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Silicon Valley trend of using drugs in mini doses daily is catching up in India

Over a phone call from Kolkata, Vikram Rajan*, an audio engineer and guitarist formerly based out of Mumbai, wants us to listen to a track that he has composed. It's available on Soundcloud and, as we stream it, we more or less agree that its flavour of electronica-jazz could accompany a languorous Sunday evening. For a long time, I had been unable to come up with something good. And, then, I composed this around March while I was microdosing and sometimes, megadosing on acid, says Rajan. The 33

20 May 2018 4:00 pm
Five environment-friendly options from where you can order food in Mumbai

Vikhroli resident Dr Suvajeet Duttagupta loves cooking his meals. But, the 31-year-old cinematographer admits that some days are long and tiring and the only option is to order in. Yet, this comes with its share of heartaches. The worst bit about ordering out is the amount of plastic that they use to package the food. While I make it a point to ask the restaurants not to send any plastic cutlery, there's only so much one can do. But, Duttagupta isn't the only Mumbaikar who wishes ordering in was

20 May 2018 3:10 pm
Weekly Planner: 12 Things to do around Mumbai from May 21-26

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20 May 2018 8:11 am
Listen to Chugtai and Parsai at Kitab Khana in Mumbai

KC Shankar, Shashwita Sharma and Vicky Ahuja It was in 2014, when several theatre and screen artistes came together in the hope of bringing the works of renowned, as well as lesser known, Hindustani writers to life. Three years on, that dream is taking shape one storytelling session at a time. Jashn-E-Qalam, a collective of storytellers, comprising actors KC Shankar, Shashwita Sharma, Vicky Ahuja and Madhurjeet Sarghi among others, will celebrate the brilliance of Hindustani literature with solo

20 May 2018 7:54 am
Taste the well-kept Genevan secret in Mumbai now

There is nothing like a blind tasting to make you realise how your senses need an overhaul. But when there is chocolate involved, then it's a worthwhile endeavour. Especially when the chocolate-maker that invites you is the 140-year old Du Rhone Chocolatier from Geneva, which is a Swiss handmade chocolate brand. After I tasted a few chocolates at the new Du Rhone Chocolatier store that opened this week at Peddar Road (our favourite was the Coline which is a dark ganache with 70 per cent cocoa be

20 May 2018 7:53 am
Documentary traces journey of Maharashtra man and his dream of being a chef

When the trailer of Shank’s hit the Internet two years ago, it garnered over 2,00,000 views in under a fortnight. And, why not? Until then we had not really seen stylised montages of modaks and varan bhaat being served in a fine-dining ambience. The trailer had us curious about Ashay Dileep Javadekar’s film, which looked like a documentary. Where is this Shank’s, the Marathi fine-dining place, we wondered. Two years on, with the release of the film online, we have the answers.

20 May 2018 7:48 am
Chef Lloyd Braganza and family give a tour of their Goa-inspired menu for Mumbai

Eat with your hands, please, Lloyd Braganza who runs one of Goa's most popular restaurants, tells us, rolling up the sleeves of his floral shirt, revealing a koi fish tattoo. We are at Copper Leaf, one of the best fish thali destinations at Porvorim, and for company we have chef and restauranteur Braganza, his wife Nerissa and their seven-year-old son Naethan. Llyod stops talking when the thali arrives. A mound of rice and a crispy fillet of matzo are skirted by coconut curry, clams masala, kism

20 May 2018 7:45 am
Dance like no one's watching at this free-form workout in Mumbai

At the heart of No Lights No Lycra (NLNL) is the belief that everyone can dance. This free-form workout in the dark was thought up by Australian dance students Alice Glenn and Heidi Barrett in 2009 in Melbourne as a means to truly let go and express oneself.Creative freelancer and the woman behind the Mumbai chapter, Yooti Bhansali, says, You can dance like nobody's watching, because nobody can see you and also, they're busy enjoying their new-found freedom. From a small room full of nutty dance

20 May 2018 7:41 am
Here's what to expect from journey to Kedarnath

A result of the 2013 floods, which wreaked havoc and killed thousands of people, is that the river Mandakini, which passes the temple area disappears after a stretch I happily strut on through the Gaurikund market where vendors pour hot chai and roll parathas for eager yatris freezing under their overalls. It is April 29, the first darshan of the season. I have set out at 4.45 am, dodging horses and men wearing pithoo baskets ready to carry pilgrims to the top. I am in the company of a rishi, wh

20 May 2018 7:27 am
Thrifting in style

Daribha Lyndem at her Powai home, which she has styled with curated second-hand furniture. Pics/Sameer Markande When Daribha Lyndem, 31, isn't busy contending with suspicious baggage at the Mumbai airport, she indulges in one of her passions, her home. As you step into her Powai apartment, in a quarters provided by the government, you are welcomed by her feline friends (Chomsky and Furnando), ample sunlight, Art Nouveau prints and the strong whiff of Mad Men. As Lyndem, deputy commissioner with

