minister is
assassinated. There’s a
movement against apathy.
An anti-terror unit tries to
stop a daring attack. Three
releases mark a new
wave of political cinema.
The Rise
of Reel
Politics 28
THE BI G STORY
POLITICAL CINEMA
6 THE BI G PI CTURE
8 GLASS HOUSE
11 UPFRONT
42 HEALTH SPECI AL
56 GLOSSARY
58 EYECATCHERS
Inside India’s surrogacy nursery
in Anand, Gujarat, as the 500th
surrogate mother delivers a
baby girl, the burgeoning business
transforms the lives of women.
The Baby
Factory
COVER STORY
SURROGACY
12
INSIDE
Cover by: MADHU BHASKAR
Cover photograph by: ROHIT CHAWLA
02 INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013
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HOTON
Indiatoday.in
Most read
Report on Chennai Express
grossing Rs 150 crore-plus in
the first week of its release.
Most shared
IAS officer Ashok Khemka’s
interview on Robert Vadra’s
land deals in Haryana.
For many more interactives, log on to indiatoday.in DATA FOR AUGUST 15 TO 21
ONLINE INTERACTIVE
To read our past stories on the Hindi film industry, log on to www.indiatoday.in/bollywood-change
Changing Face of Bollywood
1993
The Madhuri Magic
If Madhuri Dixit has got
the entire country sway-
ing to the Choli beat, she
also has the film indus-
try dancing to her tune.
In the industry, they
now speak of Madhuri
strictly in superlatives.
“She’s a 10,” says
Beta producer Ashok
Thakeria. “The Madhuri
craze is fantastic,” says
Vinod Doshi, who
financed Dil and Beta.
I NDI A TODAY,
SEPTEMBER 15, 1993
1977
The Kapoor Erotica
Few films have had such
ballyhoo as Raj Kapoor's
Satyam Shivam
Sundaram. At every
stage of its production,
the multi-million-rupee
colossus has kept the
tongues wagging within
the film industry. Film
magazines, kept at bay
during the shooting,
have written snide
articles condemning the
film and its maker. Rival
producers, concerned
about the possible box-
office competition the
film will pose, are busy
spreading stories that
Raj Kapoor has lost his
touch; and an eager pub-
lic wait to see if SSSwill
prove a spectacular hit
such as Bobby, or a flop
like Mera Naam Joker.
I NDI A TODAY,
NOVEMBER 15, 1977
YOUR NEXT7 DAYS
AUGUST
29
AUGUST
30
The sixth Assocham
international conference on
civil aviation and tourism will
be held in Delhi.
As part of its expan-
sion plan, Air India
will launch daily non-
stop flights from Delhi to
Sydney and Melbourne.
AUGUST
28
AUGUST
25
The city bench of the
National Green Tribunal (NGT)
in Pune will be inaugurated.
NGT will exclusively deal with
environmental issues.
2007
Bachchan vs Khan
Call it the clash of titans or
the confrontation of genera-
tions, but it is a stealth war
that is being fought with
iron wills, velvet gloves, and
steel-edged smiles. In the
Jalsa corner is the once and
forever Shahenshah. In the
Mannat corner is the
Badshah. In the audience,
split down the middle, are
some of the most influential
people, from the Gandhis to
the Ambanis.
I NDI A TODAY,
JANUARY 1, 2007
AUGUST
24
From sensational trials to international
symposia, tribunals to court
orders, keep up with what’s
happening across the world by logging
on to www.indiatoday.in/next7days.
Here is a peek at the biggest
events of the week ahead.
AUGUST
27
Bangalore to host a one-day
colloquium on ‘Climate Smart
Cities’. The meeting will
discuss how cities can adapt
to the changing climate.
The four-day monsoon
session of Delhi Assembly
will begin.
AUGUST
26
Aplus for pulses.
Kejriwal rising?
Shorts International
Film Festival will be
held in Kolkata.
The ban on duty-free
import of flat panel
TVS to be implemented
from today.
Power without
Authority
People of India have un-
equivocal, indisputable and
supreme power only once
in five years, when it is time
to vote and elect their rep-
resentatives (“You Are the
Power”, August 19). But
with the elections over, the
same people are rendered
powerless till it is time for
next elections. The truth is,
people have the power to
vote and elect their repre-
sentatives but have no
power to oppose them,
cross-examine them, ad-
monish them and question
their performance. Hence
this power of citizens is in
reality very limited. Also,
the 67th year of indepen-
dence brings cheer only to
those who occupy impor-
tant, powerful positions
or belong to the upper
strata of the society.
Social media platforms like
Facebook and Twitter
mean nothing to those
who struggle for one
square meal a day.
M.Y. SHARIFF, Chennai
The front page logo of Inde-
pendence Day special issue
should have read “you are
powerless” instead of “you
are the power” because the
truth is, the citizens of this
country are powerless be-
fore corrupt politicians who
pretend to be the guardians
of our Constitution but leave
no stone unturned to
loot the country in every
conceivable way.
YUVRAJ MATHUR, Chandigarh
Your Independence Day
special issue was a novel,
creative and refreshing
take on the paramount
importance of social media.
Leafing through the articles
posted by celebrities as
well as the ordinary citizens
made me realise the
importance of social media
in an emerging country like
India. I am proud and lucky
to belong to a generation
which has access to these
powerful tools which can go
a long way towards
deciding and shaping the
future of the nation.
TERRIL THOMAS, Bahrain
0 INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013
A U G U S T 1 9 , 2 0 1 3
You Are the Power
MAIL
RI ONA SENGUPTA, Pune
‘ ‘
www.facebook.
com/IndiaToday
The Officer Who Dared
Durga Shakti is an IAS
officer and an IAS officer needs no
one but the authorities’support to
take strong action.
Rishabh Singh
To demonstrate support for her actions,
one should cultivate the habit of elimi-
nating corruption from public life.
Balakrishna Khandadhi
We are proud of Durga Shakti.
Rohan Mittal
www.twitter.com/
indiatoday
Iron Lady in Waiting
Reports show Anandiben
is leading the race for becoming the next
chief minister of Gujarat. But nothing
can be concrete. Amit Shah would be
my choice.
@ask0704
I thought Saurabh Patel will be the CM
and Anandiben will be in the background.
@Devanshi137
I prefer Saurabh Patel over Anandiben.
@iSchrodinger
Given her incredible track record
as an efficient administrator,
Anandiben is the most deserving
candidate for the top job in
Gujarat (“Iron Lady In Waiting”,
August 19). With Narendra Modi
eyeing the prime ministerial
berth, Anandiben indeed is the
most deserving candidate for
the chief minister’s post in
Gujarat. There are, however,
other factors like acceptability
among party workers, by the
party itself, by the RSS and sup-
port from certain castes that
count as well. What remains to be seen is whether merit and acumen
get precedence over other factors in giving the state a leader who is
needed rather than one who merely enjoys greater popularity for
reasons other than aptitude.
NEEHARIKA SINHA, Allahabad
The Indian Constitution gives citizens the
right to elect representatives. But people
should also have the power to question those
they vote in even during their tenure.
‘‘
The Worthy Successor
Afreedom special edition written and curated by our online readers
SHAILESHRAVAL/www.indiatodayimages.com
4
37
YE ARS
AGO I N
I NDI A
TODAY
Four and a half years after
Mr Bhutto’s emergence as
supreme leader of Pakistan,
his opponents are nowhere
near evolving a viable chal-
lenge to his position. But nei-
ther has the country’s politics
the placidity which precedes
an era of stability. On the con-
trary, all indications are that
the next five years are going
to be as tumultuous as the
last five have been.
The failure of the ruling
party and the opposition to
evolve a modus vivendi is a
source of friction, but the in-
tensity of the politicians’ bit-
ter feelings against each
other and their strident note
of acrimony reflect at best a
comparatively less intrac-
table aspect of the matter.
Twenty-eight years after
its creation, Pakistan is still
groping for its national ethos.
The heady slogan of a Muslim
National Home which turned
the dream that the concept of
Pakistan was in 1940 a living
reality seven years later,
retains a very powerful
emotional rule.
by Rajendra Sareen
Pakistan: Past
and Present
0
Officer Courageous
IAS officer Durga Shakti
Nagpal’s tirade against the
sand mafia is a step in the
right direction (“The Officer
Who Dared”, August 19).
Nagpal should be eulogised
for cracking down on the
sand mafia for illegal and
rampant quarrying which
has been flourishing all
these years under the very
nose of the local adminis-
trative authorities. Our
nation has only a few such
officers who have the
capability to fight corrup-
tion and injustice. Officers
like Nagpal can help this
nation fight corruption and
should therefore be given
more responsibility.
CHIDANAND KUMAR, Bangalore
Akhilesh Yadav has
compared Nagpal to an
errant child who needed
correction. Akhilesh needs
to be reminded that it is he
who resembles a schoolboy
who, thanks to his father’s
influence, has got admis-
sion to a class higher than
he deserves and is now
neither able to understand
his classwork nor do
his homework.
KRSNA KARNA, Patna
The suspension of Nagpal is
a testimony to the fact that
politicians consider them-
selves as rajas and the
citizens as praja (subjects).
Yet, there is no reason to be
pessimistic. As long as we
have officers like Nagpal
and Ashok Khemka, and
honest citizens like Arvind
Kejriwal, our democracy is
safe. Let us raise our voice
against corruption and re-
ject such power-hungry,
dishonest and tainted politi-
cians. No one can suppress
an honest voice.
R.D. SINGH , Ambala
Sepia Star
Sonakshi Sinha’s appeal
lies in her expertise in
portraying myriad roles
while being essentially
rooted in traditional
Indianness (“Big, Bold and
Beautiful”, August 19).
Also, her look is more of a
girl-next-door than of an
overly made up, artificial-
looking diva. Therefore, she
comes across as a person
one can relate to, which
makes her endearing. That
she is turning out to be a
brilliant actor is the icing
on the cake.
N. SINHA, via email
The best thing about
Sonakshi Sinha is the fact
that she is very comfortable
in her own skin. She has
shown that more than size
zero, an actor’s success de-
pends on her talent and the
roles she chooses.
RAHUL DIXIT, Mumbai
Corrigendum
In our issue dated August
12, 2013, the name of
Symbiosis School for Liberal
Arts was wrongly carried.
The error is regretted.
JINNAH—PROPHETOFPARTITION
MAY 31, 1976
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MAIL
Time to Act Tough
The desperation of the
civilian government of Pakistan
to establish a peaceful rela-
tions with India and resume the
composite dialogue process
between the two countries,
which was shelved after 26/11
attack on Mumbai, is justifiable
and discernible (“Kayani’s Last
Offensive”, August 19). But the
Pakistan army’s wildest fear of
losing importance has
prompted it to scuttle the ef-
forts of Nawaz Sharif by esca-
lating tension on the border.
India needs to have a strong
strategy to deal with such a
volatile neighbour and should
not even shy away from using
military force to neutralise
Pakistan’s nefarious intentions.
KESHAV PATHAK, Mandi
It is indeed shocking that our
recalcitrant neighbours have
repeatedly been taken
advantage of India’s soft-state
image. It is high time India
made a show of its power. We
should take cue from Israel
who, in case its soldiers were
murdered, would have first
destroyed the enemy’s training
camps and then said,“Let’s
now talk peace...”
V.K. TANGRI, via email
FROM TAHRIR TO SQUARE ONE Egyptians mourn the death of relatives killed in clashes in Cairo, as Egypt fritters away the gains of Arab Spring
THE
BIG PICTURE
Photograph by HASSAN AMMAR/ APPhoto
FROM TAHRIR TO SQUARE ONE Egyptians mourn the death of relatives killed in clashes in Cairo, as Egypt fritters away the gains of Arab Spring
THE
BIG PICTURE
Photograph by HASSAN AMMAR/ APPhoto
INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY
P
riyanka Gandhi Vadra has already visited Rae
Bareli six times in the first seven months of the
year, leading to rumours of her replacing her
mother in the Lok Sabha elections. What is more
likely is that her formula for appointment of party
district office-bearers will be accepted. Shaken by
the loss of all five Assembly seats in 2012 in
Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s constituency,
Priyanka has evolved a new system of appointing
members. Instead of being nominated, party
workers sent their CVs in a set format, and were
then interviewed by Priyanka. She repeated the
exercise for Amethi, her brother’s Lok Sabha
constituency. The exercise will now be expanded
across Uttar Pradesh. Will Priyanka manage
what pollsters say is the impossible? A repeat of
Congress’s 2009 General Elections performance
in Uttar Pradesh?
SAURABHSINGH/www.indiatodayimages.com
FREE FOR ALL
by R. Prasad
with ASHISH MISRA, ROHIT PARIHAR, KUMAR ANSHUMAN
H A N D I T T O T H E M
Manmohan Singh doesn’t
speak too much, L.K. Advani
blogs too much, Narendra Modi
talks endlessly. Is their loquacity
mirrored in their hand gestures?
Sibal Gets Social
H
e already composes poems on SMS, so it was just
a matter of time before Union Law Minister
Kapil Sibal joined social media. Despite his less-
than-friendly stand on online freedom, Sibal will be
opening a Facebook account within a month, to be
followed by a Twitter debut.
AFile Too Far
M
inister for Science and Technology
S. Jaipal Reddy doesn’t have it easy. His
office is in the Anusandhan Bhawan at Rafi
Marg in Lutyens’ Delhi, while the entire
science and technology ministry works out of
Prodyogiki Bhawan near Mehrauli. Depart-
ment of biotechnology has its office in CGO
Complex, Lodhi Road. So whenever the minis-
ter wishes to meet the science and technology
secretary or wants
to see a file or
document, it takes
anything between
30 minutes and an
hour to reach him.
It’s either a test of
Reddy’s patience
or of the ministry’s
use of modern
communications
technology.
Economic
Defender
I
n times of economic trou-
ble, Congress can’t seem
to find an articulate defence
for itself. On August 19, Raj
Babbar—who will forever
be remembered for his
“Rs 12 meal in Mumbai”
remark—introduced a
new face at the Congress
press briefing, Bhalchandra
Mungekar, a nominated
member of the Rajya
Sabha. Mungekar played a
vital role in drafting provi-
sions of MGNREGA and was
rewarded with a nomina-
tion to Rajya Sabha in 2010.
It’s payback time for him
now. Unfortunately, his TV
debut made him sound a lot
like the comedian Kunal
Vijaykar in full flow.
G
ujarat Chief Minister
Narendra Modi was not
the only star at the BJP media
workshop in Delhi on August
18. His speech, in which he
urged delegates to work
hard to develop “nafrat”
among the people towards
Congress, was followed by a
30-minute presentation by
Internet wiz and convener
of the Friends of BJP, Rajesh
Jain. Jain reeled off slide
upon slide of data, but omit-
ted to give solutions. That
burden, it seems, has been
left entirely upon Modi. It
doesn’t help that his man in
charge of Uttar Pradesh,
Amit Shah, is still recovering
from a chest infection.
PPT Star
Manmohan
Singh
Lal Krishna
Advani
Narendra
Modi
High-wattage Wedding
A
ctor-turned-politi-
cian N.T. Rama
Rao’s son N. Bala-
krishna staged a 21st
century cinematic
version of the magical
Indian rope trick. The
occasion: The mar-
riage of younger
daughter Tejaswini
on August 21 in Hyderabad. Balakrishna
had the couple hoisted up on a majestic
mandap, designed by Telugu film art di-
rector Anand Sai, that was suspended in
air by a 120-foot crane. What is more,
high-wattage bulbs lit up the 140-feet-
long and 60-feet-deep gold and blue
swinging stage. If only such magic could
help brother-in-law N. Chandrababu
Naidu in the 2014 General Elections.
Onions have reduced India to
tears. Of laughter too.
●Bappi Lahiri was spotted
wearing onion garlands.
●Robert Vadra has changed
his business interest from
land to onions.
JOKES
OF T HE WE E K
BJPPresident Rajnath Singh
asked Murli Manohar Joshi
to speakat the party’s
media conference on August
18-19 in Delhi.“I don’t wish
to,”replied Joshi, before
getting up to leave.
SNUB
OF T HE WE E K
H
e’s always on TV, trying to steamroll opponents from
BJP, so it’s a miracle he’s found time to write a book.
Congress spokesman and Executive Director of Dale
Carnegie Training in India, Sanjay Jha, has written a
self-help treatise, The Superstar Syndrome: The Making
of a Champion, with Dr Myra S. White of Harvard Medical
School. Now if he could only deploy some of that
wisdom to defend his party.
MUNGEKAR
REDDY
SIBAL
THE PRIYANKAFORMULA
WHAT IT MEANS
That’s how close
Atalji and I were.
WHAT IT MEANS
I’m not going to
show my hand yet.
WHAT IT MEANS
Wait for me,
India.
byKAVEREE BAMZAI
GLASS HOUSE
JHA
BALAKRISHNA
T
hey don’t have much in common ex-
cept perhaps this. Both Vasundhara
Raje and Ashok Gehlot have started hold-
ing election-related meetings at their
homes rather than party offices. It helps
avoid ticket-seekers and media. While
BJP’s Raje functions from Dholpur Palace
in Dholpur, Gehlot met Congress district
presidents at the CM’S home in Jaipur.
United at Home
Television to Print
NEW
8 9
INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY
P
riyanka Gandhi Vadra has already visited Rae
Bareli six times in the first seven months of the
year, leading to rumours of her replacing her
mother in the Lok Sabha elections. What is more
likely is that her formula for appointment of party
district office-bearers will be accepted. Shaken by
the loss of all five Assembly seats in 2012 in
Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s constituency,
Priyanka has evolved a new system of appointing
members. Instead of being nominated, party
workers sent their CVs in a set format, and were
then interviewed by Priyanka. She repeated the
exercise for Amethi, her brother’s Lok Sabha
constituency. The exercise will now be expanded
across Uttar Pradesh. Will Priyanka manage
what pollsters say is the impossible? A repeat of
Congress’s 2009 General Elections performance
in Uttar Pradesh?
SAURABHSINGH/www.indiatodayimages.com
FREE FOR ALL
by R. Prasad
with ASHISH MISRA, ROHIT PARIHAR, KUMAR ANSHUMAN
H A N D I T T O T H E M
Manmohan Singh doesn’t
speak too much, L.K. Advani
blogs too much, Narendra Modi
talks endlessly. Is their loquacity
mirrored in their hand gestures?
Sibal Gets Social
H
e already composes poems on SMS, so it was just
a matter of time before Union Law Minister
Kapil Sibal joined social media. Despite his less-
than-friendly stand on online freedom, Sibal will be
opening a Facebook account within a month, to be
followed by a Twitter debut.
AFile Too Far
M
inister for Science and Technology
S. Jaipal Reddy doesn’t have it easy. His
office is in the Anusandhan Bhawan at Rafi
Marg in Lutyens’ Delhi, while the entire
science and technology ministry works out of
Prodyogiki Bhawan near Mehrauli. Depart-
ment of biotechnology has its office in CGO
Complex, Lodhi Road. So whenever the minis-
ter wishes to meet the science and technology
secretary or wants
to see a file or
document, it takes
anything between
30 minutes and an
hour to reach him.
It’s either a test of
Reddy’s patience
or of the ministry’s
use of modern
communications
technology.
Economic
Defender
I
n times of economic trou-
ble, Congress can’t seem
to find an articulate defence
for itself. On August 19, Raj
Babbar—who will forever
be remembered for his
“Rs 12 meal in Mumbai”
remark—introduced a
new face at the Congress
press briefing, Bhalchandra
Mungekar, a nominated
member of the Rajya
Sabha. Mungekar played a
vital role in drafting provi-
sions of MGNREGA and was
rewarded with a nomina-
tion to Rajya Sabha in 2010.
It’s payback time for him
now. Unfortunately, his TV
debut made him sound a lot
like the comedian Kunal
Vijaykar in full flow.
G
ujarat Chief Minister
Narendra Modi was not
the only star at the BJP media
workshop in Delhi on August
18. His speech, in which he
urged delegates to work
hard to develop “nafrat”
among the people towards
Congress, was followed by a
30-minute presentation by
Internet wiz and convener
of the Friends of BJP, Rajesh
Jain. Jain reeled off slide
upon slide of data, but omit-
ted to give solutions. That
burden, it seems, has been
left entirely upon Modi. It
doesn’t help that his man in
charge of Uttar Pradesh,
Amit Shah, is still recovering
from a chest infection.
PPT Star
Manmohan
Singh
Lal Krishna
Advani
Narendra
Modi
High-wattage Wedding
A
ctor-turned-politi-
cian N.T. Rama
Rao’s son N. Bala-
krishna staged a 21st
century cinematic
version of the magical
Indian rope trick. The
occasion: The mar-
riage of younger
daughter Tejaswini
on August 21 in Hyderabad. Balakrishna
had the couple hoisted up on a majestic
mandap, designed by Telugu film art di-
rector Anand Sai, that was suspended in
air by a 120-foot crane. What is more,
high-wattage bulbs lit up the 140-feet-
long and 60-feet-deep gold and blue
swinging stage. If only such magic could
help brother-in-law N. Chandrababu
Naidu in the 2014 General Elections.
Onions have reduced India to
tears. Of laughter too.
●Bappi Lahiri was spotted
wearing onion garlands.
●Robert Vadra has changed
his business interest from
land to onions.
JOKES
OF T HE WE E K
BJPPresident Rajnath Singh
asked Murli Manohar Joshi
to speakat the party’s
media conference on August
18-19 in Delhi.“I don’t wish
to,”replied Joshi, before
getting up to leave.
SNUB
OF T HE WE E K
H
e’s always on TV, trying to steamroll opponents from
BJP, so it’s a miracle he’s found time to write a book.
Congress spokesman and Executive Director of Dale
Carnegie Training in India, Sanjay Jha, has written a
self-help treatise, The Superstar Syndrome: The Making
of a Champion, with Dr Myra S. White of Harvard Medical
School. Now if he could only deploy some of that
wisdom to defend his party.
MUNGEKAR
REDDY
SIBAL
THE PRIYANKAFORMULA
WHAT IT MEANS
That’s how close
Atalji and I were.
WHAT IT MEANS
I’m not going to
show my hand yet.
WHAT IT MEANS
Wait for me,
India.
byKAVEREE BAMZAI
GLASS HOUSE
JHA
BALAKRISHNA
T
hey don’t have much in common ex-
cept perhaps this. Both Vasundhara
Raje and Ashok Gehlot have started hold-
ing election-related meetings at their
homes rather than party offices. It helps
avoid ticket-seekers and media. While
BJP’s Raje functions from Dholpur Palace
in Dholpur, Gehlot met Congress district
presidents at the CM’S home in Jaipur.
United at Home
Television to Print
NEW
8 9
S I GNPOST S
MODI IS ALWAYS
CONSCIOUS OF
THE ADVANTAGE OF
BEING PITTED
AGAINSTABAD
PASTICHE OFAPRIME
MINISTER, AMAXI-
MUM LEADER WITH
MINIMUM PRESENCE,
AND APRINCE OF
VACILLATION STILL
STRUGGLING WITH
HIS INNER DEMONS.
ITIS ATRAPAND HE
IS IN DANGER OF
FALLING INTO IT.
GUJARAT’S CICERO
NEEDS ABIGGER
THEME.
1 INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013
DIED
Dronacharya
awardee Desh
Prem Azad,
who was
cricketer
Kapil Dev’s coach, on
August 16 in Mohali after
a brief illness. He was 75.
APPOINTED Senior IPS officer
Dilip Trivedi, as CRPF di-
rector general. Before this,
he was serving as special
DG of the BSF.
APPROVED Online transfer
of provident fund accounts
by Employees’ Provident
Fund Organisation.
SENT BACK Eighteen over-
aged Indian athletes,
including gold medal
prospect sprinter Dutee
Chand, from the Youth
Asian Games
in Nanjing,
China, as they
were above
the age limit
of 17.
SENTENCED TO DEATH
I
n the politics of twenty first century, you are
the sum total of the headlines you make, the
op-ed columns you generate, your prime
time portraits and your tweets. No other politi-
cian today realises the uses of media as much
as Narendra Modi does. He alone seems to
know that the medium is the message. In the
24/7 news cycle, Modi is a four-letter word for
hope, damnation, Icarus and other things good,
bad and plain evil. Still, Modibites are unlikely
to find a place in the glossary of liberation and
it is because Gujarat’s Cicero has not come up
with lines worthy of future generations. No, we
are not looking for the poetic loftiness of an
Abraham Lincoln or a Martin Luther King from
a politician who believes that speech is destiny.
A name that recurs in any Modi deconstruction
is Obama. Obama spoke to history and he sold
hope and change in words delivered with the
conviction of an evangelist, the mellifluousness
of a poet, and the epigrammatic force of a
prophet. The fairy tale ended once Obama
made himself comfortable in the White House.
Modi talks development and governance a lot,
and he never misses the headlines of the day,
be it Pakistan or the latest corruption scandal
in Delhi. Still, essentially, Modi is a debunker,
and a slayer of the nearly dead.
His Independence Day speech, in spite of
its daring display of grandiloquence even
before the speaker achieving grandeur, was
rich in bravado but short of ideas. The subject
that popped up in his every other sentence
was Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. For
television studios and newsrooms looking for
another Modi punch, he was predictably
obliging. For a man who thinks the word is a
weapon of mass conversion, can he go on
beating the politically half-dead creature
called Manmohan Singh? The good old doctor
is today an inept politician and a misplaced
economist embodying everything India can do
without. Irredeemable and irrecoverable
Manmohan Singh’s India provides enough
ammunition to anyone who aspires to take his
seat. Modi wants it and his speeches are, more
often than not, entirely devoted to the discred-
ited doctor and the family that made him
happen. Do we really need a Modi to tell us
about the effete leadership of Manmohan
Singh or the evil apparatus of the dynasty?
Doesn’t the leader fighting for the future need
to come up with something more engrossing
than more jokes about the much lampooned
trinity of Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and
Rahul? Modi, like Congress, is smug about the
media rewards of a negative campaign.
His arguments still win the day because
there is no credible counter-argument from
the other side of the fence. His words get mag-
nified because his opponents—Mother, Son
and Dysfunctional Puppet—believe that
silence is the privilege of the ruling class.
Indian democracy may be the noisiest in the
world, but its three most powerful individuals
are the least heard, least seen entities in any
open society. That is why Modi has the arena
of arguments entirely to himself. Modi is
always conscious of the advantage of being
pitted against a bad pastiche of a prime
minister, a maximum leader with minimum
presence, and a prince of vacillation still strug-
gling with his inner demons. It is a trap and he
is in danger of falling into it. Modi urgently
needs a theme larger than the collective size
of Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul.
He may have words to fill up all the front pages
of the country and keep all the television
studios busy. I don’t remember one line of his
that history will remember, and I am sure I am
not alone here. He continues to be master of
the immediate and the instant. ■
AZAD
L O C O M O T I F
CHAND
S. PRASANNARAJAN
SIGNATURE
SAURABHSINGH/www.indiatodayimages.com
NEW
0
G
eorge Washington famously said, “If we desire to
avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire
to secure peace—one of the most powerful instru-
ments of our rising prosperity—it must be known that we
are at all times ready for war.” India, however, has
stomached not just insults but also acts of cross-border
aggression by Pakistan while continuing to sing peace to its
tormentor, a smaller state by every yardstick. No amount of
terror has convinced India to change course—not even the
Pakistani-scripted attacks on symbols of Indian power,
including Parliament, Red Fort, stock exchange, national
capital, business capital and IT capital.
Each act of aggression has been greeted with inaction
and stoic tolerance. For a succession of prime ministers,
every new attack has effectively been more water under the
bridge. Manmohan Singh, the weakest and most clueless of
them, has put even the internationally unprecedented
Mumbai terrorist siege behind him by delinking dialogue
from terrorism and resuming cricketing ties.
If anyone questions this approach of turning the other
cheek to every Pakistani (or Chinese) attack, government
propagandists retort, “Do you want war?” This mirrors the
classic argument of appeasers that the only alternative to
appeasement is all-out war. As the proverbial extremists,
appeasers are able to see only the extreme ends of the
policy spectrum: Propitiation and open warfare.
The appeasers thus have presented India with a false
choice: Either persevere with pusillanimity or risk a full-
fledged war. This false choice, in which the only alternative
to appeasement is military conflict, is an
immoral and immoderate line of argu-
ment designed to snuff out any legiti-
mate debate on rational options. There
are a hundred different options between
these two extremities that India must
explore and pursue. Indeed, only a
policy approach that avoids the
extremes of abject appeasement and
thoughtless provocation can have merit.
The appeasers also argue that
neighbours cannot be changed. So, as
Singh has said blithely, “a stable, peace-
ful, and prosperous Pakistan” is in
India’s “own interest”. But political
maps are never carved in stone, as the
breaking away of South Sudan, East
Timor and Eritrea has shown. Didn’t
Indira Gandhi change political geogra-
phy in 1971? In fact, the most profound
global events in recent history have
been the disintegration of several states,
including the Soviet Union and Yugos-
lavia. Even if India cannot change its
neighbours, it must seek to change their behaviour so that
it conforms to international norms.
Yet India has shied away from employing even non-
coercive options to discipline a wayward Pakistan waging
low-intensity unconventional warfare. Rather than squeeze
Pakistan economically and diplomatically, India is doing just
the opposite. Similarly, India has stepped up its propitiation
of China, in spite of facing a Sino-Pak pincer offensive
centred on Jammu and Kashmir: Chinese incursions into
Ladakh have increased in parallel with Pakistani ceasefire
violations. Still, Singh is determined to meet his Pakistan
counterpart in New York and later pay obeisance to an
increasingly combative China on yet another trip to Beijing.
By going with an outstretched hand to adversaries still
engaged in hostile actions, India has repeatedly got the
short end of the stick. Nothing better illustrates India’s clap-
when-given-a-slap approach than the way it portrayed the
19-km Chinese encroachment in April-May as a mere
“acne” and tried to cover up the Pakistan Army’s role in the
recent Indian soldiers’ killing. A hawk is defined in the US
as someone who seeks the use of force pre-emptively
against another country. But in India—reflecting the
ascendancy of cheek-turners and the country’s consequent
descent as an exceptionally soft state—a hawk has come to
signify someone who merely advises against turning the
other cheek to a recalcitrant or renegade neighbour.
An easy way for Indian diplomacy to make the transi-
tion from timidity to prudence is to start spotlighting plain
facts on cross-border aggression. Yet the Indian political
class is so busy feathering its own nests
that it is willing to even twist facts about
how soldiers were martyred and
suppress figures showing a rising
pattern of Chinese incursions.
How does one explain that leaders,
while shrewd and calculating in politi-
cal life, have pursued a fundamentally
naïve foreign policy that has shrunk
India’s regional strategic space and
brought its security under siege? The
answer lies in one word: Corruption.
Untrammelled corruption has spawned
a political class too compromised to
safeguard national interests. Appease-
ment thus thrives, with the Ministry
of External Affairs effectively being
turned into the ministry of external
appeasement. India’s reputation as
weak-kneed indeed has become the
single-most important factor inviting
aggression, spurring a vicious circle.
Brahma Chellaney is a geostrategist and author
DON’TCOMPROMISE INDIA
BRAHMACHELLANEY
UPFRONT
By going with an outstretched
hand to adversaries still
engaged in hostile actions,
India has repeatedly got the
short end of the stick.
SAURABHSINGH/www.indiatodayimages.com
INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY
COVER STORY
SURROGACY
THE BABY FACTORY
n a cramped bylane off Station Road in
Anand, men camp beneath the banyan
tree, or perch on a bench waiting for their
women to complete their business at an
adjacent clinic. Foreigners and Indians, all
couples, are dropped off by taxis at the en-
trance, husbands holding wives by the
hand. India’s cooperative milk capital has also
turned into its surrogacy hub: The Sat Kaival
Hospital and Akanksha Infertility Clinic run by
Dr Nayana Patel, 55, and her husband Hitesh, 57,
churns out 30 babies on average every month.
Surrogate No. 500, a 28-year-old single mother
of two, delivered a baby girl here on August 5, an
inadvertent milestone in the now routine comings
and goings of cooperative commerce. Four days
later, she sees the baby for the first time at the be-
hest of the sponsoring parents, who are from
Lucknow. She does not recognise the newborn
from a series of photographs. “If it’s a girl, it must
be mine,” she says, blankly.
A year ago, she had nothing. Her younger son
is three and her older one five. Abandoned by her
husband at the younger child’s birth, she moved in
with her mother, a domestic worker who lives on
the road behind Dr Patel’s home. She earned
Rs 2,000 a month doing housework. A friend
Inside India's surrogacy nursery
in Anand, Gujarat, as the 500th
surrogate mother delivers a baby
girl, the burgeoning business
transforms the lives of women
Photographs by ROHITCHAWLA
Text by GAYATRI JAYARAMAN
I
BIRTHING THE WORLD SURROGATE
MOTHERS IN VARIOUS STAGES OFPREGNANCY
ATSURROGATE HOUSE, ANAND
NEW
12 13
COVER STORY
SURROGACY
THE BABY FACTORY
INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY
n a cramped bylane off Station Road in
Anand, men camp beneath the banyan
tree, or perch on a bench waiting for their
women to complete their business at an
adjacent clinic. Foreigners and Indians, all
couples, are dropped off by taxis at the en-
trance, husbands holding wives by the
hand. India’s cooperative milk capital has also
turned into its surrogacy hub: The Sat Kaival
Hospital and Akanksha Infertility Clinic run by
Dr Nayana Patel, 55, and her husband Hitesh, 57,
churns out 30 babies on average every month.
Surrogate No. 500, a 28-year-old single mother
of two, delivered a baby girl here on August 5, an
inadvertent milestone in the now routine comings
and goings of cooperative commerce. Four days
later, she sees the baby for the first time at the be-
hest of the sponsoring parents, who are from
Lucknow. She does not recognise the newborn
from a series of photographs. “If it’s a girl, it must
be mine,” she says, blankly.
A year ago, she had nothing. Her younger son
is three and her older one five. Abandoned by her
husband at the younger child’s birth, she moved in
with her mother, a domestic worker who lives on
the road behind Dr Patel’s home. She earned
Rs 2,000 a month doing housework. A friend
Inside India's surrogacy nursery
in Anand, Gujarat, as the 500th
surrogate mother delivers a baby
girl, the burgeoning business
transforms the lives of women
Photographs by ROHITCHAWLA
Text by GAYATRI JAYARAMAN
I
BIRTHING THE WORLD SURROGATE
MOTHERS IN VARIOUS STAGES OFPREGNANCY
ATSURROGATE HOUSE, ANAND
NEW
12 13
INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY
COVER STORY
SURROGACY
brought her to the doctor. She has not
seen her children even once since. “I
can build my own house now,”
Surrogate No. 500 says. She would not
do this again, she adds. But Rs 3 lakh
goes a long way in Anand, Gujarat.
very turn on a road in Anand
bears jagged signifiers of a township
straining towards modernity. A char-
iot vendor is down the road from a gun
store. Past the Subway franchise is the
mandatory Amul outlet, selling shri-
khand and the local mithai kaju katri
from the 6.5 million kg-a-day cooper-
ative milk union movement launched
here in 1946 by Verghese Kurien.
While the world knows Anand, a town
of 1.8 million, for the White Revo-
lution, many other revolutions have
since jostled for space here. There are
66 higher education institutes and
two universities. The town is also
an industrial engineering and emerg-
ing ship-building hub booming with
the opening of the Khambhat port
nearby. But it is hospitals, the Shan-
kara Eye Hospital, the spanking new
Zydus multi-speciality facility on the
city outskirts and the multitude of
medical agencies pharmacies, private
nursing homes and clinics that drive
its medical tourism. You won’t find it
mentioned in the ‘Vibrant Gujarat’
roadmap for Anand district but as
far as cooperative movements go,
the town offers up the mother of them
all: Surrogacy.
In 2001, Dr Patel, who had been
dabbling in in-vitro fertilisation (IVF)
pregnancies since 1999, took on a
stray case of surrogacy for an NRI fam-
ily in which the grandmother fa-
mously mothered the child to save her
daughter’s marriage. Featured on the
E
ONE WITH HER OWN SUMAN (SECOND
FROM LEFT), 32, CURRENTLYCARRYING TWO
SURROGATE BABIES IN HER WOMB, WITH HER
DAUGHTERS NIDDHI, 7, NISHA,9, AND NIRALI,
11, HUSBAND MAHENDRA, AND MOTHER
SARITHABEN IN MEHRAU VILLAGE, GUJARAT
NEW
14 15
INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY
COVER STORY
SURROGACY
brought her to the doctor. She has not
seen her children even once since. “I
can build my own house now,”
Surrogate No. 500 says. She would not
do this again, she adds. But Rs 3 lakh
goes a long way in Anand, Gujarat.
very turn on a road in Anand
bears jagged signifiers of a township
straining towards modernity. A char-
iot vendor is down the road from a gun
store. Past the Subway franchise is the
mandatory Amul outlet, selling shri-
khand and the local mithai kaju katri
from the 6.5 million kg-a-day cooper-
ative milk union movement launched
here in 1946 by Verghese Kurien.
While the world knows Anand, a town
of 1.8 million, for the White Revo-
lution, many other revolutions have
since jostled for space here. There are
66 higher education institutes and
two universities. The town is also
an industrial engineering and emerg-
ing ship-building hub booming with
the opening of the Khambhat port
nearby. But it is hospitals, the Shan-
kara Eye Hospital, the spanking new
Zydus multi-speciality facility on the
city outskirts and the multitude of
medical agencies pharmacies, private
nursing homes and clinics that drive
its medical tourism. You won’t find it
mentioned in the ‘Vibrant Gujarat’
roadmap for Anand district but as
far as cooperative movements go,
the town offers up the mother of them
all: Surrogacy.
In 2001, Dr Patel, who had been
dabbling in in-vitro fertilisation (IVF)
pregnancies since 1999, took on a
stray case of surrogacy for an NRI fam-
ily in which the grandmother fa-
mously mothered the child to save her
daughter’s marriage. Featured on the
E
ONE WITH HER OWN SUMAN (SECOND
FROM LEFT), 32, CURRENTLYCARRYING TWO
SURROGATE BABIES IN HER WOMB, WITH HER
DAUGHTERS NIDDHI, 7, NISHA,9, AND NIRALI,
11, HUSBAND MAHENDRA, AND MOTHER
SARITHABEN IN MEHRAU VILLAGE, GUJARAT
NEW
14 15
Oprah Winfrey show in 2006, she has
almost become an institution, instru-
mental in all landmark cases involv-
ing surrogacy up until now. The
Indian Council of Medical Research
drew up surrogacy guidelines based
on Dr Patel’s 2001 NRI grandmother
case and subsequent cases. She hit
the headlines in 2008 when the cus-
tody of Manji Yamada, a baby born to
Japanese parents at Dr Patel’s facility
in Anand, was thrown into ambiguity
after they separated before his birth.
The landmark Jan Balaz vs Union of
India case, also involving Dr Patel’s
clinic, saw Indian citizenship being
conferred on the twin babies and the
due process of adoption followed.
These pioneering cases conferred the
surrogacy capital status on Anand.
he number of babies deliv-
ered at Dr Patel’s clinic is 680 and
counting. But a new draft bill in the
making could remove surrogates
from direct employment with the fer-
tility clinic and put them under the in-
fluence of a surrogate agency. Key
features of the bill include:
• Surrogates must be in the age
bracket 21-35.
• No surrogate should undergo im-
plantation cycles more than three
times for a couple.
• If married, a surrogate should re-
ceive consent of her spouse.
• Only Indian citizens can be consid-
ered for surrogacy.
• Surrogate mother must relinquish
all filial rights over child.
• Parents must accept the child born
of the surrogacy.
• IVF will be separated from surrogacy
requirements, which will be out-
sourced to specialised agents.
Dr Patel wishes the Government
engaged more with surrogates and
doctors at the local level. “The
Government is saying it will trust an
agent, who may or may not be edu-
cated or humane towards surrogates,
but not doctors. Why?” she asks.
“I wonder sometimes, if there
were two children, a girl and a boy,
and they didn’t want the boy, could I
take him home?” says Suman, 32, six
months pregnant and carrying twins.
She was impregnated with quadru-
plets and two were terminated. She
hasn’t been home in five months
though her three daughters, Niddhi,
7, Nisha, 9, and Nirali, 11, visit her of-
ten. Suman is carrying plastic dolls
she bought for them from the market
today. The Eid festive air is accentu-
ated at Mehrau village, 11 km from
Anand, as villagers come out to wave,
cheer and ask Suman how her preg-
nancy is going. Only one home in the
village, that of a lawyer couple, re-
fuses to participate. “Are the people
who talk going to put food on my
plate? I have not done anything
wrong, so what is there to hide?”
Suman asks as her children clamber
all over her. She needs the money. Her
husband earns Rs 100 a day as a
labourer in the nearby fields.
Dr Patel has fought varying levels
of social opposition since 2005, when
she began her surrogacy programme.
A third of the children born here have
gone to Indian couples, another third
to NRIs and the others to foreigners
from over 34 different countries. All
surrogates in the clinic are below 35
and mothers to at least one child of
their own. They are required to meet
minimum health requirements or are
otherwise “nutritionally fortified”.
The husband’s consent is mandatory
in case of couples.
Dr Patel is now building a 100,000
sq ft hospital on the outskirts of the
city that will accommodate would-be
parents, surrogates, IVF facilities and
neonatal units next to a vocational in-
stitute. While that is slated for a
March 2014 launch, for now she must
flit between Surrogate House, the des-
ignated home for surrogate moms,
multiple hospitals, standalone neona-
tal units, and her clinic. Since her first
IVF case in 1999 that yielded baby
Akanksha, after whom the clinic is
named, Dr Patel has been a life-giv-
ing, family-saving benefactor. It is in
her genes: Her late mother, a social
worker and corporator in Rajkot in
the 1950s, was herself a fierce advo-
cate of women’s rights.
At the clinic, a jet-lagged Portu-
guese-speaking couple from Angola,
the second to arrive here from that
country, nervously alights from a car.
The woman, 34, lean, beautiful, her
face strained with emotion, has just
lost her baby and her uterus to com-
plications. “Can we use more than
SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY
COVER STORY
SURROGACY
MILESTONE MOM SURROGATE MOM NO. 500, AND THE
680TH CHILD BORN ATTHE SATKAIVALHOSPITALIN ANAND
BYHER SIDE SURESH, 29, AN
AHMEDABAD-BASED AUTORICKSHAWDRIVER,
COOKS RICE FOR HIS WIFE SEETAL, 26, A
SURROGATE MOTHER, EVERYWEEKEND
T
NEW
17
Oprah Winfrey show in 2006, she has
almost become an institution, instru-
mental in all landmark cases involv-
ing surrogacy up until now. The
Indian Council of Medical Research
drew up surrogacy guidelines based
on Dr Patel’s 2001 NRI grandmother
case and subsequent cases. She hit
the headlines in 2008 when the cus-
tody of Manji Yamada, a baby born to
Japanese parents at Dr Patel’s facility
in Anand, was thrown into ambiguity
after they separated before his birth.
The landmark Jan Balaz vs Union of
India case, also involving Dr Patel’s
clinic, saw Indian citizenship being
conferred on the twin babies and the
due process of adoption followed.
These pioneering cases conferred the
surrogacy capital status on Anand.
he number of babies deliv-
ered at Dr Patel’s clinic is 680 and
counting. But a new draft bill in the
making could remove surrogates
from direct employment with the fer-
tility clinic and put them under the in-
fluence of a surrogate agency. Key
features of the bill include:
• Surrogates must be in the age
bracket 21-35.
• No surrogate should undergo im-
plantation cycles more than three
times for a couple.
• If married, a surrogate should re-
ceive consent of her spouse.
• Only Indian citizens can be consid-
ered for surrogacy.
• Surrogate mother must relinquish
all filial rights over child.
• Parents must accept the child born
of the surrogacy.
• IVF will be separated from surrogacy
requirements, which will be out-
sourced to specialised agents.
Dr Patel wishes the Government
engaged more with surrogates and
doctors at the local level. “The
Government is saying it will trust an
agent, who may or may not be edu-
cated or humane towards surrogates,
but not doctors. Why?” she asks.
“I wonder sometimes, if there
were two children, a girl and a boy,
and they didn’t want the boy, could I
take him home?” says Suman, 32, six
months pregnant and carrying twins.
She was impregnated with quadru-
plets and two were terminated. She
hasn’t been home in five months
though her three daughters, Niddhi,
7, Nisha, 9, and Nirali, 11, visit her of-
ten. Suman is carrying plastic dolls
she bought for them from the market
today. The Eid festive air is accentu-
ated at Mehrau village, 11 km from
Anand, as villagers come out to wave,
cheer and ask Suman how her preg-
nancy is going. Only one home in the
village, that of a lawyer couple, re-
fuses to participate. “Are the people
who talk going to put food on my
plate? I have not done anything
wrong, so what is there to hide?”
Suman asks as her children clamber
all over her. She needs the money. Her
husband earns Rs 100 a day as a
labourer in the nearby fields.
Dr Patel has fought varying levels
of social opposition since 2005, when
she began her surrogacy programme.
A third of the children born here have
gone to Indian couples, another third
to NRIs and the others to foreigners
from over 34 different countries. All
surrogates in the clinic are below 35
and mothers to at least one child of
their own. They are required to meet
minimum health requirements or are
otherwise “nutritionally fortified”.
The husband’s consent is mandatory
in case of couples.
Dr Patel is now building a 100,000
sq ft hospital on the outskirts of the
city that will accommodate would-be
parents, surrogates, IVF facilities and
neonatal units next to a vocational in-
stitute. While that is slated for a
March 2014 launch, for now she must
flit between Surrogate House, the des-
ignated home for surrogate moms,
multiple hospitals, standalone neona-
tal units, and her clinic. Since her first
IVF case in 1999 that yielded baby
Akanksha, after whom the clinic is
named, Dr Patel has been a life-giv-
ing, family-saving benefactor. It is in
her genes: Her late mother, a social
worker and corporator in Rajkot in
the 1950s, was herself a fierce advo-
cate of women’s rights.
At the clinic, a jet-lagged Portu-
guese-speaking couple from Angola,
the second to arrive here from that
country, nervously alights from a car.
The woman, 34, lean, beautiful, her
face strained with emotion, has just
lost her baby and her uterus to com-
plications. “Can we use more than
SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY
COVER STORY
SURROGACY
MILESTONE MOM SURROGATE MOM NO. 500, AND THE
680TH CHILD BORN ATTHE SATKAIVALHOSPITALIN ANAND
BYHER SIDE SURESH, 29, AN
AHMEDABAD-BASED AUTORICKSHAWDRIVER,
COOKS RICE FOR HIS WIFE SEETAL, 26, A
SURROGATE MOTHER, EVERYWEEKEND
T
NEW
17
one surrogate?” she asks, in halting
English. At the door is Tajima, a 34-
year-old Japanese woman who lost
her uterus to nuclear radiation-linked
cancer a few years ago. Her baby had
just been born the previous day and
is in neonatal ICU at Zydus hospital.
That evening, Dr Jagdish Prasad, the
director general of health services,
has circulated a Cabinet note on the
Assisted Reproductive Technology
(Regulation) Bill announcing a firm
intention to disallow surrogacy for
foreigners, on the back of the Ministry
of Home Affairs already banning
same-sex couples and single parents
of foreign origin. At Akanksha clinic,
prospective parents, with their heads
bent over reports, medication and
bills, ignore the news flashing on
five LCD screens.
Surrogate House is a complex of
two two-storied bungalows. It’s Eid,
August 9, and a baby shower is under-
way at 11 a.m. The ‘parties’ of Aarti,
31, Gita, 29, and Rukmini, 27, all
seven months pregnant, have sent
them saris, and shared the cost of the
ceremony. The women don make-up
and braid their hair as they slip into
their new saris, stolen pleasures that
bring home the reality of a pregnancy
that is not quite theirs. Durga, 29,
smiles. “It’s our child, we call it our
child.” Rukmini has more reasons for
joy. Her diamond-washer husband
has just inaugurated his own store
that morning. When she returns, she
will open her own beauty parlour.
Housing for surrogates has often
been criticised as glorified forced iso-
lation but Dr Patel’s stance is that it
guarantees the health of both mother
and child. Many surrogates say they
prefer it. It allows them anonymity
from prying neighbours or relatives.
The controlled environment provides
them with nutritional food and the
chance to enrol in vocational classes,
from chocolate-making to computers,
INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY
COVER STORY
SURROGACY
DOCTOR LIFE ATWORK DR NAYANAPATEL(RIGHT),
55, ASSISTED BYDR HARSHAVHADARKA, 36, PLACES AN
EMBRYO TO MARKTHE STARTOFASURROGACYCYCLE
BONDING OVER THE BABY SEETAL
TAKES ACALLFROM THE INTENDED PARENTS
ENQUIRING ABOUTHER HEALTH
NEW
18


