Monday, December 24, 2012

Illustrated Christmas cards

Having visited a workshop on Fashion Illustration at the Victoria and Albert Museum earlier this month I decided to put my newly honed illustration skills to good use by making hand-made cards for a handful of people I know. The workshop was conducted by renowned illustrator Stuart McKenzie. I thoroughly enjoyed it and learnt a lot over a short span of an hour.

I am sure you all have that one friend who you could relate to in the illustrations below. Give me a shout if you need any made and I shall send them over. All proceeds will be donated. Merry Christmas!

The butter-fingered

The tea-lover

The Movember-man

The bead-wearer

The Brit-Indian

The foodie-drinker

The low-battery-complainer

The detox-dieter

The mulled-wine-mince-pie-lover

The beer-belly

The art-appreciater

The social-media-resident

The fitness-freak

The ice-skater

The graduand

The goodie-two-shoes

The cup-cake-drooler

The perpetual-traveller

The pastafarian

The smoking-quitter

The sailor

The Olympic-beer-drinker

The couch-surfer

The free-spirited

Thursday, December 13, 2012

London Tube Tip Number One

A celebration of Christmas

Singing Christmas carols has been one of my most favourite past times. I've sung them anytime-anywhere and will do the same in the future.

On previous occasions I've gone into one of my singing fits while travelling in school buses, during camp fires, when crossing dry river beds in villages in Rajasthan, travelling in the tube in London and on Christmas eve at home with my sister.

My love for singing and Christmas songs, carols and hymns reached a new high when I joined the University of Westminster's Choral Society last year.

I particularly love the design team at the University of Westminster as you can see on your right with this amazing invite they made for our show.

The practice sessions were remarkable in the sense that amateurs and stalwarts all practiced together and our team-work clearly showed on the day with the audience members complimenting us; 'You sounded like angels from heaven' one of them told one of our choristers.

This year I was promoted to singing a solo for a medieval Spanish villancico called Riu Riu Chiu and according our Choir conductor, Robbie, this will be the next big thing when it comes to Christmas songs in the near future. Well, you know where you heard it first!

Thanks to Chunny Wai Lo who made it for the performance and took this picture. You are a great friend and seeing your face there made this so much more special.

Another friend came to the rescue of fellow chorister, Sueli, who thrust upon a video camera in her friends' hands with seconds to spare before the performance started with the orders 'Record!'. Sueli, please pass on our gratitude and wishes.
to you dear friend.

For all those who couldn't make it, presenting to you - A celebration of Christmas! Please click on the links below to listen to the carols/hymns.

Riu riu - Salem Ajmi singing the second paragraph and yours truly singing the first and third one.

And now, please join us for some vegan mince pies and non-alcoholic mulled wine! :P

Monday, December 10, 2012

London Christmas decorations at night - Fom Nike to Zara

Every year during Christmas in Mumbai, a ritual practiced by one of my dear friends Ainee was to collect all her friends in one car and drive around Mumbai city to those spots which boasted of some of the best Christmas decorations in the city. From Marine Plaza and Taj in south Mumbai to Damian's three floored furniture showroom in the suburbs (okay, Bandra is not exactly a suburb but I wanted to give an idea of the length and breadth we covered!)

It has been two years since I came to London and my promise to Ainee to send her pictures of the decorations on display in the city of cities - London, is yet to be fulfilled. So this year I am planning to go on a evening walk down Oxford Street, Regents Street, Carnaby Street, China Town, Marylebone High Street and any other street which has decorations gallore. 

If you wish to join in and take in the delights that Selfridges, Harrods, Hamleys, Liberty, Covent Garden and Southbank have to offer, please click here and confirm here.

The walk will begin from University of Westminster's Regents Street campus at 8pm on 11th December 2012.

Don't forget to carry only your camera, with spare batteries as we will be doing a lot of walking and you don't want to get bogged with the weight of any unnecessary possessions on you. Do layer up in warm clothes and wear good walk-able shoes. Strictly no heels allowed.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Moustachio'd - A caterpillar on my upper lip :{D


It's Movember and time to make a difference once again.

