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“Please take pictures during our show” in Mumbai

Normally when you see a play, there are stern reminders to “Turn your phone off!”

Ignore at your peril. That annoying @$$hole who thinks he’s more important than everyone else not only leaves his phone ringer on… but even answers a call while others shoot visual daggers at the perpetrator.

And photos? Often also a strict ‘no no’ with ushers rushing to admonish stealth photographers from the audience.

However the approach at a recent musical on the life of Gandhi went against such warnings.

Instead their stance was “We welcome your taking pictures… just as a courtesy to the actors and audience, please no flash and keep your phone on silent.”

Transforming the taboo into a viral marketing campaign.

2016-08-20 Gandhi

Now, why photos may be crap but I did indeed snap a few… hence this one makes it into this week’s Sunday Snaps!

What do you think about taking photographs or videos of live performances? Artist infringement or an optimal way to advertise?

Related ‘Sunday Snaps’ posts:

3rd year + 13th Quarter – Belated update

After a bit of a hiatus, time to bring back a quarterly summary of what’s been happening.

In real life, there have been a few fairly momentus changes in the last few months. Most are ones I don’t tend to talk about. Bottom line is I had to leave India to change my visa… thankfully was successful!

There were many hopeful moments of a return to Indonesia or Malaysia or other opportunities that have finally materialized with a project in Jakarta starting later this month!

I also had my first article published on Scroll.in :

A foreign woman’s response to Mahesh Sharma: It’s got nothing to do with dressing modestly

Featured Image -- 12787

Gimli Manitoba harbour sunset

While there wasn’t much travel, there were a couple of trips:

  • April was back to Delhi to finally finalize my divorce
  • June brought a jaunt to London, Toronto and Winnipeg with a new Indian visa quest
  • My Winnipeg time included joining a 50th wedding anniversary, friend’s 60th birthday and side-trip to Gimli, Manitoba where we even had a tour of the Crown Royal distillery!
  • August had a terrific week-long marriage marathon in Singapore

2016-04-18 Delhi Fashion Mural

Top views for the year?

  1. Obsessions… playing with piano keys about my partner transforming old piano keys into art
  2. Fringes of fame aka star selfie ‘autograph’ featuring flirting with fame!
  3. India Memory Project – Partner’s Story… just read it… a very sweet story
  4. Irrational moments – Innocent question triggering an emotional minefield
  5. When did it become rude to call? Musings on no longer just picking up the phone to call… with some terrific comments


What’s in store this quarter? Hopefully work, work and more work!

  • Fingers crossed nothing derails the newly signed international project in Jakarta!! I can’t wait to get back there…
  • Even bigger hope that after massive efforts, can finally start to harvest some  crops from all the seeds planted, weeded and watered over the last year for enterprise solution contracts
  • There are a few other bits and bobs that may also lead to something interesting…

Related posts:

Sunday solo salmon in Mumbai

Just after I booked my flight and stay for Jakarta, my attention turned to what needs to get done around the house before I take off for 3 weeks…

Did a little fridge digging and freezer check, discovering a frozen Atlantic salmon fillet just begging to be consumed with some assorted veggies….

My partner was on tour so it was just me, but one of the things about work travel is you learn to revel in the occasional ‘proper’ solo dinner…

So why not get into practice at home?

There you have it… found myself cooking up a storm to produce a scrumptious yet reasonably healthy Sunday dinner just for me, myself and I!

  • Poached salmon with a crazy yum citrus dill reduction sauce
  • Steamed cauliflower with a dash of tumeric
  • Toasted roasted beans with sesame, sunflower, yellow mustard and cumin seeds
  • Carrots with cumin and dill
  • Potatoes sautéed with onions a special home-made olive oil my partner picked up in Beirut, cracked black pepper and seasalt

What a pleasure… a good proper home cooked meal, at our own table, with a little music in the background. Yup… think I have my ‘home fix’ and easing beautifully into solo meals!


Related posts:

Watch out Jakarta!!

I’m coming back!!! To say that I missed being in Jakarta is putting it rather mildly…

After a nearly two year hiatus, I finally have another project back in Indonesia. (insert image of mad happy dancing)

Can’t wait to be re-united with the guys and dig into the work!

No wasting time apartment hunting – chose a serviced apartment walking (hopefully not stumbling!) distance from the project office in Kuningan. Almost booked at my last Jakarta ‘stay-cation‘ spot, however bagged a slightly better deal nearby.

How fab is it to have a pool ALL to myself!!

