Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pottery, Paintings, Photography, Play and PaniPuri !! :D

The Kala Ghoda Art Festival is into it's tenth year. This festival is a blend of all forms of art. Creativity under one roof! There are street plays, short films, dance performances, art exhibits, literature and photography workshops, colourful stalls with creative products on sale..ALL this together. So, as soon as I found out my lectures had been cancelled for the day, I was thrilled. I took print outs of the Kala Ghoda Art Fest Programme guide and decided to go there a little early.

After a quick cup of chai at VT station (I can't get myself to calling it "CST" no matter WHAT!!), I headed to Kala Ghoda. The cab took a lot of time to reach owing to the traffic on the road. Fest-effect I'm guessing. As soon as I got there, I saw two huge elephant statues outside, on either side of the Black Horse statue. And one of the them looked so real, I was too careful before going close to it to click it's photograph:

As I saw the crowd, the street art displayed outside and the colourful childrens' festival going on in full zest, I couldn't wait to enter!

The sad part of the festival is, there is such a lot going on there that you can't possibly attend everything even though you want to, and you can't decide which one's better- everything's just so great! The first thing I noticed there was the potter near the entrance. People had crowded up around him, he was letting them mould a pot on his wheel and take the pot home at only 30 bucks! I wanted to mould one too, but decided I'd wait for Neeraj so that it could be recorded!

I saw the other exhibits meanwhile. There were a lot of exhibits centered around the "Save the Earth" theme. Exhibits on "Banning Plastic", "Recycling", "Saving on Electricity", "Global Warming" etc. were some.

What amazed me the most was the "Blind With Camera" section. It had a lot of photographs captured by the blind. I got a chance to hear what Satvir Yogi, a blind student of St. Xavier's college had to say. When asked how he manages to capture images so well without sight, he says he has a picture of them in his mind. He is familiar with what's around him and uses senses to capture them in his mind first. His humility and talent had everyone in awe of him! There were many other photographs displayed there captured by a lot of other visually impaired students.

The photographers

I took a walk down the street, entering each stall and clicking pictures wherever it was allowed. I saw little kids performing "Jai Ho" at the Amphitheatre. I saw a tattoo section where people were getting themselves tattooed; I sometimes wonder how painful that must be (the worst pain I know is what I went through today, thanks to my muscle spasm.). I hung around a lot at all the pottery stalls; somehow they caught my fascination. When I was a child, I had once dreamed of being a potter :D

And just then, I got a call from Neeraj saying he was standing somewhere under the big bell. I dragged him to the potter as soon as I saw him!! :D I gave him my camera, and sat down next to the potter, and started off with moulding my pot! Here's the complete video of it:

I was so proud of my disfigured pot, I carried it with me all along (also, it hadn't dried completely). That's me posing with the horse (made fully of twigs by the way) carrying my pot!!

We took a walk outside, there was a lot of street art: potrait sketchers, charcoal painters, name-on-rice, a man making objects such as a cycle out of just wires etc. There was a plant section too, and we spotted some beautiful Bonsai flowers.

After a lot of photography, we went back in. I saw a stall header that read: "Your own wax sculpture in 20 minutes". I considered getting my own wax sculpture made, but Neeraj mentioned how scary it would be, and the thought scared me too! :D I mused a while over why we get scared of our own sculptures! We saw a small Bharat Natyam performance at the Amphitheatre.

Our next destination was BNHS; there was a short film going on there. We managed to catch the last five minutes of the short film followed by a discussion with it's directors. They had shot the film under a budget of just Rs. 1000/- !!

We quickly made our way out to go to NGMA. A play ("The Diary") was about to start in the next fifteen minutes. We reached five minutes before time, and saw a long queue waiting outside. Hoping we'd get seating space, we joined it! We got to sit right in front- in clear view of the stage! And the play began...

It starred Sagvik Mukherjee as writer Shekhar Gupta and Supriya Gokarn as his wife Meera. Biswamitra Ray was Meera's elder brother, Sanket Mhatre played the role of the younger Shekhar, while Mehak Jaini was the younger version of Meera. The play centered around a married couple (Shekhar and Meera) madly in love with each other. The marriage faces a lot of pitfalls, and the couple separates eventually. Shekhar finishes his novel after the separation, and dies three days later, in an accident. Meera finds his diary and then later ends up reading his novel, and discovers that he loved her till the very end; his novel was based on his undying love for her.

The crew

Meera and Shekhar's narration of the diary's pages and Meera's remarkable acting is notable. The younger version of the couple did a great job too. I loved Sanket Mhatre's (younger Shekhar's) role a lot. Reminded me of "Ted" from "How I met your mother". :D Meera's elder brother (Biswamitra Ray) did very well too. The humour was properly timed, and the storyline was smooth. The lighting effects, and the music added to the success of the play. An hour's time was truly well spent!

We were really hungry by the time the play got over and went to one of the chocolate stalls at Kala Ghoda. After having strawberries dipped in that dark chocolate fountain down there, we rushed to have two plates of pani-puri! To top that, I had a large glass of sugarcane juice (Neeraj had a JUMBO! :O).

The Dark Chocolate Fountain

I reached home at around 10, feeling great! I'm planning to go there again, you should visit too! It's ON till the 14th of February, and you can download the programme guide from You can follow them on Twitter here: @Kala_Ghoda.

Hope to see you there then, tada! :)


Anonymous said...

i didnt wait for even half an hour there..looked like a big mela ;)

Anubha said...

@Indihues Huh? You should have! You missed quite a lot!

SuperSanket said...

Hey felt really nice to hear you liked the play, It was our first attempt and we were anxious about audience reactions. Your post made my day and I'm sure everyone else's...

Thanks from the entire "The Diary" Team!!!
- Sanket Mhatre (Young Shekhar)

Anubha said...


Oh wow, how did you get here? :D
You did a great job there!! I loved your part the most!! Good luck for all the plays to come, and I don't see any need for you to be anxious anymore! :)

Reema said...

wow! such a nice festival! it is a difficult task to mould a pot!

Anubha said...

It's indeed a fun festival. Moulding a pot didn't seem that difficult really.. had fun in fact! :D