From tap dancing classes to home delivery of your favorite cheeses, we scout out the best and quirkiest services in Mumbai.

Your Last Supper Before The Elections
Tuesday, 22 April 2014 10:58


So there’s this maze, a pot of honey at the centre and Mamta, Sonia, Mayawati and Jaya hovering around it. Who will be queen bee?

Well, it’s really up to you and your pencil and how distracted you are by company and food and wine at the time. If you haven’t dined on these Election Mat-ters mats already, you’lll probably eat one of your last pre-election dining out suppers on these, considering they’re currently at over 20 restaurants in Mumbai.

Laid out by What’s the Deal?, a news channel that brings you news in unconventional ways, these paper table mats are old school, like the ones we used to solve puzzles on at New Yorkers as kids. Done in collaboration with non partisan, not for profit organization, Know Your Vote , these mats are supposed to be for both, those familiar with politics and those who aren’t. “There’s no particular target audience. The mats are for everyone because everyone needs to be thinking about the elections,” says What’s the Deal? Founder Rhea Kewalramani.  Even while eating. This would explain the wide range of restaurants that stock it from Pritam Dhaba and HAS Juice to Imbiss, Pantry, Busago, Le 15, Woodside Inn and Café Zoe. See the full list here.They also got the pencils sponsored by a stationery company – 6,000 of them – that the team took two whole days to sharpen. 

The Games They Play

Besides mazes, you’ll also find games that ask you to match politicians with their (in)famous quotes and parties with their symbols; News from the Nation crosswords; word mazes; circle the difference between two states; and more. And while most restaurants have found customers inquiring further or even asking for another mat, Out of the Blue Powai had a diner who was so angered by the above honey pot maze, he scribbled all over it. Taking the poll(en) too seriously? “The important thing is that people are interacting with the mat and thinking about the elections,” says 24 year-old Rhea.

Your Supper On Election Day

And all this food for thought gets rounded up nicely on Election Day. Show up at any of the Election Mat-ters partner restaurants with an inked finger on April 24 and you will be rewarded. Depending on the restaurant, you’ll either get a free starter, free dessert or 10% off!

Now here’s a new way of looking at finger food.

Getting there: Election Mat-ters, visit for more information or follow @WhatsTheDealTV on Twitter, free.

British Pathe Uploads Entire Archive In HD
Monday, 21 April 2014 10:54

If you’re surfing the Internet and subjecting yourself to another cat/baby viral video that someone shared on your timeline, stop.

News archive British Pathe (that produced newsreels & documentaries from 1910 -1970)  has digitized and uploaded its entire collection of news clips, films and movies that is now available online, for free!

Video Ga-ga

Ideal for when you’re looking for a quick break from work, the clips include real footage from the Hindenberg disaster, interviews of survivors from the Titanic, and clippings of Hiroshima, soon after the attack. 

We checked out this awesome repository and unearthed these gems:


1.     Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Universe in 1969

2.     (Then) Princess Elizabeth’s 21st Birthday News Package

3.     The Beatles Welcome Home in 1964

4.     The Wright Brother’s First Flight

5.     Advertisement For A Morale Booster For Men


We’d love to see an Indian version for something like this- possibly a digitized Doordarshan video archive? Who would watch that? Hum Log.

Getting there: View British Pathe’s entire video collection here, see their website page here

Patpai: Seed-y Idea
Monday, 14 April 2014 11:12

If last week’s article was about a startup that came from a random conversation, this week, it’s about one that blossomed from a meditative trance.

Rishabh Jain seems like a fairly rooted guy. This Art of Living follower who currently works in the family business, claims that the idea for Patpai, (a Plant/ Gift a Tree initiative) stemmed from a meditation session. “It just came to me. I made a quick voice note of it and it was only later that I actually started developing the idea”.

Staying Rooted

Patpai, a month old initiative started by Rishabh and his family is an effort to spread the joy of nurturing across the city. In partnership with a couple of nurseries, Patpai enables plant gifting and design customisation; plant adoption; they’re even working on a plant a tree model right now. “We can customise pot designs based on who they are going out to - for friends, family or even corporate gifts,” he says.

Aimed primarily at people with no prior gardening experience (yup, that means you), Patpai helps customers nurture their gifts, with regular updates on their Facebook page and a Whatsapp hotline for the green thumb challenged. While they are looking to promote indigenous indoor and outdoor species, Patpai is open to procuring exotic plants too, on the condition that you have the skills and resources to take care of it.

According to Rishabh, there isn’t a simpler way to spread happiness and joy. Looks like it’s cheery blossom season.

Getting there: Patpai, view their Facebook page here, call 9820454584 for queries, prices start at Rs 200 per plant.

