Sunday, December 29, 2013

Tourists for a day

I've lived in Bombay all my life and love to call myself a Bombay girl.
But after I went for the Bombay Heritage Walk, I felt like a complete idiot.
I realized I knew absolutely nothing about this beautiful city that I live in and call home.

I had always wanted to go for one of these Heritage walks but never planned it out properly.
And then we had visitors from France.
Well, 2 of the 3 of them were from Bombay just like me and were just as clueless as me.

So there are 3 walks you can choose from depending on the route you'd like to take and the duration you're comfortable with.

- Walk A : The Kala Ghoda Route [2 hrs]
- Walk B : The Horniman Circle Route [2 hrs]
- Combo Fort Tour - Walk A & B [3.5-4 hrs]

We decided to go with the Kala Ghoda Route.

We started at the Gateway of India where we were told about the history of Bombay and how it became what it is today only because it was a port.
We were told many stories about the Gateway, The Taj Mahal Hotel, Mr. Tata and why he built the hotel, the Readymoney family, about other monuments, colleges, fountains, churches, old statues in secret locations and Art Deco buildings along the way.

We walked from the Gateway of India, passing the Yacht Club, Regal Cinema, a church close to the YMCA, down to NGMA, the University, Jehangir Art Gallery, Watson Hotel, the High Court and ended the walk at Kala Ghoda with a good breakfast at the Pantry.

The walks are conducted by young students of Architecture who are so passionate about the subject and can answer any question you throw at them.
I must say I was very impressed and highly recommend it to anyone interested in history, art or architecture who enjoys long walks.

The walk costs Rs. 2500 for 5 persons or less.
Every additional person is Rs. 500
The walks are conducted at 8am and 5pm.
Bookings need to be done in advance.
I'd recommend going in the cooler months.

All photos by me.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


I'm a pretty impatient person.

Which is why I was never into DIY craft projects.
Because it always looks like shit.

But then I saw this video on this website.
And decided to do some origami.

Origami elephant and photo by me.

Let me tell you - making an elephant is not a joke.
It takes time and patience.
But when you're done with it, you want to pat yourself on the back and say well done.
And that's a good feeling.

It's like doing Tai chi but with paper.
Does that make any sense?
Probably not.
Maybe because I've never actually done Tai chi.

But try it.
If you want to have a good lesson in patience.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sushi Saturdays

My sister, Aku is not the most enthusiastic cook.
But she is an expert at making eggs.
And one Saturday morning she decided to learn how to perfectly poach an egg.
From Gordon Ramsay himself.

And where else does one learn how to do that but Youtube.

And once the fabulous breakfast was done with, it was time to get back to Youtube.

And this time it was Sushi.

Everything seemed so simple that we stepped out to pick up all the ingredients and a good sushi mat so we could have a Super Sushi Saturday.

Here's the whole process:

Salmon Sushi Roll Video 1
Salmon Sushi Roll Video 2

Photos by me.
The shape of the sushi wasn't perfect but it didn't matter.
After all it's what's on the inside that counts.
And that was nothing less than superb.

Here's where we went shopping [if you're looking for the ingredients and live in Mumbai]:
Sushi mat and avocado from Nature's Basket, Hill Road, Bandra.
Salmon and Mascarpone from Sante, Pali Market, Bandra.
Sushi rice, Wasabi paste, soy sauce and Nori from Modern Stores, Pali Market, Bandra.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A love letter on behalf of all the freelancers of the world

Dear Client,

As seen at CheapJack, Bandra [where no photography is allowed].


Saturday, November 2, 2013

As you like it

When women are pregnant, they get put off by the foods they love eating and begin craving foods they've never eaten before.
It's like we're being greedy even before we're born and blaming someone else for it.

Do you ever just look at food and know whether you're going to like it or not?
Well, I'm sort of like that.
It's either love at first sight or not.
Hello gorgeous or Goodbye & Godspeed.

When I saw this book online, I just fell in love with it - the paper textures, the shapes - makes it feel like a good messy sandwich.

Ok, so I'd probably tear out the onion pages since I think I'm allergic intolerant.