Where I’m not staying this trip…

I also can’t wait to see a couple crazy friends… earlier trips resulted in an ad voice over (“Can you drop the Indian accent!“), overnight drive just for 1am dinner at a hill station, joined family time in Bandung and a slightly random road trip in Java.

I expect there will be an art amble, some Friday night fun with gal pals, malls can’t be avoided so will use to stock up on a years supply of told angan!

And the food – OMG!! There will be feasting fit into all the focused work…


Related posts:

Holiday headaches – competing cacophony

You must be kidding!? There is yet another religious celebration to be fetted at full volume!

2013-04-Goat1This time it happens to be Ganapathi and the clanking of bells, thrum of drums hasn’t relented for hours. And soon it will be joined by the Bandra Fair celebrations (aka Mount Mary feast) with folks walking down our lane with kazoos at 2am. Seriously… Plus Eid with all the goats that have been trotted around for their walks now trotting to a different destination…

During a different festival, there was a hilarious moment on a Skype call to get the background on a project. My buddy could hear the ever increasing decibel level. And this after all the windows, doors were firmly shut, curtains drawn and extra ‘sound proofing’ added! I was even using my noise cancellation headset so I could hear clearly…

My partner has railed against religions blasting music at ear bleeding levels. More than once he has burst out in exasperation with “Does louder equal a bigger d#@k?”

Let me hasten to add it is not one particular religion – it is a universal phenomenon here. Noise by-laws are quite ineffective as, at best, the 10 pm cut-off is adhered to except, naturally, on certain religious holidays where this can be ignored completely with full permission of the powers that be!?

One of the joys and delights of India is its heterogeneity! The way many faiths and cultural traditions co-exist.

Yet it is remarkable how peaceful bhajans and melodious calls to prayer have somehow been transmogrified into trance?! Accompanied by innumerable firecrackers!?

Yet that my friend is how we ‘do it’ festival-wise here in urban India.

So crank up the volume and get down… cos its festival time and we are about the paaaartay here!

Diwali lights at our building

Diwali lights at our building

PS Don’t get me started on the pollution aspect either… but do check out what these folks have to say about “God, Faith & Bullshit”

Related post:

Rooftop Views in Mumbai

During monsoon, going out for walks along the Bandra sealink promenade is less than appealing.

On days when sitting at the computer working at home, I try to take a break to run up and down the stairs in my building just to get the blood pumping for a few minutes.

As a reward, sometimes when the rain abates slightly, I step out to our rooftop…

The air may be polluted but there is something about seeing the cityscape and sealink in the distance that makes one breath a little deeper. Looking up, I can sometimes spot kites spread their powerful wings and soar above the crows.

2016-08-05 Monsoon Cityscape

Then I head over to the other side for a completely different view. A tarp town… impossible to see the narrow winding lanes between the homes of the old village, covered with blue tarps and old plastic signs pined down with rocks.

2016-08-05 Tarp town

Two different perspectives… one city, one village from one rooftop.

Related ‘Sunday Snaps’ posts:

Neglected blog

You know you have a neglected blog when you are inundated with offers for content ‘support’ from various corners.

A year ago, I felt the need to change the way I approached content on Everyday Asia to give greater focus to four different areas: HomeAwayWork and Play.

Did it stick? Not really… partly as my travels significantly reduced and the work situation became complicated. Even on the play front, I would attend so many amazing events but these did not translate into posts…

My Sunday Snaps series attempt to revive regularity also lost steam…

I was clearly in trouble when I skipped my usual quarterly round-ups of highlights and lowlights – including celebrating EverydayAsia’s 3rd anniversary.

And then I found myself rushing to post a half written musing on taxis in Singapore just so I wasn’t only sharing my monthly Whisky Lady summary from Whisky Lady blog content.

Yeah… time for another intervention. Big time.

Then a friend came along and asked me to write something for him.

After a few days distraction, I sat down… and the words poured out.

The topic prompted me to reflect on my 25+ year relationship with India.

This was what was missing.

The story.

The personal connect to a given topic.

And here you have it folks. The underlying reason for radio silence – good old writers block!

To test my theory, I pulled up a few more half written posts… and boom! Polished off one in record time. Then started a new post… bam! There you have it another done.

It doesn’t mean there haven’t been some tough moments in the last few months. It also is quite true there were an awful lot of other priorities. Many of the distractions will remain over the next few months.

But finally it feels like I’m back, not just physically home!

Do you love Mumbai too?

Related posts:

When you can’t keep silent…

Some politicians have the most remarkable ability to say things that just make you go… huh??

