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Take a walk around Borivali beyond SGNP to learn about the suburb's rich past

Every weekend, Mumbaikars make their way to Borivali to visit the Sanjay Gandhi National Park for a dose of nature trails and guided treks. But Shruti Railkar and Paresh Soni suggest a redirection. The two echo each other, saying, “There’s so much history in Borivali that’s exciting and interesting. We started a guided walk to share the knowledge so that it’s not lost forever.” At the third edition of the Borivali and Its Lost Villages Tales, Soni, a finance professional who turns into a heritage guide and explorer on weekends, will halt at various villages and the temples of their patron deities or gaondevis, and artefacts around Borivali to narrate pieces of the suburb’s history. Hero stones at Eksar village From the list are the Borivali hero stones or Veeragal, which Soni tells us were laid to commemorate the death of a king from the Shilahara dynasty. He continues, “Few are aware that the suburb was instrumental in dynasty changes centuries ago. In the Battle of Vasai, in 1739, Chimaji Appa, who led the Marathas against the Portuguese, stationed his troops at Eksar village.” The eight-foot basalt stones at Eksar are memorials that depict the war’s history through their carvings. “We’ll also make a stop at a Sufi baba shrine from Oman that dates back to 250 years,” the Borivali resident reveals. Gaondevi at Shimpoli gaothan On this walk, Railkar and Soni will also unravel the history of the eighth-century rock-cut Mandapeshwar Caves located around Mount Poinsur. Soni, who documents his interest in heritage on @my_weekend_odysseys on Instagram, tells us that Borivali is a congregation of many villages, namely Eksar, Poisar, Vazira, Shimpoli, Mandapeshwar, Dattapada, Kanheri, Tulsi, Magathane and Gorai. The walk will cover some of these villages, and even include a visit to the Chowgule family that has been residing in the suburb for 33 generations. Naval battle depictions on the hero stone Railkar, founder of @passportandpizza, an event page on heritage and food walks, keeps her pulse on various guided tours in the city. She shares, “Every person has their own set of interests. I work with them to develop the itinerary for the tours so that participants get a deeper understanding of our city.” The two leave us with a ‘did-you-know fact’: It is believed that the name Borivali comes from the word berries, and the fact that there were many berry bushes in this historical suburb. Shruti Railkar and Paresh Soni On: August 21; 8.30 am to 10.30 amMeeting Point: Devidas Road, LIC Colony, Borivali WestLog on to: @passportandpizza to registerCost: Rs 499

18 August,2022 10:47 AM IST | Mumbai | Tanishka D’Lyma
Jake and The Juke Box

Indulge in these activities in Mumbai this weekend

ThursdayLet’s rock and roll Groove to a rock music playlist by Jake and The Juke Box while dipping into a delicious menu of dim sums or Madurai mutton ghee roast and a curated cocktail menu.  Time: 12 pm onwardsAt: Someplace Else, Jio World Drive, BKC Complex, Bandra EastLog on to: @someplaceelse.mumbaiCall: 7045245183 FridayWatch a poetic play This performance of Raindrops on My Window captures the connection between the mundane and transcendent events of life. Time: 7.30 pmAt: St Andrew’s Centre for Philosophy and Performing Arts, St Dominic Road, Bandra WestLog on to: in.bookmyshow.com Cost: Rs 350 Soul full cinema A moment from Dhuin If you’re in the mood for something cinematic, do not miss this screening of Achal Mishra’s acclaimed indie film, Dhuin. Time: 7.30 pmAt: Harkat Studios, Bungalow 17, JP Road, Andheri WestLog on to: @harkat.studiosCost: Rs 250 SaturdayFind your centre Pic Courtesy/@ionayoga1 Start your weekend on a peaceful note with a session of yoga with Iona Dudley-Ward and Raahul Choudhary at the turntable. Time: 10.30 amAt: Olive Bar and Kitchen, Nargis Dutt Road, Khar WestCost: Rs 3,000 (inclusive of gift bags) Take the rare route Ekaa’s new tasting menu has chef Niyati Rao plating some rare dishes such as axone and Myrobalan plum to tickle your taste buds. At: Kitab Mahal, Azad Maidan, FortCall: 9987657989 Cost: Rs 3,799 onwards Party with your pup Try this canine meet up with your pup to experience exciting activities, great food and forge new friendships. Time: 4 pmAt: Vikhroli Social, Eastern Express Highway, Imagine Studio, VikhroliLog on to: petfed.orgCost: Rs 399 SundayClimb to the top If you are tired of the city traffic, then you might as well head out of town for a day-long trek to the 16th century Harihar fort located in the Nashik district. Be prepared for a long day in the midst of mountains. Breathe in the rarefied air 1,120 metre above sea level as you soak in the views of the Sahyadri. It might just be the dose of medicine to destress your mind.  Time: 7 amMeeting point: Dadar railway stationLog on to: allevents.inCall: 7718980081Cost: Rs 1,100 (registered members) Rs 1,200 (new members) Laugh it out Sorabh Pant is taking over Navi Mumbai for the Worst Show Ever. Strap in for a hilarious evening filled with tales from the best, worst and weirdest shows in the comedian’s stand-up journey.  Time: 5 pm onwardsAt: Hard Rock Cafe, Sector 28, Seawoods Station Road, Nerul EastLog on to: @hrcnavimumbai for more details