Sandwich Book
But isn't it the perfect gift for a foodie?
And here's a fun way to gift wrap it.
Hamburger Gift Wrap Paper
That's if your foodie friend isn't a vegetarian.

To be honest I always feel a bit sad for vegetarians.
Not because like most non vegetarians believe, they are missing out on the good things in life.
But because they have to face some annoying questions.

I know that because I felt that way for the few months that I tried being a vegetarian.
And I was thought of as nothing more than the pain in the ass at the table.

Vegetarians of the world,
Even though I'm not one of you,
I can understand how you want to slap the rest of the world in the face.
With a piece of bacon.

Sunday, October 27, 2013


Oktober is...

the month of Oktoberfest.
What else?

So what is Oktoberfest?
Well, it's just another excuse for the Germans to drink beer.
Not like they aren't drinking plenty of it the rest of the year.

And thanks to the Germans and globalisation, it's also just another excuse for the Indians to drink beer.

Last weekend I happened to be in Pune and stopped for lunch at Doolally.
Lunch = Sausages + Beer.

I felt like a middle-aged fat man.

But the beer was good and so I'm not complaining.
And it was a Sunday.
So it couldn't have felt more right.

Amongst the beers there was a light one, a slightly amber one and a dark almost black one.
The light one was my favourite.
Clearly I paid no attention to the names.

I love my beer.
I have also washed my hair with it.
But would I swim in it?

Umm... probably not.

I read an article which says that in Germany, a little outside Munich, is the Starkenberger Brewery where they have Turkish Bath like heated rooms filled with water enriched with Biergeläger.
In the article they say it's inspired by Cleopatra's baths but if I remember correctly she bathed in Donkey's milk.
But now that doesn't sound like as much fun, does it?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A fun weekend(er)

Over the weekend, I travelled to Pune and finally went for NH7 Weekender after 3 years of planning and then just sitting in Bombay and watching TV instead.

Friends who had been before were comparing it to the previous weekenders and saying how they were better in some ways. But since I had nothing to compare it to [just how I don't read the book and just watch the movie], I had a great time.

I watched many bands play over the 2 days that I was there.
My favourites were Nucleya and Chase & Status.

But the stand out performance of the weekend for me was undoubtedly that of Nischay Parekh.
His music sort of reminded you of John Mayer's.
I could've listened to it all day [especially song #2, #3 & #10]

And the drummer in his band was cute.

Being there felt like I had floated off into a bubble for 2 days.

The music was great.
The weather wasn't.
I felt like a part of me was melting with every passing minute.

The vibe was good too.
And everyone was trying to be a hippie.
It was like the Indian version of Coachella.
I was amused.

I'd go again next year.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Got Milk?

I have always been a big fan of milk products.
Not so much with plain milk.

And now on some days I think may be lactose intolerant.
- The days when I'm behaving like a hypochondriac.

Just the sight of milk makes me go Eeeeks!

But then I saw this.

What can I say?

You look at something as art and everything changes.

Inspired by vintage pin-up illustrations by Gil Elvgren, Alberto Vargas etc
Milky pin-ups by London based artist, Jaroslav Wieczorkiewicz of AurumLight Studio.

Reliving memories through Art

Even though I'm an artist, I always feel like I don't paint enough.

But after I got back from Germany I felt so inspired with the beauty.
I started painting again.

I'd wake up early and spend my mornings in my balcony with my canvas propped up on my easel ready to get a makeover.

I painted from photographs from my trip.

Here is the result.
Blautopf, Blaubeuren - Acrylic on canvas
The forest, Grosshoechberg - Acrylic on Canvas
All I can say is there was no better way to relive those memories than through art.

Photos and paintings by me.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


"The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you."
- Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Thanks Neil.
That makes me feel a lot better.

I've always had so many questions in my mind about the universe and all their answers just seem to fall into a black hole.

Thinking about the endless unknown just gives me goose bumps.

But at the same time nothing makes me happier than looking at the countless stars in a cloudless sky.
And one day I have to see the Aurora Borealis.
I've seen countless photos but I'm sure there's nothing like seeing the real thing.

I can appreciate the universe knowing that I'm safe on our planet.
So I suppose I could never be an astronaut.
And I confirmed that thought when I watched Gravity last week.
I think I didn't breathe at all through the entire duration of the film.
And was sitting at the edge of my seat.

