Here's what's in store this month.
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Your insider guide to Kathiwada City House
Edition III – October 2022
L-R: Aditya Dugar, Swati Kathiwada, Aditi Dugar, Sangita Kathiwada, and Digvijay Kathiwada
Ushering in the festive season, we organised a wonderful gathering for the ‘Circle 1434’ members at a 100-year-old wine cellar this month.
One of the highlights of the evening was a special announcement by Sangita Kathiwada, founder and creative director of Kathiwada City House, introducing Sage & Saffron as the new food partner. Spearheaded by the owner of Masque, Aditi Dugar, the boutique catering and fine-dining service promises some curated culinary experiences at KCH. We are thrilled to welcome them aboard.
In the spirit of joyous unions, our Archive Corner is dedicated to a photograph from the wedding of Rana Jayendra Sinhji of Kathiwada and Princess Dharmendra Kumari of Limbdi.
This edition of ‘Stories from the House’ also features our wellness experts. We thank them for their candidness and courage for sharing their stories with us.
L-R: Guillermo Devoto, Claire Parekh and Nakshi Satra
L-R: Moomal Mehta and Garima Deveshwar Bahl
On a stormy evening, the Circle 1434 tribe gathered for the members’ event at Mélange, a 100-year-old wine cellar repurposed into a conscious-fashion boutique founded by Sangita Kathiwada.
Tucked away in Altamount Road, it served as the perfect location for a vinyl-listening session, organised by The Revolver Club. The choice of album – John Coltrane’s classic jazz – for the evening was enjoyed by our members, over a scrumptious fare curated by Sage & Saffron.
Photos by Sajal Kapoor
L-R: Jude D'Souza of The Revolver Club
L-R: Samir Raut and Deepshikha Jaiswal
L-R: Reshma Jain and Priyasari Patodia
L to R: Rahul Patel and Preeti Vyas
L TO R: Ajay Panjabi, Abhishek Gupta and Kriti Mittal
L to R: Thomas Easton, Pronit Nath, Sangita Kathiwada, Ankur Tewari, Hema Shroff Patel, Rajan Khosa and Claire Parekh
L to R: Punita Kadam, Aditi Dugar and Swati Kathiwada
L to R: Dr Sonali Kohli and Rohan Rai
L to R: Rohan Desai and Hema Shroff Patel
L to R: Kaveer Shahani and Purva Walse Patil
L to R: Sangita Kathiwada and Zia Nath
“I have stopped being stunned with the work that I do,” says Zia Nath, a trauma informed bodywork therapist specialising in Craniosacral Therapy, Somatic Intelligence™, Mother-Infant Birth Dynamics and Mindful Nutrition. “We want to keep the work in the realm of humility, humanness and ordinariness.”
As a therapist, Zia’s speciality is in simplifying problems and de-sensationalising complex conditions. “Craniosacral therapists are trained to palpate different rhythmic fluctuations of fluids in the body. The work requires heightened perceptual skills. One must be silent inwardly to be able to palpate such subtle rhythms,” she explains. “Years of working with such heightened perception has evolved my spiritual path. If I am working eight hours a day, I am working eight hours a day in stillness and silence. After that I must complement the energy; I have to get out, move, dance and run.”
Zia started off as a scuba diving instructor in Lakshadweep. “When I was there, we had to study rescue, dive medicine and the wellbeing of divers. I realised that I want to be in the field of paramedical and therapeutics,” she shares.
In 1999, Zia attended a foundation training by the Craniosacral Balancing Training from Switzerland at the Osho International Meditation Resort in Pune. “After that, I kept travelling to Europe to complete my postgraduate and advanced courses. Two decades later, here I am,” says Zia, who also practices at Kathiwada City House.
In fact, Zia was one of the few wellness practitioners who were invited to the House by its founder Sangita Kathiwada while she was designing the layout of the space a few years ago. “It was so humbling. She wanted to make sure that the space honours the wellness space and its practitioners. She had a beautiful vision and I am glad that she has manifested it,” Zia shares.
As a dancer, Zia has been in the study and performance of Sacred Dances for more than two decades. Zia has developed Realms of Dance™ , presenting sacred dances of ancient esoteric cultures for deeper explorations of our consciousness.
