Zee Bollywood Rockstars – Pritam Chakraborty

Sunday afternoon my besty calls me and says “get ready in 20 minutes we are going Wembley arena, those that know me know just how spontaneous I can be, so all I said in return was okay where shall I meet you?

We arrived at the arena with no idea what was happening, who we were seeing aside from my bestys brother who was performing the Dhol so apart from it being a Bollywood night I didn’t know anything about it no normally I am not one to go to these things but I do believe that diversification is an important lesson to learn when viewing music because all music has roots from another genre and recognizing this makes you more diversified as an individual.

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For those who do not know Pritam is a renowned musician, multi-award winner and has given the Indian Cinema hundreds of unforgettable chartbusters such as King, Kismat Konnection, Cocktail, Barfi!, Race 2, Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani, and many others.

ZEE Bollywood Rockstars also featured Benny Dayal, Harshdeep Kaur, Aditi Singh Sharma, Nikhil George, Sreerama Chandra, Anupam Amod and Soham Chakraborty.

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The show started with a warm up and the first song that was sung just set the atmosphere it was the classic ‘Humma’ from the film Bombay, at this point we are already cheering and dancing but it was just a warm up act.

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It was then when Pritam came out and got the crowd going with songs from Life in a Metro, his voiced echoed through the arena and you could just feel the Goosebumps. They then proceeded with Aditi Singh Sharma who rocked the stage with songs from Dhoom and got everyone in the party mood. With the dancers from Angels Dance Acadamy who were sizzling and they wore everything from saris to hot pants. They used video projections and a fiery light show completed the celebratory atmosphere.

Harshdeep then came out and sang Damadam MastKalader and I tell you aunties uncles, Pajis, Baa’s, Nani’s and Dada’s were on their feet dancing away! With the atmosphere already buzzing then came my favorite part of the night was Benny Dayal, his voice moved me in ways you cannot imagine. He set the stage on fire along with Aditi and Harshdeep it was possibly the best musical evening I have ever had! Raw talent and the atmosphere was buzzing as you can see in the videos. It was like a Bollywood movie come to life.

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After the show we were invited to the after party which was lovely, we ate so yummy food from Sukhdevs Catering, danced to Ritzy entertainment and rubbed shoulders with the above talent

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It was a fabulous night and we met some wonderful people, and appropriately I would like to end by just saying……..Balam Pichkari Jo Tune Mujhe Mari, Tho Sidhi Sadhi Chori Sharaabi Hogayi!!!

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Playboy Makeup Launch – Playboy Club Mayfair 03/04/14

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So thank you to my beautiful friend PR Guru and Journalist Sophia Mead. I was taken along to the Playboy Makeup Launch set in the ever so appropriate Playboy Club, Mayfair.

As we glided in the doors trying to look as fabulous and famous as ever, handed a glass of champagne, the first thing we laid our eyes on was a long legs and bunny ears. Yes fabulous and tiny waisted playboy bunnies handing out champagne (remind me to go back to the gym and no carbs for the rest of my life). The room was lit in a reddish backlight which almost took me back to the Mr Greys Red Room, the chandeliers hanging and the voices of all the PR team making you feel like you are royalty. photo 5The products I have to say are fantastic, for the price you pay, we were told it will be available in Superdrug for £7.99 upwards which is not bad for the brand. Now of course we tried and tested while we were there and I was rather pleasantly surprised and such a wide range of colours for their lipsticks. Normally I would associate playboy with bright bold statement colours but in addition they had some wonderful nudes and browns which were suited to my Indian skin.

photo 3The night was hosted by a slightly worse for wear Bianca Gascoigne and Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace who decided underwear was not necessary and ended up flashing her bits to the media after they left and continued partying through the early hours of the morning.

We were good and stuck to 2 glasses of wine each (that didn’t last after we got to the pub for some dinner and ended up having tequila shots and cocktails but that is a story for another day)

Ah my favourite part about a launch is the goody bag, ours was filled with 3 Lipsticks, 3 nail varnishes, 2 mascaras, one bronzer, one blusher and some other bits. So far I have tried the nail varnish which was a beautiful hot pink but slightly runny so I would still stick with my OPI. However the blusher is my favourite the printed pattern gives you a unique defined blush with a slight glow, which highlighted my cheekbones and made my face look skinny (I mean who doesn’t want that right?) All in all the products are good and I rate them a 8/10.

 

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The night on the other hand I would give a good 10/10 the atmosphere and the people really made the launch; it wasn’t too crowded also so we managed to speak to other magazines, and the actual PR Company (Aqua PR). They made an effort with each and every person which I know is their job but I like! Especially as I am a nobody in the business.

Enjoy the pictures oh and Playboy please feel free to send me more goodies!

 

Marrakech

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Well it has been a while, I have been completely AWOL yes but I had my reasons you see I was under attack by the monkeys that were released in the zoo that is my brain! No really?!

