Shoe Bites: 2014 to Present Day – quick update!

It seems like a lifetime ago since I last wrote a blog for Elevated Saunterer. A lot of time and many experiences have unfolded and guess what.. I’m about to let you in what I’ve been up to. After moving back to my lovely Pune city, I decided it was finally time to stop procrastinating, gather up the courage and chase my dream – to open up my own fashion label.


Ridz Castell – founded by Sue Castellino and Reema Kudalkar

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Shoe Bites: Pune, Not a Place for Picnics?

I’ve been noticing a few things about my lovely city, and while I can’t possibly think of any other place that feels like home, there are things about Pune that I wish we could do more freely and more often. Is it too much to ask for… A Picnic.


Picture Courtesy Green Wedding

I would love to pack up a big basket full of yummy snack foods, cutlery, checkered napkins, vanilla scented candles, along with some heady wine. There is nothing more charming than setting up a proper picnic and spending time with friends (or lover boy) or better still that paper back you’ve been itching to read. Yet, we just don’t have those massive parks that allow us this small joy. Yes we have parks, but I doubt we’d manage to go 5 mins without a cop stopping us from drinking our wine. Or be able to shoo away voyeuristic passer-byres, why are they so many?

The solution then, is to take a small trip to somebody’s farm house, where they have a big enough lawn to accommodate this activity. With a little bit of planning, something that was meant to be impromptu, can be made possible.

Shoe bites: Pune Needs more Theatre

Amongst my friends the saying “At least it is something different” is often brought up in conversation. We’re constantly on the look out for interesting and fun things to do in the city. Pune is still at it’s core a small city, even though it’s grown up considerably in the last few years. This weekend Puneries were given the unique chance to delve into dance and theatre. The 3 day festival called Gulaal was hosted by the Indian Rhythm & Arts Association (IRAA), and brought together a power packed group of performers to entertain on such a large stage.

live to dance

I attended the Friday performances, a Bharatnatyam piece by celebrated artist Alarmel Valli and a play called Between the Lines by Nandita das and Subodh Maskara. As Ms.Valli said, it’s unfortunate that art forms like these don’t pull in the crowds as some of the more popular concerts and shows. For those of us in the audience though, we were mesmerized by the grace and expression of her craft. Personally I loved the second condensed varnam that was a story about a devotee who yearned for one celestial union with the Lord Natraj. The dance captured what so many of us women who long to be with our beloved feel, a moment even if a fleeting one is just as precious. That’s the thing about this form of dance, if in the hands of the talented it can bring to the bubble your emotions, even if you don’t understand every little nuance.

Between the lines

Next up was the brilliant play by Nandita Das and her husband Subodh Maskara. Between the Lines is story of a contemporary Indian couple, who tip toe between their cultural upbringing and their need to be more than a stereotype.  The couple are both lawyers, but after marriage the wife goes on to specialize in contracts, where as the husband becomes a lauded criminal prosecutor. The real fun begins when the two of them have to fight the same criminal case, but on opposite sides. The wife takes a more emotional approach, but the man a more practical. The entire play is a dance between how the couple view their marriage through the criminal trial. At the crux of it, the story is about the difference between a man and woman’s perceptive. They play is a delight to watch, as it has an immidiate connect with what we modern Indians feel and deal with. An excellent script teamed with incredible actors, it was a great end to the evening.

In Bombay, I’d go every two weeks or so to see plays at NCPA or Prithvi, or even stand up shows at local bars. I definitely miss that the most about my big move to Pune. Hopefully, we will get more theatre productions like the ones in Bombay, but till then I should get more connected to the already existing theatre culture here.

Oh December, What a Month Part 3 – Wine and the Rajahs

Wow I didn’t think I’d need so many posts for all the things I did in december, and I’m not even adding all the events, just a few of the highlights! I think i’ll need another one, yikes! Well without further a do..

Poona Club Wine Festival

Wine Festival

L-R Me, Milan Pal, Anuja & Rashmi Alevoor, Below Cristabel Menezes and Percy Shadrach

200rs for 38 glasses of wine. Paisa VASOOL! Poona Club had a one day wine festival which included some of the best and not so best wines from all around India. Also there were stalls from Ter Tulia, Malaka Spice and ABC farms which has the best paprika and garlic cheese (must try if you stop by Pune). We got there pretty early around 4 and finally left at around 8/9 where we headed to a crowd who was swaying for other reasons.  Continue reading

Oh December, What a Month Part 1 – Motorcross and Pitbull

took a break

I know I’ve been neglecting the blog over the past few weeks, but trust me when I say, it’s been absolutely hectic in this Elevated Saunterer’s life. You are about to see why, I’ve squeezed all my activities into a few posts, in chronological order (I think).  This December, I decided to do it all, say yes to all the invites, be willing to try new things and most importantly be nice to people! Since this change of mind (good riddence to CA banker boy) and heart I’ve not looked back and had an incredible Festive month. So good infact that i’ve decided to carry on this attitude of being… happy. Continue reading

Shoe Bites: Pune Youth Have Christmas Spirit!

christmas carol singers

I’ve been moaning about how there is absolutely no Christmas Spirit in Pune, and that there are all of maybe 4 Christmas eve parties to go to. As if the big G heard my complaints, my door bell rang about 20 mins back with a whole troupe of carol singers from the neighborhood. We’re not talking about old fogies with sheet music and pitch perfect voices but rather a refreshing group of young boys and girls who decided they’d create a little Christmas atmosphere! Thanks you guys, was just what this girl (moi) needed.

Toe Tappers: Dualist Inquiry ‘Gravitat’

Before we talk about the song and this musician I just want to tell you a little story of how I learned of this artist. So bare with me! I headed over to my local bar last night called The High Spirits, where they were hosting the Bacardi’s High idol. A great local competition for Pune talent, although me along with a few others (and very tall men) were a bit fed up of all the adele covers. I’m missing the finals which is sad as my friend Waylon D’mello is going to sing california girls in an acoustic arrangement. He chose that song after I made him listen to it trying to help him win the competition, I want to be able to say I have a friend who won Idol, even if it isn’t THE idol.


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23. Jackie (goes to Miami)


I finally got to go to Miami at the Marriot, a really great club in Pune, although I wish more of the Koregaon/Kalani Nagar crowd would turn up there. It was Natalie’s brother Simon’s birthday and we all headed there to celebrate with him. Amongst the EDM, requesting songs and a whole lot of drinks, I realised that it’s GOOD to be back home (too bad such a big part of me wanted CA banker boy to be there). Keeping those thoughts aside, I did have fun with Jackie, she’s very attention grabbing though!  Continue reading