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and the Itch to MOBILE-FIRST At Odds, or in

Indias Hottest Topple State PUBLISHING Need of an
April in Five Years Governments ADVENTURE p.16 Even Break?
Takes it Toll p.06 p.03
p.04 | New Delhi | 28 pages | `10

April 24-30, 2016

Passion Play Online retailers of sexual wellness products

make hay as more and more Indiansmen
and womenmake discreet but bold moves
to spice up their love lives

(L-R) Samir Saraiya of Thatspersonal,

Divya Chauhan of Itspleazure and
Rahber Nazir of Kaamastra
02 whats news
APRIL 24-30, 2016

Bangladesh Panel to Study

Professor Killed Congestion During
by Suspected Odd-even Scheme
Islamist Militants New Delhi: The Delhi government on
Saturday constituted a six-member
committee to study the impact of the
opening of schools and hot weather
on the odd-even scheme, following
traffic congestion on roads despite
the ongoing second phase of road-
rationing plan. Transport minister
Gopal Rai said the move is to ensure
that proper measures are in place
whenever the government comes
out with the next edition of the odd-
Dhaka: Suspected Islamist mili- even scheme. The decision was tak-
tants murdered a university profes- en at a review meeting on traffic situ-
sor on Saturday in northwestern ation chaired by the transport de-
Bangladesh, the latest in a series of partment.
attacks on liberal activists. The committee, to be headed by
Two assailants on a motorcycle transport special commissioner KK
attacked Rezaul Karim Siddiquee, Dahiya, will have DTCs deputy CGM
an English professor at the Univer- Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar (R) with outgoing JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav. Nitish on Saturday said he Anuj Sinha, DIMTS additional vice-
sity of Rajshahi, slitting his throat was trying to play a catalyst to unite anti-BJP forces and was not a claimant to any post He added, if a president CK Goel, DCP (traffic) AK
and hacking him to death, Rajshahi person is destined to become the prime minister, he would become the PM one day. He was addressing Singh, executive director (DMRC) Vi-
police chief Mohammad Shamsud- JD(U)s national council meeting that approved his election as the partys new national president. PTI kas Kumar and additional director of
duin told reporters. He was found education Sunita Kaushik.
lying in a pool of blood near his Rai said during the second phase,
home, where he was apparently
waiting for a bus to the university
campus, about 200 km northwest
BPO Honchos Shrug Off opening of schools and hot weather
were the major factors contributing
to traffic jams. PTI
of Dhaka. Police said the murder
was similar to other recent attacks
on secular bloggers by Islamist mili-
Donald Trumps Taunt Rahul Seeks Vote

T for Cong-CPM
tants. Rezaul was killed in a simi- he Indian outsourcing industry largely pre- Offshoring is an integral
lar fashion as the killings of blog- ferred to steer clear of commenting on Don- component of global com- Shyampur (WB): Accusing PM Nar-
gers, Shamsudduin said. Five sec- ald Trumps mocking of Indian call centre merce. That is a reality. People endra Modi and West Bengal CM
ular bloggers and a publisher have executives in a public address in Delaware, US, al- can talk about it or mock it, Mamata Banerjee of resorting to
been killed since February last though BPO industry veteran Raman Roy said it but they cant live without it falsehood and bluffing the people,
year. A group affiliated with al-Qae- was premature to worry about Trumps remarks. Raman Roy, Congress vice-president Rahul Gan-
da claimed responsibility for the The Republican presidential frontrunner per- managing director, Quatrro BPO Services dhi on Saturday said they had prom-
killing of a liberal Bangladeshi blog- sisted with talk about the problems of immigration ised lakhs of jobs but not a single
ger earlier this month. Reuters and took a shot at Indian offshore workers who ser- and said he has nothing against Indians. Indias a person got employment. Mamataji
vice banking and credit card companies, many of great place. I am upset with our leaders for being so and Modiji are making false promis-
whom have centres in Delaware. stupid. So stupid. es. Mamataji talked of providing jobs
Separate Shootings After learning that credit card call centre execu-
tives are based in India, Trump told his supporters
Roy, widely regarded as the father of Indias
BPO industry, sees this as a regular political cycle.
to 70 lakh people, while Modiji had
said two crore jobs will be given by
Leave 14 Dead in US in Delaware, that he called his credit card company That (commentary against outsourcing) hap- his government. But not a single per-
Washington: Eight members of one to find out if it was true. I said to the person, where pened at Obamas time also. It happens at every son has got employment, Gandhi
family, including a teenager, were are you from? I was really not checking on my card, presidential election. The point is do they even said. Sharing platform with CPM
shot dead in rural Ohio, just before I was actually finding out if this was true... So I have enough people to be able to meet their needs leaders at an election meeting, he
gunmen killed six people in Georgia. called up under the guise I am checking on my for the skillset that is required, the knowledge lev- added that no action was taken
In Ohio, seven bodies were found at card. I asked, Where are you from? Were els that are required, he asked. Offshoring is an against those involved in Saradha
three houses close to each other and from India, Trump went on to provide the integral component of global commerce. and Narada scam. Referring to the
an eighth was later found at a sepa- answer, imitating the response That is a reality. People can talk about it or recent flyover collapse in Kolkata,
rate site, sheriff Charles Reader told from the call centre in a fake mock it, but they cant live without it, add- Gandhi alleged that the TMC govern-
ment had given contract of supplying
reporters. The victims were all Indian accent. Oh great, ed Roy, who is the managing director of Quat-
material to its partyman who had
adults except for a male juvenile thats wonderful. Thank rro BPO Services, and pioneered offshore ca-
supplied substandard materials. He
who was 16 years old, he said, and all you very much, he con- pabilities for American Express in the mid-
charged Mamata and Modi with tell-
members of a single family. No ar- cluded, as he proceeded to 1980s and GE Capital (now Genpact) after that. ing lies about action against corrup-
rests have been made yet. AFP mock slam the phone, Neha Alawadhi/New Delhi tion and unemployment. PTI

Silicon Valley Campuses of Facebook, Googles Face Flood Risk

London: At a time when global warming is Even under optimistic scenarios, where extension of its Menlo Park base. Facebook is Mountain View and technology company Cis-
threatening a rise in sea levels, Silicon Valley rapid cuts in greenhouse gas emissions very vulnerable. They built on a very low site. co headquartered in San Jose may get some
giants Facebook, Google and Cisco may be avoid the most severe sea level increases, I do not know why they chose to build there. respite. But should the Antarctic ice sheet dis-
more concerned as their campuses are now at the companies may find themselves cut off, Facebook thinks they can pay enough to pro- integrate, the sea water will be pushed up be-
the risk of being flooded. A forecast by a team the team said. tect themselves, Lindy Lowe, a senior plan- yond 6 ft and flood both businesses.
of scientists has warned that these companies Without significant adaptation, social me- ner at Californias Bay Conservation and De- Even with a small increase, the sea comes
face the prospect of their Silicon Valley head- dia giant Facebooks new campus appears velopment Commission, was quoted. The ele- into the 101 highway by the Googleplex, said
quarters becoming swamped as rising sea lev- most at risk, the report added. vation that Facebook gave to its premises will Kristina Hill, an environmental planning and
els threaten to submerge $100 billion worth of Facebooks campus at the San Francisco not be sufficient from saving it from a 1.6 ft rise urban design expert at the University of Cali-
properties in San Francisco Bay Area, The Bay shoreline is a 4,30,000 sq ft complex in sea levels by the end of the century. fornia-Berkeley. Google and Facebook will
Guardian reported. with a nine-acre garden rooftop and is an The search engine giant Google located in have to redo their campuses. IANS
in the news 03
APRIL 24-30, 2016

The Article 356 Itch

Why the Supreme Court decision in its next hearing on the Presidents Rule in
Uttarakhand may end up being more salutary than necessary

the court decided the case.] In fact, a

joint reading of the Sarkaria report and
Bommai case gives a fail-proof operating
manual of when Article 356 can be in-
voked and when it cannot.
In 2001, the National Commission,
which was formed to review the Consti-
tution, submitted a consultation paper
on Union-state relations. This was pre-
pared by a retired Supreme Court judge,
Justice BP Jeevan Reddy. The report
criticised the failure of different govern-
ments at the Centre in ignoring the con-
cept of cooperative federalism and not-
ed that this power was grossly abused. It
also pointed out that the Bommai case
put the Central government on notice
that the courts had the power and would
not hesitate, in the case of a wrongful
dismissal, to restore such a government
or assembly back to life. Finally, the Na-
tional Commission recommended that
Article 356 should not be deleted but
Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat in amended to provide additional safe-
Dehradun after the Supreme guards a recommendation that re-
Court stayed the HC order lifting mains unimplemented.
the Presidents Rule in the state

Bommai Effect
Statistics show that the use of Article
356 came down drastically after the
:: Arvind P Datar Bommai decision. Interestingly, in

istory was made earlier this week when clare an Emergency. Sarkaria Fine Print 1999, the Central government recom-
the Presidents decision to invoke Article In the Constituent Assembly, there The extensive misuse of Article 356 was mended the dismissal of the state gov-
356 was struck down by the Uttarakhand were serious objections to retaining examined in detail in the 1,600-page ernment in Bihar, but the president
High Court in an order dictated in open such an article as it was felt that this pro- Sarkaria Commission report which called upon the Centre to reconsider
court with some strong remarks by the vision was incompatible in a federal made several important recommenda- the matter in the light of principles
Division Bench. That legal battle will me- structure wherein each state had the tions and also gave practical examples of enunciated in the Bommai case. To the
ander to its logical conclusion in the Su- same plenary powers in its sphere of leg- how the power should be exercised. De- credit of the then Central government,
preme Court. But it has been a repeated islation as the Union of India. Members spite this, the misuse of Article 356 con- the proposal was withdrawn.
feature of Indian democracy that every also expressed fears of its potential tinued and this eventually led to the Similarly, a proposal to dismiss a gov-
new ruling party at the Centre gets an abuse. BR Ambedkar landmark decision in ernment in Uttar Pradesh without allow-
uncontrollable itch to topple state gov- tried to assuage such feel- SR Bommai v Union of ing the chief minister the right to have
ernments where the ruling party is dif- ings by expressing the pi- There is no room India (1994) 3 SCC1. the majority tested on the floor of the
ferent like in the deplorable practice of ous hope that this article for any dilemma as Bommai was the chief House was set aside by the Allahabad
paralysing Parliament, session after ses- would never be called to whether a state minister and merely High Court and later affirmed by the Su-
sion, every party is equally guilty. It is into operation and would government should wanted the governor preme Court.
often forgotten that India has a federal remain as a dead letter. be dismissed or not. to permit him to The Uttarakhand case will once again
Constitution and a duly elected state Moreover, he expected prove his majority on take up precious time of the Supreme
government is not to be disturbed unless the president to take
One has to merely the floor of the assem- Court. Actually, no safeguards are neces-
there are truly extraordinary circum- proper precautions be- follow the bly. The Karnataka sary to be included in Article 356. And,
stances that has led to a constitutional fore actually suspending recommendations gove r n o r d e n i e d indeed, there is no room for any dilem-
breakdown. the administration of a of the Sarkaria Bommai this constitu- ma as to whether a state government
province. On August 4, Commission and tional opportunity should be dismissed or not. One has to
Historical Background 1949, he stated: I hope the principles laid and recommended merely follow the recommendations of
Article 356 is based on Section 45 of the the first thing he will do out in Bommai case the dismissal of his the Sarkaria Commission and the princi-
Government of India Act, 1935, which would be to issue a clear government. ples laid out in the Bommai case. To ig-
enabled the governor-general to issue a warning to a province that Eventually, the de- nore them is to attract invalidation of
proclamation in case there was a failure has erred, that things were not happen- cision of the governor was held to be un- presidents rule. Seen in that light, any
of constitutional machinery at the fed- ing in the way in which they were in- constitutional and the Supreme Court top court decision in the Uttarakhand
eral level, and a similar power was con- tended to happen in the Constitution. remarked: All cannons of propriety case may well end up being more salu-
ferred on the governor of a province. After the death of Lal Bahadur Shastri, were thrown to the wind and the undue tary than necessary. 
In our Constitution, such power is the misuse of Article 356 increased dra- haste made by the governor clearly
now only with the president, and the matically. Governors, who were expect- smacked of mala fides. The nine-judge
governors function is confined to sub- ed to be eminent persons, who would be bench of the Supreme Court painstak-
mitting a report. Significantly, Article impartial and true to their constitutional ingly laid down guidelines for the exer- The writer is a senior
advocate of the Madras
356 is contained in Part XVIII of the oath, were often politicians who merely cise of Article 356. [It, however, did not
High Court
Constitution which covers Emergency acted on the dictates of the ruling party give relief to the parties as fresh elections
Powers that include the power to de- at the Centre. had been held in those states by the time
04 news analysis
APRIL 24-30, 2016


What Cannot be To Fix Bad Air,

Cured must be Look Beyond the
Endured Cars of Delhi
If Delhis conspicuous consumers in their chariots We need to tackle other sources of pollution like
want to breathe easy, odd-even has to stay trucks, industries, diesel generators and open burning
:: Sanjay Hegde :: Jai Malik and Sumit Sharma

elhis second encounter with designed to prevent individual behaviour he discussions over Indias dete- have suggested that the whole Indo-Gangetic
the odd-even scheme has been overruling societal needs. When a common riorating air quality started two plain is heavily polluted by particulate matter
marked with less public enthusi- bowl with a dip for your chips is set out, you years ago after a WHO report and the NCR is one of the hotspots. There are
asm and greater evangelism on cannot double dip a chip you have already bit- deemed Delhi as the most pollut- over 13 million vehicles in the NCR, with more
the governments part. The ten into. The emphasis of a truly developed ed city in the world. This led to than 8 million in Delhi itself. While cars have
mans face is everywhere on billboards and society is to ensure that human needs are fully discussions among the public about the con- shifted to advanced BS-IV emission norms in
buses; the voice haunts you on radio and tele- met by a system designed to share resources sequences of being exposed to high concen- 2010, most heavy vehicles have remained at
vision, reminding you that the last fortnight of but yet keep the individual experience intact trations of pollutants. On the downside, this BS-III due to their requirements to move out
April will see the return of the regimes signa- and unblemished. has also created a lot of panic and distrust, of NCR where BS-IV quality fuel is not availa-
ture accomplishment. Nevertheless, the Critics point out, that in this second in- and it is feared that we may miss the broader ble. It is now heartening to see that the gov-
roads are not empty, nor is there a discernible nings, Delhiites have turned to second-hand picture and long-term solutions in the confu- ernment has decided to move to the most ad-
decrease in pollution levels. All told, the rules cars to continue their addiction to private sion and desperation to find a quick fix. vanced vehicular standards (BS-VI norms) on
second coming has been met with unenthusi- transport. While that may, in some part, be There are many sources of particulate mat- a pan-India basis by 2020.
astic and grudging compliance, but Delhiites true, what appears to have happened is that ter (PM) emission in Delhi and the National The options of retrofitting and fleet mod-
have complied nevertheless. two-car families have more or less made ar- Capital Region (NCR). The source apportion- ernisation need to be explored with the intro-
An experiment that began as an attack on rangements to ensure that one of them is in ment studies carried out for the region identi- duction of low sulphur fuel in India by 2019, to
pollution has ended up bringing home the use on any given day. That was only to be ex- fied vehicles, biomass burning and secondary reduce pollution from older, in-use vehicles.
fact that our roads are simply too overcrowd- pected. But a wholesale turning to owner- particulates to have the major share in ambi- The public transport system needs to be en-
ed for access to remain ship of two cars does ent PM2.5 concentra- hanced significantly. In
unrationed. We cannot not seem to have hap- tions (particles with an alarming bad-air sit-
for long continue with pened, simply because size less than 2.5 mi- uation like in Delhi, the
unrestricted access to people neither have crometers, which are public transport should
road space, without the money nor the able to reach deep into ideally be based on
systems and men parking space to ac- the lungs). electric rather than fos-
breaking down from commodate a second Vehicles are certain- sil fuel-based engines.
overuse. World over, vehicle in their life- ly an important con- There are other sec-
this scheme has been styles. What cannot be tributor to the problem tors that demand si-
resorted to by adminis- cured must be en- of pollution and re- multaneous action.
trators, when numbers dured. Many a Delhi- quire to be controlled. While diesel engines
began to overwhelm ite, through this fort- Several studies as- in vehicles are being
available resources. night, has started to sessed the impact of talked about so much,
Beijing resorted to it experience the econo- the odd-even scheme the diesel generators
around the time it host- my of sharing. Where a on pollutant concen- using similar technol-
ed the Olympics. In the carpool is not possible trations and conclud- ogies are generally ne-
aftermath of Hurricane and public transport is ed a limited reduction glected. These are in
Sandy, when citizens of anathema, the app uni- of 5-13% in pollutant use for many hours of
New Jersey began verse of traffic aggrega- concentrations. It is the day in the adjoin-
hoarding fuel, gover- tors like Ola and Uber mainly because the ing towns of Delhi,
nor Chris Christie re- Privileged has stepped in. Life share of private cars The air where power supply is
stricted refuelling at petrol pumps Delhiites goes on, even if you do not own towards prevailing PM concen- pollution a major issue. It is time to think
to odd-numbered vehicles on odd the wheels that move you. trations is small (<5%) and, even about 24x7 supply of electricity
days of the calendar, and to even- cannot ride The odd-even rule has brought after accounting for additional issue in Delhi to the region to cut down the us-
numbered vehicles on even days. on cars, home to the privileged Delhiite reductions due to less idling by cannot be age of diesel generators which
For Delhi, the question after oblivious of that ownership of a resource vehicles and reduced road dust expected to are a significant source of PM
these two phases of experiment the impact brings with it only a right to un- re-suspension emissions, the im- be solved by and NOx emissions.
is: does the rule stay or is it to be limited possession. The right to pact could be limited. While in It is generally observed that
abandoned altogether? I suspect
they have on use a resource may be made con- winters, when pollution is high,
looking at the landfills catch fires during sum-
that the former is true. congestion tingent upon a societys carrying even this percentage reduction city in mers and a lot of uncollected re-
It is in this context that whim- and pollution capacity for use of that product. translates into a significant abso- isolation fuse is burnt for volume reduc-
pers of non-political protest have You may own a piece of land, but lute change in PM2.5 concentra- tion. The ban on open burning of
to be evaluated. Middle-class Del- its usage as commercial or resi- tions, in summers when the pol- refuse needs to be enforced with
hi, empowered by consumer credit in post- dential can be subject to its classification by lution levels are relatively low, the absolute the use of mobile technology, through which
liberalisation India, has not taken kindly to its the planning authorities. The odd-even rule reductions will be lower. This clearly indi- pictures and coordinates of violations can be
cherished chariot of conspicuous consump- extends that principle to private transport cates the need to look at other sources like sent to the concerned authorities to take ac-
tion being rendered a part-time plaything. vehicles. Chunnu Munnu te Pappa di gaddi trucks, inter-state buses, two-wheelers, in- tion. Air pollution is a complex, multi-pollut-
This is because, despite all its experience of cannot careen down the Ring Road, oblivi- dustries, power plants, DG sets, open agri- ant and multi-sectoral issue. Hence, this
development in India and abroad, the one ous of the impact that it has on Saddi Dillis cultural residue burning in NCR. needs consistent attention, and calls for reg-
truth that has still eluded Delhis citizenry is interests of congestion and pollution. If Delhi The air pollution issue in Delhi cannot be ular five-year, air-quality management plans
that a truly developed society is also a very po- has to breathe easy, it has to literally lighten expected to be solved by looking at the city in focusing on different sectors in NCR. 
lite and ordered society. No citizen can have a up on car usage.  isolation and taking remedial actions just
superior right to impose himself upon the within its boundaries. Modelling studies at Jai Malik is a research associate and Sumit Sharma is a
The writer is a senior advocate of the Supreme Court fellow at TERI
other. In a developed country, the rules are the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)
news analysis 05
APRIL 24-30, 2016

