Thursday, 26 February 2009

We Want Underground Metroline and Not Overhead

This is the picture taken at Versova, which was once a wide road with four lanes having a smooth traffic. The street has been constricted, by this construction of Versova-Andheri –Ghatokopar route causing traffic jam and pollution. Such is the future of Mumbaites during next few years, when most of the roads in Mumbai will suffer this discomfort.

My friend who lives in the Suburbs has been overtly concerned, not only of this discomfort and pollution but also about the danger of displacement due to latest Metro rail project that is underway by MMRDA (Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority)

The present scenario of Mumbai is that there is too much traffic on the road and many times we have to abort our plans to go for family functions or events unless it is too important to attend. The inadequate road network slows down the traffic causing congestion and environment pollution.

With a great influx of people into city of Mumbai, and more added each day, buses and trains are not sufficient to cater to comfort and economical transport of a common man, as a result, a new project MRT(mass Transit System) is on the list of alternative transport because of its high capacity, environmental friendly, economical and attractive deal to commuters.

The route, Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar project is already under construction but Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd Route which is to start in 2012 is under fire.

MMRDA wants to construct ‘Overhead Metroline 2’ that is passing through S.V.Road and linking Road.. There are three metro stations planned on linking Road dis-housing plot holders and their occupants for building these stations. The route moves through S.V.Road and Linking road blocking the only two arterial roads connecting North and South Mumbai in the Western Suburbs. And the entire route is OVERHEAD thus destroying the established and developed neighborhood of the entire Western Suburbs, and not to mention about many residents/commercial structures to be uprooted to make way for stations, staircase, concourse, parking etc.

The residents of Bandra-Khar-Santacruz argue that Western Suburbs are over-populated, over-developed and generate maximum revenue compares to South Mumbai, yet the suburbanites are always considered inferior by the authorities in providing infrastructure and many other attributes to improve the quality of life. There was no notification issued to citizens for acquisition/compensation for the properties along this route. Instead, the local authorities have issued IOD, CC, OC transfers, etc to these properties, worth several hundred crores of rupees in recent past and continue to do so.

Even in Mumbai itself Bandra-Colaba route is planned as an underground Metro line. All over the world, developed cities have underground metro lines, especially when passing through residential/commercial zones.

So, what are MMRDA trying to do? Why do they want to built overhead and de-house the residential areas and create congestion, when there is an alternative of building an underground rail system?

What the actual plans of MMRDA behind such proposals are.. ...Can you guess??????

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Don’t take a raw deal from public transport…… Mumbai

For long distance we take normally local train or a bus in city of Mumbai. They are comfortable during off-peak hours. The traffic is less, there is fewer crowds in the bus, and it is economical.

But during peak-hours, traveling in the city is a nightmare. Some of us are forced to take a taxi to reach but for short distance, in the suburbs we normally travel by an autorickshaw.

While most of the autoricksha fella are quite friendly and will even chat with you or share a song from their music system, blaring into their vehicle, there are some of them who refuse to ply to the destination of your choice. Their argument is that we should choose the correct direction before hailing their auto. It is their auto, so they will decide where they want to go, if you are going the same route, they will drop you but having to take an U-turn for you… is not done… and you are left cursing them, especially if you are stranding on a lonely route. Many of the ricks don’t like to take u-turn, (perhaps to avoid repetition of scenery)

Good news for all those who've traveled in auto-ricks and had to step out of autos, 'coz of the attitude that the rickshawallas dish out!

Go ahead and sit in the auto rickshaw without a word and ask them to take to your place, and if at all they refuse, kindly do not step out, but while in the auto, immediately dial traffic control room's number 24937755 / 24937746 / 24937747.

Within 5 minutes the traffic police will reach and they can suspend auto rickshaw licenses.

If you are anywhere in Mumbai the above numbers will help you, but if you were too coward to complain and are still angry, you still can do something. Post your complaint to and see the results.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Poetry festival at Prithvi Theatre.

During the next week, on 23rd, 24th and 25th February, the ‘Poetry Festival’ will be celebrates at Prithvi theatre at Juhu.

