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Monthly Archives: February 2016

Whisky Lady – Feb fun

After 25 whiskies in January, you can imagine this month I needed a little ‘catch-up’ time.  Whisky Lady featured posts on both whiskies sampled in February plus the balance notes from January.

Even better, February was filled with three (yes 1, 2… 3) whisky clubs tasting sessions. Anyone who thinks there are no folks passionate about single malts in Mumbai is clearly misinformed!

Glenlivet, Glengoyne, Balblair

(more…)

Aakash Odedra – Rising in Mumbai

Living with an actor means our lives are full of lots theatre, music but less of dance. Growing up in Winnipeg we had the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and  Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers… where I studied as a child. I love watching the art form and when there is someone truly talented taking to the stage, you can be completely transported.

While there are opportunities to see traditional forms of Indian dance, and Bollywood aplenty, the kind of modern dance I knew growing up rarely makes it to these shores.

Thanks to British Council, Sunday changed that. My friends and I reached St Andrews and wondered what we were about to get in to… the entire auditorium foyer was running amok with students from local dance schools. It felt like we were about to step into an amateur school show.

We were wrong. Completely wrong.

Held as a tribute performance for Aakash Odedra’s two dance guru’s, the show had four pieces – each unique, each remarkable in a distinctive way. (more…)

Big B in Bandra

India’s greatest superstar of all time remains the “Big B.”

For those who never heard of Bollywood (is that possible?), Amitabh Bachchan, is the ‘angry young man’ who took Hindi films by storm in the 1970s and 80s. Who made “Kaun Banega Crorepati” (Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?) the ONLY show you heard blaring from every single home, with streets deserted so all and sundry could be glued to the TV set. Who remains film royalty even in his 70s.

Amitabh Bacchan (Aug2013)

Part of the Bollywood Art Project, this image can be found strolling along the bi-lanes of Bandra.

Other Sunday Snaps:

“When is duck not duck?” In Bombay

So… when is duck not duck?

It could be a fish if you live in Mumbai!

I first had ‘Bombay Duck‘ in New York when visiting a Parsi friend from Mumbai. It was masala dried – stinky, chewy, very different but also quite good.

Then I moved to Bombay and discovered fresh bombil, deep-fried is beyond yum! If ever asked what goes superbly with a chilled beer? The answer is ‘Bombil Fry‘ aka ‘Bombay Duck.’

When a duck ain't a duck

When a duck ain’t a duck

Bombil  is actually a lizardfish… uh yeah… this duck is now actually a lizard? What is it with the misleading names and this fish?

It is rather popular with folks from Maharashtra… and the dried form is privately ‘smuggled’ across borders – hence my tasting contraband ‘Bombay Duck’ in New York back in the early 90s.

Any food in your ‘hood’ with a misleading name?

I’ve also come across :

Other Sunday Snaps:

We have our home back!!

I cannot even begin to describe the amazing pleasure it is to FINALLY have our home back! No lingering construction work, no workers crap cluttering our balcony, no walls waiting for plastering, no unfinished painting to be done. Nada!!

The work only began on our building in March 2015. And was only supposed to take 2-3 months. Hmmm….

We aren’t yet truly ‘home free’ as work continues on other flats so we still contend daily with the whir and whine, pound and bang, however our home is blissfully worker free. And back to normal!! (more…)

Obsessions… playing with piano keys

My partner suffers from the occasional bout of artistic obsession…

For some time, it wasn’t a new film, play or even music. It was piano keys!

No it wasn’t playing piano… it was creating art installations out of piano keys from one of first pianos in Bandra… as in over 100 years old!

The keys laid out on the kitchen table just after manic cleaning

The keys laid out after manic cleaning

What happened to the piano that came with these keys? Well… it was transformed into a bar some time ago. I recently met its owner and saw photos of its transformation – remarkable!

What happened to the piano keys? Here are a few of the pieces my partner created.

One project in process…

One project in progress...

Wait…. wait… wait….

And the finished product:

DSC01853

There are also very practical “Keys for keys”

Key for Keys

He also created a “Leaning tower of keys” and the final project was the “Key Lamp” which had a few iterations before finally becoming what you see here…

Key lamp

I’ve often been the beneficiary of his obsessions. When he says, “Let’s not get rid of it. I have an idea…” Chances are something quite interesting will be the result.

Anyone have an obsessive quality? Any interesting outcomes?

Related posts:

Hey monkey! Gong Xi Fa Cai!

I’m really missing Chinese New Year!

It may seem strange that a Canadian woman living in India would be missing CNY. However I love the dragon dance and joyous celebration. Heck, for years I used to organise the annual CNY banquet when I was with the Hong Kong Canada Business Association.

And after criss-crossing between Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China where it is celebrated with great gusto, back here in Bombay, feels like a let down.

Only sign of CNY this year was an Uber notice from my Singapore account, ads for Chinese restaurant deals and a few exuberant greetings from friends scattered in other parts of Asia. Hmm….

Happy-chinese-new-year-2016-images-1024x768

However, it got me thinking about the plurality of ‘New Year’ celebrations. How each is linked to the cycles of a particular region, community or religion.

Here in India we have a whopping 16 regional ‘New Years’ – from Holi to Maha Vishuva Sankranti to the Punjabi Vaisakhi or the Bengali Boishakh. Then throw in the Parsi Nowruz or  Muharram starting a new Islamic calendar, top it off with the western import of Dec 31st… and you can see there are an awful lot of New Years celebrated in this country!

For each, it is a special marking of time… a transition from old to new.

So for those celebrating CNY – Gong Xi Fa Cai!!!!

And those not? If you live in India… another New Year celebration is just around the corner…

Related posts:

Vienna Store’s Elephant Sized Surprise

Once upon a time there was a humble store on Hill Road in Bandra, Mumbai, India.

Then along came an artist who transformed it into a great big happy blue elephant! Festooned with red, this pachyderm attracts smiles from passerbys.

Vienna Store

Vienna Store, Bandra, Mumbai

A young friend recounted the tale how excited she was to check out this amazing quaint little place.

And what exactly is it? A cheerful cafe? A cute curio shop? An artful daycare?

Nope!

It sell eggs. As in wholesale eggs. As in cartons and cartons of eggs. That’s it.

They say not to judge a book by its cover but… in this case one can be forgiven for not instantly connecting elephants with eggs!

Related posts:

11th Quarter Summary – Confession time

Most folks who blog get to a point where they hit an impasse… and things either flounder, falter and flop or…. change. I’m not yet ready to give up, but have certainly faltered a time or two.

Let’s be honest, I’ve been pre-occupied with a crazy long list of company / business related activities, interspersed with enjoying life and… yes… distracted by my other blog ‘Whisky Lady.’

Sure I still WANT to write but the ideas that pop in my head inspired by an experience or conversation just haven’t been making it to the publish stage.

And don’t even get me started about drafts! Anyone else have an embarassing 60+ gathering dust in your drafts folder?!

Clearly it was time for an intervention, clean-up and figure a way to get “back on the saddle” for a a renewed posting groove! (more…)

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