Monday, 28 January 2013

Kala Ghoda Arts Festival - !4th Episode

Last year, I had visitors from West Indies and I suggested they walk down the Rampart Row during the Kala Ghoda  Arts Festival, and they were very much amazed by the sights and sounds of this festival. I was expecting them to visit just once, but that was not enough for them, they went back several times.

This is the 15th Episode of Kala Ghoda Art festival in Mumbai. It gets better each year. This year the theme is ‘Change and Exchange’ and all the activities are focused around this theme.

There is something for everybody: music, dance, literature, cinema, and visual arts. Then there are various workshops on art, painting, photography and literature to inspire the senses and feel refreshed.

For people who want to know more about the city, its architecture and history, they can participate in ‘Heritage Walks’ that are organized at different junctions of South Mumbai. The group is normally restricted to 35 persons on first come first serve basis. Prior registration is required to be done on the same day and the individual tokens needs to be collected from Kala Ghoda office in between 12:00noon and 3:00pm. 

On weekends, there is Heritage bus tours at 4:30pm and 5:45pm.

Rampart row is the interesting street that is converted into shopping plaza of handicraft articles sold by NGOs, there are art installations along the street and an open air theatre that changes its mood everyday with vibrant performances by folk dancers, music and street plays from all over the country.

There will be food demonstrations everyday around 4pm at Westside too.

The theme on Literature is ‘Books of Change’ you can be the part of book launches, panel discussion, quizzes or poetry sessions.

There are activities for children too.

If you are in Mumbai between 2nd February to 10th February, this is the festival not to be missed.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Republic Day Ride In Mumbai

photo courtesy

On 26th January, while India celebrates its’ republic day with the spectacular parade in Delhi, Mumbai plans to celebrate in a different style. You are likely to see owners of ‘Royal Enfield’ roar through city with a message ‘Stop Women Abuse’

Motorcyclists will ride from Bandra to Haji Ali via Mahim, Hinduja Hospital, all the way to Gate Way at Trident passing through Marine drive. There will be a halt at Trident for an hour with lots of goodies to be won. And they will be back again the same way.

The ‘Republic Day Ride’ will start from Carter Road (Amphitheatre) at 8.00am sharp.

‘Photokatha’ are looking for bloggers and photographers to cover the live event.

As a photographer, you have an advantage to be part of about 1500 Royal Enfield together and have a great photography experience as you enjoy the ride behind the bike.

As a Blogger, you would be given photographs from the team and you could write small post on the event with your experience along with twitter feeds. A blogger can enjoy the event by sitting behind the bike.

Sounds fun, no?

What a beautiful way to spend the Saturday morning.


The details of the events are

For more details drop email to  or Twitter: @photokatha or Facebook- photokatha

Or get in touch with organizers
Kailash Shinde - 9619675844
Atul Vig - 9833564626
Hozefa Gilitwala - 9819076542
Gaurav Rajpurohit Banna - 9320009087
Rohit Masson- 9892629554
Nigel Rich - 9324733388
Sahil Sherwani- 9920116778
Steven Miranda- 9892453451

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Bicycling Around The City

During my last visit to Barcelona, I was very impressed with ‘Bicing’ a public bike-sharing program.

At different areas of the city, I saw the bike stand with about 10-15 bicycles parked. I was naturally curious. My cousin informed me that this was an alternate mode of public transport where one picks up the bicycle from one stand for up to three hours and can leave it at another stand at his destination. There is an annual fee of 45 euros, and there is no limit to the number of trips.

 What was interesting was that some of the regular cyclist used condoms made especially for bicycle handlebars to prevent themselves from carrying germs or contagious disease.

This set me thinking if such program could work in Mumbai?

Too much unruly traffic, with arrogant auto-rickshaws, rash drivers and the poor Mumbai infrastructure can make cyclist life difficult.

But if it could work, it would add a brownie point to the comfortable commuting in suburbs. There are many cyclist groups in Mumbai but they dare to cycle around the city only during public holidays.

It has its advantages.

Cycling is highly effective health enhancement; it helps you stay fit and also anger-free (the unnecessary arguments during the bus, train, taxi and auto-rickshaw journeys can be very stressful sometimes.) Bike traffic is CO2 free traffic and also can lower the pollution of the city.

But I am not sure of thefts.

I have seen steel-bus-stops and streetlights disappear from unguarded roads of Mumbai. Can we prevent the people from stealing bikes and selling its parts in pieces?

This is the reason why people in Mumbai don’t own bicycles.

Having a bicycle, as a public transport will require lot of policing. If there are bicycle stands at every police station, and with the internet-network for monitoring use of the rented bicycle, the idea might work.

But in India, manpower is required for every service; unattended service might not work effectively like they do in Barcelona or in other European countries.
Nevertheless, I am still hopeful that this system arrives in Mumbai, especially in suburbs.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Food Culture in Mumbai City

This week I got invitation to two events that interest me the most – food talks at BMW Guggenheim lab, a mobile laboratory that travels to cities worldwide and is in Mumbai this year.

On 3rd Jan 2013 there is sharing of flavors, recipes and the stories of unique dishes that were enjoyed during the times when the mills were flourishing in Mumbai. Mill communities were the melting pot of migrants and there were diverse culture, tradition and food, which is slowly eroding and losing its significance. It will be interesting to learn about different spices used by various culture.

image source

On 13th Jan 2013 there is a party celebration with fisher folk at Mahim, an interesting evening filled with singing, storytelling, dancing, sharing and of course eating. There will be discussions on their struggles as they face the rapid encroachment on the boundaries of their native villages and threaten the future of Koli livelihood and the possible solutions. 

image source

These events will be of great help to food writers and bloggers, as they begin to understand the food culture of Mumbai city.

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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