Hotlist 20109 min read . Updated: 08 Jan 2010, 08:58 PM IST
Listen to this week’s Lounge podcast where we talk about Sherlock Holmes’ new look, Ghalib and a capella band Penn Masala.
Yet another sign that contemporary Indian art has arrived internationally comes in the form of The Empire Strikes Back: Indian Art Today, a group show hosted by the Saatchi Gallery of London. Featuring artworks by Subodh Gupta, Atul Dodiya, Chitra Ganesh, Probir Gupta, Tushar Joag, Jitish Kallat (seen below, his 4,479-piece fibreglass sculpture Public Notice 2), Bharti Kher, T.V. Santhosh, Tallur L.N., Hema Upadhyay, T. Venkanna, Huma Mulji, Pushpamala N. and Justin Ponmany, the show aims to highlight how Indian artists are reacting to and reflecting upon the complex changes that the subcontinent is confronting in the 21st century. Among the themes tackled: our colonial legacy, the stresses faced by the post-Independence nation-building project, migration, urbanization and slums. The show opens in London on 29 January.
There are two world cups this year of particular interest to Indians. The Fifa World Cup, held once every four years and won by Italy (see picture) the last time around, is a major television event with big screens popping up in pubs, promotional offers at every corner and sleepless nights for fans. Thirty-two teams will battle in South Africa for the game’s biggest prize from 11 June. Apply for tickets online at www.fifa.com, if they are not already sold out. The hockey World Cup, to be played in Delhi from 28 February to 13 March, returns to India after almost three decades. India is grouped in a difficult pool with Australia, Pakistan, Spain, England and South Africa.
The lacklustre Commonwealth Games, to be held in New Delhi from 3-14 October, got a shot in the arm with reports of participation of the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt. However, the man himself is yet to confirm. The games also got its organizers in a knot for being way behind schedule in preparations. Tickets are available on the official website www.cwgdelhi2010.org.
Diversity in eating out will continue to be the buzzword for 2010. ITC Royal Gardenia (see picture), Bangalore, which launched in October, will open the group’s first Japanese restaurant Edo, with a menu created by a Japanese master chef.
Escobar, a world cuisine restaurant in Bandra, Mumbai, opens this month with what is touted to be the city’s longest bar, at 70ft. The menu includes tapas such as Gambas al Ajillo, Patatas Bravas, as well as pizzas and signature cocktails. Sports bars such as the Manchester United Cafe Bar at Palladium, High Street Phoenix, Mumbai, will feature memorabilia from ManU stars, with casual all-day dining, creative cocktails and, of course, live telecasts of sporting events.
After many false starts, Skyroom, one of the most elegant restaurants on Kolkata’s Park Street (rumour has it that Indira Gandhi had her prawn cocktail flown out from here), is believed to be heading for a reopening in 2010, 16 years after it closed. Skyroom served continental dishes such as prawn cocktail, chicken a la Kiev and Chateaubriand steak. These dishes are served at several Kolkata restaurants, but Skyroom’s versions were always a cut above. Everything about Skyroom spelt class and legions of its fans are awaiting its return.
Kolkata’s 165-year-old Great Eastern hotel is expected to reopen this year after the loss-making state public sector undertaking was taken over by The Lalit group of Delhi and rebranded as The Lalit Grand Great Eastern. The heritage property, once known as the Jewel of the East, was to have been renovated but had its bowels ripped out in the name of renovation with only the facade left intact.
Ian McEwan’s next book, Solar, due in March, is a satirical novel that focuses on climate change. Solar’s protagonist Michael Beard is a Nobel Prize-winning physicist. “Trading on his reputation, he speaks for enormous fees, and half-heartedly heads a government-backed initiative tackling global warming. An inveterate philanderer, Beard finds his fifth marriage floundering. When Beard’s professional and personal worlds are entwined in a freak accident, an opportunity presents itself for him to extricate himself from his marital mess, reinvigorate his career and very possibly save the world from environmental disaster," the publisher, Random House, reveals.
Good news for fans of the hugely successful Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert’s follow-up, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage, is expected to be out in India in February. It picks up where Eat, Pray, Love left off. Gilbert and Felipe, the Brazilian man she met in Indonesia, hook up and decide to live a life of eternal fidelity. But even famous authors’ boyfriends have visa problems and the two decide to get married. Though “Committed is less of a follow-up than an excuse to tread water," according to The New York Times , fans will be queueing up.
Eddy Merckx, Baden Cooke and Stuart O’Grady (in picture) are just some of the international cycling heavyweights scheduled to participate in the Mumbai Cyclothon 2010 on 21 February. Organized by ID Sports, a sports marketing firm, and Sport 18, a division of Network 18, the cyclothon will consist of a race with professional international cycling teams as well as one open to the public. While the pro race will consist of laps between Bandra Reclamation and the Kherwadi traffic signal, it’s possible that the event for the public might be over the Bandra-Worli Sealink. Register at www.indiacyclothon.in and www.cyclothon.in.
By a curious combination of delays, corporate cautiousness, coincidence and possibly even the alignment of the planets, January to March sees some of the biggest releases in gaming history: from the much-awaited Splinter Cell Conviction to sequels to such bona fide blockbusters as PlayStation exclusive God of War III, shooter Bioshock 2, role-playing game Mass Effect 2(see pictured), the irreverent No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle and the new experimental adventure game Heavy Rain. It is a good time to be a gamer.
