Review – Rambo Circus, India – A Visual Treat

The famous Rambo Circus is in town and we were extended a special mother – child invite to check it out!

rambo circus

Nabeel saw his first circus at Budapest last year which had a healthy mix of animal and human acts, all of which were superb. Honestly, my expectations of a circus have been raised high since then and I was hoping the local circus doesn’t let me down. Thankfully, it did not!

Rambo Circus, established in 1991, is the only Indian circus that is a part of the World Circus Federation. It tours across India and boasts of splendid acts performed by artists from around the globe. This year, along with India, there are participants from 6 other countries namely Nepal, Columbia, Ethiopia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

We went for the 4pm show on a Friday, given a weekday I could see decent no. of patrons for the show, which was a sign that it is popular and going to be worth it. The massive fireproof circus tent covers an area of approx 235ft , and has interiors done up with colourful drapes giving the perfect circus feel. The seating area, with a capacity of 1000, has huge air coolers so one doesn’t feel the heat or any discomfort. Seats are basic plastic chairs placed in rows for all ticket categories; the more you pay, closer you are to the stage.

The show started 10 minutes late than the stipulated time and within seconds the whole ambiance transformed into a lively visual treat. First, the circus contingent, comprising of local and international artists holding respective country flags and the few animals that were to perform, walked in. Soon their acts followed one by one which were entertaining, some out right dangerous but well executed. The combination of designer costumes, laser lights, digital sound system and of course remarkable human talent put up a spectacular show. Definitely on par with any international circus acts.

daredevil act

Daredevil Act by Nepal Team

I specifically enjoyed the acrobatic acts by Ethiopian team and the dressing changing act by the Azerbaijan couple. Other note worthy performance was of the Columbia team, headed by Carlos, on the wheel of death and the dog show which Nabeel thoroughly enjoyed.
Due to certain rules and regulations, animals are hardly used limiting to the Elephant playing some cricket and dogs jumping through the rings, instead of lions ;-). Nonetheless, the Human daredevil acts and skilled performances dint make you miss the animals at all. There are quite a few interactive acts amongst the artists and kids which make it an enjoyable experience. One could see the enthusiasm amongst the kids as they grooved through the music and confidently participated in the acts.

wheel of death _ circus act

Wheel of Death Act

One annoying element of the entire show was the food hawkers who walked shamelessly on the stage, luring kids with their goods. This distracted the kids, who would want to buy everything while their mothers had a hard time getting their attention back to the show. I earnestly urge the management to come up with a better way of marketing the refreshments as the hawker nuisance can really be a drawback for the circus.

I have high respect for circus artists as they have just one chance to show their skill, no retakes at all. Choosing to opt for a circus show instead of a movie show is a great way to encourage such artists and their skills. It is also a good occasion to expose kids to what human talent is all about. You can book tickets here or buy them directly at the ticket counter at the venue.

circus dog show

Circus Dog Act

The circus tent is pitched at Bandra Reclamation Grounds, Mumbai and is there till 16th Dec 2015 before it moves out. Daily show timings are 4pm & 7 pm. Weekend show timings are 1, 4 & 7 pm.

Children below 3 go free. Ample parking space (paid) and toilet facilities available.

Enjoy your trip to the circus.

Till then, Love Being a Mommy!

Rendezvous with Vivienne Kaunds – A Cake Artist

If you read my post on Nabeel’s Birthday Party then you did notice the lovely Mickey Cake we got him. It was a well executed cake by none other than this month’s inspiring momma Vivienne Kaunds. She is a passionate self-taught homebaker who took to baking solely for her child as a way to relive her childhood, just like her mom used to bake for her. Read her cute & inspiring story here…

Vivienne Kaunds

Vivienne Kaunds (R) at a cake decoration workshop

BAM: Hello Vivienne, so tell us how did baking happen?
Vivienne: I have grown up feasting on yum cakes, jams and other treats baked by my mom. I knew this is exactly how I am going to bring up my child and so I started baking when I was pregnant.

I am happy that without any marketing or promotions I get orders every single day. The biggest joy is in getting repeat customers which means you are offering something good.

BAM: Oh, so it seems your mom has been the inspiration behind your baking
Vivienne: Yes, mom inspired me a lot. In spite of being a working woman, my mother ensured her kids ate only homemade goodies made from top class ingredients. On returning home from school the aroma of her freshly baked cakes engulfed me and my friends from the road itself. It is this experience and love that I want to give to my children that they can cherish all their life. I feel I owe it to them and want to give back something that I loved looking forward to.