20 May 2018 7:23 am
Kareena Kapoor Khan reveals the main reason for her being a hot mom

Kareena Kapoor Khan. Pic/Rane Ashish Kareena Kapoor Khan has been looking — be in stills and videos from her new movie, Veere Di Wedding, which releases in June, or in behind-the-scenes-clips, or basically all her public appearances. The hip and sexy styling, the lustrous hair, the impeccable make-up, and the undeniable, and oh-so-Bebo swag, has helped us see the new mother in a new light, yet again. When we meet her at a suburban hotel, wearing an off-white pant suit, her hair pulled back

20 May 2018 7:21 am
Why artists and designers are revisiting stories behind old photographs

Photographer and graphic designer Anusha Yadav started the Indian Memory Project, an online, visual, narrative-based archive in 2010, to trace the history of the subcontinent via photographs and letters. Pic/Ashish Raje EarLier this week, artist and oral historian Aanchal Malhotra, 28, travelled nearly 240 km to Chandigarh from Delhi, to meet a nonagenarian, who had lived through the Partition of 1947. As she speaks about it now, there's a lump in her throat. I couldn't sleep that entire night,

20 May 2018 7:21 am
Game Review: State of Decay 2 focuses on the importance of community

When the first State of Decay came out, it was unique in the way that it focused on the survival aspect of a zombie apocalypse rather than the all-out destruction and gore of killing countless zombies. With the new game, the developers have focused their attention on the community aspect of survival. Right from the start, you get to choose two characters instead of one and each group and character has their own strengths, skills and background. Like the previous game, you can make your posse and

20 May 2018 7:18 am
Mumbai based slackliner teaches the sport to Syrian refugee children

Pics/Crossing lines On a fine April morning, when Mumbai-based slackliner Samar Farooqui drove into Settlement Number 63 in Chtaura, a town wedged between Beirut and Damascus, all he could see was a sea of white tents glistening in the sun. Under the plastic tarps lived thousands of displaced Syrians who had fled to the Bekaa Valley, the largest affected area and temporary home to over 3,00,000 Syrian refugees, when a brutal civil war broke out in 2011. Lugging the nylon webbings, carbiners and

20 May 2018 7:12 am
The new fathers of Apu from The Simpsons

Things have not been going well for The Simpsons. Aside from the fact that it became America's longest running scripted TV series last month, having clocked 636 episodes. Last November, Hari Kondabulu, in his documentary The Problem With Apu, drew the world's attention to what Apu really was — a problem. The characterisation of this immigrant convenience store owner who had a PhD and eight children was sharply criticised. Describing Hank Azaria's voice of Apu, Kondabulu said it resembled a

19 May 2018 7:51 am
This project aims to challenge the notion that women with tattoos are slu**y

Sanjukta Basu Delhi-based photographer Sanjukta Basu had an epiphany right before her 39th birthday. I was introspecting on the years gone by, and realised that although I had achieved much, I didn't think I had reached a 'destination'. It was as if I was lost at sea, and needed direction. But then I decided to embrace the fact that I go where the wind takes me. I was going to be 40, and this was me. I wasn't going to change. That's how my first tattoo took shape in my mind, says Basu, who once

19 May 2018 7:31 am
Gautam Benegal's satire series exhibition in Mumbai plans to spare no one

Pics/Gautam Benegal The setting of Gautam Benegal's A1 Chiken Sope cartoons is largely familiar to those who get their meat from the local market. The air is thick with down feathers, and dismembered bits of chicken scattered about, with butchers being none too fussy about our sensitive nerves. In Benegal's hands, however, this scene is turned into a humorous commentary of our contemporary socio-political scenario. A1 Chiken Sope series, where we meet a butcher named Salim Bhai and his rather ch

19 May 2018 7:24 am
Move over eggs Benedict and Caesar salad: Mumbai's own Bachchan makes an entry

The Big Bachchan Slider Bombay Bronx, Breach Candy The Bombay Bronx at Breach Candy is known for all things Mumbai. Apart from the community table inspired by the dabbawalas, a railway map and a huge painting of Amitabh Bachchan on the wall, the food too is an ode to the city and its people. Therefore, it's not surprising to see a chicken slider dedicated to Big B. Pic/Bipin Kokate The idea came to us when we were making a wall poster dedicated to him, says owner Nakuul Kumar. The grilled slider

13 May 2018 3:30 pm
Weekly Planner: 9 things to do around Mumbai from 14th May to 19th May

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13 May 2018 3:12 pm
Top six books of new Indian fiction for children

