Thursday, 27 December 2012

Connect Ticket- The Book

Though Monday mornings are overwhelming for most of us, it used to be the most exciting day for Cookie, a playschool teacher, based in Bandra, Mumbai. She used to be up by 6.30 am and would wait for the morning paper to arrive. The reason? To read a column,Connect-Ticket by R.Sridhar, in West-side Plus, a weekly by The Times of India.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

The Gandharvs And Their Belabaharr

 Three inspiring instrumentalists  from Kandivali,strike the right chord.

 His ‘Belabaharr’ does not really need any introduction. His versatile musical instrument which combines the tonal effects of a Sarangi with the convenience of a violin, has achieved great international recognition. The unique sound from the instrument has been appreciated by eminent musicians- Ustad Zakir Hussain, A.R.Rahman, Marat Bisengaliev,KennyG and Vanessa Mae. Kandivali resident, Shri Babulal Gandharv’s unique  innovation has not only inspired several musicians but the tonal melody created by him has also complemented his alaaps.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Gift a life, gift a living

People with special needs express their art through the sale of festive gifting creations

Munira Rampurawalais a bubbly 22-year-old aspiring fashion-designer.This Diwali, the enterprising girl is busy selling beaded jewellery at the UtsavExhibition, at the Rotary Service Centre,Juhu.Ditto 28-year-old Vijay Guptawhose block-printed table linen adorns several homes during the festive season each year.WhileRampurawala is a slow-learner, Gupta is polio-afflicted.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

The Diyas get a make-over

A wide array of decorative diyas flood the market, this Diwali

There was a time when kundan, pearls,ghungroos,sequins and beads were used to enhance garments. Today, they are used to decorate diyas too.Not only do they add vibrancy, but they are pocket friendly and re-useable as well. Here's a rundown on the latest offerings to light up this festive season.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Recycle, Reinvent, Re-trend

Fashion designers and enthusiasts share their tips to create a voluminous wardrobe for the season.

The festive season is the time to indulge in merriment,feasting, playing cards till the wee hours of the morning, celebrations and clothes.What to wear? Is the one of the eternal questions.Options are plenty and you obviously want to stand out.Here are two inspiring, generation-next designers and a fashion enthusiast who share their innovative tips to dress up differently.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Style Bubble

Designers tell you how to make your very fashion statement

“I love what she is wearing!” It’s an oft-repeated statement, often by girls describing other girls’ clothes,accessories or footwear. Whatever you wear makes a statement. No wonder you attract attention when you are well-dressed. Fashion is a bubble which lasts for a few seconds but, gets etched into the memory of people watching you. So, let’s see what are the latest trends?
Here’s the story from the style gurus.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Audaciously Beautiful

"She is a beauty", is what we have often hear. And's it'smost often someone describing a luxury car. They are the perfect amalgamation of beauty and brains. No wonder, they command so much attention.

In recent years, the demand for luxury cars in India has grown tremendously. A large number of luxury cars like BMW, Audi, Mercedes- Benz can be seen cruising the roads. The manufacturers usually include a comprehensive service plan so it adds as a real financial advantage to the corporates.

So, what do head honchos look for in luxury cars? “Theywant the best tht technology has to offer," says Munaf Meghani, CEO of Audi Motors whose is proud of having a wide clientele from Juhu and its adjoining areas.
One such is Juhu resident, Manmohan Kapur, a film distributor who has a few luxury cars parked in the drive way of his home." I am always interested in knowing the technicalities of the car,".

 There are several other aspects as well. "CEO's being the leaders of the companies, look at the most wise decision as far as product performance is concerned," adds Meghani. Luxury cars are usually quieter, a lot smoother, with state of the art technologies and more comfortable, insulating you from the hustle-bustle of today's life.

Munaf Meghani,CEO,Audi Motors
"A luxury car is obviouly, also a status symbol," says Kapur who often travels fom Juhu to his Andheri office is fascinated with wide array of technological marvels on wheels displayed in several showrooms in the area. Another luxury car enthusiast from Juhu, Soketu Parikh-the President of the Bombay Productivity Council says, “ I bought a Mercedes because it blends with my lifestyle,”.
 These cars command a higher price in the market place hence they are usually equipped with almost all the safety features available in the market. Every ,CEO with his challenging life scenarios, needs to be prepared. “I prefer driving a SUV for long distance travel,”  says textile importer Arun Bhartiya, a Juhu resident since thirty years. When it comes to crash worthiness and protection SUV’s offer the best bet.

