Actor

Samara Tijori

In a show that has Boman Irani, to stand out with your own performance is a good sign. Samara Tijori does just that. A fierce daughter pursues justice for her deceased mother in Disney+Hotstar’s Masoom, and her suspicion and obsession with the truth doesn’t spare her father, who admittedly has shades of grey. Grappling childhood trauma, family secrets, and the ‘hush hush’ nature of a typical Indian household, Tijori is convincing, obsessive, and expressive — true to form. She made her movie debut as Mini Biswas in Bob Biswas, but her web series debut definitely makes her a promising face to watch out for.

Eat & Drink 

Klap, Delhi

Khan Market will always have something new, but if you have time to go to only one restaurant, Klap has to be it. An urban bistro by day, a gastro bar by night, Klap is spread over two floors, and a terrace that makes it a great hangout spot. The philosophy is to get all flavours in one bite, and it comes through beautifully in their menu. Do you also avoid soup because it fills you up? The Tom Kha soup shot should then be your appetiser — it’s literally a shot of soup. Elevated, tasty, and not too much. Experiment with your salad and try the crunchy Calamari Bhel, a quirky combination of crispy Amritsari calamari, puffed quinoa, flavoured with some nostalgia-evoking tamarind chutney. Next comes some dim sum — the prawn crème cheese and bamboo shots with activated charcoal can be your pick. An unmissable small plate would be the Galouti Puff: a bite-sized puff pastry that has mint goat cheese and a soft yam tikki that’ll dissolve in your mouth. In the mains, lamb fans can go for a Thai Massaman Curry that has a lamb shank cooked for 24 hours, and pair it with steamed rice. Cuisine agnostic and enough options for all dietary preferences, Klap is where you can plan your next reunion.

Totem, Goa

Another amazing feather to Goa’s hat is Totem, which is all about the ‘vibe’ (I hate that word but apparently you can’t describe Goa without it), but doesn’t compromise on its quality. Spread over 6,000 sq ft in Arambol, Totem is inspired by the outdoors and the tribal feel of a jungle. Totem’s highlight is its 40-feet bar, personalised by founder Rinaa Shah (who is also India’s first woman polo player, FYI), which serves craft cocktails, and also allows you to create your own cocktails, although I don’t feel like you’ll have to, given their bar list is innovative as it is.

Peanut butter is making its way into cocktails like never before, and their whiskey cocktail, Golden Drops, with peanut butter, honey syrup, lime juice, and egg white, is an unmissable option. Gin lovers, Totem Tourist is your poison — with gin, lemongrass, curry leaves, and lime juice — the punch of the curry leaves cuts through the lime juice as the gin blends with that taste. The tequila tribe can try Totemic, with pineapple juice, lemon juice, hibiscus, and rose wine — sounds the best drink to kickstart the night with. To nibble on, the Red Snapper Ceviche and the Mushroom Parfait Brûlée make for great companions.

Binge

Umbrella Academy

Too much good stuff, too little time. Battling Covid and balancing between light content and meaningful, interesting stories got me hooked to a few fabulous shows. I am taken aback and truly obsessed with Keep Sweet: Pray And Obey, a miniseries that is about the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) and documents the rise and fall of cult leader Warren Jeffs. Director Rachel Dretzin has survivors recount their experiences, and it’s chilling, to say the least. On this list is also the much talked about Ms. Marvel — making us desis so proud.

Ms. Marvel

Iman Vellani is convincing and relatable as Kamala Khan, a brown girl from Jersey, who comes to terms with her superpowers. The noise that this series has made is absolutely not hyped, and worth bingeing over a weekend. Superhero season also got better on Netflix as The Umbrella Academy Season 3 is out, taking to a different level the adventures of the Hargreaves siblings, dysfunctional AF. They time hop, there’s a lot of time travelling, and, well, the season is good enough to dethrone Stranger Things Season 4 from the no.1 spot on Netflix (before volume 2 is out, that is). A fair balance of reality and absolutely unreal storylines is the mix of the month.

Read

I’m an Ottessa Moshfegh fan — My Year Of Rest And Relaxation was such a fabulous read to devour, a story where you can’t help but hate the protagonist and feel bad for her too, while Death In Her Hands is really not for everyone’s reading tastes.

Moshfegh’ new book, Lapnova, hauntingly depicts the tragedies of a medieval village. ‘Grotesque’ is how most reviewers describe Moshfegh’s style, and in that case, this is her freakiest book yet. It’s dark, it’s not historical but has a bit of history, and is just fascinating. Speaking of fascinating, Cult Classic by Sloane Crosley is exactly that.

Crosley is best known for I Was Told There’d Be Cake, and her newest book is set in New York where a woman runs into two of her ex-boyfriends back to back, and it’s not really a coincidence — there’s a lot more to unpack. The book is being highly appreciated for perky storytelling, relatability, and poignancy, and could make for a good weekend read.