Went today to the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival downtown. Every year, the Association hosts the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival for nine days in February. The festival features street events, music concerts, dance, literature events, film screenings, theater, pavement exhibitions and a whole lot of fun.

I’ve been a regular here since the past few years, and make it a point to catch at least one evening of the festival. Every time I’ve come across some unique thing or the other. This year too there were quite a few surprises.

Just before the entrance, was a huge area largely dedicated to cars and play areas and workshops for kids. There was a stall displaying models of the electric car Reva. One could also take a spin round the block in one of the test drive models. You also had a large Papier-mâché horse, along with huge balloons and ferris wheel made of bicycles. Besides this, there were also specially decorated cars, with spray paint , faux fur etc on display.

When you enter Rampart Row (the street where most of the action takes place), you first come across a huge art installation called “Mosquito” which features a sculpture of a man with wings and one long proboscis like nose. One both sides of the road are art installations and stalls. These range from stalls selling handicrafts to the delicious food from Bombay Blue. The art installations feature topical urban issues. There was even one featuring photographs clicked by blind photographers.

Towards the middle of the road, lies the stage and facing amphitheater. The stage was host to a dance competition as well as exhibition of traditional Indian and Tibetan dances. At the end of the road, just before the Lion Gate entrance to the Naval Dockyard, was a stop where you could get on an electric golf cart like vehicle that would ferry you to the next location – Horniman Circle, where the various music concerts were held.

I sat through a concert by some college band called Chaotic Mess and a very nice Latin Jazz concert by Latin Amigos there. The pond there had the same set of ducks I had seen the last time I went there. I also had a peek at St.Thomas Cathedral, which is almost opposite the garden. The cathedral has some amazing stained glass, and should be a delight to visit some other time.

The festival is definitely worth spending some time at, so if you are in Mumbai and have some time free, head over to Kala Ghoda and have a great time.

P.S. Will post a link to the pictures soon.

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