Winter days are truly here — sometimes crisp and sparkling with sunshine, sometimes bleak with lashing rain and biting cold. But, while mornings and evenings may be darker now, there is still an abundance of light in the world (not to mention goodness, beauty and talent) that should be celebrated. Allow us to share what we are doing (with grateful hearts) this month.
We’re sitting transfixed at:-
First Trimester, a groundbreaking show by performance artist Krishna Istha, which redefines what it means to create a family as a transgender person . Over two weeks, Krishna will interview 100s of potential sperm donors, trying to find the perfect match for them and their partner. Audience members can watch live, and even sign up to be interviewed. An intimate, funny, and philosophical experience.
We’re planning our schedule for:-
Going South, a brand new London music festival celebrating the creative talents of the UK’s British Asian community. It is the first festival to showcase South Asian Underground and Electronic/Alternative music, as well as the growing British Asian Rap/Grime and Drill scene. With two days of music, events and talks, across multiple stages and spaces, a plan may be wise.
We’re taking our seats for:-
Passing, an Edinburgh Festival Fringe hit now arriving at London’s Park Theatre. With her Indian Grandfather’s health declining and her father rejecting his roots, Rachel is desperate to hold onto her culture before it’s lost forever. So she decides to organise the family's first ever Diwali. A moving family comedy-drama about heritage, legacy and love.
We’re feeling glowy thanks to:-
Ranavat, an Ayurvedic skin and hair care brand making wise use of ingredients like saffron, moonseed, transparent henna and shatavari. Founder Michelle Ranavat grew up in Wisconsin as a first-generation Indian American but, after visiting Jaipur as an adult, wanted to celebrate her culture and pass on her self-care traditions. Ranavat is the dreamy result.
With February comes a gladdening of spirits, lighter morning skies and discernibly louder birdsong. It is also the month to bid farewell to our winter cocoons (at least partially) and tune back into the world beyond our blankets. Allow us to ease the de-hibernation process, by sharing some of the things piquing our interest this month.
“Who wants to see some magic?” Chef Arun calls out. He flings the rolled out dough into the air, sending it soaring above the counter. It spins and twists, a graceful dancer in the air. The children watch its arc, their eyes wide with wonder, until it lands gently back in the chef's hands. The children shriek in delight.
January is a most divisive month. For some it heralds the hopeful turning over of new leaves; for others it is a month to trudge begrudgingly through towards the promise of spring. Whichever camp you find yourself in, we have plentiful diversions to share. See them as the cherry atop your already gleeful January cake, or a welcome distraction while you await winter’s end.
I AM HERE, dear reader, slovenly and slouched, staring into my drink at the end of the bar in our new restaurant in Battersea. My mind is still down and out, sifting around in the dregs of ’23 but of course it knows that I should really straighten my back, raise my chin and look squarely up into the cold new light of ’24. My drink – Choti’s Punch – clear and strong, sweet with a little salt, may help.