Thursday, 26 June 2008

What are doing in Mumbai this week end?

If you would like to go for plays….there are some interesting plays in the city….

30 Days in September

Mahesh Dattani’s intense and gripping tale of love and betrayal that explores the brutal severance of the unbreakable bond between adult and child. A mother discovers the truth about her daughter, which sets them both on a journey of self discovery about their lives and their inextricably linked past.
On 26th June at 6 30 pm at NCPA Experimental Theatre, NCPA Marg, Near Hilton Tower,Nariman Point ,

City of dreams

''City of Dreams'' is a visual delight, which is all set to enthrall you with its sheer magnitude and opulence. The story revolves around Adaa. Destiny lands her amidst a sea of unknown faces, in the city of Bombay. It is said that if you have a roof over your head in this city- nothing is impossible to achieve. Add to it a dash of grit and determination and the world will be at your feet. Well this was what Adaa, thought. Talented, pretty, determined and of course she found a roof too over her head- Shridhuri''s house. But then the toughest of waves can shatter before they reach the shores. Adaa who dreamt of making it big in Bollywood, found herself face to face with the bitter truth of life. The treachery, sleaze and the sharks.

On 29th June at 7pm and on 27th June at 7 45pm at Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, NCPA Marg, Nariman Point ,

The Prophet

The Prophet is about the ordinariness of the ‘plains of existence’. A Syrian Maronite Christian, Kahlil Gibran moved to New York in recent years. The Prophet is considered to be a precursor to New Age writing, a powerful and mystical work that has been translated into more than 20 languages the world over.

On 28th June at 6 30 at NCPA Experimental Theatre ,NCPA Marg, Near Hilton Tower ,Nariman Point ,

Vagina Monologues

Eve ensler’s bie award winning play was written after Interviewing 200 women from all over the world, including Bosnia and Kosovo ..the play brings about an awareness of buse towards women and the message is clear….silence = death! No one , man or woman , will ever be the same again after viewing the vagina monologues.

On 26th June 700pm at Prithvi Theatre ,No 20, Janki Kutir ,Juhu Church Road ,

Dance like a Man

This highly popular production has completed more than 250 shows and has played in cities across the globe from Singapore to San Francisco. The story of Jairaj and Ratna, two Bharata Natyam dancers past their prime, is contrasted with that of their daughter Lata, who is on the brink of establishing herself as a brilliant dancer. Her imminent success creates tension and jealousy, and the audience is drawn into the dark secrets of family relationship and conflicts between generations. The play probes the characters to question their deeper motivations, but the mode is comic rather than tragic.

On 27th June at 630pm at NCPA Experimental Theatre ,NCPA Marg, Near Hilton Tower ,Nariman Point ,


takes you to the jungle in search of the missing tiger, with lots of music, and dance. You are directly invited to participate in the play at every step, and possibly shape its direction. Let us discover together how human existence on this planet is inextricably linked to the survival of the tiger.

On 28th June at 1100am at Prithvi Theatre ,No 20, Janki Kutir ,Juhu Church Road ,

World Music day

International Centre for Cultural Relations is organising ''World Music Day'' celebration at Air India Films Division Auditoriums, on a grand scale through Indian and Western classical, folk, modern and filmi songs, musical instruments performances and films.
On 28th June at Air India Films Division Auditoriums , Prabhadevi

Img source :

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Shopping trends in Mumbai City

Are the things that are sold in Mumbai really cheap? Or is the spending power of an Indian citizen high?

If you walk down any street of Mumbai, you are sure to find people with a shopping bag. Everybody is buying; some of them have bags from expensive stores while some have thin polythene shopping bags from cheap stores. But all the people who are not jay walking are serious shoppers. Mumbai city is a shopper’s paradise. Not only are there long winding shopping lanes (Crawford market, Santa Cruz market, Dadar market) reserved for shopping, but there are shops on the streets (Linking road, Hill road, Lokhandwalla, Fashion street), on the foot bridges and on skywalks, and even in some residential areas (of Bandra, Cuff Parade, Colaba).

