Archives pour la catégorie V.O.

Bandra Only

Si t’as pas encore compris, je vis à Bandra.

Bandra est un quartier de Bombay, d’aucun dirait la banlieue, mais d’aucun est jaloux.

Bandra, c’est la nonchalance brésilienne au milieu de la mégalopole indienne. Bandra a ses magazines, des magasins, et son festival. Tous les deux ans les organisateurs de ‘celebrate bandra’ mettent en place des concerts, des évènements dans les boutiques et une parade.

Comme on ne recule jamais devant rien, on (ce coup ci, je me suis entourée de ma famille aimante et enthousiaste) a défilé pour sauver la planète, c’était le thème de la parade, et déguisé les chiots en zèbre et lapin.

On m’a même demandé de pondre quelques lignes pour l’évènement.

Like every newbie in town, when I landed I had a thousand questions: where can I find this, that? Where can I buy this or that? The answer was always ‘Bandra only’.

As the days were passing, my questions were sophisticating: where can I find a nice day-care centre for my two kids? Bandra only. Where can I eat the coolest bagel? Bandra only. Where can I walk by the sea, savouring a delicious ice cream? Bandra only. Where can I learn capoeira? Where can I eat the best New York cheese cake outside of New york? Where can I bump into a bollywood star in the restaurant round the corner? Bandra only, bandra only, bandra only.

My poor understanding of the subtleties of some indo-English expressions, led me to believe that ‘bandra only’ meant ‘Only in Bandra’ and not ‘just there’. And frankly I was sometimes a little annoyed by the exclusivity of bandra, as if there was nowhere else worth living in.

But then again, where, in this city of 20 million souls, and of 22.5 laks cars and no sidewalks, can you walk your kids to school? Where can you discover the nicest short cut, zigzagging between the banyan trees and the bungalows sprung up from another time? Where can you see zebras running along the walls of the bazar? Where can you know your neighbours and even be really good friends with them? Where can you clear your mind of the traffic, the noise, the digging? Where can you feel at home in the maximum city?

Where can you, one early morning, when the sun is shyly shining, wander freely in a quiet street; no cars, no honk, a few dogs, 2 or 3 chickens. In the far you can hear a church bell ring and somewhere near, Eddie Vedder’s sensual voice (in that particular case the ‘into the wild’ sound track) flying out of a window?

Only in Bandra.

After a few months, years, when instead of waiting for ever to get the attention of a rickshaw wallah, you shout with out complex ‘AUTO’. When the baji wallah knows exactly what you’re gone buy that day and when your kids call a certain shop keeper Aunti and kiss her goodbye you begin to understand what makes Bandra so special, One and Only:  Its spirit, its people who fight for a no honking city, for a better side walk, who stand for a cause like Pereira wadi last year and you feel proud to be one of them.

Just a perfect day

Jeudi dernier, j’ai rencontré une journaliste, une vraie. Elle a bien sûr été super émue quand je lui ai dit que j’aimais bien écrire et que j’aimais encore plus sa ville. En deux minutes je me suis retrouvée à pondre, pour son prochain sujet, un article sur ma vision d’étrangère de la ville. Pas folle la guêpe ! Voilà donc en V.O. mon ‘perfect day in Bombay’.

What’s the Bombay spirit? I have no Idea but one thing is sure, it got me. I’ve been here one year (although it’s not the first time) and there is nowhere else I’d rather be right now. Of course, some days the traffic, the noise, the heat, the people everywhere makes me want to go live on mars, but this is what I do on those days.

I start the day joining my favourite Bandra girl for a latte at Bagel Shop (they open at 9) where you get a good glimpse at the underworld, trendy, arty Bombay scene. Then I ride a cab (or the train, when I feel up to it) and I head south.

Of course by the time I get to Colaba I need another coffee that I have at café Mosche in the fabindia shop, it’s quiet, cool and you never know if you need a nice kurta. It s 11 o’clock, the galleries are opening. I drop into Bodhi art for the space and the edgy exhibitions, but then I head straight to Hacienda gallery where the lovely Punita shows me the best of the Indian “affordable” contemporary art. I can’t leave Kala Ghoda without a tour at the Jehangir and maybe a fresh lime soda at Samovar.

Then my tummy starts asking for the best irani food in town. Britannia is only opened for lunch and its walls whisper the story of the city, and the caramel custard is the best thing I’ve ever eaten.

