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Minakhee is a brand ambassador of TOI (Times of India) and is a freelance content writer with about 9 yrs of experience. Her articles have been published in many leading publications. She loves to indulge in her twin passion writing (poetry , fiction, non-fiction) and painting. She is mostly a self taught artist and explores the world with her pen and brush with equal vigor. She is a MA in Sociology and a post graduate in Advertising and Marketing.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


 "With comfort comes confidence, and confidence is always in style"

Though Fashion is not something that I generally fetter over, I like to dress up every once in a while for outings and special occasions. As far as daily clothing is concerned comfort scores higher than just the look. However the color  flashes of clothing on tabloid flaunted by models with immaculate figures, never fails to attract my eyes and attention as I flip though the morning newspapers. At times I might take some extra interest & read the nuances and jargon's of the Fashion world. The allure of the celebrity show stoppers  with their pouts, shiny locks and of course the contours & cuts of dress materials, draws me seamlessly into this creative world. So when I got an invite to Sweta Wahi's Fashion show at Dubai I decided to take a peek into this young designers profile  (Did I say she is only 23 and has 26 shows to her credit). What I found left me more than just impressed. If you are one to treat your senses with a flood of elegance, style as well as comfortable and completely wearable clothing , you might like to check out Sweta Wahi's Show here in Dubai.

“Twenty Six Shows at Twenty Three”

Brought up between Dubai & Johannesburg, Shweta Wahi began culminating her signature style at the young age of 10, as a byproduct of her interest in visual arts and culture. It wasn’t until she set foot in Canada in 2008 that she was able to fastidiously build collections to be showcased in the Toronto and Ottawa fashion circuit under her fashion label- SOLACE. After completing her BFA (Hons) in Visual Arts from York University (2012), she went on to train as an Image Consultant from George Brown College, in affiliation with the International Image Institute (2012). Shweta has also done short courses in Fashion Styling from Central Saint Martins in London, UK (2005).

Shweta was one of the youngest designers to be invited to Ottawa Fashion Week in 2010 – a venue that proved to be a breakout for her in 2012 with her S/S 2013 collection, with Ms Galaxy 2013 and ambassador for Unicef Canada, Ms Solonge Tuyishime wearing one of Shweta’s creations on the runway for charity. She further went on to intern under one of the country’s finest homegrown designers and winner of “Project Runway Canada” - season one - Evan Biddell, where she worked with him on his collections for Toronto Fashion Week.

With twenty six shows at the young age of twenty three, this Canadian-Indian designer has set an aspirational path for “Shweta Wahi Creations”. 2013 saw the launch of her label in Africa with a fashion show in Windhoek (Namibia), a much appreciated presence at the Fashion Middle East Exhibition in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), followed by the Forbes Woman Magazine launch in Johannesburg, a trends forum in Mauritius and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Africa before the year end, followed by Design Indaba 2014- the largest design expo in the southern hemisphere. Besides a dedicated clientele in Toronto - Canada, her line of one of a kind fusion pieces are available in select boutiques in UAE with Africa to follow in the coming months.

Today, Shweta is also an international advisor to the Design Council in Mauritius.

As a young entrepreneur and philanthropist Shweta Wahi has raised more than CAD 50,000 in funds for charitable organisations including MSF, Canadian Red Cross, Haiti Relief Fund and Chinmaya Organisation for Rural Development in India.

Shweta’s journey has been documented via features in newspapers such as: ELLE SA, COSMOPOLITAN SA Forbes Africa, Gulf News, Masala Magazine (Dubai) Ottawa Citizen, MacMedia, the Excalibur, South Asian Generation Next; Television: Rogers Daytime, CTV Ottawa, CNBC Pakistan, Samaa TV, Sony TV, CNBC Africa; and various fashion and lifestyle blogs such as, pop champagne, and

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Interview with ATELIER M's Chef & Creator MR. Mohammad

Can you please tell us about the motivation behind Atelier M and what is the significance of this name?

I wanted to create something unique in Dubai. Atelier M is 3 venues in 1 (restaurant, lounge & rooftop).
Atelier means workshop and the M stands for Mohammad :)

    What are the unique experiences you wish to offer through Atelier M?

      I want our guests to experience fine dining at the restaurant, enjoying the great      atmosphere in our lounge and never forget our breathtaking rooftop. You spend your whole evening with us, you don´t have to move to another venue.

