Sunday, December 30, 2012

Pride Of Lions: A Gritty Thriller

What do you get when you take Indian army’s one of the finest operations in recent times, add the inherent values it brings along with and present it to the modern day reader? You get a fast paced gritty thriller, generously sprinkled with the core values of the armed forces – brotherhood, courage and passion.

Buy Pride of Lions: Book

Looking at the nations prevailing condition, the youth today have every right to question the system which is infested with social diseases like corruption and inefficiencies. And with every passing day, we only see the disease spreading like cancer in the system. No wonder, this leaves the youth unsure about their pride in the nation. The book tackles this premise in a totally unorthodox manner.

So, when a group of students debate and question their own identity and the very concept of pride in their country, a substitute teacher uses the backdrop of an army operation to highlight the importance of values in our lives. What follows is an amazing narration of the fast paced military operation between two equally determined armies.

The book manages to maintain its grip till the end. There are moments when you are drawn in the midst of the battle field and so fierce is the battle that you can almost feel the bullets flying past you. In one of the chapter, the narration of what goes through the mind of a soldier when he gets spotted by the enemy pointing a rifle towards him is simply mind boggling.


The story is slick and is fast paced. The characters are well defined and complete. Each of them bring out an unique aspect to the story. The central character of the story “Ice” is a much likeable and an easily identifiable character. The narration has been kept simple to make the book an easy read. The good part of the book is that even the enemy has been portrayed in a highly dignified manner. The importance of religion in our lives has also been showcased well.

Another striking feature here is it contains a lot of spirituality. The author introduces the importance of the human values to the reader in an unusually charismatic way. Full marks to him for doing that. That’s probably because the author is an ex-solider himself and has been through many such operations.

Overall, the book is not only worth its money, but much more. For a generation going through such uncertain times, this book introduces a fresh thought process. It leaves you wanting for more. Verdict – Go for it.

Book: Pride Of Lions

Author: Vinod Shankar Nair

Publishers: Times Group Books

Price: Rs 249/-

Available at:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Top 10 Super Heroes without Super Powers

Superheroes have always formed a part of our lives. Though virtually non existent, they happen to touch our lives in more than one ways, be it comics, movies, daily newspaper strips, games or just costume parties.

Being a virtual entity, its possible to create a superhero with whatever powers you can think of. The comic book writers have already explored most of the superpowers and have ended up empowering their super heroes with multiple superpowers to make them thoroughly super. Be it superhuman capabilities like “Captain America”, The lovely super lady “The Wonder Woman”, the Norse god “Thor”, the good demon “The Hellboy”, the monster “Hulk” or the all in one “Super Man”.

All these super heroes have some sort of superpower which either they were born with or have acquired in the due course. The real challenge for the writers lies in creating a superhero who has no super power, whatsoever. Creating a man who is limited by his physical capabilities, yet rises to be a superhero. A super hero who can be anyone one in the crowd. You, me, anyone.

Lets us start with no 10.

10. Snake Eyes. (Publisher – Various publishers, G I Joe Series)

“Move with the wind, and you will never be heard.”

One of the most mysterious characters ever sketched. He does not speak, ever. The mystery around him makes him more intriguing. A master swords man, he has been trained in the Arashikage ninja clan. He is one of the most popular characters of the G I Joe series.

The Glamour Quotient: His multi martial arts techniques. His militarised Ninja suit. His silence.

Why he is at no 10: Other than the excellent fighting skills, the mysterious silence and calmness around him makes him more popular than the other G I Joe characters. This makes us wanting to see more of him, every time.

09. Ironman (Publisher – Marvel Comics)

“Jim Rhodes: You're not a soldier.
Tony Stark (Ironman): Damn right I'm not — I'm an army.”

The catch in creating a superhero with out any superpower is that he has to be equipped with a whole lot of gadgets to make him stand out. That’s exactly what Stan Lee did when he created Iron man. He gave him all the technology that is needed to become a super human, though not physically. He is the technological equivalent of a superman. And like superman has kryptonite, he has a vulnerability too. His heart is weak, and he has to keep recharging himself at regular intervals.

