METRO PLUS

The 4R way to unwind

Choose your zone The Wii gaming zone,

Choose your zone The Wii gaming zone,  

Offbeat From Wii games to reading rooms and children’s activity corners, this edutainment lounge has something for everyone

Every now and then, a few bright sparks dare to pursue their dreams even if it means swimming against the tide. Sasikanth, a BITS Pilani alumnus, preferred to start his own venture than settle for one of those high-paying jobs that came knocking on his campus doors. Supporting him are his friends Suresh, Balakrishna, Suman, Susheel and Bhanu Prakash who were drawn by the concept and resigned from their respective high-paying jobs. Two years of background work has lead to Sasikanth and his friends opening the first-of-its-kind activity lounge called Habits. Sasikanth was featured among the top 20 entrepreneurs under the age of 25 in Business World for his unique concept.

What started as an idea of a reading club has now metamorphosed into an edutainment lounge. Throwing its doors open this week at Madhapur, near the State Gallery of Art, this edutainment lounge rides on the 4R principle – Read, Relax, Reload and Rejuvenate.

At the lounge you can sit back and read a tome, look up reference works, listen to music on the iPods provided, play online sudoku on laptops provided, play a Wii game, watch international, national and regional films on a home theatre system, enjoy a candlelit dinner with your spouse or play board games while your kids try their hand at clay moulding.

“When I floated the idea of a reading club, people called me idealistic. After a lot of thought and discussions, I decided to package the concept of reading with entertainment,” says Sasikanth. The lounge is open to individual, corporate and family memberships. Walk-ins for non-members are also available.

The first floor includes a children’s activity centre, a home theatre lounge and a Wii gaming zone. The collection of movies is commendable - Iranian films, Indian regional masterpieces and other international titles. Films that entertain and at the same time inform and educate are what you can expect. For children, there are titles sourced from the Children’s Film Society of India. There are plans to conduct script writing workshops as well.

The selection of board games meets every requirement. Children’s games include building blocks and pictionary while adults can try their luck with Lord of The Rings, MAD games and mechanical series. Unwind playing board games on the lawns on the ground floor as you enjoy mocktails and cold salads. Good food, by the way, is an added attraction to this lounge. Expect live counters for international cuisine on the terrace that also has an exclusive place for candlelight dinners. Dinner apart, there will be dance workshops (salsa, jive, samba etc) from time to time.

The Wii games are a highlight. There are simulation games for all ages, for individuals and groups. For instance, choose simulation games in the sports section and play golf, tennis or cricket. The remote doubles up as your playing kit. As your mime your strikes, see the shots and your score on screen.

The second floor is exclusive for members to pursue their activities with some peace and quiet. Here, you can load music of your choice on an iPod and listen to them without interrupting co-members.

Plans are on to conduct theatre workshops and book reading sessions as well. The lounge stemmed from an online platform ( >www.habits.in) and hence, invites you to write your own review of a book or a movie. “We plan to open two more centres in Hyderabad before launching in other metros. The long-term plan is to open cultural centres abroad. A centre that showcases the culture of AP will attract NRIs who want to know about the art forms, music and dance and cuisine of AP,” says Sasikanth.

SANGEETHA DEVI DUNDOO
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