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EXCLUSIVE MULTIMEDIA CONTENT ONLY FOR IPAD


COVER STORY WILL THERE BE A WAR?
POLITICS THE DEATH OF A GRAND ALLIANCE
SPORTS A NEW NORMAL
SIKKHIM CAUGHT MIDWAY
UPFRONT AMBANI'S NEW GAMBIT

#WillThereBeWar?
SUBSCRIBE NOW
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FROM THE

www.indiatoday.in EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Aroon Purie
GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER: Ashish Bagga

T
GROUP EDITORIAL DIRECTOR: Raj Chengappa o subdue the enemy without figh submarine warfare helicopters. Indias
EDITORS: Kaveree Bamzai (Special Projects), Ajit Kumar Jha (Research) ting is the pinnacle of strategy, defence budget for 2017 was just 1.5 per
GROUP CREATIVE EDITOR: Nilanjan Das; GROUP PHOTO EDITOR: Bandeep Singh
MANAGING EDITORS: Kai Jabir Friese, Rajesh Jha
said Sun Tzu in The Art of War. cent of the GDP, among the lowest in
EXECUTIVE EDITORS: Damayanti Datta, S. Sahaya Ranjit, Centuries later, Chinas Xi Jinping hopes recent years. But of greater concern is the
Sandeep Unnithan
DEPUTY EDITORS: Prachi Bhuchar, Uday Mahurkar, Manisha Saroop to do much the same with Indiadefeat tardy pace of border infrastructure. Only
Mumbai: M.G. Arun Hyderabad: Amarnath K. Menon Chandigarh: Asit Jolly
SENIOR EDITORS: Shweta Punj, Sasi Nair, Jaipur: Rohit Parihar
it with its words. For a change, though, 22 of the 73 allweather roads along the
SENIOR ASSOCIATE EDITORS: Kaushik Deka, Ashish Mukherjee South Block has chosen the path of quiet LAC have been completed a decade after
Mumbai: Suhani Singh, Kiran Dinkar Tare; patna: Amitabh Srivastava
ASSOCIATE EDITORS: Shougat Dasgupta, Chinki Sinha dialogue over rhetoric, stressing a peaceful they were sanctioned and the 14 strategic
Kolkata: Romita Sengupta; Bhopal: Rahul Noronha;
Thiruvananthapuram: Jeemon Jacob; BeiJing: Ananth Krishnan diplomatic resolution to the standoff. The railway lines to rush troops and supplies
ASSISTANT EDITOR: pune: Aditi S. Pai
Indian and Chinese armies last fired in to the border remain paperbound. China,
CHIEF COPY EDITOR: Aditya Mohan Wig
PHOTO DEPARTMENT: Vikram Sharma (Deputy Photo Editor), anger 50 years ago, in 1967. Every aggres in comparison, has completed its road
Rajwant Singh Rawat (Principal Photographer),
Kekhriezhazo Miachie-O (Senior Photographer), Chandra Deep sive move the two sides have made along network in border areas, and is powering
Kumar (Photographer); Mumbai: Mandar Suresh Deodhar
(Chief Photographer), Danesh Adil Jassawala (Photographer);
the 4,057kmlong Line of Actual Control ahead with its railways.
ahmedabad: Shailesh B Raval (Principal Photographer);
Kolkata: Subir Halder (Principal Photographer);
since 1967 has essentially been postur Beijing appears to be in no mood for
Chennai: N.G. Jaison (Senior Photographer) ing, each side warning the other against compromise. One reason is the cur
PHOTO RESEARCHERS: Prabhakar Tiwari (Chief Photo Researcher),
Saloni Vaid (Principal Photo Researcher), altering the situation on the ground. In its rent domestic political climate, with the
Shubhrojit Brahma (Assistant Photo Researcher)
CHIEF OF GRAPHICS: Tanmoy Chakraborty July 17, 2017, cover story (Face Off ), india Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) set to hold
ART DEPARTMENT: Sanjay Piplani (Senior Art Director); today explained the genesis of the current massive war games for its 90th anniver
Jyoti K. Singh, Anirban Ghosh (Art Director),
Vikas Verma, Rahul Sharma, Vipin Gupta (Associate Art Director); conflicta dispute over Doklam that sary on August 1 and a onceinfiveyears
Bhoomesh Dutt Sharma (Senior Designer)
PRODUCTION DEPARTMENT: Harish Agarwal (Chief of Production), brings China even closer to the vulnerable party congressall important for Xiin
Naveen Gupta (Chief Coordinator),
Vijay Kumar Sharma (Senior Coordinator) 27kmlong Siliguri corridor that links the November. Any sign of weakness could
PUBLISHING DIRECTOR: Manoj Sharma northeastern states to the rest of India. boost his rivals. The Chinese consider this
ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER: Anil Fernandes (Impact)
But what if there is a war? How do dispute more serious than past faceoffs.
IMPACT TEAM
Senior General Manager: Jitender Lad (West) the two nations compare? Xis reforms From the PLA to every diplomat, Im
General Manager: Mayur Rastogi (North),
Upendra Singh (Bangalore), have modernised Chinas military and hearing the same message every day: this
Kaushiky Chakraborty (East)
GROUP CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER: Vivek Malhotra
enabled greater integration through a time its different, says Ananth Krishnan,
Assistant General Manager: Garima Prashar (Marketing) newly setup joint operations command india todays Beijing correspondent. The
SALES AND OPERATIONS: D.V.S. Rama Rao, Chief General Manager
Deepak Bhatt, General Manager (National Sales) systemsomething India itself has long Chinese are saying the dispute is not about
Vipin Bagga, Deputy General Manager (Operations)
Manish Kumar Srivastava, Regional Sales Manager (North) debated but failed to implement. In the Doklam but about India crossing a settled
Rajeev Gandhi, Regional Sales Manager (West)
Arokia Raj L., Regional Sales Manager (South)
first year of Xis term, defence spending border into what they see as their terri
was hiked 10.7 per cent to $114.3 billion. tory, so the message is unless we withdraw,
By last year, it crossed $150 billion, theres no room for deescalation. India is
though independent estimates peg it saying let both sides withdraw and then
Volume XLII Number 32; For the week talk. The deadlock will not be easy to break
as high as $215 billion, more than five
August 1-7, 2017, published on every Friday
times what India spends. with tension likely for quite some time.
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Behind White House, Panchwati, Office C.G. Road, Ahmedabad-380006; Phone: enter service only next year. Its Mountain sides should again recall Sun Tzu: There
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Printed and published by Manoj Sharma on behalf of Living Media
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only by 2020. The IAFs dip in combat
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aircraft32 instead of the sanctioned 39
All disputes are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of fighter squadronsis perilous. The navy
competent courts and forums in Delhi/New Delhi only
is short on both submarines and anti (Aroon Purie)

AUGUST 7, 2 017 INDIA TODAY 1


INSIDE
STATES LEISURE
TELANGANA: DRUG BUST AKHIL SHARMAS
IN TOLLYWOOD PG 14 MELANCHOLY DELIGHTS PG 61

KERALA: BRIBES LE MANS: THE AGONY


AND THE BJP PG 19 & THE ECSTASY PG 66

GENETICS

52 THE ARYAN
WARS
A historical
debate gets
political
as new
research
suggests
our Aryan
ancestors
came in
from the
West 4,000
years ago

CR ICK ET

20
C OV E R S T O RY
Will
there be
War?
The Doklam standoff continues even as
Chinas rhetoric gets shriller. Could the
impasse take an unpredictable turn? 46 THE SLOG
OVERS
With his choice,
Ravi Shastri,
installed as
head coach,
captain Kohlis
SIKKIM performance
must now do

34
the talking

STATE OF
DESPAIR
Sikkim is
paying the
price for the
Gorkhaland
agitation in
West Bengal

Page: 88-89
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UPFRONT
THE TERROR TELECOM: JIOS
FILES NEW GAMBIT
PG 5 PG 6

SUPERBUGS: A POV: THE


LOOMING CRISIS LITTLE DRAGON
PG 8 PG 13

SHOW OF STRENGTH
PANKAJ TIWARI At a previous Sangh
RSS brainstorming meet

RALLYING FOR A
HINDU RASHTRA
By Kiran D. Tare

T
he Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh brass gathered behind closed doors, with no press invited to attend.
en masse in Jammu recently for a week-long talking Speaking after the event, the RSS communications chief
shop. Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat and other Aniruddha Deshpande said the RSS had plans to reach out to
leaders such as Bhaiyyaji Joshi and Dattatreya every section of society in time for its centenary in 2025. The
Hosabale, arrived in Jammu a few days before the conference, central agenda of the Jammu meeting, he said, was to bring
held from July 18-20, to brainstorm future strategy and set the RSS to the basti, defined as any area with 10,000 resi-
the agenda for the meeting. Over 200 pracharaks attended. dents. In each basti, the focus will be, Deshpande explains,
According to RSS national executive member Indresh Kumar, on social work, social integration, family enlightenment,
this particular meeting is an annual opportunity to discuss rural development and cow protection. Though the RSS has
organisational work, no resolutions are passed. It is also held no official membership tally, it is claiming a noticeable rise
UPFRONT

in participation in its daily shakhas, the morning meetings for A ADH A AR


volunteers. It claims that daily shakhas are a feature of life in
60,000 towns across the country, up from about 45,000 in 2010.
In January, 2018, the RSS will hold a Hindu Chetana Sangam THE MATTER OF
event comprising simultaneous gatherings of up to 1,000 people
in 267 venues across Mumbai, coastal Maharashtra and Goa. PRIVACY
Back in Jammu, RSS leader Manmohan Vaidya, the Akhil
Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh, told the assembled pracharaks that By M.G. Arun
the identity of this country is Hindutva. He made the claim

I
amidst broader remarks about the RSS not supporting violence s privacy a fundamental right? In a move that
and urging people, the media in particular, to separate incidents will have wide-ranging ramifications, the
of violence related to gau rakshaks and the cow protection move- Supreme Court has set up a nine-judge bench to
ment itself. The Sangh, he said, does not support any kind revisit its 1954 and 1962 rulings, which held that
of violence, and urged action to be taken against offenders the right to privacy was not a fundamental right.
instead of spurious connections being drawn with the RSS. The Which way the court goes will determine if Aadhaar
issue of gau rakshak violence has become a lightning rod for Op- can be used as an omnibus identification toolfor
position protests in the current parliamentary session. sundry government benefits, to pay income tax, to
Indeed, the gau raksha movement and the RSSs approach buy mobile SIM cards and more.
to kutumb prabodhan or family enlightenment have been the The central government, too, believes the right to
subject of vociferous criticism. Volunteers see both programmes privacy is not a fundamental one but a common law
as opportunities to impose RSS values and assert their beliefs. right, and Article 21 of the Constitution protects only
Some families told of how Sangh workers have lectured them on unauthorised intrusion into ones privacy. Petitioners
family values and sermonise at length about correct attire and in the case, however, argue for a broader definition
the Indian way to celebrate festivals. of privacy, with senior counsel Gopal Subramanium
These speeches, some complained, saying the fundamental ideas of liberty and freedom
A non-Hindu were unnecessary and intrusive. But, cant exist without right to privacy.
dedicated to says Vaidya, we are not imposing a
the countrys code of conduct on people, just appeal-
progress is a ing to them to follow the actual morals
Hindu to us, and values of Indian culture. PU LLQUOTE

says the RSSs theDeshpande too conflates India and


RSSs version of Hinduism. He
Aniruddha insists that the Sanghs concept of a
Deshpande Hindu rashtra is inclusive. For us, he The capacity for compassion and
argues, a person who puts the inter-
empathy is the true foundation
ests of Bharat first is a Hindu. Some-
one who is born Hindu but works against the countrys interest of our civilisation. But every day
is not a Hindu. A non-Hindu, on the other hand, dedicated to the we see increased violence around
countrys progress is a Hindu to us. Many find this approach, us. At the heart of this violence is
this insistence on Hindu and India as synonymous, coercive
darkness, fear and mistrust. We
and threatening but to Deshpande, there is no contradiction.
Vaidya, in Jammu, said Hindutva is not against any other reli- must free our public discourse
gion. We believe in the philosophy of well-being for everyone. from all forms of violence,
Whether everyone believes the RSS is concerned about their physical as well as verbal.
well-being is, however, the question. In Jammu, Bhagwat
cautioned the gathering not to embarrass the government with
their criticisms, to bear in mind that they and the government
share the same ideology. In recent public comments about Prime Outgoing president
Minister Narendra Modi, Bhagwat has been effusive. The RSS PRANAB MUKHERJEE gave his final
knows it has never had a better moment to achieve its goals. Two address to the nation on July 24. He
took the opportunity, having been
months ago, senior functionaries invited journalists known to be
praised by the prime minister for his
anti-RSS for a discussion. Other RSS grandees looked on with ability to be non-partisan, to make
contempt, describing the meeting as appeasement. In todays his position clear on an issue that has
time, said one prominent figure, those who consider the Sangh caused chaos in the current session
as their enemy should feel isolated, not welcome. n of Parliament.

4 INDIA TODAY AUGUST 7, 2 017


unacceptable. Denying people
Aadhaar is something they are entitled to,
more intrusive just because your technology
than other doesnt work properly, is inhu-
databases man and cruel, says an expert
because it also on privacy laws. Many argue
uses a persons Aadhaar is far more intrusive
biometric than other databases, since bio-
information metric info is collected as well.
Why biometric authentification
instead of an OTP (one-time
password)? The government
should use transparency as a mode of accountability rather
than central surveillance, he says. The basic design of Aad-
haar also needs to be improved as it exposes more than what
is actually required at its point of use.
In its 2012 report, the Justice A.P. Shah-led group of exp-
Illustration by ANIRBAN GHOSH
erts on privacy said a framework on the right to privacy in
India must include concerns around data protection on the
The hearing of the case marks several months of debate on internet, protection from unauthorised interception, audio-
the use of Aadhaar, which accesses relatively intimate per- video surveillance, use of personal identifiers, bodily privacy
sonal data, including biometric and iris scans, for the most including DNA and physical privacy. Experts say every sys-
commonplace benefits and purchases. The issues are data tem, including the US National Security Agency, is prone to
security, privacy and whether Aadhaar should be compulsory leaks and hacking. While the SC verdict will define the extent
to get benefits. Experts feel denial of basic social security of privacy, a legislative framework to address the concerns
schemes just because a person is not enrolled for Aadhaar is around data protection and privacy is also critical. n

3 927 337 73%


INDEX

The Terror INDIAS TERRORIST DEATHS ATTACKS


Files position on attacks in in these in India
the list, after India in 2016, attacks, up classified
Terrorism was a key talking Iraq and up from 798 from 289 as non-
point during PM Narendra Mo- Afghanistan in 2015 in 2015 lethal
dis visit to the White House last
month. By declaring Hizbul Mu-
jahideen leader Syed Salahuddin
a Specially Designated Global
Terrorist, the US State Depart-
ment, said Indian officials,

47% 59% 52 104


underscored Indias complaints
about cross-border terrorism.
On July 19, the department re-
leased its annual report, Country OF THE ATTACKS ACTIVE COUNTRIES
Reports on Terrorism 2016, attacks were were in four groups suffered terror
putting India behind only Iraq bombings or states: J&K (19%), committed attacks, 55%
and Afghanistan in the number explosions; 18% Chhattisgarh terrorist attacks of them in Iraq,
of attacks perpetrated on its soil. armed assaults; (18%), Manipur in India in 2016, Afghanistan,
The attacks, though, claimed 15% involved (12%), Jharkhand higher than in India, Pakistan
fewer lives than those worldwide. kidnapping (10%) any country and Philippines
Small comfort.

AUGUST 7, 2 017 INDIA TODAY 5


UPFRONT

J IOPHON E

Ambanis New Gambit


By M.G. Arun

MILIND SHELTE
feature phone market is dominated by
firms such as Nokia, Samsung, Lava
and Micromax. Data is the oxygen of
digital life and no Indian should suffer
because of data scarcity and unafford-
ability, said Ambani at the launch.
JioPhone users will also get unlimited
voice and data for Rs 153 a month.
But this new offer, commercially
available from August 24, can be tricky,
not just for Jio but also for other telecom
companies, whose profitabilities were
already hit by the tariff cuts neces-
sitated by Jios entry. Though overall
data traffic grew five-fold in the year to
March 2017, 4G data prices fell 60 per
cent, resulting in flat revenue growth
for telcos, Crisil said in a report in April.
Experts say another 12 months of tariff
war can bleed the sector further, which
is steeped in debts of Rs 5 lakh crore.
RING LEADER The other issue has to do with sustain-
RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani ing the growth momentum achieved
at low tariffs. At some point of time,
companies will have to revise tariffs to

T
en months after he launched existing cost and voice free forever, the remain profitable. The third issue has
Reliance Jio, a disruptive fourth handset offer bridges a big user gap. It to do with JioPhones target segment.
generation (4G) mobile telepho- addresses millions of feature phone us- For the target segment, even Rs 150
ny service based on long-term ers who are denied the benefits of even a month can be on the higher side, at
evolution or LTE technology, a form of an entry-level smart phone, which can a time when the average revenue per
high-speed wireless communication, cost Rs 3,000-4,500. Feature phones user (ARPU, a measure of the sectors
Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh incorporate features such as inter- health) is between Rs 120 and Rs 130 a
Ambani has sprung a new surprise. net access and storage and can play month, says Prashant Singhal, global
On July 21, at RILs annual general music, but cant run third party apps telecom leader at EY India. Moreover,
meeting of shareholders in Mumbai, he like smart phones can. India had 895 even at Rs 1,500, JioPhone is still not a
launched JioPhone, an LTE-enabled million mobile users in March 2017, smart phone, and customers have the
mobile handset that also provides half of them feature phone users. The option of going for cheap used ones. Can
bundled services such as JioTV and Jio pull it off in handsets as it did in mo-
JioMusic. The most attractive aspect is bile services? Ambani is confident. We
the price of the phone. Its practically Though overall data have converted a majority of our free
free, since the Rs 1,500 one pays while traffic grew five-fold customers to paid customers. Today, Jio
buying the phone is a security deposit, in the year to March has more than 100 million paying Jio
to be refunded after three years if the
2017, 4G data prices Prime (the companys key subscriber
phone is returned to the company. For plan) customers, he says. He is now
Jio, which shook up the telecom sector fell 60 per cent betting on selling five million JioPhone
with its initial offer of data at a fifth the handsets a month. n

6 INDIA TODAY AUGUST 7, 2 017


UPFRONT
C H AT T E R

The week in social media


@ShougatDasgupta

Tanks, but
No Tanks
Eager to rehabilitate the
reputation of Jawaharlal
Nehru University as a
den of militant patriots
as opposed to Maoist
anti-nationals (or something like that), vice-chancellor M.
Jagadesh Kumar asked a pair of ministers if they could
help him procure an army tank to display in a prominent
place on campus. Apparently, the idea was first mooted
in February when students at the university were accu-
sed of chanting anti-India slogans. Does patriotism grow
out of the barrel of a gun? Kumar says the decommissio-
ned tank is intended as a tribute to JNU alumni in the
armed forces. He is a brave man to put a tank in the
midst of young people with too much time on their hands.

Illustration by ANIRBAN GHOSH

Rise of the Webaqoof


SU PER BUGS
Fake news spread chiefly via WhatsApp has been bla-

Big, Looming Headache


med for rioting, even murder in India. The mainstream
media, of course, has played a not insignificant role in
the decline of care-
fully sourced, fact-
By Damayanti Datta
checked reporting.
And when politicians

I
are routinely caught
ts one of the chief threats from the Washington-based
quoting fake news
as truth, you won- to human health. If Center for Disease Dynamics,
der if there ought unchecked, common in- Economics & Policy (CD-
to be a word for fections and minor injuries, DEP) and the Public Health
someone who buys this stuff hook, line and sinker. treatable for decades, can Foundation of India, Delhi.
Shashi Tharoor is the latest to delight in a coinage that once again kill. For the past Conducted across 18 poultry
appears to date only to late MayWebaqoof: one who 20 years, the World Health farms in Punjab, each raising
believes every word he reads on the net or social media. Organization has been about 50,000 birds, the study
sounding out the alarm on shows unregulated use of
the rising menace of antibi- antibiotics and emergence of
otic resistance (ABR) across bacteria resistant to penicillin
His Phones the world and in India. and cephalosporin (needed in
Blowing up ABR snuffs out 100,000 respiratory, skin and kidney
Shortly after being lives in America, 80,000 diseases) in two-thirds of
sworn in, Ram Nath in China and 25,000 in the birds destined for meat
Kovind made his Twit- Europe a year on average. consumption.
ter debut as Indias
What about India? Although Lead researcher, and one
14th president. Within
one of the worlds biggest of the few economic epidemi-
hours he had acquired
over three million followers on the official Rashtrapati consumers of antibiotics, ologists to study ABR growth
Bhavan account. President Kovind racked up 32 tweets India does not keep records. in India, CDDEP director
in his first three hours. Each citizen of India is a nation Piecemeal studies point to Ramanan Laxminarayan
builder, read an early tweet. Followed by a barrage: an alarming rise. One such has cautioned about the risk
Farmer toiling in the blazing sun... nation builder; Young is a new reportthe largest the country runs without any
person who founds a start-up... nation builder; Tribal... everpublished last week mechanism for nationwide
striving to preserve our ecology... nation builder etc. in Environmental Health surveillance and monitor-
Yes, President Kovind, we know what each means. Perspectives, by researchers ing of veterinary antibiotic

12 INDIA TODAY J U LY 31 , 2 017


INDEX
usage, ABR and antibiotic
residues in food animals. Too
little is known about antibiotic
use and resistance patterns in
Indias Gulf Blues
India, he says, calling for the For decades, Indian workers were at the heart of the Gulfs oil-driven economic
need to set up systems, laws miracle. But new ministry of external affairs figures show a sharp drop in the num-
and regulations. bersover 250,000 since 2014emigrating to the Gulf. The MEA attributes the
Antibiotics are cheap, eas- drop to slowing Gulf economies. But the overall number of south Asian workers has
ily available and are increas- increased, with Pakistan and Bangladesh making up for the shortfall from India
ingly finding their way into our
food chainhoney, shrimp,
fish, vegetables, milk, poul- 507,296 34.6 %
tryas pharma companies INDIANS EMIGRATED DROP IN INDIAN
dump waste in rivers and soil, TO THE GULF IN 2016, EMIGRATION TO THE GULF
while farmers inject animals to DOWN FROM BETWEEN 2014 AND 2016,
promote growth. More anti- 775,845 IN 2014 NEARLY 50% DROP IN
biotics are used in agriculture 2.6 SAUDI ARABIA
than in humans in India, says MILLION
Laxminarayan. INDIANS LIVING
A national policy for IN THE UAE, OR
containment of antimicrobial ABOUT 30%
resistance, under the Director-
ate General of Health Services,
$23.2 OF ITS TOTAL
POPULATION
4%
BILLION OF INDIAS GDP
Ministry for Health and Fam- ACCOUNTED FOR BY
IN TOTAL REMITTANCES
ily Welfare, has been on the REMITTANCES, OF WHICH
(TO INDIA) FROM THE UAE
cards since 2011. Will it ever AND SAUDI ARABIA 31% COMES FROM THE
see the light of day? n COMBINED IN 2015 6 GULF COUNTRIES
UPFRONT

10 INDIA TODAY AUGUST 7, 2 017


EXPOSUR E

CHIN UP,
GIRLS!
The World Cup was
there for the taking for
the women in blue, at
least as long as Punam
Raut was at the crease.
A batting collapse meant
India finished nine runs
short. Swing bowler Anya
Shrubsole took six wick-
ets, five in just 19 balls,
as she skittled out the In-
dian lower order. Still, it
was a thrilling final and
India had an outstanding
tournament, with skipper
Mithali Raj breaking
records and rivalling her
male counterparts for
attention. The feats of
Jhulan Goswami, Har-
manpreet Kaurs 171 not
out, off 115 balls in the
semifinal against Austra-
lia, and Rauts excellent
innings in the final will
be justly celebrated. As
now, surely, will be the
womens game.

HARRY TRUMP/GET T Y IMAGES

AUGUST 7, 2 017 INDIA TODAY 11


UPFRONT

GL ASSHOUSE

OUTSOURCING PKs Big Plans


THE BARK
PKishor had dropped
oll strategist Prashant

N
itish Kumar has maintained a studied silence
out of sight after the Cong-
on the CBI raids on his ally, the RJDs Lalu
Prasad Yadav. The CBI has filed corruption resss humiliating defeat in
cases against Lalu, wife Rabri Devi and son and the UP elections in March.
deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav in a 2006 hotel bribery Kishor claims he is taking
case. Nitishs four spokespersonsSanjay Singh, a break, but hes already
Neeraj Kumar, Rajeev Ranjan and Ajay Alokhave on to his next projecta
more than made up for his silence with a barrage of mahagathbandhan of all
verbal attacks seeking Tejashwis clarification, a non-BJP, non-Congress
thinly disguised call for his resignation. Its a repeat parties for the 2019 Lok
of an earlier strategy. The foursome had done the Sabha polls. These parties,
same to Jitan Ram Manjhi when Nitish wanted him
he believes, can win in over
out as CM in 2015. Manjhi quit before his trust vote.
200 parliamentary seats.
Remains to be seen if Tejashwi will blink.
Question is, how many will
buy into PKs plan?

PURUSHOTTAM DIWAKAR

No, Chief Minister


Patel Rap
V asundhara Raje had rolled
out the red carpet for BJP

S secretary Ahmed Patel


party president Amit Shah, onia Gandhis political
who was visiting the state (July
21-23), hoping he would weigh in is a worried man. If the
favourably on her plea for a special cross-voting by 11 Gujarat
relief package for the state. The Congress MLAs in the
Rajasthan CM has repeatedly presidential election is any
blamed the empty coffers left by indication, Patel may find it
the previous Congress regime for difficult to get re-elected to
the failure of her grandiose plans. But Shah wasnt having any of it, reminding the Rajya Sabha. Elections
the CM that the state had received Rs 1.7 lakh crore so far from the Centre to the Upper House are on
under various schemes. Time to change tack? August 8. Patel needs the
votes of at least 47 of the
states 57 party MLAs. Add
THE WEEK IN STRUGGLES to that Congress stalwart
Shankersinh Vaghelas exit
and its not looking good
for him.

E. Sreedharan H.D. Kumaraswamy Sambhaji


Chief advisor, Lucknow Metro Janata Dal (Secular) Patil-Nilangekar
Rail Corporation president Minister for labour and skill
The 85-year-old Metro Man Deve Gowda Sr wants development, Maharashtra
wanted to quit, but CM Yogi other son H.D. Revanna Yet to get official digs a
Adityanath wouldnt hear of to take over Karnataka year into his term as all
it and has persuaded him poll campaign. Both stay government flats/ houses
to carry on away from Hubballi rally are occupied

Sandeep Unnithan with Amitabh Srivastava,


Kaushik Deka and Rohit Parihar

12 INDIA TODAY AUGUST 7, 2 017


UPFRONT

POINT OF V IEW

The Little Dragon


By Salman Haidar

O
ne of independent Indias earliest Since then, there has been a spate of com-
international accords was its 1949 ment and speculation about the matter, includ-
friendship treaty with Bhutan. It ing sharp exchanges between India and China.
was concluded at a time of uncer- The place in question is in the area of the tri-
tainty on Indias periphery: the British were junction between India, Bhutan and China, a
withdrawing, revolutionary China was moving geographically sensitive area with important
into Tibet, with which Bhutan had age-old ties security and strategic features. India and Chi-
of religion and culture. The 1949 treaty, in effect, na have both established military defences in
affirmed Bhutans independence, provided for the area, which have been strengthened in the
Indian support when required and helped bring course of the current disagreement.
stability to the sensitive Himalayan frontier. From the Chinese side, there have been ac-
Just a few years later, Jawaharlal Nehru cusations that India has been inciting Bhutan
made a pioneering visit to Bhutan, which at that to take a tougher line on its claims. However, for
time involved trekking across Tibets Chumbi more than three decades, Bhutan has conducted
Valley. By then, the universal demand in all parts its border negotiations with China according
of the world was for accelerated development, to its own lights. In an earlier phase, India did
and Nehrus talks with the King led to agree- have a role in attempts to delineate the border,
ment that India would fully support Bhutans derived from historic factors, but long ago, this
economic development. This has remained the gave way to a Bhutan-China process without
pattern ever since. third party involvement. Bhutan was well aware
Even while Bhutan drew closer to India, it that the prolonged India-China border talks
steadily increased its own profile as an indepen- were going nowhere and felt it should make an
dent country. A major step was its admission to independent bid for a settlement, to which India
the United Nations, which was done with Indias was persuaded to agree. Bhutan expected that
active support. Its greater international visibility its boundary issue would soon be settled and
notwithstanding, Bhutan refused to become en- China would be generous to its small neighbour.
tangled in the affairs of regional and other powers In the event, China was unyielding, offered no
in matters where it had no direct concern; its own concessions and appeared to be trying to lever-
traditional statecraft drove it towards distance, age the border talks to establish a new order
even isolation, from the affairs of others. Entry of relationship with Bhutan. This effort made
into the UN did not greatly alter these attitudes, no headway, as was revealed in the Bhutanese
and Bhutan even today remains sparing in the complaint about Chinas failure to observe the
Bhutan was access it provides to outsiders. Only a very few agreed process for border settlement.
diplomatic missions are permitted, none from These events make it evident that Bhutan
well aware the P-5 and it keeps aloof from the proliferating has found its voice and is well able to defend its
that the disputes at the UN and other multilateral forums. interests. The unprecedented democratisation
prolonged It thus came as a surprise when, a few weeks of the country, when the monarch voluntarily
India-China ago, senior Bhutanese officials spoke up against ceded his authority, can be seen to have given
border talks Chinese encroachments along the border and new strength to the countrys instruments of
were going asked China to respect the procedure for border governance. Standing up for its territorial and
nowhere and settlement that it had itself agreed on with Bhu- other interests, even in the face of its formidable
felt it should tan. This was an unusually forthright demand northern neighbour, is a measure of how far
from a country that is normally very restrained Bhutan has come. n
make an in its diplomatic expression. Such untypical ac-
independent tion suggests that China had caused apprehen- Salman Haidar is a former foreign
bid for a sion by being unresponsive to Bhutans concerns secretary and has served as ambassador
settlement and had thus invited criticism. to both Thimphu and Beijing

Illustration by TANMOY CHAKRABORTY


STATES
ASSAM: DOWN THE GUJARAT: VAGHELAS
FLOOD DRAIN APOLITICAL TUNE
PG 16 PG 17

HIMACHAL: A RAPE KERALA: BRIBES


IN THE HILLS AND THE BJP
PG 18 PG 19
MOHAMMED ALEEMUDDIN

NOW SHOWING
Actor Subbaraju appears before Telangana excise officials in Hyderabad

A
TEL A NGA NA bkari Bhavan, the head- Mascarenhas is the mastermind of
quarters of Telanganas a nefarious narcotics network sup-

Drug Bust in
prohibition and excise plying synthetic drugs, including
department, has been LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide)
seeing a number of visitors from the and MMDA (methylenedioxymeth-
Telugu film industry. Actors Tarun amphetamine). More arrests have

Tollywood
Kumar, P. Navdeep, Subbaraju, followed. The 17 persons detained
Charmme Kaur and Mumait Khan, so far include Dundu Anish, a US
director Puri Jagannath, art direc- national and former aerospace
tor Dharma Rao and cinematogra- engineer at NASA, and seven IT
Top personalities from pher Shyam K. Naidu were among professionals from Hyderabad.
those called in for questioning and Investigators say Mascarenhas
the Telugu film industry asked to submit hair, fingernail and is among a handful of Indian
in police net saliva samples for forensic testing. customers of Silk Road, a notorious
The summons to the film folk e-market on which synthetic narcot-
By Amarnath K. Menon followed the arrest of Calvin Mas- ics are traded in bulk. Disguised as
carenhas, a bank employee-turned- medicines, the drugs are distributed
small-time musician, and two via international courier services
others on July 2. Investigators say as well as in parcels sent through

14 INDIA TODAY AUGUST 7, 2 017


ordinary post. Mascarenhas and his N AG A L A N D
associates, in turn, supplied smaller KOHIMA
peddlers or directly to customers. Ar-
rested in 2013 for peddling marijuana,
Mascarenhas allegedly turned to sup- Split
Verdict
plying LSD and MMDA in Hyderabad
after being released from jail in 2015.
But tracking the network he used
to procure the drugs is proving to be
a major challenge. It is not yet known The NPF breaks up, but if the BJP is planning to do an
from who the drugs are procured or Arunachal, they might not find the going easy
where they are shipped from. Orders
are invariably communicated via
darknet. While the police have engaged
By Kaushik Deka
professional hackers to trace the supply

I
chain, they have also asked the postal n February, T.R. Zeliang of the Naga Peoples Front (NPF) was
department and courier services to ousted as chief minister of Nagaland following the governments an-
keep an eye on shipments from South nouncement of 33 per cent reservation for women in the civic polls. It
America and Europe. had led to protests and violence by several Naga tribal groups. Many felt
Dr Akun Sabharwal, director (en- that it challenged traditional customs of Naga society, which is now 90
forcement) in Telanganas prohibition per cent Christian. Zeliangs decision to empower women was also seen
and excise department, says: So far, we as a consequence of the growing influence of the RSS and BJP in the
have gathered that at least 17 bars and state. He was replaced by Shurhozelie Liezietsu, the 81-year-old NPF
pubs allow drugs to be sold or used on president. Zeliangs proximity to BJP general secretary Ram Madhav
their premises. The charges, if proved had angered many in the party. The latters interference in internal
in court, would mean stiff penalties party matters was unacceptable, an NPF leader who did not want to be
up to 20 years in jail and Rs 2 lakh named, had said then.

90
But in less than five months, Zeliang is back
in the hot seat, thanks to his alleged friendship
SUMMONS TO THE FILM with the BJP. Sources say that with Shurhoze-
FOLK FOLLOWED THE lie showing no signs of vacating the seat for
Zeliangwithin the scheduled six months, as de-
ARREST OF CALVIN cided by the two leaders earlieralliance partner PER CENT
MASCARENHAS, THE BJP stepped in. In February, former chief minis- of the people
ter Neiphiu Rio, in a desperate attempt to return of Nagaland
ALLEGED KINGPIN OF A to state politics, had played a key role in orches- are Christians
NARCOTICS NETWORK trating the coup against Zeliang. This time, BJP

finefor the bar owners.


