It’s impossible not to have a crush on Bollywood actor Rahul Khanna who can stop women in their tracks with his boyish good looks, sharp dressing and old-world mannerisms. Never mind the fact that he’s a brilliant writer who chooses his words as wisely as his clothes. I’m thrilled to share my interview with Rahul about some of his favorite things giving the ladies even more reasons to be crushing on this charmer!
STYLE: For me, the ultimate style icon has to be Cary Grant. He epitomized the refined, modern gentleman with his classic, understated, tailored look. You can still look back at his movies and photographs and his style remains enduring, relevant and inspiring. In today’s day and age, someone who comes close is Tom Ford.
DESTINATION: New York City. It is the city I have spent the most time in as an adult. It is, simultaneously, exhilarating and infuriating. It’s like a dysfunctional mistress who treats you like dirt but you can’t seem to give her up because she’s so intoxicating. I feel everyone should try to live in New York for some time during his or her adult life. It is a rite of passage.
LITERARY: My favourite book is Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. Growing up, I read and re-read it so many times, completely awestruck by what a vivid imagination and wonderfully quirky sense of humour Roald Dahl had. All the characters were so specific and unique and the visual imagery and sensory descriptions were so fantastical and are probably what led to my (now chronic) chocoholism. And I loved the message at the heart of it, about being true to yourself, even if you’re the underdog, and that ultimately being a good guy pays off.
CELEBRITY: Jack Nicholson is probably my favourite actor. He has such a larger than life personality and has had such a rich career that I think he’d be a hoot to have over for dinner. I’d love to hear his version of all the behind-the-scenes, inside-information from the sets of some of his most iconic films like The Shining, China Town and As Good As It Gets and stories about some of his co-stars.
CULINARY: There’s this tiny hole-in-the-wall in Hell’s Kitchen in New York City called Afghan Kabab House, which serves delicious, hearty, home-style food from Afghanistan. My family, friends and I have been going there for years. When 9/11 happened there were worries about a backlash from the public. Instead, all the local residents came out in a great show of solidarity towards the understandably concerned proprietors and staff. I remember eating there shortly afterwards with the window facing the street completely covered with cards and ribbons of support from regulars and neighbours. It was quite an incredible experience.
COCKTAIL: My favourite cocktail is a martini. As with my taste in humour, I like my martinis dry and dirty. The dryness of a martini refers to the amount of vermouth used in the drink, with a very dry martini having little or no vermouth. A dirty martini contains a splash of olive brine.
Noël Coward once said that a perfect martini should be made by “filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy” (which along with France are two major producers of vermouth), meaning the less vermouth added to the gin the better the resulting drink.
Here’s how I mix mine:
- A large shot of Bombay Sapphire gin
- A small shot of dry vermouth
- Olive brine to taste
- 3-4 green olives
- Add dry vermouth to the martini glass, swirl it around, and pour out. Pour gin, olive juice and ice into mixing glass and shake until chilled. Strain in the martini glass and drop the 3 to 4 olives as garnish.
JAVA: I have tried specialty coffees in fancy coffee houses all over the world but none really thrilled me. Then a Cuban friend of mine, who also takes her coffee very seriously, sent me a stovetop espresso maker. It was so simple to use and produced the tastiest coffee I’d ever had. So now I never have to travel further than my own kitchen for a delicious cup of coffee. I make 1-shot using Illy dark roast espresso, which I then pour into a quarter cup of steamed skimmed milk. Nowadays I even pack a small stovetop espresso maker for long trips.
FASHION: During the summer I am outdoors a lot. Whether I’m going for a run, a long walk or a hike, I only wear Nike gear. I find their range of sportswear is the perfect blend of excellent design & function.
I also do a lot of swimming, either in the pool or at the beach and spend a lot of time in the Orlebar Brown range of swim shorts. They have a superb tailored fit and come in great colours and prints.
When it’s time for me to put on a shirt, I love Rajesh Pratap Singh’s exquisitely made and light-as-air cotton “mul” shirts. The detailing and finish is just superb and the fabrics are so fine, it feels like you’re wearing a cloud.
FILM OR TELEVISION: I’m currently watching and enjoying a lot of the American cable network series like Californication (some of the best written dialogue I have heard and some of the most beautiful women I have seen), Game of Thrones (beautifully produced fantasy adventure), True Blood (incredibly sexy and clever) and Breaking Bad (superb performances and writing). The budgets, production values, writing and performances of these shows have overtaken feature films, I feel.
GROOMING: I am fiercely loyal to Kiehl’s. All my grooming products come from them. Some of my favourites are the White Eagle Shaving Cream, the Facial Fuel Energizing Scrub, the Acai Damage Protecting Toner Mist and the Amino Acid Shampoo.