Midnight Maddness at Mohammed Ali Road

Phirni
[Phirni - A Creamy Rice Pudding, seen here in flavours of Safron and Almond]

The Minara Masjid twinkles a glorious light green under a cloud of tiny fairy lights as chaos entralls the streets below. In what now has become an annual Ramzan treat for me I decided to haunt the Khao Galli at Mohammed Ali and yes ofcourse savour every lastbit of food I could find.

It's a sweet Ramzan
[It's a sweet Ramzan]

Here’s a snippet from my last years visit

The red hot charcoal solder as the smoke rises through the tenderised chicken and kebabs into the air, wafting into my nostrils, air such divine. It’s a frenzied scene as full pitched bazaar flows by with smiles and sighs under the green glow of the well adourned mosque and the orange glow from the alleviating traffic behind me. I glance at my wrist watch and it blinks backs 00:00 am at me. I frown in disbelief think out aloud, “It can’t be tomorrow already, the city is alive and awake” My words at any other time would have been audible but today they seem to have been drowned by the life around me.”Aao Aao Sahb, Mensahb .. Humare Badiya Khana Khao“, “{Come one and all try out our delecious fare} shouted the man next to me in his crisp white kurta and colourful skull cap. Seeing that I was paying him some eye contact he diverted his sales touts to my directions.
People think Indian Bazaars are haphazard, I disagree each market has a finely planned out anatomy. Just like when you’re in a department store and you find the Womens section on the first floor, childrens on the second, and mens wear on the third or sometimes on the fourth depending on where they want to put the lifestyles stuff. In the same way the midnight bazaar has womens shoes, everything from skilettos to juttis on the outer rim. There is also other stuff hair-bands, clothes, costume jewellery etc etc but since I’m not the target consumer I ignore. I by pass the shoes with out second look and move on directly to the good stuff, the food. Back to the anatomy we have the dazzling variety of methais [sweets] and food of all shapes and sizes on the left. Food Court Style yet outdoor very cool.

I was there for the sweets and Suleman Usman Bakery was the place to enjoy them. Phirnis, Maalpuas yum. I lapped down a rich and creamy kesar Phirni till my plastic spoon scrapped the bottom of the terrecota cup it was served in. The Maalpaus pure heaven served hot with their crispy brown honey dipped sweet exterior and their custard creamy interior melting in you mouth as your palate just wanted more. Sensory overload.

Midnight Bazaar [Bangles]My this showing at Mohammed Ali Road was pretty much like last it was just the quantity of food intake was doubled. The list included Maalpaus and Phirni at Suleman Usman (obviously), Pathar Ghosh (hyderabadi dish where pieces of meat at cooked on a preheated slab of granite absolutely delicious), Tongue Soup at Bademian, a generous intake of sugary faloodas, some sheikh kebabs and finished off with some excellent dudhi ka halwa.

Tongue Soup
[Susanna and Paul trying out their tongue soup at Bademian

It was good I can tell you that.]

Excuse me I have a lot of digesting to do and before I forget Eid Mubarak

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Theatre Groups

 Hindi Theatre Groups

 

Arpana

Arpana was found in 1985 by a group of like-minded theatre people. Sunil Shanbag, Shishir Sharma, Lata Sharma, Reetha Balsavar, Utkarsh… more…

 

The Experimental Theatre Foundation

Founded in 1992 by Manjul Bhardwaj and other like-minded people, the Experimental Theatre… more…

IPTA

The Indian People’s Theatre Association was formed during the Quit India Movement in 1942. Upon its formal inauguration in 1943-44,… more…

 

Motley

In collaboration with a fellow FTII -ite, Naseeruddin Shah started the theatre group, ‘Motley‘ that celebrated its twentieth anniversary in 1979. more…

Naath

Naath Theatre, earlier known as Kreators was established in 1992 by Kamlesh Mota & Babul Bhavsar. This theatre group’s objective has… more…

 

IDEA

It regards itself as the only theatre group in
India working towards the promotion of Hindustani Theatre…

Ekjute

Ekjute under the guidance of Nadira Zaheer Babbar, a National School of Drama (NSD) graduate, has presented over sixty plays… more…

