This week, hop on the art trail, sign up for once-in-a-lifetime musical concerts, eat your way through your memories, head into the hills or stay home and travel your imagination—it’s all about experiences that enrich and energise.
All of Mumbai is an art canvas this January, with the latest edition of the Mumbai Gallery Weekend featuring 32 galleries. Hobnob with fellow art collectors at the Young Collectors Weekend at IF.BE, or take a guided tour with Art & Wonderment. Or go at it on your own: Respected artist Atul Dodiya’s latest series of cinema-inspired paintings opens at Chemould Prescott Road; while pioneering Spanish neofuturist J. Demsky’s “Interdimensional Hypnosees” will be at Method Kala Ghoda; and at Experimenter Colaba, immerse yourself in a feature-length VR film by photographer Soumya Shankar Bose in his new show, A Discreet Exit Through The Darkness. January 12-15.
Over at NESCO in Goregaon, you’ll find a different kind of artistic gathering, featuring tattoo, graffiti, music, digital art, dance and more. At Kula, hang out with tattoo artists like Sunny Bhanushali of Alien’s Tattoo, perhaps even get yourself a hand-poked tattoo from Madhya Pradesh’s Mangla Bai, move to Kiss Nuka’s DJ set, and check out emerging hip-hop stars like Wild Wild Women and TIENAS. 13-15 January
Don’t forget to book your tickets for Van Gogh 360°, the first ever van Gogh immersive art experience, which will be at the World Trade Centre starting January 20-February 3. Walk into a series of van Gogh’s most famous works, two-dimensional paintings that have been transformed into 360° experiences with the use of cutting-edge technology and animation. It’ll be spectacular in real life, and look great on the ’gram.
In the 1970s, after the dissolution of his experimental band Mahavishnu Orchestra, English guitarist and composer John McLaughlin put together a supergroup featuring the then emerging tabla player Zakir Hussain, ghatam player T. H. "Vikku" Vinayakram and violinist L. Shankar. After a couple of years of heavy touring, and further evolving McLaughlin’s idea of jazz fusion, the group disbanded. Decades later, Hussain and McLaughlin decided to rekindle their collaboration—bringing us to Remember Shakti, a quintet that now features singer Shankar Mahadevan, Ganesh Rajagopalan and Selvaganesh Vinayakram, and supported by Vinayakram. Catch one of their shows to witness an unusual transcontinental creation. They'll be in Bangalore on January 20; Mumbai, January 22; Kolkata, January 24; and Delhi, January 28.
Legendary percussionist Trilok Gurtu—another frequent McLaughlin collaborator—will be in town for his first performance in India with an orchestra, the Israeli ensemble Castle in Time. Called “Harmonies in Time”, this show has been around since 2017 and is a carnival of instruments: woodwinds, brass, strings, bass guitar, percussions, synthesizers and singers working with analogue effects; all unified in articulating an Indian composition written for the human voice and the tabla. February 9 in Mumbai, February 11 in Delhi.
As winter slips away from the Subcontinent, heading to the hills early in the shoulder season might be worth your time and dime—especially with two new top-ticket hotels throwing their doors open in the Shivalik range.
At the brand new 141-key Westin Resort & Spa, set higher up in the hills, you’ll find just the right amount of proximity and distance to Rishikesh’s bustle; along with the best views of the town and river below. Hang out at the pool, feast on Garhwali thalis at the all-day outdoor dining space Akasa, venture down to the Ganga, hike into the hills, sign up for their curated itineraries, or a rejuvenating massage at the spa—it’ll be just the soul bath you need.
Less than a two-hour drive away is the wellness retreat Vana, now refreshed into a Six Senses property—a great option if what you’re looking for is solace. Vana was always known for its healing programmes, a blend of Ayurvedic and Tibetan therapies, and a sprawling, beautifully-designed property with elaborate suites; and an interesting menu at its kitchens with a focus on satwik food. Combine that with Six Senses’ hospitality and you may not want to leave this oasis of calm in one corner of Dehradun.
There’s something about projectors that will always make movie-watching a more pleasurable experience. BenQ’s latest smart portable projector is a great (and somewhat more affordable) addition to this lineup: with a 135-degree rotating lens and automatic vertical keystone offering a range of angles for projecting onto walls, screens, or ceiling, and a 3000 MAH battery, it’s a pretty big punch in a small body.
It runs on Android TV 10, has access to the Google Play Store, and also features Bluetooth, HDMI, and USB-A inputs and a decent 270-degree 5W sound system. If you’re still in hibernation mode, a cozy pillow fort and portable projector might be all you need to hit that weekender spot.
Ekaa arrived a year ago on Mumbai’s vibrant fine-dine scene, as fresh in concept as the roe it served. The restaurant and its chef Niyati Rao quickly gathered acclaim and patronage for their tasting menu, ingredient-first approach and a spectacular cocktail bar.
Now, to mark Ekaa's one-year anniversary, the team has cooked up a 11-course tasting menu, an even more deeply nostalgic ode to Indian culinary history than those that came before.
In the course called Indus Valley, go on a treasure hunt to find a gold coin, a disc of dark chocolate sourced from Pondicherry, with mulberry and passion fruit filling. Celebrate the legacy of K Rustom ice cream sandwiches with Ice Cream Wale. As you taste Rao’s twist on the dabeli or farsan—all muses for this tasting menu as well—perhaps you’ll revisit a personal food memory or two.