Delhi is Making
Sacrifices Urge
to Surge
Excerpts from an interview with Delhi transport minister Gopal Rai
by KP Narayana Kumar, in which he insists the odd-even scheme is
a success despite some kind of conspiracy:
Differential pricing of transport services can

n the reason for more traffic curb congestion:
on the roads during the sec- The core of this programme is anti-pollution and ensure optimum use of available capacity
ond phase of the odd-even anti-congestion in equal measure. Congestion mul-
scheme than in the first tiplies pollution. Congestion equally contributes to :: OP Agarwal

phase: pollution on account of idle-time fuel burning. The n the current context of only odd/even-numbered cars being allowed
Unlike last time, schools are open this time. Vehicles time saved is an additional gain. To critics who ques- on the roads of Delhi, the concern seems to be that taxi operators
which were only going to office during the first phase tion the benefits of decongestion on air pollution, in have been resorting to surge pricing. Is this a fair practice and what
are now dropping children to school and picking my opinion, if fuel burning has reduced, surely, should the government do about it?
them up. There is about 10% extra volume of traffic there must be impact. It is a fundamental law in economics that when supply is low pric-
at some points, otherwise it is more or less the same. es go up and when it is high they come down. The converse happens with
There are traffic jams at some places due to pipe On the challenge of changing mind- increase and decrease in demand. This allows markets to stabilise at a
bursts, repair work, etc. sets, particularly in a city like point of equilibrium. When markets fail, undesirable opportunities for

On violations of the scheme:

The core of Delhi: It is not simple to implement this
monopoly pricing do arise. Markets would not correct themselves in such
situations and regulation steps in to ensure fair play.
They are minimal. Many of the odd- the scheme scheme in Delhi where people are said Using these principles, the practice of charging different prices for peak
numbered cars running on an even day is both to be individualistic. But now the whole and off-peak transportation services has been quite common. For exam-
(and vice versa) are driven by women, of Delhi is participating; they are mak- ple, the Washington Metro system charges a higher fare during peak peri-
run on CNG, have a medical emergency anti-pollution ing sacrifices. There should be some ods compared with off-peak periods. Singapores Road User Charges vary
or carry the physically disabled. There and anti- reason for their cooperation. The depending on peak and off-peak periods. There are several such examples
were 1,300 violations on the first day scheme is for the middle-class and up- around the world.
but they are gradually coming down.
congestion. per middle-class. It cant be that they The objective of such differential pricing is to per-
Congestion dont understand why this scheme is suade some of the peak demand to move to off-peak Surge
On protests on the part of needed. periods so that the available capacity is more opti- pricing
multiplies mally used. The practice of surge pricing deployed by should be
I dont see any major atmosphere of pollution On the challenges of imple- some cab service companies may be towards this allowed as a
protest. In fact, cooperation has in- menting the scheme: end. But it is attracting severe criticism on the
creased. Now, the system is that five days I pick On the political front, there is a plan to ensure that grounds that they are taking advantage of an artificial
up your children and four days you pick up mine. this scheme fails and it is a consistent effort. Auto scarcity in the availability of transport vehicles. This practice, but
All over the world, there is concern over pollution hartal, the Uber-Ola surge price debate all indicate would amount to monopoly pricing and could attract within a
and congestion. If we let things remain as they are, some kind of a conspiracy. How come these arise regulatory intervention. reasonable
after five years, you may have vehicles but you will now and not the last time? We also had to deal with The key question, therefore, is one of degree. Are
not be able to step out. Will you make a special a conspiracy to cause a breakdown of DTC bus ser- the price surges so high that they take advantage of
road for yourself? Ultimately, you will need to de- vice and we took immediate action. Also, the recent peoples helplessness in not having other options, or
pend on public transport. Today you have the op- instances of fires in landfills and on river banks are they modest enough to merely seek an optimal use of available capac-
tion of making a choice. Tomorrow you will have suddenly, there is a lot of smoke as there are many ity? Also, are cab companies using this as a standard business practice
to do it under duress. We need to think about this fires. We want to understand how all of this is hap- across the board or are they taking undue advantage of a unique situation
in all the big cities. pening simultaneously. Despite it in the city? If the former is correct then prudence would suggest that the
being summer and schools are market mechanism should be allowed to play its course. If it is the latter,
On the criticism that the open, the compliance needs stern regulatory intervention is required.
scheme violates citizens to be appreciated. Even We also need to look at it another way. The odd-even scheme seeks to
fundamental rights and the world is moni- reduce the number of motor vehicles on the road so that pollution levels,
freedoms: toring the which have an adverse impact on health, come down. The idea is to per-
We are not imposing a restriction scheme now. suade people to shift to public transport or resort to carpooling. No doubt
for the sake of it. We are working there is some inconvenience, but there is a larger public good due to im-
towards positive development proved air quality. The practice of surge pricing seems to result in exactly
because the day nature collapses, the same effect. It reduces the number of people who would use motor

technology, wealth, nothing can cars and persuade them to shift to cleaner modes. So, what is the problem?
help. Nature has started sending The problem is one of degree. Some increase in prices during peak periods
that signal. If you are not worried would be fair, but a very steep increase would be unfair.
about the next generation, then Public frustration seems to emanate from the fact that they do not see
you are not displaying the maturity other alternatives. Carpooling has not picked up sufficiently and needs
required. Previous generations have sustained and concerted effort. This needs more time. The other alterna-
done wrongs and we are suffering be- tive, of public transport, is weak in Delhi. A city of nearly 20 million people
cause of it. The odd-even scheme has cannot sustain itself with only 5500 buses. It needs closer to 15,000 buses.
reduced pollution and congestion too. While the metro system is good, it seems to be serving a suburban demand
But the bigger thing we did was that we more than the demand of the city. In any case, it is too crowded to accom-
triggered a national debate on and con- modate more people. So, where would commuters turn to if the odd/even
cern over environment and devel- number scheme prevents them from using their own cars?
opment. A fair compromise between the positive and negative impacts of surge
pricing seems be in allowing it as a business practice, but within a reason-
On the experts view able band. It cannot be allowed to go completely out of hand. A range of,
that the scheme say, plus or minus 40-50% would seem to be fair. In most cities in the US,
doesnt do as much Uber does have demand-based pricing structures and people decide
to reduce pollu- whether to take the metro or Uber based on this.
tion as it does to (The writer, a former civil servant, is an urban transport expert)
06 big story
APRIL 24-30, 2016


HEAT OF A Death at High Noon

Labourers in theo villages of Ananthapuram risk

their lives in 44 C heat for their daily earnings

:: Indulekha Aravind l Ananthapuram

he desperate wails rend the still evening air that is suffocatingly warm,
even at sunset. A crush of people has gathered around the body of Kata-
maiah, laid on the ground in front of his hut; his wife is weeping. A farm
labourer working for the daily wage of `200 in Sulthanpet village in
Andhra Pradeshs Ananthapuram district,
Katamaiah had left for work at 7 in the morn-
ing, as was his habit. A few hours later, the
Number of
55-year-old with no pre-existing medical
condition collapsed on the field and died heatstroke/
while being taken to the nearest hospital in sunstroke deaths
the district capital. Neighbours say he was a in Andhra
Why it has been the hottest April in five years, how victim of the relentless heat the region has Pradesh
Indians are coping with and succumbing to the been captive to.
A few kilometres away, in Narasapuram 2014*
swelter, and why an India getting hotter could mean village, are the widows of two others felled
huge economic losses in the years to come by the heat, part of the official list of 37 heat-
stroke deaths reported in Ananthapuram so
far. Karupuramu Gopal and his wife sold
plastic pots and other trinkets to make ends
:: G Seetharaman meet, earning between `200 and `300 a
few days ago, a video of a woman cooking eggs on the floor outside her home day. On returning from work in the after-

A 1,216
in Karimnagar, Telangana, went viral, evoking shock and amusement in noon, 10 days ago, Gopal began complain-
equal parts. The video may or may not be authentic, but it speaks of the de- ing of discomfort and vomited. Though he
bilitating heat wave gripping parts of India. Titlagarh and Bhubaneswar, in was taken to a private clinic where he was
Odisha, at 47.5 degree Celsius and 45.8 degree Celsius, respectively, have given a saline drip, he did not make it. He
Heat/sun stroke
recorded their hottest April days this year and so has Ananthapuram in asked for some water around 11 at night,
Andhra Pradesh, at 44.9 degree Celsius, according to Skymet Weather Services. Places like took a long breath and passed away, says
Kolkata and Bankura in West Bengal have registered highest April temperatures in a decade. his wife, Devi. At the home of Venkataiah, 40.4%
Mahesh Palawat, chief meteorologist at Skymet, says the rising temperatures are a result of his wife is too exhausted and grief-stricken of accidental
the absence of pre-monsoon showers in April in most places. These showers last a couple of to talk. His nephew, Goutham Naidu, says deaths
days and bring the temperature down for a week. March and April this year were hotter than the farmer had spent his last three days at a attributable to
usual. There will be some relief with pre-monsoon rains arriving in the first week of May, says religious festival, leaving in the morning and natural causes in
Palawat. This is the hottest April in five years. returning only at sunset. The night before he Andhra Pradesh
But Kanti Prasad, senior consultant (climate sciences), passed away, he had felt listless and vomit- in 2014*
Weather Risk Management Services, does not find anything ed. His nephew was taking him to a hospital *National Crime Records
unusual in the high temperatures in April. Its not like this the next day, when he died. Bureau 2014
has not happened before in April. Records are always broken Indias Top 10 Three weeks into April and Ananthapu-
and every year is different from the previous year. Last year ram is burning under an intolerable heat
was Indias third warmest year on record since 1901 and 2016 Hottest Places wave with daily temperatures touching 44 degrees Celsius, making
it one of the hottest places in the country, according to private
is also expected to be one of the hottest ever. Over 160 peo-
ple have succumbed to the heat this year. Last year, heat Temperature
weather forecaster Skymet. Step out around 11 am and you feel you
waves claimed 2,422 lives in India. (degree Celsius) are being physically assaulted by the heat, a steady stream of scorch-
Globally, too, 2015 was the hottest year on record and 2016
is projected to be even warmer. This comes at a time when Titlagarh Odisha 47.5
more than 170 countries have agreed to limit the increase in
the average global temperature this century to well below 2
Bramhapuri Maharashtra 46 The Andhra Pradesh government announced free drinking water outlets but
in Ananthapuram, the only one spotted was in the collectors office premises
degree Celsius since the industrial revolution and strive fur-
ther to stall the increase at 1.5 degree Celsius. According to a
Sundargarh Odisha 46
study published in Nature Climate Change journal in April
2015, climate change resulting from human activities is be-
Angul Odisha 45.5
hind three-fourths of heat extreme events now. Bankura West Bengal 45.3
Besides the loss of lives because of heat strokes, a country
getting hotter will result in huge economic losses. According
Rentachintala Andhra Pradesh 45
to a 2015 working paper from the Council on Energy, Envi-
ronment and Water The Costs of Climate Change: Impacts
Nalgonda Telangana 45
for India, increase in temperatures will result in production
losses in rice, wheat and maize of over $200 billion in 2050.
Chandrapur Maharashtra 45
And deaths due to disease (mainly diarrhoea, malaria and Ananthapuram Andhra Pradesh 44.9
dengue) could result in a loss of economic output of $2.5 bil-
lion by 2050 (if the deaths are valued at lifetime earnings). Nizamabad Telangana 44.9
ET Magazine visits two of the hottest places in the country,
Ananthapuram in Andhra Pradesh and Wardha in Maha-
rashtra, to see how people are coping with the heat and what
the local administration is doing to minimise the damage of
the heat wave. As recorded on April 23, 2016
Source: Skymet Weather Services
big story 07
APRIL 24-30, 2016


degree Celsius
in 1985 and 2004
reported, of
in 2016 which 11 have
been verified
Source: Skymet Weather Services;
district administration

Sri Raghu, 30, an auto driver, says he is Despite the blazing sun, Durga Prasad cannot
unaware of any heat stroke precautions afford to stop working

ing blows raining all over your body. No Respite camps conducted
condducted in the
th ternoon, he will not earn his daily wages of
While it is unsurprising that people are region. In Ananthapu-
A nanthapu `200. Yes, the heat feels much worse this year
collapsing in this heat, the tragedy lies from the Heat ram town, the only gov- gov but what can I do? he shrugs, returning to his
in the fact that if adequate precautions ernment-run
e nmen
er drinking
nt-run free drinkin work after a couple of minutes in the shade to
are taken, heatstroke deaths like Go- This April has been the water stat
i n that can be spot-
a spo drink from the one-litre water bottle he brings
pals and Venkataiahs are preventable, ted is on the premises of th the every day.
hottest in five years for India
according to experts, unlike in other district collectors office. Oth-th The government needs to increase aware-
natural calamities such as earthquakes In January and February this year, ers run by religious institutions n ness among people, perhaps using novel meth-
and floods. India experienced normal and charities are spotted near a ods in the local language, says Dr Raghupathy
The state government says it has temperatures 1.53 degree Celsius and the main road. Anchala, associate professor at the Public
launched a campaign to spread aware- 2 degree Celsius higher than the Even assuming the govern- Health Foundation of India in Hyderabad.
ness on the heat wave, has set up over average for 1961-1990, respectively ment was successful in spreading Simple measures like using a wet hanky on the
8,000 outlets providing free drinking the message about the prevailing forehead of a heat-
water, known as chalivendram in Tel- heat wave, it needs to take into stroke victim could
ugu, and distributed over 7 lakh oral re-
Most of northwest India, AP govts
account those who might not be save a life, he says.
Kerala and Vidarbha are
hydration solution (ORS) packets. From
expected to have
able to afford staying away from While not everyone guidelines
March 1, we have held around 2,800 work in the hours between noon would be able to af-
health camps in Ananthapuram to temperatures above and 4 pm. Nagamma, a 60-year- ford ORS packets, a
to prevent
spread awareness about the heat wave. normal by 1 degree Celsius old living in the slum cluster oppo- cheap but effective heat stroke
We tell people not to step out between 11 site the district collectors office, is substitute is a glass of
am and 4 pm but in case they have to, we 2015 was Indias third warmest one of them. The vada stall she water with a spoon- Avoid stepping
advise them on the precautions they year on record since 1901 runs is her sole source of income ful of sugar and a out between
must take, says Dr K Venkata Ramana, and her peak business hours are at pinch of salt to re-
11 am and 4 pm
district medical and health officer. We 2015 was the worlds hottest year lunch time. But for the first time in plenish the sodium
suggest that they drink 4 to 5 litres of wa- on record, with the average her 30 years of running the stall, she and potassium in the
ter a day if they are outdoors, to wear was hospitalised after displaying body that would Drink 4 to 5
global temperature being 0.75 litres of water
loose clothes and footwear and drink co- symptoms of heat stroke. have been lost in the
degree Celsius higher than the
conut water, if they can afford it. Neither does the searing heat of the heat. A heat stroke a day
1961-1990 average
But the administrations critical mes- noonday sun stop Durga Prasad, who occurs when the
sage doesnt seem to have reached the 2016 is expected to be even makes around 1,000 bricks from 6 am brain senses the Drink coconut
economically weakest sections, who are warmer, with the global average till 3 pm for a contractor. He has not body temperature water or
also the most vulnerable. In Narasapu- temperature being 1.14 degree heard about the heat wave guidelines but has shot up beyond
ram and Sulthanpet, victims families he knows that if he does not work in the af- 104 degrees Fahren-
Celsius more than
say they received no information about pre-industrial levels heit and attempts to
precautions to be taken during the heat reduce it by sweating Wear loose-
wave and are not aware of any health excessively. One fitting clothes,
shouldnt ignore preferably white
warning signals like
exhaustion but if you
Deaths from Heat Wave in India have to continue working, you should at least
take a break and replenish the water and salts
2,500 2,422 you have lost, says Dr Anchala.
The government is yet to announce a for-
mal compensation policy for those who have
2,000 died due to heat stroke. Deaths need to be
certified by a three-member panel of a medi-
cal officer, tehsildar and sub-inspector of po-
From March 1, we have held lice. This is another challenge, says the dis-
trict health officer, as it is often hard to get the
1,000 around 2,800 health camps three officials together, delaying the process.
in Ananthapuram With the peak summer month of May yet to
begin, concerted efforts on a war footing might
500 to spread awareness yet save those who are the most susceptible to
about the heat wave the unrelenting heat. The alternative is picking
0 up the pieces after a tragedy that could have
1995 2015 Dr K Venkata Ramana, been prevented.
Source: National Disaster Management Authority district medical officer, Ananthapuram
08 big story
APRIL 24-30, 2016


