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How many SIMs cards do you have?

Between my partner and I we seem to be on a SIM collecting spree!

My latest trip to Malaysia added yet another SIM. But what a pleasure – For approx $10 and 10 mins, was up and running on email, BBM, WhatsAp, etc! (more…)

Music Musings – Chic Gamine

This week’s feature is from my hometown of Winnipeg (and Montreal).

Years ago in Manitoba there was a remarkable all female acapella group Madrigaia. So when, on a visit to Winnipeg, I heard there was a new incarnation, pulled my parents, brother-in-law and friend out to see Chic Gamine at the West End Cultural Centre. I was utterly captivated, bought their self-titled CD and proceeded to play it (more than once!) for friends in India.

Chic Gamine (Photo: Rebecca Sandulak)

Chic Gamine (Photo: Rebecca Sandulak)

They are quixotic, winsome, wryly witty, multilingual (English, French, Portuguese, German…)… when I listen to their music, can’t help but break out into a giant smile! (more…)


Glenlivet Nadurra, Scapa, Mitcher’s Straight Rye, Kilchomen Spring 2011 + Caroni

Part of tasting notes series from a monthly private whisky club in Mumbai, India. This post is a ‘blast from the past’.

Tasting Notes from 20 Oct 2011

This month we were back to our standard format and blind tasted before revealing the whisky. The session featured: Glenlivet Nadurra, Scapa 16 yr, Mitcher’s Straight Rye, Kilchomen Spring release followed by an extra treat Caroni 18 yr rum.

It was an exceptionally lovely evening in Worli with perfect hosts. A comfortable setting, the right music, glasses, spitoon and cucumbers all laid out, followed by the most fabulous nibbles… yum!

The contrast between the different single malts was also a wonderful learning experience… which was, naturally, the real focus of our evening.


Welcome to Music Musings – RÁJ’s Ghost

The last time I listened to the radio was when my car CD player gave its last gasp and died. I was too lazy, traveling too much (insert plausible excuse) to get it fixed or replaced and found I actually enjoyed the new English Radio One station – especially Brian’s Sunday evening blues spotlight.

Then my partner decided to treat me by completely upgrading my car music system and voilà! Back to CDs plus I can now even plug-in my iPod – Yipee! (You can tell my car is old as it had a cassette player not an iPod plug)

Discovering & sharing music – “Old Style” (more…)

Shine On Award!

shine-on-awardWith the recent project in Jakarta, I’ve been struggling to make time to do anything other than work. So it took a trip home to Mumbai and a little breathing space to say – “Thank you Gina of the fabulous A 4star life for the Shine On Award nomination!”

I can’t miss your blog and its in my “all time favourites” like Zhongguo Jumble, Kiwi Gypsy, Lady of the Cakes, Ottominuti – You folks are my blogging idols!

To accept the award, I need to share random 7 facts about myself (different to earlier award – Liebster) and nominate 15 other blogs I enjoy reading. If I’ve nominated you (ie blogs below), feel free to ‘accept’ and pass on the joy to others! (more…)

“Can you drop the Indian accent?” – Accents and voice overs

Recently, I did a voice over in Jakarta for an ad pitch. They were looking for a middle-aged woman with a North American accent who could speak with warmth, like a mother to her growing child. Now…

Where the deed was done!

Where the deed was done!

  • I’m indeed a ‘native’ English speaker
  • I’m certainly from North America  (yes the Canadian prairies count!)
  • I’m quite happily in my 40s so the right ‘age’ (more or less)

However… I don’t exactly have what you would call a typical ‘Canadian’ accent any more. Truth be told after a decade plus in India, it has more than just a tinge of an Indian lilt.

So given just how Indianized my accent has become, it was no surprise that my friend who arranged the voice recording begged me “Can you please drop your Indian accent?”

Apparently I succeeded in reclaiming my ‘home and native land’ accent. We were able to ‘nail’ the recording in only 5 takes – including options for the client to consider.

Now I’m not a professional at doing voice recordings, so it was an amusing experience however it did prompt me to think about how our accents adapt to our environment. (more…)

TURF – Opening act for fest fun!

We all know the role of the opening act – the band warms up the audience, gets them into the grove and the main act then capitalizes on the energy built to great effect! Thanks to a fabulous friend – music publicist Rebecca Webster (Webster Media Consulting) – my partner and I were VIPs at the Toronto Urban Roots Festival (TURF) on Friday as our ‘warm-up’ for the Winnipeg Folk Festival.

We ARE awake - honest!! (photo: Rebecca Webster)

We ARE awake – honest!! (photo: Rebecca Webster)

TURF is a lovely 1st year music festival held in downtown Toronto’s historic Fort York Park – infusing urban energy into the 1793 site best known for the 1813 battle of York. At least the American invaders this time were of the merry musical persuasion and not military!

Here are a few of our TURF highlights:


O Canada!

Happy Canada Day!



According to the powers that be, I’ve spent too many years away from the land of my birth. I’m officially a non-resident which means a couple elections ago I lost the right to vote. I also seem to have dropped off the official Canadian Consulate invite ‘list’ for the local Mumbai Canada Day celebrations.

However I’m super excited that in just 2 sleeps, we’ll be heading to Canada. To me, the heart of any place is the people and can’t wait to soon be visiting family and friends – I miss you folks!

Thanks to the generosity of my sister and her partner, we’ll have a gathering on Sunday and if the weather gods are kind – that may even mean a barbecue! 🙂

So Happy Birthday Canada and look forward to celebrating with you soon!

Related posts:

Coffee Conundrum – Wants vs Needs

Swapping stories over a leisurely lunch with a delightful young German writer and actress, our coffee conversation took an interesting turn. We originally met at the wrap-up party for a film (see Dabba) that our  partners worked on. Between the cocktails and canapés, found kindred spirits. We both have adopted India as our home and made deliberate choices in our lives which may be considered a bit unconventional.

Aah! Coffee! (Photo credit: Carissa Hickling)

Aah! Coffee! (Photo: Carissa Hickling)

Sipping our cappuccinos, she shared that once she stopped expecting to ‘plan’ as she would in Europe or confuse what she ‘wanted’ with what she ‘needed’, discovered that all her real ‘needs’ are fulfilled – often in unexpected and wonderful ways.


The Business of Socializing

Social gatherings bring business + pleasure?

Social gatherings bring business + pleasure?

While much is written about the business of business cards, culturally appropriate ways of exchanging in a formal business context, the lines between professional and personal interactions often blur in Bombay. Perhaps it is because Bombay is the capital of both film and finance in India – a beacon to hopefuls with dreams of fame and fortune – be it in Bollywood or banks.


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