Conscious living

Apr 18, 2017, 06:00 IST | Malavika Sangghvi

"From the endless lists of superfoods, to portion control, to clean eating, being mindful of what we consume can be overwhelming

Conscious living
"From the endless lists of superfoods, to portion control, to clean eating, being mindful of what we consume can be overwhelming. It doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing affair, but rather one that we adapt to our lifestyles. What works for one person may not necessarily work for their friend, and while we strive to be conscious about our food and where it comes from, the joy of eating should never be lost," says Roohi Jaikishan. The fashionista, gourmet and international traveller's high-end speciality food enterprise RRO, teams up with international label H&M's new initiative, Conscious Exclusive, to bring a limited edition collection later this week. "We are doing a healthy, mindful and conscious menu," says the slim and tanned gypsetter, as at home in the South of France as she is in the front row of fashion shows in Mumbai.

The event is attempting to create a synergy between fashion and sustainability by asking invitees to bring in their old garments of any brand or in any condition, to donate to the label's Garment Collect Initiative. "We ought to aim to eat both - well and healthy," says Jaikishan expounding on this worldview. "For instance at RRO, we love our oats, muesli, and cheeses in equal measure! A healthy diet is not just restricted to food, but also to how we live. Let's be sustainable, accountable and responsible - with what we put on our plates, and in our closets."

Shaina NC and Manish Munot
Shaina NC and Manish Munot

Low profile, under the radar
The husbands of high-profile and powerful female politicians often don't like to be seen or heard. Think Denis Thatcher, Margaret Thatcher's long-standing spouse, whose low profile had given rise to the delightful fictitious diary penned by him in Private Eye.

Closer home, its the same. Manish Munot, the soft-spoken husband of the high-profile and always in the news Mumbai BJP spokesperson and treasurer, BJP Maharashtra, Shaina NC, prefers to be in the background. Except last week, when on a rare occasion, the couple posed for pictures together at the inauguration of a new eye hospital named Navratan Munot Smruti Netralaya in Rajasthan, built in memory of the late Navratan Munot, Manish's father.

"This super speciality eye hospital is fully equipped with the latest surgical facilities, with a total investment of Rs 80 lakh in an endeavour to give back to our roots," says Shaina NC. And for once, her media shy spouse, a leading Mumbai builder in his own right, was very much in the picture.

To London, to London
If the powers that be wanted to engineer a brain drain (remember that bugbear of the bad old pre-lib days?) and a flight of capital and talent, they could not be going about it better. One of the country's top restaurateurs, a pioneer who almost single-handedly created the stand-alone restaurant phenomena across the land, with his evangelism and canny understanding of the market, is according to sources, seriously considering taking his brand to the world's food capital – London.

Of course, the English metropolis has always been the mecca of the F&B world, a place where every restaurateur dreams of planting his flag, but sources say that the restaurateur's motivation has also been the dismal way things are going for the industry.

"Demonetisation, restrictions on foods and alcohol, and an ever increasing parochialism - things have never been so bad resulting in many restaurateurs wanting to have a foot outside India," we are informed.

As for the ace industry veteran contemplating a London outpost, "It could be as soon as by the end of this year," we are informed, and "given his success rate, who knows - if it is a success, he just might be tempted to start more there. After all, things are so much easier (and more lucrative) abroad in the F&B biz, we are told.
Disadvantage India.

A mutton dish by Phoolchand and (right) Rohit Bal
A mutton dish by Phoolchand and (right) Rohit Bal

The designer's kitchen God
It was one of the most elegant and benevolent posts in recent times. And that it emanated from one of the country's most high-profile and flamboyant fashion gurus, only makes it more delicious. This week, when Delhi-based designer Rohit Bal, the son of a khandani clan from Kashmir, posted a heartfelt introduction to his old family cook, who was in search of new pastures, it created a small flutter on his social media timeline.

"My incredible chef-par-excellence Phoolchand and his magic can only be described as genius!" the post began, and went on to inform that the kitchen maestro now "is available to cook for small lunch and dinner parties. Indian and some specialised Kashmiri dishes." The fact that there are many who have experienced Bal's exceptional hospitality and the memorable meals served on his table meant that the post received much acclaim and even a few shares.

"I love his mutton curry," "Will he move to Italy?" and "best food in Delhi," were the typical responses. Last heard, Bal is even helping his faithful retainer create a Facebook page of his own!

Sangeeta Wadhwani and Hrithik Roshan
Sangeeta Wadhwani and Hrithik Roshan

The very best version of themselves
"I first met Hrithik for an interview for a fashion magazine in 1997 and it happened to be his first ever photo shoot for an international fashion brand... we literally kidnapped him from Famous Studios, and took him to the photographer's studio.

It was such fun. Ever since, we've had an easy rapport!" says writer Sangeeta Wadhwani, who met up with the star again last month at the 10th anniversary celebrations of the magazine she currently works with.

"The Hrithik of today is way more poised, sure of himself, and very interested in inspiring people to be the very best version of themselves possible," she shares.

"Today he appears to be crafting his own brand everyday and choosing to throw his sons into a cauldron of adventurous global experiences," she says, "to see if greatness can be born not from a blueprint of struggle, but opportunities our generation never had."

As for Wadhwani, she says of her rather under-the-radar coffee table book, 'Encounters with the Rich and Famous,' a 587-page opus featuring a gamut of the country's movers and shakers, what it taught her, is how every personality she had met and interviewed for it, was trying to be the very best version of themselves!

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