The Telangana police are going
through call records, including those of
the actors and other film personalities
called in for questioning. Sources said
the information gleaned from the phone
records could lead to fresh raids on ped-
dlers still on the loose and reveal how
GETTY IMAGES / CAISII MAO

rave party organisers, event managers


and celebrities are driving the demand
for narcotics. On July 24, the police
nabbed a gang, including five Nigerians,
dealing in narcotics and seized cocaine,
brown sugar, amphetamine tablets and
marijuana worth approximately Rs 10
lakh. The gang has been active for over
BACK IN THE CHAIR
two years and also found to be involved
File picture of reinstated chief minster T.R. Zeliang
in human trafficking. n

AUGUST 7, 2 017 INDIA TODAY 15


STATES

leaders Madhav and Himanta Biswa eventually merged with the BJP.
Sarma brokered a peace deal between NOT MANY NPF However, the transition may
the two Naga leaders. LEADERS WILL BE not be as smooth here as Nagaland
Consequently, Zeliang had the politics is strongly dominated by the
support of 36 NPF, four BJP and 11 WILLING TO FIGHT Church, which is not at all happy with
independent MLAs in the 60-mem- ON A BJP TICKET IF the saffron partys growing influ-
ber assembly. Shurhozelie, left with ence in the state. Also, not many NPF
just seven supporters, expelled 20 THE PARTY SYMBOL leaders will be willing to fight on a
MLAs, including Zeliang, and sus-
pended 11 others. He also declared
IS FROZEN BJP ticket, in the event that the partys
election symbol is frozen in the battle
that the NPF was breaking off its between the two factions.
alliance with the BJP. The vertical To cash in on the public mood,
split in the NPF has created a buzz year, 44 of the 45 Congress MLAs, NPF members loyal to Shurhozelie
that the BJP is planning to do an led by Arunachal CM Pema Khandu, organised a beef festival in Kohima
Arunachal in Nagaland. In July last had first joined a regional party and hours after Zeliang won the trust

ASSA M

DOWN THE FLOOD DRAIN


Chief secretary V.K. Pipersenia claims the state loses Rs 10,000 crore a year to floods,
related calamities and relief work. By comparison, the state spends around
Rs 12,000 crore a year on development projects

0.21
MILLION HECTARE
Crop area lost so far in
29 districts this year, or
nearly 50 per cent
of the total crop area

` 12
CRORE
Brahmaputra Board spend
on river-basin management
works during April-October
2016, compared to Rs 43
crore on establishment
expenses. The same trend
has endured over the past

891
10 years

` 128
CRORE
KM
Length of the 48
Brahmaputra in SQ. KM
Assams average flood Assam (total of forest cover lost
loss per year, according length 3,848 km, in the state between 2011
to the Assam State Disaster from Tibet to the and 2015, accelerating
Management Authority Bay of Bengal) land erosion

Graphic by TANMOY CHAKRABORTY


PTI
vote on July 21 and invited governor P.B.
Acharya for dinner. In a statement aimed
at Acharya, the NPFs youth wing said:
We are in a jubilant mood because not
only has the NPF severed ties with the
BJP for good, in the last few days you
yourself have shown how low you can
stoop to achieve your political and reli-
gious agenda. A week earlier, Shurhoze-
lie had also targeted Acharya, saying the
hardcore RSS pracharak had violated
all constitutional provisions to bring
down his government, adding that the
latter would never achieve his dream of a
BJP government in Nagaland. n

40
DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD
Shankersinh Vaghela at his
July 21 rally in Gandhinagar

PER CENT G U J A R AT
of Assams land is
flood-prone

No plans to join BJP,


76
Flood-related
Im apolitical for now
deaths so far
this year; 497 Veteran Gujarat politician a year ahead of elections. Rahul
in 2004 the SHANKERSINH VAGHELA Gandhi agreed with me that the
highest. quit the Congress last week, end- Antony panels report should be
Average 47
ing an 18-year-old association implemented, but nothing hap-
a year
with the party he had joined after pened. Perhaps these leaders had
exiting his parent organisation, decided to deny me a role in the
the BJP, in 1996. With Gujarat assembly polls. Had they not taken
slated to go to polls this year, a stand against me and waited, I
speculation over Vaghelas next myself would have declared state
move is rife. Deputy Editor Uday Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki
Mahurkar caught up with the the partys chief ministerial candi-
leader to try and gauge whats on date and settled for chairmanship
his mind. Excerpts of the campaign committee.

Q. Why did you leave the Q. Congress leaders say you


Congress? shouldnt have arm-twisted

` 40,000 CRORE
A. Some Congress leaders in Gu-
jarat didnt agree with my stand
that the party should prepare for
the party since it gave you so
much despite your BJP
background.
the assembly elections well in A. I, too, have given much to
Cost of proposed dredging project advance, as per the A.K. Antony the Congress. I discharged the
between Sadiya and Dhubri, which committees recommendation that responsibilities given to me faith-
chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal says
candidates should be shortlisted fully and tried to expand the par-
will start next year

AUGUST 7, 2 017 INDIA TODAY 17


STATES

tys base. This despite some leaders H I M AC H A L P R A D E S H


plotting against me since the day I

Doghouse Days
joined the Congress in 1998-1999.
Even in the latest instance, they
asked partymen and MLAs to skip
my birthday party. Is this the way
you treat senior leaders? The rape-murder of a teenage girl snowballs
into an indictment of the Congress government
Q. Many Congress leaders claim SHIML A
the cross-voting by eight to 11 party
By Asit Jolly
MLAs in favour of Ram Nath Kov-
ind was at your behest.
A. This is totally false. I have never
engaged in anti-party activity. It
is the state Congress leaderships
duty to find out who voted against
Meira Kumar. I cannot be blamed
for their management failures.

Q. Why did you write an explana-


tory letter to Sonia Gandhi after
leaving the party?
A. I had to clarify my position to
guard against any misinformation
campaign by my detractors.

PARTY MLAs WERE


ASKED TO SKIP MY CRYING SHAME
BIRTHDAY. IS THIS Protesters out in the
streets of Shimla
THE WAY TO TREAT
SENIOR LEADERS?

T
heyre calling her Gudiya. Kotkhai and Shimla.
The rape and murder of a A week later, on July 13, IG
16-year-old schoolgirl on Zahur H. Zaidi, heading the SIT
Q. You also had complaints about July 4 has stirred the Shimla investigating the case, reported the
the party manifesto not being hills like never before with the public arrest of six suspects. Besides main
considered while planning party outrage threatening to bring down accused Rajinder Singh, manager
programmes. the Congress government, just of a local apple orchard, the others
A. Yes, there should be synergy bet- months before fresh assembly polls. named include Ashish Chauhan, the
ween the partys programmes and A student of Class X at the orchard owners son, two daily wage
its manifesto, which was missing in government school at Mahasu, some workers from Uttarakhand and two
many cases. But my main complaint 5 km from her hilltop village in the Nepali labourers.
was that candidates were not being Kotkhai area, the girl went missing But the protests continued amid
selected well ahead of elections. on her way home on July 4 after- wild rumours that the police and
noon. Two days later, relatives found the state government were attempt-
Q. Whats your plan now? her body in a forest not far from ing a cover-up to save the actual
A. Wait and watch. where she lived. Although a case was culprits. With increasing numbers
registered, police only swung into taking to the streets in Shimla,
Q. Could you be joining the BJP? action after images of the stripped Kotkhai and Theog, Chief Minister
A. No, neither the BJP nor NCP. I naked dead body went viral on social Virbhadra Singh, in an attempt
will remain apolitical for now. n media, provoking angry protests in to lower tempers, agreed to a CBI

18 INDIA TODAY AUGUST 7, 2 017


STATES

investigation on July 14.


Angry villagers were out on the
WITH POLLS JUST the violence. They are playing politics
over a very sensitive issue, Virbhadra
streets again on July 19 after one of the MONTHS AWAY, told reporters in Shimla. Hes probably
accused died in police custody. Suraj right. With assembly polls just months
Singh, one of the two Nepali labour- THE BJP HAS BEEN away, BJP leaders, including ex-CM
ers, was allegedly killed inside police LEADING THE Prem Kumar Dhumal, have been lead-
lock-up by accused Rajinder Singh. ing the public protests.
Reports quoting the dead mans widow CITIZEN PROTESTS But its not just the BJP that the CM
as saying that her husband had admit- has to be wary of. State Congress presi-
ted to someone elses crime once again dent Sukhwinder Sukku confirmed on
sparked off speculation of a cover-up. Singhs custodial deathpeople in the July 24 that as many as six party MLAs,
Although the CBI has now taken area remain restive. including ministers, have demanded a
over and registered two FIRsthe rape The CM blames the opposition change in leadership in a letter to the
and murder of the schoolgirl and Suraj BJP for instigating the protests and party high command. n

THIRUVANANTHAPUR AM
KERALA

Trading on
Saffron
By Jeemon Jacob

T
he BJP has never had it so bad in Kerala. Just as the
party was consolidating itself, a wave of scam allega-
tions have hit the party. Senior party functionaries
have been scurrying for cover ever since news broke
of bribes being taken to facilitate a Medical Council of India
(MCI) licence for a private medical institution here. POCKETS FULL A BJP rally in

It all started in May when R. Shaji, chairman of the S.R. Thiruvananthapuram; (inset) sacked leader R.S. Vinod
Educational and Charitable Trust, complained to state BJP
president Kummanam Rajasekharan that the partys coop- sanction the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi scheme outlets,
eration cell convenor R.S. Vinod had cheated him of fake receipt books and donations worth lakhs collected for
Rs 5.6 crore, money paid to get MCI approval for the trusts party events disappearing (the BJP national convention in
medical college. Shaji also named BJP MP Richard Hays Kozhikode in 2016 is specifically under the scanner). And
assistant Kannadas and Kummanams PA R. Sivaraman. more and more complaints of local leaders taking bribes to
The Kerala BJP chief set up an in-house committee to fix central government jobs. The latest in all this is an inter-
look into the allegations. Shaji told the committee that the nal memo being passed around among the BJP cadre. The
money was paid through Vinod to Satish Nair, a middleman memo, while listing a host of scams, says the state leadership
with connections at the Centre. Incredibly, Kummanam has misappropriated at least Rs 200 crore since the Modi
took no action even after he got the probe report. But after government came to power at the Centre.
it was leaked and the ensuing media shindig in mid-July, The revelations on prime-time TV and the papers have
he had to expel Vinod from the party. (Ironically, it was severely dented the BJPs credibility in the state. Its shock-
Asianet News, a TV network owned by NDA vice-president ing, a senior BJP leader told india today admitting the
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, that broke the story on July 18.) But scandal had damaged the partys image even at the national
by then, the ugly factionalism in the BJP state unit was out level. But that may not be the end of it: the state vigilance
in the open. New allegations have been made almost every and anti-corruption bureau is investigating the BJP leaders
day since then. There are reports of lakhs being pocketed to named in the various scams. n
COVER STORY | INDIA-CHINA

WILL THERE
E BE A WAR?
BOTH SIDES HAVE COMPELLING REASONS TO AVOID IT, BUT INDIA WILL NOW
SEE THE PERIL IN IGNORING ITS DEFENCE PREPAREDNESS
By Sandeep Unnithan in Delhi and Ananth Krishnan in Beijing
COVER STORY INDIA-CHINA

A
A week ahead of August 1, when Chinas Peoples Lib-
eration Army (PLA) marks its 90th anniversary, Xi
Jinpings Red Army had a stern message for India. A
PLA major-general, flanked by three senior colonels,
held a rare meet-the-press in Beijing. Our willing-
ness and resolve to defend our sovereignty, Senior
Colonel Wu Qian thundered, is indomitable. We will
do so whatever the cost. India, he continued, should
from New Delhi. Nearly 300 Indian soldiers have
pitched their tents on Doklam blocking the PLA
from building a contentious road into territory Bhu-
tan claims. Army officials says the troops will stay for
as long as New Delhi wants them to, even through
the 10 below zero winter temperatures of the plateau.
Doklam comes at a time when China is pitching
its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) even as it aggres-
not harbour illusions. The history of the PLA of sively asserts territorial claims around its periphery.
past 90 years, he said, has proven our resolve. It hurts Chinas self-image as an emerging global
Chinas sabre-rattling, ever since the June 16 power and Asian hegemon that India should turn its
standoff with India came to light, has been relentless. back on BRI and thwart its South Asian plans, says
One reason, insiders suspect, is that for the PLA and former foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal.
for Xi, the face-off at Doklam couldnt have come at a Doklam is now in the domain of the PMO which
more sensitive time. On August 1, President Xi, who steers foreign policy. The MEA has been silent after
also heads the PLAs Central Military Commission its June 30 statement where it noted Indias deep
(CMC) and is the commander-in-chief, will supervise concern at the recent Chinese actions and conveyed
the armys largest-ever annual war games in Zhurihe, to the Chinese government that such construction
Inner Mongolia, a show of strength that is meant to would represent a significant change of status quo
test the military a year after Xi kicked off its most with serious security implications for India.
far-reaching reforms. Not only that, in November, Xi A senior MEA official rejects Chinas stand that
will preside over a once-in-five-years party congress the issue is between China and Bhutan and explains
that will be key to his second term, as rival factions why India is on firm ground, legally and logically.
jostle for the top slots. Any sign of weakness will be Chinas physical movement towards Bhutan auto-
seized upon. matically pushes the trijunction towards the Indian
Beijings bluster has been met with quiet resolve side thus bringing it closer to the chickens neck that

22 INDIA TODAY AUGUST 7, 2 017


BARRELLING DOWN
Live fire drill by the
PLA in Tibet

A month later, there has still been no Chinese


mobilisation in Doklam, a prerequisite for
carrying out its war threats

connects Indias Northeast to the rest of India. Its The military imbalance
not a unilateral issue but a tripartite one. China alone
or even China and Bhutan cant resolve it. The solu-
tion has to be tripartite, he says. The PLAs war rhetoric has so far not translated into
As China ramps up the rhetoric, New Delhi is additional boots on the ground. Even a month after
soft-pedalling the standoff. Instructions have ap- the standoff, there has been no mobilisation on the
parently gone out to politicians, bureaucrats and the Tibetan plateau, a prerequisite for carrying out its
military to not publicly comment on the stalemate. threats. Footage of recent live firing drills released on
Hectic parleys are under way to defuse the crisis Chinese media were from a PLA exercise last month.
without any perceived loss of face. In a nudge that The Indian and Chinese armies last fired in anger
Beijing is unlikely to take kindly to, a US depart- 50 years ago, in 1967. The Indian army hit back at the
ment of defence spokesperson on July 22 encouraged PLAs attempt to disturb the status quo in Sikkim,
India and China to engage in direct dialogue aimed with a ferocious artillery bombardment at Nathu La
at reducing tensions and free of any coercive aspects. on September 11 and Cho La on October 1 where over
New Delhi is looking at National Security Advisor 300 PLA soldiers were reportedly killed. The incident
Ajit Dovals visit to Beijing for the BRICS NSA meet- came exactly five years after the 1962 war loss.
ing on July 27-28 as one channel for dialogue. Since 1967, every aggressive move the two sides

AUGUST 7, 2 017 INDIA TODAY 23


COVER STORY INDIA-CHINA

have made along the 4,057-km-long Line of Actual


Control (LAC) has essentially been posturing, each
China alone or even
side manoeuvring to prevent the other from altering China and Bhutan
the status quo on the ground. The closest India and
China came to another war was in June 1986 when cant resolve [the
General K. Sundarji heli-lifted a mountain brigade
to face off against a PLA incursion which had built a
standoff ]. The solution
road into Arunachal Pradesh. Chinese leader Deng has to be tripartite, says
Xiaoping conveyed, through visiting US defence sec-
retary Caspar Weinberger, his intent to teach India
an MEA official
a lesson if the crisis was not resolved. The Chinese
troops did not withdraw until 1993 when Prime Min-
ister P.V. Narasimha Rao visited Beijing. of intense war fighting against the prescribed 40 days.
Peace and tranquility have prevailed on the border But of greater concern is the tardy pace of adding
ever since, and the two words formed the underly- border infrastructure. Only 22 of the 73 all-weather
ing text of a landmark Border Peace and Tranquility roads along the LAC have been completed a decade
Agreement signed by PM Rao in 1993. More recently, after they were sanctioned, the 14 strategic railway
Chinas thrust on border infrastructure and the PLAs lines to rush troops and supplies to the border remain
transformation have made the peace an uneasy one. paperbound. The IAFs dip in combat aircraft32
Xis reforms of the PLA are without doubt the instead of the sanctioned 39 fighter squadronsis
most sweeping in its 90-year history. The focus is on so perilous that Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa, in a
modernising and enabling greater integration through recent interview, compared it to playing cricket with
a newly set-up joint operations command system, seven instead of 11 players. The navy is short on both
something which India itself has long soughtand submarines and anti-submarine warfare helicopters,
failedto implement. The armys various depart- key capabilities in tracking Chinese submarines that
ments are now under the direct control of the Central are now routinely deployed in the Indian Ocean.
Military Commission (CMC), which Xi heads. Now, a The government is yet to move on the recommen-
single western theatre command handles the border dations of the Lt General D.B. Shekatkar committee,
with India, integrating the earlier Chengdu and Lan- submitted to the MoD in December 2016. Key propos-
zhou military regions. The focus is on mobility and als include appointing a chief of defence staff, a single-
nimbleness, leveraging the road and rail infrastruc- point military advisor to accelerate the integration of
ture China has in place, and on integrating the army the armed forces, creating integrated theatre com-
and air force more closely. mands to synergise the three services and cutting back
On the face of it, the odds seem to overwhelmingly on non-fighting formations to enhance the militarys
favour the PLA. Weak infrastructure and a stalled combat potential while saving Rs 25,000 crore over
military modernisation have hobbled the Indian five years. A classified part of the report mentions that
armed forces attempts to ramp up their posture from the focus of warfare for both the army and the air force
deterrence to credible deterrence. This years defence are likely to be the mountains since this is where the
budget, at 1.5 per cent of the GDP, was the lowest allo- disputed areas with China and Pakistan lie.
cation since 1950-51. The armys attempts to replace
its ageing helicopters, missiles and infantry equipment
after the 1999 Kargil War are yet to bear fruit. Its Chinas firepower boost
first howitzer buys in three decades, the 146 ultralight
howitzers from the US, will trickle in only next year. In Beijing, the view is that the timing of Chinas
Its Mountain Strike Corpsan offensive high altitude muscle-flexing over the Doklam incident is no coin-
warfighting force comprising over 90,000 soldiers cidence amid an overhaul of the PLA. The militarys
will only be combat-ready by 2021. The armed forces massive transformation has created its own stresses
lack strategic reconnaissance to peer at least 300 and uncertainties. In the past too, PLA observers say,
kilometres deep into China and Pakistan and detect such circumstances have driven the military to adopt
mobilisations. The army has been embarrassed by a hardline posture, driven both by domestic political
revelations in a July 21 CAG report of its tank and considerations and the need to rally public support for
howitzer ammunition being adequate for only 10 days the military. In the lead-up to August 1 and the 90th

24 INDIA TODAY AUGUST 7, 2 017


FAISAL MAHMOOD/ REUTERS

HAND IN HAND
India has cited a twin
threat from China and
Pakistan, seen here
during a joint military
exercise in Jhelum,
Pakistan Punjab

A triumph in Doklam will suit President Xi,


who is seeking re-election in the party
congress coming up in November

anniversary, for instance, the PLAs officers have been will be connected to the massive highway network,
publicly pledging their allegiance to Xi and showering which is now over 82,000 kilometres in length.
praise on his reforms. Former PLA officers have even In all three sectorswestern, middle and east-
used the Doklam incident to attack the armys critics ernmotorable Chinese roads now reach right up to
and demand total support for the army. the Indian border. In the middle and eastern sectors,
Its advantage India in terms of the armys trai- in the Chumbi Valley bordering Sikkim and in Nying-
ning and professionalism, and advantage China in chi across the border from Arunachal, the Chinese
terms of infrastructure, logistics, supplies, firepower railway network will reach the border by 2019. In the
quantity and their second artillery, says Srikanth current five-year plan (2016-2020), the Yanga-Nying-
Kondapalli, an expert on the Chinese military at the chi railway to the Arunachal border, the Shigatse-
Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi. Since Chinas Yadong railway to the Chumbi Valley and the Sikkim
10th five-year plan (2001-2005), Beijing had em- border, and the Shigatse-Gyirong railway to the Nepal
barked on an ambitious push to build a road and rail border will be completed. As local officials in Yadong
network across Xinjiang and Tibet. A decade-and-a- county told india today in 2015, a 500-km rail track
half later, it is almost complete, in stark contrast with has already entered the Chumbi Valley and tests will
Indias stalled border road-building. Beijing, no doubt, begin next year. The line to Nyingchi near Arunachal
enjoys the topographical advantage of the Tibetan is now being constructed and will be ready in two
plateau in both western and eastern sectorsit is only years time. This allows China to rapidly mobilise divi-
bordering Sikkim in the Chumbi Valley where it faces sions from not only the western theatre command, but
a major disadvantage. But that too is no impediment, also from the central, southern and eastern theatre
for this year the last two towns in TibetGyalasa and commands to the Indian border in a matter of days.
Gandeng in Medog county that borders Arunachal The PLA air force also operates around a dozen

AUGUST 7, 2 017 INDIA TODAY 25


HIMALAYAN
STANDOFF
IF WAR BREAKS OUT BETWEEN
INDIA AND CHINA, CHANCES ARE IT WILL
REMAIN CONFINED TO THE MOUNTAINS.
IT MAY ALSO INVOLVE PAKISTAN
Ngari
Graphic by TANMOY CHAKRABORTY
Gunsa

LADAKH
J& K
HIMACHAL
PRADESH
N Pathankot UTTARAKHAND
TA
IS
K
A
P Ambala

Bathinda Mathura
Halwara Bareilly

Udaipur
Bhopal
Bhuj

BALANCE INDIA CHINA PAKISTAN INDIA


OF POWER
Army (in million) 1.3 2.3 0.63
Lohegaon
Attack aircraft 809 1,385 394 Mumbai
Fighter aircraft 679 1,230 301
Transport aircraft 857 782 261
Towed artillery 7,414 6,246 3,278
Karwar
MLRS 292 1,770 134
Aircraft carriers 1 1 0
Destroyers 10 32 0
Frigates 14 48 10
Submarines 14 68 5 Sulur Thanjavur
Chengdu
CHINA
Doklam
EVENLY
MATCHED Sukna
SIKKIM
BHUTAN
What the Indian Tezpur
33 Corps
army lacks in 3 Corps
mobility, it makes INDIA Dimapur
up with numbers. 4 Corps
Three army corps Chickens
of over 2.5 lakh BANGLADESH
Neck PLA WESTERN
soldiers are THEATRE COMMAND
deployed to defend
76th and 77th Combined
the Northeast Corps-Level group
armies with 7 division-
sized formations (not
forward deployed but
can be brought into Tibet
CHINA in a weeks time)

TIBET Nyingchi

Gongar Qamdo

Daocheng
Yading

N E PA L DOKLAM

Chabua
SIKKIM
Tezpur ASSAM
CHICKENS NECK
(Land corridor
linking India to the NAGALAND
Northeast)

Panagarh
Kalaikunda

STRENGTHS STRENGTHS

Vizag Professional army Logistics: can mobilise


and air force 34 divisions
Terrain of war front Army air defence
favours India Electronic warfare
Mountain division (16,000 soldiers) Both army and IAF saw
Infantry division (12,000 soldiers) action in 1999, Kargil
WEAKNESSES
Strike Corps HQ
Corps HQ
WEAKNESSES
Mountain Strike Corps Major army
Independent armoured brigade: reorganisation under way
3,000 troops on BMP-2s, 135 MBTs
Ammunition supply low Has not fought a war
Sukhoi-30MKI squadron Obsolete equipment since 1979
Main PLA air force base Only 22 of 73 Pilots have not
Major naval base all-weather roads fought an air war
along LAC ready since 1953 in Korea
Possible PLA thrusts
PSY WAR
Chinese media has
repeatedly brought up
Indias 1962 defeat. Here,
COVER STORY INDIA-CHINA Indian troops in NEFA
during the war

airfields along the Indian border, with five big airports


in Tibet, from Ngari Gunsa in Shiquanhe, which bor-
ders Aksai Chin, to Nyingchi airport near Arunachal.
The other big logistical advantage for China, Konda-
palli notes, is its indigenous military industrial
complex that ensures independence of supplies. They
have a 30-day backup which means they dont have
to depend on supplies. Our record is relatively bleak
on this front, he notes. Most Chinese analyses of the
border with India have highlighted Beijings artillery
and missile units as its biggest advantage.
A detailed study published on July 7 in the Sina
military portal, Chinas most widely-read defence
website, assessed how the country would handle a
conflict with India. It noted that the PLA had made
big strides in mobilisation, and revealed that in 2014,
during the Chumar standoff, China was able to rapidly
mobilise its 54th group army, which was involved in
both the India and Vietnam wars, from Henan to
Tibet to undertake a drill, while long-range rocket
artilleries and J-10 fighters were also sent to border
airports as deterrence. After decades of preparation
for war, the PLA has experienced a kind of metamor-
phosis... Weapons, drills, logistics, and military tactics
have improved to a large extent. Troop deployments at
the western frontier have been strengthened, as also
field artilleries in Tibet. There is serious deterrence nario, a limited war involving only the army and air
towards India, it concluded, suggesting Chinas aim force, an advancing PLA will first have to reckon
was to win the war without fighting. with over 250 of the IAFs Su-30MKI air dominance
fighters (the IAFs fighter jets sat out the 1962 war).
The IAF jets can take off from their bases on the
Will China go to war? plains with a full payload of fuel and weapons as
opposed to the PLAAF fighters operating off the ex-
If China does go to war, analysts say, it will be only posed airfields on the Tibetan plateau with reduced
after carefully weighing the benefits of getting into combat loads and fuel (due to the rarefied air). The
a full-scale conventional war where it cannot score a IAFs unlikely to wait for PLA to make the first move,
decisive victory. To initiate a conflict will mean tear- our fighters will target their concentration areas,
ing up multiple peace and tranquility border agree- says Air Marshal P.S. Ahluwalia, former C-in-C of
ments with India and disabusing its own proclama- the Western Air Command.
tion of peaceful development. The PLA will have to break through heavily def-
It would be absurd for China to start a war over ended passes and valleys protected by over a dozen
its own actions, and over disputed territory with a Indian mountain divisions with 16,000 soldiers each,
small country that has a security relationship with protected by artillery, Brahmos missile regiments and,
India under which India has acted, says Sibal. in certain places like Ladakh and north Sikkim, pre-
Chinas credibility on territorial issues is very low positioned armoured brigades with T-72 tanks. This
internationally because of its actions in the South is not the Indian army of 1962 which fought with bolt
China Sea and repudiation of the UNCLOS award. action rifles and PT shoes, says a senior army official.
It will suffer heavy casualties if it triggered a border We have three army corps or nearly three lakh sol-
conflictas would Indiawith minor gains, which diers in the Northeast. Today, we have brigades (3,000
would puncture its balloon of military superiority. soldiers) where we once had companies (100 men).
In the event of the most plausible conflict sce- The armys emphasis on manpower is not out of

28 INDIA TODAY AUGUST 7, 2 017


A fallout place. Mountains swallow troops. If an attack
on the plains would need a ratio of 1:3 or three
of Doklam attackers for one defender, it swells to 1:12 in
the mountains. The PLA will need over 50,000
may be soldiers to mount a successful thrust down the
that China Chumbi Valley and towards Indias chickens
neck which the Doklam plateau overlooks.
will now Both sides are so evenly matched that neither

openly back can advance without incurring heavy casual-


ties which is why experts believe Doklam might
Pakistan not trigger a conventional war. China prefers to
coerce, says defence analyst Ravi Rikhye. It will
in border be very, very reluctant to actually start a war. G.

disputes Parthasarathy, Indias former high commissioner


to Islamabad, terms Beijings response to Doklam
as jingoistic and afflicted by hubris and draws
a parallel to the Sumdurong Chu standoff. This
one could last for months, if not years, he says.
There is, though, a view that the standoff
marks a watershed moment in South Asia. What
we have done (in Doklam) is absolutely right and
in accordance with the existing India-Bhutan
bilateral arrangement, says ex-army chief Gen-
eral Bikram Singh. However, a strategic fallout
is that taking it as a precedent, China may, in the
The Art of
Fighting without July 12, 2017
Fighting The situation in Kashmir
Since the June 16 incident, China has has attracted a lot of global
mounted an unprecedented war of
attention... We hope the
words designed to coerce India into
retreating from Doklam relevant sides will avoid
escalating tensions
CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY
SPOKESMAN GENG SHUANG
July 25, 2017

The solution to this standoff is very simple. India July 8, 2017


must conscientiously pull back its troops
CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER WANG YI All Chinese citizens in India and
those planning to travel to India
July 24, 2017 must pay close attention to the
present security situation. Avoid
Shaking a mountain is easy, but shaking the unnecessary visits, improve your
Peoples Liberation Army is hard personal safety
SENIOR COL. WU QIAN CHINESE EMBASSY, NEW DELHI

future, support Pakistan outright in border disputes. freeze on the armys mountain strike corps which had
It is, therefore, axiomatic that we expeditiously create a slashed its manpower and budgets by halfRs 38,000
two-front capability to safeguard our national interests. crore and 35,000 soldiers. The army is working out
a revised version of cold start to fight an intensive
battle of 10-15 days. An upcoming tri-services military
Collusive threat exercise is to be held at an undecided date to work out
new strategies to address a multi-front war. On July 8,
Over a fortnight before the Doklam face-off, army chief army chief General Rawat told ANI that the army is
General Bipin Rawat met his five army commanders in fully ready for a two-and-a-half front war (the half is
Srinagar. The commanders huddle in Srinagars Bad- for terrorists being used by either China or Pakistan to
ami Bagh cantonment on June 1 came just two months carry out acts of sabotage).
after the twice-a-year army commanders conference.
The five army commanders, whose area of responsibil-
itynorthern, western, southwestern, southern and Shadow boxing
easterncovers all the zones of future conflict, reviewed
war contingencies with Pakistan, particularly its proac- It may be difficult to shake a mountain, but it is even
tive strategy, colloquially called cold start. Conceived in more difficult to shake the PLA. Senior Colonel Wu
2004, it cuts down on the two-week-long mobilisation Qian had said at the meet-the-press. The Doklam
time by swiftly mobilising the army to carry out light- standoff is serving some other uses too. One of the
ning multi-front shallow thrusts across the border with PLAs most hawkish generals, the now retired Luo
Pakistan within 72 hours. The option of thinning troops Yuan, called on the public to rally behind the army
from the China border to address the Pakistan front, as because of it. The public should be confident about
the army has done in the past, is no longer viable. We our soldiers, he said in a widely circulated article.
cannot redeploy troops from our eastern borders now. Do not trust the words of those who would con-
The risk of losing territory to probes by the PLA is too demn us for being too aggressive or for being too
great, says an Indian army general. weak when we protect peace. Our army would never
Earlier this year, the government lifted a 2015 MoD engage in a war without the full grasp of victory.