Endless Summer
As if two consecutive years of drought were not
enough, Wardha in Maharashtras Vidarbha region
is getting no relief from the unrelenting sun

:: G Seetharaman l Wardha

ravin Jude is perched W A R D H A
on a wooden plank
near the top of an un-
HIGHEST EVER TEMPERATURE HIGHEST IN 2016 The temperature used to hit 45 degrees in
finished wall of a degree Celsius but this year we are seeing it a month earlier
house, adding bricks
to it, as three others 46.4 on April 15 and
April 22
Rakesh Wadibhasme, teacher, Wardha
help him with the job. degree
He is thankful that the Celsius HEAT STROKE DEATHS
sun is not as punish- in 1973 and IN 2016 1973 and 1996. is a heat wave. An increase of 7 degree
ing that day in Ward- 1996 Vidarbha, along with parts of Odisha, Celsius or more makes it a severe heat
ha, 70 km southwest
of Nagpur, as it can be.
None yet West Bengal, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh
and Jharkhand, among others, has been
Given that the mercury is in the early
But he knows it is only Source: Skymet Weather Services experiencing heat wave time and again forties and it is Mahavir Jayanti on the day
noon and the worst is this April. Odisha earlier we visit Wardha, there is
yet to come. Google says the temperature
in Wardha is 41 degree Celsius, but the
this month issued a direc-
tive, saying labour-inten-
Beds and air coolers considerable activity on
its streets. But most of
forecast for the days maximum is 44 de- sive work should be have been set aside them have their face
gree Celsius. avoided outdoors from 11 in the district wrapped in cloth, lest
Two days ago, around the same time am to 3.30 pm. hospital, which will the sun singe them.
the heat was so infernal that he could According to the Indi- help normalise the Wadibhasme says when
barely continue working. Jude knows a an Meteorological De- temperature of the temperature rises,
thing or two about bearing the brunt of a partment, when the nor- those who have even the busiest roads in
harsh summer. mal maximum tempera- the city will be emptied
Last year, less than a kilometre from his ture of a place is more
had a heat stroke of people in the after-
current worksite, he fell off a two-storey than 40 degree Celsius noon. Wardha hasnt
building that was under construction. I and the recorded temperature exceeds it had any heat stroke casualties so far and
was so exhausted from the heat and lost by 4 to 5 degree Celsius, it is considered a the district administration wants to keep
consciousness. I could have died. He sur- heat wave. An increase of 6 degree Celsi- it that way, though Wadibhasme believes
vived with injuries to his face and arms. us or more constitutes a severe heat the preventive measures it has taken are
After two months in the hospital, he was wave. If the maximum normal tempera- not adequate. Purushottam Madavi,
back at work. Except for a one-hour break ture of a place is less than or equal to 40 Wardha districts civil surgeon, says peo-
for lunch, there is no respite for Jude as he degree Celsius and the recorded temper- ple have been advised to stay indoors and
works till late evening for `400 a day. ature exceeds it by 5 to 6 degree Celsius, it a disaster management team has been
This is not the kind of work one should put in place, which will work with the
do in this heat, but then do we have a hospitals and rural health centres in the
choice? he asks, while pointing in two district.
different directions to show where two This is not the kind of work We have asked hospital officials to
labourers, not as lucky as him, had maintain a register of those being treated
plunged to their death under a blinding
one should do in this heat, for heat-related problems, he adds.
sun. There is a surfeit of construction la- but then do we have a choice? Among the administrations other initia-
bourers in Wardha, thanks to a continuing tives is setting aside six beds in a ward with
influx from the neighbouring state of
Pravin Jude, air coolers, in the district hospital, which
construction worker, Wardha will help normalise the temperature of
Madhya Pradesh.
Pramila Pandoles tryst with heat ex- those who have had a heat stroke.
haustion is more recent. Two days ago, she A silver living in the summer is that
had to be rushed to the hospital after she schools and colleges shut for vacation just
fainted on the road. This is quite common. as the temperature hit 45 degree Celsius.
We are so used to it now. We just take an in- Locals say Wardha has become warmer
jection and some medicines and move on, over the years. They chalk it up partly to the
says Pandole, a farmhand in a village close development of the city, aided partly by the
to Wardha, while on her way home for steel and power plants that have come up in
lunch, carrying kindling on her head. and around the city. Jude says where there
Wardha, part of the Vidarbha region of was once dense greenery is now populated
Maharashtra, is among the hottest places in by apartment buildings. The scorching
the country, twice clocking 45 degree Cel- summer is worsened by two years of
sius this April. Other parts of Vidarbha like drought in the district, like others in Vid-
Nagpur and Chandrapur are just as hot or arbha and the Marathwada region.
even hotter on some days. The tempera- As the mercury is only bound to soar
ture used to hit 45 degrees only in mid-May, even higher in May, Wardhas residents
but this year we are seeing it a month earli- have no option but to buckle down and
er, says Rakesh Wadibhasme, who teaches brave the heat in the hope that there is a
chemistry at a college 20 km from Wardha reward at the end of it, in the form of rains,
city. Wardha registered its highest ever Pramila Pandole (C), a farmhand in a village close to Wardha, was rushed to the hospital which are expected to be better than nor-
April temperature, 46.4 degree Celsius, in after she fainted on the road, but she is back at work mal this year. 
perspective 09
APRIL 24-30, 2016

Terror Tales & Twists

Why witnesses and accused in the Malegaon blasts are recanting their statements
:: Saba Naqvi
After the bomb blast in Malegaon in 2008
errorism is far too serious an in Mumbai but in other centres as well. We

issue to be hostage to political have an ongoing problem in Kashmir, where
expediency. Yet, that is pre- terror strikes, mostly on symbols of the state,
cisely what is happening with are routine.
cases against members of the Yet it is particularly with relevance to our
Hindu ultra-right. Witnesses country that the statements made by the BJP
and accused in the Malegaon blasts (2006, and RSS spokespersons are plain inaccurate.
2008) case and the Samjhauta Express blast Besides Gandhi being shot by a Hindu fanatic,
(2007) case have been recanting their state- Indira Gandhi was murdered by Sikhs, and
ments. Ambitious policemen hoping to curry Rajiv Gandhi by terrorists belonging to the
favour with the current regime have been LTTE, whose religion was not a factor in the
coming out of the woodwork, claiming they killing, but clearly they were not Muslims. The
were never comfortable with the narrative of Maoists who routinely blow up military con-
saffron terror. There are several unmistak- voys in the interiors of Dantewada are also not
able signs that the prosecution intends to go Muslims. Neither are the various militant
slow till the cases altogether fall apart. groups that have operated in the Northeast.
What we do know is this. The slain chief of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, who led Punjab
the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) into a bloody phase of militancy, thankfully
Hemant Karkare had filed an FIR in 2008 contained, was not by any stretch a Muslim.
which included transcripts of conversations The point here is that we have dealt with all
from 2007 to 2008 between those who were forms of terrorism in India. We cannot white-
allegedly plotting the Malegaon blasts (one of We have dealt wash certain crimes by saying members of a
the participants had recorded the conversa- Mahasabha, whose member with all forms of are now going on TV shows to particular religion cannot engage in acts of vi-
tion). We would subsequently get other evi- Nathuram Godse assassinated terrorism in India. make statements such as the olence (we live in a world where the phenom-
dence such as the rich-with-detail confession Mohandas Gandhi. one by the partys national enon of Buddhist monks becoming terrorists
of Swami Aseemanand made in 2011 (he later It was also an open secret in
We cannot secretary Shrikant Sharma: has been chronicled in Myanmar).
recanted but it is hard to imagine anyone con- the last few years of the UPA
whitewash certain It is a fact that all Muslims are Majority terrorism is something the world is
cocting such details). There was also evidence rule that the RSS was deeply crimes by saying not terrorists, but all terrorists familiar with. The 1995 Oklahoma City bomb-
about an organisation named Abhinav Bharat, worried about its links to members of a are Muslims. It is a statement ing, one of the deadliest terror attacks on US
apparently initiated by Lieutenant Colonel some individuals who had ad- particular religion that can be swallowed in an soil, was done by Christian fundamentalists.
Shrikant Prasad Purohit in 2006. The picture vocated the bomb for a cannot engage in atmosphere where the world In 2011, Europe was shaken by the killing
that emerges from the transcripts is a group of bomb philosophy. The Sangh acts of violence is confronted by the extreme spree of Anders Breivik in Norway that
disgruntled army men, militant sadhus and has many expectations from violence of jihadi groups such claimed over 70 lives. Both these countries in-
disillusioned Sangh Parivar cadre. They were the government of Narendra as the IS, Taliban, Boko Haram vestigated and prosecuted. They did not
also overwhelmingly Maharashtrian Brah- Modi, but the key one arguably is to make the to name a few. In India, too, we have faced ter- whitewash the crimes. 
mins, in the manner of the group that emerged cases against the Hindu ultra-right go away. ror strikes orchestrated by Muslims, possibly
around VD Savarkar, founder of the Hindu Towards that end, the BJP spokespersons ordered by groups in Pakistan, most famously (The writer is an independent journalist)

:: AS Dulat
Kashmir is Not Just a Law & Order Issue
he Handwara incident came as a surprise as J&K is not an issue of integration or reintegration (into India). ward movement between Delhi and Srinagar as well.

the area has remained mostly peaceful for It is already integrated; we dont need to make any further And there is always a role for separatists. Why should they
many years. (On April 12, civilians died after noise about integration. When we say India is one from Kash- deny themselves the role? They have to engage the same way
they were fired upon in Handwara town; they mir to Kanyakumari, then we should treat it as one. they did earlier, when the BJP was ruling at the Centre (with AB
had clashed with the forces after a girl alleged The problem is in the Kashmiri mind. As Mehbooba said, Vajpayee as prime minister). Were they not talking to the gov-
that an army personnel had molested her). there is a feeling of hurt. That is the ernment then? They need to talk
Cricket match celebrations (when India loses) or any sort of most important problem right now again. Both New Delhi and separatists
flags coming out are not the issue. The concern should be mili- in the state. Confidence-building have to take initiatives. It cannot be
tants and the protesters. measures to correct that pain have to one-sided. Even in 2003-04, separa-
Chief minister Mehbooba Mufti is being very careful and be taken immediately. tists had shown a clear inclination to
cautious. Although this is not the best beginning for her, she The PDP-BJP coalition is the most talk and Delhi also showed that it
has conducted herself well. First NIT (the National Institute of unnatural natural alliance because wanted to engage. And that is how it
Technology in Srinagar where Kashmiri and non-Kashmiri stu- of the assembly arithmetic. There should happen now.
dents clashed) and then the north Kashmir issue (Handwara) was no other option. As long as Delhi A first step to set the ball rolling
happened. Who can say what might happen next. For Meh- supports Mehbooba, things should could be the gradual withdrawal of
booba, it is a difficult situation and the chief ministership of be okay. PM Narendra Modi has said the AFSPA (the acts of Parliament that
J&K is always a difficult job. all the right things of late and Kash- grant special powers to the armed
But Kashmir is not just a law and order issue. There is a need miris need to take up on his offer. forces in disturbed areas). 
for social interaction. You need to engage with people and the It is important that there is for-
(The writer is a former R&AW chief and author of
state government has a role in it. You cannot wait for New Delhi ward movement between India and Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years)
to engage all the time. Pakistan. But there should be for- Protesters and the police clash in Srinagar As told to Hakeem Irfan
10 cover story
APRIL 24-30, 2016

Passion 100% TOP MARK

Mumbai, Del TS:
month-on-m hi and
onth Pune
40% lingerie

buyers are
women Im sure the
land of
will soon
Kama Sutra

More and more Indians
men as well as women are
making discreet but bold moves
to spice up their love lives BHAR

:: Rajiv Singh

water-based lubricant, she explains to a
visibly twitchy male colleague, is non-
staining, inexpensive and also safe to use
with latex condoms. Oil lubricants, she
elaborates, are thick and creamy, so they
last longer during sex. Silicone lubri-
cants provide a long-lasting effect for
greater fun, although the organic ones
are ideal for all skin types.
Is it clear? asks the 29-year-old in a
commanding tone. The colleague blush-
es, nods his head and avoids eye contact.
It doesnt end there. Have you ever
used a lubricant? she persists. What
about kinky handcuffs? By now, the
male colleague cant hide his discomfort
and hastily retreats from the room, citing
some urgent work.
Thats the problem. People
still shy away from talking sex,
Its high time we says Divya Chauhan. But
stopped treating things are changing fast.
sexual pleasure So who exactly is Chauhan
as a one-sided a high priestess of human
affair reserved sexuality, or a character
for men straight out of the Fifty Shades
Priti Nair, trilogy or perhaps even The
cofounder, Chapman Report (a 1962 has it all. It is ecommerce
steaming drama about the with a twist, where the e also stands for
sexual behaviour of four up- erotic, in addition to electronic. And it is ER NAZTRIR
per-middle-class women in a not a market with a predictable clientele. R, KAAMAS A,
Los Angeles suburb)? 40% of my buyers are women, claims
Well, dont let your imagina- Chauhan. Women who are confidently FEBRUARY 2013 ness. It is high time we stopped treating
tion drift, at least not that far. asserting their sexuality. sexual intercourse and sexual pleasure
Chauhan is Indias first wom-
an entrepreneur to found an
The sex narrative in India is fast under-
going a shift as more Ships over 100
products every day; in March,
as a one-sided affair reserved for men,
says Priti Nair, cofounder of advertising
online startup that deals with women are having agency Curry-Nation. The funny thing is
adult sex products. From lubricants their say in an esti- shipped over 5,000 products that, she adds, we still outwardly pre-
and massagers to edible lingerie and sex mated `2,500 crore tend that a woman has sex only for pro-

games, from kinky, role-play costumes to s exu a l we l l n e s s creation and nothing else. How obnox-
virility creams, the four-month-old it- produc ts busi- 40-45%
of consumers are women,
ious can that be, says Nair who, in 2012,
made a controversial TV commercial for
a vaginal tightening and rejuvenating
up from 30% last year cream brand.
TOP MARKETS: Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Nair reckons that Indian society
Kolkata and Pune has conditioned the Indian wom-
We are from the land an to believe that her life, emo-
Patna, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh
of the Kama Sutra. tions and sexual preferences are
Indians always either irrelevant or have to follow
TOP-SELLING ITEMS: Role-play costumes,
lubricants, lingerie, mens
wanted to use such the rule book written by men.
That book may be on its way
innerwear, sexy clubwear stuff but never had out of the window as women en-
an outlet to buy trepreneurs begin scripting their
anonymously own rules (and business plans).
What Indians Buy.... cover story 11
APRIL 24-30, 2016
Condoms Mens
& Others Innerwear We still havent evolved to the
15% 13% 12% 10% 8% 5%
Sexy Lingerie Edible Fun Womens Pleasure
extent of using sexual wellness
products and unabashedly talking
about it. But
Performance Hygiene & Rings
were evolving
more quickly
...Indias Naughtiest Desires... than we can

Most Most Most Bought Male Most Popular Most Popular

Purchased Searched Performance Gift Item Romance Item
Lube Flavour Item Product EDIBLE BODY MASSAGE

Most Sold Role Highest Single Most Most Expensive Most Bought
Play Costume Customer Expensive Product Kinky TOP MAR
NAUGHTY Order Value Gift Hamper LELO WAND! Product Bangalo KETS: Mumba
NURSE `1.47 LAKH `99,001 `29,000 BLINDFOLDS re and i,
Jaipur, G MARKETS:
Surat, L
Coimba u
tore an cknow,
41% Ships over TOP-SE
d Chand
Lubrica ING ITEMS:

...Top Categories for Men... ...and For Women.... of consumers are women;
in Baroda and Pune, women
perform ts, male
edible f nce, sexy ling
buyers outnumber men un, con erie,

59% buyers 41% buyers

every day doms

Consider, for instance, Ute Pauline Wiemer, Too often womens sexual needs,
who cofounded LoveTreats last October. The desires, and pleasure are not seen as equal
Lubricants 22% 223% Sexy Lingerie Bengaluru-based sexual wellness startup part of the equation. Instead women are ob-
Male Performance 19% 119% Lubricants claims to be growing at 50% month on jectified in order to market products to men.
month, counts Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hy- Ute explains her point: a large portion of the
Condoms & Others 16% 117% Womens Hygiene & Arousal derabad, Delhi NCR and Chennai as its top Indian sexual wellness market consists of
Edible Fun 14% 114% Male Performance markets, lists vibrators, flesh lights, body products like gels, sprays and creams that are
paints and spunky wedding hampers among advertised to change or enhance a womans
Mens Innerwear 9% 12%
1 Edible Fun its top selling items and yes, claims half of body parts. Condom ads never seem to be
Pleasure Rings 8% 88% Condoms & Others its buyers are women. about safe sex or partnership; instead they al-
most always show a woman who is seducing or
Sexy Lingerie 8% 55% Mens Innerwear What Women Want pleasuring a man in some way, she contends.
Mens Hygiene & Arousal 4% India is going through a sexual revolution, Ute wants to change this. At LoveTreats,
22% Pleasure Rings says Ute, who came to India from Germany in women can read about love, sex and sexual-
2013 and cofounded LoveTreats last year ity through blogs and videos, ask questions,
Men have 28% higher page Women have a 17% higher
W with her local partner Balaji TV. Women and explore and buy adult products in a dis-
views than women basket size than men across India are breaking barriers, often creet and legal way, she says. Ute is also
against the will of their families and societal working on building an online community
conventions, in order to claim their sexual where women can share their experiences
rights, she points out. and get advice, inspiration and support from
Utes idea behind starting LoveTreats was peers as well as experts such as doctors, sex-
to add the missing female perspective to the ologists and therapists.
...The Sexy States of Mind... Indian sexual wellness market story. Even As Ute goes about adding the women
though the sexual revolution is driven by perspective to a male-dominated industry,
GUJARAT GOA BIHAR KERALA women, the market for adult products is her male counterparts dont find the move
17% of 14% of 23%of all 76% orders dominated by men and focused on their surprising.
the total nations total purchases from have condoms pleasure and fantasies.
adult game purchase of Bihar are Male as one of the What is clearly missing is the female per-
sales massage oils Performance products spective on sexuality and intimacy, she says.
Products purchased

