Kala Ghoda Arts Festival - A College Student's Memoir

Since we were pretty much swamped during the college internals in January, the onset of February brought in much anticipation. The excitement further brought in two of the most exciting events in the city, the Mumbai Pride March and the annual 9-day Kala Ghoda Arts Festival.

Mumbai Pride

The time when we were still fighting to get  Section 377 decriminalized
Dressed in divergent and unique clothes, most of the people gathered on the streets of August Kranti Marg were holding placards to show their support for the rights of the LGBTQ community. The whole atmosphere was nothing but happiness and freedom. With huge smiles and heartfelt greetings in the air, cross-dresses and colourful spirits were splashed across the city with no oppression of being "normal". 

This is how August Kranti Marg (the venue for Pride March) looked like on the day- with people dressed however they want to and placards being flashed by  LGBTQ community and their supporters to show fight for their rights

As the day progressed, we were a bit tired but was still buzzing with positive energy and enthusiasm. We had initially planned to go to the venue of the Kala Ghoda festival directly after the March, but since it took a minor turn when we heard about the Museum of Moon exhibition that was being held at the Gateway of India

Chilling By the Moon
The view of the replica of the moon in the Museum of Moon exhibition  at Gateway of India during the late evening
This exhibition featured a 23-feet-broad replica of the Moon that looked so real that you would seriously feel like you are standing next to the real thing. Here, we spent our time admiring the replica and taking a bunch of pictures with it.

Kala Ghoda

In the late evening, we reached the grounds of the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival. Being first-year non-Mumbai students, all of us had heard great tales of this event, but this was the first time we chanced to experience it first-hand. Having looked at the 9-day schedule of the festival on the official website of Kala Ghoda, we had a gist of what was to expect. 

Highlights of the Festival
The festival had separate schedules for each of the categories, including art, literature, theatre, music, and cinema. With events hosted across different venues like the Cross Maidan, National Gallery of Modern Art, the garden of the David Sassoon Library, Horniman Circle garden, the auditoriums and lawns at the CSMVS Museum, the entire Kaikashru Dubash Marg street area (better known as the Rampart Row), the MC Ghia Hall, Westside’s cafeteria, and the Tata Store situated at the Army and Navy building.

The Venue of the Celebration

The main venue was the Rampart Row, where various art pieces, as well as food stalls,  were exhibited. That is where we headed on the first day of the festival. We hope we can have some sound time admiring various art pieces, eat good food, and maybe buy some unique items from the number of stalls that were put up at this venue.

Amazing art pieces such as this were scattered  around the entire Rampart row
After taking about zillion pictures of stunning art pieces lining up the streets of Rampart row, we started looking through the various stalls and ended up buying a couple of rings, a pack of cards retelling a story through exemplary paintings, and two miniature paintings. This festival venue is also lined with several food stalls so you can choose which booth you want to visit based on your preferred cuisine. 

There are also several restaurants such as the Irish House, serving offered not only a multi-cuisine menu but also an array of stand-up performances by famous comedians. But by the time we got to the cafe, the place was packed, and they weren’t taking in any more diners at the time.

If you want to click some remarkable pictures with good background, then Kala Ghoda Arts Festival Is just the perfect place to visit

Movie Screening Day

After spending some good time there, we headed back home with the full intention of coming back to attend more amazing events hosted during the festival. The first event on our list was to participate in the screening of the movie ‘Tu Hi Mera Sunday’. The cast of this movie had come to our college to promote it, but we were over an hour late to the screening, and we just caught the ending. So instead, we stayed back to watch the screening of the movie ‘Ribbon’ starring Kalki Koechlin, which turned out to be a pretty awesome film.

The festival schedule that people can easily browse through the Kala Ghoda festival website

Mela Time
Next, we visited the mela once again, this time during daylight hours and headed to a nearby restaurant. Following this, we attended a play and a poetry session featuring five famous poets who wrote poems in five different languages. 

Concerts All Night
After a long day at the various venues and since it was getting late into the night, we finally decide to go back home. After a couple of days, we planned to attend the concert by the well-known singer, Benny Dayal. The promising performance of this singer had us on the edge of our seats, and we spent the whole night singing out loud famous Bollywood songs and dancing to the well-known tunes. This finally marked the end of our visit to the Kala Ghoda festival for the year.

The amazing Benny Dayal concert that we attended!

Kala Ghoda Arts Festival - Photo Story

A beautiful and innovative replica of a tree creating by using waste materials

An exemplary creation of art made using metal wires and feathers
You can definitely expect to see some unique artifacts during  your visit to the festival

Kathputli dance show featured on the grooves of old folk songs

A selfie that we took as we were about to leave the  premises of the festival the second time  we visited it

This post was published by Kanushka Chandnani

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