While most of us like to think that we’re too busy to have spare time, in reality, this belief is neither accurate nor honest. We do enjoy a significant amount of free time every day, but most of us choose to squander it on WhatsApp or staring at our Facebook feeds. Unfortunately, neither of these activities do much for our brain cells and we end up deadening our ability to think and respond creatively. So, how do we kick-start our brain cells into action again? The answer is quite simple; by replacing these unproductive free time activities with more productive ones. Here are some productive things you could do in your spare time:

Read

book

Not off a screen, but a real book. Reading is immensely beneficial as it pushes your mind to visualize, question, analyse and comprehend all that is being presented. It also helps you improve your vocabulary as you’ll be presented with words you haven’t heard before. The best part about reading is that it helps you explore places, people and incidents without requiring you to budge from your chair and this helps you broaden your understanding of life and life’s lessons.

Meditate

freepik

Image courtesy: freepik

Many people equate meditation with sleeping, but this is not what meditation is about. Meditation encourages you to focus on the present and this is a valuable life skill to acquire. If you’re finding it difficult to concentrate, use a 10 minute meditation video for guidance. There are several of these guided meditation videos available on YouTube and they lead you through the process quite effectively.

Play Board Games

kids discover

Image courtesy: Kids Discover

Board games improve memory and mental agility. They also strengthen social bonds as players sit down face-to-face to play a game. This interaction improves mood, confidence and social ties. So, instead of isolating yourself with your phone, engage in a board game to make real friends and connections!

Doodle

favim

Image courtesy: Favim

Doodling helps you give went to subconscious fears, desires and feelings. It helps you get in touch with your creative side and express yourself through art. Your doodles don’t have to be spectacular, because even a simple scribble can feel immensely therapeutic. It also helps improve concentration while keeping your feeling relaxed. Here are some doodle ideas for beginners.

Journaling

mylith

Image courtesy: Mylith

Journaling, or writing in a diary is extremely beneficial as well. It not only helps you vent, but also helps you prioritize goals, become aware of hidden desires and give expression to repressed feelings. You never know when an entry might inspire a short story, or even a novel! So, keep writing!

Looking for a peaceful place to get all this done? Head over to QTube Cafe on S.V. Road, the city’s first performance cafe. Here, you can read books, play board games and even tinker around with a musical instrument, for the cafe provides all this and more. Sip on some free coffee while you engross yourself in these productive free time activities!

 

If you’ve lived in the city long enough to tolerate its frenzied pace, you’ve lived in the city long enough to fall in love with it. And though you’re already familiar with the heart-warming bustle of its streets and the and mouth-watering flavour of its street food, you’ll be shocked to know that there’s so much about Mumbai you still have no clue about. Don’t believe us? Here are 5 books about this ‘City of Dreams’ that will expose a side of Mumbai you’ve never heard of before!

Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found – Suketu Mehta

While exploring the breakneck speed at which this city functions, the novel also explores what the city seems like to an outsider, particularly a person who comes from a place that is poles apart from this ‘Maximum City.’ By presenting the stories of individuals eager to strike gold in this ‘City of Opportunity,’ the novel uncovers the aspirations of the human spirit in a relatable, poignant way.

Maximum_city

Shantaram – Gregory David Roberts

Shantaram explores the less glamorous side of Mumbai by presenting the experiences of a traveller stuck in a not-so-elite part of the city. Through the travellers experiences and insights, we realize how diverse our Metropolis is, and how important it is for us to consider the needs of the not-so-fortunate.

Shantaram

Dongri to Dubai – Hussain Zaidi

If you’re fascinated with the underworld, this is the book for you. By tracing the journey of the infamous Don – Dawood Ibrahim, the novels shows us the seedy side of Mumbai and all that goes on in gangster havens and dark alleyways in the city.

dongri

A Fine Balance – Rohington Mistry

The book explores one of the most trying periods in the country’s history; the Emergency. It also tells the tale of four strangers and ways in which their lives were affected by the political climate of the time. The novel talks about economic conditions, corruption, friendship and love.

a fine

Love and Longing in Bombay – Vikram Chandra

The novel presents five interlinked stories that give us glimpses of the city through multiple perspectives. The narrator shares these stories with the reader while sitting in a bar. It is this conversational quality that heightens the charm of these stories, ranging from love and mystery to the supernatural.