18 August,2022 10:46 AM IST | Mumbai | Shriram Iyengar
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Want to be innovative with your coffee? Try this recipe

When people ask how I take my coffee, I annoyingly respond, “Seriously.” But when I want whim, fancy and rich flavours in this already perfect beverage, I add date purée, almond butter and cinnamon to hot milk before pouring it into the coffee. Check this link below for a recipe, but I suggest swapping orange peel and pepper for nutmeg. Coffee preference: Maverick & Farmer or Lavazza. Log on to: rainbowplantlife.com for the recipe

18 August,2022 10:46 AM IST | Mumbai | The Guide Team
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Unwind by attending this activities in Mumbai

Embrace the sky If the stress of the week has talked you out of the idea of stepping out, re-energise yourself with this online workshop. Learn to control your breath and understand its role to channelise energy through your body with some simple and easy exercises.On: August 19; 6.30 am to 7.45 amLog on to: allevents.inEmail: vanitha.samala@gmail.com Practise penmanship Fascinated by the art of calligraphy ? This online workshop offers you a chance to develop your penmanship with the bonus of a DIY kit. It comes with the required materials, including Achyut Palav’s calligraphy book, a pen and a practise book to get you started on your escape from the digital world. On: Video on demandLog on to: bookaworkshop.inCost: Rs 950

18 August,2022 10:46 AM IST | Mumbai | The Guide Team
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Looking to have fun this weekend? Attend this painting party with your partner

Move fluidly A date idea that is fun and de-stressing, this soiree might be a good weekend outing with your partner. Head to this Versova haunt for an evening of painting. Get messy with the colours to re-ignite the joy and passion.On: August 20; 4 pm to 7 pm At: Versova Social,  Andheri WestLog on to: insider.inCost: Rs 1,900

18 August,2022 10:44 AM IST | Mumbai | The Guide Team
Performing artistes Sasha Shetty

Witness The Elemental Playground dance and arts festival this weekend

Can movement be restricted to dance? Andheri-based movement artiste Kunaal Sangtani believes not. A theatre-maker employs movement while performing, as does a painter while creating on a canvas. Similarly, running or walking embody movement. It is this free-spirited outlook towards the art form that will shape the debut on-ground edition of The Elemental Playground, a unique dance and arts festival that Sangtani’s platform, The Movement Hub, is hosting at a Lower Parel venue this weekend. Neeraj Lohani Founded in June 2020, The Movement Hub creates an inclusive space for dancers and movement artistes from all genres, and also conducts classes in Chembur and Santacruz. Five editions of The Elemental Playground have already brought dancers together online; in its sixth iteration, the festival will take the form of a metaphorical playground where dance meets music, poetry, rap and cross-reality (AR/VR/MR), among other disciplines. The idea, Sangtani shares, is to explore and interpret dance and movement vis-a-vis other art forms. Shivanshu Soni The day-long festival will kick off with a workshop led by Leonel Sequeira that will get participants into the groove. At the next event, Elemental X Change, art, music, poetry, rap and dance will fuse to create an interdisciplinary dialogue. “There will be a musician who will be playing throughout, and there will be three rounds of poetry and three rounds of movement. This blend of movement, music and poetry will act as a stimulus for a painter who will create a painting on the spot. It will be like an open jam; so, viewers who are feeling the vibe can also join in,” he elaborates. Mukta Nagpal and Ashish Rao Sangtani will take the stage next for a live choreography session wherein the audience will quite literally dance to his tunes. The artiste will assign movement and positions to some colours and shapes. “Every participant’s entry band will have these colours and shapes that will help to create different formations. I will compose the way they move into formations. The participants will get to interact with each other, and not just the friends they come with,” he points out. Kunaal Sangtani Next up, The Platform will witness performances by artistes Sasha Shetty (Russian classical ballet), Neeraj Lohani (contemporary), Sangtani (movement artiste), Mukta Nagpal and Ashish Rao (contemporary), and Shivanshu Soni (Kathak fusion with street). It will be followed by a fun afterparty, he reveals. And for those of you wondering whether it’s all dance and no play, there will also be a day-long flea market of small businesses, where you can pick up clothing, food, accessories, art and more. One of the coolest elements of the festival is a virtual reality (VR) and technology space called Omniverse — a future-generation art museum directed by ShifuAsh that fuses dance art with different media, including architecture, photography, video production, cross-reality, music, audio engineering, narrative writing, and more. “You will see dance exhibits come to life, for instance moving installations and holograms. They have also created a VR experience around dance,” Sangtani reveals. On: August 21; 12 pm onwardsAt: AntiSocial, Mathuradas Mill Compound, Lower Parel.Log on to: insider.inCost: Rs 999 onwards

