Books

Rss Feed

Book Reviews

Love in time of Partition

The Weary Generations by Abdullah Hussein Harper Perennial, Rs 499.

Abdullah Hussein is arguably one of the greatest practitioners of Urdu fiction in the 20th century.

A friendly space for bookworms

Untitled-2 copy.jpg

The U.S. Consulate General Mumbai inaugurated its new American space, Dosti House, on Wednesday. The audience-centric space has been redesigned and recreated from the former American Library in BKC.

New book brings Atlas Obscura website’s wonders to printed page

SKULLl.jpg

In this July 12, 1999, file photo, the skull of a 7-foot, 6-inch giant peers out to visitors at the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia. The Mutter Museum is among hundreds of curious attractions featured in Atlas Obscura, a new book that catalogues some of the intriguing wonders featured on AtlasObscura.com, a website beloved by travelers with a taste for the offbeat. (Photo: AP)

Seeking love outside periphery of marriage

ANCHOR BOOK COVER.jpg

This is the story of boy meets girl, but you should know upfront, this is not a regular love story. Debut author Kanchana Banerjee launched her book on marital drama, A Forgotten Affair, recently.

The making of god

God by Praveen P. Gopinath North Carter Publishing House LLP pp.160, Rs 150

There is one Praveen in his mid -thirties, and excels in making some quick bucks, whichever way he could. He has made outlandish profits in stock exchange, land deals and so on.

‘There was only one Edward Albee. #Irreplaceable’

George Segal, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Edward Albee, who challenged theatrical convention in masterworks such as Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Raj in the glow of nostalgia

Rs 399

Memoirs of those who have led interesting lives can often hopelessly misfire; what the writer may assume is terribly interesting can come across as dull and tedious to the reader.

A life caught between love and duty

RS 1,462

Reading historical fiction is not everyone’s cup of tea, but in the hands of a capable writer, even historical fiction becomes racy, a page-turner and can hook readers as well as any fast-paced thrill

  • Freeze that flab!

    If the latest buzz is anything to go by, fat freezing or cool sculpting is having a major moment. Stars like Christina Aguilera, Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian, Meg Ryan and Britney Spears have allegedly given the procedure a shot in the past. With an underlying pressure to flaunt flatboard abs and perfectly toned silhouettes, a slew of celebrities start planning their body shape and outfits months ahead before red carpet events. And this option is touted as a breakthrough to get their body shaped the way they want it permanently…

    Procedure: Zeltiq/Cool Sculpting is a US FDA approved device that freezes fat cells, selectively destroying them. The procedure is permanent as once the fat cells are frozen to a certain temperature, they are destroyed permanently. Yes permanently!

    The entire process takes three months to complete and is non-surgical with no downtime. It can be done on any fat area of the body like the lower or upper abdomen, those unsightly love handles, thunder thighs, wiggly arms, male breasts and that noticeable double chin.

    Regardless of diet or exercise, this process, allegedly, is guaranteed to work and is probably the secret to those svelte silhouettes that we witness on the red carpet. So, no matter how tight or snug-fitting or sheer the outfit, everyone seems to be in great shape and this is due to the cool sculpting.

    Interestingly, multiple areas can be treated at one go and there is literally no downtime. In India, the procedure has been quite a hit among Indian socialites and brides — especially to treat the stubborn fat accumulated around the abdomen and arms.

    So are you ready to wear that outfit you shied away from, after freezing your fat?

    The writer is a cosmetic dermatologist, Kosmoderma

  • Bandage that glows to show an infection

    Bacterial infection is a fairly common and potentially dangerous complication of wound healing, but a new “intelligent” dressing that turns fluorescent green to signal the onset of an infection could provide physicians a valuable early-detection system.

    Researchers in the United Kingdom recently unveiled a prototype of the colour-changing bandage, which contains a gel-like material infused with tiny capsules that release non-toxic fluorescent dye in response to contact with populations of bacteria that commonly cause wound infections.

    Led by Toby Jenkins, a professor of biophysical chemistry at the University of Bath, the inventors of the new bandage, which has not yet been tested in humans, say it could be used to alert health-care professionals about an infection early enough to prevent the patient from getting sick. In some cases it might even help avoid the need for antibiotics, says Jenkins.

    Jenkins’s group is collaborating with clinical researchers from a pediatric burn center at the University of Bristol, and the team envisions that one of the first applications could be burn treatment. Clinicians tend to overprescribe antibiotics for burn wounds, particularly in children, because they are concerned about infection. That can lead to antibiotic-resistant strains. An infection-detecting bandage could prevent this by reassuring parents and doctors when a wound is not infected. They would also be useful for monitoring surgical wounds as well as those that result from traumatic injury, says Jenkins. All wounds get colonised by bacteria, but small populations are generally not harmful. In some cases, a population of harmful bacteria grows too big for the immune system to handle, and clinical intervention is needed. “We believe that this transition normally takes several hours, if not longer,” says Jenkins. Early detection might give doctors time to head off the infection.

  • 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
    Ingredients: 
    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
    Ice

    Method:
    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.

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

    Method:
    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
    Ingredients:
    45 ml Anejo aged tequila
    15 ml creme de cassis
    10 ml fresh-squeezed lime juice
    75 ml ginger beer

    Method:
    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
    Ingredients:
    22 ml peach snapps
    8 ml Baileys Irish cream
    Dash of grenadine

    Method:
    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

The dastardly Uri attack happened a week ago. Eighteen of our brave soldiers gave their life for the nation. It was the highest casualty suffered by our forces since 2002.

Now that Najma Heptulla has been appointed governor of Manipur, there is a mad scramble in the Bharatiya Janata Party for the Rajya Sabha seat, vacated by the former minister.