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Monday, February 14, 2011

Offbeat Valentine's Day Plans

Howdy Mumbo Jojos,

It’s that time of the year again and panic is in the air. The candy, flowers and candle-lit dinner bit is too clichéd and if you give your girlfriend another pink teddy, she’ll probably throw it at your head. So you’re thinking, “How can I make Valentine’s Day quirky this year?” Well, we’ll tell you how!

If you’re a couple

1)       Make a video- So we’ve all done the scrap book, the frame and bought those do-it-yourself kits which turned out to be SUCH a disaster! This time keep it simple and keep it real. Make a video, recount your story and tell them how you feel or maybe do your own rendition of their favourite song. Make sure to dress up in all your finery!

2)     Take up an adventurous activity together- Always dreamt of going river rafting but haven’t had the time? Wanted to paraglide but were too chicken? Go away for the weekend and do it together! Helps beat the fear and will give you a fantastic experience as a couple.

3)     Give up something your partner always nags you for- Nobody’s perfect. There’s got to be a habit of yours that your partner detests. All you have to do is buy some fancy paper from your local gift store, write a letter promising to give it up, tie it up with a nice ribbon and you’re done. Of course, the hard part is ACTUALLY giving it up!

4)     Relive your first date- Whether it was at the tea-stall opposite college or at a fancy restaurant, everyone remembers their first date vividly. And nothing can be more romantic than recreating the magic. It shows that you value the little things and are still as much in love as you were then.

5)     Stay in bed all day and watch your favourite movies back to back-Just turn off your cell phones, order in, cuddle up and ‘veg’ out in front of the TV.

If you’re single

Valentine’s Day is the day of Love and we believe in the ‘Love thyself’ philosophy. So if you’re young, alive and fabulous albeit single, that’s reason enough to celebrate!

1)       Arrange a speed dating session at home- Invite your single friends and ask each one to get another single friend along.Set up a few pairs of chairs facing each other. The girls will remain seated and the guys will keep moving over to the next chair every three minutes signalled by the buzzer. If cupid strikes, they exchange phone numbers. If not, the guy simply slides into the next seat.

2)     Have a hate bonfire- Still trying to get over that nasty break-up? Start fuming at the mere sight of things they left behind? Gather them, call your friends over and have a collective hate bonfire of your ex’s things a la Friends! It’s considered to be purgatory and is the perfect release for all that pent up emotion. Just be sure to do it outdoors! Combine it with a sleepover with gal pals watching romcoms all night (stock up on candy, popcorn and tissues-you’ll need them!) or call your buddies over to watch football and drown your sorrows in beer.

3)     Make it a horror movie night- Bored stiff of the same old sappy movies on TV that day? Try something different. Rent a few horror classics, call some friends, lock all doors and windows and when you’re sure that it’s safe, press the play button! Warning-Not for the faint hearted!  

4)     Go out with family- Valentine’s Day is all about showing your love and appreciation for people who matter. None better than family, right? Take them to dinner, ask them about their day and I guarantee, they’ll treasure it more than anyone else.

So until next time, remember to QUIRK UP!

-Master Blincca

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Meet the Black horse and the Cherry tree

Namaste dear Mumbo Jojos!

It is the time of the year when the quirk levels of the city go way up! It’s time to don your artsy hat… it’s time for ‘The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival’! Started in 1999, the festival goes on for nine days every year ( 5-13 February this year).

Ambey-se darr
An installation showing the past and the present means of transport

The entrance to Rampart Row(an interactive installation)

 The Festival is organized by the Kala Ghoda Association (a non-profit organization). The events comprise of installations or visual arts, dance and music performances, theatre, cinema, literature, seminars and workshops, heritage walks, special events for children and stalls selling thousands of products ranging from paintings to chocolates.