The unique driving fun, the prestige, leading edge technology and the feeling of power that comes with the luxury car are undenaible. Surrounded by luxury and structured with elegant design cues these cars make heads turn. That’s what makes a luxury car worthwhile and audaciously beautiful!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Meet the B-boy!

Do you remember how exciting and thrilling it was to spin a top. That's exactly how Ghulam Mohammed Khan feels when he does a head-stand,spins and leaves his hands to spin eighteen times just like a top. "Head-spinning is my forte,"says Khan, fondly called Sahil by his friends.Khan,a young member of the b-boying dance group called Sword-fish crew has travelled to various cities in India to perform.Their hiphop moves rocked the stage at Water Kingdom a few months ago leaving the audience awe-struck.

It all started two years ago when Khan saw a group of boys b-boying at a college fest.The thrill and high energy of the dance moves drove him towards it.He started by watching Korean b-boying videos and enrolling himself with a b-boying crew.With over eight hours of dedicated practice and hard work this young Oshiwara resident is one of the best head spinners of the crew.
B-boy Ghulam Mohammed Khan

Raised in a musical family,Khan has been surrounded by diverse music since the age of seven.With formal training in classical music from his father and uncle,Khan has come a long way.
 His musical journey started in school where he performed with noted singer Sunidhi Chauhan.He also won several singing competitions in college. "I wish to see the crowd cheer for me when I am singing," says the b-boy who recently won the annual talent search for the singing and dancing category at Mithibai college.Last year,Khan left the audience mesmerised with his head spins,power moves and freezes at the pre- launch of Masterchef India reality show.He won the first prize for dance at Ghungroo,an event held at this garden in May.Not only this,the multi-faceted entertainer got a standing ovation for his performance at a fashion show held at Rizvi college last month.

"I love Andheri,"says Ghulam cheerfully.The bboying crew which he is a part is from Andheri as well.Mcdonalds at Lokhandwala is a frequent haunt and is my favourite, says Khan.I love the crowd in Lokhandwala,however I find shopping at Lokhandwala market very expensive. His need for an open space for b-boying practice leads him to the Lokhandwala garden where he practices almost four to five times in a week.He is completely indifferent to the amused looks he recieves."They are now used to my cool footwork," says Khan.
B-Boying moves and spins

Apart from this,Khan has even acted in various commercials,the latest one being the Videocon Bazoomba.His b-boying moves in the Spinz deo commercial with Genelia Dsouza got him great visibility.
The talented b-boys footwork even dodges opponents at the football match which he regularly plays at the Millet Football Club.He alongwith his team have qualified to play at district levels of Maharashtra.
The b-boying experience does offer a few challenging experiences and even boasts of a few bruises on the head but it never deterred the spirit of this talented star.Being lean helps me to manage my body weight easily, says Khan.

With great determination and confidence,there is nothing to stop this powerhouse of talent.When asked about his future plans,the rising star confidently says,  "Iwish to be Indias' Micheal Jackson,."

Monday, 24 September 2012

Shady Ideas

A quirky and quaint shop gives uniqueness to Ganpati designs

Ganesha Lampshade by Shady Ideas

One afternoon when architect Parvez was driving down Linking road he noticed some strikingly coloured lights in a small shop  outside Shopper’s Stop, Linking Road. He parked his car ahead and walked up to this small store. After looking around for five minutes he introduced himself. “ I couldn’t stop myself from coming here and I don’t care if I my car is towed. I love your stuff. I shall come back and so that I come back and you remember me you keep this money with you,”.  Parvez didn't purchase anything from that store, but stunned Carl Mascarenhas- the store owner by giving him Rs 1000! What was Parvez so enamoured about? Well, the array of exquisite paper lampshades that Mascarenhas sells. Apart from having an interesting product line, the shop also has a quirky name - Shady Ideas!

Ganesha by Shady Ideas
 It essentially started as a venture by four friends who got together to create unique handcrafted lampshades, one of them being the elephant god. “I just love the appearance of Ganesha,” says Mascarenhas, looking forward to this season to create one. His wife Jovita whose creativity is behind the look of much of the products, says, “It took us fifteen days to make the Ganesha lamps,’’. They use sleeper wood derived from the packaging industry which is refashioned to make the base of the lamps. Acrylic sheets are used from the display boards and handmade paper is recycled from the fabric industry into eye catching and stylish shades. Priti Machado, another member of the group, is instrumental in providing her pet peeve - the bright colours - to the products that make them really stand out. Her husband, Lloyd, provides the backend - he concentrates on expanding the business. So that  1000-rupee customer probably invested  his money because the “exclusivity” of the shades ranging from 850 onwards caught his attention.

