Digg us Stumble it! Save us on delicious Find us on twitter Find us on facebook
Vamsi & Charu's avatar
10:48 PM
04 August 2009
like it
(4) Comment(s)     (10) like it

Look ma, no rain!

Posted By Vamsi & Charu
Crowd, color, chaos - business as usual at Juhu Chowpatty…

Playing hide and seek?...

Getting ready for the evening out…

The loneliness of childhood… and the joy…

Chana-chor garam…

Are you protecting the coal from the rain, I ask him? No, I am shielding the fumes from reaching your camera, he says…

And finally, my favourite of the evening - corn and conversation…


Vamsi & Charu's avatar
09:57 PM
04 August 2009
like it
(2) Comment(s)     (7) like it

Who is a foodie? Not me.

Posted By Vamsi & Charu
So where were we? Yes, the foodie argument (sorry, I got slightly distracted by the sight of that alu tikki - or ragda pattice as it is known in Bombay).

Who really is a foodie? Is it someone who likes to eat? who loves to eat? who lives to eat?

Or is it someone who just likes interesting food? Or that someone who will drive 25 km for that recommended biryani. Or kachori.

I asked wikipedia (when in doubt, wiki) and this is what I learn - Although the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, foodies differ from gourmets in that gourmets are epicures of refined taste who may or may not be professionals in the food industry, whereas foodies are amateurs who simply love food for consumption, study, preparation, and news. Gourmets simply want to eat the best food, whereas foodies want to learn everything about food, both the best and the ordinary, and about the science, industry, and personalities surrounding food

By this definition, I am not a foodie, I am relieved to know. I don’t know what it is about that term but I am not comfortable being associated with it. I like food, sure but I may never walk that extra mile for that special snack (despite what I said earlier about sev puri - one makes rare exceptions). I am not even interested in learning about the science(!) of food - please understand that my most precious kitchen appliance is a pressure cooker - fill it, shut it, forget it - till the steam dies and it is safe to open it.

But, the visual appeal of food? There you have me. There is something about food that looks colourful and attractive. Whoever said “food needs to smell good, look good and taste good, in that order” will see me nodding briskly here, if he cares to look this way.

And this is how in one evening at Juhu beach, I turned foodie. Food voyeur is perhaps a better term?

And I bet you have no idea what those bottles are…

Golas, or chuskas as they are known in some parts… And you don’t have to be kids to enjoy it…

Then there is chaat - the aforementioned ragda pattice and sev puri, and samosa and pani puri…

Not to forget pav bhaaji… See the fingers fly. And try not to see the butter sizzle…

And look at who’s enjoying it…

On the shore, this vendor of fruit - and Vamsi striking a bargain with him (that is my bag he is holding)...

Wash it all down with kulfi-falooda… or even another gola…

And now tell me, who is a foodie? You or me?





Vamsi & Charu's avatar
08:37 PM
04 August 2009
like it
(3) Comment(s)     (5) like it

Mumbai’s Dick Whittingtons

Posted By Vamsi & Charu
They come to Mumbai by the thousands everyday. They bring with them not cats but their hopes and dreams. They may or may not believe that the streets of Mumbai are paved with gold. They may or may not (alright, they rarely do) go on to become Lord Mayors. However, they survive, some of them even thrive and prosper in this city. They are Mumbai’s Dick Whittingtons.

Kalpana - I do not know her name till much later - naam jaanke kya karoge? (what will you do with my name?) - spots me with the camera and pushes her way through the crowd. Tattoo, sister, one you try free - the English gives way to didi, mehendi laga lo na once I respond to her in Hindi. Before I know what is happening, my hand is in hers and she is making patterns all over it.

And now she turns my hand over and wants to cover the back too with that bright color. Hang on, how much does this cost?

Only ten rupees per tatoo, she remarks with that air of nonchalance I would give anything to acquire.

Say, what?

By then she is counting the tatoos on my hand and says 18, only 180 rupees. Are you sure you don’t want more on the back of your hand?
Kalpana’s family is from interior Maharashtra. She has lived in Mumbai for many years now and is seen at Juhu beach every evening. The foreigners are much nicer, she believes. I cannot blame her; I drive a hard bargain and end up paying much lesser, the foreigners never do that.

But see, I am taking your photographs - I banter with her.

What will I do with photographs? Will they feed my children back home?

And she turns her face away sharply. And I walk away feeling guilty, and unsure of the reason…

Standing on a wooden box close to her is Babban, from the North. That place from where they feel they are no longer welcome in Mumbai.

He has been selling bubbles to children at Juhu beach for four years now. No family in Mumbai. Unlike Kalpana, he is taciturn and suspicious of my questions. He thaws somewhat and talks to me; on Sundays and holidays, he earns over two thousand rupees.

On week-days?

Only God can answer that, he shrugs. And goes back to blowing bubbles.

There is some lesson in it somewhere; brightly coloured water but the bubbles that emerge colourless and ephemeral. Some lesson somewhere - I am thinking about Kalpana and Babban for the rest of the evening.

Vamsi & Charu's avatar
02:05 PM
04 August 2009
like it
(3) Comment(s)     (4) like it

Off for the Dress Rehearsal!

