Spice January 2020 ipad pdf

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48 HOURS IN AHMEDABAD | VIDYA BALAN | FOLDABLE DEVICES IN 2020

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www.spiceroutemagazine.com

Volume 14 | Issue 01 | January 2020

THE INFLIGHT MAGAZINE

AMADEUS

TIE-UP

RAS AL KHAIMAH:

OUR PROPOSED

HUB IN THE

MIDDLE-EAST

GULF AIR

CODE

SHARING

EMIRATES

CODESHARE

NEW

INTERNATIONAL

DESTINATIONS:

JEDDAH & RIYADH

CAPA’S ‘AIRLINE

EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR’

LAUNCH OF

CADET PILOT

PROGRAMME

FIRST

INDIAN

LCC TO

JOIN IATA

49 DAILY

UDAN

FLIGHTS

... and many more

CELEBRATING SPICEJET'S

MILESTONES

2019


FROM THE

CMD’S DESK

Ajay Singh

Chairman & Managing Director

Dear Readers,

Welcome aboard SpiceJet!

It’s the dawn of a new year and I wish you

all a happy and a prosperous 2020!

Before we fasten our seat belts and

launch into what will, no doubt, be yet

another exciting and eventful journey for

SpiceJet, I wish to thank each and every one

of you — SpiceJetters and SpiceFlyers — for

your unwavering support. I hope you will

continue to repose your faith in us in 2020.

They say, to err is human, but not when it

comes to a dynamic and complex sector like

aviation where the safety and security of

passengers and crew are our top priorities.

We will continue to adhere strictly to our

‘safety first’ policy across all our operations,

both on and off the ground. SpiceJet

owes its world-class safety record to the

responsibility and accountability of every

SpiceJetter.

Year 2020 will be a game changer for

SpiceJet in many ways. To begin with, we

expect Boeing 737 MAX, which will be

one of the safest aircraft ever to fly when

it returns to service, to make a comeback

soon and significantly boost our fleet

capacity and seating. With the MAX’s

return, we will have some 30 brand planes

at our disposal which will help us step up

international and domestic operations,

introduce new routes, and offer a superior

flying experience.

As a strong advocate of sustainability,

SpiceJet is actively involved in creating

a zero-emissions future. In that context,

the Boeing 737 MAX, one of the most

environment-friendly aircraft, will drastically

reduce fuel and engineering cost, and

cut noise pollution and greenhouse gas

emissions. The Boeing 737 class of aircraft

has been the backbone of our fleet since

the inception of SpiceJet. The 737’s proven

high reliability, low-operation economies

and comfort helps us expand connectivity

both in India and overseas.

We signed off 2019 on a good note.

We associated with a worthy cause –UN

Women’s Campaign against Gender

Violence. As a socially responsible

corporate, we committed ourselves to raise

awareness about gender-based violence

against women. To support this cause,

our in-flight and on-ground crew were

seen wearing the badges of UN Women’s

#OrangeTheWorld campaign to end

gender-based violence against women.

On the operational front, 2019 was a

remarkable year for SpiceJet. We registered

over 90% passenger Load factor (PLF)

throughout the year, yet again, and had

amongst the lowest cancellation rate.

In the past many years, SpiceJet has

made every effort to put small towns on

the country’s aviation map. Reaffirming

our commitment to UDAN – the Regional

Connectivity Scheme — we will continue

to make flying affordable and accessible to

all Indians. At the same time, we are also

looking to spread our wings to international

destinations and you will soon see your

favorite airline flying to newer cities in

2020.

Going forward, I am optimistic about

Indian aviation and I am confident that

with the dedication and commitment of

Team SpiceJet, your favourite airline will

continue to soar high. We look forward to

a productive year and a fantastic journey

with you.

Tailwinds and Happy Landings!

Jai Hind!

2 ||||| AUGUST 2016


www.spiceroutemagazine.com Volume 14 | Issue 01 | January 2020

Spice Route Jan 2020 Cover Final.indd All Pages

48 HOURS IN AHMEDABAD | VIDYA BALAN | FOLDABLE DEVICES IN 2020

FLIGHTS

THE INFLIGHT MAGAZINE

... and many more

PROGRAMME

SHARING

31/12/19 12:15 PM

spice

JANUARY 2020

www.spicejet.com

AMADEUS

TIE-UP

NEW

INTERNATIONAL

DESTINATIONS:

JEDDAH & RIYADH

EMIRATES

CODESHARE

FIRST

INDIAN

LCC TO

JOIN IATA

49 DAILY

UDAN

RAS AL KHAIMAH:

OUR PROPOSED

HUB IN THE

MIDDLE-EAST

CAPA’S ‘AIRLINE

EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR’

CELEBRATING SPICEJET'S

MILESTONES

2019

LAUNCH OF

CADET PILOT

GULF AIR

CODE

CONTENTS

44

48 HOURS IN AHMEDABAD

Ahmedabad is both the commercial and

cultural capital of Gujarat and a sprawling

city with river Sabarmati running through

its centre. Optimise your time to get a true

sense of the city.

36

THE BIGGEST

MILESTONES OF 2019

As we enter the New Year and decade, let’s go into last

year’s flashback and check out the biggest milestones

achieved by India’s favourite carrier, SpiceJet, in 2019.

52

“THE 40S ARE ABOUT LOVING

YOUR LIFE!”

Vidhya Balan has volleyed both success and failure

with equal ease. A tété-a-tété with the actor of

admirable range and depth.

4

JANUARY 2020


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58

CONTENTS96

HEAVEN ON EARTH

Trek up to the World’s

Highest Organic Tea Estate in

Kolukkumalai for an inexplicable

experience.

74

WINTER WONDERLAND

Although still nascent in India,

winter sports are gaining

widespread popularity with

adventure enthusiasts.

THE ‘MOREL’ OF

THE STORY

The fascinating Kashmiri Morel

(gucchi) has a ‘Maharaja-like’

quality that demands its own

space in cuisine. India’s finest

chefs talk about the charm of

gucchi.

SPICEJET INSIDER

Social media 14

SpiceVacations.com 16

Spice products 18

News 177

My town 179

Stars of SpiceJet 180

Mobile apps 182

Onboard menu 184

SpiceJet add-ons 186

SpiceJet fleet 188

Route map 190

8

JANUARY 2020


CONTENTS

114

spice

JANUARY 2020

EDITOR

RAJU BIST

rajubist@mwspiceroute.in

ART DIRECTOR

TANVI SHAH

ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR

NANDKISHOR SAWANT

PRODUCTION MANAGER

MANGESH SALVI

SENIOR DIGITAL MANAGER

JAYESH V. SALVI

MARKETING

DIRECTOR – MARKETING & SALES

GEETU RAI

+91 9920023908, geeturai@gmail.com

THE SOUL OF PUNJAB

The age-old Punjabi stitch phulkari is experiencing a resurgence

of sorts. With Lohri around the corner, it’s the season to celebrate

phulkari and delve into its rich history.

AD SALES

MUMBAI

VINOD MOHITE

+91 9323554207, vinod@mwspiceroute.in

ANUP PILLAI

+91 9920227423, anup@spentamultimedia.com

NEW DELHI

TANVEER AHMAD

+91 9555098401, tanveer@mwspiceroute.in

MOHAMMED ASAD

asad@mwspiceroute.in

VIJAY BHAGAT

vijay@spentamultimedia.com

CHENNAI, PONDICHERRY

SHOBA REBECCA

shoba.rebecca@gmail.com

BENGALURU

ANURADHA KUBER

anuradha.kuber@mwspiceroute.in

KOLKATA

PULAK GHOSH

spicerouteeast.advt@gmail.com

GUJARAT

SANJAY CHAWDA

sanjaychawda@gmail.com

For international advertising contact

Vinod Mohite (vinod@mwspiceroute.in) 9323554207

120

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The Rann Utsav celebrates the Rann of Kutch; its people, its culture

and of course, all the glorious colours it encompasses. A visit to the

magical Rann Utsav.

PRODUCED BY

EDITORIAL & MARKETING OFFICE:

MW.Com (India) Pvt. Ltd., 401, 4th Floor, Todi Building,

Mathuradas Mills Compound, Senapati Bapat Marg,

Lower Parel, Mumbai 400 013., Tel: 022 67487777

DELHI: 24/1, First Floor, Hauz Khas Village,

New Delhi - 110016 Tel/Fax: 011- 26516071/72

All rights reserved worldwide. Unsolicited manuscripts will not be

returned unless accompanied by a postage pre-paid envelope

12

JANUARY 2020


SPICEJET

INSIDER

@flyspicejet Thank you Navjot kaur and Taniya

Rana SG 8172. God bless and happy Landings.

True professional and ethical crewa

Nice to fly on @flyspicjet from @

BLRAirport to @aaiblgairport.

Good to have a hassle-free check

in service thanks to yur staff Ms

Sushmita Roy at BLR Airport and

Mr Roy at IXG Airport. You made

my journey homewards

comfortable after my night shift.

@vishallakra78

@ashishprabhu22

So proud to fly by SG 6356 from Mumbai to

Trivandrum. The flight was in command of Captains

Juhi and Richa. Over the years, it’s a first time for me

with two Super Women commanding the aircraft!

@SantPrassanna

Had yet another hilariaus and

wonderful experience on the

Mangalore-Mumbai flight today

with Captain Mohit Kumar! The

rhyming announcements with

spicy humour was just perfect on

an otherwise boring flight. Now

I’ll look forward to Spicy hot

flights.

Yes I had issues with my

Spice jet flights recently.

But I’m super impressed

with your social media

team for your speedy

responses and resolution.

Definitely a quick win.

Way to go team!!

BUZZ ON

SOCIAL MEDIA

@meetashetty80

@MSrideviPhoto

We transported our cats through Spice Jet and I

must say I’m very impressed with their efficient

and humane handling of our much loved but

spoilt cats! Thank You!

Sincere thanks to a @flyspicejet employee at

Madurai airport: Perumal for helping my

mother and me to get a better seat as we

were having issues with legroom. I guess it’s

employees like him who add a feather in the

cap of Spice Jet. God bless.

@tanushreebaruah

@rammstyn

Dear @flyspicejet, I’m pleasantly

surprised at how quickly and

swiftly you responded to rectify

the issue I was facing. Every air -

line needs to take a lesson from

you in handling customer care.

Thank you.

@pragatimehra

Got upgraded to Business

Class by the kind folks.

What a comfy flight back

home! Yes, Spice Jet has

Business Class and it’s

awesome!

@theangelsivan

Landed at Toothukudi airport amidst heavy rains

and was moved by the Spice Jet staff in escorting

passengers while they were fully drenched. Noticed

that the blue umbrellas are from Indigo but in such

times competition doesn’t matter!

@sujithkumar13

FIND YOUR FAVOURITE AIRLINE WITH @FLYSPICEJET ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK

14

JANUARY 2020


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SPICEJET

INSIDER

SPICEVACATIONS

BOOK NOW AT: VACATIONS.SPICEJET.COM

PLAN YOUR HOLIDAYS WITH SPICEJET’S UNIQUE INITIATIVE

VACATIONS.SPICEJET.COM, A PLETHORA OF END-TO-END TRAVEL SOLUTIONS, MAKING

YOUR TRAVELS NOT JUST CONVENIENT, BUT ALSO RED. HOT. SPICY

BOOK 2 NIGHTS AT A HOTEL AND GET THE

3 RD NIGHT FREE.*

SPICEVACATIONS is a one-stop shop for

hotel bookings and customised travel

packages, offering services beyond the

ordinary. Take your pick from a vast

network of domestic and international

holiday destinations, and book your

flights with the right bundle of services

to ensure an effortless journey. Carefully

hand-picked hotels, quick car rentals, and

travel packages created in association

with local holiday experts – you have

much to benefit from SpiceVacations. On

the website, you can choose between

cheap, budget and luxury vacations;

search for the best hotels across India;

and have a great experience while saving

money. In addition, backpackers can add

some comfort to their travels without

lightening their pockets. For those who

haven’t booked their hotels, you can book

your hotel as soon as you land.

You need to simply decide on

the theme of your vacation, such as

pilgrimage, honeymoon, heritage, wildlife,

beach or hills, and the platform throws

up a wide variety of deals in terms of

location, hotel arrangements, local

sightseeing tours and car rentals, among

others.

Another outstanding feature of the

website is the Experience section. Now

book adventure activities, city tours,

outings at amusement parks, and much

more, at a wide range of locations. In

Mumbai, for example, you can enjoy a

Street Food Tour, watch a Bollywood

movie being shot at Film City, cool off at

the EsselWorld & Water Kingdom or peer

down on the Maximum City from atop a

helicopter.

As the website is powered by

SpiceJet, you can enjoy great flight and

hotel deals. So, travel the world with

SpiceJet’s enviable travel packages and

experience the perfect holiday.

16

JANUARY 2020


SPICEJET

INSIDER

INNOVATIONS FOR

COMFORT & CONVENIENCE

AT SPICEJET, we believe that customer experience can

always be improved upon. In keeping with this philosophy,

we are constantly looking for ways to make travel not just

a hassle-free experience, but also one that passengers will

remember.

Our slew of innovations reflects this: a product that makes

life easier for those who carry heavy baggage, but not heavy

enough to be checked-in; yet another that offers a bigger

choice of meals on-board; a product that provides seat

and meal of your choice; products to please those who are

always on the lookout for extra legroom; and finally an addon

service that allows the flexibility of cancelling or changing

ticket(s) to suit your travel plan.

1

SpiceBiz

This all-new business class offering

allows you to travel in complete

luxury and comfort. Introduced on

key international routes, the best

in class service at unmatched prices offers

ultra-comfortable seats, gourmet meals,

lounge access, dedicated check-in, enhanced

baggage allowance and priority services.

The business class cabin comes with 43-inch

seat pitch and 7-inch recline. SpiceBiz is now

available on select international routes.

(Starting price is Rs. 5000/-)

2

SpiceMAX

Now enjoy revamped SpiceMAX privileges which add more

comfort and convenience. Apart from the significantly extra

legroom on-board, on a domestic flight, fliers can enjoy other

added priority ancillary products such as priority checkin,

boarding and baggage, complimentary meal and a beverage. On an

international flight, additionally, fliers can get pampered with a cushion and

a blanket*, welcome drink with a towel and an alcoholic beverage with their

complimentary meal. The ease with which fliers can opt for this product

enhances the experience. When booking a connecting flight with a stop-over,

they can purchase SpiceMAX seats separately for the two flights.

(*Available on select international flights.)

18

JANUARY 2020


SPICEJET

INSIDER

3

Hot Meals

Passengers have a wide variety of meals to opt

for on SpiceJet flights. Those flying Boeings are

spoilt for choice. There are two choices each of

breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and sandwiches.

Eight Chef’s Choice menus are available 24x7 (for pre-booking

on Boeing flights only), including Grilled Chicken Breast with

Mushroom Sauce, Yellow Rice, Sautéed Carrot & Beans Baton

in non-vegetarian and Vegetable Pasta in Neapolitan sauce in

vegetarian. Passengers taking Q400 flights can choose from

two different types of sandwiches. Hot beverages and readyto-eat

products (like dal chawal, veg biryani, upma and cup

noodles) are also served. In addition, dhokla is available as

a gluten-free option for pre-booking on Q400 flights. Prebooking

a meal offers other choices and benefits too: the

option of a gluten-free hot meal; dhokla preparation; "navratra

meals" available for pre-booking on Boeing flights, on the

travel dates falling in the Navratra period; a menu with Thai,

Continental and Indian options; discounted rates compared

to on-board prices; passengers can wish their loved ones

on birthdays and anniversaries mid-air with a cake on select

flights; and a takeaway Kids’ Meal bag, shaped like an airplane.

In addition to hot meal, passengers also have an option of

enjoying a Jain Cold sandwich when they pre-book.

4

Seat + Meal Combo

This provides seat and meal

of the passengers's choice at

discounted rates. The product

can be purchased for `399 on the

Domestic and `499 on the International Sector.

It is on a per passenger, per sector basis and

can be availed of by guest and SpiceClub

member. A passenger can purchase the

product by clicking on the Add-On’s Page on

www.spicejet.com at the initial booking stage

or by clicking on Manage My Bookings tab after

the booking has been made or minimum six

hours prior to the scheduled departure.

Pre-book your meals to make your journey with

us a more comfortable experience. You can

enjoy exceptional discounted rates. It makes

purchasing food and beverages on-board an

entirely cashless affair. You can pre-book at

the time of booking your flight, or add it later

through ‘Manage My Booking’ on the website,

www.spicejet.com.

19

JANUARY 2020


5

My Flexi Plan

Planning a trip will be easier

than ever with SpiceJet’s

new innovative add-on

service, My Flexi Plan.

Passengers can now enjoy the flexibility

of cancelling or changing the ticket(s) to

suit their travel plan. If they are certain

about travel but not about the dates,

then they can book a ticket by opting

for this service. Customers can opt for

this add-on at the time of booking done

through reservation team by paying a fee

of `1,500 for domestic travel ticket and

`1,750 for international travel ticket. The

service will be applicable only for one

change or cancellation per ticket.

SPICEJET

INSIDER

7

Priority

Check-In

This service

provides the

passenger

a hassle free and

comfortable checkin

experience at the

airport with SpiceJet’s

dedicated priority check-in

counter. The passenger can

buy Priority Check-In after

making the booking. It can

be bought latest up to two

hours before the scheduled

departure. The service is

available only in Manage

My Bookings. The pre-paid

service can be bought for

per passenger, per sector of

the journey, on the payment of

the non-refundable fees. A Priority

Check-In for flights within and/

or originating

from India costs

`300. For flights

originating from

out of India, the

fare is `400.

The fees are

refundable if

the booking is

cancelled by

the passenger

or the flight

is cancelled by

the airline. There

is no additional

fee applicable for

infant passengers.

Passengers who have

bought Priority Check-In

will have to check-in

for their flight at

the airport check-in

counter.

6

You 1st

Helping you make your travels

smoother is this special

offering from SpiceJet. For

just `399, you can now get a

combination of priority check-in as well as

preferred bag-out and priority boarding

by availing of this unique product. For

passengers catching ex-India flights, it is

available at `499. Passengers availing of

this service will have to check-in for their

flight at the airport check-in counter, as

Priority-Check-In. The booking, made via

the SpiceJet website (www.spicejet.com),

can be availed latest up to two hours

before the scheduled departure.

8

Carry More On-

Board

Making air travel even

more convenient,

SpiceJet’s ‘Carry More

On-Board’ is a service for travellers

with heavier cabin baggage. It is

targeted at passengers who carry

cabin baggage heavier than 7 kg,

and do not want to check-in. Fliers

can carry bags weighing up to 5 kg

extra, a maximum of 12 kg on-board,

while paying a nominal fee for each

kg above 7 kg. Bags can be heavier,

but not larger, and the standard

free baggage allowances remain

as before. Customers can opt for

this product during airport checkin

and at airport ticket counters.

The product can be purchased in

pre-booking only from the SpiceJet

website.

20

JANUARY 2020


OPENING SHOT

TOURISM

SpiceJet flies to Port Blair in

Andaman. Log on to www.

spicejet.com for details

GATEWAY TO

PARADISE

Port Blair the capital city of the

Andaman and Nicobar

Islands is one of its largest

cities. Famous for its water

sports and adventure activities, the city

has already earned a big name with

adventure and nature junkies. And it’s no

wonder as the vibrant mix of the ocean,

nature, beaches, inhabitants, vast

landscapes, scenic beauty and the

plethora of flora and fauna and the rugged

coastlines found here bring out the travel

lover in everyone.

22

JANUARY 2020


WALK

THE RAMP,

EVERY DAY

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OPENING SHOT

TOURISM

BEAUTIFUL

BAGDOGRA

SpiceJet flies to Bagdogra in

West Bengal. Log on to www.

spicejet.com for details

Another destination in state

tourism is the beautiful

Bagdogra in West Bengal

surrounded by the lush

greenery of tea gardens. Located right at

the foothills of Himalayas, it’s a perfect

getaway for nature lovers who wish to

stay away from the noise and pollution in

city. Bagdogra is the only airport in North

Bengal and acts as a base for those

travelling to Siliguri, Darjeeling, and the

neighbouring country of Bhuta. Among

the steps being taken by the West Bengal

state government to promote tourism,

additional land is being arranged for

airport. The Sikkim Tourism also

presents the Sikkim Helicopter Service

from Gangtok to Bagdogra Airport and

back for the discerning traveller.

24

JANUARY 2020


MELANGE

EVENTS

HOT DATES

DANCE // MUSIC // THEATRE // ART

FESTIVAL

RETH 2020

EVENTS

MAGIC MANTRA WORKSHOP

Every child has enjoyed the experience

of magic and at some point wanted to

learn about the interesting art of magic

and the tricks. Keeping this in mind,

we bring you Magic Mantra workshop

that aims at making flight travel easy

for parents and fun for kids between

the ages of 6-14. The workshop intends

to teach kids to perform unique magic

tricks, learn magic presentation skills,

boost their self confidence, foster

creativity and socialisation skills and

also make them loyal to Spicejet at

an early age. Kids get to learn from

‘Mandy the magician’ who has over 20

years of experience and was awarded

the ‘Medal of Merlin’ by International

Magicians Society, New York. The funfilled

workshop is surely an unmissable

opportunity.

When: January 11

Where: Hotel Taj Santacruz, Mumbai

Airport (outside Terminal 1)

A loud shout out to all the

travellers who love to learn on their

expeditions. The vibrant and stunning

city of Jaisalmer is all set to get an

arts and cultural festival of its own

Reth 2020. The four night festival

three days creative part festival,

part workshop will take place at

Narayan Niwas Palace and Nachana

Haveli, Jaisalmer Rajasthan, India.

It aims to create an atmosphere

for creative learning in a vibrant

festival atmosphere, with handson

workshops during the day and

FOOD

INTERNATIONAL YOUNG CHEF

OLYMPIAD

The sixth edition of the International

Young Chef Olympiad (YCO), the

world’s biggest culinary battle for

magical live music evenings in the

company of like-minded individuals.

After the day full of learning’s, the

evenings are to celebrate, unwind,

interact, chat with facilitators, enjoy

the evening in the company of

folk music or interesting short film

screenings and relish the local cuisine.

So come, take a deep dive into the

world of creativity, celebration, music

and architecture. For tickets, log on to

reth.co.in/events/reth-2020

When: January 29 to February 2

Where: Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

student chefs, will

be held from 28th

January to 2nd

February 2020 across

five Indian cities Delhi,

Bengaluru, Pune,

Goa and Kolkata.

Organised by the

International Institute

of Hotel Management

(IIHM) in partnership

with the International

Hospitality

Council London, YCO 2020 will

witness participation from over 60

countries. For more details, log onto

ycolympiad.com

When: January 28 to February 2

Where: Delhi, Bengaluru, Pune, Goa and

Kolkata

26

JANUARY 2020


ART

ELEMENTS IN MYTHOLOGY

Take a peek into the ceramic and

pottery practices of renowned

artists Ira Chaudhuri, Jyotsana

Bhatt, Madhvi Subrahmanian,

Reyaz Badaruddin, Savia Mahajan,

Vineet Kacker and Vinod Daroz at

Gallery Ark, a contemporary art

gallery. The group exhibition has

storytelling and myths at its crux

and will bring together the varied

ways the medium of clay can be

interpreted. A point in case is

Madhvi Subrahmanian’s personalised

Mappa Mundi, referencing the

ancient technique of mapping from

medieval Europe. Log on to theark.in

for tickets and more information.

When: Until

January 18

Where:

Vadodara,

Gujarat

THEATRE

MELANGE

EVENTS

AGATHA CHRISTIE’S THE MIRROR

CRACK’D

The retelling of Agatha Christie’s popular

novel, The Mirror Crack’d from Side to

Side, which has been adapted for the

stage by Rachel Wagstaff and reimagined

for an Indian audience by Ayeesha

Menon, will run at the Jamshed Bhabha

Auditorium in National Centre for the

Performing Arts. The ambition of the

production was to bring together Agatha

Christie fans with the new generation of

television whodunnit drama audiences

through an innovative interpretation of

this classic novel. The glitzy ensemble

cast of the Indian edition includes Meher

Acharia-Dar, Avantika Akerkar, Dilnaz

Irani, Sonali Kulkarni, Shernaz Patel,

Zinnia Ranji, and Denzil Smith amongst

others. For tickets to the show, log onto

ncpamumbai.com

When: January 30 to February 2, 4-9

Where: National Centre for the

Performing Arts, Mumbai

FESTIVAL

HYDERABAD

LITERARY FESTIVAL

Vidyaranya High School

is all set to play host

to the 10th edition of

the Hyderabad Literary

Festival. Expect all the

classic mainstays of a

literature festival stage

talks, book launches,

workshops, exhibitions and more.

Amongst other Indian and international

literature dignitaries, Padmabhushan

recipient, Dadasaheb Phalke Award

winner and author of books on cinema,

Adoor Gopalakrishnan will be present

at the fest. Additionally, the festival will

also showcase works of literature, art

and culture from Australia, this year’s

guest nation. For tickets, log onto the

Hyderabad Literary Festival website at

hydlitfest.org

When: January 24 - 26th

Where: Hyderabad, Telangana

28

JANUARY 2020


MELANGE

EVENTS

JANUARY LISTINGS

2

What:

Swaranjali 2020

Where: Nehru Centre,

Mumbai

10

What: Goa

Sunsplash

Where: Goa

11

What: Magic Mantra

Workshop for Kids

Where: Mumbai

16

What: Kerala Literature

Festival, Kochi

Where: Kochi

11

What: Pet Fed Mumbai 2020

Where: Mumbai

19

What: Dream Run

Where: Mumbai

24

What: Hyderabad

Literary Festival

Where:

Hyderabad,

Telangana

26 28

What: Republic Day

celebrations

Where: India

What: International Young

Chef Olympiad (YCO)

Where: Delhi, Bengaluru,

Pune, Goa and Kolkata

30Mumbai

What: Agatha Christie’s

The Mirror Crack’d theatre

Where: National Centre

for the Performing Arts,

29

1

What: Reth 2020

Where: Jaisalmer,

Rajasthan

What: Kala Ghoda Arts Festival

Where: Mumbai

30

JANUARY 2020


MELANGE

INFORMATION

WHAT'S NEW

TRULY ELECTRICAL

India’s only luxury casino

Deltin Royale witnessed an

unadulterated thrilling experience

with The Electric Carnival Goa, a

three-day fest held in December

2019. The theme for this megacelebration

was ‘Electric &

Neon’ and it saw around 30

popular stars from Bollywood

and Television. The fest boasted

of being one of the biggest and

most engaging festivals in the

city. The never-ending excitement

of gaming, music, dance and

neon fever left each visitor at

Deltin Royale mesmerised.