30 INDIA TODAY AUGUST 7, 2 017


July 5, 2017

Indian side has trampled on the basic norms of international


relations (the Panchsheel Pact) that were proposed by itself
by illegally crossing into others territory
CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN GENG SHUANG

June 29, 2017 June 28, 2017

The action taken by India Donglang is part of


is undoubtedly a betrayal Chinas territory. This
of the 1890 treaty and a is indisputable. The
betrayal of the consistent Donglang area has
position held by successive belonged to China since
Indian governments. We ancient times. It doesnt
require India to respect the belong to Bhutan
treaty and pull back the
CHINESE FOREIGN
border troops immediately
MINISTRY OFFICIAL
CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY LU KANG AT A NEWS
SPOKESMAN GENG SHUANG BRIEFING

Frankly speaking, India is truly different


The army is from the India of 1962... We really dont
fully ready for want to engage in a war against India.
But if so, India would lose again.
a two-and-a- Yet, despite the shrill rhetoric, Beijing

half front war,


is well aware that a war would be disas-
trous on many fronts. This is a very dif-
says Indian ficult situation for China, says Bo Zhiyue,
a leading expert on elite Chinese politics
army chief who heads the Bo Zhiyue China Insti-

Gen. Rawat tute. There are two sides to Xi s Chinese


Dream slogan. A stronger China and a
stronger PLA. These two parts are not
necessarily coherent. Key to Xis ambi-
tionsincluding his pet One Belt, One
Road projectis a peaceful environment and preserving the global image of a
responsible, rising China. This is all the more important as Beijing stakes a claim
to global leadership at a time when the US is considering a retreat on some fronts.
Bo says the shrill rhetoric and muscle-flexing are more aimed at cowing India
down without firing a bullet. No country today will demonstrate its military
prowess with war, he says. The exercises in Tibet are no different from what
North Korea does with its tests or the US and South Korea do with their exercises.
Many in China spoke about taking back the Diaoyu Islands [or Senkaku Islands
as Japan refers to them] by force, but that was just rhetoric to please the national-
ists. They have to say something like that, or they appear weak. Editorials now say
theyll kick out the Indian troops. Its loud rhetoric, but doesnt mean action. n
with Uday Mahurkar
POLITICS BIHAR

THE DEATH
OF A GRAND
ALLIANCE
Nitish Kumars decision to get back with the BJP might be
the end of the Oppositions mahagathbandhan fantasies
for 2019. As well as his own national ambitions

By Amitabh Srivastava

AFTAB ALAM SIDDIQUI

T
he writing was on the wall Before he put in his papers, tho- hopes on him to protect them from
when Bihar Chief Minister ugh, Nitish called up Lalu and told such a crisis was mistaken. Nitish
Nitish Kumar, fresh from him about his decision to quit. Lalu did give Lalu a long rope, says a JD(U)
a visit to New Delhi, where apparently suggested a rethink, but minister. Lalu could have defused the
he attended President Ram Nitish had already made up his mind. situation by making Tejashwi resign.
Nath Kovinds swearing-in ceremony, Moments later, Nitish drove to the It would not only have put the grand
summoned the 71 legislators of the governors house and resigned. With alliance on a pedestal but also robbed
Janata Dal (United) to his 1, Anne this, the RJD-JD(U)-Congress grand the Opposition of its main issue. But
Marg residence in Patna on the morn- alliance, stitched in 2015 ahead of Lalu obviously is incapable of letting his
ing of July 25. The post-lunch JD(U) the state assembly polls and one that party leadership go to anyone else.
meeting, initially scheduled for July 26 sparked a flicker of hope in the secular As it turned out, Nitish took 19
in view of the upcoming five-day mon- camp for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, days to walk out of the grand alliance
soon session of the state legislature, has come undone. Not just that, his after a 27-member Central Bureau of
had been brought forward by a day to possible teaming up with the BJP sug- Investigation (CBI) team raided Lalus
discuss an extraordinary situation. gests that the Bihar CM has renounced residence on July 7. Lalu is accused of
Hours before, Rashtriya Janata any national ambitions. rigging a tender process in 2005, when
Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Ya- Composed and smiling, Nitish he was railway minister, to award the
dav, too, had a similar but separate showed no sign of indecisiveness as sublease of two railway hotels in Ran-
meeting of his 80 MLAs at his Patna he walked out of the Raj Bhavan after chi and Puri to his favoured hoteliers in
residence in which he said his son, Te- submitting his resignation to Governor exchange for three acres of prime land
jashwi Pratap Yadav, would not resign Keshari Nath Tripathi. In the brief in Patna, routed via a benami company.
as deputy chief minister. 15-minute media interaction soon after, The CBI had earlier filed FIRs under
Nitishs response was swift, though he described his break-up with Lalu as sections 420 (cheating and dishonesty),
not unexpected. Escalating things to an unavoidable consequence of the run 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC
a flashpoint, he resigned as chief min- of play in the RJD. and other sections of the Prevention of
ister within hours of the RJD chiefs Without taking names, Nitish Corruption Act. Tejashwi is named as
afternoon press conference. maintained that anyone pinning their he appears to have been a beneficiary of

32 INDIA TODAY AUGUST 7, 2 017


walked out of the National Democratic
Alliance when the BJP picked up Nar-
endra Modi as the chief of its campaign
committee, a role that subsequently
led to his becoming the prime ministe-
rial candidate for 2014. The acrimony
of 2015 also seems to have been left
behind. Instead, a bonhomie has been
building between Nitish and Prime
Minister Modi for a while. Nitish has
been appreciative of all the prime
ministers big moves, whether it was his
impromptu stopover in Pakistan for
Nawaz Sharifs birthday, the surgical
strikes in September last year or the
demonetisation in November. All this
to the chagrin of his friends in the Op-
position, including alliance partners
Lalu and the Congress. Modi, too, had
lauded Nitishs prohibition. That sup-
port was firmly cemented last month
when Nitish announced his support
for BJPs presidential nominee Ram
Nath Kovind even before the opposi-
tion named Meira Kumar as the joint
IN FOCUS Nitish Kumar outside Raj Bhavan in Patna after his resignation oppositions candidate.
Though Nitish, in his parting shot,
avoided criticising Lalu and family, he
the benami land deal. in forming a new government in Bihar. has been taking thinly veiled digs at
The CBI raids left the alliance split The JD(U) has 71 MLAs in the his former alliance partner. One can
wide open in Bihar. While the RJD and 243-member assembly, RJD 80, fulfil ones needs but not greed, he
Congress described the raids on Lalu Congress 27 and NDA 58. With Nitish said at one point. At another time, he
and his family as an act of political ven- walking out of the alliance, a JD(U)- had said, Kafan mein jeb nahin hoti
detta, Nitish and the JD(U) refused to BJP government will easily cross the (shrouds have no pockets).
treat it as such. Instead, Lalus RJD was majority mark of 122. By Wednesday An acrimonious battle between the
clearly told to come out with a point- night, the party had formally decided two former allies is now imminent. The
by-point clarification on the charges to back Nitish, naming him the leader RJD remains the single largest party
against Tejashwi. of the NDA in the state. with 80 MLAs and has also staked a
Nitishs resignation was received It was just a little over four years claim to form government. Although
with unmitigated glee in the BJP. ago, in June 2013, that Nitish Kumar Nitish did meet Congress vice-presi-
Even before Nitishs Ambassador had dent Rahul Gandhi and reminded him
reached home from the Governors of his past stand against corruption
residence, Prime Minister Narendra especially how he tore the ordinance
Modi tweeted, Congratulations to NITISH KUMAR AND shielding convicted legislatorsthe
Nitish Kumarji for joining the fight Congress is likely to remain with Lalu.
against corruption. 125 crore people of
NARENDRA MODI There was a clear trust deficit with
India support and welcome this honest SEEM TO HAVE PUT Nitish, which only grew bigger after
move. Another tweet followed soon BEHIND THEM THE he backed Ram Nath Kovind, and not
after: To rise above our differences in ACRIMONY OF 2015; Meira Kumar, says a Congress leader.
the fight against corruption is the need The party also thought unreasonable
of the hour for both India and Bihar.
A BONHOMIE HAS the demand for Tejashwis resignation
BJP chief Amit Shah lost no time call- BEEN BUILDING FOR on the basis of an FIR, especially in the
ing Prime Minister Modi and state BJP A WHILE backdrop of the BJPs refusal to drop
leader Sushil Modi on what had to be any of its own tainted lot. n
done next: Nitish had to be supported with Uday Mahurkar and Kaushik Deka

AUGUST 7, 2 017 INDIA TODAY 33


BIG STORY SIKKIM

CAUGHT
MIDWAY
WITH THE GORKHALAND AGITATION CHOKING
NATIONAL HIGHWAY 10, SIKKIM BECOMES A
CASUALTY IN THE BATTLE FOR A SEPARATE STATE

By Romita Datta

ts peak tourist season in Sikkim, but NH-10 that starts at Siliguri, runs 75 km in West Bengal before

I
you wouldnt know it on MG Road, entering Sikkim at Rangpo and ending at Gangtok; as well as
the less-than-a-kilometre boulevard the 76-km NH-55 between Siliguri and Darjeeling. Ever since
in capital Gangtok. The neon lights the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) called for an indefinite
from the 40-odd hotels, restaurants bandh in mid-June in reaction to West Bengal chief minis-
and gaming corners have long stopped ter Mamata Banerjees short-lived announcement of making
glowing, the music has faded to a slow Bengali compulsory in state schools, the Gorkhaland agitation
rhythm instead of its usual pulsating has spilled onto the highways, holding both men and material
tempo. And its just 9 pm. Not one tourist is in sight, only local hostage. Sikkim, which depends on West Bengal both for a
youngsters, thrilled to have the place to themselves, sitting on railheadNew Jalpaigurias well as an airportBagdograis
sidewalks with their laptops, making the most of the wi-fi zone. paying the price for the blockaded highways. So much so that
Sitting in the porch of the Golden Heights Hotel, recep- Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling, who expressed open
tionist Ranju Neogi complains that not even a single room of support for the Gorkhaland cause, moved the Supreme Court
the 20-room hotel is occupied. Last year, around this time, on July 11 to intervene in clearing of the highway. Being a small
he says, we had 70 per cent occupancy. And going by the trend state and completely dependent on NH-10 for tourism, which
of cancellation of advanced bookings, the next tourist season forms the backbone of our economy, our losses mount every
in October-December will also go dry. time there is disturbance in the hills. This time, we thought of
The agitation in the hillsDarjeeling, Kalimpong and drawing the attention of both the Centre and the state through
Kurseonghas cascaded down the highwaysthe 174-km the apex court as, having suffered enough, we cannot suffer any

34 INDIA TODAY AUGUST 7, 2 017


No takers for the SIKKIM
tourist attraction
A view from the Gangtok
Gangtok ropeway NEPAL
Rangpo
BHUTAN NH-10, a 174-
km highway,
Darjeeling connects Siliguri
in West Bengal
Siliguri with Gangtok in
Bagdogra
Sikkim; nearest
Jalpaiguri Alipurduar
railhead New
Jalpaiguri and
Coochbehar
airport Bagdogra
are both in West
BANGLADESH Bengal

Gorkhalands Battle, Sikkims Fight


The month-long unrest in West Bengals Darjeeling is causing
huge economic damage to neighbouring Sikkim

721,000 ` 1,400
CRORE
PER YEAR
Total tourists to earnings from tourism last
Sikkim; 55 per cent year; there has already been a
of 700,000 domestic loss of 10 per cent in the past
tourists from Bengal two months this year

3,000 ` 60,000
FOREIGNERS CRORE
visit Sikkim in a month Accumulated losses of the
during peak season; state since Gorkhaland agita-
75% dip in arrivals tion began in 1986, according to
since June CM Chamling
Photographs by SUBIR HALDER

more, he said after filing the appeal. of that the price of things is escalating beyond our means.
The 4,500 hotels and 1,000-odd home stays in Sikkim are Indeed, the political violence in the hills has hit food and
mostly empty. The state caters to 721,000 tourists every year, a civil supplies. Sugar stocks in the open market have depleted
large number of them from West Bengal. The states principal and losses in the past two months have jumped to an estimated
money spinner, the sector earned the exchequer Rs 1,400 crore Rs 1,000 crore. There is no sugar in the market, only Sugarfree,
in the past financial year, according to tourism minister U.T. says Nirmala Gupta, who has been running a small grocery
Gyatso. There has already been a loss of 10 per cent in the past store for the past 30 years in Rangpo. Vishnu Prasad Sharma
two months, the minister claims. According to Hemant Rai, an has come down 8 km from his village Singtam to Rangpo to
official at the Foreigners Registration Office in Rangpo, there get essentials, complains how the cost of vegetables and other
has been a 75-80 per cent drop in foreigners visiting Sikkim. essentials has shot up over a fortnight. The PDS stock is all we
Every month, he says, Sikkim has a footfall of around 3,000 have, says food secretary S.K. Silal. About 16,500 BPL fami-
foreigners in the peak season. In the last two weeks, not a single lies registered with Antodaya Annapurna Yojana will get their
tourist has come from abroad to take our permits, says Rai. ration of rice. We require a monthly quota of 34,000 quintals
Its evident at the taxi stand at Rangpo, where the cabbies for BPL families, which is being taken care of, but for the rest,
and their cars are both sitting idle. This is a stand from where the open market is the only resort. The shortage of sugar, just a
400 cars make daily trips to Gangtok and Siliguri, says Bikas weeks stock of foodgrains and a month-long reserve of medici-
Roka, who runs the taxi stand syndicate at Rangpo. Now nes are what CM Chamling says made him approach the SC.
eight to 10 cars are making trips and till Siliguri. Every day The unrest in Darjeeling has also taken a toll on develop-
we are suffering a loss of Rs 2,000 on an average, and on top ment projects. Ten power projects have been held up because

AUGUST 7, 2 017 INDIA TODAY 35


BIG STORY SIKKIM

INTERVIE W

WE HAVE BEEN
LET DOWN BY
WEST BENGAL
Confident that the Government of India
will take care of the standoff with China
on its border, Sikkim chief minister
Pawan Kumar Chamling says he is
more worried about the price his state
is having to pay for the Gorkhaland
agitation in West Bengal. Excerpts from
an interview

Q. You support Gorkhaland and yet Q. Just because you have supported has remained a mute spectator. I was
you seem to be the worst hit in the Gorkhaland, are vehicles registered compelled to move the Supreme Court
ongoing Gorkhaland agitation. with the Sikkim government being seeking protection. Even after the
A. For 32 years, we have been suffering deliberately targeted? courts order, I havent seen any posi-
because of the Gorkhaland agitation, A. I cannot say why, but the fact rema- tive changes so far.
though the demand for a separate state ins we have got no protection from
has nothing to do with Sikkim. The the state (West Bengal) government. Q. By voicing your stand on Gorkha
demand concerns Bengal and is being Law and order is the states lookout land, you seem to have antagonised
raised by the people of Darjeeling, and it has miserably failed to give us Mamata Banerjee. She has gone on
Kalimpong, Kurseong and Dooars. For the necessary security. Our trucks are record saying the Gorkhaland agitation
nearly three decades of the Gorkha- being attacked, torched and goods are is getting backing from undesirable ele
land agitation, we have suffered a loss being offloaded and in some places mentsmilitants and extremist groups.
of Rs 60,000 crore, whereas Bengal police have remained silent onlookers. A. The problems of Darjeeling hills are
doesnt seem to have suffered at all. As a small state, we had high expecta- not ours but the Bengal governments
Law and order in their area vests with tion of a big state like Bengal. Instead problems, which they have to solve and
Bengal. Who should bear this loss suf- of providing protection to a small cannot deflect by blaming others. That
fered by us? The Centre or the Bengal state, the West Bengal government is why we moved a resolution in the
government? We have supported Sikkim legislative assembly in 2011 for
Gorkhaland in the interest of ensuring a separate state of Gorkhaland. Why
free movement of our people without do you think we did that? Demand for
Till the Darjeeling
any inconvenience on NH-10, which statehood in the Darjeeling hills is 107
is our only lifeline. Secondly, Gorkha problem is solved, years old. It reached this stage only from
communities are Indian citizens whose Sikkim will never get 1986. Because of the Darjeeling prob-
contribution to nation-building is justice. That is why we lem, Sikkim has always been the biggest
no less than of other Indian citizens. support the demand for sufferer and unless and until it is solved,
Thirdly, the Gorkha community being Sikkim will never get justice. If move-
Indian citizens are fully justified to ask
a separate Gorkhaland ment on NH-10 was fully free without
for a state of their own. risk to loss of life and property, we
would never have become the sufferers. How of shortage of men and material, says the CM. Work on a 1,000-bed
am I responsible for inflaming their feelings? hospital had to be suspended. Close to 100 patients referred to other
We have realised that Gorkhaland can be hospitals cannot be moved. Life has come to a standstill. He reck-
the only permanent solution to the problems ons Sikkim has accumulated losses of Rs 60,000 crore in the three
Sikkim faces. Ours is a land-locked state and decades since Subhash Ghising stirred up the Gorkhaland agitation
whenever the Gorkhaland issue comes up, circa 1986 under the banner of the Gorkha National Liberation Front.
our lifeline, NH-10, gets hit. Business, tour- The CM also expects that a rush of refugees from the hills will further
ism suffer. There is no misunderstanding strain the resources of his government. In 1986-87, he says, 50,000
or ill-feeling towards Mamata Banerjee ji, people crossed over and were rehabilitated at Kitam in south Sikkim.
at least from my end. She is a big leader and This time, too, we are apprehending a population pressure on us.
should understand our problem. I can talk to
her or write to her to clear the air. epalis comprise 80 per cent of Sikkims 644,660

N
(in 2016) population. Naturally, the majority
Q. There is talk that the absconding population in Sikkim can identify and em-
GJM leader Bimal Gurung is sheltering pathise with the sentiments of the Gorkhas and
in Sikkim. their desire to carve out a state based on linguis-
A. Why would I give him shelter when I am tic identity, says Prem Goyal, a social activist in
overburdened by my own problem? Sikkims Gangtok. The states consensus on Gorkhaland
concern is my concern and it is my utmost is a given, which is why it didnt take Chamling long to announce that
priority to help my state overcome losses. his government considered the demand for a separate state legitimate
and constitutional. He even wrote to the Union minister for home,
Q. Mamata Banerjee is holding the dams Rajnath Singh, advocating the same. After all, Chamling cannot risk
constructed by the Sikkim government his vote bank, who feel one with the cause, says Goyal.
responsible for Teesta losing its flow. Following Sikkims open support for Gorkhaland, violence and
A. If we have constructed two dams, she has vandalism on NH-10 escalated. On June 20, a Sikkim-bound truck
also constructed two on the Bengal side. ferrying bricks from Siliguri was stopped midway and set afire. An-
Dams are not the cause. The Teesta issue is other time, tourist buses of the Sikkim Nationalised Transport were
being unnecessarily blown up. It flows from held up for hours. For the last three weeks, our trucks in Siliguri
Sikkim and the funny thing is nobody both- were stopped, vandalised, goods unloaded and in some cases looting
ers to take us on board when it comes up for happened in front of the police, says Chamling.
discussion. Our opinion on the river should He, however, finds no sympathy in Bengal. State tourism minister
have been our inherent right as a natural Gautam Deb, also from Siliguri, says Bengal too has suffered losses of
owner. Ill to write to the Centre on this. over Rs 350 crore. Our government buildings have been destroyed,
important documents burnt. Darjeeling was shut down in peak tour-
Q. How will the IndiaChina standoff ist season, he says. Nine lives have been lost, government property ex-
affect Sikkim? tensively damaged and essential commodities and foodgrains looted
A. We are 100 per cent confident of the cap- in this past month. Debs colleague and state education minister
ability of the Government of India to pro- Partha Chatterjee is harsher still on Sikkim. They (the Sikkimese)
tect us from any threat. Our people are like have dug their own graves. Is it constitutionally appropriate for a CM
unpaid soldiers defending the motherland. to comment on the serious issue of another state?
In 1975, Sikkim merged with the main- GJM itself seeks to wash its hands of the vandalism and claims the
stream out of free choice and referendum of Centre must intervene to end the deadlock. We are obliged that the
the people. This example of patriotism for people of Sikkim support our cause, says GJM leader Roshan Giri.
the integrity of the nation is unparalleled in The loot and vandalism on NH-10 is being carried out by miscreants
the world. My leadership further helped in and rowdies of a political party to give us a bad name and denigrate
the emotional and cultural integration of the the purpose of Gorkhaland. GJM is now being accused of planning
people of Sikkim with the nation. an underground armed movement and enlisting Maoist help.
State BJP leaders say the Centre is unlikely to intervene; itll be
Q. China is claiming a portion of Bhutanese happy for the blame to fall on Trinamool Congress. Why will the
territory. Does Sikkim fear any such threat? Centre interfere? asks state BJP president Dilip Ghosh. Let the per-
A. Any claim of portion of Arunachal son who started it take the initiative. Sikkims lifeline is affected but
Pradesh or Bhutan by a foreign country is what about the hill people who are suffering? There was no problem
not my jurisdiction. The Government of in Darjeeling, she (Mamata) ignited the fire.
India is fully capable of dealing with any There seems to be no end to Sikkims troubles. And we are not
untoward situation. n even talking about China yet. n

AUGUST 7, 2 017 INDIA TODAY 37


SPECIAL REPORT | DACOITS

BUNDELKHAND,
STILL BANDIT
COUNTRY
THRIVING ON FEAR AND LOCAL SUPPORT, AND BUOYED BY FRESH
RECRUITS IN THEIR RANKS, DACOIT GANGS ARE AGAIN REARING
THEIR HEAD IN THIS VAST TERRAIN OVERLAPPING TWO STATES

By Ashish Misra

he glistening road from the sil, near the jungles where the bodies were found, is

T
police station in Bharat Koop, extremely poor. About 1,000 people live in mud huts,
through Chitrakoot in Bun- without electricity. A primary school built a decade ago
delkhand, Uttar Pradesh, dulls has still to open. No one is interested in talking about
quickly on the zigzag path to gangsters. Despite the notoriety of the area, 70-year-
Kalinjar in Madhya Pradesh. old resident Putaan Kol will only say that there is no
At the foot of the Vindhyas, it threat from dacoits. But further south in Chitrakoot,
disappears completely. Several 40-year-old Tulsi Yadav, a contractor with UP Jal Ni-
kilometres in, through the hilly, rain-fed forests, is the gam, a state water and sewage management company,
Kolhua jungle. Located in the triangle of Chitrakoot, was kidnapped in May while working on a project to
Bharat Koop and Satna districts across both UP and MP, instal a submersible pump. Yadavs wife Asha is the head
the jungle has been a safe haven for dacoits and bandits of their village, Karka Padriya. A sum of Rs 1 lakh and

MANEESH AGNIHOTRI
for three decades. licenced rifle were demanded as ransom. The gang let
On June 30, the police found the bodies of three Tulsi go after a first instalment of Rs 25,000 was paid.
men burnt beyond recognition. Acting on a tip, the UP Now, says Tulsi, they want the rest and are threatening
police believe the men were abducted from Satna in MP to kidnap me again.
by the Lalit Patel gang. Patel is from Nayagaon in MP, Tulsis kidnappers, the Ramgopal or Goppa Yadav
and his alleged victims were men from nearby villages gang, are Patels rivals, operating in the same ravines and
and thought to be informers. Not, of course, for the po- preying on similar targets. Since the killing, in a police
lice, which has little control over or access to the gangs, encounter two years ago, of notorious gangster Swadesh
but for Patels rivals. The police are ar- Patel, better known as Balkhadia, the
ranging for DNA tests to identify the forests of Chitrakoot have been quiet,
bodies. Patel, they say, operates mostly The dacoits even peaceful. But the dacoits, it ap-
in MP, but is thought to relocate across are suspected pears, have just been biding their time.
the border to UP to evade local police of funding Balkhadia has been replaced by Bab-
attention. UP police say that while Patel buli Kol, so wanted a criminal that the
does not have a rap sheet in the state
local political UP government is offering a bounty
though police in the area did have a
leaders and of Rs 5 lakh for his capture. The MP
brief encounter with him in the week being the real government has thrown in an addi-
before the bodies were discovereda power behind tional Rs 30,000 and is also offering
huge manhunt is underway. Informa- the scenes tens of thousands for the capture of
tion is proving difficult to obtain. his lieutenants. Kol has reportedly
Kolhua Mafi village, in Karwi teh- kidnapped half a dozen people in just

38 INDIA TODAY AUGUST 7, 2 017


HOT ON THEIR HEELS
Combing operations against
dacoits in Chitrakoot

the last three months. In June, three police teams were shooting the brides brother. He picked the wrong target
dispatched to Naagar village to arrest Kol. Police say he es- though because as the wedding party grew larger he was
caped after as many as 40 women, led by Chunni Devi, the overpowered and then beaten to death.
village head, attacked the officers with bricks and sticks. Mob justice is one thing, but the police appear to have
In April, in Jhansi, the so-called Gateway to Bun- few answers. Theyre not even sure what weapons the gangs
delkhand, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath instructed have access to. One police officer, who has been involved
the police to wipe out dacoity. The police insist they are in direct confrontations with Kol, says the dacoits are
working towards that goal. But it appears that police action using semi-automatic rifles and often get their weapons
is only making the dacoits reassert themselves. On May 3, and bullets from the police and special forces because of
dacoit Raju Singh (Rs 50,000 on offer for his capture) is corruption. Another officer who wished to remain anony-
alleged to have killed a pharmacist. Just days later, as the mous said the biggest problem is that there are never
police were reportedly tightening the noose, Raju struck any witnesses. People who you turn to for information or
again, robbing a wedding party, teasing the women and youd like as informers are scared. They dont want to be

AUGUST 7, 2 017 INDIA TODAY 39


GUNS N
POSES preyed upon by gangsters. And theres also the lack of funding
and suitable equipment for the special cells created to tackle
dacoits. Look at these, says an officer, gesturing to his frayed
Bundelkhands dreaded dacoit leaders Goldstar shoes, how much help are they going to be on rocky
on the police hit list paths and rugged jungle terrain? Their bullet-proof jackets
also weigh between 25 and 30 kg, draining energy and leaving
officers too exhausted to chase light-footed bandits for long.
BABBULI But Balwant Chaudhary, additional superintendent of
KOL, 30 police, Chitrakoot, argues that there is reason for hope. He is
A native of Doda Mafi camping in the forests with his team, searching for dacoits.
village in Chitrakoot. He says that the most dreaded dacoits killed in recent years by
Wanted for half a the police were trapped during the monsoon. We have weak-
ened, he claims, the financial networks of these criminals.
dozen kidnappings in
Its only a matter of time before the police win. But the ne-
the last three months.
glect of parts of Bundelkhand, particularly in Chitrakoot and
Bounty of Rs 5 lakh
Banda, the lack of opportunities and development mean that
on his head. Escaped
it is also only a matter of time before others pop up to replace
arrest in June as the whatever dacoits the police do kill or arrest. Sudhir Sonkar,
police team was a social worker in Manikpur, says: Young people in bandit-
attacked by villagers plagued villages have little else to do but join gangs. The
Kol tribals are specially prized by the gangs because of their
knowledge of the jungles.
Politicians, many in the
villages and even official
The dacoits, circles allege, are often too
says a police enmeshed with the gang
officer, often leaders and too willing to
source their take their cut, to have the
weapons and will to stamp dacoity out.
bullets from L a st month, Swatantra
the police and Dev Singh, UP minister for
transport, told journalists
GAURI LALIT special forces
on a visit to Chitrakoot that
YADAV, 42 PATEL, 40 dacoits were spoiled chil-
From Satna in MP. Belongs to Karwi tehsil dren in the family who have
Yadav jumped bail after in Chitrakoot, operates gone astray. They need to be
arrest in 2009, has been under aliases Joker brought onto the correct path. These mild words, even em-
absconding ever since. Patel and Satyanarayan. pathy, raised many eyebrows in the area. After police arrested
Allegedly killed a police His gang has been active the husband of Chunni Devi, accused of helping Babbuli
Kol escape arrest, the BJP MP from Banda, Bhairon Prasad
officer in May 2013. Into in Chitrakoot and Satna
Mishra, got into an altercation with the police. Using his influ-
kidnapping and extor- areas for the past three
ence, Mishra ensured the suspension of a pair of officers. The
tion as well, carries a years. Carries a bounty
police, Mishra claims, are torturing innocent people under
reward of Rs 50,000 of Rs 50,000 on his head
the pretext of dacoits.
This apparent warmth between politicians and gang-
sters is not surprising. Dacoits, locals joke resignedly, control
Bundelkhand. Many are suspected of funding local political
campaigns and being the real power behind the scenes. Ash-
RAMGOPAL, 35 ish Sagar Dikshit, a local social worker, says: Dacoits have a
lot of popular appeal and can make or break political careers.
From Chitrakoots Harra village. Disobeying them is risky. Shiv Kumar Patel, aka Dadua, the
Popular as Goppa Yadav/ Bhole, famous dacoit killed by special forces in 2007, was nicknamed
he joined the Thokiya and Gauri the kingmaker precisely because of his political connections.
Yadav gangs before branching His brother was a former MP. For all the flurry of police ac-
out. Operates in Bahilpurwa, UP. tion, is the political will to put away a new generation of Bun-
Bounty of Rs 1.05 lakh on him delkhand bandits any stronger? n
WHEN TO SELL
YOUR FUNDS

TERM
INSURANCE
PLANS

LICS NEW
PENSION PLAN

INVEST IN
YOURSELF

Cover by NILANJAN DAS Illustration by ANIRBAN GHOSH


SMART MONEY MUTUAL FUNDS

HITTING Change of fund

THE EJECT
manager
This is not a reason to im-

BUTTON
mediately exit the fund, but
you must be aware of the new
managers investment strat-
Extraordinary situations egy. Different managers have
different investing styles
when one can consider
and philosophies, and if the
exiting a fund
changes do not match your
investment goals, you should
reassess your investment.

Rebalancing your
portfolio
Savvy investors pick asset
classes and their exposure
to those assets according to
their financial goals, stage
of life and risk appetite, and
they tweak these alloca-
tions as one or more of these
SHUTTERSTOCK factors change. Often, this
rebalancing is done to tweak

S
ell or holdmost staying invested in a fund allocations back to a risk lev-
mutual fund investors EXPERT VIEW that underperforms year el the investor is comfortable
have faced this di- after year. with. If you had invested,
lemma at some point or the say, in both debt and equity
other. It is, of course, gener- Change in outlook mutual funds and if the eq-
ally advisable to stay put to of the fund uity markets hit a purple
achieve long-term goals, but If there is a change in the in- patch, your equity exposure
under some circumstances, Kaustubh Belapurkar vestment outlook of the fund might become much higher
it becomes necessary to Director, Manager or the asset management than you prefer. In that
Research, Morningstar
reassess ones mutual fund company, the kind of change situation, you will need to
Do not sell if your fund sell some of your equity fund
investments. underperforms in the
that does not suit your risk
short term. If the trend appetite or your financial units to maintain the asset
Underperformance continues for a longer goals, you should consider allocation at the desired
period, you can
This can be a serious con- consider other options switching to another fund. level. This will protect you in
cern if it continues for an For example, an equity case of a market crash.
extended period of time. fund could decide to invest
Investors should remem- more in small- and mid-cap If you need money
ber, though, that markets stocks. This would change Ideally, you should have a
go through cycles, and it is the overall allocation of your contingency fund to meet
not reasonable to expect funds, which may not suit financial emergencies. But
a fund manager to deliver your portfolioin this ex- if you do need cash urgently,
chart-beating performance Vishal Dhawan ample, a higher allocation to you can consider selling your
Founder, Plan
year after year. If there are Ahead Advisors mid- and small-cap stocks mutual fund. There are other
instances of underperfor- will make your portfolio options too, like a personal
Change in fund house
mance in the short term, do ownership, overvaluation more volatile. However, one loan or a credit card loan, if
not panic sell. But if the situ- for a particular segment of should first assess if the the amount is not too high,
the market, fundamental
ation continues for years, attribute changes in the change is simply a tacti- but interest rates on these
it is advisable to pull out of scheme these are some cal manoeuvre by the fund are very high. n
the fund. There is no point reasons when we advise manager before exiting. by Renu Yadav
investors to exit a fund

AUGUST 7, 2 017 INDIA TODAY 55


SHUTTERSTOCK

SMART MONEY TERM INSURANCE PLANS

TERM PAYOUTS:
LUMP SUM OR
STAGGERED?
Term insurance plans allow many
payout options these days.
Heres a quick guide on how to
choose between them

A
term insurance plan a 30-year-old policyholder, 1 crore at the time of death crore policy with a return-
was once a very sim- the premium could be as low and increases by 5 per cent of-premium option and a
ple financial product as Rs 8,200 per year, for an every year. Usually, a part of 30-year term, HDFC Life
that, in exchange for monthly assured sum of Rs 1 crore. the sum assured is paid as a charges a 30-year-old male
or annual premiums, offered lump sumaround 50-60 non-smoker a monthly pre-
a lump sum payment to the Staggered payouts per centwhile the rest is mium of Rs 27,477. For its
beneficiary when the poli- This category has several paid in monthly instalments. traditional plan, the monthly
cyholder died. Today, there variations. In one common premium is Rs 9,471.
are many variations, some method, the sum assured is Return of premium Financial planners
offering staggered payouts paid out in equal monthly or These policies are for those recommend a mix of lump
and others allowing you
to customise the plan. For Policy term: Sum assured: Candidate: Costs over Payout over
example, one of HDFC Lifes 30 years `1 crore male, non- policy term 10 years
recent offerings allows you smoker, age 30
to choose a rate of increase of Insurer Payout type Total payout (`) Premium (`) Income (`)
income as well as the period (monthly) (monthly)
for which you want to receive HDFC Life Lump sum 1 crore 9,471 -
the income. But before all C2P 3D Plus
that, how does one choose ICICI Pru Life Lump sum 1 crore 10,523 -
between receiving staggered iProtect Smart
and lump sum payments? Max Life Lump sum 1 crore 8,165 -
OTP Plus

Lump sum payouts Max Life Lump sum + level 1.48 crore 10,810 40,000
OTP Plus monthly income
Traditional term insurance
plans are the simplest and ICICI Prudential Life Level monthly 1 crore 8,945 83,333
iProtect Smart income
cheapest form of life insur-
source: Policybazaar.com
ance. Under these plans, the
insurer pays a lump sum
the sum assuredto the quarterly payments. Another who want their premiums sum and staggered plans so
policyholders family on the option is to have the pay- returned if they survive the that the familys near-term
death of the policyholder. If ments increase over time. For full term of their insur- commitments are met, with
the policyholder survives the example: for a 35-year-old ance plans. While the total staggered payouts to take
term period, nothing is paid. male and a sum assured of premium is returned, the care of ongoing require-
The premiums for tradi- Rs 2 crore to be paid over catch is that the premium ments. In both cases, the
tional term insurance plans 10 years, the payout begins payments are much higher benefits received from
are quite low compared to at Rs 87,200, along with a than in no-frills term poli- insurance are tax-free. n
returns-oriented plans. For lump sum payment of Rs cies. For example, for a Rs 1 by Priyadarshini Maji

56 INDIA TODAY AUGUST 7, 2 017


SMART MONEY PENSION
`
` Premature withdrawal
An early exit from the

` investment is allowed only

TOWARDS if the investor or his/ her


spouse needs the money for

A STEADY
treatment of a terminal or
critical illness. Also, in case

PENSION
of a premature withdrawal,
only 98 per cent of the
amount invested will be
refunded. However, if the
The new Pradhan Mantri pensioner dies during the
Vaya Vandana Yojana offers policy term of 10 years, the
a fixed 8 per cent return, if purchase price will be re-
youre prepared to stay funded to the beneficiary.
invested for 10 years
Maturity proceeds
The pensioner will get the
amount invested with the
last pension instalment.
SHUTTERSTOCK
Loan facility

A
The scheme allows the
t a time when inter- open until May 3, 2018, for of Rs 1,000 per month, pensioner to apply for a loan
est rates on bank investment by individuals the investor has to put in three years after investment,
deposits are down, over 60 years of age. It can Rs 1.5 lakh. To receive the and up to 75 per cent of the
the government has offered even be purchased online. same amount on an an- value of the investment.
senior citizens an alternative nual basisRs 12,000the
optiona new pension plan. Pension cycle investment required is about Should you buy?
The Pradhan Mantri Vaya Investors can choose to Rs 1.45 lakh. With the Senior Citizen
Vandana Yojana (PMVVY), receive their pensions Similarly, to get the Savings Scheme (SCSS)
sold by the Life Insurance on a monthly, quarterly, maximum pension of offering an interest rate of
Corporation of India, offers a half-yearly or yearly basis. Rs 5,000 per month, one 8.3 per cent, is PMVVY a
fixed annual return of 8 per There is a minimum and needs to invest Rs 7.5 lakh. good option? Experts say
cent for 10 years. maximum amount one can To receive the same pension that since bank deposit rates
invest, depending on the annuallyRs 60,000the are falling, it makes sense
When to invest payment cycle. For example, required investment is about to invest in the scheme,
The scheme will remain to get the minimum pension Rs 7.23 lakh. provided one is ready to lock
in the money for as long as
10 years. With a tenure of
five years, the SCSS has a
YOUR PENSION FROM THE SCHEME shorter lock-in, but un-
Periodicity of Minimum Maximum Minimum Maximum like PMVVY, the interest
payout investment (`) investment (`) pension (`) pension (`) rate offered is subject to
Yearly 1,44,578 7,22,892 12,000 60,000 quarterly revision. However,
one can invest much more in
Half-yearly 1,47,601 7,38,007 6,000 30,000 the SCSSup to Rs 15 lakh,
which is double the PMVVY
Quarterly 1,49,068 7,45,342 3,000 15,000 limit. Do remember that the
interest earned from both
Monthly 1,50,000 7,50,000 1,000 5,000 schemes is taxable. n
by Renu Yadav

60 INDIA TODAY AUGUST 7, 2 017


SPORTS CRICKET

A NEW
NORMAL
IN A CLOAK-AND-DAGGER GAME, THIS
ROUND HAS GONE TO NEW HEAD COACH
RAVI SHASTRI AND CAPTAIN VIRAT KOHLI.
NOW THE PRESSURE IS ON THEM TO
DELIVER ON THE CRICKET PITCH

By Vikrant Gupta and Kaushik Deka

ERANGA JAYAWARDENA/AP

ON
J U LY 1 1 , R A V I viewed for this post, in June 2016, Ganguly didnt even
SHASTRI became the attend the interview. This time, Tendulkar saw merit in
new head coach of the letting Kohli have his way. This was possibly because of
Indian cricket team. the conditions surrounding Tendulkars own failed cap-
While many were quick taincyperhaps the master blaster didnt want Kohli to
to attribute his good fortune to the new powerhouse of have to deal with the same difficulties he had faced. As a
Indian cricket, Virat Kohli, what went largely unnoticed BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) source put it:
is the support Shastris candidacy got from fellow Mum- Ganguly batted for Sehwag, but Tendulkar did not want
baikar Sachin Tendulkar. another conflict between captain and coach.
To begin with, after Anil Kumbles resignation, the The story of Tendulkars rapid elevationand sub-
job of choosing a new head coach fell to the three-member sequent debaclebegins in the autumn of 1996. The
Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC)consisting of Ten- inevitability of handing over the reins of Indian cricket
dulkar, Sourav Ganguly and V.V.S. Laxman. The decision to him had become stark. Tendulkar, then 23 and the
came down to choosing between Shastri and Virender best batsman in the world by some distance, was already
Sehwag. It is no secret that Ganguly was dead set against Indias second youngest Test captain. The hope was that
Shastri as head coach. The last time Shastri was inter- he who could make a billion dreams come true with his

46 INDIA TODAY AUGUST 7, 2 017


TWO POWERFUL MEN
Virat Kohli speaks to team
members before a match, with
new coach Ravi Shastri alongside

bat would probably conjure up magic with his captaincy order to show Tendulkar his place, the selection commit-
tooeven though rumours about matchfixing in Indian tee ignored his wish list for the team he was to captain.
cricket were also doing the rounds around the same time. For whatever reason, Tendulkars captaincy did not
Tendulkar was the BCCIs golden boy, but there were a produce the magic so many had hoped for. A couple of
few holdouts among the stakeholders in Indian cricket stormy selection meetings left him practically in tears.
the selectors. One of the five wise men later revealed There would be no Imran Khan in Indian cricket. Ten-
that two among them had been worried that Tendulkar dulkar quit and Mohammad Azharuddin returned as
would become the supreme authority in Indian cricket. captain. He was succeeded by the aggressive and instinc-
Woh ek Imran Khan ban jayega (He will become an tive Sourav Ganguly, thinking heads Rahul Dravid and
Imran Khan) was the gist of their opposition. (Khan was Anil Kumble and then M.S. Captain Cool Dhoni as cap-
notorious for regularly ignoring or overruling the advice tain. They had their moments, and mostly got what they
of Pakistans team selectors, using his personal stature wanted. Then came Virat Kohli, who has been rewriting
as a form of official authority.) We knew that if we got every cricketing norm in the country.
rolled over by [Tendulkar] in selection meetings, his aura Cut to the evening of July 10. That was when the Indian
would diminish our roles. The selection committee would media was informed by Ganguly that they would have to
have become redundant, says one of the selectors. In wait for the announcement of Indias new cricket coach.

