• Arts & Culture - Culture - Fun

    Kala Ghoda 2013 Diaries – #3: The Auto Show

    Decorated or redesigned vehicles are part of KGAF every year. Of all the vehicle installations at this year’s KGAF, “Birth Story of Vespa” stood apart. This installation represents the famous Vespa scooter. It brings out the similarity in form that the Vespa shares with wasp. Vespa is Italian for wasp. A good option to reduce pollution and consumption of natural resources but cycling on Mumbai roads can be suicidal Artist Hetal Shukhla says the “poor artist syndrome is oudated, boring and uncool. The new artist wants CHANGE.” Eleven-year old Dev Mehta reflects the ever-changing colours of Mumbai on this car…

  • Arts & Culture - Fun

    Indikaleido: A Cultural Kaleidoscope

    This year’s Kala Ghoda Arts Festival got over recently. While blogging on that, we realised that we forgot to write about Indikaleido, another cultural festival that delighted Mumbai’s music and dance lovers in November 2012. This 3-day festival, an initiative by Horniman Circle Garden Trust, featured a few really good performances. We could attend only the ones on the last day. One part of the Horniman Circle Garden was dedicated to stalls of NGOs. Stall of Trishul, an NGO involved in slum sanitation, teaching less-privileged kids, and women empowerment. A colourful collection of bags at one of the stalls Pottery…

  • Arts & Culture - Heritage - History - People - Places

    Mummy: The Inside Story

    Nesperennub, a priest at the temple of Amun-Ra, had severe dental abscesses, which would have given him terrible pain when he was alive. He had a small cavity on his skull, above his left eye. He was a man of high status and belonged to an influential clan at Thebes, a city in ancient Egypt. Nesperennub lived in ancient Egypt, around 1550–1069 BC. He passed away when he was middle-aged. But he has come to India and will be here for one more month. The mummy of Nesperennub in its cartonnage case The mystery of Egyptian mummies has always puzzled…

  • Arts & Culture - Fun - Places

    Kala Ghoda 2013 Diaries – #2 Danger Art

    Skulls, skulls, and more skulls. This year’s KGAF  was dotted with skulls, most of them made of electronic waste.   This is one of the seven Kapala’s totems installed at KGAF 2013. These totems by Sukant Panigrahy invoke awareness of the dangers of electronic waste. Of the seven, six were made using electronic waste. One totem was made of organic materials or natural waste.  

  • Arts & Culture

    Kala Ghoda 2013 Diaries – #1 Cardboard Creations

    We haven’t missed one Kala Ghoda Arts Festival (KGAF) ever since we came to Mumbai. This time around too, we were there, braving the crowd and enjoying the artistic side of maximum city. KGAF, in a way, symbolizes Mumbai’s motley crowd. It offers so much variety–be it music, dance, literature, drama, street plays, workshops, artful installations, movies, heritage walks, or stalls offering a great potpourri of products–that we really get lost. Literally too, as the Art Plaza where the installations, stalls, puppetry, and surprise shows attracts a lot of crowd, especially in the evenings. It is not possible to attend…

  • Uncategorized

    The Farmers’ Market Returns

    Excited on hearing about the restart of the Farmers’ Market after the monsoon break, we set aside half a Sunday to explore the market. However, we didn’t get enough from the visit for all the excitement built up beforehand. A neat concept ideated and implemented by Kavita Mukhi, the Farmers’ market connects organic farmers across Maharashtra to the organic produce enthusiasts of Mumbai. Season 2 of this well-received event was held last Sunday at Nilgiri Garden, Bandra, Mumbai. We walked in to the market a good two hours after its opening, only to be disappointed. Maybe, our expectations were too…

  • Places

    Five Monsoon Weekend Drives from Mumbai

    If getting out of Mumbai means Lonavala and Khandala for you, then read no further. Not that Lonavala and Khandala aren’t beautiful. They are indeed. But then, let us grow up. Here are five weekend monsoon getaways from Mumbai. 1. Go beyond Malshej Ghat. Malshejghat is a regular and hugely popular monsoon weekend getaway. Misty mountains and unlimited waterfalls. An MTDC resort facing the valley. Most people from Mumbai travel to Malshejghat via Kalyan for a day trip or a weekend trip. Here is another alternative: Hit the Mumbai–Pune expressway and take a left at Wadgaon to Chakan and then…

  • Birdwatching - Nature's Wonders - Places

    Mumbai Winter Visitors Turn Pink

    By this time, they would’ve already set off to Kutch or getting ready for the journey. When we met them in December, they were busy feeding on the algae in the Sewri mudflats. Flamingos migrate to Maharashtra during winter after spending the breeding season in Kutch, Gujarat. Sewri, a port area in Mumbai, is one of their favourite hangouts. How did they choose to come to this derelict area?  Maybe, the rich algae found in the muddy tracts that get exposed during low tides. Feeding on these algae that have a carotenoid pigment, these migratory birds turn rich pink by…

  • Birdwatching

    Birding at Uran

    Most often, one misses the simple pleasures and beauties near home. We knew Uran had something to offer for bird watchers, but had never ventured. So in one of our short treks to Vyagreshwar, Nature Knights decided to pack in an early morning birding. And it was worth it. Ibises, coots, whistling ducks, bee eaters and many more unnamed birds gave us company 0n a winter morning.

  • Treks

    Pouring Rains, Lashing Winds, Gushing Streams, Slippery Rocks, Slushy Pathways … Monsoon Is On. Treks Are On

    The hills and mountains that cover the entire western part of Maharashtra have many forts. Most of them have seen hectic activities from 1400 to 1900 AD (an average, and an assumption). After the Mughals, the Dutch, the Portuguese, the Marathas and the Britishers finished their party, what was left were more often only rubbles of forts. Except in very few cases, where the government has taken up maintenance for archeological reasons or those maintained as places of worship. From 21 century onwards, it was the turn of city slickers to lay hands (and legs) on these forts. People who…

  • Arts & Culture

    Kalaghoda Diaries: Part 2 – Altamash Gaziyani’s Clay Magic

    At 13, Altamash Gaziyani is just like any other neibhourhood boys. Except that he does a few things more than an average 13 year old. He loves reading Tintin and Shakespeare at the same time. And its not just cooking that he loves to do with his hands. It is also about some magical poetry in clay. That’s why he was there at Kalaghoda 2009. Clay Magic was where Altamash preseted his creations in clay. Altamash was excited to be there in the festival. The twinkle in his eyes while demonstrating, making his wares and selling it says it all.…

  • Arts & Culture

    Kalaghoda Diaries: Part 1 – The Heritage Bus Ride

    This year Kalaghoda Festival started literally on a high for us. Perched on the open upper deck of a double-decker bus, we went on a heritage ride through the city (the southern part of Mumbai and the original city). And we enjoyed every moment of the ride. Starting from the Regal circle, near Prince of Wales Museum, the ride covered some of the best-loved landmarks – the Gateway of India, Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mumbai University, Marine Drive, Asiatic Society… The trip was organised (as part of Kalaghoda Festival) by The Bombay Heritage Walks team, founded by two city-based architects…

  • Places

    A Rare Display of Affection

    This June saw us and our group religiously (every monsoon) packing our bags and heading to explore the wilderness of Sanjay Gandhi National Park. This time the trail was to what is known as the Highest Point of Mumbai. This is an easy trek and the climb starts behind the Kanheri caves. There will be always one picture from every trek that is worth making the cover of that album. This is that picture. A rare display of affection or friendship or whatever… Rest of the photoblog of the trip is here.