Daaku aur Haseena

Yep. That was the theme for this year’s party.

A very, very happy new year to all. So what did you do? I partied. I am like that on New Years. I need to celebrate. It does not need to necessarily involve alcohol or expensive places. But it needs to have friends, good food, music  and lots of dancing. Though I must say the old bones and muscles were creaking rather much the next day.

We always have a simple plan. It’s been the same set of people the last 4 years since we moved to Mumbai. Most of them are friends from Delhi or friends’ friends. I think after a certain age it is rare to make new friends.  So you hang out with the same set of people.  There is no pressure to prove anything. And there is a general sense of comfort. So we get together at someone’s place. Kids too. The cost of the alcohol and food is always split. Music playlists are drawn up, elaborate themes are discussed, discarded and frozen. This year it was Daaku and Haseena. I don’t know how we came up with that. But, everyone ran into everyone at the usual suspect shops in Bandra furiously hunting for some accessories that would turn them into daakus. Guns were heavily in demand! It was hilarious.

And the ones that stay some distance away from the chosen house for the party always crash at the host’s place. Safer that way. Even if you are not drunk some other idiot on the road might be. 

I don’t have any resolutions this year. I’m only determined to figure out some stuff that I’ve been thinking about for a bit. I need to come to a decision. I hope I have the courage to make that decision this year.

On the whole I’m looking forward to 2012.

Here’s wishing all of you a great 2012.

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Welcome to Magical Homes

Long back I had mentioned here that my dream job would revolve around Home Décor. While I don’t have the courage to jump headlong into a career change, I have decided to take baby steps into developing this into a hobby that I can spend some passionate time on. 2 steps have been taken in this respect.

One is of course a new blog where I will post pictures from my home, readers’ homes, friends’ homes and in short any home that catches my fancy in the way it is done up or reflects the personality of the owners. You will also find here helpful tips, new product details and any other information related to home décor. The blog design is still w.i.p. I don’t even have a header pic right now. I’m also discovering that the blog is actually helping me to learn more about photography skills. Hats off to Archana, Priya and Bhavna for the beautiful photographs on their blogs, blogs that I ardently follow.

The second is workshops around home décor. I just concluded a fabulous workshop on Instant Party Décor. If you can look different for every evening out can your home do the same? Can you use flowers and table linen to create a different ‘look’ every time? 12 women discovered that with a little ingenuity they can.

I don’t know where this is going to go. The only plan right now is to have fun. So enjoy, grab yourself a cup of coffee while I take you on a tour of some magical homes.

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Recycling….

When you travel Darling

I can have Maggi for lunch and Maggi for dinner
I can sleep without being pushed to one corner
I can apply nail polish without having to hear, “yuck, red?”
I can let clothes pile up on your side of the bed

I can try two outfits and dress up for work at ease
Without constantly listening to, “Can you hurry up, please?”
I have a loo to myself, sweet smelling and DRY
I can watch reruns all night of Ross breaking up with Rachel and cry

I am not subjected to conditions of the international financial markets
I can go to a mall and window shop for stuff other than squash racquets
I don’t have to deal with dirty gym socks every morning
May I please know when your next trip is darling?

 
…..an old, old post that i had so much fun writing and posting…. 3 years back.

Posted in Diva Land, Hubby, Marriage | 4 Comments

Rockstar

‘At some point he ceases to be Ranbir Kapoor and you only know him as Jordan’. This statement by a colleague aptly sums up the power of Ranbir’s performance in the movie. I’ve never really been a fan of the young actor. While I felt he had promise, he lacked a range of expressions. A peculiar hangdog expression seemed to be his mainstay. But I was blown by him in this movie. His comic timing in the first half and his angst and pain in the second half made me live, love and feel the character played by him.

I do feel that the story lacked a wee bit of credibility. Jordan’s pain seemed a little overdone given the circumstances that led to it. But as a viewer, in the face of such a power packed performance, I was willing to overlook that. Nargis Fakhri has a long way to go. I think the genius of the director was visible in the fact that he took her failings as an actor and made them a part of her character. So her strange dialogue delivery, jerky mannerisms all became a part of Heer.

I liked the movie a lot. Maybe not as much as Jab We Met but definitely more than Luv Aaj Kal. Hats off to Imtiaz Ali for being consistent in delivering good movies.

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Did you like RA.ONE?

I caught the Don 2 trailer on youtube today and must say am looking forward to it. Firstly, I’ve developed into a Farhan Akhtar fan. He makes good movies. I also like his understated acting. It would be quite fun if he’s developing Don into a franchise. It would be interesting to watch a franchise around the bad guy. Very convenient that Don ko pakadna mushkil hi nahin namumkin hai.

Coming to SRK, I braved RA.ONE the other day. I went with zero expectations, to a nearby hall, on a five day Diwali weekend ( excellent strategy Mr SRK) and hold your breath….I didn’t think it was so bad. Apart from that irritating South Indian angle which so does not work, I think the rest of the movie was not so bad. I loved the special effects. Of course, there was no story. I totally agree. But I don’t go and watch a movie only for the story. Sometimes there’s other stuff that does magic for me. The music. The effects. SRK. Much as I’m a disgusted by his in your face promotions and his antics on stage at various live events, I still think he does good movies. I watched ‘My name is Khan’ on TV the other day and liked that too.

