Many of those ambling along the streets of Kala Ghoda on Monday were repeat visitors, back to check on stalls, events or installations that they had not got around to on their first visits over the weekend.
“I was here on Sunday, but I couldn’t take in half the stalls or installations because there were so many other people,” said Archita Waghmare, 26, a psychologist and Bandra resident, who was accompanied by her friends on a ‘girls’ day out. “I’m glad I came back because we now plan to also take part in a play or a dance performance.”
There were special treats on offer too. In addition to the massive installations already set up on Rampart Row for the Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, a group of 20-odd students from Pearl Academy of Design were doing some live painting on two new works.
“We have held on to the theme of ‘No borders’ and that is exactly what we want to show through this painting. We also ensured that we depict a horse in the painting, representing the ‘kala ghoda’ of this festival,” said student Krutika Shah, 20.
Meanwhile, all along the streets, Mumbaiites browsed through 100-odd handicraft stalls for everything from tablecloths to saris and pots and pans to lamps. “Every year, we offer a platform to NGOs selling products from various small scale industries. The best part is the variety this brings to the festival,” said Vidula Warawdekar, curator for the stalls section. “Take something as simple as bags. There’s a stall selling leather bags while there’s another selling bags made from different kinds of cloth.”
One stall — Best from Waste — set up on Rampart Row by students of the Baroda School of Art, garnered particular attention. “They have used old bottles and tyres to make something totally new and artistic, and the best part is they are diverting all the money that they make towards an NGO. I’ve already bought two lamps from them,” said Vani Suvarna, 35, a homemaker and resident of Andheri.
Variety is also the name of the game at the food stalls set up on Cross Maidan, which offer everything from chaat to pizza and pasta.
And, of course, making one’s way through the area, it was impossible to miss the Behrupiyas, traditional artistes who are performing at the fest daily, dressed as vibrantly coloured lions.
“Amongst all the street festivals in the country, KGAF is the largest, and without folk artistes, it would be incomplete,” said Varsha Karale, curator for street events at HTKGAF. “These behrupiyas, as well as the puppet shows set up across venues this year, bring colour to the festival and entertain the audience with a traditional performance too.”