The latest was Mahesh Sharma, India’s Union Minister of Tourism and Culture, stating foreign women should not wear skirts.

Really… I’m not making this stuff up!

Those who know me well, know I clearly have something to say about such comments!

No surprise then that a friend called up inviting me to write a piece from my perspective – looking back at my experience as a ‘foreign woman’ with a 26 year relationship with India.

It started as a fairly typical rant against chauvinism… then morphed into sharing quite personal stories…

The result?

An article published today in the quite fabulous online newspaper Scroll.in.

Curious? Read on…

A foreign woman’s response to Mahesh Sharma: It’s got nothing to do with dressing modestly


What do you think?

Related posts:

Manitoba musical memories… a tribute to cold winters, warm hearts

In June I was in my home town of Winnipeg, Manitoba. It is always good to be back and there were so many special reconnects.

One evening in particular reminded me how blessed we were to grow up in a place bursting with musical talent.

Living room jam

Living room jam

I looked around the room at familiar friends… folks I grew up… folks with many shared experiences… folks whose lives have gone through many twists and turns… folks whose  hearts have been broken, mended…. folks who faced trials and many triumphs… folks who still turn to share with each other life through music…. relationships that span several decades.

After all, we were there to celebrate a friend’s 60th birthday. Six fabulous decades of merriment, mischief and more.

Sixty selfie

Sixty selfie

The years melted away in musical moments.

As we belted out a rousing rendition of Stan Roger‘s “Barrett’s privateers“, this old sea shanty sang through my Canadian soul like an anthem.

I was so thankful to be there.

2016-06-19 Brad Friesen

Beat that drum box

When asked why so much music happens in Manitoba, I joke that you can blame the winters. Before video games anesthetised young folks, the best antidote to insanely cold long miserable winters was to practice for hours in your basement and put together a band.

And that stuck. The next generation would see their parents hanging out with friends playing various instruments and singing together. From an early age, we were exposed to music at home and school. Music lessons were part of extracurricular activities. Regular schools would encourage further with structured big band programs, musical theatre, raging ‘battle of the bands’ which equally embraced punk rock to heavy metal to good ol rock n roll and more.

An entire ecosystem encouraged music. Live original music found home in cafes to concert halls. For a population under 1 million, we had a city full of music venues, where you could test out your talent in front of an audience.

And that is key. Not only having a chance to learn but the opportunity to perform. Even in your friends living room…

Back in India, I’m privileged to know many marvellous musicians in Mumbai. Attend some great shows, share terrific times and more.

Yet as I looked around at all the musicians and music lovers joining the last night of blueFROG – once Mumbai’s oasis for parched live music lovers – I knew the simple pulse of everyday music underscoring lives in Manitoba still struggles to take firm root in my adopted home.

This isn’t to gloss over the challenges faced by musicians in Manitoba or underestimate the powerful talent and success in Maharashtra either.

Just to recognize that those jam sessions at home are as important as carefully tailored public gigs. When the ad hoc and informal gatherings to share music flourishes, the rest is bound to follow…

PS – In case you’ve never heard Canada’s unofficial anthem:

Related posts:

Whisky Lady – August

Mumbai monsoons are a time to curl up with a hot cup of chai and crisp pakoras

With cooler temperatures also comes most enjoyable conditions for a dram or two… which this Whisky Lady indeed did!

Whisky Ladies 1st Anniversary - Padmini

Our original club took a hiatus however the Whisky Ladies of Mumbai celebrated our 1st anniversary in style! We went ‘potluck’ – both on the whiskies and nibbles, inviting friends to join the merriment. In honour of our anniversary, I also launched a new “Whisky Ladies Corner” to feature a few special Whisky Ladies posts.

Imperial, Benrinnes, Linkwood, Blair Athol

Our Bombay Malt & Cigar lads were back at it in August with some remarkably “Affordable Adult” whiskies:

Nordic Whisky Set

Plus enjoyed more whisky wanderings with:

The Cabinet Whisky List

Caught up on an evening spent with Winnipeg’s The Cabinet where we sampled:

Do check out The Cabinet‘s post “Peat” too!

Kentucky Straight Bourbon

From the archives, revisited a Kentucky Straight Bourbon experiences with:

Curious to know more? Check out recent Whisky Lady’s monthly missives:

You can also find even more Whisky bits ‘n bobs on:


Carissa Hickling

Carissa Hickling

Originally from Winnipeg, Canada, has called India home since 2003, working in Asia Pacific and traveling all over! She's also a bit of a 'Whisky Lady' too!

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