Friday, 23 December 2011

Woosh!

There is something significant which artist Savio Dsilva noticed while driving on the Juhu Versova Link Road. Amidst all the noise and chaos, he saw a little girl sitting close to the yellow and black striped road  divider completely immersed in her own thought. Right next to her was a book and a white chalk. Dsilva got worried that some speeding car might just run over her. The  little girl remained calm and picked up the chalk to write her name on the black  portion of the divider only to use it as a blackboard! This brought a great smile to Dsilva’s face and a thought flashed that there are some people who spit on it and this little girl is using those black strip to write her name. “ This is the great Indian divider,” he says. Such is the observation of this artist who has not only illustrated  a series of comic strips named Woosh! but is one of the few artists who explores various forms of visual art. “ I wish to get them published some day. I always add humour to  these illustrations while they give out a positive message because humour has a lot of recall value,” says Dsilva who shares this art form with several friends on facebook. He alongwith a  friend  actively contributed in making a series of comic strips for an NGO which was about educating people against injustice faced by children in society too.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Mast Mast Bandra

Raveena Tandon with the "little dentists"
First, it was Juhu ; then Lokhandwala, and now Bandra. Mast Mast girl Raveena Tandon has been pucca West Mumbai girl, having stayed in all three suburbs. But  Bandra-where she has been staying for the past seven years is where her heart is. Its her " little cove" which she feels has the best of everything.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Embracing the Earth

 Have you ever wished you had a butterfly garden? Or wish to create art from waste paper and and old bottles? You could fulfill those dreams next weekend at the Sprouts Earth Mela scheduled  to be held  at the Maharashtra Nature Park Society, (MNPS, Dharavi) on December 3rd and 4th. The mela aims to increase environment consciousness in society, and is in its fourth year. This year,  it has  ‘Indian Forests’ as the theme and over the two days will have a wide array of adventure activities and environment related programmes. Some of these programmes include  organic farming, city gardening, lectures by eminent people  about reptile awareness and conservation,  short films screenings  on wild life, energy, industry, e-waste and waste management and more.  An energy management workshop explaining the awareness of five elements that rule our existence is taking place for the first time amidst a grove of trees and plants.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

The Positive Man

Many a depressed mind has felt energised thanks to a remarkable Lokhandwala Andheri resident, Girish Gogia. Known as Mr. Postive to many, Gogia has been a quadriplegic since 11 years. but has not let the ailment affect his zest to live and lift the spirits of scores of others who have met him. And it is this attitude that has won him the Karmaveer Chakra, a medallion for proactive citizen action instituted by i.CONGO( International Confederation of NGO'S) and CtrlS with the UN. This ceremony is slated to be held on -27th November-2011 at Gurgaon.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Fascinating Figures

Did you know that the longest word is a 47 letter lung disease called   Pneumononoultvamicroscopicsilicovolsanoconiosis and you can learn to spell it very easily and remember forever? What is 42 multiplied by 11? Or 27 multilpied by 27? Before you run to get your calculator, or mentally start doing sums, try this. Write down 4 and 2 and leave some space in between them. Then add 4 and 2 to get 6 and the answer is 462! When multiplying 27 x27, write the reverse of 27 which is 72, and then add 7 and 2 which gives you 9 and the answer is 729!

Friday, 11 November 2011

A Twisting Tale

 Mumbai boasts of two  national level players who solve the Rubik’s cube in less than fifteen seconds! Not only this, the cube freaks have even succeeded in speed cubing  with one hand and solve it blindfolded too! Kandivali resident- Dharmesh Shahu and Kalyan resident- Prashant Swarnkar experimented their dexterity with the cube and have made us proud of their achievements.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Advantage Paes

First, he was a Calcutta boy; then he became a Goa boy. And now for the past 12 years, tennis ace Leander Paes is a Bandra boy, sorry ‘Baandra’ boy as he likes to call it. It’s his little cove, where he not only meets warm and caring people, but one where he has noticed respect for the pedestrian’s right of way – probably one of the few places in India where one can see such road manners. Naturally therefore, for him, this queen of suburbs is where he finds himself in complete harmony with his surroundings. “Bandra is a magical melting pot of all cultures – a perfect blend of tradition and modernism. I love its beautiful heritage bungalows, churches, quaint hangout options, bakeries – it’s such a beautiful place,” he says. “ Bandra is a fashion hub- where you can see people sporting different looks, hairstyles and attires,”. In many ways, he feels Bandra  is symbolic of Mumbai and has dubbed the city, 'our big Apple'.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Bring Out The Artist In You