Smiling Yogi: Yoga Classes At Home
Friday, 11 April 2014 11:02

What: Smiling Yogi’s at-home yoga classes, see her Facebook page here, Rs 4,000 a month for three classes a week.Will travel between Bandra and Juhu for classes.

Why: Taking a complete U-turn from her super hectic life as an assistant director, Diksha Lalwani decided to turn to yoga for some flexi-time. One year later, back from a Goa stint at several yoga resorts, this Smiling Yogi with ultra happy vibes is now teaching in the city. You can find her doing a headstand and teaching at The Art Loft and Yogacara in Bandra. Apart from that though, Diksha offers personalized, at-your-home Hatha Yoga classes that include a few teachings from the Iyengar School as well.

When: You want to go back to the (yogi) bare necessities.

No Thepla Holidays: All Packed !
Thursday, 10 April 2014 10:41

“As long as we can name this company No Thepla Holidays, I’m in.”

They say most startups stem from random conversations with friends. Taking a cue from this ‘entrepreneurial handbook’, No Thepla Holidays began in a similar way. Tired of backpacking through Europe with a sweet Gujju friend, several heavy bags and a separate one just for theplas, Sanaya Ghandy, along with sister Ayesha and close friend Arjun, came up with the idea of starting their own bespoke travel company, catering, solely to those, not in need of packed theplas on vacation. We guess that rules you out?

All Abroad

The Ghandy sisters, Sanaya and Ayesha are frequent travellers, having visited 20 countries in the past five years and lived in Europe, respectively.  Along with close friend Arjun Malhotra (who has a background in finance) or ‘Malo’ as they fondly call him, the sisters decided to pool their resources together to set up the company that curates offbeat, outbound holiday packages.

Catering to working professionals with no time to plan, research and book their own vacations, No Thepla identifies hyper local and unique holiday destinations and events to plan your trip around. So how are they different from everyone else that are also customizing holidays? “What really sets No Thepla apart from the others is our ability to curate awesome experiences. For example, everyone in India knows (and has friends that have probably been to) the Tomorrowland music festival in Belgium. But a lot of people haven’t been to Rock Werchter in Belgium. This year it has a lineup featuring Pearl Jam and Kings of Leon”. #Nuff said.

How You Can Use No Thepla Holidays

Read up about a fun beer festival online but don’t know if it’s worth the visit and have no one to go with? No Thepla plans unconventional holiday packages, for groups of up to 12 people at a time. If you want to do something else before and after the festival while you’re in the area, they’ll help you plan that out too. See for instance their upcoming packages for Fete De La Musique in Paris and San Vino (a wine fighting festival) in Spain from 19th June-1st July. The team tells us that they are competitively priced, though costs vary on the location and size of the trip. 

“The whole point of these trips is to do something you wouldn’t normally do, make new friends and have fun, fresh experiences,” says Arjun.

We asked No Thepla for their recommendations of fun places to visit this summer. Here’s their list:

For the beach bum: Perhentian Islands, Malaysia. It’s one of the best ten places for diving in the world. 

For the adventure junkie: Kawarau bridge, New Zealand for the most intense bungee jump of your life.

For the trekker: The trail around Mount Blanc, that passes through parts of Switzerland, Italy and France.

For the music lover: Rock Werchter in Belgium, for super gigs and an awesome vibe.

Getting there: No Thepla Holidays, see their website here, Facebook page here, call them on 8412946076, email them at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Uber Ties Up With The Coup Card!
Thursday, 03 April 2014 11:47

So here’s some Uber cool news. Uber, the premium cab service has tied up with brown paper bag’s Coup Card for the month of April, offering each cardholder two free rides worth Rs 500 each! Don’t have a Coup Card? Put your name on the wait list here – – and we’ll try and help. 

Easy App + Quick Nap

We had a lovely Uber ride a couple of days ago, one that involved an easy-to-use app and a power nap.

It's been a while since the premium cab service launched in the city, but somehow we just hadn't gotten down to using it. Given the several transport issues in the city a couple of days ago, we finally decided to take Uber out for a spin.

We booked a cab through the easy-to-use app (bpb did this independently and paid for the service ourselves) and were told it would get to us in the next ten minutes. We were cynical, of course. But it happened. Precisely ten minutes later a Honda Accord reached our Bandra residence, ready to take us to a new restaurant in Colaba. The driver drove a little rashly at first, but slowed down the moment we told him to. After this point, the journey was super comfy, and this writer even took a power nap during ride. Snooze control?