And then there are ever increasing malls. Rainy days or hot summer days, malls are the favorite destinations for shoppers. It is convenient to shop in the malls because you can spend the whole day, shopping at the stores, eating at food courts and watching movies at their multiplexes. Some of the malls have live variety entertainment shows and activities in their open spaces that involve the shoppers and attract more crowds keeping them entertained. You can even take your senior parents, invalids or children for an outing to a mall because it is easier to wheel them around. Some of the stores will offer you the membership cards and give you points on your purchases. What happens to those points and how it might benefit you, that you will have to figure it out but regular shoppers might be getting some benefits because that could explain the popularity of the malls.

Some of the most popular malls in Mumbai are Inorbit at Malad, Nirmal Lifestyles mall at Mulund, Atria mall at Worli, Quorum mall at Parel and Infinity mall at Andheri. Check it out, you can join the gang of busy shoppers too, duh?

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Mumbai Dabbawallahs are in news again

And guess where? In Dubai! Yes in Dubai!

A conference of chartered accountants in Dubai this week, which heard presentations on topics like wealth structuring crisis, India's cost competitiveness, Middle East equity markets and commodities cycle, was perked up by a presentation on Mumbai's ubiquitous dabbawalas.

Invited by the Dubai chapter of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Manish Tripathi, honorary director of Mumbai's dabbawalas, gave a presentation on the trade wearing a now globally recognizable dabbawala white cap and swearing with his hand on a tiffin box that he would “say the truth and nothing but truth” about his trade.

“Believe me, I will give you so much knowledge about dabbawalas that any of you can come to Mumbai and start working as a dabbawala,” he told an over-1,000 strong audience at a five start hotel here.

“Our work revolves around a few beliefs - the most important ones of which are sticking to time and believing that work is worship,” he said.

There are around 5,000 dabbawalas in Mumbai today delivering around 200,000 tiffin-boxes amounting to 400,000 transactions every day - first delivering the tiffin boxes and then delivering the empty boxes back home.

Every dabbawala has to report for duty at their designated locations at precisely 9:30 a.m. The dabbawalas work in a high pressure environment in traffic-congested Mumbai as they move dabbas on foot, carts and local trains to deliver the food to their customers across various places in India's commercial capital.

“Our workers just have the basic knowledge of alphabets and numerals which help them write the codes on the tiffin boxes.”

The process begins early in the morning. Cooked food is picked up from houses and caterers by dabbawallahs and taken to the nearest railway station. There, the different tiffin boxes are sorted out for specific destination stations and loaded on to large, rectangular trays accordingly.

Each tray can hold up to 40 boxes. These trays then travel in local trains down to various stations. At each station, there are another set of dabbawallahs who quickly take the dabbas meant to be distributed in that area and push in dabbas meant for other stations.

At each station, the boxes are once more sorted for localities and offices and taken there by handcarts or sometimes carried by individuals

The boxes are placed in the offices' reception area by 12.30 pm and are picked up from the same spot by the deliverer a couple of hours later.

The whole process then starts again in the reverse. The boxes are picked up from the offices, taken to the nearest station and sorted for their journey home.

Forbes magazine gave this service its highest quality rating of Sigma 6, which means that per million transactions, there is just an error of one.

Explaining the major features of the dabbawalas's supply chain management, Tripathi, who had given similar presentations at IIMs, Stanford University and George Washington State University among others, said: “Zero percent reliance on fuel, zero percent use of modern technology, zero percent investment, zero percent disputes, 99.99 percent performance rate and 100 percent customer satisfaction.”

While our NRI cousins have to make do with fast food cuisine and put on extra pounds, we, in India, can enjoy the luxury of home-cooked food, thanks to our hardworking and responsible dabbawallahs…….Aint we lucky living in Mumbai?


Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Pedestrians will skywalk in Mumbai……

I must have been dozing during my bus trips and had not noticed this before, but yesterday, when I traveling by bus after a gap of four months on this route, I was surprised to see 1.3 km long skywalk, a bright yellow iron bridge extending all the way from Bandra Suburban station to Kala Nagar in Bandra East..

