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FRIDAY, 23.12.2011

YOUR GUIDE TO THE CITY’S COOLEST CHOICES

FOOD e-SHOPPING PERFORM

NIGHT OUT ART

TOURS

SHOPPING TRAVEL KIDS


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CONTENTS

NIGHT OUT Five of the grooviest live acts >04

MUMBAI MAX

FRIDAY 23.12.2011

EDITED BY FIONA FERNANDEZ DESIGNED BY HITESH CHUDASAMA

SHOPPING

Five off-beat stores in the city >14

TEXT SOMA DAS ADITI SHARMA SUREKHA S DHARA VORA ANJANA VASWANI theguide@mid-day.com

KIDS

E-SHOPPING

Five kid-friendly spaces (indoor and outdoor) >06

PERFORM

Five great spaces for the performing arts >08

Five fun online shopping portals >16

FOOD

Five of the most interesting restaurants >10

ART

Five unusual spaces for art >18

TRAVEL

Five unique weekend escape options >20

TOURS

Five cool trip operators >22


04

NIGHT OUT Five of the grooviest live acts

MUMBAI MAX

FRIDAY, 23.12.2011

Demonic Resurrection

Shaa’ir + Func

Sure, it’s unfair to include two bands with the same band member in this list. But hey, don’t blame us if Monica ‘Shaa’ir’ Dogra and Randolph ‘Func’ Correia play to packed houses every time they perform in the city. There are serpentine lines outside nightclubs when S+F performs, be it in Bangalore or Nagpur. These guys have picked up awards at all major music-related

events ever in the last few years. It’s not easy to bring out four albums in five years, but Monica and Randolph don’t seem to know that.

Rajasthan Roots

It is truly something to watch a performance that includes instruments like the Morchang, Bhapang, Khurtal, Algoza, Khamaicha, Nagara and Bamboo Flute, holding a chilled beer in your hand. The band members of Rajasthan Roots include traditional Rajasthani folk

Pentagram

When Demonic Resurrection (DR) started out back at the turn of the century the band members were barely 17 years old. Now 11 years later, DR is the only Heavy / Death / Black Metal band that has made it through so many years. Some members have left and others have joined but Demonstealer (aka Sahil Makhija) has held

fort. Mephisto accompanies Demonstealer on keyboard, Daniel on lead guitars, Husain on bass and Viru on drums. There aren’t too many bands in the country that can inspire the audience to sing the National Anthem after a gig to show their love for Indian Metal, DR can. Just for that, a Demonic gig is a must attend.

Vishal ‘Vishnu’ Dadlani, the lead vocalist of Pentagram, perhaps finds it a personal insult if he finds anyone in the audience sitting tight. So, when he says, “I wanna see every hand in the house up in the air,” you readily oblige. It is absolutely impossible to be seated when Dadlani, Randolph ‘Light Bulb’ Correia, Papal

artistes from the Manganiyar, Mewati, Langa and Meghwal communities. The 22-member strong ensemble performs Sufi numbers, bhajans apart from folk songs. Their performance also includes dancers and puppeteers. This one is a true blue feast for the senses.

‘Chai’ Mane and Shiraz ‘Chacha’ Bhattacharya take on the stage. They have performed everywhere from the Glastonbury Festival in the UK to Gurgaon. From politically-charged songs (The Price Of Bullets, that was written during the Kargil War) to lyrics inspired by Aamchi Mumbai (Mental Zero and Tomorrow’s Decided from their latest album Bloddywood), the band finds inspiration in things that we know about and that’s how fans find an instant connect.

Indian Ocean It’s a pity Mumbai does not encourage major live gigs and that’s why bands like the Indian Ocean are restricted to performing at nightclubs and other smaller venues. That, of course, does not stop fans from pouring in. Earlier this year, when the Delhi-based band was in town to promote their latest album 16/330

Khajoor Road, there was no space to stand in the club even though the entry was a steep Rs 500 (usually gigs are at Rs 300 per head). Fans queued up from 7 pm onwards even when the band decided to play an unscheduled gig owing to the high demand. That Sunday was the most rocking day for the city.


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KIDS

Five kid-friendly spaces

The Pomegranate Workshop MUMBAI MAX

FRIDAY, 23.12.2011

MCubed

The Pomegranate Workshop works on honing selfexpression techniques among kids by integrating visual arts, performing arts, creative writing, storytelling, Math, Science and Design in the educational process. Its founder-director is Priya Srinivasan who spent over a decade in journalism before making the switch to starting The Pomegranate Workshop (TPW). They collaborate with a network of reputed professionals from various fields such as writers, artists, theatrewallahs and

Rifle shooting

MCubed library happened when friends — Vibha Kamat, Vaishali Shinde and Sonal Bimal — joined hands with the Maharashtra Mitra Mandal NGO to revamp their public library in Bandra. It opened on September 30 and is the first public library for kids up to 16 years. Spread across 4,000 sq feet and with over 5,500 books, the library boasts of spacious interiors and offers titles in English, Hindi and Marathi. There are weekend activities and tons to do during Diwali, Christmas and the summer holidays including readerstorytelling sessions, creative writing workshops, a film and a book club. Kids can offer gift vouchers to friends who can use the

library for two months. Underprivileged children can use the library free of cost. MCubed introduced a Letter of the Week where anecdotes are showcased from fans. So far, actors Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak, singer Shubha Mudgal and poet Gulzar have made it to the board. “It was a surprise and a disappointment that the neighbourhood doesn’t have a children’s library for young ones. Through this library we want to make books available locally and ensure that children from every section of society can cherish the joy that books offer,” shares Kamat. AT: Maharashtra Mitra Mandal Public Library, Bandra (W). CALL: 26411497 EMAIL: mcubedlibrary@gmail.com

filmmakers to encourage children to discover their creative potential. CALL: 9892210539 LOG ON TO: www.tpw.in

