Let the music play by your fingers – the Piano King, Aman Bathla!

Who knew that the kid who was just playing around touching every musical instrument in his childhood will grow up to be a Piano King…IMG_0381

Aman Bathla, who was very fond of touching and playing with musical instruments in his childhood, is conferred with the awarding entry in the great books like Golden Book of World Records, Unique World Records and Incredible Books of Records in the year 2015. When asked about his feelings for the awards, Aman says, “These certificates added feathers to my cap. Now I have 8 World record certificates and of course, it feels so good.”

Aman believes that music is one of the best mediums of meditation. He says that music has made him more subtle in life and hence has helped him develop a direct connection with his inner-self. With the knowledge of another 26 music instruments, together with Piano, Aman always found Piano attractive as he got fascinated with the fact of both the hands ding different tasks at the same time. He felt the sound of the piano as the angelic bells from the heaven.IMG_117642545471387

Coming from a well-established business family of Gurgaon, Aman was though never forced to continue with the established business, but yes was expected to do so being the part of the family. But he heard his heart, saying to play piano instead. Aman goes by the phrase, “Practice makes a man perfect”, and thus, with the regularity of doing his Riyaz every day at-least for 3-4 hours, he makes sure that he can maintain his quality of playing.

Aman has two great idols to follow in his life – the coveted Santoor player PT. Shiv Kumar Sharma, for his wonderful soul and none other than A. R. Rehman for his bone chilling music. Aman also gives free piano training to selected kids with the aim to make the today’s generation relate to piano popularise piano as a mainstream instrument like it has been in good old times. He selects the students for free training who are sincerely passionate about learning piano and cannot afford steep fees that are charged in a market otherwise.IMG_9128

When asked about his favourite students and how does they differ from the crowd, he said, I am proud of all my bachas. Some are teachers now and some are performers, but yes 3 of my stars are shining apart. Gauri Mishra, 9 year old pianist who is the youngest pianist of our nation, Tanvi Gupta is also emerging as a promising pianist and Satyam Upadhyay, my young singing sensation.

With the special dedicated piano set-up in Ambiance Mall, Gurgaon, Aman Bathla is earning his name and respect with the lovely instrument where fingers play the music of the heart!

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Vidya Balan Launches Cineblitz Magazine’s latest issue

Vidya Balan launched the latest issue of Cineblitz magazine on the occasion of their 39th anniversary on 6th April 2013 in Mumbai. She gave a mother India look to herself for being published on the cover of the magazine. This issue of the magazine is a tribute to legacy of 100 years of Indian Cinema.

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Photography: Team SC

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“Sparkling Desires Forever” Fashion Show by Amy Billimoria


Amy Billimoria, a designer who recently did a bridal show with Amisha Patel as the showstopper talks to Priyanka Singhal, Editor’s Delight

Amy is a graduate in apparel manufacturing from the SNDT University of Fashion designing. She’s one of the highly regarded fashion designers of India. She has an experience of over a decade and has won numerous awards.

Besides, having a client list that includes clients all over the globe, Amy Billimoria is also a mentor at SNDT and B.D. Somani Fashion designing college.

ED: At what age did it occur to you that you can be good as a fashion dress designer? Was it always a passion?

Amy: I was always passionate about dressing up well and it started at the age of twelve. I also used to visit the tailor and as well as design the outfits for my birthdays or the wedding functions. Therefore, at the age of 15, I finally decided to make a career in fashion.

ED: Amy, you specialize in couture and bridal dress designing. What goes inside your mind when you are designing for a particular wedding?

Amy: While designing for a wedding, I always try to stay updated with the current trends that will suit my client’s body type. After that I pick up the appropriate color, palates and fabrics while keeping in mind my client’s preference as every girl wants a dream wedding. It’s been 19 years and so far I’ve been successful in doing so. While working with client’s budget and involving them at every step of the creation helps me in creating a perfect ensemble.