The Glamour Quotient: His shining armour, that is virtually capable of doing everything one can think of. In case the villains come out a new weapon, the writer just have too add its counter measure to his armour !

Why he is at no 9: Before I started making this list, I conducted a poll to check the most popular superhero with out superpowers and he figured on the top of the list. Though he extensively uses technology and virtually has no limits (he can do almost everything a superman can do), he is still a normal human being, hence qualifies for this list. Also, he is a core team member of the Avengers.

08. Black Widow: (Publisher – Marvel Comics)

“Let me put you on hold”

Just when you think its a mans world, you get introduced to the Black Widow. Like her name suggests, she was a spy before she got converted to a S.H.I.E.L.D agent. A master gymnast and a world class athlete, she is the only lady character to make it on this list.

The Glamour Quotient: Her never give up, keep fighting till you win attitude.

Why she is at no 8: Although, there are only a handful of lady superheroes who are with out superpowers, she has all the ingredients for a super character. The writers have made her sleek, and with dark shades and a dark name too. In fact, she could have been a bit higher on the list, but for the poor portrayal of hers by Scarlett Johansson, in the movies Iron Man 2 and the Avengers.

07. Supremo: (Publisher – India Book House)

Hijacker (pointing towards him): “Supremo !!“ Supremo: “Oh, so you do know me, huh? That saves me the trouble of introducing myself !”

Supremo, is the alter ego of one of the biggest superstars of India, Amitabh Bachchan. And a few of us have even grown up reading his books. The superstar fights crime in his spare time and has been shown as a hero in real life. And its creator is non other than our own Gulzar.

The Glamour Quotient: Supremo conceals his identity by wearing large glasses which resemble welding glasses, a skin-tight costume with a wrap which resembles those worn by fishermen on India's western coast, and a chakra pendant. Supremo also has a pet eagle, like the one Amitabh had in Coolie. The two sidekicks, Vijay and Anthony, are also a tribute to his on screen characters.

Why he is at no 7: He is the superhero, who is the alter ego of a real life superstar. What is better  than your biggest superstar is also a big superhero? The perfect setup for a superhero comic, and all plots were short and neat.

Although, this series ran only for a short duration, we want him back now. and that's preciously why he is on the list.

06. Kato (Publisher – Now Comics. Seen in the Green Hornet series)

Britt Reid (The Green Hornet): You know what you are. You're a human Swiss army knife.
Kato: I don't know. what's that mean?
Britt Reid: It's a little things, and you keep pulling out things, and just when you think there couldn't be any more cool things, a new cool thing comes out, and that's you! You are even dressed like one. You should have a little plus on your chest.

Well, yes, you got that right. Kato is not a superhero by himself. He is the sidekick of The Green Hornet. But then again, The Green Hornet loses his existence without Kato. This Chinese martial artist is also a master of weapons and automobiles.

The Glamour Quotient:  His sleek martial arts skills, complete with razor sharp and fast moves. In fact, his main character has not been able to make it to this list, but he has !

Why he is at no 6: The only side kick, so strong and sleek, that he beat Robin to this list. Watching him move is a pure bliss. Typically, not much gadgetry, relies more on martial arts, which makes it look more real.

05. Batman (The Dark Night) (Publisher – DC Comics)


“Whatever doesn't kill you simply makes you stranger.”

Voted as one of the most liked superheroes of all times, the dark knight beats his super powered colleagues with his gadgets and intelligence. Personally, even I think is one of the most well crafted character, ever. What makes this character interesting is also the amazing line up of super villains he faces, each uniquely sketched to match his personality.

While creating a super hero with out superpowers, the writers always position him as an extremely rich guy, which gives them the logic to justify his fancy gadgets and other extreme expenses. Also, they sketch these character as casual and playboy kind of men, which is a contrast to them being superheroes and helps them to conceal their identity. Iron man, The Green Hornet, Batman are a few examples of such characters.