When an art enthusiast watched artist Rakhi Baid’s artistic works at a recent show at Nehru Centre, she was left spellbound. Tears rolled down her eyes when she saw the enchanting  art form of Lord Krishna come true to life in front of her eyes. This is the kind of indelible impression left on her mind after watching Baid’s art works. Baid, a self taught artist in Lokhandwala is happy and content today. Little did she realize that her enthusiasm to teach art and craft to her neighbour’s son several years ago would lead her to participate in group shows amongst esteemed artists. “ I love to paint with bright colours which I find magical ” she says.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Ambitious and Confident

 Hasleen Kaur, Pantaloon Miss India, Earth has seen it all. From the days when she did her first bare back shoot a few years ago to a itsy bitsy role in Love Aaj Kal to winning the coveted title this year, this Peddar Road resident is equally at ease with fame and flame.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Travelling light

Way back in 2000, when Prasad Phanasgaokar visited the Elvis Presley’s Graceland  Mansion in Memphis, Tennessee in USA he was taken aback. He saw a spectacular display of Elvis’s cars and custom jets. Presley’s Pink Cadillac and Harley Davidson bikes left Prasad speechless. A wheelchair accessible bus installed with a hydraulic passenger lift took him comfortably inside the mansion. That is where an idea struck him. What do you think was the idea? “ I dreamt of having  a wheelchair accessible car in my city- Mumbai,” says this thirty five year old Goregoan resident who is stricken by muscular dystrophy. He is dependent on a battery operated wheel chair for all his mobility. Today, with a successful car rental business Prasad Phanasgaokar has come a long way. This avid traveller with a diploma in mechanical draughtsman made his dream come true. He modified a Tata Winger to make it wheelchair accessible! Not only did he meet his need for travel but he has also fulfilled the dreams of several physically challenged people in and across various cities in India!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Dive To Corals And Reefs

More than a decade ago when Anees Adenwala was teaching veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah to scuba dive in Lacadives ( Prahlad Kakkar’s island at Lakshadweep) every dive he did,  he was diving with his hands opened out. Seeing his hands in this peculiar position, surprised Adenwala.  Normally, the diving posture is that you fold your arms, you don’t touch anything and you stay away from coral. So what do you think was Shah so enamoured about?  The beautiful corals, the exotic fishes, the sea anemones and  the wide array of colours under the sea left him speechless and spellbound. “ No human can gauge  the plethora of this  incredible display of life under the sea,” he said.  Until a few years ago scuba diving courses were offered at several establishments outside India.  However, thanks to Adenwala who has brought this interesting sport closer to the heart of Mumbai. He formed a company named Orca Dive Club in 2008. “ It’s a pleasure to watch the expression on people’s faces once they have experienced the underwater world,” says Adenwala who has  been teaching this sport with great passion since fifteen years.

Bandra makes me feel younger


The life of a COO is interesting as well as challenging and that’s how living in Bandra has been for Gautam Gulati, COO of Kiah Diamonds. In the Australian aborigin culture Kiah means “from a beautiful place’’. The beauty and spirit of Bandra has created a deep impact on Gulati who has been a resident of Bandra for over thirty years. “ Bandra is very youthful,’’ says Gulati who strongly feels that the people of this suburb redefine the whole concept of youthfulness that not only enhances the spirit of Bandra but also empowers it. Even though the suburb has witnessed several infrastructural changes over the years, life in Bandra every hour is still the same reminences Gulati. “The famous bandstand is still a walker’s delight except that it is now called the Bandstand promenade,’’ says Gulati. However, he misses the famous five star hotel ‘Searock’ for its revolving restaurant which was very popular way back then.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Being Bigger Than Life

If you were to visit the Carter road promenade at 5pm on a Saturday evening, you can hear several children reeling with laughter and exchanging high fives. They are happy because Avideep Gaikwad fondly called Avi Bhaiya, plays the guitar and conducts craft and sports activities with them. This HR professional working with Avintz Consulting is using his skills to fulfill the goals of several underprivileged children across Mumbai. "I want to showcase their talent to the world," says the multi faceted professional. His adventurous persona combined with his flair for music drove him to take an initiative which is so close to his heart. Spearheading a project called Bigger Than Life, he, along with a few committed volunteers are making a difference, transforming the lives of many.


