The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is one of Mumbai’s well-known events which happens every year in February. It is on for about a week where they focus on Art, Dance, Music, Literature, Cinema, Theatre and much more. You can attend different workshops, plays and watch movies all for free. The main attraction in this fest is the installations and stalls. I absolutely love this fest and have been attending this event for the past four years! But sad to say that the energy and quality of the fest has slowly gone down.
I remember going for this fest in the first year of college with my friends. They had so many installations and workshops. I spent my whole week at the fest. I didn’t miss even one day. Every 10ft there would be an installation. They had a variety of stalls to spend your money on. The dance and theatre performances where fun to watch. But this year I was so disappointed. There were hardly any installations. The stalls were not unique and there was nothing authentic about them. I know Chumbak and Tantra have become big and you get them all over the country. There’s nothing new about them any more. We already get their products in stores and online, why give them a stall? I think they should have brought some new names, something we haven’t seen yet. There were about five T-shirt stalls that I can remember of, how many T-shirts do you want me to buy? Give space to new brands, there are stalls which I’ve been seeing again and again for the past 4 years!
Now coming to installations.. Man! Where should I start from? There were hardly any. The best ones are always put in the beginning. But then again there weren’t as impressive. I didn’t look at it and go ‘Wow, now that is some Art!’ The Ambassador Car comes every year with different colourful designs on it. I wonder if they use the same car every time? Oh this year there were three cars! The other installations were good but some of them were boring. There was this huge bottle tower thing and we could walk inside it. Maybe they have a good concept behind it but it kind of looked tacky. Chumbak had a huge bobble head right in front of their stall which was like a marketing move. The bull and the horse which is made of metal objects had a place right at the end this year. That was another repeat from last couple of years. Then there was this painting/banner of some sort which looked like a child’s drawing, didn’t really get that.
Some things from the last few years were not seen like the tightrope walker, Kacchi Ghodi, people walking down the street with painted faces and costumes.
Clicked some pictures, take a look!
If you had gone last year or the year before that, you must have seen a lot of media people and people with DSLRs roaming around. This year I hardly saw any. Even my friends didn’t go and the ones who went were as disappointed as I was. Some of the installations were vandalised. People were posing with them and touching and holding onto the installations when theres a sign saying ‘Do not touch.’ One was trying to pull out a bottle out of the bottle tower to see if the whole thing would come down. Such an unruly mob! Maybe next time they should put a fence around the installations.
The whole thing wasn’t all that bad, dance, music and theatre were pretty good. They brought some good artists. Went for this one play called ‘Postcards from Bardoli’ it was directed and acted by Jaimini Pathak and Amol Parashar. Amazing story and acting. Guess they kept the standard up somewhere. 😛
All in all I had the feeling the whole fest was profit oriented where they brought in the same people year after year. Didn’t really feel there was anything new. It might be something exciting for someone who hasn’t seen a fest like this or for someone from another city, but for someone with interest in art it was not up to the mark.
I hope it gets better next year.
PS – This is MY opinion. It’s cool if you didn’t feel this way. 🙂