A gift hamper from Inglot for me :) You approve?

Inglot Gift Hamper
Inglot Gift Hamper

I can’t say this enough. I love receiving packages. I’m careful with the wrapping but once I’ve moved past that, I tear off the packaging as if my life depended on it. And then I love being surprised by the contents. Since yesterday we celebrated Valentine’s Day in India and some of you in other countries are still celebrating it, I thought I’d share the gift hamper Inglot sent me. Inglot has a presence worldwide but has recently come to India. And they sent me 5 products to try out.

Inglot Cream Concealer 24
Inglot Cream Concealer 24

First up, a cream concealer in shade 24. It retails for Rs 590.

Inglot Pressed Powder 42
Inglot Pressed Powder 42

Second, a pressed powder in shade 42. It retails for Rs 740.

Inglot Illuminator 61

Third, an illuminator in shade 61. It retails for Rs 970.

Inglot Body Sparkles 56
Inglot Body Sparkles 56

Fourth, body sparkles in shade 56. It retails for Rs 870.

Inglot Nail Enamel 967
Inglot Nail Enamel 967

Finally, a nail enamel in shade 967. It retails for Rs 490.

Thanks Inglot! Can’t wait to try these out. Reviews coming soon!

If you were putting together a make-up hamper for your valentine or friend, what would you include and what would you definitely exclude? I’m hoping to score a red lipstick one of these days. 😉

In Time, Dolphin Tale or Tower Heist? Your Hollywood pick this weekend?

In Time Movie Poster
In Time Movie Poster

Release Date: 4th Nov 2011
Director: Andrew Niccol
Cast: Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cilian Murphy, Johnny Galecki, Olivia Wilde, Vincent Kartheiser


In Time can best be dubbed a sci-fi action thriller. A film about the future where time is currency. Everyone stops ageing at 25, are granted one more year to live and must earn the rest of their life. The poor live day to day and the rich live forever as long as they avoid dying by mistake.

Justin Timberlake plays Will Salas, a man from the Ghetto (the time zone of the poor), who comes to a fortune of time by accident yet loses his mother. With nothing else to lose, he travels to New Greenwich (the time zone of the rich) to make things right. ‘Nobody should be immortal if even one has to die’ is Will’s guiding philosophy.

Sylvia Weis (played by Amanda Seyfried), daughter of magnate Philippe Weis (Vincent Kartheiser) joins Will in his fight against the rich, stealing what is already stolen and returning it to the rightful holders. Together, they take down the timekeepers headed by Raymond Leon (Cilian Murphy) and restore justice.

The concept is novel, the writing witty and the film timely. It keeps you at the edge of your seat most times save 20 minutes of the second half. Justin Timberlake is charming as usual and Amanda Seyfried her unusual best. Cilian Murphy essays his role with ease and belief. Given how much I love The Big Bang Theory and Mad Men, Johnny Galecki (Leonard) and Vincent Kartheiser (Pete), deliver some of my favourite performances in the film.

Of the 4 Hollywood releases this week and the 5 Bollywood ones, In Time tops my list. Catch it before it’s out. Continue reading In Time, Dolphin Tale or Tower Heist? Your Hollywood pick this weekend?

A whole lot of bread and dessert | Le Pain Quotidien

There are some days when I wake up in the morning craving a wholesome breakfast. Unfortunately, I can’t always think of places to go to. I’d been reading and hearing about this Belgian bakery and communal table, Le Pain Quotidien that had opened in Mumbai. One look at their website: http://www.lepainquotidien.in/ and I was floored.

On a Monday afternoon, along with my friend/’food writer’, I made my way to Colaba. After spending some time on the communal table, we shifted to a private table to enjoy our meal.

Photograph: Sonal

My friend, Sonal was very taken with the small plant, a different kind on each table. We were informed the decor is pretty much the same in any Pain Quotidien across the world. They like to maintain uniformity.

The idea of a communal table is not entirely new to our culture. However, it isn’t exactly modern and the crowd seems to be taking its time to warm up to this idea.

Le Pain Quotidien (pronounced luh paN koh-ti-dyaN) translates to ‘the daily bread’ in English. It is just right to try their bread basket. It comes loaded with a choice of Baguette, Wheat, Rye, Five-Grain and Flute breads. Eating the bread by itself is encouraged. Butter is served during the day and balsamic vinegar in the evenings as an accompaniment.

LPQ employs the traditional method of bread-making. Their bread takes very long to bake, the starter itself up to 7 days. If you take-away bread, try to consume it the same day. If you leave it out over a couple of days, it might go stale as it is so fresh and devoid of preserves.

Since the both of us are vegetarian (like so many of you out there), we opted for the Asian salad – with carrot, cucumber, seaweed in a sesame dressing and tofu. The tofu was really soft and even if you are not a salad person, you’re bound to enjoy a bite or two.

Although I love tomatoes, Sonal can do without the seeds. Hence, a tartine meant to be a Buffalo Mozzarella with olive spread and marinated tomatoes was sent for us minus the tomatoes. We enjoyed it nevertheless. It was the buffalo mozzarella perhaps?

The Roasted Leek & Lemon Ravioli ravioli was an average fare but the potato garlic puree it was served on was a definite hit.