AUGUST 7, 2 017 INDIA TODAY 47


WHEN CAPTAIN AND
COACH DISAGREED

You see, Ganguly reasoned, [we should] let Virat come back
vs to India from his US vacation. We need to sit with him and
explain to him the role and scope of the coach. This perhaps
hinted at an upcoming rap on the knuckles for the Indian
MOHD AZHARUDDIN BISHEN SINGH BEDI captainbut before any of that could happen, the phone lines
were ringing, from New York to London and Singapore.
The first manager-coach versus players union fight Late that night, Kohli, sensing that Shastris chances of
in the early 1990s becoming coach were slipping, called Tendulkar in London,
Why they fought pressing for Shastri to be given the job (and, immediately).
Bedi had an issue with players fitness and Kohli also spoke with the chief of the committee of admin-
performance and was famously quoted as saying that
istrators (CoA), Vinod Rai, who was in Singapore at the
the team should be dumped into the Pacific after a
particularly forgettable tour of New Zealand time. This, and also the manner in which Kohli fell out with
Kumble, has made many in cricket circles wonder if the se-
Who won Azharuddin
lectors fears from 1996 are coming true nowdoes Indian
cricket finally have an Imran Khan of its own?

I
NSIDERS SAY THAT KOHLI was displeased
vs with Shastri being passed over in favour of Kumble
last year, but with the BCCIs senior management
also wanting Shastri out, he had little control over
SACHIN TENDULKAR KAPIL DEV the situation. However, the team kept winning, and
with Kohlis truly spectacular performance in 2016, his stat-
A forgettable innings for both legends ure within the cricket establishment has never been greater.
Why they fought A member of the Indian team told india today that it was
Tendulkar, speaking about the Australia tour in 1999, during Australias tour earlier this year that the captain and
said that he thought Dev never really involved himself coach started questioning each otherpublicly and vocally.
Who won During the IPL, Kohli reportedly complained about Kumble
Nobody. Tendulkar resigned because of Indias defeats, to BCCI officials and a few former teammates, saying the
Dev because of matchfixing allegations
coach was prone to panicking if things didnt go according
to plan. He apparently even issued an ultimatum: Kumble
would have to go or he would resign as captain.
Kohli can afford to issue such threats because he heads a
vs team with no challengers to his supremacy. When Sunil Ga-
vaskar led the team, he had teammates like Gundappa Vish-
wanath and Bishen Singh Bedi in the 1970s and Kapil Dev and
SOURAV GANGULY GREG CHAPPELL Dilip Vengsarkar in the 1980s. When Mohammad Azharud-
din led India, there were many stars in the team, including
The first big fight between a foreign coach and Tendulkar. When Sourav Ganguly ruled the roost following
an Indian skipper the matchfixing scandal in 2000, he had Tendulkar, Rahul
Why they fought Dravid, Kumble, Javagal Srinath and Laxman to contend
Chappell questioned Gangulys place in the 2005 team. with. Even Dhoni had superstar contemporaries: Virender
Dada, said Chappell, was unfit to lead the team Sehwag, Zaheer Khan and Yuvraj Singh to name a few. The
and suggested he give up the captaincy current Indian team features only three superstarsKohli,
Who won Chappell Dhoni and Yuvraj. Dhoni and Yuvraj are well past their prime.
Not a single player from the playing eleven, barring Kohli, can
claim a permanent place in all formats of the game. On top of
that, the captain has been in supreme form, winning several
vs matches single-handedly, many in crisis situationsa feat not
associated with most Indian skippers.
A BCCI insider says that while its too early to speculate,
too much power in the hands of one or two peopleKohli and
VIRAT KOHLI ANIL KUMBLE Shastrihas its perils. Today, he doesnt want Mr X as coach.
An untenable relationship that nearly derailed the Tomorrow, he may not like Mr Y as selector. Then what? he
Indian campaign in the 2017 Champions Trophy asks. There have been powerful captains like Ganguly and
Why they fought Dhoni, but [Kohli] has to be very careful from here on. He
Many reasons, from the selection of the playing XI to
Kohlis questioning of Kumbles coaching style
Who won Kohli
SPORTS CRICKET

will be under tremendous scrutiny. Kohli is known to be com- dies and Pakistan... his confidence [is] his best ally. Another
fortable with Shastri and is a great fan of his methodsmore teammate, Madan Lal, says Shastris in-your-face nature is
man management than coaching. And once Shastri was given what draws him and Kohli together. Once, in the 1980s, when
the job, the duo took on the board yet again. we had lost a game, the then-captain was afraid to speak up
Ganguly and the CAC had recommended Dravid as bat- against some senior players. Shastri singled them out for harsh
ting consultant for overseas tours and Zaheer Khan as bowl- words on their commitment. They had no option but to pick
ing coach. But Shastri brushed aside the recommendations up their game from the next match onwards.
and had his own choice for bowling coachBharat Arun Then there are some who feel that while Shastri was a good
confirmed. By doing so, the captain and the coach may have player in the 1980s and early 1990s, his stature really only grew
taken a huge risk. Having already stepped on several toes, after retirement, while he was doing commentary alongside
they had better do well in upcoming matches or therell likely Sunil Gavaskar. It was in this role that Shastri was always on
be a backlash. And considering that In- the right side of the BCCI, being on every
dia will play most of its cricket overseas important panel or committee related
over the next two yearsstern Tests to Indian cricket. Shastri and the BCCI

VIRAT
await in South Africa, England, Austra- actually needed each other, they sayhis
lia and New Zealand, not to mention the FIVE ability to switch sides made him valuable,
2019 ODI World Cup in Englandthey CHALLENGES flipping from being a vocal Lalit Modi fan
will need a lot of luck. to criticising him or siding rather openly
What has made life easier for Shastri
FOR KOHLI with N. Srinivasan in the IPL matchfix-
and Kohli is also the confusion within 1 ing scandal of 2013. But, sources say, he
the BCCI. The organisations hierarchy Win overseas. India doesnt want to be always seen as a yes
is in a state of flux, and has been since will play Tests in South man to powerful individuals or establish-
its administration was taken over by the Africa, England, New ments, the way he remained vice-captain
Supreme Court-appointed CoA. The ad- Zealand and Australia for most of his cricketing years.
hocism was manifest in CoA chief Rais over the next two years A day after the appointment, Shastri
admission to the media that the commit- the toughest opponents was asked what worked in his favour. Pat
tee was originally not even aware that to beat in their own came the cocky reply: I am Ravi Shas-
Kumbles contract was valid for just one backyards tri. In his latest avatar as head coach,
year. And when the CAC appointed sup- 2
he has promised a new and aggressive
port staff for Shastri, they were told that Maintain his form. approach. In his presentation to the
their authority did not stretch that far. Captaincy could be a BCCI, he made it clear that while he
The CAC then shot off an angry letter to burden that takes its toll would always be a players coach, they
Rai, which read in part: There have been on his batting would not be allowed to take him for
suggestions that the CAC has exceeded granted. There will be no compromise
3
its ambit in going with (Zaheer) Khan on discipline eithera concern many
and (Rahul) Dravid and these two leg- Handle out-of-form and have voiced, considering the flamboy-
ends of Indian cricket have been foisted ageing senior players ant lifestyle Kohli has and Shastris own
on the head coach. Also we did inform carefully. He needs to habits during his playing days.
you (Rai) over the phone along with take a call on M.S. Dhoni The new post will be a challenge both
Rahul Johri and Amitabh Choudhary and Yuvraj Singh for the for him and Kohli. Shastris first stint
2019 World Cup
of all that transpired immediately after didnt really see the Indian team winning
the meeting was over. A week later, in 4 much, with the defeats in the 2015 World
an interview, Rai said that the incident Ready his men for the Cup semis and the 2016 World T-20 semis
taught him that he should not have taken 2019 World Cup. The hurting the most. But in Kohli, Shastri
anyones statements at face value. blueprint has to be has a solidly in-form captain for all three
But what makes Shastri tick? Former readied nowonly two formats. Now, though their friendship
India captain Kapil Dev says: Shastri years remain is already the talk of cricketing circles,
wasnt blessed with the best of talent, but its their vision and delivery that need to
5
[is] someone who [knows] how to use click. The BCCI has stood by them, but
his resources. For someone who started as Keep winning. Losing a what can be given can also be taken away.
No. 11 batsman to score a double hundred series could easily Tendulkar, Ganguly, Kumble and Dhoni
as an opener in Australia and hundreds invite severe backlash, would probably tell them so. n
especially after the
against the pace attacks of the West In- with Ateet Sharma
Kumble episode

49 INDIA TODAY AUGUST 7, 2 017


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BIG STORY | GENETICS

THE ARYAN
WARS
A HISTORICAL DEBATE GETS POLITICAL AGAIN
AS NEW GENETICS RESEARCH SUGGESTS
OUR ARYAN ANCESTORS CAME IN FROM THE
WEST OVER 4,000 YEARS AGO

BY RAZIB KHAN

W
here did our ancestors come from? This can
be a highly emotionaland politicalissue.
It is clearly an important question for many
people and one that modern genetics has
answered to a great extent. In recent months,
a scientific paper published in the journal BMC
Evolutionary Biology has sparked a heated con-
troversy in the Indian media by outlining an Indo-
European expansion, with an ultimate source in the Pontic-Caspian
region into the Indian subcontinent.
Behind the gently arcane scholarly language, the paper argues that
the genetic ancestry of all modern Indians displays evidence of significant
mixing with populations that moved to the subcontinent from northern
Iran and the Caspian region some 4,000-5,000 years ago. Tempers are
fraying because these findings have reignited a long-simmering and
highly politicised debate about the ancient origins of the Vedic A ryans.
For decades, historians, linguists and archaeologists have debated the
relationship of the Aryans to India, with little resolutionindeed the
argument has been subsumed by its implications for the contemporary
battles between the hyper-nationalist politics associated with the Sangh
parivar and the secular liberal opposition. Many Hindu nationalists are
uncomfortable with the idea that the ancient roots of the Indian peoples
may lie outside the sacred geography of the subcontinent. Meanwhile,
there is often an element of liberal schadenfreude in embracing the nar-
rative that suggests a parallel between the Vedic Aryans as conquering in-
vaders, not unlike the later visitations of Islamic and European empires.

52 INDIA TODAY AUGUST 7, 2 017


AUGUST 7, 2 017 INDIA TODAY 53
BLOOD BROTHE
BIG STORY | GENETICS

WHERE THE EURASIAN STEPPE GENES ARE CONCENTRATED TODAY

Over the last few years, genetics has begun


to offer its own findings, which much more de-
finitively indicate that a peoplewho may have
been Aryansmoved into the subcontinent ap-
proximately 4,000-5,000 years ago. Soon, the
field of ancient DNA research may close the case. Harappa
EUROPE
The BMC paper that has drawn so much interest
and ire is just the latest in a line of research that
goes back decades, and grows more precise and Rakhigarhi
insightful with every new technological advance.
By looking at patterns of genetic markers in mod-
ern humans, geneticists have been able to sketch INDIA
the family tree of our species. Researchers are
also testing genetic material from remains tens of
thousands of years old. It has already highlighted
Mohenjo Daro
the Neanderthal heritage extant today in all hu-
mans outside of Africa.
Because genetic science has been driven by Zagros Mountains
US-based researchers, biases have crept into the Pontic-Caspian Steppe
sort of questions asked. But the democratisation
of the field, due to a surfeit of data, is now enabling
exploration of more diverse topics, including ques-
tions related to the Indian subcontinent.
Eurocentric ideologies have spawned their own
counter-theses. While, in 1903, the Indian nation-
alist Bal Gangadhar Tilak could write The Arctic
Home in the Vedas, in keeping with the migration-
ist beliefs of the era, today, Indophilic westerners 1 3
such as Koenraad Elst are promoting an Out of Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT), a 19th OIT bolstered by studies
India theory, an inversion of the older route. century construct originally used to in the early 2000s finding
These arguments exist outside of politics and explain linguistic affinities evidence in the
nationalism. The author Sanjeev Sanyal contends between European and mitochondrial
that the idea of a unidirectional Aryan invasion Indian languages, is DNA (tracing maternal
or migration around 1500 BC is now conclusively adopted to explain the downfall of descent) of Indian
proven to be wrong. As outlined in his book, The the Indus Valley civilisation, the first populations suggesting
Ocean of Churn, Sanyal emphasises the reciprocal sites of which were discovered in ancient roots in the
the 1920s subcontinent
movements of peoples. He notes that archaeol-
ogy does not tie any Indus Valley civilisation site
to Central Asia, and the Vedas themselves seem
ignorant of geography outside of South Asia.
Ten years ago, one could reasonably support 2 4
Sanyals suppositions from a genetic perspective.
The exploration of mitochondrial lineages, the AIT opposed by an indiginist/ A 2013 study uses whole genome
direct maternal ancestry out of Africa, remained nationalist argument suggesting data of more than 500 individuals
the dominant method of inference. That line of that Indus Valley sites from 73 Indian communities
were part of a Vedic and finds evidence of distinct
evidence strongly suggests that South Asian popu-
continuum and that linguistic Ancestral North Indian
lations are deeply rooted in the subcontinent. (ANI) and South Indian
connections between India and
Other researchers were looking at the descent West Asia or Europe can be (ASI) populations that
of males, the direct paternal lineage as recorded explained by an Out of India Theory have only mixed between 2,000
by mutations of the Y chromosome. The evidence (OIT) and 4,000 years ago
from these results was more equivocal. One of the

Graphic by TANMOY CHAKRABORTY


54 INDIA TODAY AUGUST 7, 2 017
RS?
more common South Asian Y lineages, R1a1a, is
also very common in Eastern Europe and Central
Asia. The discoverer of this lineage, the geneti-
cist Spencer Wells, says that his work in the late
1990s strongly supported a significant migration
from the steppes of Eastern Europe and Central
Asia into India in the past 5,000 years. Wells
FREQUENCY OF THE
connected this to Indo-European speaking no-
ARYAN GENE* mads, and believes the latest results have borne
that out. Obviously, this is in conflict with the
mitochondrial results. Because R1a1a is not very
5%
10% diverse, it was difficult to get a sense of where or
20% when it may have originated. Many researchers,
30% contra Wells, contended that R1a1a may have been
40% indigenous to South Asia.
50% Today, we know more about R1a1a than we
60%
did in the 2000s. Whereas then researchers
looked at a few hundred markers on the Y chro-
mosome, or perhaps some
regions with very high diver-
*M-17 subclade of the
R1a1a haplogroup in
Y-chromosome
sity, today they can sequence
most of the Y chromosome. THERE IS A VERY
samples In line with Wells origi-
nal suspicion, after looking at
MARKED SEX BIAS
whole genomes, many schol-
ars now surmise that R1a1a
IN THE ARRIVAL
5
entered South Asia within the [IN INDIA] OF NEW
last 4,000-5,000 years from
Studies of Y chromosome genetic
the Eurasian steppe. The rea- PEOPLES FROM
son R1a1a is not diverse is that
data (tracing paternal lineage) strongly
suggest that the R1a1a (Aryan it underwent a massive, recent THE STEPPE
marker) haplogroup,
common in North India,
expansion; not much time has
elapsed for mutations to accu- ZONE DURING THE
originated in populations near the
Caspian Sea and in Iran. Mounting
mulate. With whole genome
analysis, one can see that East
BRONZE AGE
evidence for a (primarily male) Aryan European R1a1a is one lin-
migration into India
eage, while Central Asian and MARTIN RICHARDS
South Asian R1a1a strains Archaeogenetics
form another. Martin Rich- professor
ards, co-author of the paper
6 in BMC, explains, This high
resolution allows for both very
Results for DNA samples detailed genealogical infor-
from 4,300-4,500-year- mation and quite precise genetic datingso we
old graves in Rakhigarhi, can see where and when lineages branch off into
Haryana, are expected to be
a new territory.
announced in September. This may still
not settle the debate since the DNA
Ancient DNA has also shed light on the rela-
samples are from the same period tionship of the various branches of R1a1a. Extinct
in which migration into India is now Central Asian steppe pastoralists, the Scythians,
suggested to have occurred and their geographic kin, the Srubna people, who
dwelt north of the Caspian Sea 3,750 years ago,

AUGUST 7, 2 017 INDIA TODAY 55


BIG STORY | GENETICS

least two very distinct populations were mixing


1903
in the Indian subcontinent 2,000-4,000 years THE ARCTIC
ago. Moorjani says that 4,000 years ago, there HOME IN THE
VEDAS
were unmixed ANI and ASI groups in the Indian
subcontinent. by Bal Gangadhar
Tilak
ANI and ASI are acronyms for Ancestral
North Indians and Ancestral South Indians. The
former population was genetically very similar The grand-daddy of
to Near Easterners and Europeans. One of the Aryo-Vedic kookiness
original researchers who developed this model but not an Out of India
indigenist. Claimed
of Indian origins, Nick Patterson, characterises
Vedic evidence that
the genetic distance between ANI and European the Aryan race made
populations as so small that if you did not know of its way from the Arctic
SOME 4,000 YEARS the provenance you might say it was a European
population. The ASI, in contrast, do not have any
to India between 8000
and 3000 BC
AGO, THERE WERE close relatives. Rather, they were distant rela-
tives of indigenous Andaman islanders. Moor-
UNMIXED ANI AND jani reiterates that though there were unmixed
populations representative of these groups in the
ASI GROUPS IN THE relatively recent past, today all native South Asian

SUBCONTINENT... groups display ancestry from both.


In Moorjanis 2013 paper, she estimated that

THE DIRECTION Dalits from Tamil Nadu are 40 per cent ANI (the
remainder presumably being ASI). Pathans are
OF MIGRATION 70 per cent ANI. Kashmiri Pandits are 65 per
cent ANI, while Brahmins and Kshatriyas from
LEADING TO ANI WAS Uttar Pradesh are 55-60 per cent ANI. When it
comes to the mix of ANI and ASI, there are two
PROBABLY INTO INDIA rules of thumb one needs to consider. The further
northwest you go, the more ANI you will get. Up-
per castes have more ANI ancestry as well (Ben-
PRIYA galis and Munda tribes have East Asian heritage
MOORJANI
that is neither ANI nor ASI). This is exactly the
Geneticist
pattern you would expect from Y chromosomal
lineages such as R1a1a, which many geneticists
posit have arrived from Central Asia in the last
4,000-5,000 years.
also carry this Y lineage. It is notable that the R1a1a Indian observers of historical population ge-
lineages of Scythians and Srubna are the same as netics have noted these findings and integrated
Central Asians and South Asians, not Europeans. them into their own understanding. Sanyal says
A resolution to the paradox of mtDNA and Y he believes Indians are the mix of several genetic
chromosomal lineages pointing in different direc- streams, particularly the ANI and ASI who have
tions has now presented itself. The answer: migra- been living in the Indian subcontinent from the
tion into India was not sex balanced. This is a major Stone Age. Moorjani states that her study did not
point in the BMC paper. Richards states, Theres a specifically look into the direction of migration.
very marked sex bias in the arrival of new peoples But, she also admits that the direction of migra-
2016
MOHENJO
from, ultimately, the steppe zone of eastern Europe, tion leading to ANI is probably into India.
DARO
in the Bronze Age. (This is the case in Europe too, Why would Moorjani state this? First, let us
with steppe migrants overwhelmingly male.) take a step back and address two points of the Dir: Ashutosh
Our understanding today does not rest on Out of India framework. As Sanyal observed, the Gowariker
Y chromosome and mtDNA alone. With whole archaeological connections between South Asia
genomes available for analysis, scientists have and Central Asia are tenuous. The Aryans do not
reshaped our understanding of the past of South seem to recollect a time before India. But the past
Asia. In 2013, geneticist Priya Moorjani and col- 10 years of discoveries of ancient DNA have shown
leagues published research concluding that at us there were mass migrations where archaeolo-

56 INDIA TODAY AUGUST 7, 2 017


A GENEALOGY OF MYTH
HARAPPANS AND ARYANS ARE A PERSISTENT
INDIAN OBSESSION gists suspected none. The physical record is
incomplete, and it may be difficult to connect
with the broader patterns of history. But part
1948 of it is that some populations, such as nomads,
MURDON KA likely do not leave much of an archaeological
TEELA footprint. As for the argument based on Indian
by Rangeya religious and oral history, it must be observed
Raghava that the Greeks also do not have any memory
before Greece, and yet they are just as antique
Possibly the first an Indo-European people. The argument about
novel set in Mohenjo cultural memory alone cannot be trusted to
Daro; made use of adjudicate on this matter.
the archaeological Which brings us to what could ultimately
discoveries to plot
resolve uncertainties: ancient DNA. The testing
social dynamics in the
ancient world of samples from the Near East and Europe over
the period between 5,000 and 10,000 years ago
1994 has shown that a few pulses of migration mixed
RETURN OF together to create the predominant genetic pat-
THE ARYANS terns we see around us today. We do have a rea-
by Bhagwan S. sonable sampling of ancient individuals from
Gidwani the Near East, Central Asia and Europe, and
what we see are massive population changes
The book that launched over the past 10,000 years. Should we expect
the wishful Out of India India to be any different?
fantasy as a literary For the purposes of an understanding of
genre. Gidwanis dark the South Asian genetic landscape, two ancient
Aryan heroes sally populations from Western Eurasia share strong
forth from India to affinities with people from the subcontinent.
civilise the West
First, the earliest farmers of Western Iran, in
2010 the Zagros, whose heritage is now found all
THE across Eurasia, evince high affinities with many
IMMORTALS OF Indian populations. Second, Copper Age pasto-
The appropriation MELUHA ralists of the Yamna culture of the Pontic steppe,
of the Indus Valley by Amish Tripathi who flourished 4,000 to 5,500 years ago, also
civilisation to the Vedic
exhibit a strong affinity to South Asians, in par-
Saraswati took off with
this bestselling fantasy
ticular populations from the northwest and
novel. Features Shiva as upper caste groups such as Brahmins.
a Tibetan migrant to the Researchers in David Reichs lab at Harvard
Harappan world have tested what possible groups could be com-
bined to create the ANI element in South Asians.
After exhaustive comparisons, they find ANI is
best modelled as a combination of the Pontic
pastoralists and early Neolithic Iranian farmers!
In The Ocean of Churn, the thesis is present-
2017
ed that ideas and people move in a bidirectional
HARAPPA:
fashion. Indian religious and philosophical
CURSE OF THE
ideas did impact the West through Pythagoras
BLOOD RIVER
and Plato. Conversely, many Indian alphabets
The Hrithik Roshan by Vineet quite likely have their origins in the Near East,
starrer set in 2016 BC Bajpai
while Christianity and Islam have both taken
was panned for its
root in the subcontinent.
historical inaccuracies, Set in 1700 BC and
ranging from a fair So too with genes. South Asian genetic
2017, the book depicts
and lovely cast to Harappa as a city on markers are found in Southeast Asia, from
horses. Implied a the Saraswatis banks, Thailand to Bali. Conversely, Bengalis, Assa-
continuity between the doomed by treachery mese and Munda peoples show their Southeast
Indus Valley and Vedic and taantric exor-
civilisations cism. The apocalypse
has consequences AUGUST 7, 2 017 INDIA TODAY 57
millennia later
BIG STORY | GENETICS

Asian heritage on their faces, their genes, and in colleagues suggest a pulse of migration from the
the case of the Munda, their languages. But this Pontic-Caspian region into Indiait must remain
idea of ubiquitous gene flow has limitations. a possibility that Rakhigarhi will yield R1a1a
The distinctive genetic heritage of India, the DNA and not settle the debate.
ASI component, deeply rooted in the subcontinent And yet this is just one site. There are hundreds
and not closely related to populations elsewhere, of samples for Europe and the Near East, and from
exists in low proportions in Iran and Afghani- those hundreds we have gleaned startling results.
stan. But with the exception of the Roma people, At some point, there will be hundreds of samples
ASI ancestry is notably absent throughout West- from South Asia, and there is no doubt we will
ern Eurasia aside from Indias near neighbours. glean some fascinating results.
This suggests there has been very little westward The tide in historical population genetics has
movement out of India over the past few thou- turned towards migration, but some still hold to
sand years because, as Moorjani observed, all the model of continuity dominant in the 2000s.
Indian populations have Gyaneshwer Chaubey has been publishing and
ASI ancestry within the researching human genetics for over 10 years, with
THE GENETIC past 4,000 years.
Many geneticists now
a substantial contribution in the area of Indian
population history. He is not persuaded by the hy-
IMPRINT OF THIS believe a major migration
of people from Central
pothesis of a mass Aryan migration. Rather, he
observes that published research has shown that
MIGRATION (INTO Eurasia and West Asia the genetic imprint of this migration (if we want
into South Asia during the to maintain any) is minimal.
INDIA) IS MINIMAL... Neolithic and Copper age Without ancient DNA, we can only perceive

THERE WERE is the simplest and most


parsimonious model to
broad coarse outlines from the variation of living
human beings; fragments of the past, rearranged

GROUPS LIVING explain the data we have.


The Out of India model is
and reconstructed using statistical frameworks
and data from people alive today. Our conjec-
IN INDIA IN THE not theoretically impossi-
ble, but it strikes many as
tures have assumptions. Chaubey does not deny
the data showing Neolithic Iranian farmers and
BRONZE AGE WITH far-fetched and a stretch
to explain the pattern of
Copper Age Pontic pastoralists having genetic
similarities to modern Indians. He argues for an
SIMILAR ANCESTRY the accumulated data. equal probability that groups that lived in India
To move beyond prob- in the Bronze Age or in Neolithic time having
abilities, we need to make quite similar ancestry as the Steppe belt popula-
GYANESHWER
recourse to what has res- tions or Neolithic Iranians By reframing as-
CHAUBEY
cued us in the past: an- sumptions, he also disagrees with the revision
Geneticist
cient DNA. Unfortunate- in regard to the history of R1a1a. He admits that
ly, there is currently no R1a1a was the primary reason he took himself off
ancient DNA data from the BMC paper. Though unconvincing to many,
South Asia proper. Even Chaubeys rationale does have a basis in theory
now, researchers are trying to get genetic results and data. The disagreement is on the matter of
from samples at Rakhigarhi in Haryana dating probabilities. This is not uncommon in statisti-
to the Harappan period. Supposition can quickly cal genetics. Ancient DNA should resolve many
be replaced with certitude when we sample these of these disputes rather soon, but this issue is
individuals. india today learns that results of the overly politicised.
Rakhigarhi samples will be announced in early We do know some things. Geneticists have
September this year. Dr Vasant Shinde, an archae- confirmed divergences of caste and region in the
ologist at Deccan College, Pune, which conducted genomes of Indians. A great deal of mixing seems
this project in collaboration with geneticists from to have occurred over the past 4,000 years. Before
Seoul National University, is understandably re- that period, much of the subcontinent was inhab-
luctant to offer any pointers as to what the Rakhi- ited by people genetically very different from those
garhi samples suggest. Its very politically sensi- alive today. By coincidenceor perhaps notthe
tive, he says. But given the fact that the graves extremely common R1a1a paternal lineage, which
from which DNA was extracted were dated to binds many Indian men to Europeans and Central
somewhere between 2300 and 2500 BCthe Asians, begins to expand rapidly just as the last
same period in which Martin Richards and his major mixing event in South Asia between ANI
BIG STORY | GENETICS

MANOJ DHAKA/AFP

BURIED EVIDENCE
The 4,500-year-old skeletons
discovered in Rakhigarhi, Haryana
and ASI lineages occurred. the original Aryan invasion model was promoted
Prominent population ge- on a political basis, so are Out of India theories
netics laboratories that have given political validity. But the reality is that these
reshaped our understanding of the history of models of human history are either trueor they
Europe and the Near East through ancient DNA are not. Whether or not they were discernible, the
studies are now looking to India. It wont be long facts have always been with us. It is our political
before new tools are brought to bear on old con- interpretation of them that seems to change. Hu-
tentious questions. One can no longer say that the mans are protean, but nature is timeless.
thesis that Indo-Aryans arrived in the subconti- We see through a glass darkly. In a few years,
nent in large numbers is refuted. Connections to it may be crystal clear that a new people arrived
ancient groups outside of the subcontinent seem in the Indian subcontinent 4,000 years ago. That
highly likely, and many prominent geneticists are now seems to be the belief among the majority of
now promoting a viewpoint predicated on migra- prominent researchers. A century of theorising
tion and population turnover, which seems to have and ideologising has armed us with answers and
been the norm in Europe and the Near East. objections, but history as unveiled by genetics may
Yet there remain credible scientists at promi- hold some bracing surprises for our rigid grandiose
nent institutions who are sceptical of the new pretensions. That may be the most exciting aspect
models. While a new consensus may be emerging, of these lines of research, not how they align with
it has not crystallised. Genetics can speak in broad century-old arguments. n
strokes with errors of the order of a thousand years
here or there, and each new discovery refines de- Razib Khan is a geneticist with an interest in
tails of the broader picture. We are in a time of population histories and personal genomics. He
significant transition and great intellectual fer- works at Insitome and is a Ph.D candidate at UC
ment. That ferment extends to politics. Just as Davis. He writes the blog Gene Expression

60 INDIA TODAY AUGUST 7, 2 017


LEISURE
REVIEW: INTERVIEW:
WESTWORLD PARO ANAND
PG 65 PG 64

LE MANS: AGONY Q&A WITH


AND ECSTASY RAFTAAR
PG 66 PG 70

P RO F I L E

EVERYBODY
HURTS

A
khil Sharmas debut, An
Obedient Father, published
at the turn of the century,
was hard and brilliant, a
black diamond. His limpid prose,
the unspeakable grief suffered by so
many of his characters, the meanness
of his chiefly north Indian milieu
and the startling vulnerability of his
work is a profoundly unsettling mix.
If An Obedient Father didnt win the
audience and the plaudits it deserved,
Sharmas second, Family Life, has
moved him to the front line of con-
temporary American authors.
A Life of Adventure and Delight
is his first collection of short stories.
The work ranges from the mid-1990s,
when the Princeton and Harvard
educated Sharma was an investment
banker, up till the present. Many of
these stories were published in The
New Yorker. But Indians find Sharma
less palatable than Americas de facto

AKHIL
MAS
S AR on of
H
o lle cti
first c s
o r t sto ries wa
sh in July
ed
publish ear
this y

