A well-known television face, Karishma Tanna has done enough work to be called a senior actor, but OTT is bringing out a new side of her acting chops, and in a saturating world of ‘content’, her approach is such a fresh one. She debuted on OTT with Zoya Akhtar’s Karrle Tu Bhi Mohabbat and did one more OTT show before making her presence felt in Amazon Prime Video’s Guilty Minds. As a cop solving a murder, Tanna stole the show on Amazon Prime Video’s recently released series, Hush Hush, also starring Juhi Chawla, Soha Ali Khan, Shahana Goswami, and Kritika Kamra in leading roles. She has the acumen to take on the streaming platforms, and we can’t wait to see her in more such meaty roles.
What happens when two artisanal homegrown brands come together to produce quality baked goods and pots of coffee? Bread & Chocolate first stole hearts in Pondicherry, and is now in Chennai, bringing together Subko’s fresh coffee with Maison & Co., finely crafted chocolates in a café. The two-storeyed café with spacious tables has a setup to pick up your chocolates or baked goods on the ground floor, while the open coffee bar on the first floor is an inviting space to work out of, have that first date, spend a relaxing day reading a book, or catch up with your buddies for breakfast or brunch. The honey cinnamon bun is a personal favourite — a soft brioche rolled with cinnamon, with honey caramel sauce — it’s the only companion your coffee needs, unless, of course, you’re obsessed with flaky croissants (aren’t we all?), so add that to your coffee order too.
Chocolate lovers must indulge in the chocolate babka, which has enough chocolate to satisfy your tastebuds. Breakfast calls for a clean smoothie bowl, and I recommend the tropical smoothie bowl — pineapple, pomegranate, and coconut milk are blended smoothly, topped with fruits, chia seeds, and chocolate granola. Eggetarians should not miss the Turkish eggs, which comes with smoothly blended lentil hummus, some Greek yogurt, a tinge of paprika butter. From sandwiches to wraps, their menu has everything — and you might need to visit more than once to realise that literally everything that is on your table is freshly made and good, tasty food. I know I did.
Pune’s slowly shedding its ‘meant for students’ image as it grows into becoming India’s second IT hub, and the restaurant industry is making sure to complement the boom with high-end, standalone restaurants that offer more than what the city otherwise had to. Cobbler & Crew in Kalyani Nagar presents itself as Pune’s first high-energy cocktail society, with a cocktail menu featuring 12 craft cocktails — all of which come with their own story. Low lighting, a speakeasy-ish vibe with antique mirrors, a corner with a couch accompanied by the nostalgic wired telephone, a gramophone — a classic, sophisticated ambience with soft music playing in the background is the vibe. Savouring the craft cocktails, there will be a hint of nostalgia for the known classics with a Cobbler twist.
As a gin lover, my first choice was the Feelin Good, where gin is infused with cucumber and basil with a twist of coriander seeds, accompanied with a side of a crisp piece of parmesan cheese, which subtly complements the taste of the drink without taking over it. In keeping with their rule of using local ingredients, their Oh Temptation, a cocktail made with aperol, tequila, and strawberry wine is complemented with a side of Pune’s famous bhakarwadi. Bourbon drinkers must get their hands on Autumn Leaves — bourbon, apricot brandy, honey water, and citrus — a tad bitter for my palate, but I know it’s worth a try. With bar bites, mellow jazz, and tipple that keeps you grooving, a Saturday night might just be the best time to experience this place.
This month’s binge list has literally been that — binge. Gripping stories that make you go from episode to episode and sacrifice your sleep are the best kinds. The Spanish show Diary of A Gigolo did just that. The show revolves around Emanuel (the extremely hot Jesus Castro) a male escort, whose easy money-making life starts to unravel after a client, Ana (played by the hauntingly beautiful Fabiola Campomanes) asks him to help with a family affair, involving her daughter. Murder, suspicion, and the biggest mistake a male escort can make: falling in love. If you thought you couldn’t get enough of the mess Elite has, this will give you exactly the thrill that it gave me.
Speaking of mind-boggling messes, I discovered Manifest a tad too late in my life, but as Season 4 approaches, I am awaiting it with bated breath. In 2013, a flight takes off from Jamaica with 191 passengers who were all offered $400 to take that particular late flight due to overbooking on the first one. Some turbulation later, the flight lands, only to discover that the passengers have, in fact, landed in 2018. Life on earth, with their families and jobs, has moved on. Where was the plane for five years? Who is involved? Gripping storytelling, plot twists, creepy intuitions create a web that Ben Stone and his sister, NYPD cop Michaela Stone and other passengers from the plane cannot seem to get out of. And, the mystery is bigger than the plane’s disappearance, as they discover non-passengers with the same stories. Season 4 is their last season, and it will be worth the watch.
It’s great to see Juhi Chawla back on screen, let’s start with that. When she played a negative character in Gulaab Gang , she didn’t receive the kind of response she should have for attempting a character totally out of her comfort zone, but it’s refreshing to see her play Ishi Sangamitra, a woman with plenty shades of grey, an orphan who comes from nothing, become one of the most influential people in business. Hush Hush revolves around her complicated life, her disappearance, and how that unravels the lives of her closest friends, played by Soha Ali Khan, Kritika Kamra, Shahana Goswami, while Ayesha Jhulka, an integral part of the puzzle of her past, emerges from nowhere. The story has everything a suspense thriller would, and takes you to dark places. Worth a Friday night binge.
Jamtara season 1 stole the show for OTT, and it came at a time when we were just beginning to feel proud of how Indian shows are killing it on the web platforms. Essentially about a group of boys running a phishing scam from the remote village of Jamtara in Jharkhand before their scam gets ousted in a news report, Jamtara’s second season does not disappoint, and brings in a newer set of characters, politics, and scams without losing the plot. Sunny (Sparsh Srivastava) — a cybercrime mastermind who was shot at in the first season, comes back in a rather essential role. His wife, Gudiya (Monika Pawar), takes the cake, though, as she fights an election by his rival Ganga Devi (Seema Pahwa), who, duh, shines all through. With new characters, messier scams, and Sunny’s new set of boys, Jamtara does not lose the reason why we fell in love with it in the first place, and keeps you hooked.
True crime has taken over OTT, and my life. The one show that the world at present cannot stop talking about is Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. Ryan Murphy’s true crime limited series became a dominant No.1 on Netflix since its release, and is going to become the platform’s second most popular English-language show after Season 4 of Stranger Things. This is the story of one of the most notorious serial killers in the United States, as reports largely say, told from the points of view of his victims. It’s triggering, tough, but a cant-take-your-eyes kind of a watch, and got me digging to find out that there was also a feature film, My Friend Dahmer (about the Milwaukee serial killer’s high school years), which was an adaptation of a graphic novel by childhood friend and cartoonist, Derf Backderf, as well as a documentary, The Jeffrey Dahmer Files , which looked at Dahmer from the perspective of a detective who interviewed him and a neighbour. This man killed 17 people — mostly Black men — and is a subject of interest to all kinds of mediums, the Netflix series being the most recent. If falling down the true crime rabbit hole is your jam, watch this one.