Devotion is … Flower Market, Dadar

Dadar Flower Market under the bridge by the Dadar Railway Station is one of my favorite places to visit in #Mumbai. It is verily a street photographer’s paradise. Stall owners are super nice, and the flowers are fresh heaped, fragrant and colorful. Loads of #Champae #plumeria (?) delicately woven, melt even the stingiest of heart. I surprised M’s family with a champae stringer.

Entire families of flower weavers live under this bridge. Many generations eat, sleep and weave here.

I love the symbolism in this pic.

What adorns the head of the greatest of Gods is woven on the dusty feet of the street women. She toils away her entire life, but knows deep down that her work is her most cherished offering.

She needn’t climb any mountains, needn’t enter any temple, she needn’t offer any prayers; her work is her most heartfelt and greatest offering. This is Bhakti, and not what cheap, two-bit, fame seeking activists peddle.

Thank you.

Dev barae karo.

#Bazaar #FlowerMarket #BestofMumbai #IncredibleIndia

#incrediblePeople

#Devotion #Bhakti

#LifeUnderABridge

Thankful for All

Pics of an older woman cooking on the sidewalk in Mumbai by Arun Shanbhag

Hoping you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Meera and M are doing superbly well and healthy. Our lives have been enriched in so many ways: great family and friends, satisfying careers and fulfilling “dharma”. We are thankful for all this and more! ~ Arun

This post by Preena reminded me of this older woman cooking on the sidewalk in South Mumbai. It was a simple, charred metal can she used to boil a little bit of rice. That was all she had for dinner. Continue reading “Thankful for All”

Dayaram Damodar for Sutarfeni in Mumbai

D Damodar Dadar Mumbai Sutarfeni pics by Arun Shanbhag

Post updated with newer pics from a recent visit.

Hope you have all tried Sutarfeni – the sweet, shredded, flaky, rice dough, topped with pista and almonds. What a dangerous agent it is; melts my self-discipline, and like a slobbering idiot I empty a pound of this “buddi ka baal” in no time. Continue reading “Dayaram Damodar for Sutarfeni in Mumbai”

Cricket at the Oval

Pictures of folks playing cricket at the Oval Maidan in Mumbai by Arun Shanbhag
Its a long tradition in South Mumbai ~ come Sunday morning the boys head out to Oval Maidan with whatever gear they can scrounge around. They stake a tiny sliver of a pitch, drive stumps in the dusty field and play some cricket. The pitch (and cricket) is a social leveller; the quality of your gear is immaterial, its how you connect – bat to ball. Three stumps is a luxury and bells are definitely not needed. Who needs shoes and pads? A tennis or simple rubber ball will do. As kids I have even played with layers of paper crumbled hard and held by rubber bands. When you are all sweaty and exhausted, grab some limbu paani or ganna juice on the way back home. Another beautiful Sunday! Continue reading “Cricket at the Oval”

New Year 2012: Meera Goes to School

New Year Greeting 2012 Meera goes to school by Arun Shanbhag

In the New Year,
May you all be blessed with divine Grace!

Best Wishes for a healthy, prosperous and safe New Year!

Meera, M & A


Continue reading “New Year 2012: Meera Goes to School”

Meera goes to the Mall

Meera trying out an outfit at Pantaloon in Phoenix Mall by Arun Shanbhag
Meera loves visiting the Phoenix Mall in Parel, Mumbai, particularly one of their stores which has a huge toy section. The Pantaloon store has a small but nice collection of Indian outfits for little girls. Reasonably priced too. Here Meera is trying one on before we bought it. Continue reading “Meera goes to the Mall”

Video: Meera Mimics Angry Face


This girl is smart! Within a few days she knew when i was angry and mimicked my angry look. She had it down to the glaring eyes and furrowed forehead. Every time I gave her the angry look, she’d mimic me. After this, how could I ever get angry with her? (Video shot last summer at Kailash Parbat, Colaba.)



Other Meera Videos and a couple of recent posts:

Meera: How to Get a Bicycle

Pics of Meera riding a Bicycle by Arun Shanbhag
How to Get a Bicycle? Just ask Pappa.
Pics of Meera riding a Bicycle by Arun Shanbhag
Meera on her brand, spanking new bicycle.
Here is the phone call with M:

M: Just because Meera cries does not mean we should buy her a bicycle.
A: Absolutely right, no bicycle for Meera.
Meera on phone (in soft lilting voice): Pappa, cycle jaay (I want cycle).
A to M: Buy bicycle for Meera!

Just like that, Meera gets a new bicycle.

PS. In a couple of years she’s riding in Boston.



Meera Highlights:

Meera Turns Three

Meera loves chocolates. At M’s home in Mumbai, she finds a small pot of chocolates and promptly finishes them off. Pictures were patiently captured by M.
Happy Birthday Meera!


