Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Le Creuset – The Iconic French cookware brand

Le Creuset – The Iconic French cookware brand hosted a Gastronomical Affair with Chef Ranveer Brar at Select CITYWALK, New Delhi

New Delhi, 29th August 2016: Le Creuset, world’s leading cookware brand famous for its cast-iron products, hosted a live gastronomical session with renowned celebrity Chef Ranveer Brar, who curated recipes that were beautifully prepared in Le Creuset cookware at Select Citywalk, New Delhi.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Will You Be My Dirty Little Secret? - Book Review

Will You Be My Dirty Little Secret?
Edited and Compiled By Nehali Lalwani
Review By Ila Garg 

The anthology comprising of 10 short stories, Will You Be My Dirty Little Secret? is published by Gargi Publishers.The printing quality of books by this publication house has always been its strength. All the stories are well written and deal with the hidden desires that one keeps covered up.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Her Resurrection - Book Review

Her Resurrection
By Soumyadeep Koley
Review By Ila Garg

Her Resurrection, a novel by Soumyadeep Koley, is published by Gargi Publishers. The cover is an absolute delight, however, if you go deeper into the layers – the meaning that it brings out is profound. The eyes that compel you to look into them twice are full of pain and anguish, but is there something more to those eyes? We will find out only when we read this book that is based on sex trafficking.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

CHOICE Life Insurance introduces Investshield

Life is very precious and sometimes, our loved ones too are dependent on us. Their lives are connected to us. But we must not forget that nothing in this world is permanent and thus, we need to be insured at all times – we need to make sure that our finances are well organized and keep protecting our dreams along with securing the lives of our near and dear ones.

When a life ceases, other lives are affected too – their dreams are crushed in a jiffy with a looming aim of sadness surrounding them. CHOICE Life Insurance understands the connected lives that we live. They know that we always want the best for our family and would not want to leave them saddened ever – the least we can do for them is insuring their dreams and happiness. With #InvestShield we can now do that in simple and easy steps.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

A Window Seat - Book Review

A Window Seat
By Vishala Katta
Review By Ila Garg

A Window Seat, a novel by Vishala Katta, is published by Frog Books, an imprint of Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd. The cover was the first thing I loved about the book. It’s been quite some time since I saw a cover so beautiful and yet meaningful. It represents a journey of mind and a journey via train – quite an apt cover for the plot of A Window Seat. You will agree with me more as you go on reading this book.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Male Gaze in Indian Cinema

It is to be observed that the male gaze has always been predominating the films. From the time when cinema began, it was the male who held the camera in his hand and viewed things with his perspective. He directed and he decided the way he wanted viewers to see a particular scene. It was his world that was showcased in the films starting from short silent films to talkies to the long narrative films. Females had no freedom to voice out their opinions and they were totally ignored as spectators for a long time. In fact, they were not even allowed to act in the beginning days. Then, gradually women did come to be associated with the industry but they were not considered good and their character was always taken to be shallow.
Thus, when men operated the camera, they depicted women either in stereotypical roles of a good daughter and a dedicated traditional wife, or they objectified them through exposing certain parts of their body to excite the male audience. No wonder, the pioneer actresses were seen as whores and were considered outcasts. As a consequence, the women on screen were treated as the women of public. After all, prostitutes are referred as women of bazaar and bazaar (or the market place) implies outside space that was not meant for good cultured women.
Tawaif ke aangan ki mitti mila kar hi Durga ki murti ubharti hai…” (In the soil at the courtesan’s doorstep is moulded the idol of the Goddess Durga). This dialogue by Chandramukhi (a character played by Madhuri Dixit in the film Devdas, directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali in 2002) is quite significant. On one hand, especially in Bengali culture, it is believed that the idol of Goddess Durga requires a handful of soil from the prostitute’s courtyard and on the other hand, they are exploited and treated badly. Even the lower caste women were not given equal platform. What was even more astonishing was that the upper caste women often threw remarks at the lower caste women. Even marriages were not possible in case of caste differences. In Devdas, when Sumitra Chakraborty (Paro’s mother) proposes the nuptials of Devdas and Paro in front of Kaushalya Mukherjee (Devdas’s mother), she had to bear insult for her societal status despite not being a courtesan. “Arey jab kuye ka paani hi kharab ho toh ghade ki jaat kya dekhni Sumitra. Bas tumhari ada mei reyaas nhi lekin khoon toh wohi hai… nautanki wala. Hum zamindar hai, machi khate hai lekin kaatein ko halak mei phasne nhi dete kabhi. Ek toh padosi ka ghar, upar se neech kul… Chalo bhul jao ki tum neech kul ki ho, thodi der ke liye bhul jao ki tum neech kul ki ho. Lekin apni aukaat ka toh khayal rakhti. Apne khote sikke ko yahan chalane ki koshish mat krna, Sumitra.” (Why to draw water from poisoned wells, Sumitra? You may not practice the traits, but your blood remains the same as the dancing girls... We are landlords, we may eat fish but we won’t let bones stick in the gullet. For one, you are a neighbour and on top of it, as a family, you are disgraced... Even if we momentarily forget your disgraced state, but what about your standing? Don’t you try to palm off your bad coin here, Sumitra!)
The legendary love story of Devdas and Paro could not be fulfilled because of this societal dogma that clutched the mind-sets. Women were thus, confined within the boundaries of the home and thus there was a stark contrast with which the women at home and women on screen were looked at. At both places, women were not treated with respect though and led an undignified life.