19
one surrogate?” she asks, in halting
English. At the door is Tajima, a 34-
year-old Japanese woman who lost
her uterus to nuclear radiation-linked
cancer a few years ago. Her baby had
just been born the previous day and
is in neonatal ICU at Zydus hospital.
That evening, Dr Jagdish Prasad, the
director general of health services,
has circulated a Cabinet note on the
Assisted Reproductive Technology
(Regulation) Bill announcing a firm
intention to disallow surrogacy for
foreigners, on the back of the Ministry
of Home Affairs already banning
same-sex couples and single parents
of foreign origin. At Akanksha clinic,
prospective parents, with their heads
bent over reports, medication and
bills, ignore the news flashing on
five LCD screens.
Surrogate House is a complex of
two two-storied bungalows. It’s Eid,
August 9, and a baby shower is under-
way at 11 a.m. The ‘parties’ of Aarti,
31, Gita, 29, and Rukmini, 27, all
seven months pregnant, have sent
them saris, and shared the cost of the
ceremony. The women don make-up
and braid their hair as they slip into
their new saris, stolen pleasures that
bring home the reality of a pregnancy
that is not quite theirs. Durga, 29,
smiles. “It’s our child, we call it our
child.” Rukmini has more reasons for
joy. Her diamond-washer husband
has just inaugurated his own store
that morning. When she returns, she
will open her own beauty parlour.
Housing for surrogates has often
been criticised as glorified forced iso-
lation but Dr Patel’s stance is that it
guarantees the health of both mother
and child. Many surrogates say they
prefer it. It allows them anonymity
from prying neighbours or relatives.
The controlled environment provides
them with nutritional food and the
chance to enrol in vocational classes,
from chocolate-making to computers,
INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY
COVER STORY
SURROGACY
DOCTOR LIFE ATWORK DR NAYANAPATEL(RIGHT),
55, ASSISTED BYDR HARSHAVHADARKA, 36, PLACES AN
EMBRYO TO MARKTHE STARTOFASURROGACYCYCLE
BONDING OVER THE BABY SEETAL
TAKES ACALLFROM THE INTENDED PARENTS
ENQUIRING ABOUTHER HEALTH
NEW
18