...and Sex in the Cities... Pieces of

Men mostly AGARTALA Men invest Men are PUNE AJMER & every day in
bought gift Women are largely in really into Have more JAISALMER
hampers big fans of womens mens female Females 2015 Pieces of
Fifty Shades arousal naughty buyers love role
of Grey than male play
creams underwear condom sold
Products buyers costumes
every day in
Source:, an etailer focused on intimate personal products; 2013
Research Methodology: 20 months of internal traffic and sales data; customer
feedback and interactions qualitative surveys
12 cover story
APRIL 24-30, 2016


Ships over Indians are

25 er day
TOP MARKETS: Bengaluru, Chennai,
Mumbai, Hyderabad and New Delhi moving away What
products p EMERGING MARKETS: Tier II and III
cities across Karnataka, Mizoram
from just
having sex to
the Law
and J&K Says
65% rs are
enjoying sex. But
there is still a long Section 292 of the IPC makes it an
of consume from ITEMS: Delay
women, u p sprays, vaginal way to go before the offence to sell, distribute,
35% in 2012 tightening
society opens up circulate, publicly exhibit or
creams, even possess obscene content
lubricants for public exhibition. Obscene
and started. IMbesharam claims to ship over here is dened as that which appeals
condoms 10,000 products every month, and that to the lascivious or prurient interest
sales soared 150% last year. We ex- of the person viewing it
pect growth to cross 200% when
the new mobile site goes live on
May 1, he says.
Indian society, says The etailers of adult sexual products say
Armani, has been quite the law has, well, shades of grey.
conservative. But now he There is a lot of ambiguity around
is witnessing a huge what 292 implies, says Rahber Nazir
change in mindsets. of Kaamastra. Section 292 of IPC was
Youngsters are more drafted around 1850. Toys are

open and comforta- something the government is against

ble about discussing but there is a lot of manufacturing of
sexuality, he says. lingerie and other products in India. We
We have to understand that sex and are not getting into toys, adds Nazir.
relationships are as normal and essential Its high time the government
to the human body as food and socialisa- does a rethink on section 292
Sex Appeals discreetly from the courier tion, says Armani. So just as one tries out dif-
Globally, there have been many success sto- office rather than get them de- ferent cuisines and restaurants to suit ones
ries of women entrepreneurs in the sexual livered at home or office. Some appetite, using a product or two to spice up
wellness industry, says Samir Saraiya, found- 15% of the orders opt for this service, he says. ones sex life and relationship should be par Other Side of the Bed
er of Indias first adult online store ThatsPer- ThatsPersonal has also started building for the course, he feels. The opportunity for growth is immense,
sonal. Susan Colvin runs the on-ground awareness about its The changing mindset is reflected in trends considering that awareness levels have just
largest adult products com- Women are in the marketplace. Ranju Mohan, the busi-
products. It has tied up with sex- begun to rise. In 2015, Chauhan of Itsplea-
pany in the world California asserting sexual ologists and gynaecologists in ness head and director of JK Ansell, is watch- zure commissioned a survey across Tier I
Exotic Novelties (CalExotics) dissatisfaction Mumbai to spread awareness ing from close quarters how keen Indians are cities, and was stumped by the widespread
with an all-woman leader- with as much among women and couples, and to add fun to their sex life. And his company is sexual disinterest, dissatisfaction and igno-
ship team. Saraiya says That- vigour as men do, plans to scale this operation reacting accordingly. Earlier this month, the rance among couples. Of 750 people inter-
sPersonal also has a good mix and approach across India. maker of the Kamasutra range of condoms viewed, over 60% said they had sex only
of women employees, with courts to dissolve Raj Armani, cofounder of sexu-rolled out a range of lubricants. Mohan adds once in 20 days. And an overwhelming 80%
the apparel, human resourc- a marriage al product site IMbesharam, is that a rising demand for flavoured condoms, didnt know about sex products. If they did
es, design and content depart- for that not surprised by women entre- which now account for over half of the con- decide to spice up their sex lives, the only
ments headed by them. preneurs taking a plunge in the dom market, is a broad indication of Indians way of doing it was either with plain vanilla
Its not just women employ- Zeba Khair, erotic-commerce category. Arm- getting bolder in bed. According to Nielsen lingerie or a condom, she says.
ees but female consumers are Supreme Court MAT December 2015 figures, while 17.8 lakh
ani, who launched his site in 2013 Another interesting fact highlighted by
also at ease with sexual well- and roped in Sunny Leone as the pieces of flavoured condoms were sold every the survey was that many people were still
ness products. A recent sur- day last year, the numbers stood at 14.5 lakh
face of the brand, says the major- hesitant to buy a condom, especially to say
vey by ThatsPersonal found ity of the employees in his team pieces per day in 2013. Fla- the name of a brand. Main wo Sunny Leone
that 59% of women who have are women. Our India operation voured condoms, waala condom use karta hoon (I use the con-
bought from the site wanted is headed by a woman, Sonica l au n c h e d b y K a - dom endorsed by Sunny Leone), was the
to know about upcoming in- Kohly, he says. masutra in 2011, now common reply when people were asked to
novative products. And 41% of About 38% of our shoppers are contribute over 25% name their condom brand.
the queries and feedback re- women, says Armani, adding that of the revenues of the What served as a trigger for Chauhan to
ceived from women revolved the number was just 13% when the sitecondom maker.
around new product suggestions.
Women are not just becoming bolder and
more confident but even inquisitive about
TOP MARKETS: Delhi, Bengaluru,
new products, says Saraiya. Just as you can try different Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad
Started in 2012, ThatsPersonal claims to
retail over 2,600 products and ships over
cuisines to suit your
18,000 products a month. It has partnered appetite, you can try a EMERGING MARKETS: Jaipur, Surat,
with 32 global brands for exclusive distribu- product or two to spice Ahmedabad and Kolkata
tion in India, counts Mumbai, Bengaluru up your love life
and Delhi as its top markets; and Jaipur, Su- TOP-SELLING ITEMS: Fifty Shades
rat, Lucknow, Coimbatore and Chandigarh of Grey products, including
among its emerging markets, says Saraiya. RAJ ARMANI vibrators, getting married
While 41% of its consumers are women in 36, COFOUNDER, collection, massager, Fleshlight
Baroda and Pune, women buyers outnum- IMBESHARAM, JULY 2013 and aqua lubricant
ber men the top-selling items include lu-
bricants, male performance products, sexy
lingerie and edible fun.
Our business soared 200% last year, Ships over
Leone 38%
claims Saraiya, adding that he recently
launched a customer pick-up innovation
8,000-10,000 as brand of shoppers are women,
products every month ambassador up from 13% in 2013
where the customer gets to collect products
cover story 13
APRIL 24-30, 2016


Women are my
Target Market for
, Delhi NCR
and Chennai
Miss Bi (rab S:
vibrator), Se bit
(flesh light) nnze5
, Ch
Body Paint, ocolate
Wedding H unky
Most Products
An American entrepreneur who pioneered bringing femininity
to adult sexual products on the looming opportunity in India
50% month-on-month growth :: Susan Colvin
India is currently
50% buyers are women
began my life in the world of sex toys over 20 years ago with industry is projected to reach $52 billion by 2020, a mas-
going through a a goal to build a company that created intimate products to sive growth from $15 billion currently. Major global compa-
help women, men and couples enhance the pleasure in nies are venturing into this category including Walmart,
sexual revolution. their daily lives. At this time, most products were geared CVS and Nordstrom. This is a huge leap from the days
Women are breaking barriers to towards men, with plain shapes and dull packaging; I want- where toys were kept behind the counter and would only
claim their sexual rights ed to change this. I had a vision that women were the future be brought out if you had a secret password. There was also
of the sex toy industry and vowed to change things. a time when it was illegal to sell sex toys.
While CalExotics was changing the business of sex toys, While Indias laws are not explicit on the sale of these
start her own venture was the marital discord of one of it had to face many challenges. I remember travelling from products, there are concerns with the graphic nature of the
her close friends. The reason: work stress, which took store to store trying to sell my products and meet new peo- products, to where the vendor of such a product may face
a toll on the couples love life. There was no excitement ple. Every store I went to had a hard time believing I was the severe penalties. Violation of section 292 of the Indian Pe-
in their relationship, she recalls. If the lack of a spark in owner because I was a woman. In fact most people, often nal Code carries a maximum punishment of two years for
the bedroom was a common problem among Indian the first conviction, and five years for sub-
couples, it was also a huge opportunity. Thats when sequent convictions. Despite section 292,
Karnal-born Chauhan, who shifted to Mumbai in 2013 India is, leaders in the manufacture of adult sexu-
to work in Citigroups strategic research team, decided ironically, the al wellness products continue to remain
to take the entrepreneurial plunge by investing `8 lakh land of the optimistic about the future of India.
of her personal savings and launching Itspleazure. Kama Sutra, I think it is only a matter of time that
Marriages can be saved if couples work on their sex which leads me section 292 changes. When that hap-
life, she says.
to believe the pens, we will be ready to explore manu-
population is
Chauhan may not be off the mark. Over the last few facturing and further distribution of our
open to this
years, India has seen a spike in divorce rates, and one
topic. I feel they products. Such a change could mean
of the main reasons for it is sexual dissatisfaction are ready for billions of dollars in the manufacturing
among couples, say lawyers. That may be because sophisticated sector for India.
women are in a position to assert their sexual dissatis- products that These products are becoming more so-
faction, thanks to their finan- are non- phisticated, and opening up to new parts
cial independence, says Zeba offensive of the world every year. I remember a
Khair, a Supreme Court law-
Indians are time when these types of products were
yer. This independence trans-
getting bolder not so widely accepted in the US, and we
lates into emotional and sexu-
and they want to still have questionable laws in certain areas. It is only a mat-
al liberation, too. The dissolu-
spice up their life. ter of time before we see these attitudes change around the
tion of marriage, she points
Rising demand world, as they have in the US.
out, either happens through a
for flavoured
divorce by mutual consent or
condoms is a Breaking Barriers
a contested case on grounds
broad indication India is, ironically, the land of the Kama Sutra, which
of cruelty.
of that leads me to believe the population is open to this topic. I
While Indian courts have Ranju Mohan, feel they are ready for sophisticated products that are
business head & director,
been repeatedly pointing out non-offensive.
JK Ansell
this trend, the Delhi High Overcoming these barriers will not be easy. In the US, it
Court nailed it in one of its has taken us many years to finally begin to open up about
judgments in 2012. In Bala vs our sexuality. We have learned that we are all sexual beings
Arora case, the court held that and that having a healthy sex life is important to our overall
sex-starved marriages are be- well being. We have come to realise that toys are a great

coming an undeniable epi- way for people to learn about their bodies and improve
demic as urban living condi- their health. They are also an excellent way to improve re-
tions mount unprecedented lationships.
pressure on couples. The sanctity In the US approximately 53% of women and 45% of men
of the sexual relationship, the court ages 18 to 60 have used a vibrator in sexual activity. I feel
observed, and its role in reinvigorating the bond of men, I met believed I worked for another member of the India can use this information as building
marriage, are getting diluted and as a consequence company. At that time there were no toy companies owned blocks and build an industry that will fit
more couples are seeking divorce due to sexual incom- by women, so they did not believe me. within their cultural setting.
patibility and absence of sexual satisfaction. When I started, people laughed at me for improving If we can break down these barriers, it
Cut to Mumbai where, out of her poky apartment in packaging, making these products more feminine, and will be a perfect opportunity for women
the northeastern suburb of Powai, Chauhan is honing even being the chief executive of such a company. entrepreneurs. The majority of sex toys
her business plan for Itspleazure. Her bedroom is are geared towards women; it is only natu-
cluttered with cartons of condoms and lubricants, Playing It Up ral for them to excel in this area. Women
The writer is
and the wardrobe is overflowing with lingerie and Why not women? They are the largest influencers over can closely relate to the health benefits founder of
other sexual wellness products. I am used to living in household purchasers. In this space, they are my target and enjoyment you get from using these CalExotics, a
this mess, she says unapologetically. Thats a small market for most products. After 20 years, I think they have products. I am hopeful for the future of pioneer in the
global adult
price to pay for the big picture she has painted for her- finally started to change their minds. Over the years, the sex toys in India, and across the globe, sexual
self of ensuring that the land of Taboosutra soon sex toy industry has changed tremendously. and hope that other women will follow in products
rediscovers the Kama Sutra.  According to, the adult sexual products my footsteps.  industry
cover story 13
APRIL 24-30, 2016


Women are My
Target Market for
, Delhi NCR
and Chennai
Miss Bi (rab S:
vibrator), Se bit
(flesh light) nnze5
, Ch
Body Paint, ocolate
Wedding H unky
Most Products
An American entrepreneur, who pioneered in bringing femininity
to adult sexual products, on the looming opportunity in India
50% month-on-month growth :: Susan Colvin
India is currently
50% buyers are women
began my life in the world of sex toys over 20 years ago with industry is projected to reach $52 billion by 2020, a mas-
going through a a goal to build a company that created intimate products to sive growth from $15 billion currently. Major global compa-
help women, men and couples enhance the pleasure in nies are venturing into this category, including Walmart,
sexual revolution. their daily lives. At that time, most products were geared CVS and Nordstrom. This is a huge leap from the days
Women are breaking barriers to towards men with plain shapes and dull packaging; I where toys were kept behind the counter and would only
claim their sexual rights wanted to change this. I had a vision that women were the be brought out if you had a secret password. There was also
future of the sex toy industry and vowed to change things. a time when it was illegal to sell sex toys.
While CalExotics was changing the business of sex toys, While Indias laws are not explicit on the sale of these
start her own venture was the marital discord of one of it had to face many challenges. I remember travelling from products, there are concerns with the graphic nature of the
her close friends. The reason: work stress, which took store to store trying to sell my products and meet new peo- products and whether the vendor of such products will
a toll on the couples love life. There was no excitement ple. Every store I went to had a hard time believing I was the face severe penalties. Violation of Section 292 of the Indian
in their relationship, she recalls. If the lack of a spark in owner because I was a woman. In fact, most people, often Penal Code carries a maximum punishment of two years
the bedroom was a common problem among Indian for the first conviction, and five years for
couples, it was also a huge opportunity. Thats when subsequent convictions. Despite Section
Karnal-born Chauhan, who shifted to Mumbai in 2013 India is, 292, leaders in the manufacturing of adult
to work in Citigroups strategic research team, decided ironically, the sexual wellness products continue to re-
to take the entrepreneurial plunge by investing `8 lakh land of the main optimistic about the future of India.
of her personal savings and launching Itspleazure. Kama Sutra, I think it is only a matter of time that
Marriages can be saved if couples work on their sex which leads me Section 292 changes. When that hap-
life, she says.
to believe the pens, we will be ready to explore manu-
population is
Chauhan may not be off the mark. Over the last few facturing and further distribution of our
open to this
years, India has seen a spike in divorce rates, and one
topic. I feel they products. Such a change could mean bil-
of the main reasons for it is sexual dissatisfaction are ready for lions of dollars in the manufacturing sec-
among couples, say lawyers. That may be because sophisticated tor for India.
women are in a position to assert their sexual dissatis- products that These products are becoming more so-
faction, thanks to their finan- are non- phisticated, and opening up to new parts
cial independence, says Zeba offensive of the world every year. I remember a
Khair, a Supreme Court law-
Indians are time when these types of products were
yer. This independence trans-
getting bolder not so widely accepted even in the US,
lates into emotional and sexu-
and they want to and we still have questionable laws in certain areas. It is
al liberation, too. The dissolu-
spice up their life. only a matter of time before we see these attitudes change
tion of marriage, she points
Rising demand around the world, as they have in the US.
out, either happens through a
for flavoured
divorce by mutual consent or
condoms is a Breaking Barriers
a contested case on grounds
broad indication India is, ironically, the land of the Kama Sutra, which
of cruelty.
of that leads me to believe the population is open to this topic. I
While Indian courts have Ranju Mohan, feel they are ready for sophisticated products that are
business head & director,
been repeatedly pointing out non-offensive.
JK Ansell
this trend, the Delhi High Overcoming these barriers will not be easy. In the US, it
Court nailed it in one of its has taken us many years to finally begin to open up about
judgments in 2012. In Bala vs our sexuality. We have learned that we are all sexual beings
Arora case, the court held that and that having a healthy sex life is important to our overall
sex-starved marriages are be- well being. We have come to realise that toys are a great

coming an undeniable epi- way for people to learn about their bodies and improve
demic as urban living condi- their health. They are also an excellent way to improve re-
tions mount unprecedented lationships.
pressure on couples. The sanctity In the US, approximately 53% of women and 45% of
of the sexual relationship, the court men, ages 18 to 60, have used a vibrator in sexual activity. I
observed, and its role in reinvigorating the bond of men, I met believed I worked for another member of the feel India can use this information as
marriage, are getting diluted and as a consequence company. At that time there were no toy companies owned building blocks and build an industry that
more couples are seeking divorce due to sexual incom- by women, so they did not believe me. will fit within their cultural setting.
patibility and absence of sexual satisfaction. When I started, people laughed at me for improving If we can break down these barriers, it
Cut to Mumbai where, out of her poky apartment in packaging, making these products more feminine, and will be a perfect opportunity for women
the northeastern suburb of Powai, Chauhan is honing even being the chief executive of such a company. entrepreneurs. The majority of sex toys
her business plan for Itspleazure. Her bedroom is are geared towards women; it is only natu-
cluttered with cartons of condoms and lubricants, Playing It Up ral for them to excel in this area. Women
The writer is
and the wardrobe is overflowing with lingerie and Why not women? They are the largest influencers of house- can closely relate to the health benefits founder of
other sexual wellness products. I am used to living in hold purchasers. In this space, they are my target market and enjoyment you get from using these CalExotics, a
this mess, she says unapologetically. Thats a small for most products. After 20 years, I think they have finally products. I am hopeful for the future of pioneer in the
global adult
price to pay for the big picture she has painted for her- started to change their minds. Over the years, the sex toy sex toys in India, and across the globe, sexual
self of ensuring that the land of Taboosutra soon industry has changed tremendously. and hope that other women will follow in products
rediscovers the Kama Sutra.  According to, the adult sexual products my footsteps.  industry
14 centrespread centrespread 15
APRIL 24-30, 2016 APRIL 24-30, 2016

