KALA GHODA FEST – 2020
“ THE PURPOSE OF ART IS WASHING THE DUST OF DAILY LIFE OFF OUR SOULS” – PABLO PICASSO
“ EVERY ARTIST DIPS HIS BRUSH IN HIS OWN SOUL AND PAINTS HIS OWN NATURE INTO HIS PICTURE” – HENRY WARD BEECHER
“ ART, FREEDOM AND CREATIVITY WILL CHANGE SOCIETY FASTER THAN POLITICS” – VICTOR PINCHUK
The straight road out of the Lion’s Gate of Naval Dockyard Mumbai, K Dubash Marg, is a fairly wide road leading to the former Air-India Building across MG Road right ahead and the Jehangir Art Gallery on the left end of this Road. The Road Junction at the end of Dubash Marg is a triangular Island on which stands a tall pedestal that adorns a riderless Black stallion that Christians the Junction, ‘Kala Ghoda’. The area around this monument has a large number of the city's heritage buildings and is full of museums, art galleries and educational institutions.like the Jehangir Art Gallery, the National Gallery of Modern Art, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya and The Arts Trust. Each year, the area hosts the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival. The area is sandwiched between Mumbai Port's docklands to the east, Regal Cinema to the south, Fountain to the north and Oval Maidan to the west. The Bombay Stock Exchange is to its northeast. The Eastern end of K Dubash Mag has an elegant Vikrant Memorial, the brainchild of Cmde Mike Bhada who has flown from this mighty Aircraft carrier during 1971 War. The mighty Ship had earned 2 MVCs and 12 VCs for her warriors' valour. It was an honour to get snapped by Meena against this wonderful memorial, carved out of the remains of the Mother, prior to her final journey to the Darukhana ship breaking yard in Nov 2014.
As per Wikipedia, The name Kala Ghoda derived from Black Horse, a reference to the presence of a black stone statue of King Edward VII (as the then Prince of Wales) mounted on a horse that was built by Jewish businessman and philanthropist Albert Abdullah David Sassoon, although this statue was removed from the precinct in 1965 and subsequently placed inside the Byculla Zoo. In 2017, the 'Kala Ghoda' returned to the area with a new statue of a similar-looking horse without a rider, being commissioned by the Kala Ghoda Association. The statue, titled 'Spirit of Kala Ghoda' was designed by architect Alfaz Miller and sculpted by Shreehari Bhosle.
20 years ago, the Kala Ghoda Association was formed with the idea of giving back to the city we call home - the thriving megapolis of Mumbai. And, thereafter was born the biggest street art festival that India has - the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival. Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is the country’s largest multicultural festival, taking place in early February every year. The Festival draws visitors in large numbers, not just from the city but from all over the country, and the world. Meena and I have been visiting this Fest year after year since our pre-retirement transfer to this Financial capital of our country. It's always a sheer joy to get oneself snapped against the artefacts crafted and displayed by the amazing artists of India. This year the Fest had started from 01 Feb and has culminated yesterday.
It was indeed a pleasure to meet and greet ‘Hetal Shukla’ the Artist who displays his 2003 model Ambassador with varying themes every year. This year to honour ‘Mahatama Gandhi’ on his 150th Birth Anniv last year, he had decked up his car with Denim Jeans and Khadi and termed his car ‘Genes of Khadi’. Meena and I gave him a Byte on request. Shukla is a dedicated Artist and displays his adorable Artefacts in Manibhawan, (near Bhawan's College) regularly. Thanks, Hetal Shukla, we made a friend today.
Do enjoy glancing over the snaps that we clicked yesterday Sunday 09 Feb 2020 at the Fest. It was the last day of the Fest, and we were fortunate to have witnessed it, yet again. Jai Hind.
(Photo Courtesy: Meena Bakhshi Dutt and Raj Dutta )
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