Monday, August 15, 2016

6 Degrees - Game of Blogs - Book Review

6 Degrees – Game of Blogs
By Various Bloggers
Review By Ila Garg

6 Degrees – Game of Blogs, a book by various bloggers, is a result of a unique concept initiated by and is published by Leadstart Publishing. Months ago, came up with this unique concept under the #CelebrateBlogging where they announced a competition for bloggers to get published. 30 teams of 10 bloggers each took part in this contest and penned down 30 different stories using the same set of characters - Shekhar, Tara, Roohi, Cyrus and Jennifer. As the contest progressed, a panel of 6 judges selected 3 teams as winners - Team By Lines, Team Potliwale Baba and Team Tete-a-Ten. The stories penned down by these three teams are compiled in the book called 6 Degrees – Game of Blogs.

The cover shows a number of happy excited faces, perhaps representing the various bloggers who competed to have a place inside the book. The colour scheme of black and white and the simplicity of the cover is the USP here. It looks very soothing and is clutter-free.

The blurb reads as, “As part of their #CelebrateBlogging initiative,, ran the first edition of Game of Blogs in September 2014. Five characters and their descriptions were provided. The objective was to write a fictional story revolving around these characters. Bloggers came together as teams and after three rounds filled with its own set of twists and turns, three stories made it to the end.
The three stories in this book are a fascinating example of how one set of characters can have interesting lives with completely different dimensions. Six Degrees is a result of how collaboration can truly breed creativity in the modern day world of connected living.”

The first story ‘The Awakening’ is written by the team By Lines. It is sci-fi tale with a dash of Hollywood. Elements like aliens and space craft add to the plot. The pace is kept smooth and perhaps this one is the best story among the three with more than 130 pages of length. The second story is by the team Potliwale Baba and is titled as ‘Entangled Lives’. It is a murder mystery with a lot of Bollywood masala to it. Resembling the storyline of a typical Hindi flick, this one is an interesting read. The third and the last one is by the team Tete-a-Ten and is titled as ‘Missing: A Journey Within’. This one is based on the theme of kidnapping where each character is missing something or the other. I felt that this one lacked pace and tends to get boring. It could have been kept more crisp.

Further, this 422-page book is a light read and overall a compelling book. Apart from some minor editorial errors, the book is highly recommended. Check out my video review here:

Ratings: 4/5

Buying Links: Infibeam | Flipkart | Amazon

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Soft Target - Book Review

The Soft Target
By Kalyan Nanda
Review By Ila Garg

The Soft Target, a novel by Kalyan Nanda, is published by Srishti Publishers. The cover shows iron man and in the backdrop is the path leading to a destination that is unknown. As I read the PDF edition of the book, so I can’t say much about the feel of the book, print or cover.

Kalyan Nanda lives in Mumbai with his wife. He enjoys theater and movies of all genres, and is a voracious reader. His favourite authors are Sir P G Wodehouse and George Orwell. He can be reached on The Soft Target is his literary debut.

