Saturday, 31 October 2009

Prithvi Theatre Festival 2009

There are so many events happening in November that it will become difficult to make a choice. Besides Bandra Festival, which I will be updating regularly as and when I get information, there is still another festival to look forward to….

‘The Prithvi Theatre Festival 2009’ ….which takes place from 7th to 20th November. These will be across 3 venues in Mumbai - Prithvi Theatre, Karnataka Sangha and Horniman Circle Garden.

This year they are bringing THEATRES OF INDIA ...that are presented in 3 groups - ADISHAKTI, NINASAM, and NIRMAN KALA MANCH.

There are also 4 plays from younger groups, who are experimenting with theatre language and style in exciting ways. Now won’t that be fun?

A classic ‘Charandas Chor’ ( a story of a thief who ends up being more honest than the so-called custodians of morality.) - A tribute to Habib Tanvir, opens the festival.

Mumbaikars who love theatre have reason to celebrate.....happy viewing!!!

Monday, 26 October 2009

Visit to Hirananadani Gardens in Powai

During my school days, Powai Lake, Vihar Lake and National Park used to be some far off places where we would go for school picnic.

Now, Powai is dominated by Hiranandani Gardens which is a township, self sufficient with hospitals, schools, IT business and high-rise steep apartments.

If one does not need to go to suburbs or in South Mumbai, then it is a perfect place to stay because it is cleaner than the rest of Mumbai and has a beautiful architecture, large spacious gardens and broad roads.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Fun never ends in Mumbai!

Diwali festival came and went (oooh! That was fun!!!). Election season came and went..(Yeah!!! Congress is here once again) now for the next dose of excitement, and this time it will be films. Mumbaikar need regular dose of stress busters and what can be better than watching a film???

Mumbai is all set for Mumbai Festival from October 26th to November 6th 2009. It kicks off on Oct. 29 with American filmmaker Steven Soderbergh's "The Informant" and ends on Nov. 5 with Greek director Theo Angelopoulus's "The Dust of Time".

Over the period of seven days there will be 200 films from 56 countries shown in three main theatres. Delegates can watch festival films at all three venues -Fun Cinema, Andheri, Metro Cinema at Churchgate and Big Cinema at Ghatkopar.

During the festival veteran Indian actors Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor will be honoured along with Hollywood screenwriter Paul Schrader. The festival will also pay tribute to the late legendary filmmaker B R Chopra with a screening of his film, Naya Daur.

This film festival has come a long way. India's first independent International Film Festival was in November 1997 that showcased 65 films from 23 countries, and created a platform for the FIPRESCI (The International Federation of Film Critics) award , which was instituted for the first time at an Indian Festival.

This year, the annual event's budget has been boosted with 40 million rupees from Reliance Big Entertainment, a division of Reliance ADA Group.

"As the capital of India's film industry, we felt that Mumbai should have a festival that will be worthy of its status," Reliance Big Entertainment chairman Amit Khanna said on Tuesday.

Uummph! Did anyone talk of recession in Mumbai? Nah!!!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

The oldest Organized Yoga Centre at Santacruz.

Last week, Yoga Institute at Santacruz organized two-day yoga-cum-activities camp for children (normal and special) at their centre. Founded in 1918 by Shri Yogendraji, this is the oldest organized centre in the world, which is situated in the center of the crowded market place, just opposite Santacruz railways station.

While the children were busy with activities like yoga, art and craft, singing and dancing, and other recreational activities, parents, teachers and I attended different counseling sessions where parents and teachers of special children discussed their problems while dealing with their children and their families. The volunteers were very helpful and were willing to guide us happily with all the queries that we had.

This was the first time that I was visiting this centre and I was enthralled by the peace within its walls. I immediately wanted to be the part of this institute where I could improve my health problems and bring some disciple into my life. On Saturdays, the centre has visiting doctors, who can guide people on which type of exercises would be suitable to the patient. All through the year, yoga institute has different camps and workshops for imparting knowledge of yoga to meet the requirements of health care.

There is separate hostel facilities for gents and ladies. I saw many foreigners, who were attending seven-day intensive course, take deep interest in the activities like singing Indian bhajans and discourses during their relaxation hours. There is also a bookstall selling books on health care and cooking, which is sold at subsidized rates. During the lunch break, satvik food was served that was rich in nutrition and taste. I specially liked the drink that was served after the meals and it had a tangy flavor of ginger and lemongrass.

Although I spent whole day at the centre, I was still feeling vitalized and had enough energy to walk through that crowded market place, outside the centre and also do some shopping on my way home.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Quiz of the Day...Guess the Venue...

