SHASHI THAROOR, MANISHA KOIRALA, AND TRISTAM HUNT ARE A BIG DRAW AT LONDON’S JLF
There was an amazing ambience this at the London JLF this June weekend, says Vinita Madhav, London based television producer focused on fashion and lifestyle programming as writers like Tristam Hunt (Cities and Empires author and head of British Council) took centre stage. She adds that the session with Tristam Hunt and Shashi Tharoor which was moderated by Shrabani Basu was brilliant. While Tharoor complimented Hunt on his well-researched book on the 12 cities of the British Empire, the audience couldn’t have enough of the panellists who were mobbed post session. London was witnessing the spirit of the Jaipur literature festival with its pervasive sense of inclusiveness and infectious camaraderie as a caravan of writers and thinkers, poets, balladeers and raconteurs brought alive South Asia’s unique multilingual literary heritage at the British Library in the heart of the city
In another session, Bollywood actor Manisha Koirala shared the highs and lows of her life, her career, relationships and her battle with ovarian cancer. In conversation with Sanjoy K. Roy and Nasreen Munni Kabir, she spoke of the pressures of her film career, the life choices she was compelled to make and how she redefined her priorities and regained a sense of balance and wellbeing. It was a frank no-holds-barred session looking into the emotional roller-coaster ride of Koirala’s life.
This was the sixth ZEE JLF held at the British Library, and it kicked off with the stimulating opening address, ‘Imagining Our Worlds’, by the festival Co-Directors Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple, Festival Producer and Teamwork Arts Managing Director Sanjoy K Roy, British Library Chief Executive Roly Keating, and High Commissioner of India to the UK HE Ruchi Ghanshyam. Dalrymple exclaimed what an extraordinary thing it was to watch its growth, pointing out that it had received a footfall of over a million in its recent edition in Jaipur. Roy acknowledged the contribution of literature towards the creation of empathy and equity in the world, observing that literature rejoins the contemporary world of growing divisiveness. Keating, highly appreciative of the collaboration between the British Library and the Festival, said that “the fit could not be closer”. Ghanshyam expressed how events like these develop an understanding of place and people, in the celebration of books and writers, and “life itself”. As the festival gives one a chance to listen to the finest literary minds, it is as Namita Gokhale succinctly puts it,“ the place where India thinks aloud.”
DILLIWALAHS TAJ MACHAN MEMORIES
Bulls Eye at the Machan always hit the spot says Shivani Pasrich Wazir as she reminisces about the iconic dessert at the machan, Taj Mahal, New Delhi which opened its doors in the heart of the Capital in 1978. As the hotel celebrates 40 years of the timeless restaurant with a festival of its iconic dishes, many went on a trip down memory lane. Amaan Ali Bangash says, "Machan has been a part of my growing up. I still remember the faces amazing people who used to be there since I was 7 or 8 years old. Machan for us was a feast house place, the famous fish and chips and the Bulls Eye were my favourites. I miss the old Machan a lot. So much that I am in fact planning to make a room for Ayaan’s kid with the same wallpaper."
FDCI’s dapper Sunil Sethi recalls his college days when he and friends would head down regularly to the coffee shop to avail of its 50 per cent off after midnight discount because “where else could we students get a five-star experience at that price. Even today he remembers the taste of his favourites Badshah Faloohda and the Prawn Cocktail. The Machan then was a must for the movers and shakers of the city and one would spot Kapil Sibal or Salman Kurshid, Nandita Das or out of town regulars like Asha Bhosle and Moushumi Chatterjee. Chef Tapas who has been with the restaurant since its inception recalls L K Advanji dropping in for a simple aloo burji sandwich and says with pride that he continues to drop in to repeat his order even today. The chef also recalls making a virgin toddy for the then German Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
The delectable array of dishes at the ongoing festival include favourites such as Machan’s mutton cutlet, Paloc soup, Chicken Montecarlo, Spaghetti Bella Roma, Prawn Cocktail, Hazratganj Biryani, Subz Masala Chawal, Kathi Kebab Kaziranga along with desserts such as Apple strudel, Bull’s Eye and Orange flavoured cream caramel. Executive Chef Arun Sundararaj adds, “Machan has been a defining part of the city’s culinary landscape since 1978. Its classic comfort food has woven itself into the fabric of daily life in Delhi. We are happy to present a representation of the flavours enjoyed by patrons during Machan’s inaugural in 1978. Through the years, Machan’s signature dishes have delighted generations and we look forward to continuing this.”
