Priya's Blog

East Is East – at the theatre

When a film had such an impact on your early adulthood the prospect of seeing it live on stage is a little daunting. This week I went to see the stage adaptation of East is East and I’m happy to say it lived up to all my expectations.

East is East is directed by Sam Yates and written by Ayub Khan Din who also stars in it. Jane Horrocks plays Ella, his very understanding wife.

A little background on East is East is that (and I didn’t even know this) is that the play has been running since 1997 and then the movie came 2 years later. The original movie starred Om Puri and Linda Bassett. In the stage adaptation Ayub Khan Din plays George (or Genghis to his children) and Jane Horrocks plays his wife Ella, and it is wonderfully done. Set in the early 1970’s the film sees a mixed ethnicity family deal with their struggles of being British, Pakistani and Muslim.

East is east

East is east

The cast includes Taj Atwal as Meenah, Sally Bankes as Auntie Annie, Rani Moorthy as Mrs Shah, Amit Shah as Abdul, Nathan Clarke as Saleem, Michael Karim as Sajit and others. Each and every character suited their role perfectly.

The story goes something like this; George is a Pakistani Muslim and is married to white Ella and they own a chip shop in Salford circa early 1970’s. They have 7 mixed race children, all individuals, all strong. They include Sajit who doesn’t take off his parka and needs to get circumcised. Abdul who is happy getting married off, Meenah is the only girl and is a force to be reckoned with! So much so that George wouldn’t even mess with her! George is the father that wants his children to follow a Muslim upbringing even if he has to be forceful about it Poor Ella is caught in between trying to please her husband as well as letting her children be who they want to be.

L-R George Khan (Ayub Khan Din), Ella Khan (Jane Horrocks) and Doctor (Karl Seth) in East is East, photo credit Marc Brenner

The play contains funny moments, sad moments, happy moments, moments when you feel so much for Ella that you just want to give her a hug. The costumes, writing, set everything portrays how you would imagine everything to be and that’s what makes East is East a pleasure to watch. The funniest parts are the ones you’d expect with the model at the end, when Mr & Mrs Shah come to visit and the ‘tickle tackle all gone’ scene. It’s heart-breaking when you see George get violent with Ella and the scene where Abdul is talking to his brother saying he just doesn’t fit in with his work friends.

East is east

East is east

Overall East is East is a must see. If you’ve seen the movie or original play you won’t be disappointed as everything is what you’d expect and if you haven’t seen either….well.. I’m going to let the play itself do all the talking. East is East runs until January at Trafalgar Studios.

Visit their Website here for more details.

 

Priya Mulji

Delhi Brasserie – Review

Website – http://delhibrasserie.com/soho/

Closest station – Tottenham Court Road

Food – 5

Service – 4

Ambience/Location – 4

 

I was pleasantly surprised by the place I visited recently. Delhi Brasserie is based in the absolute heart of Soho but it could almost be a case of blink and you almost might miss it. Delhi Brasserie faces some stiff competition with so many restaurants nearby but I truly believe this place is a hidden gem and I will definitely be going back.

Before my friend Urvashi and I had even stepped in to the restaurant we could smell the beautiful aromas and my friend and I knew we were going to be in for a treat.

We were greeted by waiters who took our coats and showed us to a corner table. What I thought was really nice touch was at every table there was a bottle of Indian wine produced in the wine region of India, Nasik. We decided to try the wine and it was delicious with rich spicy undertones and it complimented our Indian food completely.

Soul Tree Wine Delhi Brasserie

Soul Tree Wine Delhi Brasserie

We started off with some poppadum’s which were a mix of the normal wafer like poppadum’s you get in Indian restaurants as well as the more traditional pappad style ones. This was served with 4 chutneys which were pickle, onions, yoghurt & mint and the most fruit, rich, thick mango chutney I’ve ever tasted!