The blurb reads as, “Is God good? Or is He a manipulative villain who plays with the lives of his creations in the name of karma? As far as Mohan Mishra is concerned, God is a villain. Mohan is God's soft target, for He 'blesses' him with a strange mental problem and kills his support system when he needed it the most. The Soft Target is the story of a boy's journey into manhood, as he takes on God with his mental prowess, defeating Him at every stage, thus making God his soft target. Supported by great friends and a loving wife, Mohan fights an epic battle against the murderous society, the conniving legal system and ultimately God himself, with remarkable courage and spirit.”

The story begins on a familiar note of relatives poking their noses in our personal matters. How parents often try to keep it subtle in front of the relatives is where the story starts finding its first characters. It is then that the readers are introduced to the most astonishing character of the book, Mohan Mishra. He is a brilliant student with an IQ that is much higher than that of any kid of his age. However, he can never say what he wants to say and ends up saying something incomprehensible. People term him as mad because of this but this doesn’t affect him much and only helps him be more determined to prove his mettle.

The author has sketched all the character beautifully, nowhere will the readers feel them to be exaggerated. The plot thus seems quite realistic and successfully portray deep and intricate emotions that children go through and how they handle peer pressure. The language is simple and easy to comprehend. Nowhere will a reader feel any disconnect. It’s so well-written that once you pick up, you cannot keep it down without finishing it off. It took me a couple of hours to complete the book. I found it quite engaging. The subject is tackled beautifully by the skillful author.

How Mohan overcame his disability, how he was the soft target who emerged as strong as iron, how Nikhil’s stammering problem causes him embarrassment, the various date scenes of Brij, the sarcastic one-liners, how Samidha understands Mohan, how Nisha ends up betraying Nikhil and how Revathy who is IIT Mains topper falls in love with Brij are some of the many reasons why you will keep turning the pages to find out what happens in The Soft Target

Further, this 214-page book is a light read and overall a compelling book. I specially was hooked to Mohan’s character and wished to quickly reach the climax to know what happens with him further in the story. Apart from some serious editorial errors, the book is highly recommended.

Ratings: 4/5

Buying Links: Infibeam | Flipkart | Amazon | Sapna

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Celebrate one-month anniversary with us: ‘कला’ Sisters at TGC

Holla Cocktails!
At TGC, we have completed exactly one month of cocktailing and it has been a tremendous ride so far!
You guys have been an amazing support throughout. Your likes and comments were encouraging, and here we are hosting a giveaway for you all. This is our first giveaway, be assured that there are many more coming your way!

What are we giving away?

Of course, you would want to know about the prize. Since TGC started off with book reviews, we have decided to keep a romance book as a prize for this contest. We love reading and hope you do too. This book tells a love story that would touch your heart… at least, we hope so! We love surprises! So we won’t disclose the name of the book right now, but we assure you that you will find it a good read.

What do you have to do to win?

Well, winning is simple. All you have to do is enter the contest and get going. Please follow all steps to win the surprise book:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  • There will be only 1 winner chosen by ‘कला’ Sisters.
  • Winner has to contact us within 48 hours through an email to claim the prize. This is our email id:
  • If the chosen winner fails to contact us in the given time, another winner will be drawn.
  • You have to follow all the steps to win.
  • The giveaway is for India residents only.
Simple, right? Still, if you have any questions, shoot us an email
Disclaimer: The decision of ‘कला’ Sisters would be final. Images in the blog are taken for for representation purpose only. They are not the actual prizes.
Excited? So are we!
Happy Reading! Happy Cocktailing!
Team The Gemini Cocktail
We love you! xoxo
png logo blog

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Valentino AW 2016 Footwear Collection Showcase at Pragati Maidan (5-7th Aug 2016)

Valentino, the name that represents distinctive styling, unrivalled craftsmanship & exquisite detailing in its stylish shoe and accessories, has been embellishing the grace since its inception. Valentino - the most reputed name in the exotic world of leather today is internationally lauded for its fine quality & exquisite product range. It is among one of the top 5 formal footwear leather brand in India. Valentino was instigate in the year 1985 by Mr. Moti Lal Daultani, founder, Valentino. Presently, the company is spearheaded by its second generation entrepreneur Mr. Chander Daultani, Director, Valentino who entered into his family business with a vision to take the footwear industry to next level. Mr. Chander Daultani can well & truly be called the inheritor of the rich legacy & credited with reviving the 31-year-old family business.