Can you share any interesting anecdote or memory associated with your culinary journey?    

Well, it´s a tough industry, but all memories are always associated with great teams and chefs.

    Who have been your Idols and what inspired you to take up this amazing career option?

Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who helped me to become a good chef and Gabino Satelino, who helped me to be successful in the culinary industry

    “French cuisine re- interpreted with Asian fusion flair” is the USP of Atelier M. What was your basic idea behind this?

       I love Japanes food, Asian flavours and French cooking techniques. Combining these 3 things creates amazing dishes. 
What are culinary delights one should look forward to at Atelier M? 

We have many, but for example Hamachi tatare with avocado and yuzu vinaigrette or Prawn gigli with shallot, tarragon lobster both delight the taste buds of our guests.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

ATELIER M- Irresistible French Fine Dining Experience

Have you heard about Atelier M? This irresistible French fine dining restaurant situated in Art deco- inspired lounge and rooftop terrace of Marina mall, Dubai, enchants with wide palette of exquisite French dishes and world class cocktails. What is more intriguing is that the “contemporary French gastronomy is re- interpreted with Asian fusion flair”.


 Chef Mohammed Islam, Atelier M’s  founder, charms with the delectable flavors he conjures and his meticulous attention to every detail. For him taste is above everything else. Starting his culinary journey with the prestigious Ritz-Carlton Chicago, under the legendary French icon Chef Jean-Georges, followed by a flourishing spell at the distinguished Chateau Marmont , Chef Mohammad’s experience has been both myriad and impressive. 

Here is the tip of the delightful exotic delicacies that await you at Atelier M- Crab Croqettes, Oxtail Ravioli, Hamachi Tartare, Wagyu Rib Eye, Pan Seared Duck Breast with Foie Gras Butter and much more. Boy those names are enough to make my mouth water. 

Look out for interview with the Chef Mohammad Islam and catch him whipping up one of his magical dishes.
 Coming Soon…..

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


On 21st of June 2014, a sultry Saturday evening in Dubai became a very special evening for me. What was so different this evening? Nothing much, except that I could become one among the 32 other Artist’s who had contributed their paintings for a beautiful cause. The Bosnia Charity Auction organized by Jaahirah was a wonderful initiative, under the patronage of Bosnia and Herzegovina Embassy, which took shape at Dubai International Arts Center. This was the second Charity Auction I participated in but the excitement and anticipation was as strong as the first event.


One of the most severe floods, in 120 years, ravaged Bosnia and Serbia recently, leading to a state of emergency. 32 Artists from different nationalities showed their support and donated their paintings which were then auctioned off. It was quiet a loot for the bidders and art collectors. Each painting was auctioned off at a prize far less than their actual market value. About 8 paintings were retained by the DIAC so that they can become part of another Charity auction and raise greater contribution for The Bosnia cause. 
Contributed Art Works On Display

Production & Contribution By Henosis (Ashwin & Archana)

Painting Contributed by Me-Expanding Boundaries
Auction in Progress

The Bidders

Skeptics feel artists who contribute put on a garb of casual philanthropists to garner publicity for themselves and their paintings. I will not argue if such a mind set is right or wrong but if such publicity helps put a smile across someone’s face I see no wrong in it. There are umpteen examples of paintings that challenge most people’s visual senses and their ability to understand the why they command such insane prize tags.

For example the Untitled painting below by Cy Twombly sold for a whooping $2.3 Million!


It is said beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. Forgive me for being visually challenged and not seeing the painting any different from what my 2 year old had scribbled on the wall once.  If that is the kind of money which art works have ability to command, imagine its potential to bring about real changes with the money they can generate.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Entralling interview & Visual treat with Ms. Annamaria Bersani (Gallery manager, of Opera Gallery)

Ms. Annamaria Bersani (Gallery manager, of Opera Gallery)

*    Celebrating 2 decades of association with Art, must be a huge occasion for Opera Gallery. Please tell us a little more about this esteemed Gallery?
From the beginning, this gallery has specialized in art investment. It started business in 1994 with the opening of its flagship gallery in Singapore, on the city's famous Orchard Road. From the School of Paris through the freewheeling movements, Pop Art, tromple l'oeil up through contemporary art production, Opera Gallery offers works by masters such as Chagall, Dali and Modigliani, as well as works by new talents from every continent.  Today, Opera Gallery is a notable leading network with a total of twelve galleries world-wide, including branches in the world's major capitals Paris, London, New York, Miami and Hongkong, as well as gallery spaces in Geneva, Monaco, Seoul and Dubai.