Men’s health is a cause I am passionate about but in order to make a difference I need your help. My commitment is to grow a moustache for the month of November and in doing so, raise vital awareness and funds for mens health including prostate and testicular cancer.

This is my second year with Movember and last year I successfully raised £106 which made my teams grand total a whopping £957 for men's health.

I am asking you to help support my personal journey once again by making a donation. The size of which isn’t important, every little contribution helps Movember to continue its funding of world class programmes.  If you want to know more about what you’ll be helping to fund, you can visit Movember's Program Overview page.

To highlight the importance of what I am doing, take a look at these statistics:

•    1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime
•    This year 40,000 new cases of the disease will be diagnosed in the UK
•    47% of testicular cancer cases occur in men under 35 years and over 90% occur in men under 55 years

If you’d like to help change these statistics, please donate to me by:

•    Donating online at:
•    Writing a cheque payable to 'Movember', referencing my Registration ID: 1623432 and mailing it to: Movember Europe PO Box 68600 London EC1P 1EF

For more details, take a look at the Programs We Fund section on the Movember website:
Thank you in advance for supporting my efforts to change the face of men's health.

Mo-bro Yashraj

Change the way they live by changing the way you celebrate

Dear Indian,

It is that time of the year again. Diwali will soon befall upon us. Doesn't sound very festive, does it? Well, my lack of interest sprouts from the contemporary methods of celebrating this festival of lights. In recent years it
 has turned into a festival of smoke. The manner in which we celebrate it puts me off from anything related to it. Almost. Every year the closer the calendar inches towards it, the fainter my heart grows.

Firstly, let me tell you that this article is addressed to a specific set of people. It is aimed at that 30% of India’s population who live in her cities; those who have been exposed to modern city-life and who, I would assume, are sensible enough to understand the difference between a ‘cow’ and a ‘car’. If you think you do, read on.

It is then addressed to 80% of those 30% living in urban India who are literate; which would be those Indians who know what ‘pollution’, ‘traffic’, ‘child labour’, ‘faith’ and ‘religion’ mean. They can probably also operate a computer. You should stop reading further if you think 'Google' and 'Internet' are the same thing!

Narrowing down further, it is for those 34 million of that 80% who are literate and live in urban India, who are active internet users, who blog, use social networks, share ideas and (may be) are budding entrepreneurs.
You are probably one of them if your are reading this.

And lastly, it is addressed to all those who have made it through the above screeners and who burst fire crackers!

If you are a firecracker-burster, this article is addressed to you. With utmost sincerity and respect, all I request you to do is - Quit crackers! Celebrate a cracker free Diwali.

For those of you who never burst crackers or have already quit, and are still reading this request letter - Thank you, really! Please spread the message and get more Indians to join the cracker-free bandwagon.

It is beyond my understanding why someone who lives in a city, is well educated and can operate the computer would find the need to light up hazardous, life-threatening, menacing objects (read: firecrackers) to prove their allegiance to a God or celebrate the return of a king from exile. Firecrackers didn't even originate in India (it was China), so their association with a magical festival of lanterns and rangolis is bizarre!

Besides, our insatiable, unjustifiable, suicidal want for firecrackers has made India the second largest producer of firecrackers in the world. Shocking, isn't it? It’s outright shameful to be second on the black list of countries producing civil bombs, in broad daylight, all year round by employing two lakh child labourers in near-death-inducing environments. And what’s worst, almost 100% of those fireworks are consumed within India

Let's put this into perspective. We have this mad urge to burst crackers, we have a mad industry supplying them to us and in the bargain we have cultivated a mad demand and supply chain where we do everything possible that defies common sense.