Shakespeare is one of the greatest literary geniuses

of all time. The word bard means a poet and Shakespeare used an archaic form of Shakespeare's works
since he was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, he was English, which is one linguistic generation contain the first ever
bestowed with the title of Bard of Avon removed from that which we speak today. recordings of 2,035
His vocabulary, as gathered from his works, English words, including
An 18-year-old William married Anne Hathaway, has upward of 17,000 words critical, frugal, excellent,
eight years his senior, in 1582. They had two barefaced, assassination,
daughters and a son but all of and countless
them died childless, and thus, The early modern
Shakespeares lineage was English language
A number of phrases,
never carried forward was less than 100
DID THOU KNOW? now commonly used,
years old in 1590
The moons revolving the occurred first in
when Shakespeare
planet Uranus are mostly Shakespeares works,
was writing. No
named after Shakespearean including one fell swoop,
dictionaries had yet
characters. Examples are vanish into thin air, be
been written and
Titania, Ophelia, in a pickle, foul play,
April 23 marked the 400th death anniversary of William Shakespeare. most documents
flesh and blood and with
Bianca, Cupid,
Even four centuries on, his plays and poetry are considered timeless. Portia
were still written
bated breath
in Latin
Earlier this month, a copy of the much-sought-after First Folio, the first
Women were not allowed to act collected edition of Shakespeares plays, published in 1623, was
in plays during Shakespeares
discovered in a stately home on a Scottish island. Other than what is Most of the images you see
time. So female roles were of Shakespeare are actually
performed by men. found in a few church records and legal documents, many details of nothing more than guess-
Cross-dressing was thus made
famous by the Bards plays Shakespeare's life are circumstantial. While his writings have had a work. There are only two
deep-seated impact on literature, there may be some facets about pictures of him that are
There are countless movies inspired by the works of Shakespeare.
Shakespeare seemed to be Shakespeare that are still little-known. thought to be authentic
Here are five movies that are subtle and surprising adaptations of
fond of one particular kind of one is an engraving by
death suicide, which occurs a
ET Magazine highlights some of them: Martin Droeshout and the
the Bards works:

whopping 13 times in his plays. :: Joyshree Baruah other is the sculpture that
It occurs in Romeo and Juliet adorns his memorial in Lion King, 1994 Shes the Man, 2006
where both the protagonists Stratford-upon-Avon Based on Hamlet Based on Twelfth Night
commit suicide; in Julius
Caesar where both Cassius and
Brutus die by consensual stabbing,
and so does Brutus wife Portia; in Othello where Othello
stabs himself; in Hamlet where Ophelia is said to have
"drowned" in suspicious circumstances; in Macbeth when
Lady Macbeth dies. And finally in Antony and Cleopatra
where suicide occurs five times (Mark Antony, Cleopatra,
Charmian, Iras and Eros)

West Side Story, 1961

Thomas Based on Romeo and Juliet
Middleton John
Marlowe Webster
Shakespeare gave his female protagonists power in many off his
plays where they act in authoritative ways with success. He wrote
My Own Private
Shakespeare had a poem a number of strong and memorablee Idaho, 1991
sketched into his tomb in female characters who encompass a Based on Henry IV, Henry V
Trinity Church, wide range of characterisations andd
Stratford-upon-Avon. types from the quick wit of Beatrice
It says anyone who and Kate, and the intelligence of Portia,
ortia, The popularity of theatre and competition between playwrights in
moves his bones will be to the ruthlessness of Lady Macbeth,h, the Elizabethan England culminated in a "golden age of drama" that produced
cursed and consequently opportunistic unkindness of Regan and some of the most important works in English literature.
his grave has gone Goneril, and the manipulative powerer of
Writers and playwrights working in the same era as
untouched since 1747 Volumnia
Shakespeare were:

Shakespeare Shakespeare stopped It was not until 1920 that it

never published writing plays and was suggested that playwrights Ben Thomas
any of his own turned to sonnets like Thomas Middleton and
Jonson Dekker
plays. His friends because of the plague The Shakespeare authorship question has been a topic of lively controversy for centuries Edward de Vere were the real 10 Things I Hate
John Heminges
and Henry
which saw a shutdown
of all playhouses and
now. Many experts believed Shakespeare merely adapted the works of more educated
playwrights, making them popular by adding the occasional crude joke. Sceptics have
brains behind Shakespeares
plays and sonnets. But
About You, 1999
Condell did it the demand for his suggested more than 70 different candidates, including Sir Walter Raleigh and dramatist then again, this is just an Based on Romeo and Juliet
posthumously plays shot down Christopher Marlowe, as the real author of Shakespeare's plays assumption!
Source:, Huffington Post, Buzzfeed
16 spotlight
APRIL 24-30, 2016

Bookmarking the Phone Chiki Sarkar, 38

How Chiki Sarkar and Durga Publisher, Juggernaut
Raghunath are making an Former publisher of Penguin
India and founder-publisher of
audacious attempt to break Random House India
new ground with their
mobile-first publishing We are bringing two
cultures together
startup Juggernaut the tech culture and
the publishing
culture. We are going
to up the game. We
want a new future

Raghunath, 37
CEO and cofounder,
Former CEO of Firstpost and
Senior VP of Zomato

India has a huge

news audience of

40-50 million on the

phone. Why should
books be confined
to 3,000 copies? We
:: Charmy Harikrishnan want to disrupt that

unny Leone is the new Charles Dickens. Do Inside Juggernauts rather tiny office, metrics
not get me wrong: the actor is not writing a highlighted by a bright pink couch in ikat,
novel about a poor orphaned child in in Delhis Shahpur Jat, 20 people an
Lokhandwala. But much like Dickens in equal number of editors and engineers
19th century, Leone is writing serialised fic- are hard at work in the days leading to the
tion. If instalments of Dickens novels sold launch of the app on April 22.
for a shilling every month on the streets of Sarkar, 38, says: We are bringing two Its numbers are lip-smacking good: with
London, Leones story will reach your mo- different cultures together the tech cul- over three million books, it expects to at-
bile phone at 10 pm sharp, when you have ture and the publishing culture. We are go- tract 100 million readers and generate over
presumably had your dinner, retired for ing to up the game. We want a new future. 200 million yuan ($30 million) annually.
the night and could do with a short, steamy It all began in London, two years ago. When Sarkar, then publisher of Penguin
tale from the former porn star for just `7. Sarkar was at the London Book Fair, where Random House India, came back to office
Seven stories over seven nights. Each a she heard a data specialist talk about the from the London Book Fair, and asked if
three-minute read. cellphone novel craze in Japan and China. Penguin could put its entire commercial
That is how Juggernaut, a mobile-first The Asian cellphone literature story is list on the phone, they thought it was a re-
publishing startup, founded by publisher quite something. In Japan, the phenome- ally cool idea, but nothing happened, she
Chiki Sarkar and Durga Raghunath, plans non began over a decade ago, with writers recalls. She quit in April 2015 and soon be-
to put their books in your phone. It is a re- writing stories as text messages on their gan to brainstorm with Raghunath. The
markable adventure in the Indian publish- phones and readers reading them in 37-year-old, who was the CEO of Firstpost
ing world: giving prominence to digital snatches on theirs. In China, as The Econo- and senior vice-president at Zomato, has a
books over physical books, and emphasis- mist reported back in 2013, the internet has couple of digital ground rules: I hate digi-
ing the always-at-hand cellphone instead revolutionalised the publishing scene. tal being taken for granted. Things
of the ereader that Amazon and others fet- Shanda Cloudary, Chinas largest online shouldnt be dumped on the digital plat-
ishise as the primary reading device. It is publishing service, merged with Tencent, form. Also, digital should not be free. In
an audacious attempt to challenge and one of the largest internet companies in the Sarkar, she found the perfect partner. That
change the old fundamentals. world, to form the Yuewen Group last year. is how Juggernaut began to take shape, not

How to Hook the Readers

Allows you to Has serialised Prices are kept at `49, `99 and `149
Juggernaut is a download books books. A story
publishing Banks on click-bait authors Gets authors to interact with readers.
or read them on a by Sunny
house in an app. daily or monthly like Sunny Leone, Under the contract, each writer has
Leone will
On Google Play subscription Arundhati Roy, Sharmila to spend 15 hours in the first three
now, later reach your
Tagore, Twinkle Khanna, months to respond to readers
on iOS phone every
William Dalrymple,
night at 10 pm Gives readers an option to gift books
Prashant Kishor
for seven days to someone, even anonymously
Subscription War
spotlight 17
APRIL 24-30, 2016
Juggernaut Vs Kindle Unlimited

Daily Membership `15 Membership for 1 Month `199 CEO of Future Brands, says, It is a genuinely Is this the Zomatofication of publishing? I
Membership for 6 Months `999 fresh take on publishing. Taking an old form dont know what that means, but if it means
Monthly Membership `299
and adapting it to a new format in this manner succeeding in the vertical commerce space,
No. of books 100+ Membership for 1 year `1,799 is audacious. Also, the book has been consid- sure, says Raghunath.
No. of books 1 million+ ered sacred, with a certain distance kept be- The app is a great concept. But content has to
The Big Plus: Unlike Kindle, Juggernaut is a The Big Letdown: Behemoths like Penguin Random tween the author and the reader. Juggernaut is match the concept. We are going for deeply
publisher and lets you buy and read from the app House and HarperCollins are out of this service delightfully flirting with these ideas. commercial or deeply serious books, says
While short ebooks have been like side dish- Sarkar. So along with Sunny Leone will be Hus-
an online bookstore like Kindle or an elibrary es for most mainstream publishing companies, sain Haqqani and Arundhati Roy.
like Scribd, but a tightly curated publishing Juggernaut is going for 25,000-30,000 words Juggernaut is betting on celebrity marketing,
house that is primarily on the app, along with for most of its ebooks. The prices are kept at interactions with the author and pricing to
Opportunity 40-50 physical books that will be distributed by `49, `99 and `149. keep the reader in. According to the contract,
Hachette India. While you cannot buy and download ebooks authors have to spend 15 hours responding to
directly from the Kindle app, the reading and the readers in the first three months, says
Game Changer buying experiences come together in the Jug- Sarkar. The authors gets real-time response
No. of unique How big a gamble is this? The gamble is in the gernaut app. But rather inconveniently, you from readers and know exactly how many
smartphone scale, says Raghunath. It is all about econo- can keep only five books downloaded at a time times their books are downloaded, says Rag-
users in India mies of scale. The bar of physical books is very on your reading shelf: you will have to delete a hunath. Juggernaut also gets very valuable real-
low (a print run of ) about 3,000 copies. We book to download another. time readership data: what books are being
220 million
Source: Counterpoint Research
want to disrupt that metrics. The question is: Juggernaut looks to making ereading fun and downloaded, how many people are opening a
How much can we push the metrics and aver- social: it has light segments like bathroom read, book, who prefers what, what kind of books,
They Like their Phones ages up? India has 40-50 million news audience long commute and night reads, allows readers for instance, are women interested in.
Indian consumers now
prefer using their
on the phone. How can we bring them in and to directly ask questions to the author and gives I bring the books, she has to make it work,
smartphone to access the make them pay for the reading experience? the option of gifting books to others even says Sarkar, looking at Raghunath. Sarkar, who
internet over laptops and The gamble is in asking big, bold ques- anonymously, which can be a tad creepy. had an enviable roster of South Asian writers
desktops. They are
tions, says Sarkar. And I want to keep asking when she headed Random House India, has got
also comfortable carrying
out banking and shopping them. The numbers are with Sarkar and Rag- click-bait names: William Dalrymple on Kohi-
on phones hunath: there are over 220 million unique INVESTORS noor, Arundhati Roy on her meeting with Ed-
Source: Nielsen 2015 report
on ecommerce Bricks to Clicks
smartphone users in India, second only to Chi- SPEAK ward Snowden, election strategist Prashant
na; and more people are reading on the phone Kishor, Haqqani on India-Pak relations, Twin-
than on the ereader. According to a consumer kle Khanna and Sharmila Tagores memoirs.
survey of 2,000 adults in cities for a one-of-a-
kind AC Nielsen study India Book Market Re- The Missing Author
port 2015, people read books 2.1 times a week Unfortunately, on Day One, none of these
on an average. Interestingly, 56% of the re- Mobile writers was up in the app and the reader got
spondents bought at least one ebook a year and publishing will only slim pickings. Which is why what could
nearly half of these bought at least three-four be the future. I have been a big-bang launch turned out to be
ebooks a year, indicating a growing demand. decided to a damper. Raghunath said there would be daily
This is a market that publishers are slowly invest because and monthly subscription for `15 and `299 re-
tapping. Over 70% publishers in India produce
It is a of Chikis vision spectively. Hopefully, that will be rolled out
Challenges ebook versions, says the India Book Market Re-
very novel of wanting to only when there is more to sample. Santosh
port. However, as Thomas Abraham, MD of
and put a good book Desai says it is too soon to judge Juggernaut on
Smartphone penetration of the Hachette India that has made all its books avail- in the hands of the specifics:The intent is very interesting.
total potential population
able as ebooks, says: Ebooks are a useful ad-
idea. It will everyone The content will be filled as it grows.

>30% ditional strand but not yet crucial to the Indian

publishing scene. He recalls Flipkarts exit
make a big
impact as
through their
cell phones at
The Indian reader is difficult to crack: one,
she has been reading mostly for free online;
Revenue share of ebooks 5% from the ebooks business in December 2015 to
India goes the unheard of two, she has to get used to online payment, as
Source: Counterpoint Research, Indian
Publishing Pulse Survey by FICCI
show how this is still an add-on, niche seg-
mobile price of `10 per there is no cash on delivery for ebooks.
ment. Ebooks numbers and revenues are story The content has to be exclusive and excep-
still in their infancy, says Abraham. Ebooks Nandan tional. If readers begin to wonder whether
Nilekani William Bissell
are not being tracked officially so numbers are Entrepreneur MD, Fabindia 7E, the first story by Sunny Leone about a
Backup Plan not clear but most publishers will find eb- researcher in gene therapy joining the mile-
ooks contribution levels coming in at be- high club on a Bangalore-Delhi flight, is worth
If ebooks take time to take tween 5% and 10%. `7, when they can read similar stuff for free on-
off, Juggernaut can fall back Ananth Padmanabhan, CEO of Harper- COMPETITORS line, then the cracks will begin to show.
on physical books which it Collins India, says, Ebooks have been SPEAK Juggernaut has a fallback option the physi-
thinks can be bestsellers available in India for almost a decade, cal books, which will be launched about three
with the last few years seeing a signifi- weeks after a digital release. All our digital
cant spike both in device and con- books wont be available as physical books, but
sumption. Current ebooks market a selection of them will be. We are an innovative
Other Revenue share is in the low single digits, but as the over- company with a small conservative part to it,
Streams all pie is growing steadily, so is this number. Ebooks are a says Sarkar. Even if the app fails to take off,
Abraham explains that while the digital con- useful additional people will buy the books of Dalrymple and
Tieups with publishers to
tent has exploded in the educational space be- strand but not Arundhati Roy and Prashant Kishor, she says.
feature their books; events
cause of journals and whiteboard markets, on yet crucial to Juggernaut has already tied up with publish-
around books and authors Indian
the trade (consumer) side, it has not picked up. Ebooks ers like Westland, Yoda Press and Navayana.
It is possible to get hits/views, the occasional market publishing. Hindi books will be launched in a couple of
share is now Numbers and
Publishing in India: record downloads and ebestsellers, but wheth-
revenues are still
months and then we will have simultaneous
Between the Lines er it is possible to run and sustain a profitable in the low releases in Hindi and English, says Sarkar.
company driven primarily by a digital pro- single digits in their infancy. Juggernaut raised `15 crore from Series A
Market Size No. of publishers gramme remains to be seen. Juggernaut is ex- but as the Whether its round, with former UIDAI head Nandan Nile-
possible to
`306.6 bn 9,037 perimenting with this, and all of publishing will
be rooting for them because if that model
overall pie is
growing sustain a
kani and FabIndia MD William Bissell investing,
apart from Boston Consulting Group India MD
works, it could provide an alternative distribu- steadily, so company driven Neeraj Aggarwal and Sarkars father and media
No. of retailers No. of books tion channel for trade publishing in India. is this primarily by a baron Aveek Sarkar. We will go for Series B
over 21,000 1,00,000 Juggernaut is also disrupting many notions
around the book: like the ideal length of a pub-
programme has
when we have seen the response to the app and
fine-tuned it. For now, allow me to take chanc-
titles every year
lished book, the separation between the pub- Padmanabhan
to be seen es, says Chiki Sarkar. She and Raghunath are
lisher and the reader, the distance between the CEO, HarperCollins Thomas Abraham certainly ahead of the curve. The question is:
Source: The India Book Market Report by Nielsen, FICCI, India MD, Hachette India
German Book Office author and the reader. Santosh Desai, MD and will money follow them there? 
18 wide angle
APRIL 24-30, 2016

