Friday, July 1, 2011

5 Places I would like to go to on a Date.

I'll admit, its been a while since I have been on a fancy-shmansy date in Mumbai, but a girl can dream can't she? So if you, dear Mr. Right Now (I don't believe in Mr. Rights) are reading this,  you know now how to get on my good side!

Here is my Top 5 in no particular order:

AER (Four Seasons, Mumbai)

The gorgeous slick rooftop bar at the Four Seasons at Worli. Need I say more? I've always gone there with a big bunch of friends, and everytime I step into the place I wish I was there with someone special. Nothing beats sitting at the highest rooftop bar in the whole of Mumbai looking out to the glittering skyline with some fine wine and even better company :)

For more infomation click here
Image courtesy:

INDIGO (Colaba)

I'll admit, the way to my heart can also be paved by bribing me with really good food and Indigo is a special favorite. Nestled in a colonial bungalow with that old mumbai charm and the all new menu which promises to be sinfully divine, Indigo makes a perfect venue for a date!  I have only been to the Deli and the Cafe, so extra brownie points!!!

For more information click here
Image courtesy:

DOME (Intercontinental, Marine Drive)

An open rooftop bar looking over the Arabian Sea and the twinkling lights of Marine drive cannot be described as anything else but romantic to a true Mumbaite! And if Burrp is anything to go by, its quite a favorite for special dinners!

For more information click here 
Image courtesy:

AURUS (Juhu Tara Road)

You have probably guessed by now that I am partial to open rooftop/terrace bars facing the sea! Aurus is another place that I find extremely romantic. What I love about it is the discrete entrance and its close proximity to the sea!

For more information click here
Image courtesy:

OLIVE Bar and Kitchen, (Bandra)
 If you know me, you know my love for anything Mediterranean, whether its the countryside, the food, the weather or the people :) Olive is kinda reminiscent of a place and time thats the closest to my heart. Also it doesn't hurt that they make really good Sangria!

For more information click here
Image courtesy:

Do you know of any other place in Mumbai that would be perfect for a date? I'd love to hear about your favorite places :)

Disclaimer: I dont claim to love the food at all of these places. I have picked these restaurants/bars based on the solely on factors that I could consider conducive to a good date!

Monday, May 30, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things...

So decided to have a contest called Fire Escape. What would you grab with you if your house was on fire? To vote for my entry and to view more lists go to

Here is what I would escape with:

1. My hard drive: It contains all the work I have done since Design College 10 years ago. It also has all my favorite movies and my entire music collection.  It is pretty much my life. 
2. My first generation white Ipod Nano I had ordered from the US when it had just launched. It has many nostalgic playlists. 
3. My Mr. Lazy Snuff Box. Do I need to say more?
4. My compass. I don't just use to check vastu directions. I also have used it while I was lost driving through an area I had no clue of. I just knew I had to drive towards north. Very very helpful :)
5. A laminated copy of the first cheque I had ever recieved!!! For my  first paid internship with an architect :)
6. A framed happy memory of my darling sister and me when we were kids living in the UK. 
7. An old tattered translated unabridged paperback version of Les Liaisons Dangereuses I found while I was walking through a flea market quite randomly. Its my favorite book of all time. 
8. A crumpled copy of my French friend's Tiramisu secret recipe that almost got thrown away. Its delicious :)
9. My sunglasses :)
10. The first watch I ever owned. My mom bought it for me from Belgium when she went backpacking through Europe with her best friend. She was 42 years old. This is a reminder that no matter how old you are, the world is still your oyster. 
11. My silver bell keychain. 
12. A Schaeffer  pen I was gifted when I going to go to Milan for my masters. 
13. My little box of colour pencils from Muji I bought in Milan and my happy orange sketchbook.  
14. The essentials: Passport/drivers licence/ATM card
15. My Italian permit of stay. Proof that I did indeed live in Italy for a year :D Probably the best and worst year of my life. 
16. A pair of my favorite heels that go with almost everything and my Coccinelle purse. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

It's only words...: Saviours

I have always wanted to write, ever since I was little girl and had my nose buried in the millions of books I read. Yes, I was the girl who wanted to write the "Best Novel Ever". Of course that never happened but, what does happen now and then is short bursts of creativity that spill out in the form of words.

Here is a short story I co-authored with writer and poet @p0eticlicence via Twitter. Check out her other short stories co-authored with other Twitter users.


