Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

18
Jul
14

Spoonfuls of Summer: Raspberries for Baby

Congrats Leena!!! Please save me some jam!!

Masala Baby Food

20140712_120918 Freshly picked!

Hi everyone!

Oh my gosh, before I even get started with this spoonfuls of summer business, I have to tell you all (well, all five of you reading this thing) something:  I MADE JAM! Yes! Me! Canning-challenged and fearful ‘ol me successfully made jam this morning! So many leftover berries from our farm picking adventures I had to try something new:

20140716_101216 Omg jam!

I know to most of you this sounds ridiculous, and yes, smart people have been making jam and canning things for eons.  But I suppose I’m excited because I was never one of those smart people.  For whatever reason the whole process seemed really intimidating.  But my dear friend Amy, who always sends us the MOST divine strawberry jam, inspired me to try and make some.  I didn’t use pectin, or do anything complicated because I was too scared, but did a lot of research…

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11
Nov
11

The Ravi Report Hits The Hamptons- Part 2

The dining table was an Indian masterpiece complete with golden chairs!

Once in a while, we get invited  to a stylish and  glamorous  dinner that we  talk about even after it’s over. Well, that’s just what I’m going to do here folks.  The Ravi Report was recently  invited to an exotic Indian dinner hosted by the captivating  Kelli Delaney-Kot of KDHamptons.com  and her husband, the charismatic and well-known  Dr. Mark Kot at their beautiful and historical  house in Water Mill, a hamlet of the town of  Southhampton.

India Night At The Kots”  spared no details in making it one of the most enduring and glamorous dinner parties  ever to be seen in the affluent town of beautiful people.  Gorgeous ladies dressed in silk designer sexy saris, the aroma of Indian food coming from the kitchen (later served by the wait staff) and traditional Indian music playing,  all were a part of the cultured event. It felt like home people!

The special invited guests mingled and nibbled on tasty vegetarian samosas and bajias catered by one of the top celebrity attended restaurants in NYC called  Chola and drank  champagne while getting to know each other.  I have to be honest here, I felt like I was at back in Mumbai  at one of those fancy Bollywood dinners that are attended by Bollywood stars, dignitaries and famous politicians.

Honored guests include Chris Clarke, the stunning Kelli Delany Kot, Dr. Mark Kot, Bernard Schwartz and his sexy wife Kimberly

Jennifer Lancaster, Ravi Yande, Alyssa Heim, Dr. Kot & Marie Caroline Caiola wore their best Indian clothes for the event!

Delaney had been preparing weeks for the dinner paying close  attention to every small detail.  “It was such a joy putting this dinner together that it did not seem like a lot of work at all. I wanted the food & the decor to be perfect for our guests.  We  wanted everyone to have fun and have a taste of Indian culture- in the Hamptons!”said Delaney. And boy, did we ever! Kelli told me that I inspired her to host the Indian themed dinner as I am always sharing my culture with her.

“With readers of KDHamptons being cultured, well-traveled and curious about the world, I thought it would be appropriate to introduce a little bit of Indian culture to them by way of our dinner.” added Delaney.

Guests dined like Maharajas!

The dining table was a masterpiece. Plain and simple folks. The table-cloth was made from Banarasi silk saris (heavy, expensive hand-woven silk saris from the  holy place of Benares)  Indian vintage statues served as showcase pieces, gorgeous red and pink rose flower arrangements lined the table and designer dinnerware complete with  gold-plated drinking glasses and light blue silk napkins made the dinner fit for a Maharaja!

The delicious cuisine consisted of traditional chicken and lamb dishes, mouth-watering palak paneer (a spicy spinach and cheese dish), rice,  Naan, (Indian bread baked in a clay oven) and spicy chickpeas called Chaana served with  a yogurt based salad called Raita.

The ladies complemented  the men who were wearing traditional tunics called Kurtas, a fancy Indian shirt made of silk. A sari, has most of you may know, is the Indian dress that is worn by  ladies and consists of 6 years of fabric wrapped around the body and the tail end is then draped over the shoulder. I will be honest here, I was so amazed at the way the beautiful ladies carried themselves since they had never worn a sari before and they walked around like pros! They completed the Indian look  with Bindiyas (the Indian circle shaped mark on the forehead) and an arm full of colorful bangles.