WorldKids Cinema Club

Abhinav Bindra’s Olympic exploits have done wonders in popularising rifle shooting. No surprise then that the year-old rifle shooting range launched by Olympian Deepali Deshpande has become a hit. “Rifle shooting is a unique sport. Plus, there is a thrill in holding a rifle to take aim,” said Deshpande, who has over 22 years of rifle shooting experience. She hopes to spot talented kids and train them to win at the national level. These camps include basic courses, which is open to children from 10 years and above. Currently, three shooters qualified for Open Nationals while two were selected to represent Mumbai in the State Interschool Shooting Championships. AT: Mulund Gymkhana, Navghar Road, Mulund (E). CALL: 21635114 / 9046

Founded four years ago by veteran television presenter Manju Singh, WorldKids Foundation promotes human values and world cultures among children and young adults though cinema. To help in the development of a child’s personality, WorldKids Foundation has undertaken several initiatives such as Lessons in the Dark, which is being conducted regularly in schools across the city. Recently, they initiated the WorldKids Film Club in association with NCPA. The film club screenings are followed by discussions, theater workshops and interactions with opinion leaders and children’s filmmakers. EMAIL: worldkids.filmfest@gmail.com LOG ON TO: www.worldkidsfoundation.com

Indian Tigers Football Academy For kids who wish to bend it like Beckham, the Indian Tigers Football Academy (ITFA) might help them inch closer to the goal. Their programmes include talent scouting and recruitment units. It was started three years ago by “soccer mom” Sherley Joseph Singh, who was dissatisfied with the football training

options available for her 14 year-old son Joshua and made enquiries with former Chelsea team coaches who agreed to teach in India. ITFA’s aim is to train footballers who could be potential national football champs. AT: Indian Tigers Football Alliance, next to Hotel Samraj,Chakala Road, Andheri (E). CALL: 9324269236


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PERFORM Five great spaces for performing arts

Shanmukhananda Hall MUMBAI MAX

FRIDAY 23.12.2011

Awishkar

Awishkar Sanskrutik Kendra essentially runs out of the assembly hall of New Mahim Municipal School. This space has seen some of the best productions by the likes of the late Chetan Datar and Jaidev Hattangady. Theatre stalwart Arun Kakade continues to run the space and encourage youngsters to take up theatre. A show at this hall is pretty much

equivalent to a drawing room performance and that’s what makes the experience special. The audience does not miss a single expression, a challenge any self-respecting actor would love to take on. AT New Mahim Municipal School, Mia Mohammed Chhotani Road, Cross Gali No 3, Mahim (W). CALL 24445871

It is a tough call choosing the best from a list that includes Tata Theatre, Nehru Centre, St Xaviers College Foyer and Shanmukhananda Hall. But the award goes to Shanmukhananda Hall simply for the number and quality of performances that the space holds through the year. From the late ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh to dance performances by Hema Malini, this auditorium has played host to the best the country has

to offer. Ustad Zakir Hussain has made Shanmukhananda a permanent venue for the concert titled Homage to Abbaji, the tribute performance held on February 3 every year, in memory of his father Ustad Alla Rakha. Audiences and artistes agree that energy of the place is superb, making it a precious venue for Indian Classical performances. AT Shanmukhanand Hall, J Yagnik Marg, near Kings Circle, Sion (E). CALL 24031357 / 24092211

Horniman Circle Gardens

Jamshed Bhabha Auditorium There is only one place in the city that beckons you to bring out your opera glasses and evening dresses. Whether it’s a Ballet performance or an Opera, for the best of Western Classical performances, head to the opulent Jamshed Bhabha Auditorium. The 1,109-seater theatre often sees international performances. Recently, we were treated to a spectacular performance by the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, considered to be the oldest

professional chamber orchestra, with musicians from the Symphony Orchestra of India. AT NCPA Marg & Dorabji Tata Road, Nariman Point. CALL 22824567 / 66223724

Prithvi Theatre It’s difficult to contest her when Sanjna Kapoor, the former director of Prithvi Theatre, calls the theatre “an oasis in the cultural spectrum of the city.” It is the only performance space that holds shows every day of the week, except Monday. More so, it is a space that encourages theatre artists to

think out of the box and it reflects in the plays. For most theatrewalas, performing at Prithvi Theatre is a matter of pride and for the audience, an unforgettable experience. AT Prithvi Theatre, Janki Kutir, Juhu Church Road, Vile Parle (W). CALL 26149546

What used to be a dump of coconut shells and debris in the 19th century is on top of our list of the best venues for an outdoor performance. The Horniman Circle Garden hosts all kinds of events, from the Sufi and Mystic Music festival Ruhaniyat to Summertime at Prithvi and Kala Ghoda Arts Festival. The garden is an oasis of art and culture in the busy business district.

Performances are held on the lawns towards Asiatic Library, and depending on the organisers you could be sitting on the ground or cheering on from your chair. Either way, there aren’t too many places in the city where you can literally boast of watching a performance under a star-lit sky. AT Horniman Circle Garden, Horniman Circle, near Asiatic Society, Fort.


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FOOD

Five most interesting restaurants

MUMBAI MAX

FRIDAY, 23.12.2011

Yauatcha (Chinese)

Opa (Greek) Remember the word ‘Opa!’ from the film, My Big Fat Greek Wedding? This new eatery in Juhu is guaranteed to be as memorable as the Greek expression, meaning cheer that it’s named after. Though the space looks like a standard restaurant and bar, with nothing especially Mediterranean about its decor (not everything on the menu is Greek, either) you will find a lot of standard fare here to satisfy

those who are less culinary adventurous! The Greek Salad with Cheese and Spinach Samosas (Spanakopitas for Rs 275) and the Grilled Eggplant Parcels with Marinated Olives and Zatar (Rs 300) will be just as appreciated by those with simpler tastes. We especially loved the Yemini Ground Lamb on Sugarcane Sticks that were served with a deliciously creamy mint chutney (Rs 350). Though it isn’t particularly pretty to eat, the flavour of the lamb patty is delicately boosted by the gentle sweetness of the sugarcane. Affordable prices, super-sized tables intended to encourage communal-style dining and some impressive desserts are other elements that make this a fabulous hotspot. AT Opp Reid & Taylor, Ground floor of Royal Garden Hotel, near Hotel Sea Princess, Juhu Tara Road. CALL 67699966

Bhogdoi (Assamese)

