Best of Weekender: From a tête-à-tête with former fast bowler Venkatesh Prasad to Quarantine Wine

Read an exclusive interview with former cricketer Venkatesh Prasad, find out apps and books to help cope with the lockdown, and all about Quarantine Wine.

Who can forget Venkatesh Prasad, one of India’s most celebrated fast bowlers?

Once he retired from playing cricket for India, Venkatesh served as a bowling coach to several IPL teams, offering his expertise, skill, and years of knowledge and experience to the younger champions of today.

Venkatesh Prasad

During his tenure as the Chairman of the Junior Selection Committee, he worked alongside his former Indian teammate Rahul Dravid to identify many of the most promising stars of Indian cricket.

Don’t miss an exclusive interview with this renowned cricketer as he talks about how cricket has changed over the years and what it means to be disciplined and committed to your game.

Vegan Buddha bowls are very good for health

As the COVID-19 lockdown enters another week, many home cooks are looking for new ways to cook and new recipes to try out. Fortunately, there are many restaurants and cafés out there now who are sharing their most popular and healthy recipes with their fans.

One of these cafés is Loft, where dishes like the Vegan Buddha Bowl and Vegan Burrito Bowl are the most popular items on the menu. With their vegan variations, these dishes are nutrient-rich too, with ingredients like red rice, spinach, quinoa, broccoli, tofu among others.

Souvik Gupta, culinary head at one of the first interactive café Lofts, offers some tips on healthy cooking and what goes into a simple and healthy meal. He also shares his recipes of the healthiest dishes on his menu and some special juices to boost health and fight inflammation.

Check out these high-protein, high fibre meals that are ideal for people who are looking at losing some weight and staying fit during the lockdown.

Siddhartha Gigoo

Coinciding with the national lockdown announcement due to the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, acclaimed novelist and filmmaker Siddhartha Gigoo took up a self-initiated challenge to write a book, in a seldom heard of time frame for such an undertaking — 21 days.

On March 24, 2020, as the movement of people across the country was restricted to fight the coronavirus pandemic, the lockdown period gave a reason to Gigoo to pen ‘Love in the Time of Quarantine’, a book about two lovers and a homeless family, the plot for which is set amidst the lockdown.

The e-book Love in the Time of Quarantine is available for readers online on Amazon. The plot of the book revolves around two lovers and spans 30 days of their separation following the lockdown.

Check out our interview with celebrity author, Siddhartha where he speaks about how he went about writing the book and how creativity can flow even during the lockdown.

The TV series, Big Little Lies is set in Monterey, California

"Have money, will travel," may well have been your mantra, but the coronavirus pandemic has put a stop to that, says our travel writer. With most of us social distancing and under lockdown to ward off COVID-19, vacations seem a long time ago and a long time away.

But don’t despair. You can do some armchair travelling during the lockdown via movies and TV series on your television. You can stream compelling shows where the location plays a starring role in the story.

Whether it the colourful landscapes of Reykjavík in Iceland as seen in The Valhalla Murders, the water and waves that symbolise the moods of the protagonists of Big Little Lies that is shot in Monterey, California, or the beauty of Malmo in Sweden in The Bridge, don’t miss some exciting shows on TV that can fuel your wanderlust.

Read all about the most scenic settings in the latest shows that are streaming on TV right now.

Work from home is the new normal

The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed work-from-home on companies and now employees are getting accustomed to working remotely.

They are also discovering numerous ways to work efficiently with the best apps, gadgets, calendars, reminders and books to keep them going. They have updated their workstations, marked out spaces in their homes for uninterrupted work and found ways to balance household chores and their office deadlines.

From Apps like Calm and to books like ‘The Entrepreneur's Survival Guide’ by Mark Paul and ‘Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking’ by Malcolm Gladwell, there are many tools that will help in staying super-productive.

Check out the favourite apps, gadgets and books among those who are working from home these days.

Celebrities will send positive messages of hope, resilience, and affirmation to young college graduates

Ever since events which include a large gathering of citizens, such as music concerts, alcohol tastings, weddings, baby showers, funerals and college commencements have been cancelled for a year, virtual events have taken centre stage.