AUGUST 7, 2 017 INDIA TODAY 79


LEISURE
S C I - F I WAT C H L I S T

arbiter of literary taste. He writes about other kids, he says. I was, until after
Indians and India the way Patrick Mc- college, uncomfortable in my own skin.
Cabe writes about small-town Ireland, Writing was a way of managing
with an eye for hypocrisy and the horror anxiety, balling it up. That anxiety is
that results from it. common to many of Sharmas protago-
Speaking on the phone from New nists. In the opening story, Cosmopoli-
York, Sharma describes how he resists tan, Gopal Mauryas wife and daughter
thinking too much about his past. He have abandoned him. In another, a
moved from India to the US with his young boys mother turns to alcohol, THE EXPANSE
family when he was eight. As in Family retiring to her room to drink wine and Earth, Mars and space-dwellers
Life, Sharmas older brother, the pride of eat bags of potato chips: ...there was known as belters come to the brink
of interstellar war after a powerful
his family, having gained admission to the stench. The smell of vomit, urine,
new weapon emerges. The mystery:
a selective New York public school, hits and shit was such that it did not seem the weapon may also represent a
his head on the cement of a pool and thinkable that a human being ate there, sentient alien race. Netflix
lies unseen and unhelped underwater slept there. Self-degradation is a typical
for three minutes, enough time to suffer characteristic. The title story opens with
the protagonist being arrested for hiring
a prostitute: [Gautama] hoped to have
as much sex as possible... but he also
believed that any Indian girl who had
sex before marriage... was in some way
depraved and foul.
Unsympathetic though many of
Sharmas characters might be, they are
all searching for love, to become better
people through love. In the longest, and
PEOPLE OF EARTH
Sharma writes about best, story in the collection, newly mar-
This sarcastic take on an alien abduc-
India with an eye ried Anita feels an immense but fleeting
tion support group offers an amus-
for the hypocrisy love for her husband, Rajinder. But can ing satire of one of Americas most
we repair ourselves through our love for
and the horror that others? Is hell other people, or is it just
enduring (and irritating) contribu-
tions to modern society: the 12-step
results from it that other people cannot be the lifeboats Program. Amazon Prime
on which we seek refuge and respite
from ourselves? At the end of Cosmo-
politan, Gopal has, through his needi-
irreparable brain damage. He spends a ness seemingly alienated his lover, his
year in hospital. Then his family care for next door neighbour Mrs Shaw. We are
him at home, coming undone around made who we are, Gopal reflects, by
him, unable to cope with the tragedy. the dust and corrosion and dents and
One can be haunted by ones past, unflagging hearts. Why should we need
Sharma says. The people that I love anything else to fall in love? Armed
the most in my life have been almost with this insight, he shaves, brushes his
psychologically destroyed. Family Life teeth and rings Mrs Shaws doorbell.
PIONEER ONE
took a dozen years or so to write, as [When she] saw him, Mrs Shaw drew
In this Bittorrent gempossibly the
Sharma struggled to find a way to ex- back as if she were afraid.
most successful straight-to-internet
press the trauma. In A Life of Adventure Sharma is a master of this sort of series ever made, with more than 3
and Delight too, Sharmas characters scene, part menacing, part comic, part million downloadsa spacecraft crash-
battle to overcome trauma and crippling hopeful, moving and, yet, imbued with es in Canada in what investigators first
feelings of social inadequacy. Sharma so much sadness. We are self-deluding, believe is a terrorist attack. But then
they discover a comatose cosmonaut
says he stopped talking for the first self-deceiving. But how else, Sharma
in a Soviet era spacesuit in the wreck-
three years after his family moved to asks, like Samuel Beckett, do we sur- age who claims to have been born on a
America and his brother had his acci- vive? How else do we go on? n Soviet colony on Mars. pioneerone.tv
dent. I didnt know how to engage with Shougat Dasgupta

62 INDIA TODAY AUGUST 7, 2 017


T V S H OW S

TOO REAL
I
f there were ever any doubts about HBOs hyp- fun out. Watchers of a certain age going into it think-
notic power over the US entertainment world, ing whos doing Yul Brynner will be disappointed:
D
last weeks 22 Emmy Award nominations for WORL if anybody is doing Brynners role, its Ed Harris.
WEST inations
Westworlda mediocre and pretentious suf- t 2 2 n om Worse still, the character is no longer a robot.
go mmys
ferfestshould put them to rest. at the E That In this weirdly anachronistic take on Michael
r.
this yea ean its
While a case can be made for Evan Rachel do e sn t m Crichtons very silly story, the robots are the good
d
Wood, Anthony Hopkins, Jeffrey Wright and any goo guys, and its vicious humans like Harris who are the
Thandie Newton being honoured in the various villains, illustrating how, well, inhumane we can be
acting categories, the ponderous series doesnt to creatures we deem to be without equal rights (Ho
belong in the same sentence with Best Drama nominees hum). Youll be waiting for the robots to rise up from about 15
Better Call Saul (AMC), The Crown (Netflix), The Handmaids minutes into the first episode, but fans of a good bloodbath
Tale (Hulu), Stranger Things (Netflix) or even the somewhat will be better off repeating the oddly homoerotic muscle-bro
twee This Is Us (NBC). (Somehow the badly faded Season 5 series Spartacus, because Westworld never delivers the
of House of Cards also limped in.) shootout thats always been this genres money shot.
On the face of it, its a serviceable vehicle: for reasons Instead, we get Anthony Hopkins and dimestore phi-
best known to themselves, an all-powerful corporation losophy (even Julian Jaynes The Origin of Consciousness
has spent billions upon billions of dollars develop- in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind gets a nod): those
ing robots so sophisticated they can pass for robots living in an endless
humanall so they can populate a theme park loop, where life just keeps
where the well-heeled can pretend to be gun- gun repeating itself with-
slingers in Americas old West. In the original out meaning? Those
1973 movie, which had the good fortune to guys are supposed to
star Yul Brynner, this made more sense be you, the viewer. While
westerns were the most popular movie the point does hit home,
genre. It was also more fun: think a low- belaboring it over 120
tech version of the Terminator without episodessorry, 20
the time travel (and with Yul Brynner!). episodesjust feels
Available in India on Hotstar, the mod- like cruel and unusual
ern reboot has, like so many dark punishment. n
superhero movies of our era, left the Jason Overdorf
LEISURE

I N T E RV I E W

In Front of the Children


PARO ANAND received the Sahitya Akademi Bal Sahitya
Award for Wild Child and Other Stories, now retitled
Like Smoke and published with additional content. She
has written more than 20 childrens books and novels for
young adults. But she has never toned down her stories or
shied away from sensitive subjectswriting frankly about
terrorism, abuse and even rape. Here, she talks with india
today about the joys and challenges of writing for an audi-
ence whose imaginations have yet to be tamed.

What books from your own childhood would you


want to see on every childs bookshelf?
I was not much of a reader as a child. Then I discovered Born
Free by Joy Adams, and fell in love with animals and writing
at the same time. I think it was finding a book that fit me that
made me a reader. I dont think children should have a must
read listeach child finds their own list.

Critics have said books like No Guns at My Sons


Funeral arent appropriate. Is there such a thing as
literature that is child safe?
Writing about these subjects is like a
festering boil coming to a head. Let the Kids know
poison come to the surface. Parents about
have every right to make decisions for terrorism, they
their kids, as do schools. But children
have heard
should have the right to challenge some of
those decisions. My books do not tell kids
about rape
anything they havent heard before. They and domestic
know about terrorism, they have heard violence
about rape and domestic violence and
they know that people eventually die. The
issues are already out there. My stories
try to help the reader grapple with these ideas, and hopefully
find a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

Are Indian publishers getting braver when it


comes to childrens books?
Books like mine and like Payal Dhars Slightly Burnt are being
published. And many schools do have them on their reading
lists. But some schools have now pulled these books after
CHANDRADEEP KUMAR

objections. So what should we write about and what should


children read? I dont think there should be any taboos. The
only restriction I put upon myself is to always end the story on
a positive note. The teen years are a dark time and I dont want
to leave my readers feeling hopeless. n
with Farah Yameen

82 INDIA TODAY AUGUST 7, 2 017


B O OK S

THE MILL OF
ETERNITY
CONSENSUAL
t isnt the sparseness of Barry and the life that un-
SEX AND BREEZY

I
folds on its tiny island surface that make you feel as
lonely and sad as you do throughout The Unseen, Roy VIOLENCE
Jacobsens moving but sometimes alienating Norwe-
gian novel. Rather, it is the unexpectedness of the nar-

L
rative, the muscular swells and dips, the way emotion S. Hiltons new thriller opens
vibrates in the clear air between protagonists. with wildly consensual sex and
a murder. There is a breezy,
Lifestill, terse and fullon the eponymous island where the Barry
Dragon Tattoo violence to
family (and only the Barry family) lives and farms and fishes is evocative
Domina from the first, and from there on we
of another coastal writer, the Cape Cod-based poet, Mary Oliver. It is one
follow our protagonist from one glam loca-
of the perils of our so-called civilized age, that we do not acknowledge
tion to another. The owner of an art gallery,
enough, or cherish enough, this connection between soul and landscape Elisabeth (or Judith) once stole a painting, not
Oliver writes in her book of essays and poetry, Long Life (2004). Never realising that another painting was packed
has this reviewer felt that connection more with ita drawing supposedly made by
intensely than while reading The Unseen. Caravaggio, who never made drawings. The
The domestic life of Hans Barry, the novels owner insists the drawing was not a fake and
protagonist, and his family is anything but bliss- he wants it back, so Judith must find it.
ful. It is harsh and tedious and predetermined, Like Jason Bourne, Judith roams up and
reflected most painfully in the building and down Europe and out to Serbia carrying noth-
rebuilding of structures on the island, which use ing but a backpack, a wad of cash and what
every ounce of energy and will, only to be flat- looks like a super-smart phone. Often dis-
tened by one night of storm. This tedium is splin- tracting from Hiltons racy plot is her habit of
tered by pulsating life. The occasional visitors adding designer tags to every description. In
leave the family wanting more, yet also fulfilled. addition to being an expert in identifying and
Family members leave home for school or work, valuing paintings, Judith can apparently name
and bring a widened perspective back with them. any handbag, pair of heels or jacket, even
THE DOMESTIC
The power dynamic shifts between son and LIFE OF HANS from across the street. This Cosmo lingo can
father. And then of course, there is death, which BARRY, THE get hilariously intrusive. Case in point: as our
passes in the way that seasons do: inevitably, but NOVELS felonious protagonist is about to go on the run,
PROTAGONIST, she picks up her always-ready bag, packed
changing everything forever.
AND HIS FAMILY with a versatile capsule wardrobe, allowing
In few, bare wordsa mere 268 pagesJa- IS ANYTHING BUT me to curate a variety of different looks. But
cobsen cultivates characters, landscape and a BLISSFUL despite the inadvertent comedy of the name-
world view that is at once despairing and vital.
dropping and the acrobatic sex, the book
Life on one of the ten thousand islands off holds the reader till the very end. The scenes
the Norwegian mainland will change over the run between the rarefied private galleries of
course of the century to come, and like so much the obscenely rich to the joyously overpopu-
else that is good, it is impossible to know. The Unseen captures this lated squalour of a shock artists studio.
change in process, in the slow and determined actions of Hans and Ma- Youll have to wait till page 167 for a look
ria and Barbro and Lans and Ingrid. It is a change that resists linearity back at Judiths life, maybe the writers way
and notions of opportunity and progress, as it is drawn to it. Like the of directing you to the book in which Judiths
repeated discovery of and fascination with an inherited telescope, and adventures beganMaestra. Domina itself
its quiet setting away, generation after generation, because there must ends with a cliffhanger, so clearly a sequel is
be a reason for the eye not seeing further than it does. n already rumbling off the presses. n
Disha Mullick Latha Anantharaman

AUGUST 7, 2 017 INDIA TODAY 65


LEISURE

R AC I N G

AGONY AND
ECSTASY
T
he new Amazon original, Le Mans: Rac-
ing is Everything, effectively captures the
emotional rollercoaster drivers experience
during whats arguably the most iconic race
in motor sport. And I should know: I was
actually driving in the 2015 edition of the 24-hour
race that features in the documentary.
The six-part series follows various distinct char-
actersrookies, veterans, drivers at the top and teams
that are having a nightmare run. Filmmaker James
Erskine and his team have been able to tell the story
of the whole Le Mans week, including everything that
happens off the track.
Watching some of the heartache stories was a bit
difficult for me, because they involved friends of mine
Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Jann Mardenbor-
ough. They were also moments that I can totally relate
to. Though racing at Le Mans is truly one of the greatest
experiences for a racing driver, it can also be one of the
worst. I remember a particular race in 2014 where we
were very fast but I ended up in a crash with eight other
cars during a rainstorm that ended our chances.
Erskine does especially well in communicating
how important teamwork is at an event like this. Un-
like Formula 1, at Le Mans you have three drivers
sharing the same car and the dynamic between them
is key to success. The drivers all have to get along and
compromise in the interest of the team. This is a
NS
unique and tricky balance when youre involving
LE MA the highly competitive individuals who are used
s
capture nal
emotio rivers to being selfish sportsmen.
aster d
rollerco nce at this The other angle thats captured well is
experie race the family perspective. For example, in one of
ico nic
the episodes, the camera crew visits the home
of Darren Turner to speak with his wife Katie
about her feelings on the risks involved. Le Mans re-
mains one of the most dangerous races in the world
where drivers get hurt every year. I often think back
to the race in 2013 when Darrens teammate, Allan
Simonsen, was killed. As drivers, we accept the risks
involved, but the film reminds usand shows view-
ershow hard it is for the wives and parents to watch
from the sidelines, knowing that when the driver
leaves the pit lane, he might not come back alive. n
Karun Chandhok is a racing driver and the first
and only Indian to compete at Le Mans
COMIC

TURNING
PAGES AT
360 KMPH

W
hen youre racing, its life. Anything that hap-
pens before or after is just waiting. In a
movie with about two minutes of cumulative
dialogue from the lead actor, Steve McQueen, these
lines stand out. And were the driving force for artist
Sandro Garbo and his team, responsible for the graphic
novel Steve McQueen in Le Mans, an exceedingly well
crafted, painstaking even, ode in graphic novel form. In
production since 2013, its the result of a dream where
McQueen asked the artist to immortalise the iconic 1971
films racing in frames per second, in panels per page.
Thank God for lucid dreams.
The graphic novel is not necessarily a frame-for-
frame depiction, instead filling in dialogue in places
where the film sometimes simply relied on McQueens
piercing stare to establish plot pointsas race driver
Michael Delany, who returns to the Circuit la Sarthe for
the 24 hours of Le Mans, after an accident that took the
life of a competitor, the wife of whom turns out to be
McQueens love interest. Plot aside, the real beauty of
the illustration is in the depiction of detailsevery single
one accurate and period-correctfrom the fair-like
atmosphere around the circuit down to the lug nuts on
the wheels of McQueens Gulf-livery Porsche 917. Every
high-speed turn, wheel-to-wheel overtake and crash of
these prototype endurance machines comes to life with
a sense of speed, of realism. Its possibly more likely
to induce nail biting than an actual Formula 1 telecast.
With 64 pages of Le Mans in frozen technicolour, this
is a coffee table staple for both racing fans and classic
McQueen fans alike. n
Simran Rastogi
LEISURE

GADGETS

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very well adapted for an Indian accent
DA N C E

Bombay
Ballerina
n pointe for two

E
years, 13-year-old
Mumbai-based
ballerina Priyan--
shi Parikh is all set to
perform a solo from
Swan Lake on the inter-
national stage. In August, she will become the
first ballet dancer trained in India to participate in
the Hong Kong-based Asian Grand Prixcompeting
against 300 dancers from 15 countries for scholarships to
renowned ballet schools and other awards.
Parikh put on her first set of ballet shoes four years ago when
she was living in Bangkok. My gymnastics teacher was a ballet
dancerthats how I was introduced to ballet, she says. Although
gymnastics helped her flexibility, it was
ballet that helped her self-confidence,
While exposure especially when she transitioned from soft
to the dance style ballet shoes to dancing en pointe, Parikh
has improved says. Having moved to Mumbai about
over the years, three years ago, Parikh is now a student at
it is still a Utpal Sanghvi Global School and trains
challenge to learn with Apeksha Bhattacharyya at the Indian
ballet in India Academy of Russian Ballet (IARB).
While Indias exposure to ballet has SHI
improved over the years, it is still a chal- R I YAN H
P IK
lenge to find good teachers and studio PAR arning
n le e
spaces. In the Vile Parle studio where beg at the ag k
a
a lle t ngko
b
Parikh practises her plies and chaines to Tchaikovskys composition in Ba
of 9,
for Swan Lake,, she is wearing a pair of pink Grishka shoes especially
procured from Russiaand ignoring the thumping Bollywood
music streaming in from the dance studio next door.
Parikh knows a career as a ballerina would be a tough road to
walk, but hopes it remains a passion she can continue to pursue.
On her return from the Grand Prix, where she will have a chance to
attend seminars and classes on traditional and contemporary ballet,
DANESH JASSAWALA

Parikh will perform on the Indian stage toowith the Academys


rendition of Goldilocks and the Three Bears on August 19 at St
Andrews Auditorium in Mumbai. Bhattacharya aims for the IARB,
which currently teaches over 150 students across 10 centres in Mum-
bai, to soon have franchises across other cities in India too. n
Moeena Halim
Q A
Sadda Q: What does Raftaar do on his day off?
Move A: Other than giving interviews? He is a
homely man, likes to play PlayStation,
have fun with his two dogs, and go to his
Raftaar, rapper, on demeaning dance studio in Rajouri Garden, just walking
women, finding inspiration and love distance from home.
in the time of Tinder

Q: Your song Tere wargi nai ae is about two


people meeting through a dating app. Can true
love be found with a smart phone?
A: I tried it once, but that was out of curiosity.
One of my friends is marrying a guy she met
through Tinder and she told me that the song
came out at the perfect time.

Q: What is one clich


about rappers that you
would like to break?
A: I am already breaking
it[by not] demeaning
women. I think rap is all
about what you feel
about a situation
and not just about
cars, alcohol and
women.

Q: How do you
feel about the
debate over (arguably)
offensive songs and
videos?
A: What is offensive is
different for everyone. But
you cannot ignore reality just
because some people find it
offensive. I mean, I cannot go
to a club and pretend I was
drinking milk there.

with Vishakha Dugar

Volume XLII Number 32; For the week August 1-7, 2017, published on every Friday Total number of pages 92 (including cover pages)
DIGITAL EDITION

THANK YOU FOR READING


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ITE china cover FINAL.indd 1 26/07/17 10:51 pm

PLEASE CONTINUE
TO YOUR FREE MAGAZINES
JULY 2017 REVEL IN INSIDE THE
THE FAMED CITYS MOST
JULY 2017 AUGUST 2017
POETS GLORY STUNNING
AT GHALIB HOMES
WELLNESS SPECIAL KI HAVELI

A MONTHLY CITY MAGAZINE

Making a difference A MONTHLY CITY MAGAZINE

TOP 10 ALSO ALSO


SPAS OUR PICK OF SANJAY GHOSH
THE MONTH ON HIS 200-METRE
5 PHOTO MINIATURE MODEL
STORYTELLERS RAILWAY SYSTEM

10 MONSOON
SKINCARE TIPS EXECUTIVE SOUS CHEF
TEJAS SOVANI, THE
OBEROI, GURGAON
Not for sale. To be circulated free with India Today in Mumbai, Delhi & NCR, Chennai,
Bangalore and Kolkata. Supplement to India Today issue dated August 7, 2017

Natural
DCP No.: F. 2. (I - 20) Press / 2007

Beauty
A MALL
KAVITA KHOSA, FOUNDER,
PUREARTH, SKINCARE AND
WELLNESS BRAND

High Life
YOUR GUIDE TO THE BEST OF OLD AND NEW IN LUXURY ACROPOLIS MALL, KOLKATA
FOR ALL
Editor-in-Chief
aroon Purie
Group Editorial Director
raj Chengappa
Making a difference

Contents
Editor (special Projects)
Kaveree bamzai
Group Photo Editor
bandeep singh
Group Creative Editor
nilanjan das
Senior Associate Editor
shelly anand
Editorial Consultant
asmita bakshi

Photo Department Cover Story


ForEVEr
vikram sharma, yasbant negi, rajwant
rawat, Chandradeep Kumar, M Zhazo

bEAuTiFuL

Photograph by Cyrus dalal


Photo Researchers
Prabhakar Tiwari (Chief Photo researcher),
saloni vaid (Principal Photo researcher),
shubhrojit brahma (assistant Photo Kavita Khosa, Founder,
researcher) Purearth, on her
inspiration to start an
Associate Art Director
devajit bora
ethical skincare line 8
Production

12 22
harish aggarwal (Chief of Production),
naveen gupta, vijay sharma

Group Chief Executive Officer


ashish bagga
Publishing Director
Manoj sharma Therapy Picture
Associate Publisher Express Perfect
anil Fernandes (impact)
Top 10 spa Five women
treatments to who are telling
IMPACT TEAM help renew stories through
Senior General Manager: yourself photographs
Jitendra lad ( West)
General Managers:
upendra singh (bangalore)
Kaushiky Chakraborty (east) 4 news wrap
Group Chief Marketing Officer 6 Tips & Tricks
vivek Malhotra
32 The lasT noTe

Vol. 10 number 7; July 2017


Copyright Living Media India Ltd. All rights
reserved throughout the world.
Reproduction in any manner is prohibited.
26
A sense
28
Own the
Monsoon
Illustration: anIrban ghosh

Printed and published by Manoj Sharma


on behalf of Living Media India Limited. of style beauty fixes
Printed at Thomson Press India Limited, 18-35 for the rainy
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Letters

Do the men in
your life identify
as feminists?
YES Differentiation
needs to be stopped, but
NO Tradition sticks NO Men really need to grow up My father and brother both like to
in between I will be able call the men in my call themselves feminists, and
The men in my family life feminists only when they with good reason. They have
certainly do not identify happily share the workload, always believed in the equality of
themselves as feminists as both at home and outside. So, I genders, and encouraged us to
they believe in traditional build our own identities. We were
dont think I can call the men in
gender roles. While they told as children that men and
my life true feminists unless women are equal, and can excel
dont particularly discourage that happens. While they believe
women from working or in any field given the same
that women have a right to work resources. We never had separate
going out, they expect
family to take precedence and be economically rules for boys and girls.
over career. Despite being independent, they also believe Monica Kohli, Delhi
highly educated, this has that the home is predominantly
been the norm in my family, a womans bastion. This YES They dont want to admit
one which the women orthodox mindset needs to be it though
acquiesce to, under the I feel that the men in my life are
changed, and men need to start
garb of tradition. feminists, but are unwilling to put
taking women more seriously. a label on it. Perhaps they are
Sreshti Verma, Bengaluru Anushka S Moitra, Delhi afraid of being perceived as less
than masculine if they are called
feminists? There are those men as
well who call themselves
feminists because its trendy to
do so now. I wonder how they
feel about equal pay, division
of domestic labour or social
inequality. I will only label a
man a feminist if he thinks
about equality in a non-
condescending way.
Ruby Khosla, Faridabad
Ten winning letters from the India Today
Woman online poll will receive LOreal Paris NO It doesnt gel with their beliefs
products. Winners will be notified by email. Men in my life dont understand that
Letters may be edited for space and clarity. feminism is about equal rights and
not being a misogynist. Feminism is
a fight and a movement that doesnt
To WIn More excITIng PrIzeS check ouT align with their personal beliefs.
our nexT queSTIon of The MonTh Nimrit Singh, Mumbai
aT WWW.InToDay.In
NewsWrap Whats trending this month

Q&A Compiled by AsmitA bAkshi

Indira: Indias Most


Powerful Prime Minister
Published by Juggernaut;
342 pages; `699

A Divisive Legacy
ThirTy Three years afTer her assassinaTion,
indra Gandhi remains a polarisinG fiGure and
The subjecT of Sagarika ghoSeS new book

What was the most surprising thing the people in a direct populist Writing about such a polarising
you learnt about mrs Gandhi? embrace, clashing with institutions figure in such polarised times...
I didnt know she was so sporty like judiciary and media, and yes Theres a stereotype about me that
and so much of an outdoors increasingly isolated and hardly Im a libtard Congi, so many
person! She could ski, ride, swim, able to trust anyone. people assumed that I was writing
trek, loved dogs (always had more a particular kind of book. Its a
than one dog) and headed a bird What about her still foxes you? challenge because I wanted to
watchers society. She was also very She was an incredibly paradoxical bring Indira Gandhi alive, warts
interested in insects and kept personthats why I wrote those and all, as a living, breathing flesh
plastic butterflies and a life-size letters to her in the book, because and blood woman, not a member
cockroach on her table. there were so many things about of a party. My book is emphatically
her that I found mystifying. How not a hagiography, nor is it a
do you believe Narendra modi is could someone as astute as her not vilification. I wanted readers to
modelling himself on her? see what she was doing by encour- read about Indira the person
I dont know whether he is aging Sanjay the way she did? Or and the politician, not look for my
consciously modeling himself on building up a Bhindranwale and so-called biases or agendas,
her, but their styles are very then sending the army into a place particularly because I really
similar. The supremo cult in party of worship? Her contradictory dont have any.
and government, reaching out to personality intrigues me. Kaveree Bamzai

Books

Who Me, Poor? The Ring of Truth: 50 Cups of Coffee


Entertaining and Myths of Sex Khushnuma
insightful take on and Jewellery Daruwala recreates
urban poor by former Wendy Doniger takes the experiences of
IndIa Today staffer us on tour of jewellery, a 30-something
and writing from Shakuntala woman who signs up
powerhouse to Marilyn Monroe, on a dating website,
Gayatri Jayaraman. Sita to Nora Ephron. looking to get married.
Published by Published by Oxford Published by Penguin
Bloomsbury India; University Press; Random House;
192 pages; `399 424 pages; `800 224 pages; `250

4 IndIa Today Woman july, 2017


Newswrap

Q&A Society

Cinema of Sleaze Period


Drama
M
isogyny in the Indian film industry is alive and well. umbai-based media
The abduction and molestation of a Malayalam actress M company Culture Machine
announced FOP earlier this
made news when Malayalam channels recently aired monthA First Day of Period leave
an audio recording of an alleged blackmail call that was policy and it set the discourse
received by now arrested actor Dileeps close aide. With rolling. With increased awareness
womens roles both on and off screen becoming a more about menstrual health and several
glaring cause for concern, National Award winning film protests against taxes levied on
sanitary napkins, the announcement
editor Bina Paul sheds light on the situation as it stands and created quite a stir. The jurys still
the slow, but sure way forward. out on this one, but it is being seen
as a welcome step by most.
BY AsmiTA BAksHi

Sports
Tell us about the Collective.
Women in Cinema Collective Running
(WCC) is a group of women
professionals in the Malayalam AheAd
T
film industry that have come he captain of the Indian cricket
together to address issues of team, 34-year-old, Mithali Raj
gender and ensure that it created a world record this
becomes a profession of month by becoming the first
player to cross 6,000 runs in the
equal opportunity and
history of womens ODI during
equitable space of gainful the ICC World Cup match against
employment for women. Australia. Rajs accolade finally put
womens cricket on the map, and
The arrest of Dileep is a step in the traditional notion of the film more importantly, gave womens
right direction. Your take on how industry being associated very sport the recognition and attention
the entire incident unfolded? strongly with earlier artistic it requires back home.
Yes, we believe that the enquiry is traditions like the Devdasis,
being carried out with care and the mujra dancers, who were
appropriate seriousness. Our marginalised and considered
concern is our colleague and outsiders with an additional
ensuring that this never happens moral labelling. Women in
again. We hope that this indeed cinema were always the other.
will not only be a deterrent but Respectability, a catchword for the
also an opportunity to relook at middle class, was never accorded
many entrenched values. to women working in cinema.
The (in)famous casting couch
How can one combat the rampant syndrome starts right there.
sexism and skewed gender ratio In Kerala, with a huge middle
in the film industry? class, women find it hard to
The problem seems to be two- break this notion of the profession
foldone is the notion of women and find it difficult to choose to
and technology. A sense that work in the industry.
women are technologically Unfortunately, conditions
retarded and cannot handle what within the profession also are
the male mind can. The other is a not conducive to inclusiveness.
Getty IMaGeS
Tips & Tricks

Wired
to be
different
AN ENTREPRENEuR, A fAshIoN
DEsIGNER AND A hEAlThCARE
sPECIAlIsT oN NoT ToEING ThE
DoTTED lINE of ACTIoN
By shelly anand

On hOw tO build
platfOrms fOr wOmen
entrepreneurs

1 Find and encourage


rough, uncut diamonds
While it is great to have successful
and well-known individuals on
entrepreneurial platforms, it is
crucial to find those aspiring
women who are making different
choices and flourishing.

2 Pick a theme, curate


content accordingly Sita
The takeaways from an event are Pallacholla 5 Measuring inspiration and impact
stronger when topics of different Inspiration should always be backed by
sessions are interconnected. Founder, measurable impact. We need to have a
The Angel Hub, network of industry leaders willing to
This allows both the speakers
Platform for either share time or resources with
and audience to form a women leaders
connection and engage in 31, hyderabad aspiring entrepreneurs.
mutually beneficial discussion.
6 Visibility and networking
3 Collaboration is key Create an encouraging environment
When building high-impact 4 Talk about failures where women are given a stage to
platforms, partner with relevant It is important for speakers to talk present their ideas. Plan an event
organisations that will help in about the challenges and failures they which includes a well-organised
furthering the cause. Create a win- overcame in their professional journeys. networking segment. Entrepreneurship
win situation with partners with As a society, we place far too much can be a lonely journey for most and
similar objectives. Competition is importance on success and avoid meeting like-minded individuals can
irrelevant when you are solving a talking about failure and rejection. It is, prove to be an opportunity for
problem that is faced by millions in fact, the first thing we need to exchange of ideas and resources which
of women across borders. address on entrepreneurship platforms. promote peer mentoring.
Photograph by Krishnendu halder
6 IndIa Today Woman july, 2017
On hOw tO create yOur Own fashiOn
1 Buy less, but judiciously Many of us are trying to
Its easier said than done, but promote fair payments, better
sometimes its good to think waste management, and
Kriti organic fabrics. Be part of
tula twice before you get smitten.
Invest in what you need. Think the movement.
Co-founder & of your existing wardrobe when 5 swap it, always
Creative director buying something new, go for It is fun to share, especially
Doodlage, Eco chic products that are versatile and when it comes to clothes. share
upcycling fashion label can be styled differently. Make and swap your garments with
28, Delhi decluttering your friend. friends/sisters/brothers. You
2 Repair and renew and your friends can also
Add a patch if something build an informal group
needs to be fixed. Alter which encourages others to
what doesnt fit. do the same.
3 Upcycle and repurpose 6 Mix and match understand
Pick up a skill. Darn, knit, your body type and decide
crochet your frugal hand-me- what kind of clothes and
downs into timeless garments. accessories work best. Invest in
Be creative with your clothes. items which are flexible and
Personalise them and make can be worn in more than one
them fit your style. There are way, at different times of the
many DIY (do-it-yourself) day. like the same shrug that
tutorials available online. can be worn as an over layer, a
learning something new can wrap dress with a belt, around
also be immensely satisfying. the waist to highlight your
curves, or on your shoulders as
4 Be conscious
a style statement, teamed with
Associate with ethical labels. a scarf to change the look.
Photograph by M ZhaZo

Samara
mahindra
On hOw tO run a business Founder,
Carer, cancer and
with sOcial intent healthcare start-up
30, Mumbai
1 Dont lose the soul of 4 Be compassionate
your business With social enterprises,
Running a social enterprise there is a thin line between
encourages you to reach out to and sympathy and empathy. No
help as many people as possible, one wants or needs your sympathy,
however, the chase for numbers often but almost everyone appreciates an
jeopardises the quality or intent of empathetic endeavour. Whatever
your work. While trying to scale up you provide to your consumers,
and exponentially grow, be grounded. ensure it comes from a place of
empathy and compassion.
2 Follow your instinct Putting them first before you
When starting a business, you are and offering your services
overloaded with free advice on makes a difference.
various strategies of success. Although
many might be useful, it always comes 5 Always stick to your why
down to what you believe to be true. Why did you begin your company?
Instinct never fails and has more What is your intention behind it?
power than you can imagine. Dont get caught up on what you do
but stick to why you do what you do.
Photograph by Milind shelte

3 Keep evolving At the start, your intention behind


Change is constant, adopt a similar your social enterprise is more
strategy with your business, product powerful than what you are providing.
or service you offer. Evolve with time The why uncovers the truth of
and the people youre catering to. Give what you as a company stand for
your customers what they need, and why youre doing it. Today,
without getting too wrapped up in people resonate much more deeply
what you think they should have. with a why than a what. july, 2017 IndIa Today Woman 9
Cover Story

Im a woman
of the soIl
Kavita Khosa, founder of luxury skincare brand Purearth, is as conscious
about the ingredients that go into her products as the uplift of women
from rural India who are custodians of these natural treasures

By AsmItA BAKshI

A
s she struts confidently into the Marriott Suites, Pune, in
white palazzos and a comfortable black sleeveless top,
Kavita Khosa, 54, a powerhouse of entrepreneurial
excellence is disarmingly approachable, her skin radiant
and her smile a permanent fixture. Her suitcase for the
cover shoot, however, reveals her fine taste and her self-
created ability to live a life of luxury. It is home to a
Sabyasachi sari, a beautiful Anavila sari, a pair of nude
Valentino stilettos and skincare products of choicePurearth, her own line
of luxury, artisanal and 100 per cent organic creams, mists and an
assortment of other elixirs made entirely from ingredients sourced from the
Himalayas. The corporate lawyer-turned-social entrepreneur, swears by her
product and the cause shes fighting for. I wanted to work with womenI
didnt want to start a charity, she says. Women dont need charity, I wanted
to give them work and a life where they could be engaged in sustainable
income generation activities.
And thats what Purearth, Khosas privately held company does and
stands for. Most of our ingredients are gathered at soaring altitudes of the
Himalayas by micro-credit and women self-help groups. Through these
partnerships, marginalised producers engage with urban markets on fair
Back to Roots terms, reads the ethos page of their website. Khosa, who describes herself as
Khosa is very a mountain goat, is often called the skin chef in jest by her friends. From
conscious about
starting out as an airhostess with Cathay Pacific to a high-profile lawyer on
the ethics and
sustainability Wall Street who would blend oils in her home as a hobby, her journey has
aspect of all the been intense. From learning Ayurveda and travelling across remote villages
ingredients that in the Himalayas to empower entire communities of women through
she sources microfinance, encouraging them to forage for seeds and products in the

8 IndIa Today Woman july, 2017


Nature is
your best
soap and
your kitchen
is your
pharmacy. My
ingredients
are my
bioactives

wild, and creating a full-fledged retail cycle


across four countries and counting, Khosas
professional journey has been long and
eventful. Her aspirational, constantly
questioning and subtly rebellious streak
comes from a rough childhood.