ARJUN RAMPAL IS A POKER MAN NOW
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Again with my fav @aalimhakim need to get the locks off.
Not too many people outside the industry know how popular the game of Poker is in the industry. Now realising the lucrative business possibilities of the game, actor Arjun Rampal, who is one of India’s sexiest men alive, is turning businessman with a big investment in a Delhi based poker company, PokerHigh an online game platform. Arjun has for some years now been a vocal advocate of the game in India. and spoken candidly to say that that poker is a sport rather than gambling. When he began his association as a brand ambassador with Poker High, he even vehemently pointed out how horse racing is different from poker, the former relying on chance and poker on skill. When earlier, Arjun became the brand ambassador for the company, he said, “After a day’s work, you want some me-time and little victories that keep you going every day – PokerHigh does just that! “ Avid players of the game affirm that this is a game of skill and not chance and those who approach it as a gambling game often end up with losses. In fact, the tagline of the company is “dimag lagaoo .dil se khelo. The founder and Managing Director of PokerHigh is Mithun Rebello has been in the game from its early days.
For fans of poker, it is the hi excitement and the adrenaline rush of the game that they love. Many of Bollywood’s who’s who like to hone their skills on the felt and are passionate about poker These include Minissha Lamba, Roadie Ranvijay Singha, Aamir Khan I who has thrown poker parties) Shahid Kapoor, Sikander Kher, Raj Kundra, Hrithik Roshan, Arbaaz Khan, Malaika Arora Khan, Amrita Arora, Sajid Khan, Farah Khan, Riteish Deshmukh and Sajid Nadiadwala.
VIKRAM CHANDRA’S NEW BIG FIGHT
Familiar on the small screen for his tech reviews and social transformation programmes, media veteran, the suave Vikram Chandra, has finally parted ways with NDTV as their CEO after nearly spending three decades with them. His Big Fight now will be to get his TV news platform Editorji recognized as a major player in the crowded media news space as he busies himself with recreating an Artificial Intelligence engine to uniquely reshape the viewing experience.
Opting for the change, the tech-savvy media man who presented shows like The Big Fight, Cleanathon and Save the Tiger is now engaged in something that is right up his alley, finetuning a new ecosystem, an easy to use and access television news platform, Editorji. The platform can create a personalized news playlist as per your preferences with one-tap access to customized video newscasts and will also allow individuals and organizations to create their own newscasts on the fly. Chandra has already got on board Airtel as a stakeholder and is also partnering with Alexa and Twitter.
Ask the Stanford. Oxford and St Stephens educated Vikram the reason why he chose a new path, he says it’s because he wanted to create a unique aggregator news platform that can provide unfiltered and unadulterated daily news all across the country. Available in both Hindi and English, the platform sources news from various independent regional wires as well as big player media house during elections.
Vikram says of on his entrepreneurial venture, “I felt that there were a lot of challenges in the digital news and information video ecosystem that could be fixed with technology and with Artificial Intelligence. I felt that I had a chance to come up with solutions that could benefit the entire industry and hence took the plunge into an entrepreneurial role.” Already he informs with a sense of satisfaction, Editorji created history with producing the world's largest digital-only elections live show by reaching out to 50 Million people during elections and affirms that the online or digital medium is the way to go for news as TV becomes not so approachable anymore.Read More