The programs is as follows

On Monday, 23rd February

6pm to 7pm

Ideas Unlimited’s ‘Ni Shabda Sukta’
Harish Meenashru and Chandrakant Shah recite their original contemporary Gujarati poetry

7pm to 7:45pm

Jana Natya Manch’s ‘Ujale Safed Kabootar: Kuchh nazme Philisteen ke naam
Palestine through the poetry of Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Safi Abdi, Mahmoud Darwish and Nizar Qabbani.

8pm to 11::30pm

Films by Shabnam Virmani, Vikalp presents

‘Had-Anhad: Journeys with Ram & Kabir, (105mins)
Koi Sunta Hai: Journeys with Kumar & Kabir (96 mins)

Tuesday, 24th February

6pm to 7pm

PEN’s ‘Reading your Spiritual Other’
Poetry selected and read by Arundhathi Subramaniam, Jerry Pinto, Ranjit Hoskote & Sampurna Chattarji.

7pm to 8pm

Caferati’s ‘Open Mic’
Your chance to read two minutes of your own original poetry.

8pm to 8:45pm

Sridhar Thayil’s Opera Noir
A dark Indian twist to opera

9:30pm to 10:30pm

aRanya’s ‘Shabd Sangeet’
Songs and poetry of affliction by love and by theatre.

Wednesday, 25th February

6pm to 7pm

PEN’s ‘Laments, Songs, Prayers, Riddles and Prophecies’
Poets, musicians and theatre artistes come together to perform poetry.

7pm to 7:40pm

Sancharee’s Vaachik 40
Ajay Kumar performs in the rare traditional storytelling form of Katha Gayan Vaachan.

8pm to 9:15pm

Ekjute’s ‘Sufism’
A journey through Sufism with Rumi, Amir Khusroo, Baba Farid and Khalil Gibran.

9:30pm to 11pm

Essay Communciation’s ‘Ghazal Ka Safar - A Musical Journey’
Ghazal celebrated as the foremost of lyrical forms.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

The Reel Shows during KGAF……. all free…What Fun!!!!!

For those veterans who bored of walking on the streets and doing face-reading, there are reel shows showing at different venues where you just can feast your eyes while chomping caramel popcorns…………

The reel shows during the festival are as follows

13th February 2009


Gumraah 1963 (Hindi Feature film) at Cama Hall

4pm to 6pm

Short films/documentaries at BHNS

6:30pm to 7:30pm

Shamiana (The short film Club) at Cama Hall)