18 August,2022 10:44 AM IST | Mumbai | Sukanya Datta
Girish Karnad and Ashish Tripathi. Pic Courtesy/Instagram

Matters of the mind: Attend these probing plays this weekend in the city

This writer reckons psychological dramas centred on themes like mental health, sexuality, dysfunctional relationships and coming-of-age struggles accentuate the phenomenon of character bonding. The reason varies: it could either be relatability; the urge to witness symbolic articulation of one’s lived experiences or the wish to fix subliminal feelings in fiction. Theatre group The Trance is set to present Ekant, a performance that will bring together Girish Karnad’s Bikhre Bimb and Ashish Pathak’s Red Frock. Director Barun Sinha shares, “Matters of the mind can never lose their relevance. They will always stand the test of time. We decided on these two pieces based on their individual contexts of, and approaches to the human psyche.” LJ Mehta and Amit Tripathi Bikhre Bimb is a one-performer and one-act performance that charts out protagonist Manjula Nayak’s internal journey alongside her external accomplishments. Nayak is an unpopular author who writes in her first language, Kannada. Suddenly, she finds herself at the centre of fame and prosperity after publishing a novel in English. It turns out to be a bestseller. The achievement should delight her, but instead, it leaves her conflicted. Nayak feels she has betrayed her roots, mother tongue and people for global recognition. Stressing on similar motifs of self-worth and growth, Pathak’s story looks into a child, born to a dishonest government official. Sinha adds, “We have adhered to the original texts except for the introduction of stylistic features. For instance, in Bikhre Bimb, we use a television set to effect the difference between the real and the imagined. The audience will be introduced to such interesting features.” Sinha reasons that the staging was realised with the help of dedicated actors who are constantly trying to ideate and improvise. The 38-year-old is fascinated by the city’s environment for theatre as much as he is amused by the sub-genre of psychological dramas. “Earlier, we had planned to go ahead with readings of these two stories but then, their dramatics led us to the stage.” Barun Sinha Ekant shines a light on actors LJ Mehta and Amit Tripathi. Mehta, who will singularly act in Karnad’s story, says, “The play is an exploration of the subtleties and struggles of the mind that are closely linked to each of our lives. Nayak’s character is extremely complex.” Mehta feels she was drawn into the text of the play gradually. Tripathi, on the other hand, mentions the opportunity the play presented to him. “It rarely happens that a person’s entire journey can be expressed through psychological mapping. That’s what the piece entices a reader with. It gave me a chance to peek into my own mind and the minds of people I have closely known.” On: August 20; 7 pmAt: Veda Factory - Art Studio, Versova, Andheri WestLog on to: insider.inCost: Rs 150

17 August,2022 03:46 PM IST | Mumbai | Sammohinee Ghosh
Sandhya Chari

Sandhya Chari's 'Someone Special' takes on Punjabi genre with style

In India, where languages and accents change every 100 kms, each vernacular has its own distinct rhythm that carries the influences of its past and culture. Keeping this in mind, Sandhya Chari’s new single, Someone special is a romantic ballad seeped with Punjabi influences that the singer delivers well. The song has an easy-on-the-ear style that focuses on harmony and rhythm rather than heavy percussion. Perhaps the genre of the song also plays into this aspect. While the composition is an easy listen, Chari’s voice sticks to the stereotype of the heavily-accented Punjabi-English songs that dominate the airwaves these days. In that, it is a let-down. But if you are looking for something that stands out from the male-dominated Punjabi music genre, this  might suit your taste. It has all the verve and pizzazz of Punjabi pop without the toxicity. It is particularly impressive if you consider that the singer is an American-Tamil singing Punjabi lyrics. Chari had her breakthrough as a singer after winning a musical contest for AR Rahman’s film, 99 Songs, in 2021. This year has seen the singer come into her own with two singles, My roots and Special someone. It marks another experiment with her Indian roots, this time moving up north. The singer has tried this before with My roots that tapped into her Tamil heritage. This song feels more natural to the singer’s timbre, with lyrics that focus on the emotions of an American desi. The song flows from Tamil to Hindi and English with staccato style. The composition, mixed by MS Jones Rupert, was also composed in the Revathi raga, that is catchy to say the least. While this writer’s playlists tend to be filled by classic rock stereotypes, every once in a while, music like this can make us shift perspective. These singles are a good marker laid down by someone who is still making her way. Log on to: Sandhya Chari on Spotify or YouTube

