Best of Weekender: A tête-à-tête with filmmaker, Amoghavarsha, where to get authentic Chinese food, and how Vish Dhamija's legal thriller will be soon be a web series

This week, don’t miss reading all about the new trend of ‘bowl’ food, check out where Indians are heading this year for their vacations and how to celebrate Chinese New Year at some excellent restaurants in the city

If you would love to watch the stunning footage of otters chasing tigers, a clip of dancing frogs or a magnificent overview of a leopard hunt, captured in a dazzling minute-by-minute format against the evergreen forests of the Western Ghats, then don’t miss the movie, Wild Karnataka, which is in theatres now.

The Indian leopard

Wild Karnataka was produced by award-winning film-makers Amoghavarsha J S, Kalyan Varma, naturalist Sarath Champati, and Indian Forest Officer Vijay Mohan Raj, in collaboration with the Karnataka Forest Department, Icon Films, and Mudskipper. The film is narrated by Sir David Attenborough and the theme music composed by Grammy-winning composer and music producer Ricky Kej.

Know details from Amoghavarsha, who speaks about the best moments that were a part of making the film, the challenges they faced, and why it is the first wildlife documentary to get a theatrical release in India cinemas.

This year is the Year of the Rat

When the beautiful festival of Chinese New Year rolls around, some Chinese families clean their homes to sweep away ill-fortune and make way for incoming good luck. Some of them decorate their windows and doors with red paper cut-outs.

Firecrackers are lit and money is gifted in red paper envelopes. In the northern regions of China, dumplings are served, either at midnight or as breakfast on the first day. Elaborate feasts are organised with an extraordinary spread of rice, stews, noodles, and other finger-licking delicacies. 

Legend has it that the Chinese New Year started with the victory over a mythical beast called the Nian. Nian’s defeat is celebrated jubilantly by villagers setting off firecrackers and adorning their houses and the streets with red lanterns and scrolls. It’s 2020 now, and the ancient tradition of the Spring Festival is still prevalent in China and across various parts of the world.

The Chinese New Year celebrates the beginning of a New Year on the traditional Chinese calendar.  It’s the Year of the Rat this year, and the celebration officially kicks off on January 25. This means you might be a little short on time to actually visit China for the festivities, but hey, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the best of Bengaluru’s Chinese food.

Don’t miss our restaurant recommendations to celebrate the day. Why not raise a toast to the Chinese New Year with the best and most delicious foods at the most authentic Chinese and pan-Asian restaurants in town?

Vish Dhamija

If you love legal thrillers, you must have heard of British-Indian author Vish Dhamija, whose books are now being produced into a web series. He has already brought out eight bestselling crime fiction books and has been listed among the top 51 Indian authors to follow.

In an exclusive interview with the author, we hear about his latest book, Lipstick, which is part of the series with a central protagonist named Rita Ferreira. His first book in the series - Bhendi Bazaar - remained on Amazon India’s Top 100 list for ‘Crime, Thriller, and Mystery’ for two years.

His books are now going to be adapted as a web series by noted producer Vikram Malhotra (who has produced hits like Baby, Airlift, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha). Vish currently lives in the UK with his wife Nidhi Singh.

Don’t miss this interview, where Vish speaks about how the Indian reader has evolved, who his favourite authors are, why romance novels will always top the popularity lists among readers, and much more.

Create the right health goals for 2020

The New Year always brings new beginnings and multiple new resolutions, including fitness, are made. But how do you make sure that you can reach your goals in 202?

Our nutritionist writes all about the latest health trends. According to her, some of these trends hold great promise, while others are mere fads that will pass.

Did you know, for instance, that stress equals inflammation? It is, therefore, important to take even 10 minutes out in your day to include stress-coping activities like deep breathing, yoga, and meditation.

Read all about the newest health trends of 2020 and make your own must-do list to stay strong, healthy and fit all year round.

'Bowl food' is trendy across the world now

One of the latest food fads in town is ‘bowl food’. Bowl food is a very popular concept among food enthusiasts today. Grain bowls, harvest bowls, Buddha bowls, smoothie bowls, burrito bowls, poke bowls, mashed potato bowls—from a mix of superfoods, to regular meals, people are eating more food than ever out of bowls, than opting for regular plates now.

Most people are filling these bowls with a new style of layered grains and vegetables— to create a unique blend of flavours and ingredients.

The author of the article has his own health-food restaurant and he writes about how the main feature in his menu is the ‘Superbowl’. These bowls of foods are called “Power Meals" as they are packed with flavour, nutrients like proteins, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and probiotics. All the bowls offer well-balanced meals.

Find out all about ‘bowl’ foods and how to create a nutritious bowl of food full of healthy ingredients.

Lake Como, Italy, is a popular vacation destination after the DeepVeer wedding.

Film tourism is clearly trending as Indians set their travel goals around movie themes and iconic places made famous by Bollywood. This year will see an increase in Bollywood-inspired vacations, according to Travel Trends Report 2020.

Bollywood destinations in demand include Lake Como and historic Venice in Italy, Switzerland's Gstaad, Montreux and Zurich, Amsterdam, Bruges, Innsbruck, Spain and Portugal, as per the report by Thomas Cook (India).

The integrated travel and related financial services company released its list of travel trends for the year 2020, based on feedback received from over 2,700 respondents across the country.

Read all about the latest travel trends among Indians in 2020 and get ready to pack your bags and make some travel plans of your own.

Sowmya Rao Vijaymohan

Do you love authors like Jane Austen, Dr Seuss, Haruki Murakami, and Thiruvalluvar? Do you love fictional characters like Indiana Jones, for his charisma and exciting adventures in exotic lands? Do you wish you had found the time to learn to cook from a favourite family member? If yes, you will find a kindred spirit in Sowmya Rao Vijaymohan.

Sowmya is the woman behind Très, a private, by-invite showing of the best boutiques, hotels, lodges, hideaways, camps, and retreats in India. As founder and director of this annual event, she aims to engage with bespoke tour operators and media from India and overseas, alongside an eclectic mix of world travellers.

Sowmya’s formative years were spent on tennis courts in a multitude of cities across India, playing the sport at a national level. She also takes up short-term assignments with the International Tennis Federation as a White Badge Umpire for tennis tournaments.

Her motto is a quote from a book by her favourite author, Dr. Seuss, who says, "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose". According to her, this is the best way to live life to the fullest in a field you love.

Don’t miss Sowmya’s responses to our Proust questionnaire where she talks about her regrets, her heroes, her greatest loves, and much more.


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