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

Free Museum Tours at Bhau Daji
Friday, 02 August 2013 11:02

What: Free museum tours at Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum, 91 A, Rani Baug, Veer Mata Jijibai Bhonsle Udyan, Byculla (E), call 23731234, 10 am-6pm, view their website here


Why: Get a free tour by a member of the curatorial team at Dr. Bhau Daji Lad museum, starting tomorrow at 11.30 am. The museum states that no prior registration is required for the tour and that the cost of it is included in the ticket. Catch Homelands: A 21st century of Home, Away and All The Places In Between curated by Latika Gupta while you’re there. Start-efacts!

When: Every weekend at 11:30 am. 

Gigmama Productions: They'll Manage
Thursday, 01 August 2013 10:18

You’ve probably seen Uttara Mendonsa at a music gig. Yup, in her signature black top and shorts ensemble, she’s the one waving at everyone there, hugging people profusely and constantly bursting into an “ohmygodhowareyou *insert embarrassing pet name* while inquiring about you, your family and your dog.

So we weren’t surprised when we heard she launched her own artist management firm, combining her love for music and everyone else, aptly titled Gigmama Productions.

Growing up in the 90s in Bangalore, Uttara Mendonsa’s (nee Rajagopal) weekends were not your average South Indian mornings with filter coffee and steaming hot idlis.“Music was always an integral part of life, ever since I can remember. With a mother who played the classical piano, a brother with an eclectic taste in music, my house was full of LPs, cassettes and eventually CDs of every artist imaginable!" she says.

Giggitty Giggity Giggity

Starting off at Radio Indigo with artist and event management, Uttara was exposed to a whole bunch of international artists like Aerosmith, Black Eyed Peas, Jose Feliciano and other local artists. After a stint in Bombay at Blue Frog where she was managing various artists on the record label and Indigo Live (a sister concern of Radio Indigo in the city), handling artists and repertoire Uttara aka @madambeersalot decided to take the plunge and join the start up gang. She currently manages husband Blackstratblues, harpist Nush Lewis, alternative pop-rock band Spud In The Box and live electronica act Vega Massive.

How You Can Use Gigmama

Have a guitar and friends who sing, but no formal band yet? Uttara works with brand new, first time and apprehensive musicians too. Apart from just managing an artist, signing up with Gigmama you can also get your album produced by Warren Mendonsa, aka Blackstratblues. Gigmama tells us that her rates are competitive and differs as per client. And if we know Uttara, she'll throw in an adorable nick name on the house.

Getting There: Gigmama Productions, email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for queries, call 9920492809.

Miami Ad School Comes To Mumbai
Wednesday, 31 July 2013 09:47

“Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. And do you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It's freedom from fear. It's a billboard on the side of a road that screams with reassurance that whatever you're doing is OK. You are OK.”

If these words from Mad Men’s Don Draper ring true for you, it might be time to up your A(d) game.

Copy This Down

Launched early this month and set to start the academic course in October is the Miami Ad School, Mumbai. This news comes right after we reported the launch of Le Cordon Bleu and Parsons School of Design in India. The Kids Are All Right, indeed!

Miami Ad School is currently offering three portfolio courses in copywriting, digital design and art direction. The courses cover a range of subjects like photography, idea presentation, story telling and digital imaging to name a few, all culminating in an internship at the end of two years (each course is eight quarters long). A quick chat with the staff on the phone revealed that the school does not have any admission criteria per se, and is looking for anyone with a creative streak and a need to learn. The courses also offer a ‘quarter away’ option during which students get to spend a quarter at a Miami Ad School in another country.

Positioning themselves as “The School of Pop Culture Engineering”, the Miami Ad School claims to teach the ability to “recognize existing consumer behavior and leverage or transform it.” The school is accepting applications until August 10 and the academic year is scheduled to start on October 7. Can’t meet the deadline? Don’t worry, the school plans to start a new batch every quarter.