This project began in March 2011 when on a Sunday evening Avi saw a few underprivileged children at the Carter Road promenade being taken care of by foreigners. This incident inspired him to take up ownership towards such children, and he along with a few volunteer friends began conducting diverse activities like singing, dancing, crafts and sports thus exploring the talents of the children residing near the Danda slum. He envisions building a community centre for these talented children. He is in the process of tying up with several NGO's to facilitate resources for them. Recently, six girls have received admission in St.Joseph’s School in Bandra.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Gem of a Ganesha

Dazzling Ganesha at Versova Breeze Society

If you happen to visit the Versova Breeze Co-operative society Ganpati, you will be instantly transported to a diamond mine in South Africa!  As soon as you draw yourself closer to the bejewelled idol which is in the innermost part of the “cave mine” there is a motion sensor which detects your presence and you can see a  illuminated, dazzling and  beautiful  Dagdu Seth Ganesha in all its splendor! 
So how do you think these residents created the dazzling display?


Here’s how:
1. As soon as you enter the society, all you can see is a black curtain. You lift the curtain to enter a cave( space of two garages) which is created using thick cotton canvas cloth. Plaster of Paris mixed with dark grey colour is used to produce the stone wall  effect. One half of the garage is covered with red soil to give an appearance of a mountain. Ripples and deformations are given to this canvas cloth and  zari is sprinkled all over the cave which lends an added sparkle! 

2. The beautiful Ganesha is elevated two and half feet above the ground and an artificial false floor is created using plywood. Several small holes are drilled within the plywood and LED lights are fitted inside these holes.

3. What draws your attention is that the four and half feet Ganesha idol stands amidst  several plastic and glass cut crystals in various hues which are spread on the artificial floor covering the LED lights. A cluster of stones embedded on the walls of the cave enhances the attractive display. The Dagdu Seth Ganesha which is usually available in a neutral colour with gold ornaments was painted in a dark grey colour.   “ We gave the American diamonds to the artisan to be encrusted within the gold ornaments,”  says businessman Prashant Hebbar whose active and keen participation has been an asset to the society since several years.
The result has been dazzling, literally!




Past Glory

This closely-knit society is very popular for its theme based ganpatis since 1987. Several brainstorming sessions amongst the society members resulted in the idea of having a traditional theme this year. The previous years saw the formation of several themes like Avatar, Bhishma and Arjun, Samundra Manthan, Elephanta Caves and Our Solar system to name a few.  “The idea is to educate the young and spread awareness,” says businessman Alok Shetty who has been involved right from its inception. Hebbar and Shetty are the ones who are ever ready to delve into their pockets  whenever there is a shortage of funds for the celebration. Our Ganesh Utsav  instills great camaraderie and felicitates great bonding amongst everyone,” adds chemical engineer Ashish Patel. I T professional Haresh Awatramani who has been instrumental in contributing towards the idol since three years has shifted into the society just a  few years ago. What made you contribute for the society?  ‘Ganpati Bappa Morya’ was his spontaneous reply.


To add to the glamour and glitz, programmes like magic shows for children, tattoo artists, stage performances and musical chairs contribute to the thrill and excitement of the Ganesh Utsav in the society. The dazzling  Ganesha was finally taken out  in a grand procession  to culminate the five day Ganesha festival. During the procession you could see them dancing and celebrating wearing Anna caps! So this was the grand celeberation of the Breeze society this year. Wonder what their theme will be to celebrate twenty five glorius years in 2012. Lets wait and watch.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Heard of community radio?

West Mumbai has the only two community radio stations that operate in the city.

Residents of Union Park, Khar, were pleasantly surprised recently when they tuned into their local community radio station Jago Mumbai. On air was Bollywood biggie Aamir Khan, who had come to lend support and his voice, literally, to the nascent community radio movement in the city. “The charm of community radio lies in the voice it gives the locals and the insight it provides into their lives. I would love to hear the kind of music they make,” he says. He had in fact, supported the cause in the initial stages when Navin Chandra, president of the Union Park Residents Association, went about setting up the radio station. 
Another personality who helped Chandra and his colleagues was local MP Priya Dutt, who feels “community radio is a great way to bridge the divide between the people and the elected representatives”. (see interview)
Aamir Khan at Jago Mumbai



 So, if you are a Khar resident, try tuning into 90.8FM. You would probably hear “Mutki” speaking in a squeaky voice. Mutki is RJ Madhu Raja, an effervescent senior citizen narrating children stories in a programme called ‘Choco Bangla’ which is aired on Jago Mumbai. This is one of the many other programmes aimed towards building community. “I feel empowered,” she says when she got this platform to express herself creatively. Live Alive 'is a programme aired on Jago Mumbai by Parinaz Mubaraki who is visually impaired. She says, 'I am living my dream of becoming a radio jockey,".  Jago Mumbai provides a mechanism for facilitating several people to share their experiences and learn new skill sets. Since its inception in May 2010, this radio station, which operates in a radius of about seven kilometres, has come a long way in delivering real and relevant programming. Says Nitin Makasare, programming head at the station, “The idea is to ensure that whatever you hear adds value to your life.”