ED: The wedding day is the most special day in a woman’s life. Have you ever felt apprehensive about not being able to deliver a customized design to the prospective bride?

Amy: I have never been apprehensive about my deliverables. When you are systematically moving along the way from choosing the right design, to seeing the embroidery swatches to the drape etc. then everything progresses in a favourable manner and the result has always been positive.

Therefore, if you’re taking care of these aspects then you’ll be able to deliver your best in the given deadline and you’ll be able to make sure the bride looks the best in her attire.

ED:  How much time does it usually take for you to come up with each season’s new designs?

Amy: We are creating new styles almost every month and as my forte is customising with my wide clientele base worldwide, it’s more of creating new designs daily rather than having a couple done every season.

Amy Billimoria’s designs have garnered quite a fan following, and she has gradually become one of the respected names in the fashion industry.

ED: Do you make your bridal designs so as to suit the varied personalities who are going to carry them?

Amy: Yes every design that I customize bridal or otherwise is always made keeping the client in mind, as well as their body type and their persona.

At one of my recent bridal show, I showcased new drapes of exquisite and ornate hand embroideries on different lehenga styles with neutral gold and solid colour blouses. I wanted each piece of the bridal ensemble to be reused by itself. So, the sari was pleated as a dupatta, draped over a very light lehenga and solid sequinned or brocade blouses. Also Ameesha Patels lehenga was a new bridal palette of deep purple with a combination of red and fuschia. This is something I wanted to portray as a new bridal colour. It had an ornate copper dori work teamed with kasab and pearls on velvet and rawsilk.

An interesting fusion blend of patiala salwar variations with short jackets was also one of my favourite collections.

ED:  How do you choose the colours? And how do you put them together?

Amy: My colour palettes are usual a subtle gradation closer to colour families rather than complete contrasts However, as the current trends are vibrant, we do put purples with reds and yellows with pinks, but at the end of the day I  decide colours in keeping the clients skin tone and occasion’s requirement as first priority.

This helps in creating the attires that not only complement the client but also make sure it goes along the occasion and helps creating a beautiful effect.

ED: Do you only want to keep yourself to couture and bridal designs? What are your future plans with respect to designing, Amy?

Amy: I have never limited myself when it comes to designing. My future plans include styling for movies, which I have been holding away for quite a while.

ED: The fashion industry is a very dynamic industry. As a designer, have you ever faced a creative block looking at the pace at which a style comes and goes?

Amy: Well I think being creative is an on going process when it is powered by passion. Since beginning, I have always believe in creating the styles and the embroideries that are timeless. Therefore, I never felt that I was lagging behind.

This is how the creative block never happened, because I believed in my work, instead of doubting what I was doing.

ED:  Amy, with who all have you got an opportunity to work? Your best experience?

Amy: I have had the opportunity to work with people from all walks of life, be it film stars, industrialists, royal families. However, my most memorable experience has been with Hema Malini, just very recently where after almost two decades, she asked me to style her in a drape gown that I created in only eight hours.

ED: You have been awarded several times. How does it feel to be recognized and rewarded for your work?

Amy: It always feels good to be appreciated and awarded for your efforts. It just makes me want to better myself and keeps the passion going. 

Amy Billimoria has received numerous awards like ‘The Garden Vareli best sari choli design’, ‘The Leela Studio’s best embellishment award’, ‘The Femila Chrysalis Alumni Trophy, ‘The Manikchand Designer of the Year Award(Mumbai)’

ED: Who is your inspiration?

Amy: I have always been inspired by Shahab Durazi and always have loved his way of work and attention to detail, moreover, the cuts and styles are so timeless and each one is better than the other. This is something that has inspired me over the years, and helped me come out with the designs I have in past.

ED:  Is there anyone in special for whom you would like to design a bridal dress for?

Amy: For me each bride that I have designed for is very special. But I would love to design Katrina’s bridal ensemble as she has the perfect persona to carry a fusion blend that I would love to create.

ED: What would be your message for the budding fashion designers?