19
2 INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013
embroidery and hair and make-up.
Surrogate mothers say the base
rate that accrues to them from bear-
ing babies, be it for Indian parents or
foreigners, is around one-fourth of
the total cost of Rs 8-11 lakh that
clinics charge. What differs though,
is how they are treated. Indian par-
ents rarely encourage an engage-
ment with the surrogate after birth.
Inside a room on the ground floor
of Surrogate House, Suresh, a 28-
year-old autorickshaw driver from
Ahmedabad, has cooked rice for his
wife Seetal, 26, pregnant with her
first surrogate child. Their own two
children, aged 7 and 11, are in board-
ing school. They want to buy a house
with the Rs 4 lakh from the surrogacy.
He understands, he says, that the
child is not his, but has trouble not
feeling affection for it. He caresses his
wife’s stomach affectionately.
Local Methodist and Catholic
churches, maulvis and priests have
all preached against surrogacy to
their respective congregations. In
vain. “It used to be much harder
when I started. Now I don’t fight be-
cause I know no one who is talking is
going to give these parents a child or
save these surrogates from their
poverty,” says Dr Patel.
Surrogates keep coming back
because the money counts. Kaushal,
37, has three children and works as
a cook now, earning Rs 2,000 a
month. Her small rebuilt home in
Anand has a light and fan in the hall,
and a television with a cable connec-
tion. But there are no bulbs in the in-
ner room or the kitchen. Most of the
money she earned through her two
surrogacies since 2007 went into un-
successfully treating her alcoholic
husband’s cirrhosis and heart condi-
tion complicated by diabetes. A de-
vout Catholic, her parish and the
home she works in would both dis-
miss her if they found out what she
had done, she fears. But thanks to the
babies she carried, she doesn’t need
their approval to put a roof over her
head. She can look God in the eye
because she knows she hasn’t done
anything wrong. The rest, she says,
she will manage.
IN THE NAME OFGOD (FROM LEFT) SURROGATE MOTHERS MADHURI SURBHI PATEL, 24,
NIRANJANASARLAPATEL, 28, AND RUKMINI REDDY, 27, HAVE ASREEMANTHAM OR SEVENTH
MONTH CEREMONIALBLESSING PERFORMED JOINTLYATTHE SURROGATE HOUSE
COVER STORY
SURROGACY
To tweet on this article, use
#babyfactory
To read our previous story
on surrogacy, go to
www.indiatoday.in/srk-surrogacy
NEW
0
O
n February 13, Central Bur-
eau of Investigation (CBI)
Director Ranjit Sinha told Pa-
rliament’s Public Accounts
Committee (PAC) for the first time that
the investigation into the Rs 1.86-lakh-
crore coal block allocation scam was
being hampered because the coal min-
istry was not making crucial files avail-
able to the agency. Questioned about
the tardy progress of its investigation,
Sinha told PAC that CBI had not got files
related to the allocation of 40 coal
blocks and meetings of the screening
committee despite repeated reminders
to the ministry.
Six months later, after a grudging
admission about the missing files from
Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal in
Parliament on August 17, the CBI chief
now says that investigations into the
Coalgate scam have hit a roadblock,
and that the case will suffer a huge
setback if the files are not found. “I can-
not say yet if the case is as good as over
but it has definitely been diluted. The
files are crucial to establish irregulari-
ties in the allocation of coal blocks,”
Sinha told INDIA TODAY.
The implication is clear—powerful
coal block allottees linked to the
Congress will be let off the hook. These
include Congress MPs Vijay Darda and
Naveen Jindal as the files pertaining to
coal block allocations to their compa-
nies are among the 257 missing ones.
The missing files cover the period of
coal block allocation between 1993
and 2009 but most of the 13 FIRs and
three preliminary enquiries by CBI in-
vestigators pertain to allocations be-
tween 2006 and 2009 when Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh was han-
dling the coal portfolio.
Sources in the Government claim
that the “missing files” represent not
only an attempt to help Congress politi-
cians, but also to save Manmohan
Singh the embarrassment. “The at-
tempts are crude and blatant. First, the
then law minister Ashwani Kumar
tried to pressurise CBI by vetting the
probe report to be submitted to the
Supreme Court in March. And, now,
this absurdity of important files having
gone missing,” says a CBI official in-
volved in the investigation of the case.
The missing files, among others,
pertain to coal block allocations to AMR
Iron and Steel Private limited, JLD
Yavatmal Energy Limited, JAS Infra-
structure Capital Private Limited and
Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL). The
Nagpur-based companies, AMR and
JLD Yavatmal Energy, have close ties to
Vijay Darda. The FIR against AMR
names its Directors Arvind Kumar
Jayaswal, Manoj Jayaswal, Ramesh
Jayaswal and Devendra Darda. The
one against JLD names Vijay Darda,
Rajendra Darda, Devendra Darda and
Manoj Jayaswal. The accused in the
case against JAS Infrastructure are
Manoj Jayaswal and Abhishek Jaya-
swal. Jindal was named in the 12th FIR
along with another Congressman, for-
mer minister of state for coal Dasari
Narayan Rao, by CBI. AMR Director
Arvind Jayaswal was earlier ques-
tioned by CBI sleuths in January about
his alleged links with Coal Minister
Jaiswal and also former coal minister
Santosh Bagrodia.
The CBI director says that he kept
raising the issue of the missing files and
information not being shared by the
coal ministry time and again. The
Supreme Court, on August 6, ordered
the Government to cooperate with
the CBI probe and urgently share the
documents requested by the investigat-
ing agency. “It all appears to be part of
a concerted effort to dilute the case,”
complains a CBI official.
However, the CBI director thinks
the case can be salvaged. “The Gov-
ernment has not told us officially about
the missing files. We will wait till it tells
us or somehow gives us the files. In the
meantime, we will inform the Supreme
Court about the status of the case
on August 29 and wait for further
directions,” says Sinha.
In the scenario of CBI not getting the
files, the director says that it will try to
reconstruct them by tracing their
movement record and from other
records. CBI sources claim that even if
they do manage to reconstruct the
main components of the files—a long
and painstaking procedure—they will
never get the notings that may have
been put on the files to favour a partic-
ular person or company.
Of the total missing files, nearly 150
pertain to the 1993-2004 period in
which 45 coal blocks were allocated.
Other files relate to allocations bet-
ween 2006 and 2009, and with com-
munication among various ministries
and states. CBI sources claim that it
would be virtually impossible to sub-
stantiate allegations of misrepresenta-
tion of facts by the beneficiaries and
the favours given by the Government.
The files contain documents like
application forms, supporting docu-
ments, minutes of screening commit-
tee meetings, objections raised by offi-
cials and other records.
CBI says it is ready to investigate
whether the evidence has been wilfully
destroyed but for that the ministry has
to register an FIR. Jaiswal refused to
comment when contacted by INDIA
TODAY, saying that he would make a
statement in Parliament on August 22.
In an earlier statement in Rajya Sabha
on August 20, Jaiswal had said that he
had constituted an inter-ministerial
committee to look into the case of
the missing files. His explanation to a
news channel that files could not be lo-
cated since they were stacked verti-
cally, one on top of the other, is
laughable. Coal ministry officials were
reportedly in the process of placing
them horizontally to see what they
were all about. “Next we will have to
check the air quality in the coal min-
istry’s storage room. The minister will
say that it is too thin and makes files
disappear,” quips a senior leader of
the Opposition BJP.
The Coalgate case, for one, is
definitely under threat of disappearing
into thin air. ■
INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY
COALSCAM
NATION
NO ONE
STOLE
OUR COAL
As crucial coal allocation files go missing, the CBI case
on Coalgate is on the verge of falling apart
Commonwealth Games Crucial files went missing from
the Organising Committee office in December 2010. The files
contained important information on tendering, budgetary
allocations and contract details of the Queen’s Baton Relay and
the Rs 107-crore deal with a Swiss score-keeping firm.
Adarsh Housing Society Files regarding the Coastal
Regulation Zone norms clearance went missing from the
Ministry of Environment and Forests in May 2011. Earlier in
2010, files regarding clearances went missing from the
Defence Estates office and the Maharashtra Urban
Development Department.
2G case Afile containing crucial documents related to the
telecom policy of 1994, which allowed the entry of private
companies and introduced mobile telephony, went missing in
June 2011 from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
Also missing was a Cabinet note on the policy prepared by DoT
and papers related to its approval by the then Cabinet.
By Bhavna Vij-Aurora
PARVEEN NEGI/www.indiatodayimages.com
IFTHE FILES ARE NOT
FOUND, THE POWERFUL
ALLOTTEES LINKED TO
THE CONGRESS WILLBE
LETOFFTHE HOOK.
REUTERS
COALMINISTER
SRIPRAKASH
JAISWAL
CBI DIRECTOR
RANJITSINHA
CBI DIRECTOR
RANJITSINHA
22 23
O
n February 13, Central Bur-
eau of Investigation (CBI)
Director Ranjit Sinha told Pa-
rliament’s Public Accounts
Committee (PAC) for the first time that
the investigation into the Rs 1.86-lakh-
crore coal block allocation scam was
being hampered because the coal min-
istry was not making crucial files avail-
able to the agency. Questioned about
the tardy progress of its investigation,
Sinha told PAC that CBI had not got files
related to the allocation of 40 coal
blocks and meetings of the screening
committee despite repeated reminders
to the ministry.
Six months later, after a grudging
admission about the missing files from
Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal in
Parliament on August 17, the CBI chief
now says that investigations into the
Coalgate scam have hit a roadblock,
and that the case will suffer a huge
setback if the files are not found. “I can-
not say yet if the case is as good as over
but it has definitely been diluted. The
files are crucial to establish irregulari-
ties in the allocation of coal blocks,”
Sinha told INDIA TODAY.
The implication is clear—powerful
coal block allottees linked to the
Congress will be let off the hook. These
include Congress MPs Vijay Darda and
Naveen Jindal as the files pertaining to
coal block allocations to their compa-
nies are among the 257 missing ones.
The missing files cover the period of
coal block allocation between 1993
and 2009 but most of the 13 FIRs and
three preliminary enquiries by CBI in-
vestigators pertain to allocations be-
tween 2006 and 2009 when Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh was han-
dling the coal portfolio.
Sources in the Government claim
that the “missing files” represent not
only an attempt to help Congress politi-
cians, but also to save Manmohan
Singh the embarrassment. “The at-
tempts are crude and blatant. First, the
then law minister Ashwani Kumar
tried to pressurise CBI by vetting the
probe report to be submitted to the
Supreme Court in March. And, now,
this absurdity of important files having
gone missing,” says a CBI official in-
volved in the investigation of the case.
The missing files, among others,
pertain to coal block allocations to AMR
Iron and Steel Private limited, JLD
Yavatmal Energy Limited, JAS Infra-
structure Capital Private Limited and
Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL). The
Nagpur-based companies, AMR and
JLD Yavatmal Energy, have close ties to
Vijay Darda. The FIR against AMR
names its Directors Arvind Kumar
Jayaswal, Manoj Jayaswal, Ramesh
Jayaswal and Devendra Darda. The
one against JLD names Vijay Darda,
Rajendra Darda, Devendra Darda and
Manoj Jayaswal. The accused in the
case against JAS Infrastructure are
Manoj Jayaswal and Abhishek Jaya-
swal. Jindal was named in the 12th FIR
along with another Congressman, for-
mer minister of state for coal Dasari
Narayan Rao, by CBI. AMR Director
Arvind Jayaswal was earlier ques-
tioned by CBI sleuths in January about
his alleged links with Coal Minister
Jaiswal and also former coal minister
Santosh Bagrodia.
The CBI director says that he kept
raising the issue of the missing files and
information not being shared by the
coal ministry time and again. The
Supreme Court, on August 6, ordered
the Government to cooperate with
the CBI probe and urgently share the
documents requested by the investigat-
ing agency. “It all appears to be part of
a concerted effort to dilute the case,”
complains a CBI official.
However, the CBI director thinks
the case can be salvaged. “The Gov-
ernment has not told us officially about
the missing files. We will wait till it tells
us or somehow gives us the files. In the
meantime, we will inform the Supreme
Court about the status of the case
on August 29 and wait for further
directions,” says Sinha.
In the scenario of CBI not getting the
files, the director says that it will try to
reconstruct them by tracing their
movement record and from other
records. CBI sources claim that even if
they do manage to reconstruct the
main components of the files—a long
and painstaking procedure—they will
never get the notings that may have
been put on the files to favour a partic-
ular person or company.
Of the total missing files, nearly 150
pertain to the 1993-2004 period in
which 45 coal blocks were allocated.
Other files relate to allocations bet-
ween 2006 and 2009, and with com-
munication among various ministries
and states. CBI sources claim that it
would be virtually impossible to sub-
stantiate allegations of misrepresenta-
tion of facts by the beneficiaries and
the favours given by the Government.
The files contain documents like
application forms, supporting docu-
ments, minutes of screening commit-
tee meetings, objections raised by offi-
cials and other records.
CBI says it is ready to investigate
whether the evidence has been wilfully
destroyed but for that the ministry has
to register an FIR. Jaiswal refused to
comment when contacted by INDIA
TODAY, saying that he would make a
statement in Parliament on August 22.
In an earlier statement in Rajya Sabha
on August 20, Jaiswal had said that he
had constituted an inter-ministerial
committee to look into the case of
the missing files. His explanation to a
news channel that files could not be lo-
cated since they were stacked verti-
cally, one on top of the other, is
laughable. Coal ministry officials were
reportedly in the process of placing
them horizontally to see what they
were all about. “Next we will have to
check the air quality in the coal min-
istry’s storage room. The minister will
say that it is too thin and makes files
disappear,” quips a senior leader of
the Opposition BJP.
The Coalgate case, for one, is
definitely under threat of disappearing
into thin air. ■
INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY
COALSCAM
NATION
NO ONE
STOLE
OUR COAL
As crucial coal allocation files go missing, the CBI case
on Coalgate is on the verge of falling apart
Commonwealth Games Crucial files went missing from
the Organising Committee office in December 2010. The files
contained important information on tendering, budgetary
allocations and contract details of the Queen’s Baton Relay and
the Rs 107-crore deal with a Swiss score-keeping firm.
Adarsh Housing Society Files regarding the Coastal
Regulation Zone norms clearance went missing from the
Ministry of Environment and Forests in May 2011. Earlier in
2010, files regarding clearances went missing from the
Defence Estates office and the Maharashtra Urban
Development Department.
2G case Afile containing crucial documents related to the
telecom policy of 1994, which allowed the entry of private
companies and introduced mobile telephony, went missing in
June 2011 from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
Also missing was a Cabinet note on the policy prepared by DoT
and papers related to its approval by the then Cabinet.
By Bhavna Vij-Aurora
PARVEEN NEGI/www.indiatodayimages.com
IFTHE FILES ARE NOT
FOUND, THE POWERFUL
ALLOTTEES LINKED TO
THE CONGRESS WILLBE
LETOFFTHE HOOK.
REUTERS
COALMINISTER
SRIPRAKASH
JAISWAL
CBI DIRECTOR
RANJITSINHA
CBI DIRECTOR
RANJITSINHA
22 23
liminary probe indicated the blast was
due to possible ignition of armament”.
Armed with torpedoes and missiles, the
submarine was fully fuelled and ready
to sail for patrol early next morning.
Former southern naval commander
Vice Admiral K.N. Sushil (retired) says
it is too early to conclude it sank due to
negligence. Evidence points to a blast in
an oxygen-fuelled torpedo, he says.
“The Navy must do a forensic examina-
tion to pinpoint the cause,” he adds.
What is worrying is that with each
warship loss, key maritime capabilities
are being lost. Sindhurakshak had re-
turned from Russia four months ago,
and after a two-and-a-half year refit,
was the Navy’s most potent conventio-
nal submarine. The frigate INS Vin-
dhyagiri was the only warship that
could control spy drones far out at sea.
Peacetime losses of warships are
not uncommon. Since the World War II,
the US Navy has lost 16 warships in
accidents. Russia’s nuclear submarine
Kursk sank in August 2000 after a
faulty torpedo exploded during a train-
ing exercise. But in case of the smaller
Indian Navy—it only has 30 frontline
warships and 14 submarines—they
point to a far disturbing trend, of
human rather than technical error.
Prahar and Vindhyagiri collided with
lumbering merchant vessels. INS
Agray was cut into half in 2004 when a
crew member tossed a misfired anti-
submarine rocket overboard (see box).
The spate of accidents comes at a
time when the fleet is expanding in both
size and complexity. Last year, the Navy
acquired INS Chakra, its first nuclear-
powered attack submarine, from Rus-
sia. It is set to induct its largest ship, the
44,000-tonne aircraft carrier INS Vik-
ramaditya, from Russia this year. For-
mer eastern naval commander Vice
Admiral A.K. Singh (retired) slams the
Government’s apathy. “The Navy is
using vessels long past their service
years of 25 and 30 years as the Gover-
nment doesn’t sanction new ones in
time,” he says.
Ageing ships alone do not explain
other accidents and collisions. Naval of-
ficials say there are a series of smaller
mishaps that point to Standard Oper-
ating Procedures (SOPs) not being fol-
lowed. The August 2009 collision of the
missile corvette INS Kuthar with de-
stroyer INS Ranvir in the Bay of Bengal
was traced to a rudder failure, com-
pounded by a flawed manoeuvre. In
2010, three crew men on destroyer INS
Mumbai were instantly killed when an
AK-630 Gatling gun went off as safety
drills were not followed. The subma-
rine INS Sindhughosh collided twice;
once with a fishing boat in 2006 and
once with a merchant vessel in 2007.
“The Navy has put in place multiple, in-
stitutionalised methods and proce-
dures towards enhancing safety,” a
naval spokesperson said, responding to
a questionnaire. “Each type of unit has
a Safety Class Authority that oversees
safety aspects and guides safety related
policy. On completion of major repairs,
all units undergo a safety audit, prior to
joining respective formations.”
“The problem is that we aren’t em-
powering our young officers,” admits a
senior naval officer, echoing what the
US navy blogger said. Experience lev-
els have suffered as there is a mismatch
between number of warships and offi-
cers. Each year, 60 captain-ranked of-
ficers vie for the command of 15-20
warships. “A decade ago, a captain got
two 18-month-long sea tenures, allow-
ing him to build up experience; today
he gets only one,” says a naval officer.
In 2006, then defence minister Pra-
nab Mukherjee pulled the Navy brass
up after a spate of accidents. Accidents
have however continued despite ‘safety
stand down’ procedures performed on
all warships every quarter, and court-
martials. INS Sindhurakshak’s tragic
loss is an urgent wake-up call. ■
SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY
I
n November 2011, the Indian Navy
was particularly incensed with what
a US naval lieutenant had posted on
a blog. The unnamed lieutenant,
who spent four days on destroyer INS
Delhi in the Arabian Sea as part of an
exchange programme, called the Ind-
ian crew “generally clueless”, with “al-
most zero seamanship skills”. It was a
long, harsh critique of what he saw on
the frontline warship. At the behest of
the Indian Navy, the blog was removed
soon after.
Did the blog touch a raw nerve?
Just 10 months earlier, the naval frigate
INS Vindhyagiri collided with a mer-
chant tanker in Mumbai harbour and
sank. It was the fourth time a warship
was completely written off in 23 years.
Since 1990, the Indian Navy has lost
one warship in peacetime every five
years. Since 2004, it has lost one naval
combatant every two years. Few global
navies have such a dubious record.
Five days after the August 14 explo-
sion destroyed INSSindhurakshak, kill-
ing 18 crew members, Defence Minister
A.K. Antony told Rajya Sabha that “pre-
INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013
NAVY
NATION
INS Sindhurakshak’s
destruction underlines a
growing trend of naval
warship losses, primarily
due to human error
Litany of Shame
Since 2004, the Navy has lost one
warship every two years, mostly
due to negligence, causing a
serious erosion in its capabilities
1990INS ANDAMAN
Sinks after leak in Bay of Bengal.
15 crew die. Commanding Officer
(CO) court-martialled.
2004INS AGRAY
Corvette sinks after faulty rocket
explodes near it. CO court-martialled.
Ship later rebuilt as patrol boat.
2006INS PRAHAR
Amissile corvette, it sinks after
night collision with merchant ship.
CO court-martialled.
2011INS VINDHYAGIRI
Frigate, drone control ship. Sinks
after daytime collision with merchant
ship. Inquiry in progress.
2013INS SINDHURAKSHAK
Frontline submarine. Explodes
and sinks in naval dockyard. 18
crew killed. Inquiry convened.
By Sandeep Unnithan
MISSILE CORVETTE
INS KUTHAR
(RIGHT) COLLIDES
WITH DESTROYER
INS RANVIRIN THE
BAYOFBENGALIN
AUGUST2009
MAYDAY
24 25
liminary probe indicated the blast was
due to possible ignition of armament”.
Armed with torpedoes and missiles, the
submarine was fully fuelled and ready
to sail for patrol early next morning.
Former southern naval commander
Vice Admiral K.N. Sushil (retired) says
it is too early to conclude it sank due to
negligence. Evidence points to a blast in
an oxygen-fuelled torpedo, he says.
“The Navy must do a forensic examina-
tion to pinpoint the cause,” he adds.
What is worrying is that with each
warship loss, key maritime capabilities
are being lost. Sindhurakshak had re-
turned from Russia four months ago,
and after a two-and-a-half year refit,
was the Navy’s most potent conventio-
nal submarine. The frigate INS Vin-
dhyagiri was the only warship that
could control spy drones far out at sea.
Peacetime losses of warships are
not uncommon. Since the World War II,
the US Navy has lost 16 warships in
accidents. Russia’s nuclear submarine
Kursk sank in August 2000 after a
faulty torpedo exploded during a train-
ing exercise. But in case of the smaller
Indian Navy—it only has 30 frontline
warships and 14 submarines—they
point to a far disturbing trend, of
human rather than technical error.
Prahar and Vindhyagiri collided with
lumbering merchant vessels. INS
Agray was cut into half in 2004 when a
crew member tossed a misfired anti-
submarine rocket overboard (see box).
The spate of accidents comes at a
time when the fleet is expanding in both
size and complexity. Last year, the Navy
acquired INS Chakra, its first nuclear-
powered attack submarine, from Rus-
sia. It is set to induct its largest ship, the
44,000-tonne aircraft carrier INS Vik-
ramaditya, from Russia this year. For-
mer eastern naval commander Vice
Admiral A.K. Singh (retired) slams the
Government’s apathy. “The Navy is
using vessels long past their service
years of 25 and 30 years as the Gover-
nment doesn’t sanction new ones in
time,” he says.
Ageing ships alone do not explain
other accidents and collisions. Naval of-
ficials say there are a series of smaller
mishaps that point to Standard Oper-
ating Procedures (SOPs) not being fol-
lowed. The August 2009 collision of the
missile corvette INS Kuthar with de-
stroyer INS Ranvir in the Bay of Bengal
was traced to a rudder failure, com-
pounded by a flawed manoeuvre. In
2010, three crew men on destroyer INS
Mumbai were instantly killed when an
AK-630 Gatling gun went off as safety
drills were not followed. The subma-
rine INS Sindhughosh collided twice;
once with a fishing boat in 2006 and
once with a merchant vessel in 2007.
“The Navy has put in place multiple, in-
stitutionalised methods and proce-
dures towards enhancing safety,” a
naval spokesperson said, responding to
a questionnaire. “Each type of unit has
a Safety Class Authority that oversees
safety aspects and guides safety related
policy. On completion of major repairs,
all units undergo a safety audit, prior to
joining respective formations.”
“The problem is that we aren’t em-
powering our young officers,” admits a
senior naval officer, echoing what the
US navy blogger said. Experience lev-
els have suffered as there is a mismatch
between number of warships and offi-
cers. Each year, 60 captain-ranked of-
ficers vie for the command of 15-20
warships. “A decade ago, a captain got
two 18-month-long sea tenures, allow-
ing him to build up experience; today
he gets only one,” says a naval officer.
In 2006, then defence minister Pra-
nab Mukherjee pulled the Navy brass
up after a spate of accidents. Accidents
have however continued despite ‘safety
stand down’ procedures performed on
all warships every quarter, and court-
martials. INS Sindhurakshak’s tragic
loss is an urgent wake-up call. ■
SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY
I
n November 2011, the Indian Navy
was particularly incensed with what
a US naval lieutenant had posted on
a blog. The unnamed lieutenant,
who spent four days on destroyer INS
Delhi in the Arabian Sea as part of an
exchange programme, called the Ind-
ian crew “generally clueless”, with “al-
most zero seamanship skills”. It was a
long, harsh critique of what he saw on
the frontline warship. At the behest of
the Indian Navy, the blog was removed
soon after.
Did the blog touch a raw nerve?
Just 10 months earlier, the naval frigate
INS Vindhyagiri collided with a mer-
chant tanker in Mumbai harbour and
sank. It was the fourth time a warship
was completely written off in 23 years.
Since 1990, the Indian Navy has lost
one warship in peacetime every five
years. Since 2004, it has lost one naval
combatant every two years. Few global
navies have such a dubious record.
Five days after the August 14 explo-
sion destroyed INSSindhurakshak, kill-
ing 18 crew members, Defence Minister
A.K. Antony told Rajya Sabha that “pre-
INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013
NAVY
NATION
INS Sindhurakshak’s
destruction underlines a
growing trend of naval
warship losses, primarily
due to human error
Litany of Shame
Since 2004, the Navy has lost one
warship every two years, mostly
due to negligence, causing a
serious erosion in its capabilities
1990INS ANDAMAN
Sinks after leak in Bay of Bengal.
15 crew die. Commanding Officer
(CO) court-martialled.
2004INS AGRAY
Corvette sinks after faulty rocket
explodes near it. CO court-martialled.
Ship later rebuilt as patrol boat.
2006INS PRAHAR
Amissile corvette, it sinks after
night collision with merchant ship.
CO court-martialled.
2011INS VINDHYAGIRI
Frigate, drone control ship. Sinks
after daytime collision with merchant
ship. Inquiry in progress.
2013INS SINDHURAKSHAK
Frontline submarine. Explodes
and sinks in naval dockyard. 18
crew killed. Inquiry convened.
By Sandeep Unnithan
MISSILE CORVETTE
INS KUTHAR
(RIGHT) COLLIDES
WITH DESTROYER
INS RANVIRIN THE
BAYOFBENGALIN
AUGUST2009
MAYDAY
24 25
Most vital signs of the macro and household eco nomy are in distress because of the continued
neglect by the doctors. Yet again, after 1991, Ind ia has landed itself in a man-made economic
The GDP growth rate
almost halved…
High MRP… …crushing EMIs… …increasing taxes… ..job & income losses… ...have squeezed spending
Exports have turned
around, rising 11% in July
Crude oil prices
are stable
Good monsoon and a
record foodgrain output
Wealth created by
Indian middle class in
real estate and gold
Higher food prices
translating to higher
income in rural India
Food prices have risen by 10.5%
every single year since 2006-7,
touching 16% in 2010-11
Steep hikes in real estate, educa-
tion and healthcare expense
Persistent interest rate hikes
squeezed already ination-hit
consumers
Real returns on bank deposits,
small savings and mutual funds
have been negative
fall in car sales between
April and July is only one
indicator of how uncertain
consumer is of spending
Number of services under service
tax doubled, rate increased to 12%
Higher education cess
imposed in addition to primary
education cess
over 4 million jobs
lost since 2010
Campus hiring to be
bleak in 2013-14
% annual change in real GDP at factor cost % annual change in Consumer Price Index- Industrial Workers
*
A
p
r
i
l
-
J
u
n
e
*As on Aug 21 Rupee against the dollar
Fiscal decit as % of GDP
As % of GDP
…and ination rate
almost doubled...
...Current account was left
to deteriorate...
…and rupee fell 17% in just 2 months...
...because Government
couldn’t control proigacy…
…investments came
to a halt...
...all this because of a
decade of no reforms
6.8
2006-07
9
2008-09
12.4
2009-10
10.7
2013-14*
4
2005-06
2.5
2007-8
6.5
2009-10
5.2
2012-13
9.5
2005-6
5
2013-14
9.3
2010-11
6.7
2008-9
Value and volume of
stalled projects have
risen 10 times and 7
times since 2009
Power, roads, telecom,
steel, mining and real
estate account for
80 per cent of stalled
projects
New projects in public
and private sector
have come to a near
standstill since the
end of 2010
Goods & Services
Tax–covering all
indirect taxes–
pending since 2005
New Direct Taxes
Code–covering all
direct taxes–pending
since 2006
Higher FDI in
insurance pending
since 2004
Not a single instance
of privatisation since
2004
THE MACRO ECONOMY
THE HOUSEHOLD ECONOMY
-9.7%
54.2
Jan ’13
54.4
Mar ’13
54.9
May ’13
59.7
Jul ’13
64.1
Aug ’13*
8.3
2011-12
T H E L I F E L I N E S
Source: RBI, MOSPI, Labour Bureau, Budget documents, SIAM
-2.7
2010-11
-1.1
2005-06
-2.4
2008-09
-4.8
Jan 2013
NATION
ECONOMY
Most vital signs of the macro and household eco nomy are in distress because of the continued
neglect by the doctors. Yet again, after 1991, Ind ia has landed itself in a man-made economic
The GDP growth rate
almost halved…
High MRP… …crushing EMIs… …increasing taxes… ..job & income losses… ...have squeezed spending
Exports have turned
around, rising 11% in July
Crude oil prices
are stable
Good monsoon and a
record foodgrain output
Wealth created by
Indian middle class in
real estate and gold
Higher food prices
translating to higher
income in rural India
Food prices have risen by 10.5%
every single year since 2006-7,
touching 16% in 2010-11
Steep hikes in real estate, educa-
tion and healthcare expense
Persistent interest rate hikes
squeezed already ination-hit
consumers
Real returns on bank deposits,
small savings and mutual funds
have been negative
fall in car sales between
April and July is only one
indicator of how uncertain
consumer is of spending
Number of services under service
tax doubled, rate increased to 12%
Higher education cess
imposed in addition to primary
education cess
over 4 million jobs
lost since 2010
Campus hiring to be
bleak in 2013-14
% annual change in real GDP at factor cost % annual change in Consumer Price Index- Industrial Workers
*
A
p
r
i
l
-
J
u
n
e
*As on Aug 21 Rupee against the dollar
Fiscal decit as % of GDP
As % of GDP
…and ination rate
almost doubled...
...Current account was left
to deteriorate...
…and rupee fell 17% in just 2 months...
...because Government
couldn’t control proigacy…
…investments came
to a halt...
...all this because of a
decade of no reforms
6.8
2006-07
9
2008-09
12.4
2009-10
10.7
2013-14*
4
2005-06
2.5
2007-8
6.5
2009-10
5.2
2012-13
9.5
2005-6
5
2013-14
9.3
2010-11
6.7
2008-9
Value and volume of
stalled projects have
risen 10 times and 7
times since 2009
Power, roads, telecom,
steel, mining and real
estate account for
80 per cent of stalled
projects
New projects in public
and private sector
have come to a near
standstill since the
end of 2010
Goods & Services
Tax–covering all
indirect taxes–
pending since 2005
New Direct Taxes
Code–covering all
direct taxes–pending
since 2006
Higher FDI in
insurance pending
since 2004
Not a single instance
of privatisation since
2004
THE MACRO ECONOMY
THE HOUSEHOLD ECONOMY
-9.7%
54.2
Jan ’13
54.4
Mar ’13
54.9
May ’13
59.7
Jul ’13
64.1
Aug ’13*
8.3
2011-12
T H E L I F E L I N E S
Source: RBI, MOSPI, Labour Bureau, Budget documents, SIAM
-2.7
2010-11
-1.1
2005-06
-2.4
2008-09
-4.8
Jan 2013
NATION
ECONOMY
INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY
THE BIG STORY
POLITICALCINEMA
REEL POLITICS
THE RISE OF
Aprime minister is assassinated. There’s a movement against apathy. An anti-terror
unit is trying to stop a daring attack. Three releases mark a new wave of political cinema.
T
he next few sentences are a work of fiction; the resemblance
to any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental. It’s the
early 1990s. A former Indian prime minister goes for a pre-
election rally to a small town in Tamil Nadu. As he arrives at
the bustling venue, he is beckoned by a young woman with
thick-rimmed glasses. She steps forward to garland him, and
bends to touch his feet. The woman, a Tamil separatist from Sri Lanka,
presses two buttons—one on her back, and one on her stomach. There is
a massive explosion. The former prime minister is assassinated. His white
sports shoes have streaks of blood on them.
This scene is the central plot around which Shoojit Sircar’s Madras
Cafe, which released on August 23, is constructed. The film comes with a
work-of-fiction disclaimer in bold letters but everyone involved in its mak-
ing, and anyone who watches it, immediately knows it is about Rajiv
Gandhi’s assassination at Sriperumbudur on May 21, 1991. The creators
give the former prime minister no name, referring to him as “ex-PM”. In
one scene, his shawl is tucked under the right shoulder in Rajiv’s signa-
ture style. Protests against the film have started already, but one way to
look at Madras Cafe is as a Bollywood landmark: A film that dares to de-
pict a recent political incident involving a national leader, and to tackle a
real story, even if in the garb of fiction. One could even call it a trailblazer,
paving the way for modern-day political cinema in a country famous for
its intolerance to mundane onscreen portrayals.
THE ‘EX-PM’ATHIS LASTRALLY
MINUTES BEFORE HE IS KILLED,
IN ASTILLFROM MADRAS CAFE
AN UNNAMED TAMILBOMBER, RESEMBLING LTTE ASSASSIN DHANU, WAITS TO GARLAND
THE ‘EX-PM’ATA10 P.M. RALLYIN ATOWN IN TAMILNADU, IN ASTILLFROM MADRAS CAFE
By Kunal Pradhan
28 29
INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY
THE BIG STORY
POLITICALCINEMA
REEL POLITICS
THE RISE OF
Aprime minister is assassinated. There’s a movement against apathy. An anti-terror
unit is trying to stop a daring attack. Three releases mark a new wave of political cinema.
T
he next few sentences are a work of fiction; the resemblance
to any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental. It’s the
early 1990s. A former Indian prime minister goes for a pre-
election rally to a small town in Tamil Nadu. As he arrives at
the bustling venue, he is beckoned by a young woman with
thick-rimmed glasses. She steps forward to garland him, and
bends to touch his feet. The woman, a Tamil separatist from Sri Lanka,
presses two buttons—one on her back, and one on her stomach. There is
a massive explosion. The former prime minister is assassinated. His white
sports shoes have streaks of blood on them.
This scene is the central plot around which Shoojit Sircar’s Madras
Cafe, which released on August 23, is constructed. The film comes with a
work-of-fiction disclaimer in bold letters but everyone involved in its mak-
ing, and anyone who watches it, immediately knows it is about Rajiv
Gandhi’s assassination at Sriperumbudur on May 21, 1991. The creators
give the former prime minister no name, referring to him as “ex-PM”. In
one scene, his shawl is tucked under the right shoulder in Rajiv’s signa-
ture style. Protests against the film have started already, but one way to
look at Madras Cafe is as a Bollywood landmark: A film that dares to de-
pict a recent political incident involving a national leader, and to tackle a
real story, even if in the garb of fiction. One could even call it a trailblazer,
paving the way for modern-day political cinema in a country famous for
its intolerance to mundane onscreen portrayals.
THE ‘EX-PM’ATHIS LASTRALLY
MINUTES BEFORE HE IS KILLED,
IN ASTILLFROM MADRAS CAFE
AN UNNAMED TAMILBOMBER, RESEMBLING LTTE ASSASSIN DHANU, WAITS TO GARLAND
THE ‘EX-PM’ATA10 P.M. RALLYIN ATOWN IN TAMILNADU, IN ASTILLFROM MADRAS CAFE
By Kunal Pradhan
28 29
Madras Cafe comes at an interest-
ing time for the Hindi entertainment
industry. Prakash Jha’s Satyagraha,
an Amitabh Bachchan and Ajay
Devgn starrer that loosely mirrors the
peoples’ movement sparked by Anna
Hazare in 2011 and the Delhi gang-
rape agitation in 2012, will hit the-
atres on August 30. The film is about
a young corporate professional and
an idealistic older man who join forces
to fight against corruption and gov-
ernment apathy. It will be followed in
mid-September by 24, a slick new TV
series in which a Mumbai anti-terror
chief, played by Anil Kapoor, will try
to save a young prime minister from a
deadly assassin over the course of 24
nail-biting hours. Its first episode re-
veals that the young prime minister’s
father was killed by separatists. His
mother is his political caretaker. His
sister, also in politics, is walking the
thin line between her family legacy
and an errant husband. Viewers are
free to draw their own parallels.
S
o, one would think the time has
finally come for more Hindi
movies and TV serials to take the
plunge into uncharted territory. To
pick up where the socio-political cin-
ema of the 1950s and 1960s had left
off. But in reality, the gap between
Bollywood and realistic political dra-
mas is still extremely wide.
It took Sircar, 46, the director of
Yahaan(2005) and Vicky Donor (2012),
seven years to make Madras Cafe.
Apart from 18 months of meticulous
Internet fact-finding and book-reading
to decipher the twists and turns of the
Tamil conflict by a dedicated research
team that included co-producer
Ronnie Lahiri, the list of problems was
long. Big production houses didn’t
want to touch the script for fear of a
political backlash, and distributors
were shying away because of all the
pre-release hassles they expected from
the censors. The film was finally made
by Sircar’s own production company,
Rising Sun, and by lead actor John
Abraham, who managed to convince
Viacom 18 to get on board. Originally
titled Jaffna, it was granted a U/A cer-
tificate by India’s Central Board of Film
Certification (CBFC).
But political parties such as
Vaiko’s MDMK and S. Ramadoss’s PMK
are now asking for it to be banned.
Film director and activist Sebastian
Seeman, founder of Naaam Thamiz-
har Katchi (We Tamils Party) is alleg-
ing that it has been financed by Sri
Lankan President Mahinda Raja-
paksa. Though the film doesn’t take
any stance on what is right or wrong,
operating on the principle that one
man’s terrorist is another’s freedom
fighter, a group of pro-Tamil activists
who were given a placatory preview
show on August 19 left the theatre
saying it is “nauseatingly anti-Tamil”.
Madras Cafe stars Abraham as an
Army officer running covert ops for
the Indian government’s Research &
Analysis Wing (RAW) with former quiz-
master Siddhartha Basu as RAW chief,
Ajay Rathnam as head of the Sri Lan-
kan Tamil Tigers, Nargis Fakhri as an
NRI reporter covering the conflict,
Prakash Belawadi as the head of RAW’S
Chennai desk, Piyush Pandey as cabi-
net secretary and former Aaj Tak jour-
nalist Dibang as an informer. It takes
the viewer on tiny steamboats, on lo-
cal buses tottering on coconut-lined
roads and into the heart of the jungle
where the Lankan Tamil Force chief
Anna Bhaskaran barks out orders
from under his bushy moustache. “We
never set out to make a political state-
ment. This is an espionage thriller per-
haps inspired by reality. We must start
accepting that mainstream cinema
will discuss such issues,” says Sircar.
“Why are we so easily offended? Isn’t
3 INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY 3
T
he killing of former prime minis-
ter Rajiv Gandhi at Sriperum-
budur, Tamil Nadu, on May 21,
1991, was brutal and sensational be-
cause it used a new tactic, a female
suicide bomber. The case would have
remained unsolved but for a photog-
rapher accidentally killed in the blast,
hired by LTTE to shoot pictures of the
assassination for its chief, V. Prabha-
karan. His camera had pictures of the
assassins. Madras Café revives cons-
piracy theories—primarily that LTTE
was working for powerful people and
foreign agencies. In the movie, they
are referred to as Guruji and Reed.
The theories seem to put the murder
in the same league as the assassina-
tions of Pakistan’s General Zia-ul-Haq
and US President John F. Kennedy.
Since November 1998, CBI’s Multi-Dis-
ciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA)
has probed conspiracy theories raised
by the Jain Commission report. Some
of the film’s plot follows real events:
RAWhad precise intelligence about the
Rajiv Gandhi assassination.
RAW was completely in the dark about
Rajiv Gandhi being in Prabhakaran’s
crosshairs. It is corroborated by RAW’S
former head of counter-terrorism, the
late B. Raman, in his 2007 book Kao-
boys of R&AW. Prabhakaran’s visceral
hatred for Rajiv was possibly moti-
vated by at least three unsuccessful
Indian Army raids to nab the LTTE chief
during 1987-91, one of which the film
shows. RAW also tried to marginalise
him by propping up his deputy Mahen-
drarajah, alias Mahathaya (later exe-
cuted by Prabhakaran), and backing
other groups like the Tamil National
Army, all captured in the film.
LTTE was working for foreign powers.
MDMAhas not been able to disprove this
so far. K. Ragothaman, formerly in
MDMA, says it’s unlikely that LTTE
worked as contract killers, and that
there is evidence to prove that its chief
Prabhakaran authorised the assassina-
tion. In his 2012 book Conspiracy to kill
Rajiv Gandhi, he says LTTE deliberately
planted stories about their innocence.
Selvarasa Pathmanathan, alias ‘KP’ (called
Rajasekharan in Madras Café), the former
LTTE overseas arms procurement chief,
knewthe truth about the conspiracy.
A petition filed in Madras High Court by
a retired SIT inspector J. Mohanraj says
KP knows the truth about a larger con-
spiracy to kill Rajiv. Pathmanathan, the
seniormost former LTTE leader alive,
now works for the Sri Lankan govern-
ment. He was questioned by MDMA in
2010 and 2011, and told them the kill-
ing was masterminded by Prabhaka-
ran and his spy chief Pottu Amman.
Godman Chandraswami was involved.
MDMA has been unable to find any evi-
dence to link the godman to the assas-
sination, though the film indicates it.
Chandraswami was said to be close to
two former prime ministers, including
P.V. Narasimha Rao. His involvement
was hinted at by the Jain Commission
report. Subramanian Swamy alleges
the Jain Commission was appointed to
link Narasimha Rao to the conspiracy.
International spyagencies were involved in
the killing of the former prime minister.
The names of CIA and Israel’s Mossad
were mentioned in connection with the
assassination. In case of CIA, it had to do
with a CNN report that was mistakenly
thought to have been filmed on the day
Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated. This
was verified by MDMA members who vis-
ited the CNN headquarters in Atlanta.
Yasser Arafat warned Rajiv of a plot.
In April 1991, the PLO chairman sent an
emissary to Rajiv to warn him of a plot
to kill him. MDMA official N.K. Datta met
Arafat in the late 1990s, but he didn’t re-
veal his sources.
by Sandeep Unnithan
The Rajiv Gandhi assassination case is yet to unravel
AProbe Without End
RAJIVGANDHI
MOMENTS BEFORE
HIS ASSASSINATION
ARJUN RAMPAL (LEFT), AMITABH BACHCHAN
(CENTRE) AND AJAYDEVGN LEAD APROTESTIN
ASCENE FROM SATYAGRAHA, REMINISCENT
OFTHE DELHI GANG-RAPE AGITATION
GETTYIMAGES
THE BIG STORY
POLITICALCINEMA
0 1
Madras Cafe comes at an interest-
ing time for the Hindi entertainment
industry. Prakash Jha’s Satyagraha,
an Amitabh Bachchan and Ajay
Devgn starrer that loosely mirrors the
peoples’ movement sparked by Anna
Hazare in 2011 and the Delhi gang-
rape agitation in 2012, will hit the-
atres on August 30. The film is about
a young corporate professional and
an idealistic older man who join forces
to fight against corruption and gov-
ernment apathy. It will be followed in
mid-September by 24, a slick new TV
series in which a Mumbai anti-terror
chief, played by Anil Kapoor, will try
to save a young prime minister from a
deadly assassin over the course of 24
nail-biting hours. Its first episode re-
veals that the young prime minister’s
father was killed by separatists. His
mother is his political caretaker. His
sister, also in politics, is walking the
thin line between her family legacy
and an errant husband. Viewers are
free to draw their own parallels.
S
o, one would think the time has
finally come for more Hindi
movies and TV serials to take the
plunge into uncharted territory. To
pick up where the socio-political cin-
ema of the 1950s and 1960s had left
off. But in reality, the gap between
Bollywood and realistic political dra-
mas is still extremely wide.
It took Sircar, 46, the director of
Yahaan(2005) and Vicky Donor (2012),
seven years to make Madras Cafe.
Apart from 18 months of meticulous
Internet fact-finding and book-reading
to decipher the twists and turns of the
Tamil conflict by a dedicated research
team that included co-producer
Ronnie Lahiri, the list of problems was
long. Big production houses didn’t
want to touch the script for fear of a
political backlash, and distributors
were shying away because of all the
pre-release hassles they expected from
the censors. The film was finally made
by Sircar’s own production company,
Rising Sun, and by lead actor John
Abraham, who managed to convince
Viacom 18 to get on board. Originally
titled Jaffna, it was granted a U/A cer-
tificate by India’s Central Board of Film
Certification (CBFC).
But political parties such as
Vaiko’s MDMK and S. Ramadoss’s PMK
are now asking for it to be banned.
Film director and activist Sebastian
Seeman, founder of Naaam Thamiz-
har Katchi (We Tamils Party) is alleg-
ing that it has been financed by Sri
Lankan President Mahinda Raja-
paksa. Though the film doesn’t take
any stance on what is right or wrong,
operating on the principle that one
man’s terrorist is another’s freedom
fighter, a group of pro-Tamil activists
who were given a placatory preview
show on August 19 left the theatre
saying it is “nauseatingly anti-Tamil”.
Madras Cafe stars Abraham as an
Army officer running covert ops for
the Indian government’s Research &
Analysis Wing (RAW) with former quiz-
master Siddhartha Basu as RAW chief,
Ajay Rathnam as head of the Sri Lan-
kan Tamil Tigers, Nargis Fakhri as an
NRI reporter covering the conflict,
Prakash Belawadi as the head of RAW’S
Chennai desk, Piyush Pandey as cabi-
net secretary and former Aaj Tak jour-
nalist Dibang as an informer. It takes
the viewer on tiny steamboats, on lo-
cal buses tottering on coconut-lined
roads and into the heart of the jungle
where the Lankan Tamil Force chief
Anna Bhaskaran barks out orders
from under his bushy moustache. “We
never set out to make a political state-
ment. This is an espionage thriller per-
haps inspired by reality. We must start
accepting that mainstream cinema
will discuss such issues,” says Sircar.
“Why are we so easily offended? Isn’t
3 INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY 3
T
he killing of former prime minis-
ter Rajiv Gandhi at Sriperum-
budur, Tamil Nadu, on May 21,
1991, was brutal and sensational be-
cause it used a new tactic, a female
suicide bomber. The case would have
remained unsolved but for a photog-
rapher accidentally killed in the blast,
hired by LTTE to shoot pictures of the
assassination for its chief, V. Prabha-
karan. His camera had pictures of the
assassins. Madras Café revives cons-
piracy theories—primarily that LTTE
was working for powerful people and
foreign agencies. In the movie, they
are referred to as Guruji and Reed.
The theories seem to put the murder
in the same league as the assassina-
tions of Pakistan’s General Zia-ul-Haq
and US President John F. Kennedy.
Since November 1998, CBI’s Multi-Dis-
ciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA)
has probed conspiracy theories raised
by the Jain Commission report. Some
of the film’s plot follows real events:
RAWhad precise intelligence about the
Rajiv Gandhi assassination.
RAW was completely in the dark about
Rajiv Gandhi being in Prabhakaran’s
crosshairs. It is corroborated by RAW’S
former head of counter-terrorism, the
late B. Raman, in his 2007 book Kao-
boys of R&AW. Prabhakaran’s visceral
hatred for Rajiv was possibly moti-
vated by at least three unsuccessful
Indian Army raids to nab the LTTE chief
during 1987-91, one of which the film
shows. RAW also tried to marginalise
him by propping up his deputy Mahen-
drarajah, alias Mahathaya (later exe-
cuted by Prabhakaran), and backing
other groups like the Tamil National
Army, all captured in the film.
LTTE was working for foreign powers.
MDMAhas not been able to disprove this
so far. K. Ragothaman, formerly in
MDMA, says it’s unlikely that LTTE
worked as contract killers, and that
there is evidence to prove that its chief
Prabhakaran authorised the assassina-
tion. In his 2012 book Conspiracy to kill
Rajiv Gandhi, he says LTTE deliberately
planted stories about their innocence.
Selvarasa Pathmanathan, alias ‘KP’ (called
Rajasekharan in Madras Café), the former
LTTE overseas arms procurement chief,
knewthe truth about the conspiracy.
A petition filed in Madras High Court by
a retired SIT inspector J. Mohanraj says
KP knows the truth about a larger con-
spiracy to kill Rajiv. Pathmanathan, the
seniormost former LTTE leader alive,
now works for the Sri Lankan govern-
ment. He was questioned by MDMA in
2010 and 2011, and told them the kill-
ing was masterminded by Prabhaka-
ran and his spy chief Pottu Amman.
Godman Chandraswami was involved.
MDMA has been unable to find any evi-
dence to link the godman to the assas-
sination, though the film indicates it.
Chandraswami was said to be close to
two former prime ministers, including
P.V. Narasimha Rao. His involvement
was hinted at by the Jain Commission
report. Subramanian Swamy alleges
the Jain Commission was appointed to
link Narasimha Rao to the conspiracy.
International spyagencies were involved in
the killing of the former prime minister.
The names of CIA and Israel’s Mossad
were mentioned in connection with the
assassination. In case of CIA, it had to do
with a CNN report that was mistakenly
thought to have been filmed on the day
Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated. This
was verified by MDMA members who vis-
ited the CNN headquarters in Atlanta.
Yasser Arafat warned Rajiv of a plot.
In April 1991, the PLO chairman sent an
emissary to Rajiv to warn him of a plot
to kill him. MDMA official N.K. Datta met
Arafat in the late 1990s, but he didn’t re-
veal his sources.
by Sandeep Unnithan
The Rajiv Gandhi assassination case is yet to unravel
AProbe Without End
RAJIVGANDHI
MOMENTS BEFORE
HIS ASSASSINATION
ARJUN RAMPAL (LEFT), AMITABH BACHCHAN
(CENTRE) AND AJAYDEVGN LEAD APROTESTIN
ASCENE FROM SATYAGRAHA, REMINISCENT
OFTHE DELHI GANG-RAPE AGITATION
GETTYIMAGES
THE BIG STORY
POLITICALCINEMA
0 1
art meant to depict the real world?”
Abhinay Deo, 43, director of 24, an
American franchise show for Colors
also starring Anupam Kher, Shabana
Azmi, Tisca Chopra and Anita Raaj
that is set to transform Indian televi-
sion, asks a series of similarly relevant
questions. “Isn’t it time we also gave
our TV audiences something different
from women working in the kitchen in
gold jewellery? Something that is pro-
gressive, believable, aspirational, and
entertaining? Something that popu-
lates the new India they actually live
in—both socially and politically?”
S
itting in his intricately designed
Lokhandwala, Mumbai office—
with swinging half-doors and wooden
desks—Prakash Jha is happy to look
back at a life spent making films set in
a political milieu. He speaks eagerly of
his early works, Damul (1985) and
Parinati (1989). Jha, 61, sees himself
as the lone chronicler of modern
Indian political history. He claims his
films change with changing times,
capturing political trends before any-
one else can. “You want to know why
we don’t make enough political films
in India?” he asks, almost combat-
ively. “Who is going to make them?
Our film industry is unaware of the
ground realities of Indian politics.” As
a child, Jha, born in West Champaran
into a zamindar family, saw labourers
being publicly flogged for small mis-
takes. He contested two Lok Sabha
elections, in 2004 and 2009, and says
there is pressure to throw his hat in
the ring once again in 2014. There is
little doubt that he knows a thing or
two about realpolitik and political the-
ory, but Jha can also be accused of not
being true to his earlier works in his
post-1997 avatar. He is slammed by
some critics for trading realism for
box-office success; for diluting his sto-
ries with Bollywood must-haves, such
as item songs and love stories, which
give his films a certain sameness.
“I don’t see the entry of regular
Bollywood themes in my films as a
compromise but as an evolution. Over
the years, I’ve changed as a film-
maker. Actors are happy to work with
INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013
Prakash Jha, director of Satyagraha,
and the film’s lead actor Amitabh
Bachchan talk about how the paucity
of political films in India is linked with
increasing intolerance and hyper-
sensitivity in the country, in a candid
session moderated by Deputy Editor
Kunal Pradhan. Excerpts:
India Today (IT) Why are hardly any
political films made in the country, at
least for mass audiences?
Amitabh Bachchan There has always
been hesitancy, either personally
from the maker or the censors, to
name people or parties though there
are documentaries that have done it.
IT Isn’t this self-inflicted? Can’t the in-
dustry tell political parties they have
no business censoring content?
Bachchan I shouldn’t be saying it but
I will: People have become so sensi-
tive in India that every little thing
pricks them. They feel that because
it’s a sensitive issue, they’re going to
get prominence by speaking about it.
Sometimes political parties bring up
issues. They say you can’t say this or
show this, and producers are com-
pelled to comply for the sake of the re-
lease of the film. To buy peace, to
avoid time being wasted, it’s some-
thing we have to bear with.
IT Prakash Jha, while your early films
were undiluted, why do they now
contain Bollywood must-haves such
as item songs and love stories?
Prakash Jha What governs my story-
telling is that it should be palatable
for a larger commercial audience. A
dry, political, analytical film will never
be interesting unless you personalise
the issue. An Indian audience expects
poetic justice in two-and-a-half hours,
and you need to give it. That’s the gram-
mar I keep trying to learn and pushing
my content as best as possible.
IT What makes the story of Satyagraha
relevant to today’s India?
Bachchan The story is not just about a
satyagraha, it’s about a father and a
son. A father who lost a son, and a son
who is seeking a father. The son has no
problem with greed, in fact he gets his
incentive from it. The father, being a
school principal, is more moralistic. The
film is about how the two come together
for a cause when they realise that the
system, which is supposed to be deliver-
ing, is not doing its job. That’s when peo-
ple come together to remind the system,
through peaceful means, that it is mea-
nt to serve us.
IT Does the film harness the energy of
the Anna Hazare movement and the
Delhi gang-rape agitation?
Jha It draws a lot from the energy of
young generation of India. The Anna
movement had a leader to rally around,
though the autocratic manner in which
the movement was led may have led to
its fall. But how people connected after
the gang rape was different. One SMS led
to Tahrir Square. Here also there was
one sms and the youth came out, not
worrying about the bitter cold or water
cannon or lathis. The Delhi gang-rape
agitation was the most important mass
political statement in recent times made
by Young India.
IT A lot of these movements start off
peacefully but turn violent. How impor-
tant is Mahatma Gandhi’s idea of satya-
graha at such a time?
Bachchan Gandhi was a leader who had
strong beliefs and strong views on how
people must behave. Even when there
was violent action against them, his
diktat was to bear the lathis and not
retaliate. That sentiment has to be in-
culcated in people.
IT Does your experience in politics in
the 1980s, Mr Bachchan, and in 2004
and 2009, Mr Jha, help you find mate-
rial for a film such as this?
Bachchan I usually don’t connect what
I’ve been through personally with my
films because this is a world of make-
believe. But we notice things around us,
and perhaps something comes up that
pricks that little conscience. You discuss
it with the maker and say, ‘I have been
through this. Do you think we can put it
in the film?’
Jha I never had any political ambition. I
just wanted that job (of an MP). I believe
it gives you great resources to bring
prosperity to your region. The only
qualification for the job I applied for is
winning an election. I couldn’t do it.
That was the end of that.
IT We are at the threshold of a very
important General Election. Will your
film make people think about issues
that affect it?
Bachchan To say that cinema is going to
add or subtract from an election, I
don’t know. But if there is a single grain
of inspiration that the young generation
can find in this film, it will be more
than welcome.
Jha The young generation has found a
medium where it can multiply its voice.
It’s impact will only grow. As my protag-
onist says in the film, “Tum apne gusse
ko badle ki bhavna mein barbaad mat
karo, isse kranti mein badal dalo (Don’t
use your anger for revenge, convert it
into a revolution).”
My film draws energy from the
young generation of India.They
came out, not worrying about the
bitter cold or water cannon or
lathis.The Delhi gang-rape
agitation was the most important
mass political statement in re-
cent times made byYoung India.
If there is a single grain
of inspiration that the
young generation can
find in this film, it will be
more than welcome.
CONVERSATION
People have become so sensitive in
India that every little thing pricks them.
—Amitabh Bachchan
—Prakash Jha
—Amitabh Bachchan
THE BIG STORY
POLITICALCINEMA
ROHITCHAWLA
PRAKASH JHAAND
AMITABH BACHCHAN
32
art meant to depict the real world?”
Abhinay Deo, 43, director of 24, an
American franchise show for Colors
also starring Anupam Kher, Shabana
Azmi, Tisca Chopra and Anita Raaj
that is set to transform Indian televi-
sion, asks a series of similarly relevant
questions. “Isn’t it time we also gave
our TV audiences something different
from women working in the kitchen in
gold jewellery? Something that is pro-
gressive, believable, aspirational, and
entertaining? Something that popu-
lates the new India they actually live
in—both socially and politically?”
S
itting in his intricately designed
Lokhandwala, Mumbai office—
with swinging half-doors and wooden
desks—Prakash Jha is happy to look
back at a life spent making films set in
a political milieu. He speaks eagerly of
his early works, Damul (1985) and
Parinati (1989). Jha, 61, sees himself
as the lone chronicler of modern
Indian political history. He claims his
films change with changing times,
capturing political trends before any-
one else can. “You want to know why
we don’t make enough political films
in India?” he asks, almost combat-
ively. “Who is going to make them?
Our film industry is unaware of the
ground realities of Indian politics.” As
a child, Jha, born in West Champaran
into a zamindar family, saw labourers
being publicly flogged for small mis-
takes. He contested two Lok Sabha
elections, in 2004 and 2009, and says
there is pressure to throw his hat in
the ring once again in 2014. There is
little doubt that he knows a thing or
two about realpolitik and political the-
ory, but Jha can also be accused of not
being true to his earlier works in his
post-1997 avatar. He is slammed by
some critics for trading realism for
box-office success; for diluting his sto-
ries with Bollywood must-haves, such
as item songs and love stories, which
give his films a certain sameness.
“I don’t see the entry of regular
Bollywood themes in my films as a
compromise but as an evolution. Over
the years, I’ve changed as a film-
maker. Actors are happy to work with
INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013
Prakash Jha, director of Satyagraha,
and the film’s lead actor Amitabh
Bachchan talk about how the paucity
of political films in India is linked with
increasing intolerance and hyper-
sensitivity in the country, in a candid
session moderated by Deputy Editor
Kunal Pradhan. Excerpts:
India Today (IT) Why are hardly any
political films made in the country, at
least for mass audiences?
Amitabh Bachchan There has always
been hesitancy, either personally
from the maker or the censors, to
name people or parties though there
are documentaries that have done it.
IT Isn’t this self-inflicted? Can’t the in-
dustry tell political parties they have
no business censoring content?
Bachchan I shouldn’t be saying it but
I will: People have become so sensi-
tive in India that every little thing
pricks them. They feel that because
it’s a sensitive issue, they’re going to
get prominence by speaking about it.
Sometimes political parties bring up
issues. They say you can’t say this or
show this, and producers are com-
pelled to comply for the sake of the re-
lease of the film. To buy peace, to
avoid time being wasted, it’s some-
thing we have to bear with.
IT Prakash Jha, while your early films
were undiluted, why do they now
contain Bollywood must-haves such
as item songs and love stories?
Prakash Jha What governs my story-
telling is that it should be palatable
for a larger commercial audience. A
dry, political, analytical film will never
be interesting unless you personalise
the issue. An Indian audience expects
poetic justice in two-and-a-half hours,
and you need to give it. That’s the gram-
mar I keep trying to learn and pushing
my content as best as possible.
IT What makes the story of Satyagraha
relevant to today’s India?
Bachchan The story is not just about a
satyagraha, it’s about a father and a
son. A father who lost a son, and a son
who is seeking a father. The son has no
problem with greed, in fact he gets his
incentive from it. The father, being a
school principal, is more moralistic. The
film is about how the two come together
for a cause when they realise that the
system, which is supposed to be deliver-
ing, is not doing its job. That’s when peo-
ple come together to remind the system,
through peaceful means, that it is mea-
nt to serve us.
IT Does the film harness the energy of
the Anna Hazare movement and the
Delhi gang-rape agitation?
Jha It draws a lot from the energy of
young generation of India. The Anna
movement had a leader to rally around,
though the autocratic manner in which
the movement was led may have led to
its fall. But how people connected after
the gang rape was different. One SMS led
to Tahrir Square. Here also there was
one sms and the youth came out, not
worrying about the bitter cold or water
cannon or lathis. The Delhi gang-rape
agitation was the most important mass
political statement in recent times made
by Young India.
IT A lot of these movements start off
peacefully but turn violent. How impor-
tant is Mahatma Gandhi’s idea of satya-
graha at such a time?
Bachchan Gandhi was a leader who had
strong beliefs and strong views on how
people must behave. Even when there
was violent action against them, his
diktat was to bear the lathis and not
retaliate. That sentiment has to be in-
culcated in people.
IT Does your experience in politics in
the 1980s, Mr Bachchan, and in 2004
and 2009, Mr Jha, help you find mate-
rial for a film such as this?
Bachchan I usually don’t connect what
I’ve been through personally with my
films because this is a world of make-
believe. But we notice things around us,
and perhaps something comes up that
pricks that little conscience. You discuss
it with the maker and say, ‘I have been
through this. Do you think we can put it
in the film?’
Jha I never had any political ambition. I
just wanted that job (of an MP). I believe
it gives you great resources to bring
prosperity to your region. The only
qualification for the job I applied for is
winning an election. I couldn’t do it.
That was the end of that.
IT We are at the threshold of a very
important General Election. Will your
film make people think about issues
that affect it?
Bachchan To say that cinema is going to
add or subtract from an election, I
don’t know. But if there is a single grain
of inspiration that the young generation
can find in this film, it will be more
than welcome.
Jha The young generation has found a
medium where it can multiply its voice.
It’s impact will only grow. As my protag-
onist says in the film, “Tum apne gusse
ko badle ki bhavna mein barbaad mat
karo, isse kranti mein badal dalo (Don’t
use your anger for revenge, convert it
into a revolution).”
My film draws energy from the
young generation of India.They
came out, not worrying about the
bitter cold or water cannon or
lathis.The Delhi gang-rape
agitation was the most important
mass political statement in re-
cent times made byYoung India.
If there is a single grain
of inspiration that the
young generation can
find in this film, it will be
more than welcome.
CONVERSATION
People have become so sensitive in
India that every little thing pricks them.
—Amitabh Bachchan
—Prakash Jha
—Amitabh Bachchan
THE BIG STORY
POLITICALCINEMA
ROHITCHAWLA
PRAKASH JHAAND
AMITABH BACHCHAN
32
INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013
me because my films do well while
saying something,” Jha contends. His
box-office-success-plus-social-mess-
age combination is like manna from
heaven for most stars. It’s good for
them to have a Prakash Jha stamp on
their resumes.
“When we took on Satyagraha,
the idea was to make a film that
would be entertaining. That it is set
in a political environment, as most of
Prakash Jha’s films are, comes after
that,” says Siddharth Roy Kapur, CEO
of Disney-UTV. Roy Kapur is getting
second looks from most of the other
patrons in a roadside coffee shop in
Khar, Mumbai. A couple of them, with
film ideas of their own, even try to ac-
cost him to set up a meeting.
Dressed in jeans and a loose shirt,
Roy Kapur concedes that instead of
cinema becoming more open, it’s get-
ting more claustrophobic in some re-
spects. “I was watching a scene from
Amar Akbar Anthony (1977) the
other day. Rishi Kapoor is singing the
Pardah hai song on stage, and some
women in the audience raise their
burqas to show him their faces. My
first thought was, ‘We wouldn’t be
able to show this any longer’. Nor
would we be able to make a film titled
Ram Teri Ganga Maili (1985) because
of the religious and, by extension, po-
litical connotations,” he says. “It’s sad
but true. The pre-release protests
and danger of a ban are not worth it.”
Pre-release problems had dogged
Kamal Haasan’s 2013 spy thriller
Vishwaroopam, after Muslim groups
protested that its depiction of Islam
was derogatory. It was finally relea-
sed a week later in Tamil Nadu. Tamil
actor Vijay’s film Thalaiva was
caught in similar turmoil in the state
on allegations that it had incendiary
political content, though the agitators
had not seen the film. A rise-of-the-
common-man film, it was released 11
days late on August 20, after Chief
Minister J. Jayalalithaa intervened.
D
irector Rahul Dholakia, a for-
mer NRI who took on the might
of the Gujarat government in his
National Award-winning Parzania
(2005), counters that the film indus-
try’s problems are self-inflicted. “If
our industry unites and says we will
release a film without any cuts once
the censors have passed it, do you
think the political class will be able to
stand up to all of us?” he asks. “We’ve
made a habit of bending. There is
hardly any political cinema in the
country because we rarely have the
conviction to stand by what we be-
lieve in. We’re getting lost in our race
for Rs 100-crore collections. Cinema
is meant to be contrarian and anti-
establishment but our filmmakers
buckle at the first sign of adversity.”
Dholakia had been unable to find
any production house to back Par-
zania, which contests the Narendra
Modi-led Gujarat government’s ex-
planation of the 2002 riots. The
initial funding for the film, a mere
Rs 1.5 crore given the scale of mod-
ern Bollywood cinema, was put up
by him and two of his friends. The
stars, Naseeruddin Shah and Sarika,
had worked for almost nothing.
“The first instinct when someone
tries to make a political film is to sti-
fle them. I couldn’t even find a distrib-
utor. We released it with money from
our own pockets.”
Dholakia’s 2009 film Lamhaa, set
in Kashmir, got a wider release on
the back of his national award. He
is now returning to Gujarat for his
next film, which will star Shah Rukh
Khan. Ask whether working with a
big star means he, too, has decided
to soften the tenor and message
of his films, and Dholakia smiles.
“Not at all. I wrote the role for him.
You’ll be surprised when the film
comes out.”
He is among a handful of filmmak-
ers fighting for the right to freely
interpret modern political events.
“We’re still a long way from where
Hollywood or other world cinema
is on that front,” agrees Roy Kapur.
But with three projects on political
themes coming out within a month,
an effort is being made to bring down
the barricades.
with J. Binduraj
To watch Amitabh Bachchan
and Prakash Jha in conversation
with Kunal Pradhan, tap on your
iPad edition
24’s ANTI-TERROR UNITCHIEFJAI SINGH RATHOD,
PLAYED BYANILKAPOOR (LEFT), WHO IS TRYING TO
SAVE THE ‘PM’ (RIGHT) FROM ADEADLYASSASSIN
24’s ANTI-TERROR UNITCHIEFJAI SINGH RATHOD,
PLAYED BYANILKAPOOR (LEFT), WHO IS TRYING TO
SAVE THE ‘PM’ (RIGHT) FROM ADEADLYASSASSIN
34
SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013
PERVEZMUSHARRAF
SPECIALREPORT
The stage is set for Pervez Musharraf to be tried for the killing of Benazir Bhutto
H
igh on his popularity on
social media (Facebook
‘likes’ and Twitter follow-
ers) and misled by party
workers that Pakistanis
wanted him to come back, General
(retired) Pervez Musharraf returned
to a country he once ruled.
That act of hubris has landed him
in the dock for murder. On August 20,
Musharraf was indicted by an anti-
terrorism court in Rawalpindi for the
December 27, 2007 assassination of
two-time prime minister Benazir
Bhutto. “He was charged with mur-
der, criminal conspiracy for murder
and facilitation of murder,” Public
Prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar told AFP.
Musharraf’s farmhouse in Chak
Shahzad on Islamabad’s outskirts
was declared a sub-jail by the courts.
Gossip is, he lives a comfortable life
there. He watches TV, reads newspa-
pers, smokes cigars, drinks Scotch
every evening and is in touch with the
world. Pakistani political prisoners
have never seen such luxury.
Time is another luxury the gen-
eral has. His indictment means a trial
will now start, but it may take years
to conclude, depending on factors
such as the interest of the govern-
ment, judiciary and the army. While
it is unprecedented for a former head
of state, especially a former military
dictator, to appear in the dock for
crimes he may have committed,
Musharraf’s indictment seems sym-
bolic rather than concrete. Some be-
lieve that once Chief Justice Iftikhar
By Mehmal Sarfraz
PERVEZMUSHARRAFON HIS WAYTO AKARACHI COURTIN MARCH 2013
DECLINE AND FALL
OFTHE
GENERAL
REUTERS
AP
36 37
SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013
PERVEZMUSHARRAF
SPECIALREPORT
The stage is set for Pervez Musharraf to be tried for the killing of Benazir Bhutto
H
igh on his popularity on
social media (Facebook
‘likes’ and Twitter follow-
ers) and misled by party
workers that Pakistanis
wanted him to come back, General
(retired) Pervez Musharraf returned
to a country he once ruled.
That act of hubris has landed him
in the dock for murder. On August 20,
Musharraf was indicted by an anti-
terrorism court in Rawalpindi for the
December 27, 2007 assassination of
two-time prime minister Benazir
Bhutto. “He was charged with mur-
der, criminal conspiracy for murder
and facilitation of murder,” Public
Prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar told AFP.
Musharraf’s farmhouse in Chak
Shahzad on Islamabad’s outskirts
was declared a sub-jail by the courts.
Gossip is, he lives a comfortable life
there. He watches TV, reads newspa-
pers, smokes cigars, drinks Scotch
every evening and is in touch with the
world. Pakistani political prisoners
have never seen such luxury.
Time is another luxury the gen-
eral has. His indictment means a trial
will now start, but it may take years
to conclude, depending on factors
such as the interest of the govern-
ment, judiciary and the army. While
it is unprecedented for a former head
of state, especially a former military
dictator, to appear in the dock for
crimes he may have committed,
Musharraf’s indictment seems sym-
bolic rather than concrete. Some be-
lieve that once Chief Justice Iftikhar
By Mehmal Sarfraz
PERVEZMUSHARRAFON HIS WAYTO AKARACHI COURTIN MARCH 2013
DECLINE AND FALL
OFTHE
GENERAL
REUTERS
AP
36 37
Chaudhry retires this December, the
Musharraf trial will go cold.
While it remains difficult to prove
Musharraf’s direct culpability in the
murder of Benazir, there is little doubt
he played cat and mouse with her secu-
rity, creating an environment for a high-
risk person such as her to be attacked.
Director of Human Rights Watch (HRW),
Pakistan, Ali Dayan Hasan, says that
between October 18 and December 27,
2007, he was in regular contact with
Benazir, who expressed fears for her life
and told him that Musharraf was using
security, or the lack thereof, as an in-
strument of political blackmail.
Musharraf believed, and still does,
in his self-created myth that he is the
only man who can ‘save’ Pakistan.
Some call him delusional, others ego-
maniacal, but his megalomania cannot
hide the bitter reality that he is now in
the dock. When he returned from exile
on March 24 this year, only a few hun-
dred people, mostly from the media,
greeted him at the airport. Sources say
he was furious with his party, the All
Pakistan Muslim League (APML), for not
mobilising thousands. Not only were
his ambitions to run for Parliament in
the 2013 polls thwarted by the courts,
each of the three charges he is now fac-
ing can give him life imprisonment.
But human rights activist and polit-
ical analyst Marvi Sirmed believes
what Musharraf is going through is lit-
tle compared to what he had done to
Pakistan. “With his double-game in the
war on terror, he landed the country
in an abysmal mess.” Sirmed says
while he did dismantle ISI’S Afghan wing
and ‘cleaned’ the army of pro-Taliban
elements in 2001-02, he kept support-
ing extremist religious elements
throughout his nine-year rule. “His fall
was more of a showdown between the
MI (Military Intelligence) and ISI of the
Pakistan Army,” says Sirmed.
Fawad Chaudhry, lawyer and for-
mer member of Musharraf’s political
party, is of the view the case against
Musharraf is untenable legally. Fawad
represented Musharraf in Benazir’s
murder case in the past and has gone
through the evidence against him. “It is
a fact that Mohtarma (Benazir) was as-
sassinated on the orders of Tehrik-i-
Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Baitullah
Mehsud. The same group was involved
in attacks on Musharraf. To say he was
collaborating with people who tried to
kill him is not plausible.” Fawad be-
lieves that non-provision of security is
an issue across the country and no one
can ensure fool-proof security. From a
legal point of view, the president is not
even responsible for security.
Apart from Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, no
state functionary in Pakistan has ever
been held personally responsible for
state decisions that led to the assassina-
tion of political leaders. Zulfikar was
tried and executed in 1979 for a mur-
der committed by the Federal Security
Force (FSF) because the FSFhead had de-
posed that Zulfikar had ordered the
killing of Nawab Muhammad Ahmad
Khan Kasuri.
W
hen notable leaders of
Benazir’s Pakistan Peoples
Party (PPP) were contacted, none was
ready to come on record. Unofficially,
some of them say PPP will be a party to
this trial, but this has not yet been ef-
fected into policy. There is no doubt PPP
leaders would like to see Benazir’s
killers punished, but it seems the party
is waiting to see how hard the PML-N
government pushes the case, how far
the courts are willing to go, and what
the military eventually does. No one
wants to confront the army. The PPP
leadership is unwilling to stick their
necks out when, in essence, the party
did its job by collecting evidence over
the last five years, when it was in
power. It seems unlikely that PPP will
put pressure on the Nawaz Sharif gov-
ernment to pursue this case when it
didn’t push for it during its own tenure.
During his poll campaign, Sharif
had said if he came to power, he would
try Musharraf under Article 6 for high
treason. Now that he is in power, he
can’t go back on his words for fear of
public backlash. But analysts think that
while Sharif believes in tilting the bal-
ance in favour of civilians in civil-mili-
tary relations, he would be unwise
to take on the army in Musharraf’s
case. Both PML-N and the judiciary are
well aware of the consequences of step-
ping on the army’s toes. Sharif’s gov-
ernment was toppled in 1999 by
General Musharraf in a military coup,
while Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry
was deposed by him in 2007.
Many now wonder where the mili-
tary stands on Musharraf’s return, and
on the cases being pursued against
him. So far, the armed forces have kept
quiet on the issue in public, but pri-
vately, the military is unhappy. Mushar-
raf’s protégé and current army chief,
General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, report-
edly asked the ex-dictator’s mother to
persuade her son to leave Pakistan
when he returned. Apart from security
threats to Musharraf’s life, his return
can damage the military’s image of
non-interference in the political pro-
cess since Kayani became army chief.
There are also whispers that those pur-
suing the cases are being given a mes-
sage from some powerful quarters not
to cross a line. PPP Chairman Bilawal
Bhutto-Zardari tweeted on August 20:
“The night before the chief prosecutor
was assassinated, he told someone at
the Bar he had enough evidence to
hang Mush (Musharraf). The next day,
his security was withdrawn by the
caretaker set-up and he was assassi-
nated.” Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali, the Fed-
eral Investigation Agency (FIA) prose-
cutor Bilawal referred to, was assassi-
nated in May 2013. Academic and polit-
ical commentator Ayesha Siddiqa says
that some lawyers who threw stones at
Musharraf when he appeared in court
a few days before Eid were reportedly
abducted and tortured. When the
judges were told about it, they did noth-
ing. “It may be that the army is sending
a message: Don’t cross a line,” says
Siddiqa. Once submission of evidence
starts, Siddiqa does not see anyone in-
dicting Musharraf, as bureaucrats may
not give evidence against him.
It is widely believed that Musharraf
will be allowed to leave Pakistan, but
without any amnesty or written deal.
Ironically, Saudi Arabia’s ruling family
—who interceded with Musharraf to
free Sharif in 1999—is now doing the
same with Sharif for Musharraf. A
humbling role reversal. ■
INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013
PERVEZMUSHARRAF
SPECIALREPORT
Musharraf’s culpability
in Benazir’s murder
may be hard to prove,
but there’s no doubt he
played cat and mouse
with her security.
FORMER PAKISTANI PRIME MINISTER BENAZIR
BHUTTO MINUTES BEFORE SHE WAS ASSASSI-
NATED IN RAWALPINDI IN DECEMBER 2007
ADICTATOR’SDESCENT
power in a bloodless
coup. Exiles former
prime minister Nawaz
Sharif in 2000.
Benazir Bhutto
assassinated at
political rallyin
Rawalpindi.
in parliamentaryelections.
Newgovernment, led by
PPP’s Yousuf Raza Gilani as
prime minister, is set up.
from standing in
parliamentarypolls
because of pending
court cases.
on the orders of
the court. Remains
imprisoned in his
farm in ChakShahzad
near Islamabad.
after four-year self-imposed exile in
London and Dubai, to contest the May
parliamentaryelections.
Emergencyimposed in November.
DEC 2007
LIFTS
DEC 27,
2007
FEB 2008
PML-Q DEFEATED
APR 16, 2013
BARRED
APR 19, 2013
ARRESTED
MAR 24, 2013
RETURNS
MAR 2007
SUSPENDS
OCT-NOV2007
WINS
in connection with the
2007 assassination of
Benazir Bhutto.
OCT1999
SEIZES
APR 18, 2013
FLEES
AUG 20, 2013
INDICTED
Chief Justice Ifti-
khar M. Chaudhry,
triggers nation-
wide protests.
presidential poll.
court, fearing arrest.
GETTYIMAGES
GraphicbyRAHULAWASTHI/www.indiatodayimages.com
Pakistan’s former dictator General Pervez Musharraf
has gonefromabsolutepow er to absolute powerlessness
NEW
38
Chaudhry retires this December, the
Musharraf trial will go cold.
While it remains difficult to prove
Musharraf’s direct culpability in the
murder of Benazir, there is little doubt
he played cat and mouse with her secu-
rity, creating an environment for a high-
risk person such as her to be attacked.
Director of Human Rights Watch (HRW),
Pakistan, Ali Dayan Hasan, says that
between October 18 and December 27,
2007, he was in regular contact with
Benazir, who expressed fears for her life
and told him that Musharraf was using
security, or the lack thereof, as an in-
strument of political blackmail.
Musharraf believed, and still does,
in his self-created myth that he is the
only man who can ‘save’ Pakistan.
Some call him delusional, others ego-
maniacal, but his megalomania cannot
hide the bitter reality that he is now in
the dock. When he returned from exile
on March 24 this year, only a few hun-
dred people, mostly from the media,
greeted him at the airport. Sources say
he was furious with his party, the All
Pakistan Muslim League (APML), for not
mobilising thousands. Not only were
his ambitions to run for Parliament in
the 2013 polls thwarted by the courts,
each of the three charges he is now fac-
ing can give him life imprisonment.
But human rights activist and polit-
ical analyst Marvi Sirmed believes
what Musharraf is going through is lit-
tle compared to what he had done to
Pakistan. “With his double-game in the
war on terror, he landed the country
in an abysmal mess.” Sirmed says
while he did dismantle ISI’S Afghan wing
and ‘cleaned’ the army of pro-Taliban
elements in 2001-02, he kept support-
ing extremist religious elements
throughout his nine-year rule. “His fall
was more of a showdown between the
MI (Military Intelligence) and ISI of the
Pakistan Army,” says Sirmed.
Fawad Chaudhry, lawyer and for-
mer member of Musharraf’s political
party, is of the view the case against
Musharraf is untenable legally. Fawad
represented Musharraf in Benazir’s
murder case in the past and has gone
through the evidence against him. “It is
a fact that Mohtarma (Benazir) was as-
sassinated on the orders of Tehrik-i-
Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Baitullah
Mehsud. The same group was involved
in attacks on Musharraf. To say he was
collaborating with people who tried to
kill him is not plausible.” Fawad be-
lieves that non-provision of security is
an issue across the country and no one
can ensure fool-proof security. From a
legal point of view, the president is not
even responsible for security.
Apart from Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, no
state functionary in Pakistan has ever
been held personally responsible for
state decisions that led to the assassina-
tion of political leaders. Zulfikar was
tried and executed in 1979 for a mur-
der committed by the Federal Security
Force (FSF) because the FSFhead had de-
posed that Zulfikar had ordered the
killing of Nawab Muhammad Ahmad
Khan Kasuri.
W
hen notable leaders of
Benazir’s Pakistan Peoples
Party (PPP) were contacted, none was
ready to come on record. Unofficially,
some of them say PPP will be a party to
this trial, but this has not yet been ef-
fected into policy. There is no doubt PPP
leaders would like to see Benazir’s
killers punished, but it seems the party
is waiting to see how hard the PML-N
government pushes the case, how far
the courts are willing to go, and what
the military eventually does. No one
wants to confront the army. The PPP
leadership is unwilling to stick their
necks out when, in essence, the party
did its job by collecting evidence over
the last five years, when it was in
power. It seems unlikely that PPP will
put pressure on the Nawaz Sharif gov-
ernment to pursue this case when it
didn’t push for it during its own tenure.
During his poll campaign, Sharif
had said if he came to power, he would
try Musharraf under Article 6 for high
treason. Now that he is in power, he
can’t go back on his words for fear of
public backlash. But analysts think that
while Sharif believes in tilting the bal-
ance in favour of civilians in civil-mili-
tary relations, he would be unwise
to take on the army in Musharraf’s
case. Both PML-N and the judiciary are
well aware of the consequences of step-
ping on the army’s toes. Sharif’s gov-
ernment was toppled in 1999 by
General Musharraf in a military coup,
while Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry
was deposed by him in 2007.
Many now wonder where the mili-
tary stands on Musharraf’s return, and
on the cases being pursued against
him. So far, the armed forces have kept
quiet on the issue in public, but pri-
vately, the military is unhappy. Mushar-
raf’s protégé and current army chief,
General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, report-
edly asked the ex-dictator’s mother to
persuade her son to leave Pakistan
when he returned. Apart from security
threats to Musharraf’s life, his return
can damage the military’s image of
non-interference in the political pro-
cess since Kayani became army chief.
There are also whispers that those pur-
suing the cases are being given a mes-
sage from some powerful quarters not
to cross a line. PPP Chairman Bilawal
Bhutto-Zardari tweeted on August 20:
“The night before the chief prosecutor
was assassinated, he told someone at
the Bar he had enough evidence to
hang Mush (Musharraf). The next day,
his security was withdrawn by the
caretaker set-up and he was assassi-
nated.” Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali, the Fed-
eral Investigation Agency (FIA) prose-
cutor Bilawal referred to, was assassi-
nated in May 2013. Academic and polit-
ical commentator Ayesha Siddiqa says
that some lawyers who threw stones at
Musharraf when he appeared in court
a few days before Eid were reportedly
abducted and tortured. When the
judges were told about it, they did noth-
ing. “It may be that the army is sending
a message: Don’t cross a line,” says
Siddiqa. Once submission of evidence
starts, Siddiqa does not see anyone in-
dicting Musharraf, as bureaucrats may
not give evidence against him.
It is widely believed that Musharraf
will be allowed to leave Pakistan, but
without any amnesty or written deal.
Ironically, Saudi Arabia’s ruling family
—who interceded with Musharraf to
free Sharif in 1999—is now doing the
same with Sharif for Musharraf. A
humbling role reversal. ■
INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013
PERVEZMUSHARRAF
SPECIALREPORT
Musharraf’s culpability
in Benazir’s murder
may be hard to prove,
but there’s no doubt he
played cat and mouse
with her security.
FORMER PAKISTANI PRIME MINISTER BENAZIR
BHUTTO MINUTES BEFORE SHE WAS ASSASSI-
NATED IN RAWALPINDI IN DECEMBER 2007
ADICTATOR’SDESCENT
power in a bloodless
coup. Exiles former
prime minister Nawaz
Sharif in 2000.
Benazir Bhutto
assassinated at
political rallyin
Rawalpindi.
in parliamentaryelections.
Newgovernment, led by
PPP’s Yousuf Raza Gilani as
prime minister, is set up.
from standing in
parliamentarypolls
because of pending
court cases.
on the orders of
the court. Remains
imprisoned in his
farm in ChakShahzad
near Islamabad.
after four-year self-imposed exile in
London and Dubai, to contest the May
parliamentaryelections.
Emergencyimposed in November.
DEC 2007
LIFTS
DEC 27,
2007
FEB 2008
PML-Q DEFEATED
APR 16, 2013
BARRED
APR 19, 2013
ARRESTED
MAR 24, 2013
RETURNS
MAR 2007
SUSPENDS
OCT-NOV2007
WINS
in connection with the
2007 assassination of
Benazir Bhutto.
OCT1999
SEIZES
APR 18, 2013
FLEES
AUG 20, 2013
INDICTED
Chief Justice Ifti-
khar M. Chaudhry,
triggers nation-
wide protests.
presidential poll.
court, fearing arrest.
GETTYIMAGES
GraphicbyRAHULAWASTHI/www.indiatodayimages.com
Pakistan’s former dictator General Pervez Musharraf
has gonefromabsolutepow er to absolute powerlessness
NEW
38
4 INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013
TECHNOLOGY
CRICKET
SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY 4
DHONI’S
VIRTUAL
TRIUMPH
Adedicated team of 45 technologically
accomplished backroom boys helps Team
India hit troublesome opponents for a six
R
ight through the sixth
edition of the Indian
Premier League (IPL) this
April, Chris Gayle was
blurring the lines of regional ri-
valry that the league had worked
so hard to create. As he blasted
his way to 175 not out against
Pune Warriors on April 23, the
chorus of appreciation led by his
Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli
was joined by some of the oppo-
sition players and fans. But even
as he was turning out to be the
toast of the season, Team India’s
analytics team was concentrat-
ing on the problem that lay
ahead. In less than two weeks
after IPL, Team India would have
to face Gayle in the Champions
Trophy in England, and they
wanted to be ready for him.
With fingers flying on their
laptops, the techies, who work
as the national team’s brain
trust, put together a plan. Bhuv-
neshwar Kumar was the only
bowler who had escaped Gayle’s
wrath in IPL, and Team India’s
data scientists began looking for,
through patterns and visual data
modules, why Gayle had been
unable to get him away. Their
finding was that Gayle had prob-
lems hitting in the air against
bowlers who were quicker than
140 kmph, compared to medium-
pacers who bowled in the late
120s and mid-130s. They also
found that he had a problem early
in his innings against pitched-up
deliveries that swung away.
When the teams finally met at
the Oval on June 11, Gayle was
dismissed for an 18-ball 21.
Bhuvneshwar had the left-han-
der caught at slip with an away-
going ball. Back in the dressing
room, the team’s video analyst
Dhananjaya pumped his fist.
Mission accomplished.
There may be several reasons
behind Team India’s Champions
Trophy victory, and their ODI
World Champions tag. One of
them is the insight they get from
a group of 45 techies working
for SportsMechanics, which fun-
ctions from a nondescript single-
storey office in Chennai’s Besant
Nagar area. These analysts have
given M.S. Dhoni’s team exclu-
sive use of a unique predictive
engine, the Real-time Decision
Support System (RDSS), which al-
lows them to forecast a winning
score in any given situation, and
provides five different ways to
get to that target. In simple
terms, it tells the team how they
should tackle each bowler by
studying patterns and predicting
how they are likely to behave in
the rest of the match.
The researchers have found,
for instance, that Pakistan off-
spinner Saeed Ajmal bowls three
doosras in almost every over, and
if no boundary has been con-
ceded in the first five deliveries,
the last delivery is almost cer-
tainly the one that goes away.
They have also discovered that
Sri Lankan paceman Lasith
Malinga bowls three full deliver-
ies every over, and have advised
the Indian batsmen that a short
back-lift helps while dealing with
his toe-crushing yorkers.
Malinga’s career stats tell the
tale. The fast bowler has an ODI
career economy rate of 5.07 and
an average of 26.3 runs per
wicket, but against India,
Malinga’s economy rate shoots up
to 6.02 and average to 42.47.
Kohli and Dhoni have a strike rate
of 111 and 117 runs per 100 balls
respectively against him.
Dhananjaya, who took over as
analyst just when Dhoni was ap-
pointed skipper in
2007, says the
Indian captain
keenly uses tech-
nological inputs in
all his decisions. “He listens to
whatever I have to tell him. He
then takes a call based on that,”
Dhananjaya says. Subramanian
Ramakrishnan, the founder of
SportsMechanics—the firm that
also works with the International
Cricket Council, Asian Cricket
Council, and the Sri Lankan
and Bangladesh cricket boards—
says: “Videos and data analysis
was earlier used in post-mortem
meetings but now it’s used in real-
time. We have also started to
marry a players’ gut feeling with
an analytical layer.”
“For example,” he adds, “If
Shikhar Dhawan feels that 150
runs is a par score and our engine
says it’s 180, we ask the team
which option they want to go for.
Then we give the team five ways
to approach both par scores.
Given the bowler and the opposi-
tion, we tell them what our sys-
tem thinks is the best way to
approach the target. Video ana-
lyst is an old term. We are per-
formance facilitators.”
Video analysis first started in
the late 1990s, when footage of the
first and last day of a training
camp was compared to monitor
improvements. Soon it developed
into a day-to-day affair where live
matches were analysed to find the
weakness of opposition players. It
was in 2007 that the analytics
started to become more tactical
than technical. Team India’s back-
end staff started coming up with
complex algorithms that could
gauge how an opponent would
react to a given situation.
But interpreting visuals and
data alone is not sufficient. The
most important part is delivering
it to players in a manner that is
accessible. This is done through
apps delivered through a fiercely
protected gateway to which each
player is given a login and pass-
word that is changed frequently.
“Some players like to try out what
we tell them in the nets before
agreeing, and some review our
suggestions with their personal
coaches,” says Ramakrishnan.
Video analysis has come a
long way since 2003, when
Sachin Tendulkar had asked,
“What is the guy with a laptop
doing in the dressing room?”
Work has already begun on the
all-important tour of South Africa
in November. The ongoing India
A series in South Africa is likely to
add crucial clues pertaining to
conditions. Ask Ramakrishnan
about how Team India is plan-
ning to tackle pace spearheads
Dale Steyn and Mornie Morkel,
and he gives you nothing more
than a smile: “It’s classified.” ■
By G.S. Vivek
Howanalytics helped sort
out fearsome opponents
BIG GUNS SILENCED
SAEED AJMAL
Pakistani off-spinner
ProblemIndian bats-
men had problems
picking his doosraand
gifted away wickets.
Video analysis
Study revealed that he
always bowled three
doosras in an over, and
the last delivery was
often a doosra.
During Pakistan’s
tour to India in
December 2012,
batsmen were able
to pick the doosras
and neutralise his
wicket-taking ability.
SECRET’S OUT
CHRIS GAYLE
West Indian opener
ProblemBig hitter of
the ball, an absolute
match-winner.
Video analysis
Was susceptible to
bowlers clocking over
140 kmph, and strug-
gled with outswingers
early in his innings.
In England’s
seaming conditions,
during the 2013
Champions Trophy,
Bhuvneshwar Kumar
got Gayle’s wicket,
caught at first slip,
with an outswinger.
NICK IN TIME
GRAEME
SMITH
South African opener
ProblemBest
opener in world
cricket, gets big
scores once he
settles in.
Video analysisTeam
India found he had
problems playing the
cover-drive, and that
he struggled against
left-arm bowlers.
Left-armer Zaheer
Khan got Smith’s
crucial wicket in
the 2011 World
Cup. He also
dismissed Smith
six times in
nine Tests.
ZAHEER’S BUNNY
LASITH
MALINGA
Sri Lankan fast bowler
ProblemSlinging
action.
Video analysis
Batsmen were
advised to crouch
and expect yorkers
during end overs.
Team India has
learnt to tackle his
yorkers. M.S. Dhoni
has a strike rate
of 117
against
him.
THE HITJOB
S
A
U
R
A
B
H
S
I
N
G
H
/
w
w
w
.
in
d
ia
t
o
d
a
y
im
a
g
e
s
.
c
o
m
0 1
4 INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013
TECHNOLOGY
CRICKET
SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY 4
DHONI’S
VIRTUAL
TRIUMPH
Adedicated team of 45 technologically
accomplished backroom boys helps Team
India hit troublesome opponents for a six
R
ight through the sixth
edition of the Indian
Premier League (IPL) this
April, Chris Gayle was
blurring the lines of regional ri-
valry that the league had worked
so hard to create. As he blasted
his way to 175 not out against
Pune Warriors on April 23, the
chorus of appreciation led by his
Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli
was joined by some of the oppo-
sition players and fans. But even
as he was turning out to be the
toast of the season, Team India’s
analytics team was concentrat-
ing on the problem that lay
ahead. In less than two weeks
after IPL, Team India would have
to face Gayle in the Champions
Trophy in England, and they
wanted to be ready for him.
With fingers flying on their
laptops, the techies, who work
as the national team’s brain
trust, put together a plan. Bhuv-
neshwar Kumar was the only
bowler who had escaped Gayle’s
wrath in IPL, and Team India’s
data scientists began looking for,
through patterns and visual data
modules, why Gayle had been
unable to get him away. Their
finding was that Gayle had prob-
lems hitting in the air against
bowlers who were quicker than
140 kmph, compared to medium-
pacers who bowled in the late
120s and mid-130s. They also
found that he had a problem early
in his innings against pitched-up
deliveries that swung away.
When the teams finally met at
the Oval on June 11, Gayle was
dismissed for an 18-ball 21.
Bhuvneshwar had the left-han-
der caught at slip with an away-
going ball. Back in the dressing
room, the team’s video analyst
Dhananjaya pumped his fist.
Mission accomplished.
There may be several reasons
behind Team India’s Champions
Trophy victory, and their ODI
World Champions tag. One of
them is the insight they get from
a group of 45 techies working
for SportsMechanics, which fun-
ctions from a nondescript single-
storey office in Chennai’s Besant
Nagar area. These analysts have
given M.S. Dhoni’s team exclu-
sive use of a unique predictive
engine, the Real-time Decision
Support System (RDSS), which al-
lows them to forecast a winning
score in any given situation, and
provides five different ways to
get to that target. In simple
terms, it tells the team how they
should tackle each bowler by
studying patterns and predicting
how they are likely to behave in
the rest of the match.
The researchers have found,
for instance, that Pakistan off-
spinner Saeed Ajmal bowls three
doosras in almost every over, and
if no boundary has been con-
ceded in the first five deliveries,
the last delivery is almost cer-
tainly the one that goes away.
They have also discovered that
Sri Lankan paceman Lasith
Malinga bowls three full deliver-
ies every over, and have advised
the Indian batsmen that a short
back-lift helps while dealing with
his toe-crushing yorkers.
Malinga’s career stats tell the
tale. The fast bowler has an ODI
career economy rate of 5.07 and
an average of 26.3 runs per
wicket, but against India,
Malinga’s economy rate shoots up
to 6.02 and average to 42.47.
Kohli and Dhoni have a strike rate
of 111 and 117 runs per 100 balls
respectively against him.
Dhananjaya, who took over as
analyst just when Dhoni was ap-
pointed skipper in
2007, says the
Indian captain
keenly uses tech-
nological inputs in
all his decisions. “He listens to
whatever I have to tell him. He
then takes a call based on that,”
Dhananjaya says. Subramanian
Ramakrishnan, the founder of
SportsMechanics—the firm that
also works with the International
Cricket Council, Asian Cricket
Council, and the Sri Lankan
and Bangladesh cricket boards—
says: “Videos and data analysis
was earlier used in post-mortem
meetings but now it’s used in real-
time. We have also started to
marry a players’ gut feeling with
an analytical layer.”
“For example,” he adds, “If
Shikhar Dhawan feels that 150
runs is a par score and our engine
says it’s 180, we ask the team
which option they want to go for.
Then we give the team five ways
to approach both par scores.
Given the bowler and the opposi-
tion, we tell them what our sys-
tem thinks is the best way to
approach the target. Video ana-
lyst is an old term. We are per-
formance facilitators.”
Video analysis first started in
the late 1990s, when footage of the
first and last day of a training
camp was compared to monitor
improvements. Soon it developed
into a day-to-day affair where live
matches were analysed to find the
weakness of opposition players. It
was in 2007 that the analytics
started to become more tactical
than technical. Team India’s back-
end staff started coming up with
complex algorithms that could
gauge how an opponent would
react to a given situation.
But interpreting visuals and
data alone is not sufficient. The
most important part is delivering
it to players in a manner that is
accessible. This is done through
apps delivered through a fiercely
protected gateway to which each
player is given a login and pass-
word that is changed frequently.
“Some players like to try out what
we tell them in the nets before
agreeing, and some review our
suggestions with their personal
coaches,” says Ramakrishnan.
Video analysis has come a
long way since 2003, when
Sachin Tendulkar had asked,
“What is the guy with a laptop
doing in the dressing room?”
Work has already begun on the
all-important tour of South Africa
in November. The ongoing India
A series in South Africa is likely to
add crucial clues pertaining to
conditions. Ask Ramakrishnan
about how Team India is plan-
ning to tackle pace spearheads
Dale Steyn and Mornie Morkel,
and he gives you nothing more
than a smile: “It’s classified.” ■
By G.S. Vivek
Howanalytics helped sort
out fearsome opponents
BIG GUNS SILENCED
SAEED AJMAL
Pakistani off-spinner
ProblemIndian bats-
men had problems
picking his doosraand
gifted away wickets.
Video analysis
Study revealed that he
always bowled three
doosras in an over, and
the last delivery was
often a doosra.
During Pakistan’s
tour to India in
December 2012,
batsmen were able
to pick the doosras
and neutralise his
wicket-taking ability.
SECRET’S OUT
CHRIS GAYLE
West Indian opener
ProblemBig hitter of
the ball, an absolute
match-winner.
Video analysis
Was susceptible to
bowlers clocking over
140 kmph, and strug-
gled with outswingers
early in his innings.
In England’s
seaming conditions,
during the 2013
Champions Trophy,
Bhuvneshwar Kumar
got Gayle’s wicket,
caught at first slip,
with an outswinger.
NICK IN TIME
GRAEME
SMITH
South African opener
ProblemBest
opener in world
cricket, gets big
scores once he
settles in.
Video analysisTeam
India found he had
problems playing the
cover-drive, and that
he struggled against
left-arm bowlers.
Left-armer Zaheer
Khan got Smith’s
crucial wicket in
the 2011 World
Cup. He also
dismissed Smith
six times in
nine Tests.
ZAHEER’S BUNNY
LASITH
MALINGA
Sri Lankan fast bowler
ProblemSlinging
action.
Video analysis
Batsmen were
advised to crouch
and expect yorkers
during end overs.
Team India has
learnt to tackle his
yorkers. M.S. Dhoni
has a strike rate
of 117
against
him.
THE HITJOB
S
A
U
R
A
B
H
S
I
N
G
H
/
w
w
w
.
in
d
ia
t
o
d
a
y
im
a
g
e
s
.
c
o
m
0 1
life, access to energy-dense foods at
later stages coupled with sedentary
habits leads to changes in body compo-
sition, especially with respect to fat
deposition, insulin resistance and diet-
related chronic diseases. Deficiencies
of micronutrients such as vitamin B
and omega fatty acids can exaggerate
dysfunction and disorders.
Vitamins and minerals are neces-
sary for regulatory function in the body,
for efficient energy metabolism and for
other functions such as cognition, im-
munity and reproduction. Nearly one in
three in India is affected by one or more
micronutrient deficiency. Periodic sur-
veys carried out by the National
Nutrition Monitoring Bureau during
the past 10 years show that our diets
are inadequate and deficient in many
known micronutrients such as zinc, fo-
late, vitamins B6, B2,B12, D and B.
The three most prevalent micronu-
trient deficiencies that Indians suffer
are iron, iodine and vitamin A deficien-
cies. “What is needed is better access to
a variety of affordable micronutrient-
rich vegetables, nutrition education,
better sanitation and easy access to
medical care,” says Dr C. Gopalan,
president, Nutrition Society of India.
Dr K. Madhavan Nair, deputy director
of National Institute of Nutrition (NIN)
adds, “Regular consumption of a vari-
ety of foods should be ensured to satisfy
our requirement for micronutrients. It
is imperative that our regular diet must
contain elements from at least eight
food groups: Cereals and millets,
pulses, leafy vegetables, fruits, fish
and meat, milk and milk products,
nuts and vegetable oils.”
Experts say that time has
come when the authorities con-
cerned should focus on the
quality of food supplied and
not just the quantity. “Food
processing in India is a frag-
mented industry involving
many small entrepreneurs.
The key issues are quality of
the food products and pau-
city of sophisticated tech-
nology,” says NIN Director
Dr Kalpagam Polasa.
When it comes to health,
one more factor plaguing In-
dians is the availability of cle-
an and safe drinking water.
As Vikas Shah, COO, US-head-
quartered Water Health Inter-
national, says, “In India, the
major focus of government contin-
ues to be on the availability of water
and not the quality of water. The scale
of this problem has overwhelmed many
a state government.” Vitamin D defi-
ciency due to inadequate exposure to
sunlight
is another problem Indians are in-
creasingly facing.
Nutrition remains a primary con-
cern in India and the medical profes-
sionals and nutrition scientists of the
country continue to face major chal-
lenges. However scientists pin their
hope on technological advancements.
“Emerging strategies such as crop bio
fortification and genetic manipulation
to enhance the nutrient in food crops
and use of nanotechnology have the po-
tential to advance the science of nutri-
tion,” says Dr G.S. Rao, manag-
ing director, Yashoda Hospitals, Hy-
derabad. These advances, together
with a better understanding of the
mechanisms of nutrient action, should,
in the next few years, provide better
strategies that will ultimately lead to
improved health through enriched nu-
trition in India.
A
twin burden currently plagues
the country, where there is
an extraordinary co-existence
of under-nutrition and over-
nutrition. While one in every three
Indians is undernourished, at least one
in every six is overfed. Both are improp-
erly nourished.
So while under-nutrition and mi-
cronutrient deficiencies remain major
public health issues, obesity is emerg-
ing as a major lifestyle problem which
in turn is leading to diabetes and car-
diovascular ailments.
The number of deaths from car-
diovascular diseases annually is
projected to rise from 2.26 million
in 1990 to 4.77 million in 2020.
Obesity and physical inactivity
are important determinants
of metabolic abnormalities
in urban and rural India,
leading to increase in
blood pressure, abnor-
mal lipid patterns and
enhanced resistance to
insulin. The changing
metabolic patterns in-
crease the risks of
coronary heart disease
(CHD), stroke, diabetes
and some cancers.
Diabetes and CHD
occur at an earlier age
in Indians than in popu-
lations in developed societies. The esti-
mated prevalence of CHD, in those over
20, is 3 to 4 per cent in rural areas and
8 to 10 per cent in urban areas, repre-
senting a twofold rise in rural areas and
a sixfold rise in urban areas between
1960 and 2002. A meta-analysis of
studies on stroke indicates a preva-
lence rate of 154 for every 1,000 peo-
ple. The proportion of strokes in
younger adults is also high. The preva-
lence rate for hypertension is 164 for
every 1,000 people in urban areas and
157 for every 1,000 people in rural
areas. It is estimated that 1.56 billion
people will be affected with hyperten-
sion globally by 2025. India is also
known as the diabetes capital of the
world. Over the next decade, the num-
ber of diabetic patients is expected to
reach 200 million.
“Reduction in physical activity is
driving the over-nutrition epidemic in
India and the real remedy is to increase
discretionary physical activity. Walking
is the best and easiest form of exer-
cise,” says Dr Prema Ramachandran,
director, Nutrition Foundation of India.
There are other health concerns.
Maternal and infant mortality rates re-
main high and well above the Millen-
nium Development Goals, and a large
section of the society is affected with
anaemia. Nearly a third of the infants
are underweight at birth.
The triad of low birth weight and
stunting due to malnutrition in early
SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY 3
PROBLEM OFEXTREMES
Both eating too much
and too little are causing
health problems. A
balanced diet is essential
for a healthy lifestyle.
>>Avoid overeating, exercise regularly,
restrict salt intake and eat food
that is hygienic.
>>Adopt right pre-cooking processes and
appropriate cooking methods.
>>Drink plenty of water, minimise the use
of processed foods, include micronutrient-
rich foods in the diets of elderly people.
>>Eat plenty of veg-
etables and fruits.
>> Ensure moderate
use of edible oils
and animal foods.
HEALTH IS
WEALTH
CHECKAGAINSTEXCESS
>>Screen for over-nutrition whenever you go
for a health check-up.
>>Use BMI for early detection of over-nutrition.
>>Seek personalised advice regarding modification of
dietary intake and lifestyle.
>>Monitor improvement and avail of focused care in
modifying lifestyle.
SOURCE: NUTRITIONFOUNDATIONOFINDIA
FOOD CHART
Right dietary choices and adequate nutrition
are a must to stay healthy
>>Eat a balanced diet.
>>Have food that has
just adequate energy
and eat vegetables.
>>Adopt a healthy
lifestyle with at least
moderate physical
activity.
HEALTH
NUTRI TI ON
special
THINKSTOCKPHOTOS/GETTYIMAGES GraphicbyRAHULAWASTHI/www.indiatodayimages.com
By Amarnath K. Menon
4
PROBLEM OFEXTREMES
Both eating too much
and too little are causing
health problems. A
balanced diet is essential
for a healthy lifestyle.
life, access to energy-dense foods at
later stages coupled with sedentary
habits leads to changes in body compo-
sition, especially with respect to fat
deposition, insulin resistance and diet-
related chronic diseases. Deficiencies
of micronutrients such as vitamin B
and omega fatty acids can exaggerate
dysfunction and disorders.
Vitamins and minerals are neces-
sary for regulatory function in the body,
for efficient energy metabolism and for
other functions such as cognition, im-
munity and reproduction. Nearly one in
three in India is affected by one or more
micronutrient deficiency. Periodic sur-
veys carried out by the National
Nutrition Monitoring Bureau during
the past 10 years show that our diets
are inadequate and deficient in many
known micronutrients such as zinc, fo-
late, vitamins B6, B2,B12, D and B.
The three most prevalent micronu-
trient deficiencies that Indians suffer
are iron, iodine and vitamin A deficien-
cies. “What is needed is better access to
a variety of affordable micronutrient-
rich vegetables, nutrition education,
better sanitation and easy access to
medical care,” says Dr C. Gopalan,
president, Nutrition Society of India.
Dr K. Madhavan Nair, deputy director
of National Institute of Nutrition (NIN)
adds, “Regular consumption of a vari-
ety of foods should be ensured to satisfy
our requirement for micronutrients. It
is imperative that our regular diet must
contain elements from at least eight
food groups: Cereals and millets,
pulses, leafy vegetables, fruits, fish
and meat, milk and milk products,
nuts and vegetable oils.”
Experts say that time has
come when the authorities con-
cerned should focus on the
quality of food supplied and
not just the quantity. “Food
processing in India is a frag-
mented industry involving
many small entrepreneurs.
The key issues are quality of
the food products and pau-
city of sophisticated tech-
nology,” says NIN Director
Dr Kalpagam Polasa.
When it comes to health,
one more factor plaguing In-
dians is the availability of cle-
an and safe drinking water.
As Vikas Shah, COO, US-head-
quartered Water Health Inter-
national, says, “In India, the
major focus of government contin-
ues to be on the availability of water
and not the quality of water. The scale
of this problem has overwhelmed many
a state government.” Vitamin D defi-
ciency due to inadequate exposure to
sunlight
is another problem Indians are in-
creasingly facing.
Nutrition remains a primary con-
cern in India and the medical profes-
sionals and nutrition scientists of the
country continue to face major chal-
lenges. However scientists pin their
hope on technological advancements.
“Emerging strategies such as crop bio
fortification and genetic manipulation
to enhance the nutrient in food crops
and use of nanotechnology have the po-
tential to advance the science of nutri-
tion,” says Dr G.S. Rao, manag-
ing director, Yashoda Hospitals, Hy-
derabad. These advances, together
with a better understanding of the
mechanisms of nutrient action, should,
in the next few years, provide better
strategies that will ultimately lead to
improved health through enriched nu-
trition in India.
A
twin burden currently plagues
the country, where there is
an extraordinary co-existence
of under-nutrition and over-
nutrition. While one in every three
Indians is undernourished, at least one
in every six is overfed. Both are improp-
erly nourished.
So while under-nutrition and mi-
cronutrient deficiencies remain major
public health issues, obesity is emerg-
ing as a major lifestyle problem which
in turn is leading to diabetes and car-
diovascular ailments.
The number of deaths from car-
diovascular diseases annually is
projected to rise from 2.26 million
in 1990 to 4.77 million in 2020.
Obesity and physical inactivity
are important determinants
of metabolic abnormalities
in urban and rural India,
leading to increase in
blood pressure, abnor-
mal lipid patterns and
enhanced resistance to
insulin. The changing
metabolic patterns in-
crease the risks of
coronary heart disease
(CHD), stroke, diabetes
and some cancers.
Diabetes and CHD
occur at an earlier age
in Indians than in popu-
lations in developed societies. The esti-
mated prevalence of CHD, in those over
20, is 3 to 4 per cent in rural areas and
8 to 10 per cent in urban areas, repre-
senting a twofold rise in rural areas and
a sixfold rise in urban areas between
1960 and 2002. A meta-analysis of
studies on stroke indicates a preva-
lence rate of 154 for every 1,000 peo-
ple. The proportion of strokes in
younger adults is also high. The preva-
lence rate for hypertension is 164 for
every 1,000 people in urban areas and
157 for every 1,000 people in rural
areas. It is estimated that 1.56 billion
people will be affected with hyperten-
sion globally by 2025. India is also
known as the diabetes capital of the
world. Over the next decade, the num-
ber of diabetic patients is expected to
reach 200 million.
“Reduction in physical activity is
driving the over-nutrition epidemic in
India and the real remedy is to increase
discretionary physical activity. Walking
is the best and easiest form of exer-
cise,” says Dr Prema Ramachandran,
director, Nutrition Foundation of India.
There are other health concerns.
Maternal and infant mortality rates re-
main high and well above the Millen-
nium Development Goals, and a large
section of the society is affected with
anaemia. Nearly a third of the infants
are underweight at birth.
The triad of low birth weight and
stunting due to malnutrition in early
SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY 3
>>Avoid overeating, exercise regularly,
restrict salt intake and eat food
that is hygienic.
>>Adopt right pre-cooking processes and
appropriate cooking methods.
>>Drink plenty of water, minimise the use
of processed foods, include micronutrient-
rich foods in the diets of elderly people.
>>Eat plenty of veg-
etables and fruits.
>> Ensure moderate
use of edible oils
and animal foods.
HEALTH IS
WEALTH
CHECKAGAINSTEXCESS
>>Screen for over-nutrition whenever you go
for a health check-up.
>>Use BMI for early detection of over-nutrition.
>>Seek personalised advice regarding modification of
dietary intake and lifestyle.
>>Monitor improvement and avail of focused care in
modifying lifestyle.
SOURCE: NUTRITIONFOUNDATIONOFINDIA
FOOD CHART
Right dietary choices and adequate nutrition
are a must to stay healthy
>>Eat a balanced diet.
>>Have food that has
just adequate energy
and eat vegetables.
>>Adopt a healthy
lifestyle with at least
moderate physical
activity.
HEALTH
NUTRI TI ON
special
THINKSTOCKPHOTOS/GETTYIMAGES GraphicbyRAHULAWASTHI/www.indiatodayimages.com
By Amarnath K. Menon
4
Union had increased the number of no-
tifications due to alleged contaminants
in food exports from India.
The problem of food adulteration
and selling of substandard foods in
India is common. This ranges from mix-
ing of water with milk to adulterating
mustard oil with argemone oil which
has resulted in the deadly epidemic
dropsy on several occasions in India.
Food additives like food colours over
permissible limits could pose a risk to
human health. Genetically modified
foods and use of nanotechnology in
foods are the two emerging issues.
What India today needs is a gradual
change in focus from food supply to food
safety. India has a long way to go to
achieve the food safety standards for
ensuring safe food to its citizens, though
this fact has been recognised since the
time of the legendary Chanakya.
W
hat do upmarket restaurants,
Udipi restaurants and street
food vendors have in com-
mon? Besides the desire to keep their
dishes tasty, they use cheap rice to
make your favourite idli or dosa. It may
not contain pesticide residue, the type
which caused the Mid-Day meal
tragedy in Bihar, but the chances of
such foods having aflatoxins are rather
high. Aflatoxin is produced by the
mould aspergillus. When present in
high quantities in staples like maize, it
causes toxic hepatitis resulting in
deaths. On the other hand, exposure to
small quantities of aflatoxins for pro-
longed period could lead to liver cancer.
Besides aflatoxins, a variety of other
mould toxins also occur in foods such as
ochratoxins in coffee, deoxynivalenol in
wheat and patulin in apple juice.
Apart from natural toxins, there are
other man-made contaminants such as
pesticide and veterinary drug residues
and heavy metals which pose danger to
human health. Recently, Minister of
State for Commerce D. Purandaresh-
wari admitted in the Rajya Sabha that
in the last three years, the European
W
e are dependent on our bones
for every small movement.
Bones support the whole
weight of our bodies so that we can
stand up, sit down, and move around.
We take these for granted when we are
young. But these simple acts of daily liv-
ing become difficult as we get older and
our bones get weaker.
Medical advances have increased
our life expectancy and also the burden
of age-related health problems like
osteoporosis. Osteoporosis literally me-
ans ‘porous bones’. Osteoporotic bones
become weak and fragile, so fragile
that fractures can occur with mild trau-
ma. Osteoporotic fractures involve very
high economic and social costs and
have a significant negative impact on
the quality of life of patients.
Women, especially after
menopause, are more likely to
suffer from osteoporosis com-
pared to men.
An alarming finding is that
Indians, especially those from
the low socio-economic group,
tend to have osteoporotic frac-
tures at a much earlier age com-
pared to the people from the
western countries. Studies by
the National Institute of
Nutrition, Hyderabad, (NIN) have
shown that the average age at
which women from poor socio-
economic group suffer from hip
fracture is only about 57 whereas
fractures usually occur after 75 in well-
nourished populations. Apart from hip
fractures, osteoporosis can cause ver-
tebral micro-fractures which cause
persistent back pain. A large number of
vertebral fractures go undetected be-
cause back pain is often not considered
serious enough to seek medical care.
Osteoporosis is a silent disease and
fractures can occur without any warn-
ing or signal. However, osteo-
porosis can be detected
early by assessment of bone
mineral density (which indi-
cates strength) using spe-
cialised equipment called dual
energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA).
Studies by NINand other research cen-
tres in India assessing the bone min-
eral density of various population
groups have shown a high preva-
lence of osteoporosis. Although
OCTOBER 13, 2008 u INDIA TODAY 00 INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013
WHAT’S ON
YOUR PLATE?
The number of Indians affected by osteoporosis
is rising. Improving nutrition is the only way out.
MAKING NO
BONES ABOUT IT
Dr Bharati Kulkarni
Deputy director, Clinical
Division, National
Institution of Nutrition
KOLKATA MYSORE PUNE GHAZIABAD
4.5%
20.5%
HEALTH HAZARD
WORRYING NUMBERS
The percentage of samples found adulterated by the four
Central Food Laboratories between April 2010 and March
2011 vary widely, raising concerns about the functioning
of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India
Only three of the
72 state food
laboratories in India
are accredited and
only 36 of them are
being upgraded to be
capable of analysing
food contaminants
The toxin
Harmful bacteria and
bacterial toxins
Health impact
Bad stomach, food poisoning
GUIDELINES
Ways to fight toxins in food
Keep your grains dry
Refrigerate raw and
cooked foods
Maintain personal hygiene
Keep cooking and food
storage area clean
Wash fruits,
vegetables
thoroughly
before use
Drink water only from a safe source
Drink boiled water if there are doubts about water quality
Found in
Meat, poultry, salads, co-
riander leaf, khoya, paneer
The toxin
Pesticide residues
Health impact
Salivation, muscular tremors,
convulsions, paralysis
Found in
Foodgrain, fruits and
vegetables
The toxin
Aflatoxins
Found in
Maize, rice and
groundnuts
Health impact
Liver damage, liver
cancer
The toxin
Adulterants,
non-permissible
colours
Found in
Sweets, ready-to-eat
foods
Health impact
Can cause fatal illness
Toxins frequently present in food can have a damaging
impact on health in the long run
51%
70.6%
It’s not enough to know what to
eat. You have to know how to eat
it too. Watch out for toxins.
International food
safety specialist
Dr Ramesh V. Bhat
HEALTH
NUTRI TI ON
special
T
H
I
N
K
S
T
O
C
K
P
H
O
T
O
S
/
G
E
T
T
Y
I
M
A
G
E
S
THINKSTOCKPHOTOS/GETTYIMAGES
GraphicbyRAHULAWASTHI/www.indiatodayimages.com
44
Union had increased the number of no-
tifications due to alleged contaminants
in food exports from India.
The problem of food adulteration
and selling of substandard foods in
India is common. This ranges from mix-
ing of water with milk to adulterating
mustard oil with argemone oil which
has resulted in the deadly epidemic
dropsy on several occasions in India.
Food additives like food colours over
permissible limits could pose a risk to
human health. Genetically modified
foods and use of nanotechnology in
foods are the two emerging issues.
What India today needs is a gradual
change in focus from food supply to food
safety. India has a long way to go to
achieve the food safety standards for
ensuring safe food to its citizens, though
this fact has been recognised since the
time of the legendary Chanakya.
W
hat do upmarket restaurants,
Udipi restaurants and street
food vendors have in com-
mon? Besides the desire to keep their
dishes tasty, they use cheap rice to
make your favourite idli or dosa. It may
not contain pesticide residue, the type
which caused the Mid-Day meal
tragedy in Bihar, but the chances of
such foods having aflatoxins are rather
high. Aflatoxin is produced by the
mould aspergillus. When present in
high quantities in staples like maize, it
causes toxic hepatitis resulting in
deaths. On the other hand, exposure to
small quantities of aflatoxins for pro-
longed period could lead to liver cancer.
Besides aflatoxins, a variety of other
mould toxins also occur in foods such as
ochratoxins in coffee, deoxynivalenol in
wheat and patulin in apple juice.
Apart from natural toxins, there are
other man-made contaminants such as
pesticide and veterinary drug residues
and heavy metals which pose danger to
human health. Recently, Minister of
State for Commerce D. Purandaresh-
wari admitted in the Rajya Sabha that
in the last three years, the European
W
e are dependent on our bones
for every small movement.
Bones support the whole
weight of our bodies so that we can
stand up, sit down, and move around.
We take these for granted when we are
young. But these simple acts of daily liv-
ing become difficult as we get older and
our bones get weaker.
Medical advances have increased
our life expectancy and also the burden
of age-related health problems like
osteoporosis. Osteoporosis literally me-
ans ‘porous bones’. Osteoporotic bones
become weak and fragile, so fragile
that fractures can occur with mild trau-
ma. Osteoporotic fractures involve very
high economic and social costs and
have a significant negative impact on
the quality of life of patients.
Women, especially after
menopause, are more likely to
suffer from osteoporosis com-
pared to men.
An alarming finding is that
Indians, especially those from
the low socio-economic group,
tend to have osteoporotic frac-
tures at a much earlier age com-
pared to the people from the
western countries. Studies by
the National Institute of
Nutrition, Hyderabad, (NIN) have
shown that the average age at
which women from poor socio-
economic group suffer from hip
fracture is only about 57 whereas
fractures usually occur after 75 in well-
nourished populations. Apart from hip
fractures, osteoporosis can cause ver-
tebral micro-fractures which cause
persistent back pain. A large number of
vertebral fractures go undetected be-
cause back pain is often not considered
serious enough to seek medical care.
Osteoporosis is a silent disease and
fractures can occur without any warn-
ing or signal. However, osteo-
porosis can be detected
early by assessment of bone
mineral density (which indi-
cates strength) using spe-
cialised equipment called dual
energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA).
Studies by NINand other research cen-
tres in India assessing the bone min-
eral density of various population
groups have shown a high preva-
lence of osteoporosis. Although
OCTOBER 13, 2008 u INDIA TODAY 00 INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013
WHAT’S ON
YOUR PLATE?
The number of Indians affected by osteoporosis
is rising. Improving nutrition is the only way out.
MAKING NO
BONES ABOUT IT
Dr Bharati Kulkarni
Deputy director, Clinical
Division, National
Institution of Nutrition
KOLKATA MYSORE PUNE GHAZIABAD
4.5%
20.5%
HEALTH HAZARD
WORRYING NUMBERS
The percentage of samples found adulterated by the four
Central Food Laboratories between April 2010 and March
2011 vary widely, raising concerns about the functioning
of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India
Only three of the
72 state food
laboratories in India
are accredited and
only 36 of them are
being upgraded to be
capable of analysing
food contaminants
The toxin
Harmful bacteria and
bacterial toxins
Health impact
Bad stomach, food poisoning
GUIDELINES
Ways to fight toxins in food
Keep your grains dry
Refrigerate raw and
cooked foods
Maintain personal hygiene
Keep cooking and food
storage area clean
Wash fruits,
vegetables
thoroughly
before use
Drink water only from a safe source
Drink boiled water if there are doubts about water quality
Found in
Meat, poultry, salads, co-
riander leaf, khoya, paneer
The toxin
Pesticide residues
Health impact
Salivation, muscular tremors,
convulsions, paralysis
Found in
Foodgrain, fruits and
vegetables
The toxin
Aflatoxins
Found in
Maize, rice and
groundnuts
Health impact
Liver damage, liver
cancer
The toxin
Adulterants,
non-permissible
colours
Found in
Sweets, ready-to-eat
foods
Health impact
Can cause fatal illness
Toxins frequently present in food can have a damaging
impact on health in the long run
51%
70.6%
It’s not enough to know what to
eat. You have to know how to eat
it too. Watch out for toxins.
International food
safety specialist
Dr Ramesh V. Bhat
HEALTH
NUTRI TI ON
special
T
H
I
N
K
S
T
O
C
K
P
H
O
T
O
S
/
G
E
T
T
Y
I
M
A
G
E
S
THINKSTOCKPHOTOS/GETTYIMAGES
GraphicbyRAHULAWASTHI/www.indiatodayimages.com
44
osteoporosis affects people late in their
lives, its seeds are sown early. When
children grow, their bones become
progressively stronger due to increase
in the bone mineral density throughout
childhood and adolescence. Its peak
is reached in the early 20s, which is
known as the peak bone mass, and no
future increase in bone mass is possi-
ble after that. Under-nutrition during
childhood and adolescence leads to low
peak bone mass in the youth and with
age-related loss in bone minerals, os-
teoporosis sets in.
How does one prevent this debili-
tating disease? A balanced diet with
adequate calcium, vitamin D and pro-
tein along with regular weight bearing
physical activity is the key to prevent-
ing osteoporosis. In addition, maintain-
ing a healthy weight and avoiding
cigarettes and alcohol help in main-
taining strong and healthy bones.
Calcium is the most important
bone-forming mineral. Good sources of
calcium include dairy products like
milk, yoghurt and cheese; leafy vegeta-
bles like spinach and amaranth; pulses
like chana dal and rajma; oilseeds, es-
pecially sesame seeds; and spices like
cumin seeds, pepper and cloves.
Moreover, the food source of cal-
cium is just as important as the amount
of calcium intake. Calcium from milk is
highly bio-available: A higher quantity
of it is absorbed from the gut and can
be utilised for mineralisation of bones.
On the other hand, calcium from plant
sources has low bio-availability. It is dif-
ficult for diets without milk to be ade-
quate in calcium.
Absorption of calcium is dependent
on vitamin D. Reports from different
parts of the country have shown that a
large proportion of Indians suffers from
vitamin D deficiency. This is surprising
in a sunny country considering that
sunlight exposure is essential for ade-
quate vitamin D. But really, how many
of us expose ourselves to the sun for
at least 15 minutes every day? Not
many. Apart from our indoor habits
that preclude sunlight exposure, pollu-
tion could also play a role in this defi-
ciency. Pollution can block ultraviolet
rays which stimulate vitamin D synthe-
sis in the skin.
Apart from diet, physical activity
plays an important role in development
and maintenance of bone mass.
Weight-bearing activities such as brisk
walking, jogging, stair climbing, and
dancing are especially important for
improving bone density as well as im-
proving muscle strength.
As life expectancy increases and the
population continues to grey, osteo-
porosis is likely to increase. Prevention
of osteoporosis by improving nutrition
is therefore of paramount importance.
Improving calcium intake would re-
quire increasing the availability of
dairy products at an affordable cost
and exploring newer, cheaper food
sources of calcium. Strategies should
target younger age groups for optimal
development of peak bone mass
and older individuals to reduce age-re-
lated bone loss.
OCTOBER 13, 2008 u INDIA TODAY 00 INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013
K
alpana Ayyer, 44, a business
executive weighing 82 kg, was
suffering from extreme fa-
tigue, breathlessness and oc-
casional chest pain. Fears of angina
forced her to rush to a cardiologist. He
found her heart to be in perfect condi-
tion but the haemoglobin (Hb) count—
the measure of blood in the human
body—to be 7 g/dl whereas the normal
Hb count for a woman is 12 g/dl.
Further diagnosis revealed that Ayyer
had recently developed a perverted ap-
petite, medically known as PICA, where
she feels the desire to eat raw, un-
cooked rice, suck on ice cubes and even
eat pencil and chalk. Ayyer had also
been suffering from unnaturally heavy,
menstrual bleeding over the last five
years. It was confirmed that she was
suffering from severe iron deficiency.
Amol Naik, 18, a college student,
often felt unwell and looked pale. When
he consulted the family physician, the
doctor noted that his nails were disfig-
ured. Investigations showed that his
Hb was 4 g/dl whereas the normal for
a man is 14 g/dl.
As doctors, we come across such
cases every other day. Anaemia, the
lack of blood, affects 30 to 50 per cent
of the population in our country. The
most common cause is iron deficiency.
Iron, together with the two vitamins—
folic acid and vitamin B12—are the
most important raw materials for syn-
thesising blood in the body.
Although iron is ubiquitous in its ex-
istence, it is very difficult to obtain it in
adequate quantity through our daily
diet. We need about 1 mg of iron daily.
Ten per cent of the total iron content in
our diet gets absorbed by the intestine.
Hence, our diet must have about 10 mg
of iron and for that we must have about
2,000 calories a day.
Also, there are certain inhibitors af-
fecting iron absorption. The most impor-
tant inhibitors are cereals which form
the backbone of our diet (wheat and
rice). Excess of tea and coffee, too, affect
iron absorption as these beverages con-
tain tannic acid which interferes with
iron absorption. Tobacco consumption
affects iron and vitamin B12 absorption.
Also, iron from vegetables is not easily
absorbed.
Once you develop iron deficiency, no
amount of diet can help and medication
becomes essential. Various oral iron
preparations are available in the form of
syrups, tablets and capsules. However,
these have to be taken twice a day for four
to six months. About 30 per cent of peo-
ple cannot digest oral iron
due to gastric prob-
lems. Injectable
iron is an alterna-
tive. But if given by
the intramuscular
route, it is painful
and can discolour
skin. But recently,
very safe intravenous
iron preparations have
been introduced where
the full dose can be given
in a single sitting and it
takes about 15 minutes.
While diet alone can’t be
a solution, eating food rich in
iron is advised. Leafy vegeta-
bles, dates, dry fruits
and meat are rich
sources of iron.
Almost 50 per cent of thepopu lation is iron deficient. Research is on to treat it in a convenient and cost-effective manner.
Dr M.B. Agarwal
Practicing haematologist,
ex-president of Indian
Society of Haematology
IRONIN G OUT THE PROBLEM
Skimmed milk, nuts, sweet potatoes,
green and leafy vegetables, fruits, egg, fish
30 minutes of
physical
activities such
as walking,
cycling, skip-
ping, running
Drinking,
smoking
and
remaining
indoors
NO BREAKING
BONES
Healthy lifestyle, balanced diet
and regular exercise can help
deal with Osteoporosis
EAT
EXERCISE
AVOID
Our body needs 1 mg of iron daily. The intes-
tine can absorb 10 per cent iron from the
total iron available in our food. For this, we
need to consume 2,000 calories daily.
Wheat, rice,
coffee, tea,
tobacco, gutka,
mawa (a sweet)
Oral medication (syrups,
tablets, and capsules)
Side effects
Gastric problems
Injectable iron
Side effectsThe intramuscular route can
be very painful and lead to skin
discoloration
THE RIGHTBALANCE
MUST-HAVE
THE PROBLEM
Deficiency of iron remains a major
problem in the country
Food that prevents iron absorption
Howto fight iron deficiency
HEALTH
NUTRI TI ON
special
G
r
a
p
h
ic
b
y
R
A
H
U
L
A
W
A
S
T
H
I
/
w
w
w
.
in
d
ia
t
o
d
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a
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.
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a
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ic
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y
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a
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s
.
c
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REUBENSINGH/www.indiatodayimages.com
46
osteoporosis affects people late in their
lives, its seeds are sown early. When
children grow, their bones become
progressively stronger due to increase
in the bone mineral density throughout
childhood and adolescence. Its peak
is reached in the early 20s, which is
known as the peak bone mass, and no
future increase in bone mass is possi-
ble after that. Under-nutrition during
childhood and adolescence leads to low
peak bone mass in the youth and with
age-related loss in bone minerals, os-
teoporosis sets in.
How does one prevent this debili-
tating disease? A balanced diet with
adequate calcium, vitamin D and pro-
tein along with regular weight bearing
physical activity is the key to prevent-
ing osteoporosis. In addition, maintain-
ing a healthy weight and avoiding
cigarettes and alcohol help in main-
taining strong and healthy bones.
Calcium is the most important
bone-forming mineral. Good sources of
calcium include dairy products like
milk, yoghurt and cheese; leafy vegeta-
bles like spinach and amaranth; pulses
like chana dal and rajma; oilseeds, es-
pecially sesame seeds; and spices like
cumin seeds, pepper and cloves.
Moreover, the food source of cal-
cium is just as important as the amount
of calcium intake. Calcium from milk is
highly bio-available: A higher quantity
of it is absorbed from the gut and can
be utilised for mineralisation of bones.
On the other hand, calcium from plant
sources has low bio-availability. It is dif-
ficult for diets without milk to be ade-
quate in calcium.
Absorption of calcium is dependent
on vitamin D. Reports from different
parts of the country have shown that a
large proportion of Indians suffers from
vitamin D deficiency. This is surprising
in a sunny country considering that
sunlight exposure is essential for ade-
quate vitamin D. But really, how many
of us expose ourselves to the sun for
at least 15 minutes every day? Not
many. Apart from our indoor habits
that preclude sunlight exposure, pollu-
tion could also play a role in this defi-
ciency. Pollution can block ultraviolet
rays which stimulate vitamin D synthe-
sis in the skin.
Apart from diet, physical activity
plays an important role in development
and maintenance of bone mass.
Weight-bearing activities such as brisk
walking, jogging, stair climbing, and
dancing are especially important for
improving bone density as well as im-
proving muscle strength.
As life expectancy increases and the
population continues to grey, osteo-
porosis is likely to increase. Prevention
of osteoporosis by improving nutrition
is therefore of paramount importance.
Improving calcium intake would re-
quire increasing the availability of
dairy products at an affordable cost
and exploring newer, cheaper food
sources of calcium. Strategies should
target younger age groups for optimal
development of peak bone mass
and older individuals to reduce age-re-
lated bone loss.
OCTOBER 13, 2008 u INDIA TODAY 00 INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013
K
alpana Ayyer, 44, a business
executive weighing 82 kg, was
suffering from extreme fa-
tigue, breathlessness and oc-
casional chest pain. Fears of angina
forced her to rush to a cardiologist. He
found her heart to be in perfect condi-
tion but the haemoglobin (Hb) count—
the measure of blood in the human
body—to be 7 g/dl whereas the normal
Hb count for a woman is 12 g/dl.
Further diagnosis revealed that Ayyer
had recently developed a perverted ap-
petite, medically known as PICA, where
she feels the desire to eat raw, un-
cooked rice, suck on ice cubes and even
eat pencil and chalk. Ayyer had also
been suffering from unnaturally heavy,
menstrual bleeding over the last five
years. It was confirmed that she was
suffering from severe iron deficiency.
Amol Naik, 18, a college student,
often felt unwell and looked pale. When
he consulted the family physician, the
doctor noted that his nails were disfig-
ured. Investigations showed that his
Hb was 4 g/dl whereas the normal for
a man is 14 g/dl.
As doctors, we come across such
cases every other day. Anaemia, the
lack of blood, affects 30 to 50 per cent
of the population in our country. The
most common cause is iron deficiency.
Iron, together with the two vitamins—
folic acid and vitamin B12—are the
most important raw materials for syn-
thesising blood in the body.
Although iron is ubiquitous in its ex-
istence, it is very difficult to obtain it in
adequate quantity through our daily
diet. We need about 1 mg of iron daily.
Ten per cent of the total iron content in
our diet gets absorbed by the intestine.
Hence, our diet must have about 10 mg
of iron and for that we must have about
2,000 calories a day.
Also, there are certain inhibitors af-
fecting iron absorption. The most impor-
tant inhibitors are cereals which form
the backbone of our diet (wheat and
rice). Excess of tea and coffee, too, affect
iron absorption as these beverages con-
tain tannic acid which interferes with
iron absorption. Tobacco consumption
affects iron and vitamin B12 absorption.
Also, iron from vegetables is not easily
absorbed.
Once you develop iron deficiency, no
amount of diet can help and medication
becomes essential. Various oral iron
preparations are available in the form of
syrups, tablets and capsules. However,
these have to be taken twice a day for four
to six months. About 30 per cent of peo-
ple cannot digest oral iron
due to gastric prob-
lems. Injectable
iron is an alterna-
tive. But if given by
the intramuscular
route, it is painful
and can discolour
skin. But recently,
very safe intravenous
iron preparations have
been introduced where
the full dose can be given
in a single sitting and it
takes about 15 minutes.
While diet alone can’t be
a solution, eating food rich in
iron is advised. Leafy vegeta-
bles, dates, dry fruits
and meat are rich
sources of iron.
Almost 50 per cent of thepopu lation is iron deficient. Research is on to treat it in a convenient and cost-effective manner.
Dr M.B. Agarwal
Practicing haematologist,
ex-president of Indian
Society of Haematology
IRONIN G OUT THE PROBLEM
Skimmed milk, nuts, sweet potatoes,
green and leafy vegetables, fruits, egg, fish
30 minutes of
physical
activities such
as walking,
cycling, skip-
ping, running
Drinking,
smoking
and
remaining
indoors
NO BREAKING
BONES
Healthy lifestyle, balanced diet
and regular exercise can help
deal with Osteoporosis
EAT
EXERCISE
AVOID
Our body needs 1 mg of iron daily. The intes-
tine can absorb 10 per cent iron from the
total iron available in our food. For this, we
need to consume 2,000 calories daily.
Wheat, rice,
coffee, tea,
tobacco, gutka,
mawa (a sweet)
Oral medication (syrups,
tablets, and capsules)
Side effects
Gastric problems
Injectable iron
Side effectsThe intramuscular route can
be very painful and lead to skin
discoloration
THE RIGHTBALANCE
MUST-HAVE
THE PROBLEM
Deficiency of iron remains a major
problem in the country
Food that prevents iron absorption
Howto fight iron deficiency
HEALTH
NUTRI TI ON
special
G
r
a
p
h
ic
b
y
R
A
H
U
L
A
W
A
S
T
H
I
/
w
w
w
.
in
d
ia
t
o
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im
a
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.
c
o
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a
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ia
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.
c
o
m
REUBENSINGH/www.indiatodayimages.com
46
W
ater is an essential part of
food. We need at least two
to three litres of it every
day. But it is still a daunting
task to provide access to clean, safe
water not just in villages but to all liv-
ing in cities and towns.
Though access to drinking water in
India has increased over the past
decade, adverse impact of unsafe
water on health continues. The World
Bank estimates that 21 per cent of com-
municable diseases in India are water
related. Of these diseases, diarrhoea
alone killed over 700,000 Indians in
1999. The highest mortality from diar-
rhoea is in children under the age of
five, pointing to an urgent need for in-
terventions to prevent diarrhoea dis-
ease in this age group. Diarrhoea is
caused due to ingestion of pathogens in
water and food. Eighty-eight per cent
cases of diarrhoea are due to drinking
unsafe water. Diseases such as cholera,
typhoid and dysentery are related to
oral faecal transmission.
Besides contamination of water
with harmful bacteria such as Esch-
erichia coli and viruses, water sources
are mixed sometimes with industrial
effluents, heavy metals, pesticides,
nitrates, arsenic, cadmium and fluo-
ride. Drinking water containing heavy
metals can result in damage to the kid-
neys and the nervous system. Excess
fluorides in water can cause yellowing
of teeth, damage to the spinal cord and
crippling disease affecting the function-
ing of limbs. In India, the most common
cause of fluorosis is fluoride present in
water—particularly water from bore
wells. As many as 17 states have been
identified as ‘endemic’ areas for fluoro-
sis with an estimated 25 million people
afflicted and another 66 million at
risk. The disease affecting the teeth
is known as dental fluorosis and
that affecting the bone is known as
skeletal fluorosis.
A knowledge, attitude, behaviour,
practice survey reported by the Natio-
nal Institute of Nutrition (NIN) observed
that only one in three people have pro-
tected water supply. The survey also
revealed that 40 per cent of the house-
holds purify water at home using meth-
ods like straining through cloth. Other
methods used are boiling water, chlo-
rine tablets and water filters.
The standards for potable water
are prescribed by the Bureau of Indian
Standards (BIS). However, adoption of
BIS standards is voluntary, not manda-
tory. Packaged drinking water is regu-
lated by the Food Safety and Standards
Authority of India Act, 2006.
Most water that is available is pack-
aged drinking water and not mineral
water. The packaged water is that
which is safe for human consumption.
In contrast, mineral water should con-
tain certain essential minerals in the
stipulated values as it is intended to
offer some therapeutic effect. There
are a few brands that produce mineral
water but these are expensive when
compared to packaged drinking water.
What needs to be underscored is
that clean, healthy water does not have
to be pure but potable and of such qual-
ity so as to keep healthy those drinking
it. There is a need for more sophisti-
cated methods of ensuring safe drink-
ing water while still reducing the need
for chemical treatment and identifying
potential hazards more quickly.
OCTOBER 13, 2008 u INDIA TODAY 00 INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013
I
odine deficiency, one of the most
common micronutrient deficiencies,
has a pivotal role in growth, develop-
ment and survival of children. The
spectrum of Iodine Deficiency Dis-
orders (IDD) includes goitre, cretinism,
hypothyroidism, brain damage, abor-
tion, stillbirth, mental retardation, psy-
cho-motor defects and hearing and
speech impairment. Pregnant and lac-
tating women are at increased risk of
IDD as during pregnancy and lactation,
the iodine requirement is increased to
meet the needs of both mother and
child. Iodine deficiency during this crit-
ical “thousand day” period leads to
serious consequences.
Sustained iodine nutrition is essen-
tial to achieve the Millennium Deve-
lopment Goals (MDG) of reducing child
mortality and improving maternal
health. IDDis the most common cause of
preventable brain damage globally.
Children born in iodine-deficient areas
are known to have 13.5 IQ points less
than those born in iodine-sufficient
areas. A report by US-based Journal of
Economic Growth has shown that an
increment of national average IQ by
one point leads to 0.11 per cent increase
in national GDP.
Iodine is an essential micronutrient
which is needed in a minute quantity
daily. The total quantity of iodine pres-
ent in body is 15-20 mg, most of which
is in the thyroid gland. The recommen-
ded daily allowance of iodine for adults
is 150 micrograms/day, which increases
to 250 micrograms/day in pregnancy
and lactation. Children require 90-120
micrograms/day of iodine depending on
their age. In India, around 400 million
people are at risk of IDD due to insuffi-
cient iodine intake. IDDis endemic in the
country with 303 out of 365 districts
surveyed reporting total goitre rate
(TGR) greater than 10 per cent.
Optimal iodine nutrition is essential
for a healthy society. The Government
of India should ensure attainment of
universal coverage of salt iodisation
and sustainable elimination of IDD.
TURNING THE
RIGHT TAP ON
There is a need for more sophisticated
methods to ensure safe drinking water
Director, National
Institute of Nutrition,
Hyderabad
Dr Chandrakant
S. Pandav
Head of the department,
Centre for Community
Medicine, AIIMS, New Delhi
Sustained iodine
nutrition is essential
to reduce child
mortality and improve
maternal health
MORE THAN A
PINCH OF SALT
Substance Packaged Water Mineral Water
Arsenic 0.05 mg/l 0.01 mg/l
Cadmium 0.05 mg/l 0.003 mg/l
Chromium 0.05 mg/l 0.01 mg/l
Copper 1 mg/l 1.5 mg/l
Fluoride 0.6 to 1.5 mg/l 0.6 to 1.5 mg/l
Lead 0.1 mg/l 0.01 mg/l
Manganese 0.5 mg/l 0.4 mg/l
Mercury 0.001 mg/l 0.001 mg/l
Nitrate 45 mg/l 45 mg/l
PLAYIT
SAFE
Permissible limits of
different substances
and chemicals in
packaged drinking
water and
mineral water
BENEFITS
RISKS
In India, around 400 million people are at
risk of Iodine Deficiency Disorders due to
insufficient iodine intake.
Adults require 150
micrograms of
iodine a day, which
increases to 250
micrograms
during pregnancy.
Prevents goitre
Stops cretinism
Stems brain damage
Improves fetal and neonatal health
Enhances productivity
of population
Advantages and disadvantages
of iodine supplements
Children born in
severely iodine-
deficient areas are
known to have 13.5
IQ points less
than those born in
iodine-sufficient
areas.
Areport by the
US-based Journal
of Economic
Growth found that
a 1 point increment
of national average
IQ leads to 0.11 per
cent increase in
national GDP.
The importance of iodine in our diet
DAILYDOSE
Thyroid cancer
Autoimmune Thyroiditis
HEALTH
NUTRI TI ON
special
T
H
I
N
K
S
T
O
C
K
P
H
O
T
O
S
/
G
E
T
T
Y
I
M
A
G
E
S
T
H
I
N
K
S
T
O
C
K
P
H
O
T
O
S
/
G
E
T
T
Y
I
M
A
G
E
S
GraphicbyRAHULAWASTHI/www.indiatodayimages.com
GraphicbyRAHULAWASTHI/
www.indiatodayimages.com
Dr Kalpagam Polasa
NEW
48
W
ater is an essential part of
food. We need at least two
to three litres of it every
day. But it is still a daunting
task to provide access to clean, safe
water not just in villages but to all liv-
ing in cities and towns.
Though access to drinking water in
India has increased over the past
decade, adverse impact of unsafe
water on health continues. The World
Bank estimates that 21 per cent of com-
municable diseases in India are water
related. Of these diseases, diarrhoea
alone killed over 700,000 Indians in
1999. The highest mortality from diar-
rhoea is in children under the age of
five, pointing to an urgent need for in-
terventions to prevent diarrhoea dis-
ease in this age group. Diarrhoea is
caused due to ingestion of pathogens in
water and food. Eighty-eight per cent
cases of diarrhoea are due to drinking
unsafe water. Diseases such as cholera,
typhoid and dysentery are related to
oral faecal transmission.
Besides contamination of water
with harmful bacteria such as Esch-
erichia coli and viruses, water sources
are mixed sometimes with industrial
effluents, heavy metals, pesticides,
nitrates, arsenic, cadmium and fluo-
ride. Drinking water containing heavy
metals can result in damage to the kid-
neys and the nervous system. Excess
fluorides in water can cause yellowing
of teeth, damage to the spinal cord and
crippling disease affecting the function-
ing of limbs. In India, the most common
cause of fluorosis is fluoride present in
water—particularly water from bore
wells. As many as 17 states have been
identified as ‘endemic’ areas for fluoro-
sis with an estimated 25 million people
afflicted and another 66 million at
risk. The disease affecting the teeth
is known as dental fluorosis and
that affecting the bone is known as
skeletal fluorosis.
A knowledge, attitude, behaviour,
practice survey reported by the Natio-
nal Institute of Nutrition (NIN) observed
that only one in three people have pro-
tected water supply. The survey also
revealed that 40 per cent of the house-
holds purify water at home using meth-
ods like straining through cloth. Other
methods used are boiling water, chlo-
rine tablets and water filters.
The standards for potable water
are prescribed by the Bureau of Indian
Standards (BIS). However, adoption of
BIS standards is voluntary, not manda-
tory. Packaged drinking water is regu-
lated by the Food Safety and Standards
Authority of India Act, 2006.
Most water that is available is pack-
aged drinking water and not mineral
water. The packaged water is that
which is safe for human consumption.
In contrast, mineral water should con-
tain certain essential minerals in the
stipulated values as it is intended to
offer some therapeutic effect. There
are a few brands that produce mineral
water but these are expensive when
compared to packaged drinking water.
What needs to be underscored is
that clean, healthy water does not have
to be pure but potable and of such qual-
ity so as to keep healthy those drinking
it. There is a need for more sophisti-
cated methods of ensuring safe drink-
ing water while still reducing the need
for chemical treatment and identifying
potential hazards more quickly.
OCTOBER 13, 2008 u INDIA TODAY 00 INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013
I
odine deficiency, one of the most
common micronutrient deficiencies,
has a pivotal role in growth, develop-
ment and survival of children. The
spectrum of Iodine Deficiency Dis-
orders (IDD) includes goitre, cretinism,
hypothyroidism, brain damage, abor-
tion, stillbirth, mental retardation, psy-
cho-motor defects and hearing and
speech impairment. Pregnant and lac-
tating women are at increased risk of
IDD as during pregnancy and lactation,
the iodine requirement is increased to
meet the needs of both mother and
child. Iodine deficiency during this crit-
ical “thousand day” period leads to
serious consequences.
Sustained iodine nutrition is essen-
tial to achieve the Millennium Deve-
lopment Goals (MDG) of reducing child
mortality and improving maternal
health. IDDis the most common cause of
preventable brain damage globally.
Children born in iodine-deficient areas
are known to have 13.5 IQ points less
than those born in iodine-sufficient
areas. A report by US-based Journal of
Economic Growth has shown that an
increment of national average IQ by
one point leads to 0.11 per cent increase
in national GDP.
Iodine is an essential micronutrient
which is needed in a minute quantity
daily. The total quantity of iodine pres-
ent in body is 15-20 mg, most of which
is in the thyroid gland. The recommen-
ded daily allowance of iodine for adults
is 150 micrograms/day, which increases
to 250 micrograms/day in pregnancy
and lactation. Children require 90-120
micrograms/day of iodine depending on
their age. In India, around 400 million
people are at risk of IDD due to insuffi-
cient iodine intake. IDDis endemic in the
country with 303 out of 365 districts
surveyed reporting total goitre rate
(TGR) greater than 10 per cent.
Optimal iodine nutrition is essential
for a healthy society. The Government
of India should ensure attainment of
universal coverage of salt iodisation
and sustainable elimination of IDD.
TURNING THE
RIGHT TAP ON
There is a need for more sophisticated
methods to ensure safe drinking water
Director, National
Institute of Nutrition,
Hyderabad
Dr Chandrakant
S. Pandav
Head of the department,
Centre for Community
Medicine, AIIMS, New Delhi
Sustained iodine
nutrition is essential
to reduce child
mortality and improve
maternal health
MORE THAN A
PINCH OF SALT
Substance Packaged Water Mineral Water
Arsenic 0.05 mg/l 0.01 mg/l
Cadmium 0.05 mg/l 0.003 mg/l
Chromium 0.05 mg/l 0.01 mg/l
Copper 1 mg/l 1.5 mg/l
Fluoride 0.6 to 1.5 mg/l 0.6 to 1.5 mg/l
Lead 0.1 mg/l 0.01 mg/l
Manganese 0.5 mg/l 0.4 mg/l
Mercury 0.001 mg/l 0.001 mg/l
Nitrate 45 mg/l 45 mg/l
PLAYIT
SAFE
Permissible limits of
different substances
and chemicals in
packaged drinking
water and
mineral water
BENEFITS
RISKS
In India, around 400 million people are at
risk of Iodine Deficiency Disorders due to
insufficient iodine intake.
Adults require 150
micrograms of
iodine a day, which
increases to 250
micrograms
during pregnancy.
Prevents goitre
Stops cretinism
Stems brain damage
Improves fetal and neonatal health
Enhances productivity
of population
Advantages and disadvantages
of iodine supplements
Children born in
severely iodine-
deficient areas are
known to have 13.5
IQ points less
than those born in
iodine-sufficient
areas.
Areport by the
US-based Journal
of Economic
Growth found that
a 1 point increment
of national average
IQ leads to 0.11 per
cent increase in
national GDP.
The importance of iodine in our diet
DAILYDOSE
Thyroid cancer
Autoimmune Thyroiditis
HEALTH
NUTRI TI ON
special
T
H
I
N
K
S
T
O
C
K
P
H
O
T
O
S
/
G
E
T
T
Y
I
M
A
G
E
S
T
H
I
N
K
S
T
O
C
K
P
H
O
T
O
S
/
G
E
T
T
Y
I
M
A
G
E
S
GraphicbyRAHULAWASTHI/www.indiatodayimages.com
GraphicbyRAHULAWASTHI/
www.indiatodayimages.com
Dr Kalpagam Polasa
NEW
48
FASHI ON T E L EVI SI ON BOOKS CI NE MA REVI EWS EYECATCHE RS
LEISURE
I
n 2025, India, led by the Iron Man, engaged in
an ill-advised war with China. Indian nuclear
missiles turned out to be duds due to some
minor corruption at lower levels in the govern-
ment’s purchase department. Mumbai was oblit-
erated, and Delhi too, nearly. Bengal seceded and
became a Chinese protectorate. By the mid-2030s,
a lady we all know, from the country’s most hal-
lowed political family, had become prime minister,
but with little real power. All of which rested with
the Competent Authority, a bureaucrat who had
brought all government departments under the
Bureau of Reconstruction “until further notice, or
the completion of reconstruction, whichever came
sooner”. The Bureau was “expanding rapidly
because the Chinese had left them an awful lot to
reconstruct”. The Competent Authority ruled.
This is the dystopic landscape Shovon
Chowdhury’s insanely brilliant first novel is set in.
Imagine a mixture of Jonathan Swift’s corrosive
irony, the hallucinatory imagination of Philip K.
Dick, and Tom Sharpe’s gruesome slapstick. Add
to that a deep knowledge of the unexpurgated
history of India in the last 100 years, and what
you get is a lethal work of speculative fiction that
wrings its hands in despair even as it makes you
roll on the floor laughing.
It’s almost impossible to summarise this mad
Hieronymus Bosch novel, with its finely detailed
grotesque world and innumerable throwaway
references—a “kalmadi” is slang for Rs 100 crore
(I’ll stay mum on what the common noun “sibal”
means), the Shakahari Sena goes around violently
imposing vegetarianism, Art of Breathing is a
wildly popular spiritual movement. It is unlikely
that every reader will notice all the author’s
winks—I am sure I missed many—but hopefully,
some will be intrigued enough to find out for
themselves a few details of 20th century political
history that are off the officially propagated
HISTORYAS COMEDY
The absurdities of political India come alive in a debut which is satire at its best
By Sandipan Deb
THE COMPETENT
AUTHORITY
by Shovon Chowdhury
Aleph
Price: RS 495
Pages: 454
BETWEEN THE COVERS
The Competent
Authorityrules a
dystopic landscape in
2025 in a brilliant first
novel which blends
Jonathan Swift, Philip
K. Dick and Tom Sharpe.
‘Hello, this is Bank of Bodies,’ cooed the operator.
‘If you have the soul, we have the body. How may
we help you, sir?’
The operator sounded nice, the rich warm
contralto loaded with promise, but there was a
time and place for everything. Sanjeev Verma was
brisk and businesslike.
‘I need one hand for Pappu Verma,Super Milky skin
tone.You have the rest of the specs. The operation
has to happen no later than tomorrow.’
‘Just hold on, sir.’ The gentle strains of a bhajan
wafted over the phone, rendered comtemporary
and peppy by the judicious addition of a disco beat
rhythmic chants, and what appeared to be
castanets adding that essential Latin touch. The
whispered lyrics were in heavily sanskritized Hindi,
and strove to establish a connection between the
Bank of Bodies, Lord Krishna and the Competent
Authority. Sanjeev gritted his teeth and waited.
E X C E R P T S
SAURABHSINGH/www.indiatodayimages.com
version (How many of us have heard of
Suhrawardy, and even among those who have,
how many know about his connection with
Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das; all right, how
many of us have heard of Chittaranjan Das?).
What one can, however, say with confidence is
that The Competent Authority will offend
humourless people across the spectrum—from
politicians of every hue to bureaucrats to godmen
to corporate executives. This is glorious icono-
clasm armed with a deep empathy for every un-
derdog (including a very nice Alsatian).
The story, in bare-bones form, is as follows.
Ten-year-old slum dweller Pintoo gets his left
hand chopped off by the commandos of blue-chip
corporation Bank of Bodies, which is belching
profits supplying body parts to the super-rich. But
the amputation triggers off strange psychic pow-
ers in the boy: he can now “push” things in space
and time. Pintoo wants to “make things better”,
and realises that the only way to do it is to change
history. He identifies three events; if they did not
take place, India would be dramatically different.
These flashpoints are the assassination of
Mahatma Gandhi, Direct Action Day in Calcutta
in 1946 (the first State-abetted communal car-
nage in India), and Pokhran II.
S
eparate subplots bring three men to
Pintoo, and he sends them back in time to
alter the past: Hemonto Chatterjee, a timid mi-
nor bureaucrat; Ram Manohar Pande, a corrupt
muscles-for-brains cop (a character so vile that
he is utterly lovable); and Ali, the last surviving
member of the al Qaeda. Meanwhile, the
Competent Authority is descending rapidly into
crazed megalomania and hatching a monstrous
plot that he believes will create a New Nation,
but in effect, destroy whatever is left of India,
and the Prime Minister is trying desperately to
prevent Armageddon. Can Pintoo’s reluctant
agents make India a better place before it ceases
to exist? Revealing more would be playing
spoiler, and the ride is worth it, as Chowdhury
juggles a worm’s eye view of keystone historical
events with epic weirdness. I was mildly disap-
pointed with the ending (though it is satisfying
at an emotional level), and there are a few loose
ends, but a sort-of-sequel, one is told, is in the
offing, and that should tie them up.
But forget these minor quibbles. In its scope,
ambition, imagination and sheer reading delight,
The Competent Authorityis quite simply the novel
of the decade about India. ■
FASHI ON T E L EVI SI ON BOOKS CI NE MA REVI EWS EYECATCHE RS
LEISURE
A
few minutes before Amitava Kumar’s A
Matter of Rats arrived in the post, I received
a text message from a friend: ‘There’s an
undeniable thrill in watching Shatrughan Sinha’s
daughter in a film theatre in Patna.’ However it
was not with a ticket of Looteraas bookmark, but
with memories of reading Home Products, that I
came to Kumar’s book on Patna. After a long-
distance train journey, Vinod, the protagonist in
Kumar’s first novel, reaches home and finds that
he’s begun to smell like the train. It was in the
search of that smell, then, that I opened the pages
of A Matter of Rats. And lo, there it was, the rail-
way tracks, right in the first line: ‘Rats have
burrowed under the railway tracks in Patna.’
Why rats? And why should rats ‘matter’ in a
book about a city? As you read the ‘Prologue: The
Rat’s Guide’, you marvel at the sophistication
with which Kumar turns Patna into an early 21st
century Hamelin. By the time I was re-reading this
favourite section, 22 children had died in a mid-day meal disaster in
Saran district. Like Hamelin, Bihar, of which Patna is the nostril to
its face, was losing its children. ‘In the hospital in Patna where my
sister works, nurses play the radio at night because they are firmly
of the belief that the music keeps the rats from nibbling at their toes.’
Rats drink from bottles of illegal liquor, they carry away the
writer’s mother’s dentures, and the Principal Secretary in the
Department of Rural Development believes that ‘restaurants should
have rat meat on their menu’ to change views about the Musahars,
the ‘rat-eating caste’. In this sher-and-chooha kahani, Patna is the
rat to Delhi’s lion. And there are several Pied Pipers: The politicians
Lalu and Nitish, the artist Subodh Gupta with his Haan, hum Bihari
hain, a professor at Patna University teaching Waiting for Godot,
the poet Raghav writing his angry poems. Then there’s the writer-
rat: ‘I have some admiration for the rat that, unlike me, hasn’t fled
Patna and has found it possible to live and thrive there.’
Three children, one deaf, another lame, the third a curious
child, were left behind in Hamelin. The three play themselves out
in Kumar’s ‘three Patnas’—those who were born here and then left,
the second who could not leave, the third for ‘whom it is a matter
of life and death’. Kumar takes us through a slideshow of
Pataliputra-calling-Patna with an amazing mix of the truck driver’s
courage and the theatre usher’s self-assured knowledge, and at
one point stops to ask the subaltern rat-citizen, ‘Oh biradar, who
is the rat now?’ I raised my tail. ■
AMATTER OF RATS:
ASHORT
BIOGRAPHY OF
PATNA
byAmitava Kumar
Aleph
Price: RS 295
Pages: 144
The author revisits the city of his youth and
turns it into an early 21st century Hamelin
Rattled in Patna
BETWEEN THE COVERS
In this modern-day
fable about Patna, there
are manyPied Pipers
and onlythree children
left behind.
By Sumana Roy
2 million
HOME AND DÉCOR
1.7 million
RECIPES
695,000
FOOD
392,000
FASHION
458,000
WEDDING
Source: Unmetric.com; Updated: March 2013
Pinterest, a photo-sharing website that involves creating a virtual pinboard
with a collection of desirable items based on events, interests and hobbies,
recently hit 70 million users. Check out what people are pinning the most:
IN PINS WE TRUST
NETFLUX
byLAKSHMI KUMARASWAMI
viral video
Amontage of actor Harrison Ford
pointing a finger while delivering
film dialogues made 732,962
people laugh.
FromOne Second to the Next,
a documentary on the hazards
of texting while driving, caught
1.8 million people’s attention.
app alert
Top of the Lot
MedSnap gives you information
on the ingredient, dosage and
side effects of your pills by merely
taking a picture of it.
Editorial is an easy way to edit
documents on your tablet
with features like linking, dates
and often-used phrases.
Actor Ashton Kutcher’s speech
at the Teen Choice Awards
inspired three million people.
webwow
Imagine if the TV
series Breaking
Badwas set in
India. Jus Reign,
a Toronto-based
comedy group,
has come up
with the Indian
version called Breaking Barfi. The original show
revolves around a teacher and his student making
and selling a blue-coloured variant of crystal meth.
However, this hilarious Indianised parody has only
mithai (sweets). Waltaar, a mithai lover, has been
diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. So he decides to
cook blue-coloured fat-free, sugar-free barfi. The
parody has been shared over 40,000 times online.
smart sheet
In the blog
‘India–the story
you never wanted
to hear’, American
student Rose
Chasm described
being repeatedly
sexually harassed
when she spent three months in India as
part of a ‘semester abroad’ programme.
While she enjoyed the festive air of India,
she always lived in fear of being raped.
She described a particularly harrowing
experience of an attempted assault by a
staff member of a hotel. The article has
been shared over 28,000 times online.
Leaving a Mark
See No Evil, Hear No Evil
‘Stay true to Jesus and stop updating your Facebook status’ preaches an
American church.‘Keep Yo Business Off Of Facebook’, is a gospel song that
explains the evils of social media. With lyrics like Sunday you act like a
saint/But your Facebook status say you ain’t, the video has attracted over
100,000 views. Ironically, the video has been shared most on Facebook.
web LOL
tumblr tales
Rocking with
Charlie Brown
‘The Charming Charlie’
is a Tumblr blog where
Peanuts comic strip
characters like Charlie
Brown and Snoopy spout
the lyrics of the British
rock band, The Smiths.
The result is surprisingly
poignant—for example,
a sad Snoopy is shown
stating profound lyrics
like ‘I was bored before
I even began’.
For Your Palate Only
1
2
3
I
t’s a grey, wet afternoon in Mumbai
but that hasn’t stopped over 200
people, ranging from youngsters to
couples tagging their months-old
babies along, from lining up outside
Floor 17 in Film City, Goregaon. There’s
Ajay Devgn and Prakash Jha, on their
promotional rounds for Satyagraha,
keeping the throng interested, but it’s a
two-and-a-half-hour-long wait before
the action unfolds. In walk actors Ali
Asgar and Sunil Grover, followed by
Navjot Singh Sidhu to lusty applause.
But the crowd goes delirious when
Kapil Sharma emerges and proceeds to
play the drums and sing a medley of hit
numbers from Devgn’s films. Asgar, as
the sneaker-wearing Daadi, Grover,
who’s best when essaying female char-
acters, and Sidhu with his patented
wisecracks are part of the ensemble,
but it takes a Sharma to make Comedy
Nights with Kapil the laughter riot it is.
Kapil Sharma’s brand of humour
relies heavily on insulting or mocking
others, mostly the audience and even
the celebrities—Avtar Gill, Reema
Lagoo, Chunky Pandey. But that only
makes them come back for more.
“Thousands of people tweet to tell me
that they want to come on our show,”
says Sharma, who essays the role of
Bittoo, a magazine owner with a quirky
family. “There is no malice but a child-
like innocence or naiveté to my charac-
ter. That’s why they don’t mind.”
Sharma’s impeccable timing, rapid
delivery and spontaneity, which often
results in unscripted jokes, make him
the unquestioned King of Comedy on
the small screen. Comedy Nights with
Kapil has notched TAM ratings varying
from 2.8 to 3.3 since it made its debut
in June. It is currently the highest-rated
non-fiction show, besting others like
Indian Idol Junior on Sony and Dance
India Dance Super Moms on Zee TV.
Sharma has bagged the prime week-
end slot on Colors with back-to-back
offerings, one as the co-host of dance
show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa with Manish
Paul and the other the eponymous
one which also marks the debut of his
production house, K9. Last year, he
ranked 96 on Forbes’ top 100 Indian
celebrities. With two popular shows
on air in 2013, his ranking is only going
to get better.
Comedu Nights’ popularity has
seen Shah Rukh Khan and Rohit Shetty
appear twice to promote Chennai
Express and Lata Mangeshkar post a
tweet applauding Sharma’s vocal
talent. It’s won fans like Jyoti Dubey, 23,
an employee with an investment bank,
who has watched the show live as well
as repeat telecasts. “It is far better than
the saas-bahu shows,” she says.
Comedy wasn’t Sharma’s forte to
begin with. The son of an Amritsar
police officer, he dabbled in theatre at
the city’s Hindu College and later at
Apeejay College of Fine Arts in
Jalandhar, where he pursued a diplo-
ma in commercial arts. He then worked
as a drama teacher at Hans Raj Mahila
Maha Vidyalaya and BD Arya in Jalan-
dhar. It was when he won a Punjabi
comedy show, Haste Hasate Raho, in
2005 that Sharma realised stand-up
comedy came naturally to him. “Where
I come from, we are a happy-go-lucky
lot who ask weird questions,” explains
the 32-year-old comedian.
Sharma first burst onto the national
spotlight on The Great Indian Laughter
Challenge, which he won in 2007. He
also showcased his versatility as a
singer on Star Ya Rockstar in 2011, fin-
ishing second. His comic capers took off
with Comedy Circus on Sony where he
regaled judges such as Rohit Shetty for
seven seasons from 2010 to 2012.
Shetty even promised him a part in his
film. When he didn’t deliver, Sharma
made him a target of his jokes. “He
has the power to reinvent and modify
himself,” says Sidhu.
Sharma’s topics vary from humor-
ous altercations between a husband
and his nagging wife to the stark differ-
ence between flight attendants emplo-
yed with private and public airlines.
“During shows, sometimes I’m not
even listening to what the person is
saying, just observing what he is
wearing and his mannerisms.”
After two hours of non-stop laughs
on Floor 17, the crew steps out for a
break. Sharma will shoot another
segment of his marquee show. The
following morning he is off to Kolhapur
for an event. And then it’s back on the
sets of Jhalak in Filmistan, Goregaon.
Sidhu is convinced Sharma is here for
the long run: “This guy is the Sachin
Tendulkar of comedy.” ■
SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY
PROFILE
KAPILSHARMA
HAVE A WITTY
WEEKEND
LAUGHTER
KING
By Suhani Singh
“Where I come
from, we are a happy-go-
lucky lot who ask weird
questions.” - KAPIL SHARMA
Why is a rich man rich?
There is always planning.
Business planning, family
planning. A poor man has no
planning. Lights off and the
planning starts.
Why is there so much gap
between your teeth? Do
people keep coming and
going through it?
A rich man eats paneer thrice
a day. A poor man eats it
only when his milk spoils.
Ajay Devgn fan: I've seen
Deewangi 20 times.
Kapil: Why? Didn’t you
understand it the first time?
Kapil Sharma’s impeccable timing, rapid delivery and impromptu jokes have made
Comedy Nights with Kapil the highest-rated non-fiction show on small screen
M
A
N
D
A
R
D
E
O
D
H
A
R
/
w
w
w
.
in
d
ia
t
o
d
a
y
im
a
g
e
s
.
c
o
m
His best punchlines
55
I
t’s a grey, wet afternoon in Mumbai
but that hasn’t stopped over 200
people, ranging from youngsters to
couples tagging their months-old
babies along, from lining up outside
Floor 17 in Film City, Goregaon. There’s
Ajay Devgn and Prakash Jha, on their
promotional rounds for Satyagraha,
keeping the throng interested, but it’s a
two-and-a-half-hour-long wait before
the action unfolds. In walk actors Ali
Asgar and Sunil Grover, followed by
Navjot Singh Sidhu to lusty applause.
But the crowd goes delirious when
Kapil Sharma emerges and proceeds to
play the drums and sing a medley of hit
numbers from Devgn’s films. Asgar, as
the sneaker-wearing Daadi, Grover,
who’s best when essaying female char-
acters, and Sidhu with his patented
wisecracks are part of the ensemble,
but it takes a Sharma to make Comedy
Nights with Kapil the laughter riot it is.
Kapil Sharma’s brand of humour
relies heavily on insulting or mocking
others, mostly the audience and even
the celebrities—Avtar Gill, Reema
Lagoo, Chunky Pandey. But that only
makes them come back for more.
“Thousands of people tweet to tell me
that they want to come on our show,”
says Sharma, who essays the role of
Bittoo, a magazine owner with a quirky
family. “There is no malice but a child-
like innocence or naiveté to my charac-
ter. That’s why they don’t mind.”
Sharma’s impeccable timing, rapid
delivery and spontaneity, which often
results in unscripted jokes, make him
the unquestioned King of Comedy on
the small screen. Comedy Nights with
Kapil has notched TAM ratings varying
from 2.8 to 3.3 since it made its debut
in June. It is currently the highest-rated
non-fiction show, besting others like
Indian Idol Junior on Sony and Dance
India Dance Super Moms on Zee TV.
Sharma has bagged the prime week-
end slot on Colors with back-to-back
offerings, one as the co-host of dance
show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa with Manish
Paul and the other the eponymous
one which also marks the debut of his
production house, K9. Last year, he
ranked 96 on Forbes’ top 100 Indian
celebrities. With two popular shows
on air in 2013, his ranking is only going
to get better.
Comedu Nights’ popularity has
seen Shah Rukh Khan and Rohit Shetty
appear twice to promote Chennai
Express and Lata Mangeshkar post a
tweet applauding Sharma’s vocal
talent. It’s won fans like Jyoti Dubey, 23,
an employee with an investment bank,
who has watched the show live as well
as repeat telecasts. “It is far better than
the saas-bahu shows,” she says.
Comedy wasn’t Sharma’s forte to
begin with. The son of an Amritsar
police officer, he dabbled in theatre at
the city’s Hindu College and later at
Apeejay College of Fine Arts in
Jalandhar, where he pursued a diplo-
ma in commercial arts. He then worked
as a drama teacher at Hans Raj Mahila
Maha Vidyalaya and BD Arya in Jalan-
dhar. It was when he won a Punjabi
comedy show, Haste Hasate Raho, in
2005 that Sharma realised stand-up
comedy came naturally to him. “Where
I come from, we are a happy-go-lucky
lot who ask weird questions,” explains
the 32-year-old comedian.
Sharma first burst onto the national
spotlight on The Great Indian Laughter
Challenge, which he won in 2007. He
also showcased his versatility as a
singer on Star Ya Rockstar in 2011, fin-
ishing second. His comic capers took off
with Comedy Circus on Sony where he
regaled judges such as Rohit Shetty for
seven seasons from 2010 to 2012.
Shetty even promised him a part in his
film. When he didn’t deliver, Sharma
made him a target of his jokes. “He
has the power to reinvent and modify
himself,” says Sidhu.
Sharma’s topics vary from humor-
ous altercations between a husband
and his nagging wife to the stark differ-
ence between flight attendants emplo-
yed with private and public airlines.
“During shows, sometimes I’m not
even listening to what the person is
saying, just observing what he is
wearing and his mannerisms.”
After two hours of non-stop laughs
on Floor 17, the crew steps out for a
break. Sharma will shoot another
segment of his marquee show. The
following morning he is off to Kolhapur
for an event. And then it’s back on the
sets of Jhalak in Filmistan, Goregaon.
Sidhu is convinced Sharma is here for
the long run: “This guy is the Sachin
Tendulkar of comedy.” ■
SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY
PROFILE
KAPILSHARMA
HAVE A WITTY
WEEKEND
LAUGHTER
KING
By Suhani Singh
“Where I come
from, we are a happy-go-
lucky lot who ask weird
questions.” - KAPIL SHARMA
Why is a rich man rich?
There is always planning.
Business planning, family
planning. A poor man has no
planning. Lights off and the
planning starts.
Why is there so much gap
between your teeth? Do
people keep coming and
going through it?
A rich man eats paneer thrice
a day. A poor man eats it
only when his milk spoils.
Ajay Devgn fan: I've seen
Deewangi 20 times.
Kapil: Why? Didn’t you
understand it the first time?
Kapil Sharma’s impeccable timing, rapid delivery and impromptu jokes have made
Comedy Nights with Kapil the highest-rated non-fiction show on small screen
M
A
N
D
A
R
D
E
O
D
H
A
R
/
w
w
w
.
in
d
ia
t
o
d
a
y
im
a
g
e
s
.
c
o
m
His best punchlines
55
Indrani
Dasgupta, 32
Be it in a traditional
ensemble or a chic
gown, the lissome
beauty is always
a scene stealer.
INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY
F
I
G
U
R
E

