Kala Ghoda Arts Festival Picks: Opening Weekend
Our recommendations of what to attend during the opening weekend of this year’s edition of the South Mumbai cultural extravaganza, which will be held from Saturday, February 4 to Sunday, February 12. Admission to all events is free and on a first-come, first-served basis, unless otherwise specified.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4
EVENTS FOR CHILDREN
Introduce your kids to the original pre e-mail postal system by signing them up for conservation architect Kruti Garg’s tour of the General Post Office on P D’Mello Road, meant for kids between the ages of eight and 13. Garg will talk about the history of the building as well as that of philately in India, while a GPO official will explain how the postal system works. At the end of the session, participants can have their photograph printed in the form of a set of 12 stamps, which they can buy.
The organisers have decided to give festival visitors something for every cinematic taste. On Saturday, you can choose between the following: Malayalam drama Adaminte Makan Abu, which swept the 2011 National Awards and was India’s Best Foreign Film submission for this year’s Oscars (Max Mueller Bhavan, 2.30pm); German 1920 silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, which is considered one of the best horror movie of all-time (Museum Viewing Centre, 2.30pm); the Shammi Kapoor classic Kashmir Ki Kali (Max Mueller Bhavan, 6.30pm); and Zoya Akhtar’s Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, which has dominated all the Hindi film award shows this past month (Museum Viewing Centre, 6.30pm). If you fancy making movies as well as watching them, get to the Museum Viewing Centre by noon, for the launch of the 48-hour Music Video Project, a competition where participants have to film a music video that “captures various aspects of the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival”, for a song by composer Ram Sampath.
Perhaps the most exciting development at the festival this year is the launch of food-related events, which include a series of cooking demonstrations and workshops by chefs, food authors and bloggers. The inaugural food session will be helmed by cook book authors Milind Sovani and Asha Khatau, who will demonstrate the various ways to plate and present Indian food, at 4pm at Colaba restaurant 5 All Day. Hotel Apollo, Lansdown Road, behind Regal Cinema, Colaba. Tel: 6524 7070.
Get to the west entrance (the one opposite Capitol cinema) of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus at 9.30am if you’d like to take a tour of the heritage structure and learn about its architectural features. During the guided walk, conservation architect Kruti Garg will point out the architectural similarities between CST, which was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 2004, and the St. Pancras station in London. Write in to email@example.com to register.
It’s a weekend of workshops. Urvashi Butalia and Anita Roy of independent publishing house Zubaan will conduct a two-day workshop on “Getting Published” at the Bombay Natural History Society auditorium (from 10am-5pm on both Saturday and Sunday). Author Samit Basu will conduct one on “Picking a Medium—Books, Comics or Screenplays?” at the Kala Ghoda Association office, in the ATE Enterprises building, which is located near the Kenneth Eliyahoo Synagogue (from 10am-5pm on both Saturday and Sunday) and blogger Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal will helm one on “Food Writing” at the Elphinstone College seminar room (from 10am-5pm on both Saturday and Sunday). Write in to firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5
EVENTS FOR CHILDREN
Conservation architect Kruti Garg and puppeteer Usha Venkataraman will conduct a heritage walk from the Gateway of India (assemble at the Shivaji statue) to the Museum garden, for kids between the ages of eight and 13, from 11.30am. Garg and Venkataraman will create fictional characters to make their narration of Mumbai history more child-friendly. After the walk, Venkataraman will conduct a puppet-making and story telling workshop.
If you believe that there’s no better way to start a Sunday morning by watching a film, you can’t do much better than the Charlie Chaplin classic The Kid, which will be screened at the Max Mueller Bhavan at 11am. Other flicks you might want to catch are 2010 National Award Best Film winner Kutty Srank, a Malayalam movie starring Mammootty as the titular character (Max Mueller Bhavan, 2.30pm); Alfred Hitchcock’s last silent film, 1929’s The Manxman (Museum Viewing Centre, 2.30pm); and Bollywood thriller Teesri Manzil featuring Shammi Kapoor in one of his most memorable roles, rock star Rocky (Max Mueller Bhavan, 6.30pm).
If you’d like to learn how to make some of the dishes served in one of the best restaurants in town, sign up for The Table executive chef Alex Sanchez‘s cooking demonstration, which will be held at 4pm at Colaba restaurant 5 All Day. Sanchez will show you how to prepare a red beet risotto and his signature dish of meatballs. The best part? You also get to eat both dishes.
HERITAGE BUS RIDE
An open-air double decker bus is a rare sight on Mumbai’s roads these days. Just for the thrill of riding in one, we recommend signing up for the south Mumbai heritage bus tour that will pass through the Gateway of India, the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mumbai University, CST and the Asiatic Society Library. While the landscape may be all too familiar, perched at that height you may notice details about the heritage district that may have escaped you before. Passes for the ride, which begins at 4.30pm from the bus stop opposite Regal Cinema, are available from Rhythm House.
Journalist Naresh Fernandes will talk about his recently released non-fiction book Taj Mahal Foxtrot: The Story of Bombay’s Jazz Age, at 7pm at the David Sassoon Library Gardens. Taj Mahal Foxtrot evocatively traces the history of jazz in our city, from the 1930s through the 1960s.
British-Indian singer Susheela Raman has been known to shock audiences with her somewhat shamanic performances of her self-fashioned blend of rock, soul, Tamil devotional music and Rajasthani folk. Raman, who often dons a cape for her concerts, is likely to leave the audience at the Cross Maidan Garden, where she will take the stage at 9m, similarly awestruck with her rousing renditions of tracks from her latest album, Vel.