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Every month, the wonderful QTube Café hosts a variety of events and workshops. The best part about these events in that most of them are absolutely free. So, do mark out the dates of events you’d like to attend and show up with friends and family! Here’s what you can look forward to in the month of August.

naatakwaale

Stand-up Comedy Open Mic

Upcoming comedians, here is your chance to share all those jokes you’ve been secretly penning. After all, what good is a joke if it can’t be enjoyed by many, right? Register to get a chance to perform at The Awkward Fruit’s Stand-up Open Mic.

Dates: 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th

Time: 7.30 – 9.30 pm

Entry: Rs. 100

Building a Better Future

Parivartan Stories is a platform interacting with like-minded people. Just as previous events, this meet-up is also aimed at learning more about the exciting new projects that various social sector organisations are working on, sharing stories and ideas and opening avenues for future collaborations.

Date: 3rd August

Time: 6 – 9 pm

Entry: Free

Karmayo’s ‘India Starts With I’

Karmayo will be holding a volunteer meetup to encourage and promote volunteerism and to mark India’s 70th year of freedom. The meetup will also have an exhibition for artists and creative minds.

Date: 13th August

Time: 5-9 pm

Entry: Free

BeHiver Events

BeHiver organizes a host of interesting events at the café. Here are some fun ones happening this month:

Design Thinking Workshop

Date: 4th Aug

Time: 6-9 pm

Entry: Rs. 500

Painting Workshop

Date: 12th August

Time: 6-9 pm

Entry: Rs. 100

For Poetry Lovers

Spill brings you it’s first story telling event that gives you the chance to share your written pieces with eager listeners. Stories can be of unrequited love, travel stories of sort, friendship tales, struggle stories or anything!

Date: 6th August

Time: 2-6 pm

Entry: Rs. 70

Drama-rama

Naatakwaale will be hosting two plays at QTube. Check our Facebook page for more details.

Dates: 17th, 18th, 27th

Time: 7.30 – 9 pm

Entry: Rs. 150

Mumbai Harmonics

This group of Harmonica enthusiasts will be conducting their monthly jam at QTube Café. Drop in to enjoy harmonica tunes or to play a few of your own!

Date: 19th August

Time: 4-7 pm

Entry: Free

Book launch

Bombaykala will be launching Rochelle D’Silva’s poetry book. Be there to get a chance to meet this talented poet and understand her motivations and inspirations better.

Date: 26th August

Time: 6.15-9.30 pm

Entry: Free

Workshops by Averti

Dating Ke Funde: A workshop for teenagers. Parents will allowed to join in the last hour.

Date: 26th August

Time: 9.30 am – 5.30 pm

Entry: 2700

*Frequently Unanswered Questions* Children have questions, it’s normal. Children are curious. But what to do when we as parents don’t have answers to a few of their questions? Attend a workshop that tells you HOW, HOW MUCH, WHY, WHERE, WHEN & WHAT to answer.

Date: 27th August

Time: 2-5 pm

Entry: Rs. 499

 

An art lover’s travel itinerary is always markedly different. Because, not only does the art worshiper choose to visit cities abounding with museums and art galleries, they also make it a point to visit every relevant art space in the vicinity. If this is exactly what you like to do too, here are 5 cities you must visit.

New York, USA

The Big Apple is a city famous for its cultural fluidity. It has welcomed people of all races and ethnicities for generations. Along with the people, it has assimilated their art, histories and cultural practices. Thus, the city boasts of a vibrant art and culture scene and several artists choose to display their work in the numerous galleries the city has to offer. If you do make a trip to the bustling city, don’t forget to visit the Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Socrates Sculpture Garden and the Bushwick neighbourhood in Brooklyn for street art.

Schenectady County Historical Society

Image courtesy: Schenectady County Historical Society

London, UK

This historic, quaint city is famous for a lot more than its red telephone booths and of course, Buckingham Palace. It also offers art, dance and drama lovers a wealth of creations to view and appreciate. If you visit the city, make a trip to Old Spitalfields Markets to explore local designer wear and head to Portobello Road Market to dive headlong into the world of antiques. Other famous art spaces you must visit include the National Gallery, Design Museum, Tate Modern and Victoria and Albert Museum.

