Ayurvedic Anti-Pollution Masterclass with Kama Ayurveda

The Mumbai heat, humidity and pollution tends to damage the quality of my skin and hair. And I was always wondering what to do about it (I don’t like to use harsh chemical products on my skin). That’s why I was super excited when Kama Ayurveda contacted me to collaborate with them on the Ayurvedic Anti-Pollution Masterclass event!

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This masterclass was held on Saturday 28th October between 11AM and 1PM at the Kama Ayurveda store in Juhu. Many expats joined us to have a qualitative discussion about problems linked to their skin. The highlights of this masterclass were an interesting Ayurveda Talk, a DIY Activity and a Personal Doctor Consultation.

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The Ayurveda talk was very informative, giving us a brief history of what Ayurveda exactly is and how it has been passed on in Indian culture from generation to generation. The doctor at Kama Ayurveda provided us with some really important details about our body, mentioning how different nutrients are vital for our skin and hair, and what are the natural foods from which we could get these vitamins.

After the educative doctor’s talk, we got into a fun DIY activity, making a super easy but highly effective Anti-pollution Detoxifying Face Mask / Detox Body Mask (recipe given below) that contains five natural ingredients, namely Ubtan, virgin coconut oil, raw honey, juice of half a lemon and fresh Tulsi leaves that protect your skin from pollution, tan and give your face a beautiful glow.

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After the amazing DIY activity, it was time for our final event – a Personal Doctor Consultation. The doctor checked the dosha (body type) of each participant and gave a perfect analysis of their body issues and solutions for the same (it’s a bit crazy to think how much the doctor could tell us about our body issues just by looking at us…).

 

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Overall, it was such a fun event and I am so glad you all liked the event – in fact, we all liked it so much that I am thinking of hosting another similar workshop with KAMA soon.

Recipe for the Anti-pollution Detoxifying Face Mask / Detox Body Mask :

Ingredients:  

2 Tablespoons Mridul for Face (replace with Ubtan for body) 

1 Teaspoon Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

1/2 Tablespoon Raw Honey

Juice of half a lemon 0r 1 drop of Lime essential oil

Add Fresh Tulsi leaves

Instructions:

Mix the ingredients together and apply to your freshly washed face. Let the mask sit for 10 minutes before rinsing. Use as desired. You can apply this mask once a month, but if you are prone to oily skin you may want to use it more often.

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The Bandra Fort

Bandra Fort, originally known as the Castella de Aguada is a fort located next to the Taj Land’s End Hotel in the Bandra, offers a spectacular view of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link.

The fort got its name the Portuguese. Castella de Aguada means Fort of the Waterpoint in Portuguese. The word ‘castella’ is actually a misspelling for the word ‘castelo’ which means castle, and ‘aguada’ meaning fresh water.

And though Bandra Fort is crowded (mostly with locals), I absolutely love this place to get away from the Mumbai crowd. Just standing there and looking at the water and the Sea Link, I forget the hundreds of people around me. And nobody really bothers you.

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History-

The Bandra Fort was built by the Portuguese in 1640 as a watchtower overlooking Mahim Bay, the Arabian Sea and the southern island of Mahim after they defeated Bahadur Shah of Gujarat. Castella de Aguada was one strategically located fort  for the Navy as it also guarded the northern sea route into Mumbai Harbour. The fort, however, was partially demolished by the British after the decline of the Portuguese empire so that the Marathas, who were slowly getting stronger by the day, would not use this fort as a forward military base to attack the British-ruled Bombay. What we see today are the remains of the fort after centuries of attacks and destruction. 

How to reach-

Just tell your taxi driver to take you to Bandra Fort next to Taj Lands End. If you are coming by train, Bandra station is the closest station. A rickshaw from there will cost you about ₹50-60.

Timings and tickets-

The fort is open throughout the week from 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM. There is no entry fee to the place and that is exactly what makes it so easily accessible to the public. A complete tour of the fort and the Bandra amphitheatre would take anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour.

Don’t forget-

PC: DNA India
PC: DNA India

Make sure to bring drinking water and sun protection as this is an outdoor place which can be very hot during the midday sun. And of course, don’t forget to click amazing pictures with the Bandra Worli Sea Link in the background.  

Things to do this week in Mumbai (30 October – 05 November, 2017)

30th October, Monday

Start your week with a hauntingly beautiful night as Grand Hyatt Mumbai presents to you Halloween Nights at The Bar. Gather around the pumpkin’s light and party long into the night as The Bar offers you an array of delicious Halloween-themed snacks complemented with deadly cocktails.