“I was into jazz and modern ballet when I chanced upon Sufi Sacred Dances at Osho Meditation Resort in 1993. When I witnessed this performance, I was in a state of stunned silence all through it,” she remembers. “It wasn’t a dance that ended in their body on stage. It was something that was moving through us in waves. There was grace and that was palpable. That made me realise that this is something I want to pursue.”
Favourite thing to do in the city
Exercise at the gym, Netflix, seaside walks and meeting friends.
A swim. A dense dark chocolate cake or ice-cream. Italian wine – Prosecco.
Late night walk by the sea.
According to Tamara Zweck, one of the most empowering aspects of physiotherapy is giving clients their personal power back. “It can get deeply debilitating when someone has an injury or a recurring pain. My job as a physiotherapist is to not only help them gain their strength, but also their confidence in knowing that they’ll be able to live a better quality of life,” explains Zweck, who has been associated with Kathiwada City House since 2021.
“Physiotherapy is about movement efficiency. However, it is also about educating patients about their injury – why did it happen in the first place – or helping them achieve their fitness goals through different tools,” she shares.
The Indian Premier League (IPL) Medical Director says, “To be a sports physiotherapist, you need to be interested in sports. You would know what it feels like to compete – to win, or lose; the commitment required for training, how you become better, faster, stronger; what it feels like to get injured, how to get back into the game. Having that experience helps you relate to your athlete.”
Growing up in Australia, Tamara played plenty of sports. “I did a lot of swimming and netball,” she says. “I wanted to travel. My course in physiotherapy allowed me to move to the UK, since I am an Australian.”
It is the little wins that give her the greatest joy. “I love the fact that people, who couldn’t sit properly can now sit through a puja for two hours, or clients can go back to playing football, or simply make the most of their day again,” she says. “Ultimately physiotherapy is about reclaiming independence and letting go of fear.”
Aside from being a trained physiotherapist, Tamara has a long history with yoga. She began learning under a French teacher in London, where she lived for many years. “Sometimes, I still use principles of yoga in my practice because it all comes down to healing,” she says. “In fact, when I first came to Mumbai, I couldn’t handle the chaos. So I went straight to Auroville in Pondicherry to practise Ashtanga and Iyengar yoga.”
Over time, Tamara found a deep connection with India and forged relationships with its people that motivated her to stay back and make the city her home.
Favourite thing to do in the city
Walking around Bandra’s leafy bylanes.
For nearly two decades, Punita Kadam has been an early childhood educator. However, her journey into becoming a Sound Therapist began with a moment of epiphany. “I was in the mountains in a deep meditative state when I received a divine message that I need to heal with my hands,” she recalls. “I had no idea how years later it would bring me here.”
Punita conducts individual and group sound healing sessions – combining it with awareness through body exercises – at Kathiwada City House. The immersive soundscapes are created using singing bowls, gong, specialised sound instruments, sound frequencies, vocals and breath-work.
Growing up, Punita would often visit the Osho Ashram in Pune with her family and where she learnt mediation techniques. “However, when things are seemingly fine, you don’t tend to dive into deeper spiritual realms or make much of it,” she shares. “It is only when life throws various curve balls at you that you begin to dig deeper. My experience was no different. I always had a spiritual nature, but it was when I was struggling to stay afloat that I gave it a solid chance.”
Punita turned to a Master based in Trivandrum, who taught her intensive breath-work using nature’s five elements. “I went through a rebirthing process. It felt like a ray of hope to hold on to get me through that dark phase; I realised we all must come back to our breath eventually,” she says. “After that, there was a lot of catharsis – plenty of release. I observed that certain triggers changed in my life.”
After observing changes in her own life, she spent much of her time studying other healing modalities.
Experiencing an immersive sound bath session and the shifts she witnessed inspired her to pursue it further. Soundwaves have a direct and positive impact on our brainwaves. Through the medium of sound one takes the client from beta to alpha to delta to theta level. “Once that happens, there is no option but for the body to heal,” she says.