The Kot home was decorated with vintage silks saris, Lord Ganeshes, Indian bracelets placed in trays and traditional fall  flowers both inside and outside the house welcoming people  just as they do in India. The driveway was decorated with white candles lighting the pathway for the guests as they entered the home. A sheer touch of class!

“India Night At The Kots” was one of the most enjoyable dinners I have ever been to and sincere thanks to Delaney and Dr. Kot for  bringing Indian culture into their home in such a stylish and glamorous way.

The journey continues….namaste!

Ravi

23
Apr
10

CARELL & FEY HAVE “DATE NIGHT” FROM HELL!

Ok folks let’s face it. We’ve all had a  “date night” from hell at some point or another in our lives (some of us more than others but that’s another story). Things  just didn’t go right.  The restaurant gave away your reservation because you couldn’t find a parking spot or the genius who took your reservation, accidently gave you the wrong date for your special night or the photo that the person posted on an online dating service turned out to photoshopped so well,  it created a new image.  You get the idea.
 So when I saw the new hit comedy movie “Date Night” with mega stars Steve Carell and Tina Fey, I couldn’t help but think about the millions of people around the world watching this movie and thinking “I can relate to that.”
Let me just say one thing about versatile & mirthful actors Carell and Fey. They have the best on-screen chemistry I’ve seen in a long time and they are two of the nicest actors that you are ever going to want to meet. Plain and simple.
 
“Date Night” is a whimsical  movie filled with witty humor and heaps of intelligently written scenarios that will make you think about all those crazy date nights you all have had. I know I can throw in a few!! LOL!

Actor Steve Carell gives an exclusive pose for The Ravi Report

 
“Tina! Tina! We love You” screamed fans across the street  when the “30 Rock” star got out of her limo and ran across the street to sign  autographs for fans who waited  hours just to get a quick glimpse of  her before the star entered the official red carpet at the world famous Ziegfeld Theater in midtown.
“I waited two hours to get Tina’s autograph” said one very  cute brunette  who was holding images of Fey from her SNL shows.
 
“Steve you rock!” shouted fans as “The Office” star also  walked across the street to sign autographs  before he hit the throng of paparazzi waiting for him.
 

Superstar Tina Fey speaks to the press on the red carpet

I have to be honest, I’ve been a long time fan of both Carell and  Fey.  Carell, for his ingenious humor in the hit series “The Office” and Fey for being a very talented and excellent writer/actress  and for her famous Sarah Palin impersonation which brought her world-wide attention.  The actors shine working together.

 
I’ve met  both of them before and every time they enter the red carpet, there is almost a wave of prodigious & positive energy that follows.
 
Date Night” focuses on the “Fosters” (Carell & Fey) who have let family life and raising kids take the spice out of their marriage. So like most married couples who have limited quality time to spend together, the Fosters decide to  make a special  “date night” to rekindle the romantic side of their marriage.  Well, their date night turns into a roller coaster of adventure when they accidently use someone else’s identity to secure a table  at a fancy restaurant. I won’t give away any more than that folks!

Steve Carell carefully listens to a question from The Ravi Report

 
At the recent premiere,  Carell  told reporters how he balances fame and family.
 
“When I’m not a work I’m with my family. I come right home. I wake up and take my kids to school. Those are  the only two things I do. Work and home.” stated the star  of such  hit films such as  “Get Smart”,Bewitched” and “40 Year Old Virgin”.
 
The versatile actor also said  that his character Michael Scott from “The Office” and his role as Mr. Foster from “Date Night” have common traits.
 

Tina Fey filming a promo for "Date Night" from the red carpet!

“I think Phil Foster is who Michael Scott would want to be,” said the star when asked about how the two characters are similar in nature. “Because he(Foster) is successful with a  family, kids he has that life that Michael Scott would want.” 

