If you’re new to the city or fed up of doing the same thing every weekend, don’t despair. Rhea Dhanbhoora & Kasturi Gadge tell you where to go in order to try something new and meet like-minded people
There’s a lot more you can do with your time than just sleeping through your weekend just because you’ve got nothing better to do. From games to writers groups and awareness programs, the city has a lot to offer for those who just want a little change. Whether you’re interested in becoming an entrepreneur or just need someone to go taste a new cuisine with you, we’re sure you’ll find what you need. Take a look at some of the events and workshops you can get involved in.
For the entrepreneur
For all you young entrepreneurs out there, the Headstart Network Foundation is bringing a monthly meet up known as Startup Saturday, to provide a platform where local entrepreneurs, professionals and students can get together for engaging talks from veterans in the start up industry. Each event has a theme and relevant speakers. The audience plays an active role in shaping the discussions and brain storming is found in plenty. Head down to the non-profit organisation to participate, seek knowledge or meet and greet like-minded people.
Get involved Each city has different venues. Visit www.startupsaturday.in to learn about an event near you.
Entry fee Up to `200
For the photographer
The Mumbai Weekend Shoot is a place where like-minded photographers, hobbyists, amateurs and pros get together to learn techniques, share information and get in touch with their creative side. Every Sunday, the group gets together to capture life on the streets. The participants try to find frames that stand out but are still a part of the central theme.
Get involved Join them on their group page, Mumbai Weekend Shoot, on Facebook. If you are active on Flickr, you can send requests to the group Mumbai Weekend Shoot. Or call Riddhi Rathi on 9664162504.
Entry fee None, but carry your own camera. And if you’re a newcomer, chocolates for the existing members.
For the game lover
If you’d like to give your grey cells a good workout, heading down for the Board Games Bash is a good idea. The concept involves people meeting up to play board games. The idea came about when Mihir Vora was given an ultimatum by his wife and told to bid adieu to the PlayStation he was addicted to. The bashes are organised in different areas of the city and are the best way to socialise, connect with people and exercise your brain. There are three different sorts of events, one where people meet up at cafés and you can join in different games on various tables. The second type is called Under the Stars, where people meet up in an open area and everyone plays just one game. The third are Strategy Nights, where they have strategy games that take a little more effort and intelligence to play.
Every bash introduces two new games, so people don’t get bored playing the same ones.
Get involved They meet at various parts of the city, mainly in Bandra as it’s convenient for people travelling from Andheri and Borivali as well as the central suburbs. BGB's are always on Wednesday. Like their page, BoardGamesBash, on Facebook and they will notify you about upcoming events.
Entry fee There are no fees but they request people to order a coffee or drink so that the restaurant that is hosting them will get a little something back.
For the foodie
If you love trying out new food, you’re probably always looking for interesting places to eat. If you don’t know too many people with the same mindset and are tired of doing it alone, join Pet Pujaris. The gang of die-hard foodies venture out together to try new places in the city, once at the beginning and once at the end of every month. Don’t worry, they keep the pricey visits to the beginning of the month so you can count your pennies towards the end at more value for money joints. They like to call it their Fatka (`500 per person) and Kadka (`300 per person) Foodie Meet-ups.
Get involved Join their Facebook group (www.facebook.com/PetPujaris) Pet Pujaris to get started.
Entry fee You pay for your own meal
For the performer
If you love open mics and want to show off your talent, get involved with the Open Mic initiative. You can perform in various fields such as poetry, comedy, theatre, music and cinema. It’s a great chance to showcase your talent, to watch other talent come alive and be able to discuss it with a group later. Their next Open Mic will be called Comedy on the Big Mic at I-Bar in Bandra, this weekend.
Get involved I Bar, 7,8, Geiki Building, Near Bandra Reclamation, Bandra (W). Contact Sudeip Nair: 9820998790 or Rajeesh Marar: 9987945957 for more information.
Entry fee Participants enter free. Audience members donate `100 which contributes to a prize for the best two acts of the night.
For the writer
For the solitary writers out there, the Writestuff Writers’ Club is a great place to write and make friends. The eclectic group just completed five years and includes dentists, businessmen, people from the advertising world and retirees. It’s the ideal platform for those who want to write, or those looking to learn the finer nuances of putting words to paper. They have writing exercises, quizzes, word games and a lot of fun. They’ve also organised camps at Khandala and are planning another one in April or May this year. So, if you like to write but wish you had someone to share your work with, joining this group will help you stay inspired and write away without feeling as though you’re all by yourself.
Get involved The group meets twice a month on Sundays at Amarchand Mansion, Near Regal Cinema. To register call Patricia: 9821986924. They have a Facebook group called The Writestuff Writing Club.
Entry fee `500 per year.
For the speaker
Are your friends always yawning when you start to talk and can’t bear your long sermons about technology? A free conference for all those who think they’re too smart for anything less than an intellectual conversation, Barcamp includes smart people meeting up, putting a schedule on the wall and spending the rest of their time taking up sessions and discussions with each other. There is no barrier for topics at Barcamp, so if you love to chatter and have no one to listen to you, consider signing up at one of these.
Get involved The venue is announced a week or two ahead of the event. The best place to learn of an upcoming Barcamp is to check their Wiki page www.barcampmumbai.org or follow them on Twitter @barcampmumbai. They recently announced www.barcamp.in as a platform for organisations, institutions and cities across the country to get started with organising their own Barcamp.
Entry fee None. It’s free and open to everyone with an open mind.
For the nature lover
Mumbai is losing its green cover and if you love the outdoors, you’re going to want to do something about it. The Sapling Project provides you with an opportunity to do your little bit. They plant and share saplings in different parts of the city. When you sign up on the website or turn up at an event, they distribute free plant saplings to you, bought with funds that they collect. The green initiative started in 2009 and takes you a step closer to doing some good for the environment. All you really need to do to be a part of this group, is take care of a sapling and sign up!
Get involved They are on Twitter, Orkut and have a Facebook group, The Sapling Project. You can message them on these networks and they will divert you to their website www.thesaplingproject.com. The website allows users to provide their details (demographics/contact details), which they then use to organise their events.
Entry fee Everyone is allowed to play an active part in whatever way they choose to, whether it’s spreading the word or planting a sapling of their own.
For the artist
A blank wall and a desire to create — that’s all you need to be part of the Wall Project. And, they provide the wall too! The project has a life of its own, building up a sense of hope and belonging. The basic idea is to create a visual communication which stays in peoples minds or makes those passing by smile or laugh. It’s a great way to communicate through colour, form, design and shape. The Wall Project started with a blank white compound wall, with an intense burning of “something has to be done to it.” It’s just the interpretation of each individual to create a dialogue between all forms of arts and awareness. The first wall painted was the wall of Gonsalves House, in Bazaar Road, Bandra which a kind Mr. Glenford D'Mello allowed them to paint. It was an initiative to add visual elements of colour and texture to a space, to make the area more alive for people who pass by it daily.
Get involved Join the Facebook group, The Wall Project India. All news and plans go on Facebook first.
Entry fee Free