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Kane Ryan's tyrst with Sakinaka

If you happen to go to Ambedkar Nagar, a slum pocket at Saki Naka, you will see numerous children reeling with laughter and playing pakda-pakdi with a young enthusiastic 28 year-old Canadian, Kane Ryan. They are happy because over the last year, their lives and their locality have got transformed thanks to Ryan’s untiring efforts and single-minded devotion, who came to Mumbai in 2010 to better the life of the people living in Saki Naka.

Ryan’s is an amazing story of what grit, determination and a willingness to help can do to transform a situation. Working on the motto ‘See a need and fill it’, Ryan has tirelessly and selflessly gone about converting garbage dumps into beautiful gardens; getting slum dwellers and enthusiastic artists to paint on the dirty walls in the locality and transform them into works of art; helping over 2,400 people to receive medical treatment through health camps; funding several emergency surgeries, and sponsoring fees for 34 children.
Ryan raises funds periodically for his work at Saki Naka. Initially – during an earlier India visit in 2008 when he went to south India and tried to raise funds for an orphanage there – he did so by exhibiting photographs of dirty walls of paan stains, scattered paint and torn Indian movie posters in his father's restaurant in Victoria, Canada. The pictures fetched him $4000 dollars!

He often gets his friends and do-gooders back in Canada to donate. He is not alone in this effort: the entire Ryan family, particularly his mother, Cindy, works hard to raise funds back home in Canada and funneling it to Ryan’s one-man organization that he has formed in Mumbai called ‘The Dirty Wall Project’. 

He has networked with other like-minded humanitarians in the locality – Ashley Pereira of the Janvi Trust and Vignesh Manjeshwar, founder of the ‘Discover Urjaa Project’ and together they have bettered the lives of many living there. Ashley liaises between Kane and the community residents to overcome language barriers.
Last August, the Dirty Wall Project had its first anniversary dinner at Ambrosia Center with over 200 people attending. The event raised over $10,000 with generous contributions from eminent businessmen in Victoria, Sydney and Vancouver. The Janvi Kindergarden school that Ryan and Ashley set up as well as the community centre at Saki Naka was possible because of this. Ryan also managed to get the students and staff of Rundle School at Calgary, Canada, to organise fund-raising activities by showing them beautifully shot videos of the Saki Naka children. Those students helped raise $3,000!

Kane Ryan at Janvi Kindegarden School
Cindy's versatility has contributed enormously to the Dirty Wall Project. She comes to Mumbai often to spend time along with Kane at the Ambedkar Nagar pipeline. “I love the chaos in India!" she exclaims. In fact, Cindy has taken the initiative further: she has penned down 52 recipes after watching women from the slum cook. She took this enriching experience back to Canada and is in the process of publishing a cookbook based on authentic Indian recipes. Her thirst didn't end here. She made a trip to Crawford Market and bought spices required to make garam masala. She packed these in small packets, named them ‘Spice Packs’ and sold them for $8 dollars each in Canada! Along with each spice pack came one recipe and the story of the woman behind it. The money generated was donated to Ryan’s project.
‘Kane Sir’ – amusingly pronounced ‘Cancer’ – by the locals (as Kane Ryan is fondly referred to) recently spent 75 days cleaning the garbage dump on a roughly 1300-square-yard strip of land in the Saki Naka slum. Residents were moved to action on seeing Ryan standing amidst ankle-deep garbage and human feces wearing a black T-shirt with ‘The Dirty Wall Project’ written across.

Seeing him jump into action with a heavy machete-like knife removing the overgrowth and exposing the garbage underneath, Rajeev and Subhash, two masons living in the locality made their way through the mess. Ryan’s energy got the entire community to participate and they transformed the huge garbage dump into a clean ground. Now they are in the process of turning the ground into a beautiful garden.
Likewise, the grey dirty walls of the ground served as a canvas for many community people and artists – from Chaitanya, a graphic designer who painted a lion on the wall, to eight-year-old Aruna who was picking a paintbrush for the first time, to Bhoomi Shan and Hiral, two students who were doing their bit to spruce up the wall.