Amy: My advice to budding designers is that it is very important for designers to be accessible to the common man. Never overprice your garments, and always be creative. It will help you in moving forward with ease and also will help you stay grounded with your dreams as well as future plans.

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The body of a woman speaks – Sunayana Malhotra

Art has changed from figures of god and women with matkas to more expression of feelings…

Sunayana Malhotra talks to Editor’s Delight

An artist should not only have a theme and colours and brush, but he should also have a strong belief on what he/she is painting out as it is the portrayal of the inner feelings and expressions. Sunayana Malhotra is a strong believer of feminism and womanhood. On asking the reason behind the portraying woman in her artworks, she says, “I find it the most natural thing to do; being a woman myself I believe that it is the best possible way in which I can express myself. I hold a lot of respect for women in all phases of life. There is a lot that a woman puts in her life and keeps on working for one thing or the other throughout her lifetime.”


She says that Art is no more about women holding matka in her hands or only about idols of God, it has become more expressive. She has a special collection of her work titled as ‘Her Body Speaks’ about which she describes in her own words saying, “In this collection of mine I have tried to explain how a woman’s body can speak a language of in itself. Every woman’s body tells her story in her own words, what all she has been through her life. In my work I have a lot of places where I speak of the female form, in my paintings I have a woman standing alone with a ball in her hands. A woman has a lot of roles to play in her life from a mother to a daughter, wife, working professional and a lot more. Like a juggler perfectly juggles a number of balls in his hands similarly a woman also perfectly juggles these roles in her lifetime. A woman is very innocent; she has to face the outside world by herself where her roles are constantly changing.”


Sunayana explains that every color has its own significance in a painting, “I use a lot of colors in my work, where using the color red comes out natural to me. I believe that a painting should not only give out a feeling of peace and calmness but should also portray the energy and vibrancy into the person viewing it. I am a very energetic person myself and so I love using this color. But yes, a balance should also be maintained in the calmness and vibrancy and so I also use a mixture of yellows, blues and a lot more colors to give out the look.”


Sunayana believes in the saying that, ‘the beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder’ as she says that no painting can be described as perfect, it is just the expression of the painter’s feelings. A painting is a very personal feeling.


Describing the women that she paints in her paintings she says, “The contemporary woman, the present modern Indian women are the one I display in my art work, as she is playing so many roles in her life and is doing it flawlessly. I try to portray a modern woman with a traditional outlook; today’s women are a blend of both.” 


Sunayana enjoys modern contemporary art; she is very inspired by American artist as they paint for themselves, she says that when art is mixed along with commerce, it becomes a mess. But she also admires a number of Indian artists like Jatin Das, Amrita Shergill, Satish Gujral, Anjali Ela Menon and a lot more…


She suggests the budding artists to follow their heart and then get into art only if they are passionate about it. Otherwise, it is a lot of work if you want to do it professionally. It takes a long time to establish and be stable in this field, be committed and be dedicated to our work.


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Perfect your mannerisms with Sangeeta S. Bahl

“Pretty is what you are, and beauty is what you do with it”

When Sangeeta S Bahl talks to Editor’s Delight

An anonymous saying that is impersonated to perfection by Sangeeta S. Bahl. She is the first certified Image Consultant in India, the founder of “Impact Image Consultants” and also the co-author of “Executive Etiquette Power- with the chapter “The Art of doing business in India”. She has travelled around the world as a part of the aviation industry and has enriching experiences to talk about.

“I am driven by inner passion, when I pick up something new, I fancy it till the time I have perfected it and then I move on to my next interest. The key is to follow your heart and dedicate yourself to it.”  She started her career with the aviation industry 20years back and moved to the Middle East and later recruited, supervised, trained and coached the cabin crew on board as well. She is very well- travelled and has worked with people from around 80 nationalities. While working with the Emirates she decided to add another feather to her cap and completed an Executive MBA from the University Of Bradford (UK).