T
H
I
S
30
The number of minutes chopped
from Bhaag Milkha Bhaag for
audiences abroad. Won’t hurt.
SHOOTING STAR
THE RIGHT
MOVES
Pallavi Sharda, the annoyed tar-
get of Ranbir Kapoor’s affec-
tion in Besharam, has
reason to smile. Even
before the film relea-
ses, the actress has
already bagged
another project.
Sharda will now
be wooed by
Ayushmann
Khurrana in
a period
romance.
I
L
L
U
M
I
N
A
T
I
CROWNING
GLORY
Illustrator of children’s
books, a professor at Ind-
ustrial Design Centre and
a short filmmaker, Shilpa
Ranade is headed to the
big screen, making her
feature debut with the
animated Goopi Gawaiya
Bagha Bajaiya, based on
Upendrakishore Ray
Chaudhuri’s story. It will
premiere at the Toronto
Film Festival.
COMEBACK STAR
BACKIN ACTION
Sugandha Garg, who was seen in films such as
Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na and Tere Bin Laden is all
set to make a comeback. The actor, who is married
to MTV Roadies’ Raghu Ram, will be seen in the se-
quel of Tere Bin Laden, which also stars Ali Zafar,
Pradhuman Singh and Manish Paul.
Rohit Roy is constantly overshadowed
by older brother Ronit, and was
quickly eliminated from Jhalak
Dikhhla Jaa. But the actor hopes to
turn his fortunes around as the host of
The Bachelorette-Mere Khayalo Ki
Mallika on Life OK. Roy will offer com-
mentary as 30 male contestants try to
win over Mallika Sherawat. That
should be amusing, if not entertaining.
ROLE ON
SHINING
STAR
Best known for her small role as
Prosenjit Chatterjee’s wife in
Shanghai, Tillotama Shome has two
meaty parts in her kitty. First up is
Q’s Tasher Desh, where she essays
the role of a queen who drinks
herself into oblivion. But the “role
of a lifetime”is that of a Punjabi girl
in the Irrfan-starrer and Toronto Film
Festival-bound Qissa.
bySUHANI SINGH
GLOSSARY
SHADOW
PLAY
FRAT PARK
Still in
The Lakmé Fashion Week
Winter/Festive 2013, which begins
on August 23, will not just see PYTs
but also pretty women in their 30s.
These experienced models prove
that age is just a number.
Carol
Gracias, 34
She is one of the
highest paid
models in the
industry, charg-
ing Rs 50,000
per show.
Nethra
Raghuraman, 36
The model shuttles
between the Mumbai
ramp and Singapore,
where husband Kunal
Guha lives.
Alesia
Raut, 32
The mother of one,
Raut overcame
the trauma of
domestic violence
and is now one
of India’s
leading models.
FOTOCORP
JATIN KAMPANI
PANKAJ NANGIA/www.indiatodayimages.com
P
A
N
K
A
J