Rebel wIth a Cause


Khosa grew up in Pune, to the smell of
incense from the Ramakrishna mission on
one side and a love for Faiz and shayri
because of a Muslim-dominated colony on
the other; a Brahmin Bengali lady who
would blow a shankh several times a day on
the right and a gentleman who would teach
piano early in the mornings nearby. I was
always very interested in the arts. Whether
it was music or writing poetry. At 13 I tried
to put together a thriller, which of course
never got published, she laughs. But
Khosas mother wasnt particularly keen on
having her only girl child educated. When
I was 15 and a half, she would say, We
need to marry you off early, so no point in
studying because it will make you more
demanding, she recalls. My mother
would tear my homework and school work.
When my brothers and I would come back
Photograph by Mandar deodhar

Location courtesy
Marriott SuiteS, Pune
Wardrobe courtesy
threadS and SoulS
by diMPle Mathijia
Hair and Make up lane Six
Salon, Pune
pHoto by Mandar deodhar

Photograph by xxxxxxxx
july, 2017 IndIa Today Woman 9
Cover Story

from playing she would make me get


them water. But Khosa, ever the rebel,
ensured that nothing deterred her. She
funded her way through her Bachelors
of Commerce in Wadia College and
eventually got her LL.B degree from
Symbiosis Law School in Pune, by giving
tuition classes, working as a fitness
instructor at Blue Diamond Hotel and
being completely financially
independent from the age of 15.

Woman on Wall Street


Armed with two degrees, Khosa at 23
dove head first into an unsuccessful
marriage to a hotelier from Pune, which
lasted all of six months. Soon after, she
moved to Hong Kong, where she
initially worked as an air hostess with
Cathay Pacific. This is also how she met
her current husband, Amar Khosa, a
barrister practising in Hong Kong. She
subsequently made the switch to law full
time and after the gruelling process of
becoming a solicitor in Hong Kong,
bagged a job with White & Case in Wall
Street. People graduate from Harvard
and people push them to this path A family affair Khosa and her husband Amar (left)
where they can work with a firm like often enjoy family vacations with their two sons
White & Case. And here I was, a brown
girl working there, and at that time
India wasnt on the map like it is today,
says Khosa. From here she moved to a natural tranSition women are the caregivers and very
AIG as Associate Director in the legal Suddenly, Khosas life changed often the men dont send the money
department. And with two young drastically. After working important back, so women often also have to bring
children, when a work trip to Korea telecom deals for ten years, she set off in the income, she says. I am very
turned from a two-day to a two-week on a spiritual, Eat-Pray-Love-like conscious about the ethics and the
affair, Khosa realised this was not the journey. This finally led her to the sustainability aspect of all the
lifestyle she wanted for herself. I quit. Himalayas. I needed to come back to ingredients that I source. What I
And people thought I was being insane. my country. Hong Kong has given me sourced at all these NGOs, none of
But my calling was to do something else. everything, its fantastic, but it doesnt them were guilty products. They would
I just decided to learn and teach yoga, nurture my soul. And I know that my use chilli, garlic flakes, walnuts, apricots,
she says. After training with BKS country, my earth does, she says. She rajma, rice so this was what I was
Iyengar in Pune, Khosa opened a conducted extensive research, exposed to.
yogashala in Hong Kong, run just on travelling across Kashmir, Uttrakhand A self-proclaimed woman of the
the goodwill of clients who would and Himachal, partnered with NGOs soil, Khosa finally created a business
contribute to the rent, help with such as Umang and Chirag and women model which was cost-effective and
infrastructure and pitch in with self-help groups in some of the most convenient. Sourcing from the
finances. We would hold Vedanta remote Himalayan villages, which mountains is a complex process.
classes, meditation classes. It was never a eventually led to the conception of Seabuckthorn oil comes from Leh,
business, I wanted to be more of a Purearth. In Uttrakhand, I think its apricot oil comes from Uttrakhand,
student than a teacher. Then I studied around 20 per cent migration from the turmeric comes from Ponta Sahib near
Ayurveda formally, a one year course rural areas to the cities. And its the Dehradun, rosemary and other herbs
with Dr Vasant Lad. men who migrate, not the women. The come from Uttrakhand too. It doesnt

10 IndIa Today Woman july, 2017


Cover Story
Food For
or the Skin
Kavita Khosa lists dos and donts
based on her own sKincare
incare rituals

all come from one place. After setting 5 skincare and wellness
up base in Delhi, where all these rituals I follow
ingredients are sent to from collection
1 Im addicted to masque-ing. I
centres at various hill stations, they are
shipped by bus to Kangra, where Khosa masque at least three times a week
with my Mitti Clay Face Masque and 5 things I wouldnt do
personally flies down to the workshop to Turmeric Exfoliating Face Sand to
blend, bottle and label products. Of remove debris and dullness. 1 Put anything on my skin with-
utmost importance to her is the women out reading the label and knowing
2 I cleanse with my own homemade where it has come from.
who work for her in the mountains.
micellar water to gently deep cleanse
What I do is, I give them
skin at the start and end of my day. 2 Use make up or cosmetics with
microfinancing. I give them a loan and parabens, petrochemicals and
for the rest of the year, it would be a full 3 Im in love with precious pure plant toxic chemicals. Ive switched to
100 per cent advance and the women oils that are rich in essential fatty natural organic ethical brands that
would go into the wild, the forest. acids, bio actives and antioxidants. i trust.
My Illumine Elixir Face oil is hand
Throughout the season, they would go blended with oils from Himalayan 3 Experiment too much with too
pick, then they would dry it, she says. wild harvested seabuckthorn and many products, especially all at
We work with about 1500 women in rosehip seeds. Massaging skin with one time. Give your skin some
Himachal and we pay them 15-20 per a pure high quality oil can eliminate room to breathe, to absorb and
cent above market rate, she adds. The fine lines and tone facial muscles. understand what is being applied
on it. Keep your skincare rituals
money is put into a joint account for the 4 Abhyanga or a body massage and your products simple.
whole self-help group, to ensure no one is vital to boost circulation, soothe
else (exploitative family members, the nervous system and rejuvenate 4 Never ever sleep with

mainly) can access the amount. skin. Our skin eats every time we put make up on.
something on it so always remember
to treat it with epicurean high quality 5 Never use lasers and peels, I
The number game skinfoods free of toxic chemicals. speak from experience. They can
Nature is your best soap and your burn skin and make it sensitive
kitchen is your pharmacy. My 5 Compassion and empathy soften to the sun and environmental
ingredients are my bioactives, says the face and settle into its contours, damage over time. Be kind to
lending a beauty and grace that your skin. It is sensitive, receptive,
Khosa, who spent her savings to start
cannot be store bought. sensual and intimate.
Purearth. And when she exhausted
those, she sold solitaires and considered
selling original works of art. Luckily I
have a husband so I dont have to stocked at Anthropologie in the US and
worry about putting food on the table, we have already signed up with an
thats all taken care of, she says. But agency to offer first class amenity kits for
Purearth, yes, all my savings went into a five-star airline, arguably one of the
it. I dont really have a head for worlds best, says Khosa, who often
numbers, but in my heart I have such a describes Purearth as her third baby. As
deep conviction that what Im doing is We work with a young Make in India luxury brand,
right and honestly so far, every month
we make ends meet, she says. Khosa about 1,500 we have proudly taken baby steps
toward taking our brand global.
explains how her products are priced
very high, because of the high cost of
women in So, now with her younger son at
Berkeley, the older one a music
importing the French Miron Glass Himachal and producer in Barcelona and a husband
bottles, as opposed to plastic. Purearth,
which is now three years old, has we pay them who travels constantly, Khosa has
found a fine balance between
doubled revenue every year to date
with a 100 per cent growth rate for
15-20 per spending time with her family and on
her business. Hours on Skype and
each of the last two years. cent above WhatsApp groups, holidays every year
What amazes and humbles me is
that in this short journey, we have market rate with the men in her life and constantly
shuttling between Hong Kong and the
collaborated with luxury resorts like the Himalayas, Khosa flows as seamlessly
Leeu Collection in Cape Town, South and naturally through life as her
Africa owned by the Max Group, we are products do through the skin.
Wellness

Roadto wilDflower hall

Relaxation Take a break from your daily grind,


Zehen

get nourished and refreshed with


these healing spa treatments

J i va S pa

at m a n ta n

the
ta m a r a
coorg

ay u r v e D a g r a m , e S pa
Kerala
ay u r v e D a

Kairali

Zehen, The Manor


Delhi
The spa is divided into two sectionsthe ground floor
is dedicated to international massages and the second
floor is for authentic Ayurvedic therapies. Head to the Kaya Kalp - The spa,
second floor terrace that boasts of a beautiful vertical
garden and the Ayurveda section. We tried the
ITC Sonar
abhyanga patra potli, a 90-minute authentic Kerala K o l K ata
therapy that starts with a full body oil massage,
followed by a hot herbal compress dipped in warm A long sip of refreshing coconut
medicated oil. A deeply relaxing treatment, it helps water, some Pomelo salad and
counter ailments such as chronic back pain, joint feeding the Koi carps in the side
stiffness, and muscular tension. Post-shower, enjoy a pools and already our spirits felt
cup of ginger tea and head down to their private like chirping. A half hour walk and
dining room to try their Ayurveda thali prepared by just when the toes wanted to
chef Manish Mehrotra of Indian Accent. stretch, a saucer full of tepid water,
USP Abhyanga Patra Potli, a rejuvenating mixed with mineral salt and
therapy done with a herbal compress dipped gondhoraj leaves and slices of fresh
in medicated hot oil. lime, a foot ritual, to squeeze off
Duration 60 minutes every ounce of tiredness. This is
Cost `4,500 plus taxes followed by body exfoliationa
www.zehen.com By Mohini Mehrotra soothing massage with long

Illustration: devajIt bora


12 IndIa Today Woman july, 2017
in Spa country
On the trail Of ten spas
and their unique therapies

a n a n Da

Kairali - The ayurvedic healing


village, palaKKad
K aya K a l p
Kerala
Rest, relax, rejuvenate. With a combination of
traditional Ayurvedic treatments and medicinal oil
massages, visit to Kairali will not only renew you
physically and emotionally, but will also ensure that
you come back again. Built on 60 acres of green
vegetation, the resort lets you identify your
accommodation based on your zodiac sign. Choose
from their aesthetically designed villas and suites
deluxe, royal and maharaja. The weight loss package
is a must-do for those battling the bulge. The
programme includes a controlled Ayurvedic
vegetarian diet, combined with massages using
herbal powders and oils. Add to that herb-enriched
steam baths which stimulate the bodys circulatory
system and prevent further fat deposits.
USP Classes on cooking and nutrition let you
continue the programme once you are back home
Duration 14 to 28 days
Cost `2.02 lakh to `4.04 lakh plus taxes
www.ayurvedichealingvillage.com

strokes of nimble fingers with paste of wildflower hall,


aromatic gobindobhog rice powder, ShIMla In The hIMalayaS,
cinnamon-clove-nutmeg and sandalwood an oberoI reSorT
dust with sprinklings of turmeric. For
that embalming sense of freshness, the Shimla
peel of gondhoraj skin is softly scattered The Oberoi Spa at the Wildflower Hall, Shimla in the Himalayas, is a soothing
all over the body. Three hours of balm for your eyes as it is for your soul. Set amidst thick evergreen forests of
detoxification and de-stressing followed cedar and pine trees, the heritage hotel offers a plethora of treatments which
by Kaya Kalp signature therapy in include massages, body scrubs, and floral baths. yoga sessions are also
solitude interrupted only with the natural conducted under the guidance of a resident teacher. The spa menu
call of birds, rustle of leaves and whiff incorporates the therapeutic sound and vibration of Tibetan singing bowls to
of gondhoraj. cleanse the chakra energy centres of the body.
USP Indigenous treatment in natures lap USP Rejuvenate, a therapy that blends herbal poultice massage with sound
Duration Five hours inclusive of the trail and vibration therapy, the ritual cleanses and enhances your chakras with the
and food help of Tibetian singing bowls.
Cost `10,000 plus taxes Duration Three hours
www.itchotels.in Cost `15,000 plus taxes
By Romita Dutta www.oberoihotels.com By Jahnavi Chakravarty

july, 2017 IndIa Today Woman 13


AyurvedAgrAm,
Kerala ayurveda,
Heritage wellness resort

BengAluRu
Situated amidst an expanse of unending lush greens, Ayurvedagram transports you
back in time. The soothing and calming fragrance of medicinal herbs infuses the air at
the wellness resort, which offers over 45 massage therapies. Njavara-kishinev
(saashtika-pinda svedam) or red rice-poultice sudation is what we settle for. It involves
a full body massage with cotton poultices filled with njavara rice pudding.
AtmAntAn, USP Counselling with therapists, yoga and meditation sessions
wellness centre Duration Three, seven and 14 days.
and resort Cost `1,600 to `2,000 a day
www.keralaayurveda.biz
pune
An hours drive from Pune lies a serene the tAmArA coorg
oasis of self discovery nestled in the
Western Ghats. Atmantan, overlooking the K A R n ATA K A
Mulshi lake, is more than just a picturesque
wellness centre. Check-in is followed by a Tamara cleverly combines pleasure and
doctors consultation and a body virtue in one sweeping move and its glorious
composition analysis to create a regime spaThe Elevationis a case in point.
that works best for you. Most packages Ensconced in a restored 100-year-old
include spa treatments such as arom- plantation bungalow, it offers both Ayurveda
atherapy, invigorating massage and the Chi and western treatments with few, but well-
Nei Tsang, a Taoist abdominal massage. trained therapists. The signature treatment is
USP Chi Nei Tsang, a Taoist abdominal the coffee therapy, which uses plantation-
massage to cleanse emotional knots, grown organic coffee beans that are loaded
improve sleep and boost immunity. with natural antioxidants to battle toxins,
Duration Three to seven day nights stress, and exhaustion. The gentle coffee
Cost `75,000 for three nightsi espA At scrub works in ways that only show up as
www.atmantan.com the leelA pAlAce silken skin and coffee-scented dreams.
By Suhani Singh USP uses coffee, cardamom and honey
chennAi grown on the plantation in therapies
Spread over 16,000 sq ft, ESPA at Duration 120 minutes for signature
JivA spA coffee therapy
The leela Palace takes your spa day
taj santacruz Cost `6,250
to the next level with a private spa
suite that overlooks the sea. The coorg@thetamara.com
MuMBAi By Chumki Bharadwaj
gentle calming waves of the Bay of
A deep muscular massage, the orja dayaka Bengal and the rejuvenating massage
therapy, begins with the therapist washing gradually find a rhythm of their own
your feet with rose water and aromatic oils. to give you a relaxing experience.
AnAndA - in the
leading you into the process, the therapist There are vitality pools, relaxation himAlAyAs
then explains the ingredients of the lounges, sleeping pods and a spa
RishiKesh
aromatherapy oil. The energising oil, as it menu with beverages and short-eats
is known, contains tulsi for clarity of mind, to cater to your needs through the For the well-intentioned, Ananda in the
patchouli for detoxification, fennel for day. All treatments use products from Himalayas offers both salvation and succour.
stimulation and nagar-motha for uplifting ESPA, the uK-based wellness brand. The four-day detox starter programme is
the senses. Starting from the legs, the A selection of music and oils helps ideal for the wellness virgin; a gradual
therapist kneads your body and your personalise your treatment. The Royal immersion into a world laden with special
senses, leaving room for little thought, leela Facial uses different massage diets, detoxifying scrubs, and rejuvenating
aside from a sharp focus on the loosening and exfoliation techniques, warm body masks. Whether its yogic detox,
of stress-induced knots and pressure poultices with herbs for a point weight loss or stress management that
points. massage and pink hair and scalp mud youve signed up for, the spa menu includes
USP The deep tissue orja dayaka massage for a destressing head massage. more than 80 body and beauty treatments
with a heady mix of aromatic and USP The Royal leela Facial, a deep with Ayurvedic therapies as well as modern
rejuvenating oils. exfoliating treatment which shows western spa rituals.
Duration 60 minutes instant results USP Wellness as a holistic experience.
Cost ` 4,400 Duration 90 minutes Duration Minimum stay of five nights
www.jivaspa.tajhotels.com Cost `9,900 Cost `23,000 per person a night plus taxes
theleela.com www.anandaspa.com
By Asmita Bakshi By Prachi Sibal By Chumki Bharadwaj

14 IndIa Today Woman july, 2017


Wellness

The ride was therapy for me


as much as it was for others
By riding a bike across the country, Sana Iqbal, who once suffered from
depression, is now spreading awareness on how to deal with it

I
ve always been a bold person, but Saturation point the same old zone of constantly trying to
then I had my own set of fears, thanks I come from a very educated family, but reach out to my husband. But this time I
to the news. I used to be a person who not even once did it click, that it was realised I was falling into this again. So, I
would think if Im going out at 2 am, I depression. I reached a saturation point, did some self-counselling and thats when I
would end up getting raped. Wherever I and was unable to sleep or do anything. thought of the idea of the ride. I enjoy
went, I had this fear. I used to work for a Thats when I decided I wanted to end my interacting with people, helping people.
BPO at that time; I used to drive down and life. I wanted to die in an accident. I got my Ive been a motivational trainer. I gathered
I needed to have tinted glasses. From that bike back and made a foolproof plan. I was my experiences and decided to put my
person, I went to being someone who sat on the highway, and waiting for it to psychology education to use. And by
on a bike and said hey, look heres a happen painlessly. As I started moving out helping people I ended up helping myself.
woman on the road! of Hyderabad, I saw a small child waving at The ride across cities to spread awareness
about suicide and depression
Questioning morals and was therapy for me as much
motherhood as it was for other people.
I was a person who had my
set of ideas about a perfect Changing perspective
life and perfect married life. Its important to look at
But unfortunately, when yourself as a third person,
things started going out of thats when you see a better
hand, it became impossible picture of yourself. I would
for me to accept what was often ask my students, do
coming my way. When my you ever see your old
marriage started falling apart pictures, in their own homes
(Im not divorced), I didnt or on Facebook memories.
know what to control or how. Most times I would get the
There was a lot of distance same reaction, Yuck, I didnt
which was created between look good, now Im better. If
my husband and me. People you ask yourself how you felt
would say things would get when you uploaded that
Photographs by SAEED GHAZI
better once we had a baby, picture, it will make you
but they got worse. I had so happy. After some time, you
many questions, social pressure, and me with immense joy. I started noticing a look at yourself as a third, different person,
self-created anxieties. I just could not see a lot of things. When it was raining, I and youre in a better position to assess
ray of hope. stopped at a dhaba and the man there yourself. You have then a point of focus
When everyone around me became a wanted to take a picture of me and show it and nobody can stop you.
mother, their lives changed; their whole to his daughter, because he thought it Sana Iqbal, 29, from Hyderabad,
lives became about their children. But would motivate her and he wanted her to journeyed solo across the country
when my son was born, I could not feel be like me. The goodness of people on the conducting sessions on tackling issues
that. I was stressed mentally, completely, way took me out of my feeling of neglect related to depression and suicide on her
and just could not feel emotions for my and helplessness. Royal Enfield, talking about everything
own child. I would question my own morals from acne to complex relationships,
and motherhood, and I could not talk The ride to recovery careers, marriages, depression and suicide.
about it to anyone. Once in a while, when I When I returned, I came home happy, and She is simultaneously pursuing a masters in
tried talking about it, people would lecture with a new perspective on life. My mother psychology and does corporate training
me instead of understanding what I was was ecstatic to see me like that. But in sessions on behavioural skills.
feeling and going through. close to 10 days, I started getting back into As told to Asmita Bakshi
i
F tt to
Fitness
Techniques

Fig h Three self-defence techniques that double


up as a complete workout regimen for you

By Shelly AnAnd

Capoeira

n
ot only an art form but
also an intense full
body workout, Capoeira
combines fighting techniques,
dance, rhythm and movement to add
to your physical and emotional well-
being. The workout reduces stress and
increases your strength and flexibility by
working on your cardio and stamina
levels. It includes body movements and
strategic use of the mind to make use of
these movements in the form of dance.
As a capoeirista, unlike other martial arts,
we dont train to fight. We have an arsenal
of moves that are dance-like, playful
escapes, but when needed can be double- get moving
edged swords and lethal too, says Reza
n It sharpens your
Baba Massah, certified Capoeira
instructor and Founder, Centre for reflexes and trains you
to use them as a self-
Capoeira India. You can perform defence mechanism.
Capoeira solo or with a partner, with or
n It increases the
without equipment. Being a non-combat,
metabolic rate of
non-violent sport, it lets you express your body which
your feelings through movement without in turn leads to
using words or aggression. burning of fat.
n It helps increase

Cost `3,000
3,000 for eight classes a strength, endurance
month, an hour-long class and agility. Your body
Where Delhi, Mumbai releases feel-good
and Jaipur hormones.
www.capoeiraindia.in

16 IndIa Today Woman july, 2017


Jiu Jitsu

a
lthough Jiu Jitsu focuses primarily on grappling
and more specifically on ground fighting
applying joint locks and chokeholds, it is a
system that includes striking techniques, throws and
stand-up strategies against surprising attacks. Also
known as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), you dont need any
equipment to do the technique. All you need is a
couple of mats, an instructor and a drilling partner. In
BJJ, there are countless ways that focus on developing
different physical and mental attributes of the player
like body mechanics, reflex, muscle memory, survival
instinct and body conditioning. Its not like your
typical exercise routine as it requires extreme effort to
improve endurance while utilising all muscle groups
to fight an opponent. Its a sport that necessitates
the challenge to simultaneously push those muscles
while enhancing cardiovascular strength, says
Lakshya Aggarwal, certified instructor and a Brazilian
Jiu Jitsu practitioner.

why get n A good full body Cost `8,000 for two classes
trained workout, with so many a week; `12,000 for three
n A good technique to protect different techniques classes a week; `16,000 for
yourself from personal attacks. to learn, there is never four classes a week
n Working both your a dull moment on the Where Delhi, 90-minute
aerobic and anaerobic mats. It gives you a long class
systems, it helps boosting better problem-solving lakshya_bjj@outlook.com
your endurance levels. mindset.

Krav maga arm


yourself

I
n For improved
t teaches you how to prevent, deal with and
physical well-
overcome all kinds of violence and attacks, and
being, stress
consists of a combination of techniques sourced release and
from aikido, judo, boxing and wrestling along with weight loss.
realistic fight training. Easy to learn, Krav Maga n To keep yourself
prepares trainees in self-defence, self-protection, safe against
fighting and combat skills. Practitioners get to incidents of
learn protection methods against chokes, hold and violence and
physical assault.
locks, hair grab from back and knife attack, besides
n To build your
knee kick regular front, and release from bear hug
confidence levels,
from the rear, side, and front high. It trains you
improve flexibility
to survive on the street in any situation, and makes and agility.
use of common sense and tactics, says Vikram n To increase your
Kapoor, Founder, Inter-national Ultimate Krav attention span
Maga Federation. The equipment used ranges and improve core
from the groin guard to shin guard, head gear to strength training.
grappling gloves and elbow guards.

Cost ``5,000 per month plus `1,000 registration fee


Where Delhi, 90-minute long class
www.ultimate-kravmaga.com
Photograph by Mandar deodhar
Fitness
Technology

work out,
staY in
The Internet is everyones
new favourite gym
By Priyansha Tomar

H
ectic work schedules make it difficult to head to the gym
everyday. Women, therefore, are using the Internet for
their daily workout. Toss personal trainers and expensive
gym memberships, stick to the comfortable surrounds of your
own home for a fuss-free, cost-effective workout. Fitness channels
on YouTube provide a plethora of ideas to keep one in shape
from aerobics and yoga to zumba.

1 PoP-sugar fitness 2 Yoga with 3 Befit 4 Yoga with


The Pop-sugar website has a adriene BeFit is a channel which offers shilPa shettY
style webzine for women, If you are planning to do yoga workout routines by celebrity Who better to turn to for
providing a plethora of fitness at home and dont know how trainers. From Billy Blanks to fitness tips than celebrity mom
information. They also have a to go about it, Yoga with Jillian Michaels, you can sweat it Shilpa Shetty, with that envy-
YouTube channel and Adriene is the perfect channel. out with them by simply firing inducing waistline. Shetty
workout DVDs. The videos Adriene Mishlar is an actor, a up your laptop. The channel teaches asanas for full body
have instructors teaching yoga teacher and the co- offers yoga sessions, a variety workouts, flat stomachs, weight
everything from cardio to founder of What Feels Good, of workouts such as pilates loss and overall good health.
Latin dance workouts, a growing online library and dance as well as fitness Her routines help to build
30-minute Tobata sessions to about yoga and yoga tools. tips. BeFit-Mom, a sub-site, strength and prepare you for
high-intensity exercises and She teaches yoga practices which was founded by pre- high intensity workouts. The
yoga sessions. They offer for beginners and covers natal exercise specialist Helena video provides basic exercises
nutrition and diet regimes weight loss, flat belly, healing Byrne, helps to-be moms for those who are not looking
according to the season. and many more. remain fit during pregnancy. for hardcore daily workouts.
Price Free Price Free Price Free Price Free

Illustration: AnIrBAn GHOSH

5 aPPs to traCk fitBit


Your fitness Live a more active life
with Fitbit, the app for
fitPass
Fitpass, has
tracking all-day
partnered with over
activities. It is designed
1,500 gyms and
to get you a better sPotifY studios, letting
picture of your health running google fit
subscribers choose
including steps, Music can propel ones With no
the best place for
distance, sleep, and energy levels and keep subscription
their workout and
weight. The Fitbit you focussed while charges, Google Fit
nike+run CluB regime of their choice
Android app syncs well working out. This app tracks your activity
If youre looking for an at reasonable
with your Fitbit measures your pace throughout the day
application that tracks your membership rates. It
tracking device to and picks a song by whether you are
fitness, motivates you during has over 10,000
monitor all your finding your tempo walking, running or
a run and trains you, this is workout options to
daily activities. and playing music to cycling. It lets you
the best packaged app. It choose from.
Platforms iOS, Android match, making connect with other
enables you to share your Platforms iOS,
Paid or free Free working out fun. fitness applications
run posts by adding stats, Android
Platforms iOS, Paid or free Free to get a thorough
stickers and photos. view of your health.
Android
Platforms iOS, Android Platforms iOS,
Paid or free Free
Paid or free Free Android
Paid or free Free
Fitness
personality

Racing
thRough the day For Ayesha Billimoria, fitness training is a full-time job,
so is keeping the dream of competing at the Olympics
alive for fifteen years and working constantly to realise it
By asmita Bakshi

W
hat no one tells you about the city that never sleeps,

6:30 AM
is that Mumbai is actually in a state of suspended
slumber early in the morning. The roads are
eaRly staRt relatively empty, the loud orchestra of horns and sirens from
Billimoria trains the night before now function at decibel levels that permit the
women selected easing of frowns and getting to Arts in Motion dance studio in
by Adidas for Bandra at 6.30 am isnt quite as difficult as it would be at any
the marathon other time of the day. Thats where athlete, fitness trainer and
in August Adidas ambassador Ayesha Billimoria, 30, begins her
Wednesday mornings. As the rest of the city rubs the sleep out
of its eyes, she trains a group of 20 women to thumping music,
making them do everything from planks on anothers
downward dog to interesting variations of table top crunches.
The exhilaration in the air is palpable, as are Billimorias
instructive words of advice on form and motivation. And not
only does she motivate those 20 or so women in the studio, she
also simultaneously motivates close to 20,000 followers on
Instagram to get up and work out, by posting updates, stories,
live videos and pictures on her handle Fitgirl.India.
As we get into the cab at 8 am sharp after her class, heading
to her home-cum-training centre in Grant Road, where she

20 IndIa Today Woman july, 2017


12:00 pM
haRd woRk
After classes, she
works out herself

is ready. While periodically eating


spoonfuls of pomegranate, she traipses
around the room ensuring her client
has perfect form while executing the
listed exercises for the day. Her
bookshelf on one side of the room has a
variety of reads from Murakami to Usain
Bolt biographies; Wholesome Kitchen by
Pooja Dhingra sits on the top shelf
alongside Diary of a Whimpy Kid. On the
adjacent wall is her dressing table,
with a calendar photo of Billimoria
atop it, her cropped hair a blazing
takes personal training sessions between pink, posing in a stud farm in Pune.
nine and noon, Billimoria recollects her The table itself has her laptop hooked
days as a young athlete, while
to speakers, the upbeat track setting the
munching on a Yoga Bar. I eat
mood for the class that is underway.
everything, I sometimes eat junk also
because your body does crave that, she Billimoria finally gets some respite
says. She was a three-time national at 12.30 pm, after three hours of back
champion in the 400-metre sprint and to back home sessions. Her sister,
it continues to be her dream to compete Binaifer has picked up her two-and-a-
in the Olympics one day. A series of half year-old daughter from school,
terrible trainers and injuries have and Billimoria, exhausted but
deterred her physically over the years, dedicated, takes a quick shower, while
but mentally she is determined to her niece naps in the next room.
still make it. Binaifer tells us of Billimorias love for
When I signed with Adidas, I got Crime Patrol and how she, herself once
the confidence to get back on the track an athlete has signed up for the
and 2018 will be my big comeback #100DaysOfRunning challenge with
here, she says. Gearing up to represent Adidas on her sisters request. The
Adidas in the 10 km race in Berlin, she latter joins us for lunch soon after
remembers how she recently were eating Chinese sitting in a room
completed a 10 km race in Dubai decorated with her many medals,
even though she was recovering trophies and a poster of Dil Toh
from Chickugunya. When we Pagal Hai (her father is a
reach her quintessentially-Parsi- Madhuri Dixit fan and she a
South Mumbai home, we climb huge admirer of SRK). India
up a spiral staircase, where her is not the place to be for an
next student has already athlete, unfortunately most
arrived. Billimoria clears her coaches are men, says
room, rolls out the exercise Billimoria. She asserts the
mat, creates a barbell with a importance of people
bamboo stick and two sand learning that running
bags; and with two blocks and and training well is
a kettlebell, her very own important. After lunch, she
home-gym and fitness centre takes a one-hour nap and
then gets ready to resume
her fitness rituals. She heads

9:00 AM 5:00 pM
over to Priya Darshni Park
for a run at 4 pm and then to
one on one on the Run conduct training sessions for
Billimoria conducts She goes for a school children between
personal training run before 5 pm and 7 pm. With that, she
sessions at home training children
in the park finally wraps up her day.

july, 2017 IndIa Today Woman 21


(left)
when she started travelling to Chameli Devi jain
work in 2013, she picked up her and Phool Chand
camera to document life on the jain after their
Mumbai local. It was meant to be marriage in 1923,
a personal memoir where I could contributed
remember people I met on the by Sreenivasan
train, she says. Soon her jain for the
Indian Memory
evocative pictures and the stories
Project; (below)
they tell struck a chord with impersonation of
fellow Instagrammers and Mehr-un-nissa from
Fadnavis continues to add to self-portrait series
the collection.
I engage people in a
conversation because every
picture has a story, says Fadnavis.
Shes clicked a young girl who
wears clothes with vibrant images
AnushA YAdAv,
Y dA
YA dA
Av,
v, 44
of cupcakes and ice creams, inDian MeMory ProjecT, MuMbai
chatted with a teenager suffering
from Albinism, a congenital Photographs play the role of
the cultural police
disorder, who sits in a corner of
the compartment and made
friends with a transgender who

I
happily poses for pictures in her
n 2010, designer and photographer Anusha Yadav set up the worlds first
favourite saris. Everyone has a
public visual archive of the Indian sub-continent, The Indian Memory Project
story. Each time I photograph
(IMP), which documents history and culture through photographs. The
these women and talk to them, it
website now has 175 entries sent in from people across the world telling of life
helps me put things into
in the sub-continent before 1990. Photographers play the role of the cultural
perspective. Ive learnt to
police, says Yadav. Every photographer is in a sense documenting something and
empathise with people and be
although photographs on her website are always accompanied by essays, the
thankful for what I have.
images are revealing in their own way. Status, power, beauty, vanity,
Documenting life sensitises you,
representation, identityso much is revealed through a photograph, she says.
she says.
Yadav has been deeply interested and involved in documenting culture both
By Aditi Pai
through her curation of photographs and stories of personal histories as well as
through her own photographic endeavours. Her series of self-portraits sees her as
dressing up iconic women of the past from Nur Jahan to Mata Hari. When she first
started IMP, she was trying to convince
companies and brands to archive their
materials. The project was meant as a
way to prove that her theory could be
put into practice. I thought 50 people
would love it, but didnt expect five
million visitors, she says. Seven years
down the line, the project is used as an
academic resource. Her research for
IMP has led her to numerous other
projects. In March this year, she
exhibited The Photograph is Proof , a
collection of photographs that throw
light on a few criminal investigations in
India. In July, just before the 70th
Indep-endence Day celebrations kick
off across the country, she will comm-
emorate the occasionthrough a
repository of photographic
biographies of people in the Indian
film industry before the 1950s.
By Moeena Halim

july, 2017 IndIa Today Woman 23


Offbeat

three of the trees she has


photographed in the past are
no longer where they once
stood. We have already lost
200 trees and expect to lose
more. Some of these were
planted several decades ago
and others are centuries old,
she says. Mukherjee, by self-
admission, has become tree-
obsessed ever since MMRCL
(Mumbai Metro Rail
Corporation Limited)
chainsaws knocked down
three trees in her lane. Its a
scary situation for tree lovers
in the city right now. Its
devastating, she says. She
Tunali Mukherjee, 30 hopes that the hastag and the
archive will encourage people
BomBay Trunks, mumBai to stop and look and also

P
collaborate and contribute
hotographer, writer and filmmaker
photos. Although her project
Tunali Mukherjee was a reluctant
has largely been limited to
Instagrammer two years ago. She
South Mumbai, she aims to
soon found herself encouraged to
cover the rest of the city too.
see the world within the apps square frame
By Moeena Halim
and the trees of Mumbai became her Photograph by DANESH jASSAWAlA
biggest inspiration. Walking around the
city, she realised that the trees were fighting
battles of their own and began to document
their fight with urbanisation. It seemed
like a silent war between the city and the Trees have
trees. People would build walls around the
trees, or lay down roads or sheets of cement been fighting
on top of their roots, but the roots and
branches would fight their way out. Muscle
battles of their
memory taught me to skip over the roots
when I walked down the footpaths, and I
own with
realised Id been taking these trees for
granted for so long, says Mukherjee.
urbanisation
Over the years, she has taken over 50
photos which she quite unintentionally
began archiving under the hashtag
Bombay Trunks. The South Mumbai
resident deeply troubled by
the construction of the
Mumbai Metro and their
decision to chop down more
than 5,000 trees around
Colaba as well as Aarey Milk
Colony, aims at a more
concerted effort now that at least

Tunali Mukherjee is
creating awareness
about silent death
of the trees

24 IndIa Today Woman july, 2017


The camera is my medium to
tell stories of resilience
nupur nanal, 29
The domesTic help series, pune

F
rom tracing the life story of a French baker from
Maharashtra to taking a peek into the lives of women
domestic workers, Nupur Nanal uses her camera to tell
stories that evoke emotion. I dont tell sad stories. I tell
stories of resilience, she says. The Pune-based photographer
spends six months shooting weddings and the rest of the year
travelling and documenting stories of people and communities.
In 2015, she travelled across Europe to meet Maharashtrians who
migrated from the state and settled into varied professions and
lives. The pictures were exhibited at a show at the British Council,
Delhi, and Nanal followed that up with a project, The Domestic
Help, for the Goethe Institute on portraits of women domestic
workers. She gave them a point-and-shoot camera and asked
them to document their daily lives. The outcome was a story of 10
women who have spent their lives looking after their employers
homes, leaving behind their own families. They build an
emotional bond with the employers family but their own
emotions, aspirations and families are always hidden. I shot
Nupur Nanal
dignified portraits that bring out their inner beauty, she says. Its
chronicles stories
an ongoing series and Nanal now plans to take her project to of people and
other cities to document more women in the same occupation. communities
By Aditi Pai

Photograph by MiliND SHElTE

I want to create a space where


people talk to share stories, and
not just for the likes
VaTsala shriVasTaVa,34
Bindi BoTToms, Bengaluru

I
f a single person listens to my change in a subtle manner through
story, my life will be worth it, everyday choices made by women.
says a woman in a village in So came the idea of Bindi Bottoms
Bihar who has been called that chronicles their stories from
Janardhan bahu all her life. It was around the country. They are
a turning point for Vatsala stories of freedom, of choice and of
Shrivastava, Founder, Bindi a particular moment when the
Bottomsrepresentative of women person is a winner, she says.
from top to bottomwho had set Though the stories have been
out to gather stories of transition in collected in audio, video and text
the lives of Indian women. I formats, they are available on the
wanted to tell stories of many website as text only. After every
Janardhan bahus, she says. Once 100-150 stories, she issues a report
a journalist, Shrivastava spent four with her observations. She has
years in the US where she met globalised the platform by inviting
other women like her, in transition, women to contribute their stories,
between two different worlds. On localised it through geotagging and
her return in 2015, she noticed democratised it by letting people
that India was on the cusp of upload them. By Prachi Sibal

Photograph by M ZHAZo
july, 2017 IndIa Today Woman 25
Style

What is Ruling Sidhika Gupta, Fashion Head, Roposo, on top

Unstructured Bustier and Statement Stripes


Dresses Bralettes Sleeves Galore
Style your dresses as Bustiers and bralettes Flared and peasant Bold, banker, mammoth,
effortlessly as a pair are this years version sleeves, reminiscent of or minimalstripes
of jeans this season. of crop tops. Perfect for fashion in the 80s, are are completing ruling
Dresses with relaxed adding texture and flair making a comeback. the fashion scene. The
silhouettes are making to the simplest of outfits, Sleeve-slits are also nautical influence,
a mark with their these look great with hitting the runways in however, rules them
loose, unstructured high-waist pants, jeans a big way. Whatever all; it is one trend you
style, elaborate ruffles and skirts. Pair these takes your fancy, one can carry with ease
and uneven hemlines. with distressed denims thing is for sure; the and flair without hassle
Comfort is key. for a chic street style obsession with shoulders whether you are at
You can go for big ruffles look. You can also layer and sleeves is here the Wall Street or the
for a more feminine these over or under your to stay. A contemporary Fifth Avenue. Combine
look. Opt for unusual favourite T-shirt, jersey update on the timeless stripes of different
waistlines to avoid top, or dungarees. If style is an oversized colours and thickness
getting lost in youre going for a sexy silhouette, with extra for a quirky look. Play
all the fabric. You can but casual look, long sleeves where with vertical stripes
also use belts to let it peep through the hem is almost to create the illusion
add more definition from under an touching of a taller and leaner
to your entire look. oversized shrug. the knees. silhouette.