The vegetable lasagna with ricotta cheese and mushrooms was simply delicious. Apparently all restaurants that serve this Italian dish prepare it differently. We enjoyed this drier and perfectly cheesy version.

How often do you look at the dessert menu and wish you could eat everything? We plead guilty as charged. 😉

We were squealing with joy when this tart identified itself as lemon. So mushy!

The day’s bread is baked into this bread pudding. Interestingly, the taste might differ each time, given the uniqueness of the bread. Chocolate is a part of the mix. 🙂

The soft-centred chocolate cake was so soft it melted in my mouth. I had to use two spoons to eat this delicacy.

We did neglect the creme brulee and apple crumble a little bit in favour of the other desserts but we’re only human.

Photographs: Dhruvi Shah

As if the pictures weren’t enough to tempt you, I recorded a virtual tour. Look!

I definitely had a great time. I’m going back to try the waffles.

Photograph: Sonal

I wore my dress/tunic from Golmaal and sunglasses from Mango.

The address is: Dhanraj Mahal, C.S.M. Road, Apollo Bunder, Near the Gateway of India, Colaba, Mumbai 400039. All other details are on their website.

If you have any more questions for me, I’d be delighted to reply. When you do go there, please share your experiences. Treat yourself. 🙂

Raksha Bandhan Celebrations | Of timeless art forms

So, there is always this confusion regarding my caste and religion.
Because in India, so many distinctions exist, they are bound to merge.

By caste, I would be Kutchi (i.e. hailing from the Kutch district of Gujarat).
My family follows the religion of Jainism.
On both counts, I belong to a minority.
Except when you consider the larger region I come from, i.e. Gujarat.
We have an abundant population all over the world. 😉

Raksha Bandhan is a festival celebrated throughout India,
popularized primarily by the North.
Essentially, it is a day of celebration for brothers and sisters.

Sisters tie rakhis (a holy thread if you may) on their brothers’ wrists.
They do so in exchange for a lifetime of protection.
The exchange is sweetened with both feeding one another mithais
(traditional Indian sweets).

The brothers unite

In the city of Mumbai, everything can be made commercial.
We like to have fun with our rakhis.
As our brothers seem to enjoy toys and animals more than traditonal symbols.

While scrambling for something different is always a task.
We came across these paper quilled rakhis at an exhibiton.

Greeting card

A little bit of research on paper quilling will tell you all about its origin,
historical transition and popularity, even in today’s day and time.

What I find most interesting though is how modern rakhi-makers integrate all these art forms into making rakhis. The mere transference of the art form generates interest in the user and receiver.

Another art form I am extremely fond of is greeting card creation.

Hence, in a matter of minutes, I whipped up a greeting card
to be sent to my cousin brother residing abroad (picture above).

This excerpt from Vikram Seth’s ‘A Suitable Boy’ [edited] , you might enjoy:

Mrs Rupa Mehra glanced in a cursory manner over her piles of old … cards before returning to the birthday roses. She took out a small pair of scissors from the recesses of her great black handbag. … Eight years of the deprivation of small luxuries could not reduce her for the sanctity of the … greeting. In fact she enjoyed the challenge of making … cards. Scraps of cardboard, shreds of ribbon, lengths of coloured paper, little silver stars and adhesive golden numerals lay in a variegated trove at the bottom of the largest of her three suitcases, and these were now pressed into service. …

“It’s not a standard greeting | For just one joyful day | But a wish that’s meant to cover | Life’s bright and shining way – ”

Greeting cards today are extremely fancy sitting pretty in large air-conditioned shops. The only element, they miss perhaps, is a personal touch. Nothing speaks better in a greeting than your own voice.

Speaking of such nice traditions, the rakhi tying is accompanied by a ritual.

The sister paints a tikka/tilak on the brother’s forehead,
and consequently decoartes it with chokha.
They exchange blessings and good wishes. Of course, gifts are included.

Thali/Tray preparation for Raksha Bandhan

If all these aspects had an important role to play in the celebration.
How could the ensemble not be important?

In keeping with the spirit of tradition and cultural roots,
I picked an ensemble dad brought from Kutch especially for me.
The embroidery on the kurta is perhaps
the work of a local Muslim ‘karigar’,
Although it has the remnants of the handicraft so popular in the region.
The brocade border on the hem is popular even now.

My traditional ensemble

I’m extremely fond of costume jewellery as I find it more dynamic, innovative and less heavy on the pocket as compared to real jewellery.


Like all things I like, create and have fun with, everything featured in the post was custom-made.
I always come across various people who have a creative bent of mind.
For more details, please leave your feedback and queries in the comments section. You also know how to reach me via email (alicewandering25@gmail.com)

Do you celebrate Raksha Bandhan? How do you celebrate it? Would you like to know more? Are you interested in the traditions and festivals of India?

Hello world!

Turning heads on a station bridge

It was a really hot day! The summer was harsh!
But I wanted to feel bright and happy. So, I was wearing my pwetty pink bow…
to represent the general happiness of life.

Pwetty pink bow band – New Look, Brighton, UK | Tunic – Promod, Paris | Leggings – Platinum Mall, Bangkok | Shoes – Platinum Mall, Bangkok | Bag – Just Phat, Bandra, Mumbai, India

Photograph: Aniruddha Guha