Ok well truth be told it’s been a rough time but that post is for another day today I want to talk about my Ah-mazing trip to Marrakech, Morocco.

Marrakech is famed for its pink-hued historic buildings and souks, but just as important to the city are its gardens. From the lush courtyards of its riads to the expansive formal gardens of its palaces and museums, these green spaces are havens from the hustle and bustle of the city.

TIP: November by the way is not the time to go if you want to swim, unless you’re an Eskimo and used to ice-cold water in the pool then you are fine. But if you are like me who has a hot water bottle in the summer than it is definitely not worth the Pneumonia.

An amazing all-inclusive deal on Travelrepublic.com we paid around £300 per person including flights which yes they were Ryan Air but for a four-hour flight you can’t really go wrong. Arrived at the Hotel Eden Andalou and it was stunning as you can see.

Room was clean, the sun was shining and me and we just appreciating the warmth of this beautiful place. Headed down for dinner and an amazing choice of Buffet with over 40 different items all prepared fresh and tasted Yummy! So did I mention the best part of an all-inclusive ALCOHOL is free! So from when you wake up in the morning till you pass out at night you can drink until you ultimately kill your liver, BRILLIANT!

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Needless to say we made the most of it, and that includes the 2 litres we bought from Duty Free.

marrakech-souks-1Aside from the entertainment the food and the drinking, we did a mini trek to see the waterfalls at the Ourika Valley, although the driver/tour guide did not mention the fact that we would literally be trekking up the mountain on foot!! And let’s say I never made it all the way to the top and my sparkly sandals died. It was worth it though, the culture of Morocco is one never to be forgotten the friendly nature of the people as well as the atmosphere of the dusky markets where you can find anything from argan oil to a tortoise on sale. The scene is almost biblical: a dusty track, palm trees and a cluster of humble dwellings, a scattering of sheep and a donkey. I was blown away with the magical lanterns and the charm I really felt like Princess Jasmine all that was missing was the magic carpet. (Which reminds me the rugs are magnificent)marrakech

One Particular night we went to the most wonderful restaurant I have ever been to in my life, We were taken in a taxi to this ally way which looked very dodgy so I looked at the driver and It was clear to say I was not impressed but he told me to trust him, which now looking back I am so glad I did.IMG_8818

We walked down some basement stairs and all I see is this enchanting restaurant, It was like being in a palace, as soon as we walked in the waiter took us to our table and noticed we were Indian so bless him they started playing some Indian music faintly in the background. We were given a menu and after that an enriching culinary experience awaited us, 5 courses and wine that slipped down your throat so easily and complimented each wonderful course. I can’t say much more than that because this is one experience you must have for yourself. The service the food the enchantment is why you should dine at Pepe Nero’s. (And yes I was ever so grateful I trusted him as it was one of the most wonderful dinners I have ever had)

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Marrakech has been a truly magical place for me and I will cherish its warmth and hospitality for years to come. I have created many fond memories and it will always be a place close to my heart. There is something hugely romantic about disappearing through an unmarked door in the medina into a coolly elegant hotel or ornately tiled cafe. Many of the riads in Marrakech have roof terraces where you can laze together, glass of wine in hand, watching the sun set over the rooftops, while the hustle and bustle carries on in the streets below.

Champagne & Dhokla

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I was famished like those kids in the TV charity ads (not funny? ok well let’s say my belly was screaming at me) at lunch time on a Saturday and I finished work around 2pm so I’m around the Charing Cross area and my Beau takes me to a bar because champagne and cocktails is exactly what I need on an empty stomach!

Eleanor’s Cocktail Bar Charring Cross Hotel

You walk in and a sea of red hits you, it is cosy or in other terms its quite small but I guess that’s what gives it the personality of a classy yet savvy cocktail bar. It has a very chic feel to it when you sit on the smooth red leather chairs it does make you feel ever so important and like you’re in your own private oasis away from buzzing hub of the rest of the city.

4 Champagne & Lychee with a hint of raspberry cocktails for me and 4 Dry Martinis with a twist for him,

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It was like a little piece of heaven  each sip but I’m not surprised for £20 per cocktail but you can’t fault it not one bit ( I will later when my bank statement arrives) but the bar man was delightful in fact every staff  member was. Definitely somewhere to go for a treat and to seclude yourselves away from the rest of the world.
This was then followed by Champagne Charlie’s round the corner

(TIP if you’re going for lunch use your taste card)

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As we stumbled round the corner we came upon a hidden secret which was Champagne Charlie’s, Hidden away under the arches of Charing Cross it is charmingly intimate, the surroundings are completely different to what you would normally expect from your average central London  bar, It’s very cosy but at the same time vibrant so you almost feel at home. The décor itself features exposed brick walls, wood panelling and dark, pared back furnishings, yet Champagne Charlie’s somehow still feels light and airy despite both this and its below stairs setting. We ordered a beautiful bottle of Champagne and some delightful nibbles which set us back almost £150 but totally worth it. The staff were super-efficient and I do recommend going to the restaurant with your taste card which although slightly more formal has been raved about.