For starters we had the Crab Achari and Pomfret. Recently I have noticed crab appearing more and more in Indian restaurants and I love that because it is a really unique dish that is easily adapted to Indian dishes. The crab was spicy and tangy. It was minced, marinated, cooked then served in a poppadum dish with salad. My guest had the Pomfret which was served whole and cooked like masala fish. It delicious, different, tangy and spicy. Some of the staff in the restaurant were Bengali so this was a great reflection of Bengali food coming through in the menu as well as North Indian dishes.

Crab Achari Delhi Brasserie

Crab Achari Delhi Brasserie

Pomfret Delhi Brasserie

Pomfret Delhi Brasserie

What I love is when restaurants recommend their favourites. For mains they recommended the sukhi sabzi and aubergine dishes which were sooo delicious, proper home cooked style vegetarian dishes, they made us feel warm and fuzzy inside. The chicken Jalfrezi and chicken Korai were spicy, tender, chunky and tantalising. The Paneer Makhni was slightly different to the one I would normally receive and it was a creamy, sweet n sour take one the normal makhni. The lamb saag was again home-style but slightly salty for our tastes. The garlic naan was fresh and soft and they definitely hadn’t skimped on the garlic, it almost had a garlic dough ball texture and I loved that because i’m not usually a naan fan. The rice was light and fluffy.

Delhi Brasserie

Delhi Brasserie

Delhi Brasserie

Delhi Brasserie

Delhi Brasserie Rice

Delhi Brasserie Rice

Overall all the food was pretty delicious. Everything was served in large portions, it was home-style and comforting. The ambiance was great as it was busy and there seemed to be a lot of after work dinners and groups of friends having dinner, the restaurant had a Moroccan/Rajasthani theme with colourful mirrors and art. The service was friendly and attentive. And the fact that it is so central just makes it all perfect.

 

Overall Delhi Brasserie is a great dining experience and especially for a nice after work meal and it comes highly recommended, especially for the fish.

Priya Mulji

The Strand Dining Rooms – Review

Website – http://thestranddiningrooms.com/

Closest Station – Charing Cross

Food – 5

Drinks – 5

Service – 5

Ambience/location – 5

Outside


October is upon us, the clocks will change soon and the days will be shorter. It all means Christmas is coming! And what else does that mean? Christmas do’s, romantic winter dates and catch up’s with the girls.

In between all this, of course, we have to eat.

I recently visited the Strand Dining rooms with one of my best friends Rita Morar. The three month old restaurant is based a stone’s throw from Trafalgar Square, right on the Strand. We wandered in on a breezy Thursday evening and were instantly enamoured by the high ceilings and beautiful chandeliers. The dining rooms had a really British 1950’s feel but it was also very Sex and The City with lots of groups of women dining as well as mixed groups.

Chandelier

We began with a couple of cocktails. I had a Nelson Collins which is an absolutely delicious long gin based cocktail and garnished with cucumber, for gin lovers I highly recommend this. Rita had a classic Cosmopolitan which was classic in every sense of the word. It was fruity, refreshing, aromatic and almost spicy. With the cocktails we had some starter bread. One of the breads was sooo AMAZING. It was brown fennel bread which was beautifully fragrant and complimented the cocktails. The butter that was served with it was melt in your mouth. I found that the restaurant was the kind of place you could go on a date, for a nice family meal or for a girls/boys evening out.

Bread - Strand Dining

Cocktails - Strand Dining

Moving on to the food…

For starters we ordered the Whiskey Cured Salmon which was lovely and smoky but perfectly complimented with a sweet pickle. It was light, refreshing and perfect on the palette. I ordered the pear, celery, stilton and fennel salad which was a beautiful classic dish that was light, refreshing and made with the freshest ingredients.

Smoked Salmon

Salad - strand dining

For mains I had the Seafood Crumble which was an absolute cheesy delight of prawns and other seafood! It is a savoury take on the apple crumble and is made with tender seafood in a creamy sauce with a light but masculine crumble topping. T. Rita had the Poached fillet of Stone base served with a fish veloute. This had classy presentation, the fish and veloute melted in your mouth and was an absolute creamy dream.