 

Ansh

Makrand Deshpande started his theatre group Ansh in 1993 and has written, produced and directed about 30 plays since. more…

Yatri Theatre

Yatri ‘the theatre repertory’, is one of the most patronized cultural groups in the country. Yatri has always strived hard to maintain and preserve… more…

 

Aranya

Aranya was formed in the year 2003 by a group of friends. Coming from different backgrounds each person…

Ank

Ank has raised a substantial audience for hindi, and raising the integrity of Hindi theatre…

 

Avitoko

Avitoko was established on the 1st of May 2001. During these three years, Avitoko has taken a meaningful effort to…

Shilpkaar

Shilpkaar, is formed to provide healthy entertainment with a mission to serve Quality Entertainment.

 

Arts Creative Theatre

Arts Creative Theatre is the brainchild of Mr. Mujeeb Khan, who wishes to promote theatre and theatrical activities…

 

 English Theatre Groups

Work In Progress

“To limit one’s imagination is to limit one’s world.” The ‘Work In Progress’ theatre company is a vibrant, energised and innovative theatre group,…  more…

 

No License Yet

‘No License Yet’ has seen three productions to date and will soon be premiering in September 2005…
 more…

The Company Theatre

The Company Theatre’s creative and training activities have experienced considerable growth in the Indian arena.  more…

 

Industrial Theatre Co.

We started the industrial theatre co. to discover and popularize alternative spaces for theatre in Mumbai.  more…

Attic Salt Theatre

This theatre group derives its credo from doing theatre that exploits the potential of humour in its varying forms.
 more…

 

Motley

In collaboration with a fellow FTII -ite, Naseeruddin Shah started the theatre group, ‘Motley‘ that celebrated its twentieth anniversary in 1979.  more…

Little Prithvi Players
Fourteen years ago when Prithvi Theatre began “Summertime at Prithvi Theatre”, the team knew that its ‘devious’ aim was clearly to develop a better  more…

 

Zero Theatre Company
Zero started its theatre activities with a definite vision, a need to present plays using a minimum of sets and props, using the actor  more…

Working Title
An eclectic and a young English Theatre group, Working Title has to its credit, productions such as Curfew, Mahadevbhai (1892-1942)…  more…

 

Masque
Masque was founded in 1987 by Vikram Kapadia who has been actively involved in Mumbai’s English theatre scene for the past twenty years.  more…

Rage

Rage is one of Mumbai’s leading theatre company…

 

 

 Gujarati Theatre Groups

Naath

Naath Theatre, earlier known as Kreators was established in 1992 by Kamlesh Mota & Babul Bhavsar. This theatre group’s objective has… more…

 

Ideas Unlimited

Ideas Unlimited builds productions, which can encompass class, as well as the masses of the people. It is perhaps the only Gujarati theatre… more…

Upendra Trivedi

Upendra Tridevi is name which every gujarati movie or theatre goer is well-know with, a great actor & producer.

 

Kala Sangam

Kala Sangam the most successful talent creator in the field of music and drama…

 

 Marathi Theatre Groups

Awishkar

Awishkar theatre group has consistently been doing Marathi experimental plays for the last forty-three years..

 

 

 

The Company Theatre

The Company Theatre’s creative and training activities have experienced considerable growth in the Indian arena.  more…

 

Industrial Theatre Co.

We started the industrial theatre co. to discover and popularize alternative spaces for theatre in Mumbai.  more…

Attic Salt Theatre

This theatre group derives its credo from doing theatre that exploits the potential of humour in its varying forms.
 more…

 

Motley

In collaboration with a fellow FTII -ite, Naseeruddin Shah started the theatre group, ‘Motley‘ that celebrated its twentieth anniversary in 1979.  more…

Little Prithvi Players
Fourteen years ago when Prithvi Theatre began “Summertime at Prithvi Theatre”, the team knew that its ‘devious’ aim was clearly to develop a better  more…

 

Zero Theatre Company
Zero started its theatre activities with a definite vision, a need to present plays using a minimum of sets and props, using the actor  more…

