The Good Life2020-06-18T10:38:53+05:30

Slide The Good Life My first column. I wrote it weekly for nine years SCROLL DOWN For Mint Lounge About art, culture, food, life....
2407, 2020

The filch factor in rating hotels

July 24th, 2020|Columns, Hotels, HT Media, Luxury, Mint Lounge|

The filch factor: : Mint Lounge 4 min read . Updated: 01 Feb 2008, 12:06 AM ISTThe Good Life | Shoba Narayan I have a somewhat unusual method of rating hotels. I call it the filch factor. If I feel like filching something from the hotel, I consider it worthy of my esteem. I hasten to add that I haven’t actually filched anything from hotels (okay, maybe some toiletries) but the filch factor is what makes a hotel memorable in my mind. I still remember the crisp asparagus-green linen napkins at the Ritz-Carlton in Santiago de Chile; the spa robe at the [...]

2307, 2020

Twenty ways to do offbeat luxury

July 23rd, 2020|Columns, HT Media, Luxury, Mint Lounge|

Twenty ways to do offbeat luxury in 2010: for Mint Lounge   4 min read . Updated: 02 Jan 2010, 02:33 PM IST The Good Life | Shoba Narayan Twenty ways to do offbeat luxury in 2010 Happy New Year everyone! The recession is over, according to no less a source than the top White House economic adviser Larry Summers. Resoundingly over, report trade pundits in India. As we pick ourselves up from the debris of the last decade, it is hard not to feel optimistic about this one. It’s time—about time—for some cheer and celebration. Time to live and love; celebrate [...]

2207, 2020

About hotels and service

July 22nd, 2020|Columns, Hotels, HT Media, Mint Lounge|

Leave me alone, I'd like to be invisible please: for Mint Lounge 3 min read . Updated: 04 Jan 2008, 12:21 AM ISTThe Good Life | Shoba Narayan Ok, folks. I might as well get ready to take it on the chin. I am going to come across as a real snob here. But please, before you dismiss me altogether, let me explain that this piece was written with the “lofty goal" of making the hotel industry re-examine its notion of service. Like every Indian idealist, I wrote the following in an attempt to change the world, albeit a world inhabited by [...]

2107, 2020

Bangalore’s underrated restaurants

July 21st, 2020|Columns, Food, HT Media, Mint Lounge|

Bangalore’s most underrated restaurants 4 min read . Updated: 22 Jul 2010, 07:57 PM IST Shoba Narayan | The Good Life Bangalore’s most underrated restaurants Some weeks ago, I was at a food and wine tasting, put together by Food Lovers, a Bangalore-based magazine with a self-explanatory name. I read the magazine for its restaurant reviews and foodie news. Occasionally, the magazine invites me to be part of its free tasting panels. A group of us sample food and wine and offer written opinions. Like foodies everywhere, we talk in obsessive and excruciating detail about things that might make a technocrat’s eyes [...]

1907, 2020

Why naturalists are happier people

July 19th, 2020|Columns, HT Media, Mint Lounge, Nature|

Being surrounded by trees, rivers and animals can add years to your life; and life to your years Welcome to my office," says Arpita Dutta. As lines go, this one is not particularly original. Except that we are sitting in an open-topped Jeep at the entrance to the Chitwan National Park, in Nepal, which, as it happens, is Dutta’s office: the place she visits every day. Dutta, 33, is an amazing woman. Born and raised in West Bengal, she has worked in forests all her life. She has done research on the Sundarbans and currently works at Taj Safaris’ newly [...]

1807, 2020

Do your parents embarrass you?

July 18th, 2020|Columns, HT Media, Mint Lounge, Relationships|

When your mamma rocks the floor Have you ever been embarrassed by your parents? I confess that I have.  The time when I was 18, for instance, and my father came searching for me at Mardi Gras (IIT Madras’ annual cultural festival).  There I was, acting cool around those IIT guys.  When my Dad showed up to take me back home, the smoky independence that I affected came crashing down.  Now, of course, my kids are embarrassed by me. The last time this happened was this past New Year’s Eve.  We were three generations—my brother’s family, mine, and my [...]

1707, 2020

Weaving a revolution

July 17th, 2020|Columns, Handmade, HT Media, Luxury, Mint Lounge|

I did something recently that gave me more satisfaction than a vacation. At the Sampoorn Handicrafts fair held at Chitrakala Parishad in Bangalore—similar to Dilli Haat and Mumbai’s Kala Ghoda festival—I spotted a beautiful khadi salwar kameez swaying in the wind. It was off-white, simple and beautifully cut. I had to have it. Unfortunately, they didn’t have it in my size. “All these are cut to Italian sizes, madam," said the volunteer manning the stall. “Why don’t you go next door and buy the fabric?" This was how I discovered Malkha cotton, which brands itself as the “freedom fabric". At [...]

1607, 2020

A battle against rock bees

July 16th, 2020|Columns, HT Media, Mint Lounge, Nature|

The solution is surprisingly simple: leave them alone 5 min read .  If you are human, bees are a relatively bland species. They evoke neither the affection of squirrels nor the aversion of snakes. Bees are nondescript, if a little tiresome. Most people don’t notice these flying insects that belong to the genus Apis, except perhaps to swat them. Unless you live among them. I am no bee lover but I don’t dislike them either. But the pesticide model doesn’t seem to be working so I have decided to become the unofficial Bee Lady of my building. My partner in this [...]

1507, 2020

Look at art intently, and with patience

July 15th, 2020|Arts, Columns, HT Media, Mint Lounge, Profiles|

Profile of Professory B.N. Goswamy 5 min read .  Prof. Brijendra Nath Goswamy is in Bangalore to deliver Tasveer Foundation’s inaugural lecture. I have been allowed to take him out for an hour. Where does one take a man who is arguably India’s foremost art historian? I consider a ride in our new Metro to Angadi Silks or Vimor to buy a sari for his wife. This is a man, after all, who invited three of the country’s top dancers—Bharatanatyam’s Malavika Sarukkai, Odissi’s Madhavi Mudgal, and Kathak’s Aditi Mangaldas—to perform at his wife’s 65th birthday. They agreed. I want a similar [...]

1307, 2020

About tennis and Bjorn Borg

July 13th, 2020|Columns, HT Media, Mint Lounge|

What makes a professional scorecard? 5 min read  A professional scorecard can mean different things and often, different timelines. A fund manager is measured every day, in fractions—the number of basis points his fund is up or down when the market closes. For the CEO, it is in quarterly earnings reports and annual revenues. For the politician, timelines are even longer—the stealth reforms that Manmohan Singh made when he was finance minister, along with the nuclear deal he orchestrated, might well be his most lasting legacies. For the scientist or inventor, timelines don’t matter. They can work for years to [...]

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