We harm our health and environment, smog our metropolitan cities, strip our atmosphere of fresh air, tear our ear drums, cause a rise in respiratory disorders (short-term) and cancer patients (long-term) on our hospital beds, spend a fortune in buying fireworks, put our children at risk of getting struck by stray flaming rockets, petrify our beloved pets, force the less privileged of our society to work under inhumane conditions and oddly enough, yet manage to celebrate our most auspicious religious festival. An auspicious festival of that same religion which preaches non-violence, equal rights and environmental sustainabiltiy.  No wonder we are known as the country of nutters world-over! Talk about double standards.

To all those who believe fireworks build a sense of bonhomie, bring cheer and foster community spirit...Ahem, ahem! Please go back to school and learn what these words mean. Get in touch with me thereafter. I will give you a million alternative things to do which will bring all the cheer and spirit back in your life! Duffer!

I cannot convey this message in a simpler way. Please quit crackers, if you haven’t. Spread the word and get others to join you
. Write a letter to the building society you live in and put up posters about why everyone in the colony must quit crackers. Also offer alternative ways to celebrate the spirit of Diwali. Run speaker sessions in local schools and sensitize as many people as you can. Get the local governments to organize a community fireworks celebration (one pyrotechnic rocket is better than hundred). In the long run, organize meetings with the shops in your locality who sell firecrackers and offer them alternative business ideas to make the most from the increased level of festive consumer spending. Speak to your friends and family. And all the children you know. Request them to take the cracker-free route. Address the issue as soon as you see it happening. And make this a conversation starter, 'Will you burst fireworks this Diwali?'

Where do these crackers come from? How can we offer alternative jobs to those who will be unemployed if factories where they are made are shut down.? The driving force is a life of desperation, the desperation to earn a living. The owners of these factories engage in cracker-making as it is (sadly) a lucrative businesses, it brings in the cash. It is lucrative because we consumers make it so. We give them our cash. We need to offer them another lucrative business idea to manage and work in - Sivakasi itself has a big BPO/IT and printing industry. Why not train the workforce to enlarge those industries? Why is a UK, USA or Australia not in the top three fire cracker producing nations? Because they have an aorta of sense and they take up ethical welfare oriented business. (Okay, may be not, but you understand the sentiment here don't you? We need to shut down the fireworks industry and replace it with another one. If not the least we can do is to ensure utmost health and safety of those working in those environments.)

If you are still not convinced, go to any search engine's news section and type 'fire crackers'. Every news story that pops up will give you real-life stories of affected communities, burnt factories, high pollution levels, suffering asthmatics and all things negative. 

Although I must admit, there is awareness and there are numerous Indians who have taken the steps to reduce fireworks and who are doing their bit to make Diwali a cracker-free festival. But I also do feel, there is much more to be done. Every time I hear the sound of a 'bomb' or a rocket zooming in the night sky I tell myself, 'We haven't done enough. There is lots more to do'.

Hopefully, someday the rippling effects of our actions will reach the life-snuffing-factories of Sivakasi and other Indian firework-torture-camps. When the demand will stop, the supply shall too. Surely no employee loves working in a poison-chamber and no employer loves putting the lives of hundreds of families and workers on the brink of danger every day. They do it only because they don't have alternative sources of income.  

I urge you to put your creative minds together and to give them a chance to change the way they live by the changing the way we celebrate. Let’s not think cash and let’s think conscious. Let’s be the kind of people who live in cities, go to school, surf the internet and are sensible and wise enough to quit crackers. Please.



Monday, July 16, 2012

Isle of Wight - Guidance note to plan your trip

What days?
I suggest you go over the weekend (Fri-Sun) But it's always best to check weather conditions and plan the trip, the winds can get very gusty!

How to go?
Go to Southampton from Victoria Coach Station. Take South West Train at 5:30am (£8 for 5 tickets).
Click here for more information.

What next?
- Reach Southampton train station at 7am. Take the free city link bus service to go from station to Town quay.

- Take a 7:45am Red Jet Ferry to West Cowes on the Isle of Wight (£15 per adult and £7 per child).
Click here for more information.