Blogging is fun, and specially if it is interactive....for those who regularly visit my blog, I have started this quiz and will take you around the city....You may guess the route....Today I went around the Mumbai city clicking few pictures...Now, can you recognize these places and guess the route I travelled from start to the end??







Saturday, 17 October 2009

Lanterns, Lanterns Everywhere, Diwali is here!

Diwali is the festival of lights and Mumbai is dressed in lights.

Lobby of every building has string of diyas arranged at the entrance of the building. There are colorful twinkling lights on every window and balcony. Even the plants and trees have twinkling lights between the leaves. It seems as though stars have come down on the earth to celebrate this festival with us.

And many buildings have rows of lanterns of different shapes and sizes. During the day, we see people shopping for these lanterns.

They are sold at every street…..

When we were young we used to make these lanterns in the shape of a star or sometimes we would get creative and make different shapes like cars, bus, helicopter, etc. We would be so proud to hang these on our balcony and run up to balcony every thirty minutes to admire our creations.

But now, nobody makes them any more, not me at least. I would rather go to the market place to buy those beautiful ones that are so skillfully made by those talented street urchins.

Truly, the true essence of celebrating Diwali is an experience that one can enjoy only in India!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

More trains.....More visitors to my city!!!!

I wish I could tell my friend that WR runs 20 special trains to meet rush during Diwali

She wanted to go to Bangalore but was unable to get neither train tickets nor bus tickets and the air tickets are too expensive.

There are so many singles living in Mumbai and Diwali is the time when they need to go and spend some time with their family. (hope it is not too late)

However, Mumbai is dressed up with colorful lights and markets are very crowded. We have so many visitors arriving everyday…..More trains, more guests..

Now that’s fun!!

Happy Diwali to my visitors….!!!!!

Monday, 12 October 2009

Who Should I Vote For?

Last week I received a CD and a booklet from Congress candidate of Bandra, Baba Siddique, giving me the details of his work done for the community. What must I do reading about his work at a glance?

I have a problem. When I walk on the streets of Mumbai, I am always afraid of falling, the roads are always broken. They have put interlocking tiles everywhere, but the finishing is not good. There will always be one or two tile missing and if I am not looking, then I am down on my knees closer to the ground. If I chance upon walking outside National College or Thadomal Engineering College, I must first be an expert at trekking. The young college crowds don’t even notice the uneven roads and the pavement dwellers outside their gates.

Our Bandra station is renovated recently and it looks beautiful but again there is too much chaos outside the station. People are standing everywhere - waiting for AC bus, auto, private transport and public bus and there is no system what-so-ever. There are no eco-friendly garbage cans, no bench to sit and no clean toilets. The street is crowded with hawkers who keep coming back.

During evening hours, if I wish to go for my evening walks to Bandstand or Carter road, it is not a pleasant walk. I have seen many people fall down on a broken tile or a small pebble at these promenades because it is too dark to walk carefully. There are no public toilets here either.

In spite of all these problems, I still love living in Bandra because I have known no other home. It is the place I grew up and I am surrounded by friends and neighbors who are like my extended family. We have best of shopping and dining places and we have so many parks.

And tomorrow, the 13th is the lucky day….Mumbai will get to choose their candidate…..but this time it should be different (I hope). We don’t have to just vote, we can now select and vote.

There must be many people like me with similar problems. But this time we are lucky. There is lot of information about every candidate at Don’t Vote, Select, where I can compare the promises with the actual work done. I am planning to do my homework.

But still I am confused, which one of them will be able to deliver me the comfort of enjoying my suburb?

Saturday, 10 October 2009

'Shot of the day' on Mumbai Streets

Animals in a concrete jungle……Is this the means of transport????

What do they care, leaning out of train, traveling so dangerously, unafraid……

And this is not even during peak hours……Thousand of commuters squeezed on a rail platform, waiting for train….

Friday, 9 October 2009

Evening of ‘saaaa..reeee..gaaaa..maaaa..paaaa…’

For music lover there is good news. Hop on to 'Ravindra Natya Mandir' to spend a perfect evening listening to a soothing music.


Satish Vyas who needs no introduction to the music lovers is all set to enthrall the PRATAHSWAR audience with his soul stirring performance.

Watch him perform at PRATAHSWAR’s 25th concert on 11th October’09 at 6.30 am accompanied by young tabla player Mukundraj Deo

at Ravindra Natya Mandir,
Open Foyer,
Behind Siddhivinayak Temple,

If you do, will you write the review in this comment box????

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

35 minutes at Bandra Station

Ooops! Just missed my AC bus from Bandra to Belapur and now I have to wait for 35 minutes on this hot day. I look around for a seat but can see no bench to sit..

There is too much crowd on the street outside Bandra station but there is enough room for hawkers to do their business, and why not? When people will patronize these hawkers and encourage them, then who am I to complain???