Paayal Talwaar:)

This story was published in Bombay Times:)

Kandivali’s Clayderman

Amar Khandha

Amar Khandha’s mesmerizing piano creates a soulful harmony

Amar Khandha creates a soulful harmony on the Grand Piano
Dressed in a crisp, white formal blazerand polished shoes, Amar Khandha is found seated on a round stool at the Turf Club, Mahalaxmi. He is hitting the right notes from the grand piano, playing A.R. Rahman's Dichotomy of Fame, from the movie Rockstar. His team watches on, astound. They all are waiting for a sound-check but, Khandha is completely immersed.

“A.R. Rahman’s music is divine. His most unappreciated work too, is brilliant for me,”says the talented pianist and Kandivli resident. This 28-year-old ex-airline professional, with only a few months of formal training in Hindustani classical music, has managed to compose music for a variety of soundtracks. This gifted pianist has also performed for over 600 shows in the last four years.
His versatility and ubiquity have made him extremely popular at several wedding functions across Mumbai. He has travelled to various cities -- Udaipur, Delhi, Ahmedabad,Surat, Hyderabad and Pune –playing the grand piano for various occasions.
He has also had the privilege to play at various corporate events and even high-profile ones where the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, was present.Khandha’s creative technique combined with his unique style (a blend of fusion and Indian classical), leads him to play at private residences of corporate bigwigs too. “Once at a grand reception, I played the grand piano for five hours continuously,” he smiles.
Khandha has also recently contributed music for a commercial Gujarati play, Mari LadiChaaleCheAadi. Among his list of achievements are composing music for the signature tune, website and caller-tune of Hira cement.

The musical journey
Khandha’s musical journey began in 2004, while fidgeting with the piano keys at the Malhar festival, at St.Xavier’s College. His interest led him to research and study this widely-used instrument. Soon, he mastered the art by ear. By November 2008, he bid goodbye to his airline job to enter the world of music. Since then, there has been no looking back.
Today, Khandhacollaborates with a flautist, saxophonist, tabla player and a violinist. It’s a fusion that creates entertaining and spell-binding performances.  His team ranges from five to at times,twenty-two musicians. “We create music by using Bollywood songs and giving them a unique, symphonic sound fused with diverse instruments,” says Khandha.

The Kandivali love
“Kandivali is very close to my heart. All the cutting chai stalls are my favourite hang-outs. They give me an earthy feeling. The masalas in the chai certainly have a direct creative connection with me,” says Khandha.
Other than the chai stalls, you will find him playing badminton regularly at the SCN Club. “Those two hours of play are just amazing because post that, I manage to compose soft-core melodies.”
Kandivali’s very own Richard Clayderman, as a music aficionado recently termed Khandha, now wishes to introduce his suburb to the concept of street music. “Like in the West, I too would love to perform as a street musician in Kandivali,” says Khandha, his eyes gazing at the sky, mesmerized by the sound of an aircraft taking off, “I aspire to play my lounge compositions inside the aircraft while take-off.” Meanwhile, we shall let his instrumental renditions sweep us off our feet.

This story was published in My Times Neighbourhood of Kandivali:)

Monday, 17 September 2012

Press ‘Like’ for Ganesha!

Deval Mehta with her tech savvy Ganesha

The upcoming Ganpati festival’s great pomp and splendor sees a large number of idols are made out of Plaster of Paris, which causes environmental damage. This year, several people are opting for eco-friendly idols -- unbaked natural clay, fibre or even recycled paper is being used.
There is a science behind creating Ganesha idols. Using one’s hands to make idols creates a spiritual emotion within oneself. That is what these people are experiencing in the creative process of their benevolent idols.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Are you a Toybanker?