Flash Forward
Frame Your Idea or FYI, a MOHANJEET KALSI
platform that encourages THE BACKSTORY: A psychology
people to pitch their student, Kalsi grew up writing
poems, stories and love letters
concepts and scripts for for her friends; in 2001, she tried
her hand at scriptwriting for a
feature films and web friend aspiring to make a film;
series, may be just what that movie never saw the light of
day, but stoked Kalsis interests;
the doctor ordered for an has made short films, assisted
other filmmakers, has made
industry looking for infomercials and now manages
creativity and diversity social media accounts for others
FYI PITCH: 18 pitches for her
three feature film concepts and
web series ideas to different
producers; has got three leads

The FYI panellists

were good and
patient. For an
outsider, its
wonderful to be
able to get a foot in
the door of this


:: Malini Goyal

udip Sharma, 37, is in a happy place. The which he was not enjoying at all, Shar- funds, abandoned-or-canned films were Bollywood is like a chakravyuh with
writer of the critically acclaimed film ma took a shot at making a few short films recurring themes. His first big setback layers and layers before you reach the
NH10 which was released last year has with his friends, and enjoyed the experi- came early in 2007. An alleged producer core and work with people who matter.
now wrapped up a big project Udta Pun- ence. A year later, he quit his corporate signed him up for writing a film script, for Most people with no connections end up
jab starring Kareena Kapoor, Alia Bhatt job to chase his Bollywood dreams. My which he offered an advance of `10,000. playing forever on the periphery, dealing
and Shahid Kapoor. Money, fame, offers, middle-class family was aghast. They On top of the world, Sharma spread the with shady people in the process, says
connections critical markers for success found my decision not only risky, but good news to his friends and burned the Sharma.
in Bollywood he has them all. even scandalous, he recalls. To keep the midnight oil to deliver the script in three Frame Your Idea (FYI), a platform
It wasnt like this a decade back. The home fires burning, he began moonlight- months. And then? The guy took the launched by industry lobby FICCI to con-
IIM-Ahmedabad graduate was chasing a ing as a copywriter and creative consult- script and just disappeared. The same nec t producers and
corporate career, working with the likes ant, besides shamelessly leeching on story line played out multiple times with scriptwriters last year,
of Coca-Cola and Asian Paints. Life was his wifes salary. slight variations. I was desperate and gul- promises to change that.
predictable, shaped by his middle-class lible, he recalls. Paucity of funds too was Think of it as a speed-dat-
roots. Sharma loved watching films but he Inside Struggles a constant worry. His first few projects, ing event for the enter-
hadnt yet discovered his passion for The baptism in Bollywood was agonising. called Semshook and Rock the Shaadi, tainment industry. Over
scriptwriting. In 2006, bored with his job, Dealing with shady producers, paucity of were never released. three days every year,
coinciding with FICCI We had to
Frames, the annual con- build a

clave of the entertain- platform

SANJAY ARORA ment industry, FYI or- that will
45, DELHI/ILLINOIS, US If nothing , ganises 10-minute pitch- help fresh
ing sessions that give creative
THE BACKSTORY: Arora alternates thanks to FYI, scriptwriters direct ac- minds get
between a well-paying techie job I at least learnt cess to some of the top
and chasing his passion for films;
about producers in India.
access to the
shuttles between the US and India to best content
write scripts and produce films; has producers One such writer is
worked with IBM and JP Morgan in tastes and Deepak Sharma, 40, a
the US and is currently with Rapid Mumbai-based govern-
and vice
Metro in Gurgaon, squeezing out what they are ment employee who versa
time to write his scripts looking for grew up in Bhopal, Leena Jaisani,
Grew up wanting to be an actor, did a dreaming about Bolly- head, media &
crash course at the New York Film wood. Initially he tried entertainment
Academy and now wants to be a his luck by sending film division, FICCI
director-producer; has made a few reviews, critical feed-
short films, including Expressions, backs, new stories and plots to producers
Butterfly Wings, Phir Wahi, and in Mumbai by registered post from Bho-
wants to make films for a global pal. I never heard from them, he says.
audience He persevered. He published a novel, a
FYI PITCH: Three film scripts, campus comedy. He then began attending
including a comedy, to firms like FICCI Frames since 2011 when he landed a
Phantom, UTV, Fox Star Studios job in Mumbai. He noticed how celebrities
from Ekta Kapoor to Imtiaz Ali were liter-
wide angle 19
APRIL 24-30, 2016

ally mobbed by aspiring writers trying to FYI FACTFILE dustry Disney, Fox and Star TV, Viacom
pitch their scripts to them, but he himself 18, BBC, Nickelodeon and National Geo-
never could. THE CONCEPT: Initiated by FICCI graphic. Anurag Kashyaps Phantom Films,
Earlier this year, Sharma got to live his Frames, FYI is a platform that Ekta Kapoors Balaji Telefilms, Karan Jo-
dream. At least partly. Over three days at connects those with ideas and scripts hars Dharma Productions and Rajkumar
FYI, he managed to make pitches for a with production houses in the Hirani Films were among the local houses.
mythological horror story and a couple of entertainment industry This years categories were film, animation,
other scripts to over 25 production houses, TV and documentary. Digital and finished
including Balaji Telefilms, Phantom Films, THE RESPONSE: In its second year, 74 content category were introduced for the
Fox and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra Pro- companies met 300 candidates over first time.
ductions (ROMP). The experience was un- 3,000, 10-minute pitching sessions Von Ryan International, a film fund,
believable. I wasnt expecting so many pro- signed deals that commit funds to two
duction houses, he says. scriptwriters. Over three days, our five-
THE CHARGES: Candidates paid
member panel met 50-odd participants and
`4,000 for a pack of four meetings
Pitching Sessions zeroed in on two ideas. Now we are devel-
of their preference, on a first come
On a recent Wednesday morning, the third oping the two scripts, says Shhyam R Sing-
floor of the Renaissance Hotel in Powai,
first served basis. Students paid a hania, chairman, Von Ryan International.
Mumbai, was buzzing. From homemakers concessional rate of `2,500 Eros International has its own writers KAUSHIK KALE, 29, PUNE
to students, high-flying executives to gov- room, with six of them on board. Trinity THE BACKSTORY: Since childhood, the
ernment employees, techies to entrepre- THE DIGITAL WAVE: Digital and Pictures, an arm of Eros, picked up four commerce graduate was passionate
neurs had queued up in the corridors to finished content new categories new writers at FYI this year. about movies and storytelling; after
pitch their script or idea. Candidates had to introduced this year got a great Rucha Pathak, head (development & cre- college he did a crash course in
pay to pitch `4,000 plus taxes for a pack response. About 15 firms seeking ative), Fox Star Studios, says they were able scriptwriting and tried hard to make a
of four meetings of their preference on a digital content participated to handle about 90 pitches over three days. career in Bollywood in a range of jobs,
from assisting in filmmaking to
first come, first served basis. Students were The platform is a good way to know what is
scriptwriting; Kale now lives in Pune,
charged `2,500. THE SIGNIFICANCE: In out there, what people are thinking and has a day job at an etailer but still
FYI took over 46 rooms on the third floor a closely networked writing, she says. nurtures his Bollywood dreams
and converted them into pitching venues industry where They have shortlisted two-three ideas
with just a table and a few chairs in each of one a horror and another a coming-of-age FYI PITCH: Armed with two scripts, a
getting access to horror and an action film, he made
the rooms. We felt we had to go beyond top producers is plot that they will take forward. We were
over 10 pitches to production houses
(Frames) and build a platform that will help impossible more partial to people who had a written
at FYI; the response to his horror film
fresh creative minds get access to the best without script. It was more easily understandable, idea was encouraging
content producers and vice versa, says adds Pathak.
Leena Jaisani, senior director & head, me- Last year, ROMP Media had participated
dia & entertainment division, FICCI.
in FYI and signed up with a writer; the script FYI could be a small start.
Over three days, about 3,000 pitching ses-
is now being filmed. This year, too, they saw Someday, I hope to make
sions were held between 300 participants 50-odd pitches and have found some good it big as a screenwriter
and 74 panellists. (Last year, FYI had just 20 ideas that are being developed. Chief execu-
panellists, some 150 participants and man- tive Rajiv Tandon has some advice for the
and land an Oscar
aged 650-odd pitching sessions.) Last year, organisers: It might be good if participants
almost 90% of the participants were from could attend a days workshop, learning
Mumbai. This year, many came from outside how to pitch. Sometimes we might miss a
the city, says Viraf Phiroz Patel, director good idea simply because it wasnt pitched
(honorary), FYI, FICCI. While many came well and we were short on time. InkTip Pitch, Great American PitchFest,
from places within India like Uttar Pradesh, and Secret Door Pitch Festivals. HPF is a
Hyderabad and Nagpur, there were a few Hollywood: Ahead of the Curve three-day event that gets over 200 promi-
participants from Turkey, the US and Nige- Hollywood has been experimenting with nent Hollywood studios, agencies, produc-
ria, too. Most were men, with women com- such initiatives for some time now. About ers and the like. Many online fests too have
prising just 12% of the total. two decades back, it had one of its first pitch mushroomed like Online Hollywood Pitch
In attendance were some of the biggest fests called Hollywood Pitch Festival (HPF). Festival, Virtual Pitch Fest and
production houses in the entertainment in- Today, it has many such events, including HPF founder Audrey Kelly launched an-
other venture called Greenlightmymovie.
com four years back, which she says is a
natural extension of the Hollywood Pitch
Along with some good leads Festival. Each year we would receive
emails and calls from economically and/or
I also got some invaluable DEEPAK SHARMA geographically challenged filmmakers all
feedback for my ideas 40, MUMBAI over the world, asking if there was a way for
Deepak Sharma THE BACKSTORY: The son them to participate in the live event without
of a state government flying to Los Angeles, Kelly explains.
official and a school Greenlightmymovie aspires to fill that
teacher, Sharma grew up in gap. It charges $29.95 to submit the script/
Bhopal, dreaming about idea to one production house with the op-
films; began writing film tion to submit three projects. It offers direct
reviews and sending access to a Hollywood agent, manager or
critiques to film producers
producer of the scriptwriters choice and a
in Mumbai hoping to get
noticed some day; has guaranteed written response from them via
written a campus comedy email which often comes with detailed
novel and is also a stand-up notes on the submission, their website in-
comedian; now working in forms. It is exciting to see new talent get-
Mumbai, he is also chasing ting discovered weekly on the site. Talent
his Bollywood dreams that possibly would not have been able to
FYI PITCH: Made 18 pitches gain access to A-list companies, let alone be
for his script, of a discovered by them, says Kelly.
mythological horror film, to There are others like Robert Kosberg, a
the likes of Balaji Telefilms, seasoned Hollywood executive who is better
Phantom, Fox and ROMP; known as the king of pitch, who have
has got two leads so far emerged as mediators who make the entire
process efficient. Kosbergs venture movie-
20 wide angle
APRIL 24-30, 2016

A Good Pitch Should be On the world of pitching

The internet has changed everything. People are look-
A good story must have that feeling of anticipation
whats going to happen next.

Over in Five Minutes ing for new ideas and are not looking in the same places
to find them. They can come from anywhere. Some of
Ideally, a good pitch should also have what we call
set-pieces or trailer moments three-four briefly de-
Based out of Los Angeles, Robert Kosberg is head the best ideas dont come from Hollywood. There are scribed scenes that are big action or comedy sequences
of the feature film division at Nash Entertainment. agents and people like us who help discover new ideas that could be the visual highlight of the movie.
But he is better known in Hollywood as the king of and take it to the studios. And, lastly, you should be able to sum it up to say
whats it about. It could be a great love story. Or a story
pitch the man who has mastered the art of how
On whats a good idea about brotherly love.
to successfully pitch new ideas/scripts to studios.
A good idea has to have a high concept or a very strong
Among his success stories are movies like
plot. Something that you could put down in a few On what one should avoid
Staycation (Warner Bros), Sherlocks Secretary
words, is instantly clear and everybody gets it right Do not get into too many details. They take you off the
(Walden Media), Keeper of the Flame (Universal), away. Thats easy to say but not always easy to do. A road. Do not be shy be confident as you talk and in
Stepping Out (Century Fox), Kick (Sony) and Born to good idea must have some originality. It should have your body language. You should practise it over and
Shop (Fox). His website is a kind of conflict or obstacles that the main character is facing. over at home so that you are comfortable and confident
clearing house where people from all over the when you are actually presenting.
world can send their pitches. He gets about 1,000 On what makes a good pitch
every month, which he ruthlessly vets and You should know how to talk and present well. And re- On how much does he charge
shortlists to present to Hollywood studios. In this member, you cant pitch well if you dont have a good I do not charge anything from the scriptwriters. I have a
interview over the phone, Kosberg shares some idea. Learn how to summarise the entire plot in a cou- job and I get a salary. The idea is a bonus for which I get
tips on what and how to make a good pitch. Edited ple of minutes. A good pitch should be over in five min- a supervising fee for the selected screenplay. I am hired
excerpts: utes. The pitch must have a beginning, middle and end. as a supervising producer for all the projects I sell. is a clearing house of sorts for of animation firm Punnaryug Artivision and
ideas that, according to him, gets about also the chairman of FICCI Animation &
1,000 pitches a month. He screens and vets Gaming.
them to shortlist about 10 every year, which New revenue models are emerging in the
he pitches to major production studios in entertainment industry. Earlier, people
Hollywood. On an average, about one of always thought a theatrical release is the
those projects goes under production. It is only way to taste success and make money.
hard to find a good and original idea. The But that is changing, Kulkarni points out.
best of them dont come from Hollywood. In the digital world, revenue share as a busi-
They come from all over the world, ness model is becoming popu-
says Kosberg (see A Good Pitch should lar. Kulkarni illustrates by ex-
be Over in Five Minutes). ample. Say, earlier for a serial, a
content creator could make
The Digital Wave money mostly from broadcast-
In a way, these pitch fests democratise ing rights and DVD sales where
access to an industry known for its he gave away exclusive content
closed networks. This is critical for an FYI is a great rights in India, including those
industry that is changing rapidly, platform for the internet. Typically, one
thanks to the digital onslaught. for us to could make `10-12 lakh per epi-
At FYI, digital was a new category discover sode by selling rights for four- RAJASHREE, 38, MUMBAI
this year and it got a good response new ideas five years. But now with reve- based Nickhil Jakatdar, chief executive of Vu-
both from the participants and for nue share on digital platforms THE BACKSTORY: Working in the clip, a video on demand service.
and production hous- creators to like YouTube, one can make entertainment industry for over 15 The surge in digital is unmistakable,
years, the FTII graduate has worked
es. Of the 74 com- get access `12-13 lakh per month as ad rev- says Sanjay Reddy, founder, Silly Monks En-
with filmmakers like Sanjay
panies that partic- enue on the entire serial. It is a tertainment, which focuses on making digi-
ipated, about 15
to studios consistent and stable revenue
Bhansali and Mansoor Khan; a
tal content. Four years back, when he used
chick-lit author, she has also made a
were in the digital Rucha Pathak, coming in every month, adds short film called The Rebel; has a to work for a TV channel, he recalls, the en-
category. In India, head (development Kulkarni. Not surprisingly, he YouTube channel where she tire focus was on satellite rights with inter-
& creative),
traditionally, there hopes companies like Netflix uploads films net rights coming along with them. De-
Fox Star Studios
has been a lot of fo- and YouTube join the FYI plat- pendence on satellite rights is decreasing,
FYI PITCH: Met 40 producers over
cus on feature films. form in future. three days, pitching her feature film he says. For example, a small-budget Telugu
But this year over 35% of Increasingly, destination entertainment ideas and web series film could earn `1.5 crore from satellite
the pitches came from is dying, says Samir Bangara, a digital media rights, and an additional `30-40 lakh from
other categories like veteran who has cofounded Qyuki with Bol- internet, mobile and music. It is a substan-
digital, documenta- lywood veterans like Shekhar Kapur and AR
Web series away tial chunk. And it is getting bigger, Reddy
ries and anima- Rahman. Social media networks have be- from the TRP-driven TV says. He too came to FYI and saw 17 partici-
tion, says Ashish come the new distribution channel and the world has opened up pants who pitched 26 ideas. And like the
Kulkarni, founder content discovery typically happens via peo- new avenues and given fast-paced digital world, he has already
commissioned eight ideas. But cracking the
people like me a formula for a successful series is not easy,
tremendous sense of he says. It has to be a great concept, doable
DEVDATTA BHISE, 36, MUMBAI creative freedom on a low-budget, must target 16-34-year-
THE BACKSTORY: Bhise is a geek and a film olds who are looking for snacky content
lover rolled into one. The chemical engineer, to consume, likely on their mobile phones.
who did his MBA from the US, has his own Typically, it should be a five-six episode se-
business of manufacturing precision ceramics; ries, each episode spanning 10-20 minutes.
has made two short films, one of which is a What we know is that comedy or horredy
thriller based on the 2008 financial crisis ples social media platforms. Deeper pene- (horror plus comedy) with a bit of suspense
FYI PITCH: With two scripts of a full-length social tration of smartphones that are getting works very well, says Reddy.
drama, he made 10 pitches and has got some good leads cheaper, low bandwidth costs and emer- As the big fight for original, exclusive con-
gence of multiple screens are reshaping the tent gets more intense in the entertainment
Based on the feedback from FYI, entertainment world. Today ,consumers world, platforms like FYI will become critical
have far more control over what, where and for the entertainment industry to discover
I am reworking my scripts before how they want to watch. Personalisation is new ideas and their creators. In the process,
sending them to those interested important. So is how differentiated and it will pry open for outsiders an industry in-
unique the content offering is, says US- famous for its closed doors and networks. 
ecosystem 21
APRIL 24-30, 2016