17 August,2022 10:29 AM IST | Mumbai | Shriram Iyengar
Aman Jotwani and Reuben Kaduskar

Get hooked: A curated comedy show in Bandra will make up for your weekend plans

If you are looking to escape the dreariness of a rainy week, head to Bandra for laughs. The music hub of Adagio will be hosting its first curated weekend comedy session, Off The Hook, this Sunday. Viraj P, the curator, tells us, “It will feature six comics. Each will perform a 20-minute set rounding up for two hours of entertainment.” The line-up includes names such as Reuben Kaduskar, Praveen Pandya, Bhavish Ailani, Aman Jotwani, Nathan Gomes and Akshay Dhanak. While the venue is known for its musical nights, Viraj hints that this might just be the beginning of a new trend for its patrons. “The entry is free for members, and we are open to hosting more comedy nights.” It looks like laughter is coming back to Chapel Road. On: August 21; 5 pm onwardsAt: Adagio, Rukhsana Manor, 237 B, Chapel Road, Ranwar, Bandra WestLog on to: insider.inCost: Rs 150

17 August,2022 10:27 AM IST | Mumbai | Shriram Iyengar
Jael Silliman

1-Minute read: Community living in Kolkata

TITLE: Jewish Portraits, Indian FramesAUTHOR: Jael SillimanGENRE: Jewish StudiesPublisher: Seagull BooksCost: Rs 699 For a Mumbaikar, the Jewish community remains one of the many minorities who have shared a long and rich bond with the city. From Sir David Sassoon, the visionary philanthropist, to Nadira, the Hindi film actor, and Nissim Ezekiel, the literary icon, Jews have left their imprint. Both the Bene Israelis and Baghdadi Jews have remained integral to the city’s cosmopolitan fabric. Just like Mumbai, the Jewish community left a rich legacy in Kolkata, too. Anybody who has lived there or spent a fair amount of time in the city, will notice the indelible imprint of the Jews across both the cities’ multi-pronged histories. Author Jael Silliman, a Baghdadi Jew whose ancestors played a key role in their contribution towards building Kolkata, takes the reader on a chronicle shaped from her own family accounts and experiences, about the insightful social and cultural history of the Baghdadi Jewish women. She draws from anecdotes and episodic references of how these empowered women adapted and assimilated with the rest of the city’s diaspora, including other minorities like the Chinese, Zoroastrians and Anglo Indians. Her personalised reminisces add a special touch to this book that also traces the trajectory of a Jewish presence in the city, over the decades. While few remain in the city, their stamp cannot be missed across the stunning synagogues — each with a unique repository of its own — that act as telling reminders of a community’s deep connection with a city. This book, back in print with a new preface, is bound to offer a wonderful timeline to any reader keen to know more about the Jews of Kolkata. 

17 August,2022 09:19 AM IST | Mumbai | Fiona Fernandez
Ekjute - Nadira Babbar and Anup Soni

Freedom at play

As Mumbai went all out to usher in India’s 75th Independence Day, how could Prithvi Theatre — considered one of the city’s cultural hubs — be left behind? The iconic Juhu-based theatre space hosted Aazadi Ki Aawazein, a first of its kind initiative that saw the veteran theatre-makers and artistes of the city’s cultural circuit descend on the same stage. With freedom and nationalism at its heart, the show on Monday featured impassioned speeches, theatre pieces and music from 1947, in different languages. While Naseeruddin Shah delivered a speech centred around Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi, Ratna Pathak Shah spoke about Sarojini Naidu. Director and actor Makarand Deshpande put together an act that captured the essence of Bal Gangadhar Tilak, while Pratik Gandhi gave a speech on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Purva Naresh’s Aarambh Theatre performed an extract from one of their plays, and Ajitesh Gupta performed a qawwali medley. The evening came to an end with Niladri Kumar’s sitar rendition of the National Anthem. Other performers who took the stage included Nadira Zaheer Babbar, Pratibha Singh Baghel, Sayani Gupta, Satyajit Talwalkar, Gino Banks, IPTA, Mumbai, and Agnelo Fernandes. Here are a few glimpses from the performances.  Niladri Kumar - National Anthem Aranya Aarambh Naseeruddin Shah Makrand Deshpande

16 August,2022 08:54 PM IST | Mumbai | Sukanya Datta
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