Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2013

The annual Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is here again in Bombay. We parked at the Flora Fountain island then went straight for lunch. We were starving. The Pantry had received good reviews and was close by. Thankfully, we didn't have to wait for a seat. It is a fresh little place in the corner with a laid back attitude. Not the kind to be prepared for the crowds flowing in. It took them over 40 minutes to get our order. The food was delicious though, so we couldn't begrudge them the time it took.

From there we walked up to the Prince of Wales museum currently exhibiting Mummies (from Egypt) on loan from The British Museum. It was great to see Indian museums coming up to world standards, and people from all walks of life interested in Egypt's fascinating history.

The next stop was Rampart Row where the main event is held. We unfortunately went on a Sunday afternoon. Security checks meant standing in a long queue on a warm day just to get in. Once inside, we realised that visiting any of the stalls was out of the question - you just couldn't make your way through to the counter without sustaining (and possibly inflicting) a few injuries. We decided to just have a look at all the installations. Another bad idea. People seemed to be obsessed about having their pictures taken with the art works, rather than of the art. The place was so crowded that we could barely make out where the installations were. We saw what we could and retreated.

We took refuge in The National Gallery of Modern Art's auditorium where a play was scheduled in an hour. Since my uncle was the lead in the play, we got permission to sit inside and take up the best seats, instead of waiting outside like the rest. "Aao tanik prem karen" was a peek into a couple's life after 30 years of marriage - the trials and tribulations of each, and finally an understanding between them. It was nice watching a play after a long time. There were of course those who decided to walk off during the play, mostly those sitting at the very end of the room so they had to shuffle to get out of their seats, obstruct the stage, then finally leave.

It was after 9pm when we stepped out of the theatre and the lights and crowd at Kala Ghoda were still going strong. That's Bombay. We had a quick bun-omelette from a roadside stall and washed it down with some sugarcane juice.

Having walked the whole day, our bodies were screaming for some rest. All-in-all, it was a day well-spent.

The ghoda - Haresh Mehta
Radical Garden by Anne-Marie Twigge
Tarevarchi Kasarat - Sonal Jadhav and Nikhil Borhade

‘Make Me Rich’ by Hetal Shukla. She wants people to know that “The starving artist syndrome is outdated, boring and uncool.” Today’s artists want “change”.
Procession, by Paresh Maity has ants made of motorcycle fuel tanks and headlights
A wasp by Vespa Scooters. Vespa means “Wasp” in Italian

‘Kapala's Totems’ by Sukant Panigrahy. One of seven totems placed through Kala Ghoda, this one, like the others, is made of waste material. It's not all skulls and bones though - the butterflies are a nod to our fragile ecosystem.

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