Friday, December 23, 2016

Kingdom of Dreams Enthrals with Beyond Bollywood


              ~ the only Indian theatrical to stage at Westend, London ~

~ a musical extravaganza by Salim and Sulaiman that turns dreams into  
 ~ a sumptuous spectacle that is Beyond Love, Beyond Passion and  
                                         Beyond Bollywood~

I have always been a Bollywood Buff. It is the primary source of entertainment in India after all. We have all grown up with our Bollywood favourites and fixations. However sometimes the plots get predictable, stories turn repetitive and movie going experience becomes a bit jaded. That is when live entertainment steps in. Kingdom of Dreams has always been a popular hotspot for musicals inspired from Bollywood.  Perhaps they have caught the pulse of a movie-going nation and provided entertainment which may be based on Bollywood songs but adds so many new dimensions to it. Zangoora and Jhumroo have entertained thousands of music and dance lovers in Gurgaon. This time Kingdom of Dreams, RG Studios and the leading music composers of Bollywood, Salim Sulaiman have collaborated to bring us 'Beyond Bollywood', a spectacular musical at this one of a kind entertainment destination in India. The opulent Nautanki Mahal at Kingdom of Dreams is now hosting the dazzling show which has mesmerized audiences across the world since its International launch in 2015. From the prestigious Palladium and West End at London to Brussels, Germany, France, Algeria and other countries of Europe the magical theatrical has taken audiences on a truly cultural tour of India capturing the fire, grace and passion of Indian dance.

The story is a heartwarming tale of a dancer Shailey Shergill who armed with a burning desire to turn her mother’s dream into reality, sets out in search of her roots. The magnificent theatrical brings alive the sheer hypnotic splendour of India which casts a spell on Shailey and spurs her on in her journey to give shape and form to her mother’s dream. Beyond Bollywood is a grand theatrical experience that brings a mighty mix of masala, culture and Bollywood to Kingdom of Dreams.

The dances enthrall and the grandeur of visuals enraptures the audience transporting them into a magical world swirling with colour and romance as the protagonist explores her country of origin. I personally found the show a nautch higher than the previous shows as it incorporates many original tracks, folk dances and classical Kathak which definitely takes the flavour beyond bollywood. The story is woman oriented, which is also progressive. Some of the acts are much more breathtaking and daring.
Celebrated the world over this enchanting extravaganza has nine original music compositions of Bollywood’s wizards of music Salim and Sulaiman.  The show has been written, directed and choreographed by Rajeev Goswami a stalwart of Bollywood with more than 15 years of experience in the Indian Film Industry. Lyrics have been penned by Irfan Siddiqui the famous lyricist with movies like Iqbal, Fashion, Heroine, Kurbaan and Chance Pe Dance to name a few, in his portfolio of writing songs.
Speaking at the launch, Viraf Sarkari, Director Kingdom of Dreams said, “We have always wanted to stage shows which bring alive the beautiful heritage, culture and performing arts of India. Beyond Bollywood is a show which has won rave reviews across various countries in the world and is now being showcased in India at Kingdom of Dreams. I am sure the audiences here too will love this spectacle as much as it has been appreciated elsewhere in the world”.
Salim Sulaiman the accomplished music composers said, “Beyond Bollywood is a grand musical extravaganza that brings the experience of West End and Broadway to India. We truly enjoyed working on the music as it covers a vast range from classical, folk to pop music. We are really excited for it to play at KOD which is one of the finest venues in India”.
The ace choreographer Bosco who attended the event expressed his delight, “Beyond Bollywood musical is one of the most stylized Indian productions I have seen on stage. Mesmerising performances by the dancers showcase the strength of the Indian music and dances and its impact worldwide. I witnessed the thunderous applause and the standing ovation the show received at the London Palladium! I would like to congratulate the Director and Choreographer Rajeev Goswami for adding yet another feather to his cap by featuring the musical at the Kingdom of Dreams. I wish him all the best”.
Anumod Gagan Sharma, Managing Director Kingdom of Dreams said, “Beyond Bollywood has gained a lot of applause at international venues where it has been staged and I am sure it will appeal to the audiences at Kingdom of Dreams too.”
The sheer energy and chutzpah of the dancers and the performers cast a magical spell on the audience who kept asking for more. For tickets log on to and or contact on 0124-4528000.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Delightful DEL for Dilliwalas

DEL, the all day dining bistro at Roseate House, Aerocity is a refreshing new option for those looking for authentic, healthy and tasteful food. Inspired by the Delhi aero code, DEL offers gourmands a unique dining experience with change of menus at every meal time. I recently ventured into DEL, eager to explore what this hotel offered beyond the stunning architecture everyone keeps raving about. Just the way a house is converted into a cosy home by its inhabitants and their lifestyle, a beautiful hotel structure is converted into an alluring space one wants to visit time and again, through the hospitality of its staff, the warmth of the food and that special personal touch. 

I learnt that DEL offers the best of European, Oriental and Indian cuisine that will leave gourmet lovers in the city spoilt for choice. What more could it offer to this city of dilwalas! After I had taken a round of the stunning property which is so painstakingly curated, I must admit I was quite hungry and raring to go. The hotel is of course breath taking and long after you come back home, some vistas stay with you-the black marble lobby, the opulent grey villa suite, the rooftop infinity pool, the straight lines, shimmering water bodies, the charming uniforms and much more.

In DEL, there was a wonderful buffet spread awaiting and some names of dishes on the tent cards made me want to dash straight away and heap my plate. The menu on the other hand is a vast expanse of five menus that change at every meal time. But Chef Anuj Wadhawan had planned his special degustation menu for me. Chef Anuj is one of those dedicated chefs who lets his food do the talking. I could see so much thought had gone into each and every dish that he was talking about.

The meal started with a very light Chilled Cucumber and Chamomile Soup. It whet the appetite with out being overpowering. Up next was a very unique interpretation of the classic Salad Nicoise. Cured tuna with cured quail eggs and smattering of veggies. It was a bit bland but felt healthy and light on the palate. The other salad option was a House Beetroot and Burrata salad. Again I respect a chef who makes beetroot exciting!

Chilled Cucumber and Chamomile Soup
Beetroot and Burrata Salad
Tortellini with Kale and Raisins
Salade Nicoise

Scallops with Squid Ink

But by now I was wanting a more heady and robust experience and Chef Anuj read my mind. The next dish was a stunning Tortellini with Kale and Raisins. I thought that was a very unique combination and as someone who finds vegetarian food in restaurants a bit boring, I was quite blown away by the dish. It was perfectly balanced.

Rogan Josh Sous Vide with Quinoa Biryani and Blueberry Raita

But greater pleasures awaited. Next came the scallops and the black cod, very nicely grilled to perfection. And I had told Chef right in the beginning that Indian is my least favoured cuisine when eating out. But the show stealer was chef's interpretation of Rogan Josh cooked in sous vide, served with a Quinoa Vegetable Biryani and Blueberry Raita. This dish is a riot. Such a profusion of colours, flavours and textures on the plate, it leaves you spellbound.

The meal ended with a Chocolate Brownie with Ice-cream although there was no space for it. I personally found the dessert a bit unimaginative after such a superlative meal. But I am sure there will be many more choices. The best part is the chef is happy to conjure anything that you suggest with his own twist.

Through these courses, you feel bright and energetic as there is a lot of natural light in the restaurant with views of waterbodies and greenery. DEL reflects a grand sense of space. The 130 plus cover includes a posh private dining room that open to a sky lounge and a dining area amidst verdancy at the alfresco deck.  The variety of menus are sure to keep you going back for more and something new every time!