N
A
N
G
I
A
/
w
w
w
.
in
d
ia
t
o
d
a
y
im
a
g
e
s
.
c
o
m
YOGEN SHAH
JAYDEEPSARKAAR
SCREEN CHAMELEON
Raj Kumar Yadav started 2013 with a bang, win-
ning praise for his shy, awkward act in Kai Po Che.
Then came Boyss Toh Boyss Hain, a long-delayed
film which he refused to promote and would have
preferred to forget. But if there’s one film whose
release Yadav will look forward to, it is Shahid, a
biopic of the activist-lawyer Shahid Azmi. Direc-
ted by Hansal Mehta, the film, which has gar-
nered critical praise at international festivals for
over a year, will finally be released thanks to UTV.
FREEZE
FRAME
INDIA TODAY photographer
Maneesh Agnihotri was a
star at the recently-con-
cluded Nikon Photo Con-
test, one of the world’s
top international photo
competitions. Of 99,300
entries from 159
countries, Agnihotri’s
beautiful 45-second
documentary on the
Maha Kumbh, came third
in the video category.
FOTOCORP
fashion
56 57
Indrani
Dasgupta, 32
Be it in a traditional
ensemble or a chic
gown, the lissome
beauty is always
a scene stealer.
INDIA TODAY ◆ SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY
F
I
G
U
R
E

T
H
I
S
30
The number of minutes chopped
from Bhaag Milkha Bhaag for
audiences abroad. Won’t hurt.
SHOOTING STAR
THE RIGHT
MOVES
Pallavi Sharda, the annoyed tar-
get of Ranbir Kapoor’s affec-
tion in Besharam, has
reason to smile. Even
before the film relea-
ses, the actress has
already bagged
another project.
Sharda will now
be wooed by
Ayushmann
Khurrana in
a period
romance.
I
L
L
U
M
I
N
A
T
I
CROWNING
GLORY
Illustrator of children’s
books, a professor at Ind-
ustrial Design Centre and
a short filmmaker, Shilpa
Ranade is headed to the
big screen, making her
feature debut with the
animated Goopi Gawaiya
Bagha Bajaiya, based on
Upendrakishore Ray
Chaudhuri’s story. It will
premiere at the Toronto
Film Festival.
COMEBACK STAR
BACKIN ACTION
Sugandha Garg, who was seen in films such as
Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na and Tere Bin Laden is all
set to make a comeback. The actor, who is married
to MTV Roadies’ Raghu Ram, will be seen in the se-
quel of Tere Bin Laden, which also stars Ali Zafar,
Pradhuman Singh and Manish Paul.
Rohit Roy is constantly overshadowed
by older brother Ronit, and was
quickly eliminated from Jhalak
Dikhhla Jaa. But the actor hopes to
turn his fortunes around as the host of
The Bachelorette-Mere Khayalo Ki
Mallika on Life OK. Roy will offer com-
mentary as 30 male contestants try to
win over Mallika Sherawat. That
should be amusing, if not entertaining.
ROLE ON
SHINING
STAR
Best known for her small role as
Prosenjit Chatterjee’s wife in
Shanghai, Tillotama Shome has two
meaty parts in her kitty. First up is
Q’s Tasher Desh, where she essays
the role of a queen who drinks
herself into oblivion. But the “role
of a lifetime”is that of a Punjabi girl
in the Irrfan-starrer and Toronto Film
Festival-bound Qissa.
bySUHANI SINGH
GLOSSARY
SHADOW
PLAY
FRAT PARK
Still in
The Lakmé Fashion Week
Winter/Festive 2013, which begins
on August 23, will not just see PYTs
but also pretty women in their 30s.
These experienced models prove
that age is just a number.
Carol
Gracias, 34
She is one of the
highest paid
models in the
industry, charg-
ing Rs 50,000
per show.
Nethra
Raghuraman, 36
The model shuttles
between the Mumbai
ramp and Singapore,
where husband Kunal
Guha lives.
Alesia
Raut, 32
The mother of one,
Raut overcame
the trauma of
domestic violence
and is now one
of India’s
leading models.
FOTOCORP
JATIN KAMPANI
PANKAJ NANGIA/www.indiatodayimages.com
P
A
N
K
A
J

N
A
N
G
I
A
/
w
w
w
.
in
d
ia
t
o
d
a
y
im
a
g
e
s
.
c
o
m
YOGEN SHAH
JAYDEEPSARKAAR
SCREEN CHAMELEON
Raj Kumar Yadav started 2013 with a bang, win-
ning praise for his shy, awkward act in Kai Po Che.
Then came Boyss Toh Boyss Hain, a long-delayed
film which he refused to promote and would have
preferred to forget. But if there’s one film whose
release Yadav will look forward to, it is Shahid, a
biopic of the activist-lawyer Shahid Azmi. Direc-
ted by Hansal Mehta, the film, which has gar-
nered critical praise at international festivals for
over a year, will finally be released thanks to UTV.
FREEZE
FRAME
INDIA TODAY photographer
Maneesh Agnihotri was a
star at the recently-con-
cluded Nikon Photo Con-
test, one of the world’s
top international photo
competitions. Of 99,300
entries from 159
countries, Agnihotri’s
beautiful 45-second
documentary on the
Maha Kumbh, came third
in the video category.
FOTOCORP
fashion
56 57
Shilpa Shetty
The actor turned
up for Sridevi’s
50th birthday
bash in a bow-
tied dress that
was way too
short for her.
Talk about
ageing gracefully.
Volume XXXVIII Number 35; For the week August 27- Sept 2, 2013, published on every Friday
BAD WEEK
EYECATCHERS
STRAIGHT FROM SOUTH
Southern siren Deeksha Seth will star op-
posite Kareena Kapoor Khan’s cousin,
first-timer Armaan Jain, in a film that
will be directed by Imtiaz Ali’s brother
Arif Ali, and produced by Saif Ali Khan’s
Illuminati Productions. This will also
mark the Bollywood debut of Seth, who
starred in several hit Telugu films such
as Vedam (2010) and Mirapakaay (2011).
GOOD WEEK

Compiled by Gayatri Jayaraman
and Suhani Singh
From Russia with Love
International supermodel Anastasia
Kuznetsova is all set to walk the ramp
at the Lakme India Fashion Week starting
August 23 in Mumbai. The popular Russian
model is a regular in international shows of
designers like Fendi, Max Azria and Valentino.
IN SAIFCOMPANY
Madhuri Dixit
The dhak-dhak
girl has been
setting young
men’s hearts on
fire. After Ranbir
Kapoor and
Imran Khan, it
was Sushant
Singh Rajput’s
turn to profess
how smitten he
was by her on the
sets of dance real-
ity show Jhalak
Dikhhla Jaa.
THREE THINGS YOU
DON’T HAVE TO
WORRYABOUT

Shahid Kapoor fading
into oblivion. The puppy-
faced actor replaces Imran
Khan in Tigmanshu
Dhulia’s Milan Talkies.

Ekta Kapoor no longer
making controversial
movies. The daily soap
queen is all set to make
a film on the dark world
of cricket betting
and match-fixing.