My throat was actually dry from well, nervousness.
And I had forgotten to open the bottle of water that I had bought.

How was your experience watching the film?
Doesn't the possibility of floating into endlessness give you the heebeejeebees?

Which is why I'd rather sit at home and do this.

Bath planetarium

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Paper ♥ Moleskine

The iPad App for drawing.
It was just brilliant for it's simplicity.

And I'm sure you've heard of Moleskine.
The beauteous notebooks from notebook heaven.
Well, they have an App too.

And now imagine marrying the two.

Ok so you don't need to imagine it really because they made a beautiful baby and called it Book.

Now you can print the art that you create on Paper on Italian-made, premium matte paper and turn it into 15 page Japanese style Accordion fold books.
You can choose a custom cover or go with the classic Moleskine hardcover and even have the name of your book printed on the spine.

How great is that?

Each book costs $40. If you think that's cheap and have more money to spend check out Pencil.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sweet like chocolate

You know what they say about cake.

You can't have your cake and eat it too.

Well, it's a little different with chocolate.

Last weekend I made my chocolate, and you guessed it - I ate it too.
And guess what - it's really simple.

A friend of ours had us over for a chocolate making class and had our very patient teacher Davina teach us the basics.

Here are a few recipes:

No of Portions: 5-10

Ingredients                             Quantity
Almonds                                    60 g
Chocolate                                  30 g

1.     Toast Almonds and allow to cool.
2.     Melt chocolate over a double boiler on gentle heat.
3.     When thoroughly melted, mix the almonds in, ensuring they are completely coated.
4.     Allow it to cool slightly, then drop clusters of 3-4 chocolate-enrobed almonds onto a butter paper. Allow to set, then peel off from the butter paper and store in boxes in a cool, dry place.

No of Portions: 5-10

Dipping Chocolate
Ingredients                              Quantity
Chocolate                                      50 g

Chocolate Ganache                  
Ingredients                              Quantity
Chocolate                                     30 g
Cream                                            10 ml
Mint Essence As Needed

1.     Heat the cream.
2.     Add the chopped chocolate into the cream. Stir till smooth.
3.     Add the mint essence to the ganache.
4.     Put into the fridge to set for 15-30 minutes.
5.     Roll the ganache into small balls.
6.     Refreeze.

1.     Melt chocolate over a double boiler on gentle heat.
2.     Remove the mint balls, dip into the melted chocolate and allow to dry on a butter paper-lined baking tray.
3.     Repeat this process twice.


Ingredients                            Quantity
Chocolate                                    60 g

1.     Melt chocolate over a double boiler on gentle heat.
2.     When thoroughly melted, temper and pour into moulds.
3.     Gently tap the mould to prevent air bubbles and allow to set.
4.     De-mould, wrap and store in boxes in a cool, dry place.


Ingredients                             Quantity
Chocolate                                    60 g

Rum Ganache
Ingredients                             Quantity
Rum                                         as required
Chocolate                                    30 g
Cream                                           10 ml

1.     Heat the cream.
2.     Add the chopped chocolate into the cream. Stir till smooth.
3.     Add the rum to the ganache.
4.     Put into the fridge to set for 15-30 minutes.
5.     Roll the ganache into small balls.
6.     Refreeze.

1.     Melt chocolate over a double boiler on gentle heat.
2.     Remove the mint balls, dip into the melted chocolate and allow to dry on a butter paper-lined baking tray.
3.     Repeat this process twice. 


Ingredients                           Quantity
Marzipan                                    30 g
Chocolate                                   60 g

1.     Melt chocolate over a double boiler on gentle heat.
2.     When thoroughly melted, temper and pour into moulds. Leave for a minute and remove excess. Leave to set. Repeat this process 2 more times.
3.     Roll the marzipan into small balls, place into the moulds and cover with more chocolate.
4.     Gently tap the mould to prevent air bubbles and allow to set.
5.     De-mould, wrap and store in boxes in a cool, dry place.

I couldn't believe that's all it takes to make chocolate.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

What does the fox say?