BEAUTY WITH A DIFFERENCE

KERALA CALLING

Muziris Backwater Paddle, is all set

to open on January 4 and 5, 2020.

Organised by Jellyfish Watersports, the

event is touted as one of Kerala’s most

incredible nature experiences, as it lets

its people immerse in pure, raw nature.

‘Paddle to preserve’ being the motto,

Jellyfish aims at converting paddlers

into eco-warriors, by strengthening

their connection with nature. Over

100 paddlers are likely to participate

in the event that will cover an overall

distance of 40

km traversing

through

backwaters

and important

Muziris Heritage

destinations en

route.

South Africa held its head high as

Zozibini Tunzi brought home the

Miss Universe 2019 crown. She

comes from a region that is as

beautiful as her — the Eastern Cape

in South Africa, and believes that

leadership is the most powerful

things we could teach young

women today. What’s commendable

is that she bagged the Miss

Universe 2019 crown, after having

beaten more than 90 contestants

from around the globe.

32

JANUARY 2020


MELANGE

INFORMATION

FESTIVAL PAR

EXCELLENCE

If you’re an arts connoisseur or love

all things art, literature, cinema,

visual arts, book, street events and

more, then this if for you. The mostawaited,

gigantic and multicultural

arts festival, the Kala Ghoda Arts

Festival is back with a bang. The 12th

edition of the annual festival will

be held in the unique and beautiful

area of Kala Ghoda Mumbai, from

February 2-10, 2020, and will also

mark the celebration of Mahatma

Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary.

Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is

organised with a vision to preserve

and refurbish the heritage arts

awareness through

different platforms. It is

held every year to bring

attention to the area’s

(South Mumbai’s) art and

architectural heritage

and attracts over visitors

1,50,000 visitors from

Mumbai and beyond. From

being a small festival in

1999, it has gone on to

become the city’s biggest

arts and culture festival

that deserves a special

mention.

A festival like no other,

it is open to all, free of

cost, and draws visitors

in large numbers, not just

district of Mumbai with the cooperation

of local authorities, and country and the world. So be there to

from the city but from all over the

to create and spread multicultural see the magic!

GOING GREEN

The Park Bangalore, pioneers of luxury boutique hotels in India has joined

hands with Namma Metro in taking a step towards a greener environment,

by planting 3,000 trees. The project will travel from MG Road to Swami

Vivekananda Road in Bengaluru where the team successfully planted 500

plants till date. As part of this initiative, they are planning to cover specific

areas such as parking, pavements, and dividers that are near the metro

station. The Park Bangalore has also planted these saplings in the vicinity of

the hotel.

AVIATION MINISTRY UPGRADES ITS PORTAL

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has upgraded its Air Sewa

portal which is accessible through interactive web portal and

mobile app.

The new version includes following features:

• Secure sign up and log-in with social media

• Chatbot for travellers support

• Improved grievance management including social media

grievance

• Real time flight status and detailed flight schedule

Air Sewa is available at www.AirSewa. gov.In

नागर वमानन मालय ने अपन वमान सवा पोटल को अपड कया ह

जो इटरिटव वब पोटल और मोबाइल ऐप क जरए सगम ह।

(क) सोशल मीडया क साथ सरत साइन अप और लॉग-इन

(ख) याय की सहायता क लए चट बास

(ग) सोशल माडया शकायत सहत परकत बधन

(घ) रीयल टाइम उड़ान टटस और वतत उड़ान अनसची

सवा सबधी कसी और जानकारी क लए आप www.airsewa.gov.in

पर लॉग-इन कर सकत ह।

34

JANUARY 2020


COVER STORY

MILESTONES

THE BIGGEST

MILESTONES OF 2019

AS WE ENTER THE NEW YEAR AND DECADE, LET’S GO INTO LAST YEAR’S FLASHBACK AND CHECK OUT THE BIGGEST

MILESTONES ACHIEVED BY INDIA’S FAVOURITE CARRIER, SPICEJET, IN 2019.

JANUARY 2019

ajay singh chairs att governors

meeting at wef, davos

Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing

Director of SpiceJet chaired the Aviation,

Travel and Tourism (ATT) Governor’s

Meeting at the World Economic Forum

in Davos in January 2019. The meeting

was held to deliberate the challenges

confronting the sectors and the key

takeaways that would help in potential

policy reforms for the Aviation, Travel

and Tourism industry. The main focus of

the sessions was to develop multilateral

synergies towards sustainability of ATT,

reduction of carbon footprint in line with

the Paris Accord and the Fourth

Industrial Revolution (in technology)

driven by Artificial Intelligence and

Machine Learning, to develop a more

consumer and environment-friendly

experience for both industry and

customers.

FEBRUARY 2019

new international destinations

It was a moment of great pride for SpiceJet

to introduce Jeddah as its ninth

international destination and third

destination in the Middle East. With this, it

36

JANUARY 2020


ecame the first Indian budget airline to

fly to Saudi Arabia and offer direct

connectivity to Jeddah. The launch

aimed to greatly benefit the thousands of

pilgrims travelling to Saudi Arabia with

an unparalleled experience. Jeddah, the

second largest city of Saudi Arabia, is also

the country’s commercial capital. The

city lays in close proximity to the pilgrim

destinations of Mecca and Medina and its

King Abdulaziz International Airport

acts as one of the main transit points for

thousands of Hajj pilgrims and tourists

across the globe.

MARCH 2019

49 new udan flights added

Providing fellow citizens affordable air

connectivity is an achievement that the

airline is very proud of. As a part of its

major expansion move, SpiceJet added 49

new flights under the regional

connectivity scheme, UDAN, throughout

the year. Starting January, it flagged off

the direct daily flight between Lilabari-

Kolkata, thus catering to the un-served

market of Lilabari, located in the

Lakhimpur district of Assam. In March,

eight new daily direct flights were added

to the historic city of Gwalior in Madhya

Pradesh and four new daily flights

connecting Bhopal including the Bhopal-

Udaipur UDAN flight. Following that, 14

new UDAN flights were launched to

connect the un-served market of

Jharsuguda and the under-served

markets of Kishangarh and Lakhimpur to

key metros and cities across the country.

In addition, the airline launched 14 other

direct flights connecting metros and nonmetros

on domestic routes. In the middle

of the year, the airline flagged off a daily

direct flight on the Durgapur-Mumbai

route. The new flights reiterate the

airline’s commitment to UDAN and

direct connectivity besides on-boarding

non-metros and smaller cities onto the

national aviation map.

MARCH 2019

first indian lcc to join iata

SpiceJet became the first Indian LCC to

join the International Air Transport

Association (IATA), as a member. IATA is

the global trade association for the airline

industry, representing over 290 airlines.

The IATA membership was significant on

account of SpiceJet’s plans for rapidly

expanding its international footprint.

IATA operates numerous global airline

industry initiatives and programs in

financial and distribution areas; and the

membership allows SpiceJet to explore

and grow its collaborations with

international member airlines of IATA

through interlining and code shares, thus

enabling it to seamlessly expand the

network options for its passengers in

future. The airline had recently achieved

IATA’s Operational Safety Audit (IOSA)

Certificate, the benchmark for global

safety management in airlines, an

essential requirement to gain IATA

membership. It confirms SpiceJet’s

compliance with internationallyapproved

aviation safety standards across

parameters in operational management

and control systems.

MARCH 2019

amadeus tie-up

It is indeed a milestone for SpiceJet to

work with a distribution partner to reach

out to travellers across the globe. SpiceJet

chose Amadeus as its first global

distribution partner and signed a

distribution agreement that gives

Amadeus’ global network of travel sellers

access to the airline’s range of fares and

prices through the Amadeus Travel

Platform. By connecting to travellers

through the world’s largest community of

travel sellers and buyers, the airline

aimed to showcase its products on a

global scale, access new markets and

partners, and grow its customer base. The

airline’s entire ticketing inventory will

continue to be available to domestic

travellers through existing channels as

well as Amadeus with a different pricing

model. The partnership will help SpiceJet

to reach out to new international markets

and travellers across the globe.

37

JANUARY 2020


COVER STORY

MILESTONES

MAY 2019

100th aircraft added

SpiceJet added the 100th aircraft a

Boeing 737 into its fleet! The fleet now

comprises 68 Boeing 737s, 30 Bombardier

Q-400s and two B737 freighters. The

airline operates 575 average daily flights

to 62 destinations – 53 domestic and nine

international. SpiceJet has added 23

planes and over a hundred new flights,

majority of them connecting the key

metros of Mumbai and Delhi, in just over

a month’s time.

direct services to Amritsar, Kozhikode,

Mangaluru, Madurai, Jaipur and Pune –

routes served by SpiceJet. The passengers

travelling from India to Dubai will also be

able to access Emirates’ expansive

network across the globe, thus opening

up multiple international connections for

them.

MAY 2019

business class introduced

SpiceJet rolled out its all-new business

class offering, SpiceBiz, on key routes.

SpiceBiz has been uniquely designed to

enhance air travel for business-class

passengers and offer unmatched value

and greater comfort with the key

differentiator being its attractive pricing.

The airline offers a dedicated business

class cabin with 43-inch seat pitch and

7-inch recline, complimentary lounge

access, higher baggage allowance,

APRIL 2019

emirates codeshare

Spicejet added another feather to its cap

by signing a codeshare and interline

agreement with Emirates to give

travellers to and from India, seamless

access to a wider and a stronger route

network. A milestone considering that it’s

the first-ever codeshare agreement

signed by the airline. From early 2020,

customers travelling to India can take

advantage of many more flight options on

routes common to both airlines –

Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Kochi and Delhi.

Emirates’ customers can conveniently

book and connect seamlessly in Dubai on

38

JANUARY 2020


COVER STORY

MILESTONES

gourmet meals and beverages, priority

services and much more. The passengers

are now travelling in complete luxury

with ultra-comfortable seats, gourmet

meals, lounge access, enhanced baggage

allowance and priority services besides

other facilities like dedicated coaches,

blankets and cushions and refreshing

drinks and pre-meal drinks. The airline

also has a dedicated cabin crew for

business class passengers.

It also reiterates India’s leadership role

on the global aviation map. I look

forward to working closely with my

colleagues on the IATA Board of

Governors to drive the sustainability

agenda whilst facilitating further

growth and development of the aviation

industry across the globe.”

JULY 2019

launch of cadet pilot programme

Want to fly high? SpiceJet’s Cadet Pilot

Programme is the perfect launchpad you

are looking for. Keeping in mind the

aspirations of the young, SpiceJet’s new

Cadet Pilot Programme is designed to

give wings to the dreams and desires of

the young to make a profession out of

flying airline jets. Cadet Pilot

Programme not only aims at providing

trained professionals to the aviation

industry but also an assured job with

SpiceJet, on completion of the course.

What’s more? The programme is

designed for those eyeing for a seat in the

cockpit of an aircraft. Students will be

trained at best schools across the world,

steering the course of career in the right

direction. The programme will create

ample opportunities for those seeking

for a high-flying career.

OCTOBER 2019

promoting tourism in ras

al-khaimah

SpiceJet has also expanded its overseas

operations. The airline entered into an

MoU with the airport operator to

co-operate, develop and promote

tourism in Ras Al-Khaimah in the UAE.

After striking a deal on plans to create an

‘aviation hub’ at the UAE airport,

JUNE 2019

first indian on board of governors,

iata

Another significant milestone for the

airline! Ajay Singh, Chairman and

Managing Director, SpiceJet, has been

appointed on the Board of Governors

(BoG) of the prestigious International

Air Transport Association (IATA) for a

three-year term effective from the

conclusion of the 75th IATA AGM in

Seoul, Republic of Korea. Singh is the

only Indian on the Board of Governors of

IATA, the world’s biggest airline

grouping. As a member of BOG, Singh

will participate in providing policy

directives and guidance to IATA

industry committees and to their

subsidiary bodies. Speaking about this

achievement, he said, “It is a matter of

great honour for me to be inducted into

the Board of Governors of IATA and to

represent and serve the airline industry.

SpiceJet has begun its flight operations

from Delhi to Ras Al-Khaimah. The

no-frills carrier hopes to use the base to

extend its range as far as Western

Europe and has started direct services

from Delhi to the Emirates and aims to

operate flights five times a week. By

40

JANUARY 2020


COVER STORY

MILESTONES

making Ras Al-Khaimah, the

northernmost Emirate of the United

Arab Emirates (UAE) as its international

hub, the airline aims to boost its

connectivity to the Gulf as well as to

European destinations.

NOVEMBER 2019

gulf-air code sharing

SpiceJet signed a Memorandum of

Understanding (MoU) with Gulf Air,

the national carrier of the Kingdom of

Bahrain, to explore greater

cooperation between the two airlines

including an interline and codeshare

agreement, coordinated cargo

services, engineering services and

pilot training. The MoU was signed by

Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing

Director, SpiceJet and Krešimir

Kučko, Chief Executive Officer, Gulf

Air, in New Delhi. Ajay Singh said,

“These are exciting times for SpiceJet

as we pursue our international

expansion plan. This partnership will

immensely benefit the two airlines and

our passengers in times to come.”

Krešimir Kučko said, “This is a historic

event for both Gulf Air and SpiceJet as

we strengthen commercial ties

between the two carriers; creating

more choices for our valued passengers

to explore new cities across our

networks.” The signing of the MOU

between the two carriers aims at

initiation of collaboration between the

two carriers, and further

strengthening the strong ties between

India and the Kingdom of Bahrain.

NOVEMBER 2019

asia pacific airline executive of

the year

Ajay Singh has been awarded the ‘Asia

Pacific Airline Executive of the Year’ at

CAPA’s 16th annual Asia Pacific

Aviation Awards for Excellence in

Singapore, for his significant

contributions to Indian aviation as a

pioneer of the country's LCC sector.

The ‘Airline Executive of the Year’ is

awarded by CAPA to the airline

executive who has had the greatest

individual influence on the aviation

industry, demonstrating outstanding

strategic thinking and innovative

direction for the growth of their

business and the industry. The CAPA

Asia Pacific Awards for Excellence are

intended to recognise airlines,

airports, executives and the wider

aviation industry for their strategic

leadership and success over the last 12

months, and for helping to propel the

whole industry forward. The award

was presented at a glittery ceremony

attended by over 150 of the region’s

aviation luminaries. ■

42

JANUARY 2020


TRAVEL

CITIES

48 HOURS IN AHMEDABAD

THE HERITAGE

CITY

AHMEDABAD IS BOTH THE

COMMERCIAL AND CULTURAL

CAPITAL OF GUJARAT AND A

SPRAWLING CITY WITH RIVER

SABARMATI RUNNING THROUGH

ITS CENTRE. IF YOU PLAN A

TWO-DAY VISIT TO INDIA’S FIRST

WORLD HERITAGE CITY, HERE’S

HOW YOU CAN OPTIMISE YOUR

TIME TO GET A TRUE SENSE OF IT.

BY ANITA RAO KASHI

Mahatma Gandhi monument in

Sabarmati Ashram.

Ahmedabad is often

mistaken to be Gujarat’s

capital but is actually the

state’s beating heart. The

Sabarmati River does divide the old and

new cities but the lines are blurred and

modern buildings are as much a part of

the older parts of the city as the new. It is

true that Ahmedabad’s history and

culture is visible in the old part of the

city, which is probably what prompted

the UNESCO to award it the World

Heritage City tag. Ahmedabad’s

modernity sits in the newer parts with

swanky roads and public transport,

beautiful high-rises and bustling

neighbourhoods, all of which lie

comfortably with the old.

DAY

1

Start with Ahmedabad’s most famous

sight and pack the day with history,

science and shopping.

9 am

GANDHI ASHRAM ON THE

SABARMATI

Have an indulgent breakfast packed

with Gujarati favourites such as dhokla,

khaman and thepla. For those with a

sweet tooth, there’s an array on offer.

Suitably fortified, head to the famous

Gandhi Ashram located on the banks of

the Sabarmati river. It was here that

Mahatma Gandhi lived and strategised

the freedom movement; it gained the

epithet of Satyagraha Ashram and is

still referred as such. It was from here

that Gandhi began his famous Dandi

March in 1930 to protest against the Salt

Tax imposed by the British. Founded in

1915, it is situated on a tranquil stretch

of the Sabarmati, it is a sprawling place

with scattered buildings displaying

Gandhi’s teachings, memorabilia, the

charkha on which he wove cloth and

such others. Everything is well

signposted but there’s also a local app

that can be downloaded for information

and commentary. If the freedom

movement is of particular interest to

you, then head afterwards to Dandi

Kutir and continue with the Gandhi

theme and independence. Located in

Gandhinagar about 20 km north of

Ahmedabad, the Dandi Kutir also called

the Salt Mount Museum is an

interesting and interactive museum

dedicated to the life and times of

Gandhi. It provides an unusual and

rather comprehensive glimpse into his

biography. It is designed with a modern

outlook and the architecture of the

museum is as much of a highlight as the

museum itself.

44

JANUARY 2020


TRAVEL

CITIES

Bhadra Fort-Part

of Old Ahmedabad

4.30 pm

BHADRA FORT

The next place you can head to is the

Bhadra fort, one of the oldest forts in the

area full of palaces and temples. It takes

you back in the 12th century and is

considered to be built during the

Maratha rule.

handcrafted cotton hand bags for

sale in the Law Garden night market

12 pm

SCIENCE CITY

This is Ahmedabad’s

latest attraction with

several exhibitions

and attractions

revolving around

various branches of

science. One such

place of particular

interest is the

simulator, the IMAX

3D theatre and also the

musical fountain

among others. It is

easy to spend an entire

day here, but do get at

least a glimpse of the

main highlights before grabbing a quick

lunch.

3 pm

AHMEDABAD NI GUFA

An unusual art gallery and public space,

this is one of Ahmedabad’s iconic spaces.

Designed by noted architect BV Doshi, it

resembles a series of underground caves

with white mounds visible on the

surface. Inside, there is an exquisite

collection of works by MF Husain, the

country’s most noted artist.

6 pm

LAW GARDEN

Though Ahmedabad is a lovely

destination for shopping, especially

fabrics, the best place for retail therapy is

in the area around Law Garden. It is

filled with roadside and pavement shops

as well as huge stores selling all kinds of

daily use items. Browse through the

street to check out the handicrafts,

imitation and black metal jewellery,

famous Gujarati-style garments in bright

colours, and much more.

DAY

2

On the second day of the visit, get your

dose of Ahmedabad’s rich culture and

heritage and understand why UNESCO

chose to bestow the coveted Heritage

City tag. Brace for a leisurely walk

amidst the older parts of the city which

is bound to provide a fascinating and

eye-opening experience.

8 am

KALUPUR SWAMINARAYAN

TEMPLE

Start early after a hefty breakfast and

head to the heart of the city where the

streets are narrow and buildings sit

cheek by jowl. Hidden in the centre

behind the towering buildings and wide

roads is the old city with a clusters of

houses, markets, ancient temples and a

history that goes back a few centuries. At

46

JANUARY 2020


TRAVEL

CITIES

mechanism with secret passages and

hiding places known only to residents of

pol. When started, the pols were

populated usually by specific

communities or even around a vocation

but that has now changed. Many of the

houses here date back a few centuries

and have stunning facades with intricate

wooden carvings and other details.

Kalupur Swaminarayan Mandir

the heart of the old city is the Kalupur

Swaminarayan Temple, a beautiful

temple built in a mix of Indian, British

and Mughal architectural styles. Almost

200 years old, it stands on a land donated

by the British and is full of intricate and

colourful engravings and sculptures on

the façade, columns, walls, beams and

ceiling, comprising people and dancers

dressed in traditional Rajasthani and

Marathi style as well as birds, animals,

leaf and plant motifs.

11.30 am

OLD CITY

In between these pols are other

highlights such as the Kala Ramji

Mandir, a 400-year old temple and

among the few haveli mandirs. It looks

like a house from outside but once inside,

a small courtyard opens into the main

temple and is surrounded by elaboratelycarved

pillars and parapets. It gets its

name from the main deity, an idol of Lord

Ram in the sitting posture carved in

black marble. Close to the temple is the

9.30 am

POLS

Adjacent to the temple and all around it

are possibly the city’s most iconic

attraction – the pol. This is a fact

recognised by UNESCO in its award

citation. Traditionally, a pol

(pronounced pole) is a housing cluster

with houses in close proximity and

connected by a warren of narrow streets,

alleys and passages. There’s usually a

central courtyard for a temple, a

community well and a bright chabutara

or bird feeder. A system developed in the

early 18th century, it was a defence

Juma Masjid

Fernandes Bridge, which goes back to

the British era and currently houses a

thriving second-hand book market.

Along the way, pause at the magnificent

havelis such as Harkuvar Sethani ni

Haveli and wander inside the 600-year

old Jama Masjid with its sprawling

grounds, exquisite pillars and

beautifully-carved motifs.

2 pm

LUNCH AT MANEK CHOWK

Manek Chowk is the largest and most

FOOD (VIJAYA PRATAP); AQUARIUM (OMAN TRSM)

48

JANUARY 2020


TRAVEL

CITIES

Sabarmati Riverfront

in Ahmedabad

Manek Chowk

Khau Gali

colourful market in

Ahmedabad. It is full of

shops, roadside stalls

and a plethora of carts

selling eclectic items as

terracotta lamps,

flowers, bright silver

and junk jewellery,

spices, condiments and

assorted eatables. It is

perfect haven for

foodies; you can binge

on street food or have

lunch at one of the little

restaurants in this area.

3.30 pm

MUSEUM HOPPING

Ahmedabad has some interesting and

quirky museums. Choose to go museum

hopping or spend time at leisure doing

whatever catches your interest. For

automobile junkies, Auto World Vintage

Car Musuem with its collection of over

100 vintage cars, is bound to be heaven.

For those interested in textiles and

weaves, the Calico Textile Museum has a

magnificent display of rare textiles

spanning over five centuries, with

fabrics ranging from spun, woven,

printed and painted in different parts of

India. In addition, it has a beautiful

collection of furniture, temple artefacts

and crafts collected from all over the

country. For those who are artistically

inclined, the Lalbhai Dalpatbhai

Museum has an eclectic collection of

miniature paintings, sculptures, Tagore

paintings, terracotta artefacts, textiles,

old coins and much more.

7 pm

SABARMATI RIVERFRONT

Kick back and relax on the last evening

of your visit on the newly-developed

waterfront. It has been transformed into

a swish area with numerous walking

paths and attractions. Take a walk or

just lounge with greenery and seating

areas against the backdrop of the gently

flowing river. Along the river are some

activities such as boating and a selection

of other adventure activities, besides the

markets and food court facilities at

various points. The riverfront is

Ahmedabad’s showcase and is a perfect

location for various activities through

the year including the International

Kite Festival in January to coincide with

Sankranti this month. ■

SOUQ (VIJAYA PRATAP)

50

JANUARY 2020


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RIGHT FROM HER DEBUT IN PARINEETA, VIDYA

BALAN HAS BEEN A WOMAN AMONGST THE

GIRLS, HER MYSTIQUE PLAYING HIDE AND SEEK

WITH THE LIMELIGHT CHASING HER. YET, SHE

HAS VOLLEYED BOTH SUCCESS AND FAILURE

WITH EQUAL EASE. A TÉTÉ-A-TÉTÉ WITH THE

ACTOR OF ADMIRABLE RANGE AND DEPTH.

BY AARTI KAPUR SINGH

52

JANUARY 2020


STAR BUZZ

VIDYA BALAN

Vidya Balan is

at the zen

stage of her

life at 40. If

there is one

mainstream celebrity who

has inspired women (and

men) to be comfortable in

their skin — as they are — it is

Vidya Balan. She has always

been vocal about body issues,

slammed body-shamers and

emerged as an idol, especially

to people who have been at

the receiving end of such

shaming. “The best thing

about being 40 is that you

care two hoots!” says Vidya,

with her characteristic fullthroated

laugh.

The path to reaching this

Zen stage in her life wasn’t

easy, and Vidya, apart from

facing criticism, also went

through a phase of self-doubt.

“There was a phase in my life

when I was in a battle with my

body. I was angry with it,

hated it and I wanted it to

change because I thought if my body

changed, then I would be acceptable to

everyone. I would be worthy of love. But

even at my thinnest, when I managed to

lose a lot of weight (it happened a few

times) I realised that I wasn’t fully

acceptable to everyone. So really there’s

no point in trying to change yourself to

suit others’ needs and ideals.” Dubbed a

‘shero’ by trade pundits, the female

superstar, who has spearheaded unique

narratives of strength and sensibility,

also discovered several truths about

herself in the course of this journey.

“That it’s all about loving and accepting

yourself first. That only when you

embrace yourself, so will others,” asserts

Vidya. And this belief is also one of the

reasons she picked her next role, a biopic

on the life of ‘human computer’,

Shakuntala Devi.

Here’s talking to Vidya about her life

and times.

First things first, how excited are you

about the movie Shakuntala Devi?

Oh very! How incredible it is that ,The

Math Genius, The Human Computer,

was a small-town Indian girl, who took

the world by storm. She was truly

someone who embraced her

individuality, had a strong feminist voice

and braved many a naysayer to reach the

pinnacle of success. But what truly

fascinates me is that you wouldn’t

normally associate a fun person with

math and she completely turns that

perception on its head. We are so very

proud to bring to life the story of one of

the most inspiring women of

this country. Get ready to be

enamoured by her wit, charm

and of course, genius!

Do you find parallels with the

characters you play on

screen?