   She thought he'd be older and wiser. He turned out to be younger and handsomer. 'Win-win!' she thought. Blind dates weren't really her thing, but deep bass voices were. She couldn't believe she had been talking to the same man over the phone over the last month. He was so unlike what she had imagined. She was told he was perfect for her. 'Perfect, indeed', she said to herself. Tall, intelligent and with a zest for travel... That first call through the dating service had turned into a flirtatious friendship, and he had finally asked her out.
   "Hello," he said in a booming voice. She felt weak in her knees already. "Hiya!" she returned. He smiled. She panicked, and said, 'Say something, stupid' to herself. "So..., we finally meet!" she quipped. He looked at her with smiling eyes, soaking in her nervousness. "Why don't we head to the bar and get comfortable?" he suggested.
   He then led the way, and she followed obediently. She sure needed a drink to break his spell. "I'd like a whiskey; neat," she said when they reached. He looked at her, pleasantly surprised. "Single malt?" he inquired, raising an eyebrow. "On the rocks, please" she answered back. He placed the order with the barman in his impossibly suave manner. She admired his broad back, slim waist and a firm behind. She could almost see those muscular lines under his clothes. Her reverie snapped as the drinks arrived. She took a deep breath, and summoned the courage to ask him the question that was burning inside her...
   "Do you want me?" she posed.
   Taken aback by her forthcoming blurt, he set his drink down. He thought he'd have to play the games eventually, but perhaps life was too short.
   "I do," he said, smiling. "How can I not want the woman, who I have grown to admire, respect and trust over the last month?"
   She smiled with relief, but her heart pounded with excitement, thinking of the end she wanted for herself. "I need you," she confessed. "I need you to love me," she continued. "I notice love hasn't found place in that list of things you have for me," she said swigging the cold-burning fluid in her mouth.
   He shuffled about and chugged down his tonic water. She was making this difficult. He wanted her, yes, but love? He couldn't love her, he thought, as he subconsciously played with a gold band in his pocket. The band was his constant companion now; once worn by the woman he called his life, his love. His wounds were still raw, but his soul was begging to be healed. He closed his eyes.
   She reached across, and touched his face. Suddenly, her eyes lit up. "Let's get out of here," she said and turned to the door. He followed, hurriedly stuffing some notes into the doorman's hand. He needed to do this. He needed to free himself of his past. He needed to take this pleasure plunge. Pain had won too long.
   As the valet drew up with his sedan, taking charge, she settled into the driver's seat. She turned and looked at him. "Come on!" she half begged, half ordered. "Are you sure?" he asked, "You're a few whiskeys down." "Ahan," she said, and he submitted to her easy confidence. Woman on top.
   She fished a scarf out of her handbag, and tied it around his eyes. "Let's go for a spin!" she laughed and rolled down the windows. It was his turn to go weak in the knees. He felt her soft hands on his face, a whiff of her heady perfume and wind in his hair. The miles began to run away under him.
   As she shifted gears during the silent drive to his one salvation, she brushed her fingers upon his thigh, ever so lightly. He grew stiff with anticipation. "Would this be the right time for you to need me; need me to love you?" he asked. Her laughter resonated within the confines of the car. "Not yet," she said, pulling the car over and shutting off the engine. He could smell salt.
   The sea. 'Oh God, not the sea.' He could not bear the sea since after that fateful drowning accident. "Let's leave," he said silently, his blindfold still in place.

   "No," she firmly denied him, reached down to slide off his leather shoes and led him down. With every sinking step into the sand, his heart sank deeper into the quicksand of images from the past. He stopped and took off the scarf. Holding her by her shoulders, he said, "You don't understand."
   "I do," she said, and kissed him. As she kissed him, she felt the turmoil within him and held on to him, as he fought his demons. He looked at her, and saw this woman holding the key to his future. "Love me now," she said softly. They went down on the sand, and made passionate, desperate and honest love; saving each other. 

Here is the original link to @p0eticlicence's blogpost:  It's only words...: Saviours: " She thought he'd be older and wiser. He turned out to be younger and handsomer. 'Win-win!' she thought. Blind dates weren't really he..."

Thursday, May 5, 2011

What do you do with empty perfume bottles?

Don't we all love perfume. Thats the one thing we cannot get enough of and if you are lucky, you are almost always gifted a  beautiful bottle of perfume. I had a bagful of used up perfume bottles and they seemed just too pretty to throw out. Such care. thought and design goes into the making of these bottles, it would be just a shame if thats all they were, containers for a perfume.

As a part of my Product Design thesis (I can't tell you too much about it as technically the project is still owned by the school) I had worked on a luxury beauty product and a part of that was sustainability packaging. How can we get over this need to buy and throw? I came across a product on and it got me thinking. I have had the idea on the back-burner for months now. Its about time I got around to what I call "me-time".

For Step 1 of the project this is what you are gonna need:
1. Empty perfume bottles (the bigger the better for this particular project)
2. A handy sturdy blunt knife (I took the smallest one out of my mothers kitchen set)
3. A strong will and determination to be destructive. Constructively of course.

Basically, we want to get rid of the metal/plastic spray tops. And trust me, if you have been following my tweets, you'd know you are gonna have your work cut out for you! I would assume that when the manufacturing companies set these nozzles on the bottles, they never expected anyone to remove them.
Though, at the end of it, the nozzles of the cheaper perfumes came off a tad bit more easily then the others. (Quality, huh?) Two of the perfume bottles were quite cleanly decapitated! A great skill if I were an executioner with a sword.

