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30 September 2012

Mad to be a nomad

Rustomjee Elanza

Rustomjee Elanza, where I finally ended up

LUDWIG VAN Beethoven moved house at least 60 times in the 34 years that he lived in Vienna. That means he’d had a new home roughly twice a year. I have just relocated to a new house, and it’s my thirteenth time in 12 years. Not in the same league as the great composer, but we’re in fraternity: we’re professional nomads!

18 August 2012

TRAVEL TALES : They don't serve their kind in Chennai

Royal Cuisine Restaurant

Royal Cuisine Restaurant at the Raj Palace Hotel, Chennai

THE MOST memorable travel moments are those defined by your dining experiences. Knowing what and where locals eat saves cost and gives a direct account of cultural habits. Which is why I was puzzled why the Royal Cuisine restaurant at Raj Palace, where I stayed during my brief visit to Chennai this week, did not include South Indian fare in their menu. I was in Chennai, center of the Tamil world, and I had to have idli and sambar!

22 June 2012

Dare to bare and wear their ware

No money, no clothes
Image source: Desigual Blog

FOR CASH-STRAPPED Spaniards, Desigual’s end-of-season sales give them the chance to shed their fashion inhibitions . . . by shedding their clothes.  Yesterday, the flamboyant clothing brand from Spain opened their summer sale in Madrid with the nakedly daring “Come In Undressed and Go Out Dressed” campaign, where 100 people strip down to their undergarments to avail of free shopping.  Undressing may be a ploy to ensure that those shoppers really have no money on them.  Or have the most perfectly imperfect bodies to fit into those broken-sized end-of-season markdowns.

19 June 2012

Romina and Arman mark five years!

Arman, Romina, and Naysan Imani

Arman, Romina, and Naysan Imani
Image source: Shamelessly stolen by Paul from Arman's Facebook profile

IN THE flurry of my birthday on 16 June, I missed the fact that two of the most beautiful couples I have ever met celebrated their fifth year of togetherness on the same day. In 2007, my friends Romina and Arman Imani decided to live their lives in perpetual unity. It's been five years since I wrote excitedly on this blog about their getting engaged, and five years since I gushed over their getting wed.

17 June 2012

Championing women’s heart disease

GUESS WHAT kills women more than any other illness around the world?  It’s not cancer; it’s heart disease.  How ironic that a woman sustains the lives of others by using her heart . . . and then faces death with a disease that plagues her own heart!

16 June 2012

Turning 47

THE DOORBELL rang at eight this morning, surprising me with a home delivery of flowers and surprising me even more about its source: the management team of Globus Stores! I've received flowers on my office desk, but never brought personally to me at home—and that, too, from my professional leadership team. It sweetens the thought of being valued well, and the value of being thought well. It's a memorable gesture on a memorable day.

When I turned 46 last year, I reflected at how quickly I reached that age.  I wrote:

Now I understand why the first 30 or 35 years of your life seem to be the longest and slowest--you spend all that time building up a cache of dreams, hopes, triumphs, regrets, fears, and tears. 

Today, as I turn 47 and being remembered by my leaders at work, I look back to those first 30 or 35 years of my life, to remember another leader, one who forged my dreams and hopes in the most masterful way. He was my father, Catalino Ancheta, who passed away ten years ago.  His greatest legacy is my family's spiritual foundation: the Bahá'í Faith, which he introduced to my mother and to each of my five brothers and five sisters.  It's a gift that forever changed my understanding of how life must be lived, for oneself and for others.  It's a present that remains unmatched and irreplaceable, the greatest I've ever had and will probably ever have.

Turning 47, I honor my father . . . and all our fathers!

Related Stories: Turning 41 | Turning 42 | Turning 43 | Turning 45 | Turning 46

15 June 2012

One year in Mumbai, this time

IT’S BEEN a year since I joined Globus Stores and moved back to Mumbai.  In fact, moving to India’s biggest city was one of the main reasons I accepted the new role in Globus.  This city was my welcome mat to Indian in 2005, the place of my happiest memories of adapting into a new, chaotic world and building lasting friendships.  When I moved to the sedate Kolkata in 2007, I didn’t realize how much I would miss Mumbai’s sense of self and camaraderie.

14 June 2012

Globus returns to Kanpur

Globus Kanpur Store Launch
Link reference: Paul Ancheta on Vimeo.