In 2004 she earned her title as a Certified International Image Consultant, Certified Seminar Leader  and has been an Executive Coach and Mentor ever since in India. She has worked with various age groups and shared her experiences from a workshop with teenage children, “Yes, they are a diverse lot but then it is just an age and you have to know how to bring out the best in them. They go through tough times with peer pressure issues, bullying and stress related to studies. They are low on self-esteem and confidence. They need to be guided in the right direction and rest works out for itself. It feels great to bring out the buoyancy hidden in such young vibrant people.”

As an Image Consultant she has enriched the lives of her clients and has given them a new sense of profound self-appeal. She says that it is an immensely fulfilling feeling to have been able to help someone and make them feel better.

Sangeeta is also a Certified makeup artist from Kryolan and  Trained Color Consultant. She has been trained in the Universal Color System which works well for every possible skin tone. In the words of the expert herself, “Every face has a different set of method to be applied to it. And there are specified tools and combinations that can completely change the appearance of a person. I work in a decade to decade method. Every 10 years I re-evaluate the skin and color technique best suited to my clients.”

She wrote a chapter “The art of doing Business in India” in the book titled “Executive Etiquette Power” which was launched in the US in late 2009 . “A lot of people want to come to India and do business but they do not understand the way the process is carried out here. This chapter would help them do just that.” She laughs when she says, “I re-launched the book in March this year for my Social network friends since they too need to learn a thing or two about conducting themselves in public.” Sangeeta will continue her work as an author with her second book on Image Consultancy, which is due to launch near Diwali.

With so much work in her punnet, we couldn’t help but wonder what the daily routine of the diva was? “I am a highly organized person and compartmentalize my work. I set deadlines and time frames for myself and work hard to beat them. Not a compulsive party person anymore, hence, no regular late nights for me. I start my day as early as 5 a.m. and am done with most of my work by 11a.m. It is now a well formed habit and I intend to keep it that way.” On being asked about her responsibilities at home, as a wife and a mother, she said, “Change is evident in life and sometimes one has to succumb to other responsibilities apart from work. I am constantly juggling my work and home, but I am managing it pretty well.”

Sangeeta S. Bahl is an affluent public and keynote speaker and was recently appointed as the E Division Governor J, District 41, and the Toastmasters International for 2012-2013 where she would be handling Rajasthan and parts of Gurgaon region. She was happy to tell us that not everybody gets such an opportunity and that she has worked very hard to get to where she is today. Needless to say we couldn’t agree more.

On May 24th,’12 her own column was launched in YUVA a new Hindi paper for the youth by Hindustaan HT in Patna. It is a one of a kind Hindi newspaper which would be dedicated to issues and topics related to the youth, “My very first article will be on Mobile Etiquettes. I strongly believe that in order to penetrate the minds of the youth in the Patna region, I would have to speak to them in their language. Hence my approach would be to educate them with helpful experiences and easy to understand articles. My second write up will be on GDs (Group Discussions) given, in the light of the various college entrance processes.”

She has big plans for her entrepreneurial venture and wants to grow. To this she adds, “I am not in a profession for making money. I believe in good quality work and would not settle for anything less. The franchisee route is suited for me but I do not want to step into the act until I find the best in the industry for the job.”

So what does a prospective candidate need to possess in terms of qualification to be an Image consultant, we asked, “You just have to have a passion for helping people. A people friendly person who can deal with the client face-to-face would do wonders. Your confidence in yourself would impress the client a great deal. It’s a cut-throat market out there and you would have to exhibit exemplary people skills to rise above the rest.”

Sangeeta S. Bahl is an inspiring woman icon. She has carved a niche for herself in the hostile business scenarios in India and is going strong. No matter how testing the situation got, she held on to what she believed in and the result is for all of us to see. There is a lot more to be done and we are sure that we will keep hearing about her giant leaps in the near future.

Lastly, quoting her status update on Facebook,

“My advice to all who wish to be UNIQUE is ……..BE YOURSELF!!