A Moral Rule Book

for Our Rulers
Public credulity is offended when a person in power behaves without
displaying the moral authority of leadership, like a CM questioning the EC

:: R Gopalakrishnan

n effective legal system can function only if it is built on a (as in the case of IPL matches), critics say there is judicial over-reach. If they
strong moral foundation. The civil engineering principle is dont (as in the LGBT issue), then the courts are accused of not stretching
relevant here poor foundation, wobbly skyscraper. themselves. India has only 10% of the per capita judge strength compared
When issues like Bofors, Commonwealth Games, 2G and with OECD countries. The delivery of justice in the country is in urgent
coal mines arise, there is vehement denial on the part of the the need of being bolstered, but we dont have to burden the courts.
people concerned. A long wait follows as the courts tortuously
remove lies from facts. When the Panama leaks were report- Liberalisms Demands
ed, South Asians denied everything, while the prime ministers Public credulity is offended when a person in power behaves
of Iceland and Britain accepted the facts and explained. In In- without the moral authority of leadership. For example, a lav-
dia, when insider trading in shares is suspected, there is nei- ish wedding in a poor area; a sports event amidst drought; a
ther acceptance by the people involved nor a speedy resolution Union minister offering an offensive expansion of the three let-
through the judicial process. A rare corporate leader, who de- ters that describe an opposition party (which elicits reciprocally
nied the allegation and voluntarily stepped down as chairman, offensive epithets); an uncouth response, Yes, I did; and I will
was A Vellayan of the Murugappa Group. do so a thousand times again when the Election Commission
Leaders should not and cannot lead by resorting only to enquires from a chief minister whether a promise was made dur-
the courts of law. The court of public opinion matters; it has ing campaigning.
a pervasive influence on perception. This reality should in- If people without moral authority expect to lead their mem-
fluence the behaviour of all leaders companies, institu- bers effectively, they are no leaders. The challenge is not only in
tions and nations. Public opinion bestows the moral author- companies, political parties and governments but also in clubs,
ity to lead because conduct and intent are perceived to be of gymkhanas, building societies and NGOs.
high standard. The onus rests very much on the ruler to reach out to the
opposition, thus dignifying the political morality of the rivals
Perception Matters, India Leaders cannot with their attention (The key to political persuasion by Robb
In 2001 Goldman Sachs economist Jim ONeill popularised lead by Willer and Matthew Feinberg, The New York Times). The col-
the acronym BRIC for Brazil, Russia, India and China. Of resorting only to laborative leader needs to step back from the war posture of
these four countries, currently India stands apart. I cannot the courts of politics and be vulnerable.
help recall what Allama Iqbal wrote of Hindustan in 1904: The methods were so well exemplified by Mahatma Gandhi,
Yunan-o-Misr-o-Roma sab mit gaye jahan se/ Ab tak
law. The court of Nelson Mandela and Patricio Aylwin, the first Chilean president
magar hai baaki naam-o-nishaan hamara (Greek, Egyp- public opinion after Augusto Pinochet. As American commentator Roger Co-
tians and Romans have all vanished/ But we are still matters. This hen pointed out, Liberalism demands acceptance of our hu-
here). From an unassailable position of economic dyna- reality should man differences and the ability to mediate them through dem-
mism and leadership, Brazil is now enmeshed in a web of influence the ocratic institutions. Liberalism may appear to be feeble as a
intrigue and allegedly sordid corruption. Russia could behaviour of all battle cry, but nothing is more important for human dignity
have been a liberal democracy, but has emerged as a Kaf- leaders and decency.
kaesque kleptocracy. Sure-footed and amazing China is I can recount an incident from history. After the zenith of
now perceived as a wobbly entity. Despite its numerous Aurangzeb, the Mughal throne was occupied by a failing Mu-
internal contradictions, India continues to grow eco- hammad Shah from 1719 until 1747. According to historian Sir
nomically, and to attempt to be liberal. India is a Jadunath Sarkar, although he was a mere cipher in
candle in a dark global economy. Public per- respect of his public duties, there were some re-
ception demands more than self-esteem. deeming features in his private character.
Public perception is influenced by the A soldier, whose job was to guard the
four estates of democracy the results imperial jewel house, stole a valuable
achieved by the executive, the necklace and was arraigned before
behaviour of legislators, the the emperor. In self-defence, the
performance of the legal sys- soldier said that his salary had not
tem and the projection of mat- been paid for 12 months, and regret-
ters by the media. Our system tably he had no choice but to steal
seems to rely excessively on from the place where his salary
the media and the judiciary. was locked up rather than else-
Particularly with respect to the where! A shamed Muhammad Shah
judiciary, all sorts of matters paid the arrears and retained the
are referred to the already guard.
over-burdened courts: Bolly- What would have happened if
wood squabbles over personal such a situation arose today? 
rivalries; which words affirm
nationalism; whether women
can enter a place of worship;
cricket administrators egoistic The author is a writer
forays into power; and business- and corporate advisor
mens larger-than-life personal
activities. If the courts do decide SUNEESH K
22 travel guide
APRIL 24-30, 2016

Where Theres Will

To go or not to go? Go and be possessed by the plays
and places of Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon

:: Anita Rao-Kashi

pril, TS Eliot said, is the cruellest
month, but for addicts of William
Shakespeare, it is probably just the op-
posite the inimitable Bard was bap-
tised (his birthday is a bit of an issue
with experts) and he died in April.
More so this April, as it commemo-
rates four centuries of Shakespeares
passing. And even though London
swirls with events and activities, the
place to be is Stratford-upon-Avon, his
birthplace, where he is front and cen-
tre and almost everything revolves
around him.
Having grown up on a rather heavy
dose of Shakespeare, it is with sup-
Fact File 1. Shakespeares house
pressed excitement that I set out. As on Henley Street
Stratford-upon-Avon in
Londons suburbs fall away and the Warwickshire, about 2. A black stone statue of
bus races northwest towards Strat- Shakespeare in Stratford-
160 km northwest of upon-Avon made by the
ford-upon-Avon, the scenery percepti- London and 40 km from 19th century sculptor
bly changes. Solid and large buildings Birmingham Lord Ronald Gower,
give way to wide open and lush green 3. Gowers statue of
meadows dotted with cattle, fields and How to Reach: There are Hamlet
farms with rolls of golden easy connections to 4. The Royal Shakespeare
hay, hedges that run for London via European, Companys Swan Theatre
In a small miles and disappear into Middleastern and Indian
airlines. There are
park, there is the horizon, and picture- excellent bus and train 3
a tall pedestal postcard villages with pret-
ty houses fronted by even
services from both 2
London and
on which the prettier gardens. Birmingham to
Bard is The bus sweeps into the Stratford-upon-Avon. It tually translates to river) that runs through the
squeaky-clean terminal in takes about two hours centre of the town. I am struck by overwhelm-
seated. Lady Stratford-upon-Avon and from London by bus. ing Shakespearean references. Setting the
Macbeth, as soon as I get off, I am fas- Book discounted return tone for the visit is a little park adjoining the
Falstaff, cinated. Leading from the journey tickets in river which has large black stone statues of
terminal is a series of brass advance online characters from Shakespeares plays.
Prince Hal plates embedded on the
and Hamlet pavement leading to the Tours: Bus tours start Age Cannot Wither
from 14 and are the
surround him most famous waterbody of hop-on-hop-off variety
On a raised platform is a tall central pedestal
the town the river Avon, on which is the Bard himself is seated in an
and thence forward, the running through the elaborate chair. The four corners of the plat-
city centre. It seems the day; more fascinating form are occupied by four prominent charac-
perfect cue for some of the famous are the walking tours ters from his plays, Lady Macbeth, Falstaff,
done by Stratford Town
Shakespearean lines from Hamlet to Prince Hal and Hamlet, supposedly represent-
Walk (www.
Romeo and Juliet and everything else ing tragedy, comedy, history and philosophy,
in between to begin a slow ticker scroll the main themes that run through his plays. costing 6 per
in the head. person The characters seem all too real, frozen in
The town itself is small with the river time. Of them, however, Hamlet has the great-
running right through it and a popula- Dont Miss: A show at the est hold, his brooding,
tion of less than 30,000. It is a warren famous Swan Theatre of 4 drooping image full
of streets and a crowded high street, the Royal Shakespeare of pathos. Inevita-
and almost everything hinges on its Company. Check shows, bly, his immortal
most famous resident. Interestingly, I timings and prices at line, To be or not to
was told that many other famous per- be..., echo in my
sonalities lived in and around Strat- head.
Stratford for Shakespeare:
ford, or visited, at various times in his- Before melancholy
The town lays out a
tory. These include Oliver Cromwell, can subsume me, I
brilliant set of events to
JB Priestley, George Bernard Shaw, leave Hamlet to his
celebrate the Bard. This
Arthur C Clarke and Nathaniel Haw- year there are indecisiveness and
thorne. But theres nothing to show for performances of Hamlet stroll down to the riv-
it and all of them have been overshad- and Henry V, apart from ers edge, which is
owed. For some reason, it brings to plays by other lined with tiny boats,
mind the opening line of the famous playwrights. The Swan selling all kinds of
monologue, All the worlds a stage... Theatres orchestra knick-knacks, souve-
from As You Like It. To this day, the performs Immortal nirs, sketches and
town is indeed a stage for Shake- Shakespeare. There will watercolours. Near-
speare! be parades and even a by, at the waters
I start near the river Avon (which ac- sonnet marathon edge, a gaggle of
travel guide 23
APRIL 24-30, 2016

5 6
5. Mary Ardens house
6. A view of Henley Street
geese demands attention and food from visi- 7. River Avon runs through the town
tors. On the river, boats are plying up and 8. A view of a street in Stratford
down; some are carrying visitors, others are 9. Anne Hathaways house
carrying on with their daily routine.
What draws my attention is the beautiful himself might have had the last laugh about
and striking building further along the this controversy and would probably quote,
bank, the Royal Shakespeare Companys When we are born we cry that we are come
theatre, the Swan Theatre. It is a sprawling to this great stage of fools, from King Lear.
structure of red and grey, where Shake- However, it is at the grey-and-brown, tim-
speares plays are performed almost bered Tudor house on Henley Street, with its
throughout the year. I linger, struck by the classic gabled roof, that I feel Shakespeares
scene, letting the river and everything strongest presence. This house belonged to
around banish the last vestiges of melan- his father John Shakespeare and it is where
choly. Unbidden, the line, I feel within me he was born. After a succession of inherit-
a peace above all earthly dignities, a still ances, it became an inn and a public house in
and quiet conscience, from Henry VIII the 17th century but was reacquired in the
comes to mind. 19th century and renovated to look like the
original. As I walk around inside, I notice
400 Years Ago that the rooms and furniture resemble the
The peace is broken by a bunch of enthusi- 8 style of Shakespeares days and I try to imag-
astic kids and I find my way back to the main ine the life that Shakespeare led.
road and town centre. At the information Stepping out of the house, I wander along
desk I pick up a little map and head first to a Henley Street filled with a plethora of shops
place simply called Nashs House, which selling all kinds of memorabilia, all related
has a collection of furniture and furnishings to Shakespeare. In one of them, I chance
from Shakespeares time. More interesting upon a beautifully done and yet sinister-
is the set foundations and grounds next looking print on cloth with three witches
door called the New standing in front of an obscenely large caul-
Place where Shake- dron. Above them are another of my favour-
speare lived from the ite lines Double, double toil and trouble;
I feel the end of 16th century to Fire burn, and caldron bubble from Mac-
Bards his death in 1616. beth. It has a compelling feel and I cant re-
From there, I make sist buying it.
strongest my way to Anne Hath- By now, the sky is a dull grey and the
presence in a aways Cottage where evening shadows are quite lengthy. I wan-
Tudor house A n n e S h a k e - der around some more, peeking into the
speares wife lived Grammar School where he studied, some of
on Henley before her marriage. the town houses and Falstaff s Experience,
Street. It Nearby is also Mary which takes visitors through a strange and
belonged to Ardens house, where
funny ride through time. Finally, I wind up
Shakespeares moth- again at the rivers edge, drawn magically
his father er lived. Neither of and soothed by its gentle flowing waters.
John them quite catches Darkness falls like a curtain, quite sud-
Shakespeare my imagination and denly, and I reluctantly turn away, picking
is quite dreary and up my pace towards the bus terminal. My
far-from-glamorous head is reeling with snatches of Shake-
but provides a speare quotes, some well-known, others
glimpse of what life might have looked like quite obscure but which have found a con-
in those times. nection with my head and heart. As the bus
Disappointment is quickly pushed aside meanders out, I crane my neck for a last
at the beautiful and ancient Holy Trinity glimpse. In my head pops the most appro-
Church where Shakespeare was baptised priate line, from Romeo and Juliet: Good-
and both he and Anne are buried. It stands night, goodnight! Parting is such sweet sor-
on lovely grounds and is calm and serene. row. Perhaps the perfect line on which to
According to popular lore, Shakespeare is end the trip. 
believed to have been born on April 23 and
died on that same date, separated by about
55 years. There is no consensus on his birth- The author is a Bengaluru-based
day among historians and experts, but travel and food writer
there is widespread agreement that he was
baptised on April 26, 1564. Shakespeare
24 food & drink
APRIL 24-30, 2016

A Farm in Your Fork

Restaurants ride the farm-to-fork wave, picking vegetables and
micro greens from chosen artisanal patches, if not their own gardens

:: Anoothi Vishal

he muddled cucumber, mint and lime wave too.
cooler that we are sipping on a hot April A little outside Pune, Vistara, a new res-
afternoon is not a mundane drink. It is taurant at the wellness resort Atmantan,
unusual not just because the bartender has something similar. While all the food
steers clear of the syrupy sweetness that is organic and sourced from small farms,
cocktails in India come with. But because some of the edible flowers and vegetables
every ingredient has come from a patch are grown in-house. The idea is to let
of green right outside the restaurant. The guests pick their own veggies like melons,
5,000 sq ft house-farm bang in the centre beets, baby radishes, different types of
of the new Pullman hotel in Delhis Aeroc- saag and choose a method of cooking for
ity is bursting with squashes and gourds these. The chef could sous vide or grill,
still on their vines. Occasionally, a chef or steam or roast vegetables, according to
a bar chef (thats just a fashionable term the guests preference, says chef Sand-
for bartenders), or guest may pluck these eep Biswas.
or some herbs for plates and drinks that
are being made inside. Farm Fresh
The cucumber cooler is not the only In Mumbai, one of the most anticipated
thing with pedigree on the menu at Pluck, restaurant openings next month is of
the restaurant. All the vegetables, from the Masque at the Laxmi Woollen Mills com-
baby spinach in the salad to the pumpkin in pound in Lower Parel. The brainchild of
the mash (spiked with truffle oil, though), chef Prateek Sadhu, former head chef of The garden at the Pullman hotel in Delhis Aerocity. Guests can plucks herbs and vegetables to
have been sourced from the patch. Le Cirque, Bengaluru, this is an ambi- be used for drinks being made for them
When the greens were being first plant- tious farm-to-fork restaurant, where in-
ed, the soil of the garden had to be gredients sourced from 14 different arti-
changed. A more fertile top layer was sanal farms all over the country take cen-
brought from Mandi in Himachal Pradesh. trestage. currently underway see him playing from traditional supply chains.
The surprising fecundity in the midst of Sadhu, who studied at the Culinary In- around with flavours such as sea buck- In Europe, food movements around
Aerocitys concrete and glass jungle is stitute of America, spent eight months thorn, pine and almond ice cream or egg- slow food or foraging, made utterly fash-
perhaps a result of that. At any given time, travelling around India to study regional plant, turnips and soy rice. It is pitched as ionable by the likes of Noma, are similar
about 10 vegetables and an equal number produce and tying up with small farmers an avant-garde restaurant. How diners ideas. With all these becoming hip, it was
of herbs are grown here. And chefs keep for ingredients, which include Mexican take to it will be keenly watched. For now, inevitable that chefs use them as market-
an eye, changing their menu frequently to amarillo chillies (being grown at a farm it seems set to breach many boundaries. ing pegs. Today, while some restaurants
reflect the seasonal produce. near Bengaluru especially for the restau- genuinely go to great lengths to stick to
Farm-to-fork dining is hardly a new rant), Italian-style cheese from Puttapar- Good, Fad & Ugly their larger philosophy, others are merely
concept. From California to Mumbai, the thi (the pilgrim town has a substantial Ital- For all its possibilities and the pushing of me-too entities riding a wave.
idea of sourcing ingredients in a way that ian community, some of whom turned to gourmet boundaries, farm-to-fork is also So abused has the term become that
the provenance of almost each bite can cheese-making), and even sea buckthorn, a much abused term. The genesis and po- top chefs like Thomas Keller, often seen
be traced to small, local producers has the nutrient-rich berry from Ladakh, litical underpinnings of the movement as a bedrock of haute farm-to-fork, have
had many champions. By using ingredi- which ordinarily does not find their way was in the 1960s-70s California, when the now questioned the term, pointing out
ents that are plucked fresh from an in- into the domestic market. hippie community championed local, ar- that all food (in the universe of fancy din-
house farm, Pluck, a modern European The menu will change every week at tisanal producers. However, the term ing) is farm to fork and that chefs can only
diner, has now upped this experience in Masque. And Sadhu says he will not stick started gaining new, chicer currency only be responsible for cooking, not promot-
India. Other restaurants are riding this to any one style of cooking. Food trials by the 1990s with top chefs moving away ing the politics of sustainable farming.
food & drink 25
APRIL 24-30, 2016