With an emphasis on Dimsum and tea, this place is the Hakkasan Group’s attempt at introducing the city to a quintessentially Chinese tradition — Yum Cha, which involves having tea and dimsum typically for breakfast. But Chef Wah Cheong Soon has outdone himself by devising the Mumbai menu that includes more vegetarian options than Yauatcha outlets in other parts of the world. You can watch the chefs prepare your choice of dimsum inside their live kitchens. The action, however, doesn’t last too long, as steamed preparations are ready in just seven minutes. We recommend the Vegetable Chive Dumpling (Rs 225), the Scallop Shumai (Rs 550) and the Prawn Cheung Fun (Rs 450), but no matter what you choice, you’re

guaranteed to enjoy it. As though the extensive array of baked, grilled and fried dimsums weren’t enough, the menu also boasts assorted soups, rice, vegetable, chicken and seafood dishes. Further, there’s a retail counter where you can choose from a delicious and diverse range of desserts, handmade chocolates and intensely flavoured macaroons with exotic ganache fillings. With 12,000 square feet of modern, minimali oriental décor, and a capacity to seat almost 200 people all through the day, you’re unlikely to be left without a table. Though, at this supersophisticated laser-cut and under-lit bar that shouldn’t be a problem. AT Raheja Tower, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra (E). CALL 26448888

Though it’s just a simple Thali place nestled in a modest — some might say rundown — structure, Bhogdoi, is one of the only places in the city where one can sample traditional Assamese fare. Though it’s done up simply and some of the chandeliers are even missing a bulb or two, there’s nothing deficient in the manner of the attendants. They’re incredibly polite and the service isn’t prompt — it’s immediate. The restaurant, or rather canteen, is on the first floor. Vegetarians can

enjoy a full meal for Rs 40. The non-vegetarian meal (Rs 50) includes rice, dal, roti, two types of vegetables and a chicken or fish dish. The food is absolutely delicious authentic Assamese ghar ka khaana. The menu changes everyday. Things to look forward to here include the Pitika, an eggplant and potato dish and the house specialty: The deep-fried Hilsa fish. AT First floor, Assam Bhawan, opposite Centre One Mall, Vashi. CALL 27812903, 27810888


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FOOD

Five most interesting restaurants

MUMBAI MAX

FRIDAY, 23.12.2011

Zaffran (Mughlai)

In just eight years, the enterprise dreamed up by Chetan Sethi and Munib Birya has become a household name. In a city that’s bursting at the seams with restaurants and eateries, that’s no mean feat! The upstairs section is an ethnic hookah-parlour, with veranda-style seating, dim lights and pleasant music. Upstairs, there is a

small private room for more exclusive parties. The Mughlai food is absolutely divine. With so many delicious dishes to choose from, it’s had to zero in on our favourites, so we’ll stick to the must-haves instead. The Hyderabadi Biryani is one such dish. Ostensibly cooked for hours over a small flame, in the traditional style, the Biryani here is arguably the best in town. Vegetarians need not feel left out either, as they not only prepare an incredibly fresh Paneer Tikka, apart from other timeless classics, but the place also has Bengali dishes to choose from such as the Sukto, a mouthwatering eggplant and potato vegetable. Of course, non-vegetarians have that and more to be grateful for like the Rohu fish. There’s also a Continental cuisine restaurant downstairs, that’s brighter lit and offers equally impressive fare. AT Sitaram Building B Block, opposite CID Office, Near Crawford Market, Dr D N Road. CALL 23442690

Christmas carols and live music. Goa Portuguesa will also be organising the New Year’s Eve ‘Goan Bash’ with unlimited food, drinks and rocking music. The place is also popular for banquet facilities and multi-cuisine outdoor catering. Goa Portuguesa, Member of the Leading Restaurants, has successfully exploded the myth that Goan food is only non-vegetarian by introducing more than 100 pure vegetarian delicacies

that are cooked in separate kitchens and served in green crockery for vegetarians. Experience the Grand Buffet for Rs 49 with a range of mouth-watering non veg/ seafood and vegetarian dishes from the homes of Goa, south India and Maharashtra. AT Outlets opp Mahim HPO, near Hinduja Hospital, Shivaji Park and Lokhandwala, near Versova Tele Exchange/ RTO Signal. CALL 24440202/ 0707, 9819494661, 9167096460/ 9619961818

Goa Portuguesa (Goan) Now in its 23rd year, Shivaji Park’s iconic restaurant Goa Portuguesa Restobar will soon celebrate its anniversary. Andheri residents need no longer fret about missing out on their favourite dishes, as there is a stylish new branch in Lokhandwala Road, near Ambani Hospital, Andheri West. Significantly, this swanky restaurant maintains the legacy of the mother restaurant, ensuring that the authenticity and flavours of the recipes are retained. The new branch is done up to provide the feel of an Indo-Portuguese bungalow, with Folk music and live serenades. It also houses the other successful restobars: Dakshin Culture Curry and Diva Maharashtracha, which serves authentic south Indian (Chettinad, Tamil Nadu), Kerala, Andhra, Karnataka (Coorgi) and Maharashtrian food — across Maharashtrian regions and communities. Together, these restaurants offer more than 100 vegetarian and 200 nonvegetarian dishes. This festive season, a Christmas

Special menu has been created where new Goan and Portuguese delicacies, including Stuffed and Roast Turkey, (Salmon) Piexie A’ Portuguesa, Galinha Cafreal, Banana flower cutlets, Rissois de Camarao and the traditional Christmas pudding have been included. Mouth-watering desserts like Serradura, Dodol and Bibinca, which are synonymous with the festive season have also been added. Step in to enjoy


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FOOD

Five value-for-money hangouts

MUMBAI MAX

FRIDAY, 23.12.2011

Paratha Mantra

Bang in the middle of the commercial district, this place serves as an oasis for weary professionals: Nothing will lift your spirits in the middle of an exhausting workday, quite like one of these delicious parathas. Correction, the prices at this place might serve as added incentive, with Rs 20 for a plain paratha (and it’s a generous