Art fund

Image courtesy: Art Fund

Paris, France

This list would stand incomplete is this legendary city were not included. Paris is Mecca of art, culture and fashion. Apart from the hundreds of historical monuments, centres of learning and art galleries, the city also boasts of the most famous museums in the world – The Louvre, Musee d’Orsay and Musee Picasso.

wikipedia

Image courtesy: Wikipedia

Bogota, Columbia

This South American city often escapes the radar of art lovers. But, the city is actually teeming with brilliant examples of graffiti, wall murals and other forms of street art. To see the works of artists from the city, head to Museo de Arte Moderna de Bogota or Museo Botero. Or you could simple amble along the streets and marvel at the numerous creations you’re sure to find on walls lining the streets.

The VandaList

Image courtesy: The VandaList

Florence, Italy

If Renaissance art is what delights you, Florence is the city to be in. It is home to the works of great sculptors and painters like Michelangelo, Botticelli and Raphael. Do visit the Galleria dell’Accademia and the Galleria degli Uffizi. If contemporary art is what pleases you, visit Florence’s Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina.

italy magazine

Image courtesy: Italy Magazine

 

In our world of screens and smartphones, we run the risk of getting isolated in our own little bubbles. Texts, Snapchats and WhatsApp messages are replacing real world communication, leading to a reduced amount of human interaction. Several researches have pointed out that this isolation or lack of real, human connection is the root cause of many mood disorders and mental ailments. So, what can we do to increase our real world interactions while still having fun? One of the simplest ways is through board games. These table-top pastimes are more fun than you realize and reward players with ample benefits. Read on to know what these are!

inhabit

Image courtesy: Inhabit

Strengthens Bonds:

Board games undoubtedly strengthen ties with friends and family. Most board games require many players to participate and as all these players indulge in the game together, relationships and renewed and improved. When you play with familiar faces, jokes are cracked and legs are pulled. All these incidents leave you with fond memories of time spent with friends and family and these memories can do wonders for your endorphin levels.

Helps you develop a Sporting Spirit:

In online games, you often play against a computer or virtual opponents you’ve never met before and probably, might never ever see. This takes away learnings that can be derived from winning or losing a game. In board games, all your opponents are physically present and suffering a defeat or earning a victory in front of people serves you lessons in grace, humility and tolerance.

Improves Team Spirit:

In many board games, you have to form teams and play along with at least one more player. You have to co-operate with your teammate if you want to win the game. You also have to learn to use each other’s strengths and weaknesses to your team’s advantage. This helps you develop qualities that’ll will make you a better team player and team mate.

Improves Mental Agility:

Every board game requires you to make a number of steps or moves. And if you want to win, you have to plan your moves well. Thus, you’re constantly thinking about strategies and the consequences of your and your opponent’s moves. This mental gymnastics keeps your mind flexible, alert and creative.

Improves Memory and Patience:

Most board games are multi-player games and each player is constantly making moves. One has to keep track of turns and moves of each player if one wants to win. This definitely helps improve memory. Since you have to wait your turn, you’re also served up a lesson in patience!

Board games are extremely beneficial and a million times better than online games. Why not experience some or all of these benefits first hand by playing a board game or two yourself? Don’t have any? Run along to QTube Café for it has some of the most famous board games of all time. Scrabble, Business, Hang Man, Snakes and Ladders, Chess, you name it and the Café has it. What are you waiting for? Grab a couple of friends and head to the Café ASAP!

 

Most of us find a regular visitor in our newspaper boy. After all, what good is the morning cup of tea if there’s no newspaper to accompany it. Because of our daily subscriptions, however, we end up with a pile of dated newspapers in our homes every month. While we can sell off the pile to our local ‘radhhi waala,’ wouldn’t it be so much better if we could use all those papers to create art? (Well, maybe not all, but at least some.) With so much raw material at hand, there’s so much you can do. If this bizarre idea of ours has inspired you to create ‘newspaper art,’ here are a few cool ideas to get you started.