8pm to 10pm

Shiver (Spanish Feature film-horror) at Cama Hall


Ocean of An Old Man- Premiere (Feature film) at Eros Cinema

14th February 2009

3pm to 5pm

186 Kms. – Estonia 2007 (Feature film followed by an interactive session wit Director Rain Naik)
At Cama Hall

5:30pm to 6pm

Bollywood Gig at Cama Hall

6pm to 8pm

Big - 1988 (Feature film) at Cama Hall

8:30pm to 10pm

Four Wedding and a Funeral 1994 (A feature film) at Cama hall

6pm to 8pm

Shamiana (The short film club) at M.C. Ghia Hall

8pm to 8:45pm

Kala Ghoda Shorts (on Fire and water) at M.C. Ghia Hall

9pm to 11:30pm

Sound of Music 1965 (Feature Films) at M.C. Ghia Hall

15th February 2009

10:30pm to 12:30pm

Dr Horton- 2008 (Children’s feature film) at Cama Hall

12noon to 1:20pm

Mickey’s Great Clubhouse Hunt! -2007 (Cartoon Children’s film) at M;C; Ghai Hall

1pm to 3pm

Mary Poppins (Feature film) at Cama hall

1:45pm to 3:45pm

Jungle Book- 1967 (Feature Film) at M.C. Ghia Hall

3:30pm to 5pm

Who Says That It Is Easy?- Argentina 2007 (Feature film) at M.C. Hall

4pm to 5:30pm

Rahu, If Ever (2 mini feature films) at Cama Hall

5:30pm to 7:45pm

20,000 leagues under sea -1954 (Feature films) at M.C. Hall

6pm to 6:30pm

Filmi Gigs at Cama Hall

7pm to 9:30pm

Kingdom of Heaven 2005 (Feature film) at Cama Hall

9pm to 12midnight

The Abyss -1989 (Feature film) at M.C. Ghia Hall

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

See The Words Dance At Literature Festival at KGAF

I would have loved to attend KGAF everyday, (I did that last year) but this year, my priorities have changed and I am really tied down by other obligations. But one event that I would not want to miss this year is the ‘Poetry Slam’ (that I had enjoyed it thoroughly last year). The Slam made its debut in KGAF in 2007 and there was much enjoyment from the audience and the participants. And since my friends were also participating in the slam last year, I wanted to attend till the last hour.

What I like about this slam is the way the poets perform their poetry. You see the participants shouting, reading, reciting using gestures, walking jumping; singing and some even use musical instruments. The participants are judged on both the quality of the words they perform and the performance itself.

There is a theme chosen for the slam on which the poets are asked to perform in 2 minutes slot. This year’s theme is Rock, Paper, Scissors. The winners are announced at the end of the competition and the best performers go home with prized money in Rs3000, Rs2000 and Rs1000 as first, second and third prize respectively.

This event will be held at 6:10 p.m., 15th February, 2009, at the David Sassoon Library Garden

During KGAF many of the literature events are held at David Sassoon Library .

Some of the interesting events are as follows:.

February 12th 2009

5pm to 6pm

Book Launch(The Rozabal Line, a bestselling debut novel by Ashwin Sanghi, will be launched at Kalaghoda. Anish Trivedi will be in conversation with the author.)

6:10pm to 8:20pm

Gazal Sandhya (A multilingual gathering of poets who write Gazals, cutting across language abrriers)

8:30pm to 9:30pm

Samakaleen Hindi Kavita

February 13th 2009

5pm to 6pm

Impact of Globalization on Marathi poetry (a panel discussion on how Marathi poets and their perspectives have been influenced by post-globalization order, and how this has changed their work

6:0pm to 7:10pm

Fresh off the shelf-New books, new authors Part 2

7:20 pm to 8:20pm

Gallerie magazine will launch its new, special issue on Afghanistan

8:30pm to 9:30pm

Interrogating life-Playwrights talk about engaging with past and present issues

February 14th 2009

5pm to 6pm

An evening of Contemporary Marathi Poetry, organized by Abhidhanantar and Poetrywala

6:10pm to 7:10pm

Ganesh Dev- In Conversation (Renowned literary critic and activist Ganesh Devy will be in conversation with Dr Dilip Zaveri. Dr Devy is the founder of Bhasha, an institute for research into tribal languages and culture. He has been awarded by the Sahitya Akademi for 'After Amnesia' and is a recipient of the Prince Claus Award for his contribution to the conservation of the history and literature of oppressed communities in Gujarat.)

720pm to 8:20pm

A panel discussion about how writers have dealt with terror and conflict in their work.

8:30pm to 9:30pm

Writing for a Better World- A discussion of an activist literature which focuses on contemporary social, economic or ecological concerns
There will be slots of ten minutes during each session during which there will be open house.

Are you going??????? 15th February is the last day of this festival...... Hmmmn!!!

Monday, 9 February 2009

Dancing in the City of Mumbai during KGAF

After walking all afternoon down the Rampart Row, and your hands too full of shopping bags, it is time to relax your feet. There are dance performances by well known dance artists every evening at Amphitheatre.