Have you ever wondered about what sound the fox makes?

Well, you don't need to anymore because Ylvis has figured it out for you.
And there seem to be a whole bunch of sounds,
Which vary probably due to the changing moods of the fox?

As ridiculous as this song is, it's just so catchy.
If I listen to it once I know I'm going to sing it all day.

This way I end up brushing up on all the animal sounds.
And also learn about how the fox communicates with the ho-o-o-o-orse in mo-o-o-o-orse.

I have to say - This is gold!

Monday, September 9, 2013

God created Man...

...And then Man created God.

Photo by me.

I suppose it's something like the Chicken and Egg paradox.

But I wouldn't think too much about it.

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A tea party (in my mouth)

While in Germany, we ate prunes everyday.
Life was good!

And then one day we made a cake.
Just because it was teatime.
It was the quickest, simplest and yummiest cake ever.

A tea party in my mouth.

Here's how you make it:

Susanne's Prune Cake

Flour                    250 gms
Butter                   125 gms
Sugar                    62.5 gms
Prunes                  1 kg
Almond flakes

Mix the flour, butter and sugar and make a dough.
Line a 10" diameter cake tin with butter and dust with flour.
Line the bottom and sides of the cake tin with the dough.
Use the remaining dough to make a crumble and keep it aside for use later.
At the bottom of the cake tin, on the dough put a generous amount of almond flakes.
Cut the prunes into quarters but do not separate at the bottom of the prunes.
In this way, place the prunes in the entire cake tin over the almond flakes.
Once again top the prunes with almond flakes and the dough crumble.
Bake at 180 degrees for 45 minutes.

Guten appetit!

We made one more cake (as you can see in the photo) but I wasn't paying attention so no recipe there.

Photo and Video by me.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Baden-Württemberg in 15 seconds

Last month I travelled all over Baden-Württemberg for 2 weeks.
And I had the best time ever.

In a nutshell I saw castles, sunflower fields, more castles, more sunflower fields, neat haystacks, stalagmites and stalactites, the bluest pond, organic farms, hills, forests, music shows and car museums while always being surrounded by beautiful vineyards and amazing company.

It felt like I was living a dream for 2 weeks.

We'd eat fresh berries and fruit picked directly from the trees.
Have the sweetest Aplesaft.
Eat Spaetzle. Drink Sekt.
And have the best breads and cheeses.

What does one call this if not heaven.

I spent 15 days in the state of Baden-Württemberg in Germany.
Here it is, in 15 seconds.

Video by me.
Music : Groove Armada - At The River.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Discovering Auvers-sur-Oise

A few weeks ago I visited some friends in Paris.
And together we did a day trip to Auvers-sur-Oise, a town only 30km from Paris.
It's where Vincent Van Gogh lived and painted for the last 3 months of his life.

We took the train from Paris to Auvers-sur-oise one morning and spent the entire day there.
It was a day so well spent.
Jumping in the Wheatfields
I have always been a fan of Van Gogh's.
Maybe because he was the first artist I ever knew of at age 5.
Back then I knew nothing about art or his distinct style or anything about his life.
But when I went home after visiting the museum and seeing his art, I painted my own version of Van Gogh's sunflowers.
What's funny is that I still remember how I was convinced that our paintings looked identical.
I love how confident and sure of myself I was at that age even when I didn't make sense.
Sketch of Eglise Auvers-sur-Oise by me
So when I got to visit Auvers-sur-oise and see where he lived and painted, it was quite an experience for me.
Van Gogh wanted to leave the hustle and bustle of Paris and so this is where he moved to find peace in the countryside.
He made 80 paintings in 70 days.

The size of his room at the Auberge Ravoux was tiny (only 7 sq.m.) and it seemed pretty depressing.
But Van Gogh didn't really paint here since it wasn't allowed so his paintings were mainly landscapes, and churches. And he also did a couple of portraits.
When you walk around the town you can actually see where each painting was painted.

Room No.5 on the 2nd floor of the Auberge Ravoux.
He was very close to his brother Theo [Thedore Van Gogh] and Dr. Gachet and wrote to them often.
Through his letters one can see that he was quite depressed - like an artist so immersed in his art that he drowned in it and couldn't come up for air and save himself.