The Glamour Quotient: The cool black costume. Batman uses a lot of gadgets. He also has a Bat cave where he keeps most of his secret stuff. He has a Bat mobile and more recently, a Bat Pod too.

Why he is at no 5: Many of us would contest that he should have been the numero uno of this list. Two reasons why he didnt make it to no 1. Firstly, he has been sketched as an extremely empowered character - with gadgets, resources, money and power. Also, too many technological advancements have been shown. Like, Batman has been seen falling from extreme heights and yet surviving because of his costume. He carries a variety of gadgets and weapons in his utility belt, which seem never exhausting. He can track everybody, but surprisingly, nobody can track him.

Secondly, this character has a lot of dark shades to it. He has a dark past himself and most of the villains he faces also have a dark past. His fights always end up taking the reader to a psychological level. So much so that he manages to occupy the minds of the readers, much beyond the book itself. And as a true comic book fan, I believe that the characters should not unnecessarily occupy the mind of the readers in real life, beyond the books.

04. Bahadur (Publisher – Indrajal Comics)

bahadur and bela

“Don't worry. No one gets hurt if you do what I say”

The brave man of India, Bahadur is the epitome of a local superhero. He hails from a fictional village in India and mostly fights dacoits. This theme was so created  as the problems of dacoits was rampant in rural India during the period of the launch of this comic.

The Glamour Quotient: His much localised attire, an orange kurta and the long hair. He has a sidekick too, Lakhan. His love interest is Bela, who is a martial artist herself and has accompanied him on most of his missions. Bahadur also has a dog, Chammiya. And yes, he doesn’t feel the need to conceal his identity.

Why he is at no 4: We have grown up reading his adventures. He was the face of the changing nation. Although, the series was discontinued after some time, it was re launched in 2010. He is at no 4 because he is the true local hero.

03. Zorro (Publisher - Grosset & Dunlap)

Zorro: [after making a "Z" mark] “So the devil will know who sent you”

Zorro is probably one of those heroes, every child aspires to become when he grows up. The character is a dashing black-clad masked outlaw who defends the people of the land against tyrannical officials and other villains. He is based in the Spanish colonial era. The character has grown significantly over the years, only to be better each time.

The Glamour Quotient: The dashing attire. The character is not loaded with any gadgets, as is in most of the cases. Its the basic sword fights and the horse chases that make the setup more interesting.

Why he is at no 3: While creating a superhero, its easy for the writers to load the character with money and gadgets. What is difficult is to create a setup worthy of the character and to weave the stories according to the environment, and make them gripping. What a comic hero needs is not gadgets, but an appropriate setup. And it is proved by this character.

02. The Green Arrow (Publisher – DC comics)

“You see, I figure it’s more sporting if I give him thirty or forty chances to kill me first.”

One of my personal favourites, he is a typical superhero – A rich billionaire during daytime and a masked vigilante at night. He also has that typical “I don't care what happens” attitude. The only thing that differentiates this guy from Batman and Ironman is that he is limited by his capabilities. His mobility is seriously restricted, he does not have many gadgets except his quiver full of trick arrows and mostly operates in his home town, Star city.

The Glamour Quotient: The mask and the hat. Typically dressed like the Robin hood, he is more often than not referred to as the modern day Robin hood. Generally, he has been shown sporting a goatee and sometimes has a hood on too.

Why he is at no 2: The setup up of the character. He gives Ironman and Batman a run for their money. The story of how he becomes the Green Arrow is pretty gripping too. He has a touch of humanness in his heroics, which differentiates him from his likes.

The new series started a couple of months back on the CW network, called “Arrow” and based on Green Arrow’s character, shows the depths of this character and has already been declared a hit.

And the best part is that he has not been overloaded with excessive gadgetry. The writers have tried to maintain good balance between human skills and technology.