Toys have been an integral part of our childhood. Dolls, airplanes and racing cars bring back cherished memories. That's the magic Toybank is trying to re-create for kids who aren't as priveledged as kids from affluent families.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Wear and care

Easy tips to take care of your prized possessions this monsoon.
The element of fun, nostalgia, romance and colour adds to the playfulness of the monsoon.Ensure you avoid the irritation of dirty shoes and raindrops all over yourfavourite bag and accessories.Keep up the monsoon mood.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Creative offerings: Alankaars and flowers

Head priest- B Sambasivam

If you happen to visit Sri Subramania Samaj temple at Cheddanagar, Chembur during Dusshera you will be in great awe of the spectacular display . As you draw yourself closer to the bejeweled idols you will see a wide array of vibrant and colourful outfits and accessories of the temple idols. Unique rangoli designs, created out of flowers and rice powder on the ground, add to the beauty.  Till a few years ago, head priest B. Sambasivam purchased all the decorations for the festival from Chennai. He would decorate the various idols at the temple as well as in his house with great devotion.One day, he dismantled all the decorations  in an effort to understand its nuances. He invested in different materials like velvette, pearls, beads, sequins and zari from Masjid Bunder at Mumbai to create beautiful and extravagant clothes and accessories for the idols himself. Here's how you too can create a vibrant display:

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Start to Finish

One.Two.Three.The race against time is different for different people. Each second counts as office-goers make a dashfor the 8 am local , students sneak into class seconds before the bell rings and Oshiwara-resident Karan Kanchan runs for love of winning.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Rites Of Rejuvenation

Lorraine More with Leander Paes and Raageshwari
When 57-year-old Lorraine More is complimented for her exuberance and youthfulness, sheis elated. More is one amongst the few practitioners of Tibetan rites or yoga – an ancient discipline that is now being fast discovered in today’s quest for the eternal fountain of youth.

The practice is simple. It involves practicing the five simple Tibetan rites, in chronological order, 21 times each. The routine takes 15 minutes and should be done daily. Said to be over 2,500 years old, the wisdom that has come down from the monasteries, is rejuvenating and revitalizing people across the world each day.
Over the last 16 years, More has been sharing her secret of youth with scores of people at her Talegaon-based Japalouppe Equestrian Centre. “I received these rites as a gift from my reiki master,” smiles the lady who shares her knowledge in the hope of passing on the gift of youth and energy to others as well.
“Therites fit perfectly into the requirements of a fast-paced life. They awaken you and resonate a great vibration in your body which is so positive that you are buzzing with energy and hope,” says actor, singer and motivational speaker,Raageshwari Loomba, one of More’s famous pupils.

Mumbai-resident Razia Patel, a corporate trainer for stress management,is one of the few in Mumbai to be a Tibetan yoga trainer trained from Syracuse, USA.The lady who has been teaching since the last 12 years, says, “It helps me to be healthy and happy. I help others feel happy and healthy too. The rites combined with pranayamas are a holistic workout for the mind, body and soul.”
Like Loomba whose word spreads through CDs and the internet, Patel and More’sdisciples come from all walks –professionals, students in educational institutions and recently, even the airline industry.

Raageswari Loomba practising Rite 1 of tibetan yoga

Rite 2
 Theseare a set of five energy-boosting exercises which rejuvenate the body and mind.
Rite 1:This is a spinning or whirling movement, in a clockwise direction, with your arms outstretched. This childlike movement attracts the universal energy into our body, thus stimulating the vortexes (seven energy centres or chakras) into action. It relieves headaches and varicose veins and is excellent for osteoporosis. Adds More, “The spinning technique is unique. I have not experienced this in other yoga forms.”
Rite 3

Rite 2: This lying down rite is a great abdominal workout, which also strengthens and tones the leg and neck muscles.
Rite3: This kneeling down rite strengthens and tones the lower back and neck and is great for spondylosis.

Rite4: This is a table-top posture which has an invigorating effect on the thyroid glands. It balances the hormones and aids blood circulation.This has been spot-on for Lakshmi Iyer of Omra Designs, “I had severe arthritis, a huge setback for me. It depressed me to watch older people walking faster than me at the Mumbai sea-face. Tibetan yoga helped me to sleep well, my posture and joint-flexibility improved and in due course of time, I felt better.”
Rite 5: This is like the popular suryanamaskar, simplified. A super cardio-vascular workout, it aids flexibility and reduces digestive and bowel issues. Meghna Nayyar, a call centre executive is proof of its effectiveness, “After doing Tibetan yoga, coupled with a few meditation techniques, my digestion is much better.”