I'll poke you

I visited the place on a Sunday and God, it was crowded! The entire city seemed to have gathered to witness little bursts of art from every possible corner of the Kala Ghoda precinct; be it tree trunks pavements or a makeshift stage. The installations this year included scrap metal sculptures by Ilyas Ahmed, ‘I’ll poke you’ by Meghna Loke, ‘post boxes’ by Vivek Sonawane, a satirical installation called ‘Ambey se Darr’ by Hetal Shukla and many more. The entrance of the festival area (Rampart Row) was marked by an interactive archway installation by Puneet Bhatnagar called Mumbai for creativity where any could put up a painting or anything made by themselves. Another 3D multimedia exhibit by Samar Jodha throws light on the Bhopal gas tragedy. It is a walk through metal container with 3D photographs accompanied by sounds of crickets, gas leak and finally choking. Other than the installations there are workshops, dance performances, music gigs every day. And they are all free to attend! Do make it a point to visit the stalls. Though a bit heavy on the pocket; we guarantee you truly unique finds.

Scrap metal installation by Ilyas Ahmed

It was really heart-warming to find people belonging to different age and economic groups all come together and celebrate art and the city.

So go ahead get a shot of QUIRK at the Kala Ghoda Arts festival!

Till next time QUIRK it up!

-Master Dhoro Zoro

Monday, February 7, 2011

Rock n Roll Heaven

Howdy Mumbo Jojos,

Calling what we have for you today as quirky hurts me, because as a rock and metal music lover, it’s sad that we don’t have more of such places around.

The independent music scene in India has no real platform to speak of. The bands might cut albums and gather some loyal followers but live gigs are what help them add to their fan base and be heard.  Thankfully, there are some passionate souls who have taken it upon themselves to provide a platform to this budding underground movement. Presenting B69 by Bajaao.

So today’s quirk of the day is: discover the finest bands in the city at the haven for underground rock and metal music \m/

B69 is an air-conditioned music concert hall with world-class sound equipment from USA, Germany and Japan. It is a 1500 sq foot space with a 20 ft by 6 ft by 3 ft stage where bands can play at 150 decibels (as loud as an outdoor concert!) It has equipment from Peavey, endorsed by the likes of Slipknot, Dragonforce and Machine Head.

What’s cool about B69 is that it is an indoor venue but its PA will make you feel like you’re at Rock in Rio.  They’re keen on promoting upcoming or hidden talent and so they have a motley crew of the veterans and the newbies performing. Metal, rock, alternative, funk; it’s all here. It's easy on the pocket with an entry fee between Rs. 150 and Rs. 500(cover charge) and if you want a chance to play, all you have to do is send them a demo.

Ace bands that have graced the B69 stage are Demonic Resurrection, Scribe, Bhayanak Maut, Zygnema, Sceptre and Exhumation with watch-out-fors Reverrse Polarity, BLAKC, Summer Pitt Junkie and more.

Hindi Rock also features on their itinerary with bands like Prayag and Radio having performed here. In fact, Kailash Kher, Manasi Scott and Raghav Sachar are some of the commercial names associated with this venue.

Their upcoming event is IIT Rorkee’s Rock Fest’s West Zone prelims on Feb. 12, 2011. Knowing the rock talent at IIT, I’m sure it’ll be a total smasher!

On a personal note, I’m so grateful to these guys for giving these musicians a voice. Unfortunately in our country, Bollywood rules the roost but it’s because of places like these that we retain an eclectic flavour and appreciate the diversity of musical talent in India.

Well guys, as I end this QUINK, I just want to say that music is the food of the go snack on some rock and metal at B69 :D

For more information, check out:

Until next time...remember to QUIRK UP!
Peace out\m/,
-Master Blincaa

B69 (By Bajaao): Bhaidas Bhuta Compound, Mogra Lane, Off Old Nagardas Road, Andheri (East), Near Shiv Sagar Restaurant, Mumbai

Saturday, February 5, 2011

When art and luxury collide

Howdy Mumbo Jojos,

What do you get when you combine philosophy, art, luxury and hospitality? The most unique hotel in India, that’s what! And it’s not just us who are saying that. The people behind IHEA (Indian Hospitality Excellence Awards) think so too. Presenting Le Sutra, the world’s first Indian Art Hotel. And it’s in OUR city!

