Tag Archives: Kala Ghoda Art Festival

‘Unboggle the Blog’ on 28April @InOrbit Mall

I’ve been blogging for eight years now. From having an obscure hobby, to being part of the geekcrowd, to editing to press quotes to being ‘discovered’ by social media professionals and labelled with such words as ‘influencer’, it’s been a long and eventful time. Last year, I had a chance to take it to the next level when Payal asked me to be a part of the ‘Writing for new media‘ workshop that she had put together for the Kala Ghoda Art Festival 2011. That day long jamming it up with Moksh and Payal was nothing but pure fun.

Write Click

Payal and I both got wrapped up in other things and it was nearly a year before we managed to get together again. Thus was born Write Click, a series of web writing workshops. We started with a two-session workshop on ‘Social Content for Branding‘ with the Avignyata team.

This was followed by our first for-the-public workshop on general blogging, content creation & community management in February. We had a paltry few registrations till 4 days before the workshop. Then suddenly, calls and emails started flooding in and our ‘Unboggle the Blog‘ had a full house. The response was so overwhelming that we had to repeat the workshop within a fortnight for those who couldn’t be accomodated the first time round. And in March, we took ‘Unboggle the Blog‘ to a slicker, glossier venue at MET college.

We’ve had memorable experiences in each of the workshops. The most inspiring, heart-warming story from our February workshop is that of Amar Jain. This bright, friendly law student emailed us to tell us of his interest. And then he mentioned that he was visually challenged and used screen reading software to navigate the internet. It hadn’t occurred to us before this conversation but Amar reminded us that blogging was free, completely democratic expression for anybody. Not only did Amar attend the first ‘Unboggle the Blog‘, he turned out to be a valuable reference for the legal aspects of content. He was also one of the group leaders in our final exercise.

The next ‘Unboggle the Blog‘ brought us cheer in the form of a participant from Nashik and two others from Pune. We also tightened the format and added a few extra things.

Our last ‘Unboggle the Blog‘ was at MET college and a personal phenomenon for me. From student to alumnus to recruiter to faculty, this event completes a full circle for me as a member of the MET community. Our participants included five faculty members as well as the head of GyaanExchange, which partnered with us for registration.

And I’m happy to announce that this month, we take ‘Unboggle the Blog‘ out of Bandra and into the suburbs. The next ‘Unboggle the Blog‘ workshop will happen on 28th April 2012 at InOrbit Mall, Malad. Our focus right from the start has been to make our workshops fun as well as informative for the participants. This might be a different group from the ones we’ve had an opportunity to be with in past workshops. Conducting the workshop in a mall, and a popular ones at that also opens up a range of possibilities for us, in terms of activities & exercises.

Here are the details of this event:

Unboggle the Blog @InOrbit mall, Malad on 28Apr

As with other media like magazines, newspapers, radio & television, the social media has its own unique personality. A tweet, a status update, a blogpost, an email, a comment or even a shared link have their own code and language. This workshop will look at blog creation & viralling, microblogging, managing conversations and community building. Participants can expect to learn:

  • How to create engaging & sustainable conversations
  • How to manage responses
  • How to initiate and drive conversations
  • How to build communities

Date: Saturday, 28 April 2012
Time: 10AM-6PM
Venue: InOrbit Mall, Link Road, Malad West, Mumbai 400 064
Number of seats: 20
Fee: Single-Rs.2300 ; Group of 3- Rs.6000

Registration will be confirmed on full payment. Entry to the workshop will be on presentation of receipt.

To register, email us with ‘REGISTER FOR UNBOGGLE’ in the subject line at:

Ramya Pandyan: ideasmithy@gmail.com
Payal Shah Karwa: thewordjockey@gmail.com

You can also call us at 9870964781 or sign up through GyaanExchange.

Connect with us!

We are Ramya Pandyan (Ideasmith), writer/blogger and Payal Shah Karwa (The Word Jockey), an independent communications consultant. Both of us have been keen users and observers of this space, since its inception. We each have a corporate background as well as writing experience across different media including social media. Each of us also enjoys good readership on Twitter and our blogs.

We are on Facebook. Follow the hash tag on Twitter: #unboggleblog.
We tweet as @ideasmithy and @thewordjockey.

