Monday, 31 August 2009

Eco- friendly Ganpati Festival.

My friend on FB collects the ideas for making eco-friendly Ganpati this year. She gets lots of ideas and narrows it down to making a tiny Ganapati of wheat flour, oil, pulses and food colour.

But she is a young person who cares about her envirnoment.

The Ganesha Festival is still on and the number of days that people worship the idol varies from person to person. There are huge sized Ganpati and some real tiny ones. Love and devotion is what actually counts. On Saturday, being the seventh day, there were Ganpati processions on major streets of Mumbai, all rushing towards the nearest beach.

There will be more immersions on the 11th day which falls this Thursday. Visiting the beach on the next day of immersion is a pathetic sight. You see the beach full un-dissolved idol limbs, polythene bags, flowers, thermocol, plastics, and toxic chemical dyes.

In the early days, idols were made of clay and painted with natural colors. But with rising costs and increasing demand, the manufacturing process has become more commercialized. Manufacturers have been using plaster of Paris and artificial colors in lieu of the biodegradable materials used earlier causing a lot of harm. For instance after the idols are immersed, they’re found washed up all over the beach as Plaster of Paris is insoluble in water. The chemicals in the colors dissolve in the water, making it toxic and killing several aquatic animals. The festival in its present form has not only been harming the environment but also showing disrespect to India’s favorite deity.

The idea of immersion of Ganesh idols in artificial ponds created by BMC
seems to be going down well with devotees. After their initial resistance to the eco-friendly method last year, this year has already seen an overwhelming response.

The civic body, last year, created 25 artificial ponds in the city-one per ward. However, this year, the number was brought down to 17, owing to the relatively poor response last year. "This year, we did not create ponds at those places which saw less than 100 immersions last time. The cost is Rs 3 lakh and we didn't want to waste that much money where there was no adequate response,'' said additional municipal commissioner Madhav Sangle. "But this year, people seem to have woken up to the fact that artificial ponds make a difference and keep the environment clean,'' he added.

Officials said that remains of clay idols immersed in all artificial ponds will not be reused, but handed over to people on request. The tradition in local families is to sprinkle it in their backyard. "Since it is sacred soil, we can’t reuse it in our gardens, but at least we can hand it out for individual use,'' said Sangle.

The idea has even caught the fancy of local citizens' groups. The Khar Residents' Association (KRA), for instance, has created its own pond in the compound of Gazder Bund municipal school in the neighborhood. "Last year, we had only 10 immersions overall. But we didn't lose heart and continued this year as well. On the second day itself, we had 11 immersions. We are hopeful that the number will increase by the end of the festivities,'' said Anandini Thakoor, chairperson H west Ward Association.

Meanwhile, In Thane too, the idea has received an encouraging response. On Monday, the artificial pond at Masunda Lake saw 3,148 idols immersed as against 2,376 last year. In Navi Mumbai which has three artificial ponds, 118 idols have been immersed. However, in Mira-Bhayander, there is not a single such pond as civic officials say the natural ponds are cleaned up the very next day.

I am just hoping and pray that people will spare our beaches and immerse their eco-friendly Ganpati in artificial ponds.

So, What are you planning to do? Can you spread the word so that more people are aware of this??? Thank you!!!


Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Restaurant review ~ Village

This week went to mall called ‘Rughuleela’ which is quite far from the city, on the outskirts of suburbs, at Kandhivali, just behind Poiser bus depot. The best way to reach this mall is to go by local train to Malad and then take auto or bus.

I took a three-wheeler from Bandra to Poiser, and it took me exactly seventy five minutes to reach the mall. Travelling by road in Mumbai is not a good idea; too much time is wasted in the traffic and there is too much pollution on this route via S.V.Road.

We headed for this restuarant called ‘Village’ which has interior with the theme of ‘An Indian Village’. As soon as I entered into this restaurant I was transported to a surreal world of make-believe and the rural wave descented upon me.

We were requested to make a payment of Rs250 per head, which covered the cost of all the meals that we could manage to eat from 12noon to 3pm. For three hours, we could masticate and masticate till our jaws turn sour.


The entrance had mural paintings creating the village effects, with puppets and small stalls selling ethnic wear and jewelry.

I walked through a small door into a dimly lit restaurant and was immediately transferred into a mystical land with detailed imaginative interior that specs the aromas of a village. There were singers and drummers playing the loud ethnic music and the youngster dancing and gyrating into village dance like garba, bhangara or dhandhiya, swinging around the musicians that occupied the centre of the chowk.