Wall Art

Use dark coloured inks to create beautiful silhouettes and wall art pieces like this.

newspaper wall art

Newspaper Envelopes

Instead of purchasing envelopes from the shop, why not use newspapers to make them yourself?

newspaper envelope

Mixed Media Art

Black and white newspapers provide the perfect canvas for mixed media art. Use paints, magazine clippings and doodle pens to create art on your monotone background.

mixed media art

Newspaper Photo frame

Add a quirky edge to your photo frame (literally) by pasting newspaper strips along the edges and place in a print worthy of remembrance.

newspaper photoframe

Textured Photo Frame

This is quite simple to make. All you need to do is roll strips of newspapers into thin pipes and they curl those pipes into balls. Use glue to stick the edges and reinforce your creation.

newspaper-picture-frame-featured

Anyone up for some newspaper art?DIY photoframe

 

DIY photoframeDIY photoframe

 

Doodling has become quite a rage of late. You have people conducting doodling workshops, doctors recommending the art form as therapy and a gazillion artists populating the internet with elaborate and exciting doodles. Yet, for some, doodling can be incredibly difficult, almost like a math problem you just can’t seem to wrap your head around. Are you too one of those clueless souls who’s always wondered what doodling is all about? Well, this article might just help answer your question Don’t Dawdle, Doodle!

Now that you know what doodling is all about, it’s time you engaged in a little doodle-making yourself! Don’t know what to start with? Here are a few easy-to-make doodle ideas that are perfect for beginners. And fret not, for you don’t need to be a Picasso to able to accomplish these!

Geometric Shapes

Instead of simply drawing lines and arrows, why not take it a step ahead by drawing more complex shapes, like rectangles, triangles and hexagons. Shade areas to add dimension to your doodle. You can also combine shapes or draw the same shape over and over in different sizes.

i stock

 

Prints within an Outline

If you’re not good at creating characters or perfectly sketching objects, create a simple outline, like a big oval and fill it with a variety of prints. These could be geometric shapes or other kinds of abstract prints.

craft hub

Lettering

Doodling letters and words are really easy to do. All you need to do is figure out a unique way to craft your letter. Here are some examples to help you.

letters

 

Well, so now that you have these doodle ideas to practice, go ahead and start making your own. It’s okay to start simple and small, as long as you start somewhere!

 

As the rains get heavier, our list of events get longer! Here is a list of interesting events happening in the Café in the month of July. Don’t forget to mark the dates in your calendar.

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Astral Projection

Have you ever wondered if the soul can really leave the body and exist in another plane? Attend this session on Astral Projection, conducted by Desi Dramebaaz to get all your questions answered!

Date: 9th July (6 pm – 9.45 pm)

Entry: Rs. 100

Conselling Session for Trinity Rock & Pop Exams

Heads up musicians! Trinity college London – India will be conducting a demonstration/counselling session for Trinity Rock and Pop Examination (all Instruments) and demonstration session for Trinity College London – Plectrum Guitar Syllabus. (12pm to 2.30pm will be Plectrum Guitar demo & 3pm to 5.00pm will be Rock and Pop Demo)

Date: 9th July

Time: 12 pm – 5 pm

Entry: Free

Comedy Open Mic         

Awkward Fruit keeps its open mic sessions open to all comics, experienced and amateur, so work up your courage and perform at this event!

Dates: 12th, 19th, 26th July

Time: 7.15 – 9.30 pm

Entry: Free

Harmonica Evenings

Come enjoy melodious Harmonica renditions as the members of Mumbai Harmonica meet up for their monthly jam!

Date: 16th July

Time: 10 am – 7 pm

Entry: Free

Pen & Paper Sessions

Vagabond invites singers and songwriters to share their original compositions at Pen & Paper sessions. Come if you want to perform, discover new talent or simply enjoy good music!

Date: 22nd July

Time: 5.30 – 9.45 pm

Entry: Free

Words Tell Stories

A Singaporean performance poet will be sharing her work. This will be followed by a Q & A session.

Date: 23rd July

Time: 6 – 9 pm

Entry: Rs. 200

Poetry Open Mic

Word Pleasure conducts monthly open mics to encourage young artists to share their work. Do be part of this Open Mic and Poetry Slam event!

Date: 23rd July

Time: 11 am – 5 pm

Entry: Free

Power of Play Session

ToyBank will be organizing specially curated board games to awaken the child in you. Their youth wing will organize fun activities prior to the play session.

Date: 27th July

Time: 6 pm – 7.30 pm

Entry: Free

The Storytelling Project

A meet up for story writing enthusiasts to share their funny, tragic, scary, rainy day stories.