These poor bottles did not know what was coming 


So this is what you should be left with. Naked exposed perfume bottles.

Stay tuned for Step 2.

Monday, February 14, 2011

VodaFail? Letter to Vodafone.

To Whomsoever This May Concern

I have been using my number for more than the past 10 years now. I have seen the change from Orange to Hutch and now Vodafone. One of the main reasons I chose Orange in the first place was because of the presence Max Touch had in the market since 1995 and also the quality of service provided by the Essar company in general in comparison with the other telecom companies at the time. 

My problems with Vodafone have mainly been with your customer service. While there have been many small issues over the past years, there is one issue that has occurred over the past few months that has made me really upset. The problems started with a payment I made on the 1st of December 2010. I made 2 payments that day each of Rs.1200/- amounting to Rs. 2400/- which was reflected on the Vodafone Bill dated 04.12.10. 

However, when I received the Vodafone Bill dated 04.01.11, I find that there has been an "adjustment" of Rs. 1200/- added in the bill. Since I didn't understand the amount and I was getting calls from your collection department asking me on one occasion to pay an amount of Rs. 3447.51/- , on a second occassion to pay an amount of Rs. 1200/- and a third occasion to pay an amount of Rs 947/- And no one from the collection department seemed to know why I needed to pay that amount when my Bill for the month of December came to Rs, 2414/- (plus an adjustment of Rs. 1200)

I called up your Vodafone Helpline to find out what exactly the Rs 1200/- adjustment was since I was getting an automated message telling me I had an outstanding amount that needed to be paid so that my outgoing calls are not barred, only to be rudely spoken to by a customer service executive (I don't remember his name unfortunately) that  "you will have to deal with that message since you haven't paid your bill" and hung up on me right after I asked him what exactly he meant by such a statement. 

I call up a second time only to be told that there was a mistake and that Rs. 1200/- should not have been added and that the Customer Service Executive shall sort out the issue immediately. However, I kept getting calls from your collection department regarding a pending payment. 

After calling up your Vodafone Helpline the third time on the 9th of February, I finally was explained that one of my payments of Rs 1200/- that was made on the 1st of December 2010 had bounced and was reflected on the the Vodafone system on the 15th of December and due to which, after all the dedeuctions based on the amounts I had paid so far, the balance amount to be paid was Rs. 947. I immediately made the Balance Payment of Rs 947 on the 9th of February 2011, at 17:15:58 by an ICICI credit Card. The Payment ID is MCIT1025502874. 

Today (15th February, 2011) at 12:15 am, I find that my outgoing services have been barred without any intimation because the payment of Rs. 947 "apparently" have not been paid. I call up the Vodafone Helpline only to have the Customer Service Executive ask me to make the payment or wait till morning to sort out the issue. I have had to call up a second time where someone else was able to address the issue and has checked up on the payment. He has now put in a request to start my outgoing calls again. 

While hopefully, this particular issue has been sorted with, I can't help but wonder if Vodafone Essar is really "Happy to Help" me. From my experience with this issue I have come to the conclusion that:

1. Your collection department has absolutely no connection with your Vodafone Helpline and have no awareness regarding issues pertaining to Bill Payments which are at times sorted out with the Customer Service Executives at the Vodafone Helpline. As a customer it is really annoying to have someone call you and ask you for a "pending bill" especially since there has been an issue with the payment and a complaint has been lodged with your Customer Service Executives. The disconnection between your departments and lack of awareness about why an amount has been added to a bill is just plain appalling. 

2. Payments made on your website are not reflected immediately which results in your customer suffering and being harassed

3. My outgoing calls were barred without any sort of intimation whatsoever even after the payments have been made. 

4. Your employees at the Vodafone Helpline range from being extremely bad and rude to being polite, well informed and able to help me. This dichotomy is appalling since I do not when I will be rudely told off and hung up upon. Are your Customer Service Executives really Happy to Help?

The reason this all this upsets me so much is mainly because I have believed in the brand and its slogan of "Happy to Help You". Unfortunately, I have found this to be untrue over the past few months. I can say honestly, that I have seriously given thought to use the service of  Mobile Number Portability and change my service provider, but at this point I would like to have faith in your company and all the promises you make through your advertisements on Television and Print. 

It shall be a shame that a small issue such as mine would my faith in Vodafone to come crashing to its knees and leaving much to be desired in a patron's eyes that has stuck with Essar Communications throughout the years. 

Shweta Kaushik
Interior and Product Designer

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Deaths and new beginnings.

Hello, World!

So I have had this blog for years now and I haven't done any justice to it whatsoever. I think I had some posts on it until Google bought it over and the transition was extremely bumpy to say the least and this blog died along with some other pursuits of mine.

However, with Death comes a new beginning and I guess its about time that this blog resurrects!

Look out for more in the coming hours, days, months :)