01. Rorschach (Publisher – DC Comics)

“Never compromise. Not even in the face of Armageddon.”

Rorschach forms a part of the “Watchmen” series. Although the series was short and never got beyond its 12 episode story created by Alan Moore, it gave us one of the best superheroes that the comic industry has ever produced. Clad in a trench coat and a spotted mask which appears to constantly change configuration, much like a Rorschach test, this unyielding vigilante dishes out punishment to evildoers any way he sees fit. (Usually death.)

The Glamour Quotient: His mask. His simple attire. And his kickass attitude.

Why he is No 1. The character has the most kickass attitude ever seen in any comic character. Mostly anonymous, his identity becomes public at some point of time. In a prison full of thugs who got jailed because of him, the attitude remains the same when he says “None of you seem to understand. I'm not locked in here with you. You're locked in here with ME !!

Full marks to Rorschach here.

P.S. Noteworthy MentionsOthers who didn't make it to this list, but are worth a mention:

    * The Phantom - Indrajal Comics
    * Hawkeye - Marvel Comics
    * Robin/ Nightwing - DC Comics
    * Elektra - Marvel Comics
    * Tarzan - Various Publications
    * Chacha Choudhary - Pran Comics
    * Robin Hood - DC Comics
    * Vigilante - DC Comics
    * Super Commando Dhruva - Raj Comics
    * Nick Fury - Marvel Comics


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Why I Like FIR: The Hilarious Sitcom On SAB TV

The Sitcom: FIR has been around the block for over 5 years now. It is presently being aired on SAB TV at 2230hrs everyday. The show presents a female inspector and her team trying to solve cases. Their sincere attempts to crack the mysteries are hilarious and worth a hearty laugh. The sitcom is set in a Police Station where constables indulge in amazing antics.
Warning: This sitcom is not for everyone. It is like bitter coffee, you have to develop a taste for it to get addicted. Also, this is not for people who like only “intelligent” comedies. This is for people who savour mindless comedy.
What Works: Here are a few things that make this sitcom epic – and when i say epic, this is truly #EPIC !!
1. The characters: Although Chandramukhi Chautala, the inspector, is the main character around whom the serial revolves, the real watching pleasure are its supporting characters. They are essentially no brainers.
    • Billu: Forgets who he is, every now and then, and temporarily becomes different characters.
    • Gopi: The way he carries “is the” dialogues are worth mentioning.
    • Gulgule: Always found eating and signature dialogue “Madam aap bhi naa (rapata) bholi hain”
    • All other: Each character in itself is an epic
One of the other characters of the sitcom is the wig. Yep, wig in itself can be deemed as a character. They are used in a way to to make the character look visually funny !
2. The Dialogues: The characters are incomplete without their unique style of delivering dialogues. Very few sitcoms have been able to capitalise on getting viewers glued to their dialogue styles.
  • Takiyakalam: Every new character has his own Takiyakalam, a catch phrase.
    • “Picture dikhao yaar”
    • “Achcha, saari kaisi hai?”
    • “Raat ko missed call doongi”
    • “Kabhie ghar aao yaar”
  • Character Introduction: Every character introduces himself in a rhyming way, which sounds funny.
    • “Mera naam hai chopda, ghumao mat mera khopda”
    • “Passport purana hai, mera naam khurana hai”
    • “Mera naam hai sapna awasthi, lut gai meri ghrasthi”
  • Character Names: The names of each character is unique and  catchy. The names by themselves get you hooked on to the character
    • Chouraha Chaturvedi
    • Gussail and Shaant brothers
    • A guy named “Nirupa Roy”
    • Letter Lalita !!
  • Gopi’s 2 liners: These are 2 liners which Gopi attempts to say in his broken English. They have become a phenomenon. His style where he adds “Well”, “Carry on”, “Well mom”, “yeah, this one” are howlarious.
    • “What is the problem is the, Delhi mein airport Palam is the”
    • “Well…., she is the husband is the,he is the wife is the”
    • “Who the you the are is the? Ab ghar se mehngi hai car is the”
3. The Plot: The sitcom follows a very neat format. Generally spread over two episodes, a character lodges an FIR and the team then sets out to solve the case, always victorious in the end. Such simple format helps to set the expectations of the viewers right.
4. Why one should watch it:
  1. It is a no brainer. Watch it, enjoy it, cherish it.
  2. One episode everyday. Unlike other “intelligent” sitcoms that are aired in seasons, weekly once. This is our daily dose of laughter.
  3. Kavita Kaushik, Gopi Bhalla, Sandeep Anand, Sapna Sikarwar, Manju Sharma, Naveen Bawa and the awesome Shekhar Shukla are a treat to watch !!
          27112923184803350203623   000253b   Naveen Bawa
Well, if you remember some dialogues of FIR do pen them down in the comments column below. Cheers !!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mirza Ghalib: Same Story, Different Eras

