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Monday, Nov 18, 2019

Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Fit, Fitter, Fittest

Wednesday afternoon afforded us a peek in to the workings of the country’s burgeoning beauty and fitness industry

mumbai Updated: Nov 08, 2019 08:15 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
Dr Jamuna Pai with Monica Dogra
Dr Jamuna Pai with Monica Dogra
         

How many product launches have you attended, which have boasted of a bevy of beauty queens, lissome models and Bandra’s yummiest mummies in the audience furiously taking notes and participating in Q&As? Where words like ‘little pooch’, ‘freeze fat’ and ‘lifts butt’ are bandied around and it is not uncommon to hear people say they attend a gym three-four times a week and still aspire to look even better?

Wednesday afternoon afforded us a peek in to the workings of the country’s burgeoning beauty and fitness industry, when Dr Jamuna Pai, pioneer of cosmetology in India and responsible for most of the country’s international beauty titles – not to mention the dewy cheeks of its leading ladies – introduced Emsculpt, said to be the ‘only US-FDA approved non-invasive body contouring and butt-lifting treatment device’, to a packed room full of what looked like its target audience.

“It is well-suited for those who are already physically active and adhere to a healthy diet and lifestyle” said Pai. “You could say it is fine tuning for fit people,” said the good doctor in her speech.

“It does not mean that you can stop exercising or going to the gym,” said Pavel Mykytyn, from the product’s parent company, who began his address with the enigmatic words, “Today the body has become the new face.”

“We encourage people to keep up their healthy lifestyle, continue working out etc, but this is a revolutionary way to build muscle beyond what can be done in a gym,” he said. “You could say that after Botox and laser hair removal, this is the biggest revolution in the beauty and fitness industry. Kim Kardarshian and Drew Barrymore swear by it,” he added.

And as a demonstration of its attraction, actress and musician Monica Dogra, who was the event’s designated compere, gamely lay down for a session of the new machine. “It feels very strange,” she laughed, even as she underwent the treatment. “It feels like I’ve just done 40 weighted sit-ups while I’ve just been lying down.”

But then again, with her washboard abs, the svelte Dogra may not be the ideal candidate for this latest revolutionary new building block of the beauty trade. For starters, we noticed she didn’t even have ‘a little pooch’.

Tale of 2 Cities

Stubble burning: In Delhi: the illegal burning of crop stubble by farmers in neighbouring regions to clear their fields of excess crops.

Stubble burning: In Mumbai: A new kind of process to style men’s beards offered by hip salons like Mad’ O Wot and Juice.

Championing Change

Last week witnessed the opening of ‘Champions of Change’, an exhibition featuring the works of 75 leading artists from across the country, including Gurcharan Singh, Paresh Maity, Bose Krishnamachari, and Jaysri Burman. Curated by sculptor Arzan, it was to mark the 75th anniversary, raise funds and promote awareness for the Jai Vakeel Foundation, one of the country’s oldest and largest NGOs which changes over 3,000 lives annually by its holistic approach to the management of individuals with Intellectual disabilities, most of whom are born to the poorest families in the country.

Khambatta with Simone Arora
Khambatta with Simone Arora

“In India, 2% of the population that is over 26 million people suffers silently with its intellectual disability (ID). We as a society are still largely unaware of the space and not actively addressing their needs. This makes the work we do at Jai Vakeel not just important, but urgent,” says a spokesperson of the NGO. Started by a Parsi couple in 1944 to provide their child who born with Down syndrome a place to thrive and be happy, today, it has the likes of Mickey Doshi, country head, Credit Suisse Country; and Zia Mody, partner, AZB as its patrons and has grown in to one of the most credible non-profit institutions in its field.

The exhibition started with the thought of featuring 25 artists, but the list grew organically to 75, informed Arzaan Khambatta.

Saryu Doshi wins another accolade

She’s one of the grand dames of India’s art scene, a PhD in miniature painting and Jain art, who has taught at Berkeley, been chair of the Lalit Kala Academy and founder-director of the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) in Mumbai. Recently, Dr Saryu Doshi received the Rajmata Gayatri Devi award, conferred by the erstwhile royal house of Jaipur, for her immense contribution to the arts. And what’s best of all is that the octogenarian who has hosted the likes of Jackie Kennedy Rudolf Nureyev, and Vilayat Khan at her Cumballa Hill home has no intention of slowing down.

Saryu Doshi - Preview of the Masters Series, at Taj Mahal Hotel, Apollo Bunder - HT Photo Dipak Hazra 01.09.2007
Saryu Doshi - Preview of the Masters Series, at Taj Mahal Hotel, Apollo Bunder - HT Photo Dipak Hazra 01.09.2007

“I’m grateful for it because it means appreciation for what I’ve done and reminds me that of all the work I so enjoyed doing. In that sense, I am indebted to the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum Trust,” she says.

And at an age when most people would rather retire from active involvement with the outside world in order to contemplate their novels, Doshi is still is actively associated with INTACH and the CSMVS, amongst other things. “It’s been a very rewarding career,” she says.