You could watch the following programs:

Feb 10th 2009

5:30pm to 6pm~ Fusion dance by Gaysil A
6:15pm – 6:55pm ~Saavron Rang Bheji by Parvati Dutta
7:30pm to 8:15pm~ Folk dances of India
8:30pm to 9:45pm~ Ek Sham Gandhi ke Naam: A dance ballet in Bharat Natyam by Lata Surendra

Feb 11th 2009

5:30pm-6:30pm ~Kathakadi Kathak: Tribute to late Guru Rohini Bhate
6:30pm to 7:30pm~Kathakali Kathak: Roshan Datya traces the history of Kathak through sculpture
8:15 to 8:45~ NEXUS: a western dance
9pm to 10pm~ Lasya presents ‘The Collage: Ek Yatharth

Feb 13th 2009

5:30pm – 5:50pm~ Dazzlers by Chase Entertainment
6pm – 7pm~ Panchamahabhoota: A Bharat Natyam-Odissi recital
7:30pm – 8:20pm~ Manipuri dance~ recital with Rasa and Pungcholom
8:30pm-9:15pm~ Mohini Attam/Bharat Natyam presentation
9:30-10pm~ Freak N stylz presents a bboying performance

Feb 13th 2009:

5:30pm-5:50pm~ Maikhamb and Jaladeepasan
6pm-7pm~ Duryodhan Vadham: Kathakali Recital by Kalamandalam C Gopalakrishnan and troupe from Kerela
7:30pm-8:30pm~ Footprints: a fusion recital by Anurekha Ghosh company UK
9pm onwards ~ Fashion show- Romancing with calligraphy

Feb 14th 2009

6pm – 6:45pm ~ Folk Dances from Around the world: Dance Kidz
7pm-8pm~ Atah Kim: Contemporary kathak, Director: Kumudhini Lakhia
8:15pm- 9pm~ Nityanjali celebrates Romance through folk dance
9:15-10pm ~ Shaimak Davar’s Institute of Performing Arts

There will be a special dance show at NGMA on 19th Feb~ 7pm to 8:15pm~Narmade Hara Hara: A Bharat Natyam presentation by Vaibhav Arekar

Also on Feb 13th ~4pm onwards there will be street play on Domestic Violence at Rampart Row.

Don’t forget to take your cameras…..a proof that you were there…..bathing in the moods of the festival…….!!!!!

Picture source:

Sunday, 8 February 2009

So! What else is happening at Kala Ghoda Festival?

Poeple are having lots of fun at KGAF and every one is couped up into their favorite zones. There are range of activities happening during the day and there are many people who are just walking from one end of the street to another, visiting food stalls. book stalls, art and handicraft stalls and many more stalls that are spread along the street. There are shoppers, tourist, dancers, writers, and of course, children.

Children enjoy these festivals the most.

There are activities for children at KGAF everyday that are sponsored by ‘Surf Excel’. Children can enjoy painting, clay modeling, pottery, Art. Music, Spiders from bottles and many more…… The activities for children are planned at ‘Parking Lot’ from 330pm to 6pm everyday. On Saturday and Sunday, the activities for children begin from 1030am onwards.

For those who like theatre, this is your chance to watch it all, for free……

Feb 9th ~ Hamlut The Clown Prince ~ NGMA ~ 730pm to 845pm

Feb 9th to 13th~ Munsi Premchand Assorted Stories (Produced and directed by Mujeeb Khan)~NGMA~ 6pm to 7pm

Feb 10th ~ Intehaa by Cyrus Dastoor ( Produced by Cyrus Dastoor) ~ Horniman Circle ~ 730pm to 845pm

Feb 11th ~ A Personal War Divya Palat ~ NGMA ~ 730pm onwards

Feb 11th ~ Sangit Girbala(Produced and directed by Awishkar) ~ Horniman Circle ~ 6pm to 730pm

Feb 11th ~ All about Women (Akvarious Productions-Directors-Akash Khurana)~ Horniman Circle ~ 8pm to 10pm

Feb 12th ~ Balchanda Crescent Moon Play in Hindi ( Produced and directed by Vibha Rani)~NGMA ~ 730pm to 830pm

Feb 12th ~ Proof (Akvarious Productions-Director- Akash Khurana)~ Horniman Circle ~ 730pm onwards

Feb 13th ~ Green Mumbai Issues (Alyque Padamsee, Gary Richardson) ~ NGMA ~ 730 pm onwards