I wanted to do this blog since a long time now. Recently, I got in touch with the 1988 television series produced by Gulzar. I suddenly recollected watching the series and remembered how my father used to wait for this serial to be aired. Week after week.

I also happened to see the movie, Mirza Ghalib, starring Bharat Bushan. Its a different narration altogether. There are a few songs that got featured in both the versions. And the same songs have been sung in different styles. And the songs sound good in both the styles. As you listen and read by, try to see what is the similarity in the songs of 1954 Mirza Ghalib songs, and the similarity between 1988 Mirza Ghalib songs and of course, the major difference between the style of the songs in the movie and the TV series.

  1. Dil E Nadaan Tujhe Hua Kya Hai
The older version

Same song, newer version

2. Yeh Na Thi Hamari Kismat

The older version

Same song sung by Chitra Singh in the TV series

3. Aah Ko Chahiye Ek Umar

Sung by Suraiya, its a female version

In the TV series it is sung by Jagjit singh, its a male version here

4. Ishq Mujhko Na Sahi, Vehshat Hi Sahi

The Shayari narrated in a geet form by Talat Mehmood

Same shayari, but narrated by both Jagit Singh and Chitra Singh, in a Different Situation…

But to tell you the truth, the song where this newfound favourite was found is this song.

One Of My Favourites….

Btw, did u notice the major difference between the songs in the movie and the songs in the TV series. Yes, you got that right. Most of the songs in the movie are sung in “Geet” style, where later they have been sung in “Ghazal” style. Probably, because of music by Jagjit Singh. And both the versions make us say, “Hazaaron Khwahishen Aise, ke har khwaish pe dum nikle!!”

And as Ghalib says in his own words:

“Rekhte ke tum hi nahin ustad Ghalib
Kehte hain agle zamane main ek Mir bhi tha”

(You alone are not the master of language, Ghalib
In the age gone by there was Mir, they say)

I am sure to this Mir would have replied “But sir, there shall only be one Ghalib.“

This is my dedication to all the Masters of Language.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Versatile Blogger Award

“For me, writing is exploration; and most of the time, I'm surprised where the journey takes me” says Jack Dann

I have been blogging for more than a couple of years now and sometimes I still wonder does this make a difference? With so many blogs around, the clutter increases by the day. Do the views on one of those blog count?

And this happened a few weeks ago, when one of my colleague asked me if I was the one who writes blogs? She had stumbled upon it and happened to remember it. This small gesture of hers gave a whole new perspective to my writing. People like her motivate me to keep writing.

And a few days back I was nominated for the versatile blogger award by Anita Menon, my baker friend and a fellow blogger. Anita, I humbly thank you for this honor.


As a part of the nominations, there are a few rules to be followed which can be read here -

Without further ado, allow me to share how this works.

In receiving this award, I have been asked to (and the same goes for you) :

  • In a post on your blog, nominate up to 15 more fellow bloggers for The Versatile Blogger Award.
  • In the same post, add the Versatile Blogger Award.
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to them in this post.
  • Share 7 things about yourself that most people don’t know.
  • In the same post, include this set of rules.
  • Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.