I watched them dance, and looked around to see the great variety of cuisine at different food stalls. Each stall had assorted menu of snacks and lunch.

I don’t have good appetite; therefore buffet lunch is not a good idea for me. Anyways I started with the grilled soya chucks, which were awesome, tender and juicy; coupled with samosas in sweet chutney, which I didn’t like it much. They served big bottles of lassi and jaljeera on our table. They want to fill our tummy with liquids, me thinks.

I rested for a while on soft divan, then went to inspect the things around. There was tarot card reader, and one palmist too, they were seated at the centre of the room which looked like Nukkad. The lavish verandah was reminiscent of a thakur’s haveli with a munimji, adorned with antique and appointments. The raw elements are effectively brought alive with the two trucks and auto rickshaws very imaginatively converted into dining tables. there was a couple seated in one of theose auto cum dining room and the big truck have a group of merry kitty party members.

Surrounding on all sides were different stalls serving different cuisine. Scrumptious choices ranged from refreshing sugarcane juices to lassis, chaats to Amritsari kulchas, dosas to appams, chole bathure to hyderabadi biryanis, kulfis to the magic of Bengal. The selection of food was vast and it was becoming very difficult to choose. At every counter there were papads, dry and wet chutneys, achars and sauces.

After one hour of sights and sounds, I fetched for me just khichidi from a Marwari stall, which was spicy and very tasty; I also brought for me a plateful of kerela bhaji, chana masalas and rotis. A waiter came to my table on a bicycle bringing for me tea in a clay cup. While I ate, I watched the puppet show, sitting next to dozen kids whose curious expressions made this puppet show worthwhile.

At 2:30pm, I saw the waiters make their rounds at tables with a message to pack up by 3pm, informing us to hurry and make the most of our last half an hour. I found this very rude, to be reminded for thirty minutes to leave the premises? Come on, give us a break, we read the timings at the entrance, why must we be reminded so grossly?

Overall the experience was quite good but it is suitable only for one visit unless restaurant gets more innovative and offers something more entertaining than the same variety of food.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Hindu Carnival in Mumbai

Every country has their own way to celebrate their cultural festivals. There are carnivals held in Goa, Canary Islands, Caribbean Island, Brazil, where they have music, dance and people are dressed in beautiful fancy clothes, but have you Hindu carnival in Mumbai?

Yeah! I just saw one right now, this carnival was in the honor of bringing Lord Ganesha to their home as a chief guest.

Ganesh Chatturti is the local festival of Mumbai and is celebrated with much pomp and show. Large groups of people, dressed in traditional Maharashtra clothes parade on the streets with music and dance and some of them singing beautiful, heart rendering hymns…

It is a moment not to be missed if you are in Mumbai. The traditional dance of lazims and garba is seen common amongst women who are dressed in bright ethnic clothes.

The musical sounds reverberate till late at night announcing the arrival of their favorite Idol.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Café Open Mike sessions by Caferati Ryzers

Ever wondered why people of Mumbai city are always smiling? Well besides having large number of eating places where they go chomp, chomp, chomp, there is room for growth of muse, if you are hungry for art and culture. Mumbai is the place to be and it is a city of dreams where like minded people congregate under same roof, momentarily, to share their muse. Artist meet artists, painters meet painters and then there are Bollywood, theatre fans and café lounges to keep the people fully occupied and not waste time in the idle gossip, like they do in rural areas…

If you are in Mumbai on last Tuesday of the month, do find time to go to Prithvi theatre because that’s where the action is. Poets of Mumbai gather at this venue and perform their poems live. There is a small café shop where you will find group of poets performing their amazing poems. They perform poems, some of them, bare-chested, swinging their limbs animatedly to stress their point, some shouting, some whispering, it is the event to experience. A two minute slot is given to each poet, during which you see them recite, declaim, shout, even sing (if they can hold a tune); they sit, stand or lie down; dance, turn a cartwheel, play a musical instrument, or scratch their back while standing on their head, performing their words.

"The time starts the moment they hold the mike and a big bong sounds loudly if you exceed your time slot of two minutes. There is no restriction on Genres, poetry, scripts, stories, all is allowed as long as it is your own work. You just have to maintain civility, no foul language, no nudity, no explicit imagery, slander or anything that flouts the laws of India and the work can be in English, Hindi or Marathi."

"The poets normally come 30 minutes before the event and write their name on the scribble board, 25 slots are provided for the duration of one hour and they are given on first-cum first-served basis and cannot be carried over to next open-mike event. You are expected show the text of what you plan to perform to the organizers present, and describe your performance. This is not about censorship; it is to guard against infringement of the rules.