Feb 13th ~ Apples and Walnuts ~ BHNS ~ 730pm onwards

Feb13th ~ All the Best (Feroz Abhas Khan) ~ Horniman Circle ~ 730pm onwards

Feb 14th ~ Got to be Aishwirya (Produced and directed by Bharat Dabolkar) ~ NGMA ~ 730pm to 930pm
Feb 15th ~ Saving our Planet ~ Amphitheatre ~ 6pm to 7pm

Feb 15th ~ Tonight I can write (Kali Theatre- Shomshukla Das) ~ NGMA ~ 730pm to 9pm

Last year I had attended the theatre at NGMA and watched the play "The Mad Horse' This was the best show that I had ever watched in years! It was a bouquet of five recitals, and five different Shakespearean plays performed by talented stage artists like Alyque Padamsee, Shazehn Padamsee, Gaurav Chopra, Aparna Tilak, Madhuri Bathia, Cyndy Khozol and Gary Richardson. I had enjoyed it a lot.

I hope to attend this year too... But I will go only if I find a friend who is willing to come with me to South Mumbai, which is an hour away from my house....I hate going alone anywhere......

Friday, 6 February 2009

Enjoy the free ‘Heritage Walks’ during the ‘Kala Ghoda festival…..’

During the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 09, you can enjoy the heritage walks that are free of cost (On other days they normally cost around INR 2500), so it is your great opportunity to take advantage of their free service during the festival. These are organized by Ms. Abha Bahl - architect, who is the co-founder THE BOMBAY HERITAGE WALKS (BHW) Group

The BHW group has been organizing these walking tours around the city since April 1999. The heritage walks aim to raise the awareness of the people of Mumbai and visitors, about the city’s architecture and heritage monuments. Personalized, educative and imaginative, the walking tours highlight the vast range of architectural styles, planning elements and ornamental details, tracing the social and cultural history of the city.

'The Heritage Walks’ will be held from 7th February to 15 February and they are as follows:

On 7th February at 10 am, it will start from Welligton Fountain inside Regal circle.

Starting from the 'circle of history' you will be shown some fantastic architectural gems such as the former Royal Alfred Sailor's Home, Regal Cinema and many others. During these walks you can find out about Mumbai's connection with the Duke of Wellington. You can visit the Indian Heritage Award-winning Cathedral of the Holy Name, on the Regal Circle Walk. The walk ends at the Royal Institute of Science, one of the city's foremost institutions housed in a first-rate heritage building.

On 8th February at 10 am, walks will start from Flora fountain.

Starting at Flora Fountain, a quintessential city icon which also marks the entrance into the Fort heritage district, you will be led through the country's primary financial nerve centre that houses the historic Stock Exchange and over 30 banking establishments. Uncovering slices of the past, twisting through the lanes of the old Fort, the walk will take you past Old Government House, Mumbai Samachar Marg (former Apollo Street) and ending at St. Thomas' Cathedral, the oldest British church in the city.

On 9th February at 4:30pm, walks will start from Prince of Wales Museum

Starting from the landmark CST (formerly Prince of Wales) Museum, you will walk down the historic Rampart Row of crescent-shaped Kala Ghoda area which is famous for its art galleries, museums and educational institutions. The walk includes visits to the St. Andrew's Church and David Sassoon Library.

On 10th February at 4:30pm, walk will start from Flora fountain

This walk will lead you down from the Flora Fountain, past the line of buildings housing different uses like the Vatcha Agiary, J. N. Petit Library, Bombay Mutual building etc. Once named after Governor William Hornby and then the great Dadabhai. The walk will end with views of the Victoria Terminus and surrounding Fort precinct.

On 11th February at Ballard Bunder Museum, opp. War Memorial, Shoorji Vallabhdas Marg, Ballard Estate

This walk will lead you from the restored Ballard Bunder Gate Museum to fine buildings like the Customs House, Port House,Grand Hotel and many others. It will be interesting to those who like to see a European-looking business district in Mumbai. With elegant neo-Classical facades and well-articulated urban vistas, the planning and charm of Ballard Estate was parallel to contemporary business districts in Europe and the colonial world. Today, this quiet quarter is home to not just the Mumbai Port Trust and Customs but also many corporate business houses, shipping corporations and other commercial establishments.