Le Sutra is a 16-room boutique hotel in Bandra where each room, wall and art installation depicts an aspect of the Indian philosophy and ethos. Sutra means thread in Sanskrit signifying that which binds everything together.

The three levels of the Hotel represent the Gunas which sum up the world view in Indian philosophy namely Tamas, Rajas and Sattva. These are the attributes which make up a man; his thoughts and emotions. The rooms are an extension of the Gunas and represent their various faces. Each room is either based on a character or a philosophy.

Tamas  is related to excessiveness and represents that part which craves indulgence and gratification. The rooms on this floor are thus extravagant and colourful. On the Tamas floor you’ll find  Ravana (the Ramayana villan), Maya(Illusion) and Vaasna(Sensuality).


Rajas is the desire to acquire something that one does not have and hence leads to activity. Thus the rooms are stylish and vibrant. Rajas has Dyuutya (Gambling), Kathak(Story Teller, also the art form), Sringar(Adornment) and Karna (in many ways, the hero of Mahabharata).


Sattva means balance, order or purity and represents that part of the being which is calm and controlled and seeks higher level of attainment. Thus the rooms are minimalistic and aesthetic. It’s rooms are Prakriti (Nature), Shuddhi (Purification), Nirvan (Nirvana) and Mandal (Shree Yantra).


The decor of each room is kept true to its name with Ravana  having a chair complete with horns and a sceptre whereas Vaasna  has miniature Khajurao  paintings and a Yoni lamp. Kathak  has a Sarangi  chair and art installations of ‘The Dancing feet’, ‘Peti’ and ‘Dholak’ and Nirvana has a chair inspired by the Sanchi Stupa  and Khadau, a symbol of control.



The Hotel boasts of a gallery Gallery leSutra which hosts art exhibitions, book readings, supper theatre and elite events regularly and also has a day spa called Angdai. What’s more is that it has Out of the Blue and Olive Bar and Kitchen for dining options!

It's been designed by 18-25 designers, artists, philosophers, curators and visualizers in the country and is a perfect representation of Indian art and philosophy in a contemporary form.

A room here would cost you around Rs.12, 000 a night. I know it’s a little steep but there is no price to pay for luxury, is there? :D

Personally, I am SO tempted to just take a vacation and spend a weekend in Le Sutra! Aaah...I’m in dream land already!

So until next time, remember to QUIRK UP!

For more information, check out:

-Master Blincca

Friday, February 4, 2011

not for Lepidopterophobics

Hullo there all our Quirkers!

Sun rays streaming down through foliage of trees, flowers purple yellow and of all the colours of the rainbow and BUTTERFLIES…a lotta them, fluttering away to glory! This image seems impossible to find amidst the concrete maze of Mumbay doesn’t it? Well QUIRK AND THE CITY to the rescue!

All you nature lovers who have lost all hope or even those tired souls who are desperately trying to find the colours of nature in a mess of cold steel and glass…we have a butterfly park for you! Yes, close to Mumbay!

The Ovalekar Wadi Butterfly garden is located on the Ghodbunder Road in Thane near Suraj Water Park. An initiative of Rajendra Ovalekar, who got encouraged after attending a program by Bombay Natural History Society, he converted his two acres of agricultural land into a butterfly garden. Assisting him was India’s foremost butterfly expert, Isaac Kehimkar.

The butterflies here are not bred under artificial conditions.He started with cultivating plants that would provide food and a breeding ground for butterflies, hence making them stay. The nearby Yeoor hills add to the butterfly reserve of the park. 

It is best for first timers to take a guided tour by Ovalekar. 

You first get a gist of the lifecycle of butterflies and then start spotting them!

Photographers..get those cameras out! It is best to come early in the morning as butterflies become increasingly active as the day warms up.

The garden has more than 70 species of butterflies and is also visited by migrant butterflies sometimes, so you might be in for some surprises!