Working Title
An eclectic and a young English Theatre group, Working Title has to its credit, productions such as Curfew, Mahadevbhai (1892-1942)…  more…

 

Masque
Masque was founded in 1987 by Vikram Kapadia who has been actively involved in Mumbai’s English theatre scene for the past twenty years.  more…

Rage

Rage is one of Mumbai’s leading theatre company…

 

 

 Gujarati Theatre Groups

Naath

Naath Theatre, earlier known as Kreators was established in 1992 by Kamlesh Mota & Babul Bhavsar. This theatre group’s objective has… more…

 

Ideas Unlimited

Ideas Unlimited builds productions, which can encompass class, as well as the masses of the people. It is perhaps the only Gujarati theatre… more…

Upendra Trivedi

Upendra Tridevi is name which every gujarati movie or theatre goer is well-know with, a great actor & producer.

 

Kala Sangam

Kala Sangam the most successful talent creator in the field of music and drama…

 

 Marathi Theatre Groups

Awishkar

Awishkar theatre group has consistently been doing Marathi experimental plays for the last forty-three years..

 

 

 

 

Theatre Schools/Workshop in Mumbai

Theatre Schools in Mumbai

1. Parag Vijay Datt Drama Academy
1st flr., Mithibai Collage, Vile Parle-west, Mumbai

2. Bharatiya Vidhya Bhavan Kala Kendra
Bharatiya Vidhya Bhavan Hall, Kulapati, K. M. Munshi marg, Chowpatty, Mumbai – 7

Theatre WorkShop in Mumbai

1. Prithvi Theatre Workshop
Organised by : Sanjana Kapoor, Prithvi Theatre.
91-22-2614 9546

2. Ekjute Theatre Workshop
Organised by : Nadeera Zaheer Babbar, Ekjute theatre group
91-22-26212821, 26212819

3. Reall padamsee’s Theatre Workshop
Organised by : Reall Padamsee

Welcome to Mumbai

Mumbai is the Hollywood of India; as a matter of fact this city is better known as Bollywood (from its previous name, Bombay). This city has so many stories of rags-to-riches that people have it synonymous with the city which can make anyone’s dream comes true, and where everything is possible. While Delhi, Kolkata (Calcutta), Chennai and other metros in India are great opportunity bases, none of them come even close to the capacity of Mumbai in its power to make thing happen.

The film industry is the most prominent in this city, where millions come every year to try out their luck and stay on in the hope that some day they will get a break. Another very important glamorous industry is the advertising industry which is highly flourishing in this city. There are hundreds of young men and women as well as children between 2-15 years recruited every year for the so many advertisements that India is quite famous for.

The third very popular industry in Mumbai is the crude oil industry since there are a great number of oil rigs in Mumbai high due the availability of oil in the sea belt along the coast.

The above, all three being a very high returns industries, make Mumbai the seat of cash-flow of almost unlimited amounts. This is the city where money has absolutely no limits and where you can get everything you want anytime you want.

Complementing the above three, there is another one that is a highly flourishing industry, i.e. hospitality and travel industry. Both hotels as well as traveling and related functions have achieved the closest position to perfection in Mumbai.

The major opportunities lurking in Mumbai
That brings us to the position of jobs. Mumbai, though highly concentrated in the above four industries, has also a great share in the other types of industry. As other metros, this city too is reeling under the onslaught of the IT industry. Mumbai in this regard is perhaps the best place to look for a job since it offers you not only a great salary but also an excellent ambiance at work place.

The city has innumerable jobs, mostly high paying because Mumbai standard of living is high. The major concentration of jobs is acting and modeling, BPO jobs, marketing, sales, telecommunication, air hostess / air crew, back office jobs, research, customer service and so on.

Some of leading and highest paying Call Centers in Mumbai are Daksh, E-serve, JP Morgan, Epicentre and Intelnet. But this is just showing one side of the picture. There are umpteen of leading firms who have their headquarters or branch offices in Mumbai making this city a paradise for job seekers. All the jobs here have a very high turn over because the competitions is fierce, targets are very capriciously set and followed and the city has one of the fastest paced life styles in India.

