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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. (more…)

Travel time…

Not sure if you’ve noticed but I’ve been a bit pre-occupied the last while.

Lots happening behind the curtain with the upshot that in just a few hours I will be on a plane from Mumbai to London… enjoy the weekend there catching up with my partner, seeing him perform, hopefully meet a few friends!

Partner and I at BAFTA

Partner and I last year at BAFTA

Then hop on another plane to Toronto. Hope and pray everything goes smoothly with my Indian visa submission.

Hop on another plane to Winnipeg to spend some much needed time with family and friends.

2015 family reunion

2015 family reunion

Then hop on yet another plane back to Toronto where my sincere wish is that a lovely new visa will be ready and waiting for me. Pretty please!

And then, yes you got it… hop on another plane back to London then home to Mumbai.

Do you love Mumbai too?

My adopted home…

Won’t bore you with the details but this is a big change for me. Til now I’ve been terribly spoilt in the visa department. With a flourish of a pen all that changed. So now… my fate is in the hands of some random stranger. Just as it is for many people. Wish me well!!

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Temperature Twins! Mumbai vs Winnipeg??

There are a lot of things different about living in India vs Canada… not the least of which is typically the weather!

When people think of India, they immediately imagine blazing heat!

And Canada? Let’s just say the exact opposite…

And if its Winnipeg? Try swirling snowstorms. And Mumbai? Warm, humid perennial summer!

So this week when my father mentioned how nice and warm it is in Winnipeg? I just so happened to check the temperature…

There in Winnipeg…

2016-05-06 Wpg

And here in Mumbai….

2016-05-06 Mumbai

Are you kidding me? How rare is it to have EXACTLY the same temperature in two such otherwise different climates?

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Winnipeg Folk Fest Part 3 – Thanks for the memories

Some folks in Winnipeg were surprised we did not remain for the Folk Festival.

After all, I’ve been an avid festival goer and volunteer for many years! Even dragged my partner from Bombay back for the 40th Winnipeg Folk Festival  in 2013.

However… our focus this trip to Canada was my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary celebrations in Winnipeg, with a side serving of re-uniting with friends in Vancouver, Canada Day with my partner’s sister and family in Toronto and a bit of amusement in London before scampering back to India.

But I gotta admit… this weekend as Facebook is flooded with photos of the Fest, viewing vicariously what I’m sure was amazing music, friends catching up with other friends, the effort and joy of volunteering, the next generation delighting in the unique community environment and activities… yeah I’m missing it.

So decided to relive it going through a few photos from 2013… and to share three: (more…)

The Sounds of Silence… London, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto vs Mumbai

Asia can be a sensory cacophony… Mumbai means living with an everyday decibel level that you just come to accept. Even the background sounds that fade from consciousness are ever present – crows, pigeons, hawkers, traffic, construction, music or TVs blaring, animated conversations at all hours…  there is always something day or night.

Average noise levels of our city are at least triple that of your normal North American city. Throw in a festival or two and you can see decibel levels of 140 and above (let’s just say that far worse than jumbo jets taking off!)

If in doubt, check out some of the articles in AcuosticBlok on the Rising Noise Pollution in Mumbai. (more…)

So long, farewell!

As we prepared our home for the demolition gang, completed last-minute shopping, we struggled with the internet… Yes… living in Mumbai you cannot rely on having one internet alone!

You would think having easy access to four options (yeah that’s 1..2..3..4…) would be enough:

  • My so-called ‘high speed’ internet has been down for two days and counting…
  • My partner’s slow but steady MTNL internet was sorta kinda working but now has gone from barely functioning to not…
  • Our recently re-charged data card isn’t compatible with my MacBook Air…
  • So I’m on my back-up to the back-up to the back-up… using my phone as a ‘hot spot’… however the signal keeps dashing off leaving me intermittently ‘high and dry’ as the city drowns in monsoon floods

Because ultimately the monsoon is the real culprit in this equation. And the poor drainage conditions in this city that leads to regular flooding, damaging cable connections and more.

I’m not sure how often I will post over the coming weeks while we trot around the globe to London, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto and back to London… so quick before I lose this precious connection… ciao for now and catch you in a bit!

Looking to London, then Van-Groovy... then Winterpeg... T.O. and back to Big Ben!

Looking to London, then Van-Groovy… then Winterpeg… T.O. and back to Big Ben!

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Mitch Podolak – Creating a community

I received an email today from Mitch Podolak sharing the news he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Brandon University.

For anyone growing up in Winnipeg or tuned into the folk music scene in Canada, Mitch is a familiar figure. A visionary character that dared to have crazy dreams and convince others to come along for the party! (more…)

London Calling… Watch out Winnipeg!!

There is something just so joyful about hitting the ‘confirm’ button when purchasing long haul flights. That extra thrill that tells you… soon… soon… you will be back to the international airport, whip out that passport and wing your way around the globe to a place where your morning is night and your sleep time is a sunny day!

Yup! We just booked our Canada flights… and decided to jazz things up a little this time with multiple stops. Just because we can. 🙂

1st stop – London (more…)

The good, the bad and the ugly – India’s air pollution exposed by Obama’s visit

Why does it take the visit of the US President Barack Obama to highlight that India has a serious air pollution problem?

Some may have missed a small footnote in the excitement over the US President’s visit. It was initially suggested Obama, chief guest at India’s Republic Day Parade, should remain indoors as the air quality levels is hazardous to his health?! Naturally you can’t be chief guest at an outdoor parade without being… well.. outdoors! But at last there followed a series of articles in the press about just how bad pollution levels are in India. (more…)

Wedding socials to crowdfunding…

A regular feature in Manitoba was “The Wedding Social“… basically a great big party to raise money to help offset the costs of an even bigger party ie “The Wedding”.

You find a cheap hall to hold it in with a crappy music system, your friend’s band would play, you’d charge a reasonable amount for drinks to make a little but not gouge the wallet, food would be rye bread, kubasa and sliced meats, cheese, slap on some mustard and mayo and voila! Oh and there would be pickles – lots of pickles! Plus a generous side helping of chips and pretzels.

Add to this donations of weird and sometimes wonderful assorted items for raffle / draw / bidding wars! Generally it would be a good time full of laughter and cheer while happening to raise some money too. Real people, real times together in a real community.

Then along came crowdfunding… with its global reach, click of a button payments and the pleas to support, share, begging help! (more…)

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