Saturday, February 28, 2009

Same old path?

Priya Ramani, editor of Mint's weekend suppliment Lounge, writes what I have been thinking hard since the past couple of days. Balika Vadhu, a popular Indian TV serial on Colours channel has gained much attention from the public, especially those that were fatigued by the 'K' saas-bahu serials that went on and on. Plus, Balika Vadhu dealt with child marriages and the ills that came along with it, so it kind of picked up a very realistic social evil and brought it right in the middle of living rooms. Even fresh viewers like me, who had stopped watching Indian TV serials for ages, got hooked. 

But Balika Vadhu seems to be heading nowhere. Months have passed and child brides there still continue to suffer from the family matriarch's dictatorship. Where is the retribution? Do we have to wait for five years (assuming it will run as long as the 'K' serials did) before we see an uprising enough to justify Balika Vadhu's existence and its underlining the message that it flashes at the end of each episode reminding us that child marriages are bad? Hello, they don't need to remind us that child marraiges are bad, I think we need to remind them. 

Besides, as Ramani also says, another upcoming serial called Na Aana Iss Des Lado  is now advertised where a new-born baby girl is shown to being drowned by the village men because, guess what, a girl child is a burden. Just because Balika Vadhu has become a hit, Colours seem to have caught on a formula to make TV serials; pick up a social evil, make a TV serial around it, show a lot of suffering, and then as they say, tears bring TRPs. The latest twist in the Balika Vadhu serial where the groom is unceremoniously and suddenly bumped off, makes me wonder where this serial is going. Also, as Ramani rightly reminds us, serials like Rajni were the best examples of how to fight social evils. Watching Balika Vadhu doesn't help in that regard. Atleast I have switched off. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Jamva Chalo Ji

The wedding and the navjote season (thread ceremony to induct Parsi children into the Zoroastrianism faith) is upon us, so last Sunday was another wedding ceremony that I had to attend. This must be the third invitation that I must have accepted this season, another one on 1 March and then the last one in April. Parsis often complain amongst a deluge of such invitations, "baap re ketli saes nikli jayeech aaj kaal..", but I am not saying anything. Though the season typically ends by February, some weddings take place even after that. Mother India did not come with me this time, so I decided to go with my neighbours, the ever-entertaining Vesunas, and another common colony friend. 

There are three main venues for Parsi weddings in South Bombay. We Parsees hold our functions in an open-air facility. So the Cama Baug at Khetwadi is the most economical (when double-decker buses were plying in Khetwadi, people sitting on the upper deck could see right into the festivities inside the Baug). A slightly more expensive and a bigger venue is the nearby located Albless Baug at Charni Road (good venue; my navjote took place here). Considered to be the most upscale venue is the Jamshetji Jeejeebhoy (J.J.) Agiary ground at Afghan Church, Coloba, also supposed to be the most expensive. 

Other venues, such as the Jade Garden Rooftop  at the Nehru Centre at Worli and Saher Aagiary (one of the smallest of the venues) at Breach Candy are also there. I love the atmosphere of the Saher Agiary; the ground looks very pretty amidst lots of greenery and a residential area. That way, even Malcolm Baug (a quaint Parsi colony in Jogeshwari) also has a large ground, but only a few suburbanites hold their functions there. Like my cousins Boyce, Patel and Parikh families. They have life membership there. When we go there, we South Bombayites behave as if we've come into another town altogether; we keep cribbing about the horrendous peak-hour traffic; you aren't a Bombayite, if you do not complain about traffic. 

Anyways, my latest outing was at the J.J.Agiary, Coloba, since the party was a business family. All their family lagans and navjotes happen at this venue, all marriages in this family are love marriages and all guys from this family are either shippie captains or pilots! Or so I am told. We decided to leave at around 7.30 pm. Mother India does not like this; she likes to go early, see the actual ceremony, watch people coming in, hear the music, talk and chat with guests who we know and bump into....I do not like all that. I like to enter late. 