Since people flock to Mumbai in search of their luck specially in the acting industry and the majority do not make it, Mumbai has become the host of a great deal of talented and highly intellectual people. This is why, the atmosphere in Mumbai is very open, permissible and at the same time respects the privacy of all. Similarly, in the job, people in Mumbai are expected to be highly proactive and self-driver. There is no place in Mumbai for people who are lethargic, need a boss to tell them what to do and/or people who have to be motivated to work. Mumbai is very demanding when it comes to quality of work in all categories across all jobs. This is city is one of the most professional cities of India; where working is hard, and celebrations too is hard.

If you are looking for a career in Mumbai, you have to understand that you have to compete first with yourself and then with others; people here are everyday trying to do better than yesterday and this has become a culture in Mumbai. Unless you are a highly motivated individual and one who can create work when there is none, Mumbai is not for you.

The best jobs available
Besides, a career in acting, modeling and oil industry, there is one more very important high paying industry, i.e. hospitality and travel. Here, you will find the hotel vacancies, travel agency vacancies and the more glamorous ones of the airlines, ship cruisers and international couriers. All these jobs have a very high pay packet and hence they are very high in demand.

Of course, up and above these are the unbeatable IT jobs, both BPOs and technical staff including software engineers. Mumbai is among the leaders in IT jobs being responsible for more than USD 60 billion in the years 2005-06 alone. The job number for 2006 has been forecasted to be about 1,300,000 which concentrate most in entry and middle level entrants. The number forecasted in engineering jobs is about 1,200,000. India by itself is such an important player in the IT market that software companies are writing specific programs only for the Indian market.

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Mumbai be right, I may be crazy

Tim Harcourt
Chief Economist
Australian Trade Commission
Sydney
Email: tim.harcourt@austrade.gov.au

8 March 2006

Imagine watching Indian cricket legend, Sachin Tendulkar, batting on his home ground and then interviewing a famous Bollywood actress at the Taj Hotel the very next day! Is this as good as it gets?

Of course, Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) is famous for its ‘cricket gods’ (like Tendulkar and Sunny Gavaskar) and its Bollywood stars but it is also the ‘Gateway to India’ and a thriving commercial and trading metropolis of over 19 million people. Indeed, Mumbai must be seen to be believed. A mass of poverty and desperation on the one hand, but an amazing hub of entrepreneurship and dynamic capitalism on the other, Mumbai is full of contradictions. Mumbai was one of the key centres visited by a recent trade mission to India organised by the Australia-India Business Council. The mission took in New Delhi, Mumbai and later Bangalore, covering a range of industries from software, infrastructure and medical technology to higher education. Over 1500 Australian companies export to India, but there are many more opportunities to tap into.

Of course, for a ‘cricket tragic’, Mumbai is fantastic. On the final day of the dramatic Fourth Test, Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, was a full house of Indian cricket supporters cheering on their heroes. Outside the stadium, the lure of cricket is also everywhere to be seen. On grounds next to Mumbai’s High Court, the University and all across the city, thousands of cricket fanatics are playing matches, as they do everyday all over the sub continent.

Accordingly, Australian cricketers are themselves very visible exports to India. Fast bowler, Brett Lee, was on every billboard and Matthew Hayden’s cooking tips were seemingly in every lifestyle magazine in Mumbai. Driving the Mumbai streets, I was struck by a large advertising banner for the local beer, Kingfisher, which declared to all and sundry: “One Indian the Aussies can’t beat!”

But all this cricket talk is good news for Australia is opening up opportunities for our exporters everywhere. For example, in the cricket arena itself, Sydney company, Albion is getting in on the act on the sub-continent. Albion, which manufactures the iconic Australian Test XI baggy green cap, and protective helmets, was in Mumbai for the Fourth Test in order to meet some Indian distributors. According Albion’s General Manager, Ross Barrat: “We see India as a major source of expansion for our product. We were founded in 1947 – the same year as India’s independence – and see our future wrapped up with India’s just as we have a shared history,” he explained.