Yes, at times, I do. And that is

perhaps because a lot of

women in our society are like

that — and that reflects in

how our stories are told on

screen. Films are a reflection

of the times they are made in

and thankfully, times are

changing, and so are our

films. But sometimes I cannot

relate to them possibly

because I come from a

position of privilege. I was

raised in a family that kept

men and women at equal

levels. I am married to

someone who appreciates

that and in fact takes it to

another level. Also because I

don’t think I will take things

lying down. I will put up a

fight.

The Dirty Picture and Kahaani were the

first female-centric films to get critical

and commercial acclaim. That’s no mean

achievement!

But I didn’t intend to achieve that. I

didn’t say that I want to be the first

female actor to do commercially

successful women-centric films. All I’ve

done is follow my heart. Each time, I’ve

listened to my instincts, it’s paid off.

What did I do to become an actor? I

didn’t enrol in any acting class. I didn’t

get a photo-shoot done. I didn’t go and

drop my pictures at anyone’s office. But

work came looking for me. I was doing a

lot of ad films. Friends were making

their show reels and they wanted me to

54

JANUARY 2020


STAR BUZZ

VIDYA BALAN

act in that. I’ve also done a lot of FTII

films, voiceovers. I used to emcee for

bank programmes. I didn’t let go of those

opportunities. But I was always hesitant

to ask for work. I didn’t belong to the

industry. The success of Tumhari Sulu

gave me a sense of security, the maturity

that there will be hits and flops. When

my films weren’t doing well, my family

would be upset fearing that my dreams

wouldn’t come true. Of course, my

parents have been the strongest pillars of

strength for me and then my sister and

brother-in-law, my second set of parents.

They remained optimistic. Also, being

married to Siddharth gave me that

perspective. He made me realise that

nothing is permanent. I’ve read that a

successful person is the one who goes

from failure to failure without losing

enthusiasm.

There has always been a huge disparity

in the Indian society about the manwoman

equation in a relationship.

What’s your take on that?

At the end of the day, a marriage or any

relationship is a partnership, so there

has to be equality. Men aren’t

accustomed to this idea, which is why

women have to lure them into doing at

least some of the work before expecting

them to do 50 per cent (smiles). The way I

see it is that both partners step out of the

house to earn their livelihood but it’s

highly unfair that after a long, hard day,

the woman has to come back and do

household chores. Even if she has help at

home, she still has to monitor, supervise

and keep a check on everything. So, men

should contribute equally. Alongside

every successful person there are many

other people. If you are able to go out to

live your dream, it’s because your wife is

taking care of your child. Tomorrow

there will be a chance for you to do the

same for her. The narrative is changing

and it’s superb.

How does the swing swing at your home,

in your marriage?

Thankfully, at home, I have people to take

care of things. But there are a few things

that both of us take care of individually

because that’s our comfort zone. The

demarcation is clear. We’ve fallen into a

pattern where Siddharth does what he

has to and I do what I do best.

Having turned 40, how excited are you

for the next decade of your life?

What changes with age, experience and

maturity is that you are less hard on

yourself. The more accepting you are

about this yourself, the happier your life

becomes. Mid-life crisis is for men.

Women go through a crisis every

month. I believe that women go through

a tough time after menopause. They can

no longer deal with the fact that they

aren’t menstruating. A friend, who has

encounters of convenience, said after 35

women just don’t care. I’d say after 40

they don’t care even more. I used to be a

serious person but today I’ve learnt to

enjoy life. I’m not carrying the weight of

the world on my shoulders anymore. The

40s are about loving your life!

What’s your wishlist or resolution for

the New Year?

By God’s grace, my needs have always

been taken care of. My parents gave us

the freedom to dream. I wanted to be in

films but I never had long term goals. I

only think of the immediate future. Even

while taking up acting, I never dreamt of

being a star or working with certain

filmmakers. Yes, I’ve always wanted to

work with Gulzar saab but he’s no longer

directing. Many a time, I’ve told Gulzar

saab shamelessly, ‘Ek ad film kar lijiye

mere saath’. I want to work with Woody

Allen too. And as always, I won’t stop

trying, even in 2020! ■

56

JANUARY 2020


ADVENTURE

OUTDOORS

WINTER

WONDERLAND

ALTHOUGH STILL NASCENT IN INDIA,

WINTER SPORTS ARE GAINING

WIDESPREAD POPULARITY WITH

ADVENTURE ENTHUSIASTS.

BY AARTI KAPUR SINGH

Think thick blankets of snow,

and India would probably not

be the first thing that comes to

your mind. If you are one of

those who love travelling off the beaten

paths, there are a host of opportunities to

charm the traveller and winter sport

aficionado in you. The mighty snow-clad

Himalayan ranges in India, specifically

in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal

Pradesh and Uttarakhand are ideal

venues for a number of winter sport

activities. The Himalayas have

spectacular destinations suitable for

sports such as skiing, snowboarding and

ice skating.

Should you want to experience the

delight and rush of winter sports in India,

we’ve listed some options for you.

SKIING

Skiing is perhaps the most popular winter

sport in India. Gulmarg, Auli, Dayara

Bugyal, Manali, Pahalgam, Munsiyari

and Narkanda are a few of the most

famous skiing destinations of India in

winters. Auli is a small but renowned

destination for skiing. It may be a little

cumbersome to get to this ski village

which requires an overnight camp to

reach from Delhi (500 km), but the effort

is worth it when there is a lot of snow.

Every winter, the ski festival organised by

Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of

Mountaineering and Allied Sports offers

snowboard enthusiasts a 1.5 km snowfilled

stretch to satisfy their adventure

itch. The nearest airport is Dehradun

which is about 298 km away from Auli.

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JANUARY 2020


ADVENTURE

OUTDOORS

Being a popular skiing destination, Auli is

well connected through roads. Various

transport facilities like buses, hired jeeps

and taxis connect Auli to different cities

such as Haridwar, Rishikesh, Dehradun

and Delhi.

Snow-clad mountains, bright white

snow, broad roads, fruit laden orchards,

thick forest and picturesque villages form

the landscape of Patnitop. Gulmarg and

Patnitop are India’s popular winter sport

destinations. Full of thickly populated

pine trees and small rivulets, rivers in

deep gorges and placid mountains lakes,

mountainsides draped in snow, and green

alpine meadows, all form a part of the

landscape of Patnitop, and the

possibilities for a wide range of adventure

activities is enormous. Trekking, skiing

and ice skating are the most popular

winter sports in Jammu and Kashmir.

The skiing season here starts from

November and lasts till February.

Gulmarg also has the highest golf course

in the world where tourists are offered

short term memberships by the golf club

to play. Skyview Patnitop aims to be the

new adventure destination in the region

catering to tourists. It is an ideal base to

explore the unspoilt areas beyond

Patnitop like Sanasar and Nathatop, to

name a few. Skyview Patnitop has just

launched a host of adventure activities

comprising a Ropeway (India’s Highest

Ropeway) and Zipline, Magic Carpet,

Tubing Sledge, etc. It is the largest Indo-

French collaboration in mountain

infrastructure development and India’s

highest ropeway with over 65 metres. of

ground clearance and the longest span of

849 metres between eight towers.

Additionally, the ropeway also features

2.8 km of inclined destination covered by

the cable car (gondola) from the upper

terminal to the lower terminal. It is one of

India’s highest and longest ropeways

soaring over 65 meters from the ground

with longest span of 849 meters between

the eight towers. The ropeway features 18

cable cars (gondola) along the towers.

This new adventure destination in

Patnitop spread over several acres in the

sylvan Himalayas matches an

international experience built to exacting

safety standards. Adventure seekers will

get a rush of adrenaline and thrill not

experienced anywhere else in India. In

addition to the ropeway, adventure

enthusiasts can experience Asia’s longest

zig-zag zipline measuring 580 metres; an

all-season tubing sledge of 238 metres or

ride India’s first magic carpet measuring

162 metres.

SNOWBOARDING

A relatively new winter sport in India,

snowboarding is slowly gaining a lot of

admiration from adventure seekers. The

most popular style of snowboarding is

free-ride where one slides down from any

kind of snow-clad landscape. Freestyle

snowboarding is another type of

snowboarding where one performs a

number tricks on a man-made terrain,

with the other two kinds being Alpine

and Boarder. The activity looks pretty

simple but it needs a lot of practice and

skill. Balancing the body and correct

timings are most important here.

Snowboarding in Auli, Solang Valley

(Manali), Patnitop and Gulmarg are

thrilling. Patnitop is close to the Pir

Panjal range and the revitalising sights of

snow-bathed mountains are a balm for

sore eyes. Along with skiers and nature

lovers, Patnitop also charms trekkers.

Snowboarding in Pahalgam is organised

by Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering

and Winter Sports. The destination itself,

located in Kashmir, is breathtaking and a

must-visit for nature lovers. Auli is

popular for skiing and snowboarding. It is

organised by Auli Ski and Snowboard

School (Trek the Himalayas), and

available from January to March. Pickup

is provided from Haridwar, which is at a

62

JANUARY 2020


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ADVENTURE

OUTDOORS

distance of 37 km from Dehradun airport.

Rohtang Pass near Manali is famous for

its jaw dropping locales, snowy

mountains and majestic valleys. One of

the best places for snowboarding in India,

Rohtang attracts adventure freaks from

all over the country for this exciting

experience.

ICE SKATING

One of the most popular winter sports in

India, ice skating has found a patron

body in Ice Skating Association of India.

Shimla is a great destination for trying

your hand (or feet) at ice skating. An Ice

Skating Carnival is organised here every

year in January by the Ice Skating Club of

Shimla. Figure skating and ice hockey

are a part of this carnival. Kufri, Auli,

Narkanda, Manali and Gulmarg are the

other popular ice skating destinations of

India. While there are several

artificially-made indoor ice-skating

rinks in India, there’s nothing like the

snow-clad mountains for the real

experience.

TREKKING

Nothing beats the experience of meeting

nature face to face at a leisurely pace. If

you wish to scale and climb up to those

snowy paths and peaks, you need to have

high fitness levels, tolerance of biting

cold and strong willpower. The winter

treks in India though are shorter in

distance and have low altitudes but it no

way means that the treks are easy. Most

of the treks are pretty demanding

because of the extremely cold weather.

Nevertheless, breathtaking panoramic

views of the snow-capped peaks and

tranquil wilderness make all this

worthy. India is a popular trekking

destination and flocked by trekking

enthusiasts from all around the globe in

the winter months. Kanchenjunga trek,

Nanda Devi trek, Chadar Frozen River

trek, Chopta Chandrashila trek,

Parashar Lake, Hampta Pass trek, etc.

are some of the most popular trekking

routes in India.

The best thing about all these

destinations is that you don’t have to rush

to get there as the Himalayas retain their

snowy wealth right until March end.

So go ahead and experience the thrill

and excitement of these snow sports in

India. ■

64

JANUARY 2020


SMART

STORAGE

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Multi-tier Racking

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TRAVEL

INTERNATIONAL

Maldives's Atolls

MESMERISING

MALDIVES

EXPLORE THE WORLD’S FIRST

SEMI-SUBMERGED MUSEUM AND

DISCOVER A UNIQUE UNDER-WATER

WORLD. THE SURPRISES DON’T END

THERE; FROM SPOTTING DOLPHINS

AT THE SUNSET TO FLYING OVER

ATOLLS, THERE’S MORE TO

MALDIVES THAN LOUNGING IN YOUR

OCEAN FACING THE VILLA.

BY ASHWIN RAJAGOPALAN

Make sure you secure a

window seat if you’re ever

planning a trip to the

Maldives. I had to make a

play for a window seat twice. First, for my

touchdown into the Velana International

Airport near Male; and within a couple of

hours as I boarded a seaplane to my final

destination some 300 km north of the

Maldivian capital. About 1,200 islands

make up the Maldives and yet only occupy

just 1 per cent of the country’s territory.

The Fairmont Maldives, located in the

northern corner of this island nation is

closer to the Hanimaadhoo airport but

most guests opt for a seaplane that

touches down on the Indian Ocean, at the

edge of the resort. Seaplanes can get quite

noisy but it’s a small discomfort for the

close-up views (these seaplanes fly at a

much lower altitude than larger jets) of

the pristine waters and the numerous

atolls that dot the Indian Ocean in

Maldivian waters. These atolls are a

unique phenomenon in regions like

French Polynesia and Seychelles; the

Maldives has 26 such atolls. Many of

these atolls were also formed by the

sinking of the seabed or rising of sea level.

They make for some of the most stunning

overhead pictures.

The resorts that dot the Maldives offer

equally stunning photo-opps from a

seaplane. The Fairmont Maldives Sirru

Fen Fushi is one such idyllic island retreat

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JANUARY 2020


TRAVEL

INTERNATIONAL

Dolphin spotting

Underwater Museum

with a range of intimate accommodations

including beach villas that allow you to

choose between a private pool and the

ocean to dip your feet. But it’s this brand

new resort’s underwater attraction that

sets it apart.

There are probably no museums or art

installations that you need to wear

snorkelling fins to visit. That is why this

dramatic installation envisioned by

British artist and environmental activist

Jason deCaires Taylor is one of the most

ambitious ones in the world. More than

just an art installation, it is also an

initiative by Fairmont and Taylor to

create a reef structure in a protective

space that encourages nature to colonise

and seek refuge.

While you might have read about some

of Maldives’ receding shorelines, the

world has seen almost 40 per cent of its

coral reefs disappear; some scientists

have warned that we could lose 80 per

cent by the year 2050. Coral reefs have

often been dubbed the rainforests of the

sea — they occupy just 0.1 per cent of the

world’s ocean surface, yet boast of an

ecosystem that includes 25 per cent of all

marine species. The Coralarium at the

Fairmont Maldives is a small effort to

create a haven for these marine species. It

is a semi-submerged tidal gallery that

interlinks the skyline, inter-tidal

waterline and seabed. There’s only one

way to get there though.

After a short snorkelling expedition

along with the resort’s marine biologist

I reached a submerged staircase, a

magical gateway of sorts that leads to a

semi-submerged tidal building. The

cube-shaped building is six metres tall,

with its front façade submerged up to

median tide of three metres. The design

of the walls is based on natural coral

structures and is porous to allow the

tides, current and marine life to pass

through it and the structure to ‘breathe’

within its location. It’s crafted with high

grade, polished, marine stainless steel

that aims to reflect and mirror the

surrounding blues of the coral atoll and

the sky above. A mirage on the horizon

that over time will take on the patina of

the sea as it becomes colonised by algae

and weathers within the environment.

The roof is perforated with a coral pattern

to allow beams of light to illuminate the

individual works and a series of

submerged lights to illuminate the space

during the night.

The Coralarium becomes a portal or

interface to the wonders of the

underwater world. The structure and the

sculptures become a spectacular

backdrop for the marine life. The multiple

colours of the undersea fish combined

with the interplay between the structures

and the rays of the sun created a

psychedelic effect; a sight that will stay

etched in my mind. It’s not just the

sculptures that have been painstakingly

crafted, the installation also includes

68

JANUARY 2020


TRAVEL

INTERNATIONAL

Overhead views from a

seaplane near Male

Beach villa at Fairmont Maldives

corals that have been propagated in

nurseries. It involves coral reef farming,

extracting segments or larva of live corals

from a reef and growing them in a nursery

until adulthood, almost treating coral like

a plant. I’ve snorkelled all over the world

including the Great Barrier Reef but this

experience with the art installations and

the wide variety of the Indian Ocean

marine life was particularly special.

My ocean adventures didn’t end in the

Coralarium. I joined a group of local hosts

from Fairmont and headed off on a boat in

search of a picture perfect sunset. While

I expected the sunset to be the highlight

of my trip, it was the dolphins that made

my evening. I stopped counting after

I crossed 50. They teased our cameras as

they jumped in and out of the Indian

Ocean and also crept up on us from under

our boat. It’s one thing seeing dolphins in

Sunrise captured from a seaplane

an aquarium but another experience to

see them revel in their natural habitat.

That’s the thing with the Maldives, you

have to step out of the comfort of your

beach villa to truly embrace it. Maldives is

99 per cent sea; I concur with the locals

who will tell you that it’s 99 per cent fun

and 1 per cent land. You have to wet your

feet though! ■

72

JANUARY 2020


ADVENTURE

CITIES

HEAVEN

ON EARTH

TREK UP TO THE WORLD’S

HIGHEST ORGANIC TEA ESTATE

IN KOLUKKUMALAI FOR AN

INEXPLICABLE EXPERIENCE.

BY MEENAKSHI GUPTA

I

never thought I could ever get high on

tea. In fact for that matter, anyone

who treks up to the World’s Highest

Organic Tea Estate will surely get

high. Shades of green, tall pine and

eucalyptus trees, acres of tea bushes,

freshwater streams from Kurangini

Range of mountains and misty clouds all

over the place left me spellbound.

ABOUT KOLUKKUMALAI

Located at a height of approximately

6,800 ft, this tea estate was built in 1935

but the farming in the area is being done

for 150 years. Kolukkumalai is a village in

Tamil Nadu, which is also accessible from

Munnar in Kerala. The place is primarily

known for trekking but also has jeep safari

options and stay on top where the Tea

Estate is situated. Once you reach the

campsite, there is another trek of about

3 km to view the most enchanting and

scintillating sunrise. The sunrise is the

highlight of Kolukkumalai. Amidst clouds

and number of peaks, the sight is beyond

words. If you are a nature lover, trust me

you will never want to come down. About

15 km of a challenging trek is worthwhile.

The jeep safari on a bumpy dirt track also

takes you through the same route covering

misty estate and is also one of the most

thrilling experiences. The trek and jeep

safari both start at a height of 3,800 ft

above sea level. Jeep ride takes you up

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JANUARY 2020


ADVENTURE

CITIES

KEY TAKEAWAYS


Ensure your stay in advance.


Though it says easy to moderate trek, remember it takes about 4-5 hours on one side.


Check the weather conditions before going. It becomes very cold when it rains.


Carry some light woollen clothing as the nights are chilly.


Always carry a raincoat with you.


Beware of leeches during rains. They are harmless creatures but can give nightmares to the firsttimers.

Carry salt and vaporub with you.


Don’t expect the stay to be luxurious. It provides basic comfortable tents with sleeping bags and

a decent wash and bath facilities.


Carry snacks and enough water as nothing is available during the trek, though the stream water

is edible.


Wear good fitting and sturdy trekking shoes.


Travel light, as you’ll have to carry your baggage while trekking.

Tea Gardens

through 40-45 hairpin bends so be ready

for that adrenaline rush. The misty cloudy

Kurangini mountains, chirping birds,

steep trails, lush green tea bushes, the

whole atmosphere is like a dream

painting.

HOW TO REACH

Kolukkumalai is at the hills of Kurangini

Range of mountains. Suryanelli is the base

location which can be reached only by jeep

from Bodiyakanur. Theni, in Tamil Nadu,

is the nearest town from where the local

buses ply to Bodi. Theni can be reached

from various locations. All major State

Road Transport Corporation buses ply to

and from Theni. It is about 450 km from

Bangalore, 570 km from Chennai and just

100 km from Munnar in Kerala. Try to

grab a window seat when travelling from

Theni to Bodi to admire the mesmerising

landscapes en route. The U-pin bends,

curvy roads, cloudy valleys, tall trees, the

beautiful sky should not be missed.

I had read many blogs before heading

for the trek. Most of the information I

gathered said it was an easy trek and about

10-14 km long. Well, that depends on your

fitness level. I’d say, the trek route level is

moderate to difficult, not only for me but

for my fellow trekkers too. My Garmin

smart watch recorded 33,000 plus steps

which meant it was nearly a 20 km trek

one way. It took me about five hours to

reach the campsite, as I was also taking

loads of photos and videos en route. Yes,

everyone becomes a photographer here;

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JANUARY 2020


ADVENTURE

CITIES

Tiger Face Rock

Trek Route

Pongal Vada

Breakfast at Theni

the natural beauty all around doesn’t need

any special skills to capture those

landscapes.

THE WONDER TREK

We left Bangalore on a Friday night by

road transport bus for an overnight

journey to Theni. By 7 am, we were in

Theni and checked into a small hotel for

wash and change. Whenever we go for

treks, we look for a local eating joint for

food. Not only do such joints serve

authentic food but are also clean as they

are fast-moving.

After finishing our breakfast we headed

to the old bus stop of Theni to board the

bus for Bodi. It took us nearly an hour to

reach there. At Bodi, the jeeps were

waiting to take us for that adventurous

ride till Suryanelli, which took about an

hour as it was drizzling all through. The

curves and bends made the traffic go slow

in misty rainy weather. But I was enjoying

the ride thoroughly as the route has some

scintillating views.

Once you reach Suryanelli, you have to

buy tickets (pre-booked) to stay at the

campsite. We refuelled ourselves with

oranges and energy bars which we had

carried along with us. Please note there no

restaurants at this place, so you have to

carry your lunch too.

The trek starts at 3,800 ft high above sea

level. Since it was raining and was really

misty all through the route, it became

little slushy and difficult to trek. For the

first time, I encountered leeches. Passing

through beautiful tea gardens, foggy

trails, some dense and dark forest route

and water streams we reached our

campsite by 5.30 pm while the remaining

group members who trekked slowly

managed to reach by 6.30 pm. It was really

dark by then with no lights.

An amazingly refreshing and freshly

brewed organic lemon tea with banana

fritters awaited us. We almost attacked

the food, as the hunger pangs were really

killing us after the trek. By then the dinner

was also ready and we decided to finish

our dinner early so we could retire for

another long day. The accommodation

was in comfortable tents with sleeping

bags.

WAKING UP TO SUNRISE

The next day, we started at 5 am to get a

glimpse of the famous Kolukkumalai

Sunrise but since it was cloudy we couldn’t

witness it. The view from that height was

unexpectedly beautiful. That followed

another trek of 3 km that took us nearly an

hour. The wide range of Kurangini

Mountains and lush green tea gardens, oh!

I missed a heartbeat. We spent some time

there to take pictures from all possible

angles, time-lapses, videos and used all

our creativity to capture some memorable

moments.

It was time to visit the Tea Factory. Built

in 1935, the factory is still in working

condition with old machines producing

the finest organic tea. This is the only

campsite that is well equipped with wash

and bath facility and a full-fledged

running kitchen where sumptuous meals

are served all the time with of course the

most delicious tea one can ever have.

Normally, the descend takes lesser time

and weather was also clear the next day.

We came down pretty fast. While coming

down, not to miss, there is a ridge which

divides Kurangini range between the two

states Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The end of

the ridge has a Tiger Face Rock and to

pose yourself with that rock will give you

adrenaline rush big time. You will literally

have to stand at the edge to get a good

photo, but it is worth it.

It was time to return home but trust me

no one really wanted to come back from a

place that was almost like heaven on

earth. The spectacular view of clouds over

the mountains with steep slopes of tea

gardens at the bottom made it a dreamlike

experience. ■

78

JANUARY 2020


TRAVEL

CITIES

BEST WEEKEND TRIPS IN 2020

DID YOU KNOW THAT 2020 WILL SEE A

WHOPPING 10 LONG WEEKENDS? THESE

GORGEOUS RETREATS AT CLOSE

PROXIMITY FROM MUMBAI MAKE

PERFECT RETREATS FOR MAXIMUM

RELAXATION DURING YOUR SHORT

BREAKS. BY NIVEDITA JAYARAM PAWAR

A quick and refreshing getaway on

your mind? One that is relaxing and

inspiring, is located less than four hours

drive from Mumbai and doesn’t come

with the hassle of boarding a plane? In

short, you’re planning to head to a resort

that is perfect when you want to get out of

the city for a short break and still be back in

Mumbai for work on Monday. From cozy

nature retreats to beachside bungalows

and luxurious camps, these spots offer all

that makes you feel like a holiday without a

passport. Read further as we’ve rounded

up some destinations for you.

80

JANUARY 2020


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TRAVEL

CITIES

SAFFRONSTAYS NISARGA

If you’d like to combine your trip with a

little, or a lot, of R&R in a luxurious

setting, then SaffronStays Nisarga is

sure to fit the bill. This Maharashtrian

wada style home has only three

bedrooms, so privacy is guaranteed.

Beyond the beautiful art-filled

interiors, the highlight is the property’s

tranquil lawns the perfect spot to

snuggle up when evening comes. The

bedrooms whisper understated chic

with sumptuous four-poster beds,

vintage fixtures, antique furniture and

contemporary artwork. The

humongous bathrooms are fitted with

sunken bathtubs ideal for long soaks. To

ramp up the romance, book room No 2

for its cute verandah sit-out and

stunning views of the gorgeous sunset.

Outside of the bedrooms, most action

occurs in the living room. Here, you can

relax with a book on the vintage

armchair, overlooked by antiques and

the mountains. The food here has the

potential to keep you in the property

throughout your stay. However if you do

choose to explore, there are temples and

a fort to visit.

Where: Nishad Farms, Tala

Indapur Road, Sonsade Village.

www.saffronstays.com,

Tel: +91 22 6811 0811.

FAZLANI NATURE’S NEST,

VADGAON

If you desire to unplug, literally and

figuratively, then try this eco-conscious

and extraordinarily beautiful resort

with unspoiled natural settings, crisp

air and a plethora of outdoor activities.

Meander through the orchards and pick

your fruits, chase the ducks and

peacocks for a photograph or relax by

the lakeside. If you can tear yourself

away from your cottage, you can go

horseback riding (the resort has an

equestrian center), visit a rose farm, try

your hand at pottery, mountain bike or

lounge by the pool. For the ultimate in

pampering, embark on a day-long spa

safari with multiple treatments and

healthy meals. The views from the

villas here are simply staggering.

Where: Takwe (BK), Maval Taluk,

Near Lonavala, Pune.

Tel: +91 7700070070.

82

JANUARY 2020


TRAVEL

MANGO BEACH HOUSE,

ALIBAUG

This beachside resort is the ultimate

in laid-back luxury. A vegetable patch

supplies organically grown

vegetables and exotic herbs to the

kitchen. So make sure you don’t miss

the lip-smacking coastal

Maharashtrian meals in candle-lit set

up. You can simply chill on the

enormous day beds for some postbreakfast

snoozing by the pool, but

we’d suggest letting the friendly,

attentive staff fill your day with beach

biking, exploring old forts, visiting

Siddheshwar temple and more.