Chocolate Paratha

Kareem’s The first time we sampled one of Kareem’s rolls was in the middle of the night at their Carter Road branch. It had been an exhausting night at a noisy, smokefilled club and stilettos had assaulted our feet mercilessly. We were ready to write the miserable night off when a friend suggested we try this first. One bite, and it was as if the sun had come up. Our feet didn’t hurt and we were wide awake, our spirit and appetite suddenly rejuvenated. Place an order and a roll magically appears within minutes; even the taste is enchanting. The Colaba branch is fairly new, having opened just a few weeks ago, but it’s a welcome addition in the

predominantly residential area. With Bheja Fry (Rs 179), Keema Ghotala (Rs 179), Murg Tawa Masala (Rs 179), Kathi Kabab roll (Rs 159), Paneer Sofian (Rs 149) and Main Courses like Murg Makhanwala (Rs 169), Shahi Malai Kofta (Rs 139) and Mutton Biryani (Rs 179) just a phone call away, entertaining at home becomes just that much easier. The space itself is tiny, just as its Bandra counterpart, but here there’s also a small room that affords privacy. Minimum Budget: Rs 129 AT 148 A Colaba Estate, Shops 3 and 4, near Sassoon Dock, Colaba Mutton Seekh Roll Road. CALL 22152206/7/8

size), Rs 75 for Gobi or Aloo Parathas and between Rs 90 and Rs 120 for Punjabi Mains, including Channa Masala, Veg Makhanwala and Baingan Bharta. Add an ample glass of chhaas (Rs 25), and you’re guaranteed to revive that flagging zeal for work. Though we’re not usually big fans of fusion cuisine, this place pulls it off with pizzazz — their pizza paratha and jalepenomozzarella paratha (Rs 120 each) are heavenly. This coupled with extremely wallet-friendly meal-combo offers — a meal of two stuffed parathas, dal, a vegetable dish, rice and chhaas costs Rs 140, inclusive of raita, pickle and taxes, make this great VFM. This is a great lunch option for the area’s office-goers, especially with free deliveries to offices in the area. Though, even if you pay for delivery, this place is worth every penny with its incredible fare: the Dal Makhani (Rs 120) is downright ambrosial, and one of the house specialities, the Chocolate Paratha (Rs 160) with its creamy hazelnut and chocolate filling is an instant mood-elevator. Minimum Budget: Rs 75 for the regular stuffed parathas AT Navbharat House, 6/8 Burjorji Bharuch Marg, near Rhythm House, Military Square Lane (left before Ayub’s, the lane beside Artisan’s Centre), Fort. CALL 22702265, 22642265


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FOOD

Five value-for-money hangouts

MUMBAI MAX

Theobroma

FRIDAY, 23.12.2011

Suzette The reason this tiny crêperie at Nariman Point that has just five small wooden tables and three bar stools has been able to hold its own against the GujaratiThali-south-Indian-food goliath next door is that it serves simple, yet supreme fare at fair prices. Veggie diners have limited choices, but even the Salads and Smoozies (healthy, fruit shakes) alone are worth the trip here. We love the Soleil Salad (Rs 220) prepared with incredibly fresh rocket, cherry tomatoes and Buffalo Mozzarella tossed in an olive-oil-balsamicvinegar dressing. What we

loved even more was that die-hard meat-eaters (like us!) have the option of throwing in a portion of cured ham (Rs 70). The Apple-Compote-Cinnamon crêpe (Rs 200) gives life new meaning and there’s arguably no better way to start a day than by sinking your teeth into Complete (Rs 230), a breakfast option that includes eggs, chickenbacon and cheese sandwiched between delicate folds of a sweetish pancake. Minimum Budget: Rs 200 AT Shop 1 A, on the ground floor, Atlanta Building, Nariman Point CALL 22880055

Crepe Suzette

If you live in this city like the rest of us, chances are you’ve been here at least a dozen times, whether it was to grab an afternoon snack or to pick up a box of brownies to sweeten your nagging neighbour’s attitude. Theobroma is a household name in the city and now that they have opened a branch in Bandra, they’re twice as good. The signature Parsi chutney bread is a must-have (Rs 60 per piece), a slice of perfectly seasoned quiche would only set you back by Rs 60 here and a filling nonvegetarian sandwich that is bursting with freshness costs Rs 180 — be that a Chicken Harissa or something with a fancier

Chocolateria San Churro Australian franchise San Churro’s Breach Candy branch is spacious and welcoming and everything’s laid out so beautifully it’s actually a challenge to keep from emptying your purse. Attendants assemble Churro platters and fondue orders at a live counter beside displays of chocolates and a glass showcase filled with super-sized sandwiches, handmade chocolates and luscious pastries. A single portion of Churro Tapas (Rs 475) is large enough for a small group, and you can pick white, milk or dark chocolate to go with your

order. It doesn’t matter what you pick though, each is equally creamy. Azteca (Rs 150), a classic Spanish hot chocolate that’s spiced with hot chilli and cinnamon, a three-layered Spanish latté (Rs 110), Brussels waffles (Rs 250) and a kids’ menu on which prices range from Rs 75 to Rs 175 are other reasons to drop by. Minimum Budget: Rs 175 (Churros Poco - a serving of 3 churros and a pot of melted chocolate) AT Ackruti Skybay, Gamadia Road - Breach Candy junction. CALL 23541712

Chocolate Float

ring to it like the Ham and Chicken Cordon Bleu, a Hummus and Feta cheese sandwich or a sandwich that’s inspired by Mumbai street food. With Eggs Benedict and the Parsi favourite, Kejriwal, available for breakfast, (Rs 180 each) and old-style Chicken Rolls bursting with shredded chicken and homemade mayo (Rs 90) also available, there are at least a hundred good reasons to drop by and they’re all on the menu. Minimum Budget: Rs 100 AT Colaba Causeway, opposite Souvenirs; 29/30, Link Square Mall, Linking Road, Bandra (W) Call: 22830101 (Colaba); 26469010, 26469040