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Varija Bajaj- Self-made Business woman to self-made designer

“It became imperative for me to first understand the pulse of the market and then design backwards.”

Says Varija Bajaj to Priyanka Singhal, Editors Delight

ED:  How did designing happen? Did you always want to become a designer or it came as a result of something? Tell us your story, which led you to the road of creativity and designing.

Varija: I have a Philosophy (Miranda House), Advertising (Xaviers Institute of Communications) and an MBA (University of Shiffield) background.  VARIJA that was conceptualized and began in 2004 was a business venture where I had designers working for me. I was into the management and looked after the strategies. But very soon I realized that the collection that was designed by my designers was much closer to the ramp than to the real people. It was ideal for models and petite figures.  They all looked good on the ramp  but the designs could have been endorsed by all and sundry.   Also there was a huge market of not –so- perfect shapes and sizes waiting to be tapped and I decided to go for it.

In Management they teach –“If your customers want rotten apples give them rotten apples”. Hence it became imperative for me to first understand the pulse of the market and then design backwards. Thence I started designing myself…instead of de-conditioning educationally trained designers.

I wouldn’t say that this is an ideal way of becoming a designer. It is very important to get technical/theoretical/educational training…which I didn’t and that meant figuring out ways on my own, which obviously took time. However I mastered all practical aspects while on the job. My strong will to achieve, coupled with my aesthetic sense and basic sense of proportion and balance helped me become a designer.

ED:  What does designing mean to you? How would you define designing as a person and as a designer? Is there any success mantra you particularly believe in?

Varija: Designing in any form is a creative expression of my thought process. It says more than what words can articulate…your lifestyle, your mood, your nature, your age…

As far as my success mantra is concerned, there is not just any one mantra. There are too many…there is no single formula for success ever.

ED: As a designer, what occasions do you like designing for the most? What kind of fabrics do you like working on? How do you ensure the designs match up with the fabrics?

Varija: Primarily, I design for formal and semi formal wedding occasions … They can be weddings, cocktails, receptions, theme parties etc. It also covers other events of celebrations and festivities.

Being Boho in feel VARIJA uses every possible fabric on earth.

ED:  Your forte is Weddings and Occasion wear. How do you ensure that the designs you make are unique and special for the bride? Do you hold conversation sessions with people before designing for them?

Varija: We retail pan India through various multi brand outlets where our creations are picked off the rack without one to one interactions with us. However for special occasions my clients seek appointments where we understand their need and understand their profile before suggesting/designing for them.

Like most designers…we have our own signature style, which is colorful, young, fun and essentially boho in feel. The idea is to depict celebration through finer nuances of our creation. We are known for our playful tassels unusual silhouettes and bright color combos…

ED: You’re also a case study at ISB, Hyderabad. How does it feel to be a case study at one of the most reputed B schools of India? 

Varija: It surely feels good… but not better than the learning that I have had in my journey of VARIJA in last 7years. No accreditation, award or reward can ever replace the feeling that this learning has given me.

ED:  How do you feel when you’re invited for celebrity chat shows? Do you do any special preparation for them? 

Varija: There was a phase when I used to be excited…but not anymore. It’s part of my work and a job that needs to be done…And there is no special preparation except for the fact that I make sure I don’t turn up in my work clothes.

ED: What is the future of Lotusse Lifestyles?  Where do you plan to open you store next. When do we see it happening?

Varija: Ahhh….too many! I want VARIJA stores in the top five cities of India. Then I would love to see multi-designer stores under Lotusse Lifestyles. Also I would love to explore and diversify in other lifestyle products.

We are in the process of evaluating various proposals and it would be too early to define a time line at this point of time.

ED: You’re a great designer who has been able to keep up with changing designs. What tips would you like to give to people who want to look trendy without spending too much? How would designers like us survive if people do not spend money? 🙂

I would just advise keep reading about the latest trends and observe Celebrities which are known to initiate Fashion.

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