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Happy 14th birthday, HT Brunch: A note from the editor

It’s celebration time, ladies and gents…. This February, our favourite Sunday magazine turns 14!

brunch Updated: Feb 24, 2018 23:30 IST
Jamal Shaikh
Jamal Shaikh
Hindustan Times
ht brunch,hindustan times brunch,hindustan times
HT Brunch has heralded ‘double issues’ with a second cover on the flip side of the mag, which has been a big hit!

I may have been its custodian/ editor for a bit under two years now, but I’ve been a reader much longer. And like many of you, I feel a strong connect between my Sundays and HT Brunch.

From pulling out the magazine every week from the Sunday papers and keeping it aside for a leisurely late-in-the-day read, I’ve moved to Instagramming covers and responding to the deluge of responses on social media.... Thank you all for that overwhelming response!

Doing a double flip

Why just online…?

Living proof that readers want more is the success of the “double issues”. If 52 covers a year were not enough, we’ve had flip covers, broad basing the touchpoints: only a Brunch cover could have a Bollywood star one week, a Booker prize-winning author the next and an often-ignored, but supremely talented classical musician the week after. Only a Brunch could celebrate all with equal respect and adulation.

Apart from Bollywood A-listers, our cover stars this year included international names like Salman Rushdie, Nigella Lawson and Sheryl Sandberg

In the last year, HT Brunch didn’t only score exclusives with the likes of Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan, it became the first magazine actor Aamir Khan shot for exclusively in over 10 years.

Varun Dhawan showed how he was #MillenialsMostLoved by self-shooting a cover on a smartphone (a first in India) using a Snapchat doggie filter, while Alia Bhatt turned up to pose with the love of her life: Edward, the cat!

Also fronting Brunch was Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, when she poured her heart out about losing her husband and restarting her life, and Salman Rushdie, who chatted about love, life, and his ex-wife, Padmalakshmi (“She’s the Kellyanne Conway of my life,” he said to Brunch famously, a quote that went viral. “She lives in a universe of alternate facts!”)

Captain of exclusives

If Bollywood and cricket define the collective psyche of India, this special 14th Anniversary Special has it all.

Sourav Ganguly graces one cover, with an exclusive shoot at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata. The former captain is out with a book in which he’s made some startling revelations. Of course, his first exclusive is with HT Brunch, where he takes on Greg Chappell and rubbishes the IPL.

When the Bengal Tiger roars, everyone listens!

And then there’s Ranveer!

When I Google myself, one of the top images that search throws up shows me in a bear hug with Ranveer Singh. The odd part is my expression: I look like a deer caught in the headlights.

To explain: this pic was taken at a book launch. It was my first meeting with Ranveer Singh, but the hug was effusive even for long-lost friends. Overdressed in a sharply cut suit for an event in a bookstore, Ranveer had exuded a unique blend of energy and charm. He let a young girl feel his abs, hugged several others, and floored ’em all.

Now that I look back, these are the very qualities that have made Ranveer Singh so unique. It is apparent that he loves crowds, and everyone loves him back for that!

Jamal Shaikh, Editor, HT Brunch

The #PeoplesSuperstar joins @HTBrunch to celebrate our 14th, ladies and gentlemen, and you’ve got to agree: Like this one-of-a-kind magazine, you may love him or scoff at the attention he gets; even in a world of increasing distractions, you certainly can’t ignore either!

From HT Brunch, February 25, 2018

Follow us on twitter.com/HTBrunch

Connect with us on facebook.com/hindustantimesbrunch

First Published: Feb 24, 2018 20:09 IST