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SHOP

Five cool offbeat stores

MUMBAI MAX

FRIDAY, 23.12.2011

Home Collective

If you want to give a bit pricey and eccentric makeover to your kitchen or add curious objects in boring nooks of your home, Home Collective is the place to be. The store houses quirky and useable products for your kitchen, living room, bar and even your garden. A large part of the store houses imported and new age designed kitchen

accessories such as knives with a magnetic holder, futuristic lemon juice extractor, tong eliminating finger guards, cherry pitters, bunny shaped pepper crushers that freshly grind the spice with the pressing of their ears, foldable silicone utensils that don’t occupy space and can be used in a microwave and several other products designed by various awardwinning international brands such as Black+Blum. We loved their pretty and intelligent planters that tell you if your plants need water and also have a light in them and can be used for your living room. Home Collective has several bar accessories such as coasters that act as bottle openers, wine bottle holders that look dangerously tilted and shiny ice buckets. Gentlemen can go for their extremely simple, stylish shoe polish sets table top trucks that carry tiny screw driver sets in them or business card holders that guarantee your cards won’t fall. They also have a section for kids that houses ice trays in the shape of castles, forks and spoons with lego blocks for handles, door hooks in the shapes of monkeys cereal bowls that look like spilt milk, funky lunch boxes and foldable spoons. AT Home Collective, take a right turn from Crystal restaurant, 29 A, French Road, Opposite Anokhi, Chowpatty. CALL 66555304

Artisans’ Centre While the rest of the places in our list are shops we had to make an exception for, the Artisans', Centre for Art, Craft and Design is a new shopping destination for buying age-old crafts in the city. Though it’s actually a gallery located in the Kala Ghoda precinct, what makes it different is that throughout the year they hold exhibitions cum sales of various Indian handicrafts and weaves. An initiative of NIDian Radhi Parekh, the main objective of the space is to support and promote a revival of Indian crafts, and aim for sustenance and growth that results in a mix of great buys for both traditional and contemporary Indian

handicrafts. The location in itself is quite picturesque in a building that dates back to the 1940s, complete with large windows that open to the blue walls of Knesseth Eliyahoo Synagogue and warm wooden floors that

help add to the theme and the feel of the centre. Though it has been just a year, there have been several exhibitions at the centre that have received our thumbs up. They include, the Potli arts exhibition of Indian

weaves which showcased Ajrakh printed saris by National Award-winning artist Abdulrazak Mohmed Khatri, handpainted Tusser silk sarees, saris in traditional Rabari embroidery, Ply-split braided works of Errol Pires that are three dimensional pieces of art that can be worn, exhibition of works of tie and dye artists from the Khatri community of Kutch, and the famous Vimor sarees from Bangalore, an initiative of Chimmy Najappa that specialises in preserving and recreating various silk and cotton sarees of South India. AT Dr VB Gandhi Marg, Rhythm House lane, Kala Ghoda. CALL 22672290


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SHOP

Five cool offbeat stores

MUMBAI MAX

FRIDAY, 23.12.2011

Belly

Blur Many international accessory based stores have opened in the city. But when it comes to keeping track of the price tag, trekking all the way to Colaba Causeway seems more than necessary. But this new store, dedicated to accessories is a must-visit for all those who cannot do without “blinging” their attire with more than just a chain. Started by 26-yearold Shruti Bheda, Blur has everything shiny and pretty that you would want to buy available at the store. Sourced from all over the

world, you are guaranteed to find almost everything hot on international ramps be it polka dotted hair accessories or metallic bibs at the store at super reasonable prices. On our first visit to the store we also loved their line of sling purses, shape changing bags and totes that fit in a teddy when folded. AT SV Road; Santacruz, Linking Road; Bandra(W), Inorbit Mall; Malad, Oberoi Mall, Infinity Mall; Malad, R-city Mall; Ghatkopar, International airport, Lokhandwala Market, Kemps Corner and Atria Mall; Worli.

Spring Break

If you are one of those women who see a pair of shoes and must absolutely buy them, reality check might not exactly be a good thing especially when it comes to your wallet. But what does one do when you see a model sashaying down the ramp wearing hot pink platforms and they would look great with your dress for New Year (for which you have already spent a bomb)? Or you just need those thigh high boots but it does not sound as a good investment for the climate of the city? We suggest you check out a cheaper option. There’s one place where you are sure to find ultra-chic faux fur animal printed pumps or plain black court shoes with diamondencrusted heels. Belly stocks everything from flip flops to

boots for tags that read as low as 400 bucks for a floral ballerina. While they do stock an odd garish pair of copper coloured diamond OD heels but the number of good options make this store our favourite for budget buys. The store also has many options to buy during the rains such as pointy black flats, flip-flops with colourful plastic flowers and even wedge heeled sandals, which you would want to wear come rain come shine. They have a sister concern in the same block called La Judi that sells amazing flat slippers, tie-ups and gladiators for those who prefer a more grounded approach. AT Belly Shoes, Opposite Globus, next to Mamma Mia restaurant, Hill Road, Bandra (W). CALL 8097302604

Though located at a blinkand-you-miss spot, Spring Break is a store that houses chic and understated garments as opposed to the tonnes of imported printed tops available everywhere in Bandra. Their previous collection included well stitched pants in bright blue and pink, ruffle neck shirts in plain blacks, whites and blues, tops with a shiny zipper on the back, plain shirts that are good enough to wear to the office and for

an evening out when worn with heels. We bought their stitched pants in bright pink as soon as we saw them we even liked their stock of vintage printed tees. There isn’t much to shop for men other than a few tees. The best part of your trip to the store- rates that wouldn’t bungle up your monthly budget after a great buy. AT Shop No 1, Bhagwan Niwas , 18th Road, opposite Fabindia, Khar (W). CALL 26059630


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SHOP

Five fun online shopping options

MUMBAI MAX

FRIDAY, 23.12.2011

Matsya We love Indian handicrafts for their funkiness and high kitsch value! Matsya is one such label that allows you to shop for history on your tabletop. Started in 2001 after the earthquake in Gujarat, Matsya offers a range of Indian handicrafts for daily needs, including fridge magnets, ceramic containers and cushion covers. If you are a fan of Indian art, they have a wide range of wall paintings that include Madhubani, Warli, Gond and Jadu Patta styles. We love their mobile pouches with kutchi embroidery, colourful embroidered cushion covers, finger puppets and stuffed danglers. They also have a pottery section, where you can shop for ceramic urns that would look great in your living room or

garden, magnets in the shape of cats, TV and umbrellas, vases and coffee mugs. You can also opt for their simple papiermâché trays, containers and frames with kitschy drawings. We love their colourful terracotta lamps that would look great in both a traditional or contemporary setting. Their Kaavads (pictured here) tell Indian mythological stories from Hindu epcis, Ramayana and Mahabharata. Matsya also conducts customised craft tours. Neha Gandhi, the founder, works with 11 artisan groups and nine individual artisans from all over the country, most of whom are uneducated women from marginalised communities. LOG ON TO www.matsyacrafts.com

