Tag Archives: KGAF

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.

Ideamarked! December 2010: Internet Delights, Online Wars, Schooltime Nostalgia, Curd Rice, Romance, Art & Writing

I’ve had a busy December, what with friends from out-of town, the big relationship questions, getting started on the Yahoo! Real Beauty arrangement and a month-long writing exercise (you’ll have to read further to know what!). But I still managed to keep an eye on things of mutual interest, dear reader. *Pause for applause* 😀 I’m feeling upbeat and high-spirited this month. So be nice and leave a comment or two telling me what you think and what else you’d like to see.

  • This would have been par de course in an 80s Bollywood flick dhak-dhak style! (via AwkwardFamilyPhotos)
  • Getting ready for the Kala Ghoda Art Festival 2011.
  • This really appeals to the Ideartist in me! (via PS-IMadeThis)
  • A month-long writing exercise with a daily prompt (via Reverb10) Hat-tipped by Lakshmi Jagad. Also see my posts on this, here.
  • I first heard this song featured on the soundtrack of ’13 Going On 30′ and then fell in love with it. It was the theme song of my journey to the big Three-O and beyond. (Billy Joel’s Vienna Waits For You via YouTube)
  • Two drifters off to see the world, there’s so much of world to see. A classic. (Breakfast in Tiffany’s Moon River via YouTube)
  • Stoopid copywriters, funny fails! (via Failblog)
  • An interesting concept: Turning off your phone as a technological gesture of affection. (via Arzan Wadia)
  • Some of us miss the forest for the trees. And then there are those who remind us to stop and pick a fruit and savour it before burning the forest down. (Ashwini Mishra on the small things)
  • I came upon this blog from a reader response. It took me back to my early days of blogging when blogs were personal journals (not blossoming ebusiness ideas) and bloggers were ordinary human beings (not the next big Internet celebrity). I particularly liked the idea of this tag (yes, another throwback to those days of yore) and his answers. (via Yuva Anandan)
  • I ran into an online war with Bombay Elektrik Projekt after I tweeted that I was disappointed with their Monday Night Slam event. They slammed me on their Facebook page and on Twitter. An account of the event is here.
  • I didn’t send this one in but it instantly reminded me of my Best Friend. (via PostSecret)
  • An ode to that humble king of South Indian cuisine – thayir sadam (curd rice to you philistines). The article has liberal local references so you’re advised to carry a Tamil-English dictionary. But it is worth a read. Damn, my stomach’s growling. And this after having had a sumptous dinner of the aforementioned thayir sadam!! (via HawkEyeView)
  • Remember the teenage sleuthing trio of Jupiter Jones, Pete Crenshaw and Bob Andrews? My early adolescence was checkered with the adventures of The Three Investigators. Here’s remembering.
  • Horsing around (via AwkwardSchoolPictures)
  • Things you would never know without the movies (via TheTopSpace)
  • “Not email but Facebook may launch its own country by Monday!” (via FakingNews).
  • Hardware meets software? The clash of the giants. A good read, even for the techno-greeks. “Apple versus Google” (via IntelligentLife)
  • From the idea-archives: My article on learning to cook from the internet, which featured in JetLite’s in-flight magazine in October 2010. Cooking wannabes and seasoned chefs, do take note! (on The Idea-smithy)

If you see yourself (or your site featured here, if you’d like to be or if you’re just intrigued by the Ideamarked posts, do drop into The Idea-smithy Facebook Page and tell me about it. I love company!

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)

Three-Quarterly Review

While everyone in the accounts departments sits heavy on numbers and does a stock-taking quarter-by-quarter of the year that was, it occurs to me to do the same with my life. Except this is a three-quarterly review. Of my 29th year.

I’ll be 30 this July and it’s an odd thing but instead of feeling 29, I’ve been feeling ‘one away from 30’. It’s like the way numbers are counted in Hindi where 19, 29 and so on are one less than the nearest 10-multiple. Okay forget that, yes, it is the big Three-O looming up ahead. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a big deal (yes, even if I know theoretically it shouldn’t be, life begins at 30 yada yada…). I’m human after all and there’s so much swirling in my head, I’m not waiting till July to write about it. And thus begins the 30 diaries – a special set of features on the experience of hitting 30.

So what has been happening these last three quarters of my one-away-from-30 year? Plenty.

Love life: A non-boyfriend and a non-relationship. The customary one-in-a-few years check in on someone that went off well. Ask no questions and hear no lies. A few crushes-that-go-nowhere. A pang.

Travel: I visited two new countries. My first visit to Europe (well I’ve been to London but that was on work and I had no sight-seeing or fun) and my first time on a cruise as well. I didn’t write enough of about it. Frown.

Career: I changed jobs. Well, technically I’m still with the same company but in a completely different role, practically a 180 degree turn. Do I like it? I’m still trying to figure it out. I don’t hate it. Yet.

Media: I got featured in the press a few times. Only once accurately. These journos, what to tell ya… 😀

Death: I’ve attended two funerals, both within a fortnight of each other. One, my best friend’s father who succumbed after a long and difficult struggle. The other, a wonderful and dear colleague whom I still miss.

Interests: My favorite bookstore was shut for 4 months on account of a fire. I received books and only books as birthday gifts. A book-voucher as a gift from a reader. And another as a V-day gift. 🙂

I’ve written and written and written. (Yet another) group-blog. I didn’t contribute to the Kala Ghoda Gazette this year despite attending the festival.

Every now and then I remember that I used to paint. And promise myself that I’ll take it up again. Still waiting.

Last night I dreamt that I went on stage to sing. That was after facing numerous hurdles like the compere scheduling me without telling me, a new compere not letting me on stage, the orchestra packing up (wherein I begged and begged the restaurant musicians to back me up and they did), another guy sabotaging my audience by paying them off, a semi-drunk wandering up on stage and ruining my song by singing off-key. Oddly I ended the song with my back to the audience but they gave me a loud encore. Wherin I woke up. So another reminder. I used to sing too. And I used to sing well, not just in the bathroom. Ah, the lives that we let go of with the choices we make!

Health: Twice in seven months, I had major health scares – arthritis and spondilitis. Both of them turned out to be indicative of calcium deficiency caused by a Vitamin D deficit. I didn’t know whether to laugh or frown when the final prognosis was,

Worry less and get out in the sun more often!

Ironic that very morning I remarked that,

I’ve turned into one of those horrible people who feels guilty about taking a day off from work, even if it is sick leave.

Ironic turns to miraculous when I remember that a decade ago I dropped a year from college, without remorse or second thought. When did I turn into super-efficient whizkid? This isn’t me, this so isn’t who I am.

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!

I Style! – Halloween Hangover

And so we welcome her back with open arms, to Mumbai and to the blogosphere again!! Presenting the rockstar Bolly-blogger, Sakshi Juneja! *Drumrollllllll*

At my first Start-up Saturday , feeling fairly unintelligent, I wandered through the important-sounding conversations happening around me. And then I spotted her. She never fails to get ya, does she? Either it’s her spunky, spiky slippers or her Rakhi Sawant obsession or…her bag. Presenting for the second time round, this blog’s god-momma makes another appearance on I Style!

Here’s what she was spotted toting on that weekend.


Take a closer look….


And here’s something she brought to the Kala Ghoda Art Festival (where I also spotted another I Style!er)


To be quite sure, I’ve seen this second one on someone else but that was later. The original remains Sakshi, bolly-blogger and bloggy-rockstar!


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