“Tibetan Yoga is an easy to learn, holistic workout which can be practiced from age eight to 80,” says Patel.
For the young ones:
A few years ago, Patel taught the rites to students between 12 to 14 years of Avabai Petit Girls’ High School at Bandra, Mumbai, and saw the benefits. “We practiced the rites for six months and I could see a marked improvement in period pains and cramps which these girls went through,” says Yasmin Charna, Boarding Head at the school.
“Children are natural yogis. Their bodies are very flexible till age five. If they are initiated into yoga early, it helps in centering them. They are more in tune with themselves,” adds Loomba.

For mental peace:
Nayyaris one among the many who has found serenity through these rites. She admits that the technique has helped her along with her obsessive compulsive disorder syndrome. “I used to get irrational thoughts which created a state of panic, anxiety and restlessness. Now, I have mental clarity. I feel calmer and am able to focus better.”
Actress Namrata Dixit

For the time-pressed:
Tibetan yoga takes up 15-20  minutes of your day: a quick option as compared to the longer, more classical yoga or gym rituals. That’s the draw for others such as actor Namrata Dixit of I am Kalam Fame. “I am an avid follower of hot yoga which has 26 postures. But, amidst my hectic travelling schedules, Tibetan yoga becomes a great substitute. It has just five postures which can be done in fifteen minutes.”

For those on the weight-loss trail:
Just like traditional yoga, Tibetan yoga claims that weight loss can only be a by-product of practice and time. But, for Preeti Poddar just three months of Tibetan yoga has brought about a change. “The technique has aided my weight-loss in a big way,” smiles a happy armed forces official, adding, “Plus, my stamina and patience has also increased.”

• Beginners are recommended to start slowly by doing three to five repetitions of each rite, once a day. You can increase it by one or two each week, till your reach a total of 21 repetitions of each rite.
• The rites are to be practiced in sequence, from rite number one to rite number five.
• Loose comfortable clothing is a must since it allows the free flow of movements.
• A thick carpet or a yoga mat is ideal to begin the routine.
• The practice of the five rites can be done immediately before or after any exercise routine such as walking or aerobics.

Reported to be 2,500 years old, the ancient rites were first published in a book, The Eye of Revelation,by Peter Kelder in 1939. The revised publications of The Eye of Revelation entitledAncient Secret of the Fountain of Youth, came out in the mid-80s.
The book is a fantastic accountabout an aging British officer (Kelder called him Colonel Bradford),who in the late 1920s embarked on an adventurous journey to find the monastery in Tibet wherein a group of lamas knew the secret of thefountain of youth. There, he was initiated into the ancient rites which restored his health and energized him.
Colonel Bradford returned to the Westat age 73, looking almost half his age, and Kelder stared at him in disbelief. In due course of time, Kelder’s book caught the attention of the West and the five rites became increasingly popular.

Yoga and its various forms have been traditional to India over decades. We are a country reputed and sought-after for yoga gyan. What does traditional yoga say of the Tibetan technique? The Yoga Institute, Mumbai, established in 1918, is one of the oldest yoga institutes in the world, and offers you traditional wisdom.
Hansaji Jaydev Yogendra, director, The Yoga Institute, gives you the classical take, “Unfortunately, yoga is misunderstood.
Whatever is taught in the name of yoga today, be it power yoga or Tibetan yoga, it’s only a technique. Yogais not only about postures, itis a way of life. Yoga means control or total stoppage of the thought process as well as concentration and a balanced state of mind. Asanas and pranayams are a technical aspectthat help you reach this state of balance. The other yoga techniques today may not bring about these effects.”

• Log on:
• 5 Ancient Tibetan Rites- a film by Saregama on Tibetan yoga with Raageshwari Loomba and Lorraine More.
• Classes by Razia Patel at Mumbai and  Lorraine More at Japalouppe Equestrian Centre, Talegoan
2 hours in a group setting
The time taken to learn the rites
15-20 minutes
The time required to practice the rites each day.