Little One’s Doodles Who doesn’t love being a child! We do. And we love the memories of gliding down slides in parks that we find too crowded today, but didn’t seem to care about back then. We loved the feeling of hanging upside

down while scaring the wits out of our grandparents. We especially love how Little One’s Doodles, puts those brilliant blue skies, colourful paper rockets, an errant scarf in the wind and other happy memories on paper. Chennai-based freelance illustrator Maheshwari Janarthanan has turned her doodling habit into an enterprise. You can shop for postcards, bookmarks, coasters, notebooks and tea towels under the label. Her style of sketching comprises quirky doodles of people with big smiles, inquisitive eyes and the liberal use of bright colours. The label is named after the artist’s nickname in school. Maheshwari’s style of doodling is effortlessly simplistic, which lends a charm even to the tiniest sticker or notebook that you would love to pen happy thoughts in. People are central in most of her creations, and as can be seen from her the photographs on her blog, the artist loves capturing various human emotions in a frame and on paper. We especially love her postcard sets, gift tags and funky pocket calendars for 2012. LOG ON TO //littleonesdoodles.blogspot.com


17

SHOP

Five fun online shopping options

MUMBAI MAX

FRIDAY, 23.12.2011

Gogifts.in Where do you surf when you are feeling a little mad? You gogifts.in! Launched in February of this year, gogifts(.in) offers a range of products that you would want to buy just because they score a 10 on the

‘curious’ scale. The products, sourced from around the world, are divided into ten categories, which include Brain Teasers, Impulse Gifts and Quirky Gifts. We loved their table-top products such as the stress button for highpressure times, the gear shift clock and magnetic pen stand, can-like lids for tea cups, paperweights that look like gold bars and a USB aquarium. They also have a wide range of speakers, such as Ipod speakers in the shape of a Lego brick and another that looks like a character out of Manga comics. For the home, there are coasters in the shape of magwheels, 3-D clocks, funky ice trays and even a cotton-candy maker (forget kids, even we want this one)! Next time, before you buy a boring, old shirt or a deodorant as a birthday gift for a friend, you ought to visit this site. LOG ON TO www.gogifts.in

Shopo.in on trays, coasters and wall hooks, beside pop art brands such as Chumbak, Playclan, Push Me Pull You, Poppadam Art, Kya Cheez Hai, Happily Unmarried and Style Bhai. Their stationery section is worth checking out. They even stock organic food items, handmade chocolates, Angry Birds cupcakes and even ghee! So if you love having hand-painted lamps in the corner of your room and bags that idolise the great Indian handle-bar moustache, Shopo is your shopping paradise. LOG ON TO www.shopo.in

ILLUSTRATION/ SATISH ACHARYA

If you are a big fan of desi quirk, Shopo is the place to shop. As the site says, Shopo sells ‘everything Indian at heart’ and that includes products that are traditional and contemporary, most of which are handcrafted. Shop for jewellery, saris, home décor and even boxers. They also have various recycled and upcycled products that don’t compromise on design value like Haathi Chaap, a brand that makes paper out of elephant poo. Shopo has a great mix of brands that use traditional Indian arts, such as Madhubani and Patachitra paintings done

Peprismine.com Our question after visiting this site is: ‘Can men get more lazy about shopping?’ Peprismine.com is an online portal for men to buy tailor stitched shirts without the hassle of going to the store for measurements. All you have to do is click on the

pattern you like, key in the size of shirt you currently wear, your height and a few other measurement details. If the result you get does not fit, you are free to return it, as long as you do so within five days. LOG ON TO www.peprismine.com


18

ART

Five unique spaces for art

MUMBAI MAX

FRIDAY, 23.12.2011

Tao Art Gallery

Established in January 2000, Tao Art Gallery consists of two exhibition spaces (Window Gallery and Atrium Gallery) and is owned by self-taught artist, curator and collector Kalpana Shah. The gallery is known for curating exhibitions that showcase paintings, photography, sculptures, performances and installation arts. They

showcase artworks by contemporary masters as well as emerging and midlevel artists. The gallery emphasises on innovative presentation of artistic creativity to create a thought-provoking experience for the viewers and invites dialogues on culture, politics, aesthetics and tradition of visual arts. Tao has curated international shows in London, Tokyo, Singapore and New York for the International Institute of Fine Arts (IIFA). They have also published various books promoting a range of art forms by Indian artists and organised book release events, interactive sessions with artists, workshops and lectures to propagate a love for art and boost the presence of Indian art in the global arena. In 2011, they organised the Recent and Retrospective, a solo show and book release of artist Shuvaprasnna’s works. They also hosted Shesh Lekha— The Last poems of Rabindranath Tagore. The unique exhibition was held to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore and featured an exhibition of paintings by Paresh Maity, translation of Tagore’s poems as well as calligraphy by Pritish Nandy and a release of the Limited Edition Portfolio. AT: Tao Art Gallery, 165, The View, Dr Annie Besant Road, Worli. CALL: 24918585 / 8686

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) is one of the premier art and history museums in India. Built as a memorial by Bombay’s citizens to commemorate the visit of the Prince of Wales (later George V), its foundation stone was laid by the monarch on November 11, 1905. It was named the Prince of Wales Museum of Western India. Completed in 1914, it was opened to the public on January 10, 1922. Till then it was used by a military hospital and for Children’s Welfare Exhibitions. Sir George Wittet designed this museum in the IndoSaracenic style. Its collections were assembled

since 1905 when the foundation stone was laid. Today, it houses a collection of over 50,000 artefacts, which comprise of art forms from India and the Far East,

