The Lakme girl

Shobha Sehgal’s first pay was Rs 1,000 for working three hours at a beauty salon. “And I gave all the money to my mom,” she says. “Four months before I finished my beauty course, I opened a salon of my own.” That was in 1985. … Continue readingThe Lakme girl

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Mind your language

‘It’s a rainy Sunday morning in downtown Jayanagar, but inside the three year old Bouyancee Centre, the mood is sunny.’ Those were my opening lines in the very first full-length story I wrote as part of this publishing house. “I love it,” said my editor. … Continue readingMind your language

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MTV Bakra

The time was 3.40 pm. And it was a Thursday, the day we fall over ourselves to send the City Reporter to Press. And my cellphone rings. It was a call for help. “I am right outside your office. The front tyres of my car … Continue readingMTV Bakra

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Standing Ovation

Opposites attract. Ask Royce Pappachan (23) and Ekta Hoora (21). If he trips on rock, she sashays to old Hindi classics. If he’s skilled in computers, she’s a trained fashion designer. “We are always arguing and correcting each other,’” says Hoora. But ask Pappachan what … Continue readingStanding Ovation

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Maximum entertailment

Wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling curved screens and digital sound, state-of-the-art projection, stadium seating arrangement to ensure unobstructed viewing from anywhere in the auditorium, eye-catching architecture, cup holders on every armrest, avant-garde lobbies with studio-effect interiors, ample parking space and central air conditioning. That’s what a multiplex … Continue readingMaximum entertailment

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Levitating Meghna

She may not defy gravity. But her lifestyle store, Levitate, does defy the conventional shopping experience. Swing past the doors of 93 Residency, take up the flight of stairs leading to the first floor and you reach a cul de sac. Before long, you realise … Continue readingLevitating Meghna

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Fly Buy Dubai

Spread over 3,885 square kilometers, Dubai that’s 10.655 metres above sea level indeed rises above the ordinary with its mother of all festivals, the Dubai Shopping Festival. It’s four weeks of unadulterated fun on the run, with over 220,000 Indians making it to Dubai every … Continue readingFly Buy Dubai

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The big idea

Where do creative people get their inspiration from? Ted Hughes attributed it to fishing. JG Ballard thought it had more to do with whisky. We are not digging deep into the source of their bright ideas. Instead, we dwell on the big ideas that brightened … Continue readingThe big idea

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Sonia at close quarters

Sonia V Narayanan, 32, has always looked at things from close quarters. Whether it’s ‘early morning traffic choking Delhi’s broad-necked roads’ or ‘two well-respected families whose reputation begged her silence’, her pen has captured it all. “All the characters are inspired from life but none … Continue readingSonia at close quarters

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Chatting up Chatterjee

Designations change all the time, because everybody is doing everything. And Saugatha Chatterjee aka Soggy (36) is no exception. From a management trainee with Coats Viyella in 1993 to business head for their international retail and sourcing consulting division, Intrad, Soggy has come up the … Continue readingChatting up Chatterjee

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Bollywood calling

Lights, camera, action… This might not be what you could possibly hear at the Bombay Film Institute near Ulsoor Lake. But you will hear trainer Aqueel Syed (35) cautioning, ‘An actor is just a puppet in the hands of a director. His only job is … Continue readingBollywood calling

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To Lee or not to Lee

Welcome to the edge, says the denim jacket of her scrapbook. Danger: extremely flammable, cautions her ad campaign on an apparel line. Welcome to 34-year-old Suparna Mitra’s life. Her job is to make Lee part of every young adult’s wardrobe whose age is between 17 … Continue readingTo Lee or not to Lee

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Attitude but no latitude

Attitude can make or break a person. We as reporters are whipped by attitude every other time. And sometimes, it can be unsettling. I remember my English lecturer once saying, “You know because of what happened in the class (he had sent out a few … Continue readingAttitude but no latitude

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Life is Bella Bella

It happened over dinner at an apartment on Cunningham Road. Housewives Vandana Virwani and Michelle Suri, both 37, thought of ways to get their professional lives back on track. “After marriage and children, we wanted to do something with our lives. One thing led to … Continue readingLife is Bella Bella

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Friday to Thursday

FRIDAY We sit on our haunches (Srihari, Bala and Jaideep included) and decide what to do in City Reporter this week. In fifteen minutes flat, I have enough work to keep me busy through the week. In the evening, I am in the midst of … Continue readingFriday to Thursday

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A bit of Chari

It’s not very often that I consult an online name reader to get a perspective about the people I’m going to interview. It’s not even something I deeply believe in. But I turned to an online name reader a few days back, before I stepped … Continue readingA bit of Chari

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Reinventing the Chakra

A lot can happen over java. There was Ziba Bhagwagar sipping her black coffee with a friend at Max Mueller Bhavan, when she was informed of a job opening at Trends, the ad filmmakers. Three years later, she is very much around and making films, … Continue readingReinventing the Chakra

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Pot Puri

Her bio runs into three pages. Her sense of design is ever changing (‘I changed my frame from a round one last year to a rectangular one this year’). She morphs into something else just as easily (after several years in garment design, she started … Continue readingPot Puri

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No holds bard

Some are born with the Bard, some achieve the Bard and some have the Bard thrust upon them. In Phil Bathol’s case, it was all of the above. Bathols was vacationing in the Himalayas in January 2002 with his Sikkimese wife. His biggest daily challenge … Continue readingNo holds bard

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Shetty’s Stop

Zero per cent attitude. 100 per cent work. That’s the first thing you notice on the white board when you enter Sharan Shetty’s cubicle. “It’s zero per cent negative attitude that I am talking about,” clarifies Shetty. And we sit down for a chat that … Continue readingShetty’s Stop

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Mimicking Mimi

Argentinian artist Mimi Maruri (35) first came to Bangalore to see Sai Baba in ‘91. Along the route, romance happened. She met Javid Burhan (35), a businessman dealing with precious and semi-precious stones. Seven years of courtship later, the couple walked down the aisle. That’s … Continue readingMimicking Mimi

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Naseer and his candids

Naseeruddin Shah’s in town. And he promises ‘stimulating theatre’ at the Chowdiah on August 22. He is helped here by famous Urdu writer Izmat Chughtai (now no more) whose three short stories will be brought to life by Shah, his wife Ratna Pathak and daughter … Continue readingNaseer and his candids

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On I Gear

He watches one Hollywood movie a day. Well, almost. He collects crystals of all shapes and sizes. Well, almost (his mother has done most of it and he is carrying on the legacy). He loves cooking. Well, almost (his culinary skills don’t go beyond making … Continue readingOn I Gear

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Yadev’s Wild City

He spends a lot of time reading in the loo. Sitting on his table right now are Barry Long’s Journal, Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and Fuzzy Thinking by Bart Kosko. But he’s no litterateur. He has groomed art directors, creative directors and fashion design students, … Continue readingYadev’s Wild City

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Food, clothing and Akiva

Both met at a children’s school and two months later, Akiva (which means, shelter) was born. Businesswomen Roopa Ravichandra (37) and Neetu Gupta (37) now have a partner in progress. They have shared their expertise with designer Raj Kumar Shroff of Arachne to introduce Ravage … Continue readingFood, clothing and Akiva

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Forum’s friend

Suresh Singaravelu (51), CEO, Prestige Estates, who is building India’s largest multiplex, The Forum on Hosur Road, should have read James Redfield’s Celestine Prophecy and all the coincidences it dwells on. Because his life has had its share of coincidences. There he was in the … Continue readingForum’s friend

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