Malvika Nanda is a Delhi based writer/journalist, entrepreneur and a music/ media consultant.
After 11 eventful years of active journalism with one of India’s leading newspapers- the Hindustan Times, she’s now pursuing her long cherished dream of working on the myriad aspects of the music and entertainment in India – through her firm The Big Beat.
Media Strategist and Advisor to a bunch of festivals and leading Indie artists in the country, including Storm, Escape, Holi Cow, Taalbelia and much more. Not forgoing her love for prose, Malvika continues to write for a variety of traditional and online publications, alongside her blogs. Thus, her weblog (www.malvikananda.com) was born— as a window to the many likes, dislikes and reportage from popular and countercultures.
Follow @MalvikaNanda on Twitter/Instagram
1. Hi Malvika! Where in DELHI do you stay and what are three things you love about your neighborhood?
May sound like a typically presumptuous thing to say, but I stay in South Delhi and this mostly where the action always is, as far as the nightlife and shopping shenanigans go for us locals. There’s a decent variety of places to choose from between pubs, eateries, coffee shops and such. In spite of the fact that Hauz Khas Village is a traffic nightmare in the evenings, I love its historically rich surroundings.
I prefer daytime trips and the sights from the balcony and terrace of Social. You get a lovely view of the emerald lake and fort ramparts while sipping on your favorite beverage. Between Nehru Place, Saket and Haus Khas Village there’s a smorgasbord of all sorts of things to do. Central Delhi, a few kilometers here and there has a completely different vibe. I love cafe-hopping in Khan Market- Cafe Turtle, Perch, Market Cafe & Latitude 28 above the Good Earth store are amazing places to be.
2. Where is your favorite place to watch live music?
Turquoise Cottage as I said before has been an old favorite. It’s been hosting some of the loveliest gigs for over two decades. The Piano Man, Roadhouse Cafe, and Barcat popular choices these days.
3. What is your favorite local dish and where serves it best?
Difficult to say, but Mughlai cuisine is definitely one of the top-runners if I’m in the mood for Indian fare- Kebabs, Daal Makhani, and naan/ parathas. There are two places I absolutely swear by Gulatis and Havemore at the Pandara Market in Central Delhi. The bread and veg/non-veg preparations are delicious. They have a good collection of Kulfis outside to complete your trip to food heaven. Other places which come close are Al Kauser’s Warki Roti and Galouti kebabs and Aap Ki Khatir’s Kakori kebabs with their Shahi Paranthas.
On the days that demand a good South Indian meal, Saravana Bhavan, CP or Naivaidyam are the best options, hands down. Also, since Delhi is big on delicious varieties of street food, I get my fill of Golgappas, chat and desi savories at Bengali Market.
4. Where is the best place to grab drinks and catch up with a friend on a Tuesday night?
Social (Hauz Khas Village/ Nehru Place) has become an all-time favorite, any day anytime, they have the some of the best cocktails in the city (in my humble opinion). That is contested only by my old favorite rock and retro music hub Turquoise Cottage, Green Park, music for comfort and a multi-cuisine menu to pick from.
While weekend clubbing is subject to individual tastes, two post-midnight coffee/grub favorites include Machan, Taj Mansingh and Yellow Brick Road at Taj Ambassador. For late-night budget eating , there is always 24X7 in the GK2 market.
5. What is the most exciting thing happening in the Delhi music/arts scene currently?
Secret house gigs, happening is different shapes and sizes. We don’t have an insane amount of Rock N Roll gigs happening here very regularly, nowadays, (Electronic music is ruling the roost, everywhere, sadly) but each part of Delhi has quite a few gigs and of different genres. From Bollywood (Hindi Film Music) covers gigs to so-called Sufi and qawwali nights, Jazz, Blues & Rock to EDM/Bass jigs, we have a huge variety. But, being a Rock N Roll girl, I miss the weekly line-up of gigs feat. Indie acts and the Rock/ electronica live set scenes that used to be.
For folks who like their ‘Indian’ indie and folk, the guys Teamwork Arts host these monthly gigs at a beautiful place called 1AQ next to the Qutub Minar. An initiative of the coveted Friends of Music (Delhi’s iconic music club from the yore), the concert series titled Under the Banyan Tree and takes place close the full moon every month. With its baithak style (typical Indian low seating with futons and long & round pillows and an eclectic selection of upcoming and established talent, this one is a must-see.