Seven things that most people don’t know about me:

1. I am bad at remembering roads. I can get lost on my way to home. :P
2. I adjust my chair according to my preferences before sitting. Any chair that has adjustable settings, will be adjusted. Even before sitting in a car, I adjust the seat according to my preference.
3. I love my food spicy. Well, thats kind of half truth. The whole truth is I love food.
4. I love following the superheroes. I would know the history of each character, the background, their superpowers, their weakness, their villains and their style of operating. My favourite vigilante is the Green Arrow.
5. I like to drink a cup of tea before retiring to bed.

6. One of the goals in life is to perform as a stand up comic.
7. I am a workaholic.

My Nominees:

Here are a few bloggers who have touched my life in many defining ways. And for some it may come as a surprise too, as I am generally a silent follower. So, here are my winners :

images (1) 

My nominees are (in no particular order):

Vishal Kataria of Vishipedia (Always a rocker!)

Meghna Garg of Etcetera, Etcetera… (Touching personal blogs)

Ranjit Nandgaonkar of Rana’s World (The Master of Language)

Vibha Nayak of Vibha Nayak’s Blogs (Fresh Writing)

Monika Manchanda of Monika’s World (The Big M)

Shweta Zaveri of One Life One World (Straight From The Heart)

Anirudh Shetty of Ani Ka Tadka (Read His Poems Too)

Yashasvi Vachhani of The Closed Portal (The Creative Writer)

Shiv Mishra of Shiv Gyan (The Blogging Guru)

Saily Patre of Saily’s Thoughts Unveiled (Her Poems Make The Day)

Nikhil Dudhwadkar of Social Up Beat (The Upbeat Blog)

Chinha Raheja of Being A Woman (Straight From Heart)

Atul Vhale of Blog Rides (The Full Circle Ride)

Anushree Menon of Expressions (A Fully Expressed Blog)

Kavya of Mind Intentionally Left Blank (Must Reads)

What about you, would you like to share a blog or two that have blessed you in more ways than one?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Specialist vs The Multi Talented

“I can see only the eye” replied Arjun to Dronacharya.
What he meant was that I see nothing but my target. He went on to become one of the finest archers of all times.
The formula of success is this. You keep specialising in one field and start gaining proficiency in that. And finally, after a lot of practice, you become the master of it. The specialist.
All of us have seen such specialists around us. Sachin Tendulkar is a master batsman. A R Rahman is a renowned musician. Tim Tebow. Steven Spielberg. Lionel Messi.
Here I make a proposition. How many of us can think of specialising in more than one field. Specially, when we are already successful in that one field and concentrating on any other field would mean risking the specialization of the first field?
There are a few people who have taken the risk. The Polymaths. And their results are astounding.
Disclaimer: A couple of points before we proceed.
1. Being talented and being successful are two different things. You may be talented, yet not successful. You may be successful and yet not talented.
2.  Being talented and being happy are two different things. Likewise.
Here we are not comparing being happy / successful / famous with being talented. This article is solely concentrates on expanding our horizons and testing our mental limits in terms of capitalizing our talent.