Cellular devices will push all the right buttons this year. Luxury phone company Vertu launches its first flip phone, Ayxta, (see picture) with a stainless steel frame, aerospace-grade aluminium parts, ceramic and leather details and a sapphire crystal screen. Prices start at Rs3.30 lakh.
The BlackBerry Bold range also gets a new addition: The 3G-compatible BlackBerry Bold 9700 was launched in the US in October and will be in India soon.
Tag Heuer will soon release a new version of its Meridiist phone, which channels the brand’s racing DNA in this gold and black piece. With number portability and 3G finally set to take off in India, mobile users will take a step into the future.
So the Google phone is finally out of its closely guarded stable. The Nexus One, built by HTC, is a slim device with a stunning organic LED screen. It’s powered by Google’s Android platform. Google’s championing the Android platform as the future of mobile devices, and we might be staring at a potential successor to the iPhone. For $529 (approx. Rs24,500) the Nexus One can be purchased directly from Google at http://www.google.com/phone. But it’s yet to arrive in India.
Speaking of Apple, no one really knows much about their next “big" gadget, being called the Apple Tablet (or the iSlate) in online circles, but everyone already wants “the iPhone on steroids". Some say it features a 10-inch LCD display. Others say it’s a Kindle-killer— Apple’s attempt to break into the e-book reader market. The only thing we’re sure of is that something is up at the California-based company, and it’s due sometime this year.
Directed by Anurag Basu, Rakesh Roshan’s much-awaited film Kites stars his heart-throb son Hrithik and the sizzling Mexican actress Barbara Mori. Shot in Mumbai, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Mexico, the film is about two people who fall in love even though they don’t speak a common language. Rumours of an off-screen affair between the lead pair have propelled the hype around the film. Brett Ratner, director of the X-Men series, will re-edit the film for an English version, which will release worldwide in May.
After false alarms and endless delays, Zara, the Spanish fashion giant, opens its India store, at Palladium, High Street Phoenix, Mumbai, in April. After years of ill-fitting trousers and jackets, Indian women will find salvation at this high street retailer.
Resort wear is a must when you’re holidaying in the south of France, cruising in the Bahamas or gracing the launch of Vijay Mallya’s newest yacht.
According to Fern Mallis, senior vice-president of IMG Fashion—which has been organizing Indian fashion weeks since the first one was held in 2000—it’s going to be India’s calling card for the fashion world in 2010.
Lakme Fashion Week’s forthcoming show from 5-9 March has been renamed Summer/Resort 2010 to include resort wear. On the ramp (and in stores soon thereafter) fashionistas can expect to see breezy fabrics in colours such as orange, fuchsia and lemon green.
Premium denim can be crossed off our must-buy list while on trips abroad. The doors to iconic denim labels Diesel and 7 for all Mankind open this year. In an email interview with Lounge, Diesel’s president and founder Renzo Rosso describes where his love for denim originated: “I was born in the 1950s, was completely fascinated by that world, as most kids were. At that time, I was attending a textile and manufacturing school when I produced my first self-designed pair of jeans using the Singer sewing machine of my mom: a pair of low-waist bell-bottomed trousers (44cm wide at the ankle!). They got an enthusiastic reception from all my friends, who asked me to put together pieces for them to wear too."
You might not find a pair that extreme, but you will get Rosso’s favourite fits—the rockstar-style Thanaz and the carrot-fit Heaven, when Diesel (see picture) opens in March at Juhu Tara Road and at Palladium, High Street Phoenix, in Mumbai and at UB City Mall, Bangalore.
Sevens were launched in Los Angeles in 2000 and became a favourite with the Hollywood set overnight. Made from Italian and Japanese denim, they are sold in 80 countries; a store will open in New Delhi in the first quarter, and Mumbai later.
We’re not taking vacations on other planets just yet, but the year promises to be among the best for cinematic travel to new worlds. Tim Burton takes us to his version of Alice in Wonderland(see picture), due in April, Harry Potter faces the first part of his last cinematic trial in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—Part 1, in November and Iron Man returns in April to save his world from a new threat in Iron Man 2. Robert Downey Jr is also currently in theatres as our favourite detective in Guy Ritchie’s take on Sherlock Holmes.
We get new peeks back into the Twilight (Twilight Saga: Eclipse) and Narnia universes (Chronicles of Narnia: The Dawn Treader), in June and December respectively. George R.R. Martin’s Ice and Fire books come alive as a new HBO series, The Game of Thrones.
Two must-see films by Bengali film-makers to be released in 2010 are Kaushik Ganguly’s Arekti Premer Galpo (Just Another Love Story) and Aparna Sen’s The Japanese Wife. In the former, acclaimed director Rituparno Ghosh makes his acting debut as one of the leads, Abhiroop, a gay film director. Starring opposite him is actor Indraneil Sengupta, who plays a bisexual and married cinematographer. Ghosh lost 15kg for the role. The film will be screened at the Berlin Film Festival in February.
The Japanese Wife stars Rahul Bose (see picture), Raima Sen, Moushumi Chatterjee and Chigusa Takaku. Bose is a village schoolteacher who marries his Japanese pen friend over letters and remains loyal to her though they never meet.
Krish Raghav, Arun Janardhan, Rajdeep Datta Roy, Himanshu Bhagat, Veena Venugopal, Rachana Nakra and Anindita Ghose contributed to this story.