Thursday, 25 February 2010

Fresh Farm food In Mumbai

Last month, everybody was talking about BT Brinjals and I was quite afraid of its’ results. Actually I love Brinjals very much and many times I pickle it in mustard, garlic and red chilies to be eaten when I am too lazy to cook. But to risk this experimental food that contains ‘toxic pesticides whose effect on the human body and the environment are not known.’ huh? It is out of question for me. How would I deal with diseases like swollen face, itching skins, and other allergies?  Nah!

No BT Brinjals for me! In fact no chemically induced veggies for me! Shrug*

Therefore I was glad when I read about the farmers from across Maharashtra, who will hold a weekly Farmers’ Market from March 21 in Bandra to sell fresh organic produce in the city.
So Remember
Every Sunday, beginning March 21st

10am - 5pm
Nilgiri Garden,
Bandra Hindu Association,
Linking Road,
Bandra (W)
South-West of National College
Opposite The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
If I can buy fresh, organically certified fruits and vegetables directly from farmers, what else would I want? Isn't it??

This is really good news for me because I eat lotsa salad and fruits and now I can be assured of eating chemical-free food.

I want to live healthy or not at all.

I have a choice!

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Boating Culture in Mumbai

Are you interested in sports boats, luxury yachts, Jet Ski’s, water scooters, kayaks, Engine marine gadgets and other marine accessories?

Yeah? Then head on to MMRDA grounds for the 'Mumbai International Boat Show 2010' or at Gateway of India and feast your eyes from 19th to 21st February 2010

The fourth edition of the Mumbai International Boat show is for showcasing the boating and related services and for their support of FICCI India Boating Forum

Indians were master boat builders from very ancient times. The fact that the oldest floating ship in the world today –HMS Trincomallee, was built in ‘Bombay’ Dockyard in 1816, is a testimony to this.

Mumbai is surrounded by the coastline on all three sides and walking at the promenades or at the sea-shore is the culture of Mumbaites. For people like me, who may or may not go for sailing, just watching the sky line of Mumbai across the shores, dotted with beautiful boats against red sunset, will certainly thrill my senses. With 7600kms of coastline (virtually un-spoilt) and a huge network of rivers and inland waterways all around, India certainly has significant potential in the areas of both water transport and marine based activities. We really need some water sports (too) to entertain us.

I sincerely hope the boating culture is revived in Mumbai. Hello? is somebody listening?
If the proper infrastructure is created, I might even go for India- round- trip in a luxury cruise.

Ole! Que Bonita Vida!!

Friday, 12 February 2010

Mumbai decides not to be bullied anymore!

What if Sena behaved themselves and
prepared some soups
of sanity
We could live life, king size, colorful style,
and savor the sips
of equality
We would readily embrace the rules of trade
and even learn some
If they didn’t crush us, beat our souls,
we would help, punch head
of instability.
Mumbai, a common umbrella for all;
we could breathe the life
of quality.............
Read more of my poem here

It has been quite a while since Shiv Sena has tried to bully Mumbaikars into obeying their silly demands and people have caved in. Be it Valentine day celebration or forcing people to speak Marathi to get a taxi license. Sena knows only agitation politics and it always makes wrong targets. Lately they have targetted icons like Sachin Tendulkar, Mukesh Ambani, Rahul Gandhi, Shah Rukh Khan, etc. Since last ten days Sena has threatened Mumbaikars against watching the film ‘My Name is Khan’

Today, Mumbai was aggressive, online and offline. “Bollywood and Politics Collide in a Red-Carpet Standoff” screamed the newspaper headline.

The netizens debated via twitter, telling each other to stand up against Shiv Sena. There is even a group on the facebook titled: ‘Shiv Sena sucks’ All mumbaikars are kinda fed up with this hooligisams and want to live peacefully. They wanted to make a statement that they were no more afraid, by coming to the theatres, across city in big groups. The state assured them the safety, police was patrolling the city all day and for once, mumbaikar trusted the police and went out to watch the film with much gusto.

Finally, after 20 long years of suppression and threats, Mumbai is scared no more……

Monday, 8 February 2010

A day out at KalaGhoda Art Festival

I knew it (from my previous experiences) that it would be too crowded on weekends so I reserved this Monday (instead) for Kala ghoda arts festival and I was glad that I did just that.
To start with, I headed straight to the short film show ‘Blind flyers’ (2004), a senti film on 13 years old teenager friends who lived in a blind home and how they perceive the ‘lookie’ world. Although they were blind, they had the same aspiration for looking good and desirable, dressing up, dying their hair to color red/blond (when they have no idea of what that color be), getting carried away by TV contest, not realizing that blindness is not a media asset. It was worth watching.

After the film, we walked around the stalls along Rampart Row and parking lot, admiring the different installations, photographs and wild animals (not real animals, what you thinking)
and then towards the art quest where they had installations on theme: global warming.

After lunch (yeah, street food, channa pattis, khandvi and drinks) we headed towards Hotel Ambassador (14th floor) for heritage walk on Mumbai skyline. Over the cup of coffee and biscuits, we got updates (from a NRI student, who wouldn't want to live in Mumbai) on history of Mumbai architecture and its heritage value, and then we spend the next one hour clicking pictures of Mumbai skyline as we watched the sun set on Marine Drive.