BAM: From Personal Baking to Professional Baking…what led to Happy Cakes?
Vivienne: I was pregnant and free which gave me ample time to bake and experiment. I made cakes for family and friends on special occasions as a gift. Soon, my daughters 1st birthday arrived and I made a stunning fondant cake for her that brought in a lot of appreciation and cake orders for me. This is when I decided to take my passion to the next level, Happy Cakes was born in Oct 2014.

Animal Tea Party Cake

Jungle Tea Party Cake – Everything you see here is edible

BAM: Congratulations on completing a year! How has it been so far?
Vivienne: Overwhelming! My phone has been ringing ever since..just like a call centre phone. I am happy that without any marketing or promotions I get orders every single day. The biggest joy is in getting repeat customers which means you are doing something good for which they come back. I usually limit myself to 2 -3 cakes per week and mostly which are weekend ones. I toil throughout the week on fondant figurines & cut-outs. Weekends are reserved for baking and giving finishing touches to the cake.

For me to innovate and being able to create what the customer has in mind is the biggest reward.

BAM: How do you refine your skills? Are there any workshops or courses you attend on a regular basis that help you hone your skills better?
Vivienne: Not really. I basically refine my skills with every cake that I do. I have never repeated a cake design, it is my need to create new that helps sharpen my skills. Every year my daughter’s birthday is the milestone for me. I have to create something grand for her; after all it is for her I started in the first place.

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BAM: Must say your daughter is one lucky girl. Does she help you around?
Vivienne: Haha..she is just 4 but definitely an aspiring baker. Besides, my daughter is my biggest critic and motivation. On her last birthday I made her a book shaped cake, which has been my best cake till date. Soon after the party she hugged and thanked me for it and quietly whispered, “Mom, next time please make sure the pages turn.” Her innocent feedback opens up new areas to explore. And yes..I am working on a flipping cake for her 🙂

Rapunzel Book Cake

The Book cake (that din’t flip) made for her daughter

Every year my daughter’s birthday is the milestone for me. I have to create something grand for her; after all it is for her I started in the first place.

Danielle Birthday Cake

Vivienne’s daughter admiring her mom’s creation

 

BAM: What is your work day like?

Vivienne: I don 2 hats everyday…Vivienne the Homemaker and Vivienne the baker. My day starts at 4am, this is the best time according to me where I am in my baker mode and work passionately till 6am. Then, switch to the homemaker mode when activities like getting ready for school, cooking, household chores, etc take place. I once again don the bakers hat in the afternoon when my daughter arrives from school. We work together; she owns a set of fondant accessories that keeps her busy while I do serious stuff.

BAM: Any expansion plans like a bakery?
Vivienne: I charge people for their orders only to cover my costs, in most cases I break even. For me to innovate and being able to create what the customer has in mind is the biggest reward. I operate from home and that is how it’s going to be in the coming 20 years too. My greed is creativity, I believe when I shift focus from innovation to making money, Happy will collapse.

Vivacious Vivienne is what I did like to call her after this conversation. She is stunning, full of energy and above all passionate towards her craft. Hope she inspired you in some way. Check out her FB page here and some of her drool worthy cake images below.

 

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Till then, Love Being a Mommy!

First Post

I have been meaning to come up with this blog for quite some time now. My child was 7 months old when the idea first struck me of creating a log of all recipes that I prepare for him which can be helpful to other new and worried moms. Well, he is 25 months old now and here I am with my first post. It’s not easy being a mother, especially the first time and this delay surely proves it.
Feeding the first food to an infant is quite a task, with all the precautions and stories one hears it seems like a big war to take on. I thought it would be comparatively easy for me given my experience with food and recipe development. But trust me, it was not. I was as lost as someone who enters the kitchen for the first time.
Something as simple as feeding an apple to a baby comes with a lot of do’s and don’ts. Who knows the correct way of doing so? This is when I realized the plight of other mothers and thought of sharing all my experiences with those on the lookout.
This blog lists tried and tested recipes; tried on my baby and tested by me. I hope to be of help to all mothers out there who wish to feed their kids healthy food the right way.
Below is an image of certain tools I used, to prepare food for my infant. These tools come handy till the baby is 10 months old or old enough to lightly chew food.

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Infant Food Preparation Tools