Saturday, 13 January 2018

Mumbai Shopping Festival 2018

Food truck was the main reason I wanted to go to Worli sea face. They would be parked only this week end closer to my house, next week they would be parked at Malad and then week after that at Powai.

My friend and I decided to go to Worli seaface and experience the Mumbai Festival. The ambience is very vibrant along the promenade, with food trucks on one side and stall selling various articles on the other side. A small stage, inserted between stalls has various performing artists.

There is a fair discount of over 50% on every article. There are artefacts, clothes, footwear, jewellery and many other knick knacks along the promenade. At one stall there was even a Karaoke singers. At the end of shopping lane there were tandem riders enjoying double seat bicycle rides.

Mumbai festival was inaugurated on 12th January 2018 and will be in progress till 31st January. Maharastra Government on lines of Dubai festival has organised twenty days Mumbai festival.

More about the festival here…


Thursday, 9 February 2017

JM Financial Foundation Walkathon on Sunday,Feb 12

JM Financial Foundation is the philanthropic arm of JM Financial Group. The Foundation partners with grass-root level NGOs to implement programmes in various fields such as education, health and disaster relief. Every year, their employees, along with their friends and families as well as clients, actively participate and strive to put in maximum efforts to give back to society.

Picture source
Initiated in the year 2002, JM Financial Walkathon is a 6 km walk along the picturesque Marine Drive sea-front in Mumbai. The route of the Walkathon is along Marine Drive, from opposite NCPA Apartments, upto Mafatlal Bath, and then back to Nariman Point. JM Financial Walkathon aims to create a positive impact towards the lesser privileged communities; by supporting an array of social initiatives through their philanthropic arm viz. JM Financial Foundation.

picture source
If you are in South Mumbai this weekend and want to experience the positive vibes of the sea of people walking down the promenade, join them at 7:30am on 12th February opposite NCPA apartments at Nariman point.

All those who are interested in joining may register online –Please visit

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Ganpati Visarjan in Mumbai

If you are visiting Mumbai in the month of September, Ganesha festival is the event you cannot miss.
September is the auspicious month of the year, when Lord Ganesha enters the state of Maharastra bringing in the positive vibrations and the spiritual aura in the air. The festival begins on Shukla Chaturthi, which is the fourth day of the waxing moon period, and ends on the 14th day of the waxing moon period known as Anant Chaturdashi. It is celebrated to honour the elephant-headed God Ganesha’s birthday.

Ganpati is brought into the house with much funfair. All day long, guests keep coming to offer their prayers. Different families honour Ganesha in their homes on different number of days, some just one and half day, some five days and some eleven or fourteen days. There are four main rituals during the festival – Pranapratishtha- the process of infusing the deity into a idol, Shhodashopachara-16 forms of paying tribute to Ganesha, Uttarpuja- Puja after which the idol could be shifted after its’ infusion, Ganpati Visarjan- immersion of the Idol in the river. At the end of the stay, families say a small prayer and then take it to drown it in waters, to melt away the clay used for moulding Ganesha.
The arrival and the departure of Ganesha is celebrated widely on the road. It is a huge street party like Hindu Carnival with music, dance and eats. This year, I had an invitation to watch the procession of departure (called Visarjan) from my friend’s house who lives on a busy street. The food was cooked in her building to cater to more than thousand people. There were Samosas, Puris and potatoes vegetables. A large serving station for food and drinks was installed outside her building facing the road. People moved in long serpentine queue, picking up the food and drinks and joining in the procession.

We sat on the plastic chairs placed on the foot path outside her building and watched the continuous stream of large Ganesha idols, each with their own set of music and devotees. There was celebration spirit everywhere, people perched on the top of the trucks, cars, gyrating to loud Bollywood music or to beat of drums.

Some people were dressed in fancy dress, some in silk sarees, but the spirit of celebration was everywhere. It was a huge crowd, all moving in one direction, all walking towards the beach, where they will have their final prayers. At the end of the prayers, people take turns to whisper their desires into Ganesha’s large ear with the promise that they will celebrate the same festival with equal jest the next coming year if their wishes are granted. The idol are then taken deep into the waters and allowed to drown.

We sat on the street for more than four hours, there was never ending train of procession with Ganesha of different shapes and sizes, some artistically done with innovative ideas. Many of the idols had a priest sitting at the foot of Ganesha offering prayers to anyone who wishes to and prasad (normally Modak) was distributed to the passerby. Modak, a sweet dish is prepared using rice or flour and is stuffed with grated jaggery, coconut and dry fruits. The plate containing the Modak is supposed to be filled with twenty-one pieces of the sweet.

Initially it used to be a private celebration in a Maharashtrian homes, but an Hindu leader, Lokmanya Tilak changed the festival to a grand public event to bridge the gap between Brahmins and non-Brahmins and find an appropriate context in which to build a new unity between them. During the festival, many people hop from one pandal to another, to see the creativity of different idols across the city. In Mumbai, Lal Baugh ka Raja is the favourite idol and draws devotee in millions.

While we may complain about noise and pollution of Ganesha festival, nobody will disagree that it has spiritual inclination. The electricity of joy is in the air, there is love, devotion, prasadam, you cannot stop tapping your feet at the loud beating of drums, or joining with your dancing shoes. It was a great experience watching the huge procession while we remained seated at the side path. Nevertheless, I was saddened that they would finally drown the idols in the waters with broken limbs washed off on the beach the next day.
picture courtesy- Rhea

However, this year the responsible citizens (mainly young active civic citizen) had taken up the task of cleaning the beaches along with CMCA-A NGO that works with children to improve our society. The children were back to the beach the next day, picking up the broken limbs of the idols and cleaning up the beaches.

cross posted at

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Launch of Mumbai Chapter of Costa Cruise, Mumbai-Maldives

For a long time now, cruise has been on my mind. There have been many occassions when I have made plans, but it has not materialised. Mainly because I have to make a trip to someplace in Europe, Asia or America to take a cruise to exotic destinations. So, my happiness knew no bounds when I heard about this Costa Classica that will begin their cruise from my home town Mumbai. It is a brilliant idea mainly because the cost of travelling is slashed, no more travelling to another place to board the ship, nor any hassle of passport and Visa, its just pack my bags and I am on the go.

