Eric Lobo, 46 Mixologist
If you’ve ever had a Kiwi Margarita, you have one man to thank: Eric Lobo (46), mixologist and creator of more such exotic drinks that have found place on cocktail menus all over the country. Like Out of School, a spiked guava drink, or kokum wine, or his soon-to-be launched gooseberry wine.
Isn’t that what bartenders do, one might ask. Well, the difference between a mixologist and bartender is roughly the same as that between a chef and a waiter. A mixologist creates the drinks and has a greater knowledge about the chemistry of flavours, spirits, fruits and other additives. A good bartender can graduate to becoming a mixologist in four to five years, if he is really passionate about it.
As Lobo sees it, “It’s like cooking. You have to be a chef at heart, and the more you cook, the more recipes you create. You could draw inspiration from theatre, architecture, world events; the idea is to do it with consistency, rediscover and reinvent.”
It’s how he created the kokum wine, ideal for the Indian palate. “It’s cooling, has great astringent properties, is 100 per cent natural and goes best with your Chicken Tikka,” explains Lobo, who has always made his own liqueurs and never bought Peach schnapps or bailey’s cream.
Lobo is not surprised that mixology is a career on the agenda even for MBA students these days. Seven of the 67 students who have enrolled at his Bacchus Beverage Academy in Cuffe Parade, Mumbai are MBAs in the making.
“It’s a great way for these students going abroad to earn while they learn. It’s the only profession that will never be hit by recession. If you have a job, you’ll have two drinks; if you lose it, you’ll have four,” he laughs. With good mixologists earning anywhere between Rs 1 to 1.5 lakh a month, he’s got a point.
Kasia Wierzbicka, 29 Hypnobirthing practitioner
It may be new to us but to use hypnotherapy and childbirth in the same sentence would be commonplace for Polish model Kasia Wierzbicka, who came to India for her yoga training at the Sivananda Ashram in Madurai, and is also a hypnobirthing practitioner certified by the Mary Morgan Hypnobirthing Institute, US.
Birthing has always intrigued Wierzbicka, who started out as a prenatal yoga instructor and decided to help empower women to find awareness of their bodies through the process of birthing and enjoy it, not fear it.
“Pain during childbirth is more due to tension and stress. Through hypnobirthing, we teach couples various relaxation and visualisation techniques to help them enjoy the process of birthing,” says Wierzbicka, who assists four or five couples a month. She usually conducts five sessions of three hours each with a couple. “They have to do their homework, practise their relaxation and visualisation techniques, do their massages,” she says.
Her sessions also involve training the couple to deal with medical interventions in an assertive, yet non-confrontational way. “More stress means more pain. If you are in a good mood while birthing, it can only help you and the baby,” reasons Wierzbicka.
A set of five hypnobirthing sessions for a couple costs Rs 6,000 to Rs 20,000, depending on the practitioner’s experience level. There are currently 10 hypnobirthing practitioners in Mumbai.
Zia Lambrou, 36 Craniosacral therapist
The next time you need to get treated for vertigo or a migraine, you might reach out to a craniosacral practitioner. The treatment is non-invasive, plus, it could give you better results. Biodynamic craniosacral therapy (BCST) is a branch of cranial osteopathy developed by one Dr Sutherland. It addresses the craniosacral system of the body (starting at the head and ending at the tailbone) along with the nervous system, autoimmune system and musculoskeletal system.
Zia Lambrou is a biodynamic craniosacral practitioner registered with the International Institute of Craniosacral Balancing, Germany and Switzerland. BCST addresses a range of health problems such as depression, migraine, spinal disorders, sleep problems, and post-operative trauma. Its gentle nature is also suited for infants .
“It is a non-medicated, non-invasive treatment and most patients respond well to it. A small percentage with chronic long-term problems respond less; a very small percentage may not respond at all, in which case I let them know that it’s not working and they need to find another approach,” says Lambrou.
By gently placing her hands on specific areas of the client’s body, along the cranium and spine, the practitioner tunes into the body’s fluids, their movement and flow, gently facilitating a healthier flow of fluids.
The prerequisite for studying BCST, a diploma course, is a bachelor’s degree in any field of study (it is not mandatory to have a medical background.) The course is available mainly in Germany and Switzerland.