We recommend that you order an Uber on a night out with friends when no one wants to drink and drive and you don’t have a chauffeur. It’s pricier than a lot of other services, but it involves no frantic taxi hunting or hailing and no waiting on the phone to hear back from a radio taxi service. 

We call shot gun!

Getting there:See their website here, download the iOS app here, Android app here, follow them on twitter here, Rs 650 from Bandra to Colaba

 This cab was ordered and paid for by bpb.

Hot Jobs In This Month: March
Thursday, 03 April 2014 11:21

deGustibus Hospitality Pvt. Ltd:
The hospitality company behind Indigo, Indigo Deli, Neel, Tote on the Turf and Moveable Feast is looking for a Marketing Executive with minimum 1 year experience with hospitality brands and relevant exposure to PR functions. Candidate must possess excellent written communication skills and a knack for social media. The ability to multitask and manage multiple projects simultaneously whilst adhering to strict deadlines is important. The company is also looking for a full-time Graphic Designer with 6 months to 1 year experience, proficient in Adobe Photoshop/ CorelDraw/ Illustrator. Must have an eye for detail and the ability to communicate design effectively to support marketing creatives and other requirements. Interested candidates can email their CV to:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Supari Studios, a digital media production house is looking for freelance writers for content and script writing jobs. Those interested can write to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . To check out their work you can view their vimeo page here.

Wello ,a social startup, is seeking a dynamic and self-motivated individual to join us as COO; this role places you at the intersection of business, technology and social impact. As an early member of the Wello team, you’ll be joining us as we scale operations across India (and beyond)! Find the details here.

Singapore Consulate General
Mumbai is looking for a Political-Economic Specialist. The candidate should hold a Masters degree in journalism/mass communication/ social sciences. Responsibilities include drafting research paper and media reports on domestic political and economic events.Send in your CV to Ushadevi Kannan at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Architectural Digest is looking to hire a Features Editor and a Copy Editor at their Mumbai office. Send your resume on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The Wall Street Journal is looking for a News Editor for their New Delhi office. The Editor will be responsible for editing stories from India and South Asia and publishing to Candidates must have several years of editing experience and be able to work collaboratively with colleagues across continents. Apply here.

Social Kinnect is looking for an Account Manager with at least 2-3 years in the social, digital media world. See here for more details

New Culinary Studio in Lower Parel
Tuesday, 01 April 2014 10:51

“No, it’s not a restaurant. Hmm, it’s not really a cooking studio either.” It’s a ‘gourmet experiential destination’, the new space at Lower Parel that’s run by the guys behind Silverspoon Gourmet catering.

Sure, there will be culinary teachings at this space that launches on April 5, but there’ll also be new experiences with food each time you visit, stuff like dinner  parties, food pairings and networking around meals. 

More Than Dinner & A Movie

Silverspoon’s founder Neha Manekia says that the space is really just a natural extension of what’s been happening around us. “There are such few going-out options to choose from in the city. We just wanted to extend varied gourmet experiences to more people,” chimes in Chef Joshua D’Souza, while letting us sample some of the treats from his kitchen like the wonderfully light Creamy Pesto Crepe. 

How You Can Use Silverspoon Gourmet

The space will function as a venue for people to come and experience theme based food events in accessible ways. Silverspoon will release a schedule at the beginning of each month (April starts with individual, learning events centered around cheese and grilling) that people can sign up for in advance, attend and also use as a platform to meet like minded people.

Events will be priced between Rs 1,500-3,000 per head, depending on the items itself. Apart from running classes/ events that are open to all, Silverspoon Gourmet will also do private sessions for corporate groups and an indulgent one for just you and your friends.

This could be the Silverspoon you weren’t born with.

Getting There: Silverspoon Gourmet launches on April 5th, and will have their first event on April 12th.#4 Dhanraj Industrial Estate, Between A1 & A2 Shah & Nahar Industrial Estate, Sitaram Jadhav Marg, Lower Parel.


bpb Supply List: The Hungry Monkey, Safdarjung Enclave!
Thursday, 20 March 2014 11:33

