Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Five Foods I Hate to Love - Part 2

2. Thums Up

Taste the thunder?
Yep, that was the frighteningly accurate jingle for this cola drink that I adore. I've heard tourists describe this as a pumped-up Indian coke, but to us it was the original. Coke bought it out recently and tried to kill it, but failed.

So good, especially after a hot, spicy meal! My brother and I would have one as a special treat when we watched movies at home. At no other time (besides parties, of course) was it acceptable to drink 'soft drinks', and maybe that's why I loved it so much.

Combine this absurdly sweet, strong soda with an over-the-top James Bond film, and you get an idea of our ideal Saturday afternoon.

Beauty interlude

(Photo from Mac Cosmetics)

Just want to share this tip about the new Alexander McQueen runway inspired Mac eye pencils.

These eyeliners are stunning - beautiful jewel-toned colour (green and gold are both lovely).

The Black Karat is selling out, don't say I didn't warn you!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Five foods I hate to love - Part 1

Alright, the fashion-intermission is over (for now). Welcome back to the main show: food.

Today I’ve got something that will make you cringe and laugh and maybe feel ill. Five foods that are wrong on so many levels, but right on several other, more primal ones.

Anna tagged me for this meme (why does this word feel so new if it was coined in the year of my birth by the notorious Richard Dawkins?)
I’ll pass on this “unit of cultural information” by tagging
Philippa, and share my list with you.

1. Instant coffee

I’ll start with the #1 offender.

I realise I’ll get the least sympathy on this one. My husband, for one, has completely phased this out of my life, but I still miss it some days. The reason I love this goes WAY back. Back to summer holidays in Delhi when we were allowed one cold coffee at the end of a long day playing in the hot sun.

We spent most summers at Vijay-Uncle and Phool-aunty’s house in Bharti Nagar (walking distance of our beloved Khan Market). I don’t remember being indoors much – we spent most days playing outside, and making hot, sweaty messes of ourselves. And even though I wasn’t big enough or fast enough to make much of a mark in the games outside with my older cousins, I still earned my cold coffee when I came indoors, just like everyone else. I loved the democratic ‘all children were equal’ philosophy of my uncle and aunt, which went well beyond the cold coffee and always made us feel like we had an extra set of parents. Of course, that also meant that we were fair game for the disciplining and rules that their own children had to follow, but that was a small price to pay for being held so dear.

And the cold coffee! Cold milk, sugar and Nescafe shaken up until it frothed and foamed. I cannot describe how amazing this was. Even more so when you consider all we were allowed to drink at home was Bournvita
, a disgustingly nutritious concoction that we loathed and was always served HOT (don’t be fooled by Cadbury’s marketing – this stuff is nasty).

Coming into the cool, dark living room after being out in the Delhi sun all day, and drinking this cold, sweet drink – that’s what life was all about!

Now, I may not have convinced you yet, and that’s probably for the best. But I will tell you that my study-abroad friends in London teased me about it no end and then started drinking it every day. Right, Steph? (She christened it the 'ultra latte'.) And my roommate in Boston, the infamous N in Knyler was an early adopter too.

Don’t knock it till you try it (and wait until it’s a hot summer day before you come asking for your money back)!

Monday, October 22, 2007

LIFW - 3

These beautiful jackets from Vikram Phadnis cheered me up about Fashion Week.

(click on photos for larger images)

And these Nimita Rathod numbers with the bubbly/compressed cardboard texture were fun too.

Don't you wish she'd worn something a little more exciting herself?

(pics courtesy rediff.com)

Friday, October 19, 2007

LIFW - 2

Now, there is only one designer who can bring me to tears with the sheer beauty and originality of his creations, and he was not part of Lakme Fashion Week.

One of his Fall 2007 ready-to-wear gems, courtesy of style.com:

Which is why I find this Indian Fashion week design so disappointing.

Why? Why? Why? I am at a loss to explain this too-faithful imitation.
If this was the Indian equivalent of Zara or TopShop, I wouldn't be as disturbed. But as a designer showing at Fashion Week, I would hope you'd set the bar a bit higher. Even if your audience doesn't notice the lack of imagination (or doesn't care even if they do), don't you owe it to yourself and all artists to make something more than a poor woman's Dior?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Lakme India Fashion Week is in full swing in Bombay.

From what I've seen so far, there have been more misses than hits, like these disasters below:

But to be fair, people like Sabyasachi

and Narendra Kumar never disappoint.

(even if NK sometimes looks a bit derivative... Alberta Feretti and Dior anyone?)

More hits and misses to come.
(Pics courtesy http://specials.rediff.com/getahead/2007/oct/14pkp8.htm, style.com, sify.com - bear with me if some of these are from April's show - the picture sources aren't always the most scrupulous with dates).

Monday, October 8, 2007

A photographer's eye

Here I am cooking an Indian dinner for a few friends. This is such a routine event that that I won't blame you for not being excited. Except, this time it was different because we had a photographer in our midst, and the food quite honestly started to resemble a work of art.

You'll have noticed already that these photos are SO much better than my own, and it's because Philippa was among our diners. She can make a set of plastic fake-creamer thingies look like an award-winning composition, so I'll take no credit for the food looking good here.

Recipes for shrimp and gobi aloo coming up, along with reports of the 5 foods I hate to love thanks to Anna.

I'll leave you with this mouth-watering and hip-expanding snack that Michael fried up (artichokes, cheese and prosciutto).

Obscenely good.