Cousins Ayush, Aryan and Arjun Asher enjoy some quiet book reading time with their friend Rudra Shukla at their Worli residence. Pic/Ashish Raje Author Arshia Sattar is no stranger to mythological retellings. Best known for her English translation of Valmiki's Ramayana, Sattar recently released a new children's collection titled Garuda and the Serpents (Juggernaut Books), which draws from the Puranas, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana to deliver stories that will evoke both wonder and delight. Fr

13 May 2018 10:16 am
Danny Denzongpa: I howled in the theatre when I first saw the film Kabuliwala

A still from Bioscopewala, featuring Danny Denzongpa in the lead When we dial up Danny Denzongpa's number on a Friday evening, we are greeted with a faint hello. The network is choppy, his voice drifts in and out. I am in a cool place, he says, referring to Sikkim, where the actor is at the moment. His film, Bioscopewala, based on Rabindranath Tagore's renowned story Kabuliwala, is prepping for release, but Denzongpa chooses to stay far from the hustle and bustle of promotion. I like it here, sa

13 May 2018 8:04 am
Mumbai: Dadar-Lower Parel-Worli set to position itself as a young art district

Gallery Art & Soul How often have we heard friends say, Let's grab a drink? and the next thing you know, you are headed to Lower Parel? That same enthusiasm, purposefulness, and the promise of an evening well-spent are what art spaces in and around that part of the city are gearing up for this year. Priyasri Art Gallery Starting June 29, art lovers can say hello to the Mumbai Midtown Arts Collective (MMAC). An initiative by Anupa Mehta and Rashmi Dhanwani, the MMAC will bring together seven

13 May 2018 7:57 am
Actors and bikers Satyadeep Misra and Kunal Kemmu on why riding makes them fly

Pic Courtesy/Sameer Malhotra Why am I biking so much? Maybe, because I work only as much as I need to, says actor Satyadeep Misra, who you will remember as Rosie's suitor Johnny from Bombay Velvet and TV series P.O.W. — Bandi Yuddh Ke, where he played a soldier. We are sitting at his Versova home talking about bikes over a glass of gin. Kemmu and Misra's social media is full of riding clicks, including those taken outside Café Monza in Kharghar, where they ride down on Sundays. Pics

13 May 2018 7:56 am
Talk by historian to revolve around 1800s theatre persona Vishnudas Bhave

Vishnudas Bhave. Pic/Premji Sosa The next time you book your tickets for a play, think of this name: Vishnudas Bhave. An important figure in the history of Indian theatre, Bhave is best known for his pioneering work in the mid-1800s. Born in Sangli, Bhave arrived in Mumbai in 1852, only to change the face of not just Marathi theatre, but the whole infrastructure surrounding the industry. He didn't invent theatre, but he certainly innovated it, says historian and researcher Murali Ranganathan. Bh

13 May 2018 7:50 am
Game Review: Yakuza 6 is a fitting end to mafiosi Kazuma Kiryu's dangerous journ

Yakuza 6 is the final chapter in the Kazuma Kiryu saga and the debut of a new engine for the game. For those who have never played Yakuza before, there is a handy back story that you can read through complete with choice visuals from the previous game. Even without the story mode, the game is self-sufficient and you won't feel like you are missing something. It plays out like a melodramatic Japanese movie — there are lots of cut-scenes and it will be a while before you go around breaking b

13 May 2018 7:45 am
New book offers account on wives, daughters and sisters of Mughal emperors

Tight jackets and tunics in diaphanous materials replaced the more pragmatic, flowing qabas, Jahangir did not marry anyone after Noor Jahan, Women wore jamas of fine muslin, so sought-after that they were named running water and night dew. Pics/Courtesy Aleph While we all remember the story of 16th century Timurid warrior and scholar Babur's arduous journey from Kabul to Punjab, from where he waged war on Delhi to become the first Emperor of the Mughal dynasty, little is known of the wives, sist

13 May 2018 7:42 am
Meet Mumbai's youngsters who fiddle with new obsession - drones

Two years ago, Jaidwaj Malhotra was running a Google search for a motor for his model airplane when he instead started reading about drones and how to build them. He was immediately taken in by the little object that could fly at 120 km per hour. Today, the 18-year-old is working for an organisation, helping them design surveillance drones for the Indian Army. Malhotra is part of a tight-knit community of young drone racers in the city that came into being around the time the Indian Drone Racing

13 May 2018 7:30 am
'Women forgo desire because they want to stay alive'

Richa Kaul Padte When I set out to write this book, I expected to find that Indian women were watching, making and enjoying porn. And indeed, I found that! What I didn't expect, though, was how comfortable and open they would be while talking about it, says Richa Kaul Padte of her debut non-fiction, Cyber Sexy (Penguin Random House). Through an intimate tour of online sex cultures — from camgirls to fanfiction writers, homemade videos to consent violations — the book investigates wha

13 May 2018 7:28 am