Is it that Easy?
Yes! Hurray! Your Isle of Wight Holiday begins now. Remove your cameras! ;D

What to do on the island?

- Reach West Cowes at 8:20am. Walk to the Floating Chain Bridge and go to East Cowes. Go to Wells Road and take bus no. 4 to Ryde bus station at 8:50 am.
Click here for more information.

- Reach Ryde Bus station and go to Ryde Esplanade train station. Take a train from Ryde Esplanade at 9:52am to Shanklin, reaches at 10:13am.
Click here for more information.

- Get out of Shanklin station and take left towards Keats Green where you will find Bayhouse Hotel. Have not been here but I know a friend who has been here since she was a child and highly recommends it.
Click here to book.

- Spend the day in Shanklin - visit the Chines, the beach, the old village.

Overnight stay at hotel. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Put camera battery to charge.

Next day?
Lots to do - Visit the Isle of Wight website an plan.

Last day?

 - Checkout. Inquire about a car hire with driver OR take public transport and go to Needles,  Adgestone vineyard, Butterfly park, Alum bay glass (very very close to Needles). 

ALSO NOTE: The island is round so it will be better if you plan a route you want to take on this day and tour the island, just make sure you reach West Cowes by 7pm by public transport and take the red jet ferry at 7:15pm back to Southampton Town quay at 7:40pm.
Click here for more details.

Head home :C
- Take the city link from Town quay to the train station.

- Take the train to London Waterloo leaving Southampton at 8:55pm reaching London Waterloo at 10:40pm.
Look here for more details.

Please note the timetables may have changed so it is always recommended to pre-check.

Let me know how your trip was!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

What is the next big thing?

When I pose this question to myself, one moment the answer is an endless list of things but when I give it another thought it trickles down to nothing at all. So varied is the response to this question in my head and after much deliberation according to me the next big thing could be just about anything. It’s just about getting it right at the right place and the right time.

The next big thing is to move ahead of our times and get over a credit based economy. It has left half the globe in debt and we clearly don’t know how to face the worst impact of credit gone wrong. It is a new way of doing commerce.

It is the end of currency exchange. It is the death of a transaction and of interest. The next big thing is Gross Happiness Product not Gross Domestic Product. It is to engage and not transact. To share and celebrate. To give and not expect.

The next big thing is to be selfless.

It is the birth of Social Entrepreneurship. Of doing well by doing good. Of reusing and recycling. It is to look through people’s mind. It is to get the right balance between wealth and welfare. It is to jump over the wall of materialistic pleasures and look deep within for the purpose of our being.

The next big thing is erasing boundaries and tearing off passports. Of giving the best experience to anyone anywhere anytime. And working towards achieving this.

The next big thing is to break out of the monotony. To think differently and think consciously. It is to cross that thin line between work and play. To scrap off ‘9 to 5’ and nurture creativity and innovation, floating of free spirits and limitless thought.

The next big thing is noetics.

To make sense out of superstition, to marry logic and intuition. And then make deductions to learn and understand. To quantify thoughts, sense our society's pulse and reflect on the innermost feelings it generates.

The next big thing is to keep it simple.

It is to love. Plain simple love. It is to keep relationships clean. It is about aesthetics and fresh smiles. Clear direction and focus.

The next big thing is to travel.

To explore and win hearts. To read between the lines. To meet people and dive into cultures, to get them at the centre of what we do – customers, employees, yourself, everyone. It is to organise one big party to which everyone’s invited to live happily ever after!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Korea - Midsummer Night's Dream

Take off

This was my first Globe To Globe play. And also my first experience of being a groundling. During my hour-long wait which included standing in a queue, sitting on a bench and then standing at 'my spot' in the Globe's yard in front of the stage, I learnt a few rules about being a groundling.

Groundling Rules

- If you ever buy a groundling ticket to watch a play at the Globe come prepared to bear nature in all its glory and fury!

