Like Hassan, the shy
and reticent masseur he played in his debut film 1947 Earth, Rahul Khanna is a man of few words. Sitting at a
posh coffee shop in South Mumbai, where ForbesLife
India meets him for a freewheeling chat, the
VJ-turned-model-turned-actor takes his time to choose his words carefully. But
when he speaks, a few sentences to each question, the articulate style icon
turns heads with his clarity of thought, just like he does on screen, playing
the suave Yousaf Rana in The Americans,
an espionage series set in the Cold War era.
Despite father Vinod
Khanna being a Bollywood star, Rahul Khanna never grew up as the “star child”.
His introverted nature is reflected in his aversion for all things flashy;
instead his wardrobe is replete with pieces that are classic and
“conservative”. “I want a long-term relationship with my wardrobe. I love the
idea of savouring pieces by reusing them over and over rather than discarding
them after just one or two outings,” says the 43-year-old.
While Khanna loves
owning beautiful and stylish clothes, he says he dislikes the process of acquiring
them. “In show business, so much time is spent on trying on clothes that when
it comes to my personal wardrobe, the very thought of shopping exhausts me. So
I try and do it as infrequently as possible.” he says. But once he finds
something he likes, he tends to buy it in multiples, in case he can’t find it
Here’s his masterclass
on the 10 must-haves in a man’s wardrobe:
I admit, I'm hooked on hummus. This Levantine dish is such a nutritious, healthful snack and I can literally eat tubs of it. Like most people, I used to buy the ready-made variety until I started reading the labels more closely and noticing all sorts of preservatives, additives and artificial ingredients I didn't recognize. I did some research and found that making ones own hummus is, in fact, ridiculously easy. It tastes so much better and fresher when you can control the quality of the ingredients and it's completely vegan. Best of all, it requires no cooking, proving that some of the nicest things in life are often the simplest!
It's not an exact science, so adapt proportions to your own tastes but here's how I make my Roasted Red Pepper Hummus:
1 can of chick peas/ garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed but save some of the liquid and a few whole beans to garnish)
A couple of dollops of tahini (you can buy this in a jar. It's basically sesame seed paste)
Juice of one lemon
A few spoonfuls of extra virgin olive oil
A couple of cloves of garlic (I like the caramelly sweetness of roasted garlic so I roast them in a hot oven for a few minutes, but you can use them raw if you prefer)
A piece of flame roasted red pepper/ capsicum (again, you can buy this in a jar if you don't want to roast your own)
Paprika or chilli powder
Puree all the ingredients in a blender or food processor with a few splashes of the chick pea liquid. I use the NutriBullet, which is my current favourite new appliance (and what I use to make vegetable blasts). Don't blend it too smoothly — the paste should be a bit coarse. If it's too dry, add more of the chick pea liquid.
Garnish with leftover whole beans, drizzle with more olive oil and dust with the paprika or chilli powder.
I like eating mine with rice crackers, vegetable sticks and the theme from Lawrence of Arabia playing in the background.
In today’s modern times the cell phone has emerged not just as the seminal communication device, but also as a remarkably effective barometer of character. Everything one needs to know about the moral fibre of a person, one can learn by their public cell phone etiquette.
At this point in human evolution, one would think we all have enough awareness and common courtesy to understand the basic tenets of considerate cellphone usage. Unfortunately, there are far too many lost souls who have fallen prey to the sin of Pitiful Phone Protocol. There are those that don’t disable the clicks on their keyboard, purposely choose to have that annoying whistling alert tone, and even those that eschew headphones and, instead, play music on their phone’s speaker.
Yet, by far the worst perpetrators of this sin are the following...
1. THE TRAVEL TALKER Native habitat: Airport lounges, security lines, shuttle buses, elevators and premium aircraft cabins. How to identify them: The businessmen and executives who feel they’re so important, the world should know it. They’re the ones repeatedly being asked by harrowed stewardesses to disable their devices. Even though they will eventually and reluctantly turn off their phones, so indispensable are they, that barely has the landing gear made contact with the runway on arrival than they resume bellowing stock transactions, legal negotiations and marketing plans into their Bluetooth headsets with the same fervour one would plan a military coup.
Suggested penalty: Covered in banana oil and locked in the gorilla enclosure of a zoo with a particularly amorous primate.
2. THE GYM TALKER Native Habitat: On the treadmills, ellipticals and stationary bikes of health clubs. How to identify them: Usually the entitled wives of the Travel Talkers who, the minute they step on a cardio device have detailed gossip sessions with their friends, berate their domestic staff and complain about their husbands to their mothers loudly on their cell phones. They will glare at you defensively if you shush them and rebuke any attendant who dares to direct their attention to the large sign in front of them that says NO MOBILE PHONES ALLOWED. Perhaps they believe tongue wagging and jaw flapping counts as cardio? A rare treat is when they become so involved in their conversation that they miss a step, stumble and get bucked off the treadmill like a rider off a temperamental horse. Suggested penalty: Locked into a laughing stock in a public square and pelted with the very rotten vegetables they were, earlier, chastising their cooks for bringing home from the market.
3. THE MOVIE TALKER Indigenous habitat: Dark, quiet cinema halls. How to identify them: The most heinous of cell phone offenders, and the reason I refuse to go to a public movie theatre. They are the ones who think nothing of taking and making calls, reading and sending texts and checking Facebook every few minutes throughout a film. Suggested penance: Unfortunately, if one has reached this stage, there really is no hope for rehabilitation and, like with a rabid dog or a crippled racehorse, the kindest thing to do is to just put them down.
I got my first sartorial review one autumn afternoon when I rang the bell of the garden flat of a stately Victorian townhouse in Kensington, London. It was the early-1990s and I had on, what I considered to be, the most stylish outfit I owned: acid washed jeans, a thrift store, plaid, flannel shirt under a distressed, leather motorcycle jacket and my prized Doc Marten boots. But the elderly gentleman who answered the door, immaculate in a dark, pinstriped suit, clearly thought otherwise. He took one look at me with his cloudy eyes, and shook his head with undisguised disdain. “Dear boy,” he sighed, wearily, making not even the slightest attempt at any kind of traditional greeting. “You always dress so workman-like.”