Kaizad Gustad ever
getting it right. After
introducing Katrina Kaif to
Bollywood in the superflop
2003 film Boom, he will
now cast Sunny Leone
in the lead role of his
forthcoming film Jackpot.
Nandita Das’s Between the
Lines, a contemporary
play set in modern
India, will now be
released in the form
of a cineplay
through videos
and DVDs.
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ogy from Brown University.
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SEPTEMBER, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY SPICE
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Ever wondered why the eternally restless Marilyn Monroe, who never
found comfort in the same set of arms for long, returned to nest at the Argyle
hotel in Los Angeles with obsessive regularity? Or why the style icon Coco
Chanel chose to roost at the Ritz Hotel in Paris for 37 years right until her
death in 1971. It’s easy to understand the need for familiarity while basking
in the warm cocoon of comfort.
But it isn’t just about indulging rock star fantasies and offering cribs that
promise fussy marble, overdramatic underlighting, private plunge pools, bul-
letproof glass, mid-air spa baths, or 24-hour butlers. Sometimes, the allure
can be as ethereal as an epic view. Spice flits across the country on a unique
quest across opulent boudoirs in luxury hotels that offer the most staggering
views. Consider waking up to the sun-drenched façade of the Taj Mahal glis-
tening ethereal from your bedroom window at the Oberoi Amarvilas in
Agra; or the luxury of a sundowner, floating on the backwaters of Kerala en-
joying a view that epitomises the epithet of ‘God’s own country’ at the Lalit
resorts and spa, Bekal. Better still, revel in the perfect blue cloud day with un-
broken views of the Nanda Devi at Shakti 360° in Leti, Kumaon.
We believe that exceptional destinations have to be journeyed in a
very exclusive way. That means, nudging the wanderlust to a host of less
conventional possibilities like a thrilling chase of the primal on a riding sa-
fari across the Thar. Romance the sunset to the rhyme of a camel’s trundle
across the desert; taking the time to appreciate not only what you see but also
what you hear, what you smell, what you taste, and making it count. The idea
is to travel with an open mind, and explore with an adventurous spirit, so
you return home, not just with a tan and a tale, but a new awareness that
could alter the course of your life.
While horse, camel and elephant safaris ride the wave of nostalgia, hark-
ing back to the rhythm of gentler times, Spice’s next port of call effortlessly
straddles the past and the present on a far less strenuous stage. We explore
the burgeoning realm of Chennai’s new identity as a luxury hub; reinvent-
ing its image by inviting the biggest and best brands into its fold; celebrating
the birth of several new luxury hotels and its first super car club—the Madras
Exotic Car Club (MECC)—to pay homage to its evolving spirit.
For those who do not like to dilute their water of life experience with ac-
coutrements, however savoury, can delight in the mellow warmth of
Glenmorangie’s amber gold at its distillery in Tain, Scotland where beauty
is what you drink and the malts, an epitome of its savoir vivre. While the pur-
suit of perfection is a compelling journey, great whisky belies the repetition
of its manufacturers and defies the familiarity of its ingredients.
The risk of ritual is inertia; Spice bears testimony to the alchemy that trans-
forms the glorious to the legendary.
Editor-in-Chief: Aroon Purie
Senior Editor: Prachi Bhuchar
Associate Editor: Chumki Bharadwaj
Senior Correspondent: Varoon P. Anand
Sub-editor: Anushree Basu
Deputy Photo Editor: Reuben Singh
Art Director: Rajeev Bhargava
Assistant Art Director: Vipin Gupta
Senior Visualisers: Sachin Ruhil
Production: Surinder Hastu (Chief of
Production), Vijay Sharma, Arun Kumar
Group Chief Executive Officer: Ashish Bagga
Group Synergy & Creative Officer: Kalli Purie
Group Business Head: Manoj Sharma
Associate Publisher (Impact) : Anil Fernandes
Senior General Managers (Impact)
Kaustav Chatterjee (East)
Jitendra Lad (West)
Subhashis Roy - Head (North)
General Managers
Shailender Nehru ( Bangalore)
Deputy General Manager (Impact)
Velu Balasubramaniam (Chennai)
Volume 9 Number 9; September, 2013
Copyright Living Media India Ltd. All rights reserved throughout the
world. Reproduction in any manner is prohibited. Editor: Kaveree
Bamzai. Printed and published by Ashish Bagga on behalf of Living
Media India Ltd. Printed at Thomson Press India Ltd., 18-35 Milestone, Delhi
Mathura Road, Faridabad-121007, (Haryana) and A-9, Industrial Complex,
Maraimalai Nagar, District Kancheepuram-603209, (Tamil Nadu.).
Published at K-9, Connaught Circus, New Delhi-110001.
India Today does not take responsibility for returning unsolicited
publication material.
e-mail your letters to: letters.editor@intoday.com
s
p
ce
(Aroon Purie)
COVER PHOTOGRAPH: CORBIS
1
2 SEPTEMBER, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY SPICE
C O N T E N T S
16 HOTELS
POINT OF VIEW
Spice lists hotel boudoirs with
the most staggering views
ITGD
SOUTHERN SPICE
20
Chennai’s traditional
song beats to a new
luxury tune
TREND
RIDING HIGH
12
Ditch the porsche or ferrari for
more exotic man on beast action
TRAVEL
CONTENTS
ITGD
4 SEPTEMBER, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY SPICE
CONTENTS
SPIRIT OF THE OPEN
23
Toast the rugged beauty of the
Scottish Highlands with a
robust single malt
WHISKY
WHAT WOMEN WANT
30
Dior’s Grand Bal
collection pays tribute
to the feminine form
TIMEPIECE
ITGD
CONTENTS
1 LETTER FROM THE
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
6 HOTSHEET
32 WISHLIST
34 LASTLOOK
PLUS
HOMEWARD BOUND
26
Raghavendra Rathore’s
heart to hearth
creative process
STAR TREK
SCHOOL OF MAIER STUDIES
28
Discreet luxury is a by-word
for luxury marque Bottega
COLUMN
ITGD
6 SEPTEMBER, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY SPICE
Hotsheet
An artistic marvel of 18th century ceramic ware, a ‘moonflask’ belonging to a collection made especially for
the Qianlong emperor of China, is up for auction at Bonhams on November 7, 2013. Called ‘baoyueping’ in
Chinese and traditionally referred to as ‘pilgrims flask’ because of its characteristic round shape, the unex-
pected find from the dynastic collection of the ‘first museum director’ resonates with imperial provenance.
Many Chinese collectors are vying for the piece made with a rare underglaze painting technique and
patterned with the auspicious five-clawed imperial dragon dating from the 14th century. The ‘moonflask’
itself, which passed from the hands of one connoisseur to another, has an interesting story to tell. The tale
begins with Charles Oswald Liddell, an Englishman settled in China, getting so transfixed by the flask’s
ethereal translucence that he decided to bring it back to England in the late 19th century. That an item from
the emperor’s prized collection of ceramics was under wraps for close to a century enhances the value of the
flask. It is expected to fetch between £500,000 and £800,000 when it goes under the hammer.
Compiled by Prachi Bhuchar and Anindita Satpathi
ROYAL HERITAGE REVISITED
SLICE OF HISTORY
THE EXQUISITE
COPPER RED, COBALT
BLUE FLASK TO BE
AUCTIONED AT BONHAMS
IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST
FINDS IN CHINESE
ART HISTORY
HOTSHEET
A Forbes five-star destination resort on the coast
of Georgia, Sea Island rolls out the red carpet for
your adored furry companion for a cool $395 per
night. Apart from doggie bowls and treats which
are the norm in most hotels, this one goes a step
further and offers for sale Sea Island’s signature
dog shampoo. An a la carte gourmet pet menu
provides organic meals by room service chefs.
Per f ume
WEIGHT IN GOLD
Smelling good can be an expensive affair as
Clive Christian products have proved time and
again. Tagged as the priciest perfumes in the
world, the latest edition, at £2,700 (approxi-
mately $4,140.99) for an exquisite 30ml bottle
is another feather in the brand’s cap. The brand
has been associated with Britain’s royal family
since 1999 when Clive Christian acquired the
Crown Perfumery. In fact, its limited edition
version No. 1 brought out to mark the Queen’s
diamond jubilee celebrations was a big hit.
Now here’s where we can smell true success!
At the Monaco Yacht
Show held annually in Port
Hercule, over 100 top-of-
the-class yachts will be
showcased by companies
in luxury yachting.
Dates that mean something
The sky is clearly no limit. Addicted to a game of poker? Fans can now play in
style with the Meteorite Set – containing poker chips made of asteroid fragments,
diamonds, rubies, sapphires and gold. Visualised and created by discerning
jeweller and artist Kristian Stahl, the set of 120 perfectly calibrated discs are
priced at $150,000. Try not to be awestruck when you play with the chips that
contain shards of an asteroid, which landed on earth almost 800,000 years ago!
CALENDAR
Poker PRECIOUS GAMBLE
Behold a dazzling display of
agility and strength by
horses and riders alike at
the annual Vienna Masters
2013, the season’s biggest
equestrian competition.
19
Automobile fans gear up
for a glimpse of the finest
cars and celebrate 50 years
of Lamborghini at the 4th
annual Luxury Supercar
and Concours d’Elegance
in Vancouver.
Pet s
DOGGIE STYLE
07
25
Who said you had to be an
adult to make a style
statement? A pram de-
signed by Aston Martin in
collaboration with British
brand Silver Cross, which
makes carriages for babies,
replicates most features of
the 007 car and is priced at
a whistle-worthy £2,000.
The limited edition Surf
Aston Martin Edition Pram,
only 800 of which will be
produced, will be available
only at Harrods.
Pr am
SWANKY RIDE
GOURMET
MEALS INCLUDE
BEEF TIPS BRAISED IN
VEAL ESSENCE WITH
WHITE RICE TO SLOW-
COOKED TURKEY,
BROWN RICE AND
VEGETABLES
The Dalmore Paterson Collection, a rare blend
of whiskey created through collaboration be-
tween Scotland’s The Dalmore and Britain’s
Harrods include whiskies from 1926 to the
1990s. Priced at £987,500, ($1.5 million) each
bottle is a full lead crystal decanter handcraft-
ed by crystal house Glencairn and embossed
with silver by luxury jeweller Hamilton &
Inches. The collection has a personal connect
to master distiller Richard Patterson’s life.
Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. Undergoing a giant makeover from a utilitari-
an water cleaning station into a sprawling residence, this building bears testimony to
the unlikely yet striking integration between industrial and home design elements.
The 5,400 sq ft, 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom loft belongs to former Belgian army pilot
Philippe Tondeur. Its modern transformation, assisted with the help of Belgian interi-
or designer Bernadette Jacques, took almost 15 years to complete.
Spi r i t
MATCH IN HEAVEN
Montblanc's Honoré de Balzac limited edition writing
instrument pays homage to French novelist and play-
wright Honoré de Balzac’s long-strived-for literary
breakthrough in 1829. The pen embodies classic symbol-
ism with each of its elements having been minutely designed
to reflect Balzac’s personality and style.The exquisitely crafted pen
has a partially rhodium-plated 750 solid gold nib. The rings on the pen represent the
class structure in 19th century France, eloquently described in his masterpiece, “La
Comédie humaine”. The shape of the cone represents a faithful likeness to the
author, who was partial to pointed shoes, the rage at the time. Balzac’s typical
morning dress is captured in the black resin cap and the dark grey lacquered barrel.
Pen PENNING HISTORY
I nt er i or s KINGSIZE MAKEOVER
If you hate sifting through your
extensive wardrobe every time you make
a last-minute business trip, your expert
packer angel in disguise is London-based
Vault Couture. This
next-level concierge service offers state-
of-the-art storage and digitally archives
the entire contents of your closet so that
instead of going through a mental list of
your wardrobe you can view your clothes
online and create appropriate outfits. An
advanced website and
integrated iPad application lets you
access your immaculately catalogued
and stored wardrobe at the click of a but-
ton. You can also depend on reliable
transfer of the chosen outfits to any des-
tination across the globe. Happy packing!
Tr avel
PACK AT A CLICK
GET MOVED
BY THE FLAIR OF
NOVELIST AND
PLAYWRIGHT
HONORE DE BALZAC
WITH MONTBLANC’S
BEAUTIFUL ODE TO HIS
PASSION FOR
CREATIVITY
SEPTEMBER, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY SPICE 8
Feeding Frenzy
Ridiculously young and
outrageously successful
American designer
Alexander Wang held a
mass free-giveaway for his
fans at an ‘undisclosed
one-time event’ and cap-
tured the ensuing hysteria
on camera. One hundred
of his fans were led into a
warehouse in New York
City and let loose on free
merchandise from the T
by Alexander Wang collec-
tion. The giveaway evoked mixed reactions with some
calling it an art installation piece, others genius viral mar-
keting to and a few even wondering if the hysteria was
staged. The entire episode was caught on camera by
director Darren Stein.
Gucci has once again roped in droolworthy actor/producer
James Franco for its global advertising campaign in which it
plans to unveil the Black Bamboo sunglasses set to go on
sale in October this year. Franco had recently signed on as
ambassador of its male fragrance range. Franco has been all
praise for the work of Gucci creative designer Frida Giannini,
with whom he has collaborated on this and countless other
projects, “I love her work, and she supports mine. Creatively,
I know we will always be in line with each other.” For
Giannini the 70s inspired glasses are iconic.
Skull style goes retro
In an act of artistic benevolence, designer Ralph Lauren will
be funding the restoration of one of Paris’ famed art
institutions, École National Supérieure des Beaux-Arts.
Most of the funds are “designated to restore the semicircu-
lar lecture theatre at the heart of the school with its 90-foot
Raphael-esque mural by Paul Delaroche.” In a tribute to the
two-year-old campaign to renovate the institution, he is
slated to hold a catwalk show on the school grounds on
October 8. Marking the designer’s first-ever European show,
it will showcase the brand’s autumn/winter 2013-14
womenswear collection. The perfect meeting ground for
fashion and art!
Alexander McQueen’s iconic skull-print scarf will make a stylish
comeback under artist Damien Hirst, ten years after the scarf
made a massively popular debut and became a Hollywood fashion
favourite. The brand has enlisted Hirst to produce just 30 limited-
edition pieces, predictably causing a frenzy when the scarves are
released. Hirst’s design will retain the original skull insignia but will
take inspiration from his kaleidoscopic ‘Entomology’ series featur-
ing butterflies, spiders and insects in geometric patterns. Priced at
$476.50, the special edition is a fair bit pricier than the original and will
be available in chiffon, twill and cashmere. These exclusive pieces will be
available in McQueen boutiques from mid-November, unfortunately
sidestepping the peak fashion season, but just in time for winter.
TALK
Stay up to date with the latest
Fashion icon’s art project
Franco-Giannini team up yet again
HOTSHEET
This is as hot as it gets! Sisters Penelope and Monica Cruz are in-
corporating their impeccable fashion sense into designing hand-
bags in a tie-up with Loewe, the Spanish luxury goods label, set
to be unveiled in November. It’s the second such campaign fea-
turing the star, who inked a three-year endorsement deal with
the brand in November 2012. The sisters have brought out ‘The
Cruz’, a cross-body bag, which features outside pockets, in col-
laboration with outgoing creative director Stuart Vevers. “We
wanted to do something special but also practical, and we want-
ed the design to have an unmistakable Spanish element,”
Penelope said. Not only do the sisters enjoy working with each
other, they also have an instinctive preference for the same cuts
and designs, she added. Aimed at the busy working woman who
likes to keep her essentials at-hand, the colourful bags achieve a
perfect balance between style and utility.
Sister Act
SEPTEMBER, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY SPICE
Bling Parade
Giving an interesting twist to
their uber-cool flip flops range,
Havaianas is now launching a
collection inspired by Indian
swim and resortwear designers
Shivan and Narresh. The character-
istic pastel shades and clean lines of
the duo’s swimwear have inspired a
range of crystal-encrusted flip-flops
hand-sewn from organic meshes;
they sure pack a punch in a Shivan
& Narresh waterproof sleeve.
Elaborating on their approach to
what they call ‘functional-em-
bellishment’ Narresh said,
“They're glamourous enough
to be worn on your honey-
moon or luxury holiday, but
also durable.” Nothing like
a funky pair of flip flops to
brighten your mood!
Sky High Check-In
A pop-up hotel? Sounds incredible but created by architect Alex
Schweder for the Denver arts festival, this structure springs 22
feet into the air and can be yours for one night and two days, all
for a sweet $50,000. Labelling the limited-duration access to
the 5-foot-by-7-foot, see-through room, ‘the hotel rehearsal’,
the sponsors are hoping the novelty will attract those more
than happy to fork out the tidy sum.
HOTSHEET
Wining and dining just got even classier. Top end champagne
house Krug has paired up with Aveqia, which specialises in fine
dining, to deliver gourmet cooking classes in London’s Krug
Kitchen. The intimate and luxurious private cooking studio, which
provides the experience just for ten guests at £3,500 per person, is
designed by Italian furniture brand Minotti. Participants are guided
from the preparation to the plating of a four-course-meal using
the best in seasonal ingredients taking inspiration from Swedish
forests and the experience of Aveqia’s Michelin-star trained chefs.
After trying your hand at sautéing, braising and marvelling at the
ingredients transforming into gourmet bites, enjoy them with a
bottle of Krug champagne. As finishing touches to the lovely expe-
rience, guests are invited to the restaurant’s private lounge bar to
sample the extensive range of Krug champagne. Cheers!
Bring out the chef in you
10
G
iven that it’s Germany, would-
n’t it be too cold to grow red
grapes there?’ – Such bewil-
derment is a normal reaction when
someone mentions red wines and
Germany. A picture of steep-sloped
river-facing, sunbathing yet sun-
starved Riesling bunches in the ter-
raced vineyards of Mosel come to
mind when one pictures the German
countryside. To superimpose that
imagery with even the thought of sites
and climes that could go on to produce
polished reds is quite unsettling for
most vinos, since the image does not
really fit. However, Spätburgunder, the
local name for Pinot Noir and synony-
mous with reds in the region, has exist-
ed in these very vineyards from the
turn of 20th century.
Despite its generational presence
though, it is only in the past three
decades that it has grown to this stature
and continues to enjoy an elevated
place on the rapidly expanding wine
map of the world.
Spätburgunder is believed to be
Burgundian Pinot Noir’s late-ripening
(spät) cousin who backpacked his way
to the other side of the border. It’s true
that the early examples of its wines
were, pale, thin, and intimidatingly
sweet-sour in taste, however, the com-
bination of heat, persistence of
German winemakers, the influx of
French technology post the fall of the
Berlin Wall, and the development in
palates led to an appreciation of this
style of wine. Today, experts and acad-
emicians claim that German pinots are
the wine-world’s best-guarded secret.
Recently, I drew a sip of an entic-
ing Spätburgunder from the house of
Bernhard Huber, who, I later realised,
is a pioneer in German pinot produc-
tion. Located in Baden (south) the fruit
for their Scholssberg range arrives
from what is regarded as the best vine-
yard in the region and thus labelled as
‘Grosses Gewachs’, representing the
pinnacle of the German quality wine
pyramid (meaning Grand cru). The
2007 vintage displayed a youthful ruby
shade. It was light-bodied, structured,
and a well-ripened wine, with concen-
trated flavours of red cherries, straw-
berries, pomegranate, rhubarb, violet
perfume, hint of minty freshness, fin-
ishing with a sweet oak lift of baking
spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and
cloves. Tannins were supple and min-
erality-driven acidity was quite surreal
making it the perfect companion to a
hearty Indian meal.
The German Rieslings are
undoubtedly most respected in the
connoisseur realms. It would now
seem that this part of Europe has suc-
cessfully managed to bring a similar
level of focused devotion to the
Spätburgunders. Today, the wine
world seems to be coming to agree-
ment over the fact that German wine-
makers are gradually making wines
that are competitive and sit comfort-
ably besides top Burgundian, Oregon,
and New Zealander drops in blind-tast-
ings. It seems to be only a matter of
time before they’ll be rated highly on
our local wine lists too. Till then, to the
respectful Späts of Rudolf Früst and
Bernhard Huber, we raise a well-
deserved toast. Jubel!
WI NE
THE SPICE CELLAR
PINOTNOIR’S NEWACCENT
THE 2007 VINTAGE DISPLAYED A YOUTHFUL, RUBY SHADE. IT
WAS LIGHT-BODIED, STRUCTURED AND A WELL-RIPENED WINE
WITH CONCENTRATED FRUIT AND BERRY FLAVOURS
Gagan Sharma is a certified sommelier and
wine educator based in New Delhi
GAGAN SHARMA
SEPTEMBER, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY SPICE
TRAVEL
00 JUNE, 2005 ◆ INDIA TODAY SPICE
JUNJHUNU
INTENSITY: Moderate
TERRAIN: Mostly flat with some hills
The entire theme of these horse safaris is to re
enact the grand hunting camps and journeys of the
British inspection teams and parties of the Raj
days. Coasting on nostalgia, these safaris use simi-
lar colourful deluxe luxury oriental tents, a retinue
of attendants waiting on the riders and the guests,
folk musicians, masseurs, shoe polish boys, tent
men, cooks and equipment carried by chauffeur
driven 4WD vehicles, which can also accommo-
date non-riding spouses. The menus include old
Rajasthani recipes as well as continental dishes.
The stables boast pure Indian bred horses such as
the Marwaris, Khatiawaris and Sindhis. Along
with a few thoroughbreds from Europe .They have
six fixed departure horse safaris per year that last
between three to nine days); three safaris at the
famous horse/camel fairs of Nagore/Balotra and
Pushkar; another safari ride to the Talchapar
Black buck game sanctuary in Bikaner. In August
due to the monsoon rain, camping is not possible
so the ride rests at forts and castles of the
Shekhawati region for the night.
CO-ORDINATES: SHEKHAWATI BRIGADE HORSE
SAFARIS; `1.58 lakh-1.88 lakh depending on the trip and
number of people; horsesafarirajasthan @yahoo.com
Tel: 91-141-2366637; Mail: horsesafarirajasthan@yahoo.com
HORSE SAFARIS
HOT TO
TROT
A
holiday could be almost anything these days. But the classic sun, sea and surf formula is just a tired cliché. Spice
invites you to nudge that wanderlust with a host of less conventional possibilities. Or at least take the familiar by
surprise. We redefine luxury as a time for reflection, personal encounters with people, animals, nature, architecture
as well as food, social and cultural experiences in the midst of sweat and toil. To find song in the trot of a horse as you fall in
step with the animal or romance the rhyme of a camel’s trundle on a trek across the Thar. If you prefer the path of the pachy-
derm, that’s an option too. Driving through on a Porsche or a Ferrari may be cool, but we recommend a more exotic ride.
Consider a horse, camel or elephant not just as your ride but a moving image makeover. It may involve some exertion but
pleasure does not always tread the straight and narrow. As more people plan vacations that up their brag quotient by being
‘different’, we look at this growing travel trend that beats to a more primordial drum.
TRUNDLE OFF INTO THE SUNSET ON
A WAVE OF NOSTALGIA, TREADING THE
PATH OF A BYGONE ERA. GIVE IN TO PURE
SPONTANEITY ON A LUXURIOUS RIDING
SAFARI, SAYS CHUMKI BHARADWAJ.
DELHI
INTENSITY: Moderate to high
TERRAIN: Mostly flat with some steep climbs
Ibex offers horse, camel and elephant safaris ranging
from 2-8 days depending on season, itinerary and pref-
erence. Since they offer customised trips, the details
can be tailored to exact specifications. The horse
safaris explore rural Rajasthan on horseback, thorough
Kotri, Narlai, Ranakpur and Kumbhalgarh over five
days, departing from Udaipur and ending at Jodhpur.
Each day involves about 2-3 hours of riding per day
through open country, hills and farms with local sight-
seeing around temples, rock climbing, Muthana bird
lake and Kumbhalgarh wildlife sanctuary and fort
Cost: (Upwards of Rs 85,000 per person for two peo-
ple). The elephant safari lasts for three days and with
night stays at Jaipur and involves safaris through the
Aravallis forests surrounding the camp through agri-
cultural fields, hills and forests with a visit to ancient
monuments and jungle safaris. (Cost: upwards of Rs
1,10,000 per person for two days). The camel safari
stretches over four days and starts from Manvar (near
Jodhpur) and returns to Manvar via lawaran &
khiyansaria and Haapa among other places and takes
in a local sightseeing, wildlife safari and sun downers
on the dunes. Cost: upwards of `90,000 per person
CO-ORDINATES: IBEX EXPEDITIONS; Tel: +91-11-
26460244, 26460246; Mail: ibex@ibexexpeditions.com
CAMEL / HORSE / ELEPHANT SAFARIS
AN ELEPHANT SAFARI RETURNING TO CAMP AT DUSK (LEFT); A CAMEL
SAFARI EXPLORES THE BARREN BEAUTY OF THE THAR (ABOVE)
13
SEPTEMBER, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY SPICE
TRAVEL
00 JUNE, 2005 ◆ INDIA TODAY SPICE
JUNJHUNU
INTENSITY: Moderate
TERRAIN: Mostly flat with some hills
The entire theme of these horse safaris is to re
enact the grand hunting camps and journeys of the
British inspection teams and parties of the Raj
days. Coasting on nostalgia, these safaris use simi-
lar colourful deluxe luxury oriental tents, a retinue
of attendants waiting on the riders and the guests,
folk musicians, masseurs, shoe polish boys, tent
men, cooks and equipment carried by chauffeur
driven 4WD vehicles, which can also accommo-
date non-riding spouses. The menus include old
Rajasthani recipes as well as continental dishes.
The stables boast pure Indian bred horses such as
the Marwaris, Khatiawaris and Sindhis. Along
with a few thoroughbreds from Europe .They have
six fixed departure horse safaris per year that last
between three to nine days); three safaris at the
famous horse/camel fairs of Nagore/Balotra and
Pushkar; another safari ride to the Talchapar
Black buck game sanctuary in Bikaner. In August
due to the monsoon rain, camping is not possible
so the ride rests at forts and castles of the
Shekhawati region for the night.
CO-ORDINATES: SHEKHAWATI BRIGADE HORSE
SAFARIS; `1.58 lakh-1.88 lakh depending on the trip and
number of people; horsesafarirajasthan @yahoo.com
Tel: 91-141-2366637; Mail: horsesafarirajasthan@yahoo.com
HORSE SAFARIS
HOT TO
TROT
A
holiday could be almost anything these days. But the classic sun, sea and surf formula is just a tired cliché. Spice
invites you to nudge that wanderlust with a host of less conventional possibilities. Or at least take the familiar by
surprise. We redefine luxury as a time for reflection, personal encounters with people, animals, nature, architecture
as well as food, social and cultural experiences in the midst of sweat and toil. To find song in the trot of a horse as you fall in
step with the animal or romance the rhyme of a camel’s trundle on a trek across the Thar. If you prefer the path of the pachy-
derm, that’s an option too. Driving through on a Porsche or a Ferrari may be cool, but we recommend a more exotic ride.
Consider a horse, camel or elephant not just as your ride but a moving image makeover. It may involve some exertion but
pleasure does not always tread the straight and narrow. As more people plan vacations that up their brag quotient by being
‘different’, we look at this growing travel trend that beats to a more primordial drum.
TRUNDLE OFF INTO THE SUNSET ON
A WAVE OF NOSTALGIA, TREADING THE
PATH OF A BYGONE ERA. GIVE IN TO PURE
SPONTANEITY ON A LUXURIOUS RIDING
SAFARI, SAYS CHUMKI BHARADWAJ.
DELHI
INTENSITY: Moderate to high
TERRAIN: Mostly flat with some steep climbs
Ibex offers horse, camel and elephant safaris ranging
from 2-8 days depending on season, itinerary and pref-
erence. Since they offer customised trips, the details
can be tailored to exact specifications. The horse
safaris explore rural Rajasthan on horseback, thorough
Kotri, Narlai, Ranakpur and Kumbhalgarh over five
days, departing from Udaipur and ending at Jodhpur.
Each day involves about 2-3 hours of riding per day
through open country, hills and farms with local sight-
seeing around temples, rock climbing, Muthana bird
lake and Kumbhalgarh wildlife sanctuary and fort
Cost: (Upwards of Rs 85,000 per person for two peo-
ple). The elephant safari lasts for three days and with
night stays at Jaipur and involves safaris through the
Aravallis forests surrounding the camp through agri-
cultural fields, hills and forests with a visit to ancient
monuments and jungle safaris. (Cost: upwards of Rs
1,10,000 per person for two days). The camel safari
stretches over four days and starts from Manvar (near
Jodhpur) and returns to Manvar via lawaran &
khiyansaria and Haapa among other places and takes
in a local sightseeing, wildlife safari and sun downers
on the dunes. Cost: upwards of `90,000 per person
CO-ORDINATES: IBEX EXPEDITIONS; Tel: +91-11-
26460244, 26460246; Mail: ibex@ibexexpeditions.com
CAMEL / HORSE / ELEPHANT SAFARIS
AN ELEPHANT SAFARI RETURNING TO CAMP AT DUSK (LEFT); A CAMEL
SAFARI EXPLORES THE BARREN BEAUTY OF THE THAR (ABOVE)
13
SEPTEMBER, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY SPICE
BANGALORE
INTENSITY: Moderate
TERRAIN: Mostly flat with a few small hills to negotiate
They offer riding trips that range between 3-8 days with
about 35-40 km of riding each day with halts for lunch as
well as nature calls. At the end of an adventurous day,
guests are accommodated in deluxe tents. The saddlery
used is English and Cavalry; guests have to bring their
own hard hats and boots. The 8-day safari travels be-
tween Mysore and Bangalore via Nandiguda, Ukallgere,
Talakadu, T Narasipura and Suttur with a rest day in
between with no riding. Most of the riding is through
fields and villages, along rivers and canals with an
evening halt at the campsite with dinner around a camp-
fire and local folk entertainment. The 4-day safari in-
volves shorter distances, lesser riding and more
sightseeing and imbibing local flavours.
CO-ORDINATES: PRINCESS HORSE ADVENTURE;
Cost: `25,000 per person per day; Tel: +919845005012;
918028543831; Mail: princess.riding@gmail.com
HORSE SAFARIS
UDAIPUR
INTENSITY: Moderate
TERRAIN: Mostly flat
The premium offering from the stables of Princess Trails
is the Castle-to-Castle Ride which extends over six
nights and seven days with night stays at heritage ho-
tels. The ride begins in Udaipur and continues via the fa-
mous village of Haldi Ghati, in the Aravalli hills to the
famously steep climb up to the Kumbhalgarh Fort,
perched on one of the highest peaks of the Aravallis. The
Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary is next on the itiner-
ary and they continue after through the Ranakpur valley
past the famous Ranakpur Jain Temples with an
overnight halt at the Fateh Bagh hotel. The fourth day
ride continues through the Thar Desert over an open
plain dotted with small villages and fields to the Rawla
Narlai, an old palace converted into a heritage hotel.
The fifth day continues in the Rajasthani Bagar to the
small town of Jojawar and the trip makes a grand end in
Udaipur at the glorious Shiv Niwas Palace.
CO-ORDINATES: PRINCESS TRAILS; Cost: `1,45 lakh per
person; Tel: +91-9829042012; Mail: marwarihorses@web.de
HORSE SAFARIS
THE TENTED PRINCESS TRAILS CAMP (ABOVE); A HORSE ADVENTURE PAST PRETTY FIELDS (BELOW)
14
IF A PEN’S MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD, THIS GOLD SHEAFFER HAS THE WRITE OF WAY
WRITE OF PASSAGE
Wishlist
Penmanship may have been relegated to an archaic art, but limited edition fountain pens still retain the old world
charm of heritage collectibles. To celebrate its 100th year in 2013, Sheaffer’s has launched the Sheaffer®
Centennial Limited Edition and the Sheaffer Legacy® Heritage Centennial Limited Edition. The Sheaffer Legacy®
Heritage Centennial Limited Edition is offered in two finishes: a gold fountain pen in a limited edition of 45 Pens
and a sterling silver fountain pen limited worldwide to 516 pens. The gold fountain pen represents Walter A.
Sheaffer’s age at the time he founded the company. It is an engraved solid gold piece with an 18-carat gold plate
trim with a Sheaffer inlaid nib made from 18-carat gold. Now that’s what defines the gold standard.
Price: `18 lakh.
FETISH
SEPTEMBER, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY SPICE 15
HOTELS
LET YOUR WEARY EYES
SOAK IN THE GRANDEST
SIGHTS OF THE COUNTRY
WITH A ROUNDUP OF THE
HOTEL ROOMS THAT OFFER
THE BEST VIEWS, SHARES
VAROON P. ANAND
ROOM WITH
AVIEW
ROOM WITH
AVIEW
I
t isn’t always enough to just get away
from the dreariness of your daily
routine. We feel comfortable replacing
the word holiday or vacation with the
word sightseeing to describe a pleasurable
escape. What we often neglect on these
sojourns is the world that surrounds where
we spend the majority of our time while
on holiday: the hotel room.
What better image to open your
eyes to than morning sunlight streaming
over India’s most romantic monument,
all from the comfort of your bed? Or
how about curling up with a great book,
your feet up on the railing of your
private balcony taking in the sheer
majesty of a precipitous mountain range.
Indulge in the sheer luxury of dining on
a boat with the sound of the waves sur-
rounding you for a completely sensory ex-
perience that fulfils every desire. or the Taj
Mahal for company as you soak in a hot
tub strewn with rose petals. More and
more hotels are choosing locations that
afford grand, memorable views. Join us as
we bring you a round up of the most stag-
gering hotel views in India.
KASARAGOD, KERALA
In the lap of the Arabian Sea, stretched across
26 pristine acres of northern Kerala sits The
Lalit’s five-star resort and spa Bekal.
Surrounded on three sides by natural backwa-
ters and dotted with internal lagoons, no mat-
ter which window you look out from, the view
truly epitomises God’s own country. Along
with 37 rooms and a presidential suite they
offer accommodation on a stunning floating
cottage, or a kettuvalam, which carries you
away on a serene journey surrounded by na-
ture; at any point if you draw back the blinds,
the view stuns with its staggering beauty. Even
in utter seclusion no luxury is spared with a
24- hour concierge service, a bird observato-
ry, grass weaving and kayaking.
THE LALIT RESORT & SPA BEKAL; Tel : +91 467
223 7777; Mail: resvbekal@thelalit.com
VIEW OF THE
BACKWATERS
HOTELS
LET YOUR WEARY EYES
SOAK IN THE GRANDEST
SIGHTS OF THE COUNTRY
WITH A ROUNDUP OF THE
HOTEL ROOMS THAT OFFER
THE BEST VIEWS, SHARES
VAROON P. ANAND
ROOM WITH
AVIEW
ROOM WITH
AVIEW
I
t isn’t always enough to just get away
from the dreariness of your daily
routine. We feel comfortable replacing
the word holiday or vacation with the
word sightseeing to describe a pleasurable
escape. What we often neglect on these
sojourns is the world that surrounds where
we spend the majority of our time while
on holiday: the hotel room.
What better image to open your
eyes to than morning sunlight streaming
over India’s most romantic monument,
all from the comfort of your bed? Or
how about curling up with a great book,
your feet up on the railing of your
private balcony taking in the sheer
majesty of a precipitous mountain range.
Indulge in the sheer luxury of dining on
a boat with the sound of the waves sur-
rounding you for a completely sensory ex-
perience that fulfils every desire. or the Taj
Mahal for company as you soak in a hot
tub strewn with rose petals. More and
more hotels are choosing locations that
afford grand, memorable views. Join us as
we bring you a round up of the most stag-
gering hotel views in India.
KASARAGOD, KERALA
In the lap of the Arabian Sea, stretched across
26 pristine acres of northern Kerala sits The
Lalit’s five-star resort and spa Bekal.
Surrounded on three sides by natural backwa-
ters and dotted with internal lagoons, no mat-
ter which window you look out from, the view
truly epitomises God’s own country. Along
with 37 rooms and a presidential suite they
offer accommodation on a stunning floating
cottage, or a kettuvalam, which carries you
away on a serene journey surrounded by na-
ture; at any point if you draw back the blinds,
the view stuns with its staggering beauty. Even
in utter seclusion no luxury is spared with a
24- hour concierge service, a bird observato-
ry, grass weaving and kayaking.
THE LALIT RESORT & SPA BEKAL; Tel : +91 467
223 7777; Mail: resvbekal@thelalit.com
VIEW OF THE
BACKWATERS
SEPTEMBER, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY SPICE
AGRA, UTTAR PRADESH
Wake up to the glorious sight of the Taj Mahal, bathed by the first rays of dawn. Watch her
sparkle by day as the sun shines on her architectural perfection. Allow yourself to be swept
away by her romance at dusk. Let the nights be filled with the magic of the Taj by
moonlight.Rated amongst the leading resorts in the world, The Oberoi Amarvilas offers the best
view of the Taj Mahal in Agra. The hotel is located 600 meters from the Taj Mahal and all
rooms, suites, lobby, bar and lounge offer breathtaking views of the monument. You can also en-
joy a languorous soak in their hot tub as you mull over the love affair that led to the monument
being built. Build your own love story in the shadow of the Taj at this outstanding property.
THE OBEROI AMARVILAS, AGRA; Tel : +91 562 223 1515; Mail: generalmanager.amarvilas@oberoihotels.com
VIEW OF THE TAJ MAHAL
HOTELS
18
SRINAGAR, KASHMIR
Nestled on Kralsangri Hill overlooking the scenic Dal Lake, bordered by the majestic snow-capped Zabarwan
Range in the winters and overlooking the Tulip Gardens in full bloom in spring, sits the Vivanta by Taj, a true
Kashmiri jewel. About 1730 metres above sea level, and 20 kilometres from the international airport, the hotel
has 81 lake-facing rooms over 500 sq ft, designed with a nod to the elegance and classic allure of the valley. A
private balcony in each room allows the weary traveller to rejuvenate his senses gazing at snow-capped peaks
and a serene, pristine lake. Truly one of the most spectacular hotel views to wake up to across India.
THE VIVANTA BY TAJ; Tel : +91 194 246 1111; Mail: Vivanta.srinagar@tajhotels.comm
VIEW OF THE DAL LAKE
KUMAON, UTTARAKHAND
Located 160 kilometres from Almora,
next to the tiny village of Kumaon,
stands a testament to lofty inspiration.
Soaring 2,200 metres into the sky, the
ultra-exclusive Shakti 360° at Leti of-
fers just four guest pavilions with a
main lounge dining area for the feeling
of ensconced seclusion that spells true
luxury and comfort. Sitting on the out-
door patio, with the wind rustling
through the forest and bristling blades
of grass, the sight of India’s second
highest peak, Nanda Devi, humbles
you instantly. With secret waterfalls,
fishing holes, and treks through the
Kumaon village this hotel room has a
view like none other.
SHAKTI 360°; Tel : +91 124 456 3899;
Mail: info@shaktihimalaya.com
VIEW OF NANDA DEVI
T
he road is shaded by tall, leafy trees and the
Bergamo Mall, housed in this side street in cen-
tral Chennai has become the go-to shrine for
all that qualifies as luxury. Chennai has always
been a conservative city where the wealthy prefer to
keep it simple, steering clear of ostentatious displays of
brands. Louis Vuitton has a 30,000 square foot store
housing its latest collections and Bottega Veneta and oth-
er big luxury houses have also chosen to make Chennai
their home over the last year; many more are playing the
wait and watch game in the wings as the demand for lux-
ury explodes. Keeping pace with this change, we have
seen the birth of three glorious hotels in the city over the
last eight-ten months; the ITC Grand Chola, The Leela
Palace, and the more youthful Park Hyatt. Each hotel
offers an experience so unique that their back to back
launches have not made a dent on room or F&B sales at
any one property. If you are part of young Chennai, the
Park Hyatt will be your first choice; craving a sea view?
The Leela Palace is unbeatable; but if it is a hotel that
straddles the past and present effortlessly that you are
seeking, the ITC Grand Chola beckons.
It is not uncommon to find Kanjeevaram-clad
women slide of their Audis, Bottega Veneta in hand as
SEPTEMBER, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY SPICE
TREND
DUE
SOUTH
AS CHENNAI OPENS UP ITS
PURSE STRINGS AND INVITES
THE BIGGEST AND BEST
BRANDS INTO ITS FOLD, THE
BIRTH OF SEVERAL FINE
HOTELS AND THE LAUNCH OF
TOP BRANDS PAY A FITTING
TRIBUTE TO AN EVOLVING CITY,
FINDS PRACHI BHUCHAR
THE MADRAS EXOTIC CAR CLUB
BRINGS THE JAGUAR F TYPE TO
THE STREETS OF CHENNAI
20
they saunter into these hotels or make a beeline for the
Bergamo Mall to browse through the latest collection of
LV bags. They are discreet, well-travelled, yet devoid of
much of the ostentation that accompanies such brat
packs in other cities. While this mall is one of Chennai’s
only luxury retail spaces at present, the new hotels are
hoping to draw top fashion and beauty brands into their
attractive retail arcades to offer its residents (and those
across the city) a finer shopping experience.
All the new launches reflect the city’s craving for
spaces that extend beyond the ordinary. According to a
lady who has been part of Chennai’s changing social
scene for the last two decades, “People here have always
loved all that’s aesthetically pleasing and are willing to
pay a lot for objects and experiences that tap into the
finest in the market. It is only over the last few years
though that the younger set has started lavishing its mon-
TREND
THE CHANGING PERCEPTION OF LUXURY IS APTLY REFLECTED IN THE NEW
FIVE-STAR HOTELS (RIGHT) THAT FORM THE CITY’S CHANGING LANDSCAPE
AND LUXURY STORES LIKE BOTTEGA VENETA AT BERGAMO MALL (BELOW)
2 SEPTEMBER, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY SPICE
ey on luxury brands and hotel experiences within the
city rather than focusing solely on travelling overseas.”
Along with the biggest names in designer labels
there has been an influx of swanky car dealerships hom-
ing in on the new Chennai. For one, a recent report pegs
that between 1,600-1,900 luxury cars were sold in
Chennai alone over the last year. Super luxury cars are
often found dotting city scape, a distinguished gentle-
man with namam on his forehead exiting it in his new,
bespoke suit. In keeping with this trend the city also got
its first super car club: the Madras Exotic Car Club
(MECC) last year.
And the new hotels, each grander and bigger than
the last bear testimony to the city’s love for partying, fine
dining and living. The ITC Grand Chola for one pays
tribute to this very culture of living life kingsize that has
captured the city’s feverish imagination. One any given
day of the week (or weekend) its many restaurants are
running double shifts as they try and accommodate the
changing tastes of new Chennai. And this is just the tip
of the iceberg as the other new hotels join in, each in an
attempt to outdo its nearest competitor. For the first time
the city has options in the luxury segment and its
residents are not balking. In addition to these top five-
stars that are taking the shape of things to come, The JW
Marriott, Hyatt and Hilton are also setting up shop in
Chennai over the next few months. Clearly there’s no
stopping this southern belle that’s keen to make a mark
as a hotspot on the luxury map in India!
THE LEELA PALACE
The 326-room hotel is the city’s only sea-front
five-star property is evocative of the Chettinad
dynasty and reflects both tradition and opu-
lence. Launched in December 2012
PARK HYATT
Contemporary in form and design, this young
hotel has become the rage since the launch of
its night club The Flying Elephant which is
Chennai’s swankiest watering hole today.
ITC GRAND CHOLA
Grand, opulent and dazzling thanks to its sheer
size, this city hotel has the finest F&B on offer.
THE NEW CHENNAI
THE ROOMS OF THE ITC GRAND CHOLA HOTEL ARE TASTEFUL AND REFLECT
OPULENCE. ALL FUNCTIONS WITHIN ARE CONTROLLED VIA AN IPAD.
TREND
2
SCOTS
HONOUR
UNTAINTED BY PILLAGING TOURISTS, TAIN COMBINES THE FINEST OF SCOTLAND:
RUGGED BEAUTY AND ROBUST SINGLE MALTS, FINDS CHUMKI BHARADWAJ
M
emory plays a powerful raconteur; clawing its way through the nostalgia-encrusted tangle of time and space.
But mine seems trapped somewhere between the haunting nectar of Scottish beauty and the ambrosial qual-
ity of whisky’s amorous charms. The brooding melancholy of the Highland’s desolate landscape makes
whisky not just the perfect compliment but its rightful companion; a languorous inheritor of heritage and hedonism.
No wonder whisky sourced its journey through this theatrically raw land. Truth be told, whisky has never been my
poison of preference but in Scotland, it’s almost a moral imperative to relish and reflect.
THE GLENMORANGIE DISTILLERY IN TAIN HAS BEEN PRODUCING ITS
SINGLE HIGHLAND MALT SCOTCH WHISKY SINCE 1843; CRAFTING
THE DELICATE SPIRIT ARE THE LEGENDARY SIXTEEN MEN OF TAIN
WHI SKY
SCOTS
HONOUR
“You should be able to nose the aromas of dried
fruits and flowers and taste honey, dates and figs” he
suggests in his lyrical Scottish accent. Dr Bill Lumsden,
whisky impresario and head of distilling and whisky
creation for Glenmorangie leads the tasting. The bur-
nished gold sloshes around like ensnared sunlight in
the glass. However, I can only smell nostalgia and taste
warmth. Whisky is irreverent; it revels in the stubborn
anthem: ‘to each, his own’. I trust my instincts and de-
cide that the unctuous velvety after taste of the rare 18
year old is disarmingly alluring.
For a complex, layered concoction, scotch whisky
is a surprising confluence of three simple ingredients:
water, barley and yeast. It is the process of maturation
thereafter that contours the lively flavours that define
each one. The distillery (located in Tain) uses Scottish
grown barley that is lightly peated during malting, and
water from its own Tarlogie Springs. The natural
springs is one of Glenmorangie’s most prized assets
since the water filtered through this landscape alter-
nates between porous limestone and sandstone, giving
this unique, mineral-rich water a ‘hard’ quality that con-
tributes to the fresh and delicate character of the spirit.
While the pursuit of perfection is a compelling jour-
ney, great whisky belies the repetition of its manufac-
turers and defies the familiarity of its ingredients; an
alchemy that Glenmorangie believes is the reflection of
the glorious marriage of wood and whisky. Since almost
60 per cent of Glenmorangie’s distinct flavour actually
comes from the casks, the choice of cask selection be-
comes rather crucial.
Glenmorangie uses primarily white American oak
casks that have previously contained bourbon. The
majority of the casks are first fill (that is, they have nev-
er before matured Scotch whisky). For their extra ma-
tured products, hand selected port, sherry or wine
casks from the leading vineyards and chateaux of
Europe are used to complement the complex charac-
teristics of Glenmorangie and create varying expres-
sions of taste and finesse.
However, but this wasn’t always the case. Wedged
between the glory of a 170-year-old tradition and the
inspiration of evolution, lays the company’s claim to
the world’s first wood finished whisky (whereby the
spirit is matured in a cask of a particular origin and
then spends time in a cask of a different origin; gener-
ally six months to two years).
It was only in 1987 that Glenmorangie launched its
first Wood Finished whisky, more commonly known
as the 1963 vintage. It was matured in American oak
SEPTEMBER, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY SPICE
THE SIGNET IS THE RICHEST WHISKY
IN THE RANGE AND IS MATURED IN
SOME OF THE WORLD’S MOST
EXPENSIVE BESPOKE CASKS (LEFT)
WHI SKY
4 2
WHI SKY
ABOUT TOWN: The tiny, but thriving town of Tain,
situated on the south shore of Dornoch Firth, is
Scotland’s oldest royal burgh. Awash in dramatic his-
tory and scenic landscape, it boasts spectacular archi-
tecture with the fabulous Dunrobin castle, a great
array of wildlife and a range of sporting and leisure
activities The 13th century Dornoch Cathedral with
spectacular stained glass windows and a fully func-
tional organ, is also where Madonna and Guy Ritchie’s
son Rocco was christened in 2000. Incidentally, the
couple got married in the nearby Skibo Castle.
JOIN THE CLUB: Apart from whisky, golf is another
Scottish indulgence that they claim as their invention.
And the town is especially renowned for its wonderful links golf course designed by Tom Morris and many other
courses within easy reach. At the 19th hole players can enjoy a dram of the famous Glenmorangie whisky pro-
duced at the local distillery. Glenmorangie is also the spirits sponsor for the British Open Championship for the
second consecutive year.
STAY PUT: Painted straight out of the pages of Enid Blyton, the Glenmorangie house, overlooking the unspoilt
shores of Moray Firth, is the ultimate refuge of the heritage hedonist. Here, the solitude of temporary detachment
ensures a full immersion in the song, spirit and season of the Scottish Highlands. With the strains of the bagpipes
for ambience, a glass of Glenmorangie for soulful conversation and farm fresh food for the seduction of the senses,
the breath of the sea is the instagram fix of the day; enjoy long walks or simply curl up by a toasty log fire.
SPIRIT OF THE OPEN
casks, and only then extra-matured in selected sherry
oak casks that gave it its full-bodied texture with rich,
sweet and spicy aromas. Then, in 1994, they released
their second expression—the Glenmorangie Port-Wood
Finish. After a 10-year maturation period in American
whisky casks, it spent an extra two years absorbing the
subtle flavours from port pipes. This matured the whisky
into a voluptuously smooth single malt with an intrigu-
ing balance of velvet and crisp cool.
The first Wood Finish Range was launched in 1996
with a collection that included both the sherry and port
wood cask expressions along with the addition of
Madeira casks. While the Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban
(from the Quintas or wine estates of Portugal) is the dark-
est and most intense whisky extra matured in ex-ruby port
pipes with a complex balance of sweet and dry flavours;
the Glenmorangie Lasanta is a spicy, full bodied whisky
extra matured in ex-Olorosso Sherry casks from Jerez in
Spain; and the Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or is a sumptu-
ous warming whisky that has completed its final two years
in ex-wine barriques from Sauternes in France .
Although the elegance of Glenmorangie’s speckled
expressions may vary with palates and patrons; in the
intimacy of self-imposed exile, nothing inspires silent
companionship more evocatively than a glass of single
malt, if memory serves right.
THE EIGHT ELEGANT GLENMORANGIE SWAN-NECK STILLS ARE THE
TALLEST IN SCOTLAND, LENDING A DISTINCTIVE COMPLEXITY AND
LAYERED FLAVOUR TO THE WHISKY (LEFT)
Narlai is a little sanctuary that has allowed me, time and again,
to recharge my creative cells without travelling halfway across the
world. It is a place where I find that perfect balance of peace and
joyfulness; an ideal hideaway, a place to recuperate and trust
again in the process of creation. My forever and favourite refuge
is situated at the base of a 300 feet rock in a village halfway
between Jodhpur and Udaipur. This charming jewel of a place
ignites the soul and turbocharges the weakened mind like none
other and for this and countless other reasons I find myself
returning here time and again, especially when I need to think.
Dotted with over 200 temples and mosques, this village
epitomises Rudyard Kipling’s vision of India. Every evening the
air gets heavy with the haunting chants and prayers, and as dusk
approaches the entire vibe somehow changes. The spiritual
vibrations add a sense of mystic and allows for careful
contemplation while the presence of Wif-Fi gives you the choice
of connecting with the rest of the world from this haven just 45
minutes from the famous Ranukpur Temples.
A
fter living in New York for over a decade and making fre-
quent trips to Europe, especially to Paris before the an-
nual fashion weeks, it became clear to me that the
importance of being a globetrotting traveller was
essential to the nature of my profession.
Over the last few years though, I must confess that
the enthusiasm to process the idea of travelling even to a
destination within four hours of air travel has diminished and is
tedious at best. As a result, I have been driven to look at
options closer home, that can provide as much pleasure and a
sense of satisfaction as trans-Atlantic sojourns.
In other words, one must strive to be content with the
visual and geographical possibilities that exist closer
to home as to cut the hassles and perils often associated with ven-
turing out to exotic locations.
My quest to satisfy the inner hunger to find the perfect
destination closer home, one that in equal partfuels and excites
my creative desires season after season led me to Narlai in
Rajasthan. This is a pool of tranquillity and satiates my lust to
wander the globe in search of a perfect getaway.
My design profession completely hinges on the fact that I can
find convincing solutions for all kinds of lifestyle glitches for my
clients. Most often, the solutions are inherently resolved via in-
spiration from a source that charges the mind, giving insight into
a realm that has hovered in my consciousness so far. Narlai
serves as a “refresh button” in countless ways, helping me reboot
far from the crowds and find solace in design manipulations that
are then incorporated in my creative process.
STAR TREK
RAGHAVENDRA RATHORE SHARES HIS
SECRET HAUNT IN THE HILLS
HIDDEN
IN PLAIN
SIGHT
AFTER THREE YEARS IN ISOLATION RATHORE RETURNS
SEPTEMBER, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY SPICE SEPTEMBER, 2013 ◆INDIA TODAY SPICE
SLEEPY NARLAI SITS A THE BASE OF A 300 FOOT ROCK SLEEPY NARLAI SITS A THE BASE OF A 300 FOOT ROCK
“I now seek a new haven that is
easily accessible and sanctities the
idea of solitude and isolation”
WHERE TO STAY
The Rawla Narlai is a former hunting lodge restored
by Maharaja Swaroop Singh’s family (royal family of
Jodhpur) into a heritage hotel. With 25 gorgeous
rooms, the Rawla Narlai is located only 125 km
from the Jodhpur airport.
6 2 27
Narlai is a little sanctuary that has allowed me, time and again,
to recharge my creative cells without travelling halfway across the
world. It is a place where I find that perfect balance of peace and
joyfulness; an ideal hideaway, a place to recuperate and trust
again in the process of creation. My forever and favourite refuge
is situated at the base of a 300 feet rock in a village halfway
between Jodhpur and Udaipur. This charming jewel of a place
ignites the soul and turbocharges the weakened mind like none
other and for this and countless other reasons I find myself
returning here time and again, especially when I need to think.
Dotted with over 200 temples and mosques, this village
epitomises Rudyard Kipling’s vision of India. Every evening the
air gets heavy with the haunting chants and prayers, and as dusk
approaches the entire vibe somehow changes. The spiritual
vibrations add a sense of mystic and allows for careful
contemplation while the presence of Wif-Fi gives you the choice
of connecting with the rest of the world from this haven just 45
minutes from the famous Ranukpur Temples.
A
fter living in New York for over a decade and making fre-
quent trips to Europe, especially to Paris before the an-
nual fashion weeks, it became clear to me that the
importance of being a globetrotting traveller was
essential to the nature of my profession.
Over the last few years though, I must confess that
the enthusiasm to process the idea of travelling even to a
destination within four hours of air travel has diminished and is
tedious at best. As a result, I have been driven to look at
options closer home, that can provide as much pleasure and a
sense of satisfaction as trans-Atlantic sojourns.
In other words, one must strive to be content with the
visual and geographical possibilities that exist closer
to home as to cut the hassles and perils often associated with ven-
turing out to exotic locations.
My quest to satisfy the inner hunger to find the perfect
destination closer home, one that in equal partfuels and excites
my creative desires season after season led me to Narlai in
Rajasthan. This is a pool of tranquillity and satiates my lust to
wander the globe in search of a perfect getaway.
My design profession completely hinges on the fact that I can
find convincing solutions for all kinds of lifestyle glitches for my
clients. Most often, the solutions are inherently resolved via in-
spiration from a source that charges the mind, giving insight into
a realm that has hovered in my consciousness so far. Narlai
serves as a “refresh button” in countless ways, helping me reboot
far from the crowds and find solace in design manipulations that
are then incorporated in my creative process.
STAR TREK
RAGHAVENDRA RATHORE SHARES HIS
SECRET HAUNT IN THE HILLS
HIDDEN
IN PLAIN
SIGHT
AFTER THREE YEARS IN ISOLATION RATHORE RETURNS
SEPTEMBER, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY SPICE SEPTEMBER, 2013 ◆INDIA TODAY SPICE
SLEEPY NARLAI SITS A THE BASE OF A 300 FOOT ROCK SLEEPY NARLAI SITS A THE BASE OF A 300 FOOT ROCK
“I now seek a new haven that is
easily accessible and sanctities the
idea of solitude and isolation”
WHERE TO STAY
The Rawla Narlai is a former hunting lodge restored
by Maharaja Swaroop Singh’s family (royal family of
Jodhpur) into a heritage hotel. With 25 gorgeous
rooms, the Rawla Narlai is located only 125 km
from the Jodhpur airport.
6 2 27
COLUMN
SEPTEMBER, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY SPICE
ON MENSWEAR F/W 2013…
We wanted to explore the iconic men’s suit and the formali-
ty and competence that fine tailoring conveys. No fuss, no
gimmicks, just a richness that reflects the world we inhabit.
The palette is deep and rich, comprising black, dark shades
of blue, grey, plum, and touches of cool green and muted
bronze. Subtle patterns appear throughout the collection in
the form of print, overprint, and jacquard. The silhouette is
very sharp and close to the body. As far as accessories go, the
season’s new bags are clearly intended for work, with a for-
mal attitude and an emphasis on functionality. Shoes are clas-
sic in concept but forward in execution. There are loafers,
buckled boots, and lace-up ghillies; many constructed from
intricate combinations of leather, crocodile, and suede. The
ghillies offer the best look at one of the season’s most engag-
ing accessories: the patterned and printed sock.
ON WOMENSWEAR F/W 2013…
For women, we were interested in the challenge to explore a
material that is not commonly used and make it into some-
thing that is actually quite appealing. The colour palette is
dark and decisive including black, slate, smoke and pearl
white and as if by accident is offset by a vibrant red, yellow
and curry. The silhouette is very much about volume, with
the emphasis placed carefully in certain areas to accentuate
the shape of the body. Our aim was for the overall look to be
transformative, without losing the form of the woman who’s
wearing it. One collection builds on the previous and this is
a natural evolution from last season. Bags for this season are
smaller, with top handles, and framed many times over.
Woollens are mixed with nappa leather; exotics are com-
bined with raffia for unusual surface and effect. The shoes, in-
spired by a man’s loafer or lace up, cover the foot high and
sport a thinner heel than last season. Jewellery consists of elab-
orated bronze chains and porcelain bisque medallions.
SEPTEMBER, 2013 ◆INDIA TODAY SPICE
ON CREATIVE INSPIRATION...
In my designs, I am always working to make things
seem lighter, simpler and less obvious; pieces that are
beautiful from afar but so complex, they are best ap-
preciated up close. It’s the ultimate private experience
of extraordinary workmanship.
ON RETURN TO DISCRETION…
When I began at the brand, I wanted to offer luxury that
was focused on the product itself, because I felt that was the
one option not being offered. The make of the product
identifies the brand, and I like to summon an unexpected
and not-too-obvious eccentricity. Our goal is to offer
exceptional products that enhance the personal style of our
customers.
ON HIS FAVOURITE BOTTEGA VENETA PIECE THUS FAR…
I’m especially fond of the Cabat, perhaps because it was one of
the first things I designed for Bottega Veneta. I wanted the bag
to be unlined and look the same inside and out, in order to high-
light the inherent beauty of the craftsmanship.
ON MAINTAINING BOTTEGA’S DESIRABILITY QUOTIENT…
We focus on contemporary design while maintaining the identity
of the brand, which allows our brand to be both relevant and
desirable. I respect the value of tradition while simultaneously
encouraging innovation.
ON THE FUTURE OF DESIGN…
I’ve always said that Bottega Veneta grows by letting one thing lead
to another. You will have to wait and see.
TOMAS MAIER, THE ELUSIVE CREATIVE
DIRECTOR FOR ITALIAN LUXURY MARQUE
BOTTEGA VENETA, TALKS TO INDIA TODAY
SPICE ON DESIGN AND DESIRABILITY
IF I HAD TO
DESCRIBE THE CORE
SENSIBILITY OF BOTTEGA
VENETA IN A WORD IT
WOULD HAVE TO BE BE
DISCREET LUXURY
TOMAS MAIER CREATIVE DIRECTOR