There is an unspoken rule in the Parsi community; the later you arrive at these functions, more upscale you are perceived to be. Higher the strata of the society you are perceived to belong to. I do not know why. I tried to figure out why, but I couldn't, so I gave up. Better, I have decided to do the same thing. I think there is a high that people get when they, sort of, enter a full jam-packed venue, and people turn their heads and see you enter. So that everyone knows you've arrived. To be late, is to be 'in'. You see, if you enter early, there will be no one to notice your entry. Except the hosts. And who cares about the host. So long as you are 'spotted' at the venue, isn't it? Besides some of the late-comers could also think that the early birds had nothing else to do.

So my gang and I deliberately left late and reached at the venue at 8.20 pm. Perfect. Since we did not have our cars and all guests at this particular function were expected to come by cars, we left our taxi at a distance. "So that if anyone asks us, we will tell them that oh we parked our car at a distance, we couldn't find parking nearby, and so chose to walk the remaining distance", joked one of us. Since most of us, except me, were professional drinkers, and since it was already very 'late', we headed straight towards the bar. I was impressed by the bar, usually Parsi weddings have the standard fare; an Old Monk rum, some Port Wine and some standard whiskey, besdies your usual Soda, Pepsi, Coke, 7-Up, etc. But this bar seemed to have some more variety, it had a nice Red wine to add to the variety and I could also notice a few other drinks. The bartender blurted the name some 2-3 times - as is customary before professionally serving any liquor - but in all the commotion, I did not get it. But it turned out nice. After grabbing some starters - very oily but the vej ones were good - we headed for the terrace of the main building on the ground. 

This terrace is typically a boys-club. It is very strategically located.  It is just above the main entrance and has a commanding view of the main gate. You can see everyone entering. Guys usually stand here, with drinks in their hands, keep an eye on all bare-back PYTs (you get to see a lot of those at Parsi weddings) or minis enter the venue. At Albless Baug, such a spot is the place inside the building, diagonally opposite to the stage area, again very near to the bar. I am not saying there is a connection between the two, I am not even trying to make a point. 

There was a big crowd at this wedding. We got to sit in the third sitting; there was a fourth sitting after that, and perhaps the last one for the hosts and family. Every sitting is announced on the mike, in a very traditional fashion. Food was standard fare. Finally, we left the place a little after 10, and I was shocked to still see people coming in. I wonder what kind of a statement they were trying to make. 

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Why Are We Ignoring our Cops?

The police are responsible for maintaining the law & order of the country, and given the constraints that bound them, they do a pretty decent job. But have we, for a second, stopped to think about the pathetic conditions in which they live? I have passed by police residential quarters several times and every time I shudder to see the condition of the buildings and the housing complex they live in. Press reports, here or there, have thrown a light on how policemen work under strenuous conditions, especially during festival times, to ensure that law & order is maintained. And when such festivals come in quick succession, such as after August when we have Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, Id, Christmas and New Year, policemen have to work round-the-clock under severe stressful conditions and many times do not even get leave. 

And God forbid if they are on leave, when an emergency occurs, they are summoned from their leave at the last minute and made to report on duty. If people say that corruption hasn't spared the police, there is a reason. I'd say you pay someone well enough, look after them and their families well, ensure their living conditions are decent and human, pay them commensurate to the hard work they put in and the conditions under which they have to work, and corruption will automatically be weeded out over a longer time frame, eventually. It's a pity that the police have to ultimately report to our politicians and that there is a strong case to make our police more independent (and of course more accountable), but that's another story. 

