PRAVAAS by Cymbal X Masque: The first edition unlocks access to the rare and stately facets of culture, food and music in Gwalior
FEB 11, 2022 | By Pratishtha Rana
In a rather extraordinary concourse initiated by the creative forces behind Cymbal and Masque, PRAVAAS finds its genesis as a one-of-its-kind event that promises to intrigue and enthral with untold tales of the Indian heritage.
For the debut edition of PRAVAAS, a two-day affair underpinned on exclusivity, Cymbal, a leading events-led collective that pioneers in tailoring heritage and future-forward experiences met Masque, a Mumbai-based restaurant by Prateek Sadhu that masters the art of native, researched ingredients-based cuisine.
The chosen cultural-scape for the first edition of PRAVAAS put focus on Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh. Once a princely landmark in central India, the grand history of Gwalior was rekindled once again by taking its guests— who signed up for a rather exclusive exploration— to palatial properties, top drawer parties, canorous musicals, delightful culinary preparation and evocative jaunts to the lanes and monuments of the city.
An inviting carpet was rolled out in the stately venues of Jai Vilas Palace, Taj Usha Kiran Palace and Hawa Mahal to commence this curated event in the best of luxurious spirits.
How does one get to witness the most prominent and majestic icons of Gwalior’s history? The luxurious wheels of BMW guaranteed an absorbing drive dubbed The Quilla Daur taking the guests around and across the ancient sites of the city.
As if trailing the lengths and breadths of the unexplored map of Gwalior was not enough to beguile the senses, an elaborate culinary menu awaited the guests, dipping the taste buds deeper into the regional flavours of the city.
Set up as an appealing pop up at Chandni Durbar, the 150-year-old balcony of Jai Vilas Palace, Chef Prateek and the Mayaaryaman scoured for the region to bring in the local flavour in modern avatar at the sit down dinner. The chef and his team delicately rustled up the secrets of Masque with ingredients and techniques that the locals savour every day.
He plated up a ten-course assemblage of kali mooch rice cake and cauliflower rogan josh, quail kachori, grilled boar sausage with makki ki roti, kadaknath chicken momo with broth, charcoal-grilled sole fish, khad duck pot rice, passion fruit imarti and more.
On this passionate journey of food, Sadhu reveals, “The night the chef at the palace cooked us wild boar, we knew we wanted to have some fun with it on our menu. During our visit to Harsi, the locals made us the lightest makki ki rotis we’d ever tried, so much so that we roped them in to help us make the rotis fresh on a chula at the Chandni Durbar.” Ensuring the most royally native presentation of the recipes, handmade plates and tableware made an appearance on the tables for this one of a kind Masque dinner. Dinner with a spectacular view on a cold wintery evening definitely counted as an unforgettable experience.
One of the highlights that consumed much attention at PRAVAAS was the Baraamda art tunnel assembled by the Chennai-based clothing label No Grey Area. Identical to the brand’s own ethos of melding conventional with unconventional, this experiential cohesive space played with moods of calm, chaos, light, darkness, black and white—limning the idea of an experience that runs both ends of a spectrum. Eyes also met mannequins posing with their heads replaced by the phases of the moon, depicting a certain evolution that each of us go through.
The Hawa Mahal encompassing 150-year old history of the city hosted a stunning art installation of Indigo, showcasing the values of the brand. And then the setup by Simba, Poornima Bagh at the Jai Villas Palace terrace saw artists from diverse spectrums taking the notch up for the day’s entertainment, and the light show illuminating the Hawa Mahal.
Footing the grand venue at Pravaas by Cymbal x Masque also brought you at the premises of the Ainaa Hall, an intrigue-arousing gallery that highlighted the palace’s history through art, sculptures and antiquities, each brimming with a sense of opulent nostalgia.
On a similar taste-enriching note, Stranger & Sons extracted specialities of Gwalior and Chambal to stir up this cocktail dubbed Forager’s Gimlet. Made exclusively for the event, the glass of tipple was infused with wild berries sourced from local plains, karonda and honey cordial.
While JW enamoured with the robust nuttiness of local peanuts, paired the ingredient with the velvety spiciness of Johnnie Walker Blue Label, birthing Salted Caramel Old Fashioned, marrying the native palate of the city with an unparalleled tryst to remember and perhaps, hop on to again for the second edition of Pravaas by Cymbal x Masque!