However, visiting Svaram at Auroville in Pondicherry, changed the course for her. Punita developed a deeper awareness of her body through the medium of sound. “We were taught to become the instrument,” she says. “I started collaborating with musicians and healers to create some beautiful sacred symphonies. It gave me great fulfillment. I thought I could never sing, but Svaram taught us to use our voices during the sessions and flow. Therefore, I will never take credit for the work I do.”
She believes, “It’s always the higher self and spirit guides that help create an environment for a person to self-heal. I am only the medium.”
Favourite thing to do in the city
Meeting friends and enjoying a hearty laugh.
Cutting chai and vada pav on a rainy day.
Watching the ocean and the setting sun and how the city comes alive with all the twinkling nightlights.
Nakshi was only in school when she dealt with mental health situations. Back then, she found great comfort in speaking with her school and college counsellors, who helped her cope to a degree. However, even when growing up, there was an innate understanding that her experiences are part of a divine cosmic plan.
“My situation reached a brink when I was 21; my mother was diagnosed with cancer. That’s when I questioned and explored the alternative space,” she shares. “Everything in this realm ends beyond a certain point, I wanted to know what is beyond that.”
With that question, a window opened. Nakshi travelled to Germany to study ThetaHealing®. Later, she pursued courses in neuro-linguistic programming, Jung Shim healing, past life regression, Access Consciousness, and learnt various other modalities to explore the world of alternative sciences to support and heal the human body. “When I opened the door, possibilities and pathways showed up,” she says. “I worked with a combination of all of this to help my mother. I understood how the space and the environment we live in affects us and our wellbeing. However, after I lost my mother, I knew I had to help and heal myself; break my patterns before I can help others.”
It’s her own personal journey and the avenues she turned to that Nakshi integrates into her now-decade-long practice. “The wellness space has many tools to offer to help and heal, but it has no structure,” she says.
Through In:ha Wellness, Nakshi wants to bring that holistic structure of working on the mind, body and energy field. “We customise and strategise healing modalities for a high and low impact on the client based on their problem statements, or help them become better versions of themselves,” she explains.
A gifted clairvoyant personality, Nakshi specialises in identifying and decoding the gap between the conscious and subconscious mind in order to achieve the ideal mind, body and energy composition that is required for an individual or groups to move towards their highest potential. This, she believes, leads to immediate changes, manifestations and actualisations of one’s desired results.
Earlier this year, Nakshi began her collaboration with Kathiwada City House. “The idea is to work with everything possible within wellness, including food, furniture, fashion and health,” adds Nakshi.
Favourite thing to do in the city
Trying out new restaurants, catching a stand-up comedy show and signing up for new experiences.
Conversations over coffee with like-minded people, building a new-themed wardrobe regularly and listening to rock, pop music.
Weekly massages, travelling and practising mindfulness.
Beginning her career with her love of writing, Pereena Lamba self-monikers as a “writing gypsy”. She has written copy for advertising assignments, reports for an adoption agency, manuals and a graphic novel for a child rights NGO, lesson plans for teaching seventh-grade boys, and several freelance articles for magazines and blogs.
However, as far back as Pereena can remember, she has, also had another passion – her deep interest in natural ways of healing. “Then, after a major surgery in 2015, I became more curious about different healing modalities as well as getting to the root cause of disease,” she says. “I tried Craniosacral Therapy at that time and it helped me with pain management. It also worked well for family members. I decided that it was something I wanted to practise to help heal others.”
She resonated with the whole body connection that the treatment entails and how crucial this perspective is when healing. Her interest in natural healing practices brought her to other forms as well. “It was around the same time that I also began learning and practising Reiki, which has brought me so much clarity and peace. I practise it every day and it is a grounding force in my life,” she says.
Practising these modalities has provided her the understanding of the body-mind-spirit connection. Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (BCST) is used for body or somatic work that deals with various issues such as frozen shoulders, muscle strains, acid reflux, sinusitis and autoimmune conditions.
“It is a gentle but powerful touch-based therapy that reorients a patient’s body back to health that is always present. Besides resolving physical ailments, it goes deeper and helps the body release trauma and pain from within” she says.
Pereena has also recently started work with Bach Flower Remedies for clients who are looking to find emotional balance in their lives. “Bach Remedies are tailored to each individual and the emotional challenges that they are facing at that time,” she explains. “These are natural and work beautifully to restore positive emotional states.”