Where: Zirad/Awas Nageshwar

Mandir Road, Distt. Raigad, Alibaug.

Tel: +919820008899

FOREST HILLS, TALA

You don’t need to be Bear Grylls to

enjoy the thrill of bedding down in

the wild. The campground at Forest

Hills is a magical place to camp, made

all the more special by the glittering

night sky above. The tents are fitted

on a mountain overlooking miles and

miles of forest. Those with deep

pockets can book the premium tents

(there are basic tents too) that

combine privacy and luxury (think

king-sized bed and roomy bathroom)

effortlessly. There is live music, horse

riding, fun games and also a trek to

the historic 3,000 BC Buddhist caves

to explore. When the blistering

orange sunset is just beginning to

erupt along the horizon, find a spot by

the bonfire and relish a lipsmacking

variety of barbeques. Then enjoy a

movie under the stars.

Where: Survey no. 157/9, Village-

Taraste, Pitasai Kumbet Road,

Taluka-Tala, Rahatad.

Tel: +91 98192 02000

84

JANUARY 2020


HEALTH

FITNESS

Here’s a checklist for preparing for

marathon training.

1. Invest in a good pair of running

shoes: When you begin to run, there

should be enough padding below the feet,

particularly the area around the heels and

the ankle to avoid an injury of any kind.

There are instances of sprains and even

hairline fractures that people have

suffered owing to running without proper

shoes.

A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO

MARATHON TRAINING

WINTER CAN PLAY HAVOC ON YOUR SKIN. A LEADING DERMATOLOGIST ADVISES

ON PROTECTING THE SKIN DURING COLD WEATHER. BY DR BL JANGID, MD

THE ONSET OF THE NEW YEAR paves the

way for the marathon season. As much as

it’s a personal challenge for many to test

their stamina, participating in the same, is

not a child’s play. While there are various

categories like the short race, the dream

run, the half marathon and the full

marathon, a whole lot of preparations are

involved both before and after the event

for any of the category. We bring to you a

guide to the important areas that have to

be consistently worked on so that your

body is well prepared for the marathon

and the entire running experience turns

into an enjoyable one sans any injury.

Preparing for Marathon

Marathon is all about discipline,

sustainability and endurance. Always

remember this and do not rush into

things. Overdoing initially and then not

doing anything at all later will project no

results but may hamper your body. Also, a

wrong way of training can lead to

something that cannot be undone or will

take a lot of time to heal.

2. Start your practice slowly and

then progress: Begin with running

slowly both pace-wise and distance-wise

and then progress. With every run, aim to

sustain the pace and distance. Once you

have warmed up with the process, it is the

time to take the next step and sharpen

your game. With every run, push your

limits — whenever your body wants to

give up, don’t stop but push it to at least 50

more steps. However, as mentioned above,

build your running stamina slowly and

consistently. Running a long distance

right at the beginning is one of the

commonest reasons for an injury, that may

seem small at the beginning and may build

up to being critical.

3. Time your run: Once you start your

practice, may be a month down the line,

start timing your run and monitor. For

instance, in a 7 km run, measure on how

much time is taken — the time to finish the

first km, the second km, and so on till the

final seventh km run. You can do this with

the help of various running-related apps

that give out details like time taken to

complete the kilometer, heart rate, etc.

Regular monitoring of the runs will show

a trend that will help you better your

speed and address your shortcomings.

4. Run, walk, exercise: When you start

your running practice, don’t run everyday

but follow the mantra of run, walk and

exercise. This will help you build your

SHUTTERSTOCK

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JANUARY 2020


HEALTH

FITNESS

stamina. Run on alternate

days with a set goal, so that

there is enough recovery to

the legs and you are able to

sustain this form of sport.

Exercising also forms a

major angle to training for

the marathon. After each

run, ensure that you do all

your stretching exercises so

that there is no pain or

injury. Also, focus on

building your core strength

as this will help you run long

distances and maintain.

5. Take part in marathons: Start small

and take part in marathons that may be

low key in nature; like a local area

marathon or a company specific one. To

begin with, you may start with a 5 km or 7

km dream run, as these will give you the

confidence of running with the crowd,

maintaining your pace and finishing the

marathon. Running alone and running

with fellow people makes a lot of

difference. Also, participating in local

marathons will boost your confidence and

encourage nurturing this passion in the

long run.

The marathon diet

While eating a balanced meal is

important so that your body gets all the

nutrients, protein intake is a must for

aspiring runners. Protein intake that

contains close to 20 amino acids is

important for body and muscle

development, oxygen movement in the

body and providing immunity, and all

these are important requisites for

runners. Reports suggest that athletes

consume close to 15 per cent of their

required energy from proteins. Include

fish, dry fruits, mushrooms, chicken,

paneer, tofu, pasta, dry fruits and whey

among the other protein-rich foods in

your daily diet. One also can explore the

protein shakes and powders, but strictly

under the direction of a dietician.

Proteins are helpful for post-marathon

sessions as they play a huge role in fixing

the muscle glycogen and helping in

building the muscle tissues. However, do

not go overboard on proteins as that will

increase your trips to the washroom and

frequent urination may also lead to

associated problems like dehydration,

kidney stones, etc.

Advice for before, after and on the D-Day

With the running practice in place and

just a week to go for the marathon, there

are a few tips to ensure you get a smooth

experience.

• Stop your practice 3-4 days before the

marathon day and refrain from eating

junk food and staying up long nights. Your

body needs all the rest now so that it can

perform its best.

• Refrain from consuming alcohol as it

will induce lethargy in the body and will

affect your months of practice.

• Sleep early the day before the run and

the next morning, wake up at least two

hours before you leave for the marathon.

• Eat a banana or an apple an hour before

the run.

• Keep yourself hydrated during the run

by carrying a small bottle of lemon juice or

glucose.

• Also, consuming a few dates, raisins and

jaggery while on the run especially when

you are getting tired will immediately

spike the sugar levels and give energy to

move ahead.

• Post the run; eat a heavy breakfast as you

and your body both deserve it.

Note: Once the run is over, there is a postmarathon

process that most people

ignore. Do enough stretching exercises so

that the legs are firm and not tend to

getting any injury. Take enough rest so

that recovery is fast and you are back to be

practising for the next marathon.

88

JANUARY 2020


TECH

GADGETS

IS THIS THE FUTURE OF

THE SMARTPHONE?

EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT MUCH OF A TECH GEEK, THERE’S A GOOD CHANCE YOU’RE

UP TO SPEED ABOUT ONE OF THE BIGGEST TRENDS THAT’S SWEEPING THE

SMARTPHONE PLANET. IT’S STILL EARLY DAYS AND ALMOST PREMATURE TO

DEEM THIS AS THE FUTURE OF THE SMARTPHONE BUT ONE THING’S CLEAR —

WE’RE GOING TO SEE A WHOLE BUNCH OF FOLDABLE SMARTPHONES. EVERY

MAJOR BRAND SEEMS TO BE MAKING A PLAY. WE STARTED OUR FOLDABLE

EXPERIENCE WITH A DEVICE THAT HAS CREATED A HUGE BUZZ — THE SAMSUNG

GALAXY FOLD, BUT THERE’S A WHOLE BUNCH OF DEVICES THAT HAVE ALREADY

ANNOUNCED THEIR INDIA PLANS AND SOME THAT ARE LIKELY TO ARRIVE LATER

IN THE YEAR. HERE’S A QUICK ROUND-UP. BY ASHWIN RAJAGOPALAN

Samsung Galaxy Fold: It’s never easy

being a pioneer, Samsung’s foldable device was

the first off the blocks and had its share of

glitches. But the brand quickly ironed them out

before rolling it out in markets across the world

including India. It’s likely to remind you of a

2000s mobile phone with its not so large

display and long, rectangular form but flip the

external 4.7-inch display and you’re transported

to a whole new world. A gorgeous 7.3-inch

AMOLED display with vivid colours and a

screen footprint that’s almost the size of an iPad

Mini. A complex inter-locking mechanism keeps

the display together. It’s powered by the

formidable

Qualcomm

Snapdragon 855

processor with

12GB of RAM and

features 512GB of

Internal storage.

There are six lenses

that come together

in this camera and

the Fold aces

multiple scenarios

from lowlight

photography to

videos. It doesn’t

come cheap but

then no device that

offers you a peek

into the future

does.

Moto RAZR:

Back in the 2000s and before the iPhone or

Android devices arrived, the original RAZR

was one of the true status symbols. It went

from being an object of desire to a widely

popular smartphone the best-selling clamshell

phone in the world ever. The new-gen RAZR

will be the first foldable smartphone to arrive

in India this year and takes a clever approach

that might just make it a favourite of geeks

and fashionistas in the months to come. At

a time when smartphones have continued

to get bigger and unwieldy, this one can fit

into your palm when it’s folded. The compact

version features a 2.7-inch Quick View display

which should work for quick notifications. It’s

also got a 16MP selfie cam. It’s the 6.2-inch

pOLED HD display with a 21:9 aspect ratio

that should make heads turn. The rear cam

comes with a host of capabilities including a

Night Vision mode for lowlight images.

90

JANUARY 2020


TECH

GADGETS

Microsoft Surface Duo:

If you thought Microsoft was done with

smartphones, think again. The brand has

just showcased a new foldable smartphone

that opts for a different design approach

— two 5.6-inch screens connected by a

hinge. This allows you to rotate it to a full

360-degrees offering multiple viewing

angles. This device won’t be here till the

middle of the year and is packed with

a heavy duty spec-sheet including a

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Processor.

Huawei Mate X:

This is one of the most stunning

foldable displays that went on sale in

China in 2019. The Mate X’s India and

global plans are still unclear but this $2400

smartphone is a showstopper. Unfold it and

it’s a massive 8-inch tablet; fold it and you still

get two screens — 6.6-inches on the front and

a 6.4-inch panel on the back. The hardware

spec sheet keeps up — there’s a massive

4500 mAh battery and Huawei’s powerful

Kirin 980 processor under the hood.

Royole FlexPai:

Not too many tech fiends had

heard of Royole until they

launched a foldable smartphone

that went on sale ahead of

Huawei’s and Samsung’s

flagships. The FlexPai is propelled

by the Qualcomm Snapdragon

855 Processor and boasts of a

7.8-inch AMOLED screen with

a 1920 x 1440 resolution. Other

highlights include two cameras

(16 and 20MP) and 8GB of RAM

and 128GB of storage for its $1318

developer model that you can

buy online.

92

JANUARY 2020


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FOOD

MOREL

THE ‘MOREL’

OF THE STORY

THE FASCINATING KASHMIRI MOREL (GUCCHI)

HAS A ‘MAHARAJA-LIKE’ QUALITY THAT

DEMANDS ITS OWN SPACE IN CUISINE. INDIA’S

FINEST CHEFS TALK ABOUT THE CHARM OF

GUCCHI AND HELP US DECODE WHAT MAKES IT

SO POPULAR. BY MADHULIKA DASH

These are gold literally, says Chef

Prateek Sadhu, Chef-owner,

Masque, as he begins sampling

his fresh stash from his last trip

to Kashmir. Among the few blessed chefs

in India to be born into the gucchi-rich

food legacy, Chef Sadhu tryst with

Kashmiri morels (gucchi) though began

as a tweenager relishing his mother’s

pilaf, the obsession began three years ago

with Masque. Recalls the avid forager,

who often explores the hills of Dachigam,

Shopian and Kupwara just post rain to get

his share of the ‘Kashmiri Gold’. “It is my

way of doing ground to table,” adds Chef

Sadhu, about working with gucchi in

Masque. He says, “It has been nothing

less than modern-culinary masterpieces

— be it gucchi cooked in a morel stock and

served with yoghurt, fennel and ginger

curry, served accompanied with a

savoury, umami-rich ice cream or morels

in an emulsion of the excess morel water,

alongside twice cooked gutti aloo tossed

in ají chilli and a veri masala oil.” Even

today, he says, “the start of a new menu

will be with a gucchi dish and the rest will

follow.”

Remarkably, Chef Sadhu isn’t the only

chef from the new crop of culinary

geniuses who has been smitten by the

charms of the Indian Morchella; peers

like Chef Thomas Zacharias of Bombay

Canteen and Epic Table fame Chef

Abhishek Gupta, Executive Sous Chef,

The Leela Ambience, Gurugram, too have

been fascinated by this extremely

temperamental truffle, which grows for a

brief period just after the rains. “There is

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JANAURY 2020


FOOD

MOREL

something complex about the gucchi. On

the one hand, it is absolutely stunning in

the way it appears and its flavour notes;

on the other, it is a challenge too. Unlike

the international truffle that pairs well

with complimenting accompaniments,

gucchi has this undeniable ‘Maharajalike’

quality that demands its own space,”

says the sustainability specialist, who

recently spent two weeks in Kashmir

studying the traditional art of indulging

gucchi by ‘keeping it simple’.

Concurs Chef Shantanu Mehrotra,

Executive Chef, Indian Accent, who has

been working with the morel for almost a

decade and calls it the ‘natural hero

ingredient’.

“The benchmark about cooking a

great gucchi dish is to ensure that its

natural flavours are retained as it is. And

if you heed to it, the results can be

mesmerising. In fact, gucchi isn’t an

ingredient that needs a lot of spice

pillowing, what it does need is clever

pairing like with cheese, garlic, saunf and

even a light poppy paste,” says Chef

Mehrotra who has with Chef Manish

Mehrotra created some of the most

fascinating fusions including the

Kashmiri morel served on a bed of walnut

powder and parmesan papad and the

morel-truffle dish where he combines

truffle with white asparagus and gucchi.

He adds, “It’s really interesting that the

Indian truffle and its international

brethren date really well.”

Keeping it au natural is a philosophy

practised by Chef Manish as well,

especially with gucchi. And it was this

technique at show at the chef-hosted

dinner at the James Beard Foundation in

the US recently where he recreated the

truffle magic by presenting sago pongal

with stuffed morel, grilled trumpet

mushroom and truffles. “I wanted to

create the whole experience of foraging in

the hills through a layering of the earthy,

meaty and umami flavours of both the

truffles.” Not to say, it was the most

reviewed (and instagrammed) dish of the

night.

The flavour play was the base for Chef

Gupta who encapsulated his maiden

foraging journey to the hills of Kashmir

with Gucchi 2.0. “The dish is an ode to the

flavours of gucchi,” he continues, “when

it is had in Kashmir. So gucchi is lightly

marinated with chironji oil, gently tossed

on a griddle and then served on korma

gravy with copra and beetroot and

gochujang paste as accompaniment with

a light dusting of dill.”

For Chef Sharad Dewan, Regional

Director, Food Production, The Park

Kolkata, who has been working with the

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JANAURY 2020


FOOD

MOREL

morel for more than a decade and half

now, gucchi isn’t just an expensive

ingredient, but the “ultimate test for a

chefs’ culinary understanding.”

The thing about gucchi, he says, “is its

wholesomeness. It is one ingredient that

can give you a very strong flavour platter

base to work with. It has a sublime earthy

flavour and a strong umami profile — two

distinct qualities that with the right

technique can make a dish great or a

disaster. And that fine line is what has

fascinated chefs since the first gucchi was

discovered under the care of Mughal

emperor Humayun and was brought to

the mainland by Jahangir, who was very

fond of the meatiness of the morel.”

Legend has it that Shah Jahan would

prize it more than beetroot on his

dastarkhan. It is said that whosoever

would get a “stuffed gucchi garnished

with gold varq” was the emperor’s

chosen one.

“The palate play of gucchi,” adds

Chef Dewan, “is in fact the reason

(the prize aside) that the morel was

instantly accepted by diners, who found

other mushrooms as mere meat

replacement, not just today but since its

debut years ago.”

A testimony of how gucchi profile has

changed over the years is Chef Dewan’s

signature dish called Boursin stuffed

morel, passion fruit and brandy nectar.

This morel two-ways, says the culinary

wizard, “recreates the Shahjahani’s

stuffed gucchi for the modern palate

using Boursin cheese, but turns the stock

into a fragrant, sweet, aromatic sauce

with passion fruit and brandy.” The

made-on-request dish in fact sells close to

a thousand plates in season, when good

quality gucchi is available.

“The rise of gucchi,” says Chef Mir

Zafar Ali, Executive Chef, The Leela

Palace, Bengaluru, “can also be attributed

to its unique versatility that makes it a

brilliant pairing with both Italian and

French cuisine, given that it marries well

with a well-seasoned cheese, vino and

cream.” Chef Ali, who has been creating

the Indian truffle-based menu for

bespoke sit-downs and special occasions,

calls gucchi as a “natural masterpiece,

given that there is very little you have to

do with it to create great flavours on

plate.” Chef Zafar is among the few chefs

who uses gucchi in their French-Italian

dining space, Le Cirque and Jamavar to

create the signature Gucchi Mussallam

and also uses the stock to lend value to

shorbas. “It adds great value to mild

texture shorbas, especially when drizzled

towards the end,” he adds.

Agrees Chef Vikas Seth, Culinary

Director, Embassy Leisure, who has been

using gucchi stock for his ‘made on

demand’ soup dim sum. “Gucchi as an

ingredient,” he says, “is wondrous, but the

stock is just as brilliant, especially when it

comes to adding value to the Yang

dynasty style of soups that are based on

flavour layering.”

Chef Seth, who began using Gucchi in

Mexican cuisine a few years ago, often

pairs the morel with in-house Queso

Fresco for special occasions. Served

alongside a lightly mashed guacamole, it

makes for a fascinating treat, particularly

for those who like to know how gucchi

conquered different cuisine. But the dish

of his that pays ode to the beauty of gucchi

is a Cambodian Rice Wrap where the rice

sheets are soaked with the seasoned,

reduced morel broth with lightly sautéed

mushrooms and vegetables as the filling

inside. ■

100

JANAURY 2020


IN FOCUS

MONTAGE

INDIA'S FIRST

BAGGAGE

PICK-UP AND

DROP SERVICE

Tell us about your journey with

CarterX; how and why did you think

of establishing it?

CarterX is a service that was

developed for the passengers

traveling, by providing them with

hassle-free baggage transfer to and

from airports.

Initiated as a thought of why the

passenger has to carry their bags to

and from airports, passengers can

now make their travel more easy

and tireless. CarterX went through

a journey of its own to become a

service which is slowly catching up

to be an essential part of ones travel.

What is the vision and philosophy

of your brand?

To be the safest organized baggage

transfer service for travelers.

How does CarterX help the regular

Indian traveler travel stress-free?

As much as baggage is an essential

part of a traveler, it gets extremely

painful managing it at times.

Be it an international traveler

with multiple heavy bags or a local

traveler, they need to plan their

travel in advance because of the

baggage they carry.

CarterX takes care of transferring

the baggage of the travelers,

traveling with kids and family,

elderly travelers or a business

traveler by transporting their

baggage to airport or from airport to

the destined location.

What we enable with CarterX

is the freedom to do what is more

important and what one would prefer

to do if the baggage is removed from

their travel.

What are the key aims and

objectives of CarterX?

We aim to be present at 10 major

airports in India and cater to every

nook and corner of the country with

these airports. We are currently

operational at Bangalore, Hyderabad,

Mumbai and New Delhi airports and

through these, we are servicing all

of South India, Maharashtra, Goa,

Punjab, Haryana and parts of MP,

UP, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and

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the hotel also boasts of a wellness

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Spa and Wellness Centre. The other

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court, gaming zone, kids play area,

swimming pool and a well-equipped

gym. The resort also houses a Lord

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which makes it a one of its kind hotels

in Dwarka.

Fern Sattva prides itself in offering

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serves vegetarian cuisines from

different parts of the country. The

restaurant’s name highlights the

friendship between Lord Krishna and

Sudama. As the story goes, Sudama

brought tandul for Lord Krishna.

Interestingly, the restaurant offers

Tandul Kheer as a welcome prasad.

It also houses the chic and elegant

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café, with blue (resembling

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SPOTLIGHT EDUCATION

MAKING THE

RIGHT CHOICE

WITH ALL THE AVAILABLE INDIAN AS WELL AS STUDY

ABROAD PROGRAMMES, AND ALL THE FUN AND EXCITING

COUNTRIES THAT YOU CAN ATTEND UNIVERSITY IN,

FIGURING OUT WHICH ONE BEST SUITS YOUR NEEDS

CAN BE LONG AND AT TIMES COMPLICATED. HERE’S A

SIMPLIFIED PROCESS BY DR KARAN GUPTA, EDUCATION

AND CAREER CONSULTANT.

If you plan to study abroad,

there are so many things

that one needs to take into

consideration — the student

visas, costs, distance from

home, and the local culture — that

making a decision can be completely

overwhelming. Although it is beyond

the scope of this article to cover

every possible variable that should

be considered, we will go over the

most important aspects to focus on

when deciding which university

would be best for you.

When deciding on a university

one of the first things that should

to be considered is the cost.

Choosing a university that is located

in a destination that is financially

viable to your current situation is

absolutely essential if you intend

to complete the programme.

Costs can vary tremendously from

country to country and university

to university. An overly expensive

programme can add unnecessary

stress during the already stressful

semesters that you’ll be spending

abroad or for that matter, another

city in India. The internet is loaded

with valuable resources that can

help you estimate the average daily

expenditures of students in different

countries; using these tools you

can easily figure out which country

would best fit your budget. There

are several universities that provide

need based as well as merit-based

scholarships and financial aid to

students. The key to get funding

from universities is to maintain good

academic grades because funding

is limited and generally offered to

the most deserving students only.

If, however, you are unable to get

funding in the forms of financial aid

and scholarships, you can avail loans

from banks in India. Several state

banks offer loans that can cover

104

JANUARY 2020


SPOTLIGHT EDUCATION

EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION

THE SIKKIM MANIPAL UNIVERSITY

(SMU) was established in 1995

with the objective of strengthening

the close link of education to skill

development and making the youth

of our country, and giving them

the capacity to harness diverse

opportunities both within and outside

the country.

Recognised by the University

Grants Commission and approved

by the Government of India, SMU

offers quality education to students

from across the nation, and latest

health care facilities at an affordable

cost to the residents of Sikkim. In a

span of 24 years, SMU has emerged

as an educational institute of repute,

not just in Sikkim and the North East

region, but across the country, and

continues to shine. All the courses

run by the University are approved

by regulatory bodies like Medical

Council of India (MCI), Indian

Nursing Council, Indian

Association of Physiotherapy,

All India Council for

Technical Education (AICTE) and the

Distance Education Bureau (DEB).

onstituent Colleges/ Institutions of

Sikkim Manipal University:

• Sikkim Manipal Institute of

Technology (SMIT)

• Sikkim Manipal Institutes of

Medical Sciences (SMIMS)

• Central Referral Hospital (CRH)

• Sikkim Manipal College of

Nursing (SMCON)

• Sikkim Manipal College of

Physiotherapy (SMCPT)

• Department of Humanities &

Social Sciences (H&SS)

• Department of Hospital

Administration

• Department of medical

Biotechnology

• Directorate of Distance Education

(SMUDDE)

As per the National Institute

Ranking Framework (NIRF) India

Rankings 2018 conducted by the

Ministry of Human Resource

Development, Government of India,

SMU has found a place in rankband:

101-150 India University

Rankings for 2018, out of the total

296 eligible Universities ranked. Not

only that, the India Today MDRA

Survey 2019 has ranked SMU as

the 11th Best Technical & Medical

University in India. And as per

Outlook-ICARE India University

Rankings 2019, SMU stands at Rank

16 out of Top 50 Private

State Universities.

nearly your entire cost of education.

Such loans have flexible repayment

terms and competitive interest

rates. So if funding is an issue, it is

worth checking these loans out.

Once you have a list of countries

that won’t break the bank, the

next idea is to look at universities

and locations that have the most

to offer for your particular major.

Different universities are better

suited for different majors, and

depending on your area of study,

one university can be a far better

option than another. This can vary

widely, for example, if you’re a

science or engineering student,

then Imperial College in London

could be an excellent choice, but

if you’re studying physics you may

want to look into the Massachusetts

Institute of Technology. With a bit

of research, it’s easy to narrow

down which schools are ideal for

any specific major. In India, bulk

of the students prefers to look at

engineering options and for this one

needs to study for entrance exams

at least a year before the actual

exam date. Other students who

106

JANUARY 2020


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SPOTLIGHT EDUCATION

look at medical studies have to do

the same thing. Students who are

unsure about what field to choose

can opt for psychometric testing

which will help them decide what

majors and careers they are most

suited for. For example, assessments

such as the MBTI, Strong and

Pearson DAT are tests that tell you

about your natural ability, interests

and actual abilities.

A third factor that should be

considered is the university’s

distance away from home. While this

is something that may be overlooked

by some that are eager to explore

a foreign land, your distance from

home can play an important part

in how much you enjoy your time

abroad or home city in India. A closer

proximity to your family and friends

can help you to adjust more easily

during your time at a university not

far from home. Potentially spending

years in a location that is restrictively

far away from those you love, often

for the first time in your life, can

add be difficult for those who will

be staying away for the first time.

Allowing you and your family the

ability to visit one another more

regularly can be a big advantage,

although this is not always an option.

If other variables do end up forcing

you to study further away than you’re

comfortable with, you can at least

find solace in the fact that in today’s

world your loved ones are never

more than a video chat away! The

same applies if you plan to study in

a city in India that is far away from

your hometown. Remember, there

will be many students like yourself

who will be moving away from home

to study and you will not be alone

making a decision to move away

from home.

If you’re planning to study abroad,

then you may want to look into the

student visa requirements for the

countries that you’re considering.

The requirements for obtaining

a student visa vary from country

to country, and they also have a

tendency to change, sometimes

drastically, over time. Getting these

visas can be time consuming, require

tons of paperwork, and potentially

be costly. Being aware of the steps

necessary to obtain a student visa

in your desired country will greatly

aid in this process, but it can still be

rather complicated. The key is to

start early and do your homework

so you know exactly what the visa

requirements are and can prepare

well in advance.

When deciding your university, don’t

forget to consider the locations that

you think you would actually enjoy.