26 IndIa Today Woman july, 2017


the Runways
ten fashion trends to watch out for

Fifty Shades Trims on Utilitarian Comfortable


of Green Borders Khakhi is Chic
Green is the colour of What a replacement Almost every designer We clearly didnt
the year, according to to slip dresses these has found a way to use have enough of
Pantone. If you thought are. If you dont feel like this neutral and earthy athleisure last year and
you couldnt carry this getting ready in the shadeafter all, we the latest designs are
vivid colour, you need to morning, just throw on need something to here to prove it. Still
think again because this a robe and youre good balance the colour war confused about how to
season theres a to go. This season is all going on this season. sport the trend? Just
shade for everyone, about how you can style From the runways to wear your yoga pants
no matter their skin tone. these creatively. Make it the street and from to the next social event.
From mint to parrot and pop by adding trims shirt dresses to belted Remember comfort
forest green, adding on the border skirts, the use of khakhi is key. Pair jogging pants
a splash of this lush or opt for a bright colour is widespread. You can with boots and a fitted
hue to your wardrobe in a luxe fabric. By use this perfectly to go blazer for a smart look or
will go a long way in the end, robes are from a day brunch to a wear them with a loose
making you look trendy. expected to become classy evening event. sweater and sneakers
Associated with renewal, acceptable evening Try pairing khakhi for a casual look.
revival and restoration, wear. Embrace this outfits with other bright Printed tees
this colour should be wardrobe disruption, coloured clothes for a can be paired with
a wardrobe staple. which is here to stay. smart look. your jeans.

Illustrations by Anirban Ghosh


july, 2017 IndIa Today Woman 27
iving
L
tter auty
o Be be
T
uide
G

Kiran Lohia
Medical Director, Lumiere
Dermatology, Delhi

10 Ways to
Protect your Skin
Embrace the humid months with these
timeless tips that will leave you with a glow

O
ur skin is the
first to get 1 Wear a sunscreen 2 Apply a primer
damaged by Sunblock is the most important step I know its surprising that I may ask
the constantly in your skincare routine as uVb rays you to add a layer onto an already
are known to cause tanning and sweaty complexion, but a mattifying
changing cancer. a tan is the first sign of the primer can be a godsend. When you
weather. Monsoon brings with skin being damaged by these rays, are wearing make-up during the
it a series of concerns such as and it reacts by producing melanin. monsoon, it just doesnt set as well
uVa rays have recently been found and starts running down your face.
dull skin, open pores and
to cause pigmentation, freckles, and this is because it is setting on sweaty
bacterial infections. High signs of ageing such as pores, areas and it doesnt get absorbed
humidity levels make the skin wrinkles and sagging. the worst part evenly. by applying a mattifying
look tanned, greasy, pimply, is that these skin issues are caused by primer, you absorb excess oil, and
cumulative sun exposure. create an even layer onto which
and we look simply not up to The benefits Sunblock will help make-up can penetrate and stay.
speck. Follow a strict skincare prevent your skin from tanning while How to use It stops make-up from
regime and keep all such also preventing long-term damage running and prevents you from
caused by uVb and uVa rays. For having to perpetually reapply it. Put
problems at bay. Here are the face, you need two tablespoons a thin layer all over the face so that
top must-dos for protecting of sunblock applied whether you are it is evenly covered. apply make-up
your skin. indoors or outdoors. on top.

Illustration: tanmay acharya


28 IndIa Today Woman july, 2017
loccITanE
vA n i t y vErbEna lIghT
hand crEam
fA r e PrICe `710

lorEal supEr lInEr


supErsTar dEsIgnEr
duo PrICe `899

result in frustrating zits. Switch to a gel or wash, a serum, a moisturiser (if needed)
a light lotion that lets it breathe. and sunblock for the day. the make-up
How is it useful Changing your should be no more than a primer and a
moisturiser will help prevent pimples concealer at best.
while also reducing oiliness. use a thin
bc brazIlnuT oIl layer so that your skin feels hydrated but 8 Go non-comedogenic
oIl-In shampoo not too greasy. Gently massage into your look for products that are certified by a
PrICe `1,500 skin in upward motions. Moisturise no dermatologist to only have ingredients
more than one to two times a day. that are non-comedogenic meaning
3 Get blotting papers they do not clog your pores. you will
We all will get extra greasy during this 6 Stick to waterproof products reduce your risk of zits entirely.
season with high humidity. Instead of In this sweaty hot weather, you are bound The benefits No blackheads
running to the washroom five times a day to melt a little, and so will your make-up. and whiteheads. look for non-
to wash your face, blotting papers will Waterproof make-up options are comedogenic certification on the box or
soak up the grease in no time. designed to withstand these conditions. bottle of the products before buying.
Good for a total time saver, blotting It will help in Making you look iridescent
papers can reduce the shine on your face the whole day long. Ditch your usual 9 Dont overwash your face
in less than a few seconds, and are make-up and use waterproof options for We all want to wash our faces with harsh
completely gentle and safe for your skin. mascara, eyeliner, and foundation. soaps or cleansers so our skin can feel
use the paper to gently blot greasiness clean again, but the fact is that the more
on the face. 7 Cut down the layers we wash, the oilier it will get. your skin is
Instead of wearing layers of skincare and naturally balancing, so when you wash
4 Use a salicylic-acid based face wash make-up, cut them down. extra layers your face too much, you dry it out. this
With all that extra moisture in the air, will only cause more acne. signals the skin to produce more sebum
your skin is bound to get oily, resulting in Stick to these Go back to basicsa face or oil, making it even oilier, and results in
blackheads and whiteheads. there is a vicious cycle of unbalanced and
nothing better than using a face wash excessively oily skin.
that contains salicylic acid, which cuts soulTrEE What to remember Wash your face with
through the grease and prevents pores aprIcoT gentle pH-balanced cleansers no more
moIsTurIsEr
from getting obstructed. PrICe `450 than two to three times a day. If your face
Best way to apply Salicylic acid is an ultra still feels greasy during the day, cleanse
gentle active that is singularly able to with plain water.
exfoliate within the follicles, getting rid of
those pesky blackheads. Wash your face 10 Keep face wipes handy
no more than twice a day with a coin- For those of us who like to wash our face
shaped amount. lather, then wash off. multiple times a day, the face wipe is a
great alternative and good timesaver.
5 Switch your moisturiser Wipe the days grease off your face easily
During winter, we are used to using with a simple gentle face cloth.
heavy creams and lotions. unfortunately, How to use Instead of overwashing your
the weather has changed and the air has face, you can use a gentle wipe to get the
a lot more moisture in it that will be junk off, without drying out your skin.
absorbed by your skin. too much Wipe your face gently two to three times
moisture makes you look greasy and can with the wipe, then throw it away.

july, 2017 IndIa Today Woman 29


Guide To Better Living
fOOd

Madhuri Ruia
Nutritionist,
pilates expert,
Mumbai

Monsoon
Munchies
Six healthy takeaway treats
packed with nutrients to try
this season

I
ts finally a whole lot calorie bhajjias if you want to almond, peanut or cashew cabbage, red pumpkin or a
cooler since the rains keep a check on your with a pinch of cinnamon and mix of beetroot, carrot and
have set in and waistline. Sweet potatoes are stuff it in the core of the apple celery, besides herbs like mint
temperatures have a nutritional powerhouse. bake for 15 minutes for a leaves or basil. This is a
dropped. But of course, all Packed with vitamin A and delicious monsoon snack. healthy low calorie, nutritious
things nice also have their fair carotenoids, these are lower in Delivers One serving is 180 accompaniment to any meal.
share of trouble. While the calories than potato, but have calories of high fibre snack Delivers 50 calories a cup
monsoon season brings with it a high glycemic index. with healthy omega fats
food cravings; water-borne Because of that, the glucose in Lightly fried egg on mini oil-
diseases and infections such them does not get converted Brown vegetable poha free khakhra with yoghurt
as jaundice, typhoid, and to fat easily in the body Replace your regular white A high energy protein rich low
stomach disorders are also especially if you are active. poha with brown poha, have it calorie meal, it is a good
part of the package. The trick Combining them with roasted and cooled. Make it replacement for Eggs
is to eat sensibly, avoid raw almonds, another nutritional healthy and nutritious by Benedict and can replace your
foods, drink safe potable star packed with healthy fat, adding purple cabbage and breakfast or can be a good
water at all times, and stay makes these golden garnish with toasted almonds post-workout snack.
away from street food. Here medallions a go-to snack. and coriander. This variant of Delivers 220 calories
are the top monsoon treats Delivers Approximately brown poha is packed with
and fusion foods that use 360 calories for five protein and is a one-dish meal. Kiwi and cherry salad
a variety of vegetables, medallions, about 50 calories Delivers 2-3 servings contain with feta cheese and chilly
coarse grain nuts, seeds, per medallion 135 calories to 200 calories maple dressing
dried food and sweeteners Pure maple syrup is a rich
to help you build immunity Baked apple with melted Hot vegetable tea source of minerals like
and stay healthy. nut butter of choice If you feel the need to stay manganese and is a healthier
Both the skin and flesh of warm this season, a vegetable sweetener to use. The salad is
Sweet potato and almond apple contain the soluble fibre tea which is a thinner lighter a nice pre or post workout
medallions with tamarind pectin which has a calming version of a soup is an snack; take low fat feta cheese
maple chutney effect on the stomach and interesting way to soothe an if you need to lose weight.
This is a great monsoon filler aids digestion. Mix a irritated throat. Add fresh Delivers 400 calories for
and replacement for high tablespoon coarse butter vegetables like mushroom, 2 servings

Illustration: devajIt bora


30 IndIa Today Woman july, 2017
Guide To Better Living
finance

Investing Smart,
Earning Big
Sharad Mohan
Managing Director & Head TAX
Retail Bank, Global
Consumer Bank, Citibank
India, Mumbai

SIP
Select the right
0 c
financial plan based
8 al
on your risk profile
utu
M

A
Goldman Sachs report titled
The Power of the Purse
anticipates that nearly 90 per
cent of indias population will
be middle class by 2040, with women
in these households dictating spending
patterns on everything, including
financial products. While a host of
products are available at the lower end
of the risk return spectrum such as bank
accounts and time deposits for women
investors, not much is on offer to guide
them towards financial planning and
investing. Most still believe that efficient
investing only relates to buying specific n if you want predictable returns with track record. These are also tax efficient
products for saving tax. Women with minimum risk, invest in tax-free bonds as gains from equity mutual funds held
taxable incomes can start by availing that offer attractive yields for 10 to 20 over one year are currently tax
the full Section 80c tax (of the income years when held to maturity. exempted. Dividends declared by such
Tax act) deductions by investing in n as we go higher in the risk spectrum funds are also tax free. You can go for
provident funds, national pension and investment horizon, debt mutual simple strategies like SiP (systematic
systems, national savings certificates, funds offer better tax adjusted returns investment plan), which involve
unit linked insurance plans and equity than traditional fixed deposits, if held investing in multiple tranches over
linked saving schemes up to `1.5 lakh for more than three years. Within debt several years, at regular intervals, and
(an additional `50,000 for investments mutual funds, there are sub-categories can be used to build equity exposure.
in national pension schemes) per to suit your investment horizon, starting You can also choose to allocate to
financial year. first assess your financial with liquid funds, ultra short-term funds, balanced funds which maintain asset
situation, risk attitude, risk appetite and short-term funds, credit funds and long allocation in the fund portfolio itself
investing knowledge and experience. duration debt funds. between equity and debt.
Based on that, arrive at a suitable asset n Higher still in the risk spectrum, n Sovereign gold bonds, which come at
allocation and select the right products consider investing in equity mutual a tax-free return of 2.5 per cent without
which match your investment horizon fundsmanaged by professional money any hassle of physical storage, without
and risk tolerance. for portfolio managersfor achieving long-term compromising on appreciation in price
construction, a wide range of products goals, which come at a risk of principal of gold, can be considered instead of
are available to choose from. and volatile returns, but have consistent investing in ornaments and bars.
Illustration: devAjIt borA
The Last Note

rujuta
diwekar
Nutritionist
Thats the kind of obesity where the
composition of the muscle cells,
sarcomere, changes to accommodate

Bouncing back more fat and less muscle protein. So


you might fit back into the same size
of jeans, but they dont quite look the
same on you. And now, because you
are overall fatter than what you used
to be, your vulnerability to
developing lifestyle diseases
increases. Lets look at how you can
maintain a balance between looking
after the child and yourself.

To exercise or not

Into shaPE
How do you plan to equip yourself
with the new role of motherhood?
Where will you possibly derive the
strength and the endurance from?
Its a job of a lifetime and both the
Get your curves back after pregnancy, brain and the muscles must be well
start exercising, stay fit and fab equipped to take it, shall I say, head
on. While exercise helps with
strength, endurance, flexibility and
reflexes, the one that is of
importance during and after
pregnancy is strength. The main
reasons arebetter strength means a
toned body; exercise has a protective
effect on the weight-bearing joints
hip and spineas they are prone to
hyper flexibility during pregnancy;
and a stronger body also means a

W
faster return to a flatter stomach.
omen must realise that whether we stay there as
not looking after unchallenged fitness queens or Keep it gentle
themselves doesnt turn continue to make the one step Weight train one to two times a week
them into better forward and two steps backwards but never on back to back days. Limit
mothers. This ability to journey towards weight loss will the total number of sets to 12 per
think about ourselves before the baby, depend on our attitude. Whether we workout session. Ensure that you
like they tell us in the safety briefing are sensible enough to be patient, and have had a meal before exercising or
during air travel, needs strength. This fearless enough to eat in such a way eat a fresh fruit before exercise. Eat a
strength comes from the spine, the as to rebuild bone and banana post exercise, before
spine that has supported the womb, muscle density, and you leave from the gym. If
allowed the uterus to expand, and support the fat-burning you are feeling sick or had a
given the pelvis its flexibility. The processes of the body. If late night, avoid exercise on
next forty days are thank you, my we take the impatient and that day. Take adequate but
friend time. Feeding and lactating, insensible route of crash measured rests between sets.
carrying the baby around, changing dieting, then the body Ensure that there is a proper
nappies, everything from here on is may lose weight for a warm up and cool down and
also going to burden the spine. The short while and even look include stretching in both.
key here is to not just rebuild the like it has shrunk, but Pages 220 Excerpts from Pregnancy
Price `250
strength in the spine but to also make then we will begin to westland NotesBefore, During & After
it stronger than ever. But again, suffer from sacro-obesity. Publications by Rujuta Diwekar

32 IndIa Today Woman july, 2017


Illustration: anIrban ghosh
DIGITAL EDITION

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TENSIONS RISE AS CHINA STEPS UP THE RHETORIC.


HOW DO WE STACK UP MILITARILY?

ITE china cover FINAL.indd 1 26/07/17 10:51 pm

PLEASE CONTINUE
TO YOUR FREE MAGAZINES
JULY 2017 REVEL IN INSIDE THE
THE FAMED CITYS MOST
JULY 2017 AUGUST 2017
POETS GLORY STUNNING
AT GHALIB HOMES
WELLNESS SPECIAL KI HAVELI

A MONTHLY CITY MAGAZINE

Making a difference A MONTHLY CITY MAGAZINE

TOP 10 ALSO ALSO


SPAS OUR PICK OF SANJAY GHOSH
THE MONTH ON HIS 200-METRE
5 PHOTO MINIATURE MODEL
STORYTELLERS RAILWAY SYSTEM

10 MONSOON
SKINCARE TIPS EXECUTIVE SOUS CHEF
TEJAS SOVANI, THE
OBEROI, GURGAON
Not for sale. To be circulated free with India Today in Mumbai, Delhi & NCR, Chennai,
Bangalore and Kolkata. Supplement to India Today issue dated August 7, 2017

Natural
DCP No.: F. 2. (I - 20) Press / 2007

Beauty
A MALL
KAVITA KHOSA, FOUNDER,
PUREARTH, SKINCARE AND
WELLNESS BRAND

High Life
YOUR GUIDE TO THE BEST OF OLD AND NEW IN LUXURY ACROPOLIS MALL, KOLKATA
FOR ALL
inside

14
Buzz
Into the City
Two fun things to look
forward to, including a
must-go-to restaurant for
authentic Japanese food.


Editor-in-Chief
Aroon Purie
Group Chief Executive Officer
Ashish Bagga
Group Editorial Director
Raj Chengappa
Editor-at-large

4
Cover Story
Kaveree Bamzai
Group Creative Editor
Nilanjan Das
Luxe Living
Group Photo Editor A curated list of the best of old
Bandeep Singh
and new luxury buys and
experiences in the city.
Associate Editor
Mohini Mehrotra
Cover photograph by RAJWANT RAWAT
Editorial Team
Rewati Rau, Akshita Khosla
Photo Department
Vikram Sharma, Chandradeep Kumar,
M Zhazo, Rajwant Rawat
Photo Researchers OUR PICK of the month
Prabhakar Tiwari, Saloni Vaid,
Shubhrojit Brahma Time to Indulge
Design Chi Ni - the Chinese fine dining restaurant
Bhoomesh Dutt Sharma
Production
at The Roseate New Delhi is all set to ramp
Harish Aggarwal (Chief of up the excitement this monsoon with their
Production), Naveen Gupta,
Vijay Sharma, Prashant Verma exquisite unlimited dim sum menu. Choose
Layout Execution from a wide array of delectable dim sums with
Ramesh Kumar Gusain
Pradeep Singh Bhandari
choices in vegetarian, poultry, seafood, mock
meats and gluten free dim sums. The menu
Publishing Director has been carefully curated by Chef Lauah Ban
Manoj Sharma with fresh ingredients to dish out signature
Associate Publisher (Impact)
Anil Fernandes
meals with an international flair.
On from July 15 to August 20
Impact Team
Senior General Manager:
At Chi Ni, The Roseate New Delhi, Samalka,
Jitendra Lad (West) NH-8 Tel 011-71558825
General Managers:
Upendra Singh (Bangalore);
Price Rs 1,600 plus taxes per person
Kaushiky Chakraborty (East)

2 INDIA TODAY DELHI F JULY 2017


cover story

LUXE
Living RAJWANT RAWAT
AN EXTRAVAGANT STAYCATION, AN INDULGENT
SPA SESSION OR A JEWELLERY PIECE WORTH
PASSING ON AS AN HEIRLOOM, IT TAKES A TOUCH
Photograph by

OF OPULENCE TO ADD SPICE TO ONE'S EVERYDAY


LIFE. HERE'S A LIST OF THE BEST OF OLD AND NEW
LUXURY BUYS AND EXPERIENCES IN THE CITY.
by mohini mehrotra, rewati
rau and akshita khosla

FOOD

Fine Flavours
AMARANTA

There's a certain rhythm that underlines


interesting storytelling with each dish in the
tasting menu at Amaranta, the modern Indian
restaurant at The Oberoi, Gurgaon. Expect to be
2011 wowed by simple dishes that have been reinvented
and brought back to the table with creativity and
flair. The kanjivaram bajra paniyaram with
berry, lemon and mint kanji soda, nargisi
duck cutlet and quail eggs and rizala gravy
are classic examples of techniques the chef
has mastered. "The menu is brimming with
modern ideas such as dehydration, sous-
vide and fermentation but the flavours are
easily identifiable and not lost in transition,"
says Tejas Sovani, executive sous chef.
Signature Dishes 63 deg poached egg,
Seafood moilee and Wilderness with con-
fit of king mushrooms.
At The Oberoi, 443, Phase 5, Udyog Vihar,
Gurgaon Meal for two Rs 5,500 plus taxes

Chef Tejas Sovani


2009

Modern Twist
INDIAN ACCENT

Chef Manish Mehrotras fine-


dining restaurant, Indian Accent,
is a playful nostalgia of traditional
home-cooked dishes reimagined
with non traditional ingredients.
The place defines fusion and inno-
vation. What else will you call pickled
pork ribs glazed with mango chutney
or tofu medu vadai that comes with
kaffir lime gun powder and a dab of
onion chutney. To do justice to the
creative depth of the restaurant, stick
to the chefs tasting menu. Luxuriate in
the flavour of the tandoori bacon prawn
served with a wasabi malai cream or the
chettinad chicken keema with curry
leaf seviyan. Eight years down the line and
Indian Accents kitchen is still creating
some impressive food stories.
Our Tip Leave room for dessert, in
particular the warm doda burfi treacle tart
with homemade vanilla bean ice cream
thatll make your heart skip a beat.
At The Manor, 77, Friends Colony Chef Manish
Tel 9871117968 Mehrotra
Meal for two Rs 6,500
onwards
cover story BEAUTY

Nature's Bounty 2002

KAMA AYURVEDA

Little did we know that going


back to roots was not only going
to make us prettier and healthier,
but also something that would
make the world follow us. Perhaps
Vivek Sahni understood this and
created a brand revolving around
AyurvedaKama Ayurveda. "The
idea of launching an Ayurvedic
brand came after working for two
years on a project with the govern-
ment for Khadi and Village Indus-
tries Commission. I was asked to
design gift packaging for the Khadi
M ZHAZO

Village Industries and it ended


up becoming a two-year project
Photograph by

where I created a range of products,


worked with manufacturers, and Vivek Sahni
helped train people to source the
best products. Finally, we opened a
store at Lok Nayak Bhawan, Delhi,
and the project was a success," says
Pure Bliss 2013
in 2013 with a wellness range that
BEAUTYSOURCE.IN
Sahni. In the course of these two outnumbers its chemically enhanced
years, Sahni gained knowledge competitors. This one-stop destina-
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is
about natural cosmetic products. tion for luxury products has a curat-
fleeting but it does not hurt to take
Armed with this, he and his part- ed selection from all over the world
care of your skin, hair and body
ners Rajshree Pathy, Vikram Goyal and offers the best of brands online.
once in a while. And while youre at
and Dave Chang, Sahni founded What's Special Products have
it, make sure to keep yourself away
Kama Ayurveda in 2002. Known protective, preventive and corrective
from superficial gloss and unnatural
for its iconic all-natural beauty powers.
substances. When it comes to indul-
products and treatments such as What Can You Find Exfoliators,
gence and luxury, Ragini Mehra, 52,
Bringadi Intensive Hair Treatment bath gels, makeup brushes and se-
understands the modern customer
and Kumkumadi Miraculous Beauty rums. At beautysource.in
very well. She founded beautysource.
Fluid, Kama Ayurveda has acquired
VIKRAM SHARMA
a cult following in the country and
Photograph by

internationally.
USP Hundred percent natural veg-
etarian products with no artificial
colours, artificial fragrance, petro-
chemicals, parabens, urea, propyl-
ene glycol.
At kamaayurveda.com and all Kama
Ayurveda stores across the city
Price Rs 2,295 for Kumkumadi
Miraculous Beauty Fluid

Ragini Mehra
cover story FASHION

Home Grown
11.11/ELEVEN ELEVEN

This brand is an ideal amalgamation


of luxury and eco-friendly ethos. Shani
Himanshu, founder, works on creating
links between farmers, weavers, natural
dyeing and block printing traditions.
"At 11.11 / eleven eleven weve been
working with khadi for many years and
use 100 per cent natural dyes. We pre-
fer to use the term homespun as most
of the khadi fabric is spun on the am-
ber charkha and produced in cottage
industries," says Himanshu. One of the
best examples of this is the ahimsa silk
saree made with real silver zari yarn.
What's New For Autumn Winter
2017 collection, 11.11/eleven eleven
explores the strong sense of identity
and the migratory pattern from the
Banjara tribe. It gets its inspiration
from abstract geometric forms that
1991 use fine bandhani work on khadi cot-
Rohit Bal ton and silk.
Price Rs 5,000 to Rs 30,000
At The Grey Garden Flagship
Fashion and chain stitch embroideries from concept store in Hauz Khas Village,
Ogaan, Good Earth
Forward
Kashmir, which he deconstructed
to make jackets. And then, at his
ROHIT BAL first-ever fashion show, he had car-
ried sacks of dried Chinar leaves. Shani Himanshu
2009
The ornate zardozi work on rich Nostalgia is what always forces
black velvet is testimony to cel- creation, he says. Now, as the new
ebrated designer Rohit Bal's com- minister of textiles Smriti Irani goes
mitment to the craft. This collection for a unique public-private partner-
was inspired by Russia, and in a way ship involving designers to push the
he says it reminds him of Kashmir cause of handloom, Bal wants to
where he grew up and spent hours open a cluster in Kashmir. Having
at a tailor's shop trying to design his completed 25 years in fashion last
own clothes. In a black and white year, Bal remains the undisputed
photo from his childhood, the de- king of drama and couture who
signer is wearing a cardigan with flo- has kept his love for the ornate and
ral embroidery. Years later, the floral flamboyance consistent. However
embroidery finds a prominent place his eagerness to experiment is un-
on his garments that are flamboyant dying and unshakable. "I want to do
M ZHAZO

and embody "luxury". more," says Bal.


Early Start At 14, he had decided Price On Request
At D-31, First Floor, Defence
Photograph by

that he wanted to be a designer, and


his first collection had the creole Colony Tel 40586102
cover story JEWELLERY

All that Glitters


2011

NIRAV MODI JEWELLERY

Nirav Modi's "chance encounter" with


jewellery design has given accessory
aficionados something to dream about.
"It all began when a friend asked me
to create a pair of earrings for her. I
sourced the best solitaire diamonds
and turned them into an imaginative
pair of earrings; I did not anticipate the
joy it would give my friend, and how
her pride and belief in what I had cre-
ated would be an eventual catalyst for
the NIRAV MODI brand," says Modi.
Whats New The latest Sunburst
Collection draws essence from the Art
Deco movement, featuring bold geo-
metric shapes and rich colour.
Price Starts from Rs 14, 50,000
At D-33, Varun Marg, Defence Colony
Nirav Modi

Jewels of Desire
2009

EINA AHLUWALIA

Eina Ahluwalia recalls her most memorable


moment, when her Kirpan necklace unveiled
at the Lakme Fashion Week 2010 met with a
collective gasp from the audience and left a few
with goose bumps and tears. Over the years,
Ahluwalia has created a new kind of space for
jewellery and has been one of the most con-
ceptual designers in India. Her strength of
inspiration and design came from her own
Eina Ahluwalia sister's domestic abuse saga. According to
her, her jewellery is not about ornamenta-
tion, "On the contrary, it is a liberating
expression of ones personality. It speaks of who
we are, how we think," she says.
Latest Pick Her recent collaboration with
Swarovski has yielded a dazzling, limited edition
range of earrings, neckpieces and finger rings, aptly
christened Rruhi. Sleek, elegant and luxe, the line
is part of Confluence by Swarovski and is Ahluwa-
lias first tryst with crystals.
Details einaahluwalia.com Tel 9831059125

8 INDIA TODAY DELHI F JULY 2017


cover story HOTEL
2011

Utopian Aura
THE LEELA PALACE

Reflecting the borders of Lutyenss Delhi, The Leela


Palace is a true testimony to grandeur. With its rich
heritage art and spectacular flower decorations, this
monument of luxury almost immediately teleports
your mind and soul (if not your body) to the Mughal
era. The capitals only modern palace hotel, it has a
spectrum of facilities and a zealous staff that really go
out of their way to make your stay extraordinary. The
hotel has an opulently decorated lobby with cutting-
edge decor and soaring architectural elements. Book
1978 yourself into one of their grand deluxe room that is a

Classic Appeal perfect mix of aesthetic design and superlative luxury.


Global Flavours The hotel has an impressive ar-
ITC MAURYA LUXURY COLLECTION ray of gourmet restaurants offering a flavour for every
refined palate. We suggest you reserve a table
That it is almost always the preferred choice for various at Le Cirque, the first Indian outpost of the famed
dignitaries from all over the world bears testimony to its New York restaurant for a thrilling gastronomical
heritage. With 437 luxury rooms including 25 suites that expedition. With its casual elegance, restrained but
overlook stretches of the city's green cover, the hotel's attentive service, this refined French-Italian restaurant
opulence and service remains undisputedly A-class. revolves around an open kitchen. We could keep going
Eat Treat One of the many reasons to stay at ITC back for the potato and porcini mushroom ravioli in a
Maurya is to experience the fine dining experiences at creamy morel sauce.
the hotel's award winning restaurants Bukhara, Dum Price Starts at Rs 12,875 plus taxes per night
Pukht and Tian-Asian Cuisine Studio. At The Leela Palace, Diplomatic Enclave,
At Diplomatic Enclave, Sardar Patel Marg Tel 26112233 Chanakyapuri
cover story SPA

Expert Hands
THE AHELI AT ROSEATE HOUSE

The first thing that one notices at The


Aheli is the abundance of natural light
pouring in through the glass ceilings,
bathing the entire spa in effulgent
sunlight. The spa interiors are 2016
minimalistic, the walls in soothing
shades of white and gray with a
generous use of natural elements like oil) which is an exercise in hedonism,
wood, stone and a riot of greenery. for expert hands manipulate, tug and
Our Favourite We decide on the stretch every stiff knot out of your body
Aheli signature spa which is a person- till you feel as languid as a Cheshire
alised 90 minute ritual which starts cat. At the end of this treatment, you
with a 15 minute sauna to raise the will have left the stress of the
body temperature in order to make work-week far behind, as you head
it more receptive to the treatment. back home rejuvenated and refreshed.
A sea-salt foot scrub is followed by a At Samalka, NH-8
massage (with a soothing pinewood Price Rs 6,500 for The Aheli ritual

2015

of treatments by expert hands, this


soothing space is a relaxation haven.
We Recommend If holistic reju-
venation is what youre looking at,
Sushupti is the ideal treatment.
A combination of thorough exfolia-
tion and massage, Sushupti is a quick
remedy for revitalising your skin and
body. A natural mixture of rice, honey
and cream is used to exfoliate the
skin. It is then made to seep deep
into your body with a soft condition-
ing wrap. This is later washed with
a mix of warm milk, sprinkled with
flower petals. The final leg of the
treatment involves an excellent aro-

Rest Assured Indulgence comes in many forms and


perhaps a spa, being one of the most
matherapy massage. Remember to
keep your phone camera ready to
JIVA SPA, TAJ PALACE pampering. The sprawling Jiva Spa click a quick selfie capturing the new
at Taj Hotel is a sanctuary where you you after two hours of pampering.
can immerse yourself into the world Price Rs 7,500
of ultimate luxury. Offering an array At Taj Palace, Delhi

10 INDIA TODAY DELHI F JULY 2017


HOME & INTERIORS

RAJWANT RAWAT

Creative
Photograph by

Spaces
1995

CASA PARADOX

Founded by Raseel Gujral Ansal,


52, and Navin Ansal, 59 in 1995,
Casa Paradox has been the go-to
place for luxe home decor and
soft furnishings.
New Leaf The brand has now
decided to merge their retail and
design concept under one roof.
The new store, Casa Paradox
Prive will not just house signature
decor pieces but also be an expe-
riential space. Called Casa Para-
dox Luxe, the space is designed
like a farmhouse, replete with all
the rooms. "We want to create a
lifestyle and environment which
is private that gives the custom-
ers a feeling of reassurance," says
Raseel Gujral Ansal.
At 10, Central Drive, DLF Chat-
Raseel Gujral Ansal and Navin Ansal tarpur Farms Price On request

2013 Chic Customisation


THE V RENAISSANCE
Photograph by M ZHAZO
The V Renaissancea bespoke
brandconceptualises your
inner self through photography
and translates it onto fine can-
vases. The brand was founded
by lensman, Vipul Amar, 41, in
2013, who joined hands with the
creatively inclined psychologist
Harsheen Arora. V is inspired by
classics. Our furniture pieces are
made timeless by accentuating
them with original brass and solid
teak wood, says Amar.
The Process Bespoke art
includes a personalised photo
shoot and translating it into a
piece of art.
Price Rs 30,000 onwards
Details thevrenaissance.com

Vipul Amar
Photographs by RAMESH SHARMA

Feature Ghalib ki Haveli was accorded


the status of a heritage site
SECRET IN THE CITY by Archaeological Survey
of India after a 1997 High

A POETS Court judgement.