Seafood Crumble - Strand Dining

Stone Bass - Strand Dining

We decided to share a dessert because we were almost stuffed but wanted something sweet. We opted for the baked vanilla cheesecake which was an American heaven! Rich and creamy in texture with hazelnut undertones. Rita also had a delicious, creamy hot chocolate… it was lush!

Vanilla cheesecake - strand dining

To accompany our meal we opted for a white, Les Fleurs De MontBlac which was the perfect complement to the meal.

The Strand Dining Rooms was just flawless. Everything from the food to the décor to the location is just wow… I must also mention the service at the Strand Dining rooms. Every single waiter and waitress was smiley, friendly, attentive and generally happy. Nothing was too much trouble and that was reflected in the service we could see being received by everyone seated in the restaurant.

The Strand Dining Rooms gets a HUGE thumbs up from me and I shall definitely be visiting again in the near future.

A few other pics:

Wine - Strand Dining

Strand Dining

 

Priya Mulji

Manners are dead on the underground.

Sometimes I love London but sometimes I absolutely HATE it. So a little background on me is that I moved to London a little over two years ago when I lost my job, so I tried my luck and found a marketing job down here. Anyway I digress.

So, I’m a modern woman and all that but sometimes after a long hard day at work I would love it if some spotty college boy said to me ‘hey, you look like you’ve had a hard day, would you like to sit down’ and you know what I would love that. Purely because that is polite and shows manners.

However, what disgraces me more is when there is an elderly person or someone that is obviously struggling to stand and no one offers them their seat.

I’ll give you two examples of situations I recently encountered:

Today I was leaning against side of the Piccadilly line service to Uxbridge from Hammersmith around 5.40pm when I saw an elderly passenger but no one was offering them their seat. I insisted they take my place but they actually wanted to wait for a seat to become free, the young guy sitting directly next to us on the first seat obviously heard us and looked up and so did a young girl. I loudly said ‘yeah I’m sorry no one offered you their seat’ yet no one got up. Finally a seat became free all the way on the other side and the poor gentleman had to traipse across.

Disgusting.

Last week, in the morning, around 8.20 am I was on the train in the other direction and a man got on the train and he had 2 walking sticks. Not 1.. 2. Yet no one offered the man his seat.

I’m young, I’m fine standing even when tired but this really disgusts me. The TFL need to promote good manners on the train more and people need to be more sensitive to people who require seats. I have sent a request out for people to share their examples as I want to collate a list and send to TFL so please send me yours by commenting on this post or by emailing priyamuljiblog@hotmail.co.uk.

From lovers to friends

When you meet someone and then you embark on a relationship there can only ever really be two possible outcomes either you get married and live happily ever after you part ways and carry on with your lives as if they were never really part of your lives.

You will talk, maybe try and work things out but it just isn’t happening so you decide that perhaps you can be friends so you think ‘hey, we’ll keep in touch and we can be friends.’ You hang out, maybe try being friends with benefits but there feelings remain. This situation is easier when you were friends before but say you met online or were set up and then embarked on a relationship then the chances are that the friendship will fizzle out.

Or that maybe you will realise that you can’t bear to be apart and start on a happy relationship again. In these situations I have found the relationship becomes stronger because you have seen life without each other and appreciate each other more.

But if the latter doesn’t occur and you do decide to be friends then just remember one thing, you might be okay with being friends but your new partner isn’t going to be so happy, no matter how secure they are in themselves they will always wonder why you keep in touch. If you are friends with your ex but don’t tell your new partner then there is definitely something wrong in your relationship.

You both could go through life and not meet anyone but then the question arises of perhaps you both were destined to be in each other’s lives as more than friends.

My view, and the view of many other people I spoke to is that only stay friends with someone if you would be okay if you saw them with another person or moving on with their lives otherwise you’ll end up living in the past.

 

Priya Mulji

It is NOT a male dominated industry

Girl Power!