Commencement ceremonies will also be taking place virtually this year to contain the spread of this highly contagious virus. And since graduation day is a big event for students and their families, celebrities are stepping in to make their day special.

Through the launch of a new podcast from iHeartMedia, celebrities will now be sending positive messages of hope, resilience, and affirmation to young college graduates on their big day.

Jimmy Fallon, Halsey, Hillary Clinton, John Legend, Kesha, Pitbull, and David Chang have already decided to be a part of this podcast initiative by iHeartMedia students with inspiring words.

Read all about this new initiative by celebrities as they try to do their bit to encourage their fans during the lockdown.

A good book can become your lifelong companion

When you look back, some of your best adventures in life may have been through the pages of a book. Whether it was hunting the white whale aboard the Pequod, rafting down the Mississippi River with Huckleberry Finn, climbing the Alps with Heidi or getting into high jinks with the March sisters, there are many wonderful memories associated with books for most readers.

This year, World Book Day went digital due to the coronavirus epidemic. Many publishers celebrated the day digitally in as grand a manner as they could. HarperCollins India organised a World Book Day Jam on their Instagram page which included live sessions with authors on various topics like food, music, travel, poetry, nostalgia for a city, love, relationships plus reading recommendations. It was led by a host of popular and bestselling authors.

Don’t miss our interviews with two of the authors who were taking part in the events as they spoke about their favourite books, genres and the future of reading.

Virtual weddings are taking place during the lockdown

Popular matrimonial and matchmaking site recently launched ‘Weddings from Home’ amid the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.

Through their Weddings from Home programme, the company provided end-to-end services to honour a couple’s big day virtually, right from offering bridal make-up tutorials, to finding a singer for the Sangeet and organising all the ceremonies that a couple wishes to have.

The first couple was Avinash Bagri and Kirti Agrawal and the second wedding was between Sushen Dang from Mumbai, and Keerti Narang from Bareilly on April 19th.

Read all about how family and friends joined in to celebrate the union via Zoom Call and Facebook Live.

Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis

Actor, producer, and entrepreneur Ashton Kutcher took to his social media accounts, with wife, actress Mila Kunis to announce the launch of a new ‘Quarantine Wine.’

Mila Kunis, who is known for her roles in Black Swan, Friends with Benefits, and Family Guy is said to have come up with the idea of launching the wine. The money collected from the sales will go towards GiveDirectly, Direct Relief, Frontline Responders Fund and America’s Food Fund charities that are helping with the coronavirus relief efforts.

Read all about the new wine created by this celebrity couple.

Sachin Tendulkar

"When people throw stones at you, turn them into milestones," says the Master Blaster.

Sachin Tendulkar, cricketing legend, superstar and a remarkably humble human being, celebrated his 47th birthday this week, and it was a good time to celebrate the achievements and sayings of this brilliant superstar.

During his career, Sachin Tendulkar has had many milestones credited to his name and is regarded as one of the greatest batsmen in the history of cricket. He has been honoured with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna for his contributions to Indian cricket as well as the Padma Shri and Padma Vibhushan. Most recently he was inducted to the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame and was also a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha

Check out some of Sachin’s best-known quotes and the words of praise that were showered on him by colleagues, teammates and opponents over the years.

Nish Bhatt

Are your favourite authors Shashi Tharoor, Simon Sinek and Paulo Coelho? Is James Bond your hero of fiction? Is your most treasured possession your Rolex Milgauss? If so, meet Nish Bhatt, Founder and CEO of Millwood Kane, who feels the same way.

Nish has been in the global real estate investment business for close to three decades and has specialised in the art of identifying, developing and turning around global real estate with market leading returns. Wealth creation and preservation have been the driving force behind all his decisions.

And his motto, "Wake up, look in the mirror and say – 'This is the best day of my life',” is the ideal way to get through any difficult time in life.

Don’t miss his responses to our Proust questionnaire where he speaks about his greatest loves, hates, heroes, treasures, and much more.


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