A Saturday in town

I love South Mumbai, or town as many of us refer to that part of Mumbai. It is one of my favourite areas of the city and I’m always looking for excuses to head towards that side of the city. Need to buy a book? Want to stock up on dry fruits? Buy a gift? Meet a friend for coffee? No, problem. I just make a trip to town. ūüôā

I haven’t been needing an excuse these last couple of months. Every Saturday, I head to town for my PG Diploma in Indian Aesthetics classes. Though they are in the afternoon, I try to¬†combine it with other ‘work’ or explorations in town.

South Mumbai

About a month back, I had a minor fall that left me with a sprained ankle. Nothing serious, but my doctor didn’t want me gallivanting to town in local trains or walking around and straining the ankle, especially since I was due to travel soon. (I leave today. Yay !). That meant that my forays to town had to be restricted to going for class and coming straight back home. It was a depressing thought !

A couple of days later after the fall, I got a mail from Blacklane, a car ride service referring to an earlier email exchange. Sometime in June, Blacklane had reached out offering me a ride anywhere in Mumbai. Since I didn’t need one at that time, I declined and we left it that. The second time around, I didn’t decline, Blacklane offered me their services a couple of Saturdays back.

This is an account, in pictures, of that day in town.

Continue reading “A Saturday in town”

The SoBo art trail: Exploring Mumbai’s art district

It never ceases to amaze me how much I unconsciously internalise popular perceptions without even realising it. Take for instance, Mumbai’s art scene.

Till about 3 weeks back, if somebody had asked me about Mumbai’s art scene, I would have said how it was not very vibrant, unlike Delhi. Or Bangalore. Or Chennai. I might have cited the absence of good art galleries, beyond the couple of famous ones that I knew. I¬† would have also said something about the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, and then probably ended by mumbling something about not knowing much about my city’s artscape.

All I can say of the above para is that only the last line is correct ‚ÄĒ I really don’t know anything about my city’s art scene. As for the rest, I was only repeating the general impression about Mumbai’s art scene based on what I read and discussions with like-minded people.

I realised how misplaced my knowledge was when I received an invitation from Pia of Good Homes India to participate in a blogger art trail (essentially a guided tour of 5 of South Bombay’s prominent art galleries) as part of their Public Art Week initiative. The invite was intriguing enough, but what caught my attention were these lines:

The galleries we are looking at covering are Gallery7, Sakshi art gallery, Gallery Maskara, 1/29 Studio Gallery and Art Musings. The mix is interesting and so is the art.

With the exception of Sakshi Gallery (which I had never been to), I hadn’t even heard of the other art galleries. And to think all these galleries were concentrated in South Bombay (SoBo), also known as the city’s art district. This I had to see for myself !

I had no hesitation in accepting the invitation even though it was at such short notice necessitating taking half-a-day off from work. So, on November 28th, a mixed group of 10 odd design, food, art and travel bloggers gathered at The Pantry for high tea before setting out on the art trail.

Art Trail, Gallery Maskara, Mumbai

Continue reading “The SoBo art trail: Exploring Mumbai’s art district”

Mumbai Lens: Framed at the Pavement Art Gallery

Whenever I am in the Kala Ghoda area of South Mumbai, I always make it a point to visit the Pavement Art Gallery, also known as¬†the Art Plaza. Located outside the Jehangir Art Gallery, this Pavement Art Gallery offers exhibition space for artists to display and sell their works. Not all the stuff is good, but there is always something for everyone. Over the years, I have picked up pen and ink drawings of birds,¬†charcoal sketches of Mumbai’s iconic buildings,¬†as well as some miniature landscape watercolours from here.

So here I was at the Pavement Art Gallery on a January afternoon. It was a pleasant weather day, with a cool breeze blowing. As I was browsing at the paintings, I saw a couple doing the same.

Checking out the art on display at the Pavement Art Gallery

Continue reading “Mumbai Lens: Framed at the Pavement Art Gallery”

The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival: A metaphor for Mumbai

Tomorrow is the last day of Mumbai’s much-loved and much awaited annual Kala Ghoda Arts Festival¬†(KGAF).¬†The Festival is organised by the¬†Kala Ghoda¬†Association, a not-for-profit organisation, with the aim¬†of “physically upgrading the Kala Ghoda¬†sub-precinct and making it the Art District of Mumbai”. All events of the KGAF¬†are held within a one kilometre radius of the Kala Ghoda area in South Mumbai.

The KGAF makes space for all kinds of arts and through its various components ensures participation of a very large cross-section of the population.¬†According to the Festival’s website,

The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is an expression of the inclusiveness of art where all gather in a joyous spirit of celebration of the finest talents producing momentous and uplifting work.

In its 13th year now, the KGAF 2011 had children’s events,¬†workshops, literary events, heritage walks, film screenings, theatre, music,¬†and dance performances, and a street festival as well. In addition to all these events, artists from across the country set up stalls to showcase and sell their products.

An art installation of a cow depicting scenes from “A Day in the Life of India”

Continue reading “The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival: A metaphor for Mumbai”