"Kane Sir has given us new life," says Jagannath Mulge who owns a local store at Ambedkar Nagar. Adds his wife Kavita, “Earlier, we would have to hold our breath when walking through our own mohalla. Now it’s totally different!” Ranjana Engde, a housewife and mother of two, joyously says she will now be able to make rangolis during Diwali.


Kane Ryan at Sakinaka
Ryan is pretty humble about his achievements. "I don't want to be seen as this white dictator giving instructions. I just strive to be better and help more people," he says. His frustrations with bureaucracy, paper work and religious bias while trying to volunteer for India and other developing countries drove him to be a one-person charitable organisation.    
For the Saki Naka community, he is this friendly gora with tonnes of cash. But they know little of his painstaking efforts to rake in those funds. He shuttles between India and Canada just to fulfill the needs of several underprivileged individuals at Saki Naka.

“I haven’t yet decided where I am taking The Dirty Wall Project. All I know is that the people of Saki Naka are my family. I can hop in into any one of their houses to have chai, or play cricket with the kids, or simply help them study.” It’s interesting because when Ryan landed in Mumbai, a toothless man banged his car window at the airport, and whispered “Welcome home Sir!” Just like that. Now when Ryan thinks of it, he sees a pattern. Maybe he was destined to be here.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Genie Paa!

One morning when Irfan Hamid was fast asleep in his house his students and friends woke him up to give him a surprise on his birthday. "Sir, remember you told us sometime back that your dream car is a Honda Accord. We students have all pooled in and bought you a second-hand one, Sir. It's a small gift for all that you have done for us and mean to us." Hamid is probably one of the few dance teachers in the city who's so adored by his students. For them, he is not just a dance teacher; he is their friend and pal - someone who has endeared himself to them and their families.

Interestingly, two out of ten students of Hamid are special children, and many of them have experienced a high level of healing post their interaction with him. Hamid not only teaches dance but has touched the lives of several students, senior citizens and special children, this humble do gooder has been a huge support and guide to many. His students fondly call him Sir, Sweetheart, Uncle and even Genie Paa!

Without any formal training in dance Hamid has been teaching dance for over a decade now. A three year old dances as cheerfully as a seventy year old in his class. He has over hundred and fifty students from the area and they all get together to perform shows twice annually. Parents of several children are very grateful to him for the painstaking efforts he puts in to bring out the best in all children. One striking incident which occurred at his class is of a child who used to get attacks of epileptic fits at home but in his dance class there was not a single episode of the symptoms recurring. Another remarkable incident is of a nine year old girl Simran Sharma who was a shy and reserved child. She had gone into a shell because of some personal issues within the family.She has now blossomed into a confident and exhuberant girl after interacting with Hamid. “ Irfan Sir is like a godfather to me,” says Simran. Neha Poddar who has Down Syndrome  has been a student of Hamid  since nine years and has experienced a major transformation in her life." Sir is like a brother to me," she says.

 Hamid  has thought several children without charging any fees and is also instrumental in providing his premises to the underpriveleged children of Samarpan school started by a group of ladies from Lokhandwala. They too participate in the annual shows conducted by him thus giving them the oppurtunity to exhibit their talents.  “ Dance is a passion and these children are my life,’’ he says with great emotion.
With a  natural flair for dancing, Hamid teaches  Bollywood free style dancing blending and combining different dance forms. He has participated in several television shows like ‘ Boogie Woogie’, Entertaintment ke liye kuch bhi karega’ and many more. He visits several old age homes and children homes too. He alongwith his dance instructors had trained 160 children at Bal Bhavan at Veera Desai  to participate in the annual show alongwith his students at Bhaidas hall last Diwali. He goes out of the way to arrange for costumes for these children for the dance shows by asking for donations from parents and friends. Seventy children of the Samarpan school and forty children from Taqsheel foundation too displayed their creative skills this summer at Bhaidas under the guidance of Hamid.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

The Iron-willed Professor


Goregaon Station, 11.30 a.m., Platform No-2, a neatly dressed man, with a receding hairline in his early fifties, carrying a rucksack and a plastic donation box labeled ‘Vidyadaan-Shreshtadaan’. Carrying laminated write-ups tucked under his arm, the rattling sound of the coins in the donation box.

