Here are some of my favorite things.


Favorite non-fiction book about India: In Spite of the Gods by Edward Luce

Favorite description of Mumbai in a book:

Ayyan loved this about the city – the humid crowds, the great perpetual squeeze, the silent vengeance of the poor.  In the miserly lifts and hand stuffed trains he often heard the relief of afternoon farts, saw scales on strange faces and the veins in their still eyes.  And the secret moustaches of women.  And the terrible green freshness when they had been newly removed with a thread.  He felt the shoves and pushes and the heaviness of paunches.  This unnerving constriction of Bombay he loved, because the congestion of hopeless shuffling human bodies he was born into was also, in a way, the fate of the rich.  On the streets, in the trains, in the paltry gardens and beaches, everybody was poor.  And that was fair.

(from Serious Men by Manu Joseph.  The book had a lot of covers.  Here’s why.)







Favorite fancy store I just found: Bungalow 8.  Since this sells housewares, as well as clothing, I reckon I could just move in.


Favorite Bollywood dance scene [IT’S ON A TRAIN YOU GUYS!!]:


Favorite source of roughage: Arugala and spinach salad with wasabi granola (and prawns) at Salt Water Café

shown here with beetroot, carrot, & ginger juice


Favorite fake macrobiotic café: The Yoga House

[I really like this place, but they really need to stop pretending they are macrobiotic.  Gwyneth would be so pissed, if she gets pissed.]


Favorite artisanal technique: Dhrangadhra stone carving

guess whose feet those are


Favorite jewelry style: polki


Favorite source of messages for me to bring back to Hillary Clinton from her NUMBER ONE FAN: Brittania Restaurant.  Also favorite berries pullao and Bombay Duck I guess.  Oh, and favorite place to peruse (forcedly) a sheathed photocopy of a manifesto called “Let’s Bring Back the Brits.”

Ignore the photo of the Queen Mother. At heart, Mr. Irani, 89, is Secretary Clinton's number one fan, as he will inform any Americans, regardless of what stage they are in their meals.

Favorite mind-boggler: WHAT AM I DOING FOR FOOD


Favorite source of mysterious foreigners who appear out of nowhere: Aer


Favorite soda: Schweppes Zero Cream Soda from Wellness Forever on Ambedkar Road

Favorite guilty pleasure: Double serving of bhindi fry and roomali rotiyon from Khane Khas [see, I even bring it to the airport:]

Favorite curiosity: visiting foreign investors who are bullish on India, and use that phrase specifically

[Apparently this photo is actually from Nebraska, but you get the point.]


Favorite road feces: goat (it just rolls away usually)


Favorite threat: “I really want to come visit you!”


Favorite Indian news source: Firstpost.com


Favorite addition to my baking tool arsenal: tiny rolling pin, originally for chapatis, and now for single serving apple handpies and homemade pop-tarts made with minimal counter space


Favorite rarified view of the city: Dome at the InterContinental on Marine Drive.  For me, this has the edge over Aer because the chairs are more comfortable, there is a dome (!!!!), and it’s usually not filled with mystery people who look like they fell out of a SkyMall catalogue.


Favorite ‘keepin’ it real’ view of the city: Mahim Bay, not blocking your nose.

click on this pic to go to someone's nice photoblog.


Favorite smell: flower stand near Hill Road, Bandra


Favorite new ingredient: desiccated coconut

[shown here in Bon Appétit’s Ambrosia Macaroons, which I look forward to making again this Passover.  My pictures did not turn out so well.]

Favorite daydream: Whole Foods – I like to picture myself wandering down every aisle in my head, amassing thousands of dollars of things in my cart (equal parts fresh, leafy produce, prepared foods, and deep, dank meats and cheeses), get to the check-out, realize I live in India, and leave sobbing with just a handful of okra

Favorite homemade snack: sad handful of okra, covered in olive oil or cooking spray, salt, and curry powder, 12 minutes in the toaster oven at whatever is the one temperature my toaster oven uses.  I call these Witches Fingers to the no one else in my apartment who’s listening.

Again, my photos of these are awful so this is someone else's.


Favorite graffiti transformation:

(on Chapel Road in Bandra.  For the evolution of this piece, and some more info on The Wall Project, check out the awesome Bandra Project, which is also where I got the first photo from.)

Favorite dog-related grafitti:


Favorite source of fearmongering: my landlord

Favorite feeling: knowing that anywhere else I live couldn’t possibly throw me any curve balls at this point.



MMNFD: Mumbai “literally steeps in its own waste.”

If that’s not your style, here is a satellite picture of yesterday’s dust storm.   While this photo doesn’t verify this, I’m pretty sure this hit my lungs today (source):

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6 Responses to faves

  1. Abhinav says:

    Can’t help but imagine eating bhindi fry on a train passing through central Mumbai while people dance around me. Ambrosia macaroons for dessert. Such a weird thought.

  2. Anil says:

    This explains the scenic blur which I thought was a fog while I was hiking top a hill in kalyan yesterday.

  3. Mombo says:

    Once again, you make India seem an utterly vivid and magical place…

  4. Barns says:

    1) Delighted you have chosen correct favourite Bollywood dance scene

    2) what you are doing for food looks very very good and I want all those things now

    3) Hillary f. please be there

    4) Design Observer, great site.

  5. Pingback: Wordless Wednesdays 2012 « Pins N Ashes

  6. Cannot love the faves enough!

    I also favourite
    a) bhindi fry (but I prefer Vrindavan next to Khar station)
    b) your hilarious photos
    c) mysterious random foreigners at Aer (where the eff do they come from?!
    d) Mahim <33333333 to see and smell 'real life'
    e) fake+overpriced macrobiotic food (don't know what the big fuss is about Yoga House)
    f) ''laying down immidiatly after medicine''
    g) your cute feet
    h) Chaiyya chaiyya

    Thanks for this fun post!

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