Posted By Vamsi & Charu

Here are the suggestions that we’ve got :

1. Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivali - Tiger Trail, Kanheri Caves & Back - (Contributor : Sunil Kumar)
2. Borivali - Bhayander Creek - Godbunder Road - Thane (Sunil Kumar)
3. Cuffe Parade & Dharavi - bring up social, cultural & economic diversity of Mumbai (Amol Mohandas)
4. Drive all the way down to South Bombay (can’t get myself to say South Mumbai). Navy Nagar and all the other Heritage Monuments in that part of town (Deepti Deshmukh)
5. Dhobi Talao - Dharavi Leather Market - Small lanes of Masjid area (Sunil Punjabi)
6. Essence of Mumbai - South Bombay Business District - Kalbadevi (traders) - Malabar Hill Raj Bhavan - Worli / Lower Parel - BW Sea Link - Bandra West Markets & back (Mahesh Ranka)
7. Forts of Mumbai (Gopal M.S.)

Surprisingly, two popular elements of Mumbai have been missed. Bollywood & the Chowpattys.

Given that we need to make this trip from Aarey Colony and back in a max. of 3 hrs. - this is what we’ll be doing.

Go to Juhu beach, do some talking with the Bhelpuri guys, and get some interesting life stories out of them. All this, of course, while we’re putting away some chaat ourselves. Then maybe a peep or two at the JW Marriott & Sun-n-Sand of the world to see if we can take a shot or two of a couple of celebrities. Of course, all along the way we hope to capture some images of the Mumbai we so love (and hate).

This, apparently, is a dress rehearsal for the real drive over 10 days for the Top 3 couples. Our post will appear tomorrow morning. We should be getting to the Cedia Sports at 15.30 hrs. i.e. any minute now.

Thanks a ton for your wishes guys & the suggestions. We hope we do justice to some of these ideas smile

Page 1 of 4 pages  1 2 3 >  Last »

Latest SMS Feeds

From : One Foot Wild

Sent : 10th Aug 09 08:43:24 PM

Sitting at Raja Cafe having a European thali.. :)

From : IIM Outdoor

Sent : 10th Aug 09 07:56:44 PM

In Jodhpur old markets - SHOPPING!

From : TWaC

Sent : 10th Aug 09 07:50:45 PM

At Shimoga after a rainy day in rain forests

From : One Foot Wild

Sent : 10th Aug 09 07:40:11 PM

Back at the hotel after seeing the absolutely stunning temples of Khajuraho.

From : IIM Outdoor

Sent : 10th Aug 09 06:47:10 PM

As the sun sets, we enter Jodhpur, today s travel - 396km, but not feeling blue at all :)

From : IIM Outdoor

Sent : 10th Aug 09 04:50:05 PM

100 km away frm jodhpur, horrible truckyktraffic on the way. Had lunch for the second time in four days! :)

From : IIM Outdoor

Sent : 9th Aug 09 02:27:22 PM

Just had tea with Mr.Dhanraj Mallik, Rann veteran & advisor to the BBC. Right now, on our way to discover some salt pans, thts how we spend our Sunday! ;)

From : IIM Outdoor

Sent : 9th Aug 09 12:05:24 PM

On state highway 07. Namrata s driving while I m writing and Enrique s crooning.

From : IIM Outdoor

Sent : 8th Aug 09 07:30:34 PM

At the Vintage Villa of classic cars, droolin over the sports tourers. Got here after blastin the 88km NE1 Expressway in 42mins! Cedia, take a bow!

From : TWaC

Sent : 8th Aug 09 12:01:23 AM

Sagareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary A manmade forest spread over 84 sq km A haven for deers peacocks an many birds

From : IIM Outdoor

Sent : 7th Aug 09 10:25:40 PM

Ab hum bhi poore punjabi! ... Current track: Kangana .. For Gaurav from Chandigarh :)

From : IIM Outdoor

Sent : 7th Aug 09 09:56:45 PM

Just discovered d USB connector for the blackhawk s music sys... one of d best moments of d day! :D

From : IIM Outdoor

Sent : 7th Aug 09 05:28:25 PM

Reached our first destination Daman, it even has its own airport! :)

From : TWaC

Sent : 7th Aug 09 04:38:22 PM

We haven't heard the 'Suprabhatham' chant for many many years. While we were in Chennai and Kerala we used to hear that quite often. First day morning. And as we walk into this nice restaurant at Vashi for breakfast, the 'Suprabhatham' chant welcomes us. Perhaps a good omen on the first stop on first day.

From : IIM Outdoor

Sent : 7th Aug 09 04:19:19 PM

Just drove 21 km in our cedia, for the very first time! This vehicle is just so smooth!! :) 50 km from Daman. Joe s taken over coz we have to reach by 12

From : IIM Outdoor

Sent : 7th Aug 09 03:09:15 PM

Good morning! :) on our way frm thane to vapi. Jus done upma n rawa dosa at Kamat Vithals. Catch the pic on our flickr n twitter!

About us

Charu is a travel writer & photographer who publishes regularly in a number of magazines and dailies. She's usually either traveling, or planning her next travel spree. To support her itchy feet, she doubles up in her spare time as a qualitative market researcher.

Vamsi is usually found driving Charu around - within Mumbai as well as around India & executing her next round of travel plan. He is a digital marketing consultant. We live in Mumbai & are currently involved in making our love for travel our career too.


Other Teams

Radhika Bharath
Joseph Namrata
Unny Bindhu

Recent Posts


Look ma, no rain!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Who is a foodie? Not me.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Mumbai’s Dick Whittingtons

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Off for the Dress Rehearsal!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Lost on the way from Lhasa

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Snacks and the city

Friday, July 31, 2009

All that glitters

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

An ode to the short break

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

On the road to Timbaktu

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The writing on the wall

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Windshield Views

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Jama Masjid in the background

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Song of the open road

Friday, July 24, 2009