 
When asked by The Ravi Report what the intelligent actress finds the most enjoyable part of her work,  Fey smiled and added ” I always felt lucky making a living at doing what I like doing. Being able to write stuff and being in it is very enjoyable to me” stated the married mom.
The reviews for “Date Night” have been positive and fans on the social media sites are asking if they can expect a sequel anytime  soon.  Hey, what about a follow-up entitled ” Date Night 2: Revenge of the Fosters!” LOL!
 
Now, the important question here. What ABOUT having a special date night of your own? Well,  I spoke to a few married couples who said that the movie inspired them to try to do a date night  to spice things up in their marriage but they would stick to keeping their own reservations! LOL!
 
For info check out the movie website at www.datenight-themovie.com and kudos the terrific folks at Fox Searchlight for doing a great job (again) with the premiere.
The journey continues…
Ravi
 
08
Mar
10

“THE DUDE” BRINGS HOME THE GOLD!

Iconic actor Jeff Bridges attributes winning the Oscar and his successful career to his parents support.

Well, “The Dude”  finally did it!  

 After five nominations and countless amazing roles, actor and iconic Hollywood star Jeff Bridges is part of the Oscar fraternity! (claps please!!)  

The legendary & humble actor known for his realistic acting and charismatic personality finally won an Academy Award for his role as the drunk but loving country singer Bad Blake in the film “Crazy Heart“.  

A MUST SEE FOLKS!!!! If you haven’t seen the film yet PLEASE put in on your to do list!  

Ever so grateful to his showbiz family Bridges thanked his parents  for paving his road to success in his acceptance speech.

“Thank you mom and dad for turning me on to such a groovy profession,” … “I feel an extension of them; this is honoring them as much as it is honoring me!”  said that actor while holding the golden statue that took three decades to reach his hands.
 
The veteran actor is so well-loved by the Hollywood community and it showed at the Academy Awards shows when fellow actors screamed in joy when the superstar’s  name was announced  by the graceful and ever stunning actress Kate Winslet for winning the Best Actor award.  
 
“People were just screaming his name when he entered the red carpet” texted one fan to The Ravi Report who was lucky enough to attend the awards.

"Crazy Heart" director, producer and screenwriter Scott Cooper has every reason to smile!

“Bridges wife is so beautiful!”  wrote freelance producer Tina from the red carpet.  Susan Bridges who has been profusely thanked in almost every speech given by the Oscar winner,  has stood by her man for over three decades and has been the backbone of his success says the actor.  If marriages are made in heaven than their marriage is living proof.  

First time actor turned director Scott Cooper truly knows how to select a winning team and was able to project it with his debut film.  The well liked filmmaker also was able to bring in heavy hitters for his first film which is almost impossible for a first time Hollywood director. Cooper proved everyone wrong.  

“He really set the precedent for first time directors to work with Hollywood big wigs now. He gave them hope.” emailed one fan from the awards to The Ravi Report.  

Cooper knows that he will have a tough act to follow now when he makes his next film. Damn Cooper! You’ve set the standards so high on our first film and now look at what you have done to yourself! LOL!
 
Congrats to the entire “Crazy Heart” team for doing a great job and for letting “The Dude” bring home the gold!
 
The journey continues and it’s even sweeter for Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges! It couldn’t have happen to a nicer guy!
 
Ravi
19
Dec
09

Charity Water Gala Flows With Generosity!

Exclusive look inside the gala!

The famous "Water Walk" is an intricate part of every ball.

  Well folks, this event definitely had the three S’s – Swanky, Sexy and Sensational! For those of you that missed this year’s most talked about event, the  4th Annual Charity :Water Ball, I highly recommend that you start thinking about going to  the next one in 2010. That’s  just how amazing and incredible this party was. Beautiful people with generous hearts and big wallets came out in this uncertain economy to show  how much they believe in  the mission of Charity:Water and how much they respect and admire founder Scott Harrison for his hard work and dedication of  bringing developing countries safe and clean drinking water. Camera crews, reporters  & social media celebrities all gathered together on the  red carpet waiting for another great night and they got what they wanted! The Ravi Report was front and center with  exclusive coverage & photos of the event. 