The entire footpath outside Bandra station is occupied by dhabba wallah and by animals. Hundreds of people are waiting in queue, but, in the middle of the road, dodging the busy traffic. There is no rickshaw stand and auto rickshaw guy may or may not give them a ride. I am thinking whether auto/taxi is a private transport where people have to ask a favor of a driver to drop them to their destination on his way towards a particular direction?

I really like this architecture, the fine wood work pillars and high arched walls of Bandra station but discomfort is the order of the day. I am tired and perspiring; finally I see the bus…….

Should I go for voting next week?????

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Red Bull Speed Link… Bandra

In July, when Bandra-Worli sea-link was opened, my friends and I were very excited as we drove down this bridge during its first week of inauguration. We knew it then, that every big event that would take place in Mumbai, would surely showcase this bridge.

What we didn’t know was that it would be that soon……

Img source:
racing car

This Sunday on 11th October, at 2pm, Bandra-Worli sea-link will be shut for a couple of hours to allow a Formula One racing car to zoom through the bridge

Coulthard will 'zoom' across the sea link followed by a special treat in Bandra Reclamation.

I have seen in the movies many times, but this event is to take place, closer to my home in Bandra.. That’s a big treat….The only problem is that there will be too much crowd on the streets, and I hate going to crowded places. Wait-a-minute, I have an idea, I am planning to watch it live from my friend’s terrace with a help of my binoculars……I am sure I will be able to see Formula 1 showcar run with energy, maybe see the excitement on the streets …and gonna to buy ‘Red Bull’ too…..wink* wink*

PS: If you are in Mumbai, you can see this model made by JJ school of Arts student at Inorbit Mall, Malad from 3rd October to 7th October and at Mocha, Bandra from 8th to 10th October.

img source:
Red Bull F1 Art of Can

Wake Up!!!!

Jayashree Kapahi is a resident of 'Bombay'- oooops!! - 'Mumbai'. She has written a very touching poem on 'Bombay', which I would like to share with my friends on my blog.

She writes:


I say Bombay. The goons will thrash me?
Wake up people. Smell the coffee.
Bombay’s traffic and its snarls.
Do you care? No, not all
Slums are thriving, infants beg.
What does it matter if they lack a leg?
Pollution chokes, diseases kill.
Let them die, the dead don’t vote.

Oh drop these sanctimonious sermons. It is silly.
Farmers commit suicide-not juicy news.
Children die, women raped, abused, beaten.
Who cares? Not the media. Not us. Do you ?

Reality doesn’t touch us. It’s all about publicity.
Holy, unholy cows-do we care?
Chant about the hallowed Mata.
Forget the mother who bore you. Unreality.

Shall I be the small soft voice of reason.
In an unreasonable world.
Fight for freedom from frustrated fiends.
Maybe I’ll lose the fight. Flag unfurled.

It stinks.

My sincere thanks to Jayashree for sharing her poem with us.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Pan Wallahs In Mumbai

Panwallah is the common sight on the streets of Mumbai. They sit perched in a small cabin surrounded by betel leaves, betel nuts, tobacco and caustic white paste. Every panwallah will know his regular customers, who drop by to buy cigarettes, pan masala or betel leaves stuffed with sweetened rose petals. Panwallah takes betel leaves, sprinkles tobacco, add few crushed betel nuts and add white caustic paste, and rolls it up into a triangular shape, which his customer may pop into their cheeks to get that dizzy feeling. Many people are addicted to pan and have a habit of frequenting these stalls after their meals.

You see the strawberry colored swabs on the streets or on the walls at the staircase? After masticating the pan for sometime, people have a habit of spitting out the residual juice randomly without any civic sense. Nobody has a habit of using a tissue.

However, if you are lost in Mumbai and you don’t have Google map on your mobile, look for a Panwallah, he is the right person to ask for directions.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Watchmen Don't Wear Watch In Mumbai....

Mumbai is a safe city to live in and you got to believe that. There are security guards everywhere, in every building, in every mall, outside a store, and sometimes on road.

They just stand there and stare, and get full month’s salary for doing nothing but watching and watching……...

They don’t even look scary and sometime they may not even wear their uniform, but they sit at the gate, in the company of their friends, sometimes for a chat. When we pass by them we see them watching, watching….

Even in a mall, where everybody is busy, he stands there staring with his hands clasped behind his back. Everybody is shopping, walking, talking but you see him standing there, just watching, and watching.

You see them at a gate of every building and even outside a store, but all they do is watching, watching…

On days when they are not watching, they may take a short nap

Or go into deep slumber, but we in Mumbai have got to believe that even though he may be asleep, he might be watching, watching…

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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