Where does that hip cafe get its lamps from? How can you re-create the new city bookstore’s vintage shelves in your room? Trying to trace your favourite restaurant’s outsourced cheesecake? In this column, bpb gets the most delicious establishments to share their supply list, taking you to the source of everything they own and order, from organic produce to custom-made chairs.
There's a space in this city where the words “Stargazing is like time travel” are stenciled and suspended (perhaps in disbelief!) on a stairway wall. For those who have coveted their gorgeous pieces and sighed over the delish food, lean in. We bring to you whispered secrets and names of vendors from our new favourite restaurant in New Delhi, The Hungry Monkey.
Concrete table-tops: This is one stylish monkey, especially when horizontal. All the flooring, table and bar tops (stenciled or otherwise) have a gorgeous, masculine mixed concrete finish. Get this for your home with BGSB Concrete solutions Pvt. Ltd. Their man Parmeet will see your design dreams to a concrete finish. 1/2 154 D.G.B Road Paharganj, Gali Number 5, Aram Bagh, Paharganj. Call (Parmeet) 9999991020.
Industrial Furniture: The Hungry Monkey is a super, well put-together androgynous outfit. And like any stylista worth her salt it knows that the key to a look is in the accessories. Look out for plumbing fixtures pulled apart to make candlesticks lining their terrace walls (how Notre Dame) and heavy, car engine parts (it's from the piston we were told) which make up ashtrays. Call designer Karan Bakshi of ArtFeat Designs to get your fix. He also does a wicked lamp made out of the head of a scooter.Email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 9910330377.
Artwork Printing: There's a table at The Hungry Monkey which tells you wisely and firmly that the universe is in fact made of stories not atoms. If there's a secret you want hanging on your wall or printed across your tables, call Naveen Jha +91 98-99-975141
Spinach Candles: In the corner on the fourth shelf against the wall is a candle that slowly wasted. The wax drips poetically and dramatically against its side, making it more installation than mere wax structure. If you too want to rage against the dying light, contact Mandira Talwar for her spinach candles at +91 98-10-027081
Potted Faux Plants: Overlooking the leafiest part of Deer Park is The Hungry Monkey terrace. Hang here and crane your neck outside to spot a deer like we did. Giving you company will be luscious faux ferns, leafy plants and cacti. Score some for your terrace garden from Pure Home and Living, Shop no. A2, DLF Place, Saket, call 41084740.
All that coveting and sighing over their stuff will be sure to whip up your appetite. Settle in and we will tell you what to order and how to source their super fresh ingredients.
Roasted Beetroot Tartare: Vegetarians lighten up. This super fresh salad with lightly chopped beetroots thrown up in a bed of mascarpone cheese is slightly tangy and sweet when broken down against the cheese. Just like you? Get fresh rocket leaves from Anamcarra, call 882654440 to check availability and retail location. Fresh mascarpone cheese available at Om Sai Foods, call Naveen at 9911255211.
Baked Filet of Sole: Cut this filet to reveal a blush pink fish cooked deliciously in lemon and rosemary served on a bed of cous cous. Perfect for foodies watching that waistline. And if you fall in love with the dish, which you will, source your sole fromMohmad Kalim 9136558683
Asian Honey & Soy Braised Pork Ribs: Meat made Asian with a honey glazed sauce and a serving of kimchee salad. Indian made ribs have far lesser meat than those sourced internationally, shares Abhishek Patnaik. Which is why The Hungry Monkey gets theirs from Resources International. Call Akshay for this at 9212316375.
Getting There: The Hungry Monkey, B6/6 DDA Market, Above CCD Lounge, Safdarjung Enclave Market.

Hang With An Aerial Dancer
Tuesday, 11 March 2014 11:28


If it's not a bird, plane or Marvel super hero, it's probably Shruti Jasani. Hang with her, an aerial dancer, who routinely defies gravity while curled around ropes attached to trees and poles. The Cirque of life?

Shruti, who has trained students for years with the Performing Arts Trinity college syllabus and has studied contemporary dance and teaching at NYU and San Francisco, now teaches aerial dance at The Wooden Stage, a studio space in Vile Parle. The workout is intense and focuses on  flexibility, body strength, toning and discipline, all through aerial  dance forms, with the help of ropes and cloth. 

She Believes You Can Fly

The workshop, we are told, is not for someone just looking for the next new fitness fad . The team, Paras Sharma, Aditi Deshpande,  Shraddha Doshi, Sweta Doshi and Yash Mhatre along with Shruti teach a course that demands discipline and dedication. “We're looking for students who are eager to learn and are as excited about this dance form as we are," says Shruti.

How You Can Use The Wooden Stage

Sign up for a class and you could learn three dance forms –contemporary, hip-hop and aerial over the course of a month, get assigned a healthy diet, learn to understand weight transfer, and develop an ability to calculate and manipulate time and speed with your body. We suppose you could be that super hero in the sky!

They currently have openings for the batch they are running this week and in April. Go ahead and sign up. When else will you be tied up in ropes, balancing in mid air? Oh right, that's just a regular Monday night in your bedroom.

Getting there: The Wooden Stage, D square, Dadabhai road, opposite CNMS school, Vile Parle (W), see their facebook page here for schedule, Rs 5,500 per month, Rs 450 for drop in classes


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