- Do report one hour in advance to ensure you get a good spot from where you can get the best view of the stage and the actors - 'my spot' was in the second row of groundlings in the centre.

- Do not carry heavy baggage as you would not want to trudge along the night with a baby elephant on your back!

- The baggage rules are a bit inconsistent. The staff may request for a bag-check or ask you to keep your bag in the cloak room depending on their...let's say mood! So if you do end up coming in advance to reserve a spot, you may end up being very cross if you were asked to get out of line for a bag check or were sent to the cloak room to drop of your bag. By the time you return there will be ten more people between you and your initial pole position. But it may not be like this if the person behind you is an old kind lady who offers to take the effort to walk through the queue to find you and reinstate you at your original place - just like she did for me! God bless her!

- The groundling tickets are the cheapest - £5 (exactly the same price they were 500 years ago in Elizabethan times - 1 pence x inflation index)

- Socialise with your fellow groundlings. You will be surprised how like-minded our lot is. By the end of the 11 plays I could recognise regular faces who came to see every show or most shows (like me). I had my own small Globe-to-Globe peer group which included a Professor and a Ph.D pursuant.

First impressions

I had been to the Globe once before on a complimentary show of the Twelfth Night performed by some students of Rutgers University something from U.S.A. somewhere. It was a memorable experience as it saw my school-hood-dream come true. But it was a rather rushed evening for me and my friend because as usual I was late and she had to wait for me at the gate! Once inside we swapped between standing and sitting and tried to get accustomed to this new style of theatre-watching.

The second time was just a few days before this performance when I came for a press visit for the Globe's exhibition and theatre tour. The 20-minute theatre tour gave me a sneak peek of a pre-performance rehearsal of Richard III in Mandarin! The lead actor was stellar, we had prime centre seats on the top-deck and were lucky to see the cast rehearse the coronation scene.

But this time I was alone, excited and on time! Sigh...

Standing there with a blank space in my head I was not sure what to expect. I was there to see a play in a language I did not understand. My colleagues at work thought I had gone a bit overboard by spending my money on 11 tickets to plays in languages as alien to me as chalk is to cheese. I geared up all my sensory organs to enable me to grasp as much as I could from the kinesthetics taking place on stage. Retrospectively, having seen 11 plays I realized each country had it's own style. It's own flavour, music, interaction, use of space, dramatization techniques, story telling characteristics, and costumes. The only common strand was Shakespeare.

Korea  landing

The side-screens lit-up and the announcement flickered across the screen in neon red - 'Welcome to the Globe. Please switch off your mobile phones and cameras'. These side screens acted like translators with the synopsis of each scene flashing throughout the play to help non-speakers and non-Shakespearers understand the act better.

And then the magic started.

It was in the middle of summer (almost) and the night was setting in. The dream had begun! The forest fairies entered and from that moment till the moment they left stage I was captivated by their charm.

Korean Style

The play was high on dramatisation and expressions.  Jute bags or gunny bags were slit open to make jackets for the fairies. The make-up accentuated every facial feature of the actors - a white wash with bright pink and blue rouge and fine designs in inky black helped magnify their every cringe and smile. Their hair was tied in a messy nest bun with strands of jute.

On the other hand the four main leads had bright solid coloured kimonos - yellow, blue, green and red

The music was set at the back of the stage and had almost all characters take charge at some point or the other. An array of exquisite musical instruments were on show - one of them recreated the sound of falling water (Rain-stick) while another was an ensemble of dangling metal rods of different sizes and emanated a twinkling chime when they were struck in one motion.

The play and its movements were extremely fluid-like. Just like a rapid going downstream. The ride had it's slow zones during the love infused acts, meandering it's way into our hearts and the next moment suddenly gaining pace again with its eclectic mix of song and dance. All the song and dance elements took the story forward.

Some stellar captivating scenes included the entry of the Doruki, the lost-in-the-jungle scene, the scenes where the magical potions are lifted and where the timid herb-collector is the target of the Doruki's mischeif. All beautifully portrayed by classic use of stage-space and action.