“If you want to change a whole people, then you start with the girls. It stands to reason: they learn faster, and they pass on what they learn to their children.” 
― Terry Pratchett

“who runs the world… girls” Beyonce

girl-quotes-about-girl-power-793

Now this is something that is extremely close to my heart. As someone who is constantly around strong, balanced, talented, brave women on a daily basis I recently saw a promotional picture for an Asian event. I am inspired by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Mindy Kaling and other strong women to make a difference, The promotional picture featured not even one female face when females are heavily involved with the event.

Why is this?

I put this question out onto social media and a number of people came back to me saying ‘it’s because the British Asian Music Industry is a male dominated industry’.

This infuriated me because I don’t know why they said this – there are so many talented and influential female role models in British Asian Media such as Rita Morar, Noreen Khan and Japjit Kaur. I even reached out to them to the people who organised the event but alas there was no response.

I started thinking about this more and more and it began to really get under my skin. If it wasn’t for women who work in the industry, the women who buy these artists music and go to their shows, if it wasn’t for their mothers and partners; none of these people would be where they are today.

Yet people continue to say the British Asian Music scene is male dominated.

I want to show you my examples of how women dominate wherever they go.. I reached out to my social media followers and asked them who or what they thought was an amazing example of GIRL POWER!

Here are a few:

Asjad Nazir said that her sister “Shaista Gohir is a definition of girl power”

Singer Keshiv Kaushal said “My Italian mother who married a Punjabi had to grasp Punjabi culture and be accepted by my father’s family. I forget she is Italian sometimes!”

Rita Morar said “Football coach Manisha Tailor is my inspiration – she goes out of her way to help everyone, she makes a change in society through helping women and racism in football. They are not easy subjects to tackle but her strength shines through her dedication. I have never known any other lady with such drive and energy.”

Broken Silences host Sanyya Gardez said she was in awe of “women like Oprah Winfrey, who have changed the definition of what it means to be successful. She never married or had children (the outdated notion of success for women). She stayed true to herself and remains one of the most powerful voices in the world.”

My personal heroes are people like my sister who manage a busy career and a family life, my best friend who manages a newborn, a career where she saves lives and family. Rita Morar who manages her own music career, who has a day job, who balances her family life as well as making time for her friends.

When I hear such backward notions as ‘it is a male dominated industry’ it really makes me sad to think that such outdated thoughts exist. I recently met Japjit Kaur at the Asian Media Awards whom I went to see in a very touching play called Nirbhaya. It is based on the Delhi rape and will be touring again soon so please do try and see it. Even though we have never met before she was such a wonderful person. Japjit could have had the biggest head in the world, I mean her portrayal of the main victim in that whole situation was touching. It is horrible to think that things happen to women at the hands of those men but she was down to earth, inspiring and amazingly talented. How many men can say they have changed someone’s life like Japjit has with her portrayal of the victim in Nirbhaya?

Read more about Nirbhaya here

 

 

I’m going to leave you with this fact;

Noreen Khan’s show on the BBC Asian Network has achieved record listening figures for any show on the station. I love Noreen because she seems like one of those women whom I want to be best friends with and wish her all the very best at the Asian Media Awards. All i’, saying is that if that doesn’t show girls dominate I don’t know what does!

 

Priya Mulji

 

Picture reference – http://www.glavoquotes.com/images-quotes/girl-quotes-about-girl-power

Asian Media Awards Shortlist Announcement

Life does take extraordinary turns. At the time some of those turns may not feel like they are for the best; like a relationship ending or losing a job. Many years will pass and you will look back at these moments and think about them, chances are that the turns that came were for the best. You will get a better job and even better partner.

In the same way this week I attended the shortlist announcement for the Asian Media Awards where I am nominated in the Best Blog category along with three other amazing blogs which are:

Look! A Singh

Asian Culture Vulture

The Red Notebook

I never imagined that this is where I would be, after the many years of staying in on a Saturday night because i’d chosen to blog and for covering subjects that perhaps in the Asian community people don’t want to read about but of course do happen. Or with the cyber bullying. My blog wouldn’t be what it is without the encouragement of people like Asjad Nazir who’s nominated for journalist of the year, and I want him to win so badly because he deserves it and I say that from the bottom of my heart.

