Holi’s great, isn’t it?
Cast your sins into the fire. Throw colours with random strangers, and random abandon. Laugh freely and joyously. Dance. Laugh again. Try to shake the colour out of your hair and try to beat the colour out of your clothes. Enjoy the sight of elderly grandparents, tiny children and everyone in between – all doing the same thing, all covered in glorious technicolour. Enjoy how surreal it is. Enjoy how magical it feels.
In our case, all in a big shed in Hackney. For all of you who were there, you’ll know how much fun it was. There was no actual bhang in our lassi, but everyone seemed as high as kites. People who had never met before were rubbing powder paint in one another’s faces, dancing and improvising a conga. And in a way, I think this is exactly what we need more of in London.
One thing is for sure; London is growing. Our city is getting busier and more crowded. We Londoners are forever moaning about accelerating property prices, and more flash sports cars seem to be racing pointlessly up and down Knightsbridge. And as the city grows, I’d like to think we can make sure that it’s truly a shared city. That all of us find ways to have fun together, to break down barriers, to leave aside differences and celebrate each others’ culture. Even if it’s only for a few short hours, it’s really important. A city that doesn’t do this becomes a nervous and divided city, full of suspicion; a sad dystopia. Let’s never let that happen to London.
So, in that spirit, we promise to keep throwing our Holi parties, if you’ll all keep coming!
Enjoy our little video of this year’s Holi, see the (massive) photo gallery – tag yourself if you were there. And, most importantly of all, come next year!
The phone keeps ringing shrilly through the flat. Nauzer holds his head in his hands, palms clamped over his ears. “Beta, the phone!” He forgot his mother would still be here. He can’t have her answering in case it is Devia. He runs into the corridor to pick it up. It stops just before he can reach it. Breathless, he looks up and sees his mother in the kitchen.
Tucked away in a lovely corner of Wood Wharf, Dishoom Canary Wharf is now officially open and ready to welcome you all. The marble-top bar is ready to hold your drink, the textured, patterned (and extremely comforting) chairs are waiting to be kept warm and the hand-painted mural and carefully curated art – from Bombay and beyond – are waiting to be part of your conversations.
This chicken biryani is our homage to Britannia’s chicken berry pulao, using cranberries in place of the more authentic Persian barberries, which are tricky to find. (Despite much cajoling, Mr Kohinoor has never shared his wife’s famous recipe.) It is prepared in the kacchi style, originating from Hyderabad, in which marinated raw meat goes into the pot, to be cooked at the same time as the rice.
Christmas Revellers rejoice! For we have a whole host of festive fun lined up that is taking place up and down the country. Kindly read on to learn what jovial affairs are going on in your city for the all-important business of diary marking.