Our blogs: Ramya Pandyan – The Idea-smithy, XX Factor
Payal Shah Karwa – The Word Jockey

Catch the pictures from our past workshops on Facebook.

I Style!: The Bird Lady

At the Kala Ghoda Art Festival 2011 this year, where I conducted a session on blogging, I had a chance to meet some new people. One of them was the lovely Snigdha Manchanda Binjola, better known on the twitterverse as @actionink. I, like everyone else in the session was captivated by her bright eyes, her warm smile and her fantastic session about tying in story-telling techniques into business solutions.

Much intrigued, I connected with her later and we had an enjoyable evening chat where we discovered a common love of tea, stories and much else. I cherish the memory of that first tea-date. And here’s what she wore to the meeting (which made me laugh heartily), which gets her on I Style!

Snigdha says the earrings are from Accessorize, the new everyday jewelery store that’s hit malls across the city. Of course, that admission merited a trip and some impromptu shopping. 🙂

* Cross-posted to Divadom.


See what I wore to the Kala Ghoda Art Festival at The Boheme At Kala Ghoda.
Catch other people who incorporated fun into their style at the I Style! gallery.

I Style!: Three Aliens Plus One

Back in February, I had the privilege of conducting a blogging workshop as part of the Kala Ghoda Art Festival 2011. Among the team, was my dear friend Moksh Juneja (also known as The Social Media Catalyst). Now Moksh is a regular teddybear, a fact known well to those close to him. He’s also a regular on the social media circuit. In another avatar, he moonlights as a college lecturer, a job that gives him all the practice needed in rescuing us from difficult crowd situations(!).

So what does a college lecturer/social media professional wear to a funky, artsy festival? Here’s what:

Now Moksh deserves an I Style! award just for that pose, never mind the tie, what say? Incidentally the photograph was shot right outside the Kala Ghoda office, by E Vestigio whose superb lens skills also it possible for me to blog about what I wore (I Wear: The Boheme At Kala Ghoda).

* Cross-posted to Divadom.

Moksh isn’t the only one to incorporate a little fun into his wardrobe! See the I Style! gallery for more!

I Wear: The Boheme At Kala Ghoda

The Kala Ghoda Art Festival is an event I look forward to all year. In the past few years, I’ve been covering the event for the Official Kala Ghoda Gazette. This year I had the privilege of conducting (in part) a workshop with my session on blogging.

It’s been a year and half since I stood up to make a presentation but the old b-school instincts started to kick in. One of my magic mantras for knocking knees and stammers (the bane of all public-speaking phobics) is to dress well. When I look good, I feel good and it gives me confidence.

This being an art event, I had a much wider palate to play with than usual. So I completely disregarded the safer colours in my wardrobe and decided to go splash with the most artistic, bohemian apparel I could think of.

I started with my yellow shoes, a pick from the post-New Year sale at Catwalk. Yellow is my colour for the season, the new red or black or pink or whatever. It has all the pizzazz of red but with the innocence of white and a glee all its own. I fell in love with this pair the minute I tried them on, because of how they looked but also how they felt – comfortable and happy.

Jeans were the obvious match for those shoes, the more basic blue, the more faded and discrete, the better. These are my favorite straight-fit basic blue Levis.

I considered wearing a tee-shirt in the same colour as the shoes but decided against it as it would divide focus between the top and bottom halves. So I wore a white chikan FabIndia kurti instead. This piece is versatile enough to team up with trousers for a formal meeting or match with jeans for a laid-back look. I funked it up with a chunky necklace from FabIndia.

Anything worth doing is worth overdoing, says Bigby Wolf and that’s my mantra too. Subtle is not my style and when I’m going for boheme, there’s no restraint. In this ensemble, I couldn’t possibly leave my favorite blue-and-yellow Chettinad checkered dupatta (also from FabIndia) at home. I slung it over my neck and tossed one end over a shoulder. I figured if it got cooler in the evening, it could double up as a shawl.

It would be a pity to falter on the bag with such a colourful ensemble. So I brought out the cloth drawstring bag that a friend brought me back from her vacation in Coorg. It’s grass green jute stamped with gold block prints and has a bright yellow drawstring and shoulder straps. Green wooden bangles from FabIndia completed my look.