Some of the easily spotted species-

Common Sailor
Common Jezebel
Great Eggfly
Blue Oak Leaf
Common Rose
Great Orange Tip
Peacock Pansy

Breakfast with Butterflies conducted by BNHS(Ovalekar's earlier employers)
With Ovalekar’s help, one can understand the camouflaging and mimicry the butterflies undertake to ward of predators.

The park is open from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sundays, the park charges an entry fee of Rs 50 per head. For large groups, Ovalekar can arrange for simple breakfast at Rs 25 per head, with adequate advance notice. 

I really had to fight the urge to run behind these colourful beauties…so go ahead and plan a day of fresh air and some little flight fantasies!

Until the next QUINK… quirk it up! 

Ovalekar Wadi Butterfly Garden, Ghodbunder Road, Thane(W); Call +91 98 2077 9729, +91 98 6925 6054. 
Also check 

-Master Dhoro Zoro.
p.s. Lepidopterophobia is fear of butterflies :D

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Flaming-oh !!

Bird lovers rejoice !! This one’s for you. 

Sewri bay, a relatively unknown, and rather unattractive, area of Mumbai is home to the very attractive flamingoes during October to March every year. Whether you’re a bird lover or not, this place is definitely one of the prettiest sights you would ever see in Mumbai.

The best time to arrive here is early in the morning between high tide and low tide and just before sunrise, which, by the way, is also a must-see while you’re here. You might have to be a little patient for the flamingoes to arrive. But when they do, the beautiful pink (some are even blackish-brown) flamingoes make for an arresting sight. However, what is not pretty is to see these birds feeding in the water that is littered with plastic bottles and all kinds of garbage. Appearing alongside the murky brown mudflats, the flamingoes momentarily make the dirty bay look wonderfully spectacular.

You not only get to see the flamingoes here, if you’re lucky, you might even spot Kingfishers, Seagulls and Parakeets. If you’re a genuine bird-lover, this would be enough reason for you to jump out of bed and head to Sewri the very next morning. Even though these pretty birds of a feather flock together, it would be a good idea to carry your binoculars because they might be a little further away.

If you wish to go Flamingo Spotting, you can take the harbour line train to Sewri and then take a taxi to this mudflat near the Colgate factory. If you’re worried about how to get there, fret not. The BNHS (Bombay Natural History Society) organizes flamingo spotting tours regularly and you can get in touch with them. They have a flamingo watch lined up on February 6, 2011.

Get ready folks with our binoculars in hand and let’s go Flamingo Watching.

Until next time, Quirk up. 

- Master Gayu Panda

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

BUS kya?

Howdy Mumbo Jojos,

We thought it’s time to have some REAL fun! It involves you, your friends and a BEST bus. Confused? Don’t be.  Surely you’ve heard of the phrase ‘partying Mumbaiya ishtyle’ :D

Bus? Party? Am I reading right, you say? Yes, because today’s quirk of the day is: party atop a bus!

Did you know that the Brinhanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (yes, that’s the full form of BEST, guys...don’t gasp) rents out open decker buses by the kilometre? It’s pretty cool if you ask me and no, it’s not just for kiddie birthday parties, you cynical been-there-heard-it-but-didn’t-try-it ers.

Just imagine calling your friends and telling them that you’re giving a party on a BEST bus! They might think that you’re either totally mental or totally bored. But they’ll DEFINITELY think you’re cool and quirky! Positives :D

Still not convinced? I saw that coming! So, here’s a list of pros

1)       You can eat, drink and make merry while enjoying the sights of the city which let’s face it, we hardly do. I suggest the Marine Drive stretch all the way to NCPA.

2)     Picture this: You’re air guitaring to Slash with the wind in your hair and the Arabian Sea in the background. Legendary!

3)     It’s something to tell your grandkids about. “Kids, I remember that time when I partied till I dropped atop a BEST bus”... sounds cool, doesn’t it? They’ll think so too.

4)     It’ll be unlike any party you’ve ever had.