Time for Meerathon:

Don Meera

Pictures of Don Meera, Mumbai 2010
When Meera was a baby, every time I wore my shades, she would reach for them. I would then mime Main Hoon Don, Don, Don! Soon, Meera came to associate dark glasses with Don!

When we passed stalls on Colaba Causeway selling dark glasses, she’d point and say, Don, Don, Don! SO I had to get her these oversized shades. She’d wear them all the time.

Here is Meera at a gathering in Mumbai. It was well past her nap time and she was super tired, but she persevered and did not get cranky. Verily Don Meera! Continue reading “Don Meera”

Meera in Green

Pictures of Meera in Green, Mumbai 2010

Its been a while since I shared pics of Meera. So here is Meera visiting one of our friends in Mumbai. She loved this day bed and ruled from it.

In other news, Meera is now enrolled in Bharatnatyam (Indian classical dance) classes on the weekend. It’s only been a few weeks and Meera’s loving it. As parents are not allowed in class, we have no idea how she is doing.

And I sent her a few packs of Silly Bandz (zoo & farm animals).

Pictures of Meera in Green, Mumbai 2010


In case you missed any Meera posts:

Kailash Parbat: Pav Bhaji & Chole Bhatura

Kailash Parbat in Colaba is certainly one of our favorite restaurants in Mumbai. We end up there at a drop of a hat. It is walking distance and close to the Maruti Mandir that we try and visit every day. Importantly, Meera is very comfortable there and their wait-staff are quick to bring her a small dish of kurmura (puffed rice). Below, you can browse some of their other dishes from prior visits.

A couple of our favorite dishes:
Pav Bhaji! I get a few extra ‘pav’ (bread). Notice the butter soaked in the bread.
Pav Bhaji Kailash Parbat Colaba
Continue reading “Kailash Parbat: Pav Bhaji & Chole Bhatura”

Video: Meera Enjoying Limbu Soda

Meera enjoys going to restaurants. She sits on the table and holds court; surveys other patrons and call out to them: Aye! At our favorite joint: the Kamats Restaurant in Colaba, the wait staff will entertain Meera while we eat. 🙂 Meera loves their idlis, poLo (dosas) and anything we drink.

One of our favorite drinks is the Limbu soda – sparkling lemonade. Meera loves it too. Enjoy the range of Meera’s expressions in this 46 sec video where she sips Limbu soda. *anti nazar* spray.

Notice Meera’s earring. These traditional Konkani “paakLi” were made for M when she was born. Her mother had saved them and got them cleaned and pointed for Meera.

Note: Limbu paani is the plain lemonade and available on most Mumbai streets.

Continue reading “Video: Meera Enjoying Limbu Soda”

Mumbai Blasts: Previously Unseen Pics from 26/11

While covering the terrorist atrocities in Mumbai last year, I found myself racing from the Leopold Cafe to the Taj and to the Nariman Bldg; shooting pics, updating my twitter feed and simultaneously keeping an ear on what the locals were telling me. Everything happened so fast, there was not much time to think ~ just do! I shared with you all many pics of events as they unfolded. Now on this one-year anniversary, I want to share a few more pics from those horrific three days last year.

At the top level TAB here: Mumbai Blasts, you can find links to all my previous articles, photographs and related press coverage.


Thursday am: This was from the first morning when Mumbai woke up to the terrorist acts which started the previous night. Early that morning as I got out of the house to go for my run I encountered scores of assault weapons toting commandos outside our bldg, a block behind the Taj. I scampered back, got my camera and ran to the Terrace, from where I took many of these pics.

Part of the Taj is smoldering from the fires the previous night – but all the domes are still intact.
Taj Hotel Burning Terror Nov 2008
Continue reading “Mumbai Blasts: Previously Unseen Pics from 26/11”

Air Meera

Air Meera in Colaba Mumbai pics by Arun Shanbhag
Meera just loves to be tossed in the air (of course, never leaving my hands). She is all giggles and never wants me to stop.

M&m: Meera was wearing this beautiful, brown silk dress.
Meera in Colaba Mumbai pics by Arun Shanbhag


More Meera!

Video: Making Puran Polis

When in Mumbai, we attended a puja at my aunt’s place in Jogeshwari. There we enjoyed a delicious south india lunch, served on banana leaves. Freshly made, warm puran polis, dribbled with home-made tuup (clarified butter), was one of many desserts. The catering crew were making it in the back. Enjoy the video.

puran poli sanzori konkani foodsAnd see this older post, where I describe how our extended family comes together to make Sanzori, a variant of the puran poli. So much fun.

Here is Shilpa’s (Aayis Recipes) excellent recipe for puran poli (also called Obbattu).

And another recipe for Puran Poli from Sailu’s Kitchen.



Some of my Other Videos:



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