The nature of news is such, that if it isn’t out the moment it happens, it becomes stale. We haven’t yet adapted ourselves to liking stale food, then why like a stale piece of news. And that’s where the world of blogs comes in as a panacea to all those who explore the amaze of this world at every sojourn but are indolent enough to update everyone else about it, in real-time.
I am one such specimen ! But now that I have finally started scribbling, let me open your eyes to yet another page of ‘Mumbai Dairies’. Mumbai witnesses a confluence of art & creativity every year in the name of ‘The Kala Ghoda Festival’, which is held for about a week in the month of February. I won’t divulge the rather necessary details, like the history of it, because that’s not the reason you are reading this blog. You are reading it for the information you would otherwise not find on your favourite search engine (read Google).
Yes, Kala Ghoda is all about creativity, it defines, redefines and undefines ( this word didn’t exist a second ago) creativity, in every possible way. It is said to be a celebration of creativity which breathes in every element, which is exuded by all and sundry but seldom recognised. Yes, it is a perfect confluence of art; various forms of art, like theatre, literature, music, dance, handicraft and what and what not. But, you know what I’ll say now, I’ll try to be a Smart Alec and tell you what you all missed in this concoction.
So here it is then. Kala Ghoda is an oxymoron in itself. Like the two words ‘dark’ and ‘beauty’ coming together. That’s what makes it enormously debatable. Kala Ghoda, if not in its entirety, but more than half of it (especially the creative display), is hugely vague. Not abstract, but vague. Since it is easier to term every ‘abstract’ thing as creative, ‘vague’ is the saviour of a word. Creativity has never had one acceptable definition which gives it an edge most of the times. One would usually appreciate a fact being conveyed innovatively, and call it creativity, or a fact being conveyed in such a way that leaves multiple interpretations with you. Safe to call that creativity as well.
But if there isn’t a fact, then there is actually no scope for any interpretation, whatsoever. And that’s the X-factor of ‘Kala Ghoda’ festival. It has a gigantic gate constructed at the entrance, and that gate is adorned with stuff ranging from a polythene bag, to a guy’s trousers, to the utensils that you find your mother fiddling with, on a daily basis. It is vague to the extent that you end up closely relating it to your own life, which at times is so meaningless and incoherent, that you fail to separate the chaff from grain. That’s Kala Ghoda for you, a wholesome grain, that comes with the chaff, just like ‘life’, the über oxymoronic ‘life’. .
But it is not all chaff and grain, you find a lot of wholesome cereal in the midst. For instance, on my first visit to Kala Ghoda festival, I spotted an object (don’t know what else I could call it) which simply put, looked like a silver man coming out of a pea, which is growing on a pea-plant.
The raison_d’être for the same being that the creator wanted to show that the only way to nurture silver (symbolic for valuable treasure) is to respect the plants and trees around you, because that’s what will get you all your treasure, till the time you breathe on mother earth. Now that’s a message conveyed creatively.
Another in the same line is a tree made of metal wires, with plastic bottles hung all over its branches, only to show that this could be the tree of the future, and its fruits.
Caustic creativity, that strikes you straight-away, right?
Apart from the words like creative and vague, there’s another regular word that suits the Kala ghoda festival. And that’s ‘random’. Which is why probably most of the forcefully touted creativity is nothing but random accumulation of colourful and vapid trinkets. Like this hand-made post box, where people write ‘random’ messages on a post-it paper, and paste it on the outer body of the post box, leaving it for the rest of the world to see. Absolutely random. But every time you reason it, you find the reasons for such randomness in the Kala Ghoda trademark creativity. Kala Ghoda is as content in its randomness, as is your life, or mine, for that matter. ( Just that mine has a higher degree of randomness! )
To cut to the chase, as a package, it is one offering you shouldn’t miss, because that would be missing life!
You don’t get to see spider-man made of a machine’s spare-parts everyday, do you? So that’s a good enough reason to drag you to the festival next year. And if that’s not enough, you get to see/meet stars as well, yes, the lesser popular Bollywood celebrities, but the intellectual ones!
And for people of my industry, you get to spot the otherwise corporate clad big-shots of India Inc. in their most ‘lukha’ avtaars meandering around with their girlfriends, chewing a gum, closely resembling a junkie at that!
Oh! Don’t even get me started on the number of photo opportunities you will get there. Safe to say that you’ll have aplenty profile pictures for Facebook, for the rest of the month or maybe more.
And if all this has been more of faff for you and less of logic (again like ‘Life’), then just don’t miss the Kala Ghoda Festival in Mumbai next February, for you don’t know whether there’s any life beyond this one. Why miss out on something that has the power to mirror life in its most vivid form, and make it alive, all over again!
P.S. I am not one of the sponsors of the festival, I just want to share my views on a week that celebrates art, creativity, vagueness, randomness and most of all, LIFE.