Furthermore, its not just cricket companies that are doing well in India. Many other Australian companies are leveraging the cricket relationship. Whilst in New Delhi, I visited the Indian office the Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation (SMEC). SMEC is involved in major infrastructure involving highways, irrigation and water resource management throughout South Asia. As part of community development, SMEC sponsors young Indian cricketers and whilst I was in New Delhi, a cricket bat (donated by Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting) and scholarship was presented to Robin Bist, a young under 16 cricketer from Ghaziabad. SMEC’s Indian General manger, David Tow explained: “Whilst we are here in India to provide expertise in highways, irrigation and water resource management we also want to help the community in other ways”.

Other Australian companies also have links to charitable foundations in India  For instance, Cochlear, the famous Australian inventor of hearing implants, has a joint venture with Indian-based Medilife Technologies, which provides clinics, medical training and other health facilities to patients in India. According to Brendan Murray, Cochlear’s General Manager for the Asia Pacific (Southern Area/Australasia), “we are almost up to our 500th implant in India which is very exciting for the company and for the health and well being of the Indian community”.

Of course, in Mumbai there’s Bollywood too! According to Mr Supran Sen, the Secretary General of Film Producers Guild of India, “there are nearly 1000 films made in India each year, the majority of which are made in Mumbai. The films are made to satisfy the 20 million-plus patrons who visit the country’s 13,000 cinemas every day. The films are made mainly in Hindi but translated into 24 languages” he explained. Like Australia, India has always had a strong local film industry culture, although nowadays there has been a meshing of the traditional with the western. A brief viewing of Indian MTV gives you evidence of the Indian/Western blending along with recent features such as ‘The Guru’ starring Heather Graham and ‘Bride and Prejudice’ starring Aishwarya Rai.

Bollywood’s rise is also good news to Australia. Many India producers like to film commercials and movies in Australia, dues to our locations, the skill of our film crews, and the fact that the Bollywood stars won’t get mobbed walking the streets of Australian cities (as they do in Mumbai or Kolakata!). According to Sen: “Indian film producers like the legendary Feroz Khan love shooting in Australia. Australia has a good reputation here in Bollywood and we could do so much more together,” he said.

So watch Australian-Indian trade links start to widen and deepen. With closer ties, the Australia-India relationship will become more than ‘the 3 Cs – Cricket, Curry and Commonwealth’ but Tendulkar at Wankhede and Aishwarya Rai on a Bollywood movie set is not a bad place to start.

To Mumbai, with Love & Hate

The Rediff Special/Lindsay Pereira

http://www.rediff.com/news/2004/sep/23spec1.htm

September 23, 2004

For someone who describes Bal Thackeray as “the one man most directly responsible for ruining the city I grew up in,” Suketu Mehta sips his white wine with surprising equanimity.It is 11 pm at Olive, a popular nightspot in Mumbai where the rich and famous gather to do what the rich and famous do best. A party has been thrown to celebrate the publication of Mehta’s first book, Maximum City: Bombay Lost And Found. Around me stroll the usual suspects — pseudo intellectuals, largely illiterate socialites, a couple of bad actors. Half of them don’t know what the occasion is. The others believe it has something to do with a book.What with some people either trying to kiss him or introduce him to friends and family, getting Mehta to talk is a difficult task.

I try nonetheless, holding him gently by the elbow, referring to the comment in question and asking him if he is worried about what it could do.

“I’m not,” he says. “I did my research, and put out the facts. It was a lot of work. I met a lot of people. With reference to that particular passage, I wanted to concentrate more on what goes into the making of a rioter.”

To his credit, even a cursory glance through the book reveals a whole lot of research. It is a well-written piece of investigative reporting, and those who’ve read it have been lavish with their praise. Jhumpa Lahiri, for instance, believes it is ‘one of the most intimate and moving portraits of a place’ she has read. Nell Freudenberger refers to Mehta as ‘the best kind of investigative reporter,’ while Amitav Ghosh calls it a ‘gripping, compellingly readable account of a love affair with a city.’

