A quirky-cute statement!

I am not a fan of Arjun Kapoor yet…, but his look in the upcoming movie 2 States did make me sit up and watch him. There is a nerdy cuteness about his charm as this Punjabi boy that he is playing, based on author Chetan Bhagat’s character from the book by the same name. Now this is some makeover I feel! More so because simply flaunting six-pack abs got a bit passé, his bespectacled portrayal of the character of Krish Malhotra comes across as a refreshing change.Image

What adds to the charm is his innocent moves while dancing to the love songs or being coy with the smart brat character of Ananya Swaminathan, a Tamil Brahmin girl played by Alia Bhatt. In fact, she plays his love interest and both perfectly compliment each other on reel life as of now (Well, the chemistry seems as effortless as one can imagine in real life as well…)!

The movie is certainly shaping up as a much awaited film this summer and promises to have a happy mix of the Punjabi and South Indian masalas.

A few people might have even found some similarities with Ranbir Kapoor the great but I feel it is not so much about the looks but the body language that captures the eye balls.  Well, now the Besharam actor needs to watch out too as there is competition brewing stronger and how…

There is some kind of quirkiness about Arjun as the boy next door in this avataar that looks adorable in the promos. What I found ‘wow’ is the fact that Arjun seems to have transformed himself completely from the ‘rude boy’ image of Ishaqzaade, Aurangzeb and Gunday that’s worth watching!

-Sayanti Banerjee

Raising a toast to an evergreen legend – Elton John 

For a student of literature like me, lyrics of a song strike a deeper chord than the tune. Today being Elton John’s birthday, I have been feasting my ears on (if that sounds good…) on some of his best compositions.Image

His words flow into a melody like spontaneous emotions and probably the best ever he shared till date with his audience was ‘Candle in the Wind’ that he performed at Princess Diana’s funeral. What is interesting is the fact that even ‘Sacrifice’ offers a depth into the tender emotional of love and deceit or the ‘Better Off Dead’ has a steak of sad reality creeping in.

Elton John  is one of the most popular singers in the world undoubtedly and that makes me find some truth in Romantic age poet Percy Bysshe Shelley’s take on Life that-

“Our sweetest songs are those of saddest thought…” and that hold true over the centuries,not sure why.

But art for art sake is best appreciated and I feel that since a work of art is immortal, its creator an artist too remains evergreen.  Here’s wishing the ‘young at heart’ legend a memorable 67th Birth Day!

-Sayanti Banerjee

A Superbly designed platter

For those who believe in a bit of ‘hedonism’ like me, will agree that it is ‘One Life’ and you need to simply live it up!  But in order to relish every moment, you cannot be caught up debating whether – ‘to live to eat’ OR ‘to eat to live’…

How can you miss out on the ‘spice of life’ literally by surrendering yourself to a bland diet in your quest for good health? Image

Well, I have not been able to do it myself though I claim to be a self-proclaimed fitness freak myself with- white oat, flaxseed and milk for breakfast, idly for lunch and dalia with vegetables and soya for dinner and fruits and green tea in-between.

But when this routine gets repeated, I obviously get bored! ‘Interesting things’ that creep into my platter next in order to make me happy are – fast food and chocolates but what follows post that is a sense of guilt for having cheated on my ‘innocent diet’ and adding a baggage of unnecessary calories. While the best option seems like going back to the regular routine, it all feels like a chore and the energy to abide by it fizzles out by then.

In order to break this pattern, I wanted to experience the ‘Eat Well’ initiative at Westin Mumbai Garden City and discover a super fun platter from the SuperFoods spread.  Keeping true to the brand’s historic commitment to health and wellness, the Westin Well-being Movement has a holistic approach with the six pillars of well-being that include – Sleep Well, Eat Well, Move Well, Feel Well, Work Well and Play Well.

What I could relate to immediately was the fact that, the programme aims at embracing the basic rules of well being and happiness without depriving one from indulging a bit 🙂

So my breakfast platter did have dark chocolates that are high in anti-oxidents and the granola and berry muesli in yogurt, with nuts, honey and pomegranate essence was that was so tasty that it did leave me craving for more…Image

The omelette that the chef served up with veggies, spinach, chicken salami along with a multi-grained pita bread by the side, tasted too good to believe it to be a ‘health food’. The green apple smoothie was a lip smacking coolant that I did not mind swapping for hot coffee at the breakfast table.

Westin’s global partnership with SuperfoodsRx (Eat Well) helps the brand to offer guests globally, food that are not only nutritious but do entice the taste buds at the same time.Now, if this was the concept of eating well and still keeping to a healthy routine, I am game for it every day!