31st October, Tuesday

Who said Tuesdays are boring? Make them fun by enjoying the brand new #HighOnLife menu at Khar Social which includes funky fresh new drinks and amazing food. To make it even better, Nikhil Dsouza will be playing his fresh set of originals for you. So get High on life this Tuesday! For more information, visit their Facebook event page.

01st November, Wednesday

Forget your midweek woes as Chai Met Toast at anti SOCIAL is going to be all about amazing breakfast options accompanied by beautiful music. Watch fresh new bands performing live just for you. For more information about the event, check out their official Facebook event page.

02nd November, Thursday

It’s time for Transition 201 to bring to you Drumcell + Dotdat as they will make you groove all night to some amazing techno music! Visit their official Facebook event page for recent updates.

03rd November, Friday

Wait. Did someone say free pizza? Well yes, 1441 Pizzeria – Kamala Mills is all set to bring wood-fired awesomeness on Friday as they’ll be giving away FREE Pizzas to one and all! So make sure to drop by on the 3rd for some awesome pizzas.

04th November, Saturday

This Saturday, take a pledge to remain fit and healthy by joining the Adidas Uprising 3.0 event where Mumbaikars will come together to celebrate the spirit of sport by participating in different sports activities. So gear up, register for the #Uprising now.

05th November, Sunday

Spend your Sunday in the most regal manner as The Bohri Kitchen presents to you their White Mutton Pulao & Chicken Angara Special – traditional Bohri-style recipes home-cooked and served on big plate, called thaal. So don’t wait any longer! Experience this Bohri Food Coma on Sunday.

Happy Birthday Starbucks India – 5 years and 100 stores!!!

There was a life before Starbucks that some of you who have been living in India for more than 5 years will remember. In 2012, the first India store was opened at Horniman Circle in Mumbai. And 5 years later, Starbucks just opened it 100th store – also in Mumbai.

Starbucks India is currently present in Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi and Bangalore. And they are planning to open 3 stores in Kolkata next year.

To celebrate their 5th year anniversary in India and the opening of their 100th store, Starbucks has a special offer across all their stores on Saturday, 28 October 2017. 100 Rupees for any short/tall handcrafted beverage. All day long.

Thank you Starbucks for giving us such an amazing gift on YOUR birthday!!!

This offer is valid at all Starbucks stores across India but if you want to meet me, you should come to my favorite Starbucks store at Phoenix Marketcity Kurla.

Starbucks India 100th store 5th anniversary

Our TOP 3 choices to celebrate Halloween in Mumbai

Spooky, scary, ghosts and goblins – These are the few words that can come to your mind when you hear the word Halloween. It becomes a perfect spot for all those who like to party and have fun. Although it it is celebrated on the 31st of October, the celebrations in Mumbai are starting tonight.

Here are our TOP 3 choices to celebrate Halloween in Mumbai!

Halloween Latin Partyhalloween-party

Date: Wednesday, 25 October, 9pm onwards

Venue: Shiro, Bombay Dyeing Mill Compound, Pandurang Budhkar Marg, Worli, Mumbai

Drop in wearing your ghostly attire and dance the night away to the funkiest salsa and latino tunes. There will be interesting events such as Face Painting, Prizes for Best Dressed, and there will also be a special guest DJ for the night! Halloween Parade will be held at midnight. So get ready and get spooky!

Halloween Cookie Class

Date:  Saturday, 28 October, 2:00-4:30pm

Venue: Springstreet Bakery (OPC) Pvt. Ltd. Gala no.19, Swastik Industrial Estate, Behind L&T Financial Services, Vidyanagari (CST) Road, Kalina, Santacruz East, Mumbai

Ready to have some Halloween fun? No experience is required, just bring your creativity and get ready to zone out and decorate some cookies. There is nothing for you to bring, the bakery will have the cookies baked and all of the icing ready, so you can get right to the fun part…decorating! You will have to fill a form for the class and the fee is ₹2500 + GST, per person. The class is not eggless.

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Grisly Girgaon Ghost Walk

Date: Tuesday, 31st October, 9pm until midnight

Venue: Girgaon, Mumbai

Visit the spookiest part of Mumbai on this Halloween Special Ghost Walk and see the real reason why Mumbai is called the City That Never Sleeps. The fee for this ghostwalk is ₹799 per person.

Team Gwenda Glocalista wishes you ‘spooktacular’ Halloween!

A hidden Japanese temple in Mumbai

The chaos of the bustling Worli Naka, one of the busiest commercial hubs of Mumbai, fades away in the background as soon as you enter the city’s oldest Buddhist temple. This ultimate place of serenity is called the Nipponzan Myohoji Temple. It is possibly the only surviving Japanese temple in Mumbai and serves as a refuge of peace and tranquility from the outside world.