Van Gogh shot himself in the wheatfields and came back to his room to die. He was only 38.
Dr. Gachet and Theo were by his side at his death.

Vincent and Theo's graves.
Van Gogh's life was as depressing as his art was beautiful.
It's sad that his art was appreciated only after his death.
Today people adorn their walls with his prints.
Some are even using his art to make art of their own.
While other's are making a feature length animation based on his life.

Here are some of his works juxtaposed with the locations where they were painted.

The Church at Auvers, 1890
Wheatfield with crows, July 1890

We ended the day with a picnic by the river Oise.
We bought some ham and camambert to eat with our baguettes.
And eclairs for dessert.

The day couldn't have been more perfect.

Photos by me.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Twerk it out

Did you watch the VMA's yesterday?

Did you remember anything besides Miley Cyrus doing whatever it is that she was doing?

Well, she crawled out of a bear.
She stuck her tongue out and her tongue was unusually long. Which was just disturbing in itself.
She made the strangest hairstyle ever. Were they bear ears?
Because she danced with bears in a bear onesie.
And even the bear on the onesie was sticking his tongue out.
It was like Inception - but with tongues.

She then ripped the bear onesie and revealed her matching latex bra and panty outfit.
And the worst part hadn't even started.

She began twerking.
Her performance was pretty tongue in cheek.
While her face wasn't.

Jay Z and Miley via Laughing Squid

Wait, there's more.
She then wore a foam hand - the kind you see at sporting events like baseball/ basketball games.
Or in this case at the VMA's so Miley could touch herself and Robin Thicke.

It was stranger than strange.
But that sort of is what the VMA's is all about.

I'm not sure about whether everyone was disturbed by it because of her age or because of her actions.

I just found it funny.

It's one of those things people do for a quick 15 minutes of fame.
Which makes you wonder why Miley did it.
I suppose this was just Hannah Montana's coming out party.
Because if I called it her Debutante or Cotillion, it would just sound wrong.

It's time Miley does her version of Britney Spears' I'm not a girl, not yet a woman.
Because it seems like she's currently twerking in limbo.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Option [d]

via Cherry Bombe
When I am killing time, I want to:
[a] Eat a fruit.
[b] Make art.
[c] Get a pet.
[d] All of the above.

Note to self: When in doubt always choose option [d]

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Wah Gwaan

Wah Gwaan?

Well, nothing much.
I'm just having one of those days where I want to speak like a Jamaican all day.
Do you ever feel like that?

I can't really speak Patois but I do my own version of it.

And then I came across this song called Ragamuffin by Selah Sue.

She seems to be my sister from another blister.

Is she the Dawta of a Jamaican?
No maan.

She frah Belgium.

Who would've thought?

Thursday, August 1, 2013


India is one hell of a strange strange place.
I am more convinced about it everyday.

And the extent of strangeness is endless.
Isn't that exciting?

A friend of mine sent me this today.
This is the link to The Reserve Bank of India website.
Now one would think this would have a hint of seriousness to it.
But, no.
In India we like to keep it simple and fun. And don't forget - unexpected.

So when you forget about why you opened the website to begin with, there's some fun stuff to keep your mind busy.
There's a whole range of jigsaw puzzles of the Indian Rupee ranging from the 10 Rupee note to the 1000 Rupee note.  But, as ridiculously out of place as it was on the website, I have to admit I really enjoyed playing it.
I was always a jigsaw puzzle fan and always will be.

The jigsaws aren't very challenging and are perfect for a lazy afternoon when you don't feel like working.
And what's even better - when you complete the jigsaw [which you always will], tacky and colourful confetti/ firecrackers start bursting on your screen. Wohoo!

It really feels like a celebration.
A stupid one. But one that makes you happy.

I'd recommend going with the 10 Rupee puzzle.
Not only do you get confetti but strangely enough Hava Nagila starts playing and you can't help but feel like singing along.
Since childhood I have sung this song with my own lyrics [like I always do] and could make people believe I was fluent in Hebrew.

Try it!
The whole experience is very festive. And also Jewish.
All that excitement makes you want to break a glass. Or two.
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