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Melting pot

The desire to express her creativity in form and texture is what inspired Aditi Saraogi to pursue pottery, not only a subject of interest but as a profession as well. Abandoning her career in commercial communication, she first trained under a professional potter and thereafter, under the illustrious Mansimran Singh of Andretta Potteries and Delhi Blue Pottery Trust, founded by Sardar Gurcharan Singh, India’s first studio potter. In mid-2001, Aditi started Bhukriti, which held its fourth pottery exhibition recently at Grain of Salt, the multicuisine restaurant at 22, Camac Street.

The items on display at the exhibition are created by Aditi herself and Shreyashi Swaika, who joined Bhukriti last year. Specialising in pottery, Shreyashi graduated from the Apeejay School of Design in Delhi and went on to train at the Lalit Kala Academy. A stint at Ceradécor, Delhi was then followed by an internship at Delhi Blue Pottery Trust.

The theme of the exhibition at Grain of Salt was the five elements and through their work the two designers have paid tribute to air, wind, water, earth and fire. Most of the artefacts including lamps, vases, bowls and platters are functional. Says Aditi, “There’s no need to take special care while using the pieces. They are good enough for regular use and our plates are even microwave-friendly.”

Aditi’s creativity and passion are reflected in her creations. There are bookends shaped like flames, symbolising fire and depicting the power to purify and destroy. On the other hand, Shreyashi specialises in figurines and glazes.

The exhibition will continue till today and for those who miss it, Bhukriti creations can be found at such stores as Coriolis and The Address in the city.

Viva la Mexico

There aren’t too many places in the city where one can sample authentic Mexican food. As a result, a Calcuttan’s knowledge of the cuisine doesn’t extend much beyond the rudimentary tacos and nachos. All that, however, is about to change as The Taj Bengal is hosting an enchilada festival at The Poolside Barbecue, which provides gastronomes an opportunity to savour one of the most popular Mexican preparations the world over.

Enchiladas are tortillas dipped in chilli sauce, stuffed with meat or cheese and then rolled up. All rustled up under the watchful eye of executive chef Surinder Singh, the choices on offer at the promotion include Road House Enchilada (made with grilled turkey, liberally garnished with ranch-style tomato salsa and seasoned with Serrano chilli), Enchilada San Marino (fresh river prawns with a dousing of Mexican barbecue sauce) and Country Side Texas Enchilada (ancho-spiced minced lamb and red salsa). There is also the slightly exotic Enchilada Pedro Lopez, which is made with lemon-flavoured fresh salmon tossed in cilantro sauce.

Vegetarians are spoilt for choice as well with Phoenix Rising Enchilada (pan-grilled zucchini, pablano chilli, iceberg lettuce and refried beans), Dynamite Enchilada (jalapeno chilli and Monterey Jack cheese with green lettuce) and Sunrise Enchilada (American corn flavoured and spiced with Chipotle chilli and Mexican salsa) being listed on the menu. In addition to all these, weight-watchers can dig into the low-fat enchilada that’s made with tofu, red Mexican chilli and salsa.

The non-vegetarian enchiladas are priced at Rs 500, while vegetarian choices would set you back by about Rs 450. You can even make your own enchilada and here, the choices take in prawn, steak, lamb, zucchini, babycorn, potato and more. In this case, however, the prices are upped slightly to Rs 525 for non-vegetarian enchiladas and Rs 475 for vegetarian options. All enchiladas are served with Mexican rice, guacamole, picode gato and red and green salsa.

The festival will continue till February 29. For reservations, call 2223 3939.

In full bloom

Sunflower is one of the oldest Chinese salons in the city, having been working wonders on listless locks for the last 28 years now. Recently, the hairstyle hub at 2, Russell Street decided to get a makeover itself and the result is a spanking new look that’s all-together vibrant and with-it.

Started by Patsy Yah, a hairdresser with almost 47 years of experience to her credit, Sunflower has bloomed in more ways than one. With a team of skilled stylists and beauticians, the salon is now powered by Patsy’s daughter-in-law, Sabina who believes that there can be no end to perfecting the art of hair-styling. Thus, although, armed with certificates from some of the best-known names in the haircare world including Austrian expert Peter Gusner, Toni and Guy, Headmaster and Saks in London, and L’Oréal Professional in Paris, Sabina continues to keep abreast of the latest trends and techniques. Her yearly visits abroad involve advanced courses in creative cutting and colouring from several different academies to enhance her knowledge. The winner of the all-India L’Oréal Creative Hairdresser’s Award in the year 2000, Sabina is also a member of the brand’s Creative Hairdressers’ Forum that enables her to work closely with her foreign counterparts.

Ask this talented hairstylist how Sunflower manages to pull in the ladies and pat comes the reply, “We provide the latest hairstyles, we’re not too expensive and most importantly, we don’t lead our clients on. No one is pushed into having a haircut or having a treatment.”

Other areas where Sunflower scores above the rest is creative colouring and hair-straightening, the latter involving complex hair-bonding techniques, which get you poker-straight hair that lasts for about four to six months. What’s more, selective straightening is also available where only certain sections of the hair is straightened for a fun and funky look.

This apart, the new-look Sunflower also has a variety of hair-treatments that target hair loss, lack-lustre locks and other tress trials, that start at Rs 100 and go up to a maximum of Rs 600 per sitting. A hair-cut cost at least Rs 100, but if Sabina adds her personal touch, it’s slightly more expensive. You can also pamper your face and body with a range of facials and massages (priced between Rs 300 — Rs 600) including treatments for ageing skin and the nitrogen facial that restores glow and improves elasticity.

Brides-to-be can also make the most of Sunflower’s bridal package (Rs 6,000), which takes in everything from manicure, pedicure, waxing, bleaching, threading and henna to gold facial, hair spa (a deep-conditioning treatment with imported oils and lotions) and of course, make-up. Those who book by the end of February are entitled to attractive discounts on the deal.

ower is open throughout the week from 9am to 7pm and on Sundays till 2pm. For more, call: 2226 2724/2227 1573.

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