In India, restaurants, particularly in hotels, have been

paying lip service to the idea for some years now, dabbling
in showpiece herb gardens and micro greens from the own-
ers farms to embellish salads. But it was only when The Ta-
ble opened in Mumbai and credibly pushed the envelope
with its upper-crust, niche consumers that this kind of eat-
ing out started becoming fashionable. Even so, the idea has
gained momentum only in the last year or two. Mumbai has
been the epicentre, with restaurants incorporating ele-
ments along with those from organic or local gastronomy.
Places like The Pantry, The Yoga House, The Village Shop,
Birdsong Organic Caf and Farmer and Sons work around
the theme in varying degrees.
While the consumers desire to be part of a global food fad
may be a reason for the proliferation of farm-to-fork, the
trend is equally fuelled by a new tribe of hobby-turned-pro-
fessional farmers, silently pottering away on their terraces,
balconies and farms, redefining the
chic ways in which we perceive and
eat food. tech company in Gurgaon, it was the simple realisation
there is so much difference in taste between the torai we
Millennial Farmers grow at home and what we get from the market that led to
Twenty-two-year-old Achintya Anand his growing fruits and vegetables on his terrace. I even have
started farming just for a lark. The a chikoo tree, he adds, proudly.
Delhi boy with a degree from culinary For an agricultural nation, it is somewhat ironical that this
school in Adelaide had just begun rediscovery of green thumbs should be part of a buzzing city
working at Tres, a modern European trend. But it has been spurred by the social media. Terrace
diner in Lodhi Colony, Delhi, when he farming groups and swapping circles on Facebook, where
started growing micro greens. When people exchange seeds and cuttings, are pretty common,
these grew well, he carried boxes to says Urvashi Malik, marketing executive. The online social-
the restaurant. ising involves sending each other cuttings through courier:
Soon Anand hit the road, going from I got Malabar spinach from someone in Bengaluru, and ste-
restaurant to restaurant with his via from someone in Assam, says Malik. Or, sharing heart-
greens, asking chefs if they were inter- breaks about things not growing well. Or, sharing knowledge
ested. All the while, he kept working on pests.
the kitchens, shifting to the Olive in I am always ready to help anyone on Facebook. People
Mehrauli, where chef Sujan Sarkar was have my phone number and can call me up any time, says
researching on indigenous ingredients Umed Singh, a businessman in the quarrying industry and
for The Tasting Lab weekly dinners hobby farmer in Bhiwani. Singh, who is part of about 100
revolving around the farm-to-fork con- Facebook groups on gardening and amateur
cept. As Anand visited other farms as farming in India, is quite dedicated, putting to
part of that research, he started exper- use his 55 acres of ancestral agricultural land:
imenting more. And he started talking I do it in my spare time, and it is only for fam-
to other chefs too about their wishlists, ily and friends. He seeks out seeds when he
growing microgreens and vegetables travels abroad. I have 15 varieties of toma-
according to that demand. toes, including chocolate and purple ones,
A little more than a year down the and one that weighs 327 g. I got the seeds from
line, he is a full-fledged farmer and has Prateek Sadhu (above) will source ingredients from 14 carefully chosen small artisanal London. I also have curled corn from Canada The writer
rented a farm in Chhatarpur. He caters farms across the country for his restaurant Masque that will open in Mumbai. For and pink broccoli (a sedum plant that is not looks at
to some of Delhis top restaurants, instance, he will get cheese from Puttaparthi broccoli), he goes on. restaurant
trends, food
working closely with chefs. Both Though Singh hasnt turned professional history and
Sarkar and Manish Mehrotra (of Indi- yet, he is exploring the idea. If he does, it will culinary
an Accent) really encouraged me and I just be more on the table.  cultures
also know the kind of demand in different duction practices are perfect for chefs to liaise with, helping
restaurants, he says. His company Kishi Cress produces farm-to-fork in India.
2,500 boxes of microgreens monthly. If chefs are able to pull off offbeat sourcing, thanks
Farming is still a hobby for Delhi restaurateur to these ventures, on the consumer side, farming
Saurabh Khanijo. But, inadvertently, it has becoming more fashionable also means there
also led to his restaurants embracing the ele- is now more attention to the quality of food
ments of farm-to-fork. I am the son of a we eat. At least in metropolitan, affluent In-
poultry farmer. Though we shut that family dia, exposed to international trends around
business, I still have my fathers farm in artisanal and healthy ingredients, there is a
Dera Gaon, Delhi, where I grow vegetables huge discourse around these. Hobby farm-
and herbs without pesticides, even aloo, ing thus is both a fallout of and a fuel for this
pyaaz , tomatoes. I keep two cows for sort of farm-to-fork lifestyle.
milk and 200 chickens because I do not If cities like Bengaluru have been at the
like the eggs sold in the market. I use old forefront of hobby gardening or farming,
practices of farming. The birds, for in- in their post-retirement communities, it
stance, are free to roam around. They Farming is a hobby for has now gone beyond those frontiers.
are fed properly. The resulting egg yolks well-known Delhi Many younger, wannabe gardeners and
are a brilliant orange colour, he says. restaurateur Saurabh farmers are sprouting everywhere.
Khanijo, who owns the restaurant brand Khanijo. Inadvertently, it Rai Mahimapat Ray, posted as deputy
Kylin and is a partner with Jamies Ital- has also led to his collector of Bokaro, says it was a stint at
ian, uses the eggs in his bakery and veg- restaurants embracing Oxford that turned him to organic farm-
etables at Kylin. the elements of farm-to- ing. My wife and I would buy organic
Khanijo and Anand are just two exam- fork. The herbs and fruit and veggies from the hypermarkets
ples of scores of city-bred Indians who vegetables that he grows there but they were so expensive that we
have taken to farming and even cheese- without pesticides in his decided to grow them at home. It is a hab-
making, coffee-growing and so on out of farm go into the kitchen it that persisted even when we returned
a sense of passion. These small-scale at his restaurant Kylin to India, he says.
farms paying close attention to good pro- For Vineet Bansal, who works with a
26 trendspotting
APRIL 24-30, 2016

Songrise in the Valley

Nabi, Syed and

Ahmed in Srinagar

Kashmiri music gets a new lease of life as a band cording was a tedious process but people late to the music? he asks.
loved it, recalls Shah, 62. Kashmiri language was part of the school
adds Western instruments to traditional songs Soon tapes of artists like Raj Begum and curriculum till 1955. But it was removed
Hassan Sofi singing chakri, sufiana kalam, from the curriculum soon after Sheikh Ab-
:: Adnan Bhat market their music. Says Nabi: Our music rouf and other forms of traditional Kashmiri dullahs term as the prime minster of the

ts a cold afternoon in Srinagar. Irfan Nabi, has failed to evolve. The result is that the new music became a prized commodity. People state was cut short in 1953. It was only after
Bilal Ahmed and Mehmeet Syed have just ar- generation is not attracted to it. We should from all across Kashmir would come to Lal years of persistence, by writers like Zareef,
rived at their recording studio in Lal Chowk. innovate and save our music from becoming Chowk to get their hands on new releases that the language was reinstated in school
Ahmed takes the guitar, Nabi is on the thum- a relic. every week. In the early 2000s, the business curriculum as an optional subject in 2010.
bak a traditional Kashmiri percussion expanded. With two new studios and a doz- Singing chakri, rouf or wanwun on festi-
made of clay and lambskin and Syed is on Rise and Fall en artists working for them, MTI was bring- vals was a part of our life. But, I fear, the next
vocals. The silence is broken by Syeds sing- Music has always been a big part of Kashmiri ing out new video albums every month. generation will not even know who we were
ing the old song Hukus bukus (Who are you culture. It changed when the guns came in. To keep up with the demand, many music as a society, worries Zareef.
and who am I?). It is suddenly a new song. In the early 1990s, with the rise of militancy labels opened in Kashmir. But the spread of The lead vocalist of IBM, Syed, 34, has wit-
The strum of the guitar and the cadence give in the Valley, music became a rare source of internet and piracy began to take a toll. nessed the rise and fall of Kashmiri music.
the lullaby a peppy, infectious tune. Even if entertainment. Radio Kashmir aired songs Many labels shut shop. After the devastating She was a teenage sensation after featuring
you are not familiar with the language, the but that would be interrupted by frequent flood of 2014, which destroyed Shahs store, in one of MTIs video albums in 2001. Her
tune will have you in its thrall. announcements of the unrest. he too moved on from the music business. music videos, where she sang poems of Hab-
The trio have returned from their first In 1997, just as Gulshan Kumar set up T- Making music was no longer profitable. We ba Khatoon in the meadows of Kashmir,
world tour Los Angeles, Sydney and Dubai Series in Delhi, Zahoor Ahmed Shah started would spend `1-2 lakh producing an album were a rage, selling over 50,000 copies.
where they charmed audiences with mod- what was probably the first music label in but couldnt break even, says Shah. Syed is optimistic that Kashmiri music can
ern renditions of Kashmiri verses, written by Kashmir. He named it Music Tape Industry The problem goes deeper, says Kashmiri become popular again. A lot of youngsters
poets as varied as Habba Khatoon of the 18th (MTI) and opened a showroom at Amira poet Zareef Ahmed Zareef. He says the Kash- are showing interest in music, which is a
century and the modernist Nayaem Sahib. Kadal market in Srinagar. miri language itself has fallen victim. I stud- positive sign. They may prefer the guitar
Their first album Best of Irfan, Bilal and Me- I borrowed some money and went to ied Kashmiri in school. But today we dont over the rabab, but that is their choice to
hmeet, released online last month, has al- Delhi to buy some recording equipment. I speak the language in schools or at home. My make, she says. She says technology will
ready notched 7,000-plus downloads in came back and started working with promi- grandson doesnt understand a word in take Kashmiri music to the masses. They
iTunes, Amazon and Google Play. nent Kashmiri singers. Reel-to-reel tape re- Kashmiri. How will the young generation re- have, to that end, roped in digital expert
Nabi, Bilal and Syed were part of the Kash- Shafat Qazi, 46, who is the founder of Califor-
miri music scene since the 2000s. But they nia-based software company BQE Software
came together only last December and went Nabi, Syed and Ahmed came together in and has been instrumental in getting their
for a straight-forward band name: Irfan, Bilal December with one dream: revive Kashmiri music first album released on iTunes.
and Mehmeet (IBM). Their one dream: re- Qazi says digital is the way forward and
vive Kashmiri music. And they seem well on he is right. According to a Deloitte India re-
their way to realising it. What has worked for port, the digital music indus-
them is the unconventional pairing of West- try in India is set to cross
ern and traditional musical instruments `3,100 crore in revenue by
the guitar, sax and the drums with the thum- 2020. It also says the spike in
bak, rabab and the oudh. They call their online music users will be
music Kashmiri Sufi Fusion. due to the demand for re-
Despite having a rich Sufi heritage, the gional content.
popularity of Kashmiri music has been dwin- The initial response has
dling over the years. Nabi, 32, who sings and been better than our expecta- The writer is
plays the thumbak and sarangi, blames it on tions, says Qazi. Our goal is a freelance
the musicians reluctance to keep up with to sell 100,000 digital copies journalist
based in
the times and the absence of a mechanism to by the end of the year.  Kashmir
alfresco 27
APRIL 24-30, 2016

The nature of gifts
between countries has
ranged from strategic and
symbolic to friendly and
amusing. Here is a list of
few of the unusual gifts
The summit of Mount Chimborazo,
shared between nations:
Ecuadors highest mountain, is the
point on Earth closest to the sun. The Statue of Liberty,
Due to the mountains location along 1886
the equatorial bulge, its summit is The symbol of freedom
the farthest point from the Earths was designed and built by
the French and was gifted
core. This also means that Ecuador is
to the US to commemorate

the closest country to space
the alliance between the
two nations during the
American Revolution

Ecuador has
the worlds
first UNESCO
A 7.8-magnitude earthquake in
Trojan Horse,
1180 BC
This is a subterfuge
that the Greeks gifted
the Trojans as a means
World of entering the city to
Heritage Ecuador has left almost 500 end a 10-year siege
Sites. At the people dead, more than
first UNESCO World 4,000 injured and 231 Stadium, 2011
Heritage conference in 1978, 32
sites were on the inaugural list
missing. Here Ecuador is the worlds The $100 million
which included the Galapagos are a few facts largest exporter of Estadio Nacional in
bananas which is Costa Rica was
Islands and the capital city of Quito about the funded and built by
pegged at $2 trillion
Andean The every year China as a gift, as
part of an economic
country of average deal between the two nations
16 million height of
people in
Ecuador is
5 feet
Ecuador became a
Sword of Stalingrad, 1943
Ecuador has The ceremonial longsword, forged and
republic in 1830, before Guinea pig (also one of the inscribed by George VI, was gifted to
which it was part of Gran known as cuy) is greatest Josef Stalin by Winston Churchill during
Colombia which included one of the most densities of the Tehran Conference as a token of
Colombia and Venezuela popular delicacies active Ecuador has appreciation for the Soviet soldiers who
in Ecuador volcanoes been voted as fought during the Battle of Stalingrad
in the world the best
Ecuador and Peru ended a 100-year war country for
over border dispute after signing a expats.
treaty in May 1999. One oddity of the Quality of life,
agreement is that cost of living
Ecuador has a and personal
perpetual lease finances are ScanEagle Drone, 2013
of 1 sq km of more than Iran has given Russia a copy of a US spy
Peru where they American crocodiles drone as proof that its elite forces have
ideal for
have a military in Ecuador are as reverse-engineered and mass produced
base long as 19 ft the American unmanned aerial vehicle


Solar Power Burning Bright!
The total cumulative solar power capacity for the entire world in 2014 was 1,77,003 megawatts enough to power
over 29 million homes. Here are the countries leading the way in solar energy:
Source: International Energy Agency

megawatts 28,330 23,409 18,622 18,317 5,678 4,684
*Figures are for 2015
28 feel smart
APRIL 24-30, 2016

Atlanta Healthcare
Universal 450
Talk PRODUNOVA Room Air Purifier
Get it for: `26,950




Heard about
Dipa Karmakar?
Not quite. It is something named after HAS JUST QUALIFIED FOR THE RIO
She is the third gymnast ever to land
it successfully. She did it at the
Get serious. Its gymnastics. Some have
even called for a ban.
Commonwealth Games in 2014; and
she was just 20 at the time.
T his new product from Atlanta Healthcase
uses the companys iCluster Technology: a
seven-stage process that consists of a pre-filter,
A BAN! OK, AM ALL EARS NOW. anti-bacterial filter, HEPA filter, a layer of
Its a vault. Its a front handspring off the activated carbon, photo catalyst, UV disinfection
vaulting platform followed by two front light and ioniser. The good part is that the couple
Yes, she did it in the
summersaults and has the highest rating of of filters before the HEPA trap the larger dust
qualifying tournaments for
7 among all vaults. Its so dangerous that particles and extend the life of the HEPA filter
the Rio Olympics. She may try it
gymnasts may land on their back or neck and quite essential in dusty and polluted cities. It is
at the Olympics in August.
suffer debilitating injury. designed for areas up to 450 sq ft. A full set of
THEY SHOULD NAME SOMETHING replacement filters comes for `3,000 which is
AFTER HER. reasonable and you have to change them after 9
It boosts the score. Often gymnasts from poorer
Now thats a thought. Perhaps after to 12 months of daily operation.
countries attempt it to get into the big league.
she returns with a medal. It works quietly (18 to 55db noise levels) and
WHY IS IT NAMED AFTER YELENA? its power consumption is rated at 65 watts. It
In 1999, she was the first gymnast has the usual features: odour sensor, LEDs that
to land it successfully at a indicate air quality, filter change indicator and a
competition. switch that prevents it from operating unless
placed firmly on the ground. It also has a cold
mist humidifier. A small tank needs to be filled
with purified water for this.
You should get the product for about `23,000

P L AY DO B R OWS E L I ST E N READ GET online; still the price is a tad higher than some of
the competition. Hitesh Raj Bhagat

Tom Clancys The Division Fitso Running

Get it for: `3,499 (PS4, Xbox One), `1,795 (PC)
& Fitness
App for Android & iOS

ts an alarming (and all too possible) just The Division. you cant help marvel at the sheer scale, Get it for: Free
dystopian future. New York has been hit Since this is set in New York, it actually complexity, accuracy and beauty of the
by a massive biological terror attack that looks like New York. Youll see street environments. The effect for actual
wiped out civilisation as you know it. In the
event of such a calamity, there is an elite
names, many recognisable landmarks and
neighbourhoods. Developer Ubisoft has
residents of the city will probably be a lot
more pronounced. But this is not a game for
itso is a new health-
tracking app that offers
dedicated zones for fitness
group of individuals hidden from pulled out all stops to make sure the NYC residents, so lets move on!
activities that interest you.
the public eye tasked with realism hits you hard. Merely talking This is an online game, which means that
as someone whos visited the city you have to be connected and signed in to When you start it, the main
restoring order. They are
part of the Strategic a few times, you get a feeling of play. The purpose of this is to match you screen offers four options

Homeland Division, or dread but at the same time, with other players (i.e., other members of track runs & rides, get fit, lose weight and
The Division) for co-op. The game has train for a race. The next step is to create a
elements of RPG (role playing game), MMO free account so that you can track progress.
(massively multiplayer online) and third- You can see your daily progress, track your
person shooter. There are many main and run/ride with information on distance,
side missions they will take you all over speed and calories burnt. There are multiple
Manhattan and you will have to shoot freestyle activities listed as 7-minute
everything you see while learning the workouts, fit in 16 and cardio crunch each
mechanics of moving from cover to cover activity will show you a training video. Each
and finding more loot (guns, ammo, activity is timed so that you get the
backpacks, health packs and so on) to equip maximum benefit. In addition, you can view
yourself with. Apart from a few activities happening near your location or
inconsistencies (occasional trouble join fitness groups to keep yourself
connecting to the network, repetitive and motivated. You can consult a nutrition
predictable AI) theres little to find fault expert or running expert through the app each
with here. The Division is a massive game
for `500 a month. A built-in chat helps you to
that is also engaging and endlessly re-
stay in touch with your coach and friends on
playable. Hitesh Raj Bhagat
Fitso network. Karan Bajaj

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