You know what, I’m just sooo happy to be nominated. Each and every one of those blogs is great in its own way and on the night we will all be celebrating together as winners!

I started my blog on a whim, I’d just gotten dumped and enjoyed writing so started writing (even though at times I have faced negative comments, backlash and cyber bullying). One of the most inspirational things about announcement night was Yasmin Alibhai-Browns speech. She said that you had to be brave in media, that she gets death threats and she doesn’t know if she will have a job the next day. That she writes what people don’t want to read… but that is the truth. ( I got super excited when she followed me on Twitter!) I really felt that she is someone I really aspire to be like, such a brave woman and if I can achieve a smidgen of what she has i’d die a happy woman! Probably single, but happy! And that makes everything worth it.

No matter what happens, whether I win or not, I just want to wish everyone the absolute best and that whatever happens we will party together and celebrate on the night!

Asif Zubairy told those gathered, “It’s an achievement in itself to be nominated for an award tonight and I congratulate all nominees from online, print, internet bloggers, PR experts as well as old school media like radio and TV whether you win or not.

“Being successful in the media requires creativity, dedication and – in my experience – a lot of long hours.

“In focusing on doing the best job possible, it’s easy to get consumed by the ideas, the look and sound of what you’re working on and the effect it has on the public so I’d just ask everyone in this room to remind the next generation of media superstars of their roots: they’re not just media superstars, they’re Asian media superstars.”

View a full list of nominations here.

Visit the Asian Media Awards website here 

A few pictures from the night:

Me and Asjad Nazir

Me and Asjad Nazir

Having fun with singer Rita Morar and Japjit Kaur who is the star of nominated play Nirbhaya

Having fun with singer Rita Morar and Japjit Kaur who is the star of nominated play Nirbhaya

Yasmin Ali-Bhai Brown

Yasmin Ali-Bhai Brown

 

The main event takes place on 28th October at the Hilton, Deansgate Manchester. I wish all the nominees all the very best!

 

Priya Mulji

 

Yasmins picture courtesy Asian Media Awards website.

Interview with Rita Morar

It is rare when you connect with someone in such a way that you wonder why you hadn’t met them earlier. Honestly, if it wasn’t for Twitter and my blog I wouldn’t have many of the people in my life and I am very thankful for this. I’d have probably moved to London and have been a lonely wreck.

This interview has been a long time coming and I am finally so thrilled to be able to share this with you. One of my most favourite singers is a beautiful soul called Rita Morar. Rita and I connected back in 2012 when I was unemployed and looking for work. On our first meeting she actually gave me a rendition of naina lagiya baarishan which is now known as Teardrops. Ladies and gentleman I am proud to share with you my recent chat with singer, songwriter and all round amazing human being Rita Morar…

The success of teardrops has been phenomenal and the unplugged version has become just as big! What do you think has been the biggest contributor to its success?

The biggest contributor I say is the team behind it. The passion Tazzz has and the spirit of the song is incredible. This was the first project I worked on with Tazzz and from the very start we knew the song was special. Tazzz is very passionate when it comes to music so connecting on him on this level was a pure blessing. His vision is clear; he always knows what exactly he wants in a song. It was amazing to observe that vision through him.  Having Raxstar on board too was the icing on the cake; never have I heard an artist so in tune with lyrics, feelings and emotions.  Altogether, our voices and emotions sound so strong and through that the people have connected with us. I am grateful to be part of this project.

Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
Everyday life is. Every day you learn, feel, see or hear something that stimulates the mind. Through thoughts and discoveries, it makes me want to be creative.  My music is my form of expression so when I feel something inspirational and think I can put it in a song, I develop that idea.

Everyone loves your music from normal people like me to superstar Dj’s like Nihal. How do you feel you connect to each and every person out there?
I connect through being myself with whoever I meet in my path. I try to understand their experiences. There are no levels, everyone is equal. It’s amazing how much you can learn so much from just by listening and observing.

I believe music can heal. Is this something you believe in and what power do you think music has on a person?