On 12th February at 4:30, the walk will start from Asiatic Library (bottom of stairs)

This walk will lead you down the pages of history set in the heart of the old Fort area. You will be shown around the Asiatic Library housed in what is considered to be among the finest neo-Classic buildings in India and one of the oldest surviving Colonial buildings in Mumbai. You will learn about the geography of the erstwhile 'walled town' as you walk down the arcades of Horniman Circle, the city's first planned business district and through the historic round garden in the middle. The walk will end with a visit to the other important landmark around the Circle - the grand St. Thomas' Cathedral.

On 13th February at 4:30pm, the walk will start from Oval Maidan (East entrance, opp. Mumbai University)

This walk will lead from the Oval Maidan into the city's most magnificent campus - that of Mumbai University. You can enjoy the amazing Victorian neo-Gothic architecture with magnificent detailing, airy verandahs, high-coffered ceilings, glorious stained glass and beautiful woodwork while you listen to the chimes of the famous Rajabai Clock Tower. Also you will visit the newly-restored Convocation Hall within the same campus.

On 14th February at 10am, the walk will begin from Elphinstone Technical Institute, opp. Metro Cinema (main entrance steps)

This walk will lead from the Metro Cinema junction to Crawford Market. This route is a veritable exhibition of heritage buildings representing various genres of Mumbai's architectural history. It includes the unusual Victorian neo-Gothic Elphinstone Technical School, the Art Deco Metro Cinema, vernacular style Jer Mahal, the handsome Renaissance Revival style Small Causes Court, and many more...The walk will end with visits to the small but well-maintained Police Museum and the vintage Crawford Market where you can spend the rest of the day buying things at whole sale rate.

On 15th February at 10:30am, the walk will start from Gateway of India (near monument, facing Taj Mahal Hotel)

This walk leads from the Gateway of India, down to Colaba Causeway. Enroute, you will be led past historic landmarks like the Taj Mahal Hotel, Royal Bombay Yacht Club, Dhanraj Mahal and some delightful urban artefacts. The walk will end at the elegant Wesley Church.

Besides this heritage walks you could also enjoy the Free Open-Deck bus ride that starts at 6pm (only on week-ends during the festival) from Regal Circle bus stop, outside Prince of Wales Museum in South Mumbai. They have a commentary on the upper deck and it can seat only 30 passengers. The ride is of one hour and it passes through the best-loved landmarks like Gateway of India, Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai University, High court, Victoria Terminus, Asiatic Society and many more. The bus returns to the starting point on completion of the tour.

The rides through the city and heritage walks are all free this week…… Wow! What more could you ask?

ps: for more enquiries on heritage walks call Tel: (91-22) 2369 0992 Fax: (91-22) 2364 3234

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

'Kala Ghoda Arts Festival' is here once again.......

Every year, the Association hosts the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival for nine days in February.

It is here, once again, ‘The 2009 Kala Ghoda Arts Festival’ which will be on from 7th February to 15th February.

There are lots of interesting things to see. there are gallery and pavement shows, then there are exhibitions, literary events, film screenings, music concerts, dance performances, theatre shows, workshops, heritage walks, a food fiesta, and a buzzing street festival that bring in audiences and participants from all over the city.

The Festival has grown in size and popularity, winning a reputation for its diversity and vibrancy, it gives platform to upcoming artists and there are many visitors who just stroll around basking in the fun.

Last year, it was held from 2nd February to 10th February I had attended Kalaghoda festival for the first time and had really enjoyed it. I had blogged about Kalaghoda festival Here, here, and here

This event is held in a crescent-shaped area called Mahatma Gandhi road, that citizens of Mumbai still refer to this area as Kala Ghoda. This has concentration of museums, art galleries, educational institutions, boutiques and restaurant, and what is arguably the finest array of heritage buildings in the city, and has emerged as an arts precinct and a prominent cultural centre, thronged by visitors and tourists from all over the world.

Do visit if you are in Mumbai.....and experience the colors of joy and fun......

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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