While all the practical reasons for

choosing a specific school shouldn’t

be overlooked, it’s also important

to consider locations that you think

that you would like. You are going

to be spending a good portion of

life here after all, so your personal

preferences shouldn’t be entirely

set aside. One thing to consider is

weather. Temperature, altitude and

humidity can obviously vary widely.

Culture is also important. For example,

if you plan to study abroad, does the

country have a rich history and culture

that you’d love to absorb yourself in,

or is that just not that important to

you? Whether you absolutely love

or despise your time abroad can be

greatly influenced by the destination

you choose, so don’t ignore your

personal preferences when making

this important decision. In India, almost

each city is like a different country with

varying languages, food and culture

and you should consider where you

would most be comfortable.

Deciding which university to

attend as well as to study in India

or study abroad, can be one of the

most impactful decisions of your

life. There are countless variables to

consider, and it can easily become

overwhelming. Choosing a few wellthought

out parameters, combined

with personal preference can help

to make this difficult process go

smoothly, landing you in your dream

location! ■

The author is an alumnus of

Harvard Business School

108

JANUARY 2020


VIEWPOINT

YOGA

THROUGH THE

MYSTIC EYE

RANKED AMONGST THE FIFTY MOST

INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE IN INDIA,

SADHGURU IS A YOGI, MYSTIC,

VISIONARY AND BESTSELLING

AUTHOR. SADHGURU HAS BEEN

CONFERRED THE "PADMA

VIBHUSHAN", INDIA’S HIGHEST

ANNUAL CIVILIAN AWARD, BY THE

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA, IN 2017,

FOR EXCEPTIONAL AND

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE

Nowadays, a lot of young people are

taking to yoga and meditation. Youth

means it is humanity in the making. Yet

to become, they are on the way; this is a

tremendous possibility. Because they

are in the making, they can shape

themselves whichever manner they

want, and youth comes with a

tremendous amount of energy. So, that

is the time when they can construct

themselves, into either most beautiful

human beings or into ugly human

beings, into a tremendous possibility or

a disaster.

When there are a few youth in the

family, the older people are nervous,

because the possibility of this youth

becoming a wonderful human being

and the possibility of him becoming a

total disaster are right there every day

staring at you. This causes fear in the

older people because it is still in the

making. So a young person means that

he is still willing to change, which is a

wonderful possibility. Tremendous

energy and intelligence flowers with

youthfulness. At the same time, their

intelligence could get hijacked by their

hormones; that is the main problem

with youth.

Suddenly they can't think any other

way. If only youth are taught not to shun

this thing, it is a part of their life, but if

they have the necessary awareness to

stay a little beyond it, if they have the

necessary awareness to handle these

compulsions within themselves with a

little more consciousness and

awareness, they are a great possibility.

Otherwise, youth can be very, very

compulsive. If they become a little more

conscious, we have a great future for

this humanity.

In the Indian culture, there was a

huge investment towards human

consciousness in the past, but today it is

gone and in many ways, we are trying to

bring it back. That has not been done

unfortunately, but we are hoping it is

going to happen.

SpiceJet welcomes its passengers to ask Sadhguru questions on yoga, health, wellbeing, and other topics of

general interest. Select questions will be answered in forthcoming issues. Please email your question to

mediarelations@ishafoundation.org. For more of Sadhguru’s wisdom, visitisha.sadhguru.org

110

JANUARY 2020


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TRAVEL

CULTURE

in ancient Indian texts — the Vedas,

Mahabharata and Guru Granth Sahib.

THE SOUL OF

PUNJAB

NOW THAT HANDMADE AND HANDWORK ARE TURNING INTO FASHION

BUZZWORDS, THE AGE-OLD PUNJABI STITCH PHULKARI IS EXPERIENCING A

RESURGENCE OF SORTS. WITH LOHRI AROUND THE CORNER, IT’S THE SEASON TO

CELEBRATE PHULKARI AND DELVE INTO ITS RICH HISTORY. BY AARTI KAPUR SINGH

EMBROIDERY AND NEEDLEWORK IS

A CRAFT THAT instantly works as an

identifier for a particular region or nation.

This holds true for the traditional

embroidery of Punjab — phulkari.

Literally translating into ‘working with

flowers’, it is a form of embroidery done in

simple and yet eye-catching motifs on

shawls, dupattas and salwar kameezes.

Historians believed that the art of

phulkari came from Iran, where it is

known as ‘gulkari’. Some academicians

and historians also believe the craft was

brought by Jat tribals who migrated from

Central Asia to settle in parts of Gujarat

and Punjab. Phulkari also finds reference

MORE THAN JUST CRAFT

The word phulkari is synonymous with

Punjab and its culture. Its relevance, in the

lives of the people, has not diminished

even today and continues to form an

integral part of all marriage ceremonies

taking place in Punjab. In the past, as soon

as a girl was born the mothers and

grandmothers would start embroidering

bagh and phulkari, which were to be given

away at the time of marriage. Depending

on the status, the parents would give

dowry of 11 to 101 bagh and phulkari.

The most striking aspect of phulkari

embroidery and its distinguishing feature

is the use of darn stitch with silken thread

on the wrong side of coarse cotton cloth.

Many geometrical flower or garden—

themed patterns are embroidered by the

skilful manipulation of this stitch. While

mostly the craft is done on rust or red

coloured fabric, black and blue are avoided

in western Punjab while white is not used

in eastern Punjab. While phulkari is done

on dupattas for daily wear, for special and

ceremonial occasions, garments that

cover the entire body are embroidered. In

phulkari embroidery, the stitches

decorate the cloth, while in the bagh

technique, it covers the garment

completely in such a way that the base

cloth is completely covered.

THE VERSATILE STITCH

There are many types of phulkari

embroidery stitch. The ‘chope’ and ‘suber’

were wedding phulkari presented to a

Punjabi bride by her maternal family

during the marriage ceremony. The plain

red or dark red khaddar shawl known as

‘saloo’ was used for daily household wear.

‘Til patra’ shawls have very little

embroidery and are inferior quality

khaddar. ‘Nilak’ is worked on black or navy

blue khaddar with yellow and crimson red

114

JANUARY 2020


TRAVEL

CULTURE

THREADS OF LIFE

• Darshan dwar was a type of

phulkari made as an offering or

bhent (presentation) and had

panelled architectural design.

The pillars and the top of the

gate were filled with latticed

geometrical patterns. Sometimes

human figurines were also

created at the gate.

• Sainchi embroidery drew

inspiration from the village

life. Embroidering household

articles and themes such as

a man ploughing, lying on

charpoy, playing chaupat,

smoking hukkah or guests

drinking sherbet were commonly

embroidered. Domestic chores

of women, such as churning the

milk, grinding the chakki-hand

mill, playing the charkha were

also common motifs. Women

also embroidered scenes which

they found interesting, like the

scene of a British officer entering

a village, women holding an

umbrella and walking with the

memsahib, railways and circus,

etc. Scenes from popular Punjabi

stories like Sohni Mahiwal,

Sassi-Punnu were other popular

themes.

• The kitchen embroidery

provided designs of different

types of bagh — belan bagh,

mirchi bagh, gobhi bagh, karela

bagh, dabbi bagh, etc.

• The Dilli darwaza, Shalimar

char and Chaurasia baghs

revealed the layout of wellknown

Mughal Gardens.

• Phulkaris from Hazara were

mostly done on white cotton

with purple and green silk and

had different types of stitches.

• Sheeshadar phulkari had

inserts of circular pieces of

mirrors embroidered with

button-hole stitch to keep them

in place.

pat. There were many kinds of bagh

depending on its usage like ghungat bagh

and vari da bagh. Some were named after

the pattern like velanian da bagh, bawan

da bagh, nazzar buti, bhool bhulaiyan,

dabbi and parantha bagh. In many cases

the designs were inspired by what the

embroiderer saw around them.

Chope was embroidered on red with

yellow. Two fabric panels were joined that

had similar patterns embroidered on both

ends. The only motifs embroidered on

both selvage were a series of triangles

with the base towards the selvage and

pointing inwards. The design was worked

in a step-ladder fashion.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF PHULKARI

Most of the phulkari pieces were

embroidered by the women for their

personal use or by their relatives and were

not traditionally sold in the market. Thus,

it was purely a domestic art which, while

satisfying their creative urges, also gave

them an opportunity to keep themselves

gainfully occupied and added colour to

their mundane lives. It is a tradition to gift

phulkari and baghs to brides at the time of

marriage and is also considered

auspicious that the phulkari be done by

the women of the household.

In phulkari meri maa ne kaddi; is noo

ghut ghut japhiyan paawan (This phulkari

was embroidered by my mother, I embrace

it warmly). Folk songs like these are

indicative of the emotional attachment

the girl had to the phulkari stitch

embroidered by her mother or

grandmother or aunts.

The motifs done on a phulkari meant

for a Punjabi wedding signify fertility and

prosperity. While wheat stalks are

common, more unusual motifs are

parrots, peacocks and even traditional

roundels that signify a constant inflow of

money into the household. The fabric used

for phulkari embroidery was handspun

khaddar. Cotton was grown throughout

Punjab plains and after a series of simple

processes it was spun into yarn by the

women on the charkha. After making the

yarn it was dyed by the lalari (dyer) and

woven by the jullaha (weaver).

The fabric was woven in widths, which

were narrow, as the width of the loom was

such. Thus, the fabric had to be stitched

lengthwise to make the desired width,

which was later embroidered. This

practice of stitching two pieces was

common among textiles of Punjab in the

early 20th century. Textiles like khes were

also stitched lengthwise. In west Punjab

(now in Pakistan), sometimes joining was

done later, leading to distorted designs.

Madder brown, rust red or indigo were

the usual background colours for a base

for the embroideries. Soft untwisted silk

floss called pat was used for embroidery.

116

JANUARY 2020


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TRAVEL

CULTURE

The thread came from Kashmir and was

dyed in the big cities by the lalaris. The

village ladies obtained the thread from

hawkers or peddlers who sold things of

daily needs, from village to village.

THE FLORAL HANDWORK

Phulkari literally means floral work as

the entire field is embroidered and filled

with flowers. This word first appeared in

Punjabi literature in the 18th century.

Waris Shah’s Heer Ranjha describes the

trousseau of Heer and lists various articles

of clothing with phulkari among them.

There are different theories about the

origin of Phulkari. One such belief is that

this embroidery was prevalent in different

parts of the country as far back as the 7th

Century but survived only in Punjab.

Motifs similar to the ones found in

phulkari are also found in Kashida of

Bihar and some of the embroideries of

Rajasthan. This style of embroidery came

from Iran where it was called gulkari, also

meaning floral work.

THE WORKSHOP OF MEMORY

What’s interesting is that there were

no pattern books and embroidery was

worked entirely from the reverse of the

fabric. Traditionally, the use of coarse

khaddar fabric made it easy to count the

yarn. The hallmark of phulkari is, making

innumerable patterns by using long and

short darn stitches. The designs were not

traced. Techniques and patterns were not

documented but transmitted from word

of mouth and each regional group was

identified with the style of embroidery.

Phulkari in its original form has

disappeared, though some revival is

taking place at individual level with no

help from the government. There are only

a few designs of the bagh, which are

copied by workers today. Some styles like

sainchi, phulkari and chope are not

reproduced anywhere in Punjab. It is

important that the craft traditions are

kept alive; and the solution lies in

reinventing the embroideries in styles

which are contemporary in look and

follow the traditional techniques. This has

been done by many states to keep their

traditional techniques alive — the Patola

of Gujarat, Ajrakh printing of Rajasthan,

Paithani weaving of Maharashtra,

Kalamkari of Seemandhra, and so on.

If phulkari revivalist Harinder Singh is

to be believed, the struggle to restore and

modernise the threadwork has been a

challenge. Singh has collected around

250-300 old bagh from various sources to

document them for their patterns, fabrics

and age. “We have started digitising the

old vintage patterns rather than just

keeping them recorded on paper or the

soft media,” he mentions. Using this

technique, his team has created authentic

phulkari products that are wearable and

fashionable. And what better way to

celebrate the spring than phulkari

dupattas or phulkari florals in décor?

118

JANUARY 2020


KALEIDOSCOPIC

ADVERTORIAL

KUTCH

THE RANN UTSAV CELEBRATES THE RANN OF KUTCH; ITS PEOPLE,

ITS CULTURE AND OF COURSE, ALL THE GLORIOUS COLOURS IT

ENCOMPASSES. A FIRST-HAND ACCOUNT OF THE WRITER’S THREE-

DAY VISIT TO THE MAGICAL RANN UTSAV. BY NEHA NAIR

COVERING AN AREA OF a little over

45,000 sq km, Kutch is one of the largest

districts in the country. A sizeable portion

of the district is the famed salt desert

called the Rann of Kutch, and the rest is a

veritable treasure trove of arts, crafts and

traditions.

As far as the eye can see, you find an

expanse of shimmering white stretching

endlessly for miles across the desert. At its

brightest, the vision is so iridescent that

the horizon seems blurry. What might

seem like the palest sand is actually

pristine crystals of salt, gleaming under

the sunlight. This is the White Desert in

the Rann of Kutch, straddling a sizeable

portion of Gujarat in India and the Sindh

province across the border. We were there

as part of the four-and-a-half-month long

extravaganza called the Rann Utsav.

PROMOTING RURAL TOURISM

What started as a 3-day winter fest back in

2005 now goes on for a quarter of the year!

The then Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri

Narendra Modi conceptualised the Rann

Utsav as a means to promote rural tourism

of Kutch, an area that was badly affected

by the 2001 earthquake. The first iteration

was extremely successful, so much so that

its duration increased gradually every

year. Today, in its 16th edition, the Rann

Utsav commenced on October 28, 2019,

and will go on till March 12, 2020.

The hub of the festival is Dhordo

village, which comes alive during winters.

Visitors can enjoy a virtual tour of the

Kutch at the Theme Pavillion, indulge in

adventure sport facilities such as hot-air

ballooning and shooting, experience

leisurely camel rides and even discover the

Kutch region’s hidden talents through the

crafts bazaar. A Tent City of over 400 tents

(air-conditioned and non air-conditioned)

is set up for visitors. Having been put up in

one of these tents on day one, we were

extremely charmed by its quaint yet

supremely comfortable interiors. We were

fortunate to catch a cultural extravaganza

at the White Desert itself, the Chief Guests

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ADVERTORIAL

Genius Village. Every lane in this little

settlement could boast of a one-of-kind art

form – from the deft handwork involved in

the oil-based Rogan paintings, to the sheer

genius of Copper Bell Art, where bells

were constructed without welding or

soldering, all the way to the vivid and

luminous Lacquer Art.

Our final stop for the day was

Ajrakhpur, home to the world-famous

Ajrakh block printing. The 16-step tedious

process of block-printing was a fascinating

one to learn of. The characteristic blue and

red prints on sale were absolutely gorgeous

and we were in serious danger of depleting

the entire bank account in one go here.

of which were the honourable VP of India,

Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu and the Gujarat

Chief Minister Shri Vijay R. Rupani. After

an activity-filled first day out, we couldn’t

wait to cosy up in our tents.

THE DEXTEROUS KUTCHIS

The next day, we headed out on a mission

to catch the plethora of crafts in the

neighbouring villages. Starting with

Hodka, a hamlet with the characteristic

bhungas (cylindrical mud-based huts with

polygonal tiled roofs), which was mostly

inhabited by the colourfully-attired

Meghwal clan. This tribe specialises in

beaded jewellery, trinkets, patchwork

quilts, and a host of other knick-knacks.

Our next stop was Nirona, or what I

had personally dubbed in my mind as the

MESMERISING MANDVI

Day three dawned in the serene

surroundings of Vijay Vilas Heritage

Resort at the beach town of Mandvi, where

we had bunked in for the night. The staff

was extremely cheerful and went out of

their way to make us feel comfortable. Our

first order of the day was a date with the

Gulf of Kutch, as we headed to the private

beach adjoining the Vijay Vilas Palace

grounds. The pristinely blue waters

combined with the crisp winter air were

certainly an invigorating start to the day.

Following this, we headed for the piece de

résistance - the Vijaya Vilas Palace. Built

during the reign of Maharao Shri

Khengarji III in the early 20th century as a

summer resort for his son Yuvraj Shri

Vijayraji, this Indo-Saracenic monument

took our collective breath away as we

approached it. Currently used as the

permanent residence for the Royal Family

of Kutch, the picture-perfect palace has

been the chosen location for many a

Bollywood movie such as Hum Dil De

Chuke Sanam, Lagaan and Ramleela to

name a few.

MULTI-FACETED BHUJ

Our final exploration would be the city

of Bhuj, starting from the very European

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JANUARY 2020


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in appearance – Pragmahal.

Commissioned by Rao Pragmalji II, and

designed by British army officer and

architect Colonel Henry Saint Wilkins,

construction on the Italian-Gothic style

palace began in 1865. Its distinctive

feature is the 45-foot high Bing Bang

Tower which cuts an impressive figure

in the city’s skyline. The Durbar Hall is

an ostentatiously decked up one with

long chandeliers and high ceilings,

almost reminding me of the Jewish

Synagogue in Fort Kochi.

Within the same compound is also the

older Aaina Mahal (Palace of Mirrors),

built by Rao Lakhpatji in the late 18th

century. The chief architect of this palace

was Ram Singh Malam, a craftsman who

spent nearly two decades in Europe and

brought back with him the knowledge of

several European forms of craft, which is

amply reflected in Aaina Mahal.

Our final stop was the Royal Cenotaph

or Chhattardi of Bhuj. Also established in

the late 18th century, it is a tribute to all the

regal leaders of the region. Even though it

was heavily damaged post the Gujarat

earthquake of 2001, its magnificence is

still intact. Mostly built in red sandstone,

the largest cenotaph is of Maharao

Lakhpatji of Aaina Mahal fame, and was a

breathtaking sight in the setting sun of our

final day in Bhuj.

Our sojourn introduced us to the

magical and colourful history of Kutch.

The sights, sounds and people left us

enthralled and eager to learn and see more.

A trip that only let us touch the tip of the

iceberg that was the land of the Rann.

Definitely a place to revisit!

124

JANUARY 2020


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TRAVEL

CITIES

THE LAND OF

FORTS AND PALACES

GWALIOR FORT HAS MANY

ATTRACTIONS TO MERIT A FULL DAY’S

VISIT. SOME OF THE OUTSTANDING

MONUMENTS LOCATED IN THE FORT.

BY SANTOSH OJHA

As I approach Gwalior Fort from

the city what strikes me is the

sheer height of the fort built on

a hill with a near perpendicular

precipice. This imposing structure

dominating Gwalior city has been called the

‘Gibraltar of India’. Mughal emperor Babur

called it the ‘Pearl among the fortresses of

the Mughal Empire’. This was built

sometime in the 6th century AD and a

succession of rulers have controlled the fort

over the millenia. Gwalior Fort has many

attractions to merit a full day’s visit.

Presenting a checklist of some of the

outstanding monuments located in the fort.

Although all palaces are pretty from the

inside, the Man Mandir Palace is

aesthetically pleasing both from outside

and inside. The outer walls are adorned with

ceramic coloured tiles showing different

animal motifs; elephants, tigers, ducks,

parakeets. This was built by the Tomar dynasty

king Man Singh in the late 15th century. Man

Singh was a person of aesthetic sensibilities and

it shows in the interior of the palace as well. This

four-storeyed palace — two floors being below

the ground level — has intricately carved

columns, walls and cornices, including some

Chinese dragons!

A connoisseur of music, Man Singh

encouraged and refined the Dhrupad style of

music. The music room in the palace hosted

several reputed musicians including Baiju

Bawara who taught music to the queens.

In the floor below, there is the jhoola ghar

(swing room) for the eight queens of the King,

jhoola rings on the ceiling are still visible. This

room has a sordid past too. In later years, it was

used as a jail for the sixth Sikh Guru, Guru

Hargobind. It was in this room that Aurangzeb

had his brother Murad executed to become the

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TRAVEL

CITIES

undisputed Mughal emperor. In the lowest

floor is the Kesar Kund which was an

indoor pool for the queens. When Man

Singh died in a battle his queens

committed (jauhar) self-immolation in

this very room.

Gujari Mahal, now a museum, houses

several priceless archaeological gems from

over the last two thousand years or so. This

palace has an interesting history. Once,

when out hunting, Man Singh saw a young

and beautiful gujari (milkmaid) battling a

wild buffalo, alone. Smitten, the King

asked for her hand. She made three

conditions: she will never be in purdah, she

will be alongside the King in times of peace

or war, and she will drink water piped

from the Rai river near her village. Man

Mandir Palace was at a significant height

for the water to flow up, so Man Singh built

her a palace at a lower height with a

terracotta pipeline (the outlet is still visible

in the palace) for the water.

One notable exhibit is the statue of

Shalbhanjika from the 10th century AD.

Thanks to the statue’s mysterious smile, it

has been called ‘Monalisa-in-stone’. This

was apparently insured for rupees nine

crores when it was sent to Europe for an

exhibition. It is now displayed in a secure

glass case in the museum curator’s office.

The Sahastrabahu Temple was built in

the 11th century by the Kachhwaha

dynasty. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

This name was corrupted to Saas-Bahu

Temple by the locals, possibly because of

the two temples, one smaller than the

other. These are built on a large platform,

typical of the Kachhwaha style of temple

architecture. The smaller temple — not as

well decorated — was probably used for

preparations prior to worship in the main

temple.

Some say Teli ka Mandir temple was

built with contributions from the Teli (oil

merchant) community. It was built

sometime in the 8th or 9th century in the

reign the Pratihara dynasty. Most

probably it was dedicated to Shakti with

later incorporation of Vaishnavism and

Shaivism. What remains undisputed is the

unusual construction of the temple. This is a

rare temple in North India which draws

inspiration from the Dravidian style. Case in

point: the Gopuram. Thirty meters high, it is

the tallest temple in the Fort complex. The

other striking feature is the ornate — and

intricate — carvings on the temple façade.

From Teli ka Mandir, we see a tall,

magnificent edifice, Gurudwara Daata

Bandi Chhod. This has an interesting

history. Guru Hargobind was imprisoned

by the Mughal emperor Jehangir at the

Gwalior Fort around 1617 AD. Jehangir

had brutally murdered the Guru’s father,

the fifth Guru Arjan. Worried that Guru

Hargobind would take revenge, Jehangir

had him imprisoned. After about two years

Jehangir got more comfortable with his

hold over the empire and decide to release

the Guru. Another version of the story is

that Jehangir fell seriously unwell which

his wife Mumtaz suspected was due to the

Guru’s imprisonment. She persuaded

Jehangir to release the Guru. Guru

Hargobind had other ideas. He wanted the

52 others with him to be released as well.

Jehangir relented, with a condition. The

Guru could take along only as many

prisoners as he could carry on his person.

The Guru got 52 tails stitched to his cloak

which were held by the prisoners. Thus,

the entire group walked out to freedom.

This earned the Guru the epithet, Daata

Bandi Chhod (munificent liberator). There

was a small shrine built to commemorate

this. Sometime in the 70’s and 80’s a larger

complex was built including the towering

six storey Gurudwara.

Returning from the fort, I could not but

marvel at what I had experienced during

the day; an entire sweep of history from the

6th century onwards and more

importantly, the beauty of our heritage

shining through even in the centuries old

temples and palaces! ■

Ravi C. Dasgupta

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FOOD

CULTURE

AMRITSAR’S CULT

FAVOURITES

THE GOLDEN TEMPLE IS THE HEARTBEAT OF PUNJAB’S MOST VISITED CITY BUT

THERE’S ANOTHER REASON WHY PEOPLE KEEP COMING BACK. AMRITSAR IS ALSO

ONE OF INDIA’S MOST EXCITING FOOD DESTINATIONS. BY ASHWIN RAJAGOPALAN

If there’s one thing you should leave

behind before you set foot in Amritsar,

it’s your calorie check. Amritsar is where

you will encounter Punjab’s warm

hospitality especially in its dishes that

don’t hold back on rich ingredients. I

experienced the same warmth as I began

my culinary trail of the city from

Amritsar’s newest hotel in the heart of

the city’s shopping district – Mall road.

Courtyard by Marriott follows the

brand’s new international contemporary

design language with local elements

(like destination images) seamlessly

integrated. Amritsar is easily one of

India’s most authentic food cities with

uncomplicated recipes, foods that can

add to your happiness quotient and

legendary local institutions known for

their one signature dish.

HERE’S TAKING YOU THROUGH

SOME MUST-DO CULINARY

EXPERIENCES

Community meal at the Golden Temple

Dawn time around 4:30 am is my

favourite time to visit the Golden

Temple. It’s when the palki ritual takes

place – the Guru Grant Sahib is

symbolically taken into the shrine in a

short procession amidst chanting and

the atmosphere is absolutely surreal. Do

make time to be part of the langar, the

community dining experience. The

temple’s four entrances symbolise its

openness to people from all walks of life

and nowhere is this more evident than at

langar, where the large community

kitchen serves a staggering 100,000

meals a day. The meal comprising

usually roti, dal and kheer might be

simple but it’s one of the most satisfying

meals you can have in Amritsar.

Good morning Amritsar

It’s an early morning tradition among

many of Amritsar’s early risers and

walkers. An invigorating glass of sweet

tea at Giani tea stall. This tiny tea stall is

always teeming with patrons who also

order their toast slathered with butter or

a hearty omelette along with their

cuppa.

Power breakfast

Kanha Sweets is one of those Amritsar

establishments that’s equally popular

among locals and tourists who converge

here for breakfast. It’s tough to decide

what makes their signature Bhature

taste better; the Amritsari style Chole or

the tangy Aloo ki Launji. I still haven’t

figured out after multiple visits but one

thing I know, there are few cities in

Northern India that can beat Amritsar’s

appeal as a culinary destination.

Local breakfast

The all-day diner at Amritsar Kitchen,

Courtyard by Marriott offers a choice of

international favourites in its breakfast

and dinner buffets, but it’s the local

specialities that are the highlight. The

chole are spot on and so are the

flavourful parathas (try the paneer

paratha). Wash it all down with their

masala chaach (butter milk) that’s

loaded with finely chopped coriander.

