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Ode to the Indian subcontinent…

Yesterday marked 70 years of independence for the Indian subcontinent. For many, the memories of the partition which followed – a tragic moment in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh’s history which gave birth to at first two then three nations – have become faded over the years.

Earlier this month, we joined a remarkable Remembering Partition project  organized by Godrej India Cultural Lab  with:

  • A pop-up museum of precious items brought with families
  • Stories captured through the India Memory Project
  • Recordings of families recounting of their journey from the Pakistan side of the border to India…
  • Art installation
  • Panel discussions
  • Imagining partition through fashion
  • The poetry of Kabir set to music by Kabir Cafe
  • 1st viewing of Gurinder Chadha’s film – Viceroy’s House (English) / Partition: 1947 (Hindi)… in which my husband can be seen as Jinnah

While acknowledging the blood, sweat and tears that was part of history, I’d also like to extend a personal thanks to India for giving many the opportunity to be ‘adopted’… this marvellous, maddening and at times mystifying country India has been kind enough to let me – and many others – call it ‘home’.

Here are a few images from the Remembering Partition events…

Related posts:

Whisky Lady – July 2017

July was supposed to be a slow month… During monsoon, things can grind nearly to a halt in Mumbai under a deluge of rain. And with only two whisky clubs scheduled to meet, it seemed not much would be happening.

So a few friends and I decided to invite Krishna Nakula, India’s Malt Maniac to Mumbai. Which triggered going from a light month to become chock full of Whisky Lady tastings in Mumbai! Easily my busiest month this year – possibly ever…

It also just so happened to be the month, I celebrated Whisky Lady in India’s 500th post!! Woo hoo!!!

So join me in a synopsis of July 2017’s whisky adventures…

The Whisky Ladies Compass Box Quintet featured:

The gents from the Bombay Malt & Cigar club met twice to make up for missing the previous month’s session…

The 1st was the Scotch Malt Whisky Society Quartet:

The 2nd set was the American Westland with a trio of:

An impromptu excuse to share a few interesting open bottles and samples lead to an evening of Monsoon Malts & More – including a cocktail too!

  • Eddu Silver 40% – Buckwheat whisky from Bretagne, France 
  • R & B Distillers – New entrant bottling interesting whiskies
    • Borders Single Grain 51.7%
    • Raasay “While We Wait” 46%
  • The Exceptional – Craft Distillers Sutcliffe and Ex Macallan’s Willie Phillips new baby
    • Blended Grain Scotch Whisky 43%
    • Blend Small Batch Scotch Whisky 43%
  • Highland Park 12 year 40% – An echo of the old 18 year favourite
  • Finlaggan Cask Strength 58% – A most enjoyable mystery Islay

Just for fun, we held a “Speed Tasting” session by Keshav Prakash of The Vault Fine Spirits featuring:

We then had a “Dream Drams” evening with an exceptional set enjoyed with India’s Malt Maniac Krishna Nakula featuring:

  • Mortlach 37 year (1976/2013) 43% G&MP
  • Lochside (1981/2005) 43% G&MP
  • Mosstowie 35 year (1979/2015) 48.1% Signatory
  • Aultmore 5 year (2007/2012) 66.8% Master of Malt

From Krishna’s Collection we packed into under an hour a few drops of:

I finally shared posts about the February Glenmorangie Bacalta Launch where we sampled:

  • The Original 40% – Foundation of all Glenmorangie “with 140 flavours” — Bill Lumsden
  • Lasanta 12 year 46% – Classic yet enhanced …Creamy, caramel custard, sweet spices 
  • Bacalta 46% – Shows how marvellous a malt an ex-Malmsey Madeira finish can be!

A busy month indeed! There was no way all the tasting notes could be published in July, so you will simply have to be patient over the coming months as all will be revealed…

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

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

Whisky Lady – June round up

June was full of so many things – work, travel to London, Winnipeg, Singapore and more!

As for the Whisky Lady side of things?

We had a wee bit of media attention… with a full page feature in the Mumbai Mirror. Be amused… be very amused….

“What next shall why try?”

I was completely humbled by meeting Sukhinder Singh, the guru of The Whisky Exchange, with an opportunity to visit his temple to whisky aka Board Room private collection, rare malts room and private bar in his head office. What a remarkable experience!!