Anyways, coming back to this press report, the reason behind the police posting at this spot is due to the openness of this area to the sea and the risk it poses post 26-11 when terrorists landed on Bombay shores (at Badhwar Park) from sea. But can't the government erect some basic amenities to ensure the well-being of these hard-working policemen who have to fight these inhuman conditions when, at the same time, they are expected to fight any unexpected intrusion of a terrorist kind? Being visionary and proper-planning are not the hallmarks of our administration but this is one more classic example at that. No toilets in the vicinity (the nearest one is half kilometer away), an open-air toilet thanks to the nearby slums and the stench emanating from it to go with, no restaurants to have some much-needed tea, a drain flowing nearby, lots of mosquitoes and also snakes in the vicinity thanks to the mangroves in the area make their working conditions absolutely inhuman. Even the word 'terrible' is an understatement.  

I know our record for erecting public toilets is pathetic, but for how long do we need to keep up with it? Arming the police with sophisticated weapons and state-of-the-art protective gear is one thing, but it's equally important to look into their pathetic living and working conditions and try and make their lives a bit easier. 

Saturday, February 14, 2009


A number of films have been made on Bollywood giving us an inside view of the workings of one of India's biggest industry. 'Khoya Khoya Chand' was one such nice movie by Sudhir Mishra a couple of years back starring Soha Ali Khan. But that was very arty, its pace was very slow and seemed to go on and on. Else, a movie on Bollywood can sell like hot cakes if it's made entertaining. Like 'Luck By Chance' (LBC). Directed by Zoya Akhtar, this gives us an eerily inside view of the industry. Right from the time the credits roll (very innovative and creative), we get a ringside view of the various facets of the industry, its erratic functioning, star power, greedy producers lusting after starlets, starlets, their struggles, the frequent trips to producers' offices, the film sets, the superstitions, the success of a film and all the star trappings that come with it, gossip, sensational media, date problems that actors so frequently drop, and all that sort of thing. And above all, the importance of being at the right place at the right time and how luck can make or break your fortunes in this razzle, dazzle world. 

LBC tracks the path of two Bollywood wannbes (Farhan Akhtar and Konkona Sen Sharma) whose paths accidentally cross each others' and then decide to embark on this journey together. An unplanned and a chance incident happens that severely takes back one of them by a few steps and, at the same time, leapfrogs the other's career by miles ahead. The one that goes ahead discovers that being the simple-one-next-door is not the way to be, to get ahead and so sheds all inhibitions, dignity, and what-not, to fit in. Well, so far so good until reality hits him the hard way and he learns what Bollywood truly is; that your friends who knew you in school would always be the ones to know you, while your friends who you now know in this industry have a very short memory span. Is it too late to make amends now? See for yourself. 

Zoya Akhtar's first film doesn't give away the fact at all that this is infact this talented director's first film. This is clearly an insider's film. The screenplay moves seamlessly from one frame to another and even the cinematography captures the mood of the studios, the sets, the struggler's den, very imaginatively. Lots of references to the current going-ons in the industry would make you feel connected to this movie. Akhtar has managed to extract fine performances from its cast; brother Farhan who plays the lead role gives in another fine performance after his debut Rock-On, Rishi Kapoor is first-rate; he effectively conveys humour and makes you laugh in one second, and makes you feel for his helplessness in the other second, Dimple Kapadia is as usual good, Isha Sharvani looks like a princess, Hrithik Roshan and Juhi Chawla are good. and Sanjay Kapoor was very good. After a long time, he lands himself in a role that does him justice. But the movie belongs to Konkona Sen Sharma. One of the best actresses in the Indian film industry, she lends a lot of credibility to her role and plays it to perfection. She is one of the most underutilised actresses but this part was hers to play. 

Watch Luck By Chance.

KRate: * * * *  

Monday, February 9, 2009

Are we over-sensitive?

