Celebrating women at Bollywood Cafe in Long Street

Levona and I had just spent a wonderful evening at Bollywood Cafe in Long Street. It was all about celebrating women, although the food at Bollywood Cafe was a strong competitor. We attended a Women's Empowerment Circle that is being established by Michele, a friend whom I had met at Christiaan Barnard Hospital.

Sharing our communal meal

The event was colorful and vibrant from the decor right through to the dress code and the Indian cuisine. The restaurant menu is diverse and the dishes are extremely well-priced. The curry thali dishes are divine. Levona ordered the vegetarian curry while I chose the lamb curry thali. The thali is a meal that is made up of a selection of different delicacies.

The food is served on a platter which has a few compartments and small  bowls line the borders of this platter tray.  The curries, chutney, vegetables and sauces are placed in these small bowls while the rice and a pappadam form the centerpiece. Bollywood Cafe  also serves a generous-sized Naan bread with the meal. The combination of sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavours of the curry thali is a joy to the palate and an oversized treat that will drown any growling stomach.

We couldn't finish our thali meals. Besides the healthy portions, we were also tucking into the Garlic Naan and some other tasty breads that were ordered. Michele placed the delicacies leftovers neatly in takeaway containers which she was going to give to the homeless people on the way home.

The sharing session

After our meal, Michele gave us a short, punchy motivational talk on the empowerment of women. Each of us could take one of the pumpkin novelties on the table. Each of these novelties contained an inspirational message but not all of them contained a gift. We were then given an opportunity to swop our 'pumpkins' if we wanted to. The lesson was about making choices, being satisfied that we had made them ourselves and then taking the responsibility to manage our choices so that our lives as well as those of others are enriched.

Michele (right) facilitating the sharing session 

We read our inspirational messages and drew lessons from our own lives to celebrate our gifts and to commit to growing into the powerful beings we are destined to be. Every single women there acknowledged that we are on a journey of self-mastery; that every lesson in life is purposeful and designed to make you better and stronger.

"You need to be present first before you can grow and help others," said Patience. " I thought that the more knowledge I gained, the wiser I would become. However, I have learned that you become wise when you know yourself first.  Then you are authentic. Then you can speak and give advice to others."

Wrapping up

The evening came full circle. Women who had not met before, could bond seamlessly and enjoy the gifts of life lessons that others were willing to share freely.

Patience (right) deep in thought

"It's all about your desire to connect and share, " said Michele.  "Something special happens when we reach out to other women who in turn, will touch the lives of others."  We need to set goals and strive to make these happen. If we don't reach our goal, we should not surrender, but use the opportunity to see how we can do things differently to achieve our goal." And, we should be there for one another so that you know that you are not alone."

What an awesome way to spend a Saturday evening. Connecting people, especially women, runs deeply in Michele's blood. Because of her strong relational nature, she brought a group of diverse women whom she had met along her life's journey together on a beautiful night.

Bollywood Cafe tucked on Long street that symbolizes all the vibrancy of a city that never sleeps, formed the ideal backdrop for the occasion. It was indeed good to stop for a moment and in that beautiful space, celebrate ourselves, and our contributions to making a difference in our ever-changing complex world.


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