Paayal Talwaar :) This story appeared in the Cloud 9 supplement of Times Of India on 14th August, 2012 as well as in My Times Neighbourhood- Lokhandwala.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Make-up to the monsoon

 Look your best during the mesmerizing monsoon

Colours look more radiant during the monsoon. From the grass which looks greener to colourful umbrellas and rainwear to bright lipsticks. This monsoon, dip into bright hues with perfection and look your best.
“It is advisable to vary your make-up according to the season, place of work as well as occasion,” agrees Shirin Merchant, proprietor, Cut and Make salon,Byculla.
Here are some expert tips:

Less is more
“It is essential to use a water-based concealer which acts as an umbrella for your face. It’s a myth that foundations or concealers are applied only before make-up. I advise my clients to begin their day with a gentle face-wash and apply a water-proof base on the face before they step out,” recommends Safiya Matcheswalla, proprietor, Fresh Faces, a Byculla-based salon.“This should be followed by water-proof kohl and a long-stay lip-gloss. That’s perfect for this weather,”says she.

Water-proof is the key
The monsoonis tamped with high humidity. “Water-proof is the key -- from your kohl, eyeliner, mascara to your lipstick,” says Merchant, adding, “Students and working women should use a black or brown eye-shadow, with an angular brush, over the kohl to avoid smudging. Transfer-resistant lipsticks in soft brown,mauve and beige work well too.”

Glow at the monsoon wedding
“A lot of monsoon weddings are taking place this year,” saysMatcheswalla. “You obviously want to look your best and avoid a make-up disaster,” adds Merchant. She suggests a few tips:
·       Wash your face with an appropriate face-wash according to your skin type.
·       Rub ice on the entire face.
·       Oily skins can use an astringent, whereas normal to dry skins can use a toner to refresh the skin.
·       Apply a water-based moisturizer according to your skin type.
·       Apply a very sheer layer of foundation.
·       Follow it with a compact.
·       Instead of using pencil/shadow on the eye-brows, use transparent mascara.
·       Go smoky according to the colour of your clothes. Blues, greens, browns or blacks can be used to contour the outer corners. The inner corners of the lid can be done with soft gold or silver.
·       Cake eye-liner can be used for the upper lids.
·       Use kohl for lower lids. Follow it with a cake liner for a smudge-proof effect.
·       End it with water-proof volume mascara.
·       Enhancethe cheek bones with a contour of peach or plum.
·       Pink, brown or even red for the lips, if you can carry it off.

Make-up don’ts
·       Overdoing the base on the face can result in your face appearing patchy which further results in cracking.
·       Cosmetic products which are not water-resistant are a complete no-no.

Skin care for the season
Ageing skin: A good cleansing routine, followed by a night repair crème.
For working women: Since they are exposed to pollution and dust which settles on the skin, a good cleansing and toning routine, followed by a nourishing crème left overnight works best.
For dry skin: Almond-based crèmes are great for dry skin.
For oily and acne-prone skin: Oil-free sunscreens during the day and any good crème to combat acne at night.

This article appeared in Bombay Times on 25th July-2012.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012


Where Goodness is Fashionable
  • • Endless hours with friends discussing personal challenges, global issues and rejoicing miracles big and small.
    • The warmth of endless cups of tea and coffee, prayers and healing energies
    • Discovering the immense power of collective prayer
    • An avenue or forum where there are no rules, no gurus, no commitments – just an opportunity for you to connect with yourself and with some wonderful people across the world.
  • That's what Connect-Ticket is all about. A unique prayer group that connects and energizes every life it touches.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Fold In Some Magic

Suddenly, 15-year-old Raj Khamkar finds his school science and history projects a breeze. The teenager could never have predicted that his casual attempt at a summer vacation origami workshop would transform his classroom skills. For his teacher, Ratnakar Mahajan, the Japanese paper folding art has made retired life fruitful.
Origami is today universally accepted as the language of signs and symbols; a language that is constantly inspiring the young and adding value to senior years.“All you need is your fingers and paper. No scissors. No glue.You just have to visualize the folds. It has fostered my imagination in a big way,”smiles Khamkar, a Class X student of Tridha( Rudolf Steiner) School at Andheri East.
Centre of Extra Mural Studies at Mumbai University ( Kalina)  conducts origami classes regularly since a decade “ Origami enables children to learn geometry and become more dexterous,” says Mugdha Karnik, Director of the Extra Mural Studies Department.
Pirann Sukhia with his eerie models of origami
Pirann Sukhia (10) a class V student of Arya Vidya Mandir at Bandra Kurla Complex who practices origami in his leisure hours says, “ It helps me focus and increases my concentration. I love making eerie things like spiders, moat monster and ghosts,” says the enthusiastic child who is in the process of mastering complex models. While for another young girl, Kriti Shah, a Class X student of Queen Mary School at Grant Road,  origami has been a tool to master patience. “One wrong fold can prevent a model from taking shape correctly,” says the young lady, speaking of how a little patience while folding spares her the excruciation of beginning again from the start.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Slumdoctor Acupuncturist

