Thursday, May 06, 2010

Good hair day, everyday

Good hair day, everyday

MANE MATTERS Poker- straight hair is ‘in’ but make sure you maintain it by using only suitable professional products. ARCHANA SUBRAMANIAN


How many times have you craved for the perfect hairstyle? How many times have you thrown away the comb in anger wondering when you would ever get rid of those knots? And how many times have you woken up praying for a good hair day? The answer is an obvious – “innumerable times!” One of the solutions to a perfect, problem-free hair would be to go in for straightening. Straightening gives you the added advantage of letting your hair fall straight effortlessly, hardly ever knots up and will remain the same way even after you wake up. But, like other treatments, straightening too needs to be taken care of especially to make sure treated hair stays healthy and does not get dry and brittle. Experts at Matrix tell you how and why.

Why professionals?

Hair straightening is a very technical service and it’s advisable to get it done only by a professional. Permanent straightening product should never be applied to the scalp. One has to keep it at least 1.5 cms away from the scalp. The application has to be quick and the hair has to be maintained straight throughout the service to avoid waves and frizz. A good rinse-out of the straightening crème from the hair is extremely important, as also the ironing of thin sections before the neutralising.

Specialised products

A professional range has been designed specifically to care for the needs of straightened or rebounded hair. Its intense formulae blend ingredients like Shea butter, Silk amino acids and Apricot kernel oil to help condition the hair, repair damage and smooth frizz for healthy, sleek hair with hi-gloss shine.

Tips and things to do at home…

Hair is more delicate when chemically straightened and has special needs. Straightened or Rebounded hair, if not properly cared for, can turn dry and brittle causing frizz, breakage and split ends. Use a smoothing shampoo which will take care of the cleansing part as the Silk amino acids and Shea butter soften texture, tame frizz, improve manageability and add shine. A smoothing conditioner will ensure detangling problems as it moisturises with ingredients like Apricot kernel oil and Shea butter. This also adds intense smoothness for frizz-free sleek hair. An intense smoothing mask will treat your hair as it’s enriched with Shea butter and Silk amino acids and this mask intensely conditions the hair to smooth texture and discipline frizz, leaving hair soft, sleek and manageable. The use of split end serum is a light and non-greasy formula infused with Apricot kernel oil and Shea butter to repair frayed tips and help prevent split ends.

Treatments to opt for at parlours…

Make sure to go at least once a month for a spa treatment and to tell your analyst that your hair has been straightened and that you would require a smooth and seal treatment Also, regular deep conditioning is a must for hair that is chemically straightened. The smooth and seal service nourishes parched hair and smoothens it, while protecting the hair from future damage. It combines the intense nourishment of the mask and sealing properties of the split end serum to give you replenished silky-smooth hair.

How long does it last and when should you go in for re bonding?

The longevity of a straightening or rebonding depends on the home care regime and regular in-salon treatments. One will need to get a re-touch done when the new re-growth is about four to six inches, which will happen in about eight to 12 months.

Do’s and don’ts post a straightening service…

  • Do not shampoo or wet your hair for 72 hours after a straightening or rebonding service.
  • Using hair clips, pins, bands etc can create bends and stress points in the hair, which can lead to dents in the straightness or even cause breakage.
  • After a straightening and rebonding service wait for a minimum of 14 days before applying any permanent hair colour.

Ladies’ day out!

EVENT International Women’s Day saw more than 300 women enjoy themselves at The Hindu Metroplus Heels on Wheels Car Treasure Hunt. ARCHANA SUBRAMANIAN

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Here are three clues for you — 110 cars, Citi Centre, Sunday. Go on, rack your brains and find out what we are talking about. It’s the all-women car treasure hunt, Heels on Wheels, organised by The Hindu last weekend. The event held at Citi Centre saw more than 110 cars lined up packed with enthusiastic team members, some of whom even managed to colour coordinate themselves to make the perfect team. Geared with enthusiasm and the spirit to win the treasure hunt was flagged off by danseuse Priyadarshini Govind.

The hunt begins

A briefing, some tips and tricks each team was charged enough to give the car engines a run for its power. As the clock ticked, Chennai saw various cars scurrying across roads each wanting to outdo the other. The tabloid given was similar to a newspaper except that each article was related to the question that one needed to answer on the sheet provided. Not only do the stories lead you to the answers, they also hint the route you should be taking for your next answer. Twenty seven such questions took the teams from Citi Centre, Secretariat, Flower Bazaar, Parrys, Mint street, Nehru stadium, Ritherdon road, Kilpauk to Anna Nagar. At the first pit-stop, the first sheet had to be submitted and a second tabloid was given, which covered areas like Annanagar, Shanti Colony, Nelson Manickam Road, Greams Road, Mount Road and back to Citi Centre.