So still ¾ empty stomach later and fuelled with champagne I somehow made my way back home and to my delight my darling mother had made Dhokla so that was my perfect day of Champagne and Dhokla!

On being a Princess

Yes every daughter is a princess but believe you me without the crown I take the biscuit, (double chocolate Oreo please) I am the result of a child who has never had her father say No (not ever not once)

Side note: this does not mean I act like a completely horrid screaming super sweet 16 year old who cannot be polite even if a crocodile slapped her in the face. I am actually very well behaved with my parents and if I dare disrespect them then I would be disowned faster than Kim Kardashian’s marriage.

So here are a few examples on why I am the princess in my family:

A) I was around 6 years old and woke up Christmas morning to find no presents (parents forgot) although I am still not sure how they forgot seeing as my mum loves Christmas more than Santa does and it’s my dad’s birthday on Christmas day. Anyway to the point I cried and said “why did Santa not get me anything I’ve been a good girl” to which my father responds “come one lets go” takes a teary me to toysrus and says get what you want, needless to say I bought most of the store, twas the best Christmas ever ( Im not materialistic I promise)

B) I was the kid that was dropped and picked up from school and college every day because my legs did not want to walk

C) My amazing brother and my parents did and still do everything for me to the extent I can text them at 3am for my hot water bottle and it would get done

On being a Princess

Those are just a few examples and I will be really honest I did take it for granted until about 10 years ago and a lot of things happened in my family which made me realise how lucky I am to have the family I do.

My mother is my best friend who I can talk to about anything and everything and yes that really means everything but she is also the one I can count on for comfort and care in any mood I’m in. She is the Loralai to my Rory although I think personality wise it would be the other way round. Did I mention she makes the best Dhoklas ever!

My dad well basically my hero, our father daughter dates for champagne and oysters and dim sum we share a love and passion for the same interests and if I need anything I can always rely on him. This is also where my love of champagne comes in!

My younger brother what can I say except I don’t think any sister can be as lucky as me to have a brother that puts me before him but I will say that he will always come before me in my eyes.

On being a Princess

All in all I have learned so much from these 3 pillars that they have helped me stand up and be the strong finally independent woman I am, each tool they gave me I use in everyday life and now I take care of them and will continue to give them everything they gave to me.

A bit of an emotional one but still to all you ungrateful brats out there yes it’s good to be spoiled just don’t ever take it for granted because when your thrown in to reality it will make you realise that you should appreciate these people and each moment with them.

Final note: Basically, I freak out at beddy-bye. About an hour after I fall asleep, I wake up in panic. Everything around me seems threatening, scary, out to get me. Two nights ago, I was suddenly gripped with the overwhelming feeling that there was an assassin in my house

What is Dhokla?

Dhokla or Dhokra is a vegi food item that originates in Gujarat It is made with a fermented batter of Chikpeas and can be eaten for breakfast, as a main course, as a side dish or as a snack or in my case anytime and with Champagne

It is one of those foods that you can make for any occasion and any house you visit there is always an aunty trying to fill up your plate with samosas and dhokla. Its almost like a savory cake and you have it with the most amazing green chutney made from corriander anyway if you want to try it at home here is the reciepe and feel free to send me some

Ingredients

1 cup bengal gram flour (Besan)

1/2 tablespoon Semolina

1/2 teaspoon Sugar

1 teaspoon Ginger and Green Chilli Paste
1/2 teaspoon Lemon Juice

1/2 teaspoon fruit salt

Salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon oil for greasing

To add on top
1 teaspoon oil

1/2 teaspoon Mustard Seeds (Rai)

1/2 teaspoon Sesame Seeds (Tal)
2 chopped Green Chilli
a pinch of asafoetida (Hing)

2 to 3 Curry Leaves

For The Garnish
1 tablespoon Chopped Corriander

Method

Combine all the ingredients together, except the fruit salt in a bowl and mix well adding water as required (approximately ¾ cup) to make a thick batter.

Just before steaming, add the fruit salt and add 2 tsp of water over it.

When the bubbles form, mix gently.

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Pour the batter immediately into a greased 125 mm. (5″) diameter steel plate and shake the steel plate clockwise to spread the batter in an even layer.

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Steam for 12 to 15 minutes or till the dhoklas are cooked. Keep aside.

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Heat the oil in small pan and add the mustard seeds.

When the seeds crackle, add the sesame seeds, green chillies and asafoetida, mix well and sauté on a medium flame for a second, while stirring continuously.

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Remove from the flame, add 2 tbsp of water and mix well. Pour the tempering over the dhoklas.

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Cool slightly and cut into equal pieces. Serve immediately garnished with coriander.

And Voila………..dont worry mine didnt turn out like the picture either 😦