Nepal, Tibet and Europe. It has an important archaeological collection and a natural history section, which are major attractions for children. This

spectacular collection includes donations from Ratan Tata and Sir Dorabji Tata. The Museum frequently organises exhibitions and events, many in collaboration with international museums. They also host exhibitions curated by private collectors to ensure greater reach to the public. Some of its highlights in 2011 were Treasures of Ancient China, Summer Fun art and craft activities for children, weekend celebrations for World Environment Day and the exhibition Vinayak Masoji: Santiniketan and Beyond. AT: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Fort. CALL: 22844484


19

ART

Five unique spaces for art

MUMBAI MAX

FRIDAY, 23.12.2011

Sakshi Gallery Over the last 25 years, Sakshi Gallery has worked closely with celebrated Indian and international artists and also offered a platform to upcoming artists. With a focus on contemporary art, the gallery promotes a global interchange and showcases talented artists from across the world. In early 2009, the gallery opened their first international branch in Taipei, Taiwan with a programme dedicated to promoting art from across Asia and the rest of the world. In the same year, the gallery schedule included exhibitions of renowned artists such as Gregory Crewdson, Julian Opie and

El Anatsui who were showing for the first time in India and Taiwan. The gallery has also held exhibitions all over the world, from New York, Berlin and London to Hong Kong, Korea and Singapore. Their line-up of exhibits this year has included thoughtprovoking exhibitions such as Places of Rebirth by Navin Rawanchaikul about juggling multiple identities as an Indian living in Thailand and The Anatomy of Celebration by Vasudha Thozhur, which exposed the dark underbelly of contemporary celebrations. AT: Sakshi Gallery, Tanna House, 11 Nathalal Parekh Marg, Colaba. CALL: 66103424

The Guild

Lakeeren Art Gallery Lakeeren Art Gallery showcases avant-garde contemporary art from India and the sub-continent. The gallery is known to exhibit varied media including paintings, videos, installations, sculptures and site-specific artwork. Arshiya Lokhandwala, the founder-director and curator, functions as an independent curator and art historian. Initially established as Lakeeren: The Contemporary Art Gallery in Vile Parle (19952003), it was one of the first galleries to exhibit new genres of art. Lakeeren (it means lines in Urdu or Hindi) was adopted to

symbolise the possibility of crossings that can be traversed through art. Over eight years, they presented over 65 group and solo exhibitions. It shut in 2003 when Lokhandwala enrolled for a History of Art PhD programme at Cornell University and re-opened as Lakeeren Art Gallery in 2009. This year, they hosted the thought-provoking They Said it Was Love ‌ by Pakistani artists Imran Quereshi and Atif Khan that showcased the dynamics of love and hate in the subcontinent. AT: Lakeeren Art Gallery, Arthur Bunder Road, Colaba. CALL: 65224179

Established in late 1997, The Guild opened in a small space in the city and has moved to different locations across the city. Currently, it is located within an old building with high ceilings adjacent to other contemporary art galleries nearby. In 2006, The Guild opened a space in New York (closed in 2011) to display works of artists from the diaspora and across other South Asian regions. The gallery promotes works by emerging artists with the aim to showcase their talent at an international level through various collaborations and museum exhibitions. The Guild also conducts an annual workshop inviting artists,

curators, critics, writers, and performance artists to set up studio in the gallery. The gallery has published six books and several catalogues, accompanying the shows by distinguished art critics and writers. Since 2010, the gallery has also been introducing several international artists including Charwei Tsai from Taiwan and Shadi Ghadirian from Iran. Significant shows by the gallery in 2011 included Touch IV by Navjot Altaf, Excrescence, a GR Iranna solo exhibition and an animation film festival curated by Johny ML. AT: The Guild, Kamal Mansion, Arthur Bunder Road, Colaba. CALL: 22880116 / 0195


20

TRAVEL

Five unique weekend escape options

MUMBAI MAX

FRIDAY, 23.12.2011

Salt Rim - Korlai An ancient styled beach villa, Salt Rim is located in Korlai village in Maharashtra at a distance of 120 kms from Mumbai and about 20 kms from Alibaug enroute to Kashid and

PIC/SHADAB KHAN

Murud. The villa has a touch of heritage architecture with hues of Goan and Portuguese styled interiors. It is perched on a secluded stretch of clean beach overlooking the Arabian Sea. Mountains form the backdrop of this villa, with seawaters in front. A 2,200 sq ft beach villa, built on a 15,000 sq ft plot, Salt Rim is secluded and offers you serenity and privacy. The retreat is perched virtually on a private beach with no permanent inhabitation for half a kilometer on either side. Salt Rim derives its name from the abundant sea water that surrounds this property. With a large dining and living room and a fully functional kitchen, it makes for a perfect getaway replete with all comforts you would need. It also has an 8,000 sq ft lawn garden, where you can take a quiet stroll and enjoy the beauty of nature. The beach offers ample opportunity for games like football, volleyball or even a game of Frisbee. You can also go for a swim, if you like the waters. The Korlai Fort, which is reminiscent of the Portugese inhabitation here, is a must visit. The Phansad bird sanctuary is nearby as also is the famous Murud Janjira fort, which is 30 kms from the villa. Call: 9821352244 Log on to: http://saltrim.com

Mango Huts - Pali Mango Huts, a retreat in Vafeghar village near Pali is a quaint beautiful place, where you can experience nature at its best. The stay is surrounded by mountains and is a great place to experience nature’s beauty. A lake flows in between the green grass banks and a dip in it is sure to leave you refreshed. The area of six acres was initially bought as a farming area but was soon converted into homestays. The homes or huts occupy just one acre of the plot, while the rest is farming land. Surrounded by myriad mango trees, the small homes make for a perfect, cosy get-away. Farmers, who stay at the

farm cook excellent traditional food for the visitors. There is a Padsare waterfall at a distance of about 10 km from Mango huts and there is another waterfall opposite a village called Kumbarpada, just 2 kms away. The adventurous can go for waterfall rappelling, while those who want to relax can chill on a hammock and enjoy the beauty. The Ashtavinayak temple is very famous there and if you want to trek, head to the Sarasgad Fort, built by Sambhaji, located at a distance of 7 kms from Mango Huts. Call 9820393909 Email mangohuts@gmail.com