We shifted houses again. Copious amounts of seepage in the earlier house prompted this. The new one is on the 11th Floor on a building at Pali Hill. Oh My God. The view! But I refuse to get excited about houses on rent anymore. You never know what will crawl out of the woodwork. Literally and figuratively.

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The Entertainment Factor

Illness. Shifting houses. Lack of internet at home. Work. Results in no blog updates. And France in any case is a distant dream. I look at the photographs and wonder if I really went there. In fact I’m ready for another holiday. Even if it’s 2 days to Goa.

 

Yes, but there is a bright, shining star in this darkness of gloom that permeates. 

 

It. Is. Called. Bigg. Boss.  

 

 

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Paris Chronicles -1

For a very long time, years actually, I’ve  dreamt of going to Paris. Strangely, in spite of so many holidays, I’ve never been to Europe. So this year, I decided that Europe it was going to be. And if it had to be Europe it had to be Paris. I was getting some relatively cheap tickets to London, so I thought London – Paris would be a good idea. And then I got greedy, maybe combine one more city..Zurich perhaps and do what a lot of people do…wrap up 3 countries in one go. Till better sense  prevailed. Did I really want to do a tick mark holiday? Paris – 3 days – tick. London – 2 days – tick. Zurich – 2 days – tick. No I don’t think so.  I wanted to LIVE Paris…so what it was only for 10 days. I wanted to walk around, not hurriedly see the place from the top of an ‘open tour bus’; roam around, soak in the atmosphere and not be bound by time.

So it was decided that I was going to utilize my cheap tickets to get to London and then hop on to Paris from there. Till even better sense prevailed and I decided to speak to an ex- senior colleague and a dear friend who has worked in the travel industry for yeeeeaaaars. After 2 hours of major debate I came away much more informed on how to plan an international holiday. The first to be chopped off my list was London. You see, the tickets were cheap coz, ahem, they were not really confirmed. He was horrified. What if you don’t get seats on the way back? And please calculate the extra visa fees that you’ll have to pay if you’re going to London. Go only to Paris. More securer and relatively cheaper that way. Aah! But also go to South of France. Yes. Nice, Cannes and Monaco should be good. And why don’t you spend one night at Bordeaux? At a villa in the vineyards?

OH MY GOD! I can do that?

You see his whole point was not to go with a list of ‘items to see’. Yes those too. Of course one will see the Eiffel Tower, and of course one has to go to the Notre Dame. But also gather experiences that are unique. Experiences that are different. Brag worthy? I asked him and only got a smile in return.

His other advice, one which I did ignore and sort of repented was to fly in and out of different cities. It’s very simple. Most of us tend to book a round trip. Mumbai – Paris – Mumbai. And in the middle there is travel to Zurich, Geneva, Frankfurt perhaps. His advice is not to book a round trip on the cheapest online site available but to visit the sites of some of the major airlines operating internationally out of your city. To quote him

“ Note down all the cities serviced by the top ten popular airlines from your city to the continent of Europe. You will see that in the list for every airline the 80-20 rule applies. i.e 80% of the airlines visit a select 20% of the cities for sure. Typically the list for all major airlines will contain London, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Rome, Venice, Zurich, Geneva, Frankfurt, Vienna, Athens, Istanbul…  So amongst the countries in your wish list to be visited for this summer if you were to choose one of these cities as an entry point & the other as the exit point you will get the highest efficiency or VFM for your air ticket. Now go look for the cheapest ticket on that route!”

Now that we have spoken enough about how to book tickets for international travel, I will come back and we shall talk about my GLORIOUS 10 day holiday spanning Paris, Nice, Cannes (oh my god – the yachts) and Monaco.

Cheers

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An invite

On Saturday, an invite for a restaurant launch on Sunday landed in my inbox courtesy this blog. 2 restaurants actually. Spaghetti Kitchen and Copper Chimney. At Khar. On top of the Toyota Showroom opposite Gabbana. Much excited, I decided popping in would be a sure better way to spend the evening than lolling around watching TV and ordering in as we do most Sundays.

We went. We do like the food at both these places barring one over salted experience. And boy was it worth it. Drool. Though I must admit, the hubby and I drooled over quite different objects.

Hubby

Nalli Nihari – one of his favourite dishes

Me

Ranveer Singh

We were quite overwhelmed by all the starry presence. Atleast I was. Hubby was overwhelmed by how soft the seekh kebabs were at Copper Chimney! Given the launch, I must say the chefs had outdone themselves. I did spot a couple of other bloggers and managed to even speak to one. All in all it was fun. Though I’m still a little bemused by the fact that this blog landed me an invite.