The best part about this SuperFoodsRX breakfast invite was chatting up with the jolly Executive Chef of The Westin Mumbai Garden City, Ajay Chopra. He loves his food as much as I did, but he believes in portion control that can actually allow one to indulge smartly without letting the diet go for a toss.Image

He also suggested that one should read the fine print about what has gone into the well garnished spread before serving themselves, as it will make them feel even better about the intake and how!

Since the concept of wellness is more of a discipline that one needs to follow, it works best when things are kept simple. Just keep to a basic plan of eating right, mix and match a few food groups that are healthy and tasty at the same time and make it a ‘wow’ experience every time! 

-Sayanti Banerjee

Bring out the ‘Queen’ in you…

The movie Queen was already creating a lot of buzz even before it hit the screen, precisely because the heroine goes on her honeymoon-ALONE! Now that is what Bollywood did not experience before. So when Kangana’s character Rani gets deserted at the alter by her fiancé Vijay played by Rajkumar Rao, she brings out the ‘Queen’ in her.

Kangna Queen

What I loved is the fact that the movie kept things simple and hence believable. There was no high drama in her transformation from a naïve beauty to a confident belle after a tour of Paris and Amsterdam. Though she dons modern western-wear letting go her inhibitions, she does not part with her values. She becomes more composed in life and  less guarded as she opens up to the world out there, breaking free from the rule book of her ‘Delhi Society’.

Rani’s chance encounter with the different characters add spice to her life that she was missing out on while trying to please the love of her life Vijay. So at the end of her single honeymoon she actually has her fiancé come back to her. But by then she has discovered the worth of her life and decides to thank him for the ‘boon in disguise’ he was responsible for.

What we want in life and what we actually need can be quite different… so you never know which piece of the jigsaw puzzle of Life comes to you first!

-Sayanti Banerjee

A slice of Hollywood

platePizzas got all the more desirable, thanks to the Hollywood crowd at the recent Oscars who chose to go easy on their calorie count. More than the gowns and hairdos, what created buzz this time was probably the candid photographs of celebs like Brad Pitt indulging on a slice of Big Mama’s & Papa’s pizzeria serving. Taking a cue from such a glamorous event, back home in Bollywood California Pizza Kitchen decided to get ‘Hollywood On Your Table’. Since the concept seemed exciting to me, in order to get a slice of such hi-life I landed up to sample this specially designed menu.

I was greeted with Mango Mint Ecstasy that did make me feel refreshed instantly, after a long day and I was all set to attack the pizzas next. While I enjoyed the sweet ‘after taste’ of honey from the – Jamaican Jerk & Chicken Pizza, it was the Spicy Sonora Pizza that I loved the most. Especially the home-made, roasted corn and black-bean salsa topping along with spicy smoked chicken, cilantro and lime cream sauce, certainly tasted unique.

Though I am not a big fan of pasta, Spaghetti Carretierra was quite lip smacking too. But what really took the cake was the California Delight! The three layers of white chocolate, strawberry and dark chocolate mousse with cranberries and almond praline was sinfully good and probably my reason to go back for more…

-Sayanti Banerjee

Fashionably bold Koffee

I am a self-proclaimed coffee lover and that might be one of the reasons why I enjoy Koffee with Karan so much… Last night I did stay awake to catch the special episode of season 4 that had to be rescheduled into the ‘adult viewing’ slot post 11 pm. It did create a lot of buzz even before it was actually aired on Star World since the two fashionistas on the show – Nargis Fakhri and Freida Pinto had let their hair down and spoken their minds out.

What was refreshing was their unguarded approach to every topic that came up, whether personal or professional. That is some risk-taking for sure and a glam display of women power while sitting pretty on the couch in their designer gowns. Unlike other reality shows that seem too be scripted, the flow of the conversation was as candid as possible. Nargis did not shy away from calling his Rockstar co-star Ranbir Kapoor ‘Gossip Queen’ or recalling news bits of her sharing an apartment with two male celeb (Shahid Kapoor being one of them). When it came to Freida’s turn, she not only mocked the matrimonial ads but also stated clearly that she no longer needs to please anyone, anymore…

So the rapid fire made Karan’s coffee almost reach the boiling point and how!

Now that is the ‘wow factor’ of these two fashionably bold women, which is worth admiring. It is totally in sync with the mood of International Women’s Day mood as we head towards March 8th.

-Sayanti Banerjee