KARI SOFT WASHED FLANNEL DUCHESSE DRESS BRIQUE
VERRE IRISE BROWN ZIRCON PORCELAIN BRONZE AYERS
KNOT, NERO SUEDE PUMP (EXTREME LEFT); MULTICOLOUR
PATCHWORK WOOL CARDIGAN, NERO MERINO WOOL SWEATER,
NERO GRAIN DE POUDRE WOOL PANT, NERO CALF SUEDE SOFT
CROCODILE ANKLE BOOT(LEFT); NERO CROCODILE BAGS (ABOVE)
Discretion
is the better part of
GLAMOUR

BRONZE VACHETTE CABAT (ABOVE)
8 2 29
COLUMN
SEPTEMBER, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY SPICE
ON MENSWEAR F/W 2013…
We wanted to explore the iconic men’s suit and the formali-
ty and competence that fine tailoring conveys. No fuss, no
gimmicks, just a richness that reflects the world we inhabit.
The palette is deep and rich, comprising black, dark shades
of blue, grey, plum, and touches of cool green and muted
bronze. Subtle patterns appear throughout the collection in
the form of print, overprint, and jacquard. The silhouette is
very sharp and close to the body. As far as accessories go, the
season’s new bags are clearly intended for work, with a for-
mal attitude and an emphasis on functionality. Shoes are clas-
sic in concept but forward in execution. There are loafers,
buckled boots, and lace-up ghillies; many constructed from
intricate combinations of leather, crocodile, and suede. The
ghillies offer the best look at one of the season’s most engag-
ing accessories: the patterned and printed sock.
ON WOMENSWEAR F/W 2013…
For women, we were interested in the challenge to explore a
material that is not commonly used and make it into some-
thing that is actually quite appealing. The colour palette is
dark and decisive including black, slate, smoke and pearl
white and as if by accident is offset by a vibrant red, yellow
and curry. The silhouette is very much about volume, with
the emphasis placed carefully in certain areas to accentuate
the shape of the body. Our aim was for the overall look to be
transformative, without losing the form of the woman who’s
wearing it. One collection builds on the previous and this is
a natural evolution from last season. Bags for this season are
smaller, with top handles, and framed many times over.
Woollens are mixed with nappa leather; exotics are com-
bined with raffia for unusual surface and effect. The shoes, in-
spired by a man’s loafer or lace up, cover the foot high and
sport a thinner heel than last season. Jewellery consists of elab-
orated bronze chains and porcelain bisque medallions.
SEPTEMBER, 2013 ◆INDIA TODAY SPICE
ON CREATIVE INSPIRATION...
In my designs, I am always working to make things
seem lighter, simpler and less obvious; pieces that are
beautiful from afar but so complex, they are best ap-
preciated up close. It’s the ultimate private experience
of extraordinary workmanship.
ON RETURN TO DISCRETION…
When I began at the brand, I wanted to offer luxury that
was focused on the product itself, because I felt that was the
one option not being offered. The make of the product
identifies the brand, and I like to summon an unexpected
and not-too-obvious eccentricity. Our goal is to offer
exceptional products that enhance the personal style of our
customers.
ON HIS FAVOURITE BOTTEGA VENETA PIECE THUS FAR…
I’m especially fond of the Cabat, perhaps because it was one of
the first things I designed for Bottega Veneta. I wanted the bag
to be unlined and look the same inside and out, in order to high-
light the inherent beauty of the craftsmanship.
ON MAINTAINING BOTTEGA’S DESIRABILITY QUOTIENT…
We focus on contemporary design while maintaining the identity
of the brand, which allows our brand to be both relevant and
desirable. I respect the value of tradition while simultaneously
encouraging innovation.
ON THE FUTURE OF DESIGN…
I’ve always said that Bottega Veneta grows by letting one thing lead
to another. You will have to wait and see.
TOMAS MAIER, THE ELUSIVE CREATIVE
DIRECTOR FOR ITALIAN LUXURY MARQUE
BOTTEGA VENETA, TALKS TO INDIA TODAY
SPICE ON DESIGN AND DESIRABILITY
IF I HAD TO
DESCRIBE THE CORE
SENSIBILITY OF BOTTEGA
VENETA IN A WORD IT
WOULD HAVE TO BE BE
DISCREET LUXURY
TOMAS MAIER CREATIVE DIRECTOR

KARI SOFT WASHED FLANNEL DUCHESSE DRESS BRIQUE
VERRE IRISE BROWN ZIRCON PORCELAIN BRONZE AYERS
KNOT, NERO SUEDE PUMP (EXTREME LEFT); MULTICOLOUR
PATCHWORK WOOL CARDIGAN, NERO MERINO WOOL SWEATER,
NERO GRAIN DE POUDRE WOOL PANT, NERO CALF SUEDE SOFT
CROCODILE ANKLE BOOT(LEFT); NERO CROCODILE BAGS (ABOVE)
Discretion
is the better part of
GLAMOUR

BRONZE VACHETTE CABAT (ABOVE)
8 2 29
TI MEPI ECE
C
hristian Dior said, “Deep in every heart slumbers a dream and the couturier knows it: every woman is
a princess.” The House of Dior’s Grand Bal collection marks the designer’s fondness for the
delight of evening balls. The Dior VIII Grand Bal collection, launched in 2011, is equipped with the
“Dior Inverse” calibre whose functional oscillating weight, placed on the dial, reproduces the swirl of a ball
gown. More than one day of machine programming is required to allow the setting of the complex shapes of
oscillating weights. There is an extremely precise cut of ornamental stones (100th of a millimeter), long and del-
icate, which includes a risk of deformation of the weight or a risk of scratching the gold or the stone.
Every timepiece has its own unique range of colours, with various sparkling shades of pinks, oranges, greens,
purples, yellows and blues, on weight, dial and bezel. With an oscillating weight made of ornamental stone
petals and gold embroidered with precious stones, it depicts a flora reinterpretation. “Mr. Dior used to say that
black and white may suffice, but why deprive ourselves of colour?" says Laurence Nicolas, president of Dior
Timepieces. “That is why we are a brand that is based on the ultimate in femininity and joyfulness.” Nowhere
is the use of colour in the design of Dior watches more obvious than in the one-of-a-kind Dior VIII Grand Bal
Piece Unique collection of watches. Dior has produced three of these spectacular watches this year which are
each decorated with between 20 and 25 different stones, seeking to emulate the colours of nature.
THE
GENTLE
SWAY
THE HOUSE OF DIOR PAYS TRIBUTE TO THE FEMININE FORM
BEDECKED IN EVENING SPLENDOUR OF THE GRAND BAL
COLLECTION, FINDS VAROON P. ANAND
DIOR VIII
Grand Bal Unique No.10
416 yellow sapphires
13 amethysts
22 brilliant –cut
diamonds
Gold weight:43.06g
DIOR VIII
Grand Bal Unique No.6
396 brilliant –cut
pink – oranges spinels
39 orange sapphires
18 brilliant-cut diamond
Gold weight: 42.43g
DIOR VIII
Grand Bal Unique No.8
475 brilliant-cut
sapphires
32 Paraiba tourmalines
18 brilliant-cut
diamonds
Gold weight: 44.52g
TI MEPI ECE
C
hristian Dior said, “Deep in every heart slumbers a dream and the couturier knows it: every woman is
a princess.” The House of Dior’s Grand Bal collection marks the designer’s fondness for the
delight of evening balls. The Dior VIII Grand Bal collection, launched in 2011, is equipped with the
“Dior Inverse” calibre whose functional oscillating weight, placed on the dial, reproduces the swirl of a ball
gown. More than one day of machine programming is required to allow the setting of the complex shapes of
oscillating weights. There is an extremely precise cut of ornamental stones (100th of a millimeter), long and del-
icate, which includes a risk of deformation of the weight or a risk of scratching the gold or the stone.
Every timepiece has its own unique range of colours, with various sparkling shades of pinks, oranges, greens,
purples, yellows and blues, on weight, dial and bezel. With an oscillating weight made of ornamental stone
petals and gold embroidered with precious stones, it depicts a flora reinterpretation. “Mr. Dior used to say that
black and white may suffice, but why deprive ourselves of colour?" says Laurence Nicolas, president of Dior
Timepieces. “That is why we are a brand that is based on the ultimate in femininity and joyfulness.” Nowhere
is the use of colour in the design of Dior watches more obvious than in the one-of-a-kind Dior VIII Grand Bal
Piece Unique collection of watches. Dior has produced three of these spectacular watches this year which are
each decorated with between 20 and 25 different stones, seeking to emulate the colours of nature.
THE
GENTLE
SWAY
THE HOUSE OF DIOR PAYS TRIBUTE TO THE FEMININE FORM
BEDECKED IN EVENING SPLENDOUR OF THE GRAND BAL
COLLECTION, FINDS VAROON P. ANAND
DIOR VIII
Grand Bal Unique No.10
416 yellow sapphires
13 amethysts
22 brilliant –cut
diamonds
Gold weight:43.06g
DIOR VIII
Grand Bal Unique No.6
396 brilliant –cut
pink – oranges spinels
39 orange sapphires
18 brilliant-cut diamond
Gold weight: 42.43g
DIOR VIII
Grand Bal Unique No.8
475 brilliant-cut
sapphires
32 Paraiba tourmalines
18 brilliant-cut
diamonds
Gold weight: 44.52g
WI SHLI ST
WITH THE WRATH OF THE SCORCHING SUMMER A
DISTANT MEMORY, HERE’S TOASTING ALL THINGS COOL
HAUTE
SPOT
1 CROWN JEWEL The Jimmy Choo Crown peep-toe platform pump
in metallic lizard print leather is an India exclusive in a limited edi-
tion of just 25 pairs. The design fuses Indian detailing and drama
with quintessential Jimmy Choo glamour. Put your best foot forward.
Price: `48,000
2 FUR BETTER OR WORSE Passions may rage on both sides of
the pelt prattle but this black fur backpack with leather details
from Emporio Armani makes a strong case. Price on request
3 MIRROR IMAGE Much like its royal namesake, the Camilla
mirror from Christopher Guy holds enough charm to
seduce an aristocrat. Launched to commemorate the
chapeau worn by Camilla Parker Bowles at her
royal wedding, it’s the perfect wall accent to light
up your hall of fame. Available at Ace Maison.
Price: `1.58 lakh
2 FUR BETTER OR WORSE
1 CROWN JEWEL
3 MIRROR IMAGE
SEPTEMBER, 2013 ◆ INDIA TODAY SPICE 32
WI SHLI ST
4 DANDY COOL Funky designs in a kaleidoscope of
earthy colours rustle up the charm that define this
printed silk and wool jacket from Etro. Perfect for
the confident man who likes to wear his heart on
his sleeve. Price: `1.6 lakh
5 SOUND OF MUSIC The S-15, compact mid-high
speakers (with two subwoofers) from the Steinway
Lyngdorf portfolio represent the audiophile’s Holy
Grail for state-of-the-art acoustical technology and
fine craftsmanship and design. Price: `27 lakh
6 PEARL HARBOUR The Mimosa Masterpiece 2013
bracelet from Damiani is handcrafted in white gold,
Tahitian pearls, diamonds and sapphires in all
shades of blue and emanates a three-dimensional
effect, recalling the flower that inspired the collec-
tion. Price on request
5 SOUND OF MUSIC
4 DANDY COOL
6 PEARL HARBOUR
The symbol of infinity and completeness, the figure eight has always been
Jaquet Droz’s lucky number and can be found on the dial of their popular
Grande Seconde timepiece. A permanent source of inspiration, it now appears for
the first time on the case and buckle of a very feminine model: The Lady 8, a
new fine jewellery watch that plays on a feminine appreciation of the sensuality
of time. The bezel intertwined with a gem-set ribbon highlights the curves of the
watch. At its summit, a pearl or round precious stone accentuates preciousness.
Emphasising fluid lines, the lugs have given way to a satin or alligator strap
attached to the case, which comes in gem-set white or red gold or stainless steel.
The new folding clasp, specially created for this model, also takes the shape of a
figure of eight, reaffirming the striking identity of the Lady 8 on the inside of the
wrist. Price on request
LASTLOOK
INFINITY BOUND
)§0,000+
Ìmages
sms images email to §2µ2µ www.indiatodayimages.com
IN0IA 0£lIV£k£0
$f80l0ß1l08$
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Inside India's surrogacy nursery which produces babies for the world
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with India Today in Mumbai, Delhi & NCR, Chennai, Bangalore and
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SEPTEMBER 2013
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A MONTHLY CITY MAGAZINE
Editor-in-Chief
Aroon Purie
Group Chief Executive Officer
Ashish Bagga
Group Synergy and Creative Officer
Kalli Purie

Senior Editor
Karuna John
Special Correspondent
Aditi Pai
Editorial Team
Rewati Rau, Ekta Marwaha
Photo Department
Bhaskar Paul, Mandar Deodhar
Design Associates
Vandana Nayar
Production
Surinder Hastu (Chief of Production),
Harish Aggarwal, Naveen Gupta
Layout Execution
Ramesh Gusain

Group Business Head
Manoj Sharma
Associate Publisher (Impact)
Anil Fernandes

IMPACT TEAM
Senior General Managers:
Kaustav Chatterjee (East)
Jitendra Lad (West)
Head (North): Subhashis Roy
General Manager:
Shailender Nehru (Bangalore)
Deputy General Manager:
Velu Balasubramaniam (Chennai)
SIMPLYPUNE Inside
Want to tell us about an event?Anewstore? Arestaurant?People doing interesting things?
Anything newsworthy? Please email us at: simplypune@intoday.com
Auto Art
Ongoing till August 31
City-based artist Poonam
Jadhav at Malaka Spice has
given landscapes and
abstracts a miss this time
and painted automobiles
instead. In this collection,
she’s painted a Rolls Royce
Sedanca De Ville, a car that
is believed to have been
used by King Edward VIII
on various occasions.
Another is the Hot Rod, an
American cars with large
engines modified for linear speed.
She’s also painted a Roadster, a Dino,
the BMW sports bike, and a Mclaren S.
At Malaka Spice, Lane 5, North Main
Road,Koregaon Park
Timings 11 am to 11.30 pm
ABHIJIT PATIL
COVER STORY
Relax and Rejuvenate s-4
SIMPLYPUNE takes you to the city’s
best spas and wellness centres
THEATRE
The Revivalist s-9
Anant Panshikar of Natyasampada
shares why it was important to
revive the sangeet natak tradition
PHOTO FEATURE
Ganpati Groove s-10
The city gears up to welcome
Lord Ganesh
BUZZ
In The City s-14
Achecklist on what to do, and
what to shop for
PRODUCTS
On the Shelves s-20
Some interesting products making
a debut this season
OUR PICK of the month
ITGD
www.goodhousekeeping.co.in/digitalmagazine
Grab your Digital Edition now!
GOOD HOUSEKEEPING
ON THE GO!
GOOD HOUSEKEEPING now available on iPad, iPhone, Android, Kindle Fire, PC and Mac.
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App Store
RELAXAND
REJUVENATE
GETAWAYFROM THE HUSTLE BUSTLE OFDAILYLIFE THIS MONTH,
AND ESCAPE TO ACOSYSPARETREATAND LETCALMING ESSENTIAL
OILS TRICKLE DOWN YOUR BACKAND HERBS INVIGORATE YOUR TIRED
MUSCLES. SIMPLYPUNE TAKES YOU TO THE CITY’S BESTSPAS AND
WELLNESS CENTRES.
SIMPLYPUNE Cover story
ABHIJIT PATIL /www.indiatodayimages.com; Model: Preshita Bafna
Aroma Cocoon
This ninth floor spa is refreshingly
un-spa like with a minimalistic, yet styl-
ish décor with tiny waterfalls adding a
calming aural layer. The lighting is
subtle like the lavender aroma wafting
in the air inducing a deep state of relax-
ation even before the session beings.
They have an indoor section too, but,
our favourite is the terrace with treat-
ment rooms that overlook a dense
green cover. You’re spoilt for choice
here with caviar facials, Moroccan
Rassoul wraps and a volcanic ash
treatment for skin purification.
Pevonia Botanica jars stand on the
shelves holding lotions and creams that
nourish the skin, tempting you to jump
right into the therapy bed. We’d recom-
mend the O Signature Therapy, two
hours of absolute relaxation and pam-
pering. The therapist starts with the
Aromatic Salt Glow body scrub, delight-
fully aromatic with Ylang Ylang, tanger-
ine and lavender. The body is gently
polished and prepared for the next
round—the aromatherapy cocoon.
In this, essential oils soothe your senses
as the therapist works on stress and
fatigue while you drift into a soothing
slumber. You are woken up only by the
warm touch of the aromatic moor mud
that is said to help alleviate fatigue with
its vitamins, minerals and enzymes.
INSIDER’S TIP Opt for a monthly package that entitles
you to a fixed number of massages, salon treatments,
complimentary use of steam and health club and 20
per cent discounts on extra spa treatments
COST Rs 6500 onwards
AT O Hotel Spa, North Main Road, Koregaon Park
COSTTreatments start from Rs 5000 onwards
An hour-long massage and my
feet feel instantly alive. The smells of
the oils and the ambience heightens
the relaxation
SHOBHAA DE, Writer
‘‘
‘ ‘
RELAXAND
REJUVENATE
GETAWAYFROM THE HUSTLE BUSTLE OFDAILYLIFE THIS MONTH,
AND ESCAPE TO ACOSYSPARETREATAND LETCALMING ESSENTIAL
OILS TRICKLE DOWN YOUR BACKAND HERBS INVIGORATE YOUR TIRED
MUSCLES. SIMPLYPUNE TAKES YOU TO THE CITY’S BESTSPAS AND
WELLNESS CENTRES.
SIMPLYPUNE Cover story
ABHIJIT PATIL /www.indiatodayimages.com; Model: Preshita Bafna
Aroma Cocoon
This ninth floor spa is refreshingly
un-spa like with a minimalistic, yet styl-
ish décor with tiny waterfalls adding a
calming aural layer. The lighting is
subtle like the lavender aroma wafting
in the air inducing a deep state of relax-
ation even before the session beings.
They have an indoor section too, but,
our favourite is the terrace with treat-
ment rooms that overlook a dense
green cover. You’re spoilt for choice
here with caviar facials, Moroccan
Rassoul wraps and a volcanic ash
treatment for skin purification.
Pevonia Botanica jars stand on the
shelves holding lotions and creams that
nourish the skin, tempting you to jump
right into the therapy bed. We’d recom-
mend the O Signature Therapy, two
hours of absolute relaxation and pam-
pering. The therapist starts with the
Aromatic Salt Glow body scrub, delight-
fully aromatic with Ylang Ylang, tanger-
ine and lavender. The body is gently
polished and prepared for the next
round—the aromatherapy cocoon.
In this, essential oils soothe your senses
as the therapist works on stress and
fatigue while you drift into a soothing
slumber. You are woken up only by the
warm touch of the aromatic moor mud
that is said to help alleviate fatigue with
its vitamins, minerals and enzymes.
INSIDER’S TIP Opt for a monthly package that entitles
you to a fixed number of massages, salon treatments,
complimentary use of steam and health club and 20
per cent discounts on extra spa treatments
COST Rs 6500 onwards
AT O Hotel Spa, North Main Road, Koregaon Park
COSTTreatments start from Rs 5000 onwards
An hour-long massage and my
feet feel instantly alive. The smells of
the oils and the ambience heightens
the relaxation
SHOBHAA DE, Writer
‘‘
‘ ‘
s-6 SIMPLY PUNE ◆ SEPTEMBER 2013
If you’ve wondered what it is to be
pampered like a queen, your
chance to find out is an hour’s
drive from the city at Fort
Jadhavgadh. Walk up the stately
stone stairway of this 300-year-
old fort, to a traditional welcome
with an arti, before you check into
the pool-facing spa room. The of-
ferings, as they say, are fit for roy-
alty but if you have to choose the
best, then try the hour-long signa-
ture body massage. They combine
Balinese and Swedish techniques
and use aroma oils blended in-
house. For the next hour, your
body undergoes a series of sensa-
tions as the therapist kneads
away knotted muscles, focusing
on the body’s pressure points
while the lemongrass oil calms
the mind almost instantly. Soak in
the history of the fort as you look
out at the century-old neem, bel
and champa trees by the poolside,
and feel your muscles respond to
the firm, yet gentle, massage
strokes. The spa is open to all
so you can go there only for
the day or check in for a
weekend of indulgence.
DON’TMISS Explore the fort’s secret tun-
nels and dungeons-turned-wine cellars,
feast on traditional Maharashtrian fare
at the restaurant or walk around the
gardens to soak in the history
INSIDER’S TIPMake the most of the mon-
soon months as the hotel offers a special
monsoon package that in-
cludes accommodation, meals
and a massage-for-two.
COSTRs 1999 onwards
AT Fort Jadhavgadh, Hadapsar
Saswad Road, Jadhavwadi
TEL02115 - 305 200
SIMPLYPUNE Cover story
sole therapy
This one is for those tired of the
mall crawl, Sukho Thai’s mood
lighting, and Thai spa feel is a
perfect break for your achy feet.
Once you’re comfortably seated
in the recliner, the therapist
washes your feet in a tub of hot
water, slathers them in cream
and starts working on your toes.
Browse through a magazine or
just take a catnap as the therapist
turns her attention to the soles
and calves, gently loosening up
tense muscles. Ask for the mas-
sage with the herb poultice. Once
the knots have been eased, a
steam heated poultice said to be
filled with 23 aromatic and thera-
peutic herbs is rolled over the
feet, giving a warm and comfort-
ing touch to the massage. It’s
meant to invigorate the senses,
leaving you feeling calm.
INSIDER’S TIP You can Buy gift coupons for
friends in need an hour of tender loving care
COST Rs 2450 onwards
AT Sukho Thai Second floor, Phoenix Market
City, Viman Nagar
herbal
heritage
It’s the friendly neighbourhood spa
where you can walk in and ask for
the typically Indian champi, a re-
laxing warm oil head massage. In
this case, however, instead of your
home balcony, you’ll be ensconced
in a quiet retreat dotted with
Buddha paintings and anointed
with aromatic oils. This is a chain
with outlets at airports, and offer
express neck rubs, manicures and
jet lag recovery facials, but if you’re
looking to indulge, then book an ap-
pointment for the Signature
Harmony. For the next hour two
therapists will massage specially
blended lavender oil in rhythmic
movements combining Hawaiian
Lomi Lomi, and Deep Tissue mas-
sage styles. They claim that the oils
calm the nerves and the firm
strokes relax the muscle tissue
and nourish skin.
If you're looking for a quick fix
treatment, then try the almond
honey cleanser or the Australian
tea tree oil exfoliating scrub, which
leave you feeling instantly re-
freshed. To add to your conven-
ience, O2 has an online booking
facility, so choose your therapy, out-
let and date and walk in for some
tender loving care.
INSIDERS TIP They have gift cards which
make for good presents especially during
the festive season
COST Rs 3,800 onwards
AT O2 Spa 1st Floor, Ashoka Mall, Bund Garden
Rd, Opposite Sun-n-Sand Hotel, Near Bund
Garden
TEL 9561821566
SIMPLYPUNE Cover story
I usually stop at
their counter at airports
before a flight; the quick
neck rubs and foot mas-
sages prepare me for the
journey ahead.
KARTIKA GUNDECHA, Accessories Designer
from champi
to lomi lomi
‘‘
‘ ‘
ABHIJIT PATIL /www.indiatodayimages.com
s- SIMPLY PUNE ◆ SEPTEMBER 2013
happy feet
If some couple-time is on your
mind, get into the Khajuraho-in-
spired spa room called Moh. If it’s
me-time that you’re looking for,
then check into Maya, a chamber of
elegant drapes and mirrors. Or sim-
ply get a foot massage sitting by a
lotus pond in Isaya, where the ceil-
ing gives you the feeling of unwind-
ing under a starlit sky. Nirvana’s
décor is tasteful and elegant and
the menu is an extensive collection
of aroma, Thai, Swedish, Deep
tissue, Hawaiian Lomi Lomi,
massages. We highly recommend
the MLD body massage, a manual
lymphatic drainage therapy which
claims to rid you toxins from the
lymph nodes.
In this, the therapist only uses
her elbows and the back of the
hands, exerting pressure on the
nodes. Combine it with the Fresh
from the Pharmacy' skin treatment,
a special vitamin C treatment for
tired and dull skin and face the
world in style as you step out.
Another popular therapy is the
cleopatra body polish especially for
brides to be where you get to soak
in a milk and honey bath after a
massage. Ask for their face map-
ping and skin anaylsis before you
choose your treatment
INSIDER’S TIPAsk for a face treatment com-
bined with Silver Slippers an interestingly
named water-free pedicure. In this they only use
gels and creams but don’t soakyour feet in wa-
ter to prevent water borne infections
COSTRs 4,000 onwards
AT Nirvana’s Skin and Body 1st floor, D Building,
Hermes Vishal, Lane 7, Koregaon Park.
TEL26150190
spice route
The moment you leave behind the
buzzing Koregaon Park lane and
walk into the lemon grass scented
Island Spa, your mind goes into hol-
iday mode. “Sawadeeka, welcome,”
beams the smiling manager
Roseleen Gotur, giving you the first
taste Thai hospitality. The spa
menu is vast but if you are looking
for a relaxation and rejuvenation,
we’d recommend the Ginger and
Spice Love Fest.
No, this is not the marinade it
sounds like; the refreshing aromas
of the fresh ground ginger and a
melange of spices that the therapist
uses are said to exfoliate and polish
the skin. Enjoy the tingling sensa-
tion of the spices that promises to
stimulate and rejuvenate. Rinse off
in the en-suite shower before the
therapist takes over once again
stretching your limbs, kneading
muscles and
dissolving stress in a massage with
a warm poultice of therapeutic
herbs for just the right amount
of pressure and heat.
It’s difficult to drift off to sleep
in this vigorous massage but at the
end of the 90 minutes, you feel
light and refreshed. A fragrant
herbal tea concludes the session in
a most sublime way.
INSIDER’S TIP Check in between 11 am and 3 pm
from Mondays to Thursdays for a 20 per cent
discount. On some days, spa offer guests a com-
plimentary herbal bath for those who book a
body treatment
ATThe Island Spa 31/2/1 North Main road,
Archidale Building, 1st Floor, Behind FIATshow-
room
PRICE Rs 3,500 onwards
TEL9665692269
You get a taste of Thai hospitality, the therapists are well trained,
polite and efficient and that makes the experience comfortable
MONA DAGI, Model
SIMPLYPUNE Cover story
‘‘
‘ ‘
ABHIJIT PATIL /www.indiatodayimages.com
ABHIJIT PATIL /www.indiatodayimages.com
8
SIMPLYPUNE Theatre
A
s the curtains opened on the
333rd show of Avagha rang
ekachi zala (The Unison
of Colours) on August 15,
producer Anant Panshikar, 58,
was a proud man. “I struggled to
bring people in to the theatre for
the first 50 shows,” says Panshikar
the owner of the city-based
Natyasampada, company, a lead-
ing producer of Marathi plays.
After the initial lull, this play
caught on and travelled across the
country and to the United States in
2009, clocking over 300 shows.
And with this, Panshikar and
his company revived the long
forgotten genre of the sangeet
natak, something that most
commercial producers were wary
of attempting. Since he took over
the reins of Natyasampada, a
group his uncle Prabhakar
Panshikar had founded 60-years-
ago, he has experimented with
new genres and revived decades-
old popular scripts. Even as new
commercial plays were setting the
cash registers ringing, Panshikar,
an ardent fan of the classics, went
into a revival mode in 2008
bringing back to the stage long
forgotten plays. “The classics have
excellent plots and beautiful lyrical
language, which we hardly hear
these days. That is what makes
them stand out amidst a flurry of
new talent and scripts,” he says.
First in line was Samuel Beckett’s
highly acclaimed abstract play
Waiting for Godot, in which
Panshikar roped in actor Tom
Alter for the first time on Marathi
stage in 2008. He even staged
a show at Mumbai’s Arthur Road
jail for inmates. Deviating from the
traditional Natyasampada school
of musical and historical plays,
Panshikar went on to produce
a folk play Viccha Majhi Poori Kara
before digging out scripts by
eminent playwrights such as P L
Deshpande, Vasant Kanetkar
and Acharya Atre.
In November 2011, he finally
launched the popular 1960’s
play Varyavarchi Varaatwhere he
brought together 15 leading
actors. The play became an instant
hit in India and the UAE. Next
came a 1966 production Lekure
Udand Jhali and Lagnachi
Bedi that was first penned by Atre
in 1936. “There’s immense variety
in Marathi theatre; we gave the
world the genre of sangeet natak
which was very popular in the days
of Bal Gandhrava in the 1940s,”
says Panshikar. The industry, he
says, goes through phases of highs
and lows every 10 years. For now,
theatre is struggling to fight
competition from cinema and
television. “Earlier plays were sold
for the star power of the author
and star cast. People no longer
want to go watch a play unless
it has great entertainment value,”
he says. Here’s where the classics
step in with their popularity
spanning generations. Panshikar
is committed to giving these
masterpieces of Marathi literature
a new lease of life.
Watch Avagha rang ekachi zala
in Kothrud on September 28
For more details 982162844

by Aditi Pai
The revivalist
ANANT PANSHIKAR OF NATYASAMPADA SHARES WHY IT
WAS IMPORTANTTO REVIVE THE SANGEETNATAKTRADITION
LEKURE UDAND ZHALI ABHIJIT PATIL
Left to right: A still from
Natyasampada’s play Varyavarchi
Varaat Where and Anant Panshikar
GANPATI
GROOVE
Home coming
Afamily brings a
ganesh idol
home at the
beginning of
the festival.
SIMPLYPUNE Photo feature
PHOTOGRAPHS BY ABHIJIT PATIL
SEPTEMBER 2013 ◆ SIMPLY PUNE s-1 s-1 SIMPLY PUNE ◆ SEPTEMBER 2013
THE BIRTHPLACE OF THE SARVAJANIK GANESHOTSAV, PUNE’S STREETS WILL COME
ALIVE WITH MUSIC, DANCE, RITUALS AND FESTIVITIES ON SEPTEMBER 9, WHEN THE
CITY WILL WELCOME GANESH AND BEGIN CELEBRATIONS FOR 10 DAYS.
0 1
GANPATI
GROOVE
Home coming
Afamily brings a
ganesh idol
home at the
beginning of
the festival.
SIMPLYPUNE Photo feature
PHOTOGRAPHS BY ABHIJIT PATIL
SEPTEMBER 2013 ◆ SIMPLY PUNE s-1 s-1 SIMPLY PUNE ◆ SEPTEMBER 2013
THE BIRTHPLACE OF THE SARVAJANIK GANESHOTSAV, PUNE’S STREETS WILL COME
ALIVE WITH MUSIC, DANCE, RITUALS AND FESTIVITIES ON SEPTEMBER 9, WHEN THE
CITY WILL WELCOME GANESH AND BEGIN CELEBRATIONS FOR 10 DAYS.
0 1
Gold and beautiful
The elaborate set
created to seat the
Legendary Dagdusheth
Halwai Ganpati
Final touches
Ganpati idols in an
artisan’s shop get
a coat of fresh paint
and finishing touches
before the festival
SIMPLYPUNE Photo feature
Festive spirit
Women pour out onto the streets in large
numbers during the festival. Ayoungwoman
dons the traditional pheta(head gear) as
she joins thefestive procession.
All queued up
Devotees turn out in large numbers
to bid adieu to the Mandai Ganpati
which travels in a rath for immersion
Popular belief
The Kasba Ganpati, revered
as the city deity, leaves for
immersion. This Ganpati temple
is believed to have been
commissioned by the queen
Jijabai, mother of Shivaji.
SIMPLYPUNE Photo feature
SEPTEMBER 2013 ◆ SIMPLY PUNE s- s- SIMPLY PUNE ◆ SEPTEMBER 2013
Simbly
South
Ongoing till
August 25
Get a taste of
Coorg’s cuisine at
the ongoing food
festival at Season
Tastes. Chefs
Ambika and Anjali,
food specialists
from Pigout,
Bangalore promise
to take your taste
buds on a tour
through Southern
India. Enjoy
delicacies as
Mutton Pepper Fry
and their signature
Passion Fruit
Pound Cake.
At Seasonal Tastes,
The Westin,
Koregaon Park
Annexe,Mundhaa
Road, Ghorpadi
Tel 67210000
Festive feast
September 9 to 16
Celebrate Onam
with traditional
delicacies from
Kerala spread
on banana leaves.
Dig into festive
offerings such
as Avaial,
Pesarattu, Banana
halwa and
Ayasam made
from freshly
ground spices.
At Zambar,
Phoenix Market
City, Viman Nagar
Tel 66890606
Luck by chance
Ongoing till August 25
Either Or, in association
with Samsara takes an
artistic look at these
beliefs with Strokes of
Luck, an art exhibition
where 20 artists depict
luck and wishes through
their artworks. So, you
have The tree of life
painted on canvas,
a blooming rose, bulls,
doves and even
a nimbu-mirchi, the
popular traditional totem
to ward off evil.
At Either Or, Sohrab Hall
Tel 26057225
Acrylic
creations
August 25
City artist Shobha Patki
is back at Bliss Art
Gallery with her new
exhibition. Expect
to see her artistic depic-
tion of boats anchored
in water, white sails
fluttering in the breeze,
placid waters and
rough seas in ink and
acrylic colours.
At Bliss Art Gallery,
Viman Kunj
Society Lane-E,
Koregaon Park
Tel9890657757
Brush strokes
Ongoing till September
Ayatana Gallery has
arranged a series of
workshops in which
artists such as Milind
Mulick, Ajay Deshpande,
Manjiri More and Aditya
Shirke will guide art
enthusiasts through
the basics of sketch-
ing and painting.
The sessions focus
on various mediums
like watercolours,
acrylic and oil
colours and pastels.
At 12 Castillino
Road
Tel 26344111
cityhighlights
A
r
t