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FOOD

CULTURE

The kulcha trail

If there’s one thing that keeps bringing

me back to Amritsar, it’s the city’s

signature kulcha. No city does the

kulcha better than Amritsar. During a

visit a few years ago, celebrity chef and

restaurateur Vikas Khanna took me to a

nondescript eatery at Maqbool road that

doesn’t even have a signage. Maqbool

Road Kulchawala hasn’t dropped the

ball since then. This kulcha with its

flaky, almost crispy crust and the soft

potato filling inside is simply

scrumptious. The Kulcha Land on Ranjit

Road is also a great option.

Twin delights

Punjab might love its chicken delicacies

but it’s fair to say that most of Amritsar’s

iconic food establishments lean towards

vegetarian cuisine. Beera and Makhan

are two emblematic establishments that

are among the notable exceptions.

Located almost next door to each other,

they both have a cult following for their

signature dishes – the juicy Amritsari

chicken at Beera and the melt-in-yourmouth

fish tikka at Makhan.

Dhaba with a rich legacy

Kesar da dhaba is over 100 years old and

a local legend in Amritsar. It’s never easy

to score tables at this busy restaurant for

lunch hence I’d recommend checking in

early (around 12:30 pm). The highenergy

kitchen of this vegetarian

restaurant serves countless rotis and

kilos of home-style dal each day. Their

sarson da saag (served during the winter

months, also the best time to visit

Amritsar) and paneer gravies are failsafe

options too. Do make room for their

subtly sweet phirni.

Punjab-style lassi

Relive the clichés of that tall glass of

Punjabi lassi at Gian Chand Lassi. Many

first-timers find their half portion

formidable but locals can drink the full

portion effortlessly. If you like your lassi

extra sweet, try the house special – Peda

Lassi served with crushed peda and a layer

of thick cream that always rises to the top.

Many locals also swear by Ahuja Lassi.

Butter naan with a twist

Charming Chicken, an owner-driven

restaurant may not enjoy the same iconic

status as some of Amritsar’s popular

dining establishments but there’s no

better place for butter chicken and garlic

naan (this one’s a layered laccha-style

version) than this one in Amritsar.

Pickles, spices & more

Behind the recently restored Rambagh

gate in Amritsar’s old city is the vibrant

Rambagh market. A walk through the

busy Rambagh market is a multi-sensory

experience with vibrant colours at the

pickle and spice shops (that offer dozens

of varieties). Don’t miss one of these

piquant pickles or Amritsar’s famous

masala gud – desi gud (jaggery) infused

with spices like saunf.

The best jalebis in India?

This might spark some arguments,

especially because I haven’t sampled this

cloyingly sweet hot dessert in Varanasi,

another city with a formidable

reputation for jalebis. However, if there’s

one place I’d recommend in Amritsar, it’s

Gurdas Ram Jalebiyan Wale, located a

stone’s throw away from the Golden

Temple. The jalebis here are amongst the

best in India – no food colours or

artificial flavours and served piping hot.

Just make sure you don’t burn your

tongue while eating here. ■

132

JANUARY 2020


SPIRITUALITY

THE SELF

IN PURSUIT OF

NEWNESS

BY BK KARUNAKARA SHETTY,

MADHUBAN

WHILE TRYING TO KEEP PACE

WITH the routine, I often seem to get

caught in the mundane and experience

boredom. To rise above such

monotonous and mundane existence, we

all need a regular dose of newness to

keep our hearts and minds fresh. But I

often wonder, what is newness?

How can one define newness? Well,

it is a change of thoughts, feelings,

words, actions, circumstances, and

environment; deviating from the normal

makes us experience joy. On a physical

level, we try to do activities that add

newness, such as going for a holiday or a

party, watching a movie, etc. We then get

back to our daily routine of thoughts and

actions, with more freshness, which

makes the routine more interesting.

On a spiritual level, to become still in

the ocean of noisy action is a choice many

people are now making. When this is

achieved, the stillness acts on the mind

like oxygen, giving a chance to both

understand and enrich life. Action is a

necessity, an expression of our

ownselves through time, relationships

and the roles we play. However, if we do

not stop and take a breath of silence in

between, the mind begins to suffocate,

thoughts speed like bullet trains and the

brain feels as if it is in a pressure cooker.

Emotions erupt and react like volcanoes,

eyes become dizzy with mountains of

information and the head feels like a

rollercoaster. This is stress. At such time,

the mind needs to come up for air, leave

the jungle of pressure, deadlines and

speed and slow down and find the point

of silence within.

A daily dose of new and different

spiritual knowledge at the start of the

day helps us rise above the monotony,

adds newness and rekindles our creative

spirit. Such newness then flows into our

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SPIRITUALITY

THE SELF

feelings, beliefs, attitudes, personalities,

perceptions, actions, interactions,

relationships, etc., thus removing the

stagnancy of the regular routine.

NEWNESS AT EVERY STEP

Life should not be a routine with the same

thoughts, words and actions. It should be

a journey full of happiness with different

events, scenes, situations and

interactions every day. Thoughts, words

and actions that are full of newness and

enthusiasm become the driving energy

of your life. Even at workplace, you can

look for different activities to give a new

purpose to your life. Becoming

accustomed to the same routine can

make the job or even the house work

appear like boring exercise. Be creative

at every step to make your life journey

beautiful.

At the start of the day, create positive

thoughts or affirmations in your mind.

Let them be full of success and

determination which will keep you full

of positive energy throughout the day.

Take small breaks during the day to

check the thoughts in your mind. If they

are going in the wrong direction, give

them a new direction by meditating and

creating powerful and positive thoughts.

For more comfort, experience silence in

meditation by connecting with your

source, the Ocean of Peace. This is joyful

living.

DEALING WITH LIFE’S SITUATIONS

One of the most important aspects of

infusing newness in life is to adopt a

different perspective to life situations. A

positive mind looks at life differently

than someone with a negative mindset.

Take for instance a person who’s facing a

challenge at work and not being able to

come to a solution. If he were to look at

the current crisis in his life with a

different perspective, he would arrive at

a solution much faster and more easily. A

different attitude and view point can

make one magically arrive at solutions to

problems. A positive perspective makes

your life experiences more beautiful.

However, to add new ideas and thoughts,

one needs to fill the mind with fresh

knowledge, not only from the world but

also from your Source, Ocean of

Knowledge. As you become wiser, you

look at life with a fresh perspective, and

that is the key to success.

NEWNESS IN RELATIONS

A spiritual perspective of joyful living is

holding a positive dialogue with

yourself, no matter what the situation is.

Along with that, loving each one and

spreading positive energy and good

wishes in every relationship makes life

beautiful. Practise this daily. Remember

all the people who you are close to and

say. “You are special souls and I have a

pure bond full of love with you all. It is

my good wish that you all remain

extremely happy and full of wisdom to

overcome all challenges and ride

success.”

A life which is above the ordinary is

full of joy. Remember, people are one of

the most valuable assets of your life.

Investing positive emotions in people

will make your life enjoyable and full of

newness.

136

JANUARY 2020


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The property offers a multitude of fine-dining

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JANUARY 2020


TRAVEL

ADVENTURE

OF HIGH HILLS AND

LOW VALLEYS

THEKKADY DELIGHTS BY DAY AND NIGHT WITH ITS GREEN WOODS AND

WILDERNESS. BY GARIMA VERMA

For a moment it felt illusory. How

could a place have it all! The

fragrant hills covered in mist,

never-ending miles of forests

green as envy, rivers running through, and

sounds of birds and animals breaking the

enchanting silence. It almost seemed the

place might have fairies and goblins too

lurking in the deep, away from the

prancing human eye.

Kerala might be God’s Own Country,

but Thekkady is where he would choose to

reside. What could be more of a heaven

than sleeping in forgetfulness of the other

testing world and waking up to the echoes

of nature and a coffee as fresh as it could

get; then savouring the breakfast with the

air bringing with it a faint hint of petrichor.

For, a quick drizzle, that is sure to greet you

at any time of the year, had titillated the

earth a bit and also added to the mood at

Periyar National Park.

The cacophony of excited monkeys on

the periphery was perhaps a sign of the

jungle buzzing with activity. The great

cormorants perched on submerged trees,

or what was left of them, tended to have

made up their minds to point to the history

during the initial part of the ferry ride. It

was the Mullaperiyar Dam made in the

late 19th century that resulted in stoppage

of the river Periyar’s water flow. What

followed was a water reservoir — a lake in

the valley, and the Periyar National Park.

The trees that once stood tall went under

water but kept their ground, albeit in a

skeletal form.

As the clouds cleared quickly and gave

way to sunshine, the park’s inhabitants

started making appearances. A herd of

deer was grazing in peace. The sudden

hullabaloo raised the hopes of spotting a

striped beast (read tiger). It was not to be

though. The mighty bisons made up for the

momentary disappointment. One of them

even made the night jungle scout later a

terrifyingly endearing memory. It was this

range of experiences that made a certain

Mrs Bell from England name her daughter

India (nope, Jonty Rhodes was not the first

one to do that!). As she and her two

daughters wielded flashlights along with

us to make a tiny scout group, she told me

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TRAVEL

ADVENTURE

FACT FILE

Periyar National Park boasts of varying

altitudes. It could be 1,700 m above

sea level at one place and just about

100 m at the valley of the Pamba river.

Kottamalai is the highest peak in the

park at 2,019 m. The Park offers a

variety of activities to get to know it

better but it is advisable to book them

well in time.

Thekkady’s art centres can translate

into an evening well spent watching the

traditional dance forms like Kathakali

with elaborate makeup, Mohiniattam,

Kuchipudi, Kalaripayattu and thousands

of years old shadow puppetry called

Tholpavakoothu.

how she and her husband met in India and

fell in love with each other and the

country; came back for the honeymoon.

She was just going further down the

memory lane when the guide scout asked

us to focus our eyes on a rare civet cat. The

porcupines, nightjar birds, rabbits and

antelopes were fine, but when our lights

happened to reflect off the eyes of a mother

bison with the calf, we knew what a night

in the jungle could really mean. Her loud

grunting and stare had us frozen till the

guide asked us to switch off the lights and

quietly move away as “mother bison spares

no moment in attacking if she senses even

the slightest of a danger to her little one”.

Yet, the fear has a tendency to be

forgotten in the garb of adventure and

metamorphose into excitement. And, as

they say, a forest is a place where you lose

your sense and find the soul, never

wanting to look for an exit. The

abundance of enthusiasm saw us

not only beating the alarm the

next morning but also

uncharacteristically

polishing off meen

pollichathu (freid fish in

banana leaf) and nool pulao

(fried vegetable rice noodles)

rather than savouring.

It was time to see another face of

the Periyar Park. The one that led

through manicured tea gardens basking

in the first rays of the sun to Gavi as the

world around still hanged on to night. A

Giant Malabar Squirrel was the first to

introduce us to the diversity of the dense

tropical forest. Had it been not for its flight

(read somersault) from a tree to another, we

might have not been able to see it. The

further exploration on foot was more

intimate.

The uphill trek tried us city dwellers to the

hilt but the rewards were more than enough;

except the leeches that had crept up our

shoes from nowhere. Putting on a protective

layering kept us in good stead thereon.

Watching that black eagle circling over a

prospective prey, Nilgiri langurs, mountain

goats, macaques and the bisons again though

added to our longing of watching elephants

in that giant playground of theirs.

But you can’t have it all, not at once for

sure. There was a morning left to take in the

surreal setting one more time. The silence of

the hills was broken by squeaking cries. A

Malabar grey hornbill was going from tree to

tree, calling and searching for her mate. The

Cardamom County staff was equally

worried. Since they mate for life, the

partner’s loss results in a lonesome life,

almost suicidal. “Sometime back, a lone male

bird was here for days. We tried to feed him

but he refused to eat and died after a few

days,” they told me. The place, it seems,

familiarises you with all aspects of life.

Before we could get ourselves to bid adieu

to the bliss called Thekkady, its heady mix of

spices in the air, which had been

overpowered by the lure of the wild so far,

had us greedily buying packets full. The

taste of the raw ones — green pepper,

cardamom, cinnamon and more, in a spice

plantation though trumped the dry ones. But

the bottled bird chillies, pickles, banana,

tapioca and jackfruit chips, along with crispy

achchappams promised to keep Kerala alive

for many days. When the evenings would be

spent sipping special coffee from Thekkady

or tea made tastier with the pods from the

Cardamom Hills. ■

142

JANUARY 2020


IN FOCUS

MONTAGE

FINANCIAL PLANNING LESSONS

FROM LIFE OF A SOLDIER

BY SHYAMALI BASU (THE AUTHOR IS SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT & HEAD -

PRODUCTS & MARKETING, HDFC ASSET MANAGEMENT CO. LTD.)

“WE SLEEP

SAFELY AT NIGHT

BECAUSE TOUGH

MEN STAND

READY TO VISIT

VIOLENCE ON

THOSE WHO

WOULD HARM

US.” Winston

Churchill could not have put the

enormous importance of armed forces

for any nation in simpler words. While

words cannot do justice to the selfless

service of our armed forces, it cannot

be reiterated enough that freedom

and liberty 1.3 Billion Indians enjoy in

their daily lives is only due to constant

vigil of the armed forces.

While our armed forces

relentlessly keep vigil at our national

borders for the safety of a billion,

another enemy is lurking around the

corner - An invisible enemy in the

form of inflation. Inflation erodes

your wealth with every passing day

and before your realize your financial

goals can go for a toss. Choosing

the right investments and investing

regularly are your only weapons in

the fight against inflation. Just like

there can be no room for complacency

in the life of a soldier, the fight

against inflation provides no room for

lackadaisical approach to investing.

The only way to stay on course in this

battle is to start investing early, invest

regularly and stay invested.

One can draw numerous parallels

between life of a soldier and the

journey of investments. For instance,

soldier does not have control over

numerous things like weather

conditions, political factors, terrain

etc. Likewise, as an investor you would

come across many global and domestic

factors (Geo-political, Economic etc.)

which are beyond your control but

impact your portfolio nonetheless.

As an investor you need to take

these things in your stride as you

march towards your financial goals.

Diversification of portfolio across

sectors and asset classes can act as

your shield from such uncertainties.

When it comes to protecting

our national borders, the Army has

a concrete plan in place which is

executed by the soldiers. Investing

too needs a financial plan which takes

into consideration the investor’s age,

existing wealth, time horizon, risk

appetite etc.

Just like it is practically impossible

to protect our borders with Army

or Navy or Air Force in isolation

and consequently the armed forces

comprise of all three; your portfolio

needs a combination of different asset

classes to serve different roles. As

an investor, asset allocation of your

portfolio is as critical as the securities

you choose. Right balance between

Equity, Debt and Gold coupled with

adequate sectoral diversification is

necessary to cushion your portfolio from

market shocks.

In no other domain is the role of

a leader as important as it is in armed

forces. Leaders at various rungs in the

armed forces need to have foresight,

good temperament, flexibility and

patience among other things to marshal

their resources well. Further, they need

to have conviction in their decision

making even in the face of adversity.

Likewise, an investor needs to possess

these very attributes to grow his wealth

over the long term.

In any armed conflict, it is

advantageous at times to pre-empt an

enemy’s move and move swiftly before

the enemy plays his cards. While it’s

practically not possible to pre-empt

market movement and time the markets,

one can start investing early to allow

money more time to grow over the years.

Last but not the least, as a soldier,

there are times when being patient and

waiting for the enemy to make a mistake

or waiting for an opportune moment to

attack is imperative. Likewise, Investors

too, need to be patient and stick to their

investment plan irrespective of short

term volatility. In fact, investors can

increase their investment during such

times. By staying invested and investing

more when markets yield negative

returns in the short term, investors

increase the likelihood of superior

wealth creation in the long run.

It is difficult to think of a strong

stable country without thinking of

national security. Likewise, one cannot

aspire to lead a fulfilling life without

financial security. This Army day (15th

Jan), let’s appreciate the efforts of our

armed forces and make a new year’s

resolution to win the battle against

inflation and financial insecurity

through sound financial planning.

DISCLAIMER

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not of HDFC AMC, and should not be regarded as investment advice.

Investors should obtain their own independent advice before taking a decision to invest in any securities.

MUTUAL FUND INVESTMENTS ARE SUBJECT TO MARKET RISKS, READ ALL SCHEME RELATED DOCUMENTS CAREFULLY.

144

JANUARY 2020


IN FOCUS

MONTAGE

EASY REPAYMENT OPTIONS AND

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Half Page hor 203 x 127.5.indd 1

OF GREAT FOOD & WARM CONVERSATIONS

IMAGINE YOURSELF TAKING A SIP

OF your morning brew while silently

meditating on the cascading white

waters of the Athirappilly Falls,

crashing from great heights onto the

calm and composed Chalakudy river.

Imagine listening to the wild melody

of chirping wood shrikes and tooting

hornbills and the ever so mischievous

Nilgiri Langurs hankering playfully

for your attention. That’s just your

morning ritual at Samroha, the only

5-star resort at Athirappilly.

Barely two hours from Cochin

International Airport, this is one

of those destinations that thrive on

last-minute weekend getaway plans –

owing to its easy access, picturesque

landscapes and the fun activities

to indulge in. Samroha offers you a

chance to experience a bit of both a

quiet retreat as well as an energy filled

culture trip.

Life at Samroha is quintessentially

laidback. You can start your day with

a little walk down the gardens by

the river and settle down at a cozy

meditation spot of your choice, to

simply breathe and feel alive. The other

option would be a nice, relaxing swim

at the pool looking out at the valley and

the waterfalls. Then head to Zatkara

restaurant, to be greeted by the

aromas wafting from the traditional

11/25/2019 10:55:21 AM

breakfast spread. A weekend can

never be complete without good food

or great conversations, and the resort

has mastered the art of both. To help

take the weight of the world off your

shoulders, step into Nava Spa, a unique

Ayurvedic Massage and Spa Centre,

that specialises in natural therapies.

Should you ever feel the need for

some excitement and adventure, take

a hike to the base of the falls. For the

more outdoorsy lot, there are guided

treks to the Sholayar forests and jeep

safaris to Valparai — perfect reasons

to get into your camping boots and get

out your cameras. For a brush with the

past, there are tribal villages that you

could visit near the forest. For those

travelling with kids, there are two

wonderful water-themed amusement

parks right next door.

So plan your visit to Samroha to

bring harmony into your life!

145

JANUARY 2020


IN FOCUS

MONTAGE

A PERFECT WEDDING

DESTINATION

DESTINATION WEDDING ON YOUR MIND? Novotel Goa

Dona Sylvia Resort overlooking the Cavelossim Beach offers

a perfect Goan ambience for a dream wedding.

The resort has always resonated with old-world charm

and new-world luxury. The property provides a glimpse

into the rich traditional Portuguese culture through a mix

of contemporary and local heritage architecture, built like a

small luxury village in itself.

South Goa certainly gets you hitched with some scenic

and paradisiacal seascapes and landscapes for your wedding.

Just minutes away from the Cavelossim Beach, the resort

looks awesome for a wedding experience on the dazzling

white sands. Being the best wedding destination where the

guests can have a good time, the picturesque resort offers

a large banquet and meeting spaces that are well equipped

to make your event monumental. Adorned with the palm

trees and landscaped gardens, the magnificent seaside lawns

overlooking the beach, seem magical and spectacular, when

beautified for any wedding traditions.

The team of high-end chefs make and bake the food with

utmost perfection and ensure that the lip-smacking cuisines

make the guests happy. The venue boasts of multiple dining

and bar options which serve your tongue tantalising food.

The lavish buffet spreads, from breakfast to dinner, offer a

plethora of cuisines ranging from Goan, Marwadi, Gujarati,

Chinese, Italian, Mexican and Lebanese, and give the

guests a top-notch experience.

The resort works individually to create a personalised

and special wedding cake as per the choice of bride and

groom. The beautifully built Mediterranean-styled villas

also offer the perfect setting for honeymoon, to make the

wedding couple feel truly special.

So, start planning now. It’s time to exchange your sacred

vows with your soul mate.

CHEMICAL-FREE SKINCARE

FROM LOTUS ORGANICS+

LOTUS HERBALS WORKS WITH the commitment of

giving a healthy and chemical free life to its consumers.

Keeping up with its vision of clean and natural beauty,

Lotus Herbals has launched a new brand Lotus

Organics+. Made of 100 per cent certified organic

actives, the skincare products under this brand include

selective botanical extracts, cold pressed oils, fresh

and pure butters and steam distilled pure essential oils.

Realising the rising consumer demand for chemicalfree

skincare, the skincare line has products with

no parabens, petrolatum, mineral oil, paraffin,

sulfates and other harmful chemicals like pesticides,

herbicides, fungicides and fertilisers. With no use of

artificial fragrance, artificial colour or preservatives,

the products are 100 per cent vegetarian and leave

your skin feeling soft and hydrated. The Divine Care

Range includes Nutritive Crème, Nourish Face Wash

and Nutritive Hydrating Lotion with Irish Moss;

Restorative Night Creme with Macademia Nut Oil,

Petals Toner Mist and Pristine Purifying Face Wash

with Frangipani; Holistic Regenerating Exfoliator and

Blissful Perfecting Masque with Acai Berry; Blissful

Renewal Masque with French Clay; Mystic Soothing

Body Butter with Shea Butter; Mystic Brilliance

Body Lotion with Argan Oil; Mystic Indulgence Body

Lotion with Olive Butter; Soothing Hand Crème

with WildRose; Eternal Comfort Hand Crème with

Cranberry and Luxurious Comfort Hand Crème with

Shea Butter. The Precious Brightening Range made up

of White Peony includes Crème, Night

Crème; Serum+Creme; Exfoliator and

Face Wash.

146

JANUARY 2020


IN FOCUS

MONTAGE

IN PURSUIT OF PURPOSE

THE BEGINNING OF A NEW

of the island, the premium resort

DECADE will witness a transformed overlooks the Mediterranean Sea with

International Music Summit (IMS) at stunning views to Formentera and is

a new luxurious venue. The premier conveniently placed for Ibiza Town

platform for business, culture and and the airport. For the first time in

education in global electronic music, IMS history the summit will privatise

returns to Ibiza in 2020 for its 13th the entire resort for attending

edition and will be held at Destino delegates to create an intimate,

Pacha Resort owned by the Pacha immersive setting for networking and

Group.

presenting the summit agenda.

Located at the top of a cliff in

Since its inception, IMS has pledged

the exclusive Cap Martinet area to identify areas in which positive

ADVANCED HAIR

TRANSPLANTATION CENTER

HAIR TRANSPLANTATION IS A

SURGICAL PROCEDURE used for

the correction of androgenic alopecia

(AGA), cicatricial (scarring) alopecia,

or any form of permanent hair loss

in both men and women. There are

two methods of hair transplant – the

follicular unit transplant (FUT) also

called as strip method; and follicular

unit extraction (FUE) known as

suture-less or scar-less method.

For good hair transplant results,

great artistic ability on the part

of the surgeon is a must. He must

know how to aesthetically create

natural, feathered gradients of hair

that are totally undetectable. Mutual

understanding and direct one-to

one-conversations with the

patient are important to know

procedure best suitable for

the outcome.

Dr Suneet Soni, an internationally

accredited hair transplant surgeon,

has more than 1,500 successful hair

transplants to his credit. Director of

Medispa Laser and Cosmetic Surgery

Centre, Dr Soni is a certified M.Ch

plastic surgeon doing exclusive

cosmetic surgery and hair transplant.

Being one of the few surgeons in India

who can perform both FUE and FUT

with equal efficiency, his artistic skill

and medical knowledge is committed

to providing a hairline design with

dense packing of hair and scarless

transformation can occur, encouraging

debate and proactively working towards

change, with a continued focus on

sustainability, wellness and self-care,

diversity and equality in electronic music.

The summit is again hosted with the

team from SheSaid.So, who are also the

summit’s partner in Diversity & Inclusion.

The summit aims at uniting the

entire ecosystem of the genre from

over 50 countries across three days

of conversation, connection and

celebration. During IMS Week delegates

will experience a carefully curated

summit of inspiring keynotes and

discussions, speed dating business

opportunities, industry networking

sessions, entry to many Ibiza opening

parties, the IMS Legends Award dinner,

access to IMS wellness platform ARETÉ,

daily yoga, breath work and the annual

legendary IMS Dalt Vila celebration in

Ibiza Old Town in a UNESCO World

Heritage Site.

trichophytic closure with no visible marks.

Dr Soni is the only Indian surgeon

awarded with European (Spanish

University) professorship for Hair

Transplant Surgery. Medispa has been

established as the most advanced hair

transplant center in the country. It is

equipped with an ultra modern operation

theater dedicated to cosmetic surgery

and hair transplantation with maximum

number of German microscopes for

transplantation. Currently, Medispa has its

presence in Delhi, Jaipur, UK & UAE.

E-mail: drsuneetsoni@gmail.com website:

www.medispaindia.in

150

JANUARY 2020


D I N E A T T H E M O S T L E G E N D A R Y

R E S T A U R A N T I N S O U T H M U M B A I , T H E

P I O N E E R S I N M U G A L A I & P E R S I A N

C U I S I N E

. . . A N D M A N Y M O R E L U X U R I O U S S E A T I N G

A R R A N G E M E N T S , T H A T C A N H O S T U P T O

3 5 0 P A X A T A T I M E .

- P E R S I A N _ D A R B A R _ @ P E R S I A N D A R B A R

T O R E S E R V E - 0 2 2 6 2 2 6 1 1 1 2 / 2 3 7 9

1 1 1 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

A L E X A N D E R T E R R A C E , 5 , D R .

B A B A S A H E B A M B E D K A R R D ,

B Y C U L L A E A S T , M U M - 2 7

151

JANUARY 2020


BLAZE UP, ADD

COLOUR TO

YOUR STYLE

SHELTON SHIRTS WAS FORMED

as a serious contender into the

world of textile in the year 1988 by

Mr.P.Gnanaraj. It has unfolded the

meaning of passion towards fashion

with its showcase of vibrant designs.

The colourful range of shirts by

Shelton are merely the expression of

one's unique identity.

In the year 1993, their

manufacturing unit in Vallioor

employed around 800 employees. The

main aim was to provide opportunity

for women residents who lived there.

IN FOCUS

MONTAGE

Every product

of Shelton shirts has

a different look and feel, thus its

proven exclusivity had widened the

pool of content consumers. This epic

feat is no doubt propelled by a team

of creative and skilled designers.