Too colourful? Take a look:

I wear:

  • Yellow moccasins: Catwalk
  • Blue straight-fit jeans: Levis
  • White chikan kurti: FabIndia
  • Blue & yellow chettinad checks dupatta: FabIndia
  • Chunky retro wooden necklace on thread chain: FabIndia
  • Green and blue wooden bangles: FabIndia
  • Green jute bag with gold block print & yellow straps: street bazaar, Coorg


If I look good, the credit goes to E Vestigio who shot all the pictures featured in this post.

Update: Blurring the face may detract from the quality of the picture and subsequently the post. But trolling & harassment are causing the only option to be no posts at all. I think all of you will agree with me that this is a reasonable solution. I don’t wish to discuss this further so please do not start any conversations on this issue, on this blog.

*Cross-posted at Divadom.

Write Click: Workshop On Writing For Social Media At Kala Ghoda Art Festival 2011

I’ve been a keen visitor to the Kala Ghoda Art Festival every year. Four years ago, I also started writing for the Kala Ghoda Gazette, the festival’s official blog (which unfortunately is not running this year). So I was thrilled when Payal asked if I’d like to be a part of a workshop she was organizing for the literary end of the festival.

Here’s presenting Write Click, a workshop on writing for social & online media. The workshop is for people who love the written word, who work in a profession that requires it and who are intrigued by the new media available for its expression. You don’t have to be a blogger to participate but if you are, then my end of the workshop may be of special interest to you.

In this 2 half-day workshop, we’ll look at blogging, social media, online marketing tools, content strategies and how the online medium differs from the offline. We’re looking at keeping it light and fun but also useful for the future blogger-writers in you!

Place: Kala Ghoda Association Office. This is in the lane between Rhythm House and the building with a horse painted on it.

Date: 12th & 13th February, 2011

Time: 11.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m. each day

Materials: Participants are requested to carry pen and paper and will be allowed to take notes. Cameras and laptops are welcome too.

Fees: This workshop is completely free. However there may be a nominal deposit to be paid on the first day, which will be returned at the end of the workshop.

Registration: To participate, please write to kalaghoda.workshops[at]gmail[dot]com,
with a copy to Payal thewordjockey[at]gmail[dot]com
and to me ideasmithy[at]gmail[dot]com.
Use ‘Workshop: Write Click” in the title of the email.

Participation: This being a workshop, we may need to limit the number of people participating in the exercises to ensure fair attention to each of them. However, the workshop includes conversations and presentations and non-participating audience members are welcome too.

People: This workshop is being organized by The Word Jockey and conducted by Moksh Juneja, Nimesh Shah, Snigdha Manchanda, Sandhya, Juhi Dua and myself.

If you’re passionate about writing or blogging or know someone who is, come join us this weekend!

Chutney Aloo Sabzi

Mum’s out of town again, which means that the kitchen is my free ground. I feel a little more confident this year than last year, since I’ve been experimenting with cooking. The kitchen doesn’t seem like scary, alien territory anymore. I’m actually cooking andaaze se instead of following the instructions with a paranoid feeling like it’ll go wrong.

This weekend, at the Kala Ghoda Art Festival, I had a chance to attend a workshop on Food Writing, which spurred me on to document my culinary experiments.

Recently, I transferred my window garden into fresher pots and planted a few new leaves. The last have put out flowers which means they’ve ‘taken’ in the soil. Also, I realised that my plants just bloom and wither away. I’ve never had the heart to break off a leaf, as fresh and green and alive as it looks on the plant. But if I don’t, it’s actually restricting the plant from growing further. With this in mind, I resolved to use the ajwain leaves that have been blossoming in my recently grafted pot.

Now mum doesn’t really like the taste of ajwain so she doesn’t use it in her cooking at all. I like the spicy tang of the leaves and I thought it would go really well with a fried dish. Ajwain bhajias are the most obvious choice but I wanted something that could go with the regular staple of rice and sambhar/rasam/kozhambu/daal. So I guess I was really lucky to find in my vegetable bin, that most adaptable, most delicious of all vegetables – potato!