We Indians are a vey touchy lot. And we tend to take objections to seemingly innocious things in life. A bunch of barbers got up and objected to the name of the forthcoming Shah Rukh Khan film, called Billo Barber. Newspaper reports said that SRK has willingly obliged and not wanting to court any unnecessary controversy, immediately removed the 'Barber' from the movie's name. The movie will now be called 'Billoo'. Good for him or bad for him? I'm not sure. Incidentally, as per this newsreport on TOI website, apparently barbers did not have a objection with the film being called Billoo Hairdresser. But SRK said enough is enough, no hairdresser or barber for him, it's only Billoo for him from now. I am feeling sorry for SRK; just 'Billoo' doesn't work, there was something tangy about 'Billo Barber'. For SRK this may have been in the past now, but for the film industry, these sort of controversies are very much present and if they do not take steps, will soon become a very big reality tomorrow. 

These controversies keep appearing with regular frequency. The latest in this was 'Slumdog Millionaire' when some people objected to the word 'dog' in the movie's name and and demandedit be modified / removed. They felt the movie's name belittled slum dwellers. Whilst 'Slumdog' released in India under its original name, Billoo Barber compromised. I wonder what would have happened had SRK ha stuck to his guns. But the reality is that moral/culture police and various self-interest groups are running as parallel censors to the film industry. Despite Billoo Barber having passed the censor board, a group of barbers still managed to get their way. 

It appears that they found the term 'barber' offending. Let's see how genuine their complaint is. According to Webster's dictionary, a 'barber' is 'one who cuts hair and shaves or trims beards as an occupation'. A 'Hair-dresser' is 'one who cuts or arranges hair'. According to wikipedia - an online encyclopedia, a 'barber' is 'someone whose occupation is to cut any type of hair, give shaves and trim beards'. On the other hand, according to wikipedia, a 'hair-dresser is a universal term referring to someone whose occupation is to cut to style hair in order to change or maintain a person's image...this is achieved using a combination of hair colouring, haircutting and hair texture techniques...'

While there's scant difference between the actual meanings of barbers and hair-dressers as stated in the Webster's dictionary (an old school dictionary), a Wikipedia (a more modern-day dictionary) definition of a hair-dresser certainly sounds more sohistocated. This, in a way, also I think reflects the change society has made over the years. No longer is a barber only that who goes around from house to house, in villages, with an aluminium peti (suitcase) in tow, complete with paraphernalia such as an istira, blade, small napkin, etc., and who cuts your hair on your verandeh for all dry and sundry to look at whilst passing your house by. A barber today also styles hair and works in a 5-star salon. Their standards have gone up, women too have entered this field, their clientele can be as ordinary as you and me, or as high society as say SRK himself. I bet if you ask SRK who cuts his hair, he wouldn't tell you he goes to a barber. He would tell you he goes to a hair-dresser (Nalini & Yasmin, perhaps, who knows???), even though he would go to only simply have a hair-cut. There are professional courses that offer tutelage on not just hair-cutting, but how to perm, curl, colour and do what not to your hair today. This is a field that has broken barriers, much like cooking, oops, food & beverage, did years back. So after all the hoopla, if a movie comes along and takes these 'professionals' back by decades, it's natural for them to stand up and protest, right? After all, how dare can SRK call a person who cuts the hair, a barber, that too, in 2009. It's not 1939 for God's sake. He has arrived, they have arrived. It could be so demeaning, right?

WRONG. Pathetic. And very shameful. We Indians have become very touchy. And all this eight percent growth bull-shit talk has gone to our heads. When Indian director Madhur Bhadarkar makes 'Traffic Signal' showing beggar mafia we applaud and call that realistic cinema. When the gora Danny Boyle makes 'Slumdog Millionaire', we cry pots that this is how westerners think of India. Why such different reactions? Because we cannot accept the truth? We cannot take humour? Or perhaps, above all, we just love to take life too seriously. And ruin all the fun in the process? Before even seeing 'Billoo Barber' and giving it a chance, people protest. Just because the film's title has the word 'barber' in it? Will they now take their protest to UK and protest outside the doors of Oxford and Cambridge university and put pressure on them to remove the word 'barber' from their dictionaries? A term that is not even an Indian or a Hindi word, a term that came from the Latin word 'Barba' meaning 'beard'. 