They work behind the scene catering

every level of the society by and large

making it financially feasible.

Their professional collection

are more than 50,000

demonstrating unique shades

and innumerable choice for

trend lovers. Men's fashion

by Shelton is now intended to

shift its gear towards wedding

vogue. In challenging festive

seasons, Shelton shirts formulate

with fresh promising approach to

bring the best for the consumers.

As a leading Men’s shirts and

trousers manufacturer in India they

have a strong client base in the UAE.

The products are being exported

from India to many parts of the

Middle East.

More than three decades, Shelton

shirts are confident enough to throw

their efforts to make men feel good,

smart and special.

www.sheltonshirts.in

A BOTTLE

OF JOY

BRAND

All the way back… to

1916. That’s where our

tasty tale started and

has been traveling with backpacks

loaded with bottles of joy !! Our unique

preparation by a team of beverage

experts is what we take pride of.

With prime concern over the well

being of our customers, our healthy

composition is definite to thrill your

taste buds.

BUILT

A fully automated state of the

art facility to table out all our

manufacturing requirements, greatly

assists in the profound success of

brand kalimark. Advanced tech on par

with international players, Kalimark

has left no stone unturned to ensure an

optimum operational performance and

a premium quality drink. Constantly

in lieu with market trends, Kalimark

strives to provide the best that there is.

POWER

We have right skilled and experienced

professionals, which we call

Kalimark's strength. We believe the

success of Kalimark brand is the yield

through the right human capital. Our

team is the pride of Kalimark, we

always boast of it, which proves that

best resources, best product.

IDENTITY

This young 103 year brand

accomplished its new heights by the

younger generation. In 1959, Cities like

Chennai, Tirunelveli, Madurai, were

the next to enjoy the famous drink

Bovonto, a soft beverage in 1959. It was

Bovonto that stood as the foundation

for Kalimark to experience the

championship of soft drinks. Kalimark

got its firm shape ever since the release

of Bovonto. The generation taken

Kalimark to a far excelling extent to

several towns in TamilNadu and now

propelling towards PAN India.

Kalimark has numerous

accomplishments in the past decade

and has a solid place in the market

in the last decade. With an equipped

manufacturing unit, Kalimark has

shown a remarkable output. The pet

bottles that have been sent out of

the plant, has not just quenched the

thirst, but has built trust among the

customers.

152

JANUARY 2020


BEYOND THE DUNES

AND ALL IMAGINATION

you discover an Arabian

treasure with glistening pools,

nestled in the golden sands.

This hidden palace invites

you to countless adventures,

endless relaxation and

unforgettable indulgence.

But what to do first?

It doesn’t really matter when

you have it all at your fingertips.

YOUR EXTRAORDINARY STORY

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara

#InAbuDhabi

visitabudhabi.ae


DETOX TEA RANGE IN A

DELECTABLE TASTE

THE DAYLONG RANGE OF

Detox tea from Just Good Food

Co. promises to detox your body

while enticing your taste buds

with flavourful and sunny notes

of choicest Darjeeling tea blends.

The range consists of leaf-grade

tea harvested in April (the first

crop of the year that goes into

premium brands) and then blended with age-old recipes

by a 6th generation family of tea blenders. The tea range

consists of flavours popular with Indian tea connoisseurs

and instead of tea bags, it comes in elegant FDA-approved

perforated aluminum tea sticks (each stick makes about four

cups of tea) with revitalising aroma. Totally natural with no

preservatives or chemicals, it comes in two variants – with

honey sticks and without honey sticks.

IN FOCUS

MONTAGE

FEEL THE FORCE WITHIN

CD RED CARPET COLLECTION

BE THE CENTER OF UNFAIR ATTENTION with CD Red

Carpet Collection. Move in your own orbit and feel the

cosmos turn its gaze on you. Become a cause as you adorn

one such energy. Take a moment to soak it all in as the world

lies suspended. These high-style-quotient shirts are equally

at home whether you are attending the awards or receiving

them. Italian Linen, blended fabrics and sharp cuts.

Shop online at www.cdshirts.com or walk in to The

Store at 64, Wodehouse Road, Colaba, Mumbai 400 005

or call 91 22 61522300.

Follow us on facebook at

http://www.facebook.com/

cdshirts

TAILOR-MADE HAIR OIL

FOR HEALTHY LOCKS

THIS CHILLY WEATHER, bid goodbye to frizzy hair

and dry scalp and welcome healthy tresses

as Bare Anatomy, a personalised hair

care brand, launches non-sticky and

custom-made hair oil for a full-fledged

haircare regime. After carefully

examining the various facets of

an individual’s personal data e.g.

lifestyle, diet, age, hair problems

and goals, the oil is uniquely

curated as per the hair type and

requirements to resurrect lifeless

hair. The oil is meticulously

formulated for deep nourishment

of the scalp and roots with

botanical extracts. The unique

formula pampers your locks with

the right amount of hydration and

nourishment and works wonders

to bring dull hair back to life.

BEAT THE 3 PM SLUMP

WITH NATURAL HONEY

FEELING HAZY AT WORK

post lunch? Just take a

shot of Sweet Spot, an allnatural

Himalayan multiflora

honeysticks from Just

Good Food Co. Packed with

the goodness of essential

nutrients and rich in

antioxidants, these tiny 8 gm

honeysticks are your mini

powerhouse and all-natural

energy bar (minus the bad

sugars) on the go. Available in

a pocket size pack of 10 sticks,

they are easy to carry along

in your laptop and hand bags.

Just pour it into your green

matcha, milk, or pre-workout

shake and kickstart with

crackling energy.

154

JANUARY 2020


SIMPLE IS

SUSTAINABLE

ARCHITECT LAURIE BAKER’S

PHILOSOPHY OF MINIMISING COST

WHILE CREATING STRUCTURES OF

SIMPLE BEAUTY, LEFT A LEGACY OF

BEAUTIFUL BUILDINGS. HE IS KNOWN

AS ‘THE GANDHI OF ARCHITECTURE’.

BY BRINDA GILL

HERITAGE

PAINTINGS

IN THE HEART OF THAMPANOOR

in Thiruvananthapuram, abuzz with

traffic, shops, billboards and more,

stands an unusual cylindrical exposed

brick structure with three bands of

small openings and a projecting line in

between them spiralling up, and a

funnel — like structure emerging from

the roof. If the exterior intrigues the

onlooker to step in, the interiors

instantly captivate as curious visitors

walk up a ramp edging the inner core to

the left and seating to the right while

the wafting fragrance of filter coffee

and South Indian snacks whets the

appetite.

The endearing building, the everpopular

Indian Coffee House for locals,

is invariably on the must-visit list of

visitors to the state capital. For in its

efficient use of space, functionality as a

coffee house, uniqueness of form, use of

the simplest materials namely exposed

brick, and the use of the traditional

Indian architectural element of jalis

(now closed with coloured plastic), its

156

JANUARY 2020


HERITAGE

ARCHITECTURE

appeal to different age-groups, the

lovely structure stands tall and speaks

volumes of the philosophy of architect

Laurie Baker whose quiet architectural

gems dot the city.

A TURN OF EVENTS

It was a quirk of fate that brought young

Laurie Baker to India. Born in

Birmingham in 1917 into a Methodist

family, Baker became a Quaker in his

teens and its ideals (that stressed

simplicity, austerity, equality and work

as an offering to God) influenced and

shaped him. He studied architecture at

the Birmingham Institute of Art and

Design, and graduated when he was just

20 year of age.

Opting for voluntary work during

World War II, he served in China and

was asked to return to England for rest

in 1943. On the return trip, there was a

delay in his getting a ship to England as

a result of which he spent three months

in Mumbai. During this time he

fortuitously attended Gandhiji’s talks

and met the leader. Young Baker was

greatly inspired by Gandhiji’s ideology

and his philosophy regarding buildings:

Gandhiji felt structures should be built

with materials sourced from within a

file — mile radius of the site.

Hearing of Mission to Lepers

requiring “A builder-architect-engineer

sort of person” in India, Baker returned

to India in 1945. He took on the

responsibilities of the role, working

on-site to design, build as well as

convert existing treatment centres into

treatment hospitals for leprosy patients.

He later met Dr Elizabeth Jacob

working with leprosy patients, and

their shared belief system saw them get

married in 1948.

On a trekking honeymoon the couple

reached Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand,

where they settled, looked after the

locals and lived for 16 years. And it was

during this time that Baker observed

local architecture and found it was

simple, functional, built in response to

the site and to the local requirements,

and with local materials. Engaging with

the locals, he integrated his academic

learning with their traditions and skills

to build schools, hospitals and

community buildings.

In 1963, the Bakers moved to

Vagamon, a hilly region in central

Kerala, and continued a similar life of

helping the local community in health

care and building schools and health

centres. Some years later they moved to

Thiruvananthapuram, where Baker

was steadily involved in a spectrum of

projects from low-cost houses to

fishermen’s villages, residences,

churches, schools, institutions,

hospitals and more, thus bequeathing

the city with architecture that

conveyed his philosophy and carving

out a style that came to be known by

his name.

BAKER STYLE

Baker used techniques such as the

rat trap method of laying bricks

(wherein bricks are placed vertically

with a hollow between them to save

material), and materials such as

Mangalore tiles and recycled elements

158

JANUARY 2020


HERITAGE

ARCHITECTURE

to save cost, yet created buildings

graced with elegance and character.

Perhaps the most visibly identifiable

feature of his buildings is the poetic

play of brick work in myriad ways,

reminiscent of jalis in traditional

Indian architecture, to bring in views of

the outdoors while offering privacy,

natural light and breeze without the

glare or rain. Such brick work

transforms simple walls into patterned

canvases that yield a play of light and

“What makes his work even more remarkable is the way in which he

draws creative sustenance from the environment in which he works,

absorbing vernacular patterns of construction and individual sties of

living to such a degree that he is able to give his clients the comfort

and east of homes and institutions that are firmly rooted in the soil

upon which they stand. All this is done keeping in mind the special

needs of those who will inhabit or use these pleas.”

ARCHITECT GAUTAM BHATIA in his book Laurie Baker Life, Works & Writings

shadow in the interiors.

Baker designed buildings that

organically embraced the lay of the

land, the plot size and existing trees,

inner courtyards and multi-purpose

spaces, brought a bit of nature indoors

and offered views of the outdoors.

Through the designing and building

process he kept in mind the

requirements and budget of those who

would use the spaces. He did away with

ornamentation and instead opted for

unfussy features such as built-in

seating. It is these structures that add

another dimension to the capital city

that enjoys a noble bearing with its

stately temples, palaces and museums.

Among the buildings designed by

Baker, that can be visited or seen by the

public in Thiruvananthapuram, are the

India Coffee House, that packs his

design philosophy in a compact space;

the Loyola auditorium and the Loyola

chapel that offers a tryst with the

divine with its simplicity and light

streaming in through the openings on

the altar wall; the Centre for

Development Studies with its array of

buildings infused with a mesmeric play

of light and shadow through the

undulating walls of patterned

brickwork. A short drive away at

Vilappilsala is SEWA, designed by

Baker, as well as the Laurie Baker

Centre for Habitat Studies (LBC) in

sync with its natural environs and thus

speaking volumes of its aim to further

sustainable development.

Baker passed away in 2007 at the age

of 90 leaving behind a legacy that

inspired many students of architecture,

practising architects and designers, and

people at times ask for a Baker-style

residence, office or institute. In a world

that pushes for sustainability in design,

apparel, architecture and more, the

works of the assuming stalwart silently

shines and shows a way forward. ■

162

JANUARY 2020


MELANGE

TAROT

YOUR FORECAST THIS MONTH

BY SRRINIVAS IYER

Aries

Rare formation of

Taurus

The focus is

Gemini

The areas of

Cancer

This month your

Leo

This is an

Virgo

You are full of

planetary happens

on evolving

partnership, short

opponents have an

extraordinary month

energy and put

this month. Bow

technologies, which

distance travel is

upper hand on active

for you. Romance,

lot of efforts

down to existence

are not pursued by

energised during this

joint projects. In

spirituality, fame,

this month to

for this unique gift.

many, such as start-

transit. This means

matter of litigations,

communication,

accomplish your

Financially a good

ups, inventions, space

that your spouse

stick to the approach

children’s

goals. Home life is

period is coming

missions, strategic

influence and luck

of right things to

achievements,

busy. Renovation,

ahead this month.

operations and so

on your fortunes

do and Justice will

higher learning are

moving homes,

You put efforts in

on. Partnerships

is extremely good.

prevail. Children’s

energized in your

parties, self-

pursuing innovative

work well during this

Focussing on finances

needs and priorities

chart. Don’t lend

expression, inviting

technologies and

phase and travel is

of near and dear ones

keep you on your

money to anyone

friends are all

success is assured.

indicated.

is important.

toes this month.

this month.

indicated.

ZEBRONICS

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makes your listening experience even

more enhanced.

Understanding this, Zebronics

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leading brand of IT and

gaming peripherals, sound

solutions, mobile and lifestyle

accessories, and surveillance

products, launched the Zeb

Sound Bomb earphone. A

part of its True Wireless

Stereo range, the

earphone comes with

smooth texture, glossy

finish, easy to switch on

and no hassle pairing.

It also comes with an in-ear design

and super snug fit being super sturdy

and firm on the ear that provides a

passive noise cancellation because of

its design. It offers a playback time of

6 hours (that can be extended up to 18

hours of playback) with the charging

case, which is a truly compact piece

that can easily fit into a pocket. The

magnetic design with space for the

earphones helps fit in magnetically

without any hassle.

With just a touch on the top button,

you can play/pause, double touch the

button to activate the voice assistant

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can press and hold for the device to

switch on/off. Turn your background

music into a true hearing experience.

Product Price is Rs. 2699.

164

JANUARY 2020


MELANGE

TAROT

YOUR FORECAST THIS MONTH

BY SRRINIVAS IYER

Libra

The financial arena

of your chart is

active. Income

and expenses are

highly energized

this month for

you. Breakthrough

for writers,

sportspersons (such

as shooters, boxers

and swimmers) and

the like.

Scorpio

Your passion

and energy is

unstoppable,

helping you break

all obstacles

and achieve

the impossible.

Financial miracle

happens, with

some of you have

hitting the jackpot

in your life.

Sagittarius

Enjoy the ride of

luck and alchemy

that you have

been enjoying

since last month.

This month bring

you a pinnacle of

success in life. This

phase leaves a

lasting imprint on

you for the years

to come.

Capricorn

Everything

connected to

overseas matters

are energized.

You will too

experience the

magical moments

and alchemy

this month.

Unbelievable

events are

happening.

Aquarius

You are luck for your

social connections

and they express

their gratitude for

you openly. Social

gathering and

celebrations are

indicated. Money,

love, romance,

educations and

children make you

proud.

Pisces

The alchemy and

magical moments,

due to the planetary

transit and unique

formations is

happening in the

area of your business

and professional

life. Expansion of

home and change

of profession is also

indicated.

The above is based on the sun sign and planetary transits thereof. It is general in nature. For specific readings, seek out expert advice based on

your individual chart. (Astrologer Srrinivas Iyer is based in Vashi, Navi Mumbai. He can be contacted on srrinivas9@gmail.com)

SRM BAGS THE SWACHHATA RANKING AWARD

SRM INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE and

Technology, Kattankulathur has

been ranked No. 1 under the category

of AICTE-Residential Universities

in the third edition of Swachhata

Ranking Award. The award was given

by MHRD as a part of its Swachh

Bharat Mission

to promote

environmental

hygiene in the

Higher Education

system and beyond. SRMIST excelled

in the parameters of hygiene like

student-toilet ratio, hostel hygiene,

water conservation, campus greenery,

harnessing solar energy, rainwater

harvesting , waste segregation and

solid waste management. The award

was presented to Registrar of SRMIST

Dr N Sethuraman at the AICTE award

ceremony held in New Delhi.

SRMIST also secured the third

rank in AICTE’s Clean and Smart

Campus Awards. The process of

ranking consists of assessing the

institutes on Impact of deployment

of digital technology in order for the

students, faculty and management in

the campus to reduce consumption of

natural resources (such as paper, gas,

energy etc) and alignment of the latest

digital trends like IoT, Big Data and

Cloud Networking to achieve various

aspects of sustainability in the campus,

specifically to contribute to United

Nations’ SDGs.

SRMIST also came first in the

AICTE’s ‘One student One tree’

campaign, where 50,000 saplings

were planted in 26 villages near

Kattankulathur and Kundrathur

Panchayath. This initiative was done

by students from NSS, NCC, Unnat

Bharat Abhiyan, Swachhata-hi Seva

and student chapter for engineers

association.

166

JANUARY 2020


LEADING

GYM EQUIPMENT

BRAND

TM

MUMBAI HEAD OFFICE : 982002 7746, NAGPUR : 932262 6565, PUNE : 932212 6161, VADODARA : 932212 6262,

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DELHI : 932494 2379, HYDERABAD : 932172 1010, GOA : 932212 6161, GUWAHATI : 932262 6565, CHENNAI : 932262 6565,

KOLKATA : 982010 0695, AHMEDABAD : 932212 6262, LUCKNOW : 992044 6664, INDORE : 915272 7325, CHANDIGARH : 9999011211

Email : sales@beingstrong.in Website : www.beingstrong.in beingstrongindia


IN FOCUS

MONTAGE

SOARING HIGH WITH

SKINDERELLA

A PAGEANT THAT CELEBRATES EVERY GIRL-NEXT-DOOR, GIVES HER WINGS TO FLY

When did we become

conditioned to

believing in the

unrealistic standards

of beauty set by the society? We live in

a world where beauty is overburdened

with having an hour-glass figure, being

fair and flawless. These clichés play

havoc with the self-esteem of young

girls and make them feel underconfident

in chasing their dreams.

However, in this world where girls

are put into immense pressure to airbrush

and edit their photos to look

stunning on social media, there’s a

pageant that celebrates the realness of

every girl and encourages them to be

their genuine and natural versions.

Skinderella is a clutter-breaking

pageant which liberates the millennial

and Gen Z from the fixed and rigid

stereotypes of beauty standards set for

them. Skinderella is an exclusive

property of skincare brand, Skinella.

Skinderella is a beauty pageant

which is an antithesis of the typical

beauty pageants. Moreover,

Skinderella is a platform that

empowers and enables young girls (15

to 25 years of age) to question age-old

beauty norms, overcome societal

pressures and find their very own

meaning of beauty.

In the third year running,

Skinderella is set for its quest to find

the most #SuperNaturally girl of 2020.

She will win the coveted crown with a

cash prize of Rs. 1.5 lakh, a sponsored

holiday and a chance to be a face of

Skinella.

The contest is open to all girls and

registrations can be made from

Skinella’s exclusive app on android and

iOS devices. Skinella’s team is also

visiting selected colleges in India to

make the registration interface

available. In its third season this year,

over 15, 000 participants have already

registered. Registration is open till

15th January. The Grand Finale of

Skinderella 2020 will be held on 10th

February in New Delhi.

However, Skinderella is not merely

a pageant, but a journey of these young

girls in finding their own definitions of

beauty, and a platform that allows her

to be simply her. It has transformed the

lives of the contestants who come from

humble backgrounds in a rather

dramatic way, and it has given them

confidence and wings to realise their

dreams.

Skinella is the brainchild of

cosmetic engineer and entrepreneur

Dolly Kumar. Skinella offers a range of

skin care products made with the

power of super-foods for a young target

group of 15-25 year old girls. Skinella

products are vegan and PETA certified.

168

JANUARY 2020


TRAVEL

GETAWAYS

5 EASY WEEKEND

GETAWAYS

FROM MUMBAI

TAKE A BREAK FROM MUMBAI’S HUSTLE AND BUSTLE TO HIT THESE WEEKEND

GETAWAYS. DISCOVER PLACES FOR HISTORY LOVERS, NATURE ENTHUSIASTS,

WINE CONNOISSEURS AND BEACH BUMS, ONE WEEKEND AT A TIME.

BY EDWINA D’SOUZA

MAHABALESHWAR

Mahabaleshwar is the ultimate retreat if

you want to get away from the crowds of

Mumbai. Whether you’re visiting as a solo

traveller, couple or family, this quaint hill

station won’t disappoint you.

The Elephant’s Head Point and Kate

Point offer spectacular views of the

mountain ranges. Families can spread out

the picnic mat by the Venna Lake and

enjoy boating at sunset; or go strawberry

picking at local farms and buy jams and

squashes from the popular Mapro Garden.

It is believed that the British brought the

strawberries to Mahabaleshwar (then the

summer capital of the Bombay

presidency) from Australia. Its sister town

Panchgani throws a nice colonial vibe too

and offers breathtaking views of the

Sahyadris. Kids and adults alike can spend

some time strolling through India’s first

book village in Bhilar, sandwiched

between Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani,

and admire the community initiative of

turning local houses into libraries.

Pratapgad Fort, literally translating to

‘Valour Fort’, is a historically significant

site of the Battle of Pratapgad and worth

the drive 25 kilometres away.

Distance: 260 km from Mumbai

MURUD-JANJIRA

Western Maharashtra is blessed with a

wonderful coastline stretching 720 km and

dotted with beaches – both popular and

pristine. Beach bums can capitalise on the

weekend and go beach hopping along

Maharashtra’s coastline. Of all the beaches

along the coastline, Murud Janjira is a must

visit.

The Janjira Fort, ruled by the Siddis of

Africa, is an imposing structure in the

Arabian Sea. The marine fort has a

distinction of being India’s only undefeated

fort on the western coast, in spite of several

attacks from the British, Dutch and Shivaji

Maharaj of the Maratha Empire. The fort

remained unconquered until it became

part of the Indian Territory after

independence from the British in 1947. The

nearby Padmadurg Fort, a protected

monument under the Archaeological

Survey of India, is equally stunning and can

be admired from afar as tourists require

special permissions to visit the structure. A

morning walk on the Murud beach is

pleasantly nice, while evenings bustle with

horse rides and speed boats, bhel puri and

corn cob stalls. On the way to Agardanda

Jetty, drop by the Khokri village to marvel

at the 18th century Khokri tombs, albeit in

ruins, built by the Siddi dynasty. Finally,

end the night by treating yourself to a

scrumptious seafood thali.

Distance: 160 km from Mumbai

170

JANUARY 2020


TRAVEL

GETAWAYS

MATHERAN

Matheran needs little introduction. The

smallest hill station in India is a popular

getaway because of its close proximity

from Mumbai and Pune. An eco-sensitive

zone, Matheran looks straight out of the

1800s with limited urbanisation and a

vehicular ban. At 2,000 feet above sea

level, the temperatures are perpetually

cool surrounded by dense forests, making

it a great destination all-year round.

Spread across less than 8 km,

Matheran boasts of over 30 points, one

lake and three temples. Each of the points

offer spectacular views of the Western

Ghats but the Alexander Point, Louisa

Point, One Tree Hill, Lord Point and

Charlotte Lake should be on your list.

Strolling through the shops at MG Road

feels like a film set. The heritage toy train

from Neral to Matheran rewards visitors

with breathtaking views of the Sahyadri

mountain range and cascading waterfalls.

Coming by road? Visitors can park their

cars at Dasturi Park, the last motorable

stop, and hike along the railway tracks

soaking in stunning vistas to reach there.

Distance: 60 km from Mumbai

PHALTAN

Not many would know but Phaltan

situated in the Satara district was a

Maratha princely state of British India.

This little town is great for a rural getaway

with windmill farms, green meadows and

stunning waterfalls.

Stroll around the Rajwada and admire

the understated elegance of the royal

home of the Nimbalkars, who ruled

Phaltan from 1860 to 1916. The courtyard

of the Rajwada has been a set for many a

Hindi films like Bhool Bhulaiyaa and

Khatta Meetha. Drive through the

countryside to reach Pusegaon village and

stand underneath giant windmills at the

sunset. Farming is big this side of town.

Phaltan is one of the largest producers of

sugarcane and its pomegranates are of

export quality. Stroll around the tomato,

marigold and sugarcane fields, milk a cow

or take a bullock cart ride at local farms

that are welcoming of tourists. Nature

lovers can drive down to the Thosegar

Waterfalls and those with a penchant for

history should visit the Ajinkyatara Fort

in the heart of Satara city. Pro tip: Stay at

Jakson Inns Phaltan, who is consistently

working to bring Phaltan on the tourist

map in Maharashtra; and opt for their

curated tours around the place.

Distance: 250 km from Mumbai

NASHIK

Nashik is quite a versatile location –

perfect for wine connoisseurs, a great

spiritual retreat and a haven for food

lovers. Nashik is the wine capital of India

and you’ll find vineyards here by the

dozen. While Sula Vineyards are

considered the pioneers in Indian wine

making, selling and distributing, others

like York, Grover Zampa and Soma are not

far behind. Wine enthusiasts can take a

full-day tour of some of these vineyards in

and around Nashik. Don’t forget to go

grape stomping during the seasonal

months from January to March. The Sula

fest is organised annually in the month of

February and promises visitors a great

atmosphere for art, music, dance, food,

culture and more wine.

Trimbakeshwar temple is home to one

of the twelve Jyotirlingas across India and

attracts pilgrims from all over

Maharashtra. For a taste of some authentic

local cuisine, try the spicy Nashik Misal

Pav at Sadhana Restaurant that is prepared

on a chulha and served with a side of papad.

Distance: 165 km from Mumbai

172

JANUARY 2020


BOOKS

REVIEWS

READER'S CORNER

What the serious bookworm is checking out this month

from Mughal India to the newest

brands pushing the envelope.

BECOMING HAFEEZ

CONTRACTOR: THE

MAKING OF AN

ARCHITECT

Harshad Bhatia, HarperCollins

India

From doodling on the edges of

his schoolwork to designing

some of the country’s iconic

buildings, Hafeez Contractor has

had an outstanding career. His

creations are said to have altered

the physical profile of

architecture in urban India. Based

on extensive research and

personal interactions with

Contractor, the author brings us a

book on the life and work of the

acclaimed architect-designer.