Well, all I’m saying is that maybe the bus driver will frown upon all the merry-making ( but pleas of “Sorry Kaka” will take care of that :D) and the traffic might play devil (book it on a weekend and off peak hours), it’ll be an experience WORTH having, even if it’s bad (refer point no. 3)

An open decker bus on any day of the week or even a holiday will cost you Rs. 75 per km with a minimum charge of Rs. 3000.  The bus seats 79 people. You can hire per hour, half day or full day for a one-way or return journey. The day begins at 00.00 hrs and ends at 24.00 hrs. You can also hire a single-decker, a double-decker or an AC bus.

That’s all for this QUINK folks...I hope I’ll see many more of you floating by, yelling and screaming from atop BEST buses :D

Until next time, remember to QUIRK up!

For more information, check out:

-Master Blincca

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

DIY Kitsch

Hullo my lovely Quirkers!

The masters thought “enough of going out to search for quirk…lets help our Mumbo Jojos make their own QUIRK!”

So we have our QUINK of the day dedicated to ‘Do it yourself’ Quirk!

1.         Get a printout of a poster of any classic film of your choice. Either just frame it and put it up in your room or dip it in a tub with tea/water mix. Let it dry in the sun or try microwaving. The result …a yellowed vintage poster!

2.         Take pictures of the landmarks of the city or even everyday objects like cycles or kettles. Photoshop them by changing colour levels, replacing colours to give them a pop art feel or make them look like LOMOGRAPHIC pictures.

3.         Well, if you are really bored to make your own stuff we have help! Ever wondered what to do with the plain old pair of canvas shoes which you are sick of wearing? Ever thought you could come up with great one liners but don’t know how to put them on tees?

Quirk and the City is proud to present ‘Joota Japani’ for all your creative handicaps!

Run by Dhara Vora, ‘Joota Japani’ specializes in customizing your shoes, bags, tees or anything else that can be painted.  Vora  handpaints everything and it is washable!

“I used to paint random stuff on my shoes and tees…people started liking it and that’s how it all started. Most of the orders I get are for gifting purposes. Everyone likes getting personalized stuff like tees with a line you say a lot or your favourite cartoon on it…looks like you have put in some thought before gifting! Also everyone wears Allstars so if your pair has a dash of colour on it you stand out,” says Vora.

So, the next time you wonder what would put a smile on your friend’s face on his/her birthday or you feel Pink Floyd pillow covers would totally kitsch up your room, you know whom to contact! Check out Joota Japani's Facebook page

This is just the first installment…we’ll have more of such make your own quirk pieces QUINKS for you.

Till then QUIRK up!
 -Master Dhoro Zoro and Master Gayu Panda

Saturday, January 29, 2011

License to kill…errr..COOK

HULLO Mumbo Jojos!
The QUIRK masters had a meeting and decided to take the quirking a level up. We spoke about art, culture, beauty holidaying but not food. So here we serve you a platter of QUINK!

Would you fancy eating something that the Emperor of Japan has been officially forbidden not to for safety reasons? Would you like a plate of something that is 1200 times more poisonous than cyanide? Would you enjoy eating something that MIGHT paralyze your muscles leading to death by asphyxiation?

After all the ‘would yous’ if you're still interested in trying it …we have ‘FUGU’ for you!

Fugu or the blow fish is a Japanese delicacy. The fish gulps a lot of water, swelling up to a spiky balloon making it impossible to be swallowed by predators. However, the danger we are talking about is tetrodotoxin. One Fugu contains enough of this toxin to kill 30 people. Therefore, it has to be carefully prepared to remove toxic parts and to avoid contaminating the meat. Only chefs who have acquired a license after rigorous training are allowed to cook it. A Fugu chef has to sample the dish himself before serving it. The deaths that have been known to occur are due to illegal fishing and cooking of the fish.

Records reveal that 6.8 % deaths have occurred due to consumption in restaurants. In the last 10 years, 321 people have fallen ill and 26 people have died in Japan alone. The sale of this fish is forbidden in the European Union.

In Mumbay it is available at the oriental restaurant San Qi at the Four Seasons Hotel.

So go ahead and enjoy the taste of death!

Master Dhoro Zoro.

p.s. there is no antidote to this toxin ;)