I remind Mehta of the fairly recent controversy over American historian James Laine’s book, Shivaji — A Hindu King in Islamic India. In January, the Nationalist Congress Party-dominated Maharashtra government came down heavily on the author. An institute was ransacked, invaluable artefacts were destroyed, and the book was promptly banned. Mehta shrugs. “That was a different issue,” he says. “All I have done is try and talk about what makes this city what it is. The question of riots shouldn’t even occur.”Maybe it won’t. After all, there’s enough to entice readers even without any references to the Sena chief. Mehta ushers in a whole host of characters, from Shiv Sena members who boast of killing Muslims in the 1992 riots, to hit men, a bar girl called Monalisa, senior police officers, cross-dressing male dancers, aging film stars, and even a Gujarati multimillionaire who gives up his fabulous wealth in order to take up religion.“Do these people really exist?” I ask. Mehta laughs. “No, I made them all up,” he says, sarcastically. “Of course they exist! Even the multimillionaire does. I happen to be Gujarati. I know these people. They give it all up and leave. It sounds unbelievable simply because you haven’t seen it. But that doesn’t mean these things and these people don’t exist, does it?”Why focus only on the ‘morally compromised,’ I ask. What about the rest — people like the ones currently surrounding the two of us at Olive. Don’t they epitomise Mumbai just as well? “I have spoken of a lot of everyday people too,” says Mehta. “There are all kinds of people that go into the making of a city. Why focus only on the more colourful ones in the book?”Coming as he has after a 21-year absence, Mehta has the luxury of an outsider’s eyes. Born in Kolkata, he lived in Mumbai for nine years before moving to New York. A graduate of NYU and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he went on to write for the New York Times Magazine, Granta, Time and The Village Voice, picking up a number of awards along the way. And yes, he also co-wrote Mission Kashmir.

What reviewers have found appealing about his book is its ability to empathise and play the role of detached observer with equal poise. Mehta may rave and rant about the bureaucracy, they point out, but he still maintains faith in Indian democracy. In a fascinating study of Sonia Gandhi and her appeal to the nation’s poor, he makes an interesting comment: ‘This is the biggest difference between the world’s two largest democracies. In India, the poor vote.’

Now that this project — and a tiring one it must have been  – is over and done with, I ask Mehta about his next, a novel titled Alphabet. “It is told from the point of view of a foetus,” he says, and clams up. I also ask about the original screenplay he’s been working on for The Goddess, a Merchant-Ivory film starring Tina Turner. “It’s going pretty well,” he replies. “I have a first draft, and I have been hanging out with Tina a lot.”

The evening draws to a close. Mehta is swallowed by newer entrants. There are filmmakers and journalists, models in branded wear, a few gay men in kitschy clothing. Alcohol flows, and hors d’oeuvres make the rounds. Standing quietly in a corner, I open the book these people are here to celebrate, and read: ‘Next year, Bombay’s population will top 27.5 million (greater than the continent of Australia’s); by 2014, it is likely to outrank Tokyo as the world’s most populated urban area. Bombay is the future of urban civilization on the planet. God help us.’

It’s 1 am. All around me, the people of Mumbai party on. There is more alcohol, more chatter, more artificial displays of affection. Maybe the city is just too afraid to sleep.

Photographs: Paresh Gandhi

Image: Uday Kuckian

Buy Movie Tickets online

Click on the theatre name to see which movie its playing and how to book online.

PVR Cinemas     Cinemax     24Karat      Adlabs       Fun Republic         

IMAX Adlabs, Wadala

Online booking: The impressive, under-friendly interface tells you to click to indicate number of tickets, name of the film you wish to see, preferred day, show time and the class from a drop-down list, enter your login id and password and… you are greeted with: This page cannot be displayed. We wish one of the largest multiplex chains had an online registration process that worked.

Home delivery: The customer service executive who answers the phone is courteous, and even thanks you for your “patience” when he takes a minute to confirm availability of tickets. You need to call at least seven hours before show time to avail of home delivery, he tells you.

They deliver tickets to Chembur–71, Sion-22, Ghatkopar (E)-77, Wadala (E)-37 and Wadala (W)-31, if you want home delivery for a show on that very day. Extra charge: Rs 10 per ticket delivered. Delivery timing: 10 am to 8 pm (residence) and 10 am to 6 pm (office).