Ad lib

So why should you be bothered? Apart from the course costing a half of what it costs abroad (tuition fees is twelve lakh rupees for eight quarters) Avni Chinoy, alumnus of the school and Creative Copy Supervisor, Grey Digital India, swears by the curriculum. “Miami Ad School was an experience. Not just your average oh-wow-that-was-something experience. But a habit-changing, career-deciding, passport enhancing experience. I lived in cities I’d only read about, worked at agencies I’d always looked up to and studied under some of the coolest teachers on the planet. But the most important thing I learned was how to think.”

She’s not the only one. “ You’re only going to get out of it what you’re ready to put in. So it’s all on you,” says Manasvi Abrol, ex student and Senior Copywriter Ogilvy, Mumbai, while stressing the importance of networking at a forum like this. Who knows? You might even be able to re-write happiness along the way.

Getting There: Rose Cottage complex, Dr SS Rao Road, next to MG Hospital, behind ITC Parel, call 9819543376, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , application deadline 10th August, academic year starts 7th October, view their website here.

Play It Loud: New 24/7 Jam Room
Wednesday, 24 July 2013 09:29

If BYOB stood for Bring Your Own Books last weekend, this week the acronym changes to Bring Your Own Bass Guitar.

 On a rainy, rainy Tuesday evening, bpb found Play It Loud, a three-day old jam room in Andheri that provides you and your band with a sound proof, 24/7 room where you can work on your big album debut. All you need to do is carry your instruments along.

 Tama Tama Log In 

Housed in a 150 square foot blue and orange studio – apparently blue inspires higher ideals and orange relates to creative euphoria – Play It Loud features a sound set up by Roger Drego, a 12 channel mixer with recording facility, 2 Shure SM 58 microphones and EP cable (stereo).

You may have to bring your own bass guitar, but they do have some instruments including a TAMA Superstar drum kit, a djembe and shakers. Hum drum?

There’s also a smaller music production den that’s independent of the jam room. If you live in the neighbourhood, this would be a good time to graduate from your garage to the next step. And at Rs 400 an hour (Rs 1,000 for three hours), we know your sound-stressed neighbours will be only to0 happy to pitch in.

PS: For more jam rooms in Mumbai click here. Sing Sing cells!

Getting there: Play It Loud, 111 Reliable Business Centre, New Link Road, near Oshiwara Police Station, Andheri (W), call 9324506630, view the Facebook page here, Rs 400 an hour, Rs 1,000 for three hours.

BomBShelter Design Directory: Get Listed!
Tuesday, 23 July 2013 11:38

We already told you about BomBShelter  a few months ago – the cool collective courtesy Fiza Khan and Teena Singh that nurtures your design and creative genius until it’s ready to be showcased to the world. Did you also just imagine yourself being presented to the jungle like Simba in The Lion King?

Okay then, back to Bombshelter. In a new move to help you, the co-founders are now launching a massive directory of creative service providers. So, if you're looking for a photographer, illustrator, designer or even a tattoo artist, you will be able to find it on a Facebook page (which is now a work in progress) dedicated solely to the directory. 

Bombshelter is also open to listing fledging creative service providers, as long as they meet the basic requirements of the directory, which is having an interesting body of work and some good references. Sign up to get listed, and if you have nothing to offer (why are we friends?), then wait a few months until the directory is out. Wish list!

Getting there: If you’re looking to be listed, or have an idea for the directory, you can email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call on 9819822247/ 8879735966, free.

Signed Up For The Coup Card Yet?
Friday, 19 July 2013 10:21

What: The new & improved #CoupCard, bpb’s culinary loyalty card that offers 15% off at 20 restaurants, bars and gourmet stores. Buy it at or call 7738934888, Rs 2,100 for six months, Rs 3,800 for a year (unlimited usage during this time).

