Fifteen years on a trot! | Gajanan Khergamker

Fifteen years on a trot!

It has been over 15 years, but the excitement never seems to fade. And just when you feel that the crowds have hit an optimum, the fest proves you wrong the very next year. It gets bigger and better.

Cultural programmes, music shows, dance performances, cinemas, heritage walks etc, are, like every year, all integral to the Kalaghoda Art festival. This year around, however, there has been a hike in security right from the entrance to the peppering of police personnel within the precincts. Once you enter the zone, there is a colossal gothic display that doubles up as a Bollywood memorial-of-sorts showcasing actors from over the years.

This year, most of the art works on show at the venue showcase social messages relating to issues in the news throughout the year. Right from corruption to rape, female foeticide and inflation to rising fuel prices; artistes have drawn attention towards pressing issues in manners to gently revive through the marvel of their works, public memory which is otherwise notoriously short.

Other than the ones with messages, there are art-works that symbolise Mumbai herself; a life-size figure of a dabbawala at work represents aamchi Mumbai’s famous dabbawala community or a giant sized taxi/auto meter to represent the ever-increasing fares of public transport.

And then, throughout the fest, among the thronging crowds there are performers dressed like dacoits complete with rifles and the works, mythological characters, Rajasthani folk dancers etc, who appear from nowhere, perform their bit before a crowd and blend into the masses…once again!

(The views expressed in this column are the writer’s own)

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