I was invited for the launch of ‘First time cruising between Mumbai and Maldives’ at Lotus Room in Trident Hotel. I was eager to learn about their services. Cruising is like a floating city with new view every day without any hassle of packing and unpacking at every port.

Like every other cruise, there is lots of entertainment on board like casino, theatre, disco, ballroom, etc. This classic cruise ship has a total of 654 cabins (with a capacity of 1700 passengers) including sea view cabins and suites with private balconies. It also has jogging track, pools, jacuzzis, library and shopping centre.

Not to forget the food, there will be Indian cuisine, vegetarian and Jain food in addition to their Italian regional menus, a choice of dishes representing different regions of Italy reflecting their culinary heritage.

Cruise of one week will start from Mumbai, pass through enchanting destinations within India such as Goa, Cochin, Colombo and Maldives at the price as low as 42K. Costa neoClassica will perform a series of weekly sailing from 16th December2016 – 18th March 2017.

Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman of Mumbai port, plans to make Mumbai port of International standard with latest technology and sound security. He spoke about opening the eastern front of Mumbai that will change the coastal line of the city.

Valsa Nair Singh, the Principal Secretary Tourism of Maharastra looked positive towards the future tourism where people could come back with happy memories. “This is the perfect mode of ‘Me’ time where you can unwind and just enjoy the cruise” he said.

Nalini Gupta, Costa Cruise India Head, was sure that it would attract lots of corporates, Bollywood clan, religious groups, senior citizens, etc. “We are conducting regular training and workshops for the travel agents to educate them on the product. Cruising is the future and we offer great value for money. We are targeting customers across the board, with kids go free policy,” said Gupta.

 India is one of our strategically strong markets for Costa Asia. With a large population base of 1.3 billion and economic growth, we are confident that India will become a key source for cruising.  We have charted out an interesting itinerary for the Mumbai-Male route. This will be a home-port sailing for three months, providing unique experience of nature and culture, along with a customize holidays.” Said Kelvin Wong, Vice President Commercial Costa Cruise Asia,

This idea has appealed me so much that I am looking to contacting my closed circle of friends to accompany me for this trip.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Getaway from Mumbai To Goa

I have been to Goa many times and always with set of friends/relatives who want to have a great time. Each time, I get to see Goa in a different perspective. There is Sun, beach, culture and food, Depending on your interest, you need to plan your itinerary.  In old Goa, the history comes alive with churches like  St.Agustine Church, Basillica of Bom Jesus Church, or you visit temples like Balaji temple, Mangesh temple, Mahalasa Naryani temple, Shanta Durga temple, Mahalaxmi temple, or you could also visit forts and museums. You take a cruise through Mandovi River, and the cultural program, that is performed on the boat is splendid. And of course, there are beaches every where, The city is full of tourist from all over the world and when you go for shopping, you feel as if you are in distant land, there are rows and rows of shopping lanes that look like a flea market showcasing beach-ware, hats, sun glasses, handicraft, jewellery and odds and ends. The city is clean and walking down the dirt roads or on the sand by the beach is pure delight.

This trip, touring around the city was not on my itinerary, this was purely a trip to spend quality time with bunch of friends (32 women to be exact) in some comfortable resort (we had checked in Aguada Anchorage resort). Most of our time was spend at the resort itself with lunches and dinners at nearby exotic places.

During my 3-days-stay at the resort, a secret outing was planned by the organisers. We were asked to get into the hotel bus and go some place. The suspense was unrevealed when we reach Coco beach.

The excitement grew as soon as we saw the boats anchored at the shore. All of us hurried towards the hat stall and started shopping for hats  and sun glasses (Yes, we women are like that only, if we see something, we patronise the person who making a living, we have to BUY, if not for ourselves, then for people back home)

One hat on our head and two held in our hands, we walked down the stony, uneven path to aboard the boats (I wish there was a smooth steady path leading towards the boat, there are hundreds of tourists visiting these places everyday, but it was not easily accessible for the old and the handicap, getting into the boat was quite an effort)

But once, into the boat, it was an awsom ride. The cool breeze caressing our faces, the gentle swaying of the boat was soothing as we rowed down the stream. The boatman shared his knowledge, pointing out to the buildings lining up the shores, showiing us the Goa Central jail, fort Aguada, a house where “Hasina Maan Jaygi’ was shot, then there was  Bollywood stars, (Jacky Shroff’s and Amir Khan) houses. and surprises of surprises, when I saw two Dolphins shoot up in the mid air for fraction of a second and dive back in.

My interest was now focused in waiting for those Dolphin again. I mean, they were so quick, jumping above waters, then dispearing into waters, with their slimy dynamic black bodies twirling in synchrony, much to our delight. Nobody had warned me about this. This was the surprise. I followed their movements, straining to see under water, watching their every moment as they swam across at a high speed. "Look there! Look there!" everybody was squealing as they followed their movements. 

There were many boats on the waters, but they were no threat to the dolphins, this was a no-fishing-zone (Dolphins knew that)

This was thirty minutes ride, but most satisfying one.

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.

Whats the Time Please?

Live Exchange Rates

Do you love what you read here? .....Copy, churn, reproduce, share or imitate....knowledge is for sharing....But, do acknowledge me, or better still.... send me a copy.......