Charity:Water Founder Scott Harrison & actor Adrian Grenier get ready to walk the red carpet

The ball was held at the famed Metropolitan Pavillion in Manhattan which  has been home to the past several  balls and it’s the ideal place to hold a massive crowd (over 1200 came this year) for a party. Supermodels, famous actors, fashion designers and well-known supporters all came together to support a great cause and mingle with NYC finest…and boy did they mingle!  

Celebrity Chef/Author Rocco DiSpirito poses with Ravi Yande

Celebrity Chef/Author Rocco DiSpirito poses with Ravi Yande

Hosted by talented actor Adrian Grenier a long time supporter  and good friend of Harrison, the actor walked the red carpet with Harrison and  other celebrities before hand and also  lead the auction into a successful night raising over a million dollars! It just goes to show that even in this tough economy people have big hearts and are anxious to help.  

Scott & Adrian pose exclusively for The Ravi Report on the red carpet

“I planned for this event for months and I would never miss it,” said a stunning model wearing a Versace dress decked with David Yurman jewels.  

“This is the ultimate NY party. You miss this, you miss everything,” said one gorgeous statuesque brunette with porcelain skin as she entered the pavillion.

Debonair businessman Mark Birnbaum & Supermodel Nicole Trunfio pose exclusively for The Ravi Report

It’s no secret that Charity:Water brings out the creme de la creme. It’s the place to seen and it’s the place to give. The Pavillion was transformed into an art  museum atmosphere with beautiful & captivating life-size posters of children from India, Central African Republic and Uganda wearing priceless smiles and drinking fresh clean water. Trademark yellow water canisters were lined up in a special  entrance installation with actual running water coming from the top simulating a water well. 

NY Post writer Justin Rocket Silverman admiring the fascinating photos.

Afridev pump was a hit during the party!

The Afridev pump was a hit during the party!

And who can forget the annual “water walk” that is displayed at every ball. A simulated runway is created where guests pick of gallons of water (some dare to go barefoot) and walk the designated runway with the water.  

Another  interesting display this year was the Afridev pump. What’s that? Glad you asked. An Afridev (African Development)  pump is a low maintenance easy to use pump which can be used by people who live in the villages and have no other access to fresh water.  The cool thing about it is that it pumps between 150-200 feet  below ground level and does not require electricity!  

Friends of The Ravi Report designer Irina Shabayeva(r) with model Kalyn Hemphill (c) wearing her famous red rose gown.

The auction lead by Grenier and Harrison was the highlight of the evening which ended with a performance by the multi-talented singer Rob Murat.  

Although the evening had a great deal of glitz and glamour the premise was a serious one- to help bring clean drinking water to millions of people around the world who are in desperate need. Check out the www.charitywater.org. to see how you can help all year around and then celebrate your good work at the annual ball!

The journey continues…happy holidays folks and be safe!  

Ravi

26
Oct
09

Hilary Swank Flies High With “Amelia”

The Ravi Report's official spot on the red carpet!

The Ravi Report's official spot on the red carpet!

OUTSIDEPARISTHEATET

The press lining up for the premiere of "Amelia" at the Paris Theater.

Hilary Swank is gifted. Mira Nair is remarkable, Richard Gere is  incredible,  Ewan McGregor is a star and “Amelia” is a terrific film. Plain and simple. Any more questions?

The recent premiere of the epic film at the famed Paris Theater in NY was proof that Swank, Nair, Gere & McGregor have enough star power to light up a dozen skyscrapers. The A Listers took to the red carpet and were mobbed by their fans, reporters, photographers and The Ravi Report was front and center to get the details.

Acclaimed director Mira Nair talking to the press about "Amelia"

Acclaimed director Mira Nair talking to the press about "Amelia"

Nair,  whose previous films such as  “The Namesake” & “Monsoon Wedding” have become box office sensations , spoke to The Ravi Report about  how she felt now that her most talked about film is  being release. 

 “I am so relieved to be here tonight and I think this film has the force of nature, Amelia, Hilary and myself in it,” states the acclaimed director who looked elegant dressed in a white sequined outfit complete with high heels which the director  rarely wears.

Nair also says that because it’s  an epic film, it required an epic amount of work and  only finished the film a few weeks ago. She  said she gave it “her everything” and in some ways it was  the most  difficult & longest endeavor she had ever engaged in.

