Thursday, December 8, 2011

"I am fulfilling" The Yoga House

Quinoa, tofu, wheatgrass, 10 grain breads, oatmeal, fresh juices, porridge, berries, nuts, paneer, sprouts, alfalafa & organic. One word- Powerfoods. I am always skeptical about such foods since I really love my meats and can't fathom most of the time eating out on purely vegetarian and really such healthy sounding food. 

My lovely friend Mark invited me to brunch at the Yoga House. He said its his new favourite place in Bandra. I arrived at this old house with a lovely verandah painted white with a row of tables and benches on either side with pillows. An old door that lead to an all blue azure room with a green chandelier. There were grey mattresses on the floor with orange pillows. Light streaming in from the windows. All the trimmings, doors, windows were white. It was a cheery space, relaxed the kinds you would imagine on a seaside in Greece but we were almost on the seaside in Bandra. Mark sat there relaxed totally fitting in with the space. The smile on his face showed pure satisfaction for finding this beautiful space. I was there with Sangeeta, Anand and Natasha. We ordered everything off the lunch menu- Quinoa burgers, Miknaos toast, Paneer burger, the Yogi's lunch, coffee, juices, and the healthy chocolate mousse. The food was amazing- the raw, colorful salads with sprouts, tomatoes, olives, lettuce, the fulfilling quinoa grain. I had seen quinoa around- but this was the first time I was eating it. The servings were not huge and I was skeptical if I would be full. But I was- not stuffed that I was uncomfortable, just perfectly happy with my meal. In fact I was energetic enough to walk back home with Mark (2 kms) something that does not happen usually after lunch. It was so good that evening I went back to the Yoga house to get some tea and laddoos. This masala tea had lemongrass and ginger. It was subtle and wonderful.
In fact I loved it so much that I went back there a week later with my friend Gopal for breakfast after a photo shoot. This breakfast was stellar as well. Slices of peanut butter on 10 grain bread, scrambled tofu sandwich, and a large healthy looking hash brown with cheese pancake. We ordered this with Caffe Frappe, Cappuccino, and a lovely banana milkshake (the best I have had). This time we sat on the outside patio in a window seat. The sun was still rising, the main blue room had a yoga class in progress. Bandra was slowly stirring and here we were with wonderful breakfast right in the shadow of St. Andrew's cross. White bougainvilleas crawling over the balcony. Gopal took some lovely pictures of me enjoying the morning sun and this delicious breakfast.
Ive been to the Yoga House now several times. Each time it has been a delightful experience. The owners Maud and Ajit are extremely welcoming. Maud teaches yoga there as well. I hope to take a class with her one of these days. There is also a little shop attached where they sell some lovely cotton clothing, pottery from Benares, and some other knick knacks.

Can I say it enough- I love The all vegetarian, very organic, completely fulfilling Yoga House. 

Many of the pictures that follow including some of the lovely portrait shots of me have been taken by MS Gopal the wonderful photographer of Mumbai Paused. He is a self claimed non- foodie but was a complete trooper to try out food outside his comfort zone. He did mention that he felt fulfilled for the rest of the day.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Somethings are just worth doing...

Like this blog. I have been looking for reasons for not telling my stories anymore. But then I just realized what a great space this is and I must let it grow and evolve. Maybe play with the media and all- videos, sound bytes etc. 

It is strange that the 100th post (yes I hit my 100th before Tendulkar) is not really about food. Its not some gastronomical explosion of delight. Its about where I am right now. Discovering new music, traveling, wandering, designing, dating and yes eating. This show called The Dewarist on TV, I feel has somehow changed my life. Its a show that is about collaboration, exploring a new place in India with its sounds, its food, about roots and about the sheer love of making music. Its an explosion of energy and the music is amazing. And so there would be the Dewarists Stage at NH7 that made me decide to head out to Pune for the weekend two weeks back. 

I got in touch with my friend Melissa who was also interested in going. We did not really have a place to stay and left things to fate. Last minute her friend Snehal offered to host us. So the two of us with a backpack on an AC bus took off to Pune. The moment we stepped on that bus- adventure had begun. AC was broken, the passengers threatened to sue the bus company, boys with bad taste talking loudly. We finally reached Pune in one piece 4 hours later. There was a young girl who looked pretty lost and asked us if we were headed to NH7. We told her to jump in our rickshaw. This was probably the most entertaining rickshaw ride ever. This young girl all of 18 told us things about her life that would make many people's ears burn and turn red. But not us old ladies we were told that she was here to be with a boy who currently has his 'tongue down her best friends throat' and about 'sloppy threesomes'. 

Something interesting about Pune no one seemed to know where this festival was except for my GPS on the phone and it took us down some strange roads. Finally we made it. It was like being transported to a land of different energy, not overly crowded, very chill organizers and volunteers. Lots of nice looking people. I pushed my way to the Dewarist stage (well an exaggeration- it was very easy to find)And what music followed the rest of the night- Soulmate belting with one of the best voices I have ever heard, The Raghu Dixit Project - pure energy and then Imogen Heap. Brilliant, mindblowing, quirky, performance. The energy of the crowd was brilliant. After the show we wandered out in happy unison, satisfied, nourished, and walked out to realise there will be no rickshaws to take us home. So we walked and hitchhiked with a couple who happen to be Snehal's neighbours. What a perfect end. I was loving Pune's small town energy. 

Next morning we went to Mocha for coffee where I met little Laddoo. After a breakfast hookah and Snehal's mom delicious Malwani food we headed back to NH7. An evening full of delightful music- Swarathma, Papon and the East India Company and finally Indian Ocean. When Kandisa rung through the grounds that was it- a collective energy swept took over the space. Something amazing happened after the end of the concert. The party did not end- they set up an All Stars stage with ALL the main artists who jammed with each other- Indian Ocean with Papon, Pentagram with Imogen Heap, Monica Dongra with Siddharth and Karsh Kale. It was quite brilliant. The backdrop was a massive canvas stretched on a giant wheel with gorgeous projections. 

Aah what a show. Magnificient sound engineering, vivid lights, the best volunteers, superb line up and very well organised. I have to say one of the best music festivals I have ever attended. I also felt very proud of how far along our young musicians have come going beyond fusion, delving into rock, electronica, sound making, exploring. 

The last part of the adventure. Mel and I shared a ride with another couple in a Volkswagon Passat all the way to Mumbai all for Rs400. Such was the adventure of this music festival. Such was the spirit of the weekend because as they say on the Dewarists... Somethings are just worth doing! 

Also thanks to Snehal's family for hosting us and preparing the best Malwani lunch ever. Separate post on that.

Enjoy the photos I took. And to more food, music & travel adventures. Thanks for staying on the ride with me.

 If you are into it as much as I am- do hear my recording of Kandisa by Indian Ocean.