The last leg had some clues at Citi Centre too. Besides the attractive prize money, there were some extra mileage points that could be earned using your camera: by clicking as many photos from the list that was given. Four hours seemed too short a time but only till you understood how to go about it. Spirited teams also got mehendi and caricatures done. Quizzes and on-the-spot talent contests were some of the other highlights. The women multi-tasked as they chopped onions, painted logo and applied make-up in three minutes. There were also a few events for the couples. MP Kanimozhi distributed the prizes to the winners of the event and the talent contest.


The title sponsor was Pothys. The Associate sponsors were Naidu Hall, Sowbhagaya and Mustafa. The Venue Partner was Citi Centre. The TV Partner SS Music, Radio Partner was Chennai Live, Water Partner was Sabols and Food Partner was Mc Donalds. The Gift sponsors were Witco, La Belle, Palam Silks, Srinivasa Silks, Aspen Watches, Viveks, Kerala Jewellery, Taj Coramandel, Courtyard by Marriott, Ambassador Pallava, Hero Honda, O2 Health Studio, Bubbles Family Salon and Spa, Mahavir Optics and Melange.
In first place was team no. 39 Vinatha Hari, Geetha Prakash, Shweta Vinod, Vaidehyi Kandaswamy. In second places was team 73 Vanitha Karunakaran, Pradhiba Gnanavel, Kayalvizhi Manikandan and in third place was team 83 Dr.R.Priya, Dr.Vanathi, Dr.Kavitha and Dr.Divya

Stories I tell

Stories I tell

STORYTELLING Craig Jenkins on his experiences in India and his love for stories. ARCHANA SUBRAMANIAN


“Excuse me Mr. Kandaswamy… oru coffee kudipom…” Not the lines you expect to hear from a foreigner. But Craig, or anna as the children in Kattaikuttu Gurukulam, Kancheepuram, call him, is different. “I love stories… be it reading or telling… I love the oral tradition, especially that of Indian origin. And perhaps that’s why I took it up as a profession.”

Finding his goal

This is said with so much passion that you understand how an offbeat profession like storytelling was a dream come true. At 24 years, when others of his age were busy experimenting, Craig’s summer internship at Vayu Naidu’s school helped him decide what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. After graduating in Drama and Film Studies, he decided to specialise in storytelling.A professional storyteller from London, he now pursues his art in Kancheepuram, in the Kattaikuttu Gurukulam where he is teaching students English. He also plans to stage an English play with them. His contemporary style of telling stories was instrumental in his being selected for this programme. “My task is to make these stories appropriate for teenagers. I trained for nearly two years in various community projects, which included both refugee kids and troubled children from the U.K. I use storytelling to help and empower the troubled children using these techniques. They have no representation in society and telling them stories helps them connect and understand their culture.”

Cultural inferences

Craig feels that as cultures undergo rapid changes, people forget the power of stories. Stories about one’s land and culture, he insists, help them reconnect and perceive it better. “I have always used the knowledge of where I’m from to help me narrate better. So with the refugee kids I learnt some of their songs; here in Kancheepuram I use the local flavour… this increases interaction. I have always been interested in using my techniques in another culture. Since I loved the Indian context I was thrilled when the Vayu Naidu company asked me to take up the Kattaikuttu Gurukulam offer. Two months here and then I go back!”A month has gone by and Craig is so attached to his students and the school that he wants to keep coming back.

He not only hums and sings Tamil songs, he loves sambar and rice too! Storytelling as an art is very interesting. The only pre-requisite is to take note of local flavours and use them to keep the audience engaged. In the first 45 minutes of Craig’s class, the students not only tell him stories they heard but also how and from whom. Craig believes in following his style. “Follow your strengths because, unlike other arts where you need props or story, here you need to become the character and present it to the audience.” Following an untrodden path at least in his family, Craig has proved that it pays to be different!

Good health, at your feet

Good health, at your feet

REFLEXOLOGY An ancient healing technique that lets you de-stress and calms you. ARCHANA SUBRAMANIAN


How would you describe bliss? There are probably more than 100 answers …but some like me would say it’s a one-hour reflexology session at Spa Influence. Foot reflexology, according to senior therapist Wayan, involves massaging various points of the foot, each of which corresponds to a part in the body. Massaging each point has a beneficial effect on the corresponding body point, say reflexologists.

