Best of Weekender: A tête-à-tête with andwemet's Shalini Singh, delicious cupcakes from Magnolia bakery, and what to expect at Bangalore Literature Festival

The stage is set for Bangalore Literature Festival, one of the biggest book festivals in the city, this weekend. Here's all that you need to know, and much more.

Did you know that by 2020, India’s online matchmaking industry will reach a whopping $318 million in revenue? The number of digital giants catering to this market is mounting by the day and it is not easy to make headway in this cluttered market, says our writer, who spoke to Shalini Singh, Founder, andwemet, a global, matchmaking platform.

Shalini Singh, Founder, andwemet, a matrimonial platform

Shalini’s website, which saw its beta launch in January 2019 and its formal launch in April this year, targets urban Indians aged 25 and above, who are seeking a committed relationship. Has her entrepreneurial journey been easy? Not at all, says this entrepreneur, who has faced plenty of challenges on the way but is already making giant strides in the business.

She is hoping to be reckoned as one of the top two matchmaking platforms of choice for urban Indians soon.

Read all about her life and the trends in the online matrimonial arena in our interaction with this inimitable teacher-turned-founder.

Zonu Reddy and Nischay Jayeshankar

You may have heard about the swirly, pastel cupcakes of Magnolia bakery long before you watched actress Sarah Jessica Parker savouring them in the TV show, Sex and the City.

But it was this one-minute footage on SATC that propelled this bakery to its cult status and soon it was featured in other TV shows and movies like Saturday Night Live, Devil Wears Prada, Broad City and more.

Some of the fresh bakes at Magnolia Bakery

The iconic bakery is now in Bengaluru, so here’s your chance to try their delicious icebox bars and famous banana puddings.

Don’t miss our interview with one of the franchise holders, Zonu Reddy, co-founder, Spago as she talks about how she and her husband and co-founder, Nischay Jayeshankar plan to capture the Indian market.

The Bangalore Literature Festival is taking place in Bengaluru this weekend

“You are never alone when you read a book,” says Srikrishna Ramamoorthy, founder member, Bangalore Literature Festival, on the biggest book festivals in the city this weekend. It is all set for a spectacular eighth edition and will be held on the lawns of Hotel Lalit Ashok in Bengaluru.

This year, you can look forward to listening to a host of distinguished speakers, authors, and artistes like Pankaj Kapur, National Award-winning actor Vikram Sampath; Devdutt Pattanaik, writer and columnist; Jerry Pinto, author and poet; Lisa Ray, actress; William Dalrymple, historian; and Supriya Pathak, film actor among many other celebrities.

The festival will have three staging venues for panel discussions and Indian language programmes and three venues for children’s readings.

If you are in Bengaluru this weekend and if you are a book lover, don’t miss this annual event that brings the best names of the industry on one platform.

Iman Allana

How do you keep your skin looking beautiful through the winter? Iman Allana of Mumbai-based beauty brand Bollyglow has all the answers and a range of interesting products to offer too. This young entrepreneur who holds a master's in Luxury Brand Management from Regents University, aimed at launching a brand that was vegan, cruelty-free and sustainable, and has achieved most of her goals already.

Today, her company, Bollyglow sources its ingredients from across the world and the products are tailored to cater to Indian skin and our environmental requirements.

Don’t miss this fascinating story on Iman’s vision and mission as an entrepreneur.

Rock climbing is an exciting adventure sport in Badami

Karnataka has something to offer every kind of traveller, and when it comes to adventure sports, it is certainly a hotspot, says our travel writer. Any adrenaline seeker would by now have tried white water rafting in Dandeli, bouldering in Hampi, rappelling in Ramanagara, scuba diving in Netrani Islands, and parasailing in Murudeshwar. But now there’s a lesser known place that offers a challenging sport to the adventure junkie - rock climbing in Badami.

This area that is known for its red sandstone rocks is now a rock climbing zone for those who love this sport. We get to meet one of the trainers and rock climbers, Ganesha Waddar, who knows every nook and cranny of the region.

If you want to go rock climbing this weekend, don’t miss this story on how to enjoy this one-of-a-kind adventure sport to the fullest.

Simal Soin

Do you enjoy reading books by Robin Sharma and Eckhart Tolle? Do you admire Bill and Melinda Gates? Do you believe that loss of self-worth is the worst thing that can happen to you? If so, meet Dr. Simal Soin, Founder, Aayna, who feels the same way. Simal worked for six years at St. Johns Institute of Dermatology, London and Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge.

Today, she is known for her anti-ageing therapies and has been the Dermatology Influencer for Proctor & Gamble, India. And if you need a motto to live by, why not adopt her favourite maxim, which says: ‘Life begins at the end of your comfort zone’ – and follow her path of taking risks and stepping into the unknown in the quest for success.

Check out her responses to our Proust interview where she talks about her loves, her regrets, her heroes and much more.



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