After weeks of anticipation, it's finally here. The Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Festival 2014 begins today -- a veritable feast of dance, drama and music performances, food festivals, workshops, walks and film screenings.
"I'm really excited about the music events, especially the performance by sarod maestros Amaan and Ayaan Ali Khan at the Asiatic Steps," says lawyer Aditi Kumavat, 27, who plans to attend as many days of the nine-day festival as she can. "I'll also be attending screenings of the black-and-white Fearless Nadia
films and as many theatre events as possible, in addition to shopping along Rampart Row. There's so much to do this year, and I hope to make the most of it."
With hundreds of free events scheduled, many of them at open-air venues such as Cross Maidan and the Asiatic Library steps, the festive air will be enhanced by the buzz of food and handicraft stalls along Rampart Row.
"I plan to attend the festival on multiple days, to get the most out of it," says Sonali Kokra, 27, a writer. "I am particularly looking forward to the art installations, because they are always quirky and force one to think. Kala Ghoda is synonymous with colour and, for an art-loving person, there can be no better place to be."
Some plan to experience the festival in different ways on different days, visiting with friends to sample the food and music performances, then returning solo to experience the art.
"I am a big foodie so I look forward to attending the cooking worskshops. But I also like to check out all the art work displayed," says mass media student Rhea Kavarana, 20. "I can't wait to see what they have for us this year."
For some, the main draw is the opportunity to experience visual art live and walk through installations meant to engage and intrigue.
"I look forward to seeing the many beautiful pieces of art on display, each with its own story to tell and its own message to convey," says mass-media student Manav Arora, 21. "For me, this is the essence of Mumbai -- different creative streams coming together in a burst of colour."