Telebooking: No service.

Report card: 2/5

PVR, Juhu

Online booking: Log on to www.pvrcinemas.com. It was quick and easy. Register for free, and your account will be
activated. Select region, cinema, movie and date, preferred show timing, number of tickets, seating preference.

Check ticket details, put in credit card number and submit. Note your Transaction ID; it must be mentioned at the time you collect tickets at the counter. Online tickets must be booked at least 2 hours before the show. Tickets bought online, cannot be cancelled, exchanged. Your credit card needs to be presented at the counter at the time of collection.

Home delivery: For the same day’s show, they deliver only to Juhu, Bandra (W), Santacruz (W), Vile Parle and Andheri (W). Otherwise, anywhere in Mumbai. Extra Rs 10 per ticket. Ordering tip: Call during the day, because post 6 pm, it’s impossible to get through.

Home delivery: Arrive 45 minutes before show. Extra Rs 10 per ticket. Call 25657777.

Report card: 4/5

Cinemax, Infiniti Mall, Versova

Online booking: Log on to www.cinemax.co.in, register, pick theatre, film, show time and date. Provide credit card details. You will be given a confirmation number which you need to carry for the movie.

The website is easy to navigate and the seating chart is updated at all times. But it doesn’t provide your with any rules, regulations, or steps to carry out the booking process. If you are a first-timer, you could waste a few minutes trying to figure things out.

An Internet booking query number scrolls on the top of the website; if you are lucky, you’ll get through. Dial the tele-booking facility in case of an emergency; they are bound to solve your problem.

Home delivery: If you live in South Mumbai, but want to catch a film at Cinemax, Andheri, you have to book 2 days in advance. Once you have booked the ticket, the customer executives will give you a time period within which the courier is expected. It usually ranges between 8-12 hours; if the movie is doing well, despite staying in the suburbs, tickets might not be available six hours before. You will need to book a day in advance. On delivery, the payment has to be made in cash, and you will have to shell out an additional Rs 12 per ticket.

Telebooking: Call 26841616. It’s prompt and doubles up as a hotline for all sorts of queries regarding Cinemax. You can book the show and time, but make sure you reach 45 minutes before the show. It didn’t take too long to connect to a customer service executive, and he was well informed about booking procedures.

Report card: 4/5

Fame Malad

Online booking: Fastest and most convenient as far as this multiplex chain is concerned. Payment for online booking is done through credit card. Log onto www.famecinemas.com, select movie, city, multiplex location (Adlabs, Malad, Dadar, Kandivali or Thakur) date of the show.

The film’s schedule unfolds on entering the date, but the location menu is unpredictable and won’t show some of the options (like Fame Dadar and Fame Kandivali) sometimes. You need to login to be able to book tickets online. It took 5 minutes, and then we selected the class, number of seats and location.

The food combos (an unhealthy mix of popcorn, samosas, Pepsi and French Fries in Family, Couple and Single combos) can be bought online. There is a convenience charge of Rs 10 per ticket and the cardholder has to be present while picking up tickets.

Home delivery: The always-busy customer service personnel on 66991212 informed us that the courier person would be home “any time before 9 pm”.

So, if you are a working person, it’s best to ask for tickets to be delivered to your office. If the courier man doesn’t find you on the day of delivery, he won’t return.

Fame has only one customer service number (66991212) for home delivery as well as credit card booking, that too for ALL its multiplexes in Mumbai. Obviously, we had to hold the line for a good 8 minutes to get through.

Telebooking: No service. 

Report card: 3/5

What’s new?

M tickets at Fame

But it was a waste of time Hutch and Airtel subscribers have the option of dialing 5053263 to book tickets (current, advance and home delivery) through a Master/Visa credit card.

This option works on IVRS too, and the voiceover enthusiastic-close-to-orgasming kept us entertained. But compared to online booking, this procedure is very long winded, and the voiceover often borders on annoying.

After 10 minutes of listening to all the titles of the movies showing, we were informed that the tickets for Shrek 3, were sold out. What a waste of time!

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