Pamper session

A session begins with your feet being washed and dried. Then you are led into a cosy room, which is also dark. All you need to tell the reflexologist is whether the pressure is fine or if you need a little more. Oil is heated over the candle and then applied to aid relaxation. Cucumber cream cools and helps soothe aching feet. First the leg is massaged from knee down.Reflexology relieves tension, improves circulation and promotes the natural functioning of body parts. This system dates back to more than 5000 years when the massage worked to improve balance. For us today, however, foot reflexology works as a de-stressor and tension reliever; as nerve endings are stimulated. By the time the session ends, all you want to do is fall asleep, and the soothing music in the background adds to the feeling.


Take a look at some of the benefits: Toe-tips for example. Just 20 seconds of pressure is said to help those with sinus problems get relief from the pain and breathe better. Just below the toe are reflexes for the eyes ears and nose and the cerebrum. Pressure applied here eases eye strain, blocked nostrils and recurrent headaches. Similarly the middle of the foot has reflexes connected to the lungs liver, intestines, genitals and the lower most part of the foot has reflexes for the sciatic nerve. Reflexology is commonly used to treat sciatica or inflammation of the nerve, which runs from the buttocks down the back of your thigh. Towards the end a hot towel wrap seals in all the effect and helps you reap the benefits.And now that you know your feet are the meeting place for all the other parts…this massage makes sure you have good health at your feet!

Price: Rs. 900 plus tax for a 45-minute session.


No.91, Poonamalee High Road, Near Hotel Dasaprakash, Chennai-8. Ph: 429716444/ 42964444

3/4, Wallace Garden, 3rd Street, Nungambakkam, Chennai - 600 034. Ph: 45038436Price: 900 plus tax – 45 mins

Getting creative

YOUNG DESIGNER Suchitra believes that one always has an edge when starting out in a profession that’s also your passion. ARCHANA SUBRAMANIAN


Short, flowing salwaars, intricate and detailed work, bright colours, extreme styling and contemporary cuts… these are the first things one notices on a visit to Suchitra’s Studio. Spotted at the Vimonisha Private Collection India Summer 2010, this is the Mumbai-based designer’s first venture in Chennai. The Vimonisha show did leave her speechless for a few seconds as the crowds floated in and out of her stall to see something different. And then when she did begin talking she could not imagine or believe that Chennai could offer her so many buyers.

Starting out

Though the studio is just two years old, Suchitra has been in the garment industry for quite some time. So it was not new for her to start her own enterprise. What started out as an export company has now entered into the domestic sector. Though she has not really studied fashion she has an edge over others because of her experience. She feels studying fine arts has helped her by adding that creative touch to her work and wishes she had studied more to have a technical edge too. But she feels she could design for anything, be it homes, accessories or clothes. Suchitra’s strong point is giving her customers quality garments, good design at affordable rates. She believes in making clothes that are wearable and not just bought to designing your shelves in the cupboard!Being relatively new she has not yet diversified though she does not close that option. Suchitra has not limited her lines to any one particular style. “I just consider seasons. We just let thoughts flow after that,” she adds.

One can spot Poonam Dhillon, Rina Shah, Sharmilla Khanna among the other Page 3 celebs who own a Suchitra’s. And though she has not yet decided when to start venturing into films she says she will take it one step at a time. So for all those who are looking for something different make sure to check out her clothes as they offer just that!

Suchitra’s style

  • Her speciality is western wear, ghaghras and bridal wear.
  • Designs just about anything from western gowns to Indian clothes.
  • Believes in designing affordable and wearable dresses.

Conatct: Suchitra Choski @ +919920223140; e-mail:

Still losing it?

FOLLOW UP Two months after the NXg Honey, I Shrunk Myself programme ended, what have the participants been upto. ARCHANA SUBRAMANIAN


Two months after Honey I Shrunk Myself came to a grand end, we decided to ask the contestants what they’ve been up to. Was HISM a one-off? Or did it really make a difference to their lives? Have they succeeded in maintaining the gains from the programme or have they gone back to life as before?

