Good Times on the Street - The Ballard Estate Festival
Bombay Times once again brought life to the heritage district of South Mumbai with its signature weekend celebration Ballard Estate Festival on 26-27 November 2016. With all quintessential ingredients of a festival and more, Ballard Estate was buzzing with movie lovers, artists, comedians, foodies, and shopaholics. It was a win-win situation as there was no entry fee except for the concert; for which the passes could be won by participating in various competitions at the festival.
The two-day event was a power house of energy which witnessed enthusiastic Mumbaikars participating in game shows, competitions, singing and dancing to their hearts full. The organizers made it entertaining by keeping every kind of visitor in mind. On one side, there was silent cinema for those who wanted to enjoy a movie in the middle of drama, and on the other end were a bunch of comedians giving the crowd a good laugh. There were activities and stalls for shopping, fortune tellers, sci-fi experience with gadgets for kids and much more.
As I entered the estate, an array of beautiful canvas work caught my fancy. The paintings were from Cosmic Heart Gallery owned by Jalpa Vithalani who also works as a new age reconnective healer.
There were more for art aficionados in form of Origami, paper lamps & wire art. I love history and Magnate Publishing House made it possible for me to view vintage photos and paintings of Mumbai of the era gone by. It was a delight. I wondered how charming it would be go back in time and experience it.
Moving ahead, I was greeted by several entrepreneurs who were trying to make a mark in the jewellery industry with their intricate hand crafted designs which were refreshing to view. From farm- fresh organic vegetable to microwave safe clay pots and dream catchers to dolls, from wine to waffles, from jesters to dramatists; everything was available. Shopaholics kept themselves busy by the minute and it was getting more crowded as the evening progressed.
As I strolled, I saw a pet adoption counter. Along with it were stores selling accessories for pet lovers and baked treats for canines. Now, what more could an animal lover ask for?
After breaking into splits with the stand-up comedy, I bought a box pf popcorn and headed to the silent cinema for a relaxed moment with myself under the sky. With my headphones, intact, I enjoyed lazing on a bean bag right on the road. I watched my movie while all others were busy shopping around me.
My experience turned holistic when I came across Dr. Ameeta Thacker who practices hypnotherapy at “Ekka”. Chakra scanning helped me know more about my inner self. For those who are eager to know about their future, there were other tarot readers and healers available as well.
Last but not the least, came the concert that brought together Ash King and Ambili Menon on Sunday night. They made the crowd dance to their beats with their old and new foot-tromping numbers.
What made my experience worthwhile was the ambience of heritage buildings, shades of lighting around the trees and the road that transformed into a stage. It added an oomph to my journey during this event and would love to attend it all over again.