I have not seen 'Billo Barber' myself as yet (the movie is yet to release), but from the posters and whatever reports on the Internet we read, the main protagonist Irfan Khan - a barber, sorry a hair-stylist, resembles more the gaon-ka-barber, rather than, say a, Taj Hotel's Luxury salon's hair-stylist (executive???). Then, why all this fuss? 

The sad part is such behavior is encouraged. Who knows today's peaceful protest might turn ugly tomorrow? I am not saying anything, I am merely passing a general comment here. Look I just feel we need to let our hair down, every once in a while. Let us enjoy the movie, and above all, let us respect somebody's freedom of speech. There are ways and means to protest. Like not watching the movie at all? how about that? Or approaching the court and let the law take its own course rather than going to film-makers independently and making unreasonable demands? 

I have nothing against barbers or hairstylists; infact I have my own favourite barber at the salon I go to. And he's the best at the job; I am sort of addicted to him. And because of how good a human being my barber is and how talented he is, I have the highest respect for him. I really, really feel sad when, at time, I go to the salon and he is absent that day and I have to settle for someone else. But silly protests, such as the latest one, pours water over their hard work and the dignity they have earned over the years. Band karo yeh tamasha, and focus on your work. We need you, we love you and we respect you and just because we call you barbers doesn't take away an ounce of respect we have for you. Too bad, you still want proof by making film-makers change names. Too much insanity around. 

Saturday, February 7, 2009


The movie weekend marathon enters Day 2 and today was the turn of Slumdog Millionaire. But first stop was at the Tambolis for lunch. After a heavy dhansakh and religious sermons, time just flew by, just like that! So I picked up mom en route to Sterling (love the cinema hall, one of my favourites and still possibly the most affordable multiplex in Bombay during peak hours, flat rate of Rs 120/- per seat). Yes, yes, I know other cinemas offer Rs 60-Rs 80 priced tickets, but I am not an idiot to get up at 7.30 am in the morning and rush to the multiplex to catch the 8.00 am morning show. Sterling holds a special place in my life; I was stranded at the cinema hall with my neighbour Pervin, her pinky-pinky massi and her die-hard SRK fan brother, on the night of 26-11

So anyway, how did I find Slumdog? Well, overall it was quite nice. Almost everything that is shown in the movie about Mumbai is true. You don't like to believe, but it's true. Slums are very much a part of this bustling metropolis, the beggar mafia, the religion divide, and much of the stuff that is thrown at your face. But Danny Boyle may have gone a bit too far in depicting the despicable lifestyle of slum children if he thinks a young child would purposely drop right in the middle of a shit-pit just so to get ahead in the queue (completely drenched in shit) to get an autograph of Amitabh Bachchan. Common, Mr Boyle! I could see you were looking at cinematic excellence much like any gora film maker who likes to take pictures of slums, poverty, etc , but did you really have to show that??? And much as you thump your chest about the so-called lack of security, I do not think Amitabh Bachchan's helicopter must be landing so close to the slums that the slum children can come within a striking of AB soon after he lands on at the Mumbai airport. 

Still, these are minor complaints in an otherwise praiseworthy accomplishment. Direction, AR Rahman's music, cinematography, editing and screenplay were top-rate. Acting by most of the actors was pathetic. The boy and the girl were quite ordinary, and even a talent like Irfan Khan was same old-same old. 

About the movie's depiction about slums, etc., I really don't see what the big deal is. I know a majority of Indians would not have liked Slumdog Millionaire. Nobody likes to come face-to-face with reality, nobody likes to face the truth. Look, I do not think Danny Boyle or anyone senior associated with the production team thinks of India as only slums. Nor are they making any statement that US is still the greatest country in the world and India is a third-world country. The whole world knows that India has arrived. And no I am not talking of one of the most abused word in recent times: eight per cent growth. But yes, things here have changed. Yes the divide between the rich and poor have widened and yes there is corruption and societal divides here, but they're everywhere. To say that a gora film maker who makes movies of Indian slums is glorifying the vicious living conditions and sending picture postcards to his family in the US and endorses that these things happen only in India, is baseless argument. 