Dr. Walter Fischer, a Belgian business management professional, gave it all up to find his calling as an acupuncturist treating India’s economically disadvantaged

Scene I
A small galli near Cardinal High School, Bandra(East)leads you to a hutment in the Vijay Nagar slum. Open the door walk into a doctor’s clinic overflowing with patients. Dr. Walter Fischer is no ordinary middle-ageddoctor. He is Belgian. He is an acupuncturist well-known in the area for his “magical fingers”, reputed to cure many ailments. And, he has morphed from a European corporate high-flier to a doctor whose needles are used to relieve the pain of the poor. 

Monday, 28 May 2012

Pigeon Pains

Sixteen years ago,when businessman Prakash Panjwani shifted from Chembur to Andheri because of a gas menace, little did he know that a pigeon menace would await him here.For the last decade, pigeons being fed grains and water on the footpath of BalasahebDeoras Road are causing great distress to residents of the surrounding housing societies.

Monday, 14 May 2012

My Mother Is My Inspiration

 Fashion czar Manish Malhotra may have dressed up all the divas in Bollywood but there is one woman in his life whom he feels indebted to for being the inspiration for all his achievements- his mother- Sudarshan Malhotra.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

For You Ma, With Love

This Mother’s day shower your mom with lots of love and ofcourse some special gifts. Flowers, cards, cakes, chocolates, perfumes- she has them all and you've done it all before How about getting a little creative ?

Friday, 16 March 2012

A Bazaar For Bargains

The otherwise quiet bylane of  Millat Nagar;  Oshiwara suddenly gets transformed into a shopper’s delight every Saturday between 10 am to 3pm. Its time for Shanivaar Bazaar! The place to shop anything from denims to desserts. A must visit for shoppers, this place satiates shoppers desires.

 Buzzing with activity, scores of shopkeepers sell designer jute bags on the streets, Designer jeans spill out of  tempos parked on the road and even chocolate cake being sold on a hand cart.

 “ The busy street has everything for everyone,” says Ashley Fernandes, a resident of Marol who was on his first visit to the the bazaar. People from all walks of life are scouting and purchasing different things from their shopping lists from household items, shoes, bags, accessories, fabrics, vegetables, fish and so much more.

Ex- model Garima Sood
Here,  you can still buy a piece of cloth  for Rs 20 which is so amazing,” says Amir Rizvi, a communication designer who often strolls down the street just for the joy of experiencing a street bazaar.  “ I pick up a lot of fabrics, frills and sequins from here. They are reasonable as compared to the bigger shops. This bazaar is at its best before festivals like Id and Diwali  says stylist Garima Sood from Lokhandwala Complex.

I picked up this designer coffee mug for Rs 50/-
This place is a complete delight for homemakers.  “ I visit this bazaar every fortnight to pick up household items,” says Uma Dhawan- a kindergarten teacher of a school at Oshiwara. “ I love the stationery items you get here,”  adds her seven year old daughter, Charmy. Home maker Roopa from Lokhandwala says, “ This market is a great place for great bargains,”. Another kindergarten teacher from Andheri, Yasmin Gandhi says “ I visit this place to pick up hair accessories which are a steal. Recently, I bought a skirt and a kurti too.  Does the stuff bought from here last for long? “ Of course, it does if used with care,” adds Gandhi.

Scores of shopkeepers from different parts of the city come here to exhibit their wares. Saddam Hussain aged 22 has been selling synthethic brocades here for the last two years. “ I make a profit of Rs 500 to Rs 1000 every Saturday but at times I don’t even make a penny,”.

While Hussain has stayed true to his brocade, some vendors are very flexible. You may see the same vendor selling fruit on one Saturday and household items on another. This unique selling technique helps survive and thrive in the Shanivaar bazaar.

 And the monsoon is no hindrance to the business. “ We all arrange bricks or stones on the ground.  Place plastic sheets on the top of these and then, we spread our goods for display.  When it pours,  we quickly cover them with spare plastic sheets. However we do incur losses incase of a heavy downpour which spoils our goods,” adds Hussain.

