When there’s a “women’s only” festival that you hear about, what do you do? If you’re a woman, you go get yourself a day pass at the very least and get in. If you’re a man, you figure out a way to contribute to the festival in such a way that the ladies have no choice but to welcome you into their midst!

Gul Panag & Shruti Seth have put together quite a wonderful festival, only for women. While there is no dearth of “events” one can go to to drink and make merry and even catch good music at, there are very few events where one can go and also listen to and learn from some super-smart speakers.

At Festivelle, you can do all this – and in the warm camaraderie of fellow-women no less. Gul and Shruti have put together quite a lovely list of speakers together and they hold sessions in between the music gigs and stand-up comeday acts and there’s a whole alley of pop-up shops selling goodies to eat, #MadeInIndia garments, footwear, accessories and what have you – but of course.

I reached Bombay in the afternoon and headed straight to Festivelle after checking in to my hotel. At the airport, Jet Airways sent Rahul to help me with my luggage! Thank you! And I could barely recognize Bombay Airport! It looks like a tropical forest INDOORS! How lovely.

The venue – Juhu Hotel’s lawns – are perfect for catching a stellar sunset over the Arabian Sea. There’s wine – Jacob’s Creek no less and there’s lots of beer ( Kingfisher ) and the new, colorful, flavored beer Kingfisher Buzz. And there’s food too. If you’re not keen on eating at the venue, you can always pop out the gate and find yourself smack in the middle of a multitude of eating places near Juhu Chowpatty.

My main reason for attending Festivelle was to meet some of the most amazing women who inspire me daily – on Twitter. So many of them I’ve never met in person and they were flying in from all over India! Had to go meet everyone. I think it might be nice to give name tags to everyone though – so many people look completely different in their display photos on Twitter as compared to real life! It’s a weird disconnect. Maybe would be nice to have people’s Twitter or Instagram handles or names on their name tags. But it was marvelous meeting some I’ve never met and meeting some I’d met a decade ago and haven’t seen since!

KanvasKloset has some beautiful footwear and The Butternut Co. has THE most delectable nut butters I’ve ever tasted! Try their Almond Flaxseed and Almond Cinnamon. DROOL. These were two of my favorite pop-ups from Day One, I’m going to figure out at least two more favourites tomorrow.

We enjoyed music in the lawns – some lovely performances – like the one by Ankur Tewari’s Ghalat Family.

Nandita and I then headed to Shiv Sagar, which is walking distance, for dinner. Masala Chaas and Pav Bhaji for din-din before I headed back to the hotel. ( I’m being hosted at The Novotel Juhu and their Rajasthani Suite is FABULOUS! More photos in a separate blog post about that. Coming soon! )


I was at Day One of Festivelle yesterday – this piece is publishing on the blog while I’m at Day Two! And Festivelle is coming to Delhi soon as well! Keep your eyes peeled. Oh, and if you happen to spot me at Festivelle in Bombay today, I’m making portraits for my #EyesForPeople series and will be happy to make one for you!




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