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Family, food, festival, fun and sel’f’ies


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Ever since I discovered the amazing experience that the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is few years ago I’ve followed the ritual of attending it every year. Although squeezing out time for a variety of great workshops that are conducted there has remained a distant and challenging dream till now, I’m pleased that I’ve witnessed the one quiet lane in South Mumbai brighten up and come to life for its duration.

This year I dragged a reluctant but surrendering A to the festival with our kids in tow on a Saturday, no less! No taxi willing to take us to the venue was fairly suggestive of the commotion that we were going to have to brace ourselves with. A’s familiarity with the area and the legendary food joints there (and his penchant for tempting us) ascertained that our tummies got satiated with some yummy Maharashtrian food before we set out on our short journey on foot.

Thalipeeth, Missal pav and Vada pav. A spice kick! 🙂

I’ll be certain if I pulled some pictures out of the archives but lets suffice to say that this was my fifth Kala Ghoda visit. Social media and general awareness have played their part well since every year the crowd seemingly multiplies itself. Not to mention the different themes and thoughtfully made installations that are a huge draw every time.

As we reached the entry point a huge (and scary) tide of festival-goers was impatiently waiting to let in. I almost retraced my steps and retracted. A egged me on, held our hands through the whole daunting exercise and after a few pushes and shoves we managed to get inside. A quickly settled on a rare empty space on one of the beautifully painted steps with Angel while I and A Jr ventured for some more elbowing and exploring.

The entry from Lion Gate had this installation for celebrating Indian Navy

The theme this year was green and even the Kala Ghoda was made Hara Ghoda. Honestly, the installations this year were truly beautiful and we would’ve had a whale of a time deciphering the thought behind every single one of them had the ever-increasing Selfie crazy brigade not spoilt it for us completely! Picture is one thing, disrespect for a piece of art and the artist is another. Please enjoy these pics before I elaborate further.

The Hara Ghoda looked splendid and was a crowd puller!
Can you spot the woman’s face set in these bangles?
This installation had plants kept inside. A walk through them stressed the importance of oxygen and clean air.

With an attitude that was ignorant and bordering on offensive, people had no remorse climbing atop installations that were obviously made with great care and effort. If that wasn’t enough selfies and welfies had to be taken with different pouts and angles at leisure while another such group waited to repeat the same thing. The labels kept aside them were duly royally snubbed. As long as the picture made to it their social media profiles and garnered hundreds of likes who cared what they signified, right? 🙁

I don’t have anything against selfies, I take many myself. That said, I believe there’s a time and place for everything. Drawings, backgrounds as well as paintings were kept at many places which would make great selfies too. The poor attendants were tired and hoarse keeping the crowd away from destroying something beautiful and noteworthy. My heart went out to them.

Is breaking rules and forgetting all manners fashionable and necessary?

Isn’t this selfie obsession making us lose the bigger picture?

How many people have any job attending such festivals if not for sharing and bragging?

If my 9yo could understand this brazenness, shouldn’t we adults be apologetic for our actions?

This is my selfie with a Warli painting. It was kept in the middle of the garden.

Although disappointing I couldn’t let this spoil my festival experience, could I? The activity and energy around that place was contagious. There were some amazing shops to buy authentic and distinctive stuff from. Merryl’s Streep’s The Post was playing at & Pictures Prive HD and we watched it for a while before the kids started fidgeting and demanding to see cartoons instead.

It was a bonus and a pleasant surprise for us when we stepped out of there and found that Benny Dayal was performing live in front of the Asiatic Society stairs. All our exhaustion was forgotten in a jiffy as we clapped and sang along as he put up an electric performance which included songs like Badtameez Dil, Bang Bang, Disco Deewane and many more!

All in all, it was a Saturday well spent. Never mind our leg muscles that had stiffed in rebellion. 😀

Have you attended the Kala Ghoda festival too? Are you a selfie addict?

Yes or no, do share your thoughts with me in the comments section please.