AFTERWARDNESS

Mimi Khalvati, Carcanet Press

The autobiographical title is rich

with Khalvati's personal history,

her Iranian origins and her long

years in Great Britain. The 55

sonnets draw from the author’s

memory, history, daily life,

intersecting geographies and

cultures, ancestral and acquired.

The author puts the Petrarchan

sonnet to striking use in the book.

COMING HOME

Sudha Murthy, HarperCollins

India

Told from Gopi’s

perspective, Coming Home, the

first book in the Gopi Diaries

begins with Gopi going to his

new home. The gorgeously

illustrated book for young

readers tells the story of how he

settles down with his loving,

human family. How Gopi sees

the world around him and what

he thinks of the people in his life

give the story a truly unique

flavour. Written in Sudha Murty's

inimitable style, these are books

children and adults will treasure

as the simple stories talk of basic

values even when told from a

dog’s perspective.

A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO

JAPAN: OBSERVATIONS

AND PROVOCATIONS

Pico Iyer, Penguin Random

House India

After 32 years in the country, Iyer

writes about his adopted home –

Japan. He draws on readings,

reflections and conversations with

Japanese friends to illuminate an

unknown place for newcomers, and

to give longtime residents a look at

their home through fresh eyes. The

playful guidebook gives readers a

glimpse into Japanese culture and

way of living.

ASTERIX AND THE

CHIEFTAIN’S DAUGHTER

Jean-Yves Ferri, Hachette India

Adrenaline is the teenage

daughter of chieftain

Vercingetorix. The Romans want

to capture her at any cost. Thus,

she is placed under Asterix and

Obelix's watch, but she has other

ideas and soon gives her new

guardians the slip. The race is on

to find her before the Romans do.

The author-illustrator duo mark

the series’ 60th birthday with this

new adventure.

SHIP OF SORROWS:

A NOVEL

Qurratulain Hyder, Women

Unlimited

Translated from Urdu by

Saleem Kidwai, this book

revolves around the lives of six

coming of age friends living in

mid-twentieth-century

Lucknow. The protagonists

hail from upper-class families

— some Hindus, some Muslims

and one English. The story

explored the bond between

them and the upheaval in their

lives caused during the years

leading up to Partition.

BUSINESS ON A PLATTER

Anoothi Vishal, Hachette

India

Over the past two decades,

India’s restaurant industry has

seen introduction of experiential

dining, modern Indian food,

private equity investment and

some notable exits. In Business

on a Platter, the author, building

on her observations of the sector,

analyses stories of survival, failure

and turnarounds, while also

tracing the history of food retail

THE STARLESS SEA

Erin Morgenstern, Doubleday

Canada

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate

student in Vermont when he

discovers a mysterious book hidden

in the stacks. As he turns the

pages, he reads a story from his

own childhood. Bewildered, he

uncovers a series of clues that lead

him to an ancient library hidden far

below the surface of the earth.

Zachary travels through this

magical world, discovering his

purpose — in both the mysterious

book and in his own life.

176

JANUARY 2020


NEWS

Ajay Singh takes over as

WTTCII Chairman

The World Travel & Tourism Council,

India Initiative (WTTCII) has appointed

Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing

Director of SpiceJet, as its Chairman

for the year 2020. The announcement

was made at the launch of the

6th edition of

the WTTCII-

HOTELIVATE,

State Ranking

Survey 2019 in the

presence of Shri

Prahlad Singh Patel,

Honourable Minister

of State for Tourism

and Culture, and

other dignitaries.

“I am deeply

honoured to

take over as the

Chairman of the

World Travel &

Tourism Council,

India Initiative.

Given India’s rich

cultural diversity,

the travel and

tourism potential of our country is

unparalleled and I look forward to

working closely with the government

and the industry to realise this

potential,” said Mr Singh.

Mr Singh, who had served as the

Vice Chairman, WTTCII for the year

2019, took over from Mr. Rajeev

Talwar, Chief Executive Officer, DLF.

He is also on the Board of Governors

of the prestigious International Air

Transport Association.

SPICEJET

INSIDER

The latest edition of the State

Ranking Survey noted that states

such as Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal

and Tripura had shown remarkable

improvement since its launch in 2009

while the North Eastern States had

also shown tremendous improvement.

It also stated how the recent policies

like the new E-Tourist Visa Policy, the

reduction of GST on hotels, have given

a big fillip to the industry and lauded

these new interventions made by the

Government.

The first State Ranking Survey

was launched back in 2009, with

the endeavour to encourage the

state governments and the political

leadership therein to take a more

favourable stance, to take cognizance

of the Tourism industry, which can

contribute significantly to the State’s

GDP, employment and infrastructure,

as well as have tangible social

impact.

The World Travel & Tourism Council,

India Initiative (WTTCII) was launched

in February 2000 to raise awareness

of the crucial role that travel and

tourism plays in the development and

growth of the economy in India.

Happy Christmas

As a part of Christmas celebration, SpiceJet donated porta cabin shelter to Delhi

government along with few other amenities to people staying in such shelters. The

inauguration of the porta cabin shelter was done by Delhi government minister.

The CSR activity was conducted on 23 December, 2019 wherein porta cabin was

deployed at DUSIB Rain Basera, Sarai Kale Khan, Near Metro Gate No. 2 with a

capacity of 20 beds, along with individual bedding. SpiceJet also donated 200

blankets, 20 heat convectors and 200 woollen caps along with the donation of

medicines for recovery shelter patients. There was lunch arrangement for 350 shelter

people at the event location.

177

JANUARY 2020


SPICEJET

INSIDER

SpiceJet

and Gulf Air

sign MoU to

explore greater

cooperation

SpiceJet has signed

a Memorandum of

Understanding (MoU)

with Gulf Air, the

national carrier of the

Kingdom of Bahrain,

to explore greater

cooperation between

the two airlines

including an interline

and codeshare

agreement, coordinated cargo services,

engineering services and pilot training.

The MoU was signed by Ajay Singh,

Chairman and Managing Director,

SpiceJet and Krešimir Kučko, Chief

Executive Officer, Gulf Air in New

Delhi on November 20. Besides

looking at a codeshare and interline

agreement, the scope of the MoU

includes the two airlines exploring

growth opportunities beyond network

expansion by leveraging each other’s

strengths. SpiceJet and Gulf Air will

look at collaborating in the field of

pilot training to nurture talent in order

to deliver the finest resources for

both the airlines. The airlines will also

engage and collaborate to enhance

their respective cargo and engineering

services.

The signing of this MOU between

the two carriers aims at initiation of

collaboration between the two carriers,

and further strengthening the strong

ties between India and the Kingdom of

Bahrain.

SpiceJet to launch four

new international and

domestic flights

SpiceJet has launched four

new direct flights connecting

Thiruvananthapuram with Male

and Chennai thereby strengthening

its network in the southern part

of India. In view of the significant

tourism potential, SpiceJet is

introducing a direct flight on

the Thiruvananthapuram-Male

route. With the increased demand

from customers and reaffirming

its commitment on enhancing

domestic connectivity, SpiceJet

has also introduced new flights on

the Chennai-Thiruvananthapuram-

Chennai sector. All the new flights

will operate daily and SpiceJet will

deploy its Bombardier Q400 aircraft

on these routes. With the new flights,

passengers from Thiruvananthapuram

will be now able to easily travel to a

host of other cities both on SpiceJet’s

domestic as well as international

network.

SpiceJet gets Metro

check-in facility

SpiceJet is now among the

five airlines to avail of the

Metro check-in facility in Delhi.

Passengers flying out of Delhi’s

T3 terminal can obtain their

boarding passes at special

check-in counters set up at New

Delhi Metro Station. This new

service is a joint effort between

Delhi International Airport Limited

and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.

This facility will close two hours

before the flight departure time.

Passengers will now thus be able

to drop

their

luggage

at the

counters

and travel

light to the

airport.

178

JANUARY 2020


SPICEJET

INSIDER

MY TOWN

Our ongoing series in which we look at various Indian cities

through the eyes of SpiceJet staffers. This month, Erykah

Vanisha Rebello, Cabin Crew, holds forth on Goa

Calangute, the beach largest beach in Goa

The famous Goan cuisine

Connection to the city: I am

originally from Goa, which is known

as the pearl of the orient and a

tourist paradise.

Best thing about Goa: From the

beaches, markets, spirituality,

food, parties, zipping through the

countryside captivating blend of

Portuguese and Indian culture,

everything about Goa lures me.

It is fun being here, it’s affordable

and definitely a welcome escape

from the chaos of the big cities.

Ever since my childhood I had the

opportunity to visit every beach

in Goa, watch sunset and sunrise,

make sand castles and so on.

Night scene in the city: Goa is a

famous tourist destination and the

smallest state in India. This mindblowing

destination harbours the

most exciting nightlife options. The

setting sun in Goa brings happiness

and lots of fun as this is the time

when Goa shines bright with

vibrant neon lights, great music and

tempting food.

Corner that serves fabulous seafood.

I have been visiting these restaurants

since my childhood with my family

and friends and it’s an amazing place

for non-vegetarian lovers. That apart,

there are eateries on the streets

where you can have the best steak

breads and Ross omelet.

Local attractions: Goa has abundant

beaches like Calangute, Candolim,

Baga, Palolem, Cabo de Rama,

Kakolem, Siridao and Bogmalo that

are great places to hang out. The

other places you can visit are the

Japanese Garden, Fort Aguada, an old

Portuguese fortification, the Basilica

of Bom Jesus, a historic church and a

UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Recommended places nearby:

The places near Goa are a perfect

amalgamation of hill stations, trekking

points and wildlife sanctuaries. There

are several places like Amboli, Malvan,

Tarkali in Maharashtra and Devbagh,

Gokarna, Hampi, Karwar in Karnataka

that that showcase beauty and offer

unforgettable travel experiences.

Favourite eating place: Goan

food has an authentic taste and all

its delicacies are mouthwatering!

Of the numerous restaurants I’ve

visited, Ritz Classic tops my list.

I also like Starlight and Martin’s

Other places and how does Goa

compare to them: Goa has its own

unique lifestyle. The way of living,

celebration, cuisine, everything is

different as compared to other cities

I’ve been to.

179

JANUARY 2020


SPICEJET

INSIDER

ST RS OF SPICEJET

Meet SpiceJet achievers from our ground operations and inflight

departments, who have stood out for their outstanding work

ASHOK

DELHI

Internal appreciation:

Ashok is a good team

player of our catering team, his

dedication towards work is always

appreciable. Hard worker, focused

and major support in day to day

operations. The positive attitude ,he

brings to work every day is exemplary.

Experience with SpiceJet: I am

grateful to Spicejet for the journey

thus far.This is a great team to wrok

with and always have the support

to move forward in the company. I

feel very proud to be a part of this

wonderful organisation. It's a delight

to work in an environment where

seniors respect you and appreciate

your hard work.

SHASHI SHEKHAR

GURUGRAM

Internal appreciation: Shashi

is a smart-working and

dedicated talent, and is a great person. His

attention to detail and coordination skills are

commendable. Through his balanced approach

towards work and life Shashi has displayed

that he has great potential to succeed, and is

an integral part of the Legal team.

Experience with SpiceJet: I have been working

in SpiceJet for over more than one and half

years now and I would say with pride that

my experence has helped me in my personal

growth and development. The management

and team members are all ears when it comes

to any issue, and always a step ahead in

maintaing a friendly line of communication

with everyone. It would be unfair to call this

workplace anything less than family as gives

me a sense of belonging.

CATERING

LEGAL TEAM

KAPIL SAGAR

GURGAON

Internal appreciation: Kapil

sagar is who looks after our

Quality control of our Catering team and

the dedication with which he work makes

most deserving. As a Chef he always tries

his best to serve quality of food items to

our guest. His Efforts( Quality , Quantity

with presentation he put in to deliver high

quality work for the company is really

commendable. We are truly honoured to

have a person like him on board

Experience with SpiceJet: My journey

with Spicejet has been splendid..

Theorganization encourgaes and provides

a platform to share our ideasopenly

and the constructive ideas always

implemented.It is a pleasure working with

my seniors and colleague.

PRASHANT MISHRA

GURUGRAM

Internal appreciation: I have

been with Prashant for three

months now and I feel he is a Goal oriented

and a Hard worker, he is someone who

does the necessary due diligence while

peforming his duties, a foodie but yes a

commited and a valuable team member…I

wish him all Luck

Experience with SpiceJet: The three

years of my association with SpiceJet

have been a splendid journey. The best

part of the voyage is that the team has

always been on friend terms and taught

me to do the things the way they work.

It would not be possible to enumerate all

the wonderful experiences but I would

certainly wish to express my gratitude

for the employee-friendly atmosphere

provided to me.

180

JANUARY 2020


SPICEJET

INSIDER

CATERING

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

MATHAVAN

MAA

Internal appreciation:

Mathavan is a proactive

person, who earned the trust,

admiration and respect of colleagues

with his honesty. His ability to accept

challenges and overcome them with

efficiency and excellence makes him

legendry in every sense. He never

hesitates to take up challenges and

complete tasks with ease

Experience with SpiceJet: I have been

working with Spicejet for a little under

three years now .Spicejet provides a

very healthy working atmosphere here

to learn and grow. I will strive to work

hard everyday here. The support and

hard work of my colleagues makes this an

amazing airline and workplace.

TAMVADA

SANDEEP

GURUGRAM

Internal appreciation:

Sandeep is more than just his work. He

has always gone the extra mile on any

assignment. His hard work, dedication

towards work is appreciated and

complimented.

Experience with SpiceJet: It has been

three years since I joined SpiceJet

and I must say it's been the most

wonderful and enriching experience

for me. I’ve had the opportunity to

enhance my legal acumen in the

aviation industry and I'm grateful to

SpiceJet for that. I would also like

to thank each one of my mentors

for putting their completelt faith

in me and entrusting me with the

assignments given to me.

VARUN BAHL

GURGAON

Internal appreciation: A

team member of few words

, Varun is an efficient and productive team

member.Handling critical complaints and

escalations is his forte. He is also a mentor

for new joinees and guides team members

well. Varun regularly features among Top

performers of the function and continuously

strive to give his best. His rich experience

with CE team helps in handling complex

complaints of customers seamlessly.

Experience with SpiceJet: It has been an

incredible journey of 5 years with SpiceJet. I

always strive to perform better each day and

achieve key deliverables. All this has been

possible due to the immense opportunities

given by this organisation. I am very proud to

be a part of an enterprising team.

LEGAL TEAM

AIKANSH GAUTAM

GURUGRAM

Internal appreciation:

Aikansh is a hard working

employee with great dedication towards

work. He has grasped a lot about the

work environment of SpiceJet and has

been awarded as "Spice Star" during

October-December 2017. We recognize

and appreciate his dedication and efforts.

Experience with SpiceJet: This is my

third year with SpiceJet now and the

experience that I have gained with the

Legal Team of SpiceJet and the Seniors

here has been truly wonderful. I am really

happy and thankful for being a part of

SpiceJet. I'm trying to do my best in all

the assignments and projects handed

over to me and I promise I will maintain

the same dedication and sincerity in the

coming years.

NAFEES AHMED

GURGAON

Internal appreciation: Along

with high degree of accuracy,

time is a key factor for resolution of customer

grievances on Social Media platforms and

Nafees is proficient in both. He is very

proactive in identifying the root cause of

customer’s concerns and taking up corrective

action with relevant functions. He is a valued

resource of CE team and very often brings

accolades. His positive demeanour reflects

his passion to excel in his field.

Experience with SpiceJet: It has been more

than 5 years since I am a part of SpiceJet

family. It’s an amazing feeling to be a part of

such a professional organization. I have learnt

and grown a lot with SpiceJet and would

continue taking up new challenges to expand

my horizons.

KUMAR DEVBRAT

GURGAON

Internal appreciation:

Devbrat is a quick and

dedicated learner. His smartness reflectes

in his work. He is zestful with "can do"

attitude, which we envision that it'll help

him achieve great heights in his career. We

are proud of him being part of the Legal

team.

Experience with SpiceJet: It's been six

months since I have joined SpiceJet,

and I must say the entire team has been

supportive and encouraging. I to take

this opportunity to thank my colleagues,

seniors and specially my mentor for

encouraging me and helping me stay

focussed. The staff at all levels makes

me feel more supported and respected I

look forward to continue working at this

wonderful organisation.

181

JANUARY 2020


SPICEJET

INSIDER

FLIGHT BOOKINGS

AT YOUR FINGERTIPS

SpiceJet’s mobile app has been revamped with a jazzy interface

and many more exciting features

It has a brand new interface, is much more faster and scores

very highly on user-friendliness. SpiceJet’s popular mobile

app now allows customers great convenience in making

and managing bookings, checking the status of flights and

knowing about exclusive, travel-related offers. The interface

is simple; even the origin of the journey helpfully gets autofilled

thanks to inbuilt geo-tagging.

The app also allows customers to book or add exciting

SpiceJet add-on products such as choosing premium

SpiceMAX seats and in-flight meals. Customers can also prebook

excess baggage at discounted rates through this app.

The payment gateway of the app offers a variety of

options. Customers can pay via credit card, debit card,

net banking or wallets. You can download the official

SpiceJet app from Google Playstore

and App Store.

182

JANUARY 2020


SPICEJET

INSIDER

STEP: 1

Choose the required field. Fill in

the details and click on Search.

STEP: 2

Flight options according to the date

of travel are displayed. On selection

of the relevant flight, different fare

classes are displayed.

STEP: 3

Once the required flight option

has been selected, fill in your

contact details.

STEP: 4

Fliers can choose numerous add-on

options that will make the journey

hassle-free.

STEP: 5

Customers can pay via credit card,

debit card, net banking or wallets.

STEP: 6

Upon a successful check-in, the

customer receives the boarding pass

for an un-interrupted experience.

183

JANUARY 2020


SPICEJET

INSIDER

THE MID-AIR MENU

SpiceJet has revamped its menu with new

delicacies. Here's a quick glimpse of the

exciting range of mouth-watering options

BREAKFAST

SNACKS

SANDWICHES

CHICKEN

JUNGLEE in

marble bread

FRIED EGG ON

BUTTERED

BUN with

cheesy chicken

croquette and

oven roasted

cajun potatoes

LUNCH

MASALA

DOSA with

tomato onion

uttapam and

kanjivaram mini

idli in sambar

with coconut

chutney.

PANEER

TIKKA

SHASHLIK

with sliced

stuffed

tandoori aloo

and vegetable

croquette

SLICED

CHICKEN

SEEKH

KEBAB with

sliced stuffed

tandoori aloo

and vegetable

croquette

DINNER

CHEF’S CHOICE

TAWA FISH

MASALA on bed

of steamed rice

with tadka masoor

dal.

CUCUMBER,

TOMATO &

CHEESE in

multigrain

bread

CHICKEN

TIKKA EGG

BIRYANI

with mirch ka

salan

MURG

LABABDAR

on bed

of palak

pulao & dal

panchrattni

VEGETABLE

PASTA in

neapolitan

sauce.

VEGETABLE

BIRYANI with

mirch ka salan

TAWA

PANEER

KHURCHAN

with steamed

rice and tadka

masoor dal

More Chef’s Choice options available

while pre-booking online

PRE-BOOK YOUR MEAL AND

GET UP TO 20% OFF. T&C APPLY

184

JANUARY 2020


SPICEJET

INSIDER

ADD-

SEAT SELECTION DOMESTIC INTERNATIONAL

SpiceMax Seats** Starting at M 799/- * Starting at M 1199 /-*

Preferred Seats - on Boeing

Ahead of exit row window /aisle M 350/- M 450/-

Ahead of exit row middle M 250/- M 400/-

Behind exit row window /aisle M 200/- M 350/-

Behind exit row middle M 99/- M 150/-

Preferred seats Q400

Front half of cabin window /aisle M 250/- M 400/-

Rear half of cabin window / aisle M 150/- M 300/-

Know more

about

SpiceJet’s

innovative

products

and services

Seat + Meal Combo

Combo Price M 399/- M 499/-

PRE-BOOK EXCESS BAGGAGE

5 kgs Up to M 1975/- Up to M 2775/-

10 kgs Up to M 3950/- Up to M 5250/-

15 kgs Up to M 5925/- NA

20 kgs Up to M 7900/- NA

30 kgs Up to M 11850/- NA

PRIORITY CHECK-IN M 300/- M 400/-

Preferred Bag Out

1 Bag M 100/- NA

2 Bags M 200/- NA

3 Bags M 300/- NA

YOU 1 ST M 399/- M 499/- (Ex-India flights)

CARRY MORE ONBOARD (FREE ALLOWANCE 7 KG; BUY UP TO 5 KG MORE)

Pre-book M 250/- per kg M 450/- per kg

At Check-in M 400/- per kg As per current excess baggage rate

At boarding gate M 400/- per kg As per current excess baggage rate

MY FLEXI PLAN (EFFECTIVE FROM DECEMBER 21, 2017) M 1500/- M 1750/-

HAND BAGGAGE ONLY FARE - CHARGE AT AIRPORT

Fare type change fee if checking-in bag at airport

after purchasing HBO fare

Up to 15 kgs -

M 400/-

NA

CAKE M 750/- M 800/-

SPICE LOUNGE (Delhi, Hyderabad) M 750/- M 1400/-

SPICE LOUNGE (Ahmedabad) M 1000/- M 1400/-

SPICE LOUNGE (Kochi) M 1050/- M 1750/-

*PRICE WILL VARY ON DIFFERENT ROUTES

**SPICEMAX SEATS OFFER SIGNIFICANTLY MORE LEGROOM, PLUS COMPLIMENTARY MEAL, PRIORITY CHECK-IN, PRIORITY BOARDING

(AT AEROBRIDGE GATES), AND PRIORITY BAGGAGE HANDLING. (BASIS AIRCRAFT TYPE/SECTOR)

EXCEPT FOR CAKE, ALL THESE ADD-ONS ARE NOT APPLICABLE FOR SPICEBIZ

NA STANDS FOR ‘NOT AVAILABLE’

THE ABOVE MENTIONED PRICES AND FEATURES ARE ACCURATE AS AT THE TIME OF MAGAZINE PRINTING, AND ARE SUBJECT TO

CHANGE WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE

186

JANUARY 2020


SPICEJET

INSIDER

Rows:

Boeing 737

TYPICAL INTERIOR ARRANGEMENT

Boeing 737 - 700W (149 Passengers)*

Boeing 737 - 700 (8 + 126 = 134 Passengers)

1 -26

Rows:


Entry / Exit

Emergency Exit

Entry / Exit

Entry / Exit

Emergency Exit

* some a/c have 144 seats

Entry / Exit

Boeing 737 - 800W & Boeing 737 MAX 8 (189 Passengers)*

Rows:

1 -32

Rows:

Boeing 737 - 800 (12 + 156 = 168 Passengers)



Rows:

* some a/c have 186 seats

Boeing 737 - 900 ER (212 Passengers)

Rows:

Boeing 737 - 900 (189 Passengers)

1 -32

Bombardier Q400 (78 Passengers)*

Rows:

1 -20

* some a/c have 90 seats

BOEING 737-700*

BOEING 737-800

BOEING 737-900

BOEING 737 MAX 8

BOMBARDIER Q400

7

52

5

13

32

Passengers

149/144/8+126

189/186/12+156

212/189

189

78/90

6200 km

5,600 km

5000 km

6,500 km

2000 km

0.79 M

(840 km/h)

0.79 M

(840 km/h)

0.79 M

(840 km/h)

0.79 M

(840 km/h)

Speed unit M denotes Mach Number; 1 Mach is equal to the speed of sound.

*Additionally SpiceJet has 3 B737-700 F, 1 B737-800 F, exclusive Freighter aircraft

666 km/h


BOEING 737-700

112 ft 7 in (34.3m)

117 ft 5 in (35.7m)

110 ft 4 in (33.6m)

41 ft 2 in (12.5m)

11 ft 7 in (3.53m)

BOEING 737-800 BOEING 737-900 BOEING 737 MAX 8

112 ft 7 in (34.3 m)

117 ft 10 in (35.92 m)

129 ft 6 in (39.5 m)

40 ft 10 in (12.45 m)

11 ft 7 in (3.53 m)

BOMBARDIER Q400

93 ft 3 in (28.42m)

107 ft 9 in (32.83m)

24 ft 4 in (8.34m)

8 ft 2 in (2.49m)

The above mentioned descriptions are accurate at the time of magazine printing.


There are no straight

lines in nature.

- Antoni Gaudi

Intelligent and

minimal, the Marics

integrates a full

reclining mechanism

into its structure,

creating a versatile

chair with clean lines

and an ultra-light

appearance.

Transteel Seating Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

Bangalore: +91 80 25568868 | Chennai: +91 44 28832595 |

Hyderabad: +91 40 40020231 | Delhi: +91 9711528858 Toll free: 1800 425 3595

Email: contact@transteel.com Web: www.transteel.com


Riyadh

Jeddah

Kabul

Srinagar

Leh

Jammu

Dharamshala

Adampur

Amritsar

Dehradun

Dubai

Muscat Kandla

Rajkot

Porbandar

Jaisalmer

Jodhpur Jaipur

Kishangarh

Udaipur

Ahmedabad

Surat

Delhi

Bhopal

Gwalior

Kanpur

Jabalpur

Varanasi

Gorakhpur

Patna

Bagdogra

Durgapur

Kolkata

Dhaka

Guwahati

Silchar

Dibrugarh

ARABIAN SEA

Goa

Jharsuguda

Aurangabad

Shirdi

Mumbai

BAY OF BENGAL

Pune

Hyderabad

Belgaum

Visakhapatnam

Vijayawada

Tirupati

LAKSHADWEEP

(INDIA)

Mangalore

Kozhikode

Kochi

Bengaluru

Coimbatore

Madurai

Chennai

Pondicherry

Port Blair

ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR ISLANDS

(INDIA)

Thiruvananthapuram

Tuticorin

Colombo

Male

INDIAN OCEAN

Domestics India connects with SpiceJet.

International

Flight schedules are subject to regulatory approvals and

change. Map not to scale, graphic representation only.

Content as on 25th December, 2019

Routemap

Bangkok

Hong Kong


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5.0

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Support

Splash

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Charging

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Wireless

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Battery Life

Available Colors

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