PC- Ruta Karmarkar
PC- Ruta Karmarkar

Built in 1956, this temple is spread over an area of approximately 820 square meters. Nipponzan Myohoji’s origins are linked directly to an almost 700 year old prophecy made in the 13th century by a Japanese monk called Maha Bodhisattva Nichiren, who said that the ultimate salvation of humanity, contaminated by all that was evil and impure, lay in the western haven of India, and that Buddhism would spread to the rest of the world from there. Many centuries later, another Japanese monk named Nichidatsu Fujii came to India in 1931 with a group of disciples, with the intention of fulfilling that prophecy by communicating the Lotus Sutra in India and also to repay boundless debt of gratitude to the Buddha in his original land of dharma. He remained in India until 1938, and during this period Fujii built a small temple in Worli Naka. In 1956, the temple underwent a makeover which was funded by philanthropist Seth Raja Baldeo Das Birla and is maintained today by his family’s charitable trust.

PC- Ruta Karmarkar
PC- Ruta Karmarkar

This Japanese Buddhist order temple is open to all Buddhists and people of other ethnicities such as Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Parsis, Chinese, Japanese and Tibetans who come to participate in the daily worship and satsang (prayers) in mutual harmony and goodwill.

PC- Ruta Karmarkar
PC- Ruta Karmarkar

Today, the Nipponzan Myohoji temple is looked after by Bhikshu T Morita, a resident Japanese monk who has been taking care of the temple and its premises for about 41 years. The structure of the temple is really beautiful. There is a main hall where everyone gathers to pray, with two wooden drums in the corner. The walls adorn paintings on Buddha’s life, and a six and a half feet marble statue of Buddha is placed in the sanctum sanctorum. Prayers are held twice during the day with a soothing chant, “Namu-Myoho-Renge-Kyo”, the central mantra of Nichiren Buddhism, accompanied by rhythmic drum beats, every morning from 6–7am and evening from 6–7:30pm.

This temple, where one can experience absolute calm and peace, is a monument almost forgotten in the hustle bustle of this busy city. It is a rare example where history and modernity go side by side. One must surely visit this temple if you want to detach yourself from the hectic city life and spent a few quiet and peaceful moments.

Hindi 101- Basic Hindi Words And Sentences

If you are a person travelling in India, or you have just shifted here recently, Hindi could be a difficult language to gain mastery at in a short span of time. But you can always learn some commonly used phrases and words to effectively communicate throughout the country. Here are some of the basic Hindi words and phrases that should help you out!

  1. Hello = Namaste (नमस्ते)
  2. Yes = Haa (हाँ)
  3. No = Nahi (नहीं)
  4. Thank you = Dhanyavaad (धन्यवाद)
  5. Sorry (for a mistake) = Maaf kijiye (माफ़ कीजिये)
  6. What is your name? = Aapka naam kya hain? (आपका नाम क्या है)
  7. My name is ___ = Mera naam ___ hain (मेरा नाम __ है)
  8. How much is this for? = yeh kitne ka hain? (यह कितने का है?)
  9. Can you help me? = Kya aap meri madad kar saktey hain? (क्या आप मेरी मदद कर सकते हैं)
  10. Where are you from?= Aap kahaan sey hain? (आप कहाँ से हैं?)
  11. Go straight! then turn left/ right = Seedha jaao! Phir bānyae/ dānyae mudiye (सीधे जाओ! बांए/दायें मुड़िए)
  12. Less spicy = Kam teekha (कम तीखा)
  13. Can you say it again? = Kya aap isse fir se keh sakte hain? (क्या आप इसे फिर से कह सकते हैं?)
  14. What time is it? = Kya samay hua hain? (क्या समय हुआ है?)
  15. Can you speak slowly? = Kyaa aap dheere baat kar sakte hain? (क्या आप धीरे बात कर सकते हैं?)
  16. Can you talk in English? = Kya aap Angrezi mein baat kar sakte hain? (क्या आप अंग्रेजी में बात कर सकते हैं?)
  17. Where is the washroom? = Bathroom kahaan hain? (बाथरूम कहाँ है?)
  18. I love you! = Mein tumsey pyaar kartaa/ karti (female) hu! (मैं तुमसे प्यार करता/ करती हुँ!)
  19. Happy birthday! = Janamdin ki shubhkamanayein! (जन्मदिन की शुभकामनाएं!)
  20. See you again – Fir milenge (फिर मिलेंगे)

 

Things to do this week in Mumbai (23 October – 29 October, 2017)

23rd October, Monday

The word Monday terrifies all of us since it’s the beginning of a long week ahead! In order to survive the week, we do need some motivation! Kickstart your Mondays with these yummy Choco lava Cakes filled with gooey chocolatey goodness only at 212 All Good. After eating these, we are sure you’d say that the week couldn’t have started any better!