There are no prizes, except the opportunity to perform to an audience, and earn its acclaim. You will not be reimbursed expenses, and will not be paid any fee or honorarium. You retain ownership of your work, but by submitting it, you give the Prithvi Theatre and Caferati the right to display your work, or photographs or recordings of your performance, at the Prithvi Theatre Cafe, and on their websites, should they so choose, with attribution to you, but with no payment. Should you wish to be excluded from being photographed or recorded, please inform the photographer / cameraperson before the performance. Any photographs or recordings will not be commercial in nature." To keep yourself updated with their events you can join their facebook group

If interested, you can catch them on 25th August from 19.00- 20.00 at Prithvi Theatre Café at Juhu

Photo courtesy

Friday, 7 August 2009

The Great wall of Mumbai

No! This is not in any way, similar to ‘Great Wall of China’, this is a wall of artistic spirit of the people of Mumbai who care and it may look like this….

Or the way you make it look, maybe more artistically.

On 15th and 16th August, The Wall Project along with the BMC is initiating painting sessions on the Tulsi pipe Road, stretching from Mahim to Dadar running along the western railway line in Mumbai. This will be the biggest canvas ever to be made available

When people get creative, the results are amazing…..want to try your imagination???

A humble project that started out with a few enthusiastic people is growing to be a bigger, better project.

The wall project started with a blank white compound wall, with an intense burning of “something has to be done to it”. Set in an old East Indian village in Bandra, colorful with people of many talents, all hidden in their tiny abodes.

It was an initiative to add visual elements of color, form and texture to a space, to make the area more alive and generate a feeling among people who pass by it daily.

So make yourself free and come over to Tulsi Pipe road and see the fun…paint the city with rainbow colors……

If anyone wants to paint something specific and need support from them, please email with your ideas/comments/requirements

For paints -You can look at any hardware or paint store.

You can use the can sprays too that are available at

1. Cheap Jack in hill road Bandra,
2. Virat paper mart - near copper chimney, Bandra station
3. Himalaya stationary, opp J.J school of art

Remember the date!!! It is on the 15th-16th August 2009. Tulsi Pipe Road, Okay?? So. Are you coming????

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Accommodation for Working Women in the City of Mumbai

Everyday, there are hundreds of people coming to Mumbai from other states of India because of better job opportunities and better pay. Mumbai is quite a safe place to live too as compared to other cities in India.

A group of young girls may rent out an apartment and share the rent and the expenses. There are many dabbawallahs who deliver home made food which is quite economical.

If you wish to stay like a paying guest, it is better to get it through a broker who will charge you one month rent as his fee. You are expected to pay one month rent and one month deposit to the landlady, of which, deposit is refundable at the end of your stay.

There are many working women's hostels, that are quite safe and comfortable too.

Here are the list of working women's hostel in the city of Mumabi.

Achamma Bhavan Hostel
34, Motibai Street,
L. Byculla, Mumbai – 400011
Tel . 3096544

All Saints ConventDockyard Road,
Mumbai – 400010
Tel. 3764857

All India Women’s ConferenceSantacruz,
Mumbai – 400055
Tel. 6206154

Amrapali Working Women’s HostelMaharashtra Udyogini Ltd.
Township Colony,
Tilak Nagar,
Chembur, Mumbai – 400071

Amja Mahila Samaj
Near Gamdevi Police Station,
Mumbai – 400007

Arya Mahila Samaj10, Dr. Kashibhai Navrang Road,
Near Police Station,
Grant Road,
Mumbai – 400007

Bapnu GharMaharashtra State Women’s Council,
Lotus Trust, 12 Annie Besant Road,
Worli, Mumbai – 400018

Bhartiya Vanita SamajBhau Daji Road,
Sion, Mumbai – 400022
Tel . 4092727

Bhagini Samaj Women’s HostelPawal Bldg.,
Opp. Dena Bank,
Lamington Road,
Mumbai – 400004

Bhaginin Samaj Women’s HostelA-7/8, Vikas apt.,
Agar Bazar Road,
Near Bombay Film Laboratory,
Dadar (West)
Mumbai – 400014

Cosmopolitan Hostel
66-A, Versova Road,
Opp. Bhavan’s College,
Andheri (W),
Mumbai – 400058

Dattatraya Lodge
Goregaon West,
Tel. 8721350

Dipti Dhaman Hostel
53, Jhay Prakash Road,
Mumbai – 400058
Tel. 6235469

Daisy Lanson Hostel
Mayo House,
Mumbai – 400021

Fatima Hostel
60, Mount Mary road,
Bandra (W),
Mumbai – 400050

Government Hostel
Netaji Subhash Road,
Marine Drive,
Mumbai – 400002

Good Shepherd
Working Women’s Convent
N. Dutta Road, 4 Bungalows,
Andheri (W),
Mumbai – 400058

Holy Cross Convent
Social Service Centre,
Mandli Street,
Bhayander (W),

Hostel for Working Women
172, L.B.S. Marg,
Kurla (W),
Mumbai – 400070
Tel. 5140540

Hostel For Working Women
C-Block No.938,
1875, Ulhas Nagar.