Sure it took a Brit director Sam Mendes to make American Beauty; a film revolving around the disjointed and dysfunctional typical American suburban family. If I'd be a an American and a suburbanite, I might have just as well been offended, but I do not think Americans protested against it. 'Crash' was another brilliant movie that portrayed racial killings, racial profiling. Some Americans may have protested; who knows. But an American did make this disturbing, yet classy movie, with racial discrimination going on in the US as its backdrop. Another movie that comes to my mind is Syrianna. Brilliantly captured the Oil/Gulf war/US-Iraq-Iran politics and the nexus between the US government and US oil companies in search of oil in the middle-east. All three movies; awesome, make by goras, loved and appreciated both in US and worldwide and swept almost all awards in the years they were released. And hello, didn't we see the beggar mafia in the Bollywood movie 'Traffic Signal'?

My point is do not politicise movies unnecessarily. The rawness shown in Slumdog is real and it's time we accept it. True, many foreigners like to see slums and poverty, but I do not think that was Danny Boyle's intention. I rest my case. 

K-Rate: * * * *  

Dev D rocks!

This is my marathon movie weekend and thanks to my workload, movies have piled up. So I decided to bunk my Yoga yesterday and watch Dev D. I intend to watch Luck By Chance today and hopefully Slumdog Millionaire tomorrow. Let's see. 

Anyways, Dev D is the modern day version of Devdas; a character on whom a novel was based on, written by Bengali author Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. Quite a few movies were also made on Devdas, the last one was by Sanjay Leela Bhansali starring SRK. But the latest one by director Anurag Kashyap blew me away. 

This is what the modern Devdas is all about and Kashyap has brilliantly cast him in our present times. The scenes have also been shifted; from the original palatial havelis of Bengal to switching at lightening speeds between the mustard fields of Punjab and Pahargunj and Dariyagunj, Delhi. Kashyup has captured the underbelly of these areas, especially Delhi, beautifully and it works like a dream. But the movie is not for the faint-hearted. It's dark, and there is overdose of booze, sex and drugs. It's brutal, it's dark and it's in-your-face. But that is what Devdas is all about; the self-destructing drunkard who goes on a spiralling journey, down. The camera-work and cinematography is brilliant and lends itself credibly to the depressing and dark environs of the story. Where RGV failed miserably to re-create the modern-day Sholay, Anurag Kashyap has succeeded admirably in re-creating a modern-day version of an old story. 

Clearly, Kashyap is one of India's most brilliant directors with a penchant of off-beat cinema and his knack of approaching stories in his own, unique, albeit dark way, takes cinema to a whole new level. And the rawness in his films connects with you. The language, the sexuality, the sexual politics, egos, and the coming-of-age of a woman's desire and that it could also match a man's desire (the lead actress sends her topless picture to her boyfriend via email upon the latter's insistence; then again later leaves home early morning to the fields on a cycle with a mattress in tow and leaving a note for the boyfriend to meet her, to make love) all point to the boldness of the director and his own desire to break new ground. The music is great, songs are good and performances are very good. The two girls have done their job well, and Abhay Deol (the lead character) has done extremely well. With minimal dialogues, his facial expressions, mannerisms, behavior and body language brilliantly portrays the loser that DevD is. You could literally see him deteriorating and going down, step by step, but in a very self-destructing way. 

Kudos to the Indian Censor Board. The Board has shown immense maturity to pass the film with all its profanity; I think the Board has progressed very well over the past few years. Dev D is an awesome film. Not for the faint-hearted and not a light film. But for the discerning and mature audience who love good cinema, go watch it. 

