9th February 2020 was the last day of Kala Ghoda Art Festival, art lovers from all corners of the world came and enjoyed this 10 day long Mumbai based art festival. Kala Ghoda has become the cultural attraction of the Mumbai.
Mumbai being a port city I recall autumn in Venice: Ernest Hemingway and His Last Muse, in this book, Hemingway writes about his port city romance. I read it when I was 20, today after nearly two decades whenever I visit Mumbai it takes me back to Hemingway.
This was 21st year of Kala Ghoda, I remember when this festival began with the few students of J J School of Arts. They used road, walls, tree, and pavement as a stage to portray their art. J J School of Art is one of the renowned art school in India. Kala Ghoda festival is celebrated near to J J School of Arts. The location of Kala Ghoda is surrounded by Jahangir Art Gallery, Bombay society of Modern Arts, Asiatic Society, Lad Museum and Mumbai High Court.
The Kala Ghoda festival started with a very simple way, later the multinational advertising agencies realized the potential of it. The art directors and visualizers realized the creative expression of these artists. Corporates came forward and hold the cultural pulse of Mumbai. It took a shape of an organized festival. The boutiques, artisans, and many organizations who are involved into art and craft came forward. The art student and their work is prime attraction. The other art forms like, music, standup comedy, drama, cinema, short films, theatre, dance, food, heritage walk, literature, stalls, visual arts and workshops became a part of this festival.
Lately when I visited the festival with family we had a memorable experience of art and artistic expressions. We clicked photos, had shopping and attain some programs what we could gather into two days.
I remember when first time I tried to sell my painting on road during this festival some 2 decade back. Every year it is getting bigger and greater. It is one of its kind festival as in west Bengal Vasant Ustav is celebrated during the same time in Shanti Niketan but it is a university and Kala Ghoda festival is a creative expression of Mumbai.
I came across a stall with some creative games. I bought a game on storytelling with cubes. This game is designed by an American who now settled in India and loves India. Katha Kubes is the company. I spoke with him and invited him in my podcast.
Over the street art, I saw many stalls who made the fusion of artistic expression with culture. Some were from Rajasthan, Bengal, Tamil, Andhra and Haryana. It was a true cosmopolitan culture.
I read this event as a culture of Mumbai, being a business capital of the country it has its own culture. People from across the country and visitors from across global come here for various purpose. It has developed its own tongue, culture and expression.