Saddam Hussain alongwith the other shopkeepers
 Whether you want to buy things for cheap or simply want to see the colourful sights of a bazaar, head to Oshiwara on Saturday for a unique shopping experience. 

Photos: Rizvi Aamir Abbas Syed.

Friday, 9 March 2012

No Strings Attached

When Daniel Tyler Pohnke from California got a flat on rent in Mumbai  within his budget and without paying any brokerage, he was thrilled. He manged this with the help of a new  interactive website named Flats without Brokers that directly connects renters and landlords without the middleman. It is here that Pohnke   fulfilled his need for accomodation and related information. This site also served as a guide for this new traveller where he made friends, read posts about getting second hand furniture and even getting an accommodating landlord.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Dare To Dream

Suyoung Kim- Founder- Dream Panorama

Friday, 17 February 2012

' I Have A Right To My Opinion'

How would you react if a twelve year old gives you a visiting card that speaks about her being a founder member of a children’s political party?  Meet Paratmika Padhya , the founder member of a Children’s political party called  Indian Baccha Party!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Shed It Off

Lavina V Khanna taking the trampoline class
 Bounce off the pounds
We all enjoyed  watching John Abraham and Shilpa Shetty’s  well toned and chiselled  bodies in the  song Shut up and Bounce from the movie Dostana. Would you wish to have one by bouncing yourself to the beats of great pulsating music? Here is a popular workout-  the mini trampoline workout also known as the Rebound Power Jump which is a blend of great cardio and toning.  As you enter the Pulse studio, you watch several women and children checking  the legs of the mini trampolines. Step up on the trampoline and fitness instructor Lavina Khanna leads you through an exciting workout of warming up with light stretches alongwith weights, a few gentle bounces,  attempting different variations of toning routines, dance routines and cardio routines. The transition is made interesting  every five minutes with a change in music right from Rihaana and Pitbull  to Bollywood remixes.  Around 40-45 minutes of this perky activity and you can see all of them bouncing higher and higher! The joy on their faces is indescribable. Its like reliving your childhood memories.  Interestingly, the action of bouncing up and down against gravity takes you into a trance like state thus experiencing great fun while working out. “ The youngest student I have trained is six years old and I have a sixty seven year old bouncing as easily as the six year old,” says Lavina V Khanna.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Purple Haze

 The colour purple, that famous book, becomes a visual treat here in Lokhandwala. Enter the Shree Ganesh bungalow and the colour purple changes your perception about the world. There are purple seaters clad with rich brocade, velvette and beaded cushions, a purple American shaggy carpet and a purple wall!  Nestled in a quiet lane in Lokhandwala, this row house exudes warmth and vibrance of the entire family. “ I used the colour purple because it’s a colour of imagination and creativity,” says Mukta Rastogi who does theta healing, hypnotherapy and chakra healing sessions in her house.
Beautifully arranged showpieces, artifacts from different parts of the world and traditional paintings dot the home. " I enjoy doing up my home," says the lady.  The artist in her has created a lot of traditional paintings adorning  different walls of the house.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Andheri Is My Muse

Music bonds, music inspires and music heals. And that's exactly the impact music had on Oshiwara resident Ramji Gulati. Gulati, whose album, Dosti, is slated for release in mid January says that Andheri has been his muse. " Dosti brings back nostalgic memories of college," says the man whose other album United White Flag-Volume 1 has been awarded the best popular award at the Global Indian Music Awards (2010). As he hums, its Andheri on his mind right now. " I launched my own music company in Andheri in 2008. There has been no looking back after that," smiles the  multifaceted singer, composer and DJ. Known as an entertainer,  his lively and peppy musical hits, Haseena Jeena and Dhoor, bring people on the dance floor at various colleges, clubs, weddings and corporate events nationally and internationally. His  famous Punjabi composition Hun Taito Mera Door Jaan Nu Jee Nanin Karda Jee has rocked the nation. " I have fulfilled my childhood dream of entering the realm of super stardom."

Musician -Ramji Gulati and Paayal Talwaar

Without any formal training in music, except for a couple of months from his paternal uncle whom he fondly addresses as Daddyji, Gulati  has come a long way. His musical journey of writing and composing songs in school to winning the best singer award at the Crescendo festival in college, composing a beautiful song for the college festival to launching his own album has been an interesting one. Teenage years did offer a few challenging experiences but it didn’t deter the spirit of this Oshiwara resident.