“We shot around the world, we shot aerial action in a very real way not just with computers, we also made it an action adventure in addition to showing the world what Amelia was all about,” states the award-winning director.

Ravi Yande and Mira Nair pose for The Ravi Report

Ravi Yande and Mira Nair pose for The Ravi Report

Amelia Earhart really needs no introduction. We all know by now that the courageous and non-traditional woman who disappeared while flying over the Pacific in 1937  had the courage, stamina and guts of more than a hundred people put together and she was the first lady to fly solo across the Atlantic in 1928. We knew that the avaitrix was a risk taker, had an open marriage and refused to take “no” for an answer no matter what she tried to achieve in her short-lived life. Her legacy comes to screen via Swank. It’s also uncanny how much Swank resembles Earhart in the film.

The two-time Oscar-winning actress (“Boys Don’t Cry“(2000) and “Million Dollar Baby” (2005) ) spoke to The Ravi Report about the Oscar buzz that has slowly generated for the talented actress and her film.

Oscar winning actress Hilary Swank smiles exclusively for The Ravi Report

Oscar winning actress Hilary Swank smiles exclusively for The Ravi Report

“You know it’s very humbling and it practically leaves me speechless. It’s a great honor just to live my dream and be a working actor and to be in films like Amelia is enormous” she exclusively told The Ravi Report.

The iconic star Richard Gere has entertained the world for decades and critics are praising his role in the film. The superstar plays the role of Earhart’s devoted husband and long time supporter George Palmer Putnam. Gere does a phenomenal job.

Actor Richard Gere gives one of his finest performances in "Amelia".

Actor Richard Gere gives one of his finest performances in "Amelia".

Harry Connick Jr told The Ravi Report that he has been a long time fan of Swank.

“I got to know her a few years ago and man, I am a big fan of hers. I can’t wait until I see her portray Amelia which I think will be ground breaking” states the award-winning actor and singer. He also says that women are getting stronger roles in Hollywood films now and hopes the trend continues.

The film’s writer Anna Hamilton Phelan whose past films include “Girl, Interrupted” and “Chains” and “In Love & War“, says that she has been a fan of Amelia Earhart for years. The research  for the scrip, including reading  several biographies on the hero, was part of the process of writing the screenplay.

Screenwriter Ann Hamilton Pelan poses exclusively for The Ravi Report

Screenwriter Anna Hamilton Phelan poses exclusively for The Ravi Report

“She was a risk taker and reckless, she took risks she shouldn’t have taken. She had many insecurities.” states the award winning writer.

Phelan says that the first time she saw Swank in make up and costume, it took her breath away.Swank’s mannerisms and character transformation was so identical to Amelia’s that she said Swank was “just extraordinary in the role”.

“She makes my dialogue look great!” laughed the writer.

The film also stars British actor Joe Anderson, a very talented performer but  not quite a household name yet in Hollywood. He plays the role of Bill in the biopic.

Nair has done an amazing job with “Amelia”  and  many will agree that Swank is a true actress to the core with an incredible way of portraying  the legendary Earhart. The talk of Oscar for both Swank and Nair solidifies that both know how to pick and make films. This is one movie you don’t want to miss and it will be a damn shame if you do. www.foxsearchlight.com/Amelia

The Journey continues…

Ravi

17
Aug
09

Bollywood Superstar’s Detainment: Racial Profiling or Publicity Stunt?

My phone kept ringing and text messages kept coming in until my phone couldn’t hold them anymore.

“Shah Rukh Khan’s been held at Newark Airport” wrote one person. “Did the  “Tom Cruise” of India get racially profiled?” asked one reader.  “I think everyone in America will now see “My Name Is Khan” Great pr for the film!” wrote one person referring to Khan’s new film releasing shortly. The text/phone  messages pretty much contained the same premise:  Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan had been detained last Friday at Newark International Liberty Airport in New Jersey by the United States Custom & Board Protection and according to the star was  racially profiled because of  his last name being of Muslim origin. This of course prompted outrage from the  Bollywood Fraternity as well as emails from my journalist/media friends from India asking me what my thoughts were and how people in NY were reacting  to  this ” incident”.  

Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan says his recent detainment at Newark airport had to do with racial profiling.

Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan says his recent detainment at Newark airport had to do with racial profiling.

Well for starters and of course no disrespect to the mega talented star Shah Rukh Khan,  I think New Yorkers have much more to think about right now (healthcare policy, recession, job security, etc) then to focus on why a multi-millionaire Indian movie star was detained at Newark airport. Also, the word ” incident” would probably not be my first choice  in describing what happened to the superstar  nor does it lessen in value in what did happen to him, but I wouldn’t use that particular word to describe the news story.

From what  news reports are saying, Newark airport officials were  following protocol when Khan’s name flashed up on their screen and asked the  movie star to step aside for questioning which many if  not all of us have gone through at one point or another when travelling abroad.  According to one report by AP, the iconic Indian film star was en route to Chicago for an India Day Parade when he was stopped for questioning. After being held for some time (Khan has gone on record as saying it was a  few hours while Custom officials have targeted the time to being closer to an hour) and after making some phone calls to some important people in India and the Indian Consulate in NY,  Khan  was released .

Khan may not be a household name in America  but over the past several years, the multi-talented gifted actor has certainly created a global following and made national headlines for his films outside of India. Attending film premiers in NY, shooting movies in America, debuting his film “Devdas” at the Cannes Film Festival and constant appearances on CNN and BBC  has certainly given Khan global notoriety and is one of the few Bollywood filmstars to have achieved it.  His sold out Elvis Presley style stage  shows and his  blockbuster films rake in millions around the world. His recent  appearance as a presenter at the Golden Globes Awards along side “Slumdog Millionaire” superstar Freida Pinto watched by a global audience of  millions validates the fact that the iconic 44 year old Indian actor has  indeed a  mass appeal outside of India.

But he is still unknown to Americans.

What happened to Khan at Newark airport was  seen  as shocking  to some and standard procedure to others. Within minutes the news spread like wildfire.

Bollywood Star Held At Newark Airport” wrote the New York Daily News and “Questioning a Bollywood VIP” headlined the New York Times.   So like any good blogger, The Ravi Report  took to the streets of the Big Apple  and  asked what people thought of the news story.

“Who is Khan?” said one very pretty Asian girl sitting in Starbucks in midtown. “I don’t know who he is. If the custom officials had no idea either, why should he get special treatment? He’s not a foreign diplomat or a Security Official. He’s a visitor in America”.

“He is a huge superstar & worshipped in his own country and that’s great…but in America, he’s just a traveller like the rest of us” said one very cute & sexy blond who actually had seen some of Khan’s films at a recent film festival .

A few I spoke to however were a bit skeptical.

“I think it’s all a specially designed marketing plan for his new film “My Name is Khan”. When  his movie opens everyone will go see it because of what happened to him” said an Indian cab driver.

“I think it’s all great pr for his new film. I mean come on, you couldn’t pay someone to get that kind of pr. People all over the world know about his new film now.” commented one very attractive Indian lady wearing  a peacock blue silk sari coming from the India Independence Day parade where the news had spread like wildfire she said.

As I continued to ask people who were exiting the India Day parade, I was surprised to hear that many in fact  believed  that  the news story was to drum up publicity for Khan’s  upcoming movie which ironically happens to be based on the  exact same theme of what happened to the superstar. Khan’s new film recently  finished shooting in America and is scheduled to be released later this year. The film’s premise is about racial profiling Indian Muslims living in America after the 9/11 attacks.

People I spoke to also said  that since Sept. 11, Khan has travelled outside of India many times for film premieres & sold out stage shows often travelling months at a time in the US from airport to airport and never did he or his team complain of any mistreatment or racial profiling by US officials to the news.

The Bollywood megastar has yet to be interviewed on television about the incident (as of this writing Khan was on his way to back to India) so we will have to wait to hear what he has to say about his treatment at Newark airport.  To date,  custom officials at Newark International Liberty Airport have not commented  further except for a statement that has been released to the press stating that Mr. Khan was questioned for about an hour  and was detained a bit longer due to his luggage getting lost.

The journey continues…
Ravi




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