PIC/SURESH KK


21

TRAVEL

Five unique weekend escape options

MUMBAI MAX

FRIDAY, 23.12.2011

Kaas Valley - Satara

Home stays - Sindhudurg Culture Aangan, a social enterprise that promotes rural tourism, organises regular home-stays in Sindhudurg. The homestays provide not just an ideal holiday but an overall cultural and ethnic experience. The Konkan villagers play the perfect host as they prepare authentic meals and make the visitors at ease in their homes. These homestays will give you ample opportunity to learn the villager’s way of life. You can learn rangoli making or puppetry from them. During Ganesh Chaturthi, you can also learn to cook,

make garlands and participate in the pooja ceremonies. You can visit the Sindhudurg fort, built by Shivaji. It is the only fort to be built in the middle of the sea. You can also go on a nature trail in the Amboli jungles, which has around 108 varieties of butterflies. If you are looking for adventure, they also have snorkelling activities, which you can be a part of. They have different packages and you can pick the perfect package for you depending on the activities you want to be part of. Call: 26606448 Log onto: www.cultureaangan.com

PIC/SATYAJIT DESAI

Shut up at Calmshet - Kamshet

PIC/SACHIN KALBAG

Rightly called Maharshtra’s Valley of Flowers, the Kaas Plateau is one of the most beautiful destinations of Maharashtra. It is located at a distance of about 320 kms from Mumbai and about 26 kms from Satara. Every year, as the monsoon sets in millions of flowers bloom in this fertile plateau. The blooming wild flowers are in a variety of colours ranging from white, yellow, pink, violet and blue. The carpet changes colour almost every week depending on the dominant flowers. The plateau is also

home to a wide variety of animals, insect and bird species. More than 300 varieties of wild flowers, herbs, orchids, shrubs, and insectivorous plants can be seen here. There is a small lake nearby called the Kaas Lake, which is surrounded by dense forests. The best time to visit the Kaas plateau is between September and October. Close to Satara, you will also find the Thoseghar Waterfalls, which acieves its peak force immediately after the monsoons.

Located about 120 kms from Mumbai, Shut up at Calmshet is an artist residency, located at Kamshet that offers a much-needed respite to Mumbaikars. If you wish to get away from the chaos and noise that form a part of Mumbai’s daily life, head to this residency, where tranquility is a guarantee. Karthikeyan Ramachandran, who started the residency has now made this place his home as he finds it a great way to shut off from the

city. “No noise, clean air, a beautiful lake and just the sounds of the birds and leaves,” he says. The residency offers a great weekend escape for most Mumbaikars. You can go fishing, bird watching or just sit and relax and experience the quietude. Many different vegetables and fruits are grown in the area and a cook uses these homegrown vegetables to dish out meals for the visitors. Call: 8698008053


22

TRAVEL Five cool trip operators

The Nomadic Quest MUMBAI MAX

FRIDAY, 23.12.2011

Blueberry Trails

Started by Rohan Shah in January 2010, The Nomadic Quest has gained a reputation of organising exciting adventure trips around Mumbai. They are also slowly venturing into wildlife tourism. They have organised jeep safaris in the Sahyadri region and Ladakh. They also organise motor biking trips across the country and trips to South India including the beautiful Dandeli region. In the coming year, he plans to organise camps for kids and customised trips for corporates as well. Being actively into adventure

Wild Escapes

An experimental travel company, started by young Sudeepta Sanyal in September 2010, The Blueberry Trails has been giving people the opportunity to travel to offbeat destinations and enjoy great adventure trips. The company organises trips to unusual destinations packed with adventures like kayaking, rafting and so on. They tie up with homestays and give people the chance to enjoy local cuisine cooked by the families. They also indulge in treks, planned or impromptu, cycling

explorations around the locations where they go, or camping at sites, which abide by eco tourism norms. This year some of the trips they have taken include Beach trails to Korlai, Bordi and Harihareshwar, Dolphin spotting in Harihareshwar, Fireflies Night in Panchgani, trips to Ladakh, Pottery and rural life in Jawahar and Safaris to Pench National Park, MP. They also organise customised trips for groups. Log on to: www.theblueberrytrails.co.in Call: 9820925721

tourism, Shah regularly organises camping, rockclimbing and rappelling trips in and around the city. They also give out outdoor gear on rent. Log on to: www.thenomadicquest. com Call: 24162488 / 9969669174

Grassroutes

Founded by Jitesh Haria, Wild Escapes has been organising treks around Mumbai and Pune as well as in the Himalayas since 2001. Apart from regular trips to Ladakh and Himachal, they have been organising trips to Kerala, Rajasthan, Northeast and other interesting destinations in the country. With adventure as the main focus, their trips include still water kayaking, rafting expeditions and camps in picturesque destinations. In the last one year, they have organised trips to Arunachal, Kaziranga, Hrishikesh and Ladakh. They also organise customised trips to Ladakh and short trips around Mumbai for corporates. Log on to: www.wild-escapes.com Call: 66635228 / 24122030

Grassroutes is a project, that has been diligently encouraging rural tourism since 2006, with the hope to create sustainable opportunities in rural India. A few youngsters got together and started this project with a view to improve the livelihood of the villagers. Tourists stay at tents in these villages and enjoy a complete rural experience. They can climb trees, work in the fields, swim in the river and learn the culture and traditions of the village. Grassroutes works mainly in three villages — Purushwadi, a hillstation village, Valwande village, famous for Warli art and dance, and Dehena village, located enroute to Shahapur. Log on to: http://grassroutes.co.in Call: 8879477437

Bluebulb A company, started by Regan Rodricks last year, Bluebulb provides people the opportunity to take part in interesting activities like paragliding, kayaking, indoor rock climbing, downhill mountain biking, tandem paragliding, promoter flights and more. They organise workshops in sports, adventure, arts and lifestyle.

They have sessions in kalaripayattu, fire-spitting, trampoline workouts, photography, ballroom dancing, belly dancing, magic tricks and a lot more. Through Bluebulb you can learn archery, golf, parkour, juggling and even combat kickboxing. Log on to: www.bluebulb.in Call: 9870966910 / 9821423448


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