Cooking is my passion and anything to do with cooking, eating or writing is my forte, it interests me a lot, it's the discussion I didn’t want to miss. I must have behaved like a spoil-sport when I looked at my watch several times to remind my friend to hurry up cause we were getting late (where we did arrive ten minutes late,)  for the discussion session, at Sassoon Library Garden, but I were relieved that it started only after I was comfortably settled and ready for the discussions to begin.

I collected lots of ideas (and got wiser) as I sat listening to the ‘Panel discussion on delicious variety of food cooking’ with Vikram Doctor, as moderator and Nilanjana Roy, Shobha Narayan and Rhusina Ghildiyal, the food writers.

Food writing in not just writing hotel/restaurant reviews or jotting down your regular traditional recipes but it is something more than that, it’s a way of discovering family culinary histories, ethics, politics, culture. I felt that my blogging might have some future, if I do enough food writing that includes traditional food with fiction, or food with science, or food with history. All that I need to do to achieve that is to do serious research on local ingredients and their applications in our diets and then to write from my own experiences that compliments those recipes. During the discussions, my mind drifted back to various recipes that I have tried during my travels and although my taste buds has changed over the years, there are days when I still crave for my own traditional home cooking.

At the end of discussion I was inspired a lot, happy that many more people shared my passion for food-writing (the session was crowded) and I was beginning to feel that I should resume my cooking and food-writing simultaneously, with my ego boosted then, it was wee bit crushed when I heard the editor of ‘Upper Crust’ saying that 70 percent of food writers had no talent for writing. (I don't wish to take that personally) Ego was re-booted again, when a senior person in the audience announced (during the inter-active session) that he was ready to invest in a cook-book that stressed on traditional cooking in the sincere way (and to his liking) such that his grand children would not crave for junk food and pickles and would return back to the traditional food habits.

The next session on ‘city stories’ was interesting too, whereby they openly discussed writings on ‘Bombay’ it was getting late, we didn’t wait till the end… (Dinner-time, yummy. street food again) and then by local train, back to my cozy suburbs

Didn’t get enough of this festival in one day, may be I go back again, another day.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Colorful Kala Ghoda Festival from 6th to 14 February

The statue of King Edward near Prince of Wales Museum, seated on a black horse, is there no more, but Kala Ghoda retains its name and it is the hub for creative talent. Artists, food connoisseurs, fashion designers, architecture buff, they all flock here.

This is the venue that comes alive in the month of February which attracts not only tourists and shoppers but also common people around Mumbai and other parts of India. It comes alive with Kala Ghoda Festival which you can enjoy from 6th February to 14th February 2010

A nine day extravaganza, 'The Kala Ghoda arts festival' sees Mumbai's Kala Ghoda Arts Society transformed into an open air exhibition space and stage show. This vibrant street festival includes arts and crafts exhibitions, seminars and workshops, dance and music, theater and literature, heritage walks, and special events for children.

According to your taste, you can station yourself at different venues. There are cultural dance shows, Bollywood music, hip hop, folk music and fashion shows at open air amphitheatre,  then there are various activities and workshops for children at parking lot and at Museum Garden, variety of film shows at Cama hall, Max Muellar or BNHS auditorium, literary events at David Sasson Library, theatre at NGMA Auditorium and classical and fusion music shows at Asiatic steps .

There are heritage walks and open-deck-bus rides too. And for those who like to feast their eyes, there are art installations, photograph exhibitions and street plays. Just check their schedule and plan your outing according to your interest.

The great thing about it is that it's all free!

Unless (of course) if you also want to shop and eat. Now, now, you didn't expect free food, or did you? But then that adds fun to your adventure too.

There are thousands of people attending this festival each day and most of them blog on their own page. Me too. For those who are not able to attend this festival , can still attend virtually, you can catch 2010 festival as it happens at caferati blog or you can follow them on twitter here

Previously, I had attended the festival and if you like what I blog then, you can visit my archives. I had blogged here and here.

And every year it is a different experience….and its fun to meet people who share your passion….of art and culture….Maybe I should bump into you this time...yeah..good idea....see you then……

Monday, 1 February 2010

Yipee! Short Films Again!!

Okay, the poster above shows the film festival that was in oct/nov last year, its here again!!! February is the great month to be in Mumbai. The month has just started and the festivals are all line up.

To begin with, here is the Mumbai festival, The 11th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF)—with a bouquet of 200 short films and documentaries from 40 countries — will take off on February 3 at the National Centre of Performing Arts, Nariman Point.

This should interest those who like to watch short film, There are some films on science, environment, climate, etc. there will be workshops and seminars too.

This year the festival will look more colorful and glamorous,, since there will be lot more Bollywood stars too. Stars like Yash Chopra, as the chief guest for the inauguration, Ajay Devgan will also be present and Preity Zinta will be the guest for the concluding session and they will also have interactive sessions with film industry’s experts.

Ooooh! I am looking forward to it!!!!

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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