Indian Council of Social Welfare
Working Women Hostel,
Mumbai – 400077
Tel. 5220421

Kannada Vanita Samaj
515-A, Three View,
V.S. Marg,
Mumbai – 400025

Kashibhai Nawroji Hostel
K.N. Road,
Near Gowalia Tank Maidan,
Mumbai – 400007

Kalyan Kendra
30-A, Manuel Gonsalves Road,
Near St. Peter’s Church,
Hill Road,
Bnadra (W),
Mumbai – 400050
Tel : 6420324

Mahila Vikas Mandal
Queen’s Barracks No.1,
J.B. Marg,
Nariman Point,
Mumbai – 400021
Tel. 2851971

Mangal Mandir Mahila Niwas
Siddharth Colony Road,
Chembur Naka,
Mumbai – 400077

Our Lady of Perpetual
Help Church,
St. Anthony Road,
Chembur, Mumbai – 400071

Priti Kunj
271, Carter Road,
Bandra (W),
Mumbai – 400050

Ratraji Tata Trust
2nd floor,
Gamdevi Road,
Mumbai – 400007

Regina Pacis
Seth Moti Road,
Opp. Byculla Stn.,
Mumbai – 400011
Tel. 3725311

Shirinbai Modi Hostel for Parsi Women
83, Annie Besant Road,
Worli, Mumbai – 400018

S.N.D.T. University Women Hostel
Juhu Road, Opp. Lido Cinema,
Santacruz (W),

S.D.Modi Hostel
83, A, Annie Besant Road,
Mumbai – 400018

Savitri Devi Phule Girls Hostel
Marine Drive
37 N.S.B. Marg,
Mumbai – 400004

New Marine Lines,
Mumbai – 400020

Sir Purshottamdas Thakkurdas Hostel
Sassoon Dock Cross Lane,
Colaba, Mumbai – 400005
Tel. 2188704

Sister Adorers
Marol Maroshi Road,
Andheri (E),
Mumbai – 400059
Tel. 8325122

Shram Sadhana Trust Government Colony,
Bandra (E), Mumbai – 400051
Tel. 6421740

Shravikashram Ladies Hostel
Jubilee Baugh
Dadar Road,
Opp. Navjivan Society,
Grant Road, Mumbai – 400007

University Settlement
Bombay Central
Near Maratha Mandir,
Mumbai – 400007

Villa Theresa Girls Hostel
Peddar Road,
Mumbai – 400026

Working Women Hostel
Plot No. 20,
Sector – 10 –A,
Vashi, New Mumbai

Opp. Regal Cinema,
Mumbai – 400005
Tel. 2020122

Y.W.C.A. Working Women’s Hostel
75, Motibai Street,
Mumbai – 400008

Yuvati Sharan
Opp. Tata Printing Press,
Prabhadevi, Mumbai – 400025
Tel. 4227089, 4370374

Lady Wellington Hostel
18, M Cama Road,
Mumbai – 400020
Tel. No. 2027489


ps: Please feel free to add more if there are any, that I have missed

Monday, 3 August 2009

Mumbai Trains

Many years ago, local trains were the easiest and fastest way to travel in the city of Mumbai. The platforms had just few hundred people waiting for trains.....who waited patiently for the train to arrive.....

BUT now you see...thousands of people waiting at a platform, not even afraid of a moving train.....

People of Mumbai travel dangerously,
They just cannot wait,
For, empty train may not arrive,
You see their body protuded out,
Against the polluted air,
They reach home with a cake of dust,
Masking their body with dirt and sweat.

Many not sure
If they will arrive
In one piece when they will reach home,
So dangerously, travelling in this style,
Not afraid of banging on any pole...

Or sometimes,
Because of a ruthless killer,
The riots break loose and break the roof,
Of train, that throws many people around,
Their mangled bodies don't ever reach home.

Yes, this is Mumbai,
That we all know.....
It is made of people
Who just live each day,
Will they see one more day,
As a lone Mumbaite,
One never knows.....

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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