So here goes, a recipe I’ve (mostly I think) devised myself and which, I tested today to great success. I call this Chutney Aloo.

Chutney Aloo sabzi


  • 3 large potatoes diced
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp urad daal
  • 3 tsp sambhar powder
  • 3 tbsp oil
    For chutney
  • 1 cup ajwain leaves
  • 1 green chilli<
  • 2 small cubes ginger
  • 1 tsp tamarind
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp mango powder
  • ½ tsp salt


  1. Grind chutney ingredients to coarse paste. Add water as required. Ginger brings a rounded pungency while green chili adds a sharp sting. Depending upon your taste, you could increase either to make the chutney spicier. Ajwain provides a tangy aftertaste but could get lost in the stronger flavours of ginger & chili so ensure that it is also increased in direct proportion to additions of either.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil. Add mustard seeds. When they sputter, add urad dal and onion. Stir fry till the urad dal turns brown.
  3. Add the potatoes and stir well to ensure every piece is covered with oil. Sprinkle sambar powder and salt to coat evenly.
  4. Put in the chutney and immediately add a little oil to ensure it doesn’t stick to bottom of the pan. Mix well so the potatoes are evenly covered.
  5. Add a glass of water, cover and cook on low flame. Periodically check if potato is cooked by poking. Add water when it evaporates.
  6. When potato is cooked, take the cover off and heat till the water evaporates and the chutney is thick and creamy.
  7. Garnish with fresh ajwain leaves.


Serves 4 people as a side-dish.

This can be eaten as an accompaniment to sambhar rice or curd rice. It could also be placed between two slices of bread, if your tastes run to Indianized sandwiches.

* Cross-posted on Salt To Taste.

Wet Paint, Paper Flowers and Dancing Men

The Kala Ghoda Art Festival 2010 kicked off to a rollicking start on Saturday. After sampling a bit of literature, visual art, music and food through the day, I finally settled on theatre for my final course in the night. The play ‘Dance Like A Man’ was being staged at Horniman Circle at 7.30 p.m.

I’ve attended music events at Horniman Circle before, most of them Kala Ghoda Art Festival events. It is an unconventional setting, a stage in the center of a park. But it works really well, more so for a play than a music concert given the intimate interaction that is possible between audience and performer.

A bench-painting event had been conducted earlier in the evening owing to which all the seating en route to the stage bore ‘Wet Paint’ signboards. It was too dark for photography and I was eager to get to the stage before the play started but I passed some interesting art on the way. (I hope one of us will be able to post photographs soon).

Just as well, I suppose, since we got there just about five minutes before the play began. All the seats were taken so we sat down on the grass and that’s how we watched the entire play. Normally, I would not consider squatting on the ground for a play but like I said, this was an unconventional setting. The stage and seating area were edged on one side by ‘Lotuses of the Floating World’, an art installation by Sabrina Mascarehas. As I approached the area, I first thought they were diyas floating in a pool. But I soon realized that there is no water body inside the park and the temperature was the uncharacteristic cool of February rather than the heat of a hundred lamps. The installation is actually…(Click here to read the whole post)

KGAF 2010: The Black Horse Prepares For Its Ride

The Kala Ghoda Art Festival 2010 kicked off this morning (yesterday morning, technically, since its past midnight as I’m writing this).

The Kala Ghoda 2010 itenarary

(Click here to read more)

I Style! – Hidden Tiger, Crouching Tiger

Yes, this one made me smile. Chuckle actually and even snigger a bit. But well, you gotta admire the guy’s guts (gall?), don’t you?

Who cares about making a statement on one’s tee-shirt? (remember those black tees with a humongous picture of the middle finger? Sooo unclassy, so un-I Style! ish). Move over animal-print underwear, here’s the man who flaunts a tiger on his back-pocket!!!

This spotting occured at the Kala Ghoda Art Festival. Amidst the colourful melee of artists, writers, photographers, journalists, musicians, actors, socialites, celebrities and aam junta, Mr.Backpocket Tiger stood head and shoulder (or should I say pants ;-)) above the rest!

As far IdeaSmith is concerned, the sheer audacity of this makes it high on I Style!

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