Debutant director, Rupali Guha, couldn’t hold back tears, during the inaugural ceremony of the retrospective of her father, Basu Chatterjee’s works, at the 12th Annual Kala Ghoda Arts Festival on Saturday.
But the nostalgia soon morphed into a smile when she saw the Coomaraswamy Hall, where Rajnigandha was being screened, packed with an appreciative audience.
“Keeping all my humility aside, I was thrilled to see so many Mumbaikars taking time out of their weekend to watch one of papa’s classics,” said Guha, who is part is part of the festival’s films division.
The eight-day festival will include the screening of Chatterjee’s other masterpieces including Choti Si Baat, Chit Chor, Piya Ka Ghar and Shaukeen.
Minutes after the screening, the bus stop opposite Colaba’s Regal Cinema resembled a picnic spot with the elderly, children and their parents and a bunch of enthusiastic foreigners vying for strategic seats atop the open-air heritage tour bus.
“Mumbai has never looked this beautiful ever before,” said Samuel Clarke, 24, an Australian tourist, while alighting from the bus. He claimed that the semi-aerial view of the gothic sculptures and carvings etched on buildings made for very good photographs.
Keeping in mind the sound level restrictions, the lack of amplified music was made up by an enhanced visual appeal. The vibrant colours stalls showcased traditional ghagra cholis, ethnic jewellery and traditional handloom carpets from the country’s interiors.
“Kala Ghoda ‘unplugged’ is such a marvelous manifestation of talent, vision and colour,” said Anuradha Murthy, 37, an interior designer, who has been a regular at the festival. “It was so astonishing to see that a normal pastel shade of blue could look so beautiful through the ‘Dreams of Water’ street art event,” she added.
Even as the sun set, the spirits continued to soar, as singer Rekha Bharadwaj, cast a spell on music buffs sitting on the Asiatic Library steps with her renditions of Genda Phool and Darling.
But amidst the buzz of activity, Kanika Shah, 20, stood frowning.
“The sandwiches and sev puri at the stalls near the Max Mueller Bhavan are too expensive,” she rued.