ABODE A DOSE OF
Tucked away in Ballimaran bazaar in Old Delhis Chandni Chowk, HISTORY
Ghalib ki Haveli is a 300-year-old historical building turned museum,
where you can revel in the famed poet's glory. One of the walls sheds light
on Ghalib's favouriteshis
most liked dishes such as
_ By Akshita Khosla taley hue kebab, bhuna gosht,
sohan halwa and aam ka
achaar, and his trademark
Echos of the Past A Legend's Legacy baalon waali lambi topi and
What Shakespeare is to English, Head here for a peek into our rich 'lamba kurta' which were his
Mirza Ghalib is to Urdu. Born in cultural history and to get mes- favourite attire. His weakness
for alcohol, avid interest
Agra as Mirza Asadullah Khan, merised by Ghalib's unparalleled
in patangbaazi (kite flying)
Ghalib's works on sadness, despair legacy. This dimly lit museum also and gambling, and love for
and love have won people's hearts witnessed the bloodshed of the mangoes have been depicted
all over the world. The haveli- revolt of 1857 and the decline of by write-ups.
turned-memorial museum is now the Mughal Empire.
decked in bright red drapery and At Gali Qasim Jaan, Ballimaran,
dainty chandeliers to recreate the Forgotten Treasure Chandni Chowk
Timings 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Mughal era, and offers insight into The poet's last photograph,
Closest metro station
the poet's lifestyle. It was here hand-written letters, a life-size Chandni Chowk
that Ghalib wrote some of his portrait in a realistic setting with a Stays shut on Mondays
finest verses and ghazals before hookah in his hand, and a bust of Entry Free
he breathed his last in 1869. Ghalib is what you will find here.

12 INDIA TODAY DELHI F JULY 2017


city buzz l [ N E W I N TOW N ] 2
things to look
forward to

Feast from
the East
I
t's time for the lovers of Kylin, the polular Asian restaurant, to get excited once again for it has recently
launched a new offshoot (its first) in the city called ShopHouse by Kylin at One Horizon Centre, DLF Golf
Course Road. This brand new concept is inspired by the shophouses of South-East Asia, which serve flavour-
ful, local cuisine from scratch. ShopHouse by Kylin, brings you an exciting experience in Pan-Asian cuisine, with
delicious food, served fast, without being fast food. The cuisine brings together the food cultures of Japan, China,
Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore. The highlight of the menu here is the do-it-yourself bowl meals, which allow
you to mix and match combinations and curries for the perfect balance in flavour.
Price Rs 485 for a meal bowl At One Horizon Centre, DLF Golf Course Road

[ L I ST I N G ]

A TASTE OF JAPAN
Wasabi by Morimoto at the Taj Mahal Hotel will celebrate
its 10th year of culinary excellence in August 2017. To
commemorate this occasion, Chef Masaharu Morimoto,
known for the Japanese TV cooking show Iron Chef will
present a host of signature gastronomic extravaganzas
with a specially curated anniversary menu. So get ready
for sessions of sushi rolling and more, as you learn the
history of the resplendent cuisine with the master
chef himself.
On August 11 and 12 At Number One, Mansingh Road
Tel 011-66513585 Price Rs 5,000 onwards (call for details)

14 INDIA TODAY DELHI F JULY 2017


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THE FAMED CITYS MOST
JULY 2017 AUGUST 2017
POETS GLORY STUNNING
AT GHALIB HOMES
WELLNESS SPECIAL KI HAVELI

A MONTHLY CITY MAGAZINE

Making a difference A MONTHLY CITY MAGAZINE

TOP 10 ALSO ALSO


SPAS OUR PICK OF SANJAY GHOSH
THE MONTH ON HIS 200-METRE
5 PHOTO MINIATURE MODEL
STORYTELLERS RAILWAY SYSTEM

10 MONSOON
SKINCARE TIPS EXECUTIVE SOUS CHEF
TEJAS SOVANI, THE
OBEROI, GURGAON
Not for sale. To be circulated free with India Today in Mumbai, Delhi & NCR, Chennai,
Bangalore and Kolkata. Supplement to India Today issue dated August 7, 2017

Natural
DCP No.: F. 2. (I - 20) Press / 2007

Beauty
A MALL
KAVITA KHOSA, FOUNDER,
PUREARTH, SKINCARE AND
WELLNESS BRAND

High Life
YOUR GUIDE TO THE BEST OF OLD AND NEW IN LUXURY ACROPOLIS MALL, KOLKATA
FOR ALL
inside

16
Buzz
City Life
Nine exciting things to
look forward to this month
including a decadent spa
session at Raichak on
Ganges.


Editor-in-Chief
Aroon Purie
Group Chief Executive Officer
Ashish Bagga
Group Editorial Director
Raj Chengappa

4
Cover Story
The Inside Story
Editor-at-large
Kaveree Bamzai
Group Creative Editor Homes in the city that are a visual
Nilanjan Das
Group Photo Editor
delight and a whole lot of inspiration for
Bandeep Singh those looking to revamp their interiors.

Associate Editor Cover photograph by ABHIJIT ADYA;


Mohini Mehrotra Model SOURASRITA BHATTACHARYYA; Makeup by MALAY ROY
Editorial Team
Akshita Khosla, Rewati Rau
Photo Department
Vikram Sharma
Photo Researchers
Prabhakar Tiwari, Saloni Vaid, OUR PICK of the month
Shubhrojit Brahma
Design
Start from Scrap
Bhoomesh Dutt Sharma A brand new addition to the citys drink-and-
Production
Harish Aggarwal (Chief of
dine scene, Scrapyard is one quirky place.
Production), Naveen Gupta, The 10th-floor restaurant cum brewery packs
Vijay Sharma, Prashant Verma in an auction bar (the price for your drinks
Layout Execution
Ramesh Kumar Gusain
are inversely proportional to the demand)
Pradeep Singh Bhandari and an al fresco terrace lounge furnished with
hospital beds to sprawl on, while chilling over
Publishing Director a few rounds of hookah. The menu focusses
Manoj Sharma
Associate Publisher (Impact)
on typical pub-gruba range of kebabs, piz-
Anil Fernandes zas and finger foodalong with a small but
appetising selection of mains.
Impact Team
Senior General Manager:
At Usha Kiran Building, 10th Floor, 12-A,
Jitendra Lad (West) Camac Street
General Managers: Meal For Two Rs 1,100 plus taxes
Upendra Singh (Bangalore);
Kaushiky Chakraborty (East)

2 INDIA TODAY KOLKATA F AUGUST 2017


Luxury furniture
designer, Patricia
Fernandez
4 INDIA TODAY KOLKATA F AUGUST 2017
cover story

The
INSIDE
Story
THESE HOMES IN THE CITY ARE A VISUAL DELIGHT AND A WHOLE LOT OF
INSPIRATION FOR THOSE LOOKING TO REVAMP THEIR INTERIORS.
by priyadarshini chatterjee

Strong Statement
PATRICIA FERNANDEZ

S
panish expat and luxury furniture designer four-poster bed from luxury furniture house JC Passion,
Patricia Fernandezs sprawling Alipore home a black Louis XV sideboard with gold trimmings, a burly,
occupies the ground floor of an old, colonial-style dark wood study table and plush black leather chesterfield is
bungalow with high ceilings, large French windows and decidedly Parisian with a touch of Goth. On the wall behind
retroesque black-and-white chessboard floor. The dramatic the bed hangs a particularly striking piece, a black-and-white
interiorsmoody, mysterious and bold, brilliantly abstract nude on canvas. On one of our trips to Brazil, my
showcase Fernandezs creations for her brand Sibarita, husband and I spotted a local artist adding finishing touches
while cleverly combining them with collectors pieces to this painting, inside a small art gallery tucked in
from around the worlda vintage Timothy Oulton chair, an obscure lane in Salvador de Bahia and I sim-
a wood-and-lacquer Mongolian cabinet picked up in ply couldn't resist it," says Fernandez, 38.
Singapore and a mirrored mahogany sideboard re-
vived from a crumbling North Kolkata mansion. Quirky Additions
The space is speckled with bold, statement The house is a treasure trove of eccentric accessories
pieces like an enormous wood-carved statue ranging from dramatic Venetian Mardi Gras dolls
of an anonymous king from Srilanka that and anthropomorphic rabbit dolls to flamboyant
stands near the bar, an 18th century papier hats, a reindeer hide rug from Finland, smiling hu-
mache Buddha from Burma, and a giant, man skulls (thankfully, an imitation) and a spray-
architectural bird-cage (a Sibarita signature painted door lifted out of Fernandezs previous
piece) imaginatively used as a candle holder. apartment. A series of artist Bakula Nayaks
quirky and endearing doodles on vintage
Star Spot papers ranging from old legal documents and
Done predominantly in black and white, the size- store receipts to love letters adorn the walls in
able bedroom with its lacquered wood Art Deco the stunning bar-cum-lounge.

Photographs by SUBIR HALDAR


AUGUST 2017 F INDIA TODAY KOLKATA 5
cover story

Visual Delight
BOMTI IYENGAR

A
rt collector and dealer Bomti
Iyengars Chowringhee lane
apartment on the third floor
of a century-old colonial building
that once housed Asias largest
departmental store, Whiteways
Laidlaw & Co is steeped in the citys
colonial past. These flats were
originally occupied by high-ranking
officers of the store. We moved in in the
70s, says Iyengar, 56, who has brilliantly
preserved the old-world charm of this
3,500-square-feet apartment.

Art Factor
MF Husain, SH Raza and KG
Subramanyan share the cream walls with
Jamini Roy, Paritosh Sen and Sunil Das.
A particularly natty piece of furniture is an
antique Burma teak sideboard well over
a century old, with lion-paw legs that look
uncannily real. The base for the glass-
topped coffee-table at the centre of the
lounge area has been carved out of one
section of a three piece, billiard table. My
grandmother inherited one portion of
the billiards table, while the remaining
two went to her sisters, says Iyengar.

Collectors Cache
Iyengar has a remarkable inventory of
collectibles and artsy artefactsprized
possessions include the surviving pieces
of an antique Tsutsumi coffee set that
was a part of Iyengars grandmothers
wedding trousseau, a three-piece
sculpture by sculptor Jiban Doloi picked
up by Iyengars mother on a trip to
Shantiniketan, a bronze horse chariot
from Greece and a classic silver cigarette
box from the iconic Hamilton & Co that
still sits on the centre table.

6 INDIA TODAY KOLKATA F AUGUST 2017


Designer's Den
SNEHA SINGHI AND RADHIKA SINGHI

L
e Cordon Bleu alumnus and founder of the colour palettemostly white, beige, pearl and ivory
immensely popular Paris Caf, 24 year old with touches of pastel pinks and blues gets a touch
chef Sneha Singhis Ballygunge home of opulence from silvered Damask and muted gold
is an endearing combination of rustic and con- textured wallpapers, chic upholstery designed by
temporary design sensibilities. The interiors, done Radhika and ornate, gilded chandeliers.
by Singhis mother, designer Radhika Singhi, 43,
bank heavily on the latter's penchant for earthy co- Labour of Love
lours, rural handicrafts and textiles, and a knack for A large chunk of hollow bricks and mortar, picked
ornamentation, inlay work and embellishments. up from a mound of roadside debris enjoys a glory
spot in the family living room on the first floor.
Glam Factor But its no ordinary rubble. This ones steeped in
The formal lounge area on the ground floor where history, says Radhika. Its a fragment from one of
the family hosts their guests, is quite a contrast to the the walls of the Writers Building knocked down
rest of the house. Sparingly accessorised, the spa- during renovation. I saw it lying by the road and fell
cious lounge with large floor-to-ceiling glass win- in love with it, she adds. Radhika has ingeniously
dows is minimalist yet modish. Earthy and rustic transformed it into an art installation of sorts by
is my signature style, but I also have a soft spot for filling up the hollows of bricks with a range of or-
Victorian design sensibilities," she explains. The soft nate copper figurines and ornaments.

Radhika (left) and


Sneha Singhi

AUGUST 2017 F INDIA TODAY KOLKATA 7


cover story

An Eye for Art


ASHISH AND SHEFALI PODDAR

E
ntrepreneur Ashish Poddar and wife Kamal Sharmaall depicting cows. On the
Shefalis home on Gurusaday road is coffee table sits a motley wood-carved cow
a lesson in biophilic design. Designed brought from Rajasthan
by Ashish, a scion of the illustrious BP Pod-
dar family, the architecture incorporates the Prized Possessions
natural light and surrounding greenery into A signature Narayan Sinha Durga installation
the stunning interiors of the house through a crafted with curious objects like bronze
liberal and strategic use of glass. thalis, manjeera (cymbals) split into halves,
a broken fragment of a pancha pradeep and
Cozy Corner other scrap metal bric-a-brac, which stands
A more intimate space is a cozy lounge with on the foyer is a stunning introduction to
a low lounge bed strewn with colourful this home. Shrinathji is ubiquitous in the
cushions and sink in couches. Interestingly, form of Pichhwai paintings and ornate sculp-
this room has been christened The Cow tures. A particularly fetching piece is
Room after its walls which are lined with an intricately woven image of Shrinathji in
paintings and artworksoil paintings by silk, crafted by weavers at Shefalis own
Laxman Aelay, an antique Kamdhenu textiles workshop that caters to a
Tanjore painting and a gold foil mural by niche clientele.

Shefali Poddar

8 INDIA TODAY KOLKATA F AUGUST 2017


Anushree Jhunjhunwala with
daughter Divina and son Shivang

Matter of Taste
ANUSHREE AND ANUDEEP JHUNJHUNWALA

A
trained interior designer, Anushree themed cushions. The bedroom, livened
Jhunjhunwala, 33, has refrained from up with colourful pennants, dream catchers,
a career in her field. However, when porcelain dolls from Austria, a princess crown
she moved into her new home with her hus- wall dcor, fairytale chandelier and fantasy
band Anudeep Jhunjhunwala, 34, and two photo frames lend a distinctly dreamy air. We
kids, she put her heart and soul in fashioning have tried to move away from stereotypes by
a beautiful space for her family. keeping it understated and sticking to pastels,
instead of bright colours usually associated
Children in Focus with kids rooms, says Anushree.
However, the Jhunjhunwalas' six-year-old
daughter Divina, and three-year-old son Special Souvenirs
Shivang, clearly have the best rooms in the A limited edition series of bronze figurines
house. The casual playroom packs in a play-in from Italy that depict the four elements of
unit, modelled on a beach house, complete nature sit on the console in the casual dining
with a bunk bed and storage units on the side, area, while a pure silver vintage car with a shiny
a fun cabinet studded with carved letters of leather hood that Anushree inherited from her
the alphabet and day-bed strewn with sailor- father enjoys a glory spot in the living.

AUGUST 2017 F INDIA TODAY KOLKATA 9


cover story

Eclectic and
Experimental
DEVINA AND SHRIVANT MORE

H
ome dcor bigwigs Devina, 32
and Shrivant More, 33, best
known for their quirky sense of
aesthetics have recently given their Gar-
cha Lane home a stunning makeover.

Stand-out Zone
The muddy olive accent wall behind the
ornate carved wood bar counter is imagi-
natively done with a mixed media stag
head installation, antique junk and plants
to illustrate a tribal narrative. A striking
collage portrait of a tribal chief made with
vintage paper cuttings from newspapers,
magazines, old novels and handwritten
letters by a local artist makes for a stun-
ning centerpiece. A canoe the couple
brought back from Amsterdam has been
transformed into a corner cabinet.

Eye Catchers
A wood-carved guitar designed by Shri-
vant is quite the conversation piece. It is
embellished with quirky knick-knacks
ranging from antique keys and turtle
locks to rusty screwdrivers, old buttons,
coins, cycle parts and even badges from
his school. On the other end of the living
room stands a preserved tree trunk with
an intricate crown of gnarled branches,
flown in from Europe. However, one of
the most striking statement pieces at the
More home is a life-size leather horse by
ace designer Andrew Martin, which stands
regally in the living room. The saddle on
the horses back however comes with a
story. We wanted a saddle that had aged
right and went scrounging for one. Finally,
we picked this up from the stables of an
elite club in the city, says Devina.

Shrivant and Devina More

10 INDIA TODAY KOLKATA F AUGUST 2017


Feature

CAPTURING
THE CITY
Four Insta-favourite street photogra-
phers talk about their achievements,
discoveries and their love for the city.
_ By Priyadarshini Chatterjee

Kallol
Bhattacharjee
Insta stats
Handle @kallol_b_
photography_2017
Followers 3.2k

Kolkata is a great subject because?


This citys stunning cultural pluralism is
what inspired me the most. Besides, the city is
gifted with diverse landscapes.
Favourite spots in Kolkata
The Nakhoda Mosque. One of my particularly
special photographs is that of a crowd gathered
in the marble-laid courtyard of the mosque
during Iftar, with the gorgeous mosque clock in
the frame that denoted the exact time of Iftar.
You love to capture
Juxtapositions (a technical term for
bringing out the similarities or dissimilarities
between elements in a photograph).
Street photography sets you free of?
My inhibitions. I no longer worry about
onlookers. Everything other than me and
my frame dissolves.
An achievement you are proud of
Getting featured in Reportage by Getty
Images, an International Community of
Photo Journalism.

Srimallya Maitra
Insta stats
Handle @srimallya
Followers 6.4k

You love to capture?


Time is my favourite subject. I freeze moments
with my camera so I can revisit them anytime.
The streets excite you because?
The light, the rhythm, the motion or the colour
palate of the streets cannot
Feature

be controlled.
A city you would like to explore
I am attracted to places that evoke
timelessness. For me, Prague
epitomises that.
Secret to your Insta-success
I think it is my honesty and constant
attempt at originality. I try not to be
influenced by other photographers,
keep edits to a minimum, and preserve
the simplicity of an image.
Favourite spots in Kolkata
It has to be Kumartulitheres a strange
solace in the chaos one encounters here.
Trials of capturing city streets
The need to be constantly aware of your
surroundings and keep predicting the
next moment.

Soumyodeep
Mukherjee
Insta stats
Handle
@13_no_soumyoh
Followers 5.1k

Love for streets of Kolkata
The citys knack for throwing surprises
is what I love the most. frames and stories in the lanes of Purani should be able to comprehend the story
Cities with beautiful city-scape Mandi or the vibrant churi bazaar. simply by looking at my photo.
Delhi, Varanasi, and even Chennai have Best shot
rather interesting streets. But Puri is Sammya A photograph I shot with a point and
my favouritethe lively wall art in vivid Brata Mullick shoot canon camera in Cherrapunji,
colours that adorn the houses here Insta Stats my first ever, holds a special spot. Its a
make for fantastic photographs. Handle @ picture I keep returning to.
deckle_edge
Discoveries youve made Followers 16.1k Secret for Insta-success
I discovered that Kolkata has an I think it is consistentency. I do not
interesting wrestling scene, and that dabble in multiple genres.
there is a dedicated press that publishes Favourite subject Achievements close
a newspaper in Chinese language. I love capturing the diverse textures, to your heart
A click that got you in trouble colour, tone and patterns of the city. My photographs have featured twice
Once, in Puri, I spotted an old Panda Besides that, I have an affinity for doors on the Lonely Planet Calendar.
(temple priest) chanting and singing and windows. One of my photographs, a shot of
with a group of pilgrims. I found his An exciting discovery in the city a balloon seller standing on a rain-
face, his expressions in particular, very I was particularly surprised to discover drenched Park Street made it to the
interesting. I walked right up to him that the city has a vibrant graffiti scene. cover of Soul City Inside stories from
and clicked a close-up. Furious, he The area around Park Street and New Calcutta, a book curated by Preeti
threw his khanjani at me, yelling Market has some fascinating graffiti art Roychoudhury. Besides, Calcutta
and cursing. that I love. Instagrammers, a group I founded,
Streets you are dying to capture Your mantra organised the only instagram
Agra. I am sure Ill find many interesting My photographs capture stories. People exhibition ever hosted in the country.

12 INDIA TODAY KOLKATA F AUGUST 2017


Shah Nawaz
continues to
sell an assort-
ment of vintage
vinyl LPs from a
dingy stall

Photograph by SUBIR HALDER

Feature
SECRET IN THE CITY

NOTES OF NOSTALGIA
Head to this seventy-year-old shop in the city to find the rarest collection of vinyl LPs.

_ By Priyadarshini Chatterjee

W
hile walking down Mirza Ghalib Street towards family legacy, says Shah Nawaz, whose personal collec-
New Market, keeping strictly to the left, it is hard tion of vinyls boast rare numbers like a 78 RPM Jana Gana
to miss the Instagram-worthy gramophone Mana record from the early sixties, an Iron Maiden limited
propped up on a podium placed on the footpath, right edition Picture Disc (a collectors item) from the 80s and
in front of a tiny shop called Vibrations. The shop sells hard-to-find vinyl of RD Burmans Pantera, his only inter-
inexpensive clothes and fashion accessories but it was not national album recorded in San Francisco in 1987.
always a garment shop. And the gramophone is a vestige of
it's far removed past. It stands as a reminder of Eclectic Notes
the times when the septuagenarian shop was The stall, nothing more than a few racks
thronged by the citys music lovers. mounted on the crumbling wall of an old
building with rickety wooden doors, caters
Love Lost to a niche audience mainly comprising back-
"The steady decline in demand for cassettes packers who throng the hotels in nearby
and records forced us to wind-up the original Sudder Street, casual collectors who pick up
business," says 32-year-old Md Shah Nawaz, a few LPs and a few serious vinyl junkies who
THE
whose grandfather set up Vibrations seven GO-GETTER
come for the sound of analog recordings. The
decades ago. However, Shah Nawaz continues collection is an eclectic mix of Eastern and
to sell an interesting assortment of vintage If given enough Western musicLarry Gatlin and the Gatlin
time, the shop
vinyl LPs from a dingy stall a few steps away. Brother share a shelf with Pandit Dulal Roy
guarantees to
source in any
and Himangshu Biswas, and Mozarts Piano
Treasure Trove Vinyl label a Concert, stands next to the vinyl LP album
For Shah Nawaz, the record stall is not merely customer might of German Electronic music band Kraftwerks
a token from the past, it is his bequest. This request. 1978 release The Man machine.
shop is our feeble attempt to keep alive our w AT Near Mirza Ghalib Street Fire Station
Feature

CHUGGING
Sanjay Ghosh might be best known
for his stellar collection of vintage and
classic cars that has won him as many as

AHEAD
250 trophies on the rally circuit, but the
champion automobile enthusiast has
yet another hobby not many know of.
On Sunday afternoons, Ghosh is most
likely to be found locked up in a 250
square foot room in the garden of his
Ballygunge address, polishing his prized
Car enthusiast Sanjay Ghosh's incredibly detailed German-manufactured vintage model
miniature railway system is one of his most locomotives, re-installing a loose wiring,
treasured possessions. or scrubbing miniature railway tracks with
petrol. He was introduced to rail transport
_ By Priyadarshini Chatterjee
modelling by his father at the age of eight,
who gifted him a 1959 Marklin HO which now covers 200 square feet were spent in creating the new lay out.
Gauge Model Railway System. of space. I worked meticulously for three hours
every day to build this, says Ghosh.
THE INCEPTION FACE LIFT
The set my father brought for me However, in 1988, the lack of space THE HIGHLIGHT
comprised a few tracks, one engine forced Ghosh to dismantle the old The tracks run through imaginary
and three coaches, but it triggered model. It remained locked in storage townships complete with miniature
a keen interest in me and I started for 20 years, until Ghosh decided houses (most of them handcrafted),
pursuing railway modelling to restore it in 2008. Every com- streets, a gas station, lamp posts,
seriously, reminisces Ghosh. He ponent had become defunct, says traffic signals and cars, through tun-
would go scrounging for accessories Ghosh. It took him a year and a half nels and across a bridge, designed
for his modelold auction houses, and long hours of back-breaking work along the lines of the Bally Bridge
foreign visitors and the Indian Hobby to restore the components. Contacts by Ghosh. Tiny human figures,
Centre being his chief sourcesto in Germany helped him procure the including an ice cream vendor and
innovate and expand his collection, necessary parts. Another two years a monkey trainer crowd the plat-
Photograph by SUBIR HALDAR
form, complete with a waiting room
and benches. A steam engine chugs
along the tracks, quite by surprise
soft curls of white steam rises out of
its tiny chimney. Ghosh points out
excitedly at the boom barrier at a
level crossing that slowly descends as
the engine passes through.

AN EYE FOR DETAIL


Rail yards, a turn-table for changing
directions of steam locomotives, a
goods yard fitted with a crane with a
built-in magnet that lifts and depos-
its iron scrap into a truck positioned
strategically, and an elaborate sig-
THE TRACKS naling system are among the other
features of the model that has over
RUN THROUGH one thousand electrical connections.
IMAGINARY It runs on a 220 volt transformer
TOWNSHIPS with a strip down to 30 volts. I have
enough accessories to build a model
COMPLETE WITH over double the size, but space is a
MINIATURE HOUSES, problem, says Ghosh.
Once in two weeks on a Sunday,
STREETS, A GAS Ghosh cleans the entire model, one
STATION, LAMP piece at a time. It takes me more
POSTS, TRAFFIC than half a day, but I enjoy it every
time, he says. In his family, it is
SIGNALS, AND Ghoshs granddaughter who seems
ACROSS A BRIDGE to have inherited her grandfathers
passion. She is six years old and she
operates the complex system with
ease. But its not a simple task, he
says with pride, while turning the
lights off on his prized possession.

AUGUST 2017 F INDIA TODAY KOLKATA 15


city buzz l [ NEW OPENING ]
9 things to look
forward to

1 Make it Large
E
verything about My Big Fat Belly, a 20-cover casual
dining outfit on Sarat Bose Road, is big and fat. And
the focus is on stuffing your bellies. The generous por-
tion sizes, and the fact that its owners call themselves the
Bellybangers, vouch for it. The rustic interiors with its
white and exposed brick walls, industrial pendant lights
wood-and-iron tables and wall accents made out of vintage,
shutter doors, and cheerful framed posters on the walls, set
the mood for a lazy meal. Their signature main courses
feature entries like the BFB Napoleangrilled potatoes,
zucchini and bell peppers layered with slightly tangy tomato
ragu and classic bchamel sauce, and chicken skewers served
with makhni sauce made with San Marzano tomatoes. A star
dish on the menu, the bacon bomb, is a pork lovers
dream-come-true. Spicy minced pork with a gooey cheese
centre comes wrapped in streaky bacon in pool of their
signature sauce. The menu also packs in fun food challenges
Man v. Food stylegobble up dangerously fiery wings slath-
ered with secret ghost chilli sauce. The Big Belly Challenger,
a whopping 2.25 kilo burger, comes loaded with moist lamb,
crisp bacon, caramelised onions, Monterey Jack cheese,
coleslaw, fried eggs and a mound of fries, and a 20 minute
deadline.
Meal for Two Rs 700
At 22, Sarat Bose Road Tel 65444222

16 INDIA TODAY KOLKATA F AUGUST 2017


2 DECADENT AFFAIR

T
he in-house patisserie of Aauris, a luxury boutique hotel in the city,
is currently hosting a food festival christened 3C, which focusses on
three decadent ingredients and perhaps the most indulgent mem-
bers of the food universecheese, chocolate and caramel. The menu
packs in unusual entries like quirky cheese cake hybrids ranging from cheese-
cake brownie, banoffee cheesecake and a boozy Malibu cheesecake. For
chocolate lovers theres chocolate mint tart, classic chocolate mud cake and
gooey chocolate fudge cake crammed with apricots, hazelnuts and dollops
of ricotta cheese.
At Scarlet, Aauris 4, Robinson Street Kolkata

I SCREAM ICE
CREAM
The iconic Rollicks, one of the
city's favourite ice cream parlours,
recently launched a brand new
outlet in Salt Lake. The 25-seater
outfit with its fun casual setting
makes for the perfect chill zone.
The chief attraction here how-
ever is the alfresco seating with
its charming fence and funky
chairs in pop coloursa sunny
spot to indulge in some frozen
delights. The place will be serv-
ing up an impressive range of
flavours including unusual num-
bers like the rabdi and daab malai
ice creams along with Rollicks
signature range of sundaes and
milkshakes.
At AD 62, Sector 1, Salt Lake
4 A DAY AT THE SPA

I
ndulge yourself with a pampering session at Ishrats Hair, Skin and Makeup Studios brand new address on Lord Sinha
Road. The sprawling 1,150 square feet salon-studio packs in a well-appointed hair salon, a cosy facial room,
a manicure and pedicure area, a body polishing unit and a separate section dedicated to brides. The interiors are
smart and comfortable; an artificial tree decked up with vintage birdcages that stands near the reception area adds a
touch of quirk. Owned by well known hair and make-up specialist Ishrat Ansar, the studio offers a range of skin
and hair treatments. At 1/2 Lord Sinha Road

5 FOR THE LOVE


OF WEAVES
This August, Coimbatore-
based WeaveinIndia in
association with luxury
management brand Bon
Vivant will be showcasing
their range of exquisite arti-
sanal textiles in Kolkata. At MONSOON BY 6
the event titled Luxurious
Handwoven Apparel, on offer THE RIVER
will be a lovely assortment Head to Raichak on Ganges
ranging from sarees in soft to enjoy monsoons in a luxurious
linens in summery florals setting with their couples pack-
to lavish tussar, georgette, age. Feast on ilish biryani at spe-
Banarasis, blouses and cialty Bengali restaurant Sonar
fabrics along with hand- Tori, or pamper yourself at the
stitched tunics, ruffle-sleeve luxurious Anaya Spa & Salon or
shirts and pin-tucked kurtis. play a few games at the club.
At Genesis Art Gallery, 8 B At Raichak on Ganges,
Middleton Street Ffort Suites
On August 2 and 3 Price Rs 7,499 per night
7

TIPPLE TOPPLE

I
f you were among those who invariably bunked weekly
drawing classes at school because you found them
excruciatingly boring, this is your chance to see drawing in
a whole new light. At a quirky event called Cocktails and
Drawings organised by the Curry Magazine, participating
guests will be handed out paint brushes and colour boxes, only
they will come with pitchers of bottomless cocktails. A surprise
guest illustrator and artist will be present to assist participants.
At Monkey bar, 901 A, Fort Knox, 6, Camac Street
On August 12
Price Rs 1,950 per person

TEA TALES
Rain and tea make a match made in heaven, and
Yauatcha is celebrating the special connection at their
Quest Mall outlet with a range of unusual flavoured teas
including exotic green teas like strawberry and cham-
pagne, white teas like Pearl of the Caribbean, and a stun-
ning Orange and Mango Oolong Blue Tea. Plus, the
restaurant has introduced set menus for the monsoons
that feature meaty numbers like pork and prawn shui
mai, pan seared pork buns and duck salad. Vegetarians
could opt for dishes like shitake stuffed dumplings or
stir-fried lotus leafand water chestnut.
Price Starts at Rs 1,188 for a set meal;
Rs 150 for a pot of tea
At Yauatcha, Quest Mall, 33,
Syed Amir Ali Avenue
9

SWEET INDULGENCE
At the iconic Park Street tea room, famous for heritage
confections like the Silvana slices and strawberry cubes,
guests can now create their own signature cakes. The
concept christened Create Your Own allows customers
to trump up their own combination of sponges, fillings
and toppings, no matter how unusual, choosing from an
extensive assortment on offer. So, you could pair a
mint flavoured sponge with strawberry butter cream
filling, topped with nougats or slather your blueberry
sponge with chocolate ganache.
At Flurys 18A, Park Streett
On Ongoing

AUGUST 2017 F INDIA TODAY KOLKATA 19


Feature

A MALL FOR ALL


Sushil Mohta, MD Merlin Group, talks about new developments and what makes the Acropolis Mall a winner.
_ By Priyadarshini Chatterjee

Q. What makes the Acropolis Mall stand out? will sport festive themed dcor, while later in the
Acropolis is an iconic architectural masterpiece year for Christmas and New Years, our focus will
with state-of-the-art facilities. It's situated at a be on children. Along with theme-dcor that
prime location close to an area that has been would appeal to them, we will also pack in fun
a favoured shopping destination for years. activities. Besides, we will also be hosting a
Sufficient parking space, a fantastic network of mega shopping festival.
vertical transportation and a top-of-the-line
facility-management team ensure maximum Q. Any new brand making an entry?
convenience for customers and store owners We are talking to several fashion and accessories
alike. Besides, we house some of the top retail brands. Helios, the multiple brand watch store
and F&B brands in the city. from the Tata stable is coming up soon.
I must share that Starbucks is also coming to
Q. What is your USP? Acropolis soon, hopefully by January.
We believe that a mall is not merely a shopping OUR BIGGEST
destination, it have evolved into a space where USP IS
people socialise. So we strive to create a place
where people, irrespective of whether they make
THE EFFORT
a purchase or not, can come and have a good WE MAKE
time. Our biggest USP is our effort at engaging TO ENGAGE
with our customers so that they feel connected to
the space, and keep returning to it not just WITH
to shop but to have a good time. CUSTOMERS
Q. How do you forge a connect
with people coming to the mall?
Throughout the year, we organise various events
like annual inter-college fests, fashion shows,
midnight mega sales, and seasonal sales
featuring lucky draws with attractive prizes
including cars, two-wheelers and iPhones. We
have also organised magic shows and Jurassic
Park festival, complete with themed dcor and
activities for children. We use our large central
atrium for such activities.

Q. Is there any event in the pipeline?


August will feature our annual 3-day
inter-college gala Festopolis that has seen
participation from as many as 40 colleges
at a time, while in September the mall will
host a fun bakery festival.

Q. How are you gearing up for


the festive season?
During Durga puja and Diwali, the mall

38 INDIA TODAY KOLKATA F AUGUST 2017