Jan 20, 2010

Mumbai Metro - D.N. Nagar will be the intersection station

Work on Mumbai Metro is moving at full force. Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar line of 11 km will be ready by December 2010 and work will begin soon on 32 km Chrkop-Bandra-Mankhurd line. It will be completed by 2016.

There is a also a plan to create an intersection station at D.N. Nagar. Commuter can switch from one line to another to have seamless connectivity. When the metro stations are located near a suburban railway station, commuters will be able to switch the lines there as well.

Exciting stuff for the commuters, though D.N. Nagar traffic is going to see construction related delays through 2016.

There is also indication of the fare system. Rs 8 for 3km, Rs 10 for 8 km, Rs 12 for 12 km, Rs 14 for 15 km, Rs 18 for 20 km, Rs 20 for 25 km, Rs 24 for 35 km, and Rs 27 for distances beyond.

Jan 18, 2010

Moving Wholesale Market out of South Mumbai

South Mumbai is where business, Government, and commercial and wholesale markets were concentrated. This was a huge boon to the area when the population of the city was manageable. However, the same advantage was a big contributor to the traffic congestion in the city. MMRDA has been relocating wholesale markets from South Mumbai to outside of the Greater Mumbai area - to Thane and Navi Mumbai. Markets for onion, potato, sugar, spices and condiments, dry fruits, iron and steel have already been shifted to Navi Mumbai. Ground Nuts, pulses, edible oil markets is being move to Navi Mumbai along with the fruits and vegetable markets. This will follow the textile markets move to the Bandra-Kurla complex soon.

Jan 16, 2010

Cadell Road in Mumbai

What used to be Cadell Road in Mumbai is now Veer Savarkar Marg. People still refer to the road by Cadell Road.
Who was this person Cadell after whom this road was named? 
Colonel Thomas Cadell was born in Scottish family in 1835. He received his commission as an officer in 1854 and joined 2nd European Bengal Fusiliers. Due to exceptional bravery shown during 1857 Great Mutiny in Delhi he received the Victoria Cross. He further served in military campaigns in India as a captain in 1866 and Major in 1874. From 1878 till 1892, he was Chief Commissioner of the Andaman and Nicobar islands. He died in 1919.
Veer Savarkar whose name succeeded Cadell was an Indian Independence Movement activist. These two men are linked as Savarkar published a document about the Indian rebellian of 1857 under the title - The Indian War of Independence. This document was banned by British Authorities. He was arrested in 1910 in London as a member of India House community. While being transported to Marseilles he escaped and swam ashore only to be turned in to the authorities by French people on shore. He received 50 year sentence and was moved to the Cellular Jain in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Interesting isn't it?

Suresh Bhat and Hridaynath Mangeshkar

Mendichya Panavar Man Ajun Jhulte Ga is a very popular Marathi song. Lata Mangeshkar has sung to the tune by her brother Hridaynath Mangeshkar. The poem is by Suresh Bhat. This song set in motion a lifelong friendship between Hridaynath and Suresh Bhat.

When this song was recorded it was very clear that the wordings and tune were all very modern and at the same time referring to such a perennial emotion. Arun Date who is also a singer asked Hridaynath if he has sought permission from Suresh Bhat to provide tune for his poem. He had not. Arun Date warned Hridaynath to expect a visit from Suresh Bhat on this matter.

Suresh Bhat was an imposing personality. Although his right leg was polio stricken, the person was strong and forceful. Hridaynath was concerned.

One day Suresh Bhat did show up at Hridaynath's home. Banging on the door he demanded to meet Hridaynath. When Hridaynath showed up, he asked him one question.

What do they call you at home?

Baal - said Hridaynath.

Then that's what you are to me from now on - said Suresh Bhat with a hug.

He was so moved by the composition.

Their collaboration is legendary. Both Lata and Asha have sung Suresh Bhat poems composed by Hridaynath.

The only times the two would fight would be when Suresh Bhat would insist on reading out his new poems to Hridaynath in his own tunes. This made it difficult for Hridaynath to break out of the orginal tune and compose music. When asked to just deliver the poems without the tunes, Suresh Bhat would drop the papers and storm out.

Suresh Bhat passed away at the age of 71 in 2003. There are still a lot of his gems there waiting to be composed and sung. Suresh Bhat rejuvenated the Marathi language and Hridaynath Mangeshkar made it accessible by creating popular tunes and composition.

A language needs Bhats and Mangeshkars to thrive - not Thackrey who just impose use of Marathi in Mumbai.

Jan 10, 2010

Blue Frog Club

What can you do with the 6000 sq ft of out of business warehouse in the Lower Parel area of Mumbai? If you said turn it into the best immersive live music performance space in the town, then you are on the same wavelength as the owners of the Blue Frog Club. The address of this place is - D/2 Mathuradas Mills Compound, N.M. Joshi Marg, Lower Parel. Phone 91-22-4033-2300.

Since 2007, has been hosting live performances three to four nights of the week ranging from Zakir Hussain, Anoushka Shankar to blue, jazz, latin, and Electronic.

Blue Frog’s menu is created by Executive Chef Mrigank Singh. The style and presentation is Modern European with underlying Asian textures and subtleties. Many dishes on the menu are influenced by Chef Mrigank's experience in Kerala.

There are premium wines, single malts, and spirits. Not to forget about the Sunday brunch with over 50 dishes to choose from. There is also mini Frog - for kids - from noon to 3:30 on Sundays right along with the brunch. Kids practice arts and crafts conjuring up pirates, fairies, and other magical creatures.

All you need to do is to book a pod which is acoustically treated and surrounded by colored lighting which provides total immersive experience of the show.

A grid of mahogany-panelled dining pods occupy these platforms and seat between 4-10 people and they are circular. These maintains uninterrupted views of the stage with a comfortable distance between diners away from the scattered and standing crowds around the bar. A gently undulating, glowing acrylic resin surface over the pods retains the presence of the architecture amidst a state-of-the-art sound and light show at Blue Frog.

The elevated pods are arranged, amphitheater-style, around a large circular floor that can accommodate standing/dancing patrons. The floor also functions as a 360 degree stage for performances requiring an intimate viewing experience. At one end of the floor is a large, raised stage for main performances.

Visual coherence is established by the propagation and repetition of the circular grid as a design language across a host of details, from dimpled acoustic panels on the walls to the back-bar display.