The brand has been growing exponentially and has successfully created a strong foothold across every nook and cranny of India. The company has expanded its wings and now possesses national & international strong presence. Valentino has a well built retail presence through more than 700 Multi Brand Outlets across India and selected nations.

Inspired with passion to exude elegance & comfort, Valentino products are crafted from world’s premium leather using traditional as well as ultra modern methods to deliver some of the world’s most comfortable leather shoe and accessories. Fusion of modernity with elegance, contemporary, yet classic in colors and designs of the season. Every single product is backed by Valentino guarantee of leather purity, snazzy cool look, and light in weight, heavy in durability and extremely comfortable.

Valentino has redefined fashion by offering a fine range of classy shoes along with trendy leather accessories like hand bags, sling bags & wallets to add glamour to the outfits. The entire range weaves a magical spell because of fine mixture of colors, beautiful designs, graceful elegance and ethnic flair.

Valentino produces the genuine leather products driven by a passion for perfection at every single stage of the critical manufacturing and evaluating process & stages. Only the finest ‘best of season’ lots are carefully selected by Valentino. The design house and embellishment centre incorporates the highest level of skills in embellishments and decoration by experienced shoe designers.

I attended the AW 2016 Collection showcase event yesterday at Pragati Maidan and it was awesome. 

About Mr. Chander Daultani:

Born in 1975, Mr. Chander Daultani has been instrumental in diversifying, establishing and growing the core businesses of leather footwear manufacturing industry. Studied from Jai Hind college Pune, Mr. Daultani is prepared well to take on his Father’s’ Mr. Moti lal Daultani’s thriving footwear business in 1998.

Mr. Chander Daultani is the director of India’s leading premium shoe brand- Valentino, based in Agra. He has an experience of more than two decades in the footwear manufacturing industry and had all the dynamism and capacity to cut, shape and strengthen the muscles for a strong company. Each of his products is a realization of his dream to create a brand that touches people and builds relationships. 

A pioneer in creating a market for premium leather shoes and accessories, Mr. Daultani oversees the entire operations of the company including the design and product ranges that are produced under VALENTINO & WESTPORT brand which is sold in the international markets

Today, Valentino has established itself as one of the top 5 major brands of leather footwear in India.

Epitomizing the new confidence of a nation at a watershed period in its history, Mr. Chander Daultani attempts to capture the spirit of his times and engage in the exciting potential that bubbles at the surface of modern India.

Mr. Daultani is married and has two children. Apart from being involved in the design and product ranges that define Valentino, he likes reading in his spare time. 

Visit Valentino today to see the premium collection and buy the branded bags and footwear.

P.S. Valentino has been generous enough to let me select a pair of footwear for myself, which I will review on my blog as soon as I receive. Keep checking! :)

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Movie Review: #Madaari

Director: Nishikant Kamat
Language: Hindi
Review By Ila Garg

I have been watching a lot of movies off late. This weekend, I got a chance to watch this socio-thriller movie, Madaari directed by Nishikant Kamat. The movie released on 22nd July 2016 and is presented by Bharat Shah, produced by Shailesh Singh, Madan Paliwal, Sutapa Sikdar and Shailja Kejriwal and co-produced by Nishant Pitti and Kshitiz Bhardwaj.

Irrfan Khan is known for choosing out of the box subjects and this time he chose to do a movie that is based on the present political situation prevailing in India. His onscreen presence took the movie to a different level. No one could have played Nirmal Kumar the way he did. He was into the character – top to bottom. Not only that, the way he portrayed the hard-hitting subject is commendable. The emotions can be felt by one and all, no wonder it is often said that Irrfan Khan has one of the most expressive eyes.

Madaari is a story by Shailja Kejriwal. However, the credit for writing the power-pack dialogues and screenplay goes to Ritesh Shah. Vishal Bhardwaj gave the music to the film. Avinash Arun did the cinematography and Arif Shaikh did the necessary editing to ensure that the movie is well-received by the audience.

Right from the opening scene, the movie was a delight to watch. Indian political scenario has been much talked about, but the way this movie unveils the subject is indeed jaw-dropping! Irrfan’s acting is natural and realistic and did gave me goose bumps. I won’t give you spoilers here as I want you all to watch the movie yourself as good cinema has become a rarity, and when it comes, no one should give it a miss.