*    What was the impetus behind Opera Gallery Middle East?
Quote from Opera Gallery’s Chairman Gilles Dyan:
“Establishing a gallery in Dubai was an important move,” he said at the 2008 opening of Opera Gallery at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a few weeks before the global credit crisis made landfall. “When it hit, we did not know what to expect,” recalls Gilles Dyan. “Thankfully, because of our loyal client base, we were able to keep the gallery running.”

Opera Gallery Group’s network of 11 Contemporary art galleries across the world weathered the storm. In 2010, it even opened up a second branch at The Dubai Mall, which later closed in 2013. “Many questioned our decision to open a gallery there, however it is there we can attract international tourists that are not familiar with us, while the DIFC space is for our longstanding collectors,” he says. “Before opening up in Dubai, we always had many clients from the region; now we can appeal to a new collector base as well as sell to the institutions being built here.”

*    The theme for the exhibition celebrating Opera Gallery’s 20th Anniversary, The Woman, The Myth, The Mystery is at once strong, interesting and compelling. Can you please state the incentive behind this theme?
The exhibition, The Woman, The Myth, The Mystery is a real exploration of the baroque painting style of this reputed and respected artist in the contemporary art scene, and draws us into a fantastic world of myths and legends, where our subconscious governs over all.
It introduces us to the artist’s mythological universe of mystery, enigmatic thoughts, feelings and emotions and is divided in Roc-Roussey’s especially worshiped themes, The Woman, The Myth and The Mystery.

*    Women the world over are faced with many challenges. Do you think Art can become a real catalyst in bringing about positive changes? Yes of course: “Historia docet”- since the dawn of time revolution done to achieve civilization and human right has been supported by literature and art movements. Simple brush strokes can denounce deep opinions.

*    Please tell us about the artist Jean-Pierre Roc-Roussey’s and his art works? Is there any particular painting or art style you can elucidate about?
Roc-Roussey’s baroque painting style draws us into a fantastic world of legends and mythology. Focused mainly on women Warriors, Amazons, Greek goddesses, Samurai women or African dancers, he creates a new form of exoticism with mysterious realm. Always with his splendor and freedom of invention, he depicts them in a more ‘masculine’ way, as warriors… wishing to liberate their power. He perceives them as impassive demigods and he creates a world of imagination where our subconscious governs over all. Roc-Roussey lives in his own world of imagination that enables him to envision mythical legends and use themes from Neo-Classicism and the Renaissance, mixed with elements from the Middle Ages and Oriental civilizations.

*    What kind of Art Works interests Opera Gallery?
Opera Gallery provides a showcase for the works of the famous painters such as Picasso, Dalí, Miró, Braque, Warhol, and Chagall. It also promotes new artistic talent. Recent artists include: Ron English, Lita Cabellut, Lori Earley, David Mach, Camilla D’Errico, and Sylvain Tremblay. Opera Gallery also supports young artists who have gone on to achieve international recognition. The Gallery continues to find many talented artists in Europe, Asia, and America.

*    Do aspiring artist’s works appeal to the gallery curators or is it more interested in established artist’s works?  Both elements equally equilibrated are into Opera DNA

*    How strong is Dubai’s association with Art world, and what do you think of the Dubai Art scene?
Dyan says he hopes to increase the number of exhibitions held at the gallery in a bid to introduce foreign artists to the UAE art scene. The space is also actively promoting the Modern works in its catalogue: “We have a great inventory of masterpieces from the 20th century that we can present to collectors in the region,” states Gilles Dyan. He is confident in the longevity of Opera Gallery’s Dubai branch, citing the city’s growth into an international cultural capital. “The local art scene is maturing by the day and is becoming stronger and stronger,” he says. “With two major art fairs in the UAE, international and regional art protagonists will continue to invest their time and money in the Middle East, which will sustain the regional scene.”