24th October, Tuesday

Treat yourself to an hour of crazy laughter and fun as Kanan Gill, one of India’s top stand-up comedians, will be performing live at MTV Flyp. He has already made his debut on the big screen early this year, and now he is coming to MTV Flyp to charm everyone with his amazing sense of humor. Click here to buy the tickets and find out more info about the event.

25th October, Wednesday

Get ready for a wonderful evening today as All Things Nice will be hosting a Stoli Vodka and Cigar Evening. This is the perfect event to celebrate managing through half of the week! What’s special for our readers? They are offering a 10% special discount to anyone who mentions Gwenda Glocalista. So what are you waiting for? Attend this event at All Things Nice and enjoy your Wednesday evening.

26th October, Thursday

China House is back with the very first menu that they came up with 10 years ago! And what’s the best part? They are re-launching it with the same 10-year old prices! This amazing menu can be availed on the 26th of every month. This special offer will be valid till 26th December, for both lunch and dinner. For more updates, check out their official Facebook event page.

27th October, Friday

Do you love to read or write? If yes, then you must attend this event that Team YKA (Youth ki Awaaz) is hosting. It is an interactive meet up where you get a chance to talk about the crucial issues shaping our democracy and also discuss about the flair of writing. Check out their official Facebook event page for more information and updates.

28th October, Saturday

Gwenda Glocalista presents another exclusive event- Ayurvedic Masterclass with KAMA Ayurveda for Expats only. Skin is one of the most important parts of an individual. Therefore, it is really important to learn how to take good care of it. Invest in your skin with the help of natural Ayurvedic products. The event will be hosted at the Kama Ayurveda store in Juhu which will include an interesting Ayurveda Talk + DIY Activity + Personal Doctor Consultation. Attendees will be served with small bites and drinks and will also get gift vouchers. Find more about the event in our blogpost.

We also have another event to make your Saturday busy and eventful. Halloween is around, so get into the Halloween mood by decorating some delicious cookies at this Halloween Cookie Class. You don’t have to bake them or ice them, just decorate them in the Halloween theme. Fun, isn’t it? Fill the form to book yourself for the event.

29th October, Sunday

Art is the most beautiful method to express yourself. Explore your interest in art at the Painting Party organised by Bombay Drawing Room. No prior experience is needed. You will be provided with all the requirements like canvas, food, drinks and art supplies. Jai Ranjit, an amazing self-taught artist from Mumbai who has been teaching art for more than 10 years, will be there to guide you. For more information, check out their official Facebook event page.

A guide to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in Mumbai

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, formerly known as Victoria Terminus, is a historic railway station in Mumbai and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004. The station was built in the Bori Bunder area of Mumbai to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. It is an outstanding example of Victorian-Gothic style of architecture in India. It serves as the headquarters of the Central Railways. Built in 1888, the building structure has been designed by Frederick William Stevens. It is a beautiful blend of Victorian, Hindu and Islamic styles. This late-19th-century railway terminus is a reminder of British Raj pre-independence and is still one of the most iconic landmarks within the city. It is one of the busiest railway stations in India, serving as a terminal for both long-distance trains and commuter trains. The name of the station was changed from Victoria Terminus (VT)  to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) in March 1996 in honour of the founder of Maratha Empire, Emperor Chhatrapati Shivaji.

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HISTORY & ARCHITECTURE-

The construction of the building began in May 1878 (139 years ago) and it was completed 10 years later in 1888. dsc_0724
It was the longest time taken by any building of that era in Bombay. It was built in the honor of the Queen Victoria on her Golden Jubilee in 1887. Designed by the British architect F.W. Stevens, the city was named as the ‘Gothic City’ due to this magnificent building’s architectural styles.

The main architecture of the building highlights reflects the High Victorian Gothic styles. The building exhibits a fusion of influences from Victorian Italianate Gothic Revival architecture and classical Indian architecture. The remarkable skyline, turrets, pointed arches, and eccentric ground plan are close to classical Indian palace architecture. This grand structure has been a key witness to the city flourishing into the financial capital of the country. At the time, the building was the most expensive structure in Mumbai costing 260,000 Sterling Pounds. The Lion and Tiger figures at the entrance of the terminus represent the countries Britain and India respectively.
The statue on top of the central dome of the building is called the ‘Statue of Progress’, with a spoke wheel in her left hand and a torch in the right. Other statues that surround the central Progress statue are statue of Agriculture, Engineering & Science, Shipping & Commerce, the three integral elements of the British Empire’s progress back then.

