You create a universe by perceiving it. ~ Douglas Adams
This Sunday, I was at the RCity Mall to watch ‘Tumharu Sulu‘. Just as we were about to enter the INOX cinema hall, I saw a small crowd in front of a huge screen which was playing the live recording of people standing in front of it. Most of them were looking at the screen and were clicking or recording pictures. I looked up at the screen to see what was going on. On the screen, I could see a person wearing a spacesuit standing among the crowd. When I looked around, there was no such character. I looked at the screen again. This time I saw a pool in front of the crowd. A large polar bear walked over its edge, and it started doing somersaults. This was funny! As the polar bear went out, dolphins popped their heads out of the pool. The dolphins were followed by a huge dinosaur that stopped to bare its pointed teeth. Gosh! There were some flying Tyrannosauruses too.
Without wasting time, I also took out my phone and started recording the proceedings on the screen. Here, have a look.
Augmented Reality at INOX RCity
The children were going crazy to see all these photo-realistic 3D characters around themselves on the screen. It appeared like we were standing in the middle of the Jurassic Park. Obviously, a number of people stood glued to the screen at any point in time.
Welcome to the world of augmented reality.
INOX has unveiled Asia’s first-ever Augmented Reality (AR) experience in the multiplex at R City in Mumbai.
A sedentary lifestyle can make us a sitting duck for a host of diseases.
On an average day, it is a norm to sit down for most of the time when we are awake. We are tied to our desks when we are working. We sit for the meetings. We also sit while commuting. We take the weight off our feet while relaxing at home. We slouch in front of our computer screen. We sit while watching TV.
But, just as standing for too long can get us tired, sitting for prolonged periods ‘can damage our body.
Studies indicate that when we sit for long periods, our blood circulation is constricted. It can cause the blood to clot in the legs and prevent it from effectively flowing to the heart, which is a precursor to cardiovascular problems.
The World Health Organization has identified a sedentary lifestyle as a global health problem and one of the 10 leading causes of death and disability.
Come November, and it’s time to greet the winter. To be honest, winter in Mumbai is almost non-existent, but we Mumbaikars rejoice in the slightest dip in the temperature as it gives us the only chance to pull out comforters (if not woollens).
In anticipation of the winter, a few days back, while shopping, I picked up a hand-quilted Kantha comforter to be used as a bedspread or as a blanket (if at all needed). Made of colourful square patches of cloth pieces stitched together it instantly rendered a cheery look to the room.
Art is like a mirror of the society. Art forms express the nuances of the culture of a place.
A few days back, my husband and I were on the Mahatma Gandhi Road in South Mumbai. While crossing the Chhatrapati Maharaj Vaastu Sangrahalaya, I saw an impressive head sculpture of resting Buddha at the museum lawn, which tempted us to enter through the gate of the museum. The beautiful work of art with the peaceful expression on the face of Buddha resting on a carpet of grass seemed like a perfect blending of heritage with nature. As my husband purchased the museum tickets, I clicked a few snaps of the sculpture.
On walking past the sculpture, we saw that a smaller statue of resting Buddha statue in the concavity at the back of the sculpture.
Diwali, the festival of lights is here again. This is the much awaited time of the year when houses, shops, temples, and malls adorn the decorated look, lit up with lanterns, candles, earthen lamps (diya) and electric bulbs. While Diwali is the celebration of “good over evil”, “light over darkness”, “knowledge over ignorance”, and “right over wrong”, the festival has largely come to be equated with the bursting of crackers. So much so that Supreme Court’s ban on crackers in Delhi NCR region in view of the rising pollution levels has drawn a lot of flak, with some people even suggesting the ban as an anti-Hindu decision. Notwithstanding the pollution that follows, people have protested the ban by bursting crackers in front of Supreme Court.
For many people, crackers are a source of joy, and some people believe that loud bursting sounds and lights would ward off and scare evil and notorious spirits away. If this is the case, then I would say that the spirits return the very next day in the form of pollution to harm our environment and our health. In the row over the firecrackers, we also tend to be forgetful of the different ways of celebrations, the myths, legends, beliefs, and festivities associated with Diwali, prevalent among the different communities in different parts of India and in some other countries as well.
Food is always associated with festivities in most cultures. Among the Bengalis, eating out is a norm during the Durga Puja. At the pandals, stalls are set up that sell a variety of food from different parts of the country. The trend of eating out continues on and off till Diwali and then peaks up again during the New Year.
These are the times when I usually try out different cuisines. Though my food choices are rather limited by the virtue of being a vegetarian, I look for the vegetarian version of various cuisines. Last week, during a lunch-out at Hitchki (the word means hiccup in Hindi), a restaurant in Powai, I spotted a dish on the Menu card, with a rather strange sounding name – Bibimbap.
Seeing the unusual name, I checked out its composition. It looked like a rice dish cooked with carrots, mushrooms, and some other ingredients. I found that the restaurant served the dish both with and without meat. I opted for the vegetarian version, which we ordered along with dim sum and bough for starters. While waiting for the order, I surfed the net to find out where this cuisine came from. Read more
Masks have been used since ages for both ceremonial and practical purposes. I have always had a fascination for different types of masks. Whenever I go to some new place, along with the other knickknacks and souvenirs, I generally bring home a mask, which finds a place on the wall of my living room. However, lately more than the decorative masks, I have been buying face masks for protection against the rising pollution levels.
I got an anti-pollution mask when I went to Delhi last year in November. After Diwali, the air pollution levels in Delhi had reached a phenomenal high. The schools there had declared a three-day holiday during what was being called as the Great smog event, and people were advised to stay indoors. The premise was that inside our house, we were safe from pollution.
It was not until recently that I realized how wrong that perception was. My sense of safety from pollution inside the house was severely challenged after I heard that indoor air can be 5 times more polluted than outdoor air.
“I am going to have coffee with cats. Will you come along?” My daughter asked me.
“What!” I wondered aloud. Till now I had heard only about ‘Koffee with Karan’, but when she said something like coffee with cats, I wasn’t sure if I had heard it right.
“The cat at home keeps a constant watch on me and two more in the society stalk me for food the moment they see me. And, you want me to go to some place to have coffee with some more cats?” I asked her.
Not paying much heed to my questions, my daughter urged me to join her. Though it didn’t make much sense to me, yet I agreed and we reached the Cat Café Studio in Andheri.
At the first glance, it looked like a small, cosy place. We stepped inside the corridor. Right at the entrance lying down on the floor was a huge Labrador dog, who raised his head once, looked sheepishly at us, and then continued to doze. We saw a counter at one end; there was a small café along the corridor.