Lets see a few examples of multi talented personalities.
Babe Didrikson Zaharias- This lady was a champion athlete. She has won many
Olympic medals in track and field events. She set five world records in the javelin throw, 80-meter hurdles, high jump and baseball throw in a single afternoon in 1932 Olympics. She gained fame and all-american status in basketball too.
Then she began to play golf. Eventually, she had won every golf title available. Totalling both her amateur and professional victories, Zaharias won a total of 82 golf tournaments.
This is not all. She was an excellent seamstress, she made many of the clothes she wore, including her golfing outfits. She won the South Texas State Fair championship in Beaumont in sewing. And if you are already amazed by now, you need to listen to this. She was a singer and a harmonica player too. She recorded several songs on the Mercury Records label. Her biggest seller was "I Felt a Little Teardrop" with "Detour" on the flip side !!
Kishore Kumar, the legend. Kishore Kumar is an Indian film playback singer and an actor who also worked as lyricist, composer, producer, director, screenwriter and scriptwriter.
A few more to name. Benjamin Franklin was an author, printer, politician, inventor and scientist whose scientific contributions have influenced physics and electricity. Leonardo Da Vinci was the Italian renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and a writer genius. Aristotle’s writings covered a plethora of subjects including metaphysics, poetry, physics, logic, music, theatre, rhetoric, government, politics, biology, ethics and zoology. He is credited with discoveries including the golden mean, reason, logic and syllogism.
The only crucial concern that a polymath always has to overcome is concentrating on two different fields at the same time, and thereby the risk of failing in the primary field.
And the fundamental benefit a polymath gets over a specialist is the lateral amplification of his talents, which a specialist will never be able to experience. He stays in his own field, all the time.
So, if you are doing well in your field, would you continue doing what you are doing. and be a specialist in that one field?
Or would you stop for a moment, look back and see if there is something else you would want to achieve. And take that risk and explore new possibilities? The choice will always be yours.
Because, of course, you only live once !!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Bombai: A Multipolis In A Metropolis

Locally, BOMbay + MumBAI = Bombai !!

Bombai Nagariya. The city that tenderly kisses the Arabian Sea at its one end and opens its arms wide on the other, life here is as romantic as it is accelerated. Thus, rightly christened the “Maximum City”. The city that has been personified at all levels.

If Mumbai would have been an young lass, we would have a long standing affair with each other. Thats my relation with the city.

Recently, I got an opportunity to reinvent my relationship with the city at newer levels. Thanks to Avid Learning’s initiative “Multipolis Mumbai”

Multipolis Mumbai is a series of dialogues on various aspects of Mumbai. The dialogues have been well assorted in various domains like Architecture, Dance, Songs, Food etc. It will host a panel discussion on the topics related to the city. The series plans to cover cultural aspects of the city in totality. And just by reading this, I can feel the adrenaline rush in me !

The series kicked off with a bang yesterday, with a dialogue on 'Architecture and our city'. This dialogue, brought by AVID Learning in association with Studio X and Time Out India is focused on the relationship between architecture and Mumbai, and their on one another – paying special attention to urban planning issues and its future.

The Panellists included :
Brinda Somaya
Architect and Urban Conservationist
Deepshikha Jain
Architect and professional photographer
Mustansir Dalvi
Professor at JJ School of Architecture and prolific writer on Architecture and the city

And was moderated by : Naresh Fernandes
Journalist and former Time Out Editor-in-Chief

I entered the venue late, being stuck in the never ending traffic. Ironically enough, I blamed the Mumbai traffic and the unplanned and  haphazard growth leading to this condition. All true Mumbaikars do that. And that is the relation we share with the city. We love it from the bottom of our hearts, yet never miss a chance to compare it with other cities of the world and sulk about it.

As the discussion started, and the various views brought by the panellists opened new perspectives at looking at the city. After each one presented their views, the talk gradually progressed to cultural and ethical norms in creating an architecture around the city.

Some of the perspectives included:

  • Never be ashamed of what you see in the city ~ Brinda Somaya
  • If you want to change the city, start by changing the definitions. Once you stop calling slums as slums, you start thinking of how to integrate it with the existing city ~ Mustansir Dalvi
  • Governance has an ariel view and people have the street view. We need some who has the middle view and co ordinate between the both ~ Deepshikha Jain

Upon the conclusion, the audience was left energised and electrified. And wanting for more.

Special thanks to:

The Avid Learning team, for coordinating and managing this event.


The Time Out India Team for contributing to organise this.


Studio X for the amazing venue.


If you have missed this event, no worries. There are many more to come. Watch out this space for more news.

This series give us all an opportunity to relive the city. Are you ready to reinvent you affair with this beautiful city?