GLOBUS STORES, India's premier fashion specialty store, opened its 36th branch last Friday at Z Square Mall in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.  This also marks the return of Globus to this north Indian city, having closed its first (and highly successful) store there a few years ago.  See how the new store looks like in the video below.

17 May 2012

EPITAPH : Donna Summer (1948-2012)

Donna Summer

Donna Summer with Barbra Streisand, 1979
Image source: Werner Matrisch

WAY BEFORE Madonna, there was Donna. Hers was the music that made my generation proud to have lived and danced the disco years. It was a total shock to have learned about her sudden passing, as I didn't even know she was ill.

Farewell, Miss Donna Summer (1948-2012). Heaven Knows that there'll never be a Last Dance where you are.

04 May 2012

FOCAL POINT : Pilita Corrales, “Dahil Sa Isang Bulaklak”

WHILE CLEANING my music collection last weekend, I realized I had a copy of the romantic Philippine pop song "Dahil Sa Isang Bulaklak" (Because of a Flower) written by Leopoldo Silos and sung by Pilita Corrales. The song is the love theme from the award-winning 1967 movie of the same name. I saw the movie as a high-schooler back in the late 1970s when it was rerun on the screens, and I vividly remember the movie's mini-skirts, heavy eye make-up, and pastel-colored cinematography. And, of course, the bittersweet love theme.

Pilita Corrales

As for Miss Corrales, she's a source of Filipino pride. The beautiful chanteuse is regarded as the most iconic song stylist in the Philippines. At her age (she's in her seventies), she still dresses up in figure-hugging gowns and bends courageously backwards when reaching high notes—a trademark Pilita posture. Although her style is closer to old-fashioned saloon than contemporary pop radio, her enunciation, vocal affectations, and charming stage presence endear her to Filipinos of all generations.

Here is Ms Corrales and her well-sung interpretation of "Dahil Sa Isang Bulaklak". The lyrics on this version are different from what is usually heard; I'm not sure if these were the original ones written for the film. Another Philippine music legend, the composer Ryan Cayabyab, orchestrated the breathtaking arrangement.

Scream dearly

The Scream at Sotheby's

EDVARD MUNCH's iconic composition The Scream sold for a record $119,922,500 at Wednesday's auction at Sotheby's. Actually, it was one of the four Screams that Munch had created between 1893 and 1910. This record-shattering Scream was a pastel that Munch composed in 1895, but it still screams of the familiar agonized figure against a fiery red sky—the same figure that has been eternally copied in modern pop culture, not the least of which are those murderous Scream slasher movies.

While ordinary mortals scream when paying a hefty price, last Wednesday's mystery buyer paid a hefty price to scream!

09 March 2012

Globus comes to Pune, third time around

Visual merchandising at Globus, Koregaon Park Plaza, Pune, India
Image source: Paul Ancheta

GLOBUS STORES opened its third store in Pune, India last 3 March 2012, at the newly opened Koregaon Park Plaza shopping center. It's one of the most beautifully designed malls in India, and I'm glad to have opened a Globus store in it. If I may say so, our store is just as beautifully designed by the very capable in-house projects team. We have introduced innovations in product mix and product presentation, as you can see from the images above.

The new Pune branch is the 35th in the Globus network of fashion specialty stores.

05 January 2012

Ten confusing pop song titles


THE CHINESE restaurant played American pop ballads non-stop tonight. While trying to eat masala-drenched mushroom rolls, I wished that Leon Lai's "爱你/不爱你" was playing instead of Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On". And that's because I'd rather not pay attention to lyrics I don't understand, than try to understand lyrics I'm forced to pay attention to. Like "My Heart Will Go On". Think about it: what on earth does that line really mean?

02 January 2012

As 2012 rolls in

Happy 2012!

AFTER A year filled with political indecision and social dissatisfaction, 2012 promises changes in communications that can improve the way we live our own personal lives. For me, the past year has been one of personal change and adaptations. I acquired a new flat in Manila, changed jobs and brought my career back to fashion retail, relocated to Mumbai after four years in Kolkata, revisited the Bahá'í World Centre for the first time since I left it seven years ago, and lost some of the most beloved members of the Bahá'í Faith around the world. Some of the adjustments were not always fun, but they were required, and they helped me grow better each time.

I really look forward to 2012's innovations, and I wish every one of you a better beginning for the year!