The audience interaction added that heart-warming feel to the play - we got house keeping instructions by a comical mime at the start of the show, received neon bands before the interval as freebies and a member of the audience even got tricked to come on stage and take one (after it was licked and handled in the most dégoutant ways); it was comical nonetheless.

It was evident that each person on stage was a superlative actor and dancer. They mostly moved on stage in a peculiar fashion - turning their feet in towards their bodies then turning them out again. Doing this quickly to slide across the stage.

The theatrics of colour, expressions and native music was also accompanied by the sound of recorded bird-songs and artificial smoke which almost left me hallucinating. The music still rings in my ears when I go to dream at night.


When the break took place. I was left awe-struck by what I had seen. By the time the play ended, an even stronger sense of surprise an awe lurked in the air as it was magnified by how everyone present there felt. They had a grand exit, wading through us groundlings and out into the foyer to incessant noise from the clapping, hooting and cheering. It felt ecstatic...The performance enthused me with such energy that even after an eight hour day at work and three hours of standing on my feet I was not feeling tired at all. To infuse this energy is a magical quality that the act possessed. They actually created positive energy and passed it onto us with their act; that in itself speaks volumes about the quality of their skill. In the end, like a star-struck fan I requested on of the actors for a group photo in the foyer where they were kindly obliging chirpy home-bound viewers. As I walked over the Millenium bridge to my tube station I was smiling inside my head - at how happy I felt. I felt like a different person.

For a change I saw a dream with my eyes open, and I can confirm that it was one of the best dreams I have had

You can now see the play yourself thanks to the Arts Council of England. To incept yourself with performances from the Globe to Globe festival click here.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Globe to Globe Festival - Theatre through my eyes

Being a culture leech, I suck (or at least try to) every bit of information I possibly can about any hapennings around me related to the arts - painting, drama, music et al. No surprises there, that I know about the Globe to Globe (G2G) Festival taking place at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre near London's Bankside this British summer. G2G is a precursor to the heavyweight arriving in July-August-September called London2012 (the codeword for all things Olympic and Paralympic this year). It constitutes an important piece in the myriad kaleidoscopic Cultural Olympiad put together to raise our cheer quotient (C.Q.) before London2012 arrives in UK. Interestingly, the orignial Olympic games started as a series of art related contests; sport was added much later to the event schedule. Happy to know that the legacy continues and that we still take this festival to be a boiling caudron (melting pot is just so passé in our Potter-age) of culture. 

Having attended 11 shows (1 show in-spirit) I can confirm that G2G is a befitting cultural celebration from end April to the beginning of June. It deserves not five stars but many constellations (is there a collective noun for this collective noun?) for its sheer scale and titanic (FYI - Titanic celebrated it's sinking-centenary this year) proportion!

I was under the impression that the festival had many shows for each play. Luckily, on a press tour for Indian Compass in April I struck gold when I realized that only 2 to 3 shows of each production were scheduled (haw!). Having missed out on the Hindi production of the Twelfth Night due to my passiveness I was not at all ready to bear the pain of missing out on any upcoming shows that I wanted to see.

G2G is staging all 37 of Shakespeare's plays in 37 different languages - a great tagline to market the festival. But the obsessive geek that I also am I want to set the record straight. That count is discounting the fact that the festival started of with Isango Ensemble singing Venus and Adonis in IsiZulu, IsiXhosa, SoSotho, Setswana, Afrikaans and South African English; if you take that into ac'count', the total goes up to 38 plays in 44 languages/dialects (counting Hip Hop and Music as distinct languages).

I devised a strategy to hand-pick shows which would tickle my senses and leave me greedy for more excellent theatre. This was done due to two main reasons - lack of funding to see all 38 plays and lack of time. Tickets ranged from £5 to £35 and there were afternoon and evening shows. 