KRating: * * * * *  

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bring Colours into your homes

If I weren't a journalist, what I would I be? An interior decorator? Perhaps. I'm not sure, but I am having a whale of a time presently choosing various shades and colours that would soon adorn the walls of my home, selecting some new furniture -most of the existing furniture is to be retained though, we are just changing the sofa, sofa chairs, and a few things repaired here and there -and all that sort of thing. It's a pain to supervise the actual repairs, renovation work I tell you, so I leave that to my mom. Sorry. But I do take an active interest in selection. I want my house to look sexy and young and I intend to stamp my personality on it. No more old-fashioned stuff -white coloured ceilings, doors, windows, etc etc -for me now. Anyways, I have made a good discovery and let me share it with you. 

Heard of Asian Paints? Traditionally, this India's leading paints-manufacturing company, has been manufacturing paints for ages now. A few years back they started off this brand thing called 'Home Solutions' wherein they send their consultants to your home, suggest colours and also appoint contractors to get your house panted. Subsequently, the company came up with a lot of fresh colour ideas, themes, patterns and designs. No longer should your walls be painted in that dull green, yellow or cream colour. You could paint one wall with a brighter colour and the other walls with a matching, albeit lighter colour. Add patterns (that come in variety) to the showcase wall and change the way it looks, forever. Or paint landscapes on the walls of your kid's room or even the starry-lit sky on its ceiling. Or paint patterns in fluorescent texture on the walls, so that when the lights in your kids room go off, the patterns shine out. You could play around many such interesting concepts that Asian Paints -and now other paints companies too -have come up with. Walls in your home need not look the same anymore. But picking that mera wala blue has become all that more difficult. Good for us. 

Anyways, the Home Solutions team does it for you. But I am not calling them. What I did though, was, paid their in-house shop 'Colours' a visit. Just as you go to a shop selling ceramics and tiles and look at displays before you, 'Colours' has various shades and combinations of paints laid out on huge wall slabs, on display. There are tons of options to choose from. If, like me, you have your own painter, but still would like to know various colour combinations or patterns, pay a visit to 'Colours', write down the codes, colour and theme (Spatula, Ragging, Colourwash, etc) names and give them to your painter. Your painter must be good though, to do a good job with the patterns. 

On the first floor, they have model walls painted in various colours and themes. Take a look. I felt the shop had many interesting ideas for the kids room. For instance, they have a paint wherein your kids could even scribble on the walls and you could then just erase it with a cloth or something. I think it's called chalk-paint, but I am not sure. 

The best part of this shop is they have colour consultants. A prior appointment is not mandatory, but it's recommended. Sessions with these colour consultants can take a really long time and you don't want to land up there in the middle of somebody else's long sessions. You'd think what more  these consultants can tell you about colours than what you'd already know or browsed through their displays and brochures? You're wrong. They are really helpful in adding a lot of value to your choices and also do a good job in understanding your home, size of the walls, lighting , room's utility, furniture and accessories, their sizes and colours, placements of walls and what not, before suggesting you that perfect colour that would do justice to your home. These colour consultants are extremely useful and very helpful and also very patient. And patient they have to be; after all we have to live with our colour choices for atleast the next 10 years, so deciding on colours take up a lot of time. I went there thinking my session would be over in half hour; I ended up spending two hours with the consultant! Her name was Ms Mandeep; I would recommend her consultancy; she was very good. 

So the next time you want to get your house painted, pay a visit to 'Colours'. It's worth it. 

Store timings: 10 am to 9.30 pm
Thursday closed
Address: Dheeraj Plaza
Hill Road
Mumbai 400 050

Phone: 022-26431074 / 26431075

Meher Mahino, Ava Mahino and Adar Mahino: The holy trinity of Zoroastrian calender

Zoroastrians- or better knows as Parsis and Iranis of India- have a separate calendar. We look at the English calendar of course, but we al...