SIMPLYPUNE Buzz
Food
Shape shifters
Funky, design, wood,
play, reinvent, create—
these words welcome you
to Design Monkee’s
website, summing up the
business mantra of this
creative and fun furniture
line. Economics graduate
Natalia Nagree, who
returned to India from
the US last year has
turned to design furni-
ture, and adding a touch
of quirk and fun in her
family’s decades-old
furniture brand The
Living Room. Creatively
named, ‘the jigsaw’ is a
functional, yet, attractive
ensemble of two cubes
and two rectangles that
can either stand inde-
pendently or stack up to
make a storage unit. Set
it up against a wall or as
a room divider. It can
double up as a bookshelf
or a showcase to flaunt
your curios. If you want
a touch of quirk in your
carefully upholstered
living room, then go for
Design Monkee’s
Suspend, a coffee table
which is a glass top fitted
on to a pair of well
balanced attractively
coloured arcs. There are
several such products in
the Monkee’s collection.
Each piece is made-to-
order, so while Nagree
doesn’t encourage too
much customisation,
you can request her
to let you tweak the
colour to your choice.
So, if you don’t fancy
a canary yellow
on that hexagonal end
table, go for a chili green
or a royal blue. The
products are high on
quality and style. It’s
an online store so pick
from orange on their site
and have it delivered
to your doorstep.
Price Rs 4,000 onwards
Go to Designmonkee.in

by Aditi Pai
R i g h t c l i c k
Just arrived
Juice it up
If you’re bored of sipping tetrapack juices
and don’t want to go the fizzy cola way,
then try the newly launched juices by The
Good Juicery. Started by city
entrepreneur Michelle Bauer, on offer
are a range of fresh fruit drinks—juices,
mocktails and slightly bubbled to offer a
naturally refreshing alternative to still
juices. These juices are a result of two
years of research and testing where
Bauer got her friends and family to rec-
ommend, taste and tweak. Pour them
over ice, blend them into cocktails or sip
them while on the go. Bauer’s venture
comes with an environment-friendly
touch. For every 1000 cans sold, they
plant a tree. They’ve also tied up with a
local project, Rebirth,to up-cycle the cans
to reduce pollution as much as possible.
Bauer has also dressed up her
Ambassador car with cans of her juice
making it The Good Juicery’s ambassa-
dor-on-the-go.
Price Rs 75 per can At Retail stores
across the city

by Aditi Pai
ABHIJIT PATIL
14 15
SEPTEMBER 2013 ◆ SIMPLY PUNE s- s- SIMPLY PUNE ◆ SEPTEMBER 2013
Simbly
South
Ongoing till
August 25
Get a taste of
Coorg’s cuisine at
the ongoing food
festival at Season
Tastes. Chefs
Ambika and Anjali,
food specialists
from Pigout,
Bangalore promise
to take your taste
buds on a tour
through Southern
India. Enjoy
delicacies as
Mutton Pepper Fry
and their signature
Passion Fruit
Pound Cake.
At Seasonal Tastes,
The Westin,
Koregaon Park
Annexe,Mundhaa
Road, Ghorpadi
Tel 67210000
Festive feast
September 9 to 16
Celebrate Onam
with traditional
delicacies from
Kerala spread
on banana leaves.
Dig into festive
offerings such
as Avaial,
Pesarattu, Banana
halwa and
Ayasam made
from freshly
ground spices.
At Zambar,
Phoenix Market
City, Viman Nagar
Tel 66890606
Luck by chance
Ongoing till August 25
Either Or, in association
with Samsara takes an
artistic look at these
beliefs with Strokes of
Luck, an art exhibition
where 20 artists depict
luck and wishes through
their artworks. So, you
have The tree of life
painted on canvas,
a blooming rose, bulls,
doves and even
a nimbu-mirchi, the
popular traditional totem
to ward off evil.
At Either Or, Sohrab Hall
Tel 26057225
Acrylic
creations
August 25
City artist Shobha Patki
is back at Bliss Art
Gallery with her new
exhibition. Expect
to see her artistic depic-
tion of boats anchored
in water, white sails
fluttering in the breeze,
placid waters and
rough seas in ink and
acrylic colours.
At Bliss Art Gallery,
Viman Kunj
Society Lane-E,
Koregaon Park
Tel9890657757
Brush strokes
Ongoing till September
Ayatana Gallery has
arranged a series of
workshops in which
artists such as Milind
Mulick, Ajay Deshpande,
Manjiri More and Aditya
Shirke will guide art
enthusiasts through
the basics of sketch-
ing and painting.
The sessions focus
on various mediums
like watercolours,
acrylic and oil
colours and pastels.
At 12 Castillino
Road
Tel 26344111
cityhighlights
A
r
t

SIMPLYPUNE Buzz
Food
Shape shifters
Funky, design, wood,
play, reinvent, create—
these words welcome you
to Design Monkee’s
website, summing up the
business mantra of this
creative and fun furniture
line. Economics graduate
Natalia Nagree, who
returned to India from
the US last year has
turned to design furni-
ture, and adding a touch
of quirk and fun in her
family’s decades-old
furniture brand The
Living Room. Creatively
named, ‘the jigsaw’ is a
functional, yet, attractive
ensemble of two cubes
and two rectangles that
can either stand inde-
pendently or stack up to
make a storage unit. Set
it up against a wall or as
a room divider. It can
double up as a bookshelf
or a showcase to flaunt
your curios. If you want
a touch of quirk in your
carefully upholstered
living room, then go for
Design Monkee’s
Suspend, a coffee table
which is a glass top fitted
on to a pair of well
balanced attractively
coloured arcs. There are
several such products in
the Monkee’s collection.
Each piece is made-to-
order, so while Nagree
doesn’t encourage too
much customisation,
you can request her
to let you tweak the
colour to your choice.
So, if you don’t fancy
a canary yellow
on that hexagonal end
table, go for a chili green
or a royal blue. The
products are high on
quality and style. It’s
an online store so pick
from orange on their site
and have it delivered
to your doorstep.
Price Rs 4,000 onwards
Go to Designmonkee.in

by Aditi Pai
R i g h t c l i c k
Just arrived
Juice it up
If you’re bored of sipping tetrapack juices
and don’t want to go the fizzy cola way,
then try the newly launched juices by The
Good Juicery. Started by city
entrepreneur Michelle Bauer, on offer
are a range of fresh fruit drinks—juices,
mocktails and slightly bubbled to offer a
naturally refreshing alternative to still
juices. These juices are a result of two
years of research and testing where
Bauer got her friends and family to rec-
ommend, taste and tweak. Pour them
over ice, blend them into cocktails or sip
them while on the go. Bauer’s venture
comes with an environment-friendly
touch. For every 1000 cans sold, they
plant a tree. They’ve also tied up with a
local project, Rebirth,to up-cycle the cans
to reduce pollution as much as possible.
Bauer has also dressed up her
Ambassador car with cans of her juice
making it The Good Juicery’s ambassa-
dor-on-the-go.
Price Rs 75 per can At Retail stores
across the city

by Aditi Pai
ABHIJIT PATIL
14 15
Mud Rush
August 31
Enjoy playing Temple
Run on your phone?
Now, play the game in
real at The Mud Rush
as you race through
mud on a five kilometre
run, braving 21 obsta-
cles. After a fun-filled
event in Kolad earlier
this year, the event isn
back, this time, in a 300
year-old fort. Support
your favourite NGO or
cause, dress up in cos-
tumes or simply head
there with family and
friends. The run isn’t
meant for athletes; it’s a
time to let your hair
down and have fun. As
you cross the finish line,
there’s a sundowners
party waiting for
you to celebrate
your run.
Entry fee Rs 2,500
At Jadhavgadh Fort,
Hadapsar Saswad Road,
Tel 2115305 200
Music for a
cause
August 23 to 24
Music lovers and fans
of Sudhir Phadke have
a treat this weekend with
Geet Ramayan, a musical
evening in which city
singers will present 28
songs writteb by G D
Madgulkar and music
composed by Phadke.
It’s a charity event by
the Lions Club of Pune
Ideal and the funds
will be used for
a dialysis centre.
Price Rs 1,000
At Tilak Smarak
Mandir, Sadashiv Peth
For tickets 9822558763
High notes
Aug 25
With the Poona Music
Society striving to bring
a variety of musicians to
the city, this time, music
lovers can hear French
musician Aurélie
Barbelin and pianist
Nicolas Meyer at a show
called the Banquet of the
Angels. Barbelin is
known to bring several
styles to her songs from
baroque to jazz and from
song to popular folk mu-
sic, with influences of
opera and contemporary
music.
At Dastur Primary
School; 2 Lt. Colony,
Tarapore Road
Weekender
September 21 to 22
Pune’s music lovers can
head to the Rolling
Stones weekend music
festival coming up in
September. Listen to
Utsav Lal, Sonam Kalra
and the Sufi Gospel
project, The Beatles
Tribute Band and
Something Relevant.
On Sunday, wake up to
a morning of jamming
and brunch before you
return home after a
musical weekend.
At Fort Jadhavgadh,
Hadapsar Saswad Road,
Tel 2115305
Brewing happiness
August 31
Pick up your beer
mugs and wine glasses
before you step out
of home today. Mugs
N Stems at Cocoparra
is a fun evening where
beer fans carry they
favourite mug and
wine lovers can take
s- SIMPLY PUNE ◆ SEPTEMBER 2013
SIMPLYPUNE Buzz
E v e n t s
M u s i c
N i g h t l i f e
16
along their cup of joy
and enjoy an unlimited
supply of a beer or wine.
So, carry your buddies
or make your mug
your date this
Saturday night.
Price Rs 375 plus taxes
At Cocoparra,
Chandan Nagar
Tel 6060400
Wonder wine
September 22
In a first-of-its-kind initia-
tive The Westin Pune is
hosting Wines of India,
a day-long event in which
they will engage with
wine lovers and cus-
tomers for a blind tasting
of Indian wines. On offer
are over 100 varietals
from eight participating
wineries. Each wine
producer will share a list
of invitees from different
walks of life and the panel
will do blind tastings to
choose the best, which
will then be served at the
hotel’s restaurants for the
next three months. The
most popular wine will
find a permanent listing
on the bar menu. What
makes the event unique is
that the wines will not be
chosen not just by wine
experts but by regular
consumers.
At The Westin Pune,
Koregaon Park
Tel 67210000
Click now
All month long
Right Click
Aug 31-Sept 1
Move out of the studio and
head outdoors for a fun
photography workshop.
Academia Photographix
will conduct an intensive
two day session at Pawna,
a two-hour drive from
Pune, where they’ll teach
hobbyists and photogra-
phers how to experiment
with the camera while
capturing an image. So,
pick up your camera and
learn to discover a whole
new world of flora, birds,
mountains and people
through your lens. With
only 10 participants in the
group, be sure of close
personal attention from
the tutor.
Fees: Rs 3,000 per person
At: Deogadh The
Homestay, Thakursai
Village, Pawna, Maval
For details facebook.com/
academiaIndia
If you’re bored of the
fare in the city’s shoe
stores, then head to
the just opened Nidhi
Bhandari Fine Couture
Footwear, a shoe
boutique that has
a few quirky and stylish
options. The footwear
designer has launched
with two ranges—the
Autumn Crush, a patent
fabric collection with
bright colours of blue,
yellow and pink embel-
lished with neon stones.
The other is the Rococo
Funk, a quirky collection
of velvet, intricate
detailing in gold and
a lot of curves. In this
line, Bhandari has
infused large doses
of black, maroons and
magenta. For now, she
has 50 designs in flats,
sandals, wedges,
slipper and peep toes.
The range promises
to dress up any outfit,
for any occasion,
be it adding a dash
of glamour to your day
wear or going all out
with the bling at night.
With festive times
coming up, Bhandari
has paid attention to
making her creations
wear a bright and
colourful look. She even
customises shoes
so if you want a size
smaller than 5 or want
specific detailing, she’ll
happily do it for you.
Price Rs 3,500 onwards
At Shop no. 8 and 9,
Liberty II, North Main
Road, Koregaon Park

by Aditi Pai
S t o r e
If the shoe fits
SIMPLYPUNE Buzz
w o r k s h o p
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SIMPLYPUNE Buzz
s- 8 SIMPLY PUNE ◆ SEPTEMBER 2013
Heritage
Plan of action
Heritage walk
August 31
Rediscover your city’s heritage
by simply registering for a
walk. Join Supriya Shelar
as she take you on a guided
walk to 18 historical
structures across Pune. The
three-hour walk will begin
from the PMC and conclude
at the Vishrambaugwada.
If you want a detailed guided
tour then bring along
15 friends and join their
signature heritage walk in
English, Marathi or Hindi.
Cost Rs 100 per person for the
regular walk; Rs 300 for
signature heritage walks
Tel 25709000
Registeration on first
come basis
A
s the heritage cell of the Pune
Municipal Corporation marked
its 10th anniversary, the regal
Vishrambaugwada got a new lease of life.
Pune’s heritage sites face neglect mainly
because there’s no single authority to take
on the responsibility. Some sites come under
the purview of the PMC, state, and Centre,
while others are under private ownership.
“We need a single point authority if we want
to get some serious work done,” says Shyaam
Dhawaley, executive engineer PMC and head
of its Heritage Cell. The department made
its debut in 2003 with the Vishrambaugwada
conservation project. With, no original
buildings plans of most heritage sites
available, the cell had to re-map every such
structure in the city with the help of NGOs,
heritage groups such as INTACH and
Janwani, and architecture students.
“Heritage belongs to all of us and we all need
to work towards conserving and restoring
it,” he says.
Over the years, the restoration work
has picked up momentum and the cell has
started conservation of other structures such
as the Nanawada, Kasba Ganpati temple,
Nageshwar temple and Mahatma Phule
Mandai. Last year, the PMC joined the Indian
Heritage Cities Network Foundation which
ties-up with UNESCO to share information
and expertise in the field of conservation.
Last year, the PMC launched guided
heritage walks. “These structures came alive
instead of being just stone and brick build-
ings. We want more people to visit these sites
because when some place lies unused, it gets
destroyed,” says Dhawalaey. Another
positive step that’s making city heritage
conservationists happy is a Masters Degree
in Conservation for architects by the
Sinhagad University that will now help bring
more experts into the field.

by Aditi Pai
ABHIJIT PATIL
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SIMPLYPUNE Travel
E
ver been dirt bike riding
in a luxury resort? How about
stepping out of a posh
café to milk Jersey cows?
Perhaps you’ve done a free-fall
from 300 metres in the air? Della
Adventure Resorts in Lonavla,
hosts all this of for the weekender
seeking an adrenalin high.
Created by builder Jimmy
Mistry, the three-year-old
resort has recently unveiled new
activities.
The drive up is picturesque,
winding roads flanked on either
side with lush green mountains,
made hazy by clouds. The road
turns off into the 40 acre property
which has luxurious rooms and
tents, an adventure park with
over a hundred activities, and the
experience that awaits can seem
fairly confusing. But, rest
assured, try a mix of everything.
The rooms are impressive, black
walls with gold embellishment
make for striking interiors and
they really don’t skimp in the
comfort department. One must
mention, that the bathroom,
which has in it a shower stall, a
tub and a flat screen TV, matched,
if not surpassed, said room in size.
Toilet humour All the
bathrooms here are something of
a spectacle. The lady’s loo shocks
you with a male mannequin
seemingly urinating into a toilet
bowl just outside one of the
vestibules. The gents toilet has
several video clips of women one
angrily waving a broom, one
throwing enticing expressions
on unsuspecting toilet visitors—
just above the urinals.
The sport Believe it or
not, the adventure only gets
better from here. Cards are given
to partake in a selection of
the adventure sports in the park
right next to the resort. There are
four kinds of zorbs, aqua, land,
water and roller, and we started
with the water zorb, in which we
were seated inside a plastic
pouch that was inflated, zipped
up and thrown into a pool for us
to maneuver it from the inside
like hamsters. If you dare, try
what they claim is the longest zip
line in the country at 1,250 feet.
The champion of adventure
activities, however, is the Swoop.
Packed and harnessed into what
look like golfing bags, we were
turned horizontal and raised to a
height of 300 metres above the
ground. At this point, we were
asked to pull a cord on the side of
our carriers, which resulted
initially in a free fall and later in
us swinging across the length of
the ride, looking into the
mountains from a height we
never thought possible.
Tariff Rs 12,000 per night, plus
taxes
Tel 096644 55000;
dellaadventure.com
ASMITA BAKSHI SAMPLES ANADRERNALINE RUSH
INTHE WESTERN GHATS
Leap here
s- SIMPLY PUNE ◆ SEPTEMBER 2013
Colour quotient
Jazz up your home in bright hues of
saffron, vermillion and pinkwith Bianca’s
newfestive home collection.
Price Rs 500 onwards
Available at Bharat Furnishings, near
Sakal Nagar, 84/2-10, Baner Road
Tel 25657705
SIMPLYPUNE Products
SIMPLY PUNE lists some interesting products that are making a debut this season
Table this!
Add colour and storage to your home with these brightly
coloured multipurpose Clara side tables by Urban Ladder.
They are vibrant, compact and easy to maintain with
powder coated steel.
Price Rs 5,999
Available at urbanladder.com
Perfect idol
Go green this festive season and bring home
eco friendly Ganesh idols made of clay and bio
degradable colours.
Price Rs 700 onward
Available at Either Or, Sohrab Hall, opposite
Jehangir Hospital
Clutch it
Step out in style as you go
visiting Ganpati mandaps with
this pretty Swarovski adorned
metal clutch by Esbeda.
Price Rs 3,480
Available at Shop no 304,
305, MG Road, Camp
Tel 26137288
ON THE SHELVES
Luxury bath
Wish you had the time to bathe with milk
and saffron? Think no more and shop
from an exotic collection of bathing bars
made from milk and saffron; red wine;
tomato; haldi and more.
Price Rs 70 to Rs 500
Available at burstofhappyness.in
Time check
Keep in style with this smart sports watch from
Armani’s recently launched stylesport collection.
Available in red, blue and white straps with
a young sporty finish.
Price On request
Available at Shoppers Stop, Godrej Eternia,
Mumbai Pune Road, Shivajinagar
Water proof
This monsoon, Wrangler has
introduced a range of water
resistent denims. So, step out
without having to worry about
getting home in those rain
soaked heavy jeans.
Price Rs 2,995 onwards
Available at Shop No 7,
Baner Road
Step up
Ever heard people saying don’t treat me
likea doormat? Now, bring home a quirky
dormat that tells you to treat it with
greater care and respect.
Price Rs 500
Available at happilyunmarried.com
20
s- SIMPLY PUNE ◆ SEPTEMBER 2013
Colour quotient
Jazz up your home in bright hues of
saffron, vermillion and pinkwith Bianca’s
newfestive home collection.
Price Rs 500 onwards
Available at Bharat Furnishings, near
Sakal Nagar, 84/2-10, Baner Road
Tel 25657705
SIMPLYPUNE Products
SIMPLY PUNE lists some interesting products that are making a debut this season
Table this!
Add colour and storage to your home with these brightly
coloured multipurpose Clara side tables by Urban Ladder.
They are vibrant, compact and easy to maintain with
powder coated steel.
Price Rs 5,999
Available at urbanladder.com
Perfect idol
Go green this festive season and bring home
eco friendly Ganesh idols made of clay and bio
degradable colours.
Price Rs 700 onward
Available at Either Or, Sohrab Hall, opposite
Jehangir Hospital
Clutch it
Step out in style as you go
visiting Ganpati mandaps with
this pretty Swarovski adorned
metal clutch by Esbeda.
Price Rs 3,480
Available at Shop no 304,
305, MG Road, Camp
Tel 26137288
ON THE SHELVES
Luxury bath
Wish you had the time to bathe with milk
and saffron? Think no more and shop
from an exotic collection of bathing bars
made from milk and saffron; red wine;
tomato; haldi and more.
Price Rs 70 to Rs 500
Available at burstofhappyness.in
Time check
Keep in style with this smart sports watch from
Armani’s recently launched stylesport collection.
Available in red, blue and white straps with
a young sporty finish.
Price On request
Available at Shoppers Stop, Godrej Eternia,
Mumbai Pune Road, Shivajinagar
Water proof
This monsoon, Wrangler has
introduced a range of water
resistent denims. So, step out
without having to worry about
getting home in those rain
soaked heavy jeans.
Price Rs 2,995 onwards
Available at Shop No 7,
Baner Road
Step up
Ever heard people saying don’t treat me
likea doormat? Now, bring home a quirky
dormat that tells you to treat it with
greater care and respect.
Price Rs 500
Available at happilyunmarried.com
20
SIMPLYPUNE My City byDelna Poonawalla
P
une’s derby season has just
kicked off and it’s time when the
racing aficionados will be at the
Royal Western India Turf Club
showing off their sense of style.
My entire family, if I may say so, has
a great sense of style; my mother is
who I got my fashion aesthetics from,
my sister-in-law Michelle is always
picture perfect and on track with the
fashion trends. My father Zavaray,
uncle Cyrus and brother Yohan
are very particular about
dressing well to the races.
Traditional race dressing
goes back to the Ascot races,
where men wore tail coats
and top hats and women
wore traditional suits or
conventional dresses with
hats. With Pune’s weather
conditions, ours is a slightly
relaxed look. Suits are
preferable though just
a jacket or a shirt and
tie will also do for
men. The sari is my
favourite Indian
dress. Its grace
and versatility of
colours and prints
makes it modern
and trendy.
I am partial to fascinators, which
are modern versions of hats and al-
though they serve no functional use,
they are less intimidating, easy
to wear in our weather conditions
and suit the petite Indian frame
well. They come in all shapes
and sizes, as hair bands or combs,
and enhance the look and mood
of any outfit. Though a hat is not
a must, wear it if you want to be
a ‘racing diva’ candidate. An
outstanding hat or fascinator
can make or break your outfit.
Go for one that has butterflies
or an oversized flower.
Colour blocking is quite a trend;
the hat and outfit can be complimen-
tary in colour. For example, a red
dress with a purple fascinator
or a blue outfit and a green fascina-
tor can look good. If you choose not to
wear a hat, focus on your
accessories—extraordinary shoes,
an outstanding hand bag or clutch. If
you want to experiment, prints have
made a huge impact recently and can
range from animal to floral to
psychedelic combinations. Lace also
is an option but it can be tricky to
wear, however a monochrome look
with lace, green lace dress with
a green head piece and green
shoes, or lace trims woven into
fascinators and on stilettos makes for
an interesting look.
Wear dresses in interesting
prints and colours because they
are perfect for our weather.
Jumpsuits are really in vogue, and
a good alternative to dresses
and suits. The races are a day
event so avoid a severe black from
head-to-toe look.
Men, please do pay attention
to what you wear. Opt for linen
suits or linen jackets in shades
of beige and grey.
Have fun with ties and pocket
scarves that have equestrian
print or trendy colours that add
some derby flavour. Though
traditionally men wear top hats
and tails to the Ascot, in India,
bowler hats in straw and felt
are becoming a trend.
Derby bound? Ditch the jeans!

Avoid jeans on big racing days

Do not dress like you are going clubbing

Tummy’s showing is a no no

Cowboyhats and boots are not
appropriate racing gear

Too much bling is avoidable at the races
remember it’s a dayaffair!
THING’S TO REMEBER
SEPTEMBER 2013
ESCAPE
DE-STRESS AND REJUVENATE
AT THE BEST SPAS IN TOWN
A MONTHLY CI TY MAGAZI NE
Editor-in-Chief
Aroon Purie
Group Chief Executive Officer
Ashish Bagga
Group Synergy and Creative Officer
Kalli Purie

Senior Editor
Karuna John
Assistant Editor
Mona Ramavat
Editorial Team
Rewati Rau, Ekta Marwaha
Design Associates
Vandana Nayar,
Production
Surinder Hastu (Chief of Production),
Harish Aggarwal, Naveen Gupta
Layout Execution
Ramesh Gusain

Group Business Head
Manoj Sharma
Associate Publisher (Impact)
Anil Fernandes

IMPACT TEAM
Senior General Managers:
Kaustav Chatterjee (East)
Jitendra Lad (West)
Head (North): Subhashis Roy
General Manager:
Shailender Nehru (Bangalore)
Deputy General Manager:
Velu Balasubramaniam (Chennai)
SIMPLYHYDERABAD
Inside
Comic Con Express
Sept 21-22
Good news comic
enthusiasts! The travel-
ling version of the
national Indian Comics
Conven-tion, Comic Con
Express comes to Hyder-
abad this year. Besides
browsing throug comics,
meeting creators and
artists of popular
comics, come dressed as
your favourite comic
book or gaming charac-
ter and win prizes, and
pick up comic character inspired
merchandise.
At Hitex Exhibition Centre, Madhapur
Tel 23112121
COVER STORY
Touch therapy s-4
With the festive season ar ound
the corner, it’s the perfect time
to treat yourself to a day of indul-
gence at the spa. SIMPLY
HYDERABADpicks the best
BUZZ
In the city s-10
Achecklist on what to do,
where to eat and what
to shop for
MY CITY

Film school is not for
everyone” s-12
Says actor and producer
Akkineni Nagarjuna
Want to tell us about an event?Anewstore? Arestaurant?People doing interesting things?
Anything newsworthy? Please email us at: simplyhyderabad@intoday.com
OUR PICK of the month
ITGD
India Teday
0igitaI Hagazine
www.|nd|atoday.|n|d|g|ta|magaz|ne
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Anytime.
Anywhere.
Any device*
AVAÌLABLE 0N
|Phone Andro|d |Pad Hac P6 K|nd|e
5can te
visit the
page
Sucºcr|ce Ncv
Angsana is a tree found in the tropi-
cal rainforests of Asia which bears
a crown of golden yellow flowers
unexpectedly. Six treatment rooms
make up this tropical garden themed
spa called Angsana, the only one
of the Thailand based chain in the
city. The treatments here are a won-
derful fusion of Indian and Oriental
techniques. Try their Ayu-reverie
massage which includes a sixty
minute Ayurvedic treatment, an
Indian head massage and cumin
sesame body polish. Their signature
Angsana treatment works on vari-
ous pressure points to strengthen
the inner Qi or energy. Among their
age defying and refreshing facials is
also a unique Miracle eyes treatment
that uses ice-cold cryotherapy benefits for the eyes. It
hydrates and focuses on the delicate areas around the eyes
with lifting techniques to reduce dark circles and puffiness.
USP A60 minute Rhythmic treatment that’s verywell suited for mothers-to-be
and people who tend to sleep on their side rather than straight. Gentle strokes
and a rice flour pouch dipped in clarity oil helps relax.
INSIDER’S TIPYou can shop for exclusive handcrafted ceramic oil burners, pre-
mium essential oils,aromatic incense,massage oils and relaxing spa music here.
COSTRs 1,800 onwards
ATAngsana Spa, Golkonda Resorts and Spa, Near Gandipet
TEL 30696969
TOUCH
THERAPY
WITH THE FESTIVE SEASON AROUND THE CORNER, IT‘S THE PERFECTTIME TO TREAT
YOURSELFTO ADAYOFINDULGENCE ATTHE SPA. SIMPLY HYDERABAD PICKS THE BEST
BY MONA RAMAVAT
Rebalancing Energy
SIMPLYHYDERABAD Cover Story
Mirrors, at
Jubilee Hills is a
very nice place. I quite
enjoy the contempo-
rary and smart ambi-
ence here, especially
of the spa section. The
service is such that
they really make you
feel at home.
ISHITA SINGH,
Fashion designer
‘‘
‘ ‘
TOUCH
THERAPY
s-4 SIMPLY HYDERABAD ◆ SEPTEMBER 2013
Angsana is a tree found in the tropi-
cal rainforests of Asia which bears
a crown of golden yellow flowers
unexpectedly. Six treatment rooms
make up this tropical garden themed
spa called Angsana, the only one
of the Thailand based chain in the
city. The treatments here are a won-
derful fusion of Indian and Oriental
techniques. Try their Ayu-reverie
massage which includes a sixty
minute Ayurvedic treatment, an
Indian head massage and cumin
sesame body polish. Their signature
Angsana treatment works on vari-
ous pressure points to strengthen
the inner Qi or energy. Among their
age defying and refreshing facials is
also a unique Miracle eyes treatment
that uses ice-cold cryotherapy benefits for the eyes. It
hydrates and focuses on the delicate areas around the eyes
with lifting techniques to reduce dark circles and puffiness.
USP A60 minute Rhythmic treatment that’s verywell suited for mothers-to-be
and people who tend to sleep on their side rather than straight. Gentle strokes
and a rice flour pouch dipped in clarity oil helps relax.
INSIDER’S TIPYou can shop for exclusive handcrafted ceramic oil burners, pre-
mium essential oils,aromatic incense,massage oils and relaxing spa music here.
COSTRs 1,800 onwards
ATAngsana Spa, Golkonda Resorts and Spa, Near Gandipet
TEL 30696969
TOUCH
THERAPY
WITH THE FESTIVE SEASON AROUND THE CORNER, IT‘S THE PERFECTTIME TO TREAT
YOURSELFTO ADAYOFINDULGENCE ATTHE SPA. SIMPLY HYDERABAD PICKS THE BEST
BY MONA RAMAVAT
Rebalancing Energy
SIMPLYHYDERABAD Cover Story
Mirrors, at
Jubilee Hills is a
very nice place. I quite
enjoy the contempo-
rary and smart ambi-
ence here, especially
of the spa section. The
service is such that
they really make you
feel at home.
ISHITA SINGH,
Fashion designer
‘‘
‘ ‘
TOUCH
THERAPY
s-4 SIMPLY HYDERABAD ◆ SEPTEMBER 2013
Luxuriously Traditional
The aura of Hyderabad’s royal legacy
mingles with a contemporary feel at the
opulent space that makes for The Spa
at Park Hyatt. From the Swarovski lamp lit
passageways to the pearls theme, your
need for luxury is pampered here. The
treatments here are inspired by the
healing spa rituals said to date to the
Nizami era. There are four “ceremonies”
on the menu, given traditional names like
Munzig which involves an active renewal
massage with nutmeg and milk cream
body refinement, Musakin which is all
about a restorative massage with red
sandal and saffron wrap, Mukhavi involv-
ing pressure point stretches and
Mukhiyath which is said to detox and res-
culpt the body. A range of facials are con-
ducted with nature infused products. The
massage oils are also inspired by the tra-
ditional Hyderabadi attars (or perfumes)
in flavours like pink rose, jasmine and
mogra. Among their signature treatments
include the Aromatic crystal lift—gliding
strokes with smooth rose quartz crystals,
basalt stones with a combination of
aromas for balancing energy flow.
USP Taking inspiration from the beauty regimens of the
royals of Hyderabad, an essential ingredient of the
Pearl Dust Skin Radiance scrub is a powder of real
crushed pearls.
INSIDER’S TIP On purchase of the spa membership,
clients get 20 per cent discount on spa and salon serv-
ices besides other benefits.
COST Rs 850 onwards
ATThe Park Hyatt, Road No 2, Banjara Hills
TEL 49491234
A contemporary décor greets you
upfront as you enter O2 spa at the
Novotel Hyderabad Airport. All
treatment rooms are simply de-
signed with a single artwork on
the wall and not much else for de-
sign besides a string of rudraksh
beads hung out at the handle of
each door. A cleansing ritual with
water poured over your feet as
they rest on pebbles in a brass
vessel is relaxing and the perfect
start to any treatment. Among
their spa indulgences, do try
the Jet lag Recovery package,
designed to relax tired muscles
after a long journey and inducing
a calm sleep. The package
includes an aromatherapy
massage and a cleansing facial
treatment. Step into the foot
reflexology room and you’re in
for a 60 minute long session on
the soles of your feet, which have
ten major reflex zones corre-
sponding to various glands and
organs of the body. There’s a
good range of body scrubs and
wraps to choose from including
the almond and honey cleanser
that uses a blend of oatmeal,
honey, lemon and almonds for
blemishes while cleansing and
moisturising the skin.
USP Fresh natural cocoa butter is used for
the Cocoa butter deep moisturizing body
wrap treatment. It helps exfoliate the skin,
opens up clogged pores and
rehydrates the skin.
INSIDER’S TIPAclient’s first massage is
free with purchase of any of O2 spa’s
memberships.
COST Rs 880 onwards
AT O2, Novotel Hyderabad Airport,
Shamshabad
TEL 9912312339
SIMPLYHYDERABAD Cover Story
Recovery Package
I really enjoy Ayurvedic spa treatments. They
are a blessing for people with a back or
headaches. Even if you don’t have one, Kerala style
Ayurvedic massages help you feel highly energized
and relaxed. KOELI MUKHERJEE, Artist and art curator
‘ ‘
‘‘
A relaxing aura greets you at Nirva,
with the rich woodwork and the
candle-lit path to the treatment
rooms. The treatments here
range from Swedish and European
massages besides Oriental scrubs.
The Nirva hot stone therapy is their
signature treatment that involves
lava stones for relaxing tired
muscles. Do make time to visit the
Hydrotherapy section which has
treatment rooms overlooking the
gardens. Hydrotherapy includes
three specialized treatments –
Detoxification bath, Revitalising
bath and the Vichy shower
massage. Once you are done with
the massages, do call in for
their spa food menu, which is
served in the spa area. Head to this
spa for an entire day of indulgence
and detoxification.
USP Their specially designed spa food menu
featuring healthy eats like pomfret salad or
sautéed vegetables and Oriental steamed fish
and a variety of soups, with nutrition informa-
tion for each dish, is a delight.
INSIDER’S TIPThe spa offers a package of the
month which can get you 'approximately' 25 per
cent discount on the treatments.
PRICE Rs 1,200 onwards
AT Nirvaa Spa, Ella Suits, Hillridge Springs,
Gachibowli
TEL 23002488
Hot Stones, Cool Waters
This decor of the spa is said to have
been inspired by the diamonds
found in the Golconda region. Aura
Spa’s indulgent ambience includes
seven therapy rooms named after
precious stones such as Zamarrud,
Berooz, Firoza and Lulu. However,
for ultimate indulgence book the
Great Mughal Suite or the VIP treat-
ment room, Dariya-i-noor which
have heated massage beds. Try the
crystal therapy treatment which,
according to the therapist, chan-
nels the healing properties of crys-
tals to rebalance energy.
Once you’re done with the mas-
sage, head to the relaxation area
which is bathed in healing blue light
and is perfect for soaking in the
calm after a treatment.
USP The spa’s steam rooms have a massive
amethyst crystal set against the wall, it said to
helps detoxify the body and boost immunity.
INSIDER’S TIPThe therapists here are trained in
Tai-chi techniques for more dexterity in their
massage movements, ultimatelytranslating to
a better experience for you.
COST Rs 950 onwards
ATThe Park, Somajiguda
TEL23456789
Crystal Cures
SIMPLYHYDERABAD Cover Story
s- SIMPLY HYDERABAD ◆ SEPTEMBER 2013
Thai Aromatherapy
This little spa effectively tucks in ten
treatment rooms in a rather small
space. There’s a warmth in the
golden and red décor, while the
wooden oil holders too look quite tra-
ditionally Thai. The low red treat-
ment beds, curtained entrances and
elaborate Oriental motifs covering
the walls add to the Thai feel. The ex-
perience at Aura starts right at the
reception with the foot ritual hap-
pening here. Move on to the treat-
ment rooms and opt for their deep
tissue massage—an energizing and
relaxing experience which relieves
muscle tension, leaving you feeling
light and more flexible. Or you could
go for the Dry Thai massage which
involves twisting and stretching the
body, removes tension knots and
works on soothing aches from long
journeys. The Aromatherapy mas-
sages at Aura are quite popular too.
Gentle music with the subtle aromas
of the oils can help you drift off to
sleep to wake up feeling completely
relaxed and refreshed.
USP The therapists are trained and certified by
the Thai Ministry of Health and Education
INSIDER’S TIP Get ten percent off on any treat-
ment on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
COST Rs 900 onwards
ATAura Thai Spa, Above Café Coffe Day, Road No
12, Banjara Hills
TEL 65500226
This simple and no-fuss spa boasts
of offering some unique treat-
ments that focus on healing and
body awareness. Therapists talk to
the clients before beginning any
treatment to gauge their require-
ments and recommend various
treatments in foot, face and
spine reflexology or
specialised treatments such
as the blood stop treatment
wherein various parts of
the body are revitalised
by controlling blood
circulation. The Turkish
bath, which is a unique
feature of the spa—and
not to be found any-
where else in town
begins with a vigrious
muscle pounding
massage performed in
a steam room to boost
blood circulation,
detoxify the body
with lymphtic
drainage to leave you
feeling lighter and more ener-
gised. A special Thai massage
room is designated for a range
of dry Thai massages that are very
effective for issues like chronic
backaches, migraines, sciatica,
muscle stress and other such
issues. If you you’re going through
a bout of insomnia or simply don’t
feel relaxed enough to sleep too
well, do try their ‘put me
to sleep’ treatment. You’re
sure to doze off in the midst
of it. Healing really is the phi-
losophy at Soul around which
everything else is designed.
USPThe Tok Sen wood sticks used here
in the Tok Sen treatment were derived
from a tree in Thailand, struck by
lightning, which is said to have
infused a great deal of healing
energy into them.
INSIDER’S TIP If you like more
than one treatment and want the
benefits of both in one session,
treatments can also be custom made
COST Rs 500 to Rs 4,000.
AT Soul Spa, Road No 36, Jubilee Hills
TEL 9347671801
SIMPLYHYDERABAD Cover Story
KRISHNENDU HALDER
I quite like
going to Soul.
They have some
of the best
masseurs in town
and I really feel
pampered there.
BUNTY BAJAJ,
Jewellery designer
‘ ‘
Turkish Baths
‘‘
8
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App
s-1 SIMPLY HYDERABAD ◆ SEPTEMBER 2013
Cookie
mania
Sept 2 to 30
Indulge your sweet
tooth at Le Café
with a variety of
cookies from
across the world
crafted by the
master bakers.
From chocolate
chip to Scottish
shortbread,
apricot and butter,
and more.
At Novotel
Hyderabad
Convention Centre,
Madhapur
Tel 66824422
Soul food
Sept 20 to 22
Be a part of
Masters of Food
and Wine at Park
Hyatt where inter-
nationally
acclaimed chefs
from Italy,
Vietnam, India and
chocolatiers from
Switzerland treat
guests to the finest
of cuisine from
their body of work.
Pick up cooking
insights directly
from the experts
while treating
yourself to three
days of gastro-
nomic delight.
At Park Hyatt,
Road No 2,
Banjara Hills
Tel 49491234
Art
Sep 21 – Oct 3
Visit artist Surekha
Sadhna’s painting exhibi-
tion. Titled Spiritual
Mapping, her acrylic on
canvas works revolve
around concepts like light
and consciousness.
At Iconart Gallery, SBI
Building, Road No 12,
Banjara Hills
Tel 9849968797
Culture
Sept 6 - 8
Enjoy three days of art and
culture at The Park’s New
Art Festival. The festival
will feature a dance
presentation by the group,
Stray Factory, NH7 by
Deepak Kurki, four short
plays by the group, among
other activities.
At The Park, Somajiguda
Tel 44990000
Photography
Sept 14-15
Join the workshop, Basics
of Photography conducted
by Toehold Travel and
Photography.
At Hampshire Plaza Hotel,
Lakdi Ka Pul; toehold.in
cityhighlights
E
v
e
n
t
s

SIMPLYHYDERABAD Buzz
Food
Comfort zone
This salon visit will surely
be convenient for you.
Plank salon, a mobile
salon and spa service will
create a salon like atmos-
phere right in your home
complete with a portable
music system that the
therapist will carry to
play soft and soothing spa
like music, apart from
scented candles and
diffusers, books and
magazines for you to
read while getting a
pedicure done and other
such tidbits to give you a
holistic spa and salon
experience at home.
Cost Rs 15-1,500
Tel 8125577971;
planksalon.com
New in Town
Eclectic platter
Olive Bistro
A mélange of framed photographs, wall
art, a rustic bar, an eclectic chandelier
made with cutlery and little buckets
and baskets of flowers at every table
greet you at the Olive Bistro. The menu
matches the feel. Some of the best
dishes on the fare are Roasted Beetroot
Ricotta, Arugula and candied walnut
salad that looks like an artwork on the
platter and has that perfect crunch to it.
The Cheese and wild mushroom
frittata is also a must try—light and sub-
tly flavoured. Remember to try the OB
beef burger, filling but not too heavy and
perfectly palate pleasing. The exclusive
section of thin crust pizzas, the OB
seafood grill, the OB pepper crusted fil-
let mignon and other such Italian and
French delicacies are also highly recom-
mended. Do save space for dessert, es-
pecially the sinful OB Insanity cake slice
which is a seven layered cake and their
signature chocolate fondant.
Meal for two Rs 800 to Rs 1,200
At Durgam Cheruvu, Road No 46,
Jubilee Hills
Tel 69999127

by Mona Ramavat
MONA RAMAVAT

0
s-1 SIMPLY HYDERABAD ◆ SEPTEMBER 2013
Cookie
mania
Sept 2 to 30
Indulge your sweet
tooth at Le Café
with a variety of
cookies from
across the world
crafted by the
master bakers.
From chocolate
chip to Scottish
shortbread,
apricot and butter,
and more.
At Novotel
Hyderabad
Convention Centre,
Madhapur
Tel 66824422
Soul food
Sept 20 to 22
Be a part of
Masters of Food
and Wine at Park
Hyatt where inter-
nationally
acclaimed chefs
from Italy,
Vietnam, India and
chocolatiers from
Switzerland treat
guests to the finest
of cuisine from
their body of work.
Pick up cooking
insights directly
from the experts
while treating
yourself to three
days of gastro-
nomic delight.
At Park Hyatt,
Road No 2,
Banjara Hills
Tel 49491234
Art
Sep 21 – Oct 3
Visit artist Surekha
Sadhna’s painting exhibi-
tion. Titled Spiritual
Mapping, her acrylic on
canvas works revolve
around concepts like light
and consciousness.
At Iconart Gallery, SBI
Building, Road No 12,
Banjara Hills
Tel 9849968797
Culture
Sept 6 - 8
Enjoy three days of art and
culture at The Park’s New
Art Festival. The festival
will feature a dance
presentation by the group,
Stray Factory, NH7 by
Deepak Kurki, four short
plays by the group, among
other activities.
At The Park, Somajiguda
Tel 44990000
Photography
Sept 14-15
Join the workshop, Basics
of Photography conducted
by Toehold Travel and
Photography.
At Hampshire Plaza Hotel,
Lakdi Ka Pul; toehold.in
cityhighlights
E
v
e
n
t
s

SIMPLYHYDERABAD Buzz
Food
Comfort zone
This salon visit will surely
be convenient for you.
Plank salon, a mobile
salon and spa service will
create a salon like atmos-
phere right in your home
complete with a portable
music system that the
therapist will carry to
play soft and soothing spa
like music, apart from
scented candles and
diffusers, books and
magazines for you to
read while getting a
pedicure done and other
such tidbits to give you a
holistic spa and salon
experience at home.
Cost Rs 15-1,500
Tel 8125577971;
planksalon.com
New in Town
Eclectic platter
Olive Bistro
A mélange of framed photographs, wall
art, a rustic bar, an eclectic chandelier
made with cutlery and little buckets
and baskets of flowers at every table
greet you at the Olive Bistro. The menu
matches the feel. Some of the best
dishes on the fare are Roasted Beetroot
Ricotta, Arugula and candied walnut
salad that looks like an artwork on the
platter and has that perfect crunch to it.
The Cheese and wild mushroom
frittata is also a must try—light and sub-
tly flavoured. Remember to try the OB
beef burger, filling but not too heavy and
perfectly palate pleasing. The exclusive
section of thin crust pizzas, the OB
seafood grill, the OB pepper crusted fil-
let mignon and other such Italian and
French delicacies are also highly recom-
mended. Do save space for dessert, es-
pecially the sinful OB Insanity cake slice
which is a seven layered cake and their
signature chocolate fondant.
Meal for two Rs 800 to Rs 1,200
At Durgam Cheruvu, Road No 46,
Jubilee Hills
Tel 69999127

by Mona Ramavat
MONA RAMAVAT

0
SIMPLYHYDERABAD My City by Akkineni Nagarjuna
I
n 1964 my father, Akkineni
Nageswara Rao, went to the US
as part of a cultural exchange
programme and came away
impressed with the formal
approach to film education in
many leading universities even
back then. He nurtured a dream
to establish an institute that will
impart world class education in
cinema in India. It materilised in
2011, when Annapurna Intern-
ational School of Film and Media
(AISFM) opened. The vision
for AISFM was two-fold:
the institute should
operate on a non-profit
basis, and it should offer
full-time, government-
accredited Bachelor’s and
Master’s degrees. Despite there
being several film schools,
the industry is still facing
a significant talent crunch.
The National Skill Developmen
Corporation (NSDC) estimated
that the Indian media industry
will need another 20 lakh trained
professionals in the next decade
in order to grow at projected
rates. We believe that longer,
university-standard courses will
help meet the needs of the
industry in the future. So, a
common question that
is asked is “Do I need to
go to film school or can
I jump into the industry
and learn as I go?” The
answer is both yes and
no. A great film school is certainly
not for everyone. You have to be
passionate about studying films
and the process of filmmaking.
These programmes are years of
hard work. Becoming a great
filmmaker isn’t just knowing how
to light a scene or how to write
nice dialogue. You need to
understand philosophy and
psychology, culture and sociology
and history. You need to
understand both the emotional
and the visual impact of one lens
or filter or light over another. At a
film school, you have years to
create, experiment with and
develop your own style and
expression. Should you decide to
enroll in a film school, you have to
find the one that matches your
interests and aspirations.
As for me, I studied
engineering before beginning my
film career. Directors like
Priyadarshan and Ram Gopal
Varma who demanded the most
from me also helped me learn the
most as well. The toughest thing
to master as an untrained actor
was dialogue. You had to deliver
your lines at the high volume
audiences were used to while
ensuring that the words were
clearly understood and had the
right emotion and all this over
multiple takes. I learnt it on set
by observing the great character
actors on and off camera. Now, in
many ways the Indian film
industry is bridging closer to the
Hollywood system. With new film
schools gaining popularity in
India, it is possible that we might
reach this stage eventually.
“Film school is not for everyone”
NEW