Keeping up the change

Sneha sees a new dimension to workout and life since HISM. “Simple things like drinking a lot of water has made a significant impact on me and I follow that till date. I stay in a hostel, so food does take a back seat but I do gym every day for an hour at least. I did put on one and a half kilos but with exercise I have managed to shed it.”Jenny realised that exercise alone is not enough to lose weight and a proper diet was equally important. “HISM has taught me to be aware of what food is good for me and what I should avoid. I am very conscious about what I eat. I have also made a lot of friends and look a lot better and toned. My exercises are not what I used to do…the physios have changed my exercises and I am following a new chart, which makes it more interesting. With regard to my diet it has been modified but I do tend to cheat once in a while.”

Exercises and a diet chart can not only modify your daily schedule but also change your lifestyle. Bhargav feels that HISM has been a blessing in disguise for him. “It helped me realise the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Though I have not been able to exercise regularly, I’ve been strictly following the diet, which has helped me to maintain my weight. From this I have also understood the value of a proper balanced diet.” Rajesh says, “HISM helped me a lot especially when it came to gaining confidence and will power. In the beginning it was bit challenging but as the days went by it was a lot of fun and I knew I would achieve my goal. I was a chain smoker struggling to quit for about four years but after joining HISM I have stopped smoking. I have put on two kg but I know that getting back to shape is not difficult anymore. I manage to avoid fatty foods. My goal now is to get a six pack.”

Others like Sarvanan have gone a step ahead and reduced more weight proving that being regular does pay. “HISM helped me to reduce 13 kg in two months but continuing with it has helped me reduce another five kilos. It’s not just the weight, but I have also managed to shed my fears, and have gained confidence and the right attitude!”

Friday, March 24, 2006

My LOng delayed vacation....

Hey all
well I had been to pondy over the weekend...a beautiful weekend...very scenic...and Jessu (u guys remember her my class mate from JNC) we left from Chennai at around ten...and had a quick dinner at a place called galloping gooseberry...and left to pondy by eleven fifteen...we reached pondy by twelve forty five...had wine and chips...and crashed...
next morning...was beautiful… went to Auroville this no case, no creed, no religion based international city conceived long ago by the mother as they call her...its just so cool a self sustaining village...plays host to loads of firangs.. its so Cosmo in lifestyle a shame on us…anyways went till the meditation hall…and then roamed there for a bit…
next we went to the city of Pondicherry ten kms from Auroville…and went straight to eat… the place we went was called rendezvous Vivekh had a silver pomfret steak and Jessu had some chicken in red wine sauce…me had… vegetable shashlik…truly yummy and drowned it with beer…we also had their oh so yummy cheesecake some gateaux and mousse…
Then was the best part of the day... shopping…bought skirts, some shirts...and shopped everywhere for little trinkets and souvenirs. We also walked through the French colonies…truly spectacular…
Had dinner on the beach this place called Satsanga…loads to drink and less to eat…their French and Italian cuisines are to die for…Anyways after getting thoroughly tired after our moonlight walks on the beach we decided to crash…our resort called the St. James Beach Resort had a wonderful beach...So it was perfect…
The morning brought us a delightful surprise…Vivekh took Jessu and me for a rejuvenating Kerala Ayurvedic massage and a French breakfast….Don’t know which was better…the massage…I bet…man it was truly…orgasmic…anyway shopping beckoned us again and we really could not resist and Vivekh who had until now been aloof and away from the shopping bug also susceptibly and willingly got smitten by it and splurged a lot in some corduroys and Pepe T. shirts…Vivekh also convinced Jessu to buy a skirt and he bought both of us some truly great acupressure kits…
Well lunch was on the beach road at a boutique hotel called Promenade- a hi design hotel…and obviously everything from the décor to the buffet was in keeping with the style…we had some beer, and oh Jessu had some coconut drink…and I had a strawberry margarita frozen…the buffet was good spread and though much Indian we savored every bite…
The drive back to the resort was gloomy because we really wanted to stay longer…and had no intentions to leave…our work and Jessu’s fight made us come back…and we really have made a pact to come back for more…
And I must say this was the best gift we could have given Jessu for her birthday…

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

did not know i was in demand...

well guys really sorry for disappearing...
was really busy and caught up with my new house coming up...lets just say its my dream come true...
thats why i had to put in my 100% to get it to the way it is right now...just bear with me till the house warming which is next month...
will definitely be regular after that...

my dream

I dreamt some time back
A small house
A small gate
A small table
A small family…he was there

I dreamt again
A small house
A small gate
A small table
A small family.. him me

I dreamt again last nite
A small house
A small gate
A small table
A small family…just me