Naturally, our tasting sessions continued…

The Whisky Ladies decided to have ‘A Night with Glen‘ featuring:

Our original group had an unusual range:

The gents from the Bombay Malt & Cigar club didn’t have a June session, but I did post our May tasting of undisclosed distilleries with:

And while I was off gallivanting around Canada, decided to share some light summery whiskey cocktail recipes, courtesy of DISCUS with American whiskies:

  • Old Fashioned – Bourbon, bitters, sugar with a twist of orange
  • Manhattan – Bourbon, vermouth + bitters
  • Mint Julep – Bourbon, simple syrup, bitters + mint
  • The Ginger Baker – Tennessee whisky, ginger, lime + pineapple juice, orgeat syrup with a slice of pineapple
  • Spiced Boulevardier – Infused bourbon, vermouth, campari with a twist of orange or almonds

With a few more posts including:

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

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

Singapore East Coast Stroll

A bonus to all my trips back and forth between Mumbai and Jakarta from September 2016 to April 2017 was being able to stop in Singapore. I’m back here in Singapore today, post travels to the UK and Canada… completely jet lagged but happy to be back in Asia.

My plan this morning to stroll along the beach was curtailed by rain… so I’m content instead with reminders from past walks… including a November 2016 breakfast wander…

November’s stop was specifically timed to coincide with Whisky Live Singapore. Obviously it was no accident, and my whisky explorations can be found on Whisky Lady, however it was such a treat to spend the weekend in Singapore, staying with my friend on the East Coast.

Why such a treat? Aside from it being my home away from home… that particular day happened to be one of those rare mornings when both my friend and I had a bit of time to go together for a stroll along the coast.

We began with breakfast – kaya toast, runny eggs and kopi with spicy noodles – both familiar ‘comfort foods’ of Singapore…

2016-11-11-kaya-kopi 2016-11-11-singapore-breakfast

Enjoyed watching kids decorate their kites…

And generally witnessed the world go by.

 

While we live next to the water in Mumbai too, there is a different kind of rhythm and feel to the coast of each city. This particular part of Singapore remains one of my absolute favourites and hopefully tomorrow morning the weather will cooperate and I can enjoy a nice long wander…

Related posts:

Spinach head + pissing milk

A sometimes amusing thing about having a smattering of more than one language is how what you hear pops something completely different into your head courtesy of another language!

It can result in some rather odd brain combinations…

The 1st time I was asked if I wanted ‘susu’ in my coffee in Indonesia… had a quite gross image of a kid pissing into my sacred morning ritual with a heavily caffeinated brew!

Cus ‘susu‘ in my Hindi-colonised brain now means… well… taking an erm…. leak.

Whereas in Bahasa it means milk!

Last trip to Jakarta during my stay-cation massage, I thought the girl asked if I wanted a palak massage too.

Now palak to me means spinach…. So I instantly had bizarre cartoon images of spinach dancing in my head!

Turns out she was actually saying kepala i.e. head but obvious my ear was wired to food!

I wonder if others have this strange experience of hearing (or mis-hearing) one thing which bears zero relationship to what is ACTUALLY being said?

BTW… if you haven’t yet checked out Simone (Lady of the Cakes) new blog on Multilingual by Choice yet, do….

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Zoe Moonlit Zapa’s 1st Birthday

So we don’t actually know when Zoe’s first birthday really is. The vet’s estimate post rescue was likely October…. sometime…

Me?? I would NEVER get into trouble!

Baby Zoe…

See our precious little princess was a stray. Initially brought home by one person, then adopted by another before prancing and pouncing into our home as a gangly pre-teen on Boxing Day aka 26 Dec 2015.

We adore her to bits… and there is little doubt when she comes to curl up for a cuddle, Zoe kinda likes us too. (more…)

“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, while my photos may be crap, 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:

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!

sunday-solo-salmon

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?” (more…)

Bagel Shop ‘Adda’ in Mumbai

The concept of an ‘adda’ in India is broadly a gathering of people in prolonged conversation. What primarily comes to mind when I hear this word is a group of guys in Kolkata in animated earnest debate, perhaps over a cup of chai collected by the side of a road.

In Mumbai, you can indeed find pockets of the ‘adda’ culture and my partner can often be found hanging out at his ‘office’ aka The Bagel Shop

So often that it is well known which table is ‘his’ and there is even a photo  next to ‘his’ table with a quote from him about the Bagel Shop being his ‘adda’.

2016-01-30 Denzils Adda

Any local hang-out spot near you where you can count on a good conversation?

Other Sunday Snaps:

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