I totally agree that music heals. Music has got me through some challenging times in my life. I believe that music is a source of energy that can have positive effects to help heal the body physically and spiritually.  Music can also be adapted to how you want it. For example, people listen to music at the gym to stimulate their mind and give them power. Then on the other hand when people pray they recite prayers with a melody. Recently I learnt about music therapy that helps heal people – that in itself says it all. This is also how you reached out to me Priya when you heard my song Rain.

If there was anyone you’d like to work with (past or present) who would it be and why?

I would love to work with Naughty Boy, Nitin Sawhney or Niraj Chag. I’m in awe of how creative and emotive their music is. All are such an inspiration in my life. If that chance ever came, I would be happy knowing that I have been able to achieve my ambition.

Your proudest musical moment to date?

It would have to be Teardops. The amount of love and support I got for this song was truly unbelievable and everybody that reached out to me understood the emotion I was trying to portray in this song. It is a great feeling when you are singing live and the audience is singing with you – this is what I experienced with Teardrops. From the videos to the different versions of this song, it just been a fantastic experience overall.
I think it is wonderful to love yourself, so which song of yours do you love the most?
I love Rain because through Rain people heard the rawness of my voice and connected with it. I was accepted as an artist in my own right and it opened the world of being creative. This came from dark place but ironically it brought so much light into my life by introducing me to amazing people and has given me musical memories that I will cherish and always be grateful for.

Me and Rita Morar

What is next for Rita Morar?
I’m working on my own material and have next single coming up soon so watch this space! I also have some interesting collaborations lined up which are quite different for me.  Do keep an eye on www.ritamorar.com

“Much love and music always with you”

 

I would like to thank Rita for her time, for always being there for me and inspiring others. I cannot wait to hear more and more music from Rita.

You can follow Rita in the following ways:

Her website is: www.ritamorar.com

Follow Rita on Facebook

Or on Twitter

 

Priya Mulji 

And relax…

So as you all know (if you don’t where have you been!) I’ve been nominated in the category for the Best Blog at the Asian Media Awards and I am super excited! Amidst all that I started a new job and have had loads on so I decided I needed to chill and go get a massage (fornthose of you who know me it is one of my absolute favourite ways to relax). Now when I lived in Nottingham I had the world’s best masseuse (I kid you not Nina’s Beauty is amazing!) however living in London I sadly do not get the pleasure of Nina’s massages so I have been on the search for a good masseuse for a while. I have had a huge selection to be honest because let’s face it London is full of amazing therapists. However I came across Metta based on Oxford Street which www.wahanda.com rave about and actually they live up to the hype! Lilly really massaged into my neck revealing that there is tension not just in my shoulders but in my neck and head which explains my random sleeping patterns and constant tiredness which I thought was due to low iron. For those of you who have the same issues I really recommend going for her back, neck and shoulder massage.

On another note I’m also loving the Wahanda app (take a look at it here) it’s really good because if like me you’re constantly on the go and don’t have time to scour the internet for reviews you can just browse on there when you’re on the tube or something, read reviews, book and pay for them through it.. I’ll definitely be using the app and Metta again! Also because Wahanda are not part of the ‘daily deals/discounts’ family you can choose from loads of amazing quality places for hair, beauty, massages not just people who trying to ‘sell’ their services.

I think it is really important to take time out of your day to day routine and make time for yourself to relax, recharge and just get some tender loving care. If you’re single like me you don’t have anyone to give you a shoulder rub it is especially important! Also, how often do you ladies with partners get massages from them! So go on.. book a massage and book yourself fabulous!

 

Cookery Class to celebrate The Hundred Foot Journey

To celebrate the release of the tasty new movie The 100 Foot Journey starring Om Puri, Helen Mirren and Manish Dayal I recently attended a cookery class at the grand restaurant La Porte Des Indes and had an amazing time cooking with Chef Mehernosh Mody! Read the article on my experience here:

La Porte Des Indes Cookery Class – Page 1

La Porte Des Indes Cookery Class – Page 2

 

I have also reviewed La Porte Des Indes and you can read my review here.

 

Priya Mulji

Post Navigation

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,993 other followers