Wow! A skywalk in Bandra! Now people don’t need to go to gym to shed few pounds!

Skywalk construction in Bandra consist of 4 meters elevated walkway framed structure with Polycarbonate Sheet as roofing and resting on 1.0 m. dia. Pier of ht. approximately 6.0 m above the ground level. It has four staircases namely at Anant Kanekar Marg Police Chowki, Near ONGC Building, Kalanagar on either side of Sion-Dharavi Road.

Around 50 skywalks, or elevated walkways, are being planned at railway stations across Mumbai and its suburbs to facilitate the movement of people from stations to adjoining areas without disrupting the flow of vehicular traffic.

The MMRDA had earlier announced that it would be financing the construction of 50 skywalks in the city at a cost of Rs 600 crore. The MSRDC would be constructing 18 while the MMRDA will undertake the work on the remaining 32 skywalks. The MMRDA hopes to recover the investment through sale of advertising rights.

The width of 17 skywalks will vary from 3 meters to 4.50 meters and will have steel railings, powerful lighting, polycarbonate sheds, sitting arrangements, escalators, landscaping, garbage bins, shops, and toilets.

I am sure that this project will be economical, time-bound, and most commuter-friendly due to its need in the wake of dense pedestrian movement and there is a promise that the skywalk will have enough space to accommodate demarcated areas for hawkers.

‘Linking road’ and ‘Fashion Street’ will have a new address. Now, won’t that be fun?

Monday, 16 June 2008

You have to pay VAT on residential properties in Mumbai

You walk down any street in Mumbai city; you are likely to see the construction of some kind. Many of the old building have been razed for redevelopment and you can see the Mumbai sky line changing every day. There are too many constructions everywhere and the prices of these new flats that are being constructed are ridiculous. Citizens already put off by the senseless prices of residential properties have now a new head ache.. They have to deal with - Value Added Tax (VAT) that is amounting to 5 per cent, (this was introduced in 2006 but has been made applicable from this year).

Last week, the sales tax (ST) department issued circular asking personnel to keep track of projects begun after the proposal was moved.

Builders are opposing the VAT, not out of concern for flat buyers but fearing a decrease in sales due to the increase in the cost of the flat.

In layman's terms, it means a new flat must be treated as a manufactured product, like a car or a TV set.

However, if you bought a flat after 2006 and do not remember paying VAT, it was because it was applicable only on under-construction projects and those which had been booked but for which occupation certificate had not been issued.

Builders who have not yet charged VAT from flat-buyers have included a clause in the sale deed that if the government insists on VAT, then the customer has to pay from his pocket.

So read the fine print before buying a property in the city of Mumbai.

Source: Mumbai Mirror

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Mumbai rains

It has been one week since I returned to Mumbai after my two months trip to West Africa and Middle East. I was expecting to catch up with the back log of my work that has piled up during these two months but the Mumbai rains have imprisoned me in my house. It has been raining since last five days. It is the worse rain since last seven years and there is no sign of clear skies as yet.

But some of the important works cannot be postponed; therefore I have been walking carefully, very carefully on these slippery floors in these wet, wet days to complete my important tasks. We have auto service in the suburbs, so it is convenient to take point to point service to the banks and the shopping malls. Shopping malls are the blessing too during this season and they are quite crowded these days. Then shopping malls have multiplexes too, so going for movie is also no problem.

But, are the American citizens walking down the streets of Mumbai during this weather? Don’t they have AC cars to transport them to their work place?

American citizens in Mumbai have been asked to follow "commonsense precautions", like avoiding low-lying areas that appear to be flooded. They are warned that BMC workers are likely to open manhole covers on roads to ease flooding but not to place warning markers around them. “You should also pay attention when walking, since sidewalks are non-existent in some areas or used for other purposes in most parts of the city. It’s possible that you could inadvertently step into an open manhole,” the advisory reads, adding that all of city’s drains empty in the Arabian Sea.

