Best of Weekender: A tête-à-tête with author Jan Stocklassa, and our top getaways for lovers

This weekend, don’t miss our exclusive interview with Jan Stocklassa, make travel plans for Valentine month, and check out what flower expert Jhelum Bose says about the healing power of beautiful blooms

Any book lover who loves mystery, action, and thrills-a-minute novels must have read the Millennium series by Swedish author Stieg Larsson (remember the novel, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?).

Jan Stocklassa

With the demise of Larsson, and his trilogy being published posthumously and made into movies, it looked like the era of Scandinavian thrillers had come to an end, but there was more to come. Before Larsson died, he had been working on understanding the mystery behind the assassination of Olof Palme, the Swedish Prime Minister.

These archives were forgotten until a former Swedish diplomat and businessman, Jan Stocklassa, was given exclusive access to the author’s secret project.

This led to the publication of the book, The Man Who Played with Fire. Don’t miss this interview with Stocklassa who talks about the investigation into a crime that baffled the world, the response to his new book, and more.

Jhelum Biswas Bose

We often hear about ailments becoming the catalyst in the quest for a better life, but it is seldom that we come across someone who turn their maladies into a business.

Meet Jhelum Biswas Bose, founder, of Bach Flower remedies-based beauty brand Jhelum Loves and author of Phoolproof: Indian Flowers, their Myths, Traditions and Usage. 

Jhelum’s tryst with Bach Flower remedies began with a chance administration of a floral remedy by a friend to help her overcome breathing troubles. Jhelum was so impressed that she went on to do some Bach flower therapy certifications to be able to work professionally with flowers. Soon, she started selling her flower-based beauty products through her website,

Read all about an entrepreneurship journey in this exclusive interview with the flower lady.

Greg Benson

Mixologist and distiller Greg Benson believes that ‘A drink is only as good as its worst ingredient.’

Born and brought up in Glasgow, Scotland, Greg was initially an engineering student who ended up working in the whisky industry. While studying engineering at Strathclyde University, he took up bartending to help finance his degree. It opened up the world of whisky to him and he understood how each whisky’s production gave it a unique flavour.

Later, he decided to pursue a postgraduate degree in Brewing & Distilling at Heriot-Watt University. The years he spent studying distillation laid the foundation of all the Scotch whisky cocktails and experiences he would curate in the years to come.

Read all about the world of mixologists in this fascinating interview with Greg, and how to make the perfect cocktail for your guests at your next party.

Salads offer health in a bowl

If you hate salads, you are not alone. Many people cannot understand the appeal of eating raw vegetables tossed in oily dressing. But our nutritionist believes that if you do not like salads, it’s simply because you haven’t been introduced to the right ones. Salads are an amazing way to enjoy the most highly anti-inflammatory ingredients and to discover a world of health in a bowl.

Given that you are now moving forward in a new year, you probably need something foolproof that can take away the toxic overload from last year. If you need a food that is going to give you immense energy, make your skin glow, help you get rid of any troubling symptoms, and give you the confidence to make better decisions that will help the whole year, make a salad. 

Don’t miss our article on salads by our nutritionist and find out how they can transform your life and your health in 2020.

Valentine’s Day may be behind us but why not make travel plans for February with your significant other? Take some tips from our suggestions and step outside your comfort zone to plan an escape to an exotic locale which will refresh your soul this weekend. Whether you opt for Tadoba National Park, Kumarakom, Hampi, Coorg, or Munnar, there is plenty to see and enjoy in these beautiful regions.

For instance, Tadoba, set amidst the expanse of vast green jungles and the beautiful Andhari River, is perfect for a three-day trip. Not only do you get to stay in cosy little cottages, but you also get to go in jeeps into the depths of the jungle to spot majestic tigers, sambar, flying squirrels, sloth bears and more. History buffs, artistic folk, travellers, and individuals looking to experience something special, should not give Hampi a miss.

There are so many other places that should be on your must-visit list this year. Check out our suggestions, book your travel tickets, and pack your bags for your next getaway.

Romantic books can take you to another world

Book lovers have an excuse to dip into some romantic books during Valentine’s weekend. Don’t miss our curation of the best romantic reads of all time, which will cover all aspects of love and romance, pleasure and agony, betrayal and loyalty.

From Emily Brontë’s first and only published novel, Wuthering Heights, that has now gained cult status and Margaret Mitchell’s 1937 Pulitzer-winning epic novel Gone with the Wind, to the Gothic novel, Rebecca, there are so many novels out there that you should read or re-read if you love tales of romance.

Romcoms are entertaining and fun

But it you would rather spend a quiet evening at home with popcorn and your favourite snacks, watching a feel-good, romantic movie will also make the day just as special. Our choices include movies as enjoyable as To all the Boys I've Loved Before, The Kissing Booth, Falling INN Love and so much more.

So, check out our suggestions for the best books and movies, light some candles and curl up with a romantic book or watch a romcom to spice up the season.

Dating apps are the new normal

Do you use dating apps? If so, you might miss out on the few rules that are deal-breakers in the online dating industry.

Millennials who are busy chasing their professional goals are making the most of the convenience that is rendered by these dating apps. Tinder, the dating app, has registered 7.5 million daily swipes and is witnessing a cultural revolution in India. Similarly, Delhi-based TrulyMadly records an average of 3 to 5 lakh message exchanges daily.

Don’t miss all our advice on how to get right swiped on a dating app.

Geetha Ramakrishnan

Are your favourite authors Amish Tripathi, Richard Bach, Jeffery Archer, Paulo Coelho, Lewis Carroll, Hermann Hesse, and RK Narayan? Are your true heroes the soldiers who are willing to fight and die for the country? If yes, you would find a kindred spirit in Geetha Ramakrishnan, ontological coach and author of the book, The Game of Change. Geeta grew up in Mumbai and later, moved to Dubai.

Today, she conducts workshops on her favourite subject 'Change’ and she also offers plenty of advice in her book, The Game of Change. As for her motto, “You need to give love to get love” is the best way to foster lasting relationships and wonderful friendships.

Don’t miss reading about her greatest loves, regrets, possessions and journeys in her responses to our Proust questionnaire.