I love the Kala Ghoda festival. It’s vibrant and kitschy and oh-so-Mumbai. Although Kunal Roy Kapoor (director of the hilarious film “The President is Coming”) had a very good point about it being exactly the same every year. Same stalls, similar performances, even the food stalls location and menu – exactly the same! I suppose on some level that’s comforting, although it wouldn’t hurt to mix it up a little. All the installation art was themed around global issues of environment, natural resources, terror and humanity this year. Quite an interesting walk-about. (Unfortunately for Krsna Mehta and Brinda Miller their impressive 40 foot high pyramid themed around water conservation came tumbling down due to an unfortunate execution error by the construction crew on site but they’ve managed to prop it up with a crane and its still pretty impressive.)
Dia Mehta has some phenomenal art work which (to my untrained eye) looked like paint tossed into water and photographed to create a stunning slow-motion splash of color. Kaytee and the Salsa India Dance company put on quite a sizzeling show of salsa, jazz and hip hop with Ashwin Mushran (remember Priyanka Chopra’s gay best friend in Fashion?) playing hilarious host as usual, he’s quite a salsa fanatic himself actually.
The One Tree Festival featuring Bernard Allison, Chico & The Gypsies (aka the leader Gypsy Kings) was a blast apparently (but on a much smaller scale this year held ate Taj Lands End Hotel in Bandra instead of the usual MMRDA grounds.) Blue Frog is also doing spectacularly well, 1680 people came to their Midival Punditz and Karsh Kale nights over two days.
So as you can see Mumbai has been pumping with activity this past weekend… I was at Redlight (Kala Ghoda, Mumbai) on Friday where their theme was “Redlight Clinic” with all the staff in costume as doctors, nurses and patients (I almost asked a bouncer “Oh my God, what happened, was there a fight?” when I saw his bandages and before I realized it was part of the act!) The VIP section was tagged the Intensive Care Unit where you could get yourself band-aided up or take a spin in one of the wheelchairs. Hilarious. My favorite part though was when I told my friend to look over at the DJ cabin which said “Surgeon” above it and obviously in the din didn’t quite catch what I was saying replied, “Really? The DJs also a surgeon?” Wouldn’t that be the bomb, doctor by day DJ by night!