Once my batteries are up and running, I ride a cab to Crawford market, starting point of my favourite tour in town. I just get lost in the bazaars:  Mangaldas market for the oceans of silk and cotton, zavery bazaar for the glitter, Michi Gallia, the spice market for your nostrils, Phool galli, flowers for your thoughts and to relieve your mind, a bright, white and peaceful Jain temple.

I end up in Chor bazaar in the cool afternoon light. I can’t spend too much time going through old Bollywood posters and not so old classic furniture if I want to reach on time the best sunset spot in town: The dome, on the roof of intercontinental on marine drive. The honking is far below, the views are mind-blowing and the cocktails are appealing.

Last stop, back in Bandra, at Zenzi for cool food, cool music and cool people. A perfect day in a groovy city that makes me feel I’m part of it.




Bagel ShopPali Mala Road – Off Carter Road – Bandra W – NoBo. Ouvert de 8h à minuit

Café Mosche at FabindiaJeroo Building137 MG Road – Kala Ghoda – SoBo. Ouvert de 10h à 20h

Bodhi art – 28, K. Dubash Marg, I. T. T. S. House, Kalaghoda, Mumbai 400 001. P +91 22 66100124. F +91 22 66100127.

Hacienda Gallery – K Dubash Marg Great Western Building, Mumbai G.P.O(Fort), SoBo – +91 22 22837232

Jehangir – 161, Kala Ghoda, G.P.O(Fort), SoBo – +91 22 22843989

Samovar – 161, Kala Ghoda, G.P.O(Fort), SoBo – +91 22 22843989 – ouvert de 11h à 16h

Britannia – Ram Gulam Road, Ballard Estate, a coté du Fort. t: 2261 5264. Taxi : Opposite new custom house – SoBo. Ouvert de 11h30 à 16h du lundi au samedi.

The dome – Intercontinental Hotel, 135 Marine Drive- SoBo – 022 3987 9999. Ouvert tous les jours de 18h  à 00h30

Zenzi -183, waterfield road, bandra (w) – NoBo. t: +22-56 430 670

Incursion Artistique en V.O.

Incursion Artistique en V.O.

La Jehangir gallery est la plus ancienne de Bombay. Elle est ronde, majestueuse et grouillante. Elle fait aussi office de musée gratos pour les touristes. les plus grands artistes indiens ont exposé leurs toiles sur ses murs ou bu des chai « readymade » au café samovar. Je vais des que je peux dans ce haut lieu de la vie artistique bombayote, et pas seulement pour boire des coups au samovar.

La semaine dernière j’y ai découvert les photos de Sanjay Yamgar. Évidemment, à l’heure où j’écris cet article elles n’y sont plus (les expos changent tous les 15 jours) mais comme tout jeune artiste qui se respecte il est très présent sur internet et après avoir lu les quelques lignes qui suivent rédigées en V.O. j’espère que vous aurez envie de suivre son actualité et de cliquer sur les liens.

Garbography - Sanjay YamgarSanjay Yamgar : Garbography, faces from the unknown world, Jehangir Gallery, nov 2008.

“Whereon he thought of himself in balance and he knew he was”. The moody blues, a question of balance.

Listening to Sanjay Yamgar you get a glimpse at what everything is all about: a quest for balance. Our world is extreme, extremely wealthy- extremely poor, extremely dry- extremely flooded, extremely big, extremely small. We, as humans, constantly navigate between poles in search of balance, Sanjay as an artist challenges the extremes to create his personal balance. He tries all the media, all the formats in a way that he can never be tagged.

His earlier works are incredibly dense, bright, chaotic, he describes them as hippy, colourful paintings. You can stare at them for hours and still discover a tiny figure emerged from our common imagery, blinking its eye at you.  Now he is about to show a new series of minimalist, almost monochromatic paintings. Going from one extreme to the other to avoid saturation and to re-balance. But even there, Sanjay, couldn’t put his creative mind at ease and had to challenge his technique by painting mini 2 x3 cm and maxi formats 4 x 5 ft.

While he was working he got struck by the nauseating smell coming through his window in a busy, modern, shopping area. Following the smell he found himself in a huge garbage dump talking to these migrated, poor people who work at keeping our city clean and recycling excusive waste into cheap toys. Extremes again.

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