 Commuters travelling in a Goregaon to Churchgate bound local train often experience a loud distinct voice saying, ‘Namaskaar, sabko Vidyadaan Shresthadaan’. This voice belongs to a highly motivated individual, Professor Sandeep Desai who collects funds while travelling in Aamchi Mumbai’s local train for a great cause, providing free education to deprived sections of society. Proficient in various languages, a speech is delivered in English followed by information in Hindi and Marathi. The professor bows down in gratitude each time he receives a donation from generous commuters while extending his donation box. Committed to his cause this humble professor has come a long way in fulfilling his vision.

Professor Desai, a former marine engineer and ex-professor of SP Jain Institute of Management along with his friend Noorul Islam formed Shloka Missionaries Public Charitable Trust in 2000. They intend to take this message of Vidyadaan to villages towns and cities. ‘Every district of India should have a school providing quality education’, says Desai. The trust opened its first school- Shloka Missionaries Public School at Goregoan in 2005. Funds collected through management and creativity workshops with various corporate and management schools were insufficient for this noble cause. The shortage of funds didn’t deter him from his mission, so regardless of all the odds he began asking for funds travelling in trains for a purpose so close to his heart. Vijay Jaiswal in defense of the professor to his fellow commuters says, ‘He is living for others and not for himself, he is not a beggar.’  Adds a retired senior citizen Subhash Nerulkar, ‘We cannot do what he is doing; he is doing great work’. VikramTalwar, a textile businessman adds, ‘Professor’s genuineness touched my heart. His kind gesture motivated me to give a donation for the cause.There have been other commuters who are willing to support the professor in other ways as well.Arvind Yogi, a graphic designer says, ‘ I am willing to create a module on graphic designing and impart lessons to the children.’  A fellow commuter even had the thought of giving his pan card details along with a generous contribution!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Lokhandwala is a city in itself

Teenage years offer challenging experiences which can be exciting or stressful for all of us. Its been a memorable experience for Dr. Shamoly Khera fondly called Shay by her loved ones who spent her precious teenage years amidst the hustle bustle of Lokhandwala. "Lokhandwala is a city in itself," says the doctor who is also an aspiring theatre actress! The residents are a diverse set of people which makes the area very resourceful. Residing in a beautiful bungalow located at the far end of the second cross lane, the physician finds herself fortunate to have such a silent space which is away from the jarring traffic on the main road.

The Food Connoisseur

Since childhood Sudeep Awchat has dipped his taste buds in great Goan food prepared by his mother's  excellent culinary skills. Now when he opens his own Goa Portuguesa restaurant in Andheri, all those memories come flooding in. Awchat, the son of Deepa and Suhas (of Goa Portuguesa, Culture Curry and Diva Maharashtracha fame) grew up watching the hospitality and the fine dining experience rendered by his parents to several guests at their restaurants. At a very young age he discovered his calling to be a part of the food industry. His journey from having good judgement in matters of taste to a degree in Hotel Management to opening a restaurant in Andheri has been an interesting one. This humble restaurateur is all set to not only bring you eclectic cuisines but also win your hearts with his amicable presence.

The Geek and the Big Daddy

Rickshaw fares in Aamchi Mumbai cost us Rs.11 per kilometre, but how would you react if a web design costs you just a mere Rs.11! Wouldn't you jump off your seat? A fresh breed of young, talented students have finally arrived in the web development industry. 'Our dream is to meet Mr. Mukesh Ambani' says the eighteen year old entrepreneurs from Malad.

They have created a premier web and logo development company named V4run's Blue Pencil Studio for small or new businesses wishing to have a presence on the Internet. Varun S Mundra along with close friend Dhruv Thakkar are hugely inspired by Mark Zuckerburg. They announced their project on the eve of Christmas last year and aspire to design websites to appeal to small scale enterprises.

Cycle Ki Sawaari

Join these cyclists groups if you want to revive your passion for cycling


Mumbaikars may be cribbing about lack of cycle paths in the city, but there are scores of them who have not let government apathy get in the way of their passion – which is cycling. There are groups of cyclists who meet, cycle their way across the city, make friends, chill and have loads of fun!

Promenade Paathshala

If you happen to be at Carter Road at around 7am, you may spot children sitting on mattresses and reciting alphabets and memorizing multiplication tables.

These kids belong to construction workers and are part of a school run by the Navjyot Foundation, run by Khar resident Jyoti Kalle and a frail but enthusiastic nonagenarian, G L Singh.