In Mumbai for winter break. Day 1 has been a leisurely 'figure it out as we go' sort of day. 8 adults and 3 children mean there are a lot of whims and fancies and palates to be catered for.
A 5am wander around the house in pitch darkeness did not convince Kid that it was night. His tummy demanded a Singapore breakfast - so we have literally been up since the crack of dawn. A morning of playing shops, noughts & crosses, drawing, running, animal and vehicle counter waterfalls, trains, impromptu Hindi lesson and word games to entertain 2 out of 3 kids. A lunch of pizza and milkshakes at the round the corner Cafe Mangii (a name associated only with unwell dogs I fear but thankfully tasty food).
Then kids and fathers went home while my sis in law T and I wandered over to the Bandra Reclamation for the L'il Flea Market. We chanced upon the advert in the paper this morning and went for a lark, intending to gaze and not buy.
Not quite a brickwork Dilli Haat of artisans, this little pop up flea was on an uneven ground covered in white cloth and filled to the gills with posh arty organic shops. Rs.100 got us a stamp on the hand and the right to enter. I didn't have much hope with this money making beginning - after all they expected me to spend money inside and I assumed that the tables were paid for by the shops rather than the customers. I was however pleasantly surprised both by the variety and quality of things available. Small, home grown but designed and thought through offerings to appeal to a wide market. From kids clothes to shoes, funky crafts, cushions, artworks and clothing, there was a l'il something for everyone. Most store owners were friendly and had put in a lot of thought to their displays. They weren't the artists but the people sourcing them and yet there was a level of passion in telling someone else's craft story that was impressive. There was only partial cover along some lanes from the searing heat - peach and blue lengths of clothe. Added bunting and fluttering lanterns, painted tokris and ribboned circles made it look craftsy and cool - casually thrown together to effect a soft and welcoming look in a sharp and clear day. There was also a food section complete with fluttering curtains, old style lamps, makeshift tables, benches and floor mats.
So here is a glimpse of the few hours we spent, cold coffee (me) and lemongrass tea (she) in hand and making impulse purchases.
Ribboned circles at the entry. And half recycled tyres made into little kids see saws.
All paper goods - boxes and punch out figurines. Simple, colourful, beautiful and user friendly.
The only (and very inviting) shade - simple cloth lengths stitched together as makeshift awning.
Tokris to match the awnings.
I fell in love with the fabric of that blue shirt. Scooters! Just adorable. Sadly not my size!
This was my favourite store. This lady Kasmira Rao-Nadndi runs Folkloric - Old tales, new language - and works with traditionalist artisans and craftspeople to bring traditional design and old craft methods into the modern home with an update or twist. Each piece has a story and a royalty that goes back to the artist. I bought the birds on a wire rectangular cushion to sit on the chair in my room. I'll take a picture when I go back.
I also bought a copper bracelet from a store called 'Indrika' that uses recycled materials to create pieces of Jewelry and fabricate some lovely clothes. The bracket looks like a giant nail twisted into a shape that circles a wrist. Unusual and inexpensive and ticks the Eco warrior box.
After a short break to cool down and recompose ourselves I joined T, my MIL, S (the benchmark Sil) and her daughter R on an hours journey to Phoenix Mall to watch PK. I didn't have high hopes when I saw the opening bit of spaceships. It turned out to be a movie that commented on the juxtaposition of the hope and superstition that religion offer the human race. It was sharp and well scripted and Aamir Khan outdid himself in his role as an alien. It didn't offend anyone and used humour to cast its net wide and deep. I would highly recommend it. Beware however of grimacing when you see Anushka Sharma's freshly botox'd pout and very bad wig!
All in all a fabulous first day of the holidays. Let's see what tomorrow brings.