My budget permitted only £5 groundling (standing and watching the show in the yard) tickets and most evening shows thanks to my full-time day job (yes, it clearly doesn't pay well enough to buy me £35 tickets nor does it allow 3 hour lunch breaks for me to watch afternoon shows!)

I visited the website and read through every play and glanced through every picture. From this content analysis I matched those plays which met all or at least two of my criteria -
1. Is there some element of folk music (including musical instruments)?
2. Are there immaculate costumes and accessories (masks, make-up and the works)?
3. Is it in a language that I can speak or could easily grasp (anything related to Marwari, Gujarati, Hindi, Urdu, Arabic, Assamese, Maori, Persian, English, Marathi, Bangla, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)?
4. Do I already know the play?

This generated a list of 11 plays from the 38 on offer. I do feel a bit-blah that this mini-research was done after 7 plays were already over. Thus, it was more like selecting 11 from the remaning 31 shows. Add to this the fact that during my selection-process some shows were already fully-booked so even though the Chinese and Hip-Hop play passed my scrutiny-test, I could not make it for the shows due to lack of yard-space! More blah-ness to me...

But on the happy-ness, this was my G2G selection:
1. Midsummer Night's Dream in Korean
2. Julius Caesar in Italian
3. Cymbeline in Juba Arabic 
4. The Tempest in Bangla
5. Henry VI Part III in Macedonian
6. As You Like It in Georgian
7. Romeo and Juliet in Brazilian Portuguese
8. All's Well That Ends Well in Gujarati
9. Taming Of The Shrew in Urdu
10. Henry VIII in Castillian Spanish
11. Comedy of Errors in Dari Persian

A lot has been already spoken about about G2G and there are reviews gallore, and I hope to add onto that volume of words with my experience and observations of the festival.

This was the start to me teleporting this summer. With the tickets in place and passion for theatre filling my heart I set out to see the world from one end to the other, one stage to another - from Globe To Globe! Buckle up...

P.S. - Next blogbuster coming soon - Front row standing (re)view of Midsummer Night's Dream

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Back to the Blog


So I am back to blogging. After my first attempt one and a half years ago and two very long blog posts later, I restart.

Too many unfinished stories to tell, too many pending conversations. But I thought I'd better leave them in my memory and start afresh now.

So starting today, you will read everything and anything that crosses my Ywhacky mind from as of this moment.

Everything and anything that is worthy enough of getting noticed by my senses in our current way of life, will crop up in a blog post. Considering the amount of information I barge myself with everyday, I am sure you will find the trickle from that information overload that makes its way here, to be very interesting!

From now and forever...


London on a student budget

How much will living in London cost as a Student?

This is a basic Go-To-Guide when trying to account for the cost of living in London as a student. It all depends on how cost conscious or frivolous you are. It would be ideal to budget keeping in mind the following costs. The figures are not complete and this should be used as a guide and not a definitive table to calculate costs.

As you will see below:
- depending on where you decide to stay the rent cost will differ
- if you decide to stay as a PG your food cost will also be lesser than £450 a month
- as a rule, the further away from Zone 1 you stay the higher the travel cost
- also as a rule, the further away from Zone 1 you stay the lower the rent

Make sure you do not double count rent and food when estimating your costs.

Student living cost in London

Sr. No.
Monthly (£)
1 Local Travel (Travel pass) 200 This is for Zones 1 to 5. Visit
2 Food (3 meals a day @ £5) 450 If living in Uni. Halls
3 Food (1 meal a day @ £5) 150 If living as a PG
4 Rent (£100/week) 400 Inclusive of food at a family as PG
5 Rent (Uni. Halls @200/week) 800
6 Books £10
7 Entertainment £50 Movies, restaurants, events, concerts, day trips…
8 Phone calls to India (1pence/min) £10 100pence = £1
9 BBM + mobile internet £5 Unlimited BBM + Internet
10 Phone calls within UK £25 Make your own plan on a billing plan


Students get 30% travel discount on travel within London

With a valid NUS or university card you can get discounts at almost every place