It is also a fact that, Many of the sculptures on the exterior of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus were made by Indian students of JJ School of Arts in Mumbai, under the guidance of John Lockwood Kipling, author Rudyard Kipling’s father.

Star chambers at CSTNorth Wing, known as the Star Chamber, which is still used as the booking office, is embellished with Italian marble and polished Indian blue stone. The ceiling of the booking hall was originally painted blue, gold and strong red on a ground of rich blue with gold stars. Its walls were lined with glazed tiles made by Maw & Co of Britain.

 

CST is the India’s second most photographed building. It has been a treat to the eyes of foreign tourists with elegant architecture which reminds them of some architectural marvels in their own land. CST is said to be motivated by the architecture of St. Pancras station, London.

They do have a Guided Heritage Tour through the main central building of the station, visiting the railway museum, the central dome and all the way to the top.
To visit the Heritage Museum at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Station, the entrance is in the right wing of the building, near the bus stands. The tickets priced at INR 200; INR 100 for students. It is open on weekdays only, and closed on public holidays, timings are 3.00 pm-5.00 pm.

P.C: Manali_Jain
P.C: Manali_Jain

Diwali Celebrations In India

Deepavali or Diwali, the Festival of Lights for Hindus is celebrated every year with great enthusiasm and joy. Not only is it celebrated in a grand way in India, but also globally. An official holiday is declared every year in countries like Fiji, Guyana, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Mauritius, Suriname, Tobago and Trinidad. Recently, Sindh province also got registered in this list of official holidays for Diwali.

The festival of light signifies the victory of good over evil, light over darkness. The Hindu festival is a typical celebration of 5-days, starting from the Day of Dhanteras but Diwali night, is the main night of the festival.

Indian Girl Holding Traditional Oil Lamp

When we try to paint a picture of Diwali celebrations in our mind, all we come across are the decorations with lights and flowers, candlelights, sweets, celebrations with friends and families. Diwali is the biggest festival in India. Not only Hindus, but different communities like Jains, Sikhs also celebrate this festival together. Diwali is all about commemorating the victory of good over evil and imparts a message for all of us to let go of the past and move on towards a happy life.

Why do we celebrate Diwali?

Diwali was initially celebrated to mark the homecoming return of Lord Rama along with his wife Sita and brother Laxmana after a long exile of 14 years. The word ‘Diwali’ means row of lights. After defeating Ravana, it was their king’s return journey to his home. In order to celebrate Diwali, diyas were lit by the people of Ayodhya to welcome their king.

Some also believe that this day is celebrated to commemorate the marriage of Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi Ji.

Jains celebrate this festival as the day of anniversary of Nirvana or liberation of their God Mahavira’s soul. Lord Ganesha is worshipped on the day of Diwali. In West Bengal, people worship Goddess Kali, who is a symbol of Shakti, meaning power.

How is Diwali celebrated in different parts of India?

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Diwali: 19th October 2017
On this day, people wear new clothes, share gifts with their near and dear ones and some people also buy gold or silver jewelry during this festival.

  • North India: People worship Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha at their homes on Diwali night. They celebrate it with fireworks, lights and distributing sweets.
  • East India: People of West Bengal and Assam worship Goddess Kali whereas the people of Jharkhand and Bihar do Lakshmi pooja at their homes in the evening. They also make rangolis at their home on the verandah area.
  • West India: Maharashtrians also perform Lakshmi pooja. On Narak Chaturdashi, they perform a ritual called the “first bath” during which they get up before dawn, massage their bodies with scented oils and a natural exfoliating powder called “ubtan”, have a bath, wear new clothes and then light diyas all over the house. Then they organise a special feast, known as “faraal”, where sweets and savoury snacks are eaten together by the family and also distributed. Gujaratis do it their way, by drawing footprints of Goddess Lakshmi on the onset of their house.
  • South India: South Indians from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh worship Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabhama. They celebrate their victory over the demon king Narakasura. People from Karnataka take an oil bath and also build forts using cow dung at their homes.

Tips:

  • Wear cotton clothes only.
  • Keep yourself away from synthetic fibres.
  • Keep first aid kit ready.
  • Do not burn fire crackers in closed area.
  • Do not burn crackers while you’ve been holding it in your hand.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher ready in your home.

Have a Happy and Safe Diwali!