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Book Reviews

Marginalised given voice in Basu’s new novel


For author Kunal Basu, marginalised members of Indian society rarely find literary depiction in today’s fiction and so he decided to depict the essential humanity of the dispossessed in his new novel,

Friend request from god


A student of English literature, Neeraa Maini Srivastav always knew she had it in her to write a book.

Grade expectations

Beautiful campus of IIM-A. Photo (for representional purpose only):

An insider’s account of the highly competitive nature in IIM-A, and a dig at those who put grades above everything

Interrogating Dawood

Rs 399

An extract from the chapter My Conversations with Dawood Ibrahim from the book Dial D for Don: Inside Stories of CBI Missions by former Delhi police commissioner Neeraj Kumar.

House of horrors

It is always that extra bit more interesting when a book critic turns author.

Recovering from Booker frenzy


His debut novel, Vernon God Little, won the 2003 Man Booker Prize. Twelve years and several novels later, DBC Pierre says he’s finally back to writing the way he wants

Complex world of corporates and conglomerates


Former corporate employee-turned journalist and author Usha Narayanan has come out with her third book Love, Lies and Layoffs that deals with two youngsters diving head on into the world of corporates

En route to Majestic


Bengaluru-based Swedish author Zac O’Yeah who has published 13 books so far has come out with a new book Hari — A Hero For Hire, a medical thriller that employs his celebrated protagonist Hari Majestic

Video, vagrant love and violent revenge

Lady Lolita’s Lover
Rs 399

The only way to make clear to you my confusion over Lady Lolita’s Lover by R.

  • The rise of the lumbersexual

    While several established womenswear designers like Manish Malhotra, Tarun Tahilani and Varun Bahl, who have dressed the best of Bollywood divas over the years, have started to explore the men’s line, what has caught everyone’s fancy at recent fashion weeks is the return of the scruffy and outdoorsy look of men on the ramp. Far from the manicured and clean-shaven metrosexual, the contemporary male model in India is instead the well-styled lumberjack, who prefers to flaunt a beard and be in touch with his rugged masculinity.

    Not just on the ramp, this breed — called lumbersexuals, defined by their facial hair — is the flavour of the season. From colleges to corporate houses and fund-raising events to theatres, lumbersexuals can be found everywhere. They are impeccably groomed yet have an unkempt side to them.

    They have beards, checked shirts and are more hipster than the dapper fellows we’ve seen in the last decade. Models believe that apart from staying in vogue with global trends, the bearded look also ensures they have an edge on the ramp, as well as when they go for auditions. Model Shaaz Rehan Khan, says, “A lumbersexual look has always been a favourite on international magazine spreads and platforms. Now, even our designers vouch for the outdoorsy look not just for its global appeal but also because it complements both Indian and western ensembles. It also makes you stand out at auditions.”

    While our B’town heartthrobs like Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor have been reflecting the lumbersexual look on screen with panache, the regular urban Indian male isn’t far behind either. Stylist Nithin Rao says, “With men’s fashion market booming, there is increasing awareness among men about their appearance and they are now more open to experimenting with changing trends. Typically, the lumbersexual style of appearance is more geared towards functionality and the rugged form which is what men prefer historically, and this is why it’s becoming popular and coming into the mainstream.” But it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. “Not everyone would be able to carry off this laidback lumbersexual style as it suits only a certain body type. Men with a slightly bigger frame and sharp features slip into the look and sport it with élan,” adds Nithin.

    While your body frame may be the most important factor to sport the lumbersexual look, styling is instrumental, say designers. Popular designer Sreejith Jeevan explains, “Even though some men might be taking the trend to a rather rugged extreme (like a typical lumberjack), the more sophisticated version of this seems very fashionable. Go well fitted with the plaids and avoid a sloppy fit. Get the beard trimmed right to suit your face shape and body type so that the result has a lot more finesse. Of course layering is the key. Keeping the staples of this trend the same but playing it to your taste with your individuality in tact, makes it a more unique interpretation of the trend.”

  • Spook-tacular sips

    Mulled ciders are the spirit traditionally associated with Halloween, but the weather here doesn’t yet permit a fabulous glass of hot mulled cider. So why not try a few cocktails that’ll transport you to a typical fall Halloween night back in the West? This was exactly the concept we wanted to create for our Halloween special cocktails at The Sassy Spoon.

    The techniques and ingredients that you’d use in a Halloween cocktail are different than those you’d use at any other time of the year — they’ve got to be a little sweet. For instance, your traditional whiskey sour would be just the whiskey and sour mix, but we treat our whiskey with spices to a point that it tastes almost like a big red chewing gum!

    The presentation of a Halloween cocktail is also important. For instance, the Hocus Pocus (see recipe alongside) is a layered cocktail. It looks a lot like what a vampire might want to drink — a layer of alcohol and a layer of red wine! Or take a look at the Grimm Reaper, which has charred cinnamon sticks and star anise as the garnish to give a feel of a typical fall night in the woods.

    So this weekend, dress as your favourite spooky character and raise a toast to Halloween with a spine-chilling cocktail!

    Pranav is the manager/ mixologist at The Sassy Spoon, Mumbai

    Hocus Pocus
    30 ml tequila
    15 ml triple sec
    30 ml sweet-sour mix
    30 ml red wine (preferably Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz) 
    Some castor sugar
    Grenadine syrup, to rim glass

    Lightly rim a martini glass with some grenadine and then dip in castor sugar to get a red rim.
    Next, in a cocktail shaker, add tequila, triple sec, sweet-sour mix with ice and shake well. 
    Pour into the martini glass.
    Lastly, over the back of a bar spoon, slowly pour the wine onto the martini.

    Grimm Reaper 
    This recipe calls for infused whiskey. So in a mason jar, pour in a bottle of your favourite whiskey (preferably a Bourbon), add 4-5 cinnamon sticks and let it sit for a couple of weeks.

    60 ml infused whiskey
    60 ml fresh sour mix 
    1 cinnamon stick
    1 orange wedge

    In a Boston shaker, add the whiskey, fresh sour mix and ice. Shake and pour over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with cinnamon stick and orange wedge.

    Dracula Cooler
    Combine white rum, dark rum, brandy, peach or apricot crush, sweet-n-sour mix in a glass, and layer it with grenadine, as per taste. Your Dracula Cooler is ready!

    Vampire Martini
    Combine vodka, triple sec, strawberry crush, sweet-n-sour mix, as per taste, in a Martini glass. Enjoy your Vampire Martini.
    Courtesy Copa

    H’El Diablo
    45 ml Anejo aged tequila
    15 ml creme de cassis
    10 ml fresh-squeezed lime juice
    75 ml ginger beer

    In a cocktail shaker, combine tequila, ginger beer and lime. Shake well and strain into a chilled, ice-filled old-fashioned glass.
    Slowly , pour the cassis over a bar spoon into the cocktail & watch tit slowly integrate. Garnish with two lemon wedges placed on either side like the devil’s horns!
    Courtesy Sante

    Brain Damage Shot
    22 ml peach snapps
    8 ml Baileys Irish cream
    Dash of grenadine

    Fill your shot glass upto three quarters with the peach snapps
    Splash in Irish cream to make the “brain” (see pic). Lastly, pour in a dash of grenadine for the “blood” effect.
    Courtesy Radio Bar

Are countries which have not been responsible over decades, perhaps even over centuries, for huge greenhouse gas emissions, promoting global warming now obliged to cut on their CO2 emissions in global

ISIS, or more accurately Daesh, is a creation of multiple forces – its seeds were sown by America during its Cold War confrontation against the erstwhile Soviet Union, it has been nurtured well since