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Am I really satisfied…I’ve rarely come across anyone who would say a humble yes…I use to often question myself and others on why we are never satisfied? The answers have actually been gnawing my insides forcing me to think why we need to go a long way before we are cleansed. From relationships to materialistic needs we always yearn for more…has any one else wondered why?
Well a few days back a friend of mine told me that satisfaction does not happen that easily cause its beyond humans to achieve a sense of limit and therefore they cannot draw a line between how much they really need and how much they keep wanting.
That’s one theory…
There’s another one that I have…I feel the very existence of this level in our lives is significant. How else will u justify our ever increasing demands? I feel that satisfaction is the key to our growth. Its because of this drive that we keep aiming for more, set new goals in life, want to do better, prove ourselves… imagine a life without ambition. We would never live or grow…we would be stagnated and according to me stagnation is death.
Therefore we should only abide by this so as to help us reach our destination which is not known by us but we want to be there soon.
So the next time your not entirely satisfied just think that your probably already on the outskirts of your destination and a little more perfection and u will get there.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

time of my life

I had the best winters ever...went on this holiday with sure all u guys know her...for those who don’t she's one of my closest buddies...her birthday was on the 2nd of December and i was running out on ideas what to give her...
it was this point in time that we were bonding...and she told me she had never seen snow just like me..That’s what sparked off our two week long vacation. Just the two of us.. We left for Delhi on the 12th and shopped there till the 14th. on the 15th we went to shimla...shimla is scenic has a couple of architectural wonders like the place where shimla conference was held and the museum....other than that. The place is very dies after seven.. But we were very excited as barista stayed awake with us. We chilled there for three days... ad them left for manali a ten hour drive from there..
haan before i forget we went by train till shimla and that was truly amazing...the drive to manali was as beautiful as ever...and even my hill sickness left me this trip...manali, kulu and naggar was truly what they all seemed like in the travel books. And we actually went until rohtang pass and a little beyond on the leh ladakh highway despite it being closed to public in the winters...the snow I mean ice from last year did need some work out. We literally broke the ice...and played with our version called snow...but what stole the entire scene were the frozen waterfalls. They were truly spectacular...i was completely enthralled the way even the ripples and folds of the waters lay completely frozen...the icicles were a treat...
back at Delhi...Vivekh gave me a surprise as he landed there with tickets to Agra...something he and ush had not that was another trip...we made it back to the hot and sultry Chennai through the fog...
Just had to share all was the most rejuvenating trip...and i had a blast...
Merry Christmas and have a great new year ahead...

Thursday, December 08, 2005


They were married for 5 years. No attachments yet…was there a reason? She was a from a very well to do family. He had lost his earlier job and family. They were both staying with her parents. She was his wife… yet her duties were not limited to just that. Her husband was working at a pharmaceutical company or so he said and so she thought. He would leave the house each day at seven in the morning and would come back after everyone had fallen asleep. She would finish her chores, extra too cause she was a burden in her paternal house. At nights she did a different duty. She doubled up as a watchman. Neck turned 180 degree toward the bus stand she stood night after night that maybe this would the night he would come back early…

He was an alcoholic and a chronic consumer of tobacco. The minute the tobacco starts working sending its affect to his blood, that’s when his mornings kick start. Usually it’s screaming at his wife – a reaction from last night’s hangover. He would make her keep clothes for him, make his choiced menu filed breakfast, polish his shoe, and even brush his teeth if possible…she would do them all. Make his breakfast, polish, clean the room, make his bed…her ordeal was the same each day….she always wore a pleasant smile on her face…

I often wondered how that smile on her face never disappeared…she was so cheerful…my sister told me maybe it got stuck and now she’s stuck with it. Its amazing how someone can put up with all that and yet and want to do willingly. He beat her every night…and she never retaliated….how? I have no clue…she had no reasons for outlet…she could not cry everyone would know and she would never let that happen. She could never give up on her husband…she stood there to guard him…protecting…he was a devil and she was his angel…

Then one day something happened and I saw that she was not smiling…when they asked her she kept quiet…but her face said it all. He had beaten her black and blue and she was sore…how could the body then smile?

I just kept silent…observing the harsh realities that took place in front of my eyes day after day…trying to be insensitive otherwise the feminist inside would get the better of me…but the tears stuck in the tear duct, and her attempt to smile without the body agreeing to let her…all let me know that she was probably dead in feelings lunch before she knew, much before she realized and her love for him was only because she did not even know what was happening, how could she even react…she had become comfortably numb…