Why: Score points with the girlfriend, be an awesome brother on Rakhi or just get 15% off your entire bill (including brunch, happy hours, set meals) at 20 of our favourite restaurants, bars and cafés in the city. The list is quite stellar, if we do say so ourselves, with spots that include Indigo Deli, Kofuku, Le 15 Patisserie, Ellipsis, Serafina, The Daily, The White Owl, Pizza Express, Olive, Sancho’s and more (full list here)! The card is now available in a six month and one year option that comes with a special birthday offer for when you want to take your friends out. Make a wish!  We think it just came true.

When: Buy now! Limited cards available.

Study German At Home!
Friday, 19 July 2013 10:08

What: At home German classes, call 9820996875 or email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Rs 1,500 for a 1.5 hour one on one session/Rs 600 per person for a larger group.

Why: Can you say  geschwindigkeitsbeschrankung?The German word for speed restriction and very tricky to say out loud, this is one of Saeeta Nakhoda’s favourite words. The instructor, translator and interpreter had her first brush with the language when she travelled and lived in the German part of Switzerland during an exchange program. Saeeta took up German as a language seriously on her return to Mumbai, completing courses certificate courses at Max Mueller Institute, and now works at the German International School at Breach Candy. She is willing to travel between Churchgate and Malad to teach you and your friends, and even customize a course based on your needs, profession and specifications.

When: You want to study a new

Parsons School Of Design In Mumbai
Thursday, 18 July 2013 10:41

This morning, we have sew-per news:  New York based Parsons School Of Design has launched at Lower Parel, in partnership with the Indian School of Design and Innovation (ISDI). 

Located at Indiabulls Centre, this is the third of its kind after Parsons Paris and Shanghai, and will serve as a base for Parsons activity in India that will encompass curriculum development, quality control, student-teacher exchanges and other projects with students from the New York and Paris schools.

Sketch? Not.

The new school that  launched early this month offers an Undergraduate Diploma Program in fashion, interiors, product and communication design. Future plans include a postgraduate program that will launch in September 2013. (Entrance test next week, July 25)

With specialisations in Fashion Business Management, Creative Entrepreneurship and Digital Design, the post- grad courses at Parsons Mumbai seem extremely intensive, with each one offering thorough training with a focus on internships, skill workshops, and an understanding of the global design environment. Eligibility for these courses (as per their website) seem fairly open ended as they are primarily looking for people with an “interest in design and innovation” and not necessarily any educational or professional backing in the field. 

Sign Up

While the academic year for the under graduate course has begun, those interested in the post graduate program can apply online via their website. The application will be followed by an entrance exam that will test design aptitude, interpersonal skills and will involve a studio challenge as well.

Want to think about it? Boys and girls, "you're either in or out”.

Getting There: North Annexe, One Indiabulls Center, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel. Call 8879881691 for enquiries, view their website here, see the facebook page here. Entrance test for post graduate programme on July 25, 10:30 am.

6 Ways To Use Five Star Hotels
Monday, 01 July 2013 08:32

From doing a Harvard Business School course to getting a midnight massage, here’s a list of six fun services your lobby can demand at Mumbai’s five star hotels, even as non-guests. Share with out of towners and in-city friends.

 The Oberoi: Get a 3 a.m. massage

The Oberoi doesn’t claim to cure travelers of jet lag, but it can definitely keep its guests occupied through the night at what is possibly the city’s only 24-hour spa. In fact, the hotel tells us that the busiest time slot at this wellness centre is between midnight and 3 a.m! Open to non-guests if you book a day or weekend spa package.

Nariman Point, call 66325757.

Taj Land’s End: Study At A Harvard Business School Classroom

Started about six months ago, Taj Land’s End houses an official Harvard Business School classroom, replicated down to the blackboards and carpets. Here, one week courses are taught by HBS faculty and offered to senior level management in a variety of functional business areas. Our friend who did a Leadership in Financial Institutions course a few months ago, mentioned  the “great faculty, especially Professor Groysberg.” Next course – Driving Growth Through Innovation – runs from August 19-22. For non hotel guests as well. Class!