I think Americans are used to more dangerous situations than stepping into an open manhole of Mumbai streets. They have witnessed Katrina disasters, Floods, Tornadoes, Heavy Rains, River-overflows, Earthquakes, Power Outages, Wile-fires in every other random State of the US.

Last year’s water-logging in Mumbai due to heavy rains had caused inconveniences to many working people in Mumbai. Some were stranded due to non-availability of transportation (trains were canceled due to water logging on train tracks), and other problems. This time, corporate India has come to the rescue to ensure that their employees don’t face similar problem, in case the entire city gets water-logged due to heavy rains.

Some of the corporate houses in Mumbai have made arrangement of food and accommodation for their workers, while others have arranged for safe transport and some of them have even the best option of allowing the employees of working at home in case of emergency.

People who are really affected by these heavy rains are the hawkers and the people who live on the streets. It especially affects the common man who travels by bus or train to reach their work place. These people have no choice but to brave this discomfort and reach their work place. And they are careful too. The memories of 26th July 2005 is still fresh and haunts many Mumbaites

That was the terrible Tuesday when Mumbaites learn to cope with one of the worst calamities.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

'Plays' around the city......

If you like to watch a play, there are some interesting plays performed during the month of June in Mumbai.

Check it out…….

The "Wedding Album", Girish Karnad’s contemporary new play, explores the traditional Indian Wedding in a globalized, technologically advanced India .at Prithvi Theatre ,No 20, Janki Kutir ,Juhu Church Road ,
Mumbai ,on Jun 5 2008 7:00PM and atNCPA Tata Theatre ,NCPA Marg, Near Hilton Tower ,Nariman Point ,Mumbai ,on
Jun 10 2008 7:00PM and Jun 15 2008 6:30PM

`Hair` tries to open out the world of this fairy tale. Sticking closely to the structure of the story, it looks at the three main characters in it -- Rapunzel, the Prince and the Witch.atNCPA Experimental theatre ,NCPA Marg, Near Hilton Tower ,Nariman Point ,Mumbai ,onJun 6 2008 7:00PM

ONCE UPON A ... TIGER! takes you to the jungle in search of the missing tiger, with lots of music, and dance. You are directly invited to participate in the play at every step, and possibly shape its direction.
at Prithvi Theatre ,No 20, Janki Kutir ,Juhu Church Road ,Mumbai ,
onJun 7 2008 11:00AM , Jun 10 2008 9:00PM and Jun 21 2008 11:00AM

For weeks, 12-year-old ‘Hayat’ (a word that means ‘life’) has been cramming for her final exam. Then the night before, her father falls ill and is rushed to hospital. Hayat is left alone to look after her infant sister.
atGodrej Dance Academy Theatre ,NCPA Marg, Near Hilton Tower ,
Nariman Point ,Mumbai ,onJun 7 2008 11:00AM

‘Class of 84’ - A roller-coaster ride about friendship, filled with pathos and humour.atNCPA Tata Theatre ,NCPA Marg, Near Hilton Tower ,Nariman Point ,Mumbai ,onJun 8 2008 6:30PM

‘Baramasi’ Based on a novel by Gyan Chaturvedi, the play spans over two decades and revolves around the Dubey family, their dreams, expectations, disappointments and failures.atNCPA Experimental Theatre ,NCPA Marg, Near Hilton Tower ,Nariman Point ,Mumbai ,onJun 15 2008 6:30PM

Feeling a strong desire to share the incantation of the words that he loves so much and which have been with him for a long time, Naseeruddin Shah seeks to get them across in all their purity. In his words, ‘The Prophet’ is about the ordinariness of the ‘plains of existence’.atNCPA Experimental Theatre ,NCPA Marg, Near Hilton Tower ,Nariman Point ,Mumbai ,onJun 28 2008 6:30PM

The name "Bombay" was derived from 'Bom Bahia' (The Good Bay),

.... a name given by Portuguese sailor Francis Almeida, in 1508 ....“Bounce back Mumbai” it is called by the locals, it is a city that has been through a lot in the recent past – floods, bomb blasts, riots – and come out stronger each time.

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