The mise-en-scène of the film is great too as the director has chosen perfect setting and time frame to shoot the scenes. Even the montage is done well and looks smooth onscreen.

This complete family film #Madaari is a definite must-watch as it convincingly delivers the message to the audience!

Here's the star cast of the movie:
  • Irrfan Khan as Nirmal Kumar
  • Vishesh Bansal as Rohan Goswami
  • Jimmy Shergill as Nachiket Verma
  • Tushar Dalvi as Prashant Goswami
  • Uday Tikekar as Nimbalkar
  • Nitesh Pandey as Sanjay Jagtap
  • Sadhil Kapoor as Cheeku
Ratings: 4/5

Do watch it and share your views in the comment box below. I would love to hear your opinions.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

In God's Wishlist - Book Review

In God’s Wishlist
By Pradipta Panda
Review By Ila Garg

In God’s Wishlist, a novel by Pradipta Panda, is published by Frog Books, an imprint of Leadstart Publishing. The cover shows a girl who is surrounded by lights, seems like a spirit from some other world. A well conceptualised cover by all means!

The blurb reads as, “In Gods Wishlist’ is a fantasy that speaks of a whole new world order, where there will be no fear of death. Love and beauty will rule the world and spirits will interact and fall in love with human beings and propagate love. This love will transcend everything and be the panacea to all problems. God has a vision and a mission.
He invites humankind to join active politics as it controls their life. He performs experiments to induct his theory. In one of his experiments, he studied beauty with the mind, and released all the spirits to the world, except for twenty-one top leaders of the world, whose beautiful minds were not mapped and programmed. God’s theory is that the two main things that rule the earth are the ruler and beauty that remains true for all ages. Youth have different aspirations, towards their fantasy, the opponent, and society. To inculcate this God inducted a new theory of love, the love between the spirit and a human being. The love between the spirit and a human being will be the panacea of all and this love will transcend human behaviour. Read to find out how and what is in God’s Wishlist…”

The blurb did sound interesting to me and that’s why I decided to pick this one up and review it here for you guys. However, the book wasn’t as thrilling as it seemed by the cover and the blurb. Yes, looks can be deceptive.

So, let’s first talk about what I liked about this book. Cover – 4.5/5 and blurb is obviously good. The plot is well thought of and different from the league and yet it could not resonate with me. The concept is nice with God Himself as a protagonist but something goes amiss as the story begins to get a pace.

The author has definitely tried to write something different but without enough research. It could have been a great book to read but honestly, it failed to captivate my interest. So moving on to what exactly I didn’t like or should I say what was lacking in the book.

The book majorly lacked research – it belongs to the fantasy genre, so forget realism here. The readers will also find it difficult to relate to the story and therefore will find it uneasy to make a headway with the story. One of my friends borrowed the book and left it after reading a few pages as the story failed to make any sense to her.

Not giving any spoilers, I will quickly give you a glimpse of the plot to let you decide whether or not you should pick this book.

The story begins with God choosing a young and ordinary man, Sourav who had a breakup recently and ends up spending a drunken weekend. Next, God takes the form of a spirit, Cinderella and meets Sourav to gradually brainwash him and make him and take the place of his lost love. Further, the story sees Sourav working in coordination with God Himself. Sourav keeps moving from one beautiful woman to another and helps them, does something good for them in exchange of sex. Woah! Really? I mean what was the author thinking? So this one is a nay for me as it begins to get absurd as I moved further into the plot.

The language is simple and easy to comprehend, however who was the editor of this book? I wonder! So many grammatical errors – a sure turn off for me! I totally felt disconnected, skipped so many pages, was bored through most of the plot and found myself mostly yawning waiting for it to end.

Further, this 250-page book did give way to a different plot but when the execution fails, everything fails. It was an average read. I will also be reviewing the author’s next book Co-Wife, based on LGBT themes and claims to capture the pathos and problems associated with them. I am keenly waiting to read that since the theme does interest me. I hope the author has improved over time.

You may give In God’s Wishlist a try if fantasy is your genre, but do not keep your hopes too high.

Ratings: 2.5/5

Buying Links: Infibeam | Amazon | Shimply | Flipkart | Pustakmandi