Harvard Business School IRC at Taj Land’s End, Bandstand, Bandra (W), call 24934510 or email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more details, Rs 2,15,000 for course, materials, tuition, accommodation at Taj Land’s End and most meals.

The Westin Mumbai Garden City: Buy the Beds

They’ve made your bed, now lie in it. And if you like it, buy it when you check out. This five star hotel sell its signature ten layer ‘Heavenly Beds’ – 13 inch mattress, feather and hypo-allergenic pillows – to guests and non-guests. They also have customised pillows recommended for the stomach and side sleeper. Despite the insane price, the Westin claims to have sold over 30,000 Heavenly Beds, 100,000 pillows and 32,000 sheets, across the world. Sing a duvet tonight?

International Business Park, Oberoi, Garden City, Goregaon (E), call 61470000, shop at, heavenly pillow for USD 180.

Taj Vivanta: Get An Excellent Brazilian Wax

The super clean and comforting salon at Taj Vivanta is open to non-guests, and is surprisingly well-priced when compared to a lot of salons in Mumbai. Maybe you won’t want to drop by for regular treatments, but we seriously recommend you head here for a Brazilian wax. Call the hotel and ask for an appointment with Doreen, who is gentle and still fast, and clearly knows the tenets of the hospitality industry.

Salon and Spa at Taj Vivanta, Cuffe Parade, call 66650808, Rs 700.

ITC Maratha: Demand Ghar ka Khana

ITC’s Ghar ka Khana service not only provides home-style thali preparations, but also allows home sick travellers to send specific dish requests to the kitchen. One rajma-chawal the way mom makes it, please.

Sahar, call 28303030.

JW Marriott Hotel: Get Mooned by the Pool

If you don’t want to spend the entire day at the spa, you can opt for 15 minute massages titled Sun, Moon and Earth, available just by the poolside. Universal appeal? While only hotel guests have access to the pool area, non residents can too, provided they pay an annual membership of Rs 1,80,000 which includes membership to the gym, spa, sauna and pool.

 Juhu Tara Road, Juhu, call 66933000.

Skillhippo: Show Off Your Learning Curves!
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 18:40

You’ve stopped learning again, haven’t you?  Skill joy!

Bring that curiosity out of the attic and dust it out as Skillhippo launches in Bombay. Started in New Delhi in late 2012 and now targeting you in Mumbai, Skillhippo is a young start-up that aims to get you off your behind and into the learning space.

Hip-ster Movement

Launched by friends Sambuddha Bhattacharya, Akshay Verma and Raghuveer Malik, all alumni of St Stephen's College with business and finance backgrounds, Skillhippo is a simple and fun platform for skill seekers and imparters to collaborate. You can either choose to sign up with them for their classes that range from Moroccan Sheesha making to Bhangra cardio or, if you have a skill that you would like to share with others, register your services as a teacher.

"The idea for Skillhippo stemmed from a place where we had a lot of friends who either had skills and wanted to share them or were people looking for something new to learn over the weekend," says co-founder and director Sambuddha. After initial success in Delhi, the website has recently extended their services to Mumbai as well. The portal offers a whole range of classes, but the founders state that the point of Skill Hippo is not just to learn something new. "We'd like people to make friends, socialise and build their networks at our events as well."

The team is very particular about quality control and hence are operating only out of Mumbai and New Delhi at the moment. To sign up for a class at Skill Hippo, you can register as a member, which will allow you to sign up for a class that's under Rs 2,000. Skill Hippo is currently offering a great value-for-money workshop for MBA aspirants conducted by students from Harvard, Wharton and Chicago Booth; a Capoeira workshop and an endurance training session on the beach for those in Mumbai.

Building castles in the air?

Getting There: Skillhippo, view their website here. For queries email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Rs 900 for a charcoal art class.

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