2 weeks ago

Fah Thai Magazine Nov-Dec 2018


HAPPENINGS INDIA MUMBAI MALDIVES MALDIVES SPOTLIGHT Theatre Talking While Mumbai rarely sees a winter season, there’s a palpable nip in the air as November rolls around. Diwali will be celebrated with great gusto in early November, complete with lanterns, fireworks, and special sweets and savouries. The city takes on a festive flavour, which continues well into December and right up to Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The theatre season begins and this year, the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai’s premiere performance space adds an international flavour to its calendar of events. First up is the India première of Nick Payne’s award-winning play Constellations, directed by Bruce Guthrie. From 22-25 November, there will be 6 performances of the play that The New York Times called “the most sophisticated date play Broadway has seen”. This will be followed by NCPA and The Shakespeare Edit’s co-production of Shakespeare’s poem Lucrere, directed by Paul Goodwin. The play stars Bollywood actress Kalki Koechlin and is a modern adaptation of the 16th-century poem that tackles current issues around sexual assault and patriarchy. The play runs from 28-29 November. The final production, in collaboration with the Australia Fest, is Slingsby’s Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kästner, from 19-20 January, 2019. All productions will be staged at NCPA’s Experimental Theatre. SPOTLIGHT Weather Check for the Maldives It’s high time to plan your winter getaway. For island destination like the Maldive Islands, the best weather is taking place right now. To max out diving at popular spots like Banana Reef, or snorkelling at one of the atolls, make sure there are enough sunny days to really make it a true beach holiday. Travel consultants say to visit between November and April as the weather is pleasantly warm with average temperatures of 23 to 31 o C and the rains make infrequent appearances. The high season falls between December and March as people opt for tropical getaways, lured by thoughts of enchanting white sands and mesmerising blue waters. In the Maldives, accommodations on the islands offer innovative resort designs that borrow from nature or science fiction, from over the water bungalows to underwater restaurants. With many coral atolls in the Indian Ocean to choose from, a vacation here becomes the ultimate in low impact luxury with eco-awareness trips such as coral regeneration or seeing the bluegreen glow of bioluminescent plankton. Water-based activities are the big draw naturally. The best marine life viewing happens here without having to seek too hard above and below the water. If you’re fascinated by the thought of spotting the gentle whale shark, the South Ari Atoll is the place to go with their year-round sightings, making it one of the top spots to see them in the world. A CHRISTMAS CAROL There’s no chance of a white Christmas in Mumbai, but the city puts on a pretty show for the festival. Most major hotels and malls pull out all stops with massive Christmas trees, fairy lights, festive decorations, and of course, a visiting Santa Claus. We recommend visiting the Oberoi, ITC Maratha and ITC Grand Central, Vivanta by Taj, Westin Mumbai Garden City, Sofitel Mumbai BKC, and Marine Plaza Hotel to see some of the prettiest trees. Malls such as Palladium in Lower Parel, Phoenix Market City in Kurla, Inorbit Mall in Malad, and Viviana Mall in Thane also have elaborate decorations and special promotions. If you want to attend Christmas Mass, head to Mount Mary’s Basilica in Bandra, the city’s favourite church that has been around for more than 100 years. Carols start at around 11.30pm and the midnight mass is quite well attended. Other churches for midnight mass include the Gothic-style Gloria Church in Byculla, the 16th-century Saint Andrew’s Church with a particularly picturesque location in Bandra overlooking the Arabian Sea, and Saint Michael’s Church in Mahim. You’ll be spoilt for choice for a Christmas feast as most restaurants have special menus. Consider places like Grand Hyatt Mumbai, or Geoffrey’s at Hotel Marine Plaza, to name a few. 130