Monday, 8 February 2010

A day out at KalaGhoda Art Festival

I knew it (from my previous experiences) that it would be too crowded on weekends so I reserved this Monday (instead) for Kala ghoda arts festival and I was glad that I did just that.
To start with, I headed straight to the short film show ‘Blind flyers’ (2004), a senti film on 13 years old teenager friends who lived in a blind home and how they perceive the ‘lookie’ world. Although they were blind, they had the same aspiration for looking good and desirable, dressing up, dying their hair to color red/blond (when they have no idea of what that color be), getting carried away by TV contest, not realizing that blindness is not a media asset. It was worth watching.

After the film, we walked around the stalls along Rampart Row and parking lot, admiring the different installations, photographs and wild animals (not real animals, what you thinking)
and then towards the art quest where they had installations on theme: global warming.

After lunch (yeah, street food, channa pattis, khandvi and drinks) we headed towards Hotel Ambassador (14th floor) for heritage walk on Mumbai skyline. Over the cup of coffee and biscuits, we got updates (from a NRI student, who wouldn't want to live in Mumbai) on history of Mumbai architecture and its heritage value, and then we spend the next one hour clicking pictures of Mumbai skyline as we watched the sun set on Marine Drive.

Cooking is my passion and anything to do with cooking, eating or writing is my forte, it interests me a lot, it's the discussion I didn’t want to miss. I must have behaved like a spoil-sport when I looked at my watch several times to remind my friend to hurry up cause we were getting late (where we did arrive ten minutes late,)  for the discussion session, at Sassoon Library Garden, but I were relieved that it started only after I was comfortably settled and ready for the discussions to begin.

I collected lots of ideas (and got wiser) as I sat listening to the ‘Panel discussion on delicious variety of food cooking’ with Vikram Doctor, as moderator and Nilanjana Roy, Shobha Narayan and Rhusina Ghildiyal, the food writers.

Food writing in not just writing hotel/restaurant reviews or jotting down your regular traditional recipes but it is something more than that, it’s a way of discovering family culinary histories, ethics, politics, culture. I felt that my blogging might have some future, if I do enough food writing that includes traditional food with fiction, or food with science, or food with history. All that I need to do to achieve that is to do serious research on local ingredients and their applications in our diets and then to write from my own experiences that compliments those recipes. During the discussions, my mind drifted back to various recipes that I have tried during my travels and although my taste buds has changed over the years, there are days when I still crave for my own traditional home cooking.

At the end of discussion I was inspired a lot, happy that many more people shared my passion for food-writing (the session was crowded) and I was beginning to feel that I should resume my cooking and food-writing simultaneously, with my ego boosted then, it was wee bit crushed when I heard the editor of ‘Upper Crust’ saying that 70 percent of food writers had no talent for writing. (I don't wish to take that personally) Ego was re-booted again, when a senior person in the audience announced (during the inter-active session) that he was ready to invest in a cook-book that stressed on traditional cooking in the sincere way (and to his liking) such that his grand children would not crave for junk food and pickles and would return back to the traditional food habits.

The next session on ‘city stories’ was interesting too, whereby they openly discussed writings on ‘Bombay’ it was getting late, we didn’t wait till the end… (Dinner-time, yummy. street food again) and then by local train, back to my cozy suburbs

Didn’t get enough of this festival in one day, may be I go back again, another day.

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The name "Bombay" was derived from 'Bom Bahia' (The Good Bay),

.... a name given by Portuguese sailor Francis Almeida, in 1508 ....“Bounce back Mumbai” it is called by the locals, it is a city that has been through a lot in the recent past – floods, bomb blasts, riots – and come out stronger each time.

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