Date: 29th July

Time: 5 – 7.30 pm

Entry: Free

 

Fountains are these mesmerizing, watery wonders that can make your worst days seem better. If you’re having a terrible day, trace your way to a nearby fountain and plonk down next to it. The soothing sound of gushing water and the occasional spray of cool mist will automatically alleviate your mood. Apart from effecting emotional landscapes, fountains also impact geographical landscapes, infusing streets and city centres with an ethereal beauty. That’s probably why local governing bodies invest a lot of money and thought in these mammoth showers. Some authorities go the extra mile by inviting renowned artists and architects to conceptualize and design fountains for their town. Here’s what happens when the creators do a great job. Get on a plane and visit these 5 most creative fountains in the world!

The Big Giving Fountain, London

Located south of the Hungerford footbridge, this whimsical fountain has been designed by a German artist called Klaus Weber. The crazy structure has weird rock people spew water from a number of orifices.

P Base

Crown Fountain, Chicago

This fountain isn’t your run of the mill structure. While some might use the term ‘avant garde’ to describe this fountain, others have preferred the word ‘tacky.’ The fountain has a floor made of black granite while two humungous glass brick towers flank its ends. The towers use LEDs to display the faces of visitors and residents.

city data

Toilet Bowl Waterfall, China

Originally designed for a pottery/ porcelain festival, this fountain is built out of 10,000 recycled toilets, sinks and urinals. These ceramic structures line a wall that is 100 meter long and 5 meters high. This installation was created by artist Shu Yong, who, along with his team, took 2 months to set up the piece. The urinals and toilets are connected to a tap which is turned on to flush the toilets periodically. This leads to a cascading waterfall that amuses and delights onlookers!

toilet bowl

Stravinsky Fountain, Paris

Designed by sculptors Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle, this whimsical watery work features sixteen sculptures, all equally curious and colourful. The sculptures move and spray water into the shallow basin.

travel magazine

Image courtesy: Travel Magazine

Osaka Station Fountain, Japan

A cascading water fall seems to be imprinted with luminous floral patterns and moving shapes. This waterfall can be best appreciated if seen in action!

 

The monsoon months are beautiful. A freshness permeates the atmosphere and nature dresses the earth in a verdant carpet that adds colour to an otherwise bleak landscape. Most of us love to curl up under a blanket and listen to the pitter-patter of falling raindrops whilst enjoying a warm cup of our favourite brew. But, if the raging downpour causes us to stay holed up indoors for too many days, boredom will soon catch up and dampen our spirits. To escape the boredom, here are a few fun things to do on those torrential days.

Movie/Sitcom Marathon Time!

Nothing like staying indoors and watching a string of your favourite movies/sitcoms back-to-back. Expand your repertoire by welcoming suggestions from friends and family. Engrossed in cinematic masterpieces, with friends and buckets of popcorn to keep you company, we’re sure the downpour outdoors won’t bother you in the least!

skymet weather

Image courtesy: Skymet Weather

Banish Boredom with Board Games

What with the host of virtual games we’re treated to these days, we no longer have any time for good ol’ board games any more. Why not relive our childhood fun by getting back to our gaming roots? Dig out your oldest favourites, whether Scrabble or Ludo or Monopoly and organize a board game competition with friends. If you have none of your old games, fret not, for you’ll find all these and more at QTube Café. Step in to this unique arts café to enjoy a ton of different board games, free coffee and Wi-Fi!

another house blog

Image courtesy: Another House Blog

Soak In Luxury

Our daily schedules are so hectic that all we manage in a day is a quick shower. But a shower hardly gives us the pleasure a proper bath does. Since you’ll be spending the entire day at home, why not use the time to indulge in luxurious, warm bath. Use bath salts and shower gels, pamper your body and olfactory sense with most aromatic products you own!

bath

Image courtesy: Hadley Court

Practice your Mixology Skills

Cocktails can be expensive drinks to purchase. So, why not learn to shake up your favourite concoction? That way you can enjoy your poison as often as you want to at a much lower cost. Thanks to the World Wide Web, a single search word will throw up hundreds of recipes to help you make your drink of choice.

liquidlabnyc

Image courtesy: liquidlabnyc

Arty Pastimes

Has it been a while since you created art? A painting or a DIY wall art piece? Place all your supplies on the floor, sit yourself down and enjoy dirtying your fingers as you create something new and exciting. Here are some ideas to help you get started.

washi-tape

https://nspa.in/blog/diy-wall-art-ideas-for-of-the-wall-interiors/

https://nspa.in/blog/bottle-cap-art-ideas-for-diy-enthusiasts/