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Finding Father

Finding Father
It is often implicit that, every daughter looks for some glimpse of their father in their significant other. For many I am sure, this is an unrealistic quest, like looking for a pin in a stack of hay, or a pearl in the desert sand.  I am not trying to undermine the men in our life, but for a daughter a father is mostly on a citadel where idols are kept. How can a human compete with GOD? Yes, most of the times (except in some unfortunate cases) our fathers are the epitome of an ideal human being. There is a veil of respect, awe and admiration through which we always view our fathers. For a son (I may be wrong being a women) feelings toward their father changes color until a time comes when it adheres to that of a daughter. In childhood, a son views a father with wonderment and reverence, in youth he rebels or pictures the father as a competitor or antagonist (trying to prove himself to his father), when he begins to understand fatherhood through his own experience as an adult, it transforms into love and respect again.  In the words of  Charles Wadsworth "By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong."
No matter how our experiences we all value or long for love from our father figures. Some are blessed to be showered with these graces and some are left famished. "I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection." -- Sigmund Freud. A father is very important for us, but most of us would ascribe words like strong, staunch, strict rather than soft and loving to our fathers.  It is often easy to ascribe the word love to a mother- she gives birth to us, tolerates our tantrums with a smile, forgets her own welfare as she attends to our needs. It may be because when we join two opposing worlds our lives become more complete. We enjoy the warmth and comfort of our homes better when we know that the foundations are strong , the walls support the roof, which in turn keep away the rain and wind. We often base our understanding of fatherly love on these precincts "The father is always a Republican toward his son, and his mother's always a Democrat." -- Robert Frost
Yet encompassed within the strong exterior is a loving heart. Our fathers must have turned dewy eyed when they first laid eyes upon us. Some may have been too mortified to hold us in their arms, least they harm such a fragile creature. How many beats would their hearts have escaped when they rushed us to hospital or saw us lay sick in bed? He too would have skipped dinner s awaiting the phone to ring and inform him of our whereabouts. We would have broken his heart a thousand times, when we misunderstood him, blunted out harsh words in our teenage rage. A few tears would have escaped his frigid eyes as he watched the anguish of the father in “The father of the bride.” He may have been a mighty mountain but I know now that deep within he hides a sea of love. HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Opera Gallery 20th Anniversary exhibiting Jean-Pierre Roc-Roussey

Opera Gallery Celebrates its 20th   Anniversary Jean-Pierre Roc-Roussey

For Art lovers  & Collectors in Dubai here is a splendid opportunity for the public to discover the grand collection of masterpieces of Opera Gallery Dubai

2014 marked a major milestone in the history of Opera Gallery Group, as the international renowned gallery is celebrating its 20th anniversary. As part of this  celebrationt the gallery chose to showcase an exhibition of Jean-Pierre Roc-Roussey.

The exhibition, The Woman, The Myth, The Mystery, that will be on display till 25th June 2014 is a real exploration of the baroque painting style of this reputed and respected artist in the contemporary art scene, and draws us into a fantastic world of myths and legends, where our subconscious governs over all. Indeed, Jean-Pierre Roc-Roussey uses myths and themes from Neo-Classicism and the Renaissance, mixed with elements from the Middle Ages and Oriental civilisations. His work is mainly focused on women warriors, amazons, Greek goddesses, samurai women or African dancers, creating a new form of exoticism with mysterious realm.

Annamaria Bersani, gallery manager of Opera Gallery Dubai, says: “It is Opera Gallery’s great joy to invite the public to discover an artist whose work is constantly evolving, and offers such a precise and accomplished rendering.”

His work will be surrounded by the gallery’s collection of masterpieces by Salvador Dalí, Damien Hirst, Bernard Buffet, Joan Miró, Marc Chagall and Pablo Picasso, as well as internationally renowned artists who have been supported by the gallery throughout the years. 

For more information on the exhibition, please call +971 4 323 0909.

One of the Highlights of the evening was a  performance by renowned dancer Raquel Reina.

About Opera Gallery:
Founded in 1994 by Gilles Dyan, member of the European Chamber of Expert-Advisors in Fine Art (C.E.C.O.A.), Opera Gallery Group, now internationally established with 11 galleries in the world, is one of the rare international art gallery networks with locations on several continents: North America, Europe, Asia and Middle East.

Since its creation, Opera Gallery Group has always strived to offer its international collectors unique access to a diversity of multicultural artists, from the works of Modern Masters such as Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Bernard Buffet or Andy Warhol, just to name a few, to the most sought-after contemporary artists (Lita Cabellut, Gérard Rancinan, Joe Black, David Mach among others).

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