Pereena facilitates most of her sessions from Kathiwada City House. Having worked with Sangita Kathiwada on her previous projects related to the arts, Pereena reached out to her when she began her formal practice. “Sangita has always been a champion of alternative therapies. Her philosophy with healing, art, and approach to lifestyle resonated with mine, so it seemed a great fit,” Pereena adds.
Favourite thing to do in the city
Going on heritage walks. Watching theatre, visiting galleries, listening to live music.
Reading has been my solace since I was a child and music is a big part of my life. I am also a compulsive doodler. Meditation and yoga help with stress relief and grounding.
Despite all the strife and struggle Arpita Bhandari has been through in her personal life, she still feels immensely grateful for where it has brought her today. “I have been through sexual abuse, financial crisis and toxicity in relationships, the result of which impacted my health a lot,” she shares. “I was depressed. Deep down, I knew it was coming from a place of emotional stress.”
On her sister’s suggestion, Arpita signed up for a ThetaHealing® – a technique that focuses on thought and prayer – class. That was the beginning of a new chapter. “It changed my life. I understood that your body reflects your mind,” she says. “I learnt many healing modalities after that.”
The impact that Arpita witnessed in her life made her want to help those who may be grappling with similar situations. Her venture Aikyam Wellness emerged from that space. “In pursuit of acceptance and love, we hide so many layers of ourselves. We need to first do the work. Before healing others, you must heal yourself,” she points out. ”
Until today, the first four hours of the morning are reserved for herself. “Meditation is one part of it and reflecting the other. Osho’s books and chanting are my solace. I don’t get up from my bed until I give myself a tight hug and offer gratitude for the day,” she shares.
Arpita, also an interior designer, brings in her spiritual understanding while creating spaces that help balance body and mind using colour and form. “Your space reflects who you are, and I bring that to my client’s attention through my practice,” she says.
The desire in all her work remains to inspire everyone to look inward and guide them to discover their true selves. “I don’t treat my work like a business. During the pandemic, I realised that this path for me is only about serving,” says Arpita, who has hosted varied workshops, such as finding one’s spirit animal, and activating one’s energy flow, at Kathiwada City House.
“I believe that if you are ready to heal, the right modality will show up – be it counselling or therapy or sound. All you need to do is surrender, believe, and trust,” she says.
Favourite thing to do in the city
Meeting beautiful souls, while facilitating their healing.
Reflecting – I am always reflecting.
Music. I breathe music. I listen to progressive house and techno music.
The last few weeks saw KCH extend the dialogue around Kuber Shah’s photography exhibition, ‘Space. Structure. Storey’, celebrating Art Deco, with a screening of ‘Liberty’ a short film by the Art Deco Mumbai Trust and a Walkitecture, highlighting the last surviving bungalows of Worli.
We organised a painting workshop at our beautiful garden, a lecture on deconstructing Art Deco by Professor Mustansir Dalvi, amongst a host of wellness activities. Here’s a peek:
Art Deco Mumbai organised the screening of ‘Liberty’, a short film celebrating the theatre to complement Kuber Shah’s photographs of the cinema hall.
Architect Nikhil Mahashur took a motley group of architecture enthusiasts one Saturday morning to trace the last-surviving bungalows of Worli.
Mumbai theatre group, Akvarious Productions, staged four short pieces on the misadventures arising from the ties between India and the US.
Know Your Art facilitated a painting workshop. Participants painted their version of Monet’s iconic waterlilies at our beautiful garden.
Viraf Patel, the chef behind few of the most popular eateries in the city, curated and created a special six-course meal for our members and their guests.
Art Deco: A Sorority of Cities: 20 Oct
Professor Mustansir Dalvi conducted a lecture as part of the Architecture Moderne, an exhibition hosted by the Israel Consulate and Art Deco Mumbai.
Here is a photo of the beautiful union of Rana Jayendra Sinhji of Kathiwada and princess Dharmendra Kumari of Limbdi. Shri Natwarsinhji Bhavsinhji Sahib Bahadur, the Maharaja of Porbandar, can be seen in the photograph as well.
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