“This post is written as a part of the #AlexaTheIncredible campaign hosted by #womenbloggerwb”

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23 Comments

  1. So thankful for this post. My thoughts totally resonated with you. Had been this weekend more out of curiosity. Staying for so many years in Mumbai I thought I should atleast visit once. It was indeed a bad experience with people crowding the installations for selfies more than wanting to understand what was it conveying. You have clicked awesome pics which I couldn’t manage to.

    1. You have no idea how much restraint I had to practice not to shout or pull people down from the installations, Sudha! At one point I actually told a girl, “Would you please move aside, I need to take a picture of what I actually came to see.”
      Next time I’ll be wiser and go on a weekday, hopefully. Else it isn’t worth it.

      1. If I intend going I hope to also do it during weekday. It would surely be a wise thing to do. Right now selfie craze has got a lunatic touch ..hope it dies its own death sooner!

  2. This is a wonderful festival. Family outing with some art & fun.
    I always miss it and would love to be part of it someday.

    1. Plan ahead next year. It sure is a lot of fun, with family or friends. 🙂

  3. Anagha Yatin says:

    Kala Ghoda is an enriching experience and it is one of the things that I loved about Mumbai!
    At the same time, I am also saddened by the disrespectful attitude of the youngistan brigade towards and the installations and the artists.
    Lovely pics, enlightened my memories of the visit there!

    1. The worst part is that they don’t even understand the disrespect. There was a girl standing in front of an installation taking selfies from different angles for a full 10 minutes. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her vanity. She surely didn’t know what the installation was.
      It is a great experience otherwise. I’m going again next time.

  4. I attended Kala Ghoda festival last year..The crowd there was crazy, and as you said, selfie obsessed, not at all interested in appreciating the installations but only clicking selfies to be shared on social media and ‘LIKED’ by hundreds! I agree, this obsession with selfies is taking our attention away from everything.. I just hope some day we realise how much time we waste in this madness and learn to concentrate on Life happening around us!
    I loved the bangle installation you shared here..awesome! The kind of creativity on display at the festival is mind-blowing!

    1. Absolutely mind-blowing creativity. Every year the theme is different and the installations are never repeated. The mere effort that goes first into thinking of it and then creating it from scratch must be so fulfilling and enriching. Almost like a baby. Wonder how they cope up with this nonsense. 🙁
      I loved it the bangles one too. 🙂

  5. This is awusm love the pictures and ur experience would definitely love to visit this soon 🙂

  6. What a wonderful festival! And it looks like you had a great time there. Thanks for sharing the photos with us. Gives us a glimpse of what it was about. Yes I do wish we are all more aware and respectful of our surroundings in ever increasing obsession with taking selfies!

    1. Thank you so much for reading and sharing your thoughts here, Namratha. I hope this selfie obsession is a passing phase until something else comes up.

  7. This look like great fun with kids and family on weekend !!

  8. It’s true that people act mindless in the spree of making their clicks garner lot of popularity on social media. Loved your post that reflects your thoughts. Someday I may visit this festival too!

    1. Entirely their loss then, right? Photos can be reminders of objects but not moments. Do visit it sometime. 🙂

  9. This is so much fun… I love Such festivals

  10. Papri Ganguly says:

    Seems like a great festival of good food, people and handcrafts.

  11. Have been reading a lot about this festival on SM, seeing this through your eyes was beautiful experience through this post 🙂
    The Thalipeeth seems super yummy.

    1. Thanks, Yogita. Had typical Maharashtrian fare after a long time and it was great. Even the Missal was good.

  12. It seems the festival was a great experience.

  13. sounds like a great experience and also something that shud not be missed.

  14. I stopped going to Kala Ghoda Festival three years ago – reason? The frenzy of the photo crazy bunch of people. They completely forget their etiquette and are completely engrossed in just clicking. No respect for the artist at all.
    I love the festival. Just hate the people behaving crazy.

    Thanks to you, I got a glimpse of my favourite festival. Keep writing.

  15. It seems like a great festival .. I can feel the excitement through the post..

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