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Lessons in conversation

Yesterday was hubby-makes-vegetable-stew-for –dinner day. It’s our new twice a week healthy eating thing. So I came back from the gym, took a shower, and bounded into the kitchen to catch him peacefully chopping veggies. There I was all overflowing with endorphins, feeling happy so I decided to share my kick ass new blog post idea.

“It’s about, you know, how to make sure your hubby is listening to you!” I said, grinning, and got a raised eyebrow in return.

“How?” he asked.

“Well it’s rather simple really. Instead of opening a sentence with – ‘Listen, we need to talk’, open it with something that really interests them. I even thought of a nice example.”

“Which is?”

“Gadgets!!! Never say ‘Listen we need to talk. I need you to help me pay my credit card bill this month’. Instead say ‘That new Samsung mobile with those great apps is available at Croma for 30,000 bucks. Umm, which reminds me my credit card bill is in the same range. Can you please help me pay it this month!”

I grinned again, much amused at the thought. A few more peaceful and happy minutes of cooking later, hubby turned around and said.

“Listen to this.

 There was this seller of caps. Very tired, one afternoon, he deposited his caps next to him under a tree, and decided to take a little nap. When he woke up, all the caps were gone. Angry and frustrated, he took the lone cap on his head and threw it on the ground. Immediately, a shower of caps came down near him. Why?”

“Monkeys. Obviously. That’s not even funny.”

“There’s more. Many years later, the son grew up and got into the same business. One day, he too was resting under a tree and woke up to discover all the caps gone. But his father had told him the secret. He got up and cheerfully threw his cap on the ground. One lone cap came and landed next to him. It was followed by a grinning monkey who came up to him and said. What? Only you have a father that hands downs secrets? HAH!”

I laughed. Funny.

“Moral of the story?” he asked.

I was nonplussed. “I dunno”

He laughed. “A hubby may be an idiot once to be taken in by all this gadget nonsense, it’s not going to work on him again and again.”

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted in Hubby, Marriage | 9 Comments

Part 2 of your visit to Mumbai

Bandra is an experience.  While it has its seafaces, churches, and other great tourist spots…ahem SRK and other star houses included, you may be quite appalled at the traffic and the general sense of chaos that prevails here. But….

 When we first moved to Mumbai, Bandra was not our choice of residence. We had made a decision based on rentals and commute time to stay elsewhere. But as I slowly grew to know the place, I realized,  that I was spending most of my leisure time there. And then, as luck would have happened, my office moved to another part of the city and we were forced to move. The first morning in the suburb, we woke up to a house full of unpacking to do, decided to arm ourselves with some breakfast first and stepped out to what was earlier called Just around the Corner ( now the much maligned – Eat around the corner).We took a longish route from Carter Road to reach the place and I felt I was at a beach resort. And my love or Bandra has never looked back since. Living in Bandra is like coming back to a beach resort every night.

Shopping in Bandra primarily means the much talked about Linking Road where street fashion and high street brands co exist peacefully. But I’m sure if you’re going to shop in Mumbai, it won’t be for a pair of Levi’s Jeans or an Espirit bag.

I would encourage you to visit some excellent one off retail outlets which stock young, niche talent. The stuff will be off beat yet wearable…even to work.

Here is a list of some places you can visit:

Taxxi and Vitamin K : It’s an all time fav with me. They have pretty dresses and tops and if you have the moolah pick up their awesome laptop bags. You’ll love it if you crave to wear ‘different’ stuff from what other people are wearing even to work. 022-65229200

MalMal: A wee bit on the steep side but stocked with treasures. Again, awesome dresses. Till date, I’ve bought only 1 dress from this place but it is a pleasure to window shop here. 022-26041986

Waterfield Road: This road is a mine field of small shops that err..import..their clothes from Bangkok and all the sundry other sasta places. Some of them stock some really fancy stuff.  In fact all over Bandra, are such places where you’ll get hip party wear. You’ll have to sift through the merchandise a bit. And you’ll also have to be really slim to fit into most of them 😦 Try Reizz and the shops next to it.

Sole to Soul: It’s a shoe shop on Linking road. They have great designs and are very reasonably priced. They are my go-to shop for evening/casual wear.

Attic: The store is a mix of designer and eclectic clothes and accessories. Steep. Dresses would be in the range of 2.5K and upwards. 022-32169292

OMO ( On My Own): It hasn’t got a very large range but the prices are delish and they are great for funky ear and neck pcs. 022-66881804

How many of these places you are able to visit really depends on how much time you have…..Bandra is not very large so covering all of these places should not take you too long. But do try and fit in a quick trip to the famous Bandstand. Go up to the church. It’s beautiful. Also recommended would be a quick drive down Carter road. You could stop for a coffee at CCD on Carter road. After all that rushing around, you’ll feel like you’re actually on a holiday, what with the palm trees, the sea and the lazy, lazy breeze.

The other recommended place to hang out for a coffee would be Theobroma. It’s got a nice buzz to it.

There, that’s your day in Mumbai. Of course, you can get in touch with me too for any other help 🙂

 

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