The Good Life2020-09-12T08:40:35+05:30

Column: The Good Life: for Mint Lounge

1805, 2022

Make Mozart and Beethoven rock for you

May 18th, 2022|Arts, HT Media, Mint Lounge|

To become a connoisseur—of the arts, ideas, food, wine, languages, movies, sports, economics or history—is ultimately a selfish exercise. You begin because you cannot help yourself; because of an abiding interest, one that will not let you go. Digging deeper becomes self-perpetuating after a while: The more you know, the more you want to know. At some point, you reach a crest and flip over. Once you pass that stage, beautiful things happen. You will hear a snatch of a Bollywood song and be reminded of a symphony. You will make uncommon connections that are ultimately the gift and pleasure of learning something new. A butterfly’s flight will look like an adagio, which refers to slow tempo in music.

2802, 2022

Does your wardrobe make others pity you?

February 28th, 2022|Columns, HT Media, Luxury, Mint Lounge|

Does your wardrobe make others pity you? When I took my teenage daughter for her first trip to Mumbai, I was pretty expansive. Wherever you want to go; whatever you want to do, I offered. She had one word for me: Zara. Which was how I found myself at the Palladium Mall on two consecutive days, shopping and people-watching. Ever since I saw the movie, ‘Pretty Woman,’ luxury stores intimidate me. Remember that scene where Julia Roberts walks into a posh store on Rodeo Drive and the snooty saleswoman basically shooes her [...]

2202, 2022

There is more to a name than you know

February 22nd, 2022|Columns, HT Media, Mint Lounge|

Today, I read in the paper about a chess prodigy whose name is 100% a result of numerology. I find this weird spelling names especially in Mumbai folks. Film stars....Ajay Devgn for instance. Another tangential remark is that I found a bunch of Mint columns that are not on this website. For comprehensiveness, I am slowly uploading them. Reading them.

1102, 2022

Why isn’t Ahmedabad the seat of design?

February 11th, 2022|Columns, Design, HT Media, Mint Lounge|

I am visiting this 600-year-old city that Sultan Ahmed Shah founded, for the first time, and I love it. I didn’t expect to. Indians are funny that way. Each of us is intensely proud of the region we call home, and, truth be told, there is enough in each place to be proud of. Talk to a Goan and they will act as if the good life or Sussegado originated in Goa. Talk some more and it becomes hard to argue otherwise. Talk to a Tamilian and they will act as if culture begins and ends in Chennai. Visit Chennai in December and you will become convinced. Talk to a Bengali and they will make your head spin with their literary and intellectual allusions. All Bengalis think Kolkata is the center of the universe and once you get into the ‘adda’ mindset, you will feel the same way too. And now, Gujarat. Deep breath.

1102, 2022

Your city determines how grumpy you are

February 11th, 2022|Columns, HT Media, Mint Lounge|

Recently, I read a book called “The Geography of Bliss,” by Eric Weiner. In it, Weiner, a radio correspondent who calls himself a world-class “grump,” visits about a dozen cities around the world to answer what, to him, is a fundamental question: why are some places happier than others? Why, for example, do countries like Puerto Rico, Switzerland and Denmark score higher on the “happiness scale” than African countries like Burundi, Sierra Leone and Togo? Compiled by Dutch sociologist Ruut Veenhoven, India scores a respectable 5.5 in this World Database of Happiness. So do Hungary, Russia, Lithuania and Kyrgyzstan. We score higher than the African countries with a score of 2.5, but much lower than the “happiest” countries of the world that score at least 8.0.

211, 2021

What luxury means in 2021

November 2nd, 2021|Columns, HT Media, Mint Lounge|

If you ask your mother or grandmother what their idea of luxury is, you will probably get an answer that’s a variation of one of these: “A double ikat Patan patola.” “A diamond addigai (necklace).” “A Kashmiri silk carpet or a shahtoosh.” “A Mughal miniature painting. Or a Srinathji pichwai.” “Listening to Sawai Gandharva on a full-moon night on the banks of the Ganga.” Indians of earlier generations know luxury in a visceral, sensual way. Every product I have mentioned above is hyper-localised, linked to region, personal history and provenance. Often, each of these luxury objects is made by an artist or craftsperson who has worked with the family to custom specifications. It is purchased for a high price by an aesthete who has been following the sector for generations. If that isn’t luxury shopping, what is?

1909, 2021

Raj Parr profile/Mint Lounge

September 19th, 2021|Drink, Mint Lounge, Profiles|

Some time ago, I drove three hours from San Francisco down the coast of California to a picturesque town of Cambria-- to meet iconic winemaker, Raj Parr. As you will read my profile of him here, Raj Parr can identify wine varietal, vintage and producer by simply smelling the wine. Which to me is the thrill of tasting wine. The nose is an under-used organ and wine-tasters have figured out how to make it work for them. Read about how Raj Parr does it.

1109, 2020

Karma yoga and the need to negotiate

September 11th, 2020|Columns, HT Media, Mint Lounge|

Karma yoga and the need to negotiate 5 min read . Updated: 16 Jul 2009, 09:20 PM IST The Good Life | Shoba Narayan Karma yoga and the need to negotiate   What’s the best negotiating strategy you can use in a job? Ability, credibility and the willingness to walk away. Not my words. Strategic HR adviser Hema Ravichandar’s. Last Sunday, I called Ravichandar, who cut her teeth as HR head at Infosys